King Henry IV, The First Part
by William Shakespeare [Hudson edition]
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BARD. 'Sblood, I would my face were in your stomach!

FAL. God-a-mercy! so should I be sure to be heart-burn'd.—

[Enter the Hostess.]

How now, Dame Partlet the hen! have you enquir'd yet who pick'd my pocket?

HOST. Why, Sir John, what do you think, Sir John? do you think I keep thieves in my house? I have search'd, I have inquired, so has my husband, man by man, boy by boy, servant by servant: the tithe of a hair was never lost in my house before.

FAL. Ye lie, hostess: Bardolph was shaved, and lost many a hair; and I'll be sworn my pocket was pick'd. Go to, you are a woman, go.

HOST. Who, I? no; I defy thee: God's light, I was never call'd so in mine own house before.

FAL. Go to, I know you well enough.

HOST. No, Sir John; you do not know me, Sir John. I know you, Sir John: you owe me money, Sir John; and now you pick a quarrel to beguile me of it: I bought you a dozen of shirts to your back.

FAL. Dowlas, filthy dowlas: I have given them away to bakers' wives, and they have made bolters of them.

HOST. Now, as I am a true woman, holland of eight shillings an ell. You owe money here besides, Sir John, for your diet and by-drinkings, and money lent you, four-and-twenty pound.

FAL. He had his part of it; let him pay.

HOST. He? alas, he is poor; he hath nothing.

FAL. How! poor? look upon his face; what call you rich? let them coin his nose, let them coin his cheeks: I'll not pay a denier. What, will you make a younker of me? shall I not take mine ease in mine inn, but I shall have my pocket pick'd? I have lost a seal-ring of my grandfather's worth forty mark.

HOST. O Jesu, I have heard the Prince tell him, I know not how oft, that that ring was copper!

FAL. How! the Prince is a Jack, a sneak-cup: 'sblood, an he were here, I would cudgel him like a dog, if he would say so.—

[Enter Prince Henry and Pointz, marching. Falstaff meets them, playing on his truncheon like a fife.]

How now, lad? is the wind in that door, i'faith? must we all march?

BARD. Yea, two-and-two, Newgate-fashion.

HOST. My lord, I pray you, hear me.

PRINCE. What say'st thou, Mistress Quickly? How doth thy husband? I love him well; he is an honest man.

HOST. Good my lord, hear me.

FAL. Pr'ythee, let her alone, and list to me.

PRINCE. What say'st thou, Jack?

FAL. The other night I fell asleep here behind the arras, and had my pocket pick'd: this house is turn'd bawdy-house; they pick pockets.

PRINCE. What didst thou lose, Jack?

FAL. Wilt thou believe me, Hal? three or four bonds of forty pound a-piece and a seal-ring of my grandfather's.

PRINCE. A trifle, some eight-penny matter.

HOST. So I told him, my lord; and I said I heard your Grace say so; and, my lord, he speaks most vilely of you, like a foul-mouth'd man as he is; and said he would cudgel you.

PRINCE. What! he did not?

HOST. There's neither faith, truth, nor womanhood in me else.

FAL. There's no more faith in thee than in a stew'd prune; nor no more truth in thee than in a drawn fox; and, for woman-hood, Maid Marian may be the deputy's wife of the ward to thee. Go, you thing, go.

HOST. Say, what thing? what thing? I am an honest man's wife: and, setting thy knighthood aside, thou art a knave to call me so.

FAL. Setting thy womanhood aside, thou art a beast to say otherwise.

HOST. Say, what beast, thou knave, thou?

FAL. What beast! why, an otter.

PRINCE. An otter, Sir John, why an otter?

FAL. Why, she's neither fish nor flesh; a man knows not where to have her.

HOST. Thou art an unjust man in saying so; thou or any man knows where to have me, thou knave, thou!

PRINCE. Thou say'st true, hostess; and he slanders thee most grossly.

HOST. So he doth you, my lord; and said this other day you ought him a thousand pound.

PRINCE. Sirrah, do I owe you a thousand pound?


A thousand pound, Hal! a million: thy love is worth a million; thou owest me thy love.

HOST. Nay, my lord, he call'd you Jack, and said he would cudgel you.

FAL. Did I, Bardolph?

BARD. Indeed, Sir John, you said so.

FAL. Yea, if he said my ring was copper.

PRINCE. I say 'tis copper: darest thou be as good as thy word now?

FAL. Why, Hal, thou know'st, as thou art but man, I dare; but as thou art prince, I fear thee as I fear the roaring of the lion's whelp.

PRINCE. And why not as the lion?

FAL. The King himself is to be feared as the lion: dost thou think I'll fear thee as I fear thy father? nay, an I do, I pray God my girdle break.

PRINCE. Sirrah, there's no room for faith, truth, nor honesty in this bosom of thine; it is all fill'd up with midriff. Charge an honest woman with picking thy pocket! why, thou whoreson, impudent, emboss'd rascal, if there were anything in thy pocket but tavern-reckonings, and one poor pennyworth of sugar-candy to make thee long-winded,—if thy pocket were enrich'd with any other injuries but these, I am a villain: and yet you will stand to it; you will not pocket-up wrong. Art thou not ashamed!

FAL. Dost thou hear, Hal? thou know'st, in the state of innocency Adam fell; and what should poor Jack Falstaff do in the days of villainy? Thou see'st I have more flesh than another man; and therefore more frailty. You confess, then, you pick'd my pocket?


It appears so by the story.

FAL. Hostess, I forgive thee: go, make ready breakfast; love thy husband, look to thy servants, cherish thy guests: thou shalt find me tractable to any honest reason; thou see'st I am pacified.—Still? Nay, pr'ythee, be gone.

