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LITERARY AND HISTORICAL THE transactions comprized in this historical play commence about the eighth, year of King Henry's reign; or with the marriage betw which reconciled the differences of the two crowns. It was writt beth's forces in Ireland were commanded by the Earl of Essex. foibles and dissipation of Henry, whilst a prince, was under the lustre of his characters a monarch. In this, with one exception succeeded. The old woman's account of Falstaff's death is admiral turally circumstantial: every reader must regret bidding adieu to t variably produced a smile. Of Pistol, Dr Johnson says, "his cha bullies that have yet appeared on the English stage."







DUKE OF EXETER, Uncle to the King.
DUKE OF YORK, Cousin to the King.







EARL OF CAMBRIDGE, Į Conspirators against
S the King.


MACMORRIS, JAMY, Officers in King
Henry's Army.


BATES, COURT, WILLIAMs, Soldiers in the



NYM, BARDOLPH, PISTOL, formerly Servants Lords, I to Falstaff, now Soldiers in the same. BOY, Servant to them.-A HERALD.-CHORUS. I

The SCENE, at the beginning of the play, lies in Englan

Brothers to the King.


Oh! for a muse of fire, that would ascend
The brightest heaven of invention?
A kingdom for a stage, princes to act,
And monarchs to behold the swelling scene!
Then should the warlike Harry, like himself,
Assume the port of Mars; and, at his heels,
Leash'd in like hounds, should famine, sword,
and fire,
Crouch for employment. But pardon,


The flat unraised spirit that hath dar'd
On this unworthy scaffold to bring forth
So great an object: Can this cockpit hold
The vasty fields of Frauce; or may we cram
Within this wooden O, the very casques,
That did affright the air at Agincourt?
O pardon since a crooked figure may

Alluding to the Peripatetic system; which imagines several heavens one above another; the last and highest of which was one of fire.

↑ An allusion to the circular form of the theatre.

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And wholesome berries thrive and ripen best,
Neighbour'd by fruit of baser quality:
And so the prince obscur'd his contemplation
Under the veil of wildness; which, no doubt,
Unseen, yet crescive in his faculty.
Grew like summer grass, fastest by night,


Scene I.


SCENE 1.-London.-An Antechamber 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

Which, in the eleventh year o'the last king's

Was like, and had indeed against us pass'd,
But that the scambling and unquiet time
Did pash it out of further question.

Cant. He seems indifferent;

Ely. But how, my lord, shall we resist


If it pass

Or, rather, swaying more upon our part,
Than cherishing the exhibiters against us:
For I have made an offer to his majesty,
(Upon our spiritual convocation;
And in regard of causes now in hand,
Which I have open'd to his grace at large,
As touching France, to give a greater sum
Than ever at one time the clergy yet
Did to his predecessors part withal.

Ely. How did this offer seem receiv'd, my

now? Cant. It must be thought on. 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, As much as would maintain, to the king's bonour,

Cant. It must be so: for miracles are ceas'd;
And therefore we must needs admit the means,
How things are perfected.

Ely. But, my good lord,

How now for mitigation of this bill
Urg'd by the commons? Doth his majesty
Incline to it or no?

Full fifteen earls, and fifteen hundred knights;
Six thousand and two hundred good esquires;
And to relief of lazars, and weak age,
Of indigeut faint souls, past corporal toil,
A hundred alms-houses right-well supplied;
And to the coffers of the king beside,

A thousand pounds by the year: Thus runs the


Ely. This would drink deep.

Cant. 'Twould drink the cup and all.
Ely. But what prevention?

Cant. The king is full of grace and fair

The breath no sooner left his father's body,
But that his wildness, mortified in him,
Seem'd to die too: yea, at that very moment,
Consideration like an angel came,

Ely. And a true lover of the holy church.
Cant. The courses of his youth promis'd it


Cant. With good acceptance of his majesty; Save, that there was not time enough to hear (As I perceiv'd, his grace would fain have done,)

The severals and unhidden passages

crown and seat of his true titles to some certain dukedoms; And, generally, to the

And whipp'd the offending Adam out of him;
Leaving his body as a paradise,

Deriv'd from Edward, his great grandfather.
Ely. What was the impediment that broke this

To envelop and contain celestial spirits.
Never was such a sudden scholar made:
Never came reformation in a flood,
With such a heady current scouring faults;
Nor never Hydra-headed wilfulness
So soon did lose his seat, and all at once,
As in this king.

