SCENE VIThe English camp in Picardy.
Enter GOWER and FLUELLEN, meeting.
How now, Captain Fluellen! come
you from the bridge?
I assure you, there is very excellent
services committed at the bridge.
Is the Duke of Exeter safe?
The Duke of Exeter is as magnanimous
as Agamemnon; and a man that I love
and honor with my soul, and my heart, and
my duty, and my life, and my living, and my
uttermost power: he is not--God be praised
and blessed!--any hurt in the world; but keeps
the bridge most valiantly, with excellent discipline.
There is an aunchient lieutenant there
at the pridge, I think in my very conscience he
is as valiant a man as Mark Antony; and he
is a man of no estimation in the world; but
I did see him do as gallant service.
What do you call him?
He is called Aunchient Pistol. (20)
I know him not. Enter PISTOL.
Here is the man.
Captain, I do thee beseech to do me favors:
The Duke of Exeter doth love thee well.
Ay, I praise God; and I have merited
some love at his hands.
Bardolph, a soldier, firm and sound of heart,
And of buxom valor, hath, by cruel fate,
And giddy Fortune's furious fickle wheel,
That goddess blind,
That stands upon the rolling restless stone--
By your patience, Aunchient Pistol.
Fortune is painted blind, with a muffler afore
her eyes, to signify to you that Fortune is
blind; and she is painted also with a wheel,
to signify to you, which is the moral of it, that
she is turning, and inconstant, and mutability,
and variation: and her 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 (40)
Fortune is Bardolph's foe, and frowns on him;
For he hath stolen a pax, and hanged must a' be:
A damned death!
Let gallows gape for dog; let man go free
And let not hemp his wind-pipe suffocate:
But Exeter hath given the doom of death
For pax of little price.
Therefore, go speak; the duke will hear thy voice:
And let not Bardolph's vital thread be cut
With edge of penny cord and vile reproach: (51)
Speak, captain, for his life, and I will thee requite.
Aunchient Pistol, I do partly understand
Why then, rejoice therefore.
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. (60)
Die and be damn'd! and figo for thy friendship!
It is well.
The fig of Spain! [Exit.
Why, this is an arrant counterfeit
rascal; I remember him now; a bawd, a cut-purse.
I'll assure you, a' uttered as brave
words at the bridge as you shall see in a summer's
day. But it is very well; what he has
spoke to me, that is well, I warrant you, when (69)
time is serve.
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.
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 (91)
must speak with him from the pridge. Drum and colors. Enter KING HENRY,GLOUCESTER, and Soldiers.
God pless your majesty!
How now, Fluellen! camest thou from the bridge?
Ay, so please your majesty. The Duke
of Exeter has very gallantly maintained the
pridge: the French is gone off, look you; and
there is gallant and most prave passages;
marry, th' athversary was have possession of
the pridge; but he is enforced to retire, and
the Duke of Exeter is master of the pridge: I
can tell your majesty, the duke is a prave (101)
What men have you lost, 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.
We would have all such offenders
so cut off: and we give express charge, that
in our marches through the country, there be
nothing compelled from the villages, nothing
taken but paid for, none of the French upbraided
or abused in disdainful language; for
when lenity and cruelty play for a kingdom, (120)
the gentler gamester is the soonest winner. Tucket. Enter MONTJOY.
You know me by my habit.
Well then I know thee: what
shall I know of thee?
My master's mind.
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. Tell him we could have rebuked
him at Harfleur, but that we thought
not good to abuse an injury till it were full
ripe: now we speak upon our cue, and our
voice is imperial: England shall repent his
folly, see his weakness, and admire our sufferance.
Bid him therefore consider of his
ransom; which must proportion the losses we
have borne, the subjects we have lost, the disgrace
we have digested; which in weight to
re-answer, his pettiness would bow under. For
our losses, his exchequer is too poor; for the
effusion of our blood, the muster of his kingdom
too faint a number; and for our disgrace,
his own person, kneeling at our feet, but a
weak and worthless satisfaction. To this add
defiance: and tell him, for conclusion, he hath
betrayed his followers, whose condemnation is
pronounced. So far my king and master; so
much my office.
What is thy name? I know thy quality.
Thou dost thy office fairly. Turn thee back,
And tell thy king I do not seek him now; (150)
But could be willing to march on to Calais
Without impeachment: for, to say the sooth,
Though 'tis no wisdom to confess so much
Unto an enemy of craft and vantage,
My people are with sickness much enfeebled,
My numbers lessen'd, and those few I have
Almost no better than so many French;
Who when they were in health, I tell thee, herald,
I thought upon one pair of English legs (159)
Did march three Frenchmen. Yet, forgive me, God,
That I do brag thus! This your air of France
Hath blown that vice in me; I must repent.
Go therefore, tell thy master here I am;
My ransom is this frail and worthless trunk,
My army but a weak and sickly guard;
Yet, God before, tell him we will come on,
Though France himself and such another neighbour
Stand in our way. There's for thy labour, Montjoy.
Go, bid thy master well advise himself:
If we may pass, we will; if we be hinder'd, (170)
We shall your tawny ground with your red blood
Discolour: and so, Montjoy, fare you well.
The sum of a!l 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.
I shall deliver so. Thanks to your highness.
I hope they will not come upon us now.
We are in God's hand, brother, not in theirs.
March to the bridge; it now draws toward night: (180)
Beyond the river we'll encamp ourselves,
And on to-morrow bid them march away.