The Life of Henry the Fifth
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DRAMATIS PERSONAE (Persons Represented):
- KING HENRY V.
- DUKE OF GLOUCESTER, brother to the King.
- DUKE OF BEDFORD, brother to the King.
- DUKE OF EXETER, uncle to the King.
- DUKE OF YORK, cousin to the King.
- EARL OF SALISBURY.
- EARL OF WESTMORELAND.
- EARL OF WARWICK.
- ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY.
- BISHOP OF ELY.
- EARL OF CAMBRIDGE.
- LORD SCROOP.
- SIR THOMAS GREY.
- SIR THOMAS ERPINGHAM, officer in King Henry's army.
- GOWER, officer in King Henry's army.
- FLUELLEN, officer in King Henry's army.
- MACMORRIS, officer in King Henry's army.
- JAMY, officer in King Henry's army.
- BATES, soldier in the same.
- COURT, soldier in the same.
- WILLIAMS, soldier in the same.
- A Herald.
- CHARLES VI, king of France.
- LEWIS, the Dauphin.
- DUKE OF BURGUNDY.
- DUKE OF ORLEANS.
- DUKE OF BOURBON.
- The Constable of France.
- RAMBURES, French Lord.
- GRANDPRE, French Lord.
- Governor of Harfleur
- MONTJOY, a French herald.
- Ambassadors to the King of England.
- ISABEL, queen of France.
- KATHARINE, daughter to Charles and Isabel.
- ALICE, a lady attending on her.
- HOSTESS of a tavern in Eastcheap, formerly Mistress Quickly,
- and now married to Pistol.
- Lords, Ladies, Officers, Soldiers, Citizens, Messengers, and Attendants.
SCENE: England; afterwards France.
- 1 PROLOGUE.
- 2 ACT FIRST.
- 3 ACT SECOND.
- 4 ACT THIRD.
- 5 ACT FOURTH.
- 5.1 PROLOGUE.
- 5.2 SCENE I. The English camp at Agincourt.
- 5.3 SCENE II. The French camp.
- 5.4 SCENE III. The English camp.
- 5.5 SCENE IV. The field of battle.
- 5.6 SCENE V. Another part of the field.
- 5.7 SCENE VI. Another part of the field.
- 5.8 SCENE VII. Another part of the field.
- 5.9 SCENE VIII. Before King Henry's pavilion.
- 6 ACT FIFTH.
- 7 EPILOGUE.
- O for a Muse of fire, that would ascend
- The brightest heaven of invention,
- A kingdom for a stage, princes to act,
- And monarchs to behold the swelling scene!
- Then should the warlike Harry, like himself,
- Assume the port of Mars; and at his heels,
- Leash'd in like hounds, should famine, sword, and fire
- Crouch for employment. But pardon, gentles all,
- The flat unraised spirits that hath dar'd
- On this unworthy scaffold to bring forth
- So great an object. Can this cockpit hold
- The vasty fields of France? Or may we cram
- Within this wooden O the very casques
- That did affright the air at Agincourt?
- O, pardon! since a crooked figure may
- Attest in little place a million;
- And let us, ciphers to this great accompt,
- On your imaginary forces work.
- Suppose within the girdle of these walls
- Are now confin'd two mighty monarchies,
- Whose high upreared and abutting fronts
- The perilous narrow ocean parts asunder;
- Piece out our imperfections with your thoughts:
- Into a thousand parts divide one man,
- And make imaginary puissance;
- Think, when we talk of horses, that you see them
- Printing their proud hoofs i' the receiving earth.
- For 'tis your thoughts that now must deck our kings,
- Carry them here and there, jumping o'er times,
- Turning the accomplishment of many years
- Into an hour-glass: for the which supply,
- Admit me Chorus to this history;
- Who, prologue-like, your humble patience pray,
- Gently to hear, kindly to judge, our play.
SCENE I. London. An ante-chamber in the King's palace.
[Enter the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Bishop of Ely.]
- My lord, I'll tell you: that self bill is urg'd,
- Which in the eleventh year of the last king's reign
- Was like, and had indeed against us pass'd,
- But that the scambling and unquiet time
- Did push it out of farther question.
- But how, my lord, shall we resist it now?
- It must be thought on. If it pass against us,
- We lose the better half of our possession;
- For all the temporal lands, which men devout
- By testament have given to the Church,
- Would they strip from us; being valu'd thus:
- As much as would maintain, to the King's honour,
- Full fifteen earls and fifteen hundred knights,
- Six thousand and two hundred good esquires;
- And, to relief of lazars and weak age,
- Of indigent faint souls, past corporal toil,
- A hundred almshouses right well suppli'd;
- And to the coffers of the King beside,
- A thousand pounds by the year. Thus runs the bill.
- This would drink deep.
- 'Twould drink the cup and all.
- But what prevention?
- The King is full of grace and fair regard.
- And a true lover of the holy Church.
- The courses of his youth promis'd it not.
- The breath no sooner left his father's body,
- But that his wildness, mortifi'd in him,
- Seem'd to die too; yea, at that very moment
- Consideration like an angel came
- And whipp'd the offending Adam out of him,
- Leaving his body as a paradise
- To envelope and contain celestial spirits.
- Never was such a sudden scholar made;
- Never came reformation in a flood
- With such a heady currance, scouring faults;
- Nor never Hydra-headed wilfulness
- So soon did lose his seat, and all at once,
- As in this king.
- We are blessed in the change.
- Hear him but reason in divinity,
- And, all-admiring, with an inward wish
- You would desire the King were made a prelate;
- Hear him debate of commonwealth affairs,
- You would say it hath been all in all his study;
- List his discourse of war, and you shall hear
- A fearful battle rend'red you in music;
- Turn him to any cause of policy,
- The Gordian knot of it he will unloose,
- Familiar as his garter; that, when he speaks,
- The air, a charter'd libertine, is still,
- And the mute wonder lurketh in men's ears,
- To steal his sweet and honey'd sentences;
- So that the art and practic' part of life
- Must be the mistress to this theoric:
- Which is a wonder how his Grace should glean it,
- Since his addiction was to courses vain,
- His companies unletter'd, rude, and shallow,
- His hours fill'd up with riots, banquets, sports,
- And never noted in him any study,
- Any retirement, any sequestration
- From open haunts and popularity.
- The strawberry grows underneath the nettle,
- And wholesome berries thrive and ripen best
- Neighbour'd by fruit of baser quality;
- And so the Prince obscur'd his contemplation
- Under the veil of wildness; which, no doubt,
- Grew like the summer grass, fastest by night,
- Unseen, yet crescive in his faculty.
- It must be so; for miracles are ceas'd,
- And therefore we must needs admit the means
- How things are perfected.
- But, my good lord,
- How now for mitigation of this bill
- Urg'd by the commons? Doth his Majesty
- Incline to it, or no?
- He seems indifferent,
- Or rather swaying more upon our part
- Than cherishing the exhibiters against us;
- For I have made an offer to his Majesty,
- Upon our spiritual convocation
- And in regard of causes now in hand,
- Which I have open'd to his Grace at large,
- As touching France, to give a greater sum
- Than ever at one time the clergy yet
- Did to his predecessors part withal.
- How did this offer seem receiv'd, my lord?
- With good acceptance of his Majesty;
- Save that there was not time enough to hear,
- As I perceiv'd his Grace would fain have done,
- The severals and unhidden passages
- Of his true titles to some certain dukedoms,
- And generally to the crown and seat of France
- Deriv'd from Edward, his great-grandfather.
- What was the impediment that broke this off?
- The French ambassador upon that instant
- Crav'd audience; and the hour, I think, is come
- To give him hearing. Is it four o'clock?
- It is.
- Then go we in, to know his embassy;
- Which I could with a ready guess declare,
- Before the Frenchman speak a word of it.
- I'll wait upon you, and I long to hear it.
SCENE II. The same. The presence chamber.
[Enter King Henry, Gloucester, Bedford, Exeter, Warwick, Westmoreland [and Attendants.]
- Where is my gracious Lord of Canterbury?
- Not here in presence.
- Send for him, good uncle.
- Shall we call in the ambassador, my liege?
- Not yet, my cousin. We would be resolv'd,
- Before we hear him, of some things of weight
- That task our thoughts, concerning us and France.
[Enter the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Bishop of Ely.]
- God and his angels guard your sacred throne
- And make you long become it!
- Sure, we thank you.
- My learned lord, we pray you to proceed
- And justly and religiously unfold
- Why the law Salique that they have in France
- Or should, or should not, bar us in our claim;
- And God forbid, my dear and faithful lord,
- That you should fashion, wrest, or bow your reading,
- Or nicely charge your understanding soul
- With opening titles miscreate, whose right
- Suits not in native colours with the truth;
- For God doth know how many now in health
- Shall drop their blood in approbation
- Of what your reverence shall incite us to.
- Therefore take heed how you impawn our person,
- How you awake our sleeping sword of war.
- We charge you, in the name of God, take heed;
- For never two such kingdoms did contend
- Without much fall of blood, whose guiltless drops
- Are every one a woe, a sore complaint
- 'Gainst him whose wrongs gives edge unto the swords
- That makes such waste in brief mortality.
- Under this conjuration speak, my lord;
- For we will hear, note, and believe in heart
- That what you speak is in your conscience wash'd
- As pure as sin with baptism.
- Then hear me, gracious sovereign, and you peers,
- That owe yourselves, your lives, and services
- To this imperial throne. There is no bar
- To make against your Highness' claim to France
- But this, which they produce from Pharamond:
- "In terram Salicam mulieres ne succedant,"
- "No woman shall succeed in Salique land;"
- Which Salique land the French unjustly gloze
- To be the realm of France, and Pharamond
- The founder of this law and female bar.
- Yet their own authors faithfully affirm
- That the land Salique is in Germany,
- Between the floods of Sala and of Elbe;
- Where Charles the Great, having subdu'd the Saxons,
- There left behind and settled certain French;
- Who, holding in disdain the German women
- For some dishonest manners of their life,
- Establish'd then this law, to wit, no female
- Should be inheritrix in Salique land;
- Which Salique, as I said, 'twixt Elbe and Sala,
- Is at this day in Germany call'd Meisen.
- Then doth it well appear the Salique law
- Was not devised for the realm of France;
- Nor did the French possess the Salique land
- Until four hundred one and twenty years
- After defunction of King Pharamond,
- Idly suppos'd the founder of this law,
- Who died within the year of our redemption
- Four hundred twenty-six; and Charles the Great
- Subdu'd the Saxons, and did seat the French
- Beyond the river Sala, in the year
- Eight hundred five. Besides, their writers say,
- King Pepin, which deposed Childeric,
- Did, as heir general, being descended
- Of Blithild, which was daughter to King Clothair,
- Make claim and title to the crown of France.
- Hugh Capet also, who usurp'd the crown
- Of Charles the Duke of Lorraine, sole heir male
- Of the true line and stock of Charles the Great,
- To find his title with some shows of truth,
- Though, in pure truth, it was corrupt and naught,
- Convey'd himself as the heir to the Lady Lingare,
- Daughter to Charlemain, who was the son
- To Lewis the Emperor, and Lewis the son
- Of Charles the Great. Also, King Lewis the Tenth,
- Who was sole heir to the usurper Capet,
- Could not keep quiet in his conscience,
- Wearing the crown of France, till satisfied
- That fair Queen Isabel, his grandmother,
- Was lineal of the Lady Ermengare,
- Daughter to Charles, the foresaid Duke of Lorraine;
- By the which marriage the line of Charles the Great
- Was re-united to the crown of France.
- So that, as clear as is the summer's sun,
- King Pepin's title and Hugh Capet's claim,
- King Lewis his satisfaction, all appear
- To hold in right and title of the female.
- So do the kings of France unto this day,
- Howbeit they would hold up this Salique law
- To bar your Highness claiming from the female,
- And rather choose to hide them in a net
- Than amply to imbar their crooked titles
- Usurp'd from you and your progenitors.
- May I with right and conscience make this claim?
- The sin upon my head, dread sovereign!
- For in the book of Numbers is it writ,
- When the man dies, let the inheritance
- Descend unto the daughter. Gracious lord,
- Stand for your own! Unwind your bloody flag!
- Look back into your mighty ancestors!
- Go, my dread lord, to your great-grandsire's tomb,
- From whom you claim; invoke his warlike spirit,
- And your great-uncle's, Edward the Black Prince,
- Who on the French ground play'd a tragedy,
- Making defeat on the full power of France,
- Whiles his most mighty father on a hill
- Stood smiling to behold his lion's whelp
- Forage in blood of French nobility.
- O noble English, that could entertain
- With half their forces the full pride of France
- And let another half stand laughing by,
- All out of work and cold for action!
- Awake remembrance of these valiant dead,
- And with your puissant arm renew their feats.
- You are their heir; you sit upon their throne;
- The blood and courage that renowned them
- Runs in your veins; and my thrice-puissant liege
- Is in the very May-morn of his youth,
- Ripe for exploits and mighty enterprises.
- Your brother kings and monarchs of the earth
- Do all expect that you should rouse yourself,
- As did the former lions of your blood.
- They know your Grace hath cause and means and might;
- So hath your Highness. Never King of England
- Had nobles richer, and more loyal subjects,
- Whose hearts have left their bodies here in England
- And lie pavilion'd in the fields of France.
- O, let their bodies follow, my dear liege,
- With blood and sword and fire to win your right;
- In aid whereof we of the spiritualty
- Will raise your Highness such a mighty sum
- As never did the clergy at one time
- Bring in to any of your ancestors.
- We must not only arm to invade the French,
- But lay down our proportions to defend
- Against the Scot, who will make road upon us
- With all advantages.
- They of those marches, gracious sovereign,
- Shall be a wall sufficient to defend
- Our inland from the pilfering borderers.
- We do not mean the coursing snatchers only,
- But fear the main intendment of the Scot,
- Who hath been still a giddy neighbour to us;
- For you shall read that my great-grandfather
- Never went with his forces into France
- But that the Scot on his unfurnish'd kingdom
- Came pouring, like the tide into a breach,
- With ample and brim fullness of his force,
- Galling the gleaned land with hot assays,
- Girdling with grievous siege castles and towns;
- That England, being empty of defence,
- Hath shook and trembled at the ill neighbourhood.
- She hath been then more fear'd than harm'd, my liege;
- For hear her but exampl'd by herself:
- When all her chivalry hath been in France,
- And she a mourning widow of her nobles,
- She hath herself not only well defended
- But taken and impounded as a stray
- The King of Scots; whom she did send to France
- To fill King Edward's fame with prisoner kings,
- And make her chronicle as rich with praise
- As is the ooze and bottom of the sea
- With sunken wreck and sumless treasuries.
- But there's a saying very old and true,
- "If that you will France win,
- Then with Scotland first begin."
- For once the eagle England being in prey,
- To her unguarded nest the weasel Scot
- Comes sneaking and so sucks her princely eggs,
- Playing the mouse in absence of the cat,
- To tear and havoc more than she can eat.
- It follows then the cat must stay at home;
- Yet that is but a crush'd necessity,
- Since we have locks to safeguard necessaries,
And pretty traps to catch the petty thieves.
- While that the armed hand doth fight abroad,
- The advised head defends itself at home;
- For government, though high and low and lower,
- Put into parts, doth keep in one consent,
- Congreeing in a full and natural close,
- Like music.
- Therefore doth heaven divide
- The state of man in divers functions,
- Setting endeavour in continual motion,
- To which is fixed, as an aim or butt,
- Obedience; for so work the honey-bees,
- Creatures that by a rule in nature teach
- The act of order to a peopled kingdom.
- They have a king and officers of sorts,
- Where some, like magistrates, correct at home,
- Others like merchants, venture trade abroad,
- Others, like soldiers, armed in their stings,
- Make boot upon the summer's velvet buds,
- Which pillage they with merry march bring home
- To the tent-royal of their emperor;
- Who, busied in his majesty, surveys
- The singing masons building roofs of gold,
- The civil citizens kneading up the honey,
- The poor mechanic porters crowding in
- Their heavy burdens at his narrow gate,
- The sad-eyed justice, with his surly hum,
- Delivering o'er to executors pale
- The lazy yawning drone. I this infer,
- That many things, having full reference
- To one consent, may work contrariously.
- As many arrows, loosed several ways,
- Come to one mark; as many ways meet in one town;
- As many fresh streams meet in one salt sea;
- As many lines close in the dial's centre;
- So many a thousand actions, once afoot,
- End in one purpose, and be all well borne
- Without defeat. Therefore to France, my liege!
- Divide your happy England into four,
- Whereof take you one quarter into France,
- And you withal shall make all Gallia shake.
- If we, with thrice such powers left at home,
- Cannot defend our own doors from the dog,
- Let us be worried and our nation lose
- The name of hardiness and policy.
- Call in the messengers sent from the Dauphin.
[Exeunt some Attendants.]
