Imagini ale paginilor
PDF
ePub

An if I were thy nurse, thy tongue to teach,
Pardon should be the first word of thy speech.
I never long'd to hear a word till now;
Say - pardon, king; let pity teach thee how :
The word is short, but not so short as sweet;
No word like, pardon, for kings' mouths so meet.
York. Speak it in French, king; say, pardonnez

My brain I'll prove the female to my soul;
My soul, the father: and these two beget
A generation of still-breeding thoughts,
And these same thoughts people this little world;
In humours, like the people of this world,
For no thought is contented. The better sort,
As thoughts of things divine, are intermix'd
With scruples, and do set the word itself
Against the word:

As thus, ·Come, little ones; and then again,
It is as hard to come, as for a camel
To thread the postern of a needle's eye.
Thoughts tending to ambition, they do plot
Unlikely wonders: how these vain weak nails
May tear a passage through the flinty ribs
Of this hard world, my ragged prison walls;
And, for they cannot, die in their own pride.
Thoughts tending to content, flatter themselves, -

With all my heart❘

A god on earth thou art. Boling. But for our trusty brother-in-law,—and the abbot,

Boling. Good aunt, stand up. Duch. I do not sue to stand, That they are not the first of fortune's slaves, Pardon is all the suit I have in hand. Nor shall not be the last; like silly beggars, Boling. I pardon him, as God shall pardon me. Who, sitting in the stocks, refuge their shame, Duch. O happy vantage of a kneeling knee! That many have, and others must sit there: Yet am I sick for fear: speak it again; And in this thought they find a kind of ease, Twice saying pardon, doth not pardon twain, Bearing their own misfortune on the back But makes one pardon strong. Of such as have before endur'd the like. Thus play I, in one person, many people, And none contented: Sometimes am I king; Then treason makes me wish myself a beggar, And so I am: Then crushing penury Persuades me I was better when a king; Then am I king'd again: and, by-and-by, Think that I am unking'd by Bolingbroke, And straight am nothing: But, whate'er I am, Nor I, nor any man, that but man is, With nothing shall be pleas'd till he be eas'd With being nothing. -Musick do I hear? [Musick. Ha, ha! keep time : — How sour sweet musick is, When time is broke, and no proportion kept! So is it in the musick of men's lives. And here have I the daintiness of ear, To check time broke in a disorder'd string; But, for the concord of my state and time, Had not an ear to hear my true time broke. I wasted time, and now doth time waste me. For now hath time made me his numb'ring clock : My thoughts are minutes; and, with sighs, they jar Their watches on to mine eyes, the outward watch, Whereto my finger, like a dial's point,

:

Is pointing still, in cleansing them from tears.
Now, sir, the sound, that tells what hour it is,
Are clamorous groans, that strike upon my heart,
Which is the bell: So sighs, and tears, and groans,
Show minutes, times, and hours: but my time
Runs posting on in Bolingbroke's proud joy,
While I stand fooling here, his Jack o' the clock.
This musick mads me, let it sound no more;
For, though it have holpe madmen to their wits,
In me, it seems it will make wise men mad.
Yet blessing on his heart that gives it me!
For 'tis a sign of love; and love to Richard
Is a strange brooch in this all-hating world.
Enter Groom.

moy.

Duch. Dost thou teach pardon pardon to destroy?
Ah, my sour husband, my hard-hearted lord,
That set'st the word itself against the word!
Speak, pardon, as 'tis current in our land;
The chopping French we do not understand.
Thine eye begins to speak, set thy tongue there:
Or, in thy piteous heart plant thou thine ear;
That, hearing how our plaints and prayers do pierce,
Pity may move thee, pardon to rehearse.

Boling.

I pardon him.

Duch.

With all the rest of that consorted crew,
Destruction straight shall dog them at the heels.
Good uncle, help to order several powers
To Oxford, or where'er these traitors are:
They shall not live within this world, I swear,
But I will have them, if I once know where.
Uncle, farewell, — and cousin too, adieu :
Your mother well hath pray'd, and prove you true.
Duch. Come, my old son; - - I pray God make
[Exeunt.

thee new.

[ocr errors]

SCENE IV.

Enter EXTON and a Servant.

Exton. Didst thou not mark the king, what words
he spake?

Have I no friend will rid me of this living fear?
Was it not so?

Serv.

Those were his very words. Exton. Have I no friend? quoth he: he spakc it twice.

And urg'd it twice together; did he not?

Serv. He did.

