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Henry V

A Study Guide

Complete Text of the Shakespeare Play

With Definitions of Difficult Words and Explanations of Difficult Passages

Prepared by Michael J. Cummings

Henry V Study Guide     Home Page: Shakespeare Index



Introduction
Characters
Text

Introduction

The text of Henry V on this page is based on the text in the authoritative 1914 Oxford Edition of Shakespeare's works, edited by W. J. Craig. The text numbers the lines. Annotations (notes and definitions) appear in boldface type. In a prologue that begins each of the five acts, an actor referred to as "chorus" introduces the action. He also makes a closing comment at the end of the play.

Characters

Henry V: King of England and great warrior who rallies his troops with patriotic appeals. He is the protagonist, or main character. Shakespeare introduced Henry, a member of the House of Lancaster, to his readers as Prince Henry (also known as Prince Hal and simply Harry) in Henry IV Part I and Henry IV Part II. Now in his twenties, Henry has abandoned the folly of his teenage years, when he caroused and womanized, in favor of concentrating all his energies on being a wise warrior king. He refuses to associate with his old drinking friends from the slums of London in order to preserve the dignity of his office as king. However, he exhibits great sympathy for his beleaguered troops, whether noblemen or commoners, in his struggle to defeat a larger French army at the Battle of Agincourt in 1415. There, he exhibits courage tempered with prudence and good judgment, as well as all of the other leadership qualities required of a king and leader of armies. Shakespeare may have concentrated too much attention on Henry V as a heroic warrior and not enough attention on Henry V as a man. Unlike Hamlet, Richard III, King Lear, and Othello, Henry V is almost one-dimensional. His psyche remains ensconced in his gray matter, unexamined. On the other hand, Shakespeare's depiction of Henry as a nearly flawless superhuman established the young king as a model for monarchs and statesmen of later generations. The spirit of his fiery, never-say-die patriotism and echoes of his rousing rhetoric have rallied the British in times of crisis down through the ages. In his Second World War speeches, Winston Churchill, an admirer of Henry, paraphrased Shakespeare's depiction of him. Americans have been among Henry's admirers, too, including Presidents Woodrow Wilson and John F. Kennedy.
Gloucester (Humphrey of Lancaster, 1st Duke of Gloucester): King's brother.
Bedford (John of Lancaster, 1st Duke of Bedford): King's brother
Clarence (Thomas of Lancaster, 1st Duke of Clarence)
: King's brother.

Exeter (Thomas Beaufort, 1st Duke of Exeter): King's uncle. He arrests three traitors (Lord Scroop, Sir Thomas Grey, and Cambridge) plotting to assassinate the king.
York (Edward of Norwich, 2nd Duke of York): King's cousin. Henry grants his request to lead the vanguard of troops at the Battle of Agincourt. He dies at Agincourt.
Suffolk (Michael de la Pole, 3rd Earl of Suffolk): Nobleman who dies honorably at Agincourt.

Salisbury (Thomas Montagu, 4th Earl of Salisbury): One of the noblemen who tried the 3rd Earl of Cambridge for conspiracy to assassinate King Henry.
Westmoreland (Ralph Neville, 1st Earl of Westmoreland): One of the noblemen who urge Henry to go to war against France.
Warwick
(Thomas Beauchamp, 13th Earl of Warwick): Warrior who fought against rebels at home before going to France to fight valiantly in Henry's war.
Huntingdon (John Holland): Cousin of Henry V and participant in the Battle of Agincourt.

Archbishop of Canterbury (Henry Chichele): Clergyman who advises the king about his right to invade France and claim the crown. 
Bishop of Ely (John Fordham): Clergyman who joins the archbishop in advising the king about his right to invade France and claim the crown. 
Lord Scroop (Henry Scrope, 3rd Baron Scrope of Masham): One of three conspirators in a plot to assassinate King Henry.
Sir Thomas Grey: The second of three conspirators in a plot to assassinate King Henry.
Cambridge
(Richard of Conisburgh, 3rd Earl of Cambridge): Third of three conspirators in a plot to assassinate King Henry.

Captain Fluellen: Welsh officer who is a courageous and loyal leader and prides himself on his knowledge of the history of warfare. He is also a comic figure who speaks with a heavy Welsh accent.
Captain Gower: English officer.
Captain Macmorris: Irish officer.
Captain Jamy
: Scottish officer. Like Fluellen, Jamy is knowledgeable in the history of warfare.

Sir Thomas Erpingham: Knight who leads the archers at the Battle of Agincourt.
John Bates, Alexander Court, Michael Williams: Soldiers in the king's army.
Sir John Falstaff (Offstage Character): Fictional character who was a bosom pal and drinking companion of Henry when the latter was the youthful heir to the throne (Henry IV Part I and Henry IV Part II). Falstaff is not listed in Shakespeare's original character list for Henry V because he has no lines and does not appear on the stage. However, Pistol reports his death from an illness (2.3.6). In Act 4, Scene 7, Fluellen and Gower make a brief reference to Falstaff. In Henry IV Part II, Prince Henry ends his friendship with Falstaff before being crowned Henry V in order to maintain his dignity as king. Falstaff, crestfallen and brokenhearted, begins to decline in health. His death in Henry V symbolizes the new king's final rejection of his former lifestyle as a carousing mischief-maker. The death of the fictional Falstaff in Henry V was mourned by no less a personage than Queen Elizabeth I. His shenanigans in the Henry IV plays were highly entertaining to the great monarch. Consequently, Shakespeare resurrected Falstaff to star in The Merry Wives of Windsor.
Pistol, Nym, Bardolph: Fictional characters who appeared in Henry IV Part I and Henry IV Part II. In those plays, they were drinking companions of Falstaff and Henry. In Henry V, they are soldiers hoping to practice their trade, thievery, in France. Bardolph is hanged for stealing a sacred object from a church. Pistol helps to verify the king's good qualities for the audience and readers when he says,
The king's a bawcock [fine fellow], and a heart of gold,
A lad of life, an imp of fame;
Of parents good, of fist most valiant.
I kiss his dirty shoe, and from heart-string
I love the lovely bully. (4.1.49-53)
Boy: Friend of Pistol, Nym and Bardolph and onetime page of Falstaff. Unlike Henry V, Boy exhibits a very human quality: fear. On the battlefield at Agincourt, he says, ''Would I were in an alehouse in London! I would give all my fame for a pot of ale and safety'' (3.2.6).
Hostess: Pistol's wife. She is a hostess at the Boar's Head Tavern in London. In Henry IV Part I and Henry IV Part II, in which she was unmarried, she was known as Mistress Quickly.
Chorus:  The chorus (one person) recites the famous prologue before Act 1. The prologue asks the audience to imagine that the stage of the Curtain Theatre presents a view of the historical places mentioned in the play, including the battlefields of France. The chorus actor also introduces the other acts of the play and presents a conclusion at the end of the play.
Charles VI: King of France.
Isabel: Queen of France.
Katharine: Daughter of the French king and queen. After Henry defeats the French, he proposes to Katherine.
Alice: Attendant of Katharine.
Dauphin (Lewis, or Louis, Duke of Guyenne): Conceited son of the King of France.
Duke of Orléans (Charles): Overconfident nobleman in the French army. He says of Henry, "What a wretched and peevish fellow is this King of England, to mope with his fatbrained followers so far out of his knowledge!" (3.7.69).
Duke of Bourbon: (Jean de Bourbon): Nobleman who urges his fellow soldiers to return to the field of battle at Agincourt after the English gain the upper hands. He says,
Shame, and eternal shame, nothing but shame!   
Let’s die in honour! once more back again [to the battle];   
And he that will not follow Bourbon now,           
Let him go hence, and with his cap in hand,   
Like a base pander [panderer], hold the chamber-door   
Whilst by a slave, no gentler than my dog,   
His fairest daughter is contaminated. (4.5.13-19)
Duke of Berri (John of Berri; also spelled Berry): French nobleman.
Duke of Britaine: French nobleman.
Duke of Burgundy (John the Fearless): French nobleman who helps conduct negotiations with Henry V.
Constable of France
(Charles
d’Albret, High Constable of France): Commander of the French army. The King of France refers to him as Delabreth instead of d'Albret.
Lord Rambures (David de Rambures): French knight and master archer.
Lord Grandpr
é: Nobleman in the French army.
Governor of Harfleur
Montjoy: French herald.
Monsieur Le Fer: French soldier who begs for his life on the battlefield.

Ambassadors From the Dauphin to the King of England
Minor Characters: Lords, ladies, officers, soldiers, citizens, messengers, and attendants.

Text of Henry V

 
Act 1, Prologue.
Act 1, Scene 1: An antechamber in the King's palace.
Act 1, Scene 2: The presence chamber [reception room] in the King's palace.

Act 2, Prologue.
Act 2, Scene 1: London. Eastcheap.
Act 2, Scene 2: Southampton. A council chamber.
Act 2, Scene 3: London. Before a tavern in Eastcheap.
Act 2, Scene 4: France. An apartment in the French King's palace.

Act 3, Prologue.
Act 3, Scene 1: France. Before Harfleur.
Act 3, Scene 2: France. Before Harfleur.
Act 3, Scene 3: France. Before the gates of Harfleur.
Act 3, Scene 4: Rouen. A room in the palace.
Act 3, Scene 5: Rouen. Another room in the palace.
Act 3, Scene 6: The English camp in Picardy.
Act 3, Scene 7: The French camp, near Agincourt.

Act 4, Prologue.
Act 4, Scene 1: The English camp at Agincourt.
Act 4, Scene 2: The French camp.
Act 4, Scene 3: The English camp.
Act 4, Scene 4: The field of battle.
Act 4, Scene 5: Another part of the field.
Act 4, Scene 6: Another part of the field.
Act 4, Scene 7: Another part of the field.
Act 4, Scene 8: Before King Henry's pavilion.

Act 5, Prologue.
Act 5, Scene 1: An English court of guard.
Act 5, Scene 2: Troyes in Champagne. An apartment in the French King's palace.

Act 1, Prologue.

Enter Chorus.
   
CHORUS:  O! for a Muse of fire, that would ascend   
The brightest heaven of invention;  
[O! . . . invention: O! I wish a muse would inspire our acting company to perform this play brilliantly. (In Greek mythology, there were nine goddesses who served as muses that inspired the work of writers, artists, actors, historians, mathematicians, and so on.)]
A kingdom for a stage, princes to act   
And monarchs to behold the swelling scene.            5
Then should the war-like Harry, like himself,   
Assume the port of Mars; and at his heels,   
Leash’d in like hounds, should famine, sword, and fire   
Crouch for employment. But pardon, gentles all,   
[A kingdom . . . gentles all: I also wish that we could use our entire kingdom as our stage and that we had real princes, kings, and queens to star in the roles they played when they were alive. Then the great warrior-king, Henry V—called Harry by his friends—could stand here looking like the god of war, Mars. With him would be the hounds of war—famine, sword, and fire—ready to pounce. But pardon us, ladies and gentlemen for not having a muse or a gigantic stage.]
The flat unraised spirits that hath dar’d            10
On this unworthy scaffold to bring forth   
So great an object: can this cockpit hold   
The vasty fields of France? or may we cram   
Within this wooden O the very casques   
That did affright the air at Agincourt?            15
[The flat . . . Agincourt: We ordinary folk nevertheless dare to present warfare on this unworthy stage. Can it hold the vast fields of France? Can we cram inside this O-shaped theater the very helmets of the soldiers whose war cries frightened the air itself at the Battle of Agincourt?]
O, pardon! since a crooked figure may   
Attest in little place a million;   
And let us, ciphers to this great accompt,   
On your imaginary forces work.   
[O . . . work: O, pardon us, but we're going to make a few men look like gigantic armies. How? Well, we're going to be a small number to which your imaginations will add several zeroes. Then we'll be a large number—those thousands of men who fought at Agincourt.]
Suppose within the girdle of these walls            20
Are now confin’d two mighty monarchies,   
Whose high upreared and abutting fronts   
The perilous narrow ocean parts asunder:   
[Suppose . . . asunder: Picture two mighty kingdoms confined within the walls of this theater, kingdoms whose shorelines—with their high cliffs—are neighbors, divided only by a narrow strip of ocean (the English Channel, known as La Manche in French)].
Piece out our imperfections with your thoughts:   
Into a thousand parts divide one man,            25
And make imaginary puissance;   
[Piece out . . . puissance: Form pictures of these imperfect countries in your mind. Divide one man into a thousand to make up an imaginary army.]
Think when we talk of horses that you see them   
Printing their proud hoofs i’ the receiving earth;   
For ’tis your thoughts that now must deck our kings,   
Carry them here and there, jumping o’er times,            30
Turning the accomplishment of many years   
Into an hour-glass: for the which supply,   
Admit me Chorus to this history;   
[For 'tis . . . history: It is your thoughts that must outfit our kings, transport them to this place or that—and even from one period of time to another, making events that took place over many years appear as if they happened in an hour or a day. Let me, the chorus, help you imagine these things.]
Who prologue-like your humble patience pray,   
Gently to hear, kindly to judge, our play.  [Exit.
[Who . . . play: I conclude this introduction by asking you to be patient as you watch and, I hope, kindly judge our play.]

Act 1, Scene 1

London.  An antechamber in the KING’S palace.
Enter the ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY and the BISHOP OF ELY.
   
CANTERBURY:  My lord, I’ll tell you; that self [selfsame] bill is urg’d,   
Which in th’ eleventh year of the last king’s [Henry IV's] reign   
Was like [likely], and had indeed against us pass’d,            5
But that the scambling [confusing; marked by a struggle] and unquiet time   
Did push it out of further question.   
ELY:  But how, my lord, shall we resist it now?   
CANTERBURY:  It must be thought on. If it pass against us,   
We lose the better half of our possession;            10
For all the temporal lands [private lands; lands owned by citizens] which men devout [devout men]  
By testament [legally] have given to the church   
Would they strip from us; being valu’d thus:   
As much [money] as would maintain, to the king’s honour,   
Full fifteen earls and fifteen hundred knights,            15
Six thousand and two hundred good esquires [country gentlemen];   
And, to relief of lazars [lepers] and weak age,   
Of indigent faint souls past corporal toil [poor souls unable to work],   
A hundred almshouses right well supplied;   
And to the coffers of the king beside,            20
A thousand pounds by the year. Thus runs the bill.   
ELY:  This would drink deep.   
CANTERBURY:  ’Twould drink the cup and all.   
ELY:  But what prevention?   
CANTERBURY:  The king is full of grace and fair regard.            25
ELY:  And a true lover of the holy church.   
CANTERBURY:  The courses of his youth promis’d it not.   
The breath no sooner left his father’s body   
But that his wildness, mortified in him,   
Seem’d to die too; yea, at that very moment,            30
Consideration like an angel came,   
And whipp’d the offending Adam [sinner; transgressor] out of him,   
Leaving his body as a paradise,   
To envelop and contain celestial spirits [good thoughts; righteous thinking].   
Never was such a sudden scholar made;            35
Never came reformation in a flood,   
With such a heady currance [powerful wave], scouring [wiping out] faults;   
Nor never Hydra-headed willfulness   
So soon did lose his seat and all at once   
As in this king.            40
[Hydra-headed willfulness: Comparison of Henry V's stubborn willfulness as a young man to that of the Hydra. In Greek mythology, the Hydra was a serpent with nine heads. ]
ELY:  We are blessed in the change.   
CANTERBURY:  Hear him but reason in divinity,  
[Hear . . . divinity: If you listen to him discuss theology] 
And, all-admiring, with an inward wish   
You would desire the king were made a prelate [bishop; member of the church hierarchy]:   
Hear him debate of commonwealth affairs,            45
You would say it hath been all in all his study:  
[Hear . . . study: Listen to him debate affairs of state and you would say he had studied government and politics.]
List his discourse of war, and you shall hear   
A fearful battle render’d you in music:   
[List . . . music: Listen to him talk about war, and he will describe with enthralling words all the details of a fearful battle.]
Turn him to any cause of policy,   
The Gordian knot of it he will unloose,            50
[Turn . . . unloose: Give him any difficult policy problem and he will solve it easily. (In ancient Greek legend, the Gordian knot—tied by King Gordius of Phrygia—was seemingly impossible to undo. On his march through Asia, Alexander the Great came across the knot at Gordium, the capital of Phryigia. According to one story, he untied it without difficulty. According to another story, he simply cut through the knot with his sword. Over the centuries, the term Gordian knot came to symbolize any difficult problem or puzzle.)]
Familiar as his garter; that, when he speaks,   
The air, a charter’d libertine, is still,   
And the mute wonder lurketh in men’s ears,   
To steal his sweet and honey’d sentences; 
[when he . . . sentences: When he speaks, even the air—which is free to blow where it pleases—stops to listen in silence, allowing men's ears to hear his sweet and honeyed sentences.]
So that the art and practic part of life            55
Must be the mistress to this theoric: 
[So that . . . theoric: One may conclude that the art and practice of everyday living as a youth gave him insight and wisdom that now guide his thinking as a monarch. You might say that his earlier experiences serve as the mistress, the inspiration, of his present thinking.]
Which is a wonder how his Grace should glean it,   
Since his addiction was to courses vain;   
His companies unletter’d, rude, and shallow;   
His hours fill’d up with riots, banquets, sports;            60
[Which is . . . sports: It's a wonder how the king learned from those early experiences. After all, he was addicted to foolish pursuits with uneducated, rude, and shallow fellows. He led a riotous life, gorging on food and drink and taking part in all sorts of wild entertainment.]
And never noted in him any study,   
Any retirement, any sequestration   
From open haunts and popularity.   
[And never . . . popularity: And he never seemed to apply himself to learning. Nor did seem inclined to keep away, or separate himself, from  places of public revelry and drinking.]
ELY:  The strawberry grows underneath the nettle,   
And wholesome berries thrive and ripen best            65
Neighbour’d by fruit of baser quality:   
And so the prince obscur’d his contemplation   
Under the veil of wildness; which, no doubt,   
Grew like the summer grass, fastest by night,   
Unseen, yet crescive in his faculty.            70
[The strawberry . . . faculty: The strawberry grows beneath prickly plants with a painful sting. However, strawberries thrive and ripen best when growing next to such inferior plants. The prince grew to manhood in the same way, in the company of wild companions, all the while hiding his superior intellectual qualities. These qualities were then able to grow prolifically without being noticed, like summer grass that grows fast overnight—unseen but burgeoning.]
CANTERBURY:  It must be so; for miracles are ceas’d;   
And therefore we must needs admit the means   
How things are perfected.   
[It must . . . perfected: It must be true that he learned valuable lessons while associating with base and vulgar people. The change in him couldn't have come about through a miracle, for the age of miracles ended after Christ left the earth. So I guess we just have to admit that his unsavory youth helped to bring out his good qualities.]
ELY:  But, my good lord,   
How now for mitigation of this bill            75
Urg’d by the commons? Doth his majesty   
Incline to it, or no?   
[How . . . no: How do we prevent parliament from passing this bill? Does the king support it?]
CANTERBURY:  He seems indifferent,   
Or rather swaying more upon our part   
Than cherishing the exhibiters against us;            80
[He seems . . . us: He seems neutral on the matter, but he might be leaning a little toward our position on it rather than the position of our opponents.]
For I have made an offer to his majesty,   
Upon our spiritual convocation,   
And in regard of causes now in hand,   
Which I have open’d to his Grace at large,   
As touching France, to give a greater sum            85
Than ever at one time the clergy yet   
Did to his predecessors part withal. 
[For I have . . . withal: You see, after I met with our brother bishops, I made a proposal to his majesty that has to do with France. He would stand to receive a greater sum from us than any previous king received from the clergy.] 
ELY:  How did this offer seem receiv’d, my lord?   
CANTERBURY:  With good acceptance of his majesty;   
Save that there was not time enough to hear,—            90
As I perceiv’d his Grace would fain [gladly] have done,—   
The severals [separate] and unhidden passages   
Of his true titles to some certain dukedoms [in France],   
And generally to the crown and seat of France,   
Deriv’d from Edward, his great-grandfather.            95
[With good . . . great-grandfather: He appeared to accept the offer. However, he didn't have enough time to hear all the particulars of the deal, which would give him legal rights to French dukedoms and to the French crown itself. He inherited these rights from his great-grandfather, King Edward III.]
ELY:  What was the impediment that broke this off?   
[What . . . off: What was the reason that he didn't have time to hear these particulars?]
CANTERBURY:  The French ambassador upon that instant   
Crav’d audience; and the hour I think is come   
To give him hearing: is it four o’clock?   
ELY:  It is.            100
CANTERBURY:  Then go we in to know his embassy;  
[Then . . . embassy: Then let's go in to hear what the ambassador has to say.]
Which I could with a ready guess declare   
Before the Frenchman speak a word of it.   
ELY:  I’ll wait upon [go with] you, and I long to hear it.  [Exeunt.  
[Exeunt: A stage direction indicating that actors/characters are leaving the stage.]

Act 1, Scene 2

London.  The presence chamber in the KING'S palace.
[presence chamber: Reception room]
Enter KING HENRY, GLOUCESTER, BEDFORD, EXETER, WARWICK, WESTMORELAND, and Attendants.
   
KING HENRY:  Where is my gracious lord of Canterbury?   
EXETER:  Not here in presence.   
KING HENRY:  Send for him, good uncle.            5
WESTMORELAND:  Shall we call in the ambassador, my liege?   
KING HENRY:  Not yet, my cousin: we would be resolv’d,   
Before we hear him, of some things of weight   
That task our thoughts, concerning us and France.   
 
Enter the ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY and the BISHOP OF ELY.             10

CANTERBURY:  God and his angels guard your sacred throne,   
And make you long become it!   
KING HENRY: Sure [be assured], we thank you.   
My learned lord, we pray you to proceed,   
And justly and religiously unfold            15
Why the law Salique that they have in France   
Or should, or should not, bar us in our claim.   
[And justly . . . claim: And explain, on legal and religious grounds, why the Salique law in France does or does not grant us the right to make claims against France.]
And God forbid, my dear and faithful lord,   
That you should fashion, wrest, or bow your reading,   
Or nicely charge your understanding soul            20
With opening titles miscreate, whose right   
Suits not in native colours with the truth;   
[And God . . . truth: And, my dear and loyal lord, God forbid that you should distort or alter the facts of the case in any way. Do not burden your soul with using clever arguments to make false claims against France. I want the truth.]
For God doth know how many now in health   
Shall drop their blood in approbation   
Of what your reverence shall incite us to.            25
[For God . . . us to: For God knows how many men will shed their blood if what you say incites us to go to war against France.]
Therefore take heed how you impawn [put at risk] our person,   
How you awake the sleeping sword of war:   
We charge you in the name of God, take heed;   
For never two such kingdoms did contend   
Without much fall of blood; whose guiltless drops            30
Are every one a woe, a sore complaint,   
’Gainst him whose wrongs give edge unto the swords   
That make such waste in brief mortality.   
[We charge . . .mortality: It is your duty to heed what I say. Bear in mind that never did England and France go to war without shedding a lot of blood. If we go to war again, this time for an unjust cause, every drop of innocent blood will condemn the man who tried to justify the war with false claims and caused so many to die an early death.]
Under this conjuration [warning; plea; solemn appeal] speak, my lord,   
And we will hear, note, and believe in heart,            35
That what you speak is in your conscience wash’d   
As pure as sin with baptism.   

In lines 38-100 (below) the Archbishop of Canterbury explains why Henry V has a right to claim French lands and the French throne itself. Because the lines contain legal jargon and obscure historical information, they are difficult to interpret. Therefore, a plain-English interpretation follows line 100.

CANTERBURY:  Then hear me, gracious sovereign, and you peers,   
That owe yourselves, your lives, and services   
To this imperial throne. There is no bar            40
To make against your highness’ claim to France   
But this, which they produce from Pharamond,   
In terram Salicam mulieres ne succedant,   
‘No woman shall succeed in Salique land:’   
Which Salique land the French unjustly gloze            45
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 is in Germany,   
Between the floods of Sala and of Elbe;            50
Where Charles the Great, having subdu’d the Saxons,   
There left behind and settled certain French;   
Who, holding in disdain the German women   
For some dishonest manners of their life,   
Establish’d then this law; to wit, no female            55
Should be inheritrix in Salique land:   
Which Salique, as I said, ’twixt Elbe and Sala,   
Is at this day in Germany call’d Meisen.   
Then doth it well appear the Salique law   
Was not devised for the realm of France;            60
Nor did the French possess the Salique land   
Until four hundred one-and-twenty years   
After defunction of King Pharamond,   
Idly suppos’d the founder of this law;   
Who died within the year of our redemption            65
Four hundred twenty-six; and Charles the Great   
Subdu’d the Saxons, and did seat the French   
Beyond the river Sala, in the year   
Eight hundred five. Besides, their writers say,   
King Pepin, which deposed Childeric,            70
Did, as heir general, being descended   
Of Blithild, which was daughter to King Clothair,   
Make claim and title to the crown of France.   
Hugh Capet also, who usurp’d the crown   
Of Charles the Duke of Loraine, sole heir male            75
Of the true line and stock of Charles the Great,   
To find his title with some shows of truth,—   
Though in pure truth, it was corrupt and naught,—   
Convey’d himself as heir to the Lady Lingare,   
Daughter to Charlemain, who was the son            80
To Lewis the emperor, and Lewis the son   
Of Charles the Great. Also King Lewis the Tenth,   
Who was sole heir to the usurper Capet,   
Could not keep quiet in his conscience,   
Wearing the crown of France, till satisfied            85
That fair Queen Isabel, his grandmother,   
Was lineal of the Lady Ermengare,   
Daughter to Charles the aforesaid Duke of Loraine:   
By the which marriage the line of Charles the Great   
Was re-united to the crown of France.            90
So that, as clear as is the summer’s sun,   
King Pepin’s title, and Hugh Capet’s claim,   
King Lewis his satisfaction, all appear   
To hold in right and title of the female:   
So do the kings of France unto this day;            95
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 imbar their crooked titles   
Usurp’d from you and your progenitors.            100

Explanation: Lines 38-100

The “Salique land” referred to by the archbishop was in Germany and was occupied by Franks, Germanic people who later moved westward and established France. Under the Salique law (also called Salic law), a daughter could not inherit the property and entitlements of her father. This proscription applied to all women, including the daughter of a king. Thus, despite her royal status, a king’s daughter could not pass on lands and entitlements of the king to her children; she could not give them what she did not legally possess.

In 805, after Charles the Great (Charlemagne) conquered the Saxons (another Germanic people), many of his Franks settled the so-called Salique (or Salic) land, making it—in effect—part of France. One result of this development was that the Salique law supposedly became effective for all of France, not just the Salique portion of it. Therefore, a man descended from the ruling class on the female side of the family was ineligible to become king.

Because Henry V is the great-great-grandson of the daughter of a king of France, the French argue, his claim on the French throne is invalid.
However, the bishop points out, French kings over the centuries acceded to the French throne even though their claim to it was based on female ancestry. Apparently, the Salique law did not apply to France after all. It was a dusty, ancient relic which could not be applied arbitrarily in opposition to power politics and ambition. But, the archbishop says, if the Salique law did not apply to previous kings of France—if it was, in fact, no longer in force—it should not apply to Henry in 1413. To contend otherwise was to say that France legitimized illegitimate kings. Therefore, the archbishop concludes, Henry has a right to attack France. God will be on his side.

