William Michael Rossetti William Shakespeare.

The complete works of Shakespeare: With a critical biography online

. (page 109 of 224)
Online LibraryWilliam Michael Rossetti William ShakespeareThe complete works of Shakespeare: With a critical biography → online text (page 109 of 224)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

ter of the pridge: I can tell your majesty, the
duke is a prave man.

K. Hen. Wliat men haye yon lost, Flnellen?

JBlu. The perdition of th' athyersair hath been
yerjr 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
fiames of fire ; and his lii» plows at his nose, and it
is like a coal of fire, sometimes plue, and sometimes
red ; but his nose is executed, and his fire's out.

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

Tucket toundt. Enter Montjot.

Mont. Ton know me by my habit

K. Hen. Well, then, I know thee; What shaU
I know of thee ?

Mont. My master's mind.

K. Hen, Unfold it.

Mont. Thus says my king : — Say thon to Harry
of England, Though we seemed dead, we did but
sleep : A d vantage is a better soldier than rashness.
Tell him, we could have rebuked him at Harfleur:
but that we thought it 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 soiffer-
ance. 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, bis pet-
tiness would bow onder. For our losses, hia
exchequer is too poor: for the effusion of our
blood, the mnster of ois kingdom too faint a
nnmbiBr ; and for our disgrace, hk «wn penenu
Digitized by VjOOQIC



kneeling at oar feet, bnt a weak and worthless
■atizifaction. To this add— defiance : and tell him,
for conclusion, he hath betrayed his followerii,
whose condemnation is pronounced. So far my
king and master, so much mv office.

K. Hen, What is thy name ? I know thy qoaliry.
Mont, Moiitjoy. [buck,

K, Hen. Tliou dost thy office fairly. Turn thee
And tell thy king, — I do not seek liim now ;
but could be willing to marcli on to Calais
Without impeachment : for, to say the sooth,
fTliongh 'tis no wl^om 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
Almoet no better than so many French,
Who when they were in health, I tell thee, herald,
I thought upon one pair of English legs [Uod,
Did march three Frenchmen. — Yet, forgive me,
That 1 do brag this! — this your air of France
Hath blown that vice in me; I must repent.
( jo, therefore, tell thy master here 1 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 neigh-
bour, Moy.
Stand in our way. There^ for thy labour, Mont-
Go bid thy master well advise himself:
If we m ay pass, we will ; if we be hindered.
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 woul d not seek a battle as we are :
Nor as w e are, we say we will not shun it ;
So tell your master. [highness.
Mont. I shall driver so. Thanks to your
[Exit MoNTJor.
Olo. I hope they will not come upon us now.
K, Hen, We are in God*s hand, brother, not in
March to the bridge; it now draws toward night, —
Beyond the river well encamp onrselvan ;
And on to-morrow bid them march away.


SCENE YIL-^ The French Campj near

Enter the Constable of France, the Lord
Rambukbs, the Duke of Obleans, Dauphin,

Covk Tutt I have the best armoar of the
world.— * Would it were day I

OrL You have an excellent armoar ; but lot my
horse have his due.

Oon. It is the best horse of Europe.

Orl, Will it never be morning?

Xau, My lord of Orleans, and my lord high
Constable, you talk of horse and armour.

0*1, You are as well provided of both as any
prince in the world.

Dau, What a long night is this I — I will not
ehange my horse with any that treads but on four
pasterns. Co, ha I He bounds from the earth as
if his entrails were hairs; le (hetxd fx)lant, the
Pet^ua^qtdaleananneade/eul When 1 bestride
him 1 soar, I am a hawk: he trots the air; the
earth sin^ when he touches it : the basest horn of
his hoof 18 more musical than tne pipe of Hermes.

OrL He\i of the colour of the nutmeg.

Dau. And of the heat of the ginger. It is a
bettft for Perseus • he is pure air and fire: and the

dull elements ot earth and water never appear »
him, but only in patient stillness, while his ridei
mounts him: be is, indeed, a horse ; and all othei
jades you may call beasts.

Con, Indeed, my lord, it is a most absolute and
ezcelleitt horse.

/ ou. It is the prince of palfreys; his neigh is
like the bidding or a monarcli, and his oouutenanoe
enforces homage.

OrL No more, cousin.