[Exit Hostess.]

Now, Hal, to the news at Court: for the robbery, lad, how is that answered?

PRINCE. O, my sweet beef, I must still be good angel to thee: the money is paid back again.

FAL. O, I do not like that paying back; 'tis a double labour.

PRINCE. I am good friends with my father, and may do any thing.

FAL. Rob me the exchequer the first thing thou doest, and do it with unwash'd hands too.

BARD. Do, my lord.

PRINCE. I have procured thee, Jack, a charge of Foot.

FAL. I would it had been of Horse. Where shall I find one that can steal well? O, for a fine thief, of the age of two-and-twenty or thereabouts! I am heinously unprovided. Well, God be thanked for these rebels; they offend none but the virtuous: I laud them, I praise them.

PRINCE. Bardolph,—

BARD. My lord?

PRINCE. Go bear this letter to Lord John of Lancaster,

My brother John; this to my Lord of Westmoreland.—

[Exit Bardolph.]

Go, Pointz, to horse, to horse; for thou and I Have thirty miles to ride yet ere dinner-time.—

[Exit Pointz.]

Meet me to-morrow, Jack, i' the Temple-hall At two o'clock in th' afternoon: There shalt thou know thy charge; and there receive Money and order for their furniture. The land is burning; Percy stands on high; And either they or we must lower lie.


FAL. Rare words! brave world!—Hostess, my breakfast; come:— O, I could wish this tavern were my drum!



Scene I. The Rebel Camp near Shrewsbury.

[Enter Hotspur, Worcester, and Douglas.]

HOT. Well said, my noble Scot: if speaking truth In this fine age were not thought flattery, Such attribution should the Douglas have, As not a soldier of this season's stamp Should go so general-current through the world. By God, I cannot flatter; I defy The tongues of soothers; but a braver place In my heart's love hath no man than yourself: Nay, task me to my word; approve me, lord.

DOUG. Thou art the king of honour: No man so potent breathes upon the ground But I will beard him.

HOT. Do so, and 'tis well.—

[Enter a Messenger with letters.]

What letters hast thou there?—I can but thank you.

MESS. These letters come from your father.

HOT. Letters from him! why comes he not himself?

MESS. He cannot come, my lord; he's grievous sick.

HOT. Zwounds! how has he the leisure to be sick In such a justling time? Who leads his power? Under whose government come they along?

MESS. His letters bears his mind, not I, my lord.

WOR. I pr'ythee, tell me, doth he keep his bed?

MESS. He did, my lord, four days ere I set forth, And at the time of my departure thence He was much fear'd by his physicians.

WOR. I would the state of time had first been whole Ere he by sickness had been visited: His health was never better worth than now.

HOT. Sick now! droop now! this sickness doth infect The very life-blood of our enterprise; 'Tis catching hither, even to our camp.

He writes me here, that inward sickness,— And that his friends by deputation could not So soon be drawn; no did he think it meet To lay so dangerous and dear a trust On any soul removed, but on his own. Yet doth he give us bold advertisement, That with our small conjunction we should on, To see how fortune is disposed to us; For, as he writes, there is no quailing now, Because the King is certainly possess'd Of all our purposes. What say you to it?

WOR. Your father's sickness is a maim to us.

HOT. A perilous gash, a very limb lopp'd off:— And yet, in faith, 'tis not; his present want Seems more than we shall find it. Were it good To set the exact wealth of all our states All at one cast? to set so rich a main On the nice hazard of one doubtful hour? It were not good; for therein should we read The very bottom and the soul of hope, The very list, the very utmost bound Of all our fortunes.

DOUG. Faith, and so we should; Where now remains a sweet reversion; And we may boldly spend upon the hope Of what is to come in: A comfort of retirement lives in this.

HOT. A rendezvous, a home to fly unto, If that the Devil and mischance look big Upon the maidenhead of our affairs.

WOR. But yet I would your father had been here. The quality and hair of our attempt Brooks no division: it will be thought By some, that know not why he is away, That wisdom, loyalty, and mere dislike Of our proceedings, kept the earl from hence: And think how such an apprehension May turn the tide of fearful faction, And breed a kind of question in our cause; For well you know we of the offering side Must keep aloof from strict arbitrement, And stop all sight-holes, every loop from whence The eye of reason may pry in upon us. This absence of your father's draws a curtain, That shows the ignorant a kind of fear Before not dreamt of.

HOT. Nay, you strain too far. I, rather, of his absence make this use: It lends a lustre and more great opinion, A larger dare to our great enterprise, Than if the earl were here; for men must think, If we, without his help, can make a head To push against the kingdom, with his help We shall o'erturn it topsy-turvy down. Yet all goes well, yet all our joints are whole.

DOUG. As heart can think: there is not such a word Spoke in Scotland as this term of fear.

[Enter Sir Richard Vernon.]

HOT. My cousin Vernon! welcome, by my soul.

VER. Pray God my news be worth a welcome, lord. The Earl of Westmoreland, seven thousand strong, Is marching hitherwards; with him Prince John.

HOT. No harm: what more?

VER. And further, I have learn'd The King himself in person is set forth, Or hitherwards intended speedily, With strong and mighty preparation.

HOT. He shall be welcome too. Where is his son, The nimble-footed madcap Prince of Wales, And his comrades, that daff the world aside, And bid it pass?

VER. All furnish'd, all in arms; All plumed like estridges that with the wind Bate it; like eagles having lately bathed; Glittering in golden coats, like images; As full of spirit as the month of May And gorgeous as the Sun at midsummer; Wanton as youthful goats, wild as young bulls. I saw young Harry—with his beaver on, His cuisses on his thighs, gallantly arm'd— Rise from the ground like feather'd Mercury, And vault it with such ease into his seat, As if an angel dropp'd down from the clouds, To turn and wind a fiery Pegasus, And witch the world with noble horsemanship.

