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William Shakespeare (1564–1616). The Oxford Shakespeare. 1914.

Act III. Scene V.

The Life of King Henry the Fifth

The Same.Another Room in the Palace.


Fr. King.’Tis certain, he hath pass’d the river Somme.

Con.And if he be not fought withal, my lord,

Let us not live in France; let us quit all,

And give our vineyards to a barbarous people.

Dau.O Dieu vivant! shall a few sprays of us,

The emptying of our fathers’ luxury,

Our scions, put in wild and savage stock,

Spirt up so suddenly into the clouds,

And overlook their grafters?

Bour.Normans, but bastard Normans, Norman bastards!

Mort de ma vie! if they march along

Unfought withal, but I will sell my dukedom,

To buy a slobbery and a dirty farm

In that nook-shotten isle of Albion.

Con.Dieu de battailes! where have they this mettle?

Is not their climate foggy, raw, and dull,

On whom, as in despite, the sun looks pale,

Killing their fruit with frowns? Can sodden water,

A drench for sur-rein’d jades, their barley-broth,

Decoct their cold blood to such valiant heat?

And shall our quick blood, spirited with wine,

Seem frosty? O! for honour of our land,

Let us not hang like roping icicles

Upon our houses’ thatch, whiles a more frosty people

Sweat drops of gallant youth in our rich fields;

Poor we may call them in their native lords.

Dau.By faith and honour,

Our madams mock at us, and plainly say

Our mettle is bred out; and they will give

Their bodies to the lust of English youth

To new-store France with bastard warriors.

Bour.They bid us to the English dancing-schools,

And teach lavoltas high and swift corantos;

Saying our grace is only in our heels,

And that we are most lofty runaways.

Fr. King.Where is Montjoy the herald? speed him hence:

Let him greet England with our sharp defiance.

Up, princes! and, with spirit of honour edg’d

More sharper than your swords, hie to the field:

Charles Delabreth, High Constable of France;

You Dukes of Orleans, Bourbon, and Berri,

Alençon, Brabant, Bar, and Burgundy;

Jaques Chatillon, Rambures, Vaudemont,

Beaumont, Grandpré, Roussi, and Fauconberg,

Foix, Lestrale, Bouciqualt, and Charolois;

High dukes, great princes, barons, lords, and knights,

For your great seats now quit you of great shames.

Bar Harry England, that sweeps through our land

With pennons painted in the blood of Harfleur:

Rush on his host, as doth the melted snow

Upon the valleys, whose low vassal seat

The Alps doth spit and void his rheum upon:

Go down upon him, you have power enough.

And in a captive chariot into Roan

Bring him our prisoner.

Con.This becomes the great.

Sorry am I his numbers are so few,

His soldiers sick and famish’d in their march,

For I am sure when he shall see our army

He’ll drop his heart into the sink of fear,

And for achievement offer us his ransom.

Fr. King.Therefore, lord constable, haste on Montjoy,

And let him say to England that we send

To know what willing ransom he will give.

Prince Dauphin, you shall stay with us in Roan.

Dau.Not so, I do beseech your majesty.

Fr. King.Be patient, for you shall remain with us.

Now forth, lord constable and princes all,

And quickly bring us word of England’s fall.[Exeunt.