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William Shakespeare (1564–1616). The Oxford Shakespeare. 1914.

Act IV. Scene VIII.

The Life of King Henry the Fifth

Before KING HENRY’S Pavilion.


Will.I warrant it is to knight you, captain.


Flu.God’s will and his pleasure, captain, I peseech you now come apace to the king: there is more good toward you peradventure than is in your knowledge to dream of.

Will.Sir, know you this glove?

Flu.Know the glove! I know the glove is a glove.

Will.I know this; and thus I challenge it.[Strikes him.

Flu.’Sblood! an arrant traitor as any’s in the universal ’orld, or in France, or in England

Gow.How now, sir! you villain!

Will.Do you think I’ll be forsworn?

Flu.Stand away, Captain Gower; I will give treason his payment into plows, I warrant you.

Will.I am no traitor.

Flu.That’s a lie in thy throat. I charge you in his majesty’s name, apprehend him: he is a friend of the Duke Alençon’s.


War.How now, how now! what’s the matter?

Flu.My Lord of Warwick, here is,—praised be God for it!—a most contagious treason come to light, look you, as you shall desire in a summer’s day. Here is his majesty.


K. Hen.How now! what’s the matter?

Flu.My liege, here is a villain and a traitor, that, look your Grace, has struck the glove which your majesty is take out of the helmet of Alençon.

Will.My liege, this was my glove; here is the fellow of it; and he that I gave it to in change promised to wear it in his cap: I promised to strike him, if he did: I met this man with my glove in his cap, and I have been as good as my word.

Flu.Your majesty hear now,—saving your majesty’s manhood,—what an arrant, rascally, beggarly, lousy knave it is. I hope your majesty is pear me testimony and witness, and avouchments, that this is the glove of Alençon that your majesty is give me; in your conscience now.

K. Hen.Give me thy glove, soldier: look, here is the fellow of it.

’Twas I, indeed, thou promisedst to strike;

And thou hast given me most bitter terms.

Flu.An ’t please your majesty, let his neck answer for it, if there is any martial law in the ’orld.

K. Hen.How canst thou make me satisfaction?

Will.All offences, my lord, come from the heart: never came any from mine that might offend your majesty.

K. Hen.It was ourself thou didst abuse.

Will.Your majesty came not like yourself: you appeared to me but as a common man; witness the night, your garments, your lowliness; and what your highness suffered under that shape, I beseech you, take it for your own fault and not mine: for had you been as I took you for I made no offence; therefore, I beseech your highness, pardon me.

K. Hen.Here, uncle Exeter, fill this glove with crowns,

And give it to this fellow. Keep it, fellow;

And wear it for an honour in thy cap

Till I do challenge it. Give him the crowns:

And, captain, you must needs be friends with him.

Flu.By this day and this light, the fellow has mettle enough in his belly. Hold, there is twelve pence for you, and I pray you to serve God, and keep you out of prawls, and prabbles, and quarrels, and dissensions, and, I warrant you, it is the better for you.

Will.I will none of your money.

Flu.It is with a good will; I can tell you it will serve you to mend your shoes: come, wherefore should you be so pashful? your shoes is not so good: ’tis a good shilling, I warrant you, or I will change it.

Enter an English Herald.

K. Hen.Now, herald, are the dead number’d?

Her.Here is the number of the slaughter’d French.[Delivers a paper.

K. Hen.What prisoners of good sort are taken, uncle?

Exe.Charles Duke of Orleans, nephew to the king;

John Duke of Bourbon, and Lord Bouciqualt:

Of other lords and barons, knights and squires,

Full fifteen hundred, besides common men.

K. Hen.This note doth tell me of ten thousand French

That in the field lie slain: of princes, in this number,

And nobles bearing banners, there lie dead

One hundred twenty-six: added to these,

Of knights, esquires, and gallant gentlemen,

Eight thousand and four hundred; of the which

Five hundred were but yesterday dubb’d knights:

So that, in these ten thousand they have lost,

There are but sixteen hundred mercenaries;

The rest are princes, barons, lords, knights, squires,

And gentlemen of blood and quality.

The names of those their nobles that lie dead:

Charles Delabreth, High Constable of France;

Jaques of Chatillon, Admiral of France;

The master of the cross-bows, Lord Rambures;

Great-master of France, the brave Sir Guischard Dauphin;

John Duke of Alençon; Antony Duke of Brabant,

The brother to the Duke of Burgundy,

And Edward Duke of Bar: of lusty earls,

Grandpré and Roussi, Fauconberg and Foix,

Beaumont and Marle, Vaudemont and Lestrale.

Here was a royal fellowship of death!

Where is the number of our English dead?[Herald presents another paper.

Edward the Duke of York, the Earl of Suffolk,

Sir Richard Ketly, Davy Gam, esquire:

None else of name: and of all other men

But five and twenty. O God! thy arm was here;

And not to us, but to thy arm alone,

Ascribe we all. When, without stratagem,

But in plain shock and even play of battle,

Was ever known so great and little loss

On one part and on the other? Take it, God,

For it is none but thine!

Exe.’Tis wonderful!

K. Hen.Come, go we in procession to the village:

And be it death proclaimed through our host

To boast of this or take the praise from God

Which is his only.

Flu.Is it not lawful, an please your majesty, to tell how many is killed?

K. Hen.Yes, captain; but with this acknowledgment,

That God fought for us.

Flu.Yes, my conscience, he did us great good.

K. Hen.Do we all holy rites:

Let there be sung Non nobis and Te Deum;

The dead with charity enclos’d in clay.

We’ll then to Calais; and to England then,

Where ne’er from France arriv’d more happy men.[Exeunt.