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Henry V - Act 5, scene 2
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Navigate this workHenry V - Act 5, scene 2
Act 5, scene 2
The Duke of Burgundy has brought about a meeting between French and English to sign a peace treaty. Henry delegates negotiation of the treaty to his nobles while he woos Katherine, Princess of France, who agrees to marry him. The French are brought to accept all English terms, including Henry’s right to succeed to the French throne.Enter at one door, King Henry, Exeter, Bedford,
Warwick, ⌜Westmoreland,⌝ and other Lords. At another,
Queen Isabel ⌜of France,⌝ the King ⌜of France, the
Princess Katherine and Alice,⌝ the Duke of Burgundy,
and other French.
2973 Peace to this meeting wherefor we are met.
2974 Unto our brother France and to our sister,
2975 Health and fair time of day.—Joy and good wishes
2976 To our most fair and princely cousin Katherine.—
2977 5 And, as a branch and member of this royalty,
2978 By whom this great assembly is contrived,
2979 We do salute you, Duke of Burgundy.—
2980 And princes French, and peers, health to you all.
p. 215KING OF FRANCE
2981 Right joyous are we to behold your face,
2982 10 Most worthy brother England. Fairly met.—
2983 So are you, princes English, every one.
QUEEN OF FRANCE
2984 So happy be the issue, brother Ireland,
2985 Of this good day and of this gracious meeting,
2986 As we are now glad to behold your eyes—
2987 15 Your eyes which hitherto have borne in them
2988 Against the French that met them in their bent
2989 The fatal balls of murdering basilisks.
2990 The venom of such looks, we fairly hope,
2991 Have lost their quality, and that this day
2992 20 Shall change all griefs and quarrels into love.
