Henry V - Act 2, scene 2
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Act 2, scene 2
Henry, informed of the treachery of three of his friends, confronts them with their crimes. They throw themselves on his mercy, but, having just denied mercy to another, they are themselves denied. As they leave, now welcoming their execution as deserved, Henry looks toward his French war.Enter Exeter, Bedford, and Westmoreland.
0630 ’Fore God, his Grace is bold to trust these traitors.
0631 They shall be apprehended by and by.
0632 How smooth and even they do bear themselves,
0633 As if allegiance in their bosoms sat
0634 5 Crownèd with faith and constant loyalty.
0635 The King hath note of all that they intend,
0636 By interception which they dream not of.
0637 Nay, but the man that was his bedfellow,
0638 Whom he hath dulled and cloyed with gracious
0639 10 favors—
0640 That he should, for a foreign purse, so sell
0641 His sovereign’s life to death and treachery!
Sound Trumpets. Enter the King ⌜of England,⌝
Scroop, Cambridge, and Grey, ⌜with Attendants.⌝
0642 Now sits the wind fair, and we will aboard.—
0643 My Lord of Cambridge, and my kind Lord of
0644 15 Masham,
0645 And you, my gentle knight, give me your thoughts.
0646 Think you not that the powers we bear with us
0647 Will cut their passage through the force of France,
0648 Doing the execution and the act
0649 20 For which we have in head assembled them?
0650 No doubt, my liege, if each man do his best.
0651 I doubt not that, since we are well persuaded
0652 We carry not a heart with us from hence
0653 That grows not in a fair consent with ours,
0654 25 Nor leave not one behind that doth not wish
0655 Success and conquest to attend on us.
0656 Never was monarch better feared and loved
0657 Than is your Majesty. There’s not, I think, a subject
0658 That sits in heart-grief and uneasiness
0659 30 Under the sweet shade of your government.
0660 True. Those that were your father’s enemies
0662 With hearts create of duty and of zeal.
0663 We therefore have great cause of thankfulness,
0664 35 And shall forget the office of our hand
0665 Sooner than quittance of desert and merit
0666 According to the weight and worthiness.
0667 So service shall with steelèd sinews toil,
0668 And labor shall refresh itself with hope
0669 40 To do your Grace incessant services.
0670 We judge no less.—Uncle of Exeter,
0671 Enlarge the man committed yesterday
0672 That railed against our person. We consider
0673 It was excess of wine that set him on,
0674 45 And on his more advice we pardon him.
0675 That’s mercy, but too much security.
0676 Let him be punished, sovereign, lest example
0677 Breed, by his sufferance, more of such a kind.
KING HENRY 0678 O, let us yet be merciful.
0679 50 So may your Highness, and yet punish too.
0680 Sir, you show great mercy if you give him life
0681 After the taste of much correction.
0682 Alas, your too much love and care of me
0683 Are heavy orisons ’gainst this poor wretch.
0684 55 If little faults proceeding on distemper
0685 Shall not be winked at, how shall we stretch our eye
0686 When capital crimes, chewed, swallowed, and
0688 Appear before us? We’ll yet enlarge that man,
0691 And tender preservation of our person,
0692 Would have him punished. And now to our French
0694 65 Who are the late commissioners?
CAMBRIDGE 0695 I one, my lord.
0696 Your Highness bade me ask for it today.
SCROOP 0697 So did you me, my liege.
GREY 0698 And I, my royal sovereign.
KING HENRY, ⌜giving them papers⌝
0699 70 Then Richard, Earl of Cambridge, there is yours—
0700 There yours, Lord Scroop of Masham.—And, sir
0702 Grey of Northumberland, this same is yours.—
0703 Read them, and know I know your worthiness.—
0704 75 My Lord of Westmoreland and uncle Exeter,
0705 We will aboard tonight.—Why how now, gentlemen?
0706 What see you in those papers, that you lose
0707 So much complexion?—Look you, how they change.
0708 Their cheeks are paper.—Why, what read you there
0709 80 That have so cowarded and chased your blood
0710 Out of appearance?
CAMBRIDGE 0711 I do confess my fault,
0712 And do submit me to your Highness’ mercy.
GREY/SCROOP 0713 To which we all appeal.
