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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have French quarrels enough, if you could tell how
to reckon.

K. Hen. Indeed, the French may lay twenty French
crowns to one, they will beat us ; for they bear them
on their shoulders : But it is no English treason to cut
French crowns; and, to-morrow, the king himself will
be a clipper. [Exeunt Soldiers.

Upon the king! 1 let us our lives, our souls,
Our debts, our careful \vives, our children, and
Our sins, lay on the king ; we must bear all.
O hard condition ! twin-born with greatness,
Subjected to the breath of every fool,
Whose sense no more can feel but his own wringing !
What infinite heart s ease must kings neglect,
That private men enjoy !

And what have kings, that privates have not too,
Save ceremony, save general ceremony ?
And what art thou, thou idol ceremony ?
What kind of god art thou, that suffer st more
Of mortal griefs, than do thy worshippers ?
What are thy rents ? what are thy comings in?
O ceremony, show me but thy worth !
What is thy soul of adoration? 2
Art thou aught else but place, degree, and form,
Creating awe and fear in other men ?
Wherein thou art less happy, being feared,
Than they in fearing.

What drink st thou oft, instead of homage sweet,
But poisoned flattery? O, be sick, great greatness,
And bid thy ceremony give thee cure !

1 This beautiful speech was added after the first edition.

2 " What is thy soul of adoration ? " This is the reading of the old
copy, which Malone changed to

" What is the soul of adoration ? "


Think st thou the fiery fever will go out

With titles blown from adulation ?

Will it give place to flexure and low bending ?

Canst thou, when thou command s! the beggar s knee,

Command the health of it ? No, thou proud dream,

That play st so subtly with a king s repose :

I am a king, that find thee ; and I know,

Tis not the balm, the sceptre, and the ball,

The sword, the mace, the crown imperial,

The inter-tissued robe of gold and pearl,

The farced l title running fore the king,

The throne he sits on, nor the tide of pomp

That beats upon the high shore of this world,

No, not all these, thrice-gorgeous ceremony,

Not all these, laid in bed majestical,

Can sleep so soundly as the wretched slave ;

Who, with a body filled, and vacant mind,

Gets him to rest, crammed with distressful bread ;

Never sees horrid night, the child of hell ;

But, like a lackey, from the rise to set,

Sweats in the eye of Phoebus, and all night

Sleeps in Elysium ; next day, after dawn,

Doth rise, and help Hyperion 2 to his horse;

And follows so the ever-running year

With profitable labor, to his grave :

And, but for ceremony, such a wretch,

Winding up days with toil, and nights with sleep,

Had the forehand and vantage of a king.


The slave, a member of the country s peace,
Enjoys it ; but in gross brain little wots,
What watch the king keeps to maintain the peace,
Whose hours the peasant best advantages. 3


Erp. My lord, your nobles, jealous of your absence,
Seek through your camp to find you.

1 Farced is stuffed.
~ Apollo. See Hamlet, Act i. Sc. 2.

3 To advantage is a verb used by Shakspeare in other places. It was
formerly in general use.


K. Hen. Good old knight,

Collect them all together at my tent ;
I ll be before thee.

Erp. I shall do t, my lord. [Exit.

K. Hen. O, God of battles ! steel my soldiers hearts!
Possess them not with fear ; take from them now 1
The sense of reckoning of the opposed numbers :
Pluck their hearts from them not to-day, O Lord !
O, not to-day ! Think not upon the fault
My father made in compassing the crown !
I Richard s body have interred new ;
Arid on it have bestowed more contrite tears,
Than from it issued forced drops of blood.
Five hundred poor I have in yearly paj,
Who twice a day their withered hands hold up
Toward heaven to pardon blood ; and I have built
Two chantries, 2 where the sad and solemn priests
Sing still for Richard s soul. More will I do :
Though all that I can do, is nothing worth ;
Since that my penitence comes after all,
Imploring pardon.


Glo. My liege !

K. Hen. My brother Gloster s voice ? Ay ;

I know thy errand ; I will go with thee.
The day, my friends, and all things stay for me.


1 The late editions exhibit the passage thus :

" take from them now

The sense of reckoning, if the opposed numbers
Pluck their hearts from them ! Not to-day, O Lord,
O, not to-day, think not upon," &c.

2 " Two chantries." One of these was for Carthusian monks, and was
called Bethlehem ; the other was for religious men and women of the order
of saint Bridget, and was named Sion. They were on opposite sides of
the Thames, and adjoined the royal manor of Sheen, now called Rich

VOL. iv. 24


SCENE II. The French Camp.

Enter Dauphin, ORLEANS, R A MB u RES, and others.

