HotFreeBooks.com
King Henry the Fifth - Arranged for Representation at the Princess's Theatre
by William Shakespeare
1  2     Next Part
Home - Random Browse

[Transcriber's Note:

This is not the text of Henry V as written by Shakespeare. It is an acting version produced by Charles Kean in 1859. Approximate scene correspondences are listed at the end of the e-text.

The original book had three types of notes. Footnotes, marked with asterisks or numbers, were printed at the bottom of the page. Longer notes, marked with letters, were printed at the end of each Act as "Historical Notes". For this e-text the asterisked notes are printed immediately after their paragraph, while numbered footnotes are collected at the end of each scene. The Historical Notes remain in their original location, as does the Interlude between Acts IV and V (printed as a very long asterisked footnote). The original numbering has been retained.]

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Shakespeare's Play Of

KING HENRY THE FIFTH,

Arranged for Representation at the Princess's Theatre,

with HISTORICAL AND EXPLANATORY NOTES,

by CHARLES KEAN, F.S.A.,

As First Performed On MONDAY, MARCH 28th, 1859.



Entered At Stationers' Hall.

London: Printed by John K. Chapman and Co., 5, Shoe Lane, and Peterborough Court, Fleet Street.

PRICE ONE SHILLING. TO BE HAD IN THE THEATRE.



DRAMATIS PERSONAE.

[Transcriber's Note: "Mrs. Charles Kean" was otherwise known as Ellen Tree. Throughout the play, the Hostess is called by her Henry IV name, Mrs. Quickly.]

KING HENRY THE FIFTH, Mr. CHARLES KEAN. DUKE OF BEDFORD, } { Mr. DALY. DUKE OF GLOUCESTER, } { Miss DALY. (Brothers to the King) DUKE OF EXETER (Uncle to the King) Mr. COOPER. DUKE OF YORK (Cousin to the King) Mr. FLEMING. EARL OF SALISBURY, Mr. WILSON. EARL OF WESTMORELAND, Mr. COLLETT. EARL OF WARWICK, Mr. WARREN. ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY, Mr. H. MELLON. BISHOP OF ELY, Mr. F. COOKE. EARL OF CAMBRIDGE, } { Mr. T. W. EDMONDS. LORD SCROOP, } { Mr. CORMACK. SIR THOMAS GREY, } { Mr. STOAKES. (Conspirators against the King) SIR THOMAS ERPINGHAM, } { Mr. GRAHAM. GOWER, } { Mr. G. EVERETT. FLUELLEN, } { Mr. MEADOWS. (Officers in King Henry's Army) BATES, } { Mr. DODSWORTH. WILLIAMS, } { Mr. RYDER. (Soldiers in the same) NYM, } { Mr. J. MORRIS. BARDOLPH, } { Mr. H. SAKER. PISTOL, } { Mr. FRANK MATTHEWS. (formerly Servants to Falstaff, now Soldiers in the same) BOY (Servant to them) Miss KATE TERRY. ENGLISH HERALD, Mr. COLLIER.

CHORUS, Mrs. CHARLES KEAN.

CHARLES THE SIXTH (King of France) Mr. TERRY. LEWIS (the Dauphin) Mr. J. F. CATHCART. DUKE OF BURGUNDY, Mr. ROLLESTON. DUKE OF ORLEANS, Mr. BRAZIER. DUKE OF BOURBON, Mr. JAMES. THE CONSTABLE OF FRANCE, Mr. RAYMOND. RAMBURES, } { Mr. WALTERS. GRANDPRE, } { Mr. RICHARDSON. (French Lords) GOVERNOR OF HARFLEUR, Mr. PAULO. MONTJOY (French Herald) Mr. BARSBY.

ISABEL (Queen of France) Miss MURRAY. KATHARINE Miss CHAPMAN. (Daughter of Charles and Isabel) QUICKLY (Pistol's Wife, a Hostess) Mrs. W. DALY.

Lords, Ladies, Officers, French and English Soldiers, Messengers, and Attendants.

The SCENE, at the Beginning of the Play, lies in England; but afterwards in France.



STAGE DIRECTIONS.

R.H. means Right Hand; L.H. Left Hand; U.E. Upper Entrance. R.H.C. Enters through the centre from the Right Hand; L.H.C. Enters through the centre from the Left Hand.

RELATIVE POSITIONS OF THE PERFORMERS WHEN ON THE STAGE.

R. means on the Right Side of the Stage; L. on the Left Side of the Stage; C. Centre of the Stage; R.C. Right Centre of the Stage; L.C. Left Centre of the Stage.

—> The reader is supposed to be on the Stage, facing the Audience.

THE SCENERY Painted by Mr. GRIEVE and Mr. TELBIN, Assisted by Mr. W. GORDON, Mr. F. LLOYDS, Mr. CUTHBERT, Mr. DAYES, Mr. MORRIS, &c., &c. THE MUSIC under the direction of Mr. ISAACSON. THE DANCE IN THE EPISODE by Mr. CORMACK. THE DECORATIONS AND APPOINTMENTS by Mr. E. W. BRADWELL. THE DRESSES by Mrs. and Miss HOGGINS. THE MACHINERY by Mr. G. HODSDON. PERRUQUIER, Mr. ASPLIN, of No. 13, New Bond Street.

—> For reference to Historical Authorities indicated by Letters, see end of each Act.



PREFACE.

In the selection of my last Shakespearean revival at the Princess's Theatre, I have been actuated by a desire to present some of the finest poetry of our great dramatic master, interwoven with a subject illustrating a most memorable era in English history. No play appears to be better adapted for this two-fold purpose than that which treats of Shakespeare's favorite hero, and England's favorite king—Henry the Fifth.

The period thus recalled is flattering to our national pride; and however much the general feeling of the present day may be opposed to the evils of war, there are few amongst us who can be reminded of the military renown achieved by our ancestors on the fields of Crecy, Poitiers, and Agincourt, without a glow of patriotic enthusiasm.

The political motives which induced the invasion of France in the year 1415 must be sought for in the warlike spirit of the times, and in the martial character of the English sovereign. It is sufficient for dramatic purposes that a few thousands of our countrymen, in their march through a foreign land, enfeebled by sickness and encompassed by foes, were able to subdue and scatter to the winds the multitudinous hosts of France, on whose blood-stained soil ten thousand of her bravest sons lay slain, mingled with scarcely one hundred Englishmen![*] Such a marvellous disparity might well draw forth the pious acknowledgment of King Henry,—

"O God, thy arm was here;— And not to us, but to thy arm alone, Ascribe we all.—When, without stratagem, But in plain shock and even play of battle, Was ever known so great and little loss On one part and on the other?—Take it, God, For it is only thine!"

[Footnote *: The English authorities vary in their statements from seventeen to one hundred killed. The French historian, Monstrelet, estimates the loss of his countrymen at ten thousand men.]

Shakespeare in this, as in other of his dramatic histories, has closely followed Holinshed; but the light of his genius irradiates the dry pages of the chronicler. The play of Henry the Fifth is not only a poetical record of the past, but it is, as it were, "a song of triumph," a lay of the minstrel pouring forth a paean of victory. The gallant feats of our forefathers are brought vividly before our eyes, inspiring sentiments not to be excited by the mere perusal of books, reminding us of the prowess of Englishmen in earlier days, and conveying an assurance of what they will ever be in the hour of peril.

The descriptive poetry assigned to the "Chorus" between the acts is retained as a peculiar feature, connecting and explaining the action as it proceeds. This singular personage, so different from the Chorus of antiquity, I have endeavoured to render instrumental to the general effect of the play; the whole being planned with a view to realise, as far as the appliances of a theatre can be exercised, the events of the extraordinary campaign so decisively closed by the great conflict of Agincourt, which ultimately placed two crowns on the brow of the conqueror, and resulted in his marriage with Katharine, the daughter of Charles the Sixth, King of France. Shakespeare does not in this instance, as in Pericles and the Winter's Tale, assign a distinct individuality to the Chorus. For the figure of Time, under the semblance of an aged man, which has been heretofore presented, will now be substituted Clio, the muse of History. Thus, without violating consistency, an opportunity is afforded to Mrs. Charles Kean, which the play does not otherwise supply, of participating in this, the concluding revival of her husband's management.

Between the fourth and fifth acts I have ventured to introduce, as in the case of Richard the Second, a historical episode of action, exhibiting the reception of King Henry on returning to his capital, after the French expedition.

It would be impossible to include the manifold incidents of the royal progress in one scene: neither could all the sites on which they actually took place be successively exhibited. The most prominent are, therefore, selected, and thrown into one locality—the approach to old London bridge. Our audiences have previously witnessed the procession of Bolingbroke, followed in silence by his deposed and captive predecessor. An endeavor will now be made to exhibit the heroic son of that very Bolingbroke, in his own hour of more lawful triumph, returning to the same city; while thousands gazed upon him with mingled devotion and delight, many of whom, perhaps, participated in the earlier reception of his father, sixteen years before, under such different and painful circumstances. The Victor of Agincourt is hailed, not as a successful usurper, but as a conqueror; the adored sovereign of his people; the pride of the nation; and apparently the chosen instrument of heaven, crowned with imperishable glory. The portrait of this great man is drawn throughout the play with the pencil of a master-hand. The pleasantry of the prince occasionally peeps through the dignified reserve of the monarch, as instanced in his conversations with Fluellen, and in the exchange of gloves with the soldier Williams. His bearing is invariably gallant, chivalrous, and truly devout; surmounting every obstacle by his indomitable courage; and ever in the true feeling of a christian warrior, placing his trust in the one Supreme Power, the only Giver of victory! The introductions made throughout the play are presented less with a view to spectacular effect, than from a desire to render the stage a medium of historical knowledge, as well as an illustration of dramatic poetry. Accuracy, not show, has been my object; and where the two coalesce, it is because the one is inseparable from the other. The entire scene of the episode has been modelled upon the facts related by the late Sir Harris Nicholas, in his translated copy of a highly interesting Latin MS., accidentally discovered in the British Museum, written by a Priest, who accompanied the English army; and giving a detailed account of every incident, from the embarkation at Southampton to the return to London. The author tells us himself, that he was present at Agincourt, and "sat on horseback with the other priests, among the baggage, in the rear of the battle." We have, therefore, the evidence of an eyewitness; and by that testimony I have regulated the general representation of this noble play, but more especially the introductory episode.

