Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

SCENE V. The English Camp, near Bordeaux.

son?

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 revivid, 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 tree how thou shalt

escape By sudden flight: come, dally not, begone. John. Is my name Talbot? and am I

your
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 3.

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 fy: Your loss is great, so your regard * should be; My worth unknown, no loss is known in me.

1 To a field where death will be feasted with slaughter. 2 Unavoided for unavoidable.

3. For what reason this scene is written in rhyme (says Dr. Johnson) I cannot guess. If Shakspeare had not in other plays mingled his rhymes and blank verses in the same manner, I should have suspected that this dialogue had been part of some other poem, which was never finished, and that being loath to throw his labour away, he inserted it here.' Mr. Boswell remarks that it was a practice common to all Shakspeare's contemporaries.

4 Your care of your own safety.

have won;

Upon my death the French can little boast;
In yours they will, in you all hopes are lost.

. Flight cannot stain the honour

you
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

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 bere 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.

[Excunt.

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 1 1 time thou gav'st new date. Tal. When from the Dauphin's crest thy sword

struck fire, 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,

1 Determined here must signify prescribed, limited, appointed; and not ended, as Steevens and Malone concur in explaining it. John could not be meant to say that his time of life was actually ended. Thus in King Richard III. Act i. Sc. 3 :

Riv. “It is concluded he shall be protector.
Q. Eliz. It is determined, not concluded yet,
But so it must be if the king miscarry.'

:

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 dost thou fare?
Wilt thou yet leave the battle, boy, and fly,
Now thou art seal'd 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. Thesword 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 like3 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:

2 Prior has borrowed this thought in his Henry and Emma :

Are there not poisons, racks, and flames, and swords,

That Emma thus must die by Henry's words ?' And in the Third Part of King Henry VI. we have:

Ah, kill me with thy weapon, not with words.' 3 i.e. compare me, reduce me to a level by comparison. So in King Henry IV. Part II.-'When the prince broke thy head for liking his father to a singing man,' &c.

[ocr errors]

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 Cretes,
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, sup

ported by a Servant. Tal. Where is my other life?—mine own is gone;O, 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 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

4 See note on King Richard II. Act i. Sc. 1, p. 11. 5 Thus in the Third Part of King Henry VI.:

• What a peevish fool was that of Crete.' And again :

I Dædalus, my poor boy, Icarus.' | Triumphant death, though thy presence is made more terrible, on account of the stain of dying in captivity, yet young Talbot's valour makes me smile at thee.

2 • Watching me with tenderness in my, fall.' Thus in the Second Part of King Henry VI.:

* I tender so the safety of my liege.?

« AnteriorContinuar »