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Henry VI, Part 1
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Navigate this workHenry VI, Part 1
Act 4, scene 2
As Talbot draws up his troops before Bordeaux, he learns that he is surrounded by much greater French forces.Enter Talbot with ⌜Soldiers and⌝ Trump and Drum
1781 Go to the gates of Bordeaux, trumpeter.
1782 Summon their general unto the wall.
⌜Trumpet⌝ sounds. Enter General ⌜and Others⌝ aloft.
1783 English John Talbot, captains, ⌜calls⌝ you forth,
1784 Servant-in-arms to Harry, King of England,
1785 5 And thus he would: open your city gates,
1786 Be humble to us, call my sovereign yours,
1787 And do him homage as obedient subjects,
1788 And I’ll withdraw me and my bloody power.
1789 But if you frown upon this proffered peace,
1790 10 You tempt the fury of my three attendants,
p. 1591791 Lean Famine, quartering Steel, and climbing Fire,
1792 Who, in a moment, even with the earth
1793 Shall lay your stately and air-braving towers,
1794 If you forsake the offer of their love.
1795 15 Thou ominous and fearful owl of death,
1796 Our nation’s terror and their bloody scourge,
1797 The period of thy tyranny approacheth.
1798 On us thou canst not enter but by death;
1799 For I protest we are well fortified
1800 20 And strong enough to issue out and fight.
1801 If thou retire, the Dauphin, well appointed,
1802 Stands with the snares of war to tangle thee.
1803 On either hand thee, there are squadrons pitched
1804 To wall thee from the liberty of flight;
1805 25 And no way canst thou turn thee for redress
1806 But Death doth front thee with apparent spoil,
1807 And pale Destruction meets thee in the face.
1808 Ten thousand French have ta’en the Sacrament
1809 To rive their dangerous artillery
1810 30 Upon no Christian soul but English Talbot.
1811 Lo, there thou stand’st, a breathing valiant man
1812 Of an invincible unconquered spirit.
1813 This is the latest glory of thy praise
1814 That I, thy enemy, due thee withal;
1815 35 For ere the glass that now begins to run
1816 Finish the process of his sandy hour,
1817 These eyes, that see thee now well-colorèd,
1818 Shall see thee withered, bloody, pale, and dead.
Drum afar off.
1819 Hark, hark, the Dauphin’s drum, a warning bell,
1820 40 Sings heavy music to thy timorous soul,
1821 And mine shall ring thy dire departure out.
He exits, ⌜aloft, with Others.⌝
1822 He fables not; I hear the enemy.
1823 Out, some light horsemen, and peruse their wings.
⌜Some Soldiers exit.⌝
1824 O, negligent and heedless discipline,
1825 45 How are we parked and bounded in a pale,
1826 A little herd of England’s timorous deer
1827 Mazed with a yelping kennel of French curs.
1828 If we be English deer, be then in blood,
1829 Not rascal-like to fall down with a pinch,
1830 50 But rather, moody-mad and desperate stags,
1831 Turn on the bloody hounds with heads of steel
1832 And make the cowards stand aloof at bay.
1833 Sell every man his life as dear as mine
1834 And they shall find dear deer of us, my friends.
1835 55 God and Saint George, Talbot and England’s right,
1836 Prosper our colors in this dangerous fight!
⌜He exits with Soldiers, Drum and Trumpet.⌝