- Now are we well resolv'd; and, by God's help,
- And yours, the noble sinews of our power,
- France being ours, we'll bend it to our awe,
- Or break it all to pieces. Or there we'll sit,
- Ruling in large and ample empery
- O'er France and all her almost kingly dukedoms,
- Or lay these bones in an unworthy urn,
- Tombless, with no remembrance over them.
- Either our history shall with full mouth
- Speak freely of our acts, or else our grave,
- Like Turkish mute, shall have a tongueless mouth,
- Not worshipp'd with a waxen epitaph.
[Enter Ambassadors of France.]
- Now are we well prepar'd to know the pleasure
- Of our fair cousin Dauphin; for we hear
- Your greeting is from him, not from the King.
- May't please your Majesty to give us leave
- Freely to render what we have in charge,
- Or shall we sparingly show you far off
- The Dauphin's meaning and our embassy?
- We are no tyrant, but a Christian king,
- Unto whose grace our passion is as subject
- As is our wretches fett'red in our prisons;
- Therefore with frank and with uncurbed plainness
- Tell us the Dauphin's mind.
- Thus, then, in few.
- Your Highness, lately sending into France,
- Did claim some certain dukedoms, in the right
- Of your great predecessor, King Edward the Third.
In answer of which claim, the prince our master
- Says that you savour too much of your youth,
- And bids you be advis'd there's nought in France
- That can be with a nimble galliard won.
- You cannot revel into dukedoms there.
- He therefore sends you, meeter for your spirit,
- This tun of treasure; and, in lieu of this,
- Desires you let the dukedoms that you claim
- Hear no more of you. This the Dauphin speaks.
- What treasure, uncle?
- Tennis-balls, my liege.
- We are glad the Dauphin is so pleasant with us.
- His present and your pains we thank you for.
- When we have match'd our rackets to these balls,
- We will, in France, by God's grace, play a set
- Shall strike his father's crown into the hazard.
- Tell him he hath made a match with such a wrangler
- That all the courts of France will be disturb'd
- With chaces. And we understand him well,
- How he comes o'er us with our wilder days,
- Not measuring what use we made of them.
- We never valu'd this poor seat of England;
- And therefore, living hence, did give ourself
- To barbarous licence; as 'tis ever common
- That men are merriest when they are from home.
- But tell the Dauphin I will keep my state,
- Be like a king, and show my sail of greatness
- When I do rouse me in my throne of France.
- For that I have laid by my majesty
- And plodded like a man for working days,
- But I will rise there with so full a glory
- That I will dazzle all the eyes of France,
- Yea, strike the Dauphin blind to look on us.
- And tell the pleasant prince this mock of his
- Hath turn'd his balls to gun-stones, and his soul
- Shall stand sore charged for the wasteful vengeance
- That shall fly with them; for many a thousand widows
- Shall this his mock mock out of their dear husbands,
- Mock mothers from their sons, mock castles down;
- And some are yet ungotten and unborn
- That shall have cause to curse the Dauphin's scorn.
- But this lies all within the will of God,
- To whom I do appeal; and in whose name
- Tell you the Dauphin I am coming on
- To venge me as I may, and to put forth
- My rightful hand in a well-hallow'd cause.
- So get you hence in peace; and tell the Dauphin
- His jest will savour but of shallow wit,
- When thousands weep more than did laugh at it.—
- Convey them with safe conduct.—Fare you well.
- This was a merry message.
- We hope to make the sender blush at it.
- Therefore, my lords, omit no happy hour
- That may give furtherance to our expedition;
- For we have now no thought in us but France,
- Save those to God, that run before our business.
- Therefore, let our proportions for these wars
- Be soon collected, and all things thought upon
- That may with reasonable swiftness add
- More feathers to our wings; for, God before,
- We'll chide this Dauphin at his father's door.
- 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.
- 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,
- 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
- 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,
- 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
- A nest of hollow bosoms, which he fills
- With treacherous crowns; and three corrupted men,
- One, Richard Earl of Cambridge, and the second,
- Henry Lord Scroop of Masham, and the third,
- Sir Thomas Grey, knight of Northumberland,
- Have, for the gilt of France,—O guilt indeed!—
- Confirm'd conspiracy with fearful France;
- And by their hands this grace of kings must die,
- If hell and treason hold their promises,
- Ere he take ship for France, and in Southampton.
- Linger your patience on, and we'll digest
- The abuse of distance, force a play.
- The sum is paid; the traitors are agreed;
- The King is set from London; and the scene
- Is now transported, gentles, to Southampton.
- There is the playhouse now, there must you sit;
- And thence to France shall we convey you safe,
- And bring you back, charming the narrow seas
- To give you gentle pass; for, if we may,
- We'll not offend one stomach with our play.
- But, till the King come forth, and not till then,
- Unto Southampton do we shift our scene.
SCENE I. London. A street.
[Enter Corporal Nym and Lieutenant Bardolph.]
- Well met, Corporal Nym.
- Good morrow, Lieutenant Bardolph.
- What, are Ancient Pistol and you friends yet?
- For my part, I care not. I say little; but when time shall
- serve, there shall be smiles; but that shall be as it may. I dare
- not fight, but I will wink and hold out mine iron. It is a simple
- one, but what though? It will toast cheese, and it will endure
- cold as another man's sword will; and there's an end.
- I will bestow a breakfast to make you friends; and we'll
- be all three sworn brothers to France. Let it be so, good
- Corporal Nym.
- Faith, I will live so long as I may, that's the certain of it; and
- when I cannot live any longer, I will do as I may. That is my rest,
- that is the rendezvous of it.
- It is certain, corporal, that he is married to Nell Quickly; and
- certainly she did you wrong, for you were troth-plight to her.
- I cannot tell. Things must be as they may. Men may sleep, and
- they may have their throats about them at that time; and some say
- knives have edges. It must be as it may. Though patience be a
- tired mare, yet she will plod. There must be conclusions. Well, I
- cannot tell.
[Enter Pistol and Hostess.]
- Here comes Ancient Pistol and his wife. Good Corporal, be
- patient here. How now, mine host Pistol!
- Base tike, call'st thou me host?
- Now, by this hand, I swear I scorn the term;
- Nor shall my Nell keep lodgers.
- No, by my troth, not long; for we cannot lodge and board a
- dozen or fourteen gentlewomen that live honestly by the prick of
- their needles, but it will be thought we keep a bawdy house
- straight. [Nym and Pistol draw.] O well a day, Lady, if he be not
- drawn now! We shall see wilful adultery and murder committed.
- Good Lieutenant! good corporal! offer nothing here.
- Pish for thee, Iceland dog! thou prick-ear'd cur of Iceland!
- Good Corporal Nym, show thy valour, and put up your sword.
- Will you shog off? I would have you solus.
- "Solus," egregious dog! O viper vile!
- The "solus" in thy most mervailous face;
- The "solus" in thy teeth, and in thy throat,
- And in thy hateful lungs, yea, in thy maw, perdy,
- And, which is worse, within thy nasty mouth!
- I do retort the "solus" in thy bowels;
- For I can take, and Pistol's cock is up,
- And flashing fire will follow.
- I am not Barbason; you cannot conjure me. I have an humour to
- knock you indifferently well. If you grow foul with me, Pistol, I
- will scour you with my rapier, as I may, in fair terms. If you
- would walk off, I would prick your guts a little, in good terms,
- as I may; and that's the humour of it.
- O braggart vile and damned furious wight!
- The grave doth gape, and doting death is near,
- Therefore exhale.
- Hear me, hear me what I say. He that strikes the first
- stroke I'll run him up to the hilts, as I am a soldier.
- An oath of mickle might; and fury shall abate.
- Give me thy fist, thy fore-foot to me give.
- Thy spirits are most tall.
- I will cut thy throat, one time or other, in fair terms:
- that is the humour of it.
- "Couple a gorge!"
- That is the word. I thee defy again.
- O hound of Crete, think'st thou my spouse to get?
- No! to the spital go,
- And from the powdering tub of infamy
- Fetch forth the lazar kite of Cressid's kind,
- Doll Tearsheet she by name, and her espouse.
- I have, and I will hold, the quondam Quickly
- For the only she; and—pauca, there's enough.
- Go to.
[Enter the Boy.]
- Mine host Pistol, you must come to my master, and you,
- hostess. He is very sick, and would to bed. Good Bardolph, put
- thy face between his sheets, and do the office of a warming-pan.
- Faith, he's very ill.
- Away, you rogue!
- By my troth, he'll yield the crow a pudding one of these days.
- The King has kill'd his heart.
- Good husband, come home presently.
[Exeunt Hostess and Boy.]
- Come, shall I make you two friends? We must to France
- together; why the devil should we keep knives to cut one
- another's throats?
- Let floods o'erswell, and fiends for food howl on!
- You'll pay me the eight shillings I won of you at betting?
- Base is the slave that pays.
- That now I will have: that's the humour of it.
- As manhood shall compound. Push home.
- By this sword, he that makes the first thrust, I'll kill
- him; by this sword, I will.
- Sword is an oath, and oaths must have their course.
- Corporal Nym, and thou wilt be friends, be friends; an
- thou wilt not, why, then, be enemies with me too. Prithee,
- put up.
- I shall have my eight shillings I won from you at betting?
- A noble shalt thou have, and present pay;
- And liquor likewise will I give to thee,
- And friendship shall combine, and brotherhood.
- I'll live by Nym, and Nym shall live by me.
- Is not this just? For I shall sutler be
- Unto the camp, and profits will accrue.
- Give me thy hand.
- I shall have my noble?
- In cash most justly paid.
- Well, then, that's the humour of't.
- As ever you come of women, come in quickly to Sir John.
- Ah, poor heart! he is so shak'd of a burning quotidian tertian,
- that it is most lamentable to behold. Sweet men, come to him.
- The King hath run bad humours on the knight; that's the even
- of it.
- Nym, thou hast spoke the right.
- His heart is fracted and corroborate.
- The King is a good king; but it must be as it may; he
- passes some humours and careers.
- Let us condole the knight; for, lambkins, we will live.
SCENE II. Southampton. A council-chamber.
[Enter Exeter, Bedford, and Westmoreland.]
- 'Fore God, his Grace is bold, to trust these traitors.
- They shall be apprehended by and by.
- How smooth and even they do bear themselves!
- As if allegiance in their bosoms sat
- Crowned with faith and constant loyalty.
- The King hath note of all that they intend,
- By interception which they dream not of.
- Nay, but the man that was his bed-fellow,
- Whom he hath dull'd and cloy'd with gracious favours,
- That he should, for a foreign purse, so sell
- His sovereign's life to death and treachery.
[Trumpets sound. Enter King Henry, Scroop, Cambridge, and Grey.]
- Now sits the wind fair, and we will aboard.
- My Lord of Cambridge, and my kind Lord of Masham,
- And you, my gentle knight, give me your thoughts.
- Think you not that the powers we bear with us
- Will cut their passage through the force of France,
- Doing the execution and the act
- For which we have in head assembled them?
- No doubt, my liege, if each man do his best.
- I doubt not that, since we are well persuaded
- We carry not a heart with us from hence
- That grows not in a fair consent with ours,
- Nor leave not one behind that doth not wish
- Success and conquest to attend on us.
- Never was monarch better fear'd and lov'd
- Than is your Majesty. There's not, I think, a subject
- That sits in heart-grief and uneasiness
- Under the sweet shade of your government.
- True; those that were your father's enemies
- Have steep'd their galls in honey, and do serve you
- With hearts create of duty and of zeal.
- We therefore have great cause of thankfulness,
- And shall forget the office of our hand
- Sooner than quittance of desert and merit
- According to the weight and worthiness.
- So service shall with steeled sinews toil,
- And labour shall refresh itself with hope,
- To do your Grace incessant services.
- We judge no less. Uncle of Exeter,
- Enlarge the man committed yesterday,
- That rail'd against our person. We consider
- It was excess of wine that set him on,
- And on his more advice we pardon him.
- That's mercy, but too much security.
- Let him be punish'd, sovereign, lest example
- Breed, by his sufferance, more of such a kind.
- O, let us yet be merciful.
- So may your Highness, and yet punish too.
- You show great mercy if you give him life
- After the taste of much correction.
- Alas, your too much love and care of me
- Are heavy orisons 'gainst this poor wretch!
- If little faults, proceeding on distemper,
- Shall not be wink'd at, how shall we stretch our eye
- When capital crimes, chew'd, swallow'd, and digested,
- Appear before us? We'll yet enlarge that man,
- Though Cambridge, Scroop, and Grey, in their dear care
- And tender preservation of our person,
- Would have him punish'd. And now to our French causes.
- Who are the late commissioners?
- I one, my lord.
- Your Highness bade me ask for it to-day.
- So did you me, my liege.
- And I, my royal sovereign.
- Then, Richard Earl of Cambridge, there is yours;
- There yours, Lord Scroop of Masham; and, sir knight,
- Grey of Northumberland, this same is yours.
- Read them, and know I know your worthiness.
- My Lord of Westmoreland, and uncle Exeter,
- We will aboard to-night.—Why, how now, gentlemen!
- What see you in those papers that you lose
- So much complexion?—Look ye, how they change!
- Their cheeks are paper.—Why, what read you there,
- That have so cowarded and chas'd your blood
- Out of appearance?
- I do confess my fault,
- And do submit me to your Highness' mercy.
- To which we all appeal.
- The mercy that was quick in us but late,
- By your own counsel is suppress'd and kill'd.
- You must not dare, for shame, to talk of mercy,
- 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! My Lord of Cambridge here,
- You know how apt our love was to accord
- To furnish him with an appertinents
- Belonging to his honour; and this man
- Hath, for a few light crowns, lightly conspir'd
- And sworn unto the practices of France
- To kill us here in Hampton; to the which
- This knight, no less for bounty bound to us
- Than Cambridge is, hath likewise sworn. But, O
- What shall I say to thee, Lord Scroop? thou cruel,
- Ingrateful, savage, and inhuman creature!
- Thou that didst bear the key of all my counsels,
- That knew'st the very bottom of my soul,
- That almost mightst have coin'd me into gold,
- Wouldst thou have practis'd on me for thy use,—
- May it be possible that foreign hire
- Could out of thee extract one spark of evil
- That might annoy my finger? 'Tis so strange,
- That, though the truth of it stands off as gross
- As black and white, my eye will scarcely see it.
- Treason and murder ever kept together,
- As two yoke-devils sworn to either's purpose,
- Working so grossly in a natural cause
- That admiration did not whoop at them;
- But thou, 'gainst all proportion, didst bring in
- Wonder to wait on treason and on murder;
- And whatsoever cunning fiend it was
- That wrought upon thee so preposterously
- Hath got the voice in hell for excellence;
- And other devils that suggest by treasons
- Do botch and bungle up damnation
- With patches, colours, and with forms being fetch'd
- From glist'ring semblances of piety.
- But he that temper'd thee bade thee stand up,
- Gave thee no instance why thou shouldst do treason,
- Unless to dub thee with the name of traitor.
- If that same demon that hath gull'd thee thus
- Should with his lion gait walk the whole world,
- He might return to vasty Tartar back,
- And tell the legions, "I can never win
- A soul so easy as that Englishman's."
- O, how hast thou with jealousy infected
- The sweetness of affiance! Show men dutiful?
- Why, so didst thou. Seem they grave and learned?
Why, so didst thou. Come they of noble family?
- Why, so didst thou. Seem they religious?
- Why, so didst thou. Or are they spare in diet,
- Free from gross passion or of mirth or anger,
- Constant in spirit, not swerving with the blood,
- Garnish'd and deck'd in modest complement,
- Not working with the eye without the ear,
- And but in purged judgement trusting neither?
- Such and so finely bolted didst thou seem.
- And thus thy fall hath left a kind of blot
- To mark the full-fraught man and best indued
- With some suspicion. I will weep for thee;
- For this revolt of thine, methinks, is like
- Another fall of man. Their faults are open.
- Arrest them to the answer of the law;
- And God acquit them of their practices!
- I arrest thee of high treason, by the name of Richard Earl of
- Cambridge. I arrest thee of high treason, by the name of Henry
- Lord Scroop of Masham. I arrest thee of high treason, by the name
- of Thomas Grey, knight, of Northumberland.
- Our purposes God justly hath discover'd,
- And I repent my fault more than my death,
- Which I beseech your Highness to forgive,
- Although my body pay the price of it.
- 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 conspir'd against our royal person,
- Join'd with an enemy proclaim'd, and from his coffers
- Received 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.
[Exeunt Cambridge, Scroop, and Grey, guarded.]
- Now, lords, for France; the enterprise whereof
- Shall be to you, as us, like glorious.
- We doubt not of a fair and lucky war,
- Since God so graciously hath brought to light
- This dangerous treason lurking in our way
- To hinder our beginnings. We doubt not now
- But every rub is smoothed on our way.
- Then forth, dear countrymen! Let us deliver
- Our puissance into the hand of God,
- Putting it straight in expedition.
- Cheerly to sea! The signs of war advance!
- No king of England, if not king of France!
SCENE III. London. Before a tavern.
