by William Shakespeare

Dramatis Personae

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, surnamed Hotspur, his son.

Edmund Mortimer, Earl of March.

Richard Scroop, Archbishop of York.

Archibald, Earl of Douglas.

Owen Glendower.

Sir Richard Vernon.

Sir John Falstaff.

Sir Michael, a friend to the Archbishop of York.





Lady Percy, wife to Hotspur, and sister to Mortimer.

Lady Mortimer, daughter to Glendower, and wife to Mortimer.

Mistress Quickly, hostess of the Boar's Head in Eastcheap.

Lords, Officers, Sheriff, Vintner, Chamberlain, Drawers, two Carriers, Travellers, and Attendants.

SCENE.--England and Wales.

ACT I. Scene I. London. The Palace.

Enter the King, Lord John of Lancaster, Earl of Westmoreland, [Sir Walter Blunt,] with 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 commenc'd in stronds 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 flow'rets 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 oppos'd 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 engag'd to fight- Forthwith a power of English shall we levy, Whose arms were moulded in their mother's womb 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 the 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 retold 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, a 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 Earl of Fife and eldest son To beaten Douglas, and the Earl of Athol, Of Murray, Angus, and Menteith. And is not this an honourable spoil? A gallant prize? Ha, cousin, is it not?

West. In faith, It is a conquest for a prince to boast of.

King. Yea, there thou mak'st me sad, and mak'st 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 prov'd That some night-tripping fairy had exchang'd 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 surpris'd 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 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. Exeunt. Scene II.

London. An apartment of the Prince's.

Enter Prince of Wales and Sir John 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 wouldest 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 clocks the tongues of bawds, and dials the signs of leaping houses, 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 wand'ring knight so fair. And I prithee, 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 sayest 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 us'd it that, were it not here apparent that thou art heir apparent- But I prithee, sweet wag, shall there be gallows standing in England when thou art king? and resolution thus fubb'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 sayest 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 prithee 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 talked 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 tomorrow, 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.

Enter Poins.

Poins! 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.

Poins. 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.

Poins. Then art thou damn'd for keeping thy word with the devil.

Prince. Else he had been damn'd for cozening the devil.

Poins. But, my lads, my lads, to-morrow morning, by four o'clock early, at Gadshill! There are pilgrims gong to Canterbury with rich offerings, and traders riding to London with fat purses. I have vizards 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.

Poins. 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 cam'st 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.

Poins. Sir John, I prithee, 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!

Exit Falstaff.

Poins. 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. How shall we part with them in setting forth?

Poins. 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. Yea, but 'tis like that they will know us by our horses, by our habits, and by every other appointment, to be ourselves.

Poins. Tut! our horses they shall not see- I'll tie them in the wood; our wizards we will change after we leave them; and, sirrah, I have cases of buckram for the nonce, to immask our noted outward garments.

Prince. Yea, but I doubt they will be too hard for us.

Poins. 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 lie 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.

Poins. Farewell, my lord.Exit.

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 lie himself, Being wanted, he may be more wond'red 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, glitt'ring 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.Exit. Scene III.

London. The Palace.

Enter the King, Northumberland, Worcester, Hotspur,

Sir Walter Blunt, with 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 us'd on it- And that same greatness too which our own hands Have holp to make so portly.

North. My 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. Tou have good leave to leave us. When we need 'Your use and counsel, we shall send for you. Exit Worcester. 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 delivered 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 toll, Breathless and faint, leaning upon my sword, Came there a certain lord, neat and 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 smil'd 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 questioned me, amongst the rest demanded My prisoners in your Majesty's behalf. I then, all smarting with my wounds being cold, To be so pest'red with a popingay, Out of my grief and my impatience Answer'd neglectingly, I know not what- He should, or he should not; for he 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 sovereignest thing on earth Was parmacity for an inward bruise; And that it was great pity, so it was, This villanous saltpetre 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 considered, good my lord, Whate'er Lord Harry Percy then had said To such a person, and in such a place, At such a time, with all the rest retold, 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 breath'd, 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, Bloodstained with these valiant cohabitants. 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 slandered 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 thou not asham'd? 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 will hear of it. Exeunt King, [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, Albeit I make a hazard of my head.

North. What, drunk with choler? Stay, and pause awhile. Here comes your uncle.

Enter Worcester.

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 in the dust, But I will lift the downtrod Mortimer As high in the air as this unthankful king, As this ingrate and cank'red Bolingbroke.

North. 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 urg'd the ransom once again Of my wive'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 depos'd, and shortly murdered.

Wor. And for whose death we in the world's wide mouth Live scandaliz'd 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 murtherous 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 subtile 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 discontents I'll read you matter deep and dangerous, As full of peril and adventurous spirit As to o'erwalk a current roaring loud On the unsteadfast footing of a spear.

Hot. If he 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-fac'd moon, Or dive into the bottom of the deep, Where fadom 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-fac'd 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 is 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 holloa '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 would have him poisoned 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 scourg'd 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 it! 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- 'S blood! When you and he came back from Ravenspurgh-

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 it again. We will 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 assur'd 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-belov'd, The Archbishop.

Hot. Of York, is it not?

Wor. True; who bears hard His brother's death at Bristow, 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 it. Upon my life, it will do well.

North. Before the game is afoot thou still let'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.

Hot. 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 reveng'd 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 pow'rs 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!Exeunt. ACT II. Scene I. Rochester. An inn yard.

Enter a Carrier with a lantern in his hand.

1. Car. Heigh-ho! an it 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 prithee, Tom, beat Cut's saddle, put a few flocks in the point. 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 villanous house in all London road for fleas. I am stung like a tench.

1. Car. Like a tench I By the mass, there is ne'er a king christen could be better bit than I have been since the first cock.

2. Car. Why, they will allow us ne'er a jordan, and then we leak in your chimney, and your chamber-lye breeds fleas like a loach.

1. Car. 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. God's body! 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 deed as drink to break the pate on thee, I am a very villain. Come, and be hang'd! Hast no faith in thee?

Enter Gadshill.

Gads. Good morrow, carriers. What's o'clock?

1. Car. I think it be two o'clock.

Gads. I prithee lend me this lantern to see my gelding in the stable.

1. Car. Nay, by God, soft! I know a trick worth two of that, i' faith.

Gads. I pray thee lend me thine.

2. Car. Ay, when? canst tell? Lend me thy lantern, quoth he? 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 Mugs, we'll call up the gentlemen. They will along with company, for they have great charge.

Exeunt [Carriers].

Gads. What, ho! chamberlain!

Enter Chamberlain.

Cham. At hand, quoth pickpurse.

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 layest 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 pray thee 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 knowest he is no starveling. Tut! there are other Troyans that thou dream'st 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 maltworms; 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, zounds, 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, cocksure. 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 fernseed for your walking invisible.

Gads. Give me thy hand. Thou shalt have a share in our purchase, as I and 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. Exeunt. Scene II.

The highway near Gadshill.

Enter Prince and Poins.

Poins. Come, shelter, shelter! I have remov'd Falstaff's horse, and he frets like a gumm'd velvet.

Prince. Stand close.[They step aside.]

Enter Falstaff.

Fal. Poins! Poins, and be hang'd! Poins!

Prince. I comes forward I Peace, ye fat-kidney'd rascal! What a brawling dost thou keep!

Fal. Where's Poins, Hal?

Prince. He is walk'd up to the top of the hill. I'll go seek him.

[Steps aside.]

Fal. I am accurs'd 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 afoot, 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 years, 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. Poins! 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 afoot with me, and the stony-hearted villains know it well enough. A plague upon it 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. [comes forward] Peace, ye fat-guts! 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 afoot 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 prithee, 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 afoot too- I hate it.

Enter Gadshill, [Bardolph and Peto with him].

Gads. Stand!

Fal. So I do, against my will.

Poins. [comes fortward] O, 'tis our setter. I know his voice. Bardolph, what news?

Bar. Case ye, case ye! On with your vizards! 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 Poins 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. Zounds, 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.

Poins. 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 Poins] Ned, where are our disguises?

Poins. [aside to Prince] Here, hard by. Stand close.

[Exeunt Prince and Poins.]

Fal. Now, my masters, happy man be his dole, say I. Every man to his business.

Enter the Travellers.

Traveller. Come, neighbour. The boy shall lead our horses down the hill; We'll walk afoot awhile and ease our legs.

Thieves. Stand!

Traveller. Jesus 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!

Traveller. O, we are 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 grandjurors, are ye? We'll jure ye, faith! Here they rob and bind them. Exeunt.

Enter the Prince and Poins [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.

Poins. Stand close! I hear them coming. [They stand aside.]

Enter the Thieves again.

Fal. Come, my masters, let us share, and then to horse before day. An the Prince and Poins be not two arrant cowards, there's no equity stirring. There's no more valour in that Poins than in a wild duck.

[As they are sharing, the Prince and Poins set upon them. THey all run away, and Falstaff, after a blow or two, runs awasy too, leaving the booty behind them.]

Prince. Your money!

Poins. Villains!

Prince. Got with much ease. Now merrily to horse. The thieves are scattered, and possess'd with fear So strongly that they dare not meet each other. Each takes his fellow for an officer. Away, good Ned. Falstaff sweats to death And lards the lean earth as he walks along. Were't not for laughing, I should pity him.

Poins. How the rogue roar'd! Exeunt. Scene III.

Warkworth Castle.

Enter Hotspur solus, 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. Zounds, 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 skim milk with so honourable an action! Hang him, let him tell the King! we are prepared. I will set forward to-night.

Enter his Lady.

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 sit'st alone? Why hast thou lost the fresh blood in thy cheeks And given my treasures and my rights of thee To thick-ey'd musing and curs'd 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, tent, Of palisadoes, frontiers, parapets, Of basilisks, of cannon, culverin, Of prisoners' ransom, 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 ill 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. [Exit Servant.]

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 afoot, I shall be weary, love.

Lady. Come, come, you paraquito, answer me Directly unto this question that I ask. I'll break thy little finger, Harry, An if thou wilt not tell my all things 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 a-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 farther 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.Exeunt. Scene IV.

Eastcheap. The Boar's Head Tavern. Enter Prince and Poins.

Prince. Ned, prithee come out of that fat-room and lend me thy hand to laugh a little.

Poins. Where hast been, Hal? Prince,. With three or four loggerheads amongst three or fourscore hogsheads. I have sounded the very bass-string of humility. Sirrah, I am sworn brother to a leash of drawers and can call them all by their christen 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 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 prithee do thou stand in some by-room while I question my puny drawer to what end be 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.

Poins. Francis!

Prince. Thou art perfect.

Poins. Francis! [Exit Poins.]

Enter [Francis, a] Drawer.

Fran. Anon, anon, sir.- Look down into the Pomgarnet, 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-

Poins. [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-

Poins. [within] Francis!

Fran. Anon, sir.

Prince. How old art thou, Francis?

Fran. Let me see. About Michaelmas next I shall be-

Poins. [within] Francis!

Fran. Anon, sir. Pray stay a little, my lord.

Prince. Nay, but hark you, Francis. For the sugar thou gavest me- 'twas a pennyworth, wast not?

Fran. O Lord! 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.

Poins. [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, not-pated, agate-ring, puke-stocking, caddis-garter, smooth-tongue, Spanish-pouch-

Fran. O Lord, sir, who do you mean?

Prince. 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?

Poins. [within] Francis!

Prince. Away, you rogue! Dost thou not hear them call?

Here they both call him. The Drawer stands amazed, not knowing which way to go.

Enter Vintner.

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.

[Exit Vintner.] Poins!

Poins. [within] Anon, anon, sir.

Enter Poins.

Prince. Sirrah, Falstaff and the rest of the thieves are at the door. Shall we be merry?

Poins. 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 this twelve o'clock at midnight.

[Enter Francis.]

What's o'clock, Francis?

Fran. Anon, anon, sir. [Exit.]

Prince. That ever this fellow should have fewer words than a parrot, and yet the son of a woman! His industry is upstairs and downstairs, 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 prithee 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;

Francis follows with wine].

Poins. 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? He drinketh.

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 villanous 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 lives 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 anything. A plague of all cowards I say still!

Prince. How now, woolsack? 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 Poins there?

Poins. Zounds, 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 wip'd since thou drunk'st last.

Fal. All is one for that. (He drinketh.) 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 scap'd 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 handsaw- 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-legg'd creature.

Prince. Pray God you have not murd'red 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.

Poins. Ay, ay, he said four.

Fal. These four came all afront 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?

Poins. Ay, four, in buckram suits.

Fal. Seven, by these hilts, or I am a villain else.

Prince. [aside to Poins] Prithee 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 list'ning to. These nine in buckram that I told thee of-

Prince. So, two more already.

Fal. Their points being broken-

Poins. 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 their father that begets them- gross as a mountain, open, palpable. Why, thou clay-brain'd guts, thou knotty-pated fool, thou whoreson obscene greasy tallow-catch-

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?

Poins. Come, your reason, Jack, your reason.

Fal. What, upon compulsion? Zounds, an I were 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 horseback-breaker, this huge hill of flesh-

Fal. 'Sblood, you starveling, you elf-skin, you dried neat's-tongue, you bull's sizzle, you stockfish- O for breath to utter what is like thee!- you tailor's yard, you sheath, you bowcase, 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.

Poins. Mark, Jack.

Prince. We two saw you four set on four, and 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, outfac'd you from your prize, and have it; yea, and can show it you here in the house. And, Falstaff, you carried your guts away as nimbly, with as quick dexterity, and roar'd for mercy, and still run and roar'd, as ever I heard bullcalf. 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?

Poins. 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 you, 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. 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 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. Prithee 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 speargrass 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 ran'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.

Enter Falstaff.

Here comes lean Jack; here comes bare-bone. How now, my sweet creature of bombast? How long is't ago, Jack, since thou sawest thine own knee?

Fal. My own knee? When I was about thy years, Hal, I was not an eagle's talent 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 Amamon the bastinado, and made Lucifer cuckold, and swore the devil his true liegeman upon the cross of a Welsh hook- what a plague call you him?

Poins. 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 a-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. A-horseback, ye cuckoo! but afoot 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 bluecaps more. Worcester is stol'n away to-night; thy father's beard is turn'd white with the news; you may buy land now as cheap as stinking mack'rel.

Prince. Why then, it is like, if there come a hot June, and this civil buffeting hold, we shall buy maidenheads as they buy hobnails, by the hundreds.

Fal. By the mass, lad, thou sayest true; it is like we shall have good trading that way. 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 file, 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 join'd-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 pintpot. 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 villanous 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 swoll'n parcel of dropsies, that huge bombard of sack, that stuff'd cloakbag of guts, 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 villanous, 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 villanous 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; but that he is (saving your reverence) a whoremaster, that I utterly deny. 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 Poins; 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.

Enter the Hostess.

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. Exit.

Prince. Call in the sheriff. [Exeunt Manent the Prince and Peto.]

Enter Sheriff and the Carrier.

Now, Master Sheriff, what is 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.

Carrier. 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 anything he shall be charg'd 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 it be two o'clock. Exit [with Carrier].

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

Peto. Falstaff! Fast asleep behind the arras, and snorting like a horse.

Prince. Hark how hard he fetches breath. Search his pockets. He searcheth his pockets and findeth certain papers. What hast thou found?

Peto. Nothing but papers, my lord.

Prince. Let's see whit they be. Read them.

Peto. [reads] 'Item. A capon. . . . . . . . . . . . . ii s. ii d. Item, Sauce. . . . . . . . . . . . . . iiii d. Item, Sack two gallons . . . . . . . . v s. viii d. Item, Anchovies and sack after supper. ii s. vi d. Item, Bread. . . . . . . . . . . . . . ob.'

Prince. O monstrous! but one halfpennyworth 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, Peto.

Peto. Good morrow, good my lord. Exeunt. ACT III. Scene I. Bangor. The Archdeacon's house.

Enter Hotspur, Worcester, Lord Mortimer, Owen 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, and at my birth The frame and huge foundation of the earth Shak'd 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 the 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 beldame earth and topples down Steeples and mossgrown towers. At your birth Our grandam earth, having this distemp'rature, 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's 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 have 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 scapes 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. The 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 bower, 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 ill this place damm'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 the 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 runs straight and even.

Hot. I'll have it so. A little charge will do it.

Glend. I will not have it alt'red.

Hot. Will not you?

Glend. No, nor you shall not.

Hot. Who shall say me nay?

Glend. No, 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 forc'd 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 haste the writer, and withal Break with your wives of your departure hence. I am afraid my daughter will run mad, So much she doteth on her Mortimer.Exit.

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

Hot. I cannot choose. Sometimes he angers me With telling me of the moldwarp and the ant, Of the dreamer Merlin and his prophecies, And of a dragon and a finless fish, A clip-wing'd griffin and a moulten raven, A couching lion and a ramping cat, And such a deal of skimble-skamble stuff As puts me from my faith. I tell you what- He held me last night at least nine hours In reckoning up the several devils' names That were his lackeys. I cried 'hum,' and 'Well, go to!' But mark'd him not a word. O, he is 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 come '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-blame, And since your coming hither have done enough To put him quite besides 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.

Enter Glendower with the Ladies.

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 her in Welsh, and she answers him in the same.

Glend. She is desperate here. A peevish self-will'd harlotry, One that no persuasion can do good upon.

The Lady speaks in Welsh.

Mort. I understand thy looks. That pretty Welsh Which thou pourest down from these swelling heavens I am too perfect in; and, but for shame, In such a Barley should I answer thee. The Lady 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 learnt thy language: for thy tongue Makes Welsh as sweet as ditties highly penn'd, Sung by a fair queen in a summer's bow'r, With ravishing division, to her lute.

Glend. Nay, if you melt, then will she run mad. The Lady speaks 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 'twixt 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, And 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, be is so humorous. By'r Lady, he is a good musician.

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

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

Lady P. Wouldst thou have thy head broken?

Hot. No.

Lady P. Then be still.

Hot. Neither! 'Tis a woman's fault.

Lady P. Now God help thee!

Hot. To the Welsh lady's bed.

Lady P. What's that?

Hot. Peace! she sings.

Here the Lady sings a Welsh song. 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 you, 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'st further than Finsbury. Swear me, Kate, like a lady as thou art, A good mouth-filling oath; and leave 'in sooth' And such protest of pepper gingerbread To velvet guards and Sunday citizens. Come, sing.

Lady P. I will not sing.

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

Glend. Come, come, Lord Mortimer. You are as slow As hot Lord Percy is on fire to go. By this our book is drawn; we'll but seal, And then to horse immediately.

Mort. With all my heart. Exeunt. Scene II.

London. The Palace.

Enter the King, Prince of Wales, and others.

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

Exeunt Lords. I know not whether God will have it so, For some displeasing service I have done, That, in his secret doom, out of my blood He'll breed revengement and a scourge for me; But thou dost in thy passages of life Make me believe that thou art only mark'd For the hot vengeance and the rod of heaven To punish my mistreadings. Tell me else, Could such inordinate and low desires, Such poor, such bare, 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 devis'd, Which oft the ear of greatness needs must bear By, smiling pickthanks and base newsmongers, I may, for some things true wherein my youth Hath faulty wand'red and irregular, And pardon on lily 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 do 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 wond'red 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 wond'red at; and so my state, Seldom but sumptuous, show'd 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 cap'ring 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 swallowed 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 unlike majesty When it shines seldom in admiring eyes; But rather drows'd and hung their eyelids down, Slept in his face, and rend'red such aspect As cloudy men use to their adversaries, Being with his presence glutted, gorg'd, and full. And in that very line, Harry, standest thou; For thou hast lost thy princely privilege With vile participation. Not an eye But is aweary of thy common sight, Save mine, which hath desir'd 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 Ravenspurgh; 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 renowmed 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 swathling 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, The Archbishop's Grace of York, Douglas, 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 nearest 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 favours 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, To 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 he be pleas'd I shall perform, 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 Blunt.

How now, good Blunt? Thy looks are full of speed.

Blunt. So hath the business that I come to speak of. Lord Mortimer of Scotland hath sent word That Douglas and the English rebels met The eleventh of this month at Shrewsbury. A mighty and a fearful head they are, If promises be kept oil every hand, As ever off'red 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, Harry, you shall set forward; On Thursday we ourselves will march. Our meeting Is Bridgenorth; and, Harry, you shall march Through Gloucestershire; by which account, Our business valued, some twelve days hence Our general forces at Bridgenorth shall meet. Our hands are full of business. Let's away. Advantage feeds him fat while men delay.Exeunt.

Scene III.

Eastcheap. The Boar's Head Tavern.

Enter Falstaff and Bardolph.

Fal. Bardolph, am I not fall'n 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, villanous 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 bawdy song; make me merry. I was as virtuously given as a gentleman need to be, virtuous enough: swore little, dic'd not above seven times a week, went to a bawdy house not above once in a quarter- of an hour, 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 hellfire 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 ran'st up Gadshill 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 maintained that salamander of yours with fire any time this two-and-thirty years. God reward me for it!

Bard. 'Sblood, I would my face were in your belly!

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

Enter Hostess.

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

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

Fal. Ye lie, hostess. Bardolph was shav'd and lost many a hair, and I'll be sworn my pocket was pick'd. Go to, you are a woman, go!

Host. Who, I? No; I defy thee! God's light, I was never call'd so in mine own house before!

Fal. Go to, I know you well enough.

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

Fal. Dowlas, filthy dowlas! I have given them away to bakers' wives; they have made bolters of them.

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

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

Host. He? Alas, he is poor; he hath nothing.

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

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

Fal. How? the Prince is a Jack, a sneak-cup. 'Sblood, an he were here, I would cudgel him like a dog if he would say so.

Enter the Prince [and Poins], marching; and Falstaff meets

them, playing upon his truncheon like a fife.

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

Bard. Yea, two and two, Newgate fashion.

Host. My lord, I pray you hear me.

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

Host. Good my lord, hear me.

Fal. Prithee let her alone and list to me.

Prince. What say'st thou, Jack?

Fal. The other night I fell asleep here behind the arras and had my pocket pick'd. This house is turn'd bawdy house; they pick pockets.

Prince. What didst thou lose, Jack?

Fal. Wilt thou believe me, Hal? Three or four bonds of forty pound apiece and a seal-ring of my grandfather's.

Prince. A trifle, some eightpenny matter.

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

Prince. What! he did not?

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

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

Host. Say, what thing? what thing?

Fal. What thing? Why, a thing to thank God on.

Host. I am no thing to thank God on, I would thou shouldst know it! I am an honest man's wife, and, setting thy knight-hood aside, thou art a knave to call me so.

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

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

Fal. What beast? Why, an otter.

Prince. An otter, Sir John? Why an otter?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fal. Did I, Bardolph?

Bard. Indeed, Sir John, you said so.

Fal. Yea. if he said my ring was copper.

Prince. I say, 'tis copper. Darest thou be as good as thy word now?

Fal. Why, Hal, thou knowest, as thou art but man, I dare; but as thou art Prince, I fear thee as I fear the roaring of the lion's whelp.

Prince. And why not as the lion?

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

Prince. O, if it should, how would thy guts fall about thy knees! But, sirrah, there's no room for faith, truth, nor honesty in this bosom of thine. It is all fill'd up with guts and midriff. Charge an honest woman with picking thy pocket? Why, thou whoreson, impudent, emboss'd rascal, if there were anything in thy pocket but tavern reckonings, memorandums of bawdy houses, and one poor pennyworth of sugar candy to make thee long-winded- if thy pocket were enrich'd with any other injuries but these, I am a villain. And yet you will stand to it; you will not pocket up wrong. Art thou not ashamed?

