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KING HENRY THE FIFTH.
Duke of Gloster, Brothers to the King.
Duke of Bedford,
Duke of Exeter, Uncle to the King.
Duke of York, Cousin to the King.
Earls of Salisbury, Westmoreland, and Warwick.
Bishop of Ely.
Earl of Cambridge,
SIR THOMAS GREY,
SIR THOMAS ERpingham,
Conspirators against the King.
ISABEL, Queen of France.
KATHARINE, Daughter of Charles and Isabel.
ALICE, a Lady attending on the Princess Katharine.
QUICKLY, Pistol's Wife, an Hostess.
Lords, Ladies, Officers, French and English Soldiers, Messengers, and Attendants.
The SCENE, at the beginning of the Play, lies in England; but afterwards wholly in France.
KING HENRY THE FIFTH.
O, FOR a muse of fire, that would ascend
A kingdom for a stage, princes to act,
And monarchs to behold the swelling scene!
Leashed in like hounds, should famine, sword, and fire,
great an object. Can this cockpit hold
Suppose, within the girdle of these walls
Think, when we talk of horses, that you see them
1 O, for circle, alluding to the circular form of the theatre.
2 "Imaginary forces." Imaginary for imaginative, or your powers of fancy.
Printing their proud hoofs i' the receiving earth;
Who, prologue like, your humble patience pray
Canterbury. My lord, I'll tell you,—that self bill is
Which in the eleventh year o' the last king's reign
But that the scambling and unquiet time
Did push it out of further question.
Ely. But how, my lord, shall we resist it now? Cant. It must be thought on. If it pass against us,
We lose the better half of our possession;
For all the temporal lands, which men devout
1 This first scene was added in the folio, together with the choruses and other amplifications. It appears from Hall and Holinshed, that the events passed at Leicester, where king Henry V. held a parliament in the second year of his reign. But the chorus at the beginning of the second act shows that the Poet intended to make London the place of his first scene. 2 "Canterbury and Ely." Henry Chicheley, a Carthusian monk, recently promoted to the see of Canterbury John Fordham, bishop of Ely consecrated 1388, died 1426.
As much as would maintain, to the king's honor,
Thus runs the bill.
"Twould drink the cup and all
Ely. But what prevention?
Cant. The king is full of grace, and fair regard.
Cant. The courses of his youth promised it not.
And whipped the offending Adam out of him;
To envelop and contain celestial spirits.
With such a heady current, scouring faults;
So soon did lose his seat, and all at once,
And, all admiring, with an inward wish
You would desire, the king were made a prelate:
You would say,-it hath been all in all his study:
Turn him to any cause of policy,
1 The same thought occurs in the preceding play, where king Henry
"My father is gone wild into his grave,
For in his tomb lie my affections."
The Gordian knot of it he will unloose,
Which is a wonder, how his grace should glean it,
Any retirement, any sequestration
Ely. The strawberry grows underneath the nettle, And wholesome berries thrive and ripen best, Neighbored by fruit of baser quality.
And so the prince obscured his contemplation
Cant. It must be so; for miracles are ceased;
But, my good lord,
How now for mitigation of this bill
Urged by the commons? Doth his majesty
He seems indifferent;
Or, rather, swaying more upon our part,
And in regard of causes now in hand,
1 He discourses with so much skill on all subjects, "that his theory must have been taught by art and practice." Practic and theoric, or rather practique and theorique, was the old orthography of practice and theory.
2 This expressive word is used by Drant, in his Translation of Horace's Art of Poetry, 1567.