William Shakespeare's First Part of King Henry the Sixth in the complete original text.
William Shakespeare's plays, sonnets and poems at AbsoluteShakespeare.com
Home Plays Sonnets Poems Quotes Summaries Essays Glossary Links Help

HOME > Plays > First Part of King Henry the Sixth > Act IV. Scene VI.

First Part of King Henry the Sixth

Study Guides
Hamlet
Julius Caesar
King Henry IV
King Lear
Macbeth
Merchant of Venice
Othello
Romeo and Juliet
The Tempest
Twelfth Night

Trivia
Authorship
Bard Facts
Bibliography
Biography
FAQ
Films
Globe Theatre
Pictures
Quiz
Timeline

Act IV. Scene VI.

Scene VI.—A Field of Battle.

Alarum: Excursions, wherein TALBOT'S Son is
hemmed about, and TALBOT rescues him.

Tal. Saint George and victory! fight, soldiers,
fight!
The regent hath with Talbot broke his word,
And left us to the rage of France his sword.
Where is John Talbot? Pause, and take thy
breath:
I gave thee life and rescu'd thee from death.
John. O! twice my father, twice am I thy
son:
The life thou gav'st me first was lost and done,
Till with thy war-like sword, despite of fate,
To my determin'd time thou gav'st new date.
Tal. When from the Dauphin's crest thy
sword struck fire,
It warm'd thy father's heart with proud desire
Of bold-fac'd victory. Then leaden age,
Quicken'd with youthful spleen and war-like rage,
Beat down Alencon, Orleans, Burgundy,
And from the pride of Gallia rescu'd thee.
The ireful bastard Orleans,—that drew blood
From thee, my boy, and had the maidenhood
Of thy first fight,—I soon encountered
And, interchanging blows, I quickly shed
Some of his bastard blood; and, in disgrace,
Bespoke him thus, 'Contaminated, base,
And misbegotten blood I spill of thine,
Mean and right poor, for that pure blood of
mine
Which thou didst force from Talbot, my brave
boy:'
Here, purposing the Bastard to destroy,
Came in strong rescue. Speak, thy father's care,
Art thou not weary, John? How dost thou fare?
Wilt thou yet leave the battle, boy, and fly,
Now thou art seal'd the son of chivalry?
Fly, to revenge my death when I am dead;
The help of one stands me in little stead.
O! too much folly is it, well I wot,
To hazard all our lives in one small boat.
If I to-day die not with Frenchmen's rage,
To-morrow I shall die with mickle age:
By me they nothing gain an if I stay;
'Tis but the short'ning of my life one day.
In thee thy mother dies, our household's name,
My death's revenge, thy youth, and England's
fame.
All these and more we hazard by thy stay;
All these are sav'd if thou wilt fly away.
John. The sword of Orleans hath not made
me smart;
These words of yours draw life-blood from my
heart.
On that advantage, bought with such a shame,
To save a paltry life and slay bright fame,
Before young Talbot from old Talbot fly,
The coward horse that bears me fall and die!
And like me to the peasant boys of France,
To be shame's scorn and subject of mischance!
Surely, by all the glory you have won,
An if I fly, I am not Talbot's son:
Then talk no more of flight, it is no boot;
If son to Talbot, die at Talbot's foot.
Tal. Then follow thou thy desperate sire of
Crete,
Thou Icarus. Thy life to me is sweet:
If thou wilt fight, fight by thy father's side,
And, commendable prov'd, let's die in pride.
[Exeunt.
< PREVIOUS
Copyright 2000-2005 AbsoluteShakespeare.com. All rights reserved.  Contact Us  Privacy  Awards