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

Prince. It appears so by the story.

Fal. Hostess, I forgive thee. Go make ready breakfast. Love thy husband, look to thy servants, cherish thy guests. Thou shalt find me tractable to any honest reason. Thou seest I am pacified. -Still?- Nay, prithee be gone. [Exit Hostess.] Now, Hal, to the news at court. For the robbery, lad- how is that answered?

Prince. O my sweet beef, I must still be good angel to thee. The money is paid back again.

Fal. O, I do not like that paying back! 'Tis a double labour.

Prince. I am good friends with my father, and may do anything.

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

Bard. Do, my lord.

Prince. I have procured thee, Jack, a charge of foot.

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

Prince. Bardolph!

Bard. My lord?

Prince. Go bear this letter to Lord John of Lancaster, To my brother John; this to my Lord of Westmoreland. [Exit Bardolph.] Go, Poins, to horse, to horse; for thou and I Have thirty miles to ride yet ere dinner time.

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

Fal. Rare words! brave world! Hostess, my breakfast, come. O, I could wish this tavern were my drum!

Exit. ACT IV. Scene I.

The rebel camp near Shrewsbury.

Enter Harry Hotspur, Worcester, and Douglas.

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

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

Enter one with letters.

Hot. Do so, and 'tis well.- What letters hast thou there?- I can but thank you.

Messenger. These letters come from your father.

Hot. Letters from him? Why comes he not himself?

Mess. He cannot come, my lord; he is grievous sick.

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

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

Wor. I prithee tell me, doth he keep his bed?

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

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

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

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

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

Doug. Faith, and so we should; Where now remains a sweet reversion. We may boldly spend upon the hope of what Is to come in. A comfort of retirement lives in this.

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

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

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

Doug. As heart can think. There is not such a word Spoke of in Scotland as this term of fear.

Enter Sir Richard Vernon.

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

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

Hot. No harm. What more?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ver. To thirty thousand.

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

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

Scene II. A public road near Coventry.

Enter Falstaff and Bardolph.

Fal. Bardolph, get thee before to Coventry; fill me a bottle of sack. Our soldiers shall march through. We'll to Sutton Co'fil' to-night.

Bard. Will you give me money, Captain?

Fal. Lay out, lay out.

Bald. This bottle makes an angel.

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

Bard. I Will, Captain. Farewell. Exit.

Fal. If I be not ashamed of my soldiers, I am a sous'd 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, yeomen's sons; inquire me out contracted bachelors, such as had been ask'd twice on the banes- such a commodity of warm slaves as had as lieve hear the devil as a drum; such as fear the report of a caliver worse than a struck fowl or a hurt wild duck. I press'd me none but such toasts-and-butter, with hearts in their 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 serving-men, younger sons to Younger brothers, revolted tapsters, and ostlers trade-fall'n; the cankers of a calm world and a long peace; ten times more dishonourable ragged than an old fac'd ancient; and such have I to fill up the rooms of them that have bought out their services that you would think that I had a hundred and fifty tattered Prodigals lately come from swine-keeping, from eating draff and husks. A mad fellow met me on the way, and told me I had unloaded all the gibbets and press'd the dead bodies. No eye hath seen such scarecrows. I'll not march through Coventry with them, that's flat. Nay, and the villains march wide betwixt the legs, as if they had gyves on; for indeed I had the most of them out of prison. There's but a shirt and a half in all my company; and the half-shirt is two napkins tack'd together and thrown over the shoulders like a herald's coat without sleeves; and the shirt, to say the truth, stol'n from my host at Saint Alban's, or the red-nose innkeeper of Daventry. But that's all one; they'll find linen enough on every hedge.

Enter the Prince and the Lord of Westmoreland.

Prince. How now, blown Jack? How now, quilt?

Fal. What, Hal? How now, mad wag? What a devil dost thou in Warwickshire? My good Lord of Westmoreland, I cry you mercy. I thought your honour had already been at Shrewsbury.

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

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

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

Fal. Mine, Hal, mine.

Prince. I did never see such pitiful rascals.

Fal. Tut, tut! good enough to toss; food for powder, food for powder. They'll fill a pit as well as better. Tush, man, mortal men, mortal men.

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

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

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


Fal. What, is the King encamp'd?

West. He is, Sir John. I fear we shall stay too long. [Exit.]

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

Scene III.

The rebel camp near Shrewsbury.

Enter Hotspur, Worcester, Douglas, Vernon.

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

Wor. It may not be.

Doug. You give him then advantage.

Ver. Not a whit.

Hot. Why say you so? Looks he no for supply?

Ver. So do we.

Hot. His is certain, ours 's doubtful.

Wor. Good cousin, be advis'd; stir not to-night.

Ver. Do not, my lord.

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

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

Doug. Yea, or to-night.

Ver. Content.

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

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

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

The trumpet sounds a parley.

Enter Sir Walter Blunt.

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

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

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

Hot. The King is kind; and well we know the King Knows at what time to promise, when to pay. My father and my uncle and myself Did give him that same royalty he wears; And when he was not six-and-twenty strong, Sick in the world's regard, wretched and low, A poor unminded outlaw sneaking home, My father gave him welcome to the shore; And when he heard him swear and vow to God He came but to be Duke of Lancaster, To sue his livery and beg his peace, With tears of innocency and terms of zeal, My father, in kind heart and pity mov'd, Swore him assistance, and performed 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 on boroughs, cities, villages, Attended him on bridges, stood in lanes, Laid gifts before him, proffer'd him their oaths, Give him their heirs as pages, followed 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 Ravenspurgh; And now, forsooth, takes on him to reform Some certain edicts and some strait decrees That lie too heavy on the commonwealth; Cries out upon abuses, seems to weep Over his country's wrongs; and by this face, This seeming brow of justice, did he win The hearts of all that he did angle for; Proceeded further- cut me off the heads Of all the favourites that the absent King In deputation left behind him here When he was personal in the Irish war. But. Tut! I came not to hear this.

Hot. Then to the point. In short time after lie 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, suff'red his kinsman March (Who is, if every owner were well placid, Indeed his king) to be engag'd in Wales, There without ransom to lie forfeited; Disgrac'd me in my happy victories, Sought to entrap me by intelligence; Rated mine uncle from the Council board; In rage dismiss'd my father from the court; Broke an 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.

Blunt. Shall I return this answer to the King?

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

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

Hot. And may be so we shall.

Blunt. Pray God you do. Exeunt.

Scene IV.

York. The Archbishop's Palace.

Enter the Archbishop of York and Sir Michael.

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

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

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

Sir M. Why, my good lord, you need not fear; There is Douglas and Lord Mortimer.

Arch. No, Mortimer is not there.

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

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

Sir M. 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. ACT V. Scene I.

The King's camp near Shrewsbury.

Enter the King, Prince of Wales, Lord John of Lancaster,

Sir Walter Blunt, Falstaff.

King. How bloodily the sun begins to peer Above yon busky hill! The day looks pale At his distemp'rature.

Prince. The southern wind Doth play the trumpet to his purposes And by his hollow whistling in the leaves Foretells a tempest and a blust'ring day.

King. Theft with the losers let it sympathize, For nothing can seem foul to those that win.

The trumpet sounds. 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 it? 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, A prodigy of fear, and a portent Of broached mischief to the unborn times?

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.

King. You have not sought it! How comes it then,

Fal. Rebellion lay in his way, and he found it.

Prince. 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 it rain'd down fortune show'ring 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 thirst not come near your sight For fear of swallowing; but with nimble wing We were enforc'd for safety 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 tis in your younger enterprise.

King. These things, indeed, you have articulate, 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 havoc and confusion.

Prince. In both our armies there is many a soul 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 enterprise 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.

King. And, Prince of Wales, so dare we venture thee, 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. Exit Worcester [with Vernon]

Prince. It will not be accepted, on my life. The Douglas and the Hotspur both together Are confident against the world in arms.

King. Hence, therefore, every leader to his charge; For, on their answer, will we set on them, And God befriend us as our cause is just! Exeunt. Manent Prince, Falstaff.

Fal. Hal, if thou see me down in the battle and bestride me, so! 'Tis a point of friendship.

Prince. Nothing but a Colossus can do thee that friendship. Say thy prayers, and farewell.

Fal. I would 'twere bedtime, Hal, and all well.

Prince. Why, thou owest God a death.


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 honor 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 that word honour? Air. A trim reckoning! Who hath it? He that died a Wednesday. Doth he feel it? No. Doth be bear it? No. 'Tis 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.


Scene II.

The rebel camp.

Enter Worcester and Sir Richard Vernon.

Wor. O no, my nephew must not know, Sir Richard, The liberal and kind offer of the King.

Ver. 'Twere best he did.

Wor. Then are we all undone. It is not possible, it cannot be The King should keep his word in loving us. He will suspect us still and find a time To punish this offence in other faults. Suspicion all our lives shall be stuck full of eyes; For treason is but trusted like the fox Who, ne'er so tame, so cherish'd and lock'd up, Will have a wild trick of his ancestors. 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-brained 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 taken 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.

Enter Hotspur [and Douglas].

Ver. Deliver what you will, I'll say 'tis so. Here comes your cousin.

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, aid will scourge With haughty arms this hateful name in us.

Enter Douglas.

Doug. Arm, gentlemen! to arms! for I have thrown A brave defiance in King Henry's teeth, And Westmoreland, that was engag'd, did bear it; Which cannot choose but bring him quickly on.

Wor. The Prince of Wales stepp'd forth before the King 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? 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 lie mast'red 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, 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 a libertine. 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, friends, Better consider what you have to do Than I, that have not well the gift of tongue, Can lift your blood up with persuasion.

Enter a Messenger.

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 consciences, the arms are fair, When the intent of bearing them is just.

Enter another Messenger.

Mess. My lord, prepare. The King comes on apace.

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. Now, Esperance! Percy! and set on. 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.

Here they embrace. The trumpets sound.


Scene III.

Plain between the camps.

The King enters with his Power. Alarum to the battle. Then enter Douglas and Sir Walter Blunt.

Blunt. What is thy name, that in the battle thus 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 bought Thy likeness; for instead of thee, King Harry, This sword hath ended him. So shall it thee, Unless thou yield thee as my prisoner.

Blunt. I was not born a yielder, thou proud Scot; And thou shalt find a king that will revenge Lord Stafford's death.

They fight. Douglas kills Blunt. Then enter Hotspur.

Hot. O Douglas, hadst thou fought at Holmedon thus, I never had triumph'd upon a Scot.

Doug. All's done, all's won. Here breathless lies the King.

Hot. Where?

Doug. Here.

Hot. This, Douglas? No. I know this face full well. A gallant knight he was, his name was Blunt; Semblably furnish'd like the King himself.

Doug. A fool go with thy soul, whither it goes! A borrowed title hast thou bought too dear: Why didst thou tell me that thou wert a king?

Hot. The King hath many marching in his coats.

Doug. Now, by my sword, I will kill all his coats; I'll murder all his wardrop, piece by piece, Until I meet the King.

Hot. Up and away! Our soldiers stand full fairly for the day. Exeunt.

Alarum. Enter Falstaff solus.

Fal. Though I could scape shot-free at London, I fear the shot here. Here's no scoring but upon the pate. Soft! who are you? Sir Walter Blunt. There's honour for you! Here's no vanity! I am as hot as molten lead, and as heavy too. God keep lead out of me! I need no more weight than mine own bowels. I have led my rag-of-muffins where they are pepper'd. There's not three of my hundred and fifty left alive; and they are for the town's end, to beg during life. But who comes here?

Enter the Prince.

Prince. What, stand'st thou idle here? Lend me thy sword. Many a nobleman lies stark and stiff Under the hoofs of vaunting enemies, Whose deaths are yet unreveng'd. I prithee Rend me thy sword.

Fal. O Hal, I prithee give me leave to breathe awhile. Turk Gregory never did such deeds in arms as I have done this day. I have paid Percy; I have made him sure.

Prince. He is indeed, and living to kill thee. I prithee lend me thy sword.

Fal. Nay, before God, Hal, if Percy be alive, thou get'st not my sword; but take my pistol, if thou wilt.

Prince. Give it me. What, is it in the case?

Fal. Ay, Hal. 'Tis hot, 'tis hot. There's that will sack a city.

The Prince draws it out and finds it to he a bottle of sack.

What, is it a time to jest and dally now?

He throws the bottle at him. Exit.

Fal. Well, if Percy be alive, I'll pierce him. If he do come in my way, so; if he do not, if I come in his willingly, let him make a carbonado of me. I like not such grinning honour as Sir Walter hath. Give me life; which if I can save, so; if not, honour comes unlook'd for, and there's an end. Exit.

Scene IV. Another part of the field.

Alarum. Excursions. Enter the King, the Prince, Lord John

of Lancaster, Earl of Westmoreland

King. I prithee, Harry, withdraw thyself; thou bleedest too much. Lord John of Lancaster, go you unto him.

John. Not I, my lord, unless I did bleed too.

Prince. I do beseech your Majesty make up, Lest Your retirement do amaze your friends.

King. I will do so. My Lord of Westmoreland, lead him to his tent.

West. Come, my lord, I'll lead you to your tent.

Prince. Lead me, my lord, I do not need your help; And God forbid a shallow scratch should drive The Prince of Wales from such a field as this, Where stain'd nobility lies trodden on, And rebels' arms triumph in massacres!

John. We breathe too long. Come, cousin Westmoreland, Our duty this way lies. For God's sake, come.

[Exeunt Prince John and Westmoreland.]

Prince. By God, thou hast deceiv'd me, Lancaster! I did not think thee lord of such a spirit. Before, I lov'd thee as a brother, John; But now, I do respect thee as my soul.

King. I saw him hold Lord Percy at the point With lustier maintenance than I did look for Of such an ungrown warrior.

Prince. O, this boy Lends mettle to us all!Exit.

Enter Douglas.

Doug. Another king? They grow like Hydra's heads. I am the Douglas, fatal to all those That wear those colours on them. What art thou That counterfeit'st the person of a king?

King. The King himself, who, Douglas, grieves at heart So many of his shadows thou hast met, And not the very King. I have two boys Seek Percy and thyself about the field; But, seeing thou fall'st on me so luckily, I will assay thee. So defend thyself.

Doug. I fear thou art another counterfeit; And yet, in faith, thou bearest thee like a king. But mine I am sure thou art, whoe'er thou be, And thus I win thee.

They fight. The King being in danger, enter Prince of Wales.

Prince. Hold up thy head, vile Scot, or thou art like Never to hold it up again! The spirits Of valiant Shirley, Stafford, Blunt are in my arms. It is the Prince of Wales that threatens thee, Who never promiseth but he means to pay. They fight. Douglas flieth. Cheerly, my lord. How fares your Grace? Sir Nicholas Gawsey hath for succour sent, And so hath Clifton. I'll to Clifton straight.

King. Stay and breathe awhile. Thou hast redeem'd thy lost opinion, And show'd thou mak'st some tender of my life, In this fair rescue thou hast brought to me.

Prince. O God! they did me too much injury That ever said I heark'ned for your death. If it were so, I might have let alone The insulting hand of Douglas over you, Which would have been as speedy in your end As all the poisonous potions in the world, And sav'd the treacherous labour of your son.

King. Make up to Clifton; I'll to Sir Nicholas Gawsey.


Enter Hotspur.

Hot. If I mistake not, thou art Harry Monmouth.

Prince. Thou speak'st as if I would deny my name.

Hot. My name is Harry Percy.

Prince. Why, then I see A very valiant rebel of the name. I am the Prince of Wales; and think not, Percy, To share with me in glory any more. Two stars keep not their motion in one sphere, Nor can one England brook a double reign Of Harry Percy and the Prince of Wales.

Hot. Nor shall it, Harry; for the hour is come To end the one of us and would to God Thy name in arms were now as great as mine!

Prince. I'll make it greater ere I part from thee, And all the budding honours on thy crest I'll crop to make a garland for my head.

Hot. I can no longer brook thy vanities. They fight.

Enter Falstaff.

Fal. Well said, Hal! to it, Hal! Nay, you shall find no boy's play here, I can tell you.

Enter Douglas. He fighteth with Falstaff, who falls down as if

he were dead. [Exit Douglas.] The Prince killeth Percy.

Hot. O Harry, thou hast robb'd me of my youth! I better brook the loss of brittle life Than those proud titles thou hast won of me. They wound my thoughts worse than thy sword my flesh. But thoughts the slave, of life, and life time's fool, And time, that takes survey of all the world, Must have a stop. O, I could prophesy, But that the earthy and cold hand of death Lies on my tongue. No, Percy, thou art dust, And food for-[Dies.]

Prince. For worms, brave Percy. Fare thee well, great heart! Ill-weav'd ambition, how much art thou shrunk! When that this body did contain a spirit, A kingdom for it was too small a bound; But now two paces of the vilest earth Is room enough. This earth that bears thee dead Bears not alive so stout a gentleman. If thou wert sensible of courtesy, I should not make so dear a show of zeal. But let my favours hide thy mangled face; And, even in thy behalf, I'll thank myself For doing these fair rites of tenderness. Adieu, and take thy praise with thee to heaven! Thy ignominy sleep with thee in the grave, But not rememb'red in thy epitaph!

He spieth Falstaff on the ground. What, old acquaintance? Could not all this flesh Keep in a little life? Poor Jack, farewell! I could have better spar'd a better man. O, I should have a heavy miss of thee If I were much in love with vanity! Death hath not struck so fat a deer to-day, Though many dearer, in this bloody fray. Embowell'd will I see thee by-and-by; Till then in blood by noble Percy lie. Exit.

Falstaff riseth up.

Fal. Embowell'd? If thou embowel me to-day, I'll give you leave to powder me and eat me too to-morrow. 'Sblood, 'twas time to counterfeit, or that hot termagant Scot had paid me scot and lot too. Counterfeit? I lie; I am no counterfeit. To die is to be a counterfeit; for he is but the counterfeit of a man who hath not the life of a man; but to counterfeit dying when a man thereby liveth, is to be no counterfeit, but the true and perfect image of life indeed. The better part of valour is discretion; in the which better part I have saved my life. Zounds, I am afraid of this gunpowder Percy, though he be dead. How if he should counterfeit too, and rise? By my faith, I am afraid he would prove the better counterfeit. Therefore I'll make him sure; yea, and I'll swear I kill'd him. Why may not he rise as well as I? Nothing confutes me but eyes, and nobody sees me. Therefore, sirrah [stabs him], with a new wound in your thigh, come you along with me.

He takes up Hotspur on his hack. [Enter Prince, and John of Lancaster.

Prince. Come, brother John; full bravely hast thou flesh'd Thy maiden sword.

John. But, soft! whom have we here? Did you not tell me this fat man was dead?

Prince. I did; I saw him dead, Breathless and bleeding on the ground. Art thou alive, Or is it fantasy that plays upon our eyesight? I prithee speak. We will not trust our eyes Without our ears. Thou art not what thou seem'st.

Fal. No, that's certain! I am not a double man; but if I be not Jack Falstaff, then am I a Jack. There 's Percy. If your father will do me any honour, so; if not, let him kill the next Percy himself. I look to be either earl or duke, I can assure you.

Prince. Why, Percy I kill'd myself, and saw thee dead!

Fal. Didst thou? Lord, Lord, how this world is given to lying! I grant you I was down, and out of breath, and so was he; but we rose both at an instant and fought a long hour by Shrewsbury clock. If I may be believ'd, so; if not, let them that should reward valour bear the sin upon their own heads. I'll take it upon my death, I gave him this wound in the thigh. If the man were alive and would deny it, zounds! I would make him eat a piece of my sword.

John. This is the strangest tale that ever I beard.

Prince. This is the strangest fellow, brother John. Come, bring your luggage nobly on your back. For my part, if a lie may do thee grace, I'll gild it with the happiest terms I have.

A retreat is sounded. The trumpet sounds retreat; the day is ours. Come, brother, let's to the highest of the field, To see what friends are living, who are dead.

Exeunt [Prince Henry and Prince John].

Fal. I'll follow, as they say, for reward. He that rewards me, God reward him! If I do grow great, I'll grow less; for I'll purge, and leave sack, and live cleanly, as a nobleman should do. Exit [bearing off the body]. Scene V.

Another part of the field.

The trumpets sound. [Enter the King, Prince of Wales, Lord

John of Lancaster, Earl of Westmoreland, with Worcester and Vernon prisoners.

King. Thus ever did rebellion find rebuke. Ill-spirited Worcester! did not we send grace, Pardon, and terms of love to all of you? And wouldst thou turn our offers contrary? Misuse the tenour of thy kinsman's trust? Three knights upon our party slain to-day, A noble earl, and many a creature else Had been alive this hour, If like a Christian thou hadst truly borne Betwixt our armies true intelligence.

Wor. What I have done my safety urg'd me to; And I embrace this fortune patiently, Since not to be avoided it fails on me.

King. Bear Worcester to the death, and Vernon too; Other offenders we will pause upon. Exeunt Worcester and Vernon, [guarded]. How goes the field?

Prince. The noble Scot, Lord Douglas, when he saw The fortune of the day quite turn'd from him, The Noble Percy slain and all his men Upon the foot of fear, fled with the rest; And falling from a hill,he was so bruis'd That the pursuers took him. At my tent The Douglas is, and I beseech Your Grace I may dispose of him.

King. With all my heart.

Prince. Then brother John of Lancaster, to you This honourable bounty shall belong. Go to the Douglas and deliver him Up to his pleasure, ransomless and free. His valour shown upon our crests today Hath taught us how to cherish such high deeds, Even in the bosom of our adversaries.

John. I thank your Grace for this high courtesy, Which I shall give away immediately.

King. Then this remains, that we divide our power. You, son John, and my cousin Westmoreland, Towards York shall bend you with your dearest speed To meet Northumberland and the prelate Scroop, Who, as we hear, are busily in arms. Myself and you, son Harry, will towards Wales To fight with Glendower and the Earl of March. Rebellion in this laud shall lose his sway, Meeting the check of such another day; And since this business so fair is done, Let us not leave till all our own be won. Exeunt.

