Henry V, by William Shakespeare

Act II

Prologue

Enter Chorus

Chorus

Now all the youth of England are on fire,
And silken dalliance in the wardrobe lies:
Now thrive the armourers, and honour’s thought
Reigns solely in the breast of every man:
They sell the pasture now to buy the horse,
Following the mirror of all Christian kings,
With winged heels, as English Mercuries.
For now sits Expectation in the air,
And hides a sword from hilts unto the point
With crowns imperial, crowns and coronets,
Promised to Harry and his followers.
The French, advised by good intelligence
Of this most dreadful preparation,
Shake in their fear and with pale policy
Seek to divert the English purposes.
O England! model to thy inward greatness,
Like little body with a mighty heart,
What mightst thou do, that honour would thee do,
Were all thy children kind and natural!
But see thy fault! France hath in thee found out
A nest of hollow bosoms, which he fills
With treacherous crowns; and three corrupted men,
One, Richard Earl of Cambridge, and the second,
Henry Lord Scroop of Masham, and the third,
Sir Thomas Grey, knight, of Northumberland,
Have, for the gilt of France — O guilt indeed!
Confirm’d conspiracy with fearful France;
And by their hands this grace of kings must die,
If hell and treason hold their promises,
Ere he take ship for France, and in Southampton.
Linger your patience on; and we’ll digest
The abuse of distance; force a play:
The sum is paid; the traitors are agreed;
The king is set from London; and the scene
Is now transported, gentles, to Southampton;
There is the playhouse now, there must you sit:
And thence to France shall we convey you safe,
And bring you back, charming the narrow seas
To give you gentle pass; for, if we may,
We’ll not offend one stomach with our play.
But, till the king come forth, and not till then,
Unto Southampton do we shift our scene.

Exit

Scene I. London. A street.

Enter Corporal Nym and Lieutenant Bardolph

Bardolph

Well met, Corporal Nym.

Nym

Good morrow, Lieutenant Bardolph.

Bardolph

What, are Ancient Pistol and you friends yet?

Nym

For my part, I care not: I say little; but when time shall serve, there shall be smiles; but that shall be as it may. I dare not fight; but I will wink and hold out mine iron: it is a simple one; but what though? it will toast cheese, and it will endure cold as another man’s sword will: and there’s an end.

Bardolph

I will bestow a breakfast to make you friends; and we’ll be all three sworn brothers to France: let it be so, good Corporal Nym.

Nym

Faith, I will live so long as I may, that’s the certain of it; and when I cannot live any longer, I will do as I may: that is my rest, that is the rendezvous of it.

Bardolph

It is certain, corporal, that he is married to Nell Quickly: and certainly she did you wrong; for you were troth-plight to her.

Nym

I cannot tell: things must be as they may: men may sleep, and they may have their throats about them at that time; and some say knives have edges. It must be as it may: though patience be a tired mare, yet she will plod. There must be conclusions. Well, I cannot tell.

Enter Pistol and Hostess

Bardolph

Here comes Ancient Pistol and his wife: good corporal, be patient here. How now, mine host Pistol!

Pistol

Base tike, call’st thou me host? Now, by this hand,
I swear, I scorn the term; Nor shall my Nell keep lodgers.

Hostess

No, by my troth, not long; for we cannot lodge and board a dozen or fourteen gentlewomen that live honestly by the prick of their needles, but it will be thought we keep a bawdy house straight.

Nym and Pistol draw

O well a day, Lady, if he be not drawn now! we shall see wilful adultery and murder committed.

Bardolph

Good lieutenant! good corporal! offer nothing here.

Nym

Pish!

Pistol

Pish for thee, Iceland dog! thou prick-ear’d cur of Iceland!

Hostess

Good Corporal Nym, show thy valour, and put up your sword.

Nym

Will you shog off? I would have you solus.

