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Henry VI, Part 1

Henry VI, Part 1 Translation Act 4, Scene 2

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Enter TALBOT, with trump and drum

TALBOT

Go to the gates of Bourdeaux, trumpeter:Summon their general unto the wall.

TALBOT

Trumpeter, go to the gates of Bourdeaux and call their general to the wall. 

Trumpet sounds. Enter General and others, aloft

TALBOT

English John Talbot, captains, calls you forth, Servant in arms to Harry King of England; And thus he would: Open your city gates; Be humble to us; call my sovereign yours, And do him homage as obedient subjects; And I'll withdraw me and my bloody power: But, if you frown upon this proffer'd peace, You tempt the fury of my three attendants, Lean famine, quartering steel, and climbing fire; Who in a moment even with the earth Shall lay your stately and air-braving towers, If you forsake the offer of their love.

TALBOT

Captains, the English John Talbot, Harry King of England's armed servant, called you here. He says to open your city gates and be respectful to us. Call my king your king and do him the honor as his obedient subjects, and I and my blood-thirsty soldiers will pull back. But if you don't accept my offer of peace, you will make my three guards here angry. You risk starvation, the anger of swords that can divide your body into pieces, and fire that can climb up that wall. They will kill you in a moment and strike you down from those high towers, if you refuse the love they offer you.

GENERAL

Thou ominous and fearful owl of death, Our nation's terror and their bloody scourge! The period of thy tyranny approacheth. On us thou canst not enter but by death; For, I protest, we are well fortified And strong enough to issue out and fight: If thou retire, the Dauphin, well appointed, Stands with the snares of war to tangle thee: On either hand thee there are squadrons pitch'd, To wall thee from the liberty of flight; And no way canst thou turn thee for redress, But death doth front thee with apparent spoil And pale destruction meets thee in the face. Ten thousand French have ta'en the sacrament To rive their dangerous artillery Upon no Christian soul but English Talbot. Lo, there thou stand'st, a breathing valiant man, Of an invincible unconquer'd spirit! This is the latest glory of thy praise That I, thy enemy, due thee withal; For ere the glass, that now begins to run, Finish the process of his sandy hour, These eyes, that see thee now well coloured, Shall see thee wither'd, bloody, pale and dead.

GENERAL

You predict death, our nation's terror and their bloody whips! The end of your tyranny is almost here. You'll enter over our dead bodies. I can tell you, we are secure behind these walls and strong enough to come forward and fight. If you get tired, the Dauphin will be fully equipped to catch you in his trap. There are army units drawn up in battle formation on either side of you, to prevent you from running away. And you can't run for help! Death is staring you in the face with a look of obvious destruction and deadly massacre. Ten thousand Frenchmen have taken Communion and are ready to use their dangerous weapons against no other Christian soul but the English Talbot. Look, there you stand, a breathing, fearless man who is never defeated! This is the last bit of praise I—your enemy—give you. Before the sand in the hourglass, that has just begun to run, ends its life when the last sand grains fall, these eyes that now see well, shall see you shrunk, bloody, white and dead. 

Drum afar off

GENERAL

Hark! hark! the Dauphin's drum, a warning bell,Sings heavy music to thy timorous soul;And mine shall ring thy dire departure out.

GENERAL

Listen! Listen! It's the Dauphin's drum, it's the warning bell ringing to warn us of an invasion. It signs a sad tune to your fearful soul and mine shall ring for your dreadful death!

Exeunt General, & c

TALBOT

He fables not; I hear the enemy: Out, some light horsemen, and peruse their wings. O, negligent and heedless discipline! How are we park'd and bounded in a pale, A little herd of England's timorous deer, Mazed with a yelping kennel of French curs! If we be English deer, be then in blood; Not rascal-like, to fall down with a pinch, But rather, moody-mad and desperate stags , Turn on the bloody hounds with heads of steel And make the cowards stand aloof at bay: Sell every man his life as dear as mine, And they shall find dear deer of us, my friends. God and Saint George, Talbot and England's right, Prosper our colours in this dangerous fight!

TALBOT

He is not making this up. I can hear the enemy. Go, some horsemen, and investigate the forces at the sides of the army. Oh, what a neglectful and careless strategy! How is it possible that we are fenced in and confined inside! We're like a little flock of England's timid deer, confused by a barking pack of French dogs! If we are English deer, let's be full of their life too. Not like young, inferior deer that fall down when they are bitten, but rather like deer wild with anger and desperation. We'll attack the bloody dogs with antlers like swords and make the cowards back off. Give every man his life which is as dear as mine and they'll find dear deer in us, my friends! God and Saint George, Talbot and England's right, help us win this dangerous fight!

Exeunt

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Nina romancikova
About the Translator: Nina Romancikova

Nina Romancikova is from Slovakia but her love of literature and theater has brought her to the UK and she has been living and studying there for the past six years. She graduated with a degree in English Literature and Language at University of Glasgow in 2016. Nina is now finishing her Masters in Shakespeare Studies at King's College London and is currently working as a Research Intern at Shakespeare's Globe.