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Henry V :: Scenes :: Henry V: Act IV, Scene 4

Scene 4

The field of battle.

(Pistol; French Soldier; Boy)

A French soldier captured by Pistol begs for his life, though Pistol’s poor command of French leaves the situation perilous. Luckily the Boy can interpret, and the Frenchman offers an acceptable ransom. Left alone, the Boy comments on Pistol’s cowardice and bravado. ( line)

Alarum. Excursions. Enter Pistol, French Soldier, Boy.

PIST.

Yield, cur!

FR. SOLD.

Je pense que vous êtes le gentilhomme de bonne qualité.

PIST.

Qualtitie! Calen o custure me! Art thou a gentleman? What is thy name? Discuss.

FR. SOLD.

O Seigneur Dieu!

PIST.

O Signieur Dew should be a gentleman.

Perpend my words, O Signieur Dew, and mark:

O Signieur Dew, thou diest on point of fox,

Except, O signieur, thou do give to me

Egregious ransom.

FR. SOLD.

O, prenez miséricorde! Ayez pitié de moi!

PIST.

Moy shall not serve, I will have forty moys,

Or I will fetch thy rim out at thy throat

In drops of crimson blood.

FR. SOLD.

Est-il impossible d’échapper la force de ton bras?

PIST.

Brass, cur?

Thou damned and luxurious mountain goat,

Offer’st me brass?

FR. SOLD.

O, pardonnez moi!

PIST.

Say’st thou me so? Is that a ton of moys?

Come hither, boy, ask me this slave in French

What is his name.

BOY.

Écoutez: comment êtes-vous appelé?

FR. SOLD.

Monsieur le Fer.

BOY.

He says his name is Master Fer.

PIST.

Master Fer! I’ll fer him, and firk him, and ferret him. Discuss the same in French unto him.

BOY.

I do not know the French for fer, and ferret, and firk.

PIST.

Bid him prepare, for I will cut his throat.

FR. SOLD.

Que dit-il, monsieur?

BOY.

Il me commande à vous dire que vous faites vous prêt; car ce soldat ici est disposé tout à cette heure de couper votre gorge.

PIST.

Owy, cuppele gorge, permafoy,

Peasant, unless thou give me crowns, brave crowns;

Or mangled shalt thou be by this my sword.

FR. SOLD.

O, je vous supplie, pour l’amour de Dieu, me pardonner! Je suis le gentilhomme de bonne maison; gardez ma vie, et je vous donnerai deux cents écus.

PIST.

What are his words?

BOY.

He prays you to save his life. He is a gentleman of a good house, and for his ransom he will give you two hundred crowns.

PIST.

Tell him my fury shall abate, and I

The crowns will take.

FR. SOLD.

Petit monsieur, quo dit-il?

BOY.

Encore qu’il est contre son jurement de pardonner aucun prisonnier; néanmoins, pour les écus que vous lui promettez, il est content à vous donner la liberté, le franchisement.

FR. SOLD.

Sur mes genoux je vous donne mille remercîments; et je m’estime heureux que je tombe entre les mains d’un chevalier, je pense, le plus brave, vaillant, et très distingué seigneur d’Angleterre.

PIST.

Expound unto me, boy.

BOY.

He gives you, upon his knees, a thousand thanks, and he esteems himself happy that he hath fall’n into the hands of one (as he thinks) the most brave, valorous, and thrice-worthy seigneur of England.

PIST.

As I suck blood, I will some mercy show. Follow me!

BOY.

Suivez-vous le grand capitaine.

Exeunt Pistol and French Soldier.

I did never know so full a voice issue from so empty a heart; but the saying is true, “The empty vessel makes the greatest sound.” Bardolph and Nym had ten times more valor than this roaring devil i’ th’ old play, that every one may pare his nails with a wooden dagger, and they are both hang’d, and so would this be, if he durst steal any thing adventurously. I must stay with the lackeys with the luggage of our camp. The French might have a good prey of us, if he knew of it, for there is none to guard it but boys.

Exit.

 
 
 
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