[Enter Pistol, Nym, Bardolph, Boy, and Hostess.]
- Prithee, honey, sweet husband, let me bring thee to Staines.
- No; for my manly heart doth yearn.
- Bardolph, be blithe; Nym, rouse thy vaunting veins;
- Boy, bristle thy courage up; for Falstaff he is dead,
- And we must yearn therefore.
- Would I were with him, wheresome'er he is, either in
- heaven or in hell!
- Nay, sure, he's not in hell. He's in Arthur's bosom, if ever
- man went to Arthur's bosom. 'A made a finer end and went
- away an it had been any christom child. 'A parted even just
- between twelve and one, even at the turning o' the tide: for
- after I saw him fumble with the sheets, and play with flowers,
- and smile upon his fingers' ends, I knew there was but one way;
- for his nose was as sharp as a pen, and 'a babbled of green
- fields. "How now, Sir John!" quoth I; "what, man! be o' good
- cheer." So 'a cried out, "God, God, God!" three or four times.
- Now I, to comfort him, bid him 'a should not think of God; I
- hop'd there was no need to trouble himself with any such thoughts
- yet. So 'a bade me lay more clothes on his feet. I put my hand
- into the bed and felt them, and they were as cold as any stone;
- then I felt to his knees, [and they were as cold as any stone;]
- and so upward and upward, and all was as cold as any stone.
- They say he cried out of sack.
- Ay, that 'a did.
- And of women.
- Nay, that 'a did not.
- Yes, that 'a did; and said they were devils incarnate.
- 'A could never abide carnation; 'twas a colour he never liked.
- 'A said once, the devil would have him about women.
- 'A did in some sort, indeed, handle women; but then he was
- rheumatic, and talk'd of the whore of Babylon.
- Do you not remember, 'a saw a flea stick upon Bardolph's nose,
- and 'a said it was a black soul burning in hell-fire?
- Well, the fuel is gone that maintain'd that fire. That's all the
- riches I got in his service.
- Shall we shog? The King will be gone from Southampton.
- Come, let's away. My love, give me thy lips.
- Look to my chattels and my movables.
- Let senses rule; the word is "Pitch and Pay."
- Trust none;
- For oaths are straws, men's faiths are wafer-cakes
- And hold-fast is the only dog, my duck;
- Therefore, Caveto be thy counsellor.
- Go, clear thy crystals. Yoke-fellows in arms,
- Let us to France; like horse-leeches, my boys,
- To suck, to suck, the very blood to suck!
- And that's but unwholesome food, they say.
- Touch her soft mouth, and march.
- Farewell, hostess.
- I cannot kiss; that is the humour of it; but, adieu.
Let housewifery appear. Keep close, I thee command.
- Farewell; adieu.
SCENE IV. France. The King's palace.
[Flourish. Enter the French King, the Dauphin, the Dukes of Berri and Bretagne [the Constable, and others.]
- Thus comes the English with full power upon us,
- And more than carefully it us concerns
- To answer royally in our defences.
- Therefore the Dukes of Berri and of Bretagne,
- Of Brabant and of Orleans, shall make forth,
- And you, Prince Dauphin, with all swift dispatch,
- To line and new repair our towns of war
- With men of courage and with means defendant;
- For England his approaches makes as fierce
- As waters to the sucking of a gulf.
- It fits us then to be as provident
- As fears may teach us out of late examples
- Left by the fatal and neglected English
- Upon our fields.
- My most redoubted father,
- It is most meet we arm us 'gainst the foe;
- For peace itself should not so dull a kingdom,
- Though war nor no known quarrel were in question,
- But that defences, musters, preparations,
- Should be maintain'd, assembled, and collected,
- As were a war in expectation.
- 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;
- For, my good liege, she is so idly king'd,
- Her sceptre so fantastically borne
- By a vain, giddy, shallow, humorous youth,
- That fear attends her not.
- 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,
- How modest in exception, and withal
- How terrible in constant resolution,
- And you shall find his vanities forespent
- 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.
- 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,
- So the proportions of defence are fill'd;
- Which, of a weak and niggardly projection,
- Doth, like a miser, spoil his coat with scanting
- A little cloth.
- Think we King Harry strong;
- And, Princes, look you strongly arm to meet him.
- The kindred of him hath been flesh'd upon us;
- And he is bred out of that bloody strain
- That haunted us in our familiar paths.
- Witness our too much memorable shame
- When Cressy battle fatally was struck,
- And all our princes captiv'd by the hand
- Of that black name, Edward, Black Prince of Wales;
- Whiles that his mountain sire, on mountain standing,
- Up in the air, crown'd with the golden sun,
- Saw his heroical seed, and smil'd to see him,
- Mangle the work of nature and deface
- The patterns that by God and by French fathers
- Had twenty years been made. This is a stem
- Of that victorious stock; and let us fear
- The native mightiness and fate of him.
[Enter a Messenger.]
- Ambassadors from Harry King of England
- Do crave admittance to your Majesty.
- We'll give them present audience. Go, and bring them.
[Exeunt Messenger and certain Lords.]
- You see this chase is hotly follow'd, friends.
- Turn head and stop pursuit; for coward dogs
- Most spend their mouths when what they seem to threaten
- Runs far before them. Good my sovereign,
- Take up the English short, and let them know
- Of what a monarchy you are the head.
- Self-love, my liege, is not so vile a sin
- As self-neglecting.
- From our brother of England?
- From him; and thus he greets your Majesty:
- He wills you, in the name of God Almighty,
- That you divest yourself, and lay apart
- The borrowed glories that by gift of heaven,
- By law of nature and of nations, longs
- To him and to his heirs; namely, the crown
- And all wide-stretched honours that pertain
- By custom and the ordinance of times
- Unto the crown of France. That you may know
- 'Tis no sinister nor no awkward claim
- Pick'd from the worm-holes of long-vanish'd days,
- Nor from the dust of old oblivion rak'd,
- He sends you this most memorable line,
- In every branch truly demonstrative;
- Willing you overlook this pedigree;
- And when you find him evenly deriv'd
From his most fam'd of famous ancestors,
- Edward the Third, he bids you then resign
- Your crown and kingdom, indirectly held
- From him, the native and true challenger.
- Or else what follows?
- Bloody constraint; for if you hide the crown
- Even in your hearts, there will he rake for it.
- Therefore in fierce tempest is he coming,
- In thunder and in earthquake, like a Jove,
- That, if requiring fail, he will compel;
- And bids you, in the bowels of the Lord,
- Deliver up the crown, and to take mercy
- On the poor souls for whom this hungry war
- Opens his vasty jaws; and on your head
- Turning the widows' tears, the orphans' cries,
- The dead men's blood, the pining maidens' groans,
- For husbands, fathers, and betrothed lovers,
- That shall be swallowed in this controversy.
- This is his claim, his threat'ning, and my message;
- Unless the Dauphin be in presence here,
- To whom expressly I bring greeting too.
- For us, we will consider of this further.
- To-morrow shall you bear our full intent
- Back to our brother of England.
- For the Dauphin,
- I stand here for him. What to him from England?
- Scorn and defiance. Slight regard, contempt,
- And anything that may not misbecome
- The mighty sender, doth he prize you at.
- Thus says my king: an if your father's Highness
- Do not, in grant of all demands at large,
- Sweeten the bitter mock you sent his Majesty,
- He'll call you to so hot an answer of it
- That caves and womby vaultages of France
- Shall chide your trespass and return your mock
- In second accent of his ordinance.
- Say, if my father render fair return,
- It is against my will; for I desire
- Nothing but odds with England. To that end,
- As matching to his youth and vanity,
- I did present him with the Paris balls.
- He'll make your Paris Louvre shake for it,
- Were it the mistress-court of mighty Europe;
- And, be assur'd, you'll find a difference,
- As we his subjects have in wonder found,
- Between the promise of his greener days
- And these he masters now. Now he weighs time
- Even to the utmost grain. That you shall read
- In your own losses, if he stay in France.
- To-morrow shall you know our mind at full.
- Dispatch us with all speed, lest that our king
- Come here himself to question our delay;
- For he is footed in this land already.
- You shall be soon dispatch'd with fair conditions.
- A night is but small breath and little pause
- To answer matters of this consequence.
[Flourish. Enter Chorus.]
- Thus with imagin'd wing our swift scene flies,
- In motion of no less celerity
- Than that of thought. Suppose that you have seen
- The well-appointed king at [Hampton] pier
- Embark his royalty, and his brave fleet
- With silken streamers the young Phoebus fanning.
- Play with your fancies; and in them behold
- Upon the hempen tackle ship-boys climbing;
- Hear the shrill whistle which doth order give
- To sounds confus'd; behold the threaden sails,
- Borne with the invisible and creeping wind,
- Draw the huge bottoms through the furrow'd sea,
- Breasting the lofty surge. O, do but think
- You stand upon the rivage and behold
- A city on the inconstant billows dancing;
- For so appears this fleet majestical,
- Holding due course to Harfleur. Follow, follow!
- Grapple your minds to sternage of this navy,
- And leave your England, as dead midnight still,
- Guarded with grandsires, babies, and old women,
- Either past or not arriv'd to pith and puissance.
- For who is he, whose chin is but enrich'd
- With one appearing hair, that will not follow
- These cull'd and choice-drawn cavaliers to France?
- Work, work your thoughts, and therein see a siege;
- Behold the ordnance on their carriages,
- With fatal mouths gaping on girded Harfleur.
- Suppose the ambassador from the French comes back,
- Tells Harry that the King doth offer him
- Katharine his daughter, and with her, to dowry,
- Some petty and unprofitable dukedoms.
- The offer likes not; and the nimble gunner
- With linstock now the devilish cannon touches,
[Alarum, and chambers go off.]
- And down goes all before them. Still be kind,
- And eke out our performance with your mind.
SCENE I. France. Before Harfleur.
[Alarum. Enter King Henry, Exeter, Bedford, Gloucester, [and Soldiers, with] scaling-ladders.]
- Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more,
- Or close the wall up with our English dead.
- In peace there's nothing so becomes a man
- As modest stillness and humility;
- But when the blast of war blows in our ears,
- Then imitate the action of the tiger;
- Stiffen the sinews, summon up the blood,
- Disguise fair nature with hard-favour'd rage;
- Then lend the eye a terrible aspect;
- Let it pry through the portage of the head
- Like the brass cannon; let the brow o'erwhelm it
- As fearfully as does a galled rock
- O'erhang and jutty his confounded base,
- Swill'd with the wild and wasteful ocean.
- Now set the teeth and stretch the nostril wide,
- Hold hard the breath, and bend up every spirit
- To his full height. On, on, you noblest English,
- Whose blood is fet from fathers of war-proof!
- Fathers that, like so many Alexanders,
- Have in these parts from morn till even fought,
- And sheath'd their swords for lack of argument.
- Dishonour not your mothers; now attest
- That those whom you call'd fathers did beget you.
- Be copy now to men of grosser blood,
- And teach them how to war. And you, good yeomen,
- Whose limbs were made in England, show us here
- The mettle of your pasture; let us swear
- That you are worth your breeding, which I doubt not;
- For there is none of you so mean and base,
- That hath not noble lustre in your eyes.
- I see you stand like greyhounds in the slips,
- Straining upon the start. The game's afoot!
- Follow your spirit, and upon this charge
- Cry, "God for Harry! England and Saint George!"
[Exeunt. Alarum, and chambers go off.]
SCENE II. The same.
[Enter Nym, Bardolph, Pistol, and Boy.]
- On, on, on, on, on! To the breach, to the breach!
- Pray thee, corporal, stay. The knocks are too hot; and, for
- mine own part, I have not a case of lives. The humour of it is
- too hot; that is the very plain-song of it.
- The plain-song is most just, for humours do abound.
- "Knocks go and come; God's vassals drop and die;
- And sword and shield,
- In bloody field,
- Doth win immortal fame."
- Would I were in an alehouse in London! I would give all my
- fame for a pot of ale and safety.
- And I.
- "If wishes would prevail with me,
- My purpose should not fail with me,
- But thither would I hie."
- "As duly, but not as truly,
- As bird doth sing on bough."
- Up to the breach, you dogs! Avaunt, you cullions!
[Driving them forward.]
- Be merciful, great Duke, to men of mould.
- Abate thy rage, abate thy manly rage,
- Abate thy rage, great Duke!
- Good bawcock, bate thy rage; use lenity, sweet chuck!
These be good humours! Your honour wins bad humours.
[Exeunt [all but Boy.]
- As young as I am, I have observ'd these three swashers. I am
- boy to them all three; but all they three, though they would
- serve me, could not be man to me; for indeed three such antics
- do not amount to a man. For Bardolph, he is white-liver'd and
- red-fac'd; by the means whereof 'a faces it out, but fights not.
- For Pistol, he hath a killing tongue and a quiet sword; by the
- means whereof 'a breaks words, and keeps whole weapons. For
- Nym, he hath heard that men of few words are the best men; and
- therefore he scorns to say his prayers, lest 'a should be thought
- a coward. But his few bad words are match'd with as few good
- deeds; for 'a never broke any man's head but his own, and that
- was against a post when he was drunk. They will steal anything,
- and call it purchase. Bardolph stole a lute-case, bore it twelve
- leagues, and sold it for three half-pence. Nym and Bardolph are
- sworn brothers in filching, and in Calais they stole a
- I knew by that piece of service the men would carry coals. They
- would have me as familiar with men's pockets as their gloves or
- their handkerchers; which makes much against my manhood, if I
- should take from another's pocket to put into mine; for it is
- plain pocketing up of wrongs. I must leave them, and seek some
- better service. Their villainy goes against my weak stomach,
- and therefore I must cast it up.
[Enter Gower [and Fluellen.]
- Captain Fluellen, you must come presently to the mines.
- The Duke of Gloucester would speak with you.
- To the mines! Tell you the Duke, it is not so good to come
- to the mines; for, look you, the mines is not according to the
- disciplines of the war. The concavities of it is not sufficient;
- for, look you, the athversary, you may discuss unto the Duke,
- look you, is digt himself four yard under the countermines. By
- Cheshu, I think 'a will plow up all, if there is not better
- The Duke of Gloucester, to whom the order of the siege is
- given, is altogether directed by an Irishman, a very valiant
- gentleman, i' faith.
- It is Captain Macmorris, is it not?
- I think it be.
- By Cheshu, he is an ass, as in the world. I will verify as
- much in his beard. He has no more directions in the true
- disciplines of the wars, look you, of the Roman disciplines,
- than is a puppy-dog.
[Enter Macmorris and Captain Jamy.]
- Here 'a comes; and the Scots captain, Captain Jamy, with him.
- Captain Jamy is a marvellous falorous gentleman, that is
- certain; and of great expedition and knowledge in the aunchient
- wars, upon my particular knowledge of his directions. By Cheshu,
- he will maintain his argument as well as any military man in the
- world, in the disciplines of the pristine wars of the Romans.
- I say gud-day, Captain Fluellen.
- God-den to your worship, good Captain James.
- How now, Captain Macmorris! have you quit the mines?
- Have the pioneers given o'er?
- By Chrish, la! 'tish ill done! The work ish give over, the
- trompet sound the retreat. By my hand I swear, and my
- father's soul, the work ish ill done; it ish give over. I would
- have blowed up the town, so Chrish save me, la! in an hour.
- O, 'tish ill done, 'tish ill done; by my hand, 'tish ill done!
- Captain Macmorris, I beseech you now, will you voutsafe me,
- look you, a few disputations with you, as partly touching or
- concerning the disciplines of the war, the Roman wars, in the way
- of argument, look you, and friendly communication; partly to
- satisfy my opinion, and partly for the satisfaction, look you, of
- my mind, as touching the direction of the military discipline;
- that is the point.
- It sall be vary gud, gud feith, gud captains bath: and I sall
- quit you with gud leve, as I may pick occasion; that sall I,
- It is no time to discourse, so Chrish save me. The day is hot,
- and the weather, and the wars, and the King, and the Dukes. It
- is no time to discourse. The town is beseech'd, and the trumpet
- call us to the breach, and we talk, and, be Chrish, do nothing.
- 'Tis shame for us all. So God sa' me, 'tis shame to stand still;
- it is shame, by my hand; and there is throats to be cut, and works
- to be done; and there ish nothing done, so Chrish sa' me, la!
- By the mess, ere theise eyes of mine take themselves to slomber,
- I'll de gud service, or I'll lig i' the grund for it; ay, or go to
- death; and I'll pay't as valorously as I may, that sall I suerly do,
- that is the breff and the long. Marry, I wad full fain heard some
- question 'tween you tway.
- Captain Macmorris, I think, look you, under your correction, there
- is not many of your nation—
- Of my nation! What ish my nation? Ish a villain, and a bastard,
- and a knave, and a rascal? What ish my nation? Who talks of my
- Look you, if you take the matter otherwise than is meant, Captain
- Macmorris, peradventure I shall think you do not use me with that
- affability as in discretion you ought to use me, look you, being
- as good a man as yourself, both in the disciplines of war, and in
- the derivation of my birth, and in other particularities.
