Page images
PDF
EPUB

Ver. All furnish'd, all in arms.
All plum'd like estridges, that with the wind
Bated, like eagles having lately bath'd :
Glittering in golden coats, like images ;
As full of spirit as the month of May,
And gorgeous as the sun at midsummer?
Wanton as youthful goats, wild as young bulls.
I saw young Harry,— with his beaver on,
His cuisses on his thighs, gallantly arm’d,
Rise from the ground, like featherd Mercury,
And vaulted with such ease into his seat,
As if an angel dropt down from the clouds,
To turn and wind a fiery Pegasus,
And witch the world with noble horsemanship.
Hot. No more, no more; worse than the sun in

March,
This praise doth nourish agues. Let them come;
They come like sacrifices in their trim,
And to the fire-ey'd maid of smoky war,
All hot and bleeding, will we offer them :
The mailed Mars shall on his altar sit,
Up to the ears in blood. I am on fire,
To hear this rich reprisal is só nigh,
And yet not ours: Come, let me take my horse,
Who is to bear me, like a thunderbolt,
Against the bosoin of the Prince of Wales :
Harry to Harry shall,-hot horse to horse
Meet, and ne'er part, till one drop down a corse.
O, that Glendower were come!

Ver. There is inore news:
I learn'd in Worcester, as I rode along,
He cannot draw his power tbis fourteen days.

Doug. That's the worst tidings that I hear of yet.
Wor. Ay, by my faith, that bears a frosty sound.
Hot. What may the king's whole batile reach

unto? Ver. To thirty thousand, Hot. Forty let it be;

My father and Glendower being both away,
The powers of us may serve so great a day.
Come, let us take a muster speedily:
Doomsday is near; die all, die merrily.

[Flourish of Trumpets and Drums.- Exeunt.

SCENE II.

The Road near Coventry.

Enter Falstaff and BARDOLPH.

Fal. Bardolph, get thee before to Coventry; fill me a bottle of sack : our soldiers shall march through; we'll to Sutton-Colfield to-night.

Bard. Wilt you give me money, Captain ?
Fal. Lay out, lay out.
Bard. This bottle makes an angel.

Fal. An it do, take it for thy labour; and if it make twenty, take them all; I'll answer the coinage. Bid my lieutenant Peto meet me at the town's end. Bard. I will, Captain : farewell.

[Erit. Fal, If I be not ashamed of my soldiers, I am a souced gurnet. I have misused the king's press damnably. I have got, in exchange of a hundred and fifty soldiers, three hundred and odd pounds. I press me none but good householders, yeoman's sons: inquire me out contracted bachelors, such as had been asked twice on the bans : such a commodity of warm slaves, as had as lief hear the devil as a drum; such as fear the report of a caliver, worse than a struck fowl, or a hurt wild-duck: I press me none but such toasts and butter, with hearts in their bellies no bigger than pins' heads, and they have bought out their services; and now my whole charge consists of an

cients, corporals, lieutenants, gentlemen of companies, slaves as ragged as Lazarus in the painted cloth; and such as, indeed, were never soldiers ; but discarded, unjust, servingmen, younger sons to younger brothers, revolted tapsters, and ostlers trade-fallen; the cankers of a calm world, and a long peace; and such have I to fill up the rooms of them that have bought out their services, that you would think, I had a hundred and fifty tattered prodigals, lately come from swinekeeping, from eating draff and husks. A mad fellow met me on the way, and told me, I had unloaded all the gibbets, and pressed the dead bodies. No eye hath seen such scarecrows. I'll not march through Coventry with them, that's flat :- Nay, and the villains march wide betwixt the legs, as if they had gyves on; for, indeed, I had the most of them out of prison. There's but a shirt and a half in all my company; and the half-shirt is two napkins, tacked together, and thrown over the shoulders, like a herald's coat without sleeves; and the shirt, to say the truth, stolen from my host of Saint Albans, or the red-nose inn-keeper, of Daventry. But that's all one ; they'll find linen enough on every hedge. Enter Henry, PRINCE OF WALES, and the EARL

OF WESTMORELAND. P. Hen. How now, blown Jack? how now, quilt?

Fal. What, Hal? How now, mad wag? what a devil dost thou in Warwickshire ?-My good Lrd of Westmoreland, I cry you mercy! I thought, your honour had already been at Shrewsbury,

West. 'Faith, Sir John, 'tis more than time that I were there, and you too; but my powers are there already : The king, I can tell you, looks for us all; we must away all night.

Fal. Tut, never fear me; I am as vigilant, as a cat to steal cream.

P. Hen. I think, to steal cream, indeed; for thy

G

theft hath already made thee butter. But tell me, Jack; Whose fellows are these that come after?

Fal. Mine, Hal, mine.
P. Hen. I did never see such pitiful rascals.

Fal. Tut, tut; good enough to toss ; food for powder, food for powder ; they'll fill a pit as well as better: tush, man, mortal men, mortal men.

West. Ay, but, Sir John, methinks, they are exceeding poor and bare; too beggarly.

Fal. 'Faith, for their poverty,-- I know not where they had that: and for their bareness, -I am sure, they never learned that of me.

P. Hen. No, I'll be sworn; unless you call three fingers on the ribs, bare. But, sirrah, make haste; Percy is already in the field.

Fal. What, is the king encamped ?

West. He is, Sir John ; I fear we shall stay too long. (Exeunt the PRINCE and WESTMORELAND.

Fal. Well, To the latter end of a fray, and the beginning of a

feast, Fits a dull fighter, and a keen guest.

[Erit.

SCENE III.

Another Part of HOTSPUR's Camp.

Flourish of Trumpets and Drums.

Enter HotSPUR, EARL OF WORCESTER, EARL OF

Douglas, Sir RICHARD VERNON, GENTLEMEN,
SOLDIERS, and STANDARD Bearers.
Hot. We'll fight with him to-night.
Wor. It may not be.

Doug. You give him, then, advantage.
Ver. Not a whit.
Hot. Why say you so ? looks he not for supply?
Ver. So do we.
Hot. His is certain, ours is doubtful.
Wor. Good cousin, be advis’d; stir not to-night.
Ver. Do not, my lord.

Doug. You do not counsel well;
You speak it out of fear, and cold heart.

Ver. Do me no slander, Douglas : by my life,
And I dare well maintain it with my life,
If well-respected honour bid me on,
I hold as little counsel with weak fear,
As you, my lord, or any Scot that lives :-
Let it be seen to-morrow in the battle,
Which of us fears.

Doug. Yea, or to-night.
Ver. Content.
Hot. To-night, say,

1. Ver. Come, come, it may not be. I wonder much, Being men of such great leading as you are, That you foresee not what impediments Drag back our expedition : certain horse my

cousin Vernon's, are not yet come up:
Your uncle Worcester's horse came but to-day;
And now their pride and mettle is asleep,
Their courage, with hard labour, tame and dull,
That, not a horse is half the half of himself.

Hot. So are the horses of the enemy
In general, journey-bated, and brought low;
The better part of ours are full of rest.

Wor. The number of the king exceedeth ours:
For Heaven's sake, cousin, stay till all come in.

[Trumpet sounds a Parley. Enter Sir WALTER BLUNT and Two GENTLEMEN.

Blunt. I come with gracious offers from the king, If you vouchsafe me hearing and respect.

Of

« PreviousContinue »