Henry V

by: William Shakespeare

Original Text

Modern Text

KING HENRY

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 vôtre est France et vous êtes 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.

KING HENRY

No, Kate? I will tell you in French, which I am sure will hang as heavily on my tongue as a newly married wife around her husband’s neck, impossible to shake off. (in stilted French) I, when, on the possession of France, and when you have the possession of me—(in English) let me see, what then? help me, Saint Denis!—(French again) then yours is France and you are mine. (in English) It would be as easy for me to reconquer the kingdom, Kate, as it would be for me to speak that much French again. I’ll never move you in French, except to laugh at me.

KATHERINE

180 Sauf votre honneur, le français que vous parlez, il est meilleur que l'anglais lequel je parle.

KATHERINE

Your French, sir, is better than my English.

KING HENRY

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?

KING HENRY

No, really, it’s not, Kate. But your speaking my language, and I yours

truly-falsely

Sincerely but incorrectly.

truly-falsely
comes to pretty much the same thing. Can you understand this much English though, Kate? Could you love me?

KATHERINE

I cannot tell.

KATHERINE

I cannot tell.

KING HENRY

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 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

KING HENRY

Can any of your neighbors tell, Kate? I’ll ask them. Come, I know you love me. And at night, when you go to your bedroom, you’ll question this gentlewoman about me and, I know, Kate, you’ll criticize those qualities of mine that you secretly love. But mock me gently, dear Kate, because I love you terribly. If I ever win you, Kate, as I have an inkling I will, it won’t be without a skirmish—and that suggests you’d make a good mother of soldiers. Shall not you and I together, then, between Saint Denis and Saint George, make a boy, half French, half English, who will go to Constantinople