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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-Colfield 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; and 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 souced 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 me none but good householders, yeomens' sons: inquire me out contracted bachelors, such as had been asked twice on the bans; 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 stuck fowl, or a hurt wild-duck. I pressed me none but such toasts and butter, with hearts in their bellies 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 servingmen, 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 pressed the dead bodies. No eye hath seen such scare-crows. 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, tacked 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 rednose innkeeper of Daintry. But that's all one; they'll find linen enough on every hedge.
Enter Prince HENRY and WESTMORELAND. P. Hen. 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 night.
Fal. Tut, never fear me: I am as vigilant as a cat to steal cream.
P. Hen. 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?
P. Hen. 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 learned that of me.
P. Hen. No, I'll be sworn; unless you call three fingers on the ribs, bare. But, sirrah, make haste; Percy is already in the field. Fal. What, is the king encamped?
West. He is, sir John; I fear, we shall stay too long.
Wor. Good cousin, be advis'd: stir not to- | And,-when he was not six and twenty strong, night.
Ver. Do not, my lord.
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
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 lives:
Let it be seen to-morrow in the battle,
Which of us fears.
He came but to be duke of Lancaster,
To sue his livery, and beg his peace;
With tears of innocency, and terms of zeal,-
My father, in kind heart and pity mov'd,
Swore him assistance, and perform'd it too.
Now, when the lords and barons of the realm
Perceiv'd 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,
Gave 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
Enter Sir WALTER BLUNT.
Blunt. I come with gracious offers from the 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 depos'd the king;
Soon after that, depriv'd 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 plac'd,
Indeed his king,) to be incag'd in Wales,
There without ransome to lie forfeited:
Disgrac'd me in my happy victories;
Sought to intrap 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 we find
Too indirect for long continuance.
Doug. Yea, or to-night.
Hot. To-night, say I.
Ver. Come, come, it may not be.
I wonder much, being men of such great leading,
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,
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 is 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.
If you vouchsafe me hearing, and respect.
Hot. Welcome, sir Walter Blunt; and 'would
You were of our determination!
Some of us love you well: and even those some
Envy your great deserving, 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
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
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,
Knows at what time to promise, when to pay.
My father, and my uncle, and myself,
Did give him that same royalty he wears:
SCENE IV.-York. A room in the Archbishop's
Enter the Archbishop of YORK, and a
Arch. Hie, good sir Michael; bear this sealed brief,
With winged haste, to the lord mareshal;
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
Gent. My good lord,
I guess their tenor.
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,
(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.
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 cor-rivals, and dear men
Of estimation and command in arms.
Gent. Doubt not, my lord, they shall be well oppos'd.
Arch. I hope no less, yet needful 'tis to fear; And, to prevent the worst, sir Michael, speed: For, if lord Percy thrive not, ere the king Dismiss his power, he means to visit us,— For he hath heard of our confederacy,— And 'tis but wisdom to make strong against him;
Therefore, make haste: I must go write again To other friends; and so farewell, sir Michael. [Exeunt severally.
SCENE I.-The King's camp near Shrewsbury. Enter King HENRY, Prince HENRY, Prince JOHN of LANCASTER, Sir WALTER BLUNT, and Sir JOHN FALSTAFF.
K. Hen. How bloodily the sun begins to peer
Above yon busky hill! the day looks pale
At his distemperature.
P. Hen. The southern wind
Doth play the trumpet to his purposes;
And, by his hollow whistling in the leaves,
Foretells a tempest, and a blustering day.
K. Hen. Then with the losers let it sympa-
For nothing can seem foul to those that win.
Trumpet. Enter WORCESTER and VERNON. How now, my lord of Worcester? 'tis not well, That you and I should meet upon such terms As now we meet: You have deceiv'd our trust; And made us doff our easy robes of peace, To crush our old limbs in ungentle steel: This is not well, my lord, this is not well. What say you to't? will you again unknit This churlish knot of all-abhorred war? And move in that obedient orb again,
Where you did give a fair and natural light;
And be no more an exhal'd meteor,
Of broached mischief to the unborn times?
A prodigy of fear, and a portent
Wor. Hear me, my liege:
For mine own part, I could be well content
To entertain the lag-end of my life
With quiet hours; for, I do protest,
I have not sought the day of this dislike.
K. Hen. You have not sought for it! how
comes it then?
Fal. Rebellion lay in his way, and he found it.
P. Hen. Peace, chewet, peace.
Wor. It pleas'd your majesty to turn your looks
Of favour, from myself, and all our house;
And yet I must remember you, my lord,
We were the first and dearest of your friends.