- I do not know you so good a man as myself. So Chrish save me,
- I will cut off your head.
- Gentlemen both, you will mistake each other.
- Ah! that's a foul fault.
[A parley [sounded.]
- The town sounds a parley.
- Captain Macmorris, when there is more better opportunity to be
- required, look you, I will be so bold as to tell you I know the
- disciplines of war; and there is an end.
SCENE III. Before the gates.
[The Governor and some citizens on the walls; the English forces below. Enter King Henry and his train.]
- How yet resolves the governor of the town?
- This is the latest parle we will admit;
- Therefore to our best mercy give yourselves,
- Or like to men proud of destruction
- Defy us to our worst; for, as I am a soldier,
- A name that in my thoughts becomes me best,
- If I begin the battery once again,
- I will not leave the half-achieved Harfleur
- Till in her ashes she lie buried.
- The gates of mercy shall be all shut up,
- And the flesh'd soldier, rough and hard of heart,
- In liberty of bloody hand shall range
- With conscience wide as hell, mowing like grass
- Your fresh fair virgins and your flow'ring infants.
- What is it then to me, if impious War,
Array'd in flames like to the prince of fiends,
- Do with his smirch'd complexion all fell feats
- Enlink'd to waste and desolation?
- What is't to me, when you yourselves are cause,
- If your pure maidens fall into the hand
- Of hot and forcing violation?
- What rein can hold licentious wickedness
- When down the hill he holds his fierce career?
- We may as bootless spend our vain command
- Upon the enraged soldiers in their spoil
- As send precepts to the leviathan
- To come ashore. Therefore, you men of Harfleur,
- Take pity of your town and of your people,
- Whiles yet my soldiers are in my command,
- Whiles yet the cool and temperate wind of grace
- O'erblows the filthy and contagious clouds
- Of heady murder, spoil, and villainy.
- If not, why, in a moment look to see
- The blind and bloody soldier with foul hand
- Defile the locks of your shrill-shrieking daughters;
- Your fathers taken by the silver beards,
- And their most reverend heads dash'd to the walls;
- Your naked infants spitted upon pikes,
- Whiles the mad mothers with their howls confus'd
- Do break the clouds, as did the wives of Jewry
- At Herod's bloody-hunting slaughtermen.
- What say you? Will you yield, and this avoid,
- Or, guilty in defence, be thus destroy'd?
- Our expectation hath this day an end.
- The Dauphin, whom of succours we entreated,
- Returns us that his powers are yet not ready
- To raise so great a siege. Therefore, great King,
- We yield our town and lives to thy soft mercy.
- Enter our gates; dispose of us and ours;
- For we no longer are defensible.
- Open your gates. Come, uncle Exeter,
- Go you and enter Harfleur; there remain,
- And fortify it strongly 'gainst the French.
- Use mercy to them all. For us, dear uncle,
- The winter coming on, and sickness growing
- Upon our soldiers, we will retire to Calais.
- To-night in Harfleur will we be your guest;
- To-morrow for the march are we addrest.
[Flourish. [The King and his train] enter the town.]
SCENE IV. The French King's palace.
[Enter Katharine and [Alice,] an old Gentlewoman.]
- Alice, tu as eté en Angleterre, et tu parles bien le langage.
- Un peu, madame.
- Je te prie, m'enseignez; il faut que j'apprenne á parler.
- Comment appelez-vous la main en Anglois?
- La main? Elle est appelée de hand.
- De hand. Et les doigts?
- Les doigts? Ma foi, j'oublie les doigts; mais je me
- souviendrai. Les doigts? Je pense qu'ils sont appelés de
- fingres; oui, de fingres.
- La main, de hand; les doigts, de fingres. Je pense que
- je suis le bon ecolier; j'ai gagné deux mots d'Anglois
- vitement. Comment appelez-vous les ongles?
- Les ongles? Nous les appelons de nails.
- De nails. Ecoutez; dites-moi, si je parle bien: de hand,
- de fingres, et de nails.
- C'est bien dit, madame; il est fort bon Anglois.
- Dites-moi l'Anglois pour le bras.
- De arm, madame.
- Et le coude?
- D'elbow. Je m'en fais la repetition de tous les mots
- que vous m'avez appris des a present.
- Il est trop difficile, madame, comme je pense.
- Excusez-moi, Alice; ecoutez: d'hand, de fingres, de
- nails, d'arma, de bilbow.
- D'elbow, madame.
- O Seigneur Dieu, je m'en oublié! D'elbow.
- Comment appelez-vous le col?
- De nick, madame.
- De nick. Et le menton?
- De chin.
- De sin. Le col, de nick; le menton, de sin.
Oui. Sauf votre honneur, en verite, vous prononcez les
- mots aussi droit que les natifs d'Angleterre.
- Je ne doute point d'apprendre, par la grace de Dieu,
- et en peu de temps.
- N'avez-vous pas déja oublié ce que je vous ai enseigné?
- Non, je reciterai a vous promptement: d'hand, de
- fingres, de mails,—
- De nails, madame.
- De nails, de arm, de ilbow.
- Sauf votre honneur, de elbow.
- Ainsi dis-je; d'elbow, de nick, et de sin. Comment
- appelez-vous le pied et la robe?
- De foot, madame; et de coun.
- De foot et de coun! O Seigneur Dieu! ce sont mots de son
- mauvais, corruptible, gros, et impudique, et non pour les
- dames d'honneur d'user. Je ne voudrais prononcer ces mots
- devant les seigneurs de France pour tout le monde. Foh! le
- foot et le coun! Neanmoins, je reciterai une autre fois ma lecon
- ensemble: d' hand, de fingres, de nails, d'arm, d'elbow, de
- nick, de sin, de foot, de coun.
- Excellent, madame!
- C'est assez pour une fois: allons-nous a diner.
SCENE V. The same.
[Enter the King of France, the Dauphin, [the Duke of Bourbon,] the Constable of France, and others.]
- 'Tis certain he hath pass'd the river Somme.
- And if he be not fought withal, my lord,
- Let us not live in France; let us quit all
- And give our vineyards to a barbarous people.
- O Dieu vivant! shall a few sprays of us,
- The emptying of our fathers' luxury,
- Our scions put in wild and savage stock,
- Spirt up so suddenly into the clouds,
- And overlook their grafters?
- Normans, but bastard Normans, Norman bastards!
- Mort de ma vie! if they march along
- Unfought withal, but I will sell my dukedom,
- To buy a slobbery and a dirty farm
- In that nook-shotten isle of Albion.
- Dieu de batailles! where have they this mettle?
- Is not their climate foggy, raw, and dull,
- On whom, as in despite, the sun looks pale,
- Killing their fruit with frowns? Can sodden water,
- A drench for sur-rein'd jades, their barley-broth,
- Decoct their cold blood to such valiant heat?
- And shall our quick blood, spirited with wine,
- Seem frosty? O, for honour of our land,
- Let us not hang like roping icicles
- Upon our houses' thatch, whiles a more frosty people
- Sweat drops of gallant youth in our rich fields!
- Poor we may call them in their native lords.
- By faith and honour,
- Our madams mock at us, and plainly say
- Our mettle is bred out, and they will give
- Their bodies to the lust of English youth
- To new-store France with bastard warriors.
- They bid us to the English dancing-schools,
- And teach lavoltas high, and swift corantos;
- Saying our grace is only in our heels,
- And that we are most lofty runaways.
- Where is Montjoy the herald? Speed him hence.
- Let him greet England with our sharp defiance.
- Up, princes! and, with spirit of honour edged
- More sharper than your swords, hie to the field!
- Charles Delabreth, High Constable of France;
- You Dukes of Orleans, Bourbon, and of Berri,
- Alencon, Brabant, Bar, and Burgundy;
- Jacques Chatillon, Rambures, Vaudemont,
- Beaumont, Grandpre, Roussi, and Fauconberg,
- Foix, Lestrale, Bouciqualt, and Charolois;
- High dukes, great princes, barons, lords, and knights,
- For your great seats now quit you of great shames.
- Bar Harry England, that sweeps through our land
- With pennons painted in the blood of Harfleur.
- Rush on his host, as doth the melted snow
- Upon the valleys, whose low vassal seat
- The Alps doth spit and void his rheum upon.
- Go down upon him, you have power enough,
- And in a captive chariot into Rouen
- Bring him our prisoner.
- This becomes the great.
- Sorry am I his numbers are so few,
- His soldiers sick and famish'd in their march;
- For I am sure, when he shall see our army,
- He'll drop his heart into the sink of fear
- And for achievement offer us his ransom.
- Therefore, Lord Constable, haste on Montjoy,
And let him say to England that we send
- To know what willing ransom he will give.
- Prince Dauphin, you shall stay with us in Rouen.
- Not so, I do beseech your Majesty.
- Be patient, for you shall remain with us.
- Now forth, Lord Constable and princes all,
- And quickly bring us word of England's fall.
SCENE VI. The English camp in Picardy.
[Enter Gower and Fluellen, meeting.]
- How now, Captain Fluellen! come you from the bridge?
- I assure you, there is very excellent services committed at the
- Is the Duke of Exeter safe?
- The Duke of Exeter is as magnanimous as Agamemnon; and a
- man that I love and honour with my soul, and my heart, and my
- duty, and my live, and my living, and my uttermost power. He
- is not—God be praised and blessed!—any hurt in the world; but
- keeps the bridge most valiantly, with excellent discipline. There
- is an aunchient lieutenant there at the pridge, I think in my
- very conscience he is as valiant a man as Mark Antony; and he is
- a man of no estimation in the world, but I did see him do as
- gallant service.
- What do you call him?
- He is call'd Aunchient Pistol.
- I know him not.
- Here is the man.
- Captain, I thee beseech to do me favours.
- The Duke of Exeter doth love thee well.
- Ay, I praise God; and I have merited some love at his hands.
- Bardolph, a soldier, firm and sound of heart,
- And of buxom valour, hath by cruel fate
- And giddy Fortune's furious fickle wheel,
- That goddess blind,
- That stands upon the rolling restless stone—
- By your patience, Aunchient Pistol. Fortune is painted
- blind, with a muffler afore his eyes, to signify to you that
- Fortune is blind; and she is painted also with a wheel, to
- signify to you, which is the moral of it, that she is turning,
- and inconstant, and mutability, and variation; and her foot,
- look you, is fixed upon a spherical stone, which rolls, and
- rolls, and rolls. In good truth, the poet makes a most excellent
- description of it. Fortune is an excellent moral.
- Fortune is Bardolph's foe, and frowns on him;
- For he hath stolen a pax, and hanged must 'a be,—
- A damned death!
- Let gallows gape for dog; let man go free,
- And let not hemp his windpipe suffocate.
- But Exeter hath given the doom of death
- For pax of little price.
- Therefore, go speak; the Duke will hear thy voice;
- And let not Bardolph's vital thread be cut
- With edge of penny cord and vile reproach.
Speak, captain, for his life, and I will thee requite.
- Aunchient Pistol, I do partly understand your meaning.
- Why then, rejoice therefore.
- Certainly, aunchient, it is not a thing to rejoice at; for if,
- look you, he were my brother, I would desire the Duke
- to use his good pleasure, and put him to execution; for
- discipline ought to be used.
- Die and be damn'd! and figo for thy friendship!
- It is well.
- The fig of Spain.
- Very good.
- Why, this is an arrant counterfeit rascal. I remember
- him now; a bawd, a cutpurse.
- I'll assure you, 'a uttered as prave words at the pridge as you
- shall see in a summer's day. But it is very well; what he has
- spoke to me, that is well, I warrant you, when time is serve.
- Why, 't is a gull, a fool, a rogue, that now and then goes to
- the wars, to grace himself at his return into London under the
- form of a soldier. And such fellows are perfect in the great
- commanders' names; and they will learn you by rote where services
- were done; at such and such a sconce, at such a breach, at such a
- convoy; who came off bravely, who was shot, who disgrac'd, what
- terms the enemy stood on; and this they con perfectly in the
- phrase of war, which they trick up with new-tuned oaths: and what
- a beard of the general's cut and a horrid suit of the camp will
- do among foaming bottles and ale-wash'd wits, is wonderful to be
- thought on. But you must learn to know such slanders of the age,
- or else you may be marvellously mistook.
- I tell you what, Captain Gower; I do perceive he is not the man
- that he would gladly make show to the world he is. If I find a
- hole in his coat, I will tell him my mind. [Drum heard.] Hark
- you, the King is coming, and I must speak with him from the pridge.
[Drum and colours. Enter King Henry, [Gloucester,] and his poor soldiers.]
God bless your Majesty!
- How now, Fluellen! cam'st thou from the bridge?
- Ay, so please your Majesty. The Duke of Exeter has very
- gallantly maintain'd the pridge. The French is gone off, look
- you; and there is gallant and most prave passages. Marry, th'
- athversary was have possession of the pridge; but he is enforced
- to retire, and the Duke of Exeter is master of the pridge. I can
- tell your Majesty, the Duke is a prave man.
- What men have you lost, Fluellen?
- The perdition of the athversary hath been very great, reasonable
- great. Marry, for my part, I think the Duke hath lost never a
- man, but one that is like to be executed for robbing a church, one
- Bardolph, if your Majesty know the man. His face is all bubukles,
- and whelks, and knobs, and flames o' fire; and his lips blows at
- his nose, and it is like a coal of fire, sometimes plue and
- sometimes red; but his nose is executed, and his fire's out.
- We would have all such offenders so cut off; and we give express
- charge, that in our marches through the country, there be nothing
- compell'd from the villages, nothing taken but paid for, none of
- the French upbraided or abused in disdainful language; for when
- lenity and cruelty play for a kingdom, the gentler gamester is the
- soonest winner.
[Tucket. Enter Montjoy.]
- You know me by my habit.
- Well then I know thee. What shall I know of thee?
- My master's mind.
- Unfold it.
- Thus says my King: Say thou to Harry of England: Though we
- seem'd dead, we did but sleep; advantage is a better soldier
- than rashness. Tell him we could have rebuk'd him at Harfleur,
- but that we thought not good to bruise an injury till 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 borne, the subjects we have lost,
- the disgrace we have digested; which in weight to re-answer, his
- pettishness would bow under. For our losses, his exchequer is too
- poor; for the 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 condemnation is pronounc'd. So far my King and
- master; so much my office.
- What is thy name? I know thy quality.
- Thou dost thy office fairly. Turn thee back,
- And tell thy King I do not seek him now,
- But could be willing to march on to Calais
Without impeachment; for, to say the sooth,
- Though 'tis no wisdom to confess so much
- Unto an enemy of craft and vantage,
- My people are with sickness much enfeebled,
- My numbers lessen'd, and those few I have
- Almost no better than so many French;
- Who when they were in health, I tell thee, herald,
- I thought upon one pair of English legs
- Did march three Frenchmen. Yet, forgive me, God,
- That I do brag thus! This your air of France
- Hath blown that vice in me. I must repent.
- Go therefore, tell thy master here I am;
- My ransom is this frail and worthless trunk,
- My army but a weak and sickly guard;
- Yet, God before, tell him we will come on,
- Though France himself and such another neighbour
- Stand in our way. There's for thy labour, Montjoy.
- Go, bid thy master well advise himself.
- If we may pass, we will; if we be hind'red,
- We shall your tawny ground with your red blood
- Discolour; and so, Montjoy, fare you well.
- The sum of all our answer is but this:
- We would not seek a battle, as we are;
- Nor, as we are, we say we will not shun it.
- So tell your master.
- I shall deliver so. Thanks to your Highness.
- I hope they will not come upon us now.
- We are in God's hands, brother, not in theirs.
- March to the bridge; it now draws toward night.
- Beyond the river we'll encamp ourselves,
- And on to-morrow bid them march away.
SCENE VII. The French camp, near Agincourt.
[Enter the Constable of France, the Lord Rambures, Orleans, Dauphin, with others.]
- Tut! I have the best armour of the world.
- Would it were day!
- You have an excellent armour; but let my horse have his due.
- It is the best horse of Europe.
- Will it never be morning?
- My Lord of Orleans, and my Lord High Constable, you talk of
- horse and armour?
- You are as well provided of both as any prince in the world.
- What a long night is this! I will not change my horse with
- any that treads but on four pasterns. Ca, ha! he bounds from the
- earth, as if his entrails were hairs; le cheval volant, the
- Pegasus, chez les narines de feu! When I bestride him, I soar, I
- am a hawk. he trots the air; the earth sings when he touches it;
- the basest horn of his hoof is more musical than the pipe of Hermes.
- He's of the colour of the nutmeg.
- And of the heat of the ginger. It is a beast for Perseus. He is
- pure air and fire; and the dull elements of earth and water never
- appear in him, but only in patient stillness while his rider mounts
- him. He is indeed a horse, and all other jades you may call beasts.
- Indeed, my lord, it is a most absolute and excellent horse.
- It is the prince of palfreys; his neigh is like the bidding of a
- monarch, and his countenance enforces homage.