KING HENRY:  May I with right and conscience make this claim?   
CANTERBURY:  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,            105
[For in . . . daughter': Reference to the Book of Numbers (27: 8-9) in the Old Testament of the Bible.]
Stand for your own; unwind your bloody flag;   
Look back into your mighty ancestors:   
Go, my dread lord, to your great-grandsire’s tomb,   
From whom you claim; invoke his war-like spirit,   
And your great-uncle’s, Edward the Black Prince,            110
[Edward the Black Prince: Edward Woodstock (1330-1376), oldest son of King Edward III. Called the Black Prince, Edward Woodstock was a great military leader who defeated French armies at the French towns of Crécy in 1346 and Poitiers in 1356.]
Making defeat on the full power of France;   
Whiles his most mighty father [Edward III] on a hill   
Stood smiling to behold his lion’s whelp [to behold his son] 
Forage in blood of French nobility.            115
O noble English! that could entertain [fight]  
With half their forces the full pride of France,   
And let another half stand laughing by,   
All out of work, and cold for action.   
ELY:  Awake remembrance of these valiant dead,            120
And with your puissant [powerful] 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 [thrice-powerful lord]  
Is in the very May-morn of his youth,            125
Ripe for exploits and mighty enterprises.   
EXETER:  Your brother kings and monarchs of the earth   
Do all expect that you should rouse yourself [get ready for war],   
As did the former lions of your blood.   
WESTMORELAND:  They know your Grace hath cause and means and might;            130
So hath your highness; 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. 
[Whose . . . France: Their hearts lie in France in tents pitched on the battlefield.] 
CANTERBURY:  O! let their bodies follow, my dear liege [lord],            135
With blood and sword and fire to win your right;   
In aid whereof we of the spiritualty [clergy]  
Will raise your highness such a mighty sum   
As never did the clergy at one time   
Bring in to any of your ancestors.            140
KING HENRY:  We must not only arm to invade the French,   
But lay down our proportions [allocate troops] to defend   
Against the Scot, who will make road upon us [who will invade us] 
With all advantages.   
CANTERBURY:  They of those marches, gracious sovereign,            145
[They . . . marches: The Englishmen who live near the Scottish border]
Shall be a wall sufficient to defend   
Our inland from the pilfering borderers.   
KING HENRY:  We do not mean the coursing snatchers [thieves who strike along the border] only,   
But fear the main intendment of the Scot,   
[intendment: Intention to attack England]
Who hath been still a giddy [unpredictable; dangerous] neighbour to us;            150
For you shall read that my great-grandfather [King Edward III]  
Never went with his forces into France   
But that the Scot on his unfurnish’d kingdom  
[on his . . . kingdom: On Edward's undefended kingdom]
Came pouring, like the tide into a breach,   
[like . . . breach: Like an ocean tide into a breach in a seawall]
With ample and brim fulness of his force,            155
Galling the gleaned land with hot essays,   
Girding with grievous siege castles and towns;   
That England, being empty of defence,   
[Galling . . . defence: Devastating the unprotected land with fiery attacks and surrounding and laying siege to castles and towns]
Hath shook and trembled at the ill neighbourhood.   
CANTERBURY:  She hath been then more fear’d than harm’d, my liege;            160
For hear her but exampled by herself:   
When all her chivalry hath been in France   
And she a mourning widow of her nobles,   
She hath herself not only well defended,   
But taken and impounded as a stray            165
The King of Scots; whom she did send to France,   
To fill King Edward’s fame with prisoner kings,   
And make your chronicle as rich with praise   
As is the ooze and bottom of the sea   
With sunken wrack and sumless treasuries.            170
[She hath . . . treasures: But England was more frightened by the attacks than harmed, my lord. In fact, our country acted bravely. At a time when all of England's armies were in France, a time when England sorely missed the noblemen at war, the country not only defended itself well but also captured the Scottish king, David II, and sent him to France. His presence there enhanced King Edward's reputation, for among his prisoners was the ruler of a country. These events enriched England's history as much as sunken treasure ships enrich the bottom of the ocean.]
WESTMORELAND:  But there’s a saying very old and true;   
        If that you will France win,   
        Then with Scotland first begin:   
For once the eagle England being in prey,   
To her unguarded nest the weasel Scot            175
Comes sneaking and so sucks her princely eggs,   
Playing the mouse in absence of the cat,   
To tear and havoc more than she can eat.   
[But there's . . . can eat: But an old saying says that if you want to conquer France, you first have to deal with Scotland. You see, once the mighty eagle England pursues prey in foreign lands, the weasel Scot sneaks into the eagle's nest and consumes its eggs. Scotland is like a mouse that does whatever it wants to when the cat's away.]
EXETER:  It follows then the cat must stay at home:   
Yet that is but a crush’d [imposed; forced] necessity;            180
Since we have locks to safeguard necessaries   
And pretty traps to catch the petty thieves.   
While that the armed hand doth fight abroad   
The advised [wise; smart; well-prepared] head defends itself at home:   
For government, though high and low and lower,            185
Put into parts, doth keep in one consent,   
Congreeing [harmonizing] in a full and natural close,   
Like music.   
[It follows . . . music: What you're saying is that the cat must stay home. But there's no need to keep troops here. After all, we have locks to safeguard our valuables and necessities. Moreover, we have traps to catch petty thieves. While our armies fight abroad, the smart Englishman knows how to defend himself at home. True, this country is divided into many parts—the government with all of its officials and departments and the people with all of their differences of opinion. But in times of war, all of this diversity comes together, like the notes in a single musical composition.]
CANTERBURY:  Therefore doth heaven divide   
The state of man in divers [diverse] functions,            190
Setting endeavour in continual motion;   
To which is fixed, as an aim or butt,   
Obedience: for so work the honey-bees,   
Creatures that by a rule in nature teach   
The act of order to a peopled kingdom.            195
[Therefore . . . kingdom: That's true. Heaven gave mankind many moving parts that are in continual motion, like the parts of a machine. All of these parts work together, obediently, like honey bees that carry out their task in an orderly manner. We can learn from them.]
They have a king and officers of sorts;   
Where some, like magistrates, correct [uphold the law] at home,   
Others, like merchants, venture trade abroad,   
Others, like soldiers, armed in their stings [armed with stingers],   
Make boot upon the summer’s velvet buds;            200
Which pillage they with merry march bring home   
To the tent-royal of their emperor:   
[Make boot . . . emperor: Invade summer's flowers, seize treasure, and take it home to their emperor.]
Who, busied in his majesty, surveys   
The singing masons building roofs of gold,   
The civil citizens kneading up the honey,            205
The poor mechanic porters crowding in   
Their heavy burdens at his narrow gate,   
The sad-ey’d justice, with his surly hum,   
Delivering o’er to executors pale   
The lazy yawning drone. I this infer,            210
[Who . . . drone: The emperor busies himself by watching over the buzzing bees that build the honeycomb, those that make and store honey, and those that bring in nectar from flowers. The emperor also watches as the solemn-looking magistrate bee, humming gruffly, sentences the lazy drone bee to be executed.]
That many things, having full reference   
To one consent, may work contrariously;   
[That many . . . contrariously: Many things may work in different ways to achieve a common goal.]
As many arrows, loosed several ways,   
Fly to one mark; as many ways [roads] meet in one town;   
As many fresh streams meet in one salt sea;            215
As many lines close in the dial’s [sundial's] centre;   
So may a thousand actions, once afoot,   
End in one purpose, and be all well borne   
Without defeat. Therefore to France, my liege.   
Divide your happy England into four;            220
Whereof take you one quarter into France,   
And you withal shall make all Gallia [another name for France] shake.   
If we, with thrice such powers left at home,   
Cannot defend our own doors from the dog,   
Let us be worried and our nation lose            225
The name of hardiness and policy.   
KING HENRY:  Call in the messengers sent from the Dauphin.  [Exit an Attendant.   
[Dauphin: Title of the oldest son of the French king]
Now are we well resolv’d; and by God’s help,   
And yours, the noble sinews of our power [strength of our army],   
France being ours, we’ll bend it to our awe            230
Or break it all to pieces: or there we’ll sit,   
Ruling in large and ample empery [oversight]   
O’er France and all her almost kingly dukedoms,   
Or lay these bones in an unworthy urn,   
Tombless, with no remembrance over them:            235
[Or lay . . . them: Or burn me and put my ashes in an unworthy urn, tombless, without any memory of my life.]
Either our history shall with full mouth   
Speak freely of our acts, or else our grave,   
Like Turkish mute, shall have a tongueless mouth,  
Not worshipp’d with a waxen epitaph.   
[or else . . . epitaph: Or else our grave shall be like a Turkish eunuch without a tongue—that is, our tombstone will have no engraved epitaph to speak of our past deeds. (A eunuch was a castrated harem attendant whose tongue had been cut out.)]

Enter Ambassadors of France.            240

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.   
FIRST AMBASSADOR:  May ’t please your majesty to give us leave   
Freely to render what we have in charge;            245
Or shall we sparingly show you far off   
The Dauphin’s meaning and our embassy?   
KING HENRY:  We are no tyrant, but a Christian king;   
Unto whose grace our passion is as subject   
[our  . . . subject: I am as much a subject in this realm]
As are our wretches fetter’d in our prisons:            250
Therefore with frank and with uncurbed [unrestrained] plainness   
Tell us the Dauphin’s mind.   
FIRST AMBASSADOR:  Thus then, in few.   
Your highness, lately sending into France,   
Did claim some certain dukedoms, in the right            255
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,   
[Says . . . youth: Says you act too much like an irresponsible youth]
And bids you be advis’d there’s nought [nothing] in France   
That can be with a nimble galliard won;            260
You cannot revel into dukedoms there.   
[And bids . . . there: And advises you that there's nothing in France that you can win using the things you're famous for—lively dances, drinking, and merrymaking.]
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.            265
[He therefore . . . of you: The Dauphin therefore presents you this chest of treasure as an appropriate gift for a person like you. In return, give up your claim to dukedoms in France.]
KING HENRY:  What treasure, uncle?   
EXETER:  Tennis-balls, my liege.   
KING HENRY:  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,            270
We will in France, by God’s grace, play a set   
Shall strike his father’s crown into the hazard.   
[hazard: Term referring to the receiver's side in "real tennis," a type of indoor tennis in which players use a solid ball and the roof is part of the playing area. The rules differ from those in lawn tennis or hard-court tennis.]
Tell him he hath made a match with such a wrangler   
That all the courts of France will be disturb’d   
With chaces. And we understand him well,            275
[chace: In "real tennis," a ball that bounces twice.]
How he comes o’er us with our wilder days,
Not measuring what use we made of them.   
[How . . . them: How he criticizes me for the wildness of my youth, unaware that it helped make me a better man.]
We never valu’d this poor seat of England;   
And therefore, living hence, did give ourself   
To barbarous licence; as ’tis ever common            280
That men are merriest when they are from home.   
[We never . . . home: When I was younger, I didn't appreciate the importance of the English throne. I kept away from it, maintaining a low profile so I could give free rein to my vulgar tastes. You see, men are merriest when they are away from home—out of the public eye and away from a scolding finger.]
But tell the Dauphin I will keep my state,   
Be like a king and show my sail of greatness   
When I do rouse me in my throne of France:   
For that I have laid by my majesty            285
And plodded like a man for working-days, 
[But tell . . . working-days: But tell the Dauphin I will be a serious-minded king who will show his greatness when I sit on the throne of France. It was for this reason—to learn how to be a good king—that I spent my younger days as I did.]
But I will rise there [in France] with so full a glory   
That I will dazzle all the eyes of France,   
Yea, strike the Dauphin blind to look on us.   
And tell the pleasant prince this mock of his            290
Hath turn’d his balls [the tennis balls] to gun-stones [cannonballs]; and his soul   
Shall stand sore-charged [blameworthy] for the wasteful [ruinous; destructive] vengeance   
That shall fly with them: for many a thousand widows   
Shall this his mock mock out of their dear husbands;
[Shall . . . husbands: The Dauphin's mockery will turn many wives into widows.]  
Mock mothers from their sons, mock castles down;            295
[Mock . . . down: Take sons from their mothers and knock castles down]
And some are yet ungotten and unborn [are not yet conceived or born]  
That shall have cause to curse the Dauphin’s scorn.   
But this lies all within the will of God,   
To whom I do appeal; and in whose name   
Tell you the Dauphin I am coming on,            300
To venge me [to gain revenge] as I may and to put forth   
My rightful hand in a well-hallow’d [blessed; holy] cause.   
So get you hence in peace; and tell the Dauphin   
His jest will savour but of shallow wit  [his jest won't be funny] 
When thousands weep more than did laugh at it.            305
Convey them with safe conduct. Fare you well.  [Exeunt Ambassadors.   
EXETER:  This was a merry message.   
KING HENRY:  We hope to make the sender blush at it.   
Therefore, my lords, omit no happy hour   
That may give furtherance to our expedition;            310
[omit . . . expedition: Take every opportunity to prepare for our war with France.]
For we have now no thought in us but France,   
Save those to God, that run before our business. 
[Save . . . business: Except for attention to God, who is always in the forefront of our thoughts]  
Therefore let our proportions [needs, such as troops and supplies] for these wars   
Be soon collected, and all things thought upon   
That may with reasonable swiftness add            315
More feathers to our wings; for, God before,   
We’ll chide this Dauphin at his father’s door.   
Therefore let every man now task his thought,   
That this fair action may on foot be brought.  [Exeunt.  Flourish.   
[Therefore . . . brought: Therefore, let every man think deeply about how we may best fight this war.]

Act 2, Prologue

Enter Chorus.
   
CHORUS:  Now all the youth of England are on fire,    
And silken dalliance in the wardrobe lies;   
[And silken . . . lies: And the fancy clothes they wear to balls and parties hang in their closets]
Now thrive the armourers, and honour’s thought    
Reigns solely in the breast of every man:            5
[Now . . . every man: Now thrive the craftsmen who make armor. Thoughts of answering the call to duty and performing honorably on the battlefield occupy every man's mind.]
They sell the pasture now to buy the horse,    
Following the mirror of all Christian kings,    
With winged heels, as English Mercuries.   
[They sell . . . Mercuries: They sell farmland to buy a horse so they can ride speedily into battle, like Christian kings of the past. They want to be like Mercury, the ancient Roman messenger god who whisked from place to place in winged sandals.]
For now sits Expectation in the air    
And hides a sword from hilts unto the point            10
With crowns imperial, crowns and coronets,    
Promis’d to Harry and his followers.   
[For now . . . followers: Now the prospect of winning treasures, such as crowns and coronets, supersedes thoughts of wielding a sword.]
The French, advis’d by good intelligence [reconnaissance; spying]  
Of this most dreadful preparation,    
Shake in their fear, and with pale policy            15
[pale policy:  Policy motivated by dread]
Seek to divert the English purposes.    
O England! model to thy inward greatness,    
Like little body with a mighty heart,    
What mightst thou do, that honour would thee do,    
Were all thy children kind and natural!            20
[What mightst . . . men: You could accomplish almost anything, bringing honor upon yourself, if all your subjects were loyal and true.]
But see thy fault! France hath in thee found out    
A nest of hollow bosoms, which he fills    
With treacherous crowns; and three corrupted men,   
[But see . . . men: But there's a problem—a nest of English turncoats whom the French are paying for traitorous activity.]
One, Richard Earl of Cambridge, and the second,    
Henry Lord Scroop of Masham, and the third,            25
Sir Thomas Grey, knight, of Northumberland,    
Have, for the gilt of [gold] France,—O guilt [a pun on gilt], indeed!—    
Confirm’d conspiracy with fearful France;    
And by their hands this grace of kings must die,—   
If hell and treason hold their promises,—            30
Ere [before] he take ship for France, and in Southampton.   
[And by . . . Southampton: And by their hands King Henry will die in Southampton—if hell and treason get their way—before he boards a ship for France.]
Linger your patience on; and well digest    
The abuse of distance while we force a play.  
[Continue to be patient, ladies and gentlemen, while the action of the play unfolds.] 
The sum is paid; the traitors are agreed;    
The king is set from London; and the scene            35
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,            40
We’ll not offend one stomach with our play.   
[There is . . . our play: Imagine the playhouse you are sitting in is now in Southampton. From there it will travel to France, then back, over smooth seas that will not upset your stomachs.]
But, till the king come forth and not till then,    
Unto Southampton do we shift our scene.  [Exit.

Act 2, Scene 1

London.  Eastcheap.
Enter NYM and BARDOLPH.
   
BARDOLPH:  Well met [Good morning], Corporal Nym.   
NYM:  Good morrow, Lieutenant Bardolph.   
BARDOLPH:  What, are Ancient [Ensign] Pistol and you friends yet?            5
NYM:  For my part, I care not: I say little; but when time shall serve, there shall be smiles; but that shall be as it may. I dare not fight; but I will wink and hold out mine iron [sword]. It is a simple one; but what though? it will toast cheese, and it will endure cold as another man’s sword will: and there’s an end.   
BARDOLPH:  I will bestow a breakfast to make you friends, and we’ll be all three sworn brothers to France: let it be so, good Corporal Nym.   
NYM:  Faith, I will live so long as I may, that’s the certain of it; and when I cannot live any longer, I will do as I may: that is my rest, that is the rendezvous of it.   
BARDOLPH:  It is certain, corporal, that he is married to Nell Quickly; and, certainly she did you wrong, for you were troth-plight to her [for both you and Pistol were engaged to her].   
NYM:  I cannot tell; things must be as they may: men may sleep, and they may have their throats about them at that time; and, some say, knives have edges. It must be as it may: though patience be a tired mare, yet she will plod. There must be conclusions. Well, I cannot tell.            10
[though . . . tell: Though I am almost out of patience, I will plod on. Eventually, there must be a conclusion to the matter. What it will be, I cannot tell.]
 
Enter PISTOL and Hostess.
   
BARDOLPH:  Here comes Ancient Pistol and his wife. Good corporal, be patient here. How now, mine host Pistol!   
PISTOL:  Base tike, call’st thou me host?   
Now, by this hand, I swear, I scorn the term;   
Nor shall my Nell keep lodgers.            15
HOSTESS:  No, by my troth, not long; for we cannot lodge and board a dozen or fourteen gentlewomen that live honestly by the prick of their needles, but it will be thought we keep a bawdy-house straight.  [NYM and PISTOL draw.]  O well-a-day, Lady! if he be not drawn now: we shall see wilful adultery and murder committed.   
BARDOLPH:  Good lieutenant! good corporal! offer nothing here. [Both of you put your swords away.]  
NYM:  Pish!   
PISTOL:  Pish for thee, Iceland dog! thou prick-eared cur of Iceland!   
HOSTESS:  Good Corporal Nym, show thy valour and put up your sword.            20
NYM:  Will you shog off? I would have you solus.  [Sheathing his sword.   
[Will you . . . solus: To the hostess: Lady, will you just move away? To Pistol: I will fight you when you are alone.]
PISTOL:  Solus [alone], egregious dog? O viper vile!   
The solus in thy most mervailous face;   
The solus in thy teeth, and in thy throat,   
And in thy hateful lungs, yea, in thy maw, perdy;            25
[The solus: You can stuff your solus in your marvelous face. Stuff it in your teeth and your throat, and in your lungs, yes, and in your stomach, indeed.]
And, which is worse, within thy nasty mouth! 
I do retort the solus in thy bowels;   
[And which . . . bowels: In fact, stuff it in your nasty mouth and in your bowels.]
For I can take, and Pistol’s cock is up,   
And flashing fire will follow.   
[For I . . . follow: For I can take you on, and my gun is cocked and ready to shoot.]
NYM:  I am not Barbason [a demon]; you cannot conjure [exorcise] me. I have an humour to knock you indifferently well. [I have a mind to beat you silly.] If you grow foul with me, Pistol, I will scour you [run you through] with my rapier [sword], as I may, in fair terms: if you would walk off [if you would go outside with me], I would prick your guts a little, in good terms, as I may; and that’s the humour of it.            30
PISTOL:  O braggart vile and damned furious wight [man; fellow]!   
The grave doth gape, and doting death is near;   
Therefore exhale. [Breathe your last.]   
BARDOLPH:  Hear me, hear me what I say: he that strikes the first stroke, I’ll run him up to the hilts, as I am a soldier.  [Draws.   
PISTOL:  An oath of mickle [great] might, and fury shall abate.            35
[An oath . . . abate: That was a warning of great might, so I think our quarrel should end.]
Give me thy fist, thy fore-foot to me give;   
Thy spirits are most tall.  
[Give me . . . tall: Give me your hand. We'll make peace with a handshake. You have a brave spirit.]
NYM:  I will cut thy throat, one time or other, in fair terms; that is the humour of it.   
PISTOL:  Couple le gorge! [Incorrect French for cut the throat] 
That is the word [That is the term you mean]. I thee defy again.            40
O hound of Crete [breed of hunting dog], think’st thou my spouse to get?   
No; to the spital [hospital] go,   
And from the powdering-tub of infamy
[powdering-tub of infamy: Heated tub used to treat patients with venereal disease]  
Fetch forth the lazar kite of Cressid’s kind,  
[lazar kite: Leprous prostitute]
[Cressid: Cressida, a young Trojan woman in classical mythology. During Troy's war with Greece, she abandoned her Trojan lover and lavished her affections on the Greeks. She is a title character is Shakespeare's play Troilus and Cressida.]
Doll Tearsheet [a prostitute] she by name, and her espouse [and marry her]:            45
I have [married], and I will hold [hold onto], the quondam Quickly [the former Mistress Quickly]   
For the only she; and—pauca [in a few words], there’s enough.
Go to.   
 
Enter the Boy.
   
BOY:  Mine host Pistol, you must come to my master [Sir John Falstaff], and your hostess: he is very sick, and would to bed. Good Bardolph, put thy face between his sheets and do the office of a warming-pan. Faith, he’s very ill.   
BARDOLPH:  Away, you rogue!            50
HOSTESS:  By my troth, he’ll yield the crow a pudding one of these days. The king has killed his [Falstaff's] heart. Good husband, come home presently. 
[Exeunt Hostess and Boy.
[By my . . . presently: In truth, this boy will end up as food for scavengers someday.]   
BARDOLPH:  Come, shall I make you two friends? We must to France together. Why the devil should we keep knives to cut one another’s throats?   
PISTOL:  Let floods o’erswell, and fiends for food howl on!   
NYM:  You’ll pay me the eight shillings I won of you at betting?   
PISTOL:  Base is the slave that pays.            55
NYM:  That now I will have [I want that money now]; that’s the humour of it.   
PISTOL:  As manhood shall compound: push home. [If you're man enough, draw.] [They draw.     
BARDOLPH:  By this sword, he that makes the first thrust, I’ll kill him; by this sword, I will.   
PISTOL:  Sword is an oath, and oaths must have their course. [When he says, "by this sword," he's swearing an oath. And oaths must be kept.]
BARDOLPH:  Corporal Nym, an [if] thou wilt be friends, be friends: an [if] thou wilt not, why then, be enemies with me too. Prithee, put up.            60
[Prithee . . . up: I pray you, put away your sword.]
NYM:  I shall have my eight shillings I won of you at betting?   
PISTOL:  A noble shalt thou have, and present pay;   
[A noble . . . pay: I'll give you a noble (gold coin worth about seven shillings) right now.]
And liquor likewise will I give to thee,   
And friendship shall combine, and brotherhood:   
I’ll live by Nym, and Nym shall live by me.            65
Is not this just? for I shall sutler be   
[sutler: In a military camp, a soldier who provides tools for eating and drinking.]
Unto the camp, and profits will accrue.   
Give me thy hand.   
NYM:  I shall have my noble?   
PISTOL:  In cash most justly paid.  [Paying him.            70
NYM:  Well then, that’s the humour of it.   
 
Re-enter Hostess.
   
HOSTESS:  As ever you came of women [if you were born of a woman], come in quickly to Sir John. Ah, poor heart! he is so shaked of a burning quotidian tertian, that it is most lamentable to behold. Sweet men, come to him. 
[quotidian tertian: A quotidian is a fever that occurs every day. A tertian is a fever that occurs every three days. The hostess combines these terms out of confusion and ignorance.]
NYM:  The king hath run bad humours on the knight; that’s the even of it. [King Henry's changed attitude toward Sir John has deeply wounded him. That's what's making Sir John sick.]  
PISTOL:  Nym, thou hast spoke the right;            75
His heart is fracted and corroborate.   
[fracted: Broken.]
[corroborate: Wrong word. Corroborate is an adjective that means confirmed or validated. Pistol probably thinks corroborate means ruptured, failing, malfunctioning, or dying.]
NYM:  The king is a good king: but it must be as it may; he passes some humours and careers.   
[he passes . . . careers: He is a man of many moods and many courses of action.]
PISTOL:  Let us condole the knight; for, lambkins, we will live.  [Exeunt.
[Let . . . live: Let us comfort and sympathize with Sir John. It is the duty of the living to help the dying, my little lambs.]

Act 2, Scene 2

Southampton. A council chamber.
Enter EXETER, BEDFORD, and WESTMORELAND.
   
BEDFORD:  ’Fore [before] God, his Grace is bold to trust these traitors.   
EXETER:  They shall be apprehended by and by.   
West.  How smooth and even they do bear themselves!            5
As if allegiance in their bosoms sat,   
Crowned with faith and constant loyalty.   
BEDFORD:  The king hath note of all that they intend,   
By interception which they dream not of.   
[They are unaware that the king has received intelligence disclosing their traitorous intentions.]
EXETER:  Nay, but the man that was his bedfellow,            10
Whom he hath dull’d and cloy’d with gracious favours,   
That he should, for a foreign purse, so sell   
His sovereign’s life to death and treachery!   
[Nay, but . . . treachery: It's shocking that a man who was close to the king—a man Henry lavished with favors—would sell the king's life to death and treachery for a French purse.]

Trumpets sound.  Enter KING HENRY, SCROOP, CAMBRIDGE, GREY, Lords, and Attendants.
   
