[Flourish. Enter Chorus.]
Thus with imagin'd wing our swift scene flies,
In motion of no less celerity
Than that of thought. Suppose that you have seen
The well-appointed king at [Hampton] pier
Embark his royalty, and his brave fleet
With silken streamers the young Phoebus fanning.
Play with your fancies; and in them behold
Upon the hempen tackle ship-boys climbing;
Hear the shrill whistle which doth order give
To sounds confus'd; behold the threaden sails,
Borne with the invisible and creeping wind,
Draw the huge bottoms through the furrow'd sea,
Breasting the lofty surge. O, do but think
You stand upon the rivage and behold
A city on the inconstant billows dancing;
For so appears this fleet majestical,
Holding due course to Harfleur. Follow, follow!
Grapple your minds to sternage of this navy,
And leave your England, as dead midnight still,
Guarded with grandsires, babies, and old women,
Either past or not arriv'd to pith and puissance.
For who is he, whose chin is but enrich'd
With one appearing hair, that will not follow
These cull'd and choice-drawn cavaliers to France?
Work, work your thoughts, and therein see a siege;
Behold the ordnance on their carriages,
With fatal mouths gaping on girded Harfleur.
Suppose the ambassador from the French comes back,
Tells Harry that the King doth offer him
Katharine his daughter, and with her, to dowry,
Some petty and unprofitable dukedoms.
The offer likes not; and the nimble gunner
With linstock now the devilish cannon touches,
[Alarum, and chambers go off.]
And down goes all before them. Still be kind,
And eke out our performance with your mind.
SCENE I. France. Before Harfleur.
[Alarum. Enter King Henry, Exeter, Bedford, Gloucester,
[and Soldiers, with] scaling-ladders.]
Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more,
Or close the wall up with our English dead.
In peace there's nothing so becomes a man
As modest stillness and humility;
But when the blast of war blows in our ears,
Then imitate the action of the tiger;
Stiffen the sinews, summon up the blood,
Disguise fair nature with hard-favour'd rage;
Then lend the eye a terrible aspect;
Let it pry through the portage of the head
Like the brass cannon; let the brow o'erwhelm it
As fearfully as does a galled rock
O'erhang and jutty his confounded base,
Swill'd with the wild and wasteful ocean.
Now set the teeth and stretch the nostril wide,
Hold hard the breath, and bend up every spirit
To his full height. On, on, you noblest English,
Whose blood is fet from fathers of war-proof!
Fathers that, like so many Alexanders,
Have in these parts from morn till even fought,
And sheath'd their swords for lack of argument.
Dishonour not your mothers; now attest
That those whom you call'd fathers did beget you.
Be copy now to men of grosser blood,
And teach them how to war. And you, good yeomen,
Whose limbs were made in England, show us here
The mettle of your pasture; let us swear
That you are worth your breeding, which I doubt not;
For there is none of you so mean and base,
That hath not noble lustre in your eyes.
I see you stand like greyhounds in the slips,
Straining upon the start. The game's afoot!
Follow your spirit, and upon this charge
Cry, "God for Harry! England and Saint George!"
[Exeunt. Alarum, and chambers go off.]
SCENE II. The same.
[Enter Nym, Bardolph, Pistol, and Boy.]
On, on, on, on, on! To the breach, to the breach!
Pray thee, corporal, stay. The knocks are too hot; and, for
mine own part, I have not a case of lives. The humour of it is
too hot; that is the very plain-song of it.
The plain-song is most just, for humours do abound.
"Knocks go and come; God's vassals drop and die;
And sword and shield,
In bloody field,
Doth win immortal fame."
Would I were in an alehouse in London! I would give all my
fame for a pot of ale and safety.
"If wishes would prevail with me,
My purpose should not fail with me,
But thither would I hie."
"As duly, but not as truly,
As bird doth sing on bough."
Up to the breach, you dogs! Avaunt, you cullions!
[Driving them forward.]
Be merciful, great Duke, to men of mould.
Abate thy rage, abate thy manly rage,
Abate thy rage, great Duke!
Good bawcock, bate thy rage; use lenity, sweet chuck!
These be good humours! Your honour wins bad humours.
[Exeunt [all but Boy.]
