Page images

Flu. It is well.

Pist. The fig of Spain!

we did but sleep; Advantage is a better sol[Exit PISTOL. dier, than rashness. Tell him, we could have Flu. Very good. rebuked him at Harfleur; but that we thought Gow. Why, this is an arraut counterfeit not good to bruise an injury, till it were full rascal; I remember him now; a bawd; a cut-ripe:-now we speak upon our cue, and our


Flu. I'll assure you, 'a utter'd as prave 'ords at the pridge, as you shall see in a summer's day: But it is very well; what he has spoke to me, that is well, I warrant you, when time is


Gow. Why, 'tis a gull, a fool, a rogue; that now and then goes to the wars, to grace himself, at his return into London, under the form of a soldier. And such fellows are perfect in 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 newtuned 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 marvellous mistook.

Flu. I tell you what, captain Gower;-I do perceive, he is not the man that he would gladly make show to the 'orld 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,

Enter King HENRY, GLOSTER, and Soldiers. Flu. Got pless your majesty!

K. Hen. How now, Fluellen? camest thou from the bridge?

Flu. 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. K. Hen. What men have you lost, Fluellen? Flu. The perdition of th'athversary hath been very great, very 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 of fire; and his lips plows 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.

K. Hen. We would have all such offenders so cut off:-and we give express charge, that in our marches through the country, there be nothing compelled from the villages, nothing taken but paid for; none of the French upbraided, or abused in disdainful language; For when lenity and cruelty play for a kingdom, the gentler gamester is the soonest winner.

Tucket sounds. Enter MONTJOY. Mont. You know me by my habit.t

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.

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

Mont. Montjoy.

K. Hen. Thou dost thy office fairly. Turn thee back,

And tell thy king,-I do not seek him now;
But could be willing to march on to Calais
Without impeachment: for, to say the sooth,
(Though 'tis no wisdom to confess so much
Unto an enemy of craft and vantage,)
My people are with sickness much enfeebled;
My numbers lessen'd; and those few I have,
Almost no better than so many French;
Who when they were in health, I tell thee,

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
Stand in our way. There's for thy labour,
Go, bid thy master well advise himself:
If we may pass, we will; if we be hinder'd,
We will your tawny ground with your red

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.

Mont. I shall deliver so.

Thanks to your [Exit MONTJOY. Glo. I hope, they will not come upon us


K. Hen. We are in God's hand, brother, not in theirs. [night:March to the bridge; it now draws toward Beyond the river we'll encamp ourselves; And on to-morrow bid them march away.

[Exeunt. SCENE VII-The French camp, near Agin


K. Hen. Well then, I know thee; What Enter the CONSTABLE of France, the Lord RAM

shall I know of thee?

Mont. My master's mind.

K. Hen. Unfold it.

Mont. Thus says my king:-Say thou to Harry of England, Though we seemed dead,

An intrenchment hastily thrown up.

I. e. By his herald's coat.

BURES, the Duke of ORLEANS, DAUPHIN, and others.

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

In our turn.
+ Hinderance.
Then used for God being my guide.

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

Con. It is the best horse of Europe. Orl. Will it never be morning? Dau. My lord of Orleans, and my lord high constable, you talk of horse and armour,Orl. You are as well provided of both, as any prince in the world.

Dan. 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, qui a 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.

Orl. He's of the colour of the nutmeg. Dau. And of the heat of the ginger. It is a beast for Perseus: he is pure air and fire; and the dull elements of earth and water never appear in him, but only in patient stillness, while his rider mounts him: he is, indeed, a horse; and all other jades you may call-beasts.

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

Dau. It is the prince of palfreys; his neigh is like the bidding of a monarch, and his countenance enforces homage.

Orl. No more, cousin.

Duu. 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, once writ a sonnet in his praise, and began thus: Wonder of nature,—

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

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

Orl. Your mistress bears well. Dau. Me well; which is the prescript praise and perfection of a good and particular mistress.

Con. Ma foy! the other day, methought, your mistress shrewdly shook your back. Dau. So, perhaps did yours.

Con. Mine was not bridled.

Dau. O! then, belike, she was old and gentle; and you rode like a Kernet of Ireland, your French hose off, and in your strait trossers.t

Con. You have good judgement in horsemanship.

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

Con. I had as lief have my mistress a jade. Dau. I tell thee, constable, my mistress wears her own hair.

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

Dau. Le chien est retournè à son propre comissement, et la truie lavée au bourbier: thou makest use of any thing.

Con. Yet do I not use my horse for my mistress; or any such proverb, so little kin to the


[blocks in formation]

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

Con. Stars, my lord.

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

Con. And yet my sky shall not want. Dau. That may be, for you bear a many superfluously; and 'twere more honour, some were away.

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

Dau. 'Would I were able to load him with his desert! Will it never be day? I will trot to-morrow a mile, and my way shall be paved with English faces.

