Henry V

by: William Shakespeare

  Act 4 Scene 3

page Act 4 Scene 3 Page 5

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The smell whereof shall breed a plague in France.
Mark, then, abounding valor in our English,
That being dead, like to the bullet’s crazing,
110Break out into a second course of mischief,
Killing in relapse of mortality.
Let me speak proudly: tell the constable
We are but warriors for the working day;
Our gayness and our gilt are all besmirched
115With rainy marching in the painful field.
There’s not a piece of feather in our host—
Good argument, I hope, we will not fly—
And time hath worn us into slovenry.
But, by the Mass, our hearts are in the trim,
120And my poor soldiers tell me, yet ere night
They’ll be in fresher robes, or they will pluck
The gay new coats o'er the French soldiers' heads
And turn them out of service. If they do this,
As, if God please, they shall, my ransom then
125Will soon be levied. Herald, save thou thy labor.
Come thou no more for ransom, gentle herald.
They shall have none, I swear, but these my joints,
Which, if they have, as I will leave 'em them,
Shall yield them little. Tell the constable.
Then will you notice the abundant valor of our Englishmen, who will embark on a second round of mischief like a ricocheting bullet, killing again as they fall to their deaths. Let me speak proudly: tell the Constable we’re only workaday soldiers. Our finery and shining metal are all rusty from long, painful marches in the rain. There’s not a strand of feather left in our whole army—a good sign, I hope, that we won’t fly away like birds—and time on the field has made us slovenly. But, by God, our hearts are in good shape. And my poor soldiers tell me that before night they’ll be in cleaner clothes. If not, they’ll pull the bright new coats of the French over their heads and send them on their way. If they do this, as they will, God willing, my ransom will soon be raised. Herald, spare yourself. Don’t come again to ask for my ransom, good messenger. I swear the only ransom will be these bones of mine. And if the French get them in the state in which I intend to leave them, they won’t be worth much use to anyone. Tell the constable that.

MONTJOY

130I shall, King Harry. And so fare thee well.
Thou never shalt hear herald anymore.

MONTJOY

I shall, King Harry. And so farewell. You’ll never hear from the herald again.
Exit
He exits.

KING HENRY

I fear thou wilt once more come again for a ransom.

KING HENRY

I’m afraid you’ll come to me again for ransom.
Enter YORK
YORK enters.