Obrazy na stronie

before them with their bill-hooks and hatchets. slain on the field; that of the English appears

! The immense numbers of the French proved to have been about twelve hundred. Most of their ruin. The battle soon became a slaughter; ' the dead were afterwards buried in enormous and the harnessed knights, almost incapable of trenches. moving, were hacked to pieces by the English The English king conducted himself with his archers, “who were habited in jackets, and had accustomed dignity to his many illustrious pritheir hosen loose, with hatchets or swords hang- soners. The victorious army marched to Calais ing from their girdles, whilst many were bare-l in fine order, and embarked for England, withfooted and without hats." The battle lasted out any attempt to follow up their almost miraabout three hours. The English "stood on the culous triumph. Henry reached Calais on the heaps of corpses, which exceeded a man's height;" 29th of October, and on the 17th of November the French, indeed, fell almost passive in their landed at Dover. He entered London amidst

1 lines. Henry, at one period of the battle, issued the most expensive pageantry of the citizens, an order for the slaughter of his prisoners. contrasting with the studied simplicity of his Even the French writers justify this horrible own retinue and demeanor, on Saturday, the 24th circumstance as an act of self-preservation. The of November. total loss of the French was about ten thousand


23 CHORUS.--"Like a mighty whiffler 'fore the 25 SCENE I.—“Why wear you your leek to-day? king."

St. Davy's day is past.A WILIPPLER may be taken generally to mean We were favoured with some memoranda on an officer who leads the way in processions. A the use of the leek, as the national emblem of whiffler was originally a fifer or piper, who an- Wales, by the late accomplished antiquary Sir ciently went first on occasions of pageant and 'Samuel Meyrick, the substance of which we ceremony. Minsheu defines him to be a club , have great pleasure in presenting to our reador staff bearer. Grose, in his Provincial Glos- ers. Not one of the Welsh bards, though there sary,' mentions whifflers as “men who make exists a tolerable series of their compositions way for the corporation of Norwich, by flourish- from the fifth century, till the time of Elizaing their swords." The sword-flourishers of beth, have in any manner alluded to the leek Norwich are standard-bearers in London, under as a national emblem. Even at the present the same name.

day, the custom of wearing leeks on the first of

March is confined to the members of modern 21 Chorus.—"As yet the lamentation of the

clubs. There is, however, a tradition in Wales French,&c.

as to the origin of the custom, namely, that the

Saxons being about to attack the Britons on St. It is extremely difficult to explain this passage David's day, put leeks in their caps, in order, if as it stands. Why should the lamentation of dispersed, to be known to each other; and that the French invite the king of England to stay the Britons having gained the victory, transat home? If we were half as venturous as our ferred the leeks to their own caps as signals of editorial predecessors, we would transpose a line triumph. This, like many other traditions, as printed (such a typographical change of a seems to have been invented for the nonce. manuscript being too common in printing) and But the Harleian MS., No. 1977, written by a read thus :

Welshman, of the time of James I., contains " Now in London place him;

the following passage: As yet the lamentation of the French. The emperor's coming in behalf of France

"I like the leek above all herbs and flowers ; Invites the king of England's stay at home,

When first we wore the same, the field was ours. To order peace between them: and omit

The leek is white and green, whereby is meant, All the occurrences," &c.

That Britons are both stout and eminent:


Next to the lion and the unicorn,

terre; and in Latin, Præclarissimus filius, &c. The leek 's the fairest emblem that is worn.'

What,' says Dr. Warburton, is tres cher in Now the inference to be drawn from these French, præclarissimus in Latin! we should lines, is, that the leek was assumed upon, or read præcarissimus. This appears to be eximmediately after, the battle of Bosworth-field, ceedingly true ; but how came the blunder? it which was won by Henry VII., who had many is a typographical one in Holinshed, which Welshmen (his countrymen) in his army, and Shakspere copied; but must indisputably have whose yeomen guard was composed of Welsh- corrected, had he been acquainted with the lanmen; and this inference is derived from the guages.” Now really this is a very weak argufact, that the Tudor colours were white and ment, upon Farmer's own showing: for Shak. green ; and, as may be seen in several heraldic spere finding the passage in Holinshed was MSS., formed the field on which the English, bound to copy it, without setting himself up as French, and Irish arms were placed. “The a verbal critic; nor was it necessary that the field was ours," alludes to the victory, of course, Latin words of the treaty should have exactly as well as to the heraldic field.

corresponded to the French. He might have This view of the case would account for the understood the agreement to mean, that the leek being only worn by Welshmen in England, | very dear son in the one language, should be and its having been a custom of comparatively the most noble son in the other. But Malone modern origin in the time of Shakspere. says that the mistake is in all the old historians,

as well as in Holinshed. He is not quite right 26 SCENE II.—"Notre tres cher filz," &c.

in this statement, for the word is precharissiDr. Farmer, in his essay on the learning of mus in Hall. At any rate, the truth could not Shakspere, winds up his many proofs of the be ascertained till the publication of such a ignorance of our poet, by the following argu- work as Rymer's 'Fædera,' where, in the treaty ment, the crown of all :-"But to come to a of Troyes, the word stands præcarissimus. By conclusion, I will give you an irrefragable argu- a super-refinement of veneration for Sbakspere, ment, that Shakspere did not understand two as justifiable as Farmer's coarse depreciation of very common words in the French and Latin him, the præclarissimus might be taken to languages. According to the articles of agree prove his learning; for Capell maintains that ment between the conqueror, Henry, and the præcarissimus is no Latin word. We give this king of France, the latter was to style the for- note to show what stuff criticism may be made mer (in the corrected French of the former edi. of, when it departs from the safe resting place tions), Nostre tres cher filz Henry roy d'Angle- of common sense.

