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Exe. He'll make your Paris Louvre shake for it, Were it the mistress-court of mighty Europe: And, be assured, you'll find a difference, As we his subjects have in wonder found, Between the promise of his greener days And these he masters now: now he weighs time Even to the utmost grain: that you shall read In your own losses, if he stay in France.

Fr. King. To-morrow shall you know our mind at full.

Exe. Dispatch us with all speed, lest that our king

Come here himself to question our delay;

For he is footed in this land already.

Fr. King. You shall be soon dispatch'd with
fair conditions:

A night is but small breath and little pause
To answer matters of this consequence.


[Flourish. Exeunt.



Enter Chorus.

Chor. Thus with imagined wing our swift scene flies

In motion of no less celerity

Than that of thought. Suppose that you have

1. imagined wing, on wings of imagination.

The well-appointed king at Hampton pier
Embark his royalty; and his brave fleet
With silken streamers the young Phoebus fanning:
Play with your fancies, and in them behold
Upon the hempen tackle ship-boys climbing;
Hear the shrill whistle which doth order give
To sounds confused; behold the threaden sails,
Borne with the invisible and creeping wind,
Draw the huge bottoms through the furrow'd sea,
Breasting the lofty surge: O, do but think
You stand upon the rivage and behold
A city on the inconstant billows dancing;
For so appears this fleet majestical,

Holding due course to Harfleur. Follow, follow:
Grapple your minds to sternage of this navy,
And leave your England, as dead midnight still,
Guarded with grandsires, babies and old women,
Either past or not arrived to pith and puissance;
For who is he, whose chin is but enrich'd
With one appearing hair, that will not follow
These cull'd and choice-drawn cavaliers to France?
Work, work your thoughts, and therein see a


Behold the ordnance on their carriages,

With fatal mouths gaping on girded Harfleur.
Suppose the ambassador from the French comes


Tells Harry that the king doth offer him
Katharine his daughter, and with her, to dowry,
Some petty and unprofitable dukedoms.

4. Hampton. Theobald's correction. Ff (through an oversight) read Dover.'

5. brave, gaily decked. 6. the young Phœbus fanning, fluttering in the morning sun. 14. rivage, shore.




17. Harfleur. Qq Ff give the popular form of the name Harflew (Holinshed, 'Harflue').

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18. to sternage of, 28. Suppose, etc. bassy actually met Winchester.

astern of.

This emHenry at


The offer likes not: and the nimble gunner
With linstock now the devilish cannon touches,
[Alarum, and chambers go off.
And down goes all before them. Still be kind,
And eke out our performance with your mind.


SCENE I. France. Before Harfleur.

Alarum. Enter KING HENRY, EXETER, BEDFORD, GLOUCESTER, and Soldiers, with scalingladders.

K. Hen. Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more;

Or close the wall up with our English dead.
In peace there's nothing so becomes a man
As modest stillness and humility:

But when the blast of war blows in our ears,
Then imitate the action of the tiger;
Stiffen the sinews, summon up the blood,
Disguise fair nature with hard-favour'd rage;
Then lend the eye a terrible aspéct ;
Let it pry through the portage of the head

Like the brass cannon; let the brow o'erwhelm it
As fearfully as doth a galled rock

O'erhang and jutty his confounded base,
Swill'd with the wild and wasteful ocean.

Now set the teeth and stretch the nostril wide,
Hold hard the breath and bend up every spirit

33. linstock, the stick to which the gunner's match was attached.

33. chambers, small cannon, loaded by a movable 'chamber' at the breech.

8. hard-favour'd, grim-looking.


10. portage, 'port-Holes,' i. e. port-Holes,' eye-sockets.

13. jutty, jet or project over. ib. confounded, destroyed, swallowed up.

16. bend up; as in stringing a bow.


To his full height.

On, on, you noblest English,
Whose blood is fet from fathers of war-proof!
Fathers that, like so many Alexanders,

Have in these parts from morn till even fought
And sheathed their swords for lack of argument:
Dishonour not your mothers; now attest
That those whom you call'd fathers did beget you.
Be copy now to men of grosser blood,
And teach them how to war.


And you, good

Whose limbs were made in England, show us here
The mettle of your pasture; let us swear
That you are worth your breeding; which I doubt

For there is none of you so mean and base,
That hath not noble lustre in your eyes.
I see you stand like greyhounds in the slips,
Straining upon the start. The game's afoot:
Follow your spirit, and upon this charge
Cry 'God for Harry, England, and Saint George !'
[Exeunt. Alarum, and chambers go off.


SCENE II. The same.

Enter NYM, BARDOLPH, PISTOL, and Boy. Bard. On, on, on, on, on! to the breach, to the breach!

Nym. Pray thee, corporal, stay: the knocks are too hot; and, for mine own part, I have not

18. fet, fetched, derived.

21. argument, matter. The parallel to Alexander makes it probable that lack of enemies to conquer rather than of cause

to fight for' is meant; none
being left to oppose them.
31. slips, leash.

32. Straining. Rowe's correction for Ff 'straying.'

a case of lives: the humour of it is too hot, that is the very plain-song of it.

Pist. The plain-song is most just; for humours do abound:

Knocks go and come; God's vassals drop and die; And sword and shield,

In bloody field,

Doth win immortal fame.

Boy. Would I were in an alehouse in London ! I would give all my fame for a pot of ale and safety.

Pist. And I:

If wishes would prevail with me,

My purpose should not fail with me,
But thither would I hie.

Boy. As duly, but not as truly,

As bird doth sing on bough.


Flu. Up to the breach, you dogs! avaunt, you cullions! [Driving them forward. Pist. Be merciful, great duke, to men of mould.

Abate thy rage, abate thy manly rage,

Abate thy rage, great duke!

Good bawcock, bate thy rage; use lenity, sweet


Nym. These be good wins bad humours.

humours! your honour [Exeunt all but Boy. have observed these

Boy. As young as I am, I

5. case of lives, a set of lives. Nym's further allusion to 'plainsong' makes it likely that the allusion is to the 'case of four musical instruments making up the consort' of four parts, not to the case of (two) pistols.



6. plain-song, simple melody without variations.

22. cullions, noodles, dolts. 23. duke, general.

26. bawcock (Fr. 'beau coq'), a term of endearment. 28. wins, prevails over.

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