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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.

304 Enter the French Power, and the English Lords.

Bur. God save your majesty! My royal cousin, teach you our princess English?

K. Hen. I would have her learn, my fair cousin, how perfectly I love her; and that is good English.

309 Bur. Is she not apt?

K. Hen. 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.

315 Bur. Pardon the frankness of my mirth if I answer you for that. If you would conjure in her, you must make a circle; conjure up Love in her in his true likeness, he must appear naked and blind. Can you blame her then, 320 being a maid yet rosed 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.

325 K. Hen. Yet they do wink and yield, as love is blind and enforces.

Bur. They are then excused, my lord, when they see not what they do.

329 341

318 circle; cf. n.

K. Hen. Then, good my lord, teach your cousin to consent winking.

Bur. I will wink on her to consent, my lord, if you

will teach her to know my meaning: for maids, well summered and warm kept, are like flies at Bartholomew-tide, blind, though they 335 have their eyes; and then they will endure handling, which before would not abide looking on.

K. Hen. 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 too.

Bur. As love is, my lord, before it loves.

K. Hen. It is so: and you may, some of you, thank love for my blindness, who cannot see many a fair French city for one fair French maid that stands in my way.

346 Fr. King. Yes, my lord, you see them perspectively, the cities turned into a maid; for they are all girdled with maiden walls that war hath never entered.

K. Hen. Shall Kate be my wife?
Fr. King. So please you.

352 K. Hen. I am content; so the maiden cities you talk of may wait on her: so the maid that stood in the way for my wish shall show me the way to my will.

356 Fr. King. We have consented to all terms of


K. Hen. Is 't so, my lords of England?

West. The king hath granted every article: His daughter first, and then in sequel all, According to their firm proposed natures. 335 Bartholomew-tide: St. Bartholomew's day, August 24 347 perspectively; cf. n.


raise up

Exe. Only he hath not yet subscribed this: Where your majesty demands, that the King of France, having any occasion to write for matter of grant, shall name your highness in this form, 366 and with this addition, in French. Notre très cher fils Henry roi d'Angleterre, Héritier de France; and thus in Latin, Præclarissimus filius noster Henricus, Rex Angliæ, et Hæres Franciæ.

Fr. King. Nor this I have not, brother, so denied, But your request shall make me let it pass.

372 K. Hen. I pray you then, in love and dear alliance, Let that one article rank with the rest; And thereupon give me your daughter. Fr. King. Take her, fair son; and from her blood

376 Issue to me; that the contending kingdoms Of France and England, whose very shores look pale With envy of each other's happiness, May cease their hatred, and this dear conjunction Plant neighbourhood and Christian-like accord In their sweet bosoms, that never war advance His bleeding sword 'twixt England and fair France. All. Amen!

384 K. Hen. Now, welcome, Kate: and bear me witness

all, That here I kiss her as my sovereign queen.

Flourish. Q. Isa. God, the best maker of all marriages, Combine your hearts in one, your realms in one! As man and wife, being two, are one in love, So be there 'twixt your kingdoms such a spousal That never may ill office, or fell jealousy, Which troubles oft the bed of blessed marriage, 363 subscribed: signed

367 addition: title 369 Præclarissimus; cf. n. 381 neighbourhood: neighborly feeling 11 That they lost France and made his England bleed: Which oft our stage hath shown; and, for their sake, In your fair minds let this acceptance take. 14 393 paction: alliance 402 S. d. Sennet: set of notes on a trumpet 2 bending: 4.e., bending beneath the burden of his task 4 starts: a fragmentary representation


Thrust in between the paction of these kingdoms,
To make divorce of their incorporate league;
That English may as French, French Englishmen,
Receive each other! God speak this Amen! 396

All. Amen!
K. Hen. Prepare we for our marriage: on which

My Lord of Burgundy, we'll take your oath,
And all the peers', for surety of our leagues.
Then shall I swear to Kate, and you to me;
And may our oaths well kept and prosperous be!

Sennet. Exeunt.



Enter Chorus.
Thus far, with rough and all-unable pen,

Our bending author hath pursu'd the story;
In little room confining mighty men,

3 Mangling by starts the full course of their glory. Small time, but in that small most greatly liv'd

This star of England: Fortune made his sword, By which the world's best garden he achiev'd, 7

And of it left his son imperial lord.
Henry the Sixth, in infant bands crown'd King

Of France and England, did this king succeed;
Whose state so many had the managing,

14 this: this play




Prol. 11. cockpit. A pit or enclosure for the popular Elizabethan sport of cockfighting. The expression is not to be taken literally, but merely as part of Shakespeare's disparagement of his inadequate representation of the great events of King Henry's reign. The 'wooden O’ of line 13 presumably refers to the Globe theatre, built in 1599. The Globe is thought to have been octagonal on the exterior, but the interior was probably circular.

Prol. 16. Attest. The “crooked figure' that may stand for a million is probably the figure '1,' which was a very crooked figure as the Elizabethans wrote it.

Prol. 29. jumping o'er times. The action of the play covers a period of six years, from 1414 to 1420.

Prol. 32. Chorus. This term, an inheritance from the drama of Greece and Rome, is used by Shakespeare simply as a name by which to designate the speaker of his prologues; i.e., a single actor.

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I. i. S. d. Bishops. The stage directions of the Folio do not discriminate between the titles of Archbishop and Bishop either here or in the second scene.

I. i. 35. Hydra-headed. The Hydra of Lerna was a nine-headed monster slain by Hercules. When one head was struck off, two new ones grew in its place.

I. i. 46. Gordian knot. An oracle had declared that he who untied this famous knot, tied by King Gordius of Phrygia, should rule over Asia. Alexander the Great cut the knot with his sword, declaring that he was destined to fulfill the oracle,

I. i. 51. art. The word as used here means the application of theory to practice. King Henry, reversing the usual process, appears to have learned the theory of statesmanship from practical endeavor.

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