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KING HENRY VZ.
LITERARY AND HISTORICAL NOTICE. Malone luppoiet tins portion of Henry VI. to hare been written in 1589; but doubts, with Theobald* whether th« three play* comprised under the title of Henry VI. were actually composed by Shakspearc. Dr. Johnson however maintains, that they exhibit ** no marks of spurious uess," and that they " are declared to be genuine by the voice of Shaktpearc himself. The transaction* of the piece are scattered through a period of thirty years, and introduced with little regard to historical accuracy. Lord Talbot who is killed at the end of the fourth art, did not in reality fall until July 13, 14S3; and the second part of Henry VI. opens with th« king'* marriage, which waa Solemnized in the year 1445, or eight years before Talbot's death. In the same part, Dame Eleanor Cobb am is introduced to insult Queen Margaret; though bcr penance and banishment for sorcery happened three years before that princess arrived in England* These deviations from the pnge of
history are of little consequence to the mere lover of dramatic literature, at tbey neither weaken the gratift* cation, nor diminish the effect of the scenic narrative. Poetry appeals to the passions, and imagination, like a true magician, lends her most powerful spells to excite or subdue them. But there are many to whom the great events of history are known only through the fascinating medium of a play or a romance ; and it is frequently difficult, if not disagreeable to efface, in after life, the distorted impressions which they leave upon the memory. When viewed in the sober simplicity of historic truth, a favourite hero often loses much of his glitter, and a detested villain soma portion of his turpitude. It is therefore of no little consequence to examine the materials of a dramatic fabric, to eeparate truth from fiction, and to shew 44 the age and body of the time, bis form and pressure i" because, in lauding- the productions of Shakspearc (particularly those historical pieces upon which he exercised such masterly talents,) it has been the fashion to represent them not only as morally entertaining* but alio as politically tiufruclict; an attribute with which, examination shows, it is dangerous to invest thenu
Kino Henry Thb Sixtb.
Duke or Bedford, Undo to the King, and
Thomas Beaufort, Duke of Exeter, great
Henry Beaufort, great Uncle to the King,
John Beaufort, Earl of Somerset; afterwards Duke.
Richard PLANTAGiNBT,eWe*f .ton of Richard,
Earl or Warwick:.—Earl or Salisbury.—
Lord Talbot, afterwards Earl of Shrews-
John Talbot, his Son.
Mayor Op London.
Woody Ills, Lieutenant of the Tower.
Vernon, of the White Rose, or York Fat. turn.
Basset, of the Red Rose, or Lancaster Fac-
Charles, Dauphin, and afterwards King of
Reigniek, Duke of Attjou, and titular King
Duke Ok Burgundy.—Duke Ok Alkk?un.
A French Sergeant.—A Porter.
Margaret, Daughter to Reignicr; after-
Countess Op Auvbrgnk.
Joan La Pucellr, commonly called Joan of
Fiends appearing to La Pucellc, Lords,
t both t
Scene, partly In England, and partly in Fraive.
SCENE I.—Westminster Abbey.
Dead march. Corpse of King Henry the
Comets, importing change of times and states,
Virtue he bad, deserving to command:
His braudishM sword did blind men with his
His arms spread wider than a dragon's wings;
His sparkling eyes replete with wrathful fire,
What should I say? his deeds exceed all speech:
Ext. We mourn in black; Why mourn we not in blood t Henrv 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 T Or shall we think the siibtle-witttd French Conjurers and sorcerers, that, afraid of him. By magic verses * have contm'd his end 1
Win. He was a king bless'd of the King of kings.
Unto the French the dreadful judgment day
And lookest to command the prince and realm,
And ne'er throughout the year l> church thou
Except It be to pray against thy toes.
lied. 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, [suck; When at their mothers' moist eyes babes shall Our isle be made a nourish t of salt tears. And none but women left to wail the dead. Henry t!ie fifth I thy ghost I invocate; Prosper this realm, keep it from civil broils I Combat with adverse plaueta in the heavens! A far more glorious star thy soul will make. Than Julius Csesar, or bright
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: Oulenne, Champaigue, Kbeims, Orleans, Paris, Guysors, Pointers, are all quite lost. Bed. What say'st thou, man, before dead Henry's corse 1 softly; or the loss of those great towns make him burst his lead, and rise from death.
dto. Is Paris loslT is Rouen yielded up T If Henry were reeall'd to life again. These news would cause biin once more yield the ghost.
t'ic. How were they lost! what treachery was ns'd 1
Mess. N'o treachery; but want of men and money.