KING HENRY:  Now sits the wind fair, and we will aboard.            15
My Lord of Cambridge, and my kind Lord of Masham,   
And you, my gentle knight, give me your thoughts:   
[Now . . . thoughts: Henry says the wind is favorable for sailing to France. He then addresses the three traitors—the Earl of Cambridge, Lord Scroop of Masham, and Sir Thomas Grey of Northumberland—who are still unaware that he knows of their plans.]
Think you not that the powers [troops] we bear with us   
Will cut their passage [way] through the force [army] of France,   
Doing the execution and the act            20
For which we have in head assembled them?
[Doing . . . them: Achieving the goal that I have set for them?]  
SCROOP:  No doubt, my liege, if each man do his best.   
KING HENRY:  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;            25
Nor leave not one behind that doth not wish   
Success and conquest to attend on us.   
[We carry . . . on us: There's not a man among us who doesn't support our cause. Everyone who is part of our army wishes only success and conquest for us.]
CAMBRIDGE:  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            30
Under the sweet shade of your government.   
GREY:  True: those that were your father’s enemies   
Have steep’d their galls in honey, and do serve you 
With hearts create of duty and of zeal.   
[those that . . . zeal: The enemies of your deceased father (Henry IV) bear no grudges against you. In fact, they serve you with hearts full of duty and zeal.]
KING HENRY:  We therefore have great cause of thankfulness,            35
And shall forget the office of our hand,   
Sooner than quittance of desert and merit   
According to the weight and worthiness.   
[And shall . . . worthiness: I would sooner forget how to use my hand than forget to give my men what they deserve for their deeds.]
SCROOP:  So service shall with steeled sinews toil,   
And labour shall refresh itself with hope,            40
To do your Grace incessant services.   
[So service . . . services: We will work hard on your behalf, and our labor will refresh itself with hope. We are dedicated to giving you uninterrupted service.]
KING HENRY:  We judge no less. Uncle of Exeter,   
Enlarge the man committed yesterday   
That rail’d against our person: we consider   
It was excess of wine that set him on;            45
And on his more advice we pardon him.   
[We judge . . . pardon him: We know we can count on you. Uncle of Exeter, free the man imprisoned yesterday for speaking out against me. Too much wine made him do so. Now that he's learned his lesson, I pardon him.]
SCROOP:  That’s mercy, but too much security:   
Let him be punish’d, sovereign, lest example   
Breed, by his sufferance, more of such a kind.   
[That's  . . . a kind: It's commendable to be merciful, but it's also risky. He should be punished, sovereign, lest others imitate his bad example.]
KING HENRY:  O! let us yet be merciful.            50
CAMBRIDGE:  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.   
[You show . . . correction: You would be showing great mercy if you let him live after severely punishing him.]
KING HENRY:  Alas! your too much love and care of me            55
Are heavy orisons [prayers] ’gainst this poor wretch.   
If little faults, proceeding on distemper,   
Shall not be wink’d at, how shall we stretch our eye   
When capital crimes, chew’d, swallow’d, and digested,   
Appear before us? We’ll yet enlarge that man,            60
[If little . . . that man: If small faults resulting from drunkenness should not be overlooked, how should we respond to capital crimes (those punishable by death) that were carefully planned? Anyway, I still think I should free that man who did wrong under the influence of alcohol.]
Though Cambridge, Scroop, and Grey, in their dear care,   
And tender preservation of our person,   
Would have him punish’d. And now to our French causes:   
Who are the late [newly appointed] commissioners?   
CAMBRIDGE:  I one, my lord:            65
Your highness bade me ask for it to-day.   
SCROOP:  So did you me, my liege.   
GREY:  And I, my royal sovereign.   
KING HENRY:  Then, Richard, Earl of Cambridge, there is yours;   
There yours, Lord Scroop of Masham; and, sir knight,            70
Grey of Northumberland, this same is yours:   
Read them; and know, I know your worthiness.   
My Lord of Westmoreland, and uncle Exeter,   
We will aboard to-night. Why, how now, gentlemen!   
What see you in those papers that you lose            75
So much complexion? Look ye, how they change!   
Their cheeks are paper [white as paper]. Why, what read you there,   
That hath so cowarded and chas’d your blood   
Out of appearance?   
CAMBRIDGE:  I do confess my fault,            80
And do submit me to your highness’ mercy.   
GREY & SCROOP:  To which we all appeal.   
KING HENRY:  The mercy that was quick in us but late
By your own counsel is suppress’d and kill’d:   
[The mercy . . . kill'd: The mercy that I spoke of just moments ago is suppressed and killed by your own advice.]
You must not dare, for shame, to talk of mercy;            85
For your own reasons turn into your bosoms, [your own reasons turn against you] 
As dogs upon their masters, worrying you.   
See you, my princes and my noble peers,   
These English monsters! My Lord of Cambridge here,   
You know how apt our love was to accord            90
To furnish him with all appertinents [requirements; recognition and respect] 
Belonging to his honour; and this man   
Hath, for a few light crowns, lightly conspir’d,   
And sworn unto the practices of France,   
To kill us here in Hampton: to the which            95
This knight, no less for bounty bound to us   
Than Cambridge is, hath likewise sworn. But O!   
What shall I say to thee, Lord Scroop? thou cruel,   
Ingrateful, savage and inhuman creature!   
Thou that didst bear the key of all my counsels,            100
That knew’st the very bottom of my soul,   
That almost mightst have coin’d me into gold   
Wouldst thou have practis’d on me for thy use!   
[Thou . . . use: You were privy to all my policy matters and ideas, even my inmost thoughts. You could have received any amount of gold from me if you asked for it.]
May it be possible that foreign hire   
Could out of thee extract one spark of evil            105
That might annoy my finger? ’tis so strange   
That, though the truth of it stands off as gross   
As black from white, my eye will scarcely see it.
[May it . . . see it: Is it possible that a foreign country could find enough evil in you to harm even a single finger of mine? It is strange that, though your treachery stands out plainly, I have trouble believing it.] 
Treason and murder ever kept together,   
As two yoke-devils sworn to either’s purpose,            110
Working so grossly in a natural cause   
That admiration did not whoop at them:   
But thou, ’gainst all proportion, didst bring in   
Wonder to wait on treason and on murder:   
[Treason and murder always work together as partners. That's no surprise. But you, of all people, joined them. That was a surprise.]
And whatsoever cunning fiend it was            115
That wrought upon thee so preposterously   
Hath got the voice in hell for excellence:  
[And . . . excellence: And whatever cunning demon that persuaded you to betray your country—well, all hell must be praising him for his excellent work.]
And other devils that suggest by treasons   
Do botch and bungle up damnation   
With patches, colours, and with forms, being fetch’d            120
From glistering semblances of piety;   
[And others . . . piety: And other devils that cause treason sew together a patchwork of evil motives of the men they tempted, men who pretend to be glistening with piety.]
But he that temper’d thee bade thee stand up,   
Gave thee no instance why thou shouldst do treason,   
Unless to dub thee with the name of traitor.   
[But . . . traitor: But the devil who tempered you to do evil gave you no reason to be disloyal except to earn the name of traitor.]
If that same demon that hath gull’d [tricked] thee thus            125
Should with his lion gait walk the whole world,   
He might return to vasty [vast] Tartar [hell] back,   
And tell the legions, ‘I can never win   
A soul so easy as that Englishman’s.’   
O! how hast thou with jealousy infected            130
The sweetness of affiance. Show men dutiful?   
Why, so didst thou: seem they grave and learned?   
Why, so didst thou: come they of noble family?   
Why, so didst thou: seem they religious?   
Why, so didst thou: or are they spare in diet,            135
[O! how . . . diet: Oh, how you have infected the atmosphere of loyalty in this government with suspicion and wariness? If a man appears dutiful, why so were you? If he seems serious and competent, why, so were you? If he comes from a noble family, why, so did you? If he seems religious, why, so did you? If he seems self-disciplined and not given to extremes,]
Free from gross [excessive] passion or of mirth or anger,   
Constant in spirit, not swerving with the blood [unswerving in conviction],   
Garnish’d and deck’d in modest complement [appareled like a modest gentleman],   
Not working with the eye without the ear [paying close attention to important matters],   
And but in purged judgment trusting neither? [And, keeping an open mind, not trusting what seems to be so until it is proven to be so?]            140
Such and so finely bolted didst thou seem:   
And thus thy fall hath left a kind of blot,   
To mark the full-fraught man and best indu’d   
With some suspicion. I will weep for thee;   
[Such and . . . thee: You seemed like a good and honorable man. That's why your downfall has left a blot that marks other trusted men with suspicion. I will weep for you.]
For this revolt of thine, methinks, is like            145
Another fall of man [another fall of Adam]. Their faults are open:   
Arrest them to the answer of the law;   
And God acquit them of their practices! [May God have mercy on their souls.]  
EXETER:  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.            150
I arrest thee of high treason, by the name of Thomas Grey, knight, of Northumberland.   
SCROOP:  Our purposes God justly hath discover’d,   
And I repent my fault more than my death;   
Which I beseech your highness to forgive,   
Although my body pay the price of it.            155
CAMBRIDGE:  For me, the gold of France did not seduce,   
Although I did admit it as a motive   
The sooner to effect [carry out] what I intended:   
But God be thanked for prevention;   
Which I in sufferance heartily will rejoice,            160
Beseeching God and you to pardon me.   
GREY:  Never did faithful subject more rejoice   
At the discovery of most dangerous treason   
Than I do at this hour joy o’er myself,   
Prevented from a damned enterprise.            165
My fault, but not my body, pardon, sovereign.   
KING HENRY:  God quit you in his mercy! Hear your sentence.   
You have conspir’d against our royal person,   
Join’d with an enemy proclaim’d, and from his coffers   
Receiv’d the golden earnest [a valuable that binds a contract] of our death;            170
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;            175
[Touching . . . revenge: Personally, I seek no revenge.]
But we our kingdom’s safety must so tender,   
Whose ruin you have sought, that to her laws   
We do deliver you. Get you therefore hence,   
Poor miserable wretches, to your death;   
[But I so value England's safety—which you tried to ruin—that I must submit you to the kingdom's laws. Go to your death, you poor, miserable wretches.]
The taste whereof, God of his mercy give you            180
Patience to endure, and true repentance   
Of all your dear offences! Bear them hence.  [Exeunt CAMBRIDGE, SCROOP, and GREY, guarded.   
Now, lords, for France! the enterprise whereof   
Shall be to you, as us, like glorious.   
We doubt not of a fair and lucky war,            185
Since God so graciously hath brought to light   
This dangerous treason lurking in our way   
To hinder our beginnings. We doubt not now   
But every rub [obstacle] is smoothed on our way.   
Then forth, dear countrymen: let us deliver            190
Our puissance [army] into the hand of God,   
Putting it straight in expedition [sending it straight ahead in its campaign to defeat the French.]   
Cheerly to sea! the signs of war advance:   
No king of England, if not king of France.  [Exeunt.
[No . . . France: I will be no king of England if I do not become king of France.]

Act 2, Scene 3

London.  Before a tavern in Eastcheap.
Enter PISTOL, Hostess, NYM, BARDOLPH, and Boy.
   
HOSTESS:  Prithee, honey-sweet husband, let me bring thee to Staines.
[Staines: Town southwest of London, on the road to Southampton.]
PISTOL:  No; for my manly heart doth yearn [grieve; mourn].   
Bardolph, be blithe; Nym, rouse thy vaunting veins;            5
Boy, bristle thy courage up; for Falstaff he is dead,   
And we must yearn [grieve] therefore.   
BARDOLPH:  Would I were with him, wheresome’er he is, either in heaven or in hell!   
HOSTESS:  Nay, sure, he’s not in hell: he’s in Arthur’s bosom [Abraham's bosom, a happy place in the afterlife], if ever man went to Arthur’s bosom. A’ [he] made a finer end and went away an [as if] it had been any christom child [infant wearing a christom, a white baptismal robe]; a’ [he] parted even just between twelve and one, even at the turning o’ the tide: for after I saw him fumble with the sheets and play with flowers and smile upon his fingers’ ends, I knew there was but one way; for his nose was as sharp as a pen, and a’ [he] babbled of green fields. ‘How now, Sir John!’ quoth I: ‘what man! be of good cheer.’ So a’ [he] cried out ‘God, God, God!’ three or four times: now I, to comfort him, bid him a’ [he] should not think of God, I hoped there was no need to trouble himself with any such thoughts yet. So a’ [he] bade me lay more clothes on his feet: I put my hand into the bed and felt them, and they were as cold as any stone; then I felt to his knees, and so upward, and upward, and all was as cold as any stone.   
NYM:  They say he cried out of sack [cried out against sack, Falstaff's favorite wine].            10
HOSTESS:  Ay, that a’ [he] did.   
BARDOLPH:  And of women.   
HOSTESS:  Nay, that a’ [he] did not.   
BOY:  Yes, that a’ [he] did; and said they were devils incarnate.   
HOSTESS:  A’ [he] could never abide carnation; ’twas a colour he never liked.            15
[The hostess confuses the word incarnation with carnation.]
BOY:  A’ [he] said once, the devil would have him about women.  
HOSTESS:  A’ [he] did in some sort, indeed, handle women; but then he was rheumatic [in pain] , and talked of the whore of Babylon.   
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?   
BARDOLPH:  Well, the fuel is gone that maintained that fire: that’s all the riches I got in his service.   
[fuel: Alcohol in the wine that Bardolph sometimes bought for Falstaff.]
NYM:  Shall we shog [move on]? the king will be gone from Southampton.            20
PISTOL:  Come, let’s away. My love, give me thy lips.   
Look to my chattels and my moveables:   
[chattel: Personal property, such as furniture]
Let senses rule, the word is, ‘Pitch and pay’ [accept no credit];   
Trust none;   
For oaths are straws, men’s faiths are wafercakes,            25
[For oaths . . . wafercakes: Men's oaths and promises are as flimsy as straws and wafercakes.]
And hold-fast is the only dog, my duck:   
[hold-fast . . . duck: Persevere and hold onto what you have. That's the best advice I can give you, my dear.]
Therefore, caveto be thy counsellor.  
[caveto: An imperative form of the Latin verb caveo: beware; take precautions]
Go, clear thy crystals. Yoke-fellows in arms,   
[Go . . . arms: Go, dry your eyes. Comrades-in-arms]
Let us to France; like horse-leeches, my boys,   
To suck, to suck, the very blood to suck!            30
[like . . . suck: Be like horseleeches, my boys, and suck the blood of the French.]
BOY:  And that’s but unwholesome food, they say.   
PISTOL:  Touch her soft mouth, and march.   
BARDOLPH:  Farewell, hostess.  [Kissing her.   
NYM:  I cannot kiss, that is the humour of it; but, adieu [French for good-bye].   
PISTOL:  Let housewifery [good management of the home] appear: keep close [stay close to home], I thee command.            35
HOSTESS:  Farewell; adieu.  [Exeunt.

Act 2, Scene 4

France.  An apartment in the FRENCH KING’S palace.
Flourish.  Enter the FRENCH KING, attended; the DAUPHIN, the DUKES OF BERRI AND BRITAINE, the CONSTABLE, and Others.
[Flourish: Trumpets blow.]   

FRENCH KING:  Thus come the English with full power upon us;   
And more than carefully it us concerns   
To answer royally in our defences.            5
Therefore the Dukes of Berri and Britaine,   
Of Brabant and of Orleans, shall make forth,   
And you, Prince Dauphin, with all swift dispatch,   
To line and new repair our towns of war   
With men of courage and with means defendant [defensive barriers]:            10
For England his approaches makes as fierce   
As waters to the sucking of a gulf.   
[as fierce . . . gulf: The approaching English army is as fearsome as a whirlpool sucking down everything around it.]
It fits us then to be as provident [as careful in our preparation] 
As fear may teach us, out of late examples [French defeats at Crécy in 1346 and Poitiers in 1356]
Left by the fatal and neglected English            15
[Left . . . English: Left by the fatal English, against whom we neglected to prepare a stout defense]
Upon our fields.   
DAUPHIN: My most redoubted [feared; respected] father,   
It is most meet [appropriate] we arm us ’gainst the foe;   
For peace itself should not so dull a kingdom,—   
Though war nor no known quarrel were in question,—            20
[For peace . . . question: For in even in peace we should not let our guard down—even though there are no signs of war are in the air—]
But that defences, musters, preparations,   
Should be maintain’d, assembled, and collected,   
As were a war in expectation.
[As . . . expectation: As if a war will break out at any moment]   
Therefore, I say ’tis meet [wise] we all go forth   
To view the sick and feeble parts of France:            25
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:  
[Whitsun morris-dance: Folk dance that was part of the celebration of Whitsuntide, the week beginning with Pentecost, or Whitsunday]
For, my good liege [lord], she is so idly king’d [she has a weak king],   
Her sceptre so fantastically [ridiculously; foolishly] borne            30
By a vain, giddy, shallow, humorous youth,   
That fear attends her not [that there is no reason to fear her].   
CONSTABLE:  O peace, Prince Dauphin!   
You are too much mistaken in this king.   
Question your Grace the late ambassadors,            35
With what great state he heard their embassy,   
How well supplied with noble counsellors,   
How modest in exception, and, withal   
How terrible in constant resolution,   
And you shall find his vanities forespent            40
Were but the outside of the Roman Brutus,   
Covering discretion with a coat of folly;   
[Question . . . forespent: Your Grace, if you question the ambassadors who have returned from his court, you will find that he heard their message with great dignity. They will tell you that he is well supplied with noble advisors. Though he exhibits restraint and self-control, he is firm in his resolve. His vanities and wildness were an outward show. Inside, he is discrete and wise, like Lucius Brutus, the founder of the ancient Roman republic.] 
As gardeners do with ordure [manure] hide those roots   
That shall first spring and be most delicate.   
DAUPHIN:  Well, ’tis not so, my lord high constable;            45
But though we think it so, it is no matter:   
In cases of defence ’tis best to weigh   
The enemy more mighty than he seems:   
So the proportions of defence are fill’d;   
Which of a weak and niggardly projection            50
Doth like a miser spoil his coat with scanting   
A little cloth.   
[In cases . . . cloth: In cases of defense, it's best to overestimate the strength of the enemy so that we are assured of having enough might. If we are stingy in estimating our own strength, we will be weak. A miser who does not measure out enough cloth for his coat has a poor defense against winter.]
FRENCH 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,            55
And he is bred out of that bloody strain   
That haunted us in our familiar paths:   
[The kindred . . . paths: His ancestors did battle with us, eager to spill French blood, and he is born of that same bloody strain that wreaked havoc upon us.]
Witness our too much memorable shame   
When Cressy [Crécy] battle fatally was struck   
And all our princes captiv’d [captured] by the hand            60
Of that black name, Edward Black Prince of Wales;  
Whiles that his mounting sire [King Edward III of England], on mountain standing,   
Up in the air, crown’d with the golden sun,   
Saw his heroical seed [son], and smil’d to see him   
Mangle the work of nature, and deface            65
The patterns that by God and by French fathers   
Had twenty years been made. This is a stem   
Of that victorious stock; and let us fear   
The native mightiness and fate of him.   
[Mangle . . . of him: Run roughshod over the battlefield and slaughter the young men—aged twenty years or so—made by God and their French fathers. This English king is a stem of that same stock, so let us fear his might and the fate he will impose on us.]
 
Enter a Messenger.            70

MESSENGER:  Ambassadors from Harry King of England   
Do crave admittance to your majesty.   
FRENCH KING:  We’ll give them present audience. Go, and bring them.  [Exeunt Messenger and certain Lords.   
You see this chase is hotly follow’d, friends.   
DAUPHIN:  Turn head, and stop pursuit; for coward dogs            75
Most spend their mouths when what they seem to threaten   
Runs far before them. Good my sovereign,   
Take up the English short, and let them know   
Of what a monarchy you are the head:   
Self-love, my liege, is not so vile a sin            80
As self-neglecting.   
[Turn head . . . self-neglecting: Stop their pursuit by confronting them, for coward dogs bark the most when their prey is far in front of them. Take the English by surprise by letting them know what a great kingdom you rule. Self-love is not as vile as self-neglect.]
 
Re-enter Lords, with EXETER and train.
   
FRENCH KING:  From our brother England?   
EXETER:  From him; and thus he greets your majesty.   
He wills you, in the name of God Almighty,            85
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            90
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,            95
He sends you this most memorable line,  [Gives a pedigree.  
[He wills . . . line: He orders you to surrender your crown and give to him and his heirs all the glories and honors that pertain to it by custom and ordinance. That you may know that he is not making a false claim dug up from the worm holes of history, he sends you this record of his bloodline.]
In every branch truly demonstrative;   
Willing you overlook this pedigree;
[Willing . . . pedigree: Look over this document.]  
And when you find him evenly deriv’d [descended]   
From his most fam’d of famous ancestors,            100
Edward the Third, he bids you then resign   
Your crown and kingdom, indirectly held   
From him the native and true challenger. 
[From him . . . challenger: From Henry V, who is the rightful heir to the throne of France.] 
FRENCH KING:  Or else what follows? [What will happen if we refuse his demand?]  
EXETER:  Bloody constraint; for if you hide the crown            105
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;   
[Bloody . . . compel: Bloody war will take the crown from you. If you hide it, he will find it. Even if you put it in your heart, he will root it out. He and his army are approaching in a storm cloud. Like a god, he will bring thunder and make the earth shake. If you refuse to yield the crown, he will knock it off your head.]
And bids you, in the bowels of the Lord,            110
Deliver up the crown, and to take mercy   
On the poor souls for whom this hungry war   
Opens his vasty [vast] jaws; and on your head   
Turning the widows’ tears, the orphans’ cries,   
The dead men’s blood, the pining maidens’ groans,            115
For husbands, fathers, and betrothed lovers,   
That shall be swallow’d in this controversy.   
This is his claim, his threat’ning, and my message;   
Unless the Dauphin be in presence here,   
To whom expressly I bring greeting too.            120
FRENCH KING:  For us, we will consider of this further:   
To-morrow shall you bear our full intent   
Back to our brother England.   
DAUPHIN:  For the Dauphin,   
I stand here for him: what to him from England?            125
EXETER:  Scorn and defiance, slight regard, contempt,   
And anything that may not misbecome  [and any other revilement which, when spoken, would not dishonor]
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,            130
Sweeten the bitter mock [the box of tennis balls, 1.2.267] you sent his majesty,   
He’ll call you to so hot an answer of it,   
That caves and womby vaultages of France   
Shall chide your trespass and return your mock   
In second accent of his ordinance.            135
[return your . . . ordinance: Echo back your mock if France does not meet his demands.]
DAUPHIN:  Say, if my father render fair return [return of your message],   
It is against my will; for I desire   
Nothing but odds with England: to that end,   
As matching to his youth and vanity,   
I did present him with the Paris [tennis] balls.            140
EXETER:  He’ll make your Paris Louvre shake for it,   
Were it the mistress-court of mighty Europe:  
[Louvre: The palace. The Louvre is now one of the world's foremost museums.]
[mistress-court: Center of government; strongest fortress.]
And, be assur’d, you’ll find a difference—   
As we his subjects have in wonder found—   
Between the promise of his greener days            145
And these he masters now. Now he weighs time  
[Between . . . time: Between what he was in his younger days and what he is now. Now he measures time]
Even to the utmost grain; that you shall read   
In your own losses, if he stay in France.   
FRENCH KING:  To-morrow shall you know our mind at full.   
EXETER:  Dispatch us with all speed, lest that our king            150
Come here himself to question our delay;   
For he is footed in this land already.   
[Dispatch . . . already: Don't delay. Otherwise, the king will come here looking for me, for he is already in France.]
FRENCH KING:  You shall be soon dispatch’d with fair conditions:   
A night is but small breath and little pause   
To answer matters of this consequence.  [FlourishExeunt.            155

Act 3, Prologue

Enter Chorus.
   
CHORUS:  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 at Hampton pier            5
Embark his royalty; and his brave fleet   
With silken streamers the young Phoebus fanning:   
[Thus . . . fanning: Imagine now that the action of our play moves forward at the speed of thought. Suppose that you have seen our majestic King embark from England with his brave fleet of ships, their banners fanning Phoebus Apollo. (In Greek mythology, Apollo was the sun god, depicted as driving his golden chariot across the sky, from east to west, every day.)]
Play with your fancies, and in them behold   
Upon the hempen tackle [rope made from hemp] ship-boys climbing;   
Hear the shrill whistle which doth order give [which gives order]            10
To sounds confus’d; behold the threaden sails [sails sewn or woven together from pieces of fabric],   
Borne with the invisible and creeping wind,   
Draw the huge bottoms [hulls] through the furrow’d [well-traveled; figuratively, having pathways and ruts] sea,   
Breasting [staying on top of] the lofty surge. O! do but think   
You stand upon the rivage [shore] and behold            15
A city [the fleet of ships] on the inconstant billows dancing;   
For so appears this fleet majestical,   
Holding due course to Harfleur. Follow, follow!   
[Harfleur (ar FLER): Port city in western France.]
Grapple [hook; attach] your minds to sternage [the rear] of this navy,   
And leave your England, as dead midnight still,            20
Guarded with grandsires, babies, and old women,   
Either past or not arriv’d to pith and puissance: [either too old or too young to protect England adequately]
For who is he, whose chin is but enrich’d   
With one appearing hair, that will not follow   
Those cull’d and choice-drawn cavaliers to France?            25
[For who . . . France: For everyone old enough to grow facial hair is following the hand-picked knights to France.
Work, work your thoughts, and therein see a siege;   
Behold the ordnance [cannons] on their carriages,   
With fatal mouths gaping on girded [fortified] Harfleur.   
Suppose the ambassador from the French comes back;   
Tells Harry that the king doth offer him            30
Katharine his daughter; and with her, to dowry,   
Some petty and unprofitable dukedoms:   
The offer likes not [the offer is not acceptable]: and the nimble gunner   
With linstock [long stick used to hold a fuse that ignites a cannon] now the devilish cannon touches,  [Alarum; and chambers go off. 
[Alarum  . . . off: Offstage rallying cries, sounds of battle, and gunfire.]
And down goes all before them. Still be kind,            35
And eke out our performance with your mind.  [Exit.   
[Still . . . mind: Continue using your imagination during our performance.]

Act 3, Scene 1

France. Before Harfleur.
Alarums.  Enter KING HENRY, EXETER, BEDFORD, GLOUCESTER, and Soldiers, with scaling ladders.
[Alarums: Rallying cries; calls to war]
   
KING HENRY:  Once more unto the breach [opening in a wall], dear friends, once more;   
Or close the wall up with our English dead!   
In peace there’s nothing so becomes a man            5
As modest stillness and humility:   
But when the blast of war blows in our ears,   
Then imitate the action of the tiger;   
Stiffen the sinews, summon up the blood,   
Disguise fair nature with hard-favour’d rage;            10
Then lend the eye a terrible aspect [glare; look];   
Let it pry through the portage of the head   
Like the brass cannon; let the brow o’erwhelm it   
As fearfully as doth a galled rock   
O’erhang and jutty his confounded base,            15
Swill’d with the wild and wasteful ocean.   
[Let it . . . ocean: Let this glare project from the eye like the barrel of a cannon; let the brow overhang it as fearfully as does a jagged cliff project  over its sea-worn base, with only the stark and stormy ocean below.]
Now set the teeth and stretch the nostril wide,   
Hold hard the breath, and bend up every spirit   
To his full height! On, on, you noblest English!   
Whose blood is fet from fathers of war-proof;            20
[Whose . . . -proof: Whose blood is fetched from battle-hardened fathers;]
Fathers that, like so many Alexanders,   
[Alexanders: Reference to Alexander the Great (356-323 BC), the renowned warrior and general from the Greek kingdom of Macedon.]
Have in these parts from morn till even fought,   
And sheath’d their swords for lack of argument.   
[Have . . . argument: Have fought in this country from morning till night and sheathed their swords after the enemy fell.]
Dishonour not your mothers; now attest   
That those whom you call’d fathers did beget you.            25
Be copy now to men of grosser blood,   
And teach them how to war. 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;            30
[Dishonour . . . doubt not: Don't dishonor your mothers. Prove that you are warriors like your fathers. Be an example to the commoners in our army by showing them how to fight. And you good farmers of England show us how your work in the fields turned you into strong men; let us swear that you are worth your hardy upbringing, which I don't doubt.]
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 [restraints],   
Straining upon the start. The game’s afoot:   
Follow your spirit; and, upon this charge            35
Cry ‘God for Harry! England and Saint George!’  [ExeuntAlarum, and chambers go off.
[Saint George: Patron saint of England.]

Act 3, Scene 2

France. Before Harfleur.
Enter NYM, BARDOLPH, PISTOL, and Boy.
   
