Henry V (1918) Yale/Text/Act III

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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 4
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; 8
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, 12
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, 16
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, 20
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
Those cull'd and choice-drawn cavaliers to France? 24
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; 28
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 32
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 One

[France. Before Harfleur]

Enter the King, Exeter, Bedford, and Gloucester.

Alarum: scaling ladders.

K. Hen. 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: 4
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; 8
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 doth a galled rock 12
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! 17
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. 21
Dishonour not your mothers; now attest
That those whom you call'd fathers did beget you.
Be copy now to men of grosser blood, 24
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; 28
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: 32
Follow your spirit; and, upon this charge
Cry 'God for Harry, England, and Saint George!'

[Exeunt.] Alarum, and chambers go off.

Scene Two

[The Same]

Enter Nym, Bardolph, Pistol, and Boy.

Bard. On, on, on, on, on! to the breach, to
the breach!

Nym. Pray thee, corporal, stay: the knocks
are too hot; and for mine own part, I have not 4
a case of lives: the humour of it is too hot, that
is the very plain-song of it.

Pist. The plain-song is most just, for hu-
mours do abound: 8
'Knocks go and come: God's vassals drop and die;
And sword and shield
In bloody field
Doth win immortal fame.' 12

Boy. Would I were in an alehouse in London!
I would give all my fame for a pot of ale, and

Pist. And I: 16
'If wishes would prevail with me,
My purpose should not fail with me,
But thither would I hie.'

Boy.'As duly, 20
But not as truly,
As bird doth sing on bough.'

Enter Fluellen and beats them in.

Flu. Up to the breach, you dogs! avaunt, you cullions!

Pist. Be merciful, great duke, to men of mould! 24
Abate thy rage, abate thy manly rage!
Abate thy rage, great duke!
Good bawcock, bate thy rage; use lenity, sweet chuck!

Nym. These be good humours! your honour
wins bad humours.

Exit [with Pistol and Bardolph].

Boy. [Aside.] As young as I am, I have ob-
served 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 34
Bardolph, he is white-livered and red-faced; 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; 40
and therefore he scorns to say his prayers, lest a'
should be thought a coward: but his few bad words
are matched with as few good deeds; for a' never
broke any man's head but his own, and that was 44
against a post when he was drunk. They will
steal any thing and call it purchase. Bardolph
stole a lute-case, bore it twelve leagues, and sold
it for three half-pence. Nym and Bardolph are 48
sworn brothers in filching, and in Calais they
stole a fire-shovel: I knew by that piece of ser-
vice the men would carry coals. They would
have me as familiar with men's pockets as their 52
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 56
and seek some better service: their villainy goes
against my weak stomach, and therefore I must
cast it up. Exit.

Enter Gower.

Gow. Captain Fluellen, you must come pre-
sently to the mines: the Duke of Gloucester
would speak with you. 62

Flu. 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; 66
for, look you, th' 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
directions. 71

Gow. The Duke of Gloucester, to whom the
order of the siege is given, is altogether directed
by an Irishman, a very valiant gentleman, i'

Flu. It is Captain Macmorris, is it not? 76

Gow. I think it be.

Flu. 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. 82

Enter Macmorris and Captain Jamy.

Gow. Here a' comes; and the Scots captain,
Captain Jamy, with him.

Flu. Captain Jamy is a marvellous falorous
gentleman, that is certain; and of great expedi- 86
tion and knowledge in th' 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 disci-
plines of the pristine wars of the Romans. 91

Jamy. I say gud day, Captain Fluellen.

Flu. God-den to your worship, good Captain

Gow. How now, Captain Macmorris! have
you quit the mines? have the pioners given o'er? 96

Mac. By Chrish, la! tish ill done: the work
ish give over, the trumpet 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! 103

Flu. Captain Macmorris, I beseech you now,
will you voutsafe me, look you, a few disputa-
tions with you, as partly touching or concern-
ing 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. 112

Jamy. It sall be vary gud, gud feith, gud cap-
tains bath: and I sail quit you with gud leve,
as I may pick occasion; that sail I, marry.

