Henry VI Part 1

Act I
Act II
Act IV
Act V
Enter the Master Gunner of Orleans and his Boy


Sirrah, thou knowest how Orleans is besieged

And how the English have the suburbs won.


Father, I know; and oft have shot at them,
oft (adv.) often See Topics: Frequency count

Howe'er unfortunate I missed my aim.


But now thou shalt not. Be thou ruled by me.

Chief master gunner am I of this town;

Something I must do to procure me grace.
grace (n.) 1 honour, favour, recognition, respect

The Prince's espials have informed me
espial (n.) spy, watcher, observer

How the English, in the suburbs close intrenched,
close (adv.) 3 tightly, in a close-fitting way
entrench, intrench (v.) 1 put within a trench

Wont through a secret grate of iron bars
grate (n.) 1 grating, grill, lattice
wont (v.) be accustomed, used [to], be in the habit of See Topics: Frequency count

In yonder tower to overpeer the city,
overpeer (v.) 1 look down on, look out over, overlook

And thence discover how with most advantage

They may vex us with shot or with assault.
discover (v.) 5 spy, spot, make out
shot (n.) 1 cannonfire, firing, salvoes
vex (v.) afflict, trouble, torment

To intercept this inconvenience,
inconvenience (n.) harm, troublesome disadvantage
intercept (v.) 1 prevent, stop, get rid of

A piece of ordnance 'gainst it I have placed;
against, 'gainst (prep.) 3 opposite, directed against
ordnance, ordinance (n.) cannon, artillery

And even these three days have I watched
watch (v.) 2 keep the watch, keep guard, be on the look-out

If I could see them. Now do thou watch,

For I can stay no longer.

If thou spyest any, run and bring me word,

And thou shalt find me at the Governor's.



Father, I warrant you; take you no care;
warrant (v.) 1 assure, promise, guarantee, confirm See Topics: Frequency count

I'll never trouble you if I may spy them.


Enter the Earl of Salisbury and Lord Talbot on the

turrets with Sir William Glansdale, Sir Thomas

Gargrave, and other soldiers


Talbot, my life, my joy, again returned?

How wert thou handled being prisoner?

Or by what means got'st thou to be released?

Discourse, I prithee, on this turret's top.
discourse (v.) 2 relate, talk about, recount


The Duke of Bedford had a prisoner

Called the brave Lord Ponton de Santrailles;
brave (adj.) 2 noble, worthy, excellent

For him was I exchanged and ransomed.

But with a baser man-of-arms by far
man of arms, man-of-arms (n.) soldier, fighting man

Once, in contempt, they would have bartered me;
base (adj.) 2 low-born, lowly, plebeian, of lower rank See Topics: Frequency count

Which I, disdaining, scorned, and craved death

Rather than I would be so pilled esteemed.
pilled (adv.) poorly, miserably, beggarly

In fine, redeemed I was as I desired.
fine, in in the end, finally, in conclusion See Topics: Discourse markers
redeem (v.) 2 ransom

But, O, the treacherous Falstaff wounds my heart;

Whom with my bare fists I would execute,

If I now had him brought into my power.


Yet tellest thou not how thou wert entertained.
entertain (v.) 11 treat, deal with, handle


With scoffs and scorns and contumelious taunts;
contumelious (adj.) contemptuous, arrogant, insolent

In open market-place produced they me

To be a public spectacle to all.

‘ Here,’ said they, ‘ is the terror of the French,

The scarecrow that affrights our children so.’

Then broke I from the officers that led me,

And with my nails digged stones out of the ground

To hurl at the beholders of my shame.

My grisly countenance made others fly;
grisly (adj.) grim, ghastly, menacing

None durst come near for fear of sudden death.

In iron walls they deemed me not secure;

So great fear of my name 'mongst them were spread

That they supposed I could rend bars of steel

And spurn in pieces posts of adamant;
adamant (n.) legendary substance of great hardness and magnetism
spurn (v.) 2 kick, strike, stamp [on], dash

Wherefore a guard of chosen shot I had
chosen (adj.) 2 elite, carefully selected
shot (n.) 2 armed soldier, gunner, marksman

That walked about me every minute while;
while (n.) 1 space of time, interval

And if I did but stir out of my bed,

Ready they were to shoot me to the heart.

