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Of our fair cousin Dauphin; for we hear

Your greeting is from him, not from the king. First 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.

First 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
Third.

In answer of which claim, the prince our master
Says that you savour too much of your youth,
And bids you be advised there's nought in France
That can be with a nimble galliard 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 balls,

252. galliard, a light, quick dance.

255. tun; probably a keg.

240

350

260

255. in lieu of this, in consideration of this.

[graphic]

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;
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 venge-

That shall fly with them: for many a thousand widows

270

280

266. chaces; technically, in tennis, 'matches,' also 'strokes'; but likewise with a reference to the sense, pursuits.

267. comes o'er us, taunts.

276. For that. 'for this.'

So Ff; Qq

282. gun- stones. Cannonballs were at first made of stone.

283. wasteful, wasting, de

Shall this his mock mock out of their dear hus

bands;

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
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 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.

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.

304. proportions. Cf. v. 137 above.

306. reasonable, intelligent; a swiftness consistent with uni

[Exeunt. Flourish.

formly intelligent action.

290

300

310

307. God before, with God's guidance.

ACT II.

PROLOGUE.

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 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,
Promised to Harry and his followers.
The French, advised 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!

ΤΟ

But see thy fault! France hath in thee found out 20 Anest of hollow bosoms, which he fills

With treacherous crowns; and three corrupted men, One, Richard Earl of Cambridge, and the second,

16. model to, image in little of. The physical and material England is but a miniature reflection of her giant spirit. 19. kind, filial.

23. Richard Earl of Cambridge, cousin of Henry IV., VOL. VII

33

father of Richard Duke of York, and grandfather of Edmund IV. He conspired in favour of his brother-in-law, Edmund Mortimer, whose superior title to the crown (admitted in Henry VI.) is here ignored.

D

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,

Ere he take ship for France, and in Southampton. 30
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.
But, till the king come forth, and not till then,
Unto Southampton do we shift our scene.

SCENE I. London. A street.

[Exit.

Enter Corporal Nyм and Lieutenant BARDOLPH. Bard. Well met, Corporal Nym.

24. Henry Lord Scroop; son of Sir Stephen Scroop in Richard II., and step-brother of the Earl of Cambridge.

26. gilt, gold.
27. fearful, timid.

31. Linger on, prolong.

ib. digest the abuse of distance, manage, dispose of, the awkwardness imposed by the vast and rapid movements of the action. Others interpret, 'arrange, or contrive, the illusion of distance.'

32. force a play, compel the reluctant material to assume dramatic form.

Some corrup

tion is however probable, from the imperfect metre.

34. set, set out.

41. But, till the king come forth, and not till then, etc. An elliptical sentence: 'Till the king comes (our scene remains in London); when he comes, and not till then, we shift it to Southampton.'

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