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Henry V
Act 2, scene 1

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Contents

Characters in the Play

Entire Play

Henry V begins at the English court, where the young king is persuaded that he has a claim to the throne…

Prologue

The Chorus wishes for a far greater stage, actors, and audience. He apologizes for the scanty resources that are available…

Act 1, scene 1

The Bishop of Canterbury informs the Bishop of Ely of a bill threatening Church revenues and of a plan to…

Act 1, scene 2

At the King’s request, Canterbury provides an extensive interpretation of French law to support Henry’s claim to the French throne….

Act 2, chorus

The Chorus announces the enthusiastic support of English youth for Henry’s French campaign, but also advises that the French have…

Act 2, scene 1

King Henry’s former tavern companion Bardolph prevents Pistol and Nym from fighting over Hostess Quickly, Pistol’s wife. They are interrupted…

Act 2, scene 2

Henry, informed of the treachery of three of his friends, confronts them with their crimes. They throw themselves on his…

Act 2, scene 3

The tavern crew—Bardolph, Pistol, Nym, and the Boy—join the Hostess in mourning the dead Falstaff and, saying good-bye to the…

Act 2, scene 4

The King of France and his court plan their defense against Henry’s invasion. Exeter arrives to present the King with…

Act 3, chorus

The Chorus describes the embarkation of Henry’s fleet for France, Henry’s preparations to besiege the town of Harfleur, and the…

Act 3, scene 1

Henry delivers an oration to inspire his troops to take Harfleur.

Act 3, scene 2

Bardolph, Pistol, Nym, and the Boy withdraw from the assault on Harfleur. They are driven back to it by Captain…

Act 3, scene 3

Henry threatens the men of Harfleur with the destruction of the town and its population if they do not yield…

Act 3, scene 4

An old gentlewoman, Alice, begins to teach English to Katherine, Princess of France.

Act 3, scene 5

The French nobles speak of their shame at the success of Henry’s invasion. The French King plans to block Henry’s…

Act 3, scene 6

Captains Fluellen and Gower meet Pistol, who pleads for Bardolph, sentenced to die for robbery. Fluellen refuses to intervene and…

Act 3, scene 7

On the eve of battle, the French nobles, confident of their army’s superiority, engage in verbal competition.

Act 4, chorus

The Chorus describes the confident French and anxious English armies on the night before the battle of Agincourt, and portrays…

Act 4, scene 1

Henry borrows Erpingham’s cloak and, in this disguise, passes through his camp, meeting Pistol, overhearing a conversation between Fluellen and…

Act 4, scene 2

The French nobles, about to fight, lament that the English are so few and so weak.

Act 4, scene 3

Henry delivers an oration to his troops urging them on to win glory in the battle. Montjoy again comes to…

Act 4, scene 4

A French soldier surrenders to Pistol, who threatens him with death until the soldier promises to pay a ransom of…

Act 4, scene 5

The French nobles, shamed in their defeat, decide to die fighting.

Act 4, scene 6

Henry, in doubt about the outcome of the battle, hears of York’s and Suffolk’s deaths, and then, when a French…

Act 4, scene 7

Fluellen, in conversation with Gower, compares Henry to the classical world-conqueror Alexander the Great. Montjoy arrives to concede the French…

Act 4, scene 8

Williams and Fluellen are prevented from fighting by Warwick and Gloucester. Henry arrives and accuses Williams of promising to strike…

Act 5, chorus

The Chorus describes the great welcome accorded the English army when it returns home, the visit by the Holy Roman…

Act 5, scene 1

Fluellen avenges Pistol’s insults by making Pistol eat a leek. Pistol, humiliated, plans to return to England in the guise…

Act 5, scene 2

The Duke of Burgundy has brought about a meeting between French and English to sign a peace treaty. Henry delegates…

Act 5, epilogue

The Chorus reminds the audience that Henry died very young, leaving the kingdom to his infant son, during whose reign…

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Scene 1
Enter Corporal Nym and Lieutenant Bardolph.

BARDOLPH Well met, Corporal Nym.
NYM Good morrow, Lieutenant Bardolph.
BARDOLPH What, are Ancient Pistol and you friends
 yet?
NYM 5For 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. It is a simple one, but what though? It
 will toast cheese, and it will endure cold as another
10 man’s sword will, and there’s an end.
BARDOLPH I will bestow a breakfast to make you

45
Henry V
ACT 2. SC. 1

 friends, and we’ll be all three sworn brothers to
 France. Let ’t be so, good Corporal Nym.
NYM Faith, I will live so long as I may, that’s the
15 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
20 you were troth-plight 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
25 mare, yet she will plod. There must be conclusions.
 Well, I cannot tell.

