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The Life of

For peace itself should not so dull a kingdom,—
Though war nor no known quarrel were in question,— 17
But that defences, musters, preparations,
Should be maintain'd, assembled, and collected,
As were a war in expectation. 20
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: 25
For, my good liege, she is so idly king'd,
Her sceptre so fantastically borne
By a vain, giddy, shallow, humorous youth, 28
That fear attends her not.

Con.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 counsellors, 33
How modest in exception, and withal
How terrible in constant resolution,
And you shall find his vanities forespent 36
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. 40

Dau. Well, 'tis not so, my lord high constable;
But though we think it so, it is no matter:
In cases of defence 'tis best to weigh
The enemy more mighty than he seems: 44
So the proportions of defence are fill'd;

25 Whitsun morris-dance; cf. n.
28 humorous: full of whims
34 exception: offering objections
36 forespent: past
37 Brutus; cf. n.