Henry V
Act 3 Scene 6

William Shakespeare

Montjoy, the French minstrel, arrives at King Henry's court to deliver a message of defiance from his king.

Tucket. Enter Montjoy.

Montjoy: You know me by my habit.

King Henry: Well then, I know thee: what shall I know of thee?

Montjoy: My master's mind.

King Henry: Unfold it.

Montjoy: Thus says my King: 'Say thou to Harry of England, Though we seemed dead, we did but sleep. Advantage is a better soldier than rashness. Tell him we could have rebuked him at Harfleur, but that we thought not good to bruise an injury until it were full ripe. Now we speak upon our cue, and our voice is imperial: England shall repent his folly, see his weakness, and admire our sufferance. Bid him therefore consider of his ransom, which must proportion the losses we have digested; which in weight to re-answer, his pettiness would bow under. For our losses, his exchequer is too poor; for th'effusion of our blood, the muster of his kingdom too faint a number; and for our disgrace, his own person kneeling at our feet but a weak and worthless satisfaction. To this add defiance: and tell him for conclusion, he hath betrayed his followers, whose condemanation is pronounced.' So far my King and master; so much my office.

King Henry: What is thy name? I know thy quality.

Montjoy: Montjoy.

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