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SCENE VI

The French camp, near Agincourt.
Enter the CONSTABLE OF FRANCE, the LORD RAMBURES, ORLEANS, DAUPHIN, with others.

Con.
Tut! I have the best armour of the
world. Would it were day!

Orl.
You have an excellent armour; but let
my horse have his due.

Con.
It is the best horse of Europe.

Orl.
Will it never be morning?

Dau.
My Lord of Orleans, and my lord high
constable, you talk of horse and armour?

Orl.
You are as well provided of both as (10)
any prince in the world.

Dau.
What a long night is this! I will
not change my horse with any that treads but
on four pasterns. Ca, ha! he bounds from
the earth, as if his entrails were hairs; le
cheval volant, the Pegasus, chez 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. (20)

Orl.
He's of the colour of the nutmeg.

Dau.
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.

Con.
Indeed, my lord, it is a most absolute
and excellent horse.

Dau.
It is the prince of palfreys; his
neigh is like the bidding of a monarch and (31)
his countenance enforces homage.

Orl.
No more, cousin.

Dau.
Nay, the man hath no wit that cannot,
from the rising of the lark to the lodging
of the lamb, vary deserved praise on my palfrey:
it is a theme as fluent as the sea: turn
the sands into eloquent tongues, and my horse
is argument 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,'--

Orl.
I have heard a sonnet begin so to
one's mistress.

Dau.
Then did they imitate that which I
composed to my courser, for my horse is my
mistress.

Orl.
Your mistress bears well.

Dau.
Me well; which is the prescript
praise and perfection of a good and particular
mistress.

Con.
Nay, for methought yesterday your
mistress shrewdly shook your back.

Dau.
So perhaps did yours.

Con.
Mine was not bridled.

Dau.
O then belike she was old and gentle;
and you rode, like a kern of Ireland, your
French hose off, and in your strait strossers.

Con.
You have good judgement in
horsemanship.

Dau.
Be warned by me, then: they that
ride so and ride not warily, fall into foul bogs.
I had rather have my horse to my mistress.

Con.
I had as lief have my mistress a jade.

Dau.
I tell thee, constable, my mistress
wears his own hair.

Con.
I could make as true a boast as that,
if I had a sow to my mistress.

Dau.
'Le chien est retourne a son propre
vomissement, et la truie lavee au bourbier:' (70)
thou makest use of any thing.

Con.
Yet do I not use my horse for my
mistress, or any such proverb so little kin to
the purpose.

Ram.
My lord constable, the armour that I
saw in your tent to-night, are those stars or
suns upon it?

Con.
Stars, my lord.

Dau.
Some of them will fall to-morrow, I
hope.

Con.
And yet my sky shall not want.

Dau.
That may be, for you bear a many
superfluously, and 'twere more honour some (81)
were away.

Con.
Even as your horse bears your
praises; who would trot as well, were some
of your bags dismounted.

Dau.
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.

Con.
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.

Ram.
Who will go to hazard with me for
twenty prisoners?

Con.
You must first go yourself to hazard,
ere you have them.

Dau.
'Tis midnight; I'll go arm myself.
[Exit.

Orl.
The Dauphin longs for morning.

Ram.
He longs to eat the English. (100)

Con.
I think he will eat all he kills.

Orl.
By the white hand of my lady, he's a
gallant prince.

Con.
Swear by her foot, that she may tread
out the oath.

Orl.
He is simply the most active gentleman
of France.

Con.
Doing is activity; and he will still be
doing.

Orl.
He never did harm, that I heard of.

Con.
Nor will do none to-morrow: he will (111)
keep that good name still.

Orl.
I know him to be valiant.

Con.
I was told that by one that knows
him better than you.

Orl.
What's he?

Con.
Marry, he told me so himself; and
he said he cared not who knew it.

Orl.
He needs not; it is no hidden virtue (119)
in him.

Con.
By my faith, sir, but it is; never
any body saw it but his lackey: 'tis a hooded
valor; and when it appears, it will bate.

Orl.
Ill will never said well.

Con.
I will cap that proverb with 'There
is flattery in friendship.'

Orl.
And I will take up that with 'Give
the devil his due.'

Con.
Well placed: there stands your friend
for the devil: have at the very eye of that (130)
proverb with 'A pox of the devil.'

Orl.
You are the better at proverbs, by
how much 'A fool's bolt is soon shot.'

Con.
You have shot over.

Orl.
'Tis not the first time you were overshot. Enter a Messenger.

Mess.
My lord high constable, the English
lie within fifteen hundred paces of your tents.

Con.
Who hath measured the ground?

Mess.
The Lord Grandpre.

Con.
A valiant and most expert gentleman.
Would it were day! Alas, poor Harry of
England! he longs not for the dawning as we (141)
do.

Orl.
What a wretched and peevish fellow
is this king of England, to mope with his fat-brained
followers so far out of his knowledge!

Con.
If the English had any apprehension,
they would run away.

Orl.
That they lack; for if their heads had
any intellectual armor, they could never wear (149)
such heavy head-pieces.

Ram.
That island of England breeds very
valiant creatures; their mastiffs are of unmatchable
courage.

Orl.
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.

Con.
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.

Orl.
Ay, but these English are shrewdly
out of beef.

Con.
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?

Orl.
It is now two o'clock: but, let me see, by ten

We shall have each a hundred Englishmen. [Exeunt.

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