Henry V, by William Shakespeare

Act V

Prologue

Enter Chorus

Chorus Vouchsafe to those that have not read the story,
That I may prompt them: and of such as have,
I humbly pray them to admit the excuse
Of time, of numbers and due course of things,
Which cannot in their huge and proper life
Be here presented. Now we bear the king
Toward Calais: grant him there; there seen,
Heave him away upon your winged thoughts
Athwart the sea. Behold, the English beach
Pales in the flood with men, with wives and boys,
Whose shouts and claps out-voice the deep mouth’d sea,
Which like a mighty whiffler ’fore the king
Seems to prepare his way: so let him land,
And solemnly see him set on to London.
So swift a pace hath thought that even now
You may imagine him upon Blackheath;
Where that his lords desire him to have borne
His bruised helmet and his bended sword
Before him through the city: he forbids it,
Being free from vainness and self-glorious pride;
Giving full trophy, signal and ostent
Quite from himself to God. But now behold,
In the quick forge and working-house of thought,
How London doth pour out her citizens!
The mayor and all his brethren in best sort,
Like to the senators of the antique Rome,
With the plebeians swarming at their heels,
Go forth and fetch their conquering Caesar in:
As, by a lower but loving likelihood,
Were now the general of our gracious empress,
As in good time he may, from Ireland coming,
Bringing rebellion broached on his sword,
How many would the peaceful city quit,
To welcome him! much more, and much more cause,
Did they this Harry. Now in London place him;
As yet the lamentation of the French
Invites the King of England’s stay at home;
The emperor’s coming in behalf of France,
To order peace between them; and omit
All the occurrences, whatever chanced,
Till Harry’s back-return again to France:
There must we bring him; and myself have play’d
The interim, by remembering you ’tis past.
Then brook abridgment, and your eyes advance,
After your thoughts, straight back again to France.

Exit

Scene I. France. The English camp.

Enter Fluellen and Gower

Gower Nay, that’s right; but why wear you your leek today?
Saint Davy’s day is past.

Fluellen There is occasions and causes why and wherefore in all things: I will tell you, asse my friend, Captain Gower: the rascally, scald, beggarly, lousy, pragging knave, Pistol, which you and yourself and all the world know to be no petter than a fellow, look you now, of no merits, he is come to me and prings me pread and salt yesterday, look you, and bid me eat my leek: it was in place where I could not breed no contention with him; but I will be so bold as to wear it in my cap till I see him once again, and then I will tell him a little piece of my desires.

Enter Pistol

Gower Why, here he comes, swelling like a turkey-cock.

Fluellen ’Tis no matter for his swellings nor his turkey-cocks. God pless you, Aunchient Pistol! you scurvy, lousy knave, God pless you!

Pistol Ha! art thou bedlam? dost thou thirst, base Trojan,
To have me fold up Parca’s fatal web?
Hence! I am qualmish at the smell of leek.

Fluellen I peseech you heartily, scurvy, lousy knave, at my desires, and my requests, and my petitions, to eat, look you, this leek: because, look you, you do not love it, nor your affections and your appetites and your digestions doo’s not agree with it, I would desire you to eat it.

Pistol Not for Cadwallader and all his goats.

Fluellen There is one goat for you.

Strikes him

Will you be so good, scauld knave, as eat it?

Pistol Base Trojan, thou shalt die.

Fluellen You say very true, scauld knave, when God’s will is: I will desire you to live in the mean time, and eat your victuals: come, there is sauce for it.

Strikes him

You called me yesterday mountain-squire; but I will make you to-day a squire of low degree. I pray you, fall to: if you can mock a leek, you can eat a leek.

Gower Enough, captain: you have astonished him.

Fluellen I say, I will make him eat some part of my leek, or I will peat his pate four days. Bite, I pray you; it is good for your green wound and your ploody coxcomb.

Pistol Must I bite?

Fluellen Yes, certainly, and out of doubt and out of question too, and ambiguities.

Pistol By this leek, I will most horribly revenge: I eat and eat, I swear  —

Fluellen Eat, I pray you: will you have some more sauce to your leek? there is not enough leek to swear by.

Pistol Quiet thy cudgel; thou dost see I eat.

Fluellen Much good do you, scauld knave, heartily. Nay, pray you, throw none away; the skin is good for your broken coxcomb. When you take occasions to see leeks hereafter, I pray you, mock at ’em; that is all.

Pistol Good.

Fluellen Ay, leeks is good: hold you, there is a groat to heal your pate.

Pistol Me a groat!

Fluellen Yes, verily and in truth, you shall take it; or I have another leek in my pocket, which you shall eat.

Pistol I take thy groat in earnest of revenge.

Fluellen If I owe you any thing, I will pay you in cudgels: you shall be a woodmonger, and buy nothing of me but cudgels. God b’ wi’ you, and keep you, and heal your pate.

Exit

Pistol All hell shall stir for this.

Gower Go, go; you are a counterfeit cowardly knave. Will you mock at an ancient tradition, begun upon an honourable respect, and worn as a memorable trophy of predeceased valour and dare not avouch in your deeds any of your words? I have seen you gleeking and galling at this gentleman twice or thrice. You thought, because he could not speak English in the native garb, he could not therefore handle an English cudgel: you find it otherwise; and henceforth let a Welsh correction teach you a good English condition. Fare ye well.

