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Henry V the play by William Shakespeare

 

 

 

Henry V  and Scambler

Act I

Script of Act I Henry V

A play by William Shakespeare

 

Introduction

This section contains the script of Act I of Henry V the play by William Shakespeare. The enduring works of William Shakespeare feature many famous and well loved characters.

In the news in 1610 was Bishop of Ely at the time of writing was Edmund Scambler

 

 

 


ACT I

PROLOGUE

 

Enter Chorus

Chorus

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, and gentles all,

The flat unraised spirits that have dared

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 confined 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 on 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.

 

Exit


 

The opening scene is set in the ante-chamber of the king's palace in London. The Archbishop of Canterbury and the Bishop of Ely are discussing a bill that is still pending, one that was to be passed during King Henry IV's reign. The bill would have divested the church of more than half of its lands and wealth ó in fact, it "would drink the cup and all." Because of civil strife at that time, the bill was forgotten, but now it is once again being discussed. Fortunately, King Henry V is a true lover of the church and, it is believed, can be dissuaded from supporting the bill. Canterbury describes the changes that have overtaken Prince Hal since he became King Henry V:

Never was such a sudden scholar made;

Never came reformation in a flood,

With such a heady currance, scouring faults.

(32-34)

While still a prince, Hal and his "unlettered, rude and shallow" companions spent their time indulging in riotous living. The wildness of his youth seemed to have left him the moment his father died:

The breath no sooner left his father's body,

But that his wildness, mortified in him,

Seem'd to die too.

(25-27)

Henry V is now a sober, wise, and beloved king; in the same way that "The strawberry grows underneath the nettle / And wholesome berries thrive and ripen," so did Prince Hal conceal his real worth as a youth and then emerge fully ripened into a magnificent monarch.

Canterbury then discusses how he has been trying to sway the king against the bill. He has suggested to the king that instead of taking so much from the church's holdings, the king should regain some of France's domains, which would yield much more revenue. He maintains that Henry has a claim on the French crown derived from his great-grandfather, King Edward III. The Archbishop of Canterbury then explains that he and the king were earlier interrupted by the French ambassador, and that he is to meet again with the king to further explain the matter to him. He has an appointment to see the king at four o'clock and must be on his way. Ely expresses his eagerness to know the outcome of the meeting.

SCENE I. London. An ante-chamber in the KING'S palace.

(Bishop of Ely at the time of writing was Edmund Scambler)

Back to Henty Vís time

Enter the ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY, and the BISHOP OF ELY

CANTERBURY

My lord, I'll tell you; that self bill is urged,

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.

 

ELY

But how, my lord, shall we resist it now?

 

CANTERBURY

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 valued 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 supplied;

And to the coffers of the king beside,

A thousand pounds by the year: thus runs the bill.

 

ELY

This would drink deep.

 

CANTERBURY

'Twould drink the cup and all.

 

ELY

But what prevention?

 

CANTERBURY

The king is full of grace and fair regard.

 

ELY

And a true lover of the holy church.

 

CANTERBURY

The courses of his youth promised it not.

The breath no sooner left his father's body,

But that his wildness, mortified 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 envelop 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.

 

ELY

We are blessed in the change.

 

CANTERBURY

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 render'd 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.

 

ELY

The strawberry grows underneath the nettle

And wholesome berries thrive and ripen best

Neighbour'd by fruit of baser quality:

And so the prince obscured his contemplation

Under the veil of wildness; which, no doubt,

Grew like the summer grass, fastest by night,

Unseen, yet crescive in his faculty.

 

CANTERBURY

It must be so; for miracles are ceased;

And therefore we must needs admit the means

How things are perfected.

 

ELY

But, my good lord,

How now for mitigation of this bill

Urged by the commons? Doth his majesty

Incline to it, or no?

 

CANTERBURY

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.

 

ELY

How did this offer seem received, my lord?

 

CANTERBURY

With good acceptance of his majesty;

Save that there was not time enough to hear,

As I perceived 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

Derived from Edward, his great-grandfather.

 

ELY

What was the impediment that broke this off?

 

CANTERBURY

The French ambassador upon that instant

Craved audience; and the hour, I think, is come

To give him hearing: is it four o'clock?

 

ELY

It is.

 

CANTERBURY

Then go we in, to know his embassy;

Which I could with a ready guess declare,

Before the Frenchman speak a word of it.

 

ELY

I'll wait upon you, and I long to hear it.

 

Exeunt

 

SCENE II. The same. The Presence chamber.

 

Enter KING HENRY V, GLOUCESTER, BEDFORD, EXETER, WARWICK, WESTMORELAND, and Attendants

KING HENRY V

Where is my gracious Lord of Canterbury?

 

EXETER

Not here in presence.

 

KING HENRY V

Send for him, good uncle.

 

WESTMORELAND

Shall we call in the ambassador, my liege?

 

KING HENRY V

Not yet, my cousin: we would be resolved,

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

 

CANTERBURY

God and his angels guard your sacred throne

And make you long become it!

 

KING HENRY V

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 wrong gives edge unto the swords

That make 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.

 

CANTERBURY

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 subdued 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 that 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 supposed the founder of this law;

Who died within the year of our redemption

Four hundred twenty-six; and Charles the Great

Subdued 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 usurped 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,

'Through, in pure truth, it was corrupt and naught,

Convey'd himself as 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.

 

KING HENRY V

May I with right and conscience make this claim?

 

CANTERBURY

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!

 

ELY

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.

 

EXETER

Your brother kings and monarchs of the earth

Do all expect that you should rouse yourself,

As did the former lions of your blood.

 

WESTMORELAND

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.

 

CANTERBURY

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.

 

KING HENRY V

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.

 

CANTERBURY

They of those marches, gracious sovereign,

Shall be a wall sufficient to defend

Our inland from the pilfering borderers.

 

KING HENRY V

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 fulness of his force,

Galling the gleaned land with hot assays,

Girding with grievous siege castles and towns;

That England, being empty of defence,

Hath shook and trembled at the ill neighbourhood.

 

CANTERBURY

She hath been then more fear'd than harm'd, my liege;

For hear her but exampled 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 sunless treasuries.

 

WESTMORELAND

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.

 

EXETER

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.

 

CANTERBURY

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 may 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.

 

KING HENRY V

Call in the messengers sent from the Dauphin.

 

Exeunt some Attendants

 

Now are we well resolved; 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 prepared to know the pleasure

Of our fair cousin Dauphin; for we hear

Your greeting is from him, not from the king.

