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(7) SCENE III.-Lay on our royal svord your banish'd hands.] That is, Place your hands on the cross-hilt of this sword, and swear by all your hopes in that sign of common salvation
“To keep the oath that we administer." There are two instances in Shakespeare's plays of the very ancient ceremony of Swearing by or on the Sword : the present, which shows the Christian practice, and that in the first act of Hamlet," which may be properly regarded as belonging to the old customs of Denmark and the northern nations, in their pagan state. The last example will be most appropriately considered in its own place; and therefore the following remarks refer solely to the passage cited above.
The rudiments, as it were, of the modern cross-guard to a sword-handle, were very commonly to be found both in the Xiphos of the Greeks, and the Gladius of the Romans ; and it is probable that this improvement of the weapon was first introduced into Britain by the latter nation ; for in the most ancient swords of the British and Irish, where they have been found with the remains of handles and scabbards, there was not space enough for any cross-guard. As this Christian characteristic, however, existed on the Anglo-Saxon weapons before the mission of Augustine, it is possible that he preserved this relique of paganism and converted it into a Christian symbol, in conformity with the prudent counsel of Gregory the Great. He would eagerly adopt the cruciform figure of the weapon, as being especially fitted to make a deep and constant impression on a soldier; and even the pagan practice of swearing“ by the edge of a sword,” he purified into a solemn oath, to be taken on the cross of the handle ; which would thus become a military substitute for the same sign on the cover of a copy of the Gospels. If these conjectures he true, a careful distinction should be made by the actors of Hamlet” and “ Richard II." in the manner in which they present the swords to the parties who are to swear; to mark the difference between the pagan and the Christian ceremonies. In “Hamlet,” the oath is by the “edge" of the weapon, according to the old northern form : and the Prince should therefore hold the sword, and Horatio and Marcellus should place their hands on the blade. Retzsch, in his outline of this scene, has represented the characters in these positions ; though he bas also compromised the act by making the soldiers who are swearing, touch a cross engraved on the blade of the sword close to the handle. In the present play, Richard should hold the sword itself sheathed, and the two dukes should lay their hands on the cross-handle.
In the swords of the Norman period, and the later middle age, the transverse-guard was gradually increased in size, and the centre cross made more important and ornamental ; and the badge of the Order of St. James, instituted in A.D. 1158, exhibits a very remarkable example of the close identity between a cross and a sword. The emblem seems to have been universally adopted throughout civilized Europe ; and to have been regarded as sacred, down, perhaps, to the commencement of the 17th century. In a note furnished by Steevens, in illustration of the passage in ‘Hamlet,' there is a copy of the oath taken by a Master of Defence when his degree was conferred on him,' derived from a manuscript in the Sloanian collection, which gives the following old form of a protestation on the sword, but as it had been retained down to the year 1583 : First you shall sweare—so help you God and Halidome, and by all the christendome which God gave you at the fount-stone, and by the crosse of this svord, irhich doth represent unto you the Crosse which our Saviour suffered his most paynefull deathe upon,—that you shall upholde, maynteyne, and kepe, to your power, all soch articles as shall be heare declared unto you, and receve in the presence of me, your maister, and these the rest of the maisters my brethren, heare with me at this tyme.'” (8.) SCENE IV.
If that come short, Our substitutes at home shall have blank charters. ] Of the numerous schemes devised by Richard to replenish his exchequer and to oppress obnoxious subjects, none, except the abominable poll-tax, excited such general indignation as the compelling all classes to sign seal blank honds which the king's officers filled up according to his exigencies or pleasure. Stow, records that some of the Commons were mulcted to the extent of a thousand marks, and some were even made to pay as much as a thousand pounds by these intolerable means. But a day of retribution came, and when Bolingbroke, surrounded by the magnates of the church, the greater rart of the nobility, and multitudes of the people, appeared at Westminster a claimant for the throne, the "blank charters" were not forgotten :
" An hundreth thousande crved all at ones,
At Westmynster to croune hym for kyng,
HARDYNG's Chronicle, chap. 197.