Dau, Nay. the man hath no wit that cannot, fVtim
the rising of the lark to the lodging of the lamb,
rarv deserved praise on my pal f rev : it is a theme
as fluent as tlie sea ; turn the sands hito 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 wonaer at him. 1
once writ a sonnet in his praise, and began thus: —
" Wonder of nature/* —

OrL I have heard a sonnet begin so to ones

Dau, Then did they imitate that which I com-
posed to my courser ; for my horse b my mistress.
OrL Your mistress bears well.
Dau, Me well; which is the prescript praise
and perfection of a good and particular mistress.

Con, Nay, for methought, yesterday, your
mistress shrewdly shook your back.
Dau. So, perhaps, did yours.
Con. Mine was not bridled.
Dau, 0! then, belike, she was old and gentle;
and yon rode, like a kerne of Ireland, year French
hose off, and in your straight trossers.

Can, Yon have good judgment in horsemanship.
Dau, Be warned by me. then : they that rioe
so, and ride not warily, fall into foul bogs ; I had
rather have my horse to my mistress.

Con. 1 had as lief have my mistress a jade.
Dau. I tell thee, constable, my mistress wean
her own hair.

Con, I could make as trne a boast as that, if I
had a sow to my mistress.

Dttu. Le dden est retoumi d eon propre no wi i Sfl
ment et la truie lade au hourbier: thoa makest use
of anything.

Con. Yet do I not use my horse for my mistress;
or any such proverb, so little kin to the purpose.
B(m, My lord constable, the armour that I saw
in your tent to-night, are those stars, or suns, upon

Con, Stars, my lord.

Dau. Some of them will fall to-morrow, I hope.
Con. And yet mv skv shall not want.
Dau, That may be, ror you bear a many super-
fluously ; and *t were more honour some were awaj.
Con. E*en as your horse bears your praises;
who would trot as well were some of your brags

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

Con. 1 will not say so, for fear I should be &ced
out of my way: But I would it were morning, for
I would fain be about the ears of the English.

Earn. Who will go to hazard with me for twenty
English prisoners ?

Con, You mask first go yourself to hazard, ere
you have them.
Dau, Tis midnight, 111 go arm myselL

Digitized by VjOOQIC



(hi. The dauphin long^ for morning.

Sam, He lones to eat the English.

Con, I think he will eat all he kills.

OrL By the white hand of mj lady, he*8 a
gallant prince.

Con. Swear by hor foot, that she may tread oat
the oath.

(M. He is, simply, the most active gentleman
nf Prance.

Ccn. Doing is activity; and be will still be

OrL He nerer did harm, that I heard of.

Con. Nor will do none to-morrow : he will keep
that ffood name still.

OH, I know him to be valiant.

Con. I was told that, by one that knowa him
better than yon.

OrL Whafshe?

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

OrL He needs not, it is no hidden virtue in

Com, By my faith, sir, bat it is ; never anybodv
Mw it, but his lackey : 'tis a hooded valour ; and,
when it appears, it will bate.

Orl, 111 will never said well.

Con, I will cap that proverb with— There ia
flattery in friendMnip.

OrL And 1 wiU take up that with— Give the
devil his due

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

OrL Yon are the better at proverbs, by how
mnch — A fool% bolt is soon shot.

Cm. You have shot over.

OH Tit not the first time yen were overshot.

Enter a Messenger.

Jfesf. My lord hii^h consuble, the English lie
within fifteen hundred paces of your tentrf.

Con. Who hath measured the ground?

MeM», The Lord Grandpr^.

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

Or?. What a wretched and peevish fellow is this
King of Encrland, to mope with his fat-brained
followers so far out of his Knowledge

Con, If the English had any apprehension they
would run away.

OrL That they lack ; for if their heads had anv
intellectual armour they oould never wear such
heavy head-pieces.

Bam, That island of England breeds very
valiant creatures ; their mastifib are of unmatch-
able courage.

Orl, Foolish enrsi that run winking into the
month of a Russian bear, and have theur heads
crushed like rotten apples: You may as well say,—
that's a valiant flea, that dare eat his breakfast on
the lip of a lion.

Con. Just, just; and the men do sympathise with
the mastiflSs, m robustious and rough coming on,
leaving their wits with their wives: and then give
them great meals of beef, and iron and steel, they
will eat like wolves, and fight like devils.

