Sidor som bilder

Philip and promised the support of the tranquil at home. Had revolt in England Huguenots in an invasion of the Low Coun

prospered he was ready to reap the fruits of tries. Never had a fairer prospect opened other men's labors; and he made no objecto French ambition. Catharine, however, tion to plots for the seizure or assassination saw ruin for the monarchy in a France at of the Queen. But his state was too vast to once Protestant and free. She threw her- risk an attack while she sate firmly on her self on the side of the Guises, and ensured throne; and the cry of the English Cathotheir triumph by lending herself to their lics, or the pressure of the Pope, had as massacre of the Protestants on St. Bartholo- yet failed to drive the Spanish King into mew's day. But though the long gathering strife with Elizabeth. clouds of religious hatred had broken, Eliza- The control of events was, however, passbeth trusted to her dexterity to keep out ing from the hands of statesmen and dipof the storm. France plunged madly back lomatists; and the long period of suspense into a chaos of civil war, and the Low which their policy had won was ending in Countries were left to cope single-handed the clash of national and political passions. with Spain. Whatever enthusiasm the The rising fanaticism of the Catholic world heroic struggle of the Prince of Orange ex- was breaking down the caution and hesitacited among her subjects, it failed to move tion of Philip; while England set aside the Elizabeth even for an instant from the path balanced neutrality of her Queen and pushed of cold self-interest. To her the revolt of boldly forward to a contest which it felt to the Netherlands was simply “a bridle of be inevitable. The public opinion, to which Spain, which kept war out of our own gate." the Queen was so sensitive, took every day At the darkest moment of the contest, when a bolder and more decided tone. Her cold Alva had won back all but Holland and indifference to the heroic struggle in FlanZealand, and even William of Orange de- ders was more than compensated by the enspaired, the Queen bent her energies to pre- thusiasm it excited among the nation at vent him from finding succor in France. large. The earlier Flemish refugees found a That the Provinces could in the end with- refuge in the Cinque Ports. The exiled merstand Philip, neither she nor any English chants of Antwerp were welcomed by the statesmen believed. They held that the merchants of London. While Elizabeth struggle must close either in utter subjec- dribbled out her secret aid to the Prince of tion of the Netherlands, or in their selling Orange, the London traders sent him half-athemselves for aid to France; and the ac- million from their own purses, a sum equal cession of power which either result must to a year's revenue of the Crown. Volungive to one of her two Catholic foes the teers stole across the Channel in increasing Queen was eager to avert. Her plan for numbers to the aid of the Dutch, till the five averting it was by forcing the Provinces hundred Englishmen who fought in the beto accept the terms offered by Spain-a ginning of the struggle rose to a brigade of restoration, that is, of their constitutional five thousand, whose bravery turned one of privileges on condition of their submission the most critical battles of the war. Dutch to the Church. Peace on such a footing would privateers found shelter in English ports, not only restore English commerce, which and English vessels hoisted the flag of the suffered from the war; it would leave the States for a dash to the Spanish traders. Netherlands still formidable as a weapon Protestant fervor roşe steadily as “the best against Philip. The freedom of the Prov

captains and soldiers" returned from the inces would be saved; and the religious campaigns in the Low Countries to tell of question involved in a fresh submission to Alva's atrocities, or as privateers brought the yoke of Catholicism was

one which

back tales of English seamen who had been Elizabeth was incapable of appreciating. seized in Spain and the New World, to To her the steady refusal of William the linger amidst the tortures of the Inquisition, Silent to sacrifice his faith was as unintel- or to die in its fires. In the presence of this ligible as the steady bigotry of Philip in steady drift of popular passion the diplodemanding such a sacrifice. It was of more macy of Elizabeth became of little moment. immediate consequence that Philip's anxiety When she sought to put a check on Philip to avoid provoking an interyention on the by one of her last matrimonial intrigues, part of England which would destroy all which threatened England with a Catholic hope of his success in Flanders, left her sovereign in the Duke of Anjou, a younger

