Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Rosemary Gaby
Peer Reviewed

Henry IV, Part 1 (Modern)

The History of Henry the Fourth, Part One
Enter the king, Lord John of Lancaster, Earl of Westmorland, with others.
King 5So shaken as we are, so wan with care,
Find we a time for frighted peace to pant
And breathe short-winded accents of new broils
To be commenced in strands afar remote.
No more the thirsty entrance of this soil
10Shall daub her lips with her own children's blood,
No more shall trenching war channel her fields,
Nor bruise her flow'rets with the armèd hoofs
Of hostile paces. Those opposèd eyes,
Which, like the meteors of a troubled heaven,
15All of one nature, of one substance bred,
Did lately meet in the intestine shock
And furious close of civil butchery,
Shall now in mutual well-beseeming ranks
March all one way, and be no more opposed
20Against acquaintance, kindred, and allies.
The edge of war, like an ill-sheathèd knife,
No more shall cut his master. Therefore, friends,
As far as to the sepulcher of Christ --
Whose soldier now, under whose blessèd cross
25We are impressèd and engaged to fight --
Forthwith a power of English shall we levy,
Whose arms were molded in their mother's womb
To chase these pagans in those holy fields
Over whose acres walked those blessèd feet
30Which fourteen hundred years ago were nailed,
For our advantage, on the bitter cross.
But this our purpose now is twelve month old,
And bootless 'tis to tell you we will go.
Therefor we meet not now. Then let me hear
35Of you, my gentle cousin Westmorland,
What yesternight our Council did decree
In forwarding this dear expedience.
Westmorland My liege, this haste was hot in question,
And many limits of the charge set down
40But yesternight, when all athwart there came
A post from Wales, loaden with heavy news,
Whose worst was that the noble Mortimer,
Leading the men of Herefordshire to fight
Against the irregular and wild Glendower,
45Was by the rude hands of that Welshman taken,
A thousand of his people butcherèd,
Upon whose dead corpse there was such misuse,
Such beastly shameless transformation
By those Welshwomen done as may not be
50Without much shame retold or spoken of.
King It seems then that the tidings of this broil
Brake off our business for the holy land.
Westmorland This matched with other did, my gracious lord,
For more uneven and unwelcome news
55Came from the north, and thus it did import:
On Holy-rood day the gallant Hotspur there --
Young Harry Percy -- and brave Archibald,
That ever valiant and approvèd Scot,
At Holmedon met, where they did spend
60A sad and bloody hour,
As by discharge of their artillery,
And shape of likelihood the news was told;
For he that brought them in the very heat
And pride of their contention did take horse
65Uncertain of the issue any way.
King Here is a dear, a true industrious friend,
Sir Walter Blunt, new lighted from his horse,
Stained with the variation of each soil
Betwixt that Holmedon and this seat of ours,
70And he hath brought us smooth and welcome news:
The Earl of Douglas is discomfited;
Ten thousand bold Scots, two-and-twenty knights,
Balked in their own blood did Sir Walter see
On Holmedon's plains. Of prisoners Hotspur took
75Mordake, Earl of Fife and eldest son
To beaten Douglas, and the Earl of Athol,
Of Murray, Angus, and Menteith.
And is not this an honorable spoil?
A gallant prize? Ha, cousin, is it not?
80Westmorland In faith it is -- a conquest for a prince to boast of.
King Yea, there thou mak'st me sad, and mak'st me sin
In envy, that my lord Northumberland
Should be the father to so blest a son --
A son who is the theme of honor's tongue,
85Amongst a grove the very straightest plant,
Who is sweet fortune's minion and her pride --
Whilst I by looking on the praise of him
See riot and dishonor stain the brow
Of my young Harry. Oh, that it could be proved
90That some night-tripping fairy had exchanged
In cradle clothes our children where they lay,
And called mine Percy, his Plantagenet!
Then would I have his Harry, and he mine.
But let him from my thoughts. What think you, coz,
95Of this young Percy's pride? The prisoners
Which he in this adventure hath surprised
To his own use he keeps, and sends me word
I shall have none but Mordake Earl of Fife.
Westmorland This is his uncle's teaching. This is Worcester,
100Malevolent to you in all aspects,
Which makes him prune himself, and bristle up
The crest of youth against your dignity.
King But I have sent for him to answer this;
And for this cause awhile we must neglect
105Our holy purpose to Jerusalem.
Cousin, on Wednesday next our council we
Will hold at Windsor. So inform the lords.
But come yourself with speed to us again,
For more is to be said and to be done,
110Than out of anger can be utterèd.
Westmorland I will my liege.
Enter Prince of Wales, and Sir John Falstaff.
115Falstaff Now Hal, what time of day is it lad?
Prince Thou art so fat-witted with drinking of old sack, and unbuttoning thee after supper, and sleeping upon benches after noon, that thou hast forgotten to demand that truly which thou wouldst truly know. What a devil hast thou to 120do with the time of the day? Unless hours were cups of sack, and minutes capons, and clocks the tongues of bawds, and dials the signs of leaping-houses, and the blessed sun himself a fair hot wench in flame-colored taffeta, I see no reason why thou shouldst be so superfluous to demand the time of the day.
Falstaff Indeed you come near me now, Hal, for we that take purses go by the moon and the seven stars, and not by Phoebus, "he, that wand'ring knight so fair." And I prithee, sweet 130wag, when thou art a king, as god save thy grace -- "majesty" I should say, for grace thou wilt have none --
Prince What, none?
Falstaff No, by my troth, not so much as will serve to be 135prologue to an egg and butter.
Prince Well, how then? Come, roundly, roundly.
Falstaff Marry then, sweet wag, when thou art king let not us that are squires of the night's body be called thieves of the day's beauty: let us be Diana's foresters, gentlemen of the 140shade, minions of the moon, and let men say we be men of good government, being governed as the sea is, by our noble and chaste mistress the moon, under whose countenance we steal.
Prince Thou sayst well, and it holds well too, for the fortune 145of us that are the moon's men doth ebb and flow like the sea, being governed as the sea is by the moon. As for proof now: a purse of gold most resolutely snatched on Monday night and most dissolutely spent on Tuesday morning; got with swearing "lay by!", and spent with crying "bring in!"; now in as low an ebb as the foot of the ladder, and by and by in as high a flow as the ridge of the gallows.
Falstaff By the lord, thou sayst true, lad; and is not my hostess of the tavern a most sweet wench?
155Prince As the honey of Hybla, my old lad of the castle. And is not a buff jerkin a most sweet robe of durance?
Falstaff How now, how now, mad wag? What, in thy quips and thy quiddities? What a plague have I to do with a buff jerkin?
160Prince Why, what a pox have I to do with my hostess of the tavern?
Falstaff Well, thou hast called her to a reckoning many a time and oft.
Prince Did I ever call for thee to pay thy part?
165Falstaff No, I'll give thee thy due, thou hast paid all there.
Prince Yea and elsewhere, so far as my coin would stretch, and where it would not I have used my credit.
Falstaff Yea, and so used it that were it not here apparent that thou art heir apparent -- but I prithee, sweet wag, shall there be 170gallows standing in England when thou art king, and resolution thus fubbed as it is with the rusty curb of old Father Antic the law? Do not thou when thou art king hang a thief.
Prince No, thou shalt.
175Falstaff Shall I? Oh, rare! By the lord, I'll be a brave judge.
Prince Thou judgest false already. I mean thou shalt have the hanging of the thieves, and so become a rare hangman.
Falstaff Well, Hal, well; and in some sort it jumps with my 180humor as well as waiting in the court, I can tell you.
Prince For obtaining of suits?
Falstaff Yea, for obtaining of suits, whereof the hangman hath no lean wardrobe. 'Sblood, I am as melancholy as a 185gib cat, or a lugged bear.
Prince Or an old lion, or a lover's lute.
Falstaff Yea, or the drone of a Lincolnshire bagpipe.
Prince What sayst thou to a hare, or the melancholy of Moorditch?
190Falstaff Thou hast the most unsavory similes, and art indeed the most comparative, rascalliest sweet young prince. But Hal, I prithee trouble me no more with vanity. I would to god thou and I knew where a commodity of good names were to be bought. An old lord of the Council rated me the 195other day in the street about you, sir, but I marked him not; and yet he talked very wisely, but I regarded him not; and yet he talked wisely, and in the street too.
Prince Thou didst well, for wisdom cries out in the streets and no man regards it.
Falstaff Oh, thou hast damnable iteration, and art indeed able 200to corrupt a saint. Thou hast done much harm upon me, Hal, god forgive thee for it. Before I knew thee, Hal, I knew nothing; and now am I, if a man should speak truly, little better than one of the wicked. I must give over this life, and I will give it over. By the lord, an I do not, I am a villain. I'll be 205damned for never a king's son in Christendom.
Prince Where shall we take a purse tomorrow, Jack?
Falstaff Zounds, where thou wilt, lad, I'll make one; an I do not, call me villain and baffle me.
210Prince I see a good amendment of life in thee, from praying to purse-taking.
Falstaff Why, Hal, 'tis my vocation, Hal. 'Tis no sin for a man to labor in his vocation.
Enter Poins
Poins! Now shall we know if Gadshill have set a match. 215O, if men were to be saved by merit, what hole in hell were hot enough for him? This is the most omnipotent villain that ever cried "Stand!" to a true man.
Prince Good morrow Ned.
Poins Good morrow, sweet Hal. [To Falstaff] What says Monsieur 220Remorse? What says Sir John Sack and Sugar: Jack? How agrees the devil and thee about thy soul, that thou soldest him on Good Friday last, for a cup of Madeira and a cold capon's leg?
Prince Sir John stands to his word, the devil shall have his 225bargain, for he was never yet a breaker of proverbs: he will give the devil his due.
Poins [To Falstaff] Then art thou damned for keeping thy word with the devil.
Prince Else he had been damned for cozening the devil.
230Poins But my lads, my lads, tomorrow morning by four o'clock early at Gad's Hill, there are pilgrims going to Canterbury with rich offerings, and traders riding to London with fat purses. I have vizards for you all; you have horses for yourselves. Gadshill lies tonight in Rochester. I have bespoke supper tomorrow 235night in Eastcheap. We may do it as secure as sleep. If you will go, I will stuff your purses full of crowns; if you will not, tarry at home and be hanged.
Falstaff Hear ye Yedward, if I tarry at home and go not I'll 240hang you for going.
Poins You will, chops?
Falstaff Hal, wilt thou make one?
Prince Who, I rob? I a thief? Not I, by my faith.
Falstaff There's neither honesty, manhood, nor good fellowship 245in thee, nor thou camest not of the blood royal, if thou darest not stand for ten shillings.
Prince Well then, once in my days I'll be a madcap.
Falstaff Why that's well said.
Prince Well, come what will, I'll tarry at home.
250Falstaff By the lord, I'll be a traitor then, when thou art king.
Prince I care not.
Poins Sir John, I prithee leave the prince and me alone. I will lay him down such reasons for this adventure that he shall go.
255Falstaff Well, god give thee the spirit of persuasion and him the ears of profiting, that what thou speakest may move and what he hears may be believed, that the true prince may -- for recreation sake -- prove a false thief; for the poor abuses of the time want countenance. Farewell, you shall find me in Eastcheap.
Prince Farewell, the latter spring; farewell, All-Hallown summer.
[Exit Falstaff.]
Poins Now, my good sweet honey lord, ride with us tomorrow. I have a jest to execute that I cannot manage alone. 265Falstaff, Peto, Bardolph, and Gadshill shall rob those men that we have already waylaid -- yourself and I will not be there -- and when they have the booty, if you and I do not rob them, cut this head off from my shoulders.
270Prince How shall we part with them in setting forth?
Poins Why, we will set forth before or after them and appoint them a place of meeting, wherein it is at our pleasure to fail. And then will they adventure upon the exploit themselves, which they shall have no sooner achieved but we'll set upon them.
Prince Yea, but 'tis like that they will know us by our horses, by our habits, and by every other appointment to be ourselves.
Poins Tut, our horses they shall not see -- I'll tie them in the wood; 280our vizards we will change after we leave them; and, sirrah, I have cases of buckram for the nonce, to immask our noted outward garments.
Prince Yea, but I doubt they will be too hard for us.
Poins Well, for two of them, I know them to be as true-bred 285cowards as ever turned back; and for the third, if he fight longer than he sees reason, I'll forswear arms. The virtue of this jest will be the incomprehensible lies that this same fat rogue will tell us when we meet at supper: how thirty at least he fought with, what wards, what blows, what extremities he endured; and in 290the reproof of this lives the jest.
Prince Well, I'll go with thee. Provide us all things necessary, and meet me tomorrow night in Eastcheap; there I'll sup. Farewell.
295Poins Farewell, my lord.
Exit Poins.
Prince I know you all, and will a while uphold
The unyoked humor of your idleness.
Yet herein will I imitate the sun,
Who doth permit the base contagious clouds
300To smother up his beauty from the world,
That when he please again to be himself,
Being wanted he may be more wondered at
By breaking through the foul and ugly mists
Of vapours that did seem to strangle him.
305If all the year were playing holidays,
To sport would be as tedious as to work;
But when they seldom come, they wished-for come,
And nothing pleaseth but rare accidents.
So when this loose behaviour I throw off
310And pay the debt I never promisèd,
By how much better than my word I am,
By so much shall I falsify men's hopes;
And like bright metal on a sullen ground,
My reformation, glitt'ring o'er my fault,
315Shall show more goodly and attract more eyes
Than that which hath no foil to set it off.
I'll so offend to make offense a skill,
Redeeming time when men think least I will.
Enter the king, Northumberland, Worcester, Hotspur, Sir Walter Blunt, with others.
King My blood hath been too cold and temperate,
Unapt to stir at these indignities,
And you have found me, for accordingly
325You tread upon my patience. But be sure
I will from henceforth rather be myself,
Mighty and to be feared, than my condition,
Which hath been smooth as oil, soft as young down,
And therefore lost that title of respect
330Which the proud soul ne'er pays but to the proud.
Worcester Our house, my sovereign liege, little deserves
The scourge of greatness to be used on it,
And that same greatness too, which our own hands
Have holp to make so portly.
335Northumberland My lord --
King Worcester, get thee gone, for I do see
Danger and disobedience in thine eye.
O sir, your presence is too bold and peremptory,
And majesty might never yet endure
340The moody frontier of a servant brow.
You have good leave to leave us. When we need
Your use and counsel we shall send for you.
Exit Worcester.
[To Northumberland] You were about to speak.
Yea my good lord.
345Those prisoners in your highness' name demanded,
Which Harry Percy here at Holmedon took,
Were, as he says, not with such strength denied
As is delivered to your majesty.
Either envy, therefore, or misprision
350Is guilty of this fault, and not my son.
