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Henry V - Act 4, scene 2
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Navigate this workHenry V - Act 4, scene 2
Act 4, scene 2
The French nobles, about to fight, lament that the English are so few and so weak.Enter the Dauphin, Orléans, Rambures, and Beaumont.
2168 The sun doth gild our armor. Up, my lords.
2169 Montez à cheval! My horse, varlet! Lackey! Ha!
ORLÉANS 2170 O brave spirit!
DAUPHIN 2171 Via les eaux et terre.
ORLÉANS 2172 5Rien puis? L’air et feu?
DAUPHIN 2173 Cieux, cousin Orléans.
2174 Now, my Lord Constable?
2175 Hark how our steeds for present service neigh.
2176 Mount them, and make incision in their hides,
2177 10 That their hot blood may spin in English eyes
2178 And dout them with superfluous courage. Ha!
2179 What, will you have them weep our horses’ blood?
2180 How shall we then behold their natural tears?
2181 The English are embattled, you French peers.
2182 15 To horse, you gallant princes, straight to horse.
2183 Do but behold yond poor and starvèd band,
2184 And your fair show shall suck away their souls,
2185 Leaving them but the shales and husks of men.
2186 There is not work enough for all our hands,
2187 20 Scarce blood enough in all their sickly veins
2188 To give each naked curtal ax a stain,
2189 That our French gallants shall today draw out
p. 1592190 And sheathe for lack of sport. Let us but blow on
2192 25 The vapor of our valor will o’erturn them.
2193 ’Tis positive against all exceptions, lords,
2194 That our superfluous lackeys and our peasants,
2195 Who in unnecessary action swarm
2196 About our squares of battle, were enough
2197 30 To purge this field of such a hilding foe,
2198 Though we upon this mountain’s basis by
2199 Took stand for idle speculation,
2200 But that our honors must not. What’s to say?
2201 A very little little let us do,
2202 35 And all is done. Then let the trumpets sound
2203 The tucket sonance and the note to mount,
2204 For our approach shall so much dare the field
2205 That England shall couch down in fear and yield.
2206 Why do you stay so long, my lords of France?
2207 40 Yond island carrions, desperate of their bones,
2208 Ill-favoredly become the morning field.
2209 Their ragged curtains poorly are let loose,
2210 And our air shakes them passing scornfully.
2211 Big Mars seems bankrupt in their beggared host
2212 45 And faintly through a rusty beaver peeps.
2213 The horsemen sit like fixèd candlesticks
2214 With torch staves in their hand, and their poor jades
2215 Lob down their heads, ⌜drooping⌝ the hides and hips,
2216 The gum down-roping from their pale dead eyes,
2217 50 And in their pale dull mouths the gemeled bit
2218 Lies foul with chawed grass, still and motionless.
2219 And their executors, the knavish crows,
2220 Fly o’er them all, impatient for their hour.
2221 Description cannot suit itself in words
2222 55 To demonstrate the life of such a battle
2223 In life so lifeless, as it shows itself.
2224 They have said their prayers, and they stay for death.
2225 Shall we go send them dinners and fresh suits,
2226 And give their fasting horses provender,
2227 60 And after fight with them?
2228 I stay but for my guard. On, to the field!
2229 I will the banner from a trumpet take
2230 And use it for my haste. Come, come away.
2231 The sun is high, and we outwear the day.