Henry V

Act I
Act II
Act IV
Act V

Enter Corporal Nym and Lieutenant Bardolph


Well met, Corporal Nym.


Good morrow, Lieutenant Bardolph.


What, are Ancient Pistol and you friends yet?
ancient, aunchient (n.) 1 ensign, standard-bearer


For my part, I care not. I say little; but when time

shall serve, there shall be smiles – but that shall be as it

may. I dare not fight, but I will wink and hold out mine
wink (v.) 1 shut one's eyes

iron. It is a simple one, but what though? it will toast

cheese, and it will endure cold as another man's sword

will – and there's an end.


I will bestow a breakfast to make you friends,
bestow (v.) 1 give, provide, grant

and we'll be all three sworn brothers to France. Let't
brother, sworn companion-in-arms, devoted friend

be so, good Corporal Nym.


Faith, I will live so long as I may, that's the certain

of it; and when I cannot live any longer, I will do as I

may. That is my rest, that is the rendezvous of it.
rendezvous (n.) 2 last resort, final shift
rest (n.) 3 final stake, last resolve


It is certain, Corporal, that he is married to

Nell Quickly, and certainly she did you wrong, for you

were troth-plight to her.
troth-plight (adj.) engaged, betrothed


I cannot tell; things must be as they may. Men may

sleep, and they may have their throats about them at

that time, and some say knives have edges: it must be as

it may – though patience be a tired mare, yet she will

plod – there must be conclusions – well, I cannot tell.

Enter Pistol and Hostess Quickly


Here comes Ancient Pistol and his wife. Good

Corporal, be patient here.


How now, mine host Pistol?


Base tike, call'st thou me host?
base (adj.) 2 low-born, lowly, plebeian, of lower rank See Topics: Frequency count

Now by this hand I swear I scorn the term;

Nor shall my Nell keep lodgers.


No, by my troth, not long; for we cannot lodge

and board a dozen or fourteen gentlewomen that live

honestly by the prick of their needles but it will be

thought we keep a bawdy-house straight.
straight (adv.) straightaway, immediately, at once See Topics: Frequency count

Nym draws his sword

O well-a-day, Lady, if he be not drawn now! We shall

see wilful adultery and murder committed.


Good Lieutenant! Good Corporal! Offer
offer (v.) 1 attempt, start, try, make a move

nothing here.




Pish for thee, Iceland dog! thou prick-eared cur of Iceland!


Good Corporal Nym, show thy valour, and put

up your sword.


Will you shog off? I would have you solus.
shog, shog off (v.) go away, be gone, get along
solus (adv.) alone, on one's own See Topics: Latin

He sheathes his sword
egregious (adj.) 2 shocking, outrageous, flagrant


Solus,’ egregious dog? O viper vile!

The ‘ solus ’ in thy most mervailous face!
mervailous (adj.) marvellous, amazing, remarkable

The ‘ solus ’ in thy teeth and in thy throat,

And in thy hateful lungs, yea, in thy maw, perdy!
maw (n.) belly, stomach; throat, gullet

And, which is worse, within thy nasty mouth!

I do retort the ‘ solus ’ in thy bowels,
retort (v.) 2 repay, pay back, recompense

For I can take, and Pistol's cock is up,
cock (n.) 4 [of a gun] pistol-hammer, cocking-piece
take (v.) 1 strike, hit, catch

And flashing fire will follow.


I am not Barbason; you cannot conjure me. I have
conjure (v.) 6 expel evil spirits from, exorcise

an humour to knock you indifferently well. If you grow
humour (n.) 2 fancy, whim, inclination, caprice

foul with me, Pistol, I will scour you with my rapier,
foul (adj.) 6 [of a pistol-barrel after firing] dirty, clogged
scour (v.) 1 clear out, quickly remove, cleanse

as I may, in fair terms. If you would walk off, I would

prick your guts a little, in good terms, as I may, and

that's the humour of it.
humour (n.) 3 style, method, way, fashion


O braggart vile, and damned furious wight!
wight (n.) [archaism] person, human being See Topics: Archaisms

The grave doth gape, and doting death is near:

Therefore exhale!
exhale (v.) 2 draw forth [a sword]

They both draw


Hear me, hear me what I say! He that strikes

the first stroke, I'll run him up to the hilts, as I am a


mickle (adj.) great, much, large


An oath of mickle might, and fury shall abate.