The music, under the direction of Mr. Isaacson, has been, in part, selected from such ancient airs as remain to us of, or anterior to, the date of Henry the Fifth, and, in part, composed to accord with the same period. The "Song on the Victory of Agincourt," published at the end of Sir Harris Nicholas's interesting narrative, and introduced in the admirable work entitled "Popular Music of the Olden Time," by W. Chappell, F.S.A., is sung by the boy choristers in the Episode. The "Chanson Roland," to be found in the above-named work, is also given by the entire chorus in the same scene. The Hymn of Thanksgiving, at the end of the fourth act, is supposed to be as old as A.D. 1310. To give effect to the music, fifty singers have been engaged.

As the term of my management is now drawing to a close, I may, perhaps, be permitted, in a few words, to express my thanks for the support and encouragement I have received. While endeavouring, to the best of my ability and judgment, to uphold the interests of the drama in its most exalted form, I may conscientiously assert, that I have been animated by no selfish or commercial spirit. An enthusiast in the art to which my life has been devoted, I have always entertained a deeply-rooted conviction that the plan I have pursued for many seasons, might, in due time, under fostering care, render the Stage productive of much benefit to society at large. Impressed with a belief that the genius of Shakespeare soars above all rivalry, that he is the most marvellous writer the world has ever known, and that his works contain stores of wisdom, intellectual and moral, I cannot but hope that one who has toiled for so many years, in admiring sincerity, to spread abroad amongst the multitude these invaluable gems, may, at least, be considered as an honest labourer, adding his mite to the great cause of civilisation and educational progress.

After nine years of unremitting exertion as actor and director, the constant strain of mind and body warns me to retreat from a combined duty which I find beyond my strength, and in the exercise of which, neither zeal, nor devotion, nor consequent success, can continue to beguile me into a belief that the end will compensate for the many attendant troubles and anxieties. It would have been impossible, on my part, to gratify my enthusiastic wishes, in the illustration of Shakespeare, had not my previous career as an actor placed me in a position of comparative independence with regard to speculative disappointment. Wonderful as have been the yearly receipts, yet the vast sums expended—sums, I have every reason to believe, not to be paralleled in any theatre of the same capability throughout the world—make it advisable that I should now retire from the self-imposed responsibility of management, involving such a perilous outlay; and the more especially, as a building so restricted in size as the Princess's, renders any adequate return utterly hopeless.

My earnest aim has been to promote the well-being of my Profession; and if, in any degree, I have attained so desirable an object, I trust I may not be deemed presumptuous in cherishing the belief, that my arduous struggle has won for me the honourable reward of—Public Approval.

CHARLES KEAN.



KING HENRY THE FIFTH.

Enter CHORUS.

O for a muse of fire, that would ascend The brightest heaven of invention,[1] A kingdom for a stage, princes to act, And monarchs to behold the swelling scene! Then should the warlike Harry, like himself, Assume the port of Mars;[2] and, at his heels, Leash'd in like hounds, should famine, sword, and fire, Crouch for employment.(A) But pardon, gentles all, The flat unraised spirit that hath dar'd On this unworthy scaffold to bring forth So great an object: Can this cockpit hold[3] The vasty fields of France? or may we cram Upon this little stage[4] the very casques[5] That did affright the air at Agincourt? O, pardon! since a crooked figure may Attest in little place, a million; And let us, cyphers to this great accompt, On your imaginary forces[6] work. Suppose within the girdle of these walls Are now confined two mighty monarchies, Whose high upreared and abutting fronts The perilous narrow ocean parts asunder:[7] Piece out our imperfections with your thoughts; Into a thousand parts divide one man,[8] And make imaginary puissance;[9] For 'tis your thoughts that now must deck our kings, Carry them here and there; jumping o'er times, Turning the accomplishment of many years Into an hour-glass: For the which supply, Admit me Chorus to this history; Who, prologue-like, your humble patience pray, Gently to hear, kindly to judge, our play.

[Exit.

[Footnote Ic.1: O, for a muse of fire, &c.] This goes, says Warburton, upon the notion of the Peripatetic system, which imagines several heavens one above another, the last and highest of which was one of fire. It alludes, likewise, to the aspiring nature of fire, which, by its levity, at the separation of the chaos, took the highest seat of all the elements.]

[Footnote Ic.2: Assume the port of Mars;] i.e., the demeanour, the carriage, air of Mars. From portee, French.]

[Footnote Ic.3: Can this cockpit hold] Shakespeare probably calls the stage a cockpit, as the most diminutive enclosure present to his mind.]

[Footnote Ic.4: Upon this little stage] The original text is "within this wooden O," in allusion, probably, to the theatre where this history was exhibited, being, from its circular form, called The Globe.]

[Footnote Ic.5: ——the very casques] Even the helmets, much less the men by whom they were worn.]

[Footnote Ic.6: ——imaginary forces] Imaginary for imaginative, or your powers of fancy. Active and passive words are by Shakespeare frequently confounded.]

[Footnote Ic.7: The perilous narrow ocean parts asunder.] Perilous narrow means no more than very narrow. In old books this mode of expression frequently occurs.]

[Footnote Ic.8: Into a thousand parts divide one man,] i.e., suppose every man to represent a thousand.]

[Footnote Ic.9: ——make imaginary puissance:] i.e., imagine you see an enemy.]



ACT I.

SCENE I.—THE PAINTED CHAMBER IN THE ROYAL PALACE AT WESTMINSTER.

[Frequent reference is made in the Chronicles to the Painted Chamber, as the room wherein Henry V. held his councils.]

Trumpets sound.

KING HENRY(B) discovered on his throne (CENTRE)[*], BEDFORD,(C) GLOSTER,(D) EXETER,(E) WARWICK, WESTMORELAND, and others in attendance.

[Footnote *: The throne is powdered with the letter S. This decoration made its appearance in the reign of Henry IV., and has been differently accounted for. The late Sir Samuel Meyrick supposes it to be the initial letter of Henry's motto, "Souveraine." The King's costume is copied from Strutt's "Regal Antiquities." The dresses of the English throughout the play are taken from the works of Strutt, Meyrick, Shaw, and Hamilton Smith. The heraldry has been kindly supplied by Thomas Willement, Esq., F.S.A. The Lord Great Chamberlain carrying the sword of state is De Vere, Earl of Oxford.]

K. Hen. Where is my gracious Lord of Canterbury?

Exe. (L.) Not here in presence.

K. Hen. Send for him, good uncle.

[EXETER beckons to a HERALD, who goes off, L.H.

West. (L.) Shall we call in the ambassador, my liege?

K. Hen. Not yet, my cousin: we would be resolv'd, Before we hear him, of some things of weight, That task[1] our thoughts, concerning us and France.

Re-enter HERALD with the Archbishop of CANTERBURY,(F)[2] and Bishop of ELY,[3] L.H. The Bishops cross to R.C.

Cant. (R.C.) Heaven and its angels guard your sacred throne, And make you long become it!

K. Hen. Sure, we thank you. My learned lord, we pray you to proceed, And justly and religiously unfold, Why the law Salique,(G) that they have in France, Or should, or should not, bar us in our claim: And Heaven forbid, my dear and faithful lord, That you should fashion, wrest,[4] or bow your reading,[5] Or nicely charge your understanding soul[6] With opening titles miscreate,[7] whose right Suits not in native colours with the truth. For Heaven doth know how many, now in health, Shall drop their blood in approbation[8] Of what your reverence shall incite us to. Therefore take heed how you impawn our person,[9] How you awake the sleeping sword of war: We charge you, in the name of Heaven, take heed: Under this conjuration, speak, my lord.

Cant. (R.C.) Then hear me, gracious sovereign, and you peers, That owe your lives, your faith, and services, To this imperial throne.—There is no bar To make against your highness' claim to France But this, which they produce from Pharamond,— No woman shall succeed in Salique land: Which Salique land the French unjustly gloze[10] To be the realm of France, and Pharamond The founder of this law and female bar. Yet their own authors faithfully affirm That the land Salique lies in Germany, Between the floods of Sala and of Elbe; Where Charles the Great, having subdued the Saxons, There left behind and settled certain French: Nor did the French possess the Salique land Until four hundred one and twenty years After defunction of King Pharamond, Idly supposed the founder of this law. Besides, their writers say, King Pepin, which deposed Childerick, Did hold in right and title of the female: So do the kings of France unto this day; Howbeit they would hold up this Salique law To bar your highness claiming from the female; And rather choose to hide them in a net Than amply to imbare their crooked titles[11] Usurp'd from you and your progenitors.

K. Hen. May I with right and conscience make this claim?

Cant. (R.C.) The sin upon my head, dread sovereign! For in the book of Numbers is it writ,— When the son dies, let the inheritance Descend unto the daughter. Gracious lord, Stand for your own; unwind your bloody flag; Look back unto your mighty ancestors: Go, my dread lord, to your great grandsire's tomb, From whom you claim; invoke his warlike spirit, And your great uncle's, Edward the black prince, Who on the French ground play'd a tragedy, Making defeat on the full power of France, Whiles his most mighty father on a hill Stood smiling to behold his lion's whelp Forage in blood of French nobility.[12]

Ely. (R.C.) Awake remembrance of these valiant dead, And with your puissant arm renew their feats: You are their heir; you sit upon their throne; The blood and courage, that renowned them, Runs in your veins; and my thrice-puissant liege Is in the very May-morn of his youth, Ripe for exploits and mighty enterprises.

Exe. (L.) Your brother kings and monarchs of the earth Do all expect that you should rouse yourself, As did the former lions of your blood.