Hotspur My liege, I did deny no prisoners.
But I remember when the fight was done,
When I was dry with rage and extreme toil,
Breathless and faint, leaning upon my sword,
355Came there a certain lord, neat and trimly dressed,
Fresh as a bridegroom, and his chin, new-reaped,
Showed like a stubble-land at harvest-home.
He was perfumèd like a milliner,
And 'twixt his finger and his thumb he held
360A pouncet-box, which ever and anon
He gave his nose and took't away again,
Who therewith angry, when it next came there
Took it in snuff, and still he smiled and talked;
And as the soldiers bore dead bodies by,
365He called them untaught knaves, unmannerly,
To bring a slovenly unhandsome corpse
Betwixt the wind and his nobility.
With many holiday and lady terms
He questioned me, amongst the rest demanded
370My prisoners in your majesty's behalf.
I then, all smarting with my wounds being cold,
To be so pestered with a popinjay,
Out of my grief and my impatience
Answered neglectingly, I know not what,
375He should, or he should not, for he made me mad
To see him shine so brisk, and smell so sweet,
And talk so like a waiting gentlewoman
Of guns, and drums, and wounds, god save the mark!
And telling me the sovereign'st thing on earth
380Was parmacity, for an inward bruise,
And that it was great pity, so it was,
This villainous saltpetre should be digged
Out of the bowels of the harmless earth,
Which many a good tall fellow had destroyed
385So cowardly, and but for these vile guns
He would himself have been a soldier.
This bald unjointed chat of his, my lord,
I answered indirectly, as I said,
And I beseech you, let not his report
390Come current for an accusation
Betwixt my love and your high majesty.
Blunt The circumstance considered, good my lord,
Whate'er Lord Harry Percy then had said
To such a person, and in such a place,
395At such a time, with all the rest retold,
May reasonably die, and never rise
To do him wrong, or any way impeach
What then he said, so he unsay it now.
King Why, yet he doth deny his prisoners,
400But with proviso and exception
That we at our own charge shall ransom straight
His brother-in-law, the foolish Mortimer,
Who, on my soul, hath wilfully betrayed
The lives of those that he did lead to fight
405Against that great magician, damned Glendower,
Whose daughter, as we hear, that Earl of March
Hath lately married. Shall our coffers then
Be emptied to redeem a traitor home?
Shall we buy treason, and indent with fears
410When they have lost and forfeited themselves?
No, on the barren mountains let him starve,
For I shall never hold that man my friend
Whose tongue shall ask me for one penny cost
To ransom home revolted Mortimer.
415Hotspur Revolted Mortimer!
He never did fall off, my sovereign liege,
But by the chance of war. To prove that true
Needs no more but one tongue for all those wounds,
Those mouthèd wounds, which valiantly he took
420When on the gentle Severn's sedgy bank
In single opposition, hand to hand,
He did confound the best part of an hour
In changing hardiment with great Glendower.
Three times they breathed, and three times did they drink,
425Upon agreement, of swift Severn's flood,
Who then, affrighted with their bloody looks,
Ran fearfully among the trembling reeds
And hid his crisp head in the hollow bank,
Bloodstainèd with these valiant combatants.
430Never did bare and rotten policy
Color her working with such deadly wounds,
Nor never could the noble Mortimer
Receive so many, and all willingly.
Then let not him be slandered with revolt.
435King Thou dost belie him, Percy, thou dost belie him.
He never did encounter with Glendower.
I tell thee, he durst as well have met the devil alone
As Owen Glendower for an enemy.
Art thou not ashamed? But, sirrah, henceforth
440Let me not hear you speak of Mortimer.
Send me your prisoners with the speediest means,
Or you shall hear in such a kind from me
As will displease you. My Lord Northumberland
We license your departure with your son.
445Send us your prisoners, or you will hear of it.
Exit King [with all but Hotspur and Northumberland.]
Hotspur An if the devil come and roar for them
I will not send them. I will after straight
And tell him so, for I will ease my heart,
Albeit I make a hazard of my head.
450Northumberland What, drunk with choler? Stay and pause awhile.
Here comes your uncle.
Enter Worcester.
Speak of Mortimer?
Zounds, I will speak of him, and let my soul
Want mercy if I do not join with him.
455Yea, on his part I'll empty all these veins,
And shed my dear blood drop by drop in the dust,
But I will lift the downtrod Mortimer
As high in the air as this unthankful king,
As this ingrate and cankered Bolingbroke.
460Northumberland Brother, the king hath made your nephew mad.
Worcester Who struck this heat up after I was gone?
Hotspur He will forsooth have all my prisoners,
And when I urged the ransom once again
Of my wife's brother, then his cheek looked pale,
465And on my face he turned an eye of death,
Trembling even at the name of Mortimer.
Worcester I cannot blame him: was not he proclaimed
By Richard, that dead is, the next of blood?
Northumberland He was; I heard the proclamation.
470And then it was when the unhappy king --
Whose wrongs in us god pardon! -- did set forth
Upon his Irish expedition,
From whence he, intercepted, did return
To be deposed, and shortly murderèd.
475Worcester And for whose death we in the world's wide mouth
Live scandalized and foully spoken of.
Hotspur But soft, I pray you, did King Richard then
Proclaim my brother Edmund Mortimer
Heir to the crown?
He did, myself did hear it.
Hotspur Nay then, I cannot blame his cousin king
That wished him on the barren mountains starve.
But shall it be that you that set the crown
Upon the head of this forgetful man,
485And for his sake wear the detested blot
Of murderous subornation, shall it be
That you a world of curses undergo,
Being the agents or base second means,
The cords, the ladder, or the hangman rather?
490Oh, pardon me that I descend so low
To show the line and the predicament
Wherein you range under this subtle king!
Shall it for shame be spoken in these days,
Or fill up chronicles in time to come,
495That men of your nobility and power
Did gage them both in an unjust behalf --
As both of you, god pardon it, have done --
To put down Richard, that sweet lovely rose,
And plant this thorn, this canker, Bolingbroke?
500And shall it in more shame be further spoken
That you are fooled, discarded, and shook off
By him for whom these shames ye underwent?
No, yet time serves wherein you may redeem
Your banished honors, and restore yourselves
505Into the good thoughts of the world again,
Revenge the jeering and disdained contempt
Of this proud king, who studies day and night
To answer all the debt he owes to you
Even with the bloody payment of your deaths.
510Therefore, I say --
Peace, cousin, say no more.
And now I will unclasp a secret book,
And to your quick-conceiving discontents
I'll read you matter deep and dangerous,
515As full of peril and adventurous spirit
As to o'erwalk a current roaring loud
On the unsteadfast footing of a spear.
Hotspur If he fall in, good night, or sink or swim.
Send danger from the east unto the west,
520So honor cross it from the north to south,
And let them grapple. Oh, the blood more stirs
To rouse a lion than to start a hare!
Northumberland Imagination of some great exploit
Drives him beyond the bounds of patience.
525[Hotspur] By heaven, methinks it were an easy leap
To pluck bright honor from the pale-faced moon,
Or dive into the bottom of the deep,
Where fathom-line could never touch the ground,
And pluck up drownèd honor by the locks,
530So he that doth redeem her thence might wear,
Without co-rival, all her dignities.
But out upon this half-faced fellowship!
Worcester He apprehends a world of figures here,
But not the form of what he should attend.
535Good cousin, give me audience for a while.
I cry you mercy.
Those same noble Scots
That are your prisoners --
I'll keep them all;
By god, he shall not have a Scot of them,
No, if a Scot would save his soul he shall not.
I'll keep them, by this hand.
You start away,
545And lend no ear unto my purposes.
Those prisoners you shall keep.
Nay, I will; that's flat.
He said he would not ransom Mortimer,
Forbade my tongue to speak of Mortimer;
550But I will find him when he lies asleep,
And in his ear I'll holla "Mortimer!"
Nay, I'll have a starling shall be taught to speak
Nothing but "Mortimer," and give it him
To keep his anger still in motion.
555Worcester Hear you, cousin, a word.
Hotspur All studies here I solemnly defy,
Save how to gall and pinch this Bolingbroke.
And that same sword-and-buckler Prince of Wales.
But that I think his father loves him not
560And would be glad he met with some mischance,
I would have him poisoned with a pot of ale.
Worcester Farewell, kinsman. I'll talk to you
When you are better tempered to attend.
Northumberland Why, what a wasp-stung and impatient fool
565Art thou to break into this woman's mood
Tying thine ear to no tongue but thine own!
Hotspur Why, look you, I am whipped and scourged with rods,
Nettled and stung with pismires, when I hear
Of this vile politician Bolingbroke.
570In Richard's time -- what d'ye call the place?
A plague upon't, it is in Gloucestershire.
'Twas where the madcap duke his uncle kept,
His uncle York -- where I first bowed my knee
Unto this king of smiles, this Bolingbroke --
575'Sblood, when you and he came back from Ravenspurgh.
Northumberland At Berkeley castle.
Hotspur You say true.
Why, what a candy deal of courtesy
This fawning greyhound then did proffer me!
580"Look when his infant fortune came to age,"
And "gentle Harry Percy," and "kind cousin."
Oh, the devil take such cozeners! God forgive me,
Good uncle, tell your tale; I have done.
Worcester Nay, if you have not, to it again.
585We will stay your leisure.
I have done, i'faith.
Worcester Then once more to your Scottish prisoners.
Deliver them up without their ransom straight;
And make the Douglas' son your only mean
590For powers in Scotland, which for divers reasons
Which I shall send you written, be assured
Will easily be granted. [To Northumberland] You, my lord,
Your son in Scotland being thus employed,
Shall secretly into the bosom creep
595Of that same noble prelate well-beloved,
The archbishop.
Hotspur Of York, is't not?
Worcester True, who bears hard
His brother's death at Bristol, the Lord Scrope.
600I speak not this in estimation,
As what I think might be, but what I know
Is ruminated, plotted, and set down,
And only stays but to behold the face
Of that occasion that shall bring it on.
605Hotspur I smell it; upon my life, it will do well!
Northumberland Before the game is afoot thou still let'st slip.
Hotspur Why, it cannot choose but be a noble plot --
And then the power of Scotland and of York
610To join with Mortimer, ha?
And so they shall.
Hotspur In faith, it is exceedingly well aimed.
Worcester And 'tis no little reason bids us speed
To save our heads by raising of a head;
615For, bear ourselves as even as we can,
The king will always think him in our debt,
And think we think ourselves unsatisfied
Till he hath found a time to pay us home.
And see already how he doth begin
620To make us strangers to his looks of love.
Hotspur He does, he does. We'll be revenged on him.
Worcester Cousin, farewell. No further go in this
Than I by letters shall direct your course.
When time is ripe, which will be suddenly,
625I'll steal to Glendower and Lord Mortimer,
Where you and Douglas and our powers at once,
As I will fashion it, shall happily meet,
To bear our fortunes in our own strong arms,
Which now we hold at much uncertainty.
630Northumberland Farewell, good brother. We shall thrive, I trust.
Hotspur Uncle, adieu. Oh, let the hours be short
Till fields and blows and groans applaud our sport!
Enter a Carrier with a lantern in his hand.
635First Carrier Heigh-ho! An it be not four by the day, I'll be hanged. Charles's Wain is over the new chimney, and yet our horse not packed. What, ostler!
Ostler [Within] Anon, anon!
First Carrier I prithee, Tom, beat Cut's saddle, put a few flocks in 640the point. Poor jade is wrung in the withers, out of all cess.
Enter another Carrier.
Second Carrier Peas and beans are as dank here as a dog, and that is the next way to give poor jades the bots. This house is turned 645upside down since Robin Ostler died.
First Carrier Poor fellow never joyed since the price of oats rose; it was the death of him.
Second Carrier I think this be the most villainous house in all London 650road for fleas. I am stung like a tench.
First Carrier Like a tench? By the mass, there is ne'er a king Christian could be better bit than I have been since the first cock.
Second Carrier Why, they will allow us ne'er a jordan, and then we 655leak in your chimney, and your chamber-lye breeds fleas like a loach.
First Carrier What, ostler! Come away and be hanged, come away!
Second Carrier I have a gammon of bacon and two races of 660ginger to be delivered as far as Charing Cross.
First Carrier God's body, the turkeys in my pannier are quite starved! What, ostler! A plague on thee, hast thou never an eye in thy head? Canst not hear? An 'twere not as good deed as drink to break the pate on thee, I am a very villain. Come, and be hanged! 665Hast no faith in thee?
Enter Gadshill.
Gadshill Good morrow, carriers. What's o'clock?
First Carrier I think it be two o'clock.
Gadshill I prithee lend me thy lantern to see my gelding in the 670stable.
First Carrier Nay, by god, soft. I know a trick worth two of that, i'faith.
Gadshill [To Second Carrier] I pray thee, lend me thine.
Second Carrier Ay, when? Canst tell? "Lend me thy lantern," quoth he. 675Marry, I'll see thee hanged first.
Gadshill Sirrah carrier, what time do you mean to come to London?
Second Carrier Time enough to go to bed with a candle, I warrant thee. Come, neighbor Mugs, we'll call up the gentlemen. 680They will along with company, for they have great charge.
Exeunt [Carriers].
Enter Chamberlain.
Gadshill What ho, chamberlain!
Chamberlain "At hand, quoth pickpurse."
685Gadshill That's even as fair as "at hand, quoth the chamberlain," for thou variest no more from picking of purses than giving direction doth from laboring: thou layest the plot how.
Chamberlain Good morrow, Master Gadshill. It holds current that 690I told you yesternight. There's a franklin in the Weald of Kent hath brought three hundred marks with him in gold. I heard him tell it to one of his company last night at supper, a kind of auditor, one that hath abundance of charge too, god knows what. They are up already, and call for eggs and butter; they will 695away presently.
Gadshill Sirrah, if they meet not with Saint Nicholas's clerks, I'll give thee this neck.
Chamberlain No, I'll none of it: I pray thee keep that for the 700hangman, for I know thou worshippest Saint Nicholas as truly as a man of falsehood may.
Gadshill What talkest thou to me of the hangman? If I hang, I'll make a fat pair of gallows, for if I hang, old Sir John hangs with me, and thou knowest he is no starveling. Tut, there are other 705Trojans that thou dreamest not of, the which for sport's sake are content to do the profession some grace, that would, if matters should be looked into, for their own credit's sake make all whole. I am joined with no foot-landrakers, no 710long-staff sixpenny strikers, none of these mad mustachio purple-hued maltworms, but with nobility and tranquility, burgomasters and great oneyers; such as can hold in, such as will strike sooner than speak, and speak sooner than drink, and drink sooner than pray. And yet, zounds, I lie, for they pray continually to their saint the 715commonwealth; or rather, not pray to her, but prey on her; for they ride up and down on her and make her their boots.
