Internet Shakespeare Editions

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

Henry V (Modern, Folio)

Enter at one door King Henry, Exeter, Bedford, Warwick, 2985[Westmorland,] and other lords [(Clarence, Gloucester, and Huntingdon)]. At another, Queen Isabeau, the [French] King, [Catherine, Alice,] the Duke of Burgundy, and other French.
King Henry
Peace to this meeting, wherefore we are met.
Unto our brother France and to our sister,
2990Health and fair time of day. Joy and good wishes
To our most fair and princely cousin Catherine.
And as a branch and member of this royalty,
By whom this great assembly is contrived,
We do salute you, Duke of Burgundy.
2995And princes French, and peers, health to you all.
French King
Right joyous are we to behold your face,
Most worthy brother England; fairly met.
So are you, princes English, every one.
Queen Isabeau
So happy be the issue, brother England,
3000Of this good day and of this gracious meeting
As we are now glad to behold your eyes --
Your eyes which hitherto have borne in them
Against the French that met them in their bent
The fatal balls of murdering basilisks.
3005The venom of such looks, we fairly hope,
Have lost their quality, and that this day
Shall change all griefs and quarrels into love.
King Henry
To cry amen to that, thus we appear.
Queen Isabeau
You English princes all, I do salute you.
My duty to you both, on equal love.
Great kings of France and England, that I have labored
With all my wits, my pains, and strong endeavors,
To bring your most imperial majesties
Unto this bar and royal interview,
3015Your mightiness on both parts best can witness.
Since, then, my office hath so far prevailed
That face to face and royal eye to eye
You have congreeted, let it not disgrace me
If I demand before this royal view
3020What rub or what impediment there is
Why that the naked, poor, and mangled peace,
Dear nurse of arts, plenties, and joyful births,
Should not in this best garden of the world,
Our fertile France, put up her lovely visage?
3025Alas, she hath from France too long been chased,
And all her husbandry doth lie on heaps,
Corrupting in it own fertility.
Her vine, the merry cheerer of the heart,
Unprunèd, dies. Her hedges even-pleached,
3030Like prisoners wildly overgrown with hair,
Put forth disordered twigs. Her fallow leas
The darnel, hemlock, and rank fumitory
Doth root upon, while that the colter rusts
That should deracinate such savagery.
3035The even mead that erst brought sweetly forth
The freckled cowslip, burnet, and green clover,
Wanting the scythe, withal uncorrected, rank,
Conceives by idleness, and nothing teems
But hateful docks, rough thistles, kexes, burrs,
3040Losing both beauty and utility,
And all our vineyards, fallows, meads, and hedges,
Defective in their natures, grow to wildness.
Even so our houses, and ourselves, and children
Have lost, or do not learn for want of time
3045The sciences that should become our country,
But grow like savages -- as soldiers will
That nothing do but meditate on blood --
To swearing and stern looks, diffused attire,
And everything that seems unnatural.
3050Which to reduce into our former favor,
You are assembled, and my speech entreats
That I may know the let why gentle peace
Should not expel these inconveniences
And bless us with her former qualities.
3055King Henry
If, Duke of Burgundy, you would the peace
Whose want gives growth to th'imperfections
Which you have cited, you must buy that peace
With full accord to all our just demands,
Whose tenors and particular effects
3060You have enscheduled briefly in your hands.
The king hath heard them, to the which as yet
There is no answer made.
King Henry
Well then, the peace
Which you before so urged lies in his answer.
3065French King
I have but with a curselary eye
O'erglanced the articles. Pleaseth your grace
To appoint some of your council presently
To sit with us once more, with better heed
To re-survey them, we will suddenly
3070Pass our accept and peremptory answer.
King Henry
Brother, we shall. -- Go, uncle Exeter,
And brother Clarence, and you, brother Gloucester,
Warwick, and Huntingdon, go with the king,
And take with you free power to ratify,
3075Augment, or alter as your wisdoms best
Shall see advantageable for our dignity,
Anything in or out of our demands,
And we'll consign thereto. [To Queen Isabeau] Will you, fair sister,
Go with the princes, or stay here with us?
