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  • Title: Henry VI, Part 1 (Folio 1, 1623)

  • Copyright Internet Shakespeare Editions. This text may be freely used for educational, non-proift purposes; for all other uses contact the Coordinating Editor.
    Author: William Shakespeare
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    Henry VI, Part 1 (Folio 1, 1623)

    The first Part of Henry the Sixt.
    1Actus Primus. Scoena Prima.
    Dead March.
    Enter the Funerall of King Henry the Fift, attended on by
    the Duke of Bedford, Regent of France; the Duke
    5of Gloster, Protector; the Duke of Exeter War-
    wicke, the Bishop of Winchester, and
    the Duke of Somerset.
    HVng be ye heauens with black, yield day to night;
    10Comets importing change of Times and States,
    Brandish your crystall Tresses in the Skie,
    And with them scourge the bad reuolting Stars,
    That haue consented vnto Henries death:
    King Henry the Fift, too famous to liue long,
    15England ne're lost a King of so much worth.
    Glost. England ne're had a King vntill his time:
    Vertue he had, deseruing to command,
    His brandisht Sword did blinde men with his beames,
    His Armes spred wider then a Dragons Wings:
    20His sparkling Eyes, repleat with wrathfull fire,
    More dazled and droue back his Enemies,
    Then mid-day Sunne, fierce bent against their faces.
    What should I say? his Deeds exceed all speech:
    He ne're lift vp his Hand, but conquered.
    25 Exe. We mourne in black, why mourn we not in blood?
    Henry is dead, and neuer shall reuiue:
    Vpon a Woodden Coffinwe attend;
    And Deaths dishonourable Victorie,
    We with our stately presence glorifie,
    30Like Captiues bound to a Triumphant Carre.
    What? shall we curse the Planets of Mishap,
    That plotted thus our Glories ouerthrow?
    Or shall we thinke the subtile-witted French,
    Coniurers and Sorcerers, that afraid of him,
    35By Magick Verses haue contriu'd his end.
    Winch. He was a King, blest of the King of Kings.
    Vnto the French, the dreadfull Iudgement-Day
    So dreadfull will not be, as was his sight.
    The Battailes of the Lord of Hosts he fought:
    40The Churches Prayers made him so prosperous.
    Glost. The Church? where is it?
    Had not Church-men pray'd,
    His thred of Life had not so soone decay'd.
    None doe you like, but an effeminate Prince,
    45Whom like a Schoole-boy you may ouer-awe.
    Winch. Gloster, what ere we like, thou art Protector,
    And lookest to command the Prince and Realme.
    Thy Wife is prowd, she holdeth thee in awe,
    More then God or Religious Church-men may.
    50 Glost. Name not Religion, for thou lou'st the Flesh,
    And ne're throughout the yeere to Church thou go'st,
    Except it be to pray against thy foes.
    Bed. Cease, cease these Iarres, & rest your minds in peace:
    Let's to the Altar: Heralds wayt on vs;
    55In stead of Gold, wee'le offer vp our Armes,
    Since Armes auayle not, now that Henry's dead,
    Posteritie await for wretched yeeres,
    When at their Mothers moistned eyes, Babes shall suck,
    Our Ile be made a Nourish of salt Teares,
    60And none but Women left to wayle the dead.
    Henry the Fift, thy Ghost I inuocate:
    Prosper this Realme, keepe it from Ciuill Broyles,
    Combat with aduerse Planets in the Heauens;
    A farre more glorious Starre thy Soule will make,
    65Then Iulius Caesar, or bright----
    Enter a Messenger.
    Mess. My honourable Lords, health to you all:
    Sad tidings bring I to you out of France,
    Of losse, of slaughter, and discomfiture:
    70Guyen, Champaigne, Rheimes, Orleance,
    Paris, Guysors, Poictiers, are all quite lost.
    Bedf. What say'st thou man, before dead Henry's Coarse?
    Speake softly, or the losse of those great Townes
    Will make him burst his Lead, and rise from death.
    75 Glost. Is Paris lost? is Roan yeelded vp?
    If Henry were recall'd to life againe,
    These news would cause him once more yeeld the Ghost.
    Exe. How were they lost? what trecherie was vs'd?
    Mess. No trecherie, but want of Men and Money.
    80Amongst the Souldiers this is muttered,
    That here you maintaine seuerall Factions:
    And whil'st a Field should be dispatcht and fought,
    You are disputing of your Generals.
    One would haue lingring Warres, with little cost;
    85Another would flye swift, but wanteth Wings:
    A third thinkes, without expence at all,
    By guilefull faire words, Peace may be obtayn'd.
    Awake, awake, English Nobilitie,
    Let not slouth dimme your Honors, new begot;
    90Cropt are the Flower-de-Luces in your Armes
    Of Englands Coat, one halfe is cut away.
    Exe. Were our Teares wanting to this Funerall,
    These Tidings would call forth her flowing Tides.