Exton. And, speaking it, he wistfully look'd on

me;

As who should say, I would, thou wert the man
That would divorce this terror from my heart;
Meaning, the king at Pomfret. Come, let's go;
I am the king's friend, and will rid his foe.

[Exeunt. SCENE V.-Pomfret. The Dungeon of the Castle. Enter KING RICHARD.

K. Rich. I have been studying how I may

compare

This prison, where I live, unto the world:
And, for because the world is populous,
And here is not a creature but myself,

I cannot do it; - Yet I'll hammer it out.

-

Groom. Hail, royal prince!
K. Rich.
Thanks, noble peer;
The cheapest of us is ten groats too dear.
What art thou? and how comest thou hither,
Where no man never comes, but that sad dog
That brings me food, to make misfortune live?
Groom. I was a poor groom of thy stable, king.

[blocks in formation]

SCENE VI. Windsor. A Room in the Castle Flourish. Enter BOLINGBROKE and YORK, with Lords and Attendants.

Boling. Kind uncle York, the latest news ve hear Is that the rebels have consum'd with fire Our town of Cicester in Glostershire;

But whether they be ta'en, or slain, we hear not. Enter NORTHUMBERLAND.

Welcome, my lord: What is the news?

North. First, to thy sacred state wish I all hap piness.

The next news is, I have to London sent
The heads of Salisbury, Spencer, Blunt, and Kent:
The manner of their taking may appear
At large discoursed in this paper here.
[Presenting a paper.

Boling. We thank thee, gentle Percy, for thy pains; And to thy worth will add right worthy gains.

Enter FITZWATER.

Fitz. My lord, I have from Oxford sent to London The heads of Brocas, and Sir Bennet Seely; Two of the dangerous consorted traitors, That sought at Oxford thy dire overthrow. Boling. Thy pains, Fitzwater, shall not be forgot; Right noble is thy merit, well I wot.

[blocks in formation]

Enter EXTON, and Servants, armed.

K. Rich. How now? what means death in this rude assault? Villain, thy own hand yields thy death's instrument. [Snatching a weapon, and killing one. Go thou, and fill another room in hell.

[He kills another, then ExTON strikes him down. That hand shall burn in never-quenching fire, That staggers thus my person. Exton, thy fierce hand Hath with the king's blood stain'd the king's own land. Mount, mount, my soul! thy seat is up on high; Whilst my gross flesh sinks downward, here to die. [Dies.

-

Exton. As full of valour, as of royal blood: Both have I spilt; O, would the deed were good! For now the devil, that told me- I did well, Says, that this deed is chronicled in hell. This dead king to the living king I'll bear? Take hence the rest, and give them burial here.

[Exeunt.

[ocr errors]

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

Boling. They love not poison that do poison need, Nor do I thee; though I did wish him dead, I hate the murderer, love him murdered. The guilt of conscience take thou for thy labour, But neither my good word, nor princely favour: With Cain go wander through the shade of night, And never show thy head by day nor light. Lords, I protest, my soul is full of woe, That blood should sprinkle me, to make me grow : Come, mourn with me for what I do lament, And put on sullen black, incontinent; I'll make a voyage to the Holy land,

To wash this blood off from my guilty hand: March sadly after; grace my mournings here, In weeping after this untimely bier.

[Exeunt.

FIRST PART OF

KING HENRY IV

KING HENRY THE FOURTH.
HENRY, Prince of Wales,
PRINCE JOHN of Lancaster,
EARL OF WESTMORELAND,

Sir WALTER BLUNT, } friends to the King.

}

[ocr errors]

PERSONS REPRESENTED.

sons to the King.

[blocks in formation]

SCENE I. London. A Room in the Palace. Enter KING HENRY, WESTMORELAND, 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 commenc'd in stronds afar remote. No more the thirsty Erinnys 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 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,)

Sir JOHN FALSTAFF.
POINS.
GADSHILL
PETO.
BARDOLPH.

Lady PERCY, wife to Hotspur, and sister to Mortimer. Lady MORTIMER, daughter to Glendower, and wife to Mortimer.

Mrs. QUICKLY, hostess of a tavern in Eastcheap.

Loras, Officers, Sheriff, Vintner, Chamberlain, Drawers, Two Carriers, Travellers, and Attendants.

ENGLAND.

ACT I.

Forthwith a power of English shall we levy;
Whose arms were moulded in their mothers' 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 is a 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,
And a thousand of his people butchered :
Upon whose dead corpse there was such misuse,
Such beastly, shameless transformation,
By those Welshwomen done, as may not be
Without much shame, re-told or spoken of.

