Imagini ale paginilor
PDF
ePub

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 mechanick porters crouding in
Their heavy burdens at his narrow gate;
The sad-ey'd justice, with his surly hum,
Delivering o'er to éxecutors* pale
The lazy yawning drone. I this infer,-
That many things, having full reference
To one concent, may work contrariously;
As many arrows, loosed several ways,
Fly to one mark;
As many several ways meet in one town;
As
many

fresh streams run in one self sea ;
As many lines close in the dial's center;
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 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,

civil-] i. e. sober, grave. to éxecutors-) Executors is here used for executioners.

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 worship'd with a waxen epitaph.

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 won;o You cannot revel into dukedoms there:

empery,) This word, which signifies dominion, is now obsolete, though formerly in general use.

- a nimble galliard won ;] A galliard was an ancient dance, now obsolete. VOL. VI.

D

6

[ocr errors]

Ile 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.
K. Hen. We are glad, the Dauphin is so pleasant

with us; His present, and your pains, we thank you for: 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: Tell him, he hath made a match with such

wrangler, That all the courts of France will be disturb'd With chaces.? 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 of England ; 8 And therefore, living hence, 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: For that I have laid by' my majesty, 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.

7

8

chaces.] Chace is a term at tennis.

this poor seat of England ;] By the seat of England, the King means the throne.

9 And therefore, living hence,] Living hence means, withdrawing from the court, the place in which he is now speaking.

For that I have laid by:-) To qualify myself for this undertaking, I have descended from my station, and studied the arts of life in a lower character. JOHNSON.

And tell the pleasant prince,—this mock of his Hath turn'd his balls to gun-stones;’ 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 hus

bands; 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 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, That this fair action may on foot be brought.

[Exeunt. his balls to gun-stones;] When ordnance was first used, they discharged balls, not of iron, but of stone.

2

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, Shake in their fear; and with pale policy Seek to divert the English purposes. O England !-model to thy inward greatness, Like little body with a mighty heart,What might'st thou do, that honour would thee do, Were all thy children kind and natural! But see thy fault! France hath in thee found out A nest of hollow bosoms, which he fills With treacherous crowns: and three corrupted

men, One, Richard earl of Cambridge; and the second, Henry lord Scroop of Marsham; and the third, Sir Thomas Grey knight of Northumberland, Have, for the gilt of France, (O guilt, indeed!) Confirm'd conspiracy with fearful France;

the gilt of France,] Gilt, which, in our author, generally signifies a display of gold, in the present instance, means golden money.

« ÎnapoiContinuați »