HENRY V

Henry V, Act 1, Scene 2, 260-298
Arden 3 | T.W. Craik | London: Bloomsbury, 1995 | 119-122

“We are glad the Dauphin is so pleasant with us.”

Scene
Arden 3

HENRY V
We are glad the Dauphin is so pleasant with us.               260
His present and your pains we thank you for.
When we have matched our rackets to these balls
We will in France, by God’s grace, play a set
Shall strike his father’s crown into the hazard.
Tell him he hath made a match with such a wrangler       265
That all the courts of France shall be disturbed
With chases. And we understand him well,
How he comes o’er us with our wilder days,
Not measuring what use we made of them.
We never valued this poor seat of England,                       270
And therefore living hence did give ourself
To barbarous licence, as ’tis ever common
That men are merriest when they are from home.
But tell the Dauphin I will keep my state,
Be like a king and show my sail of greatness,                     275
When I do rouse me in my throne of France.
For that have I laid by my majesty
And plodded like a man for working-days,
But I will rise there with so full a glory
That I will dazzle all the eyes of France,                              280
Yea, strike the Dauphin blind to look on us.
And tell the pleasant Prince this mock of his
Hath turned his balls to gun-stones, and his soul
Shall stand sore charged for the wasteful vengeance
That shall fly with them; for many a thousand widows        285
Shall this his mock mock out of their dear husbands,
Mock mothers from their sons, mock castles down,
And some are yet ungotten and unborn
That shall have cause to curse the Dauphin’s scorn.
But this lies all within the will of God,                                    290
To whom I do appeal, and in whose name
Tell you the Dauphin I am coming on
To venge me as I may, and to put forth
My rightful hand in a well-hallowed cause.
So get you hence in peace. And tell the Dauphin                  295
His jest will savour but of shallow wit
When thousands weep more than did laugh at it. –
Convey them with safe conduct. – Fare you well.

Words and Pronunciation +
Arden 3

Words

O God: one of several apostrophes to the Deity by Juliet. (Weis)

honey: sweet, used here adjectivally; honey was the standard sweetener in Shakespeare’s day, and Juliet is humouring Nurse. (Weis)

aweary: tired (Leung); weary, tired (SW)

jaunt: fatiguing journey (cited in OED) (Weis)

have I: have I had (Weis)

would: 3. a. Denoting expression (usually authoritative) of a wish or intention: Determine, decree, ordain, enjoin, give order (that something be done). Obs. (OED)

Jesu: not yet banned at this date and, outside RJ, used exclusively in the history plays, particularly in the Henry IVs (Weis)

stay the circumstance: wait for the detail (see without circumstance, 5.3.181) (Weis)

circumstance: special argument, detailed explanation (SW); circumlocution, verbiage, unnecessary detail (SW): pageantry, ceremony, spectacle (SW)

simple: foolish; Nurse picks up Juliet’s formal dichotomy of good and bad while ignoring the substance of her question. (Weis); foolish, silly, stupid (SW)

flower of courtesy: effectively a non sequitur after flower of courtesy since gentleness could be thought to be part of courtesy; ‘as gentle as a lamb’ is proverbial (Dent, L34). (Weis)

go thy ways: ‘Lucky you!’ ways: well done (SW), carry on, go ahead (SW); get along, be off (SW)

wench:  a term of endearment for a young woman (OED sb. c) (Weis)

serve God: ‘Be good.’ (Weis)

dined: had your midday meal (Weis)

as: as if (Weis, re: line 49)

beshrew your heart: a mild and humorous imprecation on Juliet’s romantic heart for sending Nurse on this ‘back-breaking’ trip (cf. MA 5.1.55) (Weis)

beshrew: blame, censure, take to task, wish mischief on (SW); curse, devil take, evil befall (SW)

jauncing: prancing about (cited under OED jaunce v.)(Weis); jaunce: jaunt, trudge about, run around (SW); jaunt, fatiguing journey (SW)

honest: honourable (Weis); honourable, respectable, upright (SW); genuine, real, true (SW); innocent, well-intentioned, innocuous (SW)

warrant: assure, promise, guarantee, confirm (SW)

oddly: unequally, unevenly; or unusually, in a peculiar way (SW)

O God’s Lady: ‘by the Virgin Mary’ (Weis)

hot: eager, with a teasing intimation of unbecoming sexual passion (Weis); active, vigourous (SW); hot-tempered, angry, passionate (SW); fast, hasty (SW); lecherous, lustful, hot-blooded (SW); amorous, sexually eager, ardent, appetent (Partridge)

marry come up: a proverbial expression of indignant or amused surprise (Dent, M699.2) (Weis); expression of (real or playful) impatience (SW)

marry: [exclamation] by Mary (SW)

