ward of the church. Here the undaunted Margaret exerted herself for the last time in behalf of her fallen husband, and fought one of the most bloody battles which the English annals record. The invincible spirit of this heroine, who could bear up against the shocks of disaster and the reiterated blows of misfortune, is well depicted in the address which Shakespeare has made her deliver to her troops previously to this decisive engagement; where, after urging every motive to animate and encourage that greatness of mind could suggest, she concludes with a magnanimous reflection, that ever actuated her own conduct, in the various and unparallelled trials to which her chequered fortunes had exposed her—
" Why, courage, then! what cannot be avoided,
" Twere childish weakness to lament or fear."
Seconded by the gallantry of her son, the ardour of Edmund Beaufort Duke of Somerset, who commanded the van division, and the devoted attachment of a considerable army, Margaret might have been hailed the victor of the day, had there been as much knowledge and judgment as courage and fervour in her generals; but the inexperience of the Prince, and the impetuosity of the Duke, threw the advantage of the battle into the scale of the more wary Edward and his abler chieftains.