Saturday, October 25, 2014

St Crispin's Day: The Battle of Agincourt

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 “To-morrow 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.
     Henry V, William Shakespeare

On 25 October 1415, a badly outnumbered English army defeated a vastly superior French one, through better tactics and a revolutionary new technology: the English longbow. The "bow of yew" was the arm of the English common soldier. With that tool, the nobility were no longer safe within their suits of armor. 

Predictably, the English nobility later sought to ban the bow from the hands of the peasants. The newly empowered common man would have none of that. And so, the seeds of democracy were sown.   

Remember all this when it looks like you are facing insurmountable odds.

No comments:

Post a Comment