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As in this king.

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 commonwealth affairs, You would say it hath been all in all his study: List his discourse of war, and you

shall hear
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,
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 theoric:
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,
Any retirement, any sequestration
From open haunts and popularity.
Ely. The strawberry grows underneath the

And wholesome berries thrive and ripen best
Neighbour'd by fruit of baser quality :
And so the prince obscured his contemplation
Under the veil of wildness ; which, no doubt,
Grew like the summer grass, fastest by nighty
Unseen, yet crescive in his faculty.

Cant. It must be so; for miracles are ceased ;


And therefore we must needs admit the means
How things are perfected.

But, my good lord,
How now for mitigation of this billy
Urged by the commons ? Doth his majesty
Incline to it, or no?

He seems indifferent,
Or rather swaying more upon our part
Than cherishing the exhibiters against us ;
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
Than ever at one time the clergy yet
Did to his predecessors part withal.

Ely. How did this offer seem received, my lord ?

Cant. With good acceptance of his majesty; Save that there was not time enough to hear, As I perceived 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 seat of France, Derived from Edward, his great-grandfather. Ely. What was the impediment that broke this

off ?
Cant. The French ambassador upon that instant
Craved audience; and the hour I think is come
To give liim 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 speak a word of it.


Ely. I'll wait upon you, and I long to hear it.


SCENE II. The same. The Presence Chamber. Enter King HENRY, GLOUCESTER, BEDFORD,

K. Hen. Where is my gracious lord of Canter-

Exe. Not here in

presence. K. Hen.

Send for him, good uncle. West. Shall we call in the ambassador, my

liege? K. Hen. Not yet, my cousin : we would be

resolved, Before we hear him, of some things of weight That task our thoughts, concerning us and France. Enter the Archbishop of CANTERBURY and

the Bishop of Ely. Cant. God and his angels guard your sacred

throne, And make you long become it ! K. Hen.

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

reading, 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 our 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 wrongs give edge unto the

swords That make such waste in brief mortality. Under this conjuration speak, my lord, And 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

you peers, That owe yourselves, your lives, 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, In terram Salicam mulieres ne succedant, 'No woman shall succeed in Salique land :' 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 That the land Salique is in Germany, Where Charles the Great, having subdued

of the

Saxons, There left behind and settled certain French; Who, holding in disdain the German women For some dishonest manners of their life, Establish'd then this law ; to wit, no female Should be inheritrix in Salique land : Which Salique, as I said, 'twixt Elbe and Sala, Is at this day in Germany call’d Meisen. Then 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 After defunction of King Pharamond, Idly supposed the founder of this law : Who died within the year of our redemption Four hundred twenty-six; and Charles the Great Subdued 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 Childeric, Did, as heir general, being descended Of Blithild, which was daughter to King Clothair, Make claim and title to the crown of France. Hugh Capet also, who usurp'd the crown Of Charles the Duke of Lorraine, sole heir male Of the true line and stock of Charles the Great, To find his title with some shows of truth, 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


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