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Home > King Henry VI Part 1 > ACT II - SCENE III. Auvergne. The COUNTESS's castle.

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ACT II - SCENE III. Auvergne. The COUNTESS's castle.
Enter the COUNTESS and her Porter

COUNTESS OF AUVERGNE
1    Porter, remember what I gave in charge;
2    And when you have done so, bring the keys to me.
Porter
3    Madam, I will.
Exit

COUNTESS OF AUVERGNE
4    The plot is laid: if all things fall out right,
5    I shall as famous be by this exploit
6    As Scythian Tomyris by Cyrus' death.
7    Great is the rumor of this dreadful knight,
8    And his achievements of no less account:
9    Fain would mine eyes be witness with mine ears,
10   To give their censure of these rare reports.
Enter Messenger and TALBOT

Messenger
11   Madam,
12   According as your ladyship desired,
13   By message craved, so is Lord Talbot come.
COUNTESS OF AUVERGNE
14   And he is welcome. What! is this the man?
Messenger
15   Madam, it is.
COUNTESS OF AUVERGNE
16   Is this the scourge of France?
17   Is this the Talbot, so much fear'd abroad
18   That with his name the mothers still their babes?
19   I see report is fabulous and false:
20   I thought I should have seen some Hercules,
21   A second Hector, for his grim aspect,
22   And large proportion of his strong-knit limbs.
23   Alas, this is a child, a silly dwarf!
24   It cannot be this weak and writhled shrimp
25   Should strike such terror to his enemies.
TALBOT
26   Madam, I have been bold to trouble you;
27   But since your ladyship is not at leisure,
28   I'll sort some other time to visit you.
COUNTESS OF AUVERGNE
29   What means he now? Go ask him whither he goes.
Messenger
30   Stay, my Lord Talbot; for my lady craves
31   To know the cause of your abrupt departure.
TALBOT
32   Marry, for that she's in a wrong belief,
33   I go to certify her Talbot's here.
Re-enter Porter with keys

COUNTESS OF AUVERGNE
34   If thou be he, then art thou prisoner.
TALBOT
35   Prisoner! to whom?
COUNTESS OF AUVERGNE
36   To me, blood-thirsty lord;
37   And for that cause I trained thee to my house.
38   Long time thy shadow hath been thrall to me,
39   For in my gallery thy picture hangs:
40   But now the substance shall endure the like,
41   And I will chain these legs and arms of thine,
42   That hast by tyranny these many years
43   Wasted our country, slain our citizens
44   And sent our sons and husbands captivate.
TALBOT
45   Ha, ha, ha!
COUNTESS OF AUVERGNE
46   Laughest thou, wretch? thy mirth shall turn to moan.
TALBOT
47   I laugh to see your ladyship so fond
48   To think that you have aught but Talbot's shadow
49   Whereon to practise your severity.
COUNTESS OF AUVERGNE
50   Why, art not thou the man?
TALBOT
51   I am indeed.
COUNTESS OF AUVERGNE
52   Then have I substance too.
TALBOT
53   No, no, I am but shadow of myself:
54   You are deceived, my substance is not here;
55   For what you see is but the smallest part
56   And least proportion of humanity:
57   I tell you, madam, were the whole frame here,
58   It is of such a spacious lofty pitch,
59   Your roof were not sufficient to contain't.
COUNTESS OF AUVERGNE
60   This is a riddling merchant for the nonce;
61   He will be here, and yet he is not here:
62   How can these contrarieties agree?
TALBOT
63   That will I show you presently.
64   How say you, madam? are you now persuaded
65   That Talbot is but shadow of himself?
66   These are his substance, sinews, arms and strength,
67   With which he yoketh your rebellious necks,
68   Razeth your cities and subverts your towns
69   And in a moment makes them desolate.
COUNTESS OF AUVERGNE
70   Victorious Talbot! pardon my abuse:
71   I find thou art no less than fame hath bruited
72   And more than may be gather'd by thy shape.
73   Let my presumption not provoke thy wrath;
74   For I am sorry that with reverence
75   I did not entertain thee as thou art.
TALBOT
76   Be not dismay'd, fair lady; nor misconstrue
77   The mind of Talbot, as you did mistake
78   The outward composition of his body.
79   What you have done hath not offended me;
80   Nor other satisfaction do I crave,
81   But only, with your patience, that we may
82   Taste of your wine and see what cates you have;
83   For soldiers' stomachs always serve them well.
COUNTESS OF AUVERGNE
84   With all my heart, and think me honoured
85   To feast so great a warrior in my house.
Exeunt

< (Previous) ACT II, SCENE IIACT II, SCENE IV (Next) >
Scene Index
ACT I
  • SCENE I
  • SCENE II
  • SCENE III
  • SCENE IV
  • SCENE V
  • SCENE VI


  • ACT II
  • SCENE I
  • SCENE II
  • SCENE III
  • SCENE IV
  • SCENE V


  • ACT III
  • SCENE I
  • SCENE II
  • SCENE III
  • SCENE IV


  • ACT IV
  • SCENE I
  • SCENE II
  • SCENE III
  • SCENE IV
  • SCENE V
  • SCENE VI
  • SCENE VII


  • ACT V
  • SCENE I
  • SCENE II
  • SCENE III
  • SCENE IV
  • SCENE V

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