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And make imaginary puissance :
Think, when we talk of horses, that you see them
Printing their proud hoofs i' the receiving earth :
For 't is your thoughts that now must deck our kings,
Carry them here and there; jumping o'er times;
Turning the accomplishment of many years
Into an hour-glass; For the which supply,
Admit me chorus to this history;
Who, prologue-like, your humble patience pray,
Gently to hear, kindly to judge, our play.
• This chorus does not appear in the quarto editions.
By testament have given to the church,
Would they strip from us; being valued thus,-
As much as would maintain, to the king's honour,
Full fifteen earls, and fifteen hundred knights ;
Six thousand and two hundred good esquires ;
And, to relief of lazars, and weak age,
Of indigent faint souls, past corporal toil,
A hundred almshouses, right well supplied ;
And to the coffers of the king beside
A thousand pounds by the year: Thus runs the bill.
ELY. This would drink deep.
'T would drink the cup and all.
Ely. But what prevention ?
Cant. The king is full of grace and fair regard.
Ely. And a true lover of the holy church.
Cant. The courses of his youth promis'd it not.
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,
And whipp'd the offending Adam out of him ;
Leaving his body as a paradise,
To envelop and contain celestial spirits.
Never was such a sudden scholar made:
Never came reformation in a food,
With such a heady currancea, scouring faults ;
Nor never Hydra-headed wilfulness
So soon did lose his seat, and all at once,
As in this king.
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 prelate :
Hear him debate of commonwealth affairs,
You would say,—it hath been all-in-all his study:
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,
• Currance. So the original folio. It was changed to current in the second folio; and the correction, as it is called, is retained in all subsequent editions. If it be necessary to modernise Shakspere's phraseology, the correction was right; but currance is the French courance, from which we have compounded concurrence and occurrence.
And the mute wonder lurketh in men's ears,
To steal his sweet and honey'd sentences;
So that the art and practic part of life
Must be the mistress to this theorica :
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, banquets, sports ;
And never noted in him any study,
Any retirement, any sequestration
Trom open haunts and popularity.
Ely. The strawberry grows underneath the nettle;
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,
Grew like the summer grass, fastest by night,
Unseen, yet crescive in his faculty.
Caxt. It must be so; for miracles are ceas'd;
And therefore we must needs admit the means
How things are perfected.
But, my good lord,
How now for mitigation of this bill
Urg'd by the commons ? Doth his majesty
Incline to it, or no ?
He seems indifferent;
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 lord ?
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) • Theoric. Malone says, “In our author's time this word was always used where we now use theory." Shakspere, indeed, never uses theory, although he has theoric in two other passages. In * All's Well,' we have “the theoric of war;" in Othello,' “ the bookish theoric.” The word was occasionally used as late as in the time of 'The Tatler;' but in Bishop Hall, a contemporary of Shakspere, we find theory, and in Fuller's 'Worthies,' both theory and theoric.
Companies is here used for companions. Stow uses it in the same sense: “ The prince himself was fain to get upon the high altar, to girt his aforesaid companies with the order of knighthood."
The severalsa, and unbidden passages,
Of his true titles to some certain dukedoms;
And, generally, to the crown and seat of France,
Deriv'd from Edward, his great-grandfather.
ELY. What was the impediment that broke this off ?
Cant. The French ambassador, upon that instant,
Crav'd audience: and the hour, I think, is come
To give him hearing: Is it four o'clock? 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. Ely. I 'll wait upon you; and I long to hear it.
SCENE II.-The same. A Room of State in the same.
Enter KING HENRY, GLOSTER, BEDFORD, EXETER, WABWICK, WESTMORELAND,
K. Hen. Where is my gracious lord of Canterbury?
Exe. Not here in presence.
K. HEN. Send for him, good uncle b.
WEST. Shall we call in the ambassador, my liege ?
K. HEN. Not yet, my cousin ; we would be resolv'd,
Before we hear him, of some things of weight
That task our thoughts, concerning us and France.
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.
c Sure, we thank you.
• Severals. Monck Mason would read several. The plural noun of the text has the force of our modern details.
The play in the quartos begins at the next line. • The differences in the text of the folio and the quarto editions are so numerous and so minute, that it would be impossible for us to attempt to follow them, beyond indicating the principal omissions. We shall, however, occasionally give a passage, to show the exceeding care with which the later copy was worked up. This speech of the king, as it occurs in the quartos, may present & proper object of comparison :
“ KING. Sure we thank you; and, good my lord, proceed
Why the law Salique, which they have in France,
Or should or should not stop in us our claim:
And God forbid, my wise and learned lord,
That you should fashion, frame, or wrest the same.
For God doth know how many now in health