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Fr. King. We have consented to all terms of | May cease their hatred; and this dear conjunction reason.
Plant neighbourhood and christian-like accord K. Hen. Is’t so, my lords of England ? In their sweet bosoms, that never war advance
West. The King hath granted every article: I His bleeding sword 't wixt England and fair France. His daughter first; and then, in sequel, all,
All. Amen! According to their firm proposéd natures.
K. Ilen. Now welcome, Kate :-and bear me Exe. Only he hath not yet subscribed this:
witness all, where your majesty demands that the King of That here I kiss her as my sovereign queen. France, having any occasion to write for matter
(Flourish. of grant, shall name your highness in this form | Q. Isa. God, the best maker of all marriages, and with this addition, in French : “ Notre très | Combine your hearts in one, your realms in one! cher filz Henry, Roy d'Angleterre, heretier de As man and wife, being two, are one in love, France :" and thus in Latin : “ Præclarissimus So be there 't wixt your kingdoms such a spousal filius noster Henricus, Rex Angliæ et hæres That never may ill office, or fell jealousy, Franciæ."
Which troubles oft the bed of blesséd marriage, Fr. King. Nor this I have not, brother, so denied Thrust in between the paction of these kingdoms, But your request shall make me let it pass. To make divorce of their incorporate league : K. Hen. I pray you then, in love and dear That English may as French, French Englishalliance,
men, Let that one article rank with the rest :
Receive each other!–God speak this Amen! And thereupon give me your daughter.
All. Amen! Fr. King. Take her, fair son; and from her K. Hen. Prepare we for our marriage :-on blood raise up
which day, Issue to me: that the contending kingdoms My lord of Burgundy, we'll take your oath, Of France and England, whose very shores look And all the peers, for surety of our leagues. pale
Then shall I swear to Kate, and you to me: With envy of each other's happiness,
And may our oaths well kept and prosperous be!
Thus far, with rough and all unable pen, Henry the Sixth, in infant bands crowned King
Our bending author hath pursued the story: 1 of France and England, did this king succeed, In little room confining mighty men,
Whose state so many had the managing, Mangling by starts the full course of their glory. ! That they lost France, and made his England Small time; but in that small most greatly lived
bleed: This star of England. Fortune made his sword; | Which oft our stage has shewn: and for their By which the world's best garden he achieved,
sake, And of it left his son imperial lord.
| In your fair minds let this acceptance take.
"O for a muse of fire, that would asceng
The brightest heaven of invention."-Chorus, Act I. This goes upon the notion of the peripatetic system, which imagines several heavens one above another; the last and highest of which was one of fire.-WARBURTOX.
It alludes likewise to the aspiring nature of fire: which by its levity, at the separation of the chaos, took the highest seat of all the elements.-Jouxsox.
"When he speaks, The air, a chartered libertine, is still."-Act I., Scene 1. This line is exquisitely beautiful.-JOHxsox. The same thought occurs in "As You LIKE IT:"
“I must have liberty Withal; as large a charter as the wind, To blow on whom I please."
" For me, the gold of France did not seduce
The sooner to effect what I intended."-Act II., Scene 2. A passage from Holinshed will throw light on this con. fession of the Earl of Cambridge:
“Divers write that Richard, Earl of Cambridge, did not conspire with the Lord Scroop and Thomas Gray, for the murdering of King Henry, to please the French King withal, but only to the intent to exalt to the crown his brother-in-law, Edmund, Earl of March, as heir to Lionel, Duke of Clarence: after the death of which Earl of March (for divers secret impediments not able to have issue), the Earl of Cambridge was sure that the crown should come to him by his wife, and to his children of her begotten. And therefore (as was thought) he rather confessed himself, for need of money, to be corrupted of the French King, than he would declare his inward mind, &c.; which if it were espied, he saw plainly that the Earl of March should have tasted of the same cup that he had drunken; and what should come to his own children he much doubted."
“Send for him, good uncle."-Act I., Scene 2 The person here addressed was Thomas Beaufort, halfbrother to King Henry IV.; being one of the sons of John of Gaunt, by Catharine Swynford. At this time he was properly Earl of Dorset, not having been created Duke of Exeter till after the battle of Agincourt.
