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FIRST PART OF

KING HENRY VI.

ACT I.

SCENE I. Weftminster Abbey.

Dead march. Corple of King Henry the Fifth discovered, lying in ftate; 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 time and states,
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 fo 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;
His sparkling eyes replete with wrathful fire,
More dazzled and drove back his enemies,

Than mid-day fun, fierce bent against their faces.
What should I fay? his deeds exceed all speech:
He ne'er lift up his hand, but conquer❜d.

[blood?

EXE. We mourn in black; Why mourn we not in
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? fhall 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 magick verfes have contriv'd his end?

WIN. He was a king blefs'd of the King of kings.
Unto the French the dreadful judgement 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 so profperous.

[pray'd,

: GLO. The church! where is it? Had not churchmen
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 protector;
And lookeft to command the prince, and realm.
Thy wife is proud; the holdeth thee in awe,
More than God, or religious churchmen, may.

;

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. Ceafe, ceafe thefejars, and reft your minds in peace! Let's to the altar-Heralds, wait on us :Inftead 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 mother's moist eyes
Our ifle be made a nourish of falt tears,
And none but women left to wail the dead.—
Henry the fifth! thy ghoft I invocate;
Prosper 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 MESSENGER.

babes fhall fuck;

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, Guyfors, Poitiers, are all quite loft.

BED. What fay'ft thou, man, before dead Henry's corfe? Speak foftly; or the lofs of those great towns

Will make him burft his lead, and rise from death.
GLO. Is Paris loft? is Roüen yielded up?

If Henry were recall'd to life again,

Thefe news would caufe him once more yield the ghoft. EXE. How were they loft? what treachery was us’d? MESS. No treachery; but want of men and money. Among the foldiers this is muttered,—

That here you maintain feveral factions;

And, whilst a field fhould be defpatch'd and fought,
You are difputing of your generals.

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

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.

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

BED. Me they concern; regent I am of France :-
Give me my steeled coat, I'll fight for France.-
Away with thefe difgraceful wailing robes!
Wounds I will lend the French, inftead of eyes,
To weep their intermiffive miferies.

Enter another MESSENGER.

2 MESS. Lords, view these letters, full of bad mifchance, 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.

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 flack, I'll fight it out.

BED. Glofter, why doubt'ft thou of my forwardness? An army have I mufter'd in my thoughts, Wherewith already France is over-run.

Enter a third MESSENGER.

3 MESS. My gracious lords,-to add to your laments, Wherewith you now bedew king Henry's hearse,I muft inform you of a difmal fight,

Betwixt the ftout lord Talbot and the French.

WIN. What! wherein Talbot overcame? is't fo?

3 MESS. O, no; wherein lord Talbot was o'erthrown; The circumftance I'll tell you more at large.

The tenth of August last, this dreadful lord,
Retiring from the fiege of Orleans,
Having full scarce fix thousand in his troop,
By three and twenty thousand of the French
Was round encompaffed and fet upon :
No leifure had he to enrank his men ;

He wanted pikes to fet before his archers;
Inftead whereof, sharp stakes, pluck'd out of hedges,
They pitched in the ground confusedly,
To keep the horfemen 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 stand him;
Here, there, and every where, enrag'd he flew :
The French exclaim'd, The devil was in arms;
All the whole army stood agaz'd on him :
His foldiers, fpying his undaunted spirit,
A Talbot! a Talbot! cried out amain,
And rush'd into the bowels of the battle.
Here had the conqueft fully been feal'd up,
If fir John Faftolfe had not play'd the coward;
He being in the vaward, (plac'd behind,
With purpose to relieve and follow them,)
Cowardly fled, not having struck one stroke.
Hence grew the general wreck and maffacre;
Enclosed were they with their enemies :

A base Walloon, to win the Dauphin's grace,

Thruft Talbot with a fpear into the back;

Whom all France, with their chief assembled ftrength, Durft not prefume to look once in the face.

BED. Is Talbot flain? then I will flay myself, For living idly here, in pomp and eafe,

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