1598 SECOND PART OF KING HENRY IV by William Shakespeare

Dramatis Personae

RUMOUR, the Presenter












TRAVERS and MORTON, retainers of Northumberland Opposites against King Henry IV







BLUNT Of the King's party


SERVANT, to Lord Chief Justice





PETO Irregular humourists

PAGE, to Falstaff

ROBERT SHALLOW and SILENCE, country Justices

DAVY, servant to Shallow

FANG and SNARE, Sheriff's officers





PETER BULLCALF Country soldiers

FRANCIS, a drawer


LADY PERCY, Percy's widow

HOSTESS QUICKLY, of the Boar's Head, Eastcheap


LORDS, Attendants, Porter, Drawers, Beadles, Grooms, Servants, Speaker of the Epilogue


Warkworth. Before NORTHUMBERLAND'S Castle

Enter RUMOUR, painted full of tongues

RUMOUR. Open your ears; for which of you will stop The vent of hearing when loud Rumour speaks? I, from the orient to the drooping west, Making the wind my post-horse, still unfold The acts commenced on this ball of earth. Upon my tongues continual slanders ride, The which in every language I pronounce, Stuffing the ears of men with false reports. I speak of peace while covert emnity, Under the smile of safety, wounds the world; And who but Rumour, who but only I, Make fearful musters and prepar'd defence, Whiles the big year, swoln with some other grief, Is thought with child by the stern tyrant war, And no such matter? Rumour is a pipe Blown by surmises, jealousies, conjectures, And of so easy and so plain a stop That the blunt monster with uncounted heads, The still-discordant wav'ring multitude, Can play upon it. But what need I thus My well-known body to anatomize Among my household? Why is Rumour here? I run before King Harry's victory, Who, in a bloody field by Shrewsbury, Hath beaten down young Hotspur and his troops, Quenching the flame of bold rebellion Even with the rebels' blood. But what mean I To speak so true at first? My office is To noise abroad that Harry Monmouth fell Under the wrath of noble Hotspur's sword, And that the King before the Douglas' rage Stoop'd his anointed head as low as death. This have I rumour'd through the peasant towns Between that royal field of Shrewsbury And this worm-eaten hold of ragged stone, Where Hotspur's father, old Northumberland, Lies crafty-sick. The posts come tiring on, And not a man of them brings other news Than they have learnt of me. From Rumour's tongues They bring smooth comforts false, worse than true wrongs. Exit ACT I. SCENE I.

Warkworth. Before NORTHUMBERLAND'S Castle


LORD BARDOLPH. Who keeps the gate here, ho?

The PORTER opens the gate

Where is the Earl?

PORTER. What shall I say you are?

LORD BARDOLPH. Tell thou the Earl That the Lord Bardolph doth attend him here.

PORTER. His lordship is walk'd forth into the orchard. Please it your honour knock but at the gate, And he himself will answer.


LORD BARDOLPH. Here comes the Earl.Exit PORTER

NORTHUMBERLAND. What news, Lord Bardolph? Every minute now Should be the father of some stratagem. The times are wild; contention, like a horse Full of high feeding, madly hath broke loose And bears down all before him.

LORD BARDOLPH. Noble Earl, I bring you certain news from Shrewsbury.

NORTHUMBERLAND. Good, an God will!

LORD BARDOLPH. As good as heart can wish. The King is almost wounded to the death; And, in the fortune of my lord your son, Prince Harry slain outright; and both the Blunts Kill'd by the hand of Douglas; young Prince John, And Westmoreland, and Stafford, fled the field; And Harry Monmouth's brawn, the hulk Sir John, Is prisoner to your son. O, such a day, So fought, so followed, and so fairly won, Came not till now to dignify the times, Since Cxsar's fortunes!

NORTHUMBERLAND. How is this deriv'd? Saw you the field? Came you from Shrewsbury?

LORD BARDOLPH. I spake with one, my lord, that came from thence; A gentleman well bred and of good name, That freely rend'red me these news for true.


NORTHUMBERLAND. Here comes my servant Travers, whom I sent On Tuesday last to listen after news.

LORD BARDOLPH. My lord, I over-rode him on the way; And he is furnish'd with no certainties More than he haply may retail from me.

NORTHUMBERLAND. Now, Travers, what good tidings comes with you?

TRAVERS. My lord, Sir John Umfrevile turn'd me back With joyful tidings; and, being better hors'd, Out-rode me. After him came spurring hard A gentleman, almost forspent with speed, That stopp'd by me to breathe his bloodied horse. He ask'd the way to Chester; and of him I did demand what news from Shrewsbury. He told me that rebellion had bad luck, And that young Harry Percy's spur was cold. With that he gave his able horse the head And, bending forward, struck his armed heels Against the panting sides of his poor jade Up to the rowel-head; and starting so, He seem'd in running to devour the way, Staying no longer question.

NORTHUMBERLAND. Ha! Again: Said he young Harry Percy's spur was cold? Of Hotspur, Coldspur? that rebellion Had met ill luck?

LORD BARDOLPH. My lord, I'll tell you what: If my young lord your son have not the day, Upon mine honour, for a silken point I'll give my barony. Never talk of it.

NORTHUMBERLAND. Why should that gentleman that rode by Travers Give then such instances of loss?

LORD BARDOLPH. Who- he? He was some hilding fellow that had stol'n The horse he rode on and, upon my life, Spoke at a venture. Look, here comes more news.

Enter Morton

NORTHUMBERLAND. Yea, this man's brow, like to a title-leaf, Foretells the nature of a tragic volume. So looks the strand whereon the imperious flood Hath left a witness'd usurpation. Say, Morton, didst thou come from Shrewsbury?

MORTON. I ran from Shrewsbury, my noble lord; Where hateful death put on his ugliest mask To fright our party.

NORTHUMBERLAND. How doth my son and brother? Thou tremblest; and the whiteness in thy cheek Is apter than thy tongue to tell thy errand. Even such a man, so faint, so spiritless, So dull, so dread in look, so woe-begone, Drew Priam's curtain in the dead of night And would have told him half his Troy was burnt; But Priam found the fire ere he his tongue, And I my Percy's death ere thou report'st it. This thou wouldst say: 'Your son did thus and thus; Your brother thus; so fought the noble Douglas'- Stopping my greedy ear with their bold deeds; But in the end, to stop my ear indeed, Thou hast a sigh to blow away this praise, Ending with 'Brother, son, and all, are dead.'

MORTON. Douglas is living, and your brother, yet; But for my lord your son-

NORTHUMBERLAND. Why, he is dead. See what a ready tongue suspicion hath! He that but fears the thing he would not know Hath by instinct knowledge from others' eyes That what he fear'd is chanced. Yet speak, Morton; Tell thou an earl his divination lies, And I will take it as a sweet disgrace And make thee rich for doing me such wrong.

MORTON. You are too great to be by me gainsaid; Your spirit is too true, your fears too certain.

NORTHUMBERLAND. Yet, for all this, say not that Percy's dead. I see a strange confession in thine eye; Thou shak'st thy head, and hold'st it fear or sin To speak a truth. If he be slain, say so: The tongue offends not that reports his death; And he doth sin that doth belie the dead, Not he which says the dead is not alive. Yet the first bringer of unwelcome news Hath but a losing office, and his tongue Sounds ever after as a sullen bell, Rememb'red tolling a departing friend.

LORD BARDOLPH. I cannot think, my lord, your son is dead.

MORTON. I am sorry I should force you to believe That which I would to God I had not seen; But these mine eyes saw him in bloody state, Rend'ring faint quittance, wearied and out-breath'd, To Harry Monmouth, whose swift wrath beat down The never-daunted Percy to the earth, From whence with life he never more sprung up. In few, his death- whose spirit lent a fire Even to the dullest peasant in his camp- Being bruited once, took fire and heat away From the best-temper'd courage in his troops; For from his metal was his party steeled; Which once in him abated, an the rest Turn'd on themselves, like dull and heavy lead. And as the thing that's heavy in itself Upon enforcement flies with greatest speed, So did our men, heavy in Hotspur's loss, Lend to this weight such lightness with their fear That arrows fled not swifter toward their aim Than did our soldiers, aiming at their safety, Fly from the field. Then was that noble Worcester Too soon ta'en prisoner; and that furious Scot, The bloody Douglas, whose well-labouring sword Had three times slain th' appearance of the King, Gan vail his stomach and did grace the shame Of those that turn'd their backs, and in his flight, Stumbling in fear, was took. The sum of all Is that the King hath won, and hath sent out A speedy power to encounter you, my lord, Under the conduct of young Lancaster And Westmoreland. This is the news at full.

NORTHUMBERLAND. For this I shall have time enough to mourn. In poison there is physic; and these news, Having been well, that would have made me sick, Being sick, have in some measure made me well; And as the wretch whose fever-weak'ned joints, Like strengthless hinges, buckle under life, Impatient of his fit, breaks like a fire Out of his keeper's arms, even so my limbs, Weak'ned with grief, being now enrag'd with grief, Are thrice themselves. Hence, therefore, thou nice crutch! A scaly gauntlet now with joints of steel Must glove this hand; and hence, thou sickly coif! Thou art a guard too wanton for the head Which princes, flesh'd with conquest, aim to hit. Now bind my brows with iron; and approach The ragged'st hour that time and spite dare bring To frown upon th' enrag'd Northumberland! Let heaven kiss earth! Now let not Nature's hand Keep the wild flood confin'd! Let order die! And let this world no longer be a stage To feed contention in a ling'ring act; But let one spirit of the first-born Cain Reign in all bosoms, that, each heart being set On bloody courses, the rude scene may end And darkness be the burier of the dead!

LORD BARDOLPH. This strained passion doth you wrong, my lord.

MORTON. Sweet Earl, divorce not wisdom from your honour. The lives of all your loving complices Lean on your health; the which, if you give o'er To stormy passion, must perforce decay. You cast th' event of war, my noble lord, And summ'd the account of chance before you said 'Let us make head.' It was your pre-surmise That in the dole of blows your son might drop. You knew he walk'd o'er perils on an edge, More likely to fall in than to get o'er; You were advis'd his flesh was capable Of wounds and scars, and that his forward spirit Would lift him where most trade of danger rang'd; Yet did you say 'Go forth'; and none of this, Though strongly apprehended, could restrain The stiff-borne action. What hath then befall'n, Or what hath this bold enterprise brought forth More than that being which was like to be?

LORD BARDOLPH. We all that are engaged to this loss Knew that we ventured on such dangerous seas That if we wrought out life 'twas ten to one; And yet we ventur'd, for the gain propos'd Chok'd the respect of likely peril fear'd; And since we are o'erset, venture again. Come, we will put forth, body and goods.

MORTON. 'Tis more than time. And, my most noble lord, I hear for certain, and dare speak the truth: The gentle Archbishop of York is up With well-appointed pow'rs. He is a man Who with a double surety binds his followers. My lord your son had only but the corpse, But shadows and the shows of men, to fight; For that same word 'rebellion' did divide The action of their bodies from their souls; And they did fight with queasiness, constrain'd, As men drink potions; that their weapons only Seem'd on our side, but for their spirits and souls This word 'rebellion'- it had froze them up, As fish are in a pond. But now the Bishop Turns insurrection to religion. Suppos'd sincere and holy in his thoughts, He's follow'd both with body and with mind; And doth enlarge his rising with the blood Of fair King Richard, scrap'd from Pomfret stones; Derives from heaven his quarrel and his cause; Tells them he doth bestride a bleeding land, Gasping for life under great Bolingbroke; And more and less do flock to follow him.

NORTHUMBERLAND. I knew of this before; but, to speak truth, This present grief had wip'd it from my mind. Go in with me; and counsel every man The aptest way for safety and revenge. Get posts and letters, and make friends with speed- Never so few, and never yet more need.Exeunt SCENE II. London. A street

Enter SIR JOHN FALSTAFF, with his PAGE bearing his sword and buckler

FALSTAFF. Sirrah, you giant, what says the doctor to my water?

PAGE. He said, sir, the water itself was a good healthy water; but for the party that owed it, he might have moe diseases than he knew for.

FALSTAFF. Men of all sorts take a pride to gird at me. The brain of this foolish-compounded clay, man, is not able to invent anything that intends to laughter, more than I invent or is invented on me. I am not only witty in myself, but the cause that wit is in other men. I do here walk before thee like a sow that hath overwhelm'd all her litter but one. If the Prince put thee into my service for any other reason than to set me off, why then I have no judgment. Thou whoreson mandrake, thou art fitter to be worn in my cap than to wait at my heels. I was never mann'd with an agate till now; but I will inset you neither in gold nor silver, but in vile apparel, and send you back again to your master, for a jewel- the juvenal, the Prince your master, whose chin is not yet fledge. I will sooner have a beard grow in the palm of my hand than he shall get one off his cheek; and yet he will not stick to say his face is a face-royal. God may finish it when he will, 'tis not a hair amiss yet. He may keep it still at a face-royal, for a barber shall never earn sixpence out of it; and yet he'll be crowing as if he had writ man ever since his father was a bachelor. He may keep his own grace, but he's almost out of mine, I can assure him. What said Master Dommelton about the satin for my short cloak and my slops?

PAGE. He said, sir, you should procure him better assurance than Bardolph. He would not take his band and yours; he liked not the security.

FALSTAFF. Let him be damn'd, like the Glutton; pray God his tongue be hotter! A whoreson Achitophel! A rascal-yea-forsooth knave, to bear a gentleman in hand, and then stand upon security! The whoreson smooth-pates do now wear nothing but high shoes, and bunches of keys at their girdles; and if a man is through with them in honest taking-up, then they must stand upon security. I had as lief they would put ratsbane in my mouth as offer to stop it with security. I look'd 'a should have sent me two and twenty yards of satin, as I am a true knight, and he sends me security. Well, he may sleep in security; for he hath the horn of abundance, and the lightness of his wife shines through it; and yet cannot he see, though he have his own lanthorn to light him. Where's Bardolph?

PAGE. He's gone into Smithfield to buy your worship horse.

FALSTAFF. I bought him in Paul's, and he'll buy me a horse in Smithfield. An I could get me but a wife in the stews, I were mann'd, hors'd, and wiv'd.


PAGE. Sir, here comes the nobleman that committed the Prince for striking him about Bardolph.

FALSTAFF. Wait close; I will not see him.

CHIEF JUSTICE. What's he that goes there?

SERVANT. Falstaff, an't please your lordship.

CHIEF JUSTICE. He that was in question for the robb'ry?

SERVANT. He, my lord; but he hath since done good service at Shrewsbury, and, as I hear, is now going with some charge to the Lord John of Lancaster.

CHIEF JUSTICE. What, to York? Call him back again.

SERVANT. Sir John Falstaff!

FALSTAFF. Boy, tell him I am deaf.

PAGE. You must speak louder; my master is deaf.

CHIEF JUSTICE. I am sure he is, to the hearing of anything good. Go, pluck him by the elbow; I must speak with him.

SERVANT. Sir John!

FALSTAFF. What! a young knave, and begging! Is there not wars? Is there not employment? Doth not the King lack subjects? Do not the rebels need soldiers? Though it be a shame to be on any side but one, it is worse shame to beg than to be on the worst side, were it worse than the name of rebellion can tell how to make it.

SERVANT. You mistake me, sir.

FALSTAFF. Why, sir, did I say you were an honest man? Setting my knighthood and my soldiership aside, I had lied in my throat if I had said so.

SERVANT. I pray you, sir, then set your knighthood and your soldiership aside; and give me leave to tell you you in your throat, if you say I am any other than an honest man.

FALSTAFF. I give thee leave to tell me so! I lay aside that which grows to me! If thou get'st any leave of me, hang me; if thou tak'st leave, thou wert better be hang'd. You hunt counter. Hence! Avaunt!

SERVANT. Sir, my lord would speak with you.

CHIEF JUSTICE. Sir John Falstaff, a word with you.

FALSTAFF. My good lord! God give your lordship good time of day. I am glad to see your lordship abroad. I heard say your lordship was sick; I hope your lordship goes abroad by advice. Your lordship, though not clean past your youth, hath yet some smack of age in you, some relish of the saltness of time; and I most humbly beseech your lordship to have a reverend care of your health.

CHIEF JUSTICE. Sir John, I sent for you before your expedition to Shrewsbury.

FALSTAFF. An't please your lordship, I hear his Majesty is return'd with some discomfort from Wales.

CHIEF JUSTICE. I talk not of his Majesty. You would not come when I sent for you.

FALSTAFF. And I hear, moreover, his Highness is fall'n into this same whoreson apoplexy.

CHIEF JUSTICE. Well God mend him! I pray you let me speak with you.

FALSTAFF. This apoplexy, as I take it, is a kind of lethargy, an't please your lordship, a kind of sleeping in the blood, a whoreson tingling.

CHIEF JUSTICE. What tell you me of it? Be it as it is.

FALSTAFF. It hath it original from much grief, from study, and perturbation of the brain. I have read the cause of his effects in Galen; it is a kind of deafness.

CHIEF JUSTICE. I think you are fall'n into the disease, for you hear not what I say to you.

FALSTAFF. Very well, my lord, very well. Rather an't please you, it is the disease of not listening, the malady of not marking, that I am troubled withal.

CHIEF JUSTICE. To punish you by the heels would amend the attention of your ears; and I care not if I do become your physician.

FALSTAFF. I am as poor as Job, my lord, but not so patient. Your lordship may minister the potion of imprisonment to me in respect of poverty; but how I should be your patient to follow your prescriptions, the wise may make some dram of a scruple, or indeed a scruple itself.

CHIEF JUSTICE. I sent for you, when there were matters against you for your life, to come speak with me.

FALSTAFF. As I was then advis'd by my learned counsel in the laws of this land-service, I did not come.

CHIEF JUSTICE. Well, the truth is, Sir John, you live in great infamy.

FALSTAFF. He that buckles himself in my belt cannot live in less.

CHIEF JUSTICE. Your means are very slender, and your waste is great.

FALSTAFF. I would it were otherwise; I would my means were greater and my waist slenderer.

CHIEF JUSTICE. You have misled the youthful Prince.

FALSTAFF. The young Prince hath misled me. I am the fellow with the great belly, and he my dog.

CHIEF JUSTICE. Well, I am loath to gall a new-heal'd wound. Your day's service at Shrewsbury hath a little gilded over your night's exploit on Gadshill. You may thank th' unquiet time for your quiet o'erposting that action.

FALSTAFF. My lord-

CHIEF JUSTICE. But since all is well, keep it so: wake not a sleeping wolf.

FALSTAFF. To wake a wolf is as bad as smell a fox.

CHIEF JUSTICE. What! you are as a candle, the better part burnt out.

FALSTAFF. A wassail candle, my lord- all tallow; if I did say of wax, my growth would approve the truth.

CHIEF JUSTICE. There is not a white hair in your face but should have his effect of gravity.

FALSTAFF. His effect of gravy, gravy,

CHIEF JUSTICE. You follow the young Prince up and down, like his ill angel.

FALSTAFF. Not so, my lord. Your ill angel is light; but hope he that looks upon me will take me without weighing. And yet in some respects, I grant, I cannot go- I cannot tell. Virtue is of so little regard in these costermongers' times that true valour is turn'd berod; pregnancy is made a tapster, and his quick wit wasted in giving reckonings; all the other gifts appertinent to man, as the malice of this age shapes them, are not worth a gooseberry. You that are old consider not the capacities of us that are young; you do measure the heat of our livers with the bitterness of your galls; and we that are in the vaward of our youth, must confess, are wags too.

CHIEF JUSTICE. Do you set down your name in the scroll of youth, that are written down old with all the characters of age? Have you not a moist eye, a dry hand, a yellow cheek, a white beard, a decreasing leg, an increasing belly? Is not your voice broken, your wind short, your chin double, your wit single, and every part about you blasted with antiquity? And will you yet call yourself young? Fie, fie, fie, Sir John!

FALSTAFF. My lord, I was born about three of the clock in the afternoon, with a white head and something a round belly. For my voice- I have lost it with hallooing and singing of anthems. To approve my youth further, I will not. The truth is, I am only old in judgment and understanding; and he that will caper with me for a thousand marks, let him lend me the money, and have at him. For the box of the ear that the Prince gave you- he gave it like a rude prince, and you took it like a sensible lord. I have check'd him for it; and the young lion repents- marry, not in ashes and sackcloth, but in new silk and old sack.

CHIEF JUSTICE. Well, God send the Prince a better companion!

FALSTAFF. God send the companion a better prince! I cannot rid my hands of him.

CHIEF JUSTICE. Well, the King hath sever'd you. I hear you are going with Lord John of Lancaster against the Archbishop and the Earl of Northumberland.

FALSTAFF. Yea; I thank your pretty sweet wit for it. But look you pray, all you that kiss my Lady Peace at home, that our armies join not in a hot day; for, by the Lord, I take but two shirts out with me, and I mean not to sweat extraordinarily. If it be a hot day, and I brandish anything but a bottle, I would I might never spit white again. There is not a dangerous action can peep out his head but I am thrust upon it. Well, I cannot last ever; but it was alway yet the trick of our English nation, if they have a good thing, to make it too common. If ye will needs say I am an old man, you should give me rest. I would to God my name were not so terrible to the enemy as it is. I were better to be eaten to death with a rust than to be scoured to nothing with perpetual motion.

CHIEF JUSTICE. Well, be honest, be honest; and God bless your expedition!

FALSTAFF. Will your lordship lend me a thousand pound to furnish me forth?

CHIEF JUSTICE. Not a penny, not a penny; you are too impatient to bear crosses. Fare you well. Commend me to my cousin Westmoreland. Exeunt CHIEF JUSTICE and SERVANT

FALSTAFF. If I do, fillip me with a three-man beetle. A man can no more separate age and covetousness than 'a can part young limbs and lechery; but the gout galls the one, and the pox pinches the other; and so both the degrees prevent my curses. Boy!

PAGE. Sir?

FALSTAFF. What money is in my purse?

PAGE. Seven groats and two pence.

FALSTAFF. I can get no remedy against this consumption of the purse; borrowing only lingers and lingers it out, but the disease is incurable. Go bear this letter to my Lord of Lancaster; this to the Prince; this to the Earl of Westmoreland; and this to old Mistress Ursula, whom I have weekly sworn to marry since I perceiv'd the first white hair of my chin. About it; you know where to find me. [Exit PAGE] A pox of this gout! or, a gout of this pox! for the one or the other plays the rogue with my great toe. 'Tis no matter if I do halt; I have the wars for my colour, and my pension shall seem the more reasonable. A good wit will make use of anything. I will turn diseases to commodity. Exit SCENE III.

York. The ARCHBISHOP'S palace


ARCHBISHOP. Thus have you heard our cause and known our means; And, my most noble friends, I pray you all Speak plainly your opinions of our hopes- And first, Lord Marshal, what say you to it?

MOWBRAY. I well allow the occasion of our amis; But gladly would be better satisfied How, in our means, we should advance ourselves To look with forehead bold and big enough Upon the power and puissance of the King.

HASTINGS. Our present musters grow upon the file To five and twenty thousand men of choice; And our supplies live largely in the hope Of great Northumberland, whose bosom burns With an incensed fire of injuries.

LORD BARDOLPH. The question then, Lord Hastings, standeth thus: Whether our present five and twenty thousand May hold up head without Northumberland?

HASTINGS. With him, we may.

LORD BARDOLPH. Yea, marry, there's the point; But if without him we be thought too feeble, My judgment is we should not step too far Till we had his assistance by the hand; For, in a theme so bloody-fac'd as this, Conjecture, expectation, and surmise Of aids incertain, should not be admitted.

ARCHBISHOP. 'Tis very true, Lord Bardolph; for indeed It was young Hotspur's case at Shrewsbury.

LORD BARDOLPH. It was, my lord; who lin'd himself with hope, Eating the air and promise of supply, Flatt'ring himself in project of a power Much smaller than the smallest of his thoughts; And so, with great imagination Proper to madmen, led his powers to death, And, winking, leapt into destruction.

HASTINGS. But, by your leave, it never yet did hurt To lay down likelihoods and forms of hope.

