Henry V
 Act 5, Scene 2

Enter, at one door KING HENRY, EXETER, BEDFORD, GLOUCESTER, WARWICK, WESTMORELAND, and other Lords; at another, the FRENCH KING, QUEEN ISABEL, the PRINCESS KATHARINE, ALICE and other Ladies; the DUKE of BURGUNDY, and his train
Burgundy
My duty to you both, on equal love,
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 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 chased,
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-pleach’d,
Like prisoners wildly overgrown 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,
The sciences that should become our country;
But grow like savages,—as soldiers will
That nothing do but meditate on blood,—
To swearing and stern looks, diffused 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 inconveniences
And bless us with her former qualities.

Exeunt all except HENRY, KATHARINE, and ALICE
King Henry V
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. But, before God,
Kate, 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 he 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 the
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 what sayest thou then to my love?
speak, my fair, and fairly, I pray thee.

Re-enter the FRENCH KING and his QUEEN, BURGUNDY, and other Lords
ALL
ALL
Sennet. Exeunt
Henry V

Henry V

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