William Shakespeare, The Life of King Henry the Fifth (1598-99)

William Shakespeare (1564-1616)  


This is a part of a collection of works by William Shakespeare.


The Complete Works of William Shakespeare, ed. with a glossary by W.J. Craig M.A. (London: Oxford University Press, 1916).

See the complete volume in HTML and facs. PDF.



Table of Contents







King Henry the Fifth.
Duke of Gloucester, } Brothers to the King.
Duke of Bedford,      }
Duke of Exeter, Uncle to the King.
Duke of York, Cousin to the King.
Earls of Salisbury, Westmoreland, and Warwick.
Archbishop of Canterbury.
Bishop of Ely.
Earl of Cambridge.
Lord Scroop.
Sir Thomas Grey.
Sir Thomas Erpingham, Gower, Fluellen, Macmorris, Jamy, Officers in King Henry’s Army.
Bates, Court, Williams, Soldiers in the Same.
Pistol, Nym, Bardolph.
A Herald.
Charles the Sixth, King of France.
Lewis, the Dauphin.
Dukes of Burgundy, Orleans, and Bourbon.
The Constable of France.
Rambures and Grandpré, French Lords.
Montjoy, a French Herald.
Governor of Harfleur.
Ambassadors to the King of England.
Isabel, Queen of France.
Katharine, Daughter to Charles and Isabel.
Alice, a Lady attending on the Princess Katharine.
Hostess of the Boar’s Head Tavern, formerly Mistress Quickly, and now married to Pistol.
Lords, Ladies, Officers, French and English Soldiers, Citizens, Messengers, and Attendants.




Scene.England; afterwards France.

Enter 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.  4

Then should the war-like Harry, like himself,

Assume the port of Mars; and at his heels,

Leash’d in like hounds, should famine, sword, and fire

Crouch for employment. But pardon, gentles all,

The flat unraised spirits that hath dar’d  9

On this unworthy scaffold to bring forth

So great an object: can this cockpit hold

The vasty fields of France? or may we cram  12

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;  16

And let us, ciphers to this great accompt,

On your imaginary forces work.

Suppose within the girdle of these walls

Are now confin’d two mighty monarchies,  20

Whose high upreared and abutting fronts

The perilous narrow ocean parts asunder:

Piece out our imperfections with your thoughts:

Into a thousand parts divide one man,  24

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,  28

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;  32

Who prologue-like your humble patience pray,

Gently to hear, kindly to judge, our play.



Scene I.— London. An Antechamber in the King’s Palace.

Enter the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Bishop of Ely.


My lord, I’ll tell you; that self bill is urg’d,

Which in th’ eleventh year of the last king’s reign

Was like, and had indeed against us pass’d,

But that the scambling and unquiet time  4

Did push it out of further question.


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


It must be thought on. If it pass against us,

We lose the better half of our possession;  8

For all the temporal lands which men devout

By testament have given to the church

Would they strip from us; being valu’d thus:

As much as would maintain, to the king’s honour,  12

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,  16

A hundred almshouses right well supplied;

And to the coffers of the king beside,

A thousand pounds by the year. Thus runs the bill.


This would drink deep.


’Twould drink the cup and all.


But what prevention?  21


The king is full of grace and fair regard.


And a true lover of the holy church.


The courses of his youth promis’d it not.  24

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,  28

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;  32

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  36

As in this king.


We are blessed in the change.


Hear him but reason in divinity,

And, all-admiring, with an inward wish

You would desire the king were made a prelate:  40

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:  44

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,  48

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:  52

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;  56

And never noted in him any study,

Any retirement, any sequestration

From open haunts and popularity.


The strawberry grows underneath the nettle,  60

And wholesome berries thrive and ripen best

Neighbour’d by fruit of baser quality:

And so the prince obscur’d his contemplation

Under the veil of wildness; which, no doubt,  64

Grew like the summer grass, fastest by night,

Unseen, yet crescive in his faculty.


It must be so; for miracles are ceas’d;

And therefore we must needs admit the means

How things are perfected.


But, my good lord,  69

How now for mitigation of this bill

Urg’d by the commons? Doth his majesty

Incline to it, or no?


He seems indifferent,  72

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,  76

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  80

Did to his predecessors part withal.


How did this offer seem receiv’d, my lord?


With good acceptance of his majesty;

Save that there was not time enough to hear,—  84

As I perceiv’d his Grace would fain have done,—

The severals and unhidden passages

Of his true titles to some certain dukedoms,

And generally to the crown and seat of France,

Deriv’d from Edward, his great-grandfather.  89


What was the impediment that broke this off?


The French ambassador upon that instant

Crav’d audience; and the hour I think is come

To give him hearing: is it four o’clock?  93


It is.


Then go we in to know his embassy;

Which I could with a ready guess declare  96

Before the Frenchman speak a word of it.


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


Scene II.— The Same. The Presence Chamber.

Enter King Henry, Gloucester, Bedford, Exeter, Warwick, Westmoreland, and Attendants.

K. Hen.

Where is my gracious lord of Canterbury?


Not here in presence.

K. Hen.

Send for him, good uncle.


Shall we call in the ambassador, my liege?

K. Hen.

Not yet, my cousin: we would be resolv’d,  4

Before we hear him, of some things of weight

That task our thoughts, concerning us and France.

Enter the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Bishop of Ely.


God and his angels guard your sacred throne,

And make you long become it!

K. Hen.

Sure, we thank you.

My learned lord, we pray you to proceed,  9

And justly and religiously unfold

Why the law Salique that they have in France

Or should, or should not, bar us in our claim.  12

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  16

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.  20

Therefore take heed how you impawn our person,

How you awake the sleeping sword of war:

We charge you in the name of God, take heed;

For never two such kingdoms did contend  24

Without much fall of blood; whose guiltless drops

Are every one a woe, a sore complaint,

’Gainst him whose wrongs give edge unto the swords

That make such waste in brief mortality.  28

Under this conjuration speak, my lord,

And we will hear, note, and believe in heart,

That what you speak is in your conscience wash’d

As pure as sin with baptism.  32


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,  38

‘No woman shall succeed in Salique land:’

Which Salique land the French unjustly gloze

To be the realm of France, and Pharamond  41

The founder of this law and female bar.

Yet their own authors faithfully affirm

That the land Salique is in Germany,  44

Between the floods of Sala and of Elbe;

Where Charles the Great, having subdu’d the Saxons,

There left behind and settled certain French;

Who, holding in disdain the German women  48

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.  53

Then doth it well appear the Salique law

Was not devised for the realm of France;

Nor did the French possess the Salique land  56

Until four hundred one-and-twenty years

After defunction of King Pharamond,

Idly suppos’d the founder of this law;

Who died within the year of our redemption  60

Four hundred twenty-six; and Charles the Great

Subdu’d the Saxons, and did seat the French

Beyond the river Sala, in the year

Eight hundred five. Besides, their writers say,

King Pepin, which deposed Childeric,  65

Did, as heir general, being descended

Of Blithild, which was daughter to King Clothair,

Make claim and title to the crown of France.  68

Hugh Capet also, who usurp’d the crown

Of Charles the Duke of Loraine, sole heir male

Of the true line and stock of Charles the Great,

To find his title with some shows of truth,—  72

Though 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  76

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  80

That fair Queen Isabel, his grandmother,

Was lineal of the Lady Ermengare,

Daughter to Charles the aforesaid Duke of Loraine:

By the which marriage the line of Charles the Great  84

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  88

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  93

Than amply to imbar their crooked titles

Usurp’d from you and your progenitors.

K. Hen.

May I with right and conscience make this claim?  96


The sin upon my head, dread sovereign!

For in the book of Numbers is it writ:

‘When the son dies, let the inheritance

Descend unto the daughter.’ Gracious lord,  100

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 war-like spirit,  104

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  108

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,  113

All out of work, and cold for action.


Awake remembrance of these valiant dead,

And with your puissant arm renew their feats:

You are their heir, you sit upon their throne,

The blood and courage that renowned them

Runs in your veins; and my thrice-puissantliege

Is in the very May-morn of his youth,  120

Ripe for exploits and mighty enterprises.


Your brother kings and monarchs of the earth

Do all expect that you should rouse yourself,

As did the former lions of your blood.  124


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  128

And lie pavilion’d in the fields of France.


O! let their bodies follow, my dear liege,

With blood and sword and fire to win your right;

In aid whereof we of the spiritualty  132

Will raise your highness such a mighty sum

As never did the clergy at one time

Bring in to any of your ancestors.

K. Hen.

We must not only arm to invade the French,  136

But lay down our proportions to defend

Against the Scot, who will make road upon us

With all advantages.


They of those marches, gracious sovereign,  140

Shall be a wall sufficient to defend

Our inland from the pilfering borderers.

K. Hen.

We do not mean the coursing snatchers only,

But fear the main intendment of the Scot,  144

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,  149

With ample and brim fulness of his force,

Galling the gleaned land with hot essays,

Girding with grievous siege castles and towns;

That England, being empty of defence,  153

Hath shook and trembled at the ill neighbourhood.


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

For hear her but exampled by herself:  156

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  160

The King of Scots; whom she did send to France,

To fill King Edward’s fame with prisoner kings,

And make your chronicle as rich with praise

As is the owse and bottom of the sea  164

With sunken wrack and sumless treasuries.


But there’s a saying very old and true;

If that you will France win,

Then with Scotland first begin:  168

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,  172

To tear and havoc more than she can eat.


It follows then the cat must stay at home:

Yet that is but a crush’d necessity;

Since we have locks to safeguard necessaries  176

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,  180

Put into parts, doth keep in one consent,

Congreeing in a full and natural close,

Like music.


Therefore doth heaven divide

The state of man in divers functions,  184

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  188

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,  193

Make boot upon the summer’s velvet buds;

Which pillage they with merry march bring home

To the tent-royal of their emperor:  196

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  200

Their heavy burdens at his narrow gate,

The sad-ey’d justice, with his surly hum,

Delivering o’er to executors pale

The lazy yawning drone. I this infer,  204

That many things, having full reference

To one consent, may work contrariously;

As many arrows, loosed several ways,

Fly to one mark; as many ways meet in one town;  208

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  212

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.  216

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.  220

K. Hen.

Call in the messengers sent from the Dauphin.

[Exit an Attendant.

Now are we well resolv’d; and by God’s help,

And yours, the noble sinews of our power,

France being ours, we’ll bend it to our awe  224

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,  228

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,  232

Not worshipp’d with a waxen epitaph.

Enter Ambassadors of France.

Now are we well prepar’d to know the pleasure

Of our fair cousin Dauphin; for we hear

Your greeting is from him, not from the king.

First Amb.

May’t please your majesty to give us leave  237

Freely to render what we have in charge;

Or shall we sparingly show you far off

The Dauphin’s meaning and our embassy?  240

K. Hen.

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  244

Tell us the Dauphin’s mind.

First Amb.

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.  248

In answer of which claim, the prince our master

Says that you savour too much of your youth,

And bids you be advis’d there’s nought in France

That can be with a nimble galliard won;  252

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  256

Hear no more of you. This the Dauphin speaks.

K. Hen.

What treasure, uncle?


Tennis-balls, my liege.

K. Hen.

We are glad the Dauphin is so pleasant with us:

His present and your pains we thank you for:

When we have match’d our rackets to these balls,  261

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  264

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.  268

We never valu’d this poor seat of England;

And therefore, living hence, did give ourself

To barbarous licence; as ’tis ever common

That men are merriest when they are from home.  272

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  276

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.  280

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  284

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.  288

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  292

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.  296

Convey them with safe conduct. Fare you well.

[Exeunt Ambassadors.


This was a merry message.

K. Hen.

We hope to make the sender blush at it.

Therefore, my lords, omit no happy hour  300

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  304

Be soon collected, and all things thought upon

That may with reasonable swiftness add

More feathers to our wings; for, God before,  307

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.


Enter Chorus.


Now all the youth of England are on fire,

And silken dalliance in the wardrobe lies;

Now thrive the armourers, and honour’s thought

Reigns solely in the breast of every man:  4

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  8

And hides a sword from hilts unto the point

With crowns imperial, crowns and coronets,

Promis’d to Harry and his followers.

The French, advis’d by good intelligence  12

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,  16

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  20

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,—  28

If hell and treason hold their promises,

Ere he take ship for France, and in Southampton.

Linger your patience on; and well digest

The abuse of distance while we force a play.  32

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.  40

But, till the king come forth and not till then,

Unto Southampton do we shift our scene.


Scene I.— London. Eastcheap.

