Rouen. Another room in the French King’s palace.
(King of France; Dauphin; Duke of Britain; Constable of France)
The French Lords are incensed at the loss of Harfleur and how Henry is moving unopposed through France. They press the French King to send out his armies against the invaders; roused, the King orders a general muster of all forces to exterminate the English. (69 lines)
Enter the King of France, the Dauphin, the Duke of Britain, the Constable of France, and others.
’Tis certain he hath pass’d the river Somme.
And if he be not fought withal, my lord,
Let us not live in France; let us quit all,
And give our vineyards to a barbarous people.
O Dieu vivant! Shall a few sprays of us,
The emptying of our fathers’ luxury,
Our scions, put in wild and savage stock,
Spirt up so suddenly into the clouds
And overlook their grafters?
Normans, but bastard Normans, Norman bastards!
Mort Dieu, ma vie! If they march along
Unfought withal, but I will sell my dukedom,
To buy a slobb’ry and a dirty farm
In that nook-shotten isle of Albion.
Dieu de batailles! Where have they this mettle?
Is not their climate foggy, raw, and dull,
On whom, as in despite, the sun looks pale,
Killing their fruit with frowns? Can sodden water,
A drench for sur-rein’d jades, their barley-broth,
Decoct their cold blood to such valiant heat?
And shall our quick blood, spirited with wine,
Seem frosty? O, for honor of our land,
Let us not hang like roping icicles
Upon our houses’ thatch, whiles a more frosty people
Sweat drops of gallant youth in our rich fields!
Poor we call them in their native lords!
By faith and honor,
Our madams mock at us, and plainly say
Our mettle is bred out, and they will give
Their bodies to the lust of English youth
To new-store France with bastard warriors.
They bid us to the English dancing-schools,
And teach lavoltas high and swift corantos,
Saying our grace is only in our heels,
And that we are most lofty runaways.
Where is Montjoy the herald? Speed him hence,
Let him greet England with our sharp defiance.
Up, princes, and, with spirit of honor edged
More sharper than your swords, hie to the field!
Charles Delabreth, High Constable of France,
You Dukes of Orléans, Bourbon, and of Berri,
Alanson, Brabant, Bar, and Burgundy,
Jacques Chatillion, Rambures, Vaudemont,
Beaumont, Grandpré, Roussi, and Faulconbridge,
Foix, Lestrake, Bouciqualt, and Charolois;
High dukes, great princes, barons, lords, and knights,
For your great seats now quit you of great shames.
Bar Harry England, that sweeps through our land
With pennons painted in the blood of Harfleur.
Rush on his host, as doth the melted snow
Upon the valleys whose low vassal seat
The Alps doth spit and void his rheum upon.
Go down upon him, you have power enough,
And in a captive chariot into Roan
Bring him our prisoner.
This becomes the great.
Sorry am I his numbers are so few,
His soldiers sick and famish’d in their march;
For I am sure, when he shall see our army,
He’ll drop his heart into the sink of fear,
And for achievement offer us his ransom.
Therefore, Lord Constable, haste on Montjoy,
And let him say to England that we send
To know what willing ransom he will give.
Prince Dauphin, you shall stay with us in Roan.
Not so, I do beseech your Majesty.
Be patient, for you shall remain with us.
Now forth, Lord Constable and princes all,
And quickly bring us word of England’s fall.