Shakespeare

KING HENRY V

Part 1:

Henry V; Act IV, Scene i

WILLIAMS

A good old commander and a most kind gentleman: I

pray you, what thinks he of our estate?

KING HENRY V

Even as men wrecked upon a sand, that look to be

washed off the next tide.

BATES

He hath not told his thought to the king?

KING HENRY V

No; nor it is not meet he should. 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: his ceremonies

laid by, in his nakedness he appears but a man; and

though his affections are higher mounted than ours,

yet, when they stoop, they stoop with the like

wing. 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 Thames up to the neck; and so I would he

were, and I by him, at all adventures, so we were quit here.

KING HENRY V

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

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

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

[...]

KING HENRY V

Upon the king! let us our lives, our souls,

Our debts, our careful wives,

Our children and our sins lay on the king!

We must bear all. O hard condition,

Twin-born with greatness, subject to the breath

Of every fool, whose sense no more can feel

But his own wringing! What infinite heart's-ease

Must kings neglect, that private men enjoy!

And what have kings, that privates have not too,

Save ceremony, save general ceremony?

And what art thou, thou idle ceremony?

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

Of mortal griefs than do thy worshippers?

What are thy rents? what are thy comings in?

O ceremony, show me but thy worth!

What is thy soul of adoration?

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!

Think'st thou the fiery fever will go out

With titles blown from adulation?

Will it give place to flexure and low bending?

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 intertissued robe of gold and pearl,

The farced title running 'fore the king,

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;

Never sees horrid night, the child of hell,

But, like a lackey, from the rise to set

Sweats in the eye of Phoebus and all night

Sleeps in Elysium; next day after dawn,

Doth rise and help Hyperion to his horse,

And follows so the ever-running year,

With profitable labour, to his grave:

And, but for ceremony, such a wretch,

Winding up days with toil and nights with sleep,

Had the fore-hand and vantage of a king.

The slave, a member of the country's peace,

Enjoys it; but in gross brain little wots

What watch the king keeps to maintain the peace,

Whose hours the peasant best advantages.

[...]

O God of battles! steel my soldiers' hearts;

Possess them not with fear; take from them now

The sense of reckoning, if the opposed numbers

Pluck their hearts from them. Not to-day, O Lord,

O, not to-day,[...]

More will I do;Though all that I can do is nothing worth,

Since that my penitence comes after all,

Imploring pardon.

Part 2:

Henry V; Act IV, Scene iii

WESTMORELAND

O that we now had here

But one ten thousand of those men in England

That do no work to-day!

KING HENRY V

What's he that wishes so?

My cousin Westmoreland? No, my fair cousin:

If we are mark'd to die, we are enow

To do our country loss; and if to live,

The fewer men, the greater share of honour.

God's will! I pray thee, wish not one man more.

By Jove, I am not covetous for gold,

Nor care I who doth feed upon my cost;

It yearns me not if men my garments wear;

Such outward things dwell not in my desires:

But if it be a sin to covet honour,

I am the most offending soul alive.

No, faith, my coz, wish not a man from England:

God's peace! I would not lose so great an honour

As one man more, methinks, would share from me

For the best hope I have. O, do not wish one more!

Rather proclaim it, Westmoreland, through my host,

That he which 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 called the feast of Crispian:

He that outlives this day, and comes safe home,

Will stand a tip-toe when the day is named,

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 neighbours,

And say 'To-morrow is Saint Crispian:'

Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars.

And say 'These wounds I had on Crispin's day.'

Old men forget: yet all shall be forgot,

But he'll remember with advantages

What feats he did that day: then shall our names.

Familiar in his mouth as household words

Harry the king, Bedford and Exeter,

Warwick and Talbot, Salisbury and Gloucester,

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 of the world,

But we in it shall be remember'd;

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:

And gentlemen in England now a-bed

Shall think themselves accursed they were not here,

And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks

That fought with us upon Saint Crispin's day.

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