King Henry Iv - Remebering Agincourt

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King Henry V, Act IV: leaving Agincourt "Grandpa, tell us about the field of Agincourt" begged two wide eyed youths, sitting before a wrinkled old man.

The old man looked up slowly blue eyes rimmed with shame "I'm afraid, my dears, that it is not a glorious tale" he paused coughing "far from it" The children tugged at his pant legs pleading "Oh please, Grandpa!" Sighing deeply, he nodded listlessly "Fine then I will, but I have warned you" "It was the climax of King Henry V's reign and the beginning of my manhood, if you could call it that. War was ripe in France and we weren't doing as well as we had hoped" The old man drew a heavy breath and continued. "Many had fallen in the battle at Harfluer, those who hadn't wished they had. Fever ran high among the ranks and all of us were deeply enveloped by exhaustion.

We knew what awaited us on the fields of Agincourt, it was causing unease and fear in the army" pausing a moment the elder sipped at steaming cider "I was petrified, I did not want to die so young. I didn't want to miss any part of my youth, but I knew it was improbable that I would survive the coming battle. The fighting rang like the crash of thunder from where I stood at the camp. My knee's shook in fear, I didn't even notice when the King stood to speak to the troops.

He talked of glory and honor. I wet myself. He talked of death and infamy. My teeth began to chatter. Then he said something that lifted my head and urged me to listen "He which hath no stomach to this fight. Let him depart. His passport shall be made and crowns for convoy put into his purse" I stayed not a moment longer, running like a frightened deer, tears streaming down my cheeks yellowed in shame" A single tear ran down the old man's face "and so you see, I am no hero, I am merely a frightened coward of a man" Walker Ballantyne "“ Hill 12FO8