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KING HENRY VI.

PART FIRST.

PERSONS REPRESENTED.

KING HENRY THE SIXTH.

Sir THOMAS GARGRAVE. Duke of Gloster,

WOODVILLE, Lieutenant of the his Uncles. Duke of Bedford,

Tower. Mayor of London. THOMAS BEAUFORT, Duke of Exe- VERNON, of the York Faction. ter.

BASSET, of the Lancaster Faction. HENRY BEAUFORT, Bishop and

CHARLES, the Dauphin.
Cardinal,
JOHN BEAUFORT, Duke of Somerset.

REIGNIER, Duke of Anjou.
RICHARD PLANTAGENET, Duke of PHILIP, Duke of Burgundy.

Duke of Alençon. York.

Bastard of Orleans.
MONTACUTE, Earl of Salisbury.

Governor of Paris.
BEAUCHAMP, Earl of Warwick.
DE LA POLE, Earl of Suffolk.

Master-Gunner, and his Son.
JOHN TALBOT, Earl of Shrewsbury. General of the French Forces.

A French Sergeant.
JOHN TALBOT, his Son.

A Porter.
EDMUND MORTIMER, Earl of March.
Mortimer's Keeper, and a Lawyer.

An old Shepherd, Father to Joan. Sir JOHN FASTOLFE.

MARGARET, Queen to Henry VI. Sir WILLIAM GLANSDALE,

The Countess of Auvergne. Sir WILLIAM LUCY.

LA PUCELLE, called Joan of Arc. Lords, Warders of the Tower, Heralds, Officers, Soldiers, Messengers, and

several Attendants both on the English and French. Fiends appearing to LA PUCELLE.

SCENE. Partly in England, and partly in France.

ACT I.

SCENE I. - Westminster Abbey. Dead march. The corpse of King HENRY the Fifth, in state,

is brought in, attended on by the Dukes of BEDFORD, GLOSTER, and EXETER, the Earl of WARWICK, the Bishop of WINCHESTER, Heralds, &c.

Bed. Hung be the heavens with black, yield day to night!
Comets, importing change of times and States,
Brandish your crystal 2 tresses in the sky,
And with them scourge the bad-revolting stars
That have consented unto Henry's death !3
Henry the Fifth, too famous to live long !
England ne'er lost a king of so much worth.

Glo. England ne'er had a king until his time.
Virtue he had, deserving to command :
His brandish'd sword did blind men with his beams;
His arms spread wider than a dragon's wings;
His sparkling eyes, replete with wrathful fire,
More dazzled and drove back his enemies
Than mid-day Sun fierce bent against their faces.
What should I say? his deeds exceed all speech:
He ne'er lift up his hand, but conqueréd.

Exe.4 We mourn in black : why mourn we not in blood ?

1 The upper part of the stage was in Shakespeare's time technically called the heavens, and was used to be hung with black when tragedies were performed

2 The epithet crystal was often applied to comets by the old writers. So in a sonnet by Lord Sterline, 1604: "Whenas those crystal comets whiles appear."

3 Consented here means conspired together to promote the death of Henry by their malignant influence on human events.

4 Thomas Beaufort, the present Duke of Exeter, was son to John of Ghent by Catharine Swynford ; born out of wedlock, but legitimated along with three other children in the time of Richard II. Of course therefore he was great-uncle to King Henry VI. At the death of Henry V. he was appointed governor of the infant King, which office he held till his death in 1425. The Poet, however, prolongs his life till 1444, the period of the First Part. Holinshed calls him “a right sage and discreet counsellor.” The name Beaufort was derived from the place of his birth, which was Beaufortcastle in France.

