Full Text Archive logoFull Text Archive — Books, poems, drama…

King Henry IV, The First Part by William Shakespeare [Hudson edition]

Part 2 out of 3

Adobe PDF icon
Download this document as a .pdf
File size: 0.2 MB
What's this? light bulb idea Many people prefer to read off-line or to print out text and read from the real printed page. Others want to carry documents around with them on their mobile phones and read while they are on the move. We have created .pdf files of all out documents to accommodate all these groups of people. We recommend that you download .pdfs onto your mobile phone when it is connected to a WiFi connection for reading off-line.

Marry, my lord, there is a nobleman of the Court at door would
speak with you: he says he comes from your father.

PRINCE.
Give him as much as will make him a royal man, and send him back
again to my mother.

FAL.
What manner of man is he?

HOST.
An old man.

FAL.
What doth gravity out of his bed at midnight? Shall I give him
his answer?

PRINCE.
Pr'ythee, do, Jack.

FAL.
Faith, and I'll send him packing.

[Exit.]

PRINCE.
Now, sirs:--by'r Lady, you fought fair;--so did you, Peto;--so did you,
Bardolph: you are lions, too, you ran away upon instinct, you will not
touch the true Prince; no,--fie!

BARD.
Faith, I ran when I saw others run.

PRINCE.
Tell me now in earnest, how came Falstaff's sword so hack'd?

PETO.
Why, he hack'd it with his dagger; and said he would swear truth out of
England, but he would make you believe it was done in fight; and
persuaded us to do the like.

BARD.
Yea, and to tickle our noses with spear-grass to make them bleed;
and then to beslubber our garments with it, and swear it was the
blood of true men. I did that I did not this seven year before;
I blush'd to hear his monstrous devices.

PRINCE.
O villain, thou stolest a cup of sack eighteen years ago, and wert
taken with the manner, and ever since thou hast blush'd extempore.
Thou hadst fire and sword on thy side, and yet thou rann'st away:
what instinct hadst thou for it?

BARD.
My lord, do you see these meteors? do you behold these
exhalations?

PRINCE.
I do.

BARD.
What think you they portend?

PRINCE.
Hot livers and cold purses.

BARD.
Choler, my lord, if rightly taken.

PRINCE.
No, if rightly taken, halter.--Here comes lean Jack, here comes
bare-bone.--

[Enter Falstaff.]

How now, my sweet creature of bombast! How long is't ago, Jack,
since thou saw'st thine own knee?

FAL.
My own knee! when I was about thy years, Hal, I was not an eagle's
talon in the waist; I could have crept into any alderman's thumb-ring:
a plague of sighing and grief! it blows a man up like a bladder.
There's villanous news abroad: here was Sir John Bracy from your
father; you must to the Court in the morning.
That same mad fellow of the North, Percy; and he of Wales, that gave
Amaimon the bastinado, and swore the Devil his true liegeman upon the
cross of a Welsh hook,--what a plague call you him?

POINTZ.
O, Glendower.

FAL.
Owen, Owen,--the same; and his son-in-law Mortimer; and old
Northumberland; and that sprightly Scot of Scots, Douglas, that
runs o' horseback up a hill perpendicular,--

PRINCE.
He that rides at high speed and with his pistol kills a sparrow
flying.

FAL.
You have hit it.

PRINCE.
So did he never the sparrow.

FAL.
Well, that rascal hath good metal in him; he will not run.

PRINCE.
Why, what a rascal art thou, then, to praise him so for running!

FAL.
O' horseback, ye cuckoo! but a-foot he will not budge a foot.

PRINCE.
Yes, Jack, upon instinct.

FAL.
I grant ye, upon instinct. Well, he is there too, and one Mordake,
and a thousand blue-caps more:
Worcester is stolen away to-night; thy father's beard is turn'd
white with the news: you may buy land now as cheap as stinking
mackerel.
But, tell me, Hal, art not thou horrible afeard? thou being
heir-apparent, could the world pick thee out three such enemies again
as that fiend Douglas, that spirit Percy, and that devil Glendower?
art thou not horribly afraid? doth not thy blood thrill at it?

PRINCE.
Not a whit, i'faith; I lack some of thy instinct.

FAL.
Well, thou wilt be horribly chid to-morrow when thou comest to
thy father. If thou love life, practise an answer.

PRINCE.
Do thou stand for my father and examine me upon the particulars
of my life.

FAL.
Shall I? content: this chair shall be my state, this dagger my
sceptre, and this cushion my crown.

PRINCE.
Thy state is taken for a joint-stool, thy golden sceptre for a
leaden dagger, and thy precious rich crown for a pitiful bald crown.

FAL.
Well, an the fire of grace be not quite out of thee, now shalt
thou be moved.--
Give me a cup of sack, to make my eyes look red, that it may be
thought I have wept; for I must speak in passion, and I will do it
in King Cambyses' vein.

PRINCE.
Well, here is my leg.

FAL.
And here is my speech.--Stand aside, nobility.

HOST.
O Jesu, this is excellent sport, i faith!

FAL.
Weep not, sweet Queen; for trickling tears are vain.

HOST.
O, the Father, how he holds his countenance!

FAL.
For God's sake, lords, convey my tristful Queen;
For tears do stop the floodgates of her eyes.

HOST.
O Jesu, he doth it as like one of these harlotry players as ever
I see!

FAL.
Peace, good pint-pot; peace, good tickle-brain.--Harry, I do not
only marvel where thou spendest thy time, but also how thou art
accompanied: for though the camomile, the more it is trodden on,
the faster it grows, yet youth, the more it is wasted, the sooner
it wears. That thou art my son, I have partly thy mother's word,
partly my own opinion; but chiefly a villainous trick of thine eye,
and a foolish hanging of thy nether lip, that doth warrant me. If,
then, thou be son to me, here lies the point: Why, being son to me,
art thou so pointed at?
Shall the blessed Sun of heaven prove a micher, and eat blackberries?
a question not to be ask'd. Shall the son of England prove a thief,
and take purses? a question to be ask'd.
There is a thing, Harry, which thou hast often heard of, and it is
known to many in our land by the name of pitch: this pitch, as
ancient writers do report, doth defile; so doth the company thou
keepest: for, Harry, now I do not speak to thee in drink, but in
tears; not in pleasure, but in passion; not in words only,
but in woes also. And yet there is a virtuous man whom I have
often noted in thy company, but I know not his name.

PRINCE.
What manner of man, an it like your Majesty?

FAL.
A goodly portly man, i'faith, and a corpulent; of a cheerful look,
a pleasing eye, and a most noble carriage; and, as I think, his age
some fifty, or, by'r Lady, inclining to threescore; and now I
remember me, his name is Falstaff: if that man should be lewdly given,
he deceiveth me; for, Harry, I see virtue in his looks.
If, then, the tree may be known by the fruit, as the fruit by the tree,
then, peremptorily I speak it, there is virtue in that Falstaff: him
keep with, the rest banish. And tell me now, thou naughty varlet, tell
me where hast thou been this month?

PRINCE.
Dost thou speak like a king? Do thou stand for me, and I'll play
my father.

FAL.
Depose me! if thou dost it half so gravely, so majestically, both
in word and matter, hang me up by the heels for a rabbit-sucker or a
poulter's hare.

