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That have consented* unto Henry's death!
Glo. England ne'er had a king, until his time.
in blood ?
Win. He was a king bless'd of the King of kings.
made him so prosperous.
4 Consented here means conspired together to promote the death of Henry by their malignant influence on human events. Our ancestors bad but one word to express consent, and concent, which meant accord and agreement, whether of persons or things.
5 There was a notion long prevalent that life might be taken away by metrical charms. * The Irishmen addict themselves, &c.; yea, they will not sticke to affirme that they can rime man or beast to death.'—Reginald Scot's Discovery of Witchcraft, 1584.
Glo. The church! where is it? Had not church
men pray'd, His thread of life had not so soon decay’d: None do
like but an effeminate prince, Whom, like a schoolboy, you may overawe. Win. Gloster, whate'er we like, thou art pro
Glo. Name not religion, for thou lov’st the flesh,
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 mother's moist eyes babes shall suck; Our isle be made a nourish 6 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 27
6 Nurse was anciently spelt nouryce and noryshe; and, by Lydgate, even nourish:
Athenes whan it was in its floures
Was called nourish of philosophers wise.' ? Pope conjectured that this blank had been supplied by the name of Francis Drake, which, though a glaring anachronism, might have been a popular, though not judicious, mode of attracting plaudits in the theatre. Part of the arms of Drake was two blazing stars. Malone says that the blank arose from the transcriber or compositor not being able to make out the name.
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 8. Bed. What say'st thou, man, before dead Henry's
corse ? 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 money. Among the soldiers this is mutter'd, That here you maintain several factions; And, whilst a field should be despatch'd and fought, You are disputing of your generals. One would have ling’ring wars, with little cost; Another would fly swift, but wanteth wings; A third man thinks, without expense at all, By guileful fair words peace may be obtain'd. Awake, awake, English nobility! Let not sloth dim your honours, new begot: Cropp'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 her flowing tides 9.
Bed. Me they concern; regent I am of France:
8 Capel proposed to complete this defective verse by the insertion of Rouen among the places lost, as Gloster infers that it had been mentioned with the rest.
9 i. e. England's flowing tides.
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 10.
Enter another Messenger. 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 in Rheims; The bastard of Orleans with him is join'd; Reignier, duke of Anjou, doth take his part; The duke of Alençon flieth to his side.
Exe. The Dauphin is crowned king! all fly to him 0, 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.
Bed. Gloster, why doubt'st thou of my forwardness? An army have I muster'd in my thoughts, Wherewith already France is overrun.
Enter a third Messenger. 3 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?
10 i. e. their miseries which have only a short intermission.
Was round encompassed and set upon:
Bed. Is Talbot slain? then I will slay myself,
11 For an account of this Sir John Fastolfe, vide Biographia Britannica, by Kippis, vol. v.; in which is his life, written by Mr. Gough. See also Anstis On the Order of the Garter; Parkins' Supplement to Blomefield's History of Norfolk ; Capel's Notes to Shakspeare, vol. ii. p. 221; and Sir John Fenn's Collection of the Paston Letters. He is said by Hall to have been degraded for cowardice; and Heylin, in his History of St. George, tells us that he was afterwards, upon good reasons by him alledged in his defence, restored to his honour.'