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Gow. Is the duke of Exeter safe?
Flu. 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 plessed !) any hurt in ihe 'orld; but keeps the pridge most valiantly, with excellent disciplines. There is an ancient 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 'orld ; but I did see him do as gallant service.
Gow. What do you call him?
Pist. Captain, I thee beseech to do me favours : The duke of Exeter doth love thee well.
Flu. Ay, I praise Got; and I have merited some love at his hands.
Pist. Bardolph, a soldier firm and sound of heart,
Flu. By your patience, ancient Pistol. Fortune is painted plind : with a muffler before her eyes, to signify to you that fortune is plind: 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.
Pist. Fortune is Bardolph's foe, and frowns on him;
Flu. Ancient Pistol, I do partly understand your meaning.
(1) For he hath stol'n a pix. The pix was a sort of box richly chased, of gold or silver, and sometimes ornamented with jewels, in which the Host was reserved on the altar.
Pist. Why, then rejoice therefore.
Flu. Certainly, ancient, it is not a thing to rejoice at: for if, look you,
he were my brother, I would desire the duke to use his goot pleasure, and put him to executions; for disciplines ought to be used.
Pist. Figo for your friendship.
[Exit Pistol. Flu. Very good.
Gow. Wby, this is an arrant counterfeit rascal; I remember him now; a cutpurse.
Flu. I'll assure you, 'a uttered as prave 'ords at the pridge, 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
Gow. 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,2 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.
Flu. I tell you what, captain Gower,-—I do perceive he is not the man he would gladly make show to the 'orld 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.
Enter KING HENRY, GLOSTER, and Soldiers. Flu. Got pless your majesty. K. Hen. How, now, Fluellen ? camest thou from the bridge?
Flu. 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
(1) Figo for your friendship. This is said with the greatest contempt; an ancient custom is here alluded to, of making the figo or fig at any one, which was done by thrusting the thumb between the fore and middle fingers, and pointing it in the face of him who was mocked. It meant the highest insult. (2) A sconce was a rude kind of entrenchment.
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.
K. Hen. What men have you lost, Fluellen?
Flu. 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 of fire; and his lips plows 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.
K. Hen. 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 gentlest gamester is the soonest winner.
Tucket sounds. Enter MONTJOY. Mont. You know me by my habit.'
K. Hen. Well, then, I know thee; What shall I know of thee?
Mont. My master's mind. K. Hen. Unfold it. Mont. 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.
K. Hen. What is thy name? I know thy quality.
(1) You know me by my habit, i.e. by his tabard, or herald's coat.
K. Hen. Thou dost thy office fairly. Turn thee back.
thought upon one pair of English legs
[Exit Montjoy. Glo. I hope they will not come upon us now.
K. Hen. We are in God's hand, brother, not in theirs.
[Ereunt. SCENE VII.—The French Camp, near Agincourt.
(1) Without impeachment, i. e. without hindrance. (2) Yet God before, that is, God being my guide. In one of the Collects in the English Liturgy we have the words, “ Prevent us, O Lord,” i.e. “Go before and help us." (3) There's for thy labour. This was said whilst giving him money as “largess.”
if we be hinder'd
Discolour. This latter part of the king's speech is taken almost word for word from Holinshed : " My desire is that none of you be so advised as to be the occasion that I, in my defence, shall colour and make red your tawny ground, with the effusion of christian blood. When he had thus answered the herauld, he gave him a greate rewarde, and licensed him to depart."
Enter the CONSTABLE of France, the LORD RAMBURES, the
DUKE OF ORLEANS, DAUPHIN, and others. Con. Tut! I have the best armour of the world.-'Would it were day!
Orl. You have an excellent armour; but let my horse have his due.
Con. It is the best horse of Europe.
Dau. My lord of Orleans, and my lord' high constable, you talk of horse and armour.
Orl. You are as well provided of both as any prince in the world.
Dau. What a long night is this !-I will not change my horse with any that treads but on four pasterns. Ca, ha! He bounds from the earth as if his entrails were hairs;' le cheval volant, the Pegasus, qui a les narines de feu! When I bestride him I soar, I am a hawk : he trots the air; the earth sings when he touches it; the basest horn of his hoof is more musical than the pipe of Hermes.
Orl. He's of the colour of the nutmeg.
Dau. And of the heat of the ginger. It is a beast for Perseus : he is pure air and fire; and the dull elements of earth and water never appear in him, but only in patient stillness, while his rider mounts him : he is indeed a horse ; and all other jades you may call beasts.
Con. Indeed, my lord, it is a most absolute and excellent horse.
Dau. It is the prince of palfreys; bis neigh is like the bidding of a monarch, and his countenance enforces homage.
Orl. No more, cousin. Dau. Nay, the man hath no wit that cannot, from the rising of the lark to the lodging of the lamb, vary deserved praise on my palfrey: it is a theme as fluent as the sea; turn the sands into eloquent tongues, and my horse is argument for them all :2 'tis a subject for a sovereign to reason on, and for a sovereign's sovereign to ride on : and for the world (familiar to us, and unknown) to lay apart their particular functions, and wonder at him. I once writ a sonnet in his praise, and began thus :—“Wonder of nature,”
(1) As if his entrails were hairs, i.e. he is as light and bounding as a tennis-ball, which used to be stuffed with hair.
(2) Is argument for them all, i. e. is a fitting subject for them all to discourse on.