Ely. We are blessed in the change.

Cant. Hear him but reason in divinity,
And, all-admiring, with an inward wish
You would desire the king were made a pre-


Cant. The French ambassador, upon that

Crav'd audience; and the hour I think is come,
To give him hearing: Is it four o'clock f

Ely. It is.

Cant. Then go we in to know his embassy; Which I could, with a ready guess, declare, Before the Frenchman speak a word of it. [Exeunt. Ely. I'll wait upon you; and I long to bear it. SCENE II.-The same.-A Room of State in

the same.

Hear him debate of commonwealth affairs,
You would say, it hath been all-in all his

List his discourse of war, and you shall hear
A fearful battle render'd you in music:
Turn him to any cause of policy,
The Gordian knot of it he will unloose,
Familiar as his garter; that, when he speaks,
The air, a charter'd libertine, is still,
And the mute wonder lurketh in men's ears,
To steal his sweet and honeyed sentences;
So that the art and practic part of life
Must be the mistress to this theoric: +
Which is a wonder, how his grace should
glean it,

Since his addiction was to courses vain;
His companies; unletter'd, rude, and shallow;
His hours fill'd up with riots,



K. Hen. Where is my gracious lord of Canterbury?

Exe. Not here in presence.

K. Hen. Send for him, good uncle.
West. Shall we call in the ambassador, my

K. Hen. Not yet, my cousin; we would be re-
Before we hear him, of some things of weight,
That task our thoughts, concerning us and

Enter the Archbishop of CANTERBURY, and
Bishop of ELY.

Cant. God and his angels guard your sacred throne, And make you long become it!

K. Hen. Sure, we thank you.

Alluding to the method by which Hercules cleansed he Augear stable: viz. turning a river through it.

1 Theory.


My learned lord, we pray you to proceed;
And justly and religiously unfold,

Why the law Salique, that they have in France,
Or should, or should not, bar us in our claim.
And God forbid, my dear and faithful lord,
That you should fashion, wrest, or bow your


And never noted in him any study,
Any retirement, any sequestration
From open haunts and popularity.

Or nicely charge your understanding soul

Suits not in native colours with the truth; Ely. The strawberry grows underneath the With opening titles miscreate, whose right For God doth know how many now in health


• Increasing.

+ Spurious.

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ball drop their blood in approbation
of what your reverence shall incite us to:
Therefore take heed how you impawn our

How you awake the sleeping sword of war ;-
We charge you in the name of God, take heed:
For never two such kingdoms did contend,
Without much fail of blood; whose guiltless


Was re-uni

So that, as King Pepi King Lewi To hold in

So do the Howbeit ti To bar you And rathe Than amp

Are every one a woe, a sore complaint,

'Gainst him, whose wrongs give edge unto the Usurp'd fi


K. Hen

That make such waste in brief mortality.
Under this conjuration, speak, my lord;
And we will hear, note, and believe in heart,
That what you speak is in your conscience

As pure as sin with baptism.

Cant. Then hear me, gracious sovereign,-
and you peers,

That owe your lives, your faith, and services,
To this imperial throne;-There is no bar
To make against your highness' claim to France,
But this, which they produce from Phara-

In terram Salicam mulieres ne succedant,
No woman shall succeed in Salique land:
Which Salique land the French unjustly gloze,+
To be the realm of France, and Pharamond
# The founder of this law and female bar.
Yet their own authors faithfully affirm,
That the land Satique lies in Germany,
Between the floods of Sala and of Elbe:
Where Charles the great, having subdued


There left behind and settled certain French;
Who, holding in disdain the German wonen,
For some dishonest manners of their life,
Establish'd there this law,--to wit, no female
Should be inheritrix in Salique land
Which Salique, as I said, 'twixt Elbe and


Is at this day in Germany call'd Meisen.
Thus doth it well appear, the Salique law
Was not devised for the realm of France:
Nor did the French possess the Salique land
Until four hundred one and twenty years
After defunction of king Pharamond,
Idly suppos'd the founder of this law;
Who died within the year of our redemption
Four hundred twenty-six; and Charles the

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Subdued the Saxons, and did seat the French
Beyond the river Sala, in the year

Eight hundred five. Besides, their writers say,
King Pepin, which deposed Childerick,

Did as heir general, being descended

of Blithild, which was the daughter to Clo- With bl

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The whole of this long speech is copied from Hollin Mother hed. Explain 1 Make showy or specious. Cressy. Derived his tale. land.

