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For more unaven and unwelcome news
Came from the north, and thus it did import.
Where they did spend a sad and bloody hour;
And shape of likelihood, the news was told;
K. Hen. Here is a dear and true-industrious friend, I Sir Walter Blunt, new lighted from his horse, Stain'd with the variation of each soil
Betwixt that Holmedon and this seat of ours;
It is a conquest for a prince to boast of.
K. Hen. Yea, there thou mak'st me sad, and mak'st me sin
In envy, that my lord Northumberland
Of my young Harry. O, that it could be prov'd,
What think you,
Of this young Percy's pride? the prisoners,
Malevolent to you in all aspects;
Which makes him prune himself, and bristle up
K. Hen. But I have sent for him to answer this:
Cousin, on Wednesday next our council we
West. I will, my liege.
SCENR II.-The same. Another Room in the
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 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 bless ed sun himself a fair hot wench in flame colour'd taffeta; I see no reason why thou shouldst be so superfluous to demand the time of the day.
Fal. Indeed, you come near me, now, Hal: for we, that take purses, go by the moon and seven stars;
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 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 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 my hostess 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? Fal. No: I'll give thee thy due, thou hast paid all there.
P. Hen. 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 apparent that thou art heir apparent,--But, I pr'ythee, 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 antic the law? Do not thou, when thou art king, hang a thief. P. Hen. No; thou shalt.
Fal. Shall I? O rare! By the Lord, I'll be a brave judge.
P. Hen. 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.
P. Hen. For obtaining of suits?
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.
P. Hen. Or an old lion; or a lover's lute. Fal. Yea, or the drone of a Lincolnshire bagpipe. P. Hen. What say'st 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 pr'ythee, 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.
P. Hen. Thou did'st well; for wisdom cries out in the streets, and no man regards it.
Fal. O thou hast damnable iteration; and art, in
deed, able to corrupt a saint. Thou hast done much harm upon me, Hal,-God forgive thee for it! Be fore 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.
P. Hen. Where shall we take a purse to-morrow, Jack?
Fal. Where thou wilt, lad, I'll make one; an I do not, call me villain, and baffle me.
P. Hen. I see a good amendment of life in thee; from praying, to purse-taking.
Enter POINS, at a distance.
Fal. 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, to a true P. Hen. Good-morrow, Ned. (man. Poins. Good-morrow, sweet Hal.-What says monsieur Remorse? What says sir John Sack-andSugar? 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?
P. Hen. 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. [the devil. P. Hen. Else he had been damned for cozening Poins. But, my lads, my lads, to-morrow morning, by four o'clock, early at Gadshill: There are pilgrims going to Canterbary with rich offerings, and traders riding to London with fat purses: I have visors 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 parses fall of crowns; if you will not, tarry at home, and be hanged.
Fal. Hear me, Yedward, if I tarry at home, and go not, I'll hang you for going. Poins. You will, chaps?
Fal. Hal, wilt thou make one?
P. Hen. Who, I rob? I a thief? not I, by my
Poins. Sir John, I pr'ythee, leave the prince and me alone; I will lay him down such reasons for this adventure, that he shall go.
Fal Well, may'st thou have the spirit of persua sion, and he the ears of profiting, that what thou speakest may move, and what he hears may be bebeved, 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 Bastcheap.
P. Hen. Farewell, thou latter spring! Farewell All-ballown 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 way-laid; yourself, and I, will not be there: and when they have the booty, if you and I do not rob them, cut this head from my shoulders.
P. Hen. 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 ad venture upon the exploit themselves: which they shall have no sooner achieved, but we'll set upon them.
P. Hen. Ay, 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 visors we will change after we leave them; and, sirrah, I have cases of buckram for the nonce, to immask our noted outward garments.
P. Hen. 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'l 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, lies the jest.
P. Hen. Well, I'll go with thee; provide us all things necessary, and meet me to-morrow night in Eastcheap, there I'll sup. Farewell. Poins. Farewell, my lord.
[Exit Poins. P. Hen. I know you all, and will a while uphold The unyok'd 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 wonder'd at, By breaking through the foul and ugly mists Of vapours, that did seem to strangle him. If all the year were playing holydays, To sport would be as tedious as to work; But when they seldom come, they wish'd-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. SCENE III.-The same. Another Room in the Palace.
Enter King HENRY, NORTHUMBERLAND, WOR CESTER, HOTSPUR, Sir WALTER BLUNT, and others.
K. Hen. My blood hath been too cold and temperate,
Unapt to stir at these indignities,
When on the gentle Severn's sedgy bank, In single opposition, hand to hand,
Your use and counsel, we shall send for you.-
[Exit Worcester. (To North.) Yea, my good lord.
You were about to speak. North.
Those prisoners in your highness' name demanded,
Hot. My liege, I did deny no prisoners.
And 'twixt his finger and his thumb he held
He question'd me; among the rest, demanded
I then, all smarting, with my wounds being cold,
He should, or should not ;-for he made me mad,
Of guns, and druins, and wounds, (God save the mark!)
