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Home » Quotes » Henry V » But, Kate, dost thou understand thus much English?

But, Kate, dost thou understand thus much English?

King Henry
But, Kate, dost thou understand thus much English?
Canst thou love me?
I cannot tell.

Now fie upon my false French. By mine
honor, in true English, I love thee, Kate.

King Henry
Can any of your neighbors tell, Kate? I’ll
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
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
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 luce?
I 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
a bachelor. How answer you, la plus belle Katherine
du monde, mon très cher et divin déesse?
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
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
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
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
thoughts of your heart with the looks of an empress,
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
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,
break thy mind to me in broken English. Wilt
thou have me?

Act 5
Scene 2
Line 200

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