PRINCE.
Well, here I am set.

FAL.
And here I stand.--Judge, my masters.

PRINCE.
Now, Harry, whence come you?

FAL.
My noble lord, from Eastcheap.

PRINCE.
The complaints I hear of thee are grievous.

FAL.
'Sblood, my lord, they are false.--Nay, I'll tickle ye for a
young prince, i'faith.

PRINCE.
Swearest thou, ungracious boy? henceforth ne'er look on me. Thou art
violently carried away from grace: there is a devil haunts thee, in
the likeness of an old fat man,--a tun of man is thy companion. Why
dost thou converse with that trunk of humours, that bolting-hutch of
beastliness, that swollen parcel of dropsies, that huge bombard of
sack, that roasted Manningtree ox with the pudding in his belly, that
reverend Vice, that grey Iniquity, that father ruffian, that vanity
in years? Wherein is he good, but to taste sack and drink it? wherein
neat and cleanly, but to carve a capon and eat it? wherein cunning, but
in craft? wherein crafty, but in villany? wherein villainous, but in
all things? wherein worthy, but in nothing?

FAL.
I would your Grace would take me with you: whom means your Grace?

PRINCE.
That villainous abominable misleader of youth, Falstaff, that old
white-bearded Satan.

FAL.
My lord, the man I know.

PRINCE.
I know thou dost.

FAL.
But to say I know more harm in him than in myself, were to say more
than I know. That he is old,--(the more the pity,--his white hairs do
witness it. If sack and sugar be a fault, God help the wicked! if to
be old and merry be a sin, then many an old host that I know is damn'd:
if to be fat be to be hated, then Pharaoh's lean kine are to be loved.
No, my good lord: banish Peto, banish Bardolph, banish Pointz; but,
for sweet Jack Falstaff, kind Jack Falstaff, true Jack Falstaff,
valiant Jack Falstaff, and therefore more valiant, being, as he is, old
Jack Falstaff, banish not him thy Harry's company, banish not him thy
Harry's company: banish plump Jack, and banish all the world.

PRINCE.
I do, I will.

[A knocking heard.]

[Exeunt Hostess, Francis, and Bardolph.]

[Enter Bardolph, running.]

BARD.
O, my lord, my lord! the sheriff with a most monstrous watch is
at the door.

FAL.
Out, ye rogue!--Play out the play: I have much to say in the
behalf of that Falstaff.

[Re-enter the Hostess, hastily.]

HOST.
O Jesu, my lord, my lord,--

PRINCE.
Heigh, heigh! the Devil rides upon a fiddlestick: what's the matter?

HOST.
The sheriff and all the watch are at the door: they are come to
search the house. Shall I let them in?

FAL.
Dost thou hear, Hal? never call a true piece of gold a counterfeit:
thou art essentially mad without seeming so.

PRINCE.
And thou a natural coward, without instinct.

FAL.
I deny your major: if you will deny the sheriff, so; if not, let him
enter: if I become not a cart as well as another man, a plague on my
bringing up! I hope I shall as soon be strangled with a halter as
another.

PRINCE.
Go, hide thee behind the arras:--the rest walk, up above. Now,
my masters, for a true face and good conscience.

FAL.
Both which I have had; but their date is out, and therefore I'll
hide me.

PRINCE.
Call in the sheriff.--

[Exeunt all but the Prince and Pointz.]

[Enter Sheriff and Carrier.]

Now, master sheriff, what's your will with me?

SHER.
First, pardon me, my lord. A hue-and-cry
Hath followed certain men unto this house.

PRINCE.
What men?

SHER.
One of them is well known, my gracious lord,--
A gross fat man.

CAR.
As fat as butter.

PRINCE.
The man, I do assure you, is not here;
For I myself at this time have employ'd him.
And, sheriff, I will engage my word to thee,
That I will, by to-morrow dinner-time,
Send him to answer thee, or any man,
For any thing he shall be charged withal:
And so, let me entreat you leave the house.

SHER.
I will, my lord. There are two gentlemen
Have in this robbery lost three hundred marks.

PRINCE.
It may be so: if he have robb'd these men,
He shall be answerable; and so, farewell.

SHER.
Good night, my noble lord.

PRINCE.
I think it is good morrow, is it not?

SHER.
Indeed, my lord, I think't be two o'clock.

[Exit Sheriff and Carrier.]

PRINCE.
This oily rascal is known as well as Paul's. Go, call him forth.

POINTZ.
Falstaff!--fast asleep behind the arras, and snorting like a
horse.

PRINCE.
Hark, how hard he fetches breath. Search his pockets.

[Pointz searches.]

What hast thou found?

POINTZ.
Nothing but papers, my lord.

PRINCE.
Let's see what they be: read them.

POINTZ. [reads]
Item, A capon, . . . . . . . . . 2s. 2d.
Item, Sauce, . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4d.
Item, Sack two gallons ,. . . 5s. 8d.
Item, Anchovies and sack after supper, 2s. 6d.
Item, Bread, . . . . . . . . . . . . . .ob.

PRINCE.
O monstrous! but one half-pennyworth of bread to this intolerable
deal of sack! What there is else, keep close; we'll read it at more
advantage: there let him sleep till day.
I'll to the Court in the morning. We must all to the wars, and thy
place shall be honourable. I'll procure this fat rogue a charge of
foot; and I know his death will be a march of twelve-score. The money
shall be paid back again with advantage. Be with me betimes in the
morning; and so, good morrow, Pointz.

POINTZ.
Good morrow, good my lord.

[Exeunt.]

ACT III.

Scene I. Bangor. A Room in the Archdeacon's House.

[Enter Hotspur, Worcester, Mortimer, and Glendower.]

MORT.
These promises are fair, the parties sure,
And our induction full of prosperous hope.

HOT.
Lord Mortimer,--and cousin Glendower,--Will you sit down?--
And uncle Worcester,--A plague upon it! I have forgot the map.

GLEND.
No, here it is.
Sit, cousin Percy; sit, good cousin Hotspur;
For by that name as oft as Lancaster
Doth speak of you, his cheek looks pale, and with
A rising sigh he wisheth you in Heaven.

HOT.
And you in Hell, as oft as he hears Owen Glendower spoke of.

GLEND.
I cannot blame him: at my nativity
The front of heaven was full of fiery shapes,
Of burning cressets; ay, and at my birth
The frame and huge foundation of the Earth
Shaked like a coward.

HOT.
Why, so it would have done at the same season, if your mother's
cat had but kitten'd, though yourself had never been born.

GLEND.
I say the Earth did shake when I was born.

HOT.
And I say the Earth was not of my mind, if you suppose as
fearing you it shook.

GLEND.
The Heavens were all on fire, the Earth did tremble.

HOT.
O, then th' Earth shook to see the Heavens on fire,
And not in fear of your nativity.
Diseased Nature oftentimes breaks forth
In strange eruptions; oft the teeming Earth
Is with a kind of colic pinch'd and vex'd
By the imprisoning of unruly wind
Within her womb; which, for enlargement striving,
Shakes the old beldam Earth, and topples down
Steeples and moss-grown towers. At your birth,
Our grandam Earth, having this distemperature,
In passion shook.

