King Henry IV, Second Part
William Shakespeare [Chiswick edition]
Part 2 out of 3
The music is come, sir.
Let them play. Play, sirs. Sit on my knee, Doll. A rascal
bragging slave! The rogue fled from me like quicksilver.
I' faith, and thou followedst him like a church. Thou whoreson
little tidy Bartholomew boar-pig, when wilt thou leave fighting
o' days and foining o' nights, and begin to patch up thine old body
[Enter, behind, Prince Henry and Poins, disguised as drawers.]
Peace, good Doll! do not speak like a death's-head; do
not bid me remember mine end.
Sirrah, what humour 's the prince of?
A good shallow young fellow: 'a would have made a good
pantler; a' would ha' chipped bread well.
They say Poins has a good wit.
He a good wit! hang him, baboon! his wit's as thick as
Tewksbury mustard; there 's no more conceit in him than is in a
Why does the prince love him so, then?
Because their legs are both of a bigness, and a' plays at quoits
well, and eats conger and fennel, and drinks off candles' ends for
flap-dragons, and rides the wild-mare with the boys, and jumps upon
joined-stools, and swears with a good grace, and wears his boots very
smooth, like unto the sign of the leg, and breeds no bate with telling
of discreet stories; and such other gambol faculties a' has, that show
a weak mind and an able body, for the which the prince admits him: for
the prince himself is such another; the weight of a hair will turn the
scales between their avoirdupois.
Would not this nave of a wheel have his ears cut off?
Let 's beat him before his whore.
Look, whether the withered elder hath not his poll clawed
like a parrot.
Is it not strange that desire should so many years outlive
Kiss me, Doll.
Saturn and Venus this year in conjunction! what says the
almanac to that?
And, look, whether the fiery Trigon, his man, be not lisping
to his master's old tables, his note-book, his counsel-keeper.
Thou dost give me flattering busses.
By my troth, I kiss thee with a most constant heart.
I am old, I am old.
I love thee better than I love e'er a scurvy young boy of
What stuff wilt have a kirtle of? I shall receive money o'
Thursday: shalt have a cap to-morrow. A merry song, come: it
grows late; we'll to bed. Thou'lt forget me when I am gone.
By my troth, thou'lt set me a-weeping, an thou sayest so:
prove that ever I dress myself handsome till thy return: well,
hearken at the end.
Some sack, Francis.
PRINCE & POINS.
Anon, anon, sir.
Ha! a bastard son of the king's? And art thou not Poins
Why, thou globe of sinful continents, what a life dost thou lead!
A better than thou: I am a gentleman; thou art a drawer.
Very true, sir; and I come to draw you out by the ears.
O, the Lord preserve thy grace! by my troth, welcome to
London. Now, the Lord bless that sweet face of thine! O Jesu,
are you come from Wales?
Thou whoreson mad compound of majesty, by this light
flesh and corrupt blood, thou art welcome.
How, you fat fool! I scorn you.
My lord, he will drive you out of your revenge and turn all
to a merriment, if you take not the heat.
You whoreson candle-mine, you, how vilely did you speak of
me even now before this honest, virtuous, civil gentlewoman!
God's blessing of your good heart! and so she is, by my troth.
Didst thou hear me?
Yea, and you knew me, as you did when you ran away by
Gad's-hill: you knew I was at your back, and spoke it on purpose
to try my patience.
No, no, no; not so; I did not think thou wast within hearing.
I shall drive you then to confess the wilful abuse; and then I
know how to handle you.
No abuse, Hal, o' mine honour; no abuse.
Not to dispraise me, and call me pantler and bread-chipper and I
know not what!
No abuse, Hal.
No abuse, Ned, i' the world; honest Ned, none. I dispraised him before
the wicked, that the wicked might not fall in love with him; in which
doing, I have done the part of a careful friend and a true subject,
and thy father is to give me thanks for it. No abuse, Hal: none,
Ned, none: no, faith, boys, none.
See now, whether pure fear and entire cowardice doth not make thee
wrong this virtuous gentlewoman to close with us. Is she of the wicked?
is thine hostess here of the wicked? or is thy boy of the wicked?
or honest Bardolph, whose zeal burns in his nose, of the wicked?
Answer, thou dead elm, answer.
The fiend hath pricked down Bardolph irrecoverable; and his
face is Lucifer's privy-kitchen, where he doth nothing but roast
For the boy, there is a good angel about him; but the devil
outbids him too.
For the women?
For one of them, she is in hell already, and burns poor souls.
For the other, I owe her money; and whether she be damned for
that, I know not.
No, I warrant you.
No, I think thou art not; I think thou art quit for that. Marry, there
is another indictment upon thee, for suffering flesh to be eaten in
thy house, contrary to the law; for the which I think thou wilt howl.
All victuallers do so: what 's a joint of mutton or two in a
What says your grace?
His grace says that which his flesh rebels against.
Who knocks so loud at door? Look to the door there, Francis.
Peto, how now! what news?
The king your father is at Westminster;
And there are twenty weak and wearied posts
Come from the north: and, as I came along,
I met and overtook a dozen captains,
Bare-headed, sweating, knocking at the taverns,
And asking every one for Sir John Falstaff.
By heaven, Poins, I feel me much to blame,
So idly to profane the precious time,
When tempest of commotion, like the south
Borne with black vapour, doth begin to melt
And drop upon our bare unarmed heads.
Give me my sword and cloak. Falstaff, good night.
[Exeunt Prince, Poins, Peto, and Bardolph.]
Now comes in the sweetest morsel of the night, and we must
hence, and leave it unpicked.
[Knocking within.] More knocking at the door!
How now! what's the matter?
You must away to court, sir, presently;
A dozen captains stay at door for you.
[To the Page].
Pay the musicians, sirrah. Farewell, hostess; farewell, Doll.
You see, my good wenches, how men of merit are sought after:
the undeserver may sleep, when the man of action is called on.
Farewell, good wenches: if I be not sent away post, I will see
you again ere I go.
I cannot speak; if my heart be not ready to burst,--well, sweet
Jack, have a care of thyself.
[Exeunt Falstaff and Bardolph.]
