Henry V simplified

Synopsis

As noted late in the last play, Henry IV died in 1413.  He was succeeded by his oldest son, Prince Harry, now Henry V.  The young Henry V was considered an easy mark by some, not coming in with a strong reputation.  As Henry IV Part 2 ended, Prince John, the new young king’s younger brother, having an insider’s view, had predicted that the new king would soon set his sights on France.  Prince John was right on target. 

This play opens with two of England’s leading clergymen, the Bishop of Canterbury and the Bishop of Ely, expressing serious concern over an act of Parliament that has re-surfaced; a proposal to heavily tax the church.  The two clergymen figure they need to come up with a strategy to derail the proposed legislation.  The resourceful Bishop of Canterbury finds one.  His plan is to have the church give more money to Henry V than the church has ever in the past given to a king, figuring, correctly, that this strategy will better position the church to influence tax policy.  But, as well, the bishop has in mind a second strategy: to get the king to focus on external affairs.  His dual plan is to convince the young king that he is the rightful heir to the French crown, and then to have the church financially support a military encounter with France, if that’s what it takes.

As we’ve said, Henry V’s great grandfather, Edward III, was the trunk of this powerful Plantagenet family-of-kings tree.  Edward III’s mother, Isabella, was the daughter of the then French king.  The bishop’s plan is to convince Henry V that through his great-great grandmother he is the rightful heir to the French crown. The Bishop of Canterbury does his homework. Through a persuasive presentation of his “French strategy” to Henry V, basing his argument on France’s Salic law, he convinces the young king that the plan is sound, the play’s central theme. 

Later, the French ambassador along with the heir to the French crown, the Dauphin, pay a visit to England’s new king, the ambassador saying “Since you claim certain dukedoms in the right of your Edward III, the prince therefore sends you this chest of treasure.”  The king asks “What treasure?”  Exeter, the king’s uncle, looks inside the chest and says to the king “Tennis balls, my liege.”  The Dauphin, the French prince, has seriously misread the young Henry V.  The king proceeds to make his point and sends the French ambassador and prince on their way.  Exeter comments “This was a merry message.”  Exeter is one of the sons of John of Gaunt, John of Gaunt being the king’s late grandfather, and his second wife, Catherine Swynford.  We figure Exeter is Henry V’s half-uncle.  As noted in the last play, Westmorland is Ralph Neville, the husband of Joan Beaufort, John of Gaunt’s and Catherine Swynford’s only daughter.  Westmorland and some of his brothers-in law, their sons and grandsons have huge roles well into the future.

Shakespeare draws in two side issues here.  Three friends of the king are captured, accused of being traitors and are executed.  Richard, the Earl of Cambridge, is one of them. This Richard was the second son of the duke of York, known as York, Edward III’s fifth son.  York and John of Gaunt, the king’s grandfather and Edward III’s fourth son, were brothers and close friends.  The significance here is that this Richard had a powerful son and grandsons, two of the grandsons becoming kings, both featured as principals in Richard III, the last play in this series.  In part, the execution of Richard, the Earl of Cambridge, leads to the War of the Roses.  We also learn here that John Falstaff, close to the king when the king was a wayward prince, Falstaff being featured in the second and third histories, has died.  Hostess Quickly believes his death was the result of a broken heart. 

To get on with the story, most of the French nobles and military leaders continue to harbor the impression that the English king remains the carefree prince of his youth, dismissing him as any kind of threat.  But the French king is more suspect, remembering how Richard, the Black Prince, Edward III’s first son, had run roughshod over France.  Henry V sends his uncle Exeter as his ambassador to meet with France’s king and suggests to the French king “that you divest yourself of your crown” to Henry V “and to his heirs.”  The French king says “We will consider of this further.”    Meanwhile, Henry V, prepared to invade France, leads his troops across the Channel, landing on France’s northern coast at Calais.  He quickly moves his men to the gates at Harfleur, prepared to scale the ladders and rush the city.  He there offers his men one of his several immortal pep talks. The French capitulate and Henry V takes the city. Montjoy, representing the French, in what almost seems to be a joke, asks the English king what he might consider as a reasonable ransom.  Henry V tells him “My ransom is this frail and worthless trunk” and that my army is “but a weak and sickly guard, but we will come on.”  Henry V condescendingly offers Montjoy money “for thy labor,” saying “fare you well” as Montjoy exits.  Both the English and French forces prepare for a battle the next day.  The English army was probably tired, cold and hungry, just as the king had told Montjoy.  The French military men are giddily confident.

Henry V enforces discipline on his troops.  His boyhood friend, Bardolph, a friend from his Gad’s Hill caper and Eastcheap Tavern days, is found guilty of stealing a silver symbol of the crucifixion. He is hanged.  We learn that Nym, another boyhood friend of the king’s, also has been hanged.  In a successful attempt to relieve fears and offer encouragement, the king disguises himself and mixes with his exhausted troops the night before the battle. Shakespeare here has Henry V speak to the moment, and it’s beautiful. The famous battle at Agincourt begins early the next morning. As dawn breaks, the French troops admire their horses and note how beautifully the sun reflects off their armor.  The day is Saint Crispin’s Day; Saint Crispin being the patron saint of shoemakers.  As the battle is about to begin the king says to Westmorland, “If we are marked, we are strong enough to do our country proud; and if to live, the fewer men, the greater share of honor.”  The battle ends a few hours after it begins, with the French conceding defeat, a one-sided victory for the English.  The French army is decimated. Montjoy returns to ludicrously offer Henry V one more ransom opportunity.  When his men try to praise the king, he defers saying “Take it, God, for it is none but thine.” 

Aumerle was one of the few English officers who died in the battle.  Aumerle was the duke of York, having inherited his father’s title, having been the older son of Edmund of Langley, the original duke of York, Edward III’s fifth son; the young man who had given his cousin Henry Bolingbroke so much grief back in Richard II, only to be pardoned by Bolingbroke when he became King Henry IV, Aumerle admitting at the time to having been part of a plot to take Bolingbroke’s life.  But here on the fields of Agincourt, Aumerle, a heroic son of England, gave his life, fighting on behalf of England and its king, Henry IV’s oldest son.  As noted earlier, Richard earl of Cambridge, Aumerle’s younger brother, had been hanged by Henry V as a traitor.  These two were the original York’s only sons.  But this Richard had married Anne Mortimer, the great-granddaughter of Lionel, Edward III’s third son, and they had grandsons.  Being a descendent of Edward III’s third son puts one in a stronger position that being a descendent of the fourth son, as is Henry V.  We’ll hear more of the conflicts around succession issues in future histories. 

On behalf of the French, Burgundy, who had married into the English royal family, diplomatically makes the case for reestablishing the greatness that is France. Henry V, however, makes it clear that peace will be on his terms.  Henry V sends his brothers and other aides to negotiate an acceptable peace, while as security requests that Katherine, the French king’s daughter, along with her English teacher, remain behind with him.  The French king agrees.  Henry V proposes marriage to Katherine in what has to be the sweetest and most awkward proposal ever written, she barely understanding what he is asking. The French princess agrees to marry the English king, so long as her father agrees.  He does.  Westmorland returns to report that the French have accepted England’s suggested terms of peace.  The queen of France nicely offers the young couple her best wishes, along with hopes that this union will bring peace between their two countries. 

Principal Characters

Dauphin.  The Dauphin is the prince of France, the son of the king of France, the heir to the French throne.  Until the battle of Agincourt, the Dauphin believed the young king of England was still the irresponsible playboy of his youth.  He was often outspoken and could be compared with Hotspur, featured in the second history. 

Exeter.  Exeter is the third son of John of Gaunt and his second wife, Catherine Swynford.  He is also known as the Duke of Exeter or as Thomas.  He is Henry V’s uncle and serves the king well throughout, pretty much as the king’s chief of staff.  He has two older brothers: John, the First Earl of Somerset, and Henry, the Bishop of Winchester.  His sister marries Westmorland, Ralph Neville, the earl of Westmorland.  These Plantagenets are quite an interrelated family.  Exeter’s older brothers have a more checkered relationship with the royal family, as we’ll see later. 

Henry V.   Henry V, Henry IV’s oldest of four sons, earlier known as Prince Harry or Prince Hal, becomes one of England’s most storied and heroic kings, a magnificent leader of men, an inspiration for generations of young men.  Shakespeare’s three earlier histories (we think) were designed to bring us to this story, a story of England’s best of men, best of kings. 

Katherine.  Katherine, called Kate by her husband, is the French king’s daughter, the princess of France.  She becomes Henry V’s wife, the Queen of England, the mother of Henry VI.  Her misfortune is that her husband dies soon after the birth of their son.  Later, she marries Owen Tudor and becomes the grandmother of the Earl of Richmond, who becomes King Henry VII, the first Tudor king, a king who ends the War of the Roses. 

