Oh, for a muse of fire that would ascend
muse of fire=genius/inspiration
[to] The brightest heaven of invention!
A kingdom for a stage, princes to act,
And monarchs to behold the swelling scene!
Then should the warlike Harry, like himself,
Assume the port of Mars, and, at his heels,
Leashed in like hounds, should famine, sword, and fire
Crouch for employment, but, pardon, gentles all,
The flat unraisèd spirits that hath dared
flat, unraised spirits=common folk
On this unworthy scaffold (stage) to bring forth
So great an object. Can this cockpit hold
The vasty fields of France? Or may we cram
Within this wooden O the very casques
wooden O=Globe Theater, holding (at that time) approximately 3,000 people
That did affright the air at Agincourt?
O, pardon, since a crookèd figure (digit) may
Attest (mean) in [a] little place a million,
And let us, ciphers to this great account,
On your imaginary forces work.
Suppose within the girdle (belt) of these walls
Are now confined two mighty monarchies,
Whose high up-rearèd and abutting fronts (land masses)
The perilous narrow ocean parts asunder (into two).
Piece (fill) out our imperfections with your thoughts.
Into a thousand parts divide one man,
And make imaginary puissance (troops).
Think, when we talk of horses, that you see them
Printing their proud hoofs i' th' receiving earth,
For ’tis your thoughts that now must deck (adorn) our kings,
Carry them here and there, jumping o'er times,
Turning th' accomplishment of many years
Into an hour-glass, for the which supply (to supply which),
Admit me chorus to this history,
Who, prologue-like, your humble patience pray
Gently to hear, kindly to judge our play.
Enter the Archbishop of CANTERBURY and the Bishop of ELY
My lord, I’ll tell you that self (same) bill is urged
bill=bill that would have allowed the King to seize certain lands belonging to the Church
Which in th' eleventh year of the last king’s reign
eleventh year=1410 under Henry IV
Was like (likely to pass) and had (would have) indeed against us passed
But that the scambling and unquiet time
Did push it out of farther question.
But how, my lord, shall we resist it now?
It must be thought on. If it pass against us,
We lose the better half of our possession,
For all the temporal (secular) lands which men devout
By testament (will) have given to the Church
Would they strip from us, being valued thus:
“As much as would maintain, to the King’s honor,
Full fifteen earls and fifteen hundred knights,
Six thousand and two hundred good esquires,
(squires ranked just below knights)
And (to relief of lazars (lepers) and weak [old] age,
[and] Of indigent [folk and] faint (feeble) souls past corporal (physical) toil)
A hundred almshouses right well supplied,
And, to the coffers of the King besides,
A thousand pounds by th' year.” Thus runs the bill.
This would drink deep.
'Twould drink the cup and all.
But what prevention?
The king is full of grace and fair regard (good reputation).
And a true lover of the holy Church.
The courses of his youth promised it not.
The breath no sooner left his father’s body
But that his wildness, mortified in him,
mortified=deadened to sin
Seemed to die, too. Yea, at that very moment
Consideration like an angel came
And whipped th' offending Adam (natural depravity) out of him,
Leaving his body as a paradise
(paradise like the Garden of Eden once Adam and Eve had been expelled)
T' envelop and contain celestial spirits.
Never was such a sudden scholar made,
Never came reformation in a flood
With such a heady current scouring faults,
(as occurred when Hercules cleaned out the Augean stables)
Nor never Hydra-headed willfulness
Hydra – when Hercules cut off a head, two more would arise in its place
So soon did lose his seat, and all at once,
As in this king.
We are blessèd in the change.
Hear him but reason in divinity
(debate in theology)
And, all-admiring, with an inward wish
You would desire the King were made a prelate.
Hear him debate of commonwealth affairs (politics),
You would say it hath been all in all his study.
List his discourse of war, and you shall hear
A fearful (frightful) battle rendered you in music.
Turn him to any cause of policy,
cause of policy=question of statecraft
The Gordian knot of it he will unloose
Gordian knot=intricate knot that Alexander the Great cut through with his sword
Familiar as his garter, [so] that, when he speaks,
The air, a chartered libertine, is still,
chartered libertine=licensed freeman
And the mute wonder lurketh in men’s ears
To steal (hear more of) his sweet and honeyed sentences,
So that the art and practic part of life
Must be the mistress (teacher) to this theoric,
Which is a wonder how his Grace should glean it,
Since his addiction was to courses vain,
His companies unlettered, rude, and shallow,
His hours filled up with riots, banquets, sports,
And never (no one ever) noted in him any study,
Any retirement, any sequestration (withdrawal)
From open haunts and popularity (popular places).
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, no doubt,
Grew like the summer grass, fastest by night,
Unseen yet crescive in his faculty.
crescive in his faculty=growing in its natural power
It must be so, for miracles are ceased,
(Protestants believed that all miracles ended with Christ)
And, therefore, we must needs admit (find) the means
How (by which) things are perfected.
But, my good lord,
How now for mitigation (softening) of this bill
Urged by the [House of] Commons? Doth his Majesty
Incline to it or no?
He seems indifferent,
Or rather swaying more upon (toward) our part
Than cherishing th' exhibitors (authors of bills) against us,
For I have made an offer to his Majesty—
Upon our spiritual convocation (meeting of clergy)
And in regard of causes now in hand (affairs under consideration),
Which I have opened to his Grace (the King) at large,
As touching France—to give a greater sum
Than ever at one time the clergy yet
Did to his predecessors part withal.
(did part with to his predecessors)
How did this offer seem received, my lord?
With good acceptance of (by) his Majesty—
Save that there was not time enough to hear,
As I perceived his Grace (the King) would fain have done,
The severals (details) and unhidden passages (revealed genealogies)
Of his true titles (claims) to some certain dukedoms,
And generally to the crown and seat (throne) of France,
Derived from Edward, his great-grandfather.
(Edward III was grandson of the king of France)
What was th' impediment that broke this [conversation] off?
The French ambassador upon that instant
Craved audience, and the hour, I think, is come
To give him hearing. Is it four o'clock?
Then go we in to know his embassy (message),
Which I could with a ready guess declare
Before the Frenchman speak a word of it.
I’ll wait upon you, and I long to hear it.
Enter KING HENRY, GLOUCESTER, BEDFORD, EXETER, WARWICK, WESTMORELAND, and attendants
Where is my gracious lord of Canterbury?
Not here in presence.
Send for him, good uncle.
Shall we call in th' ambassador, my liege (sovereign)?
Not yet, my cousin (kinsman). We would be resolved,
Before we hear him, of some things of weight
That task (occupy) our thoughts concerning us and France.
Enter the Archbishop of CANTERBURY and the Bishop of ELY
CANTERBURY (addressing King Henry)
God and his angels guard your sacred throne
And make you long become it.
Sure we thank you.
My learnèd lord, we pray you to proceed
And justly and religiously unfold
Why the law Salic that they have in France
law Salic=law handed down from an ancestral tribe
Or (either) should or should not bar us in our claim,
And God forbid, my dear and faithful lord,
That you should fashion, wrest, or bow your reading,
bow your reading=bend your interpretation
Or nicely charge (foolishly burden) your understanding soul
With opening titles miscreate (with expounding spurious claims), whose right
Suits not in native colors with the truth,
For God doth know how many now in health
Shall drop their blood in approbation
Of what your reverence shall incite us to.
Therefore, take heed how you impawn (pledge) our person,
How you awake our sleeping sword of war.
We charge you in the name of God, take heed,
For never two such kingdoms did contend
Without much fall of blood, whose guiltless drops
Are every one a woe, a sore complaint
'Gainst him whose wrong[doing] gives edge unto the swords
That make such waste in brief mortality.
Under this conjuration (injunction), speak, my lord,
For we will hear, note, and believe in heart
That what you speak is in your conscience washed
As pure as sin [is washed away] with baptism.
(The Original Sin (disobeying God) of Adam was thought to be washed away
Then hear me, gracious sovereign, and you peers
That owe yourselves, your lives, and services
To this imperial throne. There is no bar
To make against your Highness' claim to France
But this, which they produce from Pharamond (legendary king):
“In terram Salicam mulieres ne succedant”
(No woman shall succeed [to a title] in Salic land),
Which Salic land the French unjustly gloze (interpret)
To be the realm of France, and Pharamond
The founder of this law and female bar.
Yet their own authors faithfully affirm
That the land Salic is in Germany,
Between the floods (rivers) of Sala and of Elbe,
Where Charles the Great (Charlemagne), having subdued the Saxons,
There left behind and settled certain French,
Who, holding in disdain the German women
For some dishonest (unchaste) manners of their life,
Established then this law: to wit, no female
Should be inheritrix in Salic land,
Which “Salic,” as I said, ’twixt Elbe and Sala,
Is at this day in Germany called Meissen.
Then doth it well appear the Salic law
Was not devisèd for the realm of France,
Nor did the French possess the Salic land
Until four hundred one and twenty years
After defunction (death) of King Pharamond,
Idly (incorrectly) supposed the founder of this law,
Who died within the year of our redemption
Four hundred twenty-six, and Charles the Great
Subdued the Saxons and did seat the French
Beyond the river Sala in the year
Eight hundred five. Besides, their writers say,
King Pepin, who deposèd Childeric,
Did, as heir general, being descended
Of Blithild, who was daughter to King Clothair,
Make claim and title to the crown of France.
Hugh Capet, also, who usurped the crown
Of Charles the Duke of Lorraine, sole heir male
Of the true line and stock of Charles the Great,
To fine (embellish) his title with some shows of truth,
Though in pure truth it was corrupt and naught,
Conveyed himself as th' heir to th' Lady Lingare,
Daughter to Charlemagne, who was the son
To Lewis the Emperor, and Lewis the son
Of Charles the Great. Also, King Lewis the Tenth,
Who was sole heir to the usurper Capet,
Could not keep quiet in his conscience,
Wearing the crown of France, till satisfied
That fair Queen Isabel, his grandmother,
Was lineal of (descended from) the Lady Ermengare,
Daughter to Charles, the foresaid Duke of Lorraine,
By the which marriage the line of Charles the Great
Was reunited to the crown of France,
So that, as clear as is the summer’s sun,
King Pepin’s title and Hugh Capet’s claim,
King Lewis his satisfaction (satisfied), all appear
To hold in right and title of the female.
So do the kings of France unto this day,
Howbeit (notwithstanding) they would hold up this Salic law
To bar your Highness claiming from the female
And rather choose to hide them in a net
Than amply to imbar (frankly to rule out) their crooked titles
Usurped from you and your progenitors.
May I with right and conscience make this claim?
The sin upon my head, dread sovereign,
For in the Book of Numbers is it writ:
“When the man dies [leaving no son], let the inheritance
Descend unto the daughter.” Gracious lord,
Stand for your own, unwind your bloody flag,
Look back into your mighty ancestors.
Go, my dread lord, to your great-grandsire’s tomb,
From whom you claim. Invoke his warlike spirit
And your great-uncle’s, Edward the Black Prince,
Who on the French ground played a tragedy,
tragedy=battle of Crecy, a disaster for the French
Making defeat on the full power of France
Whiles his most mighty father on a hill
Stood smiling to behold his lion’s whelp (offspring)
Forage in blood of French nobility.
O noble English, that could entertain (meet and overcome)
With half their forces the full pride of France
And let another half stand laughing by,
All out of work and cold for [want of] action!
Awake remembrance of these valiant dead
And with your puissant arm renew their feats.
You are their heir, you sit upon their throne,
The blood and courage that renownèd them
Runs in your veins, and my thrice-puissant liege
thrice-puissant=for the three reasons just stated
Is in the very May-morn of his youth
Ripe for exploits and mighty enterprises.
Your brother kings and monarchs of the earth
Do all expect that you should rouse yourself,
As did the former lions of your blood.
They know your Grace hath cause and means and might.
So hath your Highness (so, indeed, you do). Never king of England
Had nobles richer and more loyal subjects,
Whose hearts have left their bodies here in England
And lie pavilioned in the fields of France.
pavilioned – pavilions were tents that the nobility used in jousting tournaments
Oh, let their bodies follow, my dear liege,
With blood and sword and fire to win your right,
In aid whereof we of the spiritualty (clergy)
Will raise your Highness such a mighty sum
As never did the clergy at one time
Bring in to any of your ancestors.
We must not only arm t' invade the French
But lay down our proportions (allocate our forces) to defend
Against the Scot, who will make road (inroads) upon us
With all advantages (take advantage of the situation).
They of those marches, gracious sovereign,
marches=border regions (next to Scotland)
Shall be a wall sufficient to defend
Our inland from the pilfering borderers (thieving Scots).
We do not mean the coursing snatchers only
coursing snatchers=bands of thieves
But fear the main intendment of the Scot,
Who hath been still (always) a giddy neighbor to us,
For you shall read that my great-grandfather
Never went with his forces into France
But that the Scot on his unfurnished (unprotected) kingdom
Came pouring like the tide into a breach
With ample and brim fullness of his force,
Galling the gleanèd land (land depleted of soldiers) with hot assays (attacks),
Girding (encircling) with grievous siege castles and towns,
[so] That England, being empty of defense,
Hath shook and trembled at th'ill neighborhood (bad neighbors).
