William Shakespeare's The Life of King Henry the Fifth in the complete original text.
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The Life of King Henry the Fifth

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Act IV. Scene VII.

Scene VII.—Another Part of the Field.

Alarums. Enter FLUELLEN and GOWER.

Flu. Kill the poys and the luggage! 'tis
expressly against the law of arms: 'tis as arrant
a piece of knavery, mark you now, as can be
offer't: in your conscience now, is it not?
Gow. 'Tis certain, there's not a boy left alive;
and the cowardly rascals that ran from the
battle have done this slaughter: besides, they
have burned and carried away all that was in
the king's tent; wherefore the king most
worthily hath caused every soldier to cut his
prisoner's throat. O! 'tis a gallant king.
Flu. Ay, he was porn at Monmouth, Captain
Gower. What call you the town's name where
Alexander the Pig was born?
Gow. Alexander the Great.
Flu. Why, I pray you, is not pig great? The
pig, or the great, or the mighty, or the huge,
or the magnanimous, are all one reckonings,
save the phrase is a little variations.
Gow. I think Alexander the Great was born
in Macedon: his father was called Philip of
Macedon, as I take it.
Flu. I think it is in Macedon where Alex-
ander is porn. I tell you, captain, if you look in
the maps of the 'orld, I warrant you sail find,
in the comparisons between Macedon and Mon-
mouth, that the situations, look you, is both
alike. There is a river in Macedon, and there is
also moreover a river at Monmouth: it is called
Wye at Monmouth; but it is out of my prains
what is the name of the other river; but 'tis all
one, 'tis alike as my fingers is to my fingers, and
there is salmons in both. If you mark Alex-
ander's life well, Harry of Monmouth's life is
come after it indifferent well; for there is figures
in all things. Alexander,—God knows, and you
know,—in his rages, and his furies, and his wraths,
and his cholers, and his moods, and his dis-
pleasures, and his indignations, and also being a
little intoxicates in his prains, did, in his ales
and his angers, look you, kill his pest friend,
Cleitus.
Gow. Our king is not like him in that: he
never killed any of his friends.
Flu. It is not well done, mark you now, to
take the tales out of my mouth, ere it is made
and finished. I speak but in the figures and
comparisons of it: as Alexander killed his friend
Cleitus, being in his ales and his cups, so also
Harry Monmouth, being in his right wits and
his good judgments, turned away the fat knight
with the great belly-doublet: he was full of
jests, and gipes, and knaveries, and mocks; I
have forgot his name.
Gow. Sir John Falstaff.
Flu. That is he. I'll tell you, there is goot
men porn at Monmouth.
Gow. Here comes his majesty.

Alarum. Enter KING HENRY, with a part of
the English Forces; WARWICK, GLOUCESTER,
EXETER, and Others.
K. Hen. I was not angry since I came to
France
Until this instant. Take a trumpet, herald;
Ride thou unto the horsemen on yon hill:
If they will fight with us, bid them come down,
Or void the field; 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.
Besides, we'll cut the throats of those we have,
And not a man of them that we shall take
Shall taste our mercy. Go and tell them so.

Enter MONTJOY.
Exe. Here comes the herald of the French,
my liege.
Glo. His eyes are humbler than they us'd to
be.
K. Hen. How now! what means this, herald?
know'st thou not
That I have fin'd these bones of mine for
ransom?
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 God, 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 Agin-
court,
Fought on the day of Crispin Crispianus.
Flu. 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. They did, Fluellen.
Flu. Your majesty says very true. If your
majesties is remembered of it, the Welshmen did
good service in a garden where leeks did grow,
wearing leeks in their Monmouth caps; which,
your majesty know, to this hour is an honour-
able badge 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: Got pless it and preserve it, as long
as it pleases his grace, and his majesty too!
K. Hen. Thanks, good my countryman.
Flu. By Jeshu, I am your majesty's country-
man, I care not who know it; I will confess it to
all the 'orld: I need not be ashamed of your
majesty, praised be God, so long as your majesty
is an honest man.
K. Hen. God keep me so! Our heralds go
with him:
Bring me just notice of the numbers dead
On both our parts. Call yonder fellow hither.
[Points to WILLIAMS. Exeunt MONTJOY
and Others.
Exe. Soldier, you must come to the king.
K. Hen. Soldier, why wear'st thou that glove
in thy cap?
Will. An't please your majesty, 'tis the gage
of one that I should fight withal, if he be alive.
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. 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, quite from the answer of his degree.
Flu. Though he be as good a gentleman as
the devil is, as Lucifer and Belzebub himself, it
is necessary, look your Grace, that he keep his
vow and his oath. If he be perjured, see you
now, his reputation is as arrant a villain and a
Jack-sauce as ever his black shoe trod upon
God's ground and his earth, in my conscience,
la!
K. Hen. Then keep thy vow, sirrah, when thou
meetest 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 literatured in the wars.
K. Hen. Call him hither to me, soldier.
Will. I will, my liege. [Exit.
K. Hen. Here, Fluellen; wear thou this favour
for me and stick it in thy cap. When Alencon
and myself were down together I plucked this
glove from his helm: if any man challenge this,
he is a friend to Alençon, and an enemy to our
person; if thou encounter any such, apprehend
him, an thou dost me love.
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; but I would fain see it once, and
please God of his grace that I might see.
K. Hen. Knowest thou Gower?
Flu. He is my dear friend, an't please you.
K. Hen. Pray thee, go seek him, and bring
him to my tent.
Flu. I will fetch him. [Exit.
K. Hen. My Lord of Warwick, and my brother
Gloucester,
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:
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 and see there be no harm between them.
Go you with me, uncle of Exeter. [Exeunt.
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