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KING HENRY VI.
LITERARY AND HISTORICAL NOTICE. MALONE supposes this portion of Henry VI. to have been written in 1589 ; but doubts, with Theobald, whether
the three plays comprised under the title of Henry VI. were actually composed by Shakspeare. Dr. Johnson however maintains, that they exhibit " no marks of spuriousness," and that they " are declared to be genuine by the voice of Shakspeare himself. The transactions of the piece are scattered throngh a period of thirty years, and introduced with little regard to historical accuracy. Lord Talbot who is kiltet at the end of the fourth act, did not in reality fall until July 13, 1453 ; and the second part of Henry VI. opeus with the king's marriage, which was solemnized in the year 1445, or eight years before Talbot's death. In the same part, Dame Eleanor Cobham is introduced to insult Queen Margaret; though her penance and banishment for sorcery happened three years before that priocess arrived in England....... These deviations from the page of history are of little consequence to the mere lover of dramatic literature, as they neither weaken the gratification, nur diminish the effect of the scenic narrative. Poetry appeals to the passions, and imagination, like a true magician, lends ber 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 some portion of his turpitude. It is therefore of no little consequence to examine the materials of a dramatic fabric, to separate truth from fiction, and to shew" the age and body of the time, his form and pressure :” because, in lauding the productions of Shakspeare (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 also as politically instructive; an attribute with which, examination shows, it is dangerous to invest them.
DRAMATIS PERSONÆ. KING HENRY THE SIXTH.
VBRNON, of the White Rose, or York Fac. DUKE OF GLOSTER, Uncle to the King, and
BASSET, of the Red Rose, or Lancaster Fac. DUKE OF BEDFORD, Uncle to the King, and
tion. Regent of France.
CHARLES, Dauphin, and afterwards King of THOMAS BEAUFORT, Duke of Exeter, great
RBIGNIER, Duke of Anjou, and titular King HENRY BEAUFORT, great Uncle to the King,
of Naples. Bishop of Winchester; and after. DUKE OF BURGUNDY.-DUKE OF ALENGON. wards Cardinal.
GOVERNOR OP PARIS.-BASTARD OF ORLEANS. Joan BEAUFORT, Earl of Somerset ; after- MASTER-GUNNER OF ORLEANS, and his Son. wards Duke.
GENERAL OF THE FRENCH FORCES in Bour RICHARD PLANTAGENET, eldest son of Richard,
AN OLD SHEPHERD, Father to Joan la EARL OF WARWICK.-EARL OF SALISBURY.
Pucelle. EARL OF SUFFOLK. LORD TALBOT, afterwards Earl of Shrews. MARGARET, Daughter to Reignier ; after. bury.
wards married to King Henry. JOHN TALBOT, his Son.
COUNTESS OP AUVERGNE. EDMUND MORTIMER, Earl of March.
Joan La PUCELLE, commonly called Joan of MORTIMER'S KEEPER, and a LAWYER.
Arc. SIR JOHN FASTOLFE.-SIR WILLIAM LUCY. SIE WILLIAM GLANSDALE.-Sir Thomas GAR- Fiend's appearing to La Pucelle, Lords, GRAVE.
Warders of the Tower, Heralds, Officers, MAYOR OF LONDON.
Soldiers, Messengers, and several AttendWOODVILLE, Lieutenant of the Tower.
ants both on the English and French. SCENE, partly in England, and partly in France.
Comets, importing change of times and states,
Brandish your crystal tresses in tbe sky; SCENE I.-Westminster Abbey. And with them scourge the bad revolting stars,
That bave consented unto Henry's death! Dead morch. Corpse of King HENRY the Henry the fifth too famous to live long !
Fifth discovered, lying in state ; attended England ne'er lost a king of so much worth. on by the Dukes of BEDFORD, GLOSTER, and Glo. England ne'er had a king, until his EXETER; the Earl of WARWICK, the Bishop
time. of WINCHESTER, Heralds, &c.