Chamberlain What, the commonwealth their boots? Will she hold out water in foul way?
720Gadshill She will, she will, justice hath liquored her. We steal as in a castle, cocksure; we have the recipe of fernseed, we walk invisible.
Chamberlain Nay, by my faith, I think you are more beholding to the night than to fernseed for your walking invisible.
Gadshill Give me thy hand; thou shalt have a share in our purchase, as I am a true man.
Chamberlain Nay, rather let me have it as you are a false thief.
Gadshill Go to, "homo" is a common name to all men. Bid the ostler bring my gelding out of the stable. Farewell, you muddy knave.
Enter Prince, Poins, and Peto.
Poins Come, shelter, shelter! I have removed Falstaff's horse, and he frets like a gummed velvet.
Prince Stand close.
[Poins and Peto hide.]
Enter Falstaff.
740Falstaff Poins! Poins, and be hanged! Poins!
Prince Peace, ye fat-kidneyed rascal! What a brawling dost thou keep!
Falstaff Where's Poins, Hal?
Prince He is walked up to the top of the hill. I'll go seek him.
[He joins Poins and Peto]
Falstaff I am accursed to rob in that thief's company. The rascal hath removed my horse and tied him I know not where. If I travel but four foot by the square further afoot, I shall break my wind. Well, I doubt not but to die a fair death, for all 750this if I scape hanging for killing that rogue. I have forsworn his company hourly any time this two-and-twenty years, and yet I am bewitched with the rogue's company. If the rascal have not given me medicines to make me love him, I'll be hanged. It could 755not be else -- I have drunk medicines. Poins! Hal! A plague upon you both! Bardolph! Peto! I'll starve ere I'll rob a foot further. An 'twere not as good a deed as drink to turn true man and to leave these rogues, I am the veriest varlet that ever chewed with a tooth. Eight yards of uneven ground is 760threescore and ten miles afoot with me, and the stony-hearted villains know it well enough. A plague upon it when thieves cannot be true one to another!
They whistle.
Whew! A plague upon you all!
[Prince, Poins and Peto come forward(?)]
Give me my horse, you rogues; 765give me my horse, and be hanged!
Prince Peace, ye fat-guts. Lie down, lay thine ear close to the ground, and list if thou canst hear the tread of travelers.
Falstaff Have you any levers to lift me up again, being down? 770'Sblood, I'll not bear my own flesh so far afoot again for all the coin in thy father's exchequer. What a plague mean ye to colt me thus?
Prince Thou liest: thou art not colted, thou art uncolted.
Falstaff I prithee, good Prince Hal, help me to my horse, good 775king's son.
Prince Out, ye rogue, shall I be your ostler?
Falstaff Hang thyself in thine own heir-apparent garters! If I be ta'en, I'll peach for this. An I have not ballads made on you all and sung to filthy tunes, let a cup of sack be my 780poison. When a jest is so forward -- and afoot too -- I hate it.
Enter Gadshill [and Bardolph(?)].
Gadshill Stand!
Falstaff So I do, against my will.
785Poins Oh, 'tis our setter, I know his voice. Bardolph, what news?
Bardolph Case ye, case ye, on with your vizards! There's money of the king's coming down the hill; 'tis going to the king's exchequer.
790Falstaff You lie, ye rogue, 'tis going to the king's tavern.
Gadshill There's enough to make us all.
Falstaff To be hanged.
Prince Sirs, you four shall front them in the narrow lane. Ned Poins and I will walk lower. If they scape from your 795encounter, then they light on us.
Peto How many be there of them?
Gadshill Some eight or ten.
Falstaff Zounds, will they not rob us?
Prince What, a coward, Sir John Paunch?
800Falstaff Indeed I am not John of Gaunt your grandfather, but yet no coward, Hal.
Prince Well, we leave that to the proof.
Poins Sirrah Jack, thy horse stands behind the hedge. When thou need'st him, there thou shalt find him. Farewell, and stand fast.
Falstaff Now cannot I strike him if I should be hanged.
Prince [Aside to Poins] Ned, where are our disguises?
Poins [Aside to the prince] Here, hard by, stand close.
[Exeunt Prince and Poins.]
Falstaff Now, my masters, happy man be his dole, say I; every 810man to his business.
Enter the travelers.
[First Traveler] Come, neighbor, the boy shall lead our horses down the hill. We'll walk afoot a while, and ease their legs.
815Thieves Stand!
Traveler Jesus bless us!
Falstaff Strike, down with them, cut the villains' throats. Ah, whoreson caterpillars, bacon-fed knaves! They hate us youth. Down with them, fleece them!
820Traveler Oh, we are undone, both we and ours forever!
Falstaff Hang, ye gorbellied knaves, are ye undone? No, ye fat chuffs, I would your store were here. On, bacons, on! What, ye knaves, young men must live. You are grand-jurors, are ye? We'll jure ye, faith.
Here they rob them and bind them. Exeunt.
Enter the prince and Poins.
Prince The thieves have bound the true men. Now could thou and I rob the thieves and go merrily to London, it would be argument for a week, laughter for a month, and a good jest 830forever.
Poins Stand close, I hear them coming.
[They hide.]
Enter the thieves again.
Falstaff Come, my masters, let us share, and then to horse before day. An the prince and Poins be not two arrant cowards, 835there's no equity stirring. There's no more valor in that Poins than in a wild duck.
As they are sharing the prince and Poins set upon them.
Prince Your money.
Poins Villains!
They all run away, and Falstaff after a blow or two runs away840 too, leaving the booty behind them.
Prince Got with much ease. Now merrily to horse. The thieves are all scattered and possessed with fear so strongly that they dare not meet each other. Each takes his fellow for an officer. Away, good Ned. Falstaff sweats to death, and lards the lean earth 845as he walks along. Were't not for laughing, I should pity him.
Poins How the fat rogue roared!
Enter Hotspur [alone] reading a letter.
850[Hotspur] "But for mine own part, my lord, I could be well contented to be there, in respect of the love I bear your house." He could be contented; why is he not then? In respect of the love he bears our house! He shows in this he loves his own barn better than he loves our house. Let me see some more. 855"The purpose you undertake is dangerous," -- Why, that's certain: 'tis dangerous to take a cold, to sleep, to drink; but I tell you, my lord fool, out of this nettle danger we pluck this flower safety. "The purpose you undertake is dangerous, the friends you have 860named uncertain, the time itself unsorted, and your whole plot too light for the counterpoise of so great an opposition." Say you so, say you so? I say unto you again, you are a shallow, cowardly hind, and you lie. What a lack-brain is this! By the lord, our plot is a good plot as ever was laid, our friends true 865and constant; a good plot, good friends, and full of expectation; an excellent plot, very good friends. What a frosty-spirited rogue is this! Why, my lord of York commends the plot and the general course of the action. Zounds, an I were now by this 870rascal, I could brain him with his lady's fan! Is there not my father, my uncle, and myself? Lord Edmund Mortimer, my lord of York, and Owen Glendower? Is there not besides the Douglas? Have I not all their letters, to meet me in arms by the ninth of the next month? And are they not some of them set 875forward already? What a pagan rascal is this, an infidel! Ha, you shall see now, in very sincerity of fear and cold heart will he to the king, and lay open all our proceedings! Oh, I could divide myself and go to buffets for moving such a dish of skim-milk 880with so honorable an action! Hang him! Let him tell the king; we are prepared. I will set forward tonight.
Enter his lady.
How now, Kate? I must leave you within these two hours.
885Lady Percy O my good lord, why are you thus alone?
For what offense have I this fortnight been
A banished woman from my Harry's bed?
Tell me, sweet lord, what is't that takes from thee
Thy stomach, pleasure, and thy golden sleep?
890Why dost thou bend thine eyes upon the earth?
And start so often when thou sit'st alone?
Why hast thou lost the fresh blood in thy cheeks,
And given my treasures and my rights of thee
To thick-eyed musing and curst melancholy?
895In thy faint slumbers I by thee have watched,
And heard thee murmur tales of iron wars,
Speak terms of manage to thy bounding steed,
Cry courage to the field. And thou hast talked
Of sallies and retires, of trenches, tents,
900Of palisadoes, frontiers, parapets,
Of basilisks, of cannon, culverin,
Of prisoners' ransom, and of soldiers slain,
And all the currents of a heady fight.
Thy spirit within thee hath been so at war,
905And thus hath so bestirred thee in thy sleep,
That beads of sweat have stood upon thy brow
Like bubbles in a late-disturbèd stream;
And in thy face strange motions have appeared,
Such as we see when men restrain their breath
910On some great sudden heft. Oh, what portents are these?
Some heavy business hath my lord in hand,
And I must know it, else he loves me not.
What ho!
[Enter Servant.]
Is Gilliams with the packet gone?
Servant He is, my lord, an hour ago.
915Hotspur Hath Butler brought those horses from the sheriff?
Servant One horse, my lord, he brought even now.
Hotspur What horse? Roan? A crop-ear, is it not?
It is, my lord.
That roan shall be my throne.
Well, I will back him straight. 920O Esperance!
Bid Butler lead him forth into the park.
[Exit servant.]
Lady Percy But hear you, my lord.
Hotspur What sayst thou, my lady?
Lady Percy What is it carries you away?
925Hotspur Why, my horse, my love, my horse.
Lady Percy Out, you mad-headed ape!
A weasel hath not such a deal of spleen
As you are tossed with. In faith,
I'll know your business, Harry, that I will.
I fear my brother Mortimer doth stir
About his title, and hath sent for you
To line his enterprise; but if you go --
Hotspur So far afoot? I shall be weary, love.
Lady Percy Come, come, you paraquito, answer me
Directly unto this question that I ask.
In faith, I'll break thy little finger, Harry,
An if thou wilt not tell me all things true.
935Hotspur Away, away, you trifler! Love? I love thee not,
I care not for thee, Kate. This is no world
To play with mammets and to tilt with lips.
We must have bloody noses and cracked crowns,
And pass them current, too. God's me, my horse!
940What sayst thou, Kate? What wouldst thou have with me?
Lady Percy Do you not love me? Do you not indeed?
Well, do not then, for since you love me not
I will not love myself. Do you not love me?
Nay, tell me if you speak in jest or no.
945Hotspur Come, wilt thou see me ride?
And when I am a-horseback, I will swear
I love thee infinitely. But hark you, Kate.
I must not have you henceforth question me
Whither I go, nor reason whereabout.
950Whither I must, I must; and, to conclude,
This evening must I leave you, gentle Kate.
I know you wise, but yet no farther wise
Than Harry Percy's wife; constant you are,
But yet a woman; and for secrecy
955No lady closer, for I well believe
Thou wilt not utter what thou dost not know.
And so far will I trust thee, gentle Kate.
Lady Percy How, so far?
Hotspur Not an inch further. But hark you Kate,
960Whither I go, thither shall you go too.
Today will I set forth, tomorrow you.
Will this content you, Kate?
Lady Percy It must of force.
Enter Prince and Poins.
Prince Ned, prithee come out of that fat room, and lend me thy hand to laugh a little.
Poins Where hast been, Hal?
Prince With three or four loggerheads, amongst three or 970fourscore hogsheads. I have sounded the very bass-string of humility. Sirrah, I am sworn brother to a leash of drawers, and can call them all by their Christian names, as Tom, Dick, and Francis. They take it already upon their salvation that though I be but Prince of Wales, yet I am the king of courtesy, and tell me 975flatly I am no proud Jack like Falstaff, but a Corinthian, a lad of mettle, a good boy (by the lord, so they call me) and when I am king of England I shall command all the good lads in Eastcheap. They call drinking deep "dyeing scarlet," and when you breathe in your watering they cry "hem!" and bid you "play it off!" 980To conclude, I am so good a proficient in one quarter of an hour that I can drink with any tinker in his own language during my life. I tell thee Ned, thou hast lost much honor that thou wert not with me in this action. But, sweet Ned -- to sweeten 985which name of Ned I give thee this pennyworth of sugar, clapped even now into my hand by an underskinker, one that never spake other English in his life than "Eight shillings and sixpence," and "You are welcome," with this shrill addition, "Anon, anon, sir! Score a pint of bastard in the Half-moon!" or so. But, Ned, to drive 990away the time till Falstaff come, I prithee do thou stand in some by-room, while I question my puny drawer to what end he gave me the sugar, and do thou never leave calling "Francis!" that his tale to me may be nothing but "Anon!" Step aside, and I'll 995show thee a precedent.
[Exit Poins.]
Poins [Within] Francis!
Prince Thou art perfect.
Poins [Within] Francis!
Enter Drawer.
1000Francis Anon, anon, sir! [Calling] Look down into the Pomgarnet, Ralph!
Prince Come hither, Francis.
Francis My lord.
Prince How long hast thou to serve, Francis?
1005Francis Forsooth, five years, and as much as to --
Poins [Within] Francis!
Francis Anon, anon, sir.
Prince Five year! By'r Lady, a long lease for the clinking of pewter. But Francis, darest thou be so valiant as to play the coward 1010with thy indenture, and show it a fair pair of heels, and run from it?
Francis O lord, sir, I'll be sworn upon all the books in England, I could find in my heart --
Poins [Within] Francis!
1015Francis Anon sir.
Prince How old art thou Francis?
Francis Let me see, about Michaelmas next I shall be --
Poins [Within] Francis!
Francis Anon sir. Pray stay a little my lord.
1020Prince Nay, but hark you, Francis. For the sugar thou gavest me, 'twas a pennyworth, was't not?
Francis O lord, I would it had been two!
Prince I will give thee for it a thousand pound. Ask me when thou wilt, and thou shalt have it.
1025Poins [Within] Francis!
Francis Anon, anon.
Prince Anon, Francis? No, Francis, but tomorrow, Francis; or, Francis, a-Thursday; or, indeed, Francis, when thou wilt. But Francis --
1030Francis My lord?
Prince Wilt thou rob this leathern-jerkin, crystal-button, not-pated, agate-ring, puke-stocking, caddis-garter, smooth-tongue Spanish pouch?
Francis O lord, sir, who do you mean?
1035Prince Why, then, your brown bastard is your only drink! For look you, Francis, your white canvas doublet will sully. In Barbary, sir, it cannot come to so much.
Francis What sir?
Poins [Within] Francis!
1040Prince Away, you rogue! Dost thou not hear them call?
Here they both call him. The Drawer stands amazed, not knowing which way to go.
Enter Vintner.
Vintner What, standest thou still, and hearest such a calling? Look 1045to the guests within.
[Exit Francis.]
My lord, old Sir John with half a dozen more are at the door. Shall I let them in?
Prince Let them alone a while, and then open the door.
[Exit Vintner.]
Poins Anon, anon sir!
Enter Poins.
Prince Sirrah, Falstaff and the rest of the thieves are at the door. Shall we be merry?