2993 To cry “Amen” to that, thus we appear.
QUEEN OF FRANCE
2994 You English princes all, I do salute you.
2995 My duty to you both, on equal love,
2996 Great kings of France and England. That I have
2997 25 labored
2998 With all my wits, my pains, and strong endeavors
2999 To bring your most imperial Majesties
3000 Unto this bar and royal interview,
3001 Your Mightiness on both parts best can witness.
3002 30 Since, then, my office hath so far prevailed
3003 That face to face and royal eye to eye
3004 You have congreeted, let it not disgrace me
3005 If I demand before this royal view
3006 What rub or what impediment there is
3007 35 Why that the naked, poor, and mangled peace,
3008 Dear nurse of arts, plenties, and joyful births,
3009 Should not in this best garden of the world,
3010 Our fertile France, put up her lovely visage?
3011 Alas, she hath from France too long been chased,
p. 2173012 40 And all her husbandry doth lie on heaps,
3013 Corrupting in its own fertility.
3014 Her vine, the merry cheerer of the heart,
3015 Unprunèd, dies. Her hedges, even-pleached,
3016 Like prisoners wildly overgrown with hair,
3017 45 Put forth disordered twigs. Her fallow leas
3018 The darnel, hemlock, and rank fumitory
3019 Doth root upon, while that the coulter rusts
3020 That should deracinate such savagery.
3021 The even mead, that erst brought sweetly forth
3022 50 The freckled cowslip, burnet, and green clover,
3023 Wanting the scythe, withal uncorrected, rank,
3024 Conceives by idleness, and nothing teems
3025 But hateful docks, rough thistles, kecksies, burrs,
3026 Losing both beauty and utility.
3027 55 And all our vineyards, fallows, meads, and hedges,
3028 Defective in their natures, grow to wildness.
3029 Even so our houses and ourselves and children
3030 Have lost, or do not learn for want of time,
3031 The sciences that should become our country,
3032 60 But grow like savages, as soldiers will
3033 That nothing do but meditate on blood,
3034 To swearing and stern looks, diffused attire,
3035 And everything that seems unnatural.
3036 Which to reduce into our former favor
3037 65 You are assembled, and my speech entreats
3038 That I may know the let why gentle peace
3039 Should not expel these inconveniences
3040 And bless us with her former qualities.
3041 If, Duke of Burgundy, you would the peace,
3042 70 Whose want gives growth to th’ imperfections
3043 Which you have cited, you must buy that peace
3044 With full accord to all our just demands,
3045 Whose tenors and particular effects
3046 You have, enscheduled briefly, in your hands.
3047 75 The King hath heard them, to the which as yet
3048 There is no answer made.
3049 Well then, the peace which you before so urged
3050 Lies in his answer.
KING OF FRANCE
3051 I have but with a ⌜cursitory⌝ eye
3052 80 O’erglanced the articles. Pleaseth your Grace
3053 To appoint some of your council presently
3054 To sit with us once more with better heed
3055 To resurvey them, we will suddenly
3056 Pass our accept and peremptory answer.
3057 85 Brother, we shall.—Go, uncle Exeter,
3058 And brother Clarence, and you, brother Gloucester,
3059 Warwick, and Huntington, go with the King,
3060 And take with you free power to ratify,
3061 Augment, or alter, as your wisdoms best
3062 90 Shall see advantageable for our dignity,
3063 Anything in or out of our demands,
3064 And we’ll consign thereto.—Will you, fair sister,
3065 Go with the princes or stay here with us?
QUEEN OF FRANCE
3066 Our gracious brother, I will go with them.
3067 95 Haply a woman’s voice may do some good
3068 When articles too nicely urged be stood on.
3069 Yet leave our cousin Katherine here with us.
3070 She is our capital demand, comprised
3071 Within the forerank of our articles.
QUEEN OF FRANCE
3072 100 She hath good leave.
All but Katherine, and the King ⌜of England,
and Alice⌝ exit.
KING HENRY 3073 Fair Katherine, and most fair,
p. 2213074 Will you vouchsafe to teach a soldier terms
3075 Such as will enter at a lady’s ear
3076 And plead his love-suit to her gentle heart?
KATHERINE 3077 105Your Majesty shall mock at me. I cannot
3078 speak your England.
KING HENRY 3079 O fair Katherine, if you will love me
3080 soundly with your French heart, I will be glad to
3081 hear you confess it brokenly with your English
3082 110 tongue. Do you like me, Kate?
KATHERINE 3083 Pardonnez-moi, I cannot tell wat is “like
KING HENRY 3085 An angel is like you, Kate, and you are
3086 like an angel.
KATHERINE, ⌜to Alice⌝ 3087 115Que dit-il? Que je suis semblable à
3088 les anges?
ALICE 3089 Oui, vraiment, sauf votre Grâce, ainsi dit-il.
KING HENRY 3090 I said so, dear Katherine, and I must not
3091 blush to affirm it.
KATHERINE 3092 120Ô bon Dieu, les langues des hommes sont
3093 pleines de tromperies.
KING HENRY, ⌜to Alice⌝ 3094 What says she, fair one? That the
3095 tongues of men are full of deceits?
ALICE 3096 Oui, dat de tongues of de mans is be full of
3097 125 deceits; dat is de Princess.
KING HENRY 3098 The Princess is the better Englishwoman.—
3099 I’ faith, Kate, my wooing is fit for thy
3100 understanding. I am glad thou canst speak no
3101 better English, for if thou couldst, thou wouldst
3102 130 find me such a plain king that thou wouldst think I
3103 had sold my farm to buy my crown. I know no ways
3104 to mince it in love, but directly to say “I love you.”
3105 Then if you urge me farther than to say “Do you, in
3106 faith?” I wear out my suit. Give me your answer, i’
3107 135 faith, do; and so clap hands and a bargain. How say
3108 you, lady?
KATHERINE 3109 Sauf votre honneur, me understand well.
p. 223KING HENRY 3110 Marry, if you would put me to verses or
3111 to dance for your sake, Kate, why you undid me.