Virtue he had, deserving to command : Bed. Hung be the heavens with black, yield His brandish'd sword did blind men with his day to nigbt!
His arms spread wider than a dragon's wings; Another would fly swift but wanteth wings ;
Let not sloth dim your honours, new-begot:
Ere. Were our tears wanting to this funeral, not in blood ?
These tidings would call forth her fowing Henry is dead, and never shall revive :
tides. Upon a wooden coffin we attend;
Bed. Me they concern ; regent I am of And death's dishonourable victory
France :We with our stately presence glorify,
Give me my steeled coat, l'll fight for France, Like captives bound to a triumphant car, Away with these disgraceful wailing robes ! What? shall we curse the planets of mishap, Wounds I will lend the French, instead of eyes, That plotted thus our glory's overthrow ? To weep their intermissive miseries. + Or shall we think the subtle-witted French
Enter another MESSENGER. Conjurers and sorcerers, that, afraid of him, By magic verses • have contriv'd bis end ? 2 Mess. Lords, view these letters, full of bad Win. He was a king bless'd of the King of
France is revolted from the English quite ;
The dauphin Charles is crowned king in The battles of the Lord of hosts he fought ;
Rheims : The church's prayers made him so prosperous.
The bastard of Orleans with him is join'd; Glo, The 'cburch! where is it? Had not Reignier, duke of Anjou, doth take his part churchmen pray'd,
The duke of Alençou thieth to his side. His thread of life had not so soon decay'd :
Ere. The Dauphin crowned king! all sy to None do you like but an effeminate prince,
him ? Whom like a school-boy you may over-awe.
O whither shall we fly from this reproach? Win. Gloster, whate'er we iike, thou art pro- Glo. We will not fly, but to our enemies' tector,
throats : And lookest to command the prince and realın, Bedford, if thou be slack, I'll fight it out Thy wife is proud ; she holdeth thee in awe, Bed. Gloster, why doubt'st thou of my for. More than God, or religious churchmen, may.
wardness! Glo. Name not religion, for thou lov'st the an army have I muster'd in my thoughts fesh;
Wherewith already France is over-rup. And ne'er throughout the year 1n church thou go'st,
Enter a third MESSENGER. Except it be to pray against thy foes.
3 Mess. My gracious lords,-to add to your Bed. Cease, cease these jars, and rest your laments, minds in peace!
now bedew King Henry's Let's to the altar :-Heralds, wait on us :
hearse, Instead of gold, we'll offer up our arins ;
I must inforın you of a dismal fight, Since arms avail not, new that Henry's dead.- Betwixt the stout lord Talbot and the French. Posterity, await for wretched years, (suck ; Win. What! wherein Talbot overcame is't When at their mothers' moist eyes babes shall
so? Our isle be made a nourisht of salt tears,
3 Mess. O no ; wherein lord Talbot was o'er And none but women left to wail the dead.
thrown: Henry the fifth ! thy ghost I invocate ;
The circumstance I'll tell you more at large Prosper this realm, keep it from civil broils ! The tenth of August last, this dreadful lord, Combat with adverse planets in the heavens! Retiring from the siege of Orleans, A far more glorious star thy soul will make, Having full scarce six thousand in his troop, Than Julius Cæsar, or bright-
By three and twenty thousand of the French
Was round encompassed and set upon :
No leisure bad be to enrauk his men ; Mess. My honourable lords, health to you He wanted pikes to set before bis archers; all !
Instead whereof, sharp stakes, pluck'd out of Sad tidings bring I to you out of France,
hedges, of loss, of slaughter, and disconfiture : They pitched in the ground confusedly, Guienne, Champaigne, Rheims, Orleans, To keep the horsemen off from breaking in. Paris, Guysors, Poictiers, are all quite lost. More than three bours the fight continued ; Bed. What say'st thou, man, before dead Where valiant Talbot, above human thought, Henry's corse?
Enacted wonders with his sword and lance. Speak softly; or the loss of those great towns Hundreds he sent to hell, and none durst stand Will make him burst his lead, and rise from
him ; death.
