Henry V

Act V

SCENE I. France. The English camp.

[Enter Fluellen and Gower.]


Nay, that's right; but why wear you your leek to-day?

Saint Davy's day is past.


There is occasions and causes why and wherefore in all

things. I will tell you asse my friend, Captain Gower. The

rascally, scald, beggarly, lousy, pragging knave, Pistol, which

you and yourself and all the world know to be no petter than a

fellow, look you now, of no merits, he is come to me and prings

me pread and salt yesterday, look you, and bid me eat my leek.

It was in a place where I could not breed no contention with him;

but I will be so bold as to wear it in my cap till I see him once

again, and then I will tell him a little piece of my desires.

[Enter Pistol.]


Why, here he comes, swelling like a turkey-cock.


'Tis no matter for his swellings nor his turkey-cocks. God

pless you, Aunchient Pistol! you scurvy, lousy knave, God

pless you!


Ha! art thou bedlam? Dost thou thirst, base Troyan,

To have me fold up Parca's fatal web?

Hence! I am qualmish at the smell of leek.


I peseech you heartily, scurfy, lousy knave, at my desires,

and my requests, and my petitions, to eat, look you, this

leek. Because, look you, you do not love it, nor your

affections and your appetites and your digestions doo's not

agree with it, I would desire you to eat it.


Not for Cadwallader and all his goats.


There is one goat for you. [Strikes him.] Will you be so

good, scald knave, as eat it?


Base Troyan, thou shalt die.


You say very true, scald knave, when God's will is. I will

desire you to live in the mean time, and eat your victuals.

Come, there is sauce for it. [Strikes him.] You call'd me

yesterday mountain-squire; but I will make you to-day a

squire of low degree. I pray you, fall to; if you can mock

a leek, you can eat a leek.


Enough, captain; you have astonish'd him.


I say, I will make him eat some part of my leek, or I will

peat his pate four days. Bite, I pray you; it is good for

your green wound and your ploody coxcomb.


Must I bite?


Yes, certainly, and out of doubt and out of question

too, and ambiguities.


By this leek, I will most horribly revenge. I eat and

eat, I swear--


Eat, I pray you. Will you have some more sauce to

your leek? There is not enough leek to swear by.


Quiet thy cudgel; thou dost see I eat.


Much good do you, scald knave, heartily. Nay, pray you,

throw none away; the skin is good for your broken coxcomb.

When you take occasions to see leeks herefter, I pray you,

mock at 'em; that is all.




Ay, leeks is good. Hold you, there is a groat to heal

your pate.


Me a groat!


Yes, verily and in truth you shall take it; or I have

another leek in my pocket, which you shall eat.


I take thy groat in earnest of revenge.


If I owe you anything I will pay you in cudgels. You

shall be a woodmonger, and buy nothing of me but cudgels.

God be wi' you, and keep you, and heal your pate.



All hell shall stir for this.


Go, go; you are a couterfeit cowardly knave. Will you mock

at an ancient tradition, begun upon an honourable respect, and

worn as a memorable trophy of predeceased valour, and dare not

avouch in your deeds any of your words? I have seen you gleeking

and galling at this gentleman twice or thrice. You thought,

because he could not speak English in the native garb, he could

not therefore handle an English cudgel. You find it otherwise;

and henceforth let a Welsh correction teach you a good English

condition. Fare ye well.



Doth Fortune play the huswife with me now?

News have I, that my Doll is dead i' the spital

Of malady of France;

And there my rendezvous is quite cut off.

Old I do wax; and from my weary limbs

Honour is cudgell'd. Well, bawd I'll turn,

And something lean to cutpurse of quick hand.

To England will I steal, and there I'll steal;

And patches will I get unto these cudgell'd scars,

And swear I got them in the Gallia wars.


SCENE II. France. A royal palace.

[Enter, at one door, King Henry, Exeter, Bedford, [Gloucester,]

Warwick, [Westmoreland,] and other Lords; at another, the French

King, Queen Isabel, [the Princess Katharine, Alice, and other

Ladies;] the Duke of Burgundy, and other French.]


Peace to this meeting, wherefore we are met!