BARDOLPH:  On, on, on, on, on! to the breach, to the breach!   
NYM:  Pray thee, corporal, stay: the knocks [jolts of battle] are too hot; and for mine own part, I have not a case [a whole lot] of lives: the humour [fury] of it is too hot, that is the very plain-song [truth] of it.   
PISTOL:  The plain-song is most just, for humours do abound:
Knocks go and come: God’s vassals drop and die;
And sword and shield
In bloody field
Doth win immortal fame.            5
BOY:  Would I were in an alehouse in London! I would give all my fame for a pot of ale, and safety.   
PISTOL:  And I:
If wishes would prevail with me,
My purpose should not fail with me,
But thither would I hie.
BOY:
As duly,
But not as truly,
As bird doth sing on bough.
Enter FLUELLEN.
   
FLUELLEN:  Up to the breach, you dogs! avaunt [go on], you cullions [scoundrels]!  [Driving them forward.            10
PISTOL:  Be merciful, great duke, to men of mould [ordinary men; humble men; men of the earth]!   
Abate thy rage, abate thy manly rage!   
Abate thy rage, great duke!   
Good bawcock [gentleman; fine fellow], bate thy rage; use lenity [mercy], sweet chuck [man; fellow]!   
NYM:  These be good humours! your honour wins bad humours.  [Exeunt NYM, PISTOL, and BARDOLPH, followed by FLUELLEN.            15
BOY:  As young as I am, I have observed these three swashers [braggarts]. I am boy [a servant] to them all three, but all they three, though they would serve me, could not be man to me; for, indeed three such antiques do not amount to a man. For Bardolph, he is white-livered [cowardly] and red-faced; by the means whereof, a’ [he] faces it out [pretends to be a tough guy] , but fights not. For Pistol, he hath a killing tongue and a quiet sword; by the means whereof a’ [he] 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’ [he] should be thought a coward: but his few bad words are matched with as few good deeds; for a’ [he] 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. Bardolph stole a lute-case, bore it twelve leagues [36 miles, or 57.9 kilometers], and sold it for three half-pence. Nym and Bardolph are sworn brothers in filching, and in Calais they stole a fire-shovel;—I knew by that piece of service the men would carry coals,—they would have me as familiar with men’s pockets as their gloves or their handkerchers: 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 villany [villainy] goes against my weak stomach, and therefore I must cast it up.  [Exit.   
 
Re-enter FLUELLEN, GOWER following.
   
GOWER:  Captain Fluellen, you must come presently to the mines: the Duke of Gloucester would speak with you.   
[mines: In the siege of Harfleur, the English dug tunnels to undermine the city walls.]
FLUELLEN:  To the mines! tell you the duke it is not so good to come to the mines. For look you, the mines is not according to the disciplines of the war; the concavities of it is not sufficient; for, look you, th’ athversary [adversary]—you may discuss unto the duke, look you—is digt himself four yards under the countermines; by Cheshu, I think, a’ will plow up all if there is not better directions. 
[Fluellen says digging tunnels to undermine the city walls is a bad idea, for the French have dug their own tunnels below the English tunnels to sabotage the latter.] 
GOWER:  The Duke of Gloucester, to whom the order of the siege is given, is altogether directed by an Irishman, a very valiant gentleman, i’ faith.            20
FLUELLEN:  It is Captain Macmorris, is it not?   
GOWER:  I think it be.   
FLUELLEN:  By Cheshu, he is an ass, as in the world: I will verify as much in his peard: he has no more directions in the true disciplines of the wars, look you, of the Roman disciplines, than is a puppy-dog.   
[Fluellen says Captain Macmorris is an incompetent ass and will tell him so to his face. (Peard refers to the captain's beard; in turn, the beard stands for the captain's face.) He knows no more about war than a puppy.]

Enter MACMORRIS and JAMY, at a distance.
   
GOWER:  Here a’ [he] comes; and the Scots captain, Captain Jamy, with him.            25
FLUELLEN:  Captain Jamy is a marvellous falorous gentleman, that is certain; and of great expedition and knowledge in th’ aunchient wars, upon my particular knowledge of his directions: by Cheshu, he will maintain his argument as well as any military man in the world, in the disciplines of the pristine wars of the Romans.   
[Fluellen says Captain Jamy is a very brave gentleman, certainly, and has a thorough understanding of ancient warfare—in fact, he knows as much about the wars of the ancient Romans as any other military expert in the world.]
JAMY:  I say gud [good] day, Captain Fluellen.   
FLUELLEN:  God-den [good day] to your worship, good Captain James.   
GOWER:  How now, Captain Macmorris! have you quit the mines? have the pioners given o’er? [have the diggers quit?]  
MACMORRIS:  By Chrish, la! tish ill done: the work ish give over, the trumpet sound the retreat. By my hand, I swear, and my father’s soul, the work ish ill done; it ish give over: I would have blowed up the town, so Chrish save me, la! in an hour: O! tish ill done, tish ill done; by my hand, tish ill done!            30
[Macmorris says the digging has stopped because the work was poorly done.]
FLUELLEN:  Captain Macmorris, I beseech you now, will you voutsafe [vouchsafe: grant] me, look you, a few disputations with you, as partly touching or concerning the disciplines of the war, the Roman wars, in the way of argument, look you, and friendly communication; partly to satisfy my opinion, and partly for the satisfaction, look you, of my mind, as touching the direction of the military discipline: that is the point.  
JAMY: It sall be vary gud, gud feith, gud captains bath:  [Aside.] and I sall quit you with gud leve, as I may pick occasion; that sall I, marry. [I shall be happy to talk about the Roman wars: [he then speaks to himself] and I will do so in my own good time; that shall I do, by the Virgin Mary.]
MACMORRIS:  It is no time to discourse [to have a conversation], so Chrish [Christ] save me: the day is hot, and the weather, and the wars, and the king, and the dukes: it is no time to discourse. The town is beseeched [besieged], and the trumpet calls us to the breach; and we talk, and be Chrish [by Christ], do nothing: ’tis shame for us all; so God sa’ [save] me, ’tis shame to stand still; it is shame, by my hand; and there is throats to be cut, and works to be done; and there ish [is] nothing done, so Chrish sa’ [Christ save] me, la!   
JAMY:  By the mess, ere theise eyes of mine take themselves to slumber, aile do gud service, or aile lig i’ the grund for it; ay, or go to death; and aile pay it as valorously as I may, that sal I surely do, that is the breff and the long. Marry, I wad full fain heard some question ’tween you tway.
[By the . . . tway: By the mass (Roman Catholic Eucharistic service), before these eyes of mine go to sleep, I'll do good service on the battlefield—or I'll lie in the ground for standing idle. Yes, that's what will happen. I will die. And when I am doing battle, I'll fight as valiantly as I can—that will I surely do. That is the long and short of it. But, by the Virgin Mary, I would gladly hear you two talk.]
FLUELLEN:  Captain Macmorris, I think, look you, under your correction, there is not many of your nation—            35
MACMORRIS:  Of my nation! What ish [is] my nation? ish [it's] a villain, and a bastard, and a knave, and a rascal? What ish [is] my nation? Who talks of my nation?   
FLUELLEN:  Look you, if you take the matter otherwise than is meant, Captain Macmorris, peradventure I shall think you do not use [treat] me with that affability as in discretion you ought to use [treat] me, look you; being as good a man as yourself, both in the disciplines of wars, and in the derivation of my birth, and in other particularities.   
MACMORRIS:  I do not know you so good a man as myself: so Chrish save me, I will cut off your head.   
GOWER:  Gentlemen both, you will mistake each other. [Now gentlemen, you are misunderstanding each other.]   
JAMY:  A! that’s a foul fault.  [A parley sounded.            40
[parley sounded: A trumpet blare signals a truce so that the English and French can parley.]
GOWER:  The town sounds a parley.   
FLUELLEN:  Captain Macmorris, when there is more better opportunity to be required, look you, I will be so bold as to tell you I know the disciplines of wars; and there is an end.  [Exeunt.

Act 3, Scene 3

France.  Before the gates of Harfleur.
The Governor and some Citizens on the walls; the English forces below.  Enter KING HENRY and his train.
   
KING HENRY:  How yet resolves the governor of the town?   
This is the latest parle we will admit.
Therefore to our best mercy give yourselves;            5
[What has the governor decided to do? Because this is the last parley I will permit, I suggest you throw yourselves on my mercy.] 
Or like to men proud of destruction   
Defy us to our worst: for, as I am a soldier,—   
[Or . . . worst: Or, like men too proud to surrender, defy us and prepare for the worst.]
A name that in my thoughts, becomes me best,—   
If I begin the battery once again,   
I will not leave the half-achieved Harfleur            10
Till in her ashes she lie buried.   
The gates of mercy shall be all shut up,   
And the flesh’d soldier, rough and hard of heart,   
In liberty of bloody hand shall range   
With conscience wide as hell, mowing like grass            15
Your fresh-fair virgins and your flowering infants.   
[And the . . . infants: And our blood-stained soldiers, rough and hard of heart, will roam among you with a free hand and conscience to mow down even your young virgins and flowering infants.]
What is it then to me, if impious war,   
Array’d in flames like to the prince of fiends,   
Do, with his smirch’d complexion, all fell [deadly] feats   
Enlink’d to waste and desolation?            20
What is ’t to me, when you yourselves are cause [the cause],   
If your pure maidens fall into the hand   
Of hot and forcing violation? 
[If your . . . violation: If your virginal young girls fall into the hands of rapists?] 
What rein can hold licentious wickedness   
When down the hill he holds his fierce career?            25
[What rein can hold back men bent on committing wicked deeds when they run down the hill?]
We may as bootless spend our vain command   
Upon the enraged soldiers in their spoil   
As send precepts to the leviathan   
To come ashore. Therefore, you men of Harfleur,   
[We may . . . ashore: Trying command such men to stay put would be as useless as trying to command a whale to come ashore.]
Take pity of [on] your town and of [on] your people,            30
Whiles yet my soldiers are in my command;   
Whiles yet the cool and temperate wind of grace   
O’erblows the filthy and contagious clouds   
Of heady murder, spoil, and villany [villainy].   
If not, why, in a moment, look to see            35
The blind and bloody soldier with foul hand   
Defile the locks of your shrill-shrieking daughters;   
Your fathers taken by the silver beards,   
And their most reverend heads dash’d to the walls;   
Your naked infants spitted upon pikes,            40
Whiles the mad mothers with their howls confus’d   
Do break the clouds, as did the wives of Jewry   
At Herod’s bloody-hunting slaughtermen.   
[Herod's . . . slaughtermen: The Gospel of Matthew (2:1-23) says Herod I, King of Judea, ordered the massacre in Bethlehem of all boys aged two or younger after astrologers (magi) visiting him inquired about a boy born in Bethlehem who was to be the new king of the Jews.]
What say you? will you yield, and this avoid?   
Or, guilty in defence, be thus destroy’d?            45
GOVERNOR:  Our expectation hath this day an end.   
The Dauphin, whom of succour we entreated,   
Returns us that his powers are yet not ready   
To raise so great a siege. Therefore, great king,   
We yield our town and lives to thy soft mercy.            50
Enter our gates; dispose of us and ours;   
For we no longer are defensible.   
KING HENRY:  Open your gates! Come, uncle Exeter,   
Go you and enter Harfleur; there remain,   
And fortify it strongly ’gainst the French:            55
Use mercy to them all. For us, dear uncle,   
The winter coming on and sickness growing   
Upon our soldiers, we will retire to Calais.   
To-night in Harfleur will we be your guest;   
To-morrow for the march are we addrest.  [Flourish. KING HENRY and his train enter the town.            60

Act 3, Scene 4

Rouen.  A room in the palace.
Enter KATHARINE and ALICE.
    
KATHARINE:  Alice, tu as eté en Angleterre, et tu parles bien le langage. [Alice, you have been in England, and you speak the language well.]  
ALICE:  Un peu, madame. [A little, madame.]  
KATHARINE:  Je te prie, m’enseignez; il faut que j’apprenne à parler. Comment appellez vous la main en Anglais?            5
[I pray you, teach me. I must learn to speak (English). What do you call the hand in English?]
ALICE:  La main? elle est appellée, de hand. [La main? It is called the hand. (Alice pronounces "the" as "de.")] 
KATHARINE:  De hand. Et les doigts? [The hand. And les doigts (the fingers)?]  
ALICE:  Les doigts? ma foi, je oublie les doigts; mais je me souviendray. Les doigts? je pense qu’ils sont appellés de fingres; oui, de fingres.   
[Les doight? My faith, I forget what they are called. But I will remember. Les doigts? I think they are called the fingers; yes, the fingers.]
KATHARINE:  La main, de hand; les doigts, de fingres. Je pense que je suis le bon écolier. J’ai gagné deux mots d’Anglais vitement. Comment appellez vous les ongles? 
[La main, the hand; les doigts, the fingers. I think I am a good student. I have
learned two words of English quickly. What do you call les ongles?]                           10
ALICE:  Les ongles? nous les appellons, de nails.  [Les ongles? We call them the nails.]         
KATHARINE:  De nails. Ècoutez; dites moi, si je parle bien: de hands, de fingres, et de nails.   
The nails. Listen. Tell me if I speak correctly: the hands, the fingers, and the nails.
ALICE:  C’est bien dit, madame; il est fort bon Anglais.   
[It is well spoken, madame; it is very good English].
KATHARINE:  Dites moi l’Anglais pour le bras. [Tell me English for le bras.]  
ALICE:  De arm, madame. [The arm, madame.]  
KATHARINE:  Et le coude? [And le coude?]           15
ALICE:  De elbow. [The elbow.]   
KATHARINE:  De elbow. Je m’en fais la répétition de tous les mots que vous m’avez appris dès à présent.   
[The elbow. I am now going to repeat all the words you have taught me up to now.]
ALICE:  Il est trop difficile, madame, comme je pense. [It is very difficult, madame, in my opinion.]  
KATHARINE:  Excusez moi, Alice; ecoutez: de hand, de fingres, de nails, de arma, de bilbow.   
[Excuse me, Alice; listen: the hand, the fingers, the nails, the arma, the bilbow.]
ALICE:  De elbow, madame.  [The elbow, madame.]          20
KATHARINE:  O Seigneur Dieu! je m’en oublie; de elbow. Comment appellez vous le col? 
O Lord God! I forgot it; the elbow. How do you say le cou? 
ALICE:  De nick, madame. [The nick (neck), madame.]  
KATHARINE:  De nick. Et le menton? [The nick (neck). And le menton?]   
ALICE:  De chin. [The chin.]  
KATHARINE:  De sin. Le cou, de nick: le menton, de sin.  [The sin (chin). Le cou, the nick (neck): le menton, the sin (chin)].           25
ALICE:  Oui. Sauf votre honneur, en vérité vous prononcez les mots aussi droict que les natifs d’ Angleterre.   
[Yes. And truly, your highness, you pronounce the words as correctly as a native of England.]
KATHARINE:  Je ne doute point d’apprendre par la grace de Dieu, et en peu de temps.   
[I don't doubt that I will learn (English) by the grace of God, and in a short time.]
ALICE:  N’avez vous déjà oublié ce que je vous ai enseigné? 
Have you forgotten anything that I just taught you? 
KATHARINE:  Non, je reciteray à vous promptement. De hand, de fingre, de mails,—   
[No, I will recite for you now. The hand, the finger, the mails—]
ALICE:  De nails, madame. [The nails, madame.]           30
KATHARINE:  De nails, de arme, de ilbow. [The nails, the arme, the ilbow.]  
ALICE:  Sauf votre honneur, d’elbow. [Correct, your highness, except for the elbow.] 
KATHARINE:  Ainsi dis-je; d’elbow, de nick, et de sin. Comment appellez vous le pied et la robe?   
[That's how I said it; d'elbow, the nick (neck), and the sin (chin). How do you say le pied and la robe?]
ALICE:  De foot, madame; et de coun. [The foot, madame; and the coun. ("Coun" is Alice's pronunciation for "gown.")]  
KATHARINE:  De foot, et de coun? O Seigneur Dieu! ces sont mots de son mauvais, corruptible, gros, et impudique, et non pour les dames d’honneur d’user. Je ne voudrais prononcer ces mots devant les seigneurs de France, pour tout le monde. Foh! le foot, et le coun. Néanmoins je reciterai une autre fois ma leçon ensemble: de hand, de fingre, de nails, d’arm, d’elbow, de nick, de sin, de foot, de coun.            35
[The foot, and the coun [gown]? O Lord God! These sound like bad words: depraved, vulgar, shameful, and not for honorable women to use. I would not want to pronounce these words in front of the lords of France for all the world. Bah! the foot, and the coun (gown). Nevertheless, I will recite one more time my entire lesson: the hand, the finger, the nails, the arm, the elbow, the nick (neck), the sin (chin), the foot, the coun (gown).
ALICE:  Excellent, madame!   
KATHARINE:  C’est assez pour une fois: allons nous à diner.  [Exeunt.   
[That's enough for now. Let's go to dinner.]

Act 3, Scene 5

Rouen.  Another room in the palace.
Enter the FRENCH KING, the DAUPHIN, DUKE OF BOURBON, the CONSTABLE OF FRANCE, and Others.
   
FRENCH KING:  ’Tis certain, he [King Henry] hath pass’d the river Somme [river in northwestern France].   
CONSTABLE:  And if he be not fought withal, my lord,   
Let us not live in France; let us quit all,            5
And give our vineyards to a barbarous people. 
[And if . . . people: And if no one confronts him in battle, we should leave France and give up everything, including our vineyards, to the barbarous English.] 
DAUPHIN:  O Dieu vivant! shall a few sprays of us,   
The emptying of our fathers’ luxury,   
Our scions, put in wild and savage stock,   
Spirt up so suddenly into the clouds,            10
And overlook their grafters?   
[O Dieu . . . grafters: O living God! Is it possible that a few English descendants of Frenchmen—the wild and savage children of French fathers—can rise up so suddenly against us? (The dauphin is referring to the offspring of William the Conqueror and his men. William, a Norman duke, conquered England in 1066 and ascended the English throne as William I.]
BOURBON:  Normans, but bastard Normans, Norman bastards! [Bourbon is alluding to the fact that William of Normandy was the bastard son of Robert I of Normandy and his mistress.] 
Mort de ma vie! if they march along   
Unfought withal, but I will sell my dukedom,   
To buy a slobbery and a dirty farm            15
In that nook-shotten isle of Albion.   
[Mort . . . farm: The death of me! If they march along unopposed, I will sell my dukedom and buy a dirt farm (farm operated without hired help).
[nook-shotten: Having nooks and crannies, as a cliff along a seacoast.]
[Albion: Archaic name for England.]
CONSTABLE:  Dieu de battailes! where have they this mettle? [God of battles! Where do they get their strength and determination?]   
Is not their climate foggy, raw, and dull,   
On whom, as in despite [as if to spite them], the sun looks pale,   
Killing their fruit with frowns? Can sodden water,            20
A drench for sur-rein’d jades, their barley-broth,   
Decoct their cold blood to such valiant heat?   
[Can sodden . . . heat: How can they heat up their blood with the thin beer they drink, which is no better than the medicine given to overworked horses?]
And shall our quick blood, spirited with wine,   
Seem frosty? O! for honour of our land,   
Let us not hang like roping icicles            25
Upon our houses’ thatch, whiles a more frosty people   
Sweat drops of gallant youth in our rich fields;   
[And . . . fields: And shall our coursing blood, energized with wine, seem cold? Oh, for the honor of our land, let us not hang like icicles from thatched roofs while a so-called frosty people sweat drops of brave youth on our rich fields.]
Poor we may call them in their native lords.   
[Poor . . . lords: But what good are rich fields if the lords who own them protect them poorly?]
DAUPHIN:  By faith and honour,   
Our madams mock at us, and plainly say            30
Our mettle [spirit; courage; strength]  is bred out; and they will give   
Their bodies to the lust of English youth   
To new-store [replenish] France with bastard warriors.   
BOURBON:  They bid us to the English dancing-schools,   
And teach lavoltas high and swift corantos;            35
[lavolta: Dance with a turn and a lift]
[Coranto, or courante: Dance with approaches and retreats]
Saying our grace is only in our heels,   
And that we are most lofty runaways.   
[Saying . . . runaways: They say our only talent is in our feet and that we are good at running away.]
FRENCH 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            40
More sharper than your swords, hie to the field:   
Charles Delabreth, High Constable of France;   
You Dukes of Orleans, Bourbon, and Berri,   
Alençon, Brabant, Bar, and Burgundy;   
Jaques Chatillon, Rambures, Vaudemont,            45
Beaumont, Grandpré, Roussi, and Fauconberg,   
Foix, Lestrale, Bouciqualt, and Charolois;   
High dukes, great princes, barons, lords, and knights,   
For your great seats now quit you of great shames.
[For . . . shames: Put this talk of shame behind you and go fight for your positions of power.]  
Bar Harry England, that sweeps through our land            50
With pennons [narrow banner attached to a lance] painted in the blood of Harfleur:   
Rush on his host, as doth the melted snow   
Upon the valleys, whose low vassal seat   
The Alps doth spit and void his rheum upon:   
[Rush . . . upon: Rush on his army the way melted mountain snow rushes on valleys. Be the Alps spitting mucus on the lowly English.]
Go down upon him, you have power enough.            55
And in a captive chariot into Rouen  
Bring him our prisoner.   
[Go down . . . prisoner: Descend upon him and transport him to us here in Rouen as our captive.]
CONSTABLE:  This becomes the great. [This is an order worthy of the great men of France to carry out.]   
Sorry am I his numbers are so few,   
His soldiers sick and famish’d in their march,            60
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. [And he'll offer us a large ransom to avoid annihilation.]  
FRENCH KING:  Therefore, lord constable, haste on Montjoy,   
And let him say to England that we send            65
To know what willing ransom he will give.   
Prince Dauphin, you shall stay with us in Rouen.   
DAUPHIN:  Not so, I do beseech your majesty.   
FRENCH KING:  Be patient, for you shall remain with us.   
Now forth, lord constable and princes all,            70
And quickly bring us word of England’s fall.  [Exeunt.   

Act 3, Scene 6

The English camp in Picardy.
Enter GOWER and FLUELLEN.
   
GOWER:  How now, Captain Fluellen! come you from the bridge?   
FLUELLEN:  I assure you, there is very excellent services committed at the pridge. [I assure you, the men are doing a good job at the bridge]  
GOWER:  Is the Duke of Exeter safe?            5
FLUELLEN:  The Duke of Exeter is as magnanimous as Agamemnon [leader of the Greek armies during the Trojan War]; 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 plessed [blessed]!—any hurt in the world; but keeps the pridge [bridge] most valiantly, with excellent discipline. There is an aunchient lieutenant there at the pridge [there is a flag bearer there at the bridge], I think, in my very conscience, he is as valiant a man as Mark Antony [Roman general and friend of Julius Caesar]; and he is a man of no estimation [little esteemed] in the world; but I did see him do as gallant service.   
GOWER:  What do you call him?   
FLUELLEN:  He is called Aunchient Pistol [Ensign Pistol].   
GOWER:  I know him not.   
 
Enter PISTOL.                 10

FLUELLEN:  Here is the man.   
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,            15
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,—   
[Bardolph . . . stone: Bardolph, a good soldier of stout valor, has, by cruel fate and by a turn of the wheel of fortune of the frivolous goddess of luck and chance, Fortuna, who is often depicted as wearing a blindfold and standing on a rolling stone—]
FLUELLEN:  By your patience, Aunchient Pistol [Ensign Pistol]. Fortune is painted plind [blind], with a muffler afore her eyes, 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 mutability [changeable], and variation [unpredictable]: 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 it: Fortune is an excellent moral.            20
PISTOL:  Fortune is Bardolph’s foe, and frowns on him;   
For he hath stol’n a pax, and hanged must a’ [he] be,  
[pax: Metal or ivory plate usually inscribed with a religious image. In the Roman Catholic Eucharistic celebration (the mass), it was used to convey the kiss of peace. First, the priest kissed it. Then members of the congregation kissed it.]
A damned death!   
Let gallows gape for dog, let man go free  
And let not hemp [the hemp rope] his wind-pipe suffocate.            25
But Exeter hath given the doom of death   
For pax of little price.   
Therefore, go speak; the duke will hear thy voice;   
And let not Bardolph’s vital thread [windpipe] be cut   
With edge of penny cord [cheap rope] and vile reproach:            30
Speak, captain, for his life, and I will thee requite [will pay you].   
FLUELLEN:  Aunchient [Ensign] 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 him to execution; for discipline ought to be used.   
PISTOL:  Die and be damn’d; and figo for thy friendship!            35
[figo: Gesture of contempt in which the thumb is thrust through the index finger and the middle finger; this gesture has the same meaning as the upthrust of the middle finger.]
FLUELLEN:  It is well.   
PISTOL:  The fig of Spain!  [Gesture similar to a figo] [Exit.   
FLUELLEN:  Very good.   
GOWER:  Why, this is an arrant [complete; thoroughgoing] counterfeit rascal: I remember him now; a bawd, a cutpurse [pickpocket].   
FLUELLEN:  I’ll assure you a’ [he] uttered as prave [brave] words at the pridge [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 [What he has spoken to me, that's all right. I guarantee you that when the time is right—]            40
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, 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, 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 else you may be marvellously mistook.   
[Why, 'tis . . . mistook: Why, he's a trickster, a fool, a rogue that now and then goes to war just so he can brag about being in the thick of battle when he returns to London. Fellows like him memorize the names of all the great commanders and the details of great battles fought before bridges, gates, and other combat sites—even though they themselves stood back from the action. They can tell you who was brave, who was shot, who was disgraced, and the terms the enemy proposed. They know how to speak about war in the proper terminology, using words that excite people. They can describe a general's beard or a soldier's uniform in a way that wakes up sleepy drunks. If you learn how to recognize such fakers, you won't be duped by them.]
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.  [Drum heard.]  Hark you, the king is coming; and I must speak with him from the pridge [and I must speak with him about the bridge].   
 
Enter KING HENRY, GLOUCESTER, and Soldiers.
   
FLUELLEN:  God pless your majesty!   
KING HENRY:  How now, Fluellen! cam’st thou from the bridge?            45
FLUELLEN:  Ay, so please your majesty. The Duke of Exeter hath very gallantly maintained the pridge [bridge]: the French is gone off, look you, and there is gallant and most prave passages [and there have been gallant and brave deeds]. 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.   
[Marry . . . retire: By the Virgin Mary, the adversary had possession of the bridge but was forced to retire.]
KING HENRY:  What men have you lost, Fluellen?   
FLUELLEN:  The perdition of th’ athversary hath been very great, 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 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 a coal of fire, sometimes plue and sometimes red; but his nose is executed, and his fire’s out.
[The perdition . . . fire's out: The enemy's losses have been very great. But, by the Virgin Mary, the duke hasn't lost a single man except for one that is likely to be executed for robbing a church. Maybe you know the man. His name is Bardolph. His face is full of red spots and pimples and knobs and fiery inflammation. His lips blow at his nose, which is like a glowing coal, sometimes blue and sometimes red. But he's singled out for execution.]  
KING HENRY:  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 [stolen] from the villages, nothing taken but paid for, none of the French upbraided or abused in disdainful language; for when lenity [mercy] and cruelty play for a kingdom, the gentler gamester is the soonest winner.   
 
