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The Complete Works of William Shakespeare

Part 18 out of 63

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HASTINGS. My lord, our army is dispers'd already.
Like youthful steers unyok'd, they take their courses
East, west, north, south; or like a school broke up,
Each hurries toward his home and sporting-place.
WESTMORELAND. Good tidings, my Lord Hastings; for the which
I do arrest thee, traitor, of high treason;
And you, Lord Archbishop, and you, Lord Mowbray,
Of capital treason I attach you both.
MOWBRAY. Is this proceeding just and honourable?
WESTMORELAND. Is your assembly so?
ARCHBISHOP. Will you thus break your faith?
PRINCE JOHN. I pawn'd thee none:
I promis'd you redress of these same grievances
Whereof you did complain; which, by mine honour,
I will perform with a most Christian care.
But for you, rebels- look to taste the due
Meet for rebellion and such acts as yours.
Most shallowly did you these arms commence,
Fondly brought here, and foolishly sent hence.
Strike up our drums, pursue the scatt'red stray.
God, and not we, hath safely fought to-day.
Some guard these traitors to the block of death,
Treason's true bed and yielder-up of breath. Exeunt

Another part of the forest

Alarum; excursions. Enter FALSTAFF and COLVILLE, meeting

FALSTAFF. What's your name, sir? Of what condition are you, and of
what place, I pray?
COLVILLE. I am a knight sir; and my name is Colville of the Dale.
FALSTAFF. Well then, Colville is your name, a knight is your
degree, and your place the Dale. Colville shall still be your
name, a traitor your degree, and the dungeon your place- a place
deep enough; so shall you be still Colville of the Dale.
COLVILLE. Are not you Sir John Falstaff?
FALSTAFF. As good a man as he, sir, whoe'er I am. Do you yield,
sir, or shall I sweat for you? If I do sweat, they are the drops
of thy lovers, and they weep for thy death; therefore rouse up
fear and trembling, and do observance to my mercy.
COLVILLE. I think you are Sir John Falstaff, and in that thought
yield me.
FALSTAFF. I have a whole school of tongues in this belly of mine;
and not a tongue of them all speaks any other word but my name.
An I had but a belly of any indifferency, I were simply the most
active fellow in Europe. My womb, my womb, my womb undoes me.
Here comes our general.

BLUNT, and others

PRINCE JOHN. The heat is past; follow no further now.
Call in the powers, good cousin Westmoreland.
Now, Falstaff, where have you been all this while?
When everything is ended, then you come.
These tardy tricks of yours will, on my life,
One time or other break some gallows' back.
FALSTAFF. I would be sorry, my lord, but it should be thus: I never
knew yet but rebuke and check was the reward of valour. Do you
think me a swallow, an arrow, or a bullet? Have I, in my poor and
old motion, the expedition of thought? I have speeded hither with
the very extremest inch of possibility; I have found'red nine
score and odd posts; and here, travel tainted as I am, have, in
my pure and immaculate valour, taken Sir John Colville of the
Dale,a most furious knight and valorous enemy. But what of that?
He saw me, and yielded; that I may justly say with the hook-nos'd
fellow of Rome-I came, saw, and overcame.
PRINCE JOHN. It was more of his courtesy than your deserving.
FALSTAFF. I know not. Here he is, and here I yield him; and I
beseech your Grace, let it be book'd with the rest of this day's
deeds; or, by the Lord, I will have it in a particular ballad
else, with mine own picture on the top on't, Colville kissing my
foot; to the which course if I be enforc'd, if you do not all
show like gilt twopences to me, and I, in the clear sky of fame,
o'ershine you as much as the full moon doth the cinders of the
element, which show like pins' heads to her, believe not the word
of the noble. Therefore let me have right, and let desert mount.
PRINCE JOHN. Thine's too heavy to mount.
FALSTAFF. Let it shine, then.
PRINCE JOHN. Thine's too thick to shine.
FALSTAFF. Let it do something, my good lord, that may do me good,
and call it what you will.
PRINCE JOHN. Is thy name Colville?
COLVILLE. It is, my lord.
PRINCE JOHN. A famous rebel art thou, Colville.
FALSTAFF. And a famous true subject took him.
COLVILLE. I am, my lord, but as my betters are
That led me hither. Had they been rul'd by me,
You should have won them dearer than you have.
FALSTAFF. I know not how they sold themselves; but thou, like a
kind fellow, gavest thyself away gratis; and I thank thee for


PRINCE JOHN. Now, have you left pursuit?
WESTMORELAND. Retreat is made, and execution stay'd.
PRINCE JOHN. Send Colville, with his confederates,
To York, to present execution.
Blunt, lead him hence; and see you guard him sure.
Exeunt BLUNT and others
And now dispatch we toward the court, my lords.
I hear the King my father is sore sick.
Our news shall go before us to his Majesty,
Which, cousin, you shall bear to comfort him
And we with sober speed will follow you.
FALSTAFF. My lord, I beseech you, give me leave to go through
Gloucestershire; and, when you come to court, stand my good lord,
pray, in your good report.
PRINCE JOHN. Fare you well, Falstaff. I, in my condition,
Shall better speak of you than you deserve.
Exeunt all but FALSTAFF
FALSTAFF. I would you had but the wit; 'twere better than your
dukedom. Good faith, this same young sober-blooded boy doth not
love me; nor a man cannot make him laugh- but that's no marvel;
he drinks no wine. There's never none of these demure boys come
to any proof; for thin drink doth so over-cool their blood, and
making many fish-meals, that they fall into a kind of male
green-sickness; and then, when they marry, they get wenches. They
are generally fools and cowards-which some of us should be too,
but for inflammation. A good sherris-sack hath a two-fold
operation in it. It ascends me into the brain; dries me there all
the foolish and dull and crudy vapours which environ it; makes it
apprehensive, quick, forgetive, full of nimble, fiery, and
delectable shapes; which delivered o'er to the voice, the tongue,
which is the birth, becomes excellent wit. The second property of
your excellent sherris is the warming of the blood; which before,
cold and settled, left the liver white and pale, which is the
badge of pusillanimity and cowardice; but the sherris warms it,
and makes it course from the inwards to the parts extremes. It
illumineth the face, which, as a beacon, gives warning to all the
rest of this little kingdom, man, to arm; and then the vital
commoners and inland petty spirits muster me all to their
captain, the heart, who, great and puff'd up with this retinue,
doth any deed of courage- and this valour comes of sherris. So
that skill in the weapon is nothing without sack, for that sets
it a-work; and learning, a mere hoard of gold kept by a devil
till sack commences it and sets it in act and use. Hereof comes
it that Prince Harry is valiant; for the cold blood he did
naturally inherit of his father, he hath, like lean, sterile, and
bare land, manured, husbanded, and till'd, with excellent
endeavour of drinking good and good store of fertile sherris,
that he is become very hot and valiant. If I had a thousand sons,
the first humane principle I would teach them should be to
forswear thin potations and to addict themselves to sack.


How now, Bardolph!
BARDOLPH. The army is discharged all and gone.
FALSTAFF. Let them go. I'll through Gloucestershire, and there will
I visit Master Robert Shallow, Esquire. I have him already
temp'ring between my finger and my thumb, and shortly will I seal
with him. Come away. Exeunt

Westminster. The Jerusalem Chamber

WARWICK, and others

KING. Now, lords, if God doth give successful end
To this debate that bleedeth at our doors,
We will our youth lead on to higher fields,
And draw no swords but what are sanctified.
Our navy is address'd, our power connected,
Our substitutes in absence well invested,
And everything lies level to our wish.
Only we want a little personal strength;
And pause us till these rebels, now afoot,
Come underneath the yoke of government.
WARWICK. Both which we doubt not but your Majesty
Shall soon enjoy.
KING. Humphrey, my son of Gloucester,
Where is the Prince your brother?
PRINCE HUMPHREY. I think he's gone to hunt, my lord, at Windsor.
KING. And how accompanied?
PRINCE HUMPHREY. I do not know, my lord.
KING. Is not his brother, Thomas of Clarence, with him?
PRINCE HUMPHREY. No, my good lord, he is in presence here.
CLARENCE. What would my lord and father?
KING. Nothing but well to thee, Thomas of Clarence.
How chance thou art not with the Prince thy brother?
He loves thee, and thou dost neglect him, Thomas.
Thou hast a better place in his affection
Than all thy brothers; cherish it, my boy,
And noble offices thou mayst effect
Of mediation, after I am dead,
Between his greatness and thy other brethren.
Therefore omit him not; blunt not his love,
Nor lose the good advantage of his grace
By seeming cold or careless of his will;
For he is gracious if he be observ'd.
He hath a tear for pity and a hand
Open as day for melting charity;
Yet notwithstanding, being incens'd, he is flint;
As humorous as winter, and as sudden
As flaws congealed in the spring of day.
His temper, therefore, must be well observ'd.
Chide him for faults, and do it reverently,
When you perceive his blood inclin'd to mirth;
But, being moody, give him line and scope
Till that his passions, like a whale on ground,
Confound themselves with working. Learn this, Thomas,
And thou shalt prove a shelter to thy friends,
A hoop of gold to bind thy brothers in,
That the united vessel of their blood,
Mingled with venom of suggestion-
As, force perforce, the age will pour it in-
Shall never leak, though it do work as strong
As aconitum or rash gunpowder.
CLARENCE. I shall observe him with all care and love.
KING. Why art thou not at Windsor with him, Thomas?
CLARENCE. He is not there to-day; he dines in London.
KING. And how accompanied? Canst thou tell that?
CLARENCE. With Poins, and other his continual followers.
KING. Most subject is the fattest soil to weeds;
And he, the noble image of my youth,
Is overspread with them; therefore my grief
Stretches itself beyond the hour of death.
The blood weeps from my heart when I do shape,
In forms imaginary, th'unguided days
And rotten times that you shall look upon
When I am sleeping with my ancestors.
For when his headstrong riot hath no curb,
When rage and hot blood are his counsellors
When means and lavish manners meet together,
O, with what wings shall his affections fly
Towards fronting peril and oppos'd decay!
WARWICK. My gracious lord, you look beyond him quite.
The Prince but studies his companions
Like a strange tongue, wherein, to gain the language,
'Tis needful that the most immodest word
Be look'd upon and learnt; which once attain'd,
Your Highness knows, comes to no further use
But to be known and hated. So, like gross terms,
The Prince will, in the perfectness of time,
Cast off his followers; and their memory
Shall as a pattern or a measure live
By which his Grace must mete the lives of other,
Turning past evils to advantages.
KING. 'Tis seldom when the bee doth leave her comb
In the dead carrion.


