Henry VI Part 1

Act I
Act II
Act IV
Act V
Dead march. Enter the funeral of King Henry the

Fifth, attended on by the Duke of Bedford, Regent of

France; the Duke of Gloucester, Protector; the Duke

of Exeter; the Earl of Warwick; the Bishop of

Winchester; and the Duke of Somerset; with heralds


Hung be the heavens with black, yield day to night!
attend (v.) 2 serve, follow, wait [on/upon]
heavens (n.) 2 [covering over the rear of a stage] sky

Comets, importing change of times and states,
import (v.) 4 portend, signify, predict

Brandish your crystal tresses in the sky,
brandish (v.) make shine, cause to flash
crystal (adj.) 2 bright, gleaming, glittering

And with them scourge the bad revolting stars
revolting (adj.) rebellious, mutinous, insurgent

That have consented unto Henry's death –
consent (v.) agree, concur, acquiesce

King Henry the Fifth, too famous to live long!

England ne'er lost a king of so much worth.


England ne'er had a king until his time.

Virtue he had, deserving to command;
virtue (n.) 1 quality, accomplishment, ability

His brandished sword did blind men with his beams;

His arms spread wider than a dragon's wings;

His sparkling eyes, replete with wrathful fire,

More dazzled and drove back his enemies

Than midday sun fierce bent against their faces.

What should I say? His deeds exceed all speech;

He ne'er lift up his hand but conquered.


We mourn in black; why mourn we not in blood?

Henry is dead and never shall revive.
revive (v.) 2 come back to life, live again

Upon a wooden coffin we attend;
attend (v.) 2 serve, follow, wait [on/upon]

And death's dishonourable victory

We with our stately presence glorify,
presence (n.) 1 royal assembly, eminent company

Like captives bound to a triumphant car.
car (n.) carriage, cart, chariot [often of the sun god]
triumphant (adj.) triumphal, glorious, celebrating a great victory

What? Shall we curse the planets of mishap
mishap (n.) evil, misfortune, calamity

That plotted thus our glory's overthrow?

Or shall we think the subtle-witted French
subtle-witted (adj.) cunning, wily, slyly intelligent

Conjurers and sorcerers, that, afraid of him,

By magic verses have contrived his end?
contrive (v.) 1 scheme, plot, conspire


He was a king blessed of the King of Kings.

Unto the French the dreadful Judgement Day

So dreadful will not be as was his sight.

The battles of the Lord of Hosts he fought;

The Church's prayers made him so prosperous.


The Church? Where is it? Had not churchmen prayed,

His thread of life had not so soon decayed.
decay (v.) be destroyed, become ruined, fail

None do you like but an effeminate prince,
effeminate (adj.) 1 feeble, soft, unmanly
prince (n.) 1 ruler, monarch, sovereign

Whom like a schoolboy you may overawe.


Gloucester, whate'er we like, thou art Protector

And lookest to command the Prince and realm.
look (v.) 1 expect, anticipate, hope, await the time

Thy wife is proud; she holdeth thee in awe
awe (n.) 2 fear, terror, dread

More than God or religious churchmen may.


Name not religion, for thou lovest the flesh;

And ne'er throughout the year to church thou goest,

Except it be to pray against thy foes.


Cease, cease these jars, and rest your minds in peace;
jar (n.) 1 conflict, quarrel, dissension

Let's to the altar. Heralds, wait on us.
wait on / upon (v.) 3 go on before, proceed ahead of

Exeunt heralds

Instead of gold, we'll offer up our arms,
arms (n.) 1 weapons, armaments

Since arms avail not, now that Henry's dead.
avail (v.) 2 be of use to, help, advantage

Posterity, await for wretched years,
await for (v.) expect, anticipate, look out for

When at their mothers' moistened eyes babes shall suck,

Our isle be made a nourish of salt tears,
nourish (n.) nurse, nursemaid

And none but women left to wail the dead.

Henry the Fifth, thy ghost I invocate;
ghost (n.) 1 spirit, soul
invocate (v.) invoke, call upon, entreat

Prosper this realm, keep it from civil broils;
broil (n.) 1 turmoil, confused fighting, battle
prosper (v.) make prosperous, give success to

Combat with adverse planets in the heavens!
adverse (adj.) 1 unfavourable, harmful, hostile

A far more glorious star thy soul will make

Than Julius Caesar or bright –

Enter First Messenger


My honourable lords, health to you all!