West. (L.) They know your grace hath cause, and means and might: So hath your highness;[13] never king of England Had nobles richer and more loyal subjects, Whose hearts have left their bodies here in England, And lie pavilion'd in the fields of France.

Cant. O, let their bodies follow, my dear liege, With blood, and sword, and fire to win your right: In aid whereof we of the spiritualty Will raise your highness such a mighty sum, As never did the clergy at one time Bring in to any of your ancestors.

K. Hen. We must not only arm to invade the French, But lay down our proportions to defend Against the Scot, who will make road upon us With all advantages.

Cant. (R.C.) They of those marches,[14] gracious sovereign, Shall be a wall sufficient to defend Our inland from the pilfering borderers. Therefore to France, my liege. Divide your happy England into four; Whereof take you one quarter into France, And you withal shall make all Gallia shake. If we, with thrice that power left at home, Cannot defend our own door from the dog, Let us be worried, and our nation lose The name of hardiness and policy.

K. Hen. Call in the messengers sent from the Dauphin.

[Exit HERALD with LORDS, L.H.

Now are we well resolv'd; and by Heaven's help, And yours, the noble sinews of our power,— France being ours, we'll bend it to our awe, Or break it all to pieces.

Re-enter HERALD and Lords, L.H., with the AMBASSADOR of FRANCE, French Bishops, Gentlemen, and Attendants carrying a treasure chest, L.H.

Now are we well prepar'd to know the pleasure Of our fair cousin Dauphin; for we hear Your greeting is from him, not from the king.

Amb. (L.C.) May it please your majesty to give us leave Freely to render what we have in charge; Or shall we sparingly show you far off The Dauphin's meaning and our embassy?

K. Hen. We are no tyrant, but a Christian king; Therefore with frank and with uncurbed plainness Tell us the Dauphin's mind.

Amb. Thus, then, in few.[15] Your highness, lately sending into France, Did claim some certain dukedoms, in the right Of your great predecessor, King Edward the Third. In answer of which claim, the prince our master Says,—that you savour too much of your youth; And bids you be advis'd, there's nought in France That can be with a nimble galliard won;[16] You cannot revel into dukedoms there. He therefore sends you, meeter for your spirit, This tun of treasure; and, in lieu of this, Desires you let the dukedoms that you claim Hear no more of you. This the Dauphin speaks.

K. Hen. What treasure, uncle?

Exe. (Opening the chest.)

Tennis-balls, my liege.(H)

K. Hen. We are glad the Dauphin is so pleasant with us; His present and your pains we thank you for: When we have match'd our rackets to these balls, We will, in France, by Heaven's grace, play a set Shall strike his father's crown into the hazard. And we understand him well, How he comes o'er us with our wilder days, Not measuring what use we made of them. But tell the Dauphin,—I will keep my state; Be like a king, and show my soul of greatness, When I do rouse me in my throne of France: For I will rise there with so full a glory, That I will dazzle all the eyes of France, Yea, strike the Dauphin blind to look on us. But this lies all within the will of Heaven, To whom I do appeal; And in whose name, Tell you the Dauphin, I am coming on, To venge me as I may, and to put forth My rightful hand in a well-hallow'd cause. So, get you hence in peace; and tell the Dauphin, His jest will savour but of shallow wit, When thousands weep, more than did laugh at it.— Convey them with safe conduct.—Fare you well.

[Exeunt AMBASSADOR, and Attendants, L.H.

Exe. This was a merry message.

K. Hen. We hope to make the sender blush at it.

[The KING rises.

Therefore, my lords, omit no happy hour That may give furtherance to our expedition; For we have now no thought in us but France, Save those to Heaven, that run before our business. Therefore let our proportions for these wars Be soon collected, and all things thought upon That may with reasonable swiftness add More feathers to our wings; for, Heaven before, We'll chide this Dauphin at his father's door.

[The characters group round the KING.

Trumpets sound.

[Footnote I.1: ——task] Keep busied with scruples and disquisitions.]

[Footnote I.2: Archbishop of Canterbury,] Henry Chichely, a Carthusian monk, recently promoted to the see of Canterbury.]

[Footnote I.3: Bishop of Ely.] John Fordham, consecrated 1388; died, 1426.]

[Footnote I.4: ——wrest,] i.e., distort.]

[Footnote I.5: ——or bow your reading,] i.e., bend your interpretation.]

[Footnote I.6: Or nicely charge your understanding soul] Take heed, lest by nice and subtle sophistry you burthen your knowing soul, or knowingly burthen your soul, with the guilt of advancing a false title, or of maintaining, by specious fallacies, a claim which, if shown in its native and true colours, would appear to be false. —JOHNSON.]

[Footnote I.7: ——miscreate,] Ill-begotten, illegitimate, spurious.]

[Footnote I.8: ——in approbation] i.e., in proving and supporting that title which shall be now set up.]

[Footnote I.9: ——impawn our person,] To engage and to pawn were in our author's time synonymous.]

[Footnote I.10: ——gloze] Expound, explain.]

[Footnote I.11: ——imbare their crooked titles] i.e., to lay open, to display to view.]

[Footnote I.12: In allusion to the battle of Crecy, fought 25th August, 1346.]

[Footnote I.13: So hath your highness;] i.e., your highness hath indeed what they think and know you have.]

[Footnote I.14: They of those marches,] The marches are the borders, the confines. Hence the Lords Marchers, i.e., the lords presidents of the marches, &c.]

[Footnote I.15: ——in few.] i.e., in short, brief.]

[Footnote I.16: ——a nimble galliard won;] A galliard was an ancient dance. The word is now obsolete.]

SCENE II.—EASTCHEAP, LONDON.

Enter BARDOLPH,(I) NYM, PISTOL, MRS. QUICKLY, and BOY, L.2 E.

Quick. (L.C.) Pr'ythee, honey-sweet husband, let me bring thee to Staines.[17]

Pist. (C.) 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.

Bard. (R.) 'Would I were with him, wheresome'er he is!

Quick. (C.) Sure, he's in Arthur's bosom,[18] if ever man went to Arthur's bosom. 'A made a finer end,[19] and went away, an it had been any christom child;[20] 'a parted even just between twelve and one, e'en at turning o' the tide:[21] for after I saw him fumble with the sheets,[22] 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 of good cheer. So a' cried out—Heaven, Heaven, Heaven! three or four times. Now I, to comfort him, bid him 'a should not think of Heaven; I hoped, 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.

Nym. (R.C.) They say he cried out of sack.

Quick. Ay, that 'a did.

Bard. And of women.

Quick. Nay, that 'a did not.

Boy. (L.) Yes, that 'a did, and said they were devils incarnate.

Quick. (crosses L.C.) 'A could never abide carnation;[23] 'twas a colour he never liked.

Boy. 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?

Bard. Well, the fuel is gone that maintained that fire: that's all the riches I got in his service.

Nym. Shall we shog off?[24] the king will be gone from Southampton.

Pist. Come, let's away.—My love, give me thy lips. Look to my chattels and my moveables: Let senses rule;[25] the word is, Pitch and pay;[26] Trust none; For oaths are straws, men's faiths are wafer-cakes, And hold-fast is the only dog,[27] my duck: Therefore, caveto be thy counsellor.[28] Go, clear thy crystals.[29]—Yoke-fellows in arms,

[Crosses L.H.

Let us to France; like horse-leeches, my boys, To suck, to suck, the very blood to suck!

[Crosses R.H.

Boy. And that is but unwholesome food, they say.

Pitt. Touch her soft mouth, and march.

Bard. Farewell, hostess.

[Kissing her.

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

Pist. Let housewifery appear: keep close, I thee command.

Quick. Farewell; adieu.

[Exeunt BARDOLPH, PISTOL, NYM, R.H., and DAME QUICKLY, L.H.

Boy. As young as I am, I have observed these three swashers. I am boy to them all three: but all they three, though they would serve me, could not be a man to me; for, indeed, three such anticks do not amount to a man. For Bardolph,—he is white-livered and red-faced; by the means whereof 'a faces it out, but fights not. For Pistol,—he hath a killing tongue and a quiet sword; by the means whereof 'a breaks words, and keeps whole weapons. For Nym,—he hath heard that men of few words are the best men; and therefore he scorns to say his prayers, lest 'a should be thought a coward: but his few bad words are match'd with as few good deeds; for 'a never broke any man's head but his own, and that was against a post when he was drunk. They will steal any thing, and call it—purchase. They would have me as familiar with men's pockets as their gloves or their handkerchiefs: which makes much against my manhood, if I should take from another's pocket to put into mine; for it is plain pocketing up of wrongs. I must leave them, and seek some better service: their villainy goes against my weak stomach, and therefore I must cast it up.

[Distant March heard. Exit BOY, R.H.

END OF FIRST ACT.

[Footnote I.17: ——let me bring thee to Staines.] i.e., let me attend, or accompany thee.]

[Footnote I.18: ——Arthur's bosom,] Dame Quickly, in her usual blundering way, mistakes Arthur for Abraham.]

[Footnote I.19: 'A made a finer end,] To make a fine end is not an uncommon expression for making a good end. The Hostess means that Falstaff died with becoming resignation and patient submission to the will of Heaven.]

[Footnote I.20: ——an it had been any christom child;] i.e., child that has wore the chrysom, or white cloth put on a new baptized child.]

[Footnote I.21: ——turning o' the tide:] It has been a very old opinion, which Mead, de imperio solis, quotes, as if he believed it, that nobody dies but in the time of ebb: half the deaths in London confute the notion; but we find that it was common among the women of the poet's time. —JOHNSON.]

[Footnote I.22: ——I saw him fumble with the sheets,] Pliny, in his chapter on the signs of death, makes mention of "a fumbling and pleiting of the bed-clothes." The same indication of approaching death is enumerated by Celsus, Lommius, Hippocrates, and Galen.]