(1) SCENE I.-The Duke of York.] Edmund Duke of York, was the fifth of the seven sons of Edward the Third. He was born in 1441, at Langley, near St. Alban's, in Hertfordshire, and thence derived his surname. From the graphic description given of him by Hardyng the Chronicler, who was a contemporary, he appears to have been of an easy, amiable disposition, and too much devoted to sports and pleasure, to take a willing part in the turbulent transactions of the period in which he lived :
" Whān all lordes went to counsels and parlement,
He wolde to huntes and also to haukynge,
The Kynge thān made the Duke of York be name,
HARL. MS. 661 (2.) SCENE I.
If you do wrongfully seize Hereford's right,
His livery.] “The duke of Lancaster departed out of this life at the bishop of Elies place in Holborne, and lieth buryed in the cathedral churche of saint Paule in London, on the north
side of the high altar, by the die Blanch his first wife. account of some perspectives he had seen at Lord Gerard's The death of this duke gave occasion of encreasing more
house :hatred in the people of this realme toward the king, for he “At the right Honorable the Lord Gerards at Gerards seased into his handes all the goods that belonged to hym, Bromley, there are the pictures of Henry the great and also receyved all the rents and revenues of his landes of France and his Queen, both upon the same indented which ought to have descended unto the duke of Hereforde board, which if beheld directly, you only perceive a by lawfull inheritaunce, in revoking his letters patents, confused piece of work; but if obliquely, of one side which he had graunted to him before, by vertue wherof, he you see the king's and on the other the queen's picmight make his attorneis general to sue livery for hyn, of ture, which I am told (and not unlikely), were made any maner of inheritaunces or possessions that myghte from thus. The board being indented according to the mag. thenceforthe fall unto hym, and that hys homage myghte nitude of the Pictures, the prints or paintings were cut bee respited, wyth making reasonable fine : whereby it into parallel pieres, equal to the depth and number of the was evident, that the king ment his utter undooing.
indentures on the board ; which being nicely done, the “Thys harde dealing was much mysliked of all the parallel pieces of the king's picture, were pasted on the nobilitie, and cried out against, of the meaner sorte : jlatts that strike the eye beholding it obliquely, on one side But namely the Duke of Yorke was therewyth sore of the board ; and those of the queens on the other; so amoved, who before this time, had borne things with so that the edges of the parallel pieces of the prints or pacient a minde as he could, though the same touched him paintings exactly joyning on the edges of the indentures, very near, as the death of his brother the duke of the work was done.' Gloucester, the banishment of hys nephewe the said duke of Hereford, and other mo iniuries in greate number,
(5) SCENE IV.which for the slipperie youth of the king, he passed over for the time, and did forget as well as he might.”
We have stay'd ten days,
And hardly kept our countrymen together,
Therefore we will disperse ourselves : farewell.] (3) SCENE I.
“It fortuned at the same time, in which the Duke With eight tall ships, three thousand men of war,
of Hereford or Lancaster, whether ye list to call him, Are making hither with all due expedience,
arrived thus in England, the seas were so troubled by And shortly mean to touch our northern shore.]
tempests, and the winds blew so contrarie for anie passage, “There were certeine ships rigged, and made readie for
to come over forth of England to the king, remaining still him (the duke of Lancaster) at a place in base Britaine,
in Ireland, that for the space of six weeks, he received no called Le portblanc, as we find in the chronicles of Bri
advertisements from thence : yet at length, when the seas taine : and when all his provision was made readie, he took
became calme, and the wind once turned aniething favourthe sea, togither with the said archbishop of Cantur burie
able, there came over a ship, whereby the king understood and his nephuo Thomas Arundell, sonne and heire to the
the manner of the duke's arrivall, and all his proceedings late earle of Arundell, beheaded at the Tower-hill, as you
till that daie, in which the ship departed from the coast of have heard. There were also with him, Reginald, lord
England, whereupon he meant forthwith to have returned Cobham, sir Thomas Erpingham, and sir Thomas Ramston,
over into England, to make resistance against the duke; knights, John Norburie, Robert Waterton, and Francis
but through persuasion of the duke of Aumarle (as was Coint, esquires ; few else were there, for (as some write)
thought) he staicd till he might have all his ships and he had not past fifteene lances, as they tearmed them in
other provision, fullie readie for his passage.
