Henry IV Part 1 simplified

Synopsis

We were told right at the end of Richard II that the recently crowned Henry IV had plans to visit the Holy Land.  He had said “I’ll make a voyage to the Holy Land to wash this blood off from my guilty hand,” distressed as he was with the news that his cousin Richard (the late Richard II) had been stabbed to death by a murderer hired by one of his well-meaning but misguided supporters. Richard was being held at the time as the lone prisoner at Pomfret Castle. But events in Wales and Scotland demanded that the young king focus his attention at home, and he never made that planned visit.  Of Richard’s murder he had said “Though I did wish him dead, I hate the murderer, love him murdered.”

This play opens when the king learns that Harry Percy, known as Hotspur, the son of the earl of Northumberland, has captured thousands of Scottish troops, the good news in a mixed set of reports of military adventures.  Northumberland, Hotspur’s father, had been a key ally in Henry IV’s successful effort to depose Richard II.  The king becomes furious when he learns that Hotspur is refusing to release his prisoners to him; kings generally having their instructions followed. This play is as much about the king’s young son (Prince Hal to his friends; Prince Harry to his father) and the young Harry Percy (Hotspur) as it is about Henry IV.   

We soon learn that the young and impetuous Prince Hal, the Prince of Wales, has reluctantly agreed to indirectly participate in a robbery at Gad’s Hill, his willingness mostly based on his hope to embarrass his friend John Falstaff.  Knowing he needs to reform his behavior, the young prince says to himself “When I throw off this loose behavior, I’ll imitate the sun, ever loyal to his earth-bound dependents.”

We learn that after some discussions and negotiations that Hotspur is thinking about the possibility of releasing his prisoners to the king. But one of his conditions to the release of Scottish prisoners has been that the king in turn releases from prison his brother-in-law, Edmund Mortimer, the earl of March.  The king fears Mortimer as a threat to his crown, Richard II having suggested some time earlier that Mortimer be his successor.  Mortimer is Lionel’s grandson and Lionel was Edward III’s third son.  The king will have none or it, saying to Hotspur “Henceforth let me not hear you speak of Mortimer.” Henry IV is the son of Edward III’s fourth son and succession often depends on when you were born (or when your father or your grandfather was born), and it’s a sensitive subject.  Henry IV had sometime earlier said of Mortimer “On the barren mountains let him starve.” 

Later, Northumberland and his brother, Worcester, convince the spirited Hotspur to release all of his Scottish prisoners, except for Douglas.  Hotspur does.  Douglas, a young Scottish nobleman, known as the earl of Douglas, along with his buddy Hotspur, plans to defeat the king.  Both of these guys are aggressive and confident young men.  Also, separately and independently and importantly, Owen Glendower, the leader of the Welsh forces, releases Edmund Mortimer from prison.  Mortimer proceeds to marry Glendower’s daughter.  It’s also important to keep in mind that Edmund Mortimer’s sister is Hotspur’s wife, also known as Lady Percy or Kate.  Strong-willed Kate knows her husband, knows something is up and is frightened.  She lets her husband know how she feels.

Meanwhile, Prince Hal’s friends, Falstaff, Bardolph, Peto and Gadshill, rob the travelers at Gad’s Hill.  The instigator of the caper, Poins, along with Prince Hal, then robs Falstaff and the others, Falstaff being exposed for the coward he is. The double-robbery succeeds.  But the Gad’s Hill travelers contact the sheriff, who seeks out the “thieves” at the Eastcheap tavern.  Prince Hal settles up with the court and in the doing makes a commitment to himself that in the future he will conduct himself in a more fitting manner, considering who he is. 

Separately, with Owen Glendower as their leader, Northumberland, Worcester, Hotspur and Mortimer make plans to defeat the king.  As a side issue, the earl of Northumberland is the royal who early-on in the last play had been loyal to Richard II; then turned to Bolingbroke; then turned on Bolingbroke after he had become Henry IV.  During the meeting among the “rebels,” Hotspur is outspoken and defiantly criticizes Glendower.  Neither Glendower nor Hotspur’s father takes the criticism lightly.  Worcester takes his nephew (Hotspur) aside and lets him know that he has been out of line and that “he must learn to amend this fault.”  

