[Enter NYM, BARDOLPH, PISTOL, and Boy]
- Bardolph. On, on, on, on, on! to the breach, to the breach!
- Nym. Pray thee, corporal, stay: the knocks are too hot;
and, for mine own part, I have not a case of lives:
the humour of it is too hot, that is the very
plain-song of it.
- Pistol. The plain-song is most just: for humours do abound:
Knocks go and come; God's vassals drop and die;
And sword and shield,
In bloody field,
Doth win immortal fame.
- Boy. Would I were in an alehouse in London! I would give
all my fame for a pot of ale and safety.
- Pistol. And I:
If wishes would prevail with me,
My purpose should not fail with me,
But thither would I hie.
- Boy. As duly, but not as truly,
As bird doth sing on bough.
- Fluellen. Up to the breach, you dogs! avaunt, you cullions!
[Driving them forward]
- Pistol. Be merciful, great duke, to men of mould.
Abate thy rage, abate thy manly rage,
Abate thy rage, great duke!
Good bawcock, bate thy rage; use lenity, sweet chuck!
- Nym. These be good humours! your honour wins bad humours.
[Exeunt all but Boy]
- Boy. As young as I am, I have observed these three
swashers. I am boy to them all three: but all they
three, though they would serve me, could not be man
to me; for indeed three such antics do not amount to
a man. For Bardolph, he is white-livered and
red-faced; by the means whereof a' faces it out, but
fights not. For Pistol, he hath a killing tongue
and a quiet sword; by the means whereof a' breaks
words, and keeps whole weapons. For Nym, he hath
heard that men of few words are the best men; and
therefore he scorns to say his prayers, lest a'
should be thought a coward: but his few bad words
are matched with as few good deeds; for a' never
broke any man's head but his own, and that was
against a post when he was drunk. They will steal
any thing, and call it purchase. Bardolph stole a
lute-case, bore it twelve leagues, and sold it for
three half pence. Nym and Bardolph are sworn
brothers in filching, and in Calais they stole a
fire-shovel: I knew by that piece of service the
men would carry coals. They would have me as
familiar with men's pockets as their gloves or their
handkerchers: which makes much against my manhood,
if I should take from another's pocket to put into
mine; for it is plain pocketing up of wrongs. I
must leave them, and seek some better service:
their villany goes against my weak stomach, and
therefore I must cast it up.
[Re-enter FLUELLEN, GOWER following]
- Gower. Captain Fluellen, you must come presently to the
mines; the Duke of Gloucester would speak with you.
- Fluellen. To the mines! tell you the duke, it is not so good
to come to the mines; for, look you, the mines is
not according to the disciplines of the war: the
concavities of it is not sufficient; for, look you,
the athversary, you may discuss unto the duke, look
you, is digt himself four yard under the
countermines: by Cheshu, I think a' will plough up
all, if there is not better directions.
- Gower. The Duke of Gloucester, to whom the order of the
siege is given, is altogether directed by an
Irishman, a very valiant gentleman, i' faith.
- Fluellen. It is Captain Macmorris, is it not?
- Fluellen. By Cheshu, he is an ass, as in the world: I will
verify as much in his beard: be has no more
directions in the true disciplines of the wars, look
you, of the Roman disciplines, than is a puppy-dog.
[Enter MACMORRIS and Captain JAMY]
- Gower. Here a' comes; and the Scots captain, Captain Jamy, with him.
- Fluellen. Captain Jamy is a marvellous falourous gentleman,
that is certain; and of great expedition and
knowledge in th' aunchient wars, upon my particular
knowledge of his directions: by Cheshu, he will
maintain his argument as well as any military man in
the world, in the disciplines of the pristine wars
of the Romans.
- Jamy. I say gud-day, Captain Fluellen.
- Fluellen. God-den to your worship, good Captain James.
- Gower. How now, Captain Macmorris! have you quit the
mines? have the pioneers given o'er?
- Macmorris. By Chrish, la! tish ill done: the work ish give
over, the trompet sound the retreat. By my hand, I
swear, and my father's soul, the work ish ill done;
it ish give over: I would have blowed up the town, so
Chrish save me, la! in an hour: O, tish ill done,
tish ill done; by my hand, tish ill done!
- Fluellen. Captain Macmorris, I beseech you now, will you
voutsafe me, look you, a few disputations with you,
as partly touching or concerning the disciplines of
the war, the Roman wars, in the way of argument,
look you, and friendly communication; partly to
satisfy my opinion, and partly for the satisfaction,
look you, of my mind, as touching the direction of
the military discipline; that is the point.
- Jamy. It sall be vary gud, gud feith, gud captains bath:
and I sall quit you with gud leve, as I may pick
occasion; that sall I, marry.
- Macmorris. It is no time to discourse, so Chrish save me: the
day is hot, and the weather, and the wars, and the
king, and the dukes: it is no time to discourse. The
town is beseeched, and the trumpet call us to the
breach; and we talk, and, be Chrish, do nothing:
'tis shame for us all: so God sa' me, 'tis shame to
stand still; it is shame, by my hand: and there is
throats to be cut, and works to be done; and there
ish nothing done, so Chrish sa' me, la!
- Jamy. By the mess, ere theise eyes of mine take themselves
to slomber, ay'll de gud service, or ay'll lig i'
the grund for it; ay, or go to death; and ay'll pay
't as valourously as I may, that sall I suerly do,
that is the breff and the long. Marry, I wad full
fain hear some question 'tween you tway.
- Fluellen. Captain Macmorris, I think, look you, under your
correction, there is not many of your nation—
- Macmorris. Of my nation! What ish my nation? Ish a villain,
and a bastard, and a knave, and a rascal. What ish
my nation? Who talks of my nation?
- Fluellen. Look you, if you take the matter otherwise than is
meant, Captain Macmorris, peradventure I shall think
you do not use me with that affability as in
discretion you ought to use me, look you: being as
good a man as yourself, both in the disciplines of
war, and in the derivation of my birth, and in
- Macmorris. I do not know you so good a man as myself: so
Chrish save me, I will cut off your head.
- Gower. Gentlemen both, you will mistake each other.
- Jamy. A! that's a foul fault.
[A parley sounded]
- Gower. The town sounds a parley.
- Fluellen. Captain Macmorris, when there is more better
opportunity to be required, look you, I will be so
bold as to tell you I know the disciplines of war;
and there is an end.