A scene for 3 characters from the play "Henry V" by William Shakespeare

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About this Monologue

  • Characters: King Henry V?Katherine?Alice??
  • Scene type / Who are: Persuading somebody
  • Type: Comic
  • Genre: Historical, Drama, Comedy
  • Description: King Henry comically woos Katherine with the help of her maid
  • Location: ACT V, Scene 2

Summary

The play is set in the early 15th century. Henry V has just become king after the death of his father. He is now a changed man as the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Bishop of Ely point out in the first scene of the play. Henry V, as a young prince, had lived a dissolute life surrounded by questionable characters. He is now a responsible, intelligent and virtuous king.

King Henry is now considering to claim the throne of France too since he thinks he is entitled to as one of his ancestors was the daughter of the king of France. The French king, Charles VI, doesn't agree and sends a group of ambassadors with an ...

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Excerpt

[France. A royal palace.]

KING HENRY V
Fair Katharine, and most fair,
Will you vouchsafe to teach a soldier terms
Such as will enter at a lady's ear
And plead his love-suit to her gentle heart?

KATHARINE
Your majesty shall mock at me; I cannot speak your England.

KING HENRY V
O fair Katharine, if you will love me soundly with
your French heart, I will be glad to hear you
confess it brokenly with your English tongue. Do
you like me, Kate?

KATHARINE
Pardonnez-moi, I cannot tell vat is 'like me.'

KING HENRY V
An angel is like you, Kate, and you are like an angel.

KATHARINE
Que dit-il? que je suis semblable a les anges?

ALICE
Oui, vraiment, sauf votre grace, ainsi dit-il.

KING HENRY V
I said so, dear Katharine; and I must not blush to
affirm it.

KATHARINE
O bon Dieu! les langues des hommes sont pleines de
tromperies.

KING HENRY V
What says she, fair one? that the tongues of men
are full of deceits?

ALICE
Oui, dat de tongues of de mans is be full of
deceits: dat is de princess.

KING HENRY V
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
farther 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?

KATHARINE
Sauf votre honneur, me understand vell.

KING HENRY V
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, yet a reasonable
measure in strength. If I could win a lady at
leap-frog, or by vaulting into my saddle with my
armour 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 favours, I could lay on like a butcher and
sit like a jack-an-apes, never off. But, before God,
Kate, 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 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' favours, 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 the
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, I pray thee.

KATHARINE
Is it possible dat I sould love de enemy of France?

KING HENRY V
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.

KATHARINE
I cannot tell vat is dat.

KING HENRY V
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. Je quand sur le possession de France, et quand
vous avez le possession de moi,--let me see, what
then? Saint Denis be my speed!--donc votre est
France et vous etes 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.

KATHARINE
Sauf votre honneur, le Francois que vous parlez, il
est meilleur que l'Anglois lequel je parle.

KING HENRY V
No, faith, is't not, Kate: but thy speaking of my
tongue, and I thine, most truly-falsely, must needs
be granted to be much at one. But, Kate, dost thou
understand thus much English, canst thou love me?

KATHARINE
I cannot tell.

KING HENRY V
Can any of your neighbours 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 beest 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 soldier-breeder: shall not thou and I,
between Saint Denis and Saint George, compound a
boy, half French, half English, that shall go to
Constantinople and take the Turk by the beard?
shall we not? what sayest thou, my fair
flower-de-luce?

KATHARINE
I do not know dat

KING HENRY V
No; 'tis hereafter to know, but now to promise: do
but now promise, Kate, you will endeavour 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 tres cher
et devin deesse?

KATHARINE
Your majestee ave fausse French enough to deceive de
most sage demoiselle dat is en France.

KING HENRY V
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 Harry
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?

KATHARINE
Dat is as it sall please de roi mon pere.

KING HENRY V
Nay, it will please him well, Kate it shall please
him, Kate.

KATHARINE
Den it sall also content me.

KING HENRY V
Upon that I kiss your hand, and I call you my queen.

KATHARINE
Laissez, mon seigneur, laissez, laissez: ma foi, je
ne veux point que vous abaissiez votre grandeur en
baisant la main d'une de votre seigeurie indigne
serviteur; excusez-moi, je vous supplie, mon
tres-puissant seigneur.

KING HENRY V
Then I will kiss your lips, Kate.

KATHARINE
Les dames et demoiselles pour etre baisees devant
leur noces, il n'est pas la coutume de France.

KING HENRY V
Madam my interpreter, what says she?

ALICE
Dat it is not be de fashion pour les ladies of
France,--I cannot tell vat is baiser en Anglish.

KING HENRY V
To kiss.

ALICE
Your majesty entendre bettre que moi.

KING HENRY V
It is not a fashion for the maids in France to kiss
before they are married, would she say?

ALICE
Oui, vraiment.

KING HENRY V
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.



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