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t, as it serves to prove that a former piece, in which the character of Oldcastle was introduced, had given great offence:
"The doubtful title (gentlemen) prefixt
Upon the argument we have in hand,
May breed suspense, and wrongfully disturbe
The piece to which Nash alludes is the old anonymous play of King Henry V. which had been exhibited before the year 1589. Tarleton, the comedian, who performed in it both the parts of the Chief Justice and the Clown, having died in that year. It was entered on the Stationers' books in 1594, and, I believe, printed in that year, though I have not met with a copy of that date. An edition of it, printed in 1598, was in the valuable collection of Dr. Wright.
The play before us appears to have been written in the middle of the year 1599. See An Attempt to ascertain the Order of Shakespeare's Plays, Vol. II.
The old King Henry V. may be found among Six old Plays on which Shakespeare founded, &c. printed by S. Leacroft, 1778.
King HENRY the Fifth.
Duke of GLOSTER, brothers to the king.
Duke of BEDFORD, S
Duke of EXETER, uncle to the king.
Duke of YORK, cousin to the king.
Earls of SALISBury, Westmoreland, and WARWICK.
Archbishop of Canterbury.
Bishop of ELY.
Earl of CAMBRIDGE,
Sir THOMAS GREY,
conspirators against the king.
Sir THOMAS ERPINGHAM, GOWER, FLUEllen, MacMORRIS, JAMY, officers in King Henry's army. BATES, COURT, WILLIAMS, soldiers in the same.
NYM, BARDOLPH, PISTOL, formerly servants to Falstaff, now soldiers in the same.
Boy, servant to them. A Herald. Chorus.
CHARLES the Sixth, king of France.
LEWIS, the dauphin.
Dukes of BURgundy, Orleans, and BOURBON.
The Constable of France.
RAMBURES, and GRANDPREE, French lords.
Governor of Harfleur. MONTJOY, a French heraid.
Ambassadors to the king of England.
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.
O, for a muse of fire, that would ascend
Suppose, within the girdle of these walls
And make imaginary puissance:
Think, when we talk of horses, that you see them
For 'tis your thoughts that now must deck our kings,
Who, prologue-like, your humble patience pray,
KING HENRY V.
SCENE I.-London. An ante-chamber in the King's palace.
Enter the Archbishop of CANTERBURY, and Bishop of ELY
Cant. My lord, I'll tell you,-that self bill is urg'd, Which, in th' eleventh year o' th' last king's reign Was like, and had indeed against us pass'd, 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
By testament have given to the church,
Would they strip from us; being valued thus,—
A thousand pounds by th' year: Thus runs the bill