HOT. No more, no more: worse than the Sun in March, This praise doth nourish agues. Let them come; They come like sacrifices in their trim, And to the fire-eyed maid of smoky war, All hot and bleeding, will we offer them: The mailed Mars shall on his altar sit Up to the ears in blood. I am on fire To hear this rich reprisal is so nigh, And yet not ours.—Come, let me taste my horse, Who is to bear me, like a thunderbolt, Against the bosom of the Prince of Wales: Harry and Harry shall, hot horse to horse, Meet, and ne'er part till one drop down a corse.— O, that Glendower were come!

VER. There is more news: I learn'd in Worcester, as I rode along, He cannot draw his power this fourteen days.

DOUG. That's the worst tidings that I hear of yet.

WOR. Ay, by my faith, that bears a frosty sound.

HOT. What may the King's whole battle reach unto?

VER. To thirty thousand.

HOT. Forty let it be: My father and Glendower being both away, The powers of us may serve so great a day. Come, let us take a muster speedily: Doomsday is near; die all, die merrily.

DOUG. Talk not of dying: I am out of fear Of death or death's hand for this one half-year.


Scene II. A public Road near Coventry.

[Enter Falstaff and Bardolph.]

FAL. Bardolph, get thee before to Coventry; fill me a bottle of sack: our soldiers shall march through; we'll to Sutton-Co'fil' to-night.

BARD. Will you give me money, captain?

FAL. Lay out, lay out.

BARD. This bottle makes an angel.

FAL. An if it do, take it for thy labour; an if it make twenty, take them all; I'll answer the coinage. Bid my lieutenant Peto meet me at the town's end.

BARD. I will, captain: farewell.


FAL. If I be not ashamed of my soldiers, I am a soused gurnet. I have misused the King's press damnably. I have got, in exchange of a hundred and fifty soldiers, three hundred and odd pounds. I press'd me none but good householders, yeomen's sons; inquired me out contracted bachelors, such as had been ask'd twice on the banns; such a commodity of warm slaves as had as lief hear the Devil as a drum; such as fear the report of a caliver worse than a struck fowl or a hurt wild-duck. I press'd me none but such toasts-and-butter, with hearts in their bodies no bigger than pins'-heads, and they have bought out their services; and now my whole charge consists of ancients, corporals, lieutenants, gentlemen of companies, slaves as ragged as Lazarus in the painted cloth, where the glutton's dogs licked his sores; and such as, indeed, were never soldiers, but discarded unjust serving-men, younger sons to younger brothers, revolted tapsters, and ostlers trade-fallen; the cankers of a calm world and a long peace; ten times more dishonourable ragged than an old faced ancient: and such have I, to fill up the rooms of them that have bought out their services, that you would think that I had a hundred and fifty tattered Prodigals lately come from swine-keeping, from eating draff and husks. A mad fellow met me on the way, and told me I had unloaded all the gibbets, and press'd the dead bodies. No eye hath seen such scarecrows. I'll not march through Coventry with them, that's flat: nay, and the villains march wide betwixt the legs, as if they had gyves on; for, indeed, I had the most of them out of prison. There's but a shirt and a half in all my company; and the half-shirt is two napkins tack'd together and thrown over the shoulders like a herald's coat without sleeves; and the shirt, to say the truth, stolen from my host at Saint Alban's, or the red-nose innkeeper of Daventry. But that's all one; they'll find linen enough on every hedge.

[Enter Prince Henry and Westmoreland.]

PRINCE. How now, blown Jack! how now, quilt!

FAL. What, Hal! how now, mad wag! what a devil dost thou in Warwickshire?—My good Lord of Westmoreland, I cry you mercy: I thought your honour had already been at Shrewsbury.

WEST. Faith, Sir John, 'tis more than time that I were there, and you too; but my powers are there already. The King, I can tell you, looks for us all: we must away all, to-night.

FAL. Tut, never fear me: I am as vigilant as a cat to steal cream.

PRINCE. I think, to steal cream, indeed; for thy theft hath already made thee butter. But tell me, Jack, whose fellows are these that come after?

FAL. Mine, Hal, mine.

PRINCE. I did never see such pitiful rascals.

FAL. Tut, tut; good enough to toss; food for powder, food for powder; they'll fill a pit as well as better: tush, man, mortal men, mortal men.

WEST. Ay, but, Sir John, methinks they are exceeding poor and bare,—too beggarly.

FAL. Faith, for their poverty, I know not where they had that; and, for their bareness, I am sure they never learn'd that of me.

PRINCE. No, I'll be sworn; unless you call three fingers on the ribs bare. But, sirrah, make haste: Percy is already in the field.


FAL. What, is the King encamp'd?

WEST. He is, Sir John: I fear we shall stay too long.


FAL. Well, To the latter end of a fray and the beginning of a feast Fits a dull fighter and a keen guest.


Scene III. The Rebel Camp near Shrewsbury.

[Enter Hotspur, Worcester, Douglas, and Vernon.]

HOT. We'll fight with him to-night.

WOR. It may not be.

DOUG. You give him, then, advantage.

VER. Not a whit.

HOT. Why say you so? looks he not for supply?

VER. So do we.

HOT. His is certain, ours is doubtful.

WOR. Good cousin, be advised; stir not to-night.

VER. Do not, my lord.

DOUG. You do not counsel well: You speak it out of fear and cold heart.

VER. Do me no slander, Douglas: by my life,— And I dare well maintain it with my life,— If well-respected honour bid me on, I hold as little counsel with weak fear As you, my lord, or any Scot that this day lives: Let it be seen to-morrow in the battle Which of us fears.

