Henry V

Act II

SCENE I. London. A street.

[Enter Corporal Nym and Lieutenant Bardolph.]


Well met, Corporal Nym.


Good morrow, Lieutenant Bardolph.


What, are Ancient Pistol and you friends yet?


For my part, I care not. I say little; but when time shall

serve, there shall be smiles; but that shall be as it may. I dare

not fight, but I will wink and hold out mine iron. It is a simple

one, but what though? It will toast cheese, and it will endure

cold as another man's sword will; and there's an end.


I will bestow a breakfast to make you friends; and we'll

be all three sworn brothers to France. Let it be so, good

Corporal Nym.


Faith, I will live so long as I may, that's the certain of it; and

when I cannot live any longer, I will do as I may. That is my rest,

that is the rendezvous of it.


It is certain, corporal, that he is married to Nell Quickly; and

certainly she did you wrong, for you were troth-plight to her.


I cannot tell. Things must be as they may. Men may sleep, and

they may have their throats about them at that time; and some say

knives have edges. It must be as it may. Though patience be a

tired mare, yet she will plod. There must be conclusions. Well, I

cannot tell.

[Enter Pistol and Hostess.]


Here comes Ancient Pistol and his wife. Good Corporal, be

patient here. How now, mine host Pistol!


Base tike, call'st thou me host?

Now, by this hand, I swear I scorn the term;

Nor shall my Nell keep lodgers.


No, by my troth, not long; for we cannot lodge and board a

dozen or fourteen gentlewomen that live honestly by the prick of

their needles, but it will be thought we keep a bawdy house

straight. [Nym and Pistol draw.] O well a day, Lady, if he be not

drawn now! We shall see wilful adultery and murder committed.


Good Lieutenant! good corporal! offer nothing here.




Pish for thee, Iceland dog! thou prick-ear'd cur of Iceland!


Good Corporal Nym, show thy valour, and put up your sword.


Will you shog off? I would have you solus.


"Solus," egregious dog! O viper vile!

The "solus" in thy most mervailous face;

The "solus" in thy teeth, and in thy throat,

And in thy hateful lungs, yea, in thy maw, perdy,

And, which is worse, within thy nasty mouth!

I do retort the "solus" in thy bowels;

For I can take, and Pistol's cock is up,

And flashing fire will follow.


I am not Barbason; you cannot conjure me. I have an humour to

knock you indifferently well. If you grow foul with me, Pistol, I

will scour you with my rapier, as I may, in fair terms. If you

would walk off, I would prick your guts a little, in good terms,

as I may; and that's the humour of it.


O braggart vile and damned furious wight!

The grave doth gape, and doting death is near,

Therefore exhale.


Hear me, hear me what I say. He that strikes the first

stroke I'll run him up to the hilts, as I am a soldier.



An oath of mickle might; and fury shall abate.

Give me thy fist, thy fore-foot to me give.

Thy spirits are most tall.


I will cut thy throat, one time or other, in fair terms:

that is the humour of it.


"Couple a gorge!"

That is the word. I thee defy again.

O hound of Crete, think'st thou my spouse to get?

No! to the spital go,

And from the powdering tub of infamy

Fetch forth the lazar kite of Cressid's kind,

Doll Tearsheet she by name, and her espouse.

I have, and I will hold, the quondam Quickly

For the only she; and--pauca, there's enough.

Go to.

[Enter the Boy.]


Mine host Pistol, you must come to my master, and you,

hostess. He is very sick, and would to bed. Good Bardolph, put

thy face between his sheets, and do the office of a warming-pan.

Faith, he's very ill.


Away, you rogue!


By my troth, he'll yield the crow a pudding one of these days.

The King has kill'd his heart.

Good husband, come home presently.

[Exeunt Hostess and Boy.]


Come, shall I make you two friends? We must to France

together; why the devil should we keep knives to cut one

another's throats?


Let floods o'erswell, and fiends for food howl on!


You'll pay me the eight shillings I won of you at betting?


Base is the slave that pays.


That now I will have: that's the humour of it.


As manhood shall compound. Push home.

[They draw.]


By this sword, he that makes the first thrust, I'll kill

him; by this sword, I will.


Sword is an oath, and oaths must have their course.


Corporal Nym, and thou wilt be friends, be friends; an

thou wilt not, why, then, be enemies with me too. Prithee,

put up.