Who's here? Westmoreland?
WESTMORELAND. Health to my sovereign, and new happiness
Added to that that am to deliver!
Prince John, your son, doth kiss your Grace's hand.
Mowbray, the Bishop Scroop, Hastings, and all,
Are brought to the correction of your law.
There is not now a rebel's sword unsheath'd,
But Peace puts forth her olive everywhere.
The manner how this action hath been borne
Here at more leisure may your Highness read,
With every course in his particular.
KING. O Westmoreland, thou art a summer bird,
Which ever in the haunch of winter sings
The lifting up of day.


Look here's more news.
HARCOURT. From enemies heaven keep your Majesty;
And, when they stand against you, may they fall
As those that I am come to tell you of!
The Earl Northumberland and the Lord Bardolph,
With a great power of English and of Scots,
Are by the shrieve of Yorkshire overthrown.
The manner and true order of the fight
This packet, please it you, contains at large.
KING. And wherefore should these good news make me sick?
Will Fortune never come with both hands full,
But write her fair words still in foulest letters?
She either gives a stomach and no food-
Such are the poor, in health- or else a feast,
And takes away the stomach- such are the rich
That have abundance and enjoy it not.
I should rejoice now at this happy news;
And now my sight fails, and my brain is giddy.
O me! come near me now I am much ill.
PRINCE HUMPHREY. Comfort, your Majesty!
CLARENCE. O my royal father!
WESTMORELAND. My sovereign lord, cheer up yourself, look up.
WARWICK. Be patient, Princes; you do know these fits
Are with his Highness very ordinary.
Stand from him, give him air; he'll straight be well.
CLARENCE. No, no; he cannot long hold out these pangs.
Th' incessant care and labour of his mind
Hath wrought the mure that should confine it in
So thin that life looks through, and will break out.
PRINCE HUMPHREY. The people fear me; for they do observe
Unfather'd heirs and loathly births of nature.
The seasons change their manners, as the year
Had found some months asleep, and leapt them over.
CLARENCE. The river hath thrice flow'd, no ebb between;
And the old folk, Time's doting chronicles,
Say it did so a little time before
That our great grandsire, Edward, sick'd and died.
WARWICK. Speak lower, Princes, for the King recovers.
PRINCE HUMPHREY. This apoplexy will certain be his end.
KING. I pray you take me up, and bear me hence
Into some other chamber. Softly, pray. Exeunt

Westminster. Another chamber

and others in attendance

KING. Let there be no noise made, my gentle friends;
Unless some dull and favourable hand
Will whisper music to my weary spirit.
WARWICK. Call for the music in the other room.
KING. Set me the crown upon my pillow here.
CLARENCE. His eye is hollow, and he changes much.
WARWICK. Less noise! less noise!


PRINCE. Who saw the Duke of Clarence?
CLARENCE. I am here, brother, full of heaviness.
PRINCE. How now! Rain within doors, and none abroad!
How doth the King?
PRINCE HUMPHREY. Exceeding ill.
PRINCE. Heard he the good news yet? Tell it him.
PRINCE HUMPHREY. He alt'red much upon the hearing it.
PRINCE. If he be sick with joy, he'll recover without physic.
WARWICK. Not so much noise, my lords. Sweet Prince, speak low;
The King your father is dispos'd to sleep.
CLARENCE. Let us withdraw into the other room.
WARWICK. Will't please your Grace to go along with us?
PRINCE. No; I will sit and watch here by the King.
Exeunt all but the PRINCE
Why doth the crown lie there upon his pillow,
Being so troublesome a bedfellow?
O polish'd perturbation! golden care!
That keep'st the ports of slumber open wide
To many a watchful night! Sleep with it now!
Yet not so sound and half so deeply sweet
As he whose brow with homely biggen bound
Snores out the watch of night. O majesty!
When thou dost pinch thy bearer, thou dost sit
Like a rich armour worn in heat of day
That scald'st with safety. By his gates of breath
There lies a downy feather which stirs not.
Did he suspire, that light and weightless down
Perforce must move. My gracious lord! my father!
This sleep is sound indeed; this is a sleep
That from this golden rigol hath divorc'd
So many English kings. Thy due from me
Is tears and heavy sorrows of the blood
Which nature, love, and filial tenderness,
Shall, O dear father, pay thee plenteously.
My due from thee is this imperial crown,
Which, as immediate from thy place and blood,
Derives itself to me. [Putting on the crown] Lo where it sits-
Which God shall guard; and put the world's whole strength
Into one giant arm, it shall not force
This lineal honour from me. This from thee
Will I to mine leave as 'tis left to me. Exit
KING. Warwick! Gloucester! Clarence!


CLARENCE. Doth the King call?
WARWICK. What would your Majesty? How fares your Grace?
KING. Why did you leave me here alone, my lords?
CLARENCE. We left the Prince my brother here, my liege,
Who undertook to sit and watch by you.
KING. The Prince of Wales! Where is he? Let me see him.
He is not here.
WARWICK. This door is open; he is gone this way.
PRINCE HUMPHREY. He came not through the chamber where we stay'd.
KING. Where is the crown? Who took it from my pillow?
WARWICK. When we withdrew, my liege, we left it here.
KING. The Prince hath ta'en it hence. Go, seek him out.
Is he so hasty that he doth suppose
My sleep my death?
Find him, my lord of Warwick; chide him hither.
This part of his conjoins with my disease
And helps to end me. See, sons, what things you are!
How quickly nature falls into revolt
When gold becomes her object!
For this the foolish over-careful fathers
Have broke their sleep with thoughts,
Their brains with care, their bones with industry;
For this they have engrossed and pil'd up
The cank'red heaps of strange-achieved gold;
For this they have been thoughtful to invest
Their sons with arts and martial exercises;
When, like the bee, tolling from every flower
The virtuous sweets,
Our thighs with wax, our mouths with honey pack'd,
We bring it to the hive, and, like the bees,
Are murd'red for our pains. This bitter taste
Yields his engrossments to the ending father.

Re-enter WARWICK

Now where is he that will not stay so long
Till his friend sickness hath determin'd me?
WARWICK. My lord, I found the Prince in the next room,
Washing with kindly tears his gentle cheeks,
With such a deep demeanour in great sorrow,
That tyranny, which never quaff'd but blood,
Would, by beholding him, have wash'd his knife
With gentle eye-drops. He is coming hither.
KING. But wherefore did he take away the crown?


