Henry V


Text
Act I
Act II
Act III
Act IV
Act V

Alarum. Enter the King, Exeter, Bedford, Gloucester,

other lords, and soldiers, with scaling-ladders


KING HENRY

Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more,

Or close the wall up with our English dead!

In peace there's nothing so becomes a man

As modest stillness and humility:
become (v.) 2 grace, honour, dignify See Topics: Frequency count

But when the blast of war blows in our ears,

Then imitate the action of the tiger;
action (n.) 8 movement, demeanour, gesture

Stiffen the sinews, conjure up the blood,
sinew (n.) 2 nerve

Disguise fair nature with hard-favoured rage;
hard-favoured (adj.) ugly, unattractive, unsightly, hideous

Then lend the eye a terrible aspect;
aspect (n.) 3 gaze, look

Let it pry through the portage of the head
portage (n.) 1 portholes, openings

Like the brass cannon; let the brow o'erwhelm it
brow (n.) 3 eyebrow

As fearfully as doth a galled rock
galled (adj.) 2 fretted, chafed, battered

O'erhang and jutty his confounded base,
confounded (adj.) destroyed, ruined, wrecked
jutty (v.) jut out over, project over

Swilled with the wild and wasteful ocean.
swill (v.) 2 wash, bathe, drench
wasteful (adj.) 1 destructive, devastating, ruinous

Now set the teeth, and stretch the nostril wide,
stretch (v.) 3 open wide, extend

Hold hard the breath, and bend up every spirit
bend up (v.) exert, strain, wind up

To his full height! On, on, you noblest English,

Whose blood is fet from fathers of war-proof! –
fet (v.) 2 derive, draw
war-proof (n.) valour tested in war

Fathers that, like so many Alexanders,

Have in these parts from morn till even fought,
even (n.) 1 evening See Topics: Greetings
morn (n.) morning, dawn See Topics: Frequency count

And sheathed their swords for lack of argument.
argument (n.) 5 quarrel, dispute, point of contention

Dishonour not your mothers; now attest

That those whom you called fathers did beget you!
beget (v.), past form begot 1 give birth to, father, conceive

Be copy now to men of grosser blood,
copy (n.) 1 example, model, pattern
gross (adj.) 6 bad, inferior, poor

And teach them how to war. And you, good yeomen,
war (v.) make war, fight, do battle
yeoman (n.) 1 man who owns property but is not a gentleman; land-holding farmer

Whose limbs were made in England, show us here

The mettle of your pasture; let us swear
mettle, mettell (n.) 2 spirit, vigour, zest
pasture (n.) nurture, rearing, upbringing

That you are worth your breeding – which I doubt not;

For there is none of you so mean and base
base (adj.) 2 low-born, lowly, plebeian, of lower rank See Topics: Frequency count
mean (adj.) 1 of low rank, inferior in position, less important

That hath not noble lustre in your eyes.

I see you stand like greyhounds in the slips,
slip (n.) 2 leash, lead, tether

Straining upon the start. The game's afoot!

Follow your spirit, and upon this charge

Cry ‘ God for Harry, England, and Saint George!’

Exeunt. Alarum, and chambers go off

 
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