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The L I FE of

King HENRY V. (2)

A C T I.

SCENE, An Antechamber in the Eng

lish Court, at Kenilworth.

Enter the Arch-Bishop of Canterbury, and Bishop of


Arch-Bishop of CAN T E R BUR Y.
Y lord, I'll tell you ; that self bill is urg'd,
Which, in th’eleventh year o'th' last King's

Was like, and had, indeed, against us past,

But that the scambling and unquiet time Did push it out of farther question.

Ely. But how, my lord, shall we resist it now?


(2) The Life of K. Henry] The Transactions, compriz'd in this Hiftorical Play, commence about the latter end of the first, and terminate in the 8th Year of this King's Reign; when he married Catharine Princess of France, and closed up the Differences betwixt England and that Crown.

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Cant. It must be thought on : if it pass against us,
We lose the better half of our poffefsion :
For all the temporal lands, which men devout
By testament have given to the Church,
Would they strip from us ; being valu'd thus,
As much as would maintain, to the King's honour,
Full fifteen Earls and fifteen hundred Knights,
Six thousand and two hundred good Esquires :
And to relief of lazars, and weak age,
Of indigent faint souls, part corporal toil,
A hundred alms-houses, right well fupply'd ;
And to the coffers of the King, beside,
A thousand pounds by th’year. Thus runs the bill.

Ely. This would drink deep.
Cánt. '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 holy Church.

Cant. The courses of his youth promis'd it not ;
The breath no sooner left his father's body,
But that his wildness, mortify'd in him,
Seem'd to die too ; yea, at that very moment,
Consideration, like an angel, came,
And whipt th’offending Adam out of him ;
Leaving his Body as a paradise,
T'invelope and contain celestial spirits.
Never was such a sudden scholar made :
Never came reformation in a flood
With such a heady current, scow'ring faults:
Nor ever Hydra-headed wilfulness
So foon did lose his feat, and all at once,
As in this King

Ely. We're blessed in the change.

Cant. Hear him but reason in divinity,
And, all-admiring, with an inward with
You would desire, the King were made a Prelate.
Hear him debate of commonwealth affairs,
You'd say, it hath been all in all his study.
Lift his discourse of war, and you shall hear
A fearful battel render'd you in musick.


Turn him to any cause of policy,
The Gordian knot of it he will unloose,
Familiar as his garter. When he speaks,
The air, a charter'd libertine, is still ;
And the mute wonder lurketh in men's ears,
To steal his sweet and honied sentences :
So that the Act, and practic part of life, (3)
Must be the mistress to this theorique.
Which is a wonder how his Grace should glean it,
Since his addiction was to courses vain ;
His companies unletter'd, rude and shallow;
His hours fill'd up with riots, banquets, sports ;
And never noted in him any study,
Any retirement, any sequestration
From open haunts and popularity.

Ely. The Strawberry grows underneath the nettle,
And wholsom berries thrive, and ripen best,
Neighbour'd by fruit of baser quality :
And so the Prince obscur'd his contemplation
Under the veil of wildness ; which, no doubt,
Grew like the summer grass, fastest by night,
Unseen, yet crescive in his faculty.

Cant. It must be so ; for miracles are ceas'd :
And therefore we must needs admit the means,
How things are perfected.

Ely. But, my good lord,
How now for mitigation of this bill,
Urg'd by the Commons ? doth his Majesty
Incline to it, or no?

(3) So that the Art and practic part of Life] All the Editions, if I am not deceiv'd, are guilty of a slight corruption in this Passage. The Archbishop has been tewing, what a Mafter the King was in the Theory of Divinity, War, and Policy: fo that it must be expected (as I conceive, he would infer ;) that the King should now wed that Theory to Action, and the putting the several parts of his Knowledge into practice. If this be our Author's Meaning, I think, we can hardly doubt but he wrote,

So that the Act, and practic &c. Thus we have a Consonance in the Terms and Sense. For Theory is the Art, and Study of the Rules of any Science ; and Action, the Exemplification of those Rules by Proof and Experiment.


A 4

Cant. He seems indifferent ;
Or rather swaying more upon our part,
Than cherishing th’exhibiters against us.
For I have made an offer to his Majesty,
Upon our spiritual Convocation,
And in regard of causes now in hand,
Which I have open'd to his Grace at large,
As touching France, to give a greater sum,
Than ever at one time the Clergy yet
Did to his predecessors part withal.

Ely. How did this offer seem receiv'd, my lord ?

Cant. With good acceptance of his Majesty:
Save that there was not time enough to hear
(As, I perceiv'd, his Grace would fain have done)
The severals, and unhidden passages
Of his true titles to some certain Dukedoms,
And, generally, to the Crown of France,
Deriv'd from Edward his great grandfather.

Ely. What was ch’impediment, that broke this off ?

Cant. The French ambassador upon that instant Crav'd audience ; and the hour, I think, is come To give him hearing. Is it four o'clock?

Ely. It is

Cant. Then go we in to know his embassie:
Which I could with a ready guess declare,
Before the Frenchman speaks a word of it.
Ely. I'll wait upon you, and I long to hear it.


SCENE opens to the Presence.


Enter King Henry, Gloucester, Bedford, Clarence,

Warwick, Westmorland, and Exeter. K. Henry..

HERE is my gracious lord of Canter

Exe. Not here in presence.
K. Henry. Send for him, good uncle.
West: Shall we call in th’ambassador, my Liege ?

K. Henry, K. Henry. Not yet, my cousin; we would be resolv'd, Before we hear him, of some things of weight, That task our thoughts, concerning us and France. Enter the Archbishop of Canterbury, and Bishop of Ely.

Cant. God and his angels guard your facred throne, And make you long become it!

K. Henry. Sure, we thank you. My learned lord, we pray you to proceed; And juftly and religiously unfold, Why the law Salike, that they have in France, Or should, or should not, bar us in our claim. And, God forbid, my dear and faithful lord, That you should fashion, wrest, or bow your reading; Or nicely charge your understanding soul With opening titles miscreate, whose right Sutes not in native colours with the truth. For, God doth know, how many now in health Shall drop their blood, in approbation Of what your reverence shall incite us to. Therefore take heed, how you impawn our person ; How you awake our sleeping sword of war : We charge you in the name of God, take heed. For never two such kingdoms did contend Without much fall of blond; whose guiltless drops Are every one a woe, a sore complaint, 'Gainst him, whose wrong gives edge unto the swords, That make such waste in brief mortality. Under this conjuration, speak, my lord ; For we will hear, note, and believe in heart, That what you speak is in your conscience washt,

, As pure as sin with baptism.

Cant. Then hear me, gracious Soveraign, and you Peers, That owe your lives, your faith, and services, To this imperial throne. There is no bar To make against your Highness' claim to France, But this which they produce froin Pharamond ; In terram Salicam Mulieres succedant; No woman shall succeed in Salike land : Whịch Salike land the French unjustly gloze


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