Lo where he comes. Come hither to me, Harry.
Depart the chamber, leave us here alone.
Exeunt all but the KING and the PRINCE
PRINCE. I never thought to hear you speak again.
KING. Thy wish was father, Harry, to that thought.
I stay too long by thee, I weary thee.
Dost thou so hunger for mine empty chair
That thou wilt needs invest thee with my honours
Before thy hour be ripe? O foolish youth!
Thou seek'st the greatness that will overwhelm thee.
Stay but a little, for my cloud of dignity
Is held from falling with so weak a wind
That it will quickly drop; my day is dim.
Thou hast stol'n that which, after some few hours,
Were thine without offense; and at my death
Thou hast seal'd up my expectation.
Thy life did manifest thou lov'dst me not,
And thou wilt have me die assur'd of it.
Thou hid'st a thousand daggers in thy thoughts,
Which thou hast whetted on thy stony heart,
To stab at half an hour of my life.
What, canst thou not forbear me half an hour?
Then get thee gone, and dig my grave thyself;
And bid the merry bells ring to thine ear
That thou art crowned, not that I am dead.
Let all the tears that should bedew my hearse
Be drops of balm to sanctify thy head;
Only compound me with forgotten dust;
Give that which gave thee life unto the worms.
Pluck down my officers, break my decrees;
For now a time is come to mock at form-
Harry the Fifth is crown'd. Up, vanity:
Down, royal state. All you sage counsellors, hence.
And to the English court assemble now,
From every region, apes of idleness.
Now, neighbour confines, purge you of your scum.
Have you a ruffian that will swear, drink, dance,
Revel the night, rob, murder, and commit
The oldest sins the newest kind of ways?
Be happy, he will trouble you no more.
England shall double gild his treble guilt;
England shall give him office, honour, might;
For the fifth Harry from curb'd license plucks
The muzzle of restraint, and the wild dog
Shall flesh his tooth on every innocent.
O my poor kingdom, sick with civil blows!
When that my care could not withhold thy riots,
What wilt thou do when riot is thy care?
O, thou wilt be a wilderness again.
Peopled with wolves, thy old inhabitants!
PRINCE. O, pardon me, my liege! But for my tears,
The moist impediments unto my speech,
I had forestall'd this dear and deep rebuke
Ere you with grief had spoke and I had heard
The course of it so far. There is your crown,
And he that wears the crown immortally
Long guard it yours! [Kneeling] If I affect it more
Than as your honour and as your renown,
Let me no more from this obedience rise,
Which my most inward true and duteous spirit
Teacheth this prostrate and exterior bending!
God witness with me, when I here came in
And found no course of breath within your Majesty,
How cold it struck my heart! If I do feign,
O, let me in my present wildness die,
And never live to show th' incredulous world
The noble change that I have purposed!
Coming to look on you, thinking you dead-
And dead almost, my liege, to think you were-
I spake unto this crown as having sense,
And thus upbraided it: 'The care on thee depending
Hath fed upon the body of my father;
Therefore thou best of gold art worst of gold.
Other, less fine in carat, is more precious,
Preserving life in med'cine potable;
But thou, most fine, most honour'd, most renown'd,
Hast eat thy bearer up.' Thus, my most royal liege,
Accusing it, I put it on my head,
To try with it- as with an enemy
That had before my face murd'red my father-
The quarrel of a true inheritor.
But if it did infect my blood with joy,
Or swell my thoughts to any strain of pride;
If any rebel or vain spirit of mine
Did with the least affection of a welcome
Give entertainment to the might of it,
Let God for ever keep it from my head,
And make me as the poorest vassal is,
That doth with awe and terror kneel to it!
KING. O my son,
God put it in thy mind to take it hence,
That thou mightst win the more thy father's love,
Pleading so wisely in excuse of it!
Come hither, Harry; sit thou by my bed,
And hear, I think, the very latest counsel
That ever I shall breathe. God knows, my son,
By what by-paths and indirect crook'd ways
I met this crown; and I myself know well
How troublesome it sat upon my head:
To thee it shall descend with better quiet,
Better opinion, better confirmation;
For all the soil of the achievement goes
With me into the earth. It seem'd in me
But as an honour snatch'd with boist'rous hand;
And I had many living to upbraid
My gain of it by their assistances;
Which daily grew to quarrel and to bloodshed,
Wounding supposed peace. All these bold fears
Thou seest with peril I have answered;
For all my reign hath been but as a scene
Acting that argument. And now my death
Changes the mood; for what in me was purchas'd
Falls upon thee in a more fairer sort;
So thou the garland wear'st successively.
Yet, though thou stand'st more sure than I could do,
Thou art not firm enough, since griefs are green;
And all my friends, which thou must make thy friends,
Have but their stings and teeth newly ta'en out;
By whose fell working I was first advanc'd,
And by whose power I well might lodge a fear
To be again displac'd; which to avoid,
I cut them off; and had a purpose now
To lead out many to the Holy Land,
Lest rest and lying still might make them look
Too near unto my state. Therefore, my Harry,
Be it thy course to busy giddy minds
With foreign quarrels, that action, hence borne out,
May waste the memory of the former days.
More would I, but my lungs are wasted so
That strength of speech is utterly denied me.
How I came by the crown, O God, forgive;
And grant it may with thee in true peace live!
PRINCE. My gracious liege,
You won it, wore it, kept it, gave it me;
Then plain and right must my possession be;
Which I with more than with a common pain
'Gainst all the world will rightfully maintain.


KING. Look, look, here comes my John of Lancaster.
PRINCE JOHN. Health, peace, and happiness, to my royal father!
KING. Thou bring'st me happiness and peace, son John;
But health, alack, with youthful wings is flown
From this bare wither'd trunk. Upon thy sight
My worldly business makes a period.
Where is my Lord of Warwick?
PRINCE. My Lord of Warwick!
KING. Doth any name particular belong
Unto the lodging where I first did swoon?
WARWICK. 'Tis call'd Jerusalem, my noble lord.
KING. Laud be to God! Even there my life must end.
It hath been prophesied to me many years,
I should not die but in Jerusalem;
Which vainly I suppos'd the Holy Land.
But bear me to that chamber; there I'll lie;
In that Jerusalem shall Harry die. Exeunt


Gloucestershire. SHALLOW'S house


SHALLOW. By cock and pie, sir, you shall not away to-night.
What, Davy, I say!
FALSTAFF. You must excuse me, Master Robert Shallow.
SHALLOW. I will not excuse you; you shall not be excus'd; excuses
shall not be admitted; there is no excuse shall serve; you shall
not be excus'd. Why, Davy!

Enter DAVY

DAVY. Here, sir.
SHALLOW. Davy, Davy, Davy, Davy; let me see, Davy; let me see,
Davy; let me see- yea, marry, William cook, bid him come hither.
Sir John, you shall not be excus'd.
DAVY. Marry, sir, thus: those precepts cannot be served; and,
again, sir- shall we sow the headland with wheat?
SHALLOW. With red wheat, Davy. But for William cook- are there no
young pigeons?
DAVY. Yes, sir. Here is now the smith's note for shoeing and
SHALLOW. Let it be cast, and paid. Sir John, you shall not be
DAVY. Now, sir, a new link to the bucket must needs be had; and,
sir, do you mean to stop any of William's wages about the sack he
lost the other day at Hinckley fair?
SHALLOW. 'A shall answer it. Some pigeons, Davy, a couple of
short-legg'd hens, a joint of mutton, and any pretty little tiny
kickshaws, tell William cook.
DAVY. Doth the man of war stay all night, sir?
SHALLOW. Yea, Davy; I will use him well. A friend i' th' court is
better than a penny in purse. Use his men well, Davy; for they
are arrant knaves and will backbite.
DAVY. No worse than they are backbitten, sir; for they have
marvellous foul linen.
SHALLOW. Well conceited, Davy- about thy business, Davy.
DAVY. I beseech you, sir, to countenance William Visor of Woncot
against Clement Perkes o' th' hill.
SHALLOW. There, is many complaints, Davy, against that Visor. That
Visor is an arrant knave, on my knowledge.
DAVY. I grant your worship that he is a knave, sir; but yet God
forbid, sir, but a knave should have some countenance at his
friend's request. An honest man, sir, is able to speak for
himself, when a knave is not. I have serv'd your worship truly,
sir, this eight years; an I cannot once or twice in a quarter
bear out a knave against an honest man, I have but a very little
credit with your worship. The knave is mine honest friend, sir;
therefore, I beseech you, let him be countenanc'd.
SHALLOW. Go to; I say he shall have no wrong. Look about,
DAVY. [Exit DAVY] Where are you, Sir John? Come, come, come, off
with your boots. Give me your hand, Master Bardolph.
BARDOLPH. I am glad to see your worship.
SHALLOW. I thank thee with all my heart, kind Master Bardolph.
[To the PAGE] And welcome, my tall fellow. Come, Sir John.
FALSTAFF. I'll follow you, good Master Robert Shallow.
[Exit SHALLOW] Bardolph, look to our horses. [Exeunt BARDOLPH
and PAGE] If I were sawed into quantities, I should make four
dozen of such bearded hermits' staves as Master Shallow. It is a
wonderful thing to see the semblable coherence of his men's
spirits and his. They, by observing of him, do bear themselves
like foolish justices: he, by conversing with them, is turned
into a justice-like serving-man. Their spirits are so married in
conjunction with the participation of society that they flock
together in consent, like so many wild geese. If I had a suit to
Master Shallow, I would humour his men with the imputation of
being near their master; if to his men, I would curry with Master
Shallow that no man could better command his servants. It is
certain that either wise bearing or ignorant carriage is caught,
as men take diseases, one of another; therefore let men take heed
of their company. I will devise matter enough out of this Shallow
to keep Prince Harry in continual laughter the wearing out of six
fashions, which is four terms, or two actions; and 'a shall laugh
without intervallums. O, it is much that a lie with a slight
oath, and a jest with a sad brow will do with a fellow that never
had the ache in his shoulders! O, you shall see him laugh till
his face be like a wet cloak ill laid up!
SHALLOW. [Within] Sir John!
FALSTAFF. I come, Master Shallow; I come, Master Shallow.

Westminster. The palace

Enter, severally, WARWICK, and the LORD CHIEF JUSTICE

WARWICK. How now, my Lord Chief Justice; whither away?
CHIEF JUSTICE. How doth the King?
WARWICK. Exceeding well; his cares are now all ended.
CHIEF JUSTICE. I hope, not dead.
WARWICK. He's walk'd the way of nature;
And to our purposes he lives no more.
CHIEF JUSTICE. I would his Majesty had call'd me with him.
The service that I truly did his life
Hath left me open to all injuries.
WARWICK. Indeed, I think the young king loves you not.
CHIEF JUSTICE. I know he doth not, and do arm myself
To welcome the condition of the time,
Which cannot look more hideously upon me
Than I have drawn it in my fantasy.

