William Shakespeare.

The dramatic works of William Shakspeare... embracing a life of the poet, and notes, original and selected (Volume 4) online

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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 5 citizens kneading up the honey ;

1 " Yet that is but a crushed necessity." This is the reading of the
folio. The editors of late editions have adopted the reading of the quarto
copy, " cursed necessity."

2 Concent is connected harmony in general, and not confined to any
specific consonance. Concentio and concentus are both used by Cicero
for the union of voices or instruments, in what we should now call a chorus
or concert.

3 " The act of order " is the statute or laiv of order ; as appears from the
reading of the quarto. " Creatures that by awe ordain an act of order to
a peopled kingdom."

4 i. e. of different degrees : if it be not an error of the press for soil,
i. e. rank.

5 " The civil citizens kneading up the honey." Civil is grave. See


The poor mechanic porters crowding in

Their heavy burdens at his narrow gate ;

The sad-eyed justice, with his surly hum,

Delivering o er to executors * pale

The lazy, yawning drone. I this infer,

That many things, having full reference

To one concent, may work contrariously ;

As many arrows, loosed several ways,

Fly to one mark ;

As many several ways meet in one town ;

As many fresh streams run in one self-sea ;

As many lines close in the dial s centre ;

So may a thousand actions, once afoot,

End in one purpose, and be all well borne

Without defeat. 2 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 that power left at home,

Cannot defend our own door from the dog,

Let us be worried ; and our nation lose

The name of hardiness, and policy.

K. Hen. Call in the messengers sent from the

[Exit an Attendant. The King ascends

his throne.

Now are we well resolved ; and by God s help,
And yours, the noble sinews of our power,
France being ours, we ll bend it to our awe,
Or break it all to pieces. Or there we ll sit,
Ruling, in large and ample empery, 3
O er France, and all her almost kingly dukedoms ;
Or lay these bones in an unworthy urn,

Twelfth Nipfht, Act iii. Sc. 4. Johnson observes, to knead the honey is
not physically true. The bees do, in fact, knead the wax more than the

1 " Executors" for executioners. Thus also Burton, in his Anatomy of
Melancholy, p. 38, ed. 1632 :

" Tremble at an executor, and yet not feare hell-fire."

2 " Without defeat." The quartos read, " Without defect."

3 " Empery" This word, Avhich signifies dominion, is now obsolete.

SC. 11.] KING HENRY V. 129

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 worshipped with a waxen epitaph. 1

Enter Ambassadors of France.

Now are "we well prepared to know the pleasure
Of our fair cousin dauphin ; for, we hear,
Your greeting is from him, not from the king.

Amb. May it please your majesty to give us leave
Freely to render what we have in charge ;
Or shall we sparingly show you far off
The dauphin s meaning, and our embassy ?

K. Hen. We are no tyrant, but a Christian king ;
Unto whose grace our passion is as subject,
As are our wretches fettered in our prisons :
Therefore, with frank and with uncurbed plainness,
Tell us the dauphin s mind.

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.
In answer of which claim, the prince our master
Says, that you savor too much of your youth ;
And bids you be advised, there s nought in France,
That can be with a nimble galliard 2 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.

1 The quartos read, " with a paper epitaph." Either a paper or a
waxen epitaph is an epitaph easily destroyed ; one that can confer no last
ing honor on the dead. Steevens thinks that the allusion is to waxen
tablets, as any thing written upon them was easily effaced. Mr. Gilford
says, that a war.en epitaph was an epitaph affixed to the hearse or grave
with wax. But the expression may he merely metaphorical, and not allu
sive to either.

2 A galliard was an ancient sprightly dance, as its name implies.

VOL. IV. 17


K. Hen. What treasure, uncle ?

Exe. Tennis-balls, my liege. 1

K. Hen. We are glad the dauphin is so pleasant

with us ;

His present, and your pains, we thank you for.
When we have matched 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. 2
Tell him, he hath made a match with such a wrangler,
That all the courts of France will be disturbed
With chaces. 3 And we understand him well,
How he comes o er us with our wilder days,
Not measuring what use we made of them.
We never valued this poor seat of England;
And therefore, living hence, 4 did give ourself
To barbarous license ; 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, 5
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 turned his balls to gun-stones ; 6 and his soul
Shall stand sore charged for the wasteful vengeance
That shall fly with them ; for many a thousand widows

1 In the old play of King Henry V. this present consists of a gilded
tun of tennis-balls, and a carpet

a The hazard is a place in the tennis-court, into which the ball is some
times struck.