- No more, cousin.
- Nay, the man hath no wit that cannot, from the rising of the
- lark to the lodging of the lamb, vary deserved praise on my
- palfrey. It is a theme as fluent as the sea; turn the sands into
- eloquent tongues, and my horse is argument for them all. 'Tis
- a subject for a sovereign to reason on, and for a sovereign's
- sovereign to ride on; and for the world, familiar to us and
- unknown, to lay apart their particular functions and wonder at
- him. I once writ a sonnet in his praise and began thus: "Wonder
- of nature,"—
- I have heard a sonnet begin so to one's mistress.
- Then did they imitate that which I compos'd to my courser,
- for my horse is my mistress.
- Your mistress bears well.
- Me well; which is the prescript praise and perfection of a
- good and particular mistress.
- Nay, for methought yesterday your mistress shrewdly shook
- your back.
- So perhaps did yours.
- Mine was not bridled.
- O then belike she was old and gentle; and you rode, like a
- kern of Ireland, your French hose off, and in your strait
- You have good judgment in horsemanship.
- Be warn'd by me, then; they that ride so and ride not warily,
- fall into foul bogs. I had rather have my horse to my mistress.
- I had as lief have my mistress a jade.
- I tell thee, Constable, my mistress wears his own hair.
- I could make as true a boast as that, if I had a sow to
- my mistress.
- "Le chien est retourne a son propre vomissement, et la
- truie lavee au bourbier." Thou mak'st use of anything.
- Yet do I not use my horse for my mistress, or any such
- proverb so little kin to the purpose.
- My Lord Constable, the armour that I saw in your tent
- to-night, are those stars or suns upon it?
- Stars, my lord.
- Some of them will fall to-morrow, I hope.
- And yet my sky shall not want.
- That may be, for you bear a many superfluously, and 'twere
- more honour some were away.
- Even as your horse bears your praises; who would trot as
- well, were some of your brags dismounted.
- Would I were able to load him with his desert! Will it never
- be day? I will trot to-morrow a mile, and my way shall be
- paved with English faces.
- I will not say so, for fear I should be fac'd out of my way.
- But I would it were morning; for I would fain be about
- the ears of the English.
- Who will go to hazard with me for twenty prisoners?
- You must first go yourself to hazard, ere you have them.
- 'Tis midnight; I'll go arm myself.
- The Dauphin longs for morning.
- He longs to eat the English.
- I think he will eat all he kills.
- By the white hand of my lady, he's a gallant prince.
- Swear by her foot that she may tread out the oath.
- He is simply the most active gentleman of France.
- Doing is activity; and he will still be doing.
- He never did harm, that I heard of.
- Nor will do none to-morrow. He will keep that good
- name still.
- I know him to be valiant.
- I was told that by one that knows him better than you.
- What's he?
- Marry, he told me so himself; and he said he car'd not
- who knew it.
- He needs not; it is no hidden virtue in him.
- By my faith, sir, but it is; never anybody saw it but his
- lackey. 'Tis a hooded valour; and when it appears, it will
- "Ill will never said well."
- I will cap that proverb with "There is flattery in friendship."
- And I will take up that with "Give the devil his due."
- Well plac'd. There stands your friend for the devil; have at
- the very eye of that proverb with "A pox of the devil."
- You are the better at proverbs, by how much "A fool's
- bolt is soon shot."
You have shot over.
- 'Tis not the first time you were overshot.
[Enter a Messenger.]
- My Lord High Constable, the English lie within fifteen
- hundred paces of your tents.
- Who hath measur'd the ground?
- The Lord Grandpre.
- A valiant and most expert gentleman. Would it were day!
- Alas, poor Harry of England, he longs not for the dawning as
- we do.
- What a wretched and peevish fellow is this King of England,
- to mope with his fat-brain'd followers so far out of his
- If the English had any apprehension, they would run away.
- That they lack; for if their heads had any intellectual armour,
- they could never wear such heavy head-pieces.
- That island of England breeds very valiant creatures. Their
- mastiffs are of unmatchable courage.
- Foolish curs, that run winking into the mouth of a Russian bear
- and have their heads crush'd like rotten apples! You may as well
- say, that's a valiant flea that dare eat his breakfast on the lip
- of a lion.
- Just, just; and the men do sympathize with the mastiffs in
- robustious and rough coming on, leaving their wits with their wives;
- and then, give them great meals of beef and iron and steel, they
- will eat like wolves and fight like devils.
- Ay, but these English are shrewdly out of beef.
- Then shall we find to-morrow they have only stomachs to
- eat and none to fight. Now is it time to arm. Come, shall we
- about it?
- It is now two o'clock; but, let me see, by ten
- We shall have each a hundred Englishmen.
- Now entertain conjecture of a time
- When creeping murmur and the poring dark
- Fills the wide vessel of the universe.
- From camp to camp through the foul womb of night
- The hum of either army stilly sounds,
- That the fix'd sentinels almost receive
- The secret whispers of each other's watch;
- Fire answers fire, and through their paly flames
- Each battle sees the other's umber'd face;
- Steed threatens steed, in high and boastful neighs
- Piercing the night's dull ear; and from the tents
- The armourers, accomplishing the knights,
- With busy hammers closing rivets up,
- Give dreadful note of preparation.
- The country cocks do crow, the clocks do toll,
- And the third hour of drowsy morning name.
- Proud of their numbers and secure in soul,
- The confident and over-lusty French
- Do the low-rated English play at dice;
- And chide the cripple tardy-gaited Night
- Who, like a foul and ugly witch, doth limp
- So tediously away. The poor condemned English,
- Like sacrifices, by their watchful fires
- Sit patiently and inly ruminate
- The morning's danger; and their gesture sad,
- Investing lank-lean cheeks and war-worn coats,
- Presented them unto the gazing moon
- So many horrid ghosts. O now, who will behold
- The royal captain of this ruin'd band
- Walking from watch to watch, from tent to tent,
- Let him cry, "Praise and glory on his head!"
- For forth he goes and visits all his host,
- Bids them good morrow with a modest smile,
- And calls them brothers, friends, and countrymen.
- Upon his royal face there is no note
- How dread an army hath enrounded him;
- Nor doth he dedicate one jot of colour
- Unto the weary and all-watched night,
- But freshly looks, and over-bears attaint
- With cheerful semblance and sweet majesty;
- That every wretch, pining and pale before,
- Beholding him, plucks comfort from his looks.
- A largess universal like the sun
- His liberal eye doth give to every one,
- Thawing cold fear, that mean and gentle all
- Behold, as may unworthiness define,
- A little touch of Harry in the night.
- And so our scene must to the battle fly,
- Where—O for pity!—we shall much disgrace
- With four or five most vile and ragged foils,
- Right ill-dispos'd in brawl ridiculous,
- The name of Agincourt. Yet sit and see,
- Minding true things by what their mock'ries be.
SCENE I. The English camp at Agincourt.
[Enter King Henry, Bedford, and Gloucester.]
- Gloucester, 'tis true that we are in great danger;
- The greater therefore should our courage be.
- Good morrow, brother Bedford. God Almighty!
- There is some soul of goodness in things evil,
- Would men observingly distil it out;
- For our bad neighbour makes us early stirrers,
- Which is both healthful and good husbandry.
- Besides, they are our outward consciences,
- And preachers to us all, admonishing
- That we should dress us fairly for our end.
- Thus may we gather honey from the weed,
- And make a moral of the devil himself.
- Good morrow, old Sir Thomas Erpingham:
- A good soft pillow for that good white head
- Were better than a churlish turf of France.
- Not so, my liege; this lodging likes me better,
- Since I may say, "Now lie I like a king."
- 'Tis good for men to love their present pains
- Upon example; so the spirit is eased;
- And when the mind is quick'ned, out of doubt,
- The organs, though defunct and dead before,
- Break up their drowsy grave and newly move,
- With casted slough and fresh legerity.
- Lend me thy cloak, Sir Thomas. Brothers both,
- Commend me to the princes in our camp;
- Do my good morrow to them, and anon
- Desire them all to my pavilion.
- We shall, my liege.
- Shall I attend your Grace?
- No, my good knight;
- Go with my brothers to my lords of England.
- I and my bosom must debate a while,
- And then I would no other company.
- The Lord in heaven bless thee, noble Harry!
[Exeunt [all but King.]
- God-a-mercy, old heart! thou speak'st cheerfully.
- Qui va la?
- A friend.
- Discuss unto me; art thou officer?
- Or art thou base, common, and popular?
- I am a gentleman of a company.
- Trail'st thou the puissant pike?
- Even so. What are you?
- As good a gentleman as the Emperor.
- Then you are a better than the King.
- The King's a bawcock, and a heart of gold,
- A lad of life, an imp of fame;
- Of parents good, of fist most valiant.
- I kiss his dirty shoe, and from heart-string
- I love the lovely bully. What is thy name?
- Harry le Roy.
- Le Roy! a Cornish name. Art thou of Cornish crew?
- No, I am a Welshman.
- Know'st thou Fluellen?
- Tell him I'll knock his leek about his pate
- Upon Saint Davy's day.
- Do not you wear your dagger in your cap that day, lest
- he knock that about yours.
- Art thou his friend?
- And his kinsman too.
- The figo for thee, then!
- I thank you. God be with you!
- My name is Pistol call'd.
- It sorts well with your fierceness.
[Enter Fluellen and Gower.]
- Captain Fluellen!
- So! in the name of Jesu Christ, speak lower. It is the greatest
- admiration in the universal world, when the true and aunchient
- prerogatifes and laws of the wars is not kept. If you would take
- the pains but to examine the wars of Pompey the Great, you
- shall find, I warrant you, that there is no tiddle taddle nor
- pibble pabble in Pompey's camp. I warrant you, you shall find the
- ceremonies of the wars, and the cares of it, and the forms of it,
- and the sobriety of it, and the modesty of it, to be otherwise.
- Why, the enemy is loud; you hear him all night.
- If the enemy is an ass and a fool and a prating coxcomb, is it
- meet, think you, that we should also, look you, be an ass and a
- fool and a prating coxcomb? In your own conscience, now?
- I will speak lower.
- I pray you and beseech you that you will.
[Exeunt [Gower and Fluellen.]
- Though it appear a little out of fashion,
- There is much care and valour in this Welshman.
[Enter three soldiers, John Bates, Alexander Court, and Michael Williams.]
- Brother John Bates, is not that the morning which breaks
- I think it be; but we have no great cause to desire the
- approach of day.
- We see yonder the beginning of the day, but I think
- we shall never see the end of it. Who goes there?
- A friend.
- Under what captain serve you?
- Under Sir Thomas Erpingham.
- A good old commander and a most kind gentleman. I
- pray you, what thinks he of our estate?
- Even as men wreck'd upon a sand, that look to be
- wash'd off the next tide.
- He hath not told his thought to the King?
- No; nor it is not meet he should. For though I speak it to you,
- I think the King is but a man as I am. The violet smells to him
- as it doth to me; the element shows to him as it doth to me; all
- his senses have but human conditions. His ceremonies laid by,
- in his nakedness he appears but a man; and though his affections
- are higher mounted than ours, yet, when they stoop, they stoop
- with the like wing. Therefore, when he sees reason of fears as we
- do, his fears, out of doubt, be of the same relish as ours are;
- yet, in reason, no man should possess him with any appearance of
- fear, lest he, by showing it, should dishearten his army.
- He may show what outward courage he will; but I believe, as
- cold a night as 'tis, he could wish himself in Thames up to the
- neck; and so I would he were, and I by him, at all adventures, so
- we were quit here.
- By my troth, I will speak my conscience of the King: I think he
- would not wish himself anywhere but where he is.
- Then I would he were here alone; so should he be sure to be
- ransomed, and a many poor men's lives saved.
- I dare say you love him not so ill, to wish him here alone,
- howsoever you speak this to feel other men's minds. Methinks
- I could not die anywhere so contented as in the King's company,
- his cause being just and his quarrel honourable.
- That's more than we know.
- Ay, or more than we should seek after; for we know enough, if
- we know we are the King's subjects. If his cause be wrong, our
- obedience to the King wipes the crime of it out of us.
- But if the cause be not good, the King himself hath a heavy
- reckoning to make, when all those legs and arms and heads, chopp'd
- off in a battle, shall join together at the latter day and cry all,
- "We died at such a place"; some swearing, some crying for a
- surgeon, some upon their wives left poor behind them, some upon the
- debts they owe, some upon their children rawly left. I am afeard
- there are few die well that die in a battle; for how can they
- charitably dispose of anything, when blood is their argument?
- Now, if these men do not die well, it will be a black matter
- for the King that led them to it; who to disobey were against
- all proportion of subjection.
- So, if a son that is by his father sent about merchandise do
- sinfully miscarry upon the sea, the imputation of his wickedness,
- by your rule, should be imposed upon his father that sent him; or
- if a servant, under his master's command transporting a sum of
- money, be assailed by robbers and die in many irreconcil'd
- iniquities, you may call the business of the master the author of
- the servant's damnation. But this is not so. The King is not
- bound to answer the particular endings of his soldiers, the father
- of his son, nor the master of his servant; for they purpose not
- their death, when they purpose their services. Besides, there is
- no king, be his cause never so spotless, if it come to the
- arbitrement of swords, can try it out with all unspotted soldiers.
- Some peradventure have on them the guilt of premeditated and
- contrived murder; some, of beguiling virgins with the broken seals
- of perjury; some, making the wars their bulwark, that have before
- gored the gentle bosom of Peace with pillage and robbery. Now, if
- these men have defeated the law and outrun native punishment,
- though they can outstrip men, they have no wings to fly from God.
- War is his beadle, war is his vengeance; so that here men are
- punish'd for before-breach of the King's laws in now the King's
- quarrel. Where they feared the death, they have borne life away;
- and where they would be safe, they perish. Then if they die
- unprovided, no more is the King guilty of their damnation than he
- was before guilty of those impieties for the which they are now
- visited. Every subject's duty is the King's; but every subject's
- soul is his own. Therefore should every soldier in the wars do as
- every sick man in his bed, wash every mote out of his conscience;
- and dying so, death is to him advantage; or not dying, the time was
- blessedly lost wherein such preparation was gained; and in him that
- escapes, it were not sin to think that, making God so free an
- offer, He let him outlive that day to see His greatness and to
- teach others how they should prepare.
- 'Tis certain, every man that dies ill, the ill upon his own head,
- the King is not to answer for it.
- I do not desire he should answer for me; and yet I determine to
- fight lustily for him.
- I myself heard the King say he would not be ransom'd.
- Ay, he said so, to make us fight cheerfully; but when our
- throats are cut, he may be ransom'd, and we ne'er the wiser.
- If I live to see it, I will never trust his word after.
- You pay him then. That's a perilous shot out of an elder-gun,
- that a poor and a private displeasure can do against a monarch!
- You may as well go about to turn the sun to ice with fanning in
- his face with a peacock's feather. You'll never trust his word
- after! Come, 'tis a foolish saying.
- Your reproof is something too round. I should be angry with
- you, if the time were convenient.
- Let it be a quarrel between us if you live.
- I embrace it.
- How shall I know thee again?
- Give me any gage of thine, and I will wear it in my bonnet;
- then, if ever thou dar'st acknowledge it, I will make it my
- Here's my glove; give me another of thine.
- This will I also wear in my cap. If ever thou come to me
- and say, after to-morrow, "This is my glove," by this hand I
- will take thee a box on the ear.
- If ever I live to see it, I will challenge it.
- Thou dar'st as well be hang'd.
- Well, I will do it, though I take thee in the King's company.
- Keep thy word; fare thee well.
- Be friends, you English fools, be friends. We have
- French quarrels enow, if you could tell how to reckon.
- Indeed, the French may lay twenty French crowns to one
- they will beat us, for they bear them on their shoulders; but it
- is no English treason to cut French crowns, and to-morrow the
- King himself will be a clipper.
- Upon the King! Let us our lives, our souls,
- Our debts, our careful wives,
- Our children, and our sins lay on the King!
- We must bear all. O hard condition,
- Twin-born with greatness, subject to the breath
- Of every fool, whose sense no more can feel
- But his own wringing! What infinite heart's-ease
- Must kings neglect, that private men enjoy!
- And what have kings, that privates have not too,
- Save ceremony, save general ceremony?
- And what art thou, thou idol Ceremony?
- What kind of god art thou, that suffer'st more
- Of mortal griefs than do thy worshippers?
- What are thy rents? What are thy comings in?
- O Ceremony, show me but thy worth!
- What is thy soul of adoration?
- Art thou aught else but place, degree, and form,
- Creating awe and fear in other men?
- Wherein thou art less happy being fear'd
- Than they in fearing.
- What drink'st thou oft, instead of homage sweet,
- But poison'd flattery? O, be sick, great greatness,
- And bid thy Ceremony give thee cure!
- Think'st thou the fiery fever will go out
- With titles blown from adulation?
- Will it give place to flexure and low bending?
