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To her unguarded nest the weasel Scot
Comes sneaking, and so sucks her princely eggs;
Playing the mouse, in absence of the cat,
To taint and havoc more than she can eat.
Exe. It follows, then, the cat must stay at home:
Yet that is but a crush'd 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, through high, and low, and lower,
Put into parts, doth keep in one concent;
Congreeing in a full and natural close,
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 home
To the tent-royal of their emperor:
Who, busied in his majesties, surveys
The singing masons building roofs of gold;
The civil citizens kneading up the honey;
The poor mechanic porters crowding in
Their heavy burthens at his narrow gate;
The sad-ey'd justice, with his surly hum,
Delivering o'er to executors palei
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,
Come to one mark; as many ways meet in one town;
As many fresh streams meet in one salt sea;
As many lines close in the dial's centre;
So may a thousand actions, once afoot,
End in one purpose, and be all well borne
Without defeat. Therefore to France, my liege.
(1) Executors pale. Executors is here used for executioners.
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.
[Exit an Attendant. The King ascends his throne.
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'll 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 mouth,
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.
Amb. 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;
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.
Thus, then, in few.
Your bighness, 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 advis'd, there's nought in France
That can be with a nimble galliard? won:
(1) Not worshipped with a waxen epitaph, i.e. not even honoured with an epitaph of perishable wax.
(2) A nimble galliard. A galliard was a quick sort of dance.
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 ?
Tennis-balls, my liege.
K. Hen. We are glad the dauphin is so pleasant with us;
His present, and your pains, we thank you
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 scorn.
But this lies all within the will of God,
To whom I do appeal; and in whose name,
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,
(1) With chaces. Chace is a term in tennis.
(2) Gun-stones. At the first invention of cannon, the balls were made not of iron, but of stone.
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.
[Exeunt Ambassadors. Exe. 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. [Exeunt,
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,
Promis'd to Harry and his followers.
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 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
(1) God before, i.e. I call God to witness, before God; or, God bef e, may meau by God's help, God preventing, going before, assisting.
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,)
Ère he take ship for France, and in Southampton.
Linger your patience on, and we'll digest
The abuse of distance; 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.2
But, till the king come forth, and not till then,
Unto Southampton do we shift our scene.
Enter Ny and BARDOLPH.
Bard. Well met, corporal Nym.
Nym. Good morrow, lieutenant Bardolph.3
Bard. What, are ancient Pistol and you
friends yet? Nym. For my part, I care not: I say little; but when time shall serve, there shall be smiles;4 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
(1) This grace of Rings, i. e. Henry V., who is a grace and honour to the kingly name. So, too, we have in Hamlet the converse expression, “vice of kings,"i. e. one who is a disgrace to them.
(2) We'll not offend one stomach with our play; i. e. you shall pass the seas without suffering sea-sickness.
(3) Lieutenant Burdolph. In this scene, and in other parts of this drama, reference is frequently made to the Play of King Henry IV. Bardolph, and Pistol, and Mrs. Quickly, are all characters in Henry IV.; and Falstaff, of whose death some account is given in the third scene of this Act, occupies a very prominent place in both parts of Henry IV.
(4) But when time shall serve, there shall be smiles. He means, when it suits our purpose we can smile upon one another; but I do not care.