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KING Henry the Fifth.
Duke of Gloucester,
Duke of Bedford,
Duke of Clarence,
Duke of York, Uncles to the King.
Duke of Exeter,
Earl of Salisbury.
Earl of Westmorland.
Earl of Warwick.
Arch-Bishop of Canterbury.
Bishop of Ely.
Earl of Cambridge,
Sir Thomas Grey,
Sir Thomas Erpingham,
Confpirators against the King.
Formerly Servants to Falstaff, now Soldiers in the King's Army.
>Officers in King Henry's Army.
Cles, King of France. euphin.
Ifabel, Queen of France.
Catharine, Daughter to the King of France.
Alice, a Lady attending on the Princess Catharine.
Quickly, Piftol's Wife, an Hoftefs.
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.
For a Mufe of fire, that would ascend (1)
The brightest heaven of invention!
A kingdom for a stage, Princes to act,
And Monarchs to behold the fwelling fcene!
Then Should the warlike Harry, like himself,
Affume the port of Mars; and, at his heels,
(Leafbt in, like hounds,) should famine, fword and fire
Crouch for employment. Pardon, gentles all,
The flat unraised spirit, that hath dar'd,
On this unworthy Scaffold, to bring forth
So great an object. Can this Cock-pit hold
The vafty field of France? or may we cram,
Within this wooden O, the very caskes
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;
Whofe high-up-reared, and abutting, fronts
The perillous narrow ocean parts afunder.
Piece out our imperfections with your thoughts:
Into a thousand parts divide one man,
And make imaginary puissance:
Think, when we talk of borfes, that you see them
Printing their proud hoofs i'th' receiving earth.
For 'tis your thoughts that now must deck our Kings,
Carry them here, and there; jumping o'er times;
Turning th' accomplishment of many years
Into an hour-glass: for the which Supply,
Admit me Chorus to this hiftory;
Who, prologue-like, your humble patience pray,
Gently to hear, kindly to judge, our Play.
(1) O for a Mufe of Fire,] MILTON, who was a zealous Admirer, and ftudious Imitator of our Author, feems to have had the fine opening of this Prologue in his Eye, when he began the 4th Book of his Paradife Loft.
O for that warning Voice, which he, who saw
Th' Apocalyps, heard cry in Heav'n aloud,
Then, when the Dragon, put to fecond Rout,
Came furious down to be reveng'd on Men,
Woe to th' Inhabitants on Earth!