Henry V By William Shakespeare Act III: Scene 7

SCENE VII. The French camp, near Agincourt.

[Enter the Constable of France, the Lord Rambures,
Orleans, Dauphin, with others.]

CONSTABLE.
Tut! I have the best armour of the world.
Would it were day!

ORLEANS.
You have an excellent armour; but let my horse have his due.

CONSTABLE.
It is the best horse of Europe.

ORLEANS.
Will it never be morning?

DAUPHIN.
My Lord of Orleans, and my Lord High Constable, you talk of
horse and armour?

ORLEANS.
You are as well provided of both as any prince in the world.

DAUPHIN.
What a long night is this! I will not change my horse with
any that treads but on four pasterns. Ca, ha! he bounds from the
earth, as if his entrails were hairs; le cheval volant, the
Pegasus, chez les narines de feu! When I bestride him, I soar, I
am a hawk. he trots the air; the earth sings when he touches it;
the basest horn of his hoof is more musical than the pipe of Hermes.

ORLEANS.
He's of the colour of the nutmeg.

DAUPHIN.
And of the heat of the ginger. It is a beast for Perseus. He is
pure air and fire; and the dull elements of earth and water never
appear in him, but only in patient stillness while his rider mounts
him. He is indeed a horse, and all other jades you may call beasts.

CONSTABLE.
Indeed, my lord, it is a most absolute and excellent horse.

DAUPHIN.
It is the prince of palfreys; his neigh is like the bidding of a
monarch, and his countenance enforces homage.

ORLEANS.
No more, cousin.

DAUPHIN.
Nay, the man hath no wit that cannot, from the rising of the
lark to the lodging of the lamb, vary deserved praise on my
palfrey. It is a theme as fluent as the sea; turn the sands into
eloquent tongues, and my horse is argument for them all. 'Tis
a subject for a sovereign to reason on, and for a sovereign's
sovereign to ride on; and for the world, familiar to us and
unknown, to lay apart their particular functions and wonder at
him. I once writ a sonnet in his praise and began thus: "Wonder
of nature," —

ORLEANS.
I have heard a sonnet begin so to one's mistress.

DAUPHIN.
Then did they imitate that which I compos'd to my courser,
for my horse is my mistress.

ORLEANS.
Your mistress bears well.

DAUPHIN.
Me well; which is the prescript praise and perfection of a
good and particular mistress.

CONSTABLE.
Nay, for methought yesterday your mistress shrewdly shook
your back.

DAUPHIN.
So perhaps did yours.

CONSTABLE.
Mine was not bridled.

DAUPHIN.
O then belike she was old and gentle; and you rode, like a
kern of Ireland, your French hose off, and in your strait
strossers.

CONSTABLE.
You have good judgment in horsemanship.

DAUPHIN.
Be warn'd by me, then; they that ride so and ride not warily,
fall into foul bogs. I had rather have my horse to my mistress.

CONSTABLE.
I had as lief have my mistress a jade.

DAUPHIN.
I tell thee, Constable, my mistress wears his own hair.

CONSTABLE.
I could make as true a boast as that, if I had a sow to
my mistress.

DAUPHIN.
"Le chien est retourne a son propre vomissement, et la
truie lavee au bourbier." Thou mak'st use of anything.

CONSTABLE.
Yet do I not use my horse for my mistress, or any such
proverb so little kin to the purpose.

RAMBURES.
My Lord Constable, the armour that I saw in your tent
to-night, are those stars or suns upon it?

CONSTABLE.
Stars, my lord.

DAUPHIN.
Some of them will fall to-morrow, I hope.

CONSTABLE.
And yet my sky shall not want.

DAUPHIN.
That may be, for you bear a many superfluously, and 'twere
more honour some were away.

CONSTABLE.
Even as your horse bears your praises; who would trot as
well, were some of your brags dismounted.

DAUPHIN.
Would I were able to load him with his desert! Will it never
be day? I will trot to-morrow a mile, and my way shall be
paved with English faces.

CONSTABLE.
I will not say so, for fear I should be fac'd out of my way.
But I would it were morning; for I would fain be about
the ears of the English.

RAMBURES.
Who will go to hazard with me for twenty prisoners?

CONSTABLE.
You must first go yourself to hazard, ere you have them.

DAUPHIN.
'Tis midnight; I'll go arm myself.

[Exit.]

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About what action does Henry say the following? "I will weep for thee; / For this revolt of thine, methinks, is like / Another fall of man."




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