Well, fare thee well: I have known thee these twenty-nine years,
come peascod-time; but an honester and truer-hearted man,----
well, fare thee well.
[Within.] Mistress Tearsheet!
What's the matter?
[Within.] Bid Mistress Tearsheet come to my master.
O, run, Doll, run; run, good Doll: come. [She comes blubbered.]
Yea, will you come, Doll?
SCENE I. Westminster. The palace.
[Enter the King in his nightgown, with a Page.]
Go call the Earls of Surrey and of Warwick;
But, ere they come, bid them o'er-read these letters,
And well consider of them: make good speed.
How many thousands of my poorest subjects
Are at this hour asleep! O sleep, O gentle sleep,
Nature's soft nurse, how have I frighted thee,
That thou no more wilt weigh my eyelids down
And steep my senses in forgetfulness?
Why rather, sleep, liest thou in smoky cribs,
Upon uneasy pallets stretching thee
And hush'd with buzzing night-flies to thy slumber
Than in the perfumed chambers of the great,
Under the canopies of costly state,
And lull'd with sound of sweetest melody?
O thou dull god, why liest thou with the vile
In loathsome beds, and leavest the kingly couch
A watch-case or a common 'larum-bell?
Wilt thou upon the high and giddy mast
Seal up the ship-boy's eyes, and rock his brains
In cradle of the rude imperious surge
And in the visitation of the winds,
Who take the ruffian billows by the top,
Curling their monstrous heads and hanging them
With deafening clamour in the slippery clouds,
That, with the hurly, death itself awakes?
Canst thou, O partial sleep, give thy repose
To the wet sea-boy in an hour so rude;
And in the calmest and most stillest night,
With all appliances and means to boot,
Deny it to a king? Then happy low, lie down!
Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown.
[Enter Warwick and Surrey.]
Many good morrows to your majesty!
Is it good morrow, lords?
'Tis one o'clock, and past.
Why then, good morrow to you all, my lords.
Have you read o'er the letters that I sent you?
We have, my liege.
Then you perceive the body of our kingdom
How foul it is; what rank diseases grow,
And with what danger, near the heart of it.
It is but as a body yet distemper'd;
Which to his former strength may be restored
With good advice and little medicine:
My Lord Northumberland will soon be cool'd.
O God! that one might read the book of fate,
And see the revolution of the times
Make mountains level, and the continent,
Weary of solid firmness, melt itself
Into the sea! and, other times, to see
The beachy girdle of the ocean
Too wide for Neptune's hips; how chances mock,
And changes fill the cup of alteration
With divers liquors! O, if this were seen,
The happiest youth, viewing his progress through,
What perils past, what crosses to ensue,
Would shut the book, and sit him down and die.
'Tis not ten years gone
Since Richard and Northumberland, great friends,
Did feast together, and in two years after
Were they at wars: it is but eight years since
This Percy was the man nearest my soul,
Who like a brother toil'd in my affairs
And laid his love and life under my foot,
Yea, for my sake, even to the eyes of Richard
Gave him defiance. But which of you was by--
You, cousin Nevil, as I may remember--
When Richard, with his eye brimful of tears,
Then check'd and rated by Northumberland,
Did speak these words, now proved a prophecy?
"Northumberland, thou ladder by the which
My cousin Bolingbroke ascends my throne;"
Though then, God knows, I had no such intent,
But that necessity so bow'd the state
That I and greatness were compell'd to kiss:
"The time shall come," thus did he follow it,
"The time will come, that foul sin, gathering head,
Shall break into corruption:" so went on,
Foretelling this same time's condition
And the division of our amity.
There is a history in all men's lives,
Figuring the natures of the times deceased;
The which observed, a man may prophesy,
With a near aim, of the main chance of things
As yet not come to life, who in their seeds
And weak beginning lie intreasured.
Such things become the hatch and brood of time;
And by the necessary form of this
King Richard might create a perfect guess
That great Northumberland, then false to him,
Would of that seed grow to a greater falseness;
Which should not find a ground to root upon,
Unless on you.
Are these things then necessities?
Then let us meet them like necessities:
And that same word even now cries out on us:
They say the bishop and Northumberland
Are fifty thousand strong.
It cannot be, my lord;
Rumour doth double, like the voice and echo,
The numbers of the fear'd. Please it your grace
To go to bed. Upon my soul, my lord,
The powers that you already have sent forth
Shall bring this prize in very easily.
To comfort you the more, I have received
A certain instance that Glendower is dead.
Your majesty hath been this fortnight ill,
And these unseason'd hours perforce must add
Unto your sickness.
I will take your counsel:
And were these inward wars once out of hand,
We would, dear lords, unto the Holy Land.
SCENE II. Gloucestershire. Before Justice Shallow's house.
[Enter Shallow and Silence, meeting; Mouldy, Shadow, Wart,
Feeble, Bullcalf, a Servant or two with them.]
Come on, come on, come on, sir; give me your hand, sir,
give me your hand, sir: an early stirrer, by the rood! And how
doth my good cousin Silence?
Good morrow, good cousin Shallow.
And how doth my cousin, your bedfellow? and your fairest
daughter and mine, my god-daughter Ellen?
Alas, a black ousel, cousin Shallow!
By yea and nay, sir, I dare say my cousin William is become
a good scholar: he is at Oxford still, is he not?
Indeed, sir, to my cost.
A' must, then, to the inns o' court shortly. I was once of
Clement's Inn, where I think they will talk of mad Shallow yet.
You were called "lusty Shallow" then, cousin.
By the mass, I was called any thing; and I would have done any thing
indeed too, and roundly too. There was I, and little John Doit of
Staffordshire, and black George Barnes, and Francis Pickbone, and
Will Squele, a Cotswold man; you had not four such swinge-bucklers in
all the inns o' court again: and I may say to you, we knew where the
bona-robas were and had the best of them all at commandment. Then was
Jack Falstaff, now Sir John, boy, and page to Thomas Mowbray, Duke of
This Sir John, cousin, that comes hither anon about soldiers?
