Page images
PDF
EPUB

But that the earthy and cold hand of death
Lies on my tongue.—No, Percy, thou art dust,
And food for-

[Dies. P. Hen. For worms, brave Percy. Fare thee

well, great heart !Ill-weaved ambition, how much art thou shrunk ! When that this body did contain a spirit, A kingdom for it was too small a bound; But now, two paces of the vilest earth Is room enough.—This earth, that bears thee dead, Bears not alive so stout a gentleman. If thou wert sensible of courtesy, I should not make so dear a show of zeal :But let my favors' hide thy mangled face; And, even in thy behalf, I'll thank myself For doing these fair rites of tenderness. Adieu, and take thy praise with thee to Heaven! Thy ignomy? sleep with thee in the grave, But not remembered in thy epitaph !

[He sees FALSTAFF on the ground. What! old acquaintance ! could not all this flesh Keep in a little life? Poor Jack, farewell ! I could have better spared a better man. O, I should have a heavy miss of thee, If I were much in love with vanity. Death hath not struck so fat a deer to-day, Though many dearer, in this bloody fray.Embowelled will I see thee by and by ; Till then, in blood, by noble Percy lie.

[Exit. Fal. [Rising slowly.] Embowelled! if thou embowel me to-day, I'll give you leave to powder4 me, and eat me too, to-morrow. 'Sblood, 'twas time to counterfeit, or that hot termagant Scot had paid me scot and lot too. Counterfeit? I lie, I am no counterfeit. To die, is to be a counterfeit; for he is but the counterfeit of a man, who hath not the life of a man : but to counterfeit dying, when a man thereby liveth, is to be no counterfeit, but the true and perfect image of life indeed. The better part of valor is discretion ; in the which better part, I have saved my life. 'Zounds, I am afraid of this gunpowder Percy, though he be dead. How, if he should counterfeit too, and rise ? I am afraid he would prove the better counterfeit. Therefore I'll make him sure; yea, and I'll swear I killed him. Why may not he rise as well as I? Nothing confutes me but eyes, and nobody sees me. Therefore, sirrah, [stabbing him,] with a new wound in your thigh, come you along with me.

glory of the prince wounds his thoughts, but thought, being dependent on life, must cease with it, and will soon be at an end. Life, on which thought depends, is itself of no great value, being the fool and sport of time ; of time which, with all its dominion over sublunary things, must itself at last be stopped. Johnson.

i His scarf, with which he covers Percy's face. 2 Thus the folio. The quartos read ignominy.

3 To embowel was the old term for embalming the body, as was usually done by those of persons of rank.

4 Salt.

[Takes Hotspur on his back.

Re-enter PRINCE HENRY and PRINCE JOHN.
P. Hen. Come, brother John, full bravely hast thou

fleshed Thy maiden sword. P. John.

But, soft! whom have we here?
Did you not tell me this fat man was dead ?
P. Hen. I did; I saw him dead, breathless and

bleeding,
On the ground.-
Art thou alive? or is it phantasy
That plays upon our eyesight? I pr’ythee, speak;
We will not trust our eyes, without our ears.
Thou art not what thou seem'st.

Fal. No, that's certain ; I am not a double man; but if I be not Jack Falstaff, then am I a Jack. There is Percy ; [throwing the body down ;] if your father will do me any honor, so ; if not, let him kill the next Percy himself. I look to be either earl or duke, I can assure you. VOL. III.

70

sau

P. Hen. Why, Percy I killed myself, and saw thee dead.

Fal. Didst thou ?—Lord, Lord, how this world is given to lying !—I grant you, I was down, and out of breath; and so was he: but we rose both at an instant, and fought a long hour by Shrewsbury clock. If I may be believed, so; if not, let them that should reward valor, bear the sin upon their own heads. I'll take it upon my death, I gave him this wound in the thigh ; if the man were alive, and would deny it, I would make him eat a piece of my sword. P. John. This is the strangest tale that e'er I

heard.
P. Hen. This is the strangest fellow, brother

John.-
Come, bring your luggage nobly on your back :
For my part, if a lie may do thee grace,
I'll gild it with the happiest terms I have.

[A retreat is sounded.
The trumpet sounds retreat ; the day is ours.
Come, brother, let's to the highest of the field,
To see what friends are living, who are dead.

[Exeunt P. Hen. and P. John. Fal. I'll follow, as they say, for reward. He that rewards me, God reward him! If I do grow great, I'll grow less; for I'll purge, and leave sack, and live cleanly, as a nobleman should do.

[Exit, bearing off the body.

SCENE V.

Another Part of the Field.

pets sound.

The Trum

Enter King HENRY, PRINCE HENRY, PRINCE John, WESTMORELAND, and others, with WORCESTER and VERNON, prisoners.

K. Hen. Thus ever did rebellion find rebuke.Ill-spirited Worcester! did we not send grace,

Pardon, and terms of love to all of you ?
And wouldst thou turn our offers contrary ?
Misuse the tenor of thy kinsman's trust?
Three knights upon our party slain to-day,
A noble earl, and many a creature else,
Had been alive this hour,
If, like a Christian, thou hadst truly borne
Betwixt our armies true intelligence.

Wor. What I have done, my safety urged me to;
And I embrace this fortune patiently,
Since not to be avoided it falls on me.
K. Hen. Bear Worcester to the death, and Vernon

too. Other offenders we will pause upon.

[Exeunt Wor. and VERNON, guarded. How goes the field ? P. Hen. The noble Scot, lord Douglas, when he

saw
The fortune of the day quite turned from him,
The noble Percy slain, and all his men
Upon the foot of fear, fled with the rest ;
And, falling from a hill, he was so bruised,
That the pursuer took him. At my tent
The Douglas is; and I beseech your grace,
I may dispose of him.
K. Hen.

With all my heart.
· P. Hen. Then, brother John of Lancaster, to you
This honorable bounty shall belong.
Go to the Douglas, and deliver him
Up to his pleasure, ransomless, and free.
His valor, shown upon our crests to-day,
Hath taught us how to cherish such high deeds,
Even in the bosom of our adversaries.
K. Hen. Then this remains,—that we divide our

power.You, son John, and my cousin Westmoreland,

i The quarto of 1598 reads shown.

Towards York shall bend you, with your dearest speed,
To meet Northumberland, and the prelate Scroop,
Who, as we hear, are busily in arms.
Myself,—and you, son Harry, will towards Wales
To fight with Glendower, and the earl of March.
Rebellion in this land shall lose his sway,
Meeting the check of such another day;
And since this business so fair is done,
Let us not leave till all our own be won. [Exeunt.

END OF VOL. III.

« PreviousContinue »