As young as I am, I have observ'd these three swashers. I am
boy to them all three; but all they three, though they would
serve me, could not be man to me; for indeed three such antics
do not amount to a man. For Bardolph, he is white-liver'd and
red-fac'd; by the means whereof 'a faces it out, but fights not.
For Pistol, he hath a killing tongue and a quiet sword; by the
means whereof 'a breaks words, and keeps whole weapons. For
Nym, he hath heard that men of few words are the best men; and
therefore he scorns to say his prayers, lest 'a should be thought
a coward. But his few bad words are match'd with as few good
deeds; for 'a never broke any man's head but his own, and that
was against a post when he was drunk. They will steal anything,
and call it purchase. Bardolph stole a lute-case, bore it twelve
leagues, and sold it for three half-pence. Nym and Bardolph are
sworn brothers in filching, and in Calais they stole a
I knew by that piece of service the men would carry coals. They
would have me as familiar with men's pockets as their gloves or
their handkerchers; which makes much against my manhood, if I
should take from another's pocket to put into mine; for it is
plain pocketing up of wrongs. I must leave them, and seek some
better service. Their villainy goes against my weak stomach,
and therefore I must cast it up.
[Enter Gower [and Fluellen.]
Captain Fluellen, you must come presently to the mines.
The Duke of Gloucester would speak with you.
To the mines! Tell you the Duke, it is not so good to come
to the mines; for, look you, the mines is not according to the
disciplines of the war. The concavities of it is not sufficient;
for, look you, the athversary, you may discuss unto the Duke,
look you, is digt himself four yard under the countermines. By
Cheshu, I think 'a will plow up all, if there is not better
The Duke of Gloucester, to whom the order of the siege is
given, is altogether directed by an Irishman, a very valiant
gentleman, i' faith.
It is Captain Macmorris, is it not?
I think it be.
By Cheshu, he is an ass, as in the world. I will verify as
much in his beard. He has no more directions in the true
disciplines of the wars, look you, of the Roman disciplines,
than is a puppy-dog.
[Enter Macmorris and Captain Jamy.]
Here 'a comes; and the Scots captain, Captain Jamy, with him.
Captain Jamy is a marvellous falorous gentleman, that is
certain; and of great expedition and knowledge in the aunchient
wars, upon my particular knowledge of his directions. By Cheshu,
he will maintain his argument as well as any military man in the
world, in the disciplines of the pristine wars of the Romans.
I say gud-day, Captain Fluellen.
God-den to your worship, good Captain James.
How now, Captain Macmorris! have you quit the mines?
Have the pioneers given o'er?
By Chrish, la! 'tish ill done! The work ish give over, the
trompet sound the retreat. By my hand I swear, and my
father's soul, the work ish ill done; it ish give over. I would
have blowed up the town, so Chrish save me, la! in an hour.
O, 'tish ill done, 'tish ill done; by my hand, 'tish ill done!
Captain Macmorris, I beseech you now, will you voutsafe me,
look you, a few disputations with you, as partly touching or
concerning the disciplines of the war, the Roman wars, in the way
of argument, look you, and friendly communication; partly to
satisfy my opinion, and partly for the satisfaction, look you, of
my mind, as touching the direction of the military discipline;
that is the point.
It sall be vary gud, gud feith, gud captains bath: and I sall
quit you with gud leve, as I may pick occasion; that sall I,
It is no time to discourse, so Chrish save me. The day is hot,
and the weather, and the wars, and the King, and the Dukes. It
is no time to discourse. The town is beseech'd, and the trumpet
call us to the breach, and we talk, and, be Chrish, do nothing.
'Tis shame for us all. So God sa' me, 'tis shame to stand still;
it is shame, by my hand; and there is throats to be cut, and works
to be done; and there ish nothing done, so Chrish sa' me, la!
By the mess, ere theise eyes of mine take themselves to slomber,
I'll de gud service, or I'll lig i' the grund for it; ay, or go to
death; and I'll pay't as valorously as I may, that sall I suerly do,
that is the breff and the long. Marry, I wad full fain heard some
question 'tween you tway.
