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Henry V

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ACT II SCENE IV France. The KING'S palace. 
 Flourish. Enter the FRENCH KING, the DAUPHIN, the DUKES of BERRI and BRETAGNE, the Constable, and others 
KING OF FRANCE Thus comes the English with full power upon us; 
 And more than carefully it us concerns 
 To answer royally in our defences. 
 Therefore the Dukes of Berri and of Bretagne, 5
 Of Brabant and of Orleans, shall make forth, 
 And you, Prince Dauphin, with all swift dispatch, 
 To line and new repair our towns of war 
 With men of courage and with means defendant; 
 For England his approaches makes as fierce 10
 As waters to the sucking of a gulf. 
 It fits us then to be as provident 
 As fear may teach us out of late examples 
 Left by the fatal and neglected English 
 Upon our fields. 15
DAUPHIN My most redoubted father, 
 It is most meet we arm us 'gainst the foe; 
 For peace itself should not so dull a kingdom, 
 Though war nor no known quarrel were in question, 
 But that defences, musters, preparations, 20
 Should be maintain'd, assembled and collected, 
 As were a war in expectation. 
 Therefore, I say 'tis meet we all go forth 
 To view the sick and feeble parts of France: 
 And let us do it with no show of fear; 25
 No, with no more than if we heard that England 
 Were busied with a Whitsun morris-dance: 
 For, my good liege, she is so idly king'd, 
 Her sceptre so fantastically borne 
 By a vain, giddy, shallow, humorous youth, 30
 That fear attends her not. 
Constable O peace, Prince Dauphin! 
 You are too much mistaken in this king: 
 Question your grace the late ambassadors, 
 With what great state he heard their embassy, 35
 How well supplied with noble counsellors, 
 How modest in exception, and withal 
 How terrible in constant resolution, 
 And you shall find his vanities forespent 
 Were but the outside of the Roman Brutus, 40
 Covering discretion with a coat of folly; 
 As gardeners do with ordure hide those roots 
 That shall first spring and be most delicate. 
DAUPHIN Well, 'tis not so, my lord high constable; 

But though we think it so, it is no matter:
 In cases of defence 'tis best to weigh 
 The enemy more mighty than he seems: 
 So the proportions of defence are fill'd; 
 Which of a weak or niggardly projection 
 Doth, like a miser, spoil his coat with scanting 50
 A little cloth. 
KING OF FRANCE Think we King Harry strong; 
 And, princes, look you strongly arm to meet him. 
 The kindred of him hath been flesh'd upon us; 
 And he is bred out of that bloody strain 55
 That haunted us in our familiar paths: 
 Witness our too much memorable shame 
 When Cressy battle fatally was struck, 
 And all our princes captiv'd by the hand 
 Of that black name, Edward, Black Prince of Wales; 60
 Whiles that his mountain sire, on mountain standing, 
 Up in the air, crown'd with the golden sun, 
 Saw his heroical seed, and smiled to see him, 
 Mangle the work of nature and deface 
 The patterns that by God and by French fathers 65
 Had twenty years been made. This is a stem 
 Of that victorious stock; and let us fear 
 The native mightiness and fate of him. 
 Enter a Messenger 
Messenger Ambassadors from Harry King of England 
 Do crave admittance to your majesty. 70
KING OF FRANCE We'll give them present audience. Go, and bring them. 
 Exeunt Messenger and certain Lords 
 You see this chase is hotly follow'd, friends. 
DAUPHIN Turn head, and stop pursuit; for coward dogs 
 Most spend their mouths when what they seem to threaten 
 Runs far before them. Good my sovereign, 75
 Take up the English short, and let them know 
 Of what a monarchy you are the head: 
 Self-love, my liege, is not so vile a sin 
 As self-neglecting. 
 Re-enter Lords, with EXETER and train 
KING OF FRANCE From our brother England? 80
EXETER From him; and thus he greets your majesty. 
 He wills you, in the name of God Almighty, 
 That you divest yourself, and lay apart 
 The borrow'd glories that by gift of heaven, 
 By law of nature and of nations, 'long 85
 To him and to his heirs; namely, the crown 
 And all wide-stretched honours that pertain 
 By custom and the ordinance of times 
 Unto the crown of France. That you may know 
 'Tis no sinister nor no awkward claim, 90
 Pick'd from the worm-holes of long-vanish'd days, 
 Nor from the dust of old oblivion raked, 
 He sends you this most memorable line, 
 In every branch truly demonstrative; 
 Willing to overlook this pedigree: 95
 And when you find him evenly derived 
 From his most famed of famous ancestors, 
 Edward the Third, he bids you then resign 
 Your crown and kingdom, indirectly held 
 From him the native and true challenger. 100
KING OF FRANCE Or else what follows? 
EXETER Bloody constraint; for if you hide the crown 
 Even in your hearts, there will he rake for it: 
 Therefore in fierce tempest is he coming, 
 In thunder and in earthquake, like a Jove, 105
 That, if requiring fail, he will compel; 
 And bids you, in the bowels of the Lord, 
 Deliver up the crown, and to take mercy 
 On the poor souls for whom this hungry war 
 Opens his vasty jaws; and on your head 110
 Turning the widows' tears, the orphans' cries 
 The dead men's blood, the pining maidens groans, 
 For husbands, fathers and betrothed lovers, 
 That shall be swallow'd in this controversy. 
 This is his claim, his threatening and my message; 115
 Unless the Dauphin be in presence here, 
 To whom expressly I bring greeting too. 
KING OF FRANCE For us, we will consider of this further: 
 To-morrow shall you bear our full intent 
 Back to our brother England. 120
DAUPHIN For the Dauphin, 
 I stand here for him: what to him from England? 
EXETER Scorn and defiance; slight regard, contempt, 
 And any thing that may not misbecome 
 The mighty sender, doth he prize you at. 125
 Thus says my king; an' if your father's highness 
 Do not, in grant of all demands at large, 
 Sweeten the bitter mock you sent his majesty, 
 He'll call you to so hot an answer of it, 
 That caves and womby vaultages of France 130
 Shall chide your trespass and return your mock 
 In second accent of his ordnance. 
DAUPHIN Say, if my father render fair return, 
 It is against my will; for I desire 
 Nothing but odds with England: to that end, 135
 As matching to his youth and vanity, 
 I did present him with the Paris balls. 
EXETER He'll make your Paris Louvre shake for it, 
 Were it the mistress-court of mighty Europe: 
 And, be assured, you'll find a difference, 140
 As we his subjects have in wonder found, 
 Between the promise of his greener days 
 And these he masters now: now he weighs time 
 Even to the utmost grain: that you shall read 
 In your own losses, if he stay in France. 145
KING OF FRANCE To-morrow shall you know our mind at full. 
EXETER Dispatch us with all speed, lest that our king 
 Come here himself to question our delay; 
 For he is footed in this land already. 
KING OF FRANCE You shall be soon dispatch's with fair conditions: 150
 A night is but small breath and little pause 
 To answer matters of this consequence. 
 Flourish. Exeunt 

Henry V, Act 3, Scene 1


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