KING HENRY IV, THE FIRST PART
by William Shakespeare
King Henry the Fourth. Henry, Prince of Wales, son to the King. Prince John of Lancaster, son to the King. Earl of Westmoreland. Sir Walter Blunt. Thomas Percy, Earl of Worcester. Henry Percy, Earl of Northumberland. Henry Percy, his son. Edmund Mortimer, Earl of March. Scroop, Archbishop of York. Sir Michael, his Friend. Archibald, Earl of Douglas. Owen Glendower. Sir Richard Vernon. Sir John Falstaff. Pointz. Gadshill. Peto. Bardolph.
Lady Percy, Wife to Hotspur. Lady Mortimer, Daughter to Glendower. Mrs. Quickly, Hostess in Eastcheap.
Lords, Officers, Sheriff, Vintner, Chamberlain, Drawers, Carriers, Travellers, and Attendants.
SCENE I. London. A Room in the Palace.
[Enter the King Henry, Westmoreland, Sir Walter Blunt, and others.]
KING. So shaken as we are, so wan with care, Find we a time for frighted peace to pant, And breathe short-winded accents of new broils To be commenced in strands afar remote. No more the thirsty entrance of this soil Shall daub her lips with her own children's blood; No more shall trenching war channel her fields, Nor bruise her flowerets with the armed hoofs Of hostile paces: those opposed eyes, Which, like the meteors of a troubled heaven, All of one nature, of one substance bred, Did lately meet in the intestine shock And furious close of civil butchery, Shall now, in mutual well-beseeming ranks, March all one way, and be no more opposed Against acquaintance, kindred, and allies: The edge of war, like an ill-sheathed knife, No more shall cut his master. Therefore, friends, As far as to the sepulchre of Christ— Whose soldier now, under whose blessed cross We are impressed and engaged to fight— Forthwith a power of English shall we levy, To chase these pagans in those holy fields Over whose acres walk'd those blessed feet Which fourteen hundred years ago were nail'd For our advantage on the bitter cross. But this our purpose now is twelvemonth old, And bootless 'tis to tell you we will go: Therefore we meet not now.—Then let me hear Of you, my gentle cousin Westmoreland, What yesternight our Council did decree In forwarding this dear expedience.
WEST. My liege, this haste was hot in question, And many limits of the charge set down But yesternight; when, all athwart, there came A post from Wales loaden with heavy news; Whose worst was, that the noble Mortimer, Leading the men of Herefordshire to fight Against th' irregular and wild Glendower, Was by the rude hands of that Welshman taken; A thousand of his people butchered, Upon whose dead corpse' there was such misuse, Such beastly, shameless transformation, By those Welshwomen done, as may not be Without much shame re-told or spoken of.
KING. It seems, then, that the tidings of this broil Brake off our business for the Holy Land.
WEST. This, match'd with other, did, my gracious lord; For more uneven and unwelcome news Came from the North, and thus it did import: On Holy-rood day the gallant Hotspur there, Young Harry Percy, and brave Archibald, That ever-valiant and approved Scot, At Holmedon met; Where they did spend a sad and bloody hour, As by discharge of their artillery, And shape of likelihood, the news was told; For he that brought them, in the very heat And pride of their contention did take horse, Uncertain of the issue any way.
KING. Here is a dear and true-industrious friend, Sir Walter Blunt, new lighted from his horse, Stain'd with the variation of each soil Betwixt that Holmedon and this seat of ours; And he hath brought us smooth and welcome news. The Earl of Douglas is discomfited: Ten thousand bold Scots, two-and-twenty knights, Balk'd in their own blood, did Sir Walter see On Holmedon's plains: of prisoners, Hotspur took Mordake the Earl of Fife and eldest son To beaten Douglas; and the Earls of Athol, Of Murray, Angus, and Menteith. And is not this an honourable spoil, A gallant prize? ha, cousin, is it not?
WEST. Faith, 'tis a conquest for a prince to boast of.
KING. Yea, there thou makest me sad, and makest me sin In envy that my Lord Northumberland Should be the father to so blest a son,— A son who is the theme of honour's tongue; Amongst a grove, the very straightest plant; Who is sweet Fortune's minion and her pride: Whilst I, by looking on the praise of him, See riot and dishonour stain the brow Of my young Harry. O, that it could be proved That some night-tripping fairy had exchanged In cradle-clothes our children where they lay, And call'd mine Percy, his Plantagenet! Then would I have his Harry, and he mine: But let him from my thoughts. What think you, coz, Of this young Percy's pride? the prisoners, Which he in this adventure hath surprised, To his own use he keeps; and sends me word, I shall have none but Mordake Earl of Fife.
WEST. This is his uncle's teaching, this is Worcester, Malevolent to you in all aspects; Which makes him prune himself, and bristle up The crest of youth against your dignity.
KING. But I have sent for him to answer this; And for this cause awhile we must neglect Our holy purpose to Jerusalem. Cousin, on Wednesday next our Council we Will hold at Windsor; so inform the lords: But come yourself with speed to us again; For more is to be said and to be done Than out of anger can be uttered.
WEST. I will, my liege.
Scene II. The same. An Apartment of Prince Henry's.
[Enter Prince Henry and Falstaff.]
FAL. Now, Hal, what time of day is it, lad?
PRINCE. Thou art so fat-witted, with drinking of old sack, and unbuttoning thee after supper, and sleeping upon benches after noon, that thou hast forgotten to demand that truly which thou wouldst truly know. What a devil hast thou to do with the time of the day? unless hours were cups of sack, and minutes capons, and the blessed Sun himself a fair hot wench in flame-coloured taffeta, I see no reason why thou shouldst be so superfluous to demand the time of the day.
FAL. Indeed, you come near me now, Hal; for we that take purses go by the Moon and the seven stars, and not by Phoebus,—he, that wandering knight so fair. And I pr'ythee, sweet wag, when thou art king,—as, God save thy Grace—Majesty I should say, for grace thou wilt have none,—
PRINCE. What, none?
FAL. No, by my troth; not so much as will serve to be prologue to an egg and butter.
PRINCE. Well, how then? come, roundly, roundly.
FAL. Marry, then, sweet wag, when thou art king, let not us that are squires of the night's body be called thieves of the day's beauty: let us be Diana's foresters, gentlemen of the shade, minions of the Moon; and let men say we be men of good government, being governed, as the sea is, by our noble and chaste mistress the Moon, under whose countenance we steal.
PRINCE. Thou say'st well, and it holds well too; for the fortune of us that are the Moon's men doth ebb and flow like the sea, being governed, as the sea is, by the Moon. As, for proof, now: A purse of gold most resolutely snatch'd on Monday night, and most dissolutely spent on Tuesday morning; got with swearing Lay by, and spent with crying Bring in; now ill as low an ebb as the foot of the ladder, and by-and-by in as high a flow as the ridge of the gallows.