3080Queen Isabeau
Our gracious brother, I will go with them.
Haply a woman's voice may do some good
When articles too nicely urged be stood on.
King Henry
Yet leave our cousin Catherine here with us.
She is our capital demand, comprised
3085Within the forerank of our articles.
Queen Isabeau
She hath good leave.
Exeunt all but King Henry, Catherine [and Alice].
King Henry
Fair Catherine, and most fair,
Will you vouchsafe to teach a soldier terms
3090Such as will enter at a lady's ear
And plead his love-suit to her gentle heart?
Your majesty shall mock at me. I cannot speak your England.
King Henry
Oh, fair Catherine, if you will love me soundly 3095with your French heart, I will be glad to hear you confess it brokenly with your English tongue. Do you like me, Kate?
Pardonnez-moi, I cannot tell wat is "like me."
King Henry
An angel is like you, Kate, and you are like an 3100angel.
[To Alice] Que dit-il? Que je suis semblable à les anges?
Oui, vraiment, sauf votre grâce, ainsi dit-il.
King Henry
I said so, dear Catherine, and I must not blush to affirm it.
O bon Dieu, les langues des hommes sont pleines de tromperies!
King Henry
[To Alice] What says she, fair one? That the tongues of men are full of deceits?
Oui, dat de tongues of de mans is be full of 3110deceits. Dat is de princess.
King Henry
The princess is the better Englishwoman. I'faith, Kate, my wooing is fit for thy understanding. I am glad thou canst speak no better English, for if thou couldst, thou wouldst find me such a plain king that 3115thou wouldst think I had sold my farm to buy my crown. I know no ways to mince it in love, but directly to say "I love you." Then if you urge me farther than to say, "Do you in faith?", I wear out my suit. Give me your answer, i'faith do, and so clap hands and a 3120bargain. How say you, lady?
Sauf votre honneur, me understand well.
King Henry
Marry, if you would put me to verses or to dance for your sake, Kate, why you undid me. For the one I have neither words nor measure, and for the other I 3125have no strength in measure, yet a reasonable measure in strength. If I could win a lady at leapfrog, or by vaulting into my saddle with my armor on my back -- under the correction of bragging be it spoken -- I should quickly leap into a wife. Or if I might buffet for my 3130love or bound my horse for her favors, I could lay on like a butcher and sit like a jackanapes, never off. But before God, Kate, I cannot look greenly, nor gasp out my eloquence, nor I have no cunning in protestation, only downright oaths, which I never use till urged, 3135nor never break for urging. If thou canst love a fellow of this temper, Kate, whose face is not worth sunburning, that never looks in his glass for love of anything he sees there, let thine eye be thy cook. I speak to thee plain soldier. If thou canst love me for this, 3140take me. If not, to say to thee that I shall die is true, but for thy love, by the Lord, no. Yet I love thee too. And while thou liv'st, dear Kate, take a fellow of plain and uncoined constancy, for he perforce must do thee right, because he hath not the gift to woo in other places. For 3145these fellows of infinite tongue, that can rhyme themselves into ladies' favors, they do always reason themselves out again. What! A speaker is but a prater, a rhyme is but a ballad, a good leg will fall, a straight back will stoop, a black beard will turn white, a curled pate will 3150grow bald, a fair face will wither, a full eye will wax hollow; but a good heart, Kate, is the sun and the moon, or rather the sun and not the moon, for it shines bright and never changes, but keeps his course truly. If thou would have such a one, take me. 3155An take me, take a soldier. Take a soldier, take a king. And what say'st thou then to my love? Speak, my fair, and fairly, I pray thee.
Is it possible dat I sould love de enemy of France?
3160King Henry
No, it is not possible you should love the enemy of France, Kate, but in loving me you should love the friend of France, for I love France so well that I will not part with a village of it; I will have it all mine. And Kate, when France is mine and I am yours, then yours 3165is France, and you are mine.
I cannot tell wat is dat.
