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THE FIRST PART OF
KING HENRY VI.
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!
And with them scourge the bad revolting stars
Glo. England ne'er had a king until his time.
His brandish'd sword did blind men with his beams
(1) Henry the Fifth,] So Pope.-The folio has "King Henry the Fift." -Compare a line in the next speech of the same speaker; "Henry the Fifth ! thy ghost I invocate."-Walker (Crit. Exam., &c., vol. iii. p. 141) "Possibly 'King Henry Fifth."" (Here Mr. Collier, in the second edition of his Shakespeare, writes as follows; "In the corr. fo. 1632 'King' is erased, probably for the sake of the measure; but as 'King' may have been considered necessary in order to denote more emphatically who was intended, we leave it in the text.")
More dazzled and drove back his enemies
Than mid-day sun fierce bent against their faces.
Exe. We mourn in black: why mourn we not in blood? Henry is dead, and never shall revive:
Upon a wooden coffin we attend ;
Win. He was a king bless'd of the King of kings.
Glo. The church! where is it? Had not churchmen pray'd,
Win. Gloster, whate'er we like, thou art protector,
Glo. Name not religion, for thou lov'st the flesh;
Bed. Cease, cease these jars, and rest your minds in peace!
Since arms avail not, now that Henry's dead.-
(2) moist] The folio has "moistned."-Corrected in the second folio.
Our isle be made a marish of salt tears,(3
And none but women left to wail the dead.-
Enter a Messenger.
Mess. My honourable lords, health to you all!
Bed. What say'st thou, man! before dead Henry's corse
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.
(3) Our isle be made a marish of salt tears,] So Pope, and (as Warburton remarks) very judiciously.-The folio has " a Nourish of salt Teares," a flagrant error (in support of which, however, an example of the substantive "nourish," i.e. nourice, nurse, has been adduced from Lydgate !).—Here Ritson appositely quotes Kyd's Spanish Tragedy;
"Made mountains marsh with spring-tides of my tears."
Compare too Smith's Hector of Germanie, 1615;
"Ere long Ile set them free, or make the soyle,
Sig. C 4
(4) Berenice.] Here the folio has a blank, which, as Malone observes, "undoubtedly arose from the transcriber's or compositor's not being able to make out the name.' "" -"Berenice" is Johnson's proposed addition; of which Walker (Crit. Exam., &c., vol. iii. p. 147) unhesitatingly approves. Mr. Collier's Ms. Corrector supplies "Cassiopé."
*(5) Guienne, Champagne, Rheims, Rouen, Orleans,] So Capell, with an eye to Gloster's next speech.-Here the folio omits "Rouen."
And, whilst a field should be dispatch'd and fought,
One would have lingering wars, with little cost;
Let not sloth dim your honours new-begot:
Exe. Were our tears wanting to this funeral,
Bed. Me they concern; regent I am of France.-
Enter a second Messenger.
Sec. Mess. Lords, view these letters, full of bad mischance.
France is revolted from the English quite,
The Dauphin Charles is crownèd king in Rheims;
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?
() And a third thinks,] of the second folio gives is far from satisfactory.
(7) their flowing tides.] The folio has "her flowing Tides,”—“ i.e.,” says Pope, absurdly enough, "England's flowing tides.'
The folio has "A third thinkes."-The editor
(8) Reignier, duke of Anjou, doth take his part;] The folio has "Reynold, Duke," &c.-Here "doth take" was altered to "takes" by Hanmer
An army have I muster'd in my thoughts,
Enter a third Messenger.
Third 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?
Third Mess. O, no; wherein Lord Talbot was o'erthrown:
The circumstance I'll tell you more at large.
The tenth of August last, this dreadful lord,
Having full scarce six thousand in his troop,
He wanted pikes to set before his archers;
(9) Here, there, and every where, enrag'd he flew:] The folio has ". enrag'd, he slew."-Malone "suspects" (as he well might) "that the author wrote 'flew:""-if he had taken the trouble to examine Rowe's sec. edition, or Pope's edition, or Theobald's, &c., he would have found that correction.
(10) Fastolfe] The folio throughout the play corrupts this name to "Falstaffe."