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Mr. William Shakespeares comedies, histories, tragedies & poems (Volume 6) online

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The Life of King Henry V . . . 1
The First Part of King Henry VI . 115
The Second Part of King Henry VI . 217




King Henry the Fifth.

Duke of Gloucester, i , , , ... -.r- ™

Duke of Bedford. [brothers to the King.

Duke op Exeter, uncle to the King.
Duke of York, cousin to the King.
Earls of Salisbury, Westmoreland, and Warwick.
Archbishop of Canterbury.
Bishop of Ely.
Earl of Cambridge.
Lord Scroop.
Sir Thomas Grey.

Sir Thomas Erpingham, Gower, Fluellen, Mac-
morris, Jamy, officers in King Henry's army.
Bates, Court, Williams, soldiers in the same.
Pistol, Nym, Bardolph.

A Herald.

Charles the Sixth, King of France.
Lewis, the Dauphin.

Dukes of Burgundy, Orleans, and Bourbon,
The Constable of France.
Rambures and Grandpr£, French Lords.
Governor of Harfleur.
MONTJOY, a French Herald.
Ambassadors to the King of England.

Isabel, Queen of France.
Katherine, daughter to Charles and Isabel.
Alice, a lady attending on her.

Hostess of a tavern in Eastcheap, formerly Mistress
Quickly, and now married to Pistol.

Lords, Ladies, Officers, Soldiers, Citizens, Messengers,
and Attendants.


Scene : England ; afterwards France.



Enter Chorus.

Chor. O for a Muse of fire, that would ascend
The brightest heaven of Invention,
A kingdom for a stage, princes to act,
And nicynarchs to behold the sweUing scene!
Then should the warlike Hai~ry, like himself.
Assume the port* of Mars; and at Jiis [stateiinesi

Leash'd in like hounds, should famine, sioord,

and fire
Crouch for employment. But pardon, gentles

The fiat unraised spirit that hath dar'd
On this umvorthy scaffold to bring forth
So great an object: can this cockpit hold
The vasty fields of France ? or may we cram

Within this ICOOden O* the very [The Globe theatre
casques* [helmeU

That did affright the air at Agincourt ?
O, pardon! since a crooked figure may
Attest in little place a million;
And let us, ciphers to this great accompt.
On your imaginary forces ivork.
Suppose within the girdle of these walls
Are now confined two mighty monarchies.
Whose high-upreared and abutting fronts
The perilous, narroio ocean parts asunder,


King Henry V

Piece put our imperfections JvitJi your thoughts.

Into a thousand parts divide one man.

And make imaginary puissance :

Think, when tve talk of horses, that you see them

Printing their proiul hoofs i" the receiving earth;

For 'tis your thoughts that now must deck our

Carry them here and there, jumping o'er times.
Turning the accomj^UsJiment of many years
Into an hour-glass : for the tvhich supply.
Admit me Chorxis to this history ;
Who prologue-like your humble patience pray.
Gently to hear, kiiully to judge, our play. [Exit.


Scene 1.— London. An Ante-chamber in the
King's Palace.

Enter the Archbishop of Canterbury and the
Bishop of Ely.

Cant. My lord, I '11 tell you ; that self* [seifeame
bill is iirg'd,
Which in the eleventh year of the last king's

Was like, and had indeed against us pass'd.
But that the scambling and unquiet time
Did push it out of farther question.
Ely. But how, my lord, shall we resist it

Cant. It must be thought on. If it pass
against us.
We lose the better half of our possession ;
For all the temporal lands which men devout
By testament have given to the church
Would they strip from us ; being valued thus :


xVct I Scene 1

As much as would maintain, to the king's

Full fifteen earls and fifteen hundred knights.
Six thousand and two himdred good esquires ;
And, to relief of lazars and weak age.
Of indigent faint souls past corporal toil,
A hundred almshouses right well supplied ;
And to the coffers of the king beside,
A thousand pounds by the year : thus runs the

Ely. This would diink deep.

Cant. 'Twould drink the cup and all.

Ely. But what prevention ?

Cant. The king is full of grace and fair regard.

Ely. And a true lover of the holy church.

