Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Rosemary Gaby
Not Peer Reviewed

Henry IV, Part 1 (Quarto 1, 1598)

The History
Fal. I would twere bed time Hal, and all well.
2765Prin. Why, thou owest God a death.
Falst. Tis not due yet, I would be loath to pay him before his
day, what need I be so forwarde with him that cals not on mee?
Well, tis no matter, honor prickes me on; yea, but how if honor
pricke me off when I come on? how then can honor set to a leg?
2770no, or an arme? no, or take away the griefe of a wound? no, ho-
nor hath no skil in surgerie then? no, what is honor? a word, what
is in that word honor? what is that honour? aire, a trim recko-
ning. Who hath it? he that died a Wednesday, doth he feele it?
2775no, doth he heare it? no, tis insensible th|~e|? yea, to the dead, but wil
not liue with the liuing; no, why? detraction will not suffer it,
therefore ile none of it; honor is a meere skutchion, and so ends
my Catechisme.
Enter Worcester, sir Richard Vernon.
Wor. O no, my nephew must not know sir Richard,
The liberal and kind offer of the king.
Ver. Twere best he did.
2785Wor. Then are we all vnder one.
It is not possible, it cannot be
The king should keepe his word in louing vs,
He will suspect vs still, and find a time
To punish this offence in other faults,
2790Supposition, al our liues shall be stucke full of eyes,
For treason is but trusted like the Foxe,
Who neuer so tame, so cherisht and lockt vp,
Will haue a wilde tricke of his ancesters,
Looke how we can, or sad or merely,
2795Interpretation will misquote our lookes,
And we shall feed like oxen at a stall,
The better cherisht still the nearer death,
My nephewes trespasse may be well forgot,
It hath the excuse of youth and heat of blood,
2800And an adopted name of priueledge,
A hair-braind Hotspur gouernd by a spleene,
All his offences liue vpon my head
And on his fathers. We did traine him on,
And his corruption being tane from vs,