Henry IV Part 1

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Original text
Act I, Scene I
Enter the King, Lord Iohn of Lancaster, Earle of
Westmerland, with others.

King.
SO shaken as we are, so wan with care,
Finde we a time for frighted Peace to pant,
And breath shortwinded accents of new broils
To be commenc'd in Stronds a-farre remote:
No more the thirsty entrance of this Soile,
Shall daube her lippes with her owne childrens blood:
No more shall trenching Warre channell her fields,
Nor bruise her Flowrets with the Armed hoofes
Of hostile paces. Those opposed eyes,
Which like the Meteors of a troubled Heauen,
All of one Nature, of one Substance bred,
Did lately meete in the intestine shocke,
And furious cloze of ciuill Butchery,
Shall now in mutuall well-beseeming rankes
March all one way, and be no more oppos'd
Against Acquaintance, Kindred, and Allies.
The edge of Warre, like an ill-sheathed knife,
No more shall cut his Master. Therefore Friends,
As farre as to the Sepulcher of Christ,
Whose Souldier now vnder whose blessed Crosse
We are impressed and ingag'd to fight,
Forthwith a power of English shall we leuie,
Whose armes were moulded in their Mothers wombe,
To chace these Pagans in those holy Fields,
Ouer whose Acres walk'd those blessed feete
Which fourteene hundred yeares ago were nail'd
For our aduantage on the bitter Crosse.
But this our purpose is a tweluemonth old,
And bootlesse 'tis to tell you we will go:
Therefore we meete not now. Then let me heare
Of you my gentle Cousin Westmerland,
What yesternight our Councell did decree,
In forwarding this deere expedience.

West.
My Liege: This haste was hot in question,
And many limits of the Charge set downe
But yesternight: when all athwart there came
A Post from Wales, loaden with heauy Newes;
Whose worst was, That the Noble Mortimer,
Leading the men of Herefordshire to fight
Against the irregular and wilde Glendower,
Was by the rude hands of that Welshman taken,
And a thousand of his people butchered:
Vpon whose dead corpes there was such misuse,
Such beastly, shamelesse transformation,
By those Welshwomen done, as may not be
(Without much shame) re-told or spoken of.

King.
It seemes then, that the tidings of this broile,
Brake off our businesse for the Holy land.

West.
This matcht with other like, my gracious Lord,
Farre more vneuen and vnwelcome Newes
Came from the North, and thus it did report:
On Holy-roode day, the gallant Hotspurre there,
Young Harry Percy, and braue Archibald,
That euer-valiant and approoued Scot,
At Holmeden met, where they did spend
A sad and bloody houre:
As by discharge of their Artillerie,
And shape of likely-hood the newes was told:
For he that brought them, in the very heate
And pride of their contention, did take horse,
Vncertaine of the issue any way.

King.
Heere is a deere and true industrious friend,
Sir Walter Blunt, new lighted from his Horse,
Strain'd with the variation of each soyle,
Betwixt that Holmedon, and this Seat of ours:
And he hath brought vs smooth and welcome newes.
The Earle of Dowglas is discomfited,
Ten thousand bold Scots, two and twenty Knights
Balk'd in their owne blood did Sir Walter see
On Holmedons Plaines. Of Prisoners, Hotspurre tooke
Mordake Earle of Fife, and eldest sonne
To beaten Dowglas, and the Earle of Atholl,
Of Murry, Angus, and Menteith.
And is not this an honourable spoyle?
A gallant prize? Ha Cosin, is it not?

West.
Infaith
it is. / A Conquest for a Prince to boast of.

King.
Yea, there thou mak'st me sad, & mak'st me sin,
In enuy, that my Lord Northumberland
Should be the Father of so blest a Sonne:
A Sonne, who is the Theame of Honors tongue;
Among'st a Groue, the very straightest Plant,
Who is sweet Fortunes Minion, and her Pride:
Whil'st I by looking on the praise of him,
See Ryot and Dishonor staine the brow
Of my yong Harry. O that it could be prou'd,
That some Night-tripping-Faiery, had exchang'd
In Cradle-clothes, our Children where they lay,
And call'd mine Percy, his Plantagenet:
Then would I haue his Harry, and he mine:
But let him from my thoughts. What thinke you Coze
Of this young Percies pride? The Prisoners
Which he in this aduenture hath surpriz'd,
To his owne vse he keepes, and sends me word
I shall haue none but Mordake Earle of Fife.

West.
This is his Vnckles teaching. This is Worcester
Maleuolent to you in all Aspects:
Which makes him prune himselfe, and bristle vp
The crest of Youth against your Dignity.

King.
But I haue sent for him to answer this:
And for this cause a-while we must neglect
Our holy purpose to Ierusalem.
Cosin, on Wednesday next, our Councell we
will hold / At Windsor, and so informe the Lords:
But come your selfe with speed to vs againe,
For more is to be saide, and to be done,
Then out of anger can be vttered.

West.
I will my Liege.
Exeunt
Original text
Act I, Scene II
Enter Henry Prince of Wales, Sir Iohn Falstaffe, and Pointz.

Fal.
Now Hal, what time of day is it Lad?

Prince.
Thou art so fat-witted with drinking of olde
Sacke, and vnbuttoning thee after Supper, and sleeping
vpon Benches in the afternoone, that thou hast forgotten to
demand that truely, which thou wouldest truly know.
What a diuell hast thou to do with the time of the day?
vnlesse houres were cups of Sacke, and minutes Capons,
and clockes the tongues of Bawdes, and dialls the signes of
Leaping-houses, and the blessed Sunne himselfe a faire hot
Wench in Flame-coloured Taffata; I see no reason, why
thou shouldest bee so superfluous, to demaund the time of
the day.