“In the meane time he sent the earle of Salisburie over those daies, that is to saie, men of armes, furnished and appointed as the vse then was. Yet other write that the
into England, to gather a power togither, by helpe of the duke of Britaine delivered unto him three thousand men
king's freends in Wales and Cheshire, with all speed posof warre, to attend him, and that he had eight ships well
sible, that they might be readie to assist him against the furnished for the warre where Froissard yet speaketh but of
duke upon his arrivall, for he mea himself to follow the three. The duke of Lancaster, after that he
earle, within six daies after. The earl passing over into had coasted along the shore a certeine time, and had got
Wales, landed at Conwaie, and sent foorth letters to the
kings freends, both in Wales and Cheshire, to leavie their some intelligence how the people's minds were affected towards him, landed about the beginning of Julie in York
people, and to come with all speed to assist the king, shire, at a place sometime called Ravenspur, betwixt Hull
whose request, with great desire, and very willing minds and Bridlington, and with him not past threescore persons,
they fulfilled, hoping to have found the king himselfe at as some write: but he was so ioifullie received of the lords,
Conwaie, insomuch that within four daies space there
were to the number of fortie thousand men assembled, knights, and gentlemen of those parts, that he found means (by their helpe) forth with to assemble a great
readie to march with the king against his enimies, if he
had beene there himselfe in person. number of people, that were willing to take his part. The first that came to him, were the lords of Lincolneshire,
“But when they missed the king, there was a brute and other countries adioining, as the lords Willoughbie,
spred amongst them, that the king was suerlie dead, Ros, Darcie, and Beaumont."-HOLINSHED, 1399.
which wrought such an impression, and evill disposition in the minds of the Welshmen and others, that for anie per
suasion which the earle of Salisburie might vse, they (4) SCENE II.
would not go foorth with him, till they saw the king ; Like perspectives, which, rightly gaz'd upon,
onelie they were contented to staie foureteene daies to Show nothing but confusion,-ey'd aury,
see if he should come or not; but when he came not Distinguish form.]
within that tearme, they would no longer abide, but
scaled and departed awaie ; wheras, if the king had come Authorities are at variance as to what these “perspec- before their breaking up, no doubt but they would have tives” were. Warburton describes them as an optical put the duke of Hereford in adventure of a field : so that delusion, consisting of a figure drawn with all the rules of the king's lingering of time before his comming over, gave perspective inverted : so that, when held in the same posi- opportunitie to the duke to bring things to passe as he tion with those pictures which are drawn in accordance could haue wished, and tooke from the king all occasion to with the principles of perspective, it can present nothing recover afterwards anie forces sufficient to resist him." but confusion : while to be seen in form, it must be looked Holinshed, from whom the foregoing extract is taken, upon from a contrary station; or, as Shakespeare says, agrees here in the main with th other historians; but ey'd avry.
the most entertaining and circumstantial narrative of all Dr. Plot, on the other hand, in his “Natural History of the events connected with Richard's sojourn in Ireland, Staffordshire," fol. Oxford, 1686, p. 391, gives the following his skirmishes with the Irish chieftain, Macmore, his reception of the terrible news of Bolingbroke's landing, of the people's insurrection, of his tardy return to England, down to his deposition and death, is contained in a manuscript entitled “ Histoire du Roy d'Angleterre Richard, Traictant particulierement la Rebellion de ses subiectz et prinse de sa personne. Composee par un gentlehome Francois de Marque, qui fut a la suite du dict Roy, avecq permission du Roy de France, 1399.” This metrical history, of which a beautifully illuminated copy is preserved in the library of the British Museum, has been ably translated by the Rev. John Webb, and published in vol. xx. of the “ Archäologia.” From this invaluable contribution to English history, we are tempted to extract the author's account, as witnessed by himself, of the dispersion of the Welsh army :
“He [the king) sent for the earl of Salisbury, saying, Cousin, you must go to England and resist this mad enterprise of the duke, and let his people be put to death, or taken prisoners ; and learn too, how and by what means he hath thus troubled my land, and set it against me.' The earl said, “Sir, upon mine honour I will perform it in such manner, that in a short time you shall hear of this disturbance, or I will suffer the penalty of death.' 'Fair cousin, I know it well,' said the king, and will myself set forward to pass over as specdily as I may, for never shall I have comfort or repose so long as the false traitor, who hath now played me such a trick, shall be alive.