Enter Nym and Bardolph.


Well met, Corporal Nym.


Good morrow, Lieutenant Bardolph.


What, are Ancient Pistol and you friends yet?  4


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.  11


I will bestow a breakfast to make you friends, and we’ll be all three sworn brothers to France: let it be so, good Corporal Nym.


Faith, I will live so long as I may, that’s the certain of it; and when I cannot live any longer, I will do as I may: that is my rest, that is the rendezvous of it.  18


It is certain, corporal, that he is married to Nell Quickly; and, certainly she did you wrong, for you were troth-plight to her.  21


I cannot tell; things must be as they may: men may sleep, and they may have their throats about them at that time; and, some say, knives have edges. It must be as it may: though patience be a tired mare, yet she will plod. There must be conclusions. Well, I cannot tell.

Enter Pistol and Hostess.


Here comes Ancient Pistol and his wife. Good corporal, be patient here. How now, mine host Pistol!


Base tike, call’st thou me host?

Now, by this hand, I swear, I scorn the term;  32

Nor shall my Nell keep lodgers.


No, by my troth, not long; for we cannot lodge and board a dozen or fourteen gentlewomen that live honestly by the prick of their needles, but it will be thought we keep a bawdy-house straight. [Nym and Pistol draw.] O well-a-day Lady! if he be not drawn now: we shall see wilful adultery and murder committed.  40


Good lieutenant! good corporal! offer nothing here.




Pish for thee, Iceland dog! thou prickeared cur of Iceland!  44


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


Will you shog off? I would have you solus.

[Sheathing his sword.


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!  53

I do retort the solus in thy bowels;

For I can take, and Pistol’s cock is up,

And flashing fire will follow.  56


I am not Barbason; you cannot conjure me. I have an humour to knock you indifferently well. If you grow foul with me, Pistol, I will scour you with my rapier, as I may, in fair terms: if you would walk off, I would prick your guts a little, in good terms, as I may; and that’s the humour of it.


O braggart vile and damned furious wight!  64

The grave doth gape, and doting death is near;

Therefore exhale.


Hear me, hear me what I say: he that strikes the first stroke, I’ll run him up to the hilts, as I am a soldier.



An oath of mickle might, and fury shall abate.

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

Thy spirits are most tall.  72


I will cut thy throat, one time or other, in fair terms; that is the humour of it.


Coupe le gorge!

That is the word. I thee defy again.  76

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,  80

Doll Tearsheet she by name, and her espouse:

I have, and I will hold, the quondam Quickly

For the only she; and—pauca, there’s enough.

Go to

Enter the Boy.


Mine host Pistol, you must come to my master, and your 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.  88


Away, you rogue!


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.


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?  96


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


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


Base is the slave that pays.  100


That now I will have; that’s the humour of it.


As manhood shall compound: push home.

[They draw.


By this sword, he that makes the first thrust, I’ll kill him; by this sword, I will.  105


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


Corporal Nym, an thou wilt be friends, be friends: an thou wilt not, why then, be enemies with me too. Prithee, put up.  109


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


A noble shalt thou have, and present pay;

And liquor likewise will I give to thee,  113

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  116

Unto the camp, and profits will accrue.

Give me thy hand.


I shall have my noble?


In cash most justly paid.

[Paying him.


Well then, that’s the humour of it.  121

Re-enter 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.


The king hath run bad humours on the knight; that’s the even of it.  128


Nym, thou hast spoke the right;

His heart is fracted and corroborate.


The king is a good king: but it must be as it may; he passes some humours and careers.  133


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


Scene II.— Southampton. A Council-chamber.

Enter Exeter, Bedford, and Westmoreland.


’Fore God, his Grace is bold to trust these traitors.


They shall be apprehended by and by.


How smooth and even they do bear themselves!

As if allegiance in their bosoms sat,  4

Crowned with faith and constant loyalty.


The king hath note of all that they intend,

By interception which they dream not of.


Nay, but the man that was his bedfellow,

Whom he hath dull’d and cloy’d with gracious favours,  9

That he should, for a foreign purse, so sell

His sovereign’s life to death and treachery!

Trumpets sound. Enter King Henry, Scroop, Cambridge, Grey, Lords, and Attendants.

K. Hen.

Now sits the wind fair, and we will aboard.  12

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,  16

Doing the execution and the act

For which we have in head assembled them?


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

K. Hen.

I doubt not that; since we are well persuaded  20

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.  24


Never was monarch better fear’d and lov’d

Than is your majesty: there’s not, I think, a subject

That sits in heart-grief and uneasiness

Under the sweet shade of your government.  28


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.

K. Hen.

We therefore have great cause of thankfulness,  32

And shall forget the office of our hand,

Sooner than quittance of desert and merit

According to the weight and worthiness.


So service shall with steeled sinews toil,  36

And labour shall refresh itself with hope,

To do your Grace incessant services.

K. Hen.

We judge no less. Uncle of Exeter,

Enlarge the man committed yesterday  40

That rail’d against our person: we consider

It was excess of wine that set him on;

And on his more advice we pardon him.


That’s mercy, but too much security:

Let him be punish’d, sovereign, lest example  45

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

K. Hen.

O! let us yet be merciful.


So may your highness, and yet punish too.  48



You show great mercy, if you give him life

After the taste of much correction.

K. Hen.

Alas! your too much love and care of me  52

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,  56

Appear before us? We’ll yet enlarge that man,

Though Cambridge, Scroop, and Grey, in their dear care,

And tender preservation of our person,

Would have him punish’d. And now to our French causes:  60

Who are the late commissioners?


I one, my lord:

Your highness bade me ask for it to-day.


So did you me, my liege.  64


And I, my royal sovereign.

K. Hen.

Then, Richard, Earl of Cambridge, there is yours;

There yours, Lord Scroop of Masham; and, sir knight,

Grey of Northumberland, this same is yours:  68

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  72

So much complexion? Look ye, how they change!

Their cheeks are paper. Why, what read you there,

That hath so cowarded and chas’d your blood

Out of appearance?


I do confess my fault,  76

And do submit me to your highness’ mercy.


To which we all appeal.


To which we all appeal.

K. Hen.

The mercy that was quick in us but late

By your own counsel is suppress’d and kill’d:  80

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,  84

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  88

Hath, for a few light crowns, lightly conspir’d,

And sworn unto the practices of France,

To kill us here in Hampton: to the which

This knight, no less for bounty bound to us  92

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,  97

That almost mightst have coin’d me into gold

Wouldst thou have practis’d on me for thy use!

May it be possible that foreign hire  100

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 from white, my eye will scarcely see it.

Treason and murder ever kept together,  105

As two yoke-devils sworn to either’s purpose,

Working so grossly in a natural cause

That admiration did not whoop at them:  108

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  112

Hath got the voice in hell for excellence:

And other devils that suggest by treasons

Do botch and bungle up damnation

With patches, colours, and with forms, being fetch’d  116

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.  120

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  124

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?  128

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,  132

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:  137

And thus thy fall hath left a kind of blot,

To mark the full-fraught man and best indu’d

With some suspicion. I will weep for thee;  140

For this revolt of thine, methinks, is like

Another fall of man. Their faults are open:

Arrest them to the answer of the law;

And God acquit them of their practices!  144


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.  148

I arrest thee of high treason, by the name of Thomas Grey, knight, of Northumberland.


Our purposes God justly hath discover’d,

And I repent my fault more than my death;  152

Which I beseech your highness to forgive,

Although my body pay the price of it.


For me, the gold of France did not seduce,

Although I did admit it as a motive  156

The sooner to effect what I intended:

But God be thanked for prevention;

Which I in sufference heartily will rejoice,

Beseeching God and you to pardon me.  160


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.  164

My fault, but not my body; pardon, sovereign.

K. Hen.

God quit you in his mercy! Hear your sentence.

You have conspir’d against our royal person,

Join’d with an enemy proclaim’d, and from his coffers  168

Receiv’d the golden earnest of our death;

Wherein you would have sold your king to slaughter,

His princes and his peers to servitude,

His subjects to oppression and contempt,  172

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  176

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  180

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,  184

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.  188

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:  192

No king of England, if not king of France.


Scene III.— London. Before a Tavern in Eastcheap.

Enter Pistol, Hostess, Nym, Bardolph, and Boy.


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


No; for my manly heart doth yearn.

Bardolph, be blithe; Nym, rouse thy vaunting veins;  4

Boy, bristle thy courage up; for Falstaff he is dead,

And we must yearn therefore.


Would I were with him, wheresome’er he is, either in heaven or in hell!  8


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 of 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 so upward, and upward, and all was as cold as any stone.  28


They say he cried out of sack.


Ay, that a’ did.


And of women.


Nay, that a’ did not.  32


Yes, that a’ did; and said they were devils incarnate.


A’ could never abide carnation; ’twas a colour he never liked.  36


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


A’ did in some sort, indeed, handle women; but then he was rheumatic, and talked of the whore of Babylon.  41


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?  44


Well, the fuel is gone that maintained that fire: that’s all the riches I got in his service.


Shall we shog? the king will be gone from Southampton.  49


Come, let’s away. My love, give me thy lips.

Look to my chattels and my moveables:

Let senses rule, the word is, ‘Pitch and pay;’  52

Trust none;

For oaths are straws, men’s faiths are wafercakes,

And hold-fast is the only dog, my duck:

Therefore, caveto be thy counsellor.  56

Go, clear thy crystals. Yoke-fellows in arms,

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

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


And that’s but unwholesome food, they say.  61


Touch her soft mouth, and march.


Farewell, hostess.

[Kissing her.


I cannot kiss, that is the humour of it; but, adieu.  65


Let housewifery appear: keep close, I thee command.


Farewell; adieu.


Scene IV.— France. An Apartment in the French King’s Palace.

Flourish. Enter the French King, attended; the Dauphin, the Dukes of Berri and Britaine, the Constable, and Others.

Fr. King.

Thus come 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 Britaine,  4

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:  8

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  12

Left by the fatal and neglected English

Upon our fields.


My most redoubted father,

It is most meet we arm us ’gainst the foe;

For peace itself should not so dull a kingdom,—

Though war nor no known quarrel were in question,—  17

But that defences, musters, preparations,

Should be maintain’d, assembled, and collected,

As were a war in expectation.  20

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:  25

For, my good liege, she is so idly king’d,

Her sceptre so fantastically borne

By a vain, giddy, shallow, humorous youth,  28

That fear attends her not.


O peace, Prince Dauphin!

You are too much mistaken in this king.

Question your Grace the late ambassadors,

With what great state he heard their embassy,

How well supplied with noble counsellors,  33

How modest in exception, and, withal

How terrible in constant resolution,

And you shall find his vanities forespent  36

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.  40


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:  44

So the proportions of defence are fill’d;

Which of a weak and niggardly projection

Doth like a miser spoil his coat with scanting

A little cloth.

Fr. King.

Think we King Harry strong;  48

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:  52

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;  56

Whiles that his mounting sire, on mountain standing,

Up in the air, crown’d with the golden sun,

Saw his heroical seed, and smil’d to see him

Mangle the work of nature, and deface  60

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.  64

Enter a Messenger.


Ambassadors from Harry King of England

Do crave admittance to your majesty.

Fr. King.

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

[Exeunt Messenger and certain Lords.

You see this chase is hotly follow’d, friends.  68


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:  73

Self-love, my liege, is not so vile a sin

As self-neglecting.

Re-enter Lords, with Exeter and Train.

Fr. King.

From our brother England?


From him; and thus he greets your majesty.  76

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  80

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,  85

Pick’d from the worm-holes of long-vanish’d days,

Nor from the dust of old oblivion rak’d,

He sends you this most memorable line,  88

[Gives a pedigree.

In every branch truly demonstrative;

Willing you overlook this pedigree;

And when you find him evenly deriv’d

From his most fam’d of famous ancestors,  92

Edward the Third, he bids you then resign

Your crown and kingdom, indirectly held

From him the native and true challenger.

Fr. King.

Or else what follows?  96


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,  100

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  104

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,  108

That shall be swallow’d in this controversy.

This is his claim, his threat’ning, and my message;

Unless the Dauphin be in presence here,

To whom expressly I bring greeting too.  112

Fr. King.

For us, we will consider of this further:

To-morrow shall you bear our full intent

Back to our brother England.


For the Dauphin,

I stand here for him: what to him from England?  116


Scorn and defiance, slight regard, contempt,

And anything that may not misbecome

The mighty sender, doth he prize you at.

Thus says my king: an if your father’s highness  120

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  124

Shall chide your trespass and return your mock

In second accent of his ordinance.


Say, if my father render fair return,

It is against my will; for I desire  128

Nothing but odds with England: to that end,

As matching to his youth and vanity,

I did present him with the Paris balls.


He’ll make your Paris Louvre shake for it,  132

Were it the mistress-court of mighty Europe:

And, be assur’d, you’ll find a difference—

As we his subjects have in wonder found—

Between the promise of his greener days  136

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.

Fr. King.

To-morrow shall you know our mind at full.  140


Dispatch us with all speed, lest that our king

Come here himself to question our delay;

For he is footed in this land already.

Fr. King.

You shall be soon dispatch’d with fair conditions:  144

A night is but small breath and little pause

To answer matters of this consequence.

[Flourish. Exeunt.


Enter Chorus.


Thus with imagin’d wing our swift scene flies

In motion of no less celerity

Than that of thought. Suppose that you have seen

The well-appointed king at Hampton pier  4

Embark his royalty; and his brave fleet

With silken streamers the young Phœbus fanning:

Play with your fancies, and in them behold

Upon the hempen tackle ship-boys climbing;  8

Hear the shrill whistle which doth order give

To sounds confus’d; behold the threaden sails,

Borne with the invisible and creeping wind,

Draw the huge bottoms through the furrow’d sea,  12

Breasting the lofty surge. O! do but think

You stand upon the rivage and behold

A city on the inconstant billows dancing;

For so appears this fleet majestical,  16

Holding due course to Harfleur. Follow, follow!

Grapple your minds to sternage of this navy,

And leave your England, as dead midnight still,

Guarded with grandsires, babies, and old women,  20

Either past or not arriv’d to pith and puissance:

For who is he, whose chin is but enrich’d

With one appearing hair, that will not follow

Those call’d and choice-drawn cavaliers to France?  24

Work, work your thoughts, and therein see a siege;

Behold the ordenance on their carriages,

With fatal mouths gaping on girded Harfleur.

Suppose the ambassador from the French comes back;  28

Tells Harry that the king doth offer him

Katharine his daughter; and with her, to dowry,

Some petty and unprofitable dukedoms:

The offer likes not: and the nimble gunner  32

With linstock now the devilish cannon touches,

[Alarum; and chambers go off.

And down goes all before them. Still be kind,

And eke out our performance with your mind.


Scene I.— France. Before Harfleur.

Alarums. Enter King Henry, Exeter, Bedford, Gloucester, and Soldiers, with scaling ladders.

K. Hen.

Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more;

Or close the wall up with our English dead!

In peace there’s nothing so becomes a man

As modest stillness and humility:  4

But when the blast of war blows in our ears,

Then imitate the action of the tiger;

Stiffen the sinews, summon up the blood,

Disguise fair nature with hard-favour’d rage;  8

Then lend the eye a terrible aspect;

Let it pry through the portage of the head

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

As fearfully as doth a galled rock  12

O’erhang and jutty his confounded base,

Swill’d with the wild and wasteful ocean.

Now set the teeth and stretch the nostril wide,

Hold hard the breath, and bend up every spirit

To his full height! On, on, you noblest English!

Whose blood is fet from fathers of war-proof;

Fathers that, like so many Alexanders,

Have in these parts from morn till even fought,

And sheath’d their swords for lack of argument.  21

Dishonour not your mothers; now attest

That those whom you call’d fathers did beget you.

Be copy now to men of grosser blood,  24

And teach them how to war. And you, good yeomen,

Whose limbs were made in England, show us here

The mettle of your pasture; let us swear

That you are worth your breeding; which I doubt not;  28

For there is none of you so mean and base

That hath not noble lustre in your eyes.

I see you stand like greyhounds in the slips,

Straining upon the start. The game’s afoot:  32

Follow your spirit; and, upon this charge

Cry ‘God for Harry! England and Saint George!’

[Exeunt. Alarum, and chambers go off.

Scene II.— The Same.

Enter Nym, Bardolph, Pistol, and Boy.


On, on, on, on, on! to the breach, to the breach!


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


The plain-song is most just, for humours do abound:  8

Knocks go and come: God’s vassals drop and die;

And sword and shield

In bloody field

Doth win immortal fame.  12


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


And I:  16

If wishes would prevail with me,

My purpose should not fail with me,

But thither would I hie.


As duly,  20

But not as truly,

As bird doth sing on bough.

Enter Fluellen.


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

[Driving them forward.


Be merciful, great duke, to men of mould!  24

Abate thy rage, abate thy manly rage!

Abate thy rage, great duke!

Good bawcock, bate thy rage; use lenity, sweet chuck!


These be good humours! your honour wins bad humours.  29

[Exeunt Nym, Pistol, and Bardolph, followed by Fluellen.


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 antiques 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.


Re-enter Fluellen, Gower following.


Captain Fluellen, you must come presently to the mines: the Duke of Gloucester would speak with you.  62


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, th’ athversary—you may discuss unto the duke, look you—is digt himself four yards under the countermines; by Cheshu, I think, a’ will plow up all if there is not better directions.  71


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


It is Captain Macmorris, is it not?  76


I think it be.


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

I will verify as much in his peard: he has no more directions in the true disciplines of the wars, look you, of the Roman disciplines, than is a puppy-dog.  82

Enter Macmorris and Jamy, at a distance.


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


Captain Jamy is a marvellous falorous gentleman, that is certain; and of great expedition and knowledge in 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.  91


I say gud day, Captain Fluellen.


God-den to your worship, good Captain James.


How now, Captain Macmorris! have you quit the mines? have the pioners given o’er?


By Chrish, la! tish ill done: the work ish give over, the trumpet sound the retreat. By my hand, I swear, and my father’s soul, the work ish ill done; it ish give over: I would have blowed up the town, so Chrish save me, la! in an hour: O! tish ill done, tish ill done; by my hand, tish ill done!  103


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.  112


It sall be vary gud, gud feith, gud captains bath: [Aside.] and I sall quit you with gud leve, as I may pick occasion; that sall I, marry.


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 calls 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!  125


By the mess, ere theise eyes of mine take themselves to slumber, aile do gud service, or aile lig i’ the grund for it; ay, or go to death; and aile pay it as valorously as I may, that sal I suerly do, that is the breff and the long. Marry, I wad full fain heard some question ’tween you tway.  132


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


Of my nation! What ish my nation? ish a villain, and a bastard, and a knave, and a rascal? What ish my nation? Who talks of my nation?  139


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 wars, and in the derivation of my birth, and in other particularities.  146


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


Gentlemen both, you will mistake each other.


A! that’s a foul fault.

[A parley sounded.


The town sounds a parley.  153


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 wars; and there is an end.


Scene III.— The Same. Before the Gates of Harfleur.

The Governor and some Citizens on the walls; the English forces below. Enter King Henry and his Train.

K. Hen.

How yet resolves the governor of the town?

This is the latest parle we will admit:

Therefore to our best mercy give yourselves;

Or like to men proud of destruction  4

Defy us to our worst: for, as I am a soldier,—

A name that in my thoughts, becomes me best,—

If I begin the battery once again,

I will not leave the half-achieved Harfleur  8

Till in her ashes she lie buried.

The gates of mercy shall be all shut up,

And the flesh’d soldier, rough and hard of heart,

In liberty of bloody hand shall range  12

With conscience wide as hell, mowing like grass

Your fresh-fair virgins and your flowering infants.

What is it then to me, if impious war,

Array’d in flames like to the prince of fiends,  16

Do, with his smirch’d complexion, all fell feats

Enlink’d to waste and desolation?

What is’t to me, when you yourselves are cause,

If your pure maidens fall into the hand  20

Of hot and forcing violation?

What rein can hold licentious wickedness

When down the hill he holds his fierce career?

We may as bootless spend our vain command

Upon the enraged soldiers in their spoil  25

As send precepts to the leviathan

To come ashore. Therefore, you men of Harfleur,

Take pity of your town and of your people,  28

Whiles yet my soldiers are in my command;

Whiles yet the cool and temperate wind of grace

O’erblows the filthy and contagious clouds

Of heady murder, spoil, and villany.  32

If not, why, in a moment, look to see

The blind and bloody soldier with foul hand

Defile the locks of your shrill-shrieking daughters;

Your fathers taken by the silver beards,  36

And their most reverend heads dash’d to the walls;

Your naked infants spitted upon pikes,

Whiles the mad mothers with their howls confus’d

Do break the clouds, as did the wives of Jewry

At Herod’s bloody-hunting slaughtermen.  41

What say you? will you yield, and this avoid?

Or, guilty in defence, be thus destroy’d?


Our expectation hath this day an end.

The Dauphin, whom of succour we entreated,  45

Returns us that his powers are yet not ready

To raise so great a siege. Therefore, great king,

We yield our town and lives to thy soft mercy.

Enter our gates; dispose of us and ours;  49

For we no longer are defensible.

K. Hen.

Open your gates! Come, uncle Exeter,

Go you and enter Harfleur; there remain,  52

And fortify it strongly ’gainst the French:

Use mercy to them all. For us, dear uncle,

The winter coming on and sickness growing

Upon our soldiers, we will retire to Calais.  56

To-night in Harfleur will we be your guest;

To-morrow for the march are we addrest.

[Flourish. King Henry and his Train enter the town.

Scene IV.— Rouen. A Room in the Palace.

Enter Katharine and Alice.


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


Un peu, madame.  3


Je te prie, m’enseignez; il faut que j’apprenne à parler. Comment appellez vous la main en Anglois?


La main? elle est appellée, de hand.


De hand. Et les doigts?  8


Les doigts? ma foy, je oublie les doigts; mais je me souviendray. Les doigts? je pense qu’ils sont appellés de fingres; ouy, de fingres.  12


La main, de hand; les doigts, de fingres. Je pense que je suis le bon escolier. J’ai gagné deux mots d’Anglois vistement. Comment appellez vous les ongles?  16


Lesongles? nous les appellons, de nails.


De nails. Escoutez; dites moy, si je parle bien: de hands, de fingres, et de nails.


C’est bien dict, madame; il est fort bon Anglois.  21


Dites moy l’Anglois pour le bras.


De arm, madame.


Et le coude?  24


De elbow.


De elbow. Je m’en fais la répétition de tous les mots que vous m’avez appris dès à présent.  28


Il est trop difficile, madame, comme je pense.


Excusez moy, Alice; escoutez: de hand, de fingres, de nails, de arma, de bilbow.  32


De elbow, madame.


O Seigneur Dieu! je m’en oublie; de elbow. Comment appellez vous le col?


De nick, madame.  36


De nick. Et le menton?


De chin.


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


Ouy. Sauf vostre honneur, en vérité vous prononcez les mots aussi droict que les natifs d’Angleterre.


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


N’avez vous déjà oublié ce que je vous ay enseignée?


Non, je reciteray à vous promptement.

De hand, de fingre, de mails,—  49


De nails, madame.


De nails, de arme, de ilbow.


Sauf vostre honneur, d’elbow.  52


Ainsi dis je; d’elbow, de nick, et de sin. Comment appellez vous le pied et la robe?


De foot, madame; et de coun.  55


De foot, et de coun? O Seigneur Dieu! ces sont mots de son mauvais, corruptible, gros, et impudique, et non pour les dames d’honneur d’user. Je ne voudrois prononcer ces mots devant les seigneurs de France, pour tout le monde. Foh! le foot, et le coun. Néantmoins je reciterai une autre fois ma leçon ensemble: de hand, de fingre, de nails, d’arm, d’elbow, de nick, de sin, de foot, de coun.  64


Excellent, madame!


C’est assez pour une fois: allons nous à diner.


Scene V.— The Same. Another Room in the Palace.

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

Fr. King.

’Tis certain, he hath pass’d the river Somme.


And if he be not fought withal, my lord,

Let us not live in France; let us quit all,

And give our vineyards to a barbarous people.  4


O Dieu vivant! shall a few sprays of us,

The emptying of our fathers’ luxury,

Our scions, put in wild and savage stock,

Spirt up so suddenly into the clouds,  8

And overlook their grafters?


Normans, but bastard Normans, Norman bastards!

Mort de ma vie! if they march along

Unfought withal, but I will sell my dukedom,  12

To buy a slobbery and a dirty farm

In that nook-shotten isle of Albion.


Dieu de battailes! where have they this mettle?

Is not their climate foggy, raw, and dull,  16

On whom, as in despite, the sun looks pale,

Killing their fruit with frowns? Can sodden water,

A drench for sur-rein’d jades, their barley-broth,

Decoct their cold blood to such valiant heat?  20

And shall our quick blood, spirited with wine,

Seem frosty? O! for honour of our land,

Let us not hang like roping icicles

Upon our houses’ thatch, whiles a more frosty people  24

Sweat drops of gallant youth in our rich fields;

Poor we may call them in their native lords.


By faith and honour,

Our madams mock at us, and plainly say  28

Our mettle is bred out; and they will give

Their bodies to the lust of English youth

To new-store France with bastard warriors.


They bid us to the English dancing-schools,  32

And teach lavoltas high and swift corantos;

Saying our grace is only in our heels,

And that we are most lofty runaways.

Fr. King.

Where is Montjoy the herald? speed him hence:  36

Let him greet England with our sharp defiance.

Up, princes! and, with spirit of honour edg’d

More sharper than your swords, hie to the field:

Charles Delabreth, High Constable of France;  40

You Dukes of Orleans, Bourbon, and Berri,

Alençon, Brabant, Bar, and Burgundy;

Jaques Chatillon, Rambures, Vaudemont,

Beaumont, Grandpré, Roussi, and Fauconberg,

Foix, Lestrale, Bouciqualt, and Charolois;  45

High dukes, great princes, barons, lords, and knights,

For your great seats now quit you of great shames.

Bar Harry England, that sweeps through our land

With pennons painted in the blood of Harfleur:

Rush on his host, as doth the melted snow

Upon the valleys, whose low vassal seat

The Alps doth spit and void his rheum upon:  52

Go down upon him, you have power enough,

And in a captive chariot into Roan

Bring him our prisoner.


This becomes the great.

Sorry am I his numbers are so few,  56

His soldiers sick and famish’d in their march,

For I am sure when he shall see our army

He’ll drop his heart into the sink of fear,

And for achievement offer us his ransom.  60

Fr. King.

Therefore, lord constable, haste on Montjoy,

And let him say to England that we send

To know what willing ransom he will give.

Prince Dauphin, you shall stay with us in Roan.


Not so, I do beseech your majesty.  65

Fr. King.

Be patient, for you shall remain with us.

Now forth, lord constable and princes all,

And quickly bring us word of England’s fall.  68


Scene VI.— The English Camp in Picardy.

Enter Gower and Fluellen.


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


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


Is the Duke of Exeter safe?


The Duke of Exeter is as magnanimous as Agamemnon; and a man that I love and honour with my soul, and my heart, and my duty, and my life, and my living, and my uttermost power: he is not—God be praised and plessed!—any hurt in the world; but keeps the pridge most valiantly, with excellent discipline. There is an aunchient lieutenant there at the pridge, I think, in my very conscience, he is as valiant a man as Mark Antony; and he is a man of no estimation in the world; but I did see him do as gallant service.  17


What do you call him?


He is called Aunchient Pistol.


I know him not.  20

Enter Pistol.


Here is the man.


Captain, I thee beseech to do me favours:

The Duke of Exeter doth love thee well.


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


Bardolph, a soldier firm and sound of heart,

And of buxom valour, hath, by cruel fate

And giddy Fortune’s furious fickle wheel,  28

That goddess blind,

That stands upon the rolling restless stone,—


By your patience, Aunchient Pistol. Fortune is painted plind, with a muffler afore her eyes, to signify to you that Fortune is plind: and she is painted also with a wheel, to signify to 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.  40


Fortune is Bardolph’s foe, and frowns on him;

For he hath stol’n a pax, and hanged must a’ be,

A damned death!

Let gallows gape for dog, let man go free  44

And let not hemp his wind-pipe suffocate.

But Exeter hath given the doom of death

For pax of little price.

Therefore, go speak; the duke will hear thy voice;  48

And let not Bardolph’s vital thread be cut

With edge of penny cord and vile reproach:

Speak, captain, for his life, and I will thee requite.


Aunchient Pistol, I do partly understand your meaning.  53


Why then, rejoice therefore.


Certainly, aunchient, it is not a thing to rejoice at; for, if, look you, he were my brother, I would desire the duke to use his good pleasure and put him to execution; for discipline ought to be used.


Die and be damn’d; and figo for thy friendship!  60


It is well.


The fig of Spain!



Very good.


Why, this is an arrant counterfeit rascal: I remember him now; a bawd, a cutpurse.  66


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


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.  88


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 pridgo.

Enter King Henry, Gloucester, and Soldiers.


God pless your majesty!

K. Hen.

How now, Fluellen! cam’st thou from the bridge?  96


Ay, so please your majesty. The Duke of Exeter hath very gallantly maintained the pridge: the French is gone off, look you, and there is gallant and most prave passages. Marry, th’ athversary was have possession of the pridge, but he is enforced to retire, and the Duke of Exeter is master of the pridge. I can tell your majesty the duke is a prave man.  104

K. Hen.

What men have you lost, Fluellen?


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.  115

K. Hen.

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

Tucket. Enter Montjoy.


You know me by my habit.  124

K. Hen.

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


My master’s mind.

K. Hen.

Unfold it.  127


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.

K. Hen.

What is thy name? I know thy quality.  149



K. Hen.

Thou dost thy office fairly. Turn thee back,

And tell thy king I do not seek him now,  152

But could be willing to march on to Calais

Without impeachment; for, to say the sooth,—

Though ’tis no wisdom to confess so much

Unto an enemy of craft and vantage,—  156

My people are with sickness much enfeebled,

My numbers lessen’d, and those few I have

Almost no better than so many French:

Who, when they were in health, I tell thee, herald,  160

I thought upon one pair of English legs

Did march three Frenchmen. Yet, forgive me, God,

That I do brag thus! this your air of France

Hath blown that vice in me; I must repent.  164

Go therefore, tell thy master here I am:

My ransom is this frail and worthless trunk,

My army but a weak and sickly guard;

Yet, God before, tell him we will come on,  168

Though France himself and such another neighbour

Stand in our way. There’s for thy labour, Montjoy.

Go, bid thy master well advise himself:

If we may pass, we will; if we be hinder’d,  172

We shall your tawny ground with your red blood

Discolour: and so, Montjoy, fare you well.

The sum of all our answer is but this:

We would not seek a battle as we are;  176

Nor, as we are, we say we will not shun it:

So tell your master.


I shall deliver so. Thanks to your highness.



I hope they will not come upon us now.  180

K. Hen.

We are in God’s hand, brother, not in theirs.

March to the bridge; it now draws toward night:

Beyond the river we’ll encamp ourselves,

And on to-morrow bid them march away.  184


Scene VII.— The French Camp, near Agincourt.

Enter the Constable of France, the Lord Rambures, the Duke of Orleans, the Dauphin, and Others.


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


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


It is the best horse of Europe.


Will it never be morning?


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


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


What a long night is this! I will not change my horse with any that treads but on four pasterns. Ça, 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.


He’s of the colour of the nutmeg.  20


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


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


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


No more, cousin.  32


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!’—  44


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


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


Your mistress bears well.


Me well; which is the prescript praise and perfection of a good and particular mistress.  53


Ma foi, methought yesterday your mistress shrewdly shook your back.


So perhaps did yours.  56


Mine was not bridled.


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


You have good judgment in horsemanship.


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


I had as lief have my mistress a jade.


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


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


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


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


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


Stars, my lord.  80


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


And yet my sky shall not want.


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


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


Would I were able to load him with his desert! Will it never be day? I will trot to-morrow a mile, and my way shall be paved with English faces.  93


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


Who will go to hazard with me for twenty prisoners?


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


’Tis midnight: I’ll go arm myself.



The Dauphin longs for morning.


He longs to eat the English.  104


I think he will eat all he kills.


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


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


He is simply the most active gentleman of France.


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


He never did harm, that I heard of.


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


I know him to be valiant.


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


What’s he?  120


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


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


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.


‘Ill will never said well.’  128


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


And I will take up that with ‘Give the devil his due.’  132


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


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


You have shot over.


’Tis not the first time you were overshot.

Enter a Messenger.


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


Who hath measured the ground?


The Lord Grandpré.


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


What a wretched and peevish fellow is this King of England, to mope with his fatbrained followers so far out of his knowledge!


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


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


That island of England breeds very valiant creatures: their mastiffs are of unmatchable courage.  157


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


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.  168


Ay, but these English are shrewdly out of beef.


Then shall we find to-morrow they have only stomachs to eat and none to fight. Now is it time to arm; come, shall we about it?  173


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

We shall have each a hundred Englishmen.



Enter 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,  4

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  8

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,  12

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.  16

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  20

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  24

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  28

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,—  32

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;  36

Nor doth he dedicate one jot of colour

Unto the weary and all-watched night:

But freshly looks and overbears attaint

With cheerful semblance and sweet majesty;  40

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,  44

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;  48

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;  52

Minding true things by what their mockeries be.


Scene I.— The English Camp at Agincourt.

Enter King Henry, Bedford, and Gloucester.

K. Hen.

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,  4

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,  8

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.  12

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.


Not so, my liege: this lodging likes me better,  16

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 eas’d:

And when the mind is quicken’d, out of doubt,  20

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;  25

Do my good morrow to them; and anon

Desire them all to my pavilion.


We shall, my liege.  28

[Exeunt Gloucester and Bedford.


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 awhile,

And then I would no other company.  32


The Lord in heaven bless thee, noble Harry!


K. Hen.

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

Enter Pistol.


Qui va là?

K. Hen.

A friend.  36


Discuss unto me; art thou officer?

Or art thou base, common and popular?

K. Hen.

I am a gentleman of a company.


Trail’st thou the puissant pike?  40

K. Hen.

Even so. What are you?


As good a gentleman as the emperor.

K. Hen.

Then you are a better than the king.


The king’s a bawcock, and a heart of gold,  44

A lad of life, an imp of fame:

Of parents good, of fist most valiant:

I kiss his dirty shoe, and from my heart-string

I love the lovely bully. What’s thy name?  48

K. Hen.

Harry le Roy.


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

K. Hen.

No, I am a Welshman.


Know’st thou Fluellen?  52

K. Hen.



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

Upon Saint Davy’s day.

K. Hen.

Do not you wear your dagger in your cap that day, lest he knock that about yours.  57


Art thou his friend?

K. Hen.

And his kinsman too.


The figo for thee then!  60

K. Hen.

I thank you. God be with you!


My name is Pistol called.


K. Hen.

It sorts well with your fierceness.


Enter Fluellen and Gower, severally.


Captain Fluellen!  64


Sol in the name of Cheshu Christ, speak lower. It is the greatest admiration in the universal world, 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 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.  76


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


If the enemy is an ass and a fool and a prating coxcomb, is it meet, think you, that we should also, look you, be an ass and a fool and a prating coxcomb, in your own conscience now?


I will speak lower.  83


I pray you and peseech you that you will.

[Exeunt Gower and Fluellen.

K. Hen.

Though it appear a little out of fashion,

There is much care and valour in this Welshman.

Enter John Bates, Alexander Court, and Michael Williams.


Brother John Bates, is not that the morning which breaks yonder?  89


I think it be; but we have no great cause to desire the approach of day.


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

K. Hen.

A friend.


Under what captain serve you?  96

K. Hen.

Under Sir Thomas Erpingham.


A good old commander and a most kind gentleman: I pray you, what thinks he of our estate?  100

K. Hen.

Even as men wracked upon a sand, that look to be washed off the next tide.


He hath not told his thought to the king?  104

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.  118


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.  123

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.


Then I would he were here alone; so should he be sure to be ransomed, and a many poor men’s lives saved.  129

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.


That’s more than we know.  136


Ay, or more than we should seek after; for we know enough if we know we are the king’s subjects. If his cause be wrong, our obedience to the king wipes the crime of it out of us.  140


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 a battle, shall join together at the latter day, and cry all, ‘We died at such a place;’ some swearing, some crying for a surgeon, some upon their wives left poor behind them, some upon the debts they owe, some upon their children rawly left. I am afeard there are few die well that die in a battle; for how can they charitably dispose of 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.  155

K. Hen.

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 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 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.  199


’Tis certain, every man that dies ill, the ill upon his own head: the king is not to answer it.


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.  206


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.  211


You pay him then. That’s a perilous shot out of an elder-gun, that a poor and a private displeasure can do against a monarch. You may as well go about to turn the sun to ice with fanning in his face with a peacock’s feather. You’ll never trust his word after! come, ’tis a foolish saying.  218

K. Hen.

Your reproof is something too round; I should be angry with you if the time were convenient.  221


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

K. Hen.

I embrace it.  224


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.


Here’s my glove: give me another of thine.  230

K. Hen.



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.  237


Thou darest as well be hanged.

K. Hen.

Well, I will do it, though I take thee in the king’s company.  240


Keep thy word: fare thee well.


Be friends, you English fools, be friends: we have French quarrels enow, if you could tell how to reckon.  244

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 no English treason to cut French crowns, and to-morrow the king himself will be a clipper.  249

[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!  252

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!  257

And what have kings that privates have not too,

Save ceremony, save general ceremony?

And what art thou, thou idle ceremony?  260

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:  264

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,  268

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.  272

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,  276

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,  280

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  284

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,  288

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  292

Sweats in the eye of Phœbus, 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  296

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.  300

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.  304

Re-enter Erpingham.


My lord, your nobles, jealous of your absence,

Seek through your camp to find you.

K. Hen.

Good old knight,

Collect them all together at my tent:

I’ll be before thee.


I shall do’t, my lord.


K. Hen.

O God of battles! steel my soldiers’ hearts;  309

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!  312

O! not to-day, think not upon the fault

My father made in compassing the crown.

I Richard’s body have interr’d anew,

And on it have bestow’d more contrite tears  316

Than from it issu’d 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  320

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,  324

Imploring pardon.

Re-enter Gloucester.


My liege!

K. Hen.

My brother Gloucester’s voice! Ay;

I know thy errand, I will go with thee:  328

The day, my friends, and all things stay for me.


Scene II.— The French Camp.

Enter the Dauphin, Orleans, Rambures, and Others.


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


Montez à cheval! My horse! varlet! lacquais! ha!


O brave spirit!


Via! les eaux et la terre!  4


Rien puis? l’air et le feu.


Ciel! cousin Orleans.

Enter Constable.

Now, my lord constable!


Hark how our steeds for present service neigh!  8


Mount them, and make incision in their hides,

That their hot blood may spin in English eyes,

And dout them with superfluous courage: ha!


What! will you have them weep our horses’ blood?  12

How shall we then behold their natural tears?

Enter a Messenger.


The English are embattail’d, you French peers.


To horse, you gallant princes! straight to horse!

Do but behold yon poor and starved band,  16

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  20

To give each naked curtal-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.  24

’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  28

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,  33

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 Grandpré.


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

Yon island carrions desperate of their bones,

Ill-favour’dly become the morning field:  40

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:  44

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,  48

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.  52

Description cannot suit itself in words

To demonstrate the life of such a battle

In life so lifeless as it shows itself.


They have said their prayers, and they stay for death.  56


Shall we go send them dinners and fresh suits,

And give their fasting horses provender,

And after fight with them?


I stay but for my guard: on, to the field!  60

I will the banner from a trumpet take,

And use it for my haste. Come, come, away!

The sun is high, and we outwear the day.


Scene III.— The English Camp.

Enter the English host; Gloucester, Bedford, Exeter, Salisbury, and Westmoreland.


Where is the king?


The king himself is rode to view their battle.


Of fighting men they have full three-score thousand.


There’s five to one; besides, they all are fresh.  4


God’s arm strike with us! ’tis a fearful odds.

God be wi’ you, princes all; I’ll to my charge:

If we no more meet till we meet in heaven,

Then, joyfully, my noble Lord of Bedford,  8

My dear Lord Gloucester, and my good Lord Exeter,

And my kind kinsman, warriors all, adieu!


Farewell, good Salisbury; and good luck go with thee!


Farewell, kind lord. Fight valiantly to-day:  12

And yet I do thee wrong to mind thee of it,

For thou art fram’d of the firm truth of valour.

[Exit Salisbury.


He is as full of valour as of kindness;

Princely in both.

Enter King Henry.


O! that we now had here  16

But one ten thousand of those men in England

That do no work to-day.

K. Hen.

What’s he that wishes so?

My cousin Westmoreland? No, my fair cousin:

If we are mark’d to die, we are enow  20

To do our country loss; and if to live,

The fewer men, the greater share of honour.

God’s will! I pray thee, wish not one man more.

By Jove, I am not covetous for gold,  24

Nor care I who doth feed upon my cost;

It yearns me not if men my garments wear;

Such outward things dwell not in my desires:

But if it be a sin to covet honour,  28

I am the most offending soul alive.

No, faith, my coz, wish not a man from England:

God’s peace! I would not lose so great an honour

As one man more, methinks, would share from me,  32

For the best hope I have. O! do not wish one more:

Rather proclaim it, Westmoreland, through my host,

That he which hath no stomach to this fight,

Let him depart; his passport shall be made,  36

And crowns for convoy put into his purse:

We would not die in that man’s company

That fears his fellowship to die with us.

This day is call’d the feast of Crispian:  40

He that outlives this day, and comes safe home,

Will stand a tip-toe when this day is nam’d,

And rouse him at the name of Crispian.

He that shall live this day, and see old age,  44

Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbours,

And say, ‘To-morrow is Saint Crispian:’

Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars,

And say, ‘These wounds I had on Crispin’s day.’

Old men forget: yet all shall be forgot,  49

But he’ll remember with advantages

What feats he did that day. Then shall our names,

Familiar in his mouth as household words,  52

Harry the king, Bedford and Exeter,

Warwick and Talbot, Salisbury and Gloucester,

Be in their flowing cups freshly remember’d.

This story shall the good man teach his son;  56

And Crispin Crispian shall ne’er go by,

From this day to the ending of the world,

But we in it shall be remembered;

We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;  60

For he to-day that sheds his blood with me

Shall be my brother; be he ne’er so vile

This day shall gentle his condition:

And gentlemen in England, now a-bed  64

Shall think themselves accurs’d they were not here,

And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks

That fought with us upon Saint Crispin’s day.

Re-enter Salisbury.


My sov’reign lord, bestow yourself with speed:  68

The French are bravely in their battles set,

And will with all expedience charge on us.

K. Hen.

All things are ready, if our minds be so.


Perish the man whose mind is backward now!  72

K. Hen.

Thou dost not wish more help from England, coz?


God’s will! my liege, would you and I alone,

Without more help, could fight this royal battle!

K. Hen.

Why, now thou hast unwish’d five thousand men;  76

Which likes me better than to wish us one.

You know your places: God be with you all!

Tucket. Enter Montjoy.


Once more I come to know of thee, King Harry,

If for thy ransom thou wilt now compound,  80

Before thy most assured overthrow:

For certainly thou art so near the gulf

Thou needs must be englutted. Besides, in mercy,

The constable desires thee thou wilt mind  84

Thy followers of repentance; that their souls

May make a peaceful and a sweet retire

From off these fields, where, wretches, their poor bodies

Must lie and fester.

K. Hen.

Who hath sent thee now?  88


The Constable of France.

K. Hen.

I pray thee, bear my former answer back:

Bid them achieve me and then sell my bones.

Good God! why should they mock poor fellows thus?  92

The man that once did sell the lion’s skin

While the beast liv’d, was kill’d with hunting him.

A many of our bodies shall no doubt

Find native graves; upon the which, I trust,  96

Shall witness live in brass of this day’s work;

And those that leave their valiant bones in France,

Dying like men, though buried in your dung-hills,

They shall be fam’d; for there the sun shall greet them,  100

And draw their honours reeking up to heaven,

Leaving their earthly parts to choke your clime,

The smell whereof shall breed a plague in France.

Mark then abounding valour in our English,

That being dead, like to the bullet’s grazing,  105

Break out into a second course of mischief,

Killing in relapse of mortality.

Let me speak proudly: tell the constable,  108

We are but warriors for the working-day;

Our gayness and our gilt are all besmirch’d

With rainy marching in the painful field;

There’s not a piece of feather in our host—  112

Good argument, I hope, we will not fly—

And time hath worn us into slovenry:

But, by the mass, our hearts are in the trim;

And my poor soldiers tell me, yet ere night  116

They’ll be in fresher robes, or they will pluck

The gay new coats o’er the French soldiers’ heads,

And turn them out of service. If they do this,—

As, if God please, they shall,—my ransom then

Will soon be levied. Herald, save thou thy labour;  121

Come thou no more for ransom, gentle herald:

They shall have none, I swear, but these my joints;

Which if they have as I will leave ’em them,  124

Shall yield them little, tell the constable.


I shall, King Harry. And so, fare thee well:

Thou never shalt hear herald any more.


K. Hen.

I fear thou’lt once more come again for ransom.  128

Enter York.


My lord, most humbly on my knee I beg

The leading of the vaward.

K. Hen.

Take it, brave York. Now, soldiers, march away:

And how thou pleasest, God, dispose the day!


Scene IV.— The Field of Battle.

Alarums: Excursions. Enter French Soldier, Pistol, and Boy.


Yield, cur!

Fr. Sol.

Je pense que vous estes le gentilhomme de bonne qualité.


Quality? Calen O custure me! Art thou a gentleman?  4

What is thy name? discuss.

Fr. Sol.

O Seigneur Dieu!


O Signieur Dew should be a gentleman:—

Perpend my words, O Signieur Dew, and mark:

O Signieur Dew, thou diest on point of fox  9

Except, O signieur, thou do give to me

Egregious ransom.

Fr. Sol.

O, prenez misericorde! ayez pitié de moy!  13


Moy shall not serve; I will have forty moys;

Or I will fetch thy rim out at thy throat

In drops of crimson blood.  16

Fr. Sol.

Est-il impossible d’eschapper la force de ton bras?


Brass, cur!

Thou damned and luxurious mountain goat,  20

Offer’st me brass?

Fr. Sol.

O pardonnez moy!


Sayst thou me so? is that a ton of moys?

Come hither, boy: ask me this slave in French

What is his name.  25


Escoutez: comment estes vous appellé?

Fr. Sol.

Monsieur le Fer.


He says his name is Master Fer.  28


Master Fer! I’ll fer him, and firk him, and ferret him. Discuss the same in French unto him.


I do not know the French for fer, and ferret, and firk.  33


Bid him prepare, for I will cut his throat.

Fr. Sol.

Que dit-il, monsieur?


Il me commande à vous dire que vous faites vous prest; car ce soldat icy est disposé tout à cette heure de couper vostre gorge.


Ouy, cuppele gorge, permafoy.

Peasant, unless thou give me crowns, brave crowns;  40

Or mangled shalt thou be by this my sword.

Fr. Sol.

O! je vous supplie pour l’amour de

Dieu, me pardonner! Je suis le gentilhomme de bonne maison: gardez ma vie, et je vous donneray deux cents escus.  45


What are his words?


He prays you to save his life: he is a gentleman of a good house; and, for his ransom he will give you two hundred crowns.  49


Tell him, my fury shall abate, and I

The crowns will take.

Fr. Sol.

Petit monsieur, que dit-il?  52


Encore qu’il est contre son jurement de pardonner aucan prisonnier; neant-moins, pour les escus que vous l’avez promis, il est content de vous donner la liberte, le franchisement.  57

Fr. Sol.

Sur mes genoux, je vous donne mille remerciemens; et je m’estime heureux que je suis tombé entre les mains d’un chevalier, je pense, le plus brave, valiant, et très distingué seigneur d’Angleterre.


Expound unto me, boy.  63


He gives you, upon his knees, a thousand thanks; and he esteems himself happy that he hath fallen into the hands of one—as he thinks—the most brave, valorous, and thrice-worthy signieur of England.  68


As I suck blood, I will some mercy show.—

Follow me!

[Exeunt Pistol and French Soldier.


Suivez vous le grand capitaine. I did never know so full a voice issue from so empty a heart: but the saying is true, ‘The empty vessel makes the greatest sound.’ Bardolph and Nym had ten times more valour than this roaring devil i’ the old play, that every one may pare his nails with a wooden dagger; and they are both hanged; and so would this be if he durst steal anything adventurously. I must stay with the lackeys, with the luggage of our camp: the French might have a good prey of us, if he knew of it; for there is none to guard it but boys.


Scene V.— Another Part of the Field.

Alarums. Enter Dauphin, Orleans, Bourbon, Constable, Rambures, and Others. Con. O diable!


O seigneur! le jour est perdu! tout est perdu!


Mort de ma vie! all is confounded, all!

Reproach and everlasting shame  4

Sit mocking in our plumes. O meschante fortune!

Do not run away.

[A short alarum.


Why, all our ranks are broke.


O perdurable shame! let’s stab ourselves.

Be these the wretches that we play’d at dice for?  8


Is this the king we sent to for his ransom?


Shame, and eternal shame, nothing but shame!

Let’s die in honour! once more back again;

And he that will not follow Bourbon now,  12

Let him go hence, and with his cap in hand,

Like a base pander, hold the chamber-door

Whilst by a slave, no gentler than my dog,

His fairest daughter is contaminated.  16


Disorder, that hath spoil’d us, friend us now!

Let us on heaps go offer up our lives.


We are enough yet living in the field

To smother up the English in our throngs,  20

If any order might be thought upon.


The devil take order now! I’ll to the throng:

Let life be short, else shame will be too long.


Scene VI.— Another Part of the Field.

Alarums. Enter King Henry and Forces; Exeter, and Others.

K. Hen.

Well have we done, thrice-valiant countrymen:

But all’s not done; yet keep the French the field.


The Duke of York commends him to your majesty.

K. Hen.

Lives he, good uncle? thrice within this hour  4

I saw him down; thrice up again, and fighting;

From helmet to the spur all blood he was.


In which array, brave soldier, doth he lie,

Larding the plain; and by his bloody side,—  8

Yoke-fellow to his honour-owing wounds,—

The noble Earl of Suffolk also lies.

Suffolk first died: and York, all haggled over,

Comes to him, where in gore he lay insteep’d,  12

And takes him by the beard, kisses the gashes

That bloodily did yawn upon his face;

And cries aloud, ‘Tarry, dear cousin Suffolk!

My soul shall thine keep company to heaven;  16

Tarry, sweet soul, for mine, then fly abreast,

As in this glorious and well-foughten field,

We kept together in our chivalry!’

Upon these words I came and cheer’d him up:

He smil’d me in the face, raught me his hand,

And with a feeble gripe says, ‘Dear my lord,

Commend my service to my sovereign.’

So did he turn, and over Suffolk’s neck  24

He threw his wounded arm, and kiss’d his lips;

And so espous’d to death, with blood he seal’d

A testament of noble-ending love.

The pretty and sweet manner of it forc’d  28

Those waters from me which I would have stopp’d;

But I had not so much of man in me,

And all my mother came into mine eyes

And gave me up to tears.

K. Hen.

I blame you not;  32

For, hearing this, I must perforce compound

With mistful eyes, or they will issue too.


But hark! what new alarum is this same?

The French have reinforc’d their scatter’d men:

Then every soldier kill his prisoners!  37

Give the word through.


Scene VII.— Another Part of the Field.

Alarums. Enter Fluellen and Gower.


Kill the poys and the luggage! ’tis expressly against the law of arms: ’tis as arrant a piece of knavery, mark you now, as can be offer’t: in your conscience now, is it not?  4


’Tis certain, there’s not a boy left alive; and the cowardly rascals that ran from the battle have done this slaughter: besides, they have burned and carried away all that was in the king’s tent; wherefore the king most worthily hath caused every soldier to cut his prisoner’s throat. O! ’tis a gallant king.  11


Ay, he was porn at Monmouth, Captain Gower. What call you the town’s name where Alexander the Pig was born?


Alexander the Great.  15


Why, I pray you, is not pig great? The pig, or the great, or the mighty, or the huge, or the magnanimous, are all one reckonings, save the phrase is a little variations.  19


I think Alexander the Great was born in Macedon: his father was called Philip of Macedon, as I take it.


I think it is in Macedon where Alexander is porn. I tell you, captain, if you look in the maps of the ’orld, I warrant you sall find, in the comparisons between Macedon and Monmouth, that the situations, look you, is both alike. There is a river in Macedon, and there is also moreover a river at Monmouth: it is called Wye at Monmouth; but it is out of my prains what is the name of the other river; but ’tis all one, ’tis alike as my fingers is to my fingers, and there is salmons in both. If you mark Alexander’s life well, Harry of Monmouth’s life is come after it indifferent well; for there is figures in all things. Alexander,—God knows, and you know,—in his rages, and his furies, and his wraths, and his cholers, and his moods, and his displeasures, and his indignations, and also being a little intoxicates in his prains, did, in his ales and his angers, look you, kill his pest friend, Cleitus.  42


Our king is not like him in that: he never killed any of his friends.


It is not well done, mark you now, to take the tales out of my mouth, ere it is made and finished. I speak but in the figures and comparisons of it: as Alexander killed his friend Cleitus, being in his ales and his cups, so also Harry Monmouth, being in his right wits and his good judgments, turned away the fat knight with the great belly-doublet: he was full of jests, and gipes, and knaveries, and mocks; I have forgot his name.  54


Sir John Falstaff.


That is he. I’ll tell you, there is goot men porn at Monmouth.


Here comes his majesty.  58

Alarum. Enter King Henry, with a part of the English Forces; Warwick, Gloucester, Exeter, and Others.

K. Hen.

I was not angry since I came to France

Until this instant. Take a trumpet, herald;  60

Ride thou unto the horsemen on yon hill:

If they will fight with us, bid them come down,

Or void the field; they do offend our sight.

If they’ll do neither, we will come to them,  64

And make them skirr away, as swift as stones

Enforced from the old Assyrian slings.

Besides, we’ll cut the throats of those we have,

And not a man of them that we shall take  68

Shall taste our mercy. Go and tell them so.

Enter Montjoy.


Here comes the herald of the French, my liege.


His eyes are humbler than they us’d to be.

K. Hen.

How now! what means this, herald? know’st thou not  72

That I have fin’d these bones of mine for ransom?

Com’st thou again for ransom?


No, great king.

I come to thee for charitable licence,

That we may wander o’er this bloody field  76

To book our dead, and then to bury them;

To sort our nobles from our common men;

For many of our princes—woe the while!—

Lie drown’d and soak’d in mercenary blood;  80

So do our vulgar drench their peasant limbs

In blood of princes; and their wounded steeds

Fret fetlock-deep in gore, and with wild rage

Yerk out their armed heels at their dead masters,

Killing them twice. O! give us leave, great king,

To view the field in safety and dispose

Of their dead bodies.

K. Hen.

I tell thee truly, herald,

I know not if the day be ours or no;  88

For yet a many of your horsemen peer

And gallop o’er the field.


The day is yours.

K. Hen.

Praised be God, and not our strength, for it!

What is this castle call’d that stands hard by?


They call it Agincourt.  93

K. Hen.

Then call we this the field of Agincourt,

Fought on the day of Crispin Crispianus.


Your grandfather of famous memory, an’t please your majesty, and your great-uncle Edward the Plack Prince of Wales, as I have read in the chronicles, fought a most prave pattle here in France.  100

K. Hen.

They did, Fluellen.


Your majesty says very true. If your majesties is remembered of it, the Welshmen did good service in a garden where leeks did grow, wearing leeks in their Monmouth caps; which, your majesty know, to this hour is an honourable badge of the service; and I do believe, your majesty takes no scorn to wear the leek upon Saint Tavy’s day.  109

K. Hen.

I wear it for a memorable honour; For I am Welsh, you know, good countryman.


All the water in Wye cannot wash your majesty’s Welsh plood out of your pody, I can tell you that: Got pless it and preserve it, as long as it pleases his grace, and his majesty too!

K. Hen.

Thanks, good my countryman.  116


By Jeshu, I am your majesty’s countryman, I care not who know it; I will confess it to all the ’orld: I need not be ashamed of your majesty, praised be God, so long as your majesty is an honest man.  121

K. Hen.

God keep me so! Our heralds go with him:

Bring me just notice of the numbers dead

On both our parts. Call yonder fellow hither.

[Points to Williams. Exeunt Montjoy and Others.


Soldier, you must come to the king.

K. Hen.

Soldier, why wear’st thou that glove in thy cap?  127


An’t please your majesty, ’tis the gage of one that I should fight withal, if he be alive.

K. Hen.

An Englishman?


An’t please your majesty, a rascal that swaggered with me last night; who, if a’ live and ever dare to challenge this glove, I have sworn to take him a box o’ the ear: or, if I can see my glove in his cap,—which he swore as he was a soldier he would wear if alive,—I will strike it out soundly.  137

K. Hen.

What think you, Captain Fluellen? is it fit this soldier keep his oath?


He is a craven and a villain else, an’t please your majesty, in my conscience.  141

K. Hen.

It may be his enemy is a gentleman of great sort, quite from the answer of his degree.


Though he be as good a gentleman as the devil is, as Lucifer and Belzebub himself, it is necessary, look your Grace, that he keep his vow and his oath. If he be perjured, see you now, his reputation is as arrant a villain and a Jack-sauce as ever his black shoe trod upon God’s ground and his earth, in my conscience, la!  151

K. Hen.

Then keep thy vow, sirrah, when thou meetest the fellow.


So I will, my liege, as I live.

K. Hen.

Who servest thou under?


Under Captain Gower, my liege.  156


Gower is a goot captain, and is good knowledge and literatured in the wars.

K. Hen.

Call him hither to me, soldier.


I will, my liege.


K. Hen.

Here, Fluellen; wear thou this favour for me and stick it in thy cap. When Alençon and myself were down together I plucked this glove from his helm: if any man challenge this, he is a friend to Alençon, and an enemy to our person; if thou encounter any such, apprehend him, an thou dost me love.  167


Your Grace does me as great honours as can be desired in the hearts of his subjects: I would fain see the man that has but two legs that shall find himself aggriefed at this glove, that is all; but I would fain see it once, and please God of his grace that I might see.  173

K. Hen.

Knowest thou Gower?


He is my dear friend, an’t please you.

K. Hen.

Pray thee, go seek him, and bring him to my tent.  177


I will fetch him.


K. Hen.

My Lord of Warwick, and my brother Gloucester,

Follow Fluellen closely at the heels.  180

The glove which I have given him for a favour,

May haply purchase him a box o’ the ear;

It is the soldier’s; I by bargain should

Wear it myself. Follow, good cousin Warwick:

If that the soldier strike him,—as, I judge  185

By his blunt bearing he will keep his word,—

Some sudden mischief may arise of it;

For I do know Fluellen valiant,  188

And touch’d with choler, hot as gunpowder,

And quickly will return an injury:

Follow and see there be no harm between them.

Go you with me, uncle of Exeter.


Scene VIII.— Before King Henry’s Pavilion.

Enter Gower and Williams.


I warrant it is to knight you, captain.

Enter Fluellen.


God’s will and his pleasure, captain, I peseech you now come apace to the king: there is more good toward you peradventure than is in your knowledge to dream of.  5


Sir, know you this glove?


Know the glove! I know the glove is a glove.


I know this; and thus I challenge it.  8

[Strikes him.


’Sblood! an arrant traitor as any’s in the universal ’orld, or in France, or in England


How now, sir! you villain!


Do you think I’ll be forsworn?  12


Stand away, Captain Gower; I will give treason his payment into plows, I warrant you.


I am no traitor.


That’s a lie in thy throat. I charge you in his majesty’s name, apprehend him: he is a friend of the Duke Alençon’s.  18

Enter Warwick and Gloucester.


How now, how now! what’s the matter?


My Lord of Warwick, here is,—praised be God for it!—a most contagious treason come to light, look you, as you shall desire in a summer’s day. Here is his majesty.

Enter King Henry and Exeter.

K. Hen.

How now! what’s the matter?  24


My liege, here is a villain and a traitor, that, look your Grace, has struck the glove which your majesty is take out of the helmet of Alençon.


My liege, this was my glove; here is the fellow of it; and he that I gave it to in change promised to wear it in his cap: I promised to strike him, if he did: I met this man with my glove in his cap, and I have been as good as my word.  33


Your majesty hear now,—saving your majesty’s manhood,—what an arrant, rascally, beggarly, lousy knave it is. I hope your majesty is pear me testimony and witness, and avouchments, that this is the glove of Alençon that your majesty is give me; in your conscience now.

K. Hen.

Give me thy glove, soldier: look, here is the fellow of it.  41

’Twas I, indeed, thou promisedst to strike;

And thou hast given me most bitter terms.


An’t please your majesty, let his neck answer for it, if there is any martial law in the ’orld.

K. Hen.

How canst thou make me satisfaction?  48


All offences, my lord, come from the heart: never came any from mine that might offend your majesty.

K. Hen.

It was ourself thou didst abuse.  52


Your majesty came not like yourself: you appeared to me but as a common man; witness the night, your garments, your lowliness; and what your highness suffered under that shape, I beseech you, take it for your own fault and not mine: for had you been as I took you for I made no offence; therefore, I beseech your highness, pardon me.  60

K. Hen.

Here, uncle Exeter, fill this glove with crowns,

And give it to this fellow. Keep it, fellow;

And wear it for an honour in thy cap

Till I do challenge it. Give him the crowns:  64

And, captain, you must needs be friends with him.


By this day and this light, the fellow has mettle enough in his belly. Hold, there is twelve pence for you, and I pray you to serve God, and keep you out of prawls, and prabbles, and quarrels, and dissensions, and, I warrant you, it is the better for you.


I will none of your money.  72


It is with a good will; I can tell you it will serve you to mend your shoes: come, wherefore should you be so pashful? your shoes is not so good: ’tis a good shilling, I warrant you, or I will change it.  77

Enter an English Herald.

K. Hen.

Now, herald, are the dead number’d?


Here is the number of the slaughter’d French.

[Delivers a paper.

K. Hen.

What prisoners of good sort are taken, uncle?  80


Charles Duke of Orleans, nephew to the king;

John Duke of Bourbon, and Lord Bouciqualt:

Of other lords and barons, knights and squires,

Full fifteen hundred, besides common men.  84

K. Hen.

This note doth tell me of ten thousand French

That in the field lie slain: of princes, in this number,

And nobles bearing banners, there lie dead

One hundred twenty-six: added to these,  88

Of knights, esquires, and gallant gentlemen,

Eight thousand and four hundred; of the which

Five hundred were but yesterday dubb’d knights:

So that, in these ten thousand they have lost,  92

There are but sixteen hundred mercenaries;

The rest are princes, barons, lords, knights, squires,

And gentlemen of blood and quality.

The names of those their nobles that lie dead:  96

Charles Delabreth, High Constable of France;

Jaques of Chatillon, Admiral of France;

The master of the cross-bows, Lord Rambures;

Great-master of France, the brave Sir Guischard Dauphin;  100

John Duke of Alençon; Antony Duke of Brabant,

The brother to the Duke of Burgundy,

And Edward Duke of Bar: of lusty earls,

Grandpré and Roussi, Fauconberg and Foix,  104

Beaumont and Marle, Vaudemont and Lestrale.

Here was a royal fellowship of death!

Where is the number of our English dead?

[Herald presents another paper.

Edward the Duke of York, the Earl of Suffolk,

Sir Richard Ketly, Davy Gam, esquire:  109

None else of name: and of all other men

But five and twenty. O God! thy arm was here;

And not to us, but to thy arm alone,  112

Ascribe we all. When, without stratagem,

But in plain shock and even play of battle,

Was ever known so great and little loss

On one part and on the other? Take it, God,

For it is none but thine!


’Tis wonderful!  117

K. Hen.

Come, go we in procession to the village:

And be it death proclaimed through our host

To boast of this or take the praise from God  120

Which is his only.


Is it not lawful, an please your majesty, to tell how many is killed?

K. Hen.

Yes, captain; but with this acknowledgment,  124

That God fought for us.


Yes, my conscience, he did us great good.

K. Hen.

Do we all holy rites:

Let there be sung Non nobis and Te Deum;  128

The dead with charity enclos’d in clay.

We’ll then to Calais; and to England then,

Where ne’er from France arriv’d more happy men.



Enter Chorus.


Vouchsafe to those that have not read the story,

That I may prompt them: and of such as have,

I humbly pray them to admit the excuse

Of time, of numbers, and due course of things,  4

Which cannot in their huge and proper life

Be here presented. Now we bear the king

Toward Calais: grant him there; there seen,

Heave him away upon your winged thoughts  8

Athwart the sea. Behold, the English beach

Pales in the flood with men, with wives, and boys,

Whose shouts and claps out-voice the deep-mouth’d sea,

Which, like a mighty whiffler ’fore the king,  12

Seems to prepare his way: so let him land

And solemnly see him set on to London.

So swift a pace hath thought that even now

You may imagine him upon Blackheath;  16

Where that his lords desire him to have borne

His bruised helmet and his bended sword

Before him through the city: he forbids it,

Being free from vainness and self-glorious pride;  20

Giving full trophy, signal and ostent,

Quite from himself, to God. But now behold,

In the quick forge and working-house of thought,

How London doth pour out her citizens.  24

The mayor and all his brethren in best sort,

Like to the senators of the antique Rome,

With the plebeians swarming at their heels,

Go forth and fetch their conquering Cæsar in:

As, by a lower but loving likelihood,  29

Were now the general of our gracious empress,

As in good time he may,—from Ireland coming,

Bringing rebellion broached on his sword,  32

How many would the peaceful city quit

To welcome him! much more, and much more cause,

Did they this Harry. Now in London place him;

As yet the lamentation of the French  36

Invites the King of England’s stay at home,

The emperor’s coming in behalf of France,

To order peace between them;—and omit

All the occurrences, whatever chanc’d,  40

Till Harry’s back-return again to France:

There must we bring him; and myself have play’d

The interim, by remembering you ’tis past.

Then brook abridgment, and your eyes advance,

After your thoughts, straight back again to France.


Scene I.— France. An English Court of Guard.

Enter Fluellen and Gower.


Nay, that’s right; but why wear you your leek to-day? Saint Davy’s day is past.


There is occasions and causes why and wherefore in all things: I will tell you, asse my friend, Captain Gower. The rascally, scald, beggarly, lousy, pragging knave, Pistol,—which you and yourself and all the ’orld know to be no petter than a fellow,—look you now, of no merits, he is come to me and prings me pread and salt yesterday, look you, and pid me eat my leek. It was in a place where I could not preed no contention with him; but I will be so pold as to wear it in my cap till I see him once again, and then I will tell him a little piece of my desires.


Why, here he comes, swelling like a turkey-cock.  16

Enter Pistol.


’Tis no matter for his swellings nor his turkey-cocks. God pless you, Aunchient Pistol! you scurvy, lousy knave, God pless you!


Ha! art thou bedlam? dost thou thirst, base Troyan,  20

To have me fold up Parca’s fatal web?

Hence! I am qualmish at the smell of leek.


I peseech you heartily, scurvy lousy knave, at my desires and my requests and my petitions to eat, look you, this leek; pecause, look you, you do not love it, nor your affections and your appetites and your digestions does not agree with it, I would desire you to eat it.  28


Not for Cadwallader and all his goats.


[Strikes him.] There is one goat for you.

Will you be so good, scald knave, as eat it?


Base Troyan, thou shalt die.  32


You say very true, scald knave, when

God’s will is. I will desire you to live in the mean time and eat your victuals; come, there is sauce for it. [Strikes him again.] You called me yesterday mountain-squire, but I will make you to-day a squire of low degree. I pray you, fall to: if you can mock a leek you can eat a leek.


Enough, captain: you have astonished him.  41


I say, I will make him eat some part of my leek, or I will peat his pate four days. Bite, I pray you; it is good for your green wound and your ploody coxcomb.  45


Must I bite?


Yes, certainly, and out of doubt and out of question too and ambiguities.  48


By this leek, I will most horribly revenge. I eat and eat, I swear—


Eat, I pray you: will you have some more sauce to your leek? there is not enough leek to swear by.  53


Quiet thy cudgel: thou dost see I eat.


Much good do you, scald knave, heartily. Nay, pray you, throw none away; the skin is good for your broken coxcomb. When you take occasions to see leeks hereafter, I pray you, mock at ’em; that is all.


Good.  60


Ay, leeks is good. Hold you, there is a groat to heal your pate.


Me a groat!


Yes, verily and in truth, you shall take it; or I have another leek in my pocket, which you shall eat.  66


I take thy groat in earnest of revenge.


If I owe you anything I will pay you in cudgels: you shall be a woodmonger, and buy nothing of me but cudgels. God be wi’ you, and keep you, and heal your pate.



All hell shall stir for this.  72


Go, go; you are a counterfeit cowardly knave. Will you mock at an ancient tradition, begun upon an honourable respect, and worn as a memorable trophy of predeceased valour, and dare not a vouch in your deeds any of your words? I have seen you gleeking and galling at this gentleman twice or thrice. You thought, because he could not speak English in the native garb, he could not therefore handle an English cudgel: you find it otherwise; and henceforth let a Welsh correction teach you a good English condition. Fare ye well.



Doth Fortune play the huswife with me now?  85

News have I that my Nell is dead i’ the spital

Of malady of France:

And there my rendezvous is quite cut off.  88

Old I do wax, and from my weary limbs

Honour is cudgelled. Well, bawd I’ll turn,

And something lean to cutpurse of quick hand.

To England will I steal, and there I’ll steal:  92

And patches will I get unto these cudgell’d scars,

And swear I got them in the Gallia wars.


Scene II.— Troyes in Champagne. An Apartment in the French King’s Palace.

Enter, from one side, King Henry, Bedford, Gloucester, Exeter, Warwick, Westmoreland, and other Lords; from the other side, the French King, Queen Isabel, the Princess Katharine, Alice and other Ladies; the Duke of Burgundy, and his Train.

K. Hen.

Peace to this meeting, wherefore we are met!

Unto our brother France, and to our sister,

Health and fair time of day; joy and good wishes

To our most fair and princely cousin Katharine;

And, as a branch and member of this royalty,  5

By whom this great assembly is contriv’d,

We do salute you, Duke of Burgundy;

And, princes French, and peers, health to you all!  8

Fr. King.

Right joyous are we to behold your face,

Most worthy brother England; fairly met:

So are you, princes English, every one.

Q. Isa.

So happy be the issue, brother England,

Of this good day and of this gracious meeting,  13

As we are now glad to behold your eyes;

Your eyes, which hitherto have borne in them

Against the French, that met them in their bent,

The fatal balls of murdering basilisks:  17

The venom of such looks, we fairly hope,

Have lost their quality, and that this day

Shall change all griefs and quarrels into love.  20

K. Hen.

To cry amen to that, thus we appear.

Q. Isa.

You English princes all, I do salute you.


My duty to you both, on equal love,

Great Kings of France and England! That I have labour’d  24

With all my wits, my pains, and strong endeavours,

To bring your most imperial majesties

Unto this bar and royal interview,

Your mightiness on both parts best can witness.

Since then my office hath so far prevail’d  29

That face to face, and royal eye to eye,

You have congreeted, let it not disgrace me

If I demand before this royal view,  32

What rub or what impediment there is,

Why that the naked, poor, and mangled Peace,

Dear nurse of arts, plenties, and joyful births,

Should not in this best garden of the world,  36

Our fertile France, put up her lovely visage?

Alas! she hath from France too long been chas’d,

And all her husbandry doth lie on heaps,

Corrupting in its own fertility.  40

Her vine, the merry cheerer of the heart,

Unpruned dies; her hedges even-pleach’d,

Like prisoners wildly overgrown with hair,

Put forth disorder’d twigs; her fallow leas  44

The darnel, hemlock and rank fumitory

Doth root upon, while that the coulter rusts

That should deracinate such savagery;

The even mead, that erst brought sweetly forth

The freckled cowslip, burnet, and green clover,

Wanting the scythe, all uncorrected, rank,

Conceives by idleness, and nothing teems  51

But hateful docks, rough thistles, kecksies, burs,

Losing both beauty and utility;

And as our vineyards, fallows, meads, and hedges,

Defective in their natures, grow to wildness,

Even so our houses and ourselves and children

Have lost, or do not learn for want of time,  57

The sciences that should become our country,

But grow like savages,—as soldiers will,

That nothing do but meditate on blood,—  60

To swearing and stern looks, diffus’d attire,

And every thing that seems unnatural.

Which to reduce into our former favour

You are assembled; and my speech entreats  64

That I may know the let why gentle Peace

Should not expel these inconveniences,

And bless us with her former qualities.

K. Hen.

If, Duke of Burgundy, you would the peace,  68

Whose want gives growth to the imperfections

Which you have cited, you must buy that peace

With full accord to all our just demands;

Whose tenours and particular effects  72

You have, enschedul’d briefly, in your hands.


The king hath heard them; to the which as yet,

There is no answer made.

K. Hen.

Well then the peace,

Which you before so urg’d, lies in his answer.  76

Fr. King

I have but with a cursorary eye

O’erglanc’d the articles: pleaseth your Grace

To appoint some of your council presently

To sit with us once more, with better heed  80

To re-survey them, we will suddenly

Pass our accept and peremptory answer.

K. Hen.

Brother, we shall. Go, uncle Exeter,

And brother Clarence, and you, brother Gloucester,  84

Warwick and Huntingdon, go with the king;

And take with you free power to ratify,

Augment, or alter, as your wisdoms best

Shall see advantageable for our dignity,  88

Anything in or out of our demands,

And we’ll consign thereto. Will you, fair sister,

Go with the princes, or stay here with us?

Q. Isa.

Our gracious brother, I will go with them.  92

Haply a woman’s voice may do some good

When articles too nicely urg’d be stood on.

K. Hen.

Yet leave our cousin Katharine here with us:

She is our capital demand, compris’d  96

Within the fore-rank of our articles.

Q. Isa.

She hath good leave.

[Exeunt all except King Henry, Katharine, and Alice.

K. Hen.

Fair Katharine, and most fair!

Will you vouchsafe to teach a soldier terms,

Such as will enter at a lady’s ear,  100

And plead his love-suit to her gentle heart?


Your majesty sall mock at me; I cannot speak your England.

K. Hen.

O fair Katharine! if you will love me soundly with your French heart, I will be glad to hear you confess it brokenly with your English tongue. Do you like me, Kate?  107


Pardonnez moy, I cannot tell vat is ‘like me.’

K. Hen.

An angel is like you, Kate; and you are like an angel.


Que dit-il? que je suis semblable à les anges?  113


Ouy, vrayment, sauf vostre grace, ainsi dit-il.

K. Hen.

I said so, dear Katharine; and I must not blush to affirm it.  117


O bon Dieu! les langues des hommes sont pleines des tromperies.

K. Hen.

What says she, fair one? that the tongues of men are full of deceits?  121


Ouy, dat de tongues of de mans is be full of deceits: dat is de princess.

K. Hen.

The princess is the better Englishwoman. I’ faith, Kate, my wooing is fit for thy understanding: I am glad thou canst speak no better English; for, if thou couldst, thou wouldst find me such a plain king that thou wouldst think I had sold my farm to buy my crown. I know no ways to mince it in love, but directly to say ‘I love you:’ then, if you urge me further than to say ‘Do you in faith?’ I wear out my suit. Give me your answer; i’ faith do: and so clap hands and a bargain. How say you, lady?


Sauf vostre honneur, me understand vell.

K. Hen.

Marry, if you would put me to verses, or to dance for your sake, Kate, why you undid me: for the one, I have neither words nor measure, and for the other, I have no strength in measure, yet a reasonable measure in strength. If I could win a lady at leap-frog, or by vaulting into my saddle with my armour on my back, under the correction of bragging be it spoken, I should quickly leap into a wife. Or if I might buffet for my love, or bound my horse for her favours, I could lay on like a butcher and sit like a jack-an-apes, never off. But before God, Kate, I cannot look greenly nor gasp out my eloquence, nor I have no cunning in protestation; only downright oaths, which I never use till urged, nor never break for urging. If thou caust love a fellow of this temper, Kate. whose face is not worth sun-burning, that never looks in his glass for love of anything he sees there, let thine eye be thy cook. I speak to thee plain soldier: if thou canst love me for this, take me; if not, to say to thee that I shall die, is true; but for thy love, by the Lord, no; yet I love thee too. And while thou livest, dear Kate, take a fellow of plain and uncoined constancy, for he perforce must do thee right, because he hath not the gift to woo in other places; for these fellows of infinite tongue, that can rime themselves into ladies’ favours, they do always reason themselves out again. What! a speaker is but a prater; a rime is but a ballad. A good leg will fall, a straight back will stoop, a black beard will turn white, a curled pate will grow bald, a fair face will wither, a full eye will wax hollow, but a good heart, Kate, is the sun and the moon; or, rather, the sun, and not the moon; for it shines bright and never changes, but keeps his course truly. If thou would have such a one, take me; and take me, take a soldier; take a soldier, take a king. And what sayest thou then to my love? speak, my fair, and fairly, I pray thee.


Is it possible dat I sould love de enemy of France?  178

K. Hen.

No; it is not possible you should love the enemy of France, Kate; but, in loving me, you should love the friend of France; for I love France so well, that I will not part with a village of it; I will have it all mine: and, Kate, when France is mine and I am yours, then yours is France and you are mine.  185


I cannot tell vat is dat.

K. Hen.

No, Kate? I will tell thee in French, which I am sure will hang upon my tongue like a new-married wife about her husband’s neck, hardly to be shook off. Je quand sur le possession de France, et quand vous avez le possession de moy,—let me see, what then? Saint Denis be my speed!—donc vostre est France, et vous estes mienne. It is as easy for me, Kate, to conquer the kingdom, as to speak so much more French: I shall never move thee in French, unless it be to laugh at me.  197


Sauf vostre honneur, le François que vous parlez est meilleur que l’Anglois lequel je parle.  200

K. Hen.

No, faith, is’t not, Kate; but thy speaking of my tongue, and I thine, most truly falsely, must needs be granted to be much at one. But, Kate, dost thou understand thus much English, Canst thou love me?  205


I cannot tell.

K. Hen.

Can any of your neighbours tell, Kate? I’ll ask them. Come, I know thou lovest me; and at night when you come into your closet you’ll question this gentlewoman about me; and I know, Kate, you will to her dispraise those parts in me that you love with your heart: but, good Kate, mock me mercifully; the rather, gentle princess, because I love thee cruelly. If ever thou be’st mine, Kate,—as I have a saving faith within me tells me thou shalt,—I get thee with scambling, and thou must therefore needs prove a good soldier-breeder. Shall not thou and I, between Saint Denis and Saint George, compound a boy, half French, half English, that shall go to Constantinople and take the Turk by the beard? shall we not? what sayest thou, my fair flower-de-luce?


I do not know dat.  224

K. Hen.

No; ’tis hereafter to know, but now to promise: do but now promise, Kate, you will endeavour for your French part of such a boy, and for my English moiety take the word of a king and a bachelor. How answer you, la plus belle Katharine du monde, mon très cher et divine déesse?  231


Your majesté ave fausse French enough to deceive de most sage demoiselle dat is en France.  234

K. Hen.

Now, fie upon my false French! By mine honour, in true English I love thee, Kate: by which honour I dare not swear thou lovest me; yet my blood begins to flatter me that thou dost, notwithstanding the poor and untempering effect of my visage. Now beshrew my father’s ambition! he was thinking of civil wars when he got me: therefore was I created with a stubborn outside, with an aspect of iron, that, when I come to woo ladies I fright them. But, in faith, Kate, the elder I wax the better I shall appear: my comfort is, that old age, that ill layer-up of beauty, can do no more spoil upon my face: thou hast me, if thou hast me, at the worst; and thou shalt wear me, if thou wear me, better and better. And therefore tell me, most fair Katharine, will you have me? Put off your maiden blushes; avouch the thoughts of your heart with the looks of an empress; take me by the hand, and say ‘Harry of England, I am thine:’ which word thou shalt no sooner bless mine ear withal, but I will tell thee aloud—‘England is thine, Ireland is thine, France is thine, and Henry Plantagenet is thine;’ who, though I speak it before his face, if he be not fellow with the best king, thou shalt find the best king of good fellows. Come, your answer in broken music; for thy voice is music, and thy English broken; therefore, queen of all, Katharine, break thy mind to me in broken English: wilt thou have me?  265


Dat is as it sall please de roy mon père.

K. Hen.

Nay, it will please him well, Kate; it shall please him, Kate.  268


Den it sall also content me.

K. Hen.

Upon that I kiss your hand, and I call you my queen.


Laissez, mon seigneur, laissez, laissez! Ma foy, je ne veux point que vous abaissez vostre grandeur, en baisant la main d’une vostre indigne serviteure: excusez moy, je vous supplie, mon très puissant seigneur.  276

K. Hen.

Then I will kiss your lips, Kate.


Les dames, et demoiselles, pour estre baisées devant leur noces, il n’est pas la coutume de France.  280

K. Hen.

Madam my interpreter, what says she?


Dat it is not be de fashion pour les ladies of France,—I cannot tell what is baiser in English.  284

K. Hen.

To kiss.


Your majesty entendre bettre que moy.

K. Hen

It is not a fashion for the maids in France to kiss before they are married, would she say?  289


Ouy, vrayment.

K. Hen.

O Kate! nice customs curtsy to great kings. Dear Kate, you and I cannot be confined within the weak list of a country’s fashion: we are the makers of manners, Kate; and the liberty that follows our places stops the mouths of all find-faults, as I will do yours, for upholding the nice fashion of your country in denying me a kiss: therefore, patiently, and yielding [Kissing her]. You have witchcraft in your lips, Kate: there is more eloquence in a sugar touch of them, than in the tongues of the French council; and they should sooner persuade Harry of England than a general petition of monarchs. Here comes your father.  304

Re-enter the King and Queen, Burgundy, Bedford, Gloucester, Exeter, Warwick, Westmoreland, and other French and English Lords.


God save your majesty! My royal cousin, teach you our princess English?

K. Hen.

I would have her learn, my fair cousin, how perfectly I love her; and that is good English.  309


Is she not apt?

K. Hen.

Our tongue is rough, coz, and my condition is not smooth; so that, having neither the voice nor the heart of flattery about me, I cannot so conjure up the spirit of love in her, that he will appear in his true likeness.  315


Pardon the frankness of my mirth if I answer you for that. If you would conjure in her, you must make a circle; if conjure up Love in her in his true likeness, he must appear naked and blind. Can you blame her then, being a maid yet rosed over with the virgin crimson of modesty, if she deny the appearance of a naked blind boy in her naked seeing self? It were, my lord, a hard condition for a maid to consign to.  325

K. Hen.

Yet they do wink and yield, as love is blind and enforces.


They are then excused, my lord, when they see not what they do.  329

K. Hen.

Then, good my lord, teach your cousin to consent winking.


I will wink on her to consent, my lord, if you will teach her to know my meaning: for maids, well summered and warm kept, are like flies at Bartholomew-tide, blind, though they have their eyes; and then they will endure handling, which before would not abide looking on.

K. Hen.

This moral ties me over to time and a hot summer; and so I shall catch the fly, your cousin, in the latter end, and she must be blind too.  341


As love is, my lord, before it loves.

K. Hen.

It is so: and you may, some of you, thank love for my blindness, who cannot see many a fair French city for one fair French maid that stands in my way.  346

Fr. King.

Yes, my lord, you see them perspectively, the cities turned into a maid; for they are all girdled with maiden walls that war hath never entered.

K. Hen.

Shall Kate be my wife?

Fr. King.

So please you.  352

K. Hen.

I am content; so the maiden cities you talk of may wait on her: so the maid that stood in the way for my wish shall show me the way to my will.  356

Fr. King.

We have consented to all terms of reason.

K. Hen.

Is’t so, my lords of England?


The king hath granted every article:

His daughter first, and then in sequel all,  361

According to their firm proposed natures.


Only he hath not yet subscribed this:

Where your majesty demands, that the King of France, having any occasion to write for matter of grant, shall name your highness in this form, and with this addition, in French, Notre très cher filz Henry roy d’Angleterre, Héretier de France; and thus in Latin, Præclarissimus filius noster Henricus, Rex Angliæ, et Hæres Franciæ.

Fr. King.

Nor this I have not, brother, so denied,

But your request shall make me let it pass.  372

K. Hen.

I pray you then, in love and dear alliance,

Let that one article rank with the rest;

And thereupon give me your daughter.

Fr. King.

Take her, fair son; and from her blood raise up  376

Issue to me; that the contending kingdoms

Of France and England, whose very shores look pale

With envy of each other’s happiness,

May cease their hatred, and this dear conjunction

Plant neighbourhood and Christian-like accord

In their sweet bosoms, that never war advance

His bleeding sword ’twixt England and fair France.


Amen!  384

K. Hen.

Now, welcome, Kate: and bear me witness all,

That here I kiss her as my sovereign queen.


Q. Isa.

God, the best maker of all marriages,

Combine your hearts in one, your realms in one!

As man and wife, being two, are one in love,  389

So be there ’twixt your kingdoms such a spousal

That never may ill office, or fell jealousy,

Which troubles oft the bed of blessed marriage,

Thrust in between the paction of these kingdoms,

To make divorce of their incorporate league;

That English may as French, French Englishmen,

Receive each other! God speak this Amen!  396



K. Hen.

Prepare we for our marriage: on which day,

My Lord of Burgundy, we’ll take your oath,

And all the peers’, for surety of our leagues.  400

Then shall I swear to Kate, and you to me;

And may our oaths well kept and prosperous be!

[Sennet. Exeunt.

Enter Chorus.

Thus far, with rough and all-unable pen,

Our bending author hath pursu’d the story;

In little room confining mighty men,  405

Mangling by starts the full course of their glory.

Small time, but in that small most greatly liv’d

This star of England: Fortune made his sword,

By which the world’s best garden he achiev’d,  409

And of it left his son imperial lord.

Henry the Sixth, in infant bands crown’d King

Of France and England, did this king succeed;

Whose state so many had the managing,  413

That they lost France and made his England bleed:

Which oft our stage hath shown; and, for their sake,

In your fair minds let this acceptance take.  416