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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The noble earl of Suffolk also lies.
Suffolk first died, and York, all haggled over,
Comes to him, where in gore he lay insteeped,
And takes him by the beard ; kisses the gashes,
That bloodily did yawn upon his face ;
And cries aloud, Tarry, dear cousin Suffolk!
My soul shall thine keep company to heaven :
Tarry, sweet soul, for mine, then Jly abreast ;
As, in this glorious and well-foughten field,
We kept together in our chivalry !
Upon these words I came, and cheered him up :
He smiled me in the face, raught l me his hand,
And, with a feeble gripe, says, Dear my lord,
Commend my service to my sovereign.
So did he turn, and over Suffolk s neck
He threw his wounded arm, and kissed his lips ,
And so, espoused to death, with blood he sealed
A testament of noble-ending love.
The pretty and sweet manner of it forced
Those waters from me, which I would have stopped :
But I had not so much of man in me,

1 i. e. reached.


But 1 all my mother came into mine eyes.
And gave me up to tears.

K. Hen. I blame you not ;

For, hearing this, I must perforce compound
With mistful eyes, or they will issue too. [Alarum.
But, hark ! what new alarum is this same ?
The French have reinforced their scattered men :
Then every soldier kill his prisoners ;
Give the word through. [Exeunt.

SCENE VII. Another Part of the Field. Alarums.


Flu. Kill the poys and the luggage ! tis expressly
against the law of arms : tis as arrant a piece of
knavery, mark you now, as can be offered in the orld :
In your conscience now, is it not ?

Goic. Tis certain, there s not a boy left alive ; and
the cowardly rascals, that ran from the battle, have
done this slaughter : besides, they have burned and
carried away all that was in the king s tent ; wherefore
the king, most worthily, hath caused every soldier to
cut his prisoner s throat. 2 O, tis a gallant king !

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

Gow. Alexander the Great.

Flu. Why, I pray you, is not pig, great? The pig,
or the great, or the mighty, or the huge, or the mag-

1 " But all my mother came into my eyes,
And gave me up to tears."

Thus the quarto. The folio reads " And all," &c. But has here the force
of but that.

~ " Caused every soldier to cut his prisoner s throat." The king killed
his prisoners (says Johnson) because he expected another battle, and he
had not sufficient men to guard one army and fight another. Gowcr s
reason is, as we see, different. Shakspeare followed Holinshed, who gives
loth reasons for Henry s conduct, but has chosen to make the king men
tion one of thorn and Gower the other.


rianimous, are all one reckonings, save the phrase is a
little variations.

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

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

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

Flu. It is not well done, mark you now, to take
tales out of my mouth, ere it is made an end and fin
ished. I speak but in the figures and comparisons of
it. As Alexander is kill his friend Clytus, being in his
ales arid his cups ; so also Harry Monmouth, being in
his right wits and his goot judgments, is turn away the
fat knight with the great pelly-doublet : he was full of
jests, and gipes, and knaveries, and mocks ; I have for
got his name.

Gow. Sir John Fal staff.

Flu. That is he. I can tell you, there is goot men
porn at Monmouth.

Gow. Here comes his majesty.


Alarum. Enter KING HENRY, with apart of the English
Forces; WARWICK, l GLOSTER, EXETER, and others.

K. Hen. I was not angry since I came to France
Until this instant. Take a trumpet, herald *
Ride thoii unto the horsemen on yon hill ;
If they will fight with us, bid them come down,
Or void the field ; they do offend our sight.
If they ll do neither, we will come to them ;
And make them skirr 2 away, as swift as stones
Enforced from the old Assyrian slings :
Besides, we ll cut the throats of those we have ; 3
And not a man of them, that we shall take,
Shall taste our mercy. Go, and tell them so.

1 Richard Bcauchamp, earl of Warwick. He did not, however, obtain
that title till 1417, two years after the era of this play.