Mac. 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 beseeched, and 119
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 no-
thing done, so Chrish sa' me, la! 125

Jamy. By the mess, ere theise eyes of mine
take themselves to slumber, aile do gud service,
or aile lig i' the grund for it; ay, or go to death;
and aile pay 't as valorously as I may, that
sal I suerly do, that is the breff and the long.
Marry, I wad full fain heard some question
'tween you tway. 132

Flu. Captain Macmorris, I think, look you,
under your correction, there is not many of
your nation—135

Mac. 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 nation? 139

Flu. Look you, if you take the matter other-
wise than is meant, Captain Macmorris, per-
adventure 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 deriva-
tion of my birth, and in other particularities. 146

Mac. I do not know you so good a man as
myself: so Chrish save me, I will cut off your
head. 149

Gow. Gentlemen both, you will mistake each

Jamy. A! that's a foul fault. A parley.

Gow. The town sounds a parley. 153

Flu. 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 disci-
plines of war; and there is an end.

Exit [with Gower and the other captains].

Scene Three

[Before the Gates of Harfleur]

[The Governor and some Citizens on the walls; the English forces below.] Enter the King and all his Train before the gates.

K. Hen. 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 4
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 8
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 12
With conscience wide as hell, mowing like grass
Your fresh-fair virgins and your flowering infants.
What is it then to me, if impious war,
Array'd in flames like to the prince of fiends, 16
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 20
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 25
As send precepts to the leviathan
To come ashore. Therefore, you men of Harfleur,
Take pity of your town and of your people, 28
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. 32
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, 36
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. 41
What say you? will you yield, and this avoid?
Or, guilty in defence, be thus destroy'd?

Gov. Our expectation hath this day an end.
The Dauphin, whom of succour we entreated, 45
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; 49
For we no longer are defensible.

K. Hen. Open your gates! Come, uncle Exeter,
Go you and enter Harfleur; there remain, 52
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. 56
To-night in Harfleur will we be your guest;
To-morrow for the march are we addrest.

Flourish, and enter the town.

Scene Four

[The French King's Palace]

Enter Katharine and [Alice,] an old gentlewoman.

Kath. Alice, tu as été en Angleterre, et tu
parles bien le langage.

Alice. Un peu, madame. 3

Kath. Je te prie, m'enseignez; il faut que
j'apprenne à parler. Comment appelez-vous la
main en anglais?

Alice. La main? elle est appelée, de hand.

Kath. De hand. Et les doigts? 8

Alice. 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. 12

Kath. La main, de hand; les doigts, de
fingres. Je pense que je suis le bon écolier;
j'ai gagné deux mots d'anglais vitement.
Comment appelez-vous les ongles? 16

Alice. Les ongles? nous les appelons, de nails.

Kath. De nails. Écoutez; dites-moi, si je
parle bien: de hands, de fingres, et de nails.

Alice. C'est bien dit, madame; il est fort
bon anglais. 21

Kath. Dites-moi l'anglais pour le bras.

Alice. De arm, madame.

Kath. Et le coude? 24

Alice. De elbow.

Kath. De elbow. Je m'en fais la répétition
de tous les mots que vous m'avez appris des a
présent. 28

Alice. Il est trop difficile, madame, comme je

Kath. Excusez-moi, Alice; écoutez: de hand,
de fingres, de nails, de arma, de bilbow. 32

Alice. De elbow, madame.

Kath. O Seigneur Dieu! je m'en oublie; de
elbow. Comment appelez-vous le col?

Alice. De nick, madame. 36

Kath. De nick. Et le menton?

Alice. De chin.

Kath. De sin. Le col, de nick: le menton, de
sin. 40

Alice. Oui. Sauf votre honneur, en vérité,
vous prononcez les mots aussi droit que les
natifs d'Angleterre.

Kath. Je ne doute point d'apprendre, par la
grace de Dieu, et en peu de temps. 45

Alice. N'avez-vous pas déjà oublié ce que je
vous ai enseigné?

