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Great kings of France and England ! That I have
labour'd With all my wits, my pains, and strong endeavours, To bring your most imperial majesties Unto this bar' and royal interview, Your mightiness on both parts best can witness. Since then my office hath so far prevail'd, That face to face, and royal eye to eye, You have congreeted ; let it not disgrace me, If I demand, before this royal view, What rub, or what impediment, there is, Why that the naked, poor, and mangled peace, Dear nurse of arts, plenties, and joyful births, Should not, in this best garden of the world, Our fertile France, put up her lovely visage ? Alas! she hath from France too long been chas'd; And all her husbandry doth lie on heaps, Corrupting in its own fertility. Her vine, the merry cheerer of the heart, Unpruned dies : her hedges even-pleached, Like prisoners wildly over-grown with hair, Put forth disorder'd twigs : her fallow leas The darnel, hemlock, and rank fumitory, Doth root upon; while that the coulter rusts, That should deracinate such savagery : The even mead, that erst brought sweetly forth The freckled cowslip, burnet, and green clover, Wanting the scythe, all uncorrected, rank, Conceives by idleness; and nothing teems, But hateful docks, rough thistles, kecksies, burs, Losing both beauty and utility. And as our vineyards, fallows, meads, and hedges, Defective in their natures, grow to wildness; Even so our houses, and ourselves, and children, Have lost, or do not learn, for want of time, Unto this bar -] To this barrier ; to this place of congress.
deracinate -] To deracinate is to force up by the roots.
The sciences that should become our country;
savages, -as soldiers will, That nothing do but meditate on blood, To swearing, and stern looks, diffus’d attire, And every thing that seems unnatural. Which to reduce into our former favour, You are assembled : and my speech entreats, That I may know the let, why gentle peace Should not expel these inconveniencies, And bless us with her former qualities. K. Hen. If, duke of Burgundy, you would the
peace, Whose want gives growth to the imperfections Which you have cited, you must buy that peace With full accord to all our just demands; Whose tenours and particular effects You have, enscheduld briefly, in your hands. Bur. The king hath heard them ; to the which,
as yet, There is no answer made. K. Hen.
Well then, the peace, Which you before so urg'd, lies in his answer.
Fr. King. I have but with a cursorary eye
K. Hen. Brother, we shall.-Go, uncle Exeter,
3 — diffus'd attire,] Diffus'd for extravagant. The military habit of those times was extremely so.
former favour,] Former appearance.
we will, suddenly, Pass our accept, and pèremptory answer.) i. e. we will pass acceptance of what we approve, and we will pass a peremptory answer to the rest. Politeness might forbid his saying, we will pass a denial, but his own dignity required more time for deliberation
And brother Clarence, and you, brother Gloster,
Q. Isab. Our gracious brother, I will go with
Haply, a woman's voice may do some good,
K. Hen. Yet leave our cousin Katharine here
She is our capital demand, compris’d
[Exeunt all but HENRY, KATHARINE,
and her Gentlewoman. K. Hen.
Fair Katharine, and most fair! Will you
vouchsafe to teach a soldier terms, Such as will enter at a lady's ear, And plead his love-suit to her gentle heart?
Kath. Your majesty shall mock at me; I cannot speak your England.
K. Hen. O fair Katharine, if you will love me soundly with your French heart, I will be glad to hear you confess it brokenly with your English tongue. Do you like me, Kate?
Kath. Pardonnez moy, I cannot tell vat is like
you, Kate; and
K. Hen. An angel is like like an angel
Kath. Que dit-il? que je suis semblable à les anges?
Alice. Ouy, vrayment, (sauf vostre grace) ainsi dit-il.
K. Hen. I said so, dear Katharine ; and I must not blush to affirm it.
Kath. O bon Dieu ! les langues des hommes sont pleines des tromperies.
K. Hen. What says she, fair one ? that the tongues of men are full of deceits?
Alice. Ouy; dat de tongues of de mans is be full of deceits : dat is de princess.
K. Hen. The princess is the better English-woman. I'faith, Kate, my wooing is fit for thy understanding: I am glad, thou can'st speak no better English; for, if thou couldst, thou would'st find me such a plain king, that thou would'st think, I had sold my farm to buy my crown. .
I know no ways to mince it in love, but directly to say I love you: then, if you urge me further than to say-Do you in faith? I wear out my suit. Give me your answer; i'faith, do; and so clap hands and a bargain : How say you, lady?
Kath. Sauf vostre honneur, me understand well.
K. Hen. Marry, if you would put me to verses, or to dance for your sake, Kate, why you undid me: for the one, I have neither words nor measure; and for the other, I have no strength in measure, yet a reasonable measure in strength. If I could win a lady at leap-frog, or by vaulting into my saddle with my armour on my back, under the correction of bragging be it spoken, I should quickly leap into a wife. Or, if I might buffet for my love, or bound my horse for her favours, I could lay on like a butcher, and sit like a jack-an-apes, never off: buty before God, I cannot look greenly, nor gasp out my eloquence, nor I have no cunning in protestation; only downright oaths, which I never use till urged, nor never break for urging. If thou canst love a fellow of this temper, Kate, whose face is not worth sun-burning, that never looks in his glass for love of any thing he sees there, let thine eye be thy cook. I speak to thee plain soldier: If thou canst love me for this, take me : if not, to say to thee--that I shall die, is true : but--for thy love, by the lord, no; yet I love thee too. And while thou livest, dear Kate, take a fellow of plain and uncoined constancy ;' for lie perforce must do thee right, because he hath not the gift to woo in other places : for these fellows of infinite tongue, that can rhyme themselves into ladies' favours,--they do always reason themselves out again. What! a speaker is but a prater; a rhyme is but a ballad. A good leg will fall; a straight back will stoop; a black beard will turn white; a curled pate will grow bald; a fair face will wither; a full eye will wax hollow; but a good heart, Kate, is the sun and moon; or, rather, the sun, and not the moon; for it shines bright, and never changes, but keeps his course truly. If thou would have such a one, take me: And take me, take a soldier'; take a soldier, take a king: And
6-such a plain king,] I know not why Shakspeare now gives the King nearly such a character as he made him formerly ridicule in Percy. This military grossness and unskilfulness in all the softer arts does not suit very well with the gaieties of his youth, with the general knowledge ascribed to him at his accession, or with the contemptuous message sent him by the Dauphin, who represents him as fitter for a ball-room than the field, and tells him that he is not to revel intó duchies, or win provinces with a nimble galliard. The truth is, that the poet's matter failed him in the fifth Act, and he was glad to fill it up with whatever he could get; and not even Shakspeare can write well without a proper subject. It is a vain endeavour for the most skilful hand to cultivate barrenness, or to paint upon vacuity. Johnson.
7- no strength in measure,] i. e. in dancing