OrL Ay, but these Enghsh are shrewdly out of

Con, Then shall we find to-morrow, they have
only stomachs to eat and none to fight. Now is it
time to arm : Come, shall we about it? [ten,

OrL It is now two o'clock; bnt, let me see,- by
We shall have each a hundred Englishmen.



Now entertahi eonjeetnre of a time

When creeping murmur, and the poring dark,

Fills the wide vessel of the universe.

From camp to camp, through the foul womb of

The hum of either army stilly sounds,

That the fixed sentbiels almost receive

I*he secret whispers of each other's watch :

Fire answers fire : and through their paly flames

Each battle sees the other*s umber'd face:

Bteed threatens steed, in high and boastful neighs

Piercing the night's dull ear; and from the tents.

The armourers, accomplishing the knights.

With busy hammers closing rivets up.

Give dreadful note of preparation.

The country cocks do crow, the clocks do toU^

And the third hour of drowsy morning name.

Proud of their numbers, and secure in soul

The confident and over-lust v French

Do the low-rated English play at dice:

And chide the cripple tardy-«aited night.

Who, like a foul and ogly wuoh, doth limp

Bo tediooslv away. The poor condemned En^h,

Like sacrifices, bv their watchful firea

Sit patiently, and inly ruminate

The morning^ danger; and thehr gesture sad

Investing kink-lean ehaeka, aod war-worn oocti^

Presenteth them unto the gazing moon
80 many horrid ghosts. O, now, who wiD behold
The royal captain of this ruin'd band,
Walking from watch to watch, from tent to tent,
Let him cry— Praise and ^lory on his head .
For forth he goes, and visits lul his host ;
Bids them good morrow, with a modest smilb
And cal b them — brothers, friends, and countiymer
Upon his royal fiice there is no note
How dread an army hath enrounded him;
Nor doth he dedicate one jot of colour
Unto the weary and all-watch'd night:
But freshly looks, and overbears aSaint
With cheerful semblance and swe^t mines ty.
That every wretch, pining and pale before.
Beholding him, plucks comfort from his looks
A largess universal, like the sun.
His liberal eye doth give to everv one,
Thawine cold fear, that mean and gentle tU
Behold (as may nnworthiness define)
A little touch of Harry in the night:
And so our scene must to the battle fly;
Where (O for pity!) we shall much disgrao^^
With four or fire most vile and ragged foils,
Uight ill disposed in brawl ridiculous—
The name or Agincourt : Yet, sit and see;
Mioding true things by what theirnipokeiifletes
Digitized by VjOOQ IC




SCENE L— 7^ English Oan^ at Aginoourt.

Enter King Henrt, Bedford, and GLOffTER.

JT. Hen, Gloster, tis true that we are in great
danger ;
The greater therefore slionld our oonrage be.
GK)od morrow, brother Bedford. — God Almighty I
There is f ome soul of goodness in things evii,
Would men observingly diiitil it out ;
For our bad neighbour makes us early stirrers,
Which is both healthful and good hubbandry :
Besides, they are our outward consciences,
Ana preachers to us all ; admonishing
That we should dress us fairly for our end.
Thus may we gather honey from the weed,
And make a moral of the devil himself.

Enter ERPi^aHAM.

Good morrow, old Sir Thomas Erpingham :
A good BolX pillow for that good white head
Were better than a churlii>h turf of France.

Erp, ^ot so, my liege; this lodging likes me
Since I may say, now lie I like a king. [pains,

£. Ben, *T is good for men to love their present
Upon example; so the spirit is eas'd :
And, when the mind is quicken 'd, out of doubt.
The organs, though defunct and dead before.
Break up their drowsy grave, and newly more
With casted slough and fre^h legerity.
Lend me thy doak. Sir Thomas. — Brothers both.
Commend me to the princes in our camp;
Do my good-morrow to them ; and, auou,
Desire tneui all to my pavilion.

Qlo, We shall, my hege.

[ExetaU Gloster and Bedford.

Erp, Shall I attend your grace?
• K. Hen, No, my good knight;

Go with my brothers to my lords of England :
r and my bosom must debate awhile,
And then 1 would no other company.

Er^, The Lord in Heaven oless thee, noble
Harry I [£'ant Erpingham.

K.Bm, God-a-mercy, old heart 1 thoaspeak'st

Enter Vvnoiu

Pitt, Quivala,

K, Hen, A friend.

Pist. Discuss unto me; Art thou officer?
Or art thou base, common, and popular ?

K, Hen, I am a gentleman of a company.

