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Unto our brother France, and to our sister,
Health and fair time of day; joy and good wishes
To our most fair and princely cousin Katharine ;
And, as a branch and member of this royalty,
By whom this great assembly is contrived,
We do salute you, Duke of Burgundy;

And, princes French, and peers, health to you all! Fr. King. Right joyous are we to behold your face,

Most worthy brother England; fairly met:

So are you, princes English, every one.

Q. Isa. So happy be the issue, brother England,
Of this good day and of this gracious meeting,
As we are now glad to behold your eyes;
Your eyes, which hitherto have borne in them
Against the French, that met them in their bent,
The fatal balls of murdering basilisks:
The venom of such looks, we fairly hope,
Have lost their quality, and that this day
Shall change all griefs and quarrels into love.

K. Hen. To cry amen to that, thus we appear.
Q. Isa. You English princes all, I do salute

Bur. 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.

II. So are you, princes English; Ff1-3 so are you princess (English).'

16. bent, the direction (or aim) of an eye-glance (or a cannon-shot).

17. basilisks; used with a



play upon the two senses: (1) a fabulous animal whose glances slew; (2) a large cannon.

19. Have; the plural by attraction after 'looks.'

27. bar, place of confer


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 chased,
And all her husbandry doth lie on heaps,
Corrupting in it 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,

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found occasionally elsewhere in Fr

42. even-pleach'd, trimmed to form an even surface.

49. burnet, a herb used in stanching wounds.

52. kecksies, dry hemlockstalks.


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, defused 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.

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 enscheduled 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 urged, lies in his answer.
Fr. King. I have but with a cursorary eye
O'erglanced the articles: pleaseth your grace
To appoint some of your council presently
To sit with us once more, with better heed
To re-survey them, we will suddenly
Pass our accept and peremptory answer.
K. Hen. Brother, we shall.

61. defused, disordered.
63. reduce, bring back.
81. suddenly, promptly.
82. Pass our accept and
peremptory answer, (probably)
give the answer upon which we
definitely and finally agree.
'Accept' has commonly been
understood acceptance'; but

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Go, uncle Exeter,




the French king does not guarantee that he will accept the articles, merely that he will give a definite decision. Hence Mr. W. A. Wright's proposal to understand' accept' as a participle, ('the answer which we have accepted as decisive') is preferable.

And brother Clarence, and you, brother Glou


Warwick and Huntingdon, go with the king;
And take with you free power to ratify,
Augment, or alter, as your wisdoms best
Shall see advantageable for our dignity,
Any thing in or out of our demands,
And we'll consign thereto.

Will you, fair sister,
Go with the princes, or stay here with us?

Q. Isa. Our gracious brother, I will go with

them :

Haply a woman's voice may do some good,

When articles too nicely urged be stood on.

K. Hen. Yet leave our cousin Katharine here

with us:

She is our capital demand, comprised

Within the fore-rank of our articles.

Q. Isa. She hath good leave.

K. Hen.

[Exeunt all except Henry, Katharine,
and Alice.

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-moi, I cannot tell vat is 'like me.'

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K. Hen. An angel is like you, Kate, and you 110 are like an angel.

90. consign thereto, confirm it with our seal.

94. too nicely, with trivial and captious arguments.

Kath. Que dit-il? que je suis semblable à les anges?

Alice. Oui, vraiment, sauf votre 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 de tromperies.

K. Hen. What says she, fair one? that the 120 tongues of men are full of deceits?

Alice. Oui, dat de tongues of de mans is be full of deceits dat is de princess.

K. Hen. The princess is the better Englishwoman. I' faith, Kate, my wooing is fit for thy understanding: I am glad thou canst speak no better English; for, if thou couldst, thou wouldst find me such a plain king that thou wouldst think I had sold my farm to buy my crown. I know no ways to mince it in love, but directly to say 130 'I love you :' then if you urge me farther 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 votre honneur, me understand vell.

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 140 measure, yet a reasonable measure in strength. If I could win a lady at leap-frog, or by vaulting armour on my back,

into my

saddle with my

123. dat is de princess; probably incomplete. Alice may be supposed to wish to qualify the candour of the sentiment, when the king cuts her short.

138. undid, would undo.

141. measure is played upon in three senses: (1) metre; (2) a stately dance; (3) amount.

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