Henry V

Act I
Act II
Act IV
Act V

Flourish. Enter Chorus


Vouchsafe to those that have not read the story

That I may prompt them; and of such as have,

I humbly pray them to admit th' excuse

Of time, of numbers, and due course of things,
course (n.) 1 course of action, way of proceeding See Topics: Frequency count

Which cannot in their huge and proper life

Be here presented. Now we bear the King

Toward Calais. Grant him there: there seen,

Heave him away upon your winged thoughts

Athwart the sea. Behold, the English beach

Pales in the flood with men, with wives, and boys,
pale in (v.) fence in, hem in, enclose
wife (n.) woman

Whose shouts and claps outvoice the deep-mouthed sea,

Which like a mighty whiffler fore the King
whiffler (n.) armed processional attendant

Seems to prepare his way. So let him land,

And solemnly see him set on to London.
set on (v.) 2 go forward, advance, proceed
solemnly (adv.) ceremoniously, with ritual celebration

So swift a pace hath thought that even now

You may imagine him upon Blackheath,

Where that his lords desire him to have borne

His bruised helmet and his bended sword

Before him through the city. He forbids it,

Being free from vainness and self-glorious pride,
vainness (n.) boasting, ostentation, vanity

Giving full trophy, signal, and ostent
ostent (n.) display, show, manifestation
signal (n.) sign, indication, token
trophy (n.) 1 token of victory, evidence of valour

Quite from himself to God. But now behold,

In the quick forge and working-house of thought,
working-house (n.) workhouse, place of industry

How London doth pour out her citizens:

The Mayor and all his brethren in best sort,
sort (n.) 1 class, level, social rank

Like to the senators of th' antique Rome,
antic, antick(e), antique (adj.) 2 ancient, olden, former
like to / unto (conj./prep.) similar to, comparable with

With the plebeians swarming at their heels,

Go forth and fetch their conquering Caesar in:

As, by a lower but loving likelihood,

Were now the General of our gracious Empress –

As in good time he may – from Ireland coming,

Bringing rebellion broached on his sword,
broach (v.) 4 pierce, impale, spit

How many would the peaceful city quit

To welcome him! Much more, and much more cause,

Did they this Harry. Now in London place him –

As yet the lamentation of the French

Invites the King of England's stay at home.

The Emperor's coming in behalf of France

To order peace between them; and omit

All the occurrences, whatever chanced,

Till Harry's back-return again to France.

There must we bring him; and myself have played

The interim, by remembering you 'tis past.
remember (v.) 1 remind, bring to someone's mind

Then brook abridgement, and your eyes advance,
abridgement (n.) 2 curtailment, cutting off, shortening
advance (v.) 1 raise, lift up, upraise
brook (v.) 2 allow, permit, bear

After your thoughts, straight back again to France.
straight (adv.) straightaway, immediately, at once See Topics: Frequency count


  Previous scene     Next scene