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Each battle sees the other's umber'd* face:
Steed threatens steed, in high and boastful neighs
Piercing the night's dull ear; and from the tents,
The armourers, accomplishing the knights,
With busy hammers closing rivets up,
Give dreadful note of preparation.

The country cocks do crow, the clocks do toll,
And the third hour of drowsy morning name.
Proud of their numbers, and secure in soul,
The confident and over-lusty † French
Do the low-rated English play at dice;
And chide the cripple tardy-gaited night
Who, like a foul and ugly witch, doth limp
So tediously away. The poor condemned English,
Like sacrifices, by their watchful fires

Sit patiently, and inly ruminate

The morning's danger; and their gesture sad,
Investing lank-lean cheeks, and war-worn coats,
Presenteth them unto the gazing moon

So many horrid ghosts.

O, now, who will behold

The royal captain of this ruin'd band,

Walking from watch to watch, from tent to tent,

Let him cry-Praise and glory on his head!

For forth he goes, and visits all his host;
Bids them good-morrow, with a modest smile;
And calls them-brothers, friends, and countrymen.

Upon his royal face there is no note,

How dread an army hath enrounded him ;
Nor doth he dedicate one jot of colour
Unto the weary and all-watched night:
But freshly looks, and overbears attaint,
With cheerful semblance, and sweet majesty;
That every wretch, pining and pale before,
*Discoloured by the gleam of the fires.

† Over-saucy.

Beholding him, plucks comfort from his looks:
A largess universal, like the sun,

His liberal eye doth give to every one,
Thawing cold fear.

Scene on the Field of Agincourt between the King in Disguise, and Bates, Court, and Williams.

COURT. Brother John Bates, is not that the morning which breaks yonder?

BATES. I think it be: but we have no great cause to desire the approach of day.

WILLIAMS. We see yonder the beginning of the day, but, I think, we shall never see the end of it. goes there?

KING. A friend.

WILLIAMS. Under what captain serve you?
KING. Under Sir Thomas Erpingham.


WILLIAMS. A good old commander, and a most kind gentleman; I pray you, what thinks he of our estate?

KING. Even as men wrecked upon a sand, that look to be washed off the next tide.


BATES. He hath not told his thought to the king. KING. No; nor it is not meet he should. For though I speak it to you, I think the king is but a man, as I am; the violet smells to him as it doth to me; the element shows to him as it doth to me; all his senses have but human conditions: his ceremonies laid by, in his nakedness he appears but a man; and though his affections are higher mounted than ours, yet, when they stoop, they stoop with the like wing; therefore, when he sees reason of fears, as we do, his fears, out of doubt, be of the * Qualities.

same relish as ours are: Yet in reason, no man should possess him with any appearance of fear, lest he, by showing it, should dishearten his army.

BATES. He may show what outward courage he will : but, I believe, as cold a night as 'tis, he could wish himself in the Thames up to the neck; and so I would he were, and I by him, at all adventures, so we were quit here.

KING. By my troth, I will speak my conscience of the king; I think, he would not wish himself anywhere but where he is.

BATES. Then I would he were here alone; so should he be sure to be ransomed, and a many poor men's lives saved.

KING. I dare say, you love him not so ill, to wish him here alone; howsoever you speak this, to feel other men's minds; methinks, I could not die any where so contented, as in the king's company; his cause being just, and his quarrel honourable.

WILLIAMS. That's more than we know.

BATES. Ay, or more than we should seek after; for we know enough, if we know we are the king's subjects ; if his cause be wrong, our obedience to the king wipes the crime of it out of us.

WILLIAMS. But if the cause be not good, the king himself hath a heavy reckoning to make; when all those legs, and arms, and heads, chopped off in a battle, shall join together at the latter day,* and cry all—We died at such a place; some, swearing; some, crying for a surgeon; some, upon their wives left poor behind them; some, upon the debts they owe; some, upon their children rawly† left. I am afeard there are few die well, that die in battle; for how can they charitably + Suddenly.

* The last day, the day of judgment.

dispose of any thing, when blood is their argument? Now if these men do not die well, it will be a black matter for the king that led them to it; whom to disobey, were against all proportion of subjection.

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KING. So, if a son, that is by his father sent about merchandise, do sinfully miscarry upon the sea, the imputation of his wickedness, by your rule should be imposed upon his father that sent him: or if a servant under his master's command, transporting a sum of money, be assailed by robbers, and die in many irreconciled iniquities, you may call the business of the master the author of the servant's damnation. But this is not so: the king is not bound to answer the particular endings of his soldiers, the father of his son, nor the master of his servant; for they purpose not their death, when they purpose their services. Besides, there is no king, be his cause never so spotless, if it come to the arbitrement of swords, can try it out with all unspotted soldiers. Some, peradventure, have on them the guilt of premeditated and contrived murder: some, making the wars their bulwark, that have before gored the gentle bosom of peace with pillage and robbery. Now, if these men have defeated the law, and outrun native punishment,* though they can outstrip men, they have no wings to fly from God: war is his beadle, war is his vengeance; so that here men are punished, for beforebreach of the king's laws, in now the king's quarrel; where they feared the death, they have born life away; and where they would be safe, they perish: then if they die unprovided, no more is the king guilty of their damnation, than he was before guilty of those impieties for the which they are now visited. Every subject's duty

* That is, punishment in their native country.

is the king's; but every subject's soul is his own. Therefore should every soldier in the wars do as every sick man in his bed, wash every mote out of his conscience: and dying so, death is to him advantage; or not dying, the time was blessedly lost, wherein such preparation was gained; and, in him that escapes, it were not sin to think, that making God so free an offer, He let him outlive that day to see his greatness, and to teach others how they should prepare.

WILLIAMS. 'Tis certain, every man that dies ill, the ill is upon his own head, the king is not to answer for it.

The Miseries of Royalty.

O hard condition! twin born with greatness, Subjected to the breath of every fool,

Whose sense no more can feel but his own wringing! What infinite heart's ease must kings neglect,

That private men enjoy!

And what have kings, that privates have not too,
Save ceremony, save general ceremony?

And what art thou, thou idol ceremony?

What kind of God art thou, that suff'rest more
Of mortal griefs, than do thy worshippers?
What are thy rents? what are thy comings in?
O ceremony, show me but thy worth;
What is thy soul of adoration?*

Art thou aught else but place, degree, and form,
Creating awe and fear in other men ?

Wherein thou art less happy being fear'd

Than they in fearing.

What drink'st thou oft, instead of homage sweet,

What is the real worth and intrinsic value of adoration?

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