Now, fie upon my false French! By mine honour, in true English,
I love thee, Kate; by which honour I dare not swear thou lovest
me; yet my blood begins to flatter me that thou dost,
notwithstanding the poor and untempering effect of my visage.
Now, beshrew my father's ambition! he was thinking of civil wars
when he got me; therefore was I created with a stubborn outside,
with an aspect of iron, that, when I come to woo ladies, I fright
them. But, in faith, Kate, the elder I wax, the better I shall
appear. My comfort is, that old age, that ill layer up of beauty,
can do no more spoil upon my face. Thou hast me, if thou hast me,
at the worst; and thou shalt wear me, if thou wear me, better and
better; and therefore tell me, most fair Katharine, will you have
me? Put off your maiden blushes; avouch the thoughts of your heart
with the looks of an empress; take me by the hand, and say, Harry
of England, I am thine; which word thou shalt no sooner bless mine
ear withal, but I will tell thee aloud, England is thine, Ireland
is thine, France is thine, and Henry Plantagenet is thine; who,
though I speak it before his face, if he be not fellow with the
best king, thou shalt find the best king of good fellows.
Come, your answer in broken music; for thy voice is music and thy
English broken; therefore, queen of all, Katharine, break thy mind
to me in broken English. Wilt thou have me?
Dat is as it shall please de roi mon pere.
Nay, it will please him well, Kate; it shall please him, Kate.
Den it sall also content me.
Upon that I kiss your hand, and call you my queen.
Laissez, mon seigneur, laissez, laissez! Ma foi, je ne veux point
que vous abaissez votre grandeur en baisant la main d'une indigne
serviteur. Excusez-moi, je vous supplie, mon tres-puissant seigneur.
Then I will kiss your lips, Kate.
Les dames et demoiselles pour etre baisees devant leur noces, il
n'est pas la coutume de France.
Madame my interpreter, what says she?
Dat it is not be de fashion pour les ladies of France, — I cannot
tell wat is baiser en Anglish.
Your Majestee entendre bettre que moi.
It is not a fashion for the maids in France to kiss before they
are married, would she say?
O Kate, nice customs curtsy to great kings. Dear Kate, you and I
cannot be confined within the weak list of a country's fashion.
We are the makers of manners, Kate; and the liberty that follows
our places stops the mouth of all find-faults, as I will do yours,
for upholding the nice fashion of your country in denying me a kiss;
therefore, patiently and yielding. [Kissing her.] You have
witchcraft in your lips, Kate; there is more eloquence in a sugar
touch of them than in the tongues of the French council; and they
should sooner persuade Harry of England than a general petition of
monarchs. Here comes your father.
[Re-enter the French Power and the English Lords.]
God save your Majesty! My royal cousin, teach you our princess
I would have her learn, my fair cousin, how perfectly I love her;
and that is good English.
Is she not apt?
Our tongue is rough, coz, and my condition is not smooth; so
that, having neither the voice nor the heart of flattery about
me, I cannot so conjure up the spirit of love in her, that he
will appear in his true likeness.
Pardon the frankness of my mirth, if I answer you for that. If
you would conjure in her, you must make a circle; if conjure up
Love in her in his true likeness, he must appear naked and blind.
Can you blame her then, being a maid yet ros'd over with the virgin
crimson of modesty, if she deny the appearance of a naked blind boy
in her naked seeing self? It were, my lord, a hard condition for a
maid to consign to.
Yet they do wink and yield, as love is blind and enforces.
They are then excus'd, my lord, when they see not what they do.
Then, good my lord, teach your cousin to consent winking.
I will wink on her to consent, my lord, if you will teach her to
know my meaning; for maids, well summer'd and warm kept, are like
flies at Bartholomew-tide, blind, though they have their eyes; and
then they will endure handling, which before would not abide
This moral ties me over to time and a hot summer; and so I shall
catch the fly, your cousin, in the latter end, and she must be blind