WESTMORELAND, and others

WARWICK. Here comes the heavy issue of dead Harry.
O that the living Harry had the temper
Of he, the worst of these three gentlemen!
How many nobles then should hold their places
That must strike sail to spirits of vile sort!
CHIEF JUSTICE. O God, I fear all will be overturn'd.
PRINCE JOHN. Good morrow, cousin Warwick, good morrow.
GLOUCESTER & CLARENCE. Good morrow, cousin.
PRINCE JOHN. We meet like men that had forgot to speak.
WARWICK. We do remember; but our argument
Is all too heavy to admit much talk.
PRINCE JOHN. Well, peace be with him that hath made us heavy!
CHIEF JUSTICE. Peace be with us, lest we be heavier!
PRINCE HUMPHREY. O, good my lord, you have lost a friend indeed;
And I dare swear you borrow not that face
Of seeming sorrow- it is sure your own.
PRINCE JOHN. Though no man be assur'd what grace to find,
You stand in coldest expectation.
I am the sorrier; would 'twere otherwise.
CLARENCE. Well, you must now speak Sir John Falstaff fair;
Which swims against your stream of quality.
CHIEF JUSTICE. Sweet Princes, what I did, I did in honour,
Led by th' impartial conduct of my soul;
And never shall you see that I will beg
A ragged and forestall'd remission.
If truth and upright innocency fail me,
I'll to the King my master that is dead,
And tell him who hath sent me after him.
WARWICK. Here comes the Prince.

Enter KING HENRY THE FIFTH, attended

CHIEF JUSTICE. Good morrow, and God save your Majesty!
KING. This new and gorgeous garment, majesty,
Sits not so easy on me as you think.
Brothers, you mix your sadness with some fear.
This is the English, not the Turkish court;
Not Amurath an Amurath succeeds,
But Harry Harry. Yet be sad, good brothers,
For, by my faith, it very well becomes you.
Sorrow so royally in you appears
That I will deeply put the fashion on,
And wear it in my heart. Why, then, be sad;
But entertain no more of it, good brothers,
Than a joint burden laid upon us all.
For me, by heaven, I bid you be assur'd,
I'll be your father and your brother too;
Let me but bear your love, I'll bear your cares.
Yet weep that Harry's dead, and so will I;
But Harry lives that shall convert those tears
By number into hours of happiness.
BROTHERS. We hope no otherwise from your Majesty.
KING. You all look strangely on me; and you most.
You are, I think, assur'd I love you not.
CHIEF JUSTICE. I am assur'd, if I be measur'd rightly,
Your Majesty hath no just cause to hate me.
How might a prince of my great hopes forget
So great indignities you laid upon me?
What, rate, rebuke, and roughly send to prison,
Th' immediate heir of England! Was this easy?
May this be wash'd in Lethe and forgotten?
CHIEF JUSTICE. I then did use the person of your father;
The image of his power lay then in me;
And in th' administration of his law,
Whiles I was busy for the commonwealth,
Your Highness pleased to forget my place,
The majesty and power of law and justice,
The image of the King whom I presented,
And struck me in my very seat of judgment;
Whereon, as an offender to your father,
I gave bold way to my authority
And did commit you. If the deed were ill,
Be you contented, wearing now the garland,
To have a son set your decrees at nought,
To pluck down justice from your awful bench,
To trip the course of law, and blunt the sword
That guards the peace and safety of your person;
Nay, more, to spurn at your most royal image,
And mock your workings in a second body.
Question your royal thoughts, make the case yours;
Be now the father, and propose a son;
Hear your own dignity so much profan'd,
See your most dreadful laws so loosely slighted,
Behold yourself so by a son disdain'd;
And then imagine me taking your part
And, in your power, soft silencing your son.
After this cold considerance, sentence me;
And, as you are a king, speak in your state
What I have done that misbecame my place,
My person, or my liege's sovereignty.
KING. You are right, Justice, and you weigh this well;
Therefore still bear the balance and the sword;
And I do wish your honours may increase
Till you do live to see a son of mine
Offend you, and obey you, as I did.
So shall I live to speak my father's words:
'Happy am I that have a man so bold
That dares do justice on my proper son;
And not less happy, having such a son
That would deliver up his greatness so
Into the hands of justice.' You did commit me;
For which I do commit into your hand
Th' unstained sword that you have us'd to bear;
With this remembrance- that you use the same
With the like bold, just, and impartial spirit
As you have done 'gainst me. There is my hand.
You shall be as a father to my youth;
My voice shall sound as you do prompt mine ear;
And I will stoop and humble my intents
To your well-practis'd wise directions.
And, Princes all, believe me, I beseech you,
My father is gone wild into his grave,
For in his tomb lie my affections;
And with his spirits sadly I survive,
To mock the expectation of the world,
To frustrate prophecies, and to raze out
Rotten opinion, who hath writ me down
After my seeming. The tide of blood in me
Hath proudly flow'd in vanity till now.
Now doth it turn and ebb back to the sea,
Where it shall mingle with the state of floods,
And flow henceforth in formal majesty.
Now call we our high court of parliament;
And let us choose such limbs of noble counsel,
That the great body of our state may go
In equal rank with the best govern'd nation;
That war, or peace, or both at once, may be
As things acquainted and familiar to us;
In which you, father, shall have foremost hand.
Our coronation done, we will accite,
As I before rememb'red, all our state;
And- God consigning to my good intents-
No prince nor peer shall have just cause to say,
God shorten Harry's happy life one day. Exeunt

Gloucestershire. SHALLOW'S orchard


SHALLOW. Nay, you shall see my orchard, where, in an arbour, we
will eat a last year's pippin of mine own graffing, with a dish
of caraways, and so forth. Come, cousin Silence. And then to bed.
FALSTAFF. Fore God, you have here a goodly dwelling and rich.
SHALLOW. Barren, barren, barren; beggars all, beggars all, Sir John
-marry, good air. Spread, Davy, spread, Davy; well said, Davy.
FALSTAFF. This Davy serves you for good uses; he is your
serving-man and your husband.
SHALLOW. A good varlet, a good varlet, a very good varlet, Sir
John. By the mass, I have drunk too much sack at supper. A good
varlet. Now sit down, now sit down; come, cousin.
SILENCE. Ah, sirrah! quoth-a- we shall [Singing]

Do nothing but eat and make good cheer,
And praise God for the merry year;
When flesh is cheap and females dear,
And lusty lads roam here and there,
So merrily,
And ever among so merrily.

FALSTAFF. There's a merry heart! Good Master Silence, I'll give you
a health for that anon.
SHALLOW. Give Master Bardolph some wine, Davy.
DAVY. Sweet sir, sit; I'll be with you anon; most sweet sir, sit.
Master Page, good Master Page, sit. Proface! What you want in
meat, we'll have in drink. But you must bear; the heart's all.
SHALLOW. Be merry, Master Bardolph; and, my little soldier there,
be merry.
SILENCE. [Singing]

Be merry, be merry, my wife has all;
For women are shrews, both short and tall;
'Tis merry in hall when beards wag an;
And welcome merry Shrove-tide.
Be merry, be merry.

FALSTAFF. I did not think Master Silence had been a man of this
SILENCE. Who, I? I have been merry twice and once ere now.

Re-enter DAVY

DAVY. [To BARDOLPH] There's a dish of leather-coats for you.
DAVY. Your worship! I'll be with you straight. [To BARDOLPH]
A cup of wine, sir?
SILENCE. [Singing]

A cup of wine that's brisk and fine,
And drink unto the leman mine;
And a merry heart lives long-a.

FALSTAFF. Well said, Master Silence.
SILENCE. An we shall be merry, now comes in the sweet o' th' night.
FALSTAFF. Health and long life to you, Master Silence!
SILENCE. [Singing]

Fill the cup, and let it come,
I'll pledge you a mile to th' bottom.

SHALLOW. Honest Bardolph, welcome; if thou want'st anything and
wilt not call, beshrew thy heart. Welcome, my little tiny thief
and welcome indeed too. I'll drink to Master Bardolph, and to all
the cabileros about London.
DAVY. I hope to see London once ere I die.
BARDOLPH. An I might see you there, Davy!
SHALLOW. By the mass, you'R crack a quart together- ha! will you
not, Master Bardolph?
BARDOLPH. Yea, sir, in a pottle-pot.
SHALLOW. By God's liggens, I thank thee. The knave will stick by
thee, I can assure thee that. 'A will not out, 'a; 'tis true
BARDOLPH. And I'll stick by him, sir.
SHALLOW. Why, there spoke a king. Lack nothing; be merry.
[One knocks at door] Look who's at door there, ho! Who knocks?
FALSTAFF. [To SILENCE, who has drunk a bumper] Why, now you have
done me right.
SILENCE. [Singing]

Do me right,
And dub me knight.

Is't not so?
FALSTAFF. 'Tis so.
SILENCE. Is't so? Why then, say an old man can do somewhat.

Re-enter DAVY

DAVY. An't please your worship, there's one Pistol come from the
court with news.
FALSTAFF. From the court? Let him come in.