King Henry
No, Kate? I will tell thee in French, which I am sure will hang upon my tongue like a new-married wife about her husband's neck, hardly to be shook off. 3170Je quand sur le possession de France, et quand vous avez le possession de moi -- let me see, what then? Saint Denis be my speed! -- donc vôtre est France, et vous êtes mienne. It is as easy for me, Kate, to conquer the kingdom as to speak so much more French. I shall never move thee in 3175French unless it be to laugh at me.
Sauf votre honneur, le français que vous parlez, il est meilleur que l'anglais lequel je parle.
King Henry
No, faith, is't not, Kate; but thy speaking of my tongue and I thine, most truly falsely, must 3180needs be granted to be much at one. But Kate, dost thou understand thus much English? Canst thou love me?
I cannot tell.
King Henry
Can any of your neighbors tell, Kate? I'll 3185ask them. Come, I know thou lovest me, and at night when you come into your closet you'll question this gentlewoman about me; and I know, Kate, you will to her dispraise those parts in me that you love with your heart. But good Kate, mock me mercifully, the rather, 3190gentle princess, because I love thee cruelly. If ever thou beest mine, Kate, as I have a saving faith within me tells me thou shalt, I get thee with scambling, and thou must therefore needs prove a good soldier-breeder. Shall not thou and I, between Saint Denis and Saint 3195George, compound a boy, half French, half English, that shall go to Constantinople and take the Turk by the beard? Shall we not? What say'st thou, my fair flower-de-luce?
I do not know dat.
3200King Henry
No, 'tis hereafter to know, but now to promise. Do but now promise, Kate, you will endeavor for your French part of such a boy, and for my English moiety, take the word of a king and a bachelor. How answer you, la plus belle Catherine du monde, mon très cher et divin 3205déesse?
Your majesty 'ave fausse French enough to deceive de most sage demoiselle dat is en France.
King Henry
Now fie upon my false French! By mine honor, in true English, I love thee, Kate; by which honor I dare 3210not swear thou lovest me, yet my blood begins to flatter me that thou dost, notwithstanding the poor and untempering effect of my visage. Now beshrew my father's ambition! He was thinking of civil wars when he got me, therefore was I created with a 3215stubborn outside, with an aspect of iron, that when I come to woo ladies I fright them. But in faith, Kate, the elder I wax, the better I shall appear. My comfort is that old age, that ill layer-up of beauty, can do no more spoil upon my face. Thou hast me, if thou hast me, at 3220the worst; and thou shalt wear me, if thou wear me, better and better. And therefore tell me, most fair Catherine, will you have me? Put off your maiden blushes. Avouch the thoughts of your heart with the looks of an empress. Take me by the hand and say, "Harry of 3225England, I am thine." Which word thou shalt no sooner bless mine ear withal but I will tell thee aloud "England is thine, Ireland is thine, France is thine, and Henry Plantagenet is thine," who, though I speak it before his face, if he be not fellow with the best king, thou shalt 3230find the best king of good fellows. Come, your answer in broken music, for thy voice is music and thy English broken. Therefore, queen of all, Catherine, break thy mind to me in broken English: wilt thou have me?
Dat is as it shall please de roi mon père.
King Henry
Nay, it will please him well, Kate; it shall please him, Kate.
Den it sall also content me.
King Henry
Upon that I kiss your hand, and I call you my 3240queen.
Laissez, mon seigneur, laissez, laissez! Ma foi, je ne veux point que vous abaissez votre grandeur en baisant le main d'une de votre seigneurie indigne serviteure. Excusez-moi, je vous supplie, mon très puissant seigneur.
3245King Henry
Then I will kiss your lips, Kate.
Les dames et demoiselles, pour être baisées devant leurs noces, il n'est pas la coutume de France.
King Henry
Madam my interpreter, what says she?
Dat it is not be de fashion pour les ladies of 3250France -- I cannot tell wat is baiser en Anglish.
King Henry
To kiss.
Your majesty entend bettre que moi.
King Henry
It is not a fashion for the maids in France to kiss before they are married, would she say?
Oui, vraiment.
