Home
log out +

Henry V: Act 2, Scene 4

Henry V
Act 2, Scene 4

France. An apartment in the King’s palace.

  1. Flourish. Enter the French King, the Dauphin, the Dukes of
  2. Berri and Britain, the Constable, and others.

French King

3 - 16
  1. Thus comes the English with full power upon us,
  2. And more than carefully it us concerns
  3. To answer royally in our defenses.
  4. Therefore the Dukes of Berri and of Britain,
  5. Of Brabant and of Orléans, shall make forth,
  6. And you, Prince Dauphin, with all swift dispatch,
  7. To line and new repair our towns of war
  8. With men of courage and with means defendant;
  9. For England his approaches makes as fierce
  10. As waters to the sucking of a gulf.
  11. It fits us then to be as provident
  12. As fear may teach us out of late examples
  13. Left by the fatal and neglected English
  14. Upon our fields.

Dauphin

17 - 32
  1.                  My most redoubted father,
  2. It is most meet we arm us ’gainst the foe;
  3. For peace itself should not so dull a kingdom
  4. (Though war nor no known quarrel were in question)
  5. But that defenses, musters, preparations,
  6. Should be maintain’d, assembled, and collected,
  7. As were a war in expectation.
  8. Therefore, I say, ’tis meet we all go forth
  9. To view the sick and feeble parts of France;
  10. And let us do it with no show of fear,
  11. No, with no more than if we heard that England
  12. Were busied with a Whitsun morris-dance;
  13. For, my good liege, she is so idly king’d,
  14. Her sceptre so fantastically borne,
  15. By a vain, giddy, shallow, humorous youth,
  16. That fear attends her not.

Constable of France

33 - 44
  1.                            O, peace, Prince Dauphin,
  2. You are too much mistaken in this king.
  3. Question your Grace the late ambassadors,
  4. With what great state he heard their embassy,
  5. How well supplied with noble counsellors,
  6. How modest in exception, and withal
  7. How terrible in constant resolution,
  8. And you shall find his vanities forespent
  9. Were but the outside of the Roman Brutus,
  10. Covering discretion with a coat of folly,
  11. As gardeners do with ordure hide those roots
  12. That shall first spring and be most delicate.

Dauphin

45 - 52
  1. Well, ’tis not so, my Lord High Constable;
  2. But though we think it so, it is no matter.
  3. In cases of defense ’tis best to weigh
  4. The enemy more mighty than he seems,
  5. So the proportions of defense are fill’d;
  6. Which, of a weak and niggardly projection,
  7. Doth like a miser spoil his coat with scanting
  8. A little cloth.

French King

53 - 69
  1.                 Think we King Harry strong;
  2. And, princes, look you strongly arm to meet him.
  3. The kindred of him hath been flesh’d upon us;
  4. And he is bred out of that bloody strain
  5. That haunted us in our familiar paths.
  6. Witness our too much memorable shame
  7. When Cressy battle fatally was struck,
  8. And all our princes captiv’d by the hand
  9. Of that black name, Edward, Black Prince of Wales;
  10. Whiles that his mountain sire, on mountain standing,
  11. Up in the air, crown’d with the golden sun,
  12. Saw his heroical seed, and smil’d to see him,
  13. Mangle the work of nature, and deface
  14. The patterns that by God and by French fathers
  15. Had twenty years been made. This is a stem
  16. Of that victorious stock; and let us fear
  17. The native mightiness and fate of him.
  1. Enter a French Court Attendant.

French Court Attendant

71 - 72
  1. Ambassadors from Harry King of England
  2. Do crave admittance to your Majesty.

French King

73 - 75
  1. We’ll give them present audience. Go, and bring them.
  2. Exeunt French Court Attendant and certain Lords.
  3. You see this chase is hotly followed, friends.

Dauphin

76 - 82
  1. Turn head, and stop pursuit; for coward dogs
  2. Most spend their mouths when what they seem to threaten
  3. Runs far before them. Good my sovereign,
  4. Take up the English short, and let them know
  5. Of what a monarchy you are the head.
  6. Self-love, my liege, is not so vile a sin
  7. As self-neglecting.
  1. Enter Lords with Exeter and Train.

