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History of Henry V

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Act II, Scene 2

Southampton. A council-chamber.



  • Earl of Westmoreland. How smooth and even they do bear themselves!
    As if allegiance in their bosoms sat,
    Crowned with faith and constant loyalty.
  • Duke of Bedford. The king hath note of all that they intend,
    By interception which they dream not of. 640
  • Duke of Exeter. Nay, but the man that was his bedfellow,
    Whom he hath dull'd and cloy'd with gracious favours,
    That he should, for a foreign purse, so sell
    His sovereign's life to death and treachery.
    [Trumpets sound. Enter KING HENRY V, SCROOP,] 645
    CAMBRIDGE, GREY, and Attendants]
  • Henry V. Now sits the wind fair, and we will aboard.
    My Lord of Cambridge, and my kind Lord of Masham,
    And you, my gentle knight, give me your thoughts:
    Think you not that the powers we bear with us 650
    Will cut their passage through the force of France,
    Doing the execution and the act
    For which we have in head assembled them?
  • Lord Scroop. No doubt, my liege, if each man do his best.
  • Henry V. I doubt not that; since we are well persuaded 655
    We carry not a heart with us from hence
    That grows not in a fair consent with ours,
    Nor leave not one behind that doth not wish
    Success and conquest to attend on us.
  • Earl of Cambridge. Never was monarch better fear'd and loved 660
    Than is your majesty: there's not, I think, a subject
    That sits in heart-grief and uneasiness
    Under the sweet shade of your government.
  • Sir Thomas Grey. True: those that were your father's enemies
    Have steep'd their galls in honey and do serve you 665
    With hearts create of duty and of zeal.
  • Henry V. We therefore have great cause of thankfulness;
    And shall forget the office of our hand,
    Sooner than quittance of desert and merit
    According to the weight and worthiness. 670
  • Lord Scroop. So service shall with steeled sinews toil,
    And labour shall refresh itself with hope,
    To do your grace incessant services.
  • Henry V. We judge no less. Uncle of Exeter,
    Enlarge the man committed yesterday, 675
    That rail'd against our person: we consider
    it was excess of wine that set him on;
    And on his more advice we pardon him.
  • Lord Scroop. That's mercy, but too much security:
    Let him be punish'd, sovereign, lest example 680
    Breed, by his sufferance, more of such a kind.
  • Henry V. O, let us yet be merciful.
  • Sir Thomas Grey. Sir,
    You show great mercy, if you give him life, 685
    After the taste of much correction.
  • Henry V. Alas, your too much love and care of me
    Are heavy orisons 'gainst this poor wretch!
    If little faults, proceeding on distemper,
    Shall not be wink'd at, how shall we stretch our eye 690
    When capital crimes, chew'd, swallow'd and digested,
    Appear before us? We'll yet enlarge that man,
    Though Cambridge, Scroop and Grey, in their dear care
    And tender preservation of our person,
    Would have him punished. And now to our French causes: 695
    Who are the late commissioners?
  • Henry V. Then, Richard Earl of Cambridge, there is yours;
    There yours, Lord Scroop of Masham; and, sir knight,
    Grey of Northumberland, this same is yours:
    Read them; and know, I know your worthiness.
    My Lord of Westmoreland, and uncle Exeter, 705
    We will aboard to night. Why, how now, gentlemen!
    What see you in those papers that you lose
    So much complexion? Look ye, how they change!
    Their cheeks are paper. Why, what read you there
    That hath so cowarded and chased your blood 710
    Out of appearance?
  • Henry V. The mercy that was quick in us but late, 715
    By your own counsel is suppress'd and kill'd:
    You must not dare, for shame, to talk of mercy;
    For your own reasons turn into your bosoms,
    As dogs upon their masters, worrying you.
    See you, my princes, and my noble peers, 720
    These English monsters! My Lord of Cambridge here,
    You know how apt our love was to accord
    To furnish him with all appertinents
    Belonging to his honour; and this man
    Hath, for a few light crowns, lightly conspired, 725
    And sworn unto the practises of France,
    To kill us here in Hampton: to the which
    This knight, no less for bounty bound to us
    Than Cambridge is, hath likewise sworn. But, O,
    What shall I say to thee, Lord Scroop? thou cruel, 730
    Ingrateful, savage and inhuman creature!
    Thou that didst bear the key of all my counsels,
    That knew'st the very bottom of my soul,