Pistol

‘solus,’ egregious dog? O viper vile!
The ‘solus’ in thy most mervailous face;
The ‘solus’ in thy teeth, and in thy throat,
And in thy hateful lungs, yea, in thy maw, perdy,
And, which is worse, within thy nasty mouth!
I do retort the ‘solus’ in thy bowels;
For I can take, and Pistol’s cock is up,
And flashing fire will follow.

Nym

I am not Barbason; you cannot conjure me. I have an humour to knock you indifferently well. If you grow foul with me, Pistol, I will scour you with my rapier, as I may, in fair terms: if you would walk off, I would prick your guts a little, in good terms, as I may: and that’s the humour of it.

Pistol

O braggart vile and damned furious wight!
The grave doth gape, and doting death is near;
Therefore exhale.

Bardolph

Hear me, hear me what I say: he that strikes the first stroke, I’ll run him up to the hilts, as I am a soldier.

Draws

Pistol

An oath of mickle might; and fury shall abate.
Give me thy fist, thy fore-foot to me give:
Thy spirits are most tall.

Nym

I will cut thy throat, one time or other, in fair terms: that is the humour of it.

Pistol

‘Couple a gorge!’
That is the word. I thee defy again.
O hound of Crete, think’st thou my spouse to get?
No; to the spital go,
And from the powdering tub of infamy
Fetch forth the lazar kite of Cressid’s kind,
Doll Tearsheet she by name, and her espouse:
I have, and I will hold, the quondam Quickly
For the only she; and — pauca, there’s enough. Go to.

Enter the Boy

Boy

Mine host Pistol, you must come to my master, and you, hostess: he is very sick, and would to bed. Good Bardolph, put thy face between his sheets, and do the office of a warming-pan. Faith, he’s very ill.

Bardolph

Away, you rogue!

Hostess

By my troth, he’ll yield the crow a pudding one of these days. The king has killed his heart. Good husband, come home presently.

Exeunt Hostess and Boy

Bardolph

Come, shall I make you two friends? We must to France together: why the devil should we keep knives to cut one another’s throats?

Pistol

Let floods o’erswell, and fiends for food howl on!

Nym

You’ll pay me the eight shillings I won of you at betting?

Pistol

Base is the slave that pays.

Nym

That now I will have: that’s the humour of it.

Pistol

As manhood shall compound: push home.

They draw

Bardolph

By this sword, he that makes the first thrust, I’ll kill him; by this sword, I will.

Pistol

Sword is an oath, and oaths must have their course.

Bardolph

Corporal Nym, an thou wilt be friends, be friends: an thou wilt not, why, then, be enemies with me too. Prithee, put up.

Nym

I shall have my eight shillings I won of you at betting?

Pistol

A noble shalt thou have, and present pay;
And liquor likewise will I give to thee,
And friendship shall combine, and brotherhood:
I’ll live by Nym, and Nym shall live by me;
Is not this just? for I shall sutler be
Unto the camp, and profits will accrue.
Give me thy hand.

Nym

I shall have my noble?

Pistol

In cash most justly paid.

Nym

Well, then, that’s the humour of’t.

Re-enter Hostess

Hostess

As ever you came of women, come in quickly to Sir John. Ah, poor heart! he is so shaked of a burning quotidian tertian, that it is most lamentable to behold. Sweet men, come to him.

Nym

The king hath run bad humours on the knight; that’s the even of it.

Pistol

Nym, thou hast spoke the right;
His heart is fracted and corroborate.

Nym

The king is a good king: but it must be as it may; he passes some humours and careers.

Pistol

Let us condole the knight; for, lambkins we will live.

Scene II. Southampton. A council-chamber.

Enter Exeter, Bedford, and Westmoreland

Bedford

’Fore God, 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!
As if allegiance in their bosoms sat,
Crowned with faith and constant loyalty.

Bedford

The king hath note of all that they intend,
By interception which they dream not of.