Poins As merry as crickets, my lad. But hark ye, what cunning 1055match have you made with this jest of the drawer? Come, what's the issue?
Prince I am now of all humors that have showed themselves humors since the old days of goodman Adam to the pupil age of this present twelve o'clock at midnight.
[Enter Francis.]
What's o'clock 1060Francis?
Francis Anon, anon, sir.
[Exit Francis.]
Prince That ever this fellow should have fewer words than a parrot, and yet the son of a woman! His industry is upstairs and downstairs, his eloquence the parcel of a reckoning. I am 1065not yet of Percy's mind, the Hotspur of the North, he that kills me some six or seven dozen of Scots at a breakfast, washes his hands, and says to his wife, "Fie upon this quiet life! I want work." "O my sweet Harry," says she, "how many hast thou killed today?" "Give my roan horse a drench," says he, and 1070answers, "Some fourteen," an hour after; "a trifle, a trifle." I prithee call in Falstaff. I'll play Percy, and that damned brawn shall play Dame Mortimer his wife. "Rivo!" says the drunkard. Call in Ribs, call in Tallow.
Enter Falstaff [with Gadshill, Peto and Bardolph. Francis follows with wine.]
Poins Welcome, Jack. Where hast thou been?
Falstaff A plague of all cowards, I say, and a vengeance too, marry and amen! Give me a cup of sack, boy. Ere I lead this life long, I'll sew netherstocks, and mend them and foot them too. 1080A plague of all cowards! Give me a cup of sack, rogue. Is there no virtue extant?
He drinketh.
Prince Didst thou never see Titan kiss a dish of butter (pitiful hearted Titan!) that melted at the sweet tale of the sun's? If thou didst, then behold that compound.
1085Falstaff You rogue, here's lime in this sack too. There is nothing but roguery to be found in villainous man, yet a coward is worse than a cup of sack with lime in it. A villainous coward! Go thy ways, old Jack, die when thou wilt. If manhood, good manhood, be not forgot upon the face of the earth, then am I a 1090shotten herring. There lives not three good men unhanged in England, and one of them is fat and grows old, god help the while. A bad world, I say. I would I were a weaver, I could sing psalms, or anything. A plague of all cowards, I say still.
1095Prince How now, woolsack, what mutter you?
Falstaff A king's son! If I do not beat thee out of thy kingdom with a dagger of lath, and drive all thy subjects afore thee like a flock of wild geese, I'll never wear hair on my face more. You, Prince of Wales!
1100Prince Why, you whoreson round man, what's the matter?
Falstaff Are not you a coward? Answer me to that. And Poins there?
Poins Zounds, ye fat paunch, an ye call me coward, by the lord I'll stab thee.
1105Falstaff I call thee coward? I'll see thee damned ere I call thee coward, but I would give a thousand pound I could run as fast as thou canst. You are straight enough in the shoulders; you care not who sees your back. Call you that backing of your friends? A plague upon such backing! Give me them that will 1110face me. Give me a cup of sack. I am a rogue if I drunk today.
Prince O villain, thy lips are scarce wiped since thou drunkest last.
Falstaff All is one for that.
He drinketh.
1115A plague of all cowards, still say I.
Prince What's the matter?
Falstaff What's the matter? There be four of us here have ta'en a thousand pound this day morning.
Prince Where is it, Jack, where is it?
1120Falstaff Where is it? Taken from us it is. A hundred upon poor four of us.
Prince What, a hundred, man?
Falstaff I am a rogue if I were not at half-sword with a dozen of them, two hours together. I have scaped by miracle. I am 1125eight times thrust through the doublet, four through the hose, my buckler cut through and through, my sword hacked like a handsaw. Ecce signum. I never dealt better since I was a man. All would not do. A plague of all cowards! Let them speak. [Indicates Gadshill, Peto, and Bardolph.] If they speak more or less than truth, they are villains and the sons of darkness.
[Prince] Speak sirs, how was it?
[Gadshill] We four set upon some dozen --
Falstaff Sixteen at least, my lord.
1135[Gadshill] And bound them.
Peto No, no, they were not bound.
Falstaff You rogue, they were bound every man of them, or I am a Jew else, an Hebrew Jew.
[Gadshill] As we were sharing, some six or seven fresh men set 1140upon us.
Falstaff And unbound the rest; and then come in the other.
Prince What, fought you with them all?
Falstaff All? I know not what you call all, but if I fought not with 1145fifty of them, I am a bunch of radish. If there were not two- or three-and-fifty upon poor old Jack, then am I no two-legged creature.
Prince Pray god you have not murdered some of them.
1150Falstaff Nay, that's past praying for. I have peppered two of them. Two I am sure I have paid -- two rogues in buckram suits. I tell thee what, Hal, if I tell thee a lie, spit in my face, call me horse. Thou knowest my old ward -- here I lay, and thus I bore my point. Four rogues in buckram let drive at me.
Prince What, four? Thou saidst but two even now.
Falstaff Four, Hal, I told thee four.
Poins Ay, ay, he said four.
Falstaff These four came all afront, and mainly thrust at me. 1160I made me no more ado, but took all their seven points in my target, thus.
Prince Seven? Why, there were but four even now.
Falstaff In buckram?
Poins Ay, four in buckram suits.
1165Falstaff Seven, by these hilts, or I am a villain else.
Prince Prithee, let him alone. We shall have more anon.
Falstaff Dost thou hear me, Hal?
Prince Ay, and mark thee too, Jack.
Falstaff Do so, for it is worth the listening to. These nine in 1170buckram that I told thee of --
Prince So, two more already.
Falstaff Their points being broken --
Poins Down fell their hose.
Falstaff Began to give me ground. But I followed me close, came 1175in foot and hand, and, with a thought, seven of the eleven I paid.
Prince Oh, monstrous! Eleven buckram men grown out of two!
Falstaff But, as the devil would have it, three misbegotten knaves 1180in Kendal green came at my back and let drive at me; for it was so dark, Hal, that thou couldst not see thy hand.
Prince These lies are like their father that begets them, gross as a mountain, open, palpable. Why, thou clay-brained guts, thou 1185knotty-pated fool, thou whoreson obscene greasy tallow-catch --
Falstaff What, art thou mad? Art thou mad? Is not the truth the truth?
Prince Why, how couldst thou know these men in Kendal green 1190when it was so dark thou couldst not see thy hand? Come, tell us your reason. What sayst thou to this?
Poins Come, your reason, Jack, your reason.
Falstaff What, upon compulsion? Zounds, an I were at the 1195strappado, or all the racks in the world, I would not tell you on compulsion. Give you a reason on compulsion? If reasons were as plentiful as blackberries, I would give no man a reason upon compulsion, I.
Prince I'll be no longer guilty of this sin. This sanguine 1200coward, this bed-presser, this horse-back-breaker, this huge hill of flesh --
Falstaff 'Sblood, you starveling, you eel-skin, you dried neat's tongue, you bull's pizzle, you stock-fish. Oh, for breath to utter what is like thee! You tailor's yard, you sheath, you bow-case, you vile standing tuck!
Prince Well, breathe awhile, and then to it again, and when thou hast tired thyself in base comparisons, hear me speak but this.
Poins Mark, Jack.
1210Prince We two saw you four set on four, and bound them, and were masters of their wealth. Mark now how a plain tale shall put you down. Then did we two set on you four, and, with a word, outfaced you from your prize, and have it; yea, and can show it you here in the house. And Falstaff, you carried your guts 1215away as nimbly, with as quick dexterity, and roared for mercy, and still run and roared, as ever I heard bull-calf. What a slave art thou, to hack thy sword as thou hast done, and then say it was in fight! What trick, what device, what starting-hole canst thou 1220now find out to hide thee from this open and apparent shame?
Poins Come, let's hear, Jack; what trick hast thou now?
Falstaff By the lord, I knew ye as well as he that made ye. Why, 1225hear you, my masters. Was it for me to kill the heir-apparent? Should I turn upon the true prince? Why, thou knowest I am as valiant as Hercules; but beware instinct. The lion will not touch the true prince -- instinct is a great matter. I was now a coward on instinct. I shall think the better of myself and thee during 1230my life: I for a valiant lion, and thou for a true prince. But by the lord, lads, I am glad you have the money. Hostess, clap to the doors. Watch tonight, pray tomorrow. Gallants, lads, boys, hearts of gold, all the titles of good fellowship come to you! What, shall we be merry, shall we have a play 1235extempore?
Prince Content, and the argument shall be thy running away.
Falstaff Ah, no more of that, Hal, an thou lovest me.
Enter Hostess
1240Hostess O Jesu, my lord the prince!
Prince How now, my lady the hostess, what sayst thou to me?
Hostess Marry, my lord, there is a nobleman of the court at door would speak with you. He says he comes from your father.
Prince Give him as much as will make him a royal man, and send him back again to my mother.
Falstaff What manner of man is he?
Hostess An old man.
1250Falstaff What doth gravity out of his bed at midnight? Shall I give him his answer?
Prince Prithee do, Jack.
Falstaff Faith, and I'll send him packing.
Prince Now sirs, by'r Lady, you fought fair; so did you, Peto; so 1255did you, Bardolph. You are lions, too, you ran away upon instinct, you will not touch the true prince, no fie!
Bardolph Faith, I ran when I saw others run.
Prince Faith, tell me now in earnest, how came Falstaff's sword 1260so hacked?
Peto Why, he hacked it with his dagger, and said he would swear truth out of England but he would make you believe it was done in fight, and persuaded us to do the like.
1265Bardolph Yea, and to tickle our noses with speargrass, to make them bleed; and then to beslubber our garments with it, and swear it was the blood of true men. I did that I did not this seven year before -- I blushed to hear his monstrous devices.
1270Prince O villain, thou stolest a cup of sack eighteen years ago, and wert taken with the manner, and ever since thou hast blushed extempore. Thou hadst fire and sword on thy side, and yet thou rannest away. What instinct hadst thou for it?
1275Bardolph My lord, do you see these meteors? Do you behold these exhalations?
Prince I do.
Bardolph What think you they portend?
Prince Hot livers, and cold purses.
1280Bardolph Choler, my lord, if rightly taken.
Enter Falstaff.
Prince No, if rightly taken, halter. Here comes lean Jack; here comes bare-bone. How now, my sweet creature of bombast? How long is't ago, Jack, since thou sawest thine own knee?
Falstaff My own knee? When I was about thy years, Hal, I was not an eagle's talon in the waist; I could have crept into any alderman's thumb-ring. A plague of sighing and grief, it blows a man up like a bladder. There's villainous news abroad. Here 1290was Sir John Bracy from your father; you must to the court in the morning. That same mad fellow of the North, Percy, and he of Wales that gave Amamon the bastinado, and made Lucifer cuckold, and swore the devil his true liegeman upon the cross 1295of a Welsh hook -- what a plague call you him?
Poins Owen Glendower.
Falstaff Owen, Owen, the same; and his son-in-law Mortimer, and old Northumberland, and that sprightly Scot of 1300Scots, Douglas, that runs a-horseback up a hill perpendicular --
Prince He that rides at high speed and with his pistol kills a sparrow flying.
Falstaff You have hit it.
1305Prince So did he never the sparrow.
Falstaff Well, that rascal hath good mettle in him, he will not run.
Prince Why, what a rascal art thou, then, to praise him so for running!
1310Falstaff A-horseback, ye cuckoo, but afoot he will not budge a foot.
Prince Yes, Jack, upon instinct.
Falstaff I grant ye, upon instinct. Well, he is there too, and one Mordake, and a thousand blue-caps more. Worcester is stolen 1315away tonight. Thy father's beard is turned white with the news. You may buy land now as cheap as stinking mackerel.
Prince Why then, it is like, if there come a hot June and this civil buffeting hold, we shall buy maidenheads as they buy 1320hobnails: by the hundreds.
Falstaff By the mass, lad, thou sayst true; it is like we shall have good trading that way. But tell me, Hal, art not thou horrible afeard? Thou being heir-apparent, could the world pick thee out three such enemies again as that fiend Douglas, that 1325spirit Percy, and that devil Glendower? Art thou not horribly afraid? Doth not thy blood thrill at it?
Prince Not a whit, i'faith. I lack some of thy instinct.
Falstaff Well, thou wilt be horribly chid tomorrow when 1330thou comest to thy father. If thou love me, practice an answer.
Prince Do thou stand for my father, and examine me upon the particulars of my life.
Falstaff Shall I? Content. This chair shall be my state, this 1335dagger my sceptre, and this cushion my crown.
Prince Thy state is taken for a joint-stool, thy golden sceptre for a leaden dagger, and thy precious rich crown for a pitiful bald crown.
1340Falstaff Well, an the fire of grace be not quite out of thee, now shalt thou be moved. Give me a cup of sack to make my eyes look red, that it may be thought I have wept; for I must speak in passion, and I will do it in King Cambyses' vein.
1345Prince Well, here is my leg.
Falstaff And here is my speech. Stand aside, nobility.
Hostess O Jesu, this is excellent sport, i'faith.
Falstaff Weep not, sweet Queen, for trickling tears are vain.
1350Hostess O the Father, how he holds his countenance!
Falstaff For god's sake, lords, convey my tristful Queen,
For tears do stop the floodgates of her eyes.
Hostess O Jesu, he doth it as like one of these harlotry players as 1355ever I see!
Falstaff Peace, good pint-pot; peace, good tickle-brain. --Harry, I do not only marvel where thou spendest thy time, but also how thou art accompanied. For though the camomile, the more it is trodden on, the faster it grows, so youth, 1360the more it is wasted, the sooner it wears. That thou art my son I have partly thy mother's word, partly my own opinion, but chiefly a villainous trick of thine eye, and a foolish hanging of thy nether lip, that doth warrant me. If then thou be son to me, here lies the point. Why, being son to me, art 1365thou so pointed at? Shall the blessed sun of heaven prove a micher, and eat blackberries? A question not to be asked. Shall the son of England prove a thief, and take purses? A question to be asked. There is a thing, Harry, which thou hast often heard of, 1370and it is known to many in our land by the name of pitch. This pitch, as ancient writers do report, doth defile. So doth the company thou keepest. For, Harry, now I do not speak to thee in drink, but in tears; not in pleasure, but in passion; not in words 1375only, but in woes also. And yet there is a virtuous man whom I have often noted in thy company, but I know not his name.
Prince What manner of man, an it like your majesty?
1380Falstaff A goodly, portly man, i'faith, and a corpulent; of a cheerful look, a pleasing eye, and a most noble carriage; and, as I think, his age some fifty, or, by'r Lady, inclining to threescore. And now I remember me, his name is Falstaff. If that man should be lewdly given, he deceiveth me; for, Harry, I see virtue in his 1385looks. If, then, the tree may be known by the fruit, as the fruit by the tree, then peremptorily I speak it: there is virtue in that Falstaff. Him keep with, the rest banish. And tell me now, thou naughty varlet, tell me, where hast thou been this month?
