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Page 152. line 24. the proud prelate, that blood-guilty man,
Who, trembling for the church's ill-got wealth,
France. But the first terrible blow in England given generally to all Orders, was in the Lay Parliament, as it is called, which did wholly Wicclifize, kept in the twelfth year of king Henry the Fourth, wherein the Nobles and Commons assembled, signified to the King, that the temporal possessions of Abbots, Priors, &c. lewdly spent within the Realm, would suffice to find and sustain 150 Earls, 1500 Knights, 6200 Esquires, 100 Hospitals, more than there were. But this motion was mauld with the king's own hand, who dashed it, personally interposing Himself contrary to that character, which the jealous Clergy had conceived of Him, that coming to the Crown He would be a great enemy to the Church. But though Henry Plantagenet Duke of Lancaster was no friend to the Clergie, perchance to ingratiate himself with the people, yet the same Henry king of England, His interest being altered, to strengthen Him with the considerable power of the Clergy, proved a Patron yea a Champion to defend them. However we may say, that now the Axe is laid to the root of the tree of Abbeys; and this stroke for the present, though it was so far from hurting the body, that it scarce pierced the bark thereof, yet bare attempts in such matters are important, as putting into people's heads a feasibility of the project formerly conceived altogether impossible.
Few years after, namely, in the second year of king Henry the Fifth, another shrewd thrust was made at English Abbeys, but it was finely and cleverly put aside by that skilful State-Fencer Henry Chichesly Archbishop of Canterbury. For the former Bill against Abbeys, in full Parliament was revived, when the Archbishop minded king Henry of his undoubted Title to the fair and flourishing kingdom of France. Hereat, that king who was a spark in Himself, was enflamed to that design by this Prelate's persuasion : and his native courage ran fiercely on the project, especially when clapt on with conscience and encouragement from a church-man in the lawfulness thereof.
An undertaking of those vast dimensions, that the greatest covetousness might spread, and highest ambition reach itself within the bounds thereof. If to promote this project, the Abbeys advanced not only large and liberal, but vast and incredible sums of money, it is no wonder if they were contented to have their nails pared close to the quick thereby to save their fingers. Over goes king Henry into France, with many martial spirits attending him, so that putting the king upon the seeking of a new Crown, kept the Abbots’old Mitres upon their heads; and Monasteries tottering at this time, were (thank a politick Archbishop) refixed on the firm foundations, though this proved rather a reprieve than a pardon unto them.
Fuller's Church History, B. 6. p. 302. The archbishop of Bourges explained to the king, in the hall of the bishop of Winchester, and in the presence of the dukes of Clarence, Bedford and Gloucester, brothers to the king, and of the lords of the council, clergy, chivalry and po. pulace, the objects of his embassy. The archbishop spoke first in Latin, and then in the Walloon language, so eloquently and wisely, that both English and French who heard him were greatly surprised. At the conclusion of his harangue he made offers to the king of a large sum of ready money on his marriage with the princess Catherine, but on condition that he would disband the army he had collected at Southampton, and at the adjacent sea-ports, to invade France; and that by these means an eternal peace would be established between the two kingdoms.
The assembly broke up when the archbishop had ended his speech, and the French ambassadors were kindly entertained at dinner by the king, who then appointed a day for them to receive his answer to their propositions by the mouth of the archbishop of Canterbury.
In the course of the archbishop's speech, in which he replied, article by article, to what the archbishop of Bourges had offered, he added to some and passed over others of them, so that he was sharply interrupted by the archbishop of Bourges, who exclaimed, “ I did not say so, but such were my words ”
The conclusion, however, was, that unless the king of France would give, as a marriage-portion with his daughter, the duchies of Acquitaine, of Normandy, of Anjou, of Tours, the counties of Ponthieu, Maine and Poitou, and every other part that had formerly belonged to the English monarchs, the king would not desist from his intended invasion of France, but would despoil the whole of that kingdom which had been unjustly detained from him; and that he should depend on his sword for the accomplishment of the above, and for depriving king Charles of his crown.
