Henry V

Act I
Act II
Act IV
Act V

Enter the King, Bedford, and Gloucester


Gloucester, 'tis true that we are in great danger:

The greater therefore should our courage be.

Good morrow, brother Bedford. God Almighty!
morrow (n.) morning See Topics: Frequency count

There is some soul of goodness in things evil,

Would men observingly distil it out;
observingly (adv.) observantly, perceptively, with proper observation

For our bad neighbour makes us early stirrers,

Which is both healthful, and good husbandry.
husbandry (n.) 1 thrift, good economy, careful management

Besides, they are our outward consciences,

And preachers to us all, admonishing

That we should dress us fairly for our end.
dress (v.) 1 prepare, make ready

Thus may we gather honey from the weed,

And make a moral of the devil himself.

Enter Erpingham

Good morrow, old Sir Thomas Erpingham!

A good soft pillow for that good white head

Were better than a churlish turf of France.
churlish (adj.) 2 violent, rough, harsh


Not so, my liege – this lodging likes me better,

Since I may say, ‘ Now lie I like a king.’


'Tis good for men to love their present pains

Upon example: so the spirit is eased;

And when the mind is quickened, out of doubt
quicken (v.) 1 revive, rejuvenate, give life [to]

The organs, though defunct and dead before,

Break up their drowsy grave and newly move

With casted slough and fresh legerity.
casted (adj.) cast off, thrown aside, abandoned
legerity (n.) lightness, nimbleness, alacrity

Lend me thy cloak, Sir Thomas. Brothers both,

Commend me to the princes in our camp;
commend (v.) 1 convey greetings, present kind regards See Topics: Frequency count

Do my good morrow to them, and anon
anon (adv.) 1 soon, shortly, presently See Topics: Frequency count
morrow (n.) morning See Topics: Frequency count

Desire them all to my pavilion.
desire (v.) 3 invite, welcome, request the presence of


We shall, my liege.


Shall I attend your grace?
attend (v.) 2 serve, follow, wait [on/upon]


                         No, my good knight.

Go with my brothers to my lords of England.

I and my bosom must debate awhile,

And then I would no other company.


The Lord in heaven bless thee, noble Harry!

Exeunt all but the King


God-a-mercy, old heart, thou speak'st cheerfully.

Enter Pistol


Qui va là?


A friend.


Discuss unto me, art thou officer,

Or art thou base, common, and popular?
base (adj.) 2 low-born, lowly, plebeian, of lower rank See Topics: Frequency count
popular (adj.) 1 plebeian, of the common people


I am a gentleman of a company.
gentleman of a company non-ranking volunteer with a status higher than that of a private


Trail'st thou the puissant pike?
puissant (adj.) powerful, mighty, strong


Even so. What are you?


As good a gentleman as the Emperor.


Then you are a better than the King.


The King's a bawcock, and a heart of gold,
bawcock (n.) [fine bird] fine fellow, good chap See Topics: Address forms

A lad of life, an imp of fame;
imp (n.) child, scion, son

Of parents good, of fist most valiant.

I kiss his dirty shoe, and from heartstring

I love the lovely bully. What is thy name?
bully (n./adj.) [especially as a warm form of address] fine fellow, good friend See Topics: Address forms


Harry le Roy.


Le Roy? A Cornish name. Art thou of Cornish crew?


No, I am a Welshman.


Know'st thou Fluellen?




Tell him I'll knock his leek about his pate
pate (n.) head, skull See Topics: Frequency count

Upon Saint Davy's day.


Do not you wear your dagger in your cap

that day, lest he knock that about yours.


Art thou his friend?


And his kinsman too.


The figo for thee then!
figo (n.) word used along with a rude gesture [of the thumb between the first two fingers of a fist]


I thank you. God be with you!


My name is Pistol called.



It sorts well with your fierceness.
sort (v.) 1 suit, be fitting, be appropriate

Enter Fluellen and Gower


Captain Fluellen!


So! In the name of Jesu Christ, speak fewer.

It is the greatest admiration in the universal world,
admiration (n.) 1 amazement, astonishment, wonder

when the true and aunchient prerogatifes and laws of
ancient, aunchient (adj.) 1 long-established, long-standing
prerogative (n.) 1 principle, right, code

the wars is not kept. If you would take the pains but to

examine the wars of Pompey the Great, you shall find,

I warrant you, that there is no tiddle-taddle or pibble-pabble
bibble-babble (n.) chatter, gabble, empty talk
tiddle-taddle (n.) tittle-tattle, idle gossip, chatter
warrant (v.) 1 assure, promise, guarantee, confirm See Topics: Frequency count

in Pompey's camp. I warrant you, you shall

find the ceremonies of the wars, and the cares of it, and

the forms of it, and the sobriety of it, and the modesty

of it, to be otherwise.


