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K. Hen. May I with right and conscience make this claim?

Cant. The sin upon my head, dread sovereign!
For in the book of Numbers is it writ,
When the man dies, let the inheritance
Descend 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 hill
Stood smiling to behold his lion's whelp
Forage in blood of French nobility.
O noble English, that could entertain
With half their forces the full pride of France
And 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 them
Runs in your veins; and my thrice-puissant liege
Is in the very May-morn of his youth,
Ripe for exploits and mighty enterprises.

Exe. Your brother kings and monarchs of the earth

Do all expect that you should rouse yourself,
As did the former lions of your blood.

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114. cold for action, i.e. in respect of action; nearly for want of action'; not heated by taking part in the fight.

West. They know your grace hath cause and

means and might;

So hath your highness; never king of England
Had nobles richer and more loyal subjects,

Whose hearts have left their bodies here in England
And lie pavilion'd in the fields of France.

Cant. O, let their bodies follow, my dear liege, 130
With blood and sword and fire to win your right;
In aid whereof we of the spiritualty

Will raise your highness such a mighty sum
As never did the clergy at one time

Bring in to any of your ancestors.

K. Hen. We must not only arm to invade the

But lay down our proportions to defend

Against the Scot, who will make road upon us

With all advantages.

Cant. They of those marches, gracious sovereign, 140 Shall be a wall sufficient to defend

Our inland from the pilfering borderers.

K. Hen. We do not mean the coursing snatchers

But fear the main intendment of the Scot,
Who hath been still a giddy neighbour to us;
For you shall read that my great-grandfather
Never went with his forces into France
But that the Scot on his unfurnish'd kingdom
Came pouring, like the tide into a breach,
With ample and brim fulness of his force,

126. So hath your highness; the emphasis is on 'hath'; there is no antithesis between highness' and 'grace.'

137. lay down our proportions, assign the number of troops requisite.

143. coursing raiders.



144. the main intendment, the attack in chief; a formal Scottish invasion.

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145. giddy, untrustworthy. 150. brim fulness; 'brim from its use as an adverbial determinant in 'brimful' is here used as an adjectival determinant to fulness.

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Galling the gleaned land with hot assays,
Girding with grievous siege castles and towns;
That England, being empty of defence,

Hath shook and trembled at the ill neighbourhood.
Cant. She hath been then more fear'd than
harm'd, my liege;

For hear her but exampled by herself:

When all her chivalry hath been in France

And she a mourning widow of her nobles,
She hath herself not only well defended
But taken and impounded as a stray

The King of Scots; whom she did send to France,
To fill King Edward's fame with prisoner kings
And make her chronicle as rich with praise
As is the ooze and bottom of the sea
With sunken wreck and sumless treasuries.
West. 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
Comes sneaking and so sucks her princely eggs,
Playing the mouse in absence of the cat,

To tear and havoc more than she can eat.
Exe. It follows then the cat must stay at home:
Yet that is but a crush'd necessity,

151. gleaned, bare of de-

151. assays, assaults.
155. fear'd, frightened.
161. The King of Scots, King
David, taken at Neville's Cross,

162. prisoner kings; King
John of France was likewise

163. her chronicle; Capell's correction of Ff their chronicle.' 165. treasuries, treasures.



166 f. Westmoreland. In Ff the following speech is given to Exeter, in Qq to a lord.' In Holinshed the corresponding speech is spoken by Westmoreland; hence Capell restored his name here.

173. tear. Rowe's emendation for Fftame,' Qq 'spoyle.'

175 crush'd necessity, one that is overborne, annihilated, by contrary reasons. So Ff; Qq'curst.'

Since we have locks to safeguard necessaries,
And pretty traps to catch the petty thieves.
While that the armed hand doth fight abroad,
The advised head defends itself at home;

For government, though high and low and lower, 180
Put into parts, doth keep in one consent,
Congreeing in a full and natural close,

Like music.


Therefore doth heaven divide

The state of man in divers functions,
Setting endeavour in continual motion;
To which is fixed, as an aim or butt,
Obedience: for so work the honey-bees,
Creatures that by a rule in nature teach
The act of order to a peopled kingdom.
They have a king and officers of sorts;

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Where some, like magistrates, correct at home,
Others, like merchants, venture trade abroad,
Others, like soldiers, armed in their stings,
Make boot upon the summer's velvet buds,
Which pillage they with merry march bring home
To the tent-royal of their emperor;
Who, busied in his majesty, surveys
The singing masons building roofs of gold,
The civil citizens kneading up the honey,
The poor mechanic porters crowding in
Their heavy burdens at his narrow gate,
The sad-eyed justice, with his surly hum,
Delivering o'er to executors pale
The lazy yawning drone. I this infer,
That many things, having full reference
To one consent, may work contrariously :

181. parts, i.e. musical parts.

ib. consent, harmony.

182. Congreeing, agreeing. ib. close, cadence.

189. act, practice.



190. of sorts, of various ranks or classes.

194. Make boot, prey.

202. sad-eyed, of grave aspect. 203. executors, executioners.


As many arrows, loosed several ways,

Come to one mark; as many ways meet in one

As many fresh streams meet in one salt sea;
As many lines close in the dial's centre;

So may a thousand actions, once afoot,
End in one purpose, and be all well borne
Without defeat. Therefore to France, my liege.
Divide your happy England into four;
Whereof take you one quarter into France,
And you withal shall make all Gallia shake.
If we, with thrice such powers left at home,
Cannot defend our own doors from the dog,
Let us be worried and our nation lose
The name of hardiness and policy.

K. Hen. Call in the messengers sent from the
[Exeunt some Attendants.
Now are we well resolved; and, by God's help,
And yours, the noble sinews of our power,
France being ours, we 'll bend it to our awe,
Or break it all to pieces: or there we'll sit,
Ruling in large and ample empery

O'er France and all her almost kingly dukedoms,
Or lay these bones in an unworthy urn,

Tombless, with no remembrance over them :
Either our history shall with full mouth
Speak freely of our acts, or else our grave,

Like Turkish mute, shall have a tongueless mouth,
Not worshipp'd with a waxen epitaph.

Enter Ambassadors of France.

Now are we well prepared to know the pleasure




shall be undistinguished, 'with no remembrance over it,' not honoured even by the most ephemeral epitaph.

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