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The unwelcome tidings of delay : possessed
With agitating hopes they felt the hours
Pass heavily; but soon the night wained on,
And the loud trumpets blare from broken sleep
Roused them; a second time the thrilling blast
Bade them be armed, and at the third + deep sound
They ranged them in their ranks. From man to man
With pious haste hurried the Confessor

you power against power; and if you please to appoint him a day he will not fail to meet you upon the word of a King." This message being thus delivered, King Philip yielded either to give or take battle two days after, and in token of his acceptance of the news, richly rewarded the herald with furred gowns, and other gifts bestowed on him, as well by himself as others, the Princes and Lords of his host, and so dismissed him again.


of Every man was warned to rise from sleep at the first sound of the trumpet ; at the second to arm without delay, and at the third to take horse in his due place under the colours.


To shrive * then, lest with unprepared souls They to their death might go. Dunois meantime

* Religious ceremonies seem to have preceded all settled engagements at this period. On the night before the battle of Crecy.“ King Edward made a supper in his royal pavilion for all his chief Barons, Lords and Captains : at which he appeared wonderful chearful and pleasant, to the great encouragement of his people. But when they were all dismissed. to their several quarters, the King himself retired into his private oratory, and came before the altar, and there prostrated himself to Almighty God and devoutly prayed, “ that of his infinite goodness he would vouchsafe to look down on the justice of his cause, and remember his unfeigned endeavours for a reconcilement, altho' they had all been rendered frustrate by his enemies : that if he should be brought to a battle the next day, it would please him of his great mercy to grant him the victory, as his trust was only in him, and in the right which he had given him." Being thus armed with faith, about midnight he laid himself upon a pallet or mattress to take a little repose; but he rose again betimes and heard mass, with his son the young ince, and received absolution, and the body and blood of his redeemer, as did the Prince also, and most of the Lords and others who were so disposed.


Thus also before the battle of Azincour " after prayers and

Rode thro' the host; the shield of * dignity
Before him borne, and in his hand he held
The white wand of command. The open

Disclosed that eye that tempered the strong lines.
Of steady valour, to obedient awe
Winning the will's assent. To some he spake
Of late-earned glory; others, new to war,
He bade bethink them of the feats atchieved
When Talbot, recreant to his former fame,
Fled from beleager'd Orleans. Was there one
Whom he had known in battle? by the hand
Him did he take and bid him on that day
Summon his wonted courage, and once more
Support his chief and comrade. Happy he

supplications of the King, his priests and people done with great devotion, the King of England in the morning very early set forth his hosts in array."


* The Roundel. A shield too weak for service which was borne before the General of an army.

Who caught his glance or from the Chieftain's lips
Heard his own name! joy more inspiriting
Fills not the Persian's soul, when sure he deems
That Mithra hears propitiously his prayer,
And o'er the scattered cloud of morning pours
A brighter ray responsive.

Then the host

Partook due food, this their last meal belike
Receiving with such thoughtful doubts, as make
The sou!, impatient of uncertainty,
Rush eager to the event; prepared thus
Upon the grass the soldiers laid themselves,
Each in his station, waiting there the sound
Of onset, that in undiminished strength
Strong, they might meet the* battle: silent some

* The conduct of the English on the morning of the battle of Crecy is followed in the text. “ All things being thus ordered, every Lord and Captain under his own banner and pennon, and the ranks duly settled, the valourous young King

Pondering the chances of the coming day,
Some whiling with a careless gaiety
The fearful pause of action. Thus the French
In such array and high in confident hope

mounted on a lusty white hobby, and with a white wand in his hand, rode between his two Marshalls from rank to rank, and from one Battalia unto another, exhorting and encouraging every man that day to defend and maintain his right and honour: and this he did with so chearful a countenance, and with such sweet and obliging words, that even the most faint-hearted of the army were sufficiently assured thereby. "By that time the English were thus prepared, it was nine o'clock in the morning, and then the King commanded them all to take their refreshment of meat and drink, which being done, with small disturbance they all repaired to their colours again, and then laid themselves in their order upon the dry and warm grass, with their bows and helmets by their side, to be more fresh and vigorous upon the approach of the enemy.”

Joshua Barnes.

The English before the battle of Azincour“ fell prostrate to the ground, and committed themselves to God, every of them tooke in his mouth a little piece of earth, in remembrance that they were mortall and made of earth, as also in remembrance of the holy communion."


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