- Canst thou, when thou command'st the beggar's knee,
- Command the health of it? No, thou proud dream,
- That play'st so subtly with a king's repose;
- I am a king that find thee, and I know
- 'Tis not the balm, the sceptre, and the ball,
- The sword, the mace, the crown imperial,
- The intertissued robe of gold and pearl,
- The farced title running 'fore the King,
- The throne he sits on, nor the tide of pomp
- That beats upon the high shore of this world,
- No, not all these, thrice-gorgeous Ceremony,—
- Not all these, laid in bed majestical,
- Can sleep so soundly as the wretched slave,
- Who with a body fill'd and vacant mind
- Gets him to rest, cramm'd with distressful bread,
- Never sees horrid night, the child of hell,
- But, like a lackey, from the rise to set
- Sweats in the eye of Phoebus, and all night
- Sleeps in Elysium; next day after dawn,
- Doth rise and help Hyperion to his horse,
- And follows so the ever-running year,
- With profitable labour, to his grave:
- And, but for ceremony, such a wretch,
- Winding up days with toil and nights with sleep,
- Had the fore-hand and vantage of a king.
- The slave, a member of the country's peace,
- Enjoys it, but in gross brain little wots
- What watch the King keeps to maintain the peace,
- Whose hours the peasant best advantages.
- My lord, your nobles, jealous of your absence,
- Seek through your camp to find you.
- Good old knight,
- Collect them all together at my tent.
- I'll be before thee.
- I shall do't, my lord.
- O God of battles! steel my soldiers' hearts.
- Possess them not with fear. Take from them now
- The sense of reckoning, if the opposed numbers
- Pluck their hearts from them. Not to-day, O Lord,
- O, not to-day, think not upon the fault
- My father made in compassing the crown!
- I Richard's body have interred new,
- And on it have bestow'd more contrite tears
- Than from it issued forced drops of blood.
- Five hundred poor I have in yearly pay,
- Who twice a day their wither'd hands hold up
- Toward heaven, to pardon blood; and I have built
- Two chantries, where the sad and solemn priests
- Sing still for Richard's soul. More will I do;
- Though all that I can do is nothing worth,
- Since that my penitence comes after all,
- Imploring pardon.
- My liege!
- My brother Gloucester's voice? Ay;
- I know thy errand, I will go with thee.
- The day, my friends, and all things stay for me.
SCENE II. The French camp.
[Enter the Dauphin, Orleans, Rambures, and others.]
- The sun doth gild our armour; up, my lords!
- Montez a cheval! My horse, varlet! lackey! ha!
- O brave spirit!
- Via! les eaux et la terre.
- Rien puis? L'air et le feu.
- Ciel, cousin Orleans.
- Now, my Lord Constable!
- Hark, how our steeds for present service neigh!
- Mount them, and make incision in their hides,
- That their hot blood may spin in English eyes,
- And dout them with superfluous courage, ha!
- What, will you have them weep our horses' blood?
- How shall we, then, behold their natural tears?
[Enter a Messenger.]
- The English are embattl'd, you French peers.
- To horse, you gallant princes! straight to horse!
- Do but behold yon poor and starved band,
- And your fair show shall suck away their souls,
- Leaving them but the shales and husks of men.
- There is not work enough for all our hands;
- Scarce blood enough in all their sickly veins
- To give each naked curtle-axe a stain,
- That our French gallants shall to-day draw out,
- And sheathe for lack of sport. Let us but blow on them,
- The vapour of our valour will o'erturn them.
- 'Tis positive 'gainst all exceptions, lords,
- That our superfluous lackeys and our peasants,
- Who in unnecessary action swarm
- About our squares of battle, were enow
- To purge this field of such a hilding foe,
- Though we upon this mountain's basis by
- Took stand for idle speculation,
- But that our honours must not. What's to say?
- A very little little let us do,
- And all is done. Then let the trumpets sound
- The tucket sonance and the note to mount;
- For our approach shall so much dare the field
- That England shall crouch down in fear and yield.
- Why do you stay so long, my lords of France?
- Yond island carrions, desperate of their bones,
- Ill-favouredly become the morning field.
- Their ragged curtains poorly are let loose,
- And our air shakes them passing scornfully.
- Big Mars seems bankrupt in their beggar'd host,
- And faintly through a rusty beaver peeps;
- The horsemen sit like fixed candlesticks
- With torch-staves in their hand; and their poor jades
- Lob down their heads, drooping the hides and hips,
- The gum down-roping from their pale-dead eyes,
- And in their pale dull mouths the gimmal bit
- Lies foul with chew'd grass, still, and motionless;
- And their executors, the knavish crows,
- Fly o'er them, all impatient for their hour.
- Description cannot suit itself in words
- To demonstrate the life of such a battle,
- In life so lifeless as it shows itself.
- They have said their prayers, and they stay for death.
- Shall we go send them dinners and fresh suits
- And give their fasting horses provender,
- And after fight with them?
- I stay but for my guard; on to the field!
- I will the banner from a trumpet take,
- And use it for my haste. Come, come, away!
- The sun is high, and we outwear the day.
SCENE III. The English camp.
[Enter Gloucester, Bedford, Exeter, Erpingham, with all his host: Salisbury and Westmoreland.]
- Where is the King?
- The King himself is rode to view their battle.
- Of fighting men they have full three-score thousand.
- There's five to one; besides, they all are fresh.
- God's arm strike with us! 'tis a fearful odds.
- God be wi' you, princes all; I'll to my charge.
- If we no more meet till we meet in heaven,
- Then, joyfully, my noble Lord of Bedford,
- My dear Lord Gloucester, and my good Lord Exeter,
- And my kind kinsman, warriors all, adieu!
- Farewell, good Salisbury, and good luck go with thee!
- Farewell, kind lord; fight valiantly to-day!
- And yet I do thee wrong to mind thee of it,
- For thou art fram'd of the firm truth of valour.
- He is as full of valour as of kindness,
- Princely in both.
[Enter the King.]
- O that we now had here
- But one ten thousand of those men in England
- That do no work to-day!
- What's he that wishes so?
- My cousin Westmoreland? No, my fair cousin.
- If we are mark'd to die, we are enow
- To do our country loss; and if to live,
- The fewer men, the greater share of honour.
- God's will! I pray thee, wish not one man more.
- By Jove, I am not covetous for gold,
- Nor care I who doth feed upon my cost;
- It yearns me not if men my garments wear;
- Such outward things dwell not in my desires;
- But if it be a sin to covet honour,
- I am the most offending soul alive.
- No, faith, my coz, wish not a man from England.
- God's peace! I would not lose so great an honour
- As one man more, methinks, would share from me
- For the best hope I have. O, do not wish one more!
- Rather proclaim it, Westmoreland, through my host,
- That he which hath no stomach to this fight,
- Let him depart. His passport shall be made,
- And crowns for convoy put into his purse.
- We would not die in that man's company
- That fears his fellowship to die with us.
- This day is call'd the feast of Crispian.
- He that outlives this day, and comes safe home,
- Will stand a tip-toe when this day is named,
- And rouse him at the name of Crispian.
- He that shall live this day, and see old age,
- Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbours,
- And say, "To-morrow is Saint Crispian."
- Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars,
- And say, "These wounds I had on Crispian's day."
- Old men forget; yet all shall be forgot,
- But he'll remember with advantages
- What feats he did that day. Then shall our names,
- Familiar in his mouth as household words,
- Harry the King, Bedford, and Exeter,
- Warwick and Talbot, Salisbury and Gloucester,
- Be in their flowing cups freshly rememb'red.
- This story shall the good man teach his son;
- And Crispin Crispian shall ne'er go by,
- From this day to the ending of the world,
- But we in it shall be remembered,
- We few, we happy few, we band of brothers.
- For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
- Shall be my brother; be he ne'er so vile,
- This day shall gentle his condition;
- And gentlemen in England now a-bed
- Shall think themselves accurs'd they were not here,
- And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
- That fought with us upon Saint Crispin's day.
- My sovereign lord, bestow yourself with speed.
- The French are bravely in their battles set,
- And will with all expedience charge on us.
- All things are ready, if our minds be so.
- Perish the man whose mind is backward now!
- Thou dost not wish more help from England, coz?
- God's will! my liege, would you and I alone,
- Without more help, could fight this royal battle!
- Why, now thou hast unwish'd five thousand men,
- Which likes me better than to wish us one.
- You know your places. God be with you all!
[Tucket. Enter Montjoy.]
- Once more I come to know of thee, King Harry,
- If for thy ransom thou wilt now compound,
- Before thy most assured overthrow;
- For certainly thou art so near the gulf,
- Thou needs must be englutted. Besides, in mercy,
- The Constable desires thee thou wilt mind
- Thy followers of repentance; that their souls
- May make a peaceful and a sweet retire
- From off these fields, where, wretches, their poor bodies
- Must lie and fester.
- Who hath sent thee now?
- The Constable of France.
- I pray thee, bear my former answer back:
- Bid them achieve me and then sell my bones.
- Good God! why should they mock poor fellows thus?
- The man that once did sell the lion's skin
- While the beast liv'd, was kill'd with hunting him.
- A many of our bodies shall no doubt
- Find native graves, upon the which, I trust,
- Shall witness live in brass of this day's work;
- And those that leave their valiant bones in France,
- Dying like men, though buried in your dunghills,
- They shall be fam'd; for there the sun shall greet them,
- And draw their honours reeking up to heaven;
- Leaving their earthly parts to choke your clime,
- The smell whereof shall breed a plague in France.
- Mark then abounding valour in our English,
- That being dead, like to the bullet's grazing,
- Break out into a second course of mischief,
- Killing in relapse of mortality.
- Let me speak proudly: tell the Constable
- We are but warriors for the working-day.
- Our gayness and our gilt are all besmirch'd
- With rainy marching in the painful field;
- There's not a piece of feather in our host—
- Good argument, I hope, we will not fly—
- And time hath worn us into slovenry;
- But, by the mass, our hearts are in the trim;
- And my poor soldiers tell me, yet ere night
- They'll be in fresher robes, or they will pluck
- The gay new coats o'er the French soldiers' heads
- And turn them out of service. If they do this—
- As, if God please, they shall,—my ransom then
- Will soon be levied. Herald, save thou thy labour.
- Come thou no more for ransom, gentle herald.
- They shall have none, I swear, but these my joints;
- Which if they have as I will leave 'em them,
- Shall yield them little, tell the Constable.
- I shall, King Harry. And so fare thee well;
- Thou never shalt hear herald any more.
- I fear thou'lt once more come again for ransom.
- My lord, most humbly on my knee I beg
- The leading of the vaward.
- Take it, brave York. Now, soldiers, march away;
- And how thou pleasest, God, dispose the day!
SCENE IV. The field of battle.
[Alarum. Excursions. Enter Pistol, French Soldier, and Boy.]
- Yield, cur!
- Je pense que vous etes le gentilhomme de bonne qualite.
- Qualitie calmie custure me! Art thou a gentleman?
- What is thy name? Discuss.
- O Seigneur Dieu!
- O, Signieur Dew should be a gentleman.
- Perpend my words, O Signieur Dew, and mark:
- O Signieur Dew, thou diest on point of fox,
- Except, O signieur, thou do give to me
- Egregious ransom.
- O, prenez misericorde! ayez pitie de moi!
- Moy shall not serve; I will have forty moys,
- Or I will fetch thy rim out at thy throat
- In drops of crimson blood.
- Est-il impossible d'echapper la force de ton bras?
- Brass, cur!
- Thou damned and luxurious mountain goat,
- Offer'st me brass?
- O pardonnez moi!
- Say'st thou me so? Is that a ton of moys?
- Come hither, boy; ask me this slave in French
- What is his name.
- Ecoutez: comment etes-vous appele?
- Monsieur le Fer.
- He says his name is Master Fer.
- Master Fer! I'll fer him, and firk him, and ferret him.
- Discuss the same in French unto him.
- I do not know the French for fer, and ferret, and firk.
- Bid him prepare; for I will cut his throat.
- Que dit-il, monsieur?
- Il me commande a vous dire que vous faites vous pret; car
- ce soldat ici est disposé tout a cette heure de couper votre
- Owy, cuppele gorge, permafoy,
- Peasant, unless thou give me crowns, brave crowns;
- Or mangled shalt thou be by this my sword.
- O, je vous supplie, pour l'amour de Dieu, me pardonner!
- Je suis gentilhomme de bonne maison; gardez ma vie, et
- je vous donnerai deux cents ecus.
- What are his words?
- He prays you to save his life. He is a gentleman of a good
- house; and for his ransom he will give you two hundred
- Tell him my fury shall abate, and I
- The crowns will take.
- Petit monsieur, que dit-il?
- Encore qu'il est contre son jurement de pardonner aucun
- prisonnier; neanmoins, pour les ecus que vous l'avez promis, il
- est content de vous donner la liberté, le franchisement.
- Sur mes genoux je vous donne mille remercimens; et je m'estime
- heureux que je suis tombé entre les mains d'un chevalier, je
- pense, le plus brave, vaillant, et tres distingué seigneur
- Expound unto me, boy.
- He gives you upon his knees, a thousand thanks; and he esteems
- himself happy that he hath fallen into the hands of one, as he
- thinks, the most brave, valorous, and thrice-worthy signieur of
- As I suck blood, I will some mercy show.
- Follow me!
- Suivez-vous le grand capitaine.
[Exeunt Pistol, and French Soldier.]
- I did never know so full a voice issue from so empty a heart; but
- the saying is true, "The empty vessel makes the greatest sound."
- Bardolph and Nym had ten times more valour than this roaring
- devil i' the old play, that every one may pare his nails with a
- wooden dagger; and they are both hang'd; and so would this be,
- if he durst steal anything adventurously. I must stay with the
- lackeys with the luggage of our camp. The French might have a
- good prey of us, if he knew of it; for there is none to guard it
- but boys.
SCENE V. Another part of the field.
[Enter Constable, Orleans, Bourbon, Dauphin, and Rambures.]
- O diable!
- O Seigneur! le jour est perdu, tout est perdu!
- Mort de ma vie! all is confounded, all!
- Reproach and everlasting shame
- Sits mocking in our plumes.
[A short alarum.]
- O mechante fortune! Do not run away.
- Why, all our ranks are broke.
- O perdurable shame! let's stab ourselves,
- Be these the wretches that we play'd at dice for?
- Is this the king we sent to for his ransom?
- Shame and eternal shame, nothing but shame!
- Let's die in honour! Once more back again!
- And he that will not follow Bourbon now,
- Let him go hence, and with his cap in hand,
- Like a base pandar, hold the chamber door
- Whilst by a slave, no gentler than my dog,
- His fairest daughter is contaminated.
- Disorder, that hath spoil'd us, friend us now!
- Let us on heaps go offer up our lives.
- We are enow yet living in the field
- To smother up the English in our throngs,
- If any order might be thought upon.
- The devil take order now! I'll to the throng.
- Let life be short, else shame will be too long.
SCENE VI. Another part of the field.
[Alarum. Enter King Henry and his train, with prisoners.]
- Well have we done, thrice valiant countrymen.
- But all's not done; yet keep the French the field.
- The Duke of York commends him to your Majesty.
- Lives he, good uncle? Thrice within this hour
- I saw him down; thrice up again, and fighting.
- From helmet to the spur all blood he was.
- In which array, brave soldier, doth he lie,
- Larding the plain; and by his bloody side,
- Yoke-fellow to his honour-owing wounds,
- The noble Earl of Suffolk also lies.
- Suffolk first died; and York, all haggled over,
- Comes to him, where in gore he lay insteeped,
- And takes him by the beard; kisses the gashes
- That bloodily did yawn upon his face.
- He cries aloud, "Tarry, my cousin Suffolk!
- My soul shall thine keep company to heaven;
- Tarry, sweet soul, for mine, then fly abreast,
- As in this glorious and well-foughten field
- We kept together in our chivalry."
- Upon these words I came and cheer'd him up.
- He smil'd me in the face, raught me his hand,
- And, with a feeble gripe, says, "Dear my lord,
- Commend my service to my sovereign."
- So did he turn and over Suffolk's neck
- He threw his wounded arm and kiss'd his lips;
- And so espous'd to death, with blood he seal'd
- A testament of noble-ending love.
- The pretty and sweet manner of it forc'd
- Those waters from me which I would have stopp'd;
- But I had not so much of man in me,
- And all my mother came into mine eyes
- And gave me up to tears.
- I blame you not;
- For, hearing this, I must perforce compound
- With mistful eyes, or they will issue too.
- But hark! what new alarum is this same?
- The French have reinforc'd their scatter'd men.
- Then every soldier kill his prisoners;
- Give the word through.
SCENE VII. Another part of the field.
[Enter Fluellen and Gower.]
- Kill the poys and the luggage! 'Tis expressly against the
- law of arms. 'Tis as arrant a piece of knavery, mark you now,
- as can be offer't; in your conscience, now, is it not?
- 'Tis certain there's not a boy left alive; and the cowardly
- rascals that ran from the battle ha' done this slaughter.
