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Earl of Cambridge,
Conspirators against the King.
Sir Thomas Grey, S
Sir Thomas Erpingham,
Officers in King Henry's Army.
Bardolph, Formerly Servants to Falstaff, now Soldiers in
Pistol, the King's Army.
Corles, King of France.
Rambures, >French Lords.
Governour of Harfleur.
Ambasadors to the King of England.
Isabel, Queen of France.
Catharine, Daughter to the King of France.
Alice, a Lady attending on the Princess Catharine.
Quickly, Pistol's Wife, an Hostess.
Lords, Messengers, French and English Soldiers,
with other Attendants.
The Scene, at the beginning of the Play, lies in
England ; but afterwards, wholly in France.
For a Muse of fire, that would ascend (1)
The brightest heaven of invention !
A kingdom for a stage, Princes to aft,
And Monai chs to behold the swelling scene !
Tben Mould the warlike Harry, like himself,
Asume the port of Mars ; and, at his heels,
(Leasht in, like hounds) Jould famine, sword and fire
Crouch for employment. Pardon, gentles all,
The flat unraised Spirit, that hath dar'd,
On this unworthy scaffold, to bring forth
So great an obječt. Can this Cock-pit bold
The vasty field of France ? or may we cram,
Within this wooden 0, the very caskes
That did affright the air, at Agincourt ?
0, pardon; since a crooked figure may
Attest in little place a million;
And let us, cyphers to this great accompt,
On your imaginary forces work.
Suppose, within the girdle of these walls
Are now confind two mighty monarchies;
Whofe bigh-up-reared, and abutting, fronts
The perillous narrow ocean parts afunder.
Piece out our imperfeétions with your thoughts:
Into a thousand parts divide one man,
And make imaginary puisance :
Think, when we talk of borses, that you see them
Printing their proud hoofs i'th' receiving earth.
For 'tis your thoughts that now must deck our Kings,
Carry them here, and there ; jumping o'er times;
Turning th' accomplishment of many years
Into an hour-glass: for the which supply,
Admit me Chorus to this history;
Who, prologue-like, your humble patience pray,
Gently to hear, kindly to judge, our Play.
(1) O for a Muse of Fire,] MILTON, who was a zealous Admirer, and studious Imitator of our Author, seems to have had the fine opening of this Prologue in his Eye, when he began the 4th Book of his Paradise Loft.
O for that warning Voice, which he, who saw
Th' Apocalyps, beard cry in Heav'n aloud,
Then, when the Dragon, put to second Rout,
Came furious down to be revengd on Men,
Woe to th' Inhabitants on Earth ! :