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K. Hen. What says she, fair one? that the tongues of men are full of deceits?
Alice. Ouy; 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 I love you; then, if you urge me further 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 vostre honneur, me understand well.
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 measure,1 yet a reasonable measure in strength. If I could win a lady at leapfrog, or by vaulting into my saddle with my armor on my back, under the correction of bragging be it spoken, I should quickly leap into a wife. Or, if I might buffet for my love, or bound my horse for her favors, I could lay on like a butcher, and sit like a jack-an-apes, never off; but, before God, I cannot look greenly, nor gasp out my eloquence, nor I have no cunning in protestation; only downright oaths, which I never use till urged, nor never break for urging. If thou canst love a fellow of this temper, Kate, whose face is not worth sun-burning, that never looks in his glass for love of any thing he sees there, let thine eye be thy cook. I speak to thee plain soldier; if thou canst love me for this, take me: if not, to say to thee-that I shall die, is true but for thy love, by the Lord, no; yet I love thee too. And while thou livest, dear Kate, take a fellow of plain and uncoined constancy; for he perforce
1 i. e. in dancing, 2 i. e. like a young lover, awkwardly. 3 The prince evidently means to say, "Take a fellow of blunt, unadorned courage or purpose, because he hath not the gift to woo in other places like
must do thee right, because he hath not the gift to woo in other places; for these fellows of infinite tongue, that can rhyme themselves into ladies' favors,—they do always reason themselves out again. What! a speaker is but a prater; a rhyme is but a ballad. A good leg will fall; a straight back will stoop; a black beard will turn white; a curled pate will grow bald; a fair face will wither; a full eye will wax hollow: but a good heart, Kate, is the sun and moon; or, rather, the sun, and not the moon; for it shines bright, and never changes, but keeps his course truly. If thou would have such a one, take me. And take me, take a soldier; take a soldier, take a king. And what sayest thou then to my love? speak, my fair, and fairly pray thee.
Kath. Is it possible dat I should love de enemy of France?
K. Hen. No; it is not possible you should love the enemy of France, Kate: but, in loving me, you should love the friend of France; for I love France so well, that I will not part with a village of it; I will have it all mine; and, Kate, when France is mine, and I am yours, then yours is France, and you are mine.
Kath. I cannot tell vat is dat.
K. Hen. No, Kate? I will tell thee in French; which, I am sure, will hang upon my tongue like a new-married wife about her husband's neck, hardly to be shook off. Quand j'ay la possession de France, et quand vous avez le possession de moi (let me see, what then? Saint Dennis be my speed!)-donc vostre est France, et vous estes mienne. It is as easy for me, Kate, to conquer the kingdom, as to speak so much more French. I shall never move thee in French, unless it be to laugh at me.
Kath. Sauf vostre honneur, le François que vous parlez est meilleur que l'Anglois lequel je parle.
K. Hen. No, 'faith, is't not, Kate; but thy speaking
these fellows of infinite tongue." Constancy is most frequently used for courage, or resolution, by Shakspeare.
1 i. e. shrink, fall away.
of my tongue, and I thine, most truly falsely, must needs be granted to me much at one. thou understand thus much English? me?
Kath. I cannot tell.
But, Kate, dost Canst thou love
K. Hen. Can any of your neighbors tell, Kate? I'll ask them. Come, I know thou lovest me; and at night when you come into your closet, you'll question this gentlewoman about me; and I know, Kate, you will, to her, dispraise those parts in me, that you love with your heart; but, good Kate, mock me mercifully the rather, gentle princess, because I love thee cruelly. If ever thou be'st mine, Kate, (as I have a saving faith within me, tells me,-thou shalt,) I get thee with scambling, and thou must therefore needs prove a good soldierbreeder. Shall not thou and I, between saint Dennis and saint George, compound a boy, half French, half English, that shall go to Constantinople, and take the Turk by the beard?1 Shall we not? what sayest thou, fair flower-de-luce?
Kath. I do not know dat.
K. Hen. No; 'tis hereafter to know, but now to promise; do but now promise, Kate, you will endeavor for your French part of such a boy; and, for my English moiety, take the word of a king and a bachelor. How answer you, la plus belle Katharine du monde, mon très chere et divine déesse?
Kath. Your majesté 'ave fausse French enough to deceive the most sage damoiselle dat is en France.
K. Hen. Now, fie upon my false French! By mine honor, in true English, I love thee, Kate: by which honor 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
1 The Turks had not possession of Constantinople until the year 1453; when Henry had been dead thirty-one years.
2 "The poor and untempering effect of my visage." Untempering is unsoftening, unmitigating.
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?
Kath. Dat is as it shall please de roy mon pere. K. Hen. Nay, it will please him well, Kate; it shall please him, Kate.
Kath. Den it shall also content me.
K. Hen. Upon that I will kiss your hand, and I call you-my queen.
Kath. Laissez, mon seigneur, laissez, laissez: ma foy, je ne veux point que vous abaissez vostre grandeur, en baisant la main d'une vostre indigne serviteure; excusez moy, je vous supplie, mon très puissant seigneur.
K. Hen. Then I will kiss your lips, Kate.
Kath. Les dames, et damoiselles, pour estre baisées devant leur nopces, il n'est pas le coûtume de France. K. Hen. Madam, my interpreter, what says she? Alice. Dat it is not de fashion pour les ladies of France,—I cannot tell what is baiser en English. K. Hen. To kiss.
Alice. Your majesty entendre bettre que moy.
K. Hen. It is not the fashion for the maids in France to kiss before they are married, would she say?
Alice. Ouy, vrayment.
K. Hen. O, Kate, nice customs curt'sy 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 mouths 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.
Enter the French King and Queen, BURGUNDY, BEDFORD, GLOSTER, EXETER, WESTMORELAND, and other French and 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. 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.
Bur. 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 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. K. Hen. Yet they do wink, and yield; as love is blind, and enforces.
1 i. e. slight barrier.