Richard, Earl of Cambridge.  Richard, known as Cambridge, is hanged as an admitted traitor early in the play.  He was the second son of Edmund Langley, the Duke of York, Edward III’s fifth son.  The Duke of York had played an important role in Richard II.  Cambridge had married Anne, the great granddaughter of Lionel, Edward III’s third son.  Their son, Richard Plantagenet, had married Cicely, Westmorland’s daughter.  These two, Richard and Cicely, are the parents of two future kings. 

Westmorland.  The Earl of Westmorland is Ralph Neville, identified in an earlier history as the husband of Joan Beaufort, Gaunt’s only daughter, Gaunt being the original Duke of Lancaster.  Henry V often refers to Westmorland as his cousin, a term of endearment.  He is forever loyal and close to the king, as he was to the king’s father.  He always comes across as being a great guy, a reason we think the Nevilles might have helped Shakespeare with his history stories.  For decades to come, Ralph Neville and his heirs play important roles in the lives of England’s kings.  Thomas, their only son, is the Earl of Salisbury.  His older daughter, Cicely, marries Richard Plantagenet, a York, she becoming the mother of kings.

The Play


  • Act 1, Scene 1
  • The Bishops of Canterbury and Ely are on stage.
  • CANTERBURY
  • My lord, I’ll tell you that self bill is urged which in th’ eleventh year of the last king’s reign had indeed against us passed but that the scambling and unquiet time did push it out of farther question.
  • ELY
  • But how, my lord, shall we resist it now?
  • CANTERBURY
  • It must be thought on. If it pass against us, we lose the better half of our possession. They would strip from us, being valued thus: to the coffers of the King, a thousand pounds by th’ year. This runs the bill.
  • ELY
  • This would drink deep.
  • CANTERBURY
  • ‘Twould drink the cup and all.
  • ELY
  • But what prevention?
  • CANTERBURY
  • The King is full of grace and fair regard.
  • ELY
  • And a true lover of the holy Church.
  •  
  •  
  • Bishop of Canterbury to Bishop of Ely
  •  
  • No sooner his father breathed his last sigh
  • But that the prince’s wildness seemed to die.
  • That very moment, ‘twas like an angel
  • Whose heavenly spirits enveloped him,
  • Making him a scholar, cleansing his soul
  • Of scouring faults, not before seen, as in
  • This king. ‘Tis a wonder how he should glean
  • It, with his addiction to those friends seen
  • So rude, shallow and unlettered. Now hear
  • Him debate common matters; reason in
  • Divinity; ‘tis music to our ear,
  • As honeyed wisdom, yet not having been
  • Seen with any study or any wants,
  • Or with sequestration from public haunts.
  • ELY
  • The strawberry grows underneath the nettle, and wholesome berries thrive and ripen best neighbored by fruit of baser quality; and so the Prince obscured his contemplation under the veil of wildness, which grew like the summer grass, fastest by night.
  • CANTERBURY
  • It must be so, for miracles are ceased,
  • ELY
  • But how now for mitigation of this bill urged by the Commons? Doth his Majesty incline to it or no?
  • CANTERBURY
  • He seems indifferent. I have made an offer to his Majesty to give a greater sum than ever at one time the clergy yet did to his predecessors part withal.
  • ELY
  • How did this offer seem received, my lord.
  • CANTERBURY
  • With good acceptance of his Majesty-------save that there was not time enough to hear of his true titles to some certain dukedoms, and generally to the crown and seat of France, derived from Edward, his great-grandfather.
  • ELY
  • What was th’ impediment that broke this off?
  • CANTEBURY
  • The French ambassador upon that instant craved audience. And the hour, I think is come to give him hearing. Is it four o’clock?
  • ELY
  • It is.
  • CANTERBURY
  • Then go we in to know the French ambassador’s message.
  • Act 1, Scene 2
  • The King and a number of noble lords are on stage.
  • HENRY
  • Where is my gracious Lord of Canterbury?
  • EXETER
  • Not here in presence.
  • HENRY
  • Send for him, good uncle.
  • The Bishops of Canterbury and Ely enter.
  • HENRY
  • My learned lord, unfold why the law Salic that they have in France or should or should not bar us in our claim. And God forbid that you should fashion whose right suits not in native colors with the truth. Under this solemn command, speak, my lord, for we will believe in heart that what you speak is in your conscience washed as pure as sin with baptism.
  • CANTERBURY
  • There is no bar to make against your Highness’ claim to France but this: No woman shall succeed in Salic land, which Salic land the French unjustly gloze to be the realm of France. Yet their own authors faithfully affirm that the land Salic is in Germany. “Salic,” as I said, is at this day in Germany called Meissen. Then doth it well appear the Salic law was not devised for the realm of France. So, as clear as is the summer’s sun, all appear to hold in right and title of the female.
  • HENRY
  • May I with right and conscience make this claim?
  • CANTERBURY
  • In the Book of Numbers is it writ: “When the man dies, let the inheritance descend unto the daughter.” Go, my dread lord, to your great-grandsire’s tomb; invoke his warlike spirit and your great-uncle’s, Edward the Black Prince, who on the French ground played a tragedy, making defeat on the full power of France whiles his most mighty father on a hill stood to behold his lion’s whelp forage in blood of French nobility.
  • ELY
  • You are their heir. The blood and courage that renowned them runs in your veins.
  • EXETER
  • Your brother kings and monarchs of the earth do all expect that you should rouse yourself as did the former lions of your blood.
  • WESTMORELAND
  • They know your Grace hath cause and means and might.
  • CANTERBURY
  • In aid whereof we of the spiritualty will raise your Highness such a mighty sum as never did the clergy at one time bring in to any of your ancestors.
  • HENRY
  • We must not only arm t’ invade the French, but lay down our proportions to defend against the Scot, who will make road upon us with all advantages.
  • CANTERBURY
  • They of those marches, gracious sovereign, shall be a wall sufficient to defend our inland from the pilfering borderers.
  • HENRY
  • We do not mean the coursing snatchers only, but fear the main intendment of the Scot, who hath been still a giddy neighbor to us.
  • CANTERBURY
  • She hath been then more feared than harmed, my liege.
  • ELY
  • But there’s a saying very old and true: “If that you will France win, then with Scotland first begin.” For once the eagle England being in prey, the weasel Scot plays the mouse in absence of the cat.
  • EXETER
  • It follows, then, the cat must stay at home. Yet that is but a crushed necessity, since we have locks to safeguard necessaries and pretty traps to catch the petty thieves.
  • CANTERBURY
  • Therefore to France, my liege! Divide your happy England into four, whereof take you one quarter into France, and you withal shall make all Gallia shake. If we, with thrice such powers left at home, cannot defend our own doors from the dog, let us be worried.
  • HENRY
  • Call in the messengers sent from the Dauphin.
  • Ambassadors of France enter.
  • HENRY
  • Now are we well prepared to know the pleasure of our fair cousin Dauphin, for we hear your greeting is from him, not from the King.
  • AMBASSADOR
  • Shall we sparingly show you far off the Dauphin’s meaning and our message?
  • HENRY
  • No, we are no tyrant, but a Christian king. With frank and with uncurbed plainness tell us the Dauphin’s mind.
  • AMBASSADOR
  • The Prince our master says that you savor too much of your youth and bids you be advised there’s naught in France that can be with nimble galliard won; you cannot revel into dukedoms there. He therefore sends you this chest of treasure and desires you let the dukedoms that you claim hear no more of you. This the Dauphin speaks.
  • HENRY
  • What treasure, uncle?
  • EXETER
  • Tennis balls, my liege.
  • HENRY
  • We are glad the Dauphin is so pleasant with us. His present and your pains we thank you for.
  •  
  •  
  • Henry V to the French Ambassador
  •  
  • Weigh his father into the crowd to get
  • His crown when we in France do play a set.
  • We understand how he chides us with our
  • Wild days, men being merry when away
  • From home. Tell the Dauphin he will cower
  • When we dazzle the eyes of France that day
  • I rise in my French throne, with the glory
  • Of a king. Please tell the pleasant prince we
  • Have turned his tennis balls to bullets, and
  • That his soul will be sore charged with this scorn
  • Shown, for this mock shall mock men from their land,
  • Mock mothers from their sons and those unborn.
  • Tell him few will savor his shallow wit;
  • Thousands more will weep than did laugh at it.