Fal.
Indeed you come neere me now Hal, for we
that take Purses, go by the Moone and seuen Starres, and
not by Phoebus hee, that wand'ring Knight so faire.
And I prythee sweet Wagge, when thou art King, as God
saue thy Grace, Maiesty I should say, for Grace thou
wilte haue none.

Prin.
What, none?

Fal.
No, not so much as will serue to
be Prologue to an Egge and Butter.

Prin.
Well, how then? Come roundly, roundly.

Fal.
Marry then, sweet Wagge, when thou art King, let
not vs that are Squires of the Nights bodie, bee call'd
Theeues of the Dayes beautie. Let vs be Dianaes Forresters,
Gentlemen of the Shade, Minions of the Moone; and let
men say, we be men of good Gouernment, being gouerned
as the Sea, by our noble and chast mistris the Moone,
vnder whose countenance we steale.

Prin.
Thou say'st well, and it holds well too: for
the fortune of vs that are the Moones men, doeth ebbe and
flow like the Sea, beeing gouerned as the Sea is, by the
Moone: as for proofe. Now a Purse of Gold most resolutely
snatch'd 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 ebbe
as the foot of the Ladder, and by and by in as high a flow
as the ridge of the Gallowes.

Fal.
Thou say'st true Lad: and is not
my Hostesse of the Tauerne a most sweet Wench?

Prin.
As is the hony, my old Lad of the
Castle: and is not a Buffe Ierkin a most sweet robe of
durance?

Fal.
How now? how now mad Wagge? What in thy
quips and thy quiddities? What a plague haue I to doe
with a Buffe-Ierkin?

Prin.
Why, what a poxe haue I to doe with my
Hostesse of the Tauerne?

Fal.
Well, thou hast call'd her to a reck'ning many
a time and oft.

Prin.
Did I euer call for thee to pay thy part?

Fal.
No, Ile giue thee thy due, thou hast paid al
there.

Prin.
Yea and elsewhere, so farre as my Coine would
stretch, and where it would not, I haue vs'd my credit.

Fal.
Yea, and so vs'd it, that were it heere apparant,
that thou art Heire apparant. But I prythee sweet
Wag, shall there be Gallowes standing in England when
thou art King? and resolution thus fobb'd as it is, with
the rustie curbe of old Father Anticke the Law? Doe not thou
when thou art a King, hang a Theefe.

Prin.
No, thou shalt.

Fal.
Shall I? O rare! Ile be a braue
Iudge.

Prin.
Thou iudgest false already. I meane, thou
shalt haue the hanging of the Theeues, and so become a
rare Hangman.

Fal.
Well Hal, well: and in some sort it iumpes
with my humour, as well as waiting in the Court, I can
tell you.

Prin.
For obtaining of suites?

Fal.
Yea, for obtaining of suites, whereof the Hang-man
hath no leane Wardrobe. I am as Melancholly
as a Gyb-Cat, or a lugg'd Beare.

Prin.
Or an old Lyon, or a Louers Lute.

Fal.
Yea, or the Drone of a Lincolnshire Bagpipe.

Prin.
What say'st thou to a Hare, or the Melancholly
of Moore Ditch?

Fal.
Thou hast the most vnsauoury smiles, and art
indeed the most comparatiue rascallest sweet yong
Prince. But Hal, I prythee trouble me no more with
vanity, I wold thou and I knew, where a Commodity
of good names were to be bought: an olde Lord of
the Councell rated me the other day in the street about
you sir; but I mark'd him not, and yet hee talk'd very
wisely, but I regarded him not, and yet he talkt wisely,
and in the street too.

Prin.
Thou didst well: for
no man regards it.

Fal.
O, thou hast damnable iteration, and art
indeede able to corrupt a Saint. Thou hast done much
harme vnto me Hall, God forgiue thee for it. Before I
knew thee Hal, I knew nothing: and now I am (if a man
shold speake truly) little better then one of the wicked.
I must giue ouer this life, and I will giue it ouer:
and I do not, I am a Villaine. Ile be damn'd for
neuer a Kings sonne in Christendome.

Prin.
Where shall we take a purse to morrow,
Iacke?

Fal.
Where thou wilt Lad, Ile make one: and
I doe not, call me Villaine, and baffle me.

Prin.
I see a good amendment of life in thee: From
Praying, to Purse-taking.

Fal.
Why, Hal, 'tis my Vocation Hal: 'Tis no sin
for a man to labour in his Vocation.
+
+•Pointz. Now shall wee know if Gads hill haue set a
Watch. O, if men were to be saued by merit, what
hole in Hell were hot enough for him? This is the most
omnipotent Villaine, that euer cryed, Stand, to a true man.

Prin.
Good morrow Ned.

Poines.
Good morrow sweet Hal. What saies Monsieur
remorse? What sayes Sir Iohn Sacke and Sugar: Iacke?
How agrees the Diuell and thee about thy Soule, that thou
soldest him on Good-Friday last, for a Cup of Madera,
and a cold Capons legge?

Prin.
Sir Iohn stands to his word, the diuel shall
haue his bargaine, for he was neuer yet a Breaker of
Prouerbs: He will giue the diuell his due.

Poin.
Then art thou damn'd for keeping thy word with
the diuell.

Prin.
Else he had damn'd cozening the
diuell.

Poy.
But my Lads, my Lads, to morrow morning, by foure
a clocke early at Gads hill, there are Pilgrimes going to
Canterbury with rich Offerings, and Traders riding to
London with fat Purses. I haue vizards for you all; you
haue horses for your selues: Gads-hill lyes to night in
Rochester, I haue bespoke Supper to morrow in
Eastcheape; we may doe it as secure as sleepe: if you will
go, I will stuffe your Purses full of Crownes: if you will
not, tarry at home and be hang'd.

Fal.
Heare ye Yedward, if I tarry at home and go
not, Ile hang you for going.