- "Also King Lewis the tenth, Who was sole heir to the usurper Capet."-Act I., Scene 2.
The monarch here alluded to was properly Lewis the Ninth, commonly called St. Lewis. The poet was led into the inaccuracy by Holinshed.
"His nose was as sharp as a pen, and 'a babbled of green fields."-Act II., Scene 3.
This passage furnishes one of the many happy conjectural emendations of Theobald. It is universally received as the genuine text, and frequently quoted as an instance of Shakspere's close observation of nature. Yet the question is not without difficulty. Malone says on the subject:-"The folio of 1623 (for these words are not in the quarto), reads, .and a table of green fields. Mr. Theobald made the correction. Dr. Warburton objects to the emendation, on the ground of the nature of Falstaff's illness, who was so far from babbling, or wanting cooling in green fields, that his feet were cold, and he was just expiring.' But his disorder had been a burning quotidian tertian.' It is, I think, a much stronger objection that the word table, with a capital letter (for so it appears in the old copy), is very unlikely to have been printed instead of babbled."
" For now sits Expectation in the air,
Promised to Harry and his followers."--Chorus, Act II. This idea is derived from the ancient representations of trophies in tapestry or painting. Among these it is very common to see swords encircled with naval or mural crowns. Expectation is also personified by Milton :
"While Expectation stood
"One, Richard, Earl of Cambridge; and the second,
Chorus, Act II. Richard, Earl of Cambridge, was Richard de Conisbury, younger son of Edmund Langley, Duke of York. He was father of Richard, Duke of York, and grandfather of Edward IV.
Henry, Lord Scroop, was third husband of Joan, Duchess of York, mother-in-law of Richard, Earl of Cambridge.
" Bul kerps the pridge most valiantly, with excellent dis cipline."-Act III., Scene 6.
This mention of the bridge is founded on bistorical fact. After Henry had passed the Somme, the French endeavoured to intercept him in his passage to Calais; and for that pur. pose attempted to break down the only bridge that there was over the small river of Ternois, at Blangi, over which it was necessary for him to pass. But the King having notice of the design, sent a part of his troops before him, who, attacking and putting the French to flight, preserved the bridge till the whole English army arrived and passed over it.
"O how hast thou with jealousy infected
The sweetness of affiance !"-Act II., Scene 2. Shakspere urges this aggravation of the guilt of treachery with great judgment. One of the worst consequences of breach of trust is the diminution of that confidence which makes the happiness of life; and the dissemination of suspicion, which is the poison of society.--JOUXSOX.
"A beard of the general's cul."-Act III., Scene 6.
It appears from an old ballad, inserted in a miscellany, entitled “LE PRINCE D'AMOUR" (1660), that our ancestors were very curious in the fashion of their beards, and that a certain cut or form was appropriated to the soldier, the bishop, the judge, the clown, &c.
The spade-beard, and perhaps the stiletto-beard also, was appropriated to the soldier. It is observable that Shakspere's patron, Henry, Earl of Southampton, who spent much of
his time in camps, is drawn with his beard in the stiletto i and ever.” Mr. Boswell remarks, " they have, it is true, no fashion; while his unfortunate friend, the Earl of Essex, is great connexion with the poor Frenchman's supplications, represented with this cherished ornament in the spade form. nor were they meant to have any: Pistol, instead of attend
ing to him, contemptuously hums a tune."
Pistol probably means to express contempt for the French“Every subject's duty is the King's, but every subject's soul man's flattery in speaking of his "quality." He wants is his own."-Act IV., Scene 1.
something more substantial.- "Art thou a gentleman ?" This is a very just distinction, and the whole argument is
His mind is set on the "egregious ransom."-0. well followed and properly concluded.-Jouxsox.
"As, by a lower but by loving likelihood, "Upon the King!"-Act IV., Scene 1.
Were now the general of our gracious empress There is something very striking and solemn in this soli.
(As in good time he may) from Ireland coming, loquy, into which the King breaks as soon as he is left alone.
Bringing rebellion broached on his sword, Something like this, on less occasions, every breast has felt.