She hath been then more feared (frightened) than harmed, my liege,
For hear her but exampled by herself (instructed by her own example):
When all her chivalry (knights) hath been in France
And she a mourning widow of her nobles,
She hath herself not only well defended
But taken and impounded as a stray
The king of Scots, whom she did send to France
To fill King Edward’s fame with prisoner kings
And make her chronicle as rich with praise
As is the ooze and bottom of the sea
With sunken wrack (wreckage) and sumless treasuries (treasures).
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 [search of] prey,
To her unguarded nest the weasel Scot
Comes sneaking and so sucks her princely eggs,
Playing the mouse in absence of the cat,
To ’tame and havoc more than she can eat.
It follows, then, the cat must stay at home,
Yet that is but a crushed necessity,
crushed necessity=strained conclusion
Since we have locks to safeguard necessaries
And pretty (ingenious) traps to catch the petty thieves.
While that the armèd hand doth fight abroad,
Th' advisèd head defends itself at home,
For government, though high and low and lower,
(though composed of three social ranks)
Put into parts (separated into different functions) doth keep in one consent (harmony),
Congreeing (agreeing) in a full and natural close (the ending of a composition),
Therefore doth heaven divide
The state of man in diverse functions,
Setting endeavor in continual motion,
To which is fixed, as an aim or butt,
Obedience, for so work the honeybees,
Creatures that by a rule in nature (instinctively) teach
The act of order (orderly action) to a peopled kingdom.
They have a king and officers of sorts,
Where some like magistrates correct (dispense justice) at home,
Others like merchants venture trade abroad,
Others like soldiers armèd in their stings
Make boot upon (capture) the summer’s velvet buds,
Which pillage they, with merry march, bring home
To the tent royal of their emperor,
Who, busied in his majesty, surveys
The singing masons building roofs of gold (honeycombs),
The civil citizens kneading up the honey,
The poor mechanic porters (workers bringing in nectar) crowding in
Their heavy burdens at his narrow gate,
The sad-eyed justice with his surly hum
Delivering o'er to executors pale
The lazy yawning drone. I this infer:
That many things, having full reference
To one consent, may work contrariously,
As many arrows loosèd several ways
Come to one mark, as many ways (roads) meet in one town,
As many fresh streams meet in one salt sea,
As many lines close in the [sun]dial’s center,
So may a thousand actions, once afoot,
End in one purpose and be all well borne
Without defeat. Therefore, to France, my liege!
Divide your happy England into four,
Whereof take you one quarter into France,
And you withal (so doing) 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 (torn to pieces) and our nation lose
The name of hardiness and policy (statesmanship).
Call in the messengers sent from the Dauphin (French heir).
Exeunt some attendants
Now are we well resolved, and, by God’s help
And yours, the noble sinews of our power,
France being ours, we’ll bend it to our awe
(force France to be in awe of us)
Or break it all to pieces, or there we’ll sit,
Ruling in large and ample empery (imperial power)
O'er France and all her almost kingly dukedoms
Or lay these bones (Henry’s bones) in an unworthy urn,
Tombless, with no remembrance over them.
Either our history shall with full mouth
Speak freely of our acts, or else our grave,
Like Turkish mute, shall have a tongueless mouth,
(Turkish mute=servant with tongue cut out to keep him from revealing secrets)
Not worshipped with a waxen epitaph.
(waxen – easily effaced)
Enter AMBASSADORS of France, with attendants
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.
May ’t please your Majesty to give us leave
Freely to render what we have in charge (been charged with),
Or shall we sparingly show you far off (in general terms)
The Dauphin’s meaning and our embassy (message)?
We are no tyrant, but a Christian king (king of Christ),
Unto whose grace our passion is as subject
As is [that of] our wretches fettered in our prisons.
Therefore, with frank and with uncurbèd plainness
Tell us the Dauphin’s mind.
Thus, then, in few [words]:
Your Highness, lately sending into France,
Did claim some certain dukedoms in the right
Of your great predecessor, King Edward the Third,
In answer of which claim, the prince our master
Says that you savor (relish) too much of your youth
And bids you be advised there’s naught in France
That can be with a nimble galliard (dance) won.
You cannot revel into dukedoms there.
He therefore sends you, meeter (more suitable) for your spirit,
This tun (cask) of treasure, and, in lieu of this,
Desires you let the dukedoms that you claim
Hear no more of you. This the Dauphin speaks.
What treasure, uncle?
Tennis balls, my liege.
We are glad the Dauphin is so pleasant (merry) with us.
His present (gift) and your pains we thank you for.
When we have matched our rackets to these balls,
We will in France, by God’s grace, play a set
[that] Shall strike his father’s crown into the hazard.
hazard=unplayable opening in a royal tennis court
Tell him he hath made a match with such a wrangler
That all the courts of France will be disturbed
courts=tennis courts and, also, royal courts
With chases. And we understand him well,
chases=double bounce=unsuccessful return
How he comes o'er us with our wilder days,
how he comes=how he affects superiority
Not measuring what use we made of them.
We never valued this poor seat (throne) of England
And, therefore, living hence, did give ourself
living hence=not frequenting the royal court
To barbarous license, as ’tis ever common
That men are merriest when they are [away] from home.
But tell the Dauphin I will keep my state,
keep my state=maintain my royal status
Be like a king, and show my sail of greatness
When I do rouse me in (mount to) my throne of France,
For that (the throne of France) I have laid by my majesty
And plodded like a man [ready] for working days,
But I will rise there with so full a glory
That I will dazzle all the eyes of France,
Yea, [I will] strike the Dauphin blind to look on us.
And tell the pleasant (jocular) prince this mock of his
Hath turned his balls to gun-stones (cannon balls), and his soul
Shall stand sore charged (blamed) for the wasteful vengeance
That shall fly with them, for many a thousand widows
widows – they will become widows
Shall this his mock mock out of their dear husbands,
Mock mothers from their sons, mock castles down,
And some are yet ungotten and unborn
ungotten=not yet begotten
That shall have cause to curse the Dauphin’s scorn.
But this lies all within the will of God,
To whom I do appeal and in whose name
Tell you (tell) the Dauphin I am coming on
To venge me as I may and to put forth
My rightful hand in a well-hallowed cause.
So get you hence in peace. And tell the Dauphin
His jest will savor but of shallow wit
When thousands weep more than did laugh at it.
(when thousands more weep)
—Convey (escort) them with safe conduct.—Fare you well.
Exeunt AMBASSADORS with attendants
This was a merry (humorous) message.
We hope to make the sender blush at it.
Therefore, my lords, omit no happy hour
That may give furth'rance to our expedition,
For we have now no thought in us but France,
Save those to God that run before our business.
(except for the prayers to God preceding our business)
Therefore, let our proportions for these wars
proportions=military supplies and forces
Be soon collected and all things thought upon
That may with reasonable swiftness add
More feathers to our wings, for, God before,
We’ll chide this Dauphin at his father’s door.
Therefore, let every man now task his thought (pray)
That this fair action may on foot (actively) be brought.
Now all the youth of England are on fire,
And silken dalliance in the wardrobe (closet) lies.
Now thrive the armorers, and honor’s thought
honor’s thought=thought of honor
Reigns solely (alone) in the breast of every man.
They sell the pasture now to buy the horse,
(they have bought the horse, but they have sold the means of feeding it (the pasture))
Following the mirror (stereotype) of all Christian kings
With wingèd heels, as English Mercurys.
For now sits Expectation in the air
And hides a sword, from hilts unto the point,
With crowns imperial, crowns and coronets (plunder)
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 might’st thou do, that honor would [have] 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—
treacherous crowns=coins (crowns) given as bribes
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 (Oh, guilt indeed!),
Confirmed 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 (from) Southampton.
Linger your patience on, and we’ll digest
Th' abuse of distance, force a play.
digest the abuse of distance=take care of the violation of the unity of place
force a play=cram many events into a play’s time-frame
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 [by making you seasick on the English Channel] with our play,
But, till the king come forth and not till then,
Unto Southampton do we shift our scene.
(we shift our scene to Southampton only after the king comes forth)
Enter Corporal NYM and Lieutenant BARDOLPH
Well met, Corporal Nym.
Good morrow, Lieutenant Bardolph.
What, are Ancient (Ensign) Pistol and you friends yet (still)?
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 (close both eyes) and hold out mine iron (sword). 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.
I will bestow (treat you to) a breakfast to make you friends [with Ancient Pistol], and we’ll be all three sworn brothers (comrades that share and share alike) [on our way] to France. Let ’t be so, good Corporal 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 (my last bet in this game). That is the rendezvous of it.
“He that cannot do as he would must do as he may.”
rendezvous – Nym likes to throw words about
It is certain, corporal, that he is married to Nell Quickly, and certainly she did you wrong, for you were troth-plight (engaged) to her.
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 (the end must come sometime). Well, I cannot tell (it’s not for me to say).
Enter PISTOL and HOSTESS
Here comes Ancient Pistol and his wife. Good corporal, be patient here.—How now, mine host Pistol?
Base tyke (cur), call’st thou me host?
Now, by this hand, I swear, I scorn the term,
Nor shall my Nell keep lodgers.
No, by my troth, not long (we can’t keep lodgers for 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
Oh, well-a-day, Lady (Virgin Mary)! If he be not hewn (struck down) now, we shall see willful adultery and murder committed.
adultery – maybe she means assaultery (assault and battery)
Good lieutenant, good corporal, offer nothing here.
Pish for thee, Iceland dog (a long-haired dog),
Thou prick-eared cur of Iceland!
Good Corporal Nym, show thy valor (forbearance) and put up your sword.
Will you shog off (move along)? (to PISTOL) I would have you solus.
(Not knowing its meaning, Pistol takes “solus” as an insult)
“Solus,” egregious dog? O viper vile,
The solus in thy most marvelous face,
The solus in thy teeth and in thy throat
And in thy hateful lungs, yea, in thy maw (stomach), perdy (par Dieu),
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,
(his trigger is cocked)
And flashing fire will follow.
I am not Barbason (a demon); you cannot conjure me (influence me as if by magic). I have an humor (mood) to knock you indifferently (fairly) well. If you grow foul with me, Pistol, I will scour you with my rapier, as I may, in fair terms (fairly). If you would walk off, I would prick your guts a little in good terms, as I may, and that’s the humor of it (my mood).
O braggart vile and damnèd furious wight,
The grave doth gape, and doting death is near.
Therefore, exhale [your last breath].
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)
An oath of mickle (much) might, and [our] fury shall abate.
Give me thy fist (hand), thy forefoot (forepaw) to me give.
Thy spirits are most tall (valiant).
I will cut thy throat one time or other in fair terms, that is the humor of it (my inclination).
Couple à gorge (couper la gorge=cut the throat), that is the word. I defy thee again.
O hound of Crete (parallel to Iceland dog), think’st thou my spouse to get?
No, to the spital (hospital) go,
And from the powd'ring tub of infamy
(hot tub for curing venereal disease)
Fetch forth the lazar kite of Cressid’s kind,
lazar kite=diseased bird of prey
(Cressid is a depraved woman in literature)
Doll Tearsheet she by name, and her espouse.
I have, and I will hold, the quondam (formerly) Quickly
For the only she (only worthwhile woman), and—pauca (few words)—there’s enough. Go to.
Enter the BOY
Mine host Pistol, you must come to my master (Falstaff), and your hostess [must come, too]. 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.
(Elsewhere, Bardolph’s face is described as fiery red)
Away, you rogue!
By my troth, he’ll yield the crow a pudding one of these days (the boy will be hung for crows to peck at). The king has killed his (Falstaff’s) heart. Good husband, come home presently (immediately).
Exeunt HOSTESS and BOY
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?
Let floods o'erswell and fiends for food howl on!
(“let Evil have its way and make the Devil wait”)
You’ll pay me the eight shillings I won of you at betting?
Base is the slave that pays.
(“the poor man always pays” changed to mean “paying debts is for peasants”)
That now I will have (I’ll take it from you now)—that’s the humor of it.
As manhood shall compound (determine). Push home [with your sword].
By this sword, he that makes the first thrust, I’ll kill him. By this sword, I will.
“Sword” is an oath, and oaths must have their course.
(he takes sword to mean God’s word – ‘s word)
Corporal Nym, an (if) thou wilt be friends, be friends, an thou wilt not, why, then, be enemies with me, too. Prithee, put up [your sword].
Shall I have my eight shillings?
A noble (closer to six shillings) shalt thou have, and present pay (ready cash),
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.
(a “nim” is a thief)
Is not this just? For I shall sutler be
sutler=seller of provisions to soldiers
Unto the camp, and profits will accrue.
Give me thy hand.
I shall have my noble?
In cash, most justly paid.
Well, then, that’s the humor of ’t.
As ever you come of (are born of) women, come in quickly to Sir John [Falstaff]. Ah, poor heart, he is so shaked of a burning quotidian (daily) tertian (every third day) [fever] that it is most lamentable to behold. Sweet men, come to him.