son of the hated Catharine of Medicis, the popular indignation rose suddenly into a cry against "a Popish King" which the Queen dared not defy. If Elizabeth was resolute for peace, England was resolute for war. A new courage had arisen since the beginning of her reign, when Cecil and the Queen stood alone in their belief in England's strength, and when the diplomatists of Europe regarded her obstinate defiance of Philip's counsels as "madness." The whole people had caught the self-confidence and daring of their Queen. The seamen of the southern coast had long been carrying on a halfpiratical war on their own account. Four years after Elizabeth's accession the Channel swarmed with "sea-dogs," as they were called, who sailed under letters of marque from the Prince of Condé and the Huguenot leaders, and took heed neither of the complaints of the French Court nor of Elizabeth's own attempts at repression. Her efforts failed before the connivance of every man along the coast, of the very port-officers of the Crown who made profit out of the spoil, and of the gentry of the west, who were hand and glove with the adventurers. They broke above all against the national craving for open fight with Spain, and the Protestant craving for open fight with Catholicism. Young Englishmen crossed the sea to serve under Condé or Henry of Navarre. The war in the Netherlands drew hundreds of Protestants to the field. The suspension of the French contest only drove the sea-dogs to the West Indies; for the Papal decree which gave the New World to Spain, and the threats of Philip against any Protestant who should visit its seas, fell idly on the ears of English seamen. It was in vain that their trading vessels were seized, and the sailors flung into the dungeons of the Inquisition, "laden with irons, without sight of sun or moon." The profits of the trade were large enough to counteract its perils; and the bigotry of Philip was met by a bigotry as merciless as his own. The Puritanism of the sea-dogs went hand in hand with their love of adventure. To break through the Catholic monopoly of the New World, to Kill Spaniards, to sell negroes, to sack goldships, were in these men's minds a seemly work for the "elect of God." The name of Francis Drake became the terror of the Spanish Indies. In Drake a Protestant fanaticism was united with a splendid daring. He conceived the design of penetrating

into the Pacific, whose waters had never seen an English flag; and backed by a little company of adventurers, he set sail for the southern seas in a vessel hardly as big as a Channel schooner, with a few yet smaller companions who fell away before the storms and perils of the voyage. But Drake with his one ship and eighty men held boldly on; and passing the Straits of Magellan, untraversed as yet by any Englishman, swept the unguarded coast of Chili and Peru, loaded his bark with the gold-dust and silver-ingots of Potosi, and with the pearls, emeralds, and diamonds which formed the cargo of the great galleon that sailed once a year from Lima to Cadiz. With spoils of above half-a-million in value the daring adventurer steered undauntedly for the Moluccas, rounded the Cape of Good Hope, and after completing the circuit of the globe dropped anchor again in Plymouth harbor.

1. "This England"

[The speech of John of Gaunt, Shakespeare's Richard II]

Methinks I am a prophet new inspired
And thus expiring do foretell of him:
His rash fierce blaze of riot cannot last,
For violent fires soon burn out themselves;
Small showers last long, but sudden storms

are short;

He tires betimes that spurs too fast betimes; With eager feeding food doth choke the


Light vanity, insatiate cormorant,
Consuming means, soon preys upon itself.
This royal throne of kings, this scepter'd

This earth of majesty, this seat of Mars,
This other Eden, demi-paradise,
This fortress built by Nature for herself
Against infection and the hand of war,
This happy breed of men, this little world,
This precious stone set in the silver sea,
Which serves it in the office of a wall
Or as a moat defensive to a house,
Against the envy of less happier lands,
This blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this

This nurse, this teeming womb of royal kings,

Fear'd by their breed and famous by their birth,


Renowned for their deeds as far from home, Breasting the lofty surge: 0, do but think
For Christian service and true chivalry, You stand upon the rivage and behold
As is the sepulcher in stubborn Jewry A city on the inconstant billows dancing;
Of the world's ransom, blessed Mary's Son, For so appears this fleet majestical,
This land of such dear souls, this dear, dear Holding due course to Harfleur. Follow,

follow :
Dear for her reputation through the world, Grapple your minds to sternage of this nary,
Is now leased out, I die pronouncing it, And leave your England, as dead midnight
Like to a tenement or pelting farm:

still, England, bound in with the triumphant sea, Guarded with grandsires, babies, and old Whose rocky shore beats back the envious women, siege

