List iconHenry V:
Act 5, scene 2
List icon

Henry V
Act 5, scene 2



Characters in the Play

Entire Play

Henry V begins at the English court, where the young king is persuaded that he has a claim to the throne…


The Chorus wishes for a far greater stage, actors, and audience. He apologizes for the scanty resources that are available…

Act 1, scene 1

The Bishop of Canterbury informs the Bishop of Ely of a bill threatening Church revenues and of a plan to…

Act 1, scene 2

At the King’s request, Canterbury provides an extensive interpretation of French law to support Henry’s claim to the French throne….

Act 2, chorus

The Chorus announces the enthusiastic support of English youth for Henry’s French campaign, but also advises that the French have…

Act 2, scene 1

King Henry’s former tavern companion Bardolph prevents Pistol and Nym from fighting over Hostess Quickly, Pistol’s wife. They are interrupted…

Act 2, scene 2

Henry, informed of the treachery of three of his friends, confronts them with their crimes. They throw themselves on his…

Act 2, scene 3

The tavern crew—Bardolph, Pistol, Nym, and the Boy—join the Hostess in mourning the dead Falstaff and, saying good-bye to the…

Act 2, scene 4

The King of France and his court plan their defense against Henry’s invasion. Exeter arrives to present the King with…

Act 3, chorus

The Chorus describes the embarkation of Henry’s fleet for France, Henry’s preparations to besiege the town of Harfleur, and the…

Act 3, scene 1

Henry delivers an oration to inspire his troops to take Harfleur.

Act 3, scene 2

Bardolph, Pistol, Nym, and the Boy withdraw from the assault on Harfleur. They are driven back to it by Captain…

Act 3, scene 3

Henry threatens the men of Harfleur with the destruction of the town and its population if they do not yield…

Act 3, scene 4

An old gentlewoman, Alice, begins to teach English to Katherine, Princess of France.

Act 3, scene 5

The French nobles speak of their shame at the success of Henry’s invasion. The French King plans to block Henry’s…

Act 3, scene 6

Captains Fluellen and Gower meet Pistol, who pleads for Bardolph, sentenced to die for robbery. Fluellen refuses to intervene and…

Act 3, scene 7

On the eve of battle, the French nobles, confident of their army’s superiority, engage in verbal competition.

Act 4, chorus

The Chorus describes the confident French and anxious English armies on the night before the battle of Agincourt, and portrays…

Act 4, scene 1

Henry borrows Erpingham’s cloak and, in this disguise, passes through his camp, meeting Pistol, overhearing a conversation between Fluellen and…

Act 4, scene 2

The French nobles, about to fight, lament that the English are so few and so weak.

Act 4, scene 3

Henry delivers an oration to his troops urging them on to win glory in the battle. Montjoy again comes to…

Act 4, scene 4

A French soldier surrenders to Pistol, who threatens him with death until the soldier promises to pay a ransom of…

Act 4, scene 5

The French nobles, shamed in their defeat, decide to die fighting.

Act 4, scene 6

Henry, in doubt about the outcome of the battle, hears of York’s and Suffolk’s deaths, and then, when a French…

Act 4, scene 7

Fluellen, in conversation with Gower, compares Henry to the classical world-conqueror Alexander the Great. Montjoy arrives to concede the French…

Act 4, scene 8

Williams and Fluellen are prevented from fighting by Warwick and Gloucester. Henry arrives and accuses Williams of promising to strike…

Act 5, chorus

The Chorus describes the great welcome accorded the English army when it returns home, the visit by the Holy Roman…

Act 5, scene 1

Fluellen avenges Pistol’s insults by making Pistol eat a leek. Pistol, humiliated, plans to return to England in the guise…

Act 5, scene 2

The Duke of Burgundy has brought about a meeting between French and English to sign a peace treaty. Henry delegates…

Act 5, epilogue

The Chorus reminds the audience that Henry died very young, leaving the kingdom to his infant son, during whose reign…

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Scene 2
Enter at one door, King Henry, Exeter, Bedford,
Warwick, Westmoreland, and other Lords. At another,
Queen Isabel of France, the King of France, the
Princess Katherine and Alice, the Duke of Burgundy,
and other French.

