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The unwelcome tidings of delay : possessed
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
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
Then the host
Partook due food, this their last meal belike
* 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,
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.”
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."