Exeter

Nay, but the man that was his bedfellow,
Whom he hath dull’d and cloy’d with gracious favours,
That he should, for a foreign purse, so sell
His sovereign’s life to death and treachery.

Trumpets sound. Enter King Henry V, Scroop, Cambridge, Grey, and Attendants

King Henry V

Now sits the wind fair, and we will aboard.
My Lord of Cambridge, and my kind Lord of Masham,
And you, my gentle knight, give me your thoughts:
Think you not that the powers we bear with us
Will cut their passage through the force of France,
Doing the execution and the act
For which we have in head assembled them?

Scroop

No doubt, my liege, if each man do his best.

King Henry V

I doubt not that; since we are well persuaded
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 on us.

Cambridge

Never was monarch better fear’d and loved
Than is your majesty: there’s not, I think, a subject
That sits in heart-grief and uneasiness
Under the sweet shade of your government.

Grey

True: those that were your father’s enemies
Have steep’d their galls in honey and do serve you
With hearts create of duty and of zeal.

King Henry V

We therefore have great cause of thankfulness;
And shall forget the office of our hand,
Sooner than quittance of desert and merit
According to the weight and worthiness.

Scroop

So service shall with steeled sinews toil,
And labour shall refresh itself with hope,
To do your grace incessant services.

King Henry V

We judge no less. Uncle of Exeter,
Enlarge the man committed yesterday,
That rail’d against our person: we consider
It was excess of wine that set him on;
And on his more advice we pardon him.

Scroop

That’s mercy, but too much security:
Let him be punish’d, sovereign, lest example
Breed, by his sufferance, more of such a kind.

King Henry V

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.

King Henry V

Alas, your too much love and care of me
Are heavy orisons ’gainst this poor wretch!
If little faults, proceeding on distemper,
Shall not be wink’d at, how shall we stretch our eye
When capital crimes, chew’d, swallow’d and digested,
Appear before us? We’ll yet enlarge that man,
Though Cambridge, Scroop and Grey, in their dear care
And tender preservation of our person,
Would have him punished. And now to our French causes:
Who are the late commissioners?

Cambridge

I one, my lord:
Your highness bade me ask for it to-day.

Scroop

So did you me, my liege.

Grey

And I, my royal sovereign.

King Henry V

Then, Richard Earl of Cambridge, there is yours;
There yours, Lord Scroop of Masham; and, sir knight,
Grey of Northumberland, this same is yours:
Read them; and know, I know your worthiness.
My Lord of Westmoreland, and uncle Exeter,
We will aboard to night. Why, how now, gentlemen!
What see you in those papers that you lose
So much complexion? Look ye, how they change!
Their cheeks are paper. Why, what read you there
That hath so cowarded and chased your blood
Out of appearance?

Cambridge

  I do confess my fault;
And do submit me to your highness’ mercy.

Grey

Scroop

To which we all appeal.