Unto our brother France, and to our sister,

Health and fair time of day; joy and good wishes

To our most fair and princely cousin Katharine;

And, as a branch and member of this royalty,

By whom this great assembly is contriv'd,

We do salute you, Duke of Burgundy;

And, princes French, and peers, health to you all!


Right joyous are we to behold your face,

Most worthy brother England; fairly met!

So are you, princes English, every one.


So happy be the issue, brother England,

Of this good day and of this gracious meeting

As we are now glad to behold your eyes;

Your eyes, which hitherto have borne in them

Against the French that met them in their bent

The fatal balls of murdering basilisks.

The venom of such looks, we fairly hope,

Have lost their quality; and that this day

Shall change all griefs and quarrels into love.


To cry amen to that, thus we appear.


You English princes all, I do salute you.


My duty to you both, on equal love,

Great Kings of France and England! That I have labour'd,

With all my wits, my pains, and strong endeavours,

To bring your most imperial Majesties

Unto this bar and royal interview,

Your mightiness on both parts best can witness.

Since then my office hath so far prevail'd

That, face to face and royal eye to eye,

You have congreeted, let it not disgrace me

If I demand, before this royal view,

What rub or what impediment there is,

Why that the naked, poor, and mangled Peace,

Dear nurse of arts, plenties, and joyful births,

Should not in this best garden of the world,

Our fertile France, put up her lovely visage?

Alas, she hath from France too long been chas'd,

And all her husbandry doth lie on heaps,

Corrupting in it own fertility.

Her vine, the merry cheerer of the heart,

Unpruned dies; her hedges even-pleach'd,

Like prisoners wildly overgrown with hair,

Put forth disorder'd twigs; her fallow leas

The darnel, hemlock, and rank fumitory,

Doth root upon, while that the coulter rusts

That should deracinate such savagery;

The even mead, that erst brought sweetly forth

The freckled cowslip, burnet, and green clover,

Wanting the scythe, all uncorrected, rank,

Conceives by idleness, and nothing teems

But hateful docks, rough thistles, kexes, burs,

Losing both beauty and utility;

And as our vineyards, fallows, meads, and hedges,

Defective in their natures, grow to wildness.

Even so our houses and ourselves and children

Have lost, or do not learn for want of time,

The sciences that should become our country;

But grow like savages,--as soldiers will

That nothing do but meditate on blood,--

To swearing and stern looks, diffus'd attire,

And everything that seems unnatural.

Which to reduce into our former favour

You are assembled; and my speech entreats

That I may know the let, why gentle Peace

Should not expel these inconveniences

And bless us with her former qualities.


If, Duke of Burgundy, you would the peace,

Whose want gives growth to the imperfections

Which you have cited, you must buy that peace

With full accord to all our just demands;

Whose tenours and particular effects

You have enschedul'd briefly in your hands.


The King hath heard them; to the which as yet

There is no answer made.


Well, then, the peace,

Which you before so urg'd, lies in his answer.


I have but with a cursorary eye

O'erglanc'd the articles. Pleaseth your Grace

To appoint some of your council presently

To sit with us once more, with better heed

To re-survey them, we will suddenly

Pass our accept and peremptory answer.


Brother, we shall. Go, uncle Exeter,

And brother Clarence, and you, brother Gloucester,

Warwick, and Huntington, go with the King;

And take with you free power to ratify,

Augment, or alter, as your wisdoms best

Shall see advantageable for our dignity,

Anything in or out of our demands,

And we'll consign thereto. Will you, fair sister,

Go with the princes, or stay here with us?


Our gracious brother, I will go with them.

Haply a woman's voice may do some good,

When articles too nicely urg'd be stood on.


Yet leave our cousin Katharine here with us:

She is our capital demand, compris'd

Within the fore-rank of our articles.


She hath good leave.

[Exeunt all except Henry, Katharine [and Alice.]


Fair Katharine, and most fair,

Will you vouchsafe to teach a soldier terms

Such as will enter at a lady's ear

And plead his love-suit to her gentle heart?


Your Majesty shall mock me; I cannot speak your



O fair Katharine, if you will love me soundly with your

French heart, I will be glad to hear you confess it brokenly

with your English tongue. Do you like me, Kate?