  • HENRY
  • Convey them with safe conduct. Fare you well.
  • Ambassadors exit.
  • EXETER
  • This was a merry message.
  • HENRY
  • We hope to make the sender blush at it. Let our proportions for these wars be soon collected, and all things thought upon that may with reasonable swiftness add more feathers to our wings. We’ll chide this Dauphin at his father’s door.
  • They exit.
  • Act 2, Scene 1
  • The King’s boyhood friends, now in the army, are in the tavern bantering back and forth, as they have in the past.
  • Boy, their servant, enters.
  • BOY
  • Mine host Pistol, you must come to my master, and your hostess. He is very sick and would to bed. Faith, he’s very ill.
  • BARDOLPH
  • Away, you rogue!
  • HOSTESS
  • The King has killed his heart. Good husband, come home presently.
  • She exits with the Boy. The Hostess reenters.
  • HOSTESS
  • Come in quickly to Sir John. Sweet men, come to him.
  • They exit.
  • Act 2, Scene 2
  • Exeter, John of Lancaster (the King’s brother), now known as the Duke of Bedford, and the Earl of Westmoreland, Ralph Neville, loyal to the King as he was to the King’s father, are on stage.
  • BEDFORD
  • His Grace is bold to trust these traitors.
  • EXETER
  • They shall be apprehended by and by.
  • WESTMORELAND
  • How smooth and even they do bear themselves.
  • BEDFORD
  • The King hath note of all that they intend, by interception, which they dream not of.
  • The King, Scroop, Grey, and the Earl of Cambridge enter. All three are friends of the King. The Earl of Cambridge is one of the King’s uncles.
  • HENRY
  • Give me your thoughts. Think you not that the powers we bear with us will cut their passage through the force of France?
  • SCROOP
  • No doubt, my liege, if each man do his best.
  • HENRY
  • We carry not a heart with us from hence that grows not in a fair consent with ours, nor leave not one behind that doth not wish success and conquest to attend to us.
  • CAMBRIDGE
  • Never was monarch better feared and loved than is your Majesty.
  • GREY
  • True.
  • HENRY
  • Uncle of Exeter, enlarge the man committed yesterday that railed against our person. We consider it was excess of wine that set him on. We pardon him.
  • SCROOP
  • Let him be punished, sovereign.
  • HENRY
  • O, let us yet be merciful.
  • CAMBRIDGE
  • So may your Highness, and yet punish too.
  • GREY
  • Sir, you show great mercy if you give him life after the taste of much correction.
  • HENRY
  • If little faults proceeding on distemper shall not be winked at, how shall we stretch our eye when capital crimes appear before us? We’ll yet enlarge that man, though Cambridge, Scroop and Grey would have him punished.
  • King Henry hands papers to the three men.
  • HENRY
  • Read them and know I know your worthiness.
  • They read the papers.
  • HENRY
  • Why, how now, gentlemen? What see you in those papers, that you lose so much complexion? What read you there that have so cowarded and chased your blood out of appearance?
  • CAMBRIDGE
  • I do confess my fault, and do submit me to your Highness’ mercy.
  • GREY AND SCROOP
  • To which we all appeal.
  •  
  •  
  • Henry V to the traitors
  •  
  • The mercy in us that was quickly willed
  • But late by your own counsel has been killed.
  • You three must not dare to talk of mercy
  • Having conspired on behalf of France to
  • Kill us here. How could it be that from thee
  • A foreign hire could extract for a few
  • Crowns a spark of evil to annoy me?
  • Whatsoever cunning fiend would gull thee
  • To treason, unless to dub thee a dark
  • Traitor? Yet thou seemed constant as the sun.
  • And thus thy fall hath left a blot to mark
  • The best endued man with some suspicion.
  • Uncle, take them to answer to the law,
  • And God acquit them of their savage flaw.
  • SCROOP
  • Our purposes God justly hath discovered, and I repent my fault more than my death.
  • CAMBRIDGE
  • For me, the gold of France did not seduce, although I did admit it as a motive. But God be thanked for prevention.
  • GREY
  • Never did faithful subject more rejoice at the discovery of most dangerous treason than I do at this hour joy o’er myself.
  • HENRY
  • Hear your sentence: you have conspired against our royal person, joined with an enemy proclaimed, and from his coffers received the golden earnest of our death, wherein you would have sold your king to slaughter, and his kingdom into desolation. Get you therefore hence, poor miserable wretches, to your death. Bear them hence.
  • They exit under guard.
  • HENRY
  • Now, lords, for France. We doubt not of a fair and lucky war, since God so graciously hath brought to light this dangerous treason lurking in our way to hinder our beginnings. The signs of war advance. No king of England if not king of France.
  • They exit.
  • Act 2, Scene 3
  • Pistol, Nym, Bardolph, the Hostess and Boy are on stage.
  • PISTOL
  • Bardolph, be blithe. Nym, rouse thy vaunting veins. Boy, bristle thy courage up. For Falstaff, he is dead, and we must earn therefore.
  • BARDOLPH
  • Would I were with him, wheresome’er he is, either in heaven or in hell.
  • NYM
  • They say he cried out of sack.
  • HOSTESS
  • Ay, that he did.
  • BARDOLPH
  • And of women.
  • HOSTESS
  • Nay, that he did not.
  • BOY
  • Yes, that he did, and said they were devils incarnate.
  • NYM
  • Shall we go? The King will be gone from Southampton.
  • PISTOL
  • Come, let’s away.
  • HOSTESS
  • Farewell. Adieu.
  • They exit.
  • Act 2, Scene 4
  • The French King, his son the Dauphin, and others in the king’s court, including the Constable, enter.
  • FRANCE
  • Thus comes the English with full power upon us, and more than carefully it us concerns to answer royally in our defenses.
  • DAUPHIN
  • My most redoubted father. Let us do it with no show of fear, for, my good liege, she is so idly kinged, by a vain, giddy, shallow, humorous youth, that fear attends her not.
  • CONSTABLE
  • O peace, Prince Dauphin! You are too much mistaken in this king.
  • DAUPHIN
  • Well, ‘tis not so, my Lord High Constable. But though we think it so, ‘tis best to weigh the enemy more mighty than he seems.
  • FRANCE
  • The kindred of him hath been fleshed upon us, and he is bred out of that bloody strain that haunted us in our familiar paths. Witness our too-much-memorable shame when Edward, Black Prince of Wales, whiles that his mountain sire, saw his heroical seed and smiled to see him mangle the work of nature and that by what God and French fathers had twenty years been made. This is a stem of that victorious stock, and let us fear the native mightiness and fate of him.
  • A Messenger enters.
  • MESSENGER
  • Ambassadors from Harry King of England do crave admittance to your Majesty.
  • KING OF FRANCE
  • We’ll give them present audience. Go, and bring them.
  • The Messenger exits.
  • DAUPHIN
  • Good my sovereign, take up the English short, and let them know of what a monarchy you are the head. Self-love, my liege, is not so vile a sin as self-neglecting.
  • Exeter enters.
  • FRANCE
  • From our brother of England?
  • EXETER
  • From him, and thus he greets your Majesty.
  •  
  •  
  • Exeter to King of France
  •  
  • He wills that you divest the crown of France
  • That is his and his heirs by ordinance
  • Of times and custom. That he be derived
  • From his most famed of ancestors, Edward
  • The Third, he bids that you now be resigned
  • From your crown, held from him, too long deferred.
  • If you hide the crown, he comes in tempest
  • And bids you to take mercy on the best
  • Of your poor souls, for whom this hungry war
  • Opens his vasty jaws, turning tears to
  • Groans for those swallowed up in this quarrel, for
  • This is his claim and my message. For you
  • Dauphin, be assured you’ll find a difference
  • ‘Tween his green days and these he masters since.
  • FRANCE
  • For us, we will consider of this further. Tomorrow shall you bear our full intent back to our brother of England.
  • DAUPHIN TO EXETER
  • For the Dauphin, I stand here for him. What to him from England?
  • EXETER
  • Scorn and defiance, slight regard, contempt. Thus says my king: do not sweeten the bitter mock you sent his Majesty.
  • DAUPHIN
  • Say, if my father render fair return, it is against my will, for I desire nothing but odds with England. To that end, as matching to his youth and vanity, I did present him with the tennis balls.
  • EXETER
  • He’ll make your Paris shake for it, were it the mistress court of mighty Europe. Be assured you’ll find a difference between the promise of his greener days and these he masters now.
  • FRANCE
  • Tomorrow shall you know our mind at full.
  • EXETER
  • Dispatch us with all speed, lest that our king come here himself to question our delay, for he is footed in this land already.
  • FRANCE
