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Dead march.


SCENE I. Westminster Abbey.

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! 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 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,

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(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) says, "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.
What should I say? his deeds exceed all speech:
He ne'er lift up his hand, but conquerèd.

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 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.

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 schoolboy, 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 to 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,

When at their mothers' moist (2) eyes babes shall suck;

(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.-
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 Berenice.(4)

Enter a Messenger.

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

Of loss, of slaughter, and discomfiture:

Guienne, Champagne, Rheims, Rouen, Orleans,(5)

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 and money.
Amongst the soldiers this is muttered,

That here you maintain several factions;

(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,
That holds them prisoners, a Marsh-ground for blood."

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,
You are disputing of your generals :

One would have lingering wars, with little cost;
Another would fly swift, but wanteth wings;
And a third thinks,(6) 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 half is cut away.

Exe. Were our tears wanting to this funeral,
These tidings would call forth their flowing tides."

Bed. Me they concern; regent I am of France.-
Give me my steelèd coat! I'll fight for France.
Away with these disgraceful wailing robes!
Wounds will I lend the French, instead of eyes,
To weep their intermissive miseries.

Enter a second Messenger.

Sec. Mess. Lords, view these letters, full of bad mischance.

France is revolted from the English quite,

Except some petty towns of no impórt:

The Dauphin Charles is crownèd king in Rheims;

The Bastard of Orleans with him is join'd;

Reignier, duke of Anjou, doth take his part;(8)
The Duke of Alençon flieth to his side.

Exe. The Dauphin crownèd 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?

(6) And a third thinks,] The folio has "A third thinkes."-The editor of the second folio gives " A third man thinks,"-which, to me at least, is far from satisfactory.

(7) their flowing tides.] The folio has "her flowing Tides,"—" i.e.," says Pope, absurdly enough, "England's flowing tides."

(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,
Wherewith already France is overrun.

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,
Retiring from the siege of Orleans,

Having full scarce six thousand in his troop,
By three-and-twenty thousand of the French
Was round encompassèd and set upon.
No leisure had he to enrank his men;

He wanted pikes to set before his archers;

Instead whereof, sharp stakes, pluck'd out of hedges,
They pitched in the ground confusedly,

To keep the horsemen off from breaking in.
More than three hours the fight continuèd;
Where valiant Talbot, above human thought,
Enacted wonders with his sword and lance:
Hundreds he sent to hell, and none durst stand him;
Here, there, and every where, enrag'd he flew:(9)
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 (10) had not play'd the coward :

(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."

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