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CHARLES THE SIXTH, King of France.
LEWIS, the Dauphin.
DUKE OF GLOUCESTER, Brothers to the King. DUKES OF BURGUNDY, ORLEANS, and BOURDUKE OF BEDFORD,
DUKE OF EXETER, Uncle to the King.
DUKE OF YORK, Cousin to the King.
EARLS OF SALISBURY, WESTMORELAND, and RAMBURES and GRANDPRÉ, French Lords. WARWICK.
ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY.
BISHOP OF ELY.
EARL OF CAMBRIDGE.
SIR THOMAS GREY.
SIR THOMAS ERPINGHAM, GOWER, FLUELLEN,
MACMORRIS, JAMY, Officers in King Henry's
BATES, COURT, WILLIAMS, Soldiers in the
MONTJOY, a French Herald.
Governor of Harfleur.
Ambassadors to the King of England.
ISABEL, Queen of France.
KATHARINE, Daughter to Charles and Isabel.
ALICE, a Lady attending on the Princess
Hostess of the Boar's Head Tavern, formerly
Mistress Quickly, and now married to Pistol.
Lords, Ladies, Officers, French and English Soldiers, Citizens, Messengers, and Attendants.
A kingdom for a stage, princes to act
And monarchs to behold the swelling scene.
Then should the war-like Harry, like himself,
Assume the port of Mars; and at his heels,
Leash'd in like hounds, should famine, sword,
Crouch for employment. But pardon, gentles all,
The flat unraised spirits that hath dar'd
On this unworthy scaffold to bring forth
So great an object:
The vasty fields of France? or may we cram 12
Within this wooden O the very casques
That did affright the air at Agincourt?
O, pardon! since a crooked figure may
Attest in little place a million;
And let us, ciphers to this great accompt,
On your imaginary forces work.
Suppose within the girdle of these walls
Are now confin'd two mighty monarchies,
Whose high upreared and abutting fronts
Piece out our imperfections with your thoughts:
Into a thousand parts divide one man,
And make imaginary puissance;
Think when we talk of horses that you see them
Printing their proud hoofs i' the receiving
For 'tis your thoughts that now must deck our kings,
Carry them here and there, jumping o'er times,
Turning the accomplishment of many years
Into an hour-glass: for the which supply,
Admit me Chorus to this history;
Who prologue-like your humble patience pray,
Gently to hear, kindly to judge, our play. [Exit.
And wholesome berries thrive and ripen best
Neighbour'd by fruit of baser quality:
And so the prince obscur'd his contemplation
Under the veil of wildness; which, no doubt, 64
Grew like the summer grass, fastest by night,
Unseen, yet crescive in his faculty.
Cant. It must be so; for miracles are ceas'd;
And therefore we must needs admit the means
How things are perfected.
But, my good lord, 69
How now for mitigation of this bill
Urg'd by the commons? Doth his majesty
Incline to it, or no?
SCENE II.-The Same. The Presence Chamber.
Enter KING HENRY, GLOUCESTER, BEDFORD,
EXETER, WARWICK, WESTMORELAND, and
No woman shall succeed in Salique land: '
Which Salique land the French unjustly gloze
To be the realm of France, and Pharamond 41
The founder of this law and female bar.
Yet their own authors faithfully affirm
K. Hen. Where is my gracious lord of Can- That the land Salique is in Germany,
Exe. Not here in presence.
Send for him, good uncle.
West. Shall we call in the ambassador, my
K. Hen. Not yet, my cousin: we would be
4 Before we hear him, of some things of weight That task our thoughts, concerning us and France.
Between the floods of Sala and of Elbe;
Where Charles the Great, having subdu'd the
There left behind and settled certain French;
Who, holding in disdain the German women 48
For some dishonest manners of their life,
Establish'd then this law; to wit, no female
Should be inheritrix in Salique land:
Which Salique, as I said, 'twixt Elbe and Sala,
Is at this day in Germany call'd Meisen.
Then doth it well appear the Salique law
Enter the ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY and Was not devised for the realm of France;
Nor did the French possess the Salique land 56
Cant. God and his angels guard your sacred Until four hundred one-and-twenty years throne, And make you long become it!
Sure, we thank you.
My learned lord, we pray you to proceed,
And justly and religiously unfold
Why the law Salique that they have in France
Or should, or should not, bar us in our claim. 12
And God forbid, my dear and faithful lord,
That you should fashion, wrest, or bow your
Or nicely charge your understanding soul
With opening titles miscreate, whose right
Suits not in native colours with the truth;
For God doth know how many now in health
Shall drop their blood in approbation
Of what your reverence shall incite us to.
Therefore take heed how you impawn our person,
How you awake the sleeping sword of war:
We charge you in the name of God, take heed;
For never two such kingdoms did contend 24
Without much fall of blood; whose guiltless
Are every one a woe, a sore complaint,
'Gainst him whose wrongs give edge unto the
After defunction of King Pharamond,
Idly suppos'd the founder of this law;
Who died within the year of our redemption 60
Four hundred twenty-six; and Charles the Great
Subdu'd the Saxons, and did seat the French
Beyond the river Sala, in the year
Eight hundred five. Besides, their writers say,
King Pepin, which deposed Childeric,
Did, as heir general, being descended
Of Blithild, which was daughter to King Clothair,
Make claim and title to the crown of France. 68
Hugh Capet also, who usurp'd the crown
Of Charles the Duke of Loraine, sole heir male
Of the true line and stock of Charles the Great,
To find his title with some shows of truth,- 72
Though in pure truth, it was corrupt and
Convey'd himself as heir to the Lady Lingare,
Daughter to Charlemain, who was the son
To Lewis the emperor, and Lewis the son 76
Of Charles the Great. Also King Lewis the
Who was sole heir to the usurper Capet,
Could not keep quiet in his conscience,
Wearing the crown of France, till satisfied
That fair Queen Isabel, his grandmother,
Was lineal of the Lady Ermengare,
Daughter to Charles the aforesaid Duke of
By the which marriage the line of Charles the
Was re-united to the crown of France.
