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Henry the Fifth, too famous to live long!
England ne'er lost a King of so much worth.

Glou. England ne'er had a King until his time:
Virtue he had, deserving to command.
His brandish'd sword did blind men with its beams;
His arms spread wider than a Dragon's wings:
His sparkling eyes, repleat with awful 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 :
He never lifted up his hand, but conquer'd.

Exe. We mourn in black; why mourn we not in Henry is dead, and never shall revive:

[blood? Upon a wooden coffin we attend : And death's dishonourable victory We with our stately presence glorifie, Like captives bound to a triumphant car. What? 'fhall we curse the planets of mishap, That plotted thus our glory's overthrow? Or shall we think the subtle-witted French Conjʻrers and forc'rers, that, afraid of him, By magick verse have thus contriv'd his end?

Win. He was a king, blest of the King of Kings. Unto the French, the dreadful judgment-day


has not been very precise to the Date and Disposition of his Facts; but shufflled them, backwards and forwards, out of Time. For Instance ; The Lord Talbot is killd at the End of the 4th Act of this Play, who in reality did not fall till the 13th of July 1453: and the ad Part of Henry VI.

opens with the Marriage of the King, which was folemniz'd 8 Years before Talbot's Death, in the Year 1445. Again, in the zd Part, Dame Eleanor Cobham is introduc'd to insult Q. Margaret ; though her Penance and Banishment for Sorcery happen'd three Years before that Princess came over to England. I could point out many other Tranfgressions against History, as far as the Order of Time is concern'd. Indeed, tho there are several Master-Strokes in these three Plays, which inconteftibly betray the Workmanship of Shakespeare; yet I am almost doubtful, whether they were entirely of his Writing. And unless they were wrote by him very early, I hou'd rather imagine them to have been brought to him as a Director of the Stage; and so to have receiv'd some finishing Beauties at his hand, An accurate Observer will easily see, the Diction of them is more obfolete, and the Numbers more mean and profaical, than in the Generality of his genuine Compositions..


So dreadful will not be as was his sight.
The battels of the Lord of hosts he fought ;
The church's pray’rs made him so prosperous.
Glou. The church? where is it? had not church-men

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 lookeft to command the Prince and realm ;
Thy wife is proud; she holdeth thee in awe,
More than God, or religious church-men, may.

Glou. 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
Let's to the altar : heralds, wait on us; [peace :
Instead of gold we'll offer up our arms,
Since arms avail not now that Henry's dead !
Pofterity await for wretched years,
When at their mothers moist eyes babes shall suck;
Our isle be made a nourice of salt tears, (2)
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, (3)
Than Julius Cæfar, or bright-


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(2) Our ise be made a Marish of salt Tears,] Thus it is in both the Impressions by Mr. Pope : upon what Authority, I cannot fay. All the old Copies read, a Nourih: and confidering it is said in the Line immediately preceding, that Babes shall fuck at their Mothers moist Eyes, it seems very probable that our Author wrote, a Nourice: i. e. that the whole Ille Thould be one common Nurse, or Nouriser, of Tears : and those be the Nourishment of its miserable Issue. The Word, 'tis true, is purely French; but it had been adopted, long before our Author's Time, into our Tongue, and frequently used by Chaucer.

(3) A far more glorious Star thy foul will make Than Julius Cæsar, or bright

-) Whether this was a design'd Break of the Author's, occasion'd by the sudden and abrupt Entrance of the Messenger ; or whether the latter End of the Verse was


Enter a Messenger. Mel. My honourable lords, health to you all ; Sad tidings bring I to you out of France, loft, by its not being legible to the first Editors, is not very easy now to determine. Mr. Pope thinks (for Rhyme-fake, I suppose ;) that the Poet might possibly have fill'd up the Hemistich thus ;