Poy.
You will chops.

Fal.
Hal, wilt thou make one?

Prin.
Who, I rob? I a Theefe? Not I.

Fal.
There's neither honesty, manhood, nor good
fellowship in thee, nor thou cam'st not of the blood-
royall, if thou dar'st not stand for ten shillings.

Prin.
Well then, once in my dayes Ile be a
mad-cap.

Fal.
Why, that's well said.

Prin.
Well, come what will, Ile tarry at home.

Fal.
Ile be a Traitor then, when thou
art King.

Prin.
I care not.

Poyn.
Sir Iohn, I prythee leaue the Prince & me alone,
I will lay him downe such reasons for this aduenture, that
he shall go.

Fal.
Well, maist thou haue the Spirit of perswasion;
and he the eares of profiting, that what thou speakest,
may moue; and what he heares may be beleeued, that the
true Prince, may (for recreation sake) proue a false
theefe; for the poore abuses of the time, want countenance.
Farwell, you shall finde me in Eastcheape.

Prin.
Farwell the latter Spring. Farewell
Alhollown Summer.
+

Poy.
Now, my good sweet Hony Lord, ride with vs
to morrow. I haue a iest to execute, that I cannot mannage
alone. Falstaffe, Haruey, Rossill, and Gads-hill, shall robbe
those men that wee haue already way-layde, your selfe and I,
wil not be there: and when they haue the booty, if you
and I do not rob them, cut this head from my
shoulders.

Prin.
But how shal we part with them in setting
forth?

Poyn.
Why, we wil set forth before or after them, and
appoint them a place of meeting, wherin it is at our
pleasure to faile; and then will they aduenture vppon
the exploit themselues, which they shall haue no sooner
atchieued, but wee'l set vpon them.

Prin.
I, but tis like that they will know vs by
our horses, by our habits, and by euery other appointment
to be our selues.

Poy.
Tut our horses they shall not see, Ile tye them in
the wood, our vizards wee will change after wee leaue
them: and sirrah, I haue Cases of Buckram for the nonce,
to immaske our noted outward garments.

Prin.
But I doubt they will be too hard for
vs.

Poin.
Well, for two of them, I know them to bee as true bred
Cowards as euer turn'd backe: and for the third if
he fight longer then he sees reason, Ile forswear Armes.
The vertue of this Iest will be, the incomprehensible lyes
that this fat Rogue will tell vs, when we meete at
Supper: how thirty at least he fought with, what Wardes,
what blowes, what extremities he endured; and in the
reproofe of this, lyes the iest.

Prin.
Well, Ile goe with thee, prouide vs all things
necessary, and meete me to morrow night in Eastcheape,
there Ile sup. Farewell.

Poyn.
Farewell, my Lord.
Exit Pointz

Prin.
I know you all, and will a-while vphold
The vnyoak'd humor of your idlenesse:
Yet heerein will I imitate the Sunne,
Who doth permit the base contagious cloudes
To smother vp his Beauty from the world,
That when he please againe to be himselfe,
Being wanted, he may be more wondred at,
By breaking through the foule and vgly mists
Of vapours, that did seeme to strangle him.
If all the yeare were playing holidaies,
To sport, would be as tedious as to worke;
But when they seldome come, they wisht-for come,
And nothing pleaseth but rare accidents.
So when this loose behauiour I throw off,
And pay the debt I neuer promised;
By how much better then my word I am,
By so much shall I falsifie mens hopes,
And like bright Mettall on a sullen ground:
My reformation glittering o're my fault,
Shall shew more goodly, and attract more eyes,
Then that which hath no foyle to set it off.
Ile so offend, to make offence a skill,
Redeeming time, when men thinke least I will.
Original text
Act I, Scene III
Enter the King, Northumberland, Worcester, Hotspurre,
Sir Walter Blunt, and others.

King.
My blood hath beene too cold and temperate,
Vnapt to stirre at these indignities,
And you haue found me; for accordingly,
You tread vpon my patience: But be sure,
I will from henceforth rather be my Selfe,
Mighty, and to be fear'd, then my condition
Which hath beene smooth as Oyle, soft as yong Downe,
And therefore lost that Title of respect,
Which the proud soule ne're payes, but to the proud.

Wor.
Our house (my Soueraigne Liege) little deserues
The scourge of greatnesse to be vsed on it,
And that same greatnesse too, which our owne hands
Haue holpe to make so portly.

Nor.
My Lord.

King.
Worcester get thee gone: for I do see
Danger and disobedience in thine eye.
O sir, your presence is too bold and peremptory,
And Maiestie might neuer yet endure
The moody Frontier of a seruant brow,
You haue good leaue to leaue vs. When we need
Your vse and counsell, we shall send for you.
You were about to speake.

North.
Yea, my good Lord.
Those Prisoners in your Highnesse demanded,
Which Harry Percy heere at Holmedon tooke,
Were (as he sayes) not with such strength denied
As was deliuered to your Maiesty:
Who either through enuy, or misprision,
Was guilty of this fault; and not my Sonne.

