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About this text

  • Title: Famous Victories of Henry V (Modern)
  • Textual editor: Mathew Martin
  • Performance editor: Peter Cockett
  • Coordinating editor: Janelle Jenstad

  • Copyright Queen's Men Editions. This text may be freely used for educational, non-profit purposes; for all other uses contact the Editor.
    Author: Anonymous
    Editor (Text): Mathew Martin
    Editor (Performance): Peter Cockett
    Director: Peter Cockett
    Peer Reviewed

    Famous Victories of Henry V (Modern)

    [Scene 14] [Video Sc.14]
    Enter the King of England and his Lords.
    1255Henry V
    Come, my lords and fellows of arms, what company is there of the Frenchmen?
    An it please your majesty, our captains have numbered them, and, so near as they can judge, 1260they are about threescore thousand horsemen and forty thousand footmen.
    Henry V
    They threescore thousand, and we but two thousand. They forty thousand footmen, 1265and we twelve thousand. They are a hundred thousand, and we fourteen thousand: ten to one. My lords and loving countrymen, though we be few and they many, 1270fear not. Your quarrel is good, and God will defend you. Pluck up your hearts, for this day we shall either have a valiant victory or an honorable death. Now, my lords, I will that my uncle the duke of York have the vanguard in the battle. 1275The earl of Derby, the earl of Oxford, the earl of Kent, the earl of Nottingham, the earl of Huntington, I will have beside the army, that they may come fresh upon them. And I myself with the duke of Bedford, 1280the duke of Clarence, and the duke of Gloucester will be in the midst of the battle. Furthermore, I will that my lord of Willoughby and the earl of Northumberland with their troops of horsemen be continually running like 1285wings on both sides of the army, my lord of Northumberland on the left wing. Then I will that every archer provide him a stake of a tree and sharp it at both ends and, at the first encounter of the horsemen, 1290to pitch their stakes down into the ground before them, that they may gore themselves upon them, and then to recoil back and shoot wholly altogether and so discomfit them.
    An it please your majesty, 1295I will take that in charge, if your grace be therewith content.
    Henry V
    With all my heart, my good lord of Oxford, and go and provide quickly.
    I thank your highness.
    Exit [Oxford].
    1300Henry V
    Well, my lords, our battles are ordained, and the French making of bonfires and at their banquets. But let them look, for I mean to set upon them.
    The trumpet sounds.
    Soft, here comes some other French message.
    1305Enter Herald.
    King of England, my lord high constable and other of my lords, considering the poor estate of thee and thy poor countrymen, send me to know what thou wilt give for thy ransom. 1310Perhaps thou mayst agree better cheap now than when thou art conquered.
    Henry V
    Why, then belike your high constable sends to know what I will give for my ransom? Now, trust me, herald, not so much as a tun of tennis balls. 1315No, not so much as one poor tennis ball. Rather shall my body lie dead in the field to feed crows than ever England shall pay one penny ransom for my body.
    A kingly resolution.
    1320Henry V
    No, herald, 'tis a kingly resolution and the resolution of a king. Here, take this for thy pains.
    [Henry V gives the Herald coins.]
    Exit Herald.
    But stay, my lords. What time is it?
    Prime, my lord.
    Henry V
    Then is it good time, no doubt, for all England prayeth for us. What, my lords, methinks you look cheerfully upon me? Why, then, with one voice and like true English hearts, 1330with me throw up your caps and for England cry "Saint George!" -- and God and Saint George help us!
    Strike Drummer. Exeunt omnes.