Pistol and Nym sheathe their swords

Give me thy fist, thy forefoot to me give;

Thy spirits are most tall.
tall (adj.) 1 brave, valiant, bold


I will cut thy throat one time or other, in fair terms,

that is the humour of it.


Couple a gorge!

That is the word. I thee defy again!

O hound of Crete, think'st thou my spouse to get?

No, to the spital go,
spital (n.) hospital

And from the powdering tub of infamy
powdering-tub (n.) sweating-tub for the treatment of venereal disease

Fetch forth the lazar kite of Cressid's kind,
kite (n.) bird of prey; thieving bird [of ill omen; also, strong term of abuse]
lazar (adj.) leprous

Doll Tearsheet she by name, and her espouse.
espouse (v.) unite (in marriage), contract

I have, and I will hold, the quondam Quickly
quondam (adj.) former, erstwhile, previous

For the only she; and – pauca, there's enough.
she (n.) lady, woman, girl

Go to!

Enter the Boy


Mine host Pistol, you must come to my master – and

you, Hostess: he is very sick, and would to bed. Good

Bardolph, put thy face between his sheets, and do the

office of a warming-pan. Faith, he's very ill.
office (n.) 2 role, position, place, function


Away, you rogue!


By my troth, he'll yield the crow a pudding one
pudding (n.) 1 type of large savoury dish; dumpling, pasty

of these days; the King has killed his heart. Good

husband, come home presently.
presently (adv.) 1 immediately, instantly, at once See Topics: Frequency count

Exit with Boy


Come, shall I make you two friends? We must

to France together: why the devil should we keep knives

to cut one another's throats?


Let floods o'erswell, and fiends for food howl on!
over-swell (v.) flood, inundate, overflow


You'll pay me the eight shillings I won of you at



Base is the slave that pays!
base (adj.) 1 dishonourable, low, unworthy See Topics: Frequency count


That now I will have; that's the humour of it.


As manhood shall compound. Push home!
compound (v.) 1 agree, settle

They draw


By this sword, he that makes the first thrust,

I'll kill him! By this sword, I will.


Sword is an oath, and oaths must have their course.
course (n.) 2 habit, custom, practise, normal procedure

He sheathes his sword


Corporal Nym, an thou wilt be friends, be

friends: an thou wilt not, why then be enemies with me

too. Prithee put up.


I shall have my eight shillings I won of you at betting?


A noble shalt thou have, and present pay;

And liquor likewise will I give to thee,

And friendship shall combine, and brotherhood.

I'll live by Nym, and Nym shall live by me.

Is not this just? For I shall sutler be
sutler (n.) provision-seller to the army

Unto the camp, and profits will accrue.

Give me thy hand.

Nym sheathes his sword


I shall have my noble?


In cash most justly paid.


Well then, that's the humour of't.

Enter Hostess


As ever you came of women, come in quickly

to Sir John. Ah, poor heart! he is so shaked of a burning

quotidian tertian that it is most lamentable to behold.
quotidian (n.) type of fever with attacks every day
tertian (n.) type of fever with attacks every third day

Sweet men, come to him.


The King hath run bad humours on the knight, that's
humour (n.) 5 secretion, fluid, juice
run (v.) 1 pass, spread, bring, cause to flow

the even of it.
even (n.) 2 plain truth, straightforward explanation


Nym, thou hast spoke the right;

His heart is fracted and corroborate.
corroborate (adj.) [unclear meaning; perhaps a malapropism] strengthened, fortified


The King is a good king, but it must be as it may: he

passes some humours and careers.
career (n.) 3 gambol, capering, nimble movement
humour (n.) 2 fancy, whim, inclination, caprice
pass (v.) 10 use, show, employ


Let us condole the knight; for, lambkins, we will live.
condole (v.) 2 grieve with, express sympathy with

gait (n.) 1 manner of walking, bearing, movement

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