~ i. e. scour aAvay.

y "Besides, we ll cut the throats of those we have." Johnson accuses
the Poet of having 1 made the king cut the throats of his prisoners
twice over. Malone replies that the incongruity, if it he one, is Holin-
shed s, for thus the matter is stated by him. While the battle was yet
going on, about six hundred horsemen, who were the first that fled, hearing
that the English tents were a good way distant from the army, without a
sufficient guard, entered and pillaged the king s camp. " When the out
cry of the lackies and boys whieh ran away for fear of tin- Frenchmen, thus
spoiling the camp, came to the king s ears, he doubting lest his enemies
should gather together again and begin a new fielde, and mistrusting fur
ther that \heprisont rs would either be an aide to his enemies or very enemies
to their takers indeed, if they were suffered to live, contrary to his accus
tomed gentleness, commanded by sounde of trumpet that even/ man upon
pain of death should incontinently slca. his prisoner" This was the first
transaction. Ilolinshed proceeds "When this lamentable slaughter was
ended, the Englishmen disposed themselves in order of battayle, ready to
abide a new fielde, and also to invade and newly set on their enemies.
Some write, that the king perceiving his enemies in one part" to assemble
together as though they meant to give a new battle for preservation of the
prisoners, sent to them a Jtcrault, commanding them either to depart out of
his sight, or else to come forward at once and give battaile ; promising here-
witJi, that, if they did offer to fight agayne.not only those prisoners ivhich his
people already had taken, hut also so many of them as in this new conjlicte,
which they thus attempted, should fall into his hands, should die the death
without redemption." The fact is, that notwithstanding the first order
concerning the prisoners, they were not all put to death, as appears from
a subsequent passage, and the concurrent testimony of various historians,
upon whose authority Hume says that Henry, on discovering that his dan
ger Avas not so great as he at first apprehended from the attack on his
camp, "stopped the slaughter, and was still able to save a great number"
It was policy in Henry to intimidate the French by threatening to kill his
prisoners, and occasioned them, in fact, to lay down their arms.



Exe. Here comes the herald of the French, my

Glo. His eyes are humbler than they used to be.

K. Hen. How now, what means this, herald?

Know st thou not,

That I have fined these bones of mine for ransom ?
Com st thou again for ransom ?

Mont. No, great king.

I come to thee for charitable license,
That we may wander o er this bloody field,
To book our dead, and then to bury them ;
To sort our nobles from our common men ;
For many of our princes (woe the while !)
Lie drowned and soaked in mercenary blood ;
(So do our vulgar drench their peasant limbs
In blood of princes ;) and their wounded steeds
Fret fetlock deep in gore, and, with wild rage,
Yerk out their armed heels at their dead masters,
Killing them twice. O, give us leave, great king,
To view the field in safety, and dispose
Of their dead bodies.

K. Hen. I tell thee truly, herald,

I know not if the day be ours, or no ;
For yet a many of your horsemen peer,
And gallop o er the field.

Mont. The day is yours.

K. Hen. Praised be God, and not our strength, foi
. ,

What is this castle called, that stands hard by ?

Mont. They call it Agincourt.

K. Hen. Then call we this the field of Agincourt,
Fought on the day of Crispin Crispianus.

Flu. Your grandfather, of famous memory, a n t
please your majesty, and your great-uncle Edward the
Plack Prince of Wales, as I have read in the chronicles,
fought a most prave pattle here in France.

K. Hen. They did, Fluellen.

Flu. Your majesty says very true. If your majes-
VOL. iv. 26


ties is remembered of it, the Welshmen did goot ser
vice in a garden where leeks did grow, wearing leeks
in their Monmouth caps ; l which, jour majesty knows,
to this hour is an honorable padge of the service ; and,
I do believe, your majesty takes no scorn to wear the
leek upon saint Tavy s day.

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

Flu. All the water in Wye cannot wash your majes-

g s Welsh plood out of your pody, I can tell you that,
ot pless it and preserve it, as long as it pleases his
grace, and his majesty too !

K. Hen. Thanks, good my countryman.

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

K. Hen. God keep me so ! Our heralds, go with

him ;

Bring me just notice of the numbers dead
On both our parts. Call yonder fellow hither.

[Points to WILLIAMS. Exeunt MOINTJOY
and others.

Exe. Soldier, you must come to the king.

