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Lords, Captains, Soldiers, Messengers, and several Attendants both on the English and French.
The SCENE is partly in England, and partly in France.




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Brandish your crystal treffes in the sky;
And with them fcourge the bad revolting stars,
That have confented unto Henry's death!
Henry the fifth, too famous to live long!
England ne'er loft a king of so much worth.

Glo. England ne'er had a king, until his time.
Virtue he had, deferving to command:
His brandifh'd fword did blind men with his beams;
His arms fpread wider than a dragon's wings;
10 His sparkling eyes, replete with wrathful fire,
More dazzled and drove back his enemies,
Than mid-day fun, fierce bent against their faces.

'Mr. Theobald obferves, that "the historical transactions contained in this play, take in the compafs of above thirty years. I must observe, however, that our author, in the three parts of Henry VI. has not been very precife to the date and disposition of his facts; but shuffled them, backwards and forwards, out of time. For inftance; the lord Talbot is kill'd at the end of the fourth act of this play, who in reality did not fall till the 13th of July 1453; and The Second Part of Henry VI. opens with the marriage of the king, which was folemniz'd eight years before Talbot's death, in the year 1445. Again, in the fecond part, dame Eleanor Cobham is introduced to infult queen Margaret; though her penance and banishment for forcery happened three years before that princefs came over to England. I could point out many other tranfgressions against history, as far as the order of time is concerned. Indeed, though there are feveral mafter-strokes in these three plays, which incontestably betray the workmanship of Shakspeare; yet I am almost doubtful, whether they were entirely of his writing. And unless they were wrote by him very early, I should rather imagine them to have been brought to him as a director of the stage; and fo have received some finishing beauties at his hand. An accurate obferver will easily fee, the diction of them is more obfolete, and the numbers more mean and profaical, than in the generality of his genuine compositions.”


What should I say? his deeds exceed all speech: He ne'er lift up his hand, but conquered.

Exe. We mourn in black; Why mourn we not in blood?

Henry is dead, and never fhall revive:
Upon a wooden coffin we attend;
And death's dishonourable victory
We with our stately prefence glorify,

Like captives bound to a triumphant car.
What? thall we curfe the planets of mishap,
That plotted thus our glory's overthrow?
Or fhall we think the fubtle-witted French
Conjurers and forcerers, that, afraid of him,
By magic verfes have contriv'd his end?

Win. He was a king bleft of the King of Kings.
Unto the French the dreadful judgment-day
So dreadful will not be, as was his fight.
The battles of the Lord of Hofts he fought:
The church's prayers made him fo profperous.

¡Among the foldiers this is muttered,—

That here you maintain several factions;

And, whilft a field should be dispatch'd and fought,
You are difputing of your generals.

5 One would have ling'ring wars, with little coft:
Another would fly swift, but wanteth wings;
A third man thinks, without expence at all,
By guileful fair words peace may be obtain'd.
Awake, awake, English nobility;

10 Let not floth dim your honours, new-begot:
Cropp'd are the flower-de-luces in your arms;
Of England's coat one half is cut away.


Glo. The church! where is it? Had not church-20
men pray'd,

His thread of life had not fo foon decay'd:
None do you like but an effeminate prince,
Whom, like a school-boy, you may over-awe.

Win. Glofter, whate'er we like, thou art pro-25

And lookeft to command the prince, and realm.
Thy wife is proud; fhe holdeth thee in awe,
More than God, or religious church-men, may.

Glo. Name not religion, for thou lov'ft the flesh;
And ne'er throughout the year to church thou go'st,
Except it be to pray against thy foes.

Bed. Ceafe, ceafe thefe jars, and reft your minds

in peace!

Let's to the altar :-Heralds, wait on us:-
Instead of gold, we'll offer up our arms;
Since arms avail not, now that Henry's dead.-
Pofterity, await for wretched years,

When at their mothers' moist eyes babes shall fuck;
Ourifle be made a nourish1 of salt tears,
And none but women left to wail the dead.-
Henry the fifth! thy ghoft I invocate;
Profper this realm, keep it from civil broils!
Combat with adverse planets in the heavens !
A far more glorious ftar thy foul will make,
Than Julius Cæfar, or bright-

Enter a Meffenger.

Mess. My honourable lords, health to you all! Sad tidings bring I to you out of France, Of lofs, of flaughter, and discomfiture: Guienne, Champaigne, Rheims, Orleans, Paris, Guifors, Poitiers, are all quite loft. Bed. What fay'ft thou, man, before dead Henry's corfe;


Exe. Were our tears wanting to this funeral, Thefe tidings would call forth their flowing tides. Bed. Me they concern; regent I am of France :Give me my steeled coat, I'll fight for France.Away with thefe disgraceful wailing robes! Wounds I will lend the French, instead of eyes, To weep their intermiffive 2 miferies.

Enter to them another Messenger.

2 Mess. Lords, view these letters, full of bad

France is revolted from the English quite;
Except fome petty towns of no import :
The Dauphin Charles is crowned king in Rheims;
The baftard of Orleans with him is join'd;
Reignier, duke of Anjou, doth take his part;
The duke of Alençon flieth to his fide. [Exit.

Exe. The Dauphin crowned king! all fly to 30|0, whither fhall we fly from this reproach? [him! Glo. We will not fly, but to our enemies' throats :Bedford, if thou be slack, I'll fight it out.

Bed. Glofter, why doubt'ft thou of my forwardness?

35 An army have I muster'd in my thoughts, Wherewith already France is over-run. Enter a third Messenger.



3 Mej. My gracious lords, to add to your la


Wherewith you now bedew king Henry's hearse,—
I must inform you of a dismal fight,
Betwixt the ftout lord Talbot and the French.
Win. What! wherein Talbot overcame? is't fo?
3 Meff. O, no; wherein lord Talbot was o'er-

The circumftance I'll tell you more at large.
The tenth of August laft, this dreadful lord,
Retiring from the fiege of Orleans,

Having full scarce 3 fix thousand in his troop, 50 By three and twenty thousand of the French Was round encompassed and set upon : No leifure had he to enrank his men; He wanted pikes to fet befere his archers; Inftead whereof, sharp stakes, pluck'd out of hedges, 55 They pitched in the ground confufedly,

Speak foftly; or the loss of those great towns
Will make him burst his lead, and rise from death.
Glo. Is Paris loft? is Roan yielded up?
If Henry were recall'd to life again,
Thefe news would cause him once more yield the
Exe. How were they loft? what treachery was 60

Me. No treachery; but want of men and

To keep the horsemen off from breaking in.
More than three hours the fight continued;
Where valiant Talbot, above human thought,
Enacted wonders with his fword and lance.
Hundreds he fent to hell, and none durft ftand him;
Here, there, and every where, enrag'd he flew :
The French exclaim'd, The devil was in arms;

1 Nourish here fignifies a nurse. 2 i. e. their miferies which have had only a short intermiffion from Henry the Fifth's death to my coming amongst them. 3 i. e. fcarcely.


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