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the Treaty of Troyes was concluded (in 1420), by which the young King of England was declared heir to the throne of France.
This treaty of peace is to be cemented with a bond of love—the marriage of King Henry to the French princess Katharine. While some formalities of the treaty are being arranged by the Nobles on both sides, Henry attends to the wooing himself, by an interview with the lady.
The Scene changes to an Apartment in the French King's palace at Troyes in Champagne.
Enter on one side, King Henry, Exeter, Bedford, Gloucester,
Unto our brother France,—and to our sister,
And, princes French, and peers, health to you all!
Most worthy brother England; fairly met:
So are you, princes English, every one.
Of this good day and of this gracious meeting,
To change all griefs and quarrels into 'love.
O'erglanced the terms of peace: pleaseth your grace
Pass our accept, and peremptory answer.
And brother Clarence, and you, brother Gloucester,—
Go with the princes, or stay here with us?
Haply, a 'woman's voice may do some good,
When articles, too nicely urged, be stood on.
She is our 'capital demand, comprised
* For which (peace).
† Hasty, cursory.
# Consent to sign.
[Ex. Fr. King, etc.
Q. Isa. She hath good leave.
Will you vouchsafe to teach a soldier terms,
And plead his love-suit to 'her gentle heart ?
England. K. Hen. O fair Katharine! if you will love me 'soundly
with your French 'beart, I will be glad to hear you confess it 'brokenly, with your English 'tongue. ...
Do you 'like me, Kate ? Kath. Pardonnez-moi, ... I cannot tell vat is—“like me.” K. Hen. An 'angel is like you, Kate—and you are like an
'angel! Kath. Que dit-il ? que je suis semblable à les anges ? K. Hen. I said so, dear Katharine ; and I must not blush
to 'affirm it. Kath. O vraiment ! vraiment ! les langues des hommes
sont pleines de troniperies. K. Hen. What say you, fair one? That the tongues of
men are full of deceits? Kath. Oui, dat de tongues of de mans is be full of deceits. K. Hen. I' faith, Kate, I know no ways to 'mince it in love,
but 'directly to say “I love you!" then, if you urge me farther than to say, “Do you, in 'faith?” I wear out my suit.—Give me your answer ; i' faith, do; and
clap hands and a bargain: How say you, lady? Kath. Sauf votre honneur, me understand vell. K. Hen. Marry, if you would put me to 'verses, or to 'dance
for your sake, Kate, why, you undid me. If I could win a lady at leap-frog, or by vaulting into my saddle with my armour on my back, (under the correction of 'bragging be it spoken,) I should quickly win a wife. But, Kate, I cannot look greenly,* nor gasp out my eloquence, nor I have no cunning in protestation; only downright oaths,—which I never use till 'urged, nor never 'break for urging. If thou canst love a fellow of this temper, Kate, whose face is not worth sun burning,—that never looks in his glass for love of anything he sees 'there,—let thine 'eye be thy cook. I speak to thee plain soldier: if thou canst 'love me for this, 'take me; if not, to say to thee that I shall 'die, is true,but for thy 'love, by my faith, no; yet I love thee too!
* Like a young lover.
And while thou livest, dear Kate, take a fellow of plain and uncoined* constancy; for he perforce 'must do thee right, because he hath not the gift to woo in 'other places; for these fellows of infinite 'tongue, that can rhyme themselves into ladies' favours, they do always 'reason themselves out again. What! a 'speaker is but a 'prater; a rhyme is but a ballad. A good leg will fall;f a straight back will stoop; a black beard will turn white; a curled pate will grow bald; a fair face will wither; a full eye will wax hollow : But a good 'heart, Kate, is the sun and the 'moon; or rather, the sun, and 'not the moon ;—for it shines bright, and never changes, but keeps his course truly. If thou would have such a one, take 'me; and take 'me, take a 'soldier; take a 'soldier, take a 'King. And what sayest thou then to my love ? Speak, my fair! and fairly, I
Kath. Is it possible dat I sould love de enemy of France ? K. Hen. No; it is not possible you should love the enemy
of France, Kate: but, in loving 'me, you should love the 'friend of France; for I love France so well that I will not part with a 'village of it; I will have it 'all mine! and, Kate, when France is mine and I am yours,
then 'yours is France ... and you are 'mine! Kuth. I cannot tell vat is dat. K. Hen. No, Kate? I will tell thee in French; which I am
sure will hang upon my tongue-like a new-married wife about her husband's neck, hardly to be shook off. Quand j'ai-le possession-de France-et quand vous avez-le possession de moi,let me see, what then? Saint Denis be my speed !—donc, 'votre est France et
vous êtes 'mienne !—It is as easy for me, Kate, to conquer the 'kingdom as to speak so much more French: I shall never move thee in French, unless it be to 'laugh at me. But, Kate, dost thou understand
thus much 'English,—Canst thou love me? Kath. ... I cannot ell. K. Hen. Can any of your 'neighbours tell, Kate ? I 'll ask
'them.—Come, I.'know thou lovest me: and at night, when you come into your closet, you 'll question your gentlewoman about me; and I know, Kate, you will to her 'dis-praise those parts in me that you love with your heart: but, good Kate, mock me 'mercifully; the rather, gentle princess, because I love thee 'cruelly. * Unalloyed, pure,
† Fall away, shrink.
