List iconHenry VList icon

Henry V
Act 3, scene 6

Synopsis:

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…

Include links to:

Images
Glosses
Audio
Video
Essays
Quill icon
Scene 6
Enter Captains, English and Welsh, 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 bridge.
GOWER 5Is the Duke of Exeter safe?
FLUELLEN 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
10 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
15 estimation in the world, but I did see him do as
 gallant service.
GOWER What do you call him?

111
Henry V
ACT 3. SC. 6

FLUELLEN He is called Aunchient Pistol.
GOWER I know him not.

Enter Pistol.

FLUELLEN 20Here is the man.
PISTOL Captain, I thee beseech to do me favors. The
 Duke of Exeter doth love thee well.
FLUELLEN Ay, I praise God, and I have merited some
 love at his hands.
PISTOL 25Bardolph, 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—
FLUELLEN By your patience, Aunchient Pistol, Fortune
30 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,
35 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.
PISTOL Fortune is Bardolph’s foe and frowns on him,
40 for he hath stolen a pax and hangèd must he be. A
 damnèd death! Let gallows gape for dog, let man go
 free, and let not hemp his windpipe suffocate. But
 Exeter hath given the doom of death for pax of little
 price. Therefore go speak; the Duke will hear thy
45 voice, and let not Bardolph’s vital thread be cut
 with edge of penny cord and vile reproach. Speak,
 captain, for his life, and I will thee requite.
FLUELLEN Aunchient Pistol, I do partly understand
 your meaning.
PISTOL 50Why then, rejoice therefore.
FLUELLEN Certainly, aunchient, it is not a thing to

113
Henry V
ACT 3. SC. 6

 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
55 used.
PISTOL Die and be damned, and figo for thy friendship!
FLUELLEN It is well.
PISTOL The fig of Spain!He exits.
FLUELLEN Very good.
GOWER 60Why, this is an arrant counterfeit rascal. I
 remember him now, a bawd, a cutpurse.
FLUELLEN I’ll assure you he uttered as prave words at
 the pridge as you shall see in a summer’s day. But it
 is very well; what he has spoke to me, that is well, I
65 warrant you, when time is serve.
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’
70 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
75 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
80 slanders of the age, or else you may be marvelously
 mistook.
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
85 will tell him my mind.

115
Henry V
ACT 3. SC. 6

Drum and Colors. Enter the King of England and his
poor Soldiers, and Gloucester.


 Hark you, the King is coming, and I must speak
 with him from the pridge.—God pless your
 Majesty.
KING HENRY How now, Fluellen, cam’st thou from the
90 bridge?
FLUELLEN 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
95 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.
KING HENRY What men have you lost, Fluellen?
FLUELLEN 100The 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
105 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.
KING HENRY We would have all such offenders so cut
110 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
115 for a kingdom, the gentler gamester is the soonest
 winner.

Tucket. Enter Montjoy.


117
Henry V
ACT 3. SC. 6

MONTJOY You know me by my habit.
KING HENRY Well then, I know thee. What shall I know
 of thee?
MONTJOY 120My 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. Tell him
125 we could have rebuked him at Harfleur, but that we
 thought not good to bruise 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
130 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 reanswer, his pettiness would bow under.
 For our losses, his exchequer is too poor; for th’
135 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,
140 whose condemnation is pronounced.” So far my
 king and master; so much my office.
KING HENRY 
 What is thy name? I know thy quality.
MONTJOY Montjoy.
KING HENRY 
 Thou dost thy office fairly. Turn thee back,
145 And tell thy king I do not seek him now
 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,
150 My people are with sickness much enfeebled,

119
Henry V
ACT 3. SC. 6

 My numbers lessened, 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
155 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,
160 My army but a weak and sickly guard,
 Yet, God before, tell him we will come on
 Though France himself and such another neighbor
 Stand in our way. There’s for thy labor, Montjoy.
Gives money.
 Go bid thy master well advise himself:
165 If we may pass, we will; if we be hindered,
 We shall your tawny ground with your red blood
 Discolor. And so, Montjoy, fare you well.
 The sum of all our answer is but this:
 We would not seek a battle as we are,
170 Nor, as we are, we say we will not shun it.
 So tell your master.
MONTJOY 
 I shall deliver so. Thanks to your Highness.
He exits.
GLOUCESTER 
 I hope they will not come upon us now.
KING HENRY 
 We are in God’s hand, brother, not in theirs.
175 March to the bridge. It now draws toward night.
 Beyond the river we’ll encamp ourselves,
 And on tomorrow bid them march away.
They exit.