« AnteriorContinuar »
“ His strong entrenchments. From the watch-tower's top
distant wave “ That in the sun-beam glitter'd, fondly thought “ The white sail of supply. Ah me! no more “ Rose on our aching sight the food-fraught bark ; “ For guarded was the Seine, and our stern foe “ Had made a league with * Famine. How my heart
*“ The King of England advertised of the
hautie courages, determined to conquer them by famine which would not be tamed by weapon. Wherefore he stopped all the passages, both by water and land, that no vittels could be conveied to the citie. He cast trenches round about the walls, and set them full of stakes, and defended them with archers, so that there was left neither waie for them within to issue out, nor for anie that were abroad to enter in without his license.--The King's coosine germane and alie (the King of Portugale) sent a great navie of well-appointed ships unto the mouth of the river of Seine, to stop that no French vessel should enter the river and passe up the same, to the aid of them winii Rouen.
This was the faire citie of Rouen compassed about with enemies, both by water and land, having neither comfort nor aid of King, Dolphin, or Duke."
* Sunk in me when at night I carried home
The scanty pittance of to-morrow's meal! “You know not, strangers! what it is to see “ The asking eye of hunger !
“ Sall we strove “Expecting aid ; nor longer force to force, « Valour to valour in the fight oppos d, " But to the exasperate patience of the foe, “ Desperate f endurance. Tho' with christian zeal
t. “ After he had prosecuted the siege of this place for some time, the Cardinal Ursino repaired to his camp, and endeavoured to persuade him to moderate his terms, and agree to an equitable peace; but the King's reply plainly evinced his determination of availing himself of the present situation of public affairs; “Do you not see," said he, “ that God has brought me hither, as it were by the hand? The throne of France
may be said to be vacant; I have a good title to that crown ; the whole kingdom is involved in the utmost disorder and confusion; few are willing, and still fewer are able to resist me. Can I have a more convincing proof of the interposition of heaven in my favour, and that the Supreme Ruler of all things has decreed that I should ascend the throne of France?"
« Ursino would have pour'd the balm of peace “ Into our wounds, Ambition's ear best pleas'd “With the War's clamour and the groan of Death, “Was deaf to prayer. Day after day fled on;
We heard no voice of comfort. From the walls « Could we behold the savage Irish * Kernes, " Ruffians half-clothed, half-human, thalf-baptized,
*“ With the English sixteen hundred Irish Kernes were enrolled from the Prior of Kilmainham; able men but almost naked;
their arms were targets, darts and swords, their horses little and bare no saddle, yet nevertheless nimble, on which upon every advantage they plaied with the French, in spoiling the country, rifeling the houses, and carrying away. children with their baggage upon their cowes backs.”
Speed. P. 638. of " In some corners of Connaught, the people leave the right armes of their infants male unchristend (as they terme it) to the end that at any time afterwards they might give a more deadly and ungracious blow when they strike, which things doe not only show how palpably they are carried away by traditious obscurities, but doe also intimate how full their hearts be of inveterate revenge."
The book from which this extract is taken wants the title. The title of the second past is, A prospeat of the most famous parts of the world. Printed for William Humble, in Pope's-Head Palace. 1646.
* Come with their spoil, mingling their hideous shouts * With the moan of weary flocks, and the piteous low « Of kine sore-laden, in the mirthful camp “Scattering abundance ; while the loathliest food “We prized above all price, while in our streets “The dying groan of hunger, and the scream « Of famishing infants echoed, and we heard, “ With the strange selfishness of misery, “ We heard and heeded not.
“ Thou wouldst have deem'd “ Roan mfust have fallen an easy sacrifice,
Young warrior | hadst thou seen our meagre limbs “ And pale and shrunken cheeks, and hollow “Yet still we struggled nobly! Blanchard still “ Spake of the savage fury of the foe, • Of Harfleur's wretched race cast on the f world
" Some writing of this yeelding up of Harflue, doo in like sort make mention of the distresse whereto the people, then expelled out of their habitations were driven : insomuch as parents with their children, yong maids and old folke went
“ Houseless and destitute, while that fierce King * Knelt at the faltar, and with impious prayer
out of the towne gates with heavie harts, (God wot) as put to their present shifts to seek them a new abode."
Holinshed 550. This act of despotic barbarity was perpetrated by Henry that he might people the town with English inhabitants. “ This doth Anglorum prælia report, saieng (not without good ground I believe) as followeth :
Tum flentes tenerâ cum prole parentes
Holinshed. There is a way of telling truth so as to convey falsehood. After the capture of Harfleur Edmond Howes says, all the soldiers and inhabitants, both of the towne and towers, were suffered to goe freely, unharmed, whither they would." 348. Henry's conduct was the same at Caen : he “ commanded all women and children to bee avoyded out of the towne, and so the towne was inhabited of new possessors."
Before Henry took possession of Harfleur he went barefooted to the Church to give God thanks.