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Henry V
Act 3, scene 7

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…

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Scene 7
Enter the Constable of France, the Lord Rambures,
Orléans, Dauphin, with others.


CONSTABLE Tut, I have the best armor of the world.
 Would it were day!
ORLÉANS You have an excellent armor, but let my
 horse have his due.
CONSTABLE 5It is the best horse of Europe.
ORLÉANS Will it never be morning?
DAUPHIN My Lord of Orléans and my Lord High Constable,
 you talk of horse and armor?
ORLÉANS You are as well provided of both as any
10 prince in the world.
DAUPHIN What a long night is this! I will not change
 my horse with any that treads but on four pasterns.
 Çà, ha! He bounds from the earth, as if his
 entrails were hairs, le cheval volant, the Pegasus, qui
15 a 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.
ORLÉANS He’s of the color of the nutmeg.
DAUPHIN 20And 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
25 may call beasts.
CONSTABLE Indeed, my lord, it is a most absolute and
 excellent horse.
DAUPHIN It is the prince of palfreys; his neigh is like
 the bidding of a monarch, and his countenance
30 enforces homage.
ORLÉANS No more, cousin.
DAUPHIN Nay, the man hath no wit that cannot, from

123
Henry V
ACT 3. SC. 7

 the rising of the lark to the lodging of the lamb,
 vary deserved praise on my palfrey. It is a theme as
35 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
40 particular functions and wonder at him. I once writ
 a sonnet in his praise and began thus: “Wonder of
 nature—”
ORLÉANS I have heard a sonnet begin so to one’s
 mistress.
DAUPHIN 45Then did they imitate that which I composed
 to my courser, for my horse is my mistress.
ORLÉANS Your mistress bears well.
DAUPHIN Me well—which is the prescript praise and
 perfection of a good and particular mistress.
CONSTABLE 50Nay, for methought yesterday your mistress
 shrewdly shook your back.
DAUPHIN So perhaps did yours.
CONSTABLE Mine was not bridled.
DAUPHIN O, then belike she was old and gentle, and
55 you rode like a kern of Ireland, your French hose
 off, and in your strait strossers.
CONSTABLE You have good judgment in horsemanship.
DAUPHIN Be warned by me, then: they that ride so, and
 ride not warily, fall into foul bogs. I had rather have
60 my horse to my mistress.
CONSTABLE I had as lief have my mistress a jade.
DAUPHIN I tell thee, constable, my mistress wears his
 own hair.
CONSTABLE I could make as true a boast as that if I had
65 a sow to my mistress.
DAUPHIN “Le chien est retourné à son propre vomissement,
 et la truie lavée au bourbier.”
 Thou mak’st use
 of anything.

125
Henry V
ACT 3. SC. 7

CONSTABLE Yet do I not use my horse for my mistress,
70 or any such proverb so little kin to the purpose.
RAMBURES My Lord Constable, the armor that I saw in
 your tent tonight, are those stars or suns upon it?
CONSTABLE Stars, my lord.
DAUPHIN Some of them will fall tomorrow, I hope.
CONSTABLE 75And yet my sky shall not want.
DAUPHIN That may be, for you bear a many superfluously,
 and ’twere more honor some were away.
CONSTABLE Ev’n as your horse bears your praises—
 who would trot as well were some of your brags
80 dismounted.
DAUPHIN Would I were able to load him with his
 desert! Will it never be day? I will trot tomorrow a
 mile, and my way shall be paved with English faces.
CONSTABLE I will not say so for fear I should be faced
85 out of my way. But I would it were morning, for I
 would fain be about the ears of the English.
RAMBURES Who will go to hazard with me for twenty
 prisoners?
CONSTABLE You must first go yourself to hazard ere you
90 have them.
DAUPHIN ’Tis midnight. I’ll go arm myself.He exits.
ORLÉANS The Dauphin longs for morning.
RAMBURES He longs to eat the English.
CONSTABLE I think he will eat all he kills.
ORLÉANS 95By the white hand of my lady, he’s a gallant
 prince.
CONSTABLE Swear by her foot, that she may tread out
 the oath.
ORLÉANS He is simply the most active gentleman of
100 France.
CONSTABLE Doing is activity, and he will still be doing.
ORLÉANS He never did harm, that I heard of.
CONSTABLE Nor will do none tomorrow. He will keep
 that good name still.

127
Henry V
ACT 3. SC. 7

ORLÉANS 105I know him to be valiant.
CONSTABLE I was told that by one that knows him
 better than you.
ORLÉANS What’s he?
CONSTABLE Marry, he told me so himself, and he said
110 he cared not who knew it.
ORLÉANS He needs not. It is no hidden virtue in him.
CONSTABLE By my faith, sir, but it is; never anybody
 saw it but his lackey. ’Tis a hooded valor, and when
 it appears, it will bate.
ORLÉANS 115Ill will never said well.
CONSTABLE I will cap that proverb with “There is
 flattery in friendship.”
ORLÉANS And I will take up that with “Give the devil
 his due.”
CONSTABLE 120Well placed; there stands your friend for
 the devil. Have at the very eye of that proverb with
 “A pox of the devil.”
ORLÉANS You are the better at proverbs, by how much
 “A fool’s bolt is soon shot.”
CONSTABLE 125You have shot over.
ORLÉANS ’Tis not the first time you were overshot.

Enter a Messenger.

MESSENGER My Lord High Constable, the English lie
 within fifteen hundred paces of your tents.
CONSTABLE Who hath measured the ground?
MESSENGER 130The Lord Grandpré.
CONSTABLE A valiant and most expert gentleman.—
 Would it were day! Alas, poor Harry of England! He
 longs not for the dawning as we do.
ORLÉANS What a wretched and peevish fellow is this
135 King of England to mope with his fat-brained
 followers so far out of his knowledge.
CONSTABLE If the English had any apprehension, they
 would run away.

129
Henry V
ACT 3. SC. 7

ORLÉANS That they lack; for if their heads had any
140 intellectual armor, they could never wear such
 heavy headpieces.
RAMBURES That island of England breeds very valiant
 creatures. Their mastiffs are of unmatchable
 courage.
ORLÉANS 145Foolish 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.
CONSTABLE 150Just, 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.
ORLÉANS 155Ay, but these English are shrewdly out of
 beef.
CONSTABLE Then shall we find tomorrow they have
 only stomachs to eat and none to fight. Now is it
 time to arm. Come, shall we about it?
ORLÉANS 
160 It is now two o’clock. But, let me see, by ten
 We shall have each a hundred Englishmen.
They exit.