Orl. The sun doth gild our armor ; up, my lords.
Dau. Montez a chcval : My horse! valet! lac-
quay ? ha !
Orl. O brave spirit!

Dau. Via! 1 les eaux et la terre

Orl. Rien puis ? Pair et lefeu

Dau. del! cousin Orleans.

Enter Constable.

Now, my lord constable.

Con. Hark, how our steeds for present service neigh.

Dau. Mount them, and make incision in their hides;
That their hot blood may spin in English eyes,
And doubt 2 them with superfluous courage. Ha!

Ram. What, will you have them weep our horses

blood ?
How shall we then behold their natural tears ?

Enter a Messenger.

Mess. The English are embattled, you French peers.

Con. To horse, you gallant princes ! straight, to

horse !

Do but behold yon poor and starved band,
And your fair show shall suck away their souls,
Leaving them but the shales and husks of men.
There is not work enough for all our hands ;
Scarce blood enough in all their sickly veins,
To give each naked curtle-ax a stain,

1 Via, an exclamation of encouragement on, away ; of Italian origin.
2 " That their hot blood may spin in English eyes,

And doubt them with superfluous courage."

This is the reading of the folio, which Malone has altered to dout, i. e. do
ouf, in provincial language.


That our French gallants shall to-day draw out.

And sheath for lack of sport : let us but blow on them,

The vapor of our valor will o erturn them.

Tis positive gainst all exceptions, lords,

That our superfluous lackeys, and our peasants,

Who in unnecessary action swarm

About our squares of battle, were enough

To purge this field of such a hilding foe ;

Though we, upon this mountain s basis by,

Took stand for idle speculation :

But that our honors must not. What s to say r

A very little little let us do,

And all is done. Then let the trumpets sound

The tucket-sonuance, 1 and the note to mount ;

For our approach shall so much dare the field,

That England shall crouch down in fear, and yield.


Grand. Why do you stay so long, my lords of

France ?

Yon island carrions, 2 desperate of their bones,
Ill-favoredly become the morning field.
Their ragged curtains 3 poorly are let loose,
And our air shakes them passing scornfully.
Big Mars seems bankrupt in their beggared host,
And faintly through a rusty beaver peeps.
Their horsemen sit like fixed candlesticks, 4

1 The tucket-sonuance was a flourish on the trumpet as a signal to pre
pare to march. The phrase is derived from the Italian toccata, a prelude
or flourish, and suonanza, a sound, a resounding. Thus in the Devil s
Law Case, 1()Q3, two tuckds by two several trumpets.

2 " Yon island carrions." The description of the English is founded on
Holinshed s melancholy account, speaking of the march from Harfleur to
Agincourt : " The Englishmen were brought into great misery in this
journey ; their victual was in a manner all spent, and now could they get
none : rest none could they take, for their enemies were ever at hand to
give them allarmes : daily it rained, and nightly it freezed ; of fewel there
was great scarcity, but of fluxes great plenty ; money they had enough,
but wares to bestow it upon, for their releife or comforte, had they little or

3 Their ragged curtains are their colors.

4 Ancient candlesticks were often in the form of human figures, holding
the socket for the lights in their extended hands.


With torch-staves in their hand : and their poor jades
Lob down their heads, dropping the hides and hips ;
The gum down-roping from their pale-dead eyes ;
And in their pale, dull mouths the gimmal 1 bit
Lies foul with chewed grass, still and motionless ;
And their executors, the knavish crows,
Fly o er them all, impatient for their hour.
Description cannot suit itself in words,
To demonstrate the life of such a battle,
In life so lifeless as it shows itself.

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

Dau. Shall we go send them dinners, and fresh


And give their fasting horses provender,
And after fight with them ?


Con. I stay but for my guard. 2 On, to the field ;
I will the banner from a trumpet take,
And use it for my haste. Come, come, aw 7 ay !
The sun is high, and \vc outwear the day. [Exeunt.

SCENE III. The English Camp.

Enter the English Host ; GLOSTER, BEDFORD, EXETER,

Glo. Where is the king ?

Bed. The king himself is rode to view their battle.

West. Of fighting men they have full threescore

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

Sal. God s arm strike with us ! tis a fearful odds.
God be with you, princes all ; I ll to my charge.
If we no more meet, till we meet in heaven,

1 The gimmal bit was probably a bit in which two parts or links were
united, as in the gimmal ring, so called because they were double linked ;
from gcmellus, Lat.

2 " I stay but for my guard." Dr. Johnson and Mr. Steevens were of
opinion that guard here means rather something 1 of ornament, than an at
tendant or attendants.