Kath. Non, je reciterai à vous promptement:
De hand, de fingre, de mails,— 49

Alice. De nails, madame.

Kath. De nails, de arme, de ilbow.

Alice. Sauf votre honneur, de elbow. 52

Kath. Ainsi dis-je; de elbow, de nick, et de
sin. Comment appelez-vous le pied et la robe?

Alice. De foot, madame; et de coun. 55

Kath. 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. Néan-
moins je réciterai une autre fois ma leçon
ensemble: de hand, de fingre, de nails, de arm,
de elbow, de nick, de sin, de foot, de coun. 64

Alice. Excellent, madame!

Kath. C'est assez pour une fois: allons-nous
à diner. Exit [with Alice].

Scene Five


Enter the King of France, the Dauphin, [Duke of Bourbon,] the Constable of France, and Others.

Fr. King. 'Tis certain, he hath pass'd the river Somme.

Con. 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. 4

Dau. 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, 8
And overlook their grafters?

Bour. Normans, but bastard Normans, Norman bastards!
Mort de ma vie! if they march along
Unfought withal, but I will sell my dukedom, 12
To buy a slobbery and a dirty farm
In that nook-shotten isle of Albion.

Con. Dieu de batailles! where have they this mettle?
Is not their climate foggy, raw, and dull, 16
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? 20
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 24
Sweat drops of gallant youth in our rich fields;
Poor we may call them in their native lords.

Dau. By faith and honour,
Our madams mock at us, and plainly say 28
Our mettle is bred out; and they will give
Their bodies to the lust of English youth
To new-store France with bastard warriors.

Bour. They bid us to the English dancing-schools, 32
And teach lavoltas high and swift corantos;
Saying our grace is only in our heels,
And that we are most lofty runaways.

Fr. King. Where is Montjoy the herald? speed him hence: 36
Let him greet England with our sharp defiance.
Up, princes! and, with spirit of honour edg'd
More sharper than your swords, hie to the field:
Charles Delabreth, High Constable of France; 40
You Dukes of Orleans, Bourbon, and of Berri,
Alençon, Brabant, Bar, and Burgundy;
Jaques Chatillon, Rambures, Vaudemont,
Beaumont, Grandpré, Roussi, and Fauconberg,
Foix, Lestrale, Bouciqualt, and Charolois; 45
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: 52
Go down upon him, you have power enough,
And in a captive chariot into Roan
Bring him our prisoner.

Con.This becomes the great.
Sorry am I his numbers are so few, 56
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. 60

Fr. King. 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 Roan.

Dau. Not so, I do beseech your majesty. 65

Fr. King. Be patient, for you shall remain with us.
Now forth, lord constable and princes all,
And quickly bring us word of England's fall. 68


Scene Six

[The English Camp in Picardy]

Enter Captains, English and Welch, Gower and Fluellen.

Gow. How now, Captain Fluellen! come you
from the bridge?

Flu. I assure you, there is very excellent
services committed at the pridge. 4

Gow. Is the Duke of Exeter safe?

Flu. 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 life, and my living, and my utter-
most power: he is not—God be praised and
plessed!—any hurt in the world; but keeps then
pridge 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. 17

Gow. What do you call him?

Flu. He is called Aunchient Pistol.

Gow. I know him not. 20

Enter Pistol.

Flu. Here is the man.

Pist. Captain, I thee beseech to do me favours:
The Duke of Exeter doth love thee well.

Flu. Ay, I praise God; and I have merited
some love at his hands. 25

Pist. Bardolph, a soldier firm and sound of heart,
And of buxom valour, hath, by cruel fate
And giddy Fortune's furious fickle wheel, 28
That goddess blind,
That stands upon the rolling restless stone,—

Flu. By your patience, Aunchient Pistol. For-
tune is painted plind, with a muffler afore her
eyes, to signify to you that Fortune is plind: and
she is painted also with a wheel, to signify to 34
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 descrip-
tion of it: Fortune is an excellent moral. 40

Pist. Fortune is Bardolph's foe, and frowns on him;
For he hath stol'n a pax, and hanged must a' be,
A damned death!
Let gallows gape for dog, let man go free 44
And let not hemp his wind-pipe suffocate.
But Exeter hath given the doom of death
For pax of little price.
Therefore, go speak; the duke will hear thy voice; 48
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.

