Henry V

Act I
Act II
Act IV
Act V

Enter Captains, English and Welsh (Gower and Fluellen)


How now, Captain Fluellen? Come you from the



I assure you, there is very excellent services
service (n.) 1 action, performance

committed at the bridge.


Is the Duke of Exeter safe?


The Duke of Exeter is as magnanimous as
magnanimous (adj.) valiant, heroic, courageous

Agamemnon, and a man that I love and honour with my

soul, and my heart, and my duty, and my live, and my

living, and my uttermost power. He is not – God be
power (n.) 4 force, strength, might

praised and blessed! – any hurt in the world, but keeps

the bridge most valiantly, with excellent discipline.

There is an aunchient lieutenant there at the pridge, I
ancient, aunchient (n.) 1 ensign, standard-bearer

think in my very conscience he is as valiant a man as

Mark Antony, and he is a man of no estimation in the
estimation (n.) 1 esteem, respect, reputation

world, but I did see him do as gallant service.


What do you call him?


He is called Aunchient Pistol.


I know him not.

Enter Pistol


Here is the man.


Captain, I thee beseech to do me favours.

The Duke of Exeter doth love thee well.


Ay, I praise God, and I have merited some love

at his hands.


Bardolph, a soldier firm and sound of heart,

And of buxom valour, hath, by cruel fate,
buxom (adj.) lively, cheerful, bright

And giddy Fortune's furious fickle wheel,
furious (adj.) 2 cruel, malevolent
giddy (adj.) 1 frivolous, flighty, fickle, irresponsible

That goddess blind,

That stands upon the rolling restless stone –


By your patience, Aunchient Pistol: Fortune

is painted blind, with a muffler afore her eyes, to signify

to you that Fortune is blind; and she is painted also

with a wheel, to signify to you, which is the moral of it,
moral (n.) 1 hidden meaning, import, significance

that she is turning, and inconstant, and mutability, and

variation; and her foot, look you, is fixed upon a

spherical stone, which rolls, and rolls, and rolls. In

good truth, the poet makes a most excellent description

of it: Fortune is an excellent moral.
moral (n.) 2 symbolic figure, allegory


Fortune is Bardolph's foe, and frowns on him;

For he hath stolen a pax, and hanged must 'a be –
pax (n.) tablet bearing an image of the Crucifixion, used as a symbol of peace within the Mass

A damned death!

Let gallows gape for dog; let man go free,

And let not hemp his windpipe suffocate.

But Exeter hath given the doom of death

For pax of little price.
pax (n.) tablet bearing an image of the Crucifixion, used as a symbol of peace within the Mass

Therefore go speak – the Duke will hear thy voice;

And let not Bardolph's vital thread be cut

With edge of penny cord and vile reproach.

Speak, Captain, for his life, and I will thee requite.


Aunchient Pistol, I do partly understand your



Why then, rejoice therefor!


Certainly, Aunchient, it is not a thing to

rejoice at, for if, look you, he were my brother, I would

desire the Duke to use his good pleasure, and put him to

execution; for discipline ought to be used.


Die and be damned! and figo for thy friendship.
figo (n.) word used along with a rude gesture [of the thumb between the first two fingers of a fist]


It is well.


The fig of Spain!



Very good.


Why, this is an arrant counterfeit rascal, I
arrant (adj.) downright, absolute, unmitigated See Topics: Frequency count
counterfeit (adj.) 1 pretended, feigned, sham

remember him now – a bawd, a cutpurse.
bawd (n.) pimp, procurer, pander, go-between See Topics: Frequency count
cutpurse (n.) pickpocket, thief, robber


I'll assure you, 'a uttered as prave words at

the pridge as you shall see in a summer's day. But it is

very well; what he has spoke to me, that is well, I

warrant you, when time is serve.
warrant (v.) 1 assure, promise, guarantee, confirm See Topics: Frequency count


Why, 'tis a gull, a fool, a rogue, that now and then
gull (n.) 1 dupe, fool, simpleton

goes to the wars, to grace himself at his return into
grace (v.) 1 favour, add merit to, do honour to

London under the form of a soldier. And such fellows
form (n.) 1 image, likeness, shape

are perfect in the great commanders' names, and they

will learn you by rote where services were done; at such
service (n.) 1 action, performance

and such a sconce, at such a breach, at such a convoy;
sconce (n.) 3 fort, military work

who came off bravely, who was shot, who disgraced,
bravely (adv.) 1 splendidly, worthily, excellently
come off (v.) 3 leave the field of combat, disengage

what terms the enemy stood on; and this they con
con (v.) 1 learn by heart, commit to memory

perfectly in the phrase of war, which they trick up with
trick up (v.) decorate, adorn, dress up

new-tuned oaths: and what a beard of the general's
new-tuned (adj.) freshly coined, fashionable

cut and a horrid suit of the camp will do among foaming
horrid (adj.) horrifying, frightful, terrifying

bottles and ale-washed wits, is wonderful to be thought
wit (n.) 6 lively person, sharp-minded individual

on. But you must learn to know such slanders of the
slander (n.) 2 slanderer, disgraceful rogue

age, or else you may be marvellously mistook.