Among the soldiers this is muttered,—
You are disputing of your generals.
One would have ling'ring wars, with little cost;
* There Wm n notion lone; prevalent, ibet life »igtit I- taken Ikiv by uirtritnl charmi.
t Nunc Mm ,m. u-i.tl, to spelt.
Another would fly swift but wanteth wings;
Exe* Were our tears wanting to this funeral. These tidings would call forth her* flowiug tides.
Bed. Me they concern; r**gent I am of France:—
Give me my steeled coat, I'll fight for France.— Away with these disgraceful wailing robes I Wounds I will lend the French, instead of eyes, To weep their lutermiasive miseries, f
Enter another Mes4encer.
2 Mess. 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 tu
The bastard of Orleans with hi in is joiuM i
Exe. The Dauphin crowned king I all fj to him?
O whither shall we fly from this reproach I Glo. We will not fly, but to our enemies' throats:
Bedford, if thou be slack, I'll fight it out
An army have I muster'd in nty thoughti
Enter a third Messenger. S Mess. My gracious lords,—tu add to your laments.
Wherewith you now bedew King Henry's
hearse,— f must inform you of a dismal Aght, Betwixt the stout lord Talbot and the French. Win. What I wherein Talbot overcame f ist
3 Mess. O no ; wherein lord Talbot was o'er
The circumstance I'll tell you more at largei
They pitched in the ground confusedly,
Here, there, and every whore, enrag'd be slew:
Alarums ; Excursions ; ajtcrtcards a Retreat.
Whom all France, with their chief assembled strength.
Durst not presume to look once In the face.
Bed. Is Talbot slain! then I will slay myself, For living idly here, iu pomp and ease. Whilst such a worthy leader, wanting aid, Unto his dastard foe-man is betray'd.
3 Mess. O no, be lives; but is took prisoner, And lord Scales with him, and lord Hungerford i
Most of the rest slaugbterM, or took, likewise. Bed. His ransom there is none but I shall pay:
hale the Dauphin headlong from bis throne His crown shall be the ransom of my friend; Four of their lords I'll change for one of oar's.-—
Farewell, my masters; to my task will 1;
3 Mess. So you had need; for Orleans is be
Tbe English army Is grown weak and faint:
Eitber to quell tbe Daupblu utterly,
Or bring him in obedience to your yoke.
Bed. I do remember it; and here take leave, To go about my preparation. [Exit.
Glo. I'll to the Tower, with all the baste I can,
To view the artillery and munition;
And then 1 will proclaim young Henry king.
Exe. To Eltbam will I, where the young king Is,
Being ordaiu'd bis special governor;
Win. Each hath his place and function to attend:
I am left out; for me nothing remains.
[Exit* Scene closes.
SCEXE 11.—France.— Before Orleans.
Enter Charles, with his Forces; Alkncon, Rbicnier, and others.
Char. Mars bis true moving, even as in the
Re-enter Charles, Albion, Reiqnier, and others.
Char. Who ever saw tbe like t what meu have
Dogs I cowards I dastard* * -4 •* **«M ne'er have fled.
But that they left me midst my enemies.
Reig. Salisbury is a desperate homicide j
Alen. Frolssard, a countryman of our's, records,
England all Olivers and Rowlands t bred.
They had such courage and audacity t
Of old I know them ; rather with their teeth The walls they'll tear down, than forsake the siege.
Relg. 1 think, by some odd gimmals: or device,
Their arms are set, like clocks, Btill to strike on;
Enter the Bastard of Orleans.
news for blm. Char. Bastard § of Oi leans, thrice welcome to
looks are sad, your
So In the earth to this day Is not known:
Faintly besiege us one hour In a month.
Talbot is taken, whom we wont to fear:
Now for the honour of the forlorn French :—
Bast. Metblnks, your
The spirit of deep prophecy she hath.
Speak, shall I call her iu f Believe my words,
*>/fr Lapucbllb, Bastardo/ Orleans, and others.
Reig. Fair maid, Is't thou wilt do these wond'rous feats T
Puc. Reignier, is't thon that thinkest to beguile met— Where Is the Dauphin t—come, come from behind;
I know thee well, though never seen before.
Stand back, you lords, and give its leave awbite.
Reig. She takes upon tier bravely at first dash.