K. Hen. Soldier, why wear st thou that glove in
thy cap ?

Will. An t please your majesty, tis the gage of one
that I should fight withal, if he be alive.

K. Hen. An Englishman ?

Will. An t please your majesty, a rascal, that swag
gered with me last night ; who, if a live, and ever dare
to challenge this glove, I have sworn to take him a box
o the ear ; or, if I can see my glove in his cap, (which
he swore, as he was a soldier, he would wear, if alive,)
I will strike it out soundly.

K. Hen. What think you, captain Fluellen ? is it
fit this soldier keep his oath ?

1 Monmouth, according to Fuller, was celebrated for its caps, which
were particularly worn by soldiers. The best caps were formerly made
at Monmouth, where the capper s chapel still remains.


Flu. He is a craven and a villain else, an t please
your majesty, in my conscience.

K. Hen. It may be his enemy is a gentleman of
great sort, 1 quite from the answer of his degree.

Flu. Though he be as goot a gentleman as the tevil
is, as Lucifer and Belzebub himself, it is necessary,
look your grace, that he keep his vow and his oath ;
if he be perjured, see you now, his reputation is as ar
rant a villain, and a Jack-sauce, 2 as ever his plack shoe
trod upon Got s ground and his earth, in my con
science, la.

K. Hen. Then keep thy vow, sirrah, when thou
meet st the fellow.

Will. So I will, my liege, as I live.

K. Hen. Who servest thou under ?

Will. Under captain Gower, my liege.

Flu. Gower is a goot captain ; and is goot knowl
edge and literature in the wars.


K. Hen. Call him hither to me, soldier.

Will. I will, my liege. [Exit.

K. Hen. Here, TRuellen ; wear thou this favor for
me, and stick it in thy cap. When Alencon and myself
were down together, 3 I plucked this glove from his
helm. If any man challenge this, he is a friend to
Aleii9on and an enemy to our person ; if thou encoun
ter any such, apprehend him, an thou dost love me.

Flu. Your grace does me as great honors as can
be desired in the hearts of his subjects. I would fain
see the man, that has but two legs, that shall find him
self aggriefed at this glove, that is all ; but I would fain
see it once ; an please Got of his grace, that I might
see it.

K. Hen. Knowest thou Gower ?

Flu. He is my dear friend, an please you.

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

1 Great sort is high rank. 2 Jack-sauce for saucy Jack.

3 Henry was felled to the ground by the duke of Alencon, but recovered,
and slew two of the duke s attendants. Alencon was afterwards killed
by the king s guard, contrary to Henry s intention, who wished to have
saved him.


Flu. I will fetch him. [Exit.

K. Hen. My lord of Warwick, -and my bro(her


Follow Fluellen closely at the heels.
The glove, which I have given him for a favor,
May, haply, purchase him a box o the ear.
It is the soldier s ; I, by bargain, should
Wear it myself. Follow, good cousin Warwick ;
If that soldier strike him (as, I judge
By his blunt bearing, he will keep his word,)
Some sudden mischief may arise of it ;
For I do know Fluellen valiant,
And, touched with choler, hot as gunpowder,
And quickly will return an injury.
Follow, and see there be no harm between them.
Go you with me, uncle of Exeter. [Exeunt.

SCENE VIII. Before King Henry s Pavilion.

Will. I warrant it is to knight you, captain.


Flu. Got s will and his pleasure, captain, I peseech
you now, come apace to the king. There is more goot
toward you, peradventure, than is in your knowledge
to dream of.

Will. Sir, know you this glove ?

Flu. Know the glove ? I know, the glove is a

Will. I know this ; and thus I challenge it.

[Strikes him.

Flu. Sblud, an arrant traitor, as any s in the uni
versal orld, or in France, or in England.

Goiv. How now, sir ? you villain !

Will. Do you think I ll be forsworn ?


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

Will. I am no traitor.

Flu. That s a lie in thy throat. I charge you in
his majesty s name, apprehend him ; he s a friend of
the duke Alencon s.


War. How now, how now ! what s the "matter ?

