Henry VI Part 1


Text
Act I
Act II
Act III
Act IV
Act V
Enter the Countess of Auvergne and her Porter
give in charge give orders, command, direct


COUNTESS

Porter, remember what I gave in charge,

And when you have done so, bring the keys to me.


PORTER

Madam, I will.

Exit


COUNTESS

The plot is laid; if all things fall out right,

I shall as famous be by this exploit

As Scythian Tomyris by Cyrus' death.

Great is the rumour of this dreadful knight,
dreadful (adj.) 1 inspiring dread, causing fear, daunting
rumour (n.) 2 talk, report, news

And his achievements of no less account.

Fain would mine eyes be witness with mine ears,
fain (adv.) gladly, willingly See Topics: Frequency count

To give their censure of these rare reports.
censure (n.) 1 assessment, opinion, judgement, criticism
rare (adj.) 1 marvellous, splendid, excellent

Enter the Messenger and Talbot
desire (v.) 1 request, wish, ask [for]


MESSENGER

Madam, according as your ladyship desired,

By message craved, so is Lord Talbot come.
crave (v.) 1 beg, entreat, request See Topics: Frequency count


COUNTESS

And he is welcome. What? Is this the man?


MESSENGER

Madam, it is.


COUNTESS

                         Is this the scourge of France?

Is this the Talbot so much feared abroad
abroad (adv.) 1 in the outside world, freely at large, elsewhere, everywhere

That with his name the mothers still their babes?
still (v.) quieten, calm, hush

I see report is fabulous and false.
fabulous (adj.) mythical, fabricated, invented
false (adj.) 4 wrong, mistaken
false (adj.) 3 sham, spurious, not genuine, artificial
report (n.) 4 rumour, gossip, hearsay

I thought I should have seen some Hercules,

A second Hector, for his grim aspect
aspect (n.) 1 [of a human face] look, appearance, expression

And large proportion of his strong-knit limbs.
proportion (n.) 6 size, bulk

Alas, this is a child, a silly dwarf!
silly (adj.) 2 feeble, frail, weak

It cannot be this weak and writhled shrimp
writhled (adj.) wrinkled, shrivelled, withered

Should strike such terror to his enemies.


TALBOT

Madam, I have been bold to trouble you;

But since your ladyship is not at leisure,

I'll sort some other time to visit you.
sort (v.) 2 choose, find, arrange

He starts to leave


COUNTESS

What means he now? Go ask him whither he goes.


MESSENGER

Stay, my Lord Talbot; for my lady craves
crave (v.) 2 need, demand, require

To know the cause of your abrupt departure.


TALBOT

Marry, for that she's in a wrong belief,
belief (n.) opinion, awareness, impression

I go to certify her Talbot's here.
certify (v.) inform, assure, demonstrate to

Enter the Porter with keys


COUNTESS

If thou be he, then art thou prisoner.


TALBOT

Prisoner? To whom?


COUNTESS

                         To me, blood-thirsty lord;

And for that cause I trained thee to my house.
train (v.) 1 lure, entice, decoy

Long time thy shadow hath been thrall to me,
shadow (n.) 1 image, likeness, portrait, semblance
thrall (n.) slave, subject, captive

For in my gallery thy picture hangs;

But now the substance shall endure the like,
like, the the same
substance (n.) 1 real thing, genuine article

And I will chain these legs and arms of thine

That hast by tyranny these many years
tyranny (n.) cruelty, barbarity, unmerciful violence

Wasted our country, slain our citizens,
waste (v.) 4 lay waste, ravage, devastate

And sent our sons and husbands captivate.
captivate (v.) make captive, capture, imprison


TALBOT

Ha, ha, ha!


COUNTESS

Laughest thou, wretch? Thy mirth shall turn to moan.
moan (n.) 1 grief, lamentation, sorrow, complaint


TALBOT

I laugh to see your ladyship so fond
fond (adj.) 1 foolish, stupid, mad

To think that you have aught but Talbot's shadow
shadow (n.) 1 image, likeness, portrait, semblance

Whereon to practise your severity.
aught (n.) anything, [with negative word] nothing See Topics: Frequency count
severity (n.) punishment, strictness, sternness


COUNTESS

Why, art thou not the man?


TALBOT

                         I am indeed.


COUNTESS

Then have I substance too.
substance (n.) 1 real thing, genuine article


TALBOT

No, no, I am but shadow of myself.

You are deceived. My substance is not here;

For what you see is but the smallest part

And least proportion of humanity.
humanity (n.) human potential, manhood
proportion (n.) 2 part, portion, amount

I tell you, madam, were the whole frame here,
frame (n.) 1 framework, structure, construction

It is of such a spacious lofty pitch,
pitch (n.) 2 height, elevation, high aspiration

Your roof were not sufficient to contain't.


COUNTESS

This is a riddling merchant for the nonce;
merchant (n.) 1 dealer, purveyor
nonce, for the for that purpose, for the occasion
riddling (adj.) dealing in riddles, riddle-making

He will be here, and yet he is not here.

How can these contrarieties agree?
contrariety (n.) 2 contradiction, inconsistency, discrepancy


TALBOT

That will I show you presently.
presently (adv.) 1 immediately, instantly, at once See Topics: Frequency count

He winds his horn. Drums strike up. A peal of

ordnance. Enter soldiers

How say you, madam? Are you now persuaded
ordnance, ordinance (n.) cannon, artillery
wind (v.) 2 sound, blow

That Talbot is but shadow of himself?

These are his substance, sinews, arms, and strength,

With which he yoketh your rebellious necks,

Razeth your cities, and subverts your towns
subvert (v.) destroy, overthrow, raze

And in a moment makes them desolate.


COUNTESS

Victorious Talbot, pardon my abuse.
abuse (n.) 1 deception, hoax, fraud

I find thou art no less than fame hath bruited,
bruit (v.) report, announce, proclaim
fame (n.) 2 report, account, description

And more than may be gathered by thy shape.

Let my presumption not provoke thy wrath,
provoke (v.) 1 call forth, invite, invoke

For I am sorry that with reverence

I did not entertain thee as thou art.
entertain (v.) 11 treat, deal with, handle


TALBOT

Be not dismayed, fair lady, nor misconster
misconster (v.) misconstrue, misinterpret, take wrongly

The mind of Talbot as you did mistake
mistake (v.) 1 misunderstand, take wrongly, misconceive

The outward composition of his body.
composition (n.) 1 constitution, make-up, state [of mind and body]

What you have done hath not offended me;

Nor other satisfaction do I crave
crave (v.) 2 need, demand, require
crave (v.) 1 beg, entreat, request See Topics: Frequency count

But only, with your patience, that we may
patience (n.) 1 leave, permission, indulgence See Topics: Politeness

Taste of your wine and see what cates you have;
cates (n.) 1 (plural) delicacies, choice foodstuffs

For soldiers' stomachs always serve them well.
serve (v.) 4 be of use, render service, be an advantage [to]
stomach (n.) 1 appetite, desire [for food]


COUNTESS

With all my heart, and think me honoured

To feast so great a warrior in my house.

Exeunt

 
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