Imatges de pÓgina


before them with their bill-hooks and hatchets. slain on the field; that of the English appears The immense numbers of the French proved to have been about twelve hundred. Most of their ruin. The battle soon became a slaughter; the dead were afterwards buried in enormous and the harnessed knights, almost incapable of trenches. moving, were hacked to pieces by the English archers, "who were habited in jackets, and had their hosen loose, with hatchets or swords hanging from their girdles, whilst many were barefooted and without hats." The battle lasted about three hours. The English "stood on the heaps of corpses, which exceeded a man's height;" the French, indeed, fell almost passive in their lines. Henry, at one period of the battle, issued an order for the slaughter of his prisoners. Even the French writers justify this horrible circumstance as an act of self-preservation. The total loss of the French was about ten thousand

The English king conducted himself with his accustomed dignity to his many illustrious prisoners. The victorious army marched to Calais in fine order, and embarked for England, without any attempt to follow up their almost miraculous triumph. Henry reached Calais on the 29th of October, and on the 17th of November landed at Dover. He entered London amidst the most expensive pageantry of the citizens, contrasting with the studied simplicity of his own retinue and demeanor, on Saturday, the 24th of November.


23 CHORUS.-"Like a mighty whiffler 'fore the king."

A WHIFFLER may be taken generally to mean an officer who leads the way in processions. A whiffler was originally a fifer or piper, who anciently went first on occasions of pageant and ceremony. Minsheu defines him to be a club or staff bearer. Grose, in his 'Provincial Glossary,' mentions whifflers as "men who make way for the corporation of Norwich, by flourish ing their swords." The sword-flourishers of Norwich are standard-bearers in London, under the same name.

21 CHORUS.-"As yet the lamentation of the French," &c.

It is extremely difficult to explain this passage as it stands. Why should the lamentation of the French invite the king of England to stay at home? If we were half as venturous as our editorial predecessors, we would transpose a line as printed (such a typographical change of a manuscript being too common in printing) and read thus:

"Now in London place him;

As yet the lamentation of the French.
The emperor's coming in behalf of France
Invites the king of England's stay at home,
To order peace between them: and omit
All the occurrences," &c.

25 SCENE I." Why wear you your leek to-day? St. Davy's day is past."


We were favoured with some memoranda on the use of the leek, as the national emblem of Wales, by the late accomplished antiquary Sir Samuel Meyrick, the substance of which we have great pleasure in presenting to our readNot one of the Welsh bards, though there exists a tolerable series of their compositions from the fifth century, till the time of Elizabeth, have in any manner alluded to the leek as a national emblem. Even at the present day, the custom of wearing leeks on the first of March is confined to the members of modern clubs. There is, however, a tradition in Wales as to the origin of the custom, namely, that the Saxons being about to attack the Britons on St. David's day, put leeks in their caps, in order, if dispersed, to be known to each other; and that the Britons having gained the victory, transferred the leeks to their own caps as signals of triumph. This, like many other traditions, seems to have been invented for the nonce. But the Harleian MS., No. 1977, written by a Welshman, of the time of James I., contains the following passage :

"I like the leek above all herbs and flowers;
When first we wore the same, the field was ours.
The leek is white and green, whereby is meant,
That Britons are both stout and eminent :

Next to the lion and the unicorn,

The leek's the fairest emblem that is worn."

Now the inference to be drawn from these lines, is, that the leek was assumed upon, or immediately after, the battle of Bosworth-field, which was won by Henry VII., who had many Welshmen (his countrymen) in his army, and whose yeomen guard was composed of Welshmen; and this inference is derived from the fact, that the Tudor colours were white and green; and, as may be seen in several heraldic MSS., formed the field on which the English, French, and Irish arms were placed. "The field was ours," alludes to the victory, of course, as well as to the heraldic field.

This view of the case would account for the leek being only worn by Welshmen in England, and its having been a custom of comparatively modern origin in the time of Shakspere.

26 SCENE II.-"Notre tres cher filz," &c. Dr. Farmer, in his essay on the learning of Shakspere, winds up his many proofs of the ignorance of our poet, by the following argument, the crown of all:-"But to come to a conclusion, I will give you an irrefragable argument, that Shakspere did not understand two very common words in the French and Latin languages. According to the articles of agreement between the conqueror, Henry, and the king of France, the latter was to style the former (in the corrected French of the former editions), Nostre tres cher filz Henry roy d' Angle