King Henry V

The mercy that was quick in us but late,
By your own counsel is suppress’d and kill’d:
You must not dare, for shame, to talk of mercy;
For your own reasons turn into your bosoms,
As dogs upon their masters, worrying you.
See you, my princes, and my noble peers,
These English monsters! My Lord of Cambridge here,
You know how apt our love was to accord
To furnish him with all appertinents
Belonging to his honour; and this man
Hath, for a few light crowns, lightly conspired,
And sworn unto the practises of France,
To kill us here in Hampton: to the which
This knight, no less for bounty bound to us
Than Cambridge is, hath likewise sworn. But, O,
What shall I say to thee, Lord Scroop? thou cruel,
Ingrateful, savage and inhuman creature!
Thou that didst bear the key of all my counsels,
That knew’st the very bottom of my soul,
That almost mightst have coin’d me into gold,
Wouldst thou have practised on me for thy use,
May it be possible, that foreign hire
Could out of thee extract one spark of evil
That might annoy my finger? ’tis so strange,
That, though the truth of it stands off as gross
As black and white, my eye will scarcely see it.
Treason and murder ever kept together,
As two yoke-devils sworn to either’s purpose,
Working so grossly in a natural cause,
That admiration did not whoop at them:
But thou, ’gainst all proportion, didst bring in
Wonder to wait on treason and on murder:
And whatsoever cunning fiend it was
That wrought upon thee so preposterously
Hath got the voice in hell for excellence:
All other devils that suggest by treasons
Do botch and bungle up damnation
With patches, colours, and with forms being fetch’d
From glistering semblances of piety;
But he that temper’d thee bade thee stand up,
Gave thee no instance why thou shouldst do treason,
Unless to dub thee with the name of traitor.
If that same demon that hath gull’d thee thus
Should with his lion gait walk the whole world,
He might return to vasty Tartar back,
And tell the legions ‘I can never win
A soul so easy as that Englishman’s.’
O, how hast thou with jealousy infected
The sweetness of affiance! Show men dutiful?
Why, so didst thou: seem they grave and learned?
Why, so didst thou: come they of noble family?
Why, so didst thou: seem they religious?
Why, so didst thou: or are they spare in diet,
Free from gross passion or of mirth or anger,
Constant in spirit, not swerving with the blood,
Garnish’d and deck’d in modest complement,
Not working with the eye without the ear,
And but in purged judgment trusting neither?
Such and so finely bolted didst thou seem:
And thus thy fall hath left a kind of blot,
To mark the full-fraught man and best indued
With some suspicion. I will weep for thee;
For this revolt of thine, methinks, is like
Another fall of man. Their faults are open:
Arrest them to the answer of the law;
And God acquit them of their practises!

Exeter

  I arrest thee of high treason, by the name of
Richard Earl of Cambridge.
I arrest thee of high treason, by the name of
Henry Lord Scroop of Masham.
I arrest thee of high treason, by the name of
Thomas Grey, knight, of Northumberland.

Scroop

Our purposes God justly hath discover’d;
And I repent my fault more than my death;
Which I beseech your highness to forgive,
Although my body pay the price of it.

Cambridge

For me, the gold of France did not seduce;
Although I did admit it as a motive
The sooner to effect what I intended:
But God be thanked for prevention;
Which I in sufferance heartily will rejoice,
Beseeching God and you to pardon me.

Grey

Never did faithful subject more rejoice
At the discovery of most dangerous treason
Than I do at this hour joy o’er myself.
Prevented from a damned enterprise:
My fault, but not my body, pardon, sovereign.

King Henry V

God quit you in his mercy! Hear your sentence.
You have conspired against our royal person,
Join’d with an enemy proclaim’d and from his coffers
Received the golden earnest of our death;
Wherein you would have sold your king to slaughter,
His princes and his peers to servitude,
His subjects to oppression and contempt
And his whole kingdom into desolation.
Touching our person seek we no revenge;
But we our kingdom’s safety must so tender,
Whose ruin you have sought, that to her laws
We do deliver you. Get you therefore hence,
Poor miserable wretches, to your death:
The taste whereof, God of his mercy give
You patience to endure, and true repentance
Of all your dear offences! Bear them hence.

Exeunt Cambridge, Scroop and Grey, guarded

Now, lords, for France; the enterprise whereof
Shall be to you, as us, like glorious.
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. We doubt not now
But every rub is smoothed on our way.
Then forth, dear countrymen: let us deliver
Our puissance into the hand of God,
Putting it straight in expedition.
Cheerly to sea; the signs of war advance:
No king of England, if not king of France.

Exeunt

Scene III. London. Before a tavern.

Enter Pistol, Hostess, Nym, Bardolph, and Boy

Hostess

Prithee, honey-sweet husband, let me bring thee to Staines.

Pistol

No; for my manly heart doth yearn.
Bardolph, be blithe: Nym, rouse thy vaunting veins:
Boy, bristle thy courage up; for Falstaff he is dead,
And we must yearn therefore.