GLEND.
Cousin, of many men
I do not bear these crossings. Give me leave
To tell you once again, that at my birth
The front of heaven was full of fiery shapes;
The goats ran from the mountains, and the herds
Were strangely clamorous to the frighted fields.
These signs have mark'd me extraordinary;
And all the courses of my life do show
I am not in the roll of common men.
Where is he living,--clipp'd in with the sea
That chides the banks of England, Scotland, Wales,--
Which calls me pupil, or hath read to me?
And bring him out that is but woman's son
Can trace me in the tedious ways of art,
And hold me pace in deep experiments.

HOT.
I think there is no man speaks better Welsh.--I'll to dinner.

MORT.
Peace, cousin Percy; you will make him mad.

GLEND.
I can call spirits from the vasty deep.

HOT.
Why, so can I, or so can any man;
But will they come when you do call for them?

GLEND.
Why, I can teach you, cousin, to command the Devil.

HOT.
And I can teach thee, coz, to shame the Devil
By telling truth: tell truth, and shame the Devil.
If thou have power to raise him, bring him hither,
And I'll be sworn I've power to shame him hence.
O, while you live, tell truth, and shame the Devil!

MORT.
Come, come, no more of this unprofitable chat.

GLEND.
Three times hath Henry Bolingbroke made head
Against my power; thrice from the banks of Wye
And sandy-bottom'd Severn have I sent
Him bootless home and weather-beaten back.

HOT.
Home without boots, and in foul weather too!
How 'scaped he agues, in the Devil's name!

GLEND.
Come, here's the map: shall we divide our right
According to our threefold order ta'en?

MORT.
Th' archdeacon hath divided it
Into three limits very equally.
England, from Trent and Severn hitherto,
By south and east is to my part assign'd:
All westward, Wales beyond the Severn shore,
And all the fertile land within that bound,
To Owen Glendower:--and, dear coz, to you
The remnant northward, lying off from Trent.
And our indentures tripartite are drawn;
Which being sealed interchangeably,--
A business that this night may execute,--
To-morrow, cousin Percy, you, and I,
And my good Lord of Worcester, will set forth
To meet your father and the Scottish power,
As is appointed us, at Shrewsbury.
My father Glendower is not ready yet,
Nor shall we need his help these fourteen days:--
[To Glend.] Within that space you may have drawn together
Your tenants, friends, and neighbouring gentlemen.

GLEND.
A shorter time shall send me to you, lords:
And in my conduct shall your ladies come;
From whom you now must steal, and take no leave,
For there will be a world of water shed
Upon the parting of your wives and you.

HOT.
Methinks my moiety, north from Burton here,
In quantity equals not one of yours.
See how this river comes me cranking in,
And cuts me from the best of all my land
A huge half-moon, a monstrous cantle out.
I'll have the current in this place damn'd up;
And here the smug and sliver Trent shall run
In a new channel, fair and evenly:
It shall not wind with such a deep indent,
To rob me of so rich a bottom here.

GLEND.
Not wind? it shall, it must; you see it doth.

MORT.
Yea, but
Mark how he bears his course, and runs me up
With like advantage on the other side;
Gelding th' opposed continent as much
As on the other side it takes from you.

WOR.
Yea, but a little charge will trench him here,
And on this north side win this cape of land;
And then he runneth straight and evenly.

HOT.
I'll have it so: a little charge will do it.

GLEND.
I will not have it alter'd.

HOT.
Will not you?

GLEND.
No, nor you shall not.

HOT.
Who shall say me nay?

GLEND.
Why, that will I.

HOT.
Let me not understand you, then; speak it in Welsh.

GLEND.
I can speak English, lord, as well as you;
For I was train'd up in the English Court;
Where, being but young, I framed to the harp
Many an English ditty lovely well,
And gave the tongue a helpful ornament,
A virtue that was never seen in you.

HOT.
Marry, and I am glad of it with all my heart:
I had rather be a kitten, and cry mew,
Than one of these same metre ballet-mongers;
I had rather hear a brazen canstick turn'd,
Or a dry wheel grate on the axletree;
And that would set my teeth nothing on edge,
Nothing so much as mincing poetry:
'Tis like the forced gait of a shuffling nag.

GLEND.
Come, you shall have Trent turn'd.

HOT.
I do not care: I'll give thrice so much land
To any well-deserving friend;
But in the way of bargain, mark ye me,
I'll cavil on the ninth part of a hair.
Are the indentures drawn? shall we be gone?
GLEND.

The Moon shines fair; you may away by night:
I'll in and haste the writer, and withal
Break with your wives of your departure hence:
I am afraid my daughter will run mad,
So much she doteth on her Mortimer.

[Exit.]

MORT.
Fie, cousin Percy! how you cross my father!

HOT.
I cannot choose: sometimes he angers me
With telling me of the moldwarp and the ant,
Of the dreamer Merlin and his prophecies,
And of a dragon and a finless fish,
A clip-wing'd griffin and a moulten raven,
A couching lion and a ramping cat,
And such a deal of skimble-skamble stuff
As puts me from my faith. I tell you what,
He held me last night at the least nine hours
In reckoning up the several devils' names
That were his lacqueys: I cried hum, and well,
But mark'd him not a word. O, he's as tedious
As a tired horse, a railing wife;
Worse than a smoky house: I had rather live
With cheese and garlic in a windmill, far,
Than feed on cates and have him talk to me
In any summer-house in Christendom.

MORT.
In faith, he is a worthy gentleman;
Exceedingly well-read, and profited
In strange concealments; valiant as a lion,
And wondrous affable, and as bountiful
As mines of India. Shall I tell you, cousin?
He holds your temper in a high respect,
And curbs himself even of his natural scope
When you do cross his humour; faith, he does:
I warrant you, that man is not alive
Might so have tempted him as you have done,
Without the taste of danger and reproof:
But do not use it oft, let me entreat you.

WOR.
In faith, my lord, you are too wilful-blunt;
And since your coming hither have done enough
To put him quite beside his patience.
You must needs learn, lord, to amend this fault:
Though sometimes it show greatness, courage, blood--
And that's the dearest grace it renders you,--
Yet oftentimes it doth present harsh rage,
Defect of manners, want of government,
Pride, haughtiness, opinion, and disdain;
The least of which haunting a nobleman
Loseth men's hearts, and leaves behind a stain
Upon the beauty of all parts besides,
Beguiling them of commendation.

HOT.
Well, I am school'd: good manners be your speed!
Here come our wives, and let us take our leave.

[Re-enter Glendower, with Lady Mortimer and Lady Percy.]

MORT.
This is the deadly spite that angers me,
My wife can speak no English, I no Welsh.

GLEND.
My daughter weeps: she will not part with you;
She'll be a soldier too, she'll to the wars.

MORT.
Good father, tell her that she and my aunt Percy
Shall follow in your conduct speedily.

[Glendower speaks to Lady Mortimer in Welsh, and she answers
him in the same.]

GLEND.
She's desperate here; a peevish self-will'd harlotry,
One that no persuasion can do good upon.

[Lady Mortimer speaks to Mortimer in Welsh.]

MORT.
I understand thy looks: that pretty Welsh
Which thou pour'st down from these swelling heavens
I am too perfect in; and, but for shame,
In such a parley should I answer thee.

