Henry V

by: William Shakespeare

  Act 1 Scene 2

page Act 1 Scene 2 Page 5

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EXETER

145Your brother kings and monarchs of the earth
Do all expect that you should rouse yourself
As did the former lions of your blood.

EXETER

The other kings throughout the world all expect you to take the offensive, just like your lion-hearted forebears.

WESTMORELAND

They know your Grace hath cause and means and might;
So hath your Highness. Never king of England
150Had nobles richer, and more loyal subjects,
Whose hearts have left their bodies here in England
And lie pavilioned in the fields of France.

WESTMORELAND

They know your Grace has justification, as well as the money and military strength. And so you do. No king of England was ever backed by wealthier nobles or more loyal subjects. Their bodies may remain here in England, but their hearts are encamped on the fields of France already.

CANTERBURY

Oh, let their bodies follow, my dear liege,
With blood and sword and fire to win your right,
155In aid whereof we of the spiritualty
Will raise your Highness such a mighty sum
As never did the clergy at one time
Bring in to any of your ancestors.

CANTERBURY

Oh, let their bodies follow, my dear king, to win back what’s rightfully yours with blood and sword and fire. And to that end, we, the clergy, will raise your Highness a sum greater than your ancestors were ever given at any one time.

KING HENRY

We must not only arm t' invade the French,
160But lay down our proportions to defend
Against the Scot, who will make road upon us
With all advantages.

KING HENRY

We must not only arm ourselves to invade France, but must also apportion troops to defend against invasion by the Scots, who will see this as a perfect opportunity to attack.

CANTERBURY

They of those marches, gracious sovereign,
Shall be a wall sufficient to defend
165Our inland from the pilfering borderers.

CANTERBURY

Your subjects in the north, gracious sovereign, will provide a wall of defense against Scottish thieves across the border.

KING HENRY

We do not mean the coursing snatchers only,
But fear the main intendment of the Scot,
Who hath been still a giddy neighbor to us.
For you shall read that my great-grandfather
170Never went with his forces into France
But that the Scot on his unfurnished kingdom
Came pouring like the tide into a breach
With ample and brim fullness of his force,
Galling the gleanèd land with hot assays,
175Girding with grievous siege castles and towns,
That England, being empty of defense,
Hath shook and trembled at th' ill neighborhood.

KING HENRY

I don’t mean merely bands of thieves. What we have to worry about is a full-scale invasion from Scotland—always an unreliable neighbor. You’ll find that my great-grandfather never went to war with France without Scotland making an attack on his undefended kingdom, pouring in full force like the tide through a gap in a dyke, troubling the depleted country with violent attacks, and laying siege to towns and castles. The whole of England, being unprotected, trembled with fear.