Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Rosemary Gaby
Not Peer Reviewed

Henry IV, Part 1 (Quarto 1, 1598)

The Historie.
the life of a m|~a|: but to co|~u|terfet dying when a man therby liueth,
is to be no counterfet, but the true & perfect image of life indeed.
3085The better parte of valour is discretion, in the which better part
I haue saued my life. Zounds I am afraid of this gunpowder Per-
cy, though he be dead, how if he should counterfet too and rise?
by my faith I am afraid hee woulde proue the better counterfet,
therefore ile make him sure, yea, and ile sweare I kild him. Why
3090may not he rise aswell as I? nothing confutes me but eies, and no
body sees me: therefore sirrha, with a new wound in your thigh,
come you along with me.
He takes vp Hotspur on his backe. Enter Prince
Iohn of Lancaster.
3095Prin. Come brother Iohn, full brauely hast thou flesht
Thy mayden sword.
Iohn of Lan. But soft, whom haue we heere?
Did you not tell me this fat man was dead?
Prin. I did, I saw him dead,
3100Breathlesse and bleeding on the ground. Art thou aliue?
Or is it fantasie that playes vpon our eiesight?
I preethe speake, we will not trust our eies
Without our eares, thou art not what thou seemst.
Fal. No thats certaine, I am not a double man: but if I bee
3105not Iacke Falstalffe, then am I a Iacke: there is Percy, if your
father will doe me anie honour, so: if not, let him kill the next
Percie himselfe: I looke to bee either Earle or Duke, I can as-
sure you.
Prin. Why Percy, I kild my selfe, and saw thee dead.
3110Falst. Didst thou? Lord, Lord, howe this world is giuen to
lying, I graunt you I was downe, and out of breath, and so was
he, but we rose both at an instant, and fought a long houre by
Shrewesburie clocke, if I may be beleeude so: if not, let them
that should rewarde valour, beare the sinne vppon their owne
3115heads. Ile take it vpon my death, I gaue him this wound in the
thigh, if the man were aliue, and would denie it, zounds I would
make him eate a peece of my sword.
Iohn. This is the strangest tale that euer I heard.
3120Prin. This is the strangest fellow, brother Iohn,
Come bring your luggage nobly on your backe.