3 A chace at tennis is that spot where a ball falls, beyond which the
adversary must strike his ball to gain a point or chace. At long tennis it
is the spot where the ball leaves off rolling. We see, therefore, why the
king has called himself a wrangler.

4 That is, away from this seat or throne.

5 To qualify myself for this undertaking, I have descended from my
station, and studied the arts of life in a lower character.

6 " Hath turned his balls to gun-stones." When ordnance were first
used, they discharged balls of stone.


Shall this his mock mock out of their dear husbands ;

Mock mothers from their sons, mock castles down ;

And some are yet ungotten, and unborn,

That shall have cause to curse the dauphin s scorn.

But this lies all within the will of God,

To whom I do appeal ; and in whose name,

Tell you the dauphin, I am coming on,

To venge me as I may, and to put forth

My rightful hand in a well-hallowed cause.

So, get you hence in peace ; and tell the dauphin,

His jest will savor but of shallow wit,

When thousands weep, more than did laugh at it.

Convey them with safe conduct. Fare you well.

[Exeunt Ambassadors.

Exe. This was a merry message.

K. Hen. We hope to make the sender blush at it.

\_Descendsfrom his throne.
Therefore, my lords, omit no happy hour,
That may give furtherance to our expedition ;
For we have now no thought in us but France,
Save those to God, that run before our business.
Therefore, let our proportions for these wars
Be soon collected ; and all things thought upon,
That may, with reasonable swiftness, add
More feathers to our wings ; for, God before,
We ll chide this dauphin at his father s door.
Therefore, let every man now task his thought,
That this fair action may on foot be brought. [Exeunt.



Cho. Now all the youth of England are on fire,
And silken dalliance in the wardrobe lies ;
Now thrive the armorers, and honor 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 hilt unto the point,

With crowns imperial, crowns, and coronets, 1

Promised to Harry, and his followers.

The French, advised by good intelligence

Of this most dreadful preparation,

Shake in their fear ; and with pale policy

Seek to divert the English purposes.

O, England ! model to thy inward greatness,

Like little body with a mighty heart,

What mightst thou do, that honor 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 carl of Cambridge ; 2 and the second,

Henry lord Scroop 3 of Masham ; and the third,

Sir Thomas Grey, knight of Northumberland

Have, for the gilt of France, (O guilt, indeed !)

Confirmed 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 well digest

The abuse of distance, while we force a play. 4

The sum is paid ; the traitors are agreed ;

1 In ancient representations of trophies, &c. it is common to see swords
encircled with crowns. Shakspeare s image is supposed to be taken from
a wood cut in the first edition of Holinshed.

2 " Richard earl of Cambridge " was Richard de Conisbury, younger
son of Edmund Langley, duke of York. He Avas father of Richard duke
of York, and grandfather of Edward the Fourth.

3 "Henry lord Scroop" was a third husband of Joan duchess of York,
mother-in-law of Richard earl of Cambridge.

4 The old copy reads :

" Linger your patience on, and we ll digest
The abuse of distance ; force a play."

The alteration was made by Pope.


The king is set from London ; and the scene

Is now transported, gentles, to Southampton.

There is the playhouse now ; there must you sit ;

And thence to France shall we convey you safe,

And bring you back, charming the narrow seas

To give you gentle pass ; for, if we may,

We ll not offend one stomach with our play.

But, till the king come forth, and but till then,

Unto Southampton do we shift our scene. 1 [Exit.

SCENE I. The same. Eastcheap.


Bard. Well met, corporal Nym.

Nym. Good morrow, lieutenant Bardolph.

Sard. What, are ancient Pistol and you friends yet :

Nym. For my part, I care not. 1 say little : but
when time shall serve, there shall be smiles ; 2 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 W 7 ill endure
cold as another man s sword will ; and there s the humor
of it.

Bard. I will bestow a breakfast, to make you friends ;

1 " But till the king come forth, and but till then,

Unto Southampton do we shift our scene."
The old copy reads :

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

The emendation was proposed by Mr. Roderick, and deserves admission
into the text. Malone has plainly shown that it is a common typograph
ical error. The objection is, that a scene in London intervenes ; but this
may be obviated by transposing that scene to the end of the first act. The
division into acts and scenes, it should be recollected, is the arbitrary work
of Mr. Rowe and the subsequent editors ; and the first act of this play, as
it is now divided, is unusually short This chorus has slipped out of its

2 When time shall serve, there shall be smiles" Dr. Farmer thought
that this was an error of the press for smites, i. e. blows, a word used in the
Poet s age, and still provincially current. The passage, as it stands, has
been explained : I care not whether we are friends at present ; however,
when time shall serve, we shall be in good humor ivith each other ; but be
it as it may."


and we ll be all three sworn brothers to France ; let it
be so, good corporal Njm.

