List iconHenry VI, Part 1List icon

Henry VI, Part 1
Act 4, scene 6



Characters in the Play

Entire Play

With an underage boy now king of England, Henry VI, Part 1, depicts the collapse of England’s role in France, as…

Act 1, scene 1

The funeral procession for Henry V is interrupted first by a quarrel between Gloucester and Winchester and then by messengers…

Act 1, scene 2

Charles the Dauphin, leader of the French, is defeated by a small English force that is besieging Orleance. He is…

Act 1, scene 3

Gloucester visits the Tower of London, only to be denied entry by Winchester. The servants of the two nobles skirmish…

Act 1, scene 4

The master gunner of Orleance shows his boy how to fire on the English when they come to spy. The…

Act 1, scene 5

Talbot attacks, fights Pucelle, fails to defeat her, and accuses her of witchcraft. The English, defeated, retreat.

Act 1, scene 6

The French celebrate Pucelle’s victory.

Act 2, scene 1

The English forces, led by Bedford, Burgundy, and Talbot, scale the walls of Orleance and drive out the French, who…

Act 2, scene 2

The English plan a grand tomb for the dead Salisbury, in part as a monument to their recent victory. Talbot…

Act 2, scene 3

The Countess plots to capture and kill the visiting Talbot.

Act 2, scene 4

Richard Plantagenet and Somerset, having quarreled over a case at law, withdraw into a garden, where the supporters of Plantagenet…

Act 2, scene 5

Edmund Mortimer, imprisoned by Henry IV because of his strong claim to the throne, and kept in prison by Henry…

Act 3, scene 1

Gloucester and Winchester quarrel openly in Henry VI’s royal court. Their supporters, forbidden to carry weapons, have been fighting in…

Act 3, scene 2

Pucelle and four soldiers, disguised as peasants, enter Roan. From a tower within the city, Pucelle signals to the French…

Act 3, scene 3

As Talbot and Burgundy march separately to Paris for the coronation of Henry VI, Pucelle entices Burgundy to join the…

Act 3, scene 4

In Paris, a grateful Henry VI creates Talbot Earl of Shrewsbury in recompense for his victories in France. Vernon, a…

Act 4, scene 1

Henry VI is crowned. Fastolf arrives with a letter from Burgundy and, because of his earlier cowardice in battle, is…

Act 4, scene 2

As Talbot draws up his troops before Bordeaux, he learns that he is surrounded by much greater French forces.

Act 4, scene 3

Sir William Lucy urges York to help Talbot, but York refuses to march until Somerset unites his cavalry with York’s…

Act 4, scene 4

Sir William Lucy chastises Somerset for not having helped Talbot, but Somerset blames York, who has apparently refused to communicate…

Act 4, scene 5

Talbot has been joined by his son John Talbot, whom he urges to flee certain death. John Talbot refuses to…

Act 4, scene 6

Talbot again urges his son to flee and is again rebuffed.

Act 4, scene 7

Talbot, holding his dead son, dies. Sir William Lucy comes to claim their bodies from the victorious French.

Act 5, scene 1

Henry follows Gloucester’s advice to make peace with France and to agree to marry the daughter of the earl of…

Act 5, scene 2

Charles is informed that the divided English army has united and is advancing toward him.

Act 5, scene 3

As the French face likely defeat, Pucelle conjures up devils, but they refuse to help, and she is captured by…

Act 5, scene 4

Pucelle, on her way to be executed by the English, is visited by her shepherd father, whom she scorns and…

Act 5, scene 5

Suffolk persuades Henry to marry Margaret over the objections of Gloucester. Suffolk plans to control Margaret and, through her, the…

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Scene 6
Alarum. Excursions, wherein Talbot’s son John
is hemmed about, and Talbot rescues him.

 Saint George, and victory! Fight, soldiers, fight!
 The Regent hath with Talbot broke his word
 And left us to the rage of France his sword.
 Where is John Talbot?—Pause, and take thy breath;
5 I gave thee life and rescued thee from death.
 O, twice my father, twice am I thy son!
 The life thou gav’st me first was lost and done
 Till with thy warlike sword, despite of fate,
 To my determined time thou gav’st new date.
10 When from the Dauphin’s crest thy sword struck fire,
 It warmed thy father’s heart with proud desire
 Of bold-faced victory. Then leaden age,
 Quickened with youthful spleen and warlike rage,
 Beat down Alanson, Orleance, Burgundy,
15 And from the pride of Gallia rescued thee.
 The ireful Bastard Orleance, that drew blood
 From thee, my boy, and had the maidenhood
 Of thy first fight, I soon encounterèd,
 And, interchanging blows, I quickly shed
20 Some of his bastard blood, and in disgrace
 Bespoke him thus: “Contaminated, base,
 And misbegotten blood I spill of thine,
 Mean and right poor, for that pure blood of mine
 Which thou didst force from Talbot, my brave boy.”
25 Here, purposing the Bastard to destroy,
 Came in strong rescue. Speak, thy father’s care:
 Art thou not weary, John? How dost thou fare?

Henry VI, Part 1
ACT 4. SC. 6

 Wilt thou yet leave the battle, boy, and fly,
 Now thou art sealed the son of chivalry?
30 Fly, to revenge my death when I am dead;
 The help of one stands me in little stead.
 O, too much folly is it, well I wot,
 To hazard all our lives in one small boat.
 If I today die not with Frenchmen’s rage,
35 Tomorrow I shall die with mickle age.
 By me they nothing gain, and, if I stay,
 ’Tis but the short’ning of my life one day.
 In thee thy mother dies, our household’s name,
 My death’s revenge, thy youth, and England’s fame.
40 All these and more we hazard by thy stay;
 All these are saved if thou wilt fly away.
 The sword of Orleance hath not made me smart;
 These words of yours draw lifeblood from my heart.
 On that advantage, bought with such a shame,
45 To save a paltry life and slay bright fame,
 Before young Talbot from old Talbot fly,
 The coward horse that bears me fall and die!
 And like me to the peasant boys of France,
 To be shame’s scorn and subject of mischance!
50 Surely, by all the glory you have won,
 An if I fly, I am not Talbot’s son.
 Then talk no more of flight, it is no boot;
 If son to Talbot, die at Talbot’s foot.
 Then follow thou thy desp’rate sire of Crete,
55 Thou Icarus; thy life to me is sweet.
 If thou wilt fight, fight by thy father’s side,
 And commendable proved, let’s die in pride.
They exit.