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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, Find we a time for frighted peace to pant, And breathe short-winded accents of new broils To be commenc'd in strands afar remote. No more the thirsty entrance of this soil Shall daub her lips with her own children's blood;

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No more shall trenching war channel her fields,
Nor bruise her flowerets 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,
Forthwith a power of English shall we levy,
Whose arms were moulded in their mothers'

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.


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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 so superfluous to demand the time of the day. Fal. Indeed, you come near me now, 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

Sir Walter Blunt, new lighted from his horse,
Stain'd with the variation of each soil
Betwixt that Holmedon and this seat of ours;
And he hath brought us smooth and welcome


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

Mordake the Earl of Fife, and eldest son
To beaten Douglas, and the Earl 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 to boast 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 to 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 they 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 surpris'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

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

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
Than out of anger can be uttered.
West. I will, my liege.

SCENE II.-The Same.


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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.


As for

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. 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 ?


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Prince. 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 Exeunt. apparent that thou art heir apparent,-But, I prithee, 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, hang a thief.

An Apartment of the

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. No; thou shalt. Fal. Shall I O rare! By the Lord, I'll be a brave judge.

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.

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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? 89

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.

110 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.

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 man.

Prince. Good morrow, Ned.


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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.


Prince. Yea, 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

Poins. Good morrow, sweet Hal. What says Monsieur Remorse? What says Sir John Sack-tie them in the wood; our vizards we will change and-Sugar? 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


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.

after we leave them; and, sirrah, I have cases of buckram for the nonce, to immask our noted outward garments.

Prince. Yea, but I doubt they will be too hard for us.


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Who doth permit the base contagious clouds
To smother up his beauty from the world,
That when he please again to be himself,
Being wanted, he may be more wonder'd at,
By breaking through the foul and ugly mists
Of vapours that did seem to strangle him.

If all the year were playing holidays,
To sport would be as tedious as to work;



He was perfumed like a milliner,
And 'twixt his finger and his thumb he held
A pouncet-box, which ever and anon
He gave his nose and took 't away again;
Who therewith angry, when it next came there,
Took it in snuff: and still he smil'd and talk'd;
And as the soldiers bore dead bodies by,
He call'd them untaught knaves, unmannerly,

But when they seldom come, they wish'd for To bring a slovenly unhandsome corpse


Betwixt the wind and his nobility.

With many holiday and lady terms

He question'd me; among the rest, demanded
My prisoners in your majesty's behalf.


230 I then, all smarting with my wounds being cold,
To be so pester'd with a popinjay,
Out of my grief and my impatience
Answer'd neglectingly, I know not what,

And nothing pleaseth but rare accidents.
So, when this loose behaviour I throw off,
And pay the debt I never promised,
By how much better than my word I am
By so much shall I falsify men's hopes;
And like bright metal on a sullen ground,
My reformation, glittering o'er my fault,
Shall show more goodly and attract more eyes
Than that which hath no foil to set it off.
I'll so offend to make offence a skill,
Redeeming time when men think least I will.

SCENE III.-The Same. The Palace.


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Which Harry Percy here at Holmedon took,
Were, as he says, not with such strength denied
As was deliver'd to your majesty:
Either envy, therefore, or misprision
Is guilty of this fault and not my son.
Hot. My liege, I did deny no prisoners:
But I remember, when the fight was done,
When I was dry with rage and extreme toil,
Breathless and faint, leaning upon my sword,
Came there a certain lord, neat, trimly dress'd,
Fresh as a bridegroom; and his chin, new reap'd,
Show'd like a stubble-land at harvest-home :


He should, or he should not; for he made me

To see him shine so brisk, and smell so sweet,
And talk so like a waiting-gentlewoman
Of guns, and drums, and wounds, God save the

And telling me the sovereign'st thing on earth
And that it was great pity, so it was,
Was parmaceti for an inward bruise;
That villanous saltpetre should be digg'd

Out of the bowels of the harmless earth,
Which many a good tall fellow had destroy'd
So cowardly; and but for these vile guns
He would himself have been a soldier.
This bald unjointed chat of his, my lord,
I answer'd indirectly, as I said;
And I beseech you, let not his report
Come current for an accusation
Betwixt my love and your high majesty.
Blunt. The circumstance consider'd, good my

Whatever Harry Percy then had said
To such a person, and in such a place,
At such a time, with all the rest re-told,
May reasonably die and never rise
To do him wrong, or any way impeach
What then he said, so he unsay it now.

