King Henry the Fifth - Arranged for Representation at the Princess's Theatre
by William Shakespeare
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[Footnote III.21: Though France himself,] i.e., though the King of France himself.]



(A) Come you from the bridge?] After Henry had passed the Somme, Titus Livius asserts, that the King having been informed of a river which must be crossed, over which was a bridge, and that his progress depended in a great degree upon securing possession of it, despatched some part of his forces to defend it from any attack, or from being destroyed. They found many of the enemy ready to receive them, to whom they gave battle, and after a severe conflict, they captured the bridge, and kept it.

(B) Fortune is Bardolph's foe, and frowns on him; For he hath stol'n a pix, and hanged must 'a be.

It will be seen by the following extract from the anonymous Chronicler how minutely Shakespeare has adhered to history— "There was brought to the King in that plain a certain English robber, who, contrary to the laws of God and the Royal Proclamation, had stolen from a church a pix of copper gilt, found in his sleeve, which he happened to mistake for gold, in which the Lord's body was kept; and in the next village where he passed the night, by decree of the King, he was put to death on the gallows." Titus Livius relates that Henry commanded his army to halt until the sacrilege was expiated. He first caused the pix to be restored to the Church, and the offender was then led, bound as a thief, through the army, and afterwards hung upon a tree, that every man might behold him.

(C) Go, bid thy master well advise himself: If we may pass, we will; if we be hinder'd, We shall your tawny ground with your red blood Discolour:]

My desire is, that none of you be so unadvised, as to be the occasion that I in my defence shall colour and make red your tawny ground with the effusion of Christian blood. When he (Henry) had thus answered the Herald, he gave him a great reward, and licensed him to depart. —Holinshed.


Cho. Now entertain conjecture of a time When creeping murmur and the poring dark Fills the wide vessel of the universe. From camp to camp, through the foul womb of night The hum of either army stilly sounds,[1] That the fix'd sentinels almost receive The secret whispers of each other's watch:[2] Fire answers fire;[3] and through their paly flames Each battle sees the other's umber'd face:[4] Steed threatens steed, in high and boastful neighs Piercing the night's dull ear; and from the tents, The armourers, accomplishing the knights, With busy hammers closing rivets up, Give dreadful note of preparation. Proud of their numbers, and secure in soul, The confident and over-lusty[5] French Do the low-rated English play at dice;[6] And chide the cripple tardy-gaited night, Who, like a foul and ugly witch, doth limp So tediously away.

Scene opens and discovers the interior of a French tent, with the DAUPHIN, the CONSTABLE, ORLEANS, and others, playing at dice.

Dau. Will it never be day?

Con. I would it were morning; for I would fain be about the ears of the English.

Dau. Who will go to hazard with me for twenty English prisoners?

Orl. The prince longs to eat the English.

Con. Would it were day! Alas, poor Harry of England! he longs not for the dawning, as we do.

Dau. If the English had any apprehension, they would run away.

Con. That island of England breeds very valiant creatures; their mastiffs are of unmatchable courage.

Dau. 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.

Con. Just, just: give them great meals of beef, and iron and steel, they will eat like wolves, and fight like devils.

Orl. Ay, but these English are shrewdly out of beef.

Con. Then we shall find to-morrow—they have only stomachs to eat, and none to fight. Now is it time to arm: Come, shall we about it?

Dau. It is now two o'clock: but, let me see,—by ten We shall have each a hundred Englishmen.


Cho. The poor condemned English, Like sacrifices, by their watchful fires Sit patiently, and inly ruminate The morning's danger; and their gestures sad, Investing lank-lean cheeks, and war-worn coats, Presenteth them unto the gazing moon So many horrid ghosts.

[Scene re-opens, discovering the English camp, with group of soldiery praying. After a pause the scene closes.

O, now, who will behold The royal captain of this ruin'd band Walking from watch to watch, from tent to tent, Let him cry—Praise and glory on his head! For forth he goes and visits all his host; Bids them good-morrow with a modest smile, And calls them—brothers, friends, and countrymen. Upon his royal face there is no note How dread an army hath enrounded him; Nor doth he dedicate one jot of colour Unto the weary and all-watched night; But freshly looks, and overbears attaint With cheerful semblance and sweet majesty; That every wretch, pining and pale before, Beholding him, plucks comfort from his looks: Then, mean and gentle all, Behold, as may unworthiness define, A little touch of Harry in the night: And so our scene must to the battle fly; The field of Agincourt. Yet, sit and see; Minding true things[7] by what their mockeries be.


[Footnote IVc.1: ——stilly sounds,] i.e., gently, lowly.]

[Footnote IVc.2: The secret whispers of each other's watch:] Holinshed says, that the distance between the two armies was but 250 paces.]

[Footnote IVc.3: Fire answers fire;] This circumstance is also taken from Holinshed. "But at their coming into the village, fires were made by the English to give light on every side, as there likewise were in the French hoste."]

[Footnote IVc.4: ——the other's umber'd face:] Umber'd means here discoloured by the gleam of the fires. Umber is a dark yellow earth, brought from Umbria, in Italy, which, being mixed with water, produces such a dusky yellow colour as the gleam of fire by night gives to the countenance. Shakespeare's theatrical profession probably furnished him with the epithet, as burnt umber is occasionally used by actors for colouring the face.]

[Footnote IVc.5: ——over-lusty] i.e., over-saucy.]

[Footnote IVc.6: Do the low-rated English play at dice;] i.e., do play them away at dice. Holinshed says— "The Frenchmen, in the meanwhile, as though they had been sure of victory, made great triumph; for the captains had determined before how to divide the spoil, and the soldiers the night before had played the Englishmen at dice."]

[Footnote IVc.7: Minding true things] To mind is the same as to call to remembrance.]




K. Hen. Gloster, 'tis true that we are in great danger; The greater therefore should our courage be.


Good morrow, brother Bedford.—Gracious Heaven! There is some soul of goodness in things evil, Would men observingly distil it out; For our bad neighbour makes us early stirrers, Which is both healthful and good husbandry. Thus may we gather honey from the weed, And make a moral of the devil himself.


Good morrow, old Sir Thomas Erpingham: A good soft pillow for that good white head Were better than a churlish turf of France.

Erp. Not so, my liege: this lodging likes me better, Since I may say—now lie I like a king.

K. Hen. Lend me thy cloak, Sir Thomas.—Brothers both, Commend me to the princes in our camp; Do my good morrow to them; and anon Desire them all to my pavilion.

Glo. We shall, my liege.


Erp. Shall I attend your grace?

K. Hen. No, my good knight; Go with my brothers to my lords of England:

[ERPINGHAM crosses to R.

I and my bosom must debate a while, And then I would no other company.

Erp. Heaven bless thee, noble Harry!


K. Hen. Gad-a-mercy, old heart! thou speakest cheerfully.

Enter PISTOL, L.H.

Pist. Qui va la?

K. Hen. A friend.

Pist. Discuss unto me; Art thou officer? Or art thou base, common, and popular?[1]

K. Hen. I am a gentleman of a company.

Pist. Trail'st thou the puissant pike?

K. Hen. Even so. What are you?

Pist. As good a gentleman as the emperor.

K. Hen. Then you are a better than the king.[2]

Pist. The king's a bawcock,[3] and a heart of gold, A lad of life, an imp of fame;[4] Of parents good, of fist most valiant: I kiss his dirty shoe, and from my heart-strings I love the lovely bully. What's thy name?

K. Hen. Harry le Roi.

Pist. Le Roi! a Cornish name: art thou of Cornish crew?

K. Hen. No, I am a Welshman.

Pist. Knowest thou Fluellen?

K. Hen. Yes.

Pist. Tell him, I'll knock his leek about his pate, Upon Saint Davy's day.

[Crosses to R.

K. Hen. Do not you wear your dagger in your cap that day, lest he knock that about yours.

Pist. Art thou his friend?

K. Hen. And his kinsman too.

Pist. The figo for thee, then!

K. Hen. I thank you: Heaven be with you!

Pist. My name is Pistol call'd.

[Exit, R.H.

K. Hen. It sorts[5] well with your fierceness.

Enter FLUELLEN, L.H., and crosses to R., and GOWER, U.E.R.H., following hastily.

Gow. Captain Fluellen!

Flu. (R.C.) So! in the name of Heaven, speak lower.[6] It is the greatest admiration in the universal 'orld, when the true and auncient prerogatifes and laws of 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 in Pompey's camp.

Gow. (L.C.) Why, the enemy is loud; you heard him all night.

Flu. If the enemy is an ass, and a fool, and a prating coxcomb, is it meet, think you, that we should also, look you, be an ass, and a fool, and a prating coxcomb, in your own conscience, now?

Gow. I will speak lower.

Flu. I pray you, and beseech you, that you will.

[Exeunt GOWER and FLUELLEN, R.H.

K. Hen. Though it appear a little out of fashion, there is much care and valour in this Welshman.


Will. Brother John Bates, is not that the morning which breaks yonder?

Bates. I think it be: but we have no great cause to desire the approach of day.

Will. We see yonder the beginning of the day, but, I think, we shall never see the end of it.—Who goes there?

K. Hen. A friend.

[Comes down, R.

Will. Under what captain serve you?

K. Hen. Under Sir Thomas Erpingham.

Will. A good old commander, and a most kind gentleman: I pray you, what thinks he of our estate?

K. Hen. Even as men wrecked upon a sand, that look to be washed off the next tide.

Bates. (L.) He hath not told his thought to the king?

