Page images



A Room in the Castle.

Enter HOTSPUR, reading a Letter.

[ocr errors]

"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 baru better than he loves our house. Let me see some more. "The purpose you undertake, is dangerous;' Why, that's certain 't is 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 lackbrain 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 skimmed milk with so honourable an action. Hang him! let him tell the king: we are prepared. I will set forward to-night.

Enter Lady PERCY.

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;
to the field!" And thou hast talk'd
Of sallies, and retires; of trenches, tents,
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 in à 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! is Gilliams with the packet gone?

Enter Servant.

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.


That roan shall be my throne.

Well, I will back him straight: 0, esperance!
Bid Butler lead him forth into the park.

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.


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 this title; and hath sent for you,

To line his enterprize: but if you go

[ocr errors]

Hot. So far afoot, I shall be weary, love.

[Exit Servant.

Lady. Come, come, you paraquito, answer me

Directly unto this question that I ask.

In faith, I'll break thy little finger, Harry,
An if thou wilt not tell me 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 pass them current too.

and crack'd crowns,

Gods me, my horse!

What say'st thou, Kate? what would'st 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 o' 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 farther. 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?


It must, of force.



Eastcheap. A Room in the Boar's Head Tavern.

Enter Prince HENRY and POINS.

P. Hen. Ned, pr'ythee, come out of that fat room, and lend me thy hand to laugh a little.

Poins. Where hast been, Hal?

P. Hen. With three or four loggerheads, amongst three or four-score hogsheads. I have sounded the very base string of humility. Sirrah, I am sworn brother to a leash of drawers, and can call them all by their Christian 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 in 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, clapped even now into my hand by an under-skinker; one that never spake

[ocr errors]

other English in his life, than

[blocks in formation]

"You are welcome;" with this shrill addition,

and "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 pr'ythee, do thou stand in some by-room, while I question my puny drawer to what end he gave me the sugar; and do thou never leave calling -Francis! that his tale to me may be nothing but aside, and I'll show thee a precedent.

Poins. Francis!

P. Hen. Thou art perfect.

anon. Step

[blocks in formation]


P. Hen.

Come hither, Francis.

My lord.

How long hast thou to serve, Francis?

Fran. Forsooth, five years, and as much as to —

Poins. [Within.] Francis!

Fran. Anon, anon, Sir.

P. Hen. Five years! 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 to 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, anon, Sir.

P. Hen.

How old art thou, Francis?

Fran. Let me see, - about Michaelmas next I shall be

Poins. [Within.] Francis!

Fran. Anon, Sir. - Pray you, stay a little, my lord.

P. Hen.

gavest me,


Nay, but hark you, Francis. For the sugar thou 't was a pennyworth, was't not?

O lord, Sir! I would it had been two.

P. Hen. I will give thee for it a thousand pound: ask me when

thou wilt, and thou shalt have it.

« PreviousContinue »