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To her is opposed Talbot, a rough iron warrior, who moves us the more powerfully, as, in the moment when he is threatened with inevitable death, all his care is tenderly directed to save his son, who performs his first deeds of arms under his eye. After Talbot has in vain sacrificed himself, and the Maid of Orleans has fallen into the hands of the English, the French provinces are completely lost by an impolitic marriage; and
; with this the piece ends.
*In the Second Part, the events more particularly prominent are the murder of the honest Protector, Gloucester, and its consequences: the death of Cardinal Beaufort; the parting of the Queen from her favourite Suffolk, and his death by the hands of savage pirates; then the insurrection of Jack Cade under an assumed name, and at the instigation of the Duke of York. The short scene where Cardinal Beaufort, who is tormented by his conscience on account of the murder of Gloucester, is visited on his death-bed by Henry VI., is sublime beyond all praise. Can any other poet be named who has drawn aside the curtain of eternity at the close of this life with such overpowering and awful effect? And yet it is not mere horror with which the mind is filled, but solemn emotion; a blessing and a curse stand side by side; the pious King is an image of the heavenly mercy which, even in the sinner's last moments, labours to enter into his soul. The adulterous passion of Queen Margaret and Suffolk is invested with tragical dignity, and all low and ignoble ideas carefully kept out of sight. Without attempting to gloss over the crime of which both are guilty, without seeking to remove our disapprobation of this criminal love, he still, by the magic force of expression, contrives to excite in us a sympathy with their sorrow. In the insurrection of Cade he has delineated the conduct of a popular demagogue, the fearful ludicrousness of the anarchical tumult of the people, with such convincing truth, that one would believe he was an eye-witness of many of the events of our age, which, from ignorance of history, have been considered as without example.
“The civil war only begins in the Second Part; in the Third
it is unfolded in its full destructive fury. The picture becomes gloomier and gloomier; and seems at last to be painted rather with blood than with colours. With horror we behold fury giving birth to fury, vengeance to vengeance, and see that when all the bonds of human society are violently torn asunder, even noble matrons become hardened to cruelty. The most bitter contempt is the portion of the unfortunate; no one affords to his enemy that pity which he will himself shortly stand in need of. With all, party is family, country, and religion, the only spring of action. As York, whose ambition is coupled with noble qualities, prematurely perishes, the object of the whole contest is now either to support an imbecile king, or to place on the throne a luxurious monarch, who shortens the dear-bought possession by the gratification of an insatiable voluptuousness. For this the celebrated and magnanimous Warwick spends his chivalrous life; Clifford revenges the death of his father with blood-thirsty filial love ; and Richard, for the elevation of his brother, practises those dark deeds by which he is soon after to pave the way to his own greatness. In the midst of the general misery, of which he has been the innocent cause, King Henry appears like the powerless image of a saint, in whose wonder-working influence no man any longer believes: he can but sigh and weep over the enormities which he witnesses. In his simplicity, however, the gift of prophecy is lent to this pious king: in the moment of his death, at the close of this great tragedy, he prophesies a still more dreadful tragedy with which futurity is pregnant, as much distinguished for the poisonous wiles of cold-blooded wickedness, as the former for deeds of savage fury.'—SCHLEGEL.
Appears KING HENRY VI.
Act I. sc. 1. Act II. sc. 2; sc. 5. Act III. sc.
1. Act IV. sc. 6; sc. 8. Act V. sc. 6. EDWARD PRINCE OF WALES, son Act I. sc. 1. Act II. sc. 2 ; sc. 5. Act III. sc. to Henry VI
3. Act V. sc. 4 ; sc. 5. LEWIS XI, King of France Act III. sc. 3. DUKE OF SOMERSET, on King Act IV. sc. 1; sc. 2; sc. 3; sc. 6. Act V. sc. Henry's side
1; sc. 2; sc. 4; sc. 5. DUKE OF OXETER, on. King} Act I. sc. 1. Act II. sc. 5. Act IV. sc. 8.
side EARL OF OXFORD, on King Act III. sc. 3. Act IV. sc. 2 ; sc. 3 ; sc. 6; Henry's side
SC. 8. Act V. sc. 1 ; sc. 2 ; sc. 4; sc. 5.
} Act I. sc. 1.
4; sc. 6. RICHARD PLANTAGENET, Duke
e} Act I. sc. 1; sc. 2; sc. 4. of York
Act I. sc. 1 ; sc. 2, Act II. 1; sc. 2; sc. 3; EDWARD, Earl of March, after
sc. 6. Act III. sc. 2. Act IV. sc. 1; sc. 8; wards King Edward IV., son
sc. 5; sc. 7. Act V. sc. 1 ; sc. 2; sc. 3; sc. to the Duke of York
4; sc. 5; sc. 7. EDMUND, Earl of Rutland, son to Act I. sc. 3. GEORGE, afterwards Duke of Act II. sc. 2 ; sc. 3; sc. 6. Act III. sc. 2. Act
Clarence, son to the Duke of IV. sc. 1 ; sc. 2; sc. 3; sc. 6 ; sc. 8. Act V. York
sc. 1 ; sc. 3 ; sc. 4 ; sc. 5 ; sc. 7.
Act I. sc. 1; sc. 2. Act II. sc. 1 ; sc. 2; sc. 3; RICHARD, afterwards Duke of
sc. 4 ; sc. 6. Act III. sc. 2. Act IV. sc. 1; Gloster, son to the Duke of York
sc. 5; sc. 7. Act V. sc. 1; sc. 3; sc. 4 ; sc.
5; sc. 6; sc. 7. DUKE OF NORFOLK, of the Duke Act I. sc. 1. Act II. sc. 2.
of York's party MARQUIS OF MONTAGUE, of the Act I. sc. 1; sc. 2. Act II. sc. 1 ; sc. 2; sc. 6. Duke of York's party
Act IV. sc. 1; sc. 6; sc. 8. Act V. sc. 1
Act I. sc. 1. Act II. sc. 1 ; sc. 2; sc. 3 ; sc. 6. EARL OF WARWICK, of the Duke of York's party
Act III. sc. 3. Act IV. sc. 2; sc. 3 ; sc. 6;
sc. 8. Act V. sc. 1; sc. 2. EARL OF PEMBROKE, of the Duke of York's party
:} Act IV. sc. 1. LORD HASTINGS, of the Duke of Act IV. sc. 1 ; sc. 5; sc. 7. Act V. sc. 7.
Act IV. sc. 1,
e} Act I. sc. 2.
of HENRY, Earl of Richmond, a} Act IV. sc. 6.
youth LORD RIVERS, brother to Lady | Act IV. sc. 4. Grey
} SIR WILLIAM STANLEY
Act IV. sc. 5. SIR JOAN MONTGOMERY .
Act 1V. sc. 7. SIR JOHN SOMERVILLE
Act V. sc. 1.
Soldier's, and other Attendants on King Henry and King Edward, Messengers,
SCENE,- DURING PART OF THE THIRD ACT_IN FRANCE ; DURING ALL THE
REST OF THE PLAY IN ENGLAND.