Act 2 - Scene 4
France. The KING'S palace.
Flourish. Enter the FRENCH KING, the DAUPHIN, the DUKES of BERRI and BRETAGNE, the Constable,
KING OF FRANCE
Thus comes the English with full power upon us;
And more than carefully it us concerns
To answer royally
in our defences.
Therefore the Dukes of Berri and of Bretagne,
Of Brabant and of Orleans, shall make
And you, Prince Dauphin, with all swift dispatch,
To line and new repair our towns of war
of courage and with means defendant;
For England his approaches makes as fierce
As waters to the
sucking of a gulf.
It fits us then to be as provident
As fear may teach us out of late examples
Left by the
fatal and neglected English
Upon our fields.
My most redoubted father,
It is most meet we arm us 'gainst the foe;
For peace itself should not so dull a
Though war nor no known quarrel were in question,
But that defences, musters, preparations,
be maintain'd, assembled and collected,
As were a war in expectation.
Therefore, I say 'tis meet we all go
To view the sick and feeble parts of France:
And let us do it with no show of fear;
No, with no more
than if we heard that England
Were busied with a Whitsun morris-dance:
For, my good liege, she is so
Her sceptre so fantastically borne
By a vain, giddy, shallow, humorous youth,
That fear attends
O peace, Prince Dauphin!
You are too much mistaken in this king:
Question your grace the late ambassadors,
what great state he heard their embassy,
How well supplied with noble counsellors,
How modest in exception,
How terrible in constant resolution,
And you shall find his vanities forespent
Were but the outside
of the Roman Brutus,
Covering discretion with a coat of folly;
As gardeners do with ordure hide those
That shall first spring and be most delicate.
Well, 'tis not so, my lord high constable;
But though we think it so, it is no matter:
In cases of defence 'tis
best to weigh
The enemy more mighty than he seems:
So the proportions of defence are fill'd;
Which of a
weak or niggardly projection
Doth, like a miser, spoil his coat with scanting
A little cloth.
KING OF FRANCE
Think we King Harry strong;
And, princes, look you strongly arm to meet him.
The kindred of him hath
been flesh'd upon us;
And he is bred out of that bloody strain
That haunted us in our familiar paths:
our too much memorable shame
When Cressy battle fatally was struck,
And all our princes captiv'd by
Of that black name, Edward, Black Prince of Wales;
Whiles that his mountain sire, on mountain
Up in the air, crown'd with the golden sun,
Saw his heroical seed, and smiled to see him,
the work of nature and deface
The patterns that by God and by French fathers
Had twenty years been
made. This is a stem
Of that victorious stock; and let us fear
The native mightiness and fate of him.
Enter a Messenger
Ambassadors from Harry King of England
Do crave admittance to your majesty.
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