I tell you what, Captain Gower; I do perceive

he is not the man that he would gladly make show to

the world he is. If I find a hole in his coat, I will tell

him my mind. (Drum within) Hark you, the King is

coming, and I must speak with him from the pridge.
speak with (v.) bring news to, talk to

Drum and colours. Enter the King and his poor

soldiers, with Gloucester

God pless your majesty!
colours (n.) 2 colour-ensigns, standard-bearers


How now, Fluellen, cam'st thou from the bridge?


Ay, so please your majesty. The Duke of

Exeter has very gallantly maintained the pridge. The

French is gone off, look you, and there is gallant and

most prave passages. Marry, th' athversary was have
passage (n.) 7 combat, contest, fight [= passage of arms]

possession of the pridge, but he is enforced to retire,

and the Duke of Exeter is master of the pridge. I can

tell your majesty, the Duke is a prave man.


What men have you lost, Fluellen?


The perdition of th' athversary hath been very
perdition (n.) 1 ruin, destruction, devastation

great, reasonable great. Marry, for my part, I think the

Duke hath lost never a man, but one that is like to be

executed for robbing a church, one Bardolph, if your
like (adv.) 1 likely, probable / probably See Topics: Frequency count

majesty know the man: his face is all bubukles, and
bubukle, bubuncle (n.) [malapropism for ‘bubo’ and ‘carbunkle’] inflamed swelling

whelks, and knobs, and flames o' fire; and his lips blows
whelk (n.) pimple, pustule

at his nose, and it is like a coal of fire, sometimes plue,

and sometimes red; but his nose is executed, and his

fire's out.


We would have all such offenders so cut
cut off (v.) 3 put to death, bring to an untimely end

off: and we give express charge, that in our marches

through the country, there be nothing compelled from

the villages, nothing taken but paid for, none of the

French upbraided or abused in disdainful language;

for when lenity and cruelty play for a kingdom, the
lenity (n.) mildness, gentleness, mercifulness

gentler gamester is the soonest winner.
gentle (adj.) 2 courteous, friendly, kind

Tucket. Enter Montjoy
habit (n.) 1 dress, clothing, costume See Topics: Frequency count


You know me by my habit.


Well then, I know thee: what shall I know

of thee?


My master's mind.


Unfold it.


Thus says my King: ‘ Say thou to Harry of

England, Though we seemed dead, we did but sleep.

Advantage is a better soldier than rashness. Tell him
advantage (n.) 1 right moment, favourable opportunity

we could have rebuked him at Harfleur, but that we
rebuke (v.) repress, put down, check

thought not good to bruise an injury till it were full
bruise (v.) 1 squeeze, crush, put pressure on
injury (n.) 4 sore, abscess, boil

ripe. Now we speak upon our cue, and our voice is
ripe (adj.) 3 ready, fully prepared

imperial: England shall repent his folly, see his weakness,

and admire our sufferance. Bid him therefore consider
admire (v.) 1 marvel, wonder, be astonished [at]
sufferance (n.) 2 endurance, forbearance, patience

of his ransom, which must proportion the losses we

have borne, the subjects we have lost, the disgrace we

have digested; which in weight to re-answer, his pettiness

would bow under. For our losses, his exchequer is

too poor; for th' effusion of our blood, the muster of his
effusion (n.) spilling, shedding

kingdom too faint a number; and for our disgrace, his

own person kneeling at our feet but a weak and worthless
weak (adj.) 1 of little worth, wanting, deficient

satisfaction. To this add defiance: and tell him for

conclusion, he hath betrayed his followers, whose

condemnation is pronounced.’ So far my King and

master; so much my office.
office (n.) 2 role, position, place, function


What is thy name? I know thy quality.
quality (n.) 4 profession, occupation, business




Thou dost thy office fairly. Turn thee back,
office (n.) 2 role, position, place, function

And tell thy King I do not seek him now,

But could be willing to march on to Calais

Without impeachment: for, to say the sooth,
impeachment (n.) 3 impediment, hindrance, obstacle
sooth (n.) 1 truth See Topics: Swearing

Though 'tis no wisdom to confess so much

Unto an enemy of craft and vantage,
vantage (n.) 2 advantageous position, place of vantage, superiority

My people are with sickness much enfeebled,

My numbers lessened, and those few I have

Almost no better than so many French;

Who when they were in health, I tell thee, Herald,

I thought upon one pair of English legs

Did march three Frenchmen. Yet forgive me, God,

That I do brag thus! This your air of France

Hath blown that vice in me – I must repent.

Go, therefore, tell thy master here I am;

My ransom is this frail and worthless trunk;

My army but a weak and sickly guard:

Yet, God before, tell him we will come on,

Though France himself, and such another neighbour,

Stand in our way. There's for thy labour, Montjoy.

Go bid thy master well advise himself:

If we may pass, we will; if we be hindered,

We shall your tawny ground with your red blood

Discolour: and so, Montjoy, fare you well.

The sum of all our answer is but this:

We would not seek a battle as we are,

Nor, as we are, we say we will not shun it.

So tell your master.


I shall deliver so. Thanks to your highness.



I hope they will not come upon us now.


We are in God's hand, brother, not in theirs.

March to the bridge; it now draws toward night.

Beyond the river we'll encamp ourselves,

And on tomorrow bid them march away.


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