The same Sir John, the very same. I see him break Skogan's head at the
court-gate, when a' was a crack not thus high: and the very same
day did I fight with one Sampson Stockfish, a fruiterer, behind
Jesu, Jesu, the mad days that I have spent! and to see how many of my
old acquaintance are dead!
We shall all follow, cousin.
Certain, 'tis certain; very sure, very sure: death, as the Psalmist
saith, is certain to all; all shall die. How a good yoke of bullocks at
By my troth, I was not there.
Death is certain. Is old Double of your town living yet?
Jesu, Jesu, dead! a' drew a good bow; and dead! a' shot a fine shoot:
John a Gaunt loved him well, and betted much money on his head.
Dead! a' would have clapped i' the clout at twelve score; and carried
you a forehand shaft a fourteen and fourteen and a half, that it
would have done a man's heart good to see. How a score of ewes now?
Thereafter as they be: a score of good ewes may be worth ten
And is old Double dead?
Here come two of Sir John Falstaffs men, as I think.
[Enter Bardolph, and one with him.]
Good morrow, honest gentlemen: I beseech you, which is justice
I am Robert Shallow, sir; a poor esquire of this county, and one
of the king's justices of the peace: what is your good pleasure
My captain, sir, commends him to you; my captain, Sir John
Falstaff, a tall gentleman, by heaven, and a most gallant leader.
He greets me well, sir. I knew him a good backsword man. How
doth the good knight? may I ask how my lady his wife doth?
Sir, pardon; a soldier is better accommodated than with a wife.
It is well said, in faith, sir; and it is well said indeed too.
Better accommodated! it is good; yea, indeed, is it: good phrases are
surely, and ever were, very commendable. Accommodated! it comes of
"accommodo:" very good; a good phrase.
Pardon me, sir; I have heard the word. Phrase call you it? By this
day, I know not the phrase; but I will maintain the word with my sword
to be a soldier-like word, and a word of exceeding good command, by
Accommodated; that is, when a man is, as they say, accommodated; or
when a man is, being, whereby a' may be thought to be accommodated;
which is an excellent thing.
It is very just.
Look, here comes good Sir John. Give me your good hand, give me your
worship's good hand: by my troth, you like well and bear your years
very well: welcome, good Sir John.
I am glad to see you well, good Master Robert Shallow: Master
Surecard, as I think?
No, Sir John; it is my cousin Silence, in commission with me.
Good Master Silence, it well befits you should be of the peace.
Your good worship is welcome.
Fie! this is hot weather, gentlemen. Have you provided me here
half a dozen sufficient men?
Marry, have we, sir. Will you sit?
Let me see them, I beseech you.
Where's the roll? where's the roll? where's the roll? Let me see,
let me see, let me see.
So, so, so, so, so, so, so: yea, marry, sir: Ralph Mouldy!
Let them appear as I call; let them do so, let them do so.
Let me see; where is Mouldy?
Here, an't please you.
What think you, Sir John? a good-limbed fellow; young, strong,
and of good friends.
Is thy name Mouldy?
Yea, an't please you.
'Tis the more time thou wert used.
Ha, ha, ha! most excellent, i' faith! things that are mouldy lack use:
very singular good! in faith, well said, Sir John, very well said.
I was prick'd well enough before, an you could have let me alone:
my old dame will be undone now for one to do her husbandry and her
drudgery: you need not to have pricked me; there are other men fitter
to go out than I.
Go to: peace, Mouldy; you shall go. Mouldy, it is time you were spent.
Peace, fellow, peace; stand aside: know you where you are? For
the other, Sir John: let me see: Simon Shadow!
Yea, marry, let me have him to sit under: he 's like to be a
Shadow, whose son art thou?
My mother's son, sir.
Thy mother's son! like enough; and thy father's shadow: so the son of
the female is the shadow of the male: it is often so indeed; but
much of the father's substance!
Do you like him, Sir John?
Shadow will serve for summer; prick him; for we have a number of
shadows to fill up the muster-book.
Is thy name Wart?
Thou art a very ragged wart.
Shall I prick him down, Sir John?
It were superfluous; for his apparel is built upon his back and
the whole frame stands upon pins: prick him no more.
Ha, ha, ha! you can do it, sir; you can do it: I commend you
What trade art thou, Feeble?
A woman's tailor, sir.
Shall I prick him, sir?
You may: but if he had been a man's tailor, he'ld ha' prick'd you.
Wilt thou make as many holes in an enemy's battle as thou hast done in
a woman's petticoat?
I will do my good will, sir; you can have no more.
Well said, good woman's tailor! well said, courageous Feeble! thou wilt
be as valiant as the wrathful dove or most magnanimous mouse.
Prick the woman's tailor: well, Master Shallow, deep, Master Shallow.
I would Wart might have gone, sir.
I would thou wert a man's tailor, that thou mightst mend him and make
him fit to go. I cannot put him to a private soldier that is the leader
of so many thousands; let that suffice, most forcible Feeble.
It shall suffice, sir.
I am bound to thee, reverend Feeble. Who is next?
Peter Bullcalf o' th' green!
Yea, marry, let 's see Bullcalf.
'Fore God, a likely fellow! Come, prick me Bullcalf till he roar
O Lord! good my lord captain,--
What, dost thou roar before thou art prick'd?
O Lord, sir! I am a diseased man.
What disease hast thou?
A whoreson cold, sir, a cough, sir, which I caught with ringing
in the king's affairs upon his coronation-day, sir.
Come, thou shalt go to the wars in a gown; we will have away thy cold;
and I will take such order that thy friends shall ring for thee.
Is here all?
Here is two more called than your number; you must have but four here,
sir; and so, I pray you, go in with me to dinner.
Come, I will go drink with you, but I cannot tarry dinner. I am
glad to see you, by my troth, Master Shallow.
O, Sir John, do you remember since we lay all night in the windmill
in Saint George's field?
No more of that, Master Shallow, no more of that.
Ha, 'twas a merry night. And is Jane Nightwork alive?
She lives, Master Shallow.
She never could away with me.
Never, never; she would always say she could not abide Master
By the mass, I could anger her to the heart. She was then a bona-roba.
Doth she hold her own well?
Old, old, Master Shallow.