Cant. The courses of his youth promis'd it not.
The breath no sooner left his father's body,
But that his wildness, mortified in him,
Seem'd to die too ; yea, at that very moment
Considex'ation, like an angel, came
And whipp'd the offending Adam out of him,
Leaving his body as a paradise
To envelope and contain celestial spirits.
Never was such a sudden scholar made ;
Never came reformation in a flood
With such a heady currance, scouring faults ;
Nor never hydra-headed wilfulness
So soon did lose his seat and all at once
As in this king.

Ely. We are blessed in the change.

Cant. Hear him but reason in divinity,
And, all-admiring, with an inward wish
You would desire the king were made a prelate :
Hear him debate of commonwealth affairs.
You would say it hath been all in all his study :
List his discourse of war, and you shall hear


King Henry V

A fearful battle render'd you in music :
Turn him to any cause of policy,
The Gordian knot of it he will unloose,
Familiar as his garter : that, when he speaks.
The air, a charter'd libei'tine, is still,
And the mute wonder lurketh in men's ears.
To steal his sweet and honey'd sentences ;
So that the art and practic part of life
Must be the mistress to this theoric :
Which is a wonder how his grace should glean it.
Since his addiction was to courses vain.
His companies unletter'd, rude, and shallow.
His hours fill'd up with riots, banquets, sports.
And never noted in him any study,
Any retirement, any sequestration
From open haunts and popularity.
Ely. The strawberry grows underneath the
And wholesome berries thrive and ripen best
Neighbour'd by fruit of baser quality :
And so the prince obscur'd his contemplation
Under the veil of wildness ; which, no doubt,
Grew like the summer grass, fastest by night,
Unseen, yet crescive in his faculty.*

[increasing in its power

Cant. It must be so ; for miracles are ceas'd.
And therefore we must needs admit the means
How things are perfected.

Ely. But, my good lord,

How now for mitigation of this bill
Urg'd by the commons ? Doth his majesty
Incline to it, or no ?

Cant. He seems indifferent.

Or rather swaying more upon our part
Than cherishing the exhibiters* [introducers of the bill
against us ;

Act I Scene 2

For I have made an offer to his majesty, —
Upon our spiritual convocation
And in regard of causes now in hand,
Which I have open'd to his grace at large,
As touching France, — to give a greater sum
Than ever at one time the clergy yet
Did to his predecessors part withal.

Ely. How did this offer seem receiv'd, my lord ?

Cant. With good acceptance of his majesty ;
Save that there was not time enough to hear.
As I perceiv'd his grace would fain have done.
The severals and unhidden passages
Of his true titles to some certain dukedoms
And generally to the crown and seat of France
Deriv'd from Edward, his great-grandfather.

Ely. What was the impediment that broke
this off ?

Cant. The French ambassador upon that in-
Crav'd audience ; and the hour, I think, is come
To give him hearing : is it four o'clock ?

Ely. It is.

Cant. Then go we in, to know his embassy ;
Which I could with a ready guess declare,
Before the Frenchman speak a word of it.

Ely. I '11 wait upon you, and I long to hear it.


Scene 2.— The Same. The Presence-chamber.

Enter King Henry, Gloucester, Bedford, Exeter,
Warwick, Westmoreland, and Attendants.

K. Hen. Where is my gracious Lord of Can-
terbury ?
Exe. Not here in presence.
K. Hen. Send for him, good uncle,


King Henry V

West. Shall we call in the ambassador, my

liege ?
K. Hen. Not yet, ray cousin : we would be re-
Before we hear him, of some things of weight
That task our thoughts, concerning us and

Enter the Archbishop of Canterbury and the
Bishop of Ely.

Cant. God and his angels guard your sacred

And make you long become it !

K. Hen. Sure, we thank you.

My learned lord, we pray you to proceed
And justly and religiously unfold
Why the law Salique 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

Or nicely charge your understanding soul
With opening titles miscreate,* whose [spurious

Suits not in native colours with the truth :
For God doth know how many now in health
Shall drop their blood in approbation
Of what your reverence shall incite us to.
Therefore take heed how you impawn our

How you awake our sleeping sword of war :
We charge j^ou, in the name of God, take heed ;
For never two such kingdoms did contend
Without much fall of blood ; whose guiltless

Are every one a woe, a sore complaint


Act 1 Scene 2

'Gainst him whose wrong gives edge unto the

That make such waste in hrief mortality.
Under this conjuration speak, my lord ;
For we will hear, note, and believe in heart
That what you speak is in your conscience

As pure as sin with baptism.