FAL. By the Lord, thou say'st true, lad. And is not my hostess of the tavern a most sweet wench?
PRINCE. As the honey of Hybla, my old lad of the castle. And is not a buff jerkin a most sweet robe of durance?
FAL. How now, how now, mad wag! what, in thy quips and thy quiddities? what a plague have I to do with a buff jerkin?
PRINCE. Why, what a pox have I to do with my hostess of the tavern?
FAL. Well, thou hast call'd her to a reckoning many a time and oft.
PRINCE. Did I ever call for thee to pay thy part?
FAL. No; I'll give thee thy due, thou hast paid all there.
PRINCE. Yea, and elsewhere, so far as my coin would stretch; and where it would not, I have used my credit.
FAL. Yea, and so used it, that, were it not here apparent that thou art heir-apparent—But I pr'ythee, sweet wag, shall there be gallows standing in England when thou art king? and resolution thus fobb'd as it is with the rusty curb of old father antic the law? Do not thou, when thou art king, hang a thief.
PRINCE. No; thou shalt.
FAL. Shall I? O rare! By the Lord, I'll be a brave judge.
PRINCE. Thou judgest false already: I mean, thou shalt have the hanging of the thieves, and so become a rare hangman.
FAL. Well, Hal, well; and in some sort it jumps with my humour; as well as waiting in the Court, I can tell you.
PRINCE. For obtaining of suits?
FAL. Yea, for obtaining of suits, whereof the hangman hath no lean wardrobe. 'Sblood, I am as melancholy as a gib-cat or a lugg'd bear.
PRINCE. Or an old lion, or a lover's lute.
FAL. Yea, or the drone of a Lincolnshire bagpipe.
PRINCE. What say'st thou to a hare, or the melancholy of Moor-ditch?
FAL. Thou hast the most unsavoury similes, and art, indeed, the most comparative, rascalliest, sweet young prince,—But, Hal, I pr'ythee trouble me no more with vanity. I would to God thou and I knew where a commodity of good names were to be bought. An old lord of the Council rated me the other day in the street about you, sir,—but I mark'd him not; and yet he talk'd very wisely,—but I regarded him not; and yet he talk'd wisely, and in the street too.
PRINCE. Thou didst well; for wisdom cries out in the streets, and no man regards it.
FAL. O, thou hast damnable iteration, and art, indeed, able to corrupt a saint. Thou hast done much harm upon me, Hal; God forgive thee for it! Before I knew thee, Hal, I knew nothing; and now am I, if a man should speak truly, little better than one of the wicked. I must give over this life, and I will give it over; by the Lord, an I do not, I am a villain: I'll be damn'd for never a king's son in Christendom.
PRINCE. Where shall we take a purse to-morrow, Jack?
FAL. Zounds, where thou wilt, lad; I'll make one: an I do not, call me villain, and baffle me.
PRINCE. I see a good amendment of life in thee,—from praying to purse-taking.
FAL. Why, Hal, 'tis my vocation, Hal; 'tis no sin for a man to labour in his vocation.
—Pointz!—Now shall we know if Gadshill have set a match. O, if men were to be saved by merit, what hole in Hell were hot enough for him? This is the most omnipotent villain that ever cried Stand! to a true man.
PRINCE. Good morrow, Ned.
POINTZ. Good morrow, sweet Hal.—What says Monsieur Remorse? what says Sir John Sack-and-sugar? Jack, how agrees the Devil and thee about thy soul, that thou soldest him on Good-Friday last for a cup of Madeira and a cold capon's leg?
PRINCE. Sir John stands to his word,—the Devil shall have his bargain; for he was never yet a breaker of proverbs,—he will give the Devil his due.
POINTZ. Then art thou damn'd for keeping thy word with the Devil.
PRINCE. Else he had been damn'd for cozening the Devil.
POINTZ. But, my lads, my lads, to-morrow morning, by four o'clock, early at Gads-hill! there are pilgrims gong to Canterbury with rich offerings, and traders riding to London with fat purses: I have visards for you all; you have horses for yourselves: Gadshill lies to-night in Rochester: I have bespoke supper to-morrow night in Eastcheap: we may do it as secure as sleep. If you will go, I will stuff your purses full of crowns; if you will not, tarry at home and be hang'd.
FAL. Hear ye, Yedward; if I tarry at home and go not, I'll hang you for going.
POINTZ. You will, chops?
FAL. Hal, wilt thou make one?
PRINCE. Who, I rob? I a thief? not I, by my faith.
FAL. There's neither honesty, manhood, nor good fellowship in thee, nor thou camest not of the blood royal, if thou darest not stand for ten shillings.
PRINCE. Well, then, once in my days I'll be a madcap.
FAL. Why, that's well said.
PRINCE. Well, come what will, I'll tarry at home.
FAL. By the Lord, I'll be a traitor, then, when thou art king.
PRINCE. I care not.
Sir John, I pr'ythee, leave the Prince and me alone: I will lay him down such reasons for this adventure, that he shall go.
FAL. Well, God give thee the spirit of persuasion, and him the ears of profiting, that what thou speakest may move, and what he hears may be believed, that the true Prince may, for recreation- sake, prove a false thief; for the poor abuses of the time want countenance. Farewell; you shall find me in Eastcheap.
PRINCE. Farewell, thou latter Spring! farewell, All-hallown Summer!
POINTZ. Now, my good sweet honey-lord, ride with us to-morrow: I have a jest to execute that I cannot manage alone. Falstaff, Bardolph, Peto, and Gadshill, shall rob those men that we have already waylaid: yourself and I will not be there; and when they have the booty, if you and I do not rob them, cut this head off from my shoulders.
PRINCE. But how shall we part with them in setting forth?
POINTZ. Why, we will set forth before or after them, and appoint them a place of meeting, wherein it is at our pleasure to fail; and then will they adventure upon the exploit themselves; which they shall have no sooner achieved but we'll set upon them.
PRINCE. Ay, but 'tis like that they will know us by our horses, by our habits, and by every other appointment, to be ourselves.
POINTZ. Tut! our horses they shall not see,—I'll tie them in the wood; our visards we will change, after we leave them; and, sirrah, I have cases of buckram for the nonce, to immask our noted outward garments.
PRINCE. But I doubt they will be too hard for us.
POINTZ. Well, for two of them, I know them to be as true-bred cowards as ever turn'd back; and for the third, if he fight longer than he sees reason, I'll forswear arms. The virtue of this jest will be, the incomprehensible lies that this same fat rogue will tell us when we meet at supper: how thirty, at least, he fought with; what wards, what blows, what extremities he endured; and in the reproof of this lies the jest.