And telling me, the sovereign'st thing on earth
And, I beseech you, let not his report
Come current for an accusation,
Betwixt my love and your high majesty.
He did confound the best part of an hour
Upon agreement, of swift Severn's flood;
Then let him not be slander'd with revolt.
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,
[Exeunt King Henry, Blunt, and Train. Hot. 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, Although it be with hazard of my head. North. What, drunk with choler? stay, and pause awhile;
Here comes your uncle.
Speak of Mortimer!
Zounds, I will speak of him; and let my soul
As high i'the air as this unthankful king,
Blunt. The circumstance consider'd, good my lord, Of my wife's brother, then his cheek look'd pale ;
Whatever Harry Percy then had said,
To such a person, and in such a place, At such a time, with all the rest re-told,
May reasonably die, and never rise
To do him wrong, or any way impeach
K. Hen. Why, yet he doth deny his prisoners; But with proviso, and exception,
Ele never did fall off, my sovereign liege,
And on my face he turn'd an eye of death,
Wor. I cannot blame him: Was he not pro
By Richard, that dead is, the next of blood?
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 then Proclaim my brother Edmund Mortimer Heir to the crown?
North. He did; myself did hear it. Hot. Nay, then I cannot blame his cousin king, That wish'd him on the barren mountains starv'd. 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 murd'rous 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, 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 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,
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 advent'rous 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, 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.
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,
Wor. He apprehends a world of figures here,
That are your prisoners,
Those same noble Scots,
I'll keep them all;
By heaven, 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.
You start away,
And lend no ear unto my purposes.—
Nay, I will, that's flat:-
I'll have a starling shall be taught to speak
Cousin ; a word.
Hot. All studies here I solemnly defy,
Save how to gall and pinch this Bolingbroke:
Nettled, and stung with pismires, when I hear
Hot. You say true:
Why, what a candy deal of courtesy
This fawning greyhound then did proffer me
Good uncle, tell your tale, for I have done.
Wor. Then once
I have done, i'faith. more to your Scottish pri
Deliver them up without their ransome straight,
Your son in Scotland being thus employ'd,
Hot. Of York, is't not?
Wor. True; who bears hard
His brother's death at Bristol, the lord Scroop.
As what I think might be, but what I know
Wor. And so they shall. Hot. In faith, it is exceedingly well aim'd. Wor. 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.
Hot. He does, he does; we'll be reveng'd ou him.
Wor. Cousin, farewell :-No further go in this,
To bear our fortunes in our own strong arms,
North. Farewell, good brother: we shall thrive,
Hot. Uncle, adieu:-O, let the hours be short,
And that same sword-and-buckler prince of Wales-Till fields, and blows, and groans applaud our sport!
And would be glad he met with some mischance,
But that I think his father loves him not,
I'd have him poison'd with a pot of ale.
Wor. Farewell, kinsman! I will talk to you,
When you are better temper'd to attend.
North. Why, what a wasp-stung and impatient
Art thon, to break into this woman's mood;
SCENE I.-Rochester. An Inn Yard. Enter a Carrier, with a lantern in his hand.
1 Car. Heigh ho! An't be not four by the day, I'll be hanged: Charles' wain is over the new chimHot. Why, look you, I am whipp'd and scourg'dney, and yet our horse not packed. What, ostler,
Ost. (Within.) Anon, anon.
1 Car. I prythee, Tom, beat Cut's saddle, put a few flocks in the point; the poor jade is wrung in the withers out of all cess.
Enter another Carrier.
2 Car. Peas and beans are as dank here as a dog, and that is the next way to give poor jades the bots this house turned upside down, since Robin ostler died.
1 Car. Poor fellow! never joyed, since the price of oats rose; it was the death of him.
2 Car. I think, this be the most villainous house in all London road for fleas : I am stung like a tench.
1 Car. Like a tench? by the mass, there is ne'er a king in Christendom could be better bit than I have een since the first cock.
2 Car. Why, they will allow us ne'er a jorden, and then we leak in your chimney; and your chamber-lie breeds fleas like a loach.
1 Car. What, ostler! come away and be hanged,
2 Car. I have a gammon of bacon and two razes of ginger, to be delivered as far as Charing-cross.
1 Car. Odsbody! the turkeys in my pannier are quite starved.-What, ostler!-A plague on thee! hast thou never an eye in thy head? canst not hear? An'twere not as good a deed as drink, to break the pate of thee, I am a very villain.-Come, and be hanged:-Hast no faith in thee?
Gads. Good morrow, carriers. What's o'clock ? 1 Car. I think it be two o'clock. Gads. I pr'ythee, lend me thy lantern, to see my gelding in the stable.
1 Car. Nay, soft, I pray ye: I know a trick worth two of that, i'faith.
Gads. I pr'ythee, lend me thine.