What sayest thou, my fair flower-de-luce ? How 'answer
you, la plus belle Katharine du monde, mon très chere et divine déesse? Kath. Your majesté ’ave 'fausse French enough to deceive
de most sage demoiselle dat is en France. K. Hen. Now, fie upon my false French! By mine honour,
in true English, I love thee, Kate : by which honour, I dare not swear 'thou lovest 'me; yet my 'blood begins to flatter me that thou dost, notwithstanding the poor and untempering effect of my 'visage. But I was 'created with a stubborn 'outside, with an aspect of iron, that, when I come to 'woo ladies, I 'fright them. But, in faith, Kate, the elder I wax, the better I shall appear: my comfort is, that old age, that ill layer-up of beauty, can do no 'more spoil upon my face: thou hast me, 'if thou hast me, at the worst; and thou shalt wear me, 'if thou wear me, better and better :- And therefore tell me, most fair Katharine, 'will you 'have me ? Put off your maiden blushes ; avouch the thoughts of your heart with the looks of an 'empress; take me by the hand, and say “Harry of England, I am thine:
which word thou shalt no sooner bless mine ear withal, but I will tell thee aloud, “England is 'thine, 'Ireland is thine, France is thine, ... and Henry Plantagenet is thine; ”—who, though I speak it before his face, if he be not 'fellow with the best 'king, thou shalt find the best king of good 'fellows. Come, your answer in broken music,—for thy voice 'is music, and thy English broken ; therefore,-Queen of all Katharines,-break thy mind to me in broken
English,—'Wilt thou 'have me? Kath. Dat is, as it sall please le roi mon père. K. Hen. Nay, it will please him 'well, Kate; it 'shall please
him, Kate. Kath. Den, it sall also content 'me. K. Hen. Upon that I kiss your hand, and I call you—my
Queen! kath. Laissez, mon seigneur, laissez, laissez! K. Hen. Then I will kiss your 'lips, Kate. Kath. O! dat it is not be de fashion pour les ladies of
France. K. Hen. O Kate, nice customs court'sy* to great 'kings.
We are the 'makers of manners, Kate; therefore, patiently, and yielding,-yielding-yielding! [Kleink] Ah!
* Yield homage.
You have witchcraft in your lips, Kate! there is more eloquence in a sugar touch of them, than in the tongues of the French council; and 'they should sooner persuade Harry of England, than å general petition of
'monarchs. Here comes your father. The French King and Queen re-enter, with all the other lords. Bur. My royal cousin, teach you our princess English ? K. Hen. I would have her learn, my fair cousin, how per
fectly I 'love her ;—and that is good English.-Shall Kate be
Then the contending kingly opposites
His bleeding sword 'twixt England and fair France. K. Hen. Now, welcome Kate; and bear me witness all,
That here I take her as my sovereign Queen.-
The Chorus again advances with an Epilogue.
Our bending author hath pursued the story;
Mangling, by starts, the full course of their glory.
This star of England: Fortune made his sword;
And of it left his son imperial lord :-
Of France and England, did this king succeed;
That they 'lost France, and made his England bleed :
END OF KING HENRY THE FIFTH.
* The three plays of Henry VI were popular before Shakespeare began to write.