K. Hen. No; nor it is not meet he should. (Crosses to centre.) For, 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 but human conditions:[7] therefore when 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 man should possess him with any appearance of fear, lest he, by showing it, should dishearten his army.

Bates. He may show what outward courage he will; but I believe, as cold a night as 'tis, he could wish himself in the Thames up to the neck; and so I would he were, and I by him, at all adventures, so we were quit here.

K. Hen. (C.) By my troth, I will speak my conscience of the king: I think he would not wish himself any where but where he is.

Bates. (L.) Then 'would he were here alone; so should he be sure to be ransomed, and a many poor men's lives saved.

K. Hen. I dare say you love him not so ill, to wish him here alone, howsoever you speak this, to feel other men's minds: Methinks I could not die any where so contented as in the king's company; his cause being just, and his quarrel honourable.[8]

Will. (R.) That's more than we know.

Bates. 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.

Will. But if the cause be not good, the king himself hath a heavy rekoning to make, when all those legs and arms and heads, chopped off in battle, shall join together at the latter day,[9] and cry all—We died at such 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.[10] I am afeard there are few die well that die in battle; for how can they charitably dispose of any thing, when blood is their argument? Now, if these men do not die well, it will be a black matter for the king that led them to it; whom to disobey were against all proportion of subjection.

K. Hen. So, if a son, that is by his father sent about merchandise, do sinfully miscarry upon the sea, the imputation of his wickedness, by your rule, should be imposed upon his father that sent him:—But this is not so: the king is not bound to answer the particular endings of his soldiers, nor the father of his son, for they purpose not their death, when they purpose their services. Every subject's duty 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: and dying so, death is to him advantage; or not dying, the time was blessedly lost wherein such preparation was gained.

Will. 'Tis certain, every man that dies ill, the ill is upon his own head; the king is not to answer for it.

Bates. I do not desire he should answer for me; and yet I determine to fight lustily for him.

K. Hen. I myself heard the king say he would not be ransomed.

Will. 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.

K. Hen. If I live to see it, I will never trust his word after.

Will. That's a perilous shot out of an elder gun, that a poor and 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.

K. Hen. Your reproof is something too round:[11] I should be angry with you, if the time were convenient.

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

K. Hen. I embrace it.

Will. How shall I know thee again?

K. Hen. Give me any gage of thine, and I will wear it in my bonnet: then, if ever thou darest acknowledge it, I will make it my quarrel.

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

K. Hen. There.

Will. This will I also wear in my cap: if ever thou come to me and say, after to-morrow. This is my glove, by this hand, I will take thee a box on the ear.

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

Will. Thou darest as well be hanged.

K. Hen. Well, I will do it, though I take thee in the king's company.

Will. Keep thy word: fare thee well.

Bates. Be friends, you English fools, be friends: (Crosses to WILLIAMS, R.) we have French quarrels enough, if you could tell how to reckon.

[Exeunt Soldiers, R.H.

K. Hen. Upon the king! let us our lives, our souls, Our sins, lay on the king!—we must bear all. O hard condition, twin-born with greatness, Subjected to the breath of every fool. What infinite heart's ease must king's neglect, That private men enjoy! And what have kings, that privates have not too, Save ceremony, save general ceremony? And what art thou, thou idol ceremony? Art thou aught else but place, degree, and form, Creating awe and fear in other men? Wherein thou art less happy being fear'd Than they in fearing. What drink'st thou oft, instead of homage sweet, But poison'd flattery? O, be sick, great greatness, And bid thy ceremony give thee cure! 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: I am a king that find thee; and I know, 'Tis not the balm, the sceptre, and the ball, The sword, the mace, the crown imperial, 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 fill'd and vacant mind, Gets him to rest, cramm'd with distressful bread; And but for ceremony, such a wretch, Winding up days with toil and nights with sleep, Had the fore-hand and vantage of a king.


Erp. My lord, your nobles, jealous of your absence, Seek through your camp to find you.

K. Hen. Good old knight, Collect them all together at my tent: I'll be before thee.

[Gives back the Cloak to ERPINGHAM.

Erp. I shall do't, my lord. [Exit, R.H.

K. Hen. O God of battles! steel my soldier's hearts; Possess them not with fear; take from them now The sense of reckoning, lest the opposed numbers Pluck their hearts from them!—Not to-day, O Lord, O, not to-day, think not upon the fault My father made in compassing the crown! I Richard's body have interred new;(C) And on it have bestow'd more contrite tears, Than from it issu'd forced drops of blood: Five hundred poor I have in yearly pay, Who twice a day their wither'd hands hold up Toward heaven, to pardon blood: More will I do—

[Trumpet sounds without, R.

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

[Exit, R.H.

[Footnote IV.1: ——popular] i.e., one of the people.]

[Footnote IV.2: ——you are a better than the king.] i.e., a better man than the king.]

[Footnote IV.3: The king's a bawcock,] A burlesque term of endearment, supposed to be derived from beau coq.]

[Footnote IV.4: ——an imp of fame;] An imp is a young shoot, but means a son in Shakespeare. In this sense the word has become obsolete, and is now only understood as a small or inferior devil.

In Holingshed, p. 951, the last words of Lord Cromwell are preserved, who says:— "——and after him, that his son Prince Edward, that goodly imp, may long reign over you."]

[Footnote IV.5: It sorts] i.e., it agrees.]

[Footnote IV.6: ——speak lower.] Shakespeare has here, as usual, followed Holinshead: "Order was taken by commandement from the king, after the army was first set in battle array, that no noise or clamor should be made in the host."]

[Footnote IV.7: ——conditions:] i.e., qualities. The meaning is, that objects are represented by his senses to him, as to other men by theirs. What is danger to another is danger likewise to him; and, when he feels fear, it is like the fear of meaner mortals. —JOHNSON.]

[Footnote IV.8: ——his cause being just, and his quarrel honourable.] In his address to the army, King Henry called upon them all to remember the just cause and quarrel for which they fought. —HOLINSHED.]

[Footnote V.9: ——the latter day,] i.e., the last day, the day of Judgment. Shakespeare frequently uses the comparative for the superlative.]

[Footnote V.10: ——their children rawly left.] i.e., left young and helpless.]

[Footnote IV.11: ——too round:] i.e., too rough, too unceremonious.]


Flourish of trumpets.

Enter DAUPHIN, GRANDPRE, RAMBURES,[12] and Others.

Dau. The sun doth gild our armour; up, my lords! My horse! varlet! lacquay! ha!

[Servants exeunt hastily.

Grand. O brave spirit!

Dau. Cousin Orleans.—


Now, my lord Constable!

Con. Hark, how our steeds for present service neigh!

Dau. Mount them, and make incision in their hides, That their hot blood may spin in English eyes, And dout them[13] with superfluous courage, Ha!

Con. What, will you have them weep our horses' blood? How shall we, then, behold their natural tears?


Mont. The English are embattled, you French peers.

[Exit R.H.

Con. To horse, you gallant princes! straight to horse! Do but behold yon poor and starved band. There is not work enough for all our hands; Scarce blood enough in all their sickly veins, To give each naked curtle-ax a stain. 'Tis positive 'gainst all exceptions, lords, That our superfluous lackeys, are enough To purge this field of such a hilding foe.[14] A very little little let us do, And all is done. Then let the trumpets sound: For our approach shall so much dare the field, That England shall couch down in fear, and yield.

Enter ORLEANS,(D) hastily, R.H.

Orl. Why do you stay so long, my lords of France? Yon island carrions,[15] desperate of their bones, Ill-favour'dly become the morning field: Their ragged curtains poorly are let loose,[16] And our air shakes them passing scornfully: Big Mars seems bankrupt in their beggar'd host, And their executors, the knavish crows, Fly o'er them, all impatient for their hour. Description cannot suit itself in words To demonstrate the life of such a battle In life so lifeless as it shows itself.

Dau. Shall we go send them dinners and fresh suits, And give their fasting horses provender, And after fight with them?

Con. On, to the field! Come, come, away! The sun is high, and we outwear the day.

[Exeunt, R.H.

Flourish of trumpets.

[Footnote IV.12: Rambures,] The Lord of Rambures was commander of the cross-bows in the French army at Agincourt.]

[Footnote IV.13: And dout them] Dout, is a word still used in Warwickshire, and signifies to do out, or extinguish.]

[Footnote IV.14: ——a hilding foe.] Hilding, or hinderling, is a low wretch.]

[Footnote IV.15: Yon island carrion,] This description of the English is founded on the melancholy account given by our historians of Henry's army, immediately before the battle of Agincourt.]

[Footnote IV.16: Their ragged curtains poorly are let loose,] By their ragged curtains, are meant their colours.]



Glo. (R.C.) Where is the king?

Bed. (L.C.) The king himself is rode to view their battle.[17]

West. (L.) Of fighting men they have full threescore thousand.

Exe. (L.C.) There's five to one; besides, they all are fresh.

Erp. It is fearful odds. If we no more meet till we meet in heaven, Then, joyfully,—my noble lord of Bedford,—

[Crosses to L.

My dear lord Gloster,—and my good lord Exeter,— Warriors all, adieu!

[Crosses back to R.

West. O that we now had here But one ten thousand of those men in England That do no work to-day!(F)

Enter KING HENRY, attended.(G) U.E.L.H.

