Henry V


Text
Act I
Act II
Act III
Act IV
Act V

Enter the Constable of France, the Lord Rambures,

Orleans, Dauphin, with others


CONSTABLE

Tut! I have the best armour of the world.

Would it were day!


ORLEANS

You have an excellent armour; but let my horse

have his due


CONSTABLE

It is the best horse of Europe.


ORLEANS

Will it never be morning?


DAUPHIN

My Lord of Orleans, and my Lord High

Constable, you talk of horse and armour?


ORLEANS

You are as well provided of both as any prince

in the world.


DAUPHIN

What a long night is this! I will not change my

horse with any that treads but on four pasterns. Ca, ha!
pastern (n.) hoof, leg

He bounds from the earth, as if his entrails were hairs –
hair (n.) 3 [product stuffed with hair] tennis-ball

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.
base (adj.) 3 poor, wretched, of low quality See Topics: Frequency count


ORLEANS

He's of the colour of the nutmeg.


DAUPHIN

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.
beast (n.) mere animal
jade (n.) 1 worn-out horse, hack, worthless nag


CONSTABLE

Indeed, my lord, it is a most absolute and
absolute (adj.) 1 perfect, complete, incomparable

excellent horse.


DAUPHIN

It is the prince of palfreys; his neigh is like the
palfrey (n.) horse for everyday riding

bidding of a monarch, and his countenance enforces

homage.


ORLEANS

No more, cousin.


DAUPHIN

Nay, the man hath no wit that cannot, from the
wit (n.) 1 intelligence, wisdom, good sense, mental ability See Topics: Frequency count

rising of the lark to the lodging of the lamb, vary

deserved praise on my palfrey. It is a theme as fluent as
vary (v.) 1 express in fresh words, verbalize anew

the sea: turn the sands into eloquent tongues, and my

horse is argument for them all. 'Tis a subject for a
argument (n.) 1 subject of conversation, subject-matter, topic

sovereign to reason on, and for a sovereign's sovereign
reason (v.) 1 talk, speak, converse

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 – ’.


ORLEANS

I have heard a sonnet begin so to one's mistress.


DAUPHIN

Then did they imitate that which I composed

to my courser, for my horse is my mistress.
courser (n.) swift horse, sprinter, charger


ORLEANS

Your mistress bears well.
bear (v.), past forms bore, borne 10 carry [a rider], support


DAUPHIN

Me well, which is the prescript praise and
prescript (adj.) prescribed, appropriate, laid down

perfection of a good and particular mistress.
particular (adj.) 1 personal, special, private


CONSTABLE

Nay, for methought yesterday your mistress

shrewdly shook your back.
methinks(t), methought(s) (v.) it seems /seemed to me See Topics: Frequency count
shrewdly (adv.) 2 sharply, severely


DAUPHIN

So perhaps did yours.


CONSTABLE

Mine was not bridled.


DAUPHIN

O, then belike she was old and gentle, and you
belike (adv.) probably, presumably, perhaps, so it seems See Topics: Frequency count
gentle (adj.) 4 peaceful, calm, free from violence

rode like a kern of Ireland, your French hose off, and in
hose (n.) [pair of] breeches See Topics: Clothing
kern (n.) lightly armed Irish foot-soldier

your straight strossers.
strait (adj.) 5 tight, close-fitting, narrow
strossers (n.) trousers


CONSTABLE

You have good judgement in horsemanship.


DAUPHIN

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.


CONSTABLE

I had as lief have my mistress a jade.
jade (n.) 1 worn-out horse, hack, worthless nag
lief, had as should like just as much See Topics: Frequency count


DAUPHIN

I tell thee, Constable, my mistress wears his

own hair.


CONSTABLE

I could make as true a boast as that, if I had

a sow to my mistress.


DAUPHIN

Le chien est retourné à son propre vomissement,

et la truie lavée au bourbier:’ thou mak'st use of anything.


CONSTABLE

Yet do I not use my horse for my mistress, or

any such proverb so little kin to the purpose.
purpose (n.) 2 point at issue, matter in hand


RAMBURES

My Lord Constable, the armour that I saw

in your tent tonight – are those stars or suns upon it?


CONSTABLE

Stars, my lord.


DAUPHIN

Some of them will fall tomorrow, I hope.


CONSTABLE

And yet my sky shall not want.
want (v.) 1 lack, need, be without See Topics: Frequency count


DAUPHIN

That may be, for you bear a many superfluously,

and 'twere more honour some were away.


