Henry V By William Shakespeare Act III: Scene 6

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
gallant service.

What do you call him?

He is call'd Aunchient Pistol.

I know him not.

[Enter Pistol.]

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.


Very good.

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?

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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."