Here, there, and every where, enrag'd he slew : Glo. Is Paris lost? is Rouen yielded up ? The French exclaim'd, Tbe devil was in arms; If Henry were recall'd to life again,
All the whole army stood agaz'd on bim : These news would cause hiin once more yield His soldiers, spying his undaunted spirit, the ghost.
A Talbot ! a Talbot ! cried out amain, Exe. How were they lost? what treachery was And rush'd into the bowels of the battle. us'd ?
Here had the conquest fully been seal'd up, Mess. No treachery; but want of men and If Sir John Fastolfe bad not play'd the coward; money.
He being in the vaward, (plac'd behind, Among the soldiers this is muttered,
With purpose to relieve and follow them,) Tbat here you maintain several factions ; Cowardly fled, not having struck one stroke : And whilst a field should be despatch'd and Hence grew the general wreck and massacre ; fought,
Enclosed were they with their enemies : You are disputing of your generals.
A base Walloon, to win the Dauphin's grace, One would have lingʻring wars, with little cost; Thrust Talbot with a spear into the back ; • There was a notion long prevalent, that life might
• Her, i e. England's. be taken away by Dietrical charms.
+ 1. e. Their miseries which have had only a them Nurse was anciently so spelt.
Whom all France, with their chief assembled | Alarums ; Excursions ; afterwards a Retreat.
strength, Durst not presume to look once in the face.
Re-enter CHARLES, ALENCON, REIGNIER, and Bed. Is Talbot slain? then I will slay myself,
others. For living idly bere, in pomp and ease,
Char. Who ever saw the like? what men have Whilst such a worthy leader, wanting aid,
11 Unto his dastard foe-inan is betray'd.
Dogs I cowards ! dastards ; - I would ne'er have 3 Mess. O no, he lives ; but is took prisoner,
fled, And lord Scales with him, and lord Hunger- But that they left me midst my enemies. ford :
Reig. Salisbury is a desperate houicide ; Most of the rest slaughter'd, or took, likewise. He fighteth as one weary of his life. Bed. His ranson there is none but I shall The other lords, like lions wanting food, pay :
Do rush upon us as their hungry prey. I'll hale the Dauphin headlong from his throne, Alen. Froissard, a countryman of our's, reHis crown shall be the ransomn of my friend;
cords, Four of their lords PU change for one of England all olivers and Rowlands + bred, our's.
During the time Edward the third did reigu. Farewell, my masters ; to my task will I; More truly now may this be verified ; Bonfires in France forthwith I am to make, For none but Samsons and Goliasses, To keep our great Saint George's feast withal : It sendeth forth to skirmish. One to ten ! Ten thousand soldiers with me I will take, Lean raw-bou'd rascals! wbo would e'er sup. Whose bloody deeds shall make all Europe
They had such courage and audacity? 3 Mess. So you had need ; for Orleans is be- Char. Let's leave this town; for they are bairsieg'd ;
braiu'd slaves, The English army is grown weak and faint :
hunger will enforce them to be more ea. The earl of Salisbury craveth supply,
ger: And hardly keeps bis men from mutiny,
of old I kuow them ; rather with their teeth Since they, so few, watch such a multitude. The walls they'll tear down, than forsake the Exe. Remember, lords, your oaths to Henry
siege. sworn :
Reig. I think, by some odd gimmals 1 or de. Either to quell the Dauphin utterly,
vice, Or bring him in obedience to your yoke. Their arms are set, like clocks, still to strike on ;
Bed. I do remember it; and here take leave, Else ne'er could they hold out so, as they do. To go about my preparation.
[Erit. By my consent, we'li e'en let thein alone. Glo. P'll to the Tower, with all the baste I Alen. Be it so.
can, To view the artillery and munition ;
Enter the BASTARD of Orleans. And then I will proclaim young Henry king. Bast. Where's the prince Dauphin, I have
news for him. Exe. To Eltham will I, where the young Char. Bastard ý of Oileans, thrice welcome to
king is, Being ordain's his special governor ;
Bast. Methinks, your looks are sad, your And for his safety there I'll best advise.
cheer || appallid;
[Erit. Hath the late overthrow wrought this offence? Win. Each hath bis place and function to Be not dismay'd, for succour is at hand : attend :
A holy maid bither with me I bring, I am left out ; for me nothing remains.