Exit

Pistol Doth Fortune play the huswife with me now?
News have I, that my Nell is dead i’ the spital
Of malady of France;
And there my rendezvous is quite cut off.
Old I do wax; and from my weary limbs
Honour is cudgelled. Well, bawd I’ll turn,
And something lean to cutpurse of quick hand.
To England will I steal, and there I’ll steal:
And patches will I get unto these cudgell’d scars,
And swear I got them in the Gallia wars.

Exit

Scene II. France. A royal palace.

Enter, at one door King Henry, Exeter, Bedford, Gloucester, Warwick, Westmoreland, and other Lords; at another, the French King, Queen Isabel, the Princess Katharine, Alice and other Ladies; the Duke of Burgundy, and his train

King Henry V Peace to this meeting, wherefore we are met!
Unto our brother France, and to our sister,
Health and fair time of day; joy and good wishes
To our most fair and princely cousin Katharine;
And, as a branch and member of this royalty,
By whom this great assembly is contrived,
We do salute you, Duke of Burgundy;
And, princes French, and peers, health to you all!

King Of France Right joyous are we to behold your face,
Most worthy brother England; fairly met:
So are you, princes English, every one.

Queen Isabel So happy be the issue, brother England,
Of 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:
The 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 V To cry amen to that, thus we appear.

Queen Isabel You English princes all, I do salute you.

Burgundy My duty to you both, on equal love,
Great Kings of France and England! That I have labour’d,
With all my wits, my pains and strong endeavours,
To bring your most imperial majesties
Unto this bar and royal interview,
Your mightiness on both parts best can witness.
Since then my office hath so far prevail’d
That, face to face and royal eye to eye,
You have congreeted, let it not disgrace me,
If I demand, before this royal view,
What rub or what impediment there is,
Why that the naked, poor and mangled Peace,
Dear nurse of arts and joyful births,
Should not in this best garden of the world
Our fertile France, put up her lovely visage?
Alas, she hath from France too long been chased,
And all her husbandry doth lie on heaps,
Corrupting in its own fertility.
Her vine, the merry cheerer of the heart,
Unpruned dies; her hedges even-pleach’d,
Like prisoners wildly overgrown with hair,
Put forth disorder’d twigs; her fallow leas
The darnel, hemlock and rank fumitory
Doth root upon, while that the coulter rusts
That should deracinate such savagery;
The even mead, that erst brought sweetly forth
The freckled cowslip, burnet and green clover,
Wanting the scythe, all uncorrected, rank,
Conceives by idleness and nothing teems
But hateful docks, rough thistles, kecksies, burs,
Losing both beauty and utility.
And as 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,
The 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 every thing that seems unnatural.
Which to reduce into our former favour
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.

King Henry V If, Duke of Burgundy, you would the peace,
Whose want gives growth to the imperfections
Which you have cited, you must buy that peace
With full accord to all our just demands;
Whose tenors and particular effects
You have enscheduled briefly in your hands.

Burgundy The king hath heard them; to the which as yet
There is no answer made.

King Henry V Well then the peace,
Which you before so urged, lies in his answer.

King Of France I have but with a cursorary 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
Pass our accept and peremptory answer.

King Henry V 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,
Augment, or alter, as your wisdoms best
Shall see advantageable for our dignity,
Any thing in or out of our demands,
And we’ll consign thereto. Will you, fair sister,
Go with the princes, or stay here with us?

Queen Isabel 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 V Yet leave our cousin Katharine here with us:
She is our capital demand, comprised
Within the fore-rank of our articles.

Queen Isabel She hath good leave.

Exeunt all except Henry, Katharine, and Alice

King Henry V Fair Katharine, and most fair,
Will you vouchsafe to teach a soldier terms
Such as will enter at a lady’s ear
And plead his love-suit to her gentle heart?

Katharine Your majesty shall mock at me; I cannot speak your England.

King Henry V O fair Katharine, if you will love me soundly with your French heart, I will be glad to hear you confess it brokenly with your English tongue. Do you like me, Kate?

Katharine Pardonnez-moi, I cannot tell vat is ‘like me.’

King Henry V An angel is like you, Kate, and you are like an angel.

Katharine Que dit-il? que je suis semblable a les anges?

Alice Oui, vraiment, sauf votre grace, ainsi dit-il.

King Henry V I said so, dear Katharine; and I must not blush to affirm it.

Katharine O bon Dieu! les langues des hommes sont pleines de tromperies.

King Henry V What says she, fair one? that the tongues of men are full of deceits?

Alice Oui, dat de tongues of de mans is be full of deceits: dat is de princess.

King Henry V 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 thou 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 bargain: how say you, lady?

Katharine Sauf votre honneur, me understand vell.

