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  • Title: Henry IV, Part 1 (Modern)
  • 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 (Modern)

    Alarum. Excursions. Enter the king, the prince, Lord John of Lancaster, Earl of Westmorland.
    I prithee, Harry, withdraw thyself, thou bleed'st too much.
    Lord John of Lancaster, go you with him.
    Not I, my lord, unless I did bleed too.
    I beseech your majesty, make up,
    Lest your retirement do amaze your friends.
    I will do so. My lord of Westmorland,
    Lead him to his tent.
    Come, my lord, I'll lead you to your tent.
    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.
    We breathe too long. Come, cousin Westmorland,
    Our duty this way lies. For god's sake, come.
    [Exit Lancaster and Westmorland.]
    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.
    I saw him hold Lord Percy at the point
    2980With lustier maintenance than I did look for
    Of such an ungrown warrior.
    Oh, this boy lends mettle to us all!
    Exit [Prince].
    [Enter 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?
    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.
    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.
    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.
    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.
    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.
    Make up to Clifton; I'll to Sir Nicholas Gawsey.
    Exit King.
    3020Enter Hotspur.
    If I mistake not, thou art Harry Monmouth.
    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.
    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.
    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.
    I can no longer brook thy vanities.
    They fight. Enter Falstaff.
    Well said, Hal! To it, Hal! Nay, you shall find no boy's play here, I can tell you.
    3040Enter Douglas, he fighteth with Falstaff, [who] falls down as if he were dead. [Exit Douglas.]
    The prince killeth Percy.
    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.]
    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.
    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.
    Come, brother John. Full bravely hast thou fleshed
    Thy maiden sword.
    But soft; whom have we here?
    Did you not tell me this fat man was dead?
    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.
    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.
    Why, Percy I killed myself, and saw thee dead.
    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.
    This is the strangest tale that ever I heard.
    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.
    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].
    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].