Then, joyfully, my noble lord of Bedford,
My dear lord Gloster, and my good lord Exeter,
And my kind kinsman, 1 warriors all, adieu !

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

Exe. Farewell, kind lord ; fight valiantly to-day.
And yet I do thee wrong, to mind thee of it,
For thou art framed of the firm truth of valor.


Bed. He is as full of valor, as of kindness ;
Princely in both.

West. O that we now had here


But one ten thousand of those men in England,
That do no work to-day !

K. Hen. What s he that wishes so ?

My cousin Westmoreland ? 2 No, my fair cousin.
If we are marked to die, we are enough
To do our country loss ; and if to live,
The fewer men, the greater share of honor.
God s will ! I pray thee, wish not one man more.
By Jove, I am not covetous for gold ;
Nor care I who doth feed upon my cost ;
It yearns 3 me not, if men my garments wear ;
Such outward things dwell not in my desires :
But, if it be a sin to covet honor,
I am the most offending soul alive.
No, faith, my coz, wish not a man from England.
God s peace ! I would not lose so great an honor,
As one man more, methinks, would share from me,
For the best hope I have. O, do not wish one more.
Rather proclaim it, Westmoreland, through my host,
That he which hath no stomach to this fight,

1 " And my kind kinsman." This is addressed to Westmoreland by the
speaker, who was Thomas Montacute, earl of Salisbury : he was not, in
point of fact, related to Westmoreland ; there was only a kind of connec
tion by marriage between their families.

2 In the quarto this speech is addressed to Warwick.

3 To yearn is to grieve or vex.


Let him depart ; his passport shall be made,

And crowns for convoy put into his purse :

We would not die in that man s company

That fears his fellowship to die with us.

This day is called the feast of Crispian : *

He that outlives this day, and comes safe home,

Will stand a tiptoe when this day is named,

And rouse him at the name of Crispian.

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

Will yearly on the vigil feast his friends,

And say To-morrow is Saint Crispian ;

Then will he strip his sleeve, and show his scars,

And say, These wounds I had on Crispins day.

Old men forget ; yet all shall be forgot,

But he ll remember, with advantages,

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

Familiar in their mouths as household w T ords

Harry the king, Bedford and Exeter,

Warwick and Talbot, Salisbury and Gloster,

Be in their flowing cups freshly remembered :

This story shall the good man teach his son;

And Crispin Crispian shall ne er go by,

From this day to the ending of the world,

But we in it shall be remembered :

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

For he, to-day, that sheds his blood with me,

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

This day shall gentle his condition : ~

And gentlemen in England, now abed,

Shall think themselves accursed, they were not here :

And hold their manhoods cheap, while any speaks,

That fought with us upon Saint Crispin s day.

1 "The feast of Crispian." The battle of Agincourt was fought upon
the 25th of October, 1415.

2 i. o. shall advance him to the rank of a gentleman. King- Henry V.
inhibited any person, but such as had a right by inheritance or grant, from
bearing coats of arms, except those who fought with him at the battle of
Agincourt ; and these last were allowed the chief seats at all feasts and
public meetings.



Sal. My sovereign lord, bestow yourself with speed ;
The French are bravely in their battles set,
And will with all expedience charge on us.

K. Hen. All things are ready, if our minds be so.
West. Perish the man whose mind is backward

now !

K. Hen. Thou dost not wish more help from Eng
land, cousin ?

West. God s will, my liege, would you and I alone,
Without more help, might fight this battle out !

K. Hen. Why, now thou hast unwished five thou
sand men ; !

Which likes me better, than to wish us one.
You know your places. God be with you all !

Tucket. Enter MONTJOY.

Mont. Once more I come to know of thee, king


If for thy ransom thou wilt now compound,
Before thy most assured overthrow ;
For, certainly, thou art so near the gulf,
Thou needs must be englutted. Besides, in mercy
The constable desires thee thou wilt mind 2
Thy followers of repentance ; that their souls
May make a peaceful and a sweet retire
From off these fields, where (wretches) their poor

Must lie and fester.

K. Hen. Who hath sent thee now ?

Mont. The constable of France.

K. Hen. I pray thee, bear my former answer back ;

1 " thou hast unwished five thousand men." By wishing only thy
self and me, thou hast wished five thousand men away. The Poet, inat
tentive to numbers, puts Jive thousand ; but in the last scene the French are
said to be full threescore thousand, which Exeter declares to be five to
one ; the numbers of the English are variously stated ; Holinshed makes
them fifteen thousand, others but nine thousand.

2 i. e. remind.


Bid them achieve me, and then sell my bones.

Good God ! why should they mock poor fellows thus ?