Either past or not arrived to pith and puisOf watery Neptune, is now bound in with

sance; shame,

For who is he, whose chin is but enrich'd With inky blots and rotten parchment With one appearing hair, that will not folbonds:

low That England, that was wont to conquer These cullid and choice-drawn cavaliers to others,

France? Hath made a shameful conquest of itself. Work, work your thoughts, and therein see Ah, would the scandal vanish with my life, a siege; How happy then were my ensuing death! Behold the ordnance on their carriages,

With fatal mouths gaping on girded Har2. Unity Against the Foe

fleur. [The speech of Faulconbridge, Shake

Suppose the ambassador from the French speare's King John]

comes back;

Tells Harry that the king doth offer him Bast. This England never did, nor never

Katharine his daughter, and with her, to shall,

dowry, Lie at the proud foot of a conqueror, Some petty and unprofitable dukedoms. But when it first did help to wound itself. The offer likes not: and the nimble gunner Now these her princes are come home again, With linstock now the devilish cannon Come the three corners of the world in arms,

touches, And we shall shock them. Nought shall

[Alarum, and chambers go off make us rue,

And down goes all before them. Still be If England to itself do rest but true.


And eke out our performance with your 3. England at War


[Erit [From Shakespeare's Henry V, Act III) Enter Chorus

SCENE I. France. Before Harfleur Chor. Thus with imagined wing our swift Alarum. Enter King HENRY, EXETER, BEDscene flies

FORD, GLOUCESTER, and Soldiers, with scalIn motion of no less celerity

ing-ladders. Than that of thought. Suppose that you K. Hen. Once more unto the breach, dear have seen

friends, once more; The well-appointed king at Hampton pier Or close the wall up with our English dead. Embark his royalty; and his brave fleet In peace there's nothing so becomes a man With silken streamers the young Phæbus As modest stillness and humility; fanning:

But when the blast of war blows in our ears, Play with your fancies, and in them behold Then imitate the action of the tiger; Upon the hempen tackle ship-boys climbing; Stiffen the sinews, summon up the blood, Hear the shrill whistle which doth order give Disguise fair nature with hard-favor'd rage: To sounds confused; behold the threaden Then lend the eye a terrible aspect; sails,

Let it pry through the portage of the head Borne with the invisible and creeping wind, Like the brass cannon; let the brow o'erDraw the huge bottoms through the fur- whelm it

As fearfully as doth a galled rock

row'd sea,

O'erhang and jutty his confounded base, Swill'd with the wild and wasteful ocean. Now set the teeth and stretch the nostril

wide, Hold hard the breath, and bend up every

spirit To his full height. On, on, you noblest Eng

lish, Whose blood is fet from fathers of war

proof! Fathers, that, like so many Alexanders, Have in these parts from morn till even

fought And sheathed their swords for lack of argu

ment: Dishonor not your mothers; now attest That those whom you call'd fathers did beget

you. Be copy now to men of grosser blood, And teach them how to war. And you, good

yeomen, Whose limbs were made in England, show

us here The mettle of your pasture; let us swear That you are worth your breeding; which I

doubt not;
For there is none of you so mean and base,
That hath not noble luster in your eyes.
I see you stand like greyhounds in the slips,
Straining upon the start. The game's afoot:
Follow your spirit, and upon this charge
Cry, "God for Harry, England, and Saint

[Ereunt. Alarum, and chambers go off.

The country cocks do crow, the clocks do

toll, And the third hour of drowsy morning

name. Proud of their numbers and secure in soul, The confident and over-lusty French Do the low-rated English play at dice; And chide the cripple tardy-gaited night Who, like a foul and ugly witch, doth limp So tediously away. The poor condemned

English, Like sacrifices, by their watchful fires Sit patiently, and inly ruminate The morning's danger, and their gesture sad Investing lank-lean cheeks and war-worn

coats Presenteth them unto the gazing moon So many horrid ghosts. O now, who will

behold The royal captain of this ruin'd band Walking from watch to watch, from tent to

tent, Let him cry, “Praise and glory on his

head!" For forth he goes and visits all his host, Bids them good morrow with a modest smile, And calls them brothers, friends, and coun

trymen. Upon his royal face there is no note How dread an army hath enrounded him; Nor doth he dedicate one jot of color Unto the weary and all-watched night, But freshly looks and over-bears attaint With cheerful semblance and sweet majesty; That every wretch, pining and pale before, Beholding him, plucks comfort from his

looks: A largess universal like the sun His liberal eye doth give to every one, Thawing cold fear, that mean and gentle all, Behold, as may unworthiness define, A little touch of Harry in the night. And so our scene must to the battle fly; Where—0 for pity!-we shall much dis

grace With four or five most vile and ragged foils, Right ill-disposed in brawl ridiculous, The name of Agincourt. Yet sit and see, Minding true things by what their mockeries be.