  • You shall be soon dispatched with fair conditions. A night is but small breath and little pause to answer matters of this consequence.
  • They exit.
  • Act 3, Scene 1
  • King Henry and his troops are at the gates of Harfleur.
  • HENRY
  • Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more, or close the wall up with our English dead.
  •  
  •  
  • Henry V to his troops
  •  
  • Nothing so becomes our men in peace than
  • Modest stillness, but when war blows, each man
  • Imitate the action of the tiger
  • And disguise our fair nature with hard-walled
  • Rage. Let each frightful eye pry as if ‘twere
  • Like a brass cannon and each brow a gulled
  • Rock o’erhanging a wild and rough ocean.
  • Noble men, whose fathers have fought and won
  • In these parts, dishonor not your mothers.
  • Show us now your mettle as we depart
  • For Harfleur, doubting you not; as brothers
  • We, straining like greyhounds upon the start.
  • Follow your heart as we to battle forge,
  • Crying, “For Harry, England and Saint George!”
  • They exit.
  • Act 3, Scene 2
  • Nym, Bardolph and Pistol, King Henry’s boyhood friends, are on stage. Boy is with them.
  • BARDOLPH
  • On, on! To the breach.
  • NYM
  • Pray thee, corporal, stay. I have not a case of lives. The humor of it is too hot.
  • BOY
  • Would I were in an alehouse in London! I would give all my fame for a pot of ale, and safety.
  • PISTOL
  • And I.
  • Fluellen, a Welsh officer in the king’s army, enters.
  • FLUELLEN
  • Up to the breach, you dogs!
  • PISTOL
  • Be merciful, great duke. Abate thy manly rage.
  • All but Boy exit.
  • BOY
  • I am boy to them all three, but all they three do not amount to a man. For Bardolph, he faces it out but fights not; for Pistol, he hath a killing tongue but a quiet sword; for Nym, his few bad words are matched with as few good deeds. They will steal anything and call it purchase. Nym and Bardolph are sworn brothers in filching. They would have me as familiar with men’s pockets as their gloves or their handkerchers, which makes much against my manhood. I must leave them and seek some better service.
  • He exits. Fluellen and Gower, another Welsh officer, enter.
  • GOWER
  • Captain Fluellen, you must come presently to the mines; the Duke of Gloucester would speak with you.
  • FLUELLEN
  • To the mines?
  • GOWER
  • The Duke of Gloucester is altogether directed by an Irishman, a very valiant gentleman, i’ faith.
  • FLUELLEN
  • It is Captain Macmorris, is it not?
  • GOWER
  • I think it be.
  • FLUELLEN
  • He has no more directions in the true disciplines of the wars than is a puppy dog.
  • Captain Macmorris and Captain Jamy enter.
  • GOWER
  • Here he comes, and the Scots captain, Captain Jamy, with him.
  • FLUELLEN
  • Captain Jamy is a marvelous falorous gentleman. He will maintain his argument as well as any military man in the world in the disciplines of the pristine wars of the Romans.
  • GOWER
  • How now, Captain Macmorris, have you quit the mines?
  • MACMORRIS
  • La, ‘tish ill done. The work ish give over. The trompet sound the retreat. I would have blowed up the town.
  • FLUELLEN
  • Captain Macmorris, I beseech you now a few disputations with you as partly touching or concerning the disciplines of war, the Roman wars?
  • MACMORRIS
  • It is not time to discourse. The day is hot and the wars, and the King and the dukes. Town is beseeched. An the trumpet call us to the breach and we talk and do nothing. And there is throats to be cut and there ish nothing done.
  • FLUELLEN
  • Captain Macmorris, there is not many of your nation-----
  • MACMORRIS
  • Of my nation? Who talks of my nation?
  • FLUELLEN
  • I shall think you do not use me with that affability as, in discretion, look you, being as good a man as yourself.
  • MACMORRIS
  • I do not know you so good a man as myself. I will cut off your head.
  • GOWER
  • Gentlemen both, you will mistake each other.
  • JAMY
  • Ay, that’s a foul fault.
  • A trumpet sounds.
  • FLUELLEN
  • 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.
  • They exit.
  • Act 3, Scene 3
  • King Henry enters the gates and addresses the men of Harfleur.
  • HENRY
  • How yet resolves the Governor of the town.
  •  
  •  
  • Henry V to the men of Harfleur
  •  
  • This is the last conference we will admit.
  • Therefore to our best mercy do submit,
  • Or to men of proud destruction defy
  • Us to our worst. If I begin batt’ry
  • Again, I’ll not leave till Harfleur doth lie
  • Buried in her ashes; gates of mercy
  • Shall be shut up. So, you men of Harfleur,
  • Take pity of your people whilst I were
  • Yet in command of my soldiers. If shrouds
  • Cover your wives and young, what’s it to me?
  • Relent whiles grace o’erblows contagious clouds
  • Of heady murder, spoil and villainy.
  • What say you? Will you yield and this avoid,
  • Or, guilty in defense, be thus destroyed?
  • The Governor enters.
  • GOVERNOR
  • The Dauphin 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?
  • HENRY
  • Open your gates.
  • Governor exits.
  • HENRY
  • 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.
  • The King’s troops enter Harfleur.
  • Act 3, Scene 4
  • Katherine, the Princess of France, enters with Alice, her English teacher.
  • KATHERINE
  • I think I am a good student. I have quickly mastered two words of English.
  • ALICE
  • That’s well said, madam. It is very good English.
  • KATHERINE
  • D’ elbow. I will repeat all the words that you have taught me so far.
  • ALICE
  • Is too difficult, madam, I think.
  • KATHERINE
  • Excuse me, Alice, Listen: d’ hand, de finger, de nailes, d’ arma, de bilbow.
  • ALICE
  • D’ elbow, madam. In truth you pronounce the words as correctly as the natives of England.
  • KATHERINE
  • De nailes, de arme, de ilbow------
  • ALICE
  • With all due respect, d’ elbow.
  • KATHERINE
  • That’s what I say: d’ elbow, de nick, and de sin. What do you call le pied, and la robe?
  • ALICE
  • Le foot, madam, and le gown.
  • KATHERINE
  • Le foot and le gown. O Lord God! They are ill-sounding words, corrupt, foul, and lewd, and not for ladies of honor to use.
  • They exit.
  • Act 3, Scene 5
  • The King of France, the Dauphin, the Duke of Brittany, the Constable and others enter.
  • CONSTABLE
  • 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? O, for honor 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!
  • DAUPHIN
  • Our madams mock at us and plainly say our mettle is bred out, and they will give their bodies to new-store France with bastard warriors.
  • BRITTANY
  • They bid us to the English dancing-schools, and teach us leaping and running steps.
  • FRANCE
  • Where is Montjoy the herald? Speed him hence. Let him greet England with our sharp defiance. Bar Harry England, that sweeps through our land with streamers painted in the blood of Harfleur. Bring him our prisoner.
  • CONSTABLE
  • This becomes the great! 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.
  • FRANCE
  • Haste on Montjoy, and let him say to England that we send to know what willing ransom he will give. Now forth, Lord Constable and princes all, and quickly bring us word of England’s fall.
  • They exit.
  • Act 3, Scene 6
  • Captains Gower and Fluellen are on stage.
  • GOWER
  • Captain Fluellen? Come you from the bridge? Is the Duke of Exeter safe?
  • FLUELLEN
  • The Duke of Exeter is not any hurt in the world, but keeps the bridge most valiantly, with excellent discipline. There is a lieutenant there at the pride; I think in my very conscience he is as valiant a man as Mark Antony. I did see him do as gallant service.
  • GOWER
  • What do you call him?
  • FLUELLEN
  • He is called Ensign Pistol.
  • GOWER
  • I know him not.
  • Pistol enters.
  • PISTOL
  • Captain, I thee beseech to do me favors. The Duke of Exeter doth love thee well.
  • FLUELLEN
  • Ay, and I have merited some love at his hands.
  • PISTOL
  • Bardolph hath, by cruel Fate and giddy Fortune’s furious fickle wheel------
  • FLUELLEN
  • By your patience, Ensign Pistol, Fortune is painted blind, to signify to you that Fortune is blind. Fortune is an excellent moral.
  • PISTOL
  • Fortune is Bardolph’s foe and frowns on him, for he hath stolen a crucifixion and hanged must he be. Exeter hath given the doom of death for crucifixion of little price. Speak captain, for his life.
  • FLUELLEN
  • Certainly ensign, it is not a thing to rejoice at. I would desire the Duke to use his good pleasure and put him to execution, for discipline ought to be used.
  • PISTOL
  • Die and be damned.
  • Pistol exits.
  • GOWER
  • Why, this is an arrant counterfeit rascal.
  • FLUELLEN
  • I’ll assure you he uttered as prave words at the pridge as you shall see in a summer’s day.
  • GOWER
  • Why, ‘tis 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. You must learn to know such slanders of the age, or else you may be marvelously mistook.
  • FLUELLEN