I trow: here meaning ‘surely’ (OED v. 4b glosses ‘I suppose’) (Weis); trow: (I) wonder, (I) ask you (SW); think, expect, believe (SW); believe, give credence to, accept as true (SW); hope, trust, suppose (SW); think, be sure (SW); know, guess, imagine (SW)

poultice: soothing dressing (Shakespeare’s only usage of the word) (Weis);1. A moist, usually heated mass of a substance with a soft, pasty consistency, applied to the skin, usually by means of a bandage or dressing, in order to promote healing, reduce swelling, relieve pain, etc.; a fomentation, a cataplasm. Also figurative. (OED)

coil: ado, fuss; cf. ‘I am not worth this coil that’s made for me’ (KJ 2.1.165).(Weis); turmoil, disturbance, fuss (SW); 1. Noisy disturbance, ‘row’; ‘tumult, turmoil, bustle, stir, hurry, confusion’ (Johnson).2. Confused noise of inanimate things; clutter, rattle, confused din. 3. Fuss, ado; a ‘business’.  4.a. to keep a coil: to keep up a disturbance; make a fuss, bustle, much ado.

shrift:  confession (Leung, SW); absolution (SW); confessional, place for hearing confession (SW)

hie: hasten, go quickly (also at 72, 77, 78) (Weis); hasten, hurry, speed (SW)

cell: small, humble dwelling (SW)

stays: waits (Leung); stay: stay in hiding, remain hidden (SW); staying, remaining, continued presence (SW); remain, continue, endure (SW); wait (for), await (SW)

wanton blood: Juliet is starting to blush (Weis)

blood: spirit, vigour, mettle (SW); anger, temper, passion (SW); colouring, healthy complexion, blushing (SW); hot blood, the blood as affected by sexual passion (Partridge, 67)

wanton: feminine; or: childlike (SW); lascivious, lewd, obscene (SW); carefree, lighthearted, frolicsome, playful (SW)

climb: to climb a woman’s legs (as though they were the limb of a tree) and then enjoy her (Partridge, 80)

bird’s nest: i.e. Juliet’s bedroom; the idiom ‘to climb a bird’s nest’ may have been proverbial (Dent, N124.1). (Weis) pudend and pubic hair (Partridge, 66)

at any: hasten, go quickly (also at 72, 77, 78) (Weis)

drudge and toil in your delight: ‘I am a mean labourer and hack, and I labour for your pleasure.’ (Weis)

drudge: slave, serf, lackey (SW)

bear the burden: assume responsibility for what will ensue; but also suggesting that Juliet will experience the weight of Romeo’s body during love-making (cf. AC 1.5.22).(Weis); bear: to bear children; to bear, support, a superincumbent man (Partridge, 63)

soon at night: tonight (proverbial; Dent, S639.1) (Weis); quickly, in a short time (SW)

hie to high fortune: Wish me luck. (No Fear Shakespeare Translation)

Pronunciation +

lookest: possibly “look’st” (Leung, also: Arden CWRE, 1998)

shamest: (line 23) Q2–3; sham’st Q4, F; not in Q1 (Weis)

Jesu: (line 29) jeez-yoo or jee-zoo; jayz-yoo or jay-zoo

you: (line 29) The more formal pronoun is used consistently by Nurse when addressing Juliet, while the 13-year-old uses the familiar thou, thee, thy to her servant, in conformity with the etiquette of the day in which social class overrides age. (Weis)

marry: (line 62) mah-ree (UK); meh-ree (US) (OED)

trow: (line 62) tr-ah-oo (UK); tr-oh (US) (OED)

hie: (line 68) hah-ee

wanton: (line 70) want-en or want-in

+prose: (lines 38-45) The nurse switches to prose for this speech.

Translation
No Fear Shakespeare

KING HENRY
I’m happy the Dauphin has such a good sense of humor. Thank you for his present and your trouble. Once I’ve put my rackets to these balls, I’ll play a set in France, God willing, that will knock his father’s crown right out of the court. Tell him he’s got himself such a willing opponent that we’ll be chasing balls all over France. And I understand perfectly his sneering reference to my wilder days. He doesn’t realize how useful they were to me. For a long time, I didn’t value this humble throne of England, and therefore lived at some remove and gave myself over to riotous living.