Puc. Dauphin, I am by birth a shepherd's daughter, My wit uiitrain'd in any kind of art. Heaven, and our lady gracious, hath it pleas'd To shine on my contemptible estate: Lo, whilst I waited on my tender lambs, And to sun's parching heat display'd my cheeks, God's mother deigned to appear to me; And, in a vision full of majesty, WHIM me to leave my base vocation, And free my couutry from calamity; Her aid she promis'd, and assured success: In complete glory she reveaPd herself; And, whereas 1 was black aud swart before, With those clear rays which she infus'd on me, That beauty am I bless'd with, which you see. Ask me what question thou canst possible, And I will answer unpremeditated: My courage (ry by combat, if thou dar'st, And thou sbalt And that I exceed my sex. Resolve on this; * Thou shalt be fortunate. If thou receive me for thy warlike mate.
Char* Thou hast astonish'd me with thy high
Only this proof I'll of thy valour make,—
Deck'd with five Aour-de-luces on each side;
church-yard. Out of a deal of old Iron I chose forth. Char, Then come o'God's name, 1 fear no
Puc. And, while I live, I'll ne'er fly from a man. [They t/ight.
Char. Stay, stay thy hands \ tbeu ait an
And tightest with the sword of Deborah. Puc. Christ's mother helps me, else I were too weak.
Char. Whoe'er helps thee, 'tis thou that must help me: Impatiently I hum with thy desire; My heart and hands thou hast at once subdn'd. Excellent Puerile, if thy name be so, Let me thy servant, and not sovereign be; 'I 'is the French Dauphin sueth to thee thus.
Puc. I must not yield to any rites of love, For my profession's sacred from above: When I nave chased all thy foes from hence, Then will I think upon a recompense.
Char. Meantime, look gracious oil thy prostrate thrall.
Heig. My lord, metbinks, Is very long in talk. Attn. Doubtless be shrives this woman to her smock:
Else ne'er could he so long protract his speech. lieig. Shall we disturb him, since he kacps no
Attn. He may mean more than we poor men do know:
These women are shrewd tempters with their tongues.
Reig. My lord, wheie are you 7 what devise you on f
Shall we give over Orleans or no T
Fight till the last gasp; I will be your guard. Char. What she says, I'll confirm; well fight it out.
Puc. Asilgn'd am I to be the English scourge.
* Br firmly \»srtv sded of it.
Which never ceaseth to enlarge itself,
Till by broad spreading, it disperse to nought.
Wiih Henry's death, the English circle ends;
Dispersed are the glories it included.
Now am I like that proud insulting ship,
Which Csesar and his fortune bare at once.
Char. Was Mahomet inspired with a dove T * Thou with an eagle art inspired then. Helen, the mother of great Constantino, Nor yet Saint Philip's daughters, t were tike thee. Bright star of Venus, fall'n down on the earth, How may I reverently worship thee enough?
Alen. Leave off delays, and let us raise the siege.
Relg. Woman, do what thou can'st to save
our honours; Drive them from Orleans, and be immortaliz'd. Char. Presently we'll try Come iet's away
No prophet will I trust, if she prove false.
SCEXE I/L—London.—Hill before the Tower.
Enter, at the Gates, the Duke of Gloster, with his Serving men, In blue coats. Glo. 1 am come to survey the Tower this day; Since Henry's death, L fear, there is conveyance. J—Where be these warders, that they wait not here t Open the gates ; Gloster it ts that calls. [servants knock.
I Hani. [Within.] Who is there that knocks so imperiously f
1 Serv. H is the noble Duke of Gloster.
2 Hard. [Within.] Whoe'er he be you may
not be let in. 1 Serv. Answer you so the lord protector, villains?
I Ward. [Within.] The Lord protect him! so we answer him; We do no otherwise than we arc will'd. Glo. Who will'd you 7 or whose will stands but mine t
There's Roue protector of the realm, but I.—
SirTAnts rush at the Tower Gates. Enter, to the Gates, Woodvillb, the Lieutenant.
Wood. [Within.] What noise is tfcUl what
traitors have we here T Glo. Lieutenant, is it you, whose voice I
Open the gates: here's Gloster that would enter. Wood. [Within.] Have patience noble duke.
1 may not open;
The cardinal of Winchester forbids:
Arrogant Winchester? that haughty prelate,
Thou art no friend to God or to the king:
Enter Winchester, Attended by a Train of
means this t Glo. Piel'd priest, H dost thou command me to" be shut out 7
* Mahomet persuaded hit follower* that a dore which he had taught wheu hungry to light upon his shoulder, and tbruit its bill iuto bis mouth, was the Holy <"*'
t Meaning the four daughters of Philiu iu< tm Acts xxi. 9.
2 Tbefl. , Break open-.
Win, I do, Hh.u most usurping proditor,* And not protector of the king or realm.
