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down the lines as the actors delivered them, for the purpose of publishing the qnarto, 1600, misheard what was said, and used wrong words which'in sound nearly resembled the right: thus, earlier in the same scene, the Archbishop of Canterbury says, according to the folio, 1623,
6. They of those Marches, gracious sovereign,
Shall be a wall sufficient to defend
Our inland from the pilfering borderers." In the quarto, 1600, the materials for which were probably surreptitiously obtained at the theatre, the passage is thus given :
“The Marches, gracious soveraigne, shalbe sufficient
To guard your England from the pilfering borderers." We might multiply instances of the same kind, but we do not think there can be any reasonable doubt upon the point.
The quartos, as we have stated, contain no hint of the Chorusses, but a passage in that which precedes Act v, certainly relates to the expedition of the Earl of Essex to Ireland, between the 15th April and the 28th Sept. 1599, and must have been written during his absence :
"As, by a lower but loving likelihood,
To welcome him." The above lines were, therefore, composed between the 15th April and the 28th Sept. 1599, and most likely the Chorusses formed part of the piece as originally acted, although the short-hand writer did not think it a necessary portion of the performance to be included in the earliest quarto, 1600, which was to be bronght on with great speed ; and perhaps the length of these and other recitations might somewhat baffle his skill. Upon this supposition, the question when Shakespeare wrote his “Henry V.” is brought to a narrow point; and confirmed as it is by the omission of all mention of the play by Meres, in his Palludis Tania, 1598, we need feel litile doubt that his first sketch came from the per of Shakespeare, for performance at the Globe theatre, early in the summer of 1599. The enlarged drama, as it stands in the folio of 1623, we are disposed to believe was not put into the complete shape in which it has there come down to us, until shortly before the date when it was played at Court.
KING HENRY THE FIFTH,
MACMORRIS, JAMY, Officers in King Henry's
ISABEL, Queen of France.
Mrs. QUICKLY, a Hostess.
Messengers, and Attendants.
KING HENRY V.
Enter Chorus, as Prologue.? 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 ! Then should the warlike Harry, like himself, Assume the port of Mars; and at his heels, Leash'd in hounds, should famine, sword, and fire, Crouch for employment. But pardon, gentles all, The flat unraised spirit that hath dar'd, On this unworthy scaffold, to bring forth So great an object : can this cockpit hold The vasty fields of France ? or may we cram Within this wooden O’ the very casques, That did affright the air at Agincourt ? 0! pardon, since a crooked figure may Attest in little place a million; And let us, cyphers to this great accompt, On your imaginary forces work. Suppose, within the girdle of these walls Are now confin'd two mighty monarchies, Whose high upreared and abutting fronts The perilous, narrow ocean parts asunder. Piece out our imperfections with your thoughts ; Into a thousand parts divide one man, And make imaginary puissance : Think, when we talk of horses, that you see them Printing their proud hoofs i’ the receiving earth; For 't is your thoughts that now must deck our kings,
· The words, as Prologue : not in f. e. where the play was probably first acted.
The Globe Theatre,
Carry them here and there, jumping o'er times,
SCENE I.-London. An Antechamber in the King's
Palace. Enter the Archbishop of CANTERBURY, and Bishop of
ELY. Cant. My lord, I'll tell you, that self bill is urg'd, Which in th' eleventh year of the last king's reign Was like, and had indeed against us pass’d, But that the scamblingo and unquiet time Did push it out of farther question.
Ely. But how, my lord, shall we resist it now?
Cant. It must be thought on. If it pass against us,
Ely. This would drink deep.
’T would drink the cup and all.
Cant. The courses of his youth promis'd it not.
1 All the choruses were first printed in the folio. ? Scrambling.
Seem'd to die too : yea, at that very moment,
Ely. We are blessed in the change.
Cant. Hear him but reason in divinity, And, all-admiring, with an inward wish You would desire the king were made a prelate: Hear him debate of commonwealth affairs, You would say, it hath been all-in-all his study: List his discourse of war, and you shall hear A fearful battle render'd you in music: Turn him to any cause of policy, The Gordian knot of it he will unloose, Familiar as his garter; that, 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 honeyed sentences; So that the art and practice part of life Must be the mistress to this theoric: 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 wholesome 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,
1 So the second folio; the first: currence.