Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: James D. Mardock
Peer Reviewed

Henry V (Modern, Quarto)


1448.1
[Scene 9]
Enter Gower [and Flewellen, meeting].
Gower How now, Captain Flewellen, come you from the bridge?
Flewellen By Jesus, there's excellent service committed at the bridge.
1455Gower Is the Duke of Exeter safe?
Flewellen The Duke of Exeter is a man whom I love, and I honor, and I worship, with my soul, and my heart, and my life, and my lands and my livings, and my uttermost powers. The duke is, look you, God be praised and 1460pleased for it, no harm in the worell. He is maintain the bridge very gallantly. There is an ensign there, I do not know how you call him, but by Jesus I think he is as valiant a man as Mark Antony. He doth maintain the bridge most gallantly. Yet he is a man of no reckoning, but I did see 1465him do gallant service.
Gower How do you call him?
Flewellen His name is Ancient Pistol.
Gower I know him not.
Enter Ancient Pistol.
1470Flewellen Do you not know him? Here comes the man.
Pistol Captain, I thee beseech to do me favor; the Duke of Exeter doth love thee well.
Flewellen Ay, and I praise God I have merited some love at his hands.
1475Pistol Bardolph, a soldier, one of buxom valor, hath, by furious fate and giddy Fortune's fickle wheel, that goddess blind that stands upon the rolling restless stone --
Flewellen By your patience, Ancient Pistol, Fortune, look you, is 1480painted plind, with a muffler before her eyes, to signify to you that fortune is plind; And she is moreover painted with a wheel, which is the moral that Fortune is turning, and inconstant, and variation, and mutabilities; and her fate is fixed at a 1485spherical stone which rouls, and rouls, and rouls. Surely the poet is make an excellent description of Fortune. Fortune, look you, is an excellent moral.
Pistol Fortune is Bardolph's foe and frowns on him, for he hath stolen a pax, and hanged must he be, a damnèd 1490death. Let gallows gape for dogs; let man go free, and let not death his windpipe stop. But Exeter hath given the doom of death, for pax of petty price, therefore go speak -- the duke will hear thy voice -- and let not Bardolph's vital thread be cut with edge of 1495penny-cord and vile approach. Speak, captain, for his life, and I will thee requite.
Flewellen Ancient Pistol, I partly understand your meaning.
Pistol Why then, rejoice therefore!
1500Flewellen Certainly, Ancient Pistol, 'tis not a thing to rejoice at. For if he were my own brother, I would wish the duke to do his pleasure, and put him to executions; for look you, disciplines ought to be kept. They ought to be kept.
Pistol Die and be damned, and figa for thy friendship!
1505Flewellen That is good.
Pistol The fig of Spain within thy jaw!
Flewellen That is very well.
1507.1Pistol I say the fig within thy bowels and thy dirty maw.
Exit Pistol.
Flewellen Captain Gower, cannot you hear it lighten and thunder?
Gower Why, is this the ancient you told me of? I remember him now. He is a bawd, a cutpurse.
1510Flewellen By Jesus, he is utter as prave words upon the bridge as you shall desire to see in a summer's day. But it's all one; what he hath said to me, look you, is all one.
Gower Why this is a gull, a fool, a rogue that 1515goes to the wars only to grace himself at his return to London, and such fellows as he are perfect in great commanders' names. They will learn by rote where services were done: at such and such a sconce, at such a breach, at such a 1520convoy; who came off bravely, who was shot, who disgraced; what terms the enemy stood on. And this they con perfectly in phrase of war, which they trick up with new-tuned oaths. And what a beard of the general's cut and a horrid shout of the camp will do 1525among the foaming bottles and ale-washed wits is wonderful to be thought on. But you must learn to know such slanders of this age, or else you may marvelously be mistook.
Flewellen Certain, Captain Gower, 1530it is not the man, look you, that I did take him to be, but when time shall serve, I shall tell him a little of my desires. Here comes his majesty.
Enter King, Clarence, Gloucester, and others.
King Henry How now, Flewellen, come you from the bridge?
Flewellen Ay, an it shall please your majesty. 1540There is excellent service at the bridge.
1545King Henry What men have you lost, Flewellen?
1545.1Flewellen An it shall please your majesty, the partition of the adversary hath been great, very reasonable great, but for our own parts, like you now, I think we have lost never a man, unless it be one for robbing of a church: one Bardolph, if your 1550majesty know the man. His face is full of whelks, and knubs, and pumples, and his breath blows at his nose like a coal, sometimes red, sometimes plue. But, God be praised, now his nose is executed and his fire out.
1555King Henry We would have all offenders so cut off, and we here give express commandment that there be nothing taken from the villages but paid for, none of the French abused or upbraided with disdainful language. For when 1560cruelty and lenity play for a kingdom, the gentlest gamester is the sooner winner.
Enter French Herald.
Herald You know me by my habit.
King Henry Well then, we know thee. What should we know of 1565thee?
Herald My master's mind.
King Henry Unfold it.
Herald "Go thee unto Harry of England, and tell him 1570advantage is a better soldier than rashness. Although we did seem dead, we did but slumber. Now we speak upon our cue, and our voice is imperial. England shall repent her folly, see her 1575rashness, and admire our sufferance, which to ransom, his pettiness would bow under. 1580For the effusion of our blood, his army is too weak; for the disgrace we have borne, himself kneeling at our feet a weak and worthless satisfaction. To this, add defiance." 1585So much from the king my master.
King Henry What is thy name? We know thy quality.
Herald Montjoy.
King Henry Thou dost thy office fair. Return thee back
1590And tell thy king I do not seek him now,
But could be well content, without impeach,
1591.1To march on to Calais. 1592.1For to say the sooth,
Though 'tis no wisdom to confess so much
Unto an enemy of craft and vantage,
1595My soldiers are with sickness much enfeebled,
My army lessened, and those few I have
Almost no better than so many French,
Who when they were in heart, I tell thee, herald,
I thought upon one pair of English legs
1600Did march three Frenchmen's. Yet forgive me, God,
That I do brag thus; this your "heir" of France
Hath blown this vice in me. I must repent.
Go tell thy master here I am.
My ransom is this frail and worthless body,
1605My army but a weak and sickly guard.
Yet, God before, we will come on, if France
And such another neighbor stood in our way.
1610If we may pass, we will. If we be hindered,
We shall your tawny ground with your red blood discolor.
So, Montjoy, get you gone. [Gives money] There is for your pains.
The sum of all our answer is but this:
We would not seek a battle as we are,
1615Nor as we are, we say, we will not shun it.
Herald I shall deliver so: thanks to your majesty.
Gloucester My liege, I hope they will not come upon us now.
1620King Henry We are in God's hand, brother, not in theirs.
Tonight we will encamp beyond the bridge,
And on tomorrow bid them march away.