[Footnote I.23: 'A could never abide carnation;] Mrs. Quickly blunders, mistaking the word incarnate for a colour. In questions of Love, published 1566, we have "yelowe, pale, redde, blue, whyte, gray, and incarnate."]

[Footnote I.24: Shall we shog off?] i.e., shall we move off—jog off?]

[Footnote I.25: Let senses rule;] i.e., let prudence govern you—conduct yourself sensibly.]

[Footnote I.26: ——Pitch and pay;] A familiar expression, meaning pay down at once, pay ready money; probably throw down your money and pay.]

[Footnote I.27: ——hold-fast is the only dog,] Alluding to the proverbial saying— "Brag is a good dog, but Holdfast is a better."]

[Footnote I.28: ——caveto be thy counsellor.] i.e., let prudence be thy counsellor.]

[Footnote I.29: ——clear thy crystals.] Dry thine eyes.]



HISTORICAL NOTE TO CHORUS—ACT FIRST

(A) ——should famine, sword, and fire, Crouch for employment.]

Holinshed states that when the people of Rouen petitioned Henry V., the king replied "that the goddess of battle, called Bellona, had three handmaidens, ever of necessity attending upon her, as blood, fire, and famine." These are probably the dogs of war mentioned in Julius Caesar.

HISTORICAL NOTES TO ACT FIRST.

(B) KING HENRY on his throne,] King Henry V. was born at Monmouth, August 9th, 1388, from which place he took his surname. He was the eldest son of Henry Bolingbroke, Earl of Derby, afterwards Duke of Hereford, who was banished by King Richard the Second, and, after that monarch's deposition, was made king of England, A.D. 1399. At eleven years of age Henry V. was a student at Queen's College, Oxford, under the tuition of his half-uncle, Henry Beaufort, Chancellor of that university. Richard II. took the young Henry with him in his expedition to Ireland, and caused him to be imprisoned in the castle of Trym, but, when his father, the Duke of Hereford, deposed the king and obtained the crown, he was created Prince of Wales and Duke of Cornwall.

In 1403 the Prince was engaged at the battle of Shrewsbury, where the famous Hotspur was slain, and there wounded in the face by an arrow. History states that Prince Henry became the companion of rioters and disorderly persons, and indulged in a course of life quite unworthy of his high station. There is a tradition that, under the influence of wine, he assisted his associates in robbing passengers on the highway. His being confined in prison for striking the Chief Justice, Sir William Gascoigne, is well known.

These excesses gave great uneasiness and annoyance to the king, his father, who dismissed the Prince from the office of President of his Privy Council, and appointed in his stead his second son, Thomas, Duke of Clarence. Henry was crowned King of England on the 9th April, 1413. We read in Stowe— "After his coronation King Henry called unto him all those young lords and gentlemen who were the followers of his young acts, to every one of whom he gave rich gifts, and then commanded that as many as would change their manners, as he intended to do, should abide with him at court; and to all that would persevere in their former like conversation, he gave express commandment, upon pain of their heads, never after that day to come in his presence."

This heroic king fought and won the celebrated battle of Agincourt, on the 25th October, 1415; married the Princess Katherine, daughter of Charles VI. of France and Isabella of Bavaria, his queen, in the year 1420; and died at Vincennes, near Paris, in the midst of his military glory, August 31st, 1422, in the thirty-fourth year of his age, and the tenth of his reign, leaving an infant son, who succeeded to the throne under the title of Henry VI.

The famous Whittington was for the third time Lord Mayor of London in this reign, A.D. 1419. Thomas Chaucer, son of the great poet, was speaker of the House of Commons, which granted the supplies to the king for his invasion of France.

(C) Bedford,] John, Duke of Bedford, was the third son of King Henry IV., and his brother, Henry V., left to him the Regency of France. He died in the year 1435. This duke was accounted one of the best generals of the royal race of Plantaganet.

King Lewis XI. being counselled by certain envious persons to deface his tomb, used these, indeed, princely words:— "What honor shall it be to us, or you, to break this monument, and to pull out of the ground the bones of him, whom, in his life time, neither my father nor your progenitors, with all their puissance, were once able to make fly a foot backward? Who by his strength, policy, and wit, kept them all out of the principal dominions of France, and out of this noble Dutchy of Normandy? Wherefore I say first, God save his soul, and let his body now lie in rest, which, when he was alive, would have disquieted the proudest of us all; and for his tomb, I assure you, it is not so worthy or convenient as his honor and acts have deserved." —Vide Sandford's History of the Kings of England.

(D) Gloster,] Humphrey, Duke of Gloster, was the fourth son of King Henry IV., and on the death of his brother, Henry V., became Regent of England. It is generally supposed he was strangled. His death took place in the year 1446.

(E) Exeter,] Shakespeare is a little too early in giving Thomas Beaufort the title of Duke of Exeter; for when Harfleur was taken, and he was appointed governor of the town, he was only Earl of Dorset. He was not made Duke of Exeter till the year after the battle of Agincourt, November 14, 1416. Exeter was half brother to King Henry IV., being one of the sons of John of Gaunt, by Catherine Swynford.

(F) Archbishop of Canterbury,] The Archbishop's speech in this scene, explaining King Henry's title to the crown of France, is closely copied from Holinshed's chronicle, page 545.

"About the middle of the year 1414, Henry V., influenced by the persuasions of Chichely, Archbishop of Canterbury, by the dying injunction of his royal father, not to allow the kingdom to remain long at peace, or more probably by those feelings of ambition, which were no less natural to his age and character, than consonant with the manners of the time in which he lived, resolved to assert that claim to the crown of France which his great grandfather, King Edward the Third, had urged with such confidence and success." —Nicolas's History of the Battle of Agincourt.

(G) ——the law Salique,] According to this law no woman was permitted to govern or be a Queen in her own right. The title only was allowed to the wife of the monarch. This law was imported from Germany by the warlike Franks.

(H) Tennis-balls, my liege.] Some contemporary historians affirm that the Dauphin sent Henry the contemptuous present, which has been imputed to him, intimating that such implements of play were better adapted to his dissolute character than the instruments of war, while others are silent on the subject. The circumstance of Henry's offering to meet his enemy in single combat, affords some support to the statement that he was influenced by those personal feelings of revenge to which the Dauphin's conduct would undoubtedly have given birth.

(I) Enter BARDOLPH, NYM, PISTOL, Mrs. QUICKLY, and BOY.] These followers of Falstaff figured conspicuously through the two parts of Shakespeare's Henry IV. Pistol is a swaggering, pompous braggadocio; Nym a boaster and a coward; and Bardolph a liar, thief, and coward, who has no wit but in his nose.



Enter CHORUS.

Cho. Now all the youth of England are on fire, And silken dalliance in the wardrobe lies: Now thrive the armourers, and honour's thought Reigns solely in the breast of every man: They sell the pasture now to buy the horse; Following the mirror of all Christian kings, With winged heels, as English Mercuries; For now sits expectation in the air. O England!—model to thy inward greatness, Like little body with a mighty heart,— What might'st thou do, that honour would thee do, Were all thy children kind and natural! But see thy fault! France hath in thee found out A nest of hollow bosoms, which he fills[1] With treacherous crowns; and three corrupted men,— One, Richard earl of Cambridge;[2] and the second, Henry lord Scroop of Masham,[3] and the third, Sir Thomas Grey, knight, of Northumberland,— Have, for the gilt of France[4] (O guilt, indeed!), Confirm'd conspiracy with fearful France;(A) And by their hands this grace of kings[5] must die, (If hell and treason hold their promises,) Ere he take ship for France, and in Southampton.

The back scene opens and discovers a tableau, representing the three conspirators receiving the bribe from the emissaries of France.

Linger your patience on; and well digest The abuse of distance, while we force a play.[6] The sum is paid; the traitors are agreed; The king is set from London; and the scene Is now transported, gentles, to Southampton,— There is the playhouse now, there must you sit: And thence to France shall we convey you safe, And bring you back, charming the narrow seas To give you gentle pass; for, if we may, We'll not offend one stomach[7] with our play. But, till the king come forth, and not till then,[8] Unto Southampton do we shift our scene.

[Exit.

[Footnote IIc.1: ——which he fills] i.e., the King of France.]

[Footnote IIc.2: ——Richard, earl of Cambridge;] Was Richard de Coninsbury, younger son of Edmund of Langley, Duke of York. He was father of Richard, Duke of York, father of Edward the Fourth.]

[Footnote IIc.3: Henry lord Scroop of Masham,] Was third husband of Joan Duchess of York (she had four), mother-in-law of Richard, Earl of Cambridge.]

[Footnote IIc.4: ——the gilt of France,] i.e., golden money.]

[Footnote IIc.5: ——this grace of kings] i.e., he who does the greatest honor to the title. By the same phraseology the usurper in Hamlet is called the vice of kings, i.e., the opprobrium of them.]

[Footnote IIc.6: ——while we force a play.] To force a play is to produce a play by compelling many circumstances into a narrow compass.]

[Footnote IIc.7: We'll not offend one stomach] That is, you shall pass the sea without the qualms of sea-sickness.]

[Footnote IIc.8: But, till the king come forth, and not till then,] The meaning is, "We will not shift our scene unto Southampton till the king makes his appearance on the stage, and the scene will be at Southampton only for the short time while he does appear on the stage; for, soon after his appearance, it will change to France." —MALONE.]



ACT II.

SCENE I.—COUNCIL CHAMBER IN SOUTHAMPTON CASTLE.

EXETER, BEDFORD, and WESTMORELAND, discovered.

Bed. 'Fore Heaven, his grace is bold, to trust these traitors.

Exe. They shall be apprehended by and by.

West. How smooth and even they do bear themselves! As if allegiance in their bosoms sat, Crowned with faith and constant loyalty.

Bed. The king hath note of all that they intend, By interception which they dream not of.

Exe. Nay, but the man that was his bedfellow,(A) Whom he hath cloy'd and grac'd with princely favours,— That he should, for a foreign purse, so sell His sovereign's life to death and treachery!

