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My most redoubted father

My most redoubted father,
It is most meet we arm us ’gainst the foe,
For peace itself should not so dull a kingdom,
Though war nor no known quarrel were in question
But that defenses, musters, preparations
Should be maintained, assembled, and collected
As were a war in expectation.

For, my good liege, she is so idly kinged,
Her scepter so fantastically borne
By a vain, giddy, shallow, humorous youth

Therefore I say ’tis meet we all go forth
To view the sick and feeble parts of France.
And let us do it with no show of fear,
No, with no more than if we heard that England
Were busied with a Whitsun morris-dance.
For, my good liege, she is so idly kinged,
Her scepter so fantastically borne
By a vain, giddy, shallow, humorous youth,
That fear attends her not.
O peace, Prince Dauphin!
You are too much mistaken in this king.
Question your Grace the late ambassadors
With what great state he heard their embassy,
How well supplied with noble councillors,
How modest in exception, and withal
How terrible in constant resolution,
And you shall find his vanities forespent
Were but the outside of the Roman Brutus,
Covering discretion with a coat of folly,
As gardeners do with ordure hide those roots
That shall first spring and be most delicate.
Well, ’tis not so, my Lord High Constable.
But though we think it so, it is no matter.
In cases of defense, ’tis best to weigh
The enemy more mighty than he seems.
So the proportions of defense are filled,
Which of a weak and niggardly projection
Doth, like a miser, spoil his coat with scanting
A little cloth.
King of France
Think we King Harry strong,
And, princes, look you strongly arm to meet him.
The kindred of him hath been fleshed upon us,
And he is bred out of that bloody strain
That haunted us in our familiar paths.
Witness our too-much-memorable shame
When Cressy battle fatally was struck
And all our princes captived by the hand
Of that black name, Edward, Black Prince of Wales,
Whiles that his mountain sire, on mountain standing
Up in the air, crowned with the golden sun,
Saw his heroical seed and smiled to see him
Mangle the work of nature and deface
The patterns that by God and by French fathers
Had twenty years been made. This is a stem
Of that victorious stock, and let us fear
The native mightiness and fate of him.

Act 2
Scene 4
Line 15

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