If I can but get him in my power, I will cause him to be put to death in such a manner that it shall be spoken of long enough, even in Turkey.' The earl caused his people and vessels to be made ready for immediate departure, gravely took leave of the king, and entreated him to proceed with all possible haste. The king, upon his advice, promised him, happen what might, that he would put to sea within six days. At that time the earl, who had great desire to set out in defence of the right of king Richard, had earnestly prayed me to go over with him, for the sake of merriment and song, and thereto I heartily agreed. My companion and myself went over the sea with him. Now it came to pass that the earl landed at Conway. I assure you, it was the strongest and fairest town in Wales.
“There we were told of the enterprise of the duke; a more cruel one shall, I think, never be spoken of in any land. For they told us, that he had already conquered the greater part of England, and taken towns and castles ; that he had displaced officers, and everywhere set up a different establishment in his own name ; that he had put to death, without mercy, as a sovereign lord, all those whom he held in displeasure.
“When the earl heard these doleful tidings, it was no wonder that he was alarmed, for the duke had gained over the greater part of the nobles of England, and we were assured that there were full sixty thousand men ready for war. The earl then quickly sent his summons, throughout Wales and Chester, that all gentlemen, archers, and other persons, should come to him without delay, upon pain of death, to take part with King Richard who loved them. This they were very desirous to do, thinking of a truth that the king had arrived at Conway: I am certain that forty thousand were trained and mustered in the field within four days, every one eager to fight with all who wished ill to the ever preux and valiant King Richard. Then the earl, who endured great pain and trouble, went to them all, and declared to them with a solemn oath, that before three days were ended, he would so straiten the duke and his people, that for this time they should advance no farther to waste the land. Soon after, he found the whole of his friends assembled together in the field ; he spake to them well-advisedly, “My good gentlemen, let us all make haste to avenge King Richard in his absence, that
he may be satisfied with us for the time to come : for mine own part I purpose neither to stop nor to take rest, till such time as I shall have made my attempt upon those who are so traitorous and cruel towards him. Let us go hence, and march directly towards them. God will help us, if we are diligent in assaulting them; for, according to our law, it is the duty of every one in many cases to support the right until death.'
"When the Welshmen understood that the king was not there, they were all sorrowful, murmuring to one another in great companies, full of alarm, thinking that the king was dead of grief, and dreading the horrible and great severity of the Duke of Lancaster and his people. They were not well satisfied with the earl, saying, “Sir, be assured that for the present we will advance no farther, since the king is not here; and do you know wherefore ? Behold the duke is subduing everything to himself, which is a great terror and trouble to us; for indeed we think that the king is dead, since he is not arrived with you at the port; were he here, right or wrong, each of us would be eager to assail his enemies. But now we will not go with you.' The earl at this was so wroth at heart, that he had almost gone out of his senses with vexation; he shed tears. It was a great pity to see how he was treated. • Alas !' said he, 'what shame befalleth me this day! 0 death, come unto me without delay; put an end to me; I loath my destiny. Alas! now will the king suppose that I have devised treason.'
