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dire and ominous shadow of the historic Richard is thus thrown nearly a generation backward. It is also deepened and darkened by the aid of the blacker interpretation of Richard left by Sir Thomas More. Holinshed's Richard is the ruthless champion of his House, who slays Henry only to the intent that his brother Edward might reign with more surety'; the dramatic Richard is ‘himself' and for himself alone. But even the dramatic Richard does nothing, in the present play, which the champion of his House might not do; and thus the two sublime monologues (iii. 2., v. 5.) in which he lays bare, with the terrific candour of Tamburlane, the policy of his egoism, are only intelligible as preludes to the wonderful drama in which Shakespeare, now at length escaping from the traces of Greene and from the Marlowe alliance if not as yet altogether from his spell, worked out the destiny of the great avenger of the crimes of Lancaster.

THE FIRST PART OF

KING HENRY THE SIXTH

ACT I.

SCENE I.

Westminster Abbey.

Dead March. Enter the Funeral of KING

HENRY the Fifth, attended on by the DUKE
OF BEDFORD, Regent of France ; the DUKE
OF GLOUCESTER, Protector ; the DUKE OF
EXETER, the EARL OF WARWICK, the BISHOP

OF WINCHESTER, Heralds, etc.
Bed. Hung be the heavens with black, yield

day to night!
Comets, importing change of times and states,
Brandish your crystal tresses in the sky,
And with them scourge the bad revolting stars
That have consented unto Henry's death !
King Henry the Fifth, too famous to live long !
England ne'er lost a king of so much worth.
1. Hung be the heavens with

practice evidently suggested the black. The roof covering the image. stage (technically called the heavens') was hung with black 5. consented unto, conspired to on such occasions as this. This bring about,

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Glou. 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 blood ? 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 contrived his end ? Win. He was a king bless'd of the King of

kings. Unto the French the dreadful judgement-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. Glou. The church! where is it? Had not

churchmen pray'd, 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. Gloucester, whate’er we like, thou art protector

16. lift, lifted.

30 40

And lookest to command the prince and realm.
Thy wife is proud ; she holdeth thee in awe,
More than God or religious churchmen may.
Glou. Name not religion, for thou lovest 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,

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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-

Enter a Messenger.
Mess. My honourable lords, health to you all !

50. marish, marsh. Pope's hiatus can hardly be intentional. emendation for Ff 'nourish.' Had the Messenger been meant This can be defended as equi- to cut short Bedford's speech, valent to 'nourice' or 'nurse' ; his first words would have comand Steevens asserts that 'nour- pleted the verse instead of beish' is an old term for a stew ginning a fresh one. Many or fish-preserve. But there is plausible conjectures have been slight evidence of this, and the proposed, c.g. 'Berenice' (Johnuse of so rare a word would not son, Dyce); ` Alexander' (Cabe in keeping with the straight- pell) ; Hercules (Lloyd); forward, incurious style of the Hesperus' (Orger); but none author of i Hen. VI.

of these can be called certain. 56. or bright- The

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