 

First Ambassador

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?

 

KING HENRY V

We are no tyrant, but a Christian king;

Unto whose grace our passion is as subject

As are our wretches fetter'd in our prisons:

Therefore with frank and with uncurbed plainness

Tell us the Dauphin's mind.

 

First Ambassador

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 advised 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.

 

KING HENRY V

What treasure, uncle?

 

EXETER

Tennis-balls, my liege.

 

KING HENRY V

We are glad the Dauphin is so pleasant with us;

His present and your pains we thank you for:

When we have march'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 valued 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.

 

Exeunt Ambassadors

 

EXETER

This was a merry message.

 

KING HENRY V

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.

 

Exeunt. Flourish

Henry V

Act II

 

ACT II

PROLOGUE

 

Enter Chorus

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,

Promised to Harry and his followers.

The French, advised 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.

 

Exit

 

SCENE I. London. A street.

 

Enter Corporal NYM and Lieutenant BARDOLPH

BARDOLPH

Well met, Corporal Nym.

 

NYM

Good morrow, Lieutenant Bardolph.

 

BARDOLPH

What, are Ancient Pistol and you friends yet?

 

NYM

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.

 

BARDOLPH

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.

 

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.

 

BARDOLPH

It is certain, corporal, that he is married to Nell

Quickly: and certainly she did you wrong; for you

were troth-plight to her.

 

NYM

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

 

BARDOLPH

Here comes Ancient Pistol and his wife: good

corporal, be patient here. How now, mine host Pistol!

 

PISTOL

Base tike, call'st thou me host? Now, by this hand,

I swear, I scorn the term; Nor shall my Nell keep lodgers.

 

Hostess

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.

 

BARDOLPH

Good lieutenant! good corporal! offer nothing here.

 

NYM

Pish!

 

PISTOL

Pish for thee, Iceland dog! thou prick-ear'd cur of Iceland!

 

Hostess

Good Corporal Nym, show thy valour, and put up your sword.

 

NYM

Will you shog off? I would have you solus.

 

PISTOL

'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.

 

NYM

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.

 

PISTOL

O braggart vile and damned furious wight!

The grave doth gape, and doting death is near;

Therefore exhale.

 

BARDOLPH

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.

 

Draws

 

PISTOL

An oath of mickle might; and fury shall abate.

Give me thy fist, thy fore-foot to me give:

Thy spirits are most tall.

 

NYM

I will cut thy throat, one time or other, in fair

terms: that is the humour of it.

 

PISTOL

'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

 

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.

 

BARDOLPH

Away, you rogue!

 

Hostess

By my troth, he'll yield the crow a pudding one of

these days. The king has killed his heart. Good

husband, come home presently.

 

Exeunt Hostess and Boy

 

BARDOLPH

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?

 

PISTOL

Let floods o'erswell, and fiends for food howl on!

 

NYM

You'll pay me the eight shillings I won of you at betting?

 

PISTOL

Base is the slave that pays.

 

NYM

That now I will have: that's the humour of it.

 

PISTOL

As manhood shall compound: push home.

 

They draw

 

BARDOLPH

By this sword, he that makes the first thrust, I'll

kill him; by this sword, I will.

 

PISTOL

Sword is an oath, and oaths must have their course.

 

BARDOLPH

Corporal Nym, an thou wilt be friends, be friends:

an thou wilt not, why, then, be enemies with me too.

Prithee, put up.

 

NYM

I shall have my eight shillings I won of you at betting?

 

PISTOL

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.

 

NYM

I shall have my noble?

 

PISTOL

In cash most justly paid.

 

NYM

Well, then, that's the humour of't.

 

Re-enter Hostess

 

Hostess

As ever you came of women, come in quickly to Sir

John. Ah, poor heart! he is so shaked of a burning

quotidian tertian, that it is most lamentable to

behold. Sweet men, come to him.

 

NYM

The king hath run bad humours on the knight; that's

the even of it.

 

PISTOL

Nym, thou hast spoke the right;

His heart is fracted and corroborate.

 

NYM

The king is a good king: but it must be as it may;

he passes some humours and careers.

 

PISTOL

Let us condole the knight; for, lambkins we will live.

 

SCENE II. Southampton. A council-chamber.

 

Enter EXETER, BEDFORD, and WESTMORELAND

BEDFORD

'Fore God, his grace is bold, to trust these traitors.

 

EXETER

They shall be apprehended by and by.

 

WESTMORELAND

How smooth and even they do bear themselves!

As if allegiance in their bosoms sat,

Crowned with faith and constant loyalty.

 

BEDFORD

The king hath note of all that they intend,

By interception which they dream not of.

 

EXETER

Nay, but the man that was his bedfellow,

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 V, SCROOP, CAMBRIDGE, GREY, and Attendants

 

KING HENRY V

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?

 

SCROOP

No doubt, my liege, if each man do his best.

 

KING HENRY V

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.

 

CAMBRIDGE

Never was monarch better fear'd and loved

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.

 

GREY

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.

 

KING HENRY V

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.

 

SCROOP

So service shall with steeled sinews toil,

And labour shall refresh itself with hope,

To do your grace incessant services.

 

KING HENRY V

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.

 

SCROOP

That's mercy, but too much security:

Let him be punish'd, sovereign, lest example

Breed, by his sufferance, more of such a kind.

 

KING HENRY V

O, let us yet be merciful.

 

CAMBRIDGE

So may your highness, and yet punish too.

 

GREY

Sir,

You show great mercy, if you give him life,

After the taste of much correction.

 

KING HENRY V

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 punished. And now to our French causes:

Who are the late commissioners?

 

CAMBRIDGE

I one, my lord:

Your highness bade me ask for it to-day.

 

SCROOP

So did you me, my liege.

 

GREY

And I, my royal sovereign.

 

KING HENRY V

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 hath so cowarded and chased your blood

Out of appearance?

 

CAMBRIDGE

I do confess my fault;

And do submit me to your highness' mercy.

 

GREY SCROOP

To which we all appeal.

 

KING HENRY V

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 all appertinents

Belonging to his honour; and this man

Hath, for a few light crowns, lightly conspired,

And sworn unto the practises 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 practised 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:

All other devils that suggest by treasons

Do botch and bungle up damnation

With patches, colours, and with forms being fetch'd

From glistering 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 judgment 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 practises!

 

EXETER

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.

 

SCROOP

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.

 

CAMBRIDGE

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.

 

GREY

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.

 

KING HENRY V

God quit you in his mercy! Hear your sentence.