Sad tidings bring I to you out of France,
sad (adj.) 1 serious, grave, solemn See Topics: Frequency count

Of loss, of slaughter, and discomfiture:
discomfiture (n.) rout, overthrow, utter defeat

Guienne, Champaigne, Rheims, Rouen, Orleans,

Paris, Gisors, Poitiers, are all quite lost.


What sayest thou, man, before dead Henry's corse?
corse (n.) corpse, dead body See Topics: Frequency count

Speak softly, or the loss of those great towns

Will make him burst his lead and rise from death.
lead (n.) 1 leaden coffin lining


Is Paris lost? is Rouen yielded up?
yield up (v.) give up, surrender, relinquish

If Henry were recalled to life again,

These news would cause him once more yield the ghost.
yield the ghost (v.) give up the spirit, die


How were they lost? What treachery was used?


No treachery, but want of men and money.
want (n.) 1 lack, shortage, dearth

Amongst the soldiers this is muttered,

That here you maintain several factions;
several (adj.) 1 separate, different, distinct See Topics: Frequency count

And whilst a field should be dispatched and fought,
dispatch, despatch (v.) 1 deal with promptly, settle, get [something] done quickly

You are disputing of your generals.
field (n.) 1 field of battle, battleground, field of combat See Topics: Frequency count
of (prep.) 1 about

One would have lingering wars with little cost;
lingering (adj.) long-drawn-out, protracted, lengthy

Another would fly swift, but wanteth wings;
want (v.) 1 lack, need, be without See Topics: Frequency count

A third thinks, without expense at all,

By guileful fair words peace may be obtained.
guileful (adj.) full of guile, deceitful, devious

Awake, awake, English nobility!

Let not sloth dim your honours new-begot.
new-begot (adj.) newly acquired, freshly obtained

Cropped are the flower-de-luces in your arms;
arms (n.) 2 coat of arms
crop (v.) 1 cut down, remove, hack off
fleur-de-lis, flower-de-luce (n.) heraldic lily [royal symbol of France]

Of England's coat one half is cut away.



Were our tears wanting to this funeral,
want (v.) 1 lack, need, be without See Topics: Frequency count

These tidings would call forth her flowing tides.


Me they concern; Regent I am of France.

Give me my steeled coat; I'll fight for France.
steeled (adj.) 2 steel-clad, armed with steel

Away with these disgraceful wailing robes!
disgraceful (adj.) lacking in grace, unbecoming, displeasing

Wounds will I lend the French instead of eyes,

To weep their intermissive miseries.
intermissive (adj.) intermittent, recurrent; or: temporarily interrupted

Enter to them another Messenger


Lords, view these letters full of bad mischance.

France is revolted from the English quite,
quite (adv.) totally, completely, entirely

Except some petty towns of no import.
import (n.) importance, significance, consequence
petty (adj.) 1 small, weak, inadequate, insignificant

The Dauphin Charles is crowned king in Rheims;

The Bastard of Orleans with him is joined;

Reignier, Duke of Anjou, doth take his part;
part (n.) 2 side, camp, party

The Duke of Alençon flieth to his side.



The Dauphin crowned king! All fly to him?
fly (v.) 2 flock, rush, hasten

O, whither shall we fly from this reproach?
fly (v.) 1 leave, run away [from], flee
reproach (n.) 1 blame, disgrace, shame


We will not fly but to our enemies' throats.
fly (v.) 3 storm out, attack furiously

Bedford, if thou be slack, I'll fight it out.


Gloucester, why doubtest thou of my forwardness?

An army have I mustered in my thoughts,

Wherewith already France is overrun.

Enter another Messenger


My gracious lords, to add to your laments,

Wherewith you now bedew King Henry's hearse,
bedew (v.) moisten with drops, wet with tears

I must inform you of a dismal fight
dismal (adj.) 1 disastrous, calamitous, devastating

Betwixt the stout Lord Talbot and the French.
stout (adj.) 1 brave, valiant, resolute


What? Wherein Talbot overcame, is't so?


O, no; wherein Lord Talbot was o'erthrown.

The circumstance I'll tell you more at large.
circumstance (n.) 1 detail(s), particular(s), specifics
large, at 1 at length, in full, thoroughly

The tenth of August last this dreadful lord,
dreadful (adj.) 1 inspiring dread, causing fear, daunting

Retiring from the siege of Orleans,

Having full scarce six thousand in his troop,
scarce (adv.) 1 scarcely, hardly, barely, only just

By three and twenty thousand of the French

Was round encompassed and set upon.
encompass (v.) 1 surround, encircle, enclose

No leisure had he to enrank his men;
enrank (v.) set in ranks, draw up in battle lines

He wanted pikes to set before his archers;
pike (n.) 3 defensive stake
want (v.) 1 lack, need, be without See Topics: Frequency count

Instead whereof, sharp stakes plucked out of hedges

They pitched in the ground confusedly

To keep the horsemen off from breaking in.

