Enter the Constable of France, the Lord Rambures,
Orleans, Dauphin, with others
Tut! I have the best armour of the world.
Would it were day!
You have an excellent armour; but let my horse
have his due
It is the best horse of Europe.
Will it never be morning?
My Lord of Orleans, and my Lord High
Constable, you talk of horse and armour?
You are as well provided of both as any prince
in the world.
What a long night is this! I will not change my
horse with any that treads but on four pasterns. Ca, ha!
He bounds from the earth, as if his entrails were hairs –
le cheval volant, the Pegasus, chez les narines de feu!
When I bestride him, I soar, I am a hawk. He trots the
air; the earth sings when he touches it; the basest horn
of his hoof is more musical than the pipe of Hermes.
He's of the colour of the nutmeg.
And of the heat of the ginger. It is a beast for
Perseus: he is pure air and fire; and the dull elements of
earth and water never appear in him, but only in
patient stillness while his rider mounts him. He is
indeed a horse, and all other jades you may call beasts.
Indeed, my lord, it is a most absolute and
It is the prince of palfreys; his neigh is like the
bidding of a monarch, and his countenance enforces
No more, cousin.
Nay, the man hath no wit that cannot, from the
rising of the lark to the lodging of the lamb, vary
deserved praise on my palfrey. It is a theme as fluent as
the sea: turn the sands into eloquent tongues, and my
horse is argument for them all. 'Tis a subject for a
sovereign to reason on, and for a sovereign's sovereign
to ride on; and for the world, familiar to us and
unknown, to lay apart their particular functions and
wonder at him. I once writ a sonnet in his praise, and
began thus: ‘ Wonder of nature – ’.
I have heard a sonnet begin so to one's mistress.
Then did they imitate that which I composed
to my courser, for my horse is my mistress.
Your mistress bears well.
Me well, which is the prescript praise and
perfection of a good and particular mistress.
Nay, for methought yesterday your mistress
shrewdly shook your back.
So perhaps did yours.
Mine was not bridled.
O, then belike she was old and gentle, and you
rode like a kern of Ireland, your French hose off, and in
your straight strossers.
You have good judgement in horsemanship.
Be warned by me, then: they that ride so, and
ride not warily, fall into foul bogs. I had rather have my
horse to my mistress.
I had as lief have my mistress a jade.
I tell thee, Constable, my mistress wears his
I could make as true a boast as that, if I had
a sow to my mistress.
‘ Le chien est retourné à son propre vomissement,
et la truie lavée au bourbier:’ thou mak'st use of anything.
Yet do I not use my horse for my mistress, or
any such proverb so little kin to the purpose.
My Lord Constable, the armour that I saw
in your tent tonight – are those stars or suns upon it?
Stars, my lord.
Some of them will fall tomorrow, I hope.
And yet my sky shall not want.
That may be, for you bear a many superfluously,
and 'twere more honour some were away.
E'en as your horse bears your praises,
who would trot as well were some of your brags
Would I were able to load him with his desert!
Will it never be day? I will trot tomorrow a mile, and
my way shall be paved with English faces.
I will not say so, for fear I should be faced
out of my way; but I would it were morning, for I
would fain be about the ears of the English.
Who will go to hazard with me for twenty
You must first go yourself to hazard ere you
'Tis midnight: I'll go arm myself.
The Dauphin longs for morning.
He longs to eat the English.
I think he will eat all he kills.
By the white hand of my lady, he's a gallant
Swear by her foot, that she may tread out
He is simply the most active gentleman of
Doing is activity, and he will still be doing.
He never did harm, that I heard of.
Nor will do none tomorrow: he will keep that
good name still.
I know him to be valiant.
I was told that, by one that knows him better
Marry, he told me so himself, and he said he
cared not who knew it.
He needs not; it is no hidden virtue in him.
By my faith, sir, but it is; never anybody
saw it but his lackey. 'Tis a hooded valour, and when it
appears it will bate.
Ill will never said well.
I will cap that proverb with ‘ There is flattery
And I will take up that with ‘ Give the devil his
Well placed. There stands your friend for the
devil. Have at the very eye of that proverb with ‘ A pox
of the devil.’
You are the better at proverbs by how much ‘ A
fool's bolt is soon shot.’
You have shot over.
'Tis not the first time you were overshot.
overshoot (v.) 1
[miss a target by shooting too high] go astray in aim, wide of the mark
Enter a Messenger
My Lord High Constable, the English lie
within fifteen hundred paces of your tents.
Who hath measured the ground?
The Lord Grandpré.
A valiant and most expert gentleman. Would
it were day! Alas, poor Harry of England! He longs not
for the dawning as we do.
What a wretched and peevish fellow is this King
of England, to mope with his fat-brained followers so far
act aimlessly, be in a daze, wander about
out of his knowledge.
If the English had any apprehension, they
would run away.
That they lack; for if their heads had any
intellectual armour, they could never wear such heavy
That island of England breeds very valiant
creatures: their mastiffs are of unmatchable courage.
Foolish curs, that run winking into the mouth
of a Russian bear, and have their heads crushed like
rotten apples! You may as well say that's a valiant flea
that dare eat his breakfast on the lip of a lion.
Just, just: and the men do sympathize with
the mastiffs in robustious and rough coming on,
leaving their wits with their wives; and then, give them
great meals of beef, and iron and steel; they will eat
like wolves, and fight like devils.
Ay, but these English are shrewdly out of beef.
Then shall we find tomorrow they have only
stomachs to eat, and none to fight. Now is it time to
arm. Come, shall we about it?
It is now two o'clock: but, let me see – by ten
We shall have each a hundred Englishmen.