Hot.
My Liege, I did deny no Prisoners.
But, I remember when the fight was done,
When I was dry with Rage, and extreame Toyle,
Breathlesse, and Faint, leaning vpon my Sword,
Came there a certaine Lord, neat and trimly drest;
Fresh as a Bride-groome, and his Chin new reapt,
Shew'd like a stubble Land at Haruest home.
He was perfumed like a Milliner,
And 'twixt his Finger and his Thumbe, he held
A Pouncet-box: which euer and anon
He gaue his Nose, and took't away againe:
Who therewith angry, when it next came there,
Tooke it in Snuffe. And still he smil'd and talk'd:
And as the Souldiers bare dead bodies by,
He call'd them vntaught Knaues, Vnmannerly,
To bring a slouenly vnhandsome Coarse
Betwixt the Winde, and his Nobility.
With many Holiday and Lady tearme
He question'd me: Among the rest, demanded
My Prisoners, in your Maiesties behalfe.
I then, all-smarting, with my wounds being cold,
(To be so pestered with a Popingay)
Out of my Greefe, and my Impatience,
Answer'd (neglectingly) I know not what,
He should, or should not: For he made me mad,
To see him shine so briske, and smell so sweet,
And talke so like a Waiting-Gentlewoman,
Of Guns, & Drums, and Wounds: God saue the marke;
And telling me, the Soueraign'st thing on earth
Was Parmacity, for an inward bruise:
And that it was great pitty, so it was,
That villanous Salt-peter should be digg'd
Out of the Bowels of the harmlesse Earth,
Which many a good Tall Fellow had destroy'd
So Cowardly. And but for these vile Gunnes,
He would himselfe haue beene a Souldier.
This bald, vnioynted Chat of his (my Lord)
Made me to answer indirectly (as I said.)
And I beseech you, let not this report
Come currant for an Accusation,
Betwixt my Loue, and your high Maiesty.

Blunt.
The circumstance considered, good my Lord,
What euer Harry Percie then had said,
To such a person, and in such a place,
At such a time, with all the rest retold,
May reasonably dye, and neuer rise
To do him wrong, or any way impeach
What then he said, so he vnsay it now.

King.
Why yet doth deny his Prisoners,
But with Prouiso and Exception,
That we at our owne charge, shall ransome straight
His Brother-in-Law, the foolish Mortimer,
Who (in my soule) hath wilfully betraid
The liues of those, that he did leade to Fight,
Against the great Magitian, damn'd Glendower:
Whose daughter (as we heare) the Earle of March
Hath lately married. Shall our Coffers then,
Be emptied, to redeeme a Traitor home?
Shall we buy Treason? and indent with Feares,
When they haue lost and forfeyted themselues.
No: on the barren Mountaine let him sterue:
For I shall neuer hold that man my Friend,
Whose tongue shall aske me for one peny cost
To ransome home reuolted Mortimer.

Hot.
Reuolted Mortimer?
He neuer did fall off, my Soueraigne Liege,
But by the chance of Warre: to proue that true,
Needs no more but one tongue. For all those Wounds,
Those mouthed Wounds, which valiantly he tooke,
When on the gentle Seuernes siedgie banke,
In single Opposition hand to hand,
He did confound the best part of an houre
In changing hardiment with great Glendower:
Three times they breath'd, and three times did they drink
Vpon agreement, of swift Seuernes flood;
Who then affrighted with their bloody lookes,
Ran fearefully among the trembling Reeds,
And hid his crispe-head in the hollow banke,
Blood-stained with these Valiant Combatants.
Neuer did base and rotten Policy
Colour her working with such deadly wounds;
Nor neuer could the Noble Mortimer
Receiue so many, and all willingly:
Then let him not be sland'red with Reuolt.

King.
Thou do'st bely him Percy, thou dost bely him;
He neuer did encounter with Glendower:
I tell thee, he durst as well haue met the diuell alone,
As Owen Glendower for an enemy.
Art thou not asham'd? But Sirrah, henceforth
Let me not heare you speake of Mortimer.
Send me your Prisoners with the speediest meanes,
Or you shall heare in such a kinde from me
As will displease ye. My Lord Northumberland,
We License your departure with your sonne,
Send vs your Prisoners, or you'l heare of it.
Exit King.

Hot.
And if the diuell come and roare for them
I will not send them. I will after straight
And tell him so: for I will ease my heart,
Although it be with hazard of my head.

Nor.
What? drunke with choller? stay & pause awhile,
Heere comes your Vnckle.
Enter Worcester.

Hot.
Speake of Mortimer?
Yes, I will speake of him, and let my soule
Want mercy, if I do not ioyne with him.
In his behalfe, Ile empty all these Veines,
And shed my deere blood drop by drop i'th dust,
But I will lift the downfall Mortimer
As high i'th Ayre, as this Vnthankfull King,
As this Ingrate and Cankred Bullingbrooke.

Nor.
Brother, the King hath made your Nephew mad

Wor.
Who strooke this heate vp after I was gone?

Hot.
He will (forsooth) haue all my Prisoners:
And when I vrg'd the ransom once againe
Of my Wiues Brother, then his cheeke look'd pale,
And on my face he turn'd an eye of death,
Trembling euen at the name of Mortimer.

Wor.
I cannot blame him: was he not proclaim'd
By Richard that dead is, the next of blood?

Nor.
He was: I heard the Proclamation,
And then it was, when the vnhappy King
(Whose wrongs in vs God pardon) did set forth
Vpon his Irish Expedition:
From whence he intercepted, did returne
To be depos'd, and shortly murthered.

Wor.
And for whose death, we in the worlds wide mouth
Liue scandaliz'd, and fouly spoken of.

Hot.
But soft I pray you; did King Richard then
Proclaime my brother Mortimer,
Heyre to the Crowne?

Nor.
He did, my selfe did heare it.

