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Pist. Shall dunghill curs confront the Helicons?

And shall good news be baffled?
Then, Pistol, lay thy head in Furies' lap.


Sil. Honest gentleman, I know not your breeding.

Pist. Why then, lament therefore.

Shal. Give me pardon, sir. If, sir, you come with news from the court, I take it there 's but two ways, either to utter them, or to conceal them. I am, sir, under the King, in some authority. Pist. Under which king, Besonian? Speak, or die.


Shal. Under King Harry. Pist. Harry the Fourth or Fifth? Shal. Harry the Fourth. Pist. A foutra for thine office! Sir John, thy tender lambkin now is king; Harry the Fifth's the man. I speak the



When Pistol lies, do this, and fig me like
The bragging Spaniard.


Fal. What, is the old king dead? Pist. As nail in door. The things I speak are just.

Fal. Away, Bardolph! saddle my horse. Master Robert Shallow, choose what office thou

wilt in the land, 't is thine. Pistol, I will double-charge thee with dignities.


Bard. O joyful day!

I would not take a knighthood for my for


Pist. What! I do bring good news.

Fal. Carry Master Silence to bed. Master Shallow, my Lord Shallow, be what thou wilt; I am Fortune's steward-get on thy boots. We'll ride all night. O sweet Pistol! Away, Bardolph! [Exit Bard.] Come, Pistol, utter more to me; and withal devise something to do thyself good. Boot, boot, Master Shallow! I [148 know the young king is sick for me. Let us take any man's horses; the laws of England are at my commandment. Blessed are they that have been my friends; and woe to my Lord Chief Justice !



Pist. Let vultures vile seize on his lungs also! "Where is the life that late I led?" say they. Why here it is; welcome these pleasant days! [Exeunt.

SCENE IV. [London. A street.] Enter BEADLES, [dragging in] HOSTESS QUICKLY and DOLL TEARSHEET.

Host. No, thou arrant knave; I would to God that I might die, that I might have thee hang'd. Thou hast drawn my shoulder out of joint.

1. Bead. The constables have deliver'd her over to me; and she shall have whipping-cheer enough, I warrant her. There hath been a man or two lately kill'd about her.

Dol. Nut-hook, nut-hook, you lie. Come on! I'll tell thee what, thou damn'd tripe-visag'd rascal, an the child I now go with do miscarry, thou wert better thou hadst struck thy mother, thou paper-fac'd villain!


Host. O the Lord, that Sir John were come! He would make this a bloody day to somebody. But I pray God the fruit of her womb mis

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Enter two GROOMS, strewing rushes.

1. Groom. More rushes, more rushes. 2. Groom. The trumpets have sounded twice. 1. Groom. "T will be two o'clock ere they come from the coronation. Dispatch, dispatch. [Exeunt.

Trumpets sound, and the King and his train pass over the stage. After them enter FALSTAFF, SHALLOW, PISTOL, BARDOLPH, and PAGE.

Fal. Stand here by me, Master Robert Shallow; I will make the King do you grace. I will leer upon him as he comes by; and do but mark the countenance that he will give

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How ill white hairs become a fool and jester!
I have long dream'd of such a kind of man,
So surfeit-swell'd, so old, and so profane;
But, being awak'd, I do despise my dream.
Make less thy body hence, and more thy grace;
Leave gormandizing; know the grave doth




For thee thrice wider than for other men.
Reply not to me with a fool-born jest.
Presume not that I am the thing I was;
For God doth know, so shall the world per-

That I have turn'd away my former self;
So will I those that kept me company.
When thou dost hear I am as I have been,
Approach me, and thou shalt be as thou wast, 65
The tutor and the feeder of my riots;
Till then, I banish thee, on pain of death,
As I have done the rest of my misleaders,
Not to come near our person by ten mile.
For competence of life I will allow you,
That lack of means enforce you not to evils;
And, as we hear you do reform yourselves,
We will, according to your strengths and qual-



Give you advancement. Be it your charge, my


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known to you, as it is very well, I was lately here in the end of a displeasing play, to pray your patience for it and to promise you a bet- [10 ter. Imeant indeed to pay you with this; which, if like an ill venture it come unluckily home, I break, and you, my gentle creditors, lose. Here I promis'd you I would be, and here I commit my body to your mercies. Bate me [15 some and I will pay you some and, as most debtors do, promise you infinitely.

If my tongue cannot entreat you to acquit me, will you command me to use my legs? And yet that were but light payment, to dance out of your debt. But a good conscience will [ make any possible satisfaction, and so would 1. All the gentlewomen here have forgiven me; if the gentlemen will not, then the gentlemen do not agree with the gentlewomen, which was never seen before in such an assembly.


One word more, I beseech you. If you be not too much cloy'd with fat meat, our humble author will continue the story, with Sir John in it, and make you merry with fair Katharine of France; where, for anything I know, [* Falstaff shall die of a sweat, unless already a be kill'd with your hard opinions; for Oldcastle died a martyr, and this is not the man. My tongue is weary; when my legs are too, I will bid you good night; and so kneel down be- [ fore you; but, indeed, to pray for the Queen.