3112 140 For the one, I have neither words nor measure; and
3113 for the other, I have no strength in measure, yet a
3114 reasonable measure in strength. If I could win a
3115 lady at leapfrog or by vaulting into my saddle with
3116 my armor on my back, under the correction of
3117 145 bragging be it spoken, I should quickly leap into a
3118 wife. Or if I might buffet for my love, or bound my
3119 horse for her favors, I could lay on like a butcher
3120 and sit like a jackanapes, never off. But, before God,
3121 Kate, I cannot look greenly nor gasp out my eloquence,
3122 150 nor I have no cunning in protestation, only
3123 downright oaths, which I never use till urged, nor
3124 never break for urging. If thou canst love a fellow of
3125 this temper, Kate, whose face is not worth sun-burning,
3126 that never looks in his glass for love of
3127 155 anything he sees there, let thine eye be thy cook. I
3128 speak to thee plain soldier. If thou canst love me for
3129 this, take me. If not, to say to thee that I shall die is
3130 true, but for thy love, by the Lord, no. Yet I love thee
3131 too. And while thou liv’st, dear Kate, take a fellow of
3132 160 plain and uncoined constancy, for he perforce must
3133 do thee right because he hath not the gift to woo in
3134 other places. For these fellows of infinite tongue,
3135 that can rhyme themselves into ladies’ favors, they
3136 do always reason themselves out again. What? A
3137 165 speaker is but a prater, a rhyme is but a ballad, a
3138 good leg will fall, a straight back will stoop, a black
3139 beard will turn white, a curled pate will grow bald,
3140 a fair face will wither, a full eye will wax hollow, but
3141 a good heart, Kate, is the sun and the moon, or
3142 170 rather the sun and not the moon, for it shines bright
3143 and never changes but keeps his course truly. If
3144 thou would have such a one, take me. And take me,
3145 take a soldier. Take a soldier, take a king. And what
p. 2253146 say’st thou then to my love? Speak, my fair, and
3147 175 fairly, I pray thee.
KATHERINE 3148 Is it possible dat I sould love de enemy of
KING HENRY 3150 No, it is not possible you should love the
3151 enemy of France, Kate. But, in loving me, you
3152 180 should love the friend of France, for I love France
3153 so well that I will not part with a village of it. I will
3154 have it all mine. And, Kate, when France is mine
3155 and I am yours, then yours is France and you are
KATHERINE 3157 185I cannot tell wat is dat.
KING HENRY 3158 No, Kate? I will tell thee in French,
3159 which I am sure will hang upon my tongue like a
3160 new-married wife about her husband’s neck, hardly
3161 to be shook off. Je quand sur le possession de
3162 190 France, et quand vous avez le possession de moi—let
3163 me see, what then? Saint Denis be my speed!—donc
3164 vôtre est France, et vous êtes mienne. It is as easy for
3165 me, Kate, to conquer the kingdom as to speak so
3166 much more French. I shall never move thee in
3167 195 French, unless it be to laugh at me.
KATHERINE 3168 Sauf votre honneur, le français que vous
3169 parlez, il est meilleur que l’anglais lequel je parle.
KING HENRY 3170 No, faith, is ’t not, Kate, but thy speaking
3171 of my tongue, and I thine, most truly-falsely must
3172 200 needs be granted to be much at one. But, Kate, dost
3173 thou understand thus much English? Canst thou
3174 love me?
KATHERINE 3175 I cannot tell.
KING HENRY 3176 Can any of your neighbors tell, Kate? I’ll
3177 205 ask them. Come, I know thou lovest me; and at
3178 night, when you come into your closet, you’ll question
3179 this gentlewoman about me, and, I know, Kate,
3180 you will, to her, dispraise those parts in me that you
3181 love with your heart. But, good Kate, mock me
p. 2273182 210 mercifully, the rather, gentle princess, because I
3183 love thee cruelly. If ever thou beest mine, Kate, as I
3184 have a saving faith within me tells me thou shalt, I
3185 get thee with scambling, and thou must therefore
3186 needs prove a good soldier-breeder. Shall not thou
3187 215 and I, between Saint Denis and Saint George, compound
3188 a boy, half French, half English, that shall go
3189 to Constantinople and take the Turk by the beard?
3190 Shall we not? What say’st thou, my fair flower de
KATHERINE 3192 220I do not know dat.
KING HENRY 3193 No, ’tis hereafter to know, but now to
3194 promise. Do but now promise, Kate, you will
3195 endeavor for your French part of such a boy; and
3196 for my English moiety, take the word of a king and
3197 225 a bachelor. How answer you, la plus belle Katherine
3198 du monde, mon très cher et divin déesse?
KATHERINE 3199 Your Majesté ’ave fausse French enough to
3200 deceive de most sage demoiselle dat is en France.