Flu. Aunchient Pistol, I do partly under-
stand your meaning. 53

Pist. Why then, rejoice therefore.

Flu. 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.

Pist. Die and be damn'd; and figo for thy friendship! 60

Flu. It is well.

Pist. The fig of Spain! Exit.

Flu. Very good.

Gow. Why, this is an arrant counterfeit
rascal: I remember him now; a bawd, a cut-
purse. 66

Flu. I'll assure you a' uttered as prave
words at the pridge as you shall see in a sum-
mer's day. But it is very well; what he has
spoke to me, that is well, I warrant you, when
time is serve. 71

Gow. Why, 'tis 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 75
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 disgraced, what terms the enemy stood on; 80
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 84
and ale-washed 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. 88

Flu. 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 the King, [Gloucester,] and his poor Soldiers.

Flu. God pless your majesty!

K. Hen. How now, Fluellen! cam'st thou from the bridge? 96

Flu. Ay, so please your majesty. The Duke
of Exeter hath very gallantly maintained the
pridge: the French is gone off, look you, and there
is gallant and most prave passages. Marry, th' 100
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. 104

K. Hen. What men have you lost, Fluellen?

Flu. The perdition of th' 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 109
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 exe-
cuted, and his fire's out. 115

K. Hen. We would have all such offenders so
cut off: and we give express charge that in our
marches through the country there be nothing
compelled 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.

Mont. You know me by my habit. 124

K. Hen. Well then I know thee: what shall I
know of thee?

Mont. My master's mind.

K. Hen. Unfold it. 127

Mont. Thus says my king: Say thou to Harry
of England: Though we seemed dead, we did but
sleep: advantage is a better soldier than rash-
ness. Tell him, we could have rebuked him at
Harfleur, but that we thought not good to bruise
an injury till it were full ripe: now we speak 133
upon our cue, and our voice is imperial: England
shall repent his folly, see his weakness, and ad-
mire 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 139
re-answer, his pettiness 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 pronounced.
So far my king and master, so much my office.

K. Hen. What is thy name? I know thy quality. 149

Mont. Montjoy.

K. Hen. Thou dost thy office fairly. Turn thee back,
And tell thy king I do not seek him now, 152
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,— 156
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, 160
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. 164
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, 168
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 hinder'd, 172
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; 176
Nor, as we are, we say we will not shun it:
So tell your master.

Mont. I shall deliver so. Thanks to your highness.


Glo. I hope they will not come upon us now. 180

K. Hen. We are in God's hand, 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. 184


Scene Seven

[The French Camp, near Agincourt]

Enter the Constable of France, the Lord Rambures, [the Duke of] Orleans, [the] Dauphin, with Others.

Con. Tut! I have the best armour of the
world. Would it were day!

Orl. You have an excellent armour; but let
my horse have his due. 4

Con. It is the best horse of Europe.

Orl. Will it never be morning?

Dau. My Lord of Orleans, and my lord high
constable, you talk of horse and armour— 8

Orl. You are as well provided of both as any
prince in the world.

Dau. What a long night is this! I will not
change my horse with any that treads but on 12
four pasterns. Ça, 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 16
trots the air; the earth sings when he touches
it; the basest horn of his hoof is more musical
than the pipe of Hermes.

Orl. He's of the colour of the nutmeg. 20

Dau. 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 24
his rider mounts him: he is indeed a horse; and
all other jades you may call beasts.

Con. Indeed, my lord, it is a most absolute
and excellent horse. 28

Dau. It is the prince of palfreys; his neigh
is like the bidding of a monarch and his counte-
nance enforces homage.