Tucket.  Enter MONTJOY.             50
[Tucket: Trumpet fanfare.]

MONTJOY:  You know me by my habit. [You know me by my clothing.]  
KING HENRY:  Well then I know thee: what shall I know of thee?   
MONTJOY:  My master’s mind.   
KING HENRY:  Unfold it.   
MONTJOY:  Thus says my king: Say thou to Harry of England: Though we seemed dead, we did but sleep: advantage is a better soldier than rashness.
[Though . . . rashness]: Though we seemed defeated, we were only holding back. Biding one's time to gain an advantage is better than acting rashly.] Tell him, we could have rebuked him at Harfleur, but that we thought not good to bruise an injury [to open a wound] till it were full ripe [until it is swollen with pus]: now we speak upon our cue, and our voice is imperial: England shall repent his folly, see his weakness, and admire our sufferance.
[England shall regret his folly, recognize his weakness, and admire us for our delaying tactics.]  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. [Ask him therefore to consider the amount of ransom he is willing to pay to escape our wrath. This payment must be in proportion to the losses we have borne, the subjects we have lost, and the disgrace we have suffered.]
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. [But he doesn't have enough money to compensate us for our losses. Even his entire kingdom is not enough to pay us for the blood we have shed. And if Henry came and knelt at my feet, that would be a worthless satisfaction for the disgrace we suffered].  To this add defiance: and tell him, for conclusion, he hath betrayed his followers, whose condemnation [death sentence] is pronounced. So far my king and master, so much my office. [That is the message of my king and master, so my duty is done.]           55
KING HENRY:  What is thy name? I know thy quality.   
MONTJOY:  Montjoy.   
KING HENRY:  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            60
Without impeachment [without encountering resistance]; for, to say the sooth [truth],—   
Though ’tis no wisdom to confess so much   
Unto an enemy of craft and vantage,—   
[Though . . . vantage: Though it's unwise to confess so much information to a clever enemy in an advantageous position—
My people are with sickness much enfeebled,   
My numbers lessen’d, and those few I have            65
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. Yet, forgive me, God,   
[one pair . . . Frenchmen: One healthy Englishman was as good as three Frenchmen.]
That I do brag thus! this your air of France            70
Hath blown that vice in me; I must repent.   
Go therefore, tell thy master here I am:   
My ransom is this [my] frail and worthless trunk [body],   
My army but a weak and sickly guard;   
Yet, God before, tell him we will come on,            75
Though France himself 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            80
Discolour: 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.            85
[We would . . . shun it: We are not seeking a fight in our present sickly condition; nor, as we are, we say we would not shun a fight.]
MONTJOY:  I shall deliver so. Thanks to your highness.  [Exit.   
GLOUCESTER:  I hope they will not come upon us now.   
KING HENRY:  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,            90
And on to-morrow bid them march away.  [Exeunt.   

Act 3, Scene 7

The French camp, near Agincourt.
Enter the CONSTABLE OF FRANCE, the LORD RAMBURES, the DUKE OF ORLEANS, the DAUPHIN, and Others.
   
CONSTABLE:  Tut! I have the best armour of the world. Would it were day!    
ORLÈANS:  You have an excellent armour; but let my horse have his due.    
CONSTABLE:  It is the best horse of Europe.            5
ORLÈANS:  Will it never be morning?    
DAUPHIN:  My Lord of Orleans, and my lord high constable, you talk of horse and armour—    
ORLÈANS:  You are as well provided of both as any prince in the world.    
DAUPHIN:  What a long night is this! I will not change my horse with any that treads but on four pasterns [the part of a horse's leg between the hoof and fetlock. The dauphin is saying that he would not trade his horse for any other horse on four legs].
Çà, ha! He bounds from the earth as if his entrails were hairs: le cheval volant, the Pegasus, qui a les narines de feu! When I bestride him, I soar, I am a hawk: he trots the air; the earth sings when he touches it; the basest horn of his hoof is more musical than the pipe of Hermes.   
[Çà . . . soar: He goes from here to there in an instant. He jumps from the earth as if he were as light as a feather: a flying horse, like Pegasus, breathing fire from his nostrils. When I ride him, I soar like a hawk. He walks on air. The earth sings when he touches it. The sound of his hoof is more musical than the flute of Hermes.]
[Pegasus: In Greek mythology, a winged horse ridden by Bellerophon, a hero who slew a fire-breathing monster. In later times, writers associated the horse with a hero named Perseus, who slew a monster so ugly that its glance turned men to stone.]
[Hermes: In Greek mythology, the messenger god. His Roman name was Mercury.]
ORLÈANS:  He’s of the colour of the nutmeg.            10
DAUPHIN:  And of the heat of the ginger. It is a beast for Perseus: he is pure air and fire; and the dull elements of earth and water never appear in him but only in patient stillness while his rider mounts him: he is indeed a horse; and all other jades you may call beasts.    
CONSTABLE:  Indeed, my lord, it is a most absolute and excellent horse.    
DAUPHIN:  It is the prince of palfreys [horse with a smooth gait]; his neigh is like the bidding of a monarch and his countenance enforces homage.    
ORLÈANS:  No more, cousin.    
DAUPHIN:  Nay, the man hath no wit that cannot, from the rising of the lark to the lodging of the lamb [from dawn to dusk], vary deserved praise [lavish praise] on my palfrey: it is a theme as fluent as the sea [a subject deserving an endless flow of words]; turn the sands into eloquent tongues, and my horse is argument [a subject] for them all. ’Tis a subject for a sovereign to reason on, and for a sovereign’s sovereign to ride on; and for the world—familiar to us, and unknown—to lay apart their particular functions and wonder at him. I once writ a sonnet in his praise and began thus: ‘Wonder of nature!’—            15
ORLÈANS:  I have heard a sonnet begin so to one’s mistress.    
DAUPHIN:  Then did they imitate that which I composed to my courser; for my horse is my mistress.    
ORLÈANS:  Your mistress bears well [You can ride well on your mistress].    
DAUPHIN:  Me well; which is the prescript [right] praise and perfection of a good and particular mistress.    
CONSTABLE:  Ma foi [In faith], methought yesterday your mistress shrewdly shook your back.            20
DAUPHIN:  So perhaps did yours.    
CONSTABLE:  Mine was not bridled.    
DAUPHIN:  O! then belike [probably] she was old and gentle; and you rode, like a kern [foot soldier] of Ireland, your French hose off and in your straight strossers [underwear].    
CONSTABLE:  You have good judgment in horsemanship.    
DAUPHIN:  Be warned by me, then: they that ride so, and ride not warily [carefully], fall into foul bogs [fall into scandalous situations]. I had rather have my horse to my mistress.            25
CONSTABLE:  I had as lief [gladly] have my mistress a jade.    
DAUPHIN:  I tell thee, constable, my mistress wears his own hair. [My mistress doesn't wear a wig.]  
CONSTABLE:  I could make as true a boast as that [I could say the same thing as that] if I had a sow to my mistress.   
DAUPHIN:  Le chien est retourné à son propre vomissement, et la truie lavée au bourbier: thou makest use of any thing.   
[Le chien . . . bourbier: The dog goes back to its vomit, and the washed sow to the mud. You would use anything for a mistress.]
CONSTABLE:  Yet do I not use my horse for my mistress: or any such proverb so little kin to the purpose.            30
[But I don't use my horse for my mistress, which has nothing to do with the subject at hand.
RAMBURES:  My lord constable, the armour that I saw in your tent to-night, are those stars or suns upon it?    
CONSTABLE:  Stars, my lord.    
DAUPHIN:  Some of them will fall to-morrow, I hope.    
CONSTABLE:  And yet my sky shall not want.    
DAUPHIN:  That may be, for you bear a many superfluously, and ’twere more honour some were away.            35
[for . . . away: For you have too many stars on your armor; you should remove some of them.] 
CONSTABLE:  Even as your horse bears your praises; who would trot as well were some of your brags dismounted.  
[Even . . . dismounted: Just as your horse bears so many decorations praising you. He would trot just as well if you removed some of them.]
DAUPHIN:  Would I were able to load him with his desert! Will it never be day? I will trot to-morrow a mile, and my way shall be paved with English faces.   
[Would . . . faces: I wish I could load him with more praises! Will day ever come? I will ride a mile tomorrow, leaving dead Englishman in my wake.]
CONSTABLE:  I will not say so for fear I should be faced out of my way. But I would it were morning, for I would fain be about the ears of the English.   
[I will . . . way: I will not make such a boast, for I would have so many of your dead Englishmen to jump over.]
RAMBURES:  Who will go to hazard with me for twenty prisoners? [Let's roll dice for twenty prisoners.]   
CONSTABLE:  You must first go yourself to hazard, ere you have them. [You'll first have to capture twenty prisoners before you can bet them.]           40
DAUPHIN:  ’Tis midnight: I’ll go arm myself.  [Exit.    
ORLÈANS:  The Dauphin longs for morning.    
RAMBURES:  He longs to eat the English.    
CONSTABLE:  I think he will eat all he kills. [He will eat everyone he kills, which is to say no one.]  
ORLÈANS:  By the white hand of my lady, he’s a gallant prince.            45
CONSTABLE:  Swear by her foot, that she may tread out the oath [Swear by her foot, so she can walk on the oath and wear it away].    
ORLÈANS:  He is simply the most active gentleman of France.    
CONSTABLE:  Doing is activity, and he will still be doing. [That's because he's an actor who's always performing for the crowd.]   
ORLÈANS:  He never did harm, that I heard of.    
CONSTABLE:  Nor will do none to-morrow: he will keep that good name still.            50
ORLÈANS:  I know him to be valiant.    
CONSTABLE:  I was told that by one that knows him better than you.    
ORLÈANS:  What’s he?    
CONSTABLE:  Marry [by the Virgin Mary], he told me so himself; and he said he cared not who knew it.    
ORLÈANS:  He needs not; it is no hidden virtue in him.            55
CONSTABLE:  By my faith, sir, but it is [is hidden]; never any body saw it but his lackey [servant]: ’tis a hooded valour; and when it appears, it will bate [shrink].    
ORLÈANS:  ‘Ill will never said well.’ [Orlèans is quoting a proverb.]  
CONSTABLE:  I will cap [top] that proverb with ‘There is flattery in friendship.’    
ORLÈANS:  And I will take up that with ‘Give the devil his due.’    
CONSTABLE:  Well placed: there stands your friend for the devil: have at the very eye of that proverb, with ‘A pox of the devil’ [damn the devil].           60
ORLÈANS:  You are the better at proverbs, by how much ‘A fool’s bolt is soon shot.’ 
[You . . . shot: You are better at proverbs than I am. Here's how much better: "A fool is too quick to shoot his arrow—and overshoots the mark."] 
CONSTABLE:  You have shot over.    
ORLÈANS:  ’Tis not the first time you were overshot.    
 
Enter a Messenger.
   
MESSENGER:  My lord high constable, the English lie within fifteen hundred paces of your tents.            65
CONSTABLE:  Who hath measured the ground?    
MESSENGER:  The Lord Grandpré.    
CONSTABLE:  A valiant and most expert gentleman. Would it were day! Alas! poor Harry of England, he longs not for the dawning as we do.    
ORLÈANS:  What a wretched and peevish fellow is this King of England, to mope with his fatbrained followers so far out of his knowledge!
[to mope . . . knowledge: To plod along with his fatbrained troops in a military campaign beyond his capability to manage.]  
CONSTABLE:  If the English had any apprehension they would run away.            70
ORLÈANS:  That they lack; for if their heads had any intellectual armour [had any brains] they could never wear such heavy head-pieces [could never be so stupid].    
RAMBURES:  That island of England breeds very valiant creatures: their mastiffs are of unmatchable courage.    
ORLÈANS:  Foolish curs! that run winking into the mouth of a Russian bear and have their heads crushed like rotten apples. You may as well say that’s a valiant flea that dare eat his breakfast on the lip of a lion.    
CONSTABLE:  Just, just; and the men do sympathize with the mastiffs in robustious and rough coming on, leaving their wits with their wives: and then give them great meals of beef and iron and steel, they will eat like wolves and fight like devils.
[Just . . . devils: That's right. And the Englishmen act just like their dogs, howling and charging on, leaving their wits with their wives. If you give them big meals of beef and outfit them with iron and steel, they will eat like wolves and fight like devils.]    
ORLÈANS:  Ay, but these English are shrewdly out of beef.            75
CONSTABLE:  Then shall we find to-morrow they have only stomachs to eat and none to fight. Now is it time to arm; come, shall we about it?    
ORLÈANS:  It is now two o’clock: but, let me see, by ten    
We shall have each [captured] a hundred Englishmen.  [Exeunt.

Act 4, Prologue.

Enter Chorus.

Now entertain conjecture of a time   
When creeping murmur and the poring dark   
Fills the wide vessel of the universe.   
From camp to camp, through the foul womb of night,            5
The hum of either army stilly sounds,   
That the fix’d sentinels almost receive   
The secret whispers of each other’s watch:   
[The hum . . . watch: The sounds of both armies diminish to a point that the sentinels of one army think they can hear the sentinels of the other army whispering secrets to one another.]
Fire answers fire, and through their paly flames   
Each battle sees the other’s umber’d face:            10
Steed threatens steed, in high and boastful neighs   
Piercing the night’s dull ear; and from the tents   
The armourers, accomplishing the knights,   
With busy hammers closing rivets up,   
Give dreadful note of preparation.            15
[Fire . . . preparation: Campfires on both sides allow each army to see the shadowy faces of the enemy. Horses on one side challenge the horses on the other side with boastful neighs piercing the air; and from the tents the blacksmiths tap their hammers to close up the armor that will shield the knights. These sounds dreadfully forecast the coming of the battle.]
The country cocks do crow, the clocks do toll,   
And the third hour of drowsy morning name.   
Proud of their numbers, and secure in soul,   
The confident and over-lusty French   
Do the low-rated English play at dice;            20
And chide the cripple tardy-gaited night   
Who, like a foul and ugly witch, doth limp   
So tediously away. The poor condemned English,   
[The confident . . . tediously away: The confident and overanxious French throw dice, betting on how many lowly Englishmen they will capture or kill. They scold the night for passing so slowly, like a cripple—or like an ugly witch that limps away ever so slowly.]
Like sacrifices, by their watchful fires   
Sit patiently, and inly ruminate [fret over; think deeply about]           25
The morning’s danger, and their gesture sad   
Investing lank-lean cheeks and war-worn coats   
Presenteth them unto the gazing moon   
So many horrid ghosts. O! now, who will behold  
The royal captain of this ruin’d band            30
Walking from watch to watch, from tent to tent,   
Let him cry ‘Praise and glory on his head!’   
[and their . . . head: And their sadness, their sunken cheeks, and their war-torn coats make them look like so many horrid ghosts in the moonlight. Whoever comes upon the leader (Henry V) of this ruined army should cry out, "Praise and glory on his head!"]
For forth he goes and visits all his host [men; troops],   
Bids them good morrow with a modest smile,   
And calls them brothers, friends, and countrymen.            35
Upon his royal face there is no note [sign of]  
How dread an army hath enrounded [surrounded] him;   
Nor doth he dedicate one jot of colour   
Unto the weary and all-watched night:
[Nor . . . night: Nor does his face lose one jot of color to the weary vigil he keeps through the night.]  
But freshly looks and overbears attaint            40
With cheerful semblance and sweet majesty;   
[But . . . majesty: In fact, he looks fresh, overcoming his weariness with a cheerful face and a sweetly majestic manner.]
That every wretch, pining and pale before,   
Beholding him, plucks comfort from his looks.   
A largess universal, like the sun   
His liberal eye doth give to every one,            45
Thawing cold fear. Then mean and gentle all,   
Behold, as may unworthiness define,   
A little touch of Harry in the night.   
[A largess . . . night: His great generosity is evident in the way that he looks at all the soldiers, like the sun; his gaze thaws their cold fear. Then the lowborn and the highborn—the commoners and the nobles—are uplifted by a little touch of King Henry in the night.]
And so our scene must to the battle fly;   
Where,—O for pity,—we shall much disgrace,            50
With four or five most vile and ragged foils,   
Right ill dispos’d in brawl ridiculous,   
The name of Agincourt. Yet sit and see;   
Minding true things by what their mockeries be.  [Exit.  
[And so . . . mockeries be: And so we move our scene to the Battle of Agincourt, which we will represent on this stage—O for pity—with just four or five men fighting with fencing swords with blunted tips. But sit and watch, imagining that what you see is a real battle with thousands of combatants.]

Act 4, Scene 1

The English Camp at Agincourt.
Enter KING HENRY, BEDFORD, and GLOUCESTER.
   
KING HENRY:  Gloucester, ’tis true that we are in great danger;   
The greater therefore should our courage be.   
Good morrow, brother Bedford. God Almighty!            5
There is some soul of goodness in things evil,   
Would men observingly distill it out;   
For our bad neighbour makes us early stirrers,   
Which is both healthful, and good husbandry:
[There . . . husbandry: In this case, the goodness comes from our bad French neighbors, for they make us early risers. Getting up early is healthful and helps us get ready for the tasks ahead.]
Besides, they are our outward consciences,            10
And preachers to us all; admonishing   
That we should dress us fairly for our end.  
[Besides, their presence across the battlefield warns us that we should prepare our souls for death.]
Thus may we gather honey from the weed,   
And make a moral of the devil himself.   
 
Enter ERPINGHAM.            15

Good morrow, old Sir Thomas Erpingham:   
A good soft pillow for that good white head   
Were better than a churlish turf of France [would be better than the rough ground of France].    
ERPINGHAM:  Not so, my liege: this lodging likes me better,   
Since I may say, ‘Now lie I like a king.’            20
[Not so . . . king: Not so, my lord: Using the battlefield as a bed enables me to say that I slept like a king, since you slept on it too.]
KING HENRY:  ’Tis good for men to love their present pains   
Upon example; so the spirit is eas’d:   
['Tis . . . eas'd: It's good for me to set an example that helps the soldiers love their pains and ease their anxious spirits.]
And when the mind is quicken’d, out of doubt,   
The organs, though defunct and dead before,   
Break up their drowsy grave, and newly move            25
With casted slough and fresh legerity.   
[And when . . . legerity: And when the mind throws off doubt and comes alive, the body's organs—though defunct and dead before—rise from their graves, cast off their lethargy, and go to work with new vigor.]
Lend me thy cloak, Sir Thomas. Brothers both,   
Commend me to the princes in our camp;   
Do my good morrow to them; and anon   
Desire them all to my pavilion.            30
[Brothers both . . . pavilion: Both of you men, greet the princes of our camp on my behalf. Say good morning to them and then tell them to come to my tent.]
GLOUCESTER:  We shall, my liege [lord].  [Exeunt GLOUCESTER and BEDFORD.   
ERPINGHAM:  Shall I attend your Grace?   
KING HENRY:  No, my good knight;   
Go with my brothers to my lords of England:   
I and my bosom must debate awhile,            35
And then I would no other company.   
[I and . . . company: I must be alone for a while to think things over.]
ERPINGHAM:  The Lord in heaven bless thee, noble Harry!  [Exit.   
KING HENRY:  God-a-mercy, old heart! thou speak’st cheerfully.   

Enter PISTOL.
   
PISTOL:  Qui va là?  [Who goes there?]          40
KING HENRY:  A friend.   
PISTOL:  Discuss unto me; art thou officer?   
Or art thou base, common and popular? [Or are you a lowly commoner?]   
KING HENRY:  I am a gentleman of a company.   
PISTOL:  Trail’st thou the puissant pike?  [Do you carry a deadly spear?]          45
KING HENRY:  Even so. What are you?   
PISTOL:  As good a gentleman as the emperor.   
KING HENRY:  Then you are a better than the king.   
PISTOL:  The king’s a bawcock [fine fellow], and a heart of gold,   
A lad of life [spirit], an imp of fame:            50
Of parents good, of fist most valiant:   
I kiss his dirty shoe, and from my heart-string   
I love the lovely bully. What’s thy name?   
KING HENRY:  Harry le Roy. [The king is playfully substituting the name "le Roy" for "le roi" (French for "the king.")] 
PISTOL:  Le Roy! a Cornish name: art thou of Cornish crew?            55
KING HENRY:  No, I am a Welshman.   
PISTOL:  Know’st thou Fluellen?   
KING HENRY:  Yes.   
PISTOL:  Tell him, I’ll knock his leek [Welsh national emblem attached to Fluellen's cap] about his pate [head].
Upon Saint Davy’s day. [Saint David's Day, March 1. Saint David is the patron saint of Wales.]           60
KING HENRY:  Do not you wear your dagger in your cap that day, lest he knock that about yours [about your head].   
PISTOL:  Art thou his friend?   
KING HENRY:  And his kinsman too.   
PISTOL:  The figo for thee then!   
KING HENRY:  I thank you. God be with you!            65
PISTOL:  My name is Pistol called.  [Exit.   
KING HENRY:  It sorts well with your fierceness.  [Retires.   
 
Enter FLUELLEN and GOWER, severally.
   
GOWER:  Captain Fluellen!   

FLUELLEN:  So! in the name of Cheshu Christ, speak lower. It is the greatest admiration in the universal world, when the true and auncient prerogatifes and laws of the wars is not kept. If you would take the pains but to examine the wars of Pompey the Great, you shall find, I warrant you, that there is no tiddle-taddle nor pibble-pabble in Pompey’s camp; I warrant you, you shall find the ceremonies of the wars, and the cares of it, and the forms of it, and the sobriety of it, and the modesty of it, to be otherwise.            70
[So . . . otherwise: In Christ's name, don't talk so loud. It's a wonder to me why you don't abide by the true and ancient rules of war. If you would take the pains to study the wars of Pompey the Great [Roman general], I guarantee you shall discover that there was no loud talking in his camp. He observed all  the rules.
GOWER:  Why, the enemy is loud; you heard him all night.   
FLUELLEN:  If the enemy is an ass and a fool and a prating coxcomb [moron], is it meet, think you, that we should also, look you, be an ass and a fool and a prating coxcomb, in your own conscience now?   
GOWER:  I will speak lower.   
FLUELLEN:  I pray you and peseech [beseech] you that you will.  [Exeunt GOWER and FLUELLEN.   
KING HENRY:  Though it appear a little out of fashion,            75
There is much care and valour in this Welshman.   
 
Enter JOHN BATES, ALEXANDER COURT, and MICHAEL WILLIAMS.
   