Pist. Trail'st tliou the puLssant pike?

K. Hen, Even so : Wliat are you ?

Pist, As good a gentleman as the emperor.

K, Hen. Then vou are a better tlum the king.

Pist, The king^ a bawoock, and a heart of gold,
A lad of life, an imp of fame ;
Of parents ^ood, of fist most valiant:
I kiss his dirty shoe, and from my heart-strings
( loTe the lovely bully. What's thy name?

K, Hen, Hbtty le Roy,

PuiL Le Bf^l a Cornish name; art thoa oi
Cornish crew ?

K, Hen» No, I am a Welshman.

Pist, Ejiowest thou Fluellen?

K. Hen. Yes.

Pist. Tell him, 111 knock hii leek about hU pate.
Upon St. Davy 1b day.

jr. Hen, Do not yon wear your dagger in jam
cap that day, lest he knock that about youra.
Pist, Art thou his friend ?
K, Hen, And his kinsman too.
Pist. The Jigo for thee, then I
K, Hen, I thank you : God be yrifh yon I
Pist. My name b Pistol called. [ExiL

K, Hen, It B'jrts well with your fierceness.

Enter Fluellen and Gowee, severally,

Qcfw. Captain Fluellen I

Fhi, So \ in the name of Cheshu Christ, speak
fiswer. It is the greatest admiratiim in the uni-
versal *orld, when the true and aunclent preroga*
tifes and laws of the wars is not kept : if yon
would take the pauis but to examine the wars of
Pompey the Great, you shall find, I warrant
you, that there is no tiddle ' taddle, nor pibble
pabble, in Pompey's camp ; I warrant you, yon
shall find the ceremonies of the wars, and the cares
of it, and the forms of it, and the sobriety of it,
and the modesty of it, to be otherwise.

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

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

Uow, I will s))eak lower.

Flu, I pray you, and beseech you, that you wilL
[Exeunt Gowrr and Flueli.sx.

K, Hen. Though it appear a little out of tashi<m,
There is much care and valour in this Welshman.

Enter three soldiers^ John Bates, Alexandsk
Court, and Michael Wiluams.

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

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

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

K. Hen, A friend.

WUL Under what captain serve jou?

K, Hen, Under i*ir Ihomas Erpingham.

WUL A good old commander and a most kind
gentleman : I pray you, what thinks he of oar

K. Hen. Even as men wracked apon a sand,
that look to be washed ofi the next tiue.

Bates, He hath not told this thought to the king?

K, Hen. No ; nor it is not meet he should. For
though I speak it to yon, I think the king is but
a man, as I am ; the violet smells to him as it
doth to me; the element shows to him as il
doth to me ; all his senses have but human con*
ditions : his ceremonies laid bv, in his imkednesi
he appears but a man ; and though his affections
are higher mounted than ours, yet, when they
stoop, they stoop with the like wing; therefore,
when he sees reason of fears, as we do, his fears,
out of doubt, be of the same relish as ours are:
Tet, in reason, no man should possess him widi
any appearance of fear, lest he, by ihowing lit
should dishearten his army.

Bates, He may show what outward eoorage h%
will: but, I believe, as cold a night as 'tis, hm
could wish hinutelf in Thames I *
Digitized by^

I « uij^ub as us, 1

laptothenedt: an



' 10 I woaM he were, and I by hfan, st all adren-
tares, so we were quit here.

K. JUen. By my troth, I will speak my con-
science of the king ; I think he would not wish
hiroscif anywhere but where he is.

Bates, Ihen 1 would he were here alone; so
sbruld be be sure to be ransomed, and a many
poor men*8 lives saved.

K. lifjt. I dare bay yon lore bim not so ill to
wish him here alone, howsoever you speak this to
ieel other^nicJi's minds: Meihinks, I could not die
anywhere so contented as in the king's company;
bis cause being just, and his quarrel nonoorable.

WilL That's more than we know.

Bates* Ay, or more tlian we should seek after ;
for we know enough if we know we are the king's
subjects ; if bis cause be wrong, our obedience to
the king wipes the crime of it out of us.

