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Glo. England ne'er had a king, until his time.
Virtue he had, deserving to command:
His brandish'd sword did blind men with his beams;
His arms spread wider than a dragon's wings;
His sparkling eyes, replete with wrathful fire,
More dazzled and drove back his enemies,
Than mid-day sun, fierce bent against their faces.
What should I say? his deeds exceed all speech;
He ne'er lift up his hand, but conquered.
Exe. We mourn in black; Why mourn we not in
Henry is dead, and never shall revive:
Upon a wooden coffin we attend;
And death's dishonourable victory
We with our stately presence glorify,
Like captives bound to a triumphant car.
What? shall we curse the planets of mishap,
That plotted thus our glory's overthrow ?
Or shall we think the subtle-witted French
Conjurers and sorcerers, that, afraid of him,
By magic verses have contriv'd his end?
Win. He was a king blest of the King of kings.
Unto the French the dreadful judgment-day
So dreadful will not be, as was his sight.
The battles of the Lord of hosts he fought:
The church's prayers made him so prosperous.
Glo. The church! where is it? Had not church
His thread of life had not so soon decay'd:
None do you like but an effeminate prince,
Whom, like a school-boy, you may over-awe.
Win. Gloster, whate'er we like, thou art protector;
And lookest to command the prince, and realm.
Thy wife is proud; she holdeth thee in awe,
More than God, or religious church-inen, may. 40
Glo. Name not religion, for thou lov'st the flesh;
And ne'er throughout the year to church thou go'st,
Except it be to pray against thy foes.
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 nourish 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-
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, Poitiers, 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 Roan yielded up?
If Henry were recall'd to life again,
These news would cause him once more yield the
Exe. How were they lost? what treachery was us'd? Mess. No treachery; but want of men, and money. Among the soldiers this is muttered70
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 ling'ring wars, with little cost;
Another would fly swift, but wanteth wings;
A third man thinks, without expence at all,
By guileful fair words peace may be obtain'd.
Awake, awake, English nobility!
Let not sloth dim your honours, new-begot:
Crop'd are the fleur-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 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 I will lend the French, instead of eyes, To weep their intermissive miseries.
Enter to them another Messenger.
1 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.
[Exit. Exe. The dauphin crowned king all fly to him!" O, whither shall we fly from this reproach ? 4
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 forward
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 las ments, Wherewith you now bedew king Henry's hearseI must inform you of a dismal fight, Betwixt the stout lord Talbot and the French.
Win. What! wherein Talbot overcame? is't so? 3 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 continued ;
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 slew :
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 seal'd up,
If Sir John Fastolfe had not play'd the coward:
He being in the vaward (plac'd 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 her chief assembled strength,
Durst not presume to look once in the face.