Obrázky na stránke



And, to relief of lazars and weak age,
Of indigent faint souls past corporal toil,
A hundred almshouses right well supplied;
And to the coffers of the king beside,
A thousand pounds by the year. Thus runs the bill.

Ely. This would drink deep.

'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. 24 The breath no sooner left his father's body But that his wildness, mortified in him, Seem'd to die too; yea, at that very moment, Consideration like an angel came,

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 currance, scouring faults;
Nor never Hydra-headed wilfulness
So soon did lose his seat and all at once
As in this king.

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



40 48

15 lazars: beggars (especially lepers)

26 mortified: subdued 28 Consideration: reflection 34 heady currance: headlong current 35 Hydra-headed: many-headed; cf. n.

36 his: its 43 List: listen to

[ocr errors]

A fearful battle render'd you in music:

44 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:

52 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; 56 And never noted in him any study, Any retirement, any sequestration From open haunts and popularity.

Ely. The strawberry grows underneath the nettle,
And wholesome berries thrive and ripen best 61
Neighbour'd by fruit of baser quality:
And so the prince obscur'd his contemplation
Under the veil of wildness; which, no doubt, 64
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.

But, my good lord, 69
How now for mitigation of this bill
Urgʻd by the commons ? Doth his majesty
Incline to it, or no?
45 cause of policy: political question

46 Gordian knot; cf. n. 47 that: so that

48 charter'd: privileged 51 art; cf. n. practic: practical

52 theoric: theory 55 companies: companions 57 never noted: there was never noted 58 sequestration: withdrawal

59 popularity: low company 63 contemplation: thoughtful nature 66 crescive in his faculty: increasing by its own power



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,

76 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 receiv'd, my lord?

Cant. With good acceptance of his majesty;
Save that there was not time enough to hear,—
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 seat of France,
Deriv'd from Edward, his great-grandfather.

Ely. What was the impediment that broke this off?

Cant. The French ambassador upon that instant Cray'd audience; and the hour I think is come To give him hearing: is it four o'clock?

93 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.




73 upon our part: to our side
74 exhibiters: i.e., those who presented the bill in Parliament
76 Upon: upon the authority of

81 withal: with 86 severals: details

passages: lines of succession 89 Edward; cf. n.

95 embassy: message 4, 5 resoly'd of: satisfied about

Scene Two

[The Presence Chamber]


Enter the King, Humphrey [Duke of Gloucester),

Bedford, Clarence, Warwick, Westmoreland, and

Exeter [with Attendants). K. Hen. Where is my gracious lord of Canterbury? 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 re

solv'd, Before we hear him, of some things of weight That task our thoughts, concerning us and France.

Enter [the] two Bishops. 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,

9 And justly and religiously unfold Why the law Salique that they have in France Or should, or sould 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 4 cousin: title of courtesy, used by the sovereign in addressing, a


16 24

11 law Salique: Salic law; cf. n. 12 Or: either 14 wrest: pervert

15 nicely: sophistically charge: burden 16 opening: disclosing miscreate: dishonestly invented 19 approbation: proof

6 task: trouble

nobleman 8 become: grace

Of what your reverence shall incite us to.

20 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.

28 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.

32 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 36 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 40 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, Between the floods of Sala and of Elbe; Where Charles the Great, having subdu'd the Saxons, There left behind and settled certain French; Who, holding in disdain the German women For some dishonest manners of their life,



21 impawn: pledge

28 mortality: human life 37 Pharamond: legendary Frankish king

40 gloze: interpret 45 floods: rivers

46 Charles the Great: Charlemagne 49 dishonest: unchaste

« PredošláPokračovať »