Men tend to be at their most irresponsible when they’re away from home. But tell the Dauphin I will retain the dignity of kingship and appear all the more royal and glorious on the throne of France. Precisely for this purpose I went about like a commoner and experienced the life of the ordinary man. Now I’ll rise there with such glory that I’ll dazzle all the eyes of France. I’ll shine so brightly that even the Dauphin will be struck blind. And tell the laughing prince that this joke of his has transformed his tennis balls into cannon balls, and the destructive vengeance they bring with them will be his responsibility. His mocking will mock many thousands of widows out of their husbands. It will mock mothers out of their sons, and mock castles down. There are people yet unborn and unconceived who will have reason to curse the Dauphin’s scorn. But all this lies with God, to whom I do appeal. In God’s name, inform the Dauphin I am coming, to avenge myself and to put forth my rightful hand in a sanctified cause. So go in peace. And tell the Dauphin his joke will look pretty stupid when thousands more weep than ever laughed at it. (to attendants) Give them safe conduct.—Farewell.

Assonance
Arden 3

HENRY V
We are glad the Dauphin is so pleasant with us.               260
His present and your pains we thank you for.
When we have matched our rackets to these balls
We will in France, by God’s grace, play a set
Shall strike his father’s crown into the hazard.
Tell him he hath made a match with such a wrangler       265
That all the courts of France shall be disturbed
With chases. And we understand him well,
How he comes o’er us with our wilder days,
Not measuring what use we made of them.
We never valued this poor seat of England,                       270
And therefore living hence did give ourself
To barbarous licence, as ’tis ever common
That men are merriest when they are from home.
But tell the Dauphin I will keep my state,
Be like a king and show my sail of greatness,                     275
When I do rouse me in my throne of France.
For that have I laid by my majesty
And plodded like a man for working-days,
But I will rise there with so full a glory
That I will dazzle all the eyes of France,                              280
Yea, strike the Dauphin blind to look on us.
And tell the pleasant Prince this mock of his
Hath turned his balls to gun-stones, and his soul
Shall stand sore charged for the wasteful vengeance
That shall fly with them; for many a thousand widows        285
Shall this his mock mock out of their dear husbands,
Mock mothers from their sons, mock castles down,
And some are yet ungotten and unborn
That shall have cause to curse the Dauphin’s scorn.
But this lies all within the will of God,                                    290
To whom I do appeal, and in whose name
Tell you the Dauphin I am coming on
To venge me as I may, and to put forth
My rightful hand in a well-hallowed cause.
So get you hence in peace. And tell the Dauphin                  295
His jest will savour but of shallow wit
When thousands weep more than did laugh at it. –
Convey them with safe conduct. – Fare you well.

Alliteration
Arden 3 | 2012

HENRY V
We are glad the Dauphin is so pleasant with us.               260
His present and your pains we thank you for.
When we have matched our rackets to these balls
We will in France, by God’s grace, play a set
Shall strike his father’s crown into the hazard.
Tell him he hath made a match with such a wrangler       265
That all the courts of France shall be disturbed
With chases. And we understand him well,
How he comes o’er us with our wilder days,
Not measuring what use we made of them.
We never valued this poor seat of England,                       270
And therefore living hence did give ourself
To barbarous licence, as ’tis ever common
That men are merriest when they are from home.
But tell the Dauphin I will keep my state,
Be like a king and show my sail of greatness,                     275
When I do rouse me in my throne of France.
For that have I laid by my majesty
And plodded like a man for working-days,
But I will rise there with so full a glory
That I will dazzle all the eyes of France,                              280
Yea, strike the Dauphin blind to look on us.
And tell the pleasant Prince this mock of his
Hath turned his balls to gun-stones, and his soul
Shall stand sore charged for the wasteful vengeance
That shall fly with them; for many a thousand widows        285
Shall this his mock mock out of their dear husbands,
Mock mothers from their sons, mock castles down,
And some are yet ungotten and unborn
That shall have cause to curse the Dauphin’s scorn.
But this lies all within the will of God,                                    290
To whom I do appeal, and in whose name
Tell you the Dauphin I am coming on
To venge me as I may, and to put forth
My rightful hand in a well-hallowed cause.
So get you hence in peace. And tell the Dauphin                  295
His jest will savour but of shallow wit
When thousands weep more than did laugh at it. –
Convey them with safe conduct. – Fare you well.

