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EXE. The Dauphin crowned king! all fly to him! O, whither shall we fly from this reproach?

GLO. We will not fly, but to our enemies' throats:

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


BED. Gloster, why doubt'st thou of my forwardness?

army have I muster'd in my thoughts, Wherewith already France is over-run.

Enter a third Messenger.

3 MESS. My gracious lords,-to add to your laments,

Wherewith you now bedew king Henry's hearse,I must inform you of a dismal fight,

Betwixt the stout lord Talbot and the French.

WIN. What! wherein Talbot overcame? is't so? 3 MESS. O, no; wherein lord Talbot was o'erthrown:

The circumstance I'll tell you more at large.
The tenth of August last, this dreadful lord,
Retiring from the siege of Orleans,

Having full scarce six thousand in his troop,"
By three and twenty thousand of the French
Was round encompassed and set upon :
No leisure had he to enrank his men ;
He wanted pikes to set before his archers;

Instead whereof, sharp stakes, pluck'd out of hedges,
They pitched in the ground confusedly,


Having full scarce &c.] The modern editors read-scarce full, but, I think, unnecessarily. So, in The Tempest:

"Prospero, master of a full poor cell."


To keep the horsemen off from breaking in.
More than three hours the fight continued;
Where valiant Talbot, above human thought,
Enacted wonders with his sword and lance.
Hundreds he sent to hell, and none durst stand him;
Here, there, and every where, enrag'd he slew:9
The French exclaim'd, The devil was in arms;
All the whole army stood agaz'd on him:
His soldiers, spying his undaunted spirit,
A Talbot! a Talbot! cried out amain,
And rush'd into the bowels of the battle.1
Here had the conquest fully been seal'd up,
If sir John Fastolfe? had not play'd the coward;

above human thought,

Enacted wonders-] So, in King Richard III:
"The king enacts more wonders than a man.'

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9he slew:] I suspect the author wrote flew.



1 And rush'd into the bowels of the battle.] Again, in the fifth Act of this play:

"So, rushing in the bowels of the French." The same phrase had occurred in the first part of Jeronimo, 1605:


"Meet, Don Andrea! yes, in the battle's bowels."


* If sir John Fastolfe &c.] Mr. Pope has taken notice, "That Falstaff is here introduced again, who was dead in Henry V. The occasion whereof is, that this play was written before King Henry IV. or King Henry V." But it is the historical Sir John Fastolfe (for so he is called in both our Chroniclers) that is here mentioned; who was a lieutenant general, deputy regent to the duke of Bedford in Normandy, and a knight of the garter; and not the comick character afterwards introduced by our author, and which was a creature merely of his own brain. Nor when he named him Falstaff do I believe he had any intention of throwing a slur on the memory of this renowned old warrior. THEOBALD,

Mr. Theobald might have seen his notion contradicted in the very line he quotes from. Fastolfe, whether truly or not, is

He being in the vaward, (plac'd behind,
With purpose to relieve and follow them,)
Cowardly fled, not having struck one stroke.
Hence grew the general wreck and massacre;
Enclosed were they with their enemies:
A base Walloon, to win the Dauphin's grace,
Thrust Talbot with a spear into the back;
Whom all France, with their chief assembled

Durst not presume to look once in the face.

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said by Hall and Holinshed to have been degraded for cowardice. Dr. Heylin, in his Saint George for England, tells us, that "he was afterwards, upon good reason by him alledged in his defence, restored to his honour."- "This Sir John Fastolfe," continues he, was without doubt, a valiant and wise captain, notwithstanding the stage hath made merry with him." FARMER. See Vol. XI. p. 194, n. 3; and Oldys's Life of Sir John Fastolfe in the General Dictionary. MALONE.


In the 18th Song of Drayton's Polyolbion is the following character of this Sir John Fastolph:


Strong Fastolph with this man compare we justly may;
By Salsbury who oft being seriously imploy'd

"In many a brave attempt the general foe annoy'd ;
"With excellent successe in Main and Anjou fought,
"And many a bulwarke there into our keeping brought;
"And chosen to go forth with Vadamont in warre,
"Most resolutely tooke proud Renate duke of Barre.”

For an account of this Sir John Fastolfe, see Anstis's Treatise on the Order of the Garter; Parkins's Supplement to Blomfield's History of Norfolk; Tanner's Bibliotheca Britannica; or Capel's notes, Vol. II. p. 221; and Sir John Fenn's Collection of the Paston Letters. REED.

He being in the vaward, (plac'd behind,] Some of the editors seem to have considered this as a contradiction in terms, and have proposed to read the rearward, but without necessity. Some part of the van must have been behind the foremost line of it. We often say the back front of a house. STEEVENS.

When an army is attacked in the rear, the van becomes the rear in its turn, and of course the reserve. M. MASON.

BED. Is Talbot slain? then I will slay myself, For living idly here, in pomp and ease, Whilst such a worthy leader, wanting aid, Unto his dastard foe-men is betray'd.

3 MESS. O no, he lives; but is took prisoner, And lord Scales with him, and lord Hungerford: Most of the rest slaughter'd, or took, likewise.

BED. His ransome there is none but I shall pay: I'll hale the Dauphin headlong from his throne, His crown shall be the ransome of my friend; Four of their lords I'll change for one of ours.Farewell, my masters; to my task will I; Bonfires in France forthwith I am to make, 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.

3 MESS. So you had need; for Orleans is be


The English army is grown weak and faint:
The earl of Salisbury craveth supply,

And hardly keeps his men from mutiny,

Since they, so few, watch such a multitude.

EXE. Remember, lords, your oaths to Henry


Either to quell the Dauphin utterly,

Or bring him in obedience to your yoke.

BED. I do remember it; and here take leave, Το go about my preparation.


GLO. I'll to the Tower, with all the haste I can, To view the artillery and munition; And then I will proclaim young Henry king.


EXE. To Eltham will I, where the young king


Being ordain'd his special governor;

And for his safety there I'll best devise.


WIN. Each hath his place and function to at


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 send,
And sit at chiefest stern of publick weal.*

[Exit. Scene closes.

The king from Eltham I intend to send,

And sit at chiefest stern of publick weal.] The King was not at this time so much in the power of the Cardinal, that he could send him where he pleased. I have therefore no doubt but that there is an error in this passage, and that it should be read thus: The king from Eltham I intend to steal, And sit at chiefest stern of publick weal.

This slight alteration preserves the sense, and the rhyme also, with which many scenes in this play conclude. The King's person, as appears from the speech immediately preceding this of Winchester, was under the care of the Duke of Exeter, not of the Cardinal:

"Exe. To Eltham will I, where the young king is,

"Being ordain'd his special governor." M. MASON. The second charge in the Articles of Accusation preferred by the Duke of Gloster against the Bishop, (Hall's Chron. Hen. VI. f. 12, b.) countenances this conjecture. MALONE.

The disagreeable clash of the words-intend and send, seems indeed to confirm the propriety of Mr. M. Mason's emendation. STEEVENS.

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