Cant. Then hear me, gracious sovereign, and

you peers,
That owe yourselves, your lives, and services
To this imperial throne. There is no bar
To make against your highness' claim to France
But this, which they produce from Phara-

mond, —
'In terram Salicam mulieres ne sriccedant : '
'No woman shall succeed in Salique land ;'
Which Salique 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 Salique is in Germany,
Between the floods of Sala and of Elbe ;
Where Charles the Great, having subdued the

There left behind and settled certain French ;
Who, holding in disdain the German women
For some dishonest manners of their life,
Establish'd then this law ; to wit, no female
Should be inheritrix in Salique land :
Which Salique, as I said, 'twixt Elbe and Sala,
Is at this day in Germany call'd Meisen.
Then doth it well appear the Salique law
Was not devised for the realm of France :
Nor did the French possess the Salique land


King Henry V

Until four hundred one and twenty years

After defunction of King Pharamond,

Idly suppos'd the founder of this law,

Who 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,

King Pepin, which deposed Childeric,

Did, as heir general, being descended

Of Blithild, which was daughter to King

Make claim and title to the crown of France.
Hugh Capet also, — who usurp'd the crown
Of Charles the duke of Lorraine, sole heir male
Of the true line and stock of Charles the Great, —
To find his title with some shows of truth,
Though, in pure truth, it was corrupt and

Oonvey'd himself as heir to the Lady Lingare,
Daughter to Charlemain, who was the son
To Lewis the emperor, and Lewis the son
Of Charles the Great. Also King Lewis the

Who was sole heir to the usurper Capet,
Could not keep quiet in his conscience.
Wearing the crown of France, till satisfied
That fair Queen Isabel, his grandmother.
Was lineal of the Lady Ermengare,
Daughter to Charles the foresaid duke of

Lorraine :
By the which marriage the line of Charles the

Was re-united to the crown of France.
So that, as clear as is the summer's sun.
King Pepin's title and Hugh Capet's claim,


Act I Scene 2

King Lewis his satisfaction, all appear
To hold in right and title of the female.
So do the kings of France unto this day ;
Howbeit they would hold up this Saliciue law
To bar your highness claiming from the female,
And rather choose to hide them in a net
Than amply to imbare* their crooked titles lexiwie
Usurp'd from you and your progenitors.
K. Hen. May I with right and conscience

make this claim ?
Cant. The sin upon my head, dread sovereign !
For in the book of Numbers is it writ,
When the man dies, let the inheritance
Descend 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

From whom you claim ; invoke his warlike

And your great-uncle's, Edward the Black

Who on the French ground play'd 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
Forage in blood of French nobility.
O noble Englkh, 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 I
Ely. Awake remembrance of these valiant

And with your puissant arm renew their feats.
You are their heir ; you sit upon their throne ;
The blood and courage that renowned them

King Henry V

Runs in your veins ; and my thrice-puissant liege
Is in the very May-morn of his youth,
Ripe for exploits and mighty enterprises.

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

West. They know your grace hath cause and
means and might ;
So hath your highness ; never king of England
Had nobles richer and more loyal subjects.
Whose hearts have left their bodies here in

And lie pavilion'd in the fields of France.

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

K. Hen. We must not only arm to invade the

Bvit lay down our proportions* to [due preparations

Against the Scot, who will make road upon us
With all advantages.
Cant. They of those marches,* gracious [borders
Shall be a wall sufiftcient to defend
Our inland from the pilfering borderers.
K. Hen. We do not mean the coursing
snatchers only.
But fear the niain intendment of the Scot,
Who hath been still a giddy neighbour to us :
For you shall read that my great-grandfather
Never went with his forces into France


Act T Scene 2

But that tho Scot on his unfurnish'd kingilom
Came pouring, like the tide into a breach,
With ample ami brim fuln«>ss 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 the ill neighbour-
Cant. She hath been then more fear'd than
harni'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

To fill King Edward's fame with prisoner kings.
And make her chronicle as rich with praise
As is the ooze and bottom of the sea
With sunken wrack and sumless treasuries.*

[uncounted treasures

West. But there's a saying very old and true,
' If that yoxc rvill France ivin.
Then with Scotland first hey In : '
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 tear and havoc more than she can eat.
Exe. It follows then the cat must stay at
home ;
Yet that is but a curst necessity.
Since we have locks to safeguard necessaries.
And pretty traps to catch the petty thieves.
While that the anued hand doth fight abroad,

King Henry V

The advised head defends itself at home ;

For government, though high and low and

Put into parts, doth keep in one consent,
Congreeing in a full and natural close.
Like music.

