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Or else this blow should broach thy dearest blood.
But I'll unto his majesty, and crave
I may have liberty to venge this wrong;
When thou shalt see, I'll meet thee to thy cost.
Ver. Well, miscreant, I'll be there as soon as

you ;
And, after, meet you sooner than you would.


Sir William Blackstone observes that, “ by the ancient law before the Conquest, fighting in the king's palace, or before the king's judges, was punished with death. So too, in the old Gothic conftitution, there were many places privileged by law, quibus major reverentia et securitas debetur, ut templa et judicia, quæ Jantia habebantur, arces et aula regis,--denique locus quilibet presente aut adventante rege. And at present with us, by the Stat. 33 Hen. VIII. c. 12. malicious striking in the king's palace, wherein his royal person resides, whereby blood is drawn, is punishable by perpetual imprisonment and fine, at the king's pleasure; and also with lofs of the offender's right hand, the solemn execution of which sentence is prescribed in the statute at length.” Commentaries, Vol. IV. p. 124. By the ancient common law, also before the Conquest, striking in the king's court of justice, or drawing a sword therein, was a capital felony." ibid. p. 125. Reen.

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Enter King Henry, Gloster, Exeter, York, SUFFOLK, Somerset, WINCHESTER, WARWICK, Talbot, the Governour of Paris, and Others.

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

sixth ! Glo. Now, governour of Paris, take your oath,–

[Governour kneels. That you

elect no other king but him: Esteem none friends, but such as are his friends; And none your foes, but such as fhall pretend' Malicious practices against his state: This shall ye do, so help you righteous God!

[Exeunt Gov. and bis Train.

Enter Sir John Fastolfe.

Fast. My gracious sovereign, as I rode from

Calais, To haste unto your coronation, 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


9-fuch as shall pretend-] To pretend is to design, to interd. JOHNSON. So, in Macbeth:

“ What good could they pretend." STEEVENS.

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I vow'd, base knight, when I did meet thee next,
To tear the garter from thy craven's leg, a

[Plucking it of
(Which I have done) because unworthily
Thou wast installed in that high degree.-
Pardon me, princely Henry, and the rest:
This daftard, at the battle of Patay,—
When but in all I was fix thousand strong,
And that the French were almost ten to one,
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 furpriz’d, 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.

Glo. To say the truth, this fact was infamous,

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2 To tear the garter from thy craven’s leg,] Thus the old copy.

STEEVENS. The last line should run thus :

- from thy craven leg, i. e. thy mean, daftardly leg. "WHALLEY. - at the battle of Patay,] The old copy has-Poifliers.

MALONE. The battle of Poictiers was fought in the year 1357, the 31st of King Edward III. and the scene now lies in the 7th year of the reign of King Henry VI. viz. 1428. This blunder may be justly imputed to the players or transcribers; nor can we very well justify ourselves for permitting it to continue to long, as it was too glaring to have escaped an attentive reader. The action of which Shak speare is now speaking, happened (according to Holinshed) "neere unto a village in Beausse called Pataie,” which we should read, instead of Poitiers. From this battell departed without anie stroke striken, Sir John Fastolfe, the same yeere by his valiantnesse elected into the order of the garter. But for doubt of misdealing at this brunt, the duke of Bedford tooke from him the image of St. George and his garter,” &c. Holinhed, Vol. II. p. 601. Monstrelet, the French historian, also bears witness to this degradation of Sir John Faftolfc. STEEVENS.

Vol. IX.

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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 fort,
Doth but usurp the sacred name of knight,
Profaning this most honourable 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.
K. Hen. 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. Glo. What means his grace, that he hath chang'd

his stile? [Viewing the superscription. No more but, plain and bluntly,—To the king? Hath he forgot, he is his sovereign? Or doth this churlish superscription Pretend fome alteration in good will?



haughty courage,] Haughty is here in its original sense for high. JOHNSON.

- in most extremes.] i. e, in greates extremities. So, Spenser:

they all repair’d, both most and leaft." See Vol. VII. p. 564, n. 7. Steevens.

s Pretend fome alteration in good will?] Thus the old copy. To pretend seems to be here used in its Latin sense, i.e. to hold out, to stretch forward. It may mean, however, as in other places, to design. Modern editors read---portend. STEEVENS.

What's here;---I have, upon especial cause, - [Reads.

Mov’d 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 France.
O monstrous treachery! Can this be so;
That in alliance, amity, and oaths,
There should be found such false dissembling guile?

K. Hen. What! doth my uncle Burgundy revolt?
Gļo. He doth, my lord; and is become your foe.
K. Hen. Is that the worst, this letter doth contain?
GLO. It is the worst, and all, my lord, he writes.
K. Hen. Why then, lord Talbot there shall talk

with him,
And give him chastisement for this abuse:
My lord, how say you?" are you not content?
TAL. Content, my liege? Yes; but that I am

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

6 My lord, how fay you?] Old copy

How say you, my lord?
The tranfpofition is Sir T. Hanmer's. STEEVENS.

- I am prevented,). Prevented is here, anticipated; a Latinism. MALONE.

So, in our Liturgy: “ Prevent us, O Lord, in all our doings."

Prior is, perhaps, the last English poct who used this verb in its obsolete sense :

“ Else had I come, preventing Sheba's queen,
" To see the comeliest of the fons of men.

Solomon, Book II. STEEVENS.

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