You have conspired against our royal person,

Join'd with an enemy proclaim'd and from his coffers

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.

 

Exeunt

 

SCENE III. London. Before a tavern.

 

Enter PISTOL, Hostess, NYM, BARDOLPH, and Boy

Hostess

Prithee, honey-sweet husband, let me bring thee to Staines.

 

PISTOL

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.

 

BARDOLPH

Would I were with him, wheresome'er he is, either in

heaven or in hell!

 

Hostess

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 hoped 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.

 

NYM

They say he cried out of sack.

 

Hostess

Ay, that a' did.

 

BARDOLPH

And of women.

 

Hostess

Nay, that a' did not.

 

Boy

Yes, that a' did; and said they were devils

incarnate.

 

Hostess

A' could never abide carnation; 'twas a colour he

never liked.

 

Boy

A' said once, the devil would have him about women.

 

Hostess

A' did in some sort, indeed, handle women; but then

he was rheumatic, and talked of the whore of Babylon.

 

Boy

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?

 

BARDOLPH

Well, the fuel is gone that maintained that fire:

that's all the riches I got in his service.

 

NYM

Shall we shog? the king will be gone from

Southampton.

 

PISTOL

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 c rystals. Yoke-fellows in arms,

Let us to France; like horse-leeches, my boys,

To suck, to suck, the very blood to suck!

 

Boy

And that's but unwholesome food they say.

 

PISTOL

Touch her soft mouth, and march.

 

BARDOLPH

Farewell, hostess.

 

Kissing her

 

NYM

I cannot kiss, that is the humour of it; but, adieu.

 

PISTOL

Let housewifery appear: keep close, I thee command.

 

Hostess

Farewell; adieu.

 

Exeunt

 

SCENE IV. France. The KING'S palace.

 

Flourish. Enter the FRENCH KING, the DAUPHIN, the DUKES of BERRI and BRETAGNE, the Constable, and others

KING OF FRANCE

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 fear may teach us out of late examples

Left by the fatal and neglected English

Upon our fields.

 

DAUPHIN

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.

 

Constable

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.

 

DAUPHIN

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 or niggardly projection

Doth, like a miser, spoil his coat with scanting

A little cloth.

 

KING OF FRANCE

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 smiled 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

 

Messenger

Ambassadors from Harry King of England

Do crave admittance to your majesty.

 

KING OF FRANCE

We'll give them present audience. Go, and bring them.

 

Exeunt Messenger and certain Lords

 

You see this chase is hotly follow'd, friends.

 

DAUPHIN

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.

 

Re-enter Lords, with EXETER and train

 

KING OF FRANCE

From our brother England?

 

EXETER

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 borrow'd glories that by gift of heaven,

By law of nature and of nations, 'long

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 raked,

He sends you this most memorable line,

In every branch truly demonstrative;

Willing to overlook this pedigree:

And when you find him evenly derived

From his most famed of famous ancestors,

Edward the Third, he bids you then resign

Your crown and kingdom, indirectly held

From him the native and true challenger.

 

KING OF FRANCE

Or else what follows?

 

EXETER

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 swallow'd in this controversy.

This is his claim, his threatening and my message;

Unless the Dauphin be in presence here,

To whom expressly I bring greeting too.

 

KING OF FRANCE

For us, we will consider of this further:

To-morrow shall you bear our full intent

Back to our brother England.

 

DAUPHIN

For the Dauphin,

I stand here for him: what to him from England?

 

EXETER

Scorn and defiance; slight regard, contempt,

And any thing 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 ordnance.

 

DAUPHIN

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.

 

EXETER

He'll make your Paris Louvre shake for it,

Were it the mistress-court of mighty Europe:

And, be assured, 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.

 

KING OF FRANCE

To-morrow shall you know our mind at full.

 

EXETER

Dispatch us with all speed, lest that our king

Come here himself to question our delay;

For he is footed in this land already.

 

KING OF FRANCE

You shall be soon dispatch's with fair conditions:

A night is but small breath and little pause

To answer matters of this consequence.

 

Flourish. Exeunt

ACT III

PROLOGUE

 

Enter Chorus

Chorus

Thus with imagined 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 confused; 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 ravage 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 arrived 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.

 

Exit

 

SCENE I. France. Before Harfleur.

 

Alarum. Enter KING HENRY, EXETER, BEDFORD, GLOUCESTER, and Soldiers, with scaling-ladders

KING HENRY V

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 pry through the portage of the head

Like the brass cannon; let the brow o'erwhelm it

As fearfully as doth 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 sheathed 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 yeoman,

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

BARDOLPH

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 a case of lives:

the humour of it is too hot, that is the very

plain-song of it.

 

PISTOL

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.

 

Boy

Would I were in an alehouse in London! I would give

all my fame for a pot of ale and safety.

 

PISTOL

And I:

If wishes would prevail with me,

My purpose should not fail with me,

But thither would I hie.

 

Boy

As duly, but not as truly,

As bird doth sing on bough.

 

Enter FLUELLEN

 

FLUELLEN

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

 

Driving them forward

 

PISTOL

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!

 

NYM

These be good humours! your honour wins bad humours.

 

Exeunt all but Boy

 

Boy

As young as I am, I have observed 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-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; 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

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 sworn

brothers in filching, and in Calais they stole a

fire-shovel: 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 villany goes against my weak stomach, and

therefore I must cast it up.

 

Exit

 

Re-enter FLUELLEN, GOWER following

 

GOWER

Captain Fluellen, you must come presently to the

mines; the Duke of Gloucester would speak with you.

 

FLUELLEN

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 plough up

all, if there is not better directions.

 

GOWER

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.

 

FLUELLEN

It is Captain Macmorris, is it not?

 

GOWER

I think it be.

 

FLUELLEN

By Cheshu, he is an ass, as in the world: I will

verify as much in his beard: be 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

 

GOWER

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

 

FLUELLEN

Captain Jamy is a marvellous falourous gentleman,

that is certain; and of great expedition 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 disciplines of the pristine wars

of the Romans.

 

JAMY

I say gud-day, Captain Fluellen.

 

FLUELLEN

God-den to your worship, good Captain James.

 

GOWER

How now, Captain Macmorris! have you quit the

mines? have the pioneers given o'er?

 

MACMORRIS

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!

 

FLUELLEN

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.

 

JAMY

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, marry.

 

MACMORRIS

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 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!