SCENE II. The same. Palace.

K. Hen. 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.

K. Hen. Here is a dear and true-industrious friend,

Sir Walter Blunt, new lighted from his horse,
Stain'd with the variation of each soil
Betwixt that Hoinedon and this seat of ours;
And he hath brought us smooth and welcome news,
The earl of Douglas is discomfited;
Ten thousand bold Scots, two-and-twenty knights,
Balk'd in their own blood, did sir Walter see
On Holmedon's plains: Of prisoners, Hotspur

took

Mordake the earl of Fife, and eldest son
To beaten Douglas; and the earls of Athol,
Of Murray, Angus, and Menteith.
And is not this an honourable spoil?
A gallant prize? ha, cousin, is it not?
West. In faith,

It is a conquest for a prince tcoast of.

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 prov'd,
That some night-tripping fairy had exchang'd
In cradle-clothes our children where 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 surpriz'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 is Worcester,

Malevolent to you in all aspects;
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,
Thant of anger can be uttered.
West. I will, my liege.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Another Room in the

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 would'st 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 colour'd taffata; I see no reason, why thou should'st 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 Phoebus, - he, that wandering knight so fair. And, I pray thee, sweet wag, when thou art king, as, God save thy grace, (majesty, I should say; for grace thou wilt have none,) P. Hen. What! none?

――――

Fal. No, by my troth; not so much as will serve to be prologue to an egg and butter.

P. Hen. 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 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.

be

P. Hen. Thou say 'st well; and it holds well too : for the fortune of us, that are the moon's men, doth ebb and flow like the sea; being governed as the sea is, by the moon. As, for proof, now: A purse of gold most resolutely 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 say'st 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?

Fal. 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. Yea, and elsewhere, so far as my coin would stretch; and, where it would not, I have used my credit.

Fal. Yea, and so used it, that were it not here apparent that thou art heir apparent, ― But, I pr'ythee, sweet wag, shall there be gallows standing in England when thou art king? and resolution thus fobbed as it is, with the rusty curb of old father antick the law? Do not thou, when thou art king, [Exeunt. hang a thief.

P. Hen. No; thou shalt. Fal. Shall I? O rare! brave judge.

By the Lord, I'll be a

P. Hen. Thou judgest false already; I mean, thou shalt have the hanging of the thieves, and so become a rare hangman.

[ocr errors]

Fal. Well, Hal, well; and in some sort it jumps with my 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. 'Sblood, 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 say'st thou to a hare, or the melancholy of Moor-ditch?

P. Hen. I care not.

Fal. Thou hast the most unsavoury similies; and art, indeed, the most comparative, rascalliest, – sweet young prince, But, Hal, I pr'ythee, trouble me no more with vanity. I would to God, thou and I knew where a commodity of good names were to be bought: An old lord of the council rated me the other day in the street about you, sir; but I marked him not: and yet he talked very wisely; but I regarded him not: and yet he talked wisely, and in the street too.

Poins. Sir John, I pr'ythee, leave the prince and me alone; I will lay him down such reasons for this adventure, that he shall go.

Fal. Well, may'st thou have the spirit of persu1sion, and he the ears of profiting, that what thou

P. Hen. Thou did'st well; for wisdom cries out speakest may move, and what he hears may be bein the streets, and no man regards it.

lieved, 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

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 to-morrow, 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.

Enter POINS, at a distance.

Fal. Why, Hal, 'tis my vocation, Hal; 'tis no sin for a man to labour in his vocation. 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

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 go, I will stuff your purses full of crowns; if you will not, tarry at home, and be hanged.

Fal. Hear me, Yedward; if I tarry at home and go not, I'll hang you for going. Poins. You will, chops?

man.

P. Hen. Good morrow, Ned. Poins. Good morrow, sweet Hal. What says monsieur Remorse? What says sir John Sack-andSugar? 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?

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 damn'd for keeping thy word with the devil.

P. Hen. 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 going to Canterbury with rich offerings, and

Fal. Hal, wilt thou make one?

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 mad-cap.

Fal. Why, that's well said.

P. Hen. Well, come what will, I'll tarry at home. Fal. By the Lord, I'll be a traitor then, when thou art king.

in Eastcheap.

P. Hen. Farewell, thou latter spring! Farewell All-hallown summer! [Erit 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 way-laid; 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 '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 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 for

us.

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 f.ught 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

« ÎnapoiContinuați »