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majesties is remembered of it, the Welshmen did good service in a garden where leeks did grow, wearing leeks in their Monmouth caps; which, your majesty know, to this hour is an honourable badge of the service; and I do believe your majesty takes no scorn to wear the leek upon Saint Tavy's day.

K. Hen. I wear it for a memorable honour; For I am Welsh, you know, good countryman.

Flu. All the water in Wye cannot wash your majesty's Welsh plood out of your pody, I can tell you that God pless it and preserve it, as long as it pleases his grace, and his majesty too!

K. Hen. Thanks, good my countryman.

Flu. By Jeshu, I am your majesty's countryman, I care not who know it; I will confess it to all the 'orld: I need not to be ashamed of your majesty, praised be God, so long as your majesty is an honest man.

K. Hen. God keep me so! Our heralds go

with him:

Bring me just notice of the numbers dead

On both our parts.

Call yonder fellow hither.
[Points to Williams. Exeunt Heralds
with Montjoy.

Exe. Soldier, you must come to the king.
K. Hen. Soldier, why wearest thou that glove
in thy cap?

Will. An't please your majesty, 'tis the gage of one that I should fight withal, if he be alive. K. Hen. An Englishman?

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Will. An't please your majesty, a rascal that 130

104. Monmouth caps. According to Fuller' the best caps were made at Monmouth,' and they continued to be called Monmouth caps even when the

manufacture was, shortly before he wrote, moved into Worcestershire. They were specially worn by soldiers.

[graphic]

swaggered with me last night; who, if alive and ever dare to challenge this glove, I have sworn to take him a box o' th' ear: or if I can see my glove in his cap, which he swore, as he was a soldier, he would wear if alive, I will strike it out soundly.

K. Hen. What think you, Captain Fluellen ? is it fit this soldier keep his oath?

Flu. He is a craven and a villain else, an't please your majesty, in my conscience.

K. Hen. It may be his enemy is a gentleman of great sort, quite from the answer of his degree.

Flu. Though he be as good a gentleman as the devil is, as Lucifer and Belzebub himself, it is necessary, look your grace, that he keep his vow and his oath if he be perjured, see you now, his reputation is as arrant a villain and a Jacksauce, as ever his black shoe trod upon God's ground and his earth, in my conscience, la !

K. Hen. Then keep thy vow, sirrah, when thou meetest the fellow.

Will. So I will, my liege, as I live.

K. Hen. Who servest thou under?
Will. Under Captain Gower, my liege.

Flu. Gower is a good captain, and is good knowledge and literatured in the wars.

K. Hen. Call him hither to me, soldier.
Will. I will, my liege.

[Exit.

140

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150

K. Hen. Here, Fluellen; wear thou this favour 160

for me and stick it in thy cap: when Alençon and

142. quite from the answer of his degree, removed by his rank from all possibility of answering the challenge of a man of Williams' station.

144. as good a gentleman as

the devil is; this was proverbial; cf. Lear's The prince of darkness is a gentleman' (King Lear, iii. 4. 148).

161. when Alençon and myself were down together. The

myself were down together, I plucked this glove from his helm: if any man challenge this, he is a friend to Alençon, and an enemy to our person; if thou encounter any such, apprehend him, an thou dost me love.

Flu. Your grace doo's me as great honours as can be desired in the hearts of his subjects: I would fain see the man, that has but two legs, that shall find himself aggriefed at this glove; 170 that is all; but I would fain see it once, an please God of his grace that I might see.

K. Hen. Knowest thou Gower?

Flu. He is my dear friend, an please you.

K. Hen. Pray thee, go seek him, and bring him to my tent.

Flu. I will fetch him.

[Exit.

K. Hen. My Lord of Warwick, and my brother

Gloucester,

Follow Fluellen closely at the heels:

The glove which I have given him for a favour
May haply purchase him a box o' th' ear;
It is the soldier's; I by bargain should

Wear it myself. Follow, good cousin Warwick :
If that the soldier strike him, as I judge

By his blunt bearing he will keep his word,
Some sudden mischief may arise of it;

For I do know Fluellen valiant

And, touch'd with choler, hot as gunpowder,

And quickly will return an injury:

Follow, and see there be no harm between them.

Go you

with me,

uncle of Exeter.

encounter thus lightly alluded to is related by Holinshed in a paragraph headed: A Valiant King.' Henry himself was 'almost felled by the Duke of

[Exeunt.

180

190

Alençon; yet with plain strength he slew two of the Duke's company, and felled the Duke himself' (Stone's Holinshed,

p. 195).

SCENE VIII. Before KING HENRY'S pavilion.

Enter GOWER and WILLIAMS.

Will. I warrant it is to knight you, captain.

Enter FLUELLEN.

Flu. God's will and his pleasure, captain, I beseech you now, come apace to the king: there is more good toward you peradventure than is in your knowledge to dream of.

Will. Sir, know you this glove?

Flu. Know the glove! I know the glove is a glove.

Will. I know this; and thus I challenge it.

[Strikes him.

Flu. 'Sblood! an arrant traitor as any is in the o universal world, or in France, or in England!

Gow. How now, sir! you villain!

Will. Do you think I'll be forsworn?

Flu. Stand away, Captain Gower; I will give treason his payment into plows, I warrant you. Will. I am no traitor.

I charge you

Flu. That's a lie in thy throat. in his majesty's name, apprehend him: he's a friend of the Duke Alençon's.

Enter WARWICK and GLOUCESTER.

War. How now, how now! what's the matter? Flu. My Lord of Warwick, here is praised be God for it!-a most contagious treason come to light, look you, as you shall desire in a summer's day. Here is his majesty.

22. contagious, for 'outrageous.

20

[graphic]

Enter KING HENRY and EXETER.

K. Hen. How now ! what's the matter?

Flu. My liege, here is a villain and a traitor, that, look your grace, has struck the glove which your majesty is take out of the helmet of Alençon.

Will. My liege, this was my glove; here is the fellow of it; and he that I gave it to in change 30 promised to wear it in his cap: I promised to strike him, if he did: I met this man with my glove in his cap, and I have been as good as my word.

Flu. Your majesty hear now, saving your majesty's manhood, what an arrant, rascally, beggarly, lousy knave it is: I hope your majesty is pear me testimony, and witness, and will avouchment, that this is the glove of Alençon, that your majesty is give me; in your conscience, now.

K. Hen. Give me thy glove, soldier: look, here is the fellow of it.

'Twas I, indeed, thou promised'st to strike; And thou hast given me most bitter terms.

Flu. And please your majesty, let his neck answer for it, if there is any martial law in the world.

40

K. Hen. How canst thou make me satisfaction? Will. All offences, my lord, come from the heart: never came any from mine that might 50 offend your majesty.

K. Hen. It was ourself thou didst abuse.

Will. Your majesty came not like yourself: you appeared to me but as a common man ; witness the night, your garments, your lowliness; and what your highness suffered under that shape, I beseech you take it for your own fault and not mine: for had you been as I took you for, I made

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