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About this text

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

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

    Henry V (Modern, Folio)

    Enter Gloucester, Bedford, Exeter, Erpingham with all his host, Salisbury, and Westmorland.
    Where is the king?
    The king himself is rode to view their battle.
    Of fighting men they have full threescore thousand.
    There's five to one, besides they all are fresh.
    God's arm strike with us! 'Tis a fearful odds.
    God b'wi'you, princes all. I'll to my charge.
    If we no more meet till we meet in heaven,
    Then joyfully, my noble lord of Bedford,
    2250My dear lord Gloucester, and my good lord Exeter,
    And my kind kinsman, warriors all, adieu.
    Farewell, good Salisbury, and good luck go with thee.
    [To Salisbury] Farewell, kind lord. Fight valiantly today.
    And yet I do thee wrong to mind thee of it,
    For thou art framed of the firm truth of valor.
    [Exit Salisbury.]
    He is as full of valor as of kindness,
    Princely in both.
    Enter the King.
    Oh, that we now had here
    2260But one ten thousand of those men in England
    That do no work today.
    King Henry
    What's he that wishes so?
    My cousin Westmorland? No, my fair cousin,
    If we are marked to die, we are enough
    2265To do our country loss; and if to live,
    The fewer men, the greater share of honor.
    God's will, I pray thee wish not one man more.
    By Jove, I am not covetous for gold,
    Nor care I who doth feed upon my cost.
    2270It earns me not if men my garments wear;
    Such outward things dwell not in my desires.
    But if it be a sin to covet honor,
    I am the most offending soul alive.
    No, faith, my coz, wish not a man from England.
    2275God's peace, I would not lose so great an honor
    As one man more methinks would share from me
    For the best hope I have. Oh, do not wish one more.
    Rather proclaim it, Westmorland, through my host
    That he which hath no stomach to this fight,
    2280Let him depart. His passport shall be made
    And crowns for convoy put into his purse.
    We would not die in that man's company
    That fears his fellowship to die with us.
    This day is called the feast of Crispian.
    2285He that outlives this day and comes safe home
    Will stand a tiptoe when this day is named
    And rouse him at the name of Crispian.
    He that shall see this day and live old age
    Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbors
    2290And say, "Tomorrow is Saint Crispian."
    Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars.
    Old men forget; yet all shall be forgot,
    But he'll remember, with advantages,
    What feats he did that day. Then shall our names,
    2295Familiar in his mouth as household words --
    Harry the king, Bedford and Exeter,
    Warwick and Talbot, Salisbury and Gloucester --
    Be in their flowing cups freshly remembered.
    This story shall the good man teach his son,
    2300And Crispin Crispian shall ne'er go by
    From this day to the ending of the world,
    But we in it shall be rememberèd,
    We few, we happy few, we band of brothers.
    For he today that sheds his blood with me
    2305Shall be my brother; be he ne'er so vile,
    This day shall gentle his condition.
    And gentlemen in England now abed,
    Shall think themselves accursed they were not here,
    And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
    2310That fought with us upon Saint Crispin's day.
    Enter Salisbury.
    My sovereign lord, bestow yourself with speed.
    The French are bravely in their battles set
    And will with all expedience charge on us.
    2315King Henry
    All things are ready if our minds be so.
    Perish the man whose mind is backward now.
    King Henry
    Thou dost not wish more help from England, coz?
    God's will, my liege, would you and I alone
    2320Without more help could fight this royal battle!
    King Henry
    Why, now thou hast unwished five thousand men,
    Which likes me better than to wish us one. --
    You know your places. God be with you all.
    Tucket. Enter Montjoy.
    Once more I come to know of thee, King Harry,
    If for thy ransom thou wilt now compound
    Before thy most assurèd overthrow,
    For certainly thou art so near the gulf
    Thou needs must be englutted. Besides, in mercy
    2330The constable desires thee thou wilt mind
    Thy followers of repentance, that their souls
    May make a peaceful and a sweet retire
    From off these fields where, wretches, their poor bodies
    Must lie and fester.
    2335King Henry
    Who hath sent thee now?
    The Constable of France.
    King Henry
    I pray thee bear my former answer back:
    Bid them achieve me and then sell my bones.
    Good God, why should they mock poor fellows thus?
    2340The man that once did sell the lion's skin
    While the beast lived, was killed with hunting him.
    A many of our bodies shall no doubt
    Find native graves, upon the which I trust
    Shall witness live in brass of this day's work.
    2345And those that leave their valiant bones in France,
    Dying like men, though buried in your dunghills,
    They shall be famed, for there the sun shall greet them
    And draw their honors reeking up to heaven,
    Leaving their earthly parts to choke your clime,
    2350The smell whereof shall breed a plague in France.
    Mark then abounding valor in our English,
    That being dead, like to the bullets crazing,
    Break out into a second course of mischief,
    Killing in relapse of mortality.
    2355Let me speak proudly: tell the constable
    We are but warriors for the working day.
    Our gayness and our gilt are all besmirched
    With rainy marching in the painful field.
    There's not a piece of feather in our host --
    2360Good argument, I hope, we will not fly --
    And time hath worn us into slovenry.
    But by the mass, our hearts are in the trim,
    And my poor soldiers tell me yet ere night
    They'll be in fresher robes, or they will pluck
    2365The gay new coats o'er the French soldiers' heads
    And turn them out of service. If they do this,
    As, if God please, they shall, my ransom then
    Will soon be levied. Herald, save thou thy labor.
    2370Come thou no more for ransom, gentle herald.
    They shall have none, I swear, but these my joints,
    Which if they have as I will leave 'em them,
    Shall yield them little. Tell the constable.
    I shall, King Harry. And so fare thee well.
    2375Thou never shalt hear herald any more.
    King Henry
    I fear thou wilt once more come for a ransom.
    Enter York.
    [Kneeling] My lord, most humbly on my knee I beg
    2380The leading of the vanguard.
    King Henry
    Take it, brave York. -- Now soldiers, march away,
    And how thou pleasest, God, dispose the day.