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Paris. A hall of state.

Enter the King, Gloucester, Bishop of Winchester, York, Suffolk, Somerset, Warwick, Talbot, Exeter, the Governor of Paris, and others.

Glou. Lord bishop, set the crown upon his head. Win. God save King Henry, of that name the


Glou. Now, governor of Paris, take your oath,
That you elect no other king but him;

Esteem none friends but such as are his friends,
And none your foes but such as shall pretend
Malicious practices against his state:

This shall ye do, so help you righteous God!

Enter Sir John Fastolfe.

Fast. My gracious sovereign, as I rode from Calais,

To haste unto your coronation,


6. "Pretend" was often used in the sense of purpose, or design. -H. N. H.

10. The crowning of King Henry at Paris took place December 17, 1431. Concerning that event Holinshed has the following: “To speake with what honour he was received into the citie of Paris, what pageants were prepared, and how richlie the gates, streets,

A letter was deliver'd to my hands,

Writ to your grace from the Duke of Burgundy.

Tal. Shame to the Duke of Burgundy and thee! I vow'd, base knight, when I did meet thee next,

To tear the garter from thy craven's leg,

[Plucking it off.
Which I have done, because unworthily
Thou wast installed in that high degree.
Pardon me, princely Henry, and the rest:
This dastard, at the battle of Patay,


When but in all I was six thousand strong
And that the French were almost ten to one,

bridges on everie side were hanged with costlie clothes of arras and tapestrie, it would be too long a processe, and therefore I doo heere passe it over with silence." Nevertheless the occasion was but poorly attended save by foreigners, none of the higher French nobility gracing it with their presence. The ceremony of coronation was of old thought to have a kind of sacramental virtue, confirming the title of a new king, and rendering his person sacred. Thus the crowning of Charles at Rheims, which took place in July, 1429, operated as a charm to engage the loyalty of the people; and it was with this view that Joan of Arc urged it on so vehemently, declaring it the main purpose of her celestial mission; and during the ceremony she stood at the king's side with her banner unfurled, and as soon as it was over fell on her knees, embraced his feet, said her mission was at an end, and begged with tears that she might return to her former station. Charles indeed had been crowned once before, but it was not done at Rheims, the ancient place of that ceremony, and therefore it proved ineffectual. This good old local religion put the regent upon great efforts to have Henry crowned there; but herein he was still baffled, and, after trying about two years, he concluded to have it done at Paris, rather than not at all. The ceremony was performed by the bishop of Winchester, then cardinal.-H. N. H.

19. “at the battle of Patay"; Capell's emendation (adopted by Malone) of "Poictiers" of the Ff. The battle of Poictiers was fought 1357; the date of the present scene is 1428.—I. G.

Before we met or that a stroke was given,
Like to a trusty squire did run away:

In which assault we lost twelve hundred men;
Myself and divers gentlemen beside

Were there surprised and taken prisoners.
Then judge, great lords, if I have done amiss;
Or whether that such cowards ought to wear
This ornament of knighthood, yea or no.
Glou. To say the truth, this fact was infamous 30
And ill beseeming any common man,

Much more a knight, a captain and a leader. Tal. When first this order was ordain'd, my lords, Knights of the garter were of noble birth, Valiant and virtuous, full of haughty courage, Such as were grown to credit by the wars; Not fearing death, nor shrinking for distress, But always resolute in most extremes. He then that is not furnish'd in this sort Doth but usurp the sacred name of knight, Profaning this most honorable order, And should, if I were worthy to be judge, Be quite degraded, like a hedge-born swain That doth presume to boast of gentle blood. King. Stain to thy countrymen, thou hear'st thy doom!


Be packing, therefore, thou that wast a knight:
Henceforth we banish thee, on pain of death.

[Exit Fastolfe. And now, my lord protector, view the letter Sent from our uncle Duke of Burgundy.

38. "most," utmost.-C. H. H.

Glou. What means his grace, that he hath changed his style?


No more but, plain and bluntly, "To the king!'
Hath he forgot he is his sovereign?

Or doth this churlish superscription

Pretend some alteration in good will?
What's here? [Reads] 'I have, upon especial


Moved with compassion of my country's wreck,
Together with the pitiful complaints

Of such as your oppression feeds upon,
Forsaken your pernicious faction,

And join'd with Charles, the rightful King of

O monstrous treachery! can this be so,
That in alliance, amity and oaths,


There should be found such false dissembling guile?

King. What! doth my uncle Burgundy revolt? Glou. He doth, my lord, and is become your foe. King. Is that the worst this letter doth contain? Glou. It is the worst, and all, my lord, he writes. King. Why, then, Lord Talbot there shall talk with him,

And give him chastisement for this abuse.

How say you, my lord? are you not content? 70 Tal. Content, my liege! yes, but that I am prevented,

54. "pretend" here bears the literal sense of hold out; not the same as that explained in the note to line 6 of this scene.-H. N. H. 71. "prevented," anticipated.-C. H. H.

I should have begg'd I might have been employ'd.

King. Then gather strength, and march unto him. straight:

Let him perceive how ill we brook his treason,
And what offence it is to flout his friends.

Tal. I go, my lord, in heart desiring still
You may behold confusion of your foes.

Enter Vernon and Basset.


Ver. Grant me the combat, gracious sovereign.
Bas. And me, my lord, grant me the combat too.
York. This is my servant: hear him, noble


Som. And this is mine: sweet Henry, favor him. King. Be patient, lords; and give them leave to speak.

Say, gentlemen, what makes you thus exclaim? And wherefore crave you combat? or with whom?

Ver. With him, my lord; for he hath done me wrong.

Bas. And I with him; for he hath done me wrong. King. What is that wrong whereof you both com


First let me know, and then I'll answer you. Bas. Crossing the sea from England into France, This fellow here, with envious carping tongue,

78. "combat," i. e. the right of single combat, for which, in the precincts of the court, the king's permission had to be obtained.-C. H. H.

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