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KING HENRY VI.

PART 1.

ACT I.

SCENE I.

OF

WIN

Westminster Abbey. Dead march. Corpse of King

Henry the Fifth discovered, lying in state, attended
on by the DUKES OF BEDFORD, GLOSTER, and
EXETER, EARL OF WARWICK, BISHOP
CHESTER, Heralds, &c.
Bed. Hung be the heavens with black, yield day

to night!
Comets, importing change of times and states,
Brandish your crystal tresses in the sky;
And with them scourge the bad revolting stars,
That have consented unto Henry's death!
King Henry the fifth, too famous to live long!
England ne'er lost a king of so much worth.

Glos. 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

y? his deeds exceed all speech : He ne'er lift up his hand, but conquered. Ere. We mourn in black : why mourn we not in

blood ?
Henry is dead, and never shall revive :
Upon a wooden coffin we attend;
And Death's dishonorable 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 ? 1

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.
Glos. The church! where is it? Had not church.

men 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 overawe.

1 There was a notion long prevalent that life might be de. stroyed by metrical charms.

Win. Gloster, whate'er we like, thou art pro

tector, And lookest to command the prince and realm. Thy wife is proud; she holdeth thee in awe, More than God or religious churchmen may. Glos. Name not religion, for thou lovest the

flesh; And ne'er throughout the year to church thou goest, 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' moisten'd

eyes

babes shall suck; Our isle be made a nourish 1 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

Enter MESSENGER.

Mes. My honorable lords, health to you all ! Sad tidings bring I to you out of France,

1 Nurse.

:

Of loss, of slaughter, and discomfiture :
Guienne, Champaigne, Rheims, 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.

Glos. 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? Mes. 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 despatch'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 honors, 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 1 flowing tides.

a

1 i. e. England's.

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.

Enter another MESSENGER. 2 Mes. Lords, view these letters, full of bad mis

chance. 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.

Ere. The Dauphin crowned king! all fly to him ! 0, whither shall we fly from this reproach ?

Glos. 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 forward

ness?

An army have I muster'd in my thoughts,
Wherewith already France is overrun.

Enter a third MESSENGER.

3 Mes. My gracious lords,—to add to your

laments,

1 Their miseries, which have lately had a short inter. mission.

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