2 Car. Ay, when? canst tell?-Lend me thy lantern, quoth a?-marry, I'll see thee hanged first. Gads. Sirrah, carrier, what time do you mean to come to London?
2 Car. Time enough to go to bed with a candle, I warrant thee.-Come, neighbour Mugs, we'll call up the gentlemen; they will along with company, for they have great charge. (Exeunt Carriers. Gads. What, ho! chamberlain!
Cham. (Within.) At hand, quoth pick-purse. Gads. That's even as fair as-at hand, quoth the chamberlain; for thou variest no more from picking of purses, than giving direction doth from labouring; thou lay'st the plot how.
Cham. Good morrow, master Gadshill. It holds current, that I told you yesternight: There's a franklin in the wild of Kent, hath brought three hundred marks with him in gold: I heard him tell it to one of his company, last night at supper; a kind of auditor; one, that hath abundance of charge too, God knows what. They are up already, and call for eggs and butter: they will away presently. Gads. Sirrah, if they meet not with saint Nicholas' clerks, I'll give thee this neck.
Cham. No, I'll none of it: I pr'ythee, keep that for the hangman; for, I know, thou worship'st saint Nicholas as truly as a man of falsehood may.
Gaas. What talkest thou to me of the hangman? if I hang, I'll make a fat pair of gallows: for, if I hang, old sir John hangs with me; and, thou knowest, he's no starveling. Tut! there are other Trojans that thou dreamest not of, the which, for sport sake, are content to do the profession some grace, that would, if matters should be looked into, for their own credit sake, make all whole. I am joined with no foot land-rakers, no long-staff, sixpenny strikers; none of these mad, mustachio purple hued malt-worms: but with nobility, and trauquillity; burgomasters, and great oneyers; such as
can hold in; such as will strike sooner than speak, and speak sooner than drink, and driuk sooner than pray: And yet I lie; for they pray continually to their saint, the commonwealth; or, rather, not pray to her, but prey on her; for they ride up and down on her, and make her their boots.
Cham. What, the commonwealth their boots? will she hold out water in foul way?
Gads. She will, she will; justice hath liquored her. We steal as in a castle, cock-sure; we have the receipt of fern-seed, we walk invisible.
Cham. Nay, by my faith; I think you are more beholden to the night, than to fern-seed, for your walking invisible.
Gads. Give me thy hand: thou shalt have a share in our purchase, as I am a true man. Cham. Nay, rather let me have it, as you are a false thief.
Gads. Go to; Homo is a common name to all Bid the ostler bring my gelding out of the Farewell, you muddy knave. [Exeunt. SCENE II.-The Road by Gadshill. Enter Prince HENRY, and POINS; BARDOLPH and PETO, at some distance.
Poins. Come, shelter, shelter; I have removed Falstaff's horse, and he frets like a gummed velvet. P. Hen. Stand close.
Fal. Poins! Poins, and be hanged! Poins! P. Hen. Peace, ye fat-kidneyed rascal; What a brawling dost thou keep?
Fal. Where's Poins, Hal?
P. Hen. He is walked up to the top of the hill; I'll go seek him. (Pretends to seek Poins.)
Fal. I am accursed to rob in that thief's company: the rascal hath removed my horse, and tied him I know not where. If I travel but four foot by the squire further afoot, I shall break my wind. Well, I doubt not but to die a fair death for all this, if I 'scape hanging for killing that rogue. I have forsworn his company hourly any time this twoand-twenty years; and yet I am bewitched with the rogue's company. If the rascal have not given me medicines to make me love him, I'll be hanged; it could not be else; I have drunk medicines.-. Poins-Ha!-a plague upon you both!-Bardolph-Peto!-I'll starve, ere I'll rob a foot fur ther. An 'twere not as good a deed as driuk, to turn true man, and leave these rogues, I am the veriest of uneven ground, is threescore and ten miles afoot varlet that ever chewed with a tooth. Eight yards with me; and the stony-hearted villains know it well enough: A plague upon't, when thieves cannot be true to one another! (They whistle.) Whew! -A plague upon you all! Give me my horse, you rogues, give me my horse, and be hanged.
P. Hen. Peace, ye fat-guts! lie down; lay thine ear close to the ground, and list if thou canst hear the tread of travellers.
Fal. Have you any levers to lift me up again, being down? 'Sblood, I'll not bear mine own flesh so far afoot again, for all the coin in thy father's exchequer. What a plague mean ye to colt me thus?
P. Hen. Thou liest, thou art not colted, thou art uncolted.
Fal. I pr'ythee, good prince Hal, help me to my horse; good king's son.
P. Hen. Out, you rogue, shall I be your ostler ! Fal. Go, hang thyself in thy own heir-apparent An I garters! If I be ta'en, I'll peach for this. have not ballads made on you all, and sung to filthy tunes, let a cup of sack he ny poison: When a jest is so forward, and afoot too,-I hate it. Enter GADSHILL.
Poins. O, 'tis our setter: I know his voice.