[From Act IV)

Enter Chorus Chor. Now entertain conjecture of a time When creeping murmur and the poring dark Fills the wide vessel of the universe. From camp to camp through the foul womb

of night The hum of either army stilly sounds, That the fixed sentinels almost receive The secret whispers of each other's watch: Fire answers fire, and through their paly

flames Each battle sees the other's umber'd face; Steed threatens steed, in high and boastful

neighs Piercing the night's dull ear, and from the

The armorers, accomplishing the knights,
With busy hammers closing rivets up,
Give dreadful note of preparation:


PINGHAM, with all his host; SALISBURY and WESTMORELAND. Glou. Where is the king?

Bed. The king himself is rode to view

their battle. West. Of fighting men they have full

three-score thousand. Exe. There's five to one; besides, they all

are fresh. Sal. God's arm strike with us ! 'tis a fear

ful odds. God be wi' you, princes all; I'll to my

charge: If we no more meet till we meet in heaven, Then, joyfully, my noble Lord of Bedford, My dear Lord Gloucester, and my good Lord

Exeter, And my kind kinsman, warriors all, adieu ! Bed. Farewell, good Salisbury; and good

luck go with thee! Exe. Farewell, kind lord; fight valiantly

today: And yet I do thee wrong to mind thee of it, For thou art framed of the firm truth of valor.

[E.rit Salisbury Bed. He is as full of valor as of kind

ness; Princely in both.

Let him depart; his passport shall be made,
And crowns for convoy put into his purse:
We would not die in that man's company,
That fears his fellowship to die with us.
This day is call’d the feast of Crispian:
He that outlives this day, and comes safe

Will stand a tip-toe when this day is named,
And rouse him at the name of Crispian.
He that shall live this day, and see old age,
Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbors,
And say, “Tomorrow is Saint Crispian";
Then will he strip his sleeve and show his

scars, And say, “These wounds I had on Crispin's


Enter the King

West. O that we now had here But one ten thousand of those men in Eng

land That do no work today! K. Hen.

What's he that wishes so? My cousin Westmoreland ? No, my fair

cousin : If we are mark'd to die, we are enow To do our country loss; and if to live, The fewer men, the greater share of honor. God's will! I pray thee, wish not one man

Old men forget; yet all shall be forgot,
But he'll remember with advantages
What feats he did that day: then shall our

Familiar in his mouth as household words,
Harry the king, Bedford and Exeter,
Warwick and Talbot, Salisbury and Glou-

cester, Be in their flowing cups freshly remem

ber'd. This story shall the good man teach his son: And Crispin Crispian shall ne'er go by, From this day to the ending of the world, But we in it shall be remembered; We few, we happy few, we band of brothers; For he today that sheds his blood with me Shall be my brother: be he ne'er so vile, This day shall gentle his condition; And gentlemen in England now abed Shall think themselves accursed they were

not here, And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any

speaks That fought with us upon Saint Crispin's





By Jove, I am not covetous for gold,
Nor care I who doth feed upon my cost;
It yearns me not if men my garments wear;
Such outward things dwell not in my desires :
But if it be a sin to covet honor,
I am the most offending soul alive.
No, faith, my coz, wish not a man from

God's peace! I would not lose so great an

honor As one man more, methinks, would share



from me

For the best hope I have. O, do not wish

one more! Rather proclaim it, Westmoreland, through

my host, That he which hath no stomach to this fight,

Fair stood the wind for France, When we our sails advance; Nor now to prove our chance

Longer will tarry; But putting to the main, At Caux, the mouth of Seine, With all his martial train

Landed King Harry.

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