Orl. No more, cousin. 32

Dau. 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 36
eloquent tongues, and my horse is argument for
them all. 'Tis a subject for a sovereign to rea-
son on, and for a sovereign's sovereign to ride
on; and for the world—familiar to us, and 40
unknown—to lay apart their particular func-
tions and wonder at him. I once writ a son-
net in his praise and began thus: 'Wonder of
nature!'— 44

Orl. I have heard a sonnet begin so to one's

Dau. Then did they imitate that which I
composed to my courser; for my horse is my
mistress. 49

Orl. Your mistress bears well.

Dau. Me well; which is the prescript praise
and perfection of a good and particular mis-
tress. 53

Con. Nay, for methought yesterday your mis-
tress shrewdly shook your back.

Dau. So perhaps did yours. 56

Con. Mine was not bridled.

Dau. O! then belike she was old and gentle;
and you rode, like a kern of Ireland, your French
off and in your straight strossers. 60

Con. You have good judgment in horseman-

Dau. Be warned by me, then: they that ride
so, and ride not warily, fall into foul bogs. I
had rather have my horse to my mistress. 65

Con. I had as lief have my mistress a jade.

Dau. I tell thee, constable, my mistress wears
his own hair. 68

Con. I could make as true a boast as that if I
had a sow to my mistress.

Dau. 'Le chien est retourné à son propre
vomissement, et la truie lavée au bourbier': thou
makest use of any thing. 73

Con. Yet do I not use my horse for my mis-
tress: or any such proverb so little kin to the
purpose. 76

Ram. My lord constable, the armour that I
saw in your tent to-night, are those stars or
suns upon it?

Con. Stars, my lord. 80

Dau. Some of them will fall to-morrow, I

Con. And yet my sky shall not want.

Dau. That may be, for you bear a many
superfluously, and 'twere more honour some
were away. 86

Con. Even as your horse bears your praises;
who would trot as well were some of your brags
dismounted. 89

Dau. 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. 93

Con. I will not say so for fear I should be
faced out of my way. But I would it were
morning, for I would fain be about the ears of
the English. 97

Ram. Who will go to hazard with me for
twenty prisoners?

Con. You must first go yourself to hazard,
ere you have them. 101

Dau. 'Tis midnight: I'll go arm myself. Exit.

Orl. The Dauphin longs for morning.

Ram. He longs to eat the English. 104

Con. I think he will eat all he kills.

Orl. By the white hand of my lady, he's a
gallant prince.

Con. Swear by her foot, that she may tread
out the oath. 109

Orl. He is simply the most active gentleman
of France.

Con. Doing is activity, and he will still be
doing. 113

Orl. He never did harm, that I heard of.

Con. Nor will do none to-morrow: he will
keep that good name still. 116

Orl. I know him to be valiant.

Con. I was told that by one that knows him
better than you.

Orl. What's he? 120

Con. Marry, he told me so himself; and he
said he cared not who knew it.

Orl. He needs not; it is no hidden virtue
in him. 124

Con. By my faith, sir, but it is; never any-
body saw it but his lackey: 'tis a hooded valour;
and when it appears, it will bate.

Orl. 'Ill will never said well.' 128

Con. I will cap that proverb with 'There is
flattery in friendship.'

Orl. And I will take up that with 'Give the
devil his due.' 132

Con. Well placed: there stands your friend
for the devil: have at the very eye of that
proverb, with 'A pox of the devil.'

Orl. You are the better at proverbs, by how
much 'A fool's bolt is soon shot.' 137

Con. You have shot over.

Orl. 'Tis not the first time you were overshot.

Enter a Messenger.

Mess. My lord high constable, the English lie
within fifteen hundred paces of your tents. 141

Con. Who hath measured the ground?

Mess. The Lord Grandpré.

Con. A valiant and most expert gentleman.
Would it were day! Alas! poor Harry of Eng-
land, he longs not for the dawning as we do. 146

Orl. What a wretched and peevish fellow is
this King of England, to mope with his fat-
brained followers so far out of his knowledge!

Con. If the English had any apprehension
they would run away. 151

Orl. That they lack; for if their heads had
any intellectual armour they could never wear
such heavy head-pieces.