Meanwhile the king and Prince Harry have a serious father-son conversation, the king letting him know that he and the country expect more from the young prince in terms of conduct and decorum.  During a sensitive and historic talk with his father, Prince Harry promises to redeem himself and make his father proud.  And he does. Laying it on the line, the king lets his son know that he is counting on him to join the earl of Westmorland, (Ralph Neville) the king’s half-sister’s husband and his main aide, along with the prince’s younger brother, John of Lancaster, the three of them to lead his forces against the rebels at Shrewsbury; a group that will include Worcester, Douglas, and Hotspur.  Prince Harry enlists Falstaff as one of his captains.  Meanwhile at Shrewsbury, Hotspur learns that his father (Northumberland) is reported to be ill and won’t be able to join them.  He also learns that Owen Glendower has been delayed for two weeks and will not arrive at Shrewsbury in time to help.  Richard Vernon, a close Hotspur ally, arrives and warns Hotspur that the king, his sons and Westmorland are approaching.  Vernon also informs him that Worcester has just arrived and that his men and horses are exhausted.  Despite these ominous signs, Douglas and Hotspur press forward. 

Representing the king, Sir Walter Blunt enters the rebel’s camp. On behalf of the king, Blunt asks Hotspur to describe his grievances.  In telling Blunt of his displeasure with Henry IV, Hotspur gives us a good history of the events that have led to this moment. On behalf of the king, Blunt offers Hotspur a pardon.  Hotspur tells Blunt that he will have an answer for the king in the morning.  Worcester and Vernon visit the king the next morning, telling him why they and others broke with Richard II, supporting him, Henry Bolingbroke, and now why they have turned on him as Henry IV. A gallant Prince Harry steps forward, offering a solution.  He offers to fight Hotspur in a one-on-one duel, an option “to save blood for both sides.” As a further concession, the king tells Worcester that he will pardon all the rebels, and that “every man shall be my friend again, and I’ll be his.”  But the king makes it clear: if Hotspur does not accept his offered pardon, then all bets are off and the battle will begin. 

Worcester and Vernon return to their camp.  But Worcester convinces Vernon that they dare not tell Hotspur of the pardon offer made by the king, arguing that if they accept the pardon, the king will in due course seek retribution for some other reason.  Worcester tells Hotspur that “the king will bid you battle presently.”  Hotspur then tells Douglas to visit the king and tell him that we “defy him,” which he does.  On his return to the rebel camp Douglas says “Arm, gentlemen, to arms, for I have thrown a brave defiance in King Henry’s teeth.”  It is at this point when Worcester tells Hotspur of the Prince’s one-on-one offer.  But Hotspur dismisses it as just so much talk.  Just before the fight is to begin, Shakespeare has Falstaff asking Prince Hal to treat him with special care. The battle of Shrewsbury is about to begin.  Hotspur boldly and beautifully encourages his men.

Blunt enters the battle disguised as the king.  He and Douglas fight and Blunt is killed.  Douglas reenters and engages the king in a fight, wounding him.  Prince Harry valiantly comes to his father’s aid.  Douglas flees.  Hotspur enters.  Prince Harry says to Hotspur “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.”  The prince and Hotspur fight.  Hotspur is killed.  The battle of Shrewsbury ends.  Worcester and Vernon are captured.  The king has them executed.  Douglas is captured and released.  The king gathers his forces to think about what might be the most appropriate way to deal with Northumberland, Glendower and Mortimer. 

Principal Characters

Falstaff.  Falstaff is a witty, prone to fibbing, heavy drinking, and cowardly ne’er-do-well friend of Prince Hal’s.  By using Falstaff as a foil, Shakespeare develops Prince Hal from an undisciplined youth to a supreme leader of men, in due course becoming one of England’s truly great kings, Henry V. 