The king hath run bad humors on (shown ill will toward) the knight (Falstaff), that’s the even (long and short) of it.
Nym, thou hast spoke the right (rightly).
His heart is fracted (broken) and corroborate (?).
The king is a good king, but it must be as it may. He passes (lets pass) some humors (moods) and careers.
Let us condole the knight (Falstaff), for, lambkins, we will live (survive him).
Enter EXETER, BEDFORD, and WESTMORELAND
'Fore God, his grace is bold to trust these traitors.
They shall be apprehended by and by.
How smooth and even they do bear themselves,
As if allegiance in their bosoms sat
Crownèd with faith and constant loyalty.
The king hath note of all that they intend,
By interception which they dream not of.
Nay, but the man that was his bedfellow (Lord Scroop),
Whom he hath dulled and cloyed (bored and overindulged) with gracious favors—
That he should, for a foreign purse, so sell
His sovereign’s life to death and treachery!
Trumpets sound. Enter KING HENRY, SCROOP, CAMBRIDGE, GREY, and attendants
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 (forces) 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?
in head=as an army
No doubt, my liege, if each man do his best.
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.
Never was monarch better feared and loved
Than is your Majesty. There’s not, I think, a subject
That sits in heart-grief and uneasiness
heart-grief and uneasiness=unhappiness
Under the sweet shade of your government.
True. Those that were your father’s enemies
Have steeped their galls in honey and do serve you
gall=bitter substance exuded by oak trees
With hearts create (composed) of duty and of zeal.
We, therefore, have great cause of thankfulness
And shall forget the office (uses) of our hand
forget . . . sooner=sooner forget
Sooner than quittance (reward) of desert (deserving) and merit
According to the weight and worthiness.
So service shall with steelèd sinews toil,
And labor shall refresh itself with hope
To do your Grace incessant services.
We judge (expect) no less.—Uncle of Exeter,
Enlarge (set free) the man committed (imprisoned) yesterday
That railed against our person. We consider
It was excess of wine that set him on,
And on his more advice we pardon him.
more advice=more self-reflection
That’s mercy, but too much security (overconfidence).
Let him be punished, sovereign, lest example
Breed, by his sufferance (pardoning him), more of such a kind.
Oh, let us yet be merciful.
So may Your Highness and yet punish, too.
Sir, you show great mercy if you give him life
After the taste of much correction.
Alas, your too much love and care of me
Are heavy orisons (pleas) 'gainst this poor wretch.
If little faults proceeding on distemper
Shall not be winked at, how shall we stretch our eye
When capital crimes chewed, swallowed, 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 (affairs).
Who are the late commissioners?
I one, my lord.
Your Highness bade me ask for it (paper of certification) today.
So did you me, my liege.
And I, my royal sovereign.
KING HENRY (gives each of them a paper)
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 tonight.—Why, how now, gentlemen?
What see you in those papers that you lose
So much complexion (ruddiness)? Look you, how they change.
Their cheeks are paper. Why, what read you there
That have so cowarded and chased your blood
Out of appearance (drained blood from your face)?
I do confess my fault
And do submit me to Your Highness' mercy.
To which we all appeal.
The mercy that was quick (alive) in us but late
By your own counsel is suppressed and killed.
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 (tearing at 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 appurtenants (appurtenances)
Belonging to his honor, and this man
Hath, for a few light crowns, lightly conspired
And sworn unto the practices (plots) of France,
To kill us here in [South]Hampton, to the which
This knight (Grey), no less for bounty bound to us
Than Cambridge is, hath likewise sworn.—But Oh,
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 coined me into gold,
Wouldst thou have practiced on me (plotted against me) for thy use (profit)—
May (could) 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,
yoke-devils=devils yoked together
Working so grossly in a natural cause
That admiration did not whoop at them.
(no cry of astonishment was raised)
But thou, 'gainst all proportion, didst bring in (added)
Wonder (astonishment that Scroop should be a murderer) to wait on treason and on murder,
And whatsoever cunning fiend it was
That wrought upon thee so preposterously (contrary to nature)
Hath got the voice (vote) in hell for excellence.
All other devils that suggest (instigate) by treasons
Do botch and bungle up damnation
With patches, colors, and with forms being fetched
From glist'ring (sparkling) semblances (imitations) of piety,
But he that tempered 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 gulled thee thus,
Should with his lion gait walk the whole world,
(“the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about” – 1 Peter 5.8)
He might return to vasty Tartar back
Tartar=Tartarus, a Biblical name for Hell
And tell the legions [of devils], “I can never win
A soul so easy as that Englishman’s.”
Oh, how hast thou with jealousy infected
The sweetness of affiance (trust)! Show men dutiful?
Why, so didst thou. Seem they grave and learnèd?
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 (either) of mirth (pleasure-seeking) or anger,
Constant in spirit, not swerving with the blood (passion),
Garnished and decked (dressed) in modest complement,
Not working with the eye without the ear
And (but (except) in purged (purified) judgment) trusting neither?
Such and so finely bolted didst thou seem,
bolted=sifted, like flour
And thus thy fall hath left a kind of blot
To mark the full-fraught-man-and-best endued
With some suspicion. I will weep for thee (I take it personally),
For this revolt of thine methinks is like
Another fall of man (himself in his earlier days?).—Their faults are open (obvious).
Arrest them to the answer (response) of the law,
And God acquit (avenge) them of their practices (plots).
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.
Our purposes God justly hath discovered,
And I repent my fault more than my death,
Which I beseech Your Highness to forgive,
Although my body pay the price of it.
For me, the gold of France did not seduce,
Although I did admit [to] it as a motive
The sooner to effect what I intended,
But God be thankèd for prevention,
Which I in sufferance (though suffering punishment) heartily will rejoice,
Beseeching God and you to pardon me.
God quit (pardon) you in His mercy. 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,
golden earnest=partial payment
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 (watch over),
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 (costly) offences.—Bear them hence.
Exeunt CAMBRIDGE, SCROOP, and GREY, guarded
Now, lords, for France, the enterprise whereof
Shall be to you as us, like (equally) 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 [that] every rub (obstacle) is smoothèd on our way.
Then, forth, dear countrymen. Let us deliver
Our puissance into the hand of God,
Putting it straight in expedition (at once in action).
Cheerly to sea. The signs (ensigns, banners) of war advance.
No king of England if not king of France.
Enter PISTOL, HOSTESS, NYM, BARDOLPH, and BOY
Prithee, honey-sweet husband, let me bring thee to Staines (town west of London).
No, for my manly heart doth earn (grieve).—Bardolph, be blithe (happy).— Nym, rouse thy vaunting veins (boasting spirit).—Boy, bristle thy courage up, for Falstaff, he is dead, and we must earn (grieve for him), therefore.
Would I were with him, wheresome'er he is, either in heaven or in hell.
Nay, sure, he’s not in hell! He’s in Arthur’s bosom (Hostess is thinking of Abraham), if ever man went to Arthur’s bosom. He made a finer end (too good for hell to be a destination) and went away an (as if) it had been any christom (chrisom=prepared for christening) child. He [de]parted ev'n just (exactly) between twelve and one, ev'n at the turning o' th' tide (myth: deaths occurred at the turning of 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 he told of green fields (Psalm 23). “How now, Sir John?” quoth I. “What, man, be o' good cheer!” So he cried out, “God, God, God!” three or four times. Now I, to comfort him, bid him he should not think of God. I hoped there was no need to trouble himself with any such thoughts yet. So he 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 so upward and upward, and all was as cold as any stone.
nose was as sharp . . . – it appears that a stage direction has crept into Shakespeare’s text
They say he cried out of (against) sack (wine).
Ay, that he did.
And of women.
Nay, that he did not.
Yes, that he did and said they were devils incarnate.
'A could never abide carnation (pink). 'Twas a color he never liked.
He said once the devil would have him about women.
He did in some sort, indeed, handle (discuss) women, but, then, he was rheumatic (blunder for lunatic) and talked of the Whore of Babylon (Protestant name for the Roman Catholic Church).
Do you not remember he saw a flea stick upon Bardolph’s nose, and he said it was a black soul burning in hell?
Well, the fuel (liquor) is gone that maintained that fire. That’s all the riches I got in his service.
(riches can refer to both wealth and redness)
Shall we shog (be off)? The King will be gone from Southampton.
Come, let’s away.—My love, give me thy lips.
Look to (look after) my chattels and my movables.
Let senses rule. The word is “pitch and pay (cash, no credit).”
Trust none, for oaths are straws, men’s faiths are
And Holdfast is the only dog, my duck.
“Brag is a good dog, but Holdfast is a better.”
Therefore, caveto (beware) be thy counselor.
Go, clear thy crystals (wipe away your tears).—Yoke-fellows in arms,
Let us to France, like horse-leeches, my boys,
To suck, to suck, the very blood to suck.
And that’s but unwholesome food, they say.
Touch her soft mouth, and march.
Farewell, hostess. (kissing her)
I cannot kiss, that is the humor of it. But adieu.
Let housewifery appear. Keep close [to home], I thee command.
Flourish. Enter the KING OF FRANCE, the DAUPHIN, the Dukes of Berri and Brittany, 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 defenses.
(prepare adequate defenses)
Therefore, the Dukes of Berri and of Brittany,
Of Brabant and of Orléans, shall make forth,
And you, Prince Dauphin, with all swift dispatch (completion of business),
To line (reinforce) and new-repair our towns of war (fortified towns)
With men of courage and with means defendant (weapons of defense).
For [the King of] England his approaches makes as fierce
As waters to the sucking of a gulf (whirlpool).
It fits us then to be as provident (prudent)
As fear may teach us out of late (recent) examples
Left by the fatal and neglected English (fatally underestimated)
Upon our fields.
My most redoubted (respected) father,
It is most meet (appropriate) 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 defenses, musters, preparations
Should be maintained, assembled, and collected,
As (as if) 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 (several Sundays after Easter) morris-dance,
For, my good liege, she is so idly king'd,
Her sceptre so fantastically borne
By a vain, giddy, shallow, humorous (capricious) youth,
That fear attends her not.
Oh, peace, Prince Dauphin!
You are too much mistaken in this king.
Question your Grace the late (recent) ambassadors
With what great state (dignity) he heard their embassy (message),
How well supplied with noble counselors,
How modest in [taking] exception, and withal (in addition)
How terrible (awesome) in constant (unswerving) resolution,
And you shall find his vanities forespent (former follies)
Were but the outside of the Roman Brutus (early Roman consul, who pretended to be stupid),
Covering discretion with a coat of folly,
As gardeners do with ordure (manure) hide those roots
That shall first spring and be most delicate.
Well, ’tis not so, my Lord High Constable.
But though we think it so (we disagree), it is no matter.
In cases of defense ’tis best to weigh
The enemy more mighty than he seems,
So the proportions of defense (gaps) are filled,
Which [defense] of (in) a weak or niggardly projection (plan)
Doth [make us] like a miser [tailor], spoil (who spoils) his coat [that he is making] with (by) 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 fleshed upon us,
And he is bred out of that bloody strain
That haunted us in our familiar (familial) paths (on our home ground).
Witness our too-much-memorable shame
When Crecy battle fatally was struck (signaled to begin)
And all our princes captived (made captive) by the hand
Of that black name, Edward, Black Prince of Wales,
Whiles that his mountain sire (father raised in mountainous Wales), on mountain standing
Up in the air, crowned with the golden sun,
Saw his heroical seed (son) and smiled to see him
Mangle the work of nature (French youth) and deface
The patterns (French types) that by God and by French fathers
Had twenty years [before] been made. This is a stem
Of that victorious stock, and let us fear
The native mightiness and fate of him.
Enter a MESSENGER
Ambassadors from Harry, King of England,
Do crave admittance to your Majesty.
KING OF FRANCE
We’ll give them present (immediate) audience. Go, and bring them.
You see this chase is hotly followed [by Henry], friends.
Turn head (make a stand) and stop pursuit, for coward dogs
Most spend their mouths (bark the loudest) when what they seem to threaten
Runs far before them. Good my sovereign,
Take up the English short (quickly dispose of the English), and let them know
Of what a monarchy you are the head.
Self-love, my liege, is not so vile a sin
Enter EXETER and train, and lords
KING OF FRANCE
From our brother England?
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 borrowed (on loan, only) glories that, by gift of heaven,
By law of nature and of nations, 'longs
To him and to his heirs—namely, the crown
And all wide-stretchèd (reaching over a broad span) honors that pertain
By custom and the ordinance of times (ancient law)
Unto the crown of France. That you may know
'Tis no sinister (illegitimate) nor no awkward (indirect) claim
Picked from the wormholes of long-vanished days,
Nor from the dust of old oblivion raked,
He sends you this most memorable line (genealogical table),
In every branch truly demonstrative,
Willing you overlook this pedigree,
(desiring that you look over this pedigree)
And when you find him evenly derived (truly descended)
From his most famed of famous ancestors,
Edward the Third, he bids you then resign
Your crown and kingdom, indirectly (illegally) held
From him, the native and true challenger.
KING OF FRANCE
Or else what follows?