[Lady Mortimer speaks to him again in Welsh.]

I understand thy kisses, and thou mine,
And that's a feeling disputation:
But I will never be a truant, love,
Till I have learn'd thy language; for thy tongue
Makes Welsh as sweet as ditties highly penn'd,
Sung by a fair queen in a Summer's bower,
With ravishing division, to her lute.

GLEND.
Nay, if you melt, then will she run mad.

[Lady Mortimer speaks to Mortimer again in Welsh.]

MORT.
O, I am ignorance itself in this!

GLEND.
She bids you on the wanton rushes lay you down,
And rest your gentle head upon her lap,
And she will sing the song that pleaseth you,
And on your eyelids crown the god of sleep,
Charming your blood with pleasing heaviness;
Making such difference betwixt wake and sleep,
As is the difference betwixt day and night,
The hour before the heavenly-harness'd team
Begins his golden progress in the East.

MORT.
With all my heart I'll sit and hear her sing:
By that time will our book, I think, be drawn.

GLEND.
Do so:
An those musicians that shall play to you
Hang in the air a thousand leagues from hence,
And straight they shall be here: sit, and attend.

HOT.
Come, Kate, thou art perfect in lying down: come, quick,
quick, that I may lay my head in thy lap.

LADY P.
Go, ye giddy goose.

[The music plays.]

HOT.
Now I perceive the Devil understands Welsh;
And 'tis no marvel he's so humorous.
By'r Lady, he's a good musician.

LADY P.
Then should you be nothing but musical; for you are
altogether governed by humours. Lie still, ye thief, and hear
the lady sing in Welsh.

HOT.
I had rather hear Lady, my brach, howl in Irish.

LADY P.
Wouldst thou have thy head broken?

HOT.
No.

LADY P.
Then be still.

HOT.
Neither; 'tis a woman's fault.

LADY P.
Now God help thee!

HOT.
Peace! she sings.

[A Welsh song by Lady Mortimer.]

Come, Kate, I'll have your song too.

LADY P.
Not mine, in good sooth.

HOT.
Not yours, in good sooth! 'Heart! you swear like a
comfit-maker's wife. Not mine, in good sooth; and, As true
as I live; and, As God shall mend me; and, As sure as day;
And givest such sarcenet surety for thy oaths,
As if thou ne'er walk'dst further than Finsbury.
Swear me, Kate, like a lady as thou art,
A good mouth-filling oath; and leave in sooth,
And such protest of pepper-gingerbread,
To velvet-guards and Sunday-citizens. Come, sing.

LADY P.
I will not sing.

HOT.
'Tis the next way to turn tailor, or be redbreast-teacher.
An the indentures be drawn, I'll away within these two hours;
and so, come in when ye will.

[Exit.]

GLEND.
Come, come, Lord Mortimer; you are as slow
As hot Lord Percy is on fire to go.
By this our book's drawn; we'll but seal, and then
To horse immediately.

MORT.
With all my heart.

[Exeunt.]

Scene II. London. A Room in the Palace.

[Enter King Henry, Prince Henry, and Lords.]

KING.
Lords, give us leave; the Prince of Wales and I
Must have some private conference: but be near at hand,
For we shall presently have need of you.

[Exeunt Lords.]

I know not whether God will have it so,
For some displeasing service I have done,
That, in His secret doom, out of my blood
He'll breed revengement and a scourge for me;
But thou dost, in thy passages of life,
Make me believe that thou art only mark'd
For the hot vengeance and the rod of Heaven
To punish my mistreadings. Tell me else,
Could such inordinate and low desires,
Such poor, such base, such lewd, such mean attempts,
Such barren pleasures, rude society,
As thou art match'd withal and grafted to,
Accompany the greatness of thy blood,
And hold their level with thy princely heart?

PRINCE.
So please your Majesty, I would I could
Quit all offences with as clear excuse
As well as I am doubtless I can purge
Myself of many I am charged withal:
Yet such extenuation let me beg,
As, in reproof of many tales devised
By smiling pick-thanks and base news-mongers,--
Which oft the ear of greatness needs must hear,--
I may, for some things true, wherein my youth
Hath faulty wander'd and irregular,
Find pardon on my true submission.

KING.
God pardon thee! Yet let me wonder, Harry,
At thy affections, which do hold a wing
Quite from the flight of all thy ancestors.
Thy place in Council thou hast rudely lost,
Which by thy younger brother is supplied;
And art almost an alien to the hearts
Of all the Court and princes of my blood:
The hope and expectation of thy time
Is ruin'd; and the soul of every man
Prophetically does forethink thy fall.
Had I so lavish of my presence been,
So common-hackney'd in the eyes of men,
So stale and cheap to vulgar company,
Opinion, that did help me to the crown,
Had still kept loyal to possession,
And left me in reputeless banishment,

A fellow of no mark nor likelihood.
By being seldom seen, I could not stir
But, like a comet, I was wonder'd at;
That men would tell their children, This is he;
Others would say, Where, which is Bolingbroke?
And then I stole all courtesy from Heaven,
And dress'd myself in such humility,
That I did pluck allegiance from men's hearts,
Loud shouts and salutations from their mouths,
Even in the presence of the crowned King.
Thus did I keep my person fresh and new;
My presence, like a robe pontifical,
Ne'er seen but wonder'd at: and so my state,
Seldom but sumptuous, showed like a feast,
And won by rareness such solemnity.
The skipping King, he ambled up and down
With shallow jesters and rash bavin wits,
Soon kindled and soon burnt; carded his state,
Mingled his royalty, with capering fools;
Had his great name profaned with their scorns;
And gave his countenance, against his name,
To laugh at gibing boys, and stand the push
Of every beardless vain comparative;
Grew a companion to the common streets,
Enfeoff'd himself to popularity;
That, being dally swallow'd by men's eyes,
They surfeited with honey, and began
To loathe the taste of sweetness, whereof a little
More than a little is by much too much.
So, when he had occasion to be seen,
He was but as the cuckoo is in June,
Heard, not regarded; seen, but with such eyes
As, sick and blunted with community,
Afford no extraordinary gaze,
Such as is bent on sun-like majesty
When it shines seldom in admiring eyes;
But rather drowsed, and hung their eyelids down,
Slept in his face, and render'd such aspect
As cloudy men use to their adversaries,
Being with his presence glutted, gorged, and full.
And in that very line, Harry, stand'st thou;
For thou hast lost thy princely privilege
With vile participation: not an eye
But is a-weary of thy common sight,
Save mine, which hath desired to see thee more;
Which now doth that I would not have it do,
Make blind itself with foolish tenderness.

PRINCE.
I shall hereafter, my thrice-gracious lord,
Be more myself.

