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About this text

  • Title: Henry IV, Part 1 (Folio 1 1623)
  • Editor: Rosemary Gaby
  • ISBN: 978-1-55058-371-7

    Copyright Rosemary Gaby. This text may be freely used for educational, non-profit purposes; for all other uses contact the Editor.
    Author: William Shakespeare
    Editor: Rosemary Gaby
    Peer Reviewed

    Henry IV, Part 1 (Folio 1 1623)

    Actus Quintus. Scena Prima.
    Enter the King, Prince of Wales, Lord Iohn of Lancaster,
    Earle of Westmerland, Sir Walter Blunt,
    and Falstaffe.
    2635King. How bloodily the Sunne begins to peere
    Aboue yon busky hill: the day lookes pale
    At his distemperature.
    Prin. The Southerne winde
    Doth play the Trumpet to his purposes,
    2640And by his hollow whistling in the Leaues,
    Fortels a Tempest, and a blust'ring day.
    King. Then with the losers let it sympathize,
    For nothing can seeme foule to those that win.
    The Trumpet sounds.
    Enter Worcester.
    King. How now my Lord of Worster? 'Tis not well
    That you and I should meet vpon such tearmes,
    As now we meet. You haue deceiu'd our trust,
    And made vs doffe our easie Robes of Peace,
    2650To crush our old limbes in vngentle Steele:
    This is not well, my Lord, this is not well.
    What say you to it? Will you againe vnknit
    This churlish knot of all-abhorred Warre?
    And moue in that obedient Orbe againe,
    2655Where you did giue a faire and naturall light,
    And be no more an exhall'd Meteor,
    A prodigie of Feare, and a Portent
    Of broached Mischeefe, to the vnborne Times?
    Wor. Heare me, my Liege:
    2660For mine owne part, I could be well content
    To entertaine the Lagge-end of my life
    With quiet houres: For I do protest,
    I haue not sought the day of this dislike.
    King. You haue not sought it: how comes it then?
    2665Fal. Rebellion lay in his way, and he found it.
    Prin. Peace, Chewet, peace.
    Wor. It pleas'd your Maiesty, to turne your lookes
    Of Fauour, from my Selfe, and all our House;
    And yet I must remember you my Lord,
    2670We were the first, and dearest of your Friends:
    For you, my staffe of Office did I breake
    In Richards time, and poasted day and night
    To meete you on the way, and kisse your hand,
    When yet you were in place, and in account
    2675Nothing so strong and fortunate, as I;
    It was my Selfe, my Brother, and his Sonne,
    That brought you home, and boldly did out-dare
    The danger of the time. You swore to vs,
    And you did sweare that Oath at Doncaster,
    2680That you did nothing of purpose 'gainst the State,
    Nor claime no further, then your new-falne right,
    The seate of Gaunt, Dukedome of Lancaster,
    To this, we sware our aide: But in short space,
    It rain'd downe Fortune showring on your head,
    2685And such a floud of Greatnesse fell on you,
    What with our helpe, what with the absent King.
    What with the iniuries of wanton time,
    The seeming sufferances that you had borne,
    And the contrarious Windes that held the King
    2690So long in the vnlucky Irish Warres,
    That all in England did repute him dead:
    And from this swarme of faire aduantages,
    You tooke occasion to be quickly woo'd,
    To gripe the generall sway into your hand,
    2695Forgot your Oath to vs at Doncaster,
    And being fed by vs, you vs'd vs so,
    As that vngentle gull the Cuckowes Bird,
    Vseth the Sparrow, did oppresse our Nest,
    Grew by our Feeding, to so great a bulke,
    2700That euen our Loue durst not come neere your sight
    For feare of swallowing: But with nimble wing
    We were inforc'd for safety sake, to flye
    Out of your sight, and raise this present Head,
    Whereby we stand opposed by such meanes
    2705As you your selfe, haue forg'd against your selfe,
    By vnkinde vsage, dangerous countenance,
    And violation of all faith and troth
    Sworne to vs in yonger enterprize.
    Kin. These things indeede you haue articulated,
    2710Proclaim'd at Market Crosses, read in Churches,
    To face the Garment of Rebellion
    With some fine colour, that may please the eye
    Of fickle Changelings, and poore Discontents,
    Which gape, and rub the Elbow at the newes
    2715Of hurly burly Innouation:
    And neuer yet did Insurrection want
    Such water-colours, to impaint his cause:
    Nor moody Beggars, staruing for a time
    Of pell-mell hauocke, and confusion.
    2720Prin. In both our Armies, there is many a soule
    Shall pay full dearely for this encounter,
    If once they ioyne in triall. Tell your Nephew,
    The Prince of Wales doth ioyne with all the world
    In praise of Henry Percie: By my Hopes,
    2725This present enterprize set off his head,
    I do not thinke a brauer Gentleman,
    More actiue, valiant, or more valiant yong,
    More daring, or more bold, is now aliue,
    To grace this latter Age with Noble deeds.
    2730For my part, I may speake it to my shame,
    I haue a Truant beene to Chiualry,
    And so I heare, he doth account me too:
    Yet this before my Fathers Maiesty,
    I am content that he shall take the oddes
    2735Of his great name and estimation,
    And will, to saue the blood on either side,
    Try fortune with him, in a Single Fight.
    King. And Prince of Wales, so dare we venter thee,
    Albeit, considerations infinite
    2740Do make against it: No good Worster, no,
    We loue our people well; euen those we loue
    That are misled vpon your Cousins part:
    And will they take the offer of our Grace:
    Both he, and they, and you; yea euery man
    2745Shall be my Friend againe, and Ile be his.
    So tell your Cousin, and bring me word,
    What he will do. But if he will not yeeld,
    Rebuke and dread correction waite on vs,
    And they shall do their Office. So bee gone,
    2750We will not now be troubled with reply,
    We offer faire, take it aduisedly.
    Exit Worcester.
    Prin. It will not be accepted, on my life,
    The Dowglas and the Hotspurre both together,
    2755Are confident against the world in Armes.
    King. Hence therefore, euery Leader to his charge,
    For on their answer will we set on them;
    And God befriend vs, as our cause is iust.
    Manet Prince and Falstaffe.
    2760Fal. Hal, if thou see me downe in the battell,
    And bestride me, so; 'tis a point of friendship.
    Prin. Nothing but a Colossus can do thee that frendship
    Say thy prayers, and farewell.
    Fal. I would it were bed time Hal, and all well.
    2765Prin. Why, thou ow'st heauen a death.
    Falst. 'Tis not due yet: I would bee loath to pay him
    before his day. What neede I bee so forward with him,
    that call's not on me? Well, 'tis no matter, Honor prickes
    me on. But how if Honour pricke me off when I come
    2770on? How then? Can Honour set too a legge? No: or an
    arme? No: Or take away the greefe of a wound? No.
    Honour hath no skill in Surgerie, then? No. What is Ho-
    nour? A word. What is that word Honour? Ayre: A
    trim reckoning. Who hath it? He that dy'de a Wednes-
    2775day. Doth he feele it? No. Doth hee heare it? No. Is it
    insensible then? yea, to the dead. But wil it not liue with
    the liuing? No. Why? Detraction wil not suffer it, ther-
    fore Ile none of it. Honour is a meere Scutcheon, and so
    ends my Catechisme.