Which, by a vision sent to her from heaven, But long I will not be Jack-out-of-office ; Ordaived is to raise this tedions siege, The king from Eltham I intend to send,
And drive the English forth the bounds of And sit at chiefest stern of public weal.
Exceeding the nine sibyls & of old Roine ; SCENE II.-France. Before Orleans. What's past, and what's to come, she can
descry. Enter CHARLES, with his Forces ; ALENGON, Speak, shall I call her in ? Believe my words, REIGNIER, and others.
For they are certain and infallible.
Char. Go, call her in : [Exit BASTARD.) But, Char. Mars bis true moving, even as in the
try her skill, heavens,
Reignier, stand thou as Daupbin in my place : So in the earth to this day is not known : Question her proudly, let thy looks be stern :Late did he shine upon the English side; By this nieans sball we sound what skill she Now we are victors upon us be smiles.
(Retires. What towns of any moment, but we have ? At pleasure here we lie, near Orleans ;
Enter LA PUCELLE, BASTARD of Orleans, and Otherwbiles, the famish'd Euglish, like pale
others. ghosts, Faintly besiege us one hour in a month.
Reig. Fair maid, is't thou wilt do these won
d'rous feats ? Alen. They want their porridge, and their fat bull-beeves :
Puc. Reignier, is't thou that thinkest to be Either they must be dieted like mules,
guile me? And have their provender tjed to their mouths,
Where is the Dauphin 3-come, come from beOr piteous they will look, like drowned mice.
hind; Reig. Let's raise the siege; Why live we idly . know thee well, though never seen before. here?
Be not amaz'd, there's nothing bid from me : Talbot is taken, whom we wont to fear :
In private will I talk with thee apart :-
* 1. e. The prey for which they are hungry: Nor men, nor money, bath he to make war.
+ These were two of the most famous in Charle. Char. Sound, sound alarum ; we will rush on
magne's list of peers.
1 A gimmal is a piece of jointed work, where one them.
piece moves within another; here it is taken at large Now for the honour of the forlorn French :- for an engine. Him I forgive my death, that killeth me,
This was not in former times a term of reproach.
1 Countenance. When he sees me go back one foot, or fly.
(Ěreunt. I nire Sybils.
. Shakspeare mistakes the nine Sibylline books, for
Stand back, you lords, and give us leave a. Which never ceaseth to enlarge itself, while.
Till by broad spreading, it di-perse to nought, Reig. She takes upon her bravely at first With Henry's death, the English circle ends; dash.
Dispersed are the glories it included. Puc. Damphiu, I am by birth a shepherd's Now am I like that proud insulting ship, daughter,
Which Cæsar and his fortune bare at once. My wit untrain'd in any kind of art.
Char. Was Mabomet inspired with a dove ? * Heaven, and our lady gracious, hath it pleas'd Thou with an eagle art inspired then. To shine on my contemptible estate :
Helen, the mother of great Constantine, Lo, whilst I waited on my tender lambs,
Nor yet Saint Philip's danghters, + Were like thee. And to sun's parching heat display'd my cheeks, Bright star of Venus, fall'a down on the earth, God's mother deigned to appear to me;
How may I reverently worship thee enongh And, in a vision full of majesty,
Alen. Leave oft delays, and let us raise the Will'd me to leave my base vocation,
siege. And free my country from calamity :
Reig. Woman, do what thou can'st 19 save Her aid she promis’d, and assur'd success :
our honours ; In complete glory she reveal'd herself;
Drive them from Orleans, and be immortaliz'd. And, whereas I was black and swart before, Char. Presently we'll try :
-Come let's away With those clear rays which she infus'd on me,
about it: That beauty am I bless'd with, which you see. No prophet will I trust, if she prove false. Ask me what question thou canst possible,
Enter, at the Gates, the Duke of GLOSTER, Char. Thou hast astonish'd me with thy high
with his Serring-men, in blue coats. terms;
Glo. I am come to survey the Tower this Only this proof I'll of thy valour make, day; Since Henry's death, I fear, there is In single coinbat thou shalt buckle with me; conveyauce. I-Where be these warders, that And, if thou vanquishest, thy words are true ; they wait not here ? Open the gates : Gloster it is Otherwise, I renounce all confidence.