0714 85 The mercy that was quick in us but late
0715 By your own counsel is suppressed and killed.
0716 You must not dare, for shame, to talk of mercy,
0717 For your own reasons turn into your bosoms
0718 As dogs upon their masters, worrying you.—
0719 90 See you, my princes and my noble peers,
0720 These English monsters. My Lord of Cambridge
0722 You know how apt our love was to accord
0724 95 Belonging to his honor, and this man
0725 Hath, for a few light crowns, lightly conspired
0726 And sworn unto the practices of France
0727 To kill us here in Hampton; to the which
0728 This knight, no less for bounty bound to us
0729 100 Than Cambridge is, hath likewise sworn.—But O,
0730 What shall I say to thee, Lord Scroop, thou cruel,
0731 Ingrateful, savage, and inhuman creature?
0732 Thou that didst bear the key of all my counsels,
0733 That knew’st the very bottom of my soul,
0734 105 That almost mightst have coined me into gold,
0735 Wouldst thou have practiced on me for thy use—
0736 May it be possible that foreign hire
0737 Could out of thee extract one spark of evil
0738 That might annoy my finger? ’Tis so strange
0739 110 That, though the truth of it stands off as gross
0740 As black and white, my eye will scarcely see it.
0741 Treason and murder ever kept together,
0742 As two yoke-devils sworn to either’s purpose,
0743 Working so grossly in ⌜a⌝ natural cause
0744 115 That admiration did not whoop at them.
0745 But thou, ’gainst all proportion, didst bring in
0746 Wonder to wait on treason and on murder,
0747 And whatsoever cunning fiend it was
0748 That wrought upon thee so preposterously
0749 120 Hath got the voice in hell for excellence.
0750 ⌜All⌝ other devils that suggest by treasons
0751 Do botch and bungle up damnation
0752 With patches, colors, and with forms being fetched
0753 From glist’ring semblances of piety;
0754 125 But he that tempered thee bade thee stand up,
0755 Gave thee no instance why thou shouldst do treason,
0756 Unless to dub thee with the name of traitor.
0757 If that same demon that hath gulled thee thus
0758 Should with his lion gait walk the whole world,
0760 And tell the legions “I can never win
0761 A soul so easy as that Englishman’s.”
0762 O, how hast thou with jealousy infected
0763 The sweetness of affiance! Show men dutiful?
0764 135 Why, so didst thou. Seem they grave and learnèd?
0765 Why, so didst thou. Come they of noble family?
0766 Why, so didst thou. Seem they religious?
0767 Why, so didst thou. Or are they spare in diet,
0768 Free from gross passion or of mirth or anger,
0769 140 Constant in spirit, not swerving with the blood,
0770 Garnished and decked in modest complement,
0771 Not working with the eye without the ear,
0772 And but in purgèd judgment trusting neither?
0773 Such and so finely bolted didst thou seem.
0774 145 And thus thy fall hath left a kind of blot
0775 To ⌜mark the⌝ full-fraught man and best endued
0776 With some suspicion. I will weep for thee,
0777 For this revolt of thine methinks is like
0778 Another fall of man.—Their faults are open.
0779 150 Arrest them to the answer of the law,
0780 And God acquit them of their practices.
EXETER 0781 I arrest thee of high treason, by the name of
0782 Richard, Earl of Cambridge.—
0783 I arrest thee of high treason, by the name of
0784 155 ⌜Henry,⌝ Lord Scroop of Masham.—
0785 I arrest thee of high treason, by the name of
0786 Thomas Grey, knight, of Northumberland.
0787 Our purposes God justly hath discovered,
0788 And I repent my fault more than my death,
0789 160 Which I beseech your Highness to forgive,
0790 Although my body pay the price of it.
0791 For me, the gold of France did not seduce,
0792 Although I did admit it as a motive
0793 The sooner to effect what I intended;
0795 Which ⌜I⌝ in sufferance heartily will rejoice,
0796 Beseeching God and you to pardon me.
0797 Never did faithful subject more rejoice
0798 At the discovery of most dangerous treason
0799 170 Than I do at this hour joy o’er myself,
0800 Prevented from a damnèd enterprise.
0801 My fault, but not my body, pardon, sovereign.
0802 God quit you in His mercy. Hear your sentence:
0803 You have conspired against our royal person,
0804 175 Joined with an enemy proclaimed, and from his
0806 Received the golden earnest of our death,
0807 Wherein you would have sold your king to
0809 180 His princes and his peers to servitude,
0810 His subjects to oppression and contempt,
0811 And his whole kingdom into desolation.
0812 Touching our person, seek we no revenge,
0813 But we our kingdom’s safety must so tender,
0814 185 Whose ruin you ⌜have⌝ sought, that to her laws
0815 We do deliver you. Get you therefore hence,
0816 Poor miserable wretches, to your death,
0817 The taste whereof God of His mercy give
0818 You patience to endure, and true repentance
0819 190 Of all your dear offenses.—Bear them hence.
⌜They⌝ exit ⌜under guard.⌝
0820 Now, lords, for France, the enterprise whereof
0821 Shall be to you as us, like glorious.
0822 We doubt not of a fair and lucky war,
0823 Since God so graciously hath brought to light
0824 195 This dangerous treason lurking in our way
0825 To hinder our beginnings. We doubt not now
0827 Then forth, dear countrymen. Let us deliver
0828 Our puissance into the hand of God,
0829 200 Putting it straight in expedition.
0830 Cheerly to sea. The signs of war advance.
0831 No king of England if not king of France.
Flourish. ⌜They exit.⌝