SCENE VI. The English camp in Picardy.
[Enter Gower and Fluellen, meeting.]
How now, Captain Fluellen! come you from the bridge?
I assure you, there is very excellent services committed at the
Is the Duke of Exeter safe?
The Duke of Exeter is as magnanimous as Agamemnon; and a
man that I love and honour with my soul, and my heart, and my
duty, and my live, and my living, and my uttermost power. He
is not — God be praised and blessed! — any hurt in the world; but
keeps the bridge most valiantly, with excellent discipline. There
is an aunchient lieutenant there at the pridge, I think in my
very conscience he is as valiant a man as Mark Antony; and he is
a man of no estimation in the world, but I did see him do as
What do you call him?
He is call'd Aunchient Pistol.
I know him not.
Here is the man.
Captain, I thee beseech to do me favours.
The Duke of Exeter doth love thee well.
Ay, I praise God; and I have merited some love at his hands.
Bardolph, a soldier, firm and sound of heart,
And of buxom valour, hath by cruel fate
And giddy Fortune's furious fickle wheel,
That goddess blind,
That stands upon the rolling restless stone —
By your patience, Aunchient Pistol. Fortune is painted
blind, with a muffler afore his eyes, to signify to you that
Fortune is blind; and she is painted also with a wheel, to
signify to you, which is the moral of it, that she is turning,
and inconstant, and mutability, and variation; and her foot,
look you, is fixed upon a spherical stone, which rolls, and
rolls, and rolls. In good truth, the poet makes a most excellent
description of it. Fortune is an excellent moral.
Fortune is Bardolph's foe, and frowns on him;
For he hath stolen a pax, and hanged must 'a be, —
A damned death!
Let gallows gape for dog; let man go free,
And let not hemp his windpipe suffocate.
But Exeter hath given the doom of death
For pax of little price.
Therefore, go speak; the Duke will hear thy voice;
And let not Bardolph's vital thread be cut
With edge of penny cord and vile reproach.
Speak, captain, for his life, and I will thee requite.
Aunchient Pistol, I do partly understand your meaning.
Why then, rejoice therefore.
Certainly, aunchient, it is not a thing to rejoice at; for if,
look you, he were my brother, I would desire the Duke
to use his good pleasure, and put him to execution; for
discipline ought to be used.
Die and be damn'd! and figo for thy friendship!
It is well.
The fig of Spain.
Why, this is an arrant counterfeit rascal. I remember
him now; a bawd, a cutpurse.
I'll assure you, 'a uttered as prave words at the pridge as you
shall see in a summer's day. But it is very well; what he has
spoke to me, that is well, I warrant you, when time is serve.
Why, 't is a gull, a fool, a rogue, that now and then goes to
the wars, to grace himself at his return into London under the
form of a soldier. And such fellows are perfect in the great
commanders' names; and they will learn you by rote where services
were done; at such and such a sconce, at such a breach, at such a
convoy; who came off bravely, who was shot, who disgrac'd, what
terms the enemy stood on; and this they con perfectly in the
phrase of war, which they trick up with new-tuned oaths: and what
a beard of the general's cut and a horrid suit of the camp will
do among foaming bottles and ale-wash'd wits, is wonderful to be
thought on. But you must learn to know such slanders of the age,
or else you may be marvellously mistook.
I tell you what, Captain Gower; I do perceive he is not the man
that he would gladly make show to the world he is. If I find a
hole in his coat, I will tell him my mind. [Drum heard.] Hark
you, the King is coming, and I must speak with him from the pridge.
[Drum and colours. Enter King Henry, [Gloucester,] and his poor
God bless your Majesty!
How now, Fluellen! cam'st thou from the bridge?