Why, the enemy is loud, you hear him all night.


If the enemy is an ass, and a fool, and a

prating coxcomb, is it meet, think you, that we should
coxcomb (n.) 2 fool's head, fool, simpleton
meet (adj.) 1 fit, suitable, right, proper See Topics: Frequency count
prating (adj.) prattling, chattering, blathering

also, look you, be an ass, and a fool, and a prating

coxcomb? In your own conscience now?


I will speak lower.


I pray you and beseech you that you will.

Exeunt Gower and Fluellen


Though it appear a little out of fashion,
fashion (n.) 2 conventional behaviour, conformity, customary use

There is much care and valour in this Welshman.

Enter three soldiers, John Bates, Alexander Court,

and Michael Williams


Brother John Bates, is not that the morning which

breaks yonder?


I think it be; but we have no great cause to desire

the approach of day.


We see yonder the beginning of the day, but I

think we shall never see the end of it. Who goes there?


A friend.


Under what captain serve you?


Under Sir Thomas Erpingham.


A good old commander, and a most kind

gentleman. I pray you, what thinks he of our estate?
estate (n.) 1 state, situation, circumstances


Even as men wrecked upon a sand, that

look to be washed off the next tide.


He hath not told his thought to the King?


No, nor it is not meet he should. For
meet (adj.) 1 fit, suitable, right, proper See Topics: Frequency count

though I speak it to you, I think the King is but a man,

as I am: the violet smells to him as it doth to me; the

element shows to him as it doth to me; all his senses have
element (n.) 5 air, sky, heavens

but human conditions. His ceremonies laid by, in his
ceremony (n.) 2 symbol of state, external sign of pomp
condition (n.) 1 disposition, temper, mood, character

nakedness he appears but a man; and though his

affections are higher mounted than ours, yet when they
affection (n.) 2 emotion, feeling
mount (v.) 1 ascend, rise up, climb

stoop, they stoop with the like wing. Therefore, when
like (adj.) 1 same, similar, alike, equal See Topics: Frequency count
stoop (v.) 2 [falconry] swoop, descend swiftly

he sees reason of fears, as we do, his fears, out of doubt,

be of the same relish as ours are: yet, in reason, no
relish (n.) 3 kind, quality, type

man should possess him with any appearance of fear,
possess (v.) 2 fill, imbue

lest he, by showing it, should dishearten his army.


He may show what outward courage he will, but I

believe, as cold a night as 'tis, he could wish himself in

Thames up to the neck; and so I would he were, and

I by him, at all adventures, so we were quit here.
adventures, at all whatever might happen, regardless of the risks
quit (adj.) 1 away from, out of


By my troth, I will speak my conscience of
conscience (n.) 1 internal reflection, inner voice, inmost thought

the King: I think he would not wish himself anywhere

but where he is.


Then I would he were here alone; so should he be

sure to be ransomed, and a many poor men's lives



I dare say you love him not so ill to wish
ill (adv.) 1 badly, adversely, unfavourably See Topics: Frequency count

him here alone, howsoever you speak this to feel other
feel (v.) 3 test, discover, sound out

men's minds. Methinks I could not die anywhere so

contented as in the King's company, his cause being
methinks(t), methought(s) (v.) it seems /seemed to me See Topics: Frequency count

just and his quarrel honourable.


That's more than we know.


Ay, or more than we should seek after; for we know

enough if we know we are the King's subjects. If his

cause be wrong, our obedience to the King wipes the

crime of it out of us.


But if the cause be not good, the King himself

hath a heavy reckoning to make, when all those legs,
heavy (adj.) 2 grave, serious, weighty

and arms, and heads, chopped off in a battle, shall join

together at the latter day, and cry all, ‘ We died at such
latter day last day, day of judgement

a place;’ some swearing, some crying for a surgeon,

some upon their wives left poor behind them, some upon

the debts they owe, some upon their children rawly left.
rawly (adv.) immaturely, so young

I am afeard there are few die well that die in a battle,
afeard (adj.) afraid, frightened, scared See Topics: Frequency count

for how can they charitably dispose of anything when
charitably (adv.) in all Christian charity

blood is their argument? Now, if these men do not die
argument (n.) 8 cause, reason [for a dispute]

well, it will be a black matter for the King that led them

to it, who to disobey were against all proportion of
proportion (n.) 4 natural order, proper relationship

subjection (n.) duty as a subject, obedience


So, if a son that is by his father sent about

merchandise do sinfully miscarry upon the sea, the
miscarry (v.) 1 come to harm, perish, meet death
sinfully (adv.) without having repented of sins

imputation of his wickedness, by your rule, should be

imposed upon his father that sent him: or if a servant,

under his master's command, transporting a sum of

money, be assailed by robbers, and die in many irreconciled
irreconciled (adj.) unabsolved, not reconciled with God

iniquities, you may call the business of the master

the author of the servant's damnation. But this is not so.

