King. Call in the Messengers sent from the Dolphin. Now are we well resolu'd, and by Gods helpe And yours, the noble sinewes of our power, France being ours, wee'l bend it to our Awe, Or breake it all to peeces. Or there wee'l sit, (Ruling in large and ample Emperie, Ore France, and all her (almost) Kingly Dukedomes) Or lay these bones in an vnworthy Vrne, Tomblesse, with no remembrance ouer them: Either our History shall with full mouth Speake freely of our Acts, or else our graue Like Turkish mute, shall haue a tonguelesse mouth, Not worshipt with a waxen Epitaph. Enter Ambassadors of France.

Now are we well prepar'd to know the pleasure Of our faire Cosin Dolphin: for we heare, Your greeting is from him, not from the King

Amb. May't please your Maiestie to giue vs leaue Freely to render what we haue in charge: Or shall we sparingly shew you farre off The Dolphins meaning, and our Embassie

King. We are no Tyrant, but a Christian King, Vnto whose grace our passion is as subiect As is our wretches fettred in our prisons, Therefore with franke and with vncurbed plainnesse, Tell vs the Dolphins minde

Amb. Thus than in few: Your Highnesse lately sending into France, Did claime some certaine Dukedomes, in the right Of your great Predecessor, King Edward the third. In answer of which claime, the Prince our Master Sayes, that you sauour too much of your youth, And bids you be aduis'd: There's nought in France, That can be with a nimble Galliard wonne: You cannot reuell into Dukedomes there. He therefore sends you meeter for your spirit This Tun of Treasure; and in lieu of this, Desires you let the dukedomes that you claime Heare no more of you. This the Dolphin speakes

King. What Treasure Vncle? Exe. Tennis balles, my Liege

Kin. We are glad the Dolphin is so pleasant with vs, His Present, and your paines we thanke you for: When we haue matcht our Rackets to these Balles, We will in France (by Gods grace) play a set, Shall strike his fathers Crowne into the hazard. Tell him, he hath made a match with such a Wrangler, That all the Courts of France will be disturb'd With Chaces. And we vnderstand him well, How he comes o're vs with our wilder dayes, Not measuring what vse we made of them. We neuer valew'd this poore seate of England, And therefore liuing hence, did giue our selfe To barbarous license: As 'tis euer common, That men are merriest, when they are from home. But tell the Dolphin, I will keepe my State, Be like a King, and shew my sayle of Greatnesse, When I do rowse me in my Throne of France. For that I haue layd by my Maiestie, And plodded like a man for working dayes: But I will rise there with so full a glorie, That I will dazle all the eyes of France, Yea strike the Dolphin blinde to looke on vs, And tell the pleasant Prince, this Mocke of his Hath turn'd his balles to Gun-stones, and his soule Shall stand sore charged, for the wastefull vengeance That shall flye with them: for many a thousand widows Shall this his Mocke, mocke out of their deer husbands; Mocke mothers from their sonnes, mock Castles downe: And some are yet vngotten and vnborne, That shal haue cause to curse the Dolphins scorne. But this lyes all within the wil of God, To whom I do appeale, and in whose name Tel you the Dolphin, I am comming on, To venge me as I may, and to put forth My rightfull hand in a wel-hallow'd cause. So get you hence in peace: And tell the Dolphin, His Iest will sauour but of shallow wit, When thousands weepe more then did laugh at it. Conuey them with safe conduct. Fare you well.

Exeunt. Ambassadors.

William Shakespeare
Classic Literature Library

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