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An Antichamber in the English Court, at Kenelworth.
Enter the Archbishop of Canterbury, and Bishop
Cant. MY lord, I'll tell you, that self bill is
Which, in the eleventh year o'the last king's reign,
Was like, and had indeed against us past,
But that the scambling' and unquiet time
Did push it out of further question.
Ely. But how, my lord, shall we resist it now?
Cant. It must be thought on. If it pass against us,
We lose the better half of our possession:
For all the temporal lands, which men devout
By testament have given to the church,
Would they strip from us; being valued thus,—
As much as would maintain to the king's honour,
Full fifteen earls, and fifteen hundred knights;
Six thousand and two hundred good esquires;
And, to relief of lazars, and weak age,
Of indigent and faint souls, past corporal toil,
A hundred alms-houses, right well supply'd;
And to the coffers of the king, beside,
A thousand pounds by the year: Thus runs the bill. 25
Ely. This would drink deep.
Cant. "Twould drink the cup and all.
Ely. But what prevention?
Cant. The king is full of grace, and fair regard.
Ely. And a true lover of the holy church.
Cant. The courses of his youth promis'd it not.
The breath no sooner left his father's body,
But that his wildness, mortify'd in him,
Seem'd to die too: yea, at that very moment,
Consideration like an angel caine,
And whipp'd the offending Adam out of him;
Leaving his body as a paradise,
To envelop and contain celestial spirits.
Never was such a sudden scholar made:
Never came reformation in a flood,
With such a heady current, scouring faults;
Nor never Hydra-headed wilfulness
"So soon did lose his seat, and all at once,
As in this king.
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,
5 The air, a charter'd libertine, is still,
And the mute wonder lurketh in men's ears,
To steal his sweet and honey'd sentences;
So that the art, and practic part of life
Must be the mistress to this theorique':
10 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,
15 Any retirement, any sequestration
From open haunts and popularity.
Ely. The strawberry grows underneath the
And wholesome berries thrive, and ripen best,
20 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,
How things are perfected.
Ely. But, my good lord,
How now for mitigation of this bill
30 Urg'd by the commons? Doth his majesty
Incline to it, or no?
Cant. He seems indifferent;
Or, rather, swaying more upon our part,
Than cherishing the exhibiters against us:
35 For I have made an offer to his majesty,-
Upon our spiritual convocation;
And in regard of causes now in hand,
Which I have open'd to his grace at large,
As touching France,-to give a greater sum
40 Than ever at one time the clergy yet
Did to his predecessors part withal.
Ely. How did this offer seem receiv'd, my lord?
Cant. With good acceptance of his majesty :
Save, that there was not time enough to hear
45 (As, I perceiv'd, his grace would fain have done) ́
The severals, and unhidden passages,
Of his true titles' to some certain dukedoms;
And, generally, to the crown and sɛ at of France,
Deriv'd from Edward, his great grandfather.
Ely. What was the impediment that broke this
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 common-wealth affairs,
You would say, it hath been all-and-all his study: 50
List his discourse in war, and you shall hear
'Meaning, when every one scambled, i. e..scrambled and shifted for himself as well as he could. Alluding to the method by which Hercules cleansed the Augean stables when he turned a river through That is, his theory must have been taught by art and practice. Theoric or theorique is what terminates in speculation. * i. e. The wild fruit so called, which grows in the woods. i. e. Increasing in its proper power. The passages of his titles are the linésof succession by which his claims descend. Unhidden is open, clear.
Cant. The French ambassador, upon that instant,
Crav'd audience: and the hour, I think, is come,
To give him hearing; Is it four o'clock?
Ely. It is.
Cant. Then go we in, to know his embassy;
Which I could, with a ready guess, declare,
Before the Frenchman speaks a word of it.
Ely. I'll wait upon you; and I long to hear it.
Which Salique land the French unjustly gloze
To be the realm of France, and Pharamond
The founder of this law and female bar.
Yet their own authors faithfully affirm,
5 That the land Salique lies in Germany,
Between the floods of Sala and of Elbe:
Where Charles the great, having subdu'd the
There left behind and settled certain French;
10 Who, holding in disdain the German women,
For some dishonest manners of their life,
Establish'd there this law, to wit, no female
Should be inheritrix in Salique land;
Which Salique, as I said, 'twixt Elbe and Sala,
15 Is at this day in Germany call'd-Meisen.
Thus doth it well appear, the Salique law
Was not.devised for the realm of France:
Nor did the French possess the Salique land
Until four hundred one and twenty years
20 After defunction of king Pharamond,
Idly suppos'd the founder of this law;
Who died within the year of our redemption
Four hundred twenty-six; and Charles the great
Subdu'd the Saxons, and did seat the French
Beyond the river Sala, in the year
Eight hundred five. Besides, their writers say,
King Pepin, which deposed Childerick,
Did, as heir general, being descended
Of Blithild, which was daughter to king Clothair, 30 Make claim and title to the crown of France.