Ram. That island of England breeds very
valiant creatures: their mastiffs are of un-
matchable courage. 157

Orl. Foolish curs! that run winking into the
mouth of a Russian bear and have their heads
crushed like rotten apples. You may as well say
that's a valiant flea that dare eat his breakfast
on the lip of a lion. 162

Con. Just, just; and the men do sympathize
the mastiffs in robustious and rough com-
ing 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. 168

Orl. Ay, but these English are shrewdly out
of beef.

Con. 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? 173

Orl. It is now two o'clock: but, let me see, by ten
We shall have each a hundred Englishmen. Exeunt.

Footnotes to Act III


1 imagin'd wing: wings of imagination
5 brave: fine
14 rivage: shore
18 to sternage: astern
27 girded: besieged
32 likes: pleases
33 linstock: stick to hold the gunner's match
S. d. Alarum: call to arms
chambers: small cannon

Scene One

8 hard-favour'd: ugly
10 portage: porthole
11 o'erwhelm: overhang
12 galled: undermined
13 jutty: project beyond
confounded: ruined
14 Swill'd with: gulped down by
18 fet: fetched
war-proof: valor proven in war
21 argument: subject of contention
24 copy: example
27 mettle of your pasture: quality of your rearing
31 in the slips: in leash

Scene Two

3 corporal; cf. n.
5 case: set
6 plain-song: simple truth; cf. n.
23 cullions: wretches
24 men of mould: men of earth; i.e., mere mortals
27 bawcock, chuck: terms of endearment
31 swashers: braggarts
34 antics: buffoons
46 purchase: slang term for money gained by cheating
51 carry coals: swallow insults
65 the mines is not; cf. n.
67 discuss: explain
69 Cheshu: Jesu
78 as: as great as any
93 God-den: good evening
96 pioners: sappers
115 marry: originally an oath by the Virgin Mary
119 beseeched: i.e., besieged
122 sa': save
126 mess: Mass
128 lig: lie
132 tway: two
136-139 Of my . . . nation; cf. n.

Scene Three

40 Jewry: Judea; cf. St. Matthew 2. 16-18.
45 of: for
46 Returns: answers
50 defensible: capable of resisting
58 addrest: prepared

Scene Four

Scene Five

5 sprays: branches
6 emptying: issue
luxury: lust
7 scions; cf. n.
9 overlook: rise above
12 but; cf. n.
14 nook-shotten: running out into promontories
19 drench: bran and water
sur-rein'd jades: over-ridden horses
barley-broth: beer
20 Decoct: warm
23 roping: dripping
33 lavoltas, corantos: the names of certain lively dances
36 Montjoy; cf. n.

Scene Six

13 aunchient lieutenant; cf. n.
27 buxom: brisk
42 pax; cf. n.
60 figo: a fig
62 The fig of Spain; cf. n.
72 gull: cheat
78 sconce: small fort
80 stood on: insisted on
94 from: with news from
100 passages: deeds
106 perdition: losses
111 bubukles: carbuncles
whelks: boils
123 S. d. Tucket: trumpet signal
124 habit: herald's coat
125 of: from
134 upon our cue: in proper time
140 re-answer: atone for
149 quality: profession
154 impeachment: hindrance
sooth: truth
156 of vantage: favored by circumstances
164 blown: propagated
179 deliver: report

Scene Seven

14 as if . . . hairs: i.e., as if he were a tennis ball; cf. n.
15 chez: i.e., with
19 pipe of Hermes; cf. n.
27 absolute: perfect
34 lodging: lying down
37 argument: theme
51 prescript: prescribed
55 shrewdly: viciously
59 kern: light-armed Irish soldier
59, 60 French hose: wide breeches
60 straight strossers: tight trousers
65 to: as
71, 72 Cf. n.
95 faced out of my way: outfaced (put to shame)
98 go to hazard: throw at dice; cf. n.
126 'tis a hooded valour; cf. n.
139 overshot: beaten at shooting (with a pun on 'drunk')
147 peevish: foolish
149 out . . . knowledge: beyond his depth
150 apprehension: intelligence
163 sympathize with: resemble
164 robustious: sturdy