Consonance
Arden 3 | 2012

HENRY V
We are glad the Dauphin is so pleasant with us.               260
His present and your pains we thank you for.
When we have matched our rackets to these balls
We will in France, by God’s grace, play a set
Shall strike his father’s crown into the hazard.
Tell him he hath made a match with such a wrangler       265
That all the courts of France shall be disturbed
With chases. And we understand him well,
How he comes o’er us with our wilder days,
Not measuring what use we made of them.
We never valued this poor seat of England,                       270
And therefore living hence did give ourself
To barbarous licence, as ’tis ever common
That men are merriest when they are from home.
But tell the Dauphin I will keep my state,
Be like a king and show my sail of greatness,                     275
When I do rouse me in my throne of France.
For that have I laid by my majesty
And plodded like a man for working-days,
But I will rise there with so full a glory
That I will dazzle all the eyes of France,                              280
Yea, strike the Dauphin blind to look on us.
And tell the pleasant Prince this mock of his
Hath turned his balls to gun-stones, and his soul
Shall stand sore charged for the wasteful vengeance
That shall fly with them; for many a thousand widows        285
Shall this his mock mock out of their dear husbands,
Mock mothers from their sons, mock castles down,
And some are yet ungotten and unborn
That shall have cause to curse the Dauphin’s scorn.
But this lies all within the will of God,                                    290
To whom I do appeal, and in whose name
Tell you the Dauphin I am coming on
To venge me as I may, and to put forth
My rightful hand in a well-hallowed cause.
So get you hence in peace. And tell the Dauphin                  295
His jest will savour but of shallow wit
When thousands weep more than did laugh at it. –
Convey them with safe conduct. – Fare you well.

Thoughts
Arden 3 | 2012

HENRY V
1. We are glad the Dauphin is so pleasant with us.               260
2. His present and your pains we thank you for.
3. When we have matched our rackets to these balls
We will in France, by God’s grace, play a set
Shall strike his father’s crown into the hazard.
4. Tell him he hath made a match with such a wrangler       265
That all the courts of France shall be disturbed
With chases. 5. And we understand him well,
How he comes o’er us with our wilder days,
Not measuring what use we made of them.
6. We never valued this poor seat of England,                       270
And therefore living hence did give ourself
To barbarous licence, as ’tis ever common
That men are merriest when they are from home.
7. But tell the Dauphin I will keep my state,
Be like a king and show my sail of greatness,                     275
When I do rouse me in my throne of France.
8. For that have I laid by my majesty
And plodded like a man for working-days,
But I will rise there with so full a glory
That I will dazzle all the eyes of France,                              280
Yea, strike the Dauphin blind to look on us.
9. And tell the pleasant Prince this mock of his
Hath turned his balls to gun-stones, and his soul
Shall stand sore charged for the wasteful vengeance
That shall fly with them; b. for many a thousand widows        285
Shall this his mock mock out of their dear husbands,
Mock mothers from their sons, mock castles down,
And some are yet ungotten and unborn
That shall have cause to curse the Dauphin’s scorn.
10. But this lies all within the will of God,                                    290
To whom I do appeal, and in whose name
Tell you the Dauphin I am coming on
To venge me as I may, and to put forth
My rightful hand in a well-hallowed cause.
11. So get you hence in peace. 12. And tell the Dauphin                  295
His jest will savour but of shallow wit
When thousands weep more than did laugh at it. –
13. Convey them with safe conduct. 14. – Fare you well.

THOUGHTS

Long: 3
Medium: 6
Short: 5
Complex: 1 | 2

End stopped: 11
Midline: 3

Period: 14
Exclamation: 0
Question: 0
Dash: 0

Total: 14

Rhythm
Arden 3 | 2012

HENRY V
We are glad the Dauphin is so pleasant with us.  12         260
His present and your pains we thank you for. 10R
When we have matched our rackets to these balls 10R
We will in France, by God’s grace, play a set 10|10R
Shall strike his father’s crown into the hazard. 10|10R
Tell him he hath made a match with such a wrangler   11W    265
That all the courts of France shall be disturbed 10R
With chases. And we understand him well, 10R
How he comes o’er us with our wilder days, 10R
Not measuring what use we made of them. 10R
We never valued this poor seat of England,   10|10R              270
And therefore living hence did give ourself  10R
To barbarous licence, as ’tis ever common 11W
That men are merriest when they are from home.  10R
But tell the Dauphin I will keep my state, 10R
Be like a king and show my sail of greatness,  11W                 275
When I do rouse me in my throne of France. 10R
For that have I laid by my majesty 10|10R
And plodded like a man for working-days, 10R
But I will rise there with so full a glory 11W
That I will dazzle all the eyes of France,  10R                          280
Yea, strike the Dauphin blind to look on us.  10|10R
And tell the pleasant Prince this mock of his 10R
Hath turned his balls to gun-stones, and his soul 10R
Shall stand sore charged for the wasteful vengeance 10W
That shall fly with them; for many a thousand widows   12W|13Wec     285
Shall this his mock mock out of their dear husbands, 11W
Mock mothers from their sons, mock castles down, 10R
And some are yet ungotten and unborn 10R
That shall have cause to curse the Dauphin’s scorn. 10R
But this lies all within the will of God,  10R                                290
To whom I do appeal, and in whose name 10R
Tell you the Dauphin I am coming on 10R
To venge me as I may, and to put forth 10|10R
My rightful hand in a well-hallowed cause. 10
So get you hence in peace. And tell the Dauphin  11W             295
His jest will savour but of shallow wit  10R
When thousands weep more than did laugh at it. – 10
Convey them with safe conduct. – Fare you well. 10R