Prince Dost thou speak like a king? Do thou stand for me, and I'll play my father.
Falstaff Depose me. If thou dost it half so gravely, so majestically, both in word and matter, hang me up by the heels for a 1395rabbit sucker, or a poulter's hare.
Prince Well, here I am set.
Falstaff And here I stand. Judge, my masters.
Prince Now, Harry, whence come you?
Falstaff My noble lord, from Eastcheap.
1400Prince The complaints I hear of thee are grievous.
Falstaff 'Sblood, my lord, they are false. [Aside] Nay, I'll tickle ye for a young prince i'faith.
Prince Swearest thou, ungracious boy? Henceforth ne'er look on me. Thou art violently carried away from grace. There is a 1405devil haunts thee in the likeness of an old fat man; a tun of man is thy companion. Why dost thou converse with that trunk of humors, that bolting-hutch of beastliness, that swollen parcel of dropsies, that huge bombard of sack, that stuffed cloak-bag of 1410guts, that roasted Manningtree ox with the pudding in his belly, that reverend Vice, that gray Iniquity, that father Ruffian, that Vanity in years? Wherein is he good, but to taste sack and drink it? Wherein neat and cleanly, but to carve a capon and eat it? Wherein 1415cunning, but in craft? Wherein crafty, but in villainy? Wherein villainous, but in all things? Wherein worthy, but in nothing?
Falstaff I would your grace would take me with you. Whom means your grace?
1420Prince That villainous, abominable misleader of youth, Falstaff; that old white-bearded Satan.
Falstaff My lord, the man I know.
Prince I know thou dost.
Falstaff But to say I know more harm in him than in myself 1425were to say more than I know. That he is old, the more the pity, his white hairs do witness it. But that he is, saving your reverence, a whoremaster, that I utterly deny. If sack and sugar be a fault, god help the wicked. If to be old and merry be a sin, 1430then many an old host that I know is damned. If to be fat be to be hated, then Pharaoh's lean kine are to be loved. No, my good lord, banish Peto, banish Bardolph, banish Poins, but for sweet Jack Falstaff, kind Jack Falstaff, true Jack Falstaff, valiant Jack Falstaff, and therefore more valiant being, as he is, old Jack Falstaff, banish not him thy Harry's company, banish not him thy Harry's company. Banish plump Jack, and banish all the world.
Prince I do, I will.
[Knocking within. Exeunt Hostess, Francis and Bardolph.] Enter Bardolph running.
Bardolph O my lord, my lord, the sheriff with a most monstrous watch is at the door.
Falstaff Out, ye rogue! Play out the play! I have much to say in the behalf of that Falstaff.
Enter the Hostess.
Hostess O Jesu! My lord, my lord!
Prince Heigh, heigh, the devil rides upon a fiddlestick! What's the matter?
Hostess The sheriff and all the watch are at the door. They are 1450come to search the house. Shall I let them in?
Falstaff Dost thou hear, Hal? Never call a true piece of gold a counterfeit. Thou art essentially made, without seeming so.
1455Prince And thou a natural coward without instinct.
Falstaff I deny your major. If you will deny the sheriff, so. If not, let him enter. If I become not a cart as well as another man, a plague on my bringing up. I hope I shall as soon be strangled 1460with a halter as another.
Prince Go, hide thee behind the arras. The rest walk up above. Now, my masters, for a true face and good conscience.
1465Falstaff Both which I have had, but their date is out; and therefore I'll hide me.
[Falstaff hides.]
Prince Call in the sheriff.
[Exeunt all but the prince and Peto.] Enter Sheriff and the Carrier.
Prince Now Master Sheriff, what is your will with me?
Sheriff First pardon me my lord. A hue and cry
Hath followed certain men unto this house.
Prince What men?
Sheriff One of them is well known, my gracious lord,
A gross 1475fat man.
Carrier As fat as butter.
Prince The man, I do assure you, is not here,
For I myself at this time have employed him.
And, Sheriff, I will engage my word to thee
1480That I will by tomorrow dinner-time
Send him to answer thee, or any man,
For anything he shall be charged withal.
And so let me entreat you leave the house.
Sheriff I will, my lord. There are two gentlemen
1485Have in this robbery lost three hundred marks.
Prince It may be so. If he have robbed these men,
He shall be answerable. And so, farewell.
Sheriff Good night, my noble lord.
Prince I think it is good morrow, is it not?
1490Sheriff Indeed, my lord, I think it be two o'clock.
Exit [with Carrier.]
Prince This oily rascal is known as well as Paul's. Go call him forth.
Peto Falstaff!
[He draws back the arras.]
Fast asleep behind the arras, and snorting 1495like a horse.
Prince Hark how hard he fetches breath. Search his pockets.
[Peto] searches his pocket, and finds certain papers.
1500Prince What hast thou found?
Peto Nothing but papers, my lord.
Prince Let's see what they be, read them.
[Peto] [reading] Item: a capon. 2s. 2d.
Item: sauce. 4d.
1505Item: sack, two gallons. 5s. 8d.
Item: anchovies and sack after supper. 2s. 6d.
Item: bread. ob.
[Prince] Oh, monstrous! But one halfpennyworth of bread to this intolerable deal of sack! What there is else, keep close; we'll read it at 1510more advantage. There let him sleep till day. I'll to the court in the morning. We must all to the wars, and thy place shall be honorable. I'll procure this fat rogue a charge of foot, and I know his death will be a march of twelve score. The money shall be 1515paid back again, with advantage. Be with me betimes in the morning; and so good morrow, Peto.
Peto Good morrow, good my lord.
Enter Hotspur, Worcester, Lord Mortimer, Owen Glendower.
Mortimer These promises are fair, the parties sure,
And our induction full of prosperous hope.
Hotspur Lord Mortimer and cousin Glendower, will you sit down? And uncle Worcester -- a plague upon it, I have forgot the map!
Glendower No here it is;
Sit, cousin Percy, sit, good cousin Hotspur;
1530For by that name as oft as Lancaster doth speak of you,
His cheek looks pale, and with a rising sigh
He wisheth you in heaven.
And you in hell,
As oft as he hears Owen Glendower spoke of.
1535Glendower I cannot blame him. At my nativity
The front of heaven was full of fiery shapes,
Of burning cressets, and at my birth
The frame and huge foundation of the earth
Shaked like a coward.
1540Hotspur Why, so it would have done at the same season if your mother's cat had but kittened, though yourself had never been born.
Glendower I say the earth did shake when I was born.
Hotspur And I say the earth was not of my mind,
1545If you suppose as fearing you it shook.
Glendower The heavens were all on fire, the earth did tremble.
Hotspur Oh, then the earth shook to see the heavens on fire,
1550And not in fear of your nativity.
Diseasèd nature oftentimes breaks forth
In strange eruptions; oft the teeming earth
Is with a kind of colic pinched and vexed
By the imprisoning of unruly wind
1555Within her womb, which for enlargement striving
Shakes the old beldam earth, and topples down
Steeples and moss-grown towers. At your birth
Our grandam earth, having this distemperature,
In passion shook.
Cousin, of many men
I do not bear these crossings. Give me leave
To tell you once again that at my birth
The front of heaven was full of fiery shapes,
The goats ran from the mountains, and the herds
1565Were strangely clamorous to the frighted fields.
These signs have marked me extraordinary,
And all the courses of my life do show
I am not in the roll of common men.
Where is he living, clipped in with the sea
1570That chides the banks of England, Scotland, Wales,
Which calls me pupil or hath read to me?
And bring him out that is but woman's son
Can trace me in the tedious ways of art,
And hold me pace in deep experiments.
1575Hotspur I think there's no man speaks better Welsh.
I'll to dinner.
Mortimer Peace, cousin Percy, you will make him mad.
Glendower I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
Hotspur Why so can I, or so can any man,
1580But will they come when you do call for them?
Glendower Why, I can teach you, cousin, to command the devil.
Hotspur And I can teach thee, coz, to shame the devil,
By telling truth: "Tell truth, and shame the devil."
1585If thou have power to raise him, bring him hither,
And I'll be sworn I have power to shame him hence.
Oh, while you live, tell truth and shame the devil.
Mortimer Come, come, no more of this unprofitable chat.
1590Glendower Three times hath Henry Bolingbroke made head
Against my power; thrice from the banks of Wye
And sandy-bottomed Severn have I sent him
Bootless home, and weather-beaten back.
Hotspur Home without boots, and in foul weather too!
How scapes he agues, in the devil's name?
Glendower Come, here is the map. Shall we divide our right,
According to our threefold order ta'en?
1600Mortimer The Archdeacon hath divided it
Into three limits very equally:
England from Trent and Severn hitherto
By south and east is to my part assigned;
All westward, Wales beyond the Severn shore
1605And all the fertile land within that bound,
To Owen Glendower; and, dear coz, to you
The remnant northward lying off from Trent.
And our indentures tripartite are drawn,
Which, being sealèd interchangeably --
1610A business that this night may execute --
Tomorrow, cousin Percy, you and I
And my good lord of Worcester will set forth
To meet your father and the Scottish power,
As is appointed us, at Shrewsbury.
1615My father Glendower is not ready yet,
Nor shall we need his help these fourteen days.
[To Glendower] Within that space you may have drawn together
Your tenants, friends, and neighboring gentlemen.
Glendower A shorter time shall send me to you, lords;
1620And in my conduct shall your ladies come,
From whom you now must steal and take no leave;
For there will be a world of water shed
Upon the parting of your wives and you.
Hotspur Methinks my moiety north from Burton here
1625In quantity equals not one of yours.
See how this river comes me cranking in,
And cuts me from the best of all my land
A huge half-moon, a monstrous cantle, out.
I'll have the current in this place dammed up,
1630And here the smug and silver Trent shall run
In a new channel fair and evenly.
It shall not wind with such a deep indent,
To rob me of so rich a bottom here.
Glendower Not wind? It shall, it must -- you see it doth.
1635Mortimer Yea, but mark how he bears his course, and runs me up
With like advantage on the other side,
Gelding the opposèd continent as much
As on the other side it takes from you.
Worcester Yea, but a little charge will trench him here,
1640And on this north side win this cape of land,
And then he runs straight and even.
Hotspur I'll have it so; a little charge will do it.
Glendower I'll not have it altered.
Hotspur Will not you?
1645Glendower No, nor you shall not.
Hotspur Who shall say me nay?
Glendower Why, that will I.
Hotspur Let me not understand you, then: speak it in Welsh.
1650Glendower I can speak English, lord, as well as you,
For I was trained up in the English court,
Where, being but young, I framèd to the harp
Many an English ditty lovely well,
And gave the tongue a helpful ornament --
1655A virtue that was never seen in you.
Hotspur Marry, and I am glad of it with all my heart.
I had rather be a kitten and cry "mew"
Than one of these same meter ballad-mongers.
I had rather hear a brazen can'stick turned,
1660Or a dry wheel grate on the axle-tree,
And that would set my teeth nothing on edge,
Nothing so much as mincing poetry.
'Tis like the forced gait of a shuffling nag.
Glendower Come, you shall have Trent turned.
1665Hotspur I do not care. I'll give thrice so much land
To any well-deserving friend;
But in the way of bargain, mark ye me,
I'll cavil on the ninth part of a hair.
Are the indentures drawn? Shall we be gone?
1670Glendower The moon shines fair. You may away by night.
I'll haste the writer, and withal
Break with your wives of your departure hence.
I am afraid my daughter will run mad,
1675So much she doteth on her Mortimer.
Mortimer Fie, cousin Percy, how you cross my father!
Hotspur I cannot choose. Sometime he angers me
With telling me of the moldwarp and the ant,
1680Of the dreamer Merlin and his prophecies,
And of a dragon and a finless fish,
A clip-winged griffin and a molten raven,
A couching lion and a ramping cat,
And such a deal of skimble-skamble stuff
1685As puts me from my faith. I tell you what,
He held me last night at the least nine hours
In reckoning up the several devils' names
That were his lackeys. I cried "Hum," and "Well, go to,"
1690But marked him not a word. Oh, he is as tedious
As a tired horse, a railing wife,
Worse than a smoky house. I had rather live
With cheese and garlic, in a windmill, far,
Than feed on cates and have him talk to me
1695In any summer house in Christendom.
Mortimer In faith, he is a worthy gentleman,
Exceedingly well read, and profited
In strange concealments, valiant as a lion,
And wondrous affable, and as bountiful
1700As mines of India. Shall I tell you, cousin?
He holds your temper in a high respect,
And curbs himself even of his natural scope
When you come 'cross his humor, faith, he does.
1705I warrant you, that man is not alive
Might so have tempted him as you have done
Without the taste of danger and reproof.
But do not use it oft, let me entreat you.
Worcester In faith, my lord, you are too wilful-blame,
1710And since your coming hither have done enough
To put him quite besides his patience.
You must needs learn, lord, to amend this fault.
Though sometimes it show greatness, courage, blood --
And that's the dearest grace it renders you --
1715Yet oftentimes it doth present harsh rage,
Defect of manners, want of government,
Pride, haughtiness, opinion, and disdain,
The least of which, haunting a nobleman,
Loseth men's hearts, and leaves behind a stain
1720Upon the beauty of all parts besides,
Beguiling them of commendation.
Hotspur Well, I am schooled. Good manners be your speed!
Here come our wives, and let us take our leave.
Enter Glendower with the Ladies.
Mortimer This is the deadly spite that angers me:
My wife can speak no English, I no Welsh.
Glendower My daughter weeps; she'll not part with you.
She'll be a soldier too, she'll to the wars.
1730Mortimer Good father, tell her that she and my aunt Percy
Shall follow in your conduct speedily
Glendower speaks to her in Welsh, and she answers him in the same.
Glendower She is desperate here, a peevish self-willed harlotry,
One that no persuasion can do good upon.
The lady speaks in Welsh.
Mortimer I understand thy looks. That pretty Welsh
Which thou pourest down from these swelling heavens
1740I am too perfect in, and but for shame
In such a parley should I answer thee.
The lady [speaks] again in Welsh.
Mortimer I understand thy kisses, and thou mine,
And that's a feeling disputation;
1745But I will never be a truant, love,
Till I have learnt thy language, for thy tongue
Makes Welsh as sweet as ditties highly penned,
Sung by a fair queen in a summer's bower
With ravishing division, to her lute.
1750Glendower Nay, if you melt, then will she run mad.
The lady speaks again in Welsh.
Mortimer Oh, I am ignorance itself in this!
Glendower She bids you on the wanton rushes lay you down
1755And rest your gentle head upon her lap,
And she will sing the song that pleaseth you,
And on your eyelids crown the god of sleep,
Charming your blood with pleasing heaviness,
Making such difference 'twixt wake and sleep
1760As is the difference betwixt day and night
The hour before the heavenly-harnessed team
Begins his golden progress in the east.