 

JAMY

By the mess, ere theise eyes of mine take themselves

to slomber, ay'll de gud service, or ay'll lig i'

the grund for it; ay, or go to death; and ay'll pay

't as valourously as I may, that sall I suerly do,

that is the breff and the long. Marry, I wad full

fain hear some question 'tween you tway.

 

FLUELLEN

Captain Macmorris, I think, look you, under your

correction, there is not many of your nation--

 

MACMORRIS

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?

 

FLUELLEN

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.

 

MACMORRIS

I do not know you so good a man as myself: so

Chrish save me, I will cut off your head.

 

GOWER

Gentlemen both, you will mistake each other.

 

JAMY

A! that's a foul fault.

 

A parley sounded

 

GOWER

The town sounds a parley.

 

FLUELLEN

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.

 

Exeunt

 

SCENE III. The same. Before the gates.

 

The Governor and some Citizens on the walls; the English forces below. Enter KING HENRY and his train

KING HENRY V

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 flowering 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 villany.

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 confused

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?

 

GOVERNOR

Our expectation hath this day an end:

The Dauphin, whom of succors 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.

 

KING HENRY V

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 we will 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

KATHARINE

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

 

ALICE

Un peu, madame.

 

KATHARINE

Je te prie, m'enseignez: il faut que j'apprenne a

parler. Comment appelez-vous la main en Anglois?

 

ALICE

La main? elle est appelee de hand.

 

KATHARINE

De hand. Et les doigts?

 

ALICE

Les doigts? ma foi, j'oublie les doigts; mais je me

souviendrai. Les doigts? je pense qu'ils sont

appeles de fingres; oui, de fingres.

 

KATHARINE

La main, de hand; les doigts, de fingres. Je pense

que je suis le bon ecolier; j'ai gagne deux mots

d'Anglois vitement. Comment appelez-vous les ongles?

 

ALICE

Les ongles? nous les appelons de nails.

 

KATHARINE

De nails. Ecoutez; dites-moi, si je parle bien: de

hand, de fingres, et de nails.

 

ALICE

C'est bien dit, madame; il est fort bon Anglois.

 

KATHARINE

Dites-moi l'Anglois pour le bras.

 

ALICE

De arm, madame.

 

KATHARINE

Et le coude?

 

ALICE

De elbow.

 

KATHARINE

De elbow. Je m'en fais la repetition de tous les

mots que vous m'avez appris des a present.

 

ALICE

Il est trop difficile, madame, comme je pense.

 

KATHARINE

Excusez-moi, Alice; ecoutez: de hand, de fingres,

de nails, de arma, de bilbow.

 

ALICE

De elbow, madame.

 

KATHARINE

O Seigneur Dieu, je m'en oublie! de elbow. Comment

appelez-vous le col?

 

ALICE

De neck, madame.

 

KATHARINE

De nick. Et le menton?

 

ALICE

De chin.

 

KATHARINE

De sin. Le col, de nick; de menton, de sin.

 

ALICE

Oui. Sauf votre honneur, en verite, vous prononcez

les mots aussi droit que les natifs d'Angleterre.

 

KATHARINE

Je ne doute point d'apprendre, par la grace de Dieu,

et en peu de temps.

 

ALICE

N'avez vous pas deja oublie ce que je vous ai enseigne?

 

KATHARINE

Non, je reciterai a vous promptement: de hand, de

fingres, de mails--

 

ALICE

De nails, madame.

 

KATHARINE

De nails, de arm, de ilbow.

 

ALICE

Sauf votre honneur, de elbow.

 

KATHARINE

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.

 

KATHARINE

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: de hand, de fingres, de nails, de arm, de

elbow, de nick, de sin, de foot, de coun.

 

ALICE

Excellent, madame!

 

KATHARINE

C'est assez pour une fois: allons-nous a diner.

 

Exeunt

 

SCENE V. The same.

 

Enter the KING OF FRANCE, the DAUPHIN, the DUKE oF BOURBON, the Constable Of France, and others

KING OF FRANCE

'Tis certain he hath pass'd the river Somme.

 

Constable

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.

 

DAUPHIN

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?

 

BOURBON

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.

 

Constable

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.

 

DAUPHIN

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.

 

BOURBON

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.

 

KING OF FRANCE

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;

Jaques 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.

 

Constable

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.

 

KING OF FRANCE

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.

 

DAUPHIN

Not so, I do beseech your majesty.

 

KING OF FRANCE

Be patient, for you shall remain with us.

Now forth, lord constable and princes all,

And quickly bring us word of England's fall.

 

Exeunt

 

SCENE VI. The English camp in Picardy.

 

Enter GOWER and FLUELLEN, meeting

GOWER

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

 

FLUELLEN

I assure you, there is very excellent services

committed at the bridge.

 

GOWER

Is the Duke of Exeter safe?

 

FLUELLEN

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 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 did see him do as

gallant service.

 

GOWER

What do you call him?

 

FLUELLEN

He is called Aunchient Pistol.

 

GOWER

I know him not.

 

Enter PISTOL

 

FLUELLEN

Here is the man.

 

PISTOL

Captain, I thee beseech to do me favours:

The Duke of Exeter doth love thee well.

 

FLUELLEN

Ay, I praise God; and I have merited some love at

his hands.

 

PISTOL

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--

 

FLUELLEN

By your patience, Aunchient Pistol. Fortune is

painted blind, with a muffler afore her 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.

 

PISTOL

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 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:

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.

 

FLUELLEN

Aunchient Pistol, I do partly understand your meaning.

 

PISTOL

Why then, rejoice therefore.

 

FLUELLEN

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.

 

PISTOL

Die and be damn'd! and figo for thy friendship!

 

FLUELLEN

It is well.

 

PISTOL

The fig of Spain!

 

Exit

 

FLUELLEN

Very good.

 

GOWER

Why, this is an arrant counterfeit rascal; I

remember him now; a bawd, a cutpurse.

 

FLUELLEN

I'll assure you, a' uttered as brave words at the

bridge 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.

 

GOWER

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 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;

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-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.

 

FLUELLEN

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 Soldiers

 

God pless your majesty!

 

KING HENRY V

How now, Fluellen! camest thou from the bridge?

 

FLUELLEN

Ay, so please your majesty. The Duke of Exeter has

very gallantly maintained 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.

 

KING HENRY V

What men have you lost, Fluellen?

 

FLUELLEN

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 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.

 

KING HENRY V

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

 

MONTJOY

You know me by my habit.

 

KING HENRY V

Well then I know thee: what shall I know of thee?

 

MONTJOY

My master's mind.

 

KING HENRY V

Unfold it.

