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As

That many things, having full reference
To one concent, may work contrariously;
As mány arrows, loosed several ways,
Fly to one mark;
many several

ways

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.
If we, with thrice that power left at home,
Cannot defend our own door 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

Dauphin.
[Exit an Attendant. The King ascends

his Throne.
Now are we well resolv'd : 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 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

266

Enter Ambassadors of France.
Now are we well prepar'd to know the pleasure
Of our fair cousin Dauphin; for, we hear,
Your greeting is from him, not from the king.

Amb. May it please your majesty, to give us leave
Freely to render what we have in charge;
Or shall we sparingly show you

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,
With lofty turns and capriols in the air,

Which with the lusty tunes accordeth fair.'

You cannot revel into dukedoms there:
He therefore sends you, meeter for your spirit,
This tun of treasure: and, in lieu of this,
Desires
you, let the dukedoms, that

you

claim, Hear no more of you. This the Dauphin speaks.

K. Hen. What treasure, uncle?
Exe.

Tennis-balls, my liege 29. K. Hen. We are glad the Dauphin is so pleasant

with us;

for :

His present, and your pains, we thank you
When we have match'd our rackets to these balls,
We will, in France, by God's grace, play a set,
Shall strike his father's crown into the hazard 30:
Tell him, he hath made a match with such a wrangler,
That all the courts of France will be disturb’d
With chaces 31 And we understand him well,
How he comes o'er us with our wilder days,
Not measuring what use we made of them.
We never valu'd this poor seat 32 of England;
And therefore, living hence 33, did give ourself
To barbarous license; As 'tis ever common,
That men are merriest when they are from home.
But tell the Dauphin, -I will keep my state;
Be like a king, and show my sail of greatness,
When I do rouse me in my throne of France:

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*,
And plodded like a man for working-days;
But I will rise there with so full a glory,
That I will dazzle all the eyes of France,
Yea, strike the Dauphin blind to look on us.
And tell the pleasant prince,-this mock of his
Hath turn’d his balls to gun-stones 35; and his soul
Shall stand sore charged for the wasteful vengeance
That shall fly with them: for many a thousand widows
Shall this his mock mock out of their dear husbands;
Mock mothers from their sons, mock castles down;
And some are yet ungotten, and unborn,
That shall have cause to curse the Dauphin's scorn.
But this lies all within the will of God,
To whom I do appeal; And in whose name,
Tell you the Dauphin, I am coming on,
To venge me as I may, and to put forth
My rightful hand in a well hallow'd cause.
So, get you hence in peace; and tell the Dauphin,
His jest will savour but of shallow wit,
When thousands weep, more than did laugh at it.-
Convey them with safe conduct.-Fare you well.

[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,
That
may,

with reasonable swiftness, add
More feathers to our wings; for, God before,
We'll chide this Dauphin at his father's door.
Therefore, let every man now task his thought 36,
That this fair action may on foot be brought.

[Exeunt.

ACT II.

Enter CHORUS.
Chor. Now all the youth of England are on fire,,
And silken dalliance in the wardrobe lies;
Now thrive the armourers, and honour's thought
Reigns solely in the breast of every man:
They sell the pasture now, to buy the horse;
Following the mirror of all Christian kings,
With winged heels, as English Mercuries.
For now sits Expectation in the air;
And hides a sword, from hilts unto the point,
With crowns imperial, crowns, and coronets?,
Promis’d to Harry, and his followers.
The French, advis'd by good intelligence
Of this most dreadful preparation,
36 • Task his thought. We have this phrase before. See

332.
• For now sits Expectation in the air;
And hides a sword, from hilts unto the point,

With crowns,' &c.
Expectation is also personified by Milton :-

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.

note on

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