Captain Macmorris, I think, look you, under your correction, there
is not many of your nation--
Of my nation! What ish my nation? Ish a villain, and a bastard,
and a knave, and a rascal? What ish my nation? Who talks of my
Look you, if you take the matter otherwise than is meant, Captain
Macmorris, peradventure I shall think you do not use me with that
affability as in discretion you ought to use me, look you, being
as good a man as yourself, both in the disciplines of war, and in
the derivation of my birth, and in other particularities.
I do not know you so good a man as myself. So Chrish save me,
I will cut off your head.
Gentlemen both, you will mistake each other.
Ah! that's a foul fault.
[A parley [sounded.]
The town sounds a parley.
Captain Macmorris, when there is more better opportunity to be
required, look you, I will be so bold as to tell you I know the
disciplines of war; and there is an end.
SCENE III. Before the gates.
[The Governor and some citizens on the walls; the English forces
below. Enter King Henry and his train.]
How yet resolves the governor of the town?
This is the latest parle we will admit;
Therefore to our best mercy give yourselves,
Or like to men proud of destruction
Defy us to our worst; for, as I am a soldier,
A name that in my thoughts becomes me best,
If I begin the battery once again,
I will not leave the half-achieved Harfleur
Till in her ashes she lie buried.
The gates of mercy shall be all shut up,
And the flesh'd soldier, rough and hard of heart,
In liberty of bloody hand shall range
With conscience wide as hell, mowing like grass
Your fresh fair virgins and your flow'ring infants.
What is it then to me, if impious War,
Array'd in flames like to the prince of fiends,
Do with his smirch'd complexion all fell feats
Enlink'd to waste and desolation?
What is't to me, when you yourselves are cause,
If your pure maidens fall into the hand
Of hot and forcing violation?
What rein can hold licentious wickedness
When down the hill he holds his fierce career?
We may as bootless spend our vain command
Upon the enraged soldiers in their spoil
As send precepts to the leviathan
To come ashore. Therefore, you men of Harfleur,
Take pity of your town and of your people,
Whiles yet my soldiers are in my command,
Whiles yet the cool and temperate wind of grace
O'erblows the filthy and contagious clouds
Of heady murder, spoil, and villainy.
If not, why, in a moment look to see
The blind and bloody soldier with foul hand
Defile the locks of your shrill-shrieking daughters;
Your fathers taken by the silver beards,
And their most reverend heads dash'd to the walls;
Your naked infants spitted upon pikes,
Whiles the mad mothers with their howls confus'd
Do break the clouds, as did the wives of Jewry
At Herod's bloody-hunting slaughtermen.
What say you? Will you yield, and this avoid,
Or, guilty in defence, be thus destroy'd?
Our expectation hath this day an end.
The Dauphin, whom of succours we entreated,
Returns us that his powers are yet not ready
To raise so great a siege. Therefore, great King,
We yield our town and lives to thy soft mercy.
Enter our gates; dispose of us and ours;
For we no longer are defensible.
Open your gates. Come, uncle Exeter,
Go you and enter Harfleur; there remain,
And fortify it strongly 'gainst the French.
Use mercy to them all. For us, dear uncle,
The winter coming on, and sickness growing
Upon our soldiers, we will retire to Calais.
To-night in Harfleur will we be your guest;
To-morrow for the march are we addrest.
[Flourish. [The King and his train] enter the town.]
SCENE IV. The French King's palace.
[Enter Katharine and [Alice,] an old Gentlewoman.]
Alice, tu as ete en Angleterre, et tu parles bien le langage.
Un peu, madame.
Je te prie, m'enseignez; il faut que j'apprenne a parler.
Comment appelez-vous la main en Anglois?
La main? Elle est appelee de hand.
De hand. Et les doigts?
Les doigts? Ma foi, j'oublie les doigts; mais je me
souviendrai. Les doigts? Je pense qu'ils sont appeles de
fingres; oui, de fingres.
La main, de hand; les doigts, de fingres. Je pense que
je suis le bon ecolier; j'ai gagne deux mots d'Anglois
vitement. Comment appelez-vous les ongles?
Les ongles? Nous les appelons de nails.
De nails. Ecoutez; dites-moi, si je parle bien: de hand,
de fingres, et de nails.
C'est bien dit, madame; il est fort bon Anglois.
Dites-moi l'Anglois pour le bras.
De arm, madame.
Et le coude?
