Henry IV, Part I - Act 5

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ACT V of Henry the Fourth, Part 1
SCENE I. KING HENRY IV's camp near Shrewsbury.
How bloodily the sun begins to peer Above yon busky hill! the day looks pale
At his distemperature. PRINCE HENRY
The southern wind Doth play the trumpet to his purposes,
And by his hollow whistling in the leaves Foretells a tempest and a blustering day.
KING HENRY IV Then with the losers let it sympathize,
For nothing can seem foul to those that win. The trumpet sounds
How now, my Lord of Worcester! 'tis not well That you and I should meet upon such terms
As now we meet. You have deceived our trust, And made us doff our easy robes of peace,
To crush our old limbs in ungentle steel: This is not well, my lord, this is not well.
What say you to it? will you again unknit This curlish knot of all-abhorred war?
And move in that obedient orb again Where you did give a fair and natural light,
And be no more an exhaled meteor, A prodigy of fear and a portent
Of broached mischief to the unborn times? EARL OF WORCESTER
Hear me, my liege: For mine own part, I could be well content
To entertain the lag-end of my life With quiet hours; for I do protest,
I have not sought the day of this dislike. KING HENRY IV
You have not sought it! how comes it, then? FALSTAFF
Rebellion lay in his way, and he found it. PRINCE HENRY
Peace, chewet, peace! EARL OF WORCESTER
It pleased your majesty to turn your looks Of favour from myself and all our house;
And yet I must remember you, my lord, We were the first and dearest of your friends.
For you my staff of office did I break In Richard's time; and posted day and night
to meet you on the way, and kiss your hand, When yet you were in place and in account
Nothing so strong and fortunate as I. It was myself, my brother and his son,
That brought you home and boldly did outdare The dangers of the time. You swore to us,
And you did swear that oath at Doncaster, That you did nothing purpose 'gainst the state;
Nor claim no further than your new-fall'n right,
The seat of Gaunt, dukedom of Lancaster: To this we swore our aid. But in short space
It rain'd down fortune showering on your head; And such a flood of greatness fell on you,
What with our help, what with the absent king, What with the injuries of a wanton time,
The seeming sufferances that you had borne, And the contrarious winds that held the king
So long in his unlucky Irish wars That all in England did repute him dead:
And from this swarm of fair advantages You took occasion to be quickly woo'd
To gripe the general sway into your hand; Forget your oath to us at Doncaster;
And being fed by us you used us so As that ungentle hull, the cuckoo's bird,
Useth the sparrow; did oppress our nest; Grew by our feeding to so great a bulk
That even our love durst not come near your sight
For fear of swallowing; but with nimble wing We were enforced, for safety sake, to fly
Out of sight and raise this present head; Whereby we stand opposed by such means
As you yourself have forged against yourself By unkind usage, dangerous countenance,
And violation of all faith and troth Sworn to us in your younger enterprise.
KING HENRY IV These things indeed you have articulate,
Proclaim'd at market-crosses, read in churches, To face the garment of rebellion
With some fine colour that may please the eye
Of fickle changelings and poor discontents, Which gape and rub the elbow at the news
Of hurlyburly innovation: And never yet did insurrection want
Such water-colours to impaint his cause; Nor moody beggars, starving for a time
Of pellmell havoc and confusion. PRINCE HENRY
In both your armies there is many a soul Shall pay full dearly for this encounter,
If once they join in trial. Tell your nephew, The Prince of Wales doth join with all the
world In praise of Henry Percy: by my hopes,
This present enterprise set off his head, I do not think a braver gentleman,
More active-valiant or more valiant-young, More daring or more bold, is now alive
To grace this latter age with noble deeds. For my part, I may speak it to my shame,
I have a truant been to chivalry; And so I hear he doth account me too;
Yet this before my father's majesty— I am content that he shall take the odds
Of his great name and estimation, And will, to save the blood on either side,
Try fortune with him in a single fight. KING HENRY IV
And, Prince of Wales, so dare we venture thee, Albeit considerations infinite
Do make against it. No, good Worcester, no, We love our people well; even those we love
That are misled upon your cousin's part; And, will they take the offer of our grace,
Both he and they and you, every man Shall be my friend again and I'll be his:
So tell your cousin, and bring me word What he will do: but if he will not yield,
Rebuke and dread correction wait on us And they shall do their office. So, be gone;
We will not now be troubled with reply: We offer fair; take it advisedly.