How now, Pistol?
PISTOL. Sir John, God save you!
FALSTAFF. What wind blew you hither, Pistol?
PISTOL. Not the ill wind which blows no man to good. Sweet knight,
thou art now one of the greatest men in this realm.
SILENCE. By'r lady, I think 'a be, but goodman Puff of Barson.
Puff in thy teeth, most recreant coward base!
Sir John, I am thy Pistol and thy friend,
And helter-skelter have I rode to thee;
And tidings do I bring, and lucky joys,
And golden times, and happy news of price.
FALSTAFF. I pray thee now, deliver them like a man of this world.
PISTOL. A foutra for the world and worldlings base!
I speak of Africa and golden joys.
FALSTAFF. O base Assyrian knight, what is thy news?
Let King Cophetua know the truth thereof.
SILENCE. [Singing] And Robin Hood, Scarlet, and John.
PISTOL. Shall dunghill curs confront the Helicons?
And shall good news be baffled?
Then, Pistol, lay thy head in Furies' lap.
SHALLOW. Honest gentleman, I know not your breeding.
PISTOL. Why, then, lament therefore.
SHALLOW. Give me pardon, sir. If, sir, you come with news from the
court, I take it there's but two ways- either to utter them or
conceal them. I am, sir, under the King, in some authority.
PISTOL. Under which king, Bezonian? Speak, or die.
SHALLOW. Under King Harry.
PISTOL. Harry the Fourth- or Fifth?
SHALLOW. Harry the Fourth.
PISTOL. A foutra for thine office!
Sir John, thy tender lambkin now is King;
Harry the Fifth's the man. I speak the truth.
When Pistol lies, do this; and fig me, like
The bragging Spaniard.
FALSTAFF. What, is the old king dead?
PISTOL. As nail in door. The things I speak are just.
FALSTAFF. Away, Bardolph! saddle my horse. Master Robert Shallow,
choose what office thou wilt in the land, 'tis thine. Pistol, I
will double-charge thee with dignities.
BARDOLPH. O joyful day!
I would not take a knighthood for my fortune.
PISTOL. What, I do bring good news?
FALSTAFF. Carry Master Silence to bed. Master Shallow, my Lord
Shallow, be what thou wilt- I am Fortune's steward. Get on thy
boots; we'll ride all night. O sweet Pistol! Away, Bardolph!
[Exit BARDOLPH] Come, Pistol, utter more to me; and withal
devise something to do thyself good. Boot, boot, Master Shallow!
I know the young King is sick for me. Let us take any man's
horses: the laws of England are at my commandment. Blessed are
they that have been my friends; and woe to my Lord Chief Justice!
PISTOL. Let vultures vile seize on his lungs also!
'Where is the life that late I led?' say they.
Why, here it is; welcome these pleasant days! Exeunt

London. A street


HOSTESS. No, thou arrant knave; I would to God that I might die,
that I might have thee hang'd. Thou hast drawn my shoulder out of
FIRST BEADLE. The constables have delivered her over to me; and she
shall have whipping-cheer enough, I warrant her. There hath been
a man or two lately kill'd about her.
DOLL. Nut-hook, nut-hook, you lie. Come on; I'll tell thee what,
thou damn'd tripe-visag'd rascal, an the child I now go with do
miscarry, thou wert better thou hadst struck thy mother, thou
paper-fac'd villain.
HOSTESS. O the Lord, that Sir John were come! He would make this a
bloody day to somebody. But I pray God the fruit of her womb
FIRST BEADLE. If it do, you shall have a dozen of cushions again;
you have but eleven now. Come, I charge you both go with me; for
the man is dead that you and Pistol beat amongst you.
DOLL. I'll tell you what, you thin man in a censer, I will have you
as soundly swing'd for this- you blue-bottle rogue, you filthy
famish'd correctioner, if you be not swing'd, I'll forswear
FIRST BEADLE. Come, come, you she knight-errant, come.
HOSTESS. O God, that right should thus overcome might!
Well, of sufferance comes ease.
DOLL. Come, you rogue, come; bring me to a justice.
HOSTESS. Ay, come, you starv'd bloodhound.
DOLL. Goodman death, goodman bones!
HOSTESS. Thou atomy, thou!
DOLL. Come, you thin thing! come, you rascal!
FIRST BEADLE. Very well. Exeunt

Westminster. Near the Abbey

Enter GROOMS, strewing rushes

FIRST GROOM. More rushes, more rushes!
SECOND GROOM. The trumpets have sounded twice.
THIRD GROOM. 'Twill be two o'clock ere they come from the
coronation. Dispatch, dispatch. Exeunt

Trumpets sound, and the KING and his train pass
over the stage. After them enter FALSTAFF, SHALLOW,

FALSTAFF. Stand here by me, Master Robert Shallow; I will make the
King do you grace. I will leer upon him, as 'a comes by; and do
but mark the countenance that he will give me.
PISTOL. God bless thy lungs, good knight!
FALSTAFF. Come here, Pistol; stand behind me. [To SHALLOW] O, if
I had had to have made new liveries, I would have bestowed the
thousand pound I borrowed of you. But 'tis no matter; this poor
show doth better; this doth infer the zeal I had to see him.
SHALLOW. It doth so.
FALSTAFF. It shows my earnestness of affection-
SHALLOW. It doth so.
FALSTAFF. My devotion-
SHALLOW. It doth, it doth, it doth.
FALSTAFF. As it were, to ride day and night; and not to deliberate,
not to remember, not to have patience to shift me-
SHALLOW. It is best, certain.
FALSTAFF. But to stand stained with travel, and sweating with
desire to see him; thinking of nothing else, putting all affairs
else in oblivion, as if there were nothing else to be done but to
see him.
PISTOL. 'Tis 'semper idem' for 'obsque hoc nihil est.' 'Tis all in
every part.
SHALLOW. 'Tis so, indeed.
PISTOL. My knight, I will inflame thy noble liver
And make thee rage.
Thy Doll, and Helen of thy noble thoughts,
Is in base durance and contagious prison;
Hal'd thither
By most mechanical and dirty hand.
Rouse up revenge from ebon den with fell Alecto's snake,
For Doll is in. Pistol speaks nought but truth.
FALSTAFF. I will deliver her.
[Shouts,within, and the trumpets sound]
PISTOL. There roar'd the sea, and trumpet-clangor sounds.

Enter the KING and his train, the LORD CHIEF JUSTICE
among them

FALSTAFF. God save thy Grace, King Hal; my royal Hal!
PISTOL. The heavens thee guard and keep, most royal imp of fame!
FALSTAFF. God save thee, my sweet boy!
KING. My Lord Chief Justice, speak to that vain man.
CHIEF JUSTICE. Have you your wits? Know you what 'tis you speak?
FALSTAFF. My king! my Jove! I speak to thee, my heart!
KING. I know thee not, old man. Fall to thy prayers.
How ill white hairs become a fool and jester!
I have long dreamt of such a kind of man,
So surfeit-swell'd, so old, and so profane;
But being awak'd, I do despise my dream.
Make less thy body hence, and more thy grace;
Leave gormandizing; know the grave doth gape
For thee thrice wider than for other men-
Reply not to me with a fool-born jest;
Presume not that I am the thing I was,
For God doth know, so shall the world perceive,
That I have turn'd away my former self;
So will I those that kept me company.
When thou dost hear I am as I have been,
Approach me, and thou shalt be as thou wast,
The tutor and the feeder of my riots.
Till then I banish thee, on pain of death,
As I have done the rest of my misleaders,
Not to come near our person by ten mile.
For competence of life I will allow you,
That lack of means enforce you not to evils;
And, as we hear you do reform yourselves,
We will, according to your strengths and qualities,
Give you advancement. Be it your charge, my lord,
To see perform'd the tenour of our word.
Set on. Exeunt the KING and his train
FALSTAFF. Master Shallow, I owe you a thousand pounds.
SHALLOW. Yea, marry, Sir John; which I beseech you to let me have
home with me.
FALSTAFF. That can hardly be, Master Shallow. Do not you grieve at
this; I shall be sent for in private to him. Look you, he must
seem thus to the world. Fear not your advancements; I will be the
man yet that shall make you great.
SHALLOW. I cannot perceive how, unless you give me your doublet,
and stuff me out with straw. I beseech you, good Sir John, let me
have five hundred of my thousand.
FALSTAFF. Sir, I will be as good as my word. This that you heard
was but a colour.
SHALLOW. A colour that I fear you will die in, Sir John.
FALSTAFF. Fear no colours; go with me to dinner. Come, Lieutenant
Pistol; come, Bardolph. I shall be sent for soon at night.

with officers

CHIEF JUSTICE. Go, carry Sir John Falstaff to the Fleet;
Take all his company along with him.
FALSTAFF. My lord, my lord-
CHIEF JUSTICE. I cannot now speak. I will hear you soon.
Take them away.
PISTOL. Si fortuna me tormenta, spero me contenta.
PRINCE JOHN. I like this fair proceeding of the King's.
He hath intent his wonted followers
Shall all be very well provided for;
But all are banish'd till their conversations
Appear more wise and modest to the world.
CHIEF JUSTICE. And so they are.
PRINCE JOHN. The King hath call'd his parliament, my lord.
PRINCE JOHN. I will lay odds that, ere this year expire,
We bear our civil swords and native fire
As far as France. I heard a bird so sing,
Whose music, to my thinking, pleas'd the King.
Come, will you hence? Exeunt