D'elbow. Je m'en fais la repetition de tous les mots
que vous m'avez appris des a present.
Il est trop difficile, madame, comme je pense.
Excusez-moi, Alice; ecoutez: d'hand, de fingres, de
nails, d'arma, de bilbow.
O Seigneur Dieu, je m'en oublie! D'elbow.
Comment appelez-vous le col?
De nick, madame.
De nick. Et le menton?
De sin. Le col, de nick; le menton, de sin.
Oui. Sauf votre honneur, en verite, vous prononcez les
mots aussi droit que les natifs d'Angleterre.
Je ne doute point d'apprendre, par la grace de Dieu,
et en peu de temps.
N'avez-vous pas deja oublie ce que je vous ai enseigne?
Non, je reciterai a vous promptement: d'hand, de
fingres, de mails,--
De nails, madame.
De nails, de arm, de ilbow.
Sauf votre honneur, de elbow.
Ainsi dis-je; d'elbow, de nick, et de sin. Comment
appelez-vous le pied et la robe?
De foot, madame; et de coun.
De foot et de coun! O Seigneur Dieu! ce sont mots de son
mauvais, corruptible, gros, et impudique, et non pour les
dames d'honneur d'user. Je ne voudrais prononcer ces mots
devant les seigneurs de France pour tout le monde. Foh! le
foot et le coun! Neanmoins, je reciterai une autre fois ma lecon
ensemble: d' hand, de fingres, de nails, d'arm, d'elbow, de
nick, de sin, de foot, de coun.
C'est assez pour une fois: allons-nous a diner.
SCENE V. The same.
[Enter the King of France, the Dauphin, [the Duke of Bourbon,]
the Constable of France, and others.]
'Tis certain he hath pass'd the river Somme.
And if he be not fought withal, my lord,
Let us not live in France; let us quit all
And give our vineyards to a barbarous people.
O Dieu vivant! shall a few sprays of us,
The emptying of our fathers' luxury,
Our scions put in wild and savage stock,
Spirt up so suddenly into the clouds,
And overlook their grafters?
Normans, but bastard Normans, Norman bastards!
Mort de ma vie! if they march along
Unfought withal, but I will sell my dukedom,
To buy a slobbery and a dirty farm
In that nook-shotten isle of Albion.
Dieu de batailles! where have they this mettle?
Is not their climate foggy, raw, and dull,
On whom, as in despite, the sun looks pale,
Killing their fruit with frowns? Can sodden water,
A drench for sur-rein'd jades, their barley-broth,
Decoct their cold blood to such valiant heat?
And shall our quick blood, spirited with wine,
Seem frosty? O, for honour of our land,
Let us not hang like roping icicles
Upon our houses' thatch, whiles a more frosty people
Sweat drops of gallant youth in our rich fields!
Poor we may call them in their native lords.
By faith and honour,
Our madams mock at us, and plainly say
Our mettle is bred out, and they will give
Their bodies to the lust of English youth
To new-store France with bastard warriors.
They bid us to the English dancing-schools,
And teach lavoltas high, and swift corantos;
Saying our grace is only in our heels,
And that we are most lofty runaways.
Where is Montjoy the herald? Speed him hence.
Let him greet England with our sharp defiance.
Up, princes! and, with spirit of honour edged
More sharper than your swords, hie to the field!
Charles Delabreth, High Constable of France;
You Dukes of Orleans, Bourbon, and of Berri,
Alencon, Brabant, Bar, and Burgundy;
Jacques Chatillon, Rambures, Vaudemont,
Beaumont, Grandpre, Roussi, and Fauconberg,
Foix, Lestrale, Bouciqualt, and Charolois;
High dukes, great princes, barons, lords, and knights,
For your great seats now quit you of great shames.
Bar Harry England, that sweeps through our land
With pennons painted in the blood of Harfleur.
Rush on his host, as doth the melted snow
Upon the valleys, whose low vassal seat
The Alps doth spit and void his rheum upon.
Go down upon him, you have power enough,
And in a captive chariot into Rouen
Bring him our prisoner.
This becomes the great.
Sorry am I his numbers are so few,
His soldiers sick and famish'd in their march;
For I am sure, when he shall see our army,
He'll drop his heart into the sink of fear
And for achievement offer us his ransom.