Mortimer With all my heart, I'll sit and hear her sing.
By that time will our book, I think, be drawn.
1765Glendower Do so, and those musicians that shall play to you
Hang in the air a thousand leagues from hence,
And straight they shall be here. Sit and attend.
Hotspur Come, Kate, thou art perfect in lying down.
1770Come, quick, quick, that I may lay my head in thy lap.
Lady Percy Go, ye giddy goose!
The music plays.
Hotspur Now I perceive the devil understands Welsh;
1775And 'tis no marvel he is so humorous.
By'r Lady, he is a good musician.
Lady Percy Then should you be nothing but musical,
For you are altogether governed by humors.
Lie still, ye thief, and hear the lady sing in Welsh.
1780Hotspur I had rather hear Lady my brach howl in Irish.
Lady Percy Wouldst thou have thy head broken?
Hotspur No.
Lady Percy Then be still.
1785Hotspur Neither, 'tis a woman's fault.
Lady Percy Now god help thee!
Hotspur To the Welsh lady's bed.
Lady Percy What's that?
Hotspur Peace, she sings.
Here the lady sings a Welsh song.
Hotspur Come, Kate, I'll have your song too.
Lady Percy Not mine, in good sooth.
Hotspur Not yours, in good sooth!
Heart, you swear like a comfit-maker's wife:
1795"Not you, in good sooth!" and "As true as I live!"
And "As god shall mend me!" and "As sure as day!":
And givest such sarcenet surety for thy oaths
As if thou never walk'st further than Finsbury.
Swear me, Kate, like a lady as thou art,
1800A good mouth-filling oath, and leave "in sooth"
And such protest of pepper gingerbread
To velvet-guards and Sunday citizens.
Come sing.
Lady Percy I will not sing.
1805Hotspur 'Tis the next way to turn tailor, or be redbreast teacher. An the indentures be drawn, I'll away within these two hours; and so come in when ye will.
Glendower Come, come, Lord Mortimer, you are as slow
1810As hot Lord Percy is on fire to go.
By this our book is drawn. We'll but seal,
And then to horse immediately.
Mortimer With all my heart.
Enter the king, Prince of Wales, and others.
King Lords, give us leave. The Prince of Wales and I
Must have some private conference; but be near at hand,
1820For we shall presently have need of you.
Exeunt lords.
I know not whether god will have it so
For some displeasing service I have done,
That in his secret doom out of my blood
1825He'll breed revengement and a scourge for me,
But thou dost in thy passages of life
Make me believe that thou art only marked
For the hot vengeance and the rod of heaven
To punish my mistreadings. Tell me else,
1830Could such inordinate and low desires,
Such poor, such bare, such lewd, such mean attempts,
Such barren pleasures, rude society,
As thou art matched withal and grafted to,
Accompany the greatness of thy blood,
1835And hold their level with thy princely heart?
Prince So please your majesty, I would I could
Quit all offenses with as clear excuse
As well as I am doubtless I can purge
Myself of many I am charged withal.
1840Yet such extenuation let me beg
As, in reproof of many tales devised --
Which oft the ear of greatness needs must hear --
By smiling pickthanks and base newsmongers,
I may, for some things true wherein my youth
1845Hath faulty wandered and irregular,
Find pardon on my true submission.
King God pardon thee! Yet let me wonder, Harry,
At thy affections, which do hold a wing
1850Quite from the flight of all thy ancestors.
Thy place in Council thou hast rudely lost,
Which by thy younger brother is supplied,
And art almost an alien to the hearts
Of all the court and princes of my blood.
1855The hope and expectation of thy time
Is ruined, and the soul of every man
Prophetically do forethink thy fall.
Had I so lavish of my presence been,
So common-hackneyed in the eyes of men,
1860So stale and cheap to vulgar company,
Opinion, that did help me to the crown,
Had still kept loyal to possession,
And left me in reputeless banishment,
A fellow of no mark nor likelihood.
1865By being seldom seen, I could not stir
But, like a comet, I was wondered at,
That men would tell their children "This is he!"
Others would say "Where, which is Bolingbroke?"
And then I stole all courtesy from heaven,
1870And dressed myself in such humility
That I did pluck allegiance from men's hearts,
Loud shouts and salutations from their mouths,
Even in the presence of the crownèd king.
Thus did I keep my person fresh and new,
1875My presence, like a robe pontifical,
Ne'er seen but wondered at, and so my state,
Seldom but sumptuous, showed like a feast,
And won by rareness such solemnity.
The skipping king, he ambled up and down
1880With shallow jesters and rash bavin wits,
Soon kindled and soon burnt, carded his state,
Mingled his royalty with cap'ring fools,
Had his great name profanèd with their scorns,
And gave his countenance, against his name,
1885To laugh at gibing boys, and stand the push
Of every beardless vain comparative;
Grew a companion to the common streets,
Enfeoffed himself to popularity,
That, being daily swallowed by men's eyes,
1890They surfeited with honey, and began
To loathe the taste of sweetness, whereof a little
More than a little is by much too much.
So when he had occasion to be seen,
He was but as the cuckoo is in June,
1895Heard, not regarded -- seen, but with such eyes
As, sick and blunted with community,
Afford no extraordinary gaze
Such as is bent on sun-like majesty
When it shines seldom in admiring eyes,
1900But rather drowsed and hung their eyelids down,
Slept in his face, and rendered such aspect
As cloudy men use to their adversaries,
Being with his presence glutted, gorged, and full.
And in that very line, Harry, standest thou;
1905For thou hast lost thy princely privilege
With vile participation. Not an eye
But is a-weary of thy common sight
Save mine, which hath desired to see thee more,
Which now doth that I would not have it do:
1910Make blind itself with foolish tenderness.
[He weeps.]
Prince I shall hereafter, my thrice-gracious lord,
Be more myself.
For all the world,
As thou art to this hour was Richard then,
1915When I from France set foot at Ravenspurgh,
And even as I was then is Percy now.
Now by my sceptre, and my soul to boot,
He hath more worthy interest to the state
Than thou, the shadow of succession;
1920For, of no right, nor color like to right,
He doth fill fields with harness in the realm,
Turns head against the lion's armèd jaws,
And, being no more in debt to years than thou,
Leads ancient lords and reverend bishops on
1925To bloody battles, and to bruising arms.
What never-dying honor hath he got
Against renownèd Douglas, whose high deeds,
Whose hot incursions and great name in arms,
Holds from all soldiers chief majority
1930And military title capital
Through all the kingdoms that acknowledge Christ.
Thrice hath this Hotspur, Mars in swaddling-clothes,
This infant warrior, in his enterprises
Discomfited great Douglas; ta'en him once;
1935Enlargèd him, and made a friend of him
To fill the mouth of deep defiance up,
And shake the peace and safety of our throne.
And what say you to this? Percy, Northumberland,
The Archbishop's grace of York, Douglas, Mortimer,
1940Capitulate against us, and are up.
But wherefore do I tell these news to thee?
Why, Harry, do I tell thee of my foes,
Which art my near'st and dearest enemy?
Thou that art like enough, through vassal fear,
1945Base inclination, and the start of spleen,
To fight against me under Percy's pay,
To dog his heels and curtsy at his frowns,
To show how much thou art degenerate.
Prince Do not think so; you shall not find it so.
1950And god forgive them that so much have swayed
Your majesty's good thoughts away from me.
I will redeem all this on Percy's head,
And in the closing of some glorious day
Be bold to tell you that I am your son,
1955When I will wear a garment all of blood,
And stain my favors in a bloody mask,
Which, washed away, shall scour my shame with it.
And that shall be the day, whene'er it lights,
That this same child of honor and renown,
1960This gallant Hotspur, this all-praisèd knight,
And your unthought-of Harry chance to meet.
For every honor sitting on his helm,
Would they were multitudes, and on my head
My shames redoubled; for the time will come
1965That I shall make this northern youth exchange
His glorious deeds for my indignities.
Percy is but my factor, good my lord,
To engross up glorious deeds on my behalf;
And I will call him to so strict account
1970That he shall render every glory up,
Yea, even the slightest worship of his time,
Or I will tear the reckoning from his heart.
This, in the name of god, I promise here,
The which, if he be pleased I shall perform,
1975I do beseech your majesty may salve
The long-grown wounds of my intemperance;
If not, the end of life cancels all bonds,
And I will die a hundred thousand deaths
Ere break the smallest parcel of this vow.
1980King A hundred thousand rebels die in this.
Thou shalt have charge and sovereign trust herein.
Enter Blunt.
How now, good Blunt? Thy looks are full of speed.
Blunt So hath the business that I come to speak of.
1985Lord Mortimer of Scotland hath sent word
That Douglas and the English rebels met
The eleventh of this month at Shrewsbury.
A mighty and a fearful head they are,
If promises be kept on every hand,
1990As ever offered foul play in a state.
King The Earl of Westmorland set forth today,
With him my son Lord John of Lancaster,
For this advertisement is five days old.
On Wednesday next, Harry, you shall set forward,
1995On Thursday we ourselves will march.
Our meeting is Bridgnorth, and, Harry, you
Shall march through Gloucestershire, by which account,
Our business valuèd, some twelve days hence
Our general forces at Bridgnorth shall meet.
2000Our hands are full of business; let's away.
Advantage feeds him fat while men delay.
Enter Falstaff and Bardolph.
Falstaff Bardolph, am I not fallen away vilely since this last action? 2005Do I not bate? Do I not dwindle? Why, my skin hangs about me like an old lady's loose gown. I am withered like an old apple-john. Well, I'll repent, and that suddenly, while I am in some liking. I shall be out of heart shortly, and then I shall have no strength to repent. An I have not forgotten what the inside of a church is made of, I am a peppercorn, a brewer's horse. The inside of a church! Company, villainous company, hath been the spoil of me.
Bardolph Sir John, you are so fretful you cannot live long.
Falstaff Why, there is it. Come, sing me a bawdy song, make me merry. I was as virtuously given as a gentleman need to be, virtuous enough: swore little, diced not above seven times -- a week, went to a bawdy-house not above once in a quarter -- of an hour, 2020paid money that I borrowed -- three or four times, lived well, and in good compass. And now I live out of all order, out of all compass.
Bardolph Why, you are so fat, Sir John, that you must needs be out 2025of all compass, out of all reasonable compass, Sir John.
Falstaff Do thou amend thy face, and I'll amend my life. Thou art our admiral, thou bearest the lantern in the poop -- but 'tis in the nose of thee. Thou art the Knight of the Burning Lamp.
Bardolph Why, Sir John, my face does you no harm.
Falstaff No, I'll be sworn; I make as good use of it as many a man doth of a death's head, or a memento mori. I never see thy face but I think upon hell-fire and Dives that lived in purple -- for 2035there he is in his robes, burning, burning. If thou wert any way given to virtue, I would swear by thy face; my oath should be "By this fire that's god's angel!" But thou art altogether given over, and wert indeed, but for the light in thy face, the son of utter darkness. When thou rannest up Gad's Hill in the night to catch my horse, if I did not think thou hadst been an ignis fatuus or a ball of wildfire, there's no purchase in money. Oh, thou art a perpetual triumph, an everlasting bonfire-light! Thou hast saved me a thousand marks in links and torches, walking 2045with thee in the night betwixt tavern and tavern -- but the sack that thou hast drunk me would have bought me lights as good cheap at the dearest chandler's in Europe. I have maintained that salamander of yours with fire any time this two-and-thirty 2050years, god reward me for it.
Bardolph 'Sblood, I would my face were in your belly!
Falstaff God-a-mercy! So should I be sure to be heartburnt.
Enter Hostess.
How now, Dame Partlet the hen, have you enquired 2055yet who picked my pocket?
Hostess Why, Sir John, what do you think, Sir John? Do you think I keep thieves in my house? I have searched, I have enquired; 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.
Falstaff Ye lie, hostess: Bardolph was shaved and lost many a hair, and I'll be sworn my pocket was picked. Go to, you are a woman, go.
Hostess Who, I? No, I defy thee! God's light, I was never called so in 2065mine own house before.
Falstaff Go to, I know you well enough.
Hostess 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 2070back.
Falstaff Dowlas, filthy dowlas. I have given them away to bakers' wives; they have made bolters of them.
Hostess Now as I am a true woman, holland of eight shillings an ell. You 2075owe money here besides, Sir John: for your diet, and by-drinkings, and money lent you, four-and-twenty pound.
Falstaff [Indicating Bardolph.] He had his part of it, let him pay.
Hostess He? Alas he is poor, he hath nothing.
Falstaff 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 picked? I have 2085lost a seal-ring of my grandfather's worth forty mark.
Hostess [To Bardolph] O Jesu, I have heard the prince tell him, I know not how oft, that that ring was copper.
Falstaff How? The prince is a Jack, a sneak-up. 'Sblood, an he 2090were here I would cudgel him like a dog if he would say so.
Enter the prince [with Peto] marching, and Falstaff meets him playing upon his truncheon like a fife.
2095Falstaff How now, lad, is the wind in that door, i'faith? Must we all march?
Bardolph Yea, two and two, Newgate fashion.
Hostess My lord, I pray you hear me.
Prince What sayst thou, Mistress Quickly? How doth thy husband? 2100I love him well, he is an honest man.
Hostess Good my lord, hear me!
Falstaff Prithee, let her alone, and list to me.
Prince What sayst thou, Jack?
2105Falstaff The other night I fell asleep here behind the arras, and had my pocket picked. This house is turned bawdy-house: they pick pockets.
Prince What didst thou lose, Jack?
Falstaff Wilt thou believe me, Hal, three or four bonds of forty 2110pound apiece, and a seal-ring of my grandfather's.
Prince A trifle, some eightpenny matter.
Hostess 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-mouthed 2115man as he is, and said he would cudgel you.
Prince What? He did not!
Hostess There's neither faith, truth, nor womanhood in me else.
2120Falstaff There's no more faith in thee than in a stewed prune, nor no more truth in thee than in a drawn fox; and, for womanhood, Maid Marian may be the deputy's wife of the ward to thee. Go, you thing, go!
Hostess Say, what thing, what thing?
2125Falstaff What thing? Why, a thing to thank god on.
Hostess I am no thing to thank god on. I would thou shouldst know it, I am an honest man's wife; and setting thy knighthood aside, thou art a knave to call me so.
Falstaff Setting thy womanhood aside, thou art a beast to say 2130otherwise.
Hostess Say, what beast, thou knave, thou?
Falstaff What beast? Why an otter.
Prince An otter, Sir John? Why an otter?
Falstaff Why? She's neither fish nor flesh, a man knows not 2135where to have her.