K. Hen. (C.) What's he that wishes so? My cousin Westmoreland?—No, my fair cousin: If we are mark'd to die, we are enough To do our country loss; and if to live, The fewer men, the greater share of honour. I pray thee, wish not one man more. Rather proclaim it, Westmoreland, through my host, That he who hath no stomach to this fight. Let him depart; his passport shall be made, And crowns for convoy put into his purse: We would not die in that man's company, That fears his fellowship to die with us. This day is call'd—the feast of Crispian:(H) He, that outlives this day, and comes safe home, Will stand a tip-toe when this day is nam'd, And rouse him at the name of Crispian. He that shall live this day, and see old age, Will yearly on the vigil feast his friends,[18] And say—to-morrow is Saint Crispian: Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars, And say, those wounds I had on Crispin's day. Old men forget; yet all shall be forgot, But he'll remember with advantages[19] What feats he did that day: Then shall our names, Familiar in their mouths as household words,— Harry the King, Bedford and Exeter, Warwick and Talbot, Salisbury and Gloster,—(I) Be in their flowing cups freshly remember'd. This story shall the good man teach his son; And Crispin Crispian shall ne'er go by, From this day to the ending[20] of the world, But we in it shall be remembered. We few, we happy few, we band of brothers; For he to-day that sheds his blood with me Shall be my brother; be he ne'er so vile, This day shall gentle his condition:[21] And gentlemen in England, now a-bed, Shall think themselves accurs'd they were not here; And hold their manhoods cheap while any speaks That fought with us upon Saint Crispin's day.

Enter GOWER, hastily, U.E.L.H.

Gow. (R.C.) My sovereign lord, bestow yourself with speed: The French are bravely in their battles set,[22] And will with all expedience charge on us.

K. Hen. (C.) All things are ready, if our minds be so.

West. Perish the man whose mind is backward now!

K. Hen. Thou dost not wish more help from England, cousin?

West. (L.) Would you and I alone, my liege, Without more help, might fight this battle out!

Trumpet sounds without, L.H.

Enter MONTJOY, and attendants, U.E.L.H.

Mont. (uncovers and kneels.) Once more I come to know of thee, King Harry, If for thy ransom thou wilt now compound, Before thy most assured overthrow.

K. Hen. (C.) Who hath sent thee now?

Mont. The Constable of France.

K. Hen. I pray thee, bear my former answer back: Bid them achieve me,[23] and then sell my bones. Good Heaven! Why should they mock poor fellows thus? The man, that once did sell the lion's skin While the beast liv'd, was kill'd with hunting him. Let me speak proudly:—Tell the Constable, We are but warriors for the working-day:[24] Our gayness and our guilt[25] are all besmirch'd With rainy marching in the painful field, And time hath worn us into slovenry. But, by the mass, our hearts are in the trim; And my poor soldiers tell me—yet ere night They'll be in fresher robes; or they will pluck The gay new coats o'er the French soldiers' heads, And turn them out of service. Come thou no more for ransom, gentle herald: They shall have none, I swear, but these my joints, Which if they have as I will leave 'em to them, Shall yield them little, tell the Constable.

Mont. I shall, King Harry.

(Rises from his knee.)

And so, fare thee well: Thou never shalt hear herald any more.

[Exit with Attendants, U.E.L.H.

K. Hen. Now, soldiers, march away:— And how thou pleasest, Heaven, dispose the day!(K)

Trumpet March.

[Exeunt L.H.

[Footnote IV.17: The king himself is rode to view their battle.] The king is reported to have dismounted before the battle commenced, and to have fought on foot.]

[Footnote IV.18: ——on the vigil feast his friends,] i.e., the evening before the festival.]

[Footnote IV.19: ——with advantages,] Old men, notwithstanding the natural forgetfulness of age, shall remember their feats of this day, and remember to tell them with advantage. Age is commonly boastful, and inclined to magnify past acts and past times. —JOHNSON.]

[Footnote IV.20: From this day to the ending] It may be observed that we are apt to promise to ourselves a more lasting memory than the changing state of human things admits. This prediction is not verified; the feast of Crispin passes by without any mention of Agincourt. Late events obliterate the former: the civil wars have left in this nation scarcely any tradition of more ancient history. —JOHNSON.]

[Footnote IV.21: ——gentle his condition:] This day shall advance him to the rank of a gentleman.

King Henry V. inhibited any person but such as had a right by inheritance, or grant, to assume coats of arms, except those who fought with him at the battle of Agincourt; and, I think, these last were allowed the chief seats of honour at all feasts and publick meetings. —TOLLET.]

[Footnote IV.22: ——bravely in their battles set.] Bravely, for gallantly.]

[Footnote IV.23: Bid them achieve me,] i.e., gain, or obtain me.]

[Footnote IV.24: ——warriors for the working-day:] We are soldiers but coarsely dressed; we have not on our holiday apparel.]

[Footnote IV.25: ——our guilt] i.e., golden show, superficial gilding. The word is obsolete.]


Alarums. Enter DAUPHIN, ORLEANS, BOURBON, CONSTABLE, RAMBURES, and Others, hastily, and in confusion, L.H.

Dau. (C.) All is confounded, all! Reproach and everlasting shame Sits mocking in our plumes.

[Alarums, L.

Con. Why, all our ranks are broke.

Dau. O perdurable shame![26]—let's stab ourselves. Be these the wretches that we play'd at dice for?

Orl. (L.C.) Is this the king we sent to for his ransom?

Dau. Shame, and eternal shame, nothing but shame! Let us die in honor: Once more back again.

Con. (C.) Disorder, that hath spoil'd us, friend us now! Let us in heaps go offer up our lives Unto these English, or else die with fame.

Dau. (R.C.) We are enough, yet living in the field, To smother up the English in our throngs, If any order might be thought upon.

Con. The devil take order now! I'll to the throng: Let life be short; else shame will be too long.


[Exeunt L.H.

[Footnote IV.26: O perdurable shame!] Perdurable is lasting.]


[The bodies of the DUKE OF YORK(L) and EARL OF SUFFOLK are borne across the stage by soldiers.

Trumpets sound.

Enter KING HENRY with a part of the English forces; WARWICK, BEDFORD, GLOSTER, EXETER, and others, L.H.

K. Hen. (C.) I was not angry since I came to France, Until this instant.—Take a trumpet, herald; Ride thou unto the horsemen on yon hill:(M) If they will fight with us, bid them come down, Or void the field;[27] they do offend our sight: If they'll do neither, we will come to them; And make them skirr away, as swift as stones Enforced from the old Assyrian slings. Go, and tell them so.

[Exit HERALD with Trumpeter, R.H.

Exe. The Duke of York commends him to your majesty.

K. Hen. Lives he, good uncle? thrice within this hour, I saw him down; thrice up again and fighting; From helmet to the spur, all blood he was.

Exe. In which array, (brave soldier), did he lie, Larding the plain; and by his bloody side, (Yoke fellow to his honour-owing wounds), The noble Earl of Suffolk also lay. Suffolk first died: and York, all haggled over, Comes to him, where in gore he lay insteep'd, And takes him by the hand; kisses the gashes, That bloodily did yarn upon his face; And cries aloud:—Tarry, dear cousin Suffolk! My soul shall thine keep company to heaven: Tarry, sweet soul, for mine, then fly abreast; As in this glorious and well foughten field, We keep together in our chivalry! Upon these words I came, and cheer'd him up: He smil'd me in the face, raught me his hand,[28] And with a feeble gripe, says,—Dear, my lord, Commend my service to my sovereign. So did he turn, and over Suffolk's neck He threw his wounded arm, and kiss'd his lips; And so espous'd to death, with blood he seal'd A testament of noble-ending love. The pretty and sweet manner of it forc'd Those waters from me, which I would have stopp'd; But I had not so much of man in me, But all my mother came into mine eyes, And gave me up to tears.

[Re-enter ENGLISH HERALD and Trumpeter, R.H.

K. Hen. I blame you not: For, hearing this, I must perforce compound With mistful eyes, or they will issue too.

[Trumpet without, R.

Exe. Here comes the herald of the French, my liege.

Glo. His eyes are humbler than they us'd to be.

Enter MONTJOY,(N) and attendants, R.H. MONTJOY uncovers and kneels.

K. Hen. How now! what means this, herald? Com'st thou again for ransom?

Mont. No, great king: I come to thee for charitable licence, That we may wander o'er this bloody field To book our dead, and then to bury them; To sort our nobles from our common men, For many of our princes (woe the while!) Lie drown'd and soak'd in mercenary blood; (So do our vulgar drench their peasant limbs In blood of princes;) and their wounded steeds Fret fetlock deep in gore, and, with wild rage Yerk out their armed heels at their dead masters, Killing them twice. O, give us leave, great king, To view the field in safety, and dispose Of their dead bodies!

K. Hen. I tell thee truly, herald, I know not if the day be ours or no; For yet a many of your horsemen peer And gallop o'er the field.

Mont. The day is yours.

K. Hen. Praised be Heaven, and not our strength, for it!— What is this castle call'd that stands hard by?

Mont. They call it—Agincourt.

K. Hen. Then call we this—the field of Agincourt, Fought on the day of Crispin Crispianus.

[Loud flourish of Trumpets, and shouts of the soldiers. MONTJOY rises from his knee, and stands R.

Flu. (L.) Your grandfather of famous memory, an't please your majesty, and your great uncle Edward the plack prince of Wales, as I have read in the chronicles, fought a most prave pattle here in France.

K. Hen. (C.) They did, Fluellen.

Flu. Your majesty says very true: if your majesties is remembered of it, the Welshman did goot service in a garden where leeks did grow, wearing leeks in their Monmouth caps;[29] which, your majesty knows, to this hour is an honourable padge of the service; and I do believe, your majesty takes no scorn to wear the leek upon Saint Tavy's day.

