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Home » Quotes » Henry V » On, on, on, on, on!

On, on, on, on, on!

On, on, on, on, on! To the breach, to the breach!
Pray thee, corporal, stay. The knocks are too hot,
and, for mine own part, I have not a case of lives.
The humor of it is too hot; that is the very plainsong
of it.

Would I were in an alehouse in London! I would
give all my fame for a pot of ale, and safety.

“The plainsong” is most just, for humors do abound.
Knocks go and come. God’s vassals drop and die,  Sings

And sword and shield,
In bloody field,
Doth win immortal fame.

Would I were in an alehouse in London! I would
give all my fame for a pot of ale, and safety.
And I.  Sings

If wishes would prevail with me,
My purpose should not fail with me,
But thither would I hie.

Boy sings

As duly,
But not as truly,
As bird doth sing on bough.

 Enter Fluellen.
Up to the breach, you dogs! Avaunt, you cullions!
Be merciful, great duke, to men of mold. Abate
thy rage, abate thy manly rage, abate thy rage, great
duke. Good bawcock, ’bate thy rage. Use lenity,
sweet chuck.
Nym, to Fluellen
These be good humors. Your Honor
wins bad humors.
 All but the Boy exit.
As young as I am, I have observed these three
swashers. I am boy to them all three, but all they
three, though they would serve me, could not be
man to me. For indeed three such antics do not
amount to a man: for Bardolph, he is white-livered
and red-faced, by the means whereof he faces it out
but fights not; for Pistol, he hath a killing tongue
and a quiet sword, by the means whereof he breaks
words and keeps whole weapons; for Nym, he hath
heard that men of few words are the best men, and
therefore he scorns to say his prayers, lest he should
be thought a coward, but his few bad words are
matched with as few good deeds, for he never broke
any man’s head but his own, and that was against a
post when he was drunk. They will steal anything
and call it purchase. Bardolph stole a lute case, bore
it twelve leagues, and sold it for three halfpence.
Nym and Bardolph are sworn brothers in filching,
and in Calais they stole a fire shovel. I knew by that
piece of service the men would carry coals. They
would have me as familiar with men’s pockets as
their gloves or their handkerchers, which makes
much against my manhood, if I should take from
another’s pocket to put into mine, for it is plain
pocketing up of wrongs. I must leave them and seek
some better service. Their villainy goes against my
weak stomach, and therefore I must cast it up.
 He exits.

Act 3
Scene 2
Line 1

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