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HARVARD COLLEGE LLC2AqY
JUL. 12 1933
T. Gillet, Wild Court, and J. BRETTELL, Marsh:ll Street, Printers.
Lords, Messengers, French and English Soldiers, with other Attendants. The SCENE, at the Beginning of the Play, lies in England; but afterwards, wholly in France.
O For a muse of fire”, that would ascend 3 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, d in like hounds, should famine, sword, and fire, [all, Crouch for employment. But pardon, gentles The flat unraised spirit, that hath dar'd, Qn this unworthy scaffold, to bring forth So great an object: Can this cockpit hold The vasty field of France? or may we cram, Within this wooden O’, the very casques" That did affright the air at Agincourt? 9, 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 5 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 10|Printing their proud hoofs 'the receiving earth: For ’tis so thoughts that now must deck our KingS, *Carry them here and there; jumping o'er times; Turning the accomplishment of many years 15|Into an hour-glass; For the which supply, Admit me chorus to this history; Who, prologue-like, your humble patience pray, Gently to hear, kindly to judge, our play.
* The transactions comprised in this historical play commence about the latter end of the first, and terminate in the eighth year of this king's reign; when he married Katharine princess of France, and closed up the differences betwixt Fngland and that crown. It was writ (as appears from a passage in the chorus of the fifth act) at the time of the earl of Essex's commanding the forces in Ireland in the reign of queen Elizabeth, and not 'till after Henry the VIth had been played, as may be seen by the conclusion of this play. “This goes upon the notion of the Peripatetic system, which imagines several
heavens one above another; the last and highest of which was one of fire.
“The helmets. i.e. your powers of fancy.
*i. e. this wooden circle. * Perilous narrow, in burlesque and eommon lan
guage, meant no more than very narrow. In old books this mode of expression occurs Popo