K. Hen. I wear it for a memorable honour; For I am Welsh, you know, good countryman.

Flu. All the water in Wye cannot wash your majesty's Welsh plood out of your pody, I can tell you that: Heaven pless it, and preserve it, as long as it pleases his grace, and his majesty too!

K. Hen. Thanks, good my countryman.

Flu. I am your majesty's countryman, I care not who know it: I will confess it to all the 'orld: I need not to be ashamed of your majesty, praised be Heaven, so long as your majesty is an honest man.

K. Hen. Heaven keep me so!—Our herald go with him: Bring me just notice of the numbers dead On both our parts.—

[Exeunt MONTJOY and attendants, with English Herald, R.H.

Call yonder fellow hither.

[Points to WILLIAMS, who is standing in the ranks up the stage, L.

Exe. Soldier, you must come to the king.

K. Hen. (C.) Soldier, why wear'st thou that glove in thy cap?

Will. (kneels R.) An't please your majesty, 'tis the gage of one that I should fight withal, if he be alive.

[Rises from his knee.

K. Hen. An Englishman?

Will. An't please your majesty, a rascal that swaggered with me last night; who, if 'a live, and ever dare to challenge this glove, I have sworn to take him a box o' the ear: or, if I can see my glove in his cap (which he swore, as he was a soldier, he would wear, if alive,) I will strike it out soundly.

K. Hen. What think you, Captain Fluellen? is it fit this soldier keep his oath?

Flu. (L.) He is a craven and a villain else, an't please your majesty, in my conscience.

K. Hen. It may be his enemy is a gentleman of great sort,[30] quite from the answer of his degree.[31]

Flu. Though he be as goot a gentleman as the tevil is, as Lucifer and Belzebub himself, it is necessary, look your grace, that he keep his vow and his oath.

K. Hen. Then keep thy vow, sirrah, when thou meet'st the fellow.

Will. So I will, my liege, as I live.

K. Hen. Who servest thou under?

Will. Under Captain Gower, my liege.

Flu. Gower is a goot captain, and is good knowledge and literature in the wars.

K. Hen. Call him hither to me, soldier.

Will. I will, my liege.

[Exit, R.H.

K. Hen. Here, Fluellen; wear thou this favour for me, and stick it in thy cap: When Alencon and myself were down together,(O) I plucked this glove from his helm: if any man challenge this, he is a friend to Alencon and an enemy to our person; if thou encounter any such, apprehend him, an thou dost love me.

Flu. Your grace does me as great honours as can be desired in the hearts of his subjects: I would fain see the man, that has but two legs, that shall find himself aggriefed at this glove, that is all.

K. Hen. Knowest thou Gower?

Flu. He is my dear friend, an please you.

K. Hen. Pray thee, go seek him, and bring him to my tent.

Flu. (L.) I will fetch him.

[Crosses to R., and exit R.H.

K. Hen. (L.C.) My lord of Warwick,—and my brother Gloster,

[Both advance to the KING.

Follow Fluellen closely at the heels: The glove which I have given him for a favour May haply purchase him a box o' the ear; It is the soldier's; I, by bargain, should Wear it myself. Follow, good cousin Warwick:

[WARWICK crosses to R.

If that the soldier strike him (as, I judge, By his blunt bearing, he will keep his word,) Some sudden mischief may arise of it; For I do know Fluellen valiant, And, touch'd with choler, hot as gunpowder, And quickly will return an injury: Follow,

(GLOSTER crosses to R.)

and see there be no harm between them.—

[WARWICK and GLOSTER exeunt R.H.

Go you with me, Uncle of Exeter.

[Exeunt Omnes, L.H.

Trumpets sound.

[Footnote IV.27: Or void the field;] i.e., avoid, withdraw from the field.]

[Footnote IV.28: ——raught me his hand,] Raught is the old preterite of the verb to reach.]

[Footnote IV.29: ——Monmouth caps;] Monmouth caps were formerly much worn, and Fuller, in his "Worthies of Wales," says the best caps were formerly made at Monmouth.]

[Footnote IV.30: ——great sort,] High rank.]

[Footnote IV.31: ——quite from the answer of his degree.] A man of such station as is not bound to hazard his person to answer to a challenge from one of the soldier's low degree.]



Will. I warrant it is to knight you, captain.


Flu. Heaven's will and pleasure, captain, I peseech you now, come apace to the king: there is more goot toward you peradventure than is in your knowledge to dream of.

Will. Sir, know you this glove?

Flu. (C.) Know the glove! I know, the glove is a glove.

Will. (R.C.) I know this; and thus I challenge it.

[Strikes him.

Flu. 'Sblud, an arrant traitor as any's in the universal 'orld, or in France, or in England!

Gow. (L.C.) How now, sir! you villain!

Will. Do you think I'll be forsworn?

Flu. Stand away, Captain Gower; I will give treason his payment in plows, I warrant you.

Will. I am no traitor.

Flu. That's a lie in thy throat.—I charge you in his majesty's name, apprehend him: he's a friend of the duke Alencon's.


Glos. (crosses to C.) How now, how now! what's the matter?

Flu. My lord of Gloster, here is (praised be Heaven for it!) a most contagious treason come to light, look you, as you shall desire in a summer's day. Here is his majesty.

Enter KING HENRY, EXETER, and others, U.E.L.H.

K. Hen. (coming down centre.) How now! what's the matter?

Flu. (L.H.) My liege, here is a villain and a traitor, that, look your grace, has struck the glove which your majesty is take out of the helmet of Alencon.

Will. (R.C.) My liege, this was my glove; here is the fellow of it; and he that I gave it to in change promised to wear it in his cap: I promised to strike him, if he did: I met this man with my glove in his cap, and I have been as good as my word.

Flu. Your majesty hear now (saving your majesty's manhood) what an arrant, rascally, beggarly, lowsy knave it is: I hope, your majesty is pear me testimony, and witness, and avouchments, that this is the glove of Alencon, that your majesty is give me, in your conscience, now.

K. Hen. Give me thy glove, soldier: Look, here is the fellow of it. 'Twas I, indeed, thou promised'st to strike; and thou hast given me most bitter terms.

[WILLIAMS falls on his knee.

Flu. An please your majesty, let his neck answer for it, if there is any martial law in the 'orld.

K. Hen. How can'st thou make me satisfaction?

Will. All offences, my liege, come from the heart: never came any from mine, that might offend your majesty.

K. Hen. It was ourself thou didst abuse.

Will. Your majesty came not like yourself: you appeared to me but as a common man; witness the night, your garments, your lowliness; and what your highness suffered under that shape, I beseech you, take it for your own fault, and not mine: for had you been as I took you for, I made no offence; therefore, I beseech your highness, pardon me.

K. Hen. Here, uncle Exeter, fill this glove with crowns, And give it to this fellow.— (WILLIAMS rises.) Keep it, fellow; And wear it for an honour in thy cap Till I do challenge it.—Give him the crowns:— And, captain, you must needs be friends with him.

[The KING goes up the stage with EXETER, BEDFORD, and GLOSTER.

Flu. By this day and this light, the fellow has mettle enough in his pelly.—Hold, there is twelve pence for you; and I pray you to serve Heaven, and keep you out of prawls, and prabbles, and quarrels, and dissensions, and, I warrant you, it is the petter for you.

Will. I will none of your money.

Flu. It is with a goot will; I can tell you, it will serve you to mend your shoes: Come, wherefore should you be so pashful? your shoes is not so goot: 'tis a goot silling, I warrant you, or I will change it.



K. Hen. (coming down C.) Now, herald, are the dead number'd?

[HERALD uncovers, kneels, and delivers papers. The KING gives one paper to EXETER.

K. Hen. (C.) What prisoners of good sort are taken, uncle?

Exe. (L.C.) Charles duke of Orleans, nephew to the king; John duke of Bourbon, and lord Bouciqualt: Of other lords and barons, knights and 'squires, Full fifteen hundred, besides common men.

K. Hen. (C.) This note doth tell me of ten thousand French That in the field lie slain: of princes, in this number, And nobles bearing banners, there lie dead One hundred twenty-six: added to these, Of knights, esquires, and gallant gentlemen, Eight thousand and four hundred; of the which, Five hundred were but yesterday dubb'd knights:[32] So that, in these ten thousand they have lost, There are but sixteen hundred mercenaries:[33] The rest are—princes, barons, lords, knights, 'squires, And gentlemen of blood and quality. Here was a royal fellowship of death!——(Q) What is the number of our English dead?

Exe. (L.C.) Edward the duke of York, the earl of Suffolk, Sir Richard Ketley, Davy Gam, esquire: None else of name; and of all other men But five and twenty.

K. Hen. O Heaven, thy arm was here; And not to us, but to thy arm alone, Ascribe we all! When, without stratagem, But in plain shock and even play of battle, Was ever known so great and little loss On one part and on the other?—Take it, Heaven, For it is only thine!

[Returns papers to HERALD, who rises and stands L.

Exe. 'Tis wonderful!

K. Hen. Come, go we in procession to the village: And be it death proclaimed through our host To boast of this, or take that praise from Heaven Which is his only.

Flu. (R.C.) Is it not lawful, and please your majesty, to tell how many is killed?

K. Hen. (up the stage C.) Yes, captain; but with this acknowledgment, That Heaven fought for us.

Flu. Yes, my conscience, he did us great goot.

K. Hen. Do we all holy rites:(R)

[The curtains of the Royal Pavilion are drawn aside, and discover an Altar and Priests.