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K. Hen. Why, yet he doth deny his prisoners,
But with proviso and exception,
That we at our own charge shall ransom straight
His brother-in-law, the foolish Mortimer;
Who, on my soul, hath wilfully betray'd
The lives of those that he did lead to fight
Against the great magician, damn'd Glendower.
Whose daughter, as we hear, the Earl of March
Hath lately married. Shall our coffers then
Be emptied to redeem a traitor home?
Shall we buy treason, and indent with fears,
When they have lost and forfeited themselves!
No, on the barren mountains let him starve;
For I shall never hold that man my friend
Whose tongue shall ask me for one penny cost
To ransom home revolted Mortimer.
Hot. Revolted Mortimer!


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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,

Who then, affrighted with their bloody looks,
Ran fearfully among the trembling reeds,
And hid his crisp head in the hollow bank
Blood-stained with these valiant combatants.
Never did base and rotten policy


Colour her working with such deadly wounds;
Nor never could the noble Mortimer
Receive so many, and all willingly:
Then let not him be slander'd with revolt.

K. Hen. Thou dost belie him, Percy, thou dost belie him:

He never did encounter with Glendower:
I tell thee,

He durst as well have met the devil alone
As Owen Glendower for an enemy.
Art thou not asham'd? But, sirrah, henceforth
Let me not hear you speak of Mortimer :
Send me your prisoners with the speediest means,
Or you shall hear in such a kind from me
As will displease you. My Lord Northumberland,
We license your departure with your son.
Send us your prisoners, or you'll hear of it.


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But shall it be that you, that set the crown
Upon the head of this forgetful man,
And for his sake wear the detested blot


Of murd'rous subornation, shall it be,
That you a world of curses undergo,
Being the agents, or base second means,
The cords, the ladder, or the hangman rather?
O pardon me that I descend so low,


To show the line and the predicament Wherein you range under this subtle king. Shall it for shame be spoken in these days, Or fill up chronicles in time to come, That men of your nobility and power Did gage them both in an unjust behalf, As both of you, God pardon it! have done, To put down Richard, that sweet lovely rose, And plant this thorn, this canker, Bolingbroke | And shall it in more shame be further spoken, That you are fool'd, discarded, and shook off By him for whom these shames ye underwent ? No; yet time serves wherein you may redeem 180 Your banish'd honours, and restore yourselves Into the good thoughts of the world again; Revenge the jeering and disdain'd contempt Of this proud king, who studies day and night To answer all the debt he owes to you Even with the bloody payment of your deaths. Therefore, I say,

Wor. Peace, cousin! say no more. And now I will unclasp a secret book, And to your quick-conceiving discontents I'll read you matter deep and dangerous, As full of peril and adventurous spirit As to o'er-walk a current, roaring loud, On the unsteadfast footing of a spear.


Hot. If he fall in, good night! or sink or swim:

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-trod Mortimer
As high i' the air as this unthankful king,
As this ingrate and canker'd Bolingbroke.
North. Brother, the king hath made your
nephew mad.

And let them grapple: O! the blood more stirs
To rouse a lion than to start a hare.

Wor. Who struck this heat up after I was gone?


Hot. He will, forsooth, have all my prisoners; And when I urg'd the ransom once again Of my wife's brother, then his cheek look'd pale, And on my face he turn'd an eye of death, Trembling even at the name of Mortimer,

Wor. I cannot blame him: was he not proclaim'd

By Richard that dead is the next of blood?
North. He was; I heard the proclamation:
And then it was, when the unhappy king,
Whose wrongs in us God pardon! did set forth
Upon his Irish expedition;

From whence he, intercepted, did return
To be depos'd, and shortly murdered.


Wor. And for whose death we in the world's wide mouth

Live scandaliz'd and foully spoken of.

Hot. But, soft! I pray you, did King Richard

Proclaim my brother Edmund Mortimer
Heir to the crown?
He did; myself did hear it.
Hot. Nay, then I cannot blame his cousin king,

North. Imagination of some great exploit Drives him beyond the bounds of patience.


Hot. By heaven methinks it were an easy leap To pluck bright honour from the pale-fac'd moon, Or dive into the bottom of the deep, Where fathom-line could never touch the ground, And pluck up drowned honour by the locks; So he that doth redeem her thence might wear Without corrival all her dignities:

But out upon this half-fac'd fellowship!

Wor. He apprehends a world of figures here, But not the form of what he should attend. 210 Good cousin, give me audience for a while, And list to me.

Hot. I cry you mercy. Wor.

Those same noble Scots

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