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 III. Scene II.

Scene II.—The Same.


Bard. On, on, on, on, on! to the breach, to the
Nym. Pray thee, corporal, stay: the knocks
are too hot; and for mine own part, I have not
a case of lives: the humour of it is too hot, that
is the very plain-song of it.
Pist. The plain-song is most just, for humours
do abound:
Knocks go and come: God's vassals drop and die;
And sword and shield
In bloody field,
Doth win immortal fame.
Boy. Would I were in an alehouse in London!
I would give all my fame for a pot of ale, and
Pist. And I:
If wishes would prevail with me,
My purpose should not fail with me,
But thither would I hie.
Boy. As duly,
But not as truly,
As bird doth sing on bough.

Flu. Up to the breach, you dogs! avaunt, you
cullions! [Driving them forward.
Pist. Be merciful, great duke, to men of
Abate thy rage, abate thy manly rage!
Abate thy rage, great duke!
Good bawcock, bate thy rage; use lenity, sweet
Nym. These be good humours! your honour
wins bad humours.
followed by FLUELLEN.
Boy. As young as I am, I have observed these
three swashers. I am boy to them all three, but
all they three, though they wo did serve me, could
not be a man to me; for, indeed three such
antiques do not amount to a man. For Bardolph,
he is white-livered and red-faced; by the means
whereof, a' faces it out, but fights not. For
Pistol, he hath a killing tongue and a quiet
sword; by the means whereof a' breaks words,
and keeps whole weapons. For Nym, he hath
heard that men of few words are the best men;
and therefore he scorns to say his prayers, lest a'
should be thought a coward: but his few words
are match'd with as few good deeds; for a' never
broke any man's head but his own, and that was
against a post when he was drunk. They will
steal any thing and call it purchase. Bardolph
stole a lute-case, bore it twelve leagues, and sold
it for three half-pence. Nym and Bardolph are
sworn brothers in filching, and in Calais they
stole a fire-shovel;—I knew by that piece of ser-
vice the men would carry coals,—they would
have me as familiar with men's pockets as their
gloves or their handkerchers: which makes much
against my manhood if I should take from
another's pocket to put into mine; for it is plain
pocketing up of wrongs. I must leave them and
seek some better service: their villany goes
against my weak stomach, and therefore I must
cast it up. [Exit.

Re-enter FLUELLEN, GOWER following.
Gow. Captain Fluellen, you must come pre-
sently to the mines: the Duke of Gloucester
would speak with you.
Flu. To the mines! tell you the duke it is
not so good to come to the mines. For look
you, the mines is not according to the disciplines
of the war; the concavities of it is not sufficient;
for, look you, th' athversary—you may discuss
unto the duke, look you—is digt himself four
yards under the countermines; by Cheshu, I
think, a' will plow up all if there is not better
Gow. The Duke of Gloucester, to whom the
order of the siege is given, is altogether directed
by an Irishman, a very valiant gentleman, i' faith.
Flu. It is Captain Macmorris, is it not?
Gow. I think it be.
Flu. By Cheshu, he is an ass, as in the world:
I will verify as much in his peard: he has no
more directions in the true disciplines of the
wars, look you, of the Roman disciplines, than is
a puppy-dog.

Enter MACMORRIS and JAMY, at a distance.
Gow. Here a' comes; and the Scots captain,
Captain Jamy, with him.
Flu. Captain Jamy is a marvellous falorous
gentleman, that is certain; and of great expedi-
tion and knowledge in th' aunchient wars, upon
my particular knowledge of his directions: by
Cheshu, he will maintain his argument as well as
any military man in the world, in the disciplines
of the pristine wars of the Romans.
Jamy. I say gud day. Captain Fluellen.
Flu. God-den to your worship, good Captain
Gow. How now. Captain Macmorris! have
you quit the mines? have the pioners given
Mac. By Chrish, la! tish ill done; the work
ish give over, the trumpet sound the retreat. By
my hand, I swear, and my father's soul, the work
ish ill done; it ish give over: I would have
blowed up the town, so Chrish save me, la! in an
hour: O! tish ill done, tish ill done; by my
hand, tish ill done!
Flu. Captain Macmorris, I beseech you now,
will you voutsafe me, look you, a few disputa-
tions with you, as partly touching or concerning
the disciplines of the war, the Roman wars, in
the way of argument, look you, and friendly
communication; partly to satisfy my opinion,
and partly for the satisfaction, look you, of my
mind, as touching the direction of the military
discipline: that is the point.
Jamy. It sail be vary gud, gud feith, gud cap-
tains bath: [Aside.] and I sail quit you with gud
leve, as I may pick occasion; that sail I, marry.
Mac. It is no time to discourse, so Chrish save
me: the day is hot, and the weather, and the
wars, and the king, and the dukes: it is no time
to discourse. The town is beseeched, and the
trumpet calls us to the breach; and we talk, and
be Chrish, do nothing: 'tis shame for us all; so
God sa' me, 'tis shame to stand still; it is shame,
be my hand; and there is throats to be cut, and
works to be done; and there ish nothing done,
so Chrish sa' me, la!
Jamy. By the mess, ere theise eyes of mine
take themselves to slumber, aile do gud service
or aile lig i' the grund for it; ay, or go to death;
and aile pay it as valorously as I may, that sal I
suerly do, that is the breff and the long. Marry, I
wad full fain heard some question 'tween you tway.
Flu. Captain Macmorris, I think, look you,
under your correction, there is not many of your
Mac. Of my nation! What ish my nation?
ish a villain, and a bastard, and a knave, and a
rascal? What ish my nation? Who talks of my
Flu. Look you, if you take the matter other-
wise than is meant, Captain Macmorris, per-
adventure I shall think you do not use me with
that affability as in discretion you ought to use
me, look you; being as good a man as yourself,
both in the disciplines of wars, and in the deriva-
tion of my birth, and in other particularities.
Mac. I do not know you so good a man as
myself: so Chrish save me, I will cut off your
Gow. Gentlemen both, you will mistake each
Jamy. A! that s a foul fault.
[A parley sounded.
Gow. The town sounds a parley.
Flu. Captain Macmorris, when there is more
better opportunity to be required, look you, I
will be so bold as to tell you I know the disci-
plines of wars; and there is an end [Exeunt.
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