Hostess Thou art an unjust man in saying so. Thou or any man knows where to have me, thou knave, thou.
Prince Thou sayst true, hostess, and he slanders thee most grossly.
2140Hostess So he doth you my lord, and said this other day you owed him a thousand pound.
Prince Sirrah, do I owe you a thousand pound?
Falstaff A thousand pound, Hal? A million! Thy love is worth a million; thou owest me thy love.
2145Hostess Nay, my lord, he called you Jack, and said he would cudgel you.
Falstaff Did I, Bardolph?
Bardolph Indeed, Sir John, you said so.
Falstaff Yea, if he said my ring was copper.
2150Prince I say 'tis copper, darest thou be as good as thy word now?
Falstaff Why, Hal, thou knowest 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.
2155Prince And why not as the lion?
Falstaff 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 Oh, if it should, how would thy guts fall about thy 2160knees! But sirrah, there's no room for faith, truth, nor honesty in this bosom of thine; it is all filled up with guts and midriff. Charge an honest woman with picking thy pocket? Why, thou whoreson, impudent, embossed rascal, if there were anything in thy pocket but tavern reckonings, memorandums of 2165bawdy-houses, and one poor pennyworth of sugar-candy to make thee long-winded -- if thy pocket were enriched 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?
Falstaff Dost thou hear, Hal? Thou knowest in the state of innocency Adam fell, and what should poor Jack Falstaff do in the days of villainy? Thou seest I have more flesh than another man, and therefore more frailty. You confess, then, you picked my pocket?
Prince It appears so by the story.
Falstaff Hostess, I forgive thee. Go make ready breakfast. Love thy husband, look to thy servants, cherish thy guests. Thou shalt 2180find me tractable to any honest reason; thou seest I am pacified still. Nay, prithee, be gone.
Exit Hostess.
Now, Hal, to the news at court. For the robbery, lad, how is that 2185answered?
Prince Oh, my sweet beef, I must still be good angel to thee. The money is paid back again.
Falstaff Oh, I do not like that paying back; 'tis a double labor.
Prince I am good friends with my father and may do anything.
Falstaff Rob me the exchequer the first thing thou dost, and do it with unwashed hands too.
2195Bardolph Do, my lord.
Prince I have procured thee, Jack, a charge of foot.
Falstaff I would it had been of horse! Where shall I find one that can steal well? Oh, for a fine thief of the age of two-and-twenty or thereabouts! I am heinously unprovided. Well, god be thanked for 2200these rebels: they offend none but the virtuous. I laud them, I praise them.
Prince Bardolph!
Bardolph My lord?
Prince [Giving letters] Go bear this letter to Lord John of Lancaster,
2205To my brother John; this to my lord of Westmorland.
[Exit Bardolph.]
Go, Peto, to horse, to horse, for thou and I
Have thirty miles to ride yet ere dinner time.
[Exit Peto.]
Jack, meet me tomorrow in the Temple Hall
At two o'clock in the afternoon.
2210There shalt thou know thy charge, and there receive
Money and order for their furniture.
The land is burning, Percy stands on high,
And either we or they must lower lie.
[Exit Prince.]
Falstaff Rare words! Brave world! Hostess, my breakfast, come!
Oh, I could wish this tavern were my drum!
[Enter Hotspur, Worcester, and Douglas.]
Hotspur 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
2225Should go so general current through the world.
By god, I cannot flatter, I do 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.
2230Douglas Thou art the king of honor.
No man so potent breathes upon the ground
But I will beard him.
Enter [Messenger] with letters.
Do so, and 'tis well.
2235What letters hast thou there? [To Douglas] I can but thank you.
Messenger These letters come from your father.
Hotspur Letters from him? Why comes he not himself?
Messenger He cannot come, my lord; he is grievous sick.
Hotspur Zounds, how has he the leisure to be sick
In such a jostling time? Who leads his power?
Under whose government come they along?
Messenger His letters bears his mind, not I, my lord.
[Hotspur reads the letter]
2245Worcester I prithee tell me, doth he keep his bed?
Messenger He did, my lord, four days ere I set forth;
And at the time of my departure thence
He was much feared by his physicians.
Worcester I would the state of time had first been whole
2250Ere he by sickness had been visited.
His health was never better worth than now.
Hotspur Sick now? Droop now? This sickness doth infect
The very life-blood of our enterprise.
'Tis catching hither, even to our camp.
2255He writes me here that inward sickness --
And that his friends by deputation
Could not so soon be drawn; nor did he think it meet
To lay so dangerous and dear a trust
On any soul removed but on his own.
2260Yet 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 possessed
2265Of all our purposes. What say you to it?
Worcester Your father's sickness is a maim to us.
Hotspur A perilous gash, a very limb lopped off.
And yet, in faith, it is not. His present want
Seems more than we shall find it. Were it good
2270To 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,
2275The very list, the very utmost bound,
Of all our fortunes.
Douglas Faith, and so we should, where now remains
A sweet reversion -- we may boldly spend
Upon the hope of what is to come in.
A comfort of retirement lives in this.
Hotspur A rendezvous, a home to fly unto,
If that the devil and mischance look big
Upon the maidenhead of our affairs.
2285Worcester 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
2290Of 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 off'ring side
2295Must keep aloof from strict arbitrament,
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
2300Before not dreamt of.
You strain too far.
I rather of his absence make this use:
It lends a luster, and more great opinion,
A larger dare to our great enterprise,
2305Than if the earl were here; for men must think
If we without his help can make a head
To push against a kingdom, with his help
We shall o'erturn it topsy-turvy down.
Yet all goes well, yet all our joints are whole.
2310Douglas As heart can think, there is not such a word
Spoke of in Scotland as this term of fear.
Enter Sir Richard Vernon.
Hotspur My cousin Vernon! Welcome, by my soul!
2315Vernon Pray god my news be worth a welcome, lord.
The Earl of Westmorland, seven thousand strong,
Is marching hitherwards; with him Prince John.
No harm. What more?
And further I have learned
2320The king himself in person is set forth,
Or hitherwards intended speedily,
With strong and mighty preparation.
Hotspur He shall be welcome too. Where is his son,
2325The nimble-footed madcap Prince of Wales,
And his comrades that daffed the world aside
And bid it pass?
All furnished, all in arms,
All plumed like ostriches, that with the wind
2330Baited 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.
2335I saw young Harry with his beaver on,
His cuisses on his thighs, gallantly armed,
Rise from the ground like feathered Mercury,
And vaulted with such ease into his seat
As if an angel dropped down from the clouds
2340To turn and wind a fiery Pegasus,
And witch the world with noble horsemanship.
Hotspur No more, no more! Worse than the sun in March,
This praise doth nourish agues. Let them come!
2345They come like sacrifices in their trim,
And to the fire-eyed maid of smoky war
All hot and bleeding will we offer them.
The mailèd Mars shall on his altars sit
Up to the ears in blood. I am on fire
2350To 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 to Harry shall, hot horse to horse,
2355Meet and ne'er part till one drop down a corse.
Oh, that Glendower were come!
There is more news,
I learned in Worcester, as I rode along,
He cannot draw his power this fourteen days.
2360Douglas That's the worst tidings that I hear of yet.
Worcester Ay, by my faith, that bears a frosty sound.
Hotspur What may the king's whole battle reach unto?
To thirty thousand.
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.
2370Doomsday is near: die all, die merrily.
Douglas Talk not of dying; I am out of fear
Of death or death's hand for this one half year.
Enter Falstaff, Bardolph.
Falstaff Bardolph, get thee before to Coventry; fill me a bottle of sack. Our soldiers shall march through. We'll to Sutton Coldfield tonight.
Bardolph Will you give me money, captain?
2380Falstaff Lay out, lay out.
Bardolph This bottle makes an angel.
Falstaff An if it do, take it for thy labor; an if it make twenty, take them all; I'll answer the coinage. Bid my lieutenant Peto meet me at town's end.
2385Bardolph I will, captain. Farewell.
Falstaff 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 one hundred and fifty soldiers three hundred and odd pounds. I press me 2390none but good householders, yeomen's sons, enquire me out contracted bachelors, such as had been asked 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 pressed me none but 2395such toasts and butter, with hearts in their bellies no bigger than pins' heads, and they have bought out their services; and now my whole charge consists of ensigns, corporals, lieutenants, gentlemen of companies -- slaves as ragged as Lazarus in 2400the painted cloth, where the glutton's dogs licked his sores -- and such as indeed were never soldiers, but discarded unjust servingmen, younger sons to younger brothers, revolted tapsters, and ostlers trade-fallen, the cankers of a calm world and a long 2405peace, ten times more dishonorable-ragged than an old faz'd ancient. And such have I to fill up the rooms of them as 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 2410on the way and told me I had unloaded all the gibbets and pressed 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, 2415for indeed I had the most of them out of prison. There's not a shirt and a half in all my company; and the half-shirt is two napkins tacked together and thrown over the shoulders like a herald's coat without sleeves; and the shirt, to say the truth, 2420stolen from my host at Saint Albans, or the red-nose innkeeper of Daventry. But that's all one; they'll find linen enough on every hedge.
Enter the prince, [and the] Lord of Westmorland.
Prince How now, blown Jack? How now, quilt?
2425Falstaff What, Hal! How now, mad wag? What a devil dost thou in Warwickshire? My good lord of Westmorland, I cry you mercy! I thought your honor had already been at Shrewsbury.
Westmorland Faith, Sir John, 'tis more than time that I were there, and 2430you too; but my powers are there already. The king, I can tell you, looks for us all. We must away all night.
Falstaff Tut, never fear me. I am as vigilant as a cat to steal cream.
2435Prince 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?
Falstaff Mine, Hal, mine.
Prince I did never see such pitiful rascals.
2440Falstaff 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.
Westmorland Ay, but Sir John, methinks they are exceeding poor and bare, too beggarly.
2445Falstaff Faith, for their poverty, I know not where they had that, and for their bareness, I am sure they never learned that of me.
Prince No, I'll be sworn, unless you call three fingers in the ribs bare. But sirrah, make haste. Percy is already in the field.
Falstaff What, is the king encamped?
Westmorland He is, Sir John. I fear we shall stay too long.
Falstaff Well, to the latter end of a fray
And the beginning of a feast
2455Fits a dull fighter and a keen guest.
Enter Hotspur, Worcester, Douglas [and] Vernon.
We'll fight with him tonight.
It may not be.
You give him then advantage.
Not a whit.
Hotspur Why say you so? Looks he not for supply?
So do we.
His is certain; ours is doubtful.
Worcester Good cousin, be advised. Stir not tonight.
Do not, my lord.
You do not counsel well.
2470You speak it out of fear and cold heart.
Vernon Do me no slander, Douglas. By my life --
And I dare well maintain it with my life --
If well-respected honor bid me on,
I hold as little counsel with weak fear
2475As you, my lord, or any Scot that this day lives.
Let it be seen tomorrow in the battle
Which of us fears.
Yea, or tonight.
Tonight, say I.
Vernon 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
2485Of my cousin Vernon's are not yet come up.
Your uncle Worcester's horses came but today,
And now their pride and mettle is asleep,
Their courage with hard labor tame and dull,
That not a horse is half the half of himself.
2490Hotspur So are the horses of the enemy
In general journey-bated and brought low.
The better part of ours are full of rest.
Worcester 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.
Hotspur Welcome, Sir Walter Blunt: and would to god
2500You 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.
2505Blunt 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
2510The 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,
2515Which 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.
2520Hotspur 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;
2525And 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
2530He came but to be Duke of Lancaster,
To sue his livery, and beg his peace
With tears of innocency and terms of zeal,
My father, in kind heart and pity moved,
Swore him assistance, and performed it too.
2535Now 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,
2540Laid gifts before him, proffered him their oaths,
Gave him their heirs as pages, followed him
Even at the heels, in golden multitudes.
He presently, as greatness knows itself,
Steps me a little higher than his vow
2545Made to my father while his blood was poor
Upon the naked shore at Ravenspurgh,
And now forsooth takes on him to reform
Some certain edicts and some strait decrees
That lie too heavy on the commonwealth,
2550Cries 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
2555Of all the favorites that the absent king
In deputation left behind him here
When he was personal in the Irish war.
Tut, I came not to hear this.
Then to the point.
2560In short time after, he deposed the king,
Soon after that deprived him of his life,
And in the neck of that tasked the whole state;
To make that worse, suffered his kinsman March
(Who is, if every owner were well placed,
2565Indeed 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 mine uncle from the council-board,
2570In rage dismissed 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 we find
2575Too indirect for long continuance.
Blunt Shall I return this answer to the king?
Hotspur Not so, Sir Walter. We'll withdraw awhile.
Go to the king, and let there be impawned
2580Some surety for a safe return again;
And in the morning early shall mine uncle
Bring him our purposes. And so, farewell.
Blunt I would you would accept of grace and love.
And may be so we shall.
Pray god you do.
Enter Archbishop of York [and] Sir Michael.
Archbishop Hie, good Sir Michael, bear this sealèd brief
With wingèd haste to the Lord Marshal,
2590This to my cousin Scrope, and all the rest
To whom they are directed. If you knew
How much they do import, you would make haste.
Sir Michael
My good lord, I guess their tenor.
Like enough you do.
Tomorrow, 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,
2600The king with mighty and quick-raisèd 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,
2605Who with them was a rated sinew too,
And comes not in, overruled by prophecies,
I fear the power of Percy is too weak
To wage an instant trial with the king.
Sir Michael Why, my good lord, you need not fear,
2610There is Douglas and Lord Mortimer.
Archbishop No, Mortimer is not there.
Sir Michael But there is Mordake, Vernon, Lord Harry Percy;
And there is my lord of Worcester, and a head
Of gallant warriors, noble gentlemen.
Archbishop 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 Westmorland, and warlike Blunt,
2620And many more corrivals, and dear men
Of estimation and command in arms.
Sir Michael Doubt not, my lord, they shall be well opposed.
Archbishop I hope no less, yet needful 'tis to fear;
And to prevent the worst, Sir Michael, speed.
2625For 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
2630To other friends; and so farewell, Sir Michael.
Enter King, Prince of Wales, Lord John of Lancaster, Sir Walter Blunt, [and] Falstaff.
2635King How bloodily the sun begins to peer
Above yon bulky hill! The day looks pale
At his distemperature.
The southern wind
Doth play the trumpet to his purposes,
2640And 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].
King 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
2650To crush our old limbs in ungentle steel.
This is not well, my lord, this is not well.
What say you to it? Will you again unknit
This churlish knot of all-abhorrèd war,
And move in that obedient orb again
2655Where you did give a fair and natural light,
And be no more an exhaled meteor,
A prodigy of fear, and a portent
Of broachèd mischief to the unborn times?
Worcester Hear me, my liege:
2660For mine own part, I could be well content
To entertain the lag-end of my life
With quiet hours; for I protest,
I have not sought the day of this dislike.