First my fear, then my curtsy, last my speech. My fear, is your
displeasure; my curtsy, my duty; and my speech, to beg your pardons.
If you look for a good speech now, you undo me; for what I have to say
is of mine own making; and what, indeed, I should say will, I doubt,
prove mine own marring. But to the purpose, and so to the venture.
Be it known to you, as it is very well, I was lately here in the end
of a displeasing play, to pray your patience for it and to promise you
a better. I meant, indeed, to pay you with this; which if like an
ill venture it come unluckily home, I break, and you, my gentle
creditors, lose. Here I promis'd you I would be, and here I commit
my body to your mercies. Bate me some, and I will pay you some, and,
as most debtors do, promise you infinitely; and so I kneel down before
you- but, indeed, to pray for the Queen.
If my tongue cannot entreat you to acquit me, will you command me to
use my legs? And yet that were but light payment-to dance out of
your debt. But a good conscience will make any possible
satisfaction, and so would I. All the gentlewomen here have forgiven
me. If the gentlemen will not, then the gentlemen do not agree with
the gentlewomen, which was never seen before in such an assembly.
One word more, I beseech you. If you be not too much cloy'd with fat
meat, our humble author will continue the story, with Sir John in
it, and make you merry with fair Katherine of France; where, for
anything I know, Falstaff shall die of a sweat, unless already 'a be
killed with your hard opinions; for Oldcastle died a martyr and this
is not the man. My tongue is weary; when my legs are too, I will bid
you good night.





by William Shakespeare


DUKE OF GLOUCESTER, brother to the King
DUKE OF EXETER, Uncle to the King
DUKE OF YORK, cousin to the King

EARL OF CAMBRIDGE, conspirator against the King
LORD SCROOP, " " " "
SIR THOMAS ERPINGHAM, officer in the King's army
GOWER, " " " " "
FLUELLEN, " " " " "
MACMORRIS, " " " " "
JAMY, " " " " "

BATES, soldier in the King's army
COURT, " " " " "
WILLIAMS, " " " " "
NYM, " " " " "
BARDOLPH, " " " " "
PISTOL, " " " " "


RAMBURES, French Lord
AMBASSADORS to the King of England

ISABEL, Queen of France
KATHERINE, daughter to Charles and Isabel
ALICE, a lady attending her
HOSTESS of the Boar's Head, Eastcheap; formerly Mrs. Quickly, now
married to Pistol

Lords, Ladies, Officers, Soldiers, Messengers, Attendants

England and France



CHORUS. O for a Muse of fire, that would ascend
The brightest heaven of invention,
A kingdom for a stage, princes to act,
And monarchs to behold the swelling scene!
Then should the warlike Harry, like himself,
Assume the port of Mars; and at his heels,
Leash'd in like hounds, should famine, sword, and fire,
Crouch for employment. But pardon, gentles all,
The flat unraised spirits that hath dar'd
On this unworthy scaffold to bring forth
So great an object. Can this cockpit hold
The vasty fields of France? Or may we cram
Within this wooden O the very casques
That did affright the air at Agincourt?
O, pardon! since a crooked figure may
Attest in little place a million;
And let us, ciphers to this great accompt,
On your imaginary forces work.
Suppose within the girdle of these walls
Are now confin'd two mighty monarchies,
Whose high upreared and abutting fronts
The perilous narrow ocean parts asunder.
Piece out our imperfections with your thoughts:
Into a thousand parts divide one man,
And make imaginary puissance;
Think, when we talk of horses, that you see them
Printing their proud hoofs i' th' receiving earth;
For 'tis your thoughts that now must deck our kings,
Carry them here and there, jumping o'er times,
Turning th' accomplishment of many years
Into an hour-glass; for the which supply,
Admit me Chorus to this history;
Who prologue-like, your humble patience pray
Gently to hear, kindly to judge, our play. Exit


London. An ante-chamber in the KING'S palace


CANTERBURY. My lord, I'll tell you: that self bill is urg'd
Which in th' eleventh year of the last king's reign
Was like, and had indeed against us pass'd
But that the scambling and unquiet time
Did push it out of farther question.
ELY. But how, my lord, shall we resist it now?
CANTERBURY. It must be thought on. If it pass against us,
We lose the better half of our possession;
For all the temporal lands which men devout
By testament have given to the church
Would they strip from us; being valu'd thus-
As much as would maintain, to the King's honour,
Full fifteen earls and fifteen hundred knights,
Six thousand and two hundred good esquires;
And, to relief of lazars and weak age,
Of indigent faint souls, past corporal toil,
A hundred alms-houses right well supplied;
And to the coffers of the King, beside,
A thousand pounds by th' year: thus runs the bill.
ELY. This would drink deep.
CANTERBURY. 'T would drink the cup and all.
ELY. But what prevention?
CANTERBURY. The King is full of grace and fair regard.
ELY. And a true lover of the holy Church.
CANTERBURY. The courses of his youth promis'd it not.
The breath no sooner left his father's body
But that his wildness, mortified in him,
Seem'd to die too; yea, at that very moment,
Consideration like an angel came
And whipp'd th' offending Adam out of him,
Leaving his body as a paradise
T'envelop and contain celestial spirits.
Never was such a sudden scholar made;
Never came reformation in a flood,
With such a heady currance, scouring faults;
Nor never Hydra-headed wilfulnes
So soon did lose his seat, and all at once,
As in this king.
ELY. We are blessed in the change.
CANTERBURY. Hear him but reason in divinity,
And, all-admiring, with an inward wish
You would desire the King were made a prelate;
Hear him debate of commonwealth affairs,
You would say it hath been all in all his study;
List his discourse of war, and you shall hear
A fearful battle rend'red you in music.
Turn him to any cause of policy,
The Gordian knot of it he will unloose,
Familiar as his garter; that, when he speaks,
The air, a charter'd libertine, is still,
And the mute wonder lurketh in men's ears
To steal his sweet and honey'd sentences;
So that the art and practic part of life
Must be the mistress to this theoric;
Which is a wonder how his Grace should glean it,
Since his addiction was to courses vain,
His companies unletter'd, rude, and shallow,
His hours fill'd up with riots, banquets, sports;
And never noted in him any study,
Any retirement, any sequestration
From open haunts and popularity.
ELY. The strawberry grows underneath the nettle,
And wholesome berries thrive and ripen best
Neighbour'd by fruit of baser quality;
And so the Prince obscur'd his contemplation
Under the veil of wildness; which, no doubt,
Grew like the summer grass, fastest by night,
Unseen, yet crescive in his faculty.
CANTERBURY. It must be so; for miracles are ceas'd;
And therefore we must needs admit the means
How things are perfected.
ELY. But, my good lord,
How now for mitigation of this bill
Urg'd by the Commons? Doth his Majesty
Incline to it, or no?
CANTERBURY. He seems indifferent
Or rather swaying more upon our part
Than cherishing th' exhibiters against us;
For I have made an offer to his Majesty-
Upon our spiritual convocation
And in regard of causes now in hand,
Which I have open'd to his Grace at large,
As touching France- to give a greater sum
Than ever at one time the clergy yet
Did to his predecessors part withal.
ELY. How did this offer seem receiv'd, my lord?
CANTERBURY. With good acceptance of his Majesty;
Save that there was not time enough to hear,
As I perceiv'd his Grace would fain have done,
The severals and unhidden passages
Of his true tides to some certain dukedoms,
And generally to the crown and seat of France,
Deriv'd from Edward, his great-grandfather.
ELY. What was th' impediment that broke this off?
CANTERBURY. The French ambassador upon that instant
Crav'd audience; and the hour, I think, is come
To give him hearing: is it four o'clock?
ELY. It is.
CANTERBURY. Then go we in, to know his embassy;
Which I could with a ready guess declare,
Before the Frenchman speak a word of it.
ELY. I'll wait upon you, and I long to hear it. Exeunt

London. The Presence Chamber in the KING'S palace

and attendants

KING HENRY. Where is my gracious Lord of Canterbury?
EXETER. Not here in presence.
KING HENRY. Send for him, good uncle.
WESTMORELAND. Shall we call in th' ambassador, my liege?
KING HENRY. Not yet, my cousin; we would be resolv'd,
Before we hear him, of some things of weight
That task our thoughts, concerning us and France.