PRINCE HENRY It will not be accepted, on my life:
The Douglas and the Hotspur both together Are confident against the world in arms.
KING HENRY IV Hence, therefore, every leader to his charge;
For, on their answer, will we set on them: And God befriend us, as our cause is just!
Exeunt all but PRINCE HENRY and FALSTAFF
FALSTAFF Hal, if thou see me down in the battle and
bestride me, so; 'tis a point of friendship.
PRINCE HENRY Nothing but a colossus can do thee that friendship.
Say thy prayers, and farewell. FALSTAFF
I would 'twere bed-time, Hal, and all well. PRINCE HENRY
Why, thou owest God a death. Exit PRINCE HENRY
FALSTAFF 'Tis not due yet; I would be loath to pay
him before his day. What need I be so forward with him
that calls not on me? Well, 'tis no matter; honour
pricks me on. Yea, but how if honour prick me off
when I come on? how then? Can honour set to a leg?
no: or an arm? no: or take away the grief of a wound?
no. Honour hath no skill in surgery, then? no.
What is honour? a word. What is in that word honour?
what is that honour? air. A trim reckoning! Who
hath it? he that died o' Wednesday. Doth he feel it?
no. Doth he hear it? no. 'Tis insensible, then.
Yea, to the dead. But will it not live with the
living? no. Why? detraction will not suffer it. Therefore
I'll none of it. Honour is a mere scutcheon: and so
ends my catechism. Exit
SCENE II. The rebel camp.
O, no, my nephew must not know, Sir Richard, The liberal and kind offer of the king.
VERNON 'Twere best he did.
EARL OF WORCESTER Then are we all undone.
It is not possible, it cannot be, The king should keep his word in loving us;
He will suspect us still and find a time To punish this offence in other faults:
Suspicion all our lives shall be stuck full of eyes;
For treason is but trusted like the fox, Who, ne'er so tame, so cherish'd and lock'd
up, Will have a wild trick of his ancestors.
Look how we can, or sad or merrily, Interpretation will misquote our looks,
And we shall feed like oxen at a stall, The better cherish'd, still the nearer death.
My nephew's trespass may be well forgot; it hath the excuse of youth and heat of blood,
And an adopted name of privilege, A hair-brain'd Hotspur, govern'd by a spleen:
All his offences live upon my head And on his father's; we did train him on,
And, his corruption being ta'en from us, We, as the spring of all, shall pay for all.
Therefore, good cousin, let not Harry know, In any case, the offer of the king.
VERNON Deliver what you will; I'll say 'tis so.
Here comes your cousin. Enter HOTSPUR and DOUGLAS
HOTSPUR My uncle is return'd:
Deliver up my Lord of Westmoreland. Uncle, what news?
EARL OF WORCESTER The king will bid you battle presently.
EARL OF DOUGLAS Defy him by the Lord of Westmoreland.
HOTSPUR Lord Douglas, go you and tell him so.
EARL OF DOUGLAS Marry, and shall, and very willingly.
EARL OF WORCESTER There is no seeming mercy in the king.
HOTSPUR Did you beg any? God forbid!
EARL OF WORCESTER I told him gently of our grievances,
Of his oath-breaking; which he mended thus, By now forswearing that he is forsworn:
He calls us rebels, traitors; and will scourge With haughty arms this hateful name in us.