Hot.
Nay then I cannot blame his Cousin King,
That wish'd him on the barren Mountaines staru'd.
But shall it be, that you that set the Crowne
Vpon the head of this forgetfull man,
And for his sake, wore the detested blot
Of murtherous subornation? Shall it be,
That you a world of curses vndergoe,
Being the Agents, or base second meanes,
The Cords, the Ladder, or the Hangman rather?
O pardon, if that I descend so low,
To shew the Line, and the Predicament
Wherein you range vnder this subtill King.
Shall it for shame, be spoken in these dayes,
Or fill vp Chronicles in time to come,
That men of your Nobility and Power,
Did gage them both in an vniust behalfe
(As Both of you, God pardon it, haue done)
To put downe Richard, that sweet louely Rose,
And plant this Thorne, this Canker Bullingbrooke?
And shall it in more shame be further spoken,
That you are fool'd, discarded, and shooke off
By him, for whom these shames ye vnderwent?
No: yet time serues, wherein you may redeeme
Your banish'd Honors, and restore your selues
Into the good Thoughts of the world againe.
Reuenge the geering and disdain'd contempt
Of this proud King, who studies day and night
To answer all the Debt he owes vnto you,
Euen with the bloody Payment of your deaths:
Therefore I say---

Wor.
Peace Cousin, say no more.
And now I will vnclaspe a Secret booke,
And to your quicke conceyuing Discontents,
Ile reade you Matter, deepe and dangerous,
As full of perill and aduenturous Spirit,
As to o're-walke a Current, roaring loud
On the vnstedfast footing of a Speare.

Hot.
If he fall in, good night, or sinke or swimme:
Send danger from the East vnto the West,
So Honor crosse it from the North to South,
And let them grapple: The blood more stirres
To rowze a Lyon, then to start a Hare.

Nor.
Imagination of some great exploit,
Driues him beyond the bounds of Patience.

Hot.
By heauen, me thinkes it were an easie leap,
To plucke bright Honor from the pale-fac'd Moone,
Or diue into the bottome of the deepe,
Where Fadome-line could neuer touch the ground,
And plucke vp drowned Honor by the Lockes:
So he that doth redeeme her thence, might weare
Without Co-riuall, all her Dignities:
But out vpon this halfe-fac'd Fellowship.

Wor.
He apprehends a World of Figures here,
But not the forme of what he should attend:
Good Cousin giue me audience for a-while, / And list to me.

Hot.
I cry you mercy.

Wor.
Those same Noble Scottes
That are your Prisoners.

Hot.
Ile keepe them all.
By heauen, he shall not haue a Scot of them:
No, if a Scot would saue his Soule, he shall not.
Ile keepe them, by this Hand.

Wor.
You start away,
And lend no eare vnto my purposes.
Those Prisoners you shall keepe.

Hot.
Nay, I will: that's flat:
He said, he would not ransome Mortimer:
Forbad my tongue to speake of Mortimer.
But I will finde him when he lyes asleepe,
And in his eare, Ile holla Mortimer.
Nay, Ile haue a Starling shall be taught to speake
Nothing but Mortimer, and giue it him,
To keepe his anger still in motion.

Wor.
Heare you Cousin: a word.

Hot.
All studies heere I solemnly defie,
Saue how to gall and pinch this Bullingbrooke,
And that same Sword and Buckler Prince of Wales.
But that I thinke his Father loues him not,
And would be glad he met with some mischance,
I would haue poyson'd him with a pot of Ale.

Wor.
Farewell Kinsman: Ile talke to you
When you are better temper'd to attend.

Nor.
Why what a Waspe-tongu'd & impatient foole
Art thou, to breake into this Womans mood,
Tying thine eare to no tongue but thine owne?

Hot.
Why look you, I am whipt & scourg'd with rods,
Netled, and stung with Pismires, when I heare
Of this vile Politician Bullingbrooke.
In Richards time: What de'ye call the place?
A plague vpon't, it is in Gloustershire:
'Twas, where the madcap Duke his Vncle kept,
His Vncle Yorke, where I first bow'd my knee
Vnto this King of Smiles, this Bullingbrooke:
When you and he came backe from Rauenspurgh.

Nor.
At Barkley Castle.

Hot.
You say true:
Why what a caudie deale of curtesie,
This fawning Grey-hound then did proffer me,
Looke when his infant Fortune came to age,
And gentle Harry Percy, and kinde Cousin:
O, the Diuell take such Couzeners, God forgiue me,
Good Vncle tell your tale, for I haue done.

Wor.
Nay, if you haue not, too't againe,
Wee'l stay your leysure.

Hot.
I haue done insooth.

Wor.
Then once more to your Scottish Prisoners.
Deliuer them vp without their ransome straight,
And make the Dowglas sonne your onely meane
For powres in Scotland: which for diuers reasons
Which I shall send you written, be assur'd


Will easily be granted you, my Lord.
Your Sonne in Scotland being thus imploy'd,
Shall secretly into the bosome creepe
Of that same noble Prelate, well belou'd,
The Archbishop.

Hot.
Of Yorke, is't not?

Wor.
True, who beares hard
His Brothers death at Bristow, the Lord Scroope.
I speake not this in estimation,
As what I thinke might be, but what I know
Is ruminated, plotted, and set downe,
And onely stayes but to behold the face
Of that occasion that shall bring it on.

Hot.
I smell it: Vpon my life, it will do wond'rous well.

Nor.
Before the game's a-foot, thou still let'st slip.

Hot.
Why, it cannot choose but be a Noble plot,
And then the power of Scotland, and of Yorke
To ioyne with Mortimer, Ha.

Wor.
And so they shall.

Hot.
Infaith it is exceedingly well aym'd.

Wor.
And 'tis no little reason bids vs speed,
To saue our heads, by raising of a Head:
For, beare our selues as euen as we can,
The King will alwayes thinke him in our debt,
And thinke, we thinke our selues vnsatisfied,
Till he hath found a time to pay vs home.
And see already, how he doth beginne
To make vs strangers to his lookes of loue.

Hot.
He does, he does; wee'l be reueng'd on him.

Wor.
Cousin, farewell. No further go in this,
Then I by Letters shall direct your course
When time is ripe, which will be sodainly:
Ile steale to Glendower, and loe, Mortimer,
Where you, and Dowglas, and our powres at once,
As I will fashion it, shall happily meete,
To beare our fortunes in our owne strong armes,
Which now we hold at much vncertainty.

