Reference > William Shakespeare > The Oxford Shakespeare > 1 King Henry VI.
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William Shakespeare (1564–1616).  The Oxford Shakespeare.  1914.
 
The First Part of King Henry the Sixth
 
Act IV. Scene IV.
 
Other Plains in Gascony.
 
Enter SOMERSET, with his Army; a Captain of TALBOT’S with him.
  Som.  It is too late; I cannot send them now:
This expedition was by York and Talbot
Too rashly plotted: all our general force        5
Might with a sally of the very town
Be buckled with: the over-daring Talbot
Hath sullied all his gloss of former honour
By this unheedful, desperate, wild adventure:
York set him on to fight and die in shame,        10
That, Talbot dead, great York might bear the name.
  Cap.  Here is Sir William Lucy, who with me
Set from our o’ermatch’d forces forth for aid.
 
Enter SIR WILLIAM LUCY.
  Som.  How now, Sir William! whither were you sent?        15
  Lucy.  Whither, my lord? from bought and sold Lord Talbot;
Who, ring’d about with bold adversity,
Cries out for noble York and Somerset,
To beat assailing death from his weak legions:
And whiles the honourable captain there        20
Drops bloody sweat from his war-wearied limbs,
And, in advantage lingering, looks for rescue,
You, his false hopes, the trust of England’s honour,
Keep off aloof with worthless emulation.
Let not your private discord keep away        25
The levied succours that should lend him aid,
While he, renowned noble gentleman,
Yields up his life unto a world of odds:
Orleans the Bastard, Charles, Burgundy,
Alençon, Reignier, compass him about,        30
And Talbot perisheth by your default.
  Som.  York set him on; York should have sent him aid.
  Lucy.  And York as fast upon your Grace exclaims;
Swearing that you withhold his levied host
Collected for this expedition.        35
  Som.  York lies; he might have sent and had the horse:
I owe him little duty, and less love;
And take foul scorn to fawn on him by sending.
  Lucy.  The fraud of England, not the force of France,
Hath now entrapp’d the noble-minded Talbot.        40
Never to England shall he bear his life,
But dies, betray’d to fortune by your strife.
  Som.  Come, go; I will dispatch the horsemen straight:
Within six hours they will be at his aid.
  Lucy.  Too late comes rescue: he is ta’en or slain,        45
For fly he could not if he would have fled;
And fly would Talbot never, though he might.
  Som.  If he be dead, brave Talbot, then adieu!
  Lucy.  His fame lives in the world, his shame in you.  [Exeunt.
 
 
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