Re-enter the EARL OF DOUGLAS
EARL OF DOUGLAS Arm, gentlemen; to arms! for I have thrown
A brave defiance in King Henry's teeth, And Westmoreland, that was engaged, did bear
it; Which cannot choose but bring him quickly
The Prince of Wales stepp'd forth before the king,
And, nephew, challenged you to single fight. HOTSPUR
O, would the quarrel lay upon our heads, And that no man might draw short breath today
But I and Harry Monmouth! Tell me, tell me, How show'd his tasking? seem'd it in contempt?
VERNON No, by my soul; I never in my life
Did hear a challenge urged more modestly, Unless a brother should a brother dare
To gentle exercise and proof of arms. He gave you all the duties of a man;
Trimm'd up your praises with a princely tongue, Spoke to your deservings like a chronicle,
Making you ever better than his praise By still dispraising praise valued in you;
And, which became him like a prince indeed, He made a blushing cital of himself;
And chid his truant youth with such a grace As if he master'd there a double spirit.
Of teaching and of learning instantly. There did he pause: but let me tell the world,
If he outlive the envy of this day, England did never owe so sweet a hope,
So much misconstrued in his wantonness. HOTSPUR
Cousin, I think thou art enamoured On his follies: never did I hear
Of any prince so wild a libertine. But be he as he will, yet once ere night
I will embrace him with a soldier's arm, That he shall shrink under my courtesy.
Arm, arm with speed: and, fellows, soldiers, friends,
Better consider what you have to do Than I, that have not well the gift of tongue,
Can lift your blood up with persuasion. Enter a Messenger
Messenger My lord, here are letters for you.
HOTSPUR I cannot read them now.
O gentlemen, the time of life is short! To spend that shortness basely were too long,
If life did ride upon a dial's point, Still ending at the arrival of an hour.
An if we live, we live to tread on kings; If die, brave death, when princes die with
us! Now, for our consciences, the arms are fair,
When the intent of bearing them is just. Enter another Messenger
Messenger My lord, prepare; the king comes on apace.
HOTSPUR I thank him, that he cuts me from my tale,
For I profess not talking; only this— Let each man do his best: and here draw I
A sword, whose temper I intend to stain With the best blood that I can meet withal
In the adventure of this perilous day. Now, Esperance! Percy! and set on.
Sound all the lofty instruments of war, And by that music let us all embrace;
For, heaven to earth, some of us never shall A second time do such a courtesy.
The trumpets sound. They embrace, and exeunt
SCENE III. Plain between the camps.
KING HENRY enters with his power. Alarum to the battle. Then enter DOUGLAS and SIR WALTER
What is thy name, that in the battle thus Thou crossest me? what honour dost thou seek
Upon my head? EARL OF DOUGLAS
Know then, my name is Douglas; And I do haunt thee in the battle thus
Because some tell me that thou art a king. SIR WALTER BLUNT
They tell thee true. EARL OF DOUGLAS
The Lord of Stafford dear to-day hath bought Thy likeness, for instead of thee, King Harry,
This sword hath ended him: so shall it thee, Unless thou yield thee as my prisoner.
SIR WALTER BLUNT I was not born a yielder, thou proud Scot;
And thou shalt find a king that will revenge Lord Stafford's death.
HOTSPUR O Douglas, hadst thou fought at Holmedon thus,
never had triumph'd upon a Scot. EARL OF DOUGLAS
All's done, all's won; here breathless lies the king.
HOTSPUR This, Douglas? no: I know this face full well:
A gallant knight he was, his name was Blunt; Semblably furnish'd like the king himself.
EARL OF DOUGLAS A fool go with thy soul, whither it goes!
A borrow'd title hast thou bought too dear: Why didst thou tell me that thou wert a king?
HOTSPUR The king hath many marching in his coats.
EARL OF DOUGLAS Now, by my sword, I will kill all his coats;
I'll murder all his wardrobe, piece by piece, Until I meet the king.
HOTSPUR Up, and away!