Nor.
Farewell good Brother, we shall thriue, I trust.

Hot.
Vncle, adieu: O let the houres be short,
Till fields, and blowes, and grones, applaud our sport.
exit
Modern text
Act I, Scene I
Enter the King, Lord John of Lancaster, Earl of
Westmorland, Sir Walter Blunt, with others

KING HENRY
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 commenced in strands afar remote.
No more the thirsty entrance of this soil
Shall daub her lips with her own children's blood,
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 opposed
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 engaged to fight –
Forthwith a power of English shall we levy,
Whose arms were moulded in their mother's womb
To chase these pagans in those holy fields
Over whose acres walked those blessed feet,
Which fourteen hundred years ago were nailed
For our advantage on the bitter cross.
But this our purpose now is twelve month old,
And bootless 'tis to tell you we will go.
Therefor we meet not now. Then let me hear
Of you, my gentle cousin Westmorland,
What yesternight our Council did decree
In forwarding this dear expedience.

WESTMORLAND
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 corpses there was such misuse,
Such beastly shameless transformation
By those Welshwomen done, as may not be
Without much shame retold or spoken of.

KING HENRY
It seems then that the tidings of this broil
Brake off our business for the Holy Land.

WESTMORLAND
This matched 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.

KING HENRY
Here is a dear, a true industrious friend,
Sir Walter Blunt, new lighted from his horse,
Stained with the variation of each soil
Betwixt that Holmedon and this seat of ours,
And he hath brought us smooth and welcome news.
The Earl of Douglas is discomfited.
Ten thousand bold Scots, two-and-twenty knights,
Balked in their own blood, did Sir Walter see
On Holmedon's plains. Of prisoners Hotspur took
Mordake, Earl of Fife and eldest son
To beaten Douglas, and the Earl of Atholl,
Of Murray, Angus, and Menteith:
And is not this an honourable spoil?
A gallant prize? Ha, cousin, is it not?

WESTMORLAND
In faith,
It is a conquest for a prince to boast of.

KING HENRY
Yea, there thou makest me sad, and makest 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 proved
That some night-tripping fairy had exchanged
In cradle-clothes our children where they lay,
And called 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 surprised,
To his own use he keeps, and sends me word
I shall have none but Mordake, Earl of Fife.

WESTMORLAND
This is his uncle's teaching. This is Worcester,
Malevolent to you in all aspects,
Which makes him prune himself, and bristle up
The crest of youth against your dignity.

KING HENRY
But I have sent for him to answer this,
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.

WESTMORLAND
I will, my liege.
Exeunt
Modern text
Act I, Scene II
Enter Prince of Wales and Sir John Falstaff

FALSTAFF
Now Hal, what time of day is it lad?

PRINCE HAL
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 wouldst 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-coloured taffeta, I see no reason why
thou shouldst be so superfluous to demand the time of
the day.

FALSTAFF
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 none –

PRINCE HAL
What, none?

FALSTAFF
No, by my troth, not so much as will serve to
be prologue to an egg and butter.

PRINCE HAL
Well, how then? Come, roundly, roundly.

FALSTAFF
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 HAL
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.

FALSTAFF
By the Lord thou sayest true lad – and is not
my Hostess of the tavern a most sweet wench?

PRINCE HAL
As the honey of Hybla, my old lad of the
castle. And is not a buff jerkin a most sweet robe of
durance?

FALSTAFF
How now, how now, mad wag? What, in thy
quips and thy quiddities? What a plague have I to do
with a buff jerkin?

PRINCE HAL
Why, what a pox have I to do with my
Hostess of the tavern?

FALSTAFF
Well, thou hast called her to a reckoning many
a time and oft.

PRINCE HAL
Did I ever call for thee to pay thy part?

FALSTAFF
No, I'll give thee thy due, thou hast paid all
there.

PRINCE HAL
Yea, and elsewhere, so far as my coin would
stretch, and where it would not I have used my credit.

FALSTAFF
Yea, and so used it that were it not here 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 fubbed as it is with
the rusty curb of old Father Antic the law? Do not thou
when thou art King hang a thief.

PRINCE HAL
No, thou shalt.

FALSTAFF
Shall I? O rare! By the Lord, I'll be a brave
judge!

PRINCE HAL
Thou judgest false already! I mean thou
shalt have the hanging of the thieves, and so become a
rare hangman.

FALSTAFF
Well, Hal, well! And in some sort it jumps
with my humour – as well as waiting in the court, I can
tell you.

PRINCE HAL
For obtaining of suits?

FALSTAFF
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 HAL
Or an old lion, or a lover's lute.

FALSTAFF
Yea, or the drone of a Lincolnshire bagpipe.

PRINCE HAL
What sayest thou to a hare, or the melancholy
of Moorditch?

FALSTAFF
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 HAL
Thou didst well, for wisdom cries out in the
streets and no man regards it.

FALSTAFF
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 HAL
Where shall we take a purse tomorrow,
Jack?

FALSTAFF
Zounds, where thou wilt lad; I'll make one; an
I do not, call me villain and baffle me.

PRINCE HAL
I see a good amendment of life in thee, from
praying to purse-taking.

FALSTAFF
Why Hal, 'tis my vocation, Hal. 'Tis no sin
for a man to labour in his vocation.
Enter Poins
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 HAL
Good morrow, Ned.

POINS
Good morrow, sweet Hal. What says Monsieur
Remorse? What says Sir John Sack – 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 HAL
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 HAL
Else he had been damned for cozening the
devil.

POINS
But my lads, my lads, tomorrow morning, by four
o'clock early at Gad's Hill, 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 tonight in
Rochester. I have bespoke supper tomorrow 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.

FALSTAFF
Hear ye, Yedward, if I tarry at home and go
not, I'll hang you for going.

