Page images

Bard. I will, captain: farewell.


Fal. If I be not ashamed of my soldiers, I am a soused 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 asked twice on the banns; such a commodity of warm slaves, as had as lief hear the devil as a drum; such as fear the report of a caliver worse than a struck fowl or a hurt wild-duck. I pressed me none but such toasts-and-butter, with hearts in their bellies no bigger than pins' heads, and they have bought out their services; and now my whole charge consists of ancients, corporals, lieutenants, gentlemen of companies, slaves as ragged as Lazarus in the painted cloth, where the glutton's dogs licked his sores; and such as indeed were never soldiers, but discarded unjust servingmen, younger sons to younger brothers, revolted tapsters and ostlers trade-fallen, the caukers of a calm world and a long peace; ten times more dishonourable ragged than an old faced ancient and such have I, to fill up the

rooms of them that have bought out their ser

vices, that you would think that I had a hundred and fifty tattered prodigals, lately come from swine-keeping, from eating draff and husks. mad fellow met me on the way and told me I had unloaded all the gibbets and pressed the dead bodies. No eye hath seen such 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 tacked together and thrown over the shoulders like an herald's coat without sleeves; and the shirt, to say the truth, stolen 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.

[ocr errors]

Enter the PRINCE and 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 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 sure they never learned that of me. Prince. No, I'll be sworn; unless you call.

three fingers on the ribs bare. But, si. rah, make haste: Percy is already in the field.


Ful. What is the king encamped?

West. He is, Sir John: I fear we shall stay too long. Fal. Well,

To the latter end of a fray and the beginning of a feast Exeunt.

Fits a dull fighter and a keen guest.

SCENE III.-The Rebel Camp near Shrewsbury.

Hot. We'll fight with him to-night.
It may not be.
Doug. You give him then advantage.
Not a whit.
Hot. Why say you so? looks he not for supply?
Ver. So do we.

His is certain, ours is doubtful.
Wor. Good cousin, be advis'd: stir not to-night.
V'er. Do not, my lord.
You speak it out of fear and cold heart.

You do not counsel well:

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.


Yea, or to-night.


Hot. To-night, say I.
Ver. Come, come, it may not be. I wonder

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: 2)
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 parlˇy,

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 50
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 perform'd it too.
Now when the lords and barons of the realm
Perceiv'd Northumberland did lean to him,
The more and less came in with cap and knee;
Met him in boroughs, cities, villages,
Attended him on bridges, stood in lanes,
Laid gifts before him, proffer'd him their oaths,
Gave him their heirs as pages, follow'd him
Even at the heels in golden multitudes.
He presently, as greatness knows itself,
Steps me a little higher than his vow
Made to my father, while his blood was poor,
Upon the naked shore at 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.
Blunt. Tut, I came not to hear this.
Then to the point.
In short time after, he depos'd the king;
Soon after that, depriv'd him of his life;
And in the neck of that, task'd the whole state;
To make that worse,suffer'd his kinsman March
Who is, if every owner were well plac'd,
Indeed his king-to be 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; 100
Broke oath on oath, committed wrong on wrong;
And in conclusion drove us to seek out
This head of safety; and withal to pry
Into his title, the which we find
Too indirect for long continuance.


Blunt. Shall I return this answer to the king?
Hot. Not so, Sir Walter: we'll withdraw

Go to the king; and let there be impawn'd
Some surety for a safe return again,
And in the morning early shall my uncle


Bring him our purposes; and so farewell. Blunt. I would you would accept of grace and love.


[blocks in formation]

With winged haste to the lord mareshal;
This to my cousin Scroop, and all the rest
To whom they are directed. If you knew
How much they do import, you would make haste.
Sir M. My good lord,

I guess their tenour.


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, ir 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, o'er-rul'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's 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 war-like Blunt,
And many more 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.


