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His sparkling eyes, replete with wrathful fire,
Exe. We mourn in black; why mourn we not in blood?
Henry is dead, and never shall revive.
Win. He was a king blessed 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 churchmen prayed,
His thread of life had not so soon decayed.
Win. Gloster, whate'er we like, thou art protector;
Glo. Name not religion, for thou lov'st the flesh; 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 :—
1 There was a notion long prevalent that life might be taken away by metrical charms.
Instead of gold, we'll offer up our arms;
Since arms avail not, now that Henry's dead.-
Enter a Messenger.
Mess. My honorable lords, health to you all!
Bed. What say'st thou, man, before dead Henry's corse?
Speak softly; or the loss of those great towns
These news would cause him once more yield the ghost.
Exe. How were they lost? what treachery was used?
Mess. No treachery; but want of men and money. Among the soldiers this is muttered,That here you maintain several factions; And, whilst a field should be despatched and fought,
1 Nurse was anciently spelled nouryce and noryshe; and, by Lydgate, even nourish.
2 Pope conjectured that this blank had been supplied by the name of Francis Drake, which, though a glaring anachronism, might have been a popular, though not judicious, mode of attracting plaudits in the theatre. Part of the arms of Drake was two blazing stars.
3 Capel proposed to complete this defective verse by the insertion of Rouen among the places lost, as Gloster infers that it had been mentioned with the rest.
You are disputing of your generals.
One would have lingering wars, with little cost;
Exe. Were our tears wanting to this funeral,
Bed. Me they concern; regent I am of France.Give me my steeled coat; I'll fight for France.Away with these disgraceful, wailing robes! Wounds I will lend the French, instead of eyes, To weep their intermissive miseries.2
Enter another Messenger.
2 Mess. Lords, view these letters, full of bad mischance.
France is revolted from the English quite;
Exe. The dauphin crowned king! all fly to him! O, whither shall we fly from this reproach?
Glo. We will not fly, but to our enemies' throats; Bedford, if thou be slack, I'll fight it out.
Bed. Gloster, why doubt'st thou of my forwardness?
An army have I mustered in my thoughts,
1 i. e. England's flowing tides.
2 i. e. their miseries which have only a short intermission.
Enter a third Messenger.
3 Mess. My gracious lords, to add to your laments, Wherewith you now bedew king Henry's hearse,— I must inform you of a dismal fight, Betwixt the stout lord Talbot and the French.
Win. What! wherein Talbot overcame ? is't so? 3 Mess. O, no; wherein lord Talbot was o'erthrown;
The circumstance I'll tell you more at large.
1 For an account of this sir John Fastolfe, vide Biographia Britannica, by Kippis, vol. v.; in which is his life, written by Mr. Gough.
A base Walloon, to win the dauphin's grace,
Bed. Is Talbot slain? then I will slay myself,
3 Mess. O, no; he lives; but is took prisoner, And lord Scales with him, and lord Hungerford; Most of the rest slaughtered, or took, likewise.
Bed. His ransom there is none but I shall
3 Mess. So you had need; for Orleans is besieged; The English army is grown weak and faint; The earl of Salisbury craveth supply,
And hardly keeps his men from mutiny,
Exe. Remember, lords, your oaths to Henry sworn ; Either to quell the dauphin utterly,
Or bring him in obedience to your yoke.
Bed. I do remember it; and here take leave, To go about my preparation.
Glo. I'll to the tower, with all the haste I can, To view the artillery and munition; And then I will proclaim young Henry king. [Exit. Exe. To Eltham will I, where the young king is, Being ordained his special governor ; And for his safety there I'll best devise.
Win. Each hath his place and function to attend. I am left out; for me nothing remains. But long I will not be Jack-out-of-office;