Our soldiers stand full fairly for the day. Exeunt
Alarum. Enter FALSTAFF, solus
FALSTAFF Though I could 'scape shot-free at London,
I fear the shot here; here's no scoring but upon
the pate. Soft! who are you? Sir Walter Blunt: there's
honour for you! here's no vanity! I am as hot as
moulten lead, and as heavy too: God keep lead out
of me! I need no more weight than mine own bowels.
I have led my ragamuffins where they are peppered:
there's not three of my hundred and fifty left alive;
and they are for the town's end, to beg during
life. But who comes here?
PRINCE HENRY What, stand'st thou idle here? lend me thy
sword: Many a nobleman lies stark and stiff
Under the hoofs of vaunting enemies, Whose deaths are yet unrevenged: I prithee,
lend me thy sword. FALSTAFF
O Hal, I prithee, give me leave to breathe awhile.
Turk Gregory never did such deeds in arms as I have
done this day. I have paid Percy, I have made him sure.
PRINCE HENRY He is, indeed; and living to kill thee. I
prithee, lend me thy sword.
FALSTAFF Nay, before God, Hal, if Percy be alive, thou
get'st not my sword; but take my pistol, if thou
Give it to me: what, is it in the case? FALSTAFF
Ay, Hal; 'tis hot, 'tis hot; there's that will sack a city.
PRINCE HENRY draws it out, and finds it to be a bottle of sack
PRINCE HENRY What, is it a time to jest and dally now?
He throws the bottle at him. Exit
FALSTAFF Well, if Percy be alive, I'll pierce him.
If he do come in my way, so: if he do not, if I come
in his willingly, let him make a carbonado of me.
I like not such grinning honour as Sir Walter hath:
give me life: which if I can save, so; if not, honour
comes unlooked for, and there's an end.
SCENE IV. Another part of the field.
KING HENRY IV I prithee,
Harry, withdraw thyself; thou bleed'st too much.
Lord John of Lancaster, go you with him. LANCASTER
Not I, my lord, unless I did bleed too. PRINCE HENRY
I beseech your majesty, make up, Lest your retirement do amaze your friends.
KING HENRY IV I will do so.
My Lord of Westmoreland, lead him to his tent. WESTMORELAND
Come, my lord, I'll lead you to your tent. PRINCE HENRY
Lead me, my lord? I do not need your help: And God forbid a shallow scratch should drive
The Prince of Wales from such a field as this, Where stain'd nobility lies trodden on,
and rebels' arms triumph in massacres! LANCASTER
We breathe too long: come, cousin Westmoreland, Our duty this way lies; for God's sake come.
PRINCE HENRY By God, thou hast deceived me, Lancaster;
I did not think thee lord of such a spirit: Before, I loved thee as a brother, John;
But now, I do respect thee as my soul. KING HENRY IV
I saw him hold Lord Percy at the point With lustier maintenance than I did look for
Of such an ungrown warrior. PRINCE HENRY
O, this boy Lends mettle to us all!
EARL OF DOUGLAS Another king! they grow like Hydra's heads:
I am the Douglas, fatal to all those That wear those colours on them: what art
thou, That counterfeit'st the person of a king?
KING HENRY IV The king himself; who, Douglas, grieves at
heart So many of his shadows thou hast met
And not the very king. I have two boys Seek Percy and thyself about the field:
But, seeing thou fall'st on me so luckily, I will assay thee: so, defend thyself.
EARL OF DOUGLAS I fear thou art another counterfeit;
And yet, in faith, thou bear'st thee like a king:
But mine I am sure thou art, whoe'er thou be,
And thus I win thee. They fight. KING HENRY being in danger, PRINCE
HENRY enters
PRINCE HENRY Hold up thy head, vile Scot, or thou art like
Never to hold it up again! the spirits Of valiant Shirley, Stafford, Blunt, are in
my arms: It is the Prince of Wales that threatens thee;
Who never promiseth but he means to pay. They fight: DOUGLAS flies
Cheerly, my lord how fares your grace? Sir Nicholas Gawsey hath for succor sent,
And so hath Clifton: I'll to Clifton straight. KING HENRY IV
Stay, and breathe awhile: Thou hast redeem'd thy lost opinion,
And show'd thou makest some tender of my life, In this fair rescue thou hast brought to me.
