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King Henry V is a history play by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written around 1599. It tells the story of King Henry V of England, focusing on events immediately before and after the Battle of Agincourt (1415) during the Hundred Years' War. In the First Quarto text, it was entitled The Cronicle History of Henry the fift, which became The Life of Henry the Fifth in the First Folio text.The play is the final part of a tetralogy, preceded by Richard II, Henry IV, Part 1, and Henry IV, Part 2. The original audiences would thus have already been familiar with the title character, who was depicted in the Henry IV plays as a wild, undisciplined lad known as "Prince Harry" and by Falstaff as "Hal". In Henry V, the young prince has become a mature man and embarks on a successful conquest of France.Elizabethan stages did not use scenery. Acknowledging the difficulty of conveying great battles and shifts of location on a bare stage, the Chorus (a single actor) calls for a "Muse of fire" so that the actor playing King Henry can "[a]ssume the port [bearing] of Mars". He asks, "Can this cockpit [i.e. the theatre] hold / The vasty fields of France?" and encourages the audience to use their "imaginary forces" (imaginations) to overcome the stage's limitations: "Piece out our imperfections with your thoughts."The early scenes deal with the embarkation of Henry's fleet for France, and include a real-life incident in which the Earl of Cambridge and two others plotted to assassinate Henry at Southampton. (Henry's clever uncovering of the plot and his ruthless treatment of the plotters show that he has changed from the earlier plays in which he appeared.)When the Chorus reappears, he describes the country's dedication to the war effort – "They sell the pasture now to buy the horse." The chorus tells the audience, "We'll not offend one stomach with our play", a humorous reference to the fact that the scene of the play crosses the English Channel.
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Copyright © 2017 by William Shakespeare.
All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission except in the case of brief quotations em- bodied in critical articles or reviews.
This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, organiza- tions, places, events and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
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Sheba Blake Publishing
Book and Cover design by Sheba Blake Publishing
First Edition: January 2017
KING HENRY V2
TABLE OF CONTENTS
KING HENRY V.
DUKE OF GLOUCESTER, brother to the King.
DUKE OF BEDFORD, brother to the King.
DUKE OF EXETER, uncle to the King.
DUKE OF YORK, cousin to the King.
EARL OF SALISBURY.
EARL OF WESTMORELAND.
EARL OF WARWICK.
ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY.
BISHOP OF ELY.
EARL OF CAMBRIDGE.
SIR THOMAS GREY.
SIR THOMAS ERPINGHAM, officer in King Henry's army.
GOWER, officer in King Henry's army.
FLUELLEN, officer in King Henry's army.
MACMORRIS, officer in King Henry's army.
JAMY, officer in King Henry's army.
BATES, soldier in the same.
COURT, soldier in the same.
WILLIAMS, soldier in the same.
CHARLES VI, king of France.
LEWIS, the Dauphin.
DUKE OF BURGUNDY.
DUKE OF ORLEANS.
DUKE OF BOURBON.
The Constable of France.
RAMBURES, French Lord.
GRANDPRE, French Lord.
Governor of Harfleur
MONTJOY, a French herald.
Ambassadors to the King of England.
ISABEL, queen of France.
KATHARINE, daughter to Charles and Isabel.
ALICE, a lady attending on her.
HOSTESS of a tavern in Eastcheap, formerly Mistress Quickly, and now married to Pistol.
Lords, Ladies, Officers, Soldiers, Citizens, Messengers, and Attendants.
SCENE: England; afterwards France.