  • 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.
  • King Henry and his poor soldiers enter. The king’s brother, Gloucester, also enters.
  • HENRY
  • How now, Fluellen, cam’st thou from the bridge?
  • FLUELLEN
  • The Duke of Exeter is master of the pridge. I can tell your Majesty, the Duke is a prave man.
  • HENRY
  • What men have you lost, Fluellen?
  • FLUELLEN
  • 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.
  • HENRY
  • We would have all such offenders so cut off. When lenity and cruelty play for a kingdom, the gentler gamester is the soonest winner.
  • Montjoy enters.
  • MONTJOY
  • You know me by my habit.
  • HENRY
  • Well then, I know thee. What shall I know of thee?
  • MONTJOY
  • My master’s mind.
  • HENRY
  • Unfold it.
  • MONTJOY
  • “Say thou to Harry, of England, that we seemed dead, we did but sleep. Tell him we could have rebuked 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. 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. To this, add defiance, and tell him, for conclusion, he hath betrayed his followers, whose condemnation is pronounced.” So far my king and master; so much my office.
  • HENRY
  • What is thy name? I know thy quality.
  • MONTJOY
  • Montjoy.
  • HENRY
  • Thou dost thy office fairly.
  •  
  •  
  • Henry V to Montjoy, No. 1
  •  
  • Please tell thy king I do not seek him now.
  • I’ll march on to Calais, if he allow,
  • For, to say the sooth, though no wisdom to
  • Confess to an advantaged enemy,
  • My people are sick and weak, but those few,
  • When they in health, are a match for many
  • Frenchmen. Yet forgive me, that I do brag
  • Thus. This your foul air of France that doth drag
  • Me to this vice. I’ll repent. Tell thy wise
  • Master my ransom is this frail, worthless
  • Body. Bid thy king that he well advise
  • Himself we plan to pass, if you so bless;
  • But if we be hindered, then we shall your
  • Tawny ground with your red blood discolor.
  • HENRY
  • And so, Montjoy, fare you well.
  • MONTJOY
  • Thanks to your Highness.
  • He exits.
  • GLOUCESTER
  • I hope they will not come upon us now.
  • HENRY
  • We are in God’s hand, brother, not in theirs.
  • They exit.
  • Act 3, Scene 7
  • The Constable, the Dauphin and two French noblemen, Orleans and Rambures, enter.
  • CONSTABLE
  • I have the best armor of the world. Would it were day!
  • ORLEANS
  • You have an excellent armor, but let my horse have his due.
  • CONSTABLE
  • It is the best horse of Europe.
  • ORLEANS
  • Will it never be morning?
  • DAUPHIN
  • What a long night is this! I will not change my horse with any.
  • ORLEANS
  • No more, cousin.
  • DAUPHIN
  • Turn the sands into eloquent tongues, and my horse is argument for them all. I once write a sonnet in his praise and begun thus: “Wonder of nature-----“
  • ORLEANS
  • I have heard a sonnet begin so to one’s mistress.
  • DAUPHIN
  • Then did they imitate that which I composed to my courser, for my horse is my mistress. Will it never be day? ‘Tis midnight. I’ll go arm myself.
  • He exits.
  • ORLEANS
  • The Dauphin longs for morning. He is simply the most active gentleman of France.
  • CONSTABLE
  • Doing is activity, and he will still be doing.
  • ORLEANS
  • He never did harm, that I heard of.
  • CONSTABLE
  • Nor will do none tomorrow. He will keep that good name still.
  • A Messenger enters.
  • MESSENGER
  • My Lord High Constable, the English lie within fifteen hundred paces of your tents.
  • ORLEANS
  • What a wretched and peevish fellow is this King of England to mope with his fat-brained followers so far out of his knowledge.
  • CONSTABLE
  • If the English had any apprehension, they would run away.
  • RAMBURES
  • That island of England breeds very valiant creatures.
  • ORLEANS
  • You may as well say that’s a valiant flea that dare eat his breakfast on the lip of a lion.
  • CONSTABLE
  • Just, just; give them great meals of beef and iron and steel, they will eat like wolves and fight like devils.
  • ORLEANS
  • Ay, but these English are shrewdly out of beef.
  • CONSTABLE
  • Then shall we find tomorrow they have only stomachs to eat and none to fight. Now is it time to arm. Come, shall we be about it?
  • ORLEANS
  • But, let me see, by ten we shall have each a hundred Englishmen.
  • They exit.
  • Act 4, Scene 1
  • King Henry and his brothers, Bedford and Gloucester, are on stage.
  • HENRY
  • Gloucester, ‘tis true that we are in great danger. The greater therefore should our courage be.
  • Erpingham, an officer in the king’s army, enters.
  • HENRY
  • Good morrow, old Sir Thomas Erpingham. A good soft pillow for tht good white head were better than a churlish turf of France.
  • ERPINGHAM
  • Not so, my liege, this lodging likes me better, since I may say “Now lie I like a king.”
  • HENRY
  • ‘Tis good for men to love their present pains. Lend me thy cloak, Sir Thomas.
  • The King puts on Erpingham’s cloak.
  • HENRY
  • Brothers both, commend me to the princes in our camp. Do my good morrow to them.
  • GLOUCESTER
  • We shall, my liege.
  • ERPINGHAM
  • Shall I attend your Grace?
  • HENRY
  • No, my good knight. Go with my brothers to my lords of England.
  • All but the King exit. Pistol enters.
  • PISTOL
  • Who goes there?
  • HENRY
  • A friend.
  • PISTOL
  • Discuss unto me: art thou officer or art thou base, common, and popular?
  • HENRY
  • I am a gentleman of a company. What are you?
  • PISTOL
  • As good a gentleman as the Emperor.
  • HENRY
  • Then you are a better than the King.
  • PISTOL
  • The King’s a fine fellow and a heart of gold, a lad of life, an imp of fame, of parents good, of fist most valiant. I love the lovely bully. What is thy name?
  • HENRY
  • Harry le Roy. I am a Welshman. God be with you.
  • PISTOL
  • My name is Pistol called.
  • He exits.
  • HENRY
  • It sorts well with your fierceness.
  • He steps aside. Fluellen and Gower enter.
  • GOWER
  • Captain Fluellen.
  • FLUELLEN
  • Speak more quietly.
  • GOWER
  • Why, the enemy is loud. You hear him all night.
  • FLUELLEN
  • If the enemy is an ass and a prating fool, think you, that we should also?
  • GOWER
  • I will speak lower.
  • They exit. Three soldiers, Courts, Bates and Williams enter.
  • COURT
  • 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.
  • WILLIAMS
  • We see yonder the beginning of the day, but I think we shall never see the end of it. Who goes there?
  • HENRY
  • A friend.
  • WILIAMS
  • Under what captain serve you?
  • HENRY
  • Under Sir Thomas Erpingham.
  • WILLIAMS
  • I pray you, what thinks he of our estate?
  • HENRY
  • Even as men wracked upon a sand, that look to be washed off the next tide.
  • BATES
  • He hath not told his thought to the King?
  • HENRY
  • No. Nor it is not meet he should, for though I speak it to you, I think the King is but a man as I am. The violet smells to him as it doth to me. When he sees reason of fears as we do, his fears, out of doubt, be of the same relish as ours are. Yet, in reason, no man should possess him with any appearance of fear, lest he, by showing it, should dishearten his army.
  • BATES
  • He may show what outward courage he will, but I believe, as cold a night as ‘tis he could wish himself in Thames up to the neck.
  • HENRY
  • I will speak my conscience of the King. I think he would not wish himself anywhere but where he is.
  • BATES
  • Then I would he were here alone; so should he be sure to be ransomed, and a many poor men’s lives saved.
  • HENRY
  • Methinks I could not die anywhere so contented as in the King’s company, his cause being just and his quarrel honorable.
  • WILLIAMS
  • That’s more than we know.
  • BATES
  • If his cause be wrong, our obedience to the King wipes the crime of it out of us.
  • WILLIAMS
  • But if the cause be not good, the King himself hath a heavy reckoning to make. I am afeard there are few die well that die in a battle. If these men do not die well, it will be a black matter for the king that led them to it.
  • HENRY
  • So, if a son that is by his father sent about merchandise do sinfully miscarry upon the sea, the imputation of his wickedness, by your rule, should be imposed upon his father that sent him.
  •  
  •  
  • Henry V to Bates and Williams
  •  
  • The king’s not bound to answer the endings
  • Of his men, for they purpose not the scenes
  • At their death when they purpose their duty.
  • Besides, if it come to swords, there is no
  • King can win with unspotted soldiers, be
  • His cause never so spotless. These men, though
  • They outstrip law, have no wings to fly from
  • God. War is His form of vengeance, where some
  • Men are punished for before-breach of the
  • King’s law in now his quarrel. No more guilty
  • He if they die unprovided than he
  • Before guilty of their impiety,
  • If they now punished for their foul guilts sown,