Nay, she must be old; she cannot choose but be old; certain she 's old;
and had Robin Nightwork by old Nightwork before I came to Clement's Inn.
That's fifty-five year ago.
Ha, cousin Silence, that thou hadst seen that that this knight and I
have seen! Ha, Sir John, said I well?
We have heard the chimes at midnight, Master Shallow.
That we have, that we have, that we have; in faith, Sir John, we have:
our watchword was "Hem boys!" Come, let 's to dinner; come, let 's
to dinner: Jesus, the days that we have seen! Come, come.
[Exeunt Falstaff and the Justices.]
Good Master Corporate Bardolph, stand my friend; and here 's four
Harry ten shillings in French crowns for you.
In very truth, sir, I had as lief be hanged, sir, as go: and yet,
for mine own part, sir, I do not care; but rather, because I am
unwilling, and, for mine own part, have a desire to stay with my
friends; else, sir, I did not care, for mine own part, so much.
Go to; stand aside.
And, good master corporal captain, for my old dame's sake, stand my
friend: she has nobody to do any thing about her when I am gone;
and she is old, and cannot help herself: you shall have forty, sir.
Go to; stand aside.
By my troth, I care not; a man can die but once; we owe God a death:
I'll ne'er bear a base mind: an 't be my destiny, so; an 't be not, so:
no man's too good to serve 's prince; and let it go which way it will, he
that dies this year is quit for the next.
Well said; th'art a good fellow.
Faith, I'll bear no base mind.
[Re-enter Falstaff and the Justices.]
Come, sir, which men shall I have?
Four of which you please.
Sir, a word with you: I have three pound to free Mouldy and
Go to; well.
Come, Sir John, which four will you have?
Do you choose for me.
Marry, then, Mouldy, Bullcalf, Feeble, and Shadow.
Mouldy and Bullcalf: for you, Mouldy, stay at home till you are past
service; and for your part, Bullcalf, grow till you come unto it:
I will none of you.
Sir John, Sir John, do not yourself wrong: they are your likeliest
men, and I would have you served with the best.
Will you tell me, Master Shallow, how to choose a man? Care I for the
limb, the thewes, the stature, bulk, and big assemblance of a man!
Give me the spirit, Master Shallow. Here's Wart; you see what a ragged
appearance it is: a' shall charge you and discharge you with the
motion of a pewterer's hammer, come off and on swifter than he that
gibbets on the brewer's bucket.
And this same half-faced fellow, Shadow; give me this man: he
presents no mark to the enemy; the foeman may with as great aim level
at the edge of a penknife.
And for a retreat; how swiftly will this Feeble the woman's tailor
run off! O, give me the spare men, and spare me the great ones.
Put me a caliver into Wart's hand, Bardolph.
Hold, Wart, traverse; thus, thus, thus.
Come, manage me your caliver. So: very well: go to: very good,
exceeding good. O, give me always a little, lean, old, chapt,
bald shot. Well said, i' faith, Wart; thou'rt a good scab: hold,
there's a tester for thee.
He is not his craft's master; he doth not do it right. I remember at
Mile-end Green, when I lay at Clement's Inn,--I was then Sir Dagonet in
Arthur's show,--there was a little quiver fellow, and a' would manage
you his piece thus; and a' would about and about, and come you in and
come you in: "rah, tah, tah," would a' say; "bounce" would a' say; and
away again would a' go, and again would 'a come: I shall ne'er see
such a fellow.
These fellows will do well. Master Shallow, God keep you, Master Silence:
I will not use many words with you. Fare you well, gentlemen both:
I thank you: I must a dozen mile to-night. Bardolph, give the soldiers
Sir John, the Lord bless you! God prosper your affairs! God send us
peace! At your return visit our house; let our old acquaintance be
renewed: peradventure I will with ye to the court.
'Fore God, I would you would.
Go to; I have spoke at a word. God keep you.
Fare you well, gentle gentlemen.
On, Bardolph; lead the men away.
[Exeunt Bardolph, Recruits, &c.]
As I return, I will fetch off these justices: I do see the bottom
of Justice Shallow.
Lord, Lord, how subject we old men are to this vice of lying!
This same starved justice hath done nothing but prate to me of the
wildness of his youth, and the feats he hath done about Turnbull
Street; and every third word a lie, duer paid to the hearer than the
Turk's tribute. I do remember him at Clement's Inn like a man made
after supper of a cheese-paring: when a' was naked, he was, for all
the world, like a fork'd radish, with a head fantastically carved upon
it with a knife: a' was so forlorn, that his dimensions to any thick
sight were invincible: a' was the very genius of famine; yet lecherous
as a monkey, and the whores called him mandrake: a' came ever in the
rearward of the fashion, and sung those tunes to the overscutch'd
huswifes that he heard the carmen whistle, and sware they were his
fancies or his good-nights.
And now is this Vice's dagger become a squire, and talks as familiarly
of John a Gaunt as if he had been sworn brother to him; and I'll be
sworn a' ne'er saw him but once in the Tilt-yard; and then he burst
his head for crowding among the marshal's men.
I saw it, and told John a Gaunt he beat his own name; for you might
have thrust him and all his apparel into an eel-skin; the case of a
treble hautboy was a mansion for him, a court: and now has he land
Well, I'll be acquainted with him, if I return; and it shall go hard
but I'll make him a philosopher's two stones to me: if the young dace
be a bait for the old pike, I see no reason in the law of nature but I
may snap at him.
Let time shape, and there an end.
SCENE I. Yorkshire. Gaultree Forest.
[Enter the Archbishop of York, Mowbray, Hastings, and others.]
What is this forest call'd?
'Tis Gaultree Forest, an 't shall please your grace.
Here stand, my lords; and send discoverers forth
To know the numbers of our enemies.
We have sent forth already.
'Tis well done.
My friends and brethren in these great affairs,
I must acquaint you that I have received
New-dated letters from Northumberland;
Their cold intent, tenour and substance, thus:
Here doth he wish his person, with such powers
As might hold sortance with his quality,
The which he could not levy; whereupon
He is retired, to ripe his growing fortunes,
To Scotland: and concludes in hearty prayers
That your attempts may overlive the hazard
And fearful meeting of their opposite.
