Imagini ale paginilor

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-brain'd Hotspur, govern'd by a spleen :
All his offences live upon my head,

Of any prince, so wild, at liberty:
But, be he as he will, yet once ere night
I will embrace him with a soldier's arm,
That he shall shrink under my courtesy.
Arm, arm, with speed: - And, fellows, soldiers,

Hot. My uncle is return'd: :- Deliver up
My lord of Westmoreland. Uncle, what news?
Wor. The king will bid you battle presently.
Doug. Defy him by the lord of Westmoreland.
Hot. Lord Douglas, go you and tell him so.
Doug. Marry, and shall, and very willingly.


Wor. There is no seeming mercy in the king.
Hot. Did you beg any? God forbid !

Wor. I told him gently of our grievances,
Of his oath-breaking; which he mended thus,
By now forswearing that he is forsworn :
He calls us rebels, traitors; and will scourge
With haughty arms this hateful name in us
Re-enter DOUGLAS.

And on his father's; - we did train him on ;
And, his corruption being ta'en from us,
We, as the spring of all, shall pay for all.
Therefore, good cousin, let not Harry know,
In any case, the offer of the king.

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;

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

If die, brave death, when princes die with us!
Now for our conscience, -the arms are fair,

Enter HOTSPUR and DOUGLAS; and Officers and When the intent of bearing them is just.
Soldiers, behind.

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 musick let us all embrace:
For, heaven to earth, some of us never shall
A second time do such a courtesy.

[The trumpets sound. They embrace, and exeunt.

Doug. Arm, gentlemen; to arms! for I have


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?
Ver. No, by my soul; I never in my life,
Did hear a challenge urg'd more modestly,
Unless a brother should a brother dare
To gentle exercise and proof of arms.
He gave you all the duties of a man ;
Trimm'd up your praises with a princely tongue;
Spoke your deservings like a chronicle;
Making you ever better than his praise,
By still dispraising praise, valued with you:
And, which became him like a prince indeed,
He made a blushing cital of himself;
And chid his truant youth with such a grace,
As if he master'd there a double spirit,
Of teaching, and of learning, instantly.
There did he pause; But let me tell the world,
If he outlive the envy of this day,
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

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. —

[ocr errors]
[blocks in formation]

Doug. A fool go with thy soul, whither it goes! A borrow'd 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


I'll murder all his wardrobe, piece by piece, Until I meet the king.


Up, and away; Our soldiers stand full fairly for the day. [Exeunt. Other Alarums. Enter Falstaff.

Fal. Though I could 'scape shot-free at London, I fear the shot here: here's no scoring, but upon the pate.Soft! who art thou? 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 my own bowels. I have led my raggamuffins where they are peppered: there's but three of my hundred and fifty left alive; and they are for the town's end, to beg during life. But who comes here?

The prince of Wales from such a field as this;
Where stain'd nobility lies trodden on,
And rebels' arms triumph in massacres !
P. John. We breathe too long:

Our duty this way lies; for God's sake come.
P. Hen. By heaven, thou hast deceiv'd me, Lan-

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.

K. Hen. I saw him hold lord Percy at the point,
With lustier maintenance than I did look for
Of such an ungrown warrior.

[blocks in formation]

[The PRINCE draws out a bottle of sack. P. Hen. What, is't a time to jest and dally now? [Throws it at him, and 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 unlooked for, and there's an end.



SCENE IV. · Another part of the Field. Alarums. Excursions. Enter the KING, PRINCE HENRY, FRINCE JOHN, and WESTMORELAND. K. Hen. I pr'ythee,

Harry, withdraw thyself; thou bleed'st too much :— Lord John of Lancaster, go you with him.

P. John. Not I, my lord, unless I did bleed too. P. Hen. I do beseech your majesty, make up, Lest your retirement do amaze your friends.

K. Hen. I will do so:

My lord of Westmoreland, lead him to his tent. West. Come, my lord, I will lead you to your


P. Hen. Lead me, my lord? I do not need your help:

And heaven forbid, a shallow scratch should drive

P. Hen.

Lends mettle to us all.

[ocr errors]

O, this boy,

Come, cousin




Doug. Another King! they grow like Hydras' 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?

K. Hen. 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 bear'st 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


danger, enter

P. Hen. Hold up thy head, vile Scot, or thou art like Never to hold it up again! the spirits Of 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 flies. Cheerly, my lord; How fares your grace? Sir Nicholas Gawsey hath for succour sent, And so hath Clifton; I'll to Clifton straight.

[ocr errors]

K. Hen. Stay, and breathe a while : 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.

P. Hen. O heaven! they did me too much injury, That ever said, I hearken'd 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. K. Hen. Make up to Clifton, I'll to sir Nicholas Gawsey. [Erit KING HENRY

[blocks in formation]

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!
P. Hen. 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.


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

gunpowder Percy, though he be dead: How, if he should counterfeit too, and rise? I am afraid, he would prove the better counterfeit. Therefore I'll make him sure: yea, and I'll swear I killed him. Why may not he rise, as well as I? Nothing confutes me but eyes, and nobody sees me. Therefore, sirrah, [stabbing him.] with a new wound in your thigh, come you along with me.

[Takes HOTSPUR on his back. Re-enter PRINCE HENRY and PRINCE John. P. Hen. Come, brother John, full bravely hast thou flesh'd

Thy maiden sword.
P. John.

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

[Dies. P. Hen. 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,

[ocr errors]

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 ignomy sleep with thee in the grave,
But not remember'd in thy epitaph!

[He sees 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.



Fal. [Rising slowly.] Embowelled! if thou enbowel 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

But, soft! whom have we here? Did you not tell me this fat man was dead? P. Hen. I did; I saw him dead, breathless and bleeding

Upon the ground.

Art thou alive? or is it phantasy

That plays upon our eyesight? I pr'ythee, 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 is Percy [throwing the body down.] 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.

P. Hen. Why, Percy I killed 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 believed, 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, I would make him eat a piece of my sword.

P. John. This is the strangest tale that e'er I heard.

P. Hen. 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.

[blocks in formation]
[blocks in formation]

P. Hen. Then, brother John of Lancaster, to you
This honourable bounty shall belong :
Go to the Douglas, and deliver him

Up to his pleasure, ransomeless, and free :
His valour, shown upon our crests to-day,
Hath taught us how to cherish such high deeds,
Even in the bosom of our adversaries.
K. Hen. Then this remains, that we divide our
power. -
You, son John, and my cousin Westmoreland,
Towards York shall bend you, with your dearest

[ocr errors]
[blocks in formation]
[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

Warkworth. Before Northumberland's Castle.
Enter Rumour, painted full of tongues.
Rum. Open your ears; For which of you will

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 enmity,
Under the smile of safety, wounds the world:
And who but Rumour, who but only I,
Make fearful musters, and prepar'd defence;
Whilst the big year, swol'n with some other grief,


POINS and PETO, attendants on Prince Henry.
SHALLOW and SILENCE, country justices.
DAVY, servant to Shallow.



FANG and SNARE, sheriff's officers.


A Porter.

A Dancer, speaker of the epilogue.



Hostess QUICKLY.

DOLI TEAR-sheet.

Lords and other Attendants; Officers, Soldiers, Mes senger, Drawers, Beadles, Grooms, &c.



[ocr errors]

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 wavering 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;

E e

« ÎnapoiContinuă »