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KING HENRY THE FIFTH.
O, FOR a muse of fire, that would ascend
1 0, for circle, alluding to the circular form of the theatre.
2 « Imaginary forces." Imaginary for imaginative, or your powers of fancy.
Printing their proud hoofs i’ the receiving earth;
SCENE I. London. An Antechamber in the
Enter the Archbishop Canterbury, and Bishop
of Ely. Canterbury. My lord, I'll tell you,-that self bill is
Ely. But how, my lord, shall we resist it now?
Cant. It must be thought on. If it pass against us, We lose the better half of our possession; For all the temporal lands, which men devout By testament have given to the church, Would they strip from us: being valued thus,
1 This first scene was added in the folio, together with the choruses and other amplifications. It appears from Hall and Holinshed, that the events passed at Leicester, where king Henry V. held a parliament in the second year of his reign. But the chorus at the beginning of the second act shows that the Poet intended to make London the place of his first scene.
2 “Canterbury and Ely.” Henry Chicheley, a Carthusian monk, recently promoted to the see of Canterbury. John Fordham, bishop of Ely, consecrated 1388, died 1426.
As much as would maintain, to the king's honor,
Ely. This would drink deep.
Cant. The courses of his youth promised it not.
We are blessed in the change.
1 The same thought occurs in the preceding play, where king Henry V. says:
“ My father is gone wild into his grave,
The Gordian knot of it he will unloose,
Ely. The strawberry grows underneath the nettle ;
Cant. It must be so; for miracles are ceased ;
But, my good lord,
He seems indifferent ;
1 He discourses with so much skill on all subjects, “ that his theory must have been taught by art and practice.” Practic and theoric, or rather practique and theorique, was the old orthography of practice and theory.
2 This expressive word is used by Drant, in his Translation of Horace's Art of Poetry, 1567.
As touching France,—to give a greater sum
Ely. How did this offer seem received, my lord ?
Cant. With good acceptance of his majesty;
Ely. What was the impediment that broke this off?
Cant. The French ambassador upon that instant
A Room of State in the same.
Enter King HENRY, GLOSTER, BEDFORD, EXETER,
WARWICK, WESTMORELAND, and Attendants. K. Hen. Where is my gracious lord of Canterbury? Ere. Not here in presence. K. Hen. Send for him, good uncle.? West. Shall we call in the ambassador, my liege? K. Hen. Not yet, my cousin; we would be resolved,
1 “The severals and unhidden passages.” The particulars and clear, unconcealed circumstances of his true titles, &c.
2 “ Send for him, good uncle.” The person here addressed was Thomas Beaufort, half brother to king Henry IV., being one of the sons of John of Gaunt by Katharine Swynford. He was not made duke of Exeter till the year after the battle of Agincourt, 1416. He was properly now only earl of Dorset. Shakspeare may have confounded this character with John Holland, duke of Exeter, who married Elizabeth, the king's aunt. He was executed at Plashey, in 1400. The old play began with the next speech.