Internet Shakespeare Editions

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

Henry V (Folio 1, 1623)

Enter the King, Bedford, and Gloucester.
1845King. Gloster, 'tis true that we are in great danger,
The greater therefore should our Courage be.
God morrow Brother Bedford: God Almightie,
There is some soule of goodnesse in things euill,
Would men obseruingly distill it out.
1850For our bad Neighbour makes vs early stirrers,
Which is both healthfull, and good husbandry.
Besides, they are our outward Consciences,
And Preachers to vs all; admonishing,
That we should dresse vs fairely for our end.
1855Thus may we gather Honey from the Weed,
And make a Morall of the Diuell himselfe.
Enter Erpingham.
Good morrow old Sir Thomas Erpingham:
A good soft Pillow for that good white Head,
1860Were better then a churlish turfe of France.
Erping. Not so my Liege, this Lodging likes me better,
Since I may say, now lye I like a King.
King. 'Tis good for men to loue their present paines,
Vpon example, so the Spirit is eased:
1865And when the Mind is quickned, out of doubt
The Organs, though defunct and dead before,
Breake vp their drowsie Graue, and newly moue
With casted slough, and fresh legeritie.
Lend me thy Cloake Sir Thomas: Brothers both,
1870Commend me to the Princes in our Campe;
Doe my good morrow to them, and anon
Desire them all to my Pauillion.
Gloster. We shall, my Liege.
Erping. Shall I attend your Grace?
1875King. No, my good Knight:
Goe with my Brothers to my Lords of England:
I and my Bosome must debate a while,
And then I would no other company.
Erping. The Lord in Heauen blesse thee, Noble
King. God a mercy old Heart, thou speak'st cheare-
Enter Pistoll.
Pist. Che vous la?
King. A friend.
1885Pist. Discusse vnto me, art thou Officer, or art thou
base, common, and popular?
King. I am a Gentleman of a Company.
Pist. Trayl'st thou the puissant Pyke?
King. Euen so: what are you?
1890Pist. As good a Gentleman as the Emperor.
King. Then you are a better then the King.
Pist. The King's a Bawcock, and a Heart of Gold, a
Lad of Life, an Impe of Fame, of Parents good, of Fist
most valiant: I kisse his durtie shooe, and from heart-
1895string I loue the louely Bully. What is thy Name?
King. Harry le Roy.
Pist. Le Roy? a Cornish Name: art thou of Cornish Crew?
King. No, I am a Welchman.
Pist. Know'st thou Fluellen?
1900King. Yes.
Pist. Tell him Ile knock his Leeke about his Pate vpon
S. Dauies day.
King. Doe not you weare your Dagger in your Cappe
that day, least he knock that about yours.
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 certaine, euery man that dyes ill, the ill vpon
2035his owne head, the King is not to answer it.
Bates. I doe not desire hee should answer for me, and
yet I determine to fight lustily for him.
King. I my selfe heard the King say he would not be
2040Will. I, hee said so, to make vs fight chearefully: but
when our throats are cut, hee may be ransom'd. and wee
ne're the wiser.
King. If I liue to see it, I will neuer trust his word af-
2045Will. You pay him then: that's a perillous shot out
of an Elder Gunne, that a poore and a priuate displeasure
can doe against a Monarch: you may as well goe about
to turne the Sunne to yce, with fanning in his face with a
Peacocks feather: You'le neuer trust his word after;
2050come, 'tis a foolish saying.
King. Your reproofe is something too round, I should
be angry with you, if the time were conuenient.
Will. Let it bee a Quarrell betweene vs, if you
2055King. I embrace it.
Will. How shall I know thee againe?
King. Giue me any Gage of thine, and I will weare it
in my Bonnet: Then if euer thou dar'st acknowledge it,
I will make it my Quarrell.
2060Will. Heere's my Gloue: Giue mee another of
King. There.
Will. This will I also weare in my Cap: if euer thou
come to me, and say, after to morrow, This is my Gloue,
2065by this Hand I will take thee a box on the eare.
King. If euer I liue to see it, I will challenge it.
Will. Thou dar'st as well be hang'd.