PRINCE. Well, I'll go with thee: provide us all things necessary and meet me to-night in Eastcheap; there I'll sup. Farewell.
POINTZ. Farewell, my lord.
PRINCE. I know you all, and will awhile uphold The unyok'd humour of your idleness: Yet herein will I imitate the Sun, Who doth permit the base contagious clouds To smother-up his beauty from the world, That, when he please again to be himself, Being wanted, he may be more wonder'd at, By breaking through the foul and ugly mists Of vapours that did seem to strangle him. If all the year were playing holidays, To sport would be as tedious as to work; But, when they seldom come, they wish'd-for come, And nothing pleaseth but rare accidents. So, when this loose behaviour I throw off, And pay the debt I never promised, By how much better than my word I am, By so much shall I falsify men's hopes; And, like bright metal on a sullen ground, My reformation, glittering o'er my fault, Shall show more goodly and attract more eyes Than that which hath no foil to set it off. I'll so offend, to make offence a skill; Redeeming time, when men think least I will.
Scene III. The Same. A Room in the Palace.
[Enter King Henry, Northumberland, Worcester, Hotspur, Sir Walter Blunt, and others.]
KING. My blood hath been too cold and temperate, Unapt to stir at these indignities, And you have found me; for, accordingly, You tread upon my patience: but be sure I will from henceforth rather be myself, Mighty and to be fear'd, than my condition, Which hath been smooth as oil, soft as young down, And therefore lost that title of respect Which the proud soul ne'er pays but to the proud.
WOR. Our House, my sovereign liege, little deserves The scourge of greatness to be used on it; And that same greatness too which our own hands Have holp to make so portly.
NORTH. My good lord,—
KING. Worcester, get thee gone; for I do see Danger and disobedience in thine eye: O, sir, your presence is too bold and peremptory, And majesty might never yet endure The moody frontier of a servant brow. You have good leave to leave us: when we need Your use and counsel, we shall send for you.
You were about to speak.
NORTH. Yea, my good lord. Those prisoners in your Highness' name demanded, Which Harry Percy here at Holmedon took, Were, as he says, not with such strength denied As is deliver'd to your Majesty: Either envy, therefore, or misprision Is guilty of this fault, and not my son.
HOT. My liege, I did deny no prisoners. But, I remember, when the fight was done, When I was dry with rage and extreme toil, Breathless and faint, leaning upon my sword, Came there a certain lord, neat, trimly dress'd, Fresh as a bridegroom; and his chin new reap'd Show'd like a stubble-land at harvest-home: He was perfumed like a milliner; And 'twixt his finger and his thumb he held A pouncet-box, which ever and anon He gave his nose, and took't away again; Who therewith angry, when it next came there, Took it in snuff: and still he smiled and talk'd; And, as the soldiers bore dead bodies by, He call'd them untaught knaves, unmannerly, To bring a slovenly unhandsome corse Betwixt the wind and his nobility. With many holiday and lady terms He question'd me; amongst the rest, demanded My prisoners in your Majesty's behalf. I then, all smarting with my wounds being cold, Out of my grief and my impatience To be so pester'd with a popinjay, Answer'd neglectingly, I know not what,— He should, or he should not; for't made me mad To see him shine so brisk, and smell so sweet, And talk so like a waiting-gentlewoman Of guns and drums and wounds,—God save the mark!— And telling me the sovereign'st thing on Earth Was parmaceti for an inward bruise; And that it was great pity, so it was, This villainous salt-petre should be digg'd Out of the bowels of the harmless earth, Which many a good tall fellow had destroy'd So cowardly; and, but for these vile guns, He would himself have been a soldier. This bald unjointed chat of his, my lord, I answered indirectly, as I said; And I beseech you, let not his report Come current for an accusation Betwixt my love and your high Majesty.
BLUNT. The circumstance consider'd, good my lord, Whatever Harry Percy then had said To such a person, and in such a place, At such a time, with all the rest re-told, May reasonably die, and never rise To do him wrong, or any way impeach What then he said, so he unsay it now.
KING. Why, yet he doth deny his prisoners, But with proviso and exception, That we at our own charge shall ransom straight His brother-in-law, the foolish Mortimer; Who, on my soul, hath wilfully betray'd The lives of those that he did lead to fight Against that great magician, damn'd Glendower, Whose daughter, as we hear, the Earl of March Hath lately married. Shall our coffers, then, Be emptied to redeem a traitor home? Shall we buy treason? and indent with fears When they have lost and forfeited themselves? No, on the barren mountains let him starve; For I shall never hold that man my friend Whose tongue shall ask me for one penny cost To ransom home revolted Mortimer.
HOT. Revolted Mortimer! He never did fall off, my sovereign liege, But by the chance of war: to prove that true Needs no more but one tongue for all those wounds, Those mouthed wounds, which valiantly he took, When on the gentle Severn's sedgy bank, In single opposition, hand to hand, He did confound the best part of an hour In changing hardiment with great Glendower. Three times they breathed, and three times did they drink, Upon agreement, of swift Severn's flood; Who then, affrighted with their bloody looks, Ran fearfully among the trembling reeds, And hid his crisp head in the hollow bank Blood-stained with these valiant combatants. Never did base and rotten policy Colour her working with such deadly wounds; Nor never could the noble Mortimer Receive so many, and all willingly: Then let not him be slander'd with revolt.
KING. Thou dost belie him, Percy, thou dost belie him; He never did encounter with Glendower: I tell thee, He durst as well have met the Devil alone As Owen Glendower for an enemy. Art not ashamed? But, sirrah, henceforth Let me not hear you speak of Mortimer: Send me your prisoners with the speediest means, Or you shall hear in such a kind from me As will displease you.—My Lord Northumberland, We license your departure with your son.— Send us your prisoners, or you'll hear of it.
[Exeunt King Henry, Blunt, and train.]
HOT. An if the Devil come and roar for them, I will not send them: I will after straight, And tell him so; for I will else my heart, Although it be with hazard of my head.
NORTH. What, drunk with choler? stay, and pause awhile: Here comes your uncle.
HOT. Speak of Mortimer! Zounds, I will speak of him; and let my soul Want mercy, if I do not join with him: Yea, on his part I'll empty all these veins, And shed my dear blood drop by drop i' the dust, But I will lift the down-trod Mortimer As high i' the air as this unthankful King, As this ingrate and canker'd Bolingbroke.
Brother, the King hath made your nephew mad.
WOR. Who struck this heat up after I was gone?
HOT. He will, forsooth, have all my prisoners; And when I urged the ransom once again Of my wife's brother, then his cheek look'd pale, And on my face he turn'd an eye of death, Trembling even at the name of Mortimer.
WOR. I cannot blame him: was not he proclaim'd By Richard that dead is the next of blood?
