Ramblings & ephemera

1 Henry VI: an urn … rich-jewel’d of Darius

From William Shakespeare’s Henry VI, part 1 (I: 6):

CHARLES:

‘Tis Joan, not we, by whom the day is won;
For which I will divide my crown with her,
And all the priests and friars in my realm
Shall in procession sing her endless praise.
A statelier pyramis to her I’ll rear
Than Rhodope’s or Memphis’ ever was:
In memory of her when she is dead,
Her ashes, in an urn more precious
Than the rich-jewel’d of Darius,
Transported shall be at high festivals
Before the kings and queens of France.

an urn … rich-jewel’d of Darius: George Puttenham’s The Arte of English Poesie I: 8 (In What Reputation Poesie and Poets Were in Old Time with Princes and Otherwise Generally, and How They Be Now Contemptible and for What Causes): For the respects aforesaid in all former ages and in the most civil countries and commonwealths, good Poets and Poesie were highly esteemed and much favored of the greatest Princes. For proof whereof we read how much Amyntas king of Macedonia made of the Tragical Poet Euripides. And the Athenians of Sophocles. In what price the noble poems of Homer were holden with Alexander the great, in so much as every night they were laid under his pillow, and by day were carried in the rich jewel coffer of Darius lately before vanquished by him in battle.

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