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SCENE I.-London. A Room in the Palace.
Enter KING HENRY, WESTMORLAND, Sir Walter
Blunt, and others. K. Hen. So shaken as we are, so wan with care, Find we a time for frighted peace to pant, And breathe short-winded accents of new broils To be commenced in 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 flowrets with the arméd hoofs Of hostile paces: those opposéd eyes, Which, like the meteors of a troubled heaven,
All of one nature, of one substance bred,
Over whose acres walked those blesséd feet
West. My liege, this haste was hot in question,
broil Brake of our business for the Holy Land. West. This matched with other did, my gra
cious lord; For more uneven and unwelcome news Came from the north, and thus it did import : On Holyrood 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.
K. Hen. Here is a dear and true industrious friend, Sir Walter Blunt, new-lighted from his horse, Stained with the variation of each soil Betwixt that Holmedon and this seat of ours; And he hath brought us smooth and welcome
K. Hen. Yea, there thou mak'st me sad, and
mak'st me sin In envy that my lord Northumberland Should be the father of so blest a son : A son who is the theme of honour's tongue; Amongst a grove the very straightest plant; Who is sweet fortune's minion and her pride: Whilst I, by looking on the praise of him, See riot and dishonour stain the brow Of my young Harry. O that it could be proved That some night-tripping fairy had exchanged In cradle-clothes our children where they lay, And called mine Percy, his Plantagenet ! Then would I have his Harry, and he mine. But let him from my thoughts.- What think you,
coz, Of this young Percy's pride? The prisoners Which he in this adventure hath surprised To his own use he keeps; and sends me word I shall have none but Mordake Earl of Fife. West. This is his uncle's teaching, this is Wor
cester, Malevolent to you in all aspécts; Which makes him prune himself, and bristle up The crest of youth against your dignity.
K. Hen. But I have sent for him to answer this: And for this cause awhile we must neglect Our holy purpose to Jerusalem. Cousin, on Wednesday next our council we Will hold at Windsor; so inform the lords : But come yourself with speed to us again ; For more is to be said and to be done Than out of anger can be uttered. West. I will, my liege.
Scene II.-The same. Another Room in the
The Earl of Douglas is discomfited :
West. In faith,
Enter HENRY PRINCE OF Wales and Falstaff.
Fal. Now, Hal, what time of day is it, lad ?
P. Hen. Thou art so fat-witted with drinking of old sack, and unbuttoning thee after supper, and sleeping upon benches after noon, that thou hast forgotten to demand that truly which thou wouldst truly know. What a devil hast thou to do with the time of the day?-unless hours were cups of sack, and minutes capons, and 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 seven stars; and not by Phæbus, he, “that wandering
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 snatched on Monday night, and most dissolutely spent on Tuesday morning: got with swearing “lay by," and spent with crying “bring in :" now in 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 sayst true, lad. And is not my hostess of the tavern a most sweet wench?
P. Hen. 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 ?
P. Hen. Why, what a pox have I to do with my hostess of the tavern?
Pal. Well, thou hast called her to a reckoning many a time and oft.
P. Hen. Did I ever call for thee to pay thy part ?
Fal. No; I'll give thee thy due; thou hast paid all there.
P. Hen. ea, and elsewhere, so far as my coin would stretch; and where it would not, I have used my credit.
Fal. Yea, and so used it, that were it not here apparent that thou art heir-apparent,- But I with my
pr'y thee, sweet wag, shall there be gallows standing in England when thou art king, and resolution thus fobbed as it is with the rusty curb of old father antic the law? Do not thou, when thou art king, hang a thief.
P. Hen. No; thou shalt.
Fal. Shall I ? O rare! By the Lord I 'll be a brave judge.
P. Hen. 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
humour as well as waiting in the court, I can tell you.
P. Hen. For obtaining of suits ?
Fal. Yea, for obtaining of suits : whereof the hangman hath no lean wardrobe. 'S blood, I am as melancholy as a gib cat or a lugged bear.
P. Hen. Or an old lion; or a lover's lute.
Fal. Yea, or the drone of a Lincolnshire bagpipe.
P. Hen. What sayst thou to a hare, or the melancholy of Moor-ditch ?
Fal. Thou hast the most unsavoury similes, and art indeed the most comparative, rascalliest, sweet young prince! But, Hal, I pr’y thee 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,
but I marked him not: and yet he talked very wisely; but I regarded him not: and yet he talked wisely, and in the street too.
