You know Manningham’s story of the burgher’s wife who bade Dick Burbage to her bed after she had seen him in Richard III and how Shakespeare, overhearing, without more ado about nothing, took the cow by the horns and, when Burbage came knocking at the gate, answered from the capon’s blankets: William the conqueror came before Richard III.
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Despite numerous attempts, England has not been successfully conquered by a foreign power since William the Conqueror almost a thousand years ago.
’Perhaps it doesn’t understand English,’ thought Alice; ’I daresay it’s a French mouse, come over with William the Conqueror.’