Henry IV.  Henry IV is England’s king, having usurped the crown from his cousin Richard in Richard II; having gained wide-spread support from the public, while Richard II was losing favor.  Henry IV is the son of John of Gaunt through what is called the Legitimate line, there being another line, but that for another day.  John of Gaunt was Edward III’s fourth son and Edward III was the revered patriarch of all these kings and all these Plantagenets, the family’s surname. 

Hotspur.  Hotspur is Harry (or Henry) Percy, and is Northumberland’s son.   He and his father were introduced in Richard II as supporters of Bolingbroke.  Hotspur has a take-charge personality; harboring hopes to succeed Henry IV as England’s king.  Hotspur’s break with Henry IV comes as a result of the king’s unwillingness to release Edmund Mortimer from prison, his brother-in-law.  Hotspur is married to Kate (Lady Percy), Philippa’s daughter, Edmund Mortimer’s sister, Lionel’s granddaughter, Edward III’s great-granddaughter, making him a legitimate contender to England’s throne. 

Mortimer.  Mortimer is Edmund Mortimer, the second son of Philippa, who was the daughter of Lionel, Lionel being the duke of Clarence, Edward III’s third son.  Mortimer is married to Owen Glendower’s daughter, Glendower being a Welsh leader.  Mortimer had been designated by Richard II to be his successor.  Henry IV fears him for who he is and for his family connections.

Prince Harry.  Prince Harry is the Prince of Wales, known as Prince Harry to his father, as Prince Hal to his friends, and as Harry Monmouth to Hotspur, having been born in Monmouth, Wales.  As a young man, Prince Hal is perceived by the public as a rascal, mostly because of the suspect company he keeps.  He makes a commitment to his father midway through the play to conduct himself in a manner more fitting to his royal position, and then honors the commitment.