P. Hen. 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 damned for never a king's son in Christendom.
P. Hen. Where shall we take a purse tomorrow, Jack?
Fal. Where thou wilt, lad; I'll make one: an I do not, call me villain and baffle me.
P. Hen. I see a good amendment of life in thee: from praying to purse-taking!
is the most omnipotent villain that ever cried “ Stand” to a true man.
P. Hen. Good-morrow, Ned.
Poins. Good-morrow, sweet Hal.- What says Monsieur Remorse; what says Sir John Sackand-Sugar? Jack, how agrees the devil and thee about thy soul, that thou soldest him on GoodFriday last, for a cup of Madeira and a cold capon's leg?
P. Hen. 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 damned for keeping thy word with the devil.
P. Hen. Else he had been damned for cozening the devil.
Poins. But my lads, my lads, to-morrow morning by four o'clock, early at Gadshill! There are pilgrims going to Canterbury with rich offerings, and traders riding to London with fat purses.
I have visors 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 I will stuff your purses full of crowns: if you will not, tarry at home and be hanged.
Fal. Hear ye, Yedward: if I tarry at home and go not, I'll hang you for going.
Poins. You will, chaps?
P. Hen. Who, I rob! I a thief! not I, by my faith.
Fal. There's neither honesty, manhood, nor good fellowship in thee, nor thou camest not of the blood royal, if thou darest not stand for ten shillings.
P. Hen. Well, then, once in my days I'll be a madcap.
Fal. Why, that 's well said.
Fal. By the Lord, I 'll be a traitor, then, when thou art king.
P. Hen. I care not.
Poins. Sir John, I pr'y thee leave the prince and me alone: I will lay him down such reasons for this adventure that he shall go.
Fal. Well, mayst thou have the spirit of persuasion, and he 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.
P. Hen. Farewell, thou latter spring: farewell, Allhallown summer!
[Exit Falstaff. Poins. Now, my good sweet honey lord, ride with us to-morrow: I have a jest to execute that
Enter Poins, at a distance. Fal. Why, Hal, 't is my vocation, Hal: 't is no sin for a man to labour in his vocation.-Poins ! --Now shall we know if Gadshill have set a match.-0, if men were to be saved by merit, what hole in hell were hot enough for him? This
I'll so offend to make offence a skill; Redeeming time when men think least I will.
SCENE III.-The same. Another Room in the
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 from my shoulders.
P. Hen. But 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.
P. Hen. Ay, but 't is 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 visors we will change after we leave them : and, sirrah, I have cases of buckram for the nonce, to immask our noted outward garments.
P. Hen. But I doubt they will be too hard
Enter King Henry, NORTHUMBERLAND, WOR
CESTER, Hotspur, Sir Walter Blunt, and others. K. Hen. My blood hath been too cold and tem
perate, 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 feared, than my condition; Which hath beensmooth 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 de
Poins. Well, for two of them, I know them to be as true-bred cowards as ever turned back: and for the third, if he fight longer than he sees reason I'll forswear arms. The virtue of this jest will be the incomprehensible lies that this same fat rogue will tell us, when we meet at supper: how thirty at least he fought with ; what wards, what blows, what extremities he endured : and in the reproof of this lies the jest.
P. Hen. Well, I 'll go with thee: provide us all things necessary, and meet me to-morrow night in Eastcheap; there I'll sup. Farewell.
Poins. Farewell, my lord. [Exit Poins.
P. Hen. I know you all, and will a while uphold The unyoked humour of
idleness: Yet herein will I imitate the sun; Who doth permit the base contagious clouds To smother up his beauty from the world, That when he please again to be himself, Being wanted, he may be more wondered 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 wished-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,
so much shall I falsify men's hopes : And, like bright metal on a sullen ground, My reformation, glittering o 'er my fault, Shall shew more goodly and attract more eyes Than that which hath no foil to set it off.
The scourge of greatness to be used on it:
North. My lord,
K. Hen. Worcester, get thee gone, for I do see Danger and disobedience in thine eye. O, sir, your presence is too bold and peremptory, And majesty might never yet endure The moody frontier of a servant brow. You have good leave to leave us: when we need Your use and counsel, we shall send for you.
[Exit Worcester. You were about to speak. [To NORTHUMBERLAND.
North. Yea, my good lord. Those prisoners in your highness' name de
manded, 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 toil, Breathless and faint, leaning upon my sword, Came there a certain lord, neat, trimly dressed, Fresh, as a bridegroom; and his chin, new reaped, Shewed liked a stubble-land at harvest-home: He was perfuméd 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