Opens to the presence.
Enter King Henry, Gloster, Bedford, Warwick,
Westmoreland, and Exeter.
K. Henry. Where is my gracious lord of Can-
Ere. Not here in presence.
K. Henry. Send for him, good uncle'.
West. Shall we call in the ambassador, my liege?
K. Henry. Not yet, my cousin; we would be
Before we hear him, of some things of weight,
That task our thoughts, concerning us and France.
Enter the Archbishop of Canterbury, and Bishop
Cant. God, and his angels, guard your sacred 25
And make you long become it!
K: Henry. Sure, we thank you.
My learned lord, we pray you to proceed;
And justly and religiously unfold,
Why the law Salique, that they have in France,
Or should, or should not, bar us in our claim.
And God forbid, my dear and faithful lord,
That you should fashion, wrest, or bow your
Or nicely charge your understanding soul
With opening titles' miscreate, whose right
Suits not in native colours with the truth;
For God doth know, how many, now in health,
Shall drop their blood in approbation*
Of what your reverence shall incite us to:
Therefore take heed how you impawn our person,
How you awake the sleeping sword of war;
We charge you in the name of God, take heed:
For never two such kingdoms did contend,
Without much fall of blood; whose guiltless drops
Are every one a woe, a sore complaint,
'Gainst him, whose wrong gives edge unto the
Hugh Capet also,-that usurp'd the crown
Of Charles the duke of Lorain, sole heir male
Of the true line and stock of Charles the great,-
To fine his title with some shew of truth,
35 (Though, in pure truth, it was corrupt and naught)
Convey'd himself as heir to the lady Lingare,
Daughter to Charlemain, who was the son
To Lewis the emperor, and Lewis the son
Of Charles the great. Also king Lewis the ninth,
40 Who was sole heir to the usurper Capet,
Could not keep quiet in his conscience,
Wearing the crown of France, 'till satisfy'd
That fair queen Isabel, his grandmother,
Was lineal of the lady Ermengare,
45 Daughter to Charles the foresaid duke of Lorain;
Bythewhich marriage, the line of Charles the great
Was re-united to the crown of France.
So that, as clear as is the summer's sun,
King Pepin's title, and Hugh Capet's claim,
50 King Lewis his satisfaction, all appear
To hold in right and title of the female:
So do the kings of France unto this day;
Howbeit they would hold up this Salique law,
To bar your highness claiming from the female;
55 And rather chuse to hide them in a net,
Than amply to imbare' their crookd titles,
Usurp'd from you and your progenitors.
K. Henry. May 1, with right and conscience,
make this claim?
That makes such waste in brief mortality.
Under this conjuration, speak, my lord;
For we will hear, note, and believe in heart,
That what you speak is in your conscience wash'd
As pure as sin with baptism.
Cant. Then hear me, gracious sovereign,-and
That owe your lives, your faith, and services,
To this imperial throne;- There is no bar
To make against your highness' claim to France,
But this, which they produce from Pharamond,-60
In terram Salicam mulieres ne succedant,
No woman shall succeed in Salique land.
Cant. The sin upon my head, dread sovereign!
For in the book of Numbers it is writ-
When the son dies, let the inheritance
'John Holland, duke of Exeter, was married to Elizabeth the king's aunt.
2 Meaning, keep our mind busied with scruples and laborious disquisitions. i. e. spurious *i.e.jn proving and Supporting that title which shall be now set up. This whole speech is copied from Holinshed. is by some appearance of justice. 1. e. lay open, display to view.
ie. to make it shewy
Descend unto the daughter. Gracious lord,
Stand for your own; unwind your bloody flag;
Look back unto your mighty ancestors:
Go, my dread lord, to your great grandsire's tomb,|
From whom you claim; invoke his warlike spirit,
And your great uncle's, Edward the black prince;
Who on the French ground play'd a tragedy,
Making defeat on the full power of France;
Whiles his most mighty father on a hill
Stood smiling, to behold his lion's whelp
Forage in blood of French nobility.-
O noble English, that could entertain
With half their forces the full pride of France;
And let another half stand laughing by,
All out of work, and cold for action!