 Peace to this meeting wherefor we are met.
 Unto our brother France and to our sister,
 Health and fair time of day.—Joy and good wishes
 To our most fair and princely cousin Katherine.—
5 And, as a branch and member of this royalty,
 By whom this great assembly is contrived,
 We do salute you, Duke of Burgundy.—
 And princes French, and peers, health to you all.

Henry V
ACT 5. SC. 2

 Right joyous are we to behold your face,
10 Most worthy brother England. Fairly met.—
 So are you, princes English, every one.
 So happy be the issue, brother Ireland,
 Of this good day and of this gracious meeting,
 As we are now glad to behold your eyes—
15 Your eyes which hitherto have borne in them
 Against the French that met them in their bent
 The fatal balls of murdering basilisks.
 The venom of such looks, we fairly hope,
 Have lost their quality, and that this day
20 Shall change all griefs and quarrels into love.
 To cry “Amen” to that, thus we appear.
 You English princes all, I do salute you.
 My duty to you both, on equal love,
 Great kings of France and England. That I have
25 labored
 With all my wits, my pains, and strong endeavors
 To bring your most imperial Majesties
 Unto this bar and royal interview,
 Your Mightiness on both parts best can witness.
30 Since, then, my office hath so far prevailed
 That face to face and royal eye to eye
 You have congreeted, let it not disgrace me
 If I demand before this royal view
 What rub or what impediment there is
35 Why that the naked, poor, and mangled peace,
 Dear nurse of arts, plenties, and joyful births,
 Should not in this best garden of the world,
 Our fertile France, put up her lovely visage?
 Alas, she hath from France too long been chased,

Henry V
ACT 5. SC. 2

40 And all her husbandry doth lie on heaps,
 Corrupting in its own fertility.
 Her vine, the merry cheerer of the heart,
 Unprunèd, dies. Her hedges, even-pleached,
 Like prisoners wildly overgrown with hair,
45 Put forth disordered twigs. Her fallow leas
 The darnel, hemlock, and rank fumitory
 Doth root upon, while that the coulter rusts
 That should deracinate such savagery.
 The even mead, that erst brought sweetly forth
50 The freckled cowslip, burnet, and green clover,
 Wanting the scythe, withal uncorrected, rank,
 Conceives by idleness, and nothing teems
 But hateful docks, rough thistles, kecksies, burrs,
 Losing both beauty and utility.
55 And all our vineyards, fallows, meads, and hedges,
 Defective in their natures, grow to wildness.
 Even so our houses and ourselves and children
 Have lost, or do not learn for want of time,
 The sciences that should become our country,
60 But grow like savages, as soldiers will
 That nothing do but meditate on blood,
 To swearing and stern looks, diffused attire,
 And everything that seems unnatural.
 Which to reduce into our former favor
65 You are assembled, and my speech entreats
 That I may know the let why gentle peace
 Should not expel these inconveniences
 And bless us with her former qualities.
 If, Duke of Burgundy, you would the peace,
70 Whose want gives growth to th’ imperfections
 Which you have cited, you must buy that peace
 With full accord to all our just demands,
 Whose tenors and particular effects
 You have, enscheduled briefly, in your hands.

Henry V
ACT 5. SC. 2

75 The King hath heard them, to the which as yet
 There is no answer made.
 Well then, the peace which you before so urged
 Lies in his answer.
 I have but with a cursitory eye
80 O’erglanced the articles. Pleaseth your Grace
 To appoint some of your council presently
 To sit with us once more with better heed
 To resurvey them, we will suddenly
 Pass our accept and peremptory answer.
85 Brother, we shall.—Go, uncle Exeter,
 And brother Clarence, and you, brother Gloucester,
 Warwick, and Huntington, go with the King,
 And take with you free power to ratify,
 Augment, or alter, as your wisdoms best
90 Shall see advantageable for our dignity,
 Anything in or out of our demands,
 And we’ll consign thereto.—Will you, fair sister,
 Go with the princes or stay here with us?
 Our gracious brother, I will go with them.
95 Haply a woman’s voice may do some good
 When articles too nicely urged be stood on.
 Yet leave our cousin Katherine here with us.
 She is our capital demand, comprised
 Within the forerank of our articles.
100 She hath good leave.
All but Katherine, and the King of England,
and Alice exit.

