William Shakespeare's The Life of King Henry the Fifth in the complete original text.
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The Life of King Henry the Fifth

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Act II. Scene II.

Scene II.—Southampton. A Council-chamber.


Bed. 'Fore God, his Grace is bold to trust
these traitors.
Exe. They shall be apprehended by and by.
West. How smooth and even they do bear
As if allegiance in their bosoms sat,
Crowned with faith and constant loyalty.
Bed. The king hath note of all that they in-
By interception which they dream not of.
Exe. Nay, but the man that was his bedfellow,
Whom he bath dull'd and cloy'd with gracious
That he should, for a foreign purse, so sell
His sovereign's life to death and treachery!

Trumpets sound. Enter KING HENRY,
K. Hen. Now sits the wind fair, and we will
My Lord of Cambridge, and my kind Lord of
And you, my gentle knight, give me your thoughts:
Think you not that the powers we bear with us
Will cut their passage through the force of
Doing the execution and the act
For which we have in head assembled them?
Scroop. No doubt, my liege, if each man do
his best.
K. Hen. I doubt not that; since we are well
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.
Cam. Never was monarch better fear'd and
Than is your majesty: there's not, I think, a
That sits in heart-grief and uneasiness
Under the sweet shade of your government.
Grey. True: those that were your father's
Have steep'd their galls in honey, and do serve
With hearts create of duty and of zeal.
K. Hen. We therefore have great cause of
And shall forget the office of our hand,
Sooner than quittance of desert and merit
According to the weight and worthiness.
Scroop. So service shall with steeled sinews
And labour shall refresh itself with hope,
To do your Grace incessant services.
K. Hen. We judge no less. Uncle of Exeter,
Enlarge the man committed yesterday
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.
Scroop. That's mercy, but too much security:
Let him be punish'd, sovereign, lest example
Breed, by his sufferance, more of such a kind.
K. Hen. O! let us yet be merciful.
Cam. So may your highness, and yet punish
Grey. Sir,
You show great mercy, if you give him life
After the taste of much correction.
K. Hen. 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
When capital crimes, chew'd, swallow'd, and
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 punish'd. And now to our
French causes:
Who are the late commissioners?
Cam. I one, my lord:
Your highness bade me ask for it to-day.
Scroop. So did you me, my liege.
Grey. And I, my royal sovereign.
K. Hen. Then, Richard, Earl of Cambridge,
there is yours;
There yours. Lord Scroop of Masham; and, sir
Grey of Northumberland, this same is yours:
Read them; and know, I know your worthiness.
My Lord of Westmoreland, and uncle Exeter,
We will aboard to-night. Why, how now,
What see you in those papers that you lose
So much complexion? Look ye, how they
Their cheeks are paper. Why, what read you
That hath so cowarded and chas'd your blood
Out of appearance?
Cam. I do confess my fault,
And do submit me to your highness' mercy.
Grey. & Scroop.} To which we all appeal.
K. Hen. The mercy that was quick in us but
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,
These English monsters! My Lord of Cambridge
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 conspir'd,
And sworn unto the practices 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
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 practis'd on me for thy use!
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 from white, my eye will scarcely see it.
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
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:
And other devils that suggest by treasons
Do botch and bungle up damnation
With patches, colours, and with forms, being
From glistering semblances of piety;
But he that tempered thee bade thee stand up,
Gave thee no instance why thou shouldst do
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
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
Why, so didst thou come they of noble family?
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,
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
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 practices!
Exe. 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
Thomas Grey, knight, of Northumberland.
Scroop. Our purposes God justly hath dis-
And I repent my fault more than my death;
Which I beseech your highness to forgive,
Although my body pay the price of it.
Cam. For me, the gold of France did not se-
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,
Beseeching God and you to pardon me.
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.
My fault, but not my body, pardon, sovereign.
K. Hen. God quit you in his mercy! Hear
your sentence.
You have conspir'd against our royal person,
Join'd with an enemy proclaim'd, and from Ins
Receiv'd the golden earnest of our death;
Wherein you would have sold your king to
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;
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 you
Patience to endure, and true repentance
Of all your dear offences! Bear them hence.
GREY, guarded.
Now, lords, for France! the enterprise whereof
Shall be to you, as us, like glorious.
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.
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.
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