Ely. Awake remembrance of these valiant dead,
And with your puissant arm renew their feats:
You are their heir, you sit upon their throne;
The blood and courage that renowned them,
Runs in your veins; and my thrice-puissant liege
Is in the very May-morn of his youth,
Ripe for exploits and mighty enterprizes.
Exe. Your brother kings and monarchs of the
When all her chivalry hath been in France,
And she a mourning widow of her nobles,
She hath herself not only well defended,
But taken, and impounded as a stray,
The king of Scots; whom she did send to France,
To fill king Edward's fame with prisoner kings;
And make your chronicle as rich with praise,
As is the ouze and bottom of the sea
With sunken wreck and sumless treasuries.
Exe. But there's a saying very old and true,—
If that you will France win,
Then with Scotland first begin:
For once the eagle England being in prey,
To her unguarded nest the weasel Scot
15 Comes sneaking, and so sucks her princely eggs;
Playing the mouse, in absence of the cat,
To taint and havock more than she can eat.
Ely. It follows then, the cat must stay at home:
Yet that is but a curs'd' necessity;
20 Since we have locks to safeguard necessaries,
And pretty traps to catch the petty thieves.
While that the armed hand doth fight abroad,
The advised head defends itself at home:
government, though high, and low, and lower,
25 Put into parts, doth keep in one consent*;
Congruing in a full and natural close,
Do all expect that you should rouse yourself,
As did the former lions of your blood.
West. They know, your grace hath cause, and
means and might;
So hath your highness; never king of England
Had nobles richer, and more loyal subjects;
Whose hearts have left their bodies here in England,
And lie pavilion'd in the fields of France.
Cant. O, let their bodies follow, my dear liege,
With blood, and sword, and fire, to win your right:
In aid whereof, we of the spiritualty
Will raise your highness such a mighty sum,
As never did the clergy at one time
Bring in to any of your ancestors.
K.Henry. We must not only arm to invade the
But lay down our proportions to defend
Against the Scot, who will make road upon us
With all advantages.
Cant. They of those marches', gracious sove-
Shall be a wall sufficient to defend
Our inland from the pilfering borderers. [only, 45
K,Henry.We do not mean the coursing snatchers
But fear the main intendment of the Scot,
Who hath been still a' giddy neighbour to us:
For you shall read that my great grandfather
Never went with his forces into France,
But that the Scot on his unfurnish'd kingdom
Came pouring, like the tide into a breach,
With ample and brim fulness of his force;
Galling the gleaned land with hot assays;
Girding with grievous siege castles and towns;
That England, being empty of defence,
Hath shook, and trembled at the ill neighbourhood.
Cant. She hath been then more fear'd than
harin'd, my liege:
For hear her but exampled by herself,—
Cant. True: therefore doth heaven divide
The state of man in divers functions,
30 Setting endeavour in continual motion;
To which is fixed, as an aim or butt,
Obedience': for so work the honey bees;
Creatures, that, by a rule in nature, teach
The art of order to a peopled kingdom.
35 They have a king, and officers of sorts:
Where some, like magistrates, correct at home;
Others, like merchants, venture trade abroad;
Others, like soldiers, armed in their stings,
Make boot upon the summer's velvet buds;
Which pillage they with merry march bring home
To the tent royal of their emperor:
Who, busy'd in his majesty, surveys
The singing masons building roofs of gold;
The civil citizens kneading up the honey;
The poor mehanick porters crowding in
Their heavy burdens at his narrow gate;
The sad-ey'd justice, with his surly hum,
Delivering o'er to executors pale
The lazy yawning drone. I this infer,-
50 That many things, having full reference
To one consent, may work contrariously;
As many arrows, loosed several ways,
Fly to one mark;
As many several ways meet in one town; 55 As many fresh streams run in one self sea; As many lines close in the dial's centre; So may a thousand actions, once afoot, End in one purpose, and be all well borne Without defeat. Therefore to France, my liege. 60 Divide your happy England into four;
'The marches are the borders, the limits, the confines. Hence the Lords Marchers, i. e. the lords presidents of the marches, &c. 2i. e. inconstant, changealle. 3i. e. an unfortunate necessity, or a necessity to be execrated. 4 Consent is unison. "The sense is, that all endeavour is to terminate in obedience, to be subordinate to the public good and general design of government.