Let there be sung Non nobis and Te Deum; The dead with charity enclos'd in clay: We'll then to Calais; and to England then; Where ne'er from France arriv'd more happy men.

[Organ music; all kneel, and join in Song of Thanksgiving.


[Footnote IV.32: Five hundred were but yesterday dubb'd knights:] In ancient times, the distribution of this honor appears to have been customary on the eve of a battle.]

[Footnote IV.33: Sixteen hundred mercenaries;] i.e., common soldiers, hired soldiers.]


(A) The English Camp at Agincourt.] The French were about a quarter of a mile from them at Agincourt and Ruisseauville, and both armies proceeded to light their fires, and to make the usual arrangements for a bivouack. The night was very rainy, and much inconvenience is said to have been experienced in each camp from wet and cold, accompanied, among the English, by hunger and fatigue. It was passed in a manner strictly consistent with their relative situations. The French, confident in their numbers, occupied the hours not appropriated to sleep in calculating upon their success; and in full security of a complete victory, played at dice with each other for the disposal of their prisoners, an archer being valued at a blank, and the more important persons in proportion; whilst the English were engaged in preparing their weapons, and in the most solemn acts of religion. * * * The Chronicler in the text states, that from the great stillness which prevailed throughout the English camp, the enemy imagined they were panic-struck, and intended to decamp. Monstrelet relates that the English "were much fatigued and oppressed by cold, hunger, and other annoyances; that they made their peace with God, by confessing their sins with tears, and numbers of them taking the sacrament; for, as it was related by some prisoners, they looked for certain death on the morrow."

(B) Enter Erpingham.] Sir Thomas Erpingham came over with Bolingbroke from Bretagne, and was one of the commissioners to receive King Richard's abdication. In Henry the Fifth's time Sir Thomas was warden of Dover Castle, and at the battle of Agincourt, was commander of the Archers. This venerable knight is described by Monstrelet to have grown grey with age and honour; and when orders were given for the English army to march toward the enemy, by Henry crying aloud, "Advance banners," Sir Thomas threw his truncheon in the air as a signal to the whole field, exclaiming, "Now strike;" and loud and repeated shouts testified the readiness with which they obeyed the command.

(C) I Richard's body have interred new;] Henry was anxious not only to repair his own misconduct, but also to make amends for those iniquities into which policy or the necessity of affairs had betrayed his father. He expressed the deepest sorrow for the fate of the unhappy Richard, did justice to the memory of that unfortunate prince, even performed his funeral obsequies with pomp and solemnity, and cherished all those who had distinguished themselves by their loyalty and attachment towards him. —Hume's History of England.

(D) Enter Orleans.] Charles Duke of Orleans was wounded and taken prisoner at Agincourt. Henry refused all ransom for him, and he remained in captivity twenty-three years.

This prince was a celebrated poet, and some of his most beautiful verses were composed during his confinement in the Tower of London. He married Isabella of Valois, daughter of Charles VI. and Isabeau of Bavaria, eldest sister to the Princess Katharine, Queen of Henry V.

Isabella was the widow of our Richard the Second when she married the Duke of Orleans.

After the victory of Agincourt, the following anecdote is related by Remy:— "During their journey to Calais, at a place where they rested, Henry caused bread and wine to be brought to him, which he sent to the Duke of Orleans; but the French Prince would neither eat nor drink. This being reported to the King, he imagined that it arose from dissatisfaction, and, therefore, went to the duke. 'Noble cousin,' said Henry, 'how are you?' 'Well, my lord,' answered the duke. 'Why, then, is it,' added the King, 'that you will neither eat nor drink?' To which Orleans replied, 'that truly he had no inclination for food.' 'Noble cousin,' rejoined Henry, 'be of good heart. I know that God gave me the victory over the French, not that I deserved it, but I fully believe that he wished to punish them; and if what I have heard is true, it is not to be wondered at, for never were there greater disorder, sensuality, sins, and vices seen than now prevail in France; which it is horrible to hear described; and if God is provoked, it is not a subject of surprise, and no one can be astonished.' Many more conversations are said to have passed between the King and the Duke of Orleans, and the commisseration and courtesy of the former to his prisoners is mentioned by every writer in terms of just praise."

(E) The English army, drawn up for battle;] The victory gained at Agincourt, in the year 1415, is, in a great measure, ascribed to the English Archers, and that there might be no want of arrows, Henry V. ordered the sheriffs of several counties to procure feathers from the wings of geese, plucking six from each goose. An archer of this time was clad in a cuirass, or a hauberk of chain-mail, with a salade on his head, which was a kind of bacinet. Every man had a good bow, a sheaf of arrows, and a sword. Fabian describes the archer's dress at the battle of Agincourt. "The yeomen had their limbs at liberty, for their hose was fastened with one point, and their jackets were easy to shoot in, so that they might draw bows of great strength, and shoot arrows a yard long." Some are described as without hats or caps, others with caps of boiled leather, or wicker work, crossed over with iron; some without shoes, and all in a very dilapidated condition. Each bore on his shoulder a long stake, sharpened at both extremities, which he was instructed to fix obliquely before him in the ground, and thus oppose a rampart of pikes to the charge of the French Cavalry.

(F) O that we now had here But one ten thousand of those men in England That do no work to day!]

A certain lord Walter Hungerford, knight, was regretting in the king's presence that he had not, in addition to the small retinue which he had there, ten thousand of the best English Archers, who would be desirous of being with him; when the King said, Thou speaketh foolishly, for, by the God of Heaven, on whose grace I have relied, and in whom I have a firm hope of victory, I would not, even if I could, increase my number by one; for those whom I have are the people of God, whom He thinks me worthy to have at this time. Dost thou not believe the Almighty, with these his humble few, is able to conquer the haughty opposition of the French, who pride themselves on their numbers, and their own strength, as if it might be said they would do as they liked? And in my opinion, God, of his true justice, would not bring any disaster upon one of so great confidence, as neither fell out to Judas Maccabeus until he became distrustful, and thence deservedly fell into ruin. —Nicolas's History of Agincourt.

(G) Enter King Henry, attended.] Henry rose with the earliest dawn, and immediately heard three masses. He was habited in his "cote d'armes," containing the arms of France and England quarterly, and wore on his bacinet a very rich crown of gold and jewels, circled like an imperial crown, that is, arched over. The earliest instance of an arched crown worn by an English monarch. —Vide Planche's History of British Costume.

King Henry had at Agincourt for his person five banners; that is, the banner of the Trinity, the banner of St. George, the banner of St. Edward, the banner of St. Edmund, and the banner of his own arms. "When the King of England had drawn up his order of battle he made a fine address to his troops, exhorting them to act well; saying, that he was come into France to recover his lawful inheritance, and that he had good and just cause to claim it; that in that quarrel they might freely and surely fight; that they should remember that they were born in the kingdom where their fathers and mothers, wives and children, now dwelt, and therefore they ought to strive to return there with great glory and fame; that the kings of England, his predecessors, had gained many noble battles and successes over the French; that on that day every one should endeavour to preserve his own person and the honor of the crown of the King of England. He moreover reminded them that the French boasted they would cut off three fingers from the right hand of every archer they should take, so that their shot should never again kill man nor horse. The army cried out loudly, saying, 'Sir, we pray God give you a good life, and the victory over your enemies.'" —Nicolas's History of Agincourt.

The banner of the Oriflamme is said to have been unfurled by the French for the last time at Agincourt.

(H) The feast of Crispian.] The battle of Agincourt was fought upon the 25th of October, 1415, St. Crispin's day. The legend upon which this is founded, is as follows:— "Crispinus and Crispianus were brethren, born at Rome; from whence they travelled to Soissons in France, about the year 303, to propagate the Christian religion; but because they would not be chargeable to others for their maintenance, they exercised the trade of shoemakers; but the Governor of the town, discovering them to be Christians, ordered them to be beheaded about the year 303. From which time, the shoemakers made choice of them for their tutelar saints." —See Hall's Chronicle.

(I) Bedford and Exeter, Warwick and Talbot, Salisbury and Gloster.] Although Shakespeare has adhered very closely to history in many parts of Henry V., he has deviated very much from it in the Dramatis Personae. He makes the Duke of Bedford accompany Henry to Harfleur and Agincourt when he was Regent of England. The Earl of Exeter, or, more properly speaking, the Earl of Dorset, was left to command Harfleur; the Earl of Westmoreland, so far from quitting England, was appointed to defend the marches of Scotland, nor does it appear that the Earl of Salisbury was either at Harfleur or Agincourt. The Earl of Warwick[*] had returned to England ill from Harfleur. The characters introduced in the play who really were at Agincourt, are the Dukes of Gloucester and York, and Sir Thomas Erpingham.

Holinshed states that the English army consisted of 15,000, and the French of 60,000 horse and 40,000 infantry—in all, 100,000. Walsingham and Harding represent the English as but 9,000, and other authors say that the number of French amounted to 150,000. Fabian says the French were 40,000, and the English only 7,000. The battle lasted only three hours.

[Footnote *: Richard Beauchamp, Earl of Warwick. He did not obtain that title till 1417, two years after the era of this play.]