The King is not bound to answer the particular endings
answer (v.) 4 suffer the consequences [for], be accountable [for]

of his soldiers, the father of his son, nor the master of

his servant; for they purpose not their death when they
purpose (v.) 1 intend, plan

purpose their services. Besides, there is no king, be

his cause never so spotless, if it come to the arbitrement
arbitrament, arbitrement (n.) 1 deciding of a dispute, determination, settlement

of swords, can try it out with all unspotted soldiers.
unspotted (adj.) unblemished, unstained, pure

Some, peradventure, have on them the guilt of
peradventure (adv.) perhaps, maybe, very likely See Topics: Frequency count

premeditated and contrived murder; some, of beguiling

virgins with the broken seals of perjury; some, making
seal (n.) 2 pledge, promise, token, sign

the wars their bulwark, that have before gored the
bulwark (n.) 2 shelter, safeguard, means of escape

gentle bosom of peace with pillage and robbery. Now,
gentle (adj.) 6 soft, tender, kind

if these men have defeated the law, and outrun native

punishment, though they can outstrip men they have no

wings to fly from God. War is His beadle, war is His
beadle (n.) 2 punisher, chastiser, castigator

vengeance; so that here men are punished for before-breach
before-breach (n.) previous breaking, earlier violation

of the King's laws, in now the King's quarrel.

Where they feared the death, they have borne life away;

and where they would be safe, they perish. Then if

they die unprovided, no more is the King guilty of their
unprovided (adj.) 2 unprepared for death, not ready to meet God

damnation than he was before guilty of those impieties

for the which they are now visited. Every subject's duty
visit (v.) 1 punish, deal with

is the King's, but every subject's soul is his own. Therefore

should every soldier in the wars do as every sick

man in his bed, wash every mote out of his conscience;
mote (n.) speck of dust, tiny particle, trifle

and dying so, death is to him advantage; or not dying,

the time was blessedly lost wherein such preparation

was gained; and in him that escapes, it were not sin to

think that, making God so free an offer, He let him

outlive that day to see His greatness, and to teach others

how they should prepare.


'Tis certain, every man that dies ill, the ill
ill (adv.) 1 badly, adversely, unfavourably See Topics: Frequency count
ill (n.) 1 wrong, injury, harm, evil

upon his own head – the King is not to answer it.
answer (v.) 4 suffer the consequences [for], be accountable [for]


But I do not desire he should answer for me, and yet I

determine to fight lustily for him.


I myself heard the King say he would not be



Ay, he said so, to make us fight cheerfully:

but when our throats are cut he may be ransomed, and

we ne'er the wiser.


If I live to see it, I will never trust his word



You pay him then! That's a perilous shot out
pay (v.) 2 punish, pay back, retaliate against

of an elder-gun, that a poor and a private displeasure

can do against a monarch! You may as well go about to

turn the sun to ice, with fanning in his face with a

peacock's feather. You'll never trust his word after! Come,

'tis a foolish saying.


Your reproof is something too round. I
round (adj.) 1 blunt, forthright, straight, plain-spoken
something (adv.) 1 somewhat, rather See Topics: Frequency count

should be angry with you, if the time were convenient.


Let it be a quarrel between us, if you live.


I embrace it.


How shall I know thee again?


Give me any gage of thine, and I will wear
gage (n.) pledge, challenge [usually, a glove or gauntlet thrown down] See Topics: Frequency count

it in my bonnet: then, if ever thou dar'st acknowledge it,
bonnet (n.) hat, cap See Topics: Clothing

I will make it my quarrel.


Here's my glove: give me another of thine.




This will I also wear in my cap. If ever thou

come to me and say, after tomorrow, ‘ This is my glove,’

by this hand, I will take thee a box on the ear.
take (v.) 1 strike, hit, catch


If ever I live to see it, I will challenge it.


Thou dar'st as well be hanged.


Well, I will do it, though I take thee in the
take (v.) 18 overtake, encounter, meet up with

King's company.


Keep thy word. Fare thee well.


Be friends, you English fools, be friends! We have

French quarrels enow, if you could tell how to reckon.
enow (adv.) enough


Indeed, the French may lay twenty French
lay (v.) 12 wager, stake, bet

crowns to one they will beat us, for they bear them on
crown (n.) 1 type of coin [usually bearing the imprint of a monarch's crown] See Topics: Money

their shoulders; but it is no English treason to cut

French crowns, and tomorrow the King himself will be

a clipper.
clipper (n.) one who clips coins

Exeunt Soldiers

Upon the King! Let us our lives, our souls,

Our debts, our careful wives,
careful (adj.) 1 anxious, concerned, worried

Our children, and our sins, lay on the King!

