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MALONE supposes this portion of Henry VI. to have been written in 1589; but doubts, with Theobald, whether the three plays comprised under the title of Henry VI. were actually composed by Shakspeare. Dr. Johnson however maintains, that they exhibit “no marks of spuriousness," and that they " are declared to be genuine by the voice of Shakspeare himself. The transactions of the piece are scattered through a period of thirty years, and introduced with little regard to historical accuracy. Lord Talbot who is killed at the end of the fourth act, did not in reality fall until July 13, 1453; and the second part of Henry VI. opens with the king's marriage, which was solemnized in the year 1445, or eight years before Talbot's death. In the same part, Dame Eleanor Cobham is introduced to insult Queen Margaret; though her penance and banishment for sorcery happened three years before that princess arrived in England. ------These deviations from the page of history are of little consequence to the mere lover of dramatic literature, as they neither weaken the gratification, nor diminish the effect of the scenic narrative. Poetry appeals to the passions, and imagination, like a true magician, lends her most powerful spells to excite or subdue them. But there are many to whom the great events of history are known only through the fascinating medium of a play or a romance; and it is frequently difficult, if not disagreeable to efface, in after life, the distorted impressions which they leave upon the memory. When viewed in the sober simplicity of historic truth, a favourite hero often loses much of his glitter, and a detested villain some portion of his turpitude. It is therefore of no little consequence to examine the materials of a dramatic fabric, to separate truth from fiction, and to shew "the age and body of the time, his form and pressure:" because, in lauding the productions of Shakspeare (particularly those historical pieces upon which he exercised such masterly talents,) it has been the fashion to represent them not only as morally entertaining, but also as politically instructive; an attribute with which, examination shows, it is dangerous to invest them.



DUKE OF GLOSTER, Uncle to the King, and

DUKE OF BEDFORD, Uncle to the King, and
Regent of France.

THOMAS BEAUFORT, Duke of Exeter, great
Uncle to the King.
HENRY BEAUFORT, great Uncle to the King,
Bishop of Winchester; and after-
wards Cardinal.

JOHN BEAUFORT, Earl of Somerset; after-
wards Duke.

RICHARD PLANTAGENET, eldest son of Richard,
late Earl of Cambridge; afterwards
Duke of York.


LORD TALBOT, afterwards Earl of Shrews-



VERNON, of the White Rose, or York Faction.

BASSET, of the Red Rose, or Lancaster Fac-

CHARLES, Dauphin, and afterwards King of

REIGNIER, Duke of Anjou, and titular King
of Naples.



OLD SHEPHERD, Father to Joan la

MARGARET, Daughter to Reignier; after-
wards married to King Henry.

JOAN LA PUCELLE, commonly called Joan of

SIR WILLIAM GLANSDALE.-SIR THOMAS GAR-Fiends appearing to La Pucelle, Lords,



WOODVILLE, Lieutenant of the Tower.

Warders of the Tower, Heralds, Officers, Soldiers, Messengers, and several Attendants both on the English and French.

SCENE, partly in England, and partly in France.


SCENE I-Westminster Abbey. Dead merch. Corpse of King HENRY the Fifth discovered, lying in state; 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 tresses in the sky;
And with them scourge the bad revolting stars,
That have consented unto Henry's death!
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

Virtue he had, deserving to command:
His brandish'd sword did blind men with his

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 beut against their

What should I say? his deeds exceed all speech:
He ne'er lift up his hand, but conquered.

Exe. 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 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 contriv'd his end?
Win. He was a king bless'd of the King of

Unto the French the dreadful judgment day
So dreadful will not be, as was his fight.
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 pray'd,

His thread of life had not so soon decay'd :
None do you like but an effeminate prince,
Whom like a school-boy 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 lov'st the flesh;

And ne'er throughout the year 1 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, [suck;
When at their mothers' moist eyes babes shall
Our isle be made a nourish 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——


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 hal 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 these disgraceful wailing robes ! Wounds I will lend the French, instead of eyes, To weep their intermissive miseries. +

Enter another 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 y to him?

O whither shall we fly from this reproach!
Glo. We will not fly, but to our enemies'


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Bedford, if thou be slack, I'll fight it out.
Bed. Gloster, why doubt'st thou of my for-

An army have I muster'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



I must inform you of a dismal fight,
Betwixt the stout lord Talbot and the French.
Win. What! wherein Talbot overcame ? is't


3 Mess. O no; wherein lord Talbot was o'er thrown:

The circumstance I'll tell you more at large
The tenth of August last, this dreadful lord,
Retiring from the siege of Orleans,
Having full scarce six thousand in his troop,
By three and twenty thousand of the French
Was round encompassed and set upon :
No leisure had he to enrank his men ;

Mess. My honourable lords, health to you He wanted pikes to set before his archers;


Sad tidings bring I to you out of France,
Of loss, of slaughter, and discomfiture:
Guienne, Champaigue, 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.

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 us'd?