More than three hours the fight continued,

Where valiant Talbot, above human thought,
thought (n.) 3 imagination, conception, ability to comprehend

Enacted wonders with his sword and lance.

Hundreds he sent to hell, and none durst stand him;
stand (v.) 13 make a stand [against], fight, resist

Here, there, and everywhere enraged he slew.

The French exclaimed the devil was in arms;

All the whole army stood agazed on him.
agazed (adj.) astounded, astonished, amazed

His soldiers, spying his undaunted spirit,
spy (v.) perceive, observe, behold

‘ À Talbot! À Talbot!’ cried out amain,
a (part.) particle used in front of a proper name, as a supportive war-cry
amain (adv.) 2 forcefully, with all one's might

And rushed into the bowels of the battle.

Here had the conquest fully been sealed up
seal up (v.) 1 sew up, complete, make perfect

If Sir John Falstaff had not played the coward.

He, being in the vaward, placed behind
vaward (n.) 1 [military] vanguard, foremost division

With purpose to relieve and follow them,
purpose (n.) 1 intention, aim, plan See Topics: Frequency count

Cowardly fled, not having struck one stroke.

Hence grew the general wrack and massacre;
wrack (n.) 1 destruction, ruin

Enclosed were they with their enemies.
enclose (v.) seize, grip, imprison

A base Walloon, to win the Dauphin's grace,
base (adj.) 2 low-born, lowly, plebeian, of lower rank See Topics: Frequency count

Thrust Talbot with a spear into the back,

Whom all France, with their chief assembled strength,
chief (adj.) 2 finest, best, foremost
strength (n.) 1 troops, forces, resources, followers

Durst not presume to look once in the face.


Is Talbot slain? Then I will slay myself,

For living idly here in pomp and ease,

Whilst such a worthy leader, wanting aid,
want (v.) 1 lack, need, be without See Topics: Frequency count

Unto his dastard foemen is betrayed.
dastard (adj.) dastardly, cowardly, despicable


O, no, he lives, but is took prisoner,

And Lord Scales with him, and Lord Hungerford;

Most of the rest slaughtered or took likewise.


His ransom there is none but I shall pay.

I'll hale the Dauphin headlong from his throne;
hale (v.) 1 drag, pull, haul

His crown shall be the ransom of my friend;

Four of their lords I'll change for one of ours.
change (v.) 1 exchange, trade

Farewell, my masters; to my task will I.

Bonfires in France forthwith I am to make
be (v.) 3 intend, purpose, be determined

To keep our great Saint George's feast withal.

Ten thousand soldiers with me I will take,

Whose bloody deeds shall make all Europe quake.


So you had need, for Orleans is besieged;

The English army is grown weak and faint;

The Earl of Salisbury craveth supply
crave (v.) 1 beg, entreat, request See Topics: Frequency count
supply (n.) reinforcement(s), support, relief

And hardly keeps his men from mutiny,
hardly (adv.) 1 with great difficulty, only with difficulty

Since they, so few, watch such a multitude.
watch (v.) 4 keep watch on, look out over



Remember, lords, your oaths to Henry sworn,

Either to quell the Dauphin utterly
quell (v.) 1 destroy, overcome, vanquish

Or bring him in obedience to your yoke.


I do remember it, and here take my leave

To go about my preparation.



I'll to the Tower with all the haste I can

To view th' artillery and munition,

And then I will proclaim young Henry king.



To Eltham will I, where the young King is,

Being ordained his special governor,
governor (n.) tutor, mentor
ordain (v.) 1 appoint, establish, institute

And for his safety there I'll best devise.
devise (v.) 5 provide, prepare, make ready

Exeunt all but Winchester


Each hath his place and function to attend;
attend (v.) 8 see to, look after, apply oneself to
place (n.) 2 precedence, proper place

I am left out; for me nothing remains.

But long I will not be Jack out of office.

The King from Eltham I intend to steal

And sit at chiefest stern of public weal.
chief (adj.) 1 principal, topmost, pre-eminent
stern (n.) guiding position, centre of control
weal 1 state, community, commonwealth


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