Pardonnez-moi, I cannot tell wat is "like me."


An angel is like you, Kate, and you are like an angel.


Que dit-il? Que je suis semblable a les anges?


Oui, vraiment, sauf votre grace, ainsi dit-il.


I said so, dear Katharine; and I must not blush to affirm it.


O bon Dieu! les langues des hommes sont pleines de tromperies.


What says she, fair one? That the tongues of men are full of



Oui, dat de tongues of de mans is be full of deceits: dat is de



The Princess is the better Englishwoman. I' faith, Kate, my

wooing is fit for thy understanding: I am glad thou canst

speak no better English; for if thou couldst, thou wouldst

find me such a plain king that thou wouldst think I had sold my

farm to buy my crown. 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 so clap hands and a bargain. How say

you, lady?


Sauf votre honneur, me understand well.


Marry, if you would put me to verses, or to dance for your

sake, Kate, why you undid me; for the one, I have neither

words nor measure, and for the other I have no strength in

measure, yet a reasonable measure in strength. 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 leap into a wife. Or if I might buffet for my

love, or bound my horse for her favours, I could lay on like a

butcher and sit like a jack-an-apes, never off. But, before God,

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 urg'd, nor never break for urging. If thou canst

love a fellow of this temper, Kate, whose face is not worth

sunburning, 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 the Lord,

no; yet I love thee too. And while thou liv'st, 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; a straight back will stoop; a black beard will turn

white; a curl'd 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 say'st thou then to my love? Speak, my fair,

and fairly, I pray thee.


Is it possible dat I should love de enemy of France?


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.


I cannot tell wat is dat.


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. Je quand sur 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 etes 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.


Sauf votre honneur, le Francais que vous parlez, il est meilleur

que l'Anglois lequel je parle.


No, faith, is't not, Kate; but thy speaking of my tongue, and I

thine, most truly-falsely, must needs be granted to be much at

one. But, Kate, dost thou understand thus much English: canst

thou love me?


I cannot tell.


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 this gentlewoman about me; and I know,

Kate, you will to her dispraise 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. If ever

thou beest mine, Kate, as I have a saving faith within me tells

me thou shalt, I get thee with scambling, and thou must therefore

needs prove a good soldier-breeder. Shall not thou and I, between

Saint Denis and Saint George, compound a boy, half French, half

English, that shall go to Constantinople and take the Turk by the

beard? Shall we not? What say'st thou, my fair flower-de-luce?


I do not know dat.


No; 'tis hereafter to know, but now to promise. Do but now

promise, Kate, you will endeavour for your French part of

such a boy; and for my English moiety, take the word of a king

and a bachelor. How answer you, la plus belle Katherine du monde,

mon tres cher et divin deesse?


Your Majestee ave fausse French enough to deceive de most

sage damoiselle dat is en France.


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.

Now, beshrew my father's ambition! he was thinking of civil wars

when he got me; therefore was I 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, Katharine, break thy mind

to me in broken English. Wilt thou have me?


Dat is as it shall please de roi mon pere.


Nay, it will please him well, Kate; it shall please him, Kate.


Den it sall also content me.


Upon that I kiss your hand, and call you my queen.


Laissez, mon seigneur, laissez, laissez! Ma foi, je ne veux point

que vous abaissez votre grandeur en baisant la main d'une indigne

serviteur. Excusez-moi, je vous supplie, mon tres-puissant seigneur.


Then I will kiss your lips, Kate.


Les dames et demoiselles pour etre baisees devant leur noces, il

n'est pas la coutume de France.


Madame my interpreter, what says she?


Dat it is not be de fashion pour les ladies of France,--I cannot

tell wat is baiser en Anglish.


To kiss.


Your Majestee entendre bettre que moi.


It is not a fashion for the maids in France to kiss before they

are married, would she say?


Oui, vraiment.


O Kate, nice customs curtsy to great kings. Dear Kate, you and I

cannot be confined within the weak list of a country's fashion.

We are the makers of manners, Kate; and the liberty that follows

our places stops the mouth of all find-faults, as I will do yours,

for upholding the nice fashion of your country in denying me a kiss;

therefore, patiently and yielding. [Kissing her.] 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 a general petition of

monarchs. Here comes your father.