Distant Trumpets sound. Enter King HENRY, SCROOP, CAMBRIDGE, GREY, Lords and Attendants, U.E.L.H.

K. Hen. 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?

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

K. Hen. 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,[1] Nor leave not one behind that doth not wish Success and conquest to attend on us.

Cam. (R.) 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.

Grey. (R.) Even those that were your father's enemies Have steep'd their galls in honey, and do serve you With hearts create[2] of duty and of zeal.

K.Hen. (C.) 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. Uncle of Exeter, R. 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,[3] we pardon him.

Scroop. (R.) That's mercy, but too much security: Let him be punish'd, sovereign; lest example Breed, by his sufferance, more of such a kind.

K. Hen. O, let us yet be merciful.

Cam. So may your highness, and yet punish too.

Grey. Sir, you show great mercy, if you give him life, After the taste of much correction.

K. Hen. Alas, your too much love and care of me Are heavy orisons 'gainst this poor wretch![4] If little faults, proceeding on distemper,[5] Shall not be wink'd at, how shall we stretch our eye[6] 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:

[All take their places at Council table.

Who are the late Commissioners?[7]

Cam. (R. of table.) I one, my lord: Your highness bade me ask for it to-day.

Scroop. (R. of table.) So did you me, my liege.

Grey. (R. of table.) And me, my royal sovereign.

K. Hen. 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,—

[L. of table.

We will aboard to-night.

(Conspirators start from their places.)

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 hath so cowarded and chas'd your blood Out of appearance?

Cam. I do confess my fault; And do submit me to your highness' mercy.

[Falling on his knees.

Grey. } To which we all appeal. [Kneeling. Scroop. }

K. Hen. (rising; all the LORDS rise with the KING.) The mercy that was quick[8] in us but late, By your own counsel is suppress'd and kill'd: You must not dare, for shame, to talk of mercy. 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 all appertinents Belonging to his honour; and this man Hath, for a few light crowns, lightly conspir'd, And sworn unto the practises 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 did'st bear the key of all my counsels, That knew'st the very bottom of my soul, That almost might'st have coin'd me into gold, 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[9] As black from white,[10] my eye will scarcely see it; For this revolt of thine, methinks, is like Another fall of man.—Their faults are open: Arrest them to the answer of the law;—

[EXETER goes to door U.E.L.H, and calls on the Guard.

And Heaven acquit them of their practises!

Exe. (comes down, R.C.) 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.

Scroop. (R., kneeling.) Our purposes Heaven justly hath discover'd; And I repent my fault more than my death.

Cam. (R., kneeling.) For me,—the gold of France did not seduce;(B) Although I did admit it as a motive The sooner to effect what I intended: But Heaven be thanked for prevention; Which I in sufferance heartily will rejoice,[11] Beseeching Heaven and you to pardon me.

Grey. (R. kneeling.) 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 enterprize: My fault, but not my body, pardon, sovereign.

K. Hen. (C.) Heaven quit you in its mercy! Hear your sentence. You have conspir'd against our royal person, Join'd with an enemy proclaim'd, and from his coffers Receiv'd 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;(C) But we our kingdom's safety must so tender,[12] Whose ruin you three sought, that to her laws We do deliver you. Get you, therefore, hence, Poor miserable wretches, to your death: The taste whereof, Heaven of its mercy give you Patience to endure, and true repentance Of all your dear offences![13]—Bear them hence.

[Conspirators rise and exeunt guarded, with EXETER.

Now, Lords, for France; the enterprize whereof Shall be to you, as us, like glorious. We doubt not of a fair and lucky war, Since Heaven so graciously hath brought to light This dangerous treason, lurking in our way. Then, forth, dear countrymen: let us deliver Our puissance[14] into the hand of Heaven, Putting it straight in expedition. Cheerly to sea; the signs of war advance:(D) No king of England, if not king of France.

[Exeunt, U.E.L.H.

[Footnote II.1: ——in a fair consent with ours,] i.e., in friendly concord; in unison with ours.]

[Footnote II.2: ——hearts create] Hearts compounded or made up of duty and zeal.]

[Footnote II.3: ——more advice,] On his return to more coolness of mind.]

[Footnote II.4: Are heavy orisons 'gainst, &c.] i.e., are weighty supplications against this poor wretch.]

[Footnote II.5: ——proceeding on distemper,] Distemper'd in liquor was a common expression. We read in Holinshed, vol. iii., page 626:— "gave him wine and strong drink in such excessive sort, that he was therewith distempered, and reeled as he went."]

[Footnote II.6: ——how shall we stretch our eye] If we may not wink at small faults, how wide must we open our eyes at great.]

[Footnote II.7: Who are the late commissioners?] That is, who are the persons lately appointed commissioners.]

[Footnote II.8: ——quick] That is, living.]

[Footnote II.9: ——as gross] As palpable.]

[Footnote II.10: ——though the truth of it stands off as gross As black from white,] Though the truth be as apparent and visible as black and white contiguous to each other. To stand off is etre releve, to be prominent to the eye, as the strong parts of a picture. —JOHNSON.]

[Footnote II.11: Which I in sufferance heartily will rejoice,] Cambridge means to say, at which prevention, or, which intended scheme that it was prevented, I shall rejoice. Shakespeare has many such elliptical expressions. The intended scheme that he alludes to was the taking off Henry, to make room for his brother-in-law. —MALONE.]

[Footnote II.12: ——our kingdom's safety must so tender,] i.e., must so regard.]

[Footnote II.13: ——dear offences!——] To dere, in ancient language, was to hurt; the meaning, therefore, is hurtful— pernicious offences.]

[Footnote II.14: Our puissance] i.e., our power, our force.]

SCENE II.—FRANCE. A ROOM IN THE FRENCH KING'S PALACE.

Trumpets sound.

Enter the FRENCH KING,[15] attended; the DAUPHIN, the DUKE OF BURGUNDY, the CONSTABLE, and Others,(E) L.H.

Fr. King. (C.) Thus come the English with full power upon us; And more than carefully it us concerns[16] To answer royally in our defences. Therefore the Dukes of Berry and of Bretagne, Of Brabant and of Orleans, shall make forth,— And you, Prince Dauphin,—with all swift despatch, To line and new repair our towns of war With men of courage and with means defendant.

Dau. (R.C.) My most redoubted father, It is most meet we arm us 'gainst the foe: 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.

Con. (L.C.) O peace, prince Dauphin You are too much mistaken in this king: With what great state he heard our embassy, How well supplied with noble counsellors, How modest in exception,[17] and withal How terrible in constant resolution, And you shall find his vanities fore-spent Were but the outside of the Roman Brutus, Covering discretion with a coat of folly.

Dau. 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.

Fr. King. 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[18] That haunted us[19] 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,—[20] Saw his heroical seed, and smil'd to see him Mangle the work of nature, and deface The patterns that by Heaven 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.[21]

Enter MONTJOY,[22] L.H., and kneels C. to the KING.

Mont. Ambassadors from Henry King of England Do crave admittance to your majesty.

Fr. King. We'll give them present audience.

(MONTJOY rises from his knee.)

Go, and bring them.

[Exeunt MONTJOY, and certain LORDS, L.H.

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

Dau. Turn head, and stop pursuit; for coward dogs Most spend their mouths,[23] 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.

[FRENCH KING takes his seat on Throne, R.

Re-enter MONTJOY, LORDS, with EXETER and Train, L.H.

Fr. King. From our brother England?

Exe. (L.C.) From him; and thus he greets your majesty. He wills you, in the awful name of Heaven, That you divest yourself, and lay apart The borrow'd glories, that, by gift of heaven, By law of nature and of nations, 'long 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,[24]

[Gives a paper to MONTJOY, who delivers it kneeling to the KING.

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.

Fr. King. Or else what follows?

Exe. 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): This is his claim, his threat'ning, and my message; Unless the Dauphin be in presence here, To whom expressly I bring greeting too.

Fr. King. For us, we will consider of this further: To-morrow shall you bear our full intent Back to our brother England.

[MONTJOY rises, and retires to R.

Dau. (R. of throne.) For the Dauphin, I stand here for him: What to him from England?

Exe. Scorn and defiance; slight regard, contempt, And any thing 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 for it, That caves and womby vaultages of France Shall chide your trespass,[25] and return your mock In second accent of his ordnance.

Dau. Say, if my father render fair reply, 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 those Paris balls.

Exe. He'll make your Paris Louvre shake for it: And, be assur'd, you'll find a difference Between the promise of his greener days And these he masters now: now he weighs time, Even to the utmost grain: which you shall read[26] In your own losses, if he stay in France.

Fr. King. To-morrow shall you know our mind at full.

Exe. Despatch us with all speed, lest that our king Come here himself to question our delay; For he is footed in this land already.

Fr. King. You shall be soon despatch'd with fair conditions:

[MONTJOY crosses to the English party.

A night is but small breath and little pause To answer matters of this consequence.

[English party exit, with MONTJOY and others, L.H. French Lords group round the KING.

Trumpets sound.

[Footnote II.15: ——FRENCH KING,] The costume of Charles VI. is copied from Willemin, Monuments Francais. The dresses of the other Lords are selected from Montfaucon Monarchie Francoise.]

[Footnote II.16: ——more than carefully it us concerns,] More than carefully is with more than common care; a phrase of the same kind with better than well. —JOHNSON.]

[Footnote II.17: How modest in exception,] How diffident and decent in making objections.]

[Footnote II.18: ——strain] lineage.]

[Footnote II.19: That haunted us] To haunt is a word of the utmost horror, which shows that they dreaded the English as goblins and spirits.]

[Footnote II.20: ——crown'd with the golden sun,—] Shakespeare's meaning (divested of its poetical fancy) probably is, that the king stood upon an eminence, with the sun shining over his head. —STEEVENS.]

[Footnote II.21: ——fate of him.] His fate is what is allotted him by destiny, or what he is fated to perform.]