Thus do the hopes we have in him touch ground
And dash themselves to pieces.
[Enter a Messenger.]
Now, what news?
West of this forest, scarcely off a mile,
In goodly form comes on the enemy;
And, by the ground they hide, I judge their number
Upon or near the rate of thirty thousand.
The just proportion that we gave them out.
Let us sway on and face them in the field.
What well-appointed leader fronts us here?
I think it is my Lord of Westmoreland.
Health and fair greeting from our general,
The prince, Lord John and Duke of Lancaster.
Say on, my Lord of Westmoreland, in peace:
What doth concern your coming?
Then, my lord,
Unto your grace do I in chief address
The substance of my speech. If that rebellion
Came like itself, in base and abject routs,
Led on by bloody youth, guarded with rags,
And countenanced by boys and beggary,
I say, if damn'd commotion so appear'd,
In his true, native, and most proper shape,
You, reverend father, and these noble lords
Had not been here, to dress the ugly form
Of base and bloody insurrection
With your fair honours. You, lord archbishop,
Whose see is by a civil peace maintain'd,
Whose beard the silver hand of peace hath touch'd,
Whose learning and good letters peace hath tutor'd,
Whose white investments figure innocence,
The dove and very blessed spirit of peace,
Wherefore you do so ill translate yourself
Out of the speech of peace that bears such grace,
Into the harsh and boisterous tongue of war;
Turning your books to graves, your ink to blood,
Your pens to lances and your tongue divine
To a loud trumpet and a point of war?
Wherefore do I this? so the question stands.
Briefly to this end: we are all diseased,
And with our surfeiting and wanton hours
Have brought ourselves into a burning fever,
And we must bleed for it; of which disease
Our late king, Richard, being infected, died.
But, my most noble Lord of Westmoreland,
I take not on me here as a physician,
Nor do I as an enemy to peace
Troop in the throngs of military men;
But rather show awhile like fearful war,
To diet rank minds sick of happiness,
And purge the obstructions which begin to stop
Our very veins of life. Hear me more plainly.
I have in equal balance justly weigh'd
What wrongs our arms may do, what wrongs we suffer,
And find our griefs heavier than our offences.
We see which way the stream of time doth run,
And are enforced from our most quiet there
By the rough torrent of occasion;
And have the summary of all our griefs,
When time shall serve, to show in articles;
Which long ere this we offer'd to the king,
And might by no suit gain our audience:
When we are wrong'd and would unfold our griefs,
We are denied access unto his person
Even by those men that most have done us wrong.
The dangers of the days but newly gone,
Whose memory is written on the earth
With yet appearing blood, and the examples
Of every minute's instance, present now,
Hath put us in these ill-beseeming arms,
Not to break peace or any branch of it,
But to establish here a peace indeed,
Concurring, both in name and quality.
When ever yet was your appeal denied?
Wherein have you been galled by the king?
What peer hath been suborn'd to grate on you,
That you should seal this lawless bloody book
Of forged rebellion with a seal divine
And consecrate commotion's bitter edge?
My brother general, the commonwealth,
To brother born an household cruelty,
I make my quarrel in particular.
There is no need of any such redress;
Or if there were, it not belongs to you.
Why not to him in part, and to us all
That feel the bruises of the days before,
And suffer the condition of these times
To lay a heavy and unequal hand
Upon our honours?
O, my good Lord Mowbray,
Construe the times to their necessities,
And you shall say indeed, it is the time,
And not the king, that doth you injuries.
Yet for your part, it not appears to me
Either from the king or in the present time
That you should have an inch of any ground
To build a grief on: were you not restored
To all the Duke of Norfolk's signories,
Your noble and right well rememb'red father's?
What thing, in honour, had my father lost,
That need to be revived and breathed in me?
The king that loved him, as the state stood then,
Was force perforce compell'd to banish him:
And then that Henry Bolingbroke and he,
Being mounted and both roused in their seats,
Their neighing coursers daring of the spur,
Their armed staves in charge, their beavers down,
Their eyes of fire sparkling through sights of steel,
And the loud trumpet blowing them together,
Then, then, when there was nothing could have stay'd
My father from the breast of Bolingbroke,
O, when the king did throw his warder down,
His own life hung upon the staff he threw;
Then threw he down himself and all their lives
That by indictment and by dint of sword
Have since miscarried under Bolingbroke.
You speak, Lord Mowbray, now you know not what.
The Earl of Hereford was reputed then
In England the most valiant gentleman:
Who knows on whom fortune would then have smiled?
But if your father had been victor there,
He ne'er had borne it out of Coventry:
For all the country in a general voice
Cried hate upon him; and all their prayers and love
Were set on Hereford, whom they doted on
And bless'd and graced indeed, more than the king.
But this is mere digression from my purpose.
Here come I from our princely general
To know your griefs; to tell you from his grace
That he will give you audience; and wherein
It shall appear that your demands are just,
You shall enjoy them, everything set off
That might so much as think you enemies.
But he hath forc'd us to compel this offer;
And it proceeds from policy, not love.
Mowbray, you overween to take it so;
This offer comes from mercy, not from fear:
For, lo! within a ken our army lies,
Upon mine honour, all too confident
To give admittance to a thought of fear.
Our battle is more full of names than yours,
Our men more perfect in the use of arms,
Our armour all as strong, our cause the best;
Then reason will our hearts should be as good:
Say you not then our offer is compell'd.
Well, by my will we shall admit no parley.
That argues but the shame of your offence:
A rotten case abides no handling.
Hath the Prince John a full commission,
In very ample virtue of his father,
To hear and absolutely to determine
Of what conditions we shall stand upon?
That is intended in the general's name:
I muse you make so slight a question.
Then take, my Lord of Westmoreland, this schedule,
For this contains our general grievances:
Each several article herein redress'd,
All members of our cause, both here and hence,
That are insinew'd to this action,
Acquitted by a true substantial form
And present execution of our wills
To us and to our purposes confined,
We come within our awful banks again
And knit our powers to the arm of peace.