The Play


  • Act 1, Scene 1
  • King Henry IV and the Earl of Westmoreland are on stage. Domestic problems are such that the newly crowned king is thinking about postponing his crusade to the Holy Land, a trip he had planned following the assassination of Richard II.
  • HENRY IV
  • No more the thirsty entrance of this soil shall daub her lips with her own children's blood. No more shall trenching war channel her fields, nor bruise her flow'rets with the armed hoofs of hostile paces. The edge of war, like an ill-sheathed knife, no more shall cut his master. Let me hear of you, my gentle cousin Westmoreland, what yesternight our council did decree in forwarding this important expedition.
  • WESTMORELAND
  • Yesternight there came a post from Wales that the noble Mortimer against the irregular and wild Glendower was by the rude hands of that Welshman taken.
  • HENRY IV
  • It seems then that the tiding of this broil brake off our business for the Holy Land.
  • WESTMORELAND
  • This matched with other, more uneven and unwelcome news came from the north. The gallant Hotspur there, young Harry Percy, and brave Archibald, that ever valiant Scot, at Holmedon met, where they did spend a sad and bloody hour.
  • HENRY IV
  • A true-industrious friend, Sir Walter Blunt, brought us smooth and welcome news. The Earl of Douglas is discomfited; two and twenty knights, Mordake, Earl of Fife and eldest son of beaten Douglas. A gallant prize? Ha, cousin, is it not?
  • WESTMORELAND
  • In faith, it is a conquest for a prince to boast of.
  •  
  •  
  • Henry IV to Westmoreland
  •  
  • Ten thousand Scots balked in their own blood where
  • Others took horse did Sir Walter see there
  • On Holmedon's plains. There, on that blood-stained soil,
  • Young Harry Percy took prisoners, knights, and
  • Earls. Is this not an honorable spoil?
  • ‘Tis it not a grand conquest in this land
  • To boast of? Yea, there he makest me sad.
  • O, that it could be proved some fairy had
  • Exchanged our cradle-clothed children and lied
  • To all, then would I have his Harry and
  • He mine. That Hotspur is sweet Fortune's pride.
  • Do I envy my Lord Northumberland,
  • The father of so blest a son, who fought
  • The Scots nobly? But let him from my thought.
  • HENRY IV
  • What think you, coz, of this young Percy's pride? The prisoners which he in this adventure hath surprised to his own use he keeps, and sends me word I shall have none but Mordake, Earl of Fife.
  • WESTMORELAND
  • This is his uncle's teaching. This is Worcester, malevolent to you in all aspects, which makes him bristle up the crest of youth against your dignity.
  • HENRY IV
  • I have sent for him to answer this. For this cause awhile we must neglect our holy purpose to Jerusalem. Cousin, on Wednesday next our council we will hold at Windsor. For more is to be said and to be done than out of anger can be uttered.
  • They exit.
  • Act 1, Scene 2
  • The Prince of Wales, the king's son, known to his friends as Prince Hal, and Sir John Falstaff are on stage.
  • FALSTAFF
  • Now, Hal, what time of day is it, lad?
  • PRINCE
  • What a devil hast thou to do with the time of day, unless hours were cups of sack and minutes capons?
  • FALSTAFF
  • I prithee, sweet wag, when thou art king, as God save thy Grace-----Majesty, I should say, for grace thou wilt have none. Let men say we be men of good government, being governed, as the sea is, by our noble and chaste mistress the moon.
  • PRINCE
  • Thou sayest 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.
  • FALSTAFF
  • By the Lord, thou sayst true, lad. Thou art indeed the most comparative, rascaliest, sweet young prince. Before 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, as I do not, I am a villain.
  • PRINCE
  • I see a good amendment of life in thee, from praying to purse-taking.
  • FALSTAFF
  • Why, Hal, ‘tis my vocation, Hal. ‘Tis no sin for a man to labor in his vocation.
  • Poins, Prince Hal's and Falstaff's friend, also known as Ned or Yedward, enters.
  • POINS
  • Good morrow, sweet Hal. What says Monsieur remorse? What sees: Sir John Sack-and-Sugar? But, my lads, tomorrow morning, by four o'clock early at Gad's Hill, there are pilgrims going to Canterbury with rich offerings, and traders riding to London with fat purses. I have vizards for you all. You have horses for yourselves. If you will go, I will stuff your purses full of crowns.
