Skip to comments.Celebrate Victory on Crispin's Day
Posted on 10/24/2007 8:28:02 AM PDT by Belasarius
For the sake of our collective survival, the English-speaking world needs to annually trumpet common achievements, values, and goals. Fortunately, the calendar contains an excellent date. Even better, the holiday's credo has already been composed -- by the greatest content provider ever in any language.
Tomorrow, October 25, was once known as the Feast Day of St. Crispin. On this day in 1415, Henry V and his underdog British, outmanned at least by a factor of four, defeated Charles VI of France at the Battle of Agincourt. These days, even though Vatican II has delisted the twin martyred brothers St. Crispin and St. Crispian, neither the day nor the battle stands a chance of being forgotten. William Shakespeare's Henry V, presented about 200 years after the event, contains a moving call to arms from Prince Hal on the morning of the battle. Honored today mostly in sound bites ("we few, we happy few, we band of brothers"), and despite its hopelessly passe concept of medieval nobility, that speech at Agincourt remains our most cherished dramatic interpretation of leadership, vision, and sacrifice.
Six centuries later, the progeny of that tiny band have spawned, imposed, and maintained what we call "civilization" across the four corners of the world. Though other cultures (German, French, Chinese) have made contributions in science and technology, it is the English-speaking people who have markedly integrated material improvement with moral growth. To a savage world, they delivered common law, representative government, private property, abolitionism, not to mention air travel, the Internet, and the Beatles.
(Excerpt) Read more at spectator.org ...
This day is called the feast of Crispian: He that outlives this day, and comes safe home, Will stand a tip-toe when this day is named,
And rouse him at the name of Crispian.
He that shall see this day and live old age, Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbours, And say 'To-morrow is Saint Crispin's:'
Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars. And say 'These wounds I had on Crispin'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 their mouths as household words, Harry the king, Bedford and Exeter, Warwick and Talbot, Salisbury and Gloucester, Be in their flowing cups freshly remember'd.
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 remember'd;
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 accursed they were not here, And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks That fought with us upon Saint Crispin's day.
A salute to a day and age long past. But a sentiment that lives forever.
Kenneth Branagh delivering the speech:
Certainly that battle scene (with the long spikes against the heavy horse) looks a lot like the Battle of Agincourt.
That comradely I missed after being in the Persian Gulf and Bosnia that I remember well. The only reason I retired that I had no chance of going to Afghanistan or Iraq. I knew then I had to leave. But I did spend many prior St. Crispin's days in service of a grateful nation.
And Thusly was started a long tradition of French losses on the Battle Field.....
The signature weapon of the Battle of Agincourt was the longbow. It is frequently argued that the Battle of Agincourt was one of those watershed events that forever change the face of warfare.
Uh, nice advert...
That is my all time favorite speach from Shakespeare; so full of passion. Like it so much I worked it into my senior theatre show. What a great read in the middle of the day.
Sad that so many know so little of honor, that these words are foreign to them.
Yup, we should be celebrating the Battle of Lepanto too!!!
Branagh’s a hell of a Shakesperean actor. But he’s no Olivier. Sorry Ken. Love you like a brother. But Olivier is the authoritative Hank Cinq.
Let the UK and non-American Anglosphere countries have their Commonwealth. As of now, Americans have a mutually-intelligible language with Commonwealth nations, and a similar culture. However, the United States is completely independent from the other Anglosphere states, and this has served Americans for over two centuries.
The United States should be friends with English-using nations, but also with other states, too.
Agincourt? I thought it was Hastings where the longbow came to prominence. Of course, I could be wrong. it's happened before.
From the Lives of Saints—Sts. Crispin and Crispinian, Martyrs
“These two glorious martyrs came from Rome to preach the Faith in Gaul toward the middle of the third century. Fixing their residence at Soissons, they instructed many in the Faith of Christ, which they preached publicly in the day, and at night they worked at making shoes, though they were said to be nobly born, and brothers.
The infidels listened to their instructions, and astonished at the example of their lives, especially of their charity, disinterestedness, heavenly piety, and contempt for all glory and earthly things; and the effect was the conversion of many to the Christian faith.
The brothers had continued their employment several years when a complaint was lodged against them. The emperor, to gratify their accusers and give way to his savage cruelty, gave orders that they should be convened before Rictius Varus, the most implacable enemy of the Christians.
The martyrs were patient and constant under the most cruel torments, and finished their course by the sword about the year 287.
Reflection: Of how many may it be said that ‘they labor in vain,’ since God is not the end and purpose that inspires the labor?”
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