« PreviousContinue »
Lords, Officers, Sheriff, Vintner, Chamberlain, Drawers, Carriers, Travellers, and Attendants.
SCENE I.-London. The Palace, Enter King HENRY, WESTMORELAND, and
K. Hen. So shaken as we are, so wan with care,
No more shall trenching war channel her fields,
To chase these pagans in those holy fields
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, 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. 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 like, my gracious lord;
For more uneven and unwelcome news
Where they did spend a sad and bloody hour;
And shape of likelihood, the news was told;
Uncertain of the issue any way.
signs of leaping-houses, and the blessed sun K. Hen. Here is a dear and true industrious himself a fair hot wench in flame-coloured friend,
taffeta, I see no reason why thou should'st be
Sir Walter Blunt, new lighted from his horse,
Of this young Percy's pride? the prisoners,
West. This is his uncle's teaching, this is
SCENE II.-The Same.
Malevolent to you in all aspects;
K. Hen. But I have sent for him to answer
And for this cause awhile we must neglect
Cousin, on Wednesday next our council we
An Apartment of the
Fal. Indeed, you come near me now, Hal; for we that take purses go by the moon and the seven stars, and not by Phoebus, he, that wandering knight so fair.' And, I prithee, sweet wag, when thou art king, as, God save thy grace, majesty, I should say, for grace thou wilt have
Enter the PRINCE and FALSTAFF.
Fal. Now, Hal, what time of day is it, lad? Prince. 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
Prince. What! none?
Fal. No, by my troth; not so much as will serve to be prologue to an egg and butter. Prince. 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 be 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.
Prince. Thou sayest 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 sayest true, lad. And is not my hostess of the tavern a most sweet wench?
Prince. 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?
Fal. Yea, and so used it that, were it not here Exeunt. apparent that thou art heir apparent,-But, I prithee, sweet wag, shall there be gallows standing in England when thou art king, and resolu tion thus fobbed as it is with the rusty curb of old father antick the law? Do not thou, when thou art king, hang a thief.
Prince. No; thou shalt.
Fal. Shall I O rare! By the Lord, I'll be a brave judge.
Prince. Why, what a pox have I to do with my hostess of the tavern?
Fal. Well, thou hast called her to a reckoning mar a time and oft. Prince. Did I ever call for thee to pay thy part! Fal. No; I'll give thee thy due, thou hast paid all there.
Prince. Yea, and elsewhere, so far as my coin would stretch; and where it would not, I have used my credit.
Prince. 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 with my humour as well as waiting in the court, I can tell you.
Fal. Yea, for obtaining of suits, whereof the hangman hath no lean wardrobe. 'Sblood, I am as melancholy as a gib cat, or a lugged bear.
Prince. Or an old lion, or a lover's lute. Fal. Yea, or the drone of a Lincolnshire bagpipe.
Prince. What sayest 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 prithee, 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.
Prince. Thou didst well; for wisdom cries out in the streets, and no man regards it. 101 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.
Prince. Where shall we take a purse to-morrow, Jack?
Fal. 'Zounds! where thou wilt, lad, I'll make one; an I do not, call me villain and baffle me. Prince. I see a good amendment of life in thee; from praying to purse-taking.
Enter POINS, at a distance.
Pal. 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!'
Prince. 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.
Prince. 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 vizards 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. Hal, wilt thou make one? Prince. 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.
Prince. Well then, once in my days I'll be a madcap.
Fal. Why, that's well said.
Prince. Well, come what will, I'll tarry at home. Fal. By the Lord, I'll be a traitor then, when thou art king.
Prince. I care not.
Poins. Sir John, I prithee, leave the prince and me alone: I will lay him down such reasons for this adventure that he shall go.
Fal. Well, God give thee the spirit of persuasion, and him 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.
Prince. Farewell, thou latter spring! Farewell, All-hallown summer! Exit 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 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 off from my shoulders. Prince. 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.
Who doth permit the base contagious clouds
If all the year were playing holidays,
He was perfumed like a milliner,
But when they seldom come, they wish'd for To bring a slovenly unhandsome corpse
And nothing pleaseth but rare accidents.
SCENE III.-The Same. The Palace.
Betwixt the wind and his nobility.
With many holiday and lady terms
He question'd me; among the rest, demanded
230 I then, all smarting with my wounds being cold,
He should, or he should not; for he made me
To see him shine so brisk, and smell so sweet,
Of guns, and drums, and wounds, God save the
And telling me the sovereign'st thing on earth
Out of the bowels of the harmless earth,
Whatever Harry Percy then had said
K. Hen. Why, yet he doth deny his prisoners,
Hot. Revolted Mortimer!
He never did fall off, my sovereign liege,
But by the chance of war: to prove that true
Those mouthed wounds, which valiantly he took,
Three times they breath'd and three times did That wish'd him on the barren mountains starve. they drink,
Upon agreement, of swift Severn's flood,
Colour her working with such deadly wounds;
K. Hen. Thou dost belie him, Percy, thou dost
He never did encounter with Glendower:
But shall it be that you, that set the crown
He durst as well have met the devil alone
Exeunt King HENRY, BLUNT, and Train.
Here comes your uncle.
And to your quick-conceiving discontents
Hot. If he fall in, good night! or sink or
Send danger from the east unto the west,
And shed my dear blood drop by drop i' the dust, So honour cross it from the north to south, But I will lift the down-tro Mortimer
As high i' the air as this unthankful king,
Wor. Who struck this heat up after I was
Hot. He will, forsooth, have all my prisoners;
Wor. I cannot blame him: was he not pro-
By Richard that dead is the next of blood?
North. He was; I heard the proclamation:
From whence he, intercepted, did return
Wor. And for whose death we in the world's
Live scandaliz'd and foully spoken of.
And let them grapple: O! the blood more stirs
North. Imagination of some great exploit Drives him beyond the bounds of patience.
Hot. By heaven methinks it were an easy leap
Wor. He apprehends a world of figures here,
Those same noble Scots
Hot. I cry you mercy.