" While thus he mourned, he said, My comrades, as you hope for mercy, come with me, I beseech you; so shall we be champions for King Richard, who within four days and a half will be here; for he told me when I quitted Ireland, that he would upon his life embark before the week was ended. Sirs, I pray you let us hasten to depart.' It availed nothing; they stood all mournfully, like men afraid ; a great part of them were disposed to betake themselves to the duke, for fear of death. But the earl kept them in the field fourteen days, expecting the coming of King Richard. Many a time said the good earl apart, ‘Small portion will you have of England, in my opinion, my rightful lord, since you delay so long. What can this mean? certes, I believe you are betrayed, since I hear no true tidings of you in word or deed. Alas! I see these people are troubled with fear, lest the duke should hem them in. They are but common ignorant people. They will desert me.' So said the good earl to himself in the field; while he was serving with those who in a little time all abandoned him ; some went their way straight to the duke, and the rest returned into Wales ; so they left the earl encamped with none but his own men, who did not, I think, amount to a hundred. He lamented it greatly, saying, in a sorrowful manner, 'Let us make our retreat, for our enterprise goeth on very badly.'
(6) SCENE IV.
The bay-trees in our country are all withered.] “In this year in a manner throughout all the realme of England, old baie trees withered, and afterwards, contrarie to all men's thinking grew greene againe, a strange sight, and supposed to import some unknown event. -HOLINSHED, 1399.
This was usually held to be an evil prognostic, for the bay-tree, from very early ages, was believed to exercise a powerfully beneficial influence upon the place where it Hourished :-"Neyther falling sycknes, neyther devyll, wyl infest or hurt one in that place whereas a Bay-tree is. The Romaynes calles it the plant of the good angell,” &c. -LUPTON'S Syxt Booke of Notable Thinyes.
(1) SCENE II.-Vine ear is open, dc.) “It seems to be the design of the poet to raise Richard to esteem in his fall, and consequently to interest the reader in his favour. He gives him only passive fortitude, -the virtue of a confessor, rather than of a king. In his prosperity we saw him imperious and oppressive; but in his distress he is wise, patient, and pious."-Jouxson.
(2) SCENE II.
For aithin the hollow crown
Scoring his state, und grinning at his pomp.] “Some part of this fine description might have been suggested from the seventh print in the Imagines Mortis, a celebrated series of wooden cuts which have been improperly attributed to Holbein. It is probable that Shakespeare might have seen some spurious edition of this work ; for the great scarcity of the original in this country in former times is apparent, when Hollar could not procure the use of it for his copy of the Dance of Death."Douce. An admirable modern illustration of this noble passage, may be seen in J. H. Mortimer's etching of Richard II, in a series of twelve characteristic heads from Shakespeare.
the king took off his bonnet, and spake first in this manner: “Fair cousin of Lancaster, you be right welcome.' Then Duke Henry replied, bowing very low to the ground,
My Lord, I am come sooner than you sent for me: the reason wherefore I will tell you. The common report of your people is such, that you hare, for the space of twenty or two and twenty years, governed them very badly and very rigorously, and in so much that they are not well contented therewith. But if it please our Lord, I will help you to govern them better than they have been governed in time past.' King Richard then answered him, * Fair cousin, since it pleaseth you, it pleaseth us well.' And be assured that these are the very words that they two spake together, without taking away or adding any; thing: for I heard and understood them very well. And the earl of Salisbury also rehearsed them to me in French, and another aged knight who was one of the council of Duke Henry. He told me as we rode to Chester, that Merlin and Bede had, from the time in which they lived, prophesied of the taking and ruin of the king, and that if I were in his castle he would show it me in form and manner as I had seen it come to pass,
(3) SCENE III.— Then I must not say, no.] The interview between King Richard and Bolingbroke, at Flint, is thus narrated by the author of the French Metrical History, who was an eye witness of all that passed.
“ The Duke entered the castle armed at all points, except his basinet. Then they made the king, who had dined in the donjon, come down to meet Duke Henry, who, as soon as he perceived him at a distance, bowed very low to the ground; and as they approached each other, he bowed a second time, with his cap in his hand; and then
ACT IV. .
(1) SCENE I.