Mess. No treachery; but want of men


Among the soldiers this is muttered,That here you maintain several factions;


Instead whereof, sharp stakes, pluck'd out of


They pitched in the ground confusedly,
To keep the horsemen off from breaking in.
More than three hours the fight continued;
Where valiant Talbot, above human thought,
Enacted wonders with his sword and lance.
Hundreds he sent to hell, and none durst stand


Here, there, and every where, enrag'd he slew:
The French exclaim'd, The devil was in arms;
All the whole army stood agaz'd on him:
His soldiers, spying his undaunted spirit,
A Talbot! a Talbot! cried out amain,
And rush'd into the bowels of the battle.
Here had the conquest fully been seal'd up,
If Sir John Fastolfe 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:

And whilst a field should be despatch'd and Hence grew the general wreck and massacre ;


Enclosed were they with their enemies : A base Walloon, to win the Dauphin's grace, One would have ling'ring wars, with little cost; Thrust Talbot with a spear into the back;

You are disputing of your generals.

• There was a notion long prevalent, that life might

be taken away by metrical charms.

f Nurse was anciently so spelt.

Her, i e. England's.

I. e. Their miseries which have had only a thert intermission.

Whom all France, with their chief assembled | Alarums; Excursions; afterwards a Retreat. Re-enter CHARLES, ALENÇON, REIGNIER, and


Durst not presume to look once in the face.

Bed. Is Talbot slain? then I will slay myself, For living idly here, in pomp and ease, Whilst such a worthy leader, wanting aid, Unto his dastard foe-man is betray'd.

3 Mess. O no, he lives; but is took prisoner, And lord Scales with him, and lord Hungerford:

Most of the rest slaughter'd, or took, likewise. Bed. His ransom there is none but I shall pay:

I'll hale the Dauphin headlong from his throne, His crown shall be the ransom of my friend; Four of their lords I'll change for one of


Farewell, my masters; to my task will I;
Bonfires in France forthwith I am to make,
To keep our great Saint George's feast withal:
Ten thousand soldiers with me I will take,
Whose bloody deeds shall make all Europe

3 Mess. So you had need; for Orleans is besieg'd;

The English army is grown weak and faint:
The earl of Salisbury craveth supply,
And hardly keeps his men from mutiny,
Since they, so few, watch such a multitude.
Ere. Remember, lords, your oaths to Henry

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Faintly besiege us one hour in a month.

Alen. They want their porridge, and their fat bull-beeves:

Either they must be dieted like mules,
And have their provender tyed to their mouths,
Or piteous they will look, like drowned mice.
Reig. Let's raise the siege; Why live we idly

here ? Talbot is taken, whom we wont to fear : Remaineth none but mad-brain'd Salisbury; And he may well in fretting spend his gall, Nor men, nor money, hath he to make war. Char. Sound, sound alarum; we will rush on them.

Now for the honour of the forlorn French :-
Him I forgive my death, that killeth me,
When he sees me go back one foot, or fly.



Char. Who ever saw the like? what men have 1?

Dogs! cowards! dastards;-I would ne'er have fled,

But that they left me midst my enemies.

Reig. Salisbury is a desperate homicide;
He fighteth as one weary of his life.
The other lords, like lions wanting food,
Do rush upon us as their hungry prey.

Alen. Froissard, a countryman of our's, records,

England all Olivers and Rowlands + bred,
During the time Edward the third did reign.
More truly now may this be verified;
For none but Samsons and Goliasses,
It sendeth forth to skirmish. One to ten!
Lean raw-bon'd rascals! who would e'er sup-

They had such courage and audacity?

Char. Let's leave this town; for they are hairbrain'd slaves,

And hunger will enforce them to be more ea


Of old I know them; rather with their teeth The walls they'll tear down, than forsake the siege.

Reig. I think, by some odd gimmals or device,

Their arms are set, like clocks, still to strike on;
Else ne'er could they hold out so, as they do.
By my consent, we'll e'en let thein alone.
Alen. Be it so.

Enter the BASTARD of Orleans. Bast. Where's the prince Dauphin, I have news for him.

Char. Bastard § of Orleans, thrice welcome to

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Hath the late overthrow wrought this offence?
Be not dismay'd, for succour is at hand :
A holy maid hither with me I bring,
Which, by a vision sent to her from heaven,
Ordained is to raise this tedions siege,

And drive the English forth the bounds of

The spirit of deep prophecy she bath,
Exceeding the nine sibyls of old Rome;
What's past, and what's to come, she

descry. Speak, shall I call her in? Believe my words, For they are certain and infallible.


Char. Go, call her in: [Exit BASTARD.] But,

first, to try her skill,

Reignier, stand thou as Dauphin in my place : Question her proudly, let thy looks be stern :By this means shall we sound what skill she hath. [Retires.

Eater LA PUCELLE, BASTARD of Orleans, and others.

Reig. Fair maid, is't thou wilt do these won

d'rous feats ?

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Stand back, you lords, and give us leave awhile.

