Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: James D. Mardock
Not Peer Reviewed

Henry V (Modern, Folio)


1448.1

[3.6]

Enter Captains English and Welsh, Gower 1450and Fluellen[, meeting].
Gower How now, Captain Fluellen, come you from the bridge?
Fluellen I assure you, there is very excellent services committed at the bridge.
1455Gower Is the Duke of Exeter safe?
Fluellen The Duke of Exeter is as magnanimous as Agamemnon, and a man that I love and honor with my soul, and my heart, and my duty, and my live, and my living, and my uttermost power. He is not, God be praised and 1460blessed, any hurt in the world, but keeps the bridge most valiantly, with excellent discipline. There is an aunchient 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 in the world, but I did see 1465him do as gallant service.
Gower What do you call him?
Fluellen He is called Aunchient Pistol.
Gower I know him not.
Enter Pistol.
1470Fluellen Here is the man.
Pistol Captain, I thee beseech to do me favors; the Duke of Exeter doth love thee well.
Fluellen Ay, I praise God, and I have merited some love at his hands.
1475Pistol 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 --
Fluellen By your patience, Aunchient Pistol, Fortune is 1480painted blind, with a muffler afore his 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 mutability, and variation; and her foot, look you, is fixed upon a 1485spherical stone, which rowls and rowls and rowls. In good truth, the poet makes a most excellent description of it. Fortune is an excellent moral.
Pistol Fortune is Bardolph's foe and frowns on him, for he hath stolen a pax, and hanged must a be, a damned 1490death. 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 1495penny-cord and vile reproach. Speak, captain, for his life, and I will thee requite.
Fluellen Aunchient Pistol, I do partly understand your meaning.
Pistol Why then, rejoice therefore!
1500Fluellen 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.
Pistol Die and be damned, and fico for thy friendship!
1505Fluellen It is well.
Pistol The fig of Spain!
Exit.
Fluellen Very good.
Gower Why, this is an arrant counterfeit rascal. I remember him now: a bawd, a cutpurse.
1510Fluellen I'll assure you, a 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.
Gower Why 'tis a gull, a fool, a rogue that now and 1515then goes to the wars to grace himself at his return into London under the form of a soldier. And such fellows are perfect in the great commanders' names, and they will learn you 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 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 1525among foaming bottles and ale-washed wits is wonderful to be thought on. But you must learn to know such slanders of the age, or else you may be marvelously mistook.
Fluellen I tell you what, Captain Gower: I do perceive 1530he 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 within] Hark you, the king is coming, and I must speak with him from the pridge.
Drum and Colors. Enter the King and his 1535poor soldiers[, and Gloucester].
Fluellen God pless your majesty.
King Henry How now, Fluellen, cam'st thou from the bridge?
Fluellen Ay, so please your majesty. The Duke of Exeter has very gallantly maintained the pridge. The French is 1540gone off, look you, and there is gallant and most prave passages. Marry, th'athversary was 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.
1545King Henry What men have you lost, Fluellen?
Fluellen The perdition 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 to be executed for robbing a church: one Bardolph, 1550if your majesty know the man. His face is all bubuckles, and whelks, and knobs, and flames afire, 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, and his fire's out.
1555King Henry We would have all such offenders so cut off, and we give express charge that in our marches through the country there be nothing compelled from the villages, nothing taken but paid for, none of the French upbraided or abused in disdainful language. For when 1560levity and cruelty play for a kingdom, the gentler gamester is the soonest winner.
Tucket. Enter Montjoy.
Montjoy You know me by my habit.
King Henry Well then, I know thee. What shall I know 1565of thee?
Montjoy My master's mind.
King Henry Unfold it.
Montjoy Thus says my king: "Say thou to Harry of England, though we seemed dead, we did but sleep. 1570Advantage 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 till it were full ripe. Now we speak upon our cue, and our voice is imperial: England shall repent his folly, see his 1575weakness, 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 to re-answer his pettiness would bow under. For our losses, his exchequer is 1580too poor; for th'effusion of our blood, the muster 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 1585condemnation is pronounced." So far my king and master; so much my office.
King Henry What is thy name? I know thy quality.
Montjoy Montjoy.
King Henry Thou dost thy office fairly. Turn thee back
1590And tell thy king I do not seek him now,
But could be willing to march on to Calais
Without impeachment; for to say the sooth,
Though 'tis no wisdom to confess so much
Unto an enemy of craft and vantage,
1595My 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
1600Did march three Frenchmen. Yet forgive me, God,
That I do brag thus; this your air of France
Hath blown that vice in me. I must repent.
Go therefore, tell thy master here I am.
My ransom is this frail and worthless trunk,
1605My army but a weak and sickly guard.
Yet, God before, tell him we will come on,
Though France himself and such another neighbor
Stand in our way.
[Gives money]
There's for thy labor, Montjoy.
Go bid thy master well advise himself.
1610If 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,
1615Nor as we are, we say, we will not shun it.
So tell your master.
Montjoy I shall deliver so. Thanks to your highness.
[Exit.]
Gloucester I hope they will not come upon us now.
1620King Henry 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.
Exeunt.