Scene II.

Came pouring like the tide unto a breath,
With ample and brim-fulness of his force;
Galling the gleaned land with hot essays;
Girding with grievous siege castles and towns;
That England, being empty of defence,
Hath shook and trembled at the ill neighbour.

Cant. She hath been then more fear'd
harm'd, my liege :


For hear her but exampled by herself,-
When all her chivalry hath been in France,
And she a mourning widow of her nobles,
She bath herself not only well defended,
But taken and impounded as a stray,
The king of Scots; whom she did send

To fill king Edward's fame with prisoner


Cannot defend our own door from the dog,
Let us be worried; and our nation lose
The name of hardiness and policy.

K. Hen. Call in the messengers sent from
the Dauphin.


[Exit an Attendant. The KING ascends
his Throne.
Now are we

well resolv'd; and, by God's

And your's the noble sinews of our power,
France being our's, we'll bend it to our awe,
Or break it all to pieces: Or there we'll sit,
Ruling, in large and ample empery,


O'er France, and all her almost kingly duke-


Or lay these bones in an unworthy urn,
Either our history shall, with full mouth,
Tombless, with no remembrance over them:
Speak freely of our acts; or else our grave,
Like Turkish mute, shall have a tongueless

And make your chronicle as rich with praise,
As is the ooze and bottom of the sea
With sunken wreck and sumless treasuries.
West. But there's a saying, very old and Not worship'd with a waxen epitaph.


If that you will France win,

Then with Scotland first begin:
For once the eagle England being in prey,
To ber unguarded nest the weasel Scot
Comes sneaking; and so sucks her princely

Enter AMBASSADORS of France.

Now are we well prepar'd to know the plea


Of our fair cousin Dauphin; for, we hear,
Amb. May it please your majesty, to give us
Your greeting is from him, not from the king.
Freely to render what we have in charge;


Playing the mouse, in absence of the cat,

To spoil and havoc more than she can eat.

The Dauphin's meaning, and our embassy?
Exe. It follows then, the cat must stay at Or shall we sparingly show you far off

K. Hen. We are no tyrant, but a Christian
Unto whose grace our passion is as subject,
As are our wretches fetter'd in our prisons:
Therefore, with frank and with uncurbed plain-


Yet that is but a curs'd necessity;

Since we have locks to safeguard necessaries,
And pretty traps to catch the petty thieves.
While that the armed hand doth fight abroad,
The advised bead défends itself at home :
For government, though high, and low,


Put into parts, doth keep in one concent; +
Congruing in a full and natural close,
Like music.

• Frightened.

1 Agreeing
1 Saber, grave.

Cant. True: therefore doth heaven divide
The state of man in divers functions,
Setting endeavour in continual motion:
To whieb is fixed, as an aim or butt,
Obedience: for so work the honey bees;
Creatures, that, by a rule in nature, teach
The act of order to a peopled kingdom.
They have a king, and officers of sorts: 5
Where some, like magistrates, correct at home;
Others, like merchants, venture trade abroad;
Others, like soldiers, armed in their stings,
Make boot upon the summer's velvet buds;
Which pillage they with merry march bring
To the tent-royal of their emperor :
Who, busied in his majesty, surveys
The singing masons building roofs of gold;
The civil citizens kneading up the honey;
The poor mechanic porters crowding in
Their heavy burdens at his narrow gate;
The sad-ey'd justice, with bis surly hum,
Delivering o'er to executors¶ pale
The lazy yawning drone. I this infer,-
That many things, having full reference
To one consent, may work contrariously;
As many arrows, loosed several ways,
Fly to one mark;

As many several ways meet in one town;
As many fresh streams run in one self sea:
As many lines close in the dial's centre;
So many a thousand actions, once afoot,
End in one purpose, and be all well borne
Without defeat. Therefore to France,

Divide your happy England into four;
Whereof take you one quarter into France,
And you withal shall make all Gallia shake.
If we, with thrice that power left at home,

+ Harmony. Different degrees. Executioners.


Tell us the Dauphin's mind.
Amb. Thus then, in few.