NORTH. He was; I heard the proclamation: And then it was when the unhappy King— Whose wrongs in us God pardon!—did set forth Upon his Irish expedition; From whence he intercepted did return To be deposed, and shortly murdered.
WOR. And for whose death we in the world's wide mouth Live scandalized and foully spoken of.
HOT. But, soft! I pray you; did King Richard then Proclaim my brother Edmund Mortimer Heir to the crown?
NORTH. He did; myself did hear it.
HOT. Nay, then I cannot blame his cousin King, That wish'd him on the barren mountains starve. But shall it be, that you, that set the crown Upon the head of this forgetful man, And for his sake wear the detested blot Of murderous subornation,—shall it be, That you a world of curses undergo, Being the agents, or base second means, The cords, the ladder, or the hangman rather?— O, pardon me, that I descend so low, To show the line and the predicament Wherein you range under this subtle King;— Shall it, for shame, be spoken in these days, Or fill up chronicles in time to come, That men of your nobility and power Did gage them both in an unjust behalf,— As both of you, God pardon it! have done,— To put down Richard, that sweet lovely rose, And plant this thorn, this canker, Bolingbroke? And shall it, in more shame, be further spoken, That you are fool'd, discarded, and shook off By him for whom these shames ye underwent? No! yet time serves, wherein you may redeem Your banish'd honours, and restore yourselves Into the good thoughts of the world again; Revenge the jeering and disdain'd contempt Of this proud King, who studies day and night To answer all the debt he owes to you Even with the bloody payment of your deaths: Therefore, I say,—
WOR. Peace, cousin, say no more: And now I will unclasp a secret book, And to your quick-conceiving discontent I'll read you matter deep and dangerous; As full of peril and adventurous spirit As to o'er-walk a current roaring loud On the unsteadfast footing of a spear.
HOT. If we fall in, good night, or sink or swim! Send danger from the east unto the west, So honour cross it from the north to south, And let them grapple. O, the blood more stirs To rouse a lion than to start a hare!
NORTH. Imagination of some great exploit Drives him beyond the bounds of patience.
HOT. By Heaven, methinks it were an easy leap, To pluck bright honour from the pale-faced Moon; Or dive into the bottom of the deep, Where fathom-line could never touch the ground, And pluck up drowned honour by the locks; So he that doth redeem her thence might wear Without corrival all her dignities: But out upon this half-faced fellowship!
WOR. He apprehends a world of figures here, But not the form of what he should attend.— Good cousin, give me audience for a while.
HOT. I cry you mercy.
WOR. Those same noble Scots That are your prisoners,—
HOT. I'll keep them all; By God, he shall not have a Scot of them; No, if a Scot would save his soul, he shall not: I'll keep them, by this hand.
WOR. You start away, And lend no ear unto my purposes. Those prisoners you shall keep;—
HOT. Nay, I will; that's flat. He said he would not ransom Mortimer; Forbade my tongue to speak of Mortimer; But I will find him when he lies asleep, And in his ear I'll holla Mortimer! Nay, I'll have a starling shall be taught to speak Nothing but Mortimer, and give it him, To keep his anger still in motion.
WOR. Hear you, cousin; a word.
HOT. All studies here I solemnly defy, Save how to gall and pinch this Bolingbroke: And that same sword-and-buckler Prince of Wales, But that I think his father loves him not, And would be glad he met with some mischance, I'd have him poison'd with a pot of ale.
WOR. Farewell, kinsman: I will talk to you When you are better temper'd to attend.
NORTH. Why, what a wasp-stung and impatient fool Art thou, to break into this woman's mood, Tying thine ear to no tongue but thine own!
HOT. Why, look you, I am whipp'd and scourged with rods, Nettled, and stung with pismires, when I hear Of this vile politician, Bolingbroke. In Richard's time,—what do you call the place?— A plague upon't!—it is in Gioucestershire;— 'Twas where the madcap Duke his uncle kept, His uncle York;—where I first bow'd my knee Unto this king of smiles, this Bolingbroke;— When you and he came back from Ravenspurg.
NORTH. At Berkeley-castle.
HOT. You say true:— Why, what a candy deal of courtesy This fawning greyhound then did proffer me! Look, when his infant fortune came to age, And, Gentle Harry Percy, and kind cousin,— O, the Devil take such cozeners!—God forgive me!— Good uncle, tell your tale; for I have done.
WOR. Nay, if you have not, to't again; We'll stay your leisure.
HOT. I have done, i'faith.
WOR. Then once more to your Scottish prisoners. Deliver them up without their ransom straight, And make the Douglas' son your only mean For powers in Scotland; which, for divers reasons Which I shall send you written, be assured, Will easily be granted.— [To Northumberland.] You, my lord, Your son in Scotland being thus employ'd, Shall secretly into the bosom creep Of that same noble prelate, well beloved, Th' Archbishop.
HOT. Of York, is't not?
WOR. True; who bears hard His brother's death at Bristol, the Lord Scroop. I speak not this in estimation, As what I think might be, but what I know Is ruminated, plotted, and set down, And only stays but to behold the face Of that occasion that shall bring it on.
HOT. I smell't: upon my life, it will do well.
NORTH. Before the game's a-foot, thou still lett'st slip.
HOT. Why, it cannot choose but be a noble plot:— And then the power of Scotland and of York To join with Mortimer, ha?
WOR. And so they shall.
In faith, it is exceedingly well aim'd.
WOR. And 'tis no little reason bids us speed, To save our heads by raising of a head; For, bear ourselves as even as we can, The King will always think him in our debt, And think we think ourselves unsatisfied, Till he hath found a time to pay us home: And see already how he doth begin To make us strangers to his looks of love.
HOT. He does, he does: we'll be revenged on him.
WOR. Cousin, farewell: no further go in this Than I by letters shall direct your course. When time is ripe,— which will be suddenly,— I'll steal to Glendower and Lord Mortimer; Where you and Douglas, and our powers at once, As I will fashion it, shall happily meet, To bear our fortunes in our own strong arms, Which now we hold at much uncertainty.
NORTH. Farewell, good brother: we shall thrive, I trust.
HOT. Uncle, adieu: O, let the hours be short, Till fields and blows and groans applaud our sport!
Scene I. Rochester. An Inn-Yard.
[Enter a Carrier with a lantern in his hand.]
1. CAR. Heigh-ho! an't be not four by the day, I'll be hang'd: Charles' wain is over the new chimney, and yet our horse' not pack'd.—What, ostler!
OST. [within.] Anon, anon.
1. CAR. I pr'ythee, Tom, beat Cut's saddle, put a few flocks in the point; the poor jade is wrung in the withers out of all cess.
[Enter another Carrier.]
2. CAR. Peas and beans are as dank here as a dog, and that is the next way to give poor jades the bots; this house is turned upside down since Robin ostler died.
