Henry V

by: William Shakespeare

Original Text

Modern Text

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 say’st thou, my fair flower de luce?
and grab the Turk by the beard? Shall we not? What do you say, my fair fleur-de-lys?

KATHERINE

I do not know dat.

KATHERINE

I do not know dat.

KING HENRY

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 Katherine du monde, mon très cher et divin déesse?

KING HENRY

No, of course you don’t. It lies in the future, along with certainty. Now there can only be the promise. Do promise, Kate, that you’ll do your French part to bring forth such a boy; and for my English half, take the word of a king and a bachelor. What’s your answer, (speaking in French) oh loveliest of Katherines, my most precious and divine goddess?

KATHERINE

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

KATHERINE

Your Majesty has false French enough to deceive de wisest lady in France.

KING HENRY

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 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 Katherine, 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

KING HENRY

Damn my false French. I tell you truly, in true English: I love you, Kate. And though I wouldn’t dare to swear that you love me, still my blood begins to flatter me that you do, despite the ill effects of my face. Curse my father’s ambition! He was thinking of civil wars when he conceived me, and consequently my outward appearance is harsh and steely. I intimidate ladies when I come to woo them. But I promise you, Kate: the older I grow the better I’ll look. My comfort is that old age, that poor preserver of beauty, can’t make my face any worse than it already is. If you have me, you have me now at my worst; and if you have me, you’ll appreciate me better and better. Therefore tell me, fairest Katherine, will you have me? Put aside your maiden blushes and speak your true feelings with the bearing of an empress. Take me by the hand and say, “Harry of England, I am yours.” No sooner shall I hear that word than I will tell you straight out, “England is yours, Ireland is yours, France is yours, and Harry Plantagenet