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Henry V
Act 4, scene 4

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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Quill icon
Scene 4
Alarum. Excursions. Enter Pistol, French Soldier,
and Boy.


PISTOL Yield, cur.
FRENCH SOLDIER Je pense que vous êtes le gentilhomme
 de bonne qualité.

PISTOL Qualtitie calmie custure me. Art thou a gentleman?
5 What is thy name? Discuss.
FRENCH SOLDIER Ô Seigneur Dieu!
PISTOL O, Seigneur Dew should be a gentleman. Perpend
 my words, O Seigneur Dew, and mark: O
 Seigneur Dew, thou diest on point of fox, except, O
10 Seigneur, thou do give to me egregious ransom.
FRENCH SOLDIER Ô, prenez miséricorde! Ayez pitié de
 moi!

PISTOL Moy shall not serve. I will have forty moys, or
 I will fetch thy rim out at thy throat in drops of
15 crimson blood.
FRENCH SOLDIER Est-il impossible d’échapper la force
 de ton bras?

PISTOL Brass, cur? Thou damned and luxurious
 mountain goat, offer’st me brass?
FRENCH SOLDIER 20Ô, pardonnez-moi!
PISTOL Say’st thou me so? Is that a ton of moys?—

173
Henry V
ACT 4. SC. 4

 Come hither, boy. Ask me this slave in French what
 is his name.
BOY Écoutez. Comment êtes-vous appelé?
FRENCH SOLDIER 25Monsieur le Fer.
BOY He says his name is Master Fer.
PISTOL Master Fer. I’ll fer him, and firk him, and ferret
 him. Discuss the same in French unto him.
BOY I do not know the French for “fer,” and “ferret,”
30 and “firk.”
PISTOL Bid him prepare, for I will cut his throat.
FRENCH SOLDIER, to the Boy Que dit-il, monsieur?
BOY Il me commande à vous dire que vous faites vous
 prêt, car ce soldat ici est disposé tout à cette heure de
35 couper votre gorge.

PISTOL Owy, cuppele gorge, permafoy, peasant, unless
 thou give me crowns, brave crowns, or mangled
 shalt thou be by this my sword.
FRENCH SOLDIER Ô, je vous supplie, pour l’amour de
40 Dieu, me pardonner. Je suis le gentilhomme de bonne
 maison. Gardez ma vie, et je vous donnerai deux
 cents écus.

PISTOL What are his words?
BOY He prays you to save his life. He is a gentleman of a
45 good house, and for his ransom he will give you two
 hundred crowns.
PISTOL Tell him my fury shall abate, and I the crowns
 will take.
FRENCH SOLDIER, to the Boy Petit monsieur, que dit-il?
BOY 50Encore qu’il est contre son jurement de pardonner
 aucun prisonnier; néanmoins, pour les écus que vous
 lui avez promis, il est content à vous donner la liberté,
 le franchisement.

French soldier kneels.
FRENCH SOLDIER  Sur mes genoux je vous donne mille
55 remercîments, et je m’estime heureux que j’ai tombé

175
Henry V
ACT 4. SC. 5

 entre les mains d’un chevalier, je pense, le plus brave,
 vaillant, et très distingué seigneur d’Angleterre.

PISTOL Expound unto me, boy.
BOY He gives you upon his knees a thousand thanks,
60 and he esteems himself happy that he hath fall’n
 into the hands of one, as he thinks, the most
 brave, valorous, and thrice-worthy seigneur of
 England.
PISTOL As I suck blood, I will some mercy show.
65 Follow me.
BOY Suivez-vous le grand capitaine.
The French Soldier stands up. He and Pistol exit.
 I did never know so full a voice issue from so empty
 a heart. But the saying is true: “The empty vessel
 makes the greatest sound.” Bardolph and Nym had
70 ten times more valor than this roaring devil i’ th’ old
 play, that everyone may pare his nails with a wooden
 dagger, and they are both hanged, and so would
 this be if he durst steal anything adventurously. I
 must stay with the lackeys with the luggage of our
75 camp. The French might have a good prey of us if he
 knew of it, for there is none to guard it but boys.
He exits.