  • FALSTAFF
  • Hear you, Yedward, if I tarry at home and go not, I'll hang you for going. Hal, wilt thou make one?
  • PRINCE
  • Who, I rob? I a thief? Not I, by my faith.
  • FALSTAFF
  • By the Lord, I'll be a traitor then when thou art king.
  • PRINCE
  • I care not.
  • POINS
  • Sir John, I prithee leave the Prince and me alone. I will lay him down such reasons for this adventure that he shall go.
  • FALSTAFF
  • Farewell. You shall find me in Eastcheap.
  • Falstaff exits.
  • POINS
  • Now, my good lord, ride with us tomorrow. I have a jest to execute that I cannot manage alone. Falstaff, Peto, Bardolph, and Gadshill shall rob those men that we have already waylaid. Yourself and I will not be there. And when they have the booty, if you and I do not rob them, cut this head off from my shoulders.
  • PRINCE
  • Yea, but I doubt they will be too hard for us.
  • POINS
  • I know them to be as true-bred cowards as ever turned back. The virtue of this jest will be the incomprehensible lies that this same fat rogue will tell us when we meet at supper.
  • PRINCE
  • Well, I'll go with thee. Provide us all things necessary and meet me tomorrow night in Eastcheap.
  • POINS
  • Farewell, my lord.
  • Poins exits.
  •  
  •  
  • Prince Hal to himself, No. 1
  •  
  • If all days were as if a holiday
  • And idleness the normal way, then play
  • Would be as dull as work, for nothing yet
  • Pleaseth more than rare events when wished-for
  • Come. So when I this never promised debt
  • Pay, and I throw off this loose behavior,
  • By my being better than my word, my
  • Reformation shall appeal to the eye
  • More than that with no offset as a foil.
  • I'll imitate the sun, who doth permit
  • The clouds to smother him, though ever loyal
  • To his earth-bound dependents, always lit,
  • And who may, being wanted, on a whim,
  • Break through the mists that seem to strangle him.
  • Act 1, Scene 3
  • King Henry IV, Northumberland, Hotspur, Worcester, Blunt and other nobles are on stage.
  • HENRY IV
  • My blood hath been too cold and temperate, unapt to stir at these indignities. You tread upon my patience. I will from henceforth rather be myself, mighty and to be feared.
  • WORCESTER
  • Our house, my sovereign liege, little deserves the scourge of greatness to be used on it.
  • HENRY IV
  • Worcester, get thee gone, for I do see danger and disobedience in thine eye. When we need your use and counsel, we shall send for you.
  • Worcester exits.
  • HOTSPUR
  • My liege, when the fight was done, when I was dry with rage and extreme toil, came there a certain lord, neat and trimly dressed, fresh as a bridegroom, and his chin new reaped showed like a stubble land at harvest home. He was perfumed like a milliner, and ‘twixt his finger and his thumb he held a pouncet box, which ever and anon he gave his nose and took it away again. And as the soldiers bore dead bodies by, he called them untaught knaves, unmannerly, to bring a slovenly unhandsome corpse betwixt the wind and his nobility. He questioned me, demanding my prisoners in your Majesty's behalf. I then, all smarting with my wounds being cold, answered neglectingly, for he made me mad to see him shine so brisk and smell so sweet and talk like a waiting-gentlewoman. I beseech you, let not his report come current for an accusation betwixt my love and your high Majesty.
  • BLUNT
  • The circumstance considered, good my lord, whate'er Lord Harry Percy then said to such a person and in such a place may reasonably die and never rise to do him wrong.
  • HENRY IV
  • Why, yet he doth deny his prisoners, but that we shall ransom straight his brother-in-law, the foolish Mortimer, who, on my soul, hath willfully betrayed the lives of those that he did lead to fight against that great magician, damned Glendower, whose daughter, as we hear, that Earl of March hath lately married. Shall our coffers then be emptied to redeem a traitor home? No, on the barren mountains let him starve. I shall never hold that man my friend whose tongue shall ask me for one penny cost to ransom home revolted Mortimer.