KING HENRY 3201 Now fie upon my false French. By mine
3202 230 honor, in true English, I love thee, Kate. By which
3203 honor I dare not swear thou lovest me, yet my blood
3204 begins to flatter me that thou dost, notwithstanding
3205 the poor and untempering effect of my visage. Now
3206 beshrew my father’s ambition! He was thinking of
3207 235 civil wars when he got me; therefore was I created
3208 with a stubborn outside, with an aspect of iron, that
3209 when I come to woo ladies, I fright them. But, in
3210 faith, Kate, the elder I wax, the better I shall appear.
3211 My comfort is that old age, that ill layer-up of
3212 240 beauty, can do no more spoil upon my face. Thou
3213 hast me, if thou hast me, at the worst, and thou shalt
3214 wear me, if thou wear me, better and better. And
3215 therefore tell me, most fair Katherine, will you have
3216 me? Put off your maiden blushes, avouch the
3217 245 thoughts of your heart with the looks of an empress,
p. 2293218 take me by the hand, and say “Harry of England, I
3219 am thine,” which word thou shalt no sooner bless
3220 mine ear withal, but I will tell thee aloud “England
3221 is thine, Ireland is thine, France is thine, and Henry
3222 250 Plantagenet is thine,” who, though I speak it before
3223 his face, if he be not fellow with the best king, thou
3224 shalt find the best king of good fellows. Come, your
3225 answer in broken music, for thy voice is music, and
3226 thy English broken. Therefore, queen of all, Katherine,
3227 255 break thy mind to me in broken English. Wilt
3228 thou have me?
KATHERINE 3229 Dat is as it shall please de roi mon père.
KING HENRY 3230 Nay, it will please him well, Kate; it shall
3231 please him, Kate.
KATHERINE 3232 260Den it sall also content me.
KING HENRY 3233 Upon that I kiss your hand, and I call you
3234 my queen.
KATHERINE 3235 Laissez, mon seigneur, laissez, laissez! Ma
3236 foi, je ne veux point que vous abaissiez votre grandeur,
3237 265 en baisant la main d’ une—Notre Seigneur!—
3238 indigne serviteur. Excusez-moi, je vous supplie, mon
3239 très puissant seigneur.
KING HENRY 3240 Then I will kiss your lips, Kate.
KATHERINE 3241 Les dames et demoiselles, pour être baisées
3242 270 devant leurs noces, il n’est pas la coutume de France.
KING HENRY 3243 Madam my interpreter, what says she?
ALICE 3244 Dat it is not be de fashion pour les ladies of
3245 France—I cannot tell wat is baiser en Anglish.
KING HENRY 3246 To kiss.
ALICE 3247 275Your Majesté entendre bettre que moi.
KING HENRY 3248 It is not a fashion for the maids in France
3249 to kiss before they are married, would she say?
ALICE 3250 Oui, vraiment.
KING HENRY 3251 O Kate, nice customs curtsy to great
3252 280 kings. Dear Kate, you and I cannot be confined
3253 within the weak list of a country’s fashion. We are
p. 2313254 the makers of manners, Kate, and the liberty that
3255 follows our places stops the mouth of all find-faults,
3256 as I will do yours for upholding the nice fashion of
3257 285 your country in denying me a kiss. Therefore,
3258 patiently and yielding. ⌜He kisses her.⌝ You have
3259 witchcraft in your lips, Kate. There is more eloquence
3260 in a sugar touch of them than in the tongues
3261 of the French council, and they should sooner
3262 290 persuade Harry of England than a general petition
3263 of monarchs.
Enter the French power, ⌜the French King and Queen
and Burgundy,⌝ and the English Lords ⌜Westmoreland
3264 Here comes your father.
BURGUNDY 3265 God save your Majesty. My royal cousin,
3266 teach you our princess English?
KING HENRY 3267 295I would have her learn, my fair cousin,
3268 how perfectly I love her, and that is good English.
BURGUNDY 3269 Is she not apt?
KING HENRY 3270 Our tongue is rough, coz, and my condition
3271 is not smooth, so that, having neither the voice
3272 300 nor the heart of flattery about me, I cannot so
3273 conjure up the spirit of love in her that he will
3274 appear in his true likeness.