Pacing
Arden 3 | 2012

HENRY V
We are glad the Dauphin is so pleasant with us.  PAUSE?      260
His present and your pains we thank you for.  PAUSE?
When we have matched our rackets to these balls
We will in France, <c> by God’s grace, <c> play a set
Shall strike his father’s crown into the hazard. PAUSE?
Tell him he hath made a match with such a wrangler       265
That all the courts of France shall be disturbed
With chases. <c> And we understand him well,
How he comes o’er us with our wilder days,
Not measuring what use we made of them.  PAUSE?
We never valued this poor seat of England,                       270
And therefore living hence did give ourself
To barbarous licence, <c> as ’tis ever common
That men are merriest when they are from home. PAUSE?
But tell the Dauphin I will keep my state,
Be like a king and show my sail of greatness,                     275
When I do rouse me in my throne of France. PAUSE?
For that have I laid by my majesty
And plodded like a man for working-days,
But I will rise there with so full a glory
That I will dazzle all the eyes of France,                              280
Yea, strike the Dauphin blind to look on us.  PAUSE?
And tell the pleasant Prince this mock of his
Hath turned his balls to gun-stones, and his soul
Shall stand sore charged for the wasteful vengeance
That shall fly with them; <Ec> for many a thousand widows        285
Shall this his mock mock out of their dear husbands,
Mock mothers from their sons, mock castles down,
And some are yet ungotten and unborn
That shall have cause to curse the Dauphin’s scorn.  PAUSE?
But this lies all within the will of God,                                    290
To whom I do appeal, and in whose name
Tell you the Dauphin I am coming on
To venge me as I may, and to put forth
My rightful hand in a well-hallowed cause.  PAUSE?
So get you hence in peace. <c> And tell the Dauphin                  295
His jest will savour but of shallow wit
When thousands weep more than did laugh at it. – PAUSE?
Convey them with safe conduct. <c> – Fare you well. PAUSE?

Beats
Arden 3 | 2012

HENRY V
We are glad the Dauphin is so pleasant with us.               260
His present and your pains we thank you for.


When we have matched our rackets to these balls
We will in France, by God’s grace, play a set
Shall strike his father’s crown into the hazard.
Tell him he hath made a match with such a wrangler       265
That all the courts of France shall be disturbed
With chases.


————–And we understand him well,
How he comes o’er us with our wilder days,
Not measuring what use we made of them.
We never valued this poor seat of England,                       270
And therefore living hence did give ourself
To barbarous licence, as ’tis ever common
That men are merriest when they are from home.


But tell the Dauphin I will keep my state,
Be like a king and show my sail of greatness,                     275
When I do rouse me in my throne of France.
For that have I laid by my majesty
And plodded like a man for working-days,
But I will rise there with so full a glory
That I will dazzle all the eyes of France,                              280
Yea, strike the Dauphin blind to look on us.


And tell the pleasant Prince this mock of his
Hath turned his balls to gun-stones, and his soul
Shall stand sore charged for the wasteful vengeance
That shall fly with them; for many a thousand widows        285
Shall this his mock mock out of their dear husbands,
Mock mothers from their sons, mock castles down,
And some are yet ungotten and unborn
That shall have cause to curse the Dauphin’s scorn.


But this lies all within the will of God,                                    290
To whom I do appeal, and in whose name
Tell you the Dauphin I am coming on
To venge me as I may, and to put forth
My rightful hand in a well-hallowed cause.
So get you hence in peace. And tell the Dauphin                  295
His jest will savour but of shallow wit
When thousands weep more than did laugh at it. –


Convey them with safe conduct. – Fare you well.

