Internet Shakespeare Editions

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

Henry V (Folio 1, 1623)

The Life of Henry the Fift.
1905Pist. Art thou his friend?
King. And his Kinsman too.
Pist. The Figo for thee then.
King. I thanke you: God be with you.
Pist. My name is Pistol call'd.
1910King. It sorts well with your fiercenesse.
Manet King.

Enter Fluellen and Gower.
Gower. Captaine Fluellen.
Flu. 'So, in the Name of Iesu Christ, speake fewer: it
1915is the greatest admiration in the vniuersall World, when
the true and aunchient Prerogatifes and Lawes of the
Warres is not kept: if you would take the paines but to
examine the Warres of Pompey the Great, you shall finde,
I warrant you, that there is no tiddle tadle nor pibble ba-
1920ble in Pompeyes Campe: I warrant you, you shall finde
the Ceremonies of the Warres, and the Cares of it, and
the Formes of it, and the Sobrietie of it, and the Modestie
of it, to be otherwise.
Gower. Why the Enemie is lowd, you heare him all
Flu. If the Enemie is an Asse and a Foole, and a pra-
ting Coxcombe; is it meet, thinke you, that wee should
also, looke you, be an Asse and a Foole, and a prating Cox-
combe, in your owne conscience now?
1930Gow. I will speake lower.
Flu. I pray you, and beseech you, that you will.
King. Though it appeare a little out of fashion,
There is much care and valour in this Welchman.

Enter three Souldiers, Iohn Bates, Alexander Court,
and Michael Williams.

Court. Brother Iohn Bates, is not that the Morning
which breakes yonder?
Bates. I thinke it be: but wee haue no great cause to
desire the approach of day.
1940Williams. Wee see yonder the beginning of the day,
but I thinke wee shall neuer see the end of it. Who goes
King. A Friend.
Williams. Vnder what Captaine serue you?
1945King. Vnder Sir Iohn Erpingham.
Williams. A good old Commander, and a most kinde
Gentleman: I pray you, what thinkes he of our estate?
King. Euen as men wrackt vpon a Sand, that looke to
be washt off the next Tyde.
1950Bates. He hath not told his thought to the King?
King. No: nor it is not meet he should: for though I
speake it to you, I thinke the King is but a man, as I am:
the Violet smells to him, as it doth to me; the Element
shewes to him, as it doth to me; all his Sences haue but
1955humane Conditions: his Ceremonies layd by, in his Na-
kednesse he appeares but a man; and though his affecti-
ons are higher mounted then ours, yet when they stoupe,
they stoupe with the like wing: therefore, when he sees
reason of feares, as we doe; his feares, out of doubt, be of
1960the same rellish as ours are: yet in reason, no man should
possesse him with any appearance of feare; least hee, by
shewing it, should dis-hearten his Army.
Bates. He may shew what outward courage he will:
but I beleeue, as cold a Night as 'tis, hee could wish him-
1965selfe in Thames vp to the Neck; and so I would he were,
and I by him, at all aduentures, so we were quit here.
King. By my troth, I will speake my conscience of the

King: I thinke hee would not wish himselfe any where,
but where hee is.
1970Bates. Then I would he were here alone; so should he be
sure to be ransomed, and a many poore mens liues saued.
King. I dare say, you loue him not so ill, to wish him
here alone: howsoeuer you speake this to feele other
mens minds, me thinks I could not dye any where so con-
1975tented, as in the Kings company; his Cause being iust, and
his Quarrell honorable.
Williams. That's more then we know.
Bates. I, or more then wee should seeke after; for wee
know enough, if wee know wee are the Kings Subiects:
1980if his Cause be wrong, our obedience to the King wipes
the Cryme of it out of vs.
Williams. But if the Cause be not good, the King him-
selfe hath a heauie Reckoning to make, when all those
Legges, and Armes, and Heads, chopt off in a Battaile,
1985shall ioyne together at the latter day, and cry all, Wee dy-
ed at such a place, some swearing, some crying for a Sur-
gean; some vpon their Wiues, left poore behind them;
some vpon the Debts they owe, some vpon their Children
rawly left: I am afear'd, there are few dye well, that dye
1990in a Battaile: for how can they charitably dispose of any
thing, when Blood is their argument? Now, if these men
doe not dye well, it will be a black matter for the King,
that led them to it; who to disobey, were against all pro-
portion of subiection.
1995King. So, if a Sonne that is by his Father sent about
Merchandize, doe sinfully miscarry vpon the Sea; the im-
putation of his wickednesse, by your rule, should be im-
posed vpon his Father that sent him: or if a Seruant, vn-
der his Masters command, transporting a summe of Mo-
2000ney, be assayled by Robbers, and dye in many irreconcil'd
Iniquities; you may call the businesse of the Master the
author of the Seruants damnation: but this is not so:
The King is not bound to answer the particular endings
of his Souldiers, the Father of his Sonne, nor the Master
2005of his Seruant; for they purpose not their death, when
they purpose their seruices. Besides, there is no King, be
his Cause neuer so spotlesse, if it come to the arbitre-
ment of Swords, can trye it out with all vnspotted Soul-
diers: some (peraduenture) haue on them the guilt of
2010premeditated and contriued Murther; some, of begui-
ling Virgins with the broken Seales of Periurie; some,
making the Warres their Bulwarke, that haue before go-
red the gentle Bosome of Peace with Pillage and Robbe-
rie. Now, if these men haue defeated the Law, and out-
2015runne Natiue punishment; though they can out-strip
men, they haue no wings to flye from God. Warre is
his Beadle, Warre is his Vengeance: so that here men
are punisht, for before breach of the Kings Lawes, in
now the Kings Quarrell: where they feared the death,
2020they haue borne life away; and where they would bee
safe, they perish. Then if they dye vnprouided, no more
is the King guiltie of their damnation, then hee was be-
fore guiltie of those Impieties, for the which they are
now visited. Euery Subiects Dutie is the Kings, but
2025euery Subiects Soule is his owne. Therefore should
euery Souldier in the Warres doe as euery sicke man in
his Bed, wash euery Moth out of his Conscience: and
dying so, Death is to him aduantage; or not dying,
the time was blessedly lost, wherein such preparation was
2030gayned: and in him that escapes, it were not sinne to
thinke, that making God so free an offer, he let him out-
liue that day, to see his Greatnesse, and to teach others
how they should prepare.
Will. 'Tis