I shall have my eight shillings I won from you at betting?


A noble shalt thou have, and present pay;

And liquor likewise will I give to thee,

And friendship shall combine, and brotherhood.

I'll live by Nym, and Nym shall live by me.

Is not this just? For I shall sutler be

Unto the camp, and profits will accrue.

Give me thy hand.


I shall have my noble?


In cash most justly paid.


Well, then, that's the humour of't.

[Re-enter Hostess.]


As ever you come of women, come in quickly to Sir John.

Ah, poor heart! he is so shak'd of a burning quotidian tertian,

that it is most lamentable to behold. Sweet men, come to him.


The King hath run bad humours on the knight; that's the even

of it.


Nym, thou hast spoke the right.

His heart is fracted and corroborate.


The King is a good king; but it must be as it may; he

passes some humours and careers.


Let us condole the knight; for, lambkins, we will live.


SCENE II. Southampton. A council-chamber.

[Enter Exeter, Bedford, and Westmoreland.]


'Fore God, his Grace is bold, to trust these traitors.


They shall be apprehended by and by.


How smooth and even they do bear themselves!

As if allegiance in their bosoms sat

Crowned with faith and constant loyalty.


The King hath note of all that they intend,

By interception which they dream not of.


Nay, but the man that was his bed-fellow,

Whom he hath dull'd and cloy'd with gracious favours,

That he should, for a foreign purse, so sell

His sovereign's life to death and treachery.

[Trumpets sound. Enter King Henry, Scroop, Cambridge,

and Grey.]


Now sits the wind fair, and we will aboard.

My Lord of Cambridge, and my kind Lord of Masham,

And you, my gentle knight, give me your thoughts.

Think you not that the powers we bear with us

Will cut their passage through the force of France,

Doing the execution and the act

For which we have in head assembled them?


No doubt, my liege, if each man do his best.


I doubt not that, since we are well persuaded

We carry not a heart with us from hence

That grows not in a fair consent with ours,

Nor leave not one behind that doth not wish

Success and conquest to attend on us.


Never was monarch better fear'd and lov'd

Than is your Majesty. There's not, I think, a subject

That sits in heart-grief and uneasiness

Under the sweet shade of your government.


True; those that were your father's enemies

Have steep'd their galls in honey, and do serve you

With hearts create of duty and of zeal.


We therefore have great cause of thankfulness,

And shall forget the office of our hand

Sooner than quittance of desert and merit

According to the weight and worthiness.


So service shall with steeled sinews toil,

And labour shall refresh itself with hope,

To do your Grace incessant services.


We judge no less. Uncle of Exeter,

Enlarge the man committed yesterday,

That rail'd against our person. We consider

It was excess of wine that set him on,

And on his more advice we pardon him.


That's mercy, but too much security.

Let him be punish'd, sovereign, lest example

Breed, by his sufferance, more of such a kind.


O, let us yet be merciful.


So may your Highness, and yet punish too.



You show great mercy if you give him life

After the taste of much correction.


Alas, your too much love and care of me

Are heavy orisons 'gainst this poor wretch!

If little faults, proceeding on distemper,

Shall not be wink'd at, how shall we stretch our eye

When capital crimes, chew'd, swallow'd, and digested,

Appear before us? We'll yet enlarge that man,

Though Cambridge, Scroop, and Grey, in their dear care

And tender preservation of our person,

Would have him punish'd. And now to our French causes.

Who are the late commissioners?


I one, my lord.

Your Highness bade me ask for it to-day.


So did you me, my liege.


And I, my royal sovereign.


Then, Richard Earl of Cambridge, there is yours;

There yours, Lord Scroop of Masham; and, sir knight,

Grey of Northumberland, this same is yours.

Read them, and know I know your worthiness.

My Lord of Westmoreland, and uncle Exeter,

We will aboard to-night.--Why, how now, gentlemen!

What see you in those papers that you lose

So much complexion?--Look ye, how they change!

Their cheeks are paper.--Why, what read you there,

That have so cowarded and chas'd your blood

Out of appearance?


I do confess my fault,

And do submit me to your Highness' mercy.


To which we all appeal.


The mercy that was quick in us but late,

By your own counsel is suppress'd and kill'd.

You must not dare, for shame, to talk of mercy,

For your own reasons turn into your bosoms,

As dogs upon their masters, worrying you.