or bright Sir Francis Drake. But there are more Objections than one to be made to this Conjecture. In the first place, Sir Francis Drake did not die till the Year 1595 ; before which time, I believe, this Play had made its Appearance. Befides, the Poet, as he mentioned the Star of Julius Cæfar, must be fupposed, to talk Sense in the Close of the Verse, to instance in some other deified Hero, and who had the Rule likewise of a Star. Mr. Pope has attempted to be smart upon' me for restoring a genuine Anachronism to our Poet; and yet is here for foifting a fictitious one upon him, which, I dare say, the Poet never on conceiv'd in his Imagination. In all Anachronisms, as in other Licences of Poetry, this Rule ought certainly to be observ'd ; that the Poet is to have Regard to Verisimilitude. But there is no Verifimilitude, when the Anachronism glares in the face of the common People. For this Falfhood is, like all other Falfhoods in Poetry, to be only tolerated, where the Fallhood is hid under, Verisimilitude. No sober Critick ever blamed Virgil, for instance, for making Dido and Æneas contemporary. (Such a Prolepsis may be justified by the Examples of the greatest Poets of Antiquity.) But had he made Æneds mention Hamilcar, what Man in his Senses would have thought of an Excuse for him? For the Name of Hamilcar, tho a Foreigner, was too recent in the Acquaintance of the People ; as he had for five Years together infested the Coast of Italy; and after that, begun the second Púnic War upon them. The Case of our Author differs in his mentioning Machiavel in some of his Plays, the Action of which was earlier than that Statesman's Birth. For Machiavel was a Foreigner, whose Age, we may - suppose, the common Audience not fo well acquainted with ; as being long before their time, and, indeed, very near the Time of the Action of those Plays. Besides, He having fo establish'd a Reputation,

in the time of our Author, amongst the Politicians ; might well be fuppos’d by those, who were not Chronologers, to be of much longer Standing than he was. This, therefore, was within the Rules of Licence; and if there was not Chronological Truth, there was at least

Chronological Likelihood : without which a Poet goes out of his Jurif'diction, and comes under the Penalty of the Criticks Laws. I have only' one further Remark to make upon the Topick in hand, and 'tis this : That where the Authority of all the Books makes the Poet commit a Blunder, (whose general Character it is, not to be very exact ;) 'tis the Duty of an Editor to thew him as he is ; and to detect all fraudulent tampering to make him better. But to fill up a Chasm by Conjecture, with an Anachronism that stares Sense out of Countenance ; this, with Submission to Mr. Pope, Nec homines, nec Dii, nec conceffere Columna.

Of lofs, of Naughter, and discomfigure ;
Guienne, Champaign, and Rheims, and Orleans,
Paris, Guyfors, Poistiers, are all quite loft.
Bed. What fay'st thou, man, before dead Henry's

Speak softly, or the loss of those

great towns
Will make him burst his lead, and rise from death.

Glou. Is Paris loft, and Roan yielded up?
If Henry were recall'd to life again,
These news would cause him once more yield the ghoft.

Exe. How were they loft? what 'treachery was us’d?

Mel. No treachery, but want of men and mony.
Amongst the soldiers this is muttered;
That here you maintain sev'ral factions ;
And whilft a field should be dispatch'd and fought,
You are disputing of your Generals.
One would have fingring wars with little coft ;
Another would fly swift, but wanteth wings :
A third man thinks, without expence at all,
By guileful fair words, peace may be obtain'd.
Awake, awake, Englis nobility!
Let not Noth dim your honours, new-begot ;
Crop'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 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 to them another Messenger.
2 Mes. 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 Orleans with him is join'd :
Reignier, Duke of Anjou, doth take his part,
The Duke of Alanson flies to his side.

[Exit. Vol. IV.


fon. Exe.

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Exe. The Dauphin crowned King? all fly to him? o, whither shall we fly from this reproach?

Glou. We will not fly but to our enemies throats.
Bedford, if thou be nack, I'll fight it out.
Bed. Gloʻster, why doubt'st thou of


forwardness? An army have I muster'd in my thoughts, Wherewith already France is over-run.

Enter a Third Messenger. 3 Mel. 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?

3 Mel. O, no; wherein lord Talbot was o'erthrown. The circumstance I'll tell you more at large. The tenth of August laft, this dreadful lord Retiring from the siege of Orleans, Having scarce full fix 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 ; He wanted pikes to set before his archers ; Instead whereof, sharp stakes, pluckt out of hedges, 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 durft stand him ; Here, there, and every where, enrag'd he flew. 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 ! Talbot ! cried out amain, And rush'd into the bowels of the battel. Here had the Conqueft fully been seald up, If Sir John Fastolfe had not play'd the coward ; (4)

He (4). If Sir John Falstaffe) Mr. Pope has taken Notice, in a Note upon the third Act of this Play, " That Falfaffe is here introduc'd again,

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