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History of Henry V

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Act IV, Scene 3

The English camp.



  • Duke of Exeter. There's five to one; besides, they all are fresh. 2235
  • Earl of Salisbury. God's arm strike with us! 'tis a fearful odds.
    God be 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,
    My dear Lord Gloucester, and my good Lord Exeter, 2240
    And my kind kinsman, warriors all, adieu!
  • Duke of Exeter. Farewell, kind lord; fight valiantly to-day:
    And yet I do thee wrong to mind thee of it,
    For thou art framed of the firm truth of valour. 2245


[Enter the KING]

  • Earl of Westmoreland. O that we now had here 2250
    But one ten thousand of those men in England
    That do no work to-day!
  • Henry V. What's he that wishes so?
    My cousin Westmoreland? No, my fair cousin:
    If we are mark'd to die, we are enow 2255
    To do our country loss; and if to live,
    The fewer men, the greater share of honour.
    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; 2260
    It yearns me not if men my garments wear;
    Such outward things dwell not in my desires:
    But if it be a sin to covet honour,
    I am the most offending soul alive.
    No, faith, my coz, wish not a man from England: 2265
    God's peace! I would not lose so great an honour
    As one man more, methinks, would share from me
    For the best hope I have. O, do not wish one more!
    Rather proclaim it, Westmoreland, through my host,
    That he which hath no stomach to this fight, 2270
    Let 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: 2275
    He that outlives this day, and comes safe home,
    Will stand a tip-toe when the day is named,
    And rouse him at the name of Crispian.
    He that shall live this day, and see old age,
    Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbours, 2280
    And say 'To-morrow is Saint Crispian:'
    Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars.
    And say 'These wounds I had on Crispin's day.'
    Old men forget: yet all shall be forgot,
    But he'll remember with advantages 2285
    What feats he did that day: then shall our names.
    Familiar in his mouth as household words
    Harry the king, Bedford and Exeter,
    Warwick and Talbot, Salisbury and Gloucester,
    Be in their flowing cups freshly remember'd. 2290
    This story shall the good man teach his son;
    And Crispin Crispian shall ne'er go by,
    From this day to the ending of the world,
    But we in it shall be remember'd;
    We few, we happy few, we band of brothers; 2295
    For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
    Shall be my brother; be he ne'er so vile,
    This day shall gentle his condition:
    And gentlemen in England now a-bed
    Shall think themselves accursed they were not here, 2300
    And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
    That fought with us upon Saint Crispin's day.

[Re-enter SALISBURY]

  • Earl of Salisbury. My sovereign lord, bestow yourself with speed:
    The French are bravely in their battles set, 2305
    And will with all expedience charge on us.
  • Henry V. All things are ready, if our minds be so.
  • Henry V. Thou dost not wish more help from England, coz?
  • Earl of Westmoreland. God's will! my liege, would you and I alone, 2310
    Without more help, could fight this royal battle!
  • Henry V. Why, now thou hast unwish'd five thousand men;
    Which likes me better than to wish us one.
    You know your places: God be with you all!

[Tucket. Enter MONTJOY]

  • Montjoy. Once more I come to know of thee, King Harry,
    If for thy ransom thou wilt now compound,
    Before thy most assured overthrow:
    For certainly thou art so near the gulf,
    Thou needs must be englutted. Besides, in mercy, 2320
    The 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. 2325
  • Henry V. 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? 2330
    The 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: 2335
    And 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 honours reeking up to heaven;
    Leaving their earthly parts to choke your clime, 2340
    The smell whereof shall breed a plague in France.
    Mark then abounding valour in our English,
    That being dead, like to the bullet's grazing,
    Break out into a second course of mischief,
    Killing in relapse of mortality. 2345
    Let me speak proudly: tell the constable
    We are but warriors for the working-day;
    Our gayness and our gilt are all besmirch'd
    With rainy marching in the painful field;
    There's not a piece of feather in our host— 2350
    Good 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 2355
    The 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 labour;
    Come thou no more for ransom, gentle herald: 2360
    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.
  • Montjoy. I shall, King Harry. And so fare thee well:
    Thou never shalt hear herald any more. 2365


  • Henry V. I fear thou'lt once more come again for ransom.

[Enter YORK]

  • Duke of York. My lord, most humbly on my knee I beg
    The leading of the vaward. 2370
  • Henry V. Take it, brave York. Now, soldiers, march away:
    And how thou pleasest, God, dispose the day!