Win. But if the cause be not good, the king
himself bath a heavy reckoning to make; when
all those legs, and arms, and heads, chopped off in
a battle, shall join together at the latter day, and
cry all — We died at such a place; some, swearing ;
■ome, crying for a surgeon; some, upon their
wives left poor behind them ; some, upon the debts
they owe ; some, upon their children rawly left.
I am afeard there are few die well that die in a
battle; for how can they charitably disnose of
anything when blood is their argument? Now, if
these men do not die well, it will be a black matter
for the king that led them to it ; whom to disobey
were against all propoition of subjection.

K, Hen. So, if a son, that is by his fother sent
aboiU merchandise, do sinfully miscarry upon the
sea, the imputation ef his wickedness, by your
rule, should be imposed upon his father that sent
him : or if a servant, under his master's command,
tran-^porting a sum of money, be assailed by
robbers, and die in many irreconciled iniquities,
you may call the business of the master the author
of the servant's damnation :— But this is not so :
the king is not bound to answer the particular
endings of bis soldiers, the father of his son, nor
the master of his servant; for they purpose not
their death when they purpose their services.
Besides, there is n<l*king, be his cause never so
spotless, if it come to the arbitrement of swords,
ean try it out with all unspotted soldiers. Some,
perad venture, have on them the guilt of pre-
meditated and contrived murther; some, of
beguiling virgins with the broken seals of per-
jury ; some, making the wars their bulwark, that
have before gored the gentle bosom of peace with

Sillage and robbery. Now, if these men have
efeated the law, and outrun native ptmishment,
though they can outstrip men .they hare no wings
to fly from God: war is his beadle, war is bis
vengeance; so that here men are punished, for
before-breach of the king's laws, in now the
king's quarrel : where they feared the death they
have borne life away; and where they would
be safe they perish: Then if they die unpro-
vided, no more is the king guilty of their
damnation, than he was before guilty of those
Impieties for the which they are now visited.
Every subject's duty is the king^; but every
iubiect*^ soul is his own. Therefore should every
soldier in the wan do as every sick man in his
bed, wash every mote out of his oonsoienoe : and
Mag so, death is to bim advantage ; or not dying,
the time was blessedly lost, wherein such prepara-
tion was gained : and in kirn that escapes it were
not vo to thiuk that makinie Qod. so fitee an o£br


he let him outlive that day to see his greatn&ts
and to teach others how they should prepare.

}yilL Tis certain, every man that dies ill the iU
is upon his own head, the king is not to answer it.
Bates. I do not desire he should answer for me;
andyet I determine to fight lustily for him.

K. Ben. I myself heard the king say he would
not be ransomed.

WilL Ay, he said so, to make us fight cheer«
fully : but, when our throats are cut, he may be
ransomed, and we ne'er the wiser.

K. Ben. If I live to see it, I will never trust
his word after.

WiU. You pay him then! That's a perilous
shot out of an elder gun, that a poor and a private
displeasure can do against a monarch I you may as
well go about to turn the sun to ioe, with fanning
in his &ce with a peacock's feather. Toull never
trust his word after I come, tis a foolish saying.

K, Ben. Your reproof is something too round ;
I should be angry with you, if the time were coik
venient. P^^^

WilL Let it be a <}uarrel between ns, it you
K. Ben. I embrace it.
WUL Uow shall I know thee again ?
K. Ben. Give me any gage of thine, and I wiU
wear it in my bonnet : then, if ever tliou darest
acknowledge it, I will make it my quarrel.

WilL Here's my glove ; give me another ol
K, Hen. There.

WilL This will I also wear in my eap; if
ever thou come to me and say, after to-morrow,
** This is my glove," by this hand, I will take thee
a box on the ear.
K. Ben. If ever I live to see it I will challenge it
WilL Thou darest as well be hanged.
K. Ben. Well, I will do it, though I take thee
in the king's company.

WilL Keep thy word: fare thee well
Bates. Be friends, you English fools, be friends;
we have French quarrels enow, if you could tell
bow to reckon.

JC Ben. 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.

[JSxemU Soldiers.
Upon the king I let us our lives, our souls,
Our debts, our careful wives,
Our children, and our sins, lay on the king
We must bear all.

O hard condition I twin-bom with greatness,
Subject to the breath of every fool, whose sense
No more can feel but his own wringing!
What infinite hearts ease must king^i 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 gi'ieis 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?
Art thou aught else but place, degree, and form,
Creating awe and fear in other men ?
Wlierein thou art less happy being fear*d

Online LibraryWilliam Michael Rossetti William ShakespeareThe complete works of Shakespeare: With a critical biography → online text (page 109 of 224)