SCENE I. The King's Camp near Shrewsbury. Enter King HENRY, the PRINCE, JOHN OF LANCASTER, Sir WALTER BLUNT, and Sir JOHN FALSTAFF.

K. Hen. How bloodily the sun begins to peer Above you busky hill! the day looks pale At his distemperature.


The southern wind





Doth play the trumpet to his purposes,

And violation of all faith and troth
And by his hollow whistling in the leaves Sworn to us in your younger enterprise.
Foretells a tempest and a blustering day.

K. Hen. These things indeed you have articu-
K. Hen. Then with the losers let it sympathize, late,
For nothing can seem foul to those that win. Proclaim'd at market-crosses, read in churches,

Trumpet sounds. To face the garment of rebellion

With some fine colour that may please the eye Enter WORCESTER and VERNON.

Of fickle changelings and poor discontents, How now, my Lord of Worcester! 'tis not well Which gape and rub the elbow at the news That you and I should meet upon such terms 10 Of hurly burly innovation : As now we meet. You have deceiv'd our trust, And never yet did insurrection want And made us doff our easy robes of peace, Such water-colours to impaint his cause; To crush our old limbs in ungentle steel : Nor moody beggars, starving for a time This is not well, my lord ; this is not well. Of pell-mell havoc and confusion. What say you to it? will you again unknit Prince. In both our armies there is many a soul This churlish knot of all-abhorred war,

Shall pay full dearly for this encounter, And move in that obedient orb again

If once they join in trial. Tell your nephew, Where you did give a fair and natural light, The Prince of Wales doth join with all the world And be no more an exhal'd meteor,

In praise of Henry Percy : by my hopes,
A prodigy of fear and a portent

This present enterprise set off his head,
Of broached mischief to the unborn times ? I do not think a braver gentleman,
Wor. Hear me, my liege.

More active-valiant or more valiant-young,
For mine own part, I could be well content More daring or more bold, is now alive
To entertain the lag-end of my life

To grace this latter age with noble deeds.
With quiet hours; for I do protest,

For my part, I may speak it to my shame,
I bave not sought the day of this dislike. I have a truant been to chivalry ;
K. llen. You have not sought it! how comes And so I hear he doth account me too;
it then?

Yet this before my father's majesty-
Fal. Rebellion lay in his way, and he found it. I am content that he shall take the odds
Prince. Peace, chewet, peace!

Of his great name and estimation,
Wor. It pleas'd your majesty to turn your looks And will, to save the blood on either side,
Of favour from myself and all our house ; 31 Try fortune with him in a single tight.
And yet I must remember you, my lord,

ki Hen. And, Prince of Wales, so dare we We were the first and dearest of your friends. venture thee, For you my staff of office did I break

Albeit considerations infinite In Richard's time; and posted day and night Do make against it. No, good Worcester, no, To meet you on the way, and kiss your hand, We love our people well ; even those we love When yet you were in place and in account That are misled upon your cousin's part; Nothing so strong and fortunate as I.

And, will they take the offer of our grace, It was myself, my brother, and his son,

Both he and they and you, yea, every man That brought you home and boldly did out-dare Shall be my friend again, and I'll be his. The dangers of the time. You swore to us, So tell your cousin, and bring me word And you did swear that oath at Doncaster, What he will do; but if he will not yield, That you did nothing purpose 'gainst the state, Rebuke and dread correction wait on us, Nor claim no further than your new-fall'n right, And they shall do their oflice. So, be gone : The seat of Gannt, dukedom of Lancaster. We will not now be troubled with reply ; To this we swore our aid : but in short space We offer fair, take it advisedly. It rain'd down fortune showering on your head,

Ereunt WORCESTER and VERNON, And such a flood of greatness fell on you,

Prince. It will not be accepted, on my life. What with our help, what with the absent king, The Douglas and the Hotspur both together What with the injuries of a wanton time, 50 Are confident against the world in arms. The seeming sufferances that you had borne, K. Hen. Hence, therefore, every leader to his And the contrarious winds that held the king charge ; So long in his unlucky Irish wars,

For, on their answer, will we set on them ; That all in England did repute him dead : And God befriend us, as our cause is just ! And from this swarm of fair advantages

Excunt King HENRY, BLUNT, and You took occasion to be quickly woo'd

JOHN OF LANCASTER. To gripe the general sway into your hand; Fal. Hal, if thou see me down in the battle, Forgot your oath to us at Doncaster;

and bestride me, so ; 'tis a point of friendship. And being fed by us you us'd us so

Prince. Nothing but a colossus can do thee As that ungentle gull, the cuckoo's bird, 60 that friendship. Say thy prayers, and farewell. Useth the sparrow: did oppress our nest,

Fal. I would it were bed-time, Hal, and all well. Grew by our feeding to so great a bulk

Prince. Why, thou owest God a death. Exit. That even our love durst not come near yoursight Pal. 'Tis not due yet : I would be loath to pay For fear of swallowing ; but with nimble wing him before his day. What need I be so forward We were enforc'd, for safety sake, to fly

with him that calls not on me? Well, 'tis no Out of your sight and raise this present head ; matter ; honour pricks me on. Yea, but how if Whereby we stand opposed by such means honour prick me off when I come on ? how then? As you yourself hare forg'd against yourself Can honour set to a leg? No. Or an arm ? No. By unkind usage, dangerous countenance, 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 o' Wednesday. Doth he feel it? No. Doth he hear it? No. Is it insensible then? Yea, to the dead. But will it not live with the living? No. Why? Detraction will not suffer it. Therefore I'll none of it. Honour is a mere scutcheon; and so ends my catechism. Exit.

SCENE II. The Rebel Camp near Shrewsbury.


Wor. O! no, my nephew must not know, Sir Ile made a blushing cital of himself,


The liberal 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-brain'd Hotspur, govern'd by a spleen.
All his offences live upon my head
And on his father's: we did train him on ;
And, his corruption being ta'en from us,
We, as the spring of all, shall pay for all.
Therefore, good cousin, let not Harry know
In any case the offer of the king.

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

Enter HOTSPUR and DOUGLAS; Officers and Soldiers behind.


[blocks in formation]

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 mode-tly,
Unless a brother should a brother dare
To gentle exercise and proof of aims.
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 valu'd with you;
And, which became him like a prince indeed, o

[blocks in formation]

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 misconstru'd in his wantonness.

[blocks in formation]


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.


Ilot 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. The trumpets sound. They embrace, and creunt.


SCENE III.-Between the Camps. Excursions, and Parties fighting. Alarum to the battle. Then enter DOUGLAS and Sir WALTER BLUNT, meeting.

Blunt. What is thy name, that in the battle thus

Thou crossest me? what honour dost thou seek Upon my head?

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.

Dong. The Lord of Stafford dear to-day hath

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



And thou shalt find a king that will revenge
Lord Stafford's death.

They fight, and BLUNT is slain.

Hot. O Douglas! hadst thou fought at Holme-
don 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

A gallant knight he was, his name was Blunt; 20
Semblably furnish'd like the king himself.

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.
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 mine own bowels. I have led my ragamuffins where they are peppered: 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?


Many a nobleman lies stark and stiff
Under the hoofs of vaunting enemies,
Whose deaths are unreveng'd: prithee, lend 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 gettest not my sword; but take my pistol, if thou wilt.

Prince. 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. Exit. es


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 out a bottle of sack.

[blocks in formation]

Alarums. Enter DOUGLAS.

Doug. Another king! they grow like Hydra's heads: I am the Douglas, fatal to all those

Enter the PRINCE.

Prince. What! stand'st thou idle here? lend That wear those colours on them: what art thou, me thy sword: 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 King HENRY being in danger, re-enter the PRINCE. 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:




« PreviousContinue »