BURGUNDY 3275 Pardon the frankness of my mirth if I
3276 answer you for that. If you would conjure in her,
3277 305 you must make a circle; if conjure up Love in her in
3278 his true likeness, he must appear naked and blind.
3279 Can you blame her, then, being a maid yet rosed
3280 over with the virgin crimson of modesty, if she deny
3281 the appearance of a naked blind boy in her naked
3282 310 seeing self? It were, my lord, a hard condition for a
3283 maid to consign to.
KING HENRY 3284 Yet they do wink and yield, as love is
3285 blind and enforces.
p. 233BURGUNDY 3286 They are then excused, my lord, when they
3287 315 see not what they do.
KING HENRY 3288 Then, good my lord, teach your cousin to
3289 consent winking.
BURGUNDY 3290 I will wink on her to consent, my lord, if
3291 you will teach her to know my meaning, for maids
3292 320 well summered and warm kept are like flies at
3293 Bartholomew-tide: blind, though they have their
3294 eyes; and then they will endure handling, which
3295 before would not abide looking on.
KING HENRY 3296 This moral ties me over to time and a hot
3297 325 summer. And so I shall catch the fly, your cousin,
3298 in the latter end, and she must be blind too.
BURGUNDY 3299 As love is, my lord, before it loves.
KING HENRY 3300 It is so. And you may, some of you, thank
3301 love for my blindness, who cannot see many a fair
3302 330 French city for one fair French maid that stands in
3303 my way.
KING OF FRANCE 3304 Yes, my lord, you see them perspectively,
3305 the cities turned into a maid, for they are all
3306 girdled with maiden walls that war hath ⌜never⌝
3307 335 entered.
KING HENRY 3308 Shall Kate be my wife?
KING OF FRANCE 3309 So please you.
KING HENRY 3310 I am content, so the maiden cities you
3311 talk of may wait on her. So the maid that stood in
3312 340 the way for my wish shall show me the way to my
KING OF FRANCE
3314 We have consented to all terms of reason.
KING HENRY 3315 Is ’t so, my lords of England?
3316 The King hath granted every article,
3317 345 His daughter first, and, in sequel, all,
3318 According to their firm proposèd natures.
3319 Only he hath not yet subscribèd this:
3320 Where your Majesty demands that the King of
3321 France, having any occasion to write for matter of
3322 350 grant, shall name your Highness in this form and
3323 with this addition, in French: Notre très cher fils
3324 Henri, roi d’ Angleterre, héritier de France; and thus
3325 in Latin: Praeclarissimus filius noster Henricus, rex
3326 Angliae et hœres Franciae.
KING OF FRANCE
3327 355 Nor this I have not, brother, so denied
3328 But your request shall make me let it pass.
3329 I pray you, then, in love and dear alliance,
3330 Let that one article rank with the rest,
3331 And thereupon give me your daughter.
KING OF FRANCE
3332 360 Take her, fair son, and from her blood raise up
3333 Issue to me, that the contending kingdoms
3334 Of France and England, whose very shores look pale
3335 With envy of each other’s happiness,
3336 May cease their hatred, and this dear conjunction
3337 365 Plant neighborhood and Christian-like accord
3338 In their sweet bosoms, that never war advance
3339 His bleeding sword ’twixt England and fair France.
LORDS 3340 Amen.
3341 Now welcome, Kate, and bear me witness all
3342 370 That here I kiss her as my sovereign queen.
⌜He kisses her.⌝ Flourish.
QUEEN OF FRANCE
3343 God, the best maker of all marriages,
3344 Combine your hearts in one, your realms in one.
3345 As man and wife, being two, are one in love,
3346 So be there ’twixt your kingdoms such a spousal
3347 375 That never may ill office or fell jealousy,
p. 2373348 Which troubles oft the bed of blessèd marriage,
3349 Thrust in between the paction of these kingdoms
3350 To make divorce of their incorporate league,
3351 That English may as French, French Englishmen,
3352 380 Receive each other. God speak this Amen!
ALL 3353 Amen.
3354 Prepare we for our marriage; on which day,
3355 My Lord of Burgundy, we’ll take your oath,
3356 And all the peers’, for surety of our leagues.
3357 385 Then shall I swear to Kate, and you to me,
3358 And may our oaths well kept and prosp’rous be.
Sennet. They exit.