O for a Muse of fire, that would ascendThe brightest heaven of invention,A kingdom for a stage, princes to act,And monarchs to behold the swelling scene!Then should the warlike Harry, like himself,Assume the port of Mars; and at his heels,Leash'd in like hounds, should famine, sword, and fireCrouch for employment. But pardon, gentles all,The flat unraised spirits that hath dar'dOn this unworthy scaffold to bring forthSo great an object. Can this cockpit holdThe vasty fields of France? Or may we cramWithin this wooden O the very casquesThat did affright the air at Agincourt?O, pardon! since a crooked figure mayAttest in little place a million;And let us, ciphers to this great accompt,On your imaginary forces work.Suppose within the girdle of these wallsAre now confin'd two mighty monarchies,Whose high upreared and abutting frontsThe perilous narrow ocean parts asunder;Piece out our imperfections with your thoughts:Into a thousand parts divide one man,And make imaginary puissance;Think, when we talk of horses, that you see themPrinting their proud hoofs i' the receiving earth.For 'tis your thoughts that now must deck our kings,Carry them here and there, jumping o'er times,Turning the accomplishment of many yearsInto an hour-glass: for the which supply,Admit me Chorus to this history;Who, prologue-like, your humble patience pray,Gently to hear, kindly to judge, our play.
LONDON. An ante-chamber in the King's palace.
[Enter the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Bishop of Ely.]
CANTERBURY.My lord, I'll tell you: that self bill is urg'd,Which in the eleventh year of the last king's reignWas like, and had indeed against us pass'd,But that the scambling and unquiet timeDid push it out of farther question.
ELY.But how, my lord, shall we resist it now?
CANTERBURY.It must be thought on. If it pass against us,We lose the better half of our possession;For all the temporal lands, which men devoutBy testament have given to the Church,Would they strip from us; being valu'd thus:As much as would maintain, to the King's honour,Full fifteen earls and fifteen hundred knights,Six thousand and two hundred good esquires;And, to relief of lazars and weak age,Of indigent faint souls, past corporal toil,A hundred almshouses right well suppli'd;And to the coffers of the King beside,A thousand pounds by the year. Thus runs the bill.
ELY.This would drink deep.
CANTERBURY.'Twould drink the cup and all.
ELY.But what prevention?
CANTERBURY.The King is full of grace and fair regard.
ELY.And a true lover of the holy Church.
CANTERBURY.The courses of his youth promis'd it not.The breath no sooner left his father's body,But that his wildness, mortifi'd in him,Seem'd to die too; yea, at that very momentConsideration like an angel cameAnd whipp'd the offending Adam out of him,Leaving his body as a paradiseTo envelope and contain celestial spirits.Never was such a sudden scholar made;Never came reformation in a floodWith such a heady currance, scouring faults;Nor never Hydra-headed wilfulnessSo soon did lose his seat, and all at once,As in this king.
ELY.We are blessed in the change.
CANTERBURY.Hear him but reason in divinity,And, all-admiring, with an inward wishYou would desire the King were made a prelate;Hear him debate of commonwealth affairs,You would say it hath been all in all his study;List his discourse of war, and you shall hearA fearful battle rend'red you in music;Turn him to any cause of policy,The Gordian knot of it he will unloose,Familiar as his garter; that, when he speaks,The air, a charter'd libertine, is still,And the mute wonder lurketh in men's ears,To steal his sweet and honey'd sentences;So that the art and practic' part of lifeMust be the mistress to this theoric:Which is a wonder how his Grace should glean it,Since his addiction was to courses vain,His companies unletter'd, rude, and shallow,His hours fill'd up with riots, banquets, sports,And never noted in him any study,Any retirement, any sequestrationFrom open haunts and popularity.
ELY.The strawberry grows underneath the nettle,And wholesome berries thrive and ripen bestNeighbour'd by fruit of baser quality;And so the Prince obscur'd his contemplationUnder the veil of wildness; which, no doubt,Grew like the summer grass, fastest by night,Unseen, yet crescive in his faculty.
CANTERBURY.It must be so; for miracles are ceas'd,And therefore we must needs admit the meansHow things are perfected.
ELY.But, my good lord,How now for mitigation of this billUrg'd by the commons? Doth his MajestyIncline to it, or no?