King. Well, I will doe it, though I take thee in the
Kings companie.
2070Will. Keepe thy word: fare thee well.
Bates. Be friends you English fooles, be friends, wee
haue French Quarrels enow, if you could tell how to rec-
Exit Souldiers.
King. Indeede the French may lay twentie French
2075Crownes to one, they will beat vs, for they beare them
on their shoulders: but it is no English Treason to cut
French Crownes, and to morrow the King himselfe will
be a Clipper.
Vpon the King, let vs our Liues, our Soules,
2080Our Debts, our carefull Wiues,
Our Children, and our Sinnes, lay on the King:
We must beare all.
O hard Condition, Twin-borne with Greatnesse,
Subiect to the breath of euery foole, whose sence
2085No more can feele, but his owne wringing.
What infinite hearts-ease must Kings neglect,
That priuate men enioy?
And what haue Kings, that Priuates haue not too,
Saue Ceremonie, saue generall Ceremonie?
2090And what art thou, thou Idoll Ceremonie?
What kind of God art thou? that suffer'st more
Of mortall griefes, then doe thy worshippers.
What are thy Rents? what are thy Commings in?
O Ceremonie, shew me but thy worth.
2095What? is thy Soule of Odoration?
Art thou ought else but Place, Degree, and Forme,
Creating awe and feare in other men?
Wherein thou art lesse happy, being fear'd,
Then they in fearing.
2100What drink'st thou oft, in stead of Homage sweet,
But poyson'd flatterie? O, be sick, great Greatnesse,
And bid thy Ceremonie giue thee cure.
Thinks thou the fierie Feuer will goe out
With Titles blowne from Adulation?
2105Will it giue place to flexure and low bending?
Canst thou, when thou command'st the beggers knee,
Command the health of it? No, thou prowd Dreame,
That play'st so subtilly with a Kings Repose.
I am a King that find thee: and I know,
2110'Tis not the Balme, the Scepter, and the Ball,
The Sword, the Mase, the Crowne Imperiall,
The enter-tissued Robe of Gold and Pearle,
The farsed Title running 'fore the King,
The Throne he sits on: nor the Tyde of Pompe,
2115That beates vpon the high shore of this World:
No, not all these, thrice-gorgeous Ceremonie;
Not all these, lay'd in Bed Maiesticall,
Can sleepe so soundly, as the wretched Slaue:
Who with a body fill'd, and vacant mind,
2120Gets him to rest, cram'd with distressefull bread,
Neuer sees horride Night, the Child of Hell:
But like a Lacquey, from the Rise to Set,
Sweates in the eye of Phebus; and all Night
Sleepes in Elizium: next day after dawne,
2125Doth rise and helpe Hiperio to his Horse,
And followes so the euer-running yeere
With profitable labour to his Graue:
And but for Ceremonie, such a Wretch,
Winding vp Dayes with toyle, and Nights with sleepe,
2130Had the fore-hand and vantage of a King.
The Slaue, a Member of the Countreyes peace,
Enioyes it; but in grosse braine little wots,
What watch the King keepes, to maintaine the peace;
Whose howres, the Pesant best aduantages.
Enter Erpingham.
Erp. My Lord, your Nobles iealous of your absence,
Seeke through your Campe to find you.
King. Good old Knight, collect them all together
At my Tent: Ile be before thee.
2140Erp. I shall doo't, my Lord.
King. O God of Battailes, steele my Souldiers hearts,
Possesse them not with feare: Take from them now
The sence of reckning of th'opposed numbers:
Pluck their hearts from them. Not to day, O Lord,
2145O not to day, thinke not vpon the fault
My Father made, in compassing the Crowne.
I Richards body haue interred new,
And on it haue bestowed more contrite teares,
Then from it issued forced drops of blood.
2150Fiue hundred poore I haue in yeerely pay,
Who twice a day their wither'd hands hold vp
Toward Heauen, to pardon blood:
And I haue built two Chauntries,
Where the sad and solemne Priests sing still
2155For Richards Soule. More will I doe:
Though all that I can doe, is nothing worth;
Since that my Penitence comes after all,
Imploring pardon.
Enter Gloucester.
2160Glouc. My Liege.
King. My Brother Gloucesters voyce? I:
I know thy errand, I will goe with thee:
The day, my friend, and all things stay for me.