Henry V


Text
Act I
Act II
Act III
Act IV
Act V

Some citizens of Harfleur appear on the walls. Enter

the King and all his train before the gates


KING HENRY

How yet resolves the Governor of the town?
resolve (v.) 4 decide, make up one's mind
train (n.) 1 retinue, following, entourage

This is the latest parle we will admit:
latest (adj.) last, final
parle, parley (n.) 1 negotiation, meeting [between enemies under a truce, to discuss terms] See Topics: Frequency count

Therefore to our best mercy give yourselves,

Or, like to men proud of destruction,
destruction (n.) death, slaughter
like to / unto (conj./prep.) similar to, comparable with
proud (adj.) 4 taking pride in, elated by the thought of

Defy us to our worst; for, as I am a soldier,

A name that in my thoughts becomes me best,
become (v.) 2 grace, honour, dignify See Topics: Frequency count

If I begin the battery once again,

I will not leave the half-achieved Harfleur

Till in her ashes she lie buried.

The gates of mercy shall be all shut up,

And the fleshed soldier, rough and hard of heart,
fleshed (adj.) 1 well used to bloodshed, hardened

In liberty of bloody hand shall range
bloody (adj.) 1 blood-thirsty, warlike, ferocious

With conscience wide as hell, mowing like grass

Your fresh fair virgins, and your flowering infants.

What is it then to me, if impious war,
impious (adj.) lacking reverence towards God, wicked, irreligious

Arrayed in flames, like to the prince of fiends,
like to / unto (conj./prep.) similar to, comparable with

Do, with his smirched complexion, all fell feats
feat (n.) 3 [wicked] deed, action, crime
fell (adj.) 1 cruel, fierce, savage
smirched (adj.) marked, soiled, stained

Enlinked to waste and desolation?
enlink (v.) connect, chain, join closely [to]

What is't to me, when you yourselves are cause,

If your pure maidens fall into the hand

Of hot and forcing violation?

What rein can hold licentious wickedness

When down the hill he holds his fierce career?
career (n.) 1 [of a horse in a combat] charge, gallop, course

We may as bootless spend our vain command
bootless (adv.) fruitlessly, uselessly, unsuccessfully, in vain

Upon th' enraged soldiers in their spoil
spoil (n.) 1 plundering, pillaging, despoiling

As send precepts to the leviathan
leviathan (n.) sea-monster, whale

To come ashore. Therefore, you men of Harfleur,

Take pity of your town and of your people

Whiles yet my soldiers are in my command,

Whiles yet the cool and temperate wind of grace

O'erblows the filthy and contagious clouds
contagious (adj.) 1 pestilential, harmful, noxious
overblow (v.) 2 blow away, blow off

Of heady murder, spoil, and villainy.
heady (adj.) 1 violent, weighty, raging
spoil (n.) 1 plundering, pillaging, despoiling

If not, why, in a moment look to see

The blind and bloody soldier with foul hand
blind (adj.) 3 heedless, reckless, headstrong
bloody (adj.) 1 blood-thirsty, warlike, ferocious

Defile the locks of your shrill-shrieking daughters;

Your fathers taken by the silver beards,

And their most reverend heads dashed to the walls;

Your naked infants spitted upon pikes,

Whiles the mad mothers with their howls confused

Do break the clouds, as did the wives of Jewry

At Herod's bloody-hunting slaughtermen.

What say you? Will you yield, and this avoid?

Or, guilty in defence, be thus destroyed?

Enter the Governor on the wall
expectation (n.) 1 anticipation, hopefulness


GOVERNOR

Our expectation hath this day an end.

The Dauphin, whom of succours we entreated,
succour (n.) 2 reinforcements, military assistance

Returns us that his powers are yet not ready
power (n.) 1 armed force, troops, host, army See Topics: Frequency count
return (v.) 1 answer, report, say in reply [to]

To raise so great a siege. Therefore, great King,

We yield our town and lives to thy soft mercy.
soft (adj.) 2 tender, compassionate, kind

Enter our gates, dispose of us and ours,

For we no longer are defensible.
defensible (adj.) defendable, capable of providing a defence


KING HENRY

Open your gates.

Exit Governor

                         Come, uncle Exeter,

Go you and enter Harfleur; there remain,

And fortify it strongly 'gainst the French.

Use mercy to them all. For us, dear uncle,

The winter coming on, and sickness growing

Upon our soldiers, we will retire to Calais.

Tonight in Harfleur will we be your guest;

Tomorrow for the march are we addressed.
address (v.) 1 prepare, make ready, poise to act

Flourish, and enter the town

 
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