Jacqueline Kennedy was known to recite spontaneously for her husband the King's monologue from Act IV, Scene 3 of Henry V. At the April 1962 dinner honoring Nobel Prize winners, Jacqueline Kennedy asked the British actor Basil Rathbone to present this passage. For more information please contact Kennedy.Library@nara.gov or 617.514.1629.
What's he that wishes so?
My Cousin Westmerland. No, my faire Cousin:
If we are markt to dye, we are enow
To doe our Countrey losse: and if to live,
The fewer men, the greater share of honour.
Gods will, I pray thee wish not one man more.
By Iove, I am not covetous for Gold,
Nor care I who doth feed upon my cost:
It yernes me not, if men my Garments weare;
Such outward things dwell not in my desires.
But if it be a sinne to covet Honor,
I am the most offending Soule alive.
No 'faith, my Couze, wish not a man from England:
Gods peace, I would not loose so great an Honor,
As one man more me thinkes would share from me,
For the best hope I have. O, doe not wish one more:
Rather proclaime it (Westmerland) through my Hoast,
That he which hath no stomack to this fight,
Let him depart, his Pasport shall be made,
And Crownes for Convoy put into his Purse:
We would not dye in that mans companie,
That feares his fellowship, to dye with us.
This day is call'd the Feast of Crispian:
He that out-lives this day, and comes safe home,
Will stand a tip-toe when this day is named,
And rowse him at the Name of Crispian.
He that shall see this day, and live old age,
Will yeerely on the Vigil feast his neighbours,
And say, to morrow is Saint Crispian.
Then will he strip his sleeve, and shew his skarres:
Old men forget; yet all shall be forgot:
But hee'le 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 remembred.
This story shall the good man teach his sonne:
And Crispine Crispian shall ne're goe by,
From this day to the ending of the World,
But we in it shall be remembred;
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're so vile,
This day shall gentle his Condition.
And Gentlemen in England, now a bed,
Shall thinke themselves accurst they were not here;
And hold their Manhoods cheape, whiles any speakes,
That fought with us upon Saint Crispinesday.