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 (compassion) 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 betrothèd lovers
That shall be swallowed in this controversy.
This is his claim, his threat'ning, 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.
Tomorrow shall you bear our full intent
Back to our brother England.
For the Dauphin,
I stand here for him (in his place). What to him from England?
Scorn and defiance, slight regard, contempt,
And anything that may not misbecome
The mighty sender, doth he prize you at.
Thus says my king: an if (if) your father’s Highness
Do not, in grant of all demands at large (in full),
Sweeten the bitter mock you sent his Majesty,
He’ll call you to so hot an answer of it
That caves and womb-y (womb-like) vaultages (caverns) of France
Shall chide your trespass and return your mock
In second accent (echo) of his ordinance (artillery).
Say, if my father render fair return (conciliatory response OR return tennis ball in a tennis match),
It is against my will, for I desire
Nothing but odds with England. To that end,
As matching to his (Henry’s) youth and vanity (frivolity),
I did present him with the Paris balls.
Paris balls=game of tennis, imported to England from France
He’ll make your Paris Louvre (pun on lover) shake for it,
Were it (as if it were) the mistress (principal) 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
Tomorrow shall you know our mind at full.
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 dispatched with fair conditions.
A night is but small breath and little pause
To answer matters of this consequence.
Thus, with imagined wing (wing of imagination) our swift scene flies
In motion of no less celerity (speed)
Than that of thought. Suppose that you have seen
The well-appointed (well-equipped) king at Hampton pier
Embark his royalty, and his brave fleet [moves]
embark his royalty=set sail in full royal regalia
With silken streamers the young Phoebus fanning.
Phoebus fanning=fanning the sun
Play with your fancies and in them behold,
Upon the hempen tackle (rigging made of hemp), shipboys climbing.
Hear the shrill whistle, which doth order give
To sounds confused. Behold the threaden sails,
threaden sails=sails woven of thread
Borne with (driven by) th' invisible and creeping wind,
creeping=moving on all fours
Draw the huge bottoms through the furrowed sea,
furrowed sea=sea in furrows, like farm land
Breasting the lofty surge (swell of the sea). Oh, do but think
You stand upon the rivage (shore) and behold
A city on th' inconstant billows (surges) dancing,
For so appears this fleet majestical
Holding due course to Harfleur. Follow, follow!
Grapple your minds to sternage (the sterns) of this navy
And leave your England, as dead midnight still,
(as still as dead midnight)
Guarded with grandsires, babies, and old women,
Either past or not arrived to pith and puissance (strength and power),
For who is he, whose chin is but enriched
With one appearing hair, that will not follow
These culled (picked over) and choice-drawn (carefully selected) cavaliers to France?
Work, work your thoughts, and therein see a siege.
Behold the ordnance (cannons) on their carriages,
With fatal (deadly) mouths gaping on girded (encircled) Harfleur.
Suppose th' Ambassador from the French comes back,
(comes back from the French)
Tells Harry that the king doth offer him
Katharine, his daughter, and with her, to (as) dowry,
Some petty and unprofitable dukedoms.
The offer [he] likes not, and the nimble gunner
With linstock now the devilish cannon touches,
linstock=stick to hold the gunner’s match
Alarum, and chambers go off
And down goes all before them. Still (always) be kind
And eke out (supplement) our performance with your mind.
Enter KING HENRY, EXETER, BEDFORD, GLOUCESTER, and soldiers, with scaling ladders
Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more,
Or close the wall up with our English dead!
In peace there’s nothing so becomes a man
As modest stillness and humility,
But, when the blast of war blows in our ears,
Then imitate the action of the tiger:
Stiffen the sinews, summon up the blood,
Disguise fair nature with hard-favored (ugly) rage,
Then lend the eye a terrible aspect,
Let [it] pry through the portage of the head
Like the brass cannon, let the brow o'erwhelm it
As fearfully as doth a galled (battered) rock
O'erhang and jutty (jut out over) his confounded (ruined) base,
Swilled (drenched) with the wild and wasteful ocean.
Now set the teeth and stretch the nostril wide,
Hold hard the breath and bend up every spirit
To his full height. On, on, you noblest English,
Whose blood is fet (derived) from fathers of war-proof (proved in battle),
Fathers that, like so many Alexanders,
(Alexander lamented that there were no more worlds for him to conquer)
Have in these parts from morn till even (evening) fought
And sheathed their swords for lack of argument (opposition).
Dishonor not your mothers. Now attest
That those whom you called fathers did beget you.
Be copy (an example) now to men of grosser blood,
of grosser blood=less noble
And teach them how to war. And you, good yeoman,
Whose limbs were made in England, show us here
The mettle of your pasture (vigor of your upbringing). Let us swear
That you are worth your breeding (worthy of your parentage), which I doubt not,
For there is none of you so mean and base
mean=of low social status
That hath not noble luster in your eyes.
I see you stand like greyhounds in the slips (leashes designed for the animal’s easy release),
Straining upon the start. The game’s afoot.
Follow your spirit, and, upon this charge,
(when you make this charge)
Cry, “God for Harry, England, and Saint George!”
Saint George=patron saint of England
Alarum, and chambers go off
Enter NYM, BARDOLPH, PISTOL, and BOY
On, on, on, on, on! To the breach, to the breach!
Pray thee, corporal, stay. The knocks (thumping blows) are too hot, and, for mine own part, I have not a case of lives (he has only one life). The humor of it (the way it’s going) is too hot. That is the very plainsong (plain truth) of it.
“The plainsong” is most just, for humors (whims) do abound.
Knocks go and come. God’s vassals (loyal servants) drop and die,
And sword and shield
In bloody field
Doth win immortal fame.
Would I were in an alehouse in London! I would give all my fame for a pot of ale, and safety.
If wishes would prevail with me,
My purpose should (would) not fail with me,
But thither would I hie (hasten).
But not as truly,
As bird doth sing on bough.
Up to the breach, you dogs! Avaunt (get a move on), you cullions (It. coglioni=wretches)!
Be merciful, great duke, to men of mold (clay). Abate thy rage, abate thy manly rage, abate thy rage, great duke. Good bawcock (beau coq=fine fellow), 'bate thy rage. Use lenity, sweet chuck.
These be good humors. Your Honor wins bad humors (makes everyone angry).
Exeunt all but BOY
As young as I am, I have observed these three swashers (boasters). I am boy to them all three, but all they three, though they would serve me (if they should serve me), could not be man to me, for, indeed, three such antics (buffoons) do not amount to a man. For Bardolph, he is white-livered (cowardly) and red-faced, by the means whereof he faces it out but fights not; for Pistol, he hath a killing tongue and a quiet sword, by the means whereof he breaks words and keeps whole weapons; for Nym, he hath heard that men of few words are the best men, and, therefore, he scorns to say his prayers lest he should be thought a coward, but his few bad words are matched with as few good deeds, for he never broke any man’s head but his own, and that was against a post when he was drunk. They will steal anything and call it purchase (thieves’ talk). Bardolph stole a lute case, bore it twelve leagues (3 miles/league=36 miles), and sold it for three halfpence. Nym and Bardolph are sworn brothers in filching (pilfering), and in Calais they stole a fire shovel. I knew by that piece of service (military service) the men would carry coals (put up with any affront). They would have me as familiar with men’s pockets as [with] their [own] gloves or their handkerchers, which makes much against (offends) my manhood if I should take from another’s pocket to put into mine, for it is plain pocketing up of wrongs. I must leave them and seek some better service. Their villainy goes against my weak stomach, and, therefore, I must cast it up (vomit it up).
Enter FLUELLEN and GOWER
Captain Fluellen, you must come presently (immediately) to the mines (excavations). The Duke of Gloucester would speak with you.
To the mines? Tell you the duke it is not so good to come to the mines, for, look you, the mines is not according to the disciplines of the war. The concavities of it is not sufficient, for, look you, th' athversary (adversary), you may discuss unto the duke, look you, is digt (Welsh pronunciation of digged) himself four yard under the countermines. By Cheshu (Jesu - Fluellen’s Welsh dialect), I think he will plow (Fluellen’s pronunciation of blow) up all if there is not better directions.
The Duke of Gloucester, to whom the order (command) of the siege is given, is altogether directed by an Irishman, a very valiant gentleman, i' faith.
It is Captain Macmorris, is it not?
I think it be.
By Cheshu, he is an ass, as [much as any] in the world. I will verify as much in his beard (to his face). He has no more directions in the true disciplines of the wars (look you, of the Roman disciplines) than is a puppy dog.
Enter Captain MACMORRIS and Captain JAMY
Here he comes, and the Scots captain, Captain Jamy, with him.
FLUELLEN [speaking in Welsh dialect]
Captain Jamy is a marvelous falorous (valorous) gentleman, that is certain, and of great expedition (erudition?) and knowledge in th' aunchient wars, upon my particular knowledge of his directions. By Cheshu, he will maintain his argument (style of opposition) as well as any military man in the world in the disciplines of the pristine (ancient) wars of the Romans.
I say gudday, Captain Fluellen.
Godden (good e’en) to your Worship, good Captain James.
How now, Captain Macmorris, have you quit the mines?
Have the pioneers given o'er?
By Chrish, la, ’tish ill done. The work ish give over. The trompet sound the retreat. By my hand I swear, and my father’s soul, the work ish ill done. It ish give over. I would have blowed up the town, so Chrish save me, la, in an hour. Oh, ’tish ill done, ’tish ill done, by my hand, ’tish ill done.
Captain Macmorris, I beseech you now, will you voutsafe (permit) me, look you, a few disputations with you as partly touching or concerning the disciplines of the war, the Roman wars? In the way of argument, look you, and friendly communication, partly to satisfy my opinion and partly for the satisfaction, look you, of my mind, as touching the direction of the military discipline, that is the point.
It sall be vary gud, gud feith, gud captens bath, and I sall quit (answer) you with gud leve (with your permission), as I may pick occasion, that sall I, marry (by the Virgin Mary).
It is no time to discourse, so Chrish save me. The day is hot, and the weather and the wars and the king and the dukes. It is no time to discourse. The town is beseeched (besieged), and the trumpet call us to the breach, and we talk and, be Chrish, do nothing, ’tis shame for us all. So God sa' me, ’tis shame to stand still. It is shame, by my hand. And there is throats to be cut and works to be done, and there ish nothing done, so Chrish sa' me, la.
By the mess (mass), ere theise eyes of mine take themselves to slomber, ay’ll de gud service, or I’ll lig i' th' grund for it, ay, or go to death. And I’ll pay ’t as valorously as I may, that sall I suerly do, that is the breff and the long. Marry, I wad full fain (would have willingly) heard some question (discussion) ’tween you tway (two).
Captain Macmorris, I think, look you, under your correction, there is not many of your nation—
Of my nation? What ish (about) my nation? [Anyone who talks against my nation] Ish a villain and a basterd and a knave and a rascal. What ish my nation? Who talks of my nation?
Look you, if you take the matter otherwise than is meant, Captain Macmorris, peradventure (likely) I shall think you do not use me with that affability as, in discretion, you ought to use me, look you, being as good a man as yourself, both in the disciplines of war and in the derivation of my birth and in other particularities.
I do not know you so good a man as myself. So Chrish save me, I will cut off your head.
Gentlemen both, you will mistake each other.
Ah, that’s a foul fault.
A parley (request for a cease-fire) sounds
The town sounds a parley.
Captain Macmorris, when there is more better opportunity to be required, look you, I will be so bold as to tell you I know the disciplines of war, and there is an end.
Enter the GOVERNOR and some citizens on the walls. Enter KING HENRY and his train before the gates.
How yet resolves the governor of the town?
This is the latest parle we will admit.
latest parle=last discussion
Therefore to our best mercy give yourselves
Or, like to men proud of destruction,
Defy us to [do] our worst. For, as I am a soldier,
A name that in my thoughts becomes me best,
If I begin the batt'ry once again,
I will not leave the half-achieved Harfleur
Till in her ashes she lie burièd.
The gates of mercy shall be all shut up,
And the fleshed soldier, rough and hard of heart,
fleshed=made fierce by the taste of blood
In liberty of bloody hand shall range
With conscience wide as hell, mowing like grass
Your fresh fair virgins and your flow'ring infants.
What is it then to me if impious war,
Arrayed in flames like to the prince of fiends,
Do with his smirched complexion all fell feats
Enlinked to waste and desolation?
What is ’t to me, when you yourselves are cause,
If your pure maidens fall into the hand
Of hot and forcing violation?
What rein can hold licentious Wickedness
When down the hill he holds his fierce career?
We may as bootless spend our vain command
Upon th' enragèd soldiers in their spoil
As send precepts to the Leviathan
To come ashore. Therefore, you men of Harfleur,
Take pity of your town and of your people
Whiles yet my soldiers are in my command,
Whiles yet the cool and temperate wind of grace
O'erblows the filthy and contagious clouds
Of heady murder, spoil, and villainy.
If not, why, in a moment look to see
The blind and bloody soldier with foul hand
Desire the locks of your shrill-shrieking daughters,
Your fathers taken by the silver beards
And their most reverend heads dashed to the walls,
Your naked infants spitted upon pikes
Whiles the mad mothers with their howls confused
Do break the clouds, as did the wives of Jewry
At Herod’s bloody-hunting slaughtermen.
