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HENRY V.

VOL. VI.

King Henry the Fifth.
Duke of Glofter,

Duke of Bedford,

Duke of York,

brothers to the king.

Duke of Exeter, uncles to the king.

Earl of Salisbury.

Earl of Westmoreland.

Earl of Warwick.

Archbishop of Canterbury.
Bishop of Ely.

Earl of Cambridge,

Lord Scroop,

Sir Thomas Grey,

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confpirators against the king.

Sir Thomas Erpingham, Gower, Fluellen, Mackmorris, Jamy, officers in king Henry's army.

Nym, Bardolph, Piftol, Boy, formerly fervants to Falstaff, now foldiers in the king's army.

Bates, Court, Williams, foldiers.

Charles, the Sixth, king of France.

The Dauphin.

Duke of Burgundy.

Conftable, Orleans, Rambures, Bourbon, Grandpree,

French lords.

Governor of Harfleur.

Montjoy, a herald.

Amballadors to the king of England.

Ifabel, queen of France.

Katharine, daughter to the king of France.

Alice, a lady attending on the princess Katharine.
Quickly, Piftol's wife, an hoftefs.

Chorus.

Lords, Meffengers, French and English Soldiers, with other Attendants.

The SCENE, at the beginning of the play, lies in England; but afterwards, wholly in France.

'O, for a mufe of fire, that would afcend The brighteft heaven of invention!

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A kingdom for a ftage, princes to act,
And monarchs to behold the fwelling scene!
Then fhould the warlike Harry, like himself,
Affume the port of Mars; and, at his heels,
Leafh'd in like hounds, fhould famine, fword, and fire,
Crouch for employment'. But pardon, gentles all,
The flat unraifed fpirit, that hath dar'd,

On this unworthy fcaffold, to bring forth
So great an object: Can this cock-pit hold

O for a muse of fire, &c.] This goes upon the notion of the Peripatetic fyftem, which imagines feveral heavens one above another; the last and highest of which was one of fire.

WARBURTON. It alludes likewife to the afpiring nature of fire, which, by its levity, at the feparation of the chaos, took the highest seat of all the elements. JOHNSON.

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princes to act,

And monarchs to behold

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Shakespeare does not feem to fet distance enough between the performers and fpectators. JOHNson.

3 Leafht in like bounds, fhould famine, fword, and fire,

Crouch for employment.-]

In K. Henry VI. Lean famine, quartering steel, and climbing fire," are called the three attendants on the English general, lord Talbot; and, as I fuppofe, are the dogs of war mentioned in Julius Cafar.

This image of the warlike Henry very much resembles Montfaucon's defcription of the Mars difcovered at Breffe, who leads a lyon and a lyonefs in couples, and crouching as for employ

ment. TOLLET.

Warner, in his Albion's England, 1602, fpeaking of King Henry V. fays:

"He led good fortune in a line, and did but war and win. Holinfhed, (p. 567.) when the people of Roan petitioned king Henry V. has put this fentiment into his mouth: "He declared that the goddeffe of battell, called Bellona, had three handmaidens, ever of neceffitie attending upon her, as blood, fire, and famine." STEEVENS.

B 2

The

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The vafty field of France? or may we cram,
4 Within this wooden O, the very cafques
That did affright the air at Agincourt?
O, pardon! fince a crooked figure may
Atteft, in little place, a million

;

And let us, cyphers to this great accompt,
"On your imaginary forces work:
Suppofe, within the girdle of these walls
Are now confin'd two mighty monarchies,
7 Whofe high-upreared and abutting fronts
The perilous narrow ocean parts afunder.
Piece out our imperfections with your thoughts;

4 Within this wooden O,-] Nothing fhews more evidently the power of custom over language, than that the frequent ufe of calling a circle an O could fo much hide the meanness of the metaphor from Shakespeare, that he has used it many times where he makes his moít eager attempts at dignity of stile.

JOHNSON.

5 The very cafques] The helmets. JOHNSON. 6 Imaginary forces] Imaginary for imaginative, or your powers of fancy. Active and patlive words are by this author frequently confounded. JOHNSON.

Whofe high-upreared, and abutting fronts

The perilous narrow ocean parts afunder.]

Without doubt the author wrote:

Whofe high-upreared and abutting fronts,

Perilous, the narrow ocean parts afunder.]

For his purpofe is to fhew, that the highest danger arifes from the fhock of their meeting, and that it is but a little thing which keeps them afunder. This fenfe my emendation gives us, as the common reading gives us a contrary; for thofe whom a perilous ocean parts afunder, are in no danger of meeting. WARBURTON. Perilous narrow, in burlefque and common language meant no more than very narrow. In old books this mode of expreffion occurs perpetually. A perilous broad brim to a hat, a perilous long fword, &c. So, in Beaumont and Fletcher's Humourous Lieu

tenant:

"She is perilous crafty.'

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Thus, villainous is only ufed to exaggerate, in the Tempeft: be turn'd to barnacles or apes

"With foreheads villanous low."

Again, in John Florio's Preface to his Tranflation of Montaigne : -in this perilous crook'd paffage

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STEEVENS

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