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Henry VI, Part 1

Henry VI, Part 1 Translation Act 4, Scene 6

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Alarum: excursions, wherein JOHN TALBOT is hemmed about, and TALBOT rescues him

TALBOT

Saint George and victory! fight, soldiers, fight. The regent hath with Talbot broke his word And left us to the rage of France his sword. Where is John Talbot? Pause, and take thy breath; I gave thee life and rescued thee from death.

TALBOT

Saint George and victory! Fight, soldiers, fight. York has broken his word to me and left us to angrily fight the French. Where is my son? Stop for a moment and take a deep breath. I gave you life and saved you from death.

JOHN TALBOT

O, twice my father, twice am I thy son! The life thou gavest me first was lost and done, Till with thy warlike sword, despite of late, To my determined time thou gavest new date.

JOHN TALBOT

Oh, you are twice my father and I am twice your son! The life that you first gave me was lost until your warrior's sword, despite recent events, prolonged my life, which seemed to have an appointed ending. 

TALBOT

When from the Dauphin's crest thy sword struck fire, It warm'd thy father's heart with proud desire Of bold-faced victory. Then leaden age, Quicken'd with youthful spleen and warlike rage, Beat down Alencon, Orleans, Burgundy, And from the pride of Gallia rescued thee. The ireful bastard Orleans, that drew blood From thee, my boy, and had the maidenhood Of thy first fight, I soon encountered, And interchanging blows I quickly shed Some of his bastard blood; and in disgrace Bespoke him thus; 'Contaminated, base And misbegotten blood I spill of thine, Mean and right poor, for that pure blood of mine Which thou didst force from Talbot, my brave boy:' Here, purposing the Bastard to destroy, Came in strong rescue. Speak, thy father's care, Art thou not weary, John? how dost thou fare? Wilt thou yet leave the battle, boy, and fly, Now thou art seal'd the son of chivalry? Fly, to revenge my death when I am dead: The help of one stands me in little stead. O, too much folly is it, well I wot, To hazard all our lives in one small boat! If I to-day die not with Frenchmen's rage, To-morrow I shall die with mickle age: By me they nothing gain an if I stay; 'Tis but the shortening of my life one day: In thee thy mother dies, our household's name, My death's revenge, thy youth, and England's fame: All these and more we hazard by thy stay; All these are saved if thou wilt fly away.

TALBOT

When you attacked the Dauphin's helmet with your sword, it warmed your father's heart with pride for such a bold victory. Then old age, made fast with youthful anger, defeated Alencon, Orleans, Burgundy and saved you from the best of France. The enraged bastard Orleans, that took blood from you, my boy, and took the virginity of your first fight, I met him soon after that and we exchanged some blows. I quickly drew some of his bastard blood and insultingly told him: "I spill your poisonous, lowly and illegitimate blood in revenge for my pure blood which you took from Talbot, my brave son." Then, I intended to destroy the Bastard but he was saved. Speak to me, are you not tired, John? How are you? Will you leave the battle, boy, or run away now that you have proven yourself to be brave? Run away to avenge my death when I'm dead. The help of one person doesn't really matter to me. Oh, it's too insane, I know, to gamble away our lives in one small boat. If I don't die today from the anger of the French, tomorrow I'll die of old age. They don't gain anything by killing me and if I stay, it only shortens my life by one day. Your mother dies with you, as does the name of our family. The revenge of my death, your young age, England's fame—we gamble all those and more away if you stay here! But they will all be saved if you run away.

JOHN TALBOT

The sword of Orleans hath not made me smart; These words of yours draw life-blood from my heart: On that advantage, bought with such a shame, To save a paltry life and slay bright fame, Before young Talbot from old Talbot fly, The coward horse that bears me fail and die! And like me to the peasant boys of France, To be shame's scorn and subject of mischance! Surely, by all the glory you have won, An if I fly, I am not Talbot's son: Then talk no more of flight, it is no boot; If son to Talbot, die at Talbot's foot.

JOHN TALBOT

I don't feel pain from the sword of Orleans. It is your words that draw blood from my heart. I would be ashamed if I saved my own life at the expense of your death and reputation. Before young Talbot runs from old Talbot, may the cowardly horse that takes me away fall and die! Compare me to the poor French boys, I will also be an object of mockery and a victim of misfortune! Isn't it certain, by all the fame you have won, that if I run away, I'm not Talbot's son? So, don't talk of running away any more, it's of no use. If Talbot's son should die, he'll die by Talbot's feet. 

TALBOT

Then follow thou thy desperate sire of Crete, Thou Icarus; thy life to me is sweet: If thou wilt fight, fight by thy father's side; And, commendable proved, let's die in pride.

TALBOT

Then follow your desperate son of Crete, your Icarus. Your life is too dear to me. If you will fight, fight at your father's side and we'll die admirably and honorably. 

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.