Henry V

by: William Shakespeare

  Act 4 Scene 1

page Act 4 Scene 1 Page 11

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That beats upon the high shore of this world.
245No, not all these, thrice-gorgeous ceremony,
Not all these, laid in bed majestical,
Can sleep so soundly as the wretched slave,
Who, with a body filled and vacant mind,
Gets him to rest, crammed with distressful bread;
250Never sees horrid night, the child of hell,
But, like a lackey, from the rise to set
Sweats in the eye of Phoebus, and all night
Sleeps in Elysium; next day after dawn,
Doth rise and help Hyperion to his horse,
255And follows so the ever-running year
With profitable labor to his grave.
And, but for ceremony, such a wretch,
Winding up days with toil and nights with sleep,
Had the forehand and vantage of a king.
260The slave, a member of the country’s peace,
Enjoys it, but in gross brain little wots
What watch the king keeps to maintain the peace,
Whose hours the peasant best advantages.
dusk and all night long sleeps in peace. Come morning, he wakes and helps the sun into his chariot and so wears out the ever-rolling years until his death. Apart from ceremony, this poor creature who spends his days in toil and his nights in sleep is better off than the king. The peasant enjoys his country’s peace without ever worrying his dull head about the vigil the king must keep to maintain that peace.
Enter ERPINGHAM
ERPINGHAM enters.

ERPINGHAM

My lord, your nobles, jealous of your absence,
265Seek through your camp to find you.

ERPINGHAM

My lord, your noble subjects are looking for you all over the camp. They’re anxious to see you.

KING HENRY

Good old knight,
Collect them all together at my tent.
I’ll be before thee.

KING HENRY

Good old knight, gather them all together at my tent. I’ll meet you there.

ERPINGHAM

I shall do’t, my lord.

ERPINGHAM

Consider it done, my lord.
Exit
He exits.