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Henry. Thanks to my kingly brother of Navarre.
Girting this strumpet city with our siege,
Enter a Messenger.
Mes. An it please your majesty, here is a friar of the order of the Jacobins, sent from the President of Paris, that craves access unto your grace.
Henry. Let him come in.
Enter Friar, with a letter.
Eper. I like not this friar's look:
[Exit Mess. 20
"Twere not amiss, my lord, if he were search'd.
For all the wealth and treasure of the world.—
Fri. I, my good lord, and will die therein.
Henry. Then come thou near, and tell what news thou bring'st.
Fri. My lord,
The President of Paris greets your grace,
And sends his duty by these speedy lines,
1 Old ed. " Lucrecia walles."
Henry. I'll read them, friar, and then I'll answer
Fri. Sancte Jacobe,1 now have mercy upon me!
[Stabs the king with a knife, as he reads the
letter; and then the king gets the knife, and kills him.
Eper. O my lord, let him live a while!
Henry. No, let the villain die, and feel in hell
Just torments for his treachery.
Nav. What, is your highness hurt?
Henry. Yes, Navarre; but not to death, I hope.
Nav. God shield your grace from such a sudden
Go call a surgeon hither straight. [Exit an Attendant.
Of such as hold them of the holy church!
[Attendants carry out the Friar's body.
Eper. Ah, had your highness let him live,
We might have punish'd him to his deserts!
How they bear arms against their sovereign.—
[Exit an Attendant.
I'll send my sister England news of this,
1 Old ed. "Jacobus."
2 Old ed. "their."
Enter a Surgeon.
Nav. Pleaseth your grace to let the surgeon search your wound?
Henry. The wound, I warrant ye, is deep, my lord.— Search, surgeon, and resolve me what thou see'st.
[The Surgeon searches the wound.
Enter the English Agent.
Agent for England, send thy mistress word
Nav. These words revive my thoughts, and comfort me,
To see your highness in this virtuous mind.
1 Dyce's correction for "incense. . to kiss the holy earth." He compares Edward II. (I. 4, Il. 100, 101) :
"I'll fire thy crazed buildings, and enforce
The papal towers to kiss the lowly ground."
Henry. Tell me, surgeon, shall I live?
Surg. Alas, my lord, the wound is dangerous,
For you are stricken with a poison'd knife!
Henry. A poison'd knife! what, shall the French king die,
Wounded and poison'd both at once?
Eper. O, that
That damned villain were alive again,
That we might torture him with some new-found death! Bar. He died a death too good:
The devil of hell torture his wicked soul!
Henry. Ah, curse him not, sith he is dead! O, the fatal poison works within my breast!Tell me, surgeon, and flatter not—may I live? Surg. Alas, my lord, your highness cannot live! Nav. Surgeon, why say'st thou so? the king may live. Henry. O no, Navarre! thou must be king of France. Nav. Long may you live, and still be king of France! Eper. Or else, die Epernoun !
Henry. Sweet Epernoun, thy king must die.-My lords, Fight in the quarrel of this valiant prince,
For he's your lawful king, and my next heir;
Valois's line ends in my tragedy.
Now let the house of Bourbon wear the crown;
And may it ne'er end in blood as mine hath done!
Henry, thy king, wipes off these childish tears,
And bids thee whet thy sword on Sixtus' bones,
That it may keenly slice the Catholics.
He loves me not [the most 1] that sheds most tears,
And tell her Henry dies her faithful friend.
Nav. Come, lords, take up the body of the king,
As Rome, and all these popish prelates there,
[They march out, with the body of KING HENRY lying on four men's shoulders, with a dead march, drawing weapons on the ground.
1 The bracketed words were inserted by Dyce.