So that, as clear as is the summer's sun,
King Pepin's title, and Hugh Capet's claim,
King Lewis his satisfaction, all appear
To hold in right and title of the female:
So do the kings of France unto this day;
From whom you claim; invoke his war-like
And your great-uncle's, Edward the Black Prince,
Who on the French ground play'd a tragedy,
Making defeat on the full power of France;
Whiles his most mighty father on a hill
Stood smiling to behold his lion's whelp
Forage in blood of French nobility.
O noble English! that could entertain
With half their forces the full pride of France,
And let another half stand laughing by, 113
All out of work, and cold for action.
Ely. Awake remembrance of these valiant dead,
And with your puissant arm renew their feats:
You are their heir, you sit upon their throne,
The blood and courage that renowned them
Runs in your veins; and my thrice-puissant liege
Is in the very May-morn of his youth,
Ripe for exploits and mighty enterprises.
To fill King Edward's fame with prisoner kings,
And make your chronicle as rich with praise
As is the owse and bottom of the sea
With sunken wrack and sumless treasuries.
West. But there's a saying very old and true;
If that you will France win,
Then with Scotland first begin:
For once the eagle England being in prey,
To her unguarded nest the weasel Scot
Comes sneaking and so sucks her princely eggs,
Playing the mouse in absence of the cat,
To tear and havoc more than she can eat.
Exe. It follows then the cat must stay at
Yet that is but a crush'd necessity;
Since we have locks to safeguard necessaries 176
And pretty traps to catch the petty thieves.
While that the armed hand doth fight abroad
The advised head defends itself at home:
For government, though high and low and
Put into parts, doth keep in one consent,
Congreeing in a full and natural close,
Cant. Therefore doth heaven divide The state of man in divers functions, Setting endeavour in continual motion;
188 Freely to render what we have in charge; Or shall we sparingly show you far off The Dauphin's meaning and our embassy? 240 K. Hen. We are no tyrant, but a Christian king;
To which is fixed, as an aim or butt,
Obedience: for so work the honey-bees,
Creatures that by a rule in nature teach
The act of order to a peopled kingdom.
They have a king and officers of sorts;
Where some, like magistrates, correct at home,
Others, like merchants, venture trade abroad,
Others, like soldiers, armed in their stings, 193
Make boot upon the summer's velvet buds;
Which pillage they with merry march bring
To the tent-royal of their emperor:
Who, busied in his majesty, surveys
The singing masons building roofs of gold,
The civil citizens kneading up the honey,
The poor mechanic porters crowding in
Their heavy burdens at his narrow gate,
The sad-ey'd justice, with his surly hum,
Delivering o'er to executors pale
The lazy yawning drone. I this infer,
That many things, having full reference
To one consent, may work contrariously;
As many arrows, loosed several ways,
Unto whose grace our passion is as subject
As are our wretches fetter'd in our prisons:
Therefore with frank and with uncurbed plain-
Thus then, in few. Your highness, lately sending into France, Did claim some certain dukedoms, in the right 200 Of your great predecessor, King Edward the Third.
248 In answer of which claim, the prince our master Says that you savour too much of your youth, 204 And bids you be advis'd there's nought in France
Fly to one mark; as many ways meet in one town; 208
As many fresh streams meet in one salt sea;
As many lines close in the dial's centre;
So may a thousand actions, once afoot,
End in one purpose, and be all well borne
Without defeat. Therefore to France, my liege.
Divide your happy England into four;
Whereof take you one quarter into France,
And you withal shall make all Gallia shake, 216
If we, with thrice such powers left at home,
Cannot defend our own doors from the dog,
Let us be worried and our nation lose
The name of hardiness and policy.
K. Hen. Call in the messengers sent from the Dauphin. [Exit an Attendant. Now are we well resolv'd; and by God's help, And yours, the noble sinews of our power, France being ours, we'll bend it to our awe 224 Or break it all to pieces: or there we'll sit, Ruling in large and ample empery O'er France and all her almost kingly dukedoms, Or lay these bones in an unworthy urn, Tombless, with no remembrance over them: Either our history shall with full mouth Speak freely of our acts, or else our grave, Like Turkish mute, shall have a tongueless mouth,
Not worshipp'd with a waxen epitaph.
Enter Ambassadors of France. Now are we well prepar'd to know the pleasure Of our fair cousin Dauphin; for we hear Your greeting is from him, not from the king.
We will in France, by God's grace, play a set Shall strike his father's crown into the hazard. Tell him he hath made a match with such a wrangler 264
That all the courts of France will be disturb'd
With chaces. And we understand him well,
How he comes o'er us with our wilder days,
Not measuring what use we made of them. 268
We never valu'd this poor seat of England;
And therefore, living hence, did give ourself
To barbarous licence; as 'tis ever common
That men are merriest when they are from
But tell the Dauphin I will keep my state,
Be like a king and show my sail of greatness
When I do rouse me in my throne of France:
For that I have laid by my majesty
And plodded like a man for working-days,
But I will rise there with so full a glory
That I will dazzle all the eyes of France,
Yea, strike the Dauphin blind to look on us. 280
And tell the pleasant prince this mock of his
Hath turn'd his balls to gun-stones; and his soul