Reig. She takes upon her bravely at first


Puc. Dauphin, I am by birth a shepherd's daughter,

My wit untrain'd in any kind of art.
Heaven, and our lady gracious, hath it pleas'd
To shine on my contemptible estate :
Lo, whilst I waited on my tender lambs,
And to sun's parching heat display'd my cheeks,
God's mother deigned to appear to me;
And, in a vision full of majesty,
Will'd me to leave my base vocation,
And free my country from calamity:
Her aid she promis'd, and assur'd success:
In complete glory she reveal'd herself;
And, whereas I was black and swart before,
With those clear rays which she infus'd on me,
That beauty am I bless'd with, which you see.
Ask me what question thou canst possible,
And I will answer unpremeditated:
My courage try by combat, if thou dar'st,
And thou shalt find that I exceed my sex.
Resolve on this: Thou shalt be fortunate,
If thou receive me for thy warlike mate.
Char. Thou hast astonish'd me with thy high

Only this proof I'll of thy valour make,-
In single combat thou shalt buckle with me;
And, if thou vanquishest, thy words are true;
Otherwise, I renounce all confidence.

Puc. I am prepar'd: here is my keen-edg'd

Deck'd with five four-de-luces on each side; The which at Touraine, in Saint Katharine's


Out of a deal of old iron I chose forth.

Char. Then come o'God's name, I fear no



Puc. And, while I live, I'll ne'er fly from a [They fight. Char. Stay, stay thy hands thou art an Amazon,

And fightest with the sword of Deborah. Puc. Christ's mother helps me, else I were too weak.

Char. Whoe'er helps thee, 'tis thou that must help me :

Impatiently I burn with thy desire;

My heart and hands thou hast at once subdu'd.
Excellent Pucelle, if thy name be so,
Let me thy servant, and not sovereign be;
'Tis the French Dauphin sueth to thee thus.

Puc. I must not yield to any rites of love,
For my profession's sacred from above:
When I have chased all thy foes from hence,
Then will I think upon a recompense.

Which never ceaseth to enlarge itself,
Till by broad spreading, it disperse to nought.
With Henry's death, the English circle ends;
Dispersed are the glories it included.
Now am I like that proud insulting ship,
Which Cæsar and his fortune bare at once.

Char. Was Mahomet inspired with a dove ? *
Thou with an eagle art inspired then.
Helen, the mother of great Constantine,
Nor yet Saint Philip's daughters, + were like thee.
Bright star of Venus, fall'n down on the earth,
How may I reverently worship thee enongh ?
Alen. Leave off delays, and let us raise the

Reig. Woman, do what thou can'st to save our honours;

Drive them from Orleans, and be immortaliz'd. Char. Presently we'll try :-Come let's away

about it:

No prophet will I trust, if she prove false.


SCENE III.-London.-Hill before the Tower.

Enter, at the Gates, the Duke of GLOSTER, with his Serving-men, in blue coats. Glo. I am come to survey the Tower this day; Since Henry's death, I fear, there is conveyance. -Where be these warders, that they wait not here ? Open the gates: Gloster it is that calls. [SERVANTS knock. 1 Ward. [Within.] Who is there that knocks so imperiously?

1 Serv. It is the noble Duke of Gloster. 2 Ward. [Within.] Whoe'er he be you may not be let in.

1 Serv. Answer you so the lord protector, villains?

1 Ward. [Within.] The Lord protect him! so we answer him:

We do no otherwise than we are will'd.
Glo. Who will'd you? or whose will stands

but mine?

There's none protector of the realm, but I.—
Break up the gates, I'll be your warrantize :
Shall I be flouted thus by dungbill grooms?

SERVANTS rush at the Tower Gates. Enter, to the Gates, WOODVILLE, the Lieutenant. Wood. [Within.] What noise is this? what traitors have we here?

Glo. Lieutenant, is it you, whose voice I hear?

Open the gates: here's Gloster that would enter. Wood. [Within.] Have patience noble duke. I may not open;

The cardinal of Winchester forbids:

Char. Meantime, look gracious on thy pros-From him I have express commandment,

trate thrall.

Reig. My lord, methinks, is very long in talk.
Alen. Doubtless he shrives this woman to her
smock :

Else ne'er could he so long protract his speech.
Reig. Shall we disturb him, since he keeps no


Alen. He may mean more than we poor men do know:

These women are shrewd tempters with their tongues.

Reig. My lord, where are you? what devise you on?

Shall we give over Orleans or no?

Puc. Why, no, I say, distrustful recreants! Fight till the last gasp; I will be your guard. Char. What she says, I'll confirm; we'll fight

it out.

Puc. Assign'd am I to be the English scourge.
This night the siege assuredly I'll raise:
Expect Saint Martin's summer, + halcyon days,
Since I have entered into these wars.
Glory is like a circle in the water,

Be firmly persuaded of it.

+ Expect prosperity after misfortune.

That thou, nor none of thine, shall be let in. Glo. Faint-hearted Woodville, prizest him

'fore me?

Arrogant Winchester? that haughty prelate, Whom Harry, our late sovereign, ne'er could brook?

Thou art no friend to God or to the king: Open the gates, or I'll shut thee out shortly. 1 Serv. Open the gates unto the lord protector; [quickly.

Or we'll burst them open, if that you come not Enter WINCHESTER, Attended by a Train of Servants in tawny Coats.

Win. How now, ambitious Humphry? what means this?

Glo. Piel'd priest, dost thou command me to be shut out?

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