Actus Tertius.

Chorus.

Now entertaine coniecture of a time, When creeping Murmure and the poring Darke Fills the wide Vessell of the Vniuerse. From Camp to Camp, through the foule Womb of Night The Humme of eyther Army stilly sounds; That the fixt Centinels almost receiue The secret Whispers of each others Watch. Fire answers fire, and through their paly flames Each Battaile sees the others vmber'd face. Steed threatens Steed, in high and boastfull Neighs Piercing the Nights dull Eare: and from the Tents, The Armourers accomplishing the Knights, With busie Hammers closing Riuets vp, Giue dreadfull note of preparation. The Countrey Cocks doe crow, the Clocks doe towle: And the third howre of drowsie Morning nam'd, Prowd of their Numbers, and secure in Soule, The confident and ouer-lustie French, Doe the low-rated English play at Dice; And chide the creeple-tardy-gated Night, Who like a foule and ougly Witch doth limpe So tediously away. The poore condemned English, Like Sacrifices, by their watchfull Fires Sit patiently, and inly ruminate The Mornings danger: and their gesture sad, Inuesting lanke-leane Cheekes, and Warre-worne Coats, Presented them vnto the gazing Moone So many horride Ghosts. O now, who will behold The Royall Captaine of this ruin'd Band Walking from Watch to Watch, from Tent to Tent; Let him cry, Prayse and Glory on his head: For forth he goes, and visits all his Hoast, Bids them good morrow with a modest Smyle, And calls them Brothers, Friends, and Countreymen. Vpon his Royall Face there is no note, How dread an Army hath enrounded him; Nor doth he dedicate one iot of Colour Vnto the wearie and all-watched Night: But freshly lookes, and ouer-beares Attaint, With chearefull semblance, and sweet Maiestie: That euery Wretch, pining and pale before, Beholding him, plucks comfort from his Lookes. A Largesse vniuersall, like the Sunne, His liberall Eye doth giue to euery one, Thawing cold feare, that meane and gentle all Behold, as may vnworthinesse define. A little touch of Harry in the Night, And so our Scene must to the Battaile flye: Where, O for pitty, we shall much disgrace, With foure or fiue most vile and ragged foyles, (Right ill dispos'd, in brawle ridiculous) The Name of Agincourt: Yet sit and see, Minding true things, by what their Mock'ries bee. Enter.

Enter the King, Bedford, and Gloucester.

King. Gloster, 'tis true that we are in great danger, The greater therefore should our Courage be. God morrow Brother Bedford: God Almightie, There is some soule of goodnesse in things euill, Would men obseruingly distill it out. For our bad Neighbour makes vs early stirrers, Which is both healthfull, and good husbandry. Besides, they are our outward Consciences, And Preachers to vs all; admonishing, That we should dresse vs fairely for our end. Thus may we gather Honey from the Weed, And make a Morall of the Diuell himselfe. Enter Erpingham.

Good morrow old Sir Thomas Erpingham: A good soft Pillow for that good white Head, Were better then a churlish turfe of France

Erping. Not so my Liege, this Lodging likes me better, Since I may say, now lye I like a King

King. 'Tis good for men to loue their present paines, Vpon example, so the Spirit is eased: And when the Mind is quickned, out of doubt The Organs, though defunct and dead before, Breake vp their drowsie Graue, and newly moue With casted slough, and fresh legeritie. Lend me thy Cloake Sir Thomas: Brothers both, Commend me to the Princes in our Campe; Doe my good morrow to them, and anon Desire them all to my Pauillion

The Life of Henry the Fift Page 24

William Shakespeare Plays

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