KING HENRY  Fair Katherine, and most fair,

Henry V
ACT 5. SC. 2

 Will you vouchsafe to teach a soldier terms
 Such as will enter at a lady’s ear
 And plead his love-suit to her gentle heart?
KATHERINE 105Your Majesty shall mock at me. I cannot
 speak your England.
KING HENRY O fair Katherine, if you will love me
 soundly with your French heart, I will be glad to
 hear you confess it brokenly with your English
110 tongue. Do you like me, Kate?
KATHERINE Pardonnez-moi, I cannot tell wat is “like
KING HENRY An angel is like you, Kate, and you are
 like an angel.
KATHERINE, to Alice 115Que dit-il? Que je suis semblable à
 les anges?

ALICE Oui, vraiment, sauf votre Grâce, ainsi dit-il.
KING HENRY I said so, dear Katherine, and I must not
 blush to affirm it.
KATHERINE 120Ô bon Dieu, les langues des hommes sont
 pleines de tromperies.

KING HENRY, to Alice What says she, fair one? That the
 tongues of men are full of deceits?
ALICE Oui, dat de tongues of de mans is be full of
125 deceits; dat is de Princess.
KING HENRY The Princess is the better Englishwoman.—
 I’ faith, Kate, my wooing is fit for thy
 understanding. I am glad thou canst speak no
 better English, for if thou couldst, thou wouldst
130 find me such a plain king that thou wouldst think I
 had sold my farm to buy my crown. I know no ways
 to mince it in love, but directly to say “I love you.”
 Then if you urge me farther than to say “Do you, in
 faith?” I wear out my suit. Give me your answer, i’
135 faith, do; and so clap hands and a bargain. How say
 you, lady?
KATHERINE Sauf votre honneur, me understand well.

Henry V
ACT 5. SC. 2

KING HENRY Marry, if you would put me to verses or
 to dance for your sake, Kate, why you undid me.
140 For the one, I have neither words nor measure; and
 for the other, I have no strength in measure, yet a
 reasonable measure in strength. If I could win a
 lady at leapfrog or by vaulting into my saddle with
 my armor on my back, under the correction of
145 bragging be it spoken, I should quickly leap into a
 wife. Or if I might buffet for my love, or bound my
 horse for her favors, I could lay on like a butcher
 and sit like a jackanapes, never off. But, before God,
 Kate, I cannot look greenly nor gasp out my eloquence,
150 nor I have no cunning in protestation, only
 downright oaths, which I never use till urged, nor
 never break for urging. If thou canst love a fellow of
 this temper, Kate, whose face is not worth sun-burning,
 that never looks in his glass for love of
155 anything he sees there, let thine eye be thy cook. I
 speak to thee plain soldier. If thou canst love me for
 this, take me. If not, to say to thee that I shall die is
 true, but for thy love, by the Lord, no. Yet I love thee
 too. And while thou liv’st, dear Kate, take a fellow of
160 plain and uncoined constancy, for he perforce must
 do thee right because he hath not the gift to woo in
 other places. For these fellows of infinite tongue,
 that can rhyme themselves into ladies’ favors, they
 do always reason themselves out again. What? A
165 speaker is but a prater, a rhyme is but a ballad, a
 good leg will fall, a straight back will stoop, a black
 beard will turn white, a curled pate will grow bald,
 a fair face will wither, a full eye will wax hollow, but
 a good heart, Kate, is the sun and the moon, or
170 rather the sun and not the moon, for it shines bright
 and never changes but keeps his course truly. If
 thou would have such a one, take me. And take me,
 take a soldier. Take a soldier, take a king. And what