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

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

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

Dau. "Tis midnight I'll go arm myself. [Exit Orl. The Dauphin longs for morning. Ram. He longs to eat the English. Con. I think, he will eat all he kills. Orl. By the white hand of my lady, he's a gallant prince.

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

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

Can. Doing is activity: and he will still be doing.

Orl. He never did harm, that I heard of. Con. Nor will do none to-morrow; he will keep that good name still.

Orl. I know him to be valiant.

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

Orl. What's he?

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

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

Con. By my faith, Sir, but it is; never any body saw it, but his lackey: 'tis a hooded valour; and, when it appears, it will bate. Orl. Ill will never said well.

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

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

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

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

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

[blocks in formation]

Orl. What a wretched and peevish fellow | is this king of England, to mope with his fatbrained followers so far out of his knowledge! Con. If the English had any apprehension, they would run away.

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

Ram. That island of England breeds very valiant creatures; their mastiffs are of unmatchable courage.

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

Con. 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.

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

Con. Then we shall find to-morrow-they have only stomachs to eat, and none to fight. Now is it time to arm: Come, shall we about


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

We shall have each a hundred Englishmen.




Chor. Now entertain conjecture of a time, When creeping murmur, and the poring dark,

Fills the wide vessel of the universe.
From camp to camp, through the foul womb
of night,

The hum of either army stilly+ sounds,
That the fix'd sentinels almost receive
The secret whispers of each other's watch:
Fire answers fire; and through their paly flames
Each battle sees the other's umber'd; face:
Steed threatens steed, in high and boastful
Piercing the night's dull ear; and from the
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 Eng-
Like sacrifices, by their watchful fires [lish,
Sit patiently, and inly ruminate

The morning's danger; and their gesture sad,
Investing lank-lean cheeks, and war-worn
Presenteth them unto the gazing moon [coats,
So many horrid ghosts. O, now, who will be
The royal captain of this ruin'd band,
Walking from watch to watch, from tent to


[blocks in formation]

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. Then, mean and gentle all,
Behold, as may unworthiness define,
A little touch of Harry in the night:
And so our scene must to the battle fly;
Where, (O for pity!) we shall much disgrace-
With four or five most vile and ragged foils,
Right ill dispos'd, in brawl ridiculous,-
The name of Agincourt: Yet, sit and see;
Minding true things, by what their mockeries


[blocks in formation]

The greater therefore should our courage be.Good morrow, brother Bedford.- God Almighty!

There is some soul of goodness in things evil,
Would men observingly distil it out;
For our bad neighbour makes us early stirrers,
Which is both healthful, and good husbandry:
Besides, they are our outward consciences,
And preachers to us all; admonishing,
That we should dress us fairly for our end.
Thus may we gather honey from the weed,
And make a moral of the devil himself.


Good morrow, old Sir Thomas Erpingham:
A good soft pillow for that good white head
Were better than a churlish turf of France.
Erp. Not so, my liege; this lodging likes me
Since I may say-now lie I like a king.

K. Hen. 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 slought and fresh legerity.
Lend me thy cloak, Sir Thomas.-Brothers

Commend me to the princes in our camp;
Do my good-morrow to them; and, anon,
Desire them all to my pavillion.
Glo. We shall, my liege.

[Exeunt GLOSTER and BEDFORD. Erp. Shall I attend your grace? K. Hen. No, my good knight; Go with my brothers to my lords of England: I and my bosom must debate a while, And then I would no other company. Erp. The Lord in heaven bless thee, noble Harry! [Exit ERPINGHAM K. Hen. God-a-mercy, old heart! thou speak est cheerfully.

[blocks in formation]

K. Hen. I am a gentleman of a company. Pist. Trailest thou the puissant pike? K. Hen. Even so: What are you? Pist. As good a gentleman as the emperor. K. Hen. Then you are a better than the king. Pist. The king's a bawcock, and a heart of A lad of life, an imp* of fame; [gold, Of parents good, of fist most valiant: [strings I kiss his dirty shoe, and from my heartI love the lovely bully. What's thy name? K. Hen. Harry le Roy.

Pist. Le Roy a Cornish name: art thou of
Cornish crew?

K. Hen. No, I am a Welshman.
Pist. Knowest thou Fluellen.
K. Hen. Yes.

Pist. Tell him, I'll knock his leek about his Upon Saint Davy's day. [pate, K. Hen. Do not you wear your dagger in your cap that day, lest he knock that about yours.

Pist. Art thou his friend?

K. Hen. And his kinsman too.

Pist. The figo for thee then!

K. Hen. I thank you: God be with you! Pist. My name is Pistol called.


K. Hen. It sortst well with your fierceness.

Enter FLUELLEN and GoWER, severally.

Gow. Captain Fluellen!

