Actus Quartus. Scena Prima.

Enter King, Glocester, Winchester, Yorke, Suffolke, Somerset, Warwicke, Talbot, and Gouernor Exeter.

Glo. Lord Bishop set the Crowne vpon his head

Win. God saue King Henry of that name the sixt

Glo. Now Gouernour of Paris take your oath, That you elect no other King but him; Esteeme none Friends, but such as are his Friends, And none your Foes, but such as shall pretend Malicious practises against his State: This shall ye do, so helpe you righteous God. Enter Falstaffe.

Fal. My gracious Soueraigne, as I rode from Calice, To haste vnto your Coronation: A Letter was deliuer'd to my hands, Writ to your Grace, from th' Duke of Burgundy

Tal. Shame to the Duke of Burgundy, and thee: I vow'd (base Knight) when I did meete the next, To teare the Garter from thy Crauens legge, Which I haue done, because (vnworthily) Thou was't installed in that High Degree. Pardon me Princely Henry, and the rest: This Dastard, at the battell of Poictiers, When (but in all) I was sixe thousand strong, And that the French were almost ten to one, Before we met, or that a stroke was giuen, Like to a trustie Squire, did run away. In which assault, we lost twelue hundred men. My selfe, and diuers Gentlemen beside, Were there surpriz'd, and taken prisoners. Then iudge (great Lords) if I haue done amisse: Or whether that such Cowards ought to weare This Ornament of Knighthood, yea or no? Glo. To say the truth, this fact was infamous, And ill beseeming any common man; Much more a Knight, a Captaine, and a Leader

Tal. When first this Order was ordain'd my Lords, Knights of the Garter were of Noble birth; Valiant, and Vertuous, full of haughtie Courage, Such as were growne to credit by the warres: Not fearing Death, nor shrinking for Distresse, But alwayes resolute, in most extreames. He then, that is not furnish'd in this sort, Doth but vsurpe the Sacred name of Knight, Prophaning this most Honourable Order, And should (if I were worthy to be Iudge) Be quite degraded, like a Hedge-borne Swaine, That doth presume to boast of Gentle blood

K. Staine to thy Countrymen, thou hear'st thy doom: Be packing therefore, thou that was't a knight: Henceforth we banish thee on paine of death. And now Lord Protector, view the Letter Sent from our Vnckle Duke of Burgundy

Glo. What meanes his Grace, that he hath chaung'd his Stile? No more but plaine and bluntly? (To the King.) Hath he forgot he is his Soueraigne? Or doth this churlish Superscription Pretend some alteration in good will? What's heere? I haue vpon especiall cause, Mou'd with compassion of my Countries wracke, Together with the pittifull complaints Of such as your oppression feedes vpon, Forsaken your pernitious Faction, And ioyn'd with Charles, the rightfull king of France. O monstrous Treachery: Can this be so? That in alliance, amity, and oathes, There should be found such false dissembling guile? King. What? doth my Vnckle Burgundy reuolt? Glo. He doth my Lord, and is become your foe

King. Is that the worst this Letter doth containe? Glo. It is the worst, and all (my Lord) he writes

King. Why then Lord Talbot there shal talk with him, And giue him chasticement for this abuse. How say you (my Lord) are you not content? Tal. Content, my Liege? Yes: But y I am preuented, I should haue begg'd I might haue bene employd

King. Then gather strength, and march vnto him straight: Let him perceiue how ill we brooke his Treason, And what offence it is to flout his Friends

William Shakespeare
Classic Literature Library

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