Talb. Well then, alone (since there's no remedie) I meane to proue this Ladyes courtesie. Come hither Captaine, you perceiue my minde.


Capt. I doe my Lord, and meane accordingly.


Enter Countesse.

Count. Porter, remember what I gaue in charge, And when you haue done so, bring the Keyes to me

Port. Madame, I will. Enter.

Count. The Plot is layd, if all things fall out right, I shall as famous be by this exploit, As Scythian Tomyris by Cyrus death. Great is the rumour of this dreadfull Knight, And his atchieuements of no lesse account: Faine would mine eyes be witnesse with mine eares, To giue their censure of these rare reports. Enter Messenger and Talbot.

Mess. Madame, according as your Ladyship desir'd, By Message crau'd, so is Lord Talbot come

Count. And he is welcome: what? is this the man? Mess. Madame, it is

Count. 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 haue seene some Hercules, A second Hector, for his grim aspect, And large proportion of his strong knit Limbes. Alas, this is a Child, a silly Dwarfe: It cannot be, this weake and writhled shrimpe Should strike such terror to his Enemies

Talb. Madame, I haue beene bold to trouble you: But since your Ladyship is not at leysure, Ile sort some other time to visit you

Count. What meanes he now? Goe aske him, whither he goes? Mess. Stay my Lord Talbot, for my Lady craues, To know the cause of your abrupt departure? Talb. Marry, for that shee's in a wrong beleefe, I goe to certifie her Talbot's here. Enter Porter with Keyes.

Count. If thou be he, then art thou Prisoner

Talb. Prisoner? to whom? Count. To me, blood-thirstie Lord: And for that cause I trayn'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 chayne these Legges and Armes of thine, That hast by Tyrannie these many yeeres Wasted our Countrey, slaine our Citizens, And sent our Sonnes and Husbands captiuate

Talb. Ha, ha, ha

Count. Laughest thou Wretch? Thy mirth shall turne to moane

Talb. I laugh to see your Ladyship so fond, To thinke, that you haue ought but Talbots shadow, Whereon to practise your seueritie

Count. Why? art not thou the man? Talb. I am indeede

Count. Then haue I substance too

Talb. No, no, I am but shadow of my selfe: You are deceiu'd, my substance is not here; For what you see, is but the smallest part, And least proportion of Humanitie: I tell you Madame, were the whole Frame here, It is of such a spacious loftie pitch, Your Roofe were not sufficient to contayn't

Count. This is a Riddling Merchant for the nonce, He will be here, and yet he is not here: How can these contrarieties agree? Talb. That will I shew you presently.

Winds his Horne, Drummes strike vp, a Peale of Ordenance: Enter Souldiors.

How say you Madame? are you now perswaded, That Talbot is but shadow of himselfe? These are his substance, sinewes, armes, and strength, With which he yoaketh your rebellious Neckes, Razeth your Cities, and subuerts your Townes, And in a moment makes them desolate

Count. Victorious Talbot, pardon my abuse, I finde thou art no lesse then Fame hath bruited, And more then may be gathered by thy shape. Let my presumption not prouoke thy wrath, For I am sorry, that with reuerence I did not entertaine thee as thou art

William Shakespeare
Classic Literature Library

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