1

Henry is dead, and never shall revive :
Upon a wooden coffin we attend ;
And death's dishonourable victory
We with our stately presence glorify,
Like captives bound to a triumphant car.
What ! shall we curse the planets of mishap
That plotted thus our glory's overthrow?
Or shall we think the subtle-witted French
Conjurers and sorcerers, that, afraid of him,
By magic verses have contrived his end ? 5

Win. He was a king bless'd of the King of kings.
Unto the French the dreadful judgment-day
So dreadful will not be as was his sight.
The battles of the Lord of Hosts he fought :
The Church's prayers made him so prosperous.
Glo. The Church ! where is it? Had not churchinen

pray'd, His thread of life had not so soon decay'd : None do

you

like but an effeminate prince, Whom, like a schoolboy, you may over-awe.

Win.? Gloster, whate'er we like, thou art Protector,
And lookest to command the Prince and realm.
Thy wife is proud ; she holdeth thee in awe,
More than God or religious churchmen may.

Glo. Name not religion, for thou lovest the flesh;

6

5 This is well explained by a passage in Scot's Discoverie of Witchcraft, 1584: “The Irishmen will not sticke to affirme that they can rime man or beast to death." See vol. v. page 60, note 25.

6 Churchman was used for what we call a clergyman or priest.

i Henry Beaufort, known in history as “the great Bishop of Winchester," was brother to the Duke of Exeter. At this time he held the office of chancellor, and was associated with Exeter in the governing of the infant sovereign. The quarrel between him and his nephew, the Duke of Gloster, did not break out till 1425, though it had been brewing in secret for some time. In 1427 he was advanced by Pope Martin to the office of cardinal.

And ne'er throughout the year to church thou go'st,
Except it be to pray against thy foes.
Bed. Cease, cease these jars, and rest 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.
Posterity, await for wretched years,
When at their mothers' moist eyes babes shall suck;
Our isle be made a marish 8 of salt tears,
And none but women left to wail the dead.
Henry the Fifth ! thy ghost I invocate;
Prosper this realm, keep it from civil broils !
Combat with adverse planets in the heavens !
A far more glorious star thy soul will make
Than Julius Cæsar or bright Berenice.

8

Enter a Messenger.

Mess. My honourable lords, health to you all !
Sad tidings bring I to you out of France,
Of loss, of slaughter, and discomfiture :
Guienne, Champagne, Rheims, Rouen, Orleans,
Paris, Guysors, Poictiers, are all quite lost.

Bed. What say’st thou, man ! before dead Henry's corse
Speak softly, or the loss of those great towns
Will make him burst his lead, and rise from death.

Glo. Is Paris lost? is Rouen yielded up?
If Henry were recall’d to life again,
These news would cause him once more yield the ghost.

Exe. How were they lost? what treachery was used ?

8 Marish is only another form of marsh. Kyd's Spanish Tragedy has a like expression : “Made mountains marsh with spring tides of my tears."

“But the miry places thereof and the marishes thereof shall not be healed; they shall be given to salt.” – Ezekiel, xlvii, 11.

a

Mess. No treachery; but want of men and money.
Amongst the soldiers this is muttered,
That here you maintain several factions ;
And, whilst a field should be dispatch'd and fought,
You are disputing of your generals :
One would have lingering wars, with little cost;
Another would fly swift, but wanteth wings;
A third man thinks, without expense at all,
By guileful fair words peace may be obtain'd.
Awake, awake, English nobility!
Let not sloth dim your honours new-begot :
Cropp'd are the flower-de-luces in your arms;
Of England's coat one half is cut away.

Exe. Were our tears wanting to this funeral,
These tidings would call forth their flowing tides.

Bed. Me they concern; Regent I am of France.
Give me my steelèd coat ! I'll fight for France.
Away with these disgraceful wailing-robes !
Wounds will I lend the French, instead of eyes,
To weep their intermissive 9 miseries.

Enter a second Messenger.

2 Mess. Lords, view these letters, full of bad mischance France is revolted from the English quite, Except some petty towns of no import : The Dauphin Charles is crowned king in Rheims; The Bastard of Orleans with him is join'd; Reignier, Duke of Anjou, doth take his part; The Duke of Alençon flieth to his side.

Exe. The Dauphin crowned king! all fly to him ! O, whither shall we fly from this reproach?

9 Intermissive for intermitted : miseries that have only a brief intermission.

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