Lest child, child's children, cry against you—woe !) In the Bishop's bold and animated defence of the rights of kings, Shakespeare followed his favourite historical authority, Holinshed :-
“On Wednesdaie following, request was made by the commons, that sith King Richard' had resigned, and was lawfullie deposed from his roiall dignitie, he might have judgement decreed against him, so as the realme were not troubled by him, and that the causes of his deposing might be published through the realme for satisfying of the people : which demand was granted. Whereupon the Bishop of Carleill, a man both learned, wise, and stout of stomach, boldlie shewed forth his opinion concerning that demand ; atlirming that there was none amongst them worthie or meet to give judgement upon so noble a prince as Richard was, whom they had taken for their sovereigne
* * Thus, as you have heard, came Duke Henry to the castle and spake unto the king, to the Bishop of Carlisle, and the two knights, Sir Stephen Scroope and Ferriby; how beit unto the earl of Salisbury he spake not at all, but sent word to him by a knight in this manner, 'Earl of Salisbury, be assured that no more than you deigned to speak to my lord the duke of Lancaster, when he and you were in Paris at Christmas last past, will he speak unto you.' Then was the earl much abashed, and had great fear and dread at heart, for he saw plainly that the duke mortally hated him: The said Duke Henry called aloud with a stern and savage voice, “Bring out the king's horses;' and then they brought him two little horses that were not worth forty franks: the king mounted one, and the earl of Salisbury the other. Everyone got on horseback, and we set out from the said castle of Flint about two hours after mid-day."
and liege lord, by the space of two and twentie yeares and more; And I assure you (said he) there is not so ranke a traitor, nor so errant a theef, nor yetso cruel a murthere apprehended or deteined in prison for his offense, but he shall be brought before the iustice to heare his iudgement; and will ye proceed to the iudgement of an anointed king, hearing neither his answer nor excuse? I say, that the duke of Lancaster whom ye call king, hath more trespassed to king Richard and his realme, than king Richard hath doone either to him or us: for it is manifest and well knowne, that the duke was banished the realme by king Richard and his councell, and by the iudgement of his own father, for the space of ten yeares, for what cause ye know, and yet without license of king Richard, he is returned againe into the realme, and (that is worse) hath taken upon him the name, title, and preheminence of king. And therfore I say, that you have doone manifest wrong, to proceed in anie thing against King Richard, without calling
him openlie to his answer and defense. As soone as the testified that the instrument was entirely true. Now bishop had ended this tale, he was attached by the Earle- consider this testimony: never was such an outrage Marshall, and committed to ward in the abbeie of saint heard of. Albons.”—HOLINSHED, 1399.
“When the reading of the instrument was ended, all
kept silence, and the archbishop then rose and took up (2) SCENE I.
anew his discourse, laying his foundation upon the instruOn Wednesday next, we solemnly set down
ment aforesaid, and speaking so loud, that he was plainly
heard of the people. • Forasmuch as it is thus, and that Our coronation : lords, prepare yourselves.]
Richard, sometime King of England, hath by his words The following is the description of the proceedings at and of his own goodwill
acknowledged and confessed that Westminster on the occasion of Richard's deposition ; from he is not sufficiently able, worthy, or well skilled to govern the “ Metrical History :
the kingdom, it were right good to advise and chuse “First sat Duke Henry, and next to him the Duke of another king.' Alas ! fair sirs, what an evil deed! There York, his fair cousin, whose heart was not right faithful were they, judge, and party accusing. It was not a thing towards his nephew, King Richard. After him, on the justly divided nor of legal right; because there was no man same side, sat the Duke of Aumarle, the son of the Duke in that place for the old king, save three or four who durst of York; and then the Duke of Surrey, who was ever upon no account gainsay them. All that they said or did loyal and true. After him sat the Duke of Exeter, who was the greatest mockery; for, great and small, they all had no reason to rejoice, for he saw before him preparation agreed, without any dividing, that they would have a king made for the ruin of the king, his brother. Early and late who better knew how to discharge his duty than Richard this was the wish of them all. Then came another on that had done. And when the archbishop had completely made side, who was called the Marquess, * lord of a great country. an end in the English language of declaring his will and And next the Earl of Arundel, who is right young and his evil intention, and the people had replied according to active. The Earl of Norvic t next, was not forgotten in that which they had heard, he began to interrogate and the account, neither he of La Marche. I There was one question each man by himself. Will you that the duke who was Earl of Stamford, S and never could agree with his of York be your king?' All in good order answered lord, King Richard ; on this side also sat one whoin I heard No.'