Page images
PDF
EPUB

SCENE I.- The English camp at Agincourt.

Enter King Henry, BEDFORD, and Gloster. K. Hen. Gloster, 'tis true, that we are in great danger; The greater therefore should our courage be.Good morrow, brother Bedford.—God Almighty! There is some soul of goodness in things evil, Would men observingly distil it out ; For our bad neighbour makes us early stirrers, Which is both healthful, and good husbandry : Besides, they are our outward consciences, And preachers to us all; admonishing, That we should dress us fairly for our end. Thus may we gather honey from the weed, And make a moral of the devil himself.

Enter ERPINGHAM.
Good morrow, old sir Thomas Erpingham:
A good soft pillow for that good white head
Were better than a churlish turf of France,

Erp. Not so, my liege; this lodging likes me better, Since I may say—now lie I like a king.

K. Hen. "Tis good for men to love their present pains, Upon example ; so the spirit is eased : And, when the mind is quicken’d, out of doubt, The organs, though defunct and dead before, Break up their drowsy grave, and newly move With casted slough and fresh legerity. Lend me thy cloak, sir Thomas.-Brothers both, Commend me to the princes in our camp;

2

Do my good morrow to them; and, anon,
Desire them all to my pavilion.
Glo. We shall, my liege.

[Exeunt Gloster and BeDFORD. Erp. Shall I attend your grace ?

K. Hen. No, my good knight; Go with my brothers to my lords of England: I and my bosom must debate a while, And then I would no other company. Erp. The Lord in heaven bless thee, noble Harry!

[Erit ERPINGHAM. K. Hen. God-a-mercy, old heart! thou speakest

cheerfully.

Enter PISTOL.
Pist. Qui va ?
K. Hen. A friend.

Pist. Discuss unto me; Art thou officer!
Or art thou base, common, and popular?

K. Hen. I am a gentleman of a company,
Pist. Trailest thou the puissant pike?
K. Hen. Even so: What are you?
Pist. As good a gentleman as the emperor.
K. Hen. Then you are a better than the king.

Pist. The king's a bawcock, and a heart of gold,
A lad of life, an imp of fame;
Of parents good, of fist most valiant:
I kiss his dirty shoe, and from my heart-strings
I love the lovely bully. What's thy name?

K. Hen. Harry le Roy.
Pist. Le Roy! a Cornish name: art thou of Cornish

crew ? ?

K. Hen. No, I am a Welshman.
Pist. Knowest thou Fluellen.
K. Hen. Yes.

Pist. Tell him, I'll knock his leek about his pate,
Upon Saint Davy's day.

K. Hen. Do not you wear your dagger in your cap that day, lest he knock that about yours.

Pist. Art thou his friend ?
K. Hen. And his kinsman too.
Pist. The figo for thee then !
K. Hen. I thank you: God be with you!
Pist. My name is Pistol called.

[Exit. K. Hen. It sorts well with your fierceness.

Enter FlUELLEN and Gower, secerally. Gow. Captain Fluellen!

Flu. So! in the name of Chesha Christ, speak lower. It is the greatest admiration in the universal 'orld, when the true and auncient prerogatifes and laws of the wars is not kept: if you would take the pains but to examine the wars of Pompey the Great, you shall find, I warrant you, that there is no tiddle taddle, or pibble pabble, in Pompey's camp; I warrant you, you shall find the ceremonies of the wars, and the cares of it, and the forms of it, and the sobriety of it, and the modesty of it, to be otherwise.

Gow. Why, the enemy is loud; you heard him all night.

Flu. If the enemy is an ass and a fool, and a prating coxcomb, is it meet, think you, that we should also, look you, be an ass, and a fool, and a prating coxcomb; in your own conscience now?

Gow. I will speak lower.
Flu. I pray you, and beseech you, that you will.

[Exeunt Gower and FLUELLEN. K. Hen. Though it appear a little out of fashion, There is much care and valour in this Welshman.

Enter Bates, Court, and WILLIAMS. Court. Brother John Bates, is not that the morning which breaks yonder?

Bates. I think it be: but we have no great cause to desire the approach of day.

Will. We see yonder the beginning of the day, but I think, we shall never see the end of it. Who goes there?

K. Hen. A friend.
Will. Under what captain serve you?
K. Hen. Under sir Thomas Erpingham.

Will. A good old commander, and a most kind gentleman: I pray you; what thinks he of our estate ?

K. Hen. Even as men wrecked upon a sand, that look to be washed off the next tide.

Bates. He hath not told his thought to the king?

K. Hen. No; nor is it not meet he should. For, though I speak it to you, I think, the king is but a man, as I am : the violet smells to him, as it doth to me; the element shows to him, as it doth to me; all his senses have but human conditions: his ceremonies laid by, in his nakedness he appears but a man; and though his affections are higher mounted than ours, yet, when they stoop, they stoop with the like wing; therefore when he sees reason of fears, as we do, his fears, out of doubt, be of the same relish as ours are: Yet, in rea

son, no man should possess him with any appearance of fear, lest he, by showing it, should dishearten his army.

but, I believe, as cold a night as 'tis, he could wish himself in the Thames up to the neck; and so I would he were, and I by him, at all adventures, so we were quit here.

K. Hen. By my troth, I will speak my conscience of the king ; I think, he would not wish himself any where but where he is.

Bates. Then, 'would he were here alone; so should he be sure to be ransomed, and a many poor men's lives saved.

him here alone; howsoever you speak this, to feel other men's minds: Methinks, I could not die any where so contented, as in the king's company; his cause being just, and his quarrel honourable.

Will. That's more than we know.

Butes. Ay, or more than we should seek after; for we know enough, if we know we are the king's subjects; if his cause be wrong, our obedience to the king wipes the crime of it out of us.

Will. But, if the cause be not good, the king himself hath a heavy reckoning to make; when all those legs, and arms, and heads, chopped off in a battle, shall join together at the latter day, and cry all-We died at such a place; some, swearing; some, crying for a surgeon; some, upon their wives left poor behind them; some, upon the debts they owe; some upon their children rawly left. I am afeard there are few die well

« PreviousContinue »