LORD BARDOLPH. Yes, if this present quality of war- Indeed the instant action, a cause on foot- Lives so in hope, as in an early spring We see th' appearing buds; which to prove fruit Hope gives not so much warrant, as despair That frosts will bite them. When we mean to build, We first survey the plot, then draw the model; And when we see the figure of the house, Then we must rate the cost of the erection; Which if we find outweighs ability, What do we then but draw anew the model In fewer offices, or at least desist To build at all? Much more, in this great work- Which is almost to pluck a kingdom down And set another up- should we survey The plot of situation and the model, Consent upon a sure foundation, Question surveyors, know our own estate How able such a work to undergo- To weigh against his opposite; or else We fortify in paper and in figures, Using the names of men instead of men; Like one that draws the model of a house Beyond his power to build it; who, half through, Gives o'er and leaves his part-created cost A naked subject to the weeping clouds And waste for churlish winter's tyranny.

HASTINGS. Grant that our hopes- yet likely of fair birth- Should be still-born, and that we now possess'd The utmost man of expectation, I think we are so a body strong enough, Even as we are, to equal with the King.

LORD BARDOLPH. What, is the King but five and twenty thousand?

HASTINGS. To us no more; nay, not so much, Lord Bardolph; For his divisions, as the times do brawl, Are in three heads: one power against the French, And one against Glendower; perforce a third Must take up us. So is the unfirm King In three divided; and his coffers sound With hollow poverty and emptiness.

ARCHBISHOP. That he should draw his several strengths together And come against us in full puissance Need not be dreaded.

HASTINGS. If he should do so, He leaves his back unarm'd, the French and Welsh Baying at his heels. Never fear that.

LORD BARDOLPH. Who is it like should lead his forces hither?

HASTINGS. The Duke of Lancaster and Westmoreland; Against the Welsh, himself and Harry Monmouth; But who is substituted against the French I have no certain notice.

ARCHBISHOP. Let us on, And publish the occasion of our arms. The commonwealth is sick of their own choice; Their over-greedy love hath surfeited. An habitation giddy and unsure Hath he that buildeth on the vulgar heart. O thou fond many, with what loud applause Didst thou beat heaven with blessing Bolingbroke Before he was what thou wouldst have him be! And being now trimm'd in thine own desires, Thou, beastly feeder, art so full of him That thou provok'st thyself to cast him up. So, so, thou common dog, didst thou disgorge Thy glutton bosom of the royal Richard; And now thou wouldst eat thy dead vomit up, And howl'st to find it. What trust is in these times? They that, when Richard liv'd, would have him die Are now become enamour'd on his grave. Thou that threw'st dust upon his goodly head, When through proud London he came sighing on After th' admired heels of Bolingbroke, Criest now 'O earth, yield us that king again, And take thou this!' O thoughts of men accurs'd! Past and to come seems best; things present, worst.

MOWBRAY. Shall we go draw our numbers, and set on?

HASTINGS. We are time's subjects, and time bids be gone.

Exeunt ACT II. SCENE I. London. A street

Enter HOSTESS with two officers, FANG and SNARE

HOSTESS. Master Fang, have you ent'red the action?

FANG. It is ent'red.

HOSTESS. Where's your yeoman? Is't a lusty yeoman? Will 'a stand to't?

FANG. Sirrah, where's Snare?

HOSTESS. O Lord, ay! good Master Snare.

SNARE. Here, here.

FANG. Snare, we must arrest Sir John Falstaff.

HOSTESS. Yea, good Master Snare; I have ent'red him and all.

SNARE. It may chance cost some of our lives, for he will stab.

HOSTESS. Alas the day! take heed of him; he stabb'd me in mine own house, and that most beastly. In good faith, 'a cares not what mischief he does, if his weapon be out; he will foin like any devil; he will spare neither man, woman, nor child.

FANG. If I can close with him, I care not for his thrust.

HOSTESS. No, nor I neither; I'll be at your elbow.

FANG. An I but fist him once; an 'a come but within my vice!

HOSTESS. I am undone by his going; I warrant you, he's an infinitive thing upon my score. Good Master Fang, hold him sure. Good Master Snare, let him not scape. 'A comes continuantly to Pie-corner- saving your manhoods- to buy a saddle; and he is indited to dinner to the Lubber's Head in Lumbert Street, to Master Smooth's the silkman. I pray you, since my exion is ent'red, and my case so openly known to the world, let him be brought in to his answer. A hundred mark is a long one for a poor lone woman to bear; and I have borne, and borne, and borne; and have been fubb'd off, and fubb'd off, and fubb'd off, from this day to that day, that it is a shame to be thought on. There is no honesty in such dealing; unless a woman should be made an ass and a beast, to bear every knave's wrong.


Yonder he comes; and that arrant malmsey-nose knave, Bardolph, with him. Do your offices, do your offices, Master Fang and Master Snare; do me, do me, do me your offices.

FALSTAFF. How now! whose mare's dead? What's the matter?

FANG. Sir John, I arrest you at the suit of Mistress Quickly.

FALSTAFF. Away, varlets! Draw, Bardolph. Cut me off the villian's head. Throw the quean in the channel.

HOSTESS. Throw me in the channel! I'll throw thee in the channel. Wilt thou? wilt thou? thou bastardly rogue! Murder, murder! Ah, thou honeysuckle villain! wilt thou kill God's officers and the King's? Ah, thou honey-seed rogue! thou art a honey-seed; a man-queller and a woman-queller.

FALSTAFF. Keep them off, Bardolph.

FANG. A rescue! a rescue!

HOSTESS. Good people, bring a rescue or two. Thou wot, wot thou! thou wot, wot ta? Do, do, thou rogue! do, thou hemp-seed!

PAGE. Away, you scullion! you rampallian! you fustilarian! I'll tickle your catastrophe.

Enter the LORD CHIEF JUSTICE and his men

CHIEF JUSTICE. What is the matter? Keep the peace here, ho!

HOSTESS. Good my lord, be good to me. I beseech you, stand to me.

CHIEF JUSTICE. How now, Sir John! what, are you brawling here? Doth this become your place, your time, and business? You should have been well on your way to York. Stand from him, fellow; wherefore hang'st thou upon him?

HOSTESS. O My most worshipful lord, an't please your Grace, I am a poor widow of Eastcheap, and he is arrested at my suit.

CHIEF JUSTICE. For what sum?

HOSTESS. It is more than for some, my lord; it is for all- all I have. He hath eaten me out of house and home; he hath put all my substance into that fat belly of his. But I will have some of it out again, or I will ride thee a nights like a mare.

FALSTAFF. I think I am as like to ride the mare, if I have any vantage of ground to get up.

CHIEF JUSTICE. How comes this, Sir John? Fie! What man of good temper would endure this tempest of exclamation? Are you not ashamed to enforce a poor widow to so rough a course to come by her own?

FALSTAFF. What is the gross sum that I owe thee?

HOSTESS. Marry, if thou wert an honest man, thyself and the money too. Thou didst swear to me upon a parcel-gilt goblet, sitting in my Dolphin chamber, at the round table, by a sea-coal fire, upon Wednesday in Wheeson week, when the Prince broke thy head for liking his father to singing-man of Windsor- thou didst swear to me then, as I was washing thy wound, to marry me and make me my lady thy wife. Canst thou deny it? Did not goodwife Keech, the butcher's wife, come in then and call me gossip Quickly? Coming in to borrow a mess of vinegar, telling us she had a good dish of prawns, whereby thou didst desire to eat some, whereby I told thee they were ill for green wound? And didst thou not, when she was gone down stairs, desire me to be no more so familiarity with such poor people, saying that ere long they should call me madam? And didst thou not kiss me, and bid me fetch the thirty shillings? I put thee now to thy book-oath. Deny it, if thou canst.

FALSTAFF. My lord, this is a poor mad soul, and she says up and down the town that her eldest son is like you. She hath been in good case, and, the truth is, poverty hath distracted her. But for these foolish officers, I beseech you I may have redress against them.

CHIEF JUSTICE. Sir John, Sir John, I am well acquainted with your manner of wrenching the true cause the false way. It is not a confident brow, nor the throng of words that come with such more than impudent sauciness from you, can thrust me from a level consideration. You have, as it appears to me, practis'd upon the easy yielding spirit of this woman, and made her serve your uses both in purse and in person.

HOSTESS. Yea, in truth, my lord.

CHIEF JUSTICE. Pray thee, peace. Pay her the debt you owe her, and unpay the villainy you have done with her; the one you may do with sterling money, and the other with current repentance.

FALSTAFF. My lord, I will not undergo this sneap without reply. You call honourable boldness impudent sauciness; if a man will make curtsy and say nothing, he is virtuous. No, my lord, my humble duty rememb'red, I will not be your suitor. I say to you I do desire deliverance from these officers, being upon hasty employment in the King's affairs.

CHIEF JUSTICE. You speak as having power to do wrong; but answer in th' effect of your reputation, and satisfy the poor woman.

FALSTAFF. Come hither, hostess.


CHIEF JUSTICE. Now, Master Gower, what news?

GOWER. The King, my lord, and Harry Prince of Wales Are near at hand. The rest the paper tells. [Gives a letter]

FALSTAFF. As I am a gentleman!

HOSTESS. Faith, you said so before.

FALSTAFF. As I am a gentleman! Come, no more words of it.

HOSTESS. By this heavenly ground I tread on, I must be fain to pawn both my plate and the tapestry of my dining-chambers.

FALSTAFF. Glasses, glasses, is the only drinking; and for thy walls, a pretty slight drollery, or the story of the Prodigal, or the German hunting, in water-work, is worth a thousand of these bed-hangers and these fly-bitten tapestries. Let it be ten pound, if thou canst. Come, and 'twere not for thy humours, there's not a better wench in England. Go, wash thy face, and draw the action. Come, thou must not be in this humour with me; dost not know me? Come, come, I know thou wast set on to this.

HOSTESS. Pray thee, Sir John, let it be but twenty nobles; i' faith, I am loath to pawn my plate, so God save me, la!

FALSTAFF. Let it alone; I'll make other shift. You'll be a fool still.

HOSTESS. Well, you shall have it, though I pawn my gown. I hope you'll come to supper. you'll pay me all together?

FALSTAFF. Will I live? [To BARDOLPH] Go, with her, with her; hook on, hook on.

HOSTESS. Will you have Doll Tearsheet meet you at supper?

FALSTAFF. No more words; let's have her.


CHIEF JUSTICE. I have heard better news.

FALSTAFF. What's the news, my lord?

CHIEF JUSTICE. Where lay the King to-night?

GOWER. At Basingstoke, my lord.

FALSTAFF. I hope, my lord, all's well. What is the news, my lord?

CHIEF JUSTICE. Come all his forces back?

GOWER. No; fifteen hundred foot, five hundred horse, Are march'd up to my Lord of Lancaster, Against Northumberland and the Archbishop.

FALSTAFF. Comes the King back from Wales, my noble lord?

CHIEF JUSTICE. You shall have letters of me presently. Come, go along with me, good Master Gower.

FALSTAFF. My lord!

CHIEF JUSTICE. What's the matter?

FALSTAFF. Master Gower, shall I entreat you with me to dinner?

GOWER. I must wait upon my good lord here, I thank you, good Sir John.

CHIEF JUSTICE. Sir John, you loiter here too long, being you are to take soldiers up in counties as you go.

FALSTAFF. Will you sup with me, Master Gower?

CHIEF JUSTICE. What foolish master taught you these manners, Sir John?

FALSTAFF. Master Gower, if they become me not, he was a fool that taught them me. This is the right fencing grace, my lord; tap for tap, and so part fair.

CHIEF JUSTICE. Now, the Lord lighten thee! Thou art a great fool.

Exeunt SCENE II.

London. Another street


PRINCE. Before God, I am exceeding weary.

POINS. Is't come to that? I had thought weariness durst not have attach'd one of so high blood.

PRINCE. Faith, it does me; though it discolours the complexion of my greatness to acknowledge it. Doth it not show vilely in me to desire small beer?

POINS. Why, a prince should not be so loosely studied as to remember so weak a composition.

PRINCE. Belike then my appetite was not-princely got; for, by my troth, I do now remember the poor creature, small beer. But indeed these humble considerations make me out of love with my greatness. What a disgrace is it to me to remember thy name, or to know thy face to-morrow, or to take note how many pair of silk stockings thou hast- viz., these, and those that were thy peach-colour'd ones- or to bear the inventory of thy shirts- as, one for superfluity, and another for use! But that the tennis-court-keeper knows better than I; for it is a low ebb of linen with thee when thou keepest not racket there; as thou hast not done a great while, because the rest of thy low countries have made a shift to eat up thy holland. And God knows whether those that bawl out of the ruins of thy linen shall inherit his kingdom; but the midwives say the children are not in the fault; whereupon the world increases, and kindreds are mightily strengthened.

POINS. How ill it follows, after you have laboured so hard, you should talk so idly! Tell me, how many good young princes would do so, their fathers being so sick as yours at this time is?

PRINCE. Shall I tell thee one thing, Poins?

POINS. Yes, faith; and let it be an excellent good thing.

PRINCE. It shall serve among wits of no higher breeding than thine.

POINS. Go to; I stand the push of your one thing that you will tell.

PRINCE. Marry, I tell thee it is not meet that I should be sad, now my father is sick; albeit I could tell to thee- as to one it pleases me, for fault of a better, to call my friend- I could be sad and sad indeed too.

POINS. Very hardly upon such a subject.

PRINCE. By this hand, thou thinkest me as far in the devil's book as thou and Falstaff for obduracy and persistency: let the end try the man. But I tell thee my heart bleeds inwardly that my father is so sick; and keeping such vile company as thou art hath in reason taken from me all ostentation of sorrow.

POINS. The reason?

PRINCE. What wouldst thou think of me if I should weep?

POINS. I would think thee a most princely hypocrite.

PRINCE. It would be every man's thought; and thou art a blessed fellow to think as every man thinks. Never a man's thought in the world keeps the road-way better than thine. Every man would think me an hypocrite indeed. And what accites your most worshipful thought to think so?

POINS. Why, because you have been so lewd and so much engraffed to Falstaff.

PRINCE. And to thee.

POINS. By this light, I am well spoke on; I can hear it with mine own ears. The worst that they can say of me is that I am a second brother and that I am a proper fellow of my hands; and those two things, I confess, I cannot help. By the mass, here comes Bardolph.


PRINCE. And the boy that I gave Falstaff. 'A had him from me Christian; and look if the fat villain have not transform'd him ape.

BARDOLPH. God save your Grace!

PRINCE. And yours, most noble Bardolph!

POINS. Come, you virtuous ass, you bashful fool, must you be blushing? Wherefore blush you now? What a maidenly man-at-arms are you become! Is't such a matter to get a pottle-pot's maidenhead?

PAGE. 'A calls me e'en now, my lord, through a red lattice, and I could discern no part of his face from the window. At last I spied his eyes; and methought he had made two holes in the alewife's new petticoat, and so peep'd through.

PRINCE. Has not the boy profited?

BARDOLPH. Away, you whoreson upright rabbit, away!

PAGE. Away, you rascally Althaea's dream, away!

PRINCE. Instruct us, boy; what dream, boy?

PAGE. Marry, my lord, Althaea dreamt she was delivered of a firebrand; and therefore I call him her dream.

PRINCE. A crown's worth of good interpretation. There 'tis, boy. [Giving a crown]

POINS. O that this blossom could be kept from cankers! Well, there is sixpence to preserve thee.

BARDOLPH. An you do not make him be hang'd among you, the gallows shall have wrong.

PRINCE. And how doth thy master, Bardolph?

BARDOLPH. Well, my lord. He heard of your Grace's coming to town. There's a letter for you.

POINS. Deliver'd with good respect. And how doth the martlemas, your master?

BARDOLPH. In bodily health, sir.

POINS. Marry, the immortal part needs a physician; but that moves not him. Though that be sick, it dies not.

PRINCE. I do allow this well to be as familiar with me as my dog; and he holds his place, for look you how he writes.

POINS. [Reads] 'John Falstaff, knight'- Every man must know that as oft as he has occasion to name himself, even like those that are kin to the King; for they never prick their finger but they say 'There's some of the King's blood spilt.' 'How comes that?' says he that takes upon him not to conceive. The answer is as ready as a borrower's cap: 'I am the King's poor cousin, sir.'

PRINCE. Nay, they will be kin to us, or they will fetch it from Japhet. But the letter: [Reads] 'Sir John Falstaff, knight, to the son of the King nearest his father, Harry Prince of Wales, greeting.'

POINS. Why, this is a certificate.

PRINCE. Peace! [Reads] 'I will imitate the honourable Romans in brevity.'-

POINS. He sure means brevity in breath, short-winded.

PRINCE. [Reads] 'I commend me to thee, I commend thee, and I leave thee. Be not too familiar with Poins; for he misuses thy favours so much that he swears thou art to marry his sister Nell. Repent at idle times as thou mayst, and so farewell.

Thine, by yea and no- which is as much as to say as thou usest him- JACK FALSTAFF with my familiars, JOHN with my brothers and sisters, and SIR JOHN with all Europe.'

POINS. My lord, I'll steep this letter in sack and make him eat it.

PRINCE. That's to make him eat twenty of his words. But do you use me thus, Ned? Must I marry your sister?

POINS. God send the wench no worse fortune! But I never said so.

PRINCE. Well, thus we play the fools with the time, and the spirits of the wise sit in the clouds and mock us. Is your master here in London?

BARDOLPH. Yea, my lord.

PRINCE. Where sups he? Doth the old boar feed in the old frank?

BARDOLPH. At the old place, my lord, in Eastcheap.

PRINCE. What company?

PAGE. Ephesians, my lord, of the old church.

PRINCE. Sup any women with him?

PAGE. None, my lord, but old Mistress Quickly and Mistress Doll Tearsheet.

PRINCE. What pagan may that be?

PAGE. A proper gentlewoman, sir, and a kinswoman of my master's.

PRINCE. Even such kin as the parish heifers are to the town bull. Shall we steal upon them, Ned, at supper?

POINS. I am your shadow, my lord; I'll follow you.

PRINCE. Sirrah, you boy, and Bardolph, no word to your master that I am yet come to town. There's for your silence.

BARDOLPH. I have no tongue, sir.

PAGE. And for mine, sir, I will govern it.

PRINCE. Fare you well; go.Exeunt BARDOLPH and PAGE This Doll Tearsheet should be some road.

POINS. I warrant you, as common as the way between Saint Albans and London.

PRINCE. How might we see Falstaff bestow himself to-night in his true colours, and not ourselves be seen?

POINS. Put on two leathern jerkins and aprons, and wait upon him at his table as drawers.

PRINCE. From a god to a bull? A heavy descension! It was Jove's case. From a prince to a prentice? A low transformation! That shall be mine; for in everything the purpose must weigh with the folly. Follow me, Ned.


Warkworth. Before the castle



NORTHUMBERLAND. I pray thee, loving wife, and gentle daughter, Give even way unto my rough affairs; Put not you on the visage of the times And be, like them, to Percy troublesome.

LADY NORTHUMBERLAND. I have given over, I will speak no more. Do what you will; your wisdom be your guide.

NORTHUMBERLAND. Alas, sweet wife, my honour is at pawn; And but my going nothing can redeem it.

LADY PERCY. O, yet, for God's sake, go not to these wars! The time was, father, that you broke your word, When you were more endear'd to it than now; When your own Percy, when my heart's dear Harry, Threw many a northward look to see his father Bring up his powers; but he did long in vain. Who then persuaded you to stay at home? There were two honours lost, yours and your son's. For yours, the God of heaven brighten it! For his, it stuck upon him as the sun In the grey vault of heaven; and by his light Did all the chivalry of England move To do brave acts. He was indeed the glass Wherein the noble youth did dress themselves. He had no legs that practis'd not his gait; And speaking thick, which nature made his blemish, Became the accents of the valiant; For those who could speak low and tardily Would turn their own perfection to abuse To seem like him: so that in speech, in gait, In diet, in affections of delight, In military rules, humours of blood, He was the mark and glass, copy and book, That fashion'd others. And him- O wondrous him! O miracle of men!- him did you leave- Second to none, unseconded by you- To look upon the hideous god of war In disadvantage, to abide a field Where nothing but the sound of Hotspur's name Did seem defensible. So you left him. Never, O never, do his ghost the wrong To hold your honour more precise and nice With others than with him! Let them alone. The Marshal and the Archbishop are strong. Had my sweet Harry had but half their numbers, To-day might I, hanging on Hotspur's neck, Have talk'd of Monmouth's grave.

NORTHUMBERLAND. Beshrew your heart, Fair daughter, you do draw my spirits from me With new lamenting ancient oversights. But I must go and meet with danger there, Or it will seek me in another place, And find me worse provided.

LADY NORTHUMBERLAND. O, fly to Scotland Till that the nobles and the armed commons Have of their puissance made a little taste.

LADY PERCY. If they get ground and vantage of the King, Then join you with them, like a rib of steel, To make strength stronger; but, for all our loves, First let them try themselves. So did your son; He was so suff'red; so came I a widow; And never shall have length of life enough To rain upon remembrance with mine eyes, That it may grow and sprout as high as heaven, For recordation to my noble husband.

NORTHUMBERLAND. Come, come, go in with me. 'Tis with my mind As with the tide swell'd up unto his height, That makes a still-stand, running neither way. Fain would I go to meet the Archbishop, But many thousand reasons hold me back. I will resolve for Scotland. There am I, Till time and vantage crave my company. Exeunt SCENE IV. London. The Boar's Head Tavern in Eastcheap

Enter FRANCIS and another DRAWER

FRANCIS. What the devil hast thou brought there-apple-johns? Thou knowest Sir John cannot endure an apple-john.

SECOND DRAWER. Mass, thou say'st true. The Prince once set a dish of apple-johns before him, and told him there were five more Sir Johns; and, putting off his hat, said 'I will now take my leave of these six dry, round, old, withered knights.' It ang'red him to the heart; but he hath forgot that.

FRANCIS. Why, then, cover and set them down; and see if thou canst find out Sneak's noise; Mistress Tearsheet would fain hear some music.

Enter third DRAWER

THIRD DRAWER. Dispatch! The room where they supp'd is too hot; they'll come in straight.

FRANCIS. Sirrah, here will be the Prince and Master Poins anon; and they will put on two of our jerkins and aprons; and Sir John must not know of it. Bardolph hath brought word.

THIRD DRAWER. By the mass, here will be old uds; it will be an excellent stratagem.

SECOND DRAWER. I'll see if I can find out Sneak. Exeunt second and third DRAWERS


HOSTESS. I' faith, sweetheart, methinks now you are in an excellent good temperality. Your pulsidge beats as extraordinarily as heart would desire; and your colour, I warrant you, is as red as any rose, in good truth, la! But, i' faith, you have drunk too much canaries; and that's a marvellous searching wine, and it perfumes the blood ere one can say 'What's this?' How do you now?

DOLL. Better than I was- hem.

HOSTESS. Why, that's well said; a good heart's worth gold. Lo, here comes Sir John.


FALSTAFF. [Singing] 'When Arthur first in court'- Empty the jordan. [Exit FRANCIS]- [Singing] 'And was a worthy king'- How now, Mistress Doll!

HOSTESS. Sick of a calm; yea, good faith.

FALSTAFF. So is all her sect; and they be once in a calm, they are sick.

DOLL. A pox damn you, you muddy rascal! Is that all the comfort you give me?

FALSTAFF. You make fat rascals, Mistress Doll.

DOLL. I make them! Gluttony and diseases make them: I make them not.

FALSTAFF. If the cook help to make the gluttony, you help to make the diseases, Doll. We catch of you, Doll, we catch of you; grant that, my poor virtue, grant that.

DOLL. Yea, joy, our chains and our jewels.