1. CAR. Poor fellow! never joyed since the price of oats rose; it was the death of him.
2. CAR. I think this be the most villainous house in all London road for fleas: I am stung like a tench.
1. CAR. Like a tench! by the Mass, there is ne'er a king in Christendom could be better bit than I have been since the first cock.—What,
ostler! come away and be hang'd; come away.
2. CAR. I have a gammon of bacon and two razes of ginger, to be delivered as far as Charing-cross.
1. CAR. 'Odsbody! the turkeys in my pannier are quite starved.—What, ostler! A plague on thee! hast thou never an eye in thy head? canst not hear? An 'twere not as good a deed as drink to break the pate of thee, I am a very villain. Come, and be hang'd: hast no faith in thee?
GADS. Good morrow, carriers. What's o'clock?
1. CAR. I think it be two o'clock.
GADS. I pr'ythee, lend me thy lantern, to see my gelding in the stable.
1. CAR. Nay, soft, I pray ye; I know a trick worth two of that, i'faith.
GADS. I pr'ythee, lend me thine.
2. CAR. Ay, when? canst tell? Lend me thy lantern, quoth a? marry, I'll see thee hang'd first.
GADS. Sirrah carrier, what time do you mean to come to London?
2. CAR. Time enough to go to bed with a candle, I warrant thee.— Come, neighbour Muggs, we'll call up the gentlemen: they will along with company, for they have great charge.
GADS. What, ho! chamberlain!
CHAM. [Within.] At hand, quoth pick-purse.
GADS. That's even as fair as—at hand, quoth the chamberlain; for thou variest no more from picking of purses than giving direction doth from labouring; thou lay'st the plot how.
CHAM. Good morrow, Master Gadshill. It holds current that I told you yesternight: there's a franklin in the wild of Kent hath brought three hundred marks with him in gold: I heard him tell it to one of his company last night at supper; a kind of auditor; one that hath abundance of charge too, God knows what. They are up already, and call for eggs and butter; they will away presently.
GADS. Sirrah, if they meet not with Saint Nicholas' clerks, I'll give thee this neck.
CHAM. No, I'll none of it: I pr'ythee, keep that for the hangman; for I know thou worshippest Saint Nicholas as truly as a man of falsehood may.
GADS. What talkest thou to me of the hangman? if I hang, I'll make a fat pair of gallows; for, if I hang, old Sir John hangs with me, and thou know'st he is no starveling. Tut! there are other Trojans that thou dreamest not of, the which, for sport-sake, are content to do the profession some grace; that would, if matters should be look'd into, for their own credit-sake, make all whole. I am joined with no foot land-rakers, no long-staff sixpenny strikers, none of these mad mustachio purple-hued malt-worms; but with nobility and tranquillity, burgomasters and great oneyers; such as can hold in, such as will strike sooner than speak, and speak sooner than drink, and drink sooner than pray: and yet, zwounds, I lie; for they pray continually to their saint, the Commonwealth; or, rather, not pray to her, but prey on her, for they ride up and down on her, and make her their boots.
CHAM. What, the Commonwealth their boots? will she hold out water in foul way?
GADS. She will, she will; justice hath liquor'd her. We steal as in a castle, cock-sure; we have the receipt of fernseed,—we walk invisible.
CHAM. Nay, by my faith, I think you are more beholding to the night than to fern-seed for your walking invisible.
GADS. Give me thy hand: thou shalt have a share in our purchase, as I am a true man.
CHAM. Nay, rather let me have it, as you are a false thief.
GADS. Go to; homo is a common name to all men. Bid the ostler bring my gelding out of the stable. Farewell, you muddy knave.
Scene II. The Road by Gads-hill.
[Enter Prince Henry and Pointz; Bardolph and Peto at some distance.]
POINTZ. Come, shelter, shelter: I have remov'd Falstaff's horse, and he frets like a gumm'd velvet.
PRINCE. Stand close.
FAL. Pointz! Pointz, and be hang'd! Pointz!
Peace, ye fat-kidney'd rascal! what a brawling dost thou keep!
FAL. Where's Pointz, Hal?
PRINCE. He is walk'd up to the top of the hill: I'll go seek him.
FAL. I am accursed to rob in that thief's company: the rascal hath removed my horse, and tied him I know not where. If I travel but four foot by the squire further a-foot, I shall break my wind. Well, I doubt not but to die a fair death for all this, if I 'scape hanging for killing that rogue. I have forsworn his company hourly any time this two-and-twenty year, and yet I am bewitch'd with the rogue's company. If the rascal have not given me medicines to make me love him, I'll be hang'd; it could not be else: I have drunk medicines.— Pointz!—Hal!—a plague upon you both!—Bardolph!—Peto!—I'll starve, ere I'll rob a foot further. An 'twere not as good a deed as drink, to turn true man, and to leave these rogues, I am the veriest varlet that ever chewed with a tooth. Eight yards of uneven ground is threescore and ten miles a-foot with me; and the stony-hearted villains know it well enough: a plague upon't, when thieves cannot be true one to another! [They whistle.] Whew!—A plague upon you all! Give me my horse, you rogues; give me my horse, and be hang'd!
PRINCE. [Coming forward.] Peace! lie down; lay thine ear close to the ground, and list if thou canst hear the tread of travellers.
FAL. Have you any levers to lift me up again, being down? 'Sblood, I'll not bear mine own flesh so far a-foot again for all the coin in thy father's exchequer. What a plague mean ye to colt me thus?
PRINCE. Thou liest; thou art not colted, thou art uncolted.
FAL. I pr'ythee, good Prince Hal, help me to my horse, good king's son.
PRINCE. Out, ye rogue! shall I be your ostler?
FAL. Go, hang thyself in thine own heir-apparent garters! If I be ta'en, I'll peach for this. An I have not ballads made on you all, and sung to filthy tunes, let a cup of sack be my poison. When a jest is so forward, and a-foot too, I hate it.
FAL. So I do, against my will.
POINTZ. O, 'tis our setter: I know his voice.
[Comes forward with Bardolph and Peto.]
BARD. What news?
GADS. Case ye, case ye; on with your visards: there's money of the King's coming down the hill; 'tis going to the King's exchequer.
FAL. You lie, ye rogue; 'tis going to the King's tavern.
GADS. There's enough to make us all.
FAL. To be hang'd.
PRINCE. Sirs, you four shall front them in the narrow lane; Ned Pointz and I will walk lower; if they 'scape from your encounter, then they light on us.
PETO. How many be there of them?
GADS. Some eight or ten.
FAL. Zwounds, will they not rob us?
PRINCE. What, a coward, Sir John Paunch?
FAL. Indeed, I am not John of Gaunt, your grandfather; but yet no coward, Hal.
