Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: James D. Mardock
Peer Reviewed

Henry V (Folio 1, 1623)


The Life of Henry the Fift.
71
Of Charles the Duke of Loraine, sole Heire male
Of the true Line and Stock of Charles the Great:
To find his Title with some shewes of truth,
220Though in pure truth it was corrupt and naught,
Conuey'd himselfe as th'Heire to th'Lady Lingare,
Daughter to Charlemaine, who was the Sonne
To Lewes the Emperour, and Lewes the Sonne
Of Charles the Great: also King Lewes the Tenth,
225Who was sole Heire to the Vsurper Capet,
Could not keepe quiet in his conscience,
Wearing the Crowne of France, 'till satisfied,
That faire Queene Isabel, his Grandmother,
Was Lineall of the Lady Ermengare,
230Daughter to Charles the foresaid Duke of Loraine:
By the which Marriage, the Lyne of Charles the Great
Was re-vnited to the Crowne of France.
So, that as cleare as is the Summers Sunne,
King Pepins Title, and Hugh Capets Clayme,
235King Lewes his satisfaction, all appeare
To hold in Right and Title of the Female:
So doe the Kings of France vnto this day.
Howbeit, they would hold vp this Salique Law,
To barre your Highnesse clayming from the Female,
240And rather chuse to hide them in a Net,
Then amply to imbarre their crooked Titles,
Vsurpt from you and your Progenitors.
King. May I with right and conscience make this claim?
Bish. Cant. The sinne vpon my head, dread Soueraigne:
245For in the Booke of Numbers is it writ,
When the man dyes, let the Inheritance
Descend vnto the Daughter. Gracious Lord,
Stand for your owne, vnwind your bloody Flagge,
Looke back into your mightie Ancestors:
250Goe my dread Lord, to your great Grandsires Tombe,
From whom you clayme; inuoke his Warlike Spirit,
And your Great Vnckles, Edward the Black Prince,
Who on the French ground play'd a Tragedie,
Making defeat on the full Power of France:
255Whiles his most mightie Father on a Hill
Stood smiling, to behold his Lyons Whelpe
Forrage in blood of French Nobilitie.
O Noble English, that could entertaine
With halfe their Forces, the full pride of France,
260And let another halfe stand laughing by,
All out of worke, and cold for action.
Bish. Awake remembrance of these valiant dead,
And with your puissant Arme renew their Feats;
You are their Heire, you sit vpon their Throne:
265The Blood and Courage that renowned them,
Runs in your Veines: and my thrice-puissant Liege
Is in the very May-Morne of his Youth,
Ripe for Exploits and mightie Enterprises.
Exe. Your Brother Kings and Monarchs of the Earth
270Doe all expect, that you should rowse your selfe,
As did the former Lyons of your Blood.
West. They know your Grace hath cause, and means, and
So hath your Highnesse: neuer King of England
Had Nobles richer, and more loyall Subiects,
275Whose hearts haue left their bodyes here in England,
And lye pauillion'd in the fields of France.
Bish. Can. O let their bodyes follow my deare Liege
With Bloods, and Sword and Fire, to win your Right:
In ayde whereof, we of the Spiritualtie
280Will rayse your Highnesse such a mightie Summe,
As neuer did the Clergie at one time
Bring in to any of your Ancestors.

King. We must not onely arme t'inuade the French,
But lay downe our proportions, to defend
285Against the Scot, who will make roade vpon vs,
With all aduantages.
Bish. Can. They of those Marches, gracious Soueraign,
Shall be a Wall sufficient to defend
Our in-land from the pilfering Borderers.
290King. We do not meane the coursing snatchers onely,
But feare the maine intendment of the Scot,
Who hath been still a giddy neighbour to vs:
For you shall reade, that my great Grandfather
Neuer went with his forces into France,
295But that the Scot, on his vnfurnisht Kingdome,
Came pouring like the Tyde into a breach,
With ample and brim fulnesse of his force,
Galling the gleaned Land with hot Assayes,
Girding with grieuous siege, Castles and Townes:
300That England being emptie of defence,
Hath shooke and trembled at th'ill neighbourhood.
B.Can. She hath bin thē more fear'd thē harm'd, my Liege:
For heare her but exampl'd by her selfe,
When all her Cheualrie hath been in France,
305And shee a mourning Widdow of her Nobles,
Shee hath her selfe not onely well defended,
But taken and impounded as a Stray,
The King of Scots: whom shee did send to France,
To fill King Edwards fame with prisoner Kings,
310And make their Chronicle as rich with prayse,
As is the Owse and bottome of the Sea
With sunken Wrack, and sum-lesse Treasuries.
Bish. Ely. But there's a saying very old and true,
If that you will France win, then with Scotland first begia.
315For once the Eagle (England) being in prey,
To her vnguarded Nest, the Weazell (Scot)
Comes sneaking, and so sucks her Princely Egges,
Playing the Mouse in absence of the Cat,
To tame and hauocke more then she can eate.
320Exet. It followes theu, the Cat must stay at home,
Yet that is but a crush'd necessity,
Since we haue lockes to safegard necessaries,
And pretty traps to catch the petty theeues.
While that the Armed hand doth fight abroad,
325Th'aduised head defends it selfe at home:
For Gouernment, though high, and low, and lower,
Put into parts, doth keepe in one consent,
Congreeing in a full and natural close,
Like Musicke.
330Cant. Therefore doth heauen diuide
The state of man in diuers functions,
Setting endeuour in continual motion:
To which is fixed as an ayme or butt,
Obedience: for so worke the Hony Bees,
335Creatures that by a rule in Nature teach
The Act of Order to a peopled Kingdome.
They haue a King, and Officers of sorts,
Where some like Magistrates correct at home:
Others, like Merchants venter Trade abroad:
340Others, like Souldiers armed in their stings,
Make boote vpon the Summers Veluet buddes:
Which pillage, they with merry march bring home
To the Tent-royal of their Emperor:
Who busied in his Maiesties surueyes
345The singing Masons building roofes of Gold,
The ciuil Citizens kneading vp the hony;
The poore Mechanicke Porters, crowding in
Their heauy burthens at his narrow gate:
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