Henry V
ACT 5. SC. 2

 say’st thou then to my love? Speak, my fair, and
175 fairly, I pray thee.
KATHERINE Is it possible dat I sould love de enemy of
KING HENRY No, it is not possible you should love the
 enemy of France, Kate. But, in loving me, you
180 should love the friend of France, for I love France
 so well that I will not part with a village of it. I will
 have it all mine. And, Kate, when France is mine
 and I am yours, then yours is France and you are
KATHERINE 185I cannot tell wat is dat.
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
190 France, et quand vous avez le possession de moi
 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
195 French, unless it be to laugh at me.
KATHERINE Sauf votre honneur, le français que vous
 parlez, il est meilleur que l’anglais lequel je parle.

KING HENRY No, faith, is ’t not, Kate, but thy speaking
 of my tongue, and I thine, most truly-falsely must
200 needs be granted to be much at one. But, Kate, dost
 thou understand thus much English? Canst thou
 love me?
KATHERINE I cannot tell.
KING HENRY Can any of your neighbors tell, Kate? I’ll
205 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

Henry V
ACT 5. SC. 2

210 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
215 and I, between Saint Denis 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
KATHERINE 220I 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
225 a bachelor. How answer you, la plus belle Katherine
 du monde, mon très cher et divin déesse?

KATHERINE Your Majesté ’ave fausse French enough to
 deceive de most sage demoiselle dat is en France.
KING HENRY Now fie upon my false French. By mine
230 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
235 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
240 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
245 thoughts of your heart with the looks of an empress,

Henry V
ACT 5. SC. 2

 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 thee aloud “England
 is thine, Ireland is thine, France is thine, and Henry
250 Plantagenet is thine,” who, though I speak it before
 his face, if he be not fellow with the best king, thou
 shalt find the best king of good fellows. Come, your
 answer in broken music, for thy voice is music, and
 thy English broken. Therefore, queen of all, Katherine,
255 break thy mind to me in broken English. Wilt
 thou have me?
KATHERINE Dat is as it shall please de roi mon père.
KING HENRY Nay, it will please him well, Kate; it shall
 please him, Kate.
KATHERINE 260Den it sall also content me.
KING HENRY Upon that I kiss your hand, and I call you
 my queen.
KATHERINE Laissez, mon seigneur, laissez, laissez! Ma
 foi, je ne veux point que vous abaissiez votre grandeur,
265 en baisant la main d’ une—Notre Seigneur!—
 indigne serviteur. Excusez-moi, je vous supplie, mon
 très puissant seigneur.

KING HENRY Then I will kiss your lips, Kate.
KATHERINE Les dames et demoiselles, pour être baisées
270 devant leurs noces, il n’est pas la coutume de France.

KING HENRY Madam my interpreter, what says she?
ALICE Dat it is not be de fashion pour les ladies of
 France—I cannot tell wat is baiser en Anglish.
ALICE 275Your Majesté entendre bettre que moi.
KING HENRY It is not a fashion for the maids in France
 to kiss before they are married, would she say?
ALICE Oui, vraiment.
KING HENRY O Kate, nice customs curtsy to great
280 kings. Dear Kate, you and I cannot be confined
 within the weak list of a country’s fashion. We are

Henry V
ACT 5. SC. 2

 the makers of manners, Kate, and the liberty that
 follows our places stops the mouth of all find-faults,
 as I will do yours for upholding the nice fashion of
285 your country in denying me a kiss. Therefore,
 patiently and yielding. He kisses her. You have
 witchcraft in your lips, Kate. There is more eloquence
 in a sugar touch of them than in the tongues
 of the French council, and they should sooner
290 persuade Harry of England than a general petition
 of monarchs.

Enter the French power, the French King and Queen
and Burgundy, and the English Lords Westmoreland
and Exeter.

