Video – We Band of Brothers

October 24, 2011

Henry V

This day is called the feast of Crispian.
He that outlives this day, and comes safe home,
shall stand a tip-toe when the day is named,
and rouse him at the name of Crispian.
He that outlives 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 Crispin’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 remember’d.
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 remember’d.
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 accursed they were not here,
and think their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
who fought with us upon Saint Crispin’s day.
(from Act IV, Scene 3)

So, once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more.
Or close the wall up with our English dead.
In peace there’s nothing so becomes a man
as modest stillness and humility.
But when the blast of war blows in our ears,
then imitate the action of the tiger.
Stiffen the sinews. Summon up the blood.
Disguise fair nature with hard-favour’d rage.
Then lend the eye a terrible aspect.
Let it pry through the portage of the head
like the brass cannon. Let the brow o’erwhelm it.
As fearfully as doth a galled rock
o’erhang and jutty his confounded base,
swill’d with the wild and wasteful ocean.
Now set the teeth and stretch the nostril wide.
Hold hard the breath and bend up every spirit
to his full height. On, on, you noblest English.
Dishonour not your mothers. Now attest
that those whom you call’d fathers did beget you.
And you, good yeoman, whose limbs were made in England,
show us here the mettle of your pasture.
Show us here that you are worth your breeding, which I doubt not.
For there is none of you so mean and base,
that hath not noble lustre in your eyes.
I see you stand like greyhounds in the slips,
straining upon the start. The game’s afoot.
Follow your spirit, and upon this charge
cry; “God for Harry, England, and Saint George!”
(from Act III, Scene 1)

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