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Henry V
Act 4, scene 3

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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 3
Enter Gloucester, Bedford, Exeter, Erpingham with all
his host, Salisbury, and Westmoreland.


GLOUCESTER Where is the King?
BEDFORD 
 The King himself is rode to view their battle.
WESTMORELAND 
 Of fighting men they have full threescore thousand.
EXETER 
 There’s five to one. Besides, they all are fresh.
SALISBURY 
5 God’s arm strike with us! ’Tis a fearful odds.
 God be wi’ you, princes all. I’ll to my charge.
 If we no more meet till we meet in heaven,
 Then joyfully, my noble Lord of Bedford,
 My dear Lord Gloucester, and my good Lord Exeter,
10 And my kind kinsman, warriors all, adieu.
BEDFORD 
 Farewell, good Salisbury, and good luck go with
 thee.

163
Henry V
ACT 4. SC. 3

 And yet I do thee wrong to mind thee of it,
 For thou art framed of the firm truth of valor.
EXETER 
15 Farewell, kind lord. Fight valiantly today.
Salisbury exits.
BEDFORD 
 He is as full of valor as of kindness,
 Princely in both.

Enter the King of England.

WESTMORELAND  O, that we now had here
 But one ten thousand of those men in England
20 That do no work today.
KING HENRY What’s he that wishes so?
 My cousin Westmoreland? No, my fair cousin.
 If we are marked to die, we are enough
 To do our country loss; and if to live,
25 The fewer men, the greater share of honor.
 God’s will, I pray thee wish not one man more.
 By Jove, I am not covetous for gold,
 Nor care I who doth feed upon my cost;
 It yearns me not if men my garments wear;
30 Such outward things dwell not in my desires.
 But if it be a sin to covet honor,
 I am the most offending soul alive.
 No, ’faith, my coz, wish not a man from England.
 God’s peace, I would not lose so great an honor
35 As one man more, methinks, would share from me,
 For the best hope I have. O, do not wish one more!
 Rather proclaim it, Westmoreland, through my host,
 That he which hath no stomach to this fight,
 Let him depart. His passport shall be made,
40 And crowns for convoy put into his purse.
 We would not die in that man’s company
 That fears his fellowship to die with us.
 This day is called the feast of Crispian.

165
Henry V
ACT 4. SC. 3

 He that outlives this day and comes safe home
45 Will stand o’ tiptoe when this day is named
 And rouse him at the name of Crispian.
 He that shall see this day, and live old age,
 Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbors
 And say “Tomorrow is Saint Crispian.”
50 Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars.
 Old men forget; yet all shall be forgot,
 But he’ll remember with advantages
 What feats he did that day. Then shall our names,
 Familiar in his mouth as household words,
55 Harry the King, Bedford and Exeter,
 Warwick and Talbot, Salisbury and Gloucester,
 Be in their flowing cups freshly remembered.
 This story shall the good man teach his son,
 And Crispin Crispian shall ne’er go by,
60 From this day to the ending of the world,
 But we in it shall be rememberèd—
 We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
 For he today that sheds his blood with me
 Shall be my brother; be he ne’er so vile,
65 This day shall gentle his condition;
 And gentlemen in England now abed
 Shall think themselves accursed they were not here,
 And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
 That fought with us upon Saint Crispin’s day.

Enter Salisbury.

SALISBURY 
70 My sovereign lord, bestow yourself with speed.
 The French are bravely in their battles set,
 And will with all expedience charge on us.
KING HENRY 
 All things are ready if our minds be so.
WESTMORELAND 
 Perish the man whose mind is backward now!

167
Henry V
ACT 4. SC. 3

KING HENRY 
75 Thou dost not wish more help from England, coz?
WESTMORELAND 
 God’s will, my liege, would you and I alone,
 Without more help, could fight this royal battle!
KING HENRY 
 Why, now thou hast unwished five thousand men,
 Which likes me better than to wish us one.—
80 You know your places. God be with you all.

Tucket. Enter Montjoy.

MONTJOY 
 Once more I come to know of thee, King Harry,
 If for thy ransom thou wilt now compound,
 Before thy most assurèd overthrow.
 For certainly thou art so near the gulf
85 Thou needs must be englutted. Besides, in mercy,
 The Constable desires thee thou wilt mind
 Thy followers of repentance, that their souls
 May make a peaceful and a sweet retire
 From off these fields where, wretches, their poor
90 bodies
 Must lie and fester.
KING HENRY  Who hath sent thee now?
MONTJOY  The Constable of France.
KING HENRY 
 I pray thee bear my former answer back.
95 Bid them achieve me and then sell my bones.
 Good God, why should they mock poor fellows
 thus?
 The man that once did sell the lion’s skin
 While the beast lived was killed with hunting him.
100 A many of our bodies shall no doubt
 Find native graves, upon the which, I trust,
 Shall witness live in brass of this day’s work.

169
Henry V
ACT 4. SC. 3

 And those that leave their valiant bones in France,
 Dying like men, though buried in your dunghills,
105 They shall be famed; for there the sun shall greet
 them
 And draw their honors reeking up to heaven,
 Leaving their earthly parts to choke your clime,
 The smell whereof shall breed a plague in France.
110 Mark, then, abounding valor in our English,
 That being dead, like to the bullet’s crazing,
 Break out into a second course of mischief,
 Killing in relapse of mortality.
 Let me speak proudly: tell the Constable
115 We are but warriors for the working day;
 Our gayness and our gilt are all besmirched
 With rainy marching in the painful field.
 There’s not a piece of feather in our host—
 Good argument, I hope, we will not fly—
120 And time hath worn us into slovenry.
 But, by the Mass, our hearts are in the trim,
 And my poor soldiers tell me, yet ere night
 They’ll be in fresher robes, or they will pluck
 The gay new coats o’er the French soldiers’ heads
125 And turn them out of service. If they do this,
 As, if God please, they shall, my ransom then
 Will soon be levied. Herald, save thou thy labor.
 Come thou no more for ransom, gentle herald.
 They shall have none, I swear, but these my joints,
130 Which, if they have, as I will leave ’em them,
 Shall yield them little, tell the Constable.
MONTJOY 
 I shall, King Harry. And so fare thee well.
 Thou never shalt hear herald anymore.
KING HENRY I fear thou wilt once more come again
135 for a ransom.Montjoy exits.
Enter York.


171
Henry V
ACT 4. SC. 4

YORK, kneeling 
 My lord, most humbly on my knee I beg
 The leading of the vaward.
KING HENRY 
 Take it, brave York.York rises.
 Now, soldiers, march away,
140 And how Thou pleasest, God, dispose the day.
They exit.