(Herod ordered the slaughter of the young male children of Bethlehem)
What say you? Will you yield and this avoid
Or, guilty in defense, be thus destroyed?
Our expectation hath this day an end.
The Dauphin, whom of succors we entreated,
of succors=for help
Returns us that his powers are yet not ready
To raise so great a siege. Therefore, great King,
We yield our town and lives to thy soft mercy.
Enter our gates, dispose of us and ours,
For we no longer are defensible.
Open your gates.
Come, uncle Exeter,
Go you and enter Harfleur. There remain
And fortify it strongly 'gainst the French.
Use mercy to them all. [As] for us, dear uncle.
The winter coming on and sickness growing
Upon our soldiers, we will retire to Calais.
Tonight in Harfleur will we be your guest.
Tomorrow for the march are we addressed.
Flourish, and enter the town
Enter KATHARINE and ALICE
Alice, tu as été en Angleterre, et tu parles bien le langage.
(Alice, you have been in England, and you speak the language well)
Un peu, madame.
(A little, madame)
Je te prie, m'enseignez. Il faut que j'apprenne à parler.
(Please, teach me. I must learn to speak)
Comment appelez-vous la main en anglais?
(How do you say “the hand” in English?)
La main? Elle est appelée “de hand.”
“De hand.” Et les doigts (fingers)?
Les doigts? Ma foi, j'oublie les doigts; mais je me souviendrai. Les doigts? Je pense qu'ils sont appelés “de fingres”; oui, “de fingres.”
(Les doigts? My faith, I forget “les doigts,” but I will remember. Les doigts? I think that they are called “de fingers.” Yes, “de fingers.”)
La main, “de hand”; les doigts, “de fingres.” Je pense que je suis le bon écolier (I think that I am a good student). J'ai gagné deux mots d'anglais vitement (I have won two English words quickly). Comment appelez-vous les ongles (fingernails)?
Les ongles? Nous les appelons (we call them) “de nails.”
“De nails.” Écoutez. Dites-moi si je parle bien (Listen. Tell me if I speak correctly): “de hand, de fingres, et (and) de nails.”
C'est bien dit, madame. Il est fort bon anglais.
(Well spoken, madame. It is very good English)
Dites-moi l'anglais pour le bras.
“De arme,” madame.
Et le coude?
“D'elbow.” Je m'en fais la répétition de tous les mots que vous m'avez appris dés à présent.
(I am going to repeat all the words that you have taught me so far)
Il est trop difficile, madame, comme je pense.
(It is too difficult, Madame, I think)
Excusez-moi, Alice. Écoutez: “de hand, de fingres, de nails, de arma, de bilbow.”
Ô Seigneur Dieu! Je m'en oublie; “d'elbow.” Comment appelez-vous le col?
“De nick (neck),” madame.
“De nick.” Et le menton?
“De sin.” Le col, “de nick”; le menton, “de sin.”
Oui. Sauf votre honneur, en vérité, vous prononcez les mots aussi droit que les natifs d'Angleterre.
(If I may say so, truly, you pronounce the words as well as the native English)
Je ne doute point d'apprendre, par la grâce de Dieu, et en peu de temps.
(I don’t doubt that I can learn, by the grace of God, in a short time)
N'avez vous pas déjà oublié ce que je vous ai enseigné?
(Haven’t you already forgotten what I have taught you?)
Non, je réciterai à vous promptement: “de hand, de fingre, de nails—”
(No, I shall recite it to you at once)
“De nails,” madame.
“De nails, de arme, de ilbow.”
Sauf votre honneur, “d'elbow.”
Ainsi dis-je (that’s what I said): “d'elbow, de nick, et de sin.” Comment appelez-vous le pied et la robe?
“Le foot (foot – sounds to Katharine like foutre - fornicate),” madame, et “le count (gown – sounds to Katharine like cunt).”
“Le foot” et “de count.” Ô Seigneur Dieu! Ils sont mots de son mauvais, corruptible, gros, et impudique, et non pour les dames d'honneur d'user. Je ne voudrais prononcer ces mots devant les seigneurs de France pour tout le monde. (Lord God! Those are bad words, wicked, coarse, and immodest and not proper for well-bred ladies to use. I wouldn’t utter those words before French gentlemen for all the world) Foh! “Le foot” et “le count”! Néanmoins, je réciterai une autre fois ma leçon ensemble (Nevertheless, I will recite my lesson once more): “d' hand, de fingre, de nails, d' arme, d'elbow, de nick, de sin, de foot, le count.”
C'est assez pour une fois (enough for one time). Allons-nous à diner (let’s go to dinner).
Enter the KING OF FRANCE, the DAUPHIN, the Duke of BOURBON, the CONSTABLE of France, and others
KING OF FRANCE
'Tis certain he hath passed the river Somme.
An if he be not fought withal, my lord,
(if he be not opposed, moreover)
Let us not live in France. Let us quit all
And give our vineyards to a barbarous people.
Ô Dieu vivant, shall a few sprays of us,
The emptying of our fathers' luxury,
Our scions, put in wild and savage stock,
(French grafted onto English stock)
Spurt up so suddenly into the clouds
(grow so suddenly tall, such as King Henry)
And overlook their grafters?
look down on those from whom they were transplanted
grafters=those who mixed French stock with English
Normans, but bastard Normans, Norman bastards!
Mort de ma vie (I hope to die), if they march along
Unfought withal, but [if they do] I will sell my dukedom
To buy a slobb'ry and a dirty farm
In that nook-shotten isle of Albion.
Albion=England, Scotland, and Wales
Dieu de batailles (god of battles), where have they this mettle (spirit)?
Is not their climate foggy, raw, and dull,
On whom, as in despite (contempt), the sun looks pale,
Killing their fruit with frowns? Can sodden water (ale),
A drench for sur-reined jades (a drink for overworked horses), their barley broth,
Decoct (warm) their cold blood to such valiant heat?
And shall our quick (lively) blood, spirited with wine,
Seem frosty? Oh, 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!
“Poor” we may call them in their native lords.
(we call our fields poor because of the poor quality of their owners)
By faith and honor,
Our madams mock at us and plainly say
Our mettle is bred out and they will give
Their bodies to the lust of English youth
To new-store France with bastard warriors.
And [madams] teach lavoltas high and swift corantos,
lavoltas . . corantos=dances
Saying our grace is only in our heels
And that we are most lofty (noble, leaping) runaways (a dance step, cowards).
They bid us to the English dancing schools.
KING OF FRANCE
Where is Montjoy, the herald? Speed him hence.
Let him greet England with our sharp defiance.
Up, princes, and, with spirit of honor edged
More sharper than your swords, hie to the field.
Charles Delabreth, High Constable of France,
You dukes of Orléans, Bourbon, and of Berri,
Alençon, Brabant, Bar, and Burgundy,
Jacques Chatillon, Rambures, Vaudemont,
Beaumont, Grandpré, Roussi, and Faulconbridge,
Foix, Lestrale, Bouciqualt, and Charolois,
High dukes, great princes, barons, lords, and knights,
For (in the name of) your great seats now quit you of great shames.
Bar Harry England, that sweeps through our land
With pennons (banners) painted in the blood of Harfleur.
Rush on his host (army), as doth the melted snow
Upon the valleys, whose low vassal (subordinate) seat
The Alps doth spit and void his rheum (nasal discharge) upon.
Go down upon him—you have power enough—
And in a captive chariot into Rouen
Bring him our prisoner.
This becomes the great (befits greatness)!
Sorry am I his numbers are so few,
His soldiers sick and famished in their march,
For, I am sure, when he shall see our army
He’ll drop his heart into the sink of fear
And for achievement (in place of victory) offer us his ransom.
KING OF FRANCE
Therefore, Lord Constable, haste on (prod) Montjoy
And let him say to England that we send
To know what willing ransom he will give.
—Prince Dauphin, you shall stay with us in Rouen.
Not so, I do beseech your Majesty.
KING OF FRANCE
Be patient, for you shall remain with us.
—Now forth, Lord Constable and princes all,
And quickly bring us word of England’s fall.
Enter GOWER and FLUELLEN, meeting
How now, Captain Fluellen? Come you from the bridge?
I assure you, there is very excellent services (action) committed at the pridge (Fluellen’s pronunciation).
Is the duke of Exeter safe?
The duke of Exeter is as magnanimous (great souled) as Agamemnon (Grecian leader of the Trojan war) and a man that I love and honor with my soul and my heart and my duty and my life and my living and my uttermost power. He is not, God be praised and blessed, any hurt in the world but keeps the pridge most valiantly, with excellent discipline. There is an aunchient (a military rank) lieutenant there at the pridge. I think in my very conscience he is as valiant a man as Mark Antony, and he is a man of no estimation (fame) in the world, but I did see him do as gallant service.
What do you call him?
He is called Aunchient Pistol.
I know him not.
Here is the man.
Captain, I thee beseech to do me favors.
The duke of Exeter doth love thee well.
Ay, I praise God, and I have merited some love at his hands.
Bardolph, a soldier firm and sound of heart
And of buxom valor, hath, by cruel Fate
And giddy Fortune’s furious fickle wheel,
That goddess blind
That stands upon the rolling restless stone—
By your patience, Aunchient Pistol, Fortune is painted blind with a muffler afore her eyes to signify to you that Fortune is blind, and she is painted, also, with a wheel to signify to you, which is the moral of it, that she is turning and inconstant and [notable for] mutability and variation, and her foot, look you, is fixed upon a spherical stone, which rolls and rolls and rolls. In good truth, the poet makes a most excellent description of it. Fortune is an excellent moral.
Fortune is Bardolph’s foe and frowns on him,
For he hath stolen a pax (a picture of the crucifixion) and hangèd must he be.
(Henry had warned soldiers against stealing from churches)
A damnèd death!
Let gallows gape for dog, let man go free,
And let not hemp his windpipe suffocate.
But Exeter hath given the doom of death
For pax of little price.
Therefore, go speak—the Duke will hear thy voice—
And let not Bardolph’s vital thread be cut
With edge of penny cord and vile reproach.
Speak, Captain, for his life, and I will thee requite (repay).
Aunchient Pistol, I do partly understand your meaning.
Why then, rejoice, therefore.
Certainly, aunchient, it is not a thing to rejoice at, for if, look you, he were my brother, I would desire the duke to use his good pleasure and put him to execution, for discipline ought to be used.
Die and be damned, and figo (a contemptuous gesture with the thumb) for thy friendship!
It is well.
The fig of Spain (more insulting even than figo)!
Why, this is an arrant (out-and-out) counterfeit rascal. I remember him now, a bawd (pimp), a cutpurse (pickpocket).
I’ll assure you, he uttered as prave words at the pridge as you shall see in a summer’s day. But it is very well; what he has spoke to me, that is well, I warrant you, when time is serve (when the time comes).
Why, ’tis a gull (simpleton), a fool, a rogue, that, now and then, goes to the wars to grace himself at his return into London under the form of a soldier. And such fellows are perfect in (can recite perfectly) the great commanders' names, and they will learn (teach) you by rote where services were done—at such and such a sconce (part of a fortification), at such a breach, at such a convoy, who came off bravely, who was shot, who disgraced, what terms the enemy stood on, and this they con (memorize) perfectly in the phrase of war, which they trick up with new-tuned oaths, and what a beard of the general’s cut and a horrid suit of the camp will do among foaming bottles and ale-washed wits is wonderful to be thought on, but you must learn to know such slanders (those involved in scandals) of the age, or else you may be marvelously mistook.
I tell you what, Captain Gower. I do perceive he is not the man that he would gladly make show to the world he is. If I find a hole in his coat, I will tell him my mind.
Drum and colors (flagbearer). Enter KING HENRY, GLOUCESTER, and soldiers
Hark you, the king is coming, and I must speak with him [with news] from the pridge.—God pless your Majesty.
How now, Fluellen, cam’st thou from the bridge?
Ay, so please your Majesty. The duke of Exeter has very gallantly maintained the pridge. The French is gone off, look you, and there is gallant and most prave passages (deeds). Marry, th' athversary was (did) have possession of the pridge, but he is enforced to retire, and the Duke of Exeter is master of the pridge. I can tell your Majesty, the duke is a prave man.
What men have you lost, Fluellen?
The perdition (losses) of th' athversary hath been very great, reasonable great. Marry, for my part, I think the duke hath lost never a man but one that is like (likely) to be executed for robbing a church, one Bardolph, if your Majesty know the man. His face is all bubukles (carbuncles) and whelks (pimples) and knobs and flames o' fire, and his lips blows at his nose, and it is like a coal of fire, sometimes plue and sometimes red, but his nose is executed (slit preparatory to his hanging), and his (its) fire’s out.
We would have all such offenders so cut off (put to death), and we give express charge that in our marches through the country there be nothing compelled (exacted) from the villages, nothing taken but paid for, none of the French upbraided or abused in disdainful language, for, when lenity and cruelty play for a kingdom, the gentler gamester is the soonest winner.
