Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: Raphael Holinshed
Editor: Rosemary Gaby
Peer Reviewed

Chronicles of England, Scotland, and Ireland (Selection)

[1412 - from volume 3, pages 538-539]

30Whilst these things were a doing in France, the Lord Henry, Prince of Wales, The Prince of Wales accused to his father. eldest son to King Henry, got knowledge that certain of his father's servants were busy to give informations against him, whereby discord might arise betwixt him and his father:John Stow. for they put into the king's head, not only what evil rule (according to the course of youth) the prince kept to the offense of many, but also what great resort of people came to his house, so that the court was nothing furnished with such a train as daily followed the Prince.The suspicious jealousy of the king toward his son. These tales brought no small suspicion into the king's head, lest his son would presume to usurp the crown, he being yet alive, through which suspicious jealousy, it was perceived that he favored not his son, as in times past he had done.

31The prince, sore offended with such persons, as by slanderous reports, sought not only to spot his good name abroad in the realm, but to sow discord also betwixt him and his father, wrote his letters into every part of the realm, to reprove all such slanderous devises of those that sought his discredit. And to clear himself the better, that the world might understand what wrong he had to be slandered in such wise: about the feast of Peter and Paul, to wit,The prince goeth to the court with a great train. the nine and twentieth day of June, he came to the court with such a number of noble men and other his friends that wished him well, as the like train had been seldom seen repairing to the court at any one time in those days. He was appareled in a gown of blue satin,His strange apparel. full of small eyelet holes, at every hole the needle hanging by a silk thread with which it was sewed. About his arm he wore a hound's collar set full of SS of gold, and the tirets likewise being of the same metal.

32The court was then at Westminster, where he, being entered into the hall, not one of his company durst once advance himself further than the fire in the same hall, notwithstanding they were earnestly requested by the lords to come higher. But they, regarding what they had in commandment of the Prince, would not presume to do in anything contrary thereunto. He himself, only accompanied with those of the king's house, was straight admitted to the presence of the king his father, who being at that time grievously diseased, yet caused himself in his chair to be born into his privy chamber, where in the presence of three or four persons, in whom he had most confidence,The prince cometh to the king's presence. he commanded the prince to show what he had to say concerning the cause of his coming.

33His words to his father.The prince kneeling down before his father said: "Most redoubted and sovereign lord and father, I am at this time come to your presence as your liege man, and as your natural son, in all things to be at your commandment. And where I understand you have in suspicion my demeanor against your grace, you know very well, that if I knew any man within this realm, of whom you should stand in fear, my duty were to punish that person, thereby to remove that grief from your heart. Then how much more ought I to suffer death, to ease your grace of that grief which you have of me, being your natural son and liege man. And to that end, I have this day made myself ready by confession and receiving of the sacrament. And therefore I beseech you, most redoubted lord and dear father, for the honor of God, to ease your heart of all such suspicion as you have of me, and to dispatch me here before your knees, with this same dagger (and withal, he delivered unto the king his dagger, in all humble reverence, adding further that his life was not so dear to him that he wished to live one day with his displeasure) and therefore in thus ridding me out of life, and your self from all suspicion, here in presence of these lords, and before God at the day of the general judgement, I faithfully protest clearly to forgive you."

34The king moved herewith,The king's words to the prince, his son. cast from him the dagger, and embracing the Prince kissed him, and with shedding tears confessed that indeed he had him partly in suspicion, though now (as he perceived) not with just cause, and therefore from thenceforth no misreport should cause him to have him in mistrust, and this he promised of his honor. So by his great wisdom was the wrongful suspicion, which his father had conceived against him, removed, and he restored to his favor. And further,Eiton. where he could not but grievously complain of them that had slandered him so greatly, to the defacing not only of his honor, but also putting him in danger of his life,The prince's request to have his accusors to answer their wrongful slanders. he humbly besought the king that they might answer their unjust accusation; and in case they were found to have forged such matters upon a malicious purpose, that then they might suffer some punishment for their faults, though not to the full of that they had deserved. The king, seeming to grant his reasonable desire, yet told him that he must tarry a parliament, that such offenders might be punished by judgement of their peers. And so, for that time he was dismissed, with great love and signs of fatherly affection.

35Thus were the father and the son reconciled, betwixt whom the said pickthanks had sewn division,Abr. Fl. out of Angl. praelijs. insomuch that the son, upon a vehement conceit of unkindness sprung in the father, was in the way to be worn out of favor. Which was the more likely to come to pass, by their informations that privily charged him with riot and other uncivil demeanor unseemly for a prince. Indeed, he was youthfully given, grown to audacity, and had chosen him companions agreeable to his age with whom he spent the time in such recreations, exercises, and delights as he fancied. But yet (it should seem by the report of some writers) that his behavior was not offensive or at least tending to the damage of anybody, since he had a care to avoid doing of wrong, and to tender his affections within the tract of virtue, whereby he opened unto himself a ready passage of good liking among the prudent sort, and was beloved of such as could discern his disposition, which was in no degree so excessive, as that he deserved in such vehement manner to be suspected. In whose dispraise I find little, but to his praise very much, parcel whereof I will deliver by the way as a metyard whereby the residue may be measured.