DOUG. Yea, or to-night.

VER. Content.

HOT. To-night, say I.

VER. Come, come, it may not be. I wonder much, Being men of such great leading as you are, That you foresee not what impediments Drag back our expedition: certain Horse Of my cousin Vernon's are not yet come up: Your uncle Worcester's Horse came but to-day; And now their pride and mettle is asleep, Their courage with hard labour tame and dull, That not a horse is half the half himself.

HOT. So are the horses of the enemy In general, journey-bated and brought low: The better part of ours are full of rest.

WOR. The number of the King exceedeth ours. For God's sake, cousin, stay till all come in.

[The Trumpet sounds a parley.]

[Enter Sir Walter Blunt.]

BLUNT. I come with gracious offers from the King, If you vouchsafe me hearing and respect.

HOT. Welcome, Sir Walter Blunt; and would to God You were of our determination! Some of us love you well; and even those some Envy your great deservings and good name, Because you are not of our quality, But stand against us like an enemy.

BLUNT. And God defend but still I should stand so, So long as out of limit and true rule You stand against anointed majesty! But to my charge: the King hath sent to know The nature of your griefs; and whereupon You conjure from the breast of civil peace Such bold hostility, teaching his duteous land Audacious cruelty. If that the King Have any way your good deserts forgot, Which he confesseth to be manifold, He bids you name your griefs; and with all speed You shall have your desires with interest, And pardon absolute for yourself and these Herein misled by your suggestion.

HOT. The King is kind; and well we know the King Knows at what time to promise, when to pay. My father and my uncle and myself Did give him that same royalty he wears; And—when he was not six-and-twenty strong, Sick in the world's regard, wretched and low, A poor unminded outlaw sneaking home— My father gave him welcome to the shore: And—when he heard him swear and vow to God, He came but to be Duke of Lancaster, To sue his livery and beg his peace, With tears of innocence and terms of zeal— My father, in kind heart and pity moved, Swore him assistance, and performed it too. Now, when the lords and barons of the realm Perceived Northumberland did lean to him, The more and less came in with cap and knee; Met him in boroughs, cities, villages, Attended him on bridges, stood in lanes, Laid gifts before him, proffer'd him their oaths, Give him their heirs as pages, follow'd him Even at the heels in golden multitudes. He presently—as greatness knows itself— Steps me a little higher than his vow Made to my father, while his blood was poor, Upon the naked shore at Ravenspurg; And now, forsooth, takes on him to reform Some certain edicts and some strait decrees That lie too heavy on the commonwealth; Cries out upon abuses, seems to weep Over his country's wrongs; and, by this face, This seeming brow of justice, did he win The hearts of all that he did angle for: Proceeded further; cut me off the heads Of all the favourites, that the absent King In deputation left behind him here When he was personal in the Irish war.

BLUNT. Tut, I came not to hear this.

HOT. Then to the point: In short time after, he deposed the King; Soon after that, deprived him of his life; And, in the neck of that, task'd the whole State: To make that worse, suffer'd his kinsman March (Who is, if every owner were well placed, Indeed his king) to be engaged in Wales, There without ransom to lie forfeited; Disgraced me in my happy victories, Sought to entrap me by intelligence; Rated my uncle from the Council-board; In rage dismiss'd my father from the Court; Broke oath on oath, committed wrong on wrong; And, in conclusion, drove us to seek out This head of safety; and withal to pry Into his title, the which now we find Too indirect for long continuance.

BLUNT. Shall I return this answer to the King?

HOT. Not so, Sir Walter: we'll withdraw awhile. Go to the King; and let there be impawn'd Some surety for a safe return again, And in the morning early shall my uncle Bring him our purposes: and so, farewell.

BLUNT. I would you would accept of grace and love.

HOT. And may be so we shall.

BLUNT. Pray God you do.


Scene IV. York. A Room in the Archbishop's Palace.

[Enter the Archbishop of York and Sir Michael.]

ARCH. Hie, good Sir Michael; bear this sealed brief With winged haste to the Lord Marshal; This to my cousin Scroop; and all the rest To whom they are directed. If you knew How much they do import, you would make haste.

SIR M. My good lord, I guess their tenour.

ARCH. Like enough you do. To-morrow, good Sir Michael, is a day Wherein the fortune of ten thousand men Must bide the touch; for, sir, at Shrewsbury, As I am truly given to understand, The King, with mighty and quick-raised power, Meets with Lord Harry: and, I fear, Sir Michael, What with the sickness of Northumberland, Whose power was in the first proportion, And what with Owen Glendower's absence thence, Who with them was a rated sinew too, And comes not in, o'er-rul'd by prophecies,— I fear the power of Percy is too weak To wage an instant trial with the King.

SIR M. Why, my good lord, you need not fear; There's Douglas and Lord Mortimer.

ARCH. No, Mortimer's not there.

SIR M. But there is Mordake, Vernon, Lord Harry Percy, And there's my Lord of Worcester; and a head Of gallant warriors, noble gentlemen.

ARCH. And so there is: but yet the King hath drawn The special head of all the land together; The Prince of Wales, Lord John of Lancaster, The noble Westmoreland, and warlike Blunt; And many more corrivals and dear men Of estimation and command in arms.

SIR M. Doubt not, my lord, they shall be well opposed.

ARCH. I hope no less, yet needful 'tis to fear; And, to prevent the worst, Sir Michael, speed: For if Lord Percy thrive not, ere the King Dismiss his power, he means to visit us, For he hath heard of our confederacy; And 'tis but wisdom to make strong against him: Therefore make haste. I must go write again To other friends; and so, farewell, Sir Michael.



Scene I. The King's Camp near Shrewsbury.