Enter the Boy with a linstock and exit
linstock (n.) stick holding a lit match for firing a cannon


I grieve to hear what torments you endured;

But we will be revenged sufficiently.

Now it is supper-time in Orleans;

Here, through this grate, I count each one
grate (n.) 1 grating, grill, lattice

And view the Frenchmen how they fortify.

Let us look in; the sight will much delight thee.

Sir Thomas Gargrave and Sir William Glansdale,

Let me have your express opinions
express (adj.) 2 considered, firm, precise

Where is best place to make our battery next.
battery (n.) 1 assault, bombardment, blitz


I think at the north gate; for there stands lords.


And I here, at the bulwark of the bridge.
bulwark (n.) 1 rampart, fortification


For aught I see, this city must be famished
aught (n.) anything, [with negative word] nothing See Topics: Frequency count

Or with light skirmishes enfeebled.

Here they shoot, and Salisbury and Gargrave fall



O Lord, have mercy on us, wretched sinners!


O Lord, have mercy on me, woeful man!


What chance is this that suddenly hath crossed us?
chance (n.) 1 event, occurrence, situation [especially, bad]
cross (v.) 3 afflict, plague, go against

Speak, Salisbury; at least, if thou canst, speak.

How farest thou, mirror of all martial men?
martial (adj.) 1 warlike, valiant, brave
mirror (n.) supreme example, paragon, model of excellence

One of thy eyes and thy cheek's side struck off?

Accursed tower! Accursed fatal hand

That hath contrived this woeful tragedy!
contrive (v.) 1 scheme, plot, conspire
fatal (adj.) 2 decreed by fate, of destiny

In thirteen battles Salisbury o'ercame;

Henry the Fifth he first trained to the wars.

Whilst any trump did sound or drum struck up,
trump (n.) 1 trumpet

His sword did ne'er leave striking in the field.
field (n.) 1 field of battle, battleground, field of combat See Topics: Frequency count
leave (v.) 1 cease, stop, give up

Yet livest thou, Salisbury? Though thy speech doth fail,

One eye thou hast to look to heaven for grace;

The sun with one eye vieweth all the world.

Heaven, be thou gracious to none alive

If Salisbury wants mercy at thy hands!
want (v.) 1 lack, need, be without See Topics: Frequency count

Sir Thomas Gargrave, hast thou any life?

Speak unto Talbot. Nay, look up to him.

Bear hence his body; I will help to bury it.

Exeunt attendants with Gargrave's body

Salisbury, cheer thy spirit with this comfort,

Thou shalt not die whiles –

He beckons with his hand and smiles on me,

As who should say ‘ When I am dead and gone,

Remember to avenge me on the French.’

Plantagenet, I will; and like thee, Nero,

Play on the lute, beholding the towns burn.

Wretched shall France be only in my name.
lighten (v.) 1 flash lightning
only (adv.) 1 especially, particularly

Here an alarum, and it thunders and lightens

What stir is this? What tumult's in the heavens?

Whence cometh this alarum and the noise?
alarm, alarum, 'larm, 'larum (n.) 1 call to arms, call to battle, signal to begin fighting See Topics: Stage directions

Enter a Messenger
head (n.) 1 fighting force, army, body of troops


My lord, my lord, the French have gathered head.

The Dauphin, with one Joan la Pucelle joined,

A holy prophetess new risen up,

Is come with a great power to raise the siege.
power (n.) 1 armed force, troops, host, army See Topics: Frequency count
raise (v.) 5 put an end to, finish

Here Salisbury lifteth himself up and groans


Hear, hear how dying Salisbury doth groan.

It irks his heart he cannot be revenged.

Frenchmen, I'll be a Salisbury to you.

Pucelle or pussel, Dolphin or dogfish,
pucelle (n.) maid, virgin, girl; also: drab, trollop, slut

Your hearts I'll stamp out with my horse's heels

And make a quagmire of your mingled brains.

Convey me Salisbury into his tent,

And then we'll try what these dastard Frenchmen dare.
dastard (adj.) dastardly, cowardly, despicable
try (v.) 1 prove, ascertain, find out

Alarum. Exeunt with Salisbury's body

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