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THE LIFE OF
KING HENRY THE FIFTH
Chor. O 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!
Crouch for employment. But pardon, gentles all,
7. famine, sword and fire. This trio is probably suggested by a speech of Henry's, as reported by Holinshed, in which he replies to suppliant citizens, during his siege of Rouen (1419),
that Bellona, the goddess of battle, had three handmaidens blood, fire, and famine, all of which were at his choice to use (Hol. iii. 367, ed. Stone).
Within this wooden O the very casques
Suppose within the girdle of these walls
And make imaginary puissance;
Think, when we talk of horses, that you see them
Carry them here and there; jumping o'er times,
Who prologue-like your humble patience pray,
13. this wooden O; the narrow circular interior of the newly erected Globe Theatre on the Bankside, where the play was first performed. It was
'wooden,' being built of timber taken from the older theater'
on the opposite (city) side of the river.
13. the very (casques), the very same.
17. accompt, account.
25. puissance (three syllables).
Enter the ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY, and the BISHOP OF ELY.
Cant. My lord, I'll tell you; that self bill is
Which in the eleventh year of the last king's reign
But that the scambling and unquiet time
Did push it out of farther question.
Ely. But how, my lord, shall we resist it now?
If it pass
We lose the better half of our possession :
Of indigent faint souls past corporal toil,
Sc. 1. Canterbury. This was king's attention from his confis
Henrie Chichele. Shakespeare follows the chronicles in attributing to him the chief share in the clerical plot for diverting the
I. self, same.
4. scambling, turbulent.
A thousand pounds by the year: thus runs the bill.
'Twould 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 t and fair
Cant. The courses of his youth promised it not,
And whipp'd the offending Adam out of him,
To envelope and contain celestial spirits.
With such a heady currance, scouring faults;
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,
The Gordian knot of it he will unloose,
19. A thousand pounds by the
interest therefore at five per cent' (Wright).
28. Consideration, serious reflection.
34. currance, current.
The air, a charter'd libertine, is still,
And the mute wonder lurketh in men's ears,
Which is a wonder how his grace should glean it,
His companies unletter'd, rude and shallow,
Ely. The strawberry grows underneath the
And wholesome berries thrive and ripen best
And so the prince obscured his contemplation
Cant. It must be so; for miracles are ceased;
51. the art and practic part of life, etc. The practical life must with him have been the source of theoretical knowledge, instead of the field for its application; he must have learnt the principles of life by living.
52. theoric, theory. 55. companies, companions. 59. popularity, association with the public.
61, 62. wholesome berries, etc. It has been pointed out
But, my good lord,