[Enter King Henry, Prince Henry, Lancaster, Sir Walter Blunt, and Sir John Falstaff.]

KING. How bloodily the Sun begins to peer Above yon busky hill! the day looks pale At his distemperature.

PRINCE. The southern wind Doth play the trumpet to his purposes; And by his hollow whistling in the leaves Foretells a tempest and a blustering day.

KING. Then with the losers let it sympathize, For nothing can seem foul to those that win.—

[The trumpet sounds. Enter Worcester and Vernon.]

How, now, my Lord of Worcester! 'tis not well That you and I should meet upon such terms As now we meet. You have deceived our trust; And made us doff our easy robes of peace, To crush our old limbs in ungentle steel: This is not well, my lord, this is not well. What say you to't? will you again unknit This churlish knot of all-abhorred war, And move in that obedient orb again Where you did give a fair and natural light; And be no more an exhaled meteor, A prodigy of fear, and a portent Of broached mischief to the unborn times?

WOR. Hear me, my liege: For mine own part, I could be well content To entertain the lag-end of my life With quiet hours; for I do protest, I have not sought the day of this dislike.

KING. You have not sought it! why, how comes it, then?

FAL. Rebellion lay in his way, and he found it.

PRINCE. Peace, chewet, peace!

WOR. It pleased your Majesty to turn your looks Of favour from myself and all our House; And yet I must remember you, my lord, We were the first and dearest of your friends. For you my staff of office did I break In Richard's time; and posted day and night To meet you on the way, and kiss your hand, When yet you were in place and in account Nothing so strong and fortunate as I. It was myself, my brother, and his son, That brought you home, and boldly did outdare The dangers of the time. You swore to us,— And you did swear that oath at Doncaster,— That you did nothing purpose 'gainst the state; Nor claim no further than your new-fall'n right, The seat of Gaunt, dukedom of Lancaster: To this we swore our aid. But in short space It rain'd down fortune showering on your head; And such a flood of greatness fell on you,— What with our help, what with the absent King, What with the injuries of a wanton time, The seeming sufferances that you had borne, And the contrarious winds that held the King So long in his unlucky Irish wars That all in England did repute him dead,— And, from this swarm of fair advantages, You took occasion to be quickly woo'd To gripe the general sway into your hand; Forgot your oath to us at Doncaster; And, being fed by us, you used us so As that ungentle gull, the cuckoo-bird, Useth the sparrow; did oppress our nest; Grew by our feeding to so great a bulk, That even our love thirst not come near your sight For fear of swallowing; but with nimble wing We were enforced, for safety-sake, to fly Out of your sight, and raise this present head: Whereby we stand opposed by such means As you yourself have forged against yourself, By unkind usage, dangerous countenance, And violation of all faith and troth Sworn to tis in your younger enterprise.

KING. These things, indeed, you have articulate, Proclaim'd at market-crosses, read in churches, To face the garment of rebellion With some fine colour that may please the eye Of fickle changelings and poor discontents, Which gape and rub the elbow at the news Of hurlyburly innovation: And never yet did insurrection want Such water-colours to impaint his cause; Nor moody beggars, starving for a time Of pellmell havoc and confusion.

PRINCE. In both our armies there is many a soul Shall pay full dearly for this encounter, If once they join in trial. Tell your nephew, The Prince of Wales doth join with all the world In praise of Henry Percy: by my hopes, This present enterprise set off his head, I do not think a braver gentleman, More active-valiant or more valiant-young, More daring or more bold, is now alive To grace this latter age with noble deeds. For my part,—I may speak it to my shame,— I have a truant been to chivalry; And so I hear he doth account me too: Yet this before my father's Majesty,— I am content that he shall take the odds Of his great name and estimation, And will, to save the blood on either side, Try fortune with him in a single fight.

KING. And, Prince of Wales, so dare we venture thee, Albeit considerations infinite Do make against it.—No, good Worcester, no; We love our people well; even those we love That are misled upon your cousin's part; And, will they take the offer of our grace, Both he, and they, and you, yea, every man Shall be my friend again, and I'll be his: So tell your cousin, and then bring me word What he will do: but, if he will not yield, Rebuke and dread correction wait on us, And they shall do their office. So, be gone; We will not now be troubled with reply: We offer fair; take it advisedly.

[Exit Worcester with Vernon.]

PRINCE. It will not be accepted, on my life: The Douglas and the Hotspur both together Are confident against the world in arms.

KING. Hence, therefore, every leader to his charge; For, on their answer, will we set on them: And God befriend us, as our cause is just!

[Exeunt the King, Blunt, and Prince John.]

FAL. Hal, if thou see me down in the battle, and bestride me, so; 'tis a point of friendship.

PRINCE. Nothing but a colossus can do thee that friendship. Say thy prayers, and farewell.

FAL. I would it were bedtime, Hal, and all well.

PRINCE. Why, thou owest God a death.


FAL. 'Tis not due yet; I would be loth to pay Him before His day. What need I be so forward with him that calls not on me? Well, 'tis no matter; honour pricks me on. Yea, but how if honour prick me off when I come on? how then? Can honor set-to a leg? no: or an arm? no: or take away the grief of a wound? no. Honour hath no skill in surgery then? no. What is honour? a word. What is that word, honour? air. A trim reckoning!—Who hath it? he that died o' Wednesday. Doth he feel it? no. Doth be hear it? no. Is it insensible, then? yea, to the dead. But will it not live with the living? no. Why? detraction will not suffer it. Therefore I'll none of it: honour is a mere scutcheon:—and so ends my catechism.


Scene II. The Rebel Camp.

[Enter Worcester and Vernon.]

WOR. O no, my nephew must not know, Sir Richard, The liberal-kind offer of the King.