In the case of Henry V the date of composition can be fixed with more exactness and assurance than usual. The Chorus prefixed to Act v contains in lines 30-34 a clear allusion to the expedition led by the Earl of Essex, who left for Ireland on April 15, 1599, and returned on September 28 of the same year. The nature of the reference is such as to date the passage between these limits.

A quarto edition appeared in 1600, and was reprinted in 1602 and 1608. This is, however, not the source of the text of the First Folio, on which the present edition is based. The Quarto is less than half the length of the version in the Folio, and the text is so badly mangled and corrupted that it is to be concluded that it is a pirated edition printed from notes taken at a performance, and perhaps from other sources surreptitiously obtained. The theory that it represents an earlier draft of the play, afterwards elaborated into the form found in the Folio, is negatived by a close comparison of the texts.

The source of the serious plot of this history is, as usual, the Chronicles of Holinshed. Shakespeare follows the main thread of the actual events, altering the order only slightly, but condensing the action from six years. The long speeches throughout are, but for a few hints, altogether his, with the exception of the genealogical argument of the Archbishop of Canterbury in I. ii., which follows Holinshed with remarkable closeness. The scenes in which Pistol and his fellows appear have, of course, no original; and the group of subordinate officers, Fluellen, Macmorris, and Captain Jamy, with Williams and Bates and the glove episode, are all purely Shakespearean. The pardoning of the man who had railed against the king is a skilful invention to lead up to the unmasking and self-condemnation of the conspirators. Changes in the comparative prominence of details are managed in such a way as to produce the characteristic patriotic temper of the play. Thus, the tennis-ball message and reply are emphasized and elaborated; and the happy personal relations existing among the English are brought out in Henry's speeches to old Erpingham, in the description of the deaths of Suffolk and York, in the conversation between the king and the common soldiers, in the splendid eloquence of such speeches as those of Henry before Harfleur and on St. Crispin's Day, all of which are absent from the chronicles; and, conversely, the vain boasting of the French lords before the battle is created out of a mere hint that they passed the night in merriment and were contemptuous of their opponents. Again, additional stress is laid by Shakespeare on Henry's piety, his soliloquy and prayer before Agincourt being without historical basis. Yet the main lines of his character are those laid down by Holinshed and earlier writers.

The French lesson of the Princess is original; but the wooing is foreshadowed in the crude play of The Famous Victories of Henry the Fifth, which had already supplied hints for Henry IV. This play also uses the Dauphin's gift of tennis-balls, and contains dialect parts which may have suggested the Welsh, Scottish, and Irish parts here; and a scene in which a Frenchman tries to hold an Englishman for ransom bears a certain resemblance to Pistol's treatment of his French captive. The stealing of the pyx and the fate, though not the character, of Bardolph are historical. The Dauphin was not in fact present at the battle of Agincourt, and in this detail the Quarto follows history more accurately than the Folio. The simile of the bees in Canterbury's speech (1. ii. 187-204) may have been suggested by a passage in Lyly's Euphues and his England, which in turn is based on Pliny.

The style of the sonnet Epilogue suggests some doubts as to its authorship, - a point of some importance in view of the stress laid on it in discussions on Henry VI.

With the exception of the doubtful Henry VIII, this play was the last to be written of Shakespeare's histories. The crises in English history before the Tudor period which gave good dramatic opportunity were well-nigh exhausted, and the limitations of the form of the chronicle play must have been increasingly irksome to Shakespeare's developed artistic sense. Henry V forms an appropriate close to the series, bringing, as it does, the patriotic fervor underlying them all to its highest expression, and embodying it in the heroic figure of the ideal English king.

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Enter [CHORUS].

[Chor.] O for a Muse of fire, that would ascend

The brightest heaven of invention,
A kingdom for a stage, princes to act,
And monarchs to behold the swelling scene!
Then should the warlike Harry, like himself,
Assume the port of Mars; and at his heels,
Leash'd in like hounds, should famine, sword,
and fire

Crouch for employment. But pardon, gentles


The flat unraised spirits that hath dar'd
On this unworthy scaffold to bring forth
So great an object. Can this cockpit hold
The vasty fields of France? Or may we cram
Within this wooden O the very casques
That did affright the air at Agincourt?
O, pardon! since a crooked figure may
Attest in little place a million;
And let us, ciphers to this great accompt,
On your imaginary forces work.
Suppose within the girdle of these walls
Are now confin'd two mighty monarchies,
Whose high upreared and abutting fronts
The perilous narrow ocean parts asunder;
Piece out our imperfections with your thoughts;
Into a thousand parts divide one man,
And make imaginary puissance;
Think, when we talk of horses, that you see



Lords, Ladies, Officers, Soldiers, Citizens, Messengers, and Attendants.
SCENE: England; afterwards France.]



CHARLES VI, king of France.

LEWIS, the Dauphin.

The Constable of France.

French Lords.

Governor of Harfleur.
MONTJOY, a French Herald.
Ambassadors to the King of England.


ISABEL, queen of France.

KATHARINE, daughter to Charles and Isabel.

ALICE, a lady attending on her.
HOSTESS of a tavern in Eastcheap, formerly Mistress
Quickly, and now married to Pistol.


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