  • HOTSPUR
  • Revolted Mortimer! Let not him be slandered with revolt.
  • HENRY IV
  • Thou dost belie him, Percy; thou dost belie him. He never did encounter with Glendower. Art thou not ashamed? But, sirrah, henceforth let me not hear you speak of Mortimer. Send me your prisoners with the speediest means, or you shall hear in such a kind form me as will displease you. Send us your prisoners, or you will hear of it.
  • Henry IV along with Blunt and others exits.
  • HOTSPUR
  • An if the devil come and roar for them, I will not send them.
  • NORTHUMBERLAND
  • Stay and pause awhile. Here come your uncle.
  • Worcester enters.
  • HOTSPUR
  • Speak of Mortimer? Zounds, I will speak of him, and let my soul want mercy if I do not join with him.
  • NORTHUMBERLAND
  • Brother, the king hath made your nephew mad.
  • WORCESTER
  • Who struck this heat up after I was gone.
  • HOTSPUR
  • He will forsooth have all my prisoners, and when I urged the ransom once again of my wife's brother, then his cheek looked pale, trembling even at the name of Mortimer.
  • WORCESTER
  • I cannot blame him. Was not he proclaimed by Richard, that dead is, the next of blood?
  • NORTHUMBERLAND
  • He was.
  • WORCESTER
  • And for whose death we in the world's wide mouth live scandalized and foully spoken of.
  • HOTSPUR
  • But soft, I pray you. Did King Richard then proclaim my brother Edmund Mortimer heir to the crown?
  • NORTHUMBERLAND
  • He did; myself did hear it.
  • HOTSPUR
  • Nay, then, I cannot blame his cousin king that wished him on the barren mountains starve. Shall it for shame that men of your nobility and power put down Richard, that sweet lovely rose, and plant this thorn, this canker, Bolingbroke? Yet, time serves wherein you may redeem your banished honors and restore yourselves into the good thoughts of the world again, even with the bloody payment of your deaths. Therefore, I say----
  • WORCESTER
  • Peace, cousin, say no more. Now I will unclasp a secret book, and read you matter deep and dangerous, as full of peril and adventurous spirit.
  • HOTSPUR
  • O, the blood more stirs to rouse a lion than to start a hare!
  • NORTHUMBERLAND TO WORCESTER
  • Imagination of some great exploit drives him beyond the bounds of patience.
  • WORCESTER
  • Good cousin, give me audience for a while.
  • HOTSPUR
  • I cry you mercy.
  • WORCESTER
  • Those same noble Scots that are your prisoners-----
  • HOTSPUR
  • I'll keep them all. By God, he shall not have a Scot of them.
  • WORCESTER
  • You start away and lend no ear unto my purposes: those prisoners you shall keep----
  • HOTSPUR
  • Nay, I will. That's flat! He said he would not ransom Mortimer, forbade my tongue to speak of Mortimer.
  • WORCESTER
  • Hear you, cousin, a word.
  • HOTSPUR
  • All studies here I solemnly defy, save how to gall and pinch this Bolingbroke.
  • WORCESTER
  • Farewell, kinsman. I'll talk to you when you are better tempered to attend.
  • NORTHUMBERLAND TO HOTSPUR
  • Why, what a wasp-stung and impatient fool, tying thine ear to no tongue but thine own!
  • HOTSPUR
  • Why, look you, I am whipped when I hear of this vile politician, Bolingbroke. ‘Twas in Gloucestershire where I first bowed my knee unto this king of smiles, this Bolingbroke.
  • WORCESTER
  • We will stay your leisure.
  • HOTSPUR
  • I have done, i' faith.
  • WORCESTER
  • Then once more to your Scottish prisoners: Deliver them up without their ransom straight, and make the Douglas' son your only mean for powers in Scotland. Your son in Scotland being thus employed, shall secretly into the bosom creep of the well beloved Archbishop.
  • HOTSPUR
  • Of York, is it not?
  • WORCESTER
  • True, who bears had his brother's death at Bristol, the Lord Scroop.
  • HOTSPUR
  • Why, it cannot choose but be a noble plot. And then the power of Scotland and of York to join with Mortimer, ha?
  • WORCESTER
  • And so they shall.
  • HOTSPUR
  • In faith, it is exceedingly well aimed.
  • WORCESTER
  • Cousin, farewell. No further go in this than I by letters shall direct your course.
  • NORTHUMBERLAND
  • Farewell, good brother. We shall thrive, I trust.
  • HOTSPUR