Therefore, Lord Constable, haste on Montjoy,
And let him say to England that we send
To know what willing ransom he will give.
Prince Dauphin, you shall stay with us in Rouen.
Not so, I do beseech your Majesty.
Be patient, for you shall remain with us.
Now forth, Lord Constable and princes all,
And quickly bring us word of England's fall.
SCENE VI. The English camp in Picardy.
[Enter Gower and Fluellen, meeting.]
How now, Captain Fluellen! come you from the bridge?
I assure you, there is very excellent services committed at the
Is the Duke of Exeter safe?
The Duke of Exeter is as magnanimous as Agamemnon; and a
man that I love and honour with my soul, and my heart, and my
duty, and my live, and my living, and my uttermost power. He
is not--God be praised and blessed!--any hurt in the world; but
keeps the bridge most valiantly, with excellent discipline. There
is an aunchient lieutenant there at the pridge, I think in my
very conscience he is as valiant a man as Mark Antony; and he is
a man of no estimation in the world, but I did see him do as
What do you call him?
He is call'd Aunchient Pistol.
I know him not.
Here is the man.
Captain, I thee beseech to do me favours.
The Duke of Exeter doth love thee well.
Ay, I praise God; and I have merited some love at his hands.
Bardolph, a soldier, firm and sound of heart,
And of buxom valour, hath by cruel fate
And giddy Fortune's furious fickle wheel,
That goddess blind,
That stands upon the rolling restless stone--
By your patience, Aunchient Pistol. Fortune is painted
blind, with a muffler afore his eyes, to signify to you that
Fortune is blind; and she is painted also with a wheel, to
signify to you, which is the moral of it, that she is turning,
and inconstant, and mutability, and variation; and her foot,
look you, is fixed upon a spherical stone, which rolls, and
rolls, and rolls. In good truth, the poet makes a most excellent
description of it. Fortune is an excellent moral.
Fortune is Bardolph's foe, and frowns on him;
For he hath stolen a pax, and hanged must 'a be,--
A damned death!
Let gallows gape for dog; let man go free,
And let not hemp his windpipe suffocate.
But Exeter hath given the doom of death
For pax of little price.
Therefore, go speak; the Duke will hear thy voice;
And let not Bardolph's vital thread be cut
With edge of penny cord and vile reproach.
Speak, captain, for his life, and I will thee requite.
Aunchient Pistol, I do partly understand your meaning.
Why then, rejoice therefore.
Certainly, aunchient, it is not a thing to rejoice at; for if,
look you, he were my brother, I would desire the Duke
to use his good pleasure, and put him to execution; for
discipline ought to be used.
Die and be damn'd! and figo for thy friendship!
It is well.
The fig of Spain.
Why, this is an arrant counterfeit rascal. I remember
him now; a bawd, a cutpurse.
I'll assure you, 'a uttered as prave words at the pridge as you
shall see in a summer's day. But it is very well; what he has
spoke to me, that is well, I warrant you, when time is serve.
Why, 't is a gull, a fool, a rogue, that now and then goes to
the wars, to grace himself at his return into London under the
form of a soldier. And such fellows are perfect in the great
commanders' names; and they will learn you by rote where services
were done; at such and such a sconce, at such a breach, at such a
convoy; who came off bravely, who was shot, who disgrac'd, what
terms the enemy stood on; and this they con perfectly in the
phrase of war, which they trick up with new-tuned oaths: and what
a beard of the general's cut and a horrid suit of the camp will
do among foaming bottles and ale-wash'd wits, is wonderful to be
thought on. But you must learn to know such slanders of the age,
or else you may be marvellously mistook.
I tell you what, Captain Gower; I do perceive he is not the man
that he would gladly make show to the world he is. If I find a
hole in his coat, I will tell him my mind. [Drum heard.] Hark
you, the King is coming, and I must speak with him from the pridge.
[Drum and colours. Enter King Henry, [Gloucester,] and his poor
God bless your Majesty!
How now, Fluellen! cam'st thou from the bridge?
Ay, so please your Majesty. The Duke of Exeter has very
gallantly maintain'd the pridge. The French is gone off, look
you; and there is gallant and most prave passages. Marry, th'
athversary was have possession of the pridge; but he is enforced
to retire, and the Duke of Exeter is master of the pridge. I can
tell your Majesty, the Duke is a prave man.