FALSTAFF. 'Your brooches, pearls, and ouches.' For to serve bravely is to come halting off; you know, to come off the breach with his pike bent bravely, and to surgery bravely; to venture upon the charg'd chambers bravely-

DOLL. Hang yourself, you muddy conger, hang yourself!

HOSTESS. By my troth, this is the old fashion; you two never meet but you fall to some discord. You are both, i' good truth, as rheumatic as two dry toasts; you cannot one bear with another's confirmities. What the good-year! one must bear, and that must be you. You are the weaker vessel, as as they say, the emptier vessel.

DOLL. Can a weak empty vessel bear such a huge full hogs-head? There's a whole merchant's venture of Bourdeaux stuff in him; you have not seen a hulk better stuff'd in the hold. Come, I'll be friends with thee, Jack. Thou art going to the wars; and whether I shall ever see thee again or no, there is nobody cares.

Re-enter FRANCIS

FRANCIS. Sir, Ancient Pistol's below and would speak with you.

DOLL. Hang him, swaggering rascal! Let him not come hither; it is the foul-mouth'dst rogue in England.

HOSTESS. If he swagger, let him not come here. No, by my faith! I must live among my neighbours; I'll no swaggerers. I am in good name and fame with the very best. Shut the door. There comes no swaggerers here; I have not liv'd all this while to have swaggering now. Shut the door, I pray you.

FALSTAFF. Dost thou hear, hostess?

HOSTESS. Pray ye, pacify yourself, Sir John; there comes no swaggerers here.

FALSTAFF. Dost thou hear? It is mine ancient.

HOSTESS. Tilly-fally, Sir John, ne'er tell me; and your ancient swagg'rer comes not in my doors. I was before Master Tisick, the debuty, t' other day; and, as he said to me- 'twas no longer ago than Wednesday last, i' good faith!- 'Neighbour Quickly,' says he- Master Dumbe, our minister, was by then- 'Neighbour Quickly,' says he 'receive those that are civil, for' said he 'you are in an ill name.' Now 'a said so, I can tell whereupon. 'For' says he 'you are an honest woman and well thought on, therefore take heed what guests you receive. Receive' says he 'no swaggering companions.' There comes none here. You would bless you to hear what he said. No, I'll no swagg'rers.

FALSTAFF. He's no swagg'rer, hostess; a tame cheater, i' faith; you may stroke him as gently as a puppy greyhound. He'll not swagger with a Barbary hen, if her feathers turn back in any show of resistance. Call him up, drawer. Exit FRANCIS

HOSTESS. Cheater, call you him? I will bar no honest man my house, nor no cheater; but I do not love swaggering, by my troth. I am the worse when one says 'swagger.' Feel, masters, how I shake; look you, I warrant you.

DOLL. So you do, hostess.

HOSTESS. Do I? Yea, in very truth, do I, an 'twere an aspen leaf. I cannot abide swagg'rers.


PISTOL. God save you, Sir John!

FALSTAFF. Welcome, Ancient Pistol. Here, Pistol, I charge you with a cup of sack; do you discharge upon mine hostess.

PISTOL. I will discharge upon her, Sir John, with two bullets.

FALSTAFF. She is pistol-proof, sir; you shall not hardly offend her.

HOSTESS. Come, I'll drink no proofs nor no bullets. I'll drink no more than will do me good, for no man's pleasure, I.

PISTOL. Then to you, Mistress Dorothy; I will charge you.

DOLL. Charge me! I scorn you, scurvy companion. What! you poor, base, rascally, cheating, lack-linen mate! Away, you mouldy rogue, away! I am meat for your master.

PISTOL. I know you, Mistress Dorothy.

DOLL. Away, you cut-purse rascal! you filthy bung, away! By this wine, I'll thrust my knife in your mouldy chaps, an you play the saucy cuttle with me. Away, you bottle-ale rascal! you basket-hilt stale juggler, you! Since when, I pray you, sir? God's light, with two points on your shoulder? Much!

PISTOL. God let me not live but I will murder your ruff for this.

FALSTAFF. No more, Pistol; I would not have you go off here. Discharge yourself of our company, Pistol.

HOSTESS. No, good Captain Pistol; not here, sweet captain.

DOLL. Captain! Thou abominable damn'd cheater, art thou not ashamed to be called captain? An captains were of my mind, they would truncheon you out, for taking their names upon you before you have earn'd them. You a captain! you slave, for what? For tearing a poor whore's ruff in a bawdy-house? He a captain! hang him, rogue! He lives upon mouldy stew'd prunes and dried cakes. A captain! God's light, these villains will make the word as odious as the word 'occupy'; which was an excellent good word before it was ill sorted. Therefore captains had need look to't.

BARDOLPH. Pray thee go down, good ancient.

FALSTAFF. Hark thee hither, Mistress Doll.

PISTOL. Not I! I tell thee what, Corporal Bardolph, I could tear her; I'll be reveng'd of her.

PAGE. Pray thee go down.

PISTOL. I'll see her damn'd first; to Pluto's damn'd lake, by this hand, to th' infernal deep, with Erebus and tortures vile also. Hold hook and line, say I. Down, down, dogs! down, faitors! Have we not Hiren here?

HOSTESS. Good Captain Peesel, be quiet; 'tis very late, i' faith; I beseek you now, aggravate your choler.

PISTOL. These be good humours, indeed! Shall packhorses, And hollow pamper'd jades of Asia, Which cannot go but thirty mile a day, Compare with Caesars, and with Cannibals, And Troiant Greeks? Nay, rather damn them with King Cerberus; and let the welkin roar. Shall we fall foul for toys?

HOSTESS. By my troth, Captain, these are very bitter words.

BARDOLPH. Be gone, good ancient; this will grow to a brawl anon.

PISTOL. Die men like dogs! Give crowns like pins! Have we not Hiren here?

HOSTESS. O' my word, Captain, there's none such here. What the good-year! do you think I would deny her? For God's sake, be quiet.

PISTOL. Then feed and be fat, my fair Calipolis. Come, give's some sack. 'Si fortune me tormente sperato me contento.' Fear we broadsides? No, let the fiend give fire. Give me some sack; and, sweetheart, lie thou there. [Laying down his sword] Come we to full points here, and are etceteras nothings?

FALSTAFF. Pistol, I would be quiet.

PISTOL. Sweet knight, I kiss thy neaf. What! we have seen the seven stars.

DOLL. For God's sake thrust him down stairs; I cannot endure such a fustian rascal.

PISTOL. Thrust him down stairs! Know we not Galloway nags?

FALSTAFF. Quoit him down, Bardolph, like a shove-groat shilling. Nay, an 'a do nothing but speak nothing, 'a shall be nothing here.

BARDOLPH. Come, get you down stairs.

PISTOL. What! shall we have incision? Shall we imbrue? [Snatching up his sword] Then death rock me asleep, abridge my doleful days! Why, then, let grievous, ghastly, gaping wounds Untwine the Sisters Three! Come, Atropos, I say!

HOSTESS. Here's goodly stuff toward!

FALSTAFF. Give me my rapier, boy.

DOLL. I pray thee, Jack, I pray thee, do not draw.

FALSTAFF. Get you down stairs. [Drawing and driving PISTOL out]

HOSTESS. Here's a goodly tumult! I'll forswear keeping house afore I'll be in these tirrits and frights. So; murder, I warrant now. Alas, alas! put up your naked weapons, put up your naked weapons.


DOLL. I pray thee, Jack, be quiet; the rascal's gone. Ah, you whoreson little valiant villain, you!

HOSTESS. Are you not hurt i' th' groin? Methought 'a made a shrewd thrust at your belly.


FALSTAFF. Have you turn'd him out a doors?

BARDOLPH. Yea, sir. The rascal's drunk. You have hurt him, sir, i' th' shoulder.

FALSTAFF. A rascal! to brave me!

DOLL. Ah, you sweet little rogue, you! Alas, poor ape, how thou sweat'st! Come, let me wipe thy face. Come on, you whoreson chops. Ah, rogue! i' faith, I love thee. Thou art as valorous as Hector of Troy, worth five of Agamemnon, and ten times better than the Nine Worthies. Ah, villain!

FALSTAFF. A rascally slave! I will toss the rogue in a blanket.

DOLL. Do, an thou dar'st for thy heart. An thou dost, I'll canvass thee between a pair of sheets.

Enter musicians

PAGE. The music is come, sir.

FALSTAFF. Let them play. Play, sirs. Sit on my knee, Don. A rascal bragging slave! The rogue fled from me like quick-silver.

DOLL. I' faith, and thou follow'dst him like a church. Thou whoreson little tidy Bartholomew boar-pig, when wilt thou leave fighting a days and foining a nights, and begin to patch up thine old body for heaven?

Enter, behind, PRINCE HENRY and POINS disguised as drawers

FALSTAFF. Peace, good Doll! Do not speak like a death's-head; do not bid me remember mine end.

DOLL. Sirrah, what humour's the Prince of?

FALSTAFF. A good shallow young fellow. 'A would have made a good pantler; 'a would ha' chipp'd bread well.

DOLL. They say Poins has a good wit.

FALSTAFF. He a good wit! hang him, baboon! His wit's as thick as Tewksbury mustard; there's no more conceit in him than is in a mallet.

DOLL. Why does the Prince love him so, then?

FALSTAFF. Because their legs are both of a bigness, and 'a plays at quoits well, and eats conger and fennel, and drinks off candles' ends for flap-dragons, and rides the wild mare with the boys, and jumps upon join'd-stools, and swears with a good grace, and wears his boots very smooth, like unto the sign of the Leg, and breeds no bate with telling of discreet stories; and such other gambol faculties 'a has, that show a weak mind and an able body, for the which the Prince admits him. For the Prince himself is such another; the weight of a hair will turn the scales between their avoirdupois.

PRINCE. Would not this nave of a wheel have his ears cut off?

POINS. Let's beat him before his whore.

PRINCE. Look whe'er the wither'd elder hath not his poll claw'd like a parrot.

POINS. Is it not strange that desire should so many years outlive performance?

FALSTAFF. Kiss me, Doll.

PRINCE. Saturn and Venus this year in conjunction! What says th' almanac to that?

POINS. And look whether the fiery Trigon, his man, be not lisping to his master's old tables, his note-book, his counsel-keeper.

FALSTAFF. Thou dost give me flattering busses.

DOLL. By my troth, I kiss thee with a most constant heart.

FALSTAFF. I am old, I am old.

DOLL. I love thee better than I love e'er a scurvy young boy of them all.

FALSTAFF. What stuff wilt have a kirtle of? I shall receive money a Thursday. Shalt have a cap to-morrow. A merry song, come. 'A grows late; we'll to bed. Thou't forget me when I am gone.

DOLL. By my troth, thou't set me a-weeping, an thou say'st so. Prove that ever I dress myself handsome till thy return. Well, hearken a' th' end.

FALSTAFF. Some sack, Francis.

PRINCE & POINS. Anon, anon, sir. [Advancing]

FALSTAFF. Ha! a bastard son of the King's? And art thou not Poins his brother?

PRINCE. Why, thou globe of sinful continents, what a life dost thou lead!

FALSTAFF. A better than thou. I am a gentleman: thou art a drawer.

PRINCE. Very true, sir, and I come to draw you out by the ears.

HOSTESS. O, the Lord preserve thy Grace! By my troth, welcome to London. Now the Lord bless that sweet face of thine. O Jesu, are you come from Wales?

FALSTAFF. Thou whoreson mad compound of majesty, by this light flesh and corrupt blood, thou art welcome. [Leaning his band upon DOLL]

DOLL. How, you fat fool! I scorn you.

POINS. My lord, he will drive you out of your revenge and turn all to a merriment, if you take not the heat.

PRINCE. YOU whoreson candle-mine, you, how vilely did you speak of me even now before this honest, virtuous, civil gentlewoman!

HOSTESS. God's blessing of your good heart! and so she is, by my troth.

FALSTAFF. Didst thou hear me?

PRINCE. Yea; and you knew me, as you did when you ran away by Gadshill. You knew I was at your back, and spoke it on purpose to try my patience.

FALSTAFF. No, no, no; not so; I did not think thou wast within hearing.

PRINCE. I shall drive you then to confess the wilful abuse, and then I know how to handle you.

FALSTAFF. No abuse, Hal, o' mine honour; no abuse.

PRINCE. Not- to dispraise me, and call me pander, and bread-chipper, and I know not what!

FALSTAFF. No abuse, Hal.

POINS. No abuse!

FALSTAFF. No abuse, Ned, i' th' world; honest Ned, none. I disprais'd him before the wicked- that the wicked might not fall in love with thee; in which doing, I have done the part of a careful friend and a true subject; and thy father is to give me thanks for it. No abuse, Hal; none, Ned, none; no, faith, boys, none.

PRINCE. See now, whether pure fear and entire cowardice doth not make thee wrong this virtuous gentlewoman to close with us? Is she of the wicked? Is thine hostess here of the wicked? Or is thy boy of the wicked? Or honest Bardolph, whose zeal burns in his nose, of the wicked?

POINS. Answer, thou dead elm, answer.

FALSTAFF. The fiend hath prick'd down Bardolph irrecoverable; and his face is Lucifer's privy-kitchen, where he doth nothing but roast malt-worms. For the boy- there is a good angel about him; but the devil outbids him too.

PRINCE. For the women?

FALSTAFF. For one of them- she's in hell already, and burns poor souls. For th' other- I owe her money; and whether she be damn'd for that, I know not.

HOSTESS. No, I warrant you.

FALSTAFF. No, I think thou art not; I think thou art quit for that. Marry, there is another indictment upon thee for suffering flesh to be eaten in thy house, contrary to the law; for the which I think thou wilt howl.

HOSTESS. All vict'lers do so. What's a joint of mutton or two in a whole Lent?

PRINCE. You, gentlewoman-

DOLL. What says your Grace?

FALSTAFF. His Grace says that which his flesh rebels against.

[Knocking within]

HOSTESS. Who knocks so loud at door? Look to th' door there, Francis.

Enter PETO

PRINCE. Peto, how now! What news?

PETO. The King your father is at Westminster; And there are twenty weak and wearied posts Come from the north; and as I came along I met and overtook a dozen captains, Bare-headed, sweating, knocking at the taverns, And asking every one for Sir John Falstaff.

PRINCE. By heaven, Poins, I feel me much to blame So idly to profane the precious time, When tempest of commotion, like the south, Borne with black vapour, doth begin to melt And drop upon our bare unarmed heads. Give me my sword and cloak. Falstaff, good night.


FALSTAFF. Now comes in the sweetest morsel of the night, and we must hence, and leave it unpick'd. [Knocking within] More knocking at the door!


How now! What's the matter?

BARDOLPH. You must away to court, sir, presently; A dozen captains stay at door for you.

FALSTAFF. [To the PAGE]. Pay the musicians, sirrah.- Farewell, hostess; farewell, Doll. You see, my good wenches, how men of merit are sought after; the undeserver may sleep, when the man of action is call'd on. Farewell, good wenches. If I be not sent away post, I will see you again ere I go.

DOLL. I cannot speak. If my heart be not ready to burst! Well, sweet Jack, have a care of thyself.

FALSTAFF. Farewell, farewell. Exeunt FALSTAFF and BARDOLPH

HOSTESS. Well, fare thee well. I have known thee these twenty-nine years, come peascod-time; but an honester and truer-hearted man -well fare thee well.

BARDOLPH. [ Within] Mistress Tearsheet!

HOSTESS. What's the matter?

BARDOLPH. [ Within] Bid Mistress Tearsheet come to my master.

HOSTESS. O, run Doll, run, run, good Come. [To BARDOLPH] She comes blubber'd.- Yea, will you come, Doll? Exeunt ACT III. SCENE I.

Westminster. The palace

Enter the KING in his nightgown, with a page

KING. Go call the Earls of Surrey and of Warwick; But, ere they come, bid them o'er-read these letters And well consider of them. Make good speed.Exit page How many thousands of my poorest subjects Are at this hour asleep! O sleep, O gentle sleep, Nature's soft nurse, how have I frightened thee, That thou no more will weigh my eyelids down, And steep my senses in forgetfulness? Why rather, sleep, liest thou in smoky cribs, Upon uneasy pallets stretching thee, And hush'd with buzzing night-flies to thy slumber, Than in the perfum'd chambers of the great, Under the canopies of costly state, And lull'd with sound of sweetest melody? O thou dull god, why liest thou with the vile In loathsome beds, and leav'st the kingly couch A watch-case or a common 'larum-bell? Wilt thou upon the high and giddy mast Seal up the ship-boy's eyes, and rock his brains In cradle of the rude imperious surge, And in the visitation of the winds, Who take the ruffian billows by the top, Curling their monstrous heads, and hanging them With deafing clamour in the slippery clouds, That with the hurly death itself awakes? Canst thou, O partial sleep, give thy repose To the wet sea-boy in an hour so rude; And in the calmest and most stillest night, With all appliances and means to boot, Deny it to a king? Then, happy low, lie down! Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown.

Enter WARWICK and Surrey

WARWICK. Many good morrows to your Majesty!

KING. Is it good morrow, lords?

WARWICK. 'Tis one o'clock, and past.

KING. Why then, good morrow to you all, my lords. Have you read o'er the letters that I sent you?

WARWICK. We have, my liege.

KING. Then you perceive the body of our kingdom How foul it is; what rank diseases grow, And with what danger, near the heart of it.

WARWICK. It is but as a body yet distempered; Which to his former strength may be restored With good advice and little medicine. My Lord Northumberland will soon be cool'd.

KING. O God! that one might read the book of fate, And see the revolution of the times Make mountains level, and the continent, Weary of solid firmness, melt itself Into the sea; and other times to see The beachy girdle of the ocean Too wide for Neptune's hips; how chances mock, And changes fill the cup of alteration With divers liquors! O, if this were seen, The happiest youth, viewing his progress through, What perils past, what crosses to ensue, Would shut the book and sit him down and die. 'Tis not ten years gone Since Richard and Northumberland, great friends, Did feast together, and in two years after Were they at wars. It is but eight years since This Percy was the man nearest my soul; Who like a brother toil'd in my affairs And laid his love and life under my foot; Yea, for my sake, even to the eyes of Richard Gave him defiance. But which of you was by- [To WARWICK] You, cousin Nevil, as I may remember- When Richard, with his eye brim full of tears, Then check'd and rated by Northumberland, Did speak these words, now prov'd a prophecy? 'Northumberland, thou ladder by the which My cousin Bolingbroke ascends my throne'- Though then, God knows, I had no such intent But that necessity so bow'd the state That I and greatness were compell'd to kiss- 'The time shall come'- thus did he follow it- 'The time will come that foul sin, gathering head, Shall break into corruption' so went on, Foretelling this same time's condition And the division of our amity.

WARWICK. There is a history in all men's lives, Figuring the natures of the times deceas'd; The which observ'd, a man may prophesy, With a near aim, of the main chance of things As yet not come to life, who in their seeds And weak beginning lie intreasured. Such things become the hatch and brood of time; And, by the necessary form of this, King Richard might create a perfect guess That great Northumberland, then false to him, Would of that seed grow to a greater falseness; Which should not find a ground to root upon Unless on you.

KING. Are these things then necessities? Then let us meet them like necessities; And that same word even now cries out on us. They say the Bishop and Northumberland Are fifty thousand strong.

WARWICK. It cannot be, my lord. Rumour doth double, like the voice and echo, The numbers of the feared. Please it your Grace To go to bed. Upon my soul, my lord, The powers that you already have sent forth Shall bring this prize in very easily. To comfort you the more, I have receiv'd A certain instance that Glendower is dead. Your Majesty hath been this fortnight ill; And these unseasoned hours perforce must ad Unto your sickness.

KING. I will take your counsel. And, were these inward wars once out of hand, We would, dear lords, unto the Holy Land.Exeunt


Gloucestershire. Before Justice, SHALLOW'S house

Enter SHALLOW and SILENCE, meeting; MOULDY, SHADOW, WART, FEEBLE, BULLCALF, and servants behind

SHALLOW. Come on, come on, come on; give me your hand, sir; give me your hand, sir. An early stirrer, by the rood! And how doth my good cousin Silence?

SILENCE. Good morrow, good cousin Shallow.

SHALLOW. And how doth my cousin, your bed-fellow? and your fairest daughter and mine, my god-daughter Ellen?

SILENCE. Alas, a black ousel, cousin Shallow!

SHALLOW. By yea and no, sir. I dare say my cousin William is become a good scholar; he is at Oxford still, is he not?

SILENCE. Indeed, sir, to my cost.

SHALLOW. 'A must, then, to the Inns o' Court shortly. I was once of Clement's Inn; where I think they will talk of mad Shallow yet.

SILENCE. You were call'd 'lusty Shallow' then, cousin.

SHALLOW. By the mass, I was call'd anything; and I would have done anything indeed too, and roundly too. There was I, and little John Doit of Staffordshire, and black George Barnes, and Francis Pickbone, and Will Squele a Cotsole man- you had not four such swinge-bucklers in all the Inns of Court again. And I may say to you we knew where the bona-robas were, and had the best of them all at commandment. Then was Jack Falstaff, now Sir John, boy, and page to Thomas Mowbray, Duke of Norfolk.

SILENCE. This Sir John, cousin, that comes hither anon about soldiers?

SHALLOW. The same Sir John, the very same. I see him break Scoggin's head at the court gate, when 'a was a crack not thus high; and the very same day did I fight with one Sampson Stockfish, a fruiterer, behind Gray's Inn. Jesu, Jesu, the mad days that I have spent! and to see how many of my old acquaintance are dead!

SILENCE. We shall all follow, cousin.

SHALLOW. Certain, 'tis certain; very sure, very sure. Death, as the Psalmist saith, is certain to all; all shall die. How a good yoke of bullocks at Stamford fair?

SILENCE. By my troth, I was not there.

SHALLOW. Death is certain. Is old Double of your town living yet?

SILENCE. Dead, sir.

SHALLOW. Jesu, Jesu, dead! drew a good bow; and dead! 'A shot a fine shoot. John a Gaunt loved him well, and betted much money on his head. Dead! 'A would have clapp'd i' th' clout at twelve score, and carried you a forehand shaft a fourteen and fourteen and a half, that it would have done a man's heart good to see. How a score of ewes now?

SILENCE. Thereafter as they be- a score of good ewes may be worth ten pounds.

SHALLOW. And is old Double dead?

Enter BARDOLPH, and one with him

SILENCE. Here come two of Sir John Falstaffs men, as I think.

SHALLOW. Good morrow, honest gentlemen.

BARDOLPH. I beseech you, which is Justice Shallow?

SHALLOW. I am Robert Shallow, sir, a poor esquire of this county, and one of the King's justices of the peace. What is your good pleasure with me?

BARDOLPH. My captain, sir, commends him to you; my captain, Sir John Falstaff- a tall gentleman, by heaven, and a most gallant leader.

SHALLOW. He greets me well, sir; I knew him a good back-sword man. How doth the good knight? May I ask how my lady his wife doth?

BARDOLPH. Sir, pardon; a soldier is better accommodated than with a wife.

SHALLOW. It is well said, in faith, sir; and it is well said indeed too. 'Better accommodated!' It is good; yea, indeed, is it. Good phrases are surely, and ever were, very commendable. 'Accommodated!' It comes of accommodo. Very good; a good phrase.