The man, that once did sell the lion s skin

While the beast lived, was killed with hunting him.

A many of our bodies shall, no doubt,

Find native graves ; upon the which, I trust,

Shall witness live in brass of this day s work.

And those that leave their valiant bones in France,

Dying like men, though buried in your dunghills,

They shall be famed ; for there the sun shall greet


And draw their honors reeking up to heaven ;
Leaving their earthly parts to choke your clime,
The smell whereof shall breed a plague in France.
Mark then abounding valor in our English ;
That, being dead, like to the bullet s grazing,
Break out into a second course of mischief,
Killing in relapse of mortality.
Let me speak proudly. Tell the constable,
We are but warriors for the working-day.
Our gayness, and our gilt, are all besmirched
With rainy inarching in the painful field ;
There s not a piece of feather in our host,
(Good argument, I hope, w r e shall not fly,)
And time hath worn us into slovenry :
But, by the mass, our hearts are in the trim ;
And my poor soldiers tell me yet ere night
They ll be in fresher robes ; or they will pluck
The gay new coats o er the French soldiers heads,
And turn them out of service. If they do this,
(As, if God please, they shall,) my ransom then
Will soon be levied. Herald, save thou thy labor ;
Come thou no more for ransom, gentle herald ;
They shall have; none, I swear, but these my joints ;
Which if they have as I will leave em to them,
Shall yield them little, tell the constable.

Mont. I shall, king Harry. And so fare thee well;
Thou never shalt hear herald any more. [Exit.

K. Hen. I fear thou lt once more come again for


Enter the Duke of York. 1

York. My lord, most humbly on my knee I beg
The leading of the vaward. 2

K. Hen. Take it, brave York. Now, soldiers,

march away ;
And how thou pleasest, God, dispose the day !


SCENE IV. The Field of Battle. Alarums : Ex

Enter French Soldier, PISTOL, and Boy.

Pist. Yield, cur.

Fr. Sol. Je pense, que vous estes le gentilhomme de
bonne qualite .

Pist. Quality ? Callino, castore me ! 3 Art thou a
gentleman ? What is thy name ? discuss.

Fr. Sol. seigneur Dieu !

Pist. O, seignior Dew should be a gentleman.
Perpend my words, O seignior Dew, and mark ;
O seignior Dew, thou diest on point of fox, 4
Except, O seignior, thou do give to me
Egregious ransom.

Fr. Sol. 0, prennez misencorde ! ayez pitie de moy !

1 The duke of York." This Edward duke of York has already ap
peared in King Richard II. under the title of duke of Jlumerh. He was
the son of Edmond Langley, the duke of York of the same play, who was
the fifth son of king Edward III. Richard earl of Cambridge, who ap
pears in the second act of this play, was younger brother to this Edward
duke of York.

2 The vaward is the vanguard.

3 " Callino, castore me ! " The jargon of the old copies, where these
words are printed Qualitie calmie custure me, was changed by former
editors into " Quality, call you me ? construe me." Malone found Calen
o custure we, mentioned as the burden of a song in " A Handful of Plesant
Delites," 1584. And Mr. Boswell discovered that it was an old Irish song,
which is printed in Playford s Musical Companion, 1667 or 1673:

"Callino, Callino, Callino, castore me,

Eva ee, eva ee, loo, loo, loo lee."
The words are said to mean " Little girl of my heart forever and ever."

4 thou diest on point of fox" Fox is an old cant word for a sword.
Generally old fox ; it was applied to the old English broadsword.

VOL. iv. 25


Pist. Moy shall not serve ; I will have forty moys ;
For I will fetch thy rim 1 out at thy throat,
In drops of crimson blood.

Fr. Sol. Est-il impossible d eschapper la force de
ton bras?

Pist. Brass, cur !

Thou damned and luxurious mountain goat,
OfFer st me brass?

Fr. Sol. par donnez moy !

Pist. Say st thou me so ? Is that a ton of moys ? 2
Come hither, boy. Ask me this slave, in French,
What is his name.

Boy. Escoutez. Comment estes-vous appelle ?

Fr. Sol. Monsieur le Fer.

Boy. He says his name is master Fer.

Pist. Master Fer! I ll fer him, and firk 3 him, and
ferret him : discuss the same in French unto him.

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

and firk.

Pist. Bid him prepare, for I will cut his throat.

Fr. Sol. Que dit-il, monsieur ?

Boy. E me commande de vous dire que vous faites
vous prest ; car ce soldat icy est dispose tout a cette heure
de couper vostre gorge.

Pist. Ouy, couper gorge, par ma foy, pesant,
Unless thou give me crowns, brave crowns ;
Or mangled shalt thou be by this my sword.

