5. SCENE V. The English camp near Bordeaux.
[Enter Talbot and John his son.]
O young John Talbot! I did send for thee
To tutor thee in stratagems of war,
That Talbot's name might be in thee revived
When sapless age and weak unable limbs
Should bring thy father to his drooping chair.
But, O malignant and ill-boding stars!
Now thou art come unto a feast of death,
A terrible and unavoided danger:
Therefore, dear boy, mount on my swiftest horse;
And I'll direct thee how thou shalt escape
By sudden flight: come, dally not, be gone.
Is my name Talbot? and am I your son?
And shall I fly? O, if you love my mother,
Dishonor not her honorable name,
To make a bastard and a slave of me!
The world will say, he is not Talbot's blood,
That basely fled when noble Talbot stood.
Fly, to revenge my death, if I be slain.
He that flies so will ne'er return again.
If we both stay, we both are sure to die.
Then let me stay; and, father, do you fly;
Your loss is great, so your regard should be;
My worth unknown, no loss is known in me.
Upon my death the French can little boast;
In yours they will, in you all hopes are lost.
Flight cannot stain the honor you have won;
But mine it will, that no exploit have done;
You fled for vantage, every one will swear;
But, if I bow, they 'll say it was for fear.
There is no hope that ever I will stay,
If the first hour I shrink and run away.
Here on my knee I beg mortality,
Rather than life preserved with infamy.
Shall all thy mother's hopes lie in one tomb?
Aye, rather than I 'll shame my mother's womb.
Upon my blessing, I command thee go.
To fight I will, but not to fly the foe.