Sunday, October 25, 2009

Four hundred ninety-four years ago...

(okay, so my son pointed out that it is FIVE hundred ninety-four years ago...)

"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, 'Tomorrow 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."
William Shakespeare, Henry V.

If you have never read Henry V, I would encourage you to do so. When we studied it last year, we got the book version, and read-along-with an audio version. After we were finished, we "treated" ourselves with the BBC version on dvd.

Even though details of the Battle of Agincourt (October 25, 1415) were probably "enhanced" by Shakespeare, it is an excellent picture of battle during that time in history. I had never studied a lot of English history when I was in school (past the Magna Carta, 1215 doncha know), so it was quite a new experience for me.

Props to Violet (my masters-in-English daughter) for suggesting it for our homeschool!

1 comment :

Anonymous said...

Technically, it's _five_ hundred ninety-four years ago. Unless, of course, you are liveing in 1909,in which case, WATCH OUT for those durn Progressives!!

Don Q