Henry VI, Pt. 1
Act I, Scene 1
- Dead march. Enter the Funeral of King Henry the Fifth,
- attended on by the Duke of Bedford, the Duke of Gloucester,
- the Duke of Exeter, the Earl of Warwick, the Bishop of
- Winchester, and the Duke of Somerset; Heralds, etc.
Duke of Bedford1 - 7
- 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.
Duke of Gloucester8 - 16
- 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 midday sun fierce bent against their faces.
- What should I say? His deeds exceed all speech:
- He ne’er lift up his hand but conquered.
Duke of Exeter17 - 27
- 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 dishonorable 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 subtile-witted French
- Conjurers and sorcerers, that, afraid of him,
- By magic verses have contriv’d his end?
Bishop of Winchester28 - 32
- He was a king blest of the King of kings.
- Unto the French the dreadful Judgment 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.
Duke of Gloucester33 - 36
- 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 schoolboy you may overawe.
Bishop of Winchester37 - 40
- Gloucester, what e’er we like, thou art Protector,
- And lookest to command the Prince and realm.
- Thy wife is proud, she holdeth thee in awe,
- More than God or religious churchmen may.
Duke of Gloucester41 - 43
- Name not religion, for thou lov’st the flesh,
- And ne’er throughout the year to church thou go’st
- Except it be to pray against thy foes.
Duke of Bedford44 - 56
- Cease, cease these jars and rest your minds in peace.
- Let’s to the altar. Heralds, wait on us.
- In stead 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’ned eyes babes shall suck,
- Our isle be made a nourish 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 Caesar or bright—
- Enter a Messenger.
First Messenger57 - 61
- My honorable lords, health to you all!
- Sad tidings bring I to you out of France,
- Of loss, of slaughter, and discomfiture:
- Guienne, Champaigne, Rheims, Orléans,
- Paris, Guysors, Poictiers, are all quite lost.
Duke of Bedford62 - 64
- What say’st thou, man, before dead Henry’s corse?
- Speak softly, or the loss of those great towns
- Will make him burst his lead and rise from death.
Duke of Gloucester65 - 67
- Is Paris lost? Is Roan yielded up?
- If Henry were recall’d to life again,
- These news would cause him once more yield the ghost.
Duke of Exeter68
- How were they lost? What treachery was us’d?
First Messenger69 - 81
- No treachery, but want of men and money.
- Amongst the soldiers this is muttered,
- That here you maintain several factions;
- And whilst a field should be dispatch’d and fought,
- You are disputing of your generals.
- One would have ling’ring wars with little cost;
- Another would fly swift, but wanteth wings;
- A third thinks, without expense at all,
- By guileful fair words peace may be obtain’d.
- Awake, awake, English nobility!
- Let not sloth dim your honors new begot.
- Cropp’d are the flower-de-luces in your arms,
- Of England’s coat one half is cut away.
Duke of Exeter82 - 83
- Were our tears wanting to this funeral,
- These tidings would call forth her flowing tides.
Duke of Bedford84 - 88
- Me they concern, Regent I am of France.
- Give me my steeled coat, I’ll fight for France.
- Away with these disgraceful wailing robes!
- Wounds will I lend the French in stead of eyes,
- To weep their intermissive miseries.
- Enter to them another Messenger.
Second Messenger89 - 95
- Lords, view these letters full of bad mischance.
- France is revolted from the English quite,
- Except some petty towns of no import.
- The Dauphin Charles is crowned king in Rheims;
- The Bastard of Orléans with him is join’d;
- Reignier, Duke of Anjou, doth take his part;
- The Duke of Alanson flieth to his side.
Duke of Exeter96 - 97
- The Dauphin crowned king? All fly to him?
- O, whither shall we fly from this reproach?
Duke of Gloucester98 - 99
- We will not fly but to our enemies’ throats.
- Bedford, if thou be slack, I’ll fight it out.