[ocr errors]



The triumphal procession and the pageant, | made and sung by minstrels of his glorious vicwith which Henry was welcomed to London, tory, for that he would wholly have the praise described in the chorus, are given in Holinshed; and thanks altogether given to God." Percy, 80 also the king's freedom “from vainness and however, thinks that an old song, “For the vieself-glorious pride.” The Chronicler thus depicts tory of Agincourt,” was drawn up by some poet this modesty: “The king, like a great and laureat of those days. This song, or hymn, was sober personage, and as one remembering from printed from a manuscript copy in the Pepys whom all victories are sent, seemed little to re- collection. Our readers will perhaps be satisgard such vain pomp and shows as were in tri- fied with the last stanza :umphant sort devised for his welcoming home from so prosperous a journey, insomuch that he “Now gracious God he save owre kynge, would not suffer his helmet to be carried with

His peple, and all his wel wyllynge,

Gef him gode lyfe, and gode endynge, him, whereby might have appeared to the people

That we with merth mowe savely synge, the blows and dents that were to be seen in the

Deo gratias : same; neither would he suffer any ditties to be

Deo gratias Anglia redde pro victoria."


(John (Sans Peur) Duke of Burgundy.] The poet in the chorus to this Act desires his treaty of Troyes was concluded, which gave audience to

him the hand of Katharine, and made the king “ omit

of France his vicegerent. Towns had been All the occurrences, whatever chanc'd, Till Harry's back-return again to France."

won; armies had perished. The Dauphin, But Henry's return to France was marked by whom we have seen at Agincourt, was no more; many fearful struggles for power, before the and he was succeeded in his rank by a prince

[graphic][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

of greater profligacy. Unhappy France was to Henry's success in negociating the treaty of assailed by a resolute enemy, and had nothing Troyes. to oppose to him but the weakness of factions, The meeting of Henry with the French more intent upon destroying each other than king, who in his unhappy state of mind was disposed to unite for a common cause. The , “ governed and ordered” by his ambitious and Duke of Burgundy, brought in by the poet as crafty queen, is thus described by Holinshed :the advocate of peace, was certainly present at "The Duke Burgoigne, accompanied with many the negociations near Menlan, on the 30th May, | noble men, received him two leagues without 1419, when Henry first saw Katharine, and was the town, and conveyed him to his lodging. struck with her grace and beauty. But this All his army was lodged in small villages thereDuke of Burgundy, Jean Sans Peur, was mur- about. And after that he had reposed himself dered by the Dauphin, on the bridge of Monte a little, he went to visit the French king, the reau, on the following 10th September. This queen, and the Lady Katharine, whom he found event led to a close connection between Henry in St. Peter's Church, where was a joyous meetand the young Duke of Burgundy, who was ing betwixt them. And this was on the xx. day anxious to revenge the death of his father; and of May, and there the King of England and the perhaps this circumstance mainly contributed Lady Katharine were affianced.”

COSTUME. The civil costume of the reign of Henry V. | Vertue copied the head engraved for the History seems to have differed in no very material of England, and which has been received as the degree from that of the reigns of Henry IV. likeness of Henry from that period. and Richard II.

The great characteristic of this reign is the The illuminated MSS., and other authorities close-cropping of the hair round above the ears, of this period, present us with the same long in contradistinction to the fashion of the last and short gowns, each with extravagantly large century; and the equally close-shaving of the sleeves, almost trailing on the ground and escal. chin, beards being worn only by aged personlopped at the edges. They are generally at this ages, and mustachioes but rarely, even by miliperiod, however, painted of a different colour to tary men: the king is always represented withthe body of the garment, and were, probably, i out them. separate articles of dress (as we find them in In the armour of this period there are many the next century), to be changed at pleasure. ' and striking novelties. It was completely of Chaperons with long tippets, tights-hose, and 'plate. Even the camail, or chain neck-piece, pointed shoes or half-boots.

