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Dead March. Enter the Funeral of King Henry the Fifth, attended on by the Duke of Bedford, Regent of France; the Duke of Gloucester, Protector; the Duke of Exeter, the Earl of Warwick, the Bishop of Winchester, Heralds, &c.

Bed. 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

1. The upper part of the stage was in Shakespeare's times technically called the heavens, and was used to be hung with black when tragedies were performed. To this custom the text probably refers. -H. N. H.

3. "crystal," unnecessarily changed by Hanmer to "crisped"; Warburton, "cristed" or "crested"; Roderick, "tristful tresses in the sky,” or "tresses in the crystal sky.”—I. G.

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. Glou. England ne'er had a king until his time. Virtue he had, deserving to command:

His brandish'd sword did blind men with his

His arms spread wider than a dragon's wings;
His sparkling eyes, replete with wrathful fire,

More dazzled and drove back his enemies

Than mid-day sun fierce bent against their

What should I say? his deeds exceed all speech:
He ne'er lift up his hand but conquered.

Exe. 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


The epithet Crystal was often bestowed on Comets by the old writers.-H. N. H.

5. consented unto, conspired to bring about.-C. H. H.

6. "King Henry the Fifth"; Pope, "Henry the Fifth"; Walker, "King Henry Fifth"; Pope's reading has been generally followed by modern editors.-I. G.

12. "wrathful"; Rowe, "awful.”—I. G.

17. Thomas Beaufort, the present duke of Exeter, was son to John of Ghent by Catherine Swynford; born out of wedlock, but t legitimated along with three other children in the time of Richard II. Of course therefore he was great uncle to King Henry VI. At the death of Henry V he was appointed governor of the infant king, which office he held till his death in 1425. The Poet, however, prolongs his life till 1444, the period of the First Part. Holinshed calls him “a right sage and discreet counsellor." The name Beaufort was derived from the place of his birth, which was Beaufort castle in France.-H. N. H.

We with our stately presence glorify, Like captive's 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 subtle-witted French Conjurers and sorcerers, that afraid of him By magic verses have contrived his end? Win. He was a king bless'd 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:

24. "glory's"; Ff., "Glories."--I. G.


27. "By magic verses have contrived his end"; alluding to the old notion "that life might be taken away by metrical charms" (Johnson). Ff. 2, 3, 4, "Verse"; Pope, "verse have thus.”—I. G.

This is well explained by a passage in Reginald Scot's Discoverie of Witchcraft, 1584: "The Irishmen will not sticke to affirme that they can rime man or Beast to death."-H. N. H.

28. Henry Beaufort, known in history as "the great bishop of Winchester," was brother to the duke of Exeter. At this time he held the office of chancellor, and was associated with. Exeter in the governing of the infant sovereign. The quarrel between him and his nephew, the duke of Gloster, did not break out till 1425, though it had been brewing in secret for some time. In 1427 he was advanced by Pope Martin to the office of cardinal. The matter is thus related by Holinshed: "After that the duke of Bedford had set all things in good order in England, he returned into France, first landing at Calis, where the bishop of Winchester, that also passed the seas with him, received the habit, hat, and dignitie of a cardinall. The late king, right dceplie persing into the unrestrainable ambitious mind of the man, that even from his youth was ever to checke at the highest; and also right well ascertained with what intollerable pride his head should soone be swollen under such a hat; did therefore all his life long keepe this prelat backe from that presumptuous estate. But now, the king being yoong, and the regent his freend, he obteined his purpose to his great profit. For by a bull legantin, which he purchased from Rome, he gathered so much treasure, that no man in maner had monie but he; so that he was called the rich cardinall of Winchester."-H. N. H.

The church's prayers made him so prosperous. Glou. 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 school-boy, you may over-awe. Win. Gloucester, whate'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. Glou. Name not religion, for thou lovest the flesh, And ne'er throughout the year to church thou go'st

Except it be to pray against thy foes.

Bed. Cease, cease these jars and rest your minds in peace:

Let's to the altar: heralds, wait on us:

Instead 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 eyes babes shall


Our isle be made a marish of salt tears,

And none but women left to wail the dead.


33. "had not"; Vaughan proposed “had but” (but cp. ll. 41–43).-. I. G.

49. "moist"; so Ff. 2, 3, 4; F. 1, "moistned."-I. G.

50. The original has "nourish" here, which can hardly be made to yield any reasonable meaning. Pope thought "nourish" a misprint for "marish," an old form of "marsh"; and Ritson gives an apt quotation from Kyd's Spanish Tragedy: "Made mountains marsh with spring tides of my tears."-H. N. H.

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 Cæsar or bright-

Enter a Messenger.


Mess. My honorable lords, health to you all!
Sad tidings bring I to you out of France,
Of loss, of slaughter and discomfiture:
Guienne, Champagne, Rheims, Orleans,
Paris, Guysors, Poicțiers, are all quite lost.
Bed. What say'st thou, man, before dead Henry's

Speak softly; or the loss of those great towns
Will make him burst his lead and rise from

Glou. Is Paris lost? is Rouen yielded up

If Henry were recall'd to life again,

These news would cause him once more yield the ghost.

Exe. How were they lost? what treachery was used?

Mess. No treachery; but want of men and money.

56. "or bright- "; various attempts have been made to fill up the blank, which some editors explain as due to the inability of the compositor to read the name in the MS.; Francis Drake, Berenice, Cassiopeia, Alexander, &c., have been suggested. Probably the speech is interrupted by the entrance of the messenger.—I. G.

60. “Rheims”; Ff., “Rheimes”; evidently intended as a dissyllable; but Capell's "Rheims, Roan," derives some support from the fact that Roan, i. e. Rouen, is mentioned by Gloucester in line 65 (Cambridge ed.).-I. G.

65. "Rouen"; F. 1, “Roan.”—I. G.

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