[Footnote II.22: Montjoy,] Mont-joie is the title of the principal king-at-arms in France, as Garter is in our country.]

[Footnote II.23: ——spend their mouths,] That is, bark; the sportsman's term.]

[Footnote II.24: ——memorable line,] This genealogy; this deduction of his lineage.]

[Footnote II.25: Shall chide your trespass,] To chide is to resound, to echo.]

[Footnote II.26: ——you shall read] i.e., shall find.]

END OF ACT SECOND.



HISTORICAL NOTES TO CHORUS—ACT SECOND.

(A) These corrupted men,—— One, Richard earl of Cambridge; and the second, Henry lord Scroop of Masham; and the third, Sir Thomas Grey knight of Northumberland,— Have for the guilt of France (O, guilt, indeed!) Confirm'd conspiracy with fearful France.

About the end of July, Henry's ambitious designs received a momentary check from the discovery of a treasonable conspiracy against his person and government, by Richard, Earl of Cambridge, brother of the Duke of York; Henry, Lord Scroop of Masham, the Lord Treasurer; and Sir Thomas Grey, of Heton, knight. The king's command for the investigation of the affair, was dated on the 21st of that month, and a writ was issued to the Sheriff of Southampton, to assemble a jury for their trial; and which on Friday, the 2nd of August, found that on the 20th of July, Richard, Earl of Cambridge, and Thomas Grey, of Heton, in the County of Northumberland, knight, had falsely and traitorously conspired to collect a body of armed men, to conduct Edmund, Earl of March,[*] to the frontiers of Wales, and to proclaim him the rightful heir to the crown, in case Richard II. was actually dead; but they had solicited Thomas Frumpyngton, who personated King Richard, Henry Percy, and many others from Scotland to invade the realm, that they had intended to destroy the King, the Duke of Clarence, the Duke of Bedford, the Duke of Gloucester, with other lords and great men; and that Henry, Lord Scroop, of Masham, consented to the said treasonable purposes, and concealed the knowledge of them from the king. On the same day the accused were reported by Sir John Popham, Constable of the Castle of Southampton, to whose custody they had been committed, to have confessed the justice of the charges brought against them, and that they threw themselves on the king's mercy; but Scroop endeavoured to extenuate his conduct, by asserting that his intentions were innocent, and that he appeared only to acquiesce in their designs to be enabled to defeat them. The Earl and Lord Scroop having claimed the privilege of being tried by the peers, were remanded to prison, but sentence of death in the usual manner was pronounced against Grey, and he was immediately executed; though, in consequence of Henry having dispensed with his being drawn and hung, he was allowed to walk from the Watergate to the Northgate of the town of Southampton, where he was beheaded. A commission was soon afterwards issued, addressed to the Duke of Clarence, for the trial of the Earl of Cambridge and Lord Scroop: this court unanimously declared the prisoners guilty, and sentence of death having been denounced against them, they paid the forfeit of their lives on Monday, the 5th of August. In consideration of the earl being of the blood royal, he was merely beheaded; but to mark the perfidy and ingratitude of Scroop, who had enjoyed the king's utmost confidence and friendship, and had even shared his bed, he commanded that he should be drawn to the place of execution, and that his head should be affixed on one of the gates of the city of York. —Nicolas's History of the Battle of Agincourt.

[Footnote *: At that moment the Earl of March was the lawful heir to the crown, he being the heir general of Lionel, Duke of Clarence, third son of Edward III, whilst Henry V. was but the heir of John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster, King Edward's fourth son.]

HISTORICAL NOTES TO ACT SECOND.

(A) ——the man that was his bedfellow,] So, Holinshed: "The said Lord Scroop was in such favour with the king, that he admitted him sometimes to be his bedfellow." The familiar appellation, of bedfellow, which appears strange to us, was common among the ancient nobility. There is a letter from the sixth Earl of Northumberland (still preserved in the collection of the present duke), addressed "To his beloved cousin, Thomas Arundel," &c., which begins "Bedfellow, after my most haste recommendation." —Steevens.

This unseemly custom continued common till the middle of the last century, if not later. Cromwell obtained much of his intelligence, during the civil wars, from the mean men with whom he slept. —Malone.

After the battle of Dreux, 1562, the Prince of Conde slept in the same bed with the Duke of Guise; an anecdote frequently cited, to show the magnanimity of the latter, who slept soundly, though so near his greatest enemy, then his prisoner. —Nares.

(B) For me,—the gold of France did not seduce;] Holinshed observes, "that Richard, Earl of Cambridge, did not conspire with the Lord Scroop and Thomas Grey, for the murdering of King Henry to please the French king, but only to the intent to exalt to the crown his brother-in-law Edmund, Earl of March, as heir to Lionel, Duke of Clarence; after the death of which Earl of March, for divers secret impediments not able to have issue, the Earl of Cambridge was sure that the crown should come to him by his wife, and to his children of her begotten; and therefore (as was thought), he rather confessed himself for need of money to be corrupted by the French king, than he would declare his inward mind, &c., which if it were espied, he saw plainly that the Earl of March should have tasted of the same cup that he had drunk, and what should have come to his own children he merely doubted, &c."

A million of gold is stated to have been given by France to the conspirators.

Historians have, however, generally expressed their utter inability to explain upon what grounds the conspirators built their expectation of success; and unless they had been promised powerful assistance from France, the design seems to have been one of the most absurd and hopeless upon record. The confession of the Earl of Cambridge, and his supplication for mercy in his own hand writing, is in the British Museum.

(C) Touching our person, seek we no revenge;] This speech is taken from Holinshed:—

"Revenge herein touching my person, though I seek not; yet for the safeguard of my dear friends, and for due preservation of all sorts, I am by office to cause example to be showed: Get ye hence, therefore, you poor miserable wretches, to the receiving of your just reward, wherein God's majesty give you grace of his mercy, and repentance of your heinous offences."

(D) Cheerly to sea; the signs of war advance:] "The king went from his castle of Porchester in a small vessel to the sea, and embarking on board his ship, called The Trinity, between the ports of Southampton and Portsmouth, he immediately ordered that the sail should be set, to signify his readiness to depart." "There were about fifteen hundred vessels, including about a hundred which were left behind. After having passed the Isle of Wight, swans were seen swimming in the midst of the fleet, which, in the opinion of all, were said to be happy auspices of the undertaking. On the next day, the king entered the mouth of the Seine, and cast anchor before a place called Kidecaus, about three miles from Harfleur, where he proposed landing." —Nicolas's History of Agincourt.

The departure of Henry's army on this occasion, and the separation between those who composed it and their relatives and friends, is thus described by Drayton, who was born in 1563, and died in 1631:—

There might a man have seen in every street, The father bidding farewell to his son; Small children kneeling at their father's feet: The wife with her dear husband ne'er had done: Brother, his brother, with adieu to greet: One friend to take leave of another, run; The maiden with her best belov'd to part, Gave him her hand who took away her heart.

The nobler youth the common rank above, On their curveting coursers mounted fair: One wore his mistress' garter, one her glove; And he a lock of his dear lady's hair: And he her colours, whom he did most love; There was not one but did some favour wear: And each one took it, on his happy speed, To make it famous by some knightly deed.

(E) Enter the FRENCH KING, the DAUPHIN, the DUKE OF BURGUNDY, the CONSTABLE, and others.] Charles VI., surnamed the Well Beloved, was King of France during the most disastrous period of its history. He ascended the throne in 1380, when only thirteen years of age. In 1385 he married Isabella of Bavaria, who was equally remarkable for her beauty and her depravity. The unfortunate king was subject to fits of insanity, which lasted for several months at a time. On the 21st October, 1422, seven years after the battle of Agincourt, Charles VI. ended his unhappy life at the age of 55, having reigned 42 years. Lewis the Dauphin was the eldest son of Charles VI. He was born 22nd January, 1396, and died before his father, December 18th, 1415, in his twentieth year. History says, "Shortly after the battle of Agincourt, either for melancholy that he had for the loss, or by some sudden disease, Lewis, Dovphin of Viennois, heir apparent to the French king, departed this life without issue."

John, Duke of Burgundy, surnamed the Fearless, succeeded to the dukedom in 1403. He caused the Duke of Orleans to be assassinated in the streets of Paris, and was himself murdered August 28, 1419, on the bridge of Montereau, at an interview with the Dauphin, afterwards Charles VII. John was succeeded by his only son, who bore the title of Philip the Good, Duke of Burgundy.

The Constable, Charles D'Albret, commanded the French army at the Battle of Agincourt, and was slain on the field.



Enter CHORUS.

Chor. Thus with imagin'd wing our swift scene flies, In motion of no less celerity Than that of thought. Suppose that you have seen The well-appointed king[1] at Hampton pier Embark his royalty;[2] and his brave fleet With silken streamers the young Phoebus fanning: Play with your fancies; and in them behold Upon the hempen tackle ship-boys climbing; Hear the shrill whistle, which doth order give To sounds confus'd; behold the threaden sails, Borne with the invisible and creeping wind, Draw the huge bottoms through the furrow'd sea, Breasting the lofty surge: O, do but think You stand upon the rivage,[3] and behold A city on the inconstant billows dancing; For so appears this fleet majestical, Holding due course to Harfleur. Follow, follow! Grapple your minds to sternage of this navy;[4] And leave your England, as dead midnight still, Guarded with grandsires, babies, and old women, Either past, or not arriv'd to, pith and puissance; For who is he, whose chin is but enrich'd With one appearing hair, that will not follow These cull'd and choice-drawn cavaliers to France? Work, work your thoughts, and therein see a siege; Behold the ordnance on their carriages, With fatal mouths gaping on girded Harfleur. Suppose the ambassador from the French comes back; Tells Harry—that the king doth offer him Katharine his daughter; and with her, to dowry, Some petty and unprofitable dukedoms. The offer likes not: and the nimble gunner With linstock[5] now the devilish cannon touches,

[Alarums, and cannon shot off.

And down goes all before them. Still be kind, And eke out our performance with your mind.