is his beadle, war is his vengeance; so that here
men are punished, for before-breach of the king's
laws, in now the king's quarrel where they
feared the death, they have borne life away; and
where they would be safe, they perish: Then if 5
they die unprovided, no more is the king guilty of
their damnation, than he was before guilty of thoseUpon the king' let us our lives, our souls,
impieties for the which they are now visited.- Our deb's, our careful wives, our children, and
Every subject's duty is the king's; but every sub- Our sins, lay on the king; he must bear all.
ject's soul is his own. Therefore should every 100 hard condition! twin-born with greatness,
soldier in the wars do as every sick man in his Subjected to the breath of every fool, [ing!
bed, wash every moth out of his conscience: and Whose sense no more can feel but his own wring-
dying so, death is to him advantage; or not dying, What infinite heart's ease must kings neglect,
the time was blessedly lost, wherein such prepa- That private men enjoy? and what have kings,
rat.on was gained; and, in hum that escapes, it15 That privates have not too, save ceremony?
were not sin to think, that, making God so free an Save general ceremony?
offer, he let him out-live that day to see his great-]
ness, and to teach others how they should pre-
And what art thou, thou idol ceremony?
What kind of God art thou, that suffer'st more
Of mortal griefs, than do thy worshippers?
What are thy rents? what are thy comings-in?
O ceremony, show me but thy worth!
What is thy soul, O adoration?
Will. 'Tis certain, that every man that dies ill, 20 the ill is upon his own head, the king is not to answer for it.
Butes. I do not desire he should answer for me; and yet I determine to fight lustily for him. K.Henry. I myself heard the king say, he would 25 not be ransom'd.
Will. Ay, he said so, to make us fight chear fully: but, when our throats are cut, he may bel ransom'd, and we ne'er the wiser.
K. Henry, If I live to see it, I will never trust30] his word after.
Will. You pay him then! that's a perilous shot out of an elder gun', that a poor and private displeasure can do against a monarch! you may as well go about to turn the sun to ice, with fanning 35 in his face with a peacock's feather. You'll never trust his word after! come, 'tis a foolish saying.
K.Henry. Your reproof is something too round: I should be angry with you, if the time were con
Will. Let it be a quarrel between us if you live.
K. Henry, I embrace it.
Will. How shall I know thee again?
K. Henry. Give me any gage of thine, and I will wear it in my bonnet: then, if ever thou45 dar'st acknowledge it, I will make it my quarrel.
Will. Here's my glove; give me another of thine.
K. Henry. There.
Will. This will I also wear in my cap: if ever 50 thou come to me and say, after to-morrow, This is my glore, by this hand, I will take thee a box on the ear.
K. Henry. If ever I live to see it, I will challenge it.
K. Henry. Indeed, the French may lay twenty French crowns to one, they will beat us; for hey bear them on their shoulders: But it is no English treason to cut French crowns; and, to morrow, the king himself will be a clipper. [Exeunt soldiers.
Will. Thou dar'st as well be hang'd.
K. Henry. Well, I will do it, though I take thee in the king's company.
Will it give place to flexure and low bending?
Can'st thou, when thou command'st the beggar's
Command the health of it? No, thou proud
That play'st so subtly with a king's repose,
I am a king, that find thee: and I know,
Tis not the balm, the scepter, and the ball,
The sword, the mace, the crown imperial,
46 The enter-tissued robe of gold and pearl,
The farsed' title running 'fore the king,
The throne he sits on, nor the tide of pomp
That beats upon the high shore of the world,
No, not all these, thrice-gorgeous ceremony,
Not all these, laid in bed majestical,
Can sleep so soundly as the wretched slave;
Who, with a body fill'd, and vacant mind,
Gets him to rest, cramm'd with distressful bread,
Never sees horrid night, the child of hell;
But, like a lacquey, from the rise to set,
Sweats in the eye of Phoebus, and all night
Sleeps in Elysium; next day, after dawn,
Doth rise, and help Hyperion to his horse;
And follow so the ever-running year
55 With profitable labour, to his grave:
And, but for ceremony, such a wretch,
Winding up days with toil, and nights with sleep,
Had the fore-hand and vantage of a king.
The slave, a member of the country's peace,
Enjoys it; but in gross brain little wots,
What watch the king keeps to maintam the peace,
Whose hours the peasant best advantages.
Far,ed is stufeð
Will. Keepthy word: fare thee well.