CANTERBURY. God and his angels guard your sacred throne,
And make you long become it!
KING HENRY. Sure, we thank you.
My learned lord, we pray you to proceed,
And justly and religiously unfold
Why the law Salique, that they have in France,
Or should or should not bar us in our claim;
And God forbid, my dear and faithful lord,
That you should fashion, wrest, or bow your reading,
Or nicely charge your understanding soul
With opening titles miscreate whose right
Suits not in native colours with the truth;
For God doth know how many, now in health,
Shall drop their blood in approbation
Of what your reverence shall incite us to.
Therefore take heed how you impawn our person,
How you awake our sleeping sword of war-
We charge you, in the name of God, take heed;
For never two such kingdoms did contend
Without much fall of blood; whose guiltless drops
Are every one a woe, a sore complaint,
'Gainst him whose wrongs gives edge unto the swords
That makes such waste in brief mortality.
Under this conjuration speak, my lord;
For we will hear, note, and believe in heart,
That what you speak is in your conscience wash'd
As pure as sin with baptism.
CANTERBURY. Then hear me, gracious sovereign, and you peers,
That owe yourselves, your lives, and services,
To this imperial throne. There is no bar
To make against your Highness' claim to France
But this, which they produce from Pharamond:
'In terram Salicam mulieres ne succedant'-
'No woman shall succeed in Salique land';
Which Salique land the French unjustly gloze
To be the realm of France, and Pharamond
The founder of this law and female bar.
Yet their own authors faithfully affirm
That the land Salique is in Germany,
Between the floods of Sala and of Elbe;
Where Charles the Great, having subdu'd the Saxons,
There left behind and settled certain French;
Who, holding in disdain the German women
For some dishonest manners of their life,
Establish'd then this law: to wit, no female
Should be inheritrix in Salique land;
Which Salique, as I said, 'twixt Elbe and Sala,
Is at this day in Germany call'd Meisen.
Then doth it well appear the Salique law
Was not devised for the realm of France;
Nor did the French possess the Salique land
Until four hundred one and twenty years
After defunction of King Pharamond,
Idly suppos'd the founder of this law;
Who died within the year of our redemption
Four hundred twenty-six; and Charles the Great
Subdu'd the Saxons, and did seat the French
Beyond the river Sala, in the year
Eight hundred five. Besides, their writers say,
King Pepin, which deposed Childeric,
Did, as heir general, being descended
Of Blithild, which was daughter to King Clothair,
Make claim and title to the crown of France.
Hugh Capet also, who usurp'd the crown
Of Charles the Duke of Lorraine, sole heir male
Of the true line and stock of Charles the Great,
To find his title with some shows of truth-
Though in pure truth it was corrupt and naught-
Convey'd himself as th' heir to th' Lady Lingare,
Daughter to Charlemain, who was the son
To Lewis the Emperor, and Lewis the son
Of Charles the Great. Also King Lewis the Tenth,
Who was sole heir to the usurper Capet,
Could not keep quiet in his conscience,
Wearing the crown of France, till satisfied
That fair Queen Isabel, his grandmother,
Was lineal of the Lady Ermengare,
Daughter to Charles the foresaid Duke of Lorraine;
By the which marriage the line of Charles the Great
Was re-united to the Crown of France.
So that, as clear as is the summer's sun,
King Pepin's title, and Hugh Capet's claim,
King Lewis his satisfaction, all appear
To hold in right and tide of the female;
So do the kings of France unto this day,
Howbeit they would hold up this Salique law
To bar your Highness claiming from the female;
And rather choose to hide them in a net
Than amply to imbar their crooked tides
Usurp'd from you and your progenitors.
KING HENRY. May I with right and conscience make this claim?
CANTERBURY. The sin upon my head, dread sovereign!
For in the book of Numbers is it writ,
When the man dies, let the inheritance
Descend unto the daughter. Gracious lord,
Stand for your own, unwind your bloody flag,
Look back into your mighty ancestors.
Go, my dread lord, to your great-grandsire's tomb,
From whom you claim; invoke his warlike spirit,
And your great-uncle's, Edward the Black Prince,
Who on the French ground play'd a tragedy,
Making defeat on the fun power of France,
Whiles his most mighty father on a hill
Stood smiling to behold his lion's whelp
Forage in blood of French nobility.
O noble English, that could entertain
With half their forces the full pride of France,
And let another half stand laughing by,
All out of work and cold for action!
ELY. Awake remembrance of these valiant dead,
And with your puissant arm renew their feats.
You are their heir; you sit upon their throne;
The blood and courage that renowned them
Runs in your veins; and my thrice-puissant liege
Is in the very May-morn of his youth,
Ripe for exploits and mighty enterprises.
EXETER. Your brother kings and monarchs of the earth
Do all expect that you should rouse yourself,
As did the former lions of your blood.
WESTMORELAND. They know your Grace hath cause and means and might-
So hath your Highness; never King of England
Had nobles richer and more loyal subjects,
Whose hearts have left their bodies here in England
And lie pavilion'd in the fields of France.
CANTERBURY. O, let their bodies follow, my dear liege,
With blood and sword and fire to win your right!
In aid whereof we of the spiritualty
Will raise your Highness such a mighty sum
As never did the clergy at one time
Bring in to any of your ancestors.
KING HENRY. We must not only arm t' invade the French,
But lay down our proportions to defend
Against the Scot, who will make road upon us
With all advantages.
CANTERBURY. They of those marches, gracious sovereign,
Shall be a wall sufficient to defend
Our inland from the pilfering borderers.
KING HENRY. We do not mean the coursing snatchers only,
But fear the main intendment of the Scot,
Who hath been still a giddy neighbour to us;
For you shall read that my great-grandfather
Never went with his forces into France
But that the Scot on his unfurnish'd kingdom
Came pouring, like the tide into a breach,
With ample and brim fulness of his force,
Galling the gleaned land with hot assays,
Girdling with grievous siege castles and towns;
That England, being empty of defence,
Hath shook and trembled at th' ill neighbourhood.
CANTERBURY. She hath been then more fear'd than harm'd, my liege;
For hear her but exampled by herself:
When all her chivalry hath been in France,
And she a mourning widow of her nobles,
She hath herself not only well defended
But taken and impounded as a stray
The King of Scots; whom she did send to France,
To fill King Edward's fame with prisoner kings,
And make her chronicle as rich with praise
As is the ooze and bottom of the sea
With sunken wreck and sumless treasuries.
WESTMORELAND. But there's a saying, very old and true:

'If that you will France win,
Then with Scotland first begin.'

For once the eagle England being in prey,
To her unguarded nest the weasel Scot
Comes sneaking, and so sucks her princely eggs,
Playing the mouse in absence of the cat,
To tear and havoc more than she can eat.
EXETER. It follows, then, the cat must stay at home;
Yet that is but a crush'd necessity,
Since we have locks to safeguard necessaries
And pretty traps to catch the petty thieves.
While that the armed hand doth fight abroad,
Th' advised head defends itself at home;
For government, though high, and low, and lower,
Put into parts, doth keep in one consent,
Congreeing in a full and natural close,
Like music.
CANTERBURY. Therefore doth heaven divide
The state of man in divers functions,
Setting endeavour in continual motion;
To which is fixed as an aim or but
Obedience; for so work the honey bees,
Creatures that by a rule in nature teach
The act of order to a peopled kingdom.
They have a king, and officers of sorts,
Where some like magistrates correct at home;
Others like merchants venture trade abroad;
Others like soldiers, armed in their stings,
Make boot upon the summer's velvet buds,
Which pillage they with merry march bring home
To the tent-royal of their emperor;
Who, busied in his majesty, surveys
The singing masons building roofs of gold,
The civil citizens kneading up the honey,
The poor mechanic porters crowding in
Their heavy burdens at his narrow gate,
The sad-ey'd justice, with his surly hum,
Delivering o'er to executors pale
The lazy yawning drone. I this infer,
That many things, having full reference
To one consent, may work contrariously;
As many arrows loosed several ways
Come to one mark, as many ways meet in one town,
As many fresh streams meet in one salt sea,
As many lines close in the dial's centre;
So many a thousand actions, once afoot,
End in one purpose, and be all well home
Without defeat. Therefore to France, my liege.
Divide your happy England into four;
Whereof take you one quarter into France,
And you withal shall make all Gallia shake.
If we, with thrice such powers left at home,
Cannot defend our own doors from the dog,
Let us be worried, and our nation lose
The name of hardiness and policy.
KING HENRY. Call in the messengers sent from the Dauphin.
Exeunt some attendants
Now are we well resolv'd; and, by God's help
And yours, the noble sinews of our power,
France being ours, we'll bend it to our awe,
Or break it all to pieces; or there we'll sit,
Ruling in large and ample empery
O'er France and all her almost kingly dukedoms,
Or lay these bones in an unworthy urn,
Tombless, with no remembrance over them.
Either our history shall with full mouth
Speak freely of our acts, or else our grave,
Like Turkish mute, shall have a tongueless mouth,
Not worshipp'd with a waxen epitaph.

Enter AMBASSADORS of France

Now are we well prepar'd to know the pleasure
Of our fair cousin Dauphin; for we hear
Your greeting is from him, not from the King.
AMBASSADOR. May't please your Majesty to give us leave
Freely to render what we have in charge;
Or shall we sparingly show you far of
The Dauphin's meaning and our embassy?
KING HENRY. We are no tyrant, but a Christian king,
Unto whose grace our passion is as subject
As are our wretches fett'red in our prisons;
Therefore with frank and with uncurbed plainness
Tell us the Dauphin's mind.
AMBASSADOR. Thus then, in few.
Your Highness, lately sending into France,
Did claim some certain dukedoms in the right
Of your great predecessor, King Edward the Third.
In answer of which claim, the Prince our master
Says that you savour too much of your youth,
And bids you be advis'd there's nought in France
That can be with a nimble galliard won;
You cannot revel into dukedoms there.
He therefore sends you, meeter for your spirit,
This tun of treasure; and, in lieu of this,
Desires you let the dukedoms that you claim
Hear no more of you. This the Dauphin speaks.
KING HENRY. What treasure, uncle?
EXETER. Tennis-balls, my liege.
KING HENRY. We are glad the Dauphin is so pleasant with us;
His present and your pains we thank you for.
When we have match'd our rackets to these balls,
We will in France, by God's grace, play a set
Shall strike his father's crown into the hazard.
Tell him he hath made a match with such a wrangler
That all the courts of France will be disturb'd
With chaces. And we understand him well,
How he comes o'er us with our wilder days,
Not measuring what use we made of them.
We never valu'd this poor seat of England;
And therefore, living hence, did give ourself
To barbarous licence; as 'tis ever common
That men are merriest when they are from home.
But tell the Dauphin I will keep my state,
Be like a king, and show my sail of greatness,
When I do rouse me in my throne of France;
For that I have laid by my majesty
And plodded like a man for working-days;
But I will rise there with so full a glory
That I will dazzle all the eyes of France,
Yea, strike the Dauphin blind to look on us.
And tell the pleasant Prince this mock of his
Hath turn'd his balls to gun-stones, and his soul
Shall stand sore charged for the wasteful vengeance
That shall fly with them; for many a thousand widows
Shall this his mock mock of their dear husbands;
Mock mothers from their sons, mock castles down;
And some are yet ungotten and unborn
That shall have cause to curse the Dauphin's scorn.
But this lies all within the will of God,
To whom I do appeal; and in whose name,
Tell you the Dauphin, I am coming on,
To venge me as I may and to put forth
My rightful hand in a well-hallow'd cause.
So get you hence in peace; and tell the Dauphin
His jest will savour but of shallow wit,
When thousands weep more than did laugh at it.
Convey them with safe conduct. Fare you well.
EXETER. This was a merry message.
KING HENRY. We hope to make the sender blush at it.
Therefore, my lords, omit no happy hour
That may give furth'rance to our expedition;
For we have now no thought in us but France,
Save those to God, that run before our business.
Therefore let our proportions for these wars
Be soon collected, and all things thought upon
That may with reasonable swiftness ad
More feathers to our wings; for, God before,
We'll chide this Dauphin at his father's door.
Therefore let every man now task his thought
That this fair action may on foot be brought. Exeunt