How many tcould the peaceful cily quit Reflection and seriousness rush upon the mind upon the
To welcome him?"-Chorus, Act V. separation of a gay company; and especially after forced and
The poet had good ground for supposing that the return uuwilling merriment.--JOurson.
of the unfortunate Essex from Ireland would be attended
with a numerous concourse of well-wishers : for on his setting -"And I hare built
out for that country (as we are told by the Continuer of Troo chantries, where the sad and solemn priests
Stowe's Chronicle), “He took horse in Seeding-lane, and Sing still for Richard's soul."--Act IV., Scene 1, from thence, being accompanied with divers noblemen and One of these chantries was for Carthusian monks, and
many others, himself very plainly attired, rode through Gracewas called Bethlehem: the other was for men and women
church-street, Cornhill, Cheapside, and other high streets : in of the order of St. Bridget, and was named Sion. They were
all which places, and in the fields, the people pressed exon opposite sides of the Thames. Sion House, the seat of
ceedingly to behold him, especially in the highway, for more the Duke of Northumberland, now occupies the site of the
than four miles' space, crying, and saying, 'God bless your last of these institutions.
lordship,' 'God preserve your honour,' &c.; and some followed him till the evening, only to behold him."
The disastrous circumstances attending and consequent “Their horsemen sil like fixéd candleslicks,
on this great favourite's returu are too well known to need Wilh torchstaves in their hand."-Act IV., Scene 2.
recapitulation. Ancient candlesticks were often in the form of human figures, holding the sockets for the lights, in their extended hands. Mr. Douce had one of these interesting relics in his King HENRY V. is visibly the favourite hero of Shakspere, possession. They are mentioned in “VITTORIA Corom- in English history. He pourtrays him endowed with every DANA" (1612):-"He shewed like a pewter candlestick. chivalrous and kingly virtue: open, sincere, affable, yet still fashioned like a man in armour, holding a tilting-staff in his disposed to innocent raillery (as a sort of reminiscence of his hand, little bigger than a candle."
youth) in the intervals between his dangerous and renowned
achievements. To bring his life, after his ascent to the "Be he ne'er so vile,
crown, on the stage, was, however, attended with great diffi. This day shall gentle his condition."- Act IV., Scenc 3. culty. The conquests in France were the only distinguished
events of his reign; and war is much more an epic than a Henry V. prohibited all persons, except such as had a
dramatic subject. If we would have dramatic interest, war right by grant or inheritance, from bearing coats of arms,
must only be the means by which something else is accomexcept those who fought with him at the battle of Agincourt;
plisherl, and not the last aim and substance of the whole. and these were allowed the chief seats at all feasts and public meetings.
In "King Henry V." no opportunity was afforded Shakspere of rendering the issue of the war dramatic; but
he has availed himself of other circumstances attending it “YORK. My lord, mosl humbly on my knee I beg
with peculiar care. Before the battle of Agincourt, he paints The leading of the vaward
in the most lively colours the light-minded impatience of the K. Her. Take it, brace York."-Act IV., Scene 3...
French leaders for the moment of battle, which to them This Duke of York is the same person who appears (not seemed infallibly the moment of victory : on the other hand, very creditably) in “King RICHARD II.," as Duke of Au he paints the uneasiness of the English King and his army, merle. He was the second son of Edmund Langley, the from their desperate situation, coupled with the firm deterDuke of York of that play. Richard, Earl of Cambridge, mination, if they are to fall, at least to fall with honour. He who appears in the second act of this drama, was the younger applies this as a general contrast between the French and brother of the Edward, Duke of York, mentioned in the English national character: a contrast which betrays a quoted passage.
partiality for his own nation, certainly excusable in a poet,
especially when he is backed with such a glorious document “Quality! Callino, castore me. Art thou a gentleman?" as that of the memorable battle in question.
Act IV., Scene 4. However much Shakspere celebrates the French conquest The original copy here reads, "Qualitie, calmie custure
of King Henry, still he has not omitted to hint to us, after me." This jargon was changed by the 'editors to “Quality,
his way, the secret springs of this undertaking. Henry was call you me? Construe me," &c. But Malone subsequently
in want of foreign wars to secure himself on the throne : the found "Calen o custure me," mentioned as the burthen of
clergy also wished to keep him employed abroad, and made a "Sonnet of a Lover," in a work called “AHANDFUL OF
an offer of rich contributions, to prevent the passing of a law
which would have deprived them of the half o! their reve. PLEASANT DELIGHTS," &c. (1584). And Mr. Boswell has still later discovered that it was an old Irish song, which is
nues. His learned bishops are consequen:ly as ready to printed in Playford's “MUSICAL COMPANION," (1667 or
prove to him his undisputed right to the crown of France, as 1673):
he is to allow his conscience to be tranquilised by them.