[Exit.

[Footnote IIIc.1: The well-appointed king] i.e., well furnished with all the necessaries of war.]

[Footnote IIIc.2: Embark his royalty;] The place where Henry's army was encamped, at Southampton, is now entirely covered with the sea, and called Westport.]

[Footnote IIIc.3: ——rivage,] The bank or shore.]

[Footnote IIIc.4: ——to sternage of this navy;] The stern being the hinder part of the ship, the meaning is, let your minds follow close after the navy. Stern, however, appears to have been anciently synonymous to rudder.]



Scene Changes to THE SIEGE OF HARFLEUR.

THE WALLS ARE MANNED BY THE FRENCH.

The English Are Repulsed from an Attack on the Breach.

Alarums. Enter KING HENRY, EXETER, BEDFORD, GLOSTER, and Soldiers, R.H.

K. Hen. Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more; Or close the wall up with our English dead![6] In peace there's nothing so becomes a man As modest stillness and humility: But when the blast of war blows in our ears, Then imitate the action of the tiger! On, on, you noble English, Whose blood is fet[7] from fathers of war-proof! And you, good yeomen, Whose limbs were made in England, show us here The mettle of your pasture; let us swear That you are worth your breeding: which I doubt not; For there is none of you so mean and base, That hath not noble lustre in your eyes. I see you stand like greyhounds in the slips,[8] Straining upon the start. The game's afoot: Follow your spirit; and, upon this charge, Cry—God for Harry! England! and Saint George!

[The English charge upon the breach, headed by the KING. Alarums. The GOVERNOR of the Town appears on the walls with a flag of truce.

K. Hen. How yet resolves the governour of the town? This is the latest parle we will admit: Therefore, to our best mercy give yourselves; Or, like to men proud of destruction, Defy us to our worst: for, as I am a soldier (A name that, in my thoughts, becomes me best,) If I begin the battery once again, I will not leave the half-achieved Harfleur Till in her ashes she lie buried. The gates of mercy shall be all shut up. What say you? will you yield, and this avoid? Or, guilty in defence, be thus destroy'd?

Gov. Our expectation hath this day an end: The Dauphin, whom of succour we entreated,[9] Returns us—that his powers are not yet ready To raise so great a siege. Therefore, dread king, We yield our town and lives to thy soft mercy. Enter our town; dispose of us and ours; For we no longer are defensible.

[Soldiers shout.

[The GOVERNOR and others come from the town, and kneeling, present to KING HENRY the keys of the city.

K. Hen. Come, uncle Exeter, R. Go you and enter Harfleur; there remain, And fortify it strongly 'gainst the French: Use mercy to them all. For us, dear uncle,— The winter coming on, and sickness growing Upon our soldiers,—we'll retire to Calais. To-night in Harfleur[*] will we be your guest; To-morrow for the march are we addrest.[10]

[March. English army enter the town through the breach.

[Footnote *: Extracts from the Account of the Siege of Harfleur, selected from the pages of the anonymous Chronicler who was an eyewitness of the event.

"Our King, who sought peace, not war, in order that he might further arm the cause in which he was engaged with the shield of justice offered peace to the besieged, if they would open the gates to him, and restore, as was their duty, freely, without compulsion, that town, the noble hereditary portion of his Crown of England, and of his Dukedom of Normandy.

"But as they, despising and setting at nought this offer, strove to keep possession of, and to defend the town against him, our King summoned to fight, as it were, against his will, called upon God to witness his just cause * * * he (King Henry) gave himself no rest by day or night, until having fitted and fixed his engines and guns under the walls, he had planted them within shot of the enemy, against the front of the town, and against the walls, gates, and towers, of the same * * * so that taking aim at the place to be battered, the guns from beneath blew forth stones by the force of ignited powers, * * * and in the mean time our King, with his guns and engines, so battered the said bulwark, and the walls and towers on every side, that within a few days, by the impetuosity and fury of the stones, the same bulwark was in a great part broken down; and the walls and towers from which the enemy had sent forth their weapons, the bastions falling in ruins, were rendered defenceless; and very fine edifices, even in the middle of the city, either lay altogether in ruins, or threatened an inevitable fall; or at least were so shaken as to be exceedingly damaged. * * * And although our guns had disarmed the bulwark, walls, and towers during the day, the besieged by night, with logs, faggots, and tubs on vessels full of earth, mud, and sand or stones, piled up within the shattered walls, and with other barricadoes, refortified the streets. * * * The King had caused towers and wooden bulwarks to the height of the walls, and ladders and other instruments, besides those which he had brought with him for the assault." —We are then told that the enemy contrived to set these engines on fire 'by means of powders, and combustibles prepared on the walls.'

The History then states that "a fire broke out where the strength of the French was greater, and the French themselves were overcome with resisting, and in endeavouring to extinguish the fire, until at length by force of arms, darts, and flames, their strength was destroyed. Leaving the place therefore to our party, they fled and retreated beneath the walls for protection; most carefully blocking up the entrance with timber, stones, earth, and mud, lest our people should rush in upon them through the same passage."

"On the following day a conference was held with the Lord de Gaucort, who acted as Captain, and with the more powerful leaders, whether it was the determination of the inhabitants to surrender the town without suffering further rigour of death or war. * * * On that night they entered into a treaty with the King, that if the French King, or the Dauphin, his first-born, being informed, should not raise the seige, and deliver them by force of arms within the first hour after morn on the Sunday following, they would surrender to him the town, and themselves, and their property."

"And neither at the aforesaid hour on the following Sunday, nor within the time, the French King, the Dauphin, nor any one else, coming forward to raise the siege. * * * The aforesaid Lord de Gaucort came from the town into the king's presence, accompanied by those persons who before had sworn to keep the articles, and surrendering to him the keys of the Corporation, submitted themselves, together with the citizens, to his grace. * * * Then the banners of St. George and the King were fixed upon the gates of the town, and the King advanced his illustrious uncle, the Lord Thomas Beaufort, Earl of Dorset (afterwards Duke of Exeter) to be keeper and captain of the town, having delivered to him the keys."

Thus, after a vigorous siege of about thirty-six days, one of the most important towns of Normandy fell into the hands of the invaders. The Chronicler in the text informs us, that the dysentery had carried off infinitely more of the English army than were slain in the siege; that about five thousand men were then so dreadfully debilitated by that disease, that they were unable to proceed, and were therefore sent to England; that three hundred men-at-arms and nine hundred archers were left to garrison Harfleur; that great numbers had cowardly deserted the King, and returned home by stealth; and that after all these deductions, not more than nine hundred lances and five thousand archers remained fit for service.

Hume, in his History of England, relates that "King Henry landed near Harfleur, at the head of an army of 6,000 men-at-arms, and 24,000 foot, mostly archers. He immediately began the siege of that place, which was valiantly defended by d'Estoueleville, and under him by de Guitri, de Gaucourt, and others of the French nobility; but as the garrison was weak, and the fortifications in bad repair, the governor was at last obliged to capitulate, and he promised to surrender the place if he received no succour before the 18th of September. The day came, and there was no appearance of a French army to relieve him. Henry, taking possession of the town, placed a garrison in it, and expelled all the French inhabitants, with an intention of peopling it anew with English. The fatigues of this siege, and the unusual heat of the season, had so wasted the English army, that Henry could enter on no farther enterprise, and was obliged to think of returning to England. He had dismissed his transports, which could not anchor in an open road upon the enemy's coasts, and he lay under a necessity of marching by land to Calais before he could reach a place of safety. A numerous French army of 14,000 men at-arms, and 40,000 foot, was by this time assembled in Normandy, under the constable d'Albret, a force which, if prudently conducted, was sufficient either to trample down the English in the open field, or to harass and reduce to nothing their small army before they could finish so long and difficult a march. Henry, therefore, cautiously offered to sacrifice his conquest of Harfleur for a safe passage to Calais; but his proposal being rejected, he determined to make his way by valour and conduct through all the opposition of the enemy."]

[Footnote IIIc.5: ——linstock] The staff to which the match is fixed when ordnance is fired.]

[Footnote IIIc.6: Or close the wall up with our English dead!] i.e. re-enter the breach you have made, or fill it up with your own dead bodies.]

[Footnote IIIc.7: Whose blood is fet] To fet is an obsolete word meaning to fetch. That is, "whose blood is derived," &c. The word is used by Spencer and Ben Jonson.]

[Footnote IIIc.8: ——like greyhounds in the slips,] Slips are a contrivance of leather, to start two dogs at the same time.]

[Footnote IIIc.9: ——whom of succour we entreated,] This phraseology was not uncommon in Shakespeare's time.]

[Footnote IIIc.10: ——are we addrest.] i.e., prepared.]



ACT III.

SCENE I.—FRANCE. ROOM IN THE FRENCH KING'S PALACE.

Trumpets sound.

Enter the FRENCH KING, the DAUPHIN, DUKE OF BOURBON, the CONSTABLE OF FRANCE, and others, L.H.

Fr. King. (C.) 'Tis certain he hath pass'd the river Somme.

Con. (R.C.) And if he be not fought withal, my lord, Let us not live in France; let us quit all, And give our vineyards to a barbarous people.

Dau. (R.) By faith and honour, Our madams mock at us; They bid us—to the English dancing-schools, And teach lavoltas high[1] and swift corantos;[2] Saying our grace is only in our heels, And that we are most lofty runaways.

Fr. King. Where is Montjoy the herald? speed him hence: Let him greet England with our sharp defiance.— Up, princes! and, with spirit of honour edg'd More sharper than your swords, hie to the field: Bar Harry England, that sweeps through our land With pennons[3] painted in the blood of Harfleur: Go down upon him,—you have power enough,— And in a captive chariot into Rouen Bring him our prisoner.

Con. This becomes the great. Sorry am I his numbers are so few, His soldiers sick, and famish'd in their march; For, I am sure, when he shall see our army, He'll drop his heart into the sink of fear, And, for achievement offer us his ransom.[4]

Fr. King. Therefore, lord constable, haste on Montjoy;

[CONSTABLE crosses to L.