  • For here every subject’s soul is his own.
  • HENRY
  • And in him that escapes, it were not sin to think that, making God so free an offer, He let him outlive that day to see His greatness and to teach others how they should prepare.
  • WILLIAMS
  • ‘Tis certain, every man that dies ill, the ill upon his own head; the King is not to answer it.
  • BATES
  • I do not desire he should answer for me, and yet I determine to fight lustily for him.
  • HENRY
  • I myself heard the King say he would not be ransomed.
  • WILLIAMS
  • Ay, he said so to make us fight cheerfully, but when our throats are cut, he may be ransomed and we ne’er the wiser.
  • HENRY
  • If I live to see it, I will never thrust his word after.
  • WILLIAMS
  • You’ll “never trust his word after.” Come, ‘tis a foolish saying.
  • HENRY
  • I should be angry with you if the time were convenient.
  • WILLIAMS
  • Let it be a quarrel between us, if you live.
  • HENRY
  • I embrace it.
  • WILLIAMS
  • How shall I know thee again?
  • HENRY
  • Give me any gage of thine, and I will wear it in my bonnet.
  • They exchange gloves.
  • BATES
  • Be friends, you English fools, be friends. We have French quarrels enough.
  • HENRY
  • Indeed.
  • The soldiers exit.
  •  
  •  
  • Henry V to himself, No. 1
  •  
  • What infinite heart’s ease must kings neglect
  • That private men enjoy? Do kings detect
  • What privates see not, save ceremony?
  • O ceremony, show me they worth! When
  • Else art thou aught but place, form and degree,
  • Creating awe and fear in other men,
  • Wherein thou art less happy, being feared,
  • Than they in fearing? Drink from thy tankard
  • But poisoned flattery? Ceremony
  • Laid in bed majestical cannot sleep
  • So soundly as the slave, with a body
  • Filled and vacant mind. Lo, the king doth weep
  • From sleepless nights to maintain the present
  • Peace, that best advantages the peasant.
  • Erpingham enters.
  • ERPINGHAM
  • My lord, your nobles, jealous of your absence, seek through your camp to find you.
  • HENRY
  • Good old knight, collect them all together at my tent. I’ll be before thee.
  • Erpingham exits.
  •  
  •  
  • Henry V to himself, No. 2
  •  
  • Make firm with courage my soldiers’ hearts, O
  • God, that neither they weaken or be so
  • Possessed with fear that th’ opposed numbers
  • Pluck their hearts from them. O, think not today,
  • Lord, upon the fault made with my father’s
  • Taking the crown. I’ve shed more tears where lay
  • Richard’s body than from it issued drops
  • Of blood. The poor, in my pay that ne’er stops,
  • Each, twice a day, hold up a withered hand
  • Toward heaven to pardon blood. And for
  • Richard’s soul in two chapels the sad and
  • Solemn priests still sing and pray each day. More
  • Will I do, yet, with all my ill time spent
  • My pardon’s nothing worth, I still repent.
  • Gloucester enters.
  • HENRY
  • My brother Gloucester. Ay, I know thy errand. I will go with thee.
  • They exit.
  • Act 4, Scene 2
  • The Dauphin, Orleans and Rambures are on stage.
  • ORLEANS
  • The sun doth gild our armor. Up, my lords.
  • Constable enters.
  • CONSTABLE
  • Hark how our steeds for present service neigh.
  • A Messenger enters.
  • MESSENGER
  • The English are embattled, you French peers.
  • CONSTABLE
  • To horse, you gallant princes, straight to horse. Do but behold yond poor and starved band, and your fair show shall such away their souls, leaving them but the shales and husks of men. What’s to say? A very little little let us do, and all is done. Our approach shall so much dare the field that England shall couch down in fear and yield.
  • Lord Grandpre’, a French noble, enters.
  • GRANDPRE’
  • Why do you stay so long, my lords of France? The horsemen sit like fixed candlesticks with torch staves in their hand. Description cannot suit itself in words to demonstrate the life of such a battle in life so lifeless, as it shows itself.
  • CONSTABLE
  • They have said their prayers, and they stay for death. Come, come away. The sun is high, and we outwear the day.
  • They exit.
  • Act 4, Scene 3
  • Gloucester, Bedford, Exeter, Erpingham, Westmoreland and Salisbury are on stage.
  • GLOUCESTER
  • Where is the King?
  • BEDFORD
  • The King himself is rode to view their battle.
  • WESTMORELAND
  • Of fighting men they have full threescore thousand.
  • EXETER
  • There’s five to one. Besides, they all are fresh.
  • SALISBURY
  • If we no more meet till we meet in heaven, then joyfully, warriors all, adieu.
  • BEDFORD
  • Farewell, good Salisbury, and good luck go with thee. And yet I do thee wrong to mind thee of it.
  • EXETER
  • Farewell, kind lord. Fight valiantly today.
  • Salisbury exits.
  • BEDFORD
  • He is as full of valor as of kindness, princely in both.
  • Henry V enters.
  • WESTMORELAND
  • But one ten thousand of those men in England that do no work today.
  • HENRY
  • What’s he that wishes so? My cousin Westmoreland? No, my fair cousin.
  •  
  •  
  • Henry V to Westmoreland
  •  
  • If we are marked to die, we’re men enough
  • To do our country proud; and if we’re tough
  • Enough to live, we share the honor. By
  • Jove, I am not covetous of gold; if
  • It be a sin to covet honor, I
  • Am the most offending soul. To this tiff,
  • Coz, wish not one man more to share so great
  • An honor. This is ours to be. This date
  • Is called the feast of Crispian. We band
  • Of brothers; he who sheds blood shall be first
  • My brother, we few. Those men in England
  • Now in bed shall think of themselves accursed
  • And hold their manhood’s cheap, never to say
  • They fought with us upon Saint Crispin’s day.
  • Salisbury enters.
  • SALISBURY
  • My sovereign lord, the French are bravely in their battles set, and will with all expedience charge on us.
  • HENRY
  • All things are ready if our minds be so.
  • WESTMORELAND
  • Perish the man whose mind is backward now!
  • HENRY
  • Thou dost not wish more help from England, coz?
  • WESTMORELAND
  • God’s will, my liege, would you and I alone, without more help, could fight this royal battle.
  • HENRY
  • You know your places. God be with you all.
  • Montjoy enters.
  • MONTJOY
  • Once more I come to know of thee, King Henry, if for thy ransom thou wilt now compound, before thy most assured overthrow.
  • HENRY
  • Who hath sent thee now?
  • MONTJOY
  • The Constable of France.
  • HENRY
  • I pray thee bear my former answer back. 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.
  •  
  •  
  • Henry V to Montjoy, No. 2
  •  
  • No doubt, many of our bodies shall find
  • English graves, with their honor ever lined
  • With this day’s work. Those shall be famed who leave
  • Their hero bones in France, dying like men,
  • Leaving their earthly parts, whose lives we’ll grieve,
  • To breed in your dunghills a death plague. Then
  • Our valiant English, being dead, shall cause
  • A second course of mischief. Ere this pause,
  • Time has worn us into slovenry, yet
  • Soon my poor soldiers will be in fresher
  • Robes, plucking your soldiers gay new coats. Let
  • Thee ask for no more ransom; save thy labor,
  • Or others’ that the Constable appoints,
  • For the French shall have none but these my joints.
  • HENRY
  • Tell the Constable.
  • MONTJOY
  • I shall, King Harry. And so fare thee well. Thou never shalt hear herald anymore.
  • HENRY
  • I fear thou wilt once more come again for a ransom.
  • Montjoy exits. The Duke of York enters. York is Aumerle, Cambridge’s brother, Cambridge having been hanged earlier by the King as a traitor.
  • YORK KNEELING
  • I beg the leading of the vaward.
  • HENRY
  • Take it, brave York.
  • York rises.
  • HENRY
  • Now, soldiers, march away.
  • They exit.
  • Act 4, Scene 4
  • Pistol, a French soldier and boy are on stage.
  • PISTOL
  • Yield, cur. Come hither, boy. Ask me this slave in French what is his name.
  • BOY
  • He says his name is Master Fer.
  • PISTOL
  • Bid him prepare, for I will cut his throat. What are his words?
  • BOY
  • He prays you to save his life. He is a gentleman of a good house, and for his ransom he will give you two hundred crowns.
  • PISTOL
  • Tell him my fury shall abate, and I the crowns will take. Expound unto me, boy.
  • BOY
  • He gives you upon his knees a thousand thanks, and he esteems himself happy that he hath fall’n into the hands of the most brave, valorous, and thrice-worthy seigneur of England.
  • PISTOL
  • I will some mercy show. Follow me.
  • The French soldier and Pistol exit.
  • BOY
  • I did never know so full a voice issue from so empty a heart. Bardolph and Nym had ten times more valor than this roaring devil i’ th’ old play, and they are both hanged. I must stay with the lackeys with the luggage of our camp.
  • He exits.
  • Act 4, Scene 5
  • The constable, Orleans, Bourbon, Dauphin and Rambures are on stage.
  • DAUPHIN
