Henry V

by: William Shakespeare

Original Text

Modern Text

PISTOL

“Solus,” egregious dog? O viper vile,
The solus in thy most marvelous face,
The solus in thy teeth and in thy throat
And in thy hateful lungs, yea, in thy maw, perdy,
45And, which is worse, within thy nasty mouth!
I do retort the solus in thy bowels,
For I can take, and Pistol’s cock is up,
And flashing fire will follow.

PISTOL

Solus, you unspeakable dog? You loathsome snake, I throw your solus in that weird face of yours, in your teeth and your throat and in your hateful lungs, and even worse, in your nasty mouth! Shove that solus into your bowels, because I can take you. My gun is cocked and ready to fire.

NYM

I am not Barbason; you cannot conjure me. I have an humor to knock you indifferently well. If you grow foul with me, Pistol, I will scour you with my rapier, as I may, in fair terms. If you would walk off, I would prick your guts a little in good terms, as I may, and that’s the humor of it.

NYM

I am not some fiend of hell: you can’t get rid of me with spells. I’m in a mood to beat you up pretty good. If you get nasty with me, Pistol, I’ll stab you with my sword, in fair play. If you’d like to step aside with me, I’ll give you a little prick in the guts, all in fair play, if I can, and that’s the way it is.

PISTOL

O braggart vile and damnèd furious wight,
55The grave doth gape, and doting death is near.
Therefore exhale.

PISTOL

You revolting braggart and hellish creature! Your grave is gaping open, and your death is near. So take your last breath.

BARDOLPH

Hear me, hear me what I say: he that strikes the first stroke,
I’ll run him up to the hilts, as I am a soldier. (draws)

BARDOLPH

Listen, listen to what I say: whoever strikes first, I’ll run him through with my sword, as sure as I’m a soldier. (drawing his sword)

PISTOL

An oath of mickle might, and fury shall abate.
60Give me thy fist, thy forefoot to me give.
Thy spirits are most tall.

PISTOL

That’s an oath of great power, and our fury must subside. ( PISTOL and NYM sheath their swords) Give me your hand—your forefoot. You have a brave spirit.

NYM

I will cut thy throat one time or other in fair terms, that is the humor of it.

NYM

I’ll cut your throat, sooner or later—that’s just how it is.

PISTOL

Couple à gorge, that is the word. I defy thee again.
65O hound of Crete, think’st thou my spouse to get?
No, to the spital go,
And from the powd'ring tub of infamy
Fetch forth the lazar kite of Cressid’s kind,
Doll Tearsheet she by name, and her espouse.

PISTOL

Couple à gorge

“Couple à gorge” is corrupt French for “cut the throat.”

Couple à gorge
is the word for what you’re trying to say. I defy you again. You dog, do you think you’ll take my wife? No, go to the hospital, into the ward where they treat venereal disease, and get yourself a leprous, diseased prostitute like Doll Tearsheet and marry her.