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Navigate this workHenry V
Act 3, scene 5
The French nobles speak of their shame at the success of Henry’s invasion. The French King plans to block Henry’s march to Calais and orders the royal herald Montjoy sent to Henry to learn how much ransom Henry will pay for his release from certain capture by the French.Enter the King of France, the Dauphin, ⌜the Duke of
Brittany,⌝ the Constable of France, and others.
KING OF FRANCE
1385 ’Tis certain he hath passed the river Somme.
1386 An if he be not fought withal, my lord,
1387 Let us not live in France. Let us quit all,
1388 And give our vineyards to a barbarous people.
1389 5 Ô Dieu vivant, shall a few sprays of us,
1390 The emptying of our fathers’ luxury,
1391 Our scions, put in wild and savage stock,
1392 Spurt up so suddenly into the clouds
1393 And overlook their grafters?
1394 10 Normans, but bastard Normans, Norman bastards!
1395 Mort de ma vie, if they march along
1396 Unfought withal, but I will sell my dukedom
1397 To buy a slobb’ry and a dirty farm
1398 In that nook-shotten isle of Albion.
1399 15 Dieu de batailles, where have they this mettle?
1400 Is not their climate foggy, raw, and dull,
1401 On whom, as in despite, the sun looks pale,
1402 Killing their fruit with frowns? Can sodden water,
1403 A drench for sur-reined jades, their barley broth,
1404 20 Decoct their cold blood to such valiant heat?
1405 And shall our quick blood, spirited with wine,
1406 Seem frosty? O, for honor of our land,
1407 Let us not hang like roping icicles
1408 Upon our houses’ thatch, whiles a more frosty
1409 25 people
1410 Sweat drops of gallant youth in our rich fields!
1411 “Poor” we ⌜may⌝ call them in their native lords.
p. 107DAUPHIN 1412 By faith and honor,
1413 Our madams mock at us and plainly say
1414 30 Our mettle is bred out, and they will give
1415 Their bodies to the lust of English youth
1416 To new-store France with bastard warriors.
1417 They bid us to the English dancing-schools,
1418 And teach lavoltas high, and swift corantos,
1419 35 Saying our grace is only in our heels
1420 And that we are most lofty runaways.
KING OF FRANCE
1421 Where is Montjoy the herald? Speed him hence.
1422 Let him greet England with our sharp defiance.
1423 Up, princes, and, with spirit of honor edged
1424 40 More sharper than your swords, hie to the field:
1425 Charles Delabreth, High Constable of France;
1426 You Dukes of Orléans, Bourbon, and of Berri,
1427 Alençon, Brabant, Bar, and Burgundy;
1428 Jacques Chatillon, Rambures, ⌜Vaudemont,⌝
1429 45 Beaumont, Grandpré, Roussi, and Faulconbridge,
1430 ⌜Foix,⌝ Lestrale, Bouciquault, and Charolois;
1431 High dukes, great princes, barons, lords, and
1433 For your great seats now quit you of great shames.
1434 50 Bar Harry England, that sweeps through our land
1435 With pennons painted in the blood of Harfleur.
1436 Rush on his host, as doth the melted snow
1437 Upon the valleys, whose low vassal seat
1438 The Alps doth spit and void his rheum upon.
1439 55 Go down upon him—you have power enough—
1440 And in a captive chariot into Rouen
1441 Bring him our prisoner.
CONSTABLE 1442 This becomes the great!
1443 Sorry am I his numbers are so few,
1444 60 His soldiers sick and famished in their march,
1445 For, I am sure, when he shall see our army,
p. 1091446 He’ll drop his heart into the sink of fear
1447 And for achievement offer us his ransom.
KING OF FRANCE
1448 Therefore, Lord Constable, haste on Montjoy,
1449 65 And let him say to England that we send
1450 To know what willing ransom he will give.—
1451 Prince Dauphin, you shall stay with us in Rouen.
1452 Not so, I do beseech your Majesty.
1453 Be patient, for you shall remain with us.—
1454 70 Now forth, Lord Constable and princes all,
1455 And quickly bring us word of England’s fall.