A line-by-line translation

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

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TALBOT

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

TALBOT

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JOHN TALBOT

He that flies so will ne'er return again.

JOHN TALBOT

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TALBOT

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

TALBOT

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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

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TALBOT

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

TALBOT

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JOHN TALBOT

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

JOHN TALBOT

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TALBOT

Upon my blessing, I command thee go.

TALBOT

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JOHN TALBOT

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

JOHN TALBOT

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TALBOT

Part of thy father may be saved in thee.

TALBOT

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JOHN TALBOT

No part of him but will be shame in me.

JOHN TALBOT

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TALBOT

Thou never hadst renown, nor canst not lose it.

TALBOT

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JOHN TALBOT

Yes, your renowned name: shall flight abuse it?

JOHN TALBOT

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TALBOT

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

TALBOT

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JOHN TALBOT

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

JOHN TALBOT

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TALBOT

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

TALBOT

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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

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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

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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.