Internet Shakespeare Editions

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

Henry V (Folio 1, 1623)


72
The Life of Henry the Fift.
The sad-ey'd Iustice with his surly humme,
350Deliuering ore to Executors pale
The lazie yawning Drone: I this inferre,
That many things hauing full reference
To one consent, may worke contrariously,
As many Arrowes loosed seuerall wayes
355Come to one marke: as many wayes meet in one towne,
As many fresh streames meet in one salt sea;
As many Lynes close in the Dials center:
So may a thousand actions once a foote,
And in one purpose, and be all well borne
360Without defeat. Therefore to France, my Liege,
Diuide your happy England into foure,
Whereof, take you one quarter into France,
And you withall shall make all Gallia shake.
If we with thrice such powers left at home,
365Cannot defend our owne doores from the dogge,
Let vs be worried, and our Nation lose
The name of hardinesse and policie.
King. Call in the Messengers sent from the Dolphin.
Now are we well resolu'd, and by Gods helpe
370And yours, the noble sinewes of our power,
France being ours, wee'l bend it to our Awe,
Or breake it all to peeces. Or there wee'l sit,
(Ruling in large and ample Emperie,
Ore France, and all her (almost) Kingly Dukedomes)
375Or lay these bones in an vnworthy Vrne,
Tomblesse, with no remembrance ouer them:
Either our History shall with full mouth
Speake freely of our Acts, or else our graue
Like Turkish mute, shall haue a tonguelesse mouth,
380Not worshipt with a waxen Epitaph.
Enter Ambassadors of France.
Now are we well prepar'd to know the pleasure
Of our faire Cosin Dolphin: for we heare,
Your greeting is from him, not from the King.
385Amb. May't please your Maiestie to giue vs leaue
Freely to render what we haue in charge:
Or shall we sparingly shew you farre off
The Dolphins meauing, and our Embassie.
King. We are no Tyrant, but a Christian King,
390Vnto whose grace our passion is as subiect
As is our wretches fettred in our prisons,
Therefore with franke and with vncurbed plainnesse,
Tell vs the Dolphins minde.
Amb. Thus than in few:
395Your Highnesse lately sending into France,
Did claime some certaine Dukedomes, in the right
Of your great Predecessor, King Edward the third.
In answer of which claime, the Prince our Master
Sayes, that you sauour too much of your youth,
400And bids you be aduis'd: There's nought in France,
That can be with a nimble Galliard wonne:
You cannot reuell into Dukedomes there.
He therefore sends you meeter for your spirit
This Tun of Treasure; and in lieu of this,
405Desires you let the dukedomes that you claime
Heare no more of you. This the Dolphin speakes.
King. What Treasure Vncle?
Exe. Tennis balles, my Liege.
Kin, We are glad the Dolphin is so pleasant with vs,
410His Present, and your paines we thanke you for:
When we haue matcht our Rackets to these Balles,
We will in France (by Gods grace) play a set,
Shall strike his fathers Crowne into the hazard.
Tell him, he hath made a match with such a Wrangler,

415That all the Courts of France will be disturb'd
With Chaces. And we vnderstand him well,
How he comes o're vs with our wilder dayes,
Not measuring what vse we made of them.
We neuer valew'd this poore seate of England,
420And therefore liuing hence, did giue our selfe
To barbarous license: As 'tis euer common,
That men are merriest, when they are from home.
But tell the Dolphin, I will keepe my State,
Be like a King, and shew my sayle of Greatnesse,
425When I do rowse me in my Throne of France.
For that I haue layd by my Maiestie,
And plodded like a man for working dayes:
But I will rise there with so full a glorie,
That I will dazle all the eyes of France,
430Yea strike the Dolphin blinde to looke on vs,
And tell the pleasant Prince, this Mocke of his
Hath turn'd his balles to Gun-stones, and his soule
Shall stand sore charged, for the wastefull vengeance
That shall flye with them: for many a thousand widows
435Shall this his Mocke, mocke out of their deer hnsbands;
Mocke mothers from their sonnes, mock Castles downe:
And some are yet vngotten and vnborne,
That shal haue cause to curse the Dolphins scorne.
But this lyes all within the wil of God,
440To whom I do appeale, and in whose name
Tel you the Dolphin, I am comming on,
To venge me as I may, and to put forth
My rightfull hand in a wel-hallow'd cause.
So get you hence in peace: And tell the Dolphin,
445His Iest will sauour but of shallow wit,
When thousands weepe more then did laugh at it.
Conuey them with safe conduct. Fare you well.
Exeunt Ambassadors.
Exe. This was a merry Message.
450King. We hope to make the Sender blush at it:
Therefore, my Lords, omit no happy howre,
That may giue furth'rance to our Expedition:
For we haue now no thought in vs but France,
Saue those to God, that runne before our businesse.
455Therefore let our proportions for these Warres
Be soone collected, and all things thought vpon,
That may with reasonable swiftnesse adde
More Feathers to our Wings: for God before,
Wee'le chide this Dolphin at his fathers doore.
460Therefore let euery man now taske his thought,
That this faire Action may on foot be brought.
Exeunt.

Flourish. Enter Chorus.
Now all the Youth of England are on fire,
And silken Dalliance in the Wardrobe lyes:
465Now thriue the Armorers, and Honors thought
Reignes solely in the breast of euery man.
They sell the Pasture now, to buy the Horse;
Following the Mirror of all Christian Kings,
With winged heeles, as English Mercuries.
470For now sits Expectation in the Ayre,
And hides a Sword, from Hilts vnto the Point,
With Crownes Imperiall, Crownes and Coronets,
Promis'd to Harry, and his followers.
The French aduis'd by good intelligence
475Of this most dreadfull preparation,
Shake in their feare, and with pale Pollicy
Seeke to diuert the English purposes.
O England: Modell to thy inward Greatnesse,
Like little Body with a mightie Heart:
What