King Henry
Oh, Kate, nice customs curtsy to great kings. Dear Kate, you and I cannot be confined within the weak list of a country's fashion. We are the makers of manners, Kate, and the liberty that follows 3260our places stops the mouth of all find-faults, as I will do yours for upholding the nice fashion of your country in denying me a kiss, therefore patiently, and yielding -- [Kisses her] You have witchcraft in your lips, Kate. There is more eloquence in a sugar touch of 3265them than in the tongues of the French council, and they should sooner persuade Harry of England than a general petition of monarchs. Here comes your father.
Enter the French power [(French King, Queen Isabeau, Burgundy),] and the English 3270lords[, including Exeter and Westmorland].
God save your majesty. My royal cousin, teach you our princess English?
King Henry
I would have her learn, my fair cousin, how perfectly I love her, and that is good English.
Is she not apt?
King Henry
Our tongue is rough, coz, and my condition is not smooth, so that having neither the voice nor the heart of flattery about me, I cannot so conjure up the spirit of love in her that he will appear in his true 3280likeness.
Pardon the frankness of my mirth if I answer you for that. If you would conjure in her, you must make a circle. If conjure up love in her in his true likeness, he must appear naked and blind. Can you 3285blame her then, being a maid yet rosed over with the virgin crimson of modesty, if she deny the appearance of a naked blind boy in her naked seeing self? It were, my lord, a hard condition for a maid to consign to.
3290King Henry
Yet they do wink and yield, as love is blind and enforces.
They are then excused, my lord, when they see not what they do.
King Henry
Then good my lord, teach your cousin to 3295consent winking.
I will wink on her to consent, my lord, if you will teach her to know my meaning. For maids well summered and warm kept are like flies at Bartholomew-tide, blind, though they have their eyes, and then 3300they will endure handling, which before would not abide looking on.
King Henry
This moral ties me over to time and a hot summer, and so I shall catch the fly, your cousin, in the latter end, and she must be blind too.
As love is, my lord, before it loves.
King Henry
It is so. And you may, some of you, thank love for my blindness, who cannot see many a fair French city for one fair French maid that stands in my way.
3310French King
Yes, my lord, you see them perspectively, the cities turned into a maid, for they are all girdled with maiden walls that no war hath entered.
King Henry
Shall Kate be my wife?
3315French King
So please you.
King Henry
I am content, so the maiden cities you talk of may wait on her. So the maid that stood in the way for my wish shall show me the way to my will.
3320French King
We have consented to all terms of reason.
King Henry
Is't so, my lords of England?
The king hath granted every article:
His daughter first, and in sequel, all,
3325According to their firm proposèd natures.
Only he hath not yet subscribèd this:
where your majesty demands that the king of France, having any occasion to write for matter of grant, shall name your highness in this form and with this 3330addition, in French: Notre très cher fils Henri, Roi d'Angleterre, héritier de France; and thus in Latin: Praecarissimus filius noster Henricus, Rex Angliae et Haeres Franciae.
French King
Nor this I have not, brother, so denied
But your request shall make me let it pass.
3335King Henry
I pray you then in love and dear alliance,
Let that one article rank with the rest,
And thereupon give me your daughter.
French King
Take her, fair son, and from her blood raise up
Issue to me, that the contending kingdoms
3340Of France and England, whose very shores look pale
With envy of each other's happiness,
May cease their hatred, and this dear conjunction
Plant neighborhood and Christian-like accord
In their sweet bosoms, that never war advance
3345His bleeding sword 'twixt England and fair France.
King Henry
Now welcome, Kate, and bear me witness all
That here I kiss her as my sovereign queen.
3350Queen Isabeau
God, the best maker of all marriages,
Combine your hearts in one, your realms in one.
As man and wife, being two, are one in love,
So be there 'twixt your kingdoms such a spousal
That never may ill office or fell jealousy,
3355Which troubles oft the bed of blessèd marriage,
Thrust in between the paction of these kingdoms
To make divorce of their incorporate league,
That English may as French, French Englishmen,
Receive each other. God speak this amen.
King Henry
Prepare we for our marriage; on which day,
My lord of Burgundy, we'll take your oath,
And all the peers', for surety of our leagues.
Then shall I swear to Kate, and you to me,
3365And may our oaths well kept and prosp'rous be.
Sennet. Exeunt.