Your highness, lately sending into France,
Did claim some certain dukedoms, in the right
Of your great predecessor, king Edward the

In answer of which claim, the prince our

Says, that you savour too much of your youth;
And bids you be advis'd, there's nought in

That can be with a nimble galliard + won;
You cannot revel into dukedoms there:
He therefore sends you, meeter for your spirit,
This tun of treasure; and in lieu of this,
Desires you let the dukedoms that you claim,
This the Dauphin
more of you.
Hear no
K. Hen. What treasure, uncle ?
Exe. Tennis-balls, my liege.

K. Hen. We are glad the Dauphin is so plea-
sant with us; 1

His present, and your pains, we thank you for :
When we have match'd our rackets to these

We will, in France, by God's grace, play a set,
Shall strike his father's crown into the hazard:
Tell him, he hath made a match with such a
That all the courts of France will be disturb'd
And we understand him well,
With chaces.
How be comes o'er us with our wilder days,
Not measuring what use we made of them.
We never valu'd this poor seat of England;
And therefore, living hence, did give ourself
To barbarous licence; As 'tis ever common,
That men are merriest when they are from


But, tell the Dauphin, I will keep my state;
Be like a king, and show my sail of greatness,
When I do rouse me in my throne of France;

• Dominion.

+An ancient dauce. 1 This story is by no means credible: the great offers made by France, to avert the war, shew that they enter tained a just idea of Henry's character. Hume.

3 L

For that I have laid by my majesty,
And plodded like a man for working days;
But I will rise there with so full a glory,
That I will dazzle all the eyes of France,
Yea, strike the Dauphin blind to look ou us.
And tell the pleasant prince, this mock of his
Hath turn'd his balls to gun-stones; and his
Shall stand sore charged for the wasteful ven-
That shall fly with them: for many a thousand


Shall this his mock mock out of their dear hus.
Mock mothers from their sons, mock castles

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The king
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And briu

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But, till
Unto So


And some are yet ungotten, and unborn,
That shall have cause to curse the Dauphin's


But this lies all within the will of God,
To whom I do appeal, and, in whose name,
Tell you the Dauphin 1 am coming on,
To venge me as I may, and to put forth
My rightful band in a well-hallow'd cause.
So, get you hence in peace; and tell the Dau-
His jest will savour but of shallow wit, [phin,
When thousands weep, more than did laugh
at it.-

Convey them with safe conduct.-Fare you well.
Exe. This was a merry message.
K. Hen. We hope to make the sender blush
at it. [Descends from his Throne.
Therefore, my lords, omit no happy hour,
That may give furtherance to our expedition:
For we have now no thought in us but France;
Save those to God, that run before our business.
Therefore, let our proportious for these wars
Be soon collected; and all things thought upon,
That may, with reasonable swiftness, add
More feathers to our wings; for, God before,
We'll chide this Dauphin at his father's door.
Therefore, let every man now task his thought,
That this fair action may on foot be brought.




Chor. Now, all the youth of England are on



friends y

Nym. but WE smiles;

not fight It is a toast ch

man's s Bard friends to Franc

Nym that's th

And silken dalliance in the wardrobe lies:
Now thrive the armourers, and honour's thought
Reigns solely in the breast of every man :
They sell the pasture now, to buy the horse;
Following the mirror of all Christian kings,
With winged heels, as English Mercuries.
For now sits Expectation in the air;
And hides a sword, from hilts unto the point,
With crowns imperial, crowns, and coronets,
Promis'd to Harry and his followers.
The French, advis'd by good intelligence
Of this most dreadful preparation,
Shake in their fear; and with pale policy
Seek to divert the English purposes.
O England! model to thy inward greatness,
Like little body with a mighty heart,
What might'st thou do, that honour would thee do,
Were all thy children kind and natural!

But see thy fault! France hath in thee found out
A nest of hollow bosoms, which he fills
With treacherous crowns: and three corrupted


One, Richard earl of Cambridge; and the second,
Henry lord Scroop of Marshamn; and the third,
Sir Thomas Grey knight of Northumberland,
Have, for the gilt § of France, (O guilt, indeed !)

• Balls of stone were discharged from ordnance formerly.


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+Shakspeare perhaps took this idea from the figure of Edward III, in the ancient armoury of the tower; that king being represented with two crowns upon the point of his sword, in allusion to the two kingdoms of France and England.

I. e. The king of France.

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