Bardolph

Would I were with him, wheresome’er he is, either in heaven or in hell!

Hostess

Nay, sure, he’s not in hell: he’s in Arthur’s bosom, if ever man went to Arthur’s bosom. A’ made a finer end and went away an it had been any christom child; a’ parted even just between twelve and one, even at the turning o’ the tide: for after I saw him fumble with the sheets and play with flowers and smile upon his fingers’ ends, I knew there was but one way; for his nose was as sharp as a pen, and a’ babbled of green fields. ‘How now, sir John!’ quoth I ‘what, man! be o’ good cheer.’ So a’ cried out ‘God, God, God!’ three or four times. Now I, to comfort him, bid him a’ should not think of God; I hoped there was no need to trouble himself with any such thoughts yet. So a’ bade me lay more clothes on his feet: I put my hand into the bed and felt them, and they were as cold as any stone; then I felt to his knees, and they were as cold as any stone, and so upward and upward, and all was as cold as any stone.

Nym

They say he cried out of sack.

Hostess

Ay, that a’ did.

Bardolph

And of women.

Hostess

Nay, that a’ did not.

Boy

Yes, that a’ did; and said they were devils incarnate.

Hostess

A’ could never abide carnation; ’twas a colour he never liked.

Boy

A’ said once, the devil would have him about women.

Hostess

A’ did in some sort, indeed, handle women; but then he was rheumatic, and talked of the whore of Babylon.

Boy

Do you not remember, a’ saw a flea stick upon Bardolph’s nose, and a’ said it was a black soul burning in hell-fire?

Bardolph

Well, the fuel is gone that maintained that fire: that’s all the riches I got in his service.

Nym

Shall we shog? the king will be gone from
Southampton.

Pistol

Come, let’s away. My love, give me thy lips.
Look to my chattels and my movables:
Let senses rule; the word is ‘Pitch and Pay:’
Trust none;
For oaths are straws, men’s faiths are wafer-cakes,
And hold-fast is the only dog, my duck:
Therefore, Caveto be thy counsellor.
Go, clear thy c rystals. Yoke-fellows in arms,
Let us to France; like horse-leeches, my boys,
To suck, to suck, the very blood to suck!

Boy

And that’s but unwholesome food they say.

Pistol

Touch her soft mouth, and march.

Bardolph

Farewell, hostess.

Kissing her

Nym

I cannot kiss, that is the humour of it; but, adieu.

Pistol

Let housewifery appear: keep close, I thee command.

Hostess

Farewell; adieu.

Exeunt

Scene IV. France. The King’s palace.

Flourish. Enter the French King, the Dauphin, the Dukes of Berri and Bretagne, the Constable, and others

King Of France

Thus comes the English with full power upon us;
And more than carefully it us concerns
To answer royally in our defences.
Therefore the Dukes of Berri and of Bretagne,
Of Brabant and of Orleans, shall make forth,
And you, Prince Dauphin, with all swift dispatch,
To line and new repair our towns of war
With men of courage and with means defendant;
For England his approaches makes as fierce
As waters to the sucking of a gulf.
It fits us then to be as provident
As fear may teach us out of late examples
Left by the fatal and neglected English
Upon our fields.

Dauphin

  My most redoubted father,
It is most meet we arm us ’gainst the foe;
For peace itself should not so dull a kingdom,
Though war nor no known quarrel were in question,
But that defences, musters, preparations,
Should be maintain’d, assembled and collected,
As were a war in expectation.
Therefore, I say ’tis meet we all go forth
To view the sick and feeble parts of France:
And let us do it with no show of fear;
No, with no more than if we heard that England
Were busied with a Whitsun morris-dance:
For, my good liege, she is so idly king’d,
Her sceptre so fantastically borne
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:
Question your grace the late ambassadors,
With what great state he heard their embassy,
How well supplied with noble counsellors,
How modest in exception, and withal
How terrible in constant resolution,
And you shall find his vanities forespent
Were but the outside of the Roman Brutus,
Covering discretion with a coat of folly;
As gardeners do with ordure hide those roots
That shall first spring and be most delicate.