- Besides, they have burned and carried away all that was in the
- King's tent; wherefore the King, most worthily, hath caus'd every
- soldier to cut his prisoner's throat. O, 'tis a gallant king!
- Ay, he was porn at Monmouth, Captain Gower. What call you
- the town's name where Alexander the Pig was born?
- Alexander the Great.
- Why, I pray you, is not pig great? The pig, or the great, or the
- mighty, or the huge, or the magnanimous, are all one reckonings,
- save the phrase is a little variations.
- I think Alexander the Great was born in Macedon. His father
- was called Philip of Macedon, as I take it.
- I think it is in Macedon where Alexander is born. I tell you,
- Captain, if you look in the maps of the 'orld, I warrant you
- sall find, in the comparisons between Macedon and Monmouth,
- that the situations, look you, is both alike. There is a river in
- Macedon; and there is also moreover a river at Monmouth; it is
- call'd Wye at Monmouth; but it is out of my prains what is the
- name of the other river; but 'tis all one, 'tis alike as my fingers
- is to my fingers, and there is salmons in both. If you mark
- Alexander's life well, Harry of Monmouth's life is come after it
- indifferent well; for there is figures in all things. Alexander,
- God knows, and you know, in his rages, and his furies, and his
- wraths, and his cholers, and his moods, and his displeasures, and
- his indignations, and also being a little intoxicates in his prains,
- did, in his ales and his angers, look you, kill his best friend,
- Our King is not like him in that. He never kill'd any of
- his friends.
- It is not well done, mark you now, to take the tales out
- of my mouth, ere it is made and finished. I speak but in the
- figures and comparisons of it. As Alexander kill'd his friend
- Cleitus, being in his ales and his cups; so also Harry Monmouth,
- being in his right wits and his good judgements, turn'd away the
- fat knight with the great belly doublet. He was full of jests,
- and gipes, and knaveries, and mocks; I have forgot his name.
- Sir John Falstaff.
- That is he. I'll tell you there is good men born at Monmouth.
- Here comes his Majesty.
[Alarum. Enter King Henry and [forces; Warwick, Gloucester, Exeter, with prisoners. Flourish.]
- I was not angry since I came to France
- Until this instant. Take a trumpet, herald;
- Ride thou unto the horsemen on yond hill.
- If they will fight with us, bid them come down,
- Or void the field; they do offend our sight.
- If they'll do neither, we will come to them,
- And make them skirr away, as swift as stones
- Enforced from the old Assyrian slings.
- Besides, we'll cut the throats of those we have,
- And not a man of them that we shall take
- Shall taste our mercy. Go and tell them so.
- Here comes the herald of the French, my liege.
- His eyes are humbler than they us'd to be.
- How now! what means this, herald? Know'st thou not
- That I have fin'd these bones of mine for ransom?
- Com'st thou again for ransom?
- No, great King;
- I come to thee for charitable license,
- That we may wander o'er this bloody field
- To book our dead, and then to bury them;
- To sort our nobles from our common men.
- For many of our princes—woe the while!—
- Lie drown'd and soak'd in mercenary blood;
- So do our vulgar drench their peasant limbs
- In blood of princes; and their wounded steeds
- Fret fetlock deep in gore, and with wild rage
- Yerk out their armed heels at their dead masters,
- Killing them twice. O, give us leave, great King,
- To view the field in safety, and dispose
- Of their dead bodies!
- I tell thee truly, herald,
- I know not if the day be ours or no;
- For yet a many of your horsemen peer
- And gallop o'er the field.
- The day is yours.
- Praised be God, and not our strength, for it!
- What is this castle call'd that stands hard by?
- They call it Agincourt.
- Then call we this the field of Agincourt,
- Fought on the day of Crispin Crispianus.
- Your grandfather of famous memory, an't please your
- Majesty, and your great-uncle Edward the Plack Prince of
- Wales, as I have read in the chronicles, fought a most prave
- pattle here in France.
- They did, Fluellen.
- Your Majesty says very true. If your Majesties is rememb'red of
- it, the Welshmen did good service in garden where leeks did grow,
- wearing leeks in their Monmouth caps; which, your Majesty know,
- to this hour is an honourable badge of the service; and I do
- believe your Majesty takes no scorn to wear the leek upon Saint
- Tavy's day.
- I wear it for a memorable honour;
- For I am Welsh, you know, good countryman.
- All the water in Wye cannot wash your Majesty's Welsh plood out
- of your pody, I can tell you that. Got pless it and preserve it,
- as long as it pleases His grace, and His majesty too!
- Thanks, good my countryman.
- By Jeshu, I am your Majesty's countryman, I care not who know it.
- I will confess it to all the 'orld. I need not be asham'd of your
- Majesty, praised be God, so long as your Majesty is an honest man.
- God keep me so!
- Our heralds go with him;
- Bring me just notice of the numbers dead
- On both our parts. Call yonder fellow hither.
[Exeunt Heralds with Montjoy.]
- Soldier, you must come to the King.
- Soldier, why wear'st thou that glove in thy cap?
- An't please your Majesty, 'tis the gage of one that I
- should fight withal, if he be alive.
- An Englishman?
- An't please your Majesty, a rascal that swagger'd with me
- last night; who, if alive and ever dare to challenge this
- glove, I have sworn to take him a box o' the ear; or if I can
- see my glove in his cap, which he swore, as he was a soldier,
- he would wear if alive, I will strike it out soundly.
- What think you, Captain Fluellen? Iis it fit this soldier keep
- his oath?
- He is a craven and a villain else, an't please your Majesty, in
- my conscience.
- It may be his enemy is a gentlemen of great sort, quite from
- the answer of his degree.
- Though he be as good a gentleman as the devil is, as Lucifier
- and Belzebub himself, it is necessary, look your Grace, that he
- keep his vow and his oath. If he be perjur'd, see you now, his
- reputation is as arrant a villain and a Jacksauce, as ever his
- black shoe trod upon God's ground and His earth, in my
- conscience, la!
- Then keep thy vow, sirrah, when thou meet'st the fellow.
- So I will, my liege, as I live.
- Who serv'st thou under?
- Under Captain Gower, my liege.
- Gower is a good captain, and is good knowledge and
- literatured in the wars.
- Call him hither to me, soldier.
- I will, my liege.
- Here, Fluellen; wear thou this favour for me and stick it in thy
- cap. When Alencon and myself were down together, I pluck'd
- this glove from his helm. If any man challenge this, he is a
- friend to Alencon, and an enemy to our person. If thou encounter
- any such, apprehend him, an thou dost me love.
- Your Grace doo's me as great honours as can be desir'd in the
- hearts of his subjects. I would fain see the man, that has but
- two legs, that shall find himself aggrief'd at this glove; that
- is all. But I would fain see it once, an please God of His grace
- that I might see.
- Know'st thou Gower?
- He is my dear friend, an please you.
- Pray thee, go seek him, and bring him to my tent.
- I will fetch him.
- My Lord of Warwick, and my brother Gloucester,
- Follow Fluellen closely at the heels.
- The glove which I have given him for a favour
- May haply purchase him a box o' the ear.
- It is the soldier's; I by bargain should
- Wear it myself. Follow, good cousin Warwick.
- If that the soldier strike him, as I judge
- By his blunt bearing he will keep his word,
- Some sudden mischief may arise of it;
- For I do know Fluellen valiant
- And, touch'd with choler, hot as gunpowder,
- And quickly will return an injury.
- Follow, and see there be no harm between them.
- Go you with me, uncle of Exeter.
SCENE VIII. Before King Henry's pavilion.
[Enter Gower and Williams.]
- I warrant it is to knight you, Captain.
- God's will and his pleasure, captain, I beseech you now,
- come apace to the King. There is more good toward you
- peradventure than is in your knowledge to dream of.
- Sir, know you this glove?
- Know the glove! I know the glove is a glove.
- I know this; and thus I challenge it.
- 'Sblood! an arrant traitor as any is in the universal
- world, or in France, or in England!
- How now, sir! you villain!
- Do you think I'll be forsworn?
- Stand away, Captain Gower. I will give treason his
- payment into plows, I warrant you.
- I am no traitor.
- That's a lie in thy throat. I charge you in his Majesty's
- name, apprehend him; he's a friend of the Duke Alencon's.
[Enter Warwick and Gloucester.]
- How now, how now! what's the matter?
- My lord of Warwick, here is—praised be God for it!—a most
- contagious treason come to light, look you, as you shall
- desire in a summer's day. Here is his Majesty.
[Enter King Henry and Exeter.]
- How now! what's the matter?
- My liege, here is a villain and a traitor, that, look your Grace,
has struck the glove which your Majesty is take out of the
- helmet of Alencon.
- My liege, this was my glove; here is the fellow of it; and he
- that I gave it to in change promis'd to wear it in his cap. I
- promis'd to strike him, if he did. I met this man with my
- glove in his cap, and I have been as good as my word.
- Your Majesty hear now, saving your Majesty's manhood,
- what an arrant, rascally, beggarly, lousy knave it is. I hope
- your Majesty is pear me testimony and witness, and will
- avouchment, that this is the glove of Alencon that your
- Majesty is give me; in your conscience, now?
- Give me thy glove, soldier. Look, here is the fellow of it.
- 'Twas I, indeed, thou promisedst to strike;
- And thou hast given me most bitter terms.
- An it please your Majesty, let his neck answer for it, if
- there is any martial law in the world.
- How canst thou make me satisfaction?
- All offences, my lord, come from the heart. Never came
- any from mine that might offend your Majesty.
- It was ourself thou didst abuse.
- Your Majesty came not like yourself. You appear'd to me
- but as a common man; witness the night, your garments, your
- lowliness; and what your Highness suffer'd under that shape, I
- beseech you take it for your own fault and not mine; for had you
- been as I took you for, I made no offence; therefore, I beseech
- your Highness, pardon me.
- Here, uncle Exeter, fill this glove with crowns,
- And give it to this fellow. Keep it, fellow;
- And wear it for an honour in thy cap
- Till I do challenge it. Give him his crowns;
- And, captain, you must needs be friends with him.
- By this day and this light, the fellow has mettle enough in his
- belly. Hold, there is twelve pence for you; and I pray you to
- serve God, and keep you out of prawls, and prabbles, and
- quarrels, and dissensions, and, I warrant you, it is the better
- for you.
- I will none of your money.
- It is with a good will; I can tell you, it will serve you to mend
- your shoes. Come, wherefore should you be so pashful? Your
- shoes is not so good. 'Tis a good silling, I warrant you, or I
- will change it.
[Enter [an English] Herald.]
- Now, herald, are the dead numb'red?
- Here is the number of the slaught'red French.
- What prisoners of good sort are taken, uncle?
- Charles Duke of Orleans, nephew to the King;
- John Duke of Bourbon, and Lord Bouciqualt:
- Of other lords and barons, knights and squires,
- Full fifteen hundred, besides common men.
- This note doth tell me of ten thousand French
- That in the field lie slain; of princes, in this number,
- And nobles bearing banners, there lie dead
- One hundred twenty-six; added to these,
- Of knights, esquires, and gallant gentlemen,
- Eight thousand and four hundred; of the which,
- Five hundred were but yesterday dubb'd knights;
- So that, in these ten thousand they have lost,
- There are but sixteen hundred mercenaries;
- The rest are princes, barons, lords, knights, squires,
- And gentlemen of blood and quality.
- The names of those their nobles that lie dead:
- Charles Delabreth, High Constable of France;
- Jacques of Chatillon, Admiral of France;
- The master of the cross-bows, Lord Rambures;
- Great Master of France, the brave Sir Guichard Dauphin,
- John Duke of Alencon, Anthony Duke of Brabant,
- The brother to the Duke of Burgundy,
- And Edward Duke of Bar; of lusty earls,
- Grandpre and Roussi, Fauconberg and Foix,
- Beaumont and Marle, Vaudemont and Lestrale.
- Here was a royal fellowship of death!
- Where is the number of our English dead?
[Herald shows him another paper.]
- Edward the Duke of York, the Earl of Suffolk,
- Sir Richard Ketly, Davy Gam, esquire;
- None else of name; and of all other men
- But five and twenty.—O God, thy arm was here;
- And not to us, but to thy arm alone,
- Ascribe we all! When, without stratagem,
- But in plain shock and even play of battle,
- Was ever known so great and little loss
- On one part and on the other? Take it, God,
- For it is none but thine!
- 'Tis wonderful!
- Come, go we in procession to the village;
- And be it death proclaimed through our host
- To boast of this or take that praise from God
- Which is His only.
- Is it not lawful, an please your Majesty, to tell how
- many is kill'd?
- Yes, Captain; but with this acknowledgment,
- That God fought for us.
- Yes, my conscience, He did us great good.
- Do we all holy rites.
- Let there be sung Non nobis and Te Deum,
- The dead with charity enclos'd in clay,
- And then to Calais; and to England then,
- Where ne'er from France arriv'd more happy men.
- Vouchsafe to those that have not read the story,
- That I may prompt them; and of such as have,
- I humbly pray them to admit the excuse
- Of time, of numbers, and due course of things,
- Which cannot in their huge and proper life
- Be here presented. Now we bear the King
- Toward Calais; grant him there; there seen,
- Heave him away upon your winged thoughts
- Athwart the sea. Behold, the English beach
- Pales in the flood with men, with wives and boys,
- Whose shouts and claps out-voice the deep-mouth'd sea,
- Which like a mighty whiffler 'fore the King
- Seems to prepare his way. So let him land,
- And solemnly see him set on to London.
- So swift a pace hath thought that even now
- You may imagine him upon Blackheath,
- Where that his lords desire him to have borne
- His bruised helmet and his bended sword
- Before him through the city. He forbids it,
- Being free from vainness and self-glorious pride;
- Giving full trophy, signal, and ostent
- Quite from himself to God. But now behold,
- In the quick forge and working-house of thought,
- How London doth pour out her citizens!
- The mayor and all his brethren in best sort,
- Like to the senators of the antique Rome,
- With the plebeians swarming at their heels,
- Go forth and fetch their conquering Caesar in;
- As, by a lower but loving likelihood,
- Were now the general of our gracious empress,
- As in good time he may, from Ireland coming,
- Bringing rebellion broached on his sword,
- How many would the peaceful city quit,
- To welcome him! Much more, and much more cause,
- Did they this Harry. Now in London place him;
- As yet the lamentation of the French
- Invites the King of England's stay at home,—
- The Emperor's coming in behalf of France,
- To order peace between them;—and omit
- All the occurrences, whatever chanc'd,
- Till Harry's back-return again to France.
- There must we bring him; and myself have play'd
- The interim, by rememb'ring you 'tis past.
- Then brook abridgment, and your eyes advance
- After your thoughts, straight back again to France.
SCENE I. France. The English camp.
[Enter Fluellen and Gower.]
- Nay, that's right; but why wear you your leek to-day?
- Saint Davy's day is past.
- There is occasions and causes why and wherefore in all
- things. I will tell you asse my friend, Captain Gower. The
- rascally, scald, beggarly, lousy, pragging knave, Pistol, which
- you and yourself and all the world know to be no petter than a
- fellow, look you now, of no merits, he is come to me and prings
- me pread and salt yesterday, look you, and bid me eat my leek.
- It was in a place where I could not breed no contention with him;
- but I will be so bold as to wear it in my cap till I see him once
- again, and then I will tell him a little piece of my desires.
- Why, here he comes, swelling like a turkey-cock.
- 'Tis no matter for his swellings nor his turkey-cocks. God
- pless you, Aunchient Pistol! you scurvy, lousy knave, God
- pless you!
- Ha! art thou bedlam? Dost thou thirst, base Troyan,
- To have me fold up Parca's fatal web?
- Hence! I am qualmish at the smell of leek.
- I peseech you heartily, scurfy, lousy knave, at my desires,
- and my requests, and my petitions, to eat, look you, this
- leek. Because, look you, you do not love it, nor your
- affections and your appetites and your digestions doo's not
- agree with it, I would desire you to eat it.
- Not for Cadwallader and all his goats.
- There is one goat for you. [Strikes him.] Will you be so
- good, scald knave, as eat it?
- Base Troyan, thou shalt die.
- You say very true, scald knave, when God's will is. I will
- desire you to live in the mean time, and eat your victuals.
- Come, there is sauce for it. [Strikes him.] You call'd me
- yesterday mountain-squire; but I will make you to-day a
- squire of low degree. I pray you, fall to; if you can mock
- a leek, you can eat a leek.
- Enough, captain; you have astonish'd him.
- I say, I will make him eat some part of my leek, or I will
- peat his pate four days. Bite, I pray you; it is good for
- your green wound and your ploody coxcomb.
- Must I bite?
- Yes, certainly, and out of doubt and out of question
- too, and ambiguities.
- By this leek, I will most horribly revenge. I eat and
- eat, I swear—
- Eat, I pray you. Will you have some more sauce to
- your leek? There is not enough leek to swear by.
- Quiet thy cudgel; thou dost see I eat.