See you, my princes and my noble peers,

These English monsters! My Lord of Cambridge here,

You know how apt our love was to accord

To furnish him with an appertinents

Belonging to his honour; and this man

Hath, for a few light crowns, lightly conspir'd

And sworn unto the practices of France

To kill us here in Hampton; to the which

This knight, no less for bounty bound to us

Than Cambridge is, hath likewise sworn. But, O

What shall I say to thee, Lord Scroop? thou cruel,

Ingrateful, savage, and inhuman creature!

Thou that didst bear the key of all my counsels,

That knew'st the very bottom of my soul,

That almost mightst have coin'd me into gold,

Wouldst thou have practis'd on me for thy use,--

May it be possible that foreign hire

Could out of thee extract one spark of evil

That might annoy my finger? 'Tis so strange,

That, though the truth of it stands off as gross

As black and white, my eye will scarcely see it.

Treason and murder ever kept together,

As two yoke-devils sworn to either's purpose,

Working so grossly in a natural cause

That admiration did not whoop at them;

But thou, 'gainst all proportion, didst bring in

Wonder to wait on treason and on murder;

And whatsoever cunning fiend it was

That wrought upon thee so preposterously

Hath got the voice in hell for excellence;

And other devils that suggest by treasons

Do botch and bungle up damnation

With patches, colours, and with forms being fetch'd

From glist'ring semblances of piety.

But he that temper'd thee bade thee stand up,

Gave thee no instance why thou shouldst do treason,

Unless to dub thee with the name of traitor.

If that same demon that hath gull'd thee thus

Should with his lion gait walk the whole world,

He might return to vasty Tartar back,

And tell the legions, "I can never win

A soul so easy as that Englishman's."

O, how hast thou with jealousy infected

The sweetness of affiance! Show men dutiful?

Why, so didst thou. Seem they grave and learned?

Why, so didst thou. Come they of noble family?

Why, so didst thou. Seem they religious?

Why, so didst thou. Or are they spare in diet,

Free from gross passion or of mirth or anger,

Constant in spirit, not swerving with the blood,

Garnish'd and deck'd in modest complement,

Not working with the eye without the ear,

And but in purged judgement trusting neither?

Such and so finely bolted didst thou seem.

And thus thy fall hath left a kind of blot

To mark the full-fraught man and best indued

With some suspicion. I will weep for thee;

For this revolt of thine, methinks, is like

Another fall of man. Their faults are open.

Arrest them to the answer of the law;

And God acquit them of their practices!


I arrest thee of high treason, by the name of Richard Earl of

Cambridge. I arrest thee of high treason, by the name of Henry

Lord Scroop of Masham. I arrest thee of high treason, by the name

of Thomas Grey, knight, of Northumberland.


Our purposes God justly hath discover'd,

And I repent my fault more than my death,

Which I beseech your Highness to forgive,

Although my body pay the price of it.


For me, the gold of France did not seduce,

Although I did admit it as a motive

The sooner to effect what I intended.

But God be thanked for prevention,

Which I in sufferance heartily will rejoice,

Beseeching God and you to pardon me.


Never did faithful subject more rejoice

At the discovery of most dangerous treason

Than I do at this hour joy o'er myself,

Prevented from a damned enterprise.

My fault, but not my body, pardon, sovereign.


God quit you in his mercy! Hear your sentence.

You have conspir'd against our royal person,

Join'd with an enemy proclaim'd, and from his coffers

Received the golden earnest of our death;

Wherein you would have sold your king to slaughter,

His princes and his peers to servitude,

His subjects to oppression and contempt,

And his whole kingdom into desolation.

Touching our person seek we no revenge;

But we our kingdom's safety must so tender,

Whose ruin you have sought, that to her laws

We do deliver you. Get you therefore hence,

Poor miserable wretches, to your death,

The taste whereof God of his mercy give

You patience to endure, and true repentance

Of all your dear offences! Bear them hence.

[Exeunt Cambridge, Scroop, and Grey, guarded.]

Now, lords, for France; the enterprise whereof

Shall be to you, as us, like glorious.

We doubt not of a fair and lucky war,

Since God so graciously hath brought to light

This dangerous treason lurking in our way

To hinder our beginnings. We doubt not now

But every rub is smoothed on our way.

Then forth, dear countrymen! Let us deliver

Our puissance into the hand of God,

Putting it straight in expedition.