Pronunciation +

shamest: (line 23) Q2–3; sham’st Q4, F; not in Q1 (Weis)

Jesu: (line 29) jeez-yoo or jee-zoo; jayz-yoo or jay-zoo

you: (line 29) The more formal pronoun is used consistently by Nurse when addressing Juliet, while the 13-year-old uses the familiar thou, thee, thy to her servant, in conformity with the etiquette of the day in which social class overrides age. (Weis)

marry: (line 62) mah-ree (UK); meh-ree (US) (OED)

trow: (line 62) tr-ah-oo (UK); tr-oh (US) (OED)

hie: (line 68) hah-ee

wanton: (line 70) want-en or want-in

Scene
Arden 3 | 2012

[1.2]
Enter the King, Gloucester, Bedford, Clarence, Warwick, Westmorland and Exeter [ and Attendants ].
KING

Where is my gracious lord of Canterbury?
EXETER

Not here in presence.
KING
Send for him, good uncle.
Exit an Attendant.
WESTMORLAND

Shall we call in th’ambassador, my liege?
KING

Not yet, my cousin: we would be resolved,
5Before we hear him, of some things of weight
That task our thoughts concerning us and France.
Enter the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Bishop of Ely.
130
CANTERBURY

God and his angels guard your sacred throne
And make you long become it!
KING
Sure, we thank you.
My learned lord, we pray you to proceed
10And justly and religiously unfold
Why the law Salic that they have in France
Or should or should not bar us in our claim.
And God forbid, my dear and faithful lord,
That you should fashion, wrest or bow your reading
15Or nicely charge your understanding soul
With opening titles miscreate, whose right
Suits not in native colours with the truth.
131
For God doth know how many now in health
Shall drop their blood in approbation
20Of what your reverence shall incite us to.
Therefore take heed how you impawn our person,
How you awake our sleeping sword of war:
We charge you in the name of God take heed.
For never two such kingdoms did contend
25Without much fall of blood, whose guiltless drops
Are every one a woe, a sore complaint
’Gainst him whose wrongs gives edge unto the swords
That makes such waste in brief mortality.
Under this conjuration speak, my lord,
30For we will hear, note, and believe in heart
That what you speak is in your conscience washed
As pure as sin with baptism.
CANTERBURY

Then hear me, gracious sovereign, and you peers
132
That owe your selves, your lives and services
35To this imperial throne. There is no bar
To make against your highness’ claim to France
But this which they produce from Pharamond:
In terram Salicam mulieres ne succedant,
‘No woman shall succeed in Salic land’:
40Which Salic land the French unjustly gloze
To be the realm of France, and Pharamond
The founder of this law and female bar.
Yet their own authors faithfully affirm
That the land Salic is in Germany,
133
45Between the floods of Sala and of Elbe ,
Where Charles the Great , having subdued the Saxons,
There left behind and settled certain French,
Who, holding in disdain the German women
For some dishonest manners of their life,
50Established then this law, to wit, no female
Should be inheritrix in Salic land;
Which Salic (as I said, ’twixt Elbe and Sala)
Is at this day in Germany called Meissen.
Then doth it well appear the Salic law
55Was not devised for the realm of France.
Nor did the French possess the Salic land
Until four hundred one-and-twenty years
After defunction of King Pharamond,
134
Idly supposed the founder of this law,
60Who died within the year of our redemption
Four hundred twenty-six, and Charles the Great
Subdued the Saxons and did seat the French
Beyond the river Sala in the year
Eight hundred five. Besides, their writers say,
65King Pepin, which deposed Childeric,
Did as heir general, being descended
Of Blithild, which was daughter to King Clothair,
Make claim and title to the crown of France.
Hugh Capet also, who usurped the crown
70Of Charles the Duke of Lorraine, sole heir male
Of the true line and stock of Charles the Great,
To fine his title with some shows of truth,
Though in pure truth it was corrupt and naught,
Conveyed himself as heir to th’ Lady Lingard ,
135
75Daughter to Charlemagne , who was the son
To Louis the Emperor, and Louis the son
Of Charles the Great. Also King Louis the Ninth ,
Who was sole heir to the usurper Capet,
Could not keep quiet in his conscience,
80Wearing the crown of France, till satisfied
That fair Queen Isabel, his grandmother,
Was lineal of the Lady Ermengard ,
Daughter to Charles the foresaid Duke of Lorraine,
By the which marriage the line of Charles the Great
85Was reunited to the crown of France.
So that, as clear as is the summer’s sun,
King Pepin’s title, and Hugh Capet’s claim,
King Louis his satisfaction, all appear
To hold in right and title of the female.
90So do the kings of France unto this day,
Howbeit they would hold up this Salic law
To bar your highness claiming from the female,
And rather choose to hide them in a net
136
Than amply to embare their crooked titles
95Usurped from you and your progenitors.
KING

