« PreviousContinue »
Shall daub her lips with her own children's blood;
under whose blessed cross
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,
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 Holmedon and this seat of ours; And he hath brought us sinooth 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
West. In faith,
K. Hen. Yea, there thou mak'st me sad, and mak'st
In envy, that my lord Northumberland
West. This is his uncle's teaching, this is Worcester,
K. Hen. But I have sent for him to answer this;
And, for this cause, awhile we must neglect
West. I will, my liege.
SCENE II.-The same.
Another Room in the Palace.
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
Fal. Indeed, you come near me, now, Hal: for we, that take purses, go by the moon and seven stars; and not by Phæbus,-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 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.
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 swearinglay 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 ess 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?