Cant. 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

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 [executioners

The lazy yawning drone. I this infer,
That many things, having full reference
To one consent, may work contrariously :
As many arrows, loosed several ways.
Come to one mark, as many ways meet in one

As many fresh streams meet in one salt sea.
As many lines close in the dial's centre ;


Act I Scene 2

So may 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 such powers left at home.
Cannot defend our own doors 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. [Exetint some Atteiidontn.
Now are we well resolv'd ; 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 '11 sit,
Ruling in large and ample empery
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

Not worshipp'd with a waxen epitaph.

Enter Ambassadors of France.

Now are we well prepar'd to know the pleasure
Of our fair cousin Dauphin ; for we hear
Your greeting is from him, not from the king.

1st Anib. May 't 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,


King Henry V

Unto whose grace our passion is as subject
As are our wretches fetter'd in oiir prisons :
Therefore with frank and with uncurbed plain-
Tell us the Dauphin's mind.

1st. 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

In answer of which claim, the prince our master
Says that you savour too much of your yovith,
And bids you be advis'd there's nought in France
That can be with a nimble galliard* [a lively danc«

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

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

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,


Act I Rcene 2

And therefore, living hence, did give ourself
To barbarous license ; 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

That shall fly with them : for many a thousand

Shall this his mock mock out of their dear

Mock mothers from their sons, mock castles

And some are yet ungotten and unborn
That shall have cause to curse the Dauphin's

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
His jest will savour but of shallow wit.
When thousands weep more than did laugh at

Convey them with safe conduct.— Fare you well.

[E.veunt Ambassadors. This was a merry message.

6 b '7

King Henry V

K. Hen. We 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.
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 '11 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.

[Exeunt. Flourish.



Enter Chorus.

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 kirigs.
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,
Promis'd to Harry and his folloivers.
The French, advis'd by good intelligence
Of this most dreadful preparation.
Shake in their fear, and with pale policy
Seek to divert the English pxirposes.
O England ! model to thy inward greatness,


Act II Scene 1

Like little body with a might;/ heart,

What migtitst thou do, that honour tvould thee

Were all thy children kind and natural!
But see thy fault! France hath in thee found

A nest of holloic bosoms,* ivhich he fills u-Ase heart.
With treacherous croivns ; and three corrupted

One, Richard Earl of Cambridge, arid thesecojul,
Henry Lord Scroop of Mashcnn, and the third.
Sir Thovuis Grey, knight, of Northu nibcrland.
Have, for the gilt of France, — O guilt indeed! —
Confiivn''d consjyiracy witJi fearful France;
And by their haiuls th is grace of ki7igs micst die,
Lfhell and treason hold their promises.
Ere he take ship for Fra^twe, and in South-

Linger' your patience on, arui ivell digest
The abuse of distance ; force a play.
The sum is paid ; the tra itors are agreed ;
The king is set from London; and the scene
Is no20 tratisported, gentles, to Southampton ;
There is the playhouse noic, there must you sit
And thence to France shcdl xce convey you safe.
And bring yoxi back, charming the narrow seas
To give you gentle pass ; for, if we may,
We 'II not offend one stonuich tcith o^ir play.
But, till the king come forth, and not till then.
Unto Southampton do we shift our scene. [Ejcit.

Scene 1.— London. A Street.

Enter Corporal Nym and Lieutenant Burdolph.

Bard. Well met. Corporal Nym.
Nym. Good morrow, Lieutenant Bardolph.


King Henry V

Bard. What, are Ancient Pistol and you
friends yet ?

Nym. For my part, I care not : I say little ;
l)iit when time shall serve, there shall be smiles ;

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