We must bear all. O hard condition,
condition (n.) 4 position, social rank, station

Twin-born with greatness, subject to the breath
breath (n.) 1 utterance, speech, voice

Of every fool, whose sense no more can feel
sense (n.) 3 feeling, sensibility, capacity to feel

But his own wringing! What infinite heart's ease
wringing (n.) 2 aches and pains

Must kings neglect that private men enjoy!

And what have kings that privates have not too,
private (n.) 4 ordinary person, someone not holding high position

Save ceremony, save general ceremony?

And what art thou, thou idol ceremony?

What kind of god art thou, that suffer'st more

Of mortal griefs than do thy worshippers?

What are thy rents? What are thy comings-in?
coming-in, comings-in (n.) income, revenue, yield

O ceremony, show me but thy worth!

What is thy soul of adoration?
soul (n.) 4 real nature, essence

Art thou aught else but place, degree, and form,
place (n.) 1 position, post, office, rank See Topics: Frequency count

Creating awe and fear in other men?

Wherein thou art less happy being feared,

Than they in fearing.

What drink'st thou oft, instead of homage sweet,
oft (adv.) often See Topics: Frequency count

But poisoned flattery? O, be sick, great greatness,

And bid thy ceremony give thee cure!

Thinks thou the fiery fever will go out

With titles blown from adulation?
blown (adj.) 3 swollen, inflated with pride

Will it give place to flexure and low bending?
flexure (n.) bending [the knee or head], bowing

Canst thou, when thou command'st the beggar's knee,

Command the health of it? No, thou proud dream,

That play'st so subtly with a king's repose.
subtly, subtilly (adv.) deceitfully, treacherously, deceptively

I am a king that find thee, and I know
find (v.) 1 find out, see through

'Tis not the balm, the sceptre, and the ball,
ball (n.) 1 royal golden orb
balm (n.) 1 fragrant oil used for anointing, consecrated oil

The sword, the mace, the crown imperial,

The intertissued robe of gold and pearl,

The farced title running fore the king,
farced (adj.) spiced up, stuffed with flattery

The throne he sits on, nor the tide of pomp

That beats upon the high shore of this world –

No, not all these, thrice-gorgeous ceremony,

Not all these, laid in bed majestical,

Can sleep so soundly as the wretched slave,

Who, with a body filled, and vacant mind,

Gets him to rest, crammed with distressful bread;
distressful (adj.) earned through great hardship, gained from toil

Never sees horrid night, the child of hell,

But, like a lackey, from the rise to set,
lackey (n.) 1 footman, minion, flunky
set (n.) 2 setting, sunset

Sweats in the eye of Phoebus, and all night

Sleeps in Elysium; next day after dawn

Doth rise and help Hyperion to his horse;

And follows so the ever-running year

With profitable labour to his grave:

And but for ceremony, such a wretch,

Winding up days with toil, and nights with sleep,
wind up (v.) 1 occupy, fill up, take up

Had the fore-hand and vantage of a king.
forehand, fore-hand (n.) 1 upper hand, superiority, advantage
vantage (n.) 2 advantageous position, place of vantage, superiority

The slave, a member of the country's peace,
member (n.) 1 sharer, participant, partaker

Enjoys it, but in gross brain little wots
gross (adj.) 9 dull, obtuse, ignorant

What watch the king keeps to maintain the peace,

Whose hours the peasant best advantages.
advantage (v.) 1 benefit, help, aid

Enter Erpingham
jealous (adj.) 3 anxious, uneasy, worried [about]


My lord, your nobles, jealous of your absence,

Seek through your camp to find you.


                         Good old knight,

Collect them all together at my tent.

I'll be before thee.


                         I shall do't, my lord.



O God of battles, steel my soldiers' hearts;
steel (v.) 1 turn to steel, harden

Possess them not with fear; take from them now

The sense of reckoning, if th' opposed numbers
reckoning (n.) 1 counting up, enumeration, calculation

Pluck their hearts from them. Not today, O Lord,

O not today, think not upon the fault
fault (n.) 1 sin, offence, crime

My father made in compassing the crown!
compass (v.) 2 win, obtain, attain

I Richard's body have interred new,

And on it have bestowed more contrite tears

Than from it issued forced drops of blood.

Five hundred poor I have in yearly pay,

Who twice a day their withered hands hold up

Toward heaven, to pardon blood: and I have built

Two chantries where the sad and solemn priests
chantry (n.) small private chapel
sad (adj.) 1 serious, grave, solemn See Topics: Frequency count

Sing still for Richard's soul. More will I do,
still (adv.) 1 constantly, always, continually See Topics: Frequency count

Though all that I can do is nothing worth,

Since that my penitence comes after all,

Imploring pardon.

Enter Gloucester


My liege!


                         My brother Gloucester's voice? Ay,

I know thy errand, I will go with thee.

The day, my friends, and all things stay for me.


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