[Act 3, Scene 6]
Enter Captaines, English and Welch, Gower
How now Captaine
Fluellen, come you
I assure you, there is very excellent Seruices com-
mitted at the Bridge.
Is the Duke of Exeter safe?
The Duke of Exeter is as magnanimous as
, and a man that I loue and honour with my soule,
and my heart, and my dutie, and my liue, and my liuing,
and my vttermost power. He is not, God be praysed and
blessed, any hurt in the World, but keepes the Bridge
most valiantly, with excellent discipline. There is an aun-
chient Lieutenant there at the Pridge, I thinke in my very
conscience hee is as valiant a man as
Marke Anthony, and
hee is a man of no estimation in the World, but I did see
him doe as gallant seruice.
What doe you call him?
Hee is call'd aunchient
I know him not.
Here is the man.
Captaine, I thee beseech to doe me fauours: the
Duke of Exeter doth loue thee well.
I, I prayse God, and I haue merited some loue at
Bardolph, a Souldier firme and sound of heart,
and of buxome valour, hath by cruell Fate, and giddie
Fortunes furious fickle Wheele, that Goddesse
stands vpon the rolling restlesse
By your patience, aunchient
Pistoll: Fortune is
painted blinde, with a Muffler afore his eyes, to signifie
to you, that Fortune is blinde; and shee is painted also
with a Wheele, to signifie to you, which is the Morall of
it, that shee is turning and inconstant, and mutabilitie,
and variation: and her foot, looke you, is fixed vpon a
Sphericall Stone, which rowles, and rowles, and rowles:
in good truth, the Poet makes a most excellent descripti-
on of it: Fortune is an excellent Morall.
Bardolphs foe, and frownes on him:
for he hath stolne a Pax, and hanged must a be: a damned
death: let Gallowes gape for Dogge, let Man goe free,
and let not Hempe his Wind-pipe suffocate: but
hath giuen the doome of death, for Pax of little price.
Therefore goe speake, the Duke will heare thy voyce;
and let not
Bardolphs vitall thred bee cut with edge of
Penny-Cord, and vile reproach. Speake Captaine for
his Life, and I will thee requite.
Pistoll, I doe partly vnderstand your
Why then reioyce therefore.
Certainly Aunchient, it is not a thing to reioyce
at: for if, looke you, he were my Brother, I would desire
the Duke to vse his good pleasure, and put him to execu-
tion; for discipline ought to be vsed.
Dye, and be dam'd, and
Figo for thy friendship.
It is well.
The Figge of Spaine.
Why, this is an arrant counterfeit Rascall, I
remember him now: a Bawd, a Cut-purse.
Ile assure you, a vtt'red as praue words at the
Pridge, as you shall see in a Summers day: but it is very
well: what he ha's spoke to me, that is well I warrant you,
when time is serue.
Why 'tis a Gull, a Foole, a Rogue, that now and
then goes to the Warres, to grace himselfe at his returne
into London, vnder the forme of a Souldier: and such
fellowes are perfit in the Great Commanders Names, and
they will learne you by rote where Seruices were done;
at such and such a Sconce, at such a Breach, at such a Con-
uoy: who came off brauely, who was shot, who dis-
grac'd, what termes the Enemy stood on; and this they
conne perfitly in the phrase of Warre; which they tricke
vp with new-tuned Oathes: and what a Beard of the Ge-
neralls Cut, and a horride Sute of the Campe, will doe a-
mong foming Bottles, and Alewasht Wits, is wonder-
full to be thought on: but you must learne to know such
slanders of the age, or else you may be maruellously mi-
I tell you what, Captaine
Gower: I doe perceiue
hee is not the man that hee would gladly make shew to
the World hee is: if I finde a hole in his Coat, I will tell
him my minde: hearke you, the King is comming, and I
must speake with him from the Pridge.
Drum and Colours.
Enter the King and his
God plesse your Maiestie.
Fluellen, cam'st thou from the Bridge?
I, so please your Maiestie: The Duke of Exeter
ha's very gallantly maintain'd the Pridge; the French is
gone off, looke you, and there is gallant and most praue
passages: marry, th'athuersarie was haue possession of
the Pridge, but he is enforced to retyre, and the Duke of
Exeter is Master of the Pridge: I can tell your Maiestie,
the Duke is a praue man.
What men haue you lost, Fluellen?
The perdition of th'athuersarie hath beene very
great, reasonnable great: marry for my part, I thinke the
Duke hath lost neuer a man, but one that is like to be exe-
cuted for robbing a Church, one
Bardolph, if your Maie-
stie know the man: his face is all bubukles and whelkes,
and knobs, and flames a fire, and his lippes blowes at his
nose, and it is like a coale of fire, sometimes plew, and
sometimes red, but his nose is executed, and his fire's
Wee would haue all such offendors so cut off:
and we giue expresse charge, that in our Marches through
the Countrey, there be nothing compell'd from the Vil-
lages; nothing taken, but pay'd for: none of the French
vpbrayded or abused in disdainefull Language; for when
Leuitie and Crueltie play for a Kingdome, the gentler
Gamester is the soonest winner.
You know me by my habit.
Well then, I know thee: what shall I know of
My Masters mind.
Thus sayes my King: Say thou to
of England, Though we seem'd dead, we did but sleepe:
Aduantage is a better Souldier then rashnesse. Tell him,
wee could haue rebuk'd him at Harflewe, but that wee
thought not good to bruise an iniurie, till it were full
ripe. Now wee speake vpon our Q. and our voyce is im-
periall; England shall repent his folly, see his weake-
nesse, and admire our sufferance. Bid him therefore con-
sider of his ransome, which must proportion the losses we
haue borne, the subiects we haue lost, the disgrace we
haue digested; which in weight to re-answer, his petti-
nesse would bow vnder. For our losses, his Exchequer is
too poore; for th'effusion of our bloud, the Muster of his
Kingdome too faint a number; and for our disgrace, his
owne person kneeling at our feet, but a weake and worth-
lesse satisfaction. To this adde defiance: and tell him for
conclusion, he hath betrayed his followers, whose con-
demnation is pronounc't: So farre my King and Master;
so much my Office.
What is thy name? I know thy qualitie.
Thou doo'st thy Office fairely. Turne thee back,
And tell thy King, I doe not seeke him now,
But could be willing to march on to Callice,
Without impeachment: for to say the sooth,
Though 'tis no wisdome to confesse so much
Vnto an enemie of Craft and Vantage,
My people are with sicknesse much enfeebled,
My numbers lessen'd: and those few I haue,
Almost no better then so many French;
Who when they were in health, I tell thee Herald,
I thought, vpon one payre of English Legges
Did march three Frenchmen. Yet forgiue me God,
That I doe bragge thus; this your ayre of France
Hath blowne that vice in me. I must repent:
Goe therefore tell thy Master, heere I am;
My Ransome, is this frayle and worthlesse Trunke;
My Army, but a weake and sickly Guard:
Yet God before, tell him we will come on,
Though France himselfe, and such another Neighbor
Stand in our way. There's for thy labour
Goe bid thy Master well aduise himselfe.
If we may passe, we will: if we be hindred,
We shall your tawnie ground with your red blood
Discolour: and so
Mountioy, fare you well.
The summe of all our Answer is but this:
We would not seeke a Battaile as we are,
Nor as we are, we say we will not shun it:
So tell your Master.
I shall deliuer so: Thankes to your High-
I hope they will not come vpon vs now.
We are in Gods hand, Brother, not in theirs:
March to the Bridge, it now drawes toward night,
Beyond the Riuer wee'le encampe our selues,
And on to morrow bid them march away.