  • All is confounded, all! Reproach and everlasting shame sits mocking in our plumes.
  • CONSTABLE
  • Why, all our ranks are broke.
  • DAUPHIN
  • O perdurable shame! Let’s stab ourselves. Be these the wretches that we played at dice for?
  • ORLEANS
  • Is this the king we sent to for his ransom?
  • BOURBON
  • Shame, and eternal shame, nothing but shame! Let us die.
  • CONSTABLE
  • Disorder, that hath spoiled us, friend us now.
  • ORLEANS
  • We are enough yet living in the field to smother up the English in our throngs, if any order might be thought upon.
  • BOURBON
  • The devil take order now! I’ll to the throng. Let life be short, else shame will be too long.
  • They exit.
  • Act 4, Scene 6
  • King Henry, his troops and his prisoners are on stage.
  • HENRY
  • Well have we done, thrice-valiant countrymen, but all’s not done.
  • Exeter enters.
  • EXETER
  • The Duke of York commends him to your Majesty.
  • HENRY
  • Lives he, good uncle? Thrice within this hour I saw him down, thrice up again and fighting.
  • EXETER
  • In which array, brave soldier, doth he lie, and by his bloody side, the noble Earl of Suffolk also lies. Suffolk first died. I came and cheered him up. He held me this hand, and with a feeble grip, says “Dear my lord, commend my service to my sovereign.” I had not so much of man in me, and all my mother came into mine eyes and gave me up to tears.
  • HENRY
  • I blame you not.
  • An alarum sounds.
  • HENRY
  • But hark, what new alarum is this same? The French have reinforced their scattered men. Then every soldier kill his prisoners.
  • They exit.
  • Act 4, Scene 7
  • Fluellen and Gower enter.
  • FLUELLEN
  • Kill the poys and the luggage! ‘Tis expressly against the law of arms.
  • GOWER
  • The King, most worthily, hath caused every soldier to cut his prisoner’s throat. O, ‘tis a gallant king!
  • FLUELLEN
  • Ay, he was porn at Monmouth, Captain Gower. What call you the town’s name where Alexander the Pig was born?
  • GOWER
  • I think Alexander the Great was born in Macedon. His father was called Philip of Macedon, as I take it.
  • FLUELLEN
  • I warrant you sall find, in the comparisons between Macedon and Monmouth, that the situations, look you, is both alike. Alexander did, in his ales and his angers, look you, kill his best friend, Cleitus.
  • GOWER
  • Our king is not like him in that. He never killed any of his friends.
  • FLUELLEN
  • As Alexander killed his friend Cleitus, so also Harry Monmouth, being in his right wits and his good judgments, turned away the fat knight with the great-belly doublet;------I have forgot his name.
  • GOWER
  • Sir John Falstaff.
  • FLUELLEN
  • That is he. I’ll tell you, there is good men porn at Monmouth.
  • GOWER
  • Here comes his Majesty.
  • Alarum. King Harry, Exeter, Warwick , Gloucester, and Bourbon with other prisoners.
  • HENRY
  • I was not angry since I came to France until this instant. Take a trumpet, herald. Ride thou unto the horsemen on yond hill. If they will fight with us, bid them come down, or void the field. If they’ll do neither, we will come to them and make them skirr away.
  • Montjoy enters.
  • GLOUCESTER
  • His eyes are humbler than they use to be.
  • HENRY
  • How now, what means this, herald? Com’st thou again for ransom?
  • MONTJOY
  • 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. O, give us leave, great king, to view the field in safety and dispose of their dead bodies.
  • HENRY
  • I tell thee truly, herald, I know not if the day be ours or no.
  • MONTJOY
  • The day is yours.
  • HENRY
  • What is this castle called that stands hard by?
  • MONTJOY
  • They call it Agincourt.
  • HENRY
  • Then call we this the field of Agincourt, fought on the day of Crispin Crispianus.
  • FLUELLEN
  • Your grandfather of famous memory, an ‘t please your Majesty, and your great-uncle Edward the Plact Prince of Wales, as I have read in the chronicles, fought a most prave pattle here in France.
  • HENRY
  • They did, Fluellen.
  • FLUELLEN
  • If your Majesties is remembered of it, the Welshmen did good service in a garden where leeks did grow, wearing leeks in their Monmouth caps. I do believe your Majesty takes no scorn to wear the leek upon Saint Tavy’s day.
  • HENRY
  • I wear it for a memorable honor, for I am Welsh, you know, good countryman.
  • FLUELLEN
  • All the water in Wye cannot wash your Majesty’s Welsh plod out of your pody, I can tell you that.
  • HENRY
  • Thanks, good my countryman.
  • FLUELLEN
  • I am your Majesty’s countryman. I need not to be ashamed of your Majesty, praised be God, so long as your Majesty is an honest man.
  • HENRY
  • God keep me so. Bring me just notice of the numbers dead on both our parts.
  • Montjoy, English Heralds, and Gower exit. Williams enters.
  • HENRY
  • Soldier, why wear’st thou that glove in they cap?
  • WILLIAMS
  • An ‘t please your Majesty, a rascal that swaggered with me last night, who I have sworn to take him a box o’ th’ ear, or if I can see my glove in his cap, which he swore he would wear if alive, I will strike it out soundly.
  • HENRY
  • What think you, Captain Fluellen, is it fit this soldier keep his oath?
  • FLUELLEN
  • He is a craven and a villain else.
  • HENRY
  • Then keep thy vow, sirrah, when thou meet’st the fellow.
  • WILLIAMS
  • So I will, my liege, as I live.
  • HENRY
  • Who serv’st thou under?
  • WILLIAMS
  • Under Captain Glower, my liege.
  • FLUELLEN
  • Gower is a good captain.
  • HENRY
  • Call him hither to me, soldier.
  • WILLIAMS
  • I will, my liege.
  • He exits. King Henry give Fluellen Williams’ glove.
  • HENRY
  • Here, Fluellen, wear thou this favor for me, and stick it in thy cap. If any man challenge this, apprehend him, an thou dost me love.
  • Fluellen puts the glove in his cap.
  • HENRY
  • Know’st thou Gower?
  • FLUELLEN
  • He is my dear friend, an please you.
  • HENRY
  • Pray thee, go seek him, and bring him to my tent.
  • Fluellen exits.
  • HENRY
  • My Lord of Warwick and my brother Gloucester, follow Fluellen closely at the heels. The glove which I have given him for a favor may haply purchase him a box o’ th’ ear. It is the soldier’s. I by bargain should wear it myself. Follow, and see there be no harm between them.
  • They exit.
  • Act 4, Scene 8
  • Gower and Williams are on stage.
  • Fluellen enters, wearing Williams’ glove in his cap. Williams points to the glove in his own cap.
  • WILLIAMS
  • Sir, know you this glove?
  • FLUELLEN
  • Know the glove? I know the glove is a glove.
  • WILLIAMS
  • I know this, and thus I challenge it.
  • Williams strikes him.
  • FLUELLEN
  • Stand away, Captain Gower. I will give treason his payment into plows.
  • WILLIAMS
  • I am no traitor.
  • FLUELLEN
  • That’s a lie in thy throat.
  • Warwick and Gloucester enter.
  • WARWICK
  • What’s the matter?
  • FLUELLEN
  • My Lord of Warwick, here is a most contagious treason come to light.
  • King Henry and Exeter enter.
  • HENRY
  • How now, what’s the matter?
  • WILLIAMS
  • My liege, this was my glove. 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.
  • FLUELLEN
  • Your Majesty, hear me know, saving your Majesty’s manhood, what a rotten, rascally, lousy knave it is.
  • HENRY TO WILLIAMS
  • Give me thy glove, soldier. ‘Twas I indeed thou promised’st to strike, and thou hast given me most bitter terms.
  • FLUELLEN
  • An please your Majesty, let his neck answer for it.
  • HENRY TO WILLIAMS
  • How canst thou make me satisfaction?
  • WILLIAMS
  • All offenses, my lord, come from the heart. Never came any from mine that might offend your Majesty.
  • HENRY
  • It was ourself thou didst abuse.
  • WILLIAMS
  • Your Majesty came not like yourself. I beseech your Highness pardon me.
  • HENRY
  • Here, uncle Exeter, fill this glove with crowns and give it to this fellow. Keep it, fellow. And captain, you must needs be friends with him.
  • An English Herald enters.
  • HENRY
  • Now, herald, are the dead numbered?
  • The Herald gives a paper to the King.
  • HENRY
  • This note doth tell me of ten thousand French that in the field lie slain.
  • The Herald gives him another paper.
  • HENRY
  • Edward the Duke of York and the Earl of Suffolk; 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! Was ever known so great and little loss on one part and on th’ other? Take it, God, for it is none but thine.
  • EXETER
  • ‘Tis wonderful
  • HENRY
  • Come and be it death proclaimed through our host to boast of this or take that praise from God which is His only.
  • FLUELLEN
  • Is it not lawful to tell how many is killed?
  • HENRY
  • Yes, captain, but with this acknowledgment: that God fought for us.
  • FLUELLEN
  • He did us great good.
  • They exit.
  • Act 5, Scene 1
  • Fluellen and Gower are on stage.
  • GOWER
  • Why wear you your leek today?
  • FLUELLEN