May I with right and conscience make this claim?
CANTERBURY

The sin upon my head, dread sovereign:
For in the Book of Numbers is it writ,
‘When the man dies, let the inheritance
100Descend unto the daughter.’ Gracious lord,
Stand for your own, unwind your bloody flag,
Look back into your mighty ancestors.
Go, my dread lord, to your great-grandsire’s tomb,
137
From whom you claim; invoke his warlike spirit,
105And your great-uncle’s, Edward the Black Prince,
Who on the French ground played a tragedy,
Making defeat on the full power of France,
Whiles his most mighty father on a hill
Stood smiling to behold his lion’s whelp
110Forage in blood of French nobility.
O noble English, that could entertain
With half their forces the full pride of France
And let another half stand laughing by,
All out of work and cold for action!
ELY

115Awake remembrance of these valiant dead,
And with your puissant arm renew their feats.
You are their heir, you sit upon their throne,
The blood and courage that renowned them
Runs in your veins, and my thrice-puissant liege
120Is in the very May-morn of his youth,
Ripe for exploits and mighty enterprises.
138
EXETER

Your brother kings and monarchs of the earth
Do all expect that you should rouse yourself
As did the former lions of your blood.
WESTMORLAND

125They know your grace hath cause, and means, and might;
So doth your highness. Never king of England
Had nobles richer and more loyal subjects,
Whose hearts have left their bodies here in England
And lie pavilioned in the fields of France.
CANTERBURY

130O let their bodies follow, my dear liege,
With blood and sword and fire to win your right;
In aid whereof we of the spiritualty
139
Will raise your highness such a mighty sum
As never did the clergy at one time
135Bring in to any of your ancestors.
KING

We must not only arm t’invade the French,
But lay down our proportions to defend
Against the Scot, who will make road upon us
With all advantages.
140
CANTERBURY

140They of those marches, gracious sovereign,
Shall be a wall sufficient to defend
Our inland from the pilfering borderers.
KING

We do not mean the coursing snatchers only,
But fear the main intendment of the Scot,
145Who hath been still a giddy neighbour to us.
For you shall read that my great-grandfather
Never went with his forces into France
But that the Scot on his unfurnished kingdom
Came pouring like the tide into a breach,
141
150With ample and brim fullness of his force,
Galling the gleaned land with hot assays,
Girding with grievous siege castles and towns,
That England, being empty of defence,
Hath shook and trembled at th’ill neighbourhood .
CANTERBURY

155She hath been then more feared than harmed, my liege.
For hear her but exampled by herself :
When all her chivalry hath been in France
And she a mourning widow of her nobles,
She hath herself not only well defended
160But taken and impounded as a stray
The King of Scots, whom she did send to France,
To fill King Edward’s fame with prisoner kings
And make her chronicle as rich with praise
142
As is the ooze and bottom of the sea
165With sunken wrack and sumless treasuries.
WESTMORLAND

But there’s a saying very old and true,
If that you will France win,
Then with Scotland first begin.
For once the eagle England being in prey,
170To her unguarded nest the weasel Scot
Comes sneaking and so sucks her princely eggs,
Playing the mouse in absence of the cat,
To ’tame and havoc more than she can eat.
EXETER

It follows then the cat must stay at home;
175Yet that is but a crushed necessity,
Since we have locks to safeguard necessaries
143
And pretty traps to catch the petty thieves.
While that the armed hand doth fight abroad
Th’advised head defends itself at home.
180For government, though high and low and lower
Put into parts, doth keep in one concent ,
Congreeing in a full and natural close
Like music.
CANTERBURY
True. Therefore doth heaven divide
The state of man in diverse functions,
185Setting endeavour in continual motion,
To which is fixed, as an aim or butt,
Obedience. For so work the honey-bees,
Creatures that by a rule in nature teach
The act of order to a peopled kingdom.
190They have a king and officers of sorts,
144
Where some like magistrates correct at home,
Others like merchants venture trade abroad,
Others like soldiers, armed in their stings,
Make boot upon the summer’s velvet buds,
195Which pillage they with merry march bring home
To the tent-royal of their emperor,
Who busied in his majesty surveys
The singing masons building roofs of gold,
The civil citizens kneading up the honey,
200The poor mechanic porters crowding in
Their heavy burdens at his narrow gate,
The sad-eyed justice, with his surly hum,
Delivering o’er to executors pale
The lazy yawning drone. I this infer,
205That many things having full reference
To one consent may work contrariously,
As many arrows loosed several ways
Come to one mark,
145
As many several ways meet in one town,
210As many fresh streams meet in one salt sea,
As many lines close in the dial’s centre.
So may a thousand actions once afoot
End in one purpose and be all well borne
Without defeat. Therefore to France, my liege.
215Divide your happy England into four,
Whereof take you one quarter into France
And you withal shall make all Gallia shake.
If we with thrice such powers left at home
Cannot defend our own doors from the dog,
220Let us be worried and our nation lose
The name of hardiness and policy.
KING