Cheerly to sea! The signs of war advance!

No king of England, if not king of France!



SCENE III. London. Before a tavern.

[Enter Pistol, Nym, Bardolph, Boy, and Hostess.]


Prithee, honey, sweet husband, let me bring thee to Staines.


No; for my manly heart doth yearn.

Bardolph, be blithe; Nym, rouse thy vaunting veins;

Boy, bristle thy courage up; for Falstaff he is dead,

And we must yearn therefore.


Would I were with him, wheresome'er he is, either in

heaven or in hell!


Nay, sure, he's not in hell. He's in Arthur's bosom, if ever

man went to Arthur's bosom. 'A made a finer end and went

away an it had been any christom child. 'A parted even just

between twelve and one, even at the turning o' the tide: for

after I saw him fumble with the sheets, and play with flowers,

and smile upon his fingers' ends, I knew there was but one way;

for his nose was as sharp as a pen, and 'a babbled of green

fields. "How now, Sir John!" quoth I; "what, man! be o' good

cheer." So 'a cried out, "God, God, God!" three or four times.

Now I, to comfort him, bid him 'a should not think of God; I

hop'd there was no need to trouble himself with any such thoughts

yet. So 'a bade me lay more clothes on his feet. I put my hand

into the bed and felt them, and they were as cold as any stone;

then I felt to his knees, [and they were as cold as any stone;]

and so upward and upward, and all was as cold as any stone.


They say he cried out of sack.


Ay, that 'a did.


And of women.


Nay, that 'a did not.


Yes, that 'a did; and said they were devils incarnate.


'A could never abide carnation; 'twas a colour he never liked.


'A said once, the devil would have him about women.


'A did in some sort, indeed, handle women; but then he was

rheumatic, and talk'd of the whore of Babylon.


Do you not remember, 'a saw a flea stick upon Bardolph's nose,

and 'a said it was a black soul burning in hell-fire?


Well, the fuel is gone that maintain'd that fire. That's all the

riches I got in his service.


Shall we shog? The King will be gone from Southampton.


Come, let's away. My love, give me thy lips.

Look to my chattels and my movables.

Let senses rule; the word is "Pitch and Pay."

Trust none;

For oaths are straws, men's faiths are wafer-cakes

And hold-fast is the only dog, my duck;

Therefore, Caveto be thy counsellor.

Go, clear thy crystals. Yoke-fellows in arms,

Let us to France; like horse-leeches, my boys,

To suck, to suck, the very blood to suck!


And that's but unwholesome food, they say.


Touch her soft mouth, and march.


Farewell, hostess.

[Kissing her.]


I cannot kiss; that is the humour of it; but, adieu.


Let housewifery appear. Keep close, I thee command.


Farewell; adieu.


SCENE IV. France. The King's palace.

[Flourish. Enter the French King, the Dauphin, the Dukes of Berri

and Bretagne [the Constable, and others.]


Thus comes the English with full power upon us,

And more than carefully it us concerns

To answer royally in our defences.

Therefore the Dukes of Berri and of Bretagne,

Of Brabant and of Orleans, shall make forth,

And you, Prince Dauphin, with all swift dispatch,

To line and new repair our towns of war

With men of courage and with means defendant;

For England his approaches makes as fierce

As waters to the sucking of a gulf.

It fits us then to be as provident

As fears may teach us out of late examples

Left by the fatal and neglected English

Upon our fields.


My most redoubted father,

It is most meet we arm us 'gainst the foe;

For peace itself should not so dull a kingdom,

Though war nor no known quarrel were in question,

But that defences, musters, preparations,

Should be maintain'd, assembled, and collected,

As were a war in expectation.

Therefore, I say, 'tis meet we all go forth

To view the sick and feeble parts of France.

And let us do it with no show of fear;

No, with no more than if we heard that England

Were busied with a Whitsun morris-dance;

For, my good liege, she is so idly king'd,

Her sceptre so fantastically borne

By a vain, giddy, shallow, humorous youth,

That fear attends her not.


O peace, Prince Dauphin!

You are too much mistaken in this king.

Question your Grace the late ambassadors

With what great state he heard their embassy,

How well supplied with noble counsellors,

How modest in exception, and withal

How terrible in constant resolution,

And you shall find his vanities forespent

Were but the outside of the Roman Brutus,

Covering discretion with a coat of folly;

As gardeners do with ordure hide those roots

That shall first spring and be most delicate.