COURT:  Brother John Bates, is not that the morning which breaks yonder?   
BATES:  I think it be; but we have no great cause to desire the approach of day.   
WILLIAMS:  We see yonder the beginning of the day, but I think we shall never see the end of it. Who goes there?            80
KING HENRY:  A friend.   
WILLIAMS:  Under what captain serve you?   
KING HENRY:  Under Sir Thomas Erpingham.   
WILLIAMS:  A good old commander and a most kind gentleman: I pray you, what thinks he of our estate?   
KING HENRY:  Even as men wracked upon a sand, that look to be washed off the next tide.            85
[Even . . . tide: We're like crewmen on a ship that ran aground, looking to be washed back to sea.]
BATES:  He hath not told his thought to the king?   
KING HENRY:  No; nor it is not meet he should. For, though I speak it to you, I think the king is but a man, as I am: the violet smells to him as it doth to me; the element [weather] shows to him as it doth to me; all his senses have but human conditions: his ceremonies [royal clothing] laid by, in his nakedness he appears but a man; and though his affections [feelings] are higher mounted than ours, yet when they stoop, they stoop with the like wing [when they sink, they sink very far]. Therefore when he sees reason of fears, as we do, his fears, out of doubt [about what will happen next], be of the same relish as ours are: yet, in reason, no man should possess him with any appearance of [should give him any reason to] fear, lest he, by showing it, should dishearten his army.   
BATES:  He may show what outward courage he will, but I believe, as cold a night as ’tis, he could wish himself [he wished he were] in [the] Thames up to the neck, and so I would he were, and I by him, at all adventures, so we were quit here.
[and so . . . here: And I'd like him to be there in the Thames with me next to him so we could be away from this dangerous battlefield.] 
KING HENRY:  By my troth, I will speak my conscience of the king: I think he would not wish himself any where but where he is.   
BATES:  Then I would he were here alone; so should he be sure to be ransomed, and a many poor men’s lives saved.            90
KING HENRY:  I dare say you love him not so ill to wish him here alone, howsoever you speak this to feel other men’s minds. Methinks I could not die any where so contented as in the king’s company, his cause being just and his quarrel honourable.  
[I dare . . . minds: I don't think you love him so little that you wish him to be here alone. Your words are meant to provoke others to speak their minds about the king and our situation]. 
WILLIAMS:  That’s more than we know.   
BATES:  Ay, or more than we should seek after; for we know enough if we know we are the king’s subjects. If his cause be wrong, our obedience to the king wipes the crime of it out of us.   
WILLIAMS:  But if the cause be not good, the king himself hath a heavy reckoning to make; when all those legs and arms and heads, chopped off in a battle, shall join together at the latter day [Judgment Day], and cry all, ‘We died at such a place;’ some swearing, some crying for a surgeon, some upon their wives left poor behind them, some upon the debts they owe, some upon their children rawly left. I am afeard there are few die well that die in a battle; for how can they charitably dispose of any thing when blood is their argument [for how can they justify their lives by ending other lives on the battlefield]? Now, if these men do not die well, it will be a black matter for the king that led them to it, whom to disobey were against all proportion of subjection.
[Now if . . . subjection: Now if our soldiers die with sin on their soul, the king will be responsible. After all, no soldier can disobey the order of a king.]
KING HENRY:  So, if a son that is by his father sent about merchandise do sinfully miscarry upon the sea, the imputation of his wickedness, by your rule, should be imposed upon his father that sent him: or if a servant, under his master’s command transporting a sum of money, be assailed by robbers and die in many irreconciled iniquities, you may call the business of the master the author of the servant’s damnation.
[So, if . . . damnation: So, if a son on a business mission for his father commits a sinful deed, his father should be held responsible, according to your logic. Or suppose a servant with sin on his soul is transporting money for his master when robbers attack and kill him. If the servant goes to hell for his sins, the master is responsible. That's what you're saying.]
But this is not so: the king is not bound to answer [answer for] the particular endings of his soldiers, the father of his son, nor the master of his servant; for they purpose [intend] not their death when they purpose [engage] their services. Besides, there is no king, be his cause never so spotless [no matter how worthy his cause], if it come to the arbitrement of swords, can try it out with all unspotted soldiers.
[Besides . . . soldiers: Besides, there is no king who can rely solely on sinless soldiers, no matter how worthy his cause, to carry out his orders.]
Some, peradventure [Some soldiers perhaps], have on them the guilt of premeditated and contrived murder; some, of beguiling virgins with the broken seals of perjury [some, of seducing virgins with lies]; some, making the wars their bulwark, that have before gored the gentle bosom of peace with pillage and robbery [some, of committing robbery before going to war].
Now, if these men have defeated the law and outrun native punishment [if these men have broken the law and escaped punishment], though they can outstrip [flee from] men, they have no wings to fly from God: war is his beadle [war is God's judge and jury], war is his vengeance; so that here men are punished for before-breach of the king’s laws in now the king’s quarrel [so that in war men are punished for previously breaking the king's law]:
where they feared the death they have borne life away [when they feared the death penalty for their crimes, they ran away to war], and where they would be safe they perish [and when they thought they were safe as members of an army, they died]. Then, if they die unprovided [if they die unrepentant and unpunished], no more is the king guilty of their damnation than he was before guilty of those impieties [sins] for the which they are now visited [damned for]. Every subject’s duty is the king’s [has a duty to the king]; but every subject’s soul is his own. Therefore should every soldier in the wars do as every sick man in his bed, wash every mote [stain of sin] out of his conscience; and dying so, death is to him advantage [death is an advantage to him because he is ready for heaven]; or not dying, the time was blessedly lost wherein such preparation was gained [was blessedly spent preparing his soul for heaven]: and in him that escapes, it were not sin to think, that making God so free an offer, he let him outlive that day to see his greatness, and to teach others how they should prepare [and as for the repentant man who survives war, one may assume that God let him escape harm simply because he was repentant. That man then can teach others how important it is to prepare for death.]           95
WILLIAMS:  ’Tis certain, every man that dies ill, the ill [is] upon his own head: the king is not to answer it.   
BATES:  I do not desire he should answer for me; and yet I determine to fight lustily for him.   
KING HENRY:  I myself heard the king say he would not be ransomed.   
WILLIAMS:  Ay, he said so, to make us fight cheerfully [he said so just to make us fight willingly for him]; but when our throats are cut he may be ransomed, and we ne’er the wiser.   
KING HENRY:  If I live to see it, I will never trust his word after.            100
WILLIAMS:  You pay him then. That’s a perilous shot out of an elder-gun, that a poor and a private displeasure can do against a monarch. You may as well go about to turn the sun to ice with fanning in his face with a peacock’s feather. You’ll never trust his word after! come, ’tis a foolish saying.
[You pay . . . feather: What good is it to say you won't trust him again? That's just an idle threat. You're only an ordinary man; he's a king. You have about as much chance of getting him to notice you as you do of turning the sun into ice by fanning it with a peacock's feather.]
KING HENRY:  Your reproof is something too round [your rebuttal of what I said is unreasonable and unfair]; I should be angry with you if the time were convenient.   
WILLIAMS:  Let it be a quarrel between us, if you live.   
KING HENRY:  I embrace it.   
WILLIAMS:  How shall I know thee again?            105
KING HENRY:  Give me any gage [item] of thine, and I will wear it in my bonnet [hat]: then, if ever thou darest acknowledge it, I will make it my quarrel.   
WILLIAMS:  Here’s my glove: give me another of thine.   
KING HENRY:  There.   
WILLIAMS:  This will I also wear in my cap: if ever thou come to me and say after to-morrow, ‘This is my glove,’ by this hand I will take thee a box on the ear [I will box your ears].   
KING HENRY:  If ever I live to see it, I will challenge it.            110
WILLIAMS:  Thou darest as well be hanged.   
KING HENRY:  Well, I will do it, though I take thee in the king’s company. [I will do it even if you're in the king's company.]   
WILLIAMS:  Keep thy word: fare thee well.   
BATES:  Be friends, you English fools, be friends: we have French quarrels enow [enough], if you could tell how to reckon [count].   
KING HENRY:  Indeed, the French may lay [bet] twenty French crowns to one, they will beat us; for they bear them [the crowns of their heads] on their shoulders: but it is no English treason to cut French crowns, and to-morrow the king himself will be a clipper.  [Exeunt Soldiers.            115
Upon the king! let us our lives, our souls,   
Our debts, our careful wives,   
Our children, and our sins lay on the king!   
We must bear all. O hard condition!   
Twin-born with greatness, subject to the breath            120
Of every fool, whose sense no more can feel   
But his own wringing. What infinite heart’s ease   
Must kings neglect that private men enjoy!   
[Upon . . . wringing: They would make the king responsible for everything! Their lives, souls, debts, wives, children, and sins! I must bear everything! What a hard condition kings inherit at birth, making them subject to the criticism of fools who care only about their own problems.]
And what have kings that privates have not too,   
Save ceremony, save general ceremony?            125
And what art thou, thou idle ceremony?   
What kind of god art thou, that suffer’st more   
Of mortal griefs than do thy worshipers?   
[And . . . worshipers: And what do kings have that private citizens lack? Ceremonies, just ceremonies. And what is a ceremony, a god? What kind of god are you that suffer more griefs than your worshipers do?]
What are thy rents? what are thy comings-in?   
O ceremony! show me but thy worth:            130
What is thy soul of adoration?   
Art thou aught else but place, degree, and form,   
Creating awe and fear in other men?   
[What are . . . men: What are your rents and income? O, ceremony, show me your value. Tell me why people worship you. Are you anything other than a palatial setting for a solemn ritual that instills awe and fear in the king's subjects?]
Wherein thou art less happy, being fear’d,   
Than they in fearing.            135
What drink’st thou oft, instead of homage sweet,   
But poison’d flattery? O! be sick, great greatness,   
And bid thy ceremony give thee cure.   
Think’st thou the fiery fever will go out   
With titles blown from adulation?            140
[What . . . cure: Often, what a king must drink is poisoned flattery, not sweet homage. And if a king becomes sick, will ceremony cure him? Will royal titles and compliments diminish the fiery fever?]
Will it give place to flexure and low-bending?   
Canst thou, when thou command’st the beggar’s knee,   
Command the health of it? No, thou proud dream,   
That play’st so subtly with a king’s repose;   
[Will . . . repose: Will bending knees and curtseys cure the fever? Can a king heal the sickness of a beggar who kneels before him? No, a king lacks the power that he might dream about in his sleep.]
I am a king that find thee; and I know            145
[I am . . . know: I am a king that knows who you are, ceremony; and I know]
’Tis not the balm, the sceptre and the ball,   
The sword, the mace, the crown imperial,   
The intertissued robe of gold and pearl,   
The farced title running ’fore the king,   
The throne he sits on, nor the tide of pomp            150
That beats upon the high shore of this world,   
No, not all these, thrice-gorgeous ceremony,   
Not all these, laid in bed majestical,   
Can sleep so soundly as the wretched slave,   
Who with a body fill’d and vacant mind            155
Gets him to rest, cramm’d with distressful bread;   
[No, not all these symbols of royal power, gorgeous ceremony, can make a king sleep as soundly as a wretched slave who, with an empty mind and a body filled with bread, sleeps peacefully.]
Never sees horrid night, the child of hell,   
But, like a lackey, from the rise to set   
Sweats in the eye of Phœbus, and all night   
Sleeps in Elysium; next day after dawn,            160
Doth rise and help Hyperion to his horse,   
And follows so the ever-running year   
With profitable labour to his grave:   
[Never sees . . . grave: This wretch never has to stay up at night, which is the child of hell. Like a lackey, he goes through the day sweating under a hot sun but sleeps in paradise. The next day, he goes through the same routine—and the next day and the next, working and then sleeping soundly. Finally he goes to his grave.]
And, but for ceremony, such a wretch,   
Winding up days with toil and nights with sleep,            165
Had the fore-hand and vantage of a king.   
[And . . . king: And except for ceremony, such a wretch goes through his days of labor and restful sleep with more advantages than a king.]
The slave, a member of the country’s peace,   
Enjoys it; but in gross brain little wots   
What watch the king keeps to maintain the peace,   
Whose hours the peasant best advantages.            170
[The slave . . . advantages: This wretch enjoys all the benefits of peace. But in his simple brain, he does not know about the long and anxious vigil the king keeps to maintain the peace, which is a greater advantage to the subject than the ruler.]
 
Re-enter ERPINGHAM.
   
ERPINGHAM:  My lord, your nobles, jealous of your absence,   
Seek through your camp to find you.   
KING HENRY:  Good old knight,   
Collect them all together at my tent:            175
I’ll be before thee. [I'll be there in a short while.]  
ERPINGHAM:  I shall do ’t, my lord.  [Exit.   
KING HENRY:  O God of battles! steel my soldiers’ hearts;   
Possess them not with fear; take from them now   
The sense of reckoning, if the opposed numbers            180
Pluck their hearts from them. Not to-day, O Lord!   
[take from . . . them: Take from them the ability to count the great numbers of the soldiers opposing them so that they won't be afraid.]
O! not to-day, think not upon the fault   
My father [Henry IV] made in compassing [seizing] the crown [from King Richard II].   
I Richard’s body have interr’d [buried] anew,   
And on it have bestow’d more contrite tears            185
Than from it issu’d forced drops of blood.   
Five hundred poor I have in yearly pay,   
Who twice a day their wither’d hands hold up   
Toward heaven, to pardon blood [to pardon the guilt I feel for my father's crime against Richard]; and I have built   
Two chantries [chapels], where the sad and solemn priests            190
Sing still [continually] for Richard’s soul. More will I do;   
Though all that I can do is nothing worth [worth nothing],   
Since that my penitence comes after all,   
Imploring pardon. 
 
Re-enter GLOUCESTER.             195

GLOUCESTER:  My liege [lord]!   
KING HENRY:  My brother Gloucester’s voice! Ay;   
I know thy errand, I will go with thee:   
The day, my friends, and all things stay for me.  [Exeunt.
[The day . . . me: The day of battle has arrived, and everyone waits for me.]

Act 4, Scene 2

The French Camp.
Enter the DAUPHIN, ORLEANS, RAMBURES, and Others.
   
ORLÈANS:  The sun doth gild our armour: up, my lords!   
DAUPHIN:  Montez à cheval! [Mount your horses!] My horse! varlet! lacquais [lackey]! ha!   
ORLÈANS:  O brave spirit!            5
DAUPHIN:  Via! les eaux et la terre! [We'll go through the waters and the field.]  
ORLÈANS:  Rien puis? l’air et le feu. [Nothing more? What about air and fire?]  
DAUPHIN:  Ciel! [And heaven,] cousin Orleans.   
 
Enter CONSTABLE.
   
Now, my lord constable!            10
CONSTABLE:  Hark how our steeds for present service neigh!   
DAUPHIN:  Mount them, and make incision in their hides [and spur their hides],   
That their hot blood may spin in English eyes,   
And dout [infuse] them with superfluous courage: ha!
RAMBURES:  What! will you have them weep our horses’ blood?            15
How shall we then behold their natural tears?   
 
Enter a Messenger.
   
MESSENGER:  The English are embattail’d [ready for battle], you French peers.   
CONSTABLE:  To horse, you gallant princes! straight to horse!   
Do but behold yon poor and starved band [poor and starved English soldiers],            20
And your fair show [your appearance on the battlefield] shall suck away their souls,   
Leaving them but the shales [shells] and husks of men.   
There is not work enough for all our hands [our task will be so easy that we won't have enough to do on the battlefield];
Scarce blood enough in all their sickly veins   
To give each naked curtal-axe a stain,            25
That our French gallants shall to-day draw out,   
And sheathe for lack of sport: let us but blow on them,   
The vapour of our valour will o’erturn them. 
[Scarce . . . them: There's scarcely enough blood in their veins to stain our curtal axes (short swords) Our soldiers may have to sheathe their swords for lack of action. Let us blow on them. The breath of our valor will knock them down.] 
’Tis positive ’gainst all exceptions, lords,   
That our superfluous lackeys and our peasants,            30
Who in unnecessary action swarm   
About our squares of battle, were enow   
To purge this field of such a hilding foe,  
Though we upon this mountain’s basis by   
Took stand for idle speculation:            35
['Tis positive . . . speculation: There's no doubt that all of our servants and peasants roaming the battlefield could by themselves rid us of such a wretched enemy while we observe the action at the base of this mountain.]
But that our honours must not. What’s to say?   
A very little little let us do,   
And all is done. Then let the trumpets sound   
The tucket sonance and the note to mount:   
[But that . . . mount: But honor dictates that we ourselves must defeat the enemy. If we put forth only a little effort, the battle will be won. So let the trumpets sound to call us to our horses.]
For our approach shall so much dare the field,            40
That England shall couch down in fear and yield.   

Enter GRANDPRÉ.
   
GRANDPRÉ:  Why do you stay so long, my lords of France?   
Yon island carrions desperate of their bones,   
Ill-favour’dly become the morning field:            45
Their ragged curtains poorly are let loose,   
And our air shakes them passing scornfully:  
[Why . . . scornfully: What's keeping you, my lords of France? Yon scrawny Englishmen, mere carrion for the vultures, are making a desperate march onto the field. With their war-torn flags and emaciated bodies, they make an unsightly presence that even the wind scorns as it shakes them in their approach.]
Big Mars seems bankrupt in their beggar’d host,   
And faintly through a rusty beaver peeps:  
[Big Mars . . . peeps: The dreaded fervor of the god of war, Mars, is now no more than timid eyes peeping through the visors of their helmets.] 
The horsemen sit like fixed candlesticks,            50
With torch-staves [spears] in their hand; and their poor jades [weary horses]   
Lob down their heads, dropping the hides and hips, [hang down their heads while their bodies slump]
The gum [rheum; slimy mucus] down-roping from their pale-dead eyes,   
And in their pale dull mouths the gimmal bit [bit made of interlocking rings]  
Lies foul with chew’d grass, still and motionless;            55
And their executors, the knavish crows,   
[executor: One who disposes of the possessions of a deceased person. Here, executors is used figuratively to refer scavenging crows waiting for the horses to die.]
Fly o’er them, all impatient for their hour.   
Description cannot suit itself in words   
To demonstrate the life of such a battle   
In life so lifeless as it shows itself.            60
[Description . . . itself: No words are adequate to describe the sorry sight of the lifeless British army.]
CONSTABLE:  They have said their prayers, and they stay for [await] death.   
DAUPHIN:  Shall we go send them dinners and fresh suits,   
And give their fasting horses provender,   
And after fight with them?   
CONSTABLE:  I stay but for my guard: on, to the field!            65
I will the banner from a trumpet take,   
And use it for my haste. Come, come, away!   
[I say . . . away: I was waiting for my standard bearer, but I'll take one from the trumpeter instead. On, on to the field! Come away!]
The sun is high, and we outwear the day.  [Exeunt.

Act 4, Scene 3

The English Camp.
Enter the English host; GLOUCESTER, BEDFORD, EXETER, SALISBURY, and WESTMORELAND
   
GLOUCESTER:  Where is the king?   
BEDFORD:  The king himself is rode to view their battle.   
West.  Of fighting men they have full three-score thousand [sixty thousand].            5
EXETER:  There’s five to one; besides, they all are fresh.   
SALISBURY:  God’s arm strike with us! ’tis a fearful odds.   
God be wi’ [with] you, princes all; I’ll to my charge:   
If we no more meet till we meet in heaven,   
Then, joyfully, my noble Lord of Bedford,            10
My dear Lord Gloucester, and my good Lord Exeter,   
And my kind kinsman, warriors all, adieu [good-bye]!   
BEDFORD:  Farewell, good Salisbury; and good luck go with thee!   
EXETER:  Farewell, kind lord. Fight valiantly to-day:   
And yet I do thee wrong to mind [remind] thee of it,            15
For thou art fram’d of the firm truth of valour.  [Exit SALISBURY.   
BEDFORD:  He is as full of valour as of kindness;   
Princely in both.   
 
Enter KING HENRY.
   
West.  O! that we now had here            20
But one ten thousand of those men in England   
That do no work to-day.   
KING HENRY:  What’s he that wishes so?   
My cousin Westmoreland? No, my fair cousin:   
If we are mark’d to die, we are enow [enough]           25
To do our country loss; and if to live,   
The fewer men, the greater share of honour.   
[If we are marked to die, our numbers are small enough that our country will suffer no great loss; and if we live, winning a battle with so few men will bring us a greater share of honor.]
God’s will! I pray thee, wish not one man more.   
By Jove, I am not covetous for gold,   
Nor care I who doth feed upon my cost;            30
It yearns me not if men my garments wear;   
Such outward things dwell not in my desires:   
But if it be a sin to covet honour,   
I am the most offending soul alive.  
[By Jove . . . alive: By Jupiter, I am not seeking gold, nor do I care how much I must pay to feed our men; and if they wear my garments, that's all right. Such outward matters don't concern me. But if it's a sin to desire honor, I am the most offending sinner alive.]
[Jove, or Jupiter: The name of the king of the gods in Roman mythology; in Greek mythology, his name was Zeus.]
No, faith, my coz [cousin], wish not a man from England:            35
God’s peace! I would not lose so great an honour   
As one man more, methinks, would share from me,   
For the best hope I have. O! do not wish one more:   
[No . . . more: No, in faith, my cousin, don't wish we had even one more man to share the honor of this day. Not even one.]
Rather proclaim it, Westmoreland, through my host,   
That he which hath no stomach to this fight,            40
Let him depart; his passport shall be made,   
And crowns for convoy put into his purse:   
We would not die in that man’s company   
That fears his fellowship to die with us.   
[Rather . . . with us: Instead, Westmoreland, proclaim to the army that he who has no stomach for this fight should leave. He will receive a passport and money for his journey back to England. We don't want to die in the company of a man afraid to die with us.]
This day [October 25, 1415] is call’d the feast of Crispian:            45
He that outlives this day [survives the battle], and comes safe home,   
Will stand a tip-toe when this day is nam’d,   
And rouse him at the name of Crispian.   
He that shall live this day [survive today], and see old age,   
Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbours,            50
And say, ‘To-morrow is Saint Crispian:’   
Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars,   
And say, ‘These wounds I had on Crispin’s day.’  
[Crispian and Crispin: Twin brothers who suffered martyrdom in 286 AD.]
Old men forget: yet all shall be forgot,   
But he’ll remember with advantages            55
What feats he did that day. Then shall our names,   
[Old men . . . day: Old men tend to be forgetful. But the men who survive this battle will always remember what feats he accomplished on this day.]
Familiar in his mouth as household words,   
Harry the king, Bedford and Exeter,   
Warwick and Talbot, Salisbury and Gloucester,   
Be in their flowing cups freshly remember’d.            60
This story shall the good man teach his son;   
And Crispin Crispian shall ne’er go by,   
From this day to the ending of the world,   
But we in it shall be remembered;   
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;            65
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me   
Shall be my brother; be he ne’er so vile [shall be my brother, no matter how base he is] 
This day shall gentle his condition: [This day shall lift him up]  
And gentlemen in England, now a-bed   
Shall think themselves accurs’d they were not here,            70
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks   
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin’s day.   
 
Re-enter SALISBURY.
   
SALISBURY:  My sov’reign lord, bestow yourself with speed:   
The French are bravely in their battles [formations] set,            75
And will with all expedience [speed] charge on us.   
KING HENRY:  All things are ready, if our minds be so.   
West.  Perish the man whose mind is backward now!   
KING HENRY:  Thou dost not wish more help from England, coz?   
West.  God’s will! my liege, would you and I alone,            80
Without more help, could fight this royal battle!   
KING HENRY:  Why, now thou hast unwish’d five thousand men;   
Which likes me better than to wish us one [than to wish to have one more man].   
You know your places: God be with you all!   
 
Tucket.  Enter MONTJOY.             85

MONTJOY:  Once more I come to know of thee, King Harry,   
If for thy ransom thou wilt now compound,   
Before thy most assured overthrow:   
[Once more . . . overthrow: Once more I come to ask whether you wish to negotiate your ransom, for your army will most assuredly lose the battle.]
For certainly thou art so near the gulf   
Thou needs must be englutted. Besides, in mercy,            90
[For certainly . . . englutted: For certainly you are so near the chasm of defeat that you without doubt will be swallowed by it.]
The constable desires thee thou wilt mind   
Thy followers of repentance; that their souls   
May make a peaceful and a sweet retire   
From off these fields, where, wretches, their poor bodies   
Must lie and fester.            95
KING HENRY:  Who hath sent thee now?   
MONTJOY:  The Constable of France.   
KING HENRY:  I pray thee, bear my former answer back:   
Bid them achieve [capture] me and then sell my bones.   
Good God! why should they mock poor fellows thus?            100
The man that once did sell the lion’s skin   
While the beast liv’d, was kill’d with hunting him.   
A many of our bodies shall no doubt   
Find native graves; upon the which, I trust,   
Shall witness live in brass of this day’s work;            105
[A many . . . work: Many of our dead shall no doubt be buried in England. On their tombstones will be brass engravings testifying to their action in this battle.]
And those that leave their valiant bones in France,   
Dying like men, though buried in your dung-hills,   
They shall be fam’d; for there the sun shall greet them,   
And draw their honours reeking up to heaven,   
Leaving their earthly parts to choke your clime,            110
The smell whereof shall breed a plague in France.   
[And those . . .  France: And those buried in the dunghills of France shall be famous, for the sun shall draw their honors reeking to the heavens, leaving their rotting corpses to breed plague in France.]
Mark then abounding valour in our English,   
That being dead, like to the bullet’s grazing,   
Break out into a second course of mischief,   
Killing in relapse of mortality.            115
[Mark . . . mortality: Notice then how abounding in valor are English soldiers. Though dead, they will break out into a second offensive against you, like a ricocheting bullet, this time killing you with disease.]
Let me speak proudly: tell the constable,   
We are but warriors for the working-day;   
Our gayness and our gilt are all besmirch’d   
With rainy marching in the painful field;   
There’s not a piece of feather in our host—            120
Good argument, I hope, we will not fly—   
And time hath worn us into slovenry:   
But, by the mass, our hearts are in the trim;   
[Let me . . . trim: Let me speak proudly. Tell the constable we are like ordinary workingmen who dirty themselves at their jobs. Our bright colors and shining armor are smudged and rust-ridden from marching in the rain. There's not a gaudy feather left among us—which means you don't have to worry that we will fly away—and time has made us untidy and messy. But all of our hearts beat with the fervor and passion of warriors.]
And my poor soldiers tell me, yet ere night   
They’ll be in fresher robes, or they will pluck            125
The gay new coats o’er the French soldiers’ heads,   
And turn them out of service. If they do this,—   
As, if God please, they shall,—my ransom then   
Will soon be levied.
Herald, save thou thy labour;   
Come thou no more for ransom, gentle herald:            130
They shall have none, I swear, but these my joints;   
Which if they have as I will leave ’em them,   
Shall yield them little, tell the constable.   
[And my . . . constable: And my poor soldiers tell me that before nightfall they will be wearing fresher clothes—or, failing that, they will seize the coats of your French soldiers and dismiss them as if they were servants out of uniform. If my soldiers do what they say they can do, they will be willing to raise a ransom. Nevertheless, herald, there will be no ransom. If I die, you can have my bones, which are virtually worthless.]
MONTJOY:  I shall [pass on your message], King Harry. And so, fare thee well:   
Thou never shalt hear herald [me] any more.  [Exit.            135
KING HENRY:  I fear thou’lt once more come again for ransom.   
 
Enter YORK.
   
YORK:  My lord, most humbly on my knee I beg   
The leading of the vaward.   
[I beg . . . vaward: I beg you to let me lead the troops at the front of the army.]
KING HENRY:  Take it, brave York. Now, soldiers, march away:            140
And how thou pleasest, God, dispose the day!  [Exeunt.
[And how . . . day: And God, no matter how you do it, give us victory today.]

Act 4, Scene 4

The Field of Battle.
Alarums: Excursions.  Enter French Soldier, PISTOL, and Boy.
[Alarums: Excursions: Loud sounds of battle]
   
PISTOL:  Yield, cur!   
FRENCH SOLDIER:  Je pense que vous êtes le gentilhomme de bonne qualité.   
[I think you are a gentleman of good quality.]
PISTOL:  Quality? Calin O custure me! Art thou a gentleman?            5
[Calen . . . me: These words are from the refrain of an Irish song. Pistol speaks them to mock the French words that he does not understand.]
What is thy name? discuss.   
FRENCH SOLDIER:  O Seigneur Dieu!  [O Lord God!] 
PISTOL:  O Signieur Dew should be a gentleman:—  [Pistol thinks "O Signieur Dew" is the Frenchman's name.] 
Perpend [consider; ponder] my words, O Signieur Dew, and mark:   
O Signieur Dew, thou diest on point of fox [archaic word for sword]            10
Except, O signieur, thou do give to me   
Egregious ransom.   
[thou diest . . . ransom: You'll die on the point of my sword unless you pay me a huge ransom.]
FRENCH SOLDIER:  O, prenez miséricorde! ayez pitié de moi!  [Mercy! Have pity on me!] 
PISTOL:  Moi shall not serve; I will have forty mois;   
Or I will fetch thy rim out at thy throat            15
In drops of crimson blood.  
[Moi . . . blood: One moi is not enough. Give me forty mois, or I will reach inside your throat and pull out my payment in drops of your blood. (Pistol thinks moi, which means me, is a French word for a unit of currency.)]
FRENCH SOLDIER:  Est-il impossible d’échapper la force de ton bras? [Is it impossible to escape from your strong arm?]  
PISTOL:  Brass, cur! [Pistol hears the French word bras (arm) as brass.]  
Thou damned and luxurious [lascivious] mountain goat,   
Offer’st me brass?            20
FRENCH SOLDIER:  O pardonnez moi!  [Oh, pardon me.] 
PISTOL:  Sayst thou me so? is that a ton of moys?   
Come hither, boy: ask me this slave in French   
What is his name.   
BOY:  Ècoutez: comment êtes vous appellé? [Listen: What's your name?           25
FRENCH SOLDIER:  Monsieur le Fer.   
BOY:  He says his name is Master Fer.   
PISTOL:  Master Fer! I’ll fer him, and firk [beat] him, and ferret [expel] him. Discuss the same in French unto him.   
BOY:  I do not know the French for fer, and ferret, and firk.   
PISTOL:  Bid him prepare, for I will cut his throat.            30
FRENCH SOLDIER:  Que dit-il, monsieur? [What did he say, monsieur?]  
BOY:  Il me commande à vous dire que vous faites vous prêt; car ce soldat ici est disposé tout à cette heure de couper votre gorge.
[He asked me to tell you to get ready to die, because this soldier will at any moment cut your throat.]
PISTOL:  Oui, cuppele gorge, permafoy, [Pistol attempts to respond in French, saying he truly means to cut the Frenchman's throat]   
Peasant, unless thou give me crowns, brave crowns;   
Or mangled shalt thou be by this my sword.            35
FRENCH SOLDIER:  O! je vous supplie pour l’amour de Dieu, me pardonner! Je suis le gentilhomme de bonne maison: gardez ma vie, et je vous donnerai deux cents écus.
[O! I beg you for the love of God to pardon me. I am a gentleman from a good home. Spare my life, and I will give you two hundred crowns.]
PISTOL:  What are his words?   
BOY:  He prays you to save his life: he is a gentleman of a good house; and, for his ransom he will give you two hundred crowns.   
PISTOL:  Tell him, my fury shall abate, and I   
The crowns will take.            40
FRENCH SOLDIER:  Petit monsieur, que dit-il? [Little man, what did he say?]  
BOY:  Encore qu’il est contre son jurement de pardonner aucan prisonnier; néanmoins, pour les escus que vous l’avez promis, il est content de vous donner la liberté, le franchisement.   
[Although it is against better judgment to pardon any prisoner, nevertheless for the crowns that you have promised he would be happy to give you your freedom.]
FRENCH SOLDIER:  Sur mes genoux, je vous donne mille remerciemens; et je m’estime heureux que je suis tombé entre les mains d’un chevalier, je pense, le plus brave, valiant, et très distingué seigneur d’Angleterre.   
On my knees, I give you a thousand thanks, and I consider myself happy that I have fallen into the hands of a chivalrous knight. I think that this man is the bravest, most valiant, and most distinguished lord in England. 
PISTOL:  Expound unto me, boy.   
BOY:  He gives you, upon his knees, a thousand thanks; and he esteems himself happy that he hath fallen into the hands of one—as he thinks—the most brave, valorous, and thrice-worthy signieur of England.            45
PISTOL:  As I suck blood [As I leech money from him], I will some mercy show.—   
Follow me!  [Exeunt PISTOL and French Soldier.   
BOY:  Suivez vous le grand capitaine. [You follow the great captain.] I did never know so full a voice issue [come] from so empty a heart: but the saying is true, ‘The empty vessel makes the greatest sound.’ Bardolph and Nym had ten times more valour than this roaring devil i’ the old play [than this devil], that every one may pare his nails with a wooden dagger [whose fingernails anybody could cut with a wooden dagger]; and they [Bardolph and Nym] are both hanged; and so would this be if he durst steal anything adventurously [courageously]. I must stay with the lackeys with the luggage of our camp: the French might have a good prey of us, if he knew of it; for there is none to guard it but boys.  [Exit.
[I must stay with the servants guarding the luggage in our camp. The French could easily make prey on us if they knew that only boys are guarding the luggage.]

