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History of Henry V

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Act III, Scene 2

The same.


[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: 1130
    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, 1135
    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: 1140
    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. 1145


  • 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, 1150
    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 1155
    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 1160
    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' 1165
    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 1170
    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 1175
    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: 1180
    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 1185
    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, 1190
    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 1195
    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 1200
    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. 1205
  • 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 1210
    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 1215
    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 1220
    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 1225
    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. 1230
  • 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 1235
    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 1240
    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 1245
    '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— 1250
  • 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 1255
    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
    other particularities. 1260
  • 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. 1270