Document:  All > Shakespeare > Histories > King Henry V > Act III, scene VI



	[Enter GOWER and FLUELLEN, meeting]

GOWER: How now, Captain Fluellen! come you from the bridge?

FLUELLEN: I assure you, there is very excellent services
	committed at the bridge.

GOWER: Is the Duke of Exeter safe?

FLUELLEN: The Duke of Exeter is as magnanimous as Agamemnon;
	and a man that I love and honour with my soul, and my
	heart, and my duty, and my life, and my living, and
	my uttermost power: he is not-God be praised and
	blessed!--any hurt in the world; but keeps the
	bridge most valiantly, with excellent discipline.
	There is an aunchient lieutenant there at the
	pridge, I think in my very conscience he is as
	valiant a man as Mark Antony; and he is a man of no
	estimation in the world; but did see him do as
	gallant service.

GOWER: What do you call him?

FLUELLEN: He is called Aunchient Pistol.

GOWER: I know him not.

	[Enter PISTOL]

FLUELLEN: Here is the man.

PISTOL: Captain, I thee beseech to do me favours:
	The Duke of Exeter doth love thee well.

FLUELLEN: Ay, I praise God; and I have merited some love at
	his hands.

PISTOL: Bardolph, a soldier, firm and sound of heart,
	And of buxom valour, hath, by cruel fate,
	And giddy Fortune's furious fickle wheel,
	That goddess blind,
	That stands upon the rolling restless stone--

FLUELLEN: By your patience, Aunchient Pistol. Fortune is
	painted blind, with a muffler afore her eyes, to
	signify to you that Fortune is blind; and she is
	painted also with a wheel, to signify to you, which
	is the moral of it, that she is turning, and
	inconstant, and mutability, and variation: and her
	foot, look you, is fixed upon a spherical stone,
	which rolls, and rolls, and rolls: in good truth,
	the poet makes a most excellent description of it:
	Fortune is an excellent moral.

PISTOL: Fortune is Bardolph's foe, and frowns on him;
	For he hath stolen a pax, and hanged must a' be:
	A damned death!
	Let gallows gape for dog; let man go free
	And let not hemp his wind-pipe suffocate:
	But Exeter hath given the doom of death
	For pax of little price.
	Therefore, go speak: the duke will hear thy voice:
	And let not Bardolph's vital thread be cut
	With edge of penny cord and vile reproach:
	Speak, captain, for his life, and I will thee requite.

FLUELLEN: Aunchient Pistol, I do partly understand your meaning.

PISTOL: Why then, rejoice therefore.

FLUELLEN: Certainly, aunchient, it is not a thing to rejoice
	at: for if, look you, he were my brother, I would
	desire the duke to use his good pleasure, and put
	him to execution; for discipline ought to be used.

PISTOL: Die and be damn'd! and figo for thy friendship!

FLUELLEN: It is well.

PISTOL: The fig of Spain!

	[Exit]

FLUELLEN: Very good.

GOWER: Why, this is an arrant counterfeit rascal; I
	remember him now; a bawd, a cutpurse.

FLUELLEN: I'll assure you, a' uttered as brave words at the
	bridge as you shall see in a summer's day. But it
	is very well; what he has spoke to me, that is well,
	I warrant you, when time is serve.

GOWER: Why, 'tis a gull, a fool, a rogue, that now and then
	goes to the wars, to grace himself at his return
	into London under the form of a soldier. And such
	fellows are perfect in the great commanders' names:
	and they will learn you by rote where services were
	done; at such and such a sconce, at such a breach,
	at such a convoy; who came off bravely, who was
	shot, who disgraced, what terms the enemy stood on;
	and this they con perfectly in the phrase of war,
	which they trick up with new-tuned oaths: and what
	a beard of the general's cut and a horrid suit of
	the camp will do among foaming bottles and
	ale-washed wits, is wonderful to be thought on. But
	you must learn to know such slanders of the age, or
	else you may be marvellously mistook.

FLUELLEN: I tell you what, Captain Gower; I do perceive he is
	not the man that he would gladly make show to the
	world he is: if I find a hole in his coat, I will
	tell him my mind.

	[Drum heard]

	Hark you, the king is coming, and I must speak with
	him from the pridge.

	[Drum and colours. Enter KING HENRY, GLOUCESTER, and Soldiers]

	God pless your majesty!

KING HENRY V: How now, Fluellen! camest thou from the bridge?

FLUELLEN: Ay, so please your majesty. The Duke of Exeter has
	very gallantly maintained the pridge: the French is
	gone off, look you; and there is gallant and most
	prave passages; marry, th' athversary was have
	possession of the pridge; but he is enforced to
	retire, and the Duke of Exeter is master of the
	pridge: I can tell your majesty, the duke is a
	prave man.

KING HENRY V: What men have you lost, Fluellen?

FLUELLEN: The perdition of th' athversary hath been very
	great, reasonable great: marry, for my part, I
	think the duke hath lost never a man, but one that
	is like to be executed for robbing a church, one
	Bardolph, if your majesty know the man: his face is
	all bubukles, and whelks, and knobs, and flames o'
	fire: and his lips blows at his nose, and it is like
	a coal of fire, sometimes plue and sometimes red;
	but his nose is executed and his fire's out.

KING HENRY V: We would have all such offenders so cut off: and we
	give express charge, that in our marches through the
	country, there be nothing compelled from the
	villages, nothing taken but paid for, none of the
	French upbraided or abused in disdainful language;
	for when lenity and cruelty play for a kingdom, the
	gentler gamester is the soonest winner.

	[Tucket. Enter MONTJOY]

MONTJOY: You know me by my habit.

KING HENRY V: Well then I know thee: what shall I know of thee?

MONTJOY: My master's mind.

KING HENRY V: Unfold it.

MONTJOY: Thus says my king: Say thou to Harry of England:
	Though we seemed dead, we did but sleep: advantage
	is a better soldier than rashness. Tell him we
	could have rebuked him at Harfleur, but that we
	thought not good to bruise an injury till it were
	full ripe: now we speak upon our cue, and our voice
	is imperial: England shall repent his folly, see
	his weakness, and admire our sufferance. Bid him
	therefore consider of his ransom; which must
	proportion the losses we have borne, the subjects we
	have lost, the disgrace we have digested; which in
	weight to re-answer, his pettiness would bow under.
	For our losses, his exchequer is too poor; for the
	effusion of our blood, the muster of his kingdom too
	faint a number; and for our disgrace, his own
	person, kneeling at our feet, but a weak and
	worthless satisfaction. To this add defiance: and
	tell him, for conclusion, he hath betrayed his
	followers, whose condemnation is pronounced. So far
	my king and master; so much my office.

KING HENRY V: What is thy name? I know thy quality.

MONTJOY: Montjoy.

KING HENRY V: Thou dost thy office fairly. Turn thee back.
	And tell thy king I do not seek him now;
	But could be willing to march on to Calais
	Without impeachment: for, to say the sooth,
	Though 'tis no wisdom to confess so much
	Unto an enemy of craft and vantage,
	My people are with sickness much enfeebled,
	My numbers lessened, and those few I have
	Almost no better than so many French;
	Who when they were in health, I tell thee, herald,
	I thought upon one pair of English legs
	Did march three Frenchmen. Yet, forgive me, God,
	That I do brag thus! This your air of France
	Hath blown that vice in me: I must repent.
	Go therefore, tell thy master here I am;
	My ransom is this frail and worthless trunk,
	My army but a weak and sickly guard;
	Yet, God before, tell him we will come on,
	Though France himself and such another neighbour
	Stand in our way. There's for thy labour, Montjoy.
	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: and so Montjoy, fare you well.
	The sum of all our answer is but this:
	We would not seek a battle, as we are;
	Nor, as we are, we say we will not shun it:
	So tell your master.

MONTJOY: I shall deliver so. Thanks to your highness.

	[Exit]

GLOUCESTER: I hope they will not come upon us now.

KING HENRY V: We are in God's hand, brother, not in theirs.
	March to the bridge; it now draws toward night:
	Beyond the river we'll encamp ourselves,
	And on to-morrow, bid them march away.

	[Exeunt]




	KING HENRY V






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