Duke of Bedford100 - 102
- Gloucester, why doubt’st thou of my forwardness?
- An army have I muster’d in my thoughts,
- Wherewith already France is overrun.
- Enter another Messenger.
Third Messenger103 - 106
- My gracious lords, to add to your laments,
- Wherewith you now bedew King Henry’s hearse,
- I must inform you of a dismal fight
- Betwixt the stout Lord Talbot and the French.
Bishop of Winchester107
- What? Wherein Talbot overcame, is’t so?
Third Messenger108 - 140
- O no; wherein Lord Talbot was o’er-thrown.
- The circumstance I’ll tell you more at large.
- The tenth of August last this dreadful lord,
- Retiring from the siege of Orléans,
- Having full scarce six thousand in his troop,
- By three and twenty thousand of the French
- Was round encompassed, and set upon.
- No leisure had he to enrank his men;
- He wanted pikes to set before his archers;
- In stead whereof sharp stakes pluck’d out of hedges
- They pitched in the ground confusedly,
- To keep the horsemen off from breaking in.
- More than three hours the fight continued,
- Where valiant Talbot above human thought
- Enacted wonders with his sword and lance:
- Hundreds he sent to hell, and none durst stand him;
- Here, there, and every where, enrag’d he slew.
- The French exclaim’d, the devil was in arms;
- All the whole army stood agaz’d on him.
- His soldiers, spying his undaunted spirit,
- “A Talbot! A Talbot!” cried out amain,
- And rush’d into the bowels of the battle.
- Here had the conquest fully been seal’d up,
- If Sir John Falstaff had not play’d the coward.
- He, being in the vaward, plac’d behind
- With purpose to relieve and follow them,
- Cowardly fled, not having struck one stroke.
- Hence grew the general wrack and massacre;
- Enclosed were they with their enemies.
- A base Wallon, to win the Dauphin’s grace,
- Thrust Talbot with a spear into the back,
- Whom all France with their chief assembled strength
- Durst not presume to look once in the face.
Duke of Bedford141 - 144
- Is Talbot slain then? I will slay myself
- For living idly here in pomp and ease,
- Whilst such a worthy leader, wanting aid,
- Unto his dastard foemen is betray’d.
Third Messenger145 - 147
- O no, he lives, but is took prisoner,
- And Lord Scales with him, and Lord Hungerford.
- Most of the rest slaughter’d or took likewise.
Duke of Bedford148 - 156
- His ransom there is none but I shall pay:
- I’ll hale the Dauphin headlong from his throne,
- His crown shall be the ransom of my friend;
- Four of their lords I’ll change for one of ours.
- Farewell, my masters, to my task will I.
- Bonfires in France forthwith I am to make,
- To keep our great Saint George’s feast withal.
- Ten thousand soldiers with me I will take,
- Whose bloody deeds shall make all Europe quake.
Third Messenger157 - 161
- So you had need, for Orléans is besieg’d;
- The English army is grown weak and faint;
- The Earl of Salisbury craveth supply,
- And hardly keeps his men from mutiny,
- Since they, so few, watch such a multitude.
Duke of Exeter162 - 164
- Remember, lords, your oaths to Henry sworn:
- Either to quell the Dauphin utterly,
- Or bring him in obedience to your yoke.
Duke of Bedford165 - 166
- I do remember it, and here take my leave,
- To go about my preparation.
- Exit Bedford.
Duke of Gloucester167 - 169
- I’ll to the Tower with all the haste I can,
- To view th’ artillery and munition,
- And then I will proclaim young Henry king.
- Exit Gloucester.
Duke of Exeter170 - 172
- To Eltam will I, where the young King is,
- Being ordain’d his special governor,
- And for his safety there I’ll best devise.
Bishop of Winchester173 - 177
- Each hath his place and function to attend:
- I am left out; for me nothing remains.
- But long I will not be Jack out of office.
- The King from Eltam I intend to send,
- And sit at chiefest stern of public weal.