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For now sits Expectation in the air,
Is now transported, gentles, to Southampton. At Southampton, then, we imagine a council-chamber : several noblemen are in conversation, and among them the princes of the blood,--the king's brothers, the dukes of Bedford and Gloucester, known at the court of Henry IV. as prince John and prince Humphrey,--and the king's uncle, the duke of Exeter : Bedford is the speaker we first hear :
[traitors: [Bedford.] ?Fore heaven, his grace is bold to trust these
How smooth and even they do bear themselves,
Crowned with faith and constant loyalty.
The king hath note of all that they intend,
[Gloster.] Nay, but the man who was his closest friend,
Whom he hath grac'd and cloy'd with princely favours,
His sovereign's life—but see, the traitors come. King Henry enters the chamber with many persons of his court, to whom he speaks as he comes in: [K. Henry.] Now sits the wind fair, and we will aboard.
My lord of Cambridge,-you, my lord of Masham,-
Will cut their passage through the heart of France ? [Scroop.] No doubt, my liege, if each man do his best. [K. Henry.] We doubt not that, lord Scroop; for well we
We carry not a heart with us from hence, [know
Success and conquest to attend on us.
Your gracious majesty. [K. Henry.] My lord of Cambridge, We do not doubt you speak but as you
feel. [Grey.] Even those that were your father's enemies,
Serve you with hearts of duty, and of zeal. [K. Henry.] Therefore, Sir Thomas Grey, we are much
And shall forget the office of our hand, (thankful,
And freely pardon him. What think you, lords ? Cambridge, Scroop, and Grey, signify to the king that such lenity may be prejudicial, and advise him to retract his pardon: the king continues :
Alas! your too much love and care of me
[care Would have him punish’d. Now to our French causes :
You three, I do remember, are commissioners. [Cambridge.) We are, my liege; and you did bid us ask
To-day for our commissions. [K. Hen.] Then, Richard earl of Cambridge, there is yours;
There yours, lord Scroop of Masham; and sir knight,
will aboard to-night.-Why, how now, gentlemen ? What see you in those papers,
You ask for mercy!
mercy that was quick in us but late,
Would'st thou have practis'd on me for thy use : May it be possible, that foreign hire Should out of thee extract one spark of evil That might annoy my finger ? 'Tis so strange, That, though the truth of it stand off as plain As black and white, mine eye will scarcely see it. O, how hast thou with jealousy infected The sweetness of affiance : show men dutiful? Why, so didst thou : appear they grave and learned ? Why, so didst thou : seem they in life religious ? Why, so didst thou. Or are they spare in diet ; Free from gross passion or of mirth or anger ; Not working with the eye without the ear, And but in sober’d judgement trusting neither? Such, and so finely gifted, didst thou seem ; And thus thy fall hath left a kind of blot To mark the best of men with some suspicion: Ay, this revolt of thine methinks is like Another fall of man. But hear your sentence: You have conspir'd against our royal person ; Join’d with an enemy; and from his coffers Receiv'd the golden earnest of our death : Wherein you would have sold your king to slaughter, His princes and his peers to servitude, And his whole kingdom unto desolation. Touching our person, seek we no revenge ; But we our kingdom's safety must so tender, Whose ruin you three sought, that to her laws We do deliver you. Go therefore hence, Poor miserable wretches, to your death, The taste whereof God of his mercy give You patience to endure, and true repentance Of all your dire offences. Bear them hence!
[a pause.] Now, lords, for France. Since heaven hath brought to This dangerous treason lurking in our way, [light We doubt not of a fair and prosperous war. Cheerly to sea; the signs of war advance; No king of England, if not king of France.
THE INVASION OF FRANCE ; AND THE BATTLE OF AGINCOURT ; INDICATED BY THE CHORUS ; AND BY SCENES
AT HARFLEUR; IN THE ENGLISH CAMP IN PICARDY ; AND ON THE PLAINS OF AGINCOURT.
HISTORICAL MEMORANDA. Henry V. landed at Harfleur, Aug. 24, 1415 : the town capitulated on 18th September. The army was much wasted by the siege and the unusual heat of the season, and Henry not being able at that time to prosecute his enterprise, was obliged to think of returning to England. But he had dismissed his transports, which could not anchor in an open road on the enemy's coasts; and he lay under the necessity of marching by land to Calais before he could reach a place of safety. A French army, four times as numerous as that which remained to Henry, was ready to oppose him on his march ; and therefore he offered to sacrifice his conquest of Harfleur for a safe passage to Calais. This being rejected, he began his march with a determination of winning that hy his sword, which was refused to his entreaty; and on his way, he won the battle of Azincour or, as it is commonly called, Agincourt.
[Chorus.] Wing’d by your fancies, our swift scene shall fly
In motion of no less celerity