Flu. My lord of Warwick, here is (praised be Got
for it!) a most contagious treason come to light, look
you, as you shall desire in a summer s day. Here is
his majesty.


K. Hen. How now ! what s the matter ?

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

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

Flu. Your majesty hear now (saving your majesty s
manhood) what an arrant, rascally, beggarly, lowsy
knave it is. I hope your majesty is pear me testimony,
and witness, and avouchments, that this is the glove
of Alencon, that your majesty is give me, in your
conscience now.

K. Hen. Give me thy glove, 1 soldier ; look, here is
the fellow of it. Twas I, indeed, thou promised st to
strike; and thou hast given me most bitter terms.

Flu. An please your majesty, let his neck answer
for it, if there is any martial law in the orld.

K. Hen. How canst thou make me satisfaction ?

Will. All offences, my liege, come from the heart ;

1 i. e. the glove that thou hast now in thy cap ; it was the king s glove,
which he had given to Williams.


never came any from mine, that might offend your

K. Hen. It was ourself thou didst abuse.

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

K. Hen. Here, uncle Exeter, fill this glove with


And give it to this fellow. Keep it, fellow ;
And wear it for an honor in thy cap,
Till I do challenge it. Give him the crowns :
And, captain, you must needs be friends with him.

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

Will. I will none of your money.

Flu. It is with a goot will ; I can tell you, it will
serve you to mend your shoes : Come, wherefore
should you be so pashful ? your shoes is not so goot :
tis a goot silling, I warrant you, or I will change it.

Enter an English Herald.

K. Hen. Now, herald, are the dead numbered ?
Her. Here is the number of the slaughtered French.

[Delivers a paper.
K. Hen. What prisoners of good sort are taken.

uncle ?

Exe. Charles duke of Orleans, nephew to the king ;
John duke of Bourbon, and lord Bouciqualt :
Of other lords, and barons, knights, and squires,
Full fifteen hundred, besides common men.

K. Hen. This note doth tell me of ten thousand


That in the field lie slain ; of princes, in this number,
And nobles bearing banners, there lie dead
One hundred twenty-six ; added to these,
Of knights, esquires, and gallant gentlemen,
Eight thousand and four hundred ; of the which,
Five hundred were but yesterday dubbed knights :
So that, in these ten thousand they have lost,
There are but sixteen hundred mercenaries ;
The rest are princes, barons, lords, knights, squires,
And gentlemen of blood and quality.
The names of those their nobles that lie dead,
Charles De-la-bret, high constable of France ;
Jaques of Chatillon, admiral of France;
The master of the cross-bows, lord Rambures ;
Great-master of France, the brave sir Guischard Dau
phin ;

John duke of Alencon ; Antony duke of Brabant,
The brother to the duke of Burgundy;
And Edward duke of Bar ; of lusty earls,
Grandpre, and Roussi, Fauconberg, and Foix,
Beaumont, and Marie, Vaudemont, and Lestrale.

Here was a royal fellowship of death !

Where is the number of our English dead?

[Herald presents another paper.
Edward the duke of York, the earl of Suffolk,
Sir Richard Ketley, Davy Gam, esquire. 1
None else of name ; and, of all other men,
But five-and-twenty. O God, thy arm was here,
And not to us, but to thy arm alone
Ascribe we all. When, without stratagem,
But in plain shock, and even play of battle,
Was ever known so great and little loss,

1 "Davy Gam, esquire." This gentleman being sent out by Henry,
before the battle, to reconnoitre the enemy, and to find out their strength,
made this report : " May it please you, my liege, there are enough to be
killed, enough to be taken prisoners, and enough to run away." lie saved
the king s life in the field. Had the Poet been apprized of this circum
stance, the brave Welshman would probably have been more particularly
noticed, and not have been merely a name in a muster-roll. See Dray-
ton s Battaile of Agincourt, 1627, p. 50 and 54 ; and Dunster s Edition of
Philips s Cyder, a poem, p. 74.


On one part and on the other? Take it, God,
For it is only thine !

Exe. Tis wonderful !

K. Hen. Come, go we in procession to the village ;
And be it death proclaimed through our host,
To boast of this, or take that praise from God
Which is his only.