Glo. Stand back, thou manifest conspirator; Thou, (bat contrlv'dst to murder our dead lord; Thou that giv'st whores t indulgences to sin: Pll canvas \ thee in thy broad cardinal's hat,
If thou proceed in this thy insolence.
"" . Nay, r ""
I will not budge
This be Damascus, be thou cursed Cain,
Thy scarlet robes, as a child's bearing-cloth
Win. Do what thou dar'st; I beard thee to
Glo. YVhatl am I dar'd, aud bearded to my face f—
Draw, men, for all this privileged place; Blue-coats to tawny-coals. Priest, beware
your beard; [gloster and Ms Men attack the Bishop. I mean to tug it, aud to cuff you soundly: Under my feet 1 stamp thy cardinal's bat; In spite of po|>e or dignities of church, Here by the cheeks I'll drag thee up and downWin. Gloster, thou'lt answer this before the
Glo. Winchester goose, $ I cry—a rope I rope I— [stay?— Now beat them hence. Wby do you let them 't iJco Pll chase hence, thoa wolf in sheep's array.—
Out, tawny coaut—oat, scarlet || hypocrite I
Here a great Tumult. In the midst of if, Enter the Mayor of London, and Officers. Matt. Fie, lords I that you, being supreme magistrates, Thus contumelious)}' should break the peace ( Glo. Peace, mayor ; thou kuow'st little of my wrongs:
Here's Beaufort that regards nor God nor king, Halb here distraiu'd the Tower to his use.
Win. Here's Gloster too a foe to citizens: One that still motions war, and never peace, O'ercharging yonr free purses with large flues; That seeks to overthrow religion. Because he is protector of tbe realm; And would have armour here out of the Tower To crown himself kiug, aud suppress tbe prince. Glo. I will not answer ibee with words, but blows. [Here they skirmish again. May. Nought rest for me, in this tumultuous strife,
But to make open proclamation
Come, officer ; as loud as e'er thou canst.
Off. All manner of vien assembled here in arms this day, against God's peace and the king's, we charge and command you, in his highness' name, to repair to yonr several duelling places ; and not to n ear, handle, or use any sword, weapon, or dagger, hence~ forward, upon pain of death.
Glo. Cardinal, Pll be no breaker of the law: But we shall meet, aud break our minds at large.
W in. Gloster, we'll meet; to thy dear coast be sure:
Thy heart-blood I will have, for this day's work. May. Pll call for clubs, V if you will not away :—
This cardinal Is more haughty lliau the devil.
Glo. Mayor, farewell: thou dost but what thou niay'st.
Win. Abominable Gloster I guard thy bead; For I intend to have it ere long. [Exit.
May. See the coast clear il, and then we will depart.—
Good God ! that nobles should such stomachs * bear I
I myself fight not once in forty year. [Exeunt. SCENE IVt—France.—Before Orleans.
Enter, on the Walls, the Mastkr-gunnkk
Howe'er, unfortunate, I miss'd my aim.
ritl'd by me:
Wont, through a secret gate of iron bars
They may vex us, with shot or with assault.
To Intercept this inconvenience,
A piece of ordnance 'gainst it I have ptae'd;
And fully even these three days have I watch'd,
If 1 could see them. Now, boy, do thou watch.
For I can stay no longer.
If tbou spy'st any run and bring me word;
Aud thou shall Mud me at the governor's.
Father, I warrant you; take you no
I'll never trouble you, if I may spy them.
Enter, in an upper Chamber of a Tower, the Lords Salisbury and Talbot, Sir William Glansdale, Sir Thomas GarGrave, and others.
Sal. Talbot, my life, my joy, again retur.iM t How wert thou handled, being prisoner? Or by what means got'st thou to be releas'd! Discourse, I pr'ythee on this turret's top.
Tal. The duke of Bedford had a prisoner. Called—tbe brave lord Ponton de Santrailles; For him I was exchang'd and ransomed. But with a baser man of arms by far, m*Once, In contempt, they would have battel'd Which I, disdaining, scoru'd : aud craved death Rather than I would be so pll'd esteemed. $ In flue, redeem'd I was as I desir'd. But ob ! the treacherous Fastulfe wounds my heart: Whom with my bare fists 1 would execute, If I now had him brought into my power.
Sat. Yet tell'At thou not, how thou wert entertain *d.
Tal. With scon's, and scorns, aud coutuiue-
To burl at the beholders of my shame.
n iron walls tbey deem'd me not secure;
That they suppos'd I could reud bars of steel.
♦ Favour. I Spier
) So Utij ofhouOHra.