KING.
For all the world,
As thou art to this hour, was Richard then
When I from France set foot at Ravenspurg;
And even as I was then is Percy now.
Now, by my sceptre, and my soul to boot,
He hath more worthy interest to the state
Than thou, the shadow of succession;
For, of no right, nor colour like to right,
He doth fill fields with harness in the realm,
Turns head against the lion's armed jaws;
And, being no more in debt to years than thou,
Leads ancient lords and reverend bishops on
To bloody battles and to bruising arms.
What never-dying honour hath he got
Against renowned Douglas! whose high deeds,
Whose hot incursions, and great name in arms,
Holds from all soldiers chief majority
And military title capital
Through all the kingdoms that acknowledge Christ:
Thrice hath this Hotspur, Mars in swathing-clothes,
This infant warrior, in his enterprises
Discomfited great Douglas; ta'en him once,
Enlarged him, and made a friend of him,
To fill the mouth of deep defiance up,
And shake the peace and safety of our throne.
And what say you to this? Percy, Northumberland,
Th' Archbishop's Grace of York, Douglas, and Mortimer
Capitulate against us, and are up.
But wherefore do I tell these news to thee?
Why, Harry, do I tell thee of my foes,
Which art my near'st and dearest enemy?
Thou that art like enough,--through vassal fear,
Base inclination, and the start of spleen,--
To fight against me under Percy's pay,
To dog his heels, and curtsy at his frowns,
To show how much thou art degenerate.

PRINCE.
Do not think so; you shall not find it so:
And God forgive them that so much have sway'd
Your Majesty's good thoughts away from me!
I will redeem all this on Percy's head,
And, in the closing of some glorious day,
Be bold to tell you that I am your son;
When I will wear a garment all of blood,
And stain my favour in a bloody mask,
Which, wash'd away, shall scour my shame with it:
And that shall be the day, whene'er it lights,
That this same child of honour and renown,
This gallant Hotspur, this all-praised knight,
And your unthought-of Harry, chance to meet.
For every honour sitting on his helm,
Would they were multitudes, and on my head
My shames redoubled! for the time will come,
That I shall make this northern youth exchange
His glorious deeds for my indignities.
Percy is but my factor, good my lord,
T' engross up glorious deeds on my behalf;
And I will call hall to so strict account,
That he shall render every glory up,
Yea, even the slightest worship of his time,
Or I will tear the reckoning from his heart.
This, in the name of God, I promise here:
The which if I perform, and do survive,
I do beseech your Majesty, may salve
The long-grown wounds of my intemperance:
If not, the end of life cancels all bands;
And I will die a hundred thousand deaths
Ere break the smallest parcel of this vow.

KING.
A hundred thousand rebels die in this.
Thou shalt have charge and sovereign trust herein.--

[Enter Sir Walter Blunt.]

How now, good Blunt! thy looks are full of speed.

BLUNT.
So is the business that I come to speak of.
Lord Mortimer of Scotland hath sent word
That Douglas and the English rebels met

Th' eleventh of this month at Shrewsbury:
A mighty and a fearful head they are,
If promises be kept on every hand,
As ever offer'd foul play in a State.

KING.
The Earl of Westmoreland set forth to-day;
With him my son, Lord John of Lancaster;
For this advertisement is five days old.
On Wednesday next you, Harry, shall set forward;
On Thursday we ourselves will march:
Our meeting is Bridgenorth: and, Harry, you
Shall march through Glostershire; by which account,
Our business valued, some twelve days hence
Our general forces at Bridgenorth shall meet.
Our hands are full of business: let's away;
Advantage feeds him fat, while men delay.

[Exeunt.]

Scene III. Eastcheap. A Room in the Boar's-Head Tavern.

[Enter Falstaff and Bardolph.]

FAL.
Bardolph, am I not fallen away vilely since this last action? do I
not bate? do I not dwindle? Why, my skin hangs about me like an
old lady's loose gown; I am withered like an old apple-John.
Well, I'll repent, and that suddenly, while I am in some liking; I
shall be out of heart shortly, and then I shall have no strength to
repent.
An I have not forgotten what the inside of a church is made of, I
am a peppercorn, a brewer's horse: the inside of a church!
Company, villainous company, hath been the spoil of me.

BARD.
Sir John, you are so fretful, you cannot live long.

FAL.
Why, there is it: come, sing me a song; make me merry. I was as
virtuously given as a gentleman need to be; virtuous enough; swore
little; diced not above seven times a week; paid money that I borrowed
--three or four times; lived well, and in good compass: and now I live
out of all order, out of all compass.

BARD.
Why, you are so fat, Sir John, that you must needs be out of all
compass, --out of all reasonable compass, Sir John.

FAL.
Do thou amend thy face, and I'll amend my life: thou art our admiral,
thou bearest the lantern in the poop,--but 'tis in the nose of thee;
thou art the Knight of the Burning Lamp.

BARD.
Why, Sir John, my face does you no harm.

FAL.
No, I'll be sworn; I make as good use of it as many a man doth of a
death's-head or a memento mori: I never see thy face but I think upon
hell-fire, and Dives that lived in purple; for there he is in his robes,
burning, burning. If thou wert any way given to virtue, I would swear
by thy face; my oath should be, By this fire, that's God's angel: but
thou art altogether given over; and wert indeed, but for the light in
thy face, the son of utter darkness. When thou rann'st up Gad's-hill in
the night to catch my horse, if I did not think thou hadst been an ignis
fatuus or a ball of wildfire, there's no purchase in money. O, thou art
a perpetual triumph, an everlasting bonfire-light! Thou hast saved me a
thousand marks in links and torches, walking with thee in the night
betwixt tavern and tavern: but the sack that thou hast drunk me would
have bought me lights as good cheap at the dearest chandler's in Europe.
I have maintain'd that salamander of yours with fire any time this
two-and-thirty years; God reward me for it!

BARD.
'Sblood, I would my face were in your stomach!

FAL.
God-a-mercy! so should I be sure to be heart-burn'd.--

[Enter the Hostess.]

How now, Dame Partlet the hen! have you enquir'd yet who
pick'd my pocket?

HOST.
Why, Sir John, what do you think, Sir John? do you think I
keep thieves in my house? I have search'd, I have inquired,
so has my husband, man by man, boy by boy, servant by servant:
the tithe of a hair was never lost in my house before.

FAL.
Ye lie, hostess: Bardolph was shaved, and lost many a hair; and
I'll be sworn my pocket was pick'd. Go to, you are a woman, go.

HOST.
Who, I? no; I defy thee: God's light, I was never call'd so in
mine own house before.

FAL.
Go to, I know you well enough.

HOST.
No, Sir John; you do not know me, Sir John. I know you, Sir John:
you owe me money, Sir John; and now you pick a quarrel to beguile me
of it: I bought you a dozen of shirts to your back.

FAL.
Dowlas, filthy dowlas: I have given them away to bakers' wives,
and they have made bolters of them.

HOST.
Now, as I am a true woman, holland of eight shillings an ell.
You owe money here besides, Sir John, for your diet and by-drinkings,
and money lent you, four-and-twenty pound.

FAL.
He had his part of it; let him pay.

HOST.
He? alas, he is poor; he hath nothing.

FAL.
How! poor? look upon his face; what call you rich? let
them coin his nose, let them coin his cheeks: I'll not pay a
denier. What, will you make a younker of me? shall I not take
mine ease in mine inn, but I shall have my pocket pick'd? I have
lost a seal-ring of my grandfather's worth forty mark.

HOST.
O Jesu, I have heard the Prince tell him, I know not how oft,
that that ring was copper!

FAL.
How! the Prince is a Jack, a sneak-cup: 'sblood, an he were
here, I would cudgel him like a dog, if he would say so.--

[Enter Prince Henry and Pointz, marching. Falstaff meets them,
playing on his truncheon like a fife.]

