Henry V - Act 4, scene 3
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Act 4, scene 3
Henry delivers an oration to his troops urging them on to win glory in the battle. Montjoy again comes to establish the terms of Henry’s ransom, and Henry again refuses to be ransomed should he be defeated and captured.Enter Gloucester, Bedford, Exeter, Erpingham with all
his host, Salisbury, and Westmoreland.
GLOUCESTER 2232 Where is the King?
2233 The King himself is rode to view their battle.
2234 Of fighting men they have full threescore thousand.
2235 There’s five to one. Besides, they all are fresh.
2236 5 God’s arm strike with us! ’Tis a fearful odds.
2237 God be wi’ you, princes all. I’ll to my charge.
2238 If we no more meet till we meet in heaven,
2239 Then joyfully, my noble Lord of Bedford,
2240 My dear Lord Gloucester, and my good Lord Exeter,
2241 10 And my kind kinsman, warriors all, adieu.
2242 Farewell, good Salisbury, and good luck go with
2245 For thou art framed of the firm truth of valor.
2246 15 Farewell, kind lord. Fight valiantly today.
2247 He is as full of valor as of kindness,
2248 Princely in both.
Enter the King ⌜of England.⌝
WESTMORELAND 2249 O, that we now had here
2250 But one ten thousand of those men in England
2251 20 That do no work today.
KING HENRY 2252 What’s he that wishes so?
2253 My cousin Westmoreland? No, my fair cousin.
2254 If we are marked to die, we are enough
2255 To do our country loss; and if to live,
2256 25 The fewer men, the greater share of honor.
2257 God’s will, I pray thee wish not one man more.
2258 By Jove, I am not covetous for gold,
2259 Nor care I who doth feed upon my cost;
2260 It yearns me not if men my garments wear;
2261 30 Such outward things dwell not in my desires.
2262 But if it be a sin to covet honor,
2263 I am the most offending soul alive.
2264 No, ’faith, my coz, wish not a man from England.
2265 God’s peace, I would not lose so great an honor
2266 35 As one man more, methinks, would share from me,
2267 For the best hope I have. O, do not wish one more!
2268 Rather proclaim it, Westmoreland, through my host,
2269 That he which hath no stomach to this fight,
2270 Let him depart. His passport shall be made,
2271 40 And crowns for convoy put into his purse.
2272 We would not die in that man’s company
2273 That fears his fellowship to die with us.
2274 This day is called the feast of Crispian.
2276 45 Will stand o’ tiptoe when this day is named
2277 And rouse him at the name of Crispian.
2278 He that shall see this day, and live old age,
2279 Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbors
2280 And say “Tomorrow is Saint Crispian.”
2281 50 Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars.
2282 Old men forget; yet all shall be forgot,
2283 But he’ll remember with advantages
2284 What feats he did that day. Then shall our names,
2285 Familiar in his mouth as household words,
2286 55 Harry the King, Bedford and Exeter,
2287 Warwick and Talbot, Salisbury and Gloucester,
2288 Be in their flowing cups freshly remembered.
2289 This story shall the good man teach his son,
2290 And Crispin Crispian shall ne’er go by,
2291 60 From this day to the ending of the world,
2292 But we in it shall be rememberèd—
2293 We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
2294 For he today that sheds his blood with me
2295 Shall be my brother; be he ne’er so vile,
2296 65 This day shall gentle his condition;
2297 And gentlemen in England now abed
2298 Shall think themselves accursed they were not here,
2299 And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
2300 That fought with us upon Saint Crispin’s day.
2301 70 My sovereign lord, bestow yourself with speed.
2302 The French are bravely in their battles set,
2303 And will with all expedience charge on us.
2304 All things are ready if our minds be so.
2305 Perish the man whose mind is backward now!
2306 75 Thou dost not wish more help from England, coz?
2307 God’s will, my liege, would you and I alone,
2308 Without more help, could fight this royal battle!
2309 Why, now thou hast unwished five thousand men,
2310 Which likes me better than to wish us one.—
2311 80 You know your places. God be with you all.
Tucket. Enter Montjoy.
2312 Once more I come to know of thee, King Harry,
2313 If for thy ransom thou wilt now compound,
2314 Before thy most assurèd overthrow.
2315 For certainly thou art so near the gulf
2316 85 Thou needs must be englutted. Besides, in mercy,
2317 The Constable desires thee thou wilt mind
2318 Thy followers of repentance, that their souls
2319 May make a peaceful and a sweet retire
2320 From off these fields where, wretches, their poor
2321 90 bodies
2322 Must lie and fester.
KING HENRY 2323 Who hath sent thee now?
MONTJOY 2324 The Constable of France.
2325 I pray thee bear my former answer back.
2326 95 Bid them achieve me and then sell my bones.
2327 Good God, why should they mock poor fellows
2329 The man that once did sell the lion’s skin
2330 While the beast lived was killed with hunting him.
2331 100 A many of our bodies shall no doubt
2332 Find native graves, upon the which, I trust,
2333 Shall witness live in brass of this day’s work.
2335 Dying like men, though buried in your dunghills,
2336 105 They shall be famed; for there the sun shall greet
2338 And draw their honors reeking up to heaven,
2339 Leaving their earthly parts to choke your clime,
2340 The smell whereof shall breed a plague in France.
2341 110 Mark, then, abounding valor in our English,
2342 That being dead, like to the bullet’s crazing,
2343 Break out into a second course of mischief,
2344 Killing in relapse of mortality.
2345 Let me speak proudly: tell the Constable
2346 115 We are but warriors for the working day;
2347 Our gayness and our gilt are all besmirched
2348 With rainy marching in the painful field.
2349 There’s not a piece of feather in our host—
2350 Good argument, I hope, we will not fly—
2351 120 And time hath worn us into slovenry.
2352 But, by the Mass, our hearts are in the trim,
2353 And my poor soldiers tell me, yet ere night
2354 They’ll be in fresher robes, or they will pluck
2355 The gay new coats o’er the French soldiers’ heads
2356 125 And turn them out of service. If they do this,
2357 As, if God please, they shall, my ransom then
2358 Will soon be levied. Herald, save thou thy labor.
2359 Come thou no more for ransom, gentle herald.
2360 They shall have none, I swear, but these my joints,
2361 130 Which, if they have, as I will leave ’em them,
2362 Shall yield them little, tell the Constable.
2363 I shall, King Harry. And so fare thee well.
2364 Thou never shalt hear herald anymore.
KING HENRY 2365 I fear thou wilt once more come again
2366 135 for a ransom.⌜Montjoy⌝ exits.
2367 My lord, most humbly on my knee I beg
2368 The leading of the vaward.
2369 Take it, brave York.⌜York rises.⌝
2370 Now, soldiers, march away,
2371 140 And how Thou pleasest, God, dispose the day.