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Henry V
Act 2, scene 2

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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 2
Enter Exeter, Bedford, and Westmoreland.

BEDFORD 
 ’Fore God, his Grace is bold to trust these traitors.
EXETER 
 They shall be apprehended by and by.
WESTMORELAND 
 How smooth and even they do bear themselves,
 As if allegiance in their bosoms sat
5 Crownèd with faith and constant loyalty.

53
Henry V
ACT 2. SC. 2

BEDFORD 
 The King hath note of all that they intend,
 By interception which they dream not of.
EXETER 
 Nay, but the man that was his bedfellow,
 Whom he hath dulled and cloyed with gracious
10 favors—
 That he should, for a foreign purse, so sell
 His sovereign’s life to death and treachery!

Sound Trumpets. Enter the King of England,
Scroop, Cambridge, and Grey, with Attendants.


KING HENRY 
 Now sits the wind fair, and we will aboard.—
 My Lord of Cambridge, and my kind Lord of
15 Masham,
 And you, my gentle knight, give me your thoughts.
 Think you not that the powers we bear with us
 Will cut their passage through the force of France,
 Doing the execution and the act
20 For which we have in head assembled 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.
CAMBRIDGE 
 Never was monarch better feared and loved
 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

55
Henry V
ACT 2. SC. 2

 Have steeped their galls in honey, and do serve you
 With hearts create of duty and of 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.
SCROOP 
 So service shall with steelèd sinews toil,
 And labor shall refresh itself with hope
40 To do your Grace incessant services.
KING HENRY 
 We judge no less.—Uncle of Exeter,
 Enlarge the man committed yesterday
 That railed against our person. We consider
 It was excess of wine that set him on,
45 And on his more advice we pardon him.
SCROOP 
 That’s mercy, but too much security.
 Let him be punished, sovereign, lest example
 Breed, by his sufferance, more of such a kind.
KING HENRY O, let us yet be merciful.
CAMBRIDGE 
50 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.
KING HENRY 
 Alas, your too much love and care of me
 Are heavy orisons ’gainst this poor wretch.
55 If little faults proceeding on distemper
 Shall not be winked at, how shall we stretch our eye
 When capital crimes, chewed, swallowed, and
 digested,
 Appear before us? We’ll yet enlarge that man,

57
Henry V
ACT 2. SC. 2

60 Though Cambridge, Scroop, and Grey, in their dear
 care
 And tender preservation of our person,
 Would have him punished. And now to our French
 causes.
65 Who are the late commissioners?
CAMBRIDGE  I one, my lord.
 Your Highness bade me ask for it today.
SCROOP So did you me, my liege.
GREY And I, my royal sovereign.
KING HENRY, giving them papers 
70 Then Richard, Earl of Cambridge, there is yours—
 There yours, Lord Scroop of Masham.—And, sir
 knight,
 Grey of Northumberland, this same is yours.—
 Read them, and know I know your worthiness.—
75 My Lord of Westmoreland and uncle Exeter,
 We will aboard tonight.—Why how now, gentlemen?
 What see you in those papers, that you lose
 So much complexion?—Look you, how they change.
 Their cheeks are paper.—Why, what read you there
80 That have so cowarded and chased your blood
 Out of appearance?
CAMBRIDGE  I do confess my fault,
 And do submit me to your Highness’ mercy.
GREY/SCROOP To which we all appeal.
KING HENRY 
85 The mercy that was quick in us but late
 By your own counsel is suppressed and killed.
 You must not dare, for shame, to talk of mercy,
 For your own reasons turn into your bosoms
 As dogs upon their masters, worrying you.—
90 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