VER. 'Twere best he did.

WOR. Then are we all undone. It is not possible, it cannot be, The King should keep his word in loving us; He will suspect us still, and find a time To punish this offence in other faults: Suspicion all our lives shall be stuck full of eyes; For treason is but trusted like the fox, Who, ne'er so tame, so cherish'd, and lock'd up, Will have a wild trick of his ancestors. Look how we can, or sad or merrily, Interpretation will misquote our looks; And we shall feed like oxen at a stall, The better cherish'd, still the nearer death. My nephew's trespass may be well forgot: It hath th' excuse of youth and heat of blood, And an adopted name of privilege,— A hare-brain'd Hotspur, govern'd by a spleen: All his offences live upon my head And on his father's: we did train him on; And, his corruption being ta'en from us, We, as the spring of all, shall pay for all. Therefore, good cousin, let not Harry know, In any case, the offer of the King.

VER. Deliver what you will, I'll say 'tis so. Here comes your cousin.

[Enter Hotspur and Douglas; Officers and Soldiers behind.]

HOT. My uncle is return'd: deliver up My Lord of Westmoreland.—Uncle, what news?

WOR. The King will bid you battle presently.

DOUG. Defy him by the Lord Of Westmoreland.

HOT. Lord Douglas, go you and tell him so.

DOUG. Marry, I shall, and very willingly.


WOR. There is no seeming mercy in the King.

HOT. Did you beg any? God forbid!

WOR. I told him gently of our grievances, Of his oath-breaking; which he mended thus, By new-forswearing that he is forsworn: He calls us rebels, traitors; and will scourge With haughty arms this hateful name in us.

[Re-enter Douglas.]

DOUG. Arm, gentlemen; to arms! for I have thrown A brave defiance in King Henry's teeth, And Westmoreland, that was engaged, did bear it; Which cannot choose but bring him quickly on.

WOR. The Prince of Wales stepp'd forth before the King, And, nephew, challenged you to single fight.

HOT. O, would the quarrel lay upon our heads; And that no man might draw short breath to-day But I and Harry Monmouth! Tell me, tell me, How show'd his tasking? seem'd it in contempt?

VER. No, by my soul: I never in my life Did hear a challenge urged more modestly, Unless a brother should a brother dare To gentle exercise and proof of arms. He gave you all the duties of a man; Trimm'd up your praises with a princely tongue; Spoke your deservings like a chronicle; Making you ever better than his praise, By still dispraising praise valued with you; And, which became him like a prince indeed, He made a blushing cital of himself; And chid his truant youth with such a grace, As if he master'd there a double spirit, Of teaching and of learning instantly. There did he pause: but let me tell the world, If he outlive the envy of this day, England did never owe so sweet a hope, So much misconstrued in his wantonness.

HOT. Cousin, I think thou art enamoured Upon his follies: never did I hear Of any prince so wild o' liberty. But be he as he will, yet once ere night I will embrace him with a soldier's arm, That he shall shrink under my courtesy.— Arm, arm with speed: and, fellows, soldiers, friends, Better consider what you have to do Than I, that have not well the gift of tongue, Can lift your blood up with persuasion.

[Enter a Messenger.]

MESS. My lord, here are letters for you.

HOT. I cannot read them now.— O gentlemen, the time of life is short! To spend that shortness basely were too long, If life did ride upon a dial's point, Still ending at th' arrival of an hour. An if we live, we live to tread on kings; If die, brave death, when princes die with us! Now, for our consciences, the arms are fair, When the intent of bearing them is just.

[Enter another Messenger.]

MESS. My lord, prepare: the King comes on apace.

HOT. I thank him, that he cuts me from my tale, For I profess not talking; only this, Let each man do his best: and here draw I A sword, whose temper I intend to stain With the best blood that I can meet withal In the adventure of this perilous day. Now, Esperance! Percy! and set on. Sound all the lofty instruments of war, And by that music let us all embrace; For, Heaven to Earth, some of us never shall A second time do such a courtesy.

[The trumpets sound. They embrace, and exeunt.]

Scene III. Plain between the Camps.

[Excursions, and Parties fighting. Alarum to the battle. Then enter Douglas and Sir Walter Blunt, meeting.]

BLUNT. What is thy name, that in the battle thus Thou crossest me? what honour dost thou seek Upon my head?

DOUG. Know, then, my name is Douglas, And I do haunt thee in the battle thus Because some tell me that thou art a king.

BLUNT. They tell thee true.

DOUG. The Lord of Stafford dear to-day hath bought Thy likeness; for, instead of thee, King Harry, This sword hath ended him: so shall it thee, Unless thou yield thee as my prisoner.

BLUNT. I was not born a yielder, thou proud Scot; And thou shalt find a king that will revenge Lord Stafford's death.

[They fight, and Blunt is slain. Enter Hotspur.]

HOT. O Douglas, hadst thou fought at Holmedon thus, I never had triumphed o'er a Scot.

DOUG. All's done, all's won; here breathless lies the King.

HOT. Where?

DOUG. Here.

HOT. This, Douglas? no; I know this face full well: A gallant knight he was, his name was Blunt; Semblably furnish'd like the King himself.

DOUG. A fool go with thy soul, where're it goes! A borrow'd title hast thou bought too dear: Why didst thou tell me that thou wert a king?

HOT. The King hath many marching in his coats.

DOUG. Now, by my sword, I will kill all his coats; I'll murder all his wardrobe piece by piece, Until I meet the King.

HOT. Up, and away! Our soldiers stand full fairly for the day.


[Alarums. Enter Falstaff.]