Flourish. Enter CHORUS

CHORUS. Now all the youth of England are on fire,
And silken dalliance in the wardrobe lies;
Now thrive the armourers, and honour's thought
Reigns solely in the breast of every man;
They sell the pasture now to buy the horse,
Following the mirror of all Christian kings
With winged heels, as English Mercuries.
For now sits Expectation in the air,
And hides a sword from hilts unto the point
With crowns imperial, crowns, and coronets,
Promis'd to Harry and his followers.
The French, advis'd by good intelligence
Of this most dreadful preparation,
Shake in their fear and with pale policy
Seek to divert the English purposes.
O England! model to thy inward greatness,
Like little body with a mighty heart,
What mightst thou do that honour would thee do,
Were all thy children kind and natural!
But see thy fault! France hath in thee found out
A nest of hollow bosoms, which he fills
With treacherous crowns; and three corrupted men-
One, Richard Earl of Cambridge, and the second,
Henry Lord Scroop of Masham, and the third,
Sir Thomas Grey, knight, of Northumberland,
Have, for the gilt of France- O guilt indeed!-
Confirm'd conspiracy with fearful France;
And by their hands this grace of kings must die-
If hell and treason hold their promises,
Ere he take ship for France- and in Southampton.
Linger your patience on, and we'll digest
Th' abuse of distance, force a play.
The sum is paid, the traitors are agreed,
The King is set from London, and the scene
Is now transported, gentles, to Southampton;
There is the play-house now, there must you sit,
And thence to France shall we convey you safe
And bring you back, charming the narrow seas
To give you gentle pass; for, if we may,
We'll not offend one stomach with our play.
But, till the King come forth, and not till then,
Unto Southampton do we shift our scene. Exit

London. Before the Boar's Head Tavern, Eastcheap


BARDOLPH. Well met, Corporal Nym.
NYM. Good morrow, Lieutenant Bardolph.
BARDOLPH. What, are Ancient Pistol and you friends yet?
NYM. For my part, I care not; I say little, but when time shall
serve, there shall be smiles- but that shall be as it may. I dare
not fight; but I will wink and hold out mine iron. It is a simple
one; but what though? It will toast cheese, and it will endure
cold as another man's sword will; and there's an end.
BARDOLPH. I will bestow a breakfast to make you friends; and we'll
be all three sworn brothers to France. Let't be so, good Corporal
NYM. Faith, I will live so long as I may, that's the certain of it;
and when I cannot live any longer, I will do as I may. That is my
rest, that is the rendezvous of it.
BARDOLPH. It is certain, Corporal, that he is married to Nell
Quickly; and certainly she did you wrong, for you were
troth-plight to her.
NYM. I cannot tell; things must be as they may. Men may sleep, and
they may have their throats about them at that time; and some say
knives have edges. It must be as it may; though patience be a
tired mare, yet she will plod. There must be conclusions. Well, I
cannot tell.


BARDOLPH. Here comes Ancient Pistol and his wife. Good Corporal, be
patient here.
NYM. How now, mine host Pistol!
PISTOL. Base tike, call'st thou me host?
Now by this hand, I swear I scorn the term;
Nor shall my Nell keep lodgers.
HOSTESS. No, by my troth, not long; for we cannot lodge and board a
dozen or fourteen gentlewomen that live honestly by the prick of
their needles, but it will be thought we keep a bawdy-house
straight. [Nym draws] O well-a-day, Lady, if he be not drawn! Now
we shall see wilful adultery and murder committed.
BARDOLPH. Good Lieutenant, good Corporal, offer nothing here.
NYM. Pish!
PISTOL. Pish for thee, Iceland dog! thou prick-ear'd cur of
HOSTESS. Good Corporal Nym, show thy valour, and put up your sword.
NYM. Will you shog off? I would have you solus.
PISTOL. 'Solus,' egregious dog? O viper vile!
The 'solus' in thy most mervailous face;
The 'solus' in thy teeth, and in thy throat,
And in thy hateful lungs, yea, in thy maw, perdy;
And, which is worse, within thy nasty mouth!
I do retort the 'solus' in thy bowels;
For I can take, and Pistol's cock is up,
And flashing fire will follow.
NYM. I am not Barbason: you cannot conjure me. I have an humour to
knock you indifferently well. If you grow foul with me, Pistol, I
will scour you with my rapier, as I may, in fair terms; if you
would walk off I would prick your guts a little, in good terms,
as I may, and thaes the humour of it.
PISTOL. O braggart vile and damned furious wight!
The grave doth gape and doting death is near;
Therefore exhale. [PISTOL draws]
BARDOLPH. Hear me, hear me what I say: he that strikes the first
stroke I'll run him up to the hilts, as I am a soldier.
PISTOL. An oath of mickle might; and fury shall abate.
[PISTOL and Nym sheathe their swords]
Give me thy fist, thy fore-foot to me give;
Thy spirits are most tall.
NYM. I will cut thy throat one time or other, in fair terms; that
is the humour of it.
PISTOL. 'Couple a gorge!'
That is the word. I thee defy again.
O hound of Crete, think'st thou my spouse to get?
No; to the spital go,
And from the powd'ring tub of infamy
Fetch forth the lazar kite of Cressid's kind,
Doll Tearsheet she by name, and her espouse.
I have, and I will hold, the quondam Quickly
For the only she; and- pauca, there's enough.
Go to.

Enter the Boy

BOY. Mine host Pistol, you must come to my master; and your
hostess- he is very sick, and would to bed. Good Bardolph, put
thy face between his sheets, and do the office of a warming-pan.
Faith, he's very ill.
BARDOLPH. Away, you rogue.
HOSTESS. By my troth, he'll yield the crow a pudding one of these
days: the King has kill'd his heart. Good husband, come home
presently. Exeunt HOSTESS and BOY
BARDOLPH. Come, shall I make you two friends? We must to France
together; why the devil should we keep knives to cut one
another's throats?
PISTOL. Let floods o'erswell, and fiends for food howl on!
NYM. You'll pay me the eight shillings I won of you at betting?
PISTOL. Base is the slave that pays.
NYM. That now I will have; that's the humour of it.
PISTOL. As manhood shall compound: push home.
[PISTOL and Nym draw]
BARDOLPH. By this sword, he that makes the first thrust I'll kill
him; by this sword, I will.
PISTOL. Sword is an oath, and oaths must have their course.
[Sheathes his sword]
BARDOLPH. Corporal Nym, an thou wilt be friends, be friends; an
thou wilt not, why then be enemies with me too. Prithee put up.
NYM. I shall have my eight shillings I won of you at betting?
PISTOL. A noble shalt thou have, and present pay;
And liquor likewise will I give to thee,
And friendship shall combine, and brotherhood.
I'll live by Nym and Nym shall live by me.
Is not this just? For I shall sutler be
Unto the camp, and profits will accrue.
Give me thy hand.
NYM. [Sheathing his sword] I shall have my noble?
PISTOL. In cash most justly paid.
NYM. [Shaking hands] Well, then, that's the humour of't.

Re-enter HOSTESS

HOSTESS. As ever you come of women, come in quickly to Sir John.
Ah, poor heart! he is so shak'd of a burning quotidian tertian
that it is most lamentable to behold. Sweet men, come to him.
NYM. The King hath run bad humours on the knight; that's the even
of it.
PISTOL. Nym, thou hast spoke the right;
His heart is fracted and corroborate.
NYM. The King is a good king, but it must be as it may; he passes
some humours and careers.
PISTOL. Let us condole the knight; for, lambkins, we will live.

Southampton. A council-chamber


BEDFORD. Fore God, his Grace is bold, to trust these traitors.
EXETER. They shall be apprehended by and by.
WESTMORELAND. How smooth and even they do bear themselves,
As if allegiance in their bosoms sat,
Crowned with faith and constant loyalty!
BEDFORD. The King hath note of all that they intend,
By interception which they dream not of.
EXETER. Nay, but the man that was his bedfellow,
Whom he hath dull'd and cloy'd with gracious favours-
That he should, for a foreign purse, so sell
His sovereign's life to death and treachery!

Trumpets sound. Enter the KING, SCROOP,
CAMBRIDGE, GREY, and attendants

KING HENRY. Now sits the wind fair, and we will aboard.
My Lord of Cambridge, and my kind Lord of Masham,

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