- Much good do you, scald knave, heartily. Nay, pray you,
- throw none away; the skin is good for your broken coxcomb.
- When you take occasions to see leeks herefter, I pray you,
- mock at 'em; that is all.
- Ay, leeks is good. Hold you, there is a groat to heal
- your pate.
- Me a groat!
- Yes, verily and in truth you shall take it; or I have
- another leek in my pocket, which you shall eat.
- I take thy groat in earnest of revenge.
- If I owe you anything I will pay you in cudgels. You
- shall be a woodmonger, and buy nothing of me but cudgels.
- God be wi' you, and keep you, and heal your pate.
- All hell shall stir for this.
- Go, go; you are a couterfeit cowardly knave. Will you mock
- at an ancient tradition, begun upon an honourable respect, and
- worn as a memorable trophy of predeceased valour, and dare not
- avouch in your deeds any of your words? I have seen you gleeking
- and galling at this gentleman twice or thrice. You thought,
- because he could not speak English in the native garb, he could
- not therefore handle an English cudgel. You find it otherwise;
- and henceforth let a Welsh correction teach you a good English
- condition. Fare ye well.
- Doth Fortune play the huswife with me now?
- News have I, that my Doll is dead i' the spital
- Of malady of France;
- And there my rendezvous is quite cut off.
- Old I do wax; and from my weary limbs
- Honour is cudgell'd. Well, bawd I'll turn,
- And something lean to cutpurse of quick hand.
- To England will I steal, and there I'll steal;
- And patches will I get unto these cudgell'd scars,
- And swear I got them in the Gallia wars.
SCENE II. France. A royal palace.
[Enter, at one door, King Henry, Exeter, Bedford, [Gloucester,] Warwick, [Westmoreland,] and other Lords; at another, the French King, Queen Isabel, [the Princess Katharine, Alice, and other Ladies;] the Duke of Burgundy, and other French.]
- Peace to this meeting, wherefore we are met!
- Unto our brother France, and to our sister,
- Health and fair time of day; joy and good wishes
- To our most fair and princely cousin Katharine;
- And, as a branch and member of this royalty,
- By whom this great assembly is contriv'd,
- We do salute you, Duke of Burgundy;
- And, princes French, and peers, health to you all!
- Right joyous are we to behold your face,
- Most worthy brother England; fairly met!
- So are you, princes English, every one.
- So happy be the issue, brother England,
- Of this good day and of this gracious meeting
- As we are now glad to behold your eyes;
- Your eyes, which hitherto have borne in them
- Against the French that met them in their bent
- The fatal balls of murdering basilisks.
- The venom of such looks, we fairly hope,
- Have lost their quality; and that this day
- Shall change all griefs and quarrels into love.
- To cry amen to that, thus we appear.
- You English princes all, I do salute you.
- My duty to you both, on equal love,
- Great Kings of France and England! That I have labour'd,
- With all my wits, my pains, and strong endeavours,
- To bring your most imperial Majesties
- Unto this bar and royal interview,
- Your mightiness on both parts best can witness.
- Since then my office hath so far prevail'd
- That, face to face and royal eye to eye,
- You have congreeted, let it not disgrace me
- If I demand, before this royal view,
- What rub or what impediment there is,
- Why that the naked, poor, and mangled Peace,
- Dear nurse of arts, plenties, and joyful births,
- Should not in this best garden of the world,
- Our fertile France, put up her lovely visage?
- Alas, she hath from France too long been chas'd,
- And all her husbandry doth lie on heaps,
- Corrupting in it own fertility.
- Her vine, the merry cheerer of the heart,
- Unpruned dies; her hedges even-pleach'd,
- Like prisoners wildly overgrown with hair,
- Put forth disorder'd twigs; her fallow leas
- The darnel, hemlock, and rank fumitory,
- Doth root upon, while that the coulter rusts
- That should deracinate such savagery;
- The even mead, that erst brought sweetly forth
- The freckled cowslip, burnet, and green clover,
- Wanting the scythe, all uncorrected, rank,
- Conceives by idleness, and nothing teems
- But hateful docks, rough thistles, kexes, burs,
- Losing both beauty and utility;
- And as our vineyards, fallows, meads, and hedges,
- Defective in their natures, grow to wildness.
- Even so our houses and ourselves and children
- Have lost, or do not learn for want of time,
- The sciences that should become our country;
- But grow like savages,—as soldiers will
- That nothing do but meditate on blood,—
- To swearing and stern looks, diffus'd attire,
- And everything that seems unnatural.
- Which to reduce into our former favour
- You are assembled; and my speech entreats
- That I may know the let, why gentle Peace
- Should not expel these inconveniences
- And bless us with her former qualities.
- If, Duke of Burgundy, you would the peace,
- Whose want gives growth to the imperfections
- Which you have cited, you must buy that peace
- With full accord to all our just demands;
- Whose tenours and particular effects
- You have enschedul'd briefly in your hands.
- The King hath heard them; to the which as yet
- There is no answer made.
- Well, then, the peace,
- Which you before so urg'd, lies in his answer.
- I have but with a cursorary eye
- O'erglanc'd the articles. Pleaseth your Grace
- To appoint some of your council presently
- To sit with us once more, with better heed
- To re-survey them, we will suddenly
- Pass our accept and peremptory answer.
- Brother, we shall. Go, uncle Exeter,
- And brother Clarence, and you, brother Gloucester,
- Warwick, and Huntington, go with the King;
- And take with you free power to ratify,
- Augment, or alter, as your wisdoms best
- Shall see advantageable for our dignity,
- Anything in or out of our demands,
- And we'll consign thereto. Will you, fair sister,
- Go with the princes, or stay here with us?
- Our gracious brother, I will go with them.
- Haply a woman's voice may do some good,
- When articles too nicely urg'd be stood on.
- Yet leave our cousin Katharine here with us:
- She is our capital demand, compris'd
- Within the fore-rank of our articles.
- She hath good leave.
[Exeunt all except Henry, Katharine [and Alice.]
- Fair Katharine, and most fair,
- Will you vouchsafe to teach a soldier terms
- Such as will enter at a lady's ear
- And plead his love-suit to her gentle heart?
- Your Majesty shall mock me; I cannot speak your England.
- O fair Katharine, if you will love me soundly with your
- French heart, I will be glad to hear you confess it brokenly
- with your English tongue. Do you like me, Kate?
- Pardonnez-moi, I cannot tell wat is "like me."
- An angel is like you, Kate, and you are like an angel.
- Que dit-il? Que je suis semblable a les anges?
- Oui, vraiment, sauf votre grace, ainsi dit-il.
- I said so, dear Katharine; and I must not blush to affirm it.
- O bon Dieu! les langues des hommes sont pleines de tromperies.
- What says she, fair one? That the tongues of men are full of
- Oui, dat de tongues of de mans is be full of deceits: dat is de
- The Princess is the better Englishwoman. I' faith, Kate, my
- wooing is fit for thy understanding: I am glad thou canst
- speak no better English; for if thou couldst, thou wouldst
- find me such a plain king that thou wouldst think I had sold my
- farm to buy my crown. I know no ways to mince it in love, but
- directly to say, "I love you"; then if you urge me farther than
- to say, "Do you in faith?" I wear out my suit. Give me your
- answer; i' faith, do; and so clap hands and a bargain. How say
- you, lady?
- Sauf votre honneur, me understand well.
- Marry, if you would put me to verses, or to dance for your
- sake, Kate, why you undid me; for the one, I have neither
- words nor measure, and for the other I have no strength in
- measure, yet a reasonable measure in strength. If I could win a
- lady at leap-frog, or by vaulting into my saddle with my armour
- on my back, under the correction of bragging be it spoken, I
- should quickly leap into a wife. Or if I might buffet for my
- love, or bound my horse for her favours, I could lay on like a
- butcher and sit like a jack-an-apes, never off. But, before God,
- Kate, I cannot look greenly, nor gasp out my eloquence, nor I
- have no cunning in protestation; only downright oaths, which I
- never use till urg'd, nor never break for urging. If thou canst
- love a fellow of this temper, Kate, whose face is not worth
- sunburning, that never looks in his glass for love of anything
- he sees there, let thine eye be thy cook. I speak to thee plain
- soldier. If thou canst love me for this, take me; if not, to say
- to thee that I shall die, is true; but for thy love, by the Lord,
- no; yet I love thee too. And while thou liv'st, dear Kate, take a
- fellow of plain and uncoined constancy; for he perforce must do
- thee right, because he hath not the gift to woo in other places;
- for these fellows of infinite tongue, that can rhyme themselves
- into ladies' favours, they do always reason themselves out again.
- What! a speaker is but a prater: a rhyme is but a ballad. A good
- leg will fall; a straight back will stoop; a black beard will turn
- white; a curl'd pate will grow bald; a fair face will wither; a
- full eye will wax hollow; but a good heart, Kate, is the sun and
- the moon; or rather the sun and not the moon; for it shines bright
- and never changes, but keeps his course truly. If thou would have
- such a one, take me; and take me, take a soldier; take a soldier,
- take a king. And what say'st thou then to my love? Speak, my fair,
- and fairly, I pray thee.
- Is it possible dat I should love de enemy of France?
- No; it is not possible you should love the enemy of France, Kate;
- but, in loving me, you should love the friend of France; for I
- love France so well that I will not part with a village of it, I
- will have it all mine; and, Kate, when France is mine and I am
- yours, then yours is France and you are mine.
- I cannot tell wat is dat.
- No, Kate? I will tell thee in French; which I am sure will hang
- upon my tongue like a new-married wife about her husband's
- neck, hardly to be shook off. Je quand sur le possession de
- France, et quand vous avez le possession de moi,—let me see,
- what then? Saint Denis be my speed!—donc votre est France
- et vous etes mienne. It is as easy for me, Kate, to conquer the
- kingdom as to speak so much more French. I shall never move
- thee in French, unless it be to laugh at me.
- Sauf votre honneur, le Francais que vous parlez, il est meilleur
- que l'Anglois lequel je parle.
- No, faith, is't not, Kate; but thy speaking of my tongue, and I
- thine, most truly-falsely, must needs be granted to be much at
- one. But, Kate, dost thou understand thus much English: canst
- thou love me?
- I cannot tell.
- Can any of your neighbours tell, Kate? I'll ask them. Come, I
- know thou lovest me; and at night, when you come into your
- closet, you'll question this gentlewoman about me; and I know,
- Kate, you will to her dispraise those parts in me that you love
- with your heart. But, good Kate, mock me mercifully; the
- rather, gentle princess, because I love thee cruelly. If ever
- thou beest mine, Kate, as I have a saving faith within me tells
- me thou shalt, I get thee with scambling, and thou must therefore
- needs prove a good soldier-breeder. Shall not thou and I, between
- Saint Denis and Saint George, compound a boy, half French, half
- English, that shall go to Constantinople and take the Turk by the
- beard? Shall we not? What say'st thou, my fair flower-de-luce?
- I do not know dat.
- No; 'tis hereafter to know, but now to promise. Do but now
- promise, Kate, you will endeavour for your French part of
- such a boy; and for my English moiety, take the word of a king
- and a bachelor. How answer you, la plus belle Katherine du monde,
- mon tres cher et divin deesse?
- Your Majestee ave fausse French enough to deceive de most
- sage damoiselle dat is en France.
- Now, fie upon my false French! By 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 ambition! he was thinking of civil wars
- when he got me; therefore was I created with a stubborn 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 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, 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 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?
- Dat is as it shall please de roi mon pere.
- Nay, it will please him well, Kate; it shall please him, Kate.
- Den it sall also content me.
- Upon that I kiss your hand, and call you my queen.
- Laissez, mon seigneur, laissez, laissez! Ma foi, je ne veux point
- que vous abaissez votre grandeur en baisant la main d'une indigne
- serviteur. Excusez-moi, je vous supplie, mon tres-puissant seigneur.
- Then I will kiss your lips, Kate.
- Les dames et demoiselles pour etre baisees devant leur noces, il
- n'est pas la coutume de France.
- Madame my interpreter, what says she?
- Dat it is not be de fashion pour les ladies of France,—I cannot
- tell wat is baiser en Anglish.
- To kiss.
- Your Majestee entendre bettre que moi.
- It is not a fashion for the maids in France to kiss before they
- are married, would she say?
- Oui, vraiment.
- O Kate, nice customs curtsy to great kings. Dear Kate, you and I
- cannot be confined within the weak list of a country's fashion.
- We are the makers of manners, Kate; and the liberty that follows
- our places stops the mouth of all find-faults, as I will do yours,
- for upholding the nice fashion of your country in denying me a kiss;
- therefore, patiently and yielding. [Kissing her.] You have
- witchcraft in your lips, Kate; there is more eloquence in a sugar
- touch of them than in the tongues of the French council; and they
- should sooner persuade Harry of England than a general petition of
- monarchs. Here comes your father.
[Re-enter the French Power and the English Lords.]
- God save your Majesty! My royal cousin, teach you our princess
- I would have her learn, my fair cousin, how perfectly I love her;
- and that is good English.
- Is she not apt?
- Our tongue is rough, coz, and my condition is not smooth; so
- that, having neither the voice nor the heart of flattery about
- me, I cannot so conjure up the spirit of love in her, that he
- will appear in his true likeness.
- Pardon the frankness of my mirth, if I answer you for that. If
- you would conjure in her, you must make a circle; if conjure up
- Love in her in his true likeness, he must appear naked and blind.
- Can you blame her then, being a maid yet ros'd over with the virgin
- crimson of modesty, if she deny the appearance of a naked blind boy
- in her naked seeing self? It were, my lord, a hard condition for a
- maid to consign to.
- Yet they do wink and yield, as love is blind and enforces.
- They are then excus'd, my lord, when they see not what they do.
- Then, good my lord, teach your cousin to consent winking.
- I will wink on her to consent, my lord, if you will teach her to
- know my meaning; for maids, well summer'd and warm kept, are like
- flies at Bartholomew-tide, blind, though they have their eyes; and
- then they will endure handling, which before would not abide
- looking on.
- This moral ties me over to time and a hot summer; and so I shall
- catch the fly, your cousin, in the latter end, and she must be blind
- As love is, my lord, before it loves.
- It is so; and you may, some of you, thank love for my blindness,
- who cannot see many a fair French city for one fair French maid
- that stands in my way.
- Yes, my lord, you see them perspectively, the cities turn'd into
- a maid; for they are all girdled with maiden walls that war hath
- [never] ent'red.
- Shall Kate be my wife?
- So please you.
- I am content, so the maiden cities you talk of may wait on her;
- so the maid that stood in the way for my wish shall show me the
- way to my will.
- We have consented to all terms of reason.
- Is't so, my lords of England?
- The king hath granted every article;
- His daughter first, and then in sequel all,
- According to their firm proposed natures.
- Only he hath not yet subscribed this: where your Majesty demands,
- that the King of France, having any occasion to write for matter
- of grant, shall name your Highness in this form and with this
- addition, in French, Notre tres-cher fils Henri, Roi d'Angleterre,
- Heritier de France; and thus in Latin, Praeclarissimus filius noster
- Henricus, Rex Angliae et Haeres Franciae.
- Nor this I have not, brother, so denied
- But our request shall make me let it pass.
- I pray you then, in love and dear alliance,
- Let that one article rank with the rest;
- And thereupon give me your daughter.
- FRENCH KING.
- Take her, fair son, and from her blood raise up
- Issue to me; that the contending kingdoms
- Of France and England, whose very shores look pale
- With envy of each other's happiness,
- May cease their hatred; and this dear conjunction
- Plant neighbourhood and Christian-like accord
- In their sweet bosoms, that never war advance
- His bleeding sword 'twixt England and fair France.
- Now, welcome, Kate; and bear me witness all,
- That here I kiss her as my sovereign queen.
- God, the best maker of all marriages,
- Combine your hearts in one, your realms in one!
- As man and wife, being two, are one in love,
- So be there 'twixt your kingdoms such a spousal,
- That never may ill office, or fell jealousy,
- Which troubles oft the bed of blessed marriage,
- Thrust in between the paction of these kingdoms,
- To make divorce of their incorporate league;
- That English may as French, French Englishmen,
- Receive each other. God speak this Amen!
- Prepare we for our marriage; on which day,
- My Lord of Burgundy, we'll take your oath,
- And all the peers', for surety of our leagues,
- Then shall I swear to Kate, and you to me;
- And may our oaths well kept and prosperous be!
- Thus far, with rough and all-unable pen,
- Our bending author hath pursu'd the story,
- In little room confining mighty men,
- Mangling by starts the full course of their glory.
- Small time, but in that small most greatly lived
- This star of England. Fortune made his sword,
- By which the world's best garden he achieved,
- And of it left his son imperial lord.
- Henry the Sixth, in infant bands crown'd King
- Of France and England, did this king succeed;
- Whose state so many had the managing,
- That they lost France and made his England bleed:
- Which oft our stage hath shown; and, for their sake,
- In your fair minds let this acceptance take.
This work published before January 1, 1923 is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.