6. SCENE VI. The English camp in Picardy.
My master's mind.
Thus says my King: Say thou to Harry of England: Though we
seem'd dead, we did but sleep; advantage is a better soldier
than rashness. Tell him we could have rebuk'd him at Harfleur,
but that we thought not good to bruise an injury till it were
full ripe. Now we speak upon our cue, and our voice is imperial.
England shall repent his folly, see his weakness, and admire our
sufferance. Bid him therefore consider of his ransom; which must
proportion the losses we have borne, the subjects we have lost,
the disgrace we have digested; which in weight to re-answer, his
pettishness would bow under. For our losses, his exchequer is too
poor; for the effusion of our blood, the muster of his kingdom
too faint a number; and for our disgrace, his own person, kneeling
at our feet, but a weak and worthless satisfaction. To this add
defiance; and tell him, for conclusion, he hath betrayed his
followers, whose condemnation is pronounc'd. So far my King and
master; so much my office.
What is thy name? I know thy quality.
Thou dost thy office fairly. Turn thee back,
And tell thy King I do not seek him now,
But could be willing to march on to Calais
Without impeachment; for, to say the sooth,
Though 'tis no wisdom to confess so much
Unto an enemy of craft and vantage,
My people are with sickness much enfeebled,
My numbers lessen'd, and those few I have
Almost no better than so many French;
Who when they were in health, I tell thee, herald,
I thought upon one pair of English legs
Did march three Frenchmen. Yet, forgive me, God,
That I do brag thus! This your air of France
Hath blown that vice in me. I must repent.
Go therefore, tell thy master here I am;
My ransom is this frail and worthless trunk,
My army but a weak and sickly guard;
Yet, God before, tell him we will come on,
Though France himself and such another neighbour
Stand in our way. There's for thy labour, Montjoy.
Go, bid thy master well advise himself.
If we may pass, we will; if we be hind'red,
We shall your tawny ground with your red blood
Discolour; and so, Montjoy, fare you well.
The sum of all our answer is but this:
We would not seek a battle, as we are;
Nor, as we are, we say we will not shun it.
So tell your master.