CONSTABLE

E'en as your horse bears your praises,

who would trot as well were some of your brags

dismounted.


DAUPHIN

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.


CONSTABLE

I will not say so, for fear I should be faced
face (v.) 3 bully, intimidate, turn

out of my way; but I would it were morning, for I

would fain be about the ears of the English.
fain (adv.) gladly, willingly See Topics: Frequency count


RAMBURES

Who will go to hazard with me for twenty
hazard, come / go to play dice, gamble

prisoners?


CONSTABLE

You must first go yourself to hazard ere you
hazard (n.) 1 risk, peril, danger

have them.


DAUPHIN

'Tis midnight: I'll go arm myself.

Exit


ORLEANS

The Dauphin longs for morning.


RAMBURES

He longs to eat the English.


CONSTABLE

I think he will eat all he kills.


ORLEANS

By the white hand of my lady, he's a gallant

prince.


CONSTABLE

Swear by her foot, that she may tread out
tread out treat with contempt, crush, spurn

the oath.


ORLEANS

He is simply the most active gentleman of

France.


CONSTABLE

Doing is activity, and he will still be doing.
still (adv.) 1 constantly, always, continually See Topics: Frequency count


ORLEANS

He never did harm, that I heard of.


CONSTABLE

Nor will do none tomorrow: he will keep that

good name still.


ORLEANS

I know him to be valiant.


CONSTABLE

I was told that, by one that knows him better

than you.


ORLEANS

What's he?


CONSTABLE

Marry, he told me so himself, and he said he

cared not who knew it.


ORLEANS

He needs not; it is no hidden virtue in him.


CONSTABLE

By my faith, sir, but it is; never anybody

saw it but his lackey. 'Tis a hooded valour, and when it
hooded (adj.) [falconry] concealed, masked
lackey (n.) 1 footman, minion, flunky

appears it will bate.
bate (v.) 6 [falconry] beat the wings, flutter


ORLEANS

Ill will never said well.


CONSTABLE

I will cap that proverb with ‘ There is flattery

in friendship.’


ORLEANS

And I will take up that with ‘ Give the devil his

due!’


CONSTABLE

Well placed. There stands your friend for the
place (v.) 2 arrange, dispose, express

devil. Have at the very eye of that proverb with ‘ A pox

of the devil.’


ORLEANS

You are the better at proverbs by how much ‘ A

fool's bolt is soon shot.’
bolt (n.) 1 [short and thick, crossbow] arrow


CONSTABLE

You have shot over.


ORLEANS

'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


MESSENGER

My Lord High Constable, the English lie

within fifteen hundred paces of your tents.


CONSTABLE

Who hath measured the ground?


MESSENGER

The Lord Grandpré.


CONSTABLE

A valiant and most expert gentleman. Would

it were day! Alas, poor Harry of England! He longs not

for the dawning as we do.


ORLEANS

What a wretched and peevish fellow is this King
peevish (adj.) 1 silly, foolish; or: headstrong, impulsive

of England, to mope with his fat-brained followers so far
mope (v.) act aimlessly, be in a daze, wander about

out of his knowledge.
knowledge (n.) 1 familiar territory, world of acquaintance


CONSTABLE

If the English had any apprehension, they
apprehension (n.) 1 powers of comprehension, understanding

would run away.


ORLEANS

That they lack; for if their heads had any

intellectual armour, they could never wear such heavy

head-pieces.


RAMBURES

That island of England breeds very valiant

creatures: their mastiffs are of unmatchable courage.


ORLEANS

Foolish curs, that run winking into the mouth
wink (v.) 1 shut one's eyes

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.


CONSTABLE

Just, just: and the men do sympathize with
sympathize with (v.) resemble, be like, have an affinity with

the mastiffs in robustious and rough coming on,
robustious (adj.) boisterous, noisy, unruly

leaving their wits with their wives; and then, give them
wit (n.) 1 intelligence, wisdom, good sense, mental ability See Topics: Frequency count

great meals of beef, and iron and steel; they will eat

like wolves, and fight like devils.


ORLEANS

Ay, but these English are shrewdly out of beef.
shrewdly (adv.) 1 seriously, mightily, very much


CONSTABLE

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?


ORLEANS

It is now two o'clock: but, let me see – by ten

We shall have each a hundred Englishmen.

Exeunt

 
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