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That did affright the air at Agincourt?
0, pardon! since a crooked figure may
Attest in little place a million;
And let us, ciphers to this great accompt,
On your imaginary forces work.
Suppose, within the girdle of these walls
Are now confin'd two mighty monarchies,
Whose high upreared and abutting fronts
The perilous, narrow ocean parts asunder.
Piece out our imperfections with your thoughts;
Into a thousand parts divide one man,
And make imaginary puissance :
Think, when we talk of horses, that you see them
Printing their proud hoofs i' the receiving earth;
For 't is 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.
DRAMATIS PERSONÆ. KING HENRY THE FIFTH. BOY, Servant to them. A Herald. DUKE OF GLOSTER, Brothers to CHORUS. DUKE OF BEDFORD, the King. CHARLES THE SIXTH, King of DUKE OF EXETER, Uncle to the France. King.
LEWIS, the Dauphin. DUKE OF YORK, Cousin to the DUKES' OF BURGUNDY, ORKing.
LEANS, and BOURBON. EARLS OF SALISBURY, WEST- The CONSTABLE of FRANCE. MORELAND, and WARWICK.
RAMBURES, and GRANDPRE, ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY.
BISHOP OF ELY.
EARL OF CAMBRIDGE,
MONTJOY, A French Herald.
Conspi- Governor of Harfleur.
rators. Ambassadors to England. SIR THOMAS GREY, SIR THOMAS ÉRPINGHAM, GOWER, FLUELLEN, MAC- ISABEL, Queen of France. MORRIS, JAMY, Officers in King KATHARINE, Daughter of Charles Henry's Army.
and Isabel. BATES, COURT, WILLIAMS, Sol- ALICE, a Lady attending on the diers.
PISTOL, NYM, BARDOLPH. MRS. QUICLLY, a Hostess.
Lords, Ladies, Officers, French and English Soldiers, Messengers,
The SCENE in England, and in France.
ACT I. SCENE I.
London. An Ante-chamber in the King's Palace.
Enter the Archbishop of CANTERBURY, and Bishop of Ely.
Cant. My lord, I'll tell you, that self bill is urg'd,
Which in th’ eleventh year of the last king's reign
Was like, and had indeed against us pass'd,
But that the scambling and unquiet time
Did push it out of farther question.
Ely. But how, my lord, shall we resist it now?
Cant. It must be thought on. If it pass against us,
We lose the better half of our possession;
For all the temporal laods, which men devout
By testament have given to the church,
Would they strip from us; being valued thus,
As much as would maintain, to the king's honour,
Full fifteen earls, and fifteen hundred knights,
Six thousand and two hundred gocd esquires;
And, to relief of lazars, and weak age,
Of indigent faint souls, past corporal toil,
A hundred alms-houses, right well supplied ;
And to the coffers of the king beside,
A thousand pounds by the year. Thus rups the bill.
Ely. This would drink deep.
'T would drink the cup and all.
Ely. But what prevention ?
Cant. The king is full of grace, and fair regard.
Ely. And a true lover of the holy church.
Cant. The courses of his youth promis'd it not.
The breath no sooner left his father's body,
But that his wildness, mortified in him,
Seem'd to die too: yea, at that very moment,
Consideration like an angel came,
And whipp'd th' offending Adam out of him,
Leaving his body as a paradise,
T'envelop and contain celestial spirits.
Never was such a sudden scholar made:
Never came reformation in a flood,
With such a heady current scouring faults;
Nor Dever Hydra-headed wilfulness
So soon did lose his seat, and all at once,
As in this king.
Ely. We are blessed in the change.
Cant. Hear him but reason in divinity,
And, all-admiring, with an inward wish-
You would desire the king were made a prelate:
Hear him debate of commonwealth affairs,
You would say, it hath been all-in-all his study:
List his discourse of war, and you shall bear
A fearful battle render'd you in music:
Turn him to any cause of policy,
The Gordian knot of it he will unloose,
Familiar as his garter; that, when he speaks,
The air, a charter'd libertine, is still,
And the mute wonder lurketh in men's ears,
To steal his sweet and honeyed sentences;
So that the art and practic part of life
Must be the mistress to this theoric:
Which is a wonder, how his grace should glean it,
Since his addiction was to courses vain;
His companies upletter'd, rude, and shallow;
His hours fill'd up with riots, banquets, sports;
And never noted in him any study,
Any retirement, and sequestration
From open haunts and populațity.
Ely. The strawberry grows underneath the nettle,
And wholesome berries thrive and ripen best ,
Neighbour'd by fruit of baser quality:
And so the prince obscur'd his contemplation
Under the veil of wildness; which, no doubt,
Grew like the summer grass, fastest by night,
Unseen, yet crescive in his faculty.
Cant. It must be so; for miracles are ceas'd,
And therefore we must needs admit the means,
How things are perfected.
But, my good lord,
How now for mitigation of this bill
Urg'd by the commons? Doth bis majesty
Incline to it, or no?
He seems indifferent ,
Or, rather, swaying more upon our part,