How now, lad? is the wind in that door, i'faith? must we all
march?

BARD.
Yea, two-and-two, Newgate-fashion.

HOST.
My lord, I pray you, hear me.

PRINCE.
What say'st thou, Mistress Quickly? How doth thy husband? I love
him well; he is an honest man.

HOST.
Good my lord, hear me.

FAL.
Pr'ythee, let her alone, and list to me.

PRINCE.
What say'st thou, Jack?

FAL.
The other night I fell asleep here behind the arras, and had my
pocket pick'd: this house is turn'd bawdy-house; they pick pockets.

PRINCE.
What didst thou lose, Jack?

FAL.
Wilt thou believe me, Hal? three or four bonds of forty pound
a-piece and a seal-ring of my grandfather's.

PRINCE.
A trifle, some eight-penny matter.

HOST.
So I told him, my lord; and I said I heard your Grace say so;
and, my lord, he speaks most vilely of you, like a foul-mouth'd
man as he is; and said he would cudgel you.

PRINCE.
What! he did not?

HOST.
There's neither faith, truth, nor womanhood in me else.

FAL.
There's no more faith in thee than in a stew'd prune; nor no more
truth in thee than in a drawn fox; and, for woman-hood, Maid Marian
may be the deputy's wife of the ward to thee. Go, you thing, go.

HOST.
Say, what thing? what thing? I am an honest man's wife: and,
setting thy knighthood aside, thou art a knave to call me so.

FAL.
Setting thy womanhood aside, thou art a beast to say otherwise.

HOST.
Say, what beast, thou knave, thou?

FAL.
What beast! why, an otter.

PRINCE.
An otter, Sir John, why an otter?

FAL.
Why, she's neither fish nor flesh; a man knows not where to have
her.

HOST.
Thou art an unjust man in saying so; thou or any man knows where
to have me, thou knave, thou!

PRINCE.
Thou say'st true, hostess; and he slanders thee most grossly.

HOST.
So he doth you, my lord; and said this other day you ought him a
thousand pound.

PRINCE.
Sirrah, do I owe you a thousand pound?

FAL.

A thousand pound, Hal! a million: thy love is worth a million;
thou owest me thy love.

HOST.
Nay, my lord, he call'd you Jack, and said he would cudgel you.

FAL.
Did I, Bardolph?

BARD.
Indeed, Sir John, you said so.

FAL.
Yea, if he said my ring was copper.

PRINCE.
I say 'tis copper: darest thou be as good as thy word now?

FAL.
Why, Hal, thou know'st, as thou art but man, I dare; but as thou
art prince, I fear thee as I fear the roaring of the lion's whelp.

PRINCE.
And why not as the lion?

FAL.
The King himself is to be feared as the lion: dost thou think I'll
fear thee as I fear thy father? nay, an I do, I pray God my girdle
break.

PRINCE.
Sirrah, there's no room for faith, truth, nor honesty in this
bosom of thine; it is all fill'd up with midriff.
Charge an honest woman with picking thy pocket! why, thou whoreson,
impudent, emboss'd rascal, if there were anything in thy pocket but
tavern-reckonings, and one poor pennyworth of sugar-candy to make thee
long-winded,--if thy pocket were enrich'd with any other injuries but
these, I am a villain: and yet you will stand to it; you will not
pocket-up wrong. Art thou not ashamed!

FAL.
Dost thou hear, Hal? thou know'st, in the state of innocency Adam fell;
and what should poor Jack Falstaff do in the days of villainy?
Thou see'st I have more flesh than another man; and therefore more
frailty. You confess, then, you pick'd my pocket?

PRINCE.

It appears so by the story.

FAL.
Hostess, I forgive thee: go, make ready breakfast; love thy husband,
look to thy servants, cherish thy guests: thou shalt find me tractable
to any honest reason; thou see'st I am pacified.--Still? Nay, pr'ythee,
be gone.

[Exit Hostess.]

Now, Hal, to the news at Court: for the robbery, lad, how is
that answered?

PRINCE.
O, my sweet beef, I must still be good angel to thee: the money
is paid back again.

FAL.
O, I do not like that paying back; 'tis a double labour.

PRINCE.
I am good friends with my father, and may do any thing.

FAL.
Rob me the exchequer the first thing thou doest, and do it with
unwash'd hands too.

BARD.
Do, my lord.

PRINCE.
I have procured thee, Jack, a charge of Foot.

FAL.
I would it had been of Horse. Where shall I find one that can steal
well? O, for a fine thief, of the age of two-and-twenty or thereabouts!
I am heinously unprovided. Well, God be thanked for these rebels; they
offend none but the virtuous: I laud them, I praise them.

PRINCE.
Bardolph,--

BARD.
My lord?

PRINCE.
Go bear this letter to Lord John of Lancaster,

My brother John; this to my Lord of Westmoreland.--

[Exit Bardolph.]

Go, Pointz, to horse, to horse; for thou and I
Have thirty miles to ride yet ere dinner-time.--

[Exit Pointz.]

Meet me to-morrow, Jack, i' the Temple-hall
At two o'clock in th' afternoon:
There shalt thou know thy charge; and there receive
Money and order for their furniture.
The land is burning; Percy stands on high;
And either they or we must lower lie.

[Exit.]

FAL.
Rare words! brave world!--Hostess, my breakfast; come:--
O, I could wish this tavern were my drum!

[Exit.]

ACT IV.

Scene I. The Rebel Camp near Shrewsbury.

[Enter Hotspur, Worcester, and Douglas.]

HOT.
Well said, my noble Scot: if speaking truth
In this fine age were not thought flattery,
Such attribution should the Douglas have,
As not a soldier of this season's stamp
Should go so general-current through the world.
By God, I cannot flatter; I defy
The tongues of soothers; but a braver place
In my heart's love hath no man than yourself:
Nay, task me to my word; approve me, lord.

DOUG.
Thou art the king of honour:
No man so potent breathes upon the ground
But I will beard him.

HOT.
Do so, and 'tis well.--

[Enter a Messenger with letters.]

What letters hast thou there?--I can but thank you.

MESS.
These letters come from your father.

HOT.
Letters from him! why comes he not himself?

MESS.
He cannot come, my lord; he's grievous sick.

HOT.
Zwounds! how has he the leisure to be sick
In such a justling time? Who leads his power?
Under whose government come they along?

MESS.
His letters bears his mind, not I, my lord.

WOR.
I pr'ythee, tell me, doth he keep his bed?

MESS.
He did, my lord, four days ere I set forth,
And at the time of my departure thence
He was much fear'd by his physicians.

WOR.
I would the state of time had first been whole
Ere he by sickness had been visited:
His health was never better worth than now.

HOT.
Sick now! droop now! this sickness doth infect
The very life-blood of our enterprise;
'Tis catching hither, even to our camp.

He writes me here, that inward sickness,--
And that his friends by deputation could not
So soon be drawn; no did he think it meet
To lay so dangerous and dear a trust
On any soul removed, but on his own.
Yet doth he give us bold advertisement,
That with our small conjunction we should on,
To see how fortune is disposed to us;
For, as he writes, there is no quailing now,
Because the King is certainly possess'd
Of all our purposes. What say you to it?

