I do confess my fault;
And do submit me to your highness’ mercy.
GREY and SCROOP:
To which we all appeal.
The mercy that was quick in us but late,
By your own counsel is suppress’d and kill’d:
For your own reasons turn into your bosoms,
As dogs upon their masters, worrying you.
See you, my princes and my noble peers,
These English monsters!
– – –
For me, the gold of France did not seduce;
Although I did admit it as a motive
The sooner to effect what I intended:
But God be thanked for prevention;
Which I in sufferance heartily will rejoice,
Beseeching God and you to pardon me.
Never did faithful subject more rejoice
At the discovery of most dangerous treason
Than I do at this hour joy o’er myself,
Prevented from a damned enterprise:
My fault, but not my body, pardon, sovereign.
God quit you in his mercy! Hear your sentence.
You have conspired against our royal person,
Join’d with an enemy proclaim’d, and from his coffers
Receiv’d the golden earnest of our death;
Wherein you would have sold your king to slaughter,
His princes and his peers to servitude,
His subjects to oppression and contempt,
And his whole kingdom into desolation.
Touching our person, seek we no revenge;
But we our kingdom’s safety must so tender,
Whose ruin you have sought, that to her laws
We do deliver you. Get you, therefore, hence,
Poor miserable wretches, to your death:
The taste whereof, God of his mercy give
You patience to endure, and true repentance
Of all your dear offences! – Bear them hence.
-William Shakespeare, King Henry the Fifth (1598-1599)