Tucket (trumpet). Enter MONTJOY
You know me by my habit (clothing).
Well, then, I know thee. What shall I know of thee?
My master’s mind.
Thus says my king, “Say thou to Harry of England, though we seemed dead, we did but sleep. Advantage is a better soldier than rashness. Tell him we could have rebuked him at Harfleur but that we thought not good to bruise an injury (squeeze an abscess) till it were full ripe. Now we speak upon our cue, and our voice is imperial. England (King Henry) shall repent his folly, see his weakness, and admire our sufferance. Bid him, therefore, consider of his ransom, which must proportion the losses we have borne, the subjects we have lost, the disgrace we have digested, which, in weight (kind) to re-answer, his pettiness would bow under. For our losses, his exchequer is too poor; for th' effusion of our blood, the muster (total population) of his kingdom too faint a number; and for our disgrace, his own person, kneeling at our feet, but a weak and worthless satisfaction. To this, add defiance, and tell him, for conclusion, he hath betrayed his followers, whose condemnation is pronounced.” So far my king and master, so much my office.
What is thy name? I know thy quality (status).
Thou dost thy office fairly. Turn thee back,
And tell thy king I do not seek him now
But could be willing to march on to Calais
Without impeachment (impediment), for, to say the sooth,
Though ’tis no wisdom to confess so much
Unto an enemy of craft and vantage,
My people are with sickness much enfeebled,
My numbers lessened, and those few I have
Almost no better than so many French,
Who, when they were in health, I tell thee, herald,
I thought upon one pair of English legs
Did march three Frenchmen. Yet, forgive me, God,
That I do brag thus. This, your air of France,
Hath blown (brought into bloom) that vice in me. I must repent.
Go, therefore, tell thy master: here I am.
My ransom is this frail and worthless trunk (his body),
My army but a weak and sickly guard,
Yet, God before (leading us), tell him we will come on
Though France (the king of France) himself and such another neighbor
Stand in our way. There’s for thy labor, Montjoy.
Go bid thy master well advise himself (take careful thought):
If we may pass, we will; if we be hindered,
We shall your tawny ground with your red blood
Discolor, and so, Montjoy, fare you well.
The sum of all our answer is but this:
We would not seek a battle as we are,
Nor, as we are, we say we will not shun it.
So tell your master.
I shall deliver so. Thanks to your Highness.
I hope they will not come upon us now.
We are in God’s hand, brother, not in theirs.
March to the bridge. It now draws toward night.
Beyond the river we’ll encamp ourselves
And on tomorrow bid them march away.
Enter the CONSTABLE of France, the Lord RAMBURES, ORLÉANS, DAUPHIN, with others
Tut, I have the best armor of the world. Would it were day!
You have an excellent armor, but let my horse have his due.
It is the best horse of Europe.
Will it never be morning?
My lord of Orléans and my Lord High Constable, you talk of horse and armor?
You are as well provided of both as any prince in the world.
What a long night is this! I will not change my horse with any that treads but on four pasterns (part of a horse’s hoof). Çà ha (what a horse!). He bounds from the earth, as if his entrails were hairs (like a tennis ball, which was stuffed with hair), le cheval Volant (the flying horse), the Pegasus (the winged horse ridden by Perseus), qui a (which has) les narines (the nostrils) de feu (of fire). When I bestride him, I soar; I am a hawk; he trots the air. The earth sings when he touches it. The basest horn of his hoof is more musical than the pipe of Hermes (with his pipe Hermes lulled to sleep Argus, who had a hundred eyes).
He’s of the color of the nutmeg.
And of the heat of the ginger. It is a beast for Perseus. He is pure air and fire, and the dull elements of earth and water never appear in him but only in patient stillness while his rider mounts him. He is, indeed, a horse, and all other jades (nags) you may call beasts.
Indeed, my lord, it is a most absolute and excellent horse.
It is the prince of palfreys (a riding horse as distinguished from a war horse). His neigh is like the bidding of a monarch, and his countenance enforces homage.
No more, cousin.
Nay, the man hath no wit that cannot, from the rising of the lark to the lodging (lying down) of the lamb, vary deserved praise on my palfrey. It is a theme as fluent as the sea. Turn the sands into eloquent tongues, and my horse is argument (theme) for them all. 'Tis a subject for a sovereign to reason (discourse) on, and for a sovereign’s sovereign to ride on, and for the world, familiar to us and unknown, to lay apart (aside) their particular functions and wonder at him. I once writ a sonnet in his praise and began thus: “Wonder of nature—”
I have heard a sonnet begin so to one’s mistress.
Then did they imitate that which I composed to my courser, for my horse is my mistress.
ORLÉANS (double meanings follow)
Your mistress bears well.
Me well—which is the prescript (prescribed) praise and perfection of a good and particular mistress.
Nay, for methought yesterday your mistress shrewdly shook your back (gave you a bumpy ride).
So, perhaps, did yours.
Mine was not bridled (mine was not a horse).
Oh, then belike (likely) she was old and gentle, and you rode, like a kern (yokel) of Ireland, your French hose (wide breeches) off and in your straight strossers (barelegged).
You have good judgment in horsemanship (whoresmanship).
Be warned by me, then: they that ride so, and ride not warily, fall into foul bogs. I had rather have my horse to my mistress.
I had as lief (prefer to) have my mistress [as] a jade (horse or loose woman).
I tell thee, Constable, my mistress wears his own hair.
I could make as true a boast as that if I had a sow to (for) my mistress.
“Le chien est retourné à son propre vomissement, et la truie lavée au bourbier.” Thou mak’st use of anything (you’d take anything for a mistress).
(the dog is returned to his own vomit and the washed sow to his own mud puddle – Peter 2:22)
Yet do I not use my horse for my mistress or any such proverb so little kin (akin) to the purpose.
My Lord Constable, the armor that I saw in your tent tonight, are those stars or suns upon it?
Stars, my lord.
Some of them will fall tomorrow, I hope.
And yet my sky shall not want (be lacking).
That may be, for you bear a many superfluously, and ’twere more honor some were away.
Ev'n as your horse bears your praises, who would trot as well were some of your brags dismounted.
Would I were able to load him with his desert (what he deserves)! Will it never be day? I will trot tomorrow a mile, and my way shall be paved with English faces.
I will not say so, for fear I should be faced out of my way (pushed off the road). But I would it were morning, for I would fain be about the ears of the English.
Who will go to hazard (throw dice) with me for twenty prisoners?
You must first go yourself to hazard (danger) ere you have them.
'Tis midnight. I’ll go arm myself.
The Dauphin longs for morning.
He longs to eat the English.
I think he will eat all he kills.
(in other words, he won’t kill anybody)
By the white hand of my lady (mistress), he’s a gallant prince.
Swear by her foot [instead of her hand], that she may tread out (stamp out) the oath.
He is simply the most active gentleman of France.
Doing is activity (activity in bed), and he will still (always) be doing.
He never did harm that I heard of.
Nor will do none (any) tomorrow. He will keep that good name still.
I know him to be valiant.
I was told that by one that knows him better than you.
What’s he (who is he)?
Marry, he told me so himself, and he said he cared not who knew it.
He needs not. It is no hidden virtue in him.
By my faith, sir, but it is. Never anybody saw it but his lackey. 'Tis a hooded valor (hooded like a falcon), and, when it (prey) appears, it will bate (flap its wings).
Ill will never said well.
I will cap that proverb with “There is flattery in friendship.”
And I will take up that with “Give the devil his due.”
Well placed. There stands your friend for the devil. Have at the very eye of that proverb with “A pox of (on) the devil.”
You are the better at proverbs, by how much “A fool’s bolt (arrow) is soon (too hastily) shot.”
You have shot over (overshot).
'Tis not the first time you were overshot.
My Lord High Constable, the English lie within fifteen hundred paces of your tents.
Who hath measured the ground?
The Lord Grandpré.
A valiant and most expert gentleman.—Would it were day! Alas, poor Harry of England! He longs not for the dawning as we do.
What a wretched and peevish fellow is this king of England to mope with his fat-brained followers so far out of his knowledge.
If the English had any apprehension, they would run away.
That they lack, for if their heads had any intellectual armor, they could never wear such heavy head-pieces.
That island of England breeds very valiant creatures. Their mastiffs are of unmatchable courage.
Foolish curs, that run winking into the mouth of a Russian bear [used in bear-baiting] and have their heads crushed like rotten apples. You may as well say, that’s a valiant flea that dare eat his breakfast on the lip of a lion.
Just [so], just [so], and the men do sympathize with the mastiffs in robustious and rough coming on, leaving their wits with their wives. And, then, [if you] give them great meals of beef and iron and steel, they will eat like wolves and fight like devils.
Ay, but these English are shrewdly (seriously) out of beef.
Then shall we find tomorrow they have only stomachs to eat and none to fight. Now is it time to arm. Come, shall we about it?
It is now two o'clock. But, let me see, by ten
We shall have each a hundred Englishmen.
Now entertain conjecture of a time
When creeping murmur and the poring dark
Fills the wide vessel of the universe.
From camp to camp, through the foul womb of night,
The hum of either army stilly sounds,
[so] That the fixed sentinels almost receive
The secret whispers of each other’s watch.
Fire answers fire, and through their paly flames
Each battle sees the other’s umbered face.
Steed threatens steed, in high and boastful neighs
Piercing the night’s dull ear, and from the tents
The armorers, accomplishing the knights,
With busy hammers closing rivets up,
(some rivets were placed after the armor had been put on)
Give dreadful note of preparation.
The country cocks do crow, the clocks do toll,
And, the third hour of drowsy morning named,
Proud of their numbers and secure in soul,
The confident and overlusty French
Do the low-rated English play at dice
And chide the cripple, tardy-gaited night,
Who like a foul and ugly witch doth limp
So tediously away. The poor condemnèd English,
Like sacrifices, by their watchful fires
Sit patiently and inly ruminate
The morning’s danger, and, their gesture sad,
Investing lank-lean cheeks and war-worn coats,
Presenteth them unto the gazing moon
So many horrid ghosts. Oh, now, who will behold
The royal captain of this ruined band
Walking from watch to watch, from tent to tent?
Let him cry, “Praise and glory on his head!”
For forth he goes and visits all his host,
Bids them good morrow with a modest smile,
And calls them brothers, friends, and countrymen.
Upon his royal face there is no note
How dread an army hath enrounded him,
Nor doth he dedicate one jot of color
color=color of complexion
Unto the weary and all-watchèd night
all-watched=spent entirely in wakefulness
But freshly looks and overbears attaint
With cheerful semblance and sweet majesty,
[so] That every wretch, pining and pale before,
Beholding him, plucks comfort from his looks.
A largess universal, like the sun,
His liberal eye doth give to everyone,
Thawing cold fear, that mean and gentle all
Behold, as may unworthiness define,
as may unworthiness define=as well as we, unworthy, can say it
A little touch of Harry in the night.
And so our scene must to the battle fly,
Where, O, for pity, we shall much disgrace
(With four or five most vile and ragged foils
Right ill-disposed in brawl ridiculous)
ill-disposed=not up to the task
The name of Agincourt. Yet, sit and see,
Minding true things by what their mock'ries be.
(keeping in mind the truths indicated by my inadequate words)
Enter KING HENRY, BEDFORD, and GLOUCESTER
Gloucester, ’tis true that we are in great danger.
The greater, therefore, should our courage be.
—Good morrow, brother Bedford. God almighty,
There is some soul of goodness in things evil,
Would men observingly distill it out,
For our bad neighbor makes us early stirrers,
bad=capable of causing trouble overnight
Which is both healthful and good husbandry.
Besides, they are our outward consciences
And preachers to us all, admonishing
That we should dress us fairly for our end.
(be well prepared)
Thus may we gather honey from the weed
And make a moral of (from) the devil himself.
Good morrow, old Sir Thomas Erpingham.
A good soft pillow for that good white head
Were better than a churlish turf of France.
Not so, my liege, this lodging likes me better,
Since I may say, “Now lie I like a king.”
'Tis good for men to love their present pains
Upon [good] example. So the spirit is eased,
And, when the mind is quickened, out of doubt,
The organs, though defunct and dead before,
Break up (break out of) their drowsy grave and newly move,
With casted slough and fresh legerity.
Lend me thy cloak, Sir Thomas. Brothers both,
brothers both=Gloucester and Bedford
Commend me (present my compliments) to the princes in our camp,
Do my good morrow to them, and anon
Desire them all to [come to] my pavilion.
We shall, my liege (sovereign).
Shall I attend your Grace?
No, my good knight.
Go with my brothers to my lords of England.
I and my bosom must debate awhile,
And, then, I would no other company.
The Lord in heaven bless thee, noble Harry!
Exeunt all but KING HENRY
God-a-mercy, old heart, thou speak’st cheerfully.
Qui vous là?
(who is there?)
Discuss unto me: art thou officer or art thou base, common, and popular (of the people)?
I am a gentleman of a company.
Trail’st thou the puissant pike (drag the pike along)?
Even so. What are you?
As good a gentleman as the emperor.
Then you are a better than the king.