Nym. Faith, I will live so long as I may, that s the
certain of it ; and when I cannot live any longer, I wi\\
do as I may : that is my rest, 1 that is the rendezvous
of it.

Bard. 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. 2


Bard. Here comes ancient Pistol, and his wife :
good corporal, be patient here. How now, mine
host Pistol ?

Pist. Base tike, 3 call st thou me host?
Now, by this hand, I swear, I scorn the term ;
Nor shall my Nell keep lodgers.

Quick. 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. [Nvat
draws his sword.] O well-i-day, Lady, if he be not
drawn now ! 4 we shall see wilful adultery and murder
committed. Good lieutenant Bardolph, good cor
poral, offer nothing here.

1 " That is my rest ; " that is my determination.

~ i. e. " I know not what to say or think of it." See this phrase amply
illustrated in Mr. Gifford s Ben Jonson, vol. i. p. 125. No phrase is more
common in our old dramatic writers.

3 i. e. base fellow. Still used in the north ; where a tike is also a dog
of a large, common breed.

4 The folio has " O well-a-day, Lady, if he be not hewn now ; " an evi
dent error of the press. The quarto reads, "O Lord! here s corpora]
Nym s now," &c.


Nym. Pish!

Pist. Pish for thee, Iceland dog ! 1 thou prick-eared
cur of Iceland !

Quick. Good corporal Nym, show the valor of a
man, and put up thy sword.

Nym. Will you shog off? I would have you solus.

[Sheathing his sword.

Pist. Solus, egregious dog ? O viper vile !
The solus in thy most marvellous 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, 2 and Pistol s cock is up,
And flashing fire will follow.

Nym. I am not Barbason ; 3 you cannot conjure me.
I have a humor 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 humor of it.

Pist. O, braggard vile, and damned furious wight !
The grave doth gape, and doting death is near ;
Therefore exhale. [PISTOL and NYM draw.

Bard. 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.

Pist. An oath of mickle might ; and fury shall abate.

1 " Ice land dogges, curled and rough all over, which, by reason of the
length of their heare, make show neither of face nor of body. And yet
thes curres, forsoothe, because they are so strange, are greatly set by, es
teemed, taken up, and made of, many times instead of the spaniell gentle
or comforter." Abraham Fleming s translation of Caius de Canibus, 157U,
Of English Dogges. Islan-l cur is again used as a term of contempt in
" Epigrams served out in Fifty-two several Dishes ; " no dale :

"He wears a gown lac d round, laid down with furre,
Or, miser-like, a pouch where never man
Could thrust his finger, but this island cwrrc."

2 "For I can take. 1 1 Malone would change this, without necessity,
to " I can talk." Pistol only means, " I can understand or comprehend

3 Barbason is the name of a demon mentioned in The Merry Wives of


Give me thj fist, thy fore-foot to me give ,
Thj spirits are most tall.

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

Pist. Coupe le gorge, that s the word ? I thee defy


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, 1
Doll Tear-sheet she by name, and her espouse.
I have, and I will hold, the quondam Quickly
For the only she ; and pauca, there s enough.

Enter the Boy.

Boy. Mine host Pistol, you must come to my mas
ter, and you, hostess ; he is very sick, and would to
bed. Good Bardolph, put thy nose between his
sheets, and do the office of a warming-pan : faith, he s
very ill.

Bard. Away, you rogue.

Quick. 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 MRS. QUICKLY and Boy.

Bard. 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 ?

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

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

Pist. Base is the slave that pays.

Nym. That now I will have ; that s the humor of it.

Pist. As manhood shall compound ; push home.

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

1 " The lazar kite of Cressid s kind" Of Cressida s nature, see Troilus

and Cressida.

SO. 1.] KING HENRY V. 137

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

Bard. Corporal Njm, an thou wilt be friends, be
friends ; an thou wilt not, why then be enemies with
me too. Pr ythee, put up.

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

Pist. A noble 1 shalt thou have, and present pay ;
And liquor likewise will I give to thee,
And friendship shall combine, and brotherhood.
I ll live by Nym, and Nym shall live by me ;
Is not this just ? for I shall sutler be
Unto the camp, and profits will accrue.
Give me thy hand.

Nym. I shall have my noble ?

Pist. In cash most justly paid.

Nym. Well, then, that s the humor of it.

Re-enter MRS. QUICKLY.

