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About this text

  • Title: Henry V (Folio 1, 1623)
  • Editor: James Mardock
  • ISBN: 978-1-55058-409-7

    Copyright James Mardock. This text may be freely used for educational, non-profit purposes; for all other uses contact the Editor.
    Author: William Shakespeare
    Editor: James Mardock
    Peer Reviewed

    Henry V (Folio 1, 1623)

    The Life of Henry the Fift.
    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.
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