Call in the messengers sent from the Dauphin .
Exeunt some Attendants.
146

Now are we well resolved; and by God’s help
And yours, the noble sinews of our power,
225France being ours, we’ll bend it to our awe
Or break it all to pieces. Or there we’ll sit,
Ruling in large and ample empery
O’er France and all her almost kingly dukedoms,
Or lay these bones in an unworthy urn,
230Tombless, with no remembrance over them.
Either our history shall with full mouth
Speak freely of our acts, or else our grave
Like Turkish mute shall have a tongueless mouth,
Not worshipped with a waxen epitaph.
Enter Ambassadors of France [ with Attendants carrying a tun ].

235Now are we well prepared to know the pleasure
147
Of our fair cousin Dauphin; for we hear
Your greeting is from him, not from the King.
AMBASSADOR

May’t please your majesty to give us leave
Freely to render what we have in charge,
240Or shall we sparingly show you far off
The Dauphin’s meaning and our embassy?
KING

We are no tyrant but a Christian king,
Unto whose grace our passion is as subject
As are our wretches fettered in our prisons:
245Therefore with frank and with uncurbed plainness
Tell us the Dauphin’s mind.
AMBASSADOR
Thus then, in few.
Your highness lately sending into France
Did claim some certain dukedoms in the right
Of your great predecessor King Edward the Third.
250In answer of which claim the Prince our master
148
Says that you savour too much of your youth
And bids you be advised. There’s naught in France
That can be with a nimble galliard won;
You cannot revel into dukedoms there.
255He therefore sends you, meeter for your spirit,
This tun of treasure, and in lieu of this
Desires you let the dukedoms that you claim
Hear no more of you. This the Dauphin speaks.
KING

What treasure, uncle?
EXETER
Tennis-balls, my liege.
KING

260We are glad the Dauphin is so pleasant with us.
His present and your pains we thank you for.
When we have matched our rackets to these balls
We will in France, by God’s grace, play a set
Shall strike his father’s crown into the hazard.
149
265Tell him he hath made a match with such a wrangler
That all the courts of France shall be disturbed
With chases. And we understand him well,
How he comes o’er us with our wilder days,
Not measuring what use we made of them.
270We never valued this poor seat of England,
And therefore living hence did give ourself
To barbarous licence, as ’tis ever common
That men are merriest when they are from home.
But tell the Dauphin I will keep my state,
275Be like a king and show my sail of greatness,
When I do rouse me in my throne of France.
For that have I laid by my majesty
And plodded like a man for working-days,
150
But I will rise there with so full a glory
280That I will dazzle all the eyes of France,
Yea, strike the Dauphin blind to look on us.
And tell the pleasant Prince this mock of his
Hath turned his balls to gun-stones, and his soul
Shall stand sore charged for the wasteful vengeance
285That shall fly with them; for many a thousand widows
Shall this his mock mock out of their dear husbands,
Mock mothers from their sons, mock castles down,
And some are yet ungotten and unborn
That shall have cause to curse the Dauphin’s scorn.
290But this lies all within the will of God,
To whom I do appeal, and in whose name
Tell you the Dauphin I am coming on
To venge me as I may, and to put forth
My rightful hand in a well-hallowed cause.
151
295So get you hence in peace. And tell the Dauphin
His jest will savour but of shallow wit
When thousands weep more than did laugh at it. –
Convey them with safe conduct. – Fare you well.
Exeunt Ambassadors [ and Attendants ].
EXETER

This was a merry message.
KING

300We hope to make the sender blush at it.
Therefore, my lords, omit no happy hour
That may give furtherance to our expedition,
For we have now no thought in us but France,
Save those to God that run before our business.
305Therefore let our proportions for these wars
Be soon collected and all things thought upon
That may with reasonable swiftness add
More feathers to our wings, for, God before,
We’ll chide this Dauphin at his father’s door.
310Therefore let every man now task his thought,
That this fair action may on foot be brought.
Flourish. Exeunt.

TBD
Arden 3 | 2012

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