The king avowed what the archbishop had said, and added, that thus, with God's aid, he would act; and promised it on the word of a king. The archbishop of Bourges then, according to the custom in France, demanded permission to speak, and said,
“ O king! how canst thou, consistently with honour and justice, thus wish to dethrone and iniquitously destroy the most Christian king of the French, our very dear lord and most excellent of all the kings in christendom. O king! with all due reverence and respect, dost thou think that he has offered by me such extent of territory, and so large a sum of money with his daughter in marriage, through any fear of thee, thy subjects or allies? By no means; but, moved by pity and his love of peace, he has made these offers to avoid the shedding of innocent blood, and that Christian people may not be over. whelmed in the miseries of war; for whenever thou shalt make thy promised attempt he will call upon God, the blessed Virgin, and on all the saints, making his appeal to them for the justice of his cause; and with their aid, and the support of his loyal subjects and faithful allies, thou wilt be driven out of his dominions, or thou wilt be made prisoner, or thou wilt there suffer death by orders of that just king whose ambassa. dors we are.
“ We have now only to intreat of thee that thou wouldst have us safely conducted out of thy realm; and that thou wouldst write to our said king, under thy hand and seal, the answer which thou hast had given to us."
The king kindly granted their request; and the ambassa
dors, having received handsome presents, returned by way of Dover to Calais and thence to Paris.
Monstrelet, vol. iv. p. 129. Within a few days after the expiration of the truce, king Henry, whose preparations were now completed, sent one of his heralds, called Glocester, to Paris, to deliver letters to the king, of which the contents were as follows.
“ To the very noble prince Charles, our cousin and adversary of France, Henry, by the grace of God, king of England and of France. To give to every one what is their due, is a work of inspiration and wise council, very noble prince, our cousin and adversary. The noble kingdoms of England and France were formerly united, now they are divided. At that time it was customary for each person to exalt his name by glorious victories, and by this single virtue to extol the honour of God, to whom holiness belongs, and to give peace to his church, by subjecting in battle the enemies of the public weal; but alas ! good faith among kindred and brotherly love have been perverted, and Lot persecutes Abraham by human imputation, and Dissention, the mother of Anger, has been raised from the dead.
“We, however, appeal to the sovereign Judge, who is neither swayed by prayers nor gifts from doing right, that we have, from pure affection, done every thing in our power to preserve the peace; and we must now rely on the sword for regaining what is justly our heritage, and those rights which have from old time belonged to us; and we feel such assurance in our courage, that we will fight till death in the cause of justice.
“ The written law in the book of Deuteronomy ordains, that before any person commences an attack on a city he shall first offer terms of peace; and although violence has detained from us our rightful inheritances, charity, however, induces us to attempt, by fair means, their recovery; for should justice be denied us, we may then resort to arms.
“ And to avoid having our conscience affected by this matter, we make our personal request to you, and exhort you, by the bowels of Jesus Christ, to follow the dictates of his evangelica!
doctrine. Friend, restore what thou owest, for such is the will of God to prevent the effusion of the blood of man, who was created in his likeness. Such restitution of rights, cruelly torn from us, and which we have so frequently demanded by our ambassadors, will be agreeable to the supreme God, and secure peace on earth.
“ From our love of peace we were inclined to refuse fifty thousand golden crowns lately offered us; for being more desirous of peace than riches, we have preferred enjoying the patrimony left us by our venerable ancestors, with our very dear cousin Catherine, your noble daughter, to iniquitously multiplying our treasures, and thus disgracing the honour of our crown, which God forbid !
“ Given under our privy seal, in our castle of Southampton, the 5th day of the month of August.”
Monstrelet, vol. iv. p. 137.
Page 152. line 29. Sure that holy hermit spake
The Almighty's bidding. While Henry V. lay at the siege of Dreux, an honest hermit unknown to him, came and told him the great evils he brought upon christendom by his unjust ambition, who usurped the kingdom of France, against all manner of right, and contrary to the will of God; wherefore in his holy name he threatened him with a severe and sudden punishment, if he desisted not from his enterprize. Henry took this exhortation either as an idly whimsey, or a suggestion of the Dauphin's, and was but the more confirmed in his design. But the blow soon followed the threatening; for within some few months after, he was smitten in the fundament with a strange and incurable disease.
Page 158. line 59.
Famish'd at Roan sat on the clouds of night.