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

K. Hen. Yes, captain ; but with this acknowledg
That God fought for us.


Flu. Yes, my conscience, he did us great goot.

K. Hen. Do we all holy rites ; 1
Let there be sung Non nobis, and Te Deum.
The dead with charity inclosed in clay,
We ll then to Calais ; and to England then ;
Where ne er from France arrived more happy men.




Chor. Vouchsafe to those that have not read the


That I may prompt them ; and of such as have,
I humbly pray them to admit the excuse
Of time, of numbers, and due course of things,
Which cannot in their huge and proper life

1 " Do wo all holy rites." The king, when he saw no appearance of
enemies, caused the retreate to be blowen; and, gathering 1 his army to
gether, gave thanks to Almighty God for so happy a victorie, causing his
prelates and chapeleins to sing this psalme In cxitu Israel de Egijpto ;
and commaunding every man to kneele down on the grounde at this Verse
Non nobis, Domim, non nobis, sed nomini tuo da gloriam ; which done,
he caused Te Deum and certain anthems to he sunn-, giving laud and
praise to God, and not boasting of his own force or any humaine power."


Be here presented. Now we bear the king

Toward Calais : grant him there ; there seen, 1

Heave him away upon your winged thoughts,

Athwart the sea. Behold, the English beach

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

Whose shouts and claps outvoice the deep-mouthed sea,

Which, like a mighty whiffler 2 fore the king,

Seems to prepare his way ; so let him land ;

And, solemnly, see him set on to London.

So swift a pace hath thought, that even now

You may imagine him upon Blackheath;

Where that his lords desire him, to have borne

His bruised helmet, and his bended sword,

Before him, through the city : he forbids it,

Being free from vainness and self-glorious pride ;

Giving full trophy, signal, and ostent,

Quite from himself, to God. But now behold,

In the quick forge and working-house of thought,

How London doth pour out her citizens !

The mayor, and all his brethren, in best sort,

Like to the senators of the antique Rome,

With the plebeians swarming at their heels,

Go forth, and fetch their conquering Caesar in ;

As, by a lower, but by loving likelihood, 3

Were now the general of our gracious empress 4

(As, in good tune, he may) from Ireland coming,

Bringing rebellion broached 5 on his sword,

How many would the peaceful city quit,

1 " Toward Calais : grant him there ; there seen." Steevens proposes,
in order to complete the metre, that we should read :

" Toward Calais : grant him there ; there seen awhile."

2 " Which, like a mighty ivhiffler fore the king,
Seems to prepare his way."

fWiifllcrs were persons going before a great personage or procession, fur
nished with staves or wands to clear the way. The junior liverymen of
the city companies, who walk first in processions, are still called wkifflcrs,
from the circumstance of their going before.

3 i. e. similitude.

4 i.e. the earl of Essex. Shakspeare grounded his anticipation of such
a reception for Essex on his return from Ireland, upon what had already
occurred at his setting forth. But how different his return was from what
the Poet predicted, may be seen in the Sydney Papers, vol. ii. p. 127.

5 Broached is spitted, transfixed.

VOL. iv. 27


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

Did they this Harry. Now in London place him ;

(As yet the lamentation of the French

Invites the king of England s stay at home ;)

The emperor s coming * in behalf of France,

To order peace between them, we omit,

And all the occurrences, whatever chanced,

Till Harry s back-return again to France ;

There must we bring him ; and myself have played

The interim, by remembering you tis past.

Then brook abridgment ; and your eyes advance

After your thoughts, straight back again to France.


SCENE I. France. An English Court of Guard.


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

Flu. There is occasions and causes why and where
fore in all things : I will tell you, as my friend, captain
Gower; the rascally, scald, beggarly, lowsy, pragging
knave, Pistol, which you and yourself, and all the
orld, know to be no petter than a fellow, look you
now, of no merits, he is come to me, and prings me
pread and salt yesterday, look you, and bid me eat my

Online LibraryWilliam ShakespeareThe dramatic works of William Shakspeare... embracing a life of the poet, and notes, original and selected (Volume 4) → online text (page 15 of 38)