BARDOLPH. Pardon, sir; I have heard the word. 'Phrase' call you it? By this day, I know not the phrase; but I will maintain the word with my sword to be a soldier-like word, and a word of exceeding good command, by heaven. Accommodated: that is, when a man is, as they say, accommodated; or, when a man is being-whereby 'a may be thought to be accommodated; which is an excellent thing.


SHALLOW. It is very just. Look, here comes good Sir John. Give me your good hand, give me your worship's good hand. By my troth, you like well and bear your years very well. Welcome, good Sir John.

FALSTAFF. I am glad to see you well, good Master Robert Shallow. Master Surecard, as I think?

SHALLOW. No, Sir John; it is my cousin Silence, in commission with


FALSTAFF. Good Master Silence, it well befits you should be of the peace.

SILENCE. Your good worship is welcome.

FALSTAFF. Fie! this is hot weather. Gentlemen, have you provided me here half a dozen sufficient men?

SHALLOW. Marry, have we, sir. Will you sit?

FALSTAFF. Let me see them, I beseech you.

SHALLOW. Where's the roll? Where's the roll? Where's the roll? Let me see, let me see, let me see. So, so, so, so,- so, so- yea, marry, sir. Rafe Mouldy! Let them appear as I call; let them do so, let them do so. Let me see; where is Mouldy?

MOULDY. Here, an't please you.

SHALLOW. What think you, Sir John? A good-limb'd fellow; young, strong, and of good friends.

FALSTAFF. Is thy name Mouldy?

MOULDY. Yea, an't please you.

FALSTAFF. 'Tis the more time thou wert us'd.

SHALLOW. Ha, ha, ha! most excellent, i' faith! Things that are mouldy lack use. Very singular good! In faith, well said, Sir John; very well said.

FALSTAFF. Prick him.

MOULDY. I was prick'd well enough before, an you could have let me alone. My old dame will be undone now for one to do her husbandry and her drudgery. You need not to have prick'd me; there are other men fitter to go out than I.

FALSTAFF. Go to; peace, Mouldy; you shall go. Mouldy, it is time you were spent.

MOULDY. Spent!

SHALLOW. Peace, fellow, peace; stand aside; know you where you are? For th' other, Sir John- let me see. Simon Shadow!

FALSTAFF. Yea, marry, let me have him to sit under. He's like to be a cold soldier.

SHALLOW. Where's Shadow?

SHADOW. Here, sir.

FALSTAFF. Shadow, whose son art thou?

SHADOW. My mother's son, sir.

FALSTAFF. Thy mother's son! Like enough; and thy father's shadow. So the son of the female is the shadow of the male. It is often so indeed; but much of the father's substance!

SHALLOW. Do you like him, Sir John?

FALSTAFF. Shadow will serve for summer. Prick him; for we have a number of shadows fill up the muster-book.

SHALLOW. Thomas Wart!

FALSTAFF. Where's he?

WART. Here, sir.

FALSTAFF. Is thy name Wart?

WART. Yea, sir.

FALSTAFF. Thou art a very ragged wart.

SHALLOW. Shall I prick him, Sir John?

FALSTAFF. It were superfluous; for his apparel is built upon his back, and the whole frame stands upon pins. Prick him no more.

SHALLOW. Ha, ha, ha! You can do it, sir; you can do it. I commend you well. Francis Feeble!

FEEBLE. Here, sir.

FALSTAFF. What trade art thou, Feeble?

FEEBLE. A woman's tailor, sir.

SHALLOW. Shall I prick him, sir?

FALSTAFF. You may; but if he had been a man's tailor, he'd ha' prick'd you. Wilt thou make as many holes in an enemy's battle as thou hast done in a woman's petticoat?

FEEBLE. I will do my good will, sir; you can have no more.

FALSTAFF. Well said, good woman's tailor! well said, courageous Feeble! Thou wilt be as valiant as the wrathful dove or most magnanimous mouse. Prick the woman's tailor- well, Master Shallow, deep, Master Shallow.

FEEBLE. I would Wart might have gone, sir.

FALSTAFF. I would thou wert a man's tailor, that thou mightst mend him and make him fit to go. I cannot put him to a private soldier, that is the leader of so many thousands. Let that suffice, most forcible Feeble.

FEEBLE. It shall suffice, sir.

FALSTAFF. I am bound to thee, reverend Feeble. Who is next?

SHALLOW. Peter Bullcalf o' th' green!

FALSTAFF. Yea, marry, let's see Bullcalf.

BULLCALF. Here, sir.

FALSTAFF. Fore God, a likely fellow! Come, prick me Bullcalf till he roar again.

BULLCALF. O Lord! good my lord captain-

FALSTAFF. What, dost thou roar before thou art prick'd?

BULLCALF. O Lord, sir! I am a diseased man.

FALSTAFF. What disease hast thou?

BULLCALF. A whoreson cold, sir, a cough, sir, which I caught with ringing in the King's affairs upon his coronation day, sir.

FALSTAFF. Come, thou shalt go to the wars in a gown. We will have away thy cold; and I will take such order that thy friends shall ring for thee. Is here all?

SHALLOW. Here is two more call'd than your number. You must have but four here, sir; and so, I pray you, go in with me to dinner.

FALSTAFF. Come, I will go drink with you, but I cannot tarry dinner. I am glad to see you, by my troth, Master Shallow.

SHALLOW. O, Sir John, do you remember since we lay all night in the windmill in Saint George's Field?

FALSTAFF. No more of that, Master Shallow, no more of that.

SHALLOW. Ha, 'twas a merry night. And is Jane Nightwork alive?

FALSTAFF. She lives, Master Shallow.

SHALLOW. She never could away with me.

FALSTAFF. Never, never; she would always say she could not abide Master Shallow.

SHALLOW. By the mass, I could anger her to th' heart. She was then a bona-roba. Doth she hold her own well?

FALSTAFF. Old, old, Master Shallow.

SHALLOW. Nay, she must be old; she cannot choose but be old; certain she's old; and had Robin Nightwork, by old Nightwork, before I came to Clement's Inn.

SILENCE. That's fifty-five year ago.

SHALLOW. Ha, cousin Silence, that thou hadst seen that that this knight and I have seen! Ha, Sir John, said I well?

FALSTAFF. We have heard the chimes at midnight, Master Shallow.

SHALLOW. That we have, that we have, that we have; in faith, Sir John, we have. Our watchword was 'Hem, boys!' Come, let's to dinner; come, let's to dinner. Jesus, the days that we have seen! Come, come. Exeunt FALSTAFF and the JUSTICES

BULLCALF. Good Master Corporate Bardolph, stand my friend; and here's four Harry ten shillings in French crowns for you. In very truth, sir, I had as lief be hang'd, sir, as go. And yet, for mine own part, sir, I do not care; but rather because I am unwilling and, for mine own part, have a desire to stay with my friends; else, sir, I did not care for mine own part so much.

BARDOLPH. Go to; stand aside.

MOULDY. And, good Master Corporal Captain, for my old dame's sake, stand my friend. She has nobody to do anything about her when I am gone; and she is old, and cannot help herself. You shall have forty, sir.

BARDOLPH. Go to; stand aside.

FEEBLE. By my troth, I care not; a man can die but once; we owe God a death. I'll ne'er bear a base mind. An't be my destiny, so; an't be not, so. No man's too good to serve 's Prince; and, let it go which way it will, he that dies this year is quit for the next.

BARDOLPH. Well said; th'art a good fellow.

FEEBLE. Faith, I'll bear no base mind.

Re-enter FALSTAFF and the JUSTICES

FALSTAFF. Come, sir, which men shall I have?

SHALLOW. Four of which you please.

BARDOLPH. Sir, a word with you. I have three pound to free Mouldy and Bullcalf.

FALSTAFF. Go to; well.

SHALLOW. Come, Sir John, which four will you have?

FALSTAFF. Do you choose for me.

SHALLOW. Marry, then- Mouldy, Bullcalf, Feeble, and Shadow.

FALSTAFF. Mouldy and Bullcalf: for you, Mouldy, stay at home till you are past service; and for your part, Bullcalf, grow you come unto it. I will none of you.

SHALLOW. Sir John, Sir John, do not yourself wrong. They are your likeliest men, and I would have you serv'd with the best.

FALSTAFF. Will you tell me, Master Shallow, how to choose a man? Care I for the limb, the thews, the stature, bulk, and big assemblance of a man! Give me the spirit, Master Shallow. Here's Wart; you see what a ragged appearance it is. 'A shall charge you and discharge you with the motion of a pewterer's hammer, come off and on swifter than he that gibbets on the brewer's bucket. And this same half-fac'd fellow, Shadow- give me this man. He presents no mark to the enemy; the foeman may with as great aim level at the edge of a penknife. And, for a retreat- how swiftly will this Feeble, the woman's tailor, run off! O, give me the spare men, and spare me the great ones. Put me a caliver into Wart's hand, Bardolph.

BARDOLPH. Hold, Wart. Traverse- thus, thus, thus.

FALSTAFF. Come, manage me your caliver. So- very well. Go to; very good; exceeding good. O, give me always a little, lean, old, chopt, bald shot. Well said, i' faith, Wart; th'art a good scab. Hold, there's a tester for thee.

SHALLOW. He is not his craft's master, he doth not do it right. I remember at Mile-end Green, when I lay at Clement's Inn- I was then Sir Dagonet in Arthur's show- there was a little quiver fellow, and 'a would manage you his piece thus; and 'a would about and about, and come you in and come you in. 'Rah, tah, tah!' would 'a say; 'Bounce!' would 'a say; and away again would 'a go, and again would 'a come. I shall ne'er see such a fellow.

FALSTAFF. These fellows will do well. Master Shallow, God keep you! Master Silence, I will not use many words with you: Fare you well! Gentlemen both, I thank you. I must a dozen mile to-night. Bardolph, give the soldiers coats.

SHALLOW. Sir John, the Lord bless you; God prosper your affairs; God send us peace! At your return, visit our house; let our old acquaintance be renewed. Peradventure I will with ye to the court.

FALSTAFF. Fore God, would you would.

SHALLOW. Go to; I have spoke at a word. God keep you.

FALSTAFF. Fare you well, gentle gentlemen. [Exeunt JUSTICES] On, Bardolph; lead the men away. [Exeunt all but FALSTAFF] As I return, I will fetch off these justices. I do see the bottom of justice Shallow. Lord, Lord, how subject we old men are to this vice of lying! This same starv'd justice hath done nothing but prate to me of the wildness of his youth and the feats he hath done about Turnbull Street; and every third word a lie, duer paid to the hearer than the Turk's tribute. I do remember him at Clement's Inn, like a man made after supper of a cheese-paring. When 'a was naked, he was for all the world like a fork'd radish, with a head fantastically carved upon it with a knife. 'A was so forlorn that his dimensions to any thick sight were invisible. 'A was the very genius of famine; yet lecherous as a monkey, and the whores call'd him mandrake. 'A came ever in the rearward of the fashion, and sung those tunes to the overscutch'd huswifes that he heard the carmen whistle, and sware they were his fancies or his good-nights. And now is this Vice's dagger become a squire, and talks as familiarly of John a Gaunt as if he had been sworn brother to him; and I'll be sworn 'a ne'er saw him but once in the Tiltyard; and then he burst his head for crowding among the marshal's men. I saw it, and told John a Gaunt he beat his own name; for you might have thrust him and all his apparel into an eel-skin; the case of a treble hautboy was a mansion for him, a court- and now has he land and beeves. Well, I'll be acquainted with him if I return; and 't shall go hard but I'll make him a philosopher's two stones to me. If the young dace be a bait for the old pike, I see no reason in the law of nature but I may snap at him. Let time shape, and there an end. Exit

ACT IV. SCENE I. Yorkshire. Within the Forest of Gaultree


HASTINGS, and others

ARCHBISHOP. What is this forest call'd

HASTINGS. 'Tis Gaultree Forest, an't shall please your Grace.

ARCHBISHOP. Here stand, my lords, and send discoverers forth To know the numbers of our enemies.

HASTINGS. We have sent forth already.

ARCHBISHOP. 'Tis well done. My friends and brethren in these great affairs, I must acquaint you that I have receiv'd New-dated letters from Northumberland; Their cold intent, tenour, and substance, thus: Here doth he wish his person, with such powers As might hold sortance with his quality, The which he could not levy; whereupon He is retir'd, to ripe his growing fortunes, To Scotland; and concludes in hearty prayers That your attempts may overlive the hazard And fearful meeting of their opposite.

MOWBRAY. Thus do the hopes we have in him touch ground And dash themselves to pieces.


HASTINGS. Now, what news?

MESSENGER. West of this forest, scarcely off a mile, In goodly form comes on the enemy; And, by the ground they hide, I judge their number Upon or near the rate of thirty thousand.

MOWBRAY. The just proportion that we gave them out. Let us sway on and face them in the field.


ARCHBISHOP. What well-appointed leader fronts us here?

MOWBRAY. I think it is my Lord of Westmoreland.

WESTMORELAND. Health and fair greeting from our general, The Prince, Lord John and Duke of Lancaster.

ARCHBISHOP. Say on, my Lord of Westmoreland, in peace, What doth concern your coming.

WESTMORELAND. Then, my lord, Unto your Grace do I in chief address The substance of my speech. If that rebellion Came like itself, in base and abject routs, Led on by bloody youth, guarded with rags, And countenanc'd by boys and beggary- I say, if damn'd commotion so appear'd In his true, native, and most proper shape, You, reverend father, and these noble lords, Had not been here to dress the ugly form Of base and bloody insurrection With your fair honours. You, Lord Archbishop, Whose see is by a civil peace maintain'd, Whose beard the silver hand of peace hath touch'd, Whose learning and good letters peace hath tutor'd, Whose white investments figure innocence, The dove, and very blessed spirit of peace- Wherefore you do so ill translate yourself Out of the speech of peace, that bears such grace, Into the harsh and boist'rous tongue of war; Turning your books to graves, your ink to blood, Your pens to lances, and your tongue divine To a loud trumpet and a point of war?

ARCHBISHOP. Wherefore do I this? So the question stands. Briefly to this end: we are all diseas'd And with our surfeiting and wanton hours Have brought ourselves into a burning fever, And we must bleed for it; of which disease Our late King, Richard, being infected, died. But, my most noble Lord of Westmoreland, I take not on me here as a physician; Nor do I as an enemy to peace Troop in the throngs of military men; But rather show awhile like fearful war To diet rank minds sick of happiness, And purge th' obstructions which begin to stop Our very veins of life. Hear me more plainly. I have in equal balance justly weigh'd What wrongs our arms may do, what wrongs we suffer, And find our griefs heavier than our offences. We see which way the stream of time doth run And are enforc'd from our most quiet there By the rough torrent of occasion; And have the summary of all our griefs, When time shall serve, to show in articles; Which long ere this we offer'd to the King, And might by no suit gain our audience: When we are wrong'd, and would unfold our griefs, We are denied access unto his person, Even by those men that most have done us wrong. The dangers of the days but newly gone, Whose memory is written on the earth With yet appearing blood, and the examples Of every minute's instance, present now, Hath put us in these ill-beseeming arms; Not to break peace, or any branch of it, But to establish here a peace indeed, Concurring both in name and quality.

WESTMORELAND. When ever yet was your appeal denied; Wherein have you been galled by the King; What peer hath been suborn'd to grate on you That you should seal this lawless bloody book Of forg'd rebellion with a seal divine, And consecrate commotion's bitter edge?

ARCHBISHOP. My brother general, the commonwealth, To brother horn an household cruelty, I make my quarrel in particular.

WESTMORELAND. There is no need of any such redress; Or if there were, it not belongs to you.

MOWBRAY. Why not to him in part, and to us all That feel the bruises of the days before, And suffer the condition of these times To lay a heavy and unequal hand Upon our honours?

WESTMORELAND. O my good Lord Mowbray, Construe the times to their necessities, And you shall say, indeed, it is the time, And not the King, that doth you injuries. Yet, for your part, it not appears to me, Either from the King or in the present time, That you should have an inch of any ground To build a grief on. Were you not restor'd To all the Duke of Norfolk's signiories, Your noble and right well-rememb'red father's?

MOWBRAY. What thing, in honour, had my father lost That need to be reviv'd and breath'd in me? The King that lov'd him, as the state stood then, Was force perforce compell'd to banish him, And then that Henry Bolingbroke and he, Being mounted and both roused in their seats, Their neighing coursers daring of the spur, Their armed staves in charge, their beavers down, Their eyes of fire sparkling through sights of steel, And the loud trumpet blowing them together- Then, then, when there was nothing could have stay'd My father from the breast of Bolingbroke, O, when the King did throw his warder down- His own life hung upon the staff he threw- Then threw he down himself, and all their lives That by indictment and by dint of sword Have since miscarried under Bolingbroke.

WESTMORELAND. You speak, Lord Mowbray, now you know not what. The Earl of Hereford was reputed then In England the most valiant gentleman. Who knows on whom fortune would then have smil'd? But if your father had been victor there, He ne'er had borne it out of Coventry; For all the country, in a general voice, Cried hate upon him; and all their prayers and love Were set on Hereford, whom they doted on, And bless'd and grac'd indeed more than the King. But this is mere digression from my purpose. Here come I from our princely general To know your griefs; to tell you from his Grace That he will give you audience; and wherein It shall appear that your demands are just, You shall enjoy them, everything set off That might so much as think you enemies.

MOWBRAY. But he hath forc'd us to compel this offer; And it proceeds from policy, not love.

WESTMORELAND. Mowbray. you overween to take it so. This offer comes from mercy, not from fear; For, lo! within a ken our army lies- Upon mine honour, all too confident To give admittance to a thought of fear. Our battle is more full of names than yours, Our men more perfect in the use of arms, Our armour all as strong, our cause the best; Then reason will our hearts should be as good. Say you not, then, our offer is compell'd.

MOWBRAY. Well, by my will we shall admit no parley.

WESTMORELAND. That argues but the shame of your offence: A rotten case abides no handling.

HASTINGS. Hath the Prince John a full commission, In very ample virtue of his father, To hear and absolutely to determine Of what conditions we shall stand upon?

WESTMORELAND. That is intended in the general's name. I muse you make so slight a question.

ARCHBISHOP. Then take, my Lord of Westmoreland, this schedule, For this contains our general grievances. Each several article herein redress'd, All members of our cause, both here and hence, That are insinewed to this action, Acquitted by a true substantial form, And present execution of our wills To us and to our purposes confin'd- We come within our awful banks again, And knit our powers to the arm of peace.

WESTMORELAND. This will I show the general. Please you, lords, In sight of both our battles we may meet; And either end in peace- which God so frame!- Or to the place of diff'rence call the swords Which must decide it.

ARCHBISHOP. My lord, we will do so. Exit WESTMORELAND

MOWBRAY. There is a thing within my bosom tells me That no conditions of our peace can stand.

HASTINGS. Fear you not that: if we can make our peace Upon such large terms and so absolute As our conditions shall consist upon, Our peace shall stand as firm as rocky mountains.

MOWBRAY. Yea, but our valuation shall be such That every slight and false-derived cause, Yea, every idle, nice, and wanton reason, Shall to the King taste of this action; That, were our royal faiths martyrs in love, We shall be winnow'd with so rough a wind That even our corn shall seem as light as chaff, And good from bad find no partition.

ARCHBISHOP. No, no, my lord. Note this: the King is weary Of dainty and such picking grievances; For he hath found to end one doubt by death Revives two greater in the heirs of life; And therefore will he wipe his tables clean, And keep no tell-tale to his memory That may repeat and history his los To new remembrance. For full well he knows He cannot so precisely weed this land As his misdoubts present occasion: His foes are so enrooted with his friends That, plucking to unfix an enemy, He doth unfasten so and shake a friend. So that this land, like an offensive wife That hath enrag'd him on to offer strokes, As he is striking, holds his infant up, And hangs resolv'd correction in the arm That was uprear'd to execution.

HASTINGS. Besides, the King hath wasted all his rods On late offenders, that he now doth lack The very instruments of chastisement; So that his power, like to a fangless lion, May offer, but not hold.

ARCHBISHOP. 'Tis very true; And therefore be assur'd, my good Lord Marshal, If we do now make our atonement well, Our peace will, like a broken limb united, Grow stronger for the breaking.

MOWBRAY. Be it so. Here is return'd my Lord of Westmoreland.


WESTMORELAND. The Prince is here at hand. Pleaseth your lordship To meet his Grace just distance 'tween our armies?

MOWBRAY. Your Grace of York, in God's name then, set forward.

ARCHBISHOP. Before, and greet his Grace. My lord, we come.

Exeunt SCENE II. Another part of the forest

Enter, from one side, MOWBRAY, attended; afterwards, the

ARCHBISHOP, HASTINGS, and others; from the other side, PRINCE JOHN of LANCASTER, WESTMORELAND, OFFICERS, and others

PRINCE JOHN. You are well encount'red here, my cousin Mowbray. Good day to you, gentle Lord Archbishop; And so to you, Lord Hastings, and to all. My Lord of York, it better show'd with you When that your flock, assembled by the bell, Encircled you to hear with reverence Your exposition on the holy text Than now to see you here an iron man, Cheering a rout of rebels with your drum, Turning the word to sword, and life to death. That man that sits within a monarch's heart And ripens in the sunshine of his favour, Would he abuse the countenance of the king, Alack, what mischiefs might he set abroach In shadow of such greatness! With you, Lord Bishop, It is even so. Who hath not heard it spoken How deep you were within the books of God? To us the speaker in His parliament, To us th' imagin'd voice of God himself, The very opener and intelligencer Between the grace, the sanctities of heaven, And our dull workings. O, who shall believe But you misuse the reverence of your place, Employ the countenance and grace of heav'n As a false favourite doth his prince's name, In deeds dishonourable? You have ta'en up, Under the counterfeited zeal of God, The subjects of His substitute, my father, And both against the peace of heaven and him Have here up-swarm'd them.

ARCHBISHOP. Good my Lord of Lancaster, I am not here against your father's peace; But, as I told my Lord of Westmoreland, The time misord'red doth, in common sense, Crowd us and crush us to this monstrous form To hold our safety up. I sent your Grace The parcels and particulars of our grief, The which hath been with scorn shov'd from the court, Whereon this hydra son of war is born; Whose dangerous eyes may well be charm'd asleep With grant of our most just and right desires; And true obedience, of this madness cur'd, Stoop tamely to the foot of majesty.

MOWBRAY. If not, we ready are to try our fortunes To the last man.

HASTINGS. And though we here fall down, We have supplies to second our attempt. If they miscarry, theirs shall second them; And so success of mischief shall be born, And heir from heir shall hold this quarrel up Whiles England shall have generation.

PRINCE JOHN. YOU are too shallow, Hastings, much to shallow, To sound the bottom of the after-times.

WESTMORELAND. Pleaseth your Grace to answer them directly How far forth you do like their articles.

PRINCE JOHN. I like them all and do allow them well; And swear here, by the honour of my blood, My father's purposes have been mistook; And some about him have too lavishly Wrested his meaning and authority. My lord, these griefs shall be with speed redress'd; Upon my soul, they shall. If this may please you, Discharge your powers unto their several counties, As we will ours; and here, between the armies, Let's drink together friendly and embrace, That all their eyes may bear those tokens home Of our restored love and amity.

ARCHBISHOP. I take your princely word for these redresses.

PRINCE JOHN. I give it you, and will maintain my word; And thereupon I drink unto your Grace.

