Alarum. Enter a many Frenchmen flying. After them Prince Edward running. Then enter King John and the Duke of Lorraine
Oh, Lorraine, say, what mean our men to fly?
Our number is far greater than our foe's.
The garrison of Genoese, my lord,
That came from Paris, weary of their march,
Grudging to be suddenly employed,
No sooner in the forefront took their place
But, straight retiring, so dismayed the rest
As likewise they betook themselves to flight,
In which, for haste to make a safe escape,
More in the clustering throng are pressed to death
Than by the enemy a thousandfold.
O hapless fortune! Let us yet assay
If we can counsel some of them to stay.
Enter King Edward and Audley
Lord Audley, whiles our son is in the chase,
Withdraw our powers unto this little hill,
And here a season let us breathe ourselves.
I will, my lord.
Just-dooming heaven, whose secret providence
To our gross judgement is inscrutable,
How are we bound to praise thy wondrous works,
That hast this day given way unto the right,
And made the wicked stumble at themselves.
Rescue, King Edward, rescue for thy son!
Rescue, Artois? What, is he prisoner,
Or by violence fell beside his horse?
Neither, my lord; but narrowly beset
With turning Frenchmen, whom he did pursue,
As 'tis impossible that he should scape,
Except your highness presently descend.
Tut, let him fight; we gave him arms today,
And he is labouring for a knighthood, man.
The Prince, my Lord, the Prince! Oh, succour him!
He's close encompassed with a world of odds!
Then will he win a world of honour too,
If he by valour can redeem him thence.
If not, what remedy? We have more sons
Than one, to comfort our declining age.
Renowned Edward, give me leave, I pray,
To lead my soldiers where I may relieve
Your grace's son, in danger to be slain.
The snares of French, like emmets on a bank,
Muster about him; whilst he, lion-like,
Entangled in the net of their assaults,
Franticly rends and bites the woven toil;
But all in vain, he cannot free himself.
Audley, content. I will not have a man,
On pain of death, sent forth to succour him.
This is the day, ordained by destiny,
To season his courage with those grievous thoughts
That, if he break out, Nestor's years on earth
Will make him savour still of this exploit.
Ah, but he shall not live to see those days.
Why, then his epitaph is lasting praise.
Yet, good my lord, 'tis too much willfulness
To let his blood be spilt, that may be saved.
Exclaim no more; for none of you can tell
Whether a borrowed aid will serve or no;
Perhaps he is already slain or ta'en;
And dare a falcon when she's in her flight,
And ever after she'll be haggard-like.
Let Edward be delivered by our hands,
And still in danger he'll expect the like;
But if himself, himself redeem from thence,
He will have vanquished, cheerful, death and fear,
And ever after dread their force no more
Than if they were but babes or captive slaves.
O cruel father! Farewell Edward, then.
Farewell, sweet Prince, the hope of chivalry.
Oh, would my life might ransom him from death!
But soft, methinks I hear
The dismal charge of trumpets' loud retreat.
All are not slain, I hope, that went with him;
Some will return with tidings, good or bad.
Enter Prince Edward in triumph, bearing in his hand his shivered lance, and the body of the King of Bohemia borne before, wrapped in the colours. They run and embrace him
O joyful sight! Victorious Edward lives!
Welcome, brave Prince!
The Prince kneels and kisses his father's hand
First having done my duty as beseemed,
Lords, I regreet you all with hearty thanks.
And now, behold, after my winter's toil,
My painful voyage on the boist'rous sea
Of war's devouring gulfs and steely rocks,
I bring my fraught unto the wished port,
My summer's hope, my travel's sweet reward,
And here with humble duty I present
This sacrifice, this first fruit of my sword,
Cropped and cut down even at the gate of death:
The king of Boheme, father, whom I slew,
Whose thousands had entrenched me round about,
And lay as thick upon my battered crest
As on an anvil with their ponderous glaives.
Yet marble courage still did underprop,
And when my weary arms, with often blows,
Like the continual labouring woodman's axe
That is enjoined to fell a load of oaks,
Began to falter, straight I would recover
My gifts you gave me, and my zealous vow,
And then new courage made me fresh again,
That, in despite, I carved my passage forth,
And put the multitude to speedy flight.
Lo, thus hath Edward's hand filled your request,
And done, I hope, the duty of a knight.
Ay, well thou hast deserved a knighthood, Ned;
And therefore with thy sword, yet reeking warm
His sword borne by a soldier
With blood of those that fought to be thy bane,
Arise, Prince Edward, trusty knight at arms.
This day thou hast confounded me with joy,
And proved thyself fit heir unto a king.
Here is a note, my gracious lord, of those
That in this conflict of our foes were slain:
Eleven princes of esteem, fourscore barons,
A hundred and twenty knights, and thirty thousand
Common soldiers; and of our men, a thousand.
Our God be praised! Now, John of France, I hope
Thou know'st King Edward for no wantonness,
No love-sick cockney, nor his soldiers jades.
But which way is the fearful king escaped?
Towards Poitiers, noble father, and his sons.
Ned, thou and Audley shall pursue them still;
Myself and Derby will to Calais straight,
And there begirt that haven town with siege.
Now lies it on an upshot; therefore strike,
upshot (n.) 1
remaining stroke, final shot [as in archery, determining the result]
And wistly follow whiles the game's on foot. –
What picture's this?
A pelican, my lord,
Wounding her bosom with her crooked beak,
That so her nest of young ones might be fed
With drops of blood that issue from her heart:
The motto Sic et vos: ‘ and so should you.’