Skip to comments.Today is Saint Crispins Day
Posted on 10/25/2010 4:54:12 PM PDT by Timocrat
Enter the KING
O that we now had here
But one ten thousand of those men in England
That do no work to-day!
What's he that wishes so?
My cousin Westmoreland? No, my fair cousin;
If we are mark'd to die, we are enow
To do our country loss; and if to live,
The fewer men, the greater share of honour.
God's will! I pray thee, wish not one man more.
By Jove, I am not covetous for gold,
Nor care I who doth feed upon my cost;
It yearns me not if men my garments wear;
Such outward things dwell not in my desires.
But if it be a sin to covet honour,
I am the most offending soul alive.
No, faith, my coz, wish not a man from England.
God's peace! I would not lose so great an honour
As one man more methinks would share from me
For the best hope I have. O, do not wish one more!
Rather proclaim it, Westmoreland, through my host,
That he which hath no stomach to this fight,
Let him depart; his passport shall be made,
And crowns for convoy put into his purse;
We would not die in that man's company
That fears his fellowship to die with us.
This day is call'd the feast of Crispian.
He that outlives this day, and comes safe home,
Will stand a tip-toe when this day is nam'd,
And rouse him at the name of Crispian.
He that shall live this day, and see old age,
Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbours,
And say 'To-morrow is Saint Crispian.'
Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars,
And say 'These wounds I had on Crispian's day.'
Old men forget; yet all shall be forgot,
But he'll remember, with advantages,
What feats he did that day. Then shall our names,
Familiar in his mouth as household words-
Harry the King, Bedford and Exeter,
Warwick and Talbot, Salisbury and Gloucester-
Be in their flowing cups freshly rememb'red.
This story shall the good man teach his son;
And Crispin Crispian shall ne'er go by,
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remembered-
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne'er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition;
And gentlemen in England now-a-bed
Shall think themselves accurs'd they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin's day.
Amen brother man, Amen.
Okay Frenchies in your silly kniggit armor.....come and charge our positions while are Welsh bowmen fill the sky with arrows!!!!
Yeah, you have to wonder what they were thinking.
They had never met the Welsh long bow before.
Shakespeare - Henry V - Act 4, Scene 3
[GLOUCESTER, BEDFORD, EXETER, ERPINGHAM, with his troops, SALISBURY, and WESTMORELAND enter.]
GLOUCESTER: Where is the king?
BEDFORD: The king rode out alone to view their troops.
WESTMORELAND: They have fully sixty thousand fighting men.
EXETER: Thats five to one. Besides, theyre fresh.
SALISBURY: May Gods arm strike on our side! These are frightening odds. God be with all of you, princes. Ill go and join my men. If we dont meet again before we meet in heaven, still well meet joyfully. My noble Lord of Bedford, my dear Lord Gloucester, and my good Lord Exeter, and my kind kinsmen, warriors all, adieu.
BEDFORD: Farewell, good Salisbury; and may good luck go with you.
EXETER: Farewell, kind lord. Fight valiantly today. But then I do you wrong to say as much, since you are the very embodiment of bravery.
BEDFORD: He is as full of courage as of kindness, princely in both.
[KING HENRY enters.]
WESTMORELAND: Oh, if only we had with us here ten thousand of those men back home in England who arent working today.
KING HENRY: Who wishes that? My cousin Westmoreland? No, my dear cousin. If we are slated to die, the fewer, the better for our country, and if were slated to live, the fewer men, the greater the share of honor for each of us. In Gods name, I beg you not to wish for one more man.
By God, I am not selfish when it comes to money - I dont care who eats at my expense. It doesnt bother me when people borrow my clothing - I dont care about these concrete things. But if it is a sin to be selfish about honor - I am the most guilty soul alive. No, my cousin, dont wish that even one man who is now in England were here instead. By God, I wouldnt lose as much honor as a single man more would cost me, I think - not even if it meant giving up my best hope for victory. Oh, do not wish one more!
Instead, make this known throughout the army: whoever has no spirit for this fight, let him depart. He will be given safe conduct and money for his passage home. We would not want to die in the company of a man who fears to die with us.
This day is called the Feast of Saint Crispian. He who lives to see this day out and comes home safe will stand tall when this day is named and raise himself up at the mention of Crispian. He who survives this day and lives to see old age shall yearly entertain his neighbors on the eve, saying, Tomorrow is Saint Crispins Day. Hell roll up his sleeve and show his scars, saying, I got these wounds on St. Crispins Day.
Old men forget. But these men will remember every detail of what they did today long after theyve forgotten everything else. And as the wine flows, our names, familiar as household words, will be invoked again: Harry the King, Bedford and Exeter, Warwick and Talbot, Salisbury and Gloucester. Good men will tell their sons this story and the Feast of St. Crispin will never go by, from this day to the end of time, without our being remembered: ...we few, we happy few, we band of brothers...for whoever sheds his blood with me today shall be my brother. However humble his birth, this day shall grant him nobility.
And men back in English now safe in their beds will curse themselves for not having been here, and think less of their own manhood when they listen to the stories of those who fought with us here on St. Crispins Day.
Not only was the Battle of Agincourt fought on St. Crispin’s Day but so was Balaklava and the Charge of the Light Brigade during the Crimean War but also the Battle of Leyte Gulf during WW 2.
Brannagh’s masterful rendition:
No coach giving a halftime speech ever came close to that. It is english at its absolute best
You bet, Brannagh’s version is my favorite.
I beg to differ, they were well acquainted with the "English Long Bow", most notably at Crécy (1346) when the English under the command of King Edward III and his son, the "Black Prince" Edward, defeated the French-led army of at least 3 times their number.
Henry V was King Edward's Great Grandson through John of Gaunt, brother of the "Black Prince". Shakespeare made reference to Crécy in the speech that the French King made to his nobles, reminding them of their disastrous loss then.
Quite right, I got French defeats mixed up. At Agincourt it was the muddy fields that slowed the French.
Greatest speech ever.
If the french hadn't figured things out after Crecy and Poitiers they were never going to.
Sending in their infantry around the English left might have helped a little bit. I guess they thought having them mill around in the rear was a better plan though.
TMT (Too Much Testosterone) It's caused a lot of problems over the years.
French army commanded by a Frenchman. What would you expect?
You probably already know this, but the English two-fingered salute (kind of equivalent to our middle-finger salute) goes back to those days when the french would cut off the bow fingers of any English bowmen they happened to capture.
Kniggit armor? Is that because the Frogs croak "Kniggit, kniggit"?
Thanks so much for posting that. It is one of my all time favorites. Good pep talk for election day.
Pronounce knight phonetically.
I didn’t. I did know an archer who shot with middle and ring fingers. His right index finger had been amputated. I don’t think you could swing it with your pinkie and ring finger and I would sure hate getting caught by the French again if you could. I doubt if the French would let you off as lightly a second time.
By which set of rules? One set I know from the British Isles results in something like "k[uh]-Neeh[kh]t." (The [kh] sound here simply doesn't exist in English.)