The French generals had all left the battlefield and gone to their headquarters nearby. There was a sense of panic as they reviewed the disarray of their plans, strategies and hopes in the face of the fierce English warriors, inspired by their charismatic young king.

‘Oh diable!’ exclaimed the Constable of France.

‘Oh Seigneur,’ moaned Orleans. ‘Le jour est perdu, tout est perdu.’ [Oh, Your Highness! The day is lost, all is lost.]

The Dauphin thrust his head into his hands. ‘Mort de ma vie! All is lost. All! Self-reproach and everlasting shame sit mockingly on our helmets. Oh terrible fortune.’ Some of them looked as though they were about to flee as the sound of battle became louder and closer suddenly. ‘Don’t run away!’ he warned.

‘All our ranks have been broken,’ said the Constable.

‘Oh, everlasting shame!’ cried the Dauphin. ‘Let’s stab ourselves. Are these the wretches we played dice for?’

‘Is this the king we offered a ransom to?’ said Orleans.

‘Shame – eternal shame – nothing but shame!’ exclaimed Bourbon. ‘Let us die with honour. One more time – back again! And the man who will not follow Bourbon now, let him go with his cap in his hand like a contemptible pimp, and guard the bedroom door while his daughter is raped by a violent wretch.’

‘Let the disorder that has ruined us be our friend now. Let us all sacrifice our lives together,’ said the Constable.

‘If we could only think of a plan there are enough yet alive on the battlefield to smother the English by the weight of numbers,’ said Orleans.

‘To hell with plans at this stage,’ said Bourbon. ‘I’m going to fight. The shorter life is the lesser the shame.’

They followed him to the battlefield.

 

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Read more scenes from Henry V:

Henry V in modern English | Henry V original text
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Modern Henry V Act 1, Prologue | Original text of Henry V Act 1, Prologue
Modern Henry V Act 1, Scene 1 | Original text of Henry V Act 1, Scene 1
Modern Henry V Act 1, Scene 2 | Original text of Henry V Act 1, Scene 2
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Modern Henry V Act 2, Chorus | Original text of Henry V Act 2, Chorus
Modern Henry V Act 2, Scene 1 | Original text of Henry V Act 2, Scene 1
Modern Henry V Act 2, Scene 2 | Original text of Henry V Act 2, Scene 2
Modern Henry V Act 2, Scene 3 | Original text of Henry V Act 2, Scene 3
Modern Henry V Act 2, Scene 4 | Original text of Henry V Act 2, Scene 4
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Modern Henry V Act 3, Chorus | Original text of Henry V Act 3, Chorus
Modern Henry V Act 3, Scene 1 | Original text of Henry V Act 3, Scene 1
Modern Henry V Act 3, Scene 2 | Original text of Henry V Act 3, Scene 2
Modern Henry V Act 3, Scene 3 | Original text of Henry V Act 3, Scene 3
Modern Henry V Act 3, Scene 4 | Original text of Henry V Act 3, Scene 4
Modern Henry V Act 3, Scene 5 | Original text of Henry V Act 3, Scene 5
Modern Henry V Act 3, Scene 6 | Original text of Henry V Act 3, Scene 6
Modern Henry V Act 3, Scene 7 | Original text of Henry V Act 3, Scene 7
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Modern Henry V Act 4, Chorus | Original text of Henry V Act 4, Chorus
Modern Henry V Act 4, Scene 1 | Original text of Henry V Act 4, Scene 1
Modern Henry V Act 4, Scene 2 | Original text of Henry V Act 4, Scene 2
Modern Henry V Act 4, Scene 3 | Original text of Henry V Act 4, Scene 3
Modern Henry V Act 4, Scene 4 | Original text of Henry V Act 4, Scene 4
Modern Henry V Act 4, Scene 5 | Original text of Henry V Act 4, Scene 5
Modern Henry V Act 4, Scene 6 | Original text of Henry V Act 4, Scene 6
Modern Henry V Act 4, Scene 7 | Original text of Henry V Act 4, Scene 7
Modern Henry V Act 4, Scene 8 | Original text of Henry V Act 4, Scene 8
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Modern Henry V Act 5, Chorus | Original text of Henry V Act 5, Chorus
Modern Henry V Act 5, Scene 1 | Original text of Henry V Act 5, Scene 1
Modern Henry V Act 5, Scene 2 | Original text of Henry V Act 5, Scene 2
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Modern Henry V Epilogue | Original text of Henry V Epilogue

 

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