For you, my staff of office did I break
In Richard's time; and posted day and night
To meet you on the way, and kiss your hand,
When yet you were in place and in account
Nothing so strong and fortunate as I.
It was myself, my brother, and his son,
That brought you home, and boldly did outdare
The dangers of the time: You swore to us,—
And you did swear that oath at Doncaster,—
That you did nothing purpose 'gainst the state;
Nor claim no further than your new-fall'n right,
The seat of Gaunt, dukedom of Lancaster:
To this we swore our aid. But, in short space,
It rain'd down fortune showering on your head;
And such a flood of greatness fell on you,-
What with our help; what with the absent king;
What with the injuries of a wanton time;
The seeming sufferances, that you had borne ;
And the contrarious winds, that held the king
So long in his unlucky Irish wars,
That all in England did repute him dead,—
And, from this swarm of fair advantages,
You took occasion to be quickly woo'd
To gripe the general sway into your hand;
Forgot your oath to us at Doncaster ;
And, being fed by us, you us'd us so
As that ungentle gull, the cuckoo's bird,
Useth the sparrow: did oppress our nest;
Grew by our feeding to so great a bulk,
That even our love durst not come near your
For fear of swallowing; but with nimble wing
We were enforc'd, for safety's sake, to fly
Out of your sight, and raise this present head:
Whereby we stand opposed by such means
As you yourself have forg'd against yourself;
By unkind usage, dangerous countenance,
And violation of all faith and troth
Sworn to us in your younger enterprize.
K. Hen. These things, indeed, you have arti-
Proclaim'd at market-crosses, read in churches;
To face the garment of rebellion
With some fine colour, that may please the eye
Of fickle changelings, and poor discontents,
Which gape and rub the elbow, at the news
Of hurlyburly innovation :
And never yet did insurrection want
Such water-colours, to impaint his cause;
Nor moody beggars, starving for a time
Of pell-mell havock and confusion.
P. Hen. In both our armies, there is many
Shall pay full dearly for this encounter,
If once they join in trial. Tell your nephew,
The prince of Wales doth join with all the world
In praise of Henry Percy: By my hopes,-
This present enterprize set off his head,-
I do not think, a braver gentleman,
More active-valiant, or more valiant-young,
More daring, or more bold, is now alive,
To grace this latter age with noble deeds.
For my part, I may speak it to my shame,
I have a truant been to chivalry;
And so, I hear, he doth account me too:
Yet this before my father's majesty,-
I am content, that he shall take the odds
Of his great name and estimation;
And will, to save the blood on either side,
Try fortune with him in a single fight.
K. Hen. And, prince of Wales, so dare we
Albeit, considerations infinite
Do make against it :-No, good Worcester, no,
We love our people well; even those we love,
That are misled upon your cousin's part:
And, will they take the offer of our grace,
Both he, and they, and you, yea, every man
Shall be my friend again, and I'll be his:
So tell your cousin, and bring me word
What he will do:-But if he will not yield,
Rebuke and dread correction wait on us,
And they shall do their office. So, be gone;
We will not now be troubled with reply:
We offer fair, take it advisedly.
[Exeunt Worcester and Vernon. P. Hen. It will not be accepted, on my life: The Douglas and the Hotspur both together Are confident against the world in arms.
K. Hen. Hence, therefore, every leader to his
For, on their answer, will we set on them:
And God befriend us, as our cause is just!
[Exeunt King, Blunt, and Prince John. Fal. Hal, if thou see me down in the battle, and bestride me, so; 'tis a point of friendship.
P. Hen. Nothing but a colossus can do thee that friendship. Say thy prayers, and farewell. Fal. I would it were bed-time, Hal, and all well.
P. Hen. Why, thou owest God a death.
[Exit. Fal. 'Tis not due yet; I would be loath to pay him before his day. What need I be so forward with him that calls not on me? Well, 'tis no matter; Honour pricks me on. Yea, but how if honour prick me off when I come on? how then? Can honour set to a leg? No. Or an arm? No. Or take away the grief of a wound? No. Honour hath no skill in surgery then? No. What is honour? A word. What is in that word, honour? What is that honour? Air. A trim reckoning!-Who hath it? He that died o’Wednesday. Doth he feel it? No. Doth he hear ait? No. Is it insensible then? Yea, to the
dead. But will it not live with the living? No.
Why? Detraction will not suffer it :-therefore
I'll none of it: Honour is a mere scutcheon, and
so ends my catechism.