This will I show the general. Please you, lords,
In sight of both our battles we may meet;
And either end in peace, which God so frame!
Or to the place of difference call the swords
Which must decide it.
My lord, we will do so.
There is a thing within my bosom tells me
That no conditions of our peace can stand.
Fear you not that: if we can make our peace
Upon such large terms and so absolute
As our conditions shall consist upon,
Our peace shall stand as firm as rocky mountains.
Yea, but our valuation shall be such
That every slight and false-derived cause,
Yea, every idle, nice and wanton reason
Shall to the king taste of this action;
That, were our royal faiths martyrs in love,
We shall be winnow'd with so rough a wind
That even our corn shall seem as light as chaff
And good from bad find no partition.
No, no, my lord. Note this; the king is weary
Of dainty and such picking grievances:
For he hath found to end one doubt by death
Revives two greater in the heirs of life,
And therefore will he wipe his tables clean
And keep no tell-tale to his memory
That may repeat and history his loss
To new remembrance; for full well he knows
He cannot so precisely weed this land
As his misdoubts present occasion:
His foes are so enrooted with his friends
That, plucking to unfix an enemy,
He doth unfasten so and shake a friend:
So that this land, like an offensive wife
That hath enraged him on to offer strokes,
As he is striking, holds his infant up
And hangs resolved correction in the arm
That was uprear'd to execution.
Besides, the king hath wasted all his rods
On late offenders, that he now doth lack
The very instruments of chastisement:
So that his power, like to a fangless lion,
May offer, but not hold.
'Tis very true:
And therefore be assured, my good lord marshal,
If we do now make our atonement well,
Our peace will, like a broken limb united,
Grow stronger for the breaking.
Be it so.
Here is return'd my Lord of Westmoreland.
The prince is here at hand: pleaseth your lordship
To meet his grace just distance 'tween our armies.
Your grace of York, in God's name then, set forward.
Before, and greet his grace: my lord, we come.
SCENE II. Another part of the forest.
[Enter, from one side, Mowbray, attended; afterwards, the
Archbishop, Hastings, and others; from the other side, Prince
John of Lancaster, and Westmoreland; Officers, and others with
You are well encounter'd here, my cousin Mowbray:
Good day to you, gentle lord Archbishop;
And so to you, Lord Hastings, and to all.
My Lord of York, it better show'd with you
When that your flock, assembled by the bell,
Encircled you to hear with reverence
Your exposition on the holy text
Than now to see you here an iron man,
Cheering a rout of rebels with your drum,
Turning the word to sword and life to death.
That man that sits within a monarch's heart,
And ripens in the sunshine of his favour,
Would he abuse the countenance of the king,
Alack, what mischiefs might he set abroach
In shadow of such greatness! With you, lord bishop,
It is even so. Who hath not heard it spoken
How deep you were within the books of God?
To us the speaker in his parliament;
To us the imagined voice of God himself;
The very opener and intelligencer
Between the grace, the sanctities of heaven
And our dull workings. O, who shall believe
But you misuse the reverence of your place,
Employ the countenance and grace of heaven,
As a false favourite doth his prince's name,
In deeds dishonourable? You have ta'en up,
Under the counterfeited zeal of God,
The subjects of his substitute, my father,
And both against the peace of heaven and him
Have here up-swarm'd them.
Good my Lord of Lancaster,
I am not here against your father's peace;
But, as I told my Lord of Westmoreland,
The time misorder'd doth, in common sense,
Crowd us and crush us to this monstrous form
To hold our safety up. I sent your grace
The parcels and particulars of our grief,
The which hath been with scorn shoved from the court,
Whereon this Hydra son of war is born;
Whose dangerous eyes may well be charm'd asleep
With grant of our most just and right desires,
And true obedience, of this madness cured,
Stoop tamely to the foot of majesty.
If not, we ready are to try our fortunes
To the last man.
And though we here fall down,
We have supplies to second our attempt:
If they miscarry, theirs shall second them;
And so success of mischief shall be born
And heir from heir shall hold this quarrel up
Whiles England shall have generation.
You are too shallow, Hastings, much to shallow,
To sound the bottom of the after-times.
Pleaseth your grace to answer them directly
How far forth you do like their articles.
I like them all, and do allow them well,
And swear here, by the honour of my blood,
My father's purposes have been mistook,
And some about him have too lavishly
Wrested his meaning and authority.
My lord, these griefs shall be with speed redress'd;
Upon my soul, they shall. If this may please you,
Discharge your powers unto their several counties,
As we will ours; and here between the armies
Let 's drink together friendly and embrace,
That all their eyes may bear those tokens home
Of our restored love and amity.
I take your princely word for these redresses.
I give it you, and will maintain my word:
And thereupon I drink unto your grace.
Go, captain, and deliver to the army
This news of peace: let them have pay, and part:
I know it will please them. Hie thee, captain.
To you, my noble Lord of Westmoreland.
I pledge your grace; and, if you knew what pains
I have bestow'd to breed this present peace,
You would drink freely: but my love to ye
Shall show itself more openly hereafter.
I do not doubt you.
I am glad of it.
Health to my lord and gentle cousin, Mowbray.
You wish me health in very happy season,
For I am, on the sudden, something ill.
Against ill chances men are ever merry;
But heaviness foreruns the good event.
Therefore be merry, coz; since sudden sorrow
Serves to say thus, "some good thing comes tomorrow."
Believe me, I am passing light in spirit.
So much the worse, if your own rule be true.
The word of peace is render'd: hark, how they shout!
This had been cheerful after victory.
A peace is of the nature of a conquest;
For then both parties nobly are subdued,
And neither party loser.
Go, my lord.
And let our army be discharged too.
And, good my lord, so please you, let our trains
March by us, that we may peruse the men
We should have coped withal.
Go, good Lord Hastings,
And, ere they be dismiss'd, let them march by.
I trust, lords, we shall lie to-night together.
Now, cousin, wherefore stands our army still?
The leaders, having charge from you to stand,
Will not go off until they hear you speak.
They know their duties.
My lord, our army is dispersed already:
Like youthful steers unyoked, they take their courses
East, west, north, south; or, like a school broke up,
Each hurries toward his home and sporting-place.
