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Henry the Fifth, II. Chorus

Therefore let every man now task his thought,
That this fair action may on foot be brought.




Flourish. Enter Chorus.


Now all the youth of England are on fire,
And silken dalliance in the wardrobe lies;
Now thrive the armourers, and honour's thought
Reigns solely in the breast of every man: 4
They sell the pasture now to buy the horse,
Following the mirror of all Christian kings,
With winged heels, as English Mercuries.
For now sits Expectation in the air 8
And hides a sword from hilts unto the point
With crowns imperial, crowns and coronets,
Promis'd to Harry and his followers.
The French, advis'd by good intelligence 12
Of this most dreadful preparation,
Shake in their fear, and with pale policy
Seek to divert the English purposes.
O England! model to thy inward greatness, 16
Like little body with a mighty heart,
What mightst thou do, that honour would thee do,
Were all thy children kind and natural!
But see thy fault! France hath in thee found out 20
A nest of hollow bosoms, which he fills
With treacherous crowns; and three corrupted men,
One, Richard Earl of Cambridge, and the second,

Act Second S. d. Flourish: music of trumpets
12 intelligence: reconnaissance
14 policy: trickery
18 would: would have
19 kind: true to their kinship
20 France: the king of France
22 crowns: crown-pieces, gold