What men have you lost, Fluellen?
The perdition of the athversary hath been very great, reasonable
great. Marry, for my part, I think the Duke hath lost never a
man, but one that is like to be executed for robbing a church, one
Bardolph, if your Majesty know the man. His face is all bubukles,
and whelks, and knobs, and flames o' fire; and his lips blows at
his nose, and it is like a coal of fire, sometimes plue and
sometimes red; but his nose is executed, and his fire's out.
We would have all such offenders so cut off; and we give express
charge, that in our marches through the country, there be nothing
compell'd from the villages, nothing taken but paid for, none of
the French upbraided or abused in disdainful language; for when
lenity and cruelty play for a kingdom, the gentler gamester is the
[Tucket. Enter Montjoy.]
You know me by my habit.
Well then I know thee. What shall I know of thee?
My master's mind.
Thus says my King: Say thou to Harry of England: Though we
seem'd dead, we did but sleep; advantage is a better soldier
than rashness. Tell him we could have rebuk'd him at Harfleur,
but that we thought not good to bruise an injury till it were
full ripe. Now we speak upon our cue, and our voice is imperial.
England shall repent his folly, see his weakness, and admire our
sufferance. Bid him therefore consider of his ransom; which must
proportion the losses we have borne, the subjects we have lost,
the disgrace we have digested; which in weight to re-answer, his
pettishness would bow under. For our losses, his exchequer is too
poor; for the effusion of our blood, the muster of his kingdom
too faint a number; and for our disgrace, his own person, kneeling
at our feet, but a weak and worthless satisfaction. To this add
defiance; and tell him, for conclusion, he hath betrayed his
followers, whose condemnation is pronounc'd. So far my King and
master; so much my office.
What is thy name? I know thy quality.
Thou dost thy office fairly. Turn thee back,
And tell thy King I do not seek him now,
But could be willing to march on to Calais
Without impeachment; for, to say the sooth,
Though 'tis no wisdom to confess so much
Unto an enemy of craft and vantage,
My people are with sickness much enfeebled,
My numbers lessen'd, and those few I have
Almost no better than so many French;
Who when they were in health, I tell thee, herald,
I thought upon one pair of English legs
Did march three Frenchmen. Yet, forgive me, God,
That I do brag thus! This your air of France
Hath blown that vice in me. I must repent.
Go therefore, tell thy master here I am;
My ransom is this frail and worthless trunk,
My army but a weak and sickly guard;
Yet, God before, tell him we will come on,
Though France himself and such another neighbour
Stand in our way. There's for thy labour, Montjoy.
Go, bid thy master well advise himself.
If we may pass, we will; if we be hind'red,
We shall your tawny ground with your red blood
Discolour; and so, Montjoy, fare you well.
The sum of all our answer is but this:
We would not seek a battle, as we are;
Nor, as we are, we say we will not shun it.
So tell your master.
I shall deliver so. Thanks to your Highness.
I hope they will not come upon us now.
We are in God's hands, brother, not in theirs.
March to the bridge; it now draws toward night.
Beyond the river we'll encamp ourselves,
And on to-morrow bid them march away.
SCENE VII. The French camp, near Agincourt.
[Enter the Constable of France, the Lord Rambures,
Orleans, Dauphin, with others.]
Tut! I have the best armour of the world.
Would it were day!
You have an excellent armour; but let my horse have his due.
It is the best horse of Europe.
Will it never be morning?
My Lord of Orleans, and my Lord High Constable, you talk of
horse and armour?
You are as well provided of both as any prince in the world.
What a long night is this! I will not change my horse with
any that treads but on four pasterns. Ca, ha! he bounds from the
earth, as if his entrails were hairs; le cheval volant, the
Pegasus, chez les narines de feu! When I bestride him, I soar, I
am a hawk. he trots the air; the earth sings when he touches it;
the basest horn of his hoof is more musical than the pipe of Hermes.
He's of the colour of the nutmeg.
And of the heat of the ginger. It is a beast for Perseus. He is
pure air and fire; and the dull elements of earth and water never
appear in him, but only in patient stillness while his rider mounts
him. He is indeed a horse, and all other jades you may call beasts.