HASTINGS. Go, Captain, and deliver to the army This news of peace. Let them have pay, and part. I know it will please them. Hie thee, Captain. Exit Officer

ARCHBISHOP. To you, my noble Lord of Westmoreland.

WESTMORELAND. I pledge your Grace; and if you knew what pains I have bestow'd to breed this present peace, You would drink freely; but my love to ye Shall show itself more openly hereafter.

ARCHBISHOP. I do not doubt you.

WESTMORELAND. I am glad of it. Health to my lord and gentle cousin, Mowbray.

MOWBRAY. You wish me health in very happy season, For I am on the sudden something ill.

ARCHBISHOP. Against ill chances men are ever merry; But heaviness foreruns the good event.

WESTMORELAND. Therefore be merry, coz; since sudden sorrow Serves to say thus, 'Some good thing comes to-morrow.'

ARCHBISHOP. Believe me, I am passing light in spirit.

MOWBRAY. So much the worse, if your own rule be true. [Shouts within]

PRINCE JOHN. The word of peace is rend'red. Hark, how they shout!

MOWBRAY. This had been cheerful after victory.

ARCHBISHOP. A peace is of the nature of a conquest; For then both parties nobly are subdu'd, And neither party loser.

PRINCE JOHN. Go, my lord, And let our army be discharged too.

Exit WESTMORELAND And, good my lord, so please you let our trains March by us, that we may peruse the men We should have cop'd withal.

ARCHBISHOP. Go, good Lord Hastings, And, ere they be dismiss'd, let them march by.


PRINCE JOHN. I trust, lords, we shall lie to-night together.


Now, cousin, wherefore stands our army still?

WESTMORELAND. The leaders, having charge from you to stand, Will not go off until they hear you speak.

PRINCE JOHN. They know their duties.


HASTINGS. My lord, our army is dispers'd already. Like youthful steers unyok'd, they take their courses East, west, north, south; or like a school broke up, Each hurries toward his home and sporting-place.

WESTMORELAND. Good tidings, my Lord Hastings; for the which I do arrest thee, traitor, of high treason; And you, Lord Archbishop, and you, Lord Mowbray, Of capital treason I attach you both.

MOWBRAY. Is this proceeding just and honourable?

WESTMORELAND. Is your assembly so?

ARCHBISHOP. Will you thus break your faith?

PRINCE JOHN. I pawn'd thee none: I promis'd you redress of these same grievances Whereof you did complain; which, by mine honour, I will perform with a most Christian care. But for you, rebels- look to taste the due Meet for rebellion and such acts as yours. Most shallowly did you these arms commence, Fondly brought here, and foolishly sent hence. Strike up our drums, pursue the scatt'red stray. God, and not we, hath safely fought to-day. Some guard these traitors to the block of death, Treason's true bed and yielder-up of breath. Exeunt SCENE III. Another part of the forest

Alarum; excursions. Enter FALSTAFF and COLVILLE, meeting

FALSTAFF. What's your name, sir? Of what condition are you, and of what place, I pray?

COLVILLE. I am a knight sir; and my name is Colville of the Dale.

FALSTAFF. Well then, Colville is your name, a knight is your degree, and your place the Dale. Colville shall still be your name, a traitor your degree, and the dungeon your place- a place deep enough; so shall you be still Colville of the Dale.

COLVILLE. Are not you Sir John Falstaff?

FALSTAFF. As good a man as he, sir, whoe'er I am. Do you yield, sir, or shall I sweat for you? If I do sweat, they are the drops of thy lovers, and they weep for thy death; therefore rouse up fear and trembling, and do observance to my mercy.

COLVILLE. I think you are Sir John Falstaff, and in that thought yield me.

FALSTAFF. I have a whole school of tongues in this belly of mine; and not a tongue of them all speaks any other word but my name. An I had but a belly of any indifferency, I were simply the most active fellow in Europe. My womb, my womb, my womb undoes me. Here comes our general.


PRINCE JOHN. The heat is past; follow no further now. Call in the powers, good cousin Westmoreland.

Exit WESTMORELAND Now, Falstaff, where have you been all this while? When everything is ended, then you come. These tardy tricks of yours will, on my life, One time or other break some gallows' back.

FALSTAFF. I would be sorry, my lord, but it should be thus: I never knew yet but rebuke and check was the reward of valour. Do you think me a swallow, an arrow, or a bullet? Have I, in my poor and old motion, the expedition of thought? I have speeded hither with the very extremest inch of possibility; I have found'red nine score and odd posts; and here, travel tainted as I am, have, in my pure and immaculate valour, taken Sir John Colville of the Dale,a most furious knight and valorous enemy. But what of that? He saw me, and yielded; that I may justly say with the hook-nos'd fellow of Rome-I came, saw, and overcame.

PRINCE JOHN. It was more of his courtesy than your deserving.

FALSTAFF. I know not. Here he is, and here I yield him; and I beseech your Grace, let it be book'd with the rest of this day's deeds; or, by the Lord, I will have it in a particular ballad else, with mine own picture on the top on't, Colville kissing my foot; to the which course if I be enforc'd, if you do not all show like gilt twopences to me, and I, in the clear sky of fame, o'ershine you as much as the full moon doth the cinders of the element, which show like pins' heads to her, believe not the word of the noble. Therefore let me have right, and let desert mount.

PRINCE JOHN. Thine's too heavy to mount.

FALSTAFF. Let it shine, then.

PRINCE JOHN. Thine's too thick to shine.

FALSTAFF. Let it do something, my good lord, that may do me good, and call it what you will.

PRINCE JOHN. Is thy name Colville?

COLVILLE. It is, my lord.

PRINCE JOHN. A famous rebel art thou, Colville.

FALSTAFF. And a famous true subject took him.

COLVILLE. I am, my lord, but as my betters are That led me hither. Had they been rul'd by me, You should have won them dearer than you have.

FALSTAFF. I know not how they sold themselves; but thou, like a kind fellow, gavest thyself away gratis; and I thank thee for thee.


PRINCE JOHN. Now, have you left pursuit?

WESTMORELAND. Retreat is made, and execution stay'd.

PRINCE JOHN. Send Colville, with his confederates, To York, to present execution. Blunt, lead him hence; and see you guard him sure. Exeunt BLUNT and others And now dispatch we toward the court, my lords. I hear the King my father is sore sick. Our news shall go before us to his Majesty, Which, cousin, you shall bear to comfort him And we with sober speed will follow you.

FALSTAFF. My lord, I beseech you, give me leave to go through Gloucestershire; and, when you come to court, stand my good lord, pray, in your good report.

PRINCE JOHN. Fare you well, Falstaff. I, in my condition, Shall better speak of you than you deserve. Exeunt all but FALSTAFF

FALSTAFF. I would you had but the wit; 'twere better than your dukedom. Good faith, this same young sober-blooded boy doth not love me; nor a man cannot make him laugh- but that's no marvel; he drinks no wine. There's never none of these demure boys come to any proof; for thin drink doth so over-cool their blood, and making many fish-meals, that they fall into a kind of male green-sickness; and then, when they marry, they get wenches. They are generally fools and cowards-which some of us should be too, but for inflammation. A good sherris-sack hath a two-fold operation in it. It ascends me into the brain; dries me there all the foolish and dull and crudy vapours which environ it; makes it apprehensive, quick, forgetive, full of nimble, fiery, and delectable shapes; which delivered o'er to the voice, the tongue, which is the birth, becomes excellent wit. The second property of your excellent sherris is the warming of the blood; which before, cold and settled, left the liver white and pale, which is the badge of pusillanimity and cowardice; but the sherris warms it, and makes it course from the inwards to the parts extremes. It illumineth the face, which, as a beacon, gives warning to all the rest of this little kingdom, man, to arm; and then the vital commoners and inland petty spirits muster me all to their captain, the heart, who, great and puff'd up with this retinue, doth any deed of courage- and this valour comes of sherris. So that skill in the weapon is nothing without sack, for that sets it a-work; and learning, a mere hoard of gold kept by a devil till sack commences it and sets it in act and use. Hereof comes it that Prince Harry is valiant; for the cold blood he did naturally inherit of his father, he hath, like lean, sterile, and bare land, manured, husbanded, and till'd, with excellent endeavour of drinking good and good store of fertile sherris, that he is become very hot and valiant. If I had a thousand sons, the first humane principle I would teach them should be to forswear thin potations and to addict themselves to sack.


How now, Bardolph!

BARDOLPH. The army is discharged all and gone.

FALSTAFF. Let them go. I'll through Gloucestershire, and there will I visit Master Robert Shallow, Esquire. I have him already temp'ring between my finger and my thumb, and shortly will I seal with him. Come away. Exeunt SCENE IV. Westminster. The Jerusalem Chamber



KING. Now, lords, if God doth give successful end To this debate that bleedeth at our doors, We will our youth lead on to higher fields, And draw no swords but what are sanctified. Our navy is address'd, our power connected, Our substitutes in absence well invested, And everything lies level to our wish. Only we want a little personal strength; And pause us till these rebels, now afoot, Come underneath the yoke of government.

WARWICK. Both which we doubt not but your Majesty Shall soon enjoy.

KING. Humphrey, my son of Gloucester, Where is the Prince your brother?

PRINCE HUMPHREY. I think he's gone to hunt, my lord, at Windsor.

KING. And how accompanied?

PRINCE HUMPHREY. I do not know, my lord.

KING. Is not his brother, Thomas of Clarence, with him?

PRINCE HUMPHREY. No, my good lord, he is in presence here.

CLARENCE. What would my lord and father?

KING. Nothing but well to thee, Thomas of Clarence. How chance thou art not with the Prince thy brother? He loves thee, and thou dost neglect him, Thomas. Thou hast a better place in his affection Than all thy brothers; cherish it, my boy, And noble offices thou mayst effect Of mediation, after I am dead, Between his greatness and thy other brethren. Therefore omit him not; blunt not his love, Nor lose the good advantage of his grace By seeming cold or careless of his will; For he is gracious if he be observ'd. He hath a tear for pity and a hand Open as day for melting charity; Yet notwithstanding, being incens'd, he is flint; As humorous as winter, and as sudden As flaws congealed in the spring of day. His temper, therefore, must be well observ'd. Chide him for faults, and do it reverently, When you perceive his blood inclin'd to mirth; But, being moody, give him line and scope Till that his passions, like a whale on ground, Confound themselves with working. Learn this, Thomas, And thou shalt prove a shelter to thy friends, A hoop of gold to bind thy brothers in, That the united vessel of their blood, Mingled with venom of suggestion- As, force perforce, the age will pour it in- Shall never leak, though it do work as strong As aconitum or rash gunpowder.

CLARENCE. I shall observe him with all care and love.

KING. Why art thou not at Windsor with him, Thomas?

CLARENCE. He is not there to-day; he dines in London.

KING. And how accompanied? Canst thou tell that?

CLARENCE. With Poins, and other his continual followers.

KING. Most subject is the fattest soil to weeds; And he, the noble image of my youth, Is overspread with them; therefore my grief Stretches itself beyond the hour of death. The blood weeps from my heart when I do shape, In forms imaginary, th'unguided days And rotten times that you shall look upon When I am sleeping with my ancestors. For when his headstrong riot hath no curb, When rage and hot blood are his counsellors When means and lavish manners meet together, O, with what wings shall his affections fly Towards fronting peril and oppos'd decay!

WARWICK. My gracious lord, you look beyond him quite. The Prince but studies his companions Like a strange tongue, wherein, to gain the language, 'Tis needful that the most immodest word Be look'd upon and learnt; which once attain'd, Your Highness knows, comes to no further use But to be known and hated. So, like gross terms, The Prince will, in the perfectness of time, Cast off his followers; and their memory Shall as a pattern or a measure live By which his Grace must mete the lives of other, Turning past evils to advantages.

KING. 'Tis seldom when the bee doth leave her comb In the dead carrion.


Who's here? Westmoreland?

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

KING. O Westmoreland, thou art a summer bird, Which ever in the haunch of winter sings The lifting up of day.


Look here's more news.

HARCOURT. From enemies heaven keep your Majesty; And, when they stand against you, may they fall As those that I am come to tell you of! The Earl Northumberland and the Lord Bardolph, With a great power of English and of Scots, Are by the shrieve of Yorkshire overthrown. The manner and true order of the fight This packet, please it you, contains at large.

KING. And wherefore should these good news make me sick? Will Fortune never come with both hands full, But write her fair words still in foulest letters? She either gives a stomach and no food- Such are the poor, in health- or else a feast, And takes away the stomach- such are the rich That have abundance and enjoy it not. I should rejoice now at this happy news; And now my sight fails, and my brain is giddy. O me! come near me now I am much ill.

PRINCE HUMPHREY. Comfort, your Majesty!

CLARENCE. O my royal father!

WESTMORELAND. My sovereign lord, cheer up yourself, look up.

WARWICK. Be patient, Princes; you do know these fits Are with his Highness very ordinary. Stand from him, give him air; he'll straight be well.

CLARENCE. No, no; he cannot long hold out these pangs. Th' incessant care and labour of his mind Hath wrought the mure that should confine it in So thin that life looks through, and will break out.

PRINCE HUMPHREY. The people fear me; for they do observe Unfather'd heirs and loathly births of nature. The seasons change their manners, as the year Had found some months asleep, and leapt them over.

CLARENCE. The river hath thrice flow'd, no ebb between; And the old folk, Time's doting chronicles, Say it did so a little time before That our great grandsire, Edward, sick'd and died.

WARWICK. Speak lower, Princes, for the King recovers.

PRINCE HUMPHREY. This apoplexy will certain be his end.

KING. I pray you take me up, and bear me hence Into some other chamber. Softly, pray.Exeunt SCENE V.

Westminster. Another chamber

The KING lying on a bed; CLARENCE, GLOUCESTER,

WARWICK, and others in attendance

KING. Let there be no noise made, my gentle friends; Unless some dull and favourable hand Will whisper music to my weary spirit.

WARWICK. Call for the music in the other room.

KING. Set me the crown upon my pillow here.

CLARENCE. His eye is hollow, and he changes much.

WARWICK. Less noise! less noise!


PRINCE. Who saw the Duke of Clarence?

CLARENCE. I am here, brother, full of heaviness.

PRINCE. How now! Rain within doors, and none abroad! How doth the King?

PRINCE HUMPHREY. Exceeding ill.

PRINCE. Heard he the good news yet? Tell it him.

PRINCE HUMPHREY. He alt'red much upon the hearing it.

PRINCE. If he be sick with joy, he'll recover without physic.

WARWICK. Not so much noise, my lords. Sweet Prince, speak low; The King your father is dispos'd to sleep.

CLARENCE. Let us withdraw into the other room.

WARWICK. Will't please your Grace to go along with us?

PRINCE. No; I will sit and watch here by the King.

Exeunt all but the PRINCE Why doth the crown lie there upon his pillow, Being so troublesome a bedfellow? O polish'd perturbation! golden care! That keep'st the ports of slumber open wide To many a watchful night! Sleep with it now! Yet not so sound and half so deeply sweet As he whose brow with homely biggen bound Snores out the watch of night. O majesty! When thou dost pinch thy bearer, thou dost sit Like a rich armour worn in heat of day That scald'st with safety. By his gates of breath There lies a downy feather which stirs not. Did he suspire, that light and weightless down Perforce must move. My gracious lord! my father! This sleep is sound indeed; this is a sleep That from this golden rigol hath divorc'd So many English kings. Thy due from me Is tears and heavy sorrows of the blood Which nature, love, and filial tenderness, Shall, O dear father, pay thee plenteously. My due from thee is this imperial crown, Which, as immediate from thy place and blood, Derives itself to me. [Putting on the crown] Lo where it sits- Which God shall guard; and put the world's whole strength Into one giant arm, it shall not force This lineal honour from me. This from thee Will I to mine leave as 'tis left to me.Exit

KING. Warwick! Gloucester! Clarence!


CLARENCE. Doth the King call?

WARWICK. What would your Majesty? How fares your Grace?

KING. Why did you leave me here alone, my lords?

CLARENCE. We left the Prince my brother here, my liege, Who undertook to sit and watch by you.

KING. The Prince of Wales! Where is he? Let me see him. He is not here.

WARWICK. This door is open; he is gone this way.

PRINCE HUMPHREY. He came not through the chamber where we stay'd.

KING. Where is the crown? Who took it from my pillow?

WARWICK. When we withdrew, my liege, we left it here.

KING. The Prince hath ta'en it hence. Go, seek him out. Is he so hasty that he doth suppose My sleep my death? Find him, my lord of Warwick; chide him hither. Exit WARWICK This part of his conjoins with my disease And helps to end me. See, sons, what things you are! How quickly nature falls into revolt When gold becomes her object! For this the foolish over-careful fathers Have broke their sleep with thoughts, Their brains with care, their bones with industry; For this they have engrossed and pil'd up The cank'red heaps of strange-achieved gold; For this they have been thoughtful to invest Their sons with arts and martial exercises; When, like the bee, tolling from every flower The virtuous sweets, Our thighs with wax, our mouths with honey pack'd, We bring it to the hive, and, like the bees, Are murd'red for our pains. This bitter taste Yields his engrossments to the ending father.

Re-enter WARWICK

Now where is he that will not stay so long Till his friend sickness hath determin'd me?

WARWICK. My lord, I found the Prince in the next room, Washing with kindly tears his gentle cheeks, With such a deep demeanour in great sorrow, That tyranny, which never quaff'd but blood, Would, by beholding him, have wash'd his knife With gentle eye-drops. He is coming hither.

KING. But wherefore did he take away the crown?


Lo where he comes. Come hither to me, Harry. Depart the chamber, leave us here alone.

Exeunt all but the KING and the PRINCE

PRINCE. I never thought to hear you speak again.

KING. Thy wish was father, Harry, to that thought. I stay too long by thee, I weary thee. Dost thou so hunger for mine empty chair That thou wilt needs invest thee with my honours Before thy hour be ripe? O foolish youth! Thou seek'st the greatness that will overwhelm thee. Stay but a little, for my cloud of dignity Is held from falling with so weak a wind That it will quickly drop; my day is dim. Thou hast stol'n that which, after some few hours, Were thine without offense; and at my death Thou hast seal'd up my expectation. Thy life did manifest thou lov'dst me not, And thou wilt have me die assur'd of it. Thou hid'st a thousand daggers in thy thoughts, Which thou hast whetted on thy stony heart, To stab at half an hour of my life. What, canst thou not forbear me half an hour? Then get thee gone, and dig my grave thyself; And bid the merry bells ring to thine ear That thou art crowned, not that I am dead. Let all the tears that should bedew my hearse Be drops of balm to sanctify thy head; Only compound me with forgotten dust; Give that which gave thee life unto the worms. Pluck down my officers, break my decrees; For now a time is come to mock at form- Harry the Fifth is crown'd. Up, vanity: Down, royal state. All you sage counsellors, hence. And to the English court assemble now, From every region, apes of idleness. Now, neighbour confines, purge you of your scum. Have you a ruffian that will swear, drink, dance, Revel the night, rob, murder, and commit The oldest sins the newest kind of ways? Be happy, he will trouble you no more. England shall double gild his treble guilt; England shall give him office, honour, might; For the fifth Harry from curb'd license plucks The muzzle of restraint, and the wild dog Shall flesh his tooth on every innocent. O my poor kingdom, sick with civil blows! When that my care could not withhold thy riots, What wilt thou do when riot is thy care? O, thou wilt be a wilderness again. Peopled with wolves, thy old inhabitants!

PRINCE. O, pardon me, my liege! But for my tears, The moist impediments unto my speech, I had forestall'd this dear and deep rebuke Ere you with grief had spoke and I had heard The course of it so far. There is your crown, And he that wears the crown immortally Long guard it yours! [Kneeling] If I affect it more Than as your honour and as your renown, Let me no more from this obedience rise, Which my most inward true and duteous spirit Teacheth this prostrate and exterior bending! God witness with me, when I here came in And found no course of breath within your Majesty, How cold it struck my heart! If I do feign, O, let me in my present wildness die, And never live to show th' incredulous world The noble change that I have purposed! Coming to look on you, thinking you dead- And dead almost, my liege, to think you were- I spake unto this crown as having sense, And thus upbraided it: 'The care on thee depending Hath fed upon the body of my father; Therefore thou best of gold art worst of gold. Other, less fine in carat, is more precious, Preserving life in med'cine potable; But thou, most fine, most honour'd, most renown'd, Hast eat thy bearer up.' Thus, my most royal liege, Accusing it, I put it on my head, To try with it- as with an enemy That had before my face murd'red my father- The quarrel of a true inheritor. But if it did infect my blood with joy, Or swell my thoughts to any strain of pride; If any rebel or vain spirit of mine Did with the least affection of a welcome Give entertainment to the might of it, Let God for ever keep it from my head, And make me as the poorest vassal is, That doth with awe and terror kneel to it!

KING. O my son, God put it in thy mind to take it hence, That thou mightst win the more thy father's love, Pleading so wisely in excuse of it! Come hither, Harry; sit thou by my bed, And hear, I think, the very latest counsel That ever I shall breathe. God knows, my son, By what by-paths and indirect crook'd ways I met this crown; and I myself know well How troublesome it sat upon my head: To thee it shall descend with better quiet, Better opinion, better confirmation; For all the soil of the achievement goes With me into the earth. It seem'd in me But as an honour snatch'd with boist'rous hand; And I had many living to upbraid My gain of it by their assistances; Which daily grew to quarrel and to bloodshed, Wounding supposed peace. All these bold fears Thou seest with peril I have answered; For all my reign hath been but as a scene Acting that argument. And now my death Changes the mood; for what in me was purchas'd Falls upon thee in a more fairer sort; So thou the garland wear'st successively. Yet, though thou stand'st more sure than I could do, Thou art not firm enough, since griefs are green; And all my friends, which thou must make thy friends, Have but their stings and teeth newly ta'en out; By whose fell working I was first advanc'd, And by whose power I well might lodge a fear To be again displac'd; which to avoid, I cut them off; and had a purpose now To lead out many to the Holy Land, Lest rest and lying still might make them look Too near unto my state. Therefore, my Harry, Be it thy course to busy giddy minds With foreign quarrels, that action, hence borne out, May waste the memory of the former days. More would I, but my lungs are wasted so That strength of speech is utterly denied me. How I came by the crown, O God, forgive; And grant it may with thee in true peace live!

PRINCE. My gracious liege, You won it, wore it, kept it, gave it me; Then plain and right must my possession be; Which I with more than with a common pain 'Gainst all the world will rightfully maintain.


KING. Look, look, here comes my John of Lancaster.

PRINCE JOHN. Health, peace, and happiness, to my royal father!

KING. Thou bring'st me happiness and peace, son John; But health, alack, with youthful wings is flown From this bare wither'd trunk. Upon thy sight My worldly business makes a period. Where is my Lord of Warwick?

PRINCE. My Lord of Warwick!

KING. Doth any name particular belong Unto the lodging where I first did swoon?

WARWICK. 'Tis call'd Jerusalem, my noble lord.

KING. Laud be to God! Even there my life must end. It hath been prophesied to me many years, I should not die but in Jerusalem; Which vainly I suppos'd the Holy Land. But bear me to that chamber; there I'll lie; In that Jerusalem shall Harry die.Exeunt ACT V. SCENE I.

Gloucestershire. SHALLOW'S house


SHALLOW. By cock and pie, sir, you shall not away to-night. What, Davy, I say!