(K) How thou pleasest, Heaven, dispose the day.] At the battle of Agincourt, having chosen a convenient spot on which to martial his men, the king sent privately two hundred archers into a low meadow, which was on one of his flanks, where they were so well secured by a deep ditch and a marsh, that the enemy could not come near them. Then he divided his infantry into three squadrons, or battles; the van-warde, or avant-guard, composed entirely of archers; the middle-warde, of bill-men only; and the rerewarde, of bill-men and archers mixed together; the horse-men, as wings, went on the flanks of each of the battles. He also caused stakes to be made of wood about five or six feet long, headed with sharp iron; these were fixed in the ground, and the archers so placed before them that they were entirely hid from the sight of the enemy. When, therefore, the heavy cavalry of the French charged, which was done with the utmost impetuosity, under the idea of cutting down and riding over the archers, they shrunk at once behind the stakes, and the Frenchmen, unable to stop their horses, rode full upon them, so that they overthrew their riders, and caused the utmost confusion. The infantry, who were to follow up and support this charge, were so struck with amazement that they hesitated, and by this were lost, for during the panic the English archers threw back their bows, and with axes, bills, glaives, and swords, slew the French, till they met the middle-warde. The king himself, according to Speed, rode in the main battle completely armed, his shield quartering the achievements of France and England; upon his helm he wore a coronet encircled with pearls and precious stones, and after the victory, although it had been cut and bruised, he would not suffer it to be ostentatiously exhibited to the people, but ordered all his men to give the glory to God alone. His horse was one of fierce courage, and had a bridle and furniture of goldsmiths' work, and the caparisons were most richly embroidered with the victorious ensigns of the English monarchy. Thus is he represented on his great seal, with the substitution of a knights' cap, and the crest, for the chaplet. Elmham's account, from which this is amplified, is more particular in some of the details; he relates, that the king appeared on a palfrey, followed by a train of led horses, ornamented with the most gorgeous trappings; his helmet was of polished steel, surmounted with a coronet sparkling with jewels, and on his surcoat, or rather jupon, were emblazoned the arms of France and England, azure, three fleurs-de-lis or, and gules, three lion's passant guardant or. The nobles, in like manner, were decorated with their proper armorial bearings. Before him was borne the royal standard, which was ornamented with gold and splendid colours. An account of the memorable battle of Azincourt, or Agincourt, fought on the 25th of October, 1415, is thus related by Mr. Turner:— "At dawn the King of England had matins and the mass chaunted in his army. He stationed all the horses and baggage in the village, under such small guard as he could spare, having resolved to fight the battle on foot. He sagaciously perceived that his only chance of victory rested in the superiority of the personal fortitude and activity of his countrymen, and to bring them face to face, and arm to arm, with their opponents, was the simple object of his tactical dispositions. He formed his troops into three divisions, with two wings. The centre, in which he stationed himself, he planted to act against the main body of the French, and he placed the right and left divisions, with their wings, at a small distance only from himself. He so chose his ground that the village protected his rear, and hedges and briars defended his flanks. Determined to shun no danger, but to be a conspicuous example to his troops on a day when no individual exertions could be spared, he put on a neat and shining armour, with a large and brilliant helmet, and on this he placed a crown, radiant with its jewels, and he put over him a tunic adorned with the arms of France and England. He mounted his horse, and proceeded to address his troops. The French were commanded by the Constable of France, and with him were the Dukes of Orleans, Burgundy, Berry, and Alencon, the Marshal and Admiral of France, and a great assemblage of French nobility. Their force was divided into three great battalions, and continued formed till ten o'clock, not advancing to the attack. They were so numerous as to be able to draw up thirty deep, the English but four. A thousand speared horsemen skirmished from each of the horns of the enemy's line, and it appeared crowded with balistae for the projection of stones of all sizes on Henry's little army. Henry sent a part of his force behind the village of Agincourt, where the French had placed no men at arms. He moved from the rear of his army, unperceived, two hundred archers, to hide themselves in a meadow on the flank of the French advanced line. An old and experienced knight, Sir Thomas Erpingham, formed the rest into battle array for an attack, putting the archers in front, and the men at arms behind. The archers had each a sharp stake pointed at both ends, to use against the French horse. Sir Thomas having completed his formation, threw up his truncheon in the air, and dismounted. The English began the attack, which the French had awaited, not choosing to give the advantage as at Poictiers; but when they saw them advance, they put themselves in motion, and their cavalry charged; these were destroyed by the English archers. The French, frightened by the effect of the arrows, bent their heads to prevent them from entering the vizors of their helmets, and, pressing forward, became so wedged together as to be unable to strike. The archers threw back their bows, and, grasping their swords, battle-axes, and other weapons, cut their way to the second line. At this period the ambushed archers rushed out, and poured their impetuous and irresistable arrows into the centre of the assailed force, which fell in like manner with the first line. In short, every part successively gave way, and the English had only to kill and take prisoners."

(L) The Duke of York commanded the van guard of the English army, and was slain in the battle.

This personage is the same who appears in Shakespeare's play of King Richard the Second by the title of Duke of Aumerle. His Christian name was Edward. He was the eldest son of Edmund Langley, Duke of York, who is introduced in the same play, and who was the fifth son of King Edward III. Richard, Earl of Cambridge, who appears in the second act of this play, was younger brother to this Edward, Duke of York.

(M) Ride thou unto the horsemen on yon hill:] After the battle, "there were small bodies of the French on different parts of the plain, but they were soon routed, slain, or taken."

(N) Enter MONTJOY.] He (the king) asked Montjoye to whom the victory belonged, to him or to the King of France? Montjoye replied that the victory was his, and could not be claimed by the King of France. The king said to the French and English heralds, "It is not we who have made this great slaughter, but the omnipotent God, as we believe, for a punishment of the sins of the French. The king then asked the name of the castle he saw near him. He was told it was Agincourt. Well, then, said he, since all battles should bear the name of the fortress nearest to the spot where they were fought, this battle shall from henceforth bear the ever durable name of Agincourt." —Nicolas's History of Agincourt.

(O) When Alencon and myself were down together.] During the battle, the Duke of Alencon most valiantly broke through the English line, and advanced, fighting, near to the king, insomuch that he wounded and struck down the Duke of York. King Henry, seeing this, stepped forth to his aid, and as he was leaning down to raise him, the Duke of Alencon gave him a blow on the helmet that struck off part of his crown. The king's guard on this surrounded him, when, seeing he could no way escape death but by surrendering, he lifted up his arm, and said to the king, "I am the Duke of Alencon, and yield myself to you;" but as the king was holding out his hand to receive his pledge, he was put to death by the guards. —Nicolas's History of Agincourt.

(P) Enter WARWICK and GLOSTER.] The noble Duke of Gloucester, the king's brother, pushing himself too vigorously on his horse into the conflict, was grievously wounded, and cast down to the earth by the blows of the French, for whose protection the king being interested, he bravely leapt against his enemies in defence of his brother, defended him with his own body, and plucked and guarded him from the raging malice of the enemy's, sustaining perils of war scarcely possible to be borne. —Nicolas's History of Agincourt.

(Q) Here was a royal fellowship of death!—] There is not much difficulty in forming a correct estimate of the numbers of the French slain at Agincourt, for if those writers who only state that from three to five thousand were killed, merely meant the men-at-arms and persons of superior rank, and which is exceedingly probable, we may at once adopt the calculation of Monstrelet, Elmham, &c., and estimate the whole loss on the field at from ten to eleven thousand men. It is worthy of remark how very nearly the different statements on the subject approach to each other, and which can only be explained by the fact that the dead had been carefully numbered.

Among the most illustrious persons slain were the Dukes of Brabant, Barre, and Alencon, five counts, and a still greater proportion of distinguished knights; and the Duke of Orleans, the Count of Vendosme, who was taken by Sir John Cornwall, the Marshall Bouciqualt, and numerous other individuals of distinction, whose names are minutely recorded by Monstrelet, were made prisoners. The loss of the English army has been variously estimated. The discrepancies respecting the number slain on the part of the victors, form a striking contrast to the accuracy of the account of the loss of their enemies. The English writers vary in their statements from seventeen to one hundred, whilst the French chroniclers assert that from three hundred to sixteen hundred individuals fell on that occasion. St. Remy and Monstrelet assert that sixteen hundred were slain. —Nicolas's History of Agincourt.

(R) Do we all holy rites:] Holinshed says, that when the king saw no appearance of enemies, he caused the retreat to be blown, and gathering his army together, gave thanks to Almighty God for so happy a victory, causing his prelates and chaplains to sing this psalm—In exitu Israel de Egypto; and commanding every man to kneel down on the ground at this verse—Non nobis domine, non nobis, sed nomini tuo da gloriam; which, done, he caused Te Deum and certain anthems to be sung, giving laud and praise to God, and not boasting of his own force, or any human power.


Chor. Vouchsafe to those that have not read the story, That I may prompt them. Now we bear the king Towards Calais: grant him there; there seen, Heave him away upon your winged thoughts Athwart the sea. Behold, the English beach Pales in the flood with men, with wives, and boys, Whose shouts and claps out-voice the deep-mouth'd sea, Which, like a mighty whiffler[1] 'fore the king Seems to prepare his way: so let him land; And solemnly, see him set on to London. So swift a pace hath thought, that even now You may imagine him upon Blackheath. How London doth pour out her citizens! The mayor, and all his brethren, in best sort,— Like to the senators of the antique Rome, With the plebeians swarming at their heels,— Go forth, and fetch their conquering Caesar in. Now in London place him. There must we bring him; Show the occurrences, whatever chanc'd, Till Harry's back-return again to France.


[Footnote Vc.1: ——a mighty whiffler] An officer who walks first in processions, or before persons in high stations, on occasions of ceremony. The name is still retained in London, and there is an officer so called that walks before their companies at times of publick solemnity. It seems a corruption from the French word huissier. —HANMER.]