POINS
You will, chops?

FALSTAFF
Hal, wilt thou make one?

PRINCE HAL
Who I? Rob? I a thief? Not I, by my faith.

FALSTAFF
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 HAL
Well then, once in my days I'll be a
madcap.

FALSTAFF
Why, that's well said.

PRINCE HAL
Well, come what will, I'll tarry at home.

FALSTAFF
By the Lord, I'll be a traitor then, when thou
art King.

PRINCE HAL
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.

FALSTAFF
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 HAL
Farewell, the latter spring! Farewell,
All-hallown summer!
Exit Falstaff

POINS
Now my good sweet honey lord, ride with us
tomorrow: 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 HAL
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 HAL
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 tie them in
the wood. Our vizards we will change after we leave
them. And, sirrah, I have cases of buckram for the nonce,
to immask our noted outward garments.

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

POINS
Well, for two of them, I know them to be as true-bred
cowards as ever turned back; and for the third, if
he fight longer than he sees reason, I'll forswear arms.
The virtue of this jest will be the incomprehensible lies
that this same fat rogue will tell us when we meet at
supper. How thirty at least he fought with, what wards,
what blows, what extremities he endured, and in the
reproof of this lives the jest.

PRINCE HAL
Well, I'll go with thee. Provide us all things
necessary and meet me tomorrow night in Eastcheap.
There I'll sup. Farewell.

POINS
Farewell, my lord.
Exit Poins

PRINCE HAL
I know you all, and will awhile uphold
The unyoked humour of your idleness.
Yet herein will I imitate the sun,
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 wondered 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;
But when they seldom come, they wished-for come,
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.
Exit
Modern text
Act I, Scene III
Enter the King, Northumberland, Worcester, Hotspur,
Sir Walter Blunt, with others

KING HENRY
My blood hath been too cold and temperate,
Unapt to stir at these indignities,
And you have found me – for accordingly
You tread upon my patience. But be sure
I will from henceforth rather be myself,
Mighty, and to be feared, than my condition,
Which hath been smooth as oil, soft as young down,
And therefore lost that title of respect
Which the proud soul ne'er pays but to the proud.

WORCESTER
Our house, my sovereign liege, little deserves
The scourge of greatness to be used on it,
And that same greatness too which our own hands
Have helped to make so portly.

NORTHUMBERLAND
My lord –

KING HENRY
Worcester, get thee gone, for I do see
Danger and disobedience in thine eye.
O sir, your presence is too bold and peremptory,
And majesty might never yet endure
The moody frontier of a servant brow.
You have good leave to leave us. When we need
Your use and counsel we shall send for you.
Exit Worcester
(to Northumberland)
You were about to speak.

NORTHUMBERLAND
Yea, my good lord.
Those prisoners in your highness' name demanded,
Which Harry Percy here at Holmedon took,
Were, as he says, not with such strength denied
As is delivered to your majesty.
Either envy therefore, or misprision,
Is guilty of this fault, and not my son.

HOTSPUR
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 and trimly dressed,
Fresh as a bridegroom, and his chin new reaped
Showed like a stubble-land at harvest-home.
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 it away again –
Who therewith angry, when it next came there,
Took it in snuff. And still he smiled and talked.
And as the soldiers bore dead bodies by,
He called them untaught knaves, unmannerly,
To bring a slovenly unhandsome corpse
Betwixt the wind and his nobility.
With many holiday and lady terms
He questioned me, amongst the rest demanded
My prisoners in your majesty's behalf.
I then, all smarting with my wounds being cold,
To be so pestered with a popinjay,
Out of my grief and my impatience
Answered neglectingly, I know not what,
He should, or he should not, for he made me mad
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 mark!
And telling me the sovereignest thing on earth
Was parmacity for an inward bruise,
And that it was great pity, so it was,
This villanous saltpetre should be digged
Out of the bowels of the harmless earth,
Which many a good tall fellow had destroyed
So cowardly, and but for these vile guns
He would himself have been a soldier.
This bald unjointed chat of his, my lord,
I answered 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 considered, good my lord,
Whate'er Lord Harry Percy then had said
To such a person, and in such a place,
At such a time, with all the rest retold,
May reasonably die, and never rise
To do him wrong, or any way impeach
What then he said, so he unsay it now.

KING HENRY
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 betrayed
The lives of those that he did lead to fight
Against that great magician, damned Glendower,
Whose daughter, as we hear, that 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.

HOTSPUR
Revolted Mortimer!
He never did fall off, my sovereign liege,
But by the chance of war. To prove that true
Needs no more but one tongue for all those wounds,
Those mouthed wounds, which valiantly he took,
When on the gentle Severn's sedgy bank,
In single opposition hand to hand,
He did confound the best part of an hour
In changing hardiment with great Glendower.
Three times they breathed, and three times did 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,
Bloodstained 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 slandered with revolt.

KING HENRY
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 ashamed? 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 will hear of it.
Exit the King with Blunt and train

HOTSPUR
And if the devil come and roar for them
I will not send them. I will after straight
And tell him so, for I will ease my heart,
Albeit I make a hazard of my head.

NORTHUMBERLAND
What? Drunk with choler? Stay, and pause awhile,
Here comes your uncle.
Enter Worcester

HOTSPUR
Speak of Mortimer?
Zounds, I will speak of him, and let my soul
Want mercy if I do not join with him.
Yea, on his part I'll empty all these veins
And shed my dear blood, drop by drop in the dust,
But I will lift the down-trod Mortimer
As high in the air as this unthankful King,
As this ingrate and cankered Bolingbroke.

NORTHUMBERLAND
Brother, the King hath made your nephew mad.

WORCESTER
Who struck this heat up after I was gone?

HOTSPUR
He will forsooth have all my prisoners,
And when I urged the ransom once again
Of my wife's brother, then his cheek looked pale,
And on my face he turned an eye of death,
Trembling even at the name of Mortimer.

WORCESTER
I cannot blame him. Was not he proclaimed,
By Richard that dead is, the next of blood?

NORTHUMBERLAND
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 deposed, and shortly murdered.

WORCESTER
And for whose death we in the world's wide mouth
Live scandalized and foully spoken of.

HOTSPUR
But soft, I pray you, did King Richard then
Proclaim my brother Edmund Mortimer
Heir to the crown?

NORTHUMBERLAND
He did, myself did hear it.

HOTSPUR
Nay then, I cannot blame his cousin King
That wished him on the barren mountains starve.
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 murderous 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,
An plant this thorn, this canker Bolingbroke?
And shall it in more shame be further spoken,
That you are fooled, discarded, and shook off
By him for whom these shames ye underwent?
No, yet time serves wherein you may redeem
Your banished honours, and restore yourselves
Into the good thoughts of the world again:
Revenge the jeering and disdained 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 –

WORCESTER
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.

HOTSPUR
If he fall in, good night, or sink, or swim!
Send danger from the east unto the west,
So honour cross it from the north to south,
And let them grapple. O, the blood more stirs
To rouse a lion than to start a hare!

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

HOTSPUR
By heaven, methinks it were an easy leap
To pluck bright honour from the pale-faced 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-faced fellowship!

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

HOTSPUR
I cry you mercy.

WORCESTER
Those same noble Scots
That are your prisoners –

HOTSPUR
I'll keep them all!
By God he shall not have a Scot of them,
No, if a scot would save his soul he shall not.
I'll keep them, by this hand!

WORCESTER
You start away
And lend no ear unto my purposes.
Those prisoners you shall keep –

HOTSPUR
Nay, I will. That's flat!
He said he would not ransom Mortimer,
Forbade my tongue to speak of Mortimer,
But I will find him when he lies asleep,
And in his ear I'll holla ‘ Mortimer!’
Nay, I'll have a starling shall be taught to speak
Nothing but ‘ Mortimer,’ and give it him
To keep his anger still in motion.

WORCESTER
Hear you, cousin, a word.

HOTSPUR
All studies here I solemnly defy,
Save how to gall and pinch this Bolingbroke.
And that same sword-and-buckler Prince of Wales –
But that I think his father loves him not
And would be glad he met with some mischance –
I would have him poisoned with a pot of ale.

WORCESTER
Farewell, kinsman. I'll talk to you
When you are better tempered to attend.

NORTHUMBERLAND
Why, what a wasp-stung and impatient fool
Art thou to break into this woman's mood,
Tying thine ear to no tongue but thine own!

HOTSPUR
Why, look you, I am whipped and scourged with rods,
Nettled, and stung with pismires, when I hear
Of this vile politician Bolingbroke.
In Richard's time – what do you call the place?
A plague upon it, it is in Gloucestershire.
'Twas where the madcap Duke his uncle kept –
His uncle York – where I first bowed my knee
Unto this king of smiles, this Bolingbroke –
'Sblood, when you and he came back from Ravenspurgh –

NORTHUMBERLAND
At Berkeley Castle.

HOTSPUR
You say true.
Why, what a candy deal of courtesy
This fawning greyhound then did proffer me!
‘ Look,when his infant fortune came to age,’
And ‘ gentle Harry Percy,’ and ‘ kind cousin.’
O, the devil take such cozeners – God forgive me!
Good uncle, tell your tale. I have done.

WORCESTER
Nay, if you have not, to it again,
We will stay your leisure.

HOTSPUR
I have done, i'faith.

WORCESTER
Then once more to your Scottish prisoners.
Deliver them up without their ransom straight,
And make the Douglas' son your only mean
For powers in Scotland, which, for divers reasons
Which I shall send you written, be assured
(To Northumberland)
Will easily be granted. (To Northumberland) You my lord,
Your son in Scotland being thus employed,
Shall secretly into the bosom creep
Of that same noble prelate well-beloved,
The Archbishop.

HOTSPUR
Of York, is it not?

WORCESTER
True, who bears hard
His brother's death at Bristol, the Lord Scroop.
I speak not this in estimation,
As what I think might be, but what I know
Is ruminated, plotted, and set down,
And only stays but to behold the face
Of that occasion that shall bring it on.

HOTSPUR
I smell it! Upon my life it will do well!

NORTHUMBERLAND
Before the game is afoot thou still lettest slip.

HOTSPUR
Why, it cannot choose but be a noble plot;
And then the power of Scotland, and of York,
To join with Mortimer, ha?

WORCESTER
And so they shall.

HOTSPUR
In faith it is exceedingly well aimed.

WORCESTER
And 'tis no little reason bids us speed,
To save our heads by raising of a head.
For, bear ourselves as even as we can,
The King will always think him in our debt,
And think we think ourselves unsatisfied,
Till he hath found a time to pay us home.
And see already how he doth begin
To make us strangers to his looks of love.

HOTSPUR
He does, he does, we'll be revenged on him.

WORCESTER
Cousin, farewell. No further go in this
Than I by letters shall direct your course.
When time is ripe, which will be suddenly,
I'll steal to Glendower, and Lord Mortimer,
Where you, and Douglas, and our powers at once,
As I will fashion it, shall happily meet,
To bear our fortunes in our own strong arms,
Which now we hold at much uncertainty.

NORTHUMBERLAND
Farewell, good brother. We shall thrive, I trust.

HOTSPUR
Uncle, adieu. O, let the hours be short,
Till fields, and blows, and groans applaud our sport!
Exeunt
SHAKESPEARE'S WORDS © 2018 DAVID CRYSTAL & BEN CRYSTAL