WOR.
Your father's sickness is a maim to us.

HOT.
A perilous gash, a very limb lopp'd off:--
And yet, in faith, 'tis not; his present want
Seems more than we shall find it. Were it good
To set the exact wealth of all our states
All at one cast? to set so rich a main
On the nice hazard of one doubtful hour?
It were not good; for therein should we read
The very bottom and the soul of hope,
The very list, the very utmost bound
Of all our fortunes.

DOUG.
Faith, and so we should;
Where now remains a sweet reversion;
And we may boldly spend upon the hope
Of what is to come in:
A comfort of retirement lives in this.

HOT.
A rendezvous, a home to fly unto,
If that the Devil and mischance look big
Upon the maidenhead of our affairs.

WOR.
But yet I would your father had been here.
The quality and hair of our attempt
Brooks no division: it will be thought
By some, that know not why he is away,
That wisdom, loyalty, and mere dislike
Of our proceedings, kept the earl from hence:
And think how such an apprehension
May turn the tide of fearful faction,
And breed a kind of question in our cause;
For well you know we of the offering side
Must keep aloof from strict arbitrement,
And stop all sight-holes, every loop from whence
The eye of reason may pry in upon us.
This absence of your father's draws a curtain,
That shows the ignorant a kind of fear
Before not dreamt of.

HOT.
Nay, you strain too far.
I, rather, of his absence make this use:
It lends a lustre and more great opinion,
A larger dare to our great enterprise,
Than if the earl were here; for men must think,
If we, without his help, can make a head
To push against the kingdom, with his help
We shall o'erturn it topsy-turvy down.
Yet all goes well, yet all our joints are whole.

DOUG.
As heart can think: there is not such a word
Spoke in Scotland as this term of fear.

[Enter Sir Richard Vernon.]

HOT.
My cousin Vernon! welcome, by my soul.

VER.
Pray God my news be worth a welcome, lord.
The Earl of Westmoreland, seven thousand strong,
Is marching hitherwards; with him Prince John.

HOT.
No harm: what more?

VER.
And further, I have learn'd
The King himself in person is set forth,
Or hitherwards intended speedily,
With strong and mighty preparation.

HOT.
He shall be welcome too. Where is his son,
The nimble-footed madcap Prince of Wales,
And his comrades, that daff the world aside,
And bid it pass?

VER.
All furnish'd, all in arms;
All plumed like estridges that with the wind
Bate it; like eagles having lately bathed;
Glittering in golden coats, like images;
As full of spirit as the month of May
And gorgeous as the Sun at midsummer;
Wanton as youthful goats, wild as young bulls.
I saw young Harry--with his beaver on,
His cuisses on his thighs, gallantly arm'd--
Rise from the ground like feather'd Mercury,
And vault it with such ease into his seat,
As if an angel dropp'd down from the clouds,
To turn and wind a fiery Pegasus,
And witch the world with noble horsemanship.

HOT.
No more, no more: worse than the Sun in March,
This praise doth nourish agues. Let them come;
They come like sacrifices in their trim,
And to the fire-eyed maid of smoky war,
All hot and bleeding, will we offer them:
The mailed Mars shall on his altar sit
Up to the ears in blood. I am on fire
To hear this rich reprisal is so nigh,
And yet not ours.--Come, let me taste my horse,
Who is to bear me, like a thunderbolt,
Against the bosom of the Prince of Wales:
Harry and Harry shall, hot horse to horse,
Meet, and ne'er part till one drop down a corse.--
O, that Glendower were come!

VER.
There is more news:
I learn'd in Worcester, as I rode along,
He cannot draw his power this fourteen days.

DOUG.
That's the worst tidings that I hear of yet.

WOR.
Ay, by my faith, that bears a frosty sound.

HOT.
What may the King's whole battle reach unto?

VER.
To thirty thousand.

HOT.
Forty let it be:
My father and Glendower being both away,
The powers of us may serve so great a day.
Come, let us take a muster speedily:
Doomsday is near; die all, die merrily.

DOUG.
Talk not of dying: I am out of fear
Of death or death's hand for this one half-year.

[Exeunt.]

Scene II. A public Road near Coventry.

[Enter Falstaff and Bardolph.]

FAL.
Bardolph, get thee before to Coventry; fill me a bottle of
sack: our soldiers shall march through; we'll to Sutton-Co'fil'
to-night.

BARD.
Will you give me money, captain?

FAL.
Lay out, lay out.

BARD.
This bottle makes an angel.

FAL.
An if it do, take it for thy labour; an if it make twenty,
take them all; I'll answer the coinage. Bid my lieutenant
Peto meet me at the town's end.

BARD.
I will, captain: farewell.

[Exit.]

FAL.
If I be not ashamed of my soldiers, I am a soused gurnet. I have
misused the King's press damnably. I have got, in exchange of
a hundred and fifty soldiers, three hundred and odd pounds. I
press'd me none but good householders, yeomen's sons; inquired
me out contracted bachelors, such as had been ask'd twice on the
banns; such a commodity of warm slaves as had as lief hear the
Devil as a drum; such as fear the report of a caliver worse than
a struck fowl or a hurt wild-duck. I press'd me none but such
toasts-and-butter, with hearts in their bodies no bigger than
pins'-heads, and they have bought out their services; and now
my whole charge consists of ancients, corporals, lieutenants,
gentlemen of companies, slaves as ragged as Lazarus in the
painted cloth, where the glutton's dogs licked his sores; and
such as, indeed, were never soldiers, but discarded unjust
serving-men, younger sons to younger brothers, revolted tapsters,
and ostlers trade-fallen; the cankers of a calm world and a long
peace; ten times more dishonourable ragged than an old faced
ancient: and such have I, to fill up the rooms of them that have
bought out their services, that you would think that I had a
hundred and fifty tattered Prodigals lately come from
swine-keeping, from eating draff and husks. A mad fellow met me on
the way, and told me I had unloaded all the gibbets, and press'd
the dead bodies.
No eye hath seen such scarecrows. I'll not march through Coventry
with them, that's flat: nay, and the villains march wide betwixt
the legs, as if they had gyves on; for, indeed, I had the most of
them out of prison. There's but a shirt and a half in all my company;
and the half-shirt is two napkins tack'd together and thrown over the
shoulders like a herald's coat without sleeves; and the shirt, to say
the truth, stolen from my host at Saint Alban's, or the red-nose
innkeeper of Daventry.
But that's all one; they'll find linen enough on every hedge.

[Enter Prince Henry and Westmoreland.]

PRINCE.
How now, blown Jack! how now, quilt!

FAL.
What, Hal! how now, mad wag! what a devil dost thou in
Warwickshire?--My good Lord of Westmoreland, I cry you mercy:
I thought your honour had already been at Shrewsbury.

WEST.
Faith, Sir John, 'tis more than time that I were there, and you too;
but my powers are there already. The King, I can tell you, looks for
us all: we must away all, to-night.

FAL.
Tut, never fear me: I am as vigilant as a cat to steal cream.

PRINCE.
I think, to steal cream, indeed; for thy theft hath already made thee
butter. But tell me, Jack, whose fellows are these that come after?

