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Henry VI, Part 1

Henry VI, Part 1 Translation Act 4, Scene 5

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Enter TALBOT and JOHN his son

TALBOT

O young John Talbot! I did send for thee To tutor thee in stratagems of war, That Talbot's name might be in thee revived When sapless age and weak unable limbs Should bring thy father to his drooping c hair. But, O 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, be gone.

TALBOT

Oh, young Talbot! I sent for you so I could teach you the strategies of war, so that the name of Talbot might be brought back to life in you when weak age and incapable arms and legs put your father in his grave. But, oh, you evil and wicked stars! You have now come to a celebration of death, which is a terrible danger that cannot be avoided. That's why, my dear boy, you have to get on my fastest horse and I'll instruct you how on how to escape and run away. Come, don't delay, and go!

JOHN TALBOT

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.

JOHN TALBOT

Isn't my name Talbot? And am I not your son? And I should run away? Oh, if you love my mother, don't dishonor her honorable name. Don't make a bastard and a slave out of me! The world will say that I am not of Talbot's blood because I ran away like a coward while noble Talbot stayed. 

TALBOT

Fly, to revenge my death, if I be slain.

TALBOT

If I am killed, you have to fly to avenge my death.

JOHN TALBOT

He that flies so will ne'er return again.

JOHN TALBOT

The one that runs away will never come back. 

TALBOT

If we both stay, we both are sure to die.

TALBOT

If both of us stay, we are both going to die, I'm sure of that.

JOHN TALBOT

Then let me stay; and, father, do you fly: 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, everyone 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 preserved with infamy.

JOHN TALBOT

Then let me stay and you run away, father. The loss of you would have a devastating impact and so your self-regard should be high. Nobody knows what I'm worth and my loss would have no impact. The French can't boast about my death but they will with yours because all hope is lost with you. If you run away, it won't ruin the honor you have already earned. But my honor would because I have done no heroic deeds. You ran away because of a military advantage, everyone will say so. But if I retreat, they'll say it was because I was afraid. I'll never stay during future battles, if in the first hour I decide to run away. I ask for my death, rather than for a life protected by shame. 

[He kneels] Here I am on my knees.

TALBOT

Shall all thy mother's hopes lie in one tomb?

TALBOT

Shall all your mother's hopes lie in one grave?

JOHN TALBOT

Ay, rather than I'll shame my mother's womb.

JOHN TALBOT

Yes, rather that than if I were to shame my mother's womb. 

TALBOT

Upon my blessing, I command thee go.

TALBOT

I give you my blessings and order you to go. 

JOHN TALBOT

To fight I will, but not to fly the foe.

JOHN TALBOT

[He rises] I will go to fight, but not to run away from the enemy. 

TALBOT

Part of thy father may be saved in thee.

TALBOT

Part of your father may be saved in you. 

JOHN TALBOT

No part of him but will be shame in me.

JOHN TALBOT

Every part of him would only be shameful to me. 

TALBOT

Thou never hadst renown, nor canst not lose it.

TALBOT

You've never known it, so you can't lose it. 

JOHN TALBOT

Yes, your renowned name: shall flight abuse it?

JOHN TALBOT

Yes, your famous name! Should running away dishonor it?

TALBOT

Thy father's charge shall clear thee from that stain.

TALBOT

Your father's order shall clean you from that stain. 

JOHN TALBOT

You cannot witness for me, being slain.If death be so apparent, then both fly.

JOHN TALBOT

You can't know what I'll do, when you're dead. If death is so certain, we should both run away. 

TALBOT

And leave my followers here to fight and die?My age was never tainted with such shame.

TALBOT

And leave my men here to fight and die? I've never been marked with so much shame.

JOHN TALBOT

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.

JOHN TALBOT

And should my young age be guilty of that? I cannot be more separated from you than you can separate and divide yourself in two.One says stay, the other says go. Do what you wish, and I'll do the same. I know I won't live if my father dies. 

TALBOT

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 fly.

TALBOT

Then, here I leave you my great son. I was born to extinguish your life this afternoon. Come, we will live and die side by side. And our souls will fly from France to heaven together. 

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.