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The English Camp at Agincourt. Enter Chorus. Now entertain conjecture of a time, When creeping murmur, and the poring dark, Fills the wide vessel of the universe. From camp to camp, through the foul womb of night, The hum of either army stilly sounds, That the fix'd sentinels almost receive The secret whispers of each other's watch: Fire answers fire; and through their paly flames Each battle sees the other's umber'd face: Steed threatens steed, in high and boastful neighs, Piercing the night's dull ear: and from the tents, The armourers, accomplishing the knights, With busy hammers closing rivets up, Give dreadful note of preparation. The country cocks do crow; the clocks do toll, And the third hour of drowsy morning name. Proud of their numbers, and secure in soul, The confident and over-lusty French Do the low-rated English playa at dice; And chide the cripple, tardy-gaited night, Who, like a foul and ugly witch, doth limp So tediously away. The poor, condemned English, Like sacrifices, by their watchful fires Sit patiently, and inly ruminate The morning's danger; and their gesture sad, Investing lank-lean cheeks, and war-worn coats, Presented them unto the gazing moon So many horrid ghosts. Who now beholds
• i.e. Play them away, play for them as prisoners.
The royal captain of this ruined band,
Walking from watch to watch, from tent to tent,
Let him cry-Praise and glory on his head !
For forth he goes, and visits all his host;.
Bids them good-morrow, with a modest smile,
And calls them-brothers, friends, and countrymen.
Upon his royal face there is no note,
How dread an army hath enrounded him;
Nor doth he dedicate one jot of colour
Unto the weary and all-watched night;
But freshly looks, and over-bears attaint,
With cheerful semblance, and sweet majesty;
That every wretch, pining and pale before,
Beholding him, plucks comfort from his looks :
A largess universal, like the sun,
His liberal eye doth give to every one,
Thawing cold fear.
Westmoreland. O that we now had here
But one ten thousand of those men in England,
That do no work to-day!
K. Henry. What's he, that wishes so ?
My cousin Westmoreland !-No, my fair cousin :
If we are marked to die, we are enough
To do our country's loss; and if to live,
The fewer men, the greater share of honour.
I pray thee, wish not one man more.
By Jove! I am not covetous of gold;
Nor care I who doth feed upon my cost;
yearns me not, if men my garments wear;
Such outward things dwell not in my desires :
But, if it be a sin to covet honour,
I am the most offending soul alive.
No, 'faith, my coz, wish not a man from England;
I would not lose so great an honour,
As one man more, methinks, would share from me,
For the best hope I have. O, do not wish one more :
Rather proclaim it, Westmoreland, through my host,
That he who hath no stomach to this fight,
Let him depart; his passport shall be made,
And crowns for convoy put into his purse:
We would not die in that man's company,
That fears his fellowship to die with us.
This day is called— the feast of Crispian :
He that outlives this day, and comes safe home,
Will stand a-tip-toe when this day is named,
And rouse him at the name of Crispian.
He that shall live this day, and see old age,
Will yearly, on the vigil, feast his friends,
And say–To-morrow is saint Crispian :
Then will he strip his sleeve, and shew his scars.
Old men forget: yet all shall be forgot,
But they'll remember, with advantages,
What feats they did that day. Then shall our names,
Familiar in their mouth as household words-
Harry the king, Bedford, and Exeter,
Warwick and Talbot, Salisbury and Gloster-
Be in their flowing cups freshly remembered:
This story shall the good man teach his son;
And Crispin Crispian shall ne'er go by,
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remembered;
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me,
Shall be my brother; be he ne'er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition :
And gentlemen in England, now a-bed,
Shall think themselves accursed, they were not here;
And hold their manhoods cheap, while any speaks,
That fought with us upon saint Crispin's day.
HENRY VIII., ACT III., SCENE 6.
So farewell to the little good ye bear me.
Farewell, a long farewell, to all my greatness!
This is the state of man; To-day he puts forth
The tender leaves of hope, to-morrow blossoms,
And bears his blushing honours thick upon him:
The third day comes a frost, a killing frost;
And, when he thinks, good easy man, full surely
His greatness is a-ripening, nips his root,
And then he falls, as I do. I have ventured,
Like little wanton boys that swim on bladders,
These many summers in a sea of glory;
But far beyond my depth : my high-blown pride
At length broke under me; and now has left me,
Weary and old with service, to the mercy
Of a rude stream, that must for ever hide me.
Vain pomp and glory of this world! I hate ye!
I feel my heart new opened. O, how wretched
Is that poor man, that hangs on princes' favours !
There is, betwixt that smile we would aspire to,
That sweet aspect of princes, and our ruin,
More pangs and fears than wars or women have;
And when he falls, he falls like Lucifer-
Never to hope again.
ACT III., SCENE 6. Rome—the Forum—a throng of citizens—Antony and
others with Cesar's body. 2 Pleb. Peace! let us hear what Antony can say. Ant. You, gentle RomansAll. Peace, oh! let us hear him.
Ant. Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your
I come to bury Cæsar, not to praise him.
The evil that men do, lives after them;
The good is oft interred with their bones :
So let it be with Cæsar! The noble Brutus
Hath told you, Cæsar was ambitious :
If it were so, it was a grievous fault;
And grievously hath Cæsar answer'd it.
Here, under leave of Brutus and the rest,
(For Brutus is an honourable man;
So are they all, all honourable men,)
Come I to speak in Cæsar's funeral.
He was my friend, faithful and just to me;
But Brutus says he was ambitious;
And Brutus is an honourable man.
He hath brought many captives home to Rome,
Whose ransoms did the general coffers fill.
Did this, in Cæsar, seem ambitious ?
When that the poor have cried, Cæsar hath wept-
Ambition should be made of sterner stuff:
Yet Brutus says he was ambitious;
And Brutus is an honourable man.
You all did see, that, on the Lupercal,
I thrice presented him a kingly crown,
Which he did thrice refuse. Was this ambition ?
Yet Brutus says he was ambitious;
And sure, he is an honourable man.
I speak not to disprove what Brutus spoke;
But here I am to speak what I do know.
You all did love him once—not without cause;
What cause withholds you, then, to mourn for him ?
O judgment, thou art fled to brutish beasts,
And men have lost their reason ! Bear with me:
My heart is in the coffin there with Cæsar,
And I must pause till it come back to me.