FAL. Though I could 'scape shot-free at London, I fear the shot here; here's no scoring but upon the pate.—Soft! who are you? Sir Walter Blunt: there's honour for you! here's no vanity! I am as hot as molten lead, and as heavy too: God keep lead out of me! I need no more weight than mine own bowels. I have led my ragamuffins where they are peppered: there's not three of my hundred and fifty left alive; and they are for the town's end, to beg during life. But who comes here?

[Enter Prince Henry.]

PRINCE. What, stand'st thou idle here? lend me thy sword: Many a nobleman lies stark and stiff Under the hoofs of vaunting enemies, Whose deaths are yet unrevenged: I pr'ythee, Lend me thy sword.

FAL. O Hal, I pr'ythee give me leave to breathe awhile. Turk Gregory never did such deeds in arms as I have done this day. I have paid Percy, I have made him sure.

PRINCE. He is indeed; and living to kill thee. I pr'ythee, lend me thy sword.

FAL. Nay, before God, Hal, if Percy be alive, thou gett'st not my sword; but take my pistol, if thou wilt.

PRINCE. Give it me: what, is it in the case?

FAL. Ay, Hal. 'Tis hot, 'tis hot: there's that will sack a city.

[The Prince draws out a bottle of sack.]

What, is't a time to jest and dally now?

[Throws it at him, and exit.]

FAL. Well, if Percy be alive, I'll pierce him. If he do come in my way, so; if he do not, if I come in his willingly, let him make a carbonado of me. I like not such grinning honour as Sir Walter hath: give me life; which if I can save, so; if not, honour comes unlooked for, and there's an end.


Scene IV. Another Part of the Field.

[Alarums. Excursions. Enter King Henry, Prince Henry, Lancaster, and Westmoreland.]

KING. I pr'ythee, Harry, withdraw thyself; thou bleedest too much.— Lord John of Lancaster, go you unto him.

LAN. Not I, my lord, unless I did bleed too.

PRINCE. I do beseech your Majesty, make up, Lest your retirement do amaze your friends.

KING. I will do so.— My Lord of Westmoreland, lead him to his tent.

WEST. Come, my lord, I'll lead you to your tent.

PRINCE. Lead me, my lord? I do not need your help: And God forbid, a shallow scratch should drive The Prince of Wales from such a field as this, Where stain'd nobility lies trodden on, And rebels' arms triumph in massacres!

LAN. We breathe too long:—come, cousin Westmoreland, Our duty this way lies; for God's sake, come.

[Exeunt Lancaster and Westmoreland.]

PRINCE. By Heaven, thou hast deceived me, Lancaster; I did not think thee lord of such a spirit: Before, I loved thee as a brother, John; But now I do respect thee as my soul.

KING. I saw him hold Lord Percy at the point With lustier maintenance than I did look for Of such an ungrown warrior.

PRINCE. O, this boy Lends mettle to us all!


[Alarums. Enter Douglas.]

DOUG. Another king! they grow like Hydra's heads: I am the Douglas, fatal to all those

That wear those colours on them.—What art thou, That counterfeit'st the person of a king?

KING. The King himself; who, Douglas, grieves at heart So many of his shadows thou hast met, And not the very King. I have two boys Seek Percy and thyself about the field: But, seeing thou fall'st on me so luckily, I will assay thee; so, defend thyself.

DOUG. I fear thou art another counterfeit; And yet, in faith, thou bear'st thee like a king: But mine I'm sure thou art, whoe'er thou be, And thus I win thee.

[They fight; the King being in danger, re-enter Prince Henry.]

PRINCE. Hold up thy head, vile Scot, or thou art like Never to hold it up again! the spirits Of valiant Shirley, Stafford, Blunt are in my arms: It is the Prince of Wales that threatens thee; Who never promiseth but he means to pay.—

[They fight: Douglas flies.]

Cheerly, my lord: how fares your Grace? Sir Nicholas Gawsey hath for succour sent, And so hath Clifton: I'll to Clifton straight.

KING. Stay, and breathe awhile: Thou hast redeem'd thy lost opinion; And show'd thou makest some tender of my life, In this fair rescue thou hast brought to me.

PRINCE. O God, they did me too much injury That ever said I hearken'd for your death! If it were so, I might have let alone Th' insulting hand of Douglas over you, Which would have been as speedy in your end As all the poisonous potions in the world, And saved the treacherous labour of your son.

KING. Make up to Clifton: I'll to Sir Nicholas Gawsey.


[Enter Hotspur.]

HOT. If I mistake not, thou art Harry Monmouth.

PRINCE. Thou speak'st as if I would deny my name.

HOT. My name is Harry Percy.

PRINCE. Why, then I see A very valiant rebel of the name. I am the Prince of Wales; and think not, Percy, To share with me in glory any more: Two stars keep not their motion in one sphere; Nor can one England brook a double reign, Of Harry Percy and the Prince of Wales.

HOT. Nor shall it, Harry; for the hour is come To end the one of us; and would to God Thy name in arms were now as great as mine!

PRINCE. I'll make it greater ere I part from thee; And all the budding honours on thy crest I'll crop, to make a garland for my head.

HOT. I can no longer brook thy vanities.

[They fight.]

[Enter Falstaff.]

FAL. Well said, Hal! to it, Hal! Nay, you shall find no boy's play here, I can tell you.

[Re-enter Douglas; he fights with Falstaff, who falls down as if he were dead, and exit Douglas. Hotspure is wounded, and falls.]