CANTERBURY.He seems indifferent,Or rather swaying more upon our partThan cherishing the exhibiters against us;For I have made an offer to his Majesty,Upon our spiritual convocationAnd in regard of causes now in hand,Which I have open'd to his Grace at large,As touching France, to give a greater sumThan ever at one time the clergy yetDid to his predecessors part withal.
ELY.How did this offer seem receiv'd, my lord?
CANTERBURY.With good acceptance of his Majesty;Save that there was not time enough to hear,As I perceiv'd his Grace would fain have done,The severals and unhidden passagesOf his true titles to some certain dukedoms,And generally to the crown and seat of FranceDeriv'd from Edward, his great-grandfather.
ELY.What was the impediment that broke this off?
CANTERBURY.The French ambassador upon that instantCrav'd audience; and the hour, I think, is comeTo give him hearing. Is it four o'clock?
CANTERBURY.Then go we in, to know his embassy;Which I could with a ready guess declare,Before the Frenchman speak a word of it.
ELY.I'll wait upon you, and I long to hear it.
The same. The presence chamber.
[Enter King Henry, Gloucester, Bedford, Exeter, Warwick,Westmoreland [and Attendants.]
KING HENRY.Where is my gracious Lord of Canterbury?
EXETER.Not here in presence.
KING HENRY.Send for him, good uncle.
WESTMORELAND.Shall we call in the ambassador, my liege?
KING HENRY.Not yet, my cousin. We would be resolv'd,Before we hear him, of some things of weightThat task our thoughts, concerning us and France.
[Enter the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Bishop of Ely.]
CANTERBURY.God and his angels guard your sacred throneAnd make you long become it!
KING HENRY.Sure, we thank you.My learned lord, we pray you to proceedAnd justly and religiously unfoldWhy the law Salique that they have in FranceOr should, or should not, bar us in our claim;And God forbid, my dear and faithful lord,That you should fashion, wrest, or bow your reading,Or nicely charge your understanding soulWith opening titles miscreate, whose rightSuits not in native colours with the truth;For God doth know how many now in healthShall drop their blood in approbationOf what your reverence shall incite us to.Therefore take heed how you impawn our person,How you awake our sleeping sword of war.We charge you, in the name of God, take heed;For never two such kingdoms did contendWithout much fall of blood, whose guiltless dropsAre every one a woe, a sore complaint'Gainst him whose wrongs gives edge unto the swordsThat makes such waste in brief mortality.Under this conjuration speak, my lord;For we will hear, note, and believe in heartThat what you speak is in your conscience wash'dAs pure as sin with baptism.
CANTERBURY.Then hear me, gracious sovereign, and you peers,That owe yourselves, your lives, and servicesTo this imperial throne. There is no barTo make against your Highness' claim to FranceBut this, which they produce from Pharamond:"In terram Salicam mulieres ne succedant,""No woman shall succeed in Salique land;"Which Salique land the French unjustly glozeTo be the realm of France, and PharamondThe founder of this law and female bar.Yet their own authors faithfully affirmThat the land Salique is in Germany,Between the floods of Sala and of Elbe;Where Charles the Great, having subdu'd the Saxons,There left behind and settled certain French;Who, holding in disdain the German womenFor some dishonest manners of their life,Establish'd then this law, to wit, no femaleShould be inheritrix in Salique land;Which Salique, as I said, 'twixt Elbe and Sala,Is at this day in Germany call'd Meisen.Then doth it well appear the Salique lawWas not devised for the realm of France;Nor did the French possess the Salique landUntil four hundred one and twenty yearsAfter defunction of King Pharamond,Idly suppos'd the founder of this law,Who died within the year of our redemptionFour hundred twenty-six; and Charles the GreatSubdu'd the Saxons, and did seat the FrenchBeyond the river Sala, in the yearEight hundred five. Besides, their writers say,King Pepin, which deposed Childeric,
Did, as heir general, being descendedOf Blithild, which was daughter to King Clothair,Make claim and title to the crown of France.Hugh Capet also, who usurp'd the crownOf Charles the Duke of Lorraine, sole heir maleOf the true line and stock of Charles the Great,To find his title with some shows of truth,Though, in pure truth, it was corrupt and naught,Convey'd himself as the heir to the Lady Lingare,Daughter to Charlemain, who was the sonTo Lewis the Emperor, and Lewis the sonOf Charles the Great. Also, King Lewis the Tenth,Who was sole heir to the usurper Capet,Could not keep quiet in his conscience,Wearing the crown of France, till satisfiedThat fair Queen Isabel, his grandmother,Was lineal of the Lady Ermengare,Daughter to Charles, the foresaid Duke of Lorraine;By the which marriage the line of Charles the GreatWas re-united to the crown of France.So that, as clear as is the summer's sun,King Pepin's title and Hugh Capet's claim,King Lewis his satisfaction, all appearTo hold in right and title of the female.So do the kings of France unto this day,Howbeit they would hold up this Salique lawTo bar your Highness claiming from the female,And rather choose to hide them in a netThan amply to imbar their crooked titlesUsurp'd from you and your progenitors.