FAL.
Mine, Hal, mine.

PRINCE.
I did never see such pitiful rascals.

FAL.
Tut, tut; good enough to toss; food for powder, food for powder;
they'll fill a pit as well as better: tush, man, mortal men,
mortal men.

WEST.
Ay, but, Sir John, methinks they are exceeding poor and bare,--too
beggarly.

FAL.
Faith, for their poverty, I know not where they had that; and,
for their bareness, I am sure they never learn'd that of me.

PRINCE.
No, I'll be sworn; unless you call three fingers on the ribs
bare. But, sirrah, make haste: Percy is already in the field.

[Exit.]

FAL.
What, is the King encamp'd?

WEST.
He is, Sir John: I fear we shall stay too long.

[Exit.]

FAL.
Well,
To the latter end of a fray and the beginning of a feast
Fits a dull fighter and a keen guest.

[Exit.]

Scene III. The Rebel Camp near Shrewsbury.

[Enter Hotspur, Worcester, Douglas, and Vernon.]

HOT.
We'll fight with him to-night.

WOR.
It may not be.

DOUG.
You give him, then, advantage.

VER.
Not a whit.

HOT.
Why say you so? looks he not for supply?

VER.
So do we.

HOT.
His is certain, ours is doubtful.

WOR.
Good cousin, be advised; stir not to-night.

VER.
Do not, my lord.

DOUG.
You do not counsel well:
You speak it out of fear and cold heart.

VER.
Do me no slander, Douglas: by my life,--
And I dare well maintain it with my life,--
If well-respected honour bid me on,
I hold as little counsel with weak fear
As you, my lord, or any Scot that this day lives:
Let it be seen to-morrow in the battle
Which of us fears.

DOUG.
Yea, or to-night.

VER.
Content.

HOT.
To-night, say I.

VER.
Come, come, it may not be. I wonder much,
Being men of such great leading as you are,
That you foresee not what impediments
Drag back our expedition: certain Horse
Of my cousin Vernon's are not yet come up:
Your uncle Worcester's Horse came but to-day;
And now their pride and mettle is asleep,
Their courage with hard labour tame and dull,
That not a horse is half the half himself.

HOT.
So are the horses of the enemy
In general, journey-bated and brought low:
The better part of ours are full of rest.

WOR.
The number of the King exceedeth ours.
For God's sake, cousin, stay till all come in.

[The Trumpet sounds a parley.]

[Enter Sir Walter Blunt.]

BLUNT.
I come with gracious offers from the King,
If you vouchsafe me hearing and respect.

HOT.
Welcome, Sir Walter Blunt; and would to God
You were of our determination!
Some of us love you well; and even those some
Envy your great deservings and good name,
Because you are not of our quality,
But stand against us like an enemy.

BLUNT.
And God defend but still I should stand so,
So long as out of limit and true rule
You stand against anointed majesty!
But to my charge: the King hath sent to know
The nature of your griefs; and whereupon
You conjure from the breast of civil peace
Such bold hostility, teaching his duteous land
Audacious cruelty. If that the King
Have any way your good deserts forgot,
Which he confesseth to be manifold,
He bids you name your griefs; and with all speed
You shall have your desires with interest,
And pardon absolute for yourself and these
Herein misled by your suggestion.

HOT.
The King is kind; and well we know the King
Knows at what time to promise, when to pay.
My father and my uncle and myself
Did give him that same royalty he wears;
And--when he was not six-and-twenty strong,
Sick in the world's regard, wretched and low,
A poor unminded outlaw sneaking home--
My father gave him welcome to the shore:
And--when he heard him swear and vow to God,
He came but to be Duke of Lancaster,
To sue his livery and beg his peace,
With tears of innocence and terms of zeal--
My father, in kind heart and pity moved,
Swore him assistance, and performed it too.
Now, when the lords and barons of the realm
Perceived Northumberland did lean to him,
The more and less came in with cap and knee;
Met him in boroughs, cities, villages,
Attended him on bridges, stood in lanes,
Laid gifts before him, proffer'd him their oaths,
Give him their heirs as pages, follow'd him
Even at the heels in golden multitudes.
He presently--as greatness knows itself--
Steps me a little higher than his vow
Made to my father, while his blood was poor,
Upon the naked shore at Ravenspurg;
And now, forsooth, takes on him to reform
Some certain edicts and some strait decrees
That lie too heavy on the commonwealth;
Cries out upon abuses, seems to weep
Over his country's wrongs; and, by this face,
This seeming brow of justice, did he win
The hearts of all that he did angle for:
Proceeded further; cut me off the heads
Of all the favourites, that the absent King
In deputation left behind him here
When he was personal in the Irish war.

BLUNT.
Tut, I came not to hear this.

HOT.
Then to the point:
In short time after, he deposed the King;
Soon after that, deprived him of his life;
And, in the neck of that, task'd the whole State:
To make that worse, suffer'd his kinsman March
(Who is, if every owner were well placed,
Indeed his king) to be engaged in Wales,
There without ransom to lie forfeited;
Disgraced me in my happy victories,
Sought to entrap me by intelligence;
Rated my uncle from the Council-board;
In rage dismiss'd my father from the Court;
Broke oath on oath, committed wrong on wrong;
And, in conclusion, drove us to seek out
This head of safety; and withal to pry
Into his title, the which now we find
Too indirect for long continuance.

BLUNT.
Shall I return this answer to the King?

HOT.
Not so, Sir Walter: we'll withdraw awhile.
Go to the King; and let there be impawn'd
Some surety for a safe return again,
And in the morning early shall my uncle
Bring him our purposes: and so, farewell.

BLUNT.
I would you would accept of grace and love.

HOT.
And may be so we shall.

BLUNT.
Pray God you do.

[Exeunt.]

Scene IV. York. A Room in the Archbishop's Palace.

[Enter the Archbishop of York and Sir Michael.]

ARCH.
Hie, good Sir Michael; bear this sealed brief
With winged haste to the Lord Marshal;
This to my cousin Scroop; and all the rest
To whom they are directed. If you knew
How much they do import, you would make haste.

SIR M.
My good lord,
I guess their tenour.

ARCH.
Like enough you do.
To-morrow, good Sir Michael, is a day
Wherein the fortune of ten thousand men
Must bide the touch; for, sir, at Shrewsbury,
As I am truly given to understand,
The King, with mighty and quick-raised power,
Meets with Lord Harry: and, I fear, Sir Michael,
What with the sickness of Northumberland,
Whose power was in the first proportion,
And what with Owen Glendower's absence thence,
Who with them was a rated sinew too,
And comes not in, o'er-rul'd by prophecies,--
I fear the power of Percy is too weak
To wage an instant trial with the King.

SIR M.
Why, my good lord, you need not fear;
There's Douglas and Lord Mortimer.

ARCH.
No, Mortimer's not there.

SIR M.
But there is Mordake, Vernon, Lord Harry Percy,
And there's my Lord of Worcester; and a head
Of gallant warriors, noble gentlemen.

ARCH.
And so there is: but yet the King hath drawn
The special head of all the land together;
The Prince of Wales, Lord John of Lancaster,
The noble Westmoreland, and warlike Blunt;
And many more corrivals and dear men
Of estimation and command in arms.

Book of the day: