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Henry V

Enter Chorus
Chorus Now all the youth of England are on fire,
And silken dalliance in the wardrobe lies:
Now thrive the armourers, and honour’s thought
Reigns solely in the breast of every man:  5
They sell the pasture now to buy the horse,
Following the mirror of all Christian kings,
With winged heels, as English Mercuries.
For now sits Expectation in the air,
And hides a sword from hilts unto the point  10
With crowns imperial, crowns and coronets,
Promised to Harry and his followers.
The French, advised by good intelligence
Of this most dreadful preparation,
Shake in their fear and with pale policy  15
Seek to divert the English purposes.
O England! model to thy inward greatness,
Like little body with a mighty heart,
What mightst thou do, that honour would thee do,
Were all thy children kind and natural!  20
But see thy fault! France hath in thee found out
A nest of hollow bosoms, which he fills
With treacherous crowns; and three corrupted men,
One, Richard Earl of Cambridge, and the second,
Henry Lord Scroop of Masham, and the third,  25
Sir Thomas Grey, knight, of Northumberland,
Have, for the gilt of France,–O guilt indeed!
Confirm’d conspiracy with fearful France;
And by their hands this grace of kings must die,
If hell and treason hold their promises,  30
Ere he take ship for France, and in Southampton.
Linger your patience on; and we’ll digest
The abuse of distance; force a play:
The sum is paid; the traitors are agreed;
The king is set from London; and the scene  35
Is now transported, gentles, to Southampton;
There is the playhouse now, there must you sit:
And thence to France shall we convey you safe,
And bring you back, charming the narrow seas
To give you gentle pass; for, if we may,  40
We’ll not offend one stomach with our play.
But, till the king come forth, and not till then,
Unto Southampton do we shift our scene.
ACT II SCENE I London. A street.
Enter Corporal NYM and Lieutenant BARDOLPH
BARDOLPH Well met, Corporal Nym.  45
NYM Good morrow, Lieutenant Bardolph.
BARDOLPH What, are Ancient Pistol and you friends yet?
NYM For my part, I care not: I say little; but when
time shall serve, there shall be smiles; but that
shall be as it may. I dare not fight; but I will  50
wink and hold out mine iron: it is a simple one; but
what though? it will toast cheese, and it will
endure cold as another man’s sword will: and
there’s an end.
BARDOLPH I will bestow a breakfast to make you friends; and  55
we’ll be all three sworn brothers to France: let it
be so, good Corporal Nym.
NYM Faith, I will live so long as I may, that’s the
certain of it; and when I cannot live any longer, I
will do as I may: that is my rest, that is the  60
rendezvous of it.
BARDOLPH It is certain, corporal, that he is married to Nell
Quickly: and certainly she did you wrong; for you
were troth-plight to her.
NYM I cannot tell: things must be as they may: men may  65
sleep, and they may have their throats about them at
that time; and some say knives have edges. It must
be as it may: though patience be a tired mare, yet
she will plod. There must be conclusions. Well, I
cannot tell.  70
Enter PISTOL and Hostess
BARDOLPH Here comes Ancient Pistol and his wife: good
corporal, be patient here. How now, mine host Pistol!
PISTOL Base tike, call’st thou me host? Now, by this hand,
I swear, I scorn the term; Nor shall my Nell keep lodgers.
Hostess No, by my troth, not long; for we cannot lodge and  75
board a dozen or fourteen gentlewomen that live
honestly by the prick of their needles, but it will
be thought we keep a bawdy house straight.
NYM and PISTOL draw
O well a day, Lady, if he be not drawn now! we
shall see wilful adultery and murder committed.  80
BARDOLPH Good lieutenant! good corporal! offer nothing here.
NYM Pish!
PISTOL Pish for thee, Iceland dog! thou prick-ear’d cur of Iceland!
Hostess Good Corporal Nym, show thy valour, and put up your sword.
NYM Will you shog off? I would have you solus.  85
PISTOL ‘Solus,’ egregious dog? O viper vile!
The ‘solus’ in thy most mervailous face;
The ‘solus’ in thy teeth, and in thy throat,
And in thy hateful lungs, yea, in thy maw, perdy,
And, which is worse, within thy nasty mouth!  90
I do retort the ‘solus’ in thy bowels;
For I can take, and Pistol’s cock is up,
And flashing fire will follow.
NYM I am not Barbason; you cannot conjure me. I have an
humour to knock you indifferently well. If you grow  95
foul with me, Pistol, I will scour you with my
rapier, as I may, in fair terms: if you would walk
off, I would prick your guts a little, in good
terms, as I may: and that’s the humour of it.
PISTOL O braggart vile and damned furious wight!  100
The grave doth gape, and doting death is near;
Therefore exhale.
BARDOLPH Hear me, hear me what I say: he that strikes the
first stroke, I’ll run him up to the hilts, as I am a soldier.
PISTOL An oath of mickle might; and fury shall abate.  105
Give me thy fist, thy fore-foot to me give:
Thy spirits are most tall.
NYM I will cut thy throat, one time or other, in fair
terms: that is the humour of it.
PISTOL ‘Couple a gorge!’  110
That is the word. I thee defy again.
O hound of Crete, think’st thou my spouse to get?
No; to the spital go,
And from the powdering tub of infamy
Fetch forth the lazar kite of Cressid’s kind,  115
Doll Tearsheet she by name, and her espouse:
I have, and I will hold, the quondam Quickly
For the only she; and–pauca, there’s enough. Go to.
Enter the Boy
Boy Mine host Pistol, you must come to my master, and
you, hostess: he is very sick, and would to bed.  120
Good Bardolph, put thy face between his sheets, and
do the office of a warming-pan. Faith, he’s very ill.
BARDOLPH Away, you rogue!
Hostess By my troth, he’ll yield the crow a pudding one of
these days. The king has killed his heart. Good  125
husband, come home presently.
Exeunt Hostess and Boy
BARDOLPH Come, shall I make you two friends? We must to
France together: why the devil should we keep
knives to cut one another’s throats?
PISTOL Let floods o’erswell, and fiends for food howl on!  130
NYM You’ll pay me the eight shillings I won of you at betting?
PISTOL Base is the slave that pays.
NYM That now I will have: that’s the humour of it.
PISTOL As manhood shall compound: push home.
They draw
BARDOLPH By this sword, he that makes the first thrust, I’ll  135
kill him; by this sword, I will.
PISTOL Sword is an oath, and oaths must have their course.
BARDOLPH Corporal Nym, an thou wilt be friends, be friends:
an thou wilt not, why, then, be enemies with me too.
Prithee, put up.  140
NYM I shall have my eight shillings I won of you at betting?
PISTOL A noble shalt thou have, and present pay;
And liquor likewise will I give to thee,
And friendship shall combine, and brotherhood:
I’ll live by Nym, and Nym shall live by me;  145
Is not this just? for I shall sutler be
Unto the camp, and profits will accrue.
Give me thy hand.
NYM I shall have my noble?
PISTOL In cash most justly paid.  150
NYM Well, then, that’s the humour of’t.
Re-enter Hostess
Hostess As ever you came of women, come in quickly to Sir
John. Ah, poor heart! he is so shaked of a burning
quotidian tertian, that it is most lamentable to
behold. Sweet men, come to him.  155
NYM The king hath run bad humours on the knight; that’s
the even of it.
PISTOL Nym, thou hast spoke the right;
His heart is fracted and corroborate.
NYM The king is a good king: but it must be as it may;  160
he passes some humours and careers.
PISTOL Let us condole the knight; for, lambkins we will live. Exeunt

Henry V, Act 2, Scene 2