OLD LONDON BRIDGE From the Surrey Side of the River.


[Note *: Extracts of King Henry's reception into London, from the anonymous Chronicler, who was an eye-witness of the events he describes:—

"And when the wished-for Saturday dawned, the citizens went forth to meet the king. * * * viz., the Mayor[†] and Aldermen in scarlet, and the rest of the inferior citizens in red suits, with party-coloured hoods, red and white. * * * When they had come to the Tower at the approach to the bridge, as it were at the entrance to the authorities to the city. * * * Banners of the Royal arms adorned the Tower, elevated on its turrets; and trumpets, clarions, and horns, sounded in various melody; and in front there was this elegant and suitable inscription upon the wall, 'Civitas Regis justicie'—('The city to the King's righteousness.') * * * And behind the Tower were innumerable boys, representing angels, arrayed in white, and with countenances shining with gold, and glittering wings, and virgin locks set with precious sprigs of laurel, who, at the King's approach, sang with melodious voices, and with organs, an English anthem.

[[Footnote †: The Lord Mayor of London, A.D. 1415, was Nicholas Wotton.]]

* * * * * "A company of Prophets, of venerable hoariness, dressed in golden coats and mantles, with their heads covered and wrapped in gold and crimson, sang with sweet harmony, bowing to the ground, a psalm of thanksgiving. * * * * * "Beneath the covering were the twelve kings, martyrs and confessors of the succession of England, their loins girded with golden girdles, sceptres in their hands, and crowns on their heads, who chaunted with one accord at the King's approach in a sweet tune. * * * * * "And they sent forth upon him round leaves of silver mixed with wafers, equally thin and round. And there proceeded out to meet the King a chorus of most beautiful virgin girls, elegantly attired in white, singing with timbrol and dance; and then innumerable boys, as it were an angelic multitude, decked with celestial gracefulness, white apparel, shining feathers, virgin locks, studded with gems and other resplendent and most elegant array, who sent forth upon the head of the King passing beneath minae of gold, with bows of laurel; round about angels shone with celestial gracefulness, chaunting sweetly, and with all sorts of music.

"And besides the pressure in the standing places, and of men crowding through the streets, and the multitude of both sexes along the way from the bridge, from one end to the other, that scarcely the horsemen could ride through them. A greater assembly, or a nobler spectacle, was not recollected to have been ever before in London."]




Gow. Nay, that's right; but why wear you your leek today? Saint Davy's day is past.

Flu. There is occasions and causes why and wherefore in all things: I will tell you, as my friend, Captain Gower: the rascally, scald, beggarly, lowsy, pragging knave, Pistol,—he is come to me, and prings me pread and salt yesterday, look you, and pid me eat my leek: it was in a place where I could not preed no contentions with him; but I will be so pold as to wear it in my cap till I see him once again, and then I will tell him a little piece of my desires.

Enter PISTOL, R.H.

Gow. Why, here he comes, swelling like a turkey-cock.

Flu. 'Tis no matter for his swellings nor his turkey-cocks.—Heaven pless you, ancient Pistol! you scurvy, lowsy knave, Heaven pless you!

Pist. Ha! art thou Bedlam? dost thou thirst, base Trojan, To have me fold up Parca's fatal web?[1] Hence! I am qualmish at the smell of leek.

[Crosses to L.H.

Flu. I peseech you heartily, scurvy, lowsy knave, at my desires, and my requests, and my petitions, to eat, look you, this leek: because, look you, you do not love it, nor your affections, and your appetites, and your digestions, does not agree with it, I would desire you to eat it.

Pist. (crosses to R.H.) Not for Cadwallader and all his goats.

Flu. There is one goat for you.

[Strikes him.

Will you be so goot, scald knave, as eat it?

Pist. Base Trojan, thou shalt die.

Flu. You say very true, scald knave, when Heaven's will is: I will desire you to live in the mean time, and eat your victuals: come, there is sauce for it. (Striking him again.) You called me yesterday mountain-squire; but I will make you to-day a squire of low degree.[2] I pray you, fall to: if you can mock a leek, you can eat a leek.

Gow. Enough, captain: you have astonished him.[3]

Flu. I say, I will make him eat some part of my leek, or I will peat his pate four days.—Pite, I pray you; it is goot for you.

Pist. Must I bite?

Flu. Yes, certainly, and out of doubt, and out of questions too, and ambiguities.

Pist. By this leek, I will most horribly revenge: I eat, and eke I swear——

Flu. Eat, I pray you: Will you have some more sauce to your leek? there is not enough leek to swear by.

Pist. Quiet thy cudgel; thou dost see I eat.

Flu. Much goot do you, scald knave, heartily. Nay, 'pray you, throw none away; the skin is goot for your proken coxcomb. When you take occasions to see leeks hereafter, I pray you, mock at them; that is all.

Pist. Good.

Flu. Ay, leeks is goot:—Hold you, there is a groat to heal your pate.

Pist. Me a groat!

Flu. Yes, verily and in truth, you shall take it; or I have another leek in my pocket, which you shall eat.

Pist. I take thy groat in earnest of revenge.

Flu. If I owe you any thing, I will pay you in cudgels. Heaven be wi' you, and keep you, and heal your pate.

[Exit L.H.

_Pist._ (_crosses to L.H.) All hell shall stir for this.

[Crosses to R.H.

Gow. Go, go; you are a counterfeit cowardly knave. Will you mock at an ancient tradition,—begun upon an honourable respect, and worn as a memorable trophy of predeceased valour,—and dare not avouch in your deeds any of your words? I have seen you gleeking[4] and galling at this gentleman twice or thrice. You thought, because he could not speak English in the native garb, he could not therefore handle an English cudgel: you find it otherwise; and henceforth let a Welsh correction teach you a good English condition.[5] Fare ye well.

[Exit, L.H.

Pist. Doth fortune play the huswife[6] with me now? Old I do wax; and from my weary limbs Honour is cudgell'd. To England will I steal: And patches will I get unto these scars, And swear, I got them in the Gallia wars.

[Exit, R.H.

[Footnote V.1: To have me fold up, &c.] Dost thou desire to have me put thee to death.]

[Footnote V.2: ——a squire of low degree.] That is, I will bring thee to the ground.]

[Footnote V.3: ——astonished him.] That is, you have stunned him with the blow.]


Trumpets sound. Enter, at one door, U.E.L.H., KING HENRY,(A) BEDFORD, GLOSTER, EXETER, WARWICK, WESTMORELAND, and other Lords; at another, U.E.R.H., the FRENCH KING, QUEEN ISABEL, the PRINCESS KATHARINE,[7](B) Lords, Ladies, &c., the Duke of BURGUNDY, and his Train. The two parties, French and English, are divided by barriers.

K. Hen. (L.C.) Peace to this meeting, wherefore we are met![8] Unto our brother France,—and to our sister, Health and fair time of day;—joy and good wishes To our most fair and princely cousin Katharine; And (as a branch and member of this royalty, By whom this great assembly is contriv'd,) We do salute you, duke of Burgundy;— And, princes French, and peers, health to you all!

[All the French party bow to KING HENRY.

Fr. King. (R.C.) Right joyous are we to behold your face, Most worthy brother England; fairly met:— So are you, princes English, every one.

Q. Isa. (R. of F. KING.) So happy be the issue, brother England, Of this good day, and of this gracious meeting, As we are now glad to behold your eyes; Your eyes, which hitherto have borne in them Against the French, that met them in their bent, The fatal balls of murdering basilisks:[9] The venom of such looks, we fairly hope, Have lost their quality; and that this day Shall change all griefs and quarrels into love.

K. Hen. To cry amen to that, thus we appear.

Q.Isa. You English princes all, I do salute you.

[All the English party bow to QUEEN ISABELLA.

Bur. (R.) My duty to you both, on equal love, Great kings of France and England! Let it not disgrace me, If I demand, before this royal view, What rub or what impediment there is, Why that the naked, poor, and mangled peace Dear nurse of arts, plenties, and joyful births, Should not, in this best garden of the world, Our fertile France, put up her lovely visage?

K. Hen. If, duke of Burgundy, you would the peace, Which you have cited, you must buy that peace With full accord to all our just demands; Whose tenours and particular effects You have, enschedul'd briefly, in your hands.

Fr. King. I have but with a cursorary eye O'er-glanc'd the articles: pleaseth your grace To appoint some of your council presently To sit with us once more, with better heed To re-survey them, we will suddenly Pass our accept and peremptory answer.[10]

K. Hen. Brother, we shall.—Go, uncle Exeter,— And brother Bedford,—and you, brother Gloster,— Warwick,—and Huntingdon,—go with the king; And take with you free power, to ratify, Augment, or alter, as your wisdoms best Shall see advantageable for our dignity, And we'll consign thereto.—

[Barriers removed. The English Lords, EXETER, BEDFORD, GLOSTER, WARWICK, and HUNTINGDON, cross to the KING OF FRANCE, and exeunt afterwards with him.

Will you, fair sister, Go with the princes, or stay here with us?

Q. Isa. Our gracious brother, I will go with them: Haply a woman's voice may do some good, When articles too nicely urg'd be stood on.

K. Hen. Yet leave our cousin Katharine here with us: She is our capital demand, compris'd Within the fore rank of our articles.

Q. Isa. She hath good leave.

[Trumpets sound.

[Exeunt all through gates, L.E.R. and L., but HENRY, KATHARINE, and her Gentlewomen.

K. Hen. (L.C.) Fair Katharine, and most fair! Will you vouchsafe to teach a soldier terms, Such as will enter at a lady's ear, And plead his love-suit to her gentle heart?

