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Henry VI, Part 1 - Act 1, scene 4
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Navigate this workHenry VI, Part 1 - Act 1, scene 4
Act 1, scene 4
The master gunner of Orleance shows his boy how to fire on the English when they come to spy. The boy kills Gargrave and mortally wounds Salisbury, enraging the newly ransomed Talbot, who vows to avenge them.Enter the Master Gunner of Orleance and his Boy.
0426 Sirrah, thou know’st how Orleance is besieged
0427 And how the English have the suburbs won.
0428 Father, I know, and oft have shot at them;
0429 Howe’er, unfortunate, I missed my aim.
0430 5 But now thou shalt not. Be thou ruled by me.
0431 Chief master-gunner am I of this town;
p. 410432 Something I must do to procure me grace.
0433 The Prince’s espials have informèd me
0434 How the English, in the suburbs close entrenched,
0435 10 Went through a secret grate of iron bars
0436 In yonder tower, to overpeer the city,
0437 And thence discover how with most advantage
0438 They may vex us with shot or with assault.
0439 To intercept this inconvenience,
0440 15 A piece of ordnance ’gainst it I have placed,
0441 And even these three days have I watched
0442 If I could see them. Now do thou watch,
0443 For I can stay no longer.
0444 If thou spy’st any, run and bring me word;
0445 20 And thou shalt find me at the Governor’s.He exits.
0446 Father, I warrant you, take you no care;
0447 I’ll never trouble you if I may spy them.He exits.
Enter Salisbury and Talbot on the turrets,
with ⌜Sir William Glansdale, Sir Thomas Gargrave,
Attendants and⌝ Others.
0448 Talbot, my life, my joy, again returned!
0449 How wert thou handled, being prisoner?
0450 25 Or by what means gott’st thou to be released?
0451 Discourse, I prithee, on this turret’s top.
0452 The ⌜Duke⌝ of Bedford had a prisoner
0453 Called the brave Lord Ponton de Santrailles;
0454 For him was I exchanged and ransomèd.
0455 30 But with a baser man-of-arms by far
0456 Once in contempt they would have bartered me,
0457 Which I disdaining, scorned, and cravèd death
0458 Rather than I would be so ⌜vile-esteemed.⌝
0459 In fine, redeemed I was as I desired.
0460 35 But O, the treacherous Fastolf wounds my heart,
p. 430461 Whom with my bare fists I would execute
0462 If I now had him brought into my power.
0463 Yet tell’st thou not how thou wert entertained.
0464 With scoffs and scorns and contumelious taunts.
0465 40 In open marketplace produced they me
0466 To be a public spectacle to all.
0467 “Here,” said they, “is the terror of the French,
0468 The scarecrow that affrights our children so.”
0469 Then broke I from the officers that led me,
0470 45 And with my nails digged stones out of the ground
0471 To hurl at the beholders of my shame.
0472 My grisly countenance made others fly;
0473 None durst come near for fear of sudden death.
0474 In iron walls they deemed me not secure:
0475 50 So great fear of my name ’mongst them were spread
0476 That they supposed I could rend bars of steel
0477 And spurn in pieces posts of adamant.
0478 Wherefore a guard of chosen shot I had
0479 That walked about me every minute-while;
0480 55 And if I did but stir out of my bed,
0481 Ready they were to shoot me to the heart.
Enter the Boy with a linstock.
⌜He crosses the main stage and exits.⌝
0482 I grieve to hear what torments you endured,
0483 But we will be revenged sufficiently.
0484 Now it is supper time in Orleance.
0485 60 Here, through this grate, I count each one
0486 And view the Frenchmen how they fortify.
0487 Let us look in; the sight will much delight thee.
0488 Sir Thomas Gargrave and Sir William Glansdale,
0489 Let me have your express opinions
0490 65 Where is best place to make our batt’ry next?
0491 I think at the north gate, for there stands lords.
0492 And I, here, at the bulwark of the bridge.
0493 For aught I see, this city must be famished
0494 Or with light skirmishes enfeeblèd.
Here they ⌜shoot,⌝ and Salisbury
⌜and Gargrave fall⌝ down.
0495 70 O Lord, have mercy on us, wretched sinners!
0496 O Lord, have mercy on me, woeful man!
0497 What chance is this that suddenly hath crossed us?—
0498 Speak, Salisbury—at least if thou canst, speak!
0499 How far’st thou, mirror of all martial men?
0500 75 One of thy eyes and thy cheek’s side struck off!—
0501 Accursèd tower, accursèd fatal hand
0502 That hath contrived this woeful tragedy!
0503 In thirteen battles Salisbury o’ercame;
0504 Henry the Fifth he first trained to the wars.
0505 80 Whilst any trump did sound or drum struck up,
0506 His sword did ne’er leave striking in the field.—
0507 Yet liv’st thou, Salisbury? Though thy speech doth fail,
0508 One eye thou hast to look to heaven for grace.
0509 The sun with one eye vieweth all the world.
0510 85 Heaven, be thou gracious to none alive
0511 If Salisbury wants mercy at thy hands!—
0512 Sir Thomas Gargrave, hast thou any life?
0513 Speak unto Talbot. Nay, look up to him.—
0514 Bear hence his body; I will help to bury it.
⌜Attendants exit with body of Gargrave.⌝
0515 90 Salisbury, cheer thy spirit with this comfort,
0516 Thou shalt not die whiles—
p. 470517 He beckons with his hand and smiles on me
0518 As who should say “When I am dead and gone,
0519 Remember to avenge me on the French.”
0520 95 Plantagenet, I will; and, like thee, ⌜Nero,⌝
0521 Play on the lute, beholding the towns burn.
0522 Wretched shall France be only in my name.
Here an alarum, and it thunders and lightens.
0523 What stir is this? What tumult’s in the heavens?
0524 Whence cometh this alarum and the noise?
Enter a Messenger.
0525 100 My lord, my lord, the French have gathered head.
0526 The Dauphin, with one Joan ⌜la⌝ Pucelle joined,
0527 A holy prophetess new risen up,
0528 Is come with a great power to raise the siege.
Here Salisbury lifteth himself up and groans.
0529 Hear, hear, how dying Salisbury doth groan;
0530 105 It irks his heart he cannot be revenged.
0531 Frenchmen, I’ll be a Salisbury to you.
0532 Pucelle or puzel, dauphin or dogfish,
0533 Your hearts I’ll stamp out with my horse’s heels
0534 And make a quagmire of your mingled brains.
0535 110 Convey ⌜we⌝ Salisbury into his tent,
0536 And then try what these dastard Frenchmen dare.
Alarum. They exit.