  • Uncle, adieu. O, let the hours be short till fields and blows and groans applaud our sport.
  • They exit.
  • Act 2, Scene 1
  • Gadshill is on stage.
  • A chamberlain, a man responsible for rooms in an inn, enters.
  • CHAMBERLAIN
  • Good morrow, Master Gadshill. It holds current that I told you yesternight: A wealthy man from Kent hath brought three hundred marks with him in gold. They are up already and call for eggs and butter. They will away presently.
  • GADSHILL
  • Give me thy hand. Thou shalt have a share in our purchase, as I am a true man.
  • CHAMBERLAIN
  • Nay, rather let me have it as you are a false thief.
  • GADSHILL
  • Farewell, you muddy knave.
  • They exit.
  • Act 2, Scene 2
  • The Prince is on stage.
  • Falstaff enters.
  • FALSTAFF
  • Poins! Poins, and be hanged! Poins!
  • PRINCE
  • Peace, you fat-kidneyed rascal.
  • FALSTAFF
  • Where's Poins, Hal?
  • PRINCE
  • He is walked up to the top of the hill. I'll go seek him.
  • Prince exits.
  • FALSTAFF
  • I am accursed to rob in that thief's company. I have forsworn his company hourly any time this two-and-twenty years, and yet I am bewitched with the rogue's company. Poins! Hal! A plague upon you both.
  • The Prince, Poins, Peto and Bardolph enter.
  • FALSTAFF
  • Give me my horse, you rogues.
  • PRINCE
  • Peace, you fat guts! Lie down, lay thine ear close to the ground, and list if thou canst hear the tread of travelers.
  • FALSTAFF
  • Have you any levers to lift me up again being down? I prithee, good Prince Hal, help me to my horse, good king's son.
  • Gadshill enters.
  • GADSHILL
  • There's money of the king's coming down the hill ‘Tis going to the King's Exchequer.
  • PRINCE
  • Sirs, you four shall front them in the narrow lane. Ned Poins and I will walk lower. If they ‘scape from your encounter, then they light on us.
  • PETO
  • How many be there of them?
  • GADSHILL
  • Some eight or ten.
  • FALSTAFF
  • Zounds, will they not rob us?
  • PRINCE
  • What, a coward, Sir John Paunch?
  • FALSTAFF
  • Indeed, I am not John of Gaunt, your grandfather, but yet no coward, Hal.
  • PRINCE
  • Well, we leave that to the proof.
  • The Prince and Poins exit. The others step aside. The travelers enter. The thieves advance.
  • THIEVES
  • Stand!
  • TRAVELERS
  • Jesus bless us!
  • FALSTAFF
  • Strike! Down with them! Cut the villains' throats! Fleece them!
  • TRAVELERS
  • O, we are undone, both we and ours forever!
  • FALSTAFF
  • Hang, you gorbellied knaves!
  • They rob them, bind them and then exit. The Prince and Poins enter, disguised.
  • PRINCE
  • The thieves have bound the true men. Now could thou and I rob the thieves and go merrily to London, it would be laughter for a month, and a good jest forever.
  • POINS
  • Stand close, I hear them coming.
  • They stand aside. The thieves enter again.
  • FALSTAFF
  • Come, my masters, let us share, and then to horse before day. An the Prince and Poins be not two arrant cowards, there's no equity stirring. There's no more valor in that Poins than in a wild duck.
  • As they are sharing, the Prince and Poins set upon them.
  • PRINCE
  • Your money!
  • POINS
  • Villains!
  • They all run away, leaving the booty behind.
  • PRINCE
  • The thieves are all scattered, and possessed with fear so strongly that they dare not meet each other. Falstaff sweats to death. Were ‘t not for laughing, I should pity him.
  • POINS
  • How the fat rogue roared!
  • They exit.
  • Act 2, Scene 3
  • Hotspur is on the stage alone, reading a letter. His wife, Kate, also known as Lady Percy, enters.
  • HOTSPUR
  • How now, Kate? I must leave you within these two hours.
  •  
  •  
  • Lady Percy to Hotspur
  •  
  • Do you not love me? If you love me not
  • I will not love myself. What hath thou sought
  • That takes from thee thy stomach, pleasure, thy
  • Sound sleep? In thy faint slumbers I heard thee
  • Murmur tales of wars. Why thou given my
  • Rights to musing and curst melancholy?
  • My good lord, for what offense have I been
  • From you this fortnight a banished woman?
  • My lord, I fear my brother Mortimer
  • Hath sent for you to line his enterprise.
  • And it's about his title he doth stir.
  • You say I'm constant and a woman wise,
  • Yet leave, saying it's to others you owe,