  • I will tell you my friend, Captain Gower. The rascally, scald, beggarly knave Pistol, of no merits, he is come to me and prings me pread and salt yesterday, look you, and bid me eat my leek. I will be so bold as to wear it in my cap till I see him once again, and then I will tell him a little piece of my desires.
  • Pistol enters.
  • FLUELLEN
  • I peseech you scurvy, lousy knave to eat, look you, this leek. Because you do not love it, I would desire you to eat it.
  • GOWER
  • Enough, captain. You have astonished him.
  • FLUELLEN
  • I say I will make him eat some part of my leek, or I will peat his pate four days.
  • PISTOL
  • Must I bite?
  • FLUELLEN
  • Eat, I pray you.
  • PISTOL
  • Quiet thy cudgel. Thou dost see I eat.
  • FLUELLEN
  • Ay, leeks is good.
  • He exits.
  • PISTOL
  • All hell shall stir for this.
  • GOWER
  • Go, go. You are a counterfeit cowardly knave. You thought because he could not speak English in the native garb, he could not therefore handle an English cudgel. You find it otherwise. Fare you well.
  • He exits.
  • PISTOL
  • To England will I steal, and there I’ll steal. And patches will I get unto these cudgeled scars, and swear I got them in the Gallia wars.
  • He exits.
  • Act 5, Scene 2
  • King Henry, Exeter, Bedford, Warwick and Westmoreland enter from one door. The King and Queen of France, the Princess Katherine, the Duke of Burgundy and others enter from another door.
  • HENRY
  • Peace to this meeting wherefor we are met. Unto our brother France and to our sister, health and fair time of day.
  • KING OF FRANCE
  • Right joyous are we to behold your face, most worthy brother England.
  • QUEEN OF FRANCE
  • So happy be the issue, brother England. We are now glad to behold your eyes. The venom of such looks, we fairly hope, have lost their quality, and that this day shall change all griefs and quarrels into love.
  • HENRY
  • To cry “Amen” to that.
  • BURGUNDY
  • My duty to you both, on equal love, great kings of France and England. Let it not disgrace me if I demand before this royal view what rub or what impediment there is why we should not in this best garden of the world, our fertile France, put up her lovely visage?
  •  
  •  
  • Burgundy to the Kings
  •  
  • Alas, peace hath from France too long been chased,
  • Where her husbandry doth now lie in waste,
  • Corrupting her fertility. Her vine,
  • The gay cheerer of the heart, unpruned, dies.
  • Her fallow fields now unplanted, once fine
  • For cowslips and green clover wanting scythes,
  • Teems with thistles and weeds, losing beauty
  • And utility. We have, our country,
  • Ourselves and children, lost the sciences
  • That should become us. Majesties, you are
  • Assembled to reduce us to what was
  • Our former favor. What remains to bar
  • Us from comfort and let gentle peace please
  • And bless us with her former qualities.
  • HENRY
  • If, Duke of Burgundy, you would the peace, you must buy that with full accord to all our just demands.
  • KING OF FRANCE
  • I have but with a cursitory eye o’erglanced the articles. Pleaseth your Grace to appoint some of your council presently to sit with us once more with better heed to resurvey them.
  • HENRY
  • Brother, we shall. Go, uncle Exeter, and brother Clarence, and you brother Gloucester, go with the King, and take with you free power to ratify, augment, or alter, as your wisdoms best shall see advantageable for our dignity. Will you, fair sister, go with the princes or stay here with us?
  • QUEEN OF FRANCE
  • Our gracious brother, I will go with them. Haply a woman’s voice may do some good when articles too nicely urged be stood on.
  • HENRY
  • Yet leave our cousin Katherine here with us. She is our capital demand.
  • QUEEN OF FRANCE
  • She hath good leave.
  • All but Henry V, Katherine, and Alice, her English teacher, exit.
  • HENRY
  • Fair Katherine, will you vouchsafe to teach a soldier terms to plead his love-suit to her gentle heart?
  • KATHERINE
  • I cannot speak your England.
  • HENRY
  • Do you like me, Kate?
  • KATHERINE
  • I cannot tell wat is “like me.”
  • HENRY
  • An angel is like you, Kate, and you are like an angel.
  •  
  •  
  • Henry V to Katherine, No. 1
  •  
  • I’m glad thou canst speak no better English;
  • If thou couldst, thou surely wouldst wish
  • To find me a less plain king, one who could
  • Say “I love you” with more eloquence than
  • I. I’ve not rhymes of a poet and should
  • Have more measure in my step. If a man
  • Who could win at leapfrog, I’d soon a wife.
  • I’ve oaths before God, Kate, which in this life
  • I use not till urged and never break for
  • Urging. There are men of varied tongues who
  • Can rhyme themselves to ladies’ favors; or,
  • Take a plain and constant man who must do
  • Thee right, for he hath, with all God’s graces,
  • Not the gift to woo in other places.
  • KATHERINE
  • I cannot tell wat is dat.
  •  
  •  
  • Henry V to Katherine, No. 2
  •  
  • These men of infinite tongue do always
  • Reason themselves out again. Rhymers gaze
  • As idle praters; poems are but ballads,
  • A straight back will stoop, a good leg will wear
  • Thin, a full black beard will turn white, a lad’s
  • Pate of curly hair will grow bald, a fair
  • Face’ll wither and a full eye wax hollow,
  • But a good heart, as the sun, doth shine so
  • Bright and never changes but keeps its course
  • Truly. If thou would have such a one, take
  • Me. Kate, do dare to love England’s new force
  • For France? You should love me for France’s sake,
  • For I love France, to be mine, which is fine;
  • I’m yours, then yours is France, and you are mine.
  • HENRY
  • But, Kate, dost thou understand this much English? Canst thou love me?
  • KATHERINE
  • I cannot tell.
  • HENRY
  • Good Kate, mock me mercifully because I love thee cruelly. If ever thou beest mine, Kate, thou must therefore needs prove a good soldier-breeder. What say’st thou, my fair flower de luce?
  • KATHERINE
  • I do not know dat.
  • HENRY
  • No, ‘tis hereafter to know, but now to promise.
  •  
  •  
  • Henry V to Katherine, No. 3
  •  
  • By mine honor, in true English, I love
  • Thee, fair Kate. My father was thinking of
  • Civil wars when he got me, creating
  • Me with a stubborn hide, that frights ladies
  • When I woo. But in faith, notwithstanding
  • The poor look of my face, Kate, that agrees
  • Not with me, I shall appear the better
  • With age; a face not worth sun burning. Were
  • It not my comfort that old age can do
  • No more spoil to my face, I’d be not well.
  • If thou wilt have me at the worst, then you
  • With time shalt have me for the better. Tell
  • Me, in your voice that’s music, queen may be,
  • In thy English broken, wilt thou have me?
  • KATHERINE
  • Dat is as it shall please my father.
  • HENRY
  • Nay, it will please him well, Kate; it shall please him, Kate.
  • KATHERINE
  • Den it sall also content me.
  • HENRY
  • Upon that I kiss your hand, and I call you my queen.
  • The French King and Queen, Burgundy, Westmoreland and Exeter enter.
  • BURGUNDY
  • My royal cousin, teach you our princess English?
  • HENRY
  • I would have her learn, my fair cousin, how perfectly I love her, and that is good English.
  • BURGUNDY
  • Is she not apt?
  • HENRY
  • Our tongue is rough, coz, and my condition is not smooth.
  • BURGUNDY
  • If you would conjure in her, you must make a circle. It were, my lord, a hard condition for a maid to consign to.
  • HENRY
  • Yet they do wink and yield, as love is blind and enforces.
  • BURGUNDY
  • They are then excused my lord, when they see not what they do.
  • HENRY
  • Then, good my lord, teach your cousin to consent winking.
  • BURGUNDY
  • I will wink on her to consent.
  • HENRY
  • Shall Kate be my wife?
  • KING OF FRANCE
  • So please you. We have consented to all terms of reason.
  • HENRY
  • Is ‘t so, my lords of England?
  • WESTMORELAND
  • The King hath granted every article, his daughter first, and, in sequel, all, according to their firm proposed natures.
  • KING OF FRANCE
  • Take her, fair son, and from her blood raise up issue to me, that the contending kingdoms of France and England, whose very shores look pale with envy of each other’s happiness, may cease their hatred, and this dear conjunction plant neighborhood and Christian-like accord in their bosoms, that never war advance his bleeding sword ‘twixt England and fair France.
  • LORDS
  • Amen.
  • HENRY
  • Now welcome, Kate, and bear me witness all that here I kiss her as my sovereign queen.
  • He kisses her.
  • QUEEN OF FRANCE
  • God, the best make of all marriages, combine your hearts in one, your realms in one. As man and wife, being two, are one in love, so be there ‘twixt your kingdoms such a spousal that England may be French, French Englishmen, and receive each other. God speak this Amen!
  • They exit.

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