KING HENRY.May I with right and conscience make this claim?
CANTERBURY.The sin upon my head, dread sovereign!For in the book of Numbers is it writ,When the man dies, let the inheritanceDescend unto the daughter. Gracious lord,Stand for your own! Unwind your bloody flag!Look back into your mighty ancestors!Go, my dread lord, to your great-grandsire's tomb,From whom you claim; invoke his warlike spirit,And your great-uncle's, Edward the Black Prince,Who on the French ground play'd a tragedy,Making defeat on the full power of France,Whiles his most mighty father on a hillStood smiling to behold his lion's whelpForage in blood of French nobility.O noble English, that could entertainWith half their forces the full pride of FranceAnd let another half stand laughing by,All out of work and cold for action!
ELY.Awake remembrance of these valiant dead,And with your puissant arm renew their feats.You are their heir; you sit upon their throne;The blood and courage that renowned themRuns in your veins; and my thrice-puissant liegeIs in the very May-morn of his youth,Ripe for exploits and mighty enterprises.
EXETER.Your brother kings and monarchs of the earthDo all expect that you should rouse yourself,As did the former lions of your blood.
WESTMORELAND.They know your Grace hath cause and means and might;So hath your Highness. Never King of EnglandHad nobles richer, and more loyal subjects,Whose hearts have left their bodies here in EnglandAnd lie pavilion'd in the fields of France.
CANTERBURY.O, let their bodies follow, my dear liege,With blood and sword and fire to win your right;In aid whereof we of the spiritualtyWill raise your Highness such a mighty sumAs never did the clergy at one timeBring in to any of your ancestors.
KING HENRY.We must not only arm to invade the French,But lay down our proportions to defendAgainst the Scot, who will make road upon usWith all advantages.
CANTERBURY.They of those marches, gracious sovereign,Shall be a wall sufficient to defendOur inland from the pilfering borderers.
KING HENRY.We do not mean the coursing snatchers only,But fear the main intendment of the Scot,Who hath been still a giddy neighbour to us;For you shall read that my great-grandfatherNever went with his forces into FranceBut that the Scot on his unfurnish'd kingdomCame pouring, like the tide into a breach,With ample and brim fullness of his force,Galling the gleaned land with hot assays,Girdling with grievous siege castles and towns;That England, being empty of defence,Hath shook and trembled at the ill neighbourhood.
CANTERBURY.She hath been then more fear'd than harm'd, my liege;For hear her but exampl'd by herself:When all her chivalry hath been in France,And she a mourning widow of her nobles,She hath herself not only well defendedBut taken and impounded as a strayThe King of Scots; whom she did send to FranceTo fill King Edward's fame with prisoner kings,And make her chronicle as rich with praiseAs is the ooze and bottom of the seaWith sunken wreck and sumless treasuries.
WESTMORELAND.But there's a saying very old and true,
"If that you will France win,Then with Scotland first begin."For once the eagle England being in prey,To her unguarded nest the weasel Scot
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