[SERVANTS knock. Pue. I am prepar'd: here is my keen-edg'd I Ward. (Within.) Who is there that knocks sword,
so imperiously? Deck'd with five four-de-luces on each side ; 1 Serv. It is the roble Duke of Gloster. The which at Touraine, in Saint Katharine's 2 Ward. [Within.] Whoe'er he be you may church-yard,
not be let in. Out of a deal of old iron I chose forth.
1 Serv. Answer you so the lord protector, Char. Then come o'God's name, I fear no
1 Ward. [Within.) The Lord protect him! Puc. And, wbile I live, I'll ne'er fly from a
so we answer him: man.
[They fight. We do no otherwise than we are will'd. Char. Stay, stay thy hands , thou art an Glo. Who will'd you ? or whose will stands Amazon,
but mine? And fightest with the sword of Deborah. There's none protector of the realın, but I.Puc. Christ's mother helps me, else I were Break up the gates, I'll be your warrantize : too weak.
Shall I be flouted thus by dunghill grooms? Char. Whoe'er helps thee, 'tis thou that must help me :
SERVANTS rush at the Tower Gates. Enter, Impatiently I burn with thy desire ;
to the Gates, WOODVILLE, the Lieutenant. My heart and hands thou hast at once subdu'd. Excellent Pucelle, if thy name be so,
Wood. (Within.) Wbat noise is this ? what Let me thy servant, and not sovereign be ;
traitors have we here? 'Tis the French Dauphin sueth to thee thus.
Glo. Lientenant, is it you, whose voice I
hear? Puc. I must not yield to any rites of love, For my profession's sacred from above :
Open the gates : here's Gloster that would enter. When I have chased all thy foes from hence,
Wood. (Within.) Have patience noble duke. Then will I think upou a recompense.
I may not open; Char. Meantime, look gracious on thy pros. The cardinal of Winchester forbids : trate thrall.
From him I have express commandment, Reig. My lord, methinks, is very long in talk. That thou, nor none of thine, shall be let in. Alen. Doubtless he sbrives this woman to her
Glo. Faint-hearted Woodville, prizest bim smock :
'fore me? Else ne'er could he so long protract his speech. Arrogant Winchester ? that baughty prelate, Reig. Shall we disturb him, since he keeps no
Whom Harry, our late sovereign, ne'er could mean?
brook? Alen. He may mean more than we poor men Thou art no friend to God or to the king : do know :
Open the gates, or I'll shut thee out shortly. These women are shrewd tempters with their
1 Serv. Open the gates unto the lord protongues.
(quickly. Reig. My lord, where are you? what devise Or we'll burst them open, if that you come not
you on? Shall we give over Orleans or no?
Enter WINCHESTER, Attended by a Train of Puc. Why, no,
Servants in tawny Coats.
Win. How now, ambitious Humphry? what Char. What she says, I'll confirm ; we'll fight
means this ? it out.
Glo. Piel'd priest, || dost thou command me Puc. Assigu'd am I to be the English scourge.
to be shut out? This night the siege assuredly I'll raise : Expect Saint Martin's summer, + halcyon days, • Mahomet persuaded his followers that a dove which Since I have entered into these wars.
he had taught wheu hungry to light upon his shoulder, Glory is like a circle in the water,
and thrust its bill into his inouth, was the Holy Ghost !
+ Meaning the four daughters of Philip mentioned
in Acts xxi. 9.
| Alluding to his sbaven crown.