PRINCE. Well, we leave that to the proof.
POINTZ. Sirrah Jack, thy horse stands behind the hedge: when thou need'st him, there thou shalt find him. Farewell, and stand fast.
FAL. Now cannot I strike him, if I should be hang'd.
PRINCE. [aside to POINTZ.] Ned, where are our disguises?
POINTZ. [aside to PRINCE HENRY.] Here, hard by: stand close.
[Exeunt Prince and Pointz.]
FAL. Now, my masters, happy man be his dole, say I: every man to his business.
FIRST TRAVELLER. Come, neighbour: The boy shall lead our horses down the hill; We'll walk a-foot awhile and ease our legs.
FALS, GADS., &C. Stand!
SECOND TRAVELLER. Jesu bless us!
FAL. Strike; down with them; cut the villains' throats. Ah, whoreson caterpillars! bacon-fed knaves! they hate us youth: down with them; fleece them.
FIRST TRAVELLER. O, we're undone, both we and ours for ever!
FAL. Hang ye, gorbellied knaves, are ye undone? No, ye fat chuffs; I would your store were here! On, bacons on! What, ye knaves! young men must live. You are grand-jurors, are ye? we'll jure ye, i'faith.
[Exeunt Fals., Gads., &c., driving the Travellers out.]
[Re-enter Prince Henry and Pointz, in buckram suits.]
PRINCE. The thieves have bound the true men. Now, could thou and I rob the thieves, and go merrily to London, it would be argument for a week, laughter for a month, and a good jest for ever.
POINTZ. Stand close: I hear them coming.
[Re-enter Falstaff, Gadshill, Bardolph, and Peto.]
FAL. Come, my masters, let us share, and then to horse before day. An the Prince and Pointz be not two arrant cowards, there's no equity stirring: there's no more valour in that Pointz than in a
[As they are sharing, the Prince and Poins set upon them.]
PRINCE. Your money!
[Falstaff, after a blow or two, and the others run away, leaving the booty behind them.]
PRINCE. Got with much ease. Now merrily to horse: The thieves are scatter'd, and possess'd with fear So strongly that they dare not meet each other; Each takes his fellow for an officer. Away, good Ned. Fat Falstaff sweats to death, And lards the lean earth as he walks along: Were't not for laughing, I should pity him.
POINTZ. How the rogue roar'd!
Scene III. Warkworth. A Room in the Castle.
[Enter Hotspur, reading a letter.]
HOT. —But, for mine own part, my lord, I could be well contented to be there, in respect of the love I bear your House.—He could be contented; why is he not, then? In respect of the love he bears our House!—he shows in this, he loves his own barn better than he loves our house. Let me see some more. The purpose you undertake is dangerous;—Why, that's certain: 'tis dangerous to take a cold, to sleep, to drink; but I tell you, my lord fool, out of this nettle, danger, we pluck this flower, safety. The purpose you undertake is dangerous; the friends you have named uncertain; the time itself unsorted; and your whole plot too light for the counterpoise of so great an opposition.— Say you so, say you so? I say unto you again, you are a shallow, cowardly hind, and you lie. What a lack-brain is this! By the Lord, our plot is a good plot as ever was laid; our friends true and constant: a good plot, good friends, and full of expectation; an excellent plot, very good friends. What a frosty-spirited rogue is this! Why, my Lord of York commends the plot and the general course of the action. Zwounds! an I were now by this rascal, I could brain him with his lady's fan. Is there not my father, my uncle, and myself? Lord Edmund Mortimer, my Lord of York, and Owen Glendower? is there not, besides, the Douglas? have I not all their letters to meet me in arms by the ninth of the next month? and are they not some of them set forward already? What a pagan rascal is this! an infidel! Ha! you shall see now, in very sincerity of fear and cold heart, will he to the King, and lay open all our proceedings. O, I could divide myself, and go to buffets, for moving such a dish of skimm'd milk with so honourable an action! Hang him! let him tell the King: we are prepared. I will set forward to-night.—
[Enter Lady Percy.]
How now, Kate! I must leave you within these two hours.
LADY. O, my good lord, why are you thus alone? For what offence have I this fortnight been A banish'd woman from my Harry's bed? Tell me, sweet lord, what is't that takes from thee Thy stomach, pleasure, and thy golden sleep? Why dost thou bend thine eyes upon the earth, And start so often when thou sitt'st alone? Why hast thou lost the fresh blood in thy cheeks; And given my treasures and my rights of thee To thick-eyed musing and curst melancholy? In thy faint slumbers I by thee have watch'd, And heard thee murmur tales of iron wars; Speak terms of manage to thy bounding steed; Cry Courage! to the field! And thou hast talk'd Of sallies and retires, of trenches, tents, Of palisadoes, frontiers, parapets, Of basilisks, of cannon, culverin, Of prisoners ransomed, and of soldiers slain, And all the 'currents of a heady fight. Thy spirit within thee hath been so at war, And thus hath so bestirr'd thee in thy sleep, That beads of sweat have stood upon thy brow, Like bubbles in a late-disturbed stream; And in thy face strange motions have appear'd, Such as we see when men restrain their breath On some great sudden hest. O, what portents are these? Some heavy business hath my lord in hand, And I must know it, else he loves me not.
HOT. What, ho!
[Enter a Servant.]
Is Gilliams with the packet gone?
SERV. He is, my lord, an hour ago.
HOT. Hath Butler brought those horses from the sheriff?
SERV. One horse, my lord, he brought even now.
HOT. What horse? a roan, a crop-ear, is it not?
SERV. It is, my lord.
HOT. That roan shall be my throne. Well, I will back him straight: O esperance!— Bid Butler lead him forth into the park.
LADY. But hear you, my lord.
HOT. What say'st thou, my lady?
LADY. What is it carries you away?
HOT. Why, my horse, my love, my horse.
LADY. Out, you mad-headed ape! A weasel hath not such a deal of spleen As you are toss'd with. In faith, I'll know your business, Harry, that I will. I fear my brother Mortimer doth stir About his title, and hath sent for you To line his enterprise: but if you go,—
HOT. So far a-foot, I shall be weary, love.
LADY. Come, come, you paraquito, answer me Directly to this question that I ask: In faith, I'll break thy little finger, Harry, An if thou wilt not tell me true.
HOT. Away, Away, you trifler! Love? I love thee not, I care not for thee, Kate: this is no world To play with mammets and to tilt with lips: We must have bloody noses and crack'd crowns, And pass them current too.—Gods me, my horse!— What say'st thou, Kate? what wouldst thou have with me?
LADY. Do you not love me? do you not indeed? Well, do not, then; for, since you love me not, I will not love myself. Do you not love me? Nay, tell me if you speak in jest or no.