Well, 'tis not so, my Lord High Constable;

But though we think it so, it is no matter.

In cases of defence 'tis best to weigh

The enemy more mighty than he seems,

So the proportions of defence are fill'd;

Which, of a weak and niggardly projection,

Doth, like a miser, spoil his coat with scanting

A little cloth.


Think we King Harry strong;

And, Princes, look you strongly arm to meet him.

The kindred of him hath been flesh'd upon us;

And he is bred out of that bloody strain

That haunted us in our familiar paths.

Witness our too much memorable shame

When Cressy battle fatally was struck,

And all our princes captiv'd by the hand

Of that black name, Edward, Black Prince of Wales;

Whiles that his mountain sire, on mountain standing,

Up in the air, crown'd with the golden sun,

Saw his heroical seed, and smil'd to see him,

Mangle the work of nature and deface

The patterns that by God and by French fathers

Had twenty years been made. This is a stem

Of that victorious stock; and let us fear

The native mightiness and fate of him.

[Enter a Messenger.]


Ambassadors from Harry King of England

Do crave admittance to your Majesty.


We'll give them present audience. Go, and bring them.

[Exeunt Messenger and certain Lords.]

You see this chase is hotly follow'd, friends.


Turn head and stop pursuit; for coward dogs

Most spend their mouths when what they seem to threaten

Runs far before them. Good my sovereign,

Take up the English short, and let them know

Of what a monarchy you are the head.

Self-love, my liege, is not so vile a sin

As self-neglecting.

[Enter EXETER.]


From our brother of England?


From him; and thus he greets your Majesty:

He wills you, in the name of God Almighty,

That you divest yourself, and lay apart

The borrowed glories that by gift of heaven,

By law of nature and of nations, longs

To him and to his heirs; namely, the crown

And all wide-stretched honours that pertain

By custom and the ordinance of times

Unto the crown of France. That you may know

'Tis no sinister nor no awkward claim

Pick'd from the worm-holes of long-vanish'd days,

Nor from the dust of old oblivion rak'd,

He sends you this most memorable line,

In every branch truly demonstrative;

Willing you overlook this pedigree;

And when you find him evenly deriv'd

From his most fam'd of famous ancestors,

Edward the Third, he bids you then resign

Your crown and kingdom, indirectly held

From him, the native and true challenger.


Or else what follows?


Bloody constraint; for if you hide the crown

Even in your hearts, there will he rake for it.

Therefore in fierce tempest is he coming,

In thunder and in earthquake, like a Jove,

That, if requiring fail, he will compel;

And bids you, in the bowels of the Lord,

Deliver up the crown, and to take mercy

On the poor souls for whom this hungry war

Opens his vasty jaws; and on your head

Turning the widows' tears, the orphans' cries,

The dead men's blood, the pining maidens' groans,

For husbands, fathers, and betrothed lovers,

That shall be swallowed in this controversy.

This is his claim, his threat'ning, and my message;

Unless the Dauphin be in presence here,

To whom expressly I bring greeting too.


For us, we will consider of this further.

To-morrow shall you bear our full intent

Back to our brother of England.


For the Dauphin,

I stand here for him. What to him from England?


Scorn and defiance. Slight regard, contempt,

And anything that may not misbecome

The mighty sender, doth he prize you at.

Thus says my king: an if your father's Highness

Do not, in grant of all demands at large,

Sweeten the bitter mock you sent his Majesty,

He'll call you to so hot an answer of it

That caves and womby vaultages of France

Shall chide your trespass and return your mock

In second accent of his ordinance.


Say, if my father render fair return,

It is against my will; for I desire

Nothing but odds with England. To that end,

As matching to his youth and vanity,

I did present him with the Paris balls.


He'll make your Paris Louvre shake for it,

Were it the mistress-court of mighty Europe;

And, be assur'd, you'll find a difference,

As we his subjects have in wonder found,

Between the promise of his greener days

And these he masters now. Now he weighs time

Even to the utmost grain. That you shall read

In your own losses, if he stay in France.


To-morrow shall you know our mind at full.



Dispatch us with all speed, lest that our king

Come here himself to question our delay;

For he is footed in this land already.


You shall be soon dispatch'd with fair conditions.

A night is but small breath and little pause

To answer matters of this consequence.