terre ; and in Latin, Præclarissimus filius, &c. 'What,' says Dr. Warburton, 'is tres cher in French, præclarissimus in Latin! we should read præcarissimus.' This appears to be exceedingly true; but how came the blunder? it is a typographical one in Holinshed, which Shakspere copied; but must indisputably have corrected, had he been acquainted with the languages." Now really this is a very weak argument, upon Farmer's own showing: for Shakspere finding the passage in Holinshed was bound to copy it, without setting himself up as a verbal critic; nor was it necessary that the Latin words of the treaty should have exactly corresponded to the French. He might have understood the agreement to mean, that the very dear son in the one language, should be the most noble son in the other. But Malone says that the mistake is in all the old historians, as well as in Holinshed. He is not quite right in this statement, for the word is precharissimus in Hall. At any rate, the truth could not be ascertained till the publication of such a work as Rymer's 'Fœdera,' where, in the treaty of Troyes, the word stands præcarissimus. By a super-refinement of veneration for Shakspere, as justifiable as Farmer's coarse depreciation of him, the præclarissimus might be taken to prove his learning; for Capell maintains that præcarissimus is no Latin word. We give this note to show what stuff criticism may be made of, when it departs from the safe resting-place of common sense.


The triumphal procession and the pageant, with which Henry was welcomed to London, described in the chorus, are given in Holinshed; so also the king's freedom "from vainness and self-glorious pride." The Chronicler thus depicts this modesty: "The king, like a great and sober personage, and as one remembering from whom all victories are sent, seemed little to regard such vain pomp and shows as were in triumphant sort devised for his welcoming home from so prosperous a journey, insomuch that he would not suffer his helmet to be carried with him, whereby might have appeared to the people the blows and dents that were to be seen in the same; neither would he suffer any ditties to be

made and sung by minstrels of his glorious victory, for that he would wholly have the praise and thanks altogether given to God." Percy, however, thinks that an old song, "For the vie tory of Agincourt," was drawn up by some poet laureat of those days. This song, or hymn, was printed from a manuscript copy in the Pepys collection. Our readers will perhaps be satisfied with the last stanza :

"Now gracious God he save owre kynge,
His peple, and all his wel wyllynge,
Gef him gode lyfe, and gode endynge,
That we with merth mowe savely synge,
Deo gratias:
Deo gratias Anglia redde pro victoria.”

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of greater profligacy. Unhappy France was
assailed by a resolute enemy, and had nothing
to oppose to him but the weakness of factions,
more intent upon destroying each other than
disposed to unite for a common cause. The
Duke of Burgundy, brought in by the poet as
the advocate of peace, was certainly present at
the negociations near Meulan, on the 30th May,
1419, when Henry first saw Katharine, and was
struck with her grace and beauty. But this
Duke of Burgundy, Jean Sans Peur, was mur-
dered by the Dauphin, on the bridge of Monte-
reau, on the following 10th September. This
event led to a close connection between Henry
and the young Duke of Burgundy, who was
anxious to revenge the death of his father; and
perhaps this circumstance mainly contributed | Lady Katharine were affianced."

to Henry's success in negociating the treaty of

The meeting of Henry with the French king, who in his unhappy state of mind was "governed and ordered" by his ambitious and crafty queen, is thus described by Holinshed :"The Duke Burgoigne, accompanied with many noble men, received him two leagues without the town, and conveyed him to his lodging. All his army was lodged in small villages thereabout. And after that he had reposed himself a little, he went to visit the French king, the queen, and the Lady Katharine, whom he found in St. Peter's Church, where was a joyous meeting betwixt them. And this was on the xx. day of May, and there the King of England and the


THE civil costume of the reign of Henry V. seems to have differed in no very material degree from that of the reigns of Henry IV. and Richard II.

The illuminated MSS., and other authorities of this period, present us with the same long and short gowns, each with extravagantly large sleeves, almost trailing on the ground and escallopped at the edges. They are generally at this period, however, painted of a different colour to the body of the garment, and were, probably, separate articles of dress (as we find them in the next century), to be changed at pleasure. Chaperons with long tippets, tights-hose, and pointed shoes or half-boots.

For the dress of the sovereign himself, we have but slender authority. His mutilated¦ effigy in Westminster Abbey represents him in the dalmatic, cope, and mantle, of royalty; differing only from those of preceding sovereigns in their lack of all ornaments or embroidery. An illuminated MS., in Bennet College Library, Cambridge, has a representation of Henry seated on his throne (which is powdered with the letter S.), not in his robes, although crowned, but in a dress of the time, with a curious girdle and collar. There are two or three portraits of Henry, on wood, in the royal and other collections, each bearing a suspicious likeness to the other, and neither authenticated; although from one of them, Mr.

Vertue copied the head engraved for the History of England, and which has been received as the likeness of Henry from that period.

The great characteristic of this reign is the close-cropping of the hair round above the ears, in contradistinction to the fashion of the last century; and the equally close-shaving of the chin, beards being worn only by aged personages, and mustachioes but rarely, even by military men: the king is always represented without them.