And let him say to England, that we send To know what willing ransom he will give.— Prince Dauphin, you shall stay with us in Rouen.

Dau. Not so, I do beseech your majesty.

Fr. King. Be patient; for you shall remain with us.— Now, forth, lord constable (Exit CONSTABLE, L.H.), and princes all, And quickly bring us word of England's fall.

[Exeunt L.H.

Trumpets sound.

[Footnote III.1: ——lavoltas high] A dance in which there was much turning, and much capering.]

[Footnote III.2: ——swift corantos;] A corant is a sprightly dance.]

[Footnote III.3: With pennons] Pennons armorial were small flags, on which the arms, device, and motto of a knight were painted.]

SCENE II.—A VIEW IN PICARDY.

Distant Battle heard.

Enter GOWER, L.U.E., meeting FLUELLEN, R.H.

Gow. (C.) How now, Captain Fluellen! come you from the bridge?(A)

Flu. (R.C.) I assure you, there is very excellent service committed at the pridge.

Gow. Is the Duke of Exeter safe?

Flu. The Duke of Exeter is as magnanimous as Agamemnon; and a man that I love and honour with my soul, and my heart, and my duty, and my life, and my livings, and my uttermost powers: he is not (Heaven be praised and plessed!) any hurt in the 'orld; but keeps the pridge most valiantly, with excellent discipline. There is an ensign there at the pridge,—I think in my very conscience he is as valiant as Mark Antony; and he is a man of no estimation in the 'orld; but I did see him do gallant service.

Gow. What do you call him?

Flu. He is called—ancient Pistol.[5]

Gow. I know him not.

Enter PISTOL, R.H.

Flu. Do you not know him? Here comes the man.

Pist. Captain, I thee beseech to do me favours: The Duke of Exeter doth love thee well.

Flu. Ay, I praise Heaven; and I have merited some love at his hands.

Pist. Bardolph, a soldier, firm and sound of heart, Of buxom valour,[6] hath,—by cruel fate, And giddy fortune's furious fickle wheel, That goddess blind. That stands upon the rolling restless stone,—[7]

Flu. By your patience, ancient Pistol. Fortune is painted plind, with a muffler before her eyes,[8] to signify to you that fortune is plind; And she is painted also with a wheel, to signify to you, which is the moral of it, that she is turning, and inconstant, and variations, and mutabilities: and her foot, look you, is fixed upon a spherical stone, which rolls, and rolls, and rolls:—In good truth, the poet makes a most excellent description of fortune: fortune, look you, is an excellent moral.

Pist. Fortune is Bardolph's foe, and frowns on him; For he has stolen a pix,[9] and hang'd must 'a be.(B) A damned death! Let gallows gape for dog; let man go free,

[Crosses to L.H.

But Exeter hath given the doom of death, For pix of little price. Therefore, go speak, the duke will hear thy voice; And let not Bardolph's vital thread be cut With edge of penny cord and vile reproach: Speak, captain, for his life, and I will thee requite.

[Crosses to R.H.

Flu. Ancient Pistol, I do partly understand your meaning.

Pist. Why, then, rejoice therefore.

Flu. Certainly, ancient, it is not a thing to rejoice at: for if, look you, he were my prother, I would desire the duke to use his goot pleasure, and put him to executions; for disciplines ought to be used.

Pist. Fico for thy friendship![10]

Flu. It is well.

Pist. The fig of Spain![11]

[Exit PISTOL, R.H.

Flu. Very goot.

Gow. Why, this is an arrant counterfeit rascal; a cut-purse; I remember him now.

Flu. I'll assure you, 'a utter'd as prave 'ords at the pridge as you shall see in a summer's day.

Gow. Why, 'tis a gull, a fool, a rogue, that now and then goes to the wars, to grace himself, at his return into London, under the form of a soldier. You must learn to know such slanders of the age,[12] or else you may be marvellously mistook.

Flu. I tell you what, Captain Gower;—I do perceive, he is not the man that he would gladly make show to the 'orld he is: if I find a hole in his coat, I will tell him my mind. [March heard.] Hark you, the king is coming; and I must speak with him from the pridge.[13]

Enter KING HENRY, BEDFORD, GLOSTER, WESTMORELAND, Lords, and Soldiers, L.H.U.E.

Flu. (R.) Heaven pless your majesty!

K. Hen. (C.) How now, Fluellen! cam'st thou from the bridge?

Flu. Ay, so please your majesty. The duke of Exeter has very gallantly maintained the pridge: the French has gone off, look you; and there is gallant and most prave passages: Marry, th'athversary was have possession of the pridge; but he is enforced to retire, and the duke of Exeter is master of the pridge: I can tell your majesty, the duke is a prave man.

K. Hen. What men have you lost, Fluellen?

Flu. The perdition of th'athversary hath been very great, very reasonable great: marry, for my part, I think the duke hath lost never a man, but one that is like to be executed for robbing a church, one Bardolph, if your majesty knows the man: his face is all bubukles,[14] and whelks,[15] and knobs, and flames of fire: and his lips plows at his nose, and it is like a coal of fire, sometimes plue, and sometimes red; but his nose is executed, and his fire's out.[16]

K. Hen. We would have all such offenders so cut off.

[Trumpet sounds without, R.

Enter MONTJOY and Attendants, R.H.

Mont. (uncovers and kneels.) You know me by my habit.[17]

K. Hen. Well, then, I know thee: What shall I know of thee?

Mont. My master's mind.

K. Hen. Unfold it.

Mont. Thus says my king:—Say thou to Harry of England: Though we seemed dead, we did but sleep. Tell him, he shall repent his folly, see his weakness, and admire our sufferance.[18] Bid him, therefore, consider of his ransom; which must proportion the losses we have borne, the subjects we have lost, the disgrace we have digested. For our losses, his exchequer is too poor; for the effusion of our blood, the muster of his kingdom too faint a number; and for our disgrace, his own person, kneeling at our feet, but a weak and worthless satisfaction. To this add—defiance: and tell him, for conclusion, he hath betrayed his followers, whose condemnation is pronounced. So far my king and master; so much my office.

K. Hen.What is thy name? I know thy quality.

Mont. Montjoy.

K. Hen. Thou dost thy office fairly. Turn thee back, And tell thy king,—I do not seek him now; But could be willing to march on to Calais Without impeachment:[19] for, to say the sooth (Though 'tis no wisdom to confess so much Unto an enemy of craft and vantage), My people are with sickness much enfeebled; My numbers lessen'd; and those few I have, Almost no better than so many French; Who, when they were in health, I tell thee, herald, I thought, upon one pair of English legs, Did march three Frenchmen.—Forgive me, Heaven, That I do brag thus!—this your air of France Hath blown that vice in me; I must repent. Go, therefore, tell thy master here I am; My ransom is this frail and worthless trunk; My army but a weak and sickly guard: Yet, Heaven before,[20] tell him we will come on, Though France himself,[21] and such another neighbour, Stand in our way. There's for thy labour, Montjoy. Go, bid thy master well advise himself: If we may pass, we will; if we be hinder'd, We shall your tawny ground with your red blood Discolour:(C) and so, Montjoy, fare you well. The sum of all our answer is but this: We would not seek a battle, as we are; Nor, as we are, we say, we will not shun it: So tell your master.

Mont. I shall deliver so.

(MONTJOY rises from his knee.)

Thanks to your highness.

[Exit MONTJOY with Attendants, R.H.

Glo. I hope they will not come upon us now.

K. Hen. We are in Heaven's hand, brother, not in theirs. March to the bridge; it now draws toward night: Beyond the river we'll encamp ourselves; And on to-morrow bid them march away.

[Exeunt, R.H.

March.

[Footnote III.4: And, for achievement, offer up his ransom.] i.e., instead of fighting, he will offer to pay ransom.]

[Footnote III.5: ——ancient Pistol.] Ancient, a standard or flag; also the ensign bearer, or officer, now called an ensign.]

[Footnote III.6: Of buxom valour,] i.e., valour under good command, obedient to its superiors. The word is used by Spencer.]

[Footnote III.7: ——upon the rolling restless stone,—] Fortune is described by several ancient authors in the same words.]

[Footnote III.8: ——with a muffler before her eyes,] A muffler was a sort of veil, or wrapper, worn by ladies in Shakespeare's time, chiefly covering the chin and throat.]

[Footnote III.9: For he hath stolen a pix,] A pix, or little chest (from the Latin pixis, a box), in which the consecrated host was used to be kept.]

[Footnote III.10: Fico for thy friendship!] Fico is fig—it was a term of reproach.]

[Footnote III.11: The fig of Spain!] An expression of contempt or insult, which consisted in thrusting the thumb between two of the closed fingers, or into the mouth; whence Bite the thumb. The custom is generally regarded as being originally Spanish. —NARES.]

[Footnote III.12: ——such slanders of the age,] Cowardly braggarts were not uncommon characters with the old dramatic writers.]

[Footnote III.13: ——I must speak with him from the pridge.] From for about—concerning the fight that had taken place there.]

[Footnote III.14: ——bubukles,] A corrupt word for carbuncles, or something like them.]

[Footnote III.15: ——and whelks,] i.e., stripes, marks, discolorations.]

[Footnote III.16: ——his fire's out.] This is the last time that any sport can be made with the red face of Bardolph.]

[Footnote III.17: ——by my habit,] That is, by his herald's coat. The person of a herald being inviolable, was distinguished in those times of formality by a peculiar dress, which is likewise yet worn on particular occasions.]

[Footnote III.18: ——admire our sufferance.] i.e., our patience, moderation.]

[Footnote III.19: Without impeachment:] i.e., hindrance. Empechement, French.]

[Footnote III.20: Yet, Heaven before,] In the acting edition, the name of God is changed to Heaven. This was an expression in Shakespeare's time for God being my guide.]

1  2     Next Part
Home - Random Browse