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That many things, having full reference
meet in one town; As many
fresh streams run in one self sea; As many lịnes close in the dial's centre; So may a thousand actions, once afoot, End in one purpose, and be all well borne Without defeat 25. 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.
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 26, 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 worship'd with a waxen epitaph 7. 25 · Without defeat.' The quartos read · Without defect.'
Empery. This word, which signifies dominion, is now obsolete, though once in general use.
27 • Not worship’d with a waxen epitaph. The quartos read -- with a paper epitaph. Either a paper or a waxen epitaph
Enter Ambassadors of France.
Amb. May it please your majesty, to give us leave
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. 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 advis'd, there's nought in France, That can be with a nimble galliard 28 won; is an epitaph easily destroyed; one that can confer no lasting honour on the dead. Steevens thinks that the allusion is to waren tablets, as any thing written upon them was easily effaced. Mr. Gifford says that a waxen epitaph was an epitaph affixed to the hearse or grave with wax. But it appears to me that the expression may be merely metaphorical, and not allusive to either. Cereus, in Latin; waxen, in English; and a kindred word, in most languages, is applied to any thing soft, pliable, mutable, easily taking any impression, and as easily losing it; any thing fragile, or changing with a light occasion. In short, the epithet conveys completely the idea of instability; and this was the intention of the poet.
28 A galliard was an ancient spritely dance, as its name implies; which Sir John Davies describes as :
• A gallant dance, that lively doth bewray
A spirit and a virtue masculine,
Which with the lusty tunes accordeth fair.'
You cannot revel into dukedoms there:
claim, Hear no more of you. This the Dauphin speaks.
K. Hen. What treasure, uncle?
Tennis-balls, my liege 29. K. Hen. We are glad the Dauphin is so pleasant
His present, and your pains, we thank you
29 In the old play of King Henry V. this present consists of a gilded tun of tennis-balls, and a carpet.
30 The hazard is a place in the tennis-court, into which the ball is sometimes struck.
31 A chace at tennis is that spot where a ball falls, beyond which the adversary must strike his ball to gain a point or chace. At long tennis it is the spot where the ball leaves, off rolling. We see therefore why the king has called himself a wrangler. 32 i. e. the throne. Thus in King Richard III.:
* The supreme seat, the throne majestical.' 33 • And therefore living hence;' that is, from hence, away from this seat or throne.
For that I have laid by my majesty 3*,
[Exeunt Ambassadors. Exe. This was a merry message. K. Hen. We hope to make the sender blush at it.
[Descends from his Throne. 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
34 • For that I have laid by my majesty.' To qualify myself for this undertaking, I have descended from my station, and studied the arts of life in a lower character.'
35 • Hath turn’d his balls to gun-stones.' When ordnance was first used they discharged balls not of iron but of stone.
Be soon collected; and all things thought upon,
with reasonable swiftness, add
With crowns,' &c.
while Expectation stood
In horror.'In ancient representations of trophies, &c. it is common to see swords encircled with crowns. Shakspeare's image is supposed to be taken from a wood cut in the first edition of Holinshed.