59
Henry V
ACT 2. SC. 2

 To furnish him with all appurtenants
95 Belonging to his honor, and this man
 Hath, for a few light crowns, lightly conspired
 And sworn unto the practices of France
 To kill us here in Hampton; to the which
 This knight, no less for bounty bound to us
100 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,
 That knew’st the very bottom of my soul,
105 That almost mightst have coined me into gold,
 Wouldst thou have practiced on me for thy use—
 May it be possible that foreign hire
 Could out of thee extract one spark of evil
 That might annoy my finger? ’Tis so strange
110 That, though the truth of it stands off as gross
 As black and white, my eye will scarcely see it.
 Treason and murder ever kept together,
 As two yoke-devils sworn to either’s purpose,
 Working so grossly in a natural cause
115 That admiration did not whoop at them.
 But thou, ’gainst all proportion, didst bring in
 Wonder to wait on treason and on murder,
 And whatsoever cunning fiend it was
 That wrought upon thee so preposterously
120 Hath got the voice in hell for excellence.
 All other devils that suggest by treasons
 Do botch and bungle up damnation
 With patches, colors, and with forms being fetched
 From glist’ring semblances of piety;
125 But he that tempered thee bade thee stand up,
 Gave thee no instance why thou shouldst do treason,
 Unless to dub thee with the name of traitor.
 If that same demon that hath gulled thee thus
 Should with his lion gait walk the whole world,

61
Henry V
ACT 2. SC. 2

130 He might return to vasty Tartar back
 And tell the legions “I can never win
 A soul so easy as that Englishman’s.”
 O, how hast thou with jealousy infected
 The sweetness of affiance! Show men dutiful?
135 Why, so didst thou. Seem they grave and learnèd?
 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,
 Free from gross passion or of mirth or anger,
140 Constant in spirit, not swerving with the blood,
 Garnished and decked in modest complement,
 Not working with the eye without the ear,
 And but in purgèd judgment trusting neither?
 Such and so finely bolted didst thou seem.
145 And thus thy fall hath left a kind of blot
 To mark the full-fraught man and best endued
 With some suspicion. I will weep for thee,
 For this revolt of thine methinks is like
 Another fall of man.—Their faults are open.
150 Arrest them to the answer of the law,
 And God acquit them of their practices.
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
155 Henry, Lord Scroop of Masham.—
 I arrest thee of high treason, by the name of
 Thomas Grey, knight, of Northumberland.
SCROOP 
 Our purposes God justly hath discovered,
 And I repent my fault more than my death,
160 Which I beseech your Highness to forgive,
 Although my body pay the price of it.
CAMBRIDGE 
 For me, the gold of France did not seduce,
 Although I did admit it as a motive
 The sooner to effect what I intended;

63
Henry V
ACT 2. SC. 2

165 But God be thankèd for prevention,
 Which I in sufferance heartily will rejoice,
 Beseeching God and you to pardon me.
GREY 
 Never did faithful subject more rejoice
 At the discovery of most dangerous treason
170 Than I do at this hour joy o’er myself,
 Prevented from a damnèd enterprise.
 My fault, but not my body, pardon, sovereign.
KING HENRY 
 God quit you in His mercy. Hear your sentence:
 You have conspired against our royal person,
175 Joined with an enemy proclaimed, and from his
 coffers
 Received the golden earnest of our death,
 Wherein you would have sold your king to
 slaughter,
180 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,
 But we our kingdom’s safety must so tender,
185 Whose ruin you have sought, that to her laws
 We do deliver you. Get you therefore hence,
 Poor miserable wretches, to your death,
 The taste whereof God of His mercy give
 You patience to endure, and true repentance
190 Of all your dear offenses.—Bear them hence.
They exit under guard.
 Now, lords, for France, the enterprise whereof
 Shall be to you as us, like glorious.
 We doubt not of a fair and lucky war,
 Since God so graciously hath brought to light
195 This dangerous treason lurking in our way
 To hinder our beginnings. We doubt not now

65
Henry V
ACT 2. SC. 3

 But every rub is smoothèd on our way.
 Then forth, dear countrymen. Let us deliver
 Our puissance into the hand of God,
200 Putting it straight in expedition.
 Cheerly to sea. The signs of war advance.
 No king of England if not king of France.
Flourish. They exit.