HOT. Come, wilt thou see me ride? And when I am o' horseback, I will swear I love thee infinitely. But hark you, Kate; I must not have you henceforth question me Whither I go, nor reason whereabout: Whither I must, I must; and, to conclude, This evening must I leave you, gentle Kate. I know you wise; but yet no further wise Than Harry Percy's wife; constant you are; But yet a woman: and, for secrecy, No lady closer; for I well believe Thou wilt not utter what thou dost not know; And so far will I trust thee, gentle Kate.
LADY. How! so far?
HOT. Not an inch further. But hark you, Kate: Whither I go, thither shall you go too; To-day will I set forth, to-morrow you. Will this content you, Kate?
LADY. It must of force.
Scene IV. Eastcheap. A Room in the Boar's-Head Tavern.
[Enter Prince Henry.]
PRINCE. Ned, pr'ythee, come out of that fat room, and lend me thy hand to laugh a little.
POINTZ. Where hast been, Hal?
PRINCE. With three or four loggerheads amongst three or fourscore hogsheads. I have sounded the very base-string of humility. Sirrah, I am sworn brother to a leash of drawers; and can call them all by their Christian names, as, Tom, Dick, and Francis. They take it already upon their salvation, that though I be but Prince of Wales, yet I am the king of courtesy; and tell me flatly I am no proud Jack, like Falstaff, but a corinthian, a lad of mettle, a good boy,—by the Lord, so they call me;—and, when I am King of England, I shall command all the good lads in Eastcheap. They call drinking deep, dying scarlet; and, when you breathe in your watering, they cry hem! and bid you play it off. To conclude, I am so good a proficient in one quarter of an hour, that I can drink with any tinker in his own language during my life. I tell thee, Ned, thou hast lost much honour, that thou wert not with me in this action. But, sweet Ned,—to sweeten which name of Ned, I give thee this pennyworth of sugar, clapp'd even now into my hand by an under-skinker; one that never spake other English in his life than Eight shillings and sixpence, and You are welcome; with this shrill addition, Anon, anon, sir! Score a pint of bastard in the Half-moon,—or so. But, Ned, to drive away the time till Falstaff come, I pr'ythee, do thou stand in some by-room, while I question my puny drawer to what end he gave me the sugar; and do thou never leave calling Francis! that his tale to me may be nothing but Anon. Step aside, and I'll show thee a precedent.
POINTZ. [Within.] Francis!
Thou art perfect.
POINTZ. [Within.] Francis!
FRAN. Anon, anon, sir.—Look down into the Pomegranate, Ralph.
PRINCE. Come hither, Francis.
FRAN. My lord?
PRINCE. How long hast thou to serve, Francis?
FRAN. Forsooth, five years, and as much as to—
POINTZ. [within.] Francis!
FRAN. Anon, anon, sir.
PRINCE. Five year! by'r Lady, a long lease for the clinking of pewter. But, Francis, darest thou be so valiant as to play the coward with thy indenture and show it a fair pair of heels and run from it?
FRAN. O Lord, sir, I'll be sworn upon all the books in England, I could find in my heart—
POINTZ. [within.] Francis!
FRAN. Anon, anon, sir.
PRINCE. How old art thou, Francis?
FRAN. Let me see,—about Michaelmas next I shall be—
POINTZ. [within.] Francis!
FRAN. Anon, sir.—Pray you, stay a little, my lord.
PRINCE. Nay, but hark you, Francis: for the sugar thou gavest me, 'twas a pennyworth, was't not?
FRAN. O Lord, sir, I would it had been two!
PRINCE. I will give thee for it a thousand pound: ask me when thou wilt, and thou shalt have it.
POINTZ. [within.] Francis!
FRAN. Anon, anon.
PRINCE. Anon, Francis? No, Francis; but to-morrow, Francis; or, Francis, a Thursday; or, indeed, Francis, when thou wilt. But, Francis,—
FRAN. My lord?
PRINCE. —wilt thou rob this leathern-jerkin, crystal-button, nott-pated, agate-ring, puke-stocking, caddis-garter, smooth-tongue, Spanish-pouch,—
FRAN. O Lord, sir, who do you mean?
Why, then, your brown bastard is your only drink; for, look you, Francis, your white canvas doublet will sully: in Barbary, sir, it cannot come to so much.
FRAN. What, sir?
POINTZ. [within.] Francis!
PRINCE. Away, you rogue! dost thou not hear them call?
[Here they both call him; Francis stands amazed, not knowing which way to go.]
VINT. What, stand'st thou still, and hear'st such a calling? Look to the guests within. [Exit Francis.]—My lord, old Sir John, with half-a-dozen more, are at the door: shall I let them in?
PRINCE. Let them alone awhile, and then open the door.
POINTZ. Anon, anon, sir.
PRINCE. Sirrah, Falstaff and the rest of the thieves are at the door: shall we be merry?
POINTZ. As merry as crickets, my lad. But hark ye; what cunning match have you made with this jest of the drawer? Come, what's the issue?
PRINCE. I am now of all humours that have showed themselves humours since the old days of goodman Adam to the pupil age of this present twelve o'clock at midnight.—What's o'clock, Francis?
FRAN. [Within.] Anon, anon, sir.
PRINCE. That ever this fellow should have fewer words than a parrot, and yet the son of a woman! His industry is up-stairs and down-stairs; his eloquence the parcel of a reckoning. I am not yet of Percy's mind, the Hotspur of the North; he that kills me some six or seven dozen of Scots at a breakfast, washes his hands, and says to his wife, Fie upon this quiet life! I want work. O my sweet Harry, says she, how many hast thou kill'd to-day? Give my roan horse a drench, says he; and answers, Some fourteen, an hour after,—a trifle, a trifle. I pr'ythee, call in Falstaff: I'll play Percy, and that damn'd brawn shall play Dame Mortimer his wife. Rivo! says the drunkard. Call in ribs, call in tallow.
[Enter Falstaff, Gadshill, Bardolph, and Peto; followed by Francis with wine.]
POINTZ. Welcome, Jack: where hast thou been?
FAL. A plague of all cowards, I say, and a vengeance too! marry, and amen!— Give me a cup of sack, boy.—Ere I lead this life long, I'll sew nether-stocks, and mend them and foot them too. A plague of all cowards!— Give me a cup of sack, rogue.—Is there no virtue extant?
PRINCE. Didst thou never see Titan kiss a dish of butter? pitiful-hearted butter, that melted at the sweet tale of the Sun! if thou didst, then behold that compound.
FAL. You rogue, here's lime in this sack too: there is nothing but roguery to be found in villainous man: yet a coward is worse than a cup of sack with lime in it, a villanous coward.—Go thy ways, old Jack: die when thou wilt, if manhood, good manhood, be not forgot upon the face of the Earth, then am I a shotten herring. There live not three good men unhang'd in England; and one of them is fat, and grows old: God help the while! a bad world, I say. I would I were a weaver; I could sing psalms or any thing. A plague of all cowards! I say still.