[Re-enter the French Power and the English Lords.]


God save your Majesty! My royal cousin, teach you our princess



I would have her learn, my fair cousin, how perfectly I love her;

and that is good English.


Is she not apt?


Our tongue is rough, coz, and my condition is not smooth; so

that, having neither the voice nor the heart of flattery about

me, I cannot so conjure up the spirit of love in her, that he

will appear in his true likeness.


Pardon the frankness of my mirth, if I answer you for that. If

you would conjure in her, you must make a circle; if conjure up

Love in her in his true likeness, he must appear naked and blind.

Can you blame her then, being a maid yet ros'd over with the virgin

crimson of modesty, if she deny the appearance of a naked blind boy

in her naked seeing self? It were, my lord, a hard condition for a

maid to consign to.


Yet they do wink and yield, as love is blind and enforces.


They are then excus'd, my lord, when they see not what they do.


Then, good my lord, teach your cousin to consent winking.


I will wink on her to consent, my lord, if you will teach her to

know my meaning; for maids, well summer'd and warm kept, are like

flies at Bartholomew-tide, blind, though they have their eyes; and

then they will endure handling, which before would not abide

looking on.


This moral ties me over to time and a hot summer; and so I shall

catch the fly, your cousin, in the latter end, and she must be blind



As love is, my lord, before it loves.


It is so; and you may, some of you, thank love for my blindness,

who cannot see many a fair French city for one fair French maid

that stands in my way.


Yes, my lord, you see them perspectively, the cities turn'd into

a maid; for they are all girdled with maiden walls that war hath

[never] ent'red.


Shall Kate be my wife?


So please you.


I am content, so the maiden cities you talk of may wait on her;

so the maid that stood in the way for my wish shall show me the

way to my will.


We have consented to all terms of reason.


Is't so, my lords of England?


The king hath granted every article;

His daughter first, and then in sequel all,

According to their firm proposed natures.


Only he hath not yet subscribed this: where your Majesty demands,

that the King of France, having any occasion to write for matter

of grant, shall name your Highness in this form and with this

addition, in French, Notre tres-cher fils Henri, Roi d'Angleterre,

Heritier de France; and thus in Latin, Praeclarissimus filius noster

Henricus, Rex Angliae et Haeres Franciae.


Nor this I have not, brother, so denied

But our request shall make me let it pass.


I pray you then, in love and dear alliance,

Let that one article rank with the rest;

And thereupon give me your daughter.


Take her, fair son, and from her blood raise up

Issue to me; that the contending kingdoms

Of France and England, whose very shores look pale

With envy of each other's happiness,

May cease their hatred; and this dear conjunction

Plant neighbourhood and Christian-like accord

In their sweet bosoms, that never war advance

His bleeding sword 'twixt England and fair France.




Now, welcome, Kate; and bear me witness all,

That here I kiss her as my sovereign queen.



God, the best maker of all marriages,

Combine your hearts in one, your realms in one!

As man and wife, being two, are one in love,

So be there 'twixt your kingdoms such a spousal,

That never may ill office, or fell jealousy,

Which troubles oft the bed of blessed marriage,

Thrust in between the paction of these kingdoms,

To make divorce of their incorporate league;

That English may as French, French Englishmen,

Receive each other. God speak this Amen!




Prepare we for our marriage; on which day,

My Lord of Burgundy, we'll take your oath,

And all the peers', for surety of our leagues,

Then shall I swear to Kate, and you to me;

And may our oaths well kept and prosperous be!

[Sennet. Exeunt.]


[Enter Chorus.]


Thus far, with rough and all-unable pen,

Our bending author hath pursu'd the story,

In little room confining mighty men,

Mangling by starts the full course of their glory.

Small time, but in that small most greatly lived

This star of England. Fortune made his sword,

By which the world's best garden he achieved,

And of it left his son imperial lord.

Henry the Sixth, in infant bands crown'd King

Of France and England, did this king succeed;

Whose state so many had the managing,

That they lost France and made his England bleed:

Which oft our stage hath shown; and, for their sake,

In your fair minds let this acceptance take.