The king’s a bawcock (beau coq=good bird) and a heart of gold,
A lad of life, an imp of fame,
Of parents good, of fist most valiant.
I kiss his dirty shoe, and from heartstring (my heart)
I love the lovely bully (fellow). What is thy name?
Harry le Roy.
Le Roy? A Cornish name. Art thou of Cornish crew?
No, I am a Welshman.
Know’st thou Fluellen?
Tell him I’ll knock his leek about his pate
(tell him I’ll pull the leek out of his hat and hit him over his head with it)
Upon Saint Davy’s day.
(the Welsh wear leeks in their hats on that day to commemorate a victory)
Do not you wear your dagger in your cap that day, lest he knock that about yours.
Art thou his friend?
And his kinsman, too.
The figo for thee then!
figo=a contemptuous gesture with the thumb
I thank you. God be with you.
My name is Pistol called.
It sorts well with your fierceness.
Enter FLUELLEN and GOWER
So. In the name of Jesu Christ, speak fewer (lesser). It is the greatest admiration (shock) in the universal world when the true and aunchient prerogatifes and laws of the wars is not kept. If you would take the pains but to examine the wars of Pompey the Great (Roman general), you shall find, I warrant you, that there is no tiddle toddle nor pibble babble in Pompey’s camp. I warrant you, you shall find the ceremonies of the wars and the cares of it and the forms of it and the sobriety of it and the modesty of it to be otherwise (to counteract the noisiness).
Why, the enemy is loud. You hear him all night.
If the enemy is an ass and a fool and a prating coxcomb (chattering fool), is it meet, think you, that we should also, look you, be an ass and a fool and a prating coxcomb, in your own conscience, now?
I will speak lower.
I pray you and beseech you that you will.
Exeunt GOWER and FLUELLEN
Though it appear a little out of fashion,
There is much care and valor in this Welshman.
Enter three soldiers, John BATES, Alexander COURT, and Michael WILLIAMS
Brother John Bates, is not that the morning which breaks yonder?
I think it be, but we have no great cause to desire the approach of day.
We see yonder the beginning of the day, but I think we shall never see the end of it.—Who goes there?
Under what captain serve you?
Under Sir Thomas Erpingham.
A good old commander and a most kind gentleman. I pray you, what thinks he of our estate (status)?
Even as men wracked (shipwrecked) upon a sand (sandbank), that look to be washed off the next tide.
He hath not told his thought to the king?
No. Nor it is not meet (nor is it suitable – common double negative) 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. The element (sky) shows to him as it doth to me. All his senses have but human conditions. His ceremonies laid by, in his nakedness he appears but a man, and, though his affections are higher mounted than ours, yet when they stoop (fall from the sky), they stoop with the like wing. Therefore, when he sees reason of (for) fears as we do, his fears, out of doubt, be of the same relish as ours are. Yet, in reason, no man should possess (relate to) him with any appearance of fear, lest he (the king), by showing it, should dishearten his army.
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, and so I would he were and I by him at all adventures (regardless of risk), so we were quit here.
By my troth, I will speak my conscience of (about) the king: I think he would not wish himself anywhere but where he is.
Then I would he were here alone, so should he be sure to be ransomed and a many poor men’s lives saved.
I dare say you love him not so ill (do not dislike him so much as) to wish him here alone, howsoever you speak this to feel (test out) other men’s minds. Methinks I could not die anywhere so contented as in the king’s company, his cause being just and his quarrel honorable.
That’s more than we know.
Ay, or more than we should seek after, for we know enough if we know we are the king’s subjects. If his cause be wrong, our obedience to the king wipes the crime of it out of us.
But if the cause be not good, the king himself hath a heavy reckoning to make, when all those legs and arms and heads, chopped off in a battle, shall join together at the latter day (the Day of Judgment) and cry all, “We died at such a place,” some swearing, some crying for a surgeon, some upon (crying about) their wives left poor behind them, some upon (crying about) the debts they owe, some upon (crying about) their children rawly left (unprovided for). I am afeard there are few die well that die in a battle, for how can they charitably dispose of anything (make amends), when blood is their argument (main concern)? Now, if these men do not die well, it will be a black matter for the king that led them to it, whom to disobey were against all proportion (suitability) of subjection (being a subject).
So, if a son, that is by his father sent about (regarding) merchandise, do sinfully miscarry upon the sea, the imputation of his wickedness, by your rule, should be imposed upon his father that sent him, or if a servant, under his master’s command transporting a sum of money, be assailed by robbers and die in many irreconciled iniquities, you may call the business of the master the author of the servant’s damnation. But this is not so. The king is not bound to answer the particular endings of his soldiers, the father of his son, nor the master of his servant, for they purpose (intend) not their death when they purpose (offer) their services. Besides, there is no king, be his cause never so spotless, if it come to the arbitrament (verdict) of swords, can try it out with all unspotted soldiers. Some, peradventure (very likely), have on them the guilt of premeditated and contrived murder; some, of beguiling virgins with the broken seals of perjury; some, making the wars their bulwark (means of escape), that have before gored the gentle bosom of peace with pillage and robbery. Now, if these men have defeated (broken) the law and outrun native punishment, though they can outstrip men, they have no wings to fly from God. War is His beadle (agent of justice), war is His vengeance, so that here (in this war) men are punished for before-breach (an earlier breach) of the king’s laws in now the king’s quarrel (in this war). Where they feared the death, they have borne life away (have survived), and, where they would be (thought they were) safe, they perish. Then, if they die unprovided (not ready to meet God), no more is the king guilty of their damnation than he was before guilty of those impieties for the which they are now visited (punished). Every subject’s duty is the king’s, but every subject’s soul is his own. Therefore, should every soldier in the wars (every soldier in the wars should) do as every sick man in his bed - wash every mote (blemish) out of his conscience, and, dying so, death is to him advantage, or, not dying, the time was blessedly lost (spent) wherein such preparation was gained, and, in him that escapes, it were not sin to think that, making God so free an offer (that is, with nothing more to gain from God), He let him outlive that day to see His greatness and to teach others how they should prepare.
'Tis certain, every man that dies ill, the ill upon his own head, the king is not to answer [for] it.
I do not desire he should answer for me, and, yet, I determine to fight lustily for him.
I myself heard the king say he would not be ransomed.
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.
If I live to see it, I will never trust his word after.
You pay him then (you get back at him for his betrayal). That’s a perilous shot [that really will hurt the monarch!] out of an elder gun (pop gun made from elder wood) that a poor and private displeasure can do against a monarch. You may as well go about to turn the sun to ice with fanning in his face with a peacock’s feather. You’ll “never trust his word after.” Come, ’tis a foolish saying.
Your reproof is something too round (overblown). I should be angry with you if the time were convenient.
Let it be a quarrel between us, if you live.
I embrace it.
How shall I know thee again?
Give me any gage (token) of thine, and I will wear it in my bonnet (cap). Then, if ever thou dar’st acknowledge it, I will make it my quarrel.
Here’s my glove. Give me another of thine.
This will I, also, wear in my cap. If ever thou come to me and say, after tomorrow, “This is my glove,” by this hand I will take (give) thee a box (slap) on the ear.
If ever I live to see it, I will challenge it.
Thou dar’st as well be hanged.
Well, I will do it, though I take thee in the king’s company.
Keep thy word. Fare thee well.
Be friends, you English fools, be friends. We have French quarrels enough, if you could tell how to reckon.
Indeed, the French may lay twenty French crowns (coins) to one they will beat us, for they bear them (crowns=heads) on their shoulders (the French outnumber the English 20 to 1). But it is no English treason to cut French crowns (heads), and tomorrow the king himself will be a clipper.
(Clipping coins was punished as treason under English law)
Upon the king! Let us our lives, our souls, our debts, our careful (anxious) wives, our children, and our sins lay [as a burden] on the king!
We must bear all. O hard condition,
Twin-born with greatness, subject to the breath (gossip)
(greatness is the king’s twin)
Of every fool, whose sense no more can feel
But his own wringing (aches and pains). What infinite heart’s ease
Must kings neglect (do without) that private men enjoy?
And what have kings that privates (private men) have not, too,
Save (except) ceremony, save general ceremony?
And what art thou, thou idle (useless) ceremony?
What kind of god art thou, that suffer’st more
Of mortal griefs than do thy worshippers?
What are thy rents? What are thy comings in (receipts)?
O ceremony, show me but thy worth!
What is thy soul of adoration (the secret of how much you are admired)?
Art thou aught else but place, degree, and form,
Creating awe and fear in other men,
Wherein thou art less happy, being feared,
Than they in fearing?
What drink’st thou oft, instead of homage sweet,
But poisoned flattery? Oh, be sick, great greatness,
And bid thy ceremony give thee cure!
Think’st thou the fiery fever will go out
With titles blown (inflated) from adulation?
Will it (a fever) give place to flexure (bowing) and low bending?
Canst thou, when thou command’st the beggar’s knee,
Command the health of it? No, thou proud dream (pride),
That play’st so subtly with a king’s repose.
I am a king that find thee [out], and I know
'Tis not the balm (consecrating oil), the scepter, and the ball,
The sword, the mace, the crown imperial,
The intertissued robe of gold and pearl,
The farcèd (inflated) title running 'fore the king,
The throne he sits on, nor the tide of pomp
That beats upon the high shore of this world.
No, not all these, thrice-gorgeous (very gorgeous) ceremony,
Not all these, laid in bed majestical,
Can sleep so soundly as the wretched slave,
Who, with a body filled and vacant mind,
Gets him to rest, crammed with distressful (hard-earned) bread;
Never sees horrid night, the child of hell,
But, like a lackey, from the rise to set
(sunrise to sunset)
Sweats in the eye of Phoebus (the sun god) and all night
Sleeps in Elysium (the abode of the blessed). Next day after dawn,
[he] Doth rise and help Hyperion (father of the sun, moon, and dawn) to his horse [which pulled the sun],
And follows so the ever-running year
With profitable labor to his grave,
And, but for ceremony, such a wretch,
Winding up (passing) days with toil and nights with sleep,
Had (would have) the forehand (superiority) and vantage (advantageous position) of a king.
The slave, a member of the country’s peace,
Enjoys it, but in gross (stupid) brain little wots (understands)
What watch the king keeps to maintain the peace,
Whose hours the peasant best advantages (has the advantage of).
My lord, your nobles, jealous of (concerned about) your absence,
Seek through your camp to find you.
Good old knight,
Collect them all together at my tent.
I’ll be before thee.
I shall do’t, my lord.
O God of battles, steel my soldiers' hearts.
Possess them not with fear. Take from them now
The sense of reck'ning ere th' opposèd numbers
sense of reck’ning=ability to count
Pluck their hearts from them. Not today, O Lord,
Oh, not today, think not upon the fault
fault=murder of Richard II
My father made in compassing (obtaining) the crown.
I Richard’s body have interrèd anew,
And on it have bestowed more contrite tears
Than from it issued forcèd drops of blood.
Five hundred poor I have in yearly pay,
Who twice a day their withered hands hold up
Toward heaven to pardon blood. And I have built
Two chantries (chapels) where the sad and solemn priests
Sing still (perpetually) for Richard’s soul. More will I do,
Though all that I can do is nothing worth
Since that (as shown by the fact that) my penitence comes after all,
My brother Gloucester’s voice.—Ay,
I know thy errand. I will go with thee.
The day, my friends, and all things stay (wait) for me.
Enter the DAUPHIN, ORLÉANS, RAMBURES, and others
The sun doth gild our armor. Up, my lords.
Montez à cheval! (to horse!) My horse, varlet! Lackey! Ha!
O brave spirit!
Via les eaux et la terre.
(by water and land)
Rien puis? L'air et feu? (nothing more? Air and fire?)
Cieux (the sky), cousin Orléans.
Now, my Lord Constable?
Hark how our steeds for present service (immediate action) neigh.
Mount them and make incision in their hides [with spurs],
That their hot blood may spin in English eyes
And dout (extinguish) them with superfluous courage. Ha!
(blood was thought to be the source of courage)
What, will you have them weep our horses' blood?
How shall we then behold their natural tears?
The English are embattled (formed into a line of battle), you French peers.
To horse, you gallant princes, straight to horse.
Do but behold yond poor and starvèd band,
And your fair show shall suck away their souls,
Leaving them but the shales (shells) and husks of men.
There is not work enough for all our hands,
Scarce blood enough in all their sickly veins
To give each naked curtle-axe (cutlass) a stain,
That our French gallants shall today draw out
And sheathe for lack of sport. Let us but blow on them,
The vapor of our valor will o'erturn (up-end) them.
'Tis positive against all exceptions (indisputably true), lords,
That our superfluous lackeys and our peasants,
Who in unnecessary action swarm
About our squares of battle (military formations), were enough
To purge this field of such a hilding (worthless) foe,
Though we upon this mountain’s basis (base) by (nearby)
Took stand for idle speculation (stood looking on),
But that our honors must not. What’s to say?
(except for the fact that our honor requires otherwise)
A very little little let us do,
And all is done. Then let the trumpets sound
The tucket sonance (trumpet signal) and the note to mount,
For our approach shall so much dare the field
That England shall couch (crouch) down in fear and yield.
