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“ Breaks from his bonds, and in the face of day

“ Full in the sun's bright beams he soars away." What further remarks I may offer on this subject, will appear in the form of notes to Mr. Malone's Essay, from which i do not wantonly differ,—though hardily, I confess, as far as my sentiments may seem to militate against those of Dr. Farmer.

STEEVENS.

King HENRY the Sixth.
Duke of Gloster, Uncle to the King, and Protector.
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 Win-

CHESTER, and afterwards Cardinal. John Beaufort, EARL OF SOMERSET ; afterwards, Duke. RICHARD PLANTAGENET, eldest Son of Richard late Earl

of CAMBRIDGE; afterwards DUKE OF YORK. EARL OF WARWICK. EARL OF SALISBURY. EARL OF SUFFOLK. Lord Talbot, afterwards EARL OF SHREWSBURY: John Talbot, his Son. Edmund MORTIMER, Earl of March. Mortimer's Keeper, and a Lawyer. Sir John FASTOLFE, SIR WILLIAM Lucy. Sir William GLANSDALE. Sir THOMAS GARGRAVE. Mayor of London. Woodville, Lieutenant of the Tower. Vernon, of the White Rose, or York Faction. Basset, of the Red Rose, or Lancaster Faction. CHARLES, Dauphin, and afterwards King of France. Reignier, DUKE of Anjou, and titular King of Naples. Duke of BURGUNDY. Duke OF ALENÇON. Governor of Paris. BASTARD OF ORLEANS. Master Gunner of Orleans, and his Son. General of the French Forces in Bourdeaux. A French Sergeant. A Porter. An old Shepherd, Father to Joan La Pucelle. MARGARET, Daughter to ReIGNIER; afterwards married to

King Henry. COUNTESS OF AUVERGNE. Joan La Pucelle, commonly called Joan of Arc. Fiends appearing to LA PUCELLE, Lords, 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.

FIRST PART OF

KING HENRY VI.

ACT I. SCENE I.

Westminster Abbey.

Dead march. 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;

I

1- earl of WARWICK ;] The Earl of Warwick who makes his appearance in the first scene of this play is Richard Beauchamp, who is a character in King Henry V. The Earl who appears in the subsequent part of it, is Richard Nevil, son to the Earl of Salisbury, who became possessed of the title in right of his wife, Anne, sister of Henry Beauchamp, Duke of Warwick, on the death of Anne his only child in 1449. Richard, the father of this Henry, was appointed governor to the king, on the demise of Thomas Beaufort, Duke of Exeter, and died in 1439. There is no reason to think that the author meant to confound the two characters. Ritson.

2 Hung be the heavens with black,] Alluding to our ancient stage-practice when a tragedy was to be expected. So, in Sidney's Arcadia, book ii. : “ There arose, even with the sunne, a vaile of darke cloudes before his face, which shortly had blacked over all the face of heaven, preparing (as it were) a mournfull stage for a tragedie to be played on." See also Mr. Malone's Historical Account of the English Stage. Steevens.

3 Brandish your CRYSTAL tresses-] Crystal is an epithet re

And with them scourge the bad revolting stars,
That have consented * unto Henry's death!

peatedly bestowed on comets by our ancient writers. So, in a Sonnet, by Lord Sterline, 1604 :

“When as those chrystal comets whiles appear." Spenser, in his Fairy Queen, book i. c. x. applies it to a lady's face:

Like sunny beams threw from her chrystal face." Again, in an ancient song entitled The falling out of Lovers is the renewing of Love :

You chrystal planets shine all clear

“ And light a lover's way.” “There is also a white comet with silver haires," says Pliny, as translated by P. Holland, 1601. Steevens.

4 That have conSENTED --] If this expression means no more than that the stars gave a bare consent, or agreed to let King Henry die, it does no great honour to its author. I believe to consent, in this instance, means to act in concert. Concentus, Lat. Thus Erato the muse, applauding the song of Apollo, in Lyly's Midas, 1592, cries out : “ O sweet consent!i. e. sweet union of sounds. Again, in Spenser's Fairy Queen, b. iv. c. ii.:

“ Such musick his wise words with time consented." Again, in his translation of Virgil's Culex :

“ Chaunted their sundry notes with sweet concent." Again, in Chapman's version of the 24th book of Homer's Odyssey :

all the sacred nine
“Of deathless muses, paid thee dues divine :
“ By varied turns their heavenly voices venting;

“ All in deep passion for thy death consenting.Consented, or as it should be spelt, concented, means, have thrown themselves into a malignant configuration, to promote the death of Henry. Spenser, in more than one instance, spells this word as it appears in the text of Shakspeare, as does Ben Jonson, in his Epithalamion on Mr. Weston. The following lines,

shall we curse the planets of mishap, “That plotted thus," &c. seem to countevance my. explanation; and Falstaff says of Shallow's servants, that “ they flock together in consent, like so many wild geese." See also Tully de Natura Deorum, lib. ii. ch. xlvi.: “Nolo in stellarum ratione multus vobis videri, maximéque earum quæ errare dicuntur. Quarum tantus est concentus ex dissimilibus motibus," &c.

Milton uses the word, and with the same meaning, in his Penseroso :

King 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, 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 :

“Whose power hath a true consent

“ With planet, or with element." Steevens. Steevens is right in his explanation of the word consented. So, in The Knight of the Burning Pestle, the Merchant says to Merrythought :

too late, I well perceive, Thou art consenting to my daughter's loss.” and in The Chances, Antonio, speaking of the wench who robbed him, says:

“ And also the fiddler who was consenting with her.” meaning the fiddler that was her accomplice.

The word appears to be used in the same sense in the fifth scene of this Act, where Talbot says to his troops :

“ You all consented unto Salisbury's death,
“ For none would strike a stroke in his revenge."

M. Mason. Consent, in all the books of the age of Elizabeth, and long afterwards, is the usual spelling of the word concent.

See vol. xi. p. 92, n. 3. In other places I have adopted the modern and more proper spelling; but, in the present instance, I apprehend, the word was used in its ordinary sense. In the second Act, Talbot, reproaching the soldiery, uses the same expression, certainly without any idea of a malignant configuration :

“ You all consented unto Salisbury's death." MALONE. 3 Henry the fifth,] Old copy, redundantly,—“ King Henry," &c. STEEVENS.

too famous to live long !] So, in King Richard III. :
“ So wise so young, they say, do ne'er live long."

STEEVENS. 7 His arms SPREAD wider than a DRAGON'S WINGS;] So, in Troilus and Cressida : “ The dragon wing of night o’erspreads the earth."

STEEVENS.

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