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116
The Life of
 

mine honour, in true English I love thee, Kate:
by which honour 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 240
ambition! he was thinking of civil wars when
he got me: therefore was I created with a stub-
born 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 248
worst; and thou shalt wear me, if thou wear me,
better and better. And therefore tell me, most
fair Katharine, 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, 256
'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 260
best king of good fellows. Come, your answer
in broken music; for thy voice is music, and
thy English broken; therefore, queen of all,
Katharine, break thy mind to me in broken
English: wilt thou have me? 265

Kath. Dat is as it shall please de roi mon père.


239 untempering: unsoftening
240 beshrew: a plague upon
247 layer-up: preserver
260 fellow with: a match for
262 broken music; cf. n.
264 break: disclose