FALSTAFF. You must excuse me, Master Robert Shallow.

SHALLOW. I will not excuse you; you shall not be excus'd; excuses shall not be admitted; there is no excuse shan serve; you shall not be excus'd. Why, Davy!

Enter DAVY

DAVY. Here, sir.

SHALLOW. Davy, Davy, Davy, Davy; let me see, Davy; let me see, Davy; let me see- yea, marry, William cook, bid him come hither. Sir John, you shall not be excus'd.

DAVY. Marry, sir, thus: those precepts cannot be served; and, again, sir- shall we sow the headland with wheat?

SHALLOW. With red wheat, Davy. But for William cook- are there no young pigeons?

DAVY. Yes, sir. Here is now the smith's note for shoeing and plough-irons.

SHALLOW. Let it be cast, and paid. Sir John, you shall not be excused.

DAVY. Now, sir, a new link to the bucket must needs be had; and, sir, do you mean to stop any of William's wages about the sack he lost the other day at Hinckley fair?

SHALLOW. 'A shall answer it. Some pigeons, Davy, a couple of short-legg'd hens, a joint of mutton, and any pretty little tiny kickshaws, tell William cook.

DAVY. Doth the man of war stay all night, sir?

SHALLOW. Yea, Davy; I will use him well. A friend i' th' court is better than a penny in purse. Use his men well, Davy; for they are arrant knaves and will backbite.

DAVY. No worse than they are backbitten, sir; for they have marvellous foul linen.

SHALLOW. Well conceited, Davy- about thy business, Davy.

DAVY. I beseech you, sir, to countenance William Visor of Woncot against Clement Perkes o' th' hill.

SHALLOW. There, is many complaints, Davy, against that Visor. That Visor is an arrant knave, on my knowledge.

DAVY. I grant your worship that he is a knave, sir; but yet God forbid, sir, but a knave should have some countenance at his friend's request. An honest man, sir, is able to speak for himself, when a knave is not. I have serv'd your worship truly, sir, this eight years; an I cannot once or twice in a quarter bear out a knave against an honest man, I have but a very little credit with your worship. The knave is mine honest friend, sir; therefore, I beseech you, let him be countenanc'd.

SHALLOW. Go to; I say he shall have no wrong. Look about,

DAVY. [Exit DAVY] Where are you, Sir John? Come, come, come, off with your boots. Give me your hand, Master Bardolph.

BARDOLPH. I am glad to see your worship.

SHALLOW. I thank thee with all my heart, kind Master Bardolph. [To the PAGE] And welcome, my tall fellow. Come, Sir John.

FALSTAFF. I'll follow you, good Master Robert Shallow. [Exit SHALLOW] Bardolph, look to our horses. [Exeunt BARDOLPH and PAGE] If I were sawed into quantities, I should make four dozen of such bearded hermits' staves as Master Shallow. It is a wonderful thing to see the semblable coherence of his men's spirits and his. They, by observing of him, do bear themselves like foolish justices: he, by conversing with them, is turned into a justice-like serving-man. Their spirits are so married in conjunction with the participation of society that they flock together in consent, like so many wild geese. If I had a suit to Master Shallow, I would humour his men with the imputation of being near their master; if to his men, I would curry with Master Shallow that no man could better command his servants. It is certain that either wise bearing or ignorant carriage is caught, as men take diseases, one of another; therefore let men take heed of their company. I will devise matter enough out of this Shallow to keep Prince Harry in continual laughter the wearing out of six fashions, which is four terms, or two actions; and 'a shall laugh without intervallums. O, it is much that a lie with a slight oath, and a jest with a sad brow will do with a fellow that never had the ache in his shoulders! O, you shall see him laugh till his face be like a wet cloak ill laid up!

SHALLOW. [Within] Sir John!

FALSTAFF. I come, Master Shallow; I come, Master Shallow. Exit


Westminster. The palace

Enter, severally, WARWICK, and the


WARWICK. How now, my Lord Chief Justice; whither away?

CHIEF JUSTICE. How doth the King?

WARWICK. Exceeding well; his cares are now all ended.

CHIEF JUSTICE. I hope, not dead.

WARWICK. He's walk'd the way of nature; And to our purposes he lives no more.

CHIEF JUSTICE. I would his Majesty had call'd me with him. The service that I truly did his life Hath left me open to all injuries.

WARWICK. Indeed, I think the young king loves you not.

CHIEF JUSTICE. I know he doth not, and do arm myself To welcome the condition of the time, Which cannot look more hideously upon me Than I have drawn it in my fantasy.


WARWICK. Here comes the heavy issue of dead Harry. O that the living Harry had the temper Of he, the worst of these three gentlemen! How many nobles then should hold their places That must strike sail to spirits of vile sort!

CHIEF JUSTICE. O God, I fear all will be overturn'd.

PRINCE JOHN. Good morrow, cousin Warwick, good morrow.

GLOUCESTER & CLARENCE. Good morrow, cousin.

PRINCE JOHN. We meet like men that had forgot to speak.

WARWICK. We do remember; but our argument Is all too heavy to admit much talk.

PRINCE JOHN. Well, peace be with him that hath made us heavy!

CHIEF JUSTICE. Peace be with us, lest we be heavier!

PRINCE HUMPHREY. O, good my lord, you have lost a friend indeed; And I dare swear you borrow not that face Of seeming sorrow- it is sure your own.

PRINCE JOHN. Though no man be assur'd what grace to find, You stand in coldest expectation. I am the sorrier; would 'twere otherwise.

CLARENCE. Well, you must now speak Sir John Falstaff fair; Which swims against your stream of quality.

CHIEF JUSTICE. Sweet Princes, what I did, I did in honour, Led by th' impartial conduct of my soul; And never shall you see that I will beg A ragged and forestall'd remission. If truth and upright innocency fail me, I'll to the King my master that is dead, And tell him who hath sent me after him.

WARWICK. Here comes the Prince.

Enter KING HENRY THE FIFTH, attended

CHIEF JUSTICE. Good morrow, and God save your Majesty!

KING. This new and gorgeous garment, majesty, Sits not so easy on me as you think. Brothers, you mix your sadness with some fear. This is the English, not the Turkish court; Not Amurath an Amurath succeeds, But Harry Harry. Yet be sad, good brothers, For, by my faith, it very well becomes you. Sorrow so royally in you appears That I will deeply put the fashion on, And wear it in my heart. Why, then, be sad; But entertain no more of it, good brothers, Than a joint burden laid upon us all. For me, by heaven, I bid you be assur'd, I'll be your father and your brother too; Let me but bear your love, I'll bear your cares. Yet weep that Harry's dead, and so will I; But Harry lives that shall convert those tears By number into hours of happiness.

BROTHERS. We hope no otherwise from your Majesty.

KING. You all look strangely on me; and you most. You are, I think, assur'd I love you not.

CHIEF JUSTICE. I am assur'd, if I be measur'd rightly, Your Majesty hath no just cause to hate me.

KING. No? How might a prince of my great hopes forget So great indignities you laid upon me? What, rate, rebuke, and roughly send to prison, Th' immediate heir of England! Was this easy? May this be wash'd in Lethe and forgotten?

CHIEF JUSTICE. I then did use the person of your father; The image of his power lay then in me; And in th' administration of his law, Whiles I was busy for the commonwealth, Your Highness pleased to forget my place, The majesty and power of law and justice, The image of the King whom I presented, And struck me in my very seat of judgment; Whereon, as an offender to your father, I gave bold way to my authority And did commit you. If the deed were ill, Be you contented, wearing now the garland, To have a son set your decrees at nought, To pluck down justice from your awful bench, To trip the course of law, and blunt the sword That guards the peace and safety of your person; Nay, more, to spurn at your most royal image, And mock your workings in a second body. Question your royal thoughts, make the case yours; Be now the father, and propose a son; Hear your own dignity so much profan'd, See your most dreadful laws so loosely slighted, Behold yourself so by a son disdain'd; And then imagine me taking your part And, in your power, soft silencing your son. After this cold considerance, sentence me; And, as you are a king, speak in your state What I have done that misbecame my place, My person, or my liege's sovereignty.

KING. You are right, Justice, and you weigh this well; Therefore still bear the balance and the sword; And I do wish your honours may increase Till you do live to see a son of mine Offend you, and obey you, as I did. So shall I live to speak my father's words: 'Happy am I that have a man so bold That dares do justice on my proper son; And not less happy, having such a son That would deliver up his greatness so Into the hands of justice.' You did commit me; For which I do commit into your hand Th' unstained sword that you have us'd to bear; With this remembrance- that you use the same With the like bold, just, and impartial spirit As you have done 'gainst me. There is my hand. You shall be as a father to my youth; My voice shall sound as you do prompt mine ear; And I will stoop and humble my intents To your well-practis'd wise directions. And, Princes all, believe me, I beseech you, My father is gone wild into his grave, For in his tomb lie my affections; And with his spirits sadly I survive, To mock the expectation of the world, To frustrate prophecies, and to raze out Rotten opinion, who hath writ me down After my seeming. The tide of blood in me Hath proudly flow'd in vanity till now. Now doth it turn and ebb back to the sea, Where it shall mingle with the state of floods, And flow henceforth in formal majesty. Now call we our high court of parliament; And let us choose such limbs of noble counsel, That the great body of our state may go In equal rank with the best govern'd nation; That war, or peace, or both at once, may be As things acquainted and familiar to us; In which you, father, shall have foremost hand. Our coronation done, we will accite, As I before rememb'red, all our state; And- God consigning to my good intents- No prince nor peer shall have just cause to say, God shorten Harry's happy life one day. Exeunt


Gloucestershire. SHALLOW'S orchard


SHALLOW. Nay, you shall see my orchard, where, in an arbour, we will eat a last year's pippin of mine own graffing, with a dish of caraways, and so forth. Come, cousin Silence. And then to bed.

FALSTAFF. Fore God, you have here a goodly dwelling and rich.

SHALLOW. Barren, barren, barren; beggars all, beggars all, Sir John -marry, good air. Spread, Davy, spread, Davy; well said, Davy.

FALSTAFF. This Davy serves you for good uses; he is your serving-man and your husband.

SHALLOW. A good varlet, a good varlet, a very good varlet, Sir John. By the mass, I have drunk too much sack at supper. A good varlet. Now sit down, now sit down; come, cousin.

SILENCE. Ah, sirrah! quoth-a- we shall [Singing]

Do nothing but eat and make good cheer,

And praise God for the merry year;

When flesh is cheap and females dear,

And lusty lads roam here and there,

So merrily, And ever among so merrily.

FALSTAFF. There's a merry heart! Good Master Silence, I'll give you a health for that anon.

SHALLOW. Give Master Bardolph some wine, Davy.

DAVY. Sweet sir, sit; I'll be with you anon; most sweet sir, sit. Master Page, good Master Page, sit. Proface! What you want in meat, we'll have in drink. But you must bear; the heart's all. Exit

SHALLOW. Be merry, Master Bardolph; and, my little soldier there, be merry.

SILENCE. [Singing]

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

And welcome merry Shrove-tide. Be merry, be merry.

FALSTAFF. I did not think Master Silence had been a man of this mettle.

SILENCE. Who, I? I have been merry twice and once ere now.

Re-enter DAVY

DAVY. [To BARDOLPH] There's a dish of leather-coats for you.


DAVY. Your worship! I'll be with you straight. [To BARDOLPH] A cup of wine, sir?

SILENCE. [Singing]

A cup of wine that's brisk and fine, And drink unto the leman mine;

And a merry heart lives long-a.

FALSTAFF. Well said, Master Silence.

SILENCE. An we shall be merry, now comes in the sweet o' th' night.

FALSTAFF. Health and long life to you, Master Silence!

SILENCE. [Singing]

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

SHALLOW. Honest Bardolph, welcome; if thou want'st anything and wilt not call, beshrew thy heart. Welcome, my little tiny thief and welcome indeed too. I'll drink to Master Bardolph, and to all the cabileros about London.

DAVY. I hope to see London once ere I die.

BARDOLPH. An I might see you there, Davy!

SHALLOW. By the mass, you'R crack a quart together- ha! will you not, Master Bardolph?

BARDOLPH. Yea, sir, in a pottle-pot.

SHALLOW. By God's liggens, I thank thee. The knave will stick by thee, I can assure thee that. 'A will not out, 'a; 'tis true bred.

BARDOLPH. And I'll stick by him, sir.

SHALLOW. Why, there spoke a king. Lack nothing; be merry. [One knocks at door] Look who's at door there, ho! Who knocks?


FALSTAFF. [To SILENCE, who has drunk a bumper] Why, now you have done me right.

SILENCE. [Singing]

Do me right, And dub me knight.


Is't not so?

FALSTAFF. 'Tis so.

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

Re-enter DAVY

DAVY. An't please your worship, there's one Pistol come from the court with news.

FALSTAFF. From the court? Let him come in.


How now, Pistol?

PISTOL. Sir John, God save you!

FALSTAFF. What wind blew you hither, Pistol?

PISTOL. Not the ill wind which blows no man to good. Sweet knight, thou art now one of the greatest men in this realm.

SILENCE. By'r lady, I think 'a be, but goodman Puff of Barson.

PISTOL. Puff! Puff in thy teeth, most recreant coward base! Sir John, I am thy Pistol and thy friend, And helter-skelter have I rode to thee; And tidings do I bring, and lucky joys, And golden times, and happy news of price.

FALSTAFF. I pray thee now, deliver them like a man of this world.

PISTOL. A foutra for the world and worldlings base! I speak of Africa and golden joys.

FALSTAFF. O base Assyrian knight, what is thy news? Let King Cophetua know the truth thereof.

SILENCE. [Singing] And Robin Hood, Scarlet, and John.

PISTOL. Shall dunghill curs confront the Helicons? And shall good news be baffled? Then, Pistol, lay thy head in Furies' lap.

SHALLOW. Honest gentleman, I know not your breeding.

PISTOL. Why, then, lament therefore.

SHALLOW. Give me pardon, sir. If, sir, you come with news from the court, I take it there's but two ways- either to utter them or conceal them. I am, sir, under the King, in some authority.

PISTOL. Under which king, Bezonian? Speak, or die.

SHALLOW. Under King Harry.

PISTOL. Harry the Fourth- or Fifth?

SHALLOW. Harry the Fourth.

PISTOL. A foutra for thine office! Sir John, thy tender lambkin now is King; Harry the Fifth's the man. I speak the truth. When Pistol lies, do this; and fig me, like The bragging Spaniard.

FALSTAFF. What, is the old king dead?

PISTOL. As nail in door. The things I speak are just.

FALSTAFF. Away, Bardolph! saddle my horse. Master Robert Shallow, choose what office thou wilt in the land, 'tis thine. Pistol, I will double-charge thee with dignities.

BARDOLPH. O joyful day! I would not take a knighthood for my fortune.

PISTOL. What, I do bring good news?

FALSTAFF. Carry Master Silence to bed. Master Shallow, my Lord Shallow, be what thou wilt- I am Fortune's steward. Get on thy boots; we'll ride all night. O sweet Pistol! Away, Bardolph! [Exit BARDOLPH] Come, Pistol, utter more to me; and withal devise something to do thyself good. Boot, boot, Master Shallow! I know the young King is sick for me. Let us take any man's horses: the laws of England are at my commandment. Blessed are they that have been my friends; and woe to my Lord Chief Justice!

PISTOL. Let vultures vile seize on his lungs also! 'Where is the life that late I led?' say they. Why, here it is; welcome these pleasant days! Exeunt


London. A street


HOSTESS. No, thou arrant knave; I would to God that I might die, that I might have thee hang'd. Thou hast drawn my shoulder out of joint.

FIRST BEADLE. The constables have delivered her over to me; and she shall have whipping-cheer enough, I warrant her. There hath been a man or two lately kill'd about her.

DOLL. Nut-hook, nut-hook, you lie. Come on; I'll tell thee what, thou damn'd tripe-visag'd rascal, an the child I now go with do miscarry, thou wert better thou hadst struck thy mother, thou paper-fac'd villain.

HOSTESS. O the Lord, that Sir John were come! He would make this a bloody day to somebody. But I pray God the fruit of her womb miscarry!

FIRST BEADLE. If it do, you shall have a dozen of cushions again; you have but eleven now. Come, I charge you both go with me; for the man is dead that you and Pistol beat amongst you.

DOLL. I'll tell you what, you thin man in a censer, I will have you as soundly swing'd for this- you blue-bottle rogue, you filthy famish'd correctioner, if you be not swing'd, I'll forswear half-kirtles.

FIRST BEADLE. Come, come, you she knight-errant, come.

HOSTESS. O God, that right should thus overcome might! Well, of sufferance comes ease.

DOLL. Come, you rogue, come; bring me to a justice.

HOSTESS. Ay, come, you starv'd bloodhound.

DOLL. Goodman death, goodman bones!

HOSTESS. Thou atomy, thou!

DOLL. Come, you thin thing! come, you rascal!

FIRST BEADLE. Very well.Exeunt

SCENE V. Westminster. Near the Abbey

Enter GROOMS, strewing rushes

FIRST GROOM. More rushes, more rushes!

SECOND GROOM. The trumpets have sounded twice.

THIRD GROOM. 'Twill be two o'clock ere they come from the coronation. Dispatch, dispatch. Exeunt

Trumpets sound, and the KING and his train pass

over the stage. After them enter FALSTAFF, SHALLOW,


FALSTAFF. Stand here by me, Master Robert Shallow; I will make the King do you grace. I will leer upon him, as 'a comes by; and do but mark the countenance that he will give me.

PISTOL. God bless thy lungs, good knight!

FALSTAFF. Come here, Pistol; stand behind me. [To SHALLOW] O, if I had had to have made new liveries, I would have bestowed the thousand pound I borrowed of you. But 'tis no matter; this poor show doth better; this doth infer the zeal I had to see him.

SHALLOW. It doth so.

FALSTAFF. It shows my earnestness of affection-

SHALLOW. It doth so.

FALSTAFF. My devotion-

SHALLOW. It doth, it doth, it doth.

FALSTAFF. As it were, to ride day and night; and not to deliberate, not to remember, not to have patience to shift me-

SHALLOW. It is best, certain.

FALSTAFF. But to stand stained with travel, and sweating with desire to see him; thinking of nothing else, putting all affairs else in oblivion, as if there were nothing else to be done but to see him.

PISTOL. 'Tis 'semper idem' for 'obsque hoc nihil est.' 'Tis all in every part.

SHALLOW. 'Tis so, indeed.

PISTOL. My knight, I will inflame thy noble liver And make thee rage. Thy Doll, and Helen of thy noble thoughts, Is in base durance and contagious prison; Hal'd thither By most mechanical and dirty hand. Rouse up revenge from ebon den with fell Alecto's snake, For Doll is in. Pistol speaks nought but truth.

FALSTAFF. I will deliver her. [Shouts,within, and the trumpets sound]

PISTOL. There roar'd the sea, and trumpet-clangor sounds.

Enter the KING and his train, the LORD CHIEF JUSTICE

among them

FALSTAFF. God save thy Grace, King Hal; my royal Hal!

PISTOL. The heavens thee guard and keep, most royal imp of fame!

FALSTAFF. God save thee, my sweet boy!

KING. My Lord Chief Justice, speak to that vain man.

CHIEF JUSTICE. Have you your wits? Know you what 'tis you speak?

FALSTAFF. My king! my Jove! I speak to thee, my heart!

KING. I know thee not, old man. Fall to thy prayers. How ill white hairs become a fool and jester! I have long dreamt of such a kind of man, So surfeit-swell'd, so old, and so profane; But being awak'd, I do despise my dream. Make less thy body hence, and more thy grace; Leave gormandizing; know the grave doth gape For thee thrice wider than for other men- Reply not to me with a fool-born jest; Presume not that I am the thing I was, For God doth know, so shall the world perceive, That I have turn'd away my former self; So will I those that kept me company. When thou dost hear I am as I have been, Approach me, and thou shalt be as thou wast, The tutor and the feeder of my riots. Till then I banish thee, on pain of death, As I have done the rest of my misleaders, Not to come near our person by ten mile. For competence of life I will allow you, That lack of means enforce you not to evils; And, as we hear you do reform yourselves, We will, according to your strengths and qualities, Give you advancement. Be it your charge, my lord, To see perform'd the tenour of our word. Set on.Exeunt the KING and his train

FALSTAFF. Master Shallow, I owe you a thousand pounds.

SHALLOW. Yea, marry, Sir John; which I beseech you to let me have home with me.

FALSTAFF. That can hardly be, Master Shallow. Do not you grieve at this; I shall be sent for in private to him. Look you, he must seem thus to the world. Fear not your advancements; I will be the man yet that shall make you great.

SHALLOW. I cannot perceive how, unless you give me your doublet, and stuff me out with straw. I beseech you, good Sir John, let me have five hundred of my thousand.

FALSTAFF. Sir, I will be as good as my word. This that you heard was but a colour.

SHALLOW. A colour that I fear you will die in, Sir John.

FALSTAFF. Fear no colours; go with me to dinner. Come, Lieutenant Pistol; come, Bardolph. I shall be sent for soon at night.

Re-enter PRINCE JOHN, the LORD CHIEF JUSTICE, with officers

CHIEF JUSTICE. Go, carry Sir John Falstaff to the Fleet; Take all his company along with him.

FALSTAFF. My lord, my lord-

CHIEF JUSTICE. I cannot now speak. I will hear you soon. Take them away.

PISTOL. Si fortuna me tormenta, spero me contenta.


PRINCE JOHN. I like this fair proceeding of the King's. He hath intent his wonted followers Shall all be very well provided for; But all are banish'd till their conversations Appear more wise and modest to the world.

CHIEF JUSTICE. And so they are.

PRINCE JOHN. The King hath call'd his parliament, my lord.


PRINCE JOHN. I will lay odds that, ere this year expire, We bear our civil swords and native fire As far as France. I heard a bird so sing, Whose music, to my thinking, pleas'd the King. Come, will you hence? Exeunt EPILOGUE


First my fear, then my curtsy, last my speech. My fear, is your displeasure; my curtsy, my duty; and my speech, to beg your pardons. If you look for a good speech now, you undo me; for what I have to say is of mine own making; and what, indeed, I should say will, I doubt, prove mine own marring. But to the purpose, and so to the venture. Be it known to you, as it is very well, I was lately here in the end of a displeasing play, to pray your patience for it and to promise you a better. I meant, indeed, to pay you with this; which if like an ill venture it come unluckily home, I break, and you, my gentle creditors, lose. Here I promis'd you I would be, and here I commit my body to your mercies. Bate me some, and I will pay you some, and, as most debtors do, promise you infinitely; and so I kneel down before you- but, indeed, to pray for the Queen.

If my tongue cannot entreat you to acquit me, will you command me to use my legs? And yet that were but light payment-to dance out of your debt. But a good conscience will make any possible satisfaction, and so would I. All the gentlewomen here have forgiven me. If the gentlemen will not, then the gentlemen do not agree with the gentlewomen, which was never seen before in such an assembly.

One word more, I beseech you. If you be not too much cloy'd with fat meat, our humble author will continue the story, with Sir John in it, and make you merry with fair Katherine of France; where, for anything I know, Falstaff shall die of a sweat, unless already 'a be killed with your hard opinions; for Oldcastle died a martyr and this is not the man. My tongue is weary; when my legs are too, I will bid you good night.