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When sapless age, and weak unable limbs,
Should bring thy father to his drooping chair.
But,-0 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
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 fight abuse it?
Tal. Thy father's charge shall clear thee from that
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 iy. (Exeunt.
SCENE VI.-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 regent 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 rescu'd 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
It warm'd thy father's heart with proud desire
Of bold-fac'd victory. Then leaden age,
Quicken'd with youthful spleen, and warlike rage,
Beat down Alençon, Orleans, Burgundy,
And from the pride of Gallia rescu'd 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 not thou weary, John? How dost thou fare?
Wilt thou yet leave the battle, boy, and fly,
Now thou art seald the son of chivalry?
Fly, to revenge my death, when I am dead;
The help of one stands me in little stead.
0, 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’s 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 house, 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 Aight, 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. [Exeunt.
SCENE VII.- Another Part of the same.
Alarum : Excursions. Enter Talbot wounded, supported
by a Servant. Tal. Where is my other life?—mine own is gone ;0, where's young Talbot? where is valiant John ?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 assaild 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 overmounting 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 antick 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 sayHad 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. [Dies.