Henry V

by: William Shakespeare

  Act 1 Scene 2

page Act 1 Scene 2 Page 10

Original Text

Modern Text

295We never valued this poor seat of England
And therefore, living hence, did give ourself
To barbarous license, as ’tis ever common
That men are merriest when they are from home.
But tell the Dauphin I will keep my state,
300Be like a king, and show my sail of greatness
When I do rouse me in my throne of France,
For that I have laid by my majesty
And plodded like a man for working days.
But I will rise there with so full a glory
305That I will dazzle all the eyes of France,
Yea, strike the Dauphin blind to look on us.
And tell the pleasant prince this mock of his
Hath turned his balls to gun-stones, and his soul
Shall stand sore chargèd for the wasteful vengeance
310That shall fly with them; for many a thousand widows
Shall this his mock mock out of their dear husbands,
Mock mothers from their sons, mock castles down,
And some are yet ungotten and unborn
That shall have cause to curse the Dauphin’s scorn.
315But this lies all within the will of God,
To whom I do appeal, and in whose name
Tell you the Dauphin I am coming on,
To venge me as I may and to put forth
My rightful hand in a well-hallowed cause.
320So get you hence in peace. And tell the Dauphin
His jest will savor but of shallow wit
When thousands weep more than did laugh at it.
—Convey them with safe conduct.—Fare you well.
such glory that I’ll dazzle all the eyes of France. I’ll shine so brightly that even the Dauphin will be struck blind. And tell the laughing prince that this joke of his has transformed his tennis balls into cannon balls, and the destructive vengeance they bring with them will be his responsibility. His mocking will mock many thousands of widows out of their husbands. It will mock mothers out of their sons, and mock castles down. There are people yet unborn and unconceived who will have reason to curse the Dauphin’s scorn. But all this lies with God, to whom I do appeal. In God’s name, inform the Dauphin I am coming, to avenge myself and to put forth my rightful hand in a sanctified cause. So go in peace. And tell the Dauphin his joke will look pretty stupid when thousands more weep than ever laughed at it. (to attendants) Give them safe conduct.—Farewell.
Exeunt AMBASSADORS, with attendants
The AMBASSADORS exit, with some attendants.

EXETER

This was a merry message.

EXETER

That was a humorous message.