To kick it off, Henry V's speech to the mayor of Harfleur.
Before the gates of Harfleur
Enter the GOVERNOR and some citizens on the walls. Enter the KING and all his train before the gates
How yet resolves the Governor of the town?
This is the latest parle we will admit;
Therefore to our best mercy give yourselves
Or, like to men proud of destruction,
Defy us to our worst; for, as I am a soldier,
A name that in my thoughts becomes me best,
If I begin the batt'ry once again,
I will not leave the half-achieved Harfleur
Till in her ashes she lie buried.
The gates of mercy shall be all shut up,
And the flesh'd soldier, rough and hard of heart,
In liberty of bloody hand shall range
With conscience wide as hell, mowing like grass
Your fresh fair virgins and your flow'ring infants.
What is it then to me if impious war,
Array'd in flames, like to the prince of fiends,
Do, with his smirch'd complexion, all fell feats
Enlink'd to waste and desolation?
What is't to me when you yourselves are cause,
If your pure maidens fall into the hand
Of hot and forcing violation?
What rein can hold licentious wickednes
When down the hill he holds his fierce career?
We may as bootless spend our vain command
Upon th' enraged soldiers in their spoil,
As send precepts to the Leviathan
To come ashore. Therefore, you men of Harfleur,
Take pity of your town and of your people
Whiles yet my soldiers are in my command;
Whiles yet the cool and temperate wind of grace
O'erblows the filthy and contagious clouds
Of heady murder, spoil, and villainy.
If not- why, in a moment look to see
The blind and bloody with foul hand
Defile the locks of your shrill-shrieking daughters;
Your fathers taken by the silver beards,
And their most reverend heads dash'd to the walls;
Your naked infants spitted upon pikes,
Whiles the mad mothers with their howls confus'd
Do break the clouds, as did the wives of Jewry
At Herod's bloody-hunting slaughtermen.
What say you? Will you yield, and this avoid?
Or, guilty in defence, be thus destroy'd?
Our expectation hath this day an end:
The Dauphin, whom of succours we entreated,
Returns us that his powers are yet not ready
To raise so great a siege. Therefore, great King,
We yield our town and lives to thy soft mercy.
Enter our gates; dispose of us and ours;
For we no longer are defensible.
The Branaugh version of Henry V has a slightly abridged version of this speech. It's a great movie and I'd recommend it to anyone. You guys got any more?
Frome the same (Henry V, Act iv. Scene 3)
"We few, we happy few, we band of brothers. For he today that sheds his
blood with me, Shall be my brother; be ne'er so vile, This day shall gentle
his condition. And gentlemen in England now abed, Shall think themselves
accursed they were not here, And hold their manhood's cheap whiles any
speaks, That fought with us upon Saint Crispin's day."
“The quickest way of ending a war is to lose it.”
Great quote, that play is just amazing. I really hope to see it perfomed live some day, hopefully at the Ashland, OR Shakespeare festival.
By the rude bridge that arched the flood,
Their flag to April's breeze unfurled,
Here once the embattled farmers stood,
And fired the shot heard round the world.
- Emerson, Concord Hymn
"Next to a battle lost, the greatest misery is a battle gained."
Duke of Wellington
"War educates the senses, calls into action the will, perfects the physical constitution, brings men into such swift and close collision in critical moments that man measures man." -Ralph Waldo Emerson
"We're surrounded? GREAT! Now we know where they are!"
--Gen Lewis "Chesty" Puller (USMC)
Goodnight Chesty, where ever you are...
"What if they held a war, and no one came? Why then, the war would come to you."
My limerick on Brecht
There once was this guy Berthold Brecht
Who started a theatre sect
If you did what he said
And followed your head
Then everything'd come out correct.
It never got published... til now.
"Use humility to make the enemy haughty. Tire them by flight. Cause division among them. When they are unprepared, attack and make your move when they do not expect it.
--Sun Tzu, "The Art of War"