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various writers, especially among the French historians, join in reprobating the unjustifiable conduct of those among the French troops who rendered the massacre inevitable, and cast on their own countrymen the entire responsibility and blame for the whole melancholy affair. Instead of any attempt to sully and tarnish the glory won by the English on that day, by pointing to their cruel and barbarous treatment of unarmed prisoners, they visit their own people with the very strongest terms of malediction, as the sole culpable origin and cause of the evil. And that these were not only the sentiments of the writers themselves, but were participated in by their countrymen at large, is evidenced by the record of a fact which has been generally overlooked. Those who were deemed guilty of thus exposing their countrymen to death, by upjustifiably renewing the attack when the conflict was acknowledged to be over, and after the French soldiery had given up the field, not only were exposed to disgrace in their characters, but suffered punishment also for the offence in their persons. Anticipating censure and severe handling as the consequences of their misconduct, they made valuable presents to such as they thought able to screen them ; but so decided was the indignation and resentment of their countrymen, that the leaders of the offending parties were cast into prison, and suffered a long confinement, as the punishment for their misconduct on that day.

The inference, then, which the facts, as they are delivered by English and French writers, compel us to draw, coincides with the professed sentiments of all contemporaries. Those, on the one hand, who shared the glory and were proud of the day of Agincourt, and those, on the other, whose national pride and wounded honour, and participation in the calamities poured that day upon the noblest families of France, and in the mourning spread far and wide throughout the land, caused them to abhor the very name of Agincourt, all sanction our adoption of that one inference: Henry did not stain his victory by any act of cruelty. His character comes out of the investigation untarnished by a suspicion of his having wantonly shed the blood of a single fellow-creature.


SHAKSPERE. * This is that terrible Talbot, so famous for his sword, or rather whose sword was so famous for his arm that used it; a sword with bad Latin* upon it, but good steel within it; which constantly conquered where it came, in so much that the bare fame of his approach frighted the French from the siege of Burdeaux."

Such is the quaint notice which old Fuller, in his Worthies,' gives of Talbot. It is easy to

see how his bold chivalrous bearing, and, above all, the manner of his death, should have * made him the favourite of the poet as well as of the chroniclers. His name appears to have

been a traditionary household word up to the time of Shakspere ; and other writers, besides the chroniclers, rejoiced in allusions to his warlike deeds. Edward Kerke, the commentator on Spenser's · Pastorals,' thus speaks of him in 1579 :-—" His nobleness bred such a terror in the hearts of the French, that ofttimes great armies were defeated and put to flight at the only hearing of his name: in so much that the French women, to affray their children, would tell them that the Talbot cometh."

The coronation of Henry VI. in Paris took place as early as 1431. In the scene of Shakspere's 'Henry VI.' where this event is represented, Talbot receives a commission to proceed against Burgundy; and the remainder of the Act is occupied with the events of the campaign in which Talbot fell. Twenty years, or more, are leapt over by the poet, for the purpose of showing, amidst the disasters of our countrymen in France, the heroism by which the struggle for empire was so long maintained. The detailed narrative which Hall gives of Talbot's

• Sum Talboti pro vincere inimicos meos.

death, is very graphic, and no doubt furnished the materials for the following scenes, which give the most beautiful example of the use of the couplet in the early English drama.

“This conflict continued in doubtful judgment of victory two long hours; during which fight the lords of Montamban and Humadayre, with a great company of Frenchmen, entered the battle, and began a new field; and suddenly the gunners, perceiving the Englishmen to approach near, discharged their ordinance, and slew three hundred persons near to the Earl, who, perceiving the imminent jeopardy and subtile labyrinth in the which he and his people were enclosed and illaqueate, despising his own safeguard, and desiring the life of his entirely and well beloved son the Lord Lisle, willed, advertised, and counselled him to depart out of the field, and to save himself. But when the son had answered that it was neither honest nor natural for him to leave his father in the extreme jeopardy of his life, and that he would taste of that draught which his father and parent should assay and begin, the noble earl and comfortable captain said to him, Oh, son, son! I, thy father, which, only hath been the terror and scourge of the French people so many years, which had subverted so many towns, and profligate and discomfited so many of them in open battle and martial conflict,—neither can here die, for the honour of my country, without great laud and perpetual fame, nor fly or depart without perpetual shame and continual infamy. But because this is thy first journey and enterprise, neither thy flying shall redound to thy shame, nor thy death to thy glory: for as hardy a man wisely flieth as a temerarious person foolishly abideth, therefore the fleeing of me shall be the dishonour, not only of me and my progeny, but also a discomfiture of all my company: thy departure shall save thy life, and make thee able another time, if I be slain, to revenge my death, and to do honour to thy prince and profit to his realm. But nature so wrought in the son, that neither desire of life, nor thought of security, could withdraw or pluck him from his natural father; who, considering the constancy of his child, and the great danger that they stood in, comforted his soldiers, cheered his captains, and valiantly set on his enemies, and slew of them more in number than he had in his company. But his enemies, having a greater company of men, and more abundance of ordinance, than before had been seen in a battle, first shot him through the thigh with a hand gun, and slew his horse, and cowardly killed him, lying on the ground, whom they never durst look in the face while he stood on his feet: and with him there died manfully his son the Lord Lisle, his bastard son Henry Talbot, and Sir Edward Hull, elect to the noble Order of the Garter, and thirty valiant personages of the English nation; and the Lord Molyns was there taken prisoner with sixty other. The residue of the English people fled to Burdeaux and other places; whereof in the flight were slain about a thousand persons. At this battle of Chastillon, fought the 13th day of July, in this year, ended his life, Lord John Talbot, and of his progeny the first Earl of Shrewsbury, after that he with much fame, more glory, and most victory, had for his prince and country, by the space of twenty-four years and more, valiantly made war and served the king in the parts beyond the sea, whose corpse was left on the ground, and after was found by his friends, and conveyed to Whitchurch in Shropshire, where it is intumulate."