In the armour of this period there are many and striking novelties. It was completely of plate. Even the camail, or chain neck-piece, was superseded or covered by the gorget, or hausse col of steel. A fine specimen of the armour of this time exists on the effigy of Michael de la Pole, Duke of Suffolk (who was killed at the siege of Harfleur), in Wingfield Church, Suffolk.

The jupon, with its military girdle, and the loose surcoat of arms, were both occasionally worn; and, in many instances, were furnished with long hanging sleeves, indented at the edges like those of the robes (ride our engraving of John the Fearless, Duke of Burgundy, from his seal in 'Olivarius Vredius's History of the Counts of Flanders,' and of Henry V., from the carvings of an oaken chest in York Cathedral). Sometimes the sleeves only are seen with the armour; and it is then difficult to

of fancy.

Robert Chamberlayne, the king's esquire, is represented with two feathers issuing from the apex of the bascinet. He wears an embroidered jupon and the military belt. With respect to the crown round Henry's bascinet,-it was twice struck and injured by the blows of his enemies. The Duke of Alençon struck off part of it with his battle-axe; and one of the points or flowers was cut off by a French esquire, who, with seventeen others, swore to perform some such feat, or perish.

The helmet of Henry V., suspended over his tomb in Westminster Abbey, is a tilting helmet

ascertain whether, in that case, the breast and back plates cover the rest of the garment, or whether they (the sleeves) are separate articles fastened to the shoulders. Cloaks, with escallopped edges, were also worn with armour at this period (vide the figure of Thomas Montacute, Earl of Salisbury). Two circular or shieldshaped plates, called pallettes, were sometimes fastened in front by aiguillettes, so as to protect the armpits (vide same figure, and the engraving from an illumination, representing Henry V. being armed by his esquires). St. Remy, a writer who was present at the battle of Agincourt, describes Henry, at break of day, hearing-not the bascinet a baviere (vizored or beavered mass in all his armour, excepting that for his head and his cote d'armes (i. e., emblazoned surcoat or jupon). After mass had been said, they brought him the armour for his head, which was a very handsome bascinet a barriere (query baviere), upon which he had a very rich crown of gold (a description and valuation of "la couronne d'Or pur le Bascinet," garnished with rubies, sapphires, and pearls, to the amount of £679 58., is to be seen in the Rolls of Parliament, vol. iv. p. 215), circled like an imperial crown (query arched. Henry IV. is said by Froissart, to have been crowned with a diadem "archée en croix;" the earliest mention of an arched crown in England that we have met with).

Elmham, another contemporary historian, says, "Now the king was clad in secure and very bright armour: he wore, also, on his head, a helmet, with a large splendid crest, and a crown of gold and jewels; and, on his body, a surcoat with the arms of England and France, from which a celestial splendour issued; on the one side, from three golden flowers, planted in an azure-field (Henry V. altered the 'arms of France, in the English shield, from semi of fleurs-delys to three fleurs-de-lys, Charles VI. of France having done so previously), on the other, from three golden leopards sporting in a ruby field." By a large splendid crest may be meant, either the royal heraldic crest of England, the lion passant guardant (as the Duke of Burgundy is represented with his heraldic crest, a fleur-de-lys, on his bascinet), or a magnificent plume of feathers, that elegant and chivalric decoration, for the first time after the Conquest, appearing in this reign. It was called the panache; and knights are said to have worn three or more feathers, esquires only one; but we have no positive authority for the latter assertion; and the number would seem to have been a matter

bascinet), which was the war-helmet of the time (see those of Louis, Duke of Bourbon, whose tilting helmet is carried by an esquire behind him; and of John, Duke of Burgundy). The shield and saddle which hang near it may, according to the tradition, have been really used by him at Agincourt.

The English archers at the battle of Agincourt were, for the most part (according to Monstrelet), without armour, and in jackets, with their hose loose, and hatchets, or swords, hanging to their girdles. Some, indeed, were barefooted, and without hats or caps; and St. Remy says, they were dressed in pourpoints (stitched or quilted jackets); and adds, that some wore caps of boiled leather (the famous cuir bouilli) or of wicker-work, crossed over with iron. In the army of Henry V. at Rouen, there were several bodies of Irish, of whom, says Monstrelet, the greatest part had one leg and foot quite naked. They were armed with targets, short javelins, and a strange sort of knife (the skein).

The French men-at-arms, engaged at Agincourt, are described as being armed in long coats of steel reaching to their knees (the taces introduced at this period, vide figure of the Earls of Salisbury and Suffolk), below which was armour for the legs, and above, white harness (i. e., armour of polished plate, so called in contradistinction to mail), and bascinets with camails (chain neck-pieces).

The banners borne in the English army, besides those of the king and the principal leaders, were, as usual, those of St. George, St. Edward, and the Trinity.

The French, in addition to the royal and knightly banners, displayed the oriflamme, which was of bright scarlet, embroidered with gold, and terminating in several swallow tails.

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