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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
Think, when we talk of horses, that you see them
Carry them here and there; jumping o'er times,
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).
London. An ante-chamber in the
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
Ely. But how, my lord, shall we resist it now?
We lose the better half of our possession:
Sc. 1. Canterbury. This was Henrie Chichele. Shakespeare follows the chronicles in attributing to him the chief share in the clerical plot for diverting the
king's attention from his confiscation bill.
1. self, same.
4. scambling, turbulent.
A thousand pounds by the year: thus runs the bill.
And whipp'd the offending Adam out of him,
To envelope and contain celestial spirits.
So soon did lose his seat and all at once
You would desire the king were made a prelate :
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,
Ely. The strawberry grows underneath the
And wholesome berries thrive and ripen best
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, It has been pointed out
But, my good lord,
that Montaigne expresses this idea more explicitly in a passage (iii. 9) which Shakespeare perhaps knew in the original. In Florio's translation (1603) it runs: Roses and Violets are ever the sweeter and more odoriferous, that grow neere under Garlike and Onions, forasmuch as they suck and draw all the ill savours of the ground unto them.'
66. crescive in his faculty, increasing in virtue of its latent capacity.