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THE FIRST PART OF
KING HENRY VI.
SCENE I. Westminster Abbey.
Dead march. The corpse of King Henry the Fifth, in state, is
brought in, attended on by the Dukes of BEDFORD, GLOSTER, and EXETER, the Earl of WARWICK, the Bishop of WINCHESTER, Heralds, gc.
Bed. Hung be the heavens with black, yield day to night!
Glo. England ne'er had a king until his time.
Exe. We mourn in black: why mourn we not in blood ?
. Eike captives bound to a triumphant car.
Win. He was a king bless'd of the King of kings.
Glo. The church! where is it? Had not churchmen pray'd,
Win. Gloster, whate'er we like, thou art protector,
Glo. Name not religion, for thou lov'st the flesh;
Bed. 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, When at their mothers' moist eyes babes shall suck; Our isle be made a marish of salt tears, () 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 Than Julius Cæsar or bright Berenice.(4)
Enter a Messenger.
Guienne, Champagne, Rheims, Rouen, Orleans, 6)
Bed. What say'st thou, man! before dead Henry's corse
Glo. Is Paris lost? is Rouen yielded up?
Exe. How were they lost? what treachery was us'd ?
Mess. No treachery; but want of men and money.
Exe. Were our tears wanting to this funeral,
Bed. Me they concern; regent I am of France.--
Enter a second Messenger. Sec. 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 in Rheims; The Bastard of Orleans with him is join'd; Reignier, duke of Anjou, doth take his part ;(8) The Duke of Alençon flieth to his side.
Exe. The Dauphin crowned king! all fly to him! 0, whither shall we fly from this reproach ?
Glo. We will not fly, but to our enemies' throats :-
Bed. Gloster, why doubt'st thou of my forwardness ?
Enter a third Messenger. Third Mess. 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 ?
Third Mess. O, no; wherein Lord Talbot was o'erthrown: The circumstance I'll tell you more at large. The tenth of August last, this dreadful lord, Retiring from the siege of Orleans, Having full scarce six 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, pluck'd out of hedges, They pitched in the ground confusedly, To keep the horsemen off from breaking in. More than three hours the fight continuèd ; Where valiant Talbot, above human thought, Enacted wonders with his sword and lance: Hundreds he sent to hell, and none durst 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! a Talbot !" cried out amain, And rush'd into the bowels of the battle. Here had the conquest fully been seald up, If Sir John Fastolfe(10) had not play'd the coward : He, being in the vaward,--plac'd behind, (1) With purpose to relieve and follow them,Cowardly fled, not having struck one stroke. Hence grew the general wreck and massacre;
Enclosèd were they with their enemies :
Bed. Is Talbot slain ? then I will slay myself,
Third Mess. O, no, he lives; but is took prisoner,
Bed. His ransom there is none but I shall pay :
Third Mess. So you had need; for Orleans is besieg'd;
Exe. Remember, lords, your oaths to Henry sworn,
Bed. I do remember 't ;02) and here take my leave,
[Exit. Glo. I'll to the Tower, with all the haste I can, To view th' artillery and munition; And then I will proclaim young Henry king.
[Exit. Exe. To Eltham will I, where the young king is, Being ordain'd his special governor; And for his safety there I'll best devise.
[Exit. Win. Each hath his place and function to attend : I am left out; for me nothing remains. But long I will not be Jack-out-of-office :