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Enter Messenger and TALBOT.

Mess. Madam,

According as your ladyship desired,

By message craved, so is Lord Talbot come.
Count. And he is welcome.

the man?

Mess. Madam, it is.

Count.

What is this

Is this the scourge of France?

Is this the Talbot, so much fear'd abroad

That with his name the mothers still their babes?
I see report is fabulous and false:

I thought I should have seen some Hercules,
A second Hector, for his grim aspect,

And large proportion of his strong-knit limbs.
Alas, this is a child, a silly dwarf!

It cannot be this weak and writhled shrimp
Should strike such terror to his enemies.

Tal. Madam, I have been bold to trouble you ;
But since your ladyship is not at leisure,
I'll sort some other time to visit you.

Count. What means he now? Go ask him
whither he goes.

Mess. Stay, my Lord Talbot; for my lady

craves

To know the cause of your abrupt departure.
Tal. Marry, for that she's in a wrong belief,
I go to certify her Talbot's here.

Re-enter Porter with keys.

Count. If thou be he, then art thou prisoner.
Tal. Prisoner! to whom?

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Count.

To me, blood-thirsty lord;

22. silly, harmless, innocent.

23. writhled, wrinkled, shrivelled.

27. sort, choose.

And for that cause I train'd thee to my house.
Long time thy shadow hath been thrall to me,
For in my gallery thy picture hangs:

But now the substance shall endure the like,
And I will chain these legs and arms of thine,
That hast by tyranny these many years
Wasted our country, slain our citizens

And sent our sons and husbands captivate.
Tal. Ha, ha, ha!

Count. Laughest thou, wretch? thy mirth shall

turn to moan.

Tal. I laugh to see your ladyship so fond

To think that you have aught but Talbot's shadow
Whereon to practise your severity.

Count. Why, art not thou the man?
Tal.

Count. Then have I substance too.

I am indeed.

Tal. No, no, I am but shadow of myself:
You are deceived, my substance is not here;
For what you see is but the smallest part
And least proportion of humanity :

I tell you, madam, were the whole frame here,
It is of such a spacious lofty pitch,

Your roof were not sufficient to contain 't.

Count. This is a riddling merchant for the

nonce;

He will be here, and yet he is not here:

How can these contrarieties agree?

Tal. That will I show you presently.

[Winds his horn. Drums strike up: a
peal of ordnance. Enter Soldiers.

How say you, madam? are you now persuaded

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speare's undoubted works this phrase means 'fit for the occasion'; here it is rather without parallel,' 'singular in his kind.'

That Talbot is but shadow of himself?

These are his substance, sinews, arms and strength,
With which he yoketh your rebellious necks,
Razeth your cities and subverts your towns
And in a moment makes them desolate.

Count. Victorious Talbot! pardon my abuse:
I find thou art no less than fame hath bruited
And more than may be gather'd by thy shape.
Let my presumption not provoke thy wrath;
For I am sorry that with reverence

I did not entertain thee as thou art.

Tal. Be not dismay'd, fair lady; nor misconster The mind of Talbot, as you did mistake

The outward composition of his body.

What you have done hath not offended me;
Nor other satisfaction do I crave,

But only, with your patience, that we may
Taste of your wine and see what cates you have;
For soldiers' stomachs always serve them well.

Count. With all my heart, and think me
honoured

To feast so great a warrior in my house.

[Exeunt.

SCENE IV. London. The Temple-garden.

Enter the EARLS OF SOMERSET, SUFFOLK, and
WARWICK; RICHARD PLANTAGENET, VER-
NON, and another Lawyer.

Plan. Great lords and gentlemen, what means
this silence?

73. misconster, misconstrue.

79. cates, dainties.

Sc. 4.
the Earl of Somerset,
Edmund Beaufort, grandson of
John of Gaunt; the Earl of
Suffolk, William de la Pole; the

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Earl of Warwick, Richard

Neville, • the Kingmaker';

Richard Plantagenet, son of Anne Mortimer, and greatgreat-grandson of Lionel, Duke of Clarence.

Dare no man answer in a case of truth?

Suf. Within the Temple-hall we were too loud; The garden here is more convenient.

Plan. Then say at once if I maintain'd the truth;

Or else was wrangling Somerset in the error?
Suf. Faith, I have been a truant in the law,
And never yet could frame my will to it;
And therefore frame the law unto my will.

Som. Judge you, my Lord of Warwick, then,
between us.

War. Between two hawks, which flies the higher pitch;

Between two dogs, which hath the deeper mouth; Between two blades, which bears the better temper:

Between two horses, which doth bear him best;
Between two girls, which hath the merriest eye;
I have perhaps some shallow spirit of judgement;
But in these nice sharp quillets of the law,
Good faith, I am no wiser than a daw.

Plan. Tut, tut, here is a mannerly forbear

ance:

The truth appears so naked on my side
That any purblind eye may find it out.

Som. And on my side it is so well apparell'd,
So clear, so shining and so evident

That it will glimmer through a blind man's eye.
Plan. Since you are tongue-tied and so loath
to speak,

In dumb significants proclaim your thoughts:
Let him that is a true-born gentleman

And stands upon the honour of his birth,

II. pitch, (in falconry) the

height of the hawk's flight.

12. mouth, i.e. voice, bark.

17. quillets, subtleties.

26. significants, signs.

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If he suppose that I have pleaded truth,
From off this brier pluck a white rose with me.
Som. Let him that is no coward nor no flatterer,
But dare maintain the party of the truth,
Pluck a red rose from off this thorn with me.

War. I love no colours, and without all colour
Of base insinuating flattery

I pluck this white rose with Plantagenet.

Suf. I pluck this red rose with young Somerset And say withal I think he held the right.

Ver. Stay, lords and gentlemen, and pluck no
more,

Till
you conclude that he upon whose side
The fewest roses are cropp'd from the tree
Shall yield the other in the right opinion.

Som. Good Master Vernon, it is well objected:

If I have fewest, I subscribe in silence.

Plan. And I.

Ver. Then for the truth and plainness of the

case,

I pluck this pale and maiden blossom here,
Giving my verdict on the white rose side.

Som. Prick not your finger as you pluck it off,
Lest bleeding you do paint the white rose red
And fall on my side so, against your will.

Ver. If I, my lord, for my opinion bleed,
Opinion shall be surgeon to my hurt
And keep me on the side where still I am.

Som. Well, well, come on: who else?

Law. Unless my study and my books be false, The argument you held was wrong in you;

[To Somerset. In sign whereof I pluck a white rose too. Plan. Now, Somerset, where is your argument?

34. colour, specious pretence.

43. objected, proposed.

44. subscribe, yield.

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