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Henry V

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ACT III SCENE VI The English camp in Picardy. 
 Enter GOWER and FLUELLEN, meeting. 
GOWER How now, Captain Fluellen! come you from the bridge? 
FLUELLEN I assure you, there is very excellent services 
 committed at the bridge. 
GOWER Is the Duke of Exeter safe? 5
FLUELLEN 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 living, and 
 my uttermost power: he is not-God be praised and 
 blessed!--any hurt in the world; but keeps the 10
 bridge most valiantly, with excellent discipline. 
 There is an aunchient lieutenant there at the 
 pridge, I think in my very conscience he is as 
 valiant a man as Mark Antony; and he is a man of no 
 estimation in the world; but did see him do as 15
 gallant service. 
GOWER What do you call him? 
FLUELLEN He is called Aunchient Pistol. 
GOWER I know him not. 
 Enter PISTOL 
FLUELLEN Here is the man. 20
PISTOL Captain, I thee beseech to do me favours: 
 The Duke of Exeter doth love thee well. 
FLUELLEN Ay, I praise God; and I have merited some love at 
 his hands. 
PISTOL Bardolph, a soldier, firm and sound of heart, 25
 And of buxom valour, hath, by cruel fate, 
 And giddy Fortune's furious fickle wheel, 
 That goddess blind, 
 That stands upon the rolling restless stone-- 
FLUELLEN By your patience, Aunchient Pistol. Fortune is 30
 painted blind, with a muffler afore her eyes, to 
 signify to you that Fortune is blind; 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 mutability, and variation: and her 35
 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 it: 
 Fortune is an excellent moral. 
PISTOL Fortune is Bardolph's foe, and frowns on him; 40
 For he hath stolen a pax, and hanged must a' be: 
 A damned death! 
 Let gallows gape for dog; let man go free 
 And let not hemp his wind-pipe suffocate: 
 But Exeter hath given the doom of death 45
 For pax 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. 50
FLUELLEN Aunchient Pistol, I do partly understand your meaning. 
PISTOL Why then, rejoice therefore. 
FLUELLEN Certainly, aunchient, it is not a thing to rejoice 
 at: for if, look you, he were my brother, I would 
 desire the duke to use his good pleasure, and put 55
 him to execution; for discipline ought to be used. 
PISTOL Die and be damn'd! and figo for thy friendship! 
FLUELLEN It is well. 
PISTOL The fig of Spain! 
FLUELLEN Very good. 60
GOWER Why, this is an arrant counterfeit rascal; I 
 remember him now; a bawd, a cutpurse. 
FLUELLEN I'll assure you, a' uttered as brave words at the 
 bridge as you shall see in a summer's day. But it 

is very well; what he has spoke to me, that is well,
 I warrant you, when time is serve. 
GOWER 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. And such 
 fellows are perfect in the great commanders' names: 70
 and they will learn you by rote where services were 
 done; at such and such a sconce, at such a breach, 
 at such a convoy; who came off bravely, who was 
 shot, who disgraced, what terms the enemy stood on; 
 and this they con perfectly in the phrase of war, 75
 which they trick up with new-tuned oaths: and what 
 a beard of the general's cut and a horrid suit of 
 the camp will do among foaming bottles and 
 ale-washed wits, is wonderful to be thought on. But 
 you must learn to know such slanders of the age, or 80
 else you may be marvellously mistook. 
FLUELLEN I tell you what, Captain Gower; I do perceive he is 
 not the man that he would gladly make show to the 
 world he is: if I find a hole in his coat, I will 
 tell him my mind. 85
 Drum heard 
 Hark you, the king is coming, and I must speak with 
 him from the pridge. 
 Drum and colours. Enter KING HENRY, GLOUCESTER, and Soldiers. 
 God pless your majesty! 
KING HENRY V How now, Fluellen! camest thou from the bridge? 
FLUELLEN Ay, so please your majesty. The Duke of Exeter has 90
 very gallantly maintained the pridge: the French is 
 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 95
 pridge: I can tell your majesty, the duke is a 
 prave man. 
KING HENRY V What men have you lost, Fluellen? 
FLUELLEN The perdition of th' athversary hath been very 
 great, reasonable great: marry, for my part, I 100
 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 know the man: his face is 
 all bubukles, and whelks, and knobs, and flames o' 
 fire: and his lips blows at his nose, and it is like 105
 a coal of fire, sometimes plue and sometimes red; 
 but his nose is executed and his fire's out. 
KING HENRY V We would have all such offenders so cut off: and we 
 give express charge, that in our marches through the 
 country, there be nothing compelled from the 110
 villages, nothing taken but paid for, none of the 
 French upbraided or abused in disdainful language; 
 for when lenity and cruelty play for a kingdom, the 
 gentler gamester is the soonest winner. 
 Tucket. Enter MONTJOY 
MONTJOY You know me by my habit. 115
KING HENRY V Well then I know thee: what shall I know of thee? 
MONTJOY My master's mind. 
KING HENRY V Unfold it. 
MONTJOY Thus says my king: Say thou to Harry of England: 
 Though we seemed dead, we did but sleep: advantage 120
 is a better soldier than rashness. Tell him we 
 could have rebuked him at Harfleur, but that we 
 thought not good to bruise an injury till it were 
 full ripe: now we speak upon our cue, and our voice 
 is imperial: England shall repent his folly, see 125
 his weakness, and admire our sufferance. 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; which in 
 weight to re-answer, his pettiness would bow under. 130
 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 135
 tell him, for conclusion, he hath betrayed his 
 followers, whose condemnation is pronounced. So far 
 my king and master; so much my office. 
KING HENRY V What is thy name? I know thy quality. 
MONTJOY Montjoy. 140
KING HENRY V 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: for, to say the sooth, 
 Though 'tis no wisdom to confess so much 145
 Unto an enemy of craft and vantage, 
 My people are with sickness much enfeebled, 
 My numbers lessened, and those few I have 
 Almost no better than so many French; 
 Who when they were in health, I tell thee, herald, 150
 I thought upon one pair of English legs 
 Did march three Frenchmen. Yet, forgive me, God, 
 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; 155
 My ransom is this frail and worthless trunk, 
 My army but a weak and sickly guard; 
 Yet, God before, tell him we will come on, 
 Though France himself and such another neighbour 
 Stand in our way. There's for thy labour, Montjoy. 160
 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: and so Montjoy, fare you well. 
 The sum of all our answer is but this: 165
 We would not seek a battle, as we are; 
 Nor, as we are, we say we will not shun it: 
 So tell your master. 
MONTJOY I shall deliver so. Thanks to your highness. 
GLOUCESTER I hope they will not come upon us now. 170
KING HENRY V We are in God'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. 

Henry V, Act 3, Scene 7


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