Act 4, Scene 5

Another part of the field.
Alarums [Sounds of war].  Enter DAUPHIN, ORLEANS, BOURBON, CONSTABLE, RAMBURES, and Others.
   
CONSTABLE:  O diable!  [The devil!]
ORLÈANS:  O seigneur! le jour est perdu! tout est perdu!   
[O Lord! The day is lost! All is lost!]
DAUPHIN:  Mort de ma vie! all is confounded, all!            5
[The death of me! All is confounded, all!]
Reproach and everlasting shame   
Sit mocking in our plumes [feather or feathers in their hats]. O méchante fortune! [O miserable fortune!]  
Do not run away.  [A short alarum.   
CONSTABLE:  Why, all our ranks are broke.   
DAUPHIN:  O perdurable [everlasting] shame! let’s stab ourselves.            10
Be these the wretches that we play’d at dice for?   
ORLÈANS:  Is this the king we sent to for his ransom?   
BOURBON:  Shame, and eternal shame, nothing but shame!   
Let’s die in honour! once more back again [to the battle];   
And he that will not follow Bourbon now,            15
Let him go hence, and with his cap in hand,   
Like a base pander [panderer], hold the chamber-door   
Whilst by a slave, no gentler than my dog,   
His fairest daughter is contaminated.   
[Bourbon is comparing those who will not follow to a man who stands by while a ruffian rapes his daughter.]
CONSTABLE:  Disorder, that hath spoil’d us, friend [befriend] us now!            20
Let us on heaps go offer up our lives.   
ORLÈANS:  We are enough yet living in the field   
To smother up the English in our throngs,   
If any order might be thought upon.   
BOURBON:  The devil take order now! I’ll to the throng:            25
Let life be short, else shame will be too long.  [Exeunt.   

Act 4, Scene 6

Another part of the field.
Alarums. [Sounds of war.] Enter KING HENRY and Forces; EXETER, and Others.
   
KING HENRY:  Well have we done, thrice-valiant countrymen:   
But all’s not done; yet keep the French the field.   
EXETER:  The Duke of York commends him to your majesty.            5
KING HENRY:  Lives he, good uncle? thrice within this hour   
I saw him down; thrice up again, and fighting;   
From helmet to the spur all blood he was.   
EXETER:  In which array, brave soldier, doth he lie,   
Larding the plain; and by his bloody side,—            10
Yoke-fellow to his honour-owing wounds,—   
The noble Earl of Suffolk also lies.   
Suffolk first died: and York, all haggled [all cut up] over,   
Comes to him, where in gore he lay insteep’d [where he lay covered in gore],
And takes him by the beard, kisses the gashes            15
That bloodily did yawn upon his face;   
And cries aloud, ‘Tarry [stay awhile], dear cousin Suffolk!   
My soul shall thine keep company to heaven [keep company on the way to heaven];   
Tarry, sweet soul, for mine, then fly abreast, [then we'll fly together]  
As in this glorious and well-foughten [fought] field,            20
We kept together in our chivalry!’   
Upon these words I came and cheer’d him up:   
He smil’d me in the face, raught [reached] me his hand,   
And with a feeble gripe [grip] says, ‘Dear my lord,   
Commend my service to my sovereign.’            25
So did he turn, and over Suffolk’s neck   
He threw his wounded arm, and kiss’d his lips;   
And so espous’d [married] to death, with blood he seal’d   
A testament of noble-ending love.   
The pretty and sweet manner of it forc’d            30
Those waters [tears] from me which I would have stopp’d;   
But I had not so much of man in me,   
And all my mother came into mine eyes   
And gave me up to tears.   
KING HENRY: I blame you not;            35
For, hearing this, I must perforce compound  
With mistful eyes, or they will issue too.  [Alarum.   
[I must . . . too: I must forcibly restrain my misty eyes, or they will cry too.] 
But hark! what new alarum is this same?   
The French have reinforc’d their scatter’d men:   
Then every soldier [must] kill his prisoners!            40
Give the word through.  [Exeunt.   

Act 4, Scene 7

Another Part of the Field.
Alarums. [Sounds of battle.] Enter FLUELLEN and GOWER.
   
FLUELLEN:  Kill the poys and the luggage! [The French killed the boys guarding the luggage!] ’tis expressly against the law of arms: ’tis as arrant [complete] a piece of knavery, mark you now, as can be offer ’t: in your conscience now, is it not?   
GOWER:  ’Tis certain, there’s not a boy left alive; and the cowardly rascals that ran from the battle have done this slaughter: besides, they have burned and carried away all that was in the king’s tent; wherefore [that's why] the king most worthily hath caused every soldier to cut his prisoner’s throat. O! ’tis a gallant king.   
FLUELLEN:  Ay, he was porn [born] at Monmouth, Captain Gower. What call you the town’s name where Alexander the Pig [Big] was born?            5
GOWER:  Alexander the Great.   
FLUELLEN:  Why, I pray you, is not pig [big] great? The pig [big], or the great, or the mighty, or the huge, or the magnanimous, are all one reckonings [are all the same thing], save the phrase is a little variations [phrase has a few variations].   
GOWER:  I think Alexander the Great was born in Macedon: his father was called Philip of Macedon, as I take it.   
FLUELLEN:  I think it is in Macedon where Alexander is porn [born]. I tell you, captain, if you look in the maps of the ’orld [world], I warrant you sall [shall] find, in the comparisons between Macedon and Monmouth, that the situations, look you, is both alike. There is a river in Macedon, and there is also moreover a river at Monmouth: it is called Wye at Monmouth; but it is out of my prains [brains] what is the name of the other river; but ’tis all one, ’tis alike as my fingers is to my fingers, and there is salmons in both. If you mark Alexander’s life well, Harry of Monmouth’s life is come after it indifferent well; for there is figures in all things. Alexander,—God knows, and you know,—in his rages, and his furies, and his wraths, and his cholers, and his moods, and his displeasures, and his indignations, and also being a little intoxicates [intoxicated] in his prains, did, in his ales and his angers, look you, kill his pest [best] friend, Cleitus [Cleitus the Black, 375-328 BC].   
GOWER:  Our king is not like him in that: he never killed any of his friends.            10
FLUELLEN:  It is not well done, mark you now, to take the tales out of my mouth, ere [before] it is made and finished. I speak but in the figures and comparisons of it: as Alexander killed his friend Cleitus, being in his ales and his cups, so also Harry Monmouth, being in his right wits and his good judgments, turned away the fat knight with the great belly-doublet: he was full of jests, and gipes [quips], and knaveries, and mocks; I have forgot his name.   
GOWER:  Sir John Falstaff.   
FLUELLEN:  That is he. I’ll tell you, there is goot [good] men porn [born] at Monmouth.   
GOWER:  Here comes his majesty.   
 
Alarum.  Enter KING HENRY, with a part of the English Forces; WARWICK, GLOUCESTER, EXETER, and Others.             15

KING HENRY:  I was not angry since I came to France   
Until this instant. Take a trumpet, herald;   
Ride thou unto the horsemen on yon hill:   
If they will fight with [against] us, bid them come down,   
Or void the field; they do offend our sight.            20
If they’ll do neither, we will come to them,   
And make them skirr [hurry] away, as swift as stones   
Enforced [shot] from the old Assyrian slings.   
Besides, we’ll cut the throats of those we have,   
And not a man of them that we shall take            25
Shall taste our mercy. Go and tell them so.   
 
Enter MONTJOY.
   
EXETER:  Here comes the herald of the French, my liege.   
GLOUCESTER:  His eyes are humbler than they us’d to be.   
KING HENRY:  How now! what means this, herald? know’st thou not            30
That I have fin’d [reserved] these bones of mine for ransom?   
Com’st thou again for ransom?   
MONTJOY: No, great king.   
I come to thee for charitable licence,   
That we may wander o’er this bloody field            35
To book our dead, and then to bury them;   
To sort our nobles from our common men;   
For many of our princes—woe the while!—   
Lie drown’d and soak’d in mercenary blood;   
So do our vulgar [commoners] drench their peasant limbs            40
In blood of princes; and their wounded steeds   
Fret fetlock-deep in gore, and with wild rage
[Fret . . . gore: Stand fretting with their hooves deep in gore]  
Yerk [kick] out their armed heels at their dead masters,   
Killing them twice. O! give us leave, great king,   
To view the field in safety and dispose            45
Of their dead bodies.   
KING HENRY: I tell thee truly, herald,   
I know not if the day be ours or no;   
For yet a many of your horsemen peer   
And gallop o’er the field.            50
MONTJOY: The day is yours.   
KING HENRY:  Praised be God, and not our strength, for it!  [Praise God, not us, for this victory.]  
What is this castle call’d that stands hard by?   
MONTJOY:  They call it Agincourt.   
KING HENRY:  Then call we this the field of Agincourt,            55
Fought on the day of Crispin Crispianus.   
FLUELLEN:  Your grandfather of famous memory, an ’t please your majesty, and your great-uncle Edward the Plack [Black] Prince of Wales, as I have read in the chronicles, fought a most prave pattle [brave battle] here in France.   
KING HENRY:  They did, Fluellen.   
FLUELLEN: Your majesty says very true. If your majesties is remembered of it, the Welshmen did good service in a garden where leeks did grow, wearing leeks in their Monmouth caps; which, your majesty know, to this hour is an honourable badge of the service; and I do believe, your majesty takes no scorn to wear the leek upon Saint Tavy’s [Davy's] day.   
KING HENRY:  I wear it for a memorable honour; for I am Welsh, you know, good countryman.            60
FLUELLEN:  All the water in Wye cannot wash your majesty’s Welsh plood [blood] out of your pody [body], I can tell you that: Got pless [bless] it and preserve it, as long as it pleases his grace, and his majesty too!   
KING HENRY:  Thanks, good my countryman [my good countryman].   
FLUELLEN:  By Jeshu, I am your majesty’s countryman, I care not who know it; I will confess it to all the ’orld [world]: I need not be ashamed of your majesty, praised be God, so long as your majesty is an honest man.   
KING HENRY:  God keep me so! Our heralds go with him:   
Bring me just notice of the numbers dead            65
On both our parts. Call yonder fellow hither.  [Points to WILLIAMS. Exeunt MONTJOY and Others.   
EXETER:  Soldier, you must come to the king.   
KING HENRY:  Soldier, why wear’st thou that glove in thy cap?   
WILLIAMS:  An [if] it please your majesty, ’tis the gage of one that I should fight withal, if he be alive.   
KING HENRY:  An Englishman?            70
WILLIAMS:  An [if] it please your majesty, a rascal that swaggered with me last night; who, if alive and ever dare to challenge this glove, I have sworn to take him a box o’ the ear: or, if I can see my glove in his cap,—which he swore as he was a soldier he would wear if alive,—I will strike it out soundly.   
KING HENRY:  What think you, Captain Fluellen? is it fit this soldier keep his oath?   
FLUELLEN:  He is a craven [coward] and a villain else, an [if] it please your majesty, in my conscience.   
KING HENRY:  It may be his enemy [King Henry] is a gentleman of great sort, quite from the answer of his degree [quite different from what you'd expect].   
FLUELLEN:  Though he be as good a gentleman as the devil is, as Lucifer and Belzebub [Beelzebub: the devil or a high-ranking demon] himself, it is necessary, look your Grace, that he keep his vow and his oath. If he be perjured, see you now, his reputation is as arrant [is that he is as complete] a villain and a Jack-sauce [bold and impudent man] as ever his black shoe trod upon God’s ground and his earth, in my conscience, la [so there!]!            75
KING HENRY: Then keep thy vow, sirrah, when thou meetest the fellow.   
WILLIAMS:  So I will, my liege, as I live.   
KING HENRY:  Who servest thou under?   
WILLIAMS: Under Captain Gower, my liege [lord].   
FLUELLEN:  Gower is a goot [good] captain, and is good knowledge and literatured [educated] in the wars.            80
KING HENRY:  Call him hither to me, soldier.   
WILLIAMS: I will, my liege.  [Exit.   
KING HENRY:  Here, Fluellen; wear thou this favour [the glove that Williams gave him] for me and stick it in thy cap. When Alençon and myself were down together I plucked this glove from his helm: if any man challenge this [glove], he is a friend to Alençon, and an enemy to our person; if thou encounter any such, apprehend him, an [if] thou dost me love.   
FLUELLEN:  Your Grace does me as great honours as can be desired in the hearts of his subjects: I would fain see the man that has but two legs that shall find himself aggriefed [aggrieved] at this glove, that is all; but I would fain see it once, and please God of his grace that I might see.   
KING HENRY:  Knowest thou Gower?            85
FLUELLEN:  He is my dear friend, an [if] it please you.   
KING HENRY:  Pray thee, go seek him, and bring him to my tent.   
FLUELLEN:  I will fetch him.  [Exit.   
KING HENRY:  My Lord of Warwick, and my brother Gloucester,   
Follow Fluellen closely at the heels.            90
The glove which I have given him for a favour,   
May haply [perhaps] purchase him a box o’ the ear;   
It is the soldier’s [Williams's]; I by bargain should   
Wear it myself. Follow, good cousin Warwick:   
If that the soldier strike him,—as, I judge            95
By his blunt bearing he will keep his word,—   
Some sudden mischief may arise of it;   
For I do know Fluellen valiant,   
And touch’d with choler, hot as gunpowder,   
And quickly will return an injury:            100
Follow and see there be no harm between them.   
Go you with me, uncle of Exeter.  [Exeunt.   

Act 4, Scene 8

Before King Henry's pavilion.
Enter GOWER and WILLIAMS.

WILLIAMS:  I warrant it is to knight you, captain. [I think we're here because the king wants to make you a knight.]  
 
Enter FLUELLEN.

FLUELLEN:  God’s will and his pleasure, captain, I peseech [beseech] you now come apace to the king: there is more good toward you peradventure than is in your knowledge to dream of.            5
WILLIAMS:  Sir, know you this glove?    
FLUELLEN:  Know the glove! I know the glove is a glove.    
WILLIAMS:  I know this; and thus I challenge it.  [Strikes him.    
FLUELLEN:  ’Sblood! [By the blood of the crucified Christ.] an arrant [thoroughgoing] traitor as any’s in the universal ’orld [world], or in France, or in England. 
GOWER:  How now, sir! you villain!            10
WILLIAMS:  Do you think I’ll be forsworn [Do you think I'll break my oath]?    
FLUELLEN:  Stand away, Captain Gower; I will give treason his payment into plows [blows], I warrant you.    
WILLIAMS:  I am no traitor.    
FLUELLEN:  That’s a lie in thy throat. I charge you in his majesty’s name, apprehend him: he is a friend of the Duke Alençon’s.    
 
Enter WARWICK and GLOUCESTER.            15

WARWICK:  How now, how now! what’s the matter?    
FLUELLEN:  My Lord of Warwick, here is,—praised be God for it!—a most contagious treason come to light, look you, as you shall desire in a summer’s day. Here is his majesty.    
 
Enter KING HENRY and EXETER.
   
KING HENRY:  How now! what’s the matter?    
FLUELLEN:  My liege, here is a villain and a traitor, that, look your Grace, has struck the glove which your majesty is take out of the helmet of Alençon.            20
WILLIAMS:  My liege, this was my glove; here is the fellow of it [fellow who had it]; and he that I gave it to in change promised to wear it in his cap: I promised to strike him, if he did: I met this man with my glove in his cap, and I have been as good as my word.    
FLUELLEN:  Your majesty hear now,—saving your majesty’s manhood [if you'll pardon me for saying so],—what an arrant, rascally, beggarly, lousy knave it [Williams] is. I hope your majesty is [will] pear [bear] me testimony and witness, and avouchments, that this is the glove of Alençon that your majesty is give me; in your conscience now.    
KING HENRY:  Give me thy glove, soldier: look, here is the fellow of it.    
’Twas I, indeed, thou promisedst to strike;    
And thou hast given me most bitter terms [and you spoke to me in bitter terms].            25
FLUELLEN:  An [if] it please your majesty, let his neck answer for it [let him be hanged], if there is any martial law in the ’orld [world].    
KING HENRY:  How canst thou make me satisfaction?    
WILLIAMS:  All offences, my lord, come from the heart: never came any from mine [my heart] that might offend your majesty.    
KING HENRY:  It was ourself thou didst abuse.    
WILLIAMS:  Your majesty came not like yourself: you appeared to me but as a common man; witness the night, your garments, your lowliness; and what your highness suffered under that shape, I beseech you, take it for your own fault and not mine: for had you been as I took you for I made no offence; therefore, I beseech your highness, pardon me.            30
KING HENRY:  Here, uncle Exeter, fill this glove with crowns,    
And give it to this fellow. Keep it, fellow;    
And wear it for an honour in thy cap    
Till I do challenge it. Give him the crowns:    
And, captain, you must needs be friends with him.            35
FLUELLEN:  By this day and this light, the fellow has mettle [courage] enough in his belly. Hold, there is twelve pence for you, and I pray you to serve God, and keep you out of prawls [brawls], and prabbles [brabbles, which are squabbles], and quarrels, and dissensions, and, I warrant you, it is the better for you.    
WILLIAMS:  I will none of your money.    
FLUELLEN:  It is with a good will; I can tell you it will serve you to mend your shoes: come, wherefore [why] should you be so pashful [bashful]? your shoes is not so good: ’tis a good shilling, I warrant you, or I will change it.    
 
Enter an English Herald.
   
KING HENRY:  Now, herald, are the dead number’d?            40
HERALD:  Here is the number of the slaughter’d French.  [Delivers a paper.   
KING HENRY:  What prisoners of good sort are taken, uncle?    
EXETER:  Charles Duke of Orléans, nephew to the king;    
John Duke of Bourbon, and Lord Bouciqualt:    
Of other lords and barons, knights and squires,            45
Full fifteen hundred, besides common men.    
KING HENRY:  This note doth tell me of ten thousand French    
That in the field lie slain: of princes, in this number,    
And nobles bearing banners, there lie dead    
One hundred twenty-six: added to these,            50
Of knights, esquires, and gallant gentlemen,    
Eight thousand and four hundred; of the which    
Five hundred were but yesterday dubb’d knights:    
So that, in these ten thousand they have lost,    
There are but sixteen hundred mercenaries;            55
The rest are princes, barons, lords, knights, squires,    
And gentlemen of blood and quality.    
The names of those their nobles that lie dead:    
Charles Delabreth, High Constable of France;    
Jaques of Chatillon, Admiral of France;            60
The master of the cross-bows, Lord Rambures;    
Great-master of France, the brave Sir Guischard Dauphin;    
John Duke of Alençon; Antony Duke of Brabant,    
The brother to the Duke of Burgundy,    
And Edward Duke of Bar: of lusty earls,            65
Grandpré and Roussi, Fauconberg and Foix,    
Beaumont and Marle, Vaudemont and Lestrale.    
Here was a royal fellowship of death!    
Where is the number of our English dead?  [Herald presents another paper.    
Edward the Duke of York, the Earl of Suffolk,            70
Sir Richard Ketly, Davy Gam, esquire:    
None else of name: and of all other men    
But five and twenty. O God! thy arm was here;    
And not to us, but to thy arm alone,    
Ascribe we all. When, without stratagem,            75
But in plain shock and even play of battle,   
[When, without . . . battle: When, without any special plan but the shock of hard fighting,]
Was ever known so great and little loss    
On one part and on the other? Take it, God,    
For it is none but thine!    
EXETER: 'Tis wonderful! [That's incredible]          80
KING HENRY:  Come, go we in procession to the village:    
And be it death proclaimed through our host    
To boast of this or take the praise from God    
Which is his only.   
[And be . . . only: Proclaim to our troops that they will face the death penalty if they boast of their victory to the townspeople or otherwise take credit for the victory when it rightly belongs to God.]
FLUELLEN:  Is it not lawful, an [if] please your majesty, to tell how many is killed?            85
KING HENRY:  Yes, captain; but with this acknowledgment,    
That God fought for us.    
FLUELLEN:  Yes, my conscience, he did us great good.    
KING HENRY:  Do we all holy rites:    
Let there be sung "Non nobis" and "Te Deum";            90
[Non nobis: Latin hymn of praise and thanksgiving that says God, not men, should receive glory]
[Te Deum: Latin hymn that says, "We give praise to you, O God.]
The dead with charity enclos’d in clay. [See that the men receive a respectable burial.]  
We’ll then to Calais; and to England then,    
Where ne’er from France arriv’d more happy men.  [Exeunt.


Act 5, Prologue

Enter Chorus.
   
Chor. Vouchsafe [grant] to those that have not read the story,   
That I may prompt them: and of such as have,   
I humbly pray them to admit the excuse   
Of time, of numbers, and due course of things,            5
Which cannot in their huge and proper life   
Be here presented. Now we bear the king   
Toward Calais: grant him there; there seen,
Heave him away upon your winged thoughts   
Athwart the sea. Behold, the English beach            10
[Vouchsafe . . . athwart the sea: For those who have not read the story of King Henry's exploits in France, I will now provide information about what happened after the Battle of Agincourt, omitting details about dates, numbers, and other matters. It would take too much time to describe all the specifics here on this stage. Therefore, imagine that the king has gone to Calais, boarded ship, set sail, and in due time arrives at the coast of England. Behold that the English beach]
Pales in the flood [is lined] with men, with wives, and boys,   
Whose shouts and claps out-voice the deep-mouth’d sea, 
Which, like a mighty whiffler [blower] ’fore [before] the king,   
Seems to prepare his way: so let him land   
And solemnly see him set on to London.            15
So swift a pace hath thought that even now   
You may imagine him upon Blackheath [community just southeast of London];   
Where that his lords desire him to have borne   
His bruised helmet and his bended sword   
Before him through the city: he forbids it,            20
Being free from vainness and self-glorious pride;   
Giving full trophy, signal and ostent,   
Quite from himself, to God. But now behold,   
[Giving . . . God: Giving all credit, honor, and outward show of glory to God, not himself.]
In the quick forge and working-house of thought,   
How London doth pour out her citizens.            25
The mayor and all his brethren in best sort [in their best clothes],   
Like to the senators of the antique [ancient] Rome,   
With the plebeians [commoners] swarming at their heels,   
Go forth and fetch their conquering Cæsar in:   
As, by a lower but loving likelihood,            30
Were now the general of our gracious empress,—   
As in good time he may,—from Ireland coming,   
Bringing rebellion broached on his sword,   
How many would the peaceful city quit   
[As . . . quit: This is how the people would turn out if the general now fighting in Ireland for his queen returned home in victory.]
To welcome him! much more, and much more cause,            35
Did they this Harry. Now in London place him;   
As yet the lamentation of the French   
Invites the King of England’s stay at home,—   
The emperor’s coming in behalf of France,   
To order peace between them;—and omit            40
All the occurrences, whatever chanc’d,   
Till Harry’s back-return again to France:   
[much more . . . him: But the people have much more cause to welcome home King Henry. Now imagine that he is in London, where he stays for a time as the emperor of the Holy Roman Empire comes to England on behalf of France to forge a peace settlement. Then image that Henry has returned to France.]
There must we bring him; and myself have play’d   
The interim, by remembering you ’tis past.   
[and myself . . . past: And I have played my part by bringing you up to date on Henry's movements.]
Then brook abridgment, and your eyes advance,            45
After your thoughts, straight back again to France.  [Exit. 
[Then brook  . . . France:  So let your imagination move ahead not to France.]

Act 5, Scene 1

France.  An English Court of Guard.
Enter FLUELLEN and GOWER.
   
GOWER:  Nay, that’s right; but why wear you your leek to-day? Saint Davy’s day is past.   
FLUELLEN:  There is occasions and causes why and wherefore in all things: I will tell you, asse [as] my friend, Captain Gower. The rascally, scald, beggarly, lousy, pragging [bragging] knave, Pistol,—which you and yourself and all the ’orld [world] know to be no petter [better] than a fellow,—look you now, of no merits, he is come to me and prings [brings] me pread [bread] and salt yesterday, look you, and pid [bid] me eat my leek. It was in a place where I could not preed [breed] no contention with him; but I will be so pold [bold] as to wear it in my cap till I see him once again, and then I will tell him a little piece of my desires.   
GOWER:  Why, here he comes, swelling like a turkey-cock.            5
 
Enter PISTOL.
   