French King

84
  1. From our brother of England?

Duke of Exeter

85 - 105
  1. From him, and thus he greets your Majesty:
  2. He wills you, in the name of God Almighty,
  3. That you divest yourself, and lay apart
  4. The borrowed glories that by gift of heaven,
  5. By law of nature and of nations, ’longs
  6. To him and to his heirs, namely, the crown,
  7. And all wide-stretched honors that pertain
  8. By custom, and the ordinance of times,
  9. Unto the crown of France. That you may know
  10. ’Tis no sinister nor no awkward claim,
  11. Pick’d from the worm-holes of long-vanish’d days,
  12. Nor from the dust of old oblivion rak’d,
  13. He sends you this most memorable line,
  14. In every branch truly demonstrative;
  15. Giving a paper.
  16. Willing you overlook this pedigree;
  17. And when you find him evenly deriv’d
  18. From his most fam’d of famous ancestors,
  19. Edward the Third, he bids you then resign
  20. Your crown and kingdom, indirectly held
  21. From him, the native and true challenger.

French King

106
  1. Or else what follows?

Duke of Exeter

107 - 122
  1. Bloody constraint; for if you hide the crown
  2. Even in your hearts, there will he rake for it.
  3. Therefore in fierce tempest is he coming,
  4. In thunder and in earthquake, like a Jove,
  5. That if requiring fail he will compel;
  6. And bids you, in the bowels of the Lord,
  7. Deliver up the crown, and to take mercy
  8. On the poor souls for whom this hungry war
  9. Opens his vasty jaws; and on your head
  10. Turning the widows’ tears, the orphans’ cries,
  11. The dead men’s blood, the privy maidens’ groans,
  12. For husbands, fathers, and betrothed lovers,
  13. That shall be swallowed in this controversy.
  14. This is his claim, his threat’ning, and my message;
  15. Unless the Dauphin be in presence here,
  16. To whom expressly I bring greeting too.

French King

123 - 125
  1. For us, we will consider of this further.
  2. Tomorrow shall you bear our full intent
  3. Back to our brother of England.

Dauphin

126 - 127
  1.                                 For the Dauphin,
  2. I stand here for him. What to him from England?

Duke of Exeter

128 - 137
  1. Scorn and defiance, slight regard, contempt,
  2. And any thing that may not misbecome
  3. The mighty sender, doth he prize you at.
  4. Thus says my King: and if your father’s Highness
  5. Do not, in grant of all demands at large,
  6. Sweeten the bitter mock you sent his Majesty,
  7. He’ll call you to so hot an answer of it
  8. That caves and womby vaultages of France
  9. Shall chide your trespass and return your mock
  10. In second accent of his ordinance.

Dauphin

138 - 142
  1. Say: if my father render fair return,
  2. It is against my will; for I desire
  3. Nothing but odds with England. To that end,
  4. As matching to his youth and vanity,
  5. I did present him with the Paris balls.

Duke of Exeter

143 - 150
  1. He’ll make your Paris Louvre shake for it,
  2. Were it the mistress court of mighty Europe;
  3. And, be assur’d, you’ll find a difference,
  4. As we his subjects have in wonder found,
  5. Between the promise of his greener days
  6. And these he masters now. Now he weighs time
  7. Even to the utmost grain; that you shall read
  8. In your own losses, if he stay in France.

French King

151
  1. Tomorrow shall you know our mind at full.
  1. Flourish.

Duke of Exeter

153 - 155
  1. Dispatch us with all speed, lest that our King
  2. Come here himself to question our delay;
  3. For he is footed in this land already.

French King

156 - 158
  1. You shall be soon dispatch’d, with fair conditions.
  2. A night is but small breath, and little pause,
  3. To answer matters of this consequence.
  1. Exeunt.
© 2019 Unotate.comcontactprivacy policyCreative Commons text from PlayShakespeare.comAll illustrations are public domain or Creative Commons