Heralds, Ambassadors, and the Treaty of Troyes
The scene on the battlefield at Agincourt, when the English appeared to have won and the French herald Montjoy arrived on yet another mission to Shakespeare's Henry, is vividly described by the playwright:
EXETER Here comes the herald of the French, my liege.
GLOUCESTER His eyes are humbler than they used to be.
KING How now, what means this, herald? Know'st thou not
That I have fined these bones of mine for ransom? . . .1
MONTJOY No, great King.
I come to thee for charitable licence,
That we may wander o'er this bloody field
To book our dead and then to bury them,
To sort our nobles from our common men --
For many of our princes, woe the while,
Lie drowned and soaked in mercenary blood.
So do our vulgar drench their peasant limbs
In blood of princes, and their wounded steeds
Fret fetlock-deep in gore, and with wild rage
Jerk out their armèd heels at their dead masters,
Killing them twice. O give us leave, great King,
To view the field in safety, and dispose
Of their dead bodies.
KING I tell thee truly, herald,
I know not if the day be ours or no,
For yet a many of your horsemen peer