PRINCE HENRY O God! they did me too much injury
That ever said I hearken'd for your death. If it were so, I might have let alone
The insulting hand of Douglas over you, Which would have been as speedy in your end
As all the poisonous potions in the world And saved the treacherous labour of your son.
KING HENRY IV Make up to Clifton: I'll to Sir Nicholas Gawsey.
HOTSPUR If I mistake not, thou art Harry Monmouth.
PRINCE HENRY Thou speak'st as if I would deny my name.
HOTSPUR My name is Harry Percy.
PRINCE HENRY Why, then I see
A very valiant rebel of the name. I am the Prince of Wales; and think not, Percy,
To share with me in glory any more: Two stars keep not their motion in one sphere;
Nor can one England brook a double reign, Of Harry Percy and the Prince of Wales.
HOTSPUR Nor shall it, Harry; for the hour is come
To end the one of us; and would to God Thy name in arms were now as great as mine!
PRINCE HENRY I'll make it greater ere I part from thee;
And all the budding honours on thy crest I'll crop, to make a garland for my head.
HOTSPUR I can no longer brook thy vanities.
They fight
FALSTAFF Well said, Hal! to it Hal! Nay, you shall
find no boy's play here, I can tell you.
Re-enter DOUGLAS; he fights with FALSTAFF, who falls down as if he were dead, and exit
DOUGLAS. HOTSPUR is wounded, and falls
HOTSPUR O, Harry, thou hast robb'd me of my youth!
I better brook the loss of brittle life Than those proud titles thou hast won of me;
They wound my thoughts worse than sword my flesh:
But thought's the slave of life, and life time's fool;
And time, that takes survey of all the world, Must have a stop. O, I could prophesy,
But that the earthy and cold hand of death Lies on my tongue: no, Percy, thou art dust
And food for— Dies
PRINCE HENRY For worms, brave Percy: fare thee well, great
heart! Ill-weaved ambition, how much art thou shrunk!
When that this body did contain a spirit, A kingdom for it was too small a bound;
But now two paces of the vilest earth Is room enough: this earth that bears thee
dead Bears not alive so stout a gentleman.
If thou wert sensible of courtesy, I should not make so dear a show of zeal:
But let my favours hide thy mangled face; And, even in thy behalf, I'll thank myself
For doing these fair rites of tenderness. Adieu, and take thy praise with thee to heaven!
Thy ignominy sleep with thee in the grave, But not remember'd in thy epitaph!
He spieth FALSTAFF on the ground
What, old acquaintance! could not all this flesh
Keep in a little life? Poor Jack, farewell! I could have better spared a better man:
O, I should have a heavy miss of thee, If I were much in love with vanity!
Death hath not struck so fat a deer to-day, Though many dearer, in this bloody fray.
Embowell'd will I see thee by and by: Till then in blood by noble Percy lie.
FALSTAFF [Rising up] Embowelled! if thou embowel me
to-day, I'll give you leave to powder me and eat me
too to-morrow. 'Sblood,'twas time to counterfeit,
or that hot termagant Scot had paid me scot and
lot too. Counterfeit? I lie, I am no counterfeit: to
die, is to be a counterfeit; for he is but the
counterfeit of a man who hath not the life of a man:
but to counterfeit dying, when a man thereby liveth, is to be no counterfeit, but the true
and perfect image of life indeed. The better part
of valour is discretion; in the which better
part I have saved my life.'Zounds, I am afraid of
this gunpowder Percy, though he be dead: how, if
he should counterfeit too and rise? by my faith,
I am afraid he would prove the better counterfeit.
Therefore I'll make him sure; yea, and I'll swear I
killed him. Why may not he rise as well as I?
