What a long night is this? I will not change my horse with any that treads but on four pasterns. Ch’ha! He bounds from the earth, as if his entrails were hairs: le cheval volant, the Pegasus, chez les narines de feu!. When I bestride him, I soar, I am a hawk: he trots the air, the earth sings when he touches it.
The flying horse, Pegasus (the winged horse in classical mythology) with fiery nostrils.
What does the Dauphin want the Constable and Orléans to think of him?
He’s of the colour of the nutmeg.
And of the heat of the ginger. It is a beast for Perseus: he is pure air and fire. He is indeed a horse, and all other jades you may call beasts.
A hero from Greek mythology who kills monsters.
Old horses that are worn out and useless.
Indeed, my lord, it is a most absolute and excellent horse.
It is the prince of palfreys. His neigh is like the bidding of a monarch and his countenance enforces homage.
A horse for riding, not for war.
His neigh is like a command from a king. His appearance and how he carries himself demands respect.
Nay, the man hath no wit that cannot, from the rising of the lark to the lodging of the lamb, vary deserved praise on my palfrey. I once writ a sonnet in his praise and began thus: ‘Wonder of nature’—
No, the man who can’t praise my horse from dawn to dusk is stupid.
I have heard a sonnet begin so to one’s mistress.
Then did they imitate that which I composed to my courser, for my horse is my mistress.
Your mistress bears well.
Me well, which is the prescript praise and perfection of a good and particular mistress.
Nay, for methought yesterday your mistress shrewdly shook your back.
Your mistress nearly threw you off her back.
So perhaps did yours.
What do you imagine the Dauphin thinks of the Constable and what makes you think that?
Mine was not bridled.
My mistress is not a horse.
O, then belike she was old and gentle, and you rode like a kern of Ireland, your French hose off, and in your straight strossers.
And you rode barelegged, like an Irish peasant.
You have good judgement in horsemanship.
Be warned by me, then: they that ride so fall into foul bogs. I had rather have my horse to my mistress.
What does the Dauphin’s choice of language tell us about the kind of man he is?