    Bedf. Me they concerne, Regent I am of France:
    95Giue me my steeled Coat, Ile fight for France.
    Away with these disgracefull wayling Robes;
    Wounds will I lend the French, in stead of Eyes,
    To weepe their intermissiue Miseries.
    Enter to them another Messenger.
    100 Mess. Lords view these Letters, full of bad mischance.
    France is reuolted from the English quite,
    Except some petty Townes, of no import.
    The Dolphin Charles is crowned King in Rheimes:
    The Bastard of Orleance with him is ioyn'd:
    105Reynold, Duke of Aniou, doth take his part,
    The Duke of Alanson flyeth to his side. Exit.
    Exe. The Dolphin crown'd King? all flye to him?
    O whither shall we flye from this reproach?
    Glost. We will not flye, but to our enemies throats.
    110Bedford, if thou be slacke, Ile fight it out.
    Bed. Gloster, why doubtst thou of my forwardnesse?
    An Army haue I muster'd in my thoughts,
    Wherewith already France is ouer-run.
    Enter another Messenger.
    115 Mes. My gracious Lords, to adde to your laments,
    Wherewith you now bedew King Henries hearse,
    I must informe you of a dismall fight,
    Betwixt the stout Lord Talbot, and the French.
    Win. What? wherein Talbot ouercame, is't so?
    120 3. Mes. O no: wherein Lord Talbot was o'rethrown:
    The circumstance Ile tell you more at large.
    The tenth of August last, this dreadfull Lord,
    Retyring from the Siege of Orleance,
    Hauing full scarce six thousand in his troupe,
    125By three and twentie thousand of the French
    Was round incompassed, and set vpon:
    No leysure had he to enranke his men.
    He wanted Pikes to set before his Archers:
    In stead whereof, sharpe Stakes pluckt out of Hedges
    130They pitched in the ground confusedly,
    To keepe the Horsemen off, from breaking in.
    More then three houres the fight continued:
    Where valiant Talbot, aboue humane thought,
    Enacted wonders with his Sword and Lance.
    135Hundreds he sent to Hell, and none durst stand him:
    Here, there, and euery where enrag'd, he slew.
    The French exclaym'd, the Deuill was in Armes,
    All the whole Army stood agaz'd on him.
    His Souldiers spying his vndaunted Spirit,
    140A Talbot, a Talbot, cry'd out amaine,
    And rusht into the Bowels of the Battaile.
    Here had the Conquest fully been seal'd vp,
    If Sir Iohn Falstaffe had not play'd the Coward.
    He being in the Vauward, plac't behinde,
    145With purpose to relieue and follow them,
    Cowardly fled, not hauing struck one stroake.
    Hence grew the generall wrack and massacre:
    Enclosed were they with their Enemies.
    A base Wallon, to win the Dolphins grace,
    150Thrust Talbot with a Speare into the Back,
    Whom all France, with their chiefe assembled strength,
    Durst not presume to looke once in the face.
    Bedf. Is Talbot slaine then? I will slay my selfe,
    For liuing idly here, in pompe and ease,
    155Whil'st such a worthy Leader, wanting ayd,
    Vnto his dastard foe-men is betray'd.
    3. Mess. O no, he liues, but is tooke Prisoner,
    And Lord Scales with him, and Lord Hungerford:
    Most of the rest slaughter'd, or tooke likewise.
    160 Bedf. His Ransome there is none but I shall pay.
    Ile hale the Dolphin headlong from his Throne,
    His Crowne shall be the Ransome of my friend:
    Foure of their Lords Ile change for one of ours.
    Farwell my Masters, to my Taske will I,
    165Bonfires in France forthwith I am to make,
    To keepe our great Saint Georges Feast withall.
    Ten thousand Souldiers with me I will take,
    Whose bloody deeds shall make all Europe quake.
    3. Mess. So you had need, for Orleance is besieg'd,
    170The English Army is growne weake and faint:
    The Earle of Salisbury craueth supply,
    And hardly keepes his men from mutinie,
    Since they so few, watch such a multitude.
    Exe. Remember Lords your Oathes to Henry sworne:
    175Eyther to quell the Dolphin vtterly,
    Or bring him in obedience to your yoake.
    Bedf. I doe remember it, and here take my leaue,
    To goe about my preparation. Exit Bedford.
    Glost. Ile to the Tower with all the hast I can,
    180To view th'Artillerie and Munition,
    And then I will proclayme young Henry King.
    Exit Gloster.
    Exe. To Eltam will I, where the young King is,
    Being ordayn'd his speciall Gouernor,
    185And for his safetie there Ile best deuise. Exit.
    Winch. Each hath his Place and Function to attend:
    I am left out; for me nothing remaines:
    But long I will not be Iack out of Office.
    The King from Eltam I intend to send,
    190And sit at chiefest Sterne of publique Weale.