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The Life of


Scene Two

[The Presence Chamber]

Enter the King, Humphrey [Duke of Gloucester], Bedford, Clarence, Warwick, Westmoreland, and Exeter [with Attendants].


K. Hen. Where is my gracious lord of Canterbury?

Exe. Not here in presence.

K. Hen.Send for him, good uncle.

West. Shall we call in the ambassador, my liege?

K. Hen. Not yet, my cousin: we would be resolv'd, 4
Before we hear him, of some things of weight
That task our thoughts, concerning us and France.

Enter [the] two Bishops.

Cant. God and his angels guard your sacred throne,
And make you long become it!

K. Hen.Sure, we thank you.
My learned lord, we pray you to proceed, 9
And justly and religiously unfold
Why the law Salique that they have in France
Or should, or should not, bar us in our claim. 12
And God forbid, my dear and faithful lord,
That you should fashion, wrest, or bow your reading,
Or nicely charge your understanding soul
With opening titles miscreate, whose right 16
Suits not in native colours with the truth;
For God doth know how many now in health
Shall drop their blood in approbation

4 cousin: title of courtesy used by the sovereign in addressing a nobleman
4, 5 resolv'd . . . of: satisfied about
6 task: trouble
8 become: grace
11 law Salique: Salic law; cf. n.
12 Or: either
14 wrest: pervert
15 nicely: sophistically
charge: burden
16 opening: disclosing
miscreate: dishonestly invented
19 approbation: proof