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To Mark the 600th Anniversary Of The Battle of Agincourt... October 25, 2015 12:00 AM | Tagged as Battle of Agincourt, great speeches, Henry V, Shakespeare Jewelry, William Shakespeare

Today, October 25, marks the 600th anniversay of the Battle of Agincourt.  Here is the scene in which Henry gives, I think, one of the greatest speeches ever written or given.  It gives me chills everytime I hear it or read it.  

SCENE III. The English camp.

Enter GLOUCESTER, BEDFORD, EXETER, ERPINGHAM, with all his host: SALISBURY and WESTMORELAND

GLOUCESTER

Where is the king?

BEDFORD

The king himself is rode to view their battle.

WESTMORELAND

Of fighting men they have full three score thousand.

EXETER

There's five to one; besides, they all are fresh.

… Enter the KING

WESTMORELAND

O that we now had here
But one ten thousand of those men in England
That do no work to-day!

KING HENRY V

What's he that wishes so?
My cousin Westmoreland? No, my fair cousin:
If we are mark'd to die, we are enow
To do our country loss; and if to live,
The fewer men, the greater share of honour.
God's will! I pray thee, wish not one man more.
By Jove, I am not covetous for gold,
Nor care I who doth feed upon my cost;
It yearns me not if men my garments wear;
Such outward things dwell not in my desires:
But if it be a sin to covet honour,
I am the most offending soul alive.
No, faith, my coz, wish not a man from England:
God's peace! I would not lose so great an honour
As one man more, methinks, would share from me
For the best hope I have. O, do not wish one more!
Rather proclaim it, Westmoreland, through my host,
That he which hath no stomach to this fight,
Let him depart; his passport shall be made
And crowns for convoy put into his purse:
We would not die in that man's company
That fears his fellowship to die with us.
This day is called the feast of Crispian:
He that outlives this day, and comes safe home,
Will stand a tip-toe when the day is named,
And rouse him at the name of Crispian.
He that shall live this day, and see old age,
Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbours,
And say 'To-morrow is Saint Crispian:'
Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars.
And say 'These wounds I had on Crispin's day.'
Old men forget: yet all shall be forgot,
But he'll remember with advantages
What feats he did that day: then shall our names.
Familiar in his mouth as household words
Harry the king, Bedford and Exeter,
Warwick and Talbot, Salisbury and Gloucester,
Be in their flowing cups freshly remember'd.
This story shall the good man teach his son;
And Crispin Crispian shall ne'er go by,
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remember'd;
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne'er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition:
And gentlemen in England now a-bed
Shall think themselves accursed they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin's day.

Re-enter SALISBURY

SALISBURY

My sovereign lord, bestow yourself with speed:
The French are bravely in their battles set,
And will with all expedience charge on us.

KING HENRY V

All things are ready, if our minds be so.

WESTMORELAND

Perish the man whose mind is backward now!

KING HENRY V

Thou dost not wish more help from England, coz?

WESTMORELAND

God's will! my liege, would you and I alone,
Without more help, could fight this royal battle!

KING HENRY V

Why, now thou hast unwish'd five thousand men;
Which likes me better than to wish us one.
You know your places: God be with you all!

(Act 4 scene 3)


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