Nothing confutes me but eyes, and nobody sees me.
Therefore, sirrah, Stabbing him
with a new wound in your thigh, come you along with me.
Takes up HOTSPUR on his back
PRINCE HENRY Come, brother John; full bravely hast thou
flesh'd Thy maiden sword.
LANCASTER But, soft! whom have we here?
Did you not tell me this fat man was dead? PRINCE HENRY
I did; I saw him dead, Breathless and bleeding on the ground. Art
thou alive? Or is it fantasy that plays upon our eyesight?
I prithee, speak; we will not trust our eyes Without our ears: thou art not what thou seem'st.
FALSTAFF No, that's certain; I am not a double man:
but if I be not Jack Falstaff, then am I a Jack. There
is Percy: Throwing the body down
if your father will do me any honour, so; if not, let
him kill the next Percy himself. I look to be either
earl or duke, I can assure you. PRINCE HENRY
Why, Percy I killed myself and saw thee dead. FALSTAFF
Didst thou? Lord, Lord, how this world is given to
lying! I grant you I was down and out of breath; and so was he: but we rose both at an instant
and fought a long hour by Shrewsbury clock. If
I may be believed, so; if not, let them that should
reward valour bear the sin upon their own heads.
I'll take it upon my death, I gave him this wound in
the thigh: if the man were alive and would deny
it, 'zounds, I would make him eat a piece of my
This is the strangest tale that ever I heard. PRINCE HENRY
This is the strangest fellow, brother John. Come, bring your luggage nobly on your back:
For my part, if a lie may do thee grace, I'll gild it with the happiest terms I have.
A retreat is sounded
The trumpet sounds retreat; the day is ours. Come, brother, let us to the highest of the
field, To see what friends are living, who are dead.
FALSTAFF I'll follow, as they say, for reward. He that
rewards me, God reward him! If I do grow great, I'll grow less; for I'll purge, and leave
sack, and live cleanly as a nobleman should do.
SCENE V. Another part of the field.
Thus ever did rebellion find rebuke. Ill-spirited Worcester! did not we send grace,
Pardon and terms of love to all of you? And wouldst thou turn our offers contrary?
Misuse the tenor of thy kinsman's trust? Three knights upon our party slain to-day,
A noble earl and many a creature else Had been alive this hour,
If like a Christian thou hadst truly borne Betwixt our armies true intelligence.
EARL OF WORCESTER What I have done my safety urged me to;
And I embrace this fortune patiently, Since not to be avoided it falls on me.
KING HENRY IV Bear Worcester to the death and Vernon too:
Other offenders we will pause upon. Exeunt WORCESTER and VERNON, guarded
How goes the field? PRINCE HENRY
The noble Scot, Lord Douglas, when he saw The fortune of the day quite turn'd from him,
The noble Percy slain, and all his men Upon the foot of fear, fled with the rest;
And falling from a hill, he was so bruised That the pursuers took him. At my tent
The Douglas is; and I beseech your grace I may dispose of him.
KING HENRY IV With all my heart.
PRINCE HENRY Then, brother John of Lancaster, to you
This honourable bounty shall belong: Go to the Douglas, and deliver him
Up to his pleasure, ransomless and free: His valour shown upon our crests to-day
Hath taught us how to cherish such high deeds Even in the bosom of our adversaries.
LANCASTER I thank your grace for this high courtesy,
Which I shall give away immediately. KING HENRY IV
Then this remains, that we divide our power. You, son John, and my cousin Westmoreland
Towards York shall bend you with your dearest speed,
To meet Northumberland and the prelate Scroop, Who, as we hear, are busily in arms:
Myself and you, son Harry, will towards Wales, To fight with Glendower and the Earl of March.
Rebellion in this land shall lose his sway, Meeting the cheque of such another day:
And since this business so fair is done, Let us not leave till all our own be won.
End of Act V.
End of Henry the Fourth, Part 1 by William Shakespeare