Good tidings, my Lord Hastings; for the which
I do arrest thee, traitor, of high treason:
And you, lord archbishop, and you, Lord Mowbray,
Of capital treason I attach you both.
Is this proceeding just and honourable?
Is your assembly so?
Will you thus break your faith?
I pawn'd thee none:
I promised you redress of these same grievances
Whereof you did complain; which, by mine honour,
I will perform with a most Christian care.
But for you, rebels, look to taste the due
Meet for rebellion and such acts as yours.
Most shallowly did you these arms commence,
Fondly brought here and foolishly sent hence.
Strike up our drums, pursue the scattr'd stray:
God, and not we, hath safely fought to-day.
Some guard these traitors to the block of death,
Treason's true bed and yielder up of breath.
SCENE III. Another part of the forest.
[Alarum. Excursions. Enter Falstaff and Colevile, meeting.]
What 's your name, sir? of what condition are you, and of
what place, I pray?
I am a knight sir; and my name is Colevile of the Dale.
Well, then, Colevile is your name, a knight is your degree, and
your place the dale: Colevile shall be still your name, a traitor
your degree, and the dungeon your place, a place deep enough; so
shall you be still Colevile of the dale.
Are not you Sir John Falstaff?
As good a man as he, sir, whoe'er I am. Do ye yield, sir? or shall I
sweat for you? If I do sweat, they are the drops of thy lovers, and
they weep for thy death: therefore rouse up fear and trembling,
and do observance to my mercy.
I think you are Sir John Falstaff, and in that thought yield me.
I have a whole school of tongues in this belly of mine, and not a
tongue of them all speaks any other word but my name. An I had but
a belly of any indifferency, I were simply the most active fellow in
Europe: my womb, my womb, my womb undoes me.
Here comes our general.
[Enter Prince John of Lancaster, Westmoreland, Blunt, and
The heat is past; follow no further now:
Call in the powers, good cousin Westmoreland.
Now, Falstaff, where have you been all this while?
When everything is ended, then you come:
These tardy tricks of yours will, on my life,
One time or other break some gallows' back.
I would be sorry, my lord, but it should be thus: I never knew yet
but rebuke and check was the reward of valour. Do you think me a
swallow, an arrow, or a bullet? have I, in my poor and old motion,
the expedition of thought? I have speeded hither with the very
extremest inch of possibility; I have foundered nine score and odd
posts: and here, travel-tainted as I am, have, in my pure and
immaculate valour, taken Sir John Colevile of the dale, a most furious
knight and valorous enemy. But what of that? he saw me, and yielded;
that I may justly say, with the hook-nosed fellow of Rome, "I came,
saw, and overcame."
It was more of his courtesy than your deserving.
I know not: here he is, and here I yield him: and I beseech your
grace, let it be booked with the rest of this day's deeds; or, by the
Lord, I will have it in a particular ballad else, with mine own
picture on the top on't, Colevile kissing my foot: to the which
course if I be enforced, if you do not all show like gilt twopences to
me, and I in the clear sky of fame o'ershine you as much as the full
moon doth the cinders of the element, which show like pins' heads to
her, believe not the word of the noble: therefore let me have right,
and let desert mount.
Thine 's too heavy to mount.
Let it shine, then.
Thine 's too thick to shine.
Let it do something, my good lord, that may do me good, and
call it what you will.
Is thy name Colevile?
It is, my lord.
A famous rebel art thou, Colevile.
And a famous true subject took him.
I am, my lord, but as my betters are
That led me hither: had they been ruled by me,
You should have won them dearer than you have.
I know not how they sold themselves: but thou, like a kind
fellow, gavest thyself away gratis; and I thank thee for thee.
Now, have you left pursuit?
Retreat is made and execution stay'd.
Send Colevile with his confederates
To York, to present execution.
Blunt, lead him hence; and see you guard him sure.
[Exeunt Blunt and others with Colevile.]
And now dispatch we toward the court, my lords:
I hear the king my father is sore sick:
Our news shall go before us to his majesty,
Which, cousin, you shall bear to comfort him,
And we with sober speed will follow you.
My lord, I beseech you, give me leave to go through Gloucestershire:
and, when you come to court, stand my good lord, pray, in your good
Fare you well, Falstaff: I, in my condition,
Shall better speak of you than you deserve.
[Exeunt all but Falstaff.]
I would you had but the wit: 'twere better than your dukedom.
Good faith, this same young sober-blooded boy doth not love me;
nor a man cannot make him laugh; but that 's no marvel, he drinks
no wine. There 's never none of these demure boys come to any proof;
for thin drink doth so over-cool their blood, and making many
fish-meals, that they fall into a kind of male green-sickness; and
then, when they marry, they get wenches: they are generally fools
and cowards; which some of us should be too, but for inflammation.
A good sherris-sack hath a two-fold operation in it. It ascends me
into the brain; dries me there all the foolish and dull and crudy
vapours which environ it; makes it apprehensive, quick, forgetive,
full of nimble fiery and delectable shapes; which, delivered o'er to
the voice, the tongue, which is the birth, becomes excellent wit.
The second property of your excellent sherris is, the warming of the
blood; which, before cold and settled, left the liver white and pale,
which is the badge of pusillanimity and cowardice; but the sherris
warms it and makes it course from the inwards to the parts extremes:
it illumineth the face, which as a beacon gives warning to all
the rest of this little kingdom, man, to arm; and then the vital
commoners and inland petty spirits muster me all to their captain, the
heart, who, great and puffed up with this retinue, doth any deed of
courage; and this valour comes of sherris. So that skill in the weapon
is nothing without sack, for that sets it a-work; and learning a mere
hoard of gold kept by a devil, till sack commences it and sets it in
act and use. Hereof comes it that Prince Harry is valiant; for the
cold blood he did naturally inherit of his father, he hath, like lean,
sterile and bare land, manured, husbanded and tilled with excellent
endeavour of drinking good and good store of fertile sherris, that he
is become very hot and valiant. If I had a thousand sons, the first
humane principle I would teach them should be, to forswear thin
potations and to addict themselves to sack.