 Here comes your father.
BURGUNDY God save your Majesty. My royal cousin,
 teach you our princess English?
KING HENRY 295I would have her learn, my fair cousin,
 how perfectly I love her, and that is good English.
BURGUNDY Is she not apt?
KING HENRY Our tongue is rough, coz, and my condition
 is not smooth, so that, having neither the voice
300 nor the heart of flattery about me, I cannot so
 conjure up the spirit of love in her that he will
 appear in his true likeness.
BURGUNDY Pardon the frankness of my mirth if I
 answer you for that. If you would conjure in her,
305 you must make a circle; if conjure up Love in her in
 his true likeness, he must appear naked and blind.
 Can you blame her, then, being a maid yet rosed
 over with the virgin crimson of modesty, if she deny
 the appearance of a naked blind boy in her naked
310 seeing self? It were, my lord, a hard condition for a
 maid to consign to.
KING HENRY Yet they do wink and yield, as love is
 blind and enforces.

Henry V
ACT 5. SC. 2

BURGUNDY They are then excused, my lord, when they
315 see not what they do.
KING HENRY Then, good my lord, teach your cousin to
 consent winking.
BURGUNDY I will wink on her to consent, my lord, if
 you will teach her to know my meaning, for maids
320 well summered and warm kept are like flies at
 Bartholomew-tide: blind, though they have their
 eyes; and then they will endure handling, which
 before would not abide looking on.
KING HENRY This moral ties me over to time and a hot
325 summer. And so I shall catch the fly, your cousin,
 in the latter end, and she must be blind too.
BURGUNDY As love is, my lord, before it loves.
KING HENRY It is so. And you may, some of you, thank
 love for my blindness, who cannot see many a fair
330 French city for one fair French maid that stands in
 my way.
KING OF FRANCE Yes, my lord, you see them perspectively,
 the cities turned into a maid, for they are all
 girdled with maiden walls that war hath never
335 entered.
KING HENRY Shall Kate be my wife?
KING OF FRANCE So please you.
KING HENRY I am content, so the maiden cities you
 talk of may wait on her. So the maid that stood in
340 the way for my wish shall show me the way to my
 We have consented to all terms of reason.
KING HENRY Is ’t so, my lords of England?
 The King hath granted every article,
345 His daughter first, and, in sequel, all,
 According to their firm proposèd natures.

Henry V
ACT 5. SC. 2

 Only he hath not yet subscribèd this:
 Where your Majesty demands that the King of
 France, having any occasion to write for matter of
350 grant, shall name your Highness in this form and
 with this addition, in French: Notre très cher fils
 Henri, roi d’ Angleterre, héritier de France;
 and thus
 in Latin: Praeclarissimus filius noster Henricus, rex
 Angliae et hœres Franciae.

355 Nor this I have not, brother, so denied
 But your request shall make me let it pass.
 I pray you, then, in love and dear alliance,
 Let that one article rank with the rest,
 And thereupon give me your daughter.
360 Take her, fair son, and from her blood raise up
 Issue to me, that the contending kingdoms
 Of France and England, whose very shores look pale
 With envy of each other’s happiness,
 May cease their hatred, and this dear conjunction
365 Plant neighborhood and Christian-like accord
 In their sweet bosoms, that never war advance
 His bleeding sword ’twixt England and fair France.
 Now welcome, Kate, and bear me witness all
370 That here I kiss her as my sovereign queen.
He kisses her. Flourish.
 God, the best maker of all marriages,
 Combine your hearts in one, your realms in one.
 As man and wife, being two, are one in love,
 So be there ’twixt your kingdoms such a spousal
375 That never may ill office or fell jealousy,

Henry V

 Which troubles oft the bed of blessèd marriage,
 Thrust in between the paction of these kingdoms
 To make divorce of their incorporate league,
 That English may as French, French Englishmen,
380 Receive each other. God speak this Amen!
ALL Amen.
 Prepare we for our marriage; on which day,
 My Lord of Burgundy, we’ll take your oath,
 And all the peers’, for surety of our leagues.
385 Then shall I swear to Kate, and you to me,
 And may our oaths well kept and prosp’rous be.
Sennet. They exit.