-- Will you then have his eldest son, who is duke of called Earl of Pembroke,ll and a baron. And close to him Aumarle ?' They answered aloud, “Let no one speak to was seated the Earl of Salisbury, who so faithfully loved us of him.' Once more agair. he asked, “Will you then the king that he was loyal to the last. The Earl of Devon- have his youngest son ?' They said, Nay, truly.' He shire was there, as I heard. All other earls and lords, the asked them concerning many others, but the people greatest in the kingdom, were present at this assembly, stopped at none of those that he had named. And then their desire and intention being to choose another king. the archbishop ceased to say much. He next inquired There, in fair fashion, stood the Earl of Northumberland aloud, “Will you have the duke of Lancaster?' They and the Earl of Westmoreland, the whole of the day, and all at once replied with so loud a voice, that the account for the better discharge of their duty, they kneeled very which I heard appears marvellous to me, Yea, we will often : wherefore, or how it was, I cannot tell.
have no other.' Then they praised Jesus Christ.' “ The archbishop of Canterbury next arose, and preached Immediately the ceremony of the deposition of Richard before all the people in Latin. The whole of his sermon is concluded and the deprived King has departed, Bolingwas upon this, 'Habuit Jacob benedictionem a patre broke announces the day of his own coronation, the ensuing suo :'-How Jacob had gotten the blessing instead of Wednesday. The real day, however, was Monday, and is Esau, although he were the eldest son.' This he set forth so set down in Holinshed; and it is therefore difficult to
Alas, what a text for a sermon! He made it to understand how Shakespeare was led into the mistake, prove, in conclusion, that King Richard ought to have no unless it were derived from the old play on this part of part in the Crown of England, and that the prince ought English History which has never yet been found. to have had the realm and territory. These were very un- The Coronation of Henry IV. took place on the Translagrateful people ; after they had all held him to be rightful tion of St. Edward the Confessor, Monday, Oct. 13th, king and lord for two-and-twenty years, by a great error 1399, on which occasion the Court of Claims for services they ruined him with one accord.
was held with great ceremony. It is remarkable as being "When the archbishop had finished his sermon in the the first coronation in which the creation of Knights of the Latin language, a lawyer, who was a most sage doctor, and Bath is particularly noticed by historians; though there also a notary, arose and coinmanded silence. For he began can be no doubt of the practice having prevailed in much to read aloud an instrument which contained how Richard, earlier times. Forty-six gentlemen, four of whom were some time King of England, had avowed and confessed, of Henry's sons, received the Order at the Tower the day his own will, without compulsion, that he was neither before the festival, and watched there the vigil of the capable nor worthy, wise nor prudent, nor gentle enough Coronation. In this ceremony the new king's policy appears to bear the crown; and that it was his wish to resign it to have been to make the most imposing display of wealth into the hand of another worthy man of noble birth and and magnificence possible, as may be seen in the elaborate greater wisdom than himself. Thus right or wrong, they account of it given by Froissart. There were six thousand by agreement caused King Richard to make a declaration horses employed in the cavalcade which attended Henry to in the Tower of London, in a most wicked manner; and Westminster; and the coronation-feast lasted two days, then in this parliament read the instrument before all. Its during which nine conduits of wine were kept flowing in witnesses were bishops and abbots, who affirmed and Cheapside.
* John Beaufort, eldest son of John of Gaunt, by Catherine Swinford, created, 20 Rich. II., Marquess of Dorset and Somerset.
† An error of the transcriber; it should. perhaps, be Warwick. There was no Earl of Norwich till the 24 Charles I.
1 Edmund Mortimer, son of Roger, Earl of March, could not have been more than seven years of age.
$ Query, Stafford.
| This must be an error, as the last earl had been killed in a tournament at Windsor some years before.