 

MONTJOY

Thus says my king: Say thou to Harry of England:

Though we seemed dead, we did but sleep: advantage

is a better soldier than rashness. 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 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 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.

 

KING HENRY V

What is thy name? I know thy quality.

 

MONTJOY

Montjoy.

 

KING HENRY V

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 lessened, 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 hinder'd,

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.

 

MONTJOY

I shall deliver so. Thanks to your highness.

 

Exit

 

GLOUCESTER

I hope they will not come upon us now.

 

KING HENRY V

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.

 

Exeunt

 

SCENE VII. The French camp, near Agincourt:

 

Enter the Constable of France, the LORD RAMBURES, ORLEANS, DAUPHIN, with others

Constable

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

 

ORLEANS

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

 

Constable

It is the best horse of Europe.

 

ORLEANS

Will it never be morning?

 

DAUPHIN

My lord of Orleans, and my lord high constable, you

talk of horse and armour?

 

ORLEANS

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

 

DAUPHIN

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.

 

ORLEANS

He's of the colour of the nutmeg.

 

DAUPHIN

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.

 

Constable

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

 

DAUPHIN

It is the prince of palfreys; his neigh is like the

bidding of a monarch and his countenance enforces homage.

 

ORLEANS

No more, cousin.

 

DAUPHIN

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,'--

 

ORLEANS

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

 

DAUPHIN

Then did they imitate that which I composed to my

courser, for my horse is my mistress.

 

ORLEANS

Your mistress bears well.

 

DAUPHIN

Me well; which is the prescript praise and

perfection of a good and particular mistress.

 

Constable

Nay, for methought yesterday your mistress shrewdly

shook your back.

 

DAUPHIN

So perhaps did yours.

 

Constable

Mine was not bridled.

 

DAUPHIN

O then belike she was old and gentle; and you rode,

like a kern of Ireland, your French hose off, and in

your straight strossers.

 

Constable

You have good judgment in horsemanship.

 

DAUPHIN

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.

 

Constable

I had as lief have my mistress a jade.

 

DAUPHIN

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

 

Constable

I could make as true a boast as that, if I had a sow

to my mistress.

 

DAUPHIN

'Le chien est retourne a son propre vomissement, et

la truie lavee au bourbier;' thou makest use of any thing.

 

Constable

Yet do I not use my horse for my mistress, or any

such proverb so little kin to the purpose.

 

RAMBURES

My lord constable, the armour that I saw in your tent

to-night, are those stars or suns upon it?

 

Constable

Stars, my lord.

 

DAUPHIN

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

 

Constable

And yet my sky shall not want.

 

DAUPHIN

That may be, for you bear a many superfluously, and

'twere more honour some were away.

 

Constable

Even as your horse bears your praises; who would

trot as well, were some of your brags dismounted.

 

DAUPHIN

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.

 

Constable

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.

 

RAMBURES

Who will go to hazard with me for twenty prisoners?

 

Constable

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

 

DAUPHIN

'Tis midnight; I'll go arm myself.

 

Exit

 

ORLEANS

The Dauphin longs for morning.

 

RAMBURES

He longs to eat the English.

 

Constable

I think he will eat all he kills.

 

ORLEANS

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

 

Constable

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

 

ORLEANS

He is simply the most active gentleman of France.

 

Constable

Doing is activity; and he will still be doing.

 

ORLEANS

He never did harm, that I heard of.

 

Constable

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

 

ORLEANS

I know him to be valiant.

 

Constable

I was told that by one that knows him better than

you.

 

ORLEANS

What's he?

 

Constable

Marry, he told me so himself; and he said he cared

not who knew it

 

ORLEANS

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

 

Constable

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.

 

ORLEANS

Ill will never said well.

 

Constable

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

 

ORLEANS

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

 

Constable

Well placed: there stands your friend for the

devil: have at the very eye of that proverb with 'A

pox of the devil.'

 

ORLEANS

You are the better at proverbs, by how much 'A

fool's bolt is soon shot.'

 

Constable

You have shot over.

 

ORLEANS

'Tis not the first time you were overshot.

 

Enter a Messenger

 

Messenger

My lord high constable, the English lie within

fifteen hundred paces of your tents.

 

Constable

Who hath measured the ground?

 

Messenger

The Lord Grandpre.

 

Constable

A valiant and most expert gentleman. Would it were

day! Alas, poor Harry of England! he longs not for

the dawning as we do.

 

ORLEANS

What a wretched and peevish fellow is this king of

England, to mope with his fat-brained followers so

far out of his knowledge!

 

Constable

If the English had any apprehension, they would run away.

 

ORLEANS

That they lack; for if their heads had any

intellectual armour, they could never wear such heavy

head-pieces.

 

RAMBURES

That island of England breeds very valiant

creatures; their mastiffs are of unmatchable courage.

 

ORLEANS

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.

 

Constable

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.

 

ORLEANS

Ay, but these English are shrewdly out of beef.

 

Constable

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?

 

ORLEANS

It is now two o'clock: but, let me see, by ten

We shall have each a hundred Englishmen.

 

Exeunt

 IV

ACT IV

PROLOGUE

 

Enter Chorus

Chorus

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 fixed 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

Presenteth 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-disposed in brawl ridiculous,

The name of Agincourt. Yet sit and see,

Minding true things by what their mockeries be.

 

Exit

 

SCENE I. The English camp at Agincourt.

 

Enter KING HENRY, BEDFORD, and GLOUCESTER

KING HENRY V

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.

 

Enter ERPINGHAM

 

Good morrow, old Sir Thomas Erpingham:

A good soft pillow for that good white head

Were better than a churlish turf of France.

 

ERPINGHAM

Not so, my liege: this lodging likes me better,

Since I may say 'Now lie I like a king.'

 

KING HENRY V

'Tis good for men to love their present pains

Upon example; so the spirit is eased:

And when the mind is quicken'd, 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 an to my pavilion.

 

GLOUCESTER

We shall, my liege.

 

ERPINGHAM

Shall I attend your grace?

 

KING HENRY V

No, my good knight;

Go with my brothers to my lords of England:

I and my bosom must debate awhile,

And then I would no other company.

 

ERPINGHAM

The Lord in heaven bless thee, noble Harry!

 

Exeunt all but KING HENRY

 

KING HENRY V

God-a-mercy, old heart! thou speak'st cheerfully.

 

Enter PISTOL

 

PISTOL

Qui va la?

 

KING HENRY V

A friend.

 

PISTOL

Discuss unto me; art thou officer?