King Henry V 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 have no strength in measure, yet a reasonable measure in strength. If I could win a lady at leap-frog, or by vaulting into my saddle with my armour 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 love, or bound my horse for her favours, I could lay on like a butcher and sit like a jack-an-apes, 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, nor never break for urging. If thou canst love a fellow of this temper, Kate, whose face is not worth sun-burning, that never looks in his glass for love of any thing he sees there, let thine eye be thy cook. I speak to thee plain soldier: If thou canst love me for this, take 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 livest, 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 these fellows of infinite tongue, that can rhyme themselves into ladies’ favours, 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 grow 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; and take me, take a soldier; take a soldier, take a king. And what sayest thou then to my love? speak, my fair, and fairly, I pray thee.

Katharine Is it possible dat I sould love de enemy of France?

King Henry V 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 is France and you are mine.

Katharine I cannot tell vat is dat.

King Henry V 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. Je 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 votre est France et vous etes 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 French, unless it be to laugh at me.

Katharine Sauf votre honneur, le Francois que vous parlez, il est meilleur que l’Anglois lequel je parle.

King Henry V No, faith, is’t not, Kate: but thy speaking of my tongue, and I thine, most truly-falsely, must needs be granted to be much at one. But, Kate, dost thou understand thus much English, canst thou love me?

Katharine I cannot tell.

King Henry V Can any of your neighbours tell, Kate? I’ll ask 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, gentle 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 George, compound a boy, half French, half English, that shall go to Constantinople and take the Turk by the beard? shall we not? what sayest thou, my fair flower-de-luce?

Katharine I do not know dat

King Henry V No; ’tis hereafter to know, but now to promise: do but now promise, Kate, you will endeavour 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 Katharine du monde, mon tres cher et devin deesse?

Katharine Your majestee ave fausse French enough to deceive de most sage demoiselle dat is en France.

King Henry V Now, fie upon my false French! By mine honour, in true English, I love thee, Kate: by which honour I dare not 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 stubborn 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 the worst; and thou shalt wear me, if thou wear me, better and better: and therefore tell me, most fair Katharine, 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 England 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 Harry Plantagenet is thine;’ who though I speak it before his face, if he be not fellow with the best king, thou shalt find 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, Katharine, break thy mind to me in broken English; wilt thou have me?

Katharine Dat is as it sall please de roi mon pere.

King Henry V Nay, it will please him well, Kate it shall please him, Kate.

Katharine Den it sall also content me.

King Henry V Upon that I kiss your hand, and I call you my queen.

Katharine Laissez, mon seigneur, laissez, laissez: ma foi, je ne veux point que vous abaissiez votre grandeur en baisant la main d’une de votre seigeurie indigne serviteur; excusez-moi, je vous supplie, mon tres-puissant seigneur.

King Henry V Then I will kiss your lips, Kate.

Katharine Les dames et demoiselles pour etre baisees devant leur noces, il n’est pas la coutume de France.

King Henry V Madam my interpreter, what says she?

Alice Dat it is not be de fashion pour les ladies of
France — I cannot tell vat is baiser en Anglish.

King Henry V To kiss.

Alice Your majesty entendre bettre que moi.

King Henry V It is not a fashion for the maids in France to kiss before they are married, would she say?

Alice Oui, vraiment.

King Henry V O 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 our 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.

Kissing her

You have witchcraft in your lips, Kate: there is more eloquence in a sugar touch of them 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.

Re-enter the French King and his Queen, Burgundy, and other Lords

Burgundy God save your majesty! my royal cousin, teach you our princess English?

King Henry V I would have her learn, my fair cousin, how perfectly I love her; and that is good English.

Burgundy Is she not apt?

King Henry V 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 likeness.

Burgundy 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 blame 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.

King Henry V Yet they do wink and yield, as love is blind and enforces.

Burgundy They are then excused, my lord, when they see not what they do.

King Henry V Then, good my lord, teach your cousin to consent winking.

Burgundy 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 they will endure handling, which before would not abide looking on.

King Henry V 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.

Burgundy As love is, my lord, before it loves.

King Henry V 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.

French King Yes, my lord, you see them perspectively, the cities turned into a maid; for they are all girdled with maiden walls that war hath never entered.

King Henry V Shall Kate be my wife?

French King So please you.

King Henry V 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.

French King We have consented to all terms of reason.

King Henry V Is’t so, my lords of England?

Westmoreland The king hath granted every article:
His daughter first, and then in sequel all,
According to their firm proposed natures.

Exeter Only he hath not yet subscribed 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 addition in French, Notre trescher fils Henri, Roi d’Angleterre, Heritier de France; and thus in Latin, Praeclarissimus 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.

King Henry V 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
Of France and England, whose very shores look pale
With envy of each other’s happiness,
May cease their hatred, and this dear conjunction
Plant neighbourhood and Christian-like accord
In their sweet bosoms, that never war advance
His bleeding sword ’twixt England and fair France.

All Amen!

King Henry V Now, welcome, Kate: and bear me witness all,
That here I kiss her as my sovereign queen.

Flourish

Queen Isabel 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,
Which troubles oft the bed of blessed 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!

All Amen!

King Henry V 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;
And may our oaths well kept and prosperous be!

Sennet. Exeunt

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Last updated Saturday, April 26, 2014 at 17:06