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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, 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 speak a word of it. Ely. I'll wait upon you ; and I long to hear it.



The Same. A Room of State in the Same.


WARWICK, WESTMORELAND, and Attendants... K. Hen. Where is my gracious lord of Canter

bury? Exe. Not here in presence. K. Hen. Send for him, good uncle 8.


ASSAGES,] This line I suspect of corruption, though it may be fairly enough explained: the passages of his titles are the lines of succession by which his claims descend. Unhidden is


clear. Johnson. I believe we should read several, instead of severals.

M. Mason. 8 Send for him, good uncle.] The person here addressed was

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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 Archbishop of CANTERBURY, and 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


Thomas Beaufort, Earl of Dorset, who was half-brother to King Henry IV. being one of the sons of John of Gaunt, by Katharine Swynford. Shakspeare is a little too early in giving him the title of Duke of Exeter; for when Harfleur was taken, and he was appointed governour of the town, he was only Earl of Dorset. He was not made Duke of Exeter till the year after the battle of Agincourt, Nov. 14, 1416. Malone.

Perhaps Shakspeare confounded this character with that of John Holland, Duke of Exeter, who was married to Elizabeth, the king's aunt. He was executed at Plashey in 1400 : but with this circumstance our author might have been unacquainted. See Remarks, &c. on the last edition of Shakspeare, [i. e. that of 1778,] p. 239.

Steevens. 9 Shall we call in, &c.] Here hegan the old play. Pope.

• task —] Keep busied with scruples and laborious disquisitions. Johnson.

2 Or nicely charge your understanding soul —] Take heed, lest by nice and subtle sophistry you burthen your knowing squl, or knowingly burthen your soul, with the guilt of advancing a


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 wrongs give edge unto the



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false title, or of maintaining, by specious fallacies, a claim which, if shown in its native and true colours, would appear to be false.

Johnson. 3- miscreate,] Ill-begotten, illegitimate, spurious.

Johnson. - in APPROBATION -] i. e. in proving and supporting that title which shall be now set up. So, in Braithwaite's Survey of Histories, 1614 : “ Composing what he wrote, not by report of others, but by the approbation of his own eyes.” Again, in The Winter's Tale :

“ That lack'd sight only ;-nought for approbation,
“ But only seeing." MALONE.

take heed how you IMPAWN OUR person,] The whole drift of the king is to impress upon the archbishop a due sense of the caution with which he is to speak. He tells him that the crime of unjust war, if the war be unjust, shall rest upon him :

“ Therefore take heed how you impawn your person.” So, I think, it should be read, Take heed how you pledge yourself, your honour, your happiness, in support of bad advice.

Dr. Warburton explains impawn by engage, and so escapes the difficulty. JOHNSON.

The allusion here is to the game of chess, and the disposition of the pawns

with respect to the King, at the commencement of this mimetick contest. HENLEY.

To engage and to pawn were, in our author's time, synonymous. See Minsheu's Dictionary, in v. engage.

But the word pawn, had not, I believe, at that time, its present signification. To impawn seems here to have the same meaning as the French phrase se commettre. Malone.



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 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,-
In terram Salicam mulieres 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,

* Folio, Which owe yourselves, your lives, and services.
- BRIEF mortality.]

Nulla brevem dominum sequetur. Horace. Steevens. 9 Under this conjuration,] The quartos, 1600 and 1608, read : After this conjuration."

-." STEEVENS. There is no bar, &c.] This whole speech is copied (in a manner verbatim) from Hall's Chronicle, Henry V. second, folio iv. xx. xxx. xl. &c. In the first edition it is very imperfect, and the whole history and names of the princes are confounded; but this was afterwards set right, and corrected from the original, Hall's Chronicle. Pope.

This speech (together with the Latin passage in it) may as well be said to be taken from Holinshed as from Hall. STEEVENS.

See a subsequent note, in which it is proved that Holinshed, and not Hall, was our author's historian. The same facts, indeed, are told in both, Holinshed being a servile copyist of Hall ; but Holinshed's book was that which Shakspeare read; and therefore I always quote it in preference to the elder chronicle, contrary to the rule that ought in general to be observed.

MALONE. - gloze,] Expound, explain, and sometimes comment upon. So, in Troilus and Cressida :

you have said well;
“ And on the cause and question now in hand,
“Have gloz'd but superficially." Reed.


year the


That the land Salique lies in Germany,
Between the floods of Sala and of Elbe :
Where Charles the great, having subdued the Sax-

There left behind and settled certain French;
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,
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
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
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 Childerick,
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,—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 show of truth',

1 TO FINE his title, &c.] This is the reading of the quarto of 1608; that of the folio is" To find his title." I would read :

“ To line his title with some show of truth." To line may signify at once to decorate and to strengthen. So, in Macbeth :

did line the rebel “With hidden help and vantage-" Dr. Warburton says, that " to fine his title," is to refine or improve it. The reader is to judge.

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