Page images
PDF
EPUB

Pist. Must I bite? Flu. Yes, certainly; and out of doubt, and out of questions too, and ambiguities.

Pist. By this leek, I will most horribly revenge; I eat, and eke I swear

Flu. Eat, I pray you: Will you have some more sauce to your leek? there is not enough leck to swear by.

Pist. Quiet thy cudgel; thou dost see, I eat. Flu. Much goot do you, scald knave, heartily. Nay, pray you, throw none away; the skin is goot for your proken coxcomb. When you take occasions to see leeks hereafter, I pray you, mock at them; that is all.

Pist. Good.

[blocks in formation]

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!
Fr. King. Right joyous are we to behold your
face,

Most worthy brother England; fairly met :-
So are you, princes English, every one.

Q. Isa. 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;

Flu. Ay, leeks is goot :-Hold you, there is Your eyes, which hitherto have borne in them a groat to heal your pate.

Pist. Me a groat!

Flu. Yes, verily, and in truth, you shall take it; or I have another leek in my pocket, which you shall eat.

Pist. I take thy groat, in earnest of revenge. Flu. If I owe you any thing, 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. [Exit. Pist. All hell shall stir for this.

Gow. Go, go; you are a counterfeit cowardly knave. Will you mock at an ancient tradition,-begun upon an honourable respect, and worn as a memorable trophy of predeceased valour,-end 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. Exit. Pist. Doth fortune play the huswife with me now?

News have I, that my Nell 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 will I 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 scars,
And swear, I got them in the Gallia wars. [Exit.

SCENE II.-Troyes in Champagne. An apartment in the French King's palace.

Enter, at one door, King HENry, Bedford, GLOSTER, EXETER, WARWICK, WESTMORE LAND, and other Lords; at another, the French King, Queen ISABEL, the Princess KATHARINE, Lords, Ladies, &c. the Duke of BURGUNDY, and his Train.

K. Hen. Peace to this meeting, wherefore we are met!

Into our brother France,-and to our sister,

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.
K. Hen. To cry amen to that, thus we appear.
Q. Isa. You English princes all, I do salute

you.

Bur. 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 endea

vours,

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 its own fertility.

Her vine, the merry cheerer of the heart,
Unpruned dies: her hedges even-pleached,-
Like prisoners wildly over-grown 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, kecksies, 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 every thing 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 inconveniencies,
And bless us with her former qualities.

K. Hen. If, duke of Burgundy, you would the peace,

Whose want gives growth to th' 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.
Bur. The king hath heard them; to the
which, as yet,
There is no answer made.

K. Hen. Well then, the peace,
Which you before so urg'd, lies in his answer.
Fr. King. I have but with a cursorary eye
O'er-glanced 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.

K. Hen. Brother, we shall.-Go, uncle Exeter,

And brother Clarence,—and you, brother Gloster,

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,
Any thing in, or out of, our demands;
And we'll consign thereto.-Will you, fair sister,
Go with the princes, or stay here with us?
Q. Isa. 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.
K. Hen. Yet leave our cousin Katharine here

with us;

She is our capital demand, compris'd
Within the fore-rank of our articles.
Q. Isa. She hath good leave.

[Exeunt all but HENRY, KATHARINE,
and her Gentlewoman.

K. Hen. 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? Kath. Your majesty shall mock at me; I cannot speak your England.

K. Hen. 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?

Kath. Pardonnez moy, 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 ?

Alice. Ouy, vrayment, (sauf vostre grace) ainsi dit il.

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

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

K. Hen. What says she, fair one? that the tongues of men are full of deceits?

Alice. Ouy; dat de tongues of de mans is be full of deceits: dat is de princess.

K. Hen. 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 further 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?

Kath. Sauf vostre honneur, me understand well.

K. Hen. 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, I cannot look greenly, nor gasp out my elcquence, 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 any thing 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 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 wco 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 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 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 pray thee.

Kath. Is it possible dat I should 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.

Kath. I cannot tell vat is dat.

to deceive de most sage damoiselle dat is en France.

K. Hen. Now, fye 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

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'ay la possession de France, et quand vous avez le possession de moi, (let me see, what then? Saint Dennis be my speed!)-donc vostre est France, et vous estes 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-England is thine, Ireland is thine, France is to laugh at me.

Kath. Sauf vostre honneur, le François que vous parlez, est meilleur que l'Anglois lequel je parle.

K. Hen. 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?

Kath. I cannot tell.

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 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 be'st 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 Dennis 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 sayest thou, my fair flowerde-luce?

Kath. I do not know dat.

K. Hen. 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 Katharine du monde, mon tres chere et divine deesse?

Kath. Your majesté 'ave fausse French enou h

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?

Kath. Dat is, as it shall please de roy mon pere.

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

Kath. Den it shall also content me. K. Hen. Upon that I will kiss your hand, and I call you-my queen.

Kath. Laissez, mon seigneur, laissez, laissez: ma foy, je ne veux point que vous abbaissez vostre grandeur, en baisant la main d'une vostre indigne serviteure; excusez moy, je vous supplie, mon tres puissant seigneur.

K. Hen. Then I will kiss your lips, Kate. Kath. Les dames, et damoiselles, pour estre baisées devant leur nopces, il n'est pas le coûtume de France.

K. Hen. Madammy interpreter, what says she? Alice. Dat it is not be de fashion pour les ladies of France,-I cannot tell what is, baiser, en English.

[blocks in formation]

are the makers of manners, Kate; and the liberty that follows our places, stops the mouths 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.

Eater the French King and Queen, BURGUNDY, BEDFORD, GLOSter, Exeter, WESTMORELAND, and other French and English Lords. Bur. God save your majesty! my royal cousin, teach you our princess English?

K. Hen. I would have her learn, my fair cousin, how perfectly I love her; and that is good English.

Bur. Is she not apt?

K. Hen. 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.

Bur. 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 rosed 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.

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

Bur. They are then excused, my lord, when they see not what they do.

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

Bur. I will wink on her to consent, my lord, if you will teach her to know my meaning: for maids, well summered 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.

K. Hen. This moral ties me over to time, and a hot summer; and so I will catch the fly, your cousin, in the latter end, and she must be blind

too.

Bur. As love is, my lord, before it loves.

K. Hen. 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.

Fr. King. Yes, my lord, you see them perspectively, the cities turned into a maid; for they are all girdled with maiden walls, that war hach never entered.

VOL. II.

K. Hen. Shall Kate be my wife? Fr. King. So please you.

K. Hen. I am content; so the maiden cities you talk of may wait on her: so the maid, that stood in the way of my wish, shall show me the way to my will.

Fr. King. We have consented to all terms of reason.

K. Hen. Is't so, my lords of England? West. The king hath granted every article: His daughter, first; and then, in sequel, all, According to their firm proposed natures.

Where your majesty demands,―That the king Exe. Only, he hath not yet subscribed this: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 filz Henry roy d'Angleterre, heretier de France; and thus in Latin,-Præclarissimus filius noster Henricus, rex Angliæ, et hæres Fran

[blocks in formation]

K. Hen. Now welcome, Kate:-and bear me witness all,

That here I kiss her as my sovereign queen. [Flourish.

Q. Isa. 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! All. Amen!

K. Hen. Prepare we for our marriage:-ou

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 prosp'rous be!

[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.

By which the world's best garden he achiev❜d,
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 has shown; and, for their sake,

Small time, but, in that small, most greatly liv'd
This star of England: fortune made his sword; In your fair minds let this acceptance take. [Exit.

« EelmineJätka »