    That almost mightst have coin'd me into gold,
    Wouldst thou have practised on me for thy use, 735
    May it be possible, that foreign hire
    Could out of thee extract one spark of evil
    That might annoy my finger? 'tis so strange,
    That, though the truth of it stands off as gross
    As black and white, my eye will scarcely see it. 740
    Treason and murder ever kept together,
    As two yoke-devils sworn to either's purpose,
    Working so grossly in a natural cause,
    That admiration did not whoop at them:
    But thou, 'gainst all proportion, didst bring in 745
    Wonder to wait on treason and on murder:
    And whatsoever cunning fiend it was
    That wrought upon thee so preposterously
    Hath got the voice in hell for excellence:
    All other devils that suggest by treasons 750
    Do botch and bungle up damnation
    With patches, colours, and with forms being fetch'd
    From glistering semblances of piety;
    But he that temper'd thee bade thee stand up,
    Gave thee no instance why thou shouldst do treason, 755
    Unless to dub thee with the name of traitor.
    If that same demon that hath gull'd thee thus
    Should with his lion gait walk the whole world,
    He might return to vasty Tartar back,
    And tell the legions 'I can never win 760
    A soul so easy as that Englishman's.'
    O, how hast thou with 'jealousy infected
    The sweetness of affiance! Show men dutiful?
    Why, so didst thou: seem they grave and learned?
    Why, so didst thou: come they of noble family? 765
    Why, so didst thou: seem they religious?
    Why, so didst thou: or are they spare in diet,
    Free from gross passion or of mirth or anger,
    Constant in spirit, not swerving with the blood,
    Garnish'd and deck'd in modest complement, 770
    Not working with the eye without the ear,
    And but in purged judgment trusting neither?
    Such and so finely bolted didst thou seem:
    And thus thy fall hath left a kind of blot,
    To mark the full-fraught man and best indued 775
    With some suspicion. I will weep for thee;
    For this revolt of thine, methinks, is like
    Another fall of man. Their faults are open:
    Arrest them to the answer of the law;
    And God acquit them of their practises! 780
  • Duke of Exeter. I arrest thee of high treason, by the name of
    Richard Earl of Cambridge.
    I arrest thee of high treason, by the name of
    Henry Lord Scroop of Masham.
    I arrest thee of high treason, by the name of 785
    Thomas Grey, knight, of Northumberland.
  • Lord Scroop. Our purposes God justly hath discover'd;
    And I repent my fault more than my death;
    Which I beseech your highness to forgive,
    Although my body pay the price of it. 790
  • Earl of Cambridge. For me, the gold of France did not seduce;
    Although I did admit it as a motive
    The sooner to effect what I intended:
    But God be thanked for prevention;
    Which I in sufferance heartily will rejoice, 795
    Beseeching God and you to pardon me.
  • Sir Thomas Grey. Never did faithful subject more rejoice
    At the discovery of most dangerous treason
    Than I do at this hour joy o'er myself.
    Prevented from a damned enterprise: 800
    My fault, but not my body, pardon, sovereign.
  • Henry V. God quit you in his mercy! Hear your sentence.
    You have conspired against our royal person,
    Join'd with an enemy proclaim'd and from his coffers
    Received the golden earnest of our death; 805
    Wherein you would have sold your king to slaughter,
    His princes and his peers to servitude,
    His subjects to oppression and contempt
    And his whole kingdom into desolation.
    Touching our person seek we no revenge; 810
    But we our kingdom's safety must so tender,
    Whose ruin you have sought, that to her laws
    We do deliver you. Get you therefore hence,
    Poor miserable wretches, to your death:
    The taste whereof, God of his mercy give 815
    You patience to endure, and true repentance
    Of all your dear offences! Bear them hence.
    [Exeunt CAMBRIDGE, SCROOP and GREY, guarded]
    Now, lords, for France; the enterprise whereof
    Shall be to you, as us, like glorious. 820
    We doubt not of a fair and lucky war,
    Since God so graciously hath brought to light
    This dangerous treason lurking in our way
    To hinder our beginnings. We doubt not now
    But every rub is smoothed on our way. 825
    Then forth, dear countrymen: let us deliver
    Our puissance into the hand of God,
    Putting it straight in expedition.
    Cheerly to sea; the signs of war advance:
    No king of England, if not king of France. 830