Henry V

by: William Shakespeare

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ELY

The strawberry grows underneath the nettle,
And wholesome berries thrive and ripen best
Neighbored by fruit of baser quality;
65And so the Prince obscured his contemplation
Under the veil of wildness, which, no doubt,
Grew like the summer grass, fastest by night,
Unseen yet crescive in his faculty.

ELY

Strawberries grow underneath nettle plants, and berries grow best when they’re planted next to inferior fruit. In the same way, the prince hid his serious side under the guise of wild behavior. Just like summer grass, which grows fastest during the night, this sober quality was able to grow and thrive all the better for being undetected.

CANTERBURY

It must be so, for miracles are ceased,
70And therefore we must needs admit the means
How things are perfected.

CANTERBURY

That must be it, because the age of miracles is passed, and we have to find reasonable explanations for why these things happen.

ELY

But, my good lord,
How now for mitigation of this bill
Urged by the Commons? Doth his Majesty
75Incline to it or no?

ELY

But tell me, my lord: as to the softening of this bill proposed by the House of Commons, does his Majesty favor it or not?

CANTERBURY

He seems indifferent,
Or rather swaying more upon our part
Than cherishing th' exhibitors against us;
For I have made an offer to his Majesty—
80Upon our spiritual convocation
And in regard of causes now in hand,
Which I have opened to his Grace at large,
As touching France—to give a greater sum
Than ever at one time the clergy yet
85Did to his predecessors part withal.

CANTERBURY

He seems neutral, perhaps leaning a little more toward our side than that of our opponents—since I’ve made his Majesty an offer, following a meeting with our fellow bishops. The offer regards certain matters having to do with France that his Grace and I have been discussing. My offer would involve us giving him a greater sum than the clergy ever gave at one time to any of his predecessors.

ELY

How did this offer seem received, my lord?

ELY

How did he take the offer, my lord?