PRINCE. How now, wool-sack? what mutter you?
FAL. A king's son! If I do not beat thee out of thy kingdom with a dagger of lath, and drive all thy subjects afore thee like a flock of wild-geese, I'll never wear hair on my face more. You Prince of Wales!
PRINCE. Why, you whoreson round man, what's the matter?
FAL. Are not you a coward? answer me to that:—and Pointz there?
POINTZ. Zwounds, ye fat paunch, an ye call me coward, by the Lord, I'll stab thee.
FAL. I call thee coward! I'll see thee damn'd ere I call thee coward: but I would give a thousand pound, I could run as fast as thou canst. You are straight enough in the shoulders; you care not who sees your back: call you that backing of your friends? A plague upon such backing! give me them that will face me.—Give me a cup of sack: I am a rogue, if I drunk to-day.
PRINCE. O villain! thy lips are scarce wiped since thou drunk'st last.
FAL. All is one for that. A plague of all cowards! still say I.
PRINCE. What's the matter?
FAL. What's the matter? there be four of us here have ta'en a thousand pound this day morning.
PRINCE. Where is it, Jack? where is it?
FAL. Where is it! taken from us it is: a hundred upon poor four of us!
PRINCE. What, a hundred, man?
FAL. I am a rogue, if I were not at half-sword with a dozen of them two hours together. I have 'scaped by miracle. I am eight times thrust through the doublet, four through the hose; my buckler cut through and through; my sword hack'd like a hand-saw,—ecce signum! I never dealt better since I was a man: all would not do. A plague of all cowards! Let them speak: if they speak more or less than truth, they are villains and the sons of darkness.
PRINCE. Speak, sirs; how was it?
GADS. We four set upon some dozen,—
FAL. Sixteen at least, my lord.
GADS. —and bound them.
PETO. No, no; they were not bound.
FAL. You rogue, they were bound, every man of them; or I am a Jew else, an Ebrew Jew.
GADS. As we were sharing, some six or seven fresh men sea upon us,—
FAL. And unbound the rest, and then come in the other.
PRINCE. What, fought you with them all?
FAL. All? I know not what you call all; but if I fought not with fifty of them, I am a bunch of radish: if there were not two or three and fifty upon poor old Jack, then am I no two-legged creature.
PRINCE. Pray God you have not murdered some of them.
FAL. Nay, that's past praying for: I have pepper'd two of them; two I am sure I have paid, two rogues in buckram suits. I tell thee what, Hal, if I tell thee a lie, spit in my face, call me horse. Thou knowest my old ward: here I lay, and thus I bore my point. Four rogues in buckram let drive at me,—
PRINCE. What, four? thou saidst but two even now.
FAL. Four, Hal; I told thee four.
POINTZ. Ay, ay, he said four.
FAL. These four came all a-front, and mainly thrust at me. I made me no more ado but took all their seven points in my target, thus.
PRINCE. Seven? why, there were but four even now.
FAL. In buckram?
POINTZ. Ay, four, in buckram suits.
FAL. Seven, by these hilts, or I am a villain else.
PRINCE. [aside to Pointz.] Pr'ythee let him alone; we shall have more anon.
FAL. Dost thou hear me, Hal?
PRINCE. Ay, and mark thee too, Jack.
FAL. Do so, for it is worth the listening to. These nine in buckram that I told thee of,—
PRINCE. So, two more already.
FAL. —their points being broken,—
POINTZ. Down fell their hose.
FAL. —began to give me ground: but I followed me close, came in foot and hand; and with a thought seven of the eleven I paid.
PRINCE. O monstrous! eleven buckram men grown out of two!
FAL. But, as the Devil would have it, three misbegotten knaves in Kendal Green came at my back and let drive at me; for it was so dark, Hal, that thou couldst not see thy hand.
PRINCE. These lies are like the father that begets them, gross as a mountain, open, palpable. Why, thou nott-pated fool, thou whoreson, obscene greasy tallow-keech,—
FAL. What, art thou mad? art thou mad? is not the truth the truth?
PRINCE. Why, how couldst thou know these men in Kendal green, when it was so dark thou couldst not see thy hand? come, tell us your reason: what sayest thou to this?
POINTZ. Come, your reason, Jack, your reason.
FAL. What, upon compulsion? No; were I at the strappado, or all the racks in the world, I would not tell you on compulsion. Give you a reason on compulsion! if reasons were as plentiful as blackberries, I would give no man a reason upon compulsion, I.
PRINCE. I'll be no longer guilty of this sin; this sanguine coward, this bed-presser, this horse-back-breaker, this huge hill of flesh,—
FAL. Away, you starveling, you eel-skin, you dried neat's-tongue, you stock-fish,— O, for breath to utter what is like thee!—you tailor's-yard, you sheath, you bow-case, you vile standing tuck,—
PRINCE. Well, breathe awhile, and then to it again: and, when thou hast tired thyself in base comparisons, hear me speak but this:—
POINTZ. Mark, Jack.
PRINCE. —We two saw you four set on four; you bound them, and were masters of their wealth.—Mark now, how a plain tale shall put you down.— Then did we two set on you four; and, with a word, outfaced you from your prize, and have it; yea, and can show it you here in the house: and, Falstaff, you carried yourself away as nimbly, with as quick dexterity, and roared for mercy, and still ran and roar'd, as ever I heard bull-calf. What a slave art thou, to hack thy sword as thou hast done, and then say it was in fight! What trick, what device, what starting-hole canst thou now find out to hide thee from this open and apparent shame?
POINTZ. Come, let's hear, Jack; what trick hast thou now?
FAL. By the Lord, I knew ye as well as he that made ye. Why, hear ye, my masters: Was it for me to kill the heir-apparent? should I turn upon the true Prince? why, thou knowest I am as valiant as Hercules: but beware instinct; the lion will not touch the true Prince. Instinct is a great matter; I was now a coward on instinct. I shall think the better of myself and thee during my life; I for a valiant lion, and thou for a true prince. But, by the Lord, lads, I am glad you have the money.— [To Hostess within.] Hostess, clap-to the doors: watch to-night, pray to-morrow.—Gallants, lads, boys, hearts of gold, all the titles of good fellowship come to you! What, shall we be merry? shall we have a play extempore?
PRINCE. Content; and the argument shall be thy running away.
FAL. Ah, no more of that, Hal, an thou lovest me!
[Enter the Hostess.]
HOST. O Jesu, my lord the Prince,—
PRINCE. How now, my lady the hostess! What say'st thou to me?
HOST. 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.
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.—
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!