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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,
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 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,
The Earl of Douglas is discomfited;
Ten thousand bold Scots, two-and-twenty knights,
Balk'd in their own blood, did Sir Walter see
Mordake the Earl of Fife, and eldest son
And is not this an honourable spoil?
It is a conquest for a prince to boast of.
K. Hen. Yea, there thou mak'st me sad, and
In envy that my Lord Northumberland
Of my young Harry. O! that it could be prov'd
Of this young Percy's pride? the prisoners,
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
SCENE II.-The Same.
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. 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 ?
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.
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.
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,
Who then, affrighted with their bloody looks,
Colour her working with such deadly wounds;
K. Hen. Thou dost belie him, Percy, thou dost belie him:
He never did encounter with Glendower:
He durst as well have met the devil alone
But shall it be that you, that set the crown
Of murd'rous subornation, shall it be,
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,
And let them grapple: O! the blood more stirs
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?
From whence he, intercepted, did return
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
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