SCENE I.-The English Camp near Bourdeaux.

Enter Talbot and John his Son.
Tal. O young John Talbot ! I did send for thee,
To tutor thee in stratagems of war ;
That Talbot's name might be in thee revived,
When sapless age, and weak unable limbs,
Should bring thy father to his drooping chair.
But,- malignant and ill-boding stars !
Now thou art come unto a feast of death,
A terrible and unavoided danger:
Therefore, dear boy, mount on my swiftest horse ;
And I 'll direct thee how thou shalt escape
By sudden flight : come, dally not, begone.

John. Is my name Talbot ? and am I your son ?
And shall I fly? O, if you love my mother,

Dishonour not her honourable name,
To make a bastard and a slave of me :
The world will say,—He is not Talbot's blood,
That basely fled, when noble Talbot stood.

Tal. Fly, to revenge my death, if I be slain,
John. He that flies so will ne'er return again.
Tal. If we both stay, we both are sure to die.

John. Then let me stay; and father, do you fly :
Your loss is great, so your regard should be ;
My worth unknown, no loss is known in me.
Upon my death the French can little boast ;
In yours they will, in you all hopes are lost.
Flight cannot stain the honour you have won ;
But mine it will, that no exploit have done:
You fled for vantage, every one will swear ;
But, if I bow, they 'll say it was for fear.
There is no hope that ever I will stay,
If the first hour I shrink, and run away.
Here, on my knee, I beg mortality,
Rather than life preserv'd with infamy.

Tal. Shall all thy mother's hopes lie in one tomb ?
John. Ay, rather than I 'll shame my mother's womb.
Tal. Upon my blessing I command thee go.
John. To fight I will, but not to fly the foe.
Tal. Part of thy father may be sav'd in thee.
John. No part of him but will be shame in me.
Tal. Thou never hadst renown, nor canst not lose it.
John. Yes, your renowned name: Shall flight abuse it ?
Tal. Thy father's charge shall clear thee from that stain.

John. You cannot witness for me, being slain.
If death be so apparent, then both fly

Tal. And leave my followers here, to fight and die?
My age was never tainted with such shame.

John. And shall my youth be guilty of such blame ?
No more can I be sever'd from your side,
Than can yourself yourself in twain divide :
Stay, go, do what you will, the like do I;
For live I will not if my father die.

Tal. Then here I take my leave of thee, fair son,
Born to eclipse thy life this afternoon.
Come, side by side together live and die;
And soul with soul from France to heaven fly.

[Exeunt. SCENE II.-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 regunt 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 rescued 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 warlike 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 warmed thy father's heart with proud desire
Of bold-fac'd victory. Then leaden age,
Quickend with youtiful spleen and warlike rage,
Beat down Alençon, Orleans, Burgundy,
And from the pride of Gallia rescued 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 didst thou fare?
Wilt thou yet leave the battle, boy, and fly,
Now thou art sealed 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 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.


SCENE III.-Another part of the same.
Alarum : Excursions. Enter Talbot wounded, supported by a Servant.

Tal. Where is my other life ?—mine own is gone ;-
O, where 's young Talbot ? where is valiant Johr. i
Triumphant death, smear'd with captivity,
Young Talbot's valour makes me smile at thee.
When he perceiv'd me shrink, and on my knee,
His bloody sword he brandish'd over me,
And, like a hungry lion, did commence
Rough deeds of rage and stern impatience ;
But when my angry guardant stood alone,
Tend'ring my ruin, and assail'd of none,
Dizzy-ey'd fury, and great rage of heart,
Suddenly made him from my side to start
Into the clust'ring battle of the French :
And in that sea of blood my boy did drench
His over-mounting spirit ; and there died
My Icarus, my blossom, in his pride.

Enter Soldiers, bearing the body of John Talbot.
Serv. O my dear lord ! lo, where your son is borne !

Tal. Thou antic death, which laugh’st us here to scorn,
Anon, from thy insulting tyranny,
Coupled in bonds of perpetuity,
Two Talbots, winged through the lither sky,
In thy despite shall 'scape mortality.
O thou whose wounds become hard-favour'd death,
Speak to thy father, ere thou yield thy breath :
Brave death by speaking, whether he will or no;
Imagine him a Frenchman, and thy foe.
Poor boy! he smiles, methinks ; as who should say,
Had death been French, then death had died to-day.
Come, come, and lay him in his father's arms;
My spirit can no longer bear these harms.
Soldiers, adieu ! I have what I would have,
Now my old arms are young John Talbot's grave.



SHAKSPERE. [The narrative of Holinshed of the first interview of Joan of Arc with Charles VII., is as follows:

“In time of this siege at Orleans, unto Charles the Dauphin, at Chinon, as he was in very great care and study how to wrestle against the English nation, by one Peter Badricourt, captain of Vacouleur (made after marshal of France by the Dauphin's creation), was carried a yonng wench of an eighteen years old, called Joan Aro, by name of her father (a sorry shepherd), James of Arc, and Isabella her mother, brought up poorly in their trade of keeping cattle, born at Domprin (therefore reported by Bale, Joan Domprin), upon Meuse in Lorraine, within the diocese of Thoule. Of favour was she counted likesome, of person strongly made and manly, of courage great, hardy, and stout withal, an understander of counsels though she were not at them, great semblance of chastity both of body and behaviour, the name of Jesus in her mouth about all her businesses, humble, obedient, and fasting divers days in the week. A person (as their books make her) raised up by power divine, only for succour to the French

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