Butes. Be friends, you English fools, be friends; 60 we have French quarrels enough, if you could tell how to reckon.
Meaning, it is a great displeasure that an elder gun can do against a cannon. meaning, the tumid puffy titles with which a king's name is always introduced.
Erp. I shall do't, my lord.
K. Henry. O God of battles! steel hearts!
Con. Tohorse, yougallantprinces! straight to horse!
Do but behold yon poor and starved band,
And your fair shrew shall suck away their souls,
Leaving them but the shales and husks of men.
5 There is not work enough for all our hands;
Scarce blood enough in all their sickly veins,
To give each naked curtle-ax a stain,
That our French gallants shall to-day draw out,
And sheath for lack of sport: let us but blow on
of our valour will o'erturn them.
Tis positive 'gainst all exceptions, lords,
That our superfluous lacquey's, and our peasants,
Who, in unnecessary action, swarm
15 About our squares of battle,
To purge this field of such a hilding foe;
Though we, upon this mountain's basis by,
Took stand for idle speculation:
But that our honours must not.-What's to say?
20 A very little little let us do,
And all is done. Then let the trumpets sound
The tucket sonuance2 and the note to mount :
For our approach shall so much dare the field,
That England shall couch down in fear, and
Possess them not with fear; take from them now
The sense of reckoning, if the opposed numbers
Pluck their hearts from them!-Not to-day, O
O not to-day, think not upon the fault
My father made in compassing the crown;
I Richard's body have interred new;
And on it have bestow'd more contrite tears,
Than from it issued forced drops of blood.
Five hundred poor I have in yearly pay,
Who twice a day their wither'd hands hold up
Toward heaven, to pardon blood; and I have built
Two chantries, where the sad and solemn priests
Sing still for Richard's soul. More will I'do:
Though all that I can do, is nothing worth;
Since that my penitence comes after all,
Glo. My liege!
K. Henry. My brother Gloster's voice!-Ay;
I know thy errand, I will go with thee:--
The day, my friends, and all things stay for me.
The French Camp.
Enter the Dauphin, Orleans, Rambures, and
Yon island carrions, desperate of their bones, 30 Ill-favour'dly become the morning field: Their ragged curtains poorly are let loose, And our air shakes them passing scornfully. Big Mars seems bankrupt in their beggar'd host, And faintly through a rusty beaver peeps. 35 Their horsemen sit like fixed candlesticks, With torch-staves in their hand': and their poor jades
Orl. The sun doth gild our armour; up, my
Dau. Montez à cheval:-My horse! valet!
Orl. O brave spirit!
Dau. Via!-les eaux & la terre.-
Orl. Rien plus? l'air & le feu.--
Dau. Ciel! cousin Orleans!-
Grand. Why do you stay so long, my lords of
Lob down their heads, dropping the hide and hips; The gum down-roping from their pale-dead eyes; 40 And in their pale dull mouths the gimmal bit
Lies foul with chew'd grass, still and motionless;
And their executors, the knavish crows,
Fly o'er them all, impatient for their hour.
Description cannot suit itself in words,
45 To demonstrate the life of such a battle
In life so liteless as it shews itself.
Now, my lord Constable !
Con. Hark, how our steeds for present service
Dau. Mount them, and make incision in their
That their hot blood may spin in English eyes,
And daunt them with superfluous courage. Ha!
Rum. What, will you have them weep our
How shall we then behold their natural tears?
Enter a Messenger.
Mes. The English are embattled, you French
Con. They have said their prayers, and they stay for death.
Dau. Shall we go send them dinners, and fresh suits,
And give their fasting horses provender,
And after fight with them?
Con. I stay but for my guards; On, to the field:
I will the banner from a trumpet take,
55 And use it for my haste. Come, come away!
The sun is high, and we out-wear the day.
2 The tucket-sonuance was probably the name of 'Grandpré alludes to the form of the ancient candlesticks,
'Via! is an old hortatory exclamation, as allons ! an introductory flourish on the trumpet. which frequently represented human figures holding the sockets for the lights in their extended hands. * Gimmal is, in the western counties, a ring; a gimmal bit is therefore a bit of which the parts played It seems, by what follows, that guard in this place means rather something one within another. of ornament or of distinction than a body of attendants. The following quotation from Holinshed will best elucidate this passage-"The duke of Brabant, when his standard was not come, caused a banner to be taken from a trumpet and fastered upon a spear, the which he commanded to be borne before him instead of a standard."