SCENE II. France. A royal palace.
[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 other French.]
Peace to this meeting, wherefore we are met!
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 contriv'd,
We do salute you, Duke of Burgundy;
And, princes French, and peers, health to you all!
Right joyous are we to behold your face,
Most worthy brother England; fairly met!
So are you, princes English, every one.
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.
To cry amen to that, thus we appear.
You English princes all, I do salute you.
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, 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 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, kexes, 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, diffus'd attire,
And everything 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.
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 enschedul'd briefly in your hands.
The King hath heard them; to the which as yet
There is no answer made.
Well, then, the peace,
Which you before so urg'd, lies in his answer.
I have but with a cursorary eye
O'erglanc'd 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.
Brother, we shall. Go, uncle Exeter,
And brother Clarence, and you, brother Gloucester,
Warwick, and Huntington, 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,
Anything in or out of our demands,
And we'll consign thereto. Will you, fair sister,
Go with the princes, or stay here with us?
Our gracious brother, I will go with them.
Haply a woman's voice may do some good,
When articles too nicely urg'd be stood on.
Yet leave our cousin Katharine here with us:
She is our capital demand, compris'd
Within the fore-rank of our articles.
She hath good leave.
[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?
Your Majesty shall mock me; I cannot speak your
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?
Pardonnez-moi, I cannot tell wat is "like me."
An angel is like you, Kate, and you are like an angel.
Que dit-il? Que je suis semblable a les anges?
Oui, vraiment, sauf votre grace, ainsi dit-il.
I said so, dear Katharine; and I must not blush to affirm it.