HOT. O Harry, thou hast robb'd me of my youth! I better brook the loss of brittle life Than those proud titles thou hast won of me; They wound my thoughts worse than thy sword my flesh: But thoughts the slave of life, and life Time's fool, And Time, that takes survey of all the world, Must have a stop. O, I could prophesy, But that the earthy and cold hand of death Lies on my tongue: no, Percy, thou art dust, And food for—


PRINCE. For worms, brave Percy: fare thee well, great heart! Ill-weaved ambition, how much art thou shrunk! When that this body did contain a spirit, A kingdom for it was too small a bound; But now two paces of the vilest earth Is room enough. This earth that bears thee dead Bears not alive so stout a gentleman. If thou wert sensible of courtesy, I should not make so dear a show of zeal: But let my favours hide thy mangled face; And, even in thy behalf, I'll thank myself For doing these fair rites of tenderness. Adieu, and take thy praise with thee to Heaven! Thy ignominy sleep with thee in the grave, But not remember'd in thy epitaph!—

[Sees Falstaff on the ground.]

What, old acquaintance? could not all this flesh Keep in a little life? Poor Jack, farewell! I could have better spared a better man: O, I should have a heavy miss of thee, If I were much in love with vanity! Death hath not struck so fat a deer to-day, Though many dearer, in this bloody fray. Embowell'd will I see thee by-and-by: Till then in blood by noble Percy lie.


FAL. [Rising.] Embowell'd! if thou embowel me to-day, I'll give you leave to powder me and eat me too to-morrow. 'Sblood, 'twas time to counterfeit, or that hot termagant Scot had paid me scot and lot too. Counterfeit! I lie; I am no counterfeit: to die, is to be a counterfeit; for he is but the counterfeit of a man who hath not the life of a man: but to counterfeit dying, when a man thereby liveth, is to be no counterfeit, but the true and perfect image of life indeed. The better part of valour is discretion; in the which better part I have saved my life.— Zwounds, I am afraid of this gunpowder Percy, though he be dead: how, if he should counterfeit too, and rise? by my faith, I am afraid he would prove the better counterfeit. Therefore I'll make him sure; yea, and I'll swear I kill'd him. Why may not he rise as well as I? Nothing confutes me but eyes, and nobody sees me. Therefore, sirrah, with a new wound in your thigh, come you along with me.

[Takes Hotspur on his hack.]

[Re-enter Prince Henry and Lancaster.]

PRINCE. Come, brother John; full bravely hast thou flesh'd Thy maiden sword.

LAN. But, soft! whom have we here? Did you not tell me this fat man was dead?

PRINCE. I did; I saw him dead, breathless and bleeding Upon the ground.— Art thou alive? or is it fantasy That plays upon our eyesight? I pr'ythee, speak; We will not trust our eyes without our ears. Thou art not what thou seem'st.

FAL. No, that's certain; I am not a double man: but if I be not Jack Falstaff, then am I a Jack. There is Percy! [Throwing the body down.] if your father will do me any honour, so; if not, let him kill the next Percy himself. I look to be either earl or duke, I can assure you.

PRINCE. Why, Percy I kill'd myself, and saw thee dead.

FAL. Didst thou?— Lord, Lord, how this world is given to lying!— I grant you I was down and out of breath; and so was he: but we rose both at an instant, and fought a long hour by Shrewsbury clock. If I may be believed, so; if not, let them that should reward valour bear the sin upon their own heads. I'll take it upon my death, I gave him this wound in the thigh: if the man were alive, and would deny it, zwounds, I would make him eat a piece of my sword.

LAN. This is the strangest tale that ever I heard.

PRINCE. This is the strangest fellow, brother John.— Come, bring your luggage nobly on your back: For my part, if a lie may do thee grace, I'll gild it with the happiest terms I have.—

[A retreat is sounded.]

The trumpet sounds retreat; the day is ours. Come, brother, let's to th' highest of the field, To see what friends are living, who are dead.

[Exeunt Prince Henry and Lancaster.]

FAL. I'll follow, as they say, for reward. He that rewards me, God reward him! If I do grow great, I'll grow less; for I'll purge, and leave sack, and live cleanly as a nobleman should do.

[Exit, bearing off the body.]

Scene V. Another Part of the Field.

[The trumpets sound. Enter King Henry, Prince Henry, Lancaster, Westmoreland, and others, with Worcester and Vernon prisoners.]

KING. Thus ever did rebellion find rebuke.— Ill-spirited Worcester! did not we send grace, Pardon, and terms of love to all of you? And wouldst thou turn our offers contrary? Misuse the tenour of thy kinsman's trust? Three knights upon our party slain to-day, A noble earl, and many a creature else, Had been alive this hour, If, like a Christian, thou hadst truly borne Betwixt our armies true intelligence.

WOR. What I have done my safety urged me to; And I embrace this fortune patiently, Since not to be avoided it fails on me.

KING. Bear Worcester to the death, and Vernon too: Other offenders we will pause upon.—

[Exeunt Worcester and Vernon, guarded.]

How goes the field?

PRINCE. The noble Scot, Lord Douglas, when he saw The fortune of the day quite turn'd from him, The noble Percy slain, and all his men Upon the foot of fear, fled with the rest; And, falling from a hill, he was so bruised That the pursuers took him. At my tent The Douglas is: and I beseech your Grace I may dispose of him.

KING. With all my heart.

PRINCE. Then, brother John of Lancaster, to you This honourable bounty shall belong: Go to the Douglas, and deliver him Up to his pleasure, ransomless and free: His valour, shown upon our crests to-day, Hath taught us how to cherish such high deeds Even in the bosom of our adversaries.

KING. Then this remains, that we divide our power.— You, son John, and my cousin Westmoreland, Towards York shall bend you with your dearest speed, To meet Northumberland and the prelate Scroop, Who, as we hear, are busily in arms: Myself,—and you, son Harry,—will towards Wales, To fight with Glendower and the Earl of March. Rebellion in this land shall lose his sway, Meeting the check of such another day; And since this business so fair is done, Let us not leave till all our own be won.



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