  • That I'll not utter what I dost not know.
  • LADY PERCY
  • But hear you, my lord.
  • HOTSPUR
  • What say'st thou, my lady?
  • LADY PERCY
  • What is it carries you away?
  • HOTSPUR
  • Why, my horse, my love, my horse.
  • LADY PERCY
  • Out, you mad-headed ape! In faith, I'll know your business, Harry, that I will. I fear my brother Mortimer doth stir about his title, and hath sent for you to line his enterprise.
  • HOTSPUR
  • Away, you trifler. Love, I love thee not. I care not for thee, Kate. We must have bloody noses and cracked crowns. What say'st thou, Kate? What wouldst thou have with me?
  • LADY PERCY
  • Do you not love me? Do you not indeed? Do you not love me? Nay, tell me if you speak in jest or no.
  • HOTSPUR
  • When I am a-horseback I will swear I love thee infinitely. I must not have you henceforth question me whither I go, nor reason whereabout. Today will I set forth, tomorrow you. Will this content you, Kate?
  • LADY PERCY
  • It must, of force.
  • They exit.
  • Act 2, Scene 4
  • Prince Hal is on stage in a tavern in Eastcheap. Poins enters.
  • PRINCE
  • Sirrah, Falstaff and the rest of the thieves are at the door. Shall we be merry?
  • POINS
  • As merry as crickets, my lad.
  • Falstaff, Gadshill, Peto and Bardolph enter.
  • POINS
  • Welcome, Jack. Where hast thou been?
  • FALSTAFF
  • A plague of all cowards, I say, and a vengeance too! Marry and amen! Give me a cup of sack, boy.
  • He drinks the wine.
  •  
  •  
  • Falstaff to friends
  •  
  • Here's lime in this sack, yet a coward's worse
  • Than a cup of sack with lime in it. Curse
  • On all cowards. If manhood, good manhood,
  • Be not forgot in all of this England,
  • Then am I a weak, shotten herring. Would
  • There not be here three good men unhanged? And
  • One is too fat and grows old. And Poins there,
  • You are straight enough in the shoulders where
  • You care not who sees your back. Just four of
  • Us took a thousand pounds as a day's fee,
  • And we outnumbered, a hundred above.
  • Just four of us! A plague on cowards. We
  • Four set upon sixteen with no remorse,
  • Hal. If I tell thee a lie, call me horse.
  • PRINCE
  • Why, thou claybrained guts, thou knotty-pated fool.
  • FALSTAFF
  • What, art thou mad? Art thou mad? Is not the truth the truth?
  • PRINCE
  • I'll be no longer guilty of this sin. This sanguine coward, this bed-presser, this horse-back-breaker.
  • FALSTAFF
  • ‘Sblood, you starveling, you elfskin. O, for breath to utter what is like thee! You tailor's yard, you sheath, you bowcase, you vile standing tuck----
  • PRINCE
  • We two saw you four set on four, and bound them and were masters of their wealth. Then did we two set on you four and, with a word, outfaced you from your prize, and have it, yea, and can show it you here in the house. And, Falstaff, you roared for mercy, as ever I heard bull-calf. What a slave art thou to hack the word as you hast done, and then say it was in fight!
  • POINS
  • Come, let's hear, Jack. What trick hast thou now?
  • FALSTAFF
  • By the Lord, I knew you as well as he that made you. Should I turn upon true prince? Why, thou knowest I am as valiant as Hercules, but beware instinct. Instinct is a great matter. I was now a coward on instinct. I shall think the better of myself, and thee, during my life, I for a valiant lion, and thou for a true prince.
  • The Hostess enters.
  • HOSTESS
  • Marry, my lord, there is a nobleman of the court at door would speak with you. He says he comes from your father.
  • FALSTAFF
  • Faith, and I'll send him packing.
  • He exits. Falstaff reenters.
  • FALSTAFF
  • There's villainous news abroad. Here was Sir John Bracy from your father. You must to the court in the morning. That same mad fellow of the north, Percy, and he of Wales. What a plague call you him?
  • POINS
  • Owen Glendower.
  • FALSTAFF
  • Owen, Owen, the same, and his son-in-law Mortimer, and old Northumberland, and that sprightly Scot of Scots, Douglas.
  • A loud knock. Bardolph and the Hostess exit. Bardolph re-enters, running.
  • BARDOLPH
  • O my lord, my lord, the Sheriff with a most monstrous watch is at the door.
  • The Hostess enters.
  • HOSTESS
  • O Jesu, my lord, my lord.
  • PRINCE
