Page images
PDF
EPUB

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, Espérance!-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 near Shrewsbury.

Excursions, and Parties fighting. Alarum to the Battle. Then enter DOUGLAS and BLUNT, meeting.

Blunt. What is thy name, that in the battle thus Thou crossest me? what honour dost thou seek Upon my head ?

Doug. Know, then, my name is Douglas; And I do haunt thee in the battle thus, Because some tell me that thou art a king.

Blunt. They tell thee true.

Doug. 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.

Blunt. I was not born a yielder, thou proud Scot;
And thou shalt find a king that will revenge
Lord Stafford's death.

[They fight, and BLUNT is slain.

Enter HOTSPUR.

Hot. O Douglas, hadst thou fought at Holmedon thus,
I never had triumph'd upon a Scot.

Doug. All's done, all's won; here breathless lies the king.
Hot. Where?

Doug. Here.

Hot. This, Douglas? no, I know this face full well:
A gallant knight he was, his name was Blunt;
Semblablyt furnish'd like the king himself.

Doug. 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?

Hot. The king hath many marching in his coats.
Doug. Now, by my sword, I will kill all his coats;
I'll murder all his wardrobe, piece by piece,
Until I meet the king.

Hot. Up, and away;

Our soldiers stand full fairly for the day.

*I.c. wagered against.

+ Similarly.

[Exeunt.

Other Alarums.-Enter FALSTAFF.

Fal. Though I could 'scape shot-free at London, I fear the shot here; here's no scoring, but upon the pate.-Soft! who art thou? Sir Walter Blunt; there's honour for you; Here's no vanity!-I am as hot as molten lead, and as heavy too: God keep lead out of me! I need no more weight than mine own bowels.-I have led my raggamuffins where they are peppered: there's but three of my hundred and fifty left alive; and they are for the town's end, to beg during life. But who comes here?

Enter PRINCE HENRY.

P. Hen. 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 unrevenged: Pr'ythee, lend thy sword.

Fal. O Hal, I pr'ythee, give me leave to breathe a while. Turk Gregory* never did such deeds in arms, as I have done this day. I have paid Percy, I have made him sure.

P. Hen. He is, indeed, and living to kill thee. sword, I pr'ythee.

Lend me thy

Fal. Nay, before God, Hal, if Percy be alive, thou get'st not my sword; but take my pistol, if thou wilt.

P. Hen. Give it me: What, is it in the case?

Fal. Ay, Hal; 'tis hot, 'tis hot; there's that will sack a city. [The Prince draws out a bottle of sack. P. Hen. What is't a time to jest and dally now?

[Throws it at him and exit. Fal. 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 carbonadot 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.

[Exit.

SCENE IV-Another part of the Field.

Alarums. Excursions.-Enter the KING, PRINCE HENRY, PRINCE JOHN, and WESTMORELAND.

K. Hen. I pr'ythee,

Harry, withdraw thyself; thou bleedst too much:-
Lord John of Lancaster, go you with him.

P. John. Not I, my lord, unless I did bleed too.
P. Hen. I do beseech your majesty, make up,
Lest your retirement do amaze your friends.

K. Hen. I will do so :

My lord of Westmoreland, lead him to his tent.

West. Come, my lord, I will lead you to your tent.
P. Hen. Lead me, my lord, I do not need your help:
And heaven forbid, a shallow scratch should drive
The prince of Wales from such a field as this;
Where stain'd nobility lies trodden on,

*I. e. Pope Gregory VII.

† A piece of meat cut crossways for the gridiron.

And rebels' arms triumph in massacres !

P. John. We breathe too long: come, cousin Westmoreland,

Our duty this way lies: for God's sake, come.

[Exeunt PRINCE JOHN and WESTMORELAND.
P. Hen. By heaven, 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.

K. Hen. I saw him hold lord Percy at the point,
With lustier maintenance than I did look for
Of such an ungrown warrior.

P. Hen. O, this boy
Lends mettle to us all!

Alarums.-Enter DOUGLAS.

Doug. 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?

K. Hen. The king himself; who, Douglas grieves at hèart,
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.

Doug. 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.

[Exit.

[They fight; the KING being in danger, enter PRINCE HENRY. P. Hen. Hold up thy head, vile Scot, or thou art like Never to hold it up again! the spirits Of Shirley, Stafford, Blunt, are in my arms: It is the prince of Wales, that threatens thee; Who never promiseth, but he means to pay.

Cheerly, my lord; How fares your grace?—
Sir Nicholas Gawsey hath for succour sent,
And so hath Clifton; I'll to Clifton straight.

[They fight; DOUGLAS flies.

K. Hen. Stay, and breathe awhile:-
Thou hast redeem'd thy lost opinion;*
And show'd thou mak'st some tender of my life,
In this fair rescue thou hast brought to me.

P. Hen. O heaven! 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.

K. Hen. Make up to Clifton, I'll to Sir Nicholas Gawsey.

[Exit KING HENRY.

* Reputation.

Enter HOTSPUR.

Hot. If I mistake not, thou art Harry Monmouth.
P. Hen. Thou speak'st as if I would deny my name.
Hot. My name is Harry Percy.

P. Hen. 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.

Hot. 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!

P. Hen. 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.

Hot. I can no longer brook thy vanities.

Enter FALSTAFF.

[They fight,

Fal. Well said, Hal! to it, Hal!-Nay, you shall find no boy's play here, I can tell you.

Enter DOUGLAS; he fights with FALSTAFF, who falls down as if he were dead, and exit DOUGLAS. HOTSPUR is wounded, and falls.

Hot. 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 thy 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.

P. Hen. 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 ignomy sleep with thee in the grave,
But not remember'd in thy epitaph!-

[He sees FALSTAFF on the ground. * Scarf.

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.

[Exit.

Fal. [rising slowly]. Embowelled! if thou embowel me to.. I'll give you leave to po ert me and eat m 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? 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 HOTSPUR on his back. Re-enter PRINCE HENRY, and PRINCE JOHN.

P. Hen. Come, brother John, full bravely hast thou fleshed Thy maiden sword.

P. John. But, soft! whom have we here?

Did you not tell me, this fat man was dead?

P. Hen. I did; I saw him dead, breathless and bleeding Upon the ground.-

Art thou alive, or is it fantasy

That plays upon our eyesight? I pr'ythee, speak;
We will not trust our eyes, without our ears:-
Thou art not what thou seem'st.

Fal. 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.

P. Hen. Why, Percy I killed myself, and saw thee dead. Fal. 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 arose 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, I would make him eat a piece of my sword.

* I. e. for embalming.

+ Salt.

« PreviousContinue »