Or art thou base, common and popular?

 

KING HENRY V

I am a gentleman of a company.

 

PISTOL

Trail'st thou the puissant pike?

 

KING HENRY V

Even so. What are you?

 

PISTOL

As good a gentleman as the emperor.

 

KING HENRY V

Then you are a better than the king.

 

PISTOL

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?

 

KING HENRY V

Harry le Roy.

 

PISTOL

Le Roy! a Cornish name: art thou of Cornish crew?

 

KING HENRY V

No, I am a Welshman.

 

PISTOL

Know'st thou Fluellen?

 

KING HENRY V

Yes.

 

PISTOL

Tell him, I'll knock his leek about his pate

Upon Saint Davy's day.

 

KING HENRY V

Do not you wear your dagger in your cap that day,

lest he knock that about yours.

 

PISTOL

Art thou his friend?

 

KING HENRY V

And his kinsman too.

 

PISTOL

The figo for thee, then!

 

KING HENRY V

I thank you: God be with you!

 

PISTOL

My name is Pistol call'd.

 

Exit

 

KING HENRY V

It sorts well with your fierceness.

 

Enter FLUELLEN and GOWER

 

GOWER

Captain Fluellen!

 

FLUELLEN

So! in the name of Jesu Christ, speak lower. It is

the greatest admiration of 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 toddle

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.

 

GOWER

Why, the enemy is loud; you hear him all night.

 

FLUELLEN

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?

 

GOWER

I will speak lower.

 

FLUELLEN

I pray you and beseech you that you will.

 

Exeunt GOWER and FLUELLEN

 

KING HENRY V

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

 

COURT

Brother John Bates, is not that the morning which

breaks yonder?

 

BATES

I think it be: but we have no great cause to desire

the approach of day.

 

WILLIAMS

We see yonder the beginning of the day, but I think

we shall never see the end of it. Who goes there?

 

KING HENRY V

A friend.

 

WILLIAMS

Under what captain serve you?

 

KING HENRY V

Under Sir Thomas Erpingham.

 

WILLIAMS

A good old commander and a most kind gentleman: I

pray you, what thinks he of our estate?

 

KING HENRY V

Even as men wrecked upon a sand, that look to be

washed off the next tide.

 

BATES

He hath not told his thought to the king?

 

KING HENRY V

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.

 

BATES

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.

 

KING HENRY V

By my troth, I will speak my conscience of the king:

I think he would not wish himself any where but

where he is.

 

BATES

Then I would he were here alone; so should he be

sure to be ransomed, and a many poor men's lives saved.

 

KING HENRY V

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 any where so

contented as in the king's company; his cause being

just and his quarrel honourable.

 

WILLIAMS

That's more than we know.

 

BATES

Ay, or more than we should seek after; for we know

enough, if we know we are the kings subjects: if

his cause be wrong, our obedience to the king wipes

the crime of it out of us.

 

WILLIAMS

But if the cause be not good, the king himself hath

a heavy reckoning to make, when all those legs and

arms and heads, chopped off in 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 any thing, 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; whom to disobey were against all proportion of

subjection.

 

KING HENRY V

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 irreconciled 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 vengeance;

so that here men are punished 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.

 

WILLIAMS

'Tis certain, every man that dies ill, the ill upon

his own head, the king is not to answer it.

 

BATES

But I do not desire he should answer for me; and

yet I determine to fight lustily for him.

 

KING HENRY V

I myself heard the king say he would not be ransomed.

 

WILLIAMS

Ay, he said so, to make us fight cheerfully: but

when our throats are cut, he may be ransomed, and we

ne'er the wiser.

 

KING HENRY V

If I live to see it, I will never trust his word after.

 

WILLIAMS

You pay him then. That's a perilous shot out of an

elder-gun, that a poor and 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.

 

KING HENRY V

Your reproof is something too round: I should be

angry with you, if the time were convenient.

 

WILLIAMS

Let it be a quarrel between us, if you live.

 

KING HENRY V

I embrace it.

 

WILLIAMS

How shall I know thee again?

 

KING HENRY V

Give me any gage of thine, and I will wear it in my

bonnet: then, if ever thou darest acknowledge it, I

will make it my quarrel.

 

WILLIAMS

Here's my glove: give me another of thine.

 

KING HENRY V

There.

 

WILLIAMS

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.

 

KING HENRY V

If ever I live to see it, I will challenge it.

 

WILLIAMS

Thou darest as well be hanged.

 

KING HENRY V

Well. I will do it, though I take thee in the

king's company.

 

WILLIAMS

Keep thy word: fare thee well.

 

BATES

Be friends, you English fools, be friends: we have

French quarrels enow, if you could tell how to reckon.

 

KING HENRY V

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.

 

Exeunt soldiers

 

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 idle 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.

 

Enter ERPINGHAM

 

ERPINGHAM

My lord, your nobles, jealous of your absence,

Seek through your camp to find you.

 

KING HENRY V

Good old knight,

Collect them all together at my tent:

I'll be before thee.

 

ERPINGHAM

I shall do't, my lord.

 

Exit

 

KING HENRY V

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 anew;

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.

 

Enter GLOUCESTER

 

GLOUCESTER

My liege!

 

KING HENRY V

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.

 

Exeunt

 

SCENE II. The French camp.

 

Enter the DAUPHIN, ORLEANS, RAMBURES, and others

ORLEANS

The sun doth gild our armour; up, my lords!

 

DAUPHIN

Montez A cheval! My horse! varlet! laquais! ha!

 

ORLEANS

O brave spirit!

 

DAUPHIN

Via! les eaux et la terre.

 

ORLEANS

Rien puis? L'air et la feu.

 

DAUPHIN

Ciel, cousin Orleans.

 

Enter Constable

 

Now, my lord constable!

 

Constable

Hark, how our steeds for present service neigh!

 

DAUPHIN

Mount them, and make incision in their hides,

That their hot blood may spin in English eyes,

And dout them with superfluous courage, ha!

 

RAMBURES

What, will you have them weep our horses' blood?

How shall we, then, behold their natural tears?

 

Enter Messenger

 

Messenger

The English are embattled, you French peers.

 

Constable

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 couch down in fear and yield.

 

Enter GRANDPRE

 

GRANDPRE

Why do you stay so long, my lords of France?

Yon 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, dropping 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.

 

Constable

They have said their prayers, and they stay for death.

 

DAUPHIN

Shall we go send them dinners and fresh suits

And give their fasting horses provender,

And after fight with them?

