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Henry. Thanks to my kingly brother of Navarre.
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.
[Exit Mess. 20
Enter Friar, with a letter.
Eper. I like not this friar's look:
"Twere not amiss, my lord, if he were search'd.
Henry. Sweet Epernoun, our friars are holy men,
Fri. I, my good lord, and will die therein.
Fri. My lord,
The President of Paris greets your grace,
Henry. I'll read them, friar, and then I'll answer thee.
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 death!
Go call a surgeon hither straight. [Exit an Attendant.
[Attendants carry out the Friar's body. Eper. Ah, had your highness let him live, We might have punish'd him to his deserts!
Henry. Sweet Epernoun, all rebels under heaven
I'll send my sister England news of this,
1 Old ed. "Jacobus."
[Exit an Attendant.
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, ll. 100, 101) :
I'll fire thy crazed buildings, and enforce
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
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!-
Surg. Alas, my lord, your highness cannot live!
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,
He loves me not [the most 1] that sheds most tears,
Nav. Come, lords, take up the body of the king,
And then I vow so 2 to revenge his death,
1 The bracketed words were inserted by Dyce.
[They march out, with the body of KING HENRY lying on four men's shoulders, with a dead march, drawing weapons on the ground.