Act II, Scene 4
France. An apartment in the King’s palace.
- Flourish. Enter the French King, the Dauphin, the Dukes of
- Berri and Britain, the Constable, and others.
French King1 - 14
- Thus comes the English with full power upon us,
- And more than carefully it us concerns
- To answer royally in our defenses.
- Therefore the Dukes of Berri and of Britain,
- Of Brabant and of Orléans, 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
- 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.
Dauphin15 - 30
- 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 defenses, musters, preparations,
- 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,
- 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,
- That fear attends her not.
Constable of France31 - 42
- 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,
- 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,
- Covering discretion with a coat of folly,
- As gardeners do with ordure hide those roots
- That shall first spring and be most delicate.
Dauphin43 - 50
- Well, ’tis not so, my Lord High Constable;
- But though we think it so, it is no matter.
- In cases of defense ’tis best to weigh
- The enemy more mighty than he seems,
- So the proportions of defense are fill’d;
- Which, of a weak and niggardly projection,
- Doth like a miser spoil his coat with scanting
- A little cloth.
French King51 - 67
- 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
- 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;
- Whiles that his mountain sire, on mountain standing,
- Up in the air, crown’d with the golden sun,
- Saw his heroical seed, and smil’d to see him,
- Mangle the work of nature, and deface
- The patterns that by God and by French fathers
- 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 French Court Attendant.
French Court Attendant68 - 69
- Ambassadors from Harry King of England
- Do crave admittance to your Majesty.
French King70 - 71
- We’ll give them present audience. Go, and bring them.
- Exeunt French Court Attendant and certain Lords.
- You see this chase is hotly followed, friends.
Dauphin72 - 78
- 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,
- 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.
- Enter Lords with Exeter and Train.
- From our brother of England?
Duke of Exeter80 - 99
- 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 borrowed glories that by gift of heaven,
- By law of nature and of nations, ’longs
- To him and to his heirs, namely, the crown,
- And all wide-stretched honors 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,
- Pick’d from the worm-holes of long-vanish’d days,
- Nor from the dust of old oblivion rak’d,
- He sends you this most memorable line,
- In every branch truly demonstrative;
- Giving a paper.
- Willing you overlook this pedigree;
- And when you find him evenly deriv’d
- From his most fam’d of famous ancestors,
- Edward the Third, he bids you then resign
- Your crown and kingdom, indirectly held
- From him, the native and true challenger.
- Or else what follows?
Duke of Exeter101 - 116
- 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,
- 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
- Turning the widows’ tears, the orphans’ cries,
- The dead men’s blood, the privy maidens’ groans,
- For husbands, fathers, and betrothed lovers,
- That shall be swallowed in this controversy.
- This is his claim, his threat’ning, and my message;
- Unless the Dauphin be in presence here,
- To whom expressly I bring greeting too.
French King117 - 119
- For us, we will consider of this further.
- Tomorrow shall you bear our full intent
- Back to our brother of England.
Dauphin120 - 121
- For the Dauphin,
- I stand here for him. What to him from England?
Duke of Exeter122 - 131
- Scorn and defiance, slight regard, contempt,
- And any thing that may not misbecome
- The mighty sender, doth he prize you at.
- Thus says my King: and 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
- Shall chide your trespass and return your mock
- In second accent of his ordinance.
Dauphin132 - 136
- Say: if my father render fair return,
- It is against my will; for I desire
- Nothing but odds with England. To that end,
- As matching to his youth and vanity,
- I did present him with the Paris balls.
Duke of Exeter137 - 144
- He’ll make your Paris Louvre shake for it,
- Were it the mistress court of mighty Europe;
- And, be assur’d, you’ll find a difference,
- 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.
- Tomorrow shall you know our mind at full.
Duke of Exeter146 - 148
- Dispatch us with all speed, lest that our King
- Come here himself to question our delay;
- For he is footed in this land already.
French King149 - 151
- You shall be soon dispatch’d, with fair conditions.
- A night is but small breath, and little pause,
- To answer matters of this consequence.