How now, Bardolph!
The army is discharged all and gone.
Let them go. I'll through Gloucestershire; and there will I visit
Master Robert Shallow, esquire: I have him already tempering between
my finger and my thumb, and shortly will I seal with him. Come away.
SCENE IV. Westminster. The Jerusalem Chamber.
[Enter the King, the Princes Thomas of Clarence and Humphrey of
Gloucester, Warwick, and others.]
Now, lords, if God doth give successful end
To this debate that bleedeth at our doors,
We will our youth lead on to higher fields
And draw no swords but what are sanctified.
Our navy is address'd, our power collected,
Our substitutes in absence well invested,
And every thing lies level to our wish:
Only, we want a little personal strength;
And pause us, till these rebels, now afoot,
Come underneath the yoke of government.
Both which we doubt not but your majesty
Shall soon enjoy.
Humphrey, my son of Gloucester,
Where is the prince your brother?
I think he 's gone to hunt, my lord, at Windsor.
And how accompanied?
I do not know, my lord.
Is not his brother, Thomas of Clarence, with him?
No, my good lord; he is in presence here.
What would my lord and father?
Nothing but well to thee, Thomas of Clarence.
How chance thou art not with the prince thy brother?
He loves thee, and thou dost neglect him, Thomas;
Thou hast a better place in his affection
Than all thy brothers: cherish it, my boy,
And noble offices thou mayst effect
Of mediation, after I am dead,
Between his greatness and thy other brethren:
Therefore omit him not; blunt not his love,
Nor lose the good advantage of his grace
By seeming cold or careless of his will;
For he is gracious, if he be observed.
He hath a tear for pity and a hand
Open as day for melting charity:
Yet notwithstanding, being incensed, he 's flint;
As humorous as winter and as sudden
As flaws congealed in the spring of day.
His temper, therefore, must be well observed:
Chide him for faults, and do it reverently,
When you perceive his blood inclined to mirth;
But, being moody, give him line and scope,
Till that his passions, like a whale on ground,
Confound themselves with working. Learn this, Thomas,
And thou shalt prove a shelter to thy friends,
A hoop of gold to bind thy brothers in,
That the united vessel of their blood,
Mingled with venom of suggestion--
As, force perforce, the age will pour it in--
Shall never leak, though it do work as strong
As aconitum or rash gunpowder.
I shall observe him with all care and love.
Why art thou not at Windsor with him, Thomas?
He is not there to-day; he dines in London.
And how accompanied? canst thou tell that?
With Poins, and other his continual followers.
Most subject is the fattest soil to weeds;
And he, the noble image of my youth,
Is overspread with them: therefore my grief
Stretches itself beyond the hour of death:
The blood weeps from my heart when I do shape
In forms imaginary the unguided days
And rotten times that you shall look upon
When I am sleeping with my ancestors.
For when his headstrong riot hath no curb,
When rage and hot blood are his counsellors,
When means and lavish manners meet together,
O, with what wings shall his affections fly
Towards fronting peril and opposed decay!
My gracious lord, you look beyond him quite:
The prince but studies his companions
Like a strange tongue, wherein, to gain the language,
'Tis needful that the most immodest word
Be look'd upon and learn'd; which once attain'd,
Your highness knows, comes to no further use
But to be known and hated. So, like gross terms,
The prince will in the perfectness of time
Cast off his followers; and their memory
Shall as a pattern or a measure live,
By which his grace must mete the lives of other,
Turning past evils to advantages.
'Tis seldom when the bee doth leave her comb
In the dead carrion.
Who's here? Westmoreland?
Health to my sovereign, and new happiness
Added to that that I am to deliver!
Prince John your son doth kiss your grace's hand:
Mowbray, the Bishop Scroop, Hastings and all
Are brought to the correction of your law;
There is not now a rebel's sword unsheathed,
But Peace puts forth her olive every where.
The manner how this action hath been borne
Here at more leisure may your highness read,
With every course in his particular.
O Westmoreland, thou art a summer bird,
Which ever in the haunch of winter sings
The lifting up of day.
Look, here 's more news.
From enemies heaven keep your majesty;
And, when they stand against you, may they fall
As those that I am come to tell you of!
The Earl Northumberland and the Lord Bardolph,
With a great power of English and of Scots,
Are by the sheriff of Yorkshire overthrown:
The manner and true order of the fight
This packet, please it you, contains at large.
And wherefore should these good news make me sick?
Will Fortune never come with both hands full,
But write her fair words still in foulest letters?
She either gives a stomach and no food;
Such are the poor, in health; or else a feast
And takes away the stomach; such are the rich,
That have abundance and enjoy it not.
I should rejoice now at this happy news;
And now my sight fails, and my brain is giddy:
O me! come near me; now I am much ill.
Comfort, your majesty!
O my royal father!
My sovereign lord, cheer up yourself, look up.
Be patient, princes; you do know, these fits
Are with his highness very ordinary.
Stand from him, give him air; he'll straight be well.
No, no, he cannot long hold out these pangs:
The incessant care and labour of his mind
Hath wrought the mure that should confine it in
So thin that life looks through and will break out.
The people fear me; for they do observe
Unfather'd heirs and loathly births of nature:
The seasons change their manners, as the year
Had found some months asleep, and leap'd them over.
The river hath thrice flow'd, no ebb between;
And the old folk, time's doting chronicles,
Say it did so a little time before
That our great-grandsire, Edward, sick'd and died.
Speak lower, princes, for the king recovers.
This apoplexy will certain be his end.
I pray you, take me up, and bear me hence
Into some other chamber: softly, pray.
SCENE V. Another chamber.
[The King lying on a bed: Clarence, Gloucester, Warwick,
and others in attendance.]
Let there be no noise made, my gentle friends;
Unless some dull and favourable hand
Will whisper music to my weary spirit.
Call for the music in the other room.
Set me the crown upon my pillow here.
His eye is hollow, and he changes much.
Less noise! less noise!
[Enter Prince Henry.]
Who saw the Duke of Clarence?
I am here, brother, full of heaviness.
How now! rain within doors, and none abroad!
How doth the king?
Back to Full Books