Enter Pistol and Hostess Quickly.

BARDOLPH Here comes Ancient Pistol and his wife.
 Good corporal, be patient here.—How now, mine
 host Pistol?
PISTOL 30Base tyke, call’st thou me host? Now, by this
 hand, I swear I scorn the term, nor shall my Nell
 keep lodgers.
HOSTESS No, by my troth, not long; for we cannot
 lodge and board a dozen or fourteen gentlewomen
35 that live honestly by the prick of their needles but it
 will be thought we keep a bawdy house straight.
Nym and Pistol draw their swords.
 O well-a-day, Lady! If he be not hewn now, we shall
 see willful adultery and murder committed.
BARDOLPH Good lieutenant, good corporal, offer nothing
40 here.
NYM Pish!
PISTOL Pish for thee, Iceland dog, thou prick-eared
 cur of Iceland!

47
Henry V
ACT 2. SC. 1

HOSTESS Good Corporal Nym, show thy valor, and put
45 up your sword.
NYM Will you shog off? To Pistol. I would have you
 solus.
PISTOL “Solus,” egregious dog? O viper vile, the solus
 in thy most marvelous face, the solus in thy teeth
50 and in thy throat and in thy hateful lungs, yea, in thy
 maw, perdy, and, which is worse, within thy nasty
 mouth! I do retort the solus in thy bowels, for I can
 take, and Pistol’s cock is up, and flashing fire will
 follow.
NYM 55I am not Barbason, you cannot conjure me. I
 have an humor to knock you indifferently well. If
 you grow foul with me, Pistol, I will scour you with
 my rapier, as I may, in fair terms. If you would walk
 off, I would prick your guts a little in good terms, as
60 I may, and that’s the humor of it.
PISTOL 
 O braggart vile and damnèd furious wight,
 The grave doth gape, and doting death is near.
 Therefore exhale.
BARDOLPH Hear me, hear me what I say: he that strikes
65 the first stroke, I’ll run him up to the hilts, as I am a
 soldier.He draws.
PISTOL An oath of mickle might, and fury shall abate.
Pistol and Nym and then Bardolph
sheathe their swords.

 Give me thy fist, thy forefoot to me give. Thy spirits
 are most tall.
NYM, to Pistol 70I will cut thy throat one time or other
 in fair terms, that is the humor of it.
PISTOL Couple à gorge, that is the word. I defy thee
 again. O hound of Crete, think’st thou my spouse to
 get? No, to the spital go, and from the powd’ring tub
75 of infamy fetch forth the lazar kite of Cressid’s kind,
 Doll Tearsheet she by name, and her espouse. I

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Henry V
ACT 2. SC. 1

 have, and I will hold, the quondam Quickly for the
 only she: and pauca, there’s enough too! Go to.

Enter the Boy.

BOY Mine host Pistol, you must come to my master,
80 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!
HOSTESS 85By my troth, he’ll yield the crow a pudding
 one of these days. The King has killed his heart.
 Good husband, come home presently.
She exits with the Boy.
BARDOLPH Come, shall I make you two friends? We
 must to France together. Why the devil should we
90 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.
NYM 95That now I will have, that’s the humor of it.
PISTOL As manhood shall compound. Push home.
They draw.
BARDOLPH, drawing his sword By this sword, he that
 makes the first thrust, I’ll kill him. By this sword, I
 will.
PISTOL, sheathing his sword 100“Sword” is an oath, and
 oaths must have their course.
BARDOLPH Corporal Nym, an thou wilt be friends, be
 friends; an thou wilt not, why then be enemies with
 me too. Prithee, put up.
PISTOL, to Nym 105A noble shalt thou have, and present
 pay, and liquor likewise will I give to thee, and

51
Henry V
ACT 2. SC. 2

 friendship shall combine, and brotherhood. I’ll live
 by Nym, and Nym shall live by me. Is not this just?
 For I shall sutler be unto the camp, and profits will
110 accrue. Give me thy hand.
NYM I shall have my noble?
PISTOL In cash, most justly paid.
NYM Well, then, that’s the humor of ’t.
Nym and Bardolph sheathe their swords.

Enter Hostess.

HOSTESS As ever you come of women, come in quickly
115 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.
NYM The King hath run bad humors on the knight,
 that’s the even of it.
PISTOL 120Nym, thou hast spoke the right. His heart is
 fracted and corroborate.
NYM The King is a good king, but it must be as it may;
 he passes some humors and careers.
PISTOL Let us condole the knight, for, lambkins, we
125 will live.
They exit.