Look how we can, or sad, or merrily,
Interpretation will misquote our looks;
And we shall feed like oxen at a stall,
The better cherish'd, still the nearer death.
My nephew's trespass may be well forgot,
It hath the excuse of youth, and heat of blood;
And an adopted name of privilege,-
A hare-brain'd Hotspur, govern'd by a spleen:
All his offences live upon my head,
And on his father's;-we did train him on ;
And, his corruption being ta'en from us,
We, as the spring of all, shall pay for all.
Therefore, good cousin, let not Harry know,
In any case, the offer of the king.
Ver. Deliver what you will, I'll say, 'tis so.
Here comes your cousin.
Enter HOTSPUR and DOUGLAS; and Officers
and Soldiers, behind.
Hot. My uncle is return'd:-Deliver up
My lord of Westmoreland.-Uncle, what news?
Wor. The king will bid you battle presently.
Doug. Defy him by the lord of Westmoreland.
Hot. Lord Douglas, go you and tell him so.
Doug. Marry, and shall, and very willingly.
Wor. There is no seeming mercy in the king.
Hot. Did you beg any? God forbid !
Wor. I told him gently of our grievances,
Of his oath-breaking; which he mended thus,-
By now forswearing that he is forsworn:
He calls us rebels, traitors; and will scourge
With haughty arms this hateful name in us.
England did never owe so sweet a hope,
So much misconstrued in his wantonness.
Hot. Cousin, I think, thou art enamoured
Upon his follies; never did I hear
Of any prince, so wild, at liberty:-
But, be he as he will, yet once ere night
I will embrace him with a soldier's arm,
That he shall shrink under my courtesy.-
Arm, arm, with speed:-And, fellows, soldiers,
Better consider what you have to do,
Than I, that have not well the gift of tongue,
Can lift your blood up with persuasion.
Mess. My lord, here are letters for you.
Hot. I cannot read them now.-
O gentlemen, the time of life is short;
To spend that shortness basely, were too long,
If life did ride upon a dial's point,
Still ending at the arrival of an hour.
An if we live, we live to tread on kings;
If die, brave death, when princes die with us!
Now for our conscience, the arms are fair,
When the intent of bearing them is just.
Enter another Messenger.
Mess. My lord, prepare; the king comes on
Hot. I thank him, that he cuts me from my tale,
For I profess not talking; Only this-
Let each man do his best: and here draw I
A sword, whose temper I intend to stain
With the best blood that I can meet withal
In the adventure of this perilous day.
Doug. Arm, gentlemen; to arms! for I have Now,-Esperance !-Percy!-and set on.—
A brave defiance in King Henry's teeth,
And Westmoreland, that was engag'd, did bearit;
Which cannot choose but bring him quickly on.
Wor. The prince of Wales stepp'd forth before
And, nephew, challeng'd you to single fight.
Hot. O, 'would the quarrel lay upon our heads;
And that no man might draw short breath to-day,
But I, and Harry Monmouth! Tell me, tell me,
How show'd his tasking? seem'd it in contempt?
Ver. No, by my soul; I never in my life
Did hear a challenge urg'd more modestly,
Unless a brother should a brother dare
To gentle exercise and proof of arms.
He gave you all the duties of a man ;
Trimm'd up your praises with a princely tongue;
Spoke your deservings like a chronicle;
Making you ever better than his praise,
By still dispraising praise, valued with you:
And, which became him like a prince indeed,
He made a blushing cital of himself;
And chid his truant youth with such a grace,
As if he master'd there a double spirit,
Of teaching, and of learning, instantly.
There did he pause: But let me tell the world,—
If he outlive the envy of this day,
Sound all the lofty instruments of war,
And by that music let us all embrace:
For, heaven to earth, some of us never shall
A second time do such a courtesy.
[The trumpets sound. They embrac”,
SCENE III.-Plain near Shrewsbury. Excursions, and parties fighting. Alarum to the battle. Then enter DOUGLAS and BLUNT, meeting.
Blunt. What is thy name, that in the battle
Thou crossest me? What honour dost thou seek
Upon my head ?
Doug. Know then, my name is Douglas;
And I do haunt thee in the battle thus,
Because some tell me, that thou art a king,
Blunt. They tell thee true.
Doug. The lord of Stafford dear to-day hath
Thy likeness; for, instead of thee, king Harry,
This sword hath ended him: so shell it thee.
Unless thou yield thee as my prisoner.
Blunt. I was not born a yielder, thou proud