Reference > William Shakespeare > The Oxford Shakespeare > 1 King Henry VI.
William Shakespeare (1564–1616).  The Oxford Shakespeare.  1914.
The First Part of King Henry the Sixth
Act IV. Scene III.
Plains in Gascony.
Enter YORK, with Forces; to him a Messenger.
  York.  Are not the speedy scouts return’d again,
That dogg’d the mighty army of the Dauphin?
  Mess.  They are return’d, my lord; and give it out,        5
That he is march’d to Bourdeaux with his power,
To fight with Talbot. As he march’d along,
By your espials were discovered
Two mightier troops than that the Dauphin led,
Which join’d with him and made their march for Bourdeaux.        10
  York.  A plague upon that villain Somerset,
That thus delays my promised supply
Of horsemen that were levied for this siege!
Renowned Talbot doth expect my aid,
And I am louted by a traitor villain,        15
And cannot help the noble chevalier.
God comfort him in this necessity!
If he miscarry, farewell wars in France.
  Lucy.  Thou princely leader of our English strength,        20
Never so needful on the earth of France,
Spur to the rescue of the noble Talbot,
Who now is girdled with a waist of iron
And hemm’d about with grim destruction.
To Bourdeaux, war-like duke! To Bourdeaux, York!        25
Else, farewell Talbot, France, and England’s honour.
  York.  O God! that Somerset, who in proud heart
Doth stop my cornets, were in Talbot’s place!
So should we save a valiant gentleman
By forfeiting a traitor and a coward.        30
Mad ire and wrathful fury, make me weep
That thus we die, while remiss traitors sleep.
  Lucy.  O! send some succour to the distress’d lord.
  York.  He dies, we lose; I break my war-like word;
We mourn, France smiles; we lose, they daily get;        35
All ’long of this vile traitor Somerset.
  Lucy.  Then God take mercy on brave Talbot’s soul;
And on his son young John, whom two hours since
I met in travel toward his war-like father.
This seven years did not Talbot see his son;        40
And now they meet where both their lives are done.
  York.  Alas! what joy shall noble Talbot have,
To bid his young son welcome to his grave?
Away! vexation almost stops my breath
That sunder’d friends greet in the hour of death.        45
Lucy, farewell: no more my fortune can,
But curse the cause I cannot aid the man.
Maine, Blois, Poictiers, and Tours, are won away,
’Long all of Somerset and his delay.  [Exit, with his Soldiers.
  Lucy.  Thus, while the vulture of sedition        50
Feeds in the bosom of such great commanders,
Sleeping neglection doth betray to loss
The conquest of our scarce cold conqueror,
That ever living man of memory,
Henry the Fifth: Whiles they each other cross,        55
Lives, honours, lands, and all hurry to loss.  [Exit.

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