 

Constable

I stay but for my guidon: 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.

 

Exeunt

The Life of King Henry the Fifth

Shakespeare homepage | Henry V | Entire play

 

ACT I

PROLOGUE

 

Enter Chorus

Chorus

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, and gentles all,

The flat unraised spirits that have dared

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 confined 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 on 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.

 

Exit

 

SCENE I. London. An ante-chamber in the KING'S palace.

 

Enter the ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY, and the BISHOP OF ELY

CANTERBURY

My lord, I'll tell you; that self bill is urged,

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.

 

ELY

But how, my lord, shall we resist it now?

 

CANTERBURY

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 valued 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 supplied;

And to the coffers of the king beside,

A thousand pounds by the year: thus runs the bill.

 

ELY

This would drink deep.

 

CANTERBURY

'Twould drink the cup and all.

 

ELY

But what prevention?

 

CANTERBURY

The king is full of grace and fair regard.

 

ELY

And a true lover of the holy church.

 

CANTERBURY

The courses of his youth promised it not.

The breath no sooner left his father's body,

But that his wildness, mortified 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 envelop 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.

 

ELY

We are blessed in the change.

 

CANTERBURY

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 render'd 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.

 

ELY

The strawberry grows underneath the nettle

And wholesome berries thrive and ripen best

Neighbour'd by fruit of baser quality:

And so the prince obscured his contemplation

Under the veil of wildness; which, no doubt,

Grew like the summer grass, fastest by night,

Unseen, yet crescive in his faculty.

 

CANTERBURY

It must be so; for miracles are ceased;

And therefore we must needs admit the means

How things are perfected.

 

ELY

But, my good lord,

How now for mitigation of this bill

Urged by the commons? Doth his majesty

Incline to it, or no?

 

CANTERBURY

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.

 

ELY

How did this offer seem received, my lord?

 

CANTERBURY

With good acceptance of his majesty;

Save that there was not time enough to hear,

As I perceived 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

Derived from Edward, his great-grandfather.

 

ELY

What was the impediment that broke this off?

 

CANTERBURY

The French ambassador upon that instant

Craved audience; and the hour, I think, is come

To give him hearing: is it four o'clock?

 

ELY

It is.

 

CANTERBURY

Then go we in, to know his embassy;

Which I could with a ready guess declare,

Before the Frenchman speak a word of it.

 

ELY

I'll wait upon you, and I long to hear it.

 

Exeunt

 

SCENE II. The same. The Presence chamber.

 

Enter KING HENRY V, GLOUCESTER, BEDFORD, EXETER, WARWICK, WESTMORELAND, and

Attendants

KING HENRY V

Where is my gracious Lord of Canterbury?

 

EXETER

Not here in presence.

 

KING HENRY V

Send for him, good uncle.

 

WESTMORELAND

Shall we call in the ambassador, my liege?

 

KING HENRY V

Not yet, my cousin: we would be resolved,

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

 

CANTERBURY

God and his angels guard your sacred throne

And make you long become it!

 

KING HENRY V

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 wrong gives edge unto the swords

That make 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.

 

CANTERBURY

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 subdued 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 that 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 supposed the founder of this law;

Who died within the year of our redemption

Four hundred twenty-six; and Charles the Great

Subdued 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 usurped 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,

'Through, in pure truth, it was corrupt and naught,

Convey'd himself as 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.

 

KING HENRY V

May I with right and conscience make this claim?

 

CANTERBURY

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!

 

ELY

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.

 

EXETER

Your brother kings and monarchs of the earth

Do all expect that you should rouse yourself,

As did the former lions of your blood.

 

WESTMORELAND

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.

 

CANTERBURY

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.

 

KING HENRY V

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.

 

CANTERBURY

They of those marches, gracious sovereign,

Shall be a wall sufficient to defend

Our inland from the pilfering borderers.

 

KING HENRY V

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 fulness of his force,

Galling the gleaned land with hot assays,

Girding with grievous siege castles and towns;

That England, being empty of defence,

Hath shook and trembled at the ill neighbourhood.

 

CANTERBURY

She hath been then more fear'd than harm'd, my liege;

For hear her but exampled 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 sunless treasuries.

 

WESTMORELAND

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.

 

EXETER

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.

 

CANTERBURY

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 may 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.

 

KING HENRY V

Call in the messengers sent from the Dauphin.

 

Exeunt some Attendants

 

Now are we well resolved; 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 prepared to know the pleasure

Of our fair cousin Dauphin; for we hear

Your greeting is from him, not from the king.

 

First Ambassador

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?

 

KING HENRY V

We are no tyrant, but a Christian king;

Unto whose grace our passion is as subject

As are our wretches fetter'd in our prisons:

Therefore with frank and with uncurbed plainness

Tell us the Dauphin's mind.

 

First Ambassador

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 advised 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.

 

KING HENRY V

What treasure, uncle?

 

EXETER

Tennis-balls, my liege.

 

KING HENRY V

We are glad the Dauphin is so pleasant with us;

His present and your pains we thank you for:

When we have march'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 valued 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.

 

Exeunt Ambassadors

 

EXETER

This was a merry message.

 

KING HENRY V

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.

 

Exeunt. Flourish

 

 

ACT II

PROLOGUE

 

Enter Chorus

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,

Promised to Harry and his followers.

The French, advised 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.

 

Exit

 

SCENE I. London. A street.

 

Enter Corporal NYM and Lieutenant BARDOLPH

BARDOLPH

Well met, Corporal Nym.

 

NYM

Good morrow, Lieutenant Bardolph.

 

BARDOLPH

What, are Ancient Pistol and you friends yet?

 

NYM

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.

 

BARDOLPH

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.

 

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.

 

BARDOLPH

It is certain, corporal, that he is married to Nell

Quickly: and certainly she did you wrong; for you

were troth-plight to her.

 

NYM

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

 

BARDOLPH

Here comes Ancient Pistol and his wife: good

corporal, be patient here. How now, mine host Pistol!

 

PISTOL

Base tike, call'st thou me host? Now, by this hand,

I swear, I scorn the term; Nor shall my Nell keep lodgers.

 

Hostess

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.

 

BARDOLPH

Good lieutenant! good corporal! offer nothing here.

 

NYM

Pish!

 

PISTOL

Pish for thee, Iceland dog! thou prick-ear'd cur of Iceland!

 

Hostess

Good Corporal Nym, show thy valour, and put up your sword.

 

NYM

Will you shog off? I would have you solus.

 

PISTOL

'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.

 

NYM

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.

