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"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 persuade Harry of England, than a general petition of monarchs."

THE wars between England and France, carried on by Henry the Fifth, form the subject of the play bearing his name. In the first act, Shakspeare sets forth their cause in full detail, concluding by mentioning the challenge, and treasure of tennis-balls, which the French king had insultingly sent over, as an answer to HENRY'S claim to his French possessions. Towards the end of the second act, he gives us an account of the preparations made by the King of France to defend his kingdom, and the result of an interview between him and the English ambassador. Afterwards follows a battle, ending with the defeat of the French, before Harfleur. In a quiet room in the palace of Rouen, we meet with KATHARINE, the daughter of the French king. She is engaged in the most amusing endeavour to learn the English language, in which she is assisted by her maid, ALICE. Perchance, in her case, coming events cast their shadow before them; for, by some foresight of destiny, she insists that she must learn to speak English. By doing this, she undergoes a fitting preparation for another interesting and happy scene.

The battle of Agincourt is fought, and lost by the French. Shakspeare mixes in its description much that is ludicrous, with the serious part of the affray, especially in the challenge of WILLIAMS to the King, whom he had mistaken for a common soldier, on the previous night.

In the fifth act we are introduced to the French king, his queen, and the court, where the terms of peace are discussed. ISABEL, the French queen, retires with the English nobles, leaving HENRY with her daughter KATHARINE, and her maid ALICE. In this interview, we shall learn the use to which the Princess applies her new acquisition of the English language.

HENRY, soldier-like, at once, and without preamble, offers his heart and hand. The Princess pleads her ignorance of the English tongue. HENRY flatters; and she is shocked-"Les langues des hommes sont pleines des tromperies." HENRY presumes on a greater knowledge of his language than she will own to, and the Princess warily, but surely agrees, peu et peu, to what he proposes. But she is very coy-" Is it possible dat I should love de enemy of France?" HENRY meets this objection by proposing that they should join partners in both England and France; and at last he so far succeeds, that the Princess, in reply to his apologies, confesses that

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

Considerable difficulty afterwards occurs as to the meaning of the word baisser. The King's ready wit, however, overcomes it by his translating the verb practically, instead of verbally. KATHARINE at last becomes a condition, and a bond of peace; and all join in the hope, that England and France

"With envy of each other's happiness,

May cease their hatred."



King Henry. Come, your answer in broken music; for thy voice is music, and thy English is broken: therefore, queen of all, Katharine, break thy mind to me in broken English. Wilt thou have me?

Princess Katharine. Dat is as it shall please de roy mon père.

King Henry. Nay, it will please him well, Kate; it shall please him, Kate.

Princess Katharine. Den it shall also content me.

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King Henry. Upon that I will kiss your hand, and I call you-my


Princess Katharine. Laissez, mon seigneur, laissez, laissez: ma foy, je ne veux point que vous abaissez vostre grandeur, en baisant la main d'une vostre indigne serviteure. Excusez moy, je vous supplie, mon très puissant seigneur. King Henry. Then I will kiss your lips, Kate.

Princess Katharine. Les dames, et damoiselles, pour estre baisées devant leur nopces, il n'est pas le 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 what is "baiser" en English.

King Henry. To kiss.

Alice. Your majesty entendre bettre que moy.

King Henry. It is not the fashion for the maids of France to kiss before they are married, would she say?

Alice. Ouy, vrayment.

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King Henry. O Kate, nice customs curt'sy to great kings. Dear Kate, you and I cannot be confined within the weak list of a country's fashion: we are the makers of manners, Kate; and the liberty that follows our places, stops the mouths of all find-faults; as I will do yours, for upholding the nice fashion of your country, in denying me a kiss: therefore patiently, and yielding. [Kissing 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 persuade Harry of England, than a general petition of monarchs.

KING HENRY V.-Act V. Scene II.


Le Roi Henri. Veux-tu moi?

Catherine. C'est comme il plaira au roi mon père.

Le Roi Henri. Oh! cela lui plaira, Catherine, cela lui plaira.
Catherine. Dans ce cas, cela me plaira également.

Le Roi Henri. Cela étant, permettez que je vous baise la main, et vous nomme ma reine.

Catherine. Laissez, monseigneur, laissez, laissez; vraiment, je ne veux pas que vous abaissiez votre grandeur, en baisant la main de votre indigne servante; excusez-moi, je vous prie, mon très-puissant seigneur.

Le Roi Henri. Eh bien, je vous baiserai donc sur les lèvres Catherine? Catherine. Ce n'est pas la coutume de France de baiser les dames et demoiselles avant leur noce.

Le Roi Henri. (à Alice.) Mademoiselle, qui êtes mon interprète, que dit-elle ?

Alice. Que ce n'est pas la coutume des dames de France,-Je ne sais pas comment on dit baiser en anglais.

Le Roi Henri. To kiss.

Alice. Votre majesté sait le français mieux que je ne sais l'anglais.

Le Roi Henri. Elle veut dire que ce n'est pas la coutume des jeunes filles en France de se laisser embrasser avant d'être mariées; est-ce cela?

Alice. Oui vraiment.

Le Roi Henri. O Catherine! les grands rois font fléchir les coutumes gênantes. Chère Catherine, ce n'est pas à des gens comme vous et moi que les usages d'un pays opposent leurs faibles barrières; c'est nous qui établissons les usages, Catherine; et la liberté que notre rang nous donne ferme la bouche à la censure, comme je vais fermer la vôtre par un baiser, pour vous punir de me l'avoir refusé, en m'opposant les usages de votre pays: résignez-vous donc de bonne grâce. (Il l'embrasse.) Vos lèvres sont ensorcelées, Catherine; il y a plus d'éloquence dans leur délicieux contact que dans les discours du conseil de France; elles exerceraient sur Henri d'Angleterre une influence plus persuasive que l'intervention de tous les monarques du monde. Voici venir votre père.

HENRI V.-Acte V. Scène II.

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