FLUELLEN:  ’Tis no matter for his swellings nor his turkey-cocks. God pless [bless] you, Aunchient [Ensign] Pistol! you scurvy, lousy knave, God pless you!   
PISTOL:  Ha! art thou bedlam? dost thou thirst, base Troyan,   
To have me fold up Parca’s fatal web?   
Hence! I am qualmish at the smell of leek.            10
[art though . . . leek: Are you mad? Are you eager, lowly fool, to have me tangle you in Parca's fatal web? (In Roman mythology, a Parca was a goddess of fate. There were three goddesses of fate, known collectively as the Parcae.) Get out of here! I am squeamish at the smell of leek.]
FLUELLEN:  I peseech [beseech] you heartily, scurvy lousy knave, at my desires and my requests and my petitions to eat, look you, this leek; pecause [because], look you, you do not love it, nor your affections and your appetites and your digestions does not agree with it, I would desire you to eat it.   
PISTOL:  Not for Cadwallader [legendary seventh-century Welsh king who wore a leek in his hat] and all his goats.   
FLUELLEN:  [Strikes him.]  There is one goat for you.   
Will you be so good, scald [scabby] knave, as eat it?   
PISTOL:  Base Troyan, thou shalt die.            15
FLUELLEN:  You say very true, scald knave, when God’s will is. [Its true, knave, that I will die—but only when God calls me.] I will desire you to live in the mean time and eat your victuals [pronounced VITTLES; definition: food]; come, there is sauce for it.  [Strikes him again.]  You called me yesterday mountain-squire, but I will make you to-day a squire of low degree [a squire of the lowlands, below me]. I pray you, fall to [start eating]: if you can mock a leek you can eat a leek.   
GOWER:  Enough, captain: you have astonished [scared] him.   
FLUELLEN:  I say, I will make him eat some part of my leek, or I will peat [beat] his pate four days. Bite, I pray you; it is good for your green wound and your ploody coxcomb [the bloody wound on the top of your head].   
PISTOL:  Must I bite?   
FLUELLEN:  Yes, certainly, and out of doubt and out of question too and ambiguities.            20
PISTOL:  By this leek, I will most horribly revenge [I will work a horrible revenge against you].  [Fluellen threatens to strike him.] I eat and eat, I swear—   
FLUELLEN:  Eat, I pray you: will you have some more sauce to your leek? there is not enough leek to swear by.   
PISTOL:  Quiet thy cudgel: thou dost see I eat.   
FLUELLEN:  Much good do you, scald knave, heartily [It's good for you, scabby knave, so eat heartily]. Nay, pray you, throw none away; the skin is good for your broken coxcomb. When you take occasions to see leeks hereafter, I pray you, mock at ’em [I dare you to mock them]; that is all.   
PISTOL:  Good.            25
FLUELLEN:  Ay, leeks is good. Hold you, there is a groat [coin worth four pence] to heal your pate.   
PISTOL:  Me a groat!   
FLUELLEN:  Yes, verily and in truth, you shall take it; or I have another leek in my pocket, which you shall eat.   
PISTOL:  I take thy groat in earnest of revenge. [I take your groat as a reminder to get revenge on you.]
FLUELLEN:  If I owe you anything I will pay you in cudgels [blows from my wooden club]: you shall be a woodmonger [wood peddler], and buy nothing of me but cudgels. God be wi’ [with] you, and keep you, and heal your pate.  [Exit.            30
PISTOL:  All hell shall stir for this [I'll raise all hell against you].   
GOWER:  Go, go; you are a counterfeit cowardly knave. [Get going, you cowardly knave and liar.] Will you mock at an ancient tradition, begun upon an honourable respect, and worn as a memorable trophy of predeceased valour, and dare not a vouch in your deeds any of your words? [Will you mock the honorable tradition of wearing a leek in memory of men who died bravely? Will you fail to live up to your vow?] I have seen you gleeking and galling at [I have seen you mocking and irritating] this gentleman twice or thrice. You thought, because he could not speak English in the native garb [accent], he could not therefore handle an English cudgel: you find it otherwise; and henceforth let a Welsh correction teach you a good English condition. Fare ye well.  [Exit.   
PISTOL:  Doth Fortune play the huswife with me now?   
News have I that my Nell is dead i’ the spital   
Of malady of France:            35
And there my rendezvous is quite cut off.   
[Doth . . . France: Is Dame Fortune nothing but an unfaithful hussy? Now I have news that my Nell has died in the hospital of venereal disease. I was looking forward to going home to her, and now she's gone.]
Old I do wax, and from my weary limbs   
Honour is cudgelled. Well, bawd I’ll turn,   
And something lean to cutpurse of quick hand.   
[Old . . . hand: I'm getting old, and honor has been beaten out of my weary limbs. Well, I'll become a pimp and a pickpocket.]
To England will I steal, and there I’ll steal:            40
And patches [bandages] will I get unto these cudgell’d scars,   
And swear I got them in the Gallia [French] wars.  [Exit.   

Act 5, Scene 2

Troyes in Champagne.  An apartment in the FRENCH KING’S palace.
Enter, from one side, KING HENRY, BEDFORD, GLOUCESTER, EXETER, WARWICK, WESTMORELAND, and other Lords; from the other side, the FRENCH KING, QUEEN ISABEL, the PRINCESS KATHARINE, ALICE and other Ladies; the DUKE OF BURGUNDY, and his train.
   
KING HENRY:  Peace to this meeting, wherefore we are met!   
[Peace . . . met: Let peace reign over this meeting of all of us.]
Unto our brother France, and to our sister [Queen Isabel],   
Health and fair time of day; joy and good wishes            5
To our most fair and princely cousin Katharine;   
And, as a branch and member of this royalty,   
By whom this great assembly is contriv’d,   
We do salute you, Duke of Burgundy;   
And, princes French, and peers, health to you all!            10
FRENCH KING:  Right joyous are we to behold your face,   
Most worthy brother England; fairly met:   
So are you, princes English, every one.   
Q. Isa.  So happy be the issue [results], brother England,   
Of this good day and of this gracious meeting,            15
As we are now glad to behold your eyes;   
Your eyes, which hitherto have borne in them   
Against the French, that met them in their bent,   
The fatal balls of murdering basilisks:   
[Your eyes . . . basilisks: Before this peaceful time, when our French soldiers met you on the battlefield, they beheld those eyes of yours which could kill with a glance, like the murdering basilisks. (In ancient myth and legend, a basilisk was a serpent that could kill with its glance and breath.)]
The venom of such looks, we fairly hope,            20
Have lost their quality, and that this day   
Shall change all griefs and quarrels into love.   
KING HENRY:  To cry amen to that, thus we appear.  [That's why I appear here—to cry amen to peace and love between us.] 
Q. Isa.  You English princes all, I do salute you.   
Bur.  My duty to you both, on equal love,            25
Great Kings of France and England! That I have labour’d   
With all my wits, my pains, and strong endeavours,   
To bring your most imperial majesties   
Unto this bar and royal interview,   
Your mightiness on both parts best can witness.            30
[Great kings . . . witness: Great Kings of France and England, both of you can attest that I have labored with all my wits, pains, and strong endeavors to bring you together here.]
Since then my office hath so far prevail’d   
That face to face, and royal eye to eye,   
You have congreeted [greeted one another], let it not disgrace me   
If I demand before this royal view,   
What rub [obstacle] or what impediment there is,            35
Why that the naked, poor, and mangled Peace,   
Dear nurse of arts, plenties, and joyful births,   
Should not in this best garden of the world,   
Our fertile France, put up her lovely visage [show her lovely face]?  
[Burgundy is saying that no obstacle stands in the way of allowing peace, which nurtures the best that society has to offer, to restore France.]
Alas! she [peace] hath from France too long been chas’d,            40
And all her husbandry [crops] doth lie on heaps,   
Corrupting in its own fertility.   
Her vine, the merry cheerer of the heart,   
Unpruned dies; her hedges even-pleach’d
Like prisoners wildly overgrown with hair,            45
Put forth disorder’d twigs; her fallow leas
The darnel, hemlock and rank fumitory   
Doth root upon, while that the coulter rusts   
That should deracinate such savagery;
[her hedges . . . savagery: Her evenly trimmed hedges now grow this way and that, like prisoners wildly overgrown with hair; her unseeded meadows are giving way to rough grass and poisonous plants while the plow that should uproot such savagery sits idle, rusting];
The even mead, that erst brought sweetly forth            50
The freckled cowslip, burnet, and green clover,   
Wanting the scythe, all uncorrected, rank,   
Conceives by idleness, and nothing teems   
But hateful docks, rough thistles, kecksies, burs,   
Losing both beauty and utility;            55
[the even . . . utility: The even meadow used to bring forth sweet flowers and clover. Now, unattended and rank, it needs a scythe to cut down all the ugly weeds that have sprung up.]
And as our vineyards, fallows, meads, and hedges,   
Defective in their natures, grow to wildness,   
Even so our houses and ourselves and children   
Have lost, or do not learn for want of time,   
The sciences that should become our country,            60
But grow like savages,—as soldiers will,   
That nothing do but meditate on blood,—   
To swearing and stern looks, diffus’d attire,   
And every thing that seems unnatural.   
[That nothing  . . . unnatural: That do nothing but think about war and blood. They swear and cast stern glances, wear disheveled clothes, and do everything that seems unnatural.]
Which to reduce into our former favour            65
You are assembled; and my speech entreats   
That I may know the let why gentle Peace   
Should not expel these inconveniences,   
And bless us with her former qualities.   
[Which to . . . qualities: You are assembled here to restore all these things to their prewar state. My speech asks you whether there is any reason that gentle peace cannot do so.]
KING HENRY:  If, Duke of Burgundy, you would the peace,            70
Whose want gives growth to the imperfections   
Which you have cited, you must buy that peace   
With full accord to all our just demands;   
Whose tenours and particular effects   
You have, enschedul’d briefly, in your hands.            75
[If, Duke . . . hands: If, Duke of Burgundy, you want the peace that will correct the imperfections you cite, you will have to buy that peace by agreeing to our just demands, whose details appear in the proposed treaty.]
Bur.  The king hath heard them; to the which as yet,   
There is no answer made.   
KING HENRY:  Well then the peace,   
Which you before so urg’d, lies in his answer.   
FRENCH KING:  I have but with a cursory eye            80
O’erglanc’d [look over] the articles: pleaseth your Grace   
To appoint some of your council presently   
To sit with us once more, with better heed   
To re-survey them [to review them again], we will suddenly   
Pass our accept and peremptory answer.            85
KING HENRY:  Brother, we shall. Go, uncle Exeter,   
And brother Clarence, and you, brother Gloucester,   
Warwick and Huntingdon, go with the king;   
And take with you free power to ratify,   
Augment, or alter, as your wisdoms best            90
Shall see advantageable for our dignity,   
Anything in or out of our demands,   
And we’ll consign thereto. Will you, fair sister,
[And take . . . thereto: And feel free to approve the treaty as it stands. You may also add to or alter it if the changes are to our advantage.]
Go with the princes, or stay here with us?   
Q. Isa.  Our gracious brother, I will go with them.            95
Haply [perhaps] a woman’s voice may do some good   
When articles too nicely urg’d be stood on [when the men are having trouble agreeing on a point].   
KING HENRY:  Yet leave our cousin Katharine here with us:   
She is our capital [main] demand, compris’d   
Within the fore-rank of our articles.            100
Q. Isa.  She hath good leave.  [Exeunt all except KING HENRY, KATHARINE, and ALICE.   
KING HENRY:  Fair Katharine, and most fair!   
Will you vouchsafe [agree] to teach a soldier terms,   
Such as will enter at a lady’s ear,   
And plead his love-suit to her gentle heart?            105
KATHARINE:  Your majesty sall [shall] mock at me; I cannot speak your England.   
KING HENRY:  O fair Katharine! if you will love me soundly with your French heart, I will be glad to hear you confess it brokenly with your English tongue. Do you like me, Kate?   
KATHARINE:  Pardonnez moi [pardon me], I cannot tell vat [what] is ‘like me.’   
KING HENRY:  An angel is like you, Kate; and you are like an angel.   
KATHARINE:  Que dit-il? que je suis semblable à les anges? [What did he say? That I am like an angel?]            110     .
ALICE:  Oui, vraiment, sauf votre grace, ainsi dit-il. [Yes, truly, with all due respect, he said so.] 
KING HENRY:  I said so, dear Katharine; and I must not blush to affirm it.   
KATHARINE:  O bon Dieu! les langues des hommes sont pleines des tromperies. [O good Lord! The tongues of men are full of deceit.]  
KING HENRY:  What says she, fair one? that the tongues of men are full of deceits?   
ALICE:  Oui, dat de tongues of de mans is be full of deceits: dat is de princess.            115
KING HENRY:  The princess is the better English-woman [The princess is speaking like an Englishwoman]. I’ faith, Kate, my wooing is fit for thy understanding: I am glad thou canst speak no better English; for, if thou couldst, thou wouldst find me such a plain king that thou wouldst think I had sold my farm to buy my crown. I know no ways to mince it in love [no way to mince my words], but directly to say ‘I love you:’ then, if you urge me further [if you ask me any other question] than to say ‘Do you in faith?’ I wear out my suit [I'll be finished with my wooing]. Give me your answer; i’ faith do: and so clap hands and a bargain. How say you, lady?   
KATHARINE:  Sauf votre honneur [with all due respect to you], me understand vell.   
KING HENRY:  Marry [by the Virgin Mary], if you would put me to verses [if you wanted me to express my feelings in poetry], or to dance for your sake, Kate, why you undid me: for the one, I have neither words nor measure [meter], and for the other, I have no strength in measure [dance steps], yet a reasonable measure in strength. If I could win a lady at leap-frog, or by vaulting into my saddle with my armour on my back, under the correction of bragging be it spoken [forgive me if I seem to brag], I should quickly leap into a wife. Or if I might buffet [box] for my love, or bound my horse for her favours [or make my horse prance to win my love's favors], I could lay on like a butcher and sit like a jackanapes, never off [I could do those things easily]. But before God, Kate, I cannot look greenly nor gasp out my eloquence [I cannot change my appearance on command,  like a magician, or speak fancy words], nor I have no cunning in protestation; only downright oaths [nor do I soften the blow of my words but instead bluntly speak my mind, especially when swearing an oath] which I never use till urged, nor never break for urging [nor never break when someone urges me to do so]. If thou canst love a fellow of this temper, Kate, whose face is not worth sun-burning, that never looks in his glass for love of anything he sees there [never looks in his mirror to admire himself], let thine eye be thy cook [then, like a cook, add to me the ingredients that will turn me into a dish worthy of you]. I speak to thee [as a] plain soldier: if thou canst love me for this, take me; if not, to say to thee that I shall die, is true; but [not] for thy love, by the Lord, no; yet I love thee too. And while thou livest, dear Kate, take a fellow of plain and uncoined constancy [of plain and sincere devotion] , for he perforce must do thee right, because he hath not the gift to woo in other places [to woo other women]; for these fellows of infinite tongue, that can rime themselves into ladies’ favours, they do always reason themselves out again [for these glib fellows that sweet-talk themselves into ladies' favors always do something that puts them out of favor]. What! a speaker is but a prater [yacker]; a rime is but a ballad. A good leg will fall [wither], a straight back will stoop, a black beard will turn white, a curled pate [a head of curly hair] will grow bald, a fair face will wither, a full eye will wax [become] hollow, but a good heart, Kate, is the sun and the moon; or, rather, the sun, and not the moon; for it shines bright and never changes, but keeps his course truly. If thou would have such a one, take me; and take me, take a soldier; take a soldier, take a king. And what sayest thou then to my love? speak, my fair, and fairly, I pray thee.   
KATHARINE:  Is it possible dat I sould [should] love de enemy of France?   
KING HENRY:  No; it is not possible you should love the enemy of France, Kate; but, in loving me, you should love the friend of France; for I love France so well, that I will not part with a village of it; I will have it all mine: and, Kate, when France is mine and I am yours, then yours is France and you are mine.         120
KATHARINE:  I cannot tell vat is dat.   
KING HENRY:  No, Kate? I will tell thee in French, which I am sure will hang upon my tongue like a new-married wife about her husband’s neck, hardly to be shook off. Je quand sur le possession de France, et quand vous avez le possession de moi [when I possess France and you possess me],—let me see, what then? Saint Denis be my speed!—donc votre est France, et vous êtes mienne [France is yours, and you are mine]. It is as easy for me, Kate, to conquer the kingdom, as to speak so much more French: I shall never move thee in French, unless it be to laugh at me.   
KATHARINE:  Sauf votre honneur, le Français que vous parlez est meilleur que l’Anglais lequel je parle. [With all due respect, the French you speak is better than the English I speak.]   
KING HENRY:  No, faith, is ’t not, Kate; but thy speaking of my tongue, and I thine, most truly falsely, must needs be granted to be much at one [to be on the same level in terms of skill]. But, Kate, dost thou understand thus much English, Canst thou love me?   
KATHARINE:  I cannot tell.            125
KING HENRY:  Can any of your neighbours tell, Kate? I’ll ask them. Come, I know thou lovest me; and at night when you come into your closet [private chamber] you’ll question this gentlewoman about me; and I know, Kate, you will to her dispraise [criticize] those parts in me that you love with your heart: but, good Kate, mock me mercifully; the rather [do so], gentle princess, because I love thee cruelly. If ever thou beest [be] mine, Kate,—as I have a saving faith within me tells me thou shalt,—I get thee with scambling [I'll have to struggle to win you over], and thou must therefore needs prove a good soldier-breeder. Shall not thou and I, between Saint Denis and Saint George, compound a boy, half French, half English, that shall go to Constantinople and take the Turk by the beard? shall we not? what sayest thou, my fair flower-de-luce [fleur-de-lis, a drawn or engraved image of the iris flower]?   
KATHARINE:  I do not know dat.   
KING HENRY:  No; ’tis hereafter to know, but now to promise: do but now promise, Kate, you will endeavour for your French part of such a boy, and for my English moiety [part] take the word of a king and a bachelor. How answer you, la plus belle Katharine du monde, mon très cher et divine déesse? [the most beautiful Katherine in the world, my very dear and divine goddess?]   
KATHARINE:  Your majesté ave fausse French enough to deceive de most sage demoiselle dat is en France. [Your majesty has enough false French to deceive the wisest young lady in France.] 
KING HENRY:  Now, fie upon my false French! By mine honour, in true English I love thee, Kate: by which honour I dare not swear thou lovest me; yet my blood begins to flatter me that thou dost, notwithstanding the poor and untempering effect of my visage [in spite of the imperfection of my face]. Now beshrew [curse] my father’s ambition! he was thinking of civil wars when he got me [when I was conceived]: therefore was I created with a stubborn outside, with an aspect of iron, that, when I come to woo ladies I fright them. But, in faith, Kate, the elder I wax [the older I get] the better I shall appear: my comfort is, that old age, that ill layer-up of beauty, can do no more spoil upon my face: thou hast me, if thou hast me, at the worst; and thou shalt wear me, if thou wear me, better and better. And therefore tell me, most fair Katharine, will you have me? Put off your maiden blushes; avouch [express] the thoughts of your heart with the looks of an empress; take me by the hand, and say ‘Harry of England, I am thine:’ which word thou shalt no sooner bless mine ear withal, but I will tell thee aloud—‘England is thine, Ireland is thine, France is thine, and Henry Plantagenet is thine;’ who, though I speak it before his face, if he be not fellow with the best king, thou shalt find the best king of good fellows. Come, your answer in broken music; for thy voice is music, and thy English broken; therefore, queen of all, Katharine, break thy mind to me in broken English: wilt thou have me?            130
KATHARINE:  Dat is as it sall [shall] please de roi mon père [please my father, the king].   
KING HENRY:  Nay, it will please him well, Kate; it shall please him, Kate.   
KATHARINE:  Den it sall [shall] also content me.   
KING HENRY:  Upon that I kiss your hand, and I call you my queen.   
KATHARINE:  Laissez, mon seigneur, laissez, laissez! Ma foi, je ne veux point que vous abaissez votre grandeur, en baisant la main d’une vostre indigne serviteure: excusez moi, je vous supplie, mon très puissant seigneur.            135
[Leave off, my lord, stop, stop! My faith, I do not wish you to diminish your grandeur by kissing the hand of your lowly servant. Please forgive me for stopping you, my very powerful lord.]
KING HENRY:  Then I will kiss your lips, Kate.   
KATHARINE:  Les dames, et demoiselles, pour être baisées devant leur noces, il n’est pas la coutume de France. [It is not a custom in France for ladies to be kissed before their nuptials.]   
KING HENRY:  Madam my interpreter, what says she?   
ALICE:  Dat it is not be de fashion pour les ladies of France,—I cannot tell what is baiser in English.   
KING HENRY:  To kiss.            140
ALICE:  Your majesty entendre bettre que moi. [Your majesty understands better than I do.]   
KING HENRY:  It is not a fashion for the maids in France to kiss before they are married, would she say?   
ALICE:  Oui, vraiment [yes, truly].   
KING HENRY:  O Kate! nice customs curtsy to great kings. Dear Kate, you and I cannot be confined within the weak list of [cannot be restrained by] a country’s fashion: we are the makers of manners, Kate; and the liberty that follows our places stops the mouths of all find-faults [and the freedom we are entitled to exhibit stops the mouths of fault-finders], as I will do yours, for upholding the nice fashion of your country in denying me a kiss: therefore, patiently, and yielding  [Kissing her].  You have witchcraft in your lips, Kate: there is more eloquence in a sugar touch of them, than in the tongues of the French council; and they should sooner persuade Harry of England than a general petition of monarchs. Here comes your father.   

Re-enter the KING and QUEEN, BURGUNDY, BEDFORD, GLOUCESTER, EXETER, WARWICK, WESTMORELAND, and other French and English Lords.              145

Bur.  God save your majesty! My royal cousin, teach you our princess English?   
KING HENRY:  I would have her learn, my fair cousin, how perfectly I love her; and that is good English.   
Bur.  Is she not apt?   
KING HENRY:  Our tongue is rough, coz, and my condition is not smooth [My French is rough, cousin, and my manner is plain and blunt; so that, having neither the voice nor the heart of flattery about me, I cannot so conjure [stir] up the spirit of love in her, [so] that he [that love] will appear in his true likeness.   
Bur.  Pardon the frankness of my mirth if I answer you for that. If you would conjure in her, you must make a circle; if conjure up Love in her in his true likeness, he must appear naked and blind. Can you blame her then, being a maid yet rosed over with the virgin crimson of modesty, if she deny the appearance of a naked blind boy in her naked seeing self? It were, my lord, a hard condition for a maid to consign to.            150
[Pardon . . . consign to: Allow me to comment on what you said. If you are going to make Love appear in his true likeness, he must appear naked and blind—like the mythological god of love, Cupid. Can you blame her, a modest virgin, for refusing to picture in her mind the likeness of a naked blind boy. It's a hard thing to get a maiden to do such a thing.]
KING HENRY:  Yet they do wink and yield, as love is blind and enforces. [Yet they close their eyes and surrender, for blind love rules their hearts.]  
Bur.  They are then excused, my lord, when they see not what they do.   
KING HENRY:  Then, good my lord, teach your cousin to consent winking. [Then, my good lord, tell your cousin to agree to close her eyes.]  
Bur.  I will wink on her to consent, my lord, if you will teach her to know my meaning: for maids, well summered and warm kept, are like flies at Bartholomew-tide, blind, though they have their eyes; and then they will endure handling, which before would not abide looking on.  
[I will . . . looking on: I will tell her to do so, my lord, if you will teach her more on this subject. By the time of Bartholomew-tide (August 24), she will allow you to handle her even though she would not even look at love earlier in the summer.]
KING HENRY:  This moral ties me over to time and a hot summer; and so I shall catch the fly, your cousin, in the latter end, and she must be blind too.            155
[This moral . . . too: Your strategy will make me wait through a hot summer until your cousin is reads, but she will still be blind.
Bur.  As love is, my lord, before it loves.   
KING HENRY:  It is so: and you may, some of you, thank love for my blindness, who cannot see many a fair French city for one fair French maid that stands in my way.   
FRENCH KING:  Yes, my lord, you see them perspectively, the cities turned into a maid; for they are all girdled with maiden walls that war hath never entered.   
[Yes . . . entered: In a manner of speaking, my lord, you do see the cities, for they appear as a maiden. After all, they are all enclosed in maiden walls that war has never entered.]
KING HENRY:  Shall Kate be my wife?   
FRENCH KING:  So please you.            160
KING HENRY:  I am content; so the maiden cities you talk of may wait on her: so the maid that stood in the way for my wish shall show me the way to my will.   
[I am . . . will: I am content as long as the maiden cities are part of the deal—that is, that they come along with her. In such a way, the maiden who is shy about yielding to me will not only yield herself but also the cities that I will rule.]
FRENCH KING:  We have consented to all terms of reason.   
KING HENRY:  Is ’t so, my lords of England?   
West.  The king hath granted every article:   
His daughter first, and then in sequel all,            165
According to their firm proposed natures [according to the firm conditions of the treaty].   
EXETER:  Only he hath not yet subscribed this: Where your majesty demands, that the King of France, having any occasion to write for matter of grant, shall name your highness in this form, and with this addition, in French, Notre très cher filz Henry roy d’Angleterre, Héretier de France; and thus in Latin, Præclarissimus filius noster Henricus, Rex Angliæ, et Hæres Franciæ.   
[Only he . . . France: However, the French king has not yet agreed to address your highness in the following way: "Our very dear son Henry, king of England, Inheritor of France."]
FRENCH KING:  Nor this I have not, brother, so denied,   
But your request shall make me let it pass.   
[Nor . . . pass: But I have not refused the condition. If you wish, I can keep it in the treaty.]
KING HENRY:  I pray you then, in love and dear alliance,            170
Let that one article rank with the rest;   
And thereupon give me your daughter.   
FRENCH KING:  Take her, fair son; and from her blood raise up   
Issue [children] to me; that the contending kingdoms   
Of France and England, whose very shores look pale            175
With envy of each other’s happiness,   
May cease their hatred, and this dear conjunction   
Plant neighbourhood and Christian-like accord   
In their sweet bosoms, that never war advance   
His bleeding sword ’twixt England and fair France.            180
All.  Amen!   
KING HENRY:  Now, welcome, Kate: and bear me witness all,   
That here I kiss her as my sovereign queen.  [Flourish. [Trumpets blow.] 
Q. Isa.  God, the best maker of all marriages,   
Combine your hearts in one, your realms in one!            185
As man and wife, being two, are one in love,   
So be there ’twixt your kingdoms such a spousal [marriage]  
That never may ill office, or fell [deadly] jealousy,   
Which troubles oft the bed of blessed marriage,   
Thrust in between the paction [unity] of these kingdoms,            190
To make divorce of their incorporate league;   
That English may as French, French Englishmen,   
Receive each other! God speak this Amen!   
All.  Amen!   
KING HENRY:  Prepare we for our marriage: on which day,            195
My Lord of Burgundy, we’ll take your oath,   
And all the peers’, for surety of our leagues.  
[on which . . . leagues: On that day, my Lord of Burgundy, I will take your oath of loyalty and that of all the peers to guarantee the implementation of the treaty.]
Then shall I swear to Kate, and you to me;   
And may our oaths well kept and prosperous be!  [Sennet. [Trumpets blow as all the characters leave the stage.] Exeunt.   

Enter Chorus.             200

Thus far, with rough and all-unable pen,   
Our bending author hath pursu’d the story;   
In little room confining mighty men,   
[with . . . story: With a less-than-adequate pen, our struggling author has written the story and staged it in this small room that confines mighty men.]
Mangling by starts the full course of their glory. 
[Mangling . . . glory: Condensing the full history of the events to fit in the time allotted for the play.]
Small time, but in that small most greatly liv’d            205
This star of England: Fortune made his sword,   
By which the world’s best garden [France] he achiev’d,   
And of it left his son imperial lord.   
Henry the Sixth, in infant bands crown’d King   
Of France and England, did this king succeed;            210
[Henry the . . . succeed: This lord was crowned King of England and France as Henry VI, succeeding his father when he was only an infant.]
Whose state so many had the managing,   
[Whose . . . . managing: So many men of opposing views tried to rule the boy king's government]
That they lost France and made his England bleed [and embroiled England in civil war]:   
Which oft our stage hath shown; and, for their sake,   
In your fair minds let this acceptance take.  [Exit.  
[Which oft . . . take: This stage has depicted the events of the boy king's reign in other plays. With those plays in your fair mind, please accept this play as a production that is as worthy as the others.]

About the Author

Michael J. Cummings, a native of Williamsport, Pa., was a public-school teacher, journalist, freelance writer, author, and college instructor before retiring and devoting his time to writing. He graduated from King's College in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., and undertook additional studies at Elmira (N.Y) College and Lycoming College in Williamsport. He also underwent training at the American Press Institute. Mr. Cummings is the author of five print books, thirteen e-books, and more than 2,500 newspaper and magazine articles. Among those he interviewed over the years were actors Peter Ustinov and Dennis Weaver, Merrill-Lynch chairman William Schreyer, Indy race-car champion Rick Mears, and George W. Bush (while he was running for vice president on Ronald Reagan's ticket). Mr. Cummings continues to reside in his hometown.