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His sparkling eyes, replete with wrathful fire,
Win. He was a king blessed of the King of kings.
Win. Gloster, whate'er we like, thou art protector ;
Glo. 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. Bed. Cease, cease these jars, and rest your minds
in peace! Let's to the altar ;-heralds, wait on us :
1 There was a notion long prevalent that life might be taken away by metrical charms.
Instead of gold, we'll offer up our arms;
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, Champaigne, Rheims, Orleans, Paris, Guysors, Poictiers, are all quite lost.” Bed. 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.
Glo. Is Paris lost ? is Rouen yielded up? If Henry were recalled 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. Among the soldiers this is muttered, That here you maintain several factions ; And, whilst a field should be despatched and fought,
1 Nurse was anciently spelled nouryce and noryshe ; and, by Lydgate, even nourish.
2 Pope conjectured that this blank had been supplied by the name of Francis Drake, which, though a glaring anachronism, might have been a popular, though not judicious, mode of attracting plaudits in the theatre. Part of the arms of Drake was two blazing stars.
3 Capel proposed to complete this defective verse by the insertion of Rouen among the places lost, as Gloster infers that it had been mentioned with the rest.
You are disputing of your generals.
Exe. Were our tears wanting to this funeral,
Bed. 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 I will lend the French, instead of eyes, To weep their intermissive miseries. ?
Enter another Messenger. 2 Mess. Lords, view these letters, full of bad mis
Exe. The dauphin crowned king! all fly to him !
Glo. We will not fly, but to our enemies' throats; Bedford, if thou be slack, I'll fight it out. Bed. Gloster, why doubt'st thou of my forward
ness ? An army have I mustered in my thoughts, Wherewith already France is overrun.
1 i. e. England's flowing tides. 2 i. e. their miseries which have only a short intermission.
Enter a third Messenger. 3 Mess. 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.
Win. What! wherein Talbot overcame ? is't so ? 3 Mess. 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 Orleans, 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 ; Instead whereof, sharp stakes, plucked 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, enraged, he slew. The French exclaimed, the devil was in arms; All the whole army stood agazed on him : His soldiers, spying his undaunted spirit, A Talbot ! a Talbot ! cried out amain, And rushed into the bowels of the battle. Here had the conquest fully been sealed up, If sir John Fastolfe I had not played the coward ; He, being in the vaward, (placed behind, With
purpose to relieve and follow them,) Cowardly fled, not having struck one stroke. Hence grew the general wreck and massacre ; Inclosed were they with their enemies.
I For an account of this sir John Fastolfe, vide Biographia Britannica, by Kippis, vol. v.; in which is his life, written by Mr. Gough.
VOL. IV. 30
A base Walloon, to win the dauphin's grace,
Bed. Is Talbot slain? then I will slay myself,
3 Mess. O, no; he lives; but is took prisoner, And lord Scales with him, and lord Hungerford ; Most of the rest slaughtered, or took, likewise.
Bed. 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
friend ; Four of their lords I'll change for one of ours.Farewell
, my masters; to my task will I;
3 Mess. So you had need; for Orleans is besieged,
Exe. Remember, lords, your oaths to Henry sworn; Either to quell the dauphin utterly, Or bring him in obedience to your yoke.
Bed. I do remember it; and here take leave, To go about my preparation.
[Exit. Glo. I'll to the tower, with all the haste I can, To view the artillery and munition ; And then I will proclaim young Henry king. [Exit.
Exe. To Eltham will I, where the young king is, Being ordained his special governor; And for his safety there I'll best devise. [Exit.
Win. 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;