Kath. (R.C.) Votre majeste shall mock at me; I cannot speak votre Anglais.

K. Hen. O fair Katharine, if you will love me soundly with your French heart, I will be glad to hear you confess it brokenly with your English tongue. Do you like me, Kate?

Kath. Pardonnez moi, I cannot tell vat is—like me.

K. Hen. An angel is like you, Kate, and you are like an angel.

Kath. Que dit-il? que je suis semblable aux anges?

K. Hen. I said so, dear Katharine; and I must not blush to affirm it.

Kath. O bon Dieu! les langues des hommes sont pleines de tromperies.

K. Hen. What say you, fair one?

Kath. Dat de tongues of de mans is be full of deceits.

K. Hen. I'faith, Kate. I know no ways to mince it in love, but directly to say—I love you: then, if you urge me further than to say—Do you in faith? I wear out my suit. Give me your answer; i'faith, do; and so clap hands and a bargain: How say you, lady?

Kath. Me understand well.

K. Hen. Marry, if you would put me to verses or to dance for your sake, Kate, why you undid me. If I could win a lady at leap-frog, or by vaulting into my saddle with my armour on my back, under the correction of bragging, be it spoken, I should quickly leap into a wife. But, before Heaven, I cannot look greenly,[11] nor gasp out my eloquence, nor I have no cunning in protestation; only downright oaths, which I never use till urged, nor never break for urging. If thou canst love a fellow of this temper, Kate, whose face is not worth sun-burning, that never looks in his glass for love of any thing he sees there, let thine eye be thy cook. I speak to thee plain soldier: If thou canst love me for this, take me; if not, to say to thee—that I shall die, is true, but—for thy love, by the lord, no; yet I love thee too. And while thou livest, dear Kate, take a fellow of plain and uncoined constancy;[12] for a good leg will fall;[13] a straight back will stoop; a black beard will turn white; a curled pate will grow bald; a fair face will wither; a full eye will wax hollow: but a good heart, Kate, is the sun and moon; or, rather, the sun, and not the moon, for it shines bright, and never changes, but keeps his course truly. If thou would have such a one, take me: And take me, take a soldier; take a soldier, take a king: And what sayest thou, then, to my love? speak, my fair, and fairly, I pray thee.

Kath. Est il possible dat I should love de enemy de la France?

K. Hen. No; it is not possible you should love the enemy of France, Kate: but, in loving me, you should love the friend of France; for I love France so well, that I will not part with a village of it; I will have it all mine: and, Kate, when France is mine, and I am yours, then yours is France, and you are mine.

Kath. Vat is dat?

K. Hen. Kate, dost thou understand thus much English? Canst thou love me?

Kath. I cannot tell.

K. Hen. Can any of your neighbours tell, Kate? I'll ask them. Come, I know thou lovest me: and at night, when you come into your closet, you'll question this gentlewoman about me; and I know, Kate, you will to her dispraise those parts in me that you love with your heart. If ever thou be'st mine, Kate, (as I have a saving faith within me, tells me,—thou shalt,) shall there not be a boy compounded between Saint Dennis and Saint George, half French, half English, that shall go to Constantinople[14] and take the Turk by the beard? shall he not? what sayest thou, my fair flower-de-luce? How answer you, la plus belle Katharine du monde, mon tres chere et divine deesse?

Kath. Votre majeste 'ave fausse French enough to deceive la plus sage damoiselle dat is en France.

K. Hen. Now, fie upon my false French! By mine honour, in true English, I love thee, Kate: by which honour I dare not swear thou lovest me; yet my blood begins to flatter me that thou dost, notwithstanding the poor and untempting effect of my visage. But, in faith, Kate, the elder I wax, the better I shall appear: my comfort is, that old age, that ill layer-up of beauty, can do no more spoil upon my face: thou hast me, if thou hast me, at the worst; and thou shalt wear me, if thou wear me, better and better: And therefore tell me, most fair Katharine, will you have me? Put off your maiden blushes; avouch the thoughts of your heart with the looks of an empress; take me by the hand, and say—Harry of England, I am thine: which word thou shalt no sooner bless mine ear withal, but I will tell thee aloud—England is thine, Ireland is thine, France is thine, and Henry Plantagenet is thine; who, though I speak it before his face, if he be not fellow with the best king, thou shalt find the best king of good fellows. Come, your answer in broken musick, for thy voice is musick, and thy English broken; therefore, queen of all, Katharine, break thy mind to me in broken English, Wilt thou have me?

Kath. Dat is as it shall please le roi mon pere.

K. Hen. Nay, it will please him well, Kate; it shall please him, Kate.

Kath. Den it shall also content me.

K. Hen. Upon that I will kiss your hand, and I call you—my queen.

Kath. Laissez, mon seigneur, laissez, laissez.

K. Hen. Then I will kiss your lips, Kate.

Kath. Dat is not be de fashion pour les dames de la France.

K. Hen. O Kate, nice customs curt'sy to great kings. We are the makers of manners, Kate; therefore, patiently, and yielding. (Kisses her.) You have witchcraft in your lips, Kate: there is more eloquence in a sugar touch of them than in the tongues of the French council; and they should sooner persuade Harry of England than a general petition of monarchs. (Trumpets sound.) Here comes your father.

[The centre gates are thrown open, and

Re-enter the FRENCH KING and QUEEN, BURGUNDY, BEDFORD, GLOSTER, EXETER, WESTMORELAND. The other French and English Lords as before, U.E.R. and L.

Bur. (R.) My royal cousin, teach you our princess English?

K. Hen. (C.) I would have her learn, my fair cousin, how perfectly I love her; and that is good English.

Bur. Is she not apt?

K. Hen. Our tongue is rough, coz, and my condition is not smooth;[15] so that, having neither the voice nor the heart of flattery about me, I cannot so conjure up the spirit of love in her, that he will appear in his true likeness. Shall Kate be my wife?

Fr. King. (L.C.) So please you.

Exe. The king hath granted every article: His daughter, first; and then, in sequel, all, According to their firm proposed natures.

Fr. King. Take her, fair son; That the contending kingdoms Of France and England, whose very shores look pale With envy of each other's happiness, May cease their hatred; and this dear conjunction Plant neighbourhood and christian-like accord In their sweet bosoms, that never war advance His bleeding sword 'twixt England and fair France.

K. Hen. Now, welcome, Kate:—and bear me witness all, That here I take her as my sovereign queen.

[The KING places a ring on KATHARINE'S finger.

Prepare we for our marriage:—on which day, My lord of Burgundy, we'll take your oath, And all the peers', for surety of our leagues.— Then shall I swear to Kate, and you to me; And may our oaths well kept and prosp'rous be!(C)

[Flourish of Trumpets. Curtain descends.

[Footnote V.4: ——gleeking] i.e., scoffing, sneering. Gleek was a game at cards.]

[Footnote V.5: ——English condition.] Condition is temper, disposition of mind.]

[Footnote V.6: ——Doth fortune play the huswife] That is, the jilt.]

[Footnote V.7: The dresses of Queen Isabella, her ladies, and the Princess Katharine, are taken from Montfaucon Monarchie Francoise.]

[Footnote V.8: ——wherefore we are met!] i.e., Peace, for which we are here met, be to this meeting.]

[Footnote V.9: The fatal balls of murdering basilisks:] It was anciently supposed that this serpent could destroy the object of its vengeance by merely looking at it.]

[Footnote V.10: ——we will, suddenly, Pass our accept, and peremptory answer.] i.e., our answer shall be such as to leave no room for further questioning in the matter. "We will peremptorily make answer."]

[Footnote V.11: ——look greenly,] i.e., like a young lover, awkwardly.]

[Footnote V.12: ——take a good fellow of plain and uncoined constancy;] Uncoined constancy signifies real and true constancy, unrefined and unadorned.]

[Footnote V.13: ——a good leg will fall,] i.e., shrink—fall away.]

[Footnote V.14: ——shall go to Constantinople] Shakespeare has here committed an anachronism. The Turks were not possessed of Constantinople before the year 1463, when Henry the Fifth had been dead thirty-one years.]

[Footnote V.15: ——my condition is not smooth;] i.e., manners, appearance.]



(A) Enter KING HENRY,] At this interview, which is described as taking place in the Church of Notre Dame, at Troyes, King Henry was attired in his armour, and accompanied by sixteen hundred warriors. Henry is related to have placed a ring of "inestimable value" on the finger of Katharine, "supposed to be the same worn by our English queen-consorts at their coronation," at the moment when he received the promise of the princess.

(B) The PRINCESS KATHARINE,] Katharine of Valois was the youngest child of Charles VI., King of France, and his Queen, Isabella of Bavaria. She was born in Paris, October 27th, 1401. Monstrelet relates, that on Trinity Sunday, June 3rd, the King of England wedded the lady Katharine in the church at Troyes, and that great pomp and magnificence were displayed by him and his princess, as if he had been king of the whole world. Katharine was crowned Queen of England February 24, 1421; and shortly after the death of her heroic husband, which event took place August 31st, 1422, the queen married a Welch gentleman of the name of Owen Tudor, by whom she had three sons and one daughter. The eldest son, Edmund, married Margaret Beaufort, the heiress of the house of Somerset. His half-brother, Henry VI., created him Earl of Richmond. He died before he reached twenty years of age, leaving an infant son, afterwards Henry VII., the first king of the Tudor line. Katharine died January 3rd, 1437, in the thirty-sixth year of her age, and was buried at Westminster Abbey.


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