Why do you stay so long, my lords of France?
Yond island carrions (corpses), desperate of their bones,
Ill-favoredly become (are an eyesore to) the morning field.
Their ragged curtains (banners) poorly are let loose,
And our air shakes them passing (surpassingly) scornfully.
Big Mars (god of war) seems bankrupt in their beggared host
And faintly through a rusty beaver (face-guard) peeps.
The horsemen sit like fixèd candlesticks
With torch staves (tapers instead of lances) in their hand, and their poor jades (horses)
(candlesticks were sometimes held in place by statuettes of horsemen)
Lob down their heads, dropping (letting droop) the hides and hips,
The gum (eye discharge) down-roping from their pale-dead eyes,
And in their pale dull mouths the gemeled (jointed) bit
Lies foul with chawed grass, still and motionless,
And their executors (gleaners), the knavish crows,
Fly o'er them all, impatient for their hour.
Description cannot suit itself in words
To demonstrate the life of such a battle
In life so lifeless, as it shows itself (as it turns out).
They have said their prayers, and they stay (wait) for death.
Shall we go send them dinners and fresh suits
And give their fasting horses provender (fodder)
And, after, fight with them?
I stay but for my guidon (banner). On, to the field!
I will the banner from a trumpet (trumpeter) take
And use it for (in) my haste. Come, come away.
The sun is high, and we outwear (waste) the day.
Enter GLOUCESTER, BEDFORD, EXETER, ERPINGHAM, with all his host, SALISBURY, and WESTMORELAND
Where is the king?
The king [just] himself is rode to view their battle.
Of fighting men they have full threescore thousand (60,000).
There’s five to one. Besides, they all are fresh.
God’s arm strike with us! 'Tis a fearful odds.
God be wi' you, princes all. I’ll to my charge (command post).
If we no more meet till we meet in heaven,
Then, joyfully, my noble Lord of Bedford,
My dear Lord Gloucester, and my good Lord Exeter,
And my kind kinsman, warriors all, adieu.
(Westmoreland was Salisbury’s kinsman)
Farewell, good Salisbury, and good luck go with thee.
Farewell, kind lord. Fight valiantly today,
And, yet, I do thee wrong to mind (remind) thee of it,
For thou art framed of the firm truth of valor.
He is as full of valor as of kindness,
Princely in both.
Enter KING HENRY
Oh, that we now had here
But one [in] ten thousand of those men in England
That do no work today.
What’s he that wishes so?
My cousin Westmoreland? No, my fair cousin.
If we are marked to die, we are enough
To do our country loss, and, if to live,
The fewer men, the greater share of honor.
God’s will, I pray thee wish not one man more.
By Jove, I am not covetous for gold
Nor care I who doth feed upon my cost (at my expense).
It yearns me not if men my garments wear.
Such outward things dwell not in my desires,
But, if it be a sin to covet honor,
I am the most offending soul alive.
No, faith, my coz, wish not a man from England.
God’s peace, I would not lose so great an honor
As one man more, methinks, would share from me,
For the best hope I have. Oh, do not wish one more!
Rather, proclaim it, Westmoreland, through my host (army),
That he which hath no stomach to (appetite for) this fight,
Let him depart. His passport shall be made
And crowns (coins) for convoy (transport) put into his purse.
We would not die in that man’s company
That fears his fellowship to die with us.
This day is called the feast of Crispian.
He that outlives this day and comes safe home
Will stand o' tiptoe when the day is named
And rouse him[self] at the name of Crispian.
He that shall see this day and live [to] old age
Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbors
vigil=nocturnal devotional exercise
And say, “Tomorrow is Saint Crispian.”
Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars
And say, “These wounds I had on Crispin’s day.”
(two saints are honored on this day – Crispin (or Crispian) and Crispinian)
Old men forget; yet (in time) all shall be forgot,
But he’ll remember with advantages (embellishments)
What feats he did that day. Then shall our names,
Familiar in his mouth as household words,
Harry the King, Bedford and Exeter,
Warwick and Talbot, Salisbury and Gloucester,
Be in their [over]flowing cups freshly remembered.
This story shall the good man teach his son,
And Crispin Crispian shall ne'er go by,
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remembered,
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers,
For he today that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother. Be he ne'er so vile (lowly),
This day shall gentle his condition (make a gentleman of him),
And gentlemen in England now abed
Shall think themselves accursed they were not here
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin’s day.
My sovereign lord, bestow yourself (take your position) with speed.
The French are bravely (handsomely) in their battles (battle lines) set
And will with all expedience (speed) charge on us.
All things are ready if our minds be so.
Perish the man whose mind is backward now!
Thou dost not wish more help from England, coz?
God’s will, my liege, would you and I alone,
Without more help, could fight this royal battle!
(I wish you and I could fight this battle alone)
Why, now thou hast unwished five thousand men (our entire army),
Which likes (pleases) me better than to wish us one.
—You know your places. God be with you all.
Tucket (fanfare on a trumpet)
Once more I come to know of thee, King Harry,
If for thy ransom thou wilt now compound (make terms)
Before thy most assurèd overthrow,
For certainly thou art so near the gulf
Thou needs must be englutted. Besides, in mercy,
The constable desires thee thou wilt mind
Thy followers of repentance, [so] that their souls
May make a peaceful and a sweet retire
From off these fields where, wretches, their poor bodies
Must lie and fester.
Who hath sent thee now?
The constable of France.
I pray thee, bear my former answer back.
Bid them achieve (capture) 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
(from a fable by Aesop)
While the beast lived was killed with hunting him.
A many of our bodies shall no doubt
Find native (English) graves, upon the which, I trust,
Shall witness live in brass [on grave markers] of this day’s work,
And those that leave their valiant bones in France,
Dying like men though buried in your dunghills,
They shall be famed, for there the sun shall greet them
And draw their honors reeking (in fumes) up to heaven,
Leaving their earthly parts to choke your clime,
The smell whereof shall breed a plague in France.
Mark, then, abounding valor in our English,
That being dead, like to the bullet’s crazing (shattering),
Break out into a second course of mischief,
Killing in relapse of mortality (suspension of death).
Let me speak proudly. Tell the constable
We are but warriors for the working day.
Our gayness and our gilt are all besmirched
With rainy marching in the painful field.
There’s not a piece of feather (not a feather in a cap) in our host (entire army)—
Good argument, I hope, we will not fly—
And time hath worn us into slovenry,
But, by the Mass, our hearts are in the trim,
And my poor soldiers tell me, yet ere night
They’ll be in fresher (heavenly) robes, or they will pluck
The gay new coats o'er the French soldiers' heads
And turn them out (dismiss them, like servants) of service. If they do this,
As, if God please, they shall, my ransom then
Will soon be levied (collected). Herald, save thou thy labor.
Come thou no more for ransom, gentle[man] herald.
They shall have none, I swear, but these my joints,
Which, if they have, as I will leave 'em them,
Shall yield them little. Tell the constable.
I shall, King Harry. And so fare thee well.
Thou never shalt hear herald anymore.
I fear thou wilt once more come again for a ransom.
My lord, most humbly on my knee I beg
The leading of the vaward (vanguard=frontmost division).
Take it, brave York. Now, soldiers, march away,
And how Thou pleasest, God dispose the day.
(may God make the day go the way you want it to)
Alarm, excursions. Enter PISTOL, FRENCH SOLDIER, and BOY
Je pense que vous êtes gentilhomme de bonne qualité.
(I think that you are a gentleman of high rank)
Qualtitie calmie custure me (nonsense). Art thou a gentleman? What is thy name? Discuss (declare).
Ô Seigneur Dieu (Lord God)!
O Seigneur Dew should be a gentleman [because a seigneur is a lord]. Perpend (consider) my words, O Seigneur Dew, and mark: O Seigneur Dew, thou diest on point of fox (sword), except, O Seigneur, thou do give to me egregious (huge) ransom.
Ô, prenez miséricorde! Ayez pitié de moi!
(have mercy. Take pity on me)
Moy (Pistol thinks that a moi is a coin) shall not serve (just one doesn’t satisfy me). I will have forty moys, or I will fetch thy rim (diaphragm) out at thy throat in drops of crimson blood.
Est-il impossible d'Échapper la force de ton bras?
(can I escape your powerful arm?)
Brass (Pistol thinks that bras – arm – is brass), cur? Thou damned and luxurious (lascivious) mountain goat, offer’st me brass [as ransom]?
(Pistol takes this to mean a ton of moys)
Say’st thou me so? Is that a ton of moys?—Come hither, boy. Ask [for] me this slave in French what is his name.
Écoutez. Comment êtes-vous appelé?
(listen. How are you called?)
Monsieur le Fer.
He says his name is Master Fer.
Master Fer. I’ll fer him and firk him and ferret him.
Discuss the same in French unto him.
I do not know the French for “fer” and “ferret” and “firk.”
Bid him prepare, for I will cut his throat.
(to the BOY) Que dit-il, monsieur?
(what is he saying?)
Il me commande à vous dire que vous faites vous prêt, car ce soldat ici est disposé tout à cette heure de couper votre gorge.
(he commands me to tell you to prepare to die, for he is disposed right now to cut your throat)
Owy (Oui), cuppele gorge (cut your throat), per-ma-foy (by my faith), peasant, unless thou give me crowns, brave crowns, or mangled shalt thou be by this my sword.
Ô, je vous supplie, pour l'amour de Dieu, me pardoner. Je suis gentilhomme de bonne maison. Gardez ma vie, et je vous donnerai deux cents écus
What are his words?
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.
Tell him my fury shall abate, and I the crowns will take.
Petit monsieur, que dit-il?
(What does he say?)
Encore qu'il est contre son jurement de pardoner aucun prisonnier; néanmoins, pour les écus que vous lui avez promis, il est content à vous donner la liberté, le franchisement.
(once more, that it is contrary to his oath to pardon any prisoner. Nevertheless, for the crowns that you promise him, he is willing to give you liberty, freedom)
Sur mes genoux je vous donne mille remercîments, et je m'estime heureux que j'ai tombé entre les mains d'un chevalier, je pense, le plus brave, vaillant, et très distingué seigneur d'Angleterre.
Expound unto me, boy.
He gives you upon his knees a thousand thanks, and he esteems himself happy that he hath fall'n into the hands of one, as he thinks, the most brave, valorous, and thrice-worthy (emphatically worthy) seigneur of England.
As I suck blood, I will some mercy show. Follow me.
(Pistol said earlier that he would suck French blood=extort money)
Suivez-vous le grand capitaine.
(follow the great captain)
Exeunt PISTOL and FRENCH SOLDIER
I did never know so full a voice issue from so empty a heart, but the saying is true, “The empty vessel makes the greatest sound.” Bardolph and Nym had ten times more valor than this roaring devil i' th' old play (“morality play” from an earlier time), that everyone may pare his nails with a wooden dagger (whose nails anyone could cut with a wooden dagger), and they are both hanged, and so would this be if he durst steal anything adventurously (bravely). I must stay with the lackeys with the luggage of our camp. The French might have a good prey of us if he (they) knew of it, for there is none to guard it but boys.
Enter CONSTABLE, ORLÉANS, BOURBON, DAUPHIN, and RAMBURES
Ô seigneur! Le jour est perdu, tout est erdu!
(O Lord, the day is lost. All is lost)
Mort de ma vie (an exclamation - death in my life), all is confounded, all!
Reproach and everlasting shame
Sits mocking in our plumes.
A short alarum
Ô méchante Fortune!
O malicious fate
Do not run away.
Why, all our ranks are broke.
O perdurable (enduring) shame! Let’s stab ourselves.
Be these the wretches that we played at dice for?
Is this the king we sent to for his ransom?
Shame and eternal shame, nothing but shame!
Let us die. In once more! Back again!
And he that will not follow Bourbon now,
Let him go hence, and, with his cap in hand
Like a base pander, hold the chamber door,
Whilst by a slave, no gentler (more noble) than my dog,
His fairest daughter is contaminate (raped).
Disorder, that hath spoiled us, friend us now.
Let us on (in) heaps go offer up our lives.
We are enough yet living in the field
To smother up the English in our throngs,
If any order might be thought upon.
The devil take order now! I’ll to the throng.
Let life be short, else shame will be too long.
Alarum Enter KING HENRY and forces, EXETER, and others
Well have we done, thrice-valiant (very valiant – an emphasizer) countrymen,
But all’s not done. Yet keep the French the field.
(the French are still in the battlefield)
The Duke of York commends him[self] to your Majesty.
Lives he, good uncle? Thrice within this hour
I saw him down, thrice up again and fighting.
From helmet to the spur, all blood he was.
In which array (arrayed/clothed thus), brave soldier, doth he lie,
Larding (fattening with his blood) the plain, and, by his bloody side,
Yoke-fellow to his honor-owing wounds,
The noble Earl of Suffolk also lies.
Suffolk first died, and York, all haggled over (cut up),
Comes to him where in gore he lay insteeped [in blood]
And takes him by the beard, kisses the gashes
That bloodily did yawn upon his face,