We Few, We Happy Few, We Band of Brothers
Why put this speech, from Shakespeare,on the Rainier Page?
Why not?- I think it says something about the bond we all have as ammo ship sailors. We have no wounds, for the most part,
but our common experience is something we can be proud of forever.
Henry’s St. Crispian Day Speech- 1413
At the Battle of Agincourt (Shakespeare)
This day is called the feast of Crispian:
He that outlives this day, and comes safe home,
Will stand a tip-toe when the day is named,
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 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 his mouth 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.
OK- If you've read this far, you have a taste for history and especially the Battle of Agincourt- Here's an extra bit of lore related to a common nautical expression we've all heard and used:
Here's the definition I found on the net:
from a recent email from a fellow sailor--
Have you heard about Plucking the Yew?
Before the battle of Agincourt in 1415, the French, anticipating victory over the English, proposed to cut off the middle finger of all captured English soldiers. For without the middle finger it would be impossible to draw the renowned English longbow, and therefore they would be incapable of fighting in the future. This weapon was made of the native English Yew tree and the act of drawing the longbow was known as "Plucking the Yew."
However, much to the bewilderment of the French, the English won a major upset that day and began mocking the French by waving their middle fingers at the defeated French, saying, "See, we can still Pluck the Yew!" Over the years some "folk etymologies" have grown up around this symbolic gesture.
Since "Pluck Yew" is rather difficult to say, like "pleasant mother pheasant plucker" which is where you had to go for the feathers used on the arrows for the longbow. The difficult consonant cluster at the beginning has gradually changed to a labiodental fricative "F" and so, sometimes the words often used in conjunction with the one-finger-salute are mistakenly thought to have something to do with an intimate encounter.
In addition, because of the pheasant feathers on the arrows, the ancient symbolic gesture is also known as "giving the bird." So now you know why there are so many boaters out there who seem to think this is the proper gesture for displaying a, uh, shall we say, less than favorable gesture to those who anchor too close, or jet-ski around anchored boats. It has been a natural and nautical gesture for sailors since the 1400's.
Sorry About That, but it was Too Good to Pass Up- Webmaster