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And from the pride of Gallia rescu'd thee.
Mean and right poor, for that pure blood of mine
Which thou didst force from Talbot, my brave boy: "-
My death's revenge, thy youth, and England's fame:
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,
SCENE VII. Another part of the field.
Alarums: excursions. Enter TALBOT wounded, supported by a Servant.
Tal. Where is my other life?-mine own is gone ;-
Serv. O my dear lord, lo, where your son is borne !
Enter Soldiers, bearing the body of JOHN TALBOT.
Tal. Thou antic death, which laugh'st us here to scorn, Anon, from thy insulting tyranny, Coupled in bonds of perpetuity,
(121) Triumphant death, smear'd with captivity,] Walker (Crit. Exam., &c., vol. iii. p. 153) asks, “Can any good sense be made out of" this line?-Johnson explains it, "Death stained and dishonoured with captivity."
(122) shrink and on] Mr. W. N. Lettsom conjectures "sink upon" or 66 sinking on."
Two Talbots, wingèd through the lither sky,(123)
O thou whose wounds become hard-favour'd death,
Alarums. Exeunt Soldiers and Servant, leaving the two bodies. Enter CHARLES, ALENÇON, BURGUNDY, the Bastard of Orleans, LA PUCELLE, and Forces.
Char. Had York and Somerset brought rescue in, We should have found a bloody day of this.
Bast. How the young whelp of Talbot's, raging-wood, Did flesh his puny sword in Frenchmen's blood!
Puc. Once I encounter'd him, and thus I said, "Thou maiden youth, be vanquish'd by a maid:" But, with a proud majestical high scorn,
He answer'd thus, "Young Talbot was not born
Bur. Doubtless he would have made a noble knight:-
Of the most bloody nurser of his harms.
Bast. Hew them to pieces, hack their bones asunder, Whose life was England's glory, Gallia's wonder.
Char. O, no, forbear! for that which we have fled During the life, let us not wrong it dead.
(123) the lither sky,] "The hither sky,' I think; through this lower sky to heaven." Walker's Crit. Exam., &c., vol. ii. p. 242.—But “lither " is surely the right reading: see Glossary.
Enter Sir WILLIAM LUCY, attended; a French Herald proceding.
Conduct me to the Dauphin's tent, to know
Char. On what submissive message art thou sent ? Lucy. Submission, Dauphin! 'tis a mere French word; We English warriors wot not what it means.
I come to know what prisoners thou hast ta'en,
Char. For prisoners ask'st thou ? hell our prison is.
Lucy. Where is the great Alcides of the field,(125) Valiant Lord Talbot, Earl of Shrewsbury,
Created, for his rare success in arms,
Great Earl of Washford, Waterford, and Valence;
Lord Strange of Blackmere, Lord Verdun of Alton,
Knight of the noble order of Saint George,
Worthy Saint Michael, and the Golden Fleece;
(124) Lucy. Herald, &c.] "Lucy's message implied that he knew who had obtained the victory: therefore Sir T. Hanmer reads
'Herald, conduct me to the Dauphin's tent,
So Rowe. The folio has "But where's the great Alcides," &c.; and Malone observes that "the compositor probably caught the word but from the preceding line."—Mr. W. N. Lettsom thinks that the author probably wrote "First, where's," &c. Note on Walker's Crit. Exam., &c., vol. iii. p. 151.-Mr. Collier's Ms. Corrector fills up the first line (which is certainly mutilated) thus, "But tell me briefly whom thou seekest now," and prosaically enough.
(126) Great Marshal to Henry the Sixth] Here "Marshal" has been altered to "mareshal," for the sake of the metre; which, however, remains imperfect, to the eye at least, even with that alteration. Both "Marshal" and "Henry" are to be read (not written) as trisyllables. (The editor of the second folio printed
"Great Marshall to our King Henry the sixt," &c.)
But tell me whom thou seek'st.
Lucy. Where is the great Alcides of the field,]
Of all his wars within the realm of France ?
Lucy. Is Talbot slain,-the Frenchmen's only scourge,
Puc. I think this upstart is old Talbot's ghost,
Char. Go, take their bodies hence.
I'll bear them hence:
Char. So we be rid of them, do what (129) thou wilt.—
(127) 'em ;] The folio has "him."
(128) But doubt not from their ashes shall be rear'd] The folio has merely "but from their ashes shal be reard."-Pope printed "But from their ashes, Dauphin, shall be rear'd," &c.-Mr. Collier's Ms. Corrector reads ". their very ashes shall," &c.-I give, as preferable, the emendation of Mr. W. N. Lettsom.
(129) do what] The folio has "do with him what.”