King Henry was on a part of the battlefield from which the French had been cleared. The fighting nearby was still furious and noisy, however. Some of his soldiers were with him, including Pistol, and there were also some prisoners.
‘We’ve done well, thrice-valiant countrymen,’ said Henry. ‘It’s not over yet though: the French are still fighting.’
Exeter joined him. ‘The Duke of York sends his compliments to Your Majesty,’ he said.
‘Is he still alive, dear Uncle?’ said Henry. ‘I’ve seen him fall three times during the past hour and get up again three times. And he was covered in blood from his helmet to his spurs.’
‘In which robes he now lies, enriching the earth,’ said Exeter. ‘And at his blood-soaked side, joined to him in honour by his wounds, the noble Earl of Suffolk lies too. Suffolk died first, and York, all hacked to pieces, crawled to him where he lay soaked in blood, and took him by the beard and kissed the bloody gashes that gaped on his face. He cried out: “Wait, sweet soul, for me, then we’ll go together in the same way as we went together in chivalry on to this glorious and well-fought field.” I arrived while he was speaking those words. I comforted him. He smiled at me, gave me his hand and, with a feeble grip, said: “My dear lord, commend my service to my sovereign.” On that he turned and flung his wounded arm over Suffolk’s neck, and kissed his lips, and so, wedded to death, he sealed with blood a testament of nobly-ending love. The beauty and sweetness of it forced tears from me that I was unable to stop. I didn’t have enough of the man in me: my female side came into my eyes, and I gave in to tears.’
‘I don’t blame you,’ said Henry. ‘Listening to this I have to control myself or I will shed them too.’
There were sudden powerful indications of a renewed onslaught by the French, with increased noise.
‘Listen,’ said Henry. ‘What’s this? The French have rallied their scattered soldiers. Tell every soldier to kill his prisoners. Pass the order on.’
Pistol, standing behind the king, turned and shouted. ‘Coup la gorge!’
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