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Sad tidings bring I to you out of France,
Of loss, of slaughter and discomfiture:
Guienne, Champagne, 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.
Glou. Is Paris lost? is Rouen 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 used?

Mess. No treachery; but want of men and


Amongst the soldiers this is muttered,

That here you maintain several factions,

And whilst a field should be dispatch'd and fought,
You are disputing of your generals :

One would have lingering wars with little cost;
Another would fly swift, but wanteth wings;
A third 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.

60. Champagne (a trisyllable). Rheims (Ff Rheimes) was disyllabic. The mention of Rouen (Ff Roan) in Gloucester's reply makes probable that one of the two names should be altered. Capell proposed Rheims, Rouen in v. 60, Camb. edd. Rouen in v. 65. Rouen




(Roan) is elsewhere always monosyllabic in Shakespeare. It is written Rone in Holinshed.

76. third (prob. disyllabic; F2 reads 'a third man ').

80. the flower-de-luces, etc.; the French Lilies quartered in the English arms.

Exe. Were our tears wanting to this funeral, These tidings would call forth their flowing tides. 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 will I lend the French instead of eyes,
To weep their intermissive miseries.

Enter to them another Messenger.

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 crowned king! all fly to

O, whither shall we fly from this reproach? Glou. We will not fly, but to our enemies' throats.

Bedford, if thou be slack, I'll fight it out.

Bed. Gloucester, why doubt'st thou of my forwardness?

An army have I muster'd in my thoughts,
Wherewith already France is overrun.

Enter another Messenger.

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.

106. Lord Talbot. Holinshed introduces Talbot for the



first time in 1427 as a victorious and terrible leader.

Win. What! wherein Talbot overcame? is 't so?
Mess. O, no; wherein Lord Talbot was o'er-


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 continued;
Where valiant Talbot above human thought
Enacted wonders with his sword and lance:
Hundreds he sent to hell, and none durst stand

Here, there, and every where, enraged he flew :
The French exclaim'd, the devil was in arms;

All the whole army stood agazed 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 seal'd up,
If Sir John Fastolfe had not play'd the coward:

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curred, according to Holinshed, at the battle of Patay (June 18, 1429), six weeks after the siege of Orleans had been raised; 'from this battle departed without anie stroke striken Sir Iohn Fastolfe.' The historical Fastolfe was a valiant captain, who 'departed from the battle of Patay only in the sense that his desperate efforts failed to

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He, being in the vaward, placed behind
With purpose to relieve and follow them,
Cowardly fled, not having struck one stroke.
Hence grew the general wreck and massacre;
Enclosed were they with their enemies :
A base Walloon, to win the Dauphin's grace,
Thrust Talbot with a spear into the back,
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 in pomp and ease,
Whilst such a worthy leader, wanting aid,
Unto his dastard foemen is betray'd.

Mess. O no, he lives; but is took prisoner,
And Lord Scales with him and Lord Hungerford:
Most of the rest slaughter'd or took likewise.

Bed. His ransom there is none but I shall pay :
I'll hale the Dauphin headlong from his throne:
His crown shall be the ransom of my friend;
Four of their lords I'll change for one of ours.
Farewell, my masters; to my task will I;
Bonfires in France forthwith I am to make,
To keep our great Saint George's feast withal:
Ten thousand soldiers with me I will take,
Whose bloody deeds shall make all Europe quake.
Mess. So you had need; for Orleans is besieged;

The English army is grown weak and faint:

The Earl of Salisbury craveth supply,

And hardly keeps his men from mutiny,

Since they, so few, watch such a multitude.

Exe. Remember, lords, your oaths to Henry


check the flight of his men. The
author of 1 Hen. VI. probably
wrote Fastolfe.' But the crea-
tion of Falstaff, a few years later,
out of this shadowy figure, caused



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the latter name to supersede the: former, of which it was probably only a popular pronunciation.

132. vaward, vanguard, i.e.. of his own troop.


Either to quell the Dauphin utterly,

Or bring him in obedience to your yoke.

Bed. I do remember it; and here take my leave,

To go about my preparation.

Glou. I'll to the Tower with all the haste I can,

To view the artillery and munition;

And then I will proclaim young Henry king.


Exe. To Eltham will I, where the young king is, 170 Being ordain'd his special governor,

And for his safety there I'll best devise.


Win. Each hath his place and function to


I am left out; for me nothing remains.

But long I will not be Jack out of office:

The king from Eltham I intend to steal

And sit at chiefest stern of public weal. Exeunt.

SCENE II. France. Before Orleans.

Sound a flourish. Enter CHARLES, ALENÇON, and REIGNIER, marching with drum and Soldiers.

Char. Mars his true moving, even as in the

So in the earth, to this day is not known:
Late did he shine upon the English side;
Now we are victors; upon us he smiles.

170. Eltham, a royal palace. 176. steal; Mason's correction for 'send' of the Ff.

177. sit at chiefest stern, have supreme control. The phrase blends the notions of sitting in the highest place and of guiding

the helm.

I, 2. Mars his, Mars's. Mars is (1) the planet, (2) (in the earth') the god of war. The motions of Mars were a vexed problem of sixteenth-century astronomy.

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