King You have not sought it? How comes it, then?
2665Falstaff Rebellion lay in his way, and he found it.
Prince Peace, chewet, peace!
Worcester It pleased your majesty to turn your looks
Of favor from myself and all our house;
And yet I must remember you, my lord,
2670We 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
2675Nothing 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,
2680That you did nothing purpose 'gainst the state,
Nor claim no further than your new-fallen right,
The seat of Gaunt, dukedom of Lancaster:
To this we swore our aid. But in short space
It rained down fortune showering on your head,
2685And 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
2690So 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 wooed
To gripe the general sway into your hand,
2695Forgot your oath to us at Doncaster,
And being fed by us, you used us so
As that ungentle gull, the cuckoo's bird,
Useth the sparrow -- did oppress our nest,
Grew by our feeding to so great a bulk
2700That even our love durst 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 opposèd by such means
2705As you yourself have forged against yourself,
By unkind usage, dangerous countenance,
And violation of all faith and troth
Sworn to us in your younger enterprise.
King These things indeed you have articulate,
2710Proclaimed at market crosses, read in churches,
To face the garment of rebellion
With some fine color that may please the eye
Of fickle changelings and poor discontents,
Which gape and rub the elbow at the news
2715Of hurly-burly innovation;
And never yet did insurrection want
Such water-colors to impaint his cause,
Nor moody beggars starving for a time
Of pell-mell havoc and confusion.
2720Prince In both your 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,
2725This 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.
2730For 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
2735Of 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
2740Do 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
2745Shall be my friend again, and I'll be his.
So tell your cousin, and 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.
2750We will not now be troubled with reply.
We offer fair; take it advisedly.
Exit Worcester [and Vernon].
Prince It will not be accepted, on my life.
The Douglas and the Hotspur both together
2755Are 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 [all but] Prince [and] Falstaff.
2760Falstaff 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.
Falstaff I would 'twere bed-time, Hal, and all well.
2765Prince Why, thou owest god a death.
[Exit Prince.]
Falstaff 'Tis not due yet -- I would be loath to pay him before his day. What need I be so forward with him that calls not on me? Well, 'tis no matter, honor pricks me on. Yea, but how if honor prick me off when I come on? How then? Can honor set to a leg? 2770No. Or an arm? No. Or take away the grief of a wound? No. Honor hath no skill in surgery, then? No. What is honor? A word. What is in that word "honor"? What is that "honor"? Air. A trim reckoning! Who hath it? He that died a'Wednesday. Doth he feel it? 2775No. Doth he hear it? No. 'Tis 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. Honor is a mere scutcheon. And so ends my catechism.
Enter Worcester, [and] Sir Richard Vernon.
Worcester Oh no, my nephew must not know, Sir Richard,
The liberal and kind offer of the king.
'Twere best he did.
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 offense in other faults.
2790Supposition all our lives shall be stuck full of eyes,
For treason is but trusted like the fox,
Who, never so tame, so cherished, and locked up,
Will have a wild trick of his ancestors.
Look how we can, or sad or merrily,
2795Interpretation will misquote our looks,
And we shall feed like oxen at a stall,
The better cherished still the nearer death.
My nephew's trespass may be well forgot;
It hath the excuse of youth and heat of blood,
2800And an adopted name of privilege:
A hare-brained Hotspur, governed by a spleen.
All his offenses live upon my head,
And on his father's. We did train him on,
And, his corruption being ta'en from us,
2805We as the spring of all shall pay for all.
Therefore, good cousin, let not Harry know
In any case the offer of the king.
Enter [Hotspur and Douglas].
Vernon Deliver what you will; I'll say 'tis so.
Here comes your cousin.
My uncle is returned.
Deliver up my lord of Westmorland.
Uncle, what news?
Worcester The king will bid you battle presently.
2815Douglas Defy him by the Lord of Westmorland.
Hotspur Lord Douglas, go you and tell him so.
Douglas Marry, and shall, and very willingly.
Exit Douglas.
Worcester There is no seeming mercy in the king.
2820Hotspur Did you beg any? God forbid!
Worcester I told him gently of our grievances,
Of his oath-breaking, which he mended thus,
By now forswearing that he is forsworn.
He calls us rebels, traitors, and will scourge
2825With haughty arms this hateful name in us.
Enter Douglas.
Douglas Arm, gentlemen, to arms! For I have thrown
A brave defiance in King Henry's teeth,
And Westmorland that was engaged did bear it,
2830Which cannot choose but bring him quickly on.
Worcester The Prince of Wales stepped forth before the king
And, nephew, challenged you to single fight.
Hotspur Oh, would the quarrel lay upon our heads,
And that no man might draw short breath today
2835But I and Harry Monmouth! Tell me, tell me,
How showed his tasking? Seemed it in contempt?
Vernon No, by my soul, I never in my life
Did hear a challenge urged more modestly,
Unless a brother should a brother dare
2840To gentle exercise and proof of arms.
He gave you all the duties of a man,
Trimmed up your praises with a princely tongue,
Spoke your deservings like a chronicle,
Making you ever better than his praise
2845By 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 mastered there a double spirit
2850Of 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.
2855Hotspur Cousin, I think thou art enamourèd
On his follies. Never did I hear
Of any prince so wild a liberty.
But be he as he will, yet once ere night
I will embrace him with a soldier's arm,
2860That 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.
Messenger My lord, here are letters for you.
Hotspur I cannot read them now,
O gentlemen, the time of life is short.
To spend that shortness basely were too long
2870If life did ride upon a dial's point,
Still ending at the 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
2875When the intent of bearing them is just.
Enter another [Messenger].
Messenger My lord, prepare; the king comes on apace.
Hotspur I thank him that he cuts me from my tale,
For I profess not talking, only this:
2880Let 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!
2885Sound 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.
Here they embrace. The trumpets sound. [Exeunt.]
The king enters with his 2890power. Alarum to the battle. Then enter Douglas, and Sir Walter Blunt [disguised as the king].
Blunt What is thy name, that in battle thus thou crossest me?
What honor dost thou seek upon my head?
Douglas Know then my name is Douglas,
2895And I do haunt thee in the battle thus
Because some tell me that thou art a king.
Blunt They tell thee true.
Douglas The Lord of Stafford dear today hath bought
Thy likeness, for instead of thee, King Harry,
2900This 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, Douglas kills Blunt, then enter Hotspur.
Hotspur O Douglas, hadst thou fought at Holmedon thus,
I never had triumphed upon a Scot.
Douglas All's done, all's won: here breathless lies the king.
Hotspur Where?
2910Douglas Here.
Hotspur This Douglas? No, I know this face full well.
A gallant knight he was, his name was Blunt,
Semblably furnished like the king himself.
Douglas [To the corpse] Ah fool, go with thy soul, whither it goes!
2915A borrowed title hast thou bought too dear.
Why didst thou tell me that thou wert a king?
Hotspur The king hath many marching in his coats.
Douglas Now by my sword, I will kill all his coats.
I'll murder all his wardrobe, piece by piece,
2920Until I meet the king.
Up and away!
Our soldiers stand full fairly for the day.
[Exeunt.] Alarum. Enter Falstaff alone.
Falstaff Though I could scape shot-free at London, I fear the 2925shot here. Here's no scoring but upon the pate. Soft! Who are you? Sir Walter Blunt. There's honor 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 the prince.
Prince What, stands thou idle here? Lend me thy sword.
2935Many a noble man lies stark and stiff
Under the hoofs of vaunting enemies,
Whose deaths are yet unrevenged. I prithee
Lend me thy sword.
Falstaff O Hal, I prithee give me leave to breathe awhile. Turk Gregory never did such deeds in arms as I have done this day. 2940I have paid Percy, I have made him sure.
Prince He is indeed, and living to kill thee.
I prithee lend me thy sword.
Falstaff Nay, before god, Hal, if Percy be alive thou gets not my sword; but take my pistol if thou wilt.
2945Prince Give it me. What, is it in the case?
Falstaff Ay, Hal, 'tis hot, 'tis hot. There's that will sack a city.
The prince draws it out, and finds it to be a bottle of sack.
Prince What, is it a time to jest and dally now?
He throws the bottle at him. Exit.
2950Falstaff 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 honor as Sir Walter hath. Give me life, which if I can save, so; if not, honor comes unlooked for, and there's an 2955end.
[Exit with Blunt's body.]
Alarum. Excursions. Enter the king, the prince, Lord John of Lancaster, Earl of Westmorland.
2960King I prithee, Harry, withdraw thyself, thou bleed'st too much.
Lord John of Lancaster, go you with him.
Lancaster Not I, my lord, unless I did bleed too.
Prince I beseech your majesty, make up,
Lest your retirement do amaze your friends.
2965King I will do so. My lord of Westmorland,
Lead him to his tent.
Westmorland 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
2970The Prince of Wales from such a field as this,
Where stained nobility lies trodden on,
And rebels' arms triumph in massacres.
Lancaster We breathe too long. Come, cousin Westmorland,
Our duty this way lies. For god's sake, come.
[Exit Lancaster and Westmorland.]
2975Prince By god, 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
2980With lustier maintenance than I did look for
Of such an ungrown warrior.
Prince Oh, this boy lends mettle to us all!
Exit [Prince].
[Enter Douglas.]
Douglas Another king! They grow like Hydra's heads.
2985I am the Douglas, fatal to all those
That wear those colors 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
2990And 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; and defend thyself.
Douglas I fear thou art another counterfeit;
2995And yet, in faith, thou bear'st thee like a king.
But mine I am sure thou art, whoe'er thou be,
And thus I win thee.
They fight. The king being in danger, enter Prince of Wales.
Prince Hold up thy head, vile Scot, or thou art like
3000Never 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 flieth.
3005Cheerly, 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 redeemed thy lost opinion,
3010And showed thou mak'st 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 hearkened for your death.
If it were so, I might have let alone
3015The 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 labor of your son.
King Make up to Clifton; I'll to Sir Nicholas Gawsey.
Exit King.
Enter Hotspur.
Hotspur If I mistake not, thou art Harry Monmouth.
Prince Thou speak'st as if I would deny my name.
My name is Harry Percy.
Why then I see
A very valiant rebel of the name.
3025I 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.
3030Hotspur 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 honors on thy crest
3035I'll crop to make a garland for my head.
Hotspur I can no longer brook thy vanities.
They fight. Enter Falstaff.
Falstaff Well said, Hal! To it, Hal! Nay, you shall find no boy's play here, I can tell you.
Enter Douglas, he fighteth with Falstaff, [who] falls down as if he were dead. [Exit Douglas.]
The prince killeth Percy.
Hotspur O Harry, thou hast robbed me of my youth.
I better brook the loss of brittle life
Than those proud titles thou hast won of me.
3045They wound my thoughts worse than thy sword my flesh.
But thoughts, the slaves of life, and life, time's fool,
And time, that takes survey of all the world,
Must have a stop. Oh, I could prophesy,
But that the earthy and cold hand of death
3050Lies on my tongue. No, Percy, thou art dust,
And food for --
[He dies.]
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,
3055A 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,
3060I should not make so dear a show of zeal;
But let my favors 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.
3065Thy ignominy sleep with thee in the grave,
But not remembered in thy epitaph.
He spieth 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.
3070Oh, I should have a heavy miss of thee,
If I were much in love with vanity.
Death hath not struck so fat a deer today,
Though many dearer in this bloody fray.
Embowelled will I see thee by and by.
3075Till then, in blood by noble Percy lie.
Falstaff riseth up.
Falstaff Embowelled? If thou embowel me today, I'll give you leave to powder me, and eat me too, tomorrow. 'Sblood, 'twas time to counterfeit, or that hot termagant Scot had paid me, scot and lot 3080too. 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. 3085The better part of valor is discretion, in the which better part I have saved my life. Zounds, 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 killed him. Why 3090may not he rise as well as I? Nothing confutes me but eyes, and nobody sees me. Therefore, sirrah, [stabbing him] with a new wound in your thigh, come you along with me.
He takes up Hotspur on his back. Enter Prince [and] John of Lancaster.
3095Prince Come, brother John. Full bravely hast thou fleshed
Thy maiden sword.
Lancaster But soft; whom have we here?
Did you not tell me this fat man was dead?
Prince I did, I saw him dead,
3100Breathless and bleeding on the ground. Art thou alive?
Or is it fantasy that plays upon our eyesight?
I prithee speak; we will not trust our eyes
Without our ears. Thou art not what thou seem'st.
Falstaff No, that's certain: I am not a double man. But if I be 3105not Jack Falstaff, then am I a jack.
[He puts down the body.]
There is Percy. If your father will do me any honor, 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 killed myself, and saw thee dead.
3110Falstaff 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 valor bear the sin upon their own 3115heads. I'll take it upon my death I gave him this wound in the thigh. If the man were alive and would deny it, zounds, I would make him eat a piece of my sword.
Lancaster This is the strangest tale that ever I heard.
3120Prince This is the strangest fellow, brother John.
[To Falstaff] 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.
3125Prince The trumpet sounds retreat; the day is ours.
Come, brother, let us to the highest of the field
To see what friends are living, who are dead.
Exeunt [Prince and Lancaster].
Falstaff 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 3130purge, and leave sack, and live cleanly, as a nobleman should do.
Exit [with Hotspur's body].
The Trumpets sound. Enter the king, the Prince of Wales, Lord John of Lancaster, Earl of Westmorland, 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?
3140And wouldst thou turn our offers contrary,
Misuse the tenor of thy kinsman's trust?
Three knights upon our party slain today,
A noble earl, and many a creature else,
Had been alive this hour,
3145If like a Christian thou hadst truly borne
Betwixt our armies true intelligence.
Worcester What I have done my safety urged me to,
And I embrace this fortune patiently,
Since not to be avoided it falls on me.
3150King Bear Worcester to the death, and Vernon too.
Other offenders we will pause upon.
[Worcester and Vernon exit, guarded]
How goes the field?
Prince The noble Scot, Lord Douglas, when he saw
3155The fortune of the day quite turned 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
3160The Douglas is, and I beseech your grace
I may dispose of him.
With all my heart.
Prince Then, brother John of Lancaster,
To you this honorable bounty shall belong.
3165Go to the Douglas, and deliver him
Up to his pleasure ransomless and free.
His valors shown upon our crests today
Have taught us how to cherish such high deeds
Even in the bosom of our adversaries.
3169.1Lancaster I thank your grace for this high courtesy,
Which I shall give away immediately.
3170King Then this remains, that we divide our power.
You, son John, and my cousin Westmorland,
Toward York shall bend you with your dearest speed
To meet Northumberland and the prelate Scrope,
Who, as we hear, are busily in arms.
3175Myself and you, son Harry, will toward 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,
3180Let us not leave till all our own be won.