Dauphin

Well, ’tis not so, my lord high constable;
But though we think it so, it is no matter:
In cases of defence ’tis best to weigh
The enemy more mighty than he seems:
So the proportions of defence are fill’d;
Which of a weak or niggardly projection
Doth, like a miser, spoil his coat with scanting
A little cloth.

King Of France

  Think we King Harry strong;
And, princes, look you strongly arm to meet him.
The kindred of him hath been flesh’d 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 Cressy battle fatally was struck,
And all our princes captiv’d by the hand
Of that black name, Edward, Black Prince of Wales;
Whiles that his mountain sire, on mountain standing,
Up in the air, crown’d with the golden sun,
Saw his heroical seed, and smiled to see him,
Mangle the work of nature and deface
The patterns that by God and by 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.

Enter a Messenger

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.

Exeunt Messenger and certain Lords

You see this chase is hotly follow’d, friends.

Dauphin

Turn head, and stop pursuit; for coward dogs
Most spend their mouths when what they seem to threaten
Runs far before them. 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.

Re-enter Lords, with Exeter and train

King Of France

From our brother England?

Exeter

From him; and thus he greets your majesty.
He wills you, in the name of God Almighty,
That you divest yourself, and lay apart
The borrow’d glories that by gift of heaven,
By law of nature and of nations, ’long
To him and to his heirs; namely, the crown
And all wide-stretched honours that pertain
By custom and the ordinance of times
Unto the crown of France. That you may know
’Tis no sinister nor no awkward claim,
Pick’d from the worm-holes of long-vanish’d days,
Nor from the dust of old oblivion raked,
He sends you this most memorable line,
In every branch truly demonstrative;
Willing to overlook this pedigree:
And when you find him evenly derived
From his most famed of famous ancestors,
Edward the Third, he bids you then resign
Your crown and kingdom, indirectly held
From him the native and true challenger.

King Of France

Or else what follows?

Exeter

Bloody constraint; for if you hide the crown
Even in your hearts, there will he rake for it:
Therefore in fierce tempest is he coming,
In thunder and in earthquake, like a Jove,
That, if requiring fail, he will compel;
And bids you, in the bowels of the Lord,
Deliver up the crown, and to take mercy
On the poor souls for whom this hungry war
Opens his vasty jaws; and on your head
Turning the widows’ tears, the orphans’ cries
The dead men’s blood, the pining maidens groans,
For husbands, fathers and betrothed lovers,
That shall be swallow’d in this controversy.
This is his claim, his threatening and my message;
Unless the Dauphin be in presence here,
To whom expressly I bring greeting too.

King Of France

For us, we will consider of this further:
To-morrow shall you bear our full intent
Back to our brother England.

Dauphin

For the Dauphin,
I stand here for him: what to him from England?

Exeter

Scorn and defiance; slight regard, contempt,
And any thing that may not misbecome
The mighty sender, doth he prize you at.
Thus says my king; an’ if your father’s highness
Do not, in grant of all demands at large,
Sweeten the bitter mock you sent his majesty,
He’ll call you to so hot an answer of it,
That caves and womby vaultages of France
Shall chide your trespass and return your mock
In second accent of his ordnance.

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 Paris balls.

Exeter

He’ll make your Paris Louvre shake for it,
Were it the mistress-court of mighty Europe:
And, be assured, you’ll find a difference,
As we his subjects have in wonder found,
Between the promise of his greener days
And these he masters now: now he weighs time
Even to the utmost grain: that you shall read
In your own losses, if he stay in France.

King Of France

To-morrow 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.

King Of France

You shall be soon dispatch’s with fair conditions:
A night is but small breath and little pause
To answer matters of this consequence.

Flourish. Exeunt

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Last updated Wednesday, March 5, 2014 at 22:29