Fr. Sol. O, je vous supplle pour V amour de Dieu,
me pardonner ! Je suis gentilhomme de bonne maison ;
gardez ma vie, et je vous donneray deux cents escus.

Pist. What are his words ?

Boy. He prays you to save his life ; he is a gentle-

1 " For I will fetch thy rim out at thy throat." Pistol is not very scru
pulous in the nicety of his language ; he uses rim (rymme) for the intes
tines generally. It is not very clear what our ancestors meant by it;
bishop Wilkins defines it "the membrane of the belly ;" Florio makes it
the omentum, " a fat pannicle, caulc, sewet, rtw, or kell, wherein the bowels
are lapt." Holmes, in his Acad. of Armory, calls the peritoneum " the
paunch or rim of the belly ;" which is defined by others to be the "inner
nne of the belly."

2 Pistol s moy is, perhaps, a vulgar corruption ofmoydore.

3 Tojirk is to beat or scourge.


man of a good house ; and, for his ransom, he will give
you two hundred crowns.

Pist. Tell him my fury shall abate, and I
The crowns will take.

Fr. Sol. Petit monsieur, que dit-il ?

Boy. Encore qidl est contre son jurement, de par-
donner aucun prisonnier ; neantmoins, pour les escusque
vous Pavez promis, il est content de vous donner la li-
berte, le franchisement.

Fr. Sol. Sur mes genoux, je vous donne mille remer-
ciemens ; et je mistime heureux que je suis tombe entre
les mains ffun chevalier, j e pense, le plus brave, valiant,
et trts distingue seigneur d^Angleterre.

Pist. Expound unto me, boy.

Boy. He gives you, upon his knees, a thousand
thanks ; and he esteems himself happy that he hath
fallen into the hands of (as he thinks) the most brave,
valorous, and thrice worthy seignior of England.

Pist. As I suck blood, I will some mercy show.
Follow me, cur. [Exit PISTOL.

Boy. Suivez-vous le grand capitaine.

[Exit French Soldier.

I did never know so full a voice issue from so empty a
heart ; but the saying is true, The empty vessel makes
the greatest sound. Bardolph and Nym had ten times
more valor than this roaring devil i the old play, that
every one may pare his nails with a wooden dagger ; 1
and they are both hanged ; and so would this be, if he
durst steal any thing adventurously. I must stay with
the lackeys, with the luggage of our camp. The
French might have a good prey of us, if he knew of it;
for there is none to guard it but boys. [Exit.

1 In the old mysteries, the Vice, or fool, among other indignities, used
to threaten to pare the devil s nails with his dagger of lath.


SCENE V. Another Part of the Field of Battle.

Enter Dauphin, ORLEANS, BOURBON, Constable,
RAMBURES, and others.

Con. O diable !

Orl. seigneur! le jour est perdu, tout est perdu!

Dau. Mort de ma vie ! all is confounded, all !
Reproach and everlasting shame

Sits mocking in our plumes. meschante fortune !
Do not run away. [A short alarum.

Con. Why, all our ranks are broke.

Dau. O perdurable shame ! let s stab ourselves.
Be these the wretches that we played at dice for ?

Orl. Is this the king we sent to for his ransom ?

Bour. Shame, and eternal shame, nothing but shame !
Let us die in fight : 1 Once more back again ;
And he that will not follow Bourbon now,
Let him go hence, and with his cap in hand,
Like a base pander, hold the chamber-door,
Whilst by a slave, no gentler than my dog, 2
His fairest daughter is contaminate.

Con. Disorder, that hath spoiled us, friend us now !
Let us, in heaps, go offer up our lives
Unto these English, or else die with fame. 3

Orl. We are enough, yet living in the field,
To smother up the English in our throngs,
If any order might be thought upon.

Bour. The devil take order now ! I ll to the throng ;
Let life be short ; else, shame will be too long.


1 The old copy Avants the Avord fgM, which Avas supplied by Malone,
Theobald proposed " Let us die instant," Avhich Steevens adopted.

2 i. e. who lias no more gentility.

3 This line is from the quartos.


SCENE VI. Another Part of the Field. Alarums.

Enter KING HENRY and Forces ; EXETER, and others.

K. Hen. Well have we done, thrice-valiant coun
trymen ;
But all s not done ; yet keep the French the field.

Exe. The duke of York commends him to your

K. Hen. Lives he, good uncle ? Thrice, within this


I saw him down ; thrice up again, and fighting :
From helmet to the spur, all blood he was.

Exe. In which array (brave soldier) doth he lie,
Larding the plain ; and by his bloody side
(Yoke -fellow to his honor-owing wounds)

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