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Henry V: Act 1, Scene 1

Henry V
Act 1, Scene 1

London. Antechamber in the King’s Palace.

  1. Enter the two Bishops, the Archbishop of Canterbury and the
  2. Bishop of Ely.

Archbishop of Canterbury

3 - 7
  1. My lord, I’ll tell you, that self bill is urg’d
  2. Which in th’ eleventh year of the last king’s reign
  3. Was like, and had indeed against us pass’d,
  4. But that the scambling and unquiet time
  5. Did push it out of farther question.

Bishop of Ely

8
  1. But how, my lord, shall we resist it now?

Archbishop of Canterbury

9 - 21
  1. It must be thought on. If it pass against us,
  2. We lose the better half of our possession;
  3. For all the temporal lands, which men devout
  4. By testament have given to the Church,
  5. Would they strip from us; being valu’d thus:
  6. As much as would maintain, to the King’s honor,
  7. Full fifteen earls and fifteen hundred knights,
  8. Six thousand and two hundred good esquires;
  9. And to relief of lazars, and weak age
  10. Of indigent faint souls past corporal toil,
  11. A hundred almshouses right well supplied;
  12. And to the coffers of the King beside,
  13. A thousand pounds by th’ year. Thus runs the bill.

Bishop of Ely

22
  1. This would drink deep.

Archbishop of Canterbury

23
  1.                        ’Twould drink the cup and all.

Bishop of Ely

24
  1. But what prevention?

Archbishop of Canterbury

25
  1. The King is full of grace and fair regard.

Bishop of Ely

26
  1. And a true lover of the holy Church.

Archbishop of Canterbury

27 - 40
  1. The courses of his youth promis’d it not.
  2. The breath no sooner left his father’s body,
  3. But that his wildness, mortified in him,
  4. Seem’d to die too; yea, at that very moment,
  5. Consideration like an angel came
  6. And whipt th’ offending Adam out of him,
  7. Leaving his body as a paradise
  8. T’ envelop and contain celestial spirits.
  9. Never was such a sudden scholar made;
  10. Never came reformation in a flood
  11. With such a heady currance, scouring faults;
  12. Nor never Hydra-headed willfulness
  13. So soon did lose his seat (and all at once)
  14. As in this king.

Bishop of Ely

41
  1.                  We are blessed in the change.

Archbishop of Canterbury

42 - 63
  1. Hear him but reason in divinity,
  2. And all-admiring, with an inward wish
  3. You would desire the King were made a prelate;
  4. Hear him debate of commonwealth affairs,
  5. You would say it hath been all in all his study;
  6. List his discourse of war, and you shall hear
  7. A fearful battle rend’red you in music;
  8. Turn him to any cause of policy,
  9. The Gordian knot of it he will unloose,
  10. Familiar as his garter; that, when he speaks,
  11. The air, a charter’d libertine, is still,
  12. And the mute wonder lurketh in men’s ears
  13. To steal his sweet and honeyed sentences;
  14. So that the art and practic part of life
  15. Must be the mistress to this theoric;
  16. Which is a wonder how his Grace should glean it,
  17. Since his addiction was to courses vain,
  18. His companies unletter’d, rude, and shallow,
  19. His hours fill’d up with riots, banquets, sports;
  20. And never noted in him any study,
  21. Any retirement, any sequestration
  22. From open haunts and popularity.

Bishop of Ely

64 - 70
  1. The strawberry grows underneath the nettle,
  2. And wholesome berries thrive and ripen best
  3. Neighbor’d by fruit of baser quality;
  4. And so the Prince obscur’d his contemplation
  5. Under the veil of wildness, which (no doubt)
  6. Grew like the summer grass, fastest by night,
  7. Unseen, yet crescive in his faculty.

Archbishop of Canterbury

71 - 73
  1. It must be so; for miracles are ceas’d;
  2. And therefore we must needs admit the means
  3. How things are perfected.

Bishop of Ely

74 - 77
  1.                           But, my good lord,
  2. How now for mitigation of this bill
  3. Urg’d by the commons? Doth his Majesty
  4. Incline to it, or no?

Archbishop of Canterbury

78 - 87
  1.                       He seems indifferent;
  2. Or rather swaying more upon our part
  3. Than cherishing th’ exhibitors against us;
  4. For I have made an offer to his Majesty,
  5. Upon our spiritual convocation
  6. And in regard of causes now in hand,
  7. Which I have open’d to his Grace at large,
  8. As touching France, to give a greater sum
  9. Than ever at one time the clergy yet
  10. Did to his predecessors part withal.

Bishop of Ely

88
  1. How did this offer seem receiv’d, my lord?

Archbishop of Canterbury

89 - 95
  1. With good acceptance of his Majesty;
  2. Save that there was not time enough to hear,
  3. As I perceiv’d his Grace would fain have done,
  4. The severals and unhidden passages
  5. Of his true titles to some certain dukedoms,
  6. And generally to the crown and seat of France,
  7. Deriv’d from Edward, his great-grandfather.

Bishop of Ely

96
  1. What was th’ impediment that broke this off?

Archbishop of Canterbury

97 - 99
  1. The French ambassador upon that instant
  2. Crav’d audience; and the hour, I think, is come
  3. To give him hearing. Is it four a’ clock?

Bishop of Ely

100
  1. It is.

Archbishop of Canterbury

101 - 103
  1. Then go we in, to know his embassy;
  2. Which I could with a ready guess declare,
  3. Before the Frenchman speak a word of it.

Bishop of Ely

104
  1. I’ll wait upon you, and I long to hear it.
  1. Exeunt.
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