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History of Henry V

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Act V, Scene 1

France. The English camp.



  • Gower. Nay, that's right; but why wear you your leek today?
    Saint Davy's day is past.
  • Fluellen. There is occasions and causes why and wherefore in
    all things: I will tell you, asse my friend,
    Captain Gower: the rascally, scald, beggarly, 2890
    lousy, pragging knave, Pistol, which you and
    yourself and all the world know to be no petter
    than a fellow, look you now, of no merits, he is
    come to me and prings me pread and salt yesterday,
    look you, and bid me eat my leek: it was in place 2895
    where I could not breed no contention with him; but
    I will be so bold as to wear it in my cap till I see
    him once again, and then I will tell him a little
    piece of my desires.

[Enter PISTOL]

  • Gower. Why, here he comes, swelling like a turkey-cock.
  • Fluellen. 'Tis no matter for his swellings nor his
    turkey-cocks. God pless you, Aunchient Pistol! you
    scurvy, lousy knave, God pless you!
  • Pistol. Ha! art thou bedlam? dost thou thirst, base Trojan, 2905
    To have me fold up Parca's fatal web?
    Hence! I am qualmish at the smell of leek.
  • Fluellen. I peseech you heartily, scurvy, lousy knave, at my
    desires, and my requests, and my petitions, to eat,
    look you, this leek: because, look you, you do not 2910
    love it, nor your affections and your appetites and
    your digestions doo's not agree with it, I would
    desire you to eat it.
  • Pistol. Not for Cadwallader and all his goats.
  • Fluellen. There is one goat for you. 2915
    [Strikes him]
    Will you be so good, scauld knave, as eat it?
  • Pistol. Base Trojan, thou shalt die.
  • Fluellen. You say very true, scauld knave, when God's will is:
    I will desire you to live in the mean time, and eat 2920
    your victuals: come, there is sauce for it.
    [Strikes him]
    You called me yesterday mountain-squire; but I will
    make you to-day a squire of low degree. I pray you,
    fall to: if you can mock a leek, you can eat a leek. 2925
  • Gower. Enough, captain: you have astonished him.
  • Fluellen. I say, I will make him eat some part of my leek, or
    I will peat his pate four days. Bite, I pray you; it
    is good for your green wound and your ploody coxcomb.
  • Fluellen. Yes, certainly, and out of doubt and out of question
    too, and ambiguities.
  • Pistol. By this leek, I will most horribly revenge: I eat
    and eat, I swear—
  • Fluellen. Eat, I pray you: will you have some more sauce to 2935
    your leek? there is not enough leek to swear by.
  • Pistol. Quiet thy cudgel; thou dost see I eat.
  • Fluellen. Much good do you, scauld knave, heartily. Nay, pray
    you, throw none away; the skin is good for your
    broken coxcomb. When you take occasions to see leeks 2940
    hereafter, I pray you, mock at 'em; that is all.
  • Fluellen. Ay, leeks is good: hold you, there is a groat to
    heal your pate.
  • Fluellen. Yes, verily and in truth, you shall take it; or I
    have another leek in my pocket, which you shall eat.
  • Pistol. I take thy groat in earnest of revenge.
  • Fluellen. If I owe you any thing, I will pay you in cudgels:
    you shall be a woodmonger, and buy nothing of me but 2950
    cudgels. God b' wi' you, and keep you, and heal your pate.


  • Pistol. All hell shall stir for this.
  • Gower. Go, go; you are a counterfeit cowardly knave. Will
    you mock at an ancient tradition, begun upon an 2955
    honourable respect, and worn as a memorable trophy of
    predeceased valour and dare not avouch in your deeds
    any of your words? I have seen you gleeking and
    galling at this gentleman twice or thrice. You
    thought, because he could not speak English in the 2960
    native garb, he could not therefore handle an
    English cudgel: you find it otherwise; and
    henceforth let a Welsh correction teach you a good
    English condition. Fare ye well.


  • Pistol. Doth Fortune play the huswife with me now?
    News have I, that my Nell is dead i' the spital
    Of malady of France;
    And there my rendezvous is quite cut off.
    Old I do wax; and from my weary limbs 2970
    Honour is cudgelled. Well, bawd I'll turn,
    And something lean to cutpurse of quick hand.
    To England will I steal, and there I'll steal:
    And patches will I get unto these cudgell'd scars,
    And swear I got them in the Gallia wars. 2975