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That England, being empty of defence,
Hath shook, and trembled at the ill neighbourhood.
Cant. She hath been then more fear'd* than harm'd, 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,
But 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 your chronicle as rich with praise,
As is the ooze and bottom of the sea
With sunken wreck and sumless treasuries.
West. 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,
To her unguarded nest the weasel Scot
Comes sneaking, and so sucks her princely eggs;
Playing the mouse, in absence of the cat,
To spoil and havoc more than she can eat.
Exe. It follows then, the cat must stay at home:
Yet that is but a cursed necessity;
Since we have locks to safeguard necessaries,
And pretty traps to catch the petty thieves.
While that the armed hand doth fight abroad,
The advised head defends itself at home:
For government, though high, and low, and lower,
Put into parts, doth keep in one concent;†
Congruing in a full and natural close,
Cant. True: therefore doth heaven divide
The state of man in divers functions,
Setting 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.
They have a king, and officers of sorts:
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;
Which 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;
The 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,-
That many things, having full reference
To one concent, may work contrariously;
As many arrows, loosed several ways,
Fly to one mark;
As many several ways meet in one town;
As many fresh streams run in one self sea;
As many lines close in the dial's centre;
So many a thousand actions, once afoot,
End in one purpose, and be all well borne
Without defeat. Therefore to France, my liege.
Divide your happy England into four;
Whereof take you one quarter into France,
And you withal shall make all Gallia shake.
If we, with thrice that power left at home,
Cannot defend our own door from the dog,
Let us be worried; and our nation lose
The name of hardiness, and policy.
K. Hen. Call in the messengers sent from the Dauphin.
[Exit an Attendant. The KING ascends his Throne.
Now are we well resolved: and,-by God's help;
And yours, the noble sinews of our power,-
France 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,t
O'er France, and all her almost kingly dukedoms;
Or lay these bones in an unworthy urn,
Tombless, 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 worship'd with a waxen epitaph.
Enter AMBASSADORS of France.
Now are we well prepared to know the pleasure
Of our fair cousin Dauphin; for, we hear,
Your greeting is from him, not from the king.
Amb. May it please your majesty, to give us leave
Freely to render what we have in charge;
Or shall we sparingly show you far off
The Dauphin's meaning, and our embassy?
K. Hen. We are no tyrant, but a Christian king Unto whose grace our passion is as subject
As are our wretches fetter'd in our prisons:
Therefore, with frank and with uncurbed plainness,
Tell us the Dauphin's mind.
Amb. 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.
In answer of which claim, the prince our master
Says, that you savour too much of your youth;
And bids you be advised, there's nought in France,
That can be with a nimble galliard* won;
You cannot revel into dukedoms there:
He 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.
K. Hen. What treasure, uncle ?
Exe. Tennis-balls, my liege.
K. Hen. We are glad, the Dauphin is so pleasant with us;
His present, and your pains, we thank you for:
When we have match'd 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,
That all the courts of France will be disturb'd
With chaces. 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;
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,
When I do rouse me in my throne of France:
For that I have 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,
Yea, strike the Dauphin blind to look on us.
And tell the pleasant prince,-this mock of his
Hath turn'd 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
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 scoru.
But 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-hallow'd cause.
So, get you hence in peace; and tell the Dauphin,
+ A place in the tennis-court into which the ball is sometimes struck. At tennis, the spot where a ball falls, beyond which the adversary must strike his ball to gain a point.
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.
Ere. This was a merry message.
K. Hen. We hope to make the sender blush at it.
[Descends from his Throne.
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.
Therefore, 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.
Therefore, let every man now task his thought,
That this fair action may on foot be brought.
Chor. Now all the youth of England are on fire,
And silken dalliance in the wardrobe lies;
Now thrive the armourers, and honour's thought
Reigns solely in the breast of every man :
They sell the pasture now to buy the horse;
Following the mirror of all Christian kings,
With winged heels, as English Mercuries.
For now sits Expectation in the air;
And hides a sword, from hilts unto the point,
With crowns imperial, crowns, and coronets,
Promised to Harry, and his followers.
The French, advised by good intelligence
Of this most dreadful preparation,
Shake in their fear; and with pale policy
Seek to divert the English purposes.
O England!-model to thy inward greatness,
Like little body with a mighty heart,
What mightst thou do, that honour would thee do,
Were all thy children kind and natural!
But see thy fault! France hath in thee found out
A nest of hollow bosoms, which he fills
With treacherous crowns: and three corrupted men,-
One, Richard earl of Cambridge; and the second,
Henry lord Scroop of Masham; and the third,
Sir Thomas Grey knight of Northumberland,-
Have, for the gilt of France, (O guilt indeed!)
Confirm'd conspiracy with fearful France;
And by their hands this grace of kings must die
(If hell and treason hold their promises),
Ere he take ship for France, and in Southampton.
Linger your patience on; and well digest
The abuse of distance, while we force* a play.
The sum is paid; the traitors are agreed;
The king is set from London; and the scene
Is now transported, gentles, to Southampton:
There is the playhouse now, there must you sit:
And thence to France shall we convey you safe,
And bring you back, charming the narrow seas
To give you gentle pass; for, if we may,
We'll not offend one stomach with our play.
But, till the king come forth, and not till then,
Unto Southampton do we shift our scene.
SCENE I-The same. Eastcheap.
Enter NYM and BARDOLPH.
Bard. Well met, corporal Nym.
Nym. Good morrow, lieutenant Bardolph.
Bard. What, are ancient Pistol and you frienas yet?
Nym. For my part, I care not: I say little: but when time shall serve, there shall be smiles;-but that shall be as it may. I dare not fight; but I will wink, and hold out mine iron: It is a simple one: but what though? it will toast cheese; and it will endure cold as another man's sword will: and there's the humour of it.
Bard. I will bestow a breakfast, to make you friends; and we'll be all three sworn brothers to France; let it be so, good corporal Nym.
Nym. 'Faith, I will live so long as I may, that's the certain of it; and when I cannot live any longer, I will do as I may: that is my rest, that is the rendezvous of it.
Bard. It is certain, corporal, that he is married to Nell Quickly: and, certainly, she did you wrong; for you were troth-plight to her.
Nym. I cannot tell; things must be as they may: men may sleep, and they may have their throats about them at that time; and some say, knives have edges. It must be as it may though patience be a tired mare, yet she will plod. There must be conclusions. Well, I cannot tell.
Enter PISTOL and Mrs. QUICKLY.
Bard. Here comes ancient Pistol, and his wife :-good corporal, be patient here.-How now, mine host Pistol?
Pist. Base tike, call'st thou me-host? Now, by this hand I swear, I scorn the term; Nor shall my Nell keep lodgers.
*I.e. by compressing events.