Quick. As ever you came of women, come in quick
ly to sir John. Ah, poor heart ! he is so shaked of a
burning quotidian tertian, that it is most lamentable to
behold. Sweet men, come to him.

Nym. The king hath run bad humors on the knight,
that s the even of it.

Pist. 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 humors, and careers.

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

1 The noble was worth six shillings and eight-pence.

VOL. IV. 18


SCENE II. Southampton. A Council Chamber.


Bed. Fore God, his grace is bold to trust these


Exe. They shall be apprehended by and by.
West. How smooth and even they do bear them
selves !

As if allegiance in their bosoms sat,
Crowned with faith and constant loyalty.

Bed. The king hath note of all that they intend,
By interception which they dream not of.

Exe. Nay, but the man that was his bedfellow, 1
Whom he hath cloyed 2 and graced with princely


That he should, for a foreign purse, so sell
His sovereign s life to death and treachery !

Trumpet sounds. Enter KING HENRY, SCROOP, CAM
BRIDGE, GREY, Lords, and Attendants.

K. Hen. Now sits the wind fair, and we will aboard.
My lord of Cambridge, -and my kind lord of Ma-

And you, my gentle knight, give me your thoughts.

Think you not, that the powers we bear with us,
Will cut their passage through the force of France ;
Doing the execution, and the act,
For which we have in head assembled them ?

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

1 That was histcdfellow." Thus Holinshed : " The said lord Scroop
was in such favor with the king 1 , that he admitted him sometimes to be his
bedfellow" This familiar appellation of bedfellow was common among the
ancient nobility. This custom, which now appears so strange and un
seemly to us, continued to the middle of the seventeenth century, if not
later. Cromwell obtained much of his intelligence during the civil wars
from the mean men with whom he slept.

2 " Whom he hath cloyed and graced." The quarto reads, " dulled and


K. Hen. I doubt not that ; since we are well per

We carry not a heart with us from hence,
That grows not in a fair consent l with ours ;
Nor leave not one behind, that doth not wish
Success and conquest to attend on us.

Cam. Never was monarch better feared, and loved,
Than is your majesty ; there s not, I think, a subject,
That sits in heart-grief and uneasiness
Under the sweet shade of your government.

Grey. Even those, that were your father s enemies,
Have steeped their galls in honey ; and do serve you
With hearts create of duty and of zeal.

K. Hen. We therefore have great cause of thank
fulness ;

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 labor 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,
That railed against our person : we consider,
It was excess of wine that set him on ;
And, on his more advice, 2 we pardon him.

Scroop. That s mercy, but too much security.
Let him be punished, sovereign ; lest example
Breed, by his sufferance, more of such a kind.

K. Hen. O, let us yet be merciful.

Cam. 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.

K. Hen. Alas, your too much love and care of me
Are heavy orisons gainst this poor wretch.
If little faults, proceeding on distemper, 3
Shall not be winked at, how shall we stretch our eye,

1 " Consent " is accord, agreement.

9 i. e. his better consideration, or more circumspect behavior.

3 " Distemper " here put for intemperance, or riotous excess.


When capital crimes, chewed, swallowed, and digested,
Appear before us ? We ll yet enlarge that man,
Though Cambridge, Scroop, and Grey, in their dear


And tender preservation of our person,
Would have him punished. And now to our French

Who are the late l commissioners ?

Cam. I one, my lord ;
Your highness bade me ask for it to-day.

Scroop. So did you me, my liege.

Grey. And me, 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.
Read them ; and know, I know your worthiness :
My lord of Westmoreland, and uncle Exeter,
We will aboard to-night. Why, how now, gentlemen ?
What see you in those papers, that you lose
So much complexion ? Look ye, how they change !
Their cheeks are paper. Why, what read you there,
That hath so cowarded and chased your blood
Out of appearance ?

Cam. I do confess my fault;

And do submit me to your highness mercy.

Grey. Scroop. To which we all appeal.

K. Hen. The mercy, that was quick in us but late,
By your own counsel is suppressed and killed.
You must not dare, for shame, to talk of mercy ;
For your own reasons turn into your bosoms,
As dogs upon their masters, worrying them.
See you, my princes, and my noble peers,
These English monsters ! My lord of Cambridge


You know how apt our love was to accord
To furnish him with all appertinents
Belonging to his honor ; and this man

1 i. e. those lately appointed.


Hath, for a few light crowns, lightly conspired,

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,

Online LibraryWilliam ShakespeareThe dramatic works of William Shakspeare... embracing a life of the poet, and notes, original and selected (Volume 4) → online text (page 10 of 38)