 

PISTOL

O braggart vile and damned furious wight!

The grave doth gape, and doting death is near;

Therefore exhale.

 

BARDOLPH

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.

 

Draws

 

PISTOL

An oath of mickle might; and fury shall abate.

Give me thy fist, thy fore-foot to me give:

Thy spirits are most tall.

 

NYM

I will cut thy throat, one time or other, in fair

terms: that is the humour of it.

 

PISTOL

'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

 

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.

 

BARDOLPH

Away, you rogue!

 

Hostess

By my troth, he'll yield the crow a pudding one of

these days. The king has killed his heart. Good

husband, come home presently.

 

Exeunt Hostess and Boy

 

BARDOLPH

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?

 

PISTOL

Let floods o'erswell, and fiends for food howl on!

 

NYM

You'll pay me the eight shillings I won of you at betting?

 

PISTOL

Base is the slave that pays.

 

NYM

That now I will have: that's the humour of it.

 

PISTOL

As manhood shall compound: push home.

 

They draw

 

BARDOLPH

By this sword, he that makes the first thrust, I'll

kill him; by this sword, I will.

 

PISTOL

Sword is an oath, and oaths must have their course.

 

BARDOLPH

Corporal Nym, an thou wilt be friends, be friends:

an thou wilt not, why, then, be enemies with me too.

Prithee, put up.

 

NYM

I shall have my eight shillings I won of you at betting?

 

PISTOL

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.

 

NYM

I shall have my noble?

 

PISTOL

In cash most justly paid.

 

NYM

Well, then, that's the humour of't.

 

Re-enter Hostess

 

Hostess

As ever you came of women, come in quickly to Sir

John. Ah, poor heart! he is so shaked of a burning

quotidian tertian, that it is most lamentable to

behold. Sweet men, come to him.

 

NYM

The king hath run bad humours on the knight; that's

the even of it.

 

PISTOL

Nym, thou hast spoke the right;

His heart is fracted and corroborate.

 

NYM

The king is a good king: but it must be as it may;

he passes some humours and careers.

 

PISTOL

Let us condole the knight; for, lambkins we will live.

 

SCENE II. Southampton. A council-chamber.

 

Enter EXETER, BEDFORD, and WESTMORELAND

BEDFORD

'Fore God, his grace is bold, to trust these traitors.

 

EXETER

They shall be apprehended by and by.

 

WESTMORELAND

How smooth and even they do bear themselves!

As if allegiance in their bosoms sat,

Crowned with faith and constant loyalty.

 

BEDFORD

The king hath note of all that they intend,

By interception which they dream not of.

 

EXETER

Nay, but the man that was his bedfellow,

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 V, SCROOP, CAMBRIDGE, GREY, and Attendants

 

KING HENRY V

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?

 

SCROOP

No doubt, my liege, if each man do his best.

 

KING HENRY V

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.

 

CAMBRIDGE

Never was monarch better fear'd and loved

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.

 

GREY

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.

 

KING HENRY V

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.

 

SCROOP

So service shall with steeled sinews toil,

And labour shall refresh itself with hope,

To do your grace incessant services.

 

KING HENRY V

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.

 

SCROOP

That's mercy, but too much security:

Let him be punish'd, sovereign, lest example

Breed, by his sufferance, more of such a kind.

 

KING HENRY V

O, let us yet be merciful.

 

CAMBRIDGE

So may your highness, and yet punish too.

 

GREY

Sir,

You show great mercy, if you give him life,

After the taste of much correction.

 

KING HENRY V

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 punished. And now to our French causes:

Who are the late commissioners?

 

CAMBRIDGE

I one, my lord:

Your highness bade me ask for it to-day.

 

SCROOP

So did you me, my liege.

 

GREY

And I, my royal sovereign.

 

KING HENRY V

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 hath so cowarded and chased your blood

Out of appearance?

 

CAMBRIDGE

I do confess my fault;

And do submit me to your highness' mercy.

 

GREY SCROOP

To which we all appeal.

 

KING HENRY V

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 all appertinents

Belonging to his honour; and this man

Hath, for a few light crowns, lightly conspired,

And sworn unto the practises 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 practised 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:

All other devils that suggest by treasons

Do botch and bungle up damnation

With patches, colours, and with forms being fetch'd

From glistering 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 judgment 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 practises!

 

EXETER

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.

 

SCROOP

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.

 

CAMBRIDGE

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.

 

GREY

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.

 

KING HENRY V

God quit you in his mercy! Hear your sentence.

You have conspired against our royal person,

Join'd with an enemy proclaim'd and from his coffers

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.

 

Exeunt

 

SCENE III. London. Before a tavern.

 

Enter PISTOL, Hostess, NYM, BARDOLPH, and Boy

Hostess

Prithee, honey-sweet husband, let me bring thee to Staines.

 

PISTOL

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.

 

BARDOLPH

Would I were with him, wheresome'er he is, either in

heaven or in hell!

 

Hostess

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 hoped 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.

 

NYM

They say he cried out of sack.

 

Hostess

Ay, that a' did.

 

BARDOLPH

And of women.

 

Hostess

Nay, that a' did not.

 

Boy

Yes, that a' did; and said they were devils

incarnate.

 

Hostess

A' could never abide carnation; 'twas a colour he

never liked.

 

Boy

A' said once, the devil would have him about women.

 

Hostess

A' did in some sort, indeed, handle women; but then

he was rheumatic, and talked of the whore of Babylon.

 

Boy

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?

 

BARDOLPH

Well, the fuel is gone that maintained that fire:

that's all the riches I got in his service.

 

NYM

Shall we shog? the king will be gone from

Southampton.

 

PISTOL

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 c rystals. Yoke-fellows in arms,

Let us to France; like horse-leeches, my boys,

To suck, to suck, the very blood to suck!

 

Boy

And that's but unwholesome food they say.

 

PISTOL

Touch her soft mouth, and march.

 

BARDOLPH

Farewell, hostess.

 

Kissing her

 

NYM

I cannot kiss, that is the humour of it; but, adieu.

 

PISTOL

Let housewifery appear: keep close, I thee command.

 

Hostess

Farewell; adieu.

 

Exeunt

 

SCENE IV. France. The KING'S palace.

 

Flourish. Enter the FRENCH KING, the DAUPHIN, the DUKES of BERRI and BRETAGNE, the

Constable, and others

KING OF FRANCE

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 fear may teach us out of late examples

Left by the fatal and neglected English

Upon our fields.

 

DAUPHIN

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.