Henry VI, Pt. 1
Act II, Scene 3
Auvergne. Court of the Countess’s castle.
- Enter Countess of Auvergne and her Porter.
Countess of Auvergne1 - 2
- Porter, remember what I gave in charge,
- And when you have done so, bring the keys to me.
- Madam, I will.
Countess of Auvergne4 - 10
- 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 rumor of this dreadful knight,
- And his achievements of no less account;
- Fain would mine eyes be witness with mine ears
- To give their censure of these rare reports.
- Enter Messenger of the Countess and Talbot.
Messenger of the Countess11 - 13
- According as your ladyship desir’d,
- By message crav’d, so is Lord Talbot come.
Countess of Auvergne14
- And he is welcome. What? Is this the man?
Messenger of the Countess15
- Madam, it is.
Countess of Auvergne16 - 25
- Is this the scourge of France?
- Is this the Talbot, so much fear’d abroad
- That with his name the mothers still their babes?
- I see report is fabulous and false.
- I thought I should have seen some Hercules,
- A second Hector, for his grim aspect
- And large proportion of his strong-knit limbs.
- Alas, this is a child, a silly dwarf!
- It cannot be this weak and writhled shrimp
- Should strike such terror to his enemies.
Lord Talbot26 - 28
- 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.
Countess of Auvergne29
- What means he now? Go ask him whither he goes.
Messenger of the Countess30 - 31
- Stay, my Lord Talbot, for my lady craves
- To know the cause of your abrupt departure.
Lord Talbot32 - 33
- Marry, for that she’s in a wrong belief,
- I go to certify her Talbot’s here.
- Enter Porter with keys.
Countess of Auvergne34
- If thou be he, then art thou prisoner.
- Prisoner? To whom?
Countess of Auvergne36 - 44
- To me, blood-thirsty lord;
- And for that cause I train’d thee to my house.
- Long time thy shadow hath been thrall to me,
- For in my gallery thy picture hangs;
- But now the substance shall endure the like,
- And I will chain these legs and arms of thine,
- That hast by tyranny these many years
- Wasted our country, slain our citizens,
- And sent our sons and husbands captivate.
- Ha, ha, ha!
Countess of Auvergne46
- Laughest thou, wretch? Thy mirth shall turn to moan.
Lord Talbot47 - 49
- I laugh to see your ladyship so fond
- To think that you have aught but Talbot’s shadow
- Whereon to practice your severity.
Countess of Auvergne50
- Why? Art not thou the man?
- I am indeed.
Countess of Auvergne52
- Then have I substance too.
Lord Talbot53 - 59
- No, no, I am but shadow of myself.
- You are deceiv’d, my substance is not here;
- For what you see is but the smallest part
- And least proportion of humanity.
- I tell you, madam, were the whole frame here,
- It is of such a spacious lofty pitch,
- Your roof were not sufficient to contain’t.
Countess of Auvergne60 - 62
- This is a riddling merchant for the nonce:
- He will be here, and yet he is not here.
- How can these contrarieties agree?
Lord Talbot63 - 69
- That will I show you presently.
- Winds his horn. Drums strike up; a peal of ordinance.
- Enter Talbot’s Soldiers.
- How say you, madam? Are you now persuaded
- 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,
- And in a moment makes them desolate.
Countess of Auvergne70 - 75
- Victorious Talbot, pardon my abuse.
- I find thou art no less than fame hath bruited,
- And more than may be gathered by thy shape.
- Let my presumption not provoke thy wrath,
- For I am sorry that with reverence
- I did not entertain thee as thou art.
Lord Talbot76 - 83
- Be not dismay’d, fair lady, nor misconster
- The mind of Talbot, as you did mistake
- The outward composition of his body.
- What you have done hath not offended me;
- Nor other satisfaction do I crave,
- But only, with your patience, that we may
- Taste of your wine and see what cates you have,
- For soldiers’ stomachs always serve them well.
Countess of Auvergne84 - 85
- With all my heart, and think me honored
- To feast so great a warrior in my house.