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FIRST PART OF
KING HENRY VI.
SCENE I. Westminster Abbey.
Dead march. Corpse of King Henry the Fifth dis
covered, lying in state; attended on by the Dukes
Glo. England ne'er had a king, until his time.
| Hung be the heavens with black,] Alluding to our ancient stage-practice when a tragedy was to be expected. VOL. VI.
Than mid-day sun, fierce bent against their faces.
in blood ?
Win. He was a king bless’d of the King of kings.
Glo. Name not religion, for thou lov’st the flesh; And ne'er throughout the year to church thou go’st,
the subtle-witted French, &c.] There was a notion prevalent a long time, that life might be taken away by metrical charms. As superstition grew weaker, these charms were imagined only to have power on irrational animals. In our author's time it was supposed that the Irish could kill rats by a song.
Except it be to pray against thy foes,
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, Champaigne, Rheims, Orleans, Paris, Guysors, Poictiers, are all quite lost.
Bed. What say'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.
Glo. Is Paris lost ? is Roüen 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. Among the soldiers this is muttered,That here you maintain several factions ;
3 Our isle be made a nourish,) probably a nurse.
And, whilst a field should be despatch'd and fought,
Exe. Were our tears wanting to this funeral,
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 another Messenger. 2 Mess. Lords, view these letters, full of bad
mischance, France is revolted from the English quite; Except soine petty towns of no import: The Dauphin Charles is crowned king in Rheims; The bastard of Orleans with him is join'd; Reignier, duke of Anjou, doth take his part; The duke of Alençon fieth to his side.
Exe. The Dauphin crowned 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.
4- her flowing tides.] i. e. England's flowing tides.
their intermissire miseries.] i. e. their miseries, which have had only a short intermission from Henry the Fifth's death to my coming amongst them.
Bed. Gloster, why doubt'st thou of my
forwardness? An army have I muster'd in my thoughts, Wherewith already France is over-run.
Enter a third Messenger.
3 Mess. My gracious lords,—to add to your laments,
Win. What! wherein Talbot overcame? is't so? 3 Mess. O, no; wherein lord Talbot was o'er
full scarce six thousand in his troop,
Here, there, and every where, enrag'd he slew: