The Complete Works of William Shakespeare The Life of King Henry the Fifth

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London. An ante-chamber in the KING’S palace


CANTERBURY. 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 Did push it out of farther question.
ELY. But how, my lord, shall we resist it now? CANTERBURY. It must be thought on. If it pass against us, We lose the better half of our possession; For all the temporal lands which men devout By testament have given to the church
Would they strip from us; being valu’d thus- As much as would maintain, to the King’s honour, Full fifteen earls and fifteen hundred knights, Six thousand and two hundred good esquires; And, to relief of lazars and weak age, Of indigent faint souls, past corporal toil, A hundred alms-houses right well supplied; And to the coffers of the King, beside, A thousand pounds by th’ year: thus runs the bill. ELY. This would drink deep.
CANTERBURY. ‘T would drink the cup and all. ELY. But what prevention?
CANTERBURY. The King is full of grace and fair regard. ELY. And a true lover of the holy Church. CANTERBURY. The courses of his youth promis’d it not. The breath no sooner left his father’s body But that his wildness, mortified in him, Seem’d to die too; yea, at that very moment, Consideration like an angel came
And whipp’d th’ offending Adam out of him, Leaving his body as a paradise
T’envelop and contain celestial spirits. Never was such a sudden scholar made;
Never came reformation in a flood, With such a heady currance, scouring faults; Nor never Hydra-headed wilfulnes
So soon did lose his seat, and all at once, As in this king.
ELY. We are blessed in the change. CANTERBURY. Hear him but reason in divinity, And, all-admiring, with an inward wish You would desire the King were made a prelate; Hear him debate of commonwealth affairs, You would say it hath been all in all his study; List his discourse of war, and you shall hear A fearful battle rend’red you in music. Turn him to any cause of policy,
The Gordian knot of it he will unloose, Familiar as his garter; that, when he speaks, The air, a charter’d libertine, is still, And the mute wonder lurketh in men’s ears To steal his sweet and honey’d sentences; So that the art and practic part of life Must be the mistress to this theoric;
Which is a wonder how his Grace should glean it, Since his addiction was to courses vain, His companies unletter’d, rude, and shallow, His hours fill’d up with riots, banquets, sports; And never noted in him any study,
Any retirement, any sequestration From open haunts and popularity.
ELY. The strawberry grows underneath the nettle, And wholesome berries thrive and ripen best Neighbour’d by fruit of baser quality; And so the Prince obscur’d his contemplation Under the veil of wildness; which, no doubt, Grew like the summer grass, fastest by night, Unseen, yet crescive in his faculty.
CANTERBURY. It must be so; for miracles are ceas’d; And therefore we must needs admit the means How things are perfected.
ELY. But, my good lord,
How now for mitigation of this bill Urg’d by the Commons? Doth his Majesty Incline to it, or no?
CANTERBURY. He seems indifferent
Or rather swaying more upon our part Than cherishing th’ exhibiters against us; For I have made an offer to his Majesty- Upon our spiritual convocation
And in regard of causes now in hand, Which I have open’d to his Grace at large, As touching France- to give a greater sum Than ever at one time the clergy yet
Did to his predecessors part withal. ELY. How did this offer seem receiv’d, my lord? CANTERBURY. With good acceptance of his Majesty; Save that there was not time enough to hear, As I perceiv’d his Grace would fain have done, The severals and unhidden passages
Of his true tides to some certain dukedoms, And generally to the crown and seat of France, Deriv’d from Edward, his great-grandfather. ELY. What was th’ impediment that broke this off? CANTERBURY. 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? ELY. It is.
CANTERBURY. Then go we in, to know his embassy; Which I could with a ready guess declare, Before the Frenchman speak a word of it. ELY. I’ll wait upon you, and I long to hear it. Exeunt

London. The Presence Chamber in the KING’S palace

and attendants

KING HENRY. Where is my gracious Lord of Canterbury? EXETER. Not here in presence.
KING HENRY. Send for him, good uncle. WESTMORELAND. Shall we call in th’ ambassador, my liege? KING HENRY. Not yet, my cousin; we would be resolv’d, Before we hear him, of some things of weight That task our thoughts, concerning us and France.


CANTERBURY. God and his angels guard your sacred throne, And make you long become it!
KING HENRY. Sure, we thank you.
My learned lord, we pray you to proceed, And justly and religiously unfold
Why the law Salique, that they have in France, Or should or should not bar us in our claim; And God forbid, my dear and faithful lord, That you should fashion, wrest, or bow your reading, Or nicely charge your understanding soul With opening titles miscreate whose right Suits not in native colours with the truth; For God doth know how many, now in health, Shall drop their blood in approbation
Of what your reverence shall incite us to. Therefore take heed how you impawn our person, How you awake our sleeping sword of war- We charge you, in the name of God, take heed; For never two such kingdoms did contend Without much fall of blood; whose guiltless drops Are every one a woe, a sore complaint, ‘Gainst him whose wrongs gives edge unto the swords That makes such waste in brief mortality. Under this conjuration speak, my lord; For we will hear, note, and believe in heart, That what you speak is in your conscience wash’d As pure as sin with baptism.
CANTERBURY. Then hear me, gracious sovereign, and you peers, That owe yourselves, your lives, and services, To this imperial throne. There is no bar To make against your Highness’ claim to France But this, which they produce from Pharamond: ‘In terram Salicam mulieres ne succedant’- ‘No woman shall succeed in Salique land’; Which Salique land the French unjustly gloze To be the realm of France, and Pharamond The founder of this law and female bar. Yet their own authors faithfully affirm That the land Salique is in Germany,
Between the floods of Sala and of Elbe; Where Charles the Great, having subdu’d the Saxons, There left behind and settled certain French; Who, holding in disdain the German women For some dishonest manners of their life, Establish’d then this law: to wit, no female Should be inheritrix in Salique land;
Which Salique, as I said, ‘twixt Elbe and Sala, Is at this day in Germany call’d Meisen. Then doth it well appear the Salique law Was not devised for the realm of France; Nor did the French possess the Salique land Until four hundred one and twenty years After defunction of King Pharamond,
Idly suppos’d the founder of this law; Who died within the year of our redemption Four hundred twenty-six; and Charles the Great Subdu’d the Saxons, and did seat the French Beyond the river Sala, in the year
Eight hundred five. Besides, their writers say, King Pepin, which deposed Childeric,
Did, as heir general, being descended Of Blithild, which was daughter to King Clothair, Make claim and title to the crown of France. Hugh Capet also, who usurp’d the crown Of Charles the Duke of Lorraine, sole heir male Of the true line and stock of Charles the Great, To find his title with some shows of truth- Though in pure truth it was corrupt and naught- Convey’d himself as th’ heir to th’ Lady Lingare, Daughter to Charlemain, who was the son To Lewis the Emperor, and Lewis the son Of Charles the Great. Also King Lewis the Tenth, Who was sole heir to the usurper Capet, Could not keep quiet in his conscience, Wearing the crown of France, till satisfied That fair Queen Isabel, his grandmother, Was lineal of the Lady Ermengare,
Daughter to Charles the foresaid Duke of Lorraine; By the which marriage the line of Charles the Great Was re-united to the Crown of France.
So that, as clear as is the summer’s sun, King Pepin’s title, and Hugh Capet’s claim, King Lewis his satisfaction, all appear To hold in right and tide of the female; So do the kings of France unto this day, Howbeit they would hold up this Salique law To bar your Highness claiming from the female; And rather choose to hide them in a net Than amply to imbar their crooked tides Usurp’d from you and your progenitors. KING HENRY. May I with right and conscience make this claim? CANTERBURY. The sin upon my head, dread sovereign! For in the book of Numbers is it writ, When the man dies, let the inheritance Descend unto the daughter. Gracious lord, Stand for your own, unwind your bloody flag, Look back into your mighty ancestors.
Go, my dread lord, to your great-grandsire’s tomb, From whom you claim; invoke his warlike spirit, And your great-uncle’s, Edward the Black Prince, Who on the French ground play’d a tragedy, Making defeat on the fun power of France, Whiles his most mighty father on a hill Stood smiling to behold his lion’s whelp Forage in blood of French nobility.
O noble English, that could entertain With half their forces the full pride of France, And let another half stand laughing by, All out of work and cold for action!
ELY. Awake remembrance of these valiant dead, And with your puissant arm renew their feats. You are their heir; you sit upon their throne; The blood and courage that renowned them Runs in your veins; and my thrice-puissant liege Is in the very May-morn of his youth,
Ripe for exploits and mighty enterprises. EXETER. Your brother kings and monarchs of the earth Do all expect that you should rouse yourself, As did the former lions of your blood. WESTMORELAND. They know your Grace hath cause and means and might-
So hath your Highness; never King of England Had nobles richer and more loyal subjects, Whose hearts have left their bodies here in England And lie pavilion’d in the fields of France. CANTERBURY. O, let their bodies follow, my dear liege, With blood and sword and fire to win your right! In aid whereof we of the spiritualty
Will raise your Highness such a mighty sum As never did the clergy at one time
Bring in to any of your ancestors. KING HENRY. We must not only arm t’ invade the French, But lay down our proportions to defend Against the Scot, who will make road upon us With all advantages.
CANTERBURY. They of those marches, gracious sovereign, Shall be a wall sufficient to defend
Our inland from the pilfering borderers. KING HENRY. We do not mean the coursing snatchers only, But fear the main intendment of the Scot, Who hath been still a giddy neighbour to us; For you shall read that my great-grandfather Never went with his forces into France But that the Scot on his unfurnish’d kingdom Came pouring, like the tide into a breach, With ample and brim fulness of his force, Galling the gleaned land with hot assays, Girdling with grievous siege castles and towns; That England, being empty of defence,
Hath shook and trembled at th’ ill neighbourhood. CANTERBURY. She hath been then more fear’d than harm’d, my liege;
For hear her but exampled by herself: When all her chivalry hath been in France, And she a mourning widow of her nobles, She hath herself not only well defended But taken and impounded as a stray
The King of Scots; whom she did send to France, To fill King Edward’s fame with prisoner kings, And make her chronicle as rich with praise As is the ooze and bottom of the sea
With sunken wreck and sumless treasuries. WESTMORELAND. But there’s a saying, very old and true:

‘If that you will France win,
Then with Scotland first begin.’
For once the eagle England being in prey, To her unguarded nest the weasel Scot
Comes sneaking, and so sucks her princely eggs, Playing the mouse in absence of the cat, To tear and havoc more than she can eat. EXETER. It follows, then, the cat must stay at home; Yet that is but a crush’d necessity,
Since we have locks to safeguard necessaries And pretty traps to catch the petty thieves. While that the armed hand doth fight abroad, Th’ advised head defends itself at home; For government, though high, and low, and lower, Put into parts, doth keep in one consent, Congreeing in a full and natural close, Like music.
CANTERBURY. Therefore doth heaven divide The state of man in divers functions,
Setting endeavour in continual motion; To which is fixed as an aim or but
Obedience; for so work the honey bees, Creatures that by a rule in nature teach The act of order to a peopled kingdom. They have a king, and officers of sorts, Where some like magistrates correct at home; Others like merchants venture trade abroad; Others like soldiers, armed in their stings, Make boot upon the summer’s velvet buds, Which pillage they with merry march bring home To the tent-royal of their emperor;
Who, busied in his majesty, surveys The singing masons building roofs of gold, The civil citizens kneading up the honey, The poor mechanic porters crowding in
Their heavy burdens at his narrow gate, The sad-ey’d justice, with his surly hum, Delivering o’er to executors pale
The lazy yawning drone. I this infer, That many things, having full reference To one consent, may work contrariously; As many arrows loosed several ways
Come to one mark, as many ways meet in one town, As many fresh streams meet in one salt sea, As many lines close in the dial’s centre; So many a thousand actions, once afoot, End in one purpose, and be all well home Without defeat. Therefore to France, my liege. Divide your happy England into four;
Whereof take you one quarter into France, And you withal shall make all Gallia shake. If we, with thrice such powers left at home, Cannot defend our own doors from the dog, Let us be worried, and our nation lose The name of hardiness and policy.
KING HENRY. Call in the messengers sent from the Dauphin. Exeunt some attendants Now are we well resolv’d; and, by God’s help And yours, the noble sinews of our power, France being ours, we’ll bend it to our awe, Or break it all to pieces; or there we’ll sit, Ruling in large and ample empery
O’er France and all her almost kingly dukedoms, Or lay these bones in an unworthy urn, Tombless, with no remembrance over them. Either our history shall with full mouth Speak freely of our acts, or else our grave, Like Turkish mute, shall have a tongueless mouth, Not worshipp’d with a waxen epitaph.

Enter AMBASSADORS of France

Now are we well prepar’d to know the pleasure Of our fair cousin Dauphin; for we hear Your greeting is from him, not from the King. AMBASSADOR. May’t please your Majesty to give us leave Freely to render what we have in charge; Or shall we sparingly show you far of
The Dauphin’s meaning and our embassy? KING HENRY. We are no tyrant, but a Christian king, Unto whose grace our passion is as subject As are our wretches fett’red in our prisons; Therefore with frank and with uncurbed plainness Tell us the Dauphin’s mind.
AMBASSADOR. Thus then, in few.
Your Highness, lately sending into France, Did claim some certain dukedoms in the right Of your great predecessor, King Edward the Third. In answer of which claim, the Prince our master Says that you savour too much of your youth, And bids you be advis’d there’s nought in France That can be with a nimble galliard won; You cannot revel into dukedoms there.
He therefore sends you, meeter for your spirit, This tun of treasure; and, in lieu of this, Desires you let the dukedoms that you claim Hear no more of you. This the Dauphin speaks. KING HENRY. What treasure, uncle?
EXETER. Tennis-balls, my liege.
KING HENRY. We are glad the Dauphin is so pleasant with us; His present and your pains we thank you for. When we have match’d our rackets to these balls, We will in France, by God’s grace, play a set Shall strike his father’s crown into the hazard. Tell him he hath made a match with such a wrangler That all the courts of France will be disturb’d With chaces. And we understand him well, How he comes o’er us with our wilder days, Not measuring what use we made of them. We never valu’d this poor seat of England; And therefore, living hence, did give ourself To barbarous licence; as ’tis ever common That men are merriest when they are from home. But tell the Dauphin I will keep my state, Be like a king, and show my sail of greatness, When I do rouse me in my throne of France; For that I have laid by my majesty
And plodded like a man for working-days; But I will rise there with so full a glory That I will dazzle all the eyes of France, Yea, strike the Dauphin blind to look on us. And tell the pleasant Prince this mock of his Hath turn’d his balls to gun-stones, and his soul Shall stand sore charged for the wasteful vengeance That shall fly with them; for many a thousand widows Shall this his mock mock of their dear husbands; Mock mothers from their sons, mock castles down; And some are yet ungotten and unborn
That shall have cause to curse the Dauphin’s scorn. But this lies all within the will of God, To whom I do appeal; and in whose name, Tell you the Dauphin, I am coming on,
To venge me as I may and to put forth My rightful hand in a well-hallow’d cause. So get you hence in peace; and tell the Dauphin His jest will savour but of shallow wit, When thousands weep more than did laugh at it. Convey them with safe conduct. Fare you well. Exeunt AMBASSADORS EXETER. This was a merry message.
KING HENRY. We hope to make the sender blush at it. Therefore, my lords, omit no happy hour That may give furth’rance to our expedition; For we have now no thought in us but France, Save those to God, that run before our business. Therefore let our proportions for these wars Be soon collected, and all things thought upon That may with reasonable swiftness ad
More feathers to our wings; for, God before, We’ll chide this Dauphin at his father’s door. Therefore let every man now task his thought That this fair action may on foot be brought. Exeunt



Flourish. Enter CHORUS

CHORUS. Now all the youth of England are on fire, And silken dalliance in the wardrobe lies; Now thrive the armourers, and honour’s thought Reigns solely in the breast of every man; They sell the pasture now to buy the horse, Following the mirror of all Christian kings With winged heels, as English Mercuries. For now sits Expectation in the air,
And hides a sword from hilts unto the point With crowns imperial, crowns, and coronets, Promis’d to Harry and his followers.
The French, advis’d by good intelligence Of this most dreadful preparation,
Shake in their fear and with pale policy Seek to divert the English purposes.
O England! model to thy inward greatness, Like little body with a mighty heart,
What mightst thou do that honour would thee do, Were all thy children kind and natural! But see thy fault! France hath in thee found out A nest of hollow bosoms, which he fills With treacherous crowns; and three corrupted men- One, Richard Earl of Cambridge, and the second, Henry Lord Scroop of Masham, and the third, Sir Thomas Grey, knight, of Northumberland, Have, for the gilt of France- O guilt indeed!- Confirm’d conspiracy with fearful France; And by their hands this grace of kings must die- If hell and treason hold their promises, Ere he take ship for France- and in Southampton. Linger your patience on, and we’ll digest Th’ abuse of distance, force a play.
The sum is paid, the traitors are agreed, The King is set from London, and the scene Is now transported, gentles, to Southampton; There is the play-house now, there must you sit, And thence to France shall we convey you safe And bring you back, charming the narrow seas To give you gentle pass; for, if we may, We’ll not offend one stomach with our play. But, till the King come forth, and not till then, Unto Southampton do we shift our scene. Exit

London. Before the Boar’s Head Tavern, Eastcheap


BARDOLPH. Well met, Corporal Nym.
NYM. Good morrow, Lieutenant Bardolph. BARDOLPH. What, are Ancient Pistol and you friends yet? NYM. For my part, I care not; I say little, but when time shall serve, there shall be smiles- but that shall be as it may. I dare
not fight; but I will wink and hold out mine iron. It is a simple
one; but what though? It will toast cheese, and it will endure
cold as another man’s sword will; and there’s an end. BARDOLPH. I will bestow a breakfast to make you friends; and we’ll
be all three sworn brothers to France. Let’t 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. BARDOLPH. It is certain, Corporal, that he is married to Nell Quickly; and certainly she did you wrong, for you were troth-plight to her.
NYM. I cannot tell; things must be as they may. Men may sleep, and
they may have their throats about them at that time; and some say
knives have edges. It must be as it may; though patience be a tired mare, yet she will plod. There must be conclusions. Well, I
cannot tell.


BARDOLPH. Here comes Ancient Pistol and his wife. Good Corporal, be
patient here.
NYM. How now, mine host Pistol!
PISTOL. Base tike, call’st thou me host? Now by this hand, I swear I scorn the term; Nor shall my Nell keep lodgers.
HOSTESS. No, by my troth, not long; for we cannot lodge and board a
dozen or fourteen gentlewomen that live honestly by the prick of
their needles, but it will be thought we keep a bawdy-house straight. [Nym draws] O well-a-day, Lady, if he be not drawn! Now
we shall see wilful adultery and murder committed. BARDOLPH. Good Lieutenant, good Corporal, offer nothing here. NYM. Pish!
PISTOL. Pish for thee, Iceland dog! thou prick-ear’d cur of Iceland!
HOSTESS. Good Corporal Nym, show thy valour, and put up your sword.
NYM. Will you shog off? I would have you solus. PISTOL. ‘Solus,’ egregious dog? O viper vile! The ‘solus’ in thy most mervailous face; The ‘solus’ in thy teeth, and in thy throat, And in thy hateful lungs, yea, in thy maw, perdy; And, which is worse, within thy nasty mouth! I do retort the ‘solus’ in thy bowels; For I can take, and Pistol’s cock is up, And flashing fire will follow.
NYM. I am not Barbason: you cannot conjure me. I have an humour to
knock you indifferently well. If you grow foul with me, Pistol, I
will scour you with my rapier, as I may, in fair terms; if you
would walk off I would prick your guts a little, in good terms,
as I may, and thaes the humour of it. PISTOL. O braggart vile and damned furious wight! The grave doth gape and doting death is near; Therefore exhale. [PISTOL draws]

BARDOLPH. Hear me, hear me what I say: he that strikes the first
stroke I’ll run him up to the hilts, as I am a soldier. [Draws]
PISTOL. An oath of mickle might; and fury shall abate. [PISTOL and Nym sheathe their swords] Give me thy fist, thy fore-foot to me give; Thy spirits are most tall.
NYM. I will cut thy throat one time or other, in fair terms; that
is the humour of it.
PISTOL. ‘Couple a gorge!’
That is the word. I thee defy again. O hound of Crete, think’st thou my spouse to get? No; to the spital go,
And from the powd’ring tub of infamy Fetch forth the lazar kite of Cressid’s kind, Doll Tearsheet she by name, and her espouse. I have, and I will hold, the quondam Quickly For the only she; and- pauca, there’s enough. Go to.

Enter the Boy

BOY. Mine host Pistol, you must come to my master; and 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.
BARDOLPH. Away, you rogue.
HOSTESS. By my troth, he’ll yield the crow a pudding one of these
days: the King has kill’d his heart. Good husband, come home presently. Exeunt HOSTESS and BOY BARDOLPH. Come, shall I make you two friends? We must to France together; why the devil should we keep knives to cut one another’s throats?
PISTOL. Let floods o’erswell, and fiends for food howl on! NYM. You’ll pay me the eight shillings I won of you at betting? PISTOL. Base is the slave that pays.
NYM. That now I will have; that’s the humour of it. PISTOL. As manhood shall compound: push home. [PISTOL and Nym draw] BARDOLPH. By this sword, he that makes the first thrust I’ll kill
him; by this sword, I will.
PISTOL. Sword is an oath, and oaths must have their course. [Sheathes his sword] BARDOLPH. Corporal Nym, an thou wilt be friends, be friends; an thou wilt not, why then be enemies with me too. Prithee put up.
NYM. I shall have my eight shillings I won of you at betting? PISTOL. A noble shalt thou have, and present pay; And liquor likewise will I give to thee, And friendship shall combine, and brotherhood. I’ll live by Nym and Nym shall live by me. Is not this just? For I shall sutler be Unto the camp, and profits will accrue. Give me thy hand.
NYM. [Sheathing his sword] I shall have my noble? PISTOL. In cash most justly paid.
NYM. [Shaking hands] Well, then, that’s the humour of’t.

Re-enter HOSTESS

HOSTESS. As ever you come of women, come in quickly to Sir John.
Ah, poor heart! he is so shak’d of a burning quotidian tertian
that it is most lamentable to behold. Sweet men, come to him. NYM. The King hath run bad humours on the knight; that’s the even
of it.
PISTOL. Nym, thou hast spoke the right; His heart is fracted and corroborate.
NYM. The King is a good king, but it must be as it may; he passes
some humours and careers.
PISTOL. Let us condole the knight; for, lambkins, we will live. Exeunt

Southampton. A council-chamber


BEDFORD. Fore God, his Grace is bold, to trust these traitors. EXETER. They shall be apprehended by and by. WESTMORELAND. How smooth and even they do bear themselves, As if allegiance in their bosoms sat,
Crowned with faith and constant loyalty! BEDFORD. The King hath note of all that they intend, By interception which they dream not of. EXETER. Nay, but the man that was his bedfellow, Whom he hath dull’d and cloy’d with gracious favours- That he should, for a foreign purse, so sell His sovereign’s life to death and treachery!

Trumpets sound. Enter the KING, SCROOP, CAMBRIDGE, GREY, and attendants

KING HENRY. Now sits the wind fair, and we will aboard. My Lord of Cambridge, and my kind Lord of Masham, And you, my gentle knight, give me your thoughts. Think you not that the pow’rs we bear with us Will cut their passage through the force of France, Doing the execution and the act
For which we have in head assembled them? SCROOP. No doubt, my liege, if each man do his best. KING HENRY. I doubt not that, since we are well persuaded We carry not a heart with us from hence That grows not in a fair consent with ours; Nor leave not one behind that doth not wish Success and conquest to attend on us.
CAMBRIDGE. Never was monarch better fear’d and lov’d Than is your Majesty. There’s not, I think, a subject That sits in heart-grief and uneasines Under the sweet shade of your government. GREY. True: those that were your father’s enemies Have steep’d their galls in honey, and do serve you With hearts create of duty and of zeal. KING HENRY. We therefore have great cause of thankfulness, And shall forget the office of our hand Sooner than quittance of desert and merit According to the weight and worthiness. SCROOP. So service shall with steeled sinews toil, And labour shall refresh itself with hope, To do your Grace incessant services.
KING HENRY. We judge no less. Uncle of Exeter, Enlarge the man committed yesterday
That rail’d against our person. We consider It was excess of wine that set him on; And on his more advice we pardon him.
SCROOP. That’s mercy, but too much security. Let him be punish’d, sovereign, lest example Breed, by his sufferance, more of such a kind. KING HENRY. O, let us yet be merciful!
CAMBRIDGE. So may your Highness, and yet punish too. GREY. Sir,
You show great mercy if you give him life, After the taste of much correction.
KING HENRY. Alas, your too much love and care of me Are heavy orisons ‘gainst this poor wretch! If little faults proceeding on distemper Shall not be wink’d at, how shall we stretch our eye When capital crimes, chew’d, swallow’d, and digested, Appear before us? We’ll yet enlarge that man, Though Cambridge, Scroop, and Grey, in their dear care And tender preservation of our person, Would have him punish’d. And now to our French causes: Who are the late commissioners?
CAMBRIDGE. I one, my lord.
Your Highness bade me ask for it to-day. SCROOP. So did you me, my liege.
GREY. And I, my royal sovereign.
KING HENRY. Then, Richard Earl of Cambridge, there is yours; There yours, Lord Scroop of Masham; and, Sir Knight, Grey of Northumberland, this same is yours. Read them, and know I know your worthiness. My Lord of Westmoreland, and uncle Exeter, We will aboard to-night. Why, how now, gentlemen? What see you in those papers, that you lose So much complexion? Look ye how they change! Their cheeks are paper. Why, what read you there That have so cowarded and chas’d your blood Out of appearance?
CAMBRIDGE. I do confess my fault,
And do submit me to your Highness’ mercy. GREY, SCROOP. To which we all appeal.
KING HENRY. The mercy that was quick in us but late By your own counsel is suppress’d and kill’d. You must not dare, for shame, to talk of mercy; For your own reasons turn into your bosoms As dogs upon their masters, worrying you. See you, my princes and my noble peers, These English monsters! My Lord of Cambridge here- You know how apt our love was to accord To furnish him with an appertinents
Belonging to his honour; and this man Hath, for a few light crowns, lightly conspir’d, And sworn unto the practices of France To kill us here in Hampton; to the which This knight, no less for bounty bound to us Than Cambridge is, hath likewise sworn. But, O, What shall I say to thee, Lord Scroop, thou cruel, Ingrateful, savage, and inhuman creature? Thou that didst bear the key of all my counsels, That knew’st the very bottom of my soul, That almost mightst have coin’d me into gold, Wouldst thou have practis’d on me for thy use- May it be possible that foreign hire
Could out of thee extract one spark of evil That might annoy my finger? ‘Tis so strange That, though the truth of it stands off as gross As black and white, my eye will scarcely see it. Treason and murder ever kept together, As two yoke-devils sworn to either’s purpose, Working so grossly in a natural cause
That admiration did not whoop at them; But thou, ‘gainst all proportion, didst bring in Wonder to wait on treason and on murder; And whatsoever cunning fiend it was
That wrought upon thee so preposterously Hath got the voice in hell for excellence; And other devils that suggest by treasons Do botch and bungle up damnation
With patches, colours, and with forms, being fetch’d From glist’ring semblances of piety;
But he that temper’d thee bade thee stand up, Gave thee no instance why thou shouldst do treason, Unless to dub thee with the name of traitor. If that same demon that hath gull’d thee thus Should with his lion gait walk the whole world, He might return to vasty Tartar back,
And tell the legions ‘I can never win A soul so easy as that Englishman’s.’
O, how hast thou with jealousy infected The sweetness of affiance! Show men dutiful? Why, so didst thou. Seem they grave and learned? Why, so didst thou. Come they of noble family? Why, so didst thou. Seem they religious? Why, so didst thou. Or are they spare in diet, Free from gross passion or of mirth or anger, Constant in spirit, not swerving with the blood, Garnish’d and deck’d in modest complement, Not working with the eye without the ear, And but in purged judgment trusting neither? Such and so finely bolted didst thou seem; And thus thy fall hath left a kind of blot To mark the full-fraught man and best indued With some suspicion. I will weep for thee; For this revolt of thine, methinks, is like Another fall of man. Their faults are open. Arrest them to the answer of the law;
And God acquit them of their practices! EXETER. I arrest thee of high treason, by the name of Richard Earl
of Cambridge.
I arrest thee of high treason, by the name of Henry Lord Scroop
of Masham.
I arrest thee of high treason, by the name of Thomas Grey, knight, of Northumberland.
SCROOP. Our purposes God justly hath discover’d, And I repent my fault more than my death; Which I beseech your Highness to forgive, Although my body pay the price of it.
CAMBRIDGE. For me, the gold of France did not seduce, Although I did admit it as a motive
The sooner to effect what I intended; But God be thanked for prevention,
Which I in sufferance heartily will rejoice, Beseeching God and you to pardon me.
GREY. Never did faithful subject more rejoice At the discovery of most dangerous treason Than I do at this hour joy o’er myself, Prevented from a damned enterprise.
My fault, but not my body, pardon, sovereign. KING HENRY. 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 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, And his whole kingdom into desolation. Touching our person seek we no revenge; But we our kingdom’s safety must so tender, Whose ruin you have sought, that to her laws We do deliver you. Get you therefore hence, Poor miserable wretches, to your death; The taste whereof God of his mercy give You patience to endure, and true repentance Of all your dear offences. Bear them hence. Exeunt CAMBRIDGE, SCROOP, and GREY, guarded Now, lords, for France; the enterprise whereof Shall be to you as us like glorious.
We doubt not of a fair and lucky war, Since God so graciously hath brought to light This dangerous treason, lurking in our way To hinder our beginnings; we doubt not now But every rub is smoothed on our way.
Then, forth, dear countrymen; let us deliver Our puissance into the hand of God,
Putting it straight in expedition. Cheerly to sea; the signs of war advance; No king of England, if not king of France! Flourish. Exeunt

Eastcheap. Before the Boar’s Head tavern


HOSTESS. Prithee, honey-sweet husband, let me bring thee to Staines.
PISTOL. No; for my manly heart doth earn. Bardolph, be blithe; Nym, rouse thy vaunting veins; Boy, bristle thy courage up. For Falstaff he is dead, And we must earn therefore.
BARDOLPH. Would I were with him, wheresome’er he is, either in heaven or in hell!
HOSTESS. Nay, sure, he’s not in hell: he’s in Arthur’s bosom, if
ever man went to Arthur’s bosom. ‘A made a finer end, and went
away an it had been any christom child; ‘a parted ev’n just between twelve and one, ev’n at the turning o’ th’ tide; for after I saw him fumble with the sheets, and play with flowers,
and smile upon his fingers’ end, I knew there was but one way;
for his nose was as sharp as a pen, and ‘a babbl’d of green fields. ‘How now, Sir John!’ quoth I ‘What, man, be o’ good cheer.’ So ‘a cried out ‘God, God, God!’ three or four times. Now
I, to comfort him, bid him ‘a should not think of God; I hop’d
there was no need to trouble himself with any such thoughts yet.
So ‘a bade me lay more clothes on his feet; I put my hand into
the bed and felt them, and they were as cold as any stone; then I
felt to his knees, and so upward and upward, and all was as cold
as any stone.
NYM. They say he cried out of sack. HOSTESS. Ay, that ‘a did.
BARDOLPH. And of women.
HOSTESS. Nay, that ‘a did not.
BOY. Yes, that ‘a did, and said they were devils incarnate. HOSTESS. ‘A could never abide carnation; ’twas a colour he never
BOY. ‘A said once the devil would have him about women. HOSTESS. ‘A did in some sort, indeed, handle women; but then he was
rheumatic, and talk’d of the Whore of Babylon. BOY. Do you not remember ‘a saw a flea stick upon Bardolph’s nose,
and ‘a said it was a black soul burning in hell? BARDOLPH. Well, the fuel is gone that maintain’d that fire: that’s
all the riches I got in his service. NYM. Shall we shog? The King will be gone from Southampton. PISTOL. Come, let’s away. My love, give me thy lips. Look to my chattles and my moveables;
Let senses rule. The word is ‘Pitch and Pay.’ Trust none;
For oaths are straws, men’s faiths are wafer-cakes, And Holdfast is the only dog, my duck. Therefore, Caveto be thy counsellor.
Go, clear thy crystals. Yoke-fellows in arms, Let us to France, like horse-leeches, my boys, To suck, to suck, the very blood to suck. BOY. And that’s but unwholesome food, they say. PISTOL. Touch her soft mouth and march. BARDOLPH. Farewell, hostess. [Kissing her] NYM. I cannot kiss, that is the humour of it; but adieu. PISTOL. Let housewifery appear; keep close, I thee command. HOSTESS. Farewell; adieu. Exeunt

France. The KING’S palace

Flourish. Enter the FRENCH KING, the DAUPHIN, the DUKES OF BERRI and BRITAINE, the CONSTABLE, and others

FRENCH KING. Thus comes the English with full power upon us; And more than carefully it us concerns To answer royally in our defences.
Therefore the Dukes of Berri and of Britaine, Of Brabant and of Orleans, shall make forth, And you, Prince Dauphin, with all swift dispatch, To line and new repair our towns of war With men of courage and with means defendant; For England his approaches makes as fierce As waters to the sucking of a gulf.
It fits us, then, to be as provident As fear may teach us, out of late examples Left by the fatal and neglected English Upon our fields.
DAUPHIN. My most redoubted father, It is most meet we arm us ‘gainst the foe; For peace itself should not so dull a kingdom, Though war nor no known quarrel were in question, But that defences, musters, preparations, Should be maintain’d, assembled, and collected, As were a war in expectation.
Therefore, I say, ’tis meet we all go forth To view the sick and feeble parts of France; And let us do it with no show of fear- No, with no more than if we heard that England Were busied with a Whitsun morris-dance; For, my good liege, she is so idly king’d, Her sceptre so fantastically borne
By a vain, giddy, shallow, humorous youth, That fear attends her not.
CONSTABLE. O peace, Prince Dauphin! You are too much mistaken in this king. Question your Grace the late ambassadors With what great state he heard their embassy, How well supplied with noble counsellors, How modest in exception, and withal
How terrible in constant resolution, And you shall find his vanities forespent Were but the outside of the Roman Brutus, Covering discretion with a coat of folly; As gardeners do with ordure hide those roots That shall first spring and be most delicate. DAUPHIN. Well, ’tis not so, my Lord High Constable; But though we think it so, it is no matter. In cases of defence ’tis best to weigh The enemy more mighty than he seems;
So the proportions of defence are fill’d; Which of a weak and niggardly projection Doth like a miser spoil his coat with scanting A little cloth.
FRENCH KING. Think we King Harry strong; And, Princes, look you strongly arm to meet him. The kindred of him hath been flesh’d upon us; And he is bred out of that bloody strain That haunted us in our familiar paths. Witness our too much memorable shame
When Cressy battle fatally was struck, And all our princes capdv’d by the hand Of that black name, Edward, Black Prince of Wales; Whiles that his mountain sire- on mountain standing, Up in the air, crown’d with the golden sun- Saw his heroical seed, and smil’d to see him, Mangle the work of nature, and deface
The patterns that by God and by French fathers Had twenty years been made. This is a stern Of that victorious stock; and let us fear The native mightiness and fate of him.


MESSENGER. Ambassadors from Harry King of England Do crave admittance to your Majesty.
FRENCH KING. We’ll give them present audience. Go and bring them.
Exeunt MESSENGER and certain LORDS You see this chase is hotly followed, friends. DAUPHIN. Turn head and stop pursuit; for coward dogs Most spend their mouths when what they seem to threaten Runs far before them. Good my sovereign, Take up the English short, and let them know Of what a monarchy you are the head.
Self-love, my liege, is not so vile a sin As self-neglecting.

Re-enter LORDS, with EXETER and train

FRENCH KING. From our brother of England? EXETER. From him, and thus he greets your Majesty: He wills you, in the name of God Almighty, That you divest yourself, and lay apart The borrowed glories that by gift of heaven, By law of nature and of nations, ‘longs To him and to his heirs- namely, the crown, And all wide-stretched honours that pertain, By custom and the ordinance of times,
Unto the crown of France. That you may know ‘Tis no sinister nor no awkward claim, Pick’d from the worm-holes of long-vanish’d days, Nor from the dust of old oblivion rak’d, He sends you this most memorable line, [Gives a paper] In every branch truly demonstrative;
Willing you overlook this pedigree. And when you find him evenly deriv’d
From his most fam’d of famous ancestors, Edward the Third, he bids you then resign Your crown and kingdom, indirectly held From him, the native and true challenger. FRENCH KING. Or else what follows?
EXETER. Bloody constraint; for if you hide the crown Even in your hearts, there will he rake for it. Therefore in fierce tempest is he coming, In thunder and in earthquake, like a Jove, That if requiring fail, he will compel; And bids you, in the bowels of the Lord, Deliver up the crown; and to take mercy On the poor souls for whom this hungry war Opens his vasty jaws; and on your head Turning the widows’ tears, the orphans’ cries, The dead men’s blood, the privy maidens’ groans, For husbands, fathers, and betrothed lovers, That shall be swallowed in this controversy. This is his claim, his threat’ning, and my message; Unless the Dauphin be in presence here, To whom expressly I bring greeting too. FRENCH KING. For us, we will consider of this further; To-morrow shall you bear our full intent Back to our brother of England.
DAUPHIN. For the Dauphin:
I stand here for him. What to him from England? EXETER. Scorn and defiance, slight regard, contempt, And anything that may not misbecome
The mighty sender, doth he prize you at. Thus says my king: an if your father’s Highness Do not, in grant of all demands at large, Sweeten the bitter mock you sent his Majesty, He’ll call you to so hot an answer of it That caves and womby vaultages of France Shall chide your trespass and return your mock In second accent of his ordinance.
DAUPHIN. Say, if my father render fair return, It is against my will; for I desire
Nothing but odds with England. To that end, As matching to his youth and vanity,
I did present him with the Paris balls. EXETER. He’ll make your Paris Louvre shake for it, Were it the mistress court of mighty Europe; And be assur’d you’ll find a difference, As we his subjects have in wonder found, Between the promise of his greener days And these he masters now. Now he weighs time Even to the utmost grain; that you shall read In your own losses, if he stay in France. FRENCH KING. To-morrow shall you know our mind at full. EXETER. Dispatch us with all speed, lest that our king Come here himself to question our delay; For he is footed in this land already. FRENCH KING. You shall be soon dispatch’d with fair conditions.

A night is but small breath and little pause To answer matters of this consequence. Flourish. Exeunt



Flourish. Enter CHORUS

CHORUS. Thus with imagin’d wing our swift scene flies, In motion of no less celerity
Than that of thought. Suppose that you have seen The well-appointed King at Hampton pier Embark his royalty; and his brave fleet With silken streamers the young Phorbus fanning. Play with your fancies; and in them behold Upon the hempen tackle ship-boys climbing; Hear the shrill whistle which doth order give To sounds confus’d; behold the threaden sails, Borne with th’ invisible and creeping wind, Draw the huge bottoms through the furrowed sea, Breasting the lofty surge. O, do but think You stand upon the rivage and behold
A city on th’ inconstant billows dancing; For so appears this fleet majestical,
Holding due course to Harfleur. Follow, follow! Grapple your minds to sternage of this navy And leave your England as dead midnight still, Guarded with grandsires, babies, and old women, Either past or not arriv’d to pith and puissance; For who is he whose chin is but enrich’d With one appearing hair that will not follow These cull’d and choice-drawn cavaliers to France? Work, work your thoughts, and therein see a siege; Behold the ordnance on their carriages, With fatal mouths gaping on girded Harfleur. Suppose th’ ambassador from the French comes back; Tells Harry that the King doth offer him Katherine his daughter, and with her to dowry Some petty and unprofitable dukedoms.
The offer likes not; and the nimble gunner With linstock now the devilish cannon touches, [Alarum, and chambers go off] And down goes an before them. Still be kind, And eke out our performance with your mind. Exit


France. Before Harfleur

Alarum. Enter the KING, EXETER, BEDFORD, GLOUCESTER, and soldiers with scaling-ladders

KING. Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more; Or close the wall up with our English dead. In peace there’s nothing so becomes a man As modest stillness and humility;
But when the blast of war blows in our ears, Then imitate the action of the tiger:
Stiffen the sinews, summon up the blood, Disguise fair nature with hard-favour’d rage; Then lend the eye a terrible aspect;
Let it pry through the portage of the head Like the brass cannon: let the brow o’erwhelm it As fearfully as doth a galled rock
O’erhang and jutty his confounded base, Swill’d with the wild and wasteful ocean. Now set the teeth and stretch the nostril wide; Hold hard the breath, and bend up every spirit To his full height. On, on, you noblest English, Whose blood is fet from fathers of war-proof- Fathers that like so many Alexanders
Have in these parts from morn till even fought, And sheath’d their swords for lack of argument. Dishonour not your mothers; now attest That those whom you call’d fathers did beget you. Be copy now to men of grosser blood,
And teach them how to war. And you, good yeomen, Whose limbs were made in England, show us here The mettle of your pasture; let us swear That you are worth your breeding- which I doubt not; For there is none of you so mean and base That hath not noble lustre in your eyes. I see you stand like greyhounds in the slips, Straining upon the start. The game’s afoot: Follow your spirit; and upon this charge Cry ‘God for Harry, England, and Saint George!’ [Exeunt. Alarum, and chambers go off]

Before Harfleur


BARDOLPH. On, on, on, on, on! to the breach, to the breach! NYM. Pray thee, Corporal, stay; the knocks are too hot, and for mine own part I have not a case of lives. The humour of it is too
hot; that is the very plain-song of it. PISTOL. The plain-song is most just; for humours do abound:

Knocks go and come; God’s vassals drop and die; And sword and shield
In bloody field
Doth win immortal fame.

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

If wishes would prevail with me, My purpose should not fail with me, But thither would I hie.

BOY. As duly, but not as truly, As bird doth sing on bough.


FLUELLEN. Up to the breach, you dogs! Avaunt, you cullions! [Driving them forward] PISTOL. Be merciful, great duke, to men of mould. Abate thy rage, abate thy manly rage;
Abate thy rage, great duke.
Good bawcock, bate thy rage. Use lenity, sweet chuck. NYM. These be good humours. Your honour wins bad humours. Exeunt all but BOY BOY. As young as I am, I have observ’d these three swashers. I am
boy to them all three; but all they three, though they would serve me, could not be man to me; for indeed three such antics do
not amount to a man. For Bardolph, he is white-liver’d and red-fac’d; by the means whereof ‘a faces it out, but fights not.
For Pistol, he hath a killing tongue and a quiet sword; by the
means whereof ‘a breaks words and keeps whole weapons. For Nym,
he hath heard that men of few words are the best men, and therefore he scorns to say his prayers lest ‘a should be thought
a coward; but his few bad words are match’d with as few good deeds; for ‘a never broke any man’s head but his own, and that
was against a post when he was drunk. They will steal anything,
and call it purchase. Bardolph stole a lute-case, bore it twelve
leagues, and sold it for three halfpence. 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 villainy goes against my weak stomach, and therefore I must cast it up. Exit

Re-enter FLUELLEN, GOWER following

GOWER. Captain Fluellen, you must come presently to the mines; the
Duke of Gloucester would speak with you. FLUELLEN. To the mines! Tell you the Duke it is not so good to come
to the mines; for, look you, the mines is not according to the
disciplines of the war; the concavities of it is not sufficient.
For, look you, th’ athversary- you may discuss unto the Duke, look you- is digt himself four yard under the countermines; by Cheshu, I think ‘a will plow up all, if there is not better directions.
GOWER. The Duke of Gloucester, to whom the order of the siege is
given, is altogether directed by an Irishman- a very vallant gentleman, i’ faith.
FLUELLEN. It is Captain Macmorris, is it not? GOWER. I think it be.
FLUELLEN. By Cheshu, he is an ass, as in the world: I will verify
as much in his beard; he has no more directions in the true disciplines of the wars, look you, of the Roman disciplines, than
is a puppy-dog.

GOWER. Here ‘a comes; and the Scots captain, Captain Jamy, with him.
FLUELLEN. 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. JAMY. I say gud day, Captain Fluellen.
FLUELLEN. God-den to your worship, good Captain James. GOWER. How now, Captain Macmorris! Have you quit the mines? Have
the pioneers given o’er?
MACMORRIS. By Chrish, la, tish ill done! The work ish give over,
the trompet sound the retreat. By my hand, I swear, and my father’s soul, the work ish ill done; it ish give over; I would
have blowed up the town, so Chrish save me, la, in an hour. O,
tish ill done, tish ill done; by my hand, tish ill done! FLUELLEN. Captain Macmorris, I beseech you now, will you voutsafe
me, look you, a few disputations with you, as partly touching or
concerning the disciplines of the war, the Roman wars, in the way
of argument, look you, and friendly communication; partly to

satisfy my opinion, and partly for the satisfaction, look you, of
my mind, as touching the direction of the military discipline,
that is the point.
JAMY. It sall be vary gud, gud feith, gud captains bath; and I sall
quit you with gud leve, as I may pick occasion; that sall I, marry.
MACMORRIS. It is no time to discourse, so Chrish save me. The day
is hot, and the weather, and the wars, and the King, and the Dukes; it is no time to discourse. The town is beseech’d, and the
trumpet call us to the breach; and we talk and, be Chrish, do nothing. ‘Tis shame for us all, so God sa’ me, ’tis shame to stand still; it is shame, by my hand; and there is throats to be
cut, and works to be done; and there ish nothing done, so Chrish
sa’ me, la.
JAMY. By the mess, ere theise eyes of mine take themselves to slomber, ay’ll de gud service, or I’ll lig i’ th’ grund for it;
ay, or go to death. And I’ll pay’t as valorously as I may, that
sall I suerly do, that is the breff and the long. Marry, I wad
full fain heard some question ‘tween you tway. FLUELLEN. Captain Macmorris, I think, look you, under your correction, there is not many of your nation- MACMORRIS. Of my nation? What ish my nation? Ish a villain, and a
bastard, and a knave, and a rascal. What ish my nation? Who talks
of my nation?
FLUELLEN. Look you, if you take the matter otherwise than is meant,
Captain Macmorris, peradventure I shall think you do not use me
with that affability as in discretion you ought to use me, look
you; being as good a man as yourself, both in the disciplines of
war and in the derivation of my birth, and in other particularities.
MACMORRIS. I do not know you so good a man as myself; so Chrish save me, I will cut off your head. GOWER. Gentlemen both, you will mistake each other. JAMY. Ah! that’s a foul fault. [A parley sounded] GOWER. The town sounds a parley.
FLUELLEN. Captain Macmorris, when there is more better opportunity
to be required, look you, I will be so bold as to tell you I know
the disciplines of war; and there is an end. Exeunt

Before the gates of Harfleur

Enter the GOVERNOR and some citizens on the walls. Enter the KING
and all his train before the gates

KING HENRY. How yet resolves the Governor of the town? This is the latest parle we will admit; Therefore to our best mercy give yourselves Or, like to men proud of destruction,
Defy us to our worst; for, as I am a soldier, A name that in my thoughts becomes me best, If I begin the batt’ry once again,
I will not leave the half-achieved Harfleur Till in her ashes she lie buried.
The gates of mercy shall be all shut up, And the flesh’d soldier, rough and hard of heart, In liberty of bloody hand shall range
With conscience wide as hell, mowing like grass Your fresh fair virgins and your flow’ring infants. What is it then to me if impious war,
Array’d in flames, like to the prince of fiends, Do, with his smirch’d complexion, all fell feats Enlink’d to waste and desolation?
What is’t to me when you yourselves are cause, If your pure maidens fall into the hand Of hot and forcing violation?
What rein can hold licentious wickednes When down the hill he holds his fierce career? We may as bootless spend our vain command Upon th’ enraged soldiers in their spoil, As send precepts to the Leviathan
To come ashore. Therefore, you men of Harfleur, Take pity of your town and of your people Whiles yet my soldiers are in my command; Whiles yet the cool and temperate wind of grace O’erblows the filthy and contagious clouds Of heady murder, spoil, and villainy.
If not- why, in a moment look to see The blind and bloody with foul hand
Defile the locks of your shrill-shrieking daughters; Your fathers taken by the silver beards, And their most reverend heads dash’d to the walls; Your naked infants spitted upon pikes, Whiles the mad mothers with their howls confus’d Do break the clouds, as did the wives of Jewry At Herod’s bloody-hunting slaughtermen. What say you? Will you yield, and this avoid? Or, guilty in defence, be thus destroy’d? GOVERNOR. Our expectation hath this day an end: The Dauphin, whom of succours we entreated, Returns us that his powers are yet not ready To raise so great a siege. Therefore, great King, We yield our town and lives to thy soft mercy. Enter our gates; dispose of us and ours; For we no longer are defensible.
KING HENRY. Open your gates. [Exit GOVERNOR] Come, uncle Exeter,
Go you and enter Harfleur; there remain, And fortify it strongly ‘gainst the French; Use mercy to them all. For us, dear uncle, The winter coming on, and sickness growing Upon our soldiers, we will retire to Calais. To-night in Harfleur will we be your guest; To-morrow for the march are we addrest. [Flourish. The KING and his train enter the town]

Rouen. The FRENCH KING’S palace


KATHERINE. Alice, tu as ete en Angleterre, et tu parles bien le langage.
ALICE. Un peu, madame.
KATHERINE. Je te prie, m’enseignez; il faut que j’apprenne a parler. Comment appelez-vous la main en Anglais? ALICE. La main? Elle est appelee de hand. KATHERINE. De hand. Et les doigts?
ALICE. Les doigts? Ma foi, j’oublie les doigts; mais je me souviendrai. Les doigts? Je pense qu’ils sont appeles de fingres;
oui, de fingres.
KATHERINE. La main, de hand; les doigts, de fingres. Je pense que
je suis le bon ecolier; j’ai gagne deux mots d’Anglais vitement.
Comment appelez-vous les ongles?
ALICE. Les ongles? Nous les appelons de nails. KATHERINE. De nails. Ecoutez; dites-moi si je parle bien: de hand,
de fingres, et de nails.
ALICE. C’est bien dit, madame; il est fort bon Anglais. KATHERINE. Dites-moi l’Anglais pour le bras. ALICE. De arm, madame.
KATHERINE. Et le coude?
ALICE. D’elbow.
KATHERINE. D’elbow. Je m’en fais la repetition de tous les mots que
vous m’avez appris des a present. ALICE. Il est trop difficile, madame, comme je pense. KATHERINE. Excusez-moi, Alice; ecoutez: d’hand, de fingre, de nails, d’arma, de bilbow.
ALICE. D’elbow, madame.
KATHERINE. O Seigneur Dieu, je m’en oublie! D’elbow. Comment appelez-vous le col?
ALICE. De nick, madame.
KATHERINE. De nick. Et le menton?
ALICE. De chin.
KATHERINE. De sin. Le col, de nick; le menton, de sin. ALICE. Oui. Sauf votre honneur, en verite, vous prononcez les mots
aussi droit que les natifs d’Angleterre. KATHERINE. Je ne doute point d’apprendre, par la grace de Dieu, et
en peu de temps.
ALICE. N’avez-vous pas deja oublie ce que je vous ai enseigne? KATHERINE. Non, je reciterai a vous promptement: d’hand, de fingre,
de mails-
ALICE. De nails, madame.
KATHERINE. De nails, de arm, de ilbow. ALICE. Sauf votre honneur, d’elbow.
KATHERINE. Ainsi dis-je; d’elbow, de nick, et de sin. Comment appelez-vous le pied et la robe?
ALICE. Le foot, madame; et le count. KATHERINE. Le foot et le count. O Seigneur Dieu! ils sont mots de
son mauvais, corruptible, gros, et impudique, et non pour les dames d’honneur d’user: je ne voudrais prononcer ces mots devant
les seigneurs de France pour tout le monde. Foh! le foot et le
count! Neanmoins, je reciterai une autre fois ma lecon ensemble:
d’hand, de fingre, de nails, d’arm, d’elbow, de nick, de sin, de
foot, le count.
ALICE. Excellent, madame!
KATHERINE. C’est assez pour une fois: allons-nous a diner. Exeunt

The FRENCH KING’S palace


FRENCH KING. ‘Tis certain he hath pass’d the river Somme. CONSTABLE. And if he be not fought withal, my lord, Let us not live in France; let us quit an, And give our vineyards to a barbarous people. DAUPHIN. O Dieu vivant! Shall a few sprays of us, The emptying of our fathers’ luxury,
Our scions, put in wild and savage stock, Spirt up so suddenly into the clouds,
And overlook their grafters?
BRITAINE. Normans, but bastard Normans, Norman bastards! Mort Dieu, ma vie! if they march along Unfought withal, but I will sell my dukedom To buy a slobb’ry and a dirty farm
In that nook-shotten isle of Albion. CONSTABLE. Dieu de batailles! where have they this mettle? Is not their climate foggy, raw, and dull; On whom, as in despite, the sun looks pale, Killing their fruit with frowns? Can sodden water, A drench for sur-rein’d jades, their barley-broth, Decoct their cold blood to such valiant heat? And shall our quick blood, spirited with wine, Seem frosty? O, for honour of our land, Let us not hang like roping icicles
Upon our houses’ thatch, whiles a more frosty people Sweat drops of gallant youth in our rich fields- Poor we call them in their native lords! DAUPHIN. By faith and honour,
Our madams mock at us and plainly say Our mettle is bred out, and they will give Their bodies to the lust of English youth To new-store France with bastard warriors. BRITAINE. They bid us to the English dancing-schools And teach lavoltas high and swift corantos, Saying our grace is only in our heels
And that we are most lofty runaways. FRENCH KING. Where is Montjoy the herald? Speed him hence; Let him greet England with our sharp defiance. Up, Princes, and, with spirit of honour edged More sharper than your swords, hie to the field: Charles Delabreth, High Constable of France; You Dukes of Orleans, Bourbon, and of Berri, Alengon, Brabant, Bar, and Burgundy;
Jaques Chatillon, Rambures, Vaudemont, Beaumont, Grandpre, Roussi, and Fauconbridge, Foix, Lestrake, Bouciqualt, and Charolois; High dukes, great princes, barons, lords, and knights, For your great seats now quit you of great shames. Bar Harry England, that sweeps through our land With pennons painted in the blood of Harfleur. Rush on his host as doth the melted snow Upon the valleys, whose low vassal seat The Alps doth spit and void his rheum upon; Go down upon him, you have power enough, And in a captive chariot into Rouen
Bring him our prisoner.
CONSTABLE. This becomes the great. Sorry am I his numbers are so few,
His soldiers sick and famish’d in their march; For I am sure, when he shall see our army, He’ll drop his heart into the sink of fear, And for achievement offer us his ransom. FRENCH 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 Rouen. DAUPHIN. Not so, I do beseech your Majesty. FRENCH 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. Exeunt

The English camp in Picardy

Enter CAPTAINS, English and Welsh, GOWER and FLUELLEN

GOWER. How now, Captain Fluellen! Come you from the bridge? FLUELLEN. I assure you there is very excellent services committed
at the bridge.
GOWER. Is the Duke of Exeter safe? FLUELLEN. The Duke of Exeter is as magnanimous as Agamemnon; and a
man that I love and honour with my soul, and my heart, and my duty, and my live, and my living, and my uttermost power. He is
not- God be praised and blessed!- any hurt in the world, but keeps the bridge most valiantly, with excellent discipline. There
is an aunchient Lieutenant there at the bridge- I think in my very conscience he is as valiant a man as Mark Antony; and he is
man of no estimation in the world; but I did see him do as gallant service.
GOWER. What do you call him?
FLUELLEN. He is call’d Aunchient Pistol. GOWER. I know him not.


FLUELLEN. Here is the man.
PISTOL. Captain, I thee beseech to do me favours. The Duke of Exeter doth love thee well. FLUELLEN. Ay, I praise God; and I have merited some love at his hands.
PISTOL. Bardolph, a soldier, firm and sound of heart, And of buxom valour, hath by cruel fate And giddy Fortune’s furious fickle wheel, That goddess blind,
That stands upon the rolling restless stone- FLUELLEN. By your patience, Aunchient Pistol. Fortune is painted
blind, with a muffler afore her eyes, to signify to you that Fortune is blind; and she is painted also with a wheel, to signify to you, which is the moral of it, that she is turning,
and inconstant, and mutability, and variation; and her foot, look
you, is fixed upon a spherical stone, which rolls, and rolls, and
rolls. In good truth, the poet makes a most excellent description
of it: Fortune is an excellent moral. PISTOL. Fortune is Bardolph’s foe, and frowns on him; For he hath stol’n a pax, and hanged must ‘a be- A damned death!
Let gallows gape for dog; let man go free, And let not hemp his windpipe suffocate. But Exeter hath given the doom of death For pax of little price.
Therefore, go speak- the Duke will hear thy voice; And let not Bardolph’s vital thread be cut With edge of penny cord and vile reproach. Speak, Captain, for his life, and I will thee requite. FLUELLEN. Aunchient Pistol, I do partly understand your meaning.
PISTOL. Why then, rejoice therefore. FLUELLEN. Certainly, Aunchient, it is not a thing to rejoice at;
for if, look you, he were my brother, I would desire the Duke to
use his good pleasure, and put him to execution; for discipline
ought to be used.
PISTOL. Die and be damn’d! and figo for thy friendship! FLUELLEN. It is well.
PISTOL. The fig of Spain! Exit

FLUELLEN. Very good.
GOWER. Why, this is an arrant counterfeit rascal; I remember him
now- a bawd, a cutpurse.
FLUELLEN. I’ll assure you, ‘a utt’red 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.
GOWER. Why, ’tis a gull a fool a rogue, that now and then goes to
the wars to grace himself, at his return into London, under the
form of a soldier. And such fellows are perfect in the great commanders’ names; and they will learn you by rote where services
were done- at such and such a sconce, at such a breach, at such a
convoy; who came off bravely, who was shot, who disgrac’d, what
terms the enemy stood on; and this they con perfectly in the phrase of war, which they trick up with new-tuned oaths; and what
a beard of the General’s cut and a horrid suit of the camp will
do among foaming bottles and ale-wash’d wits is wonderful to be
thought on. But you must learn to know such slanders of the age,
or else you may be marvellously mistook. FLUELLEN. I tell you what, Captain Gower, I do perceive he is not
the man that he would gladly make show to the world he is; if I
find a hole in his coat I will tell him my mind. [Drum within]
Hark you, the King is coming; and I must speak with him from the

Drum and colours. Enter the KING and his poor soldiers, and GLOUCESTER

God pless your Majesty!
KING HENRY. How now, Fluellen! Cam’st thou from the bridge? FLUELLEN. Ay, so please your Majesty. The Duke of Exeter has very
gallantly maintain’d the pridge; the French is gone off, look you, and there is gallant and most prave passages. Marry, th’ athversary was have possession of the pridge; but he is enforced
to retire, and the Duke of Exeter is master of the pridge; I can
tell your Majesty the Duke is a prave man. KING HENRY. What men have you lost, Fluellen! FLUELLEN. The perdition of th’ athversary hath been very great, reasonable great; marry, for my part, I think the Duke hath lost
never a man, but one that is like to be executed for robbing a
church- one Bardolph, if your Majesty know the man; his face is
all bubukles, and whelks, and knobs, and flames o’ fire; and his
lips blows at his nose, and it is like a coal of fire, sometimes
plue and sometimes red; but his nose is executed and his fire’s
KING HENRY. We would have all such offenders so cut off. And we give express charge that in our marches through the country there
be nothing compell’d from the villages, nothing taken but paid
for, none of the French upbraided or abused in disdainful language; for when lenity and cruelty play for a kingdom the gentler gamester is the soonest winner.

Tucket. Enter MONTJOY

MONTJOY. You know me by my habit.
KING HENRY. Well then, I know thee; what shall I know of thee? MONTJOY. My master’s mind.
KING HENRY. Unfold it.
MONTJOY. Thus says my king. Say thou to Harry of England: Though we
seem’d dead we did but sleep; advantage is a better soldier than
rashness. Tell him we could have rebuk’d him at Harfleur, but

that we thought not good to bruise an injury till it were full
ripe. Now we speak upon our cue, and our voice is imperial: England shall repent his folly, see his weakness, and admire our
sufferance. Bid him therefore consider of his ransom, which must
proportion the losses we have borne, the subjects we have lost,
the disgrace we have digested; which, in weight to re-answer, his
pettiness would bow under. For our losses his exchequer is too
poor; for th’ effusion of our blood, the muster of his kingdom
too faint a number; and for our disgrace, his own person kneeling
at our feet but a weak and worthless satisfaction. To this add
defiance; and tell him, for conclusion, he hath betrayed his followers, whose condemnation is pronounc’d. So far my king and
master; so much my office.
KING HENRY. What is thy name? I know thy quality. MONTJOY. Montjoy.
KING HENRY. Thou dost thy office fairly. Turn thee back, And tell thy king I do not seek him now, But could be willing to march on to Calais Without impeachment; for, to say the sooth- Though ’tis no wisdom to confess so much Unto an enemy of craft and vantage-
My people are with sickness much enfeebled; My numbers lessen’d; and those few I have Almost no better than so many French;
Who when they were in health, I tell thee, herald, I thought upon one pair of English legs Did march three Frenchmen. Yet forgive me, God, That I do brag thus; this your air of France Hath blown that vice in me; I must repent. Go, therefore, tell thy master here I am; My ransom is this frail and worthless trunk; My army but a weak and sickly guard;
Yet, God before, tell him we will come on, Though France himself and such another neighbour Stand in our way. There’s for thy labour, Montjoy. Go, bid thy master well advise himself. If we may pass, we will; if we be hind’red, We shall your tawny ground with your red blood Discolour; and so, Montjoy, fare you well. The sum of all our answer is but this: We would not seek a battle as we are;
Nor as we are, we say, we will not shun it. So tell your master.
MONTJOY. I shall deliver so. Thanks to your Highness. Exit GLOUCESTER. I hope they will not come upon us now. KING HENRY. We are in God’s hand, brother, not in theirs. March to the bridge, it now draws toward night; Beyond the river we’ll encamp ourselves, And on to-morrow bid them march away. Exeunt

The French camp near Agincourt

the DAUPHIN, with others

CONSTABLE. Tut! I have the best armour of the world. Would it were day!
ORLEANS. You have an excellent armour; but let my horse have his
CONSTABLE. It is the best horse of Europe. ORLEANS. Will it never be morning?
DAUPHIN. My Lord of Orleans and my Lord High Constable, you talk of
horse and armour?
ORLEANS. You are as well provided of both as any prince in the world.
DAUPHIN. What a long night is this! I will not change my horse with
any that treads but on four pasterns. Ca, ha! he bounds from the
earth as if his entrails were hairs; le cheval volant, the Pegasus, chez les narines de feu! When I bestride him I soar, I
am a hawk. He trots the air; the earth sings when he touches it;
the basest horn of his hoof is more musical than the pipe of

ORLEANS. He’s of the colour of the nutmeg. DAUPHIN. And of the heat of the ginger. It is a beast for Perseus:
he is pure air and fire; and the dull elements of earth and water
never appear in him, but only in patient stillness while his rider mounts him; he is indeed a horse, and all other jades you
may call beasts.
CONSTABLE. Indeed, my lord, it is a most absolute and excellent horse.
DAUPHIN. It is the prince of palfreys; his neigh is like the bidding of a monarch, and his countenance enforces homage. ORLEANS. No more, cousin.
DAUPHIN. Nay, the man hath no wit that cannot, from the rising of
the lark to the lodging of the lamb, vary deserved praise on my
palfrey. It is a theme as fluent as the sea: turn the sands into
eloquent tongues, and my horse is argument for them all: ’tis a
subject for a sovereign to reason on, and for a sovereign’s sovereign to ride on; and for the world- familiar to us and unknown- to lay apart their particular functions and wonder at
him. I once writ a sonnet in his praise and began thus: ‘Wonder
of nature’-
ORLEANS. I have heard a sonnet begin so to one’s mistress. DAUPHIN. Then did they imitate that which I compos’d to my courser;
for my horse is my mistress.
ORLEANS. Your mistress bears well. DAUPHIN. Me well; which is the prescript praise and perfection of a
good and particular mistress.
CONSTABLE. Nay, for methought yesterday your mistress shrewdly shook your back.
DAUPHIN. So perhaps did yours.
CONSTABLE. Mine was not bridled.
DAUPHIN. O, then belike she was old and gentle; and you rode like a
kern of Ireland, your French hose off and in your strait strossers.
CONSTABLE. You have good judgment in horsemanship. DAUPHIN. Be warn’d by me, then: they that ride so, and ride not warily, fall into foul bogs. I had rather have my horse to my mistress.
CONSTABLE. I had as lief have my mistress a jade. DAUPHIN. I tell thee, Constable, my mistress wears his own hair.
CONSTABLE. I could make as true a boast as that, if I had a sow to
my mistress.