was superseded or covered by the gorget, or For the dress of the sovereign himself, we hausse col of steel. A fine specimen of the have but slender authority. His mutilated armour of this time exists on the effigy of effigy in Westminster Abbey represents him in Michael de la Pole, Duke of Suffolk (who was the dalmatic, cope, and mantle, of royalty; killed at the siege of Harfleur), in Wingfield differing only from those of preceding sove- Church, Suffolk. reigns in their lack of all ornaments or em- The jupon, with its military girdle, and the broidery. An illuminated MS., in Bennet loose surcoat of arms, were both occasionally College Library, Cambridge, has a representa- , worn ; and, in many instances, were furnished tion of Henry seated on his throne (which is with long hanging sleeves, indented at the powdered with the letter S.), not in his robes, edges like those of the robes (ride our engrav. although crowned, but in a dress of the time, ing of John the Fearless, Duke of Burgundy, with a curious girdle and collar. There are two from his seal in 'Olivarius Vredius's History of or three portraits of Henry, on wood, in the the Counts of Flanders,' and of Henry V., from royal and other collections, each bearing a the carvings of an oaken chest in York Cathesuspicious likeness to the other, and neither dral). Sometimes the sleeves only are seen authenticated; although from one of them, Mr. with the armour; and it is then difficult to

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

ascertain whether, in that case, the breast and of fancy. Robert Chamberlayne, the king's back plates cover the rest of the garment, or esquire, is represented with two feathers issuing whether they (the sleeves) are separate articles from the apex of the bascinet. He wears an fastened to the shoulders. Cloaks, with escal. embroidered jupon and the military belt. With lopped edges, were also worn with armour at respect to the crown round Henry's bascinet,-. this period (vide the figure of Thomas Monta- it was twice struck and injured by the blows of cute, Earl of Salisbury). Two circular or shield. his enemies. The Duke of Alençon struck off shaped plates, called pallettes, were sometimes part of it with his battle-axe; and one of the fastened in front by aiguillettes, 80 as to protect points or flowers was cut off by a French esquire, the armpits (vide same figure, and the engraving who, with seventeen others, swore to perform from an illumination, representing Henry V. some such feat, or perish. being armed by his esquires). St. Remy, a The helmet of Henry V., suspended over his writer who was present at the battle of Agin- tomb in Westminster Abbey, is a tilting helmet court, describes Henry, at break of day, hearing - not the bascinet a baviere (vizored or beavered mass in all his armour, excepting that for his bascinet), which was the war-helmet of the time head and his cote d'armes (i. e., emblazoned (see those of Louis, Duke of Bourbon, whose surcoat or jupon). After mass had been said, tilting helmet is carried by an esquire behind they brought him the armour for his head, him; and of John, Duke of Burgundy). The which was a very handsome bascinet a barriere shield and saddle which hang near it may, (query baviere), upon which he had a very rich according to the tradition, have been really used crown of gold (a description and valuation of by him at Agincourt. "la couronne d'Or pur le Bascinet," garnished The English archers at the battle of Aginwith rubies, sapphires, and pearls, to the amount court were, for the most part (according to of £679 58., is to be seen in the Rolls of Parlia- | Monstrelet), without armour, and in jackets, ment, vol. iv. p. 215), circled like an imperial with their hose loose, and hatchets, or swords, crown (query arched. Henry IV. is said by hanging to their girdles. Some, indeed, were Froissart, to have been crowned with a diadem barefooted, and without hats or caps; and St. archée en croix ;" the earliest mention of an Remy says, they were dressed in pourpoints arched crown in England that we have met with). (stitched or quilted jackets); and adds, that

Elmham, another contemporary historian, some wore caps of boiled leather (the famous says, “ Now the king was clad in secure and very cuir bouilli) or of wicker-work, crossed over bright armour: he wore, also, on his head, a with iron. In the army of Henry V. at Rouen, helmet, with a large splendid crest, and a crown there were several bodies of Irish, of whom, of gold and jewels; and, on his body, a surcoat says Monstrelet, the greatest part had one leg with the arms of England and France, from and foot quite naked. They were armed with which a celestial splendour issued; on the one targets, short javelins, and a strange sort of side, from three golden flowers, planted in an knife (the skein). azure-field (Henry V. altered the 'arms of France, The French men-at-arms, engaged at Aginin the English shield, from semi of fleurs-de-court, are described as being armed in long lys to three fleurs-de-lys, Charles VI. of France coats of steel reaching to their knees (the taces having done so previously), on the other, from introduced at this period, vide figure of the three golden leopards sporting in a ruby field.” | Earls of Salisbury and Suffolk), below which was By a large splendid crest may be meant, either armour for the legs, and above, white harness the royal heraldic crest of England, the lion (i.e., armour of polished plate, so called in conpassant guardant (as the Duke of Burgundy is tradistinction to mail), and bascinets with represented with his heraldic crest, a fleur-de-lys, camails (chain neck-pieces). on his bascinet), or a magnificent plume of The banners borne in the English army, feathers,—that elegant and chivalric decoration, besides those of the king and the principal for the first time after the Conquest, appearing leaders, were, as usual, those of St. George, St. in this reign. It was called the panache; and Edward, and the Trinity. knights are said to have worn three or more The French, in addition to the royal and feathers, esquires only one; but we have no knightly banners, displayed the oriflamme, positive authority for the latter assertion; and which was of bright scarlet, embroidered with the number would seem to have been a matter | gold, and terminating in several swallow tails.

« PoprzedniaDalej »