Indeed, my lord, it is a most absolute and excellent horse.
It is the prince of palfreys; his neigh is like the bidding of a
monarch, and his countenance enforces homage.
No more, cousin.
Nay, the man hath no wit that cannot, from the rising of the
lark to the lodging of the lamb, vary deserved praise on my
palfrey. It is a theme as fluent as the sea; turn the sands into
eloquent tongues, and my horse is argument for them all. 'Tis
a subject for a sovereign to reason on, and for a sovereign's
sovereign to ride on; and for the world, familiar to us and
unknown, to lay apart their particular functions and wonder at
him. I once writ a sonnet in his praise and began thus: "Wonder
I have heard a sonnet begin so to one's mistress.
Then did they imitate that which I compos'd to my courser,
for my horse is my mistress.
Your mistress bears well.
Me well; which is the prescript praise and perfection of a
good and particular mistress.
Nay, for methought yesterday your mistress shrewdly shook
So perhaps did yours.
Mine was not bridled.
O then belike she was old and gentle; and you rode, like a
kern of Ireland, your French hose off, and in your strait
You have good judgment in horsemanship.
Be warn'd by me, then; they that ride so and ride not warily,
fall into foul bogs. I had rather have my horse to my mistress.
I had as lief have my mistress a jade.
I tell thee, Constable, my mistress wears his own hair.
I could make as true a boast as that, if I had a sow to
"Le chien est retourne a son propre vomissement, et la
truie lavee au bourbier." Thou mak'st use of anything.
Yet do I not use my horse for my mistress, or any such
proverb so little kin to the purpose.
My Lord Constable, the armour that I saw in your tent
to-night, are those stars or suns upon it?
Stars, my lord.
Some of them will fall to-morrow, I hope.
And yet my sky shall not want.
That may be, for you bear a many superfluously, and 'twere
more honour some were away.
Even as your horse bears your praises; who would trot as
well, were some of your brags dismounted.
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.
I will not say so, for fear I should be fac'd out of my way.
But I would it were morning; for I would fain be about
the ears of the English.
Who will go to hazard with me for twenty prisoners?
You must first go yourself to hazard, ere you have them.
'Tis midnight; I'll go arm myself.
The Dauphin longs for morning.
He longs to eat the English.
I think he will eat all he kills.
By the white hand of my lady, he's a gallant prince.
Swear by her foot that she may tread out the oath.
He is simply the most active gentleman of France.
Doing is activity; and he will still be doing.
He never did harm, that I heard of.
Nor will do none to-morrow. He will keep that good
I know him to be valiant.
I was told that by one that knows him better than you.
Marry, he told me so himself; and he said he car'd not
who knew it.
He needs not; it is no hidden virtue in him.
By my faith, sir, but it is; never anybody saw it but his
lackey. 'Tis a hooded valour; and when it appears, it will
"Ill will never said well."
I will cap that proverb with "There is flattery in friendship."
And I will take up that with "Give the devil his due."
Well plac'd. There stands your friend for the devil; have at
the very eye of that proverb with "A pox of the devil."
You are the better at proverbs, by how much "A fool's
bolt is soon shot."
You have shot over.
'Tis not the first time you were overshot.
[Enter a Messenger.]
My Lord High Constable, the English lie within fifteen
hundred paces of your tents.
Who hath measur'd the ground?
The Lord Grandpre.
A valiant and most expert gentleman. Would it were day!
Alas, poor Harry of England, he longs not for the dawning as
What a wretched and peevish fellow is this King of England,
to mope with his fat-brain'd followers so far out of his
If the English had any apprehension, they would run away.
That they lack; for if their heads had any intellectual armour,
they could never wear such heavy head-pieces.
That island of England breeds very valiant creatures. Their
mastiffs are of unmatchable courage.
Foolish curs, that run winking into the mouth of a Russian bear
and have their heads crush'd like rotten apples! You may as well
say, that's a valiant flea that dare eat his breakfast on the lip
of a lion.
Just, just; and the men do sympathize with the mastiffs in
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.
Ay, but these English are shrewdly out of beef.
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
It is now two o'clock; but, let me see, by ten
We shall have each a hundred Englishmen.