They prove that the Salic is not, and never was, applicable to “Callino, Callino, Callino, castore me;
France; and the matter is treated in a more succinct and Eva ee, eva ee, loo, loo, loo lee."
convincing manner than such subjects usually are in mani. The words are said to mean, “ Little girl of my heart for ever ! festoes.-SCILEGEL
chester, and afterwards Cardinal.
Cambridge; afterwards Duke of York,
Heralds, Officers, Soldiers, Messengers, and several Attondanto
SCENE. Partly in ENGLAND, and partly in FRANCR.
W ERE we not restricted by the plan of the present edition of Shakspere from offering more
than a summary of the merits of each drama, with such observations as its history may
render necessary, we should yet refrain from entering at much length into the controversy to which this and the two following plays have given rise.
Still, Malone's Dissertation, in which he endeavours to convince his reader and himself, that the First Part of “Henry VI." owes not a word to Shakspere, and that the Second and Third Parts are merely mended by his hand, must not be passed over in entire silence. He grounds his belief, that the First Part was entirely the work of an earlier dramatist, mainly on the circumstance that there is an unusual amount of mythological allusion in it; more, as he conjectures, than Shakspere had, at the time, to bestow; and that the metre is differently constructed from his later plays. No conclusion, however, against the genuineness of the present drama can fairly be drawn from the affluence of mythological or classical allusion contained in it, or from the construction of its metre. Whoever the author, this play was undoubtedly written when Shakspere was a very young man. Supposing it to be his, what more likely than that a youthful poet should be anxious to shew his acquirements (witness the pedantry of his early comedy “Love's LABOUR'S LOST"), or that he should have adopted a structure of verse which Marlow had made so smooth and musical, that his must be a practised ear which can at last detect its monotony and be weary of its sweetness ?
Upon the whole, we incline to think that the three plays of “King Henry VI.” were constructed by one man, and that that man was Shakspere; but that, if he were not the author, he put his mending hand to all three. In the present play, Joan of Arc, speaking of her sword, says
"The which at Touraine, in St. Katharine's churchyard,
Out of a great deal of old iron, I chose forth.”
“ Glory is like a circle in the water,
Till, by broad spreading, it disperse to nought:"
An old writer, denouncing ambition, compares it to the crocodile, which, he says, continues to grow during its whole existence. This will apply as closely to genius, and eminently so to the genius of Shakspere. How much greater are his mature than his early productions ! Let us grant that the present and the two succeeding plays are from his hand. This is to be borne in mind-a young author, diffident, perhaps, of his abilities (certainly unacquainted with their extent), anxious to please, observant of the success of others; he could scarce do aught else than cast an historical play in the mould that was familiar to his audience. Marlow, Peele, and Greene had preceded hiin; men not lightly esteemed: let us add, not undeservedly famous : held, we doubt not (the first especially), in veneration by the young Shakspere. What was he to do ?—the not unknowing but the unlearned youth; he, who came out of no university, as the rest had done--what could he do, but follow in their steps ? Time, which brought experience; experience, which ripened judgment;—these were present, and lent their aid at the composition of the Master's dramas.
After enjoying the great historical productions of Shakspere, printed, as they are, in chronological order, we can conceive and sympathise with the disappointment of the reader, when he lights, for the first time, upon the following play. He will see that it is full of action, but deficient in character; that, with the exception of the Bishop of Winchester and the young King, it scarcely aims at individual portraiture. The rest of the personages are alike prominent ; distinguished by their names, but not otherwise discriminated. The whole reminds us of an ancient print, without light or shade or perspective, in which the figures are all more or less alike, yet not one like the person designed to be represented; save that, in common with its original, it possesses all the members of a human body.
Nc edition of this play is known prior to that of the first folio.