Flu. So! in the name of Cheshu Christ, speak lower. It is the greatest admiration in the universal 'orld, when the true and auncient prerogatifes and laws of the wars is not kept: if you would take the pains but to examine the wars of Pompey the Great, you shall find, I warrant you, that there is no tiddle taddle, or 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


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

K. Hen. 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 the Thames up to the neck; and so I would he were, and I by him, at all adventures, so we were quit here.

K. Hen. 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, 'would he were here alone; so should he be sure to be ransomed, and a many poor men's lives saved.

K. Hen. 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.

Will. That's more than we know.

ter; for we know enough, if we know we are Bates. Ay, or more than we should seek afthe king's subjects; if his cause be wrong, our obedience to the king wipes the crime of it out

of us.

himself hath a heavy reckoning to make; when Will. But, if the cause be not good, the king all those legs, and arms, and heads, chopped off in a battle, shall join together at the latter day,t and cry all-We died at such a place; some, swearing; some, crying for a surgeon; some, upon their wives left poor behind them; their children rawly left. I am afeard there some, upon the debts they owe; some, upon can they charitably dispose of any thing, when are few die well, that die in battle; for how con-blood is their argument? Now, if these men do not die well, it will be a black matter for were against all proportion of subjection. the king that led them to it; whom to disobey,

Flu. 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

science now?


Gow. I will speak lower. Flu. I pray you, and peseech you, that you [Exeunt GowER and FLUELLEN. K. Hen. Though it appear a little out of sent about merchandise, do sinfully miscarry K. Hen. So, if a son, that is by his father fashion, [man. There is much care and valour in this Welsh-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 busi

Enter BATES, COURT, and WILLIAMS. Court. Brother John Bates, is not that the morning which breaks yonder?

Bates. I think it be: but we have no greatness of the master the author of the servant's cause to desire the approach of day.

Will. We see yonder the beginning of the day, but, I think, we shall never see the end of it.-Who goes there?

K. Hen. A friend.

[blocks in formation]

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 beguil ing virgins with the broken seals of perjury; some, making the wars their bulwark, that have before gored the gentle bosom of peace

[blocks in formation]

Now, if these men | no English treason, to cut French Crowns;
and, to-morrow, the king himself will be a
[Exeunt Soldiers.

Upon the king! let us our lives, our souls,
Our debts, our careful wives, our children,
Our sins, lay on the king;-we must bear all.
O hard condition! twin-born with greatness,
Subjected to the breath of every fool,
Whose sense no more can feel but his own

with pillage and robbery. have defeated the law, and outrun native punishment, though they can outstrip men, they have no wings to fly from God: war is his 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 advan-What tage; 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.

Will. "Tis certain, that every man that dies ill, the ill is upon his own head, the king is

not to answer for it.

[ocr errors]

Butes. I do not desire he should answer for me; and yet I determine to fight lustily for him.

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

Will. 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.

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

Will. 'Mass, you'll 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.

K. Hen. Your reproof is something too round; I should be angry with you, if the time were convenient.

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

K. Hen. I embrace it.

Will. How shall I know thee again?

K. Hen. 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.

Will. Here's my glove; give me another of thine.

K. Hen. There.

Will. 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.

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

Will. Thou darest as well be hanged. K. Hen. Well, I will do it, though I take thee in the king's company.

Will. Keep thy word: fare thee well. Bates. Be friends, you English fools, be friends; we have French quarrels enough, if you could tell how to reckon.

K. Hen. Indeed, the French may lay twenty French crowns to one, they will beat us; for they bear them on their shoulders: But it is

1. e. Punishment in their native country.
To pay here signifies to bring to account, to punish.
+ Too rough.

What infinite heart's ease must kings neglect,
And what have kings, that privates have not
That private men enjoy?
Save ceremony, save general ceremony?
And what art thou, thou idol ceremony?

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 the soul of adoration ?*
Art thou aught else but place, degree, and
Wherein thou art less happy being fear'd
Creating awe and fear in other men?
Than they in fearing.

gar's knee,

But poison'd flattery? O, be sick, great great-
What drink'st thou oft, instead of homage
And bid thy ceremony give thee cure! [ness,
With titles blown from adulation?
Think'st thou, the fiery fever will go out
Canst thou, when thou command'st the beg
Will it give place to flexure and low bending?
That play'st so subtly with a king's repose;
Command the health of it? No, thou proud
'Tis not the balm, the sceptre, and the ball,
I am a king, that find thee; and I know,
The sword, the mace, the crown imperial,
The farcedt title running fore the king,
The enter-tissued robe of gold and pearl,
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,
Can sleep so soundly as the wretched slave;
Not all these, laid in bed majestical,
Gets him to rest, cramm'd with distressful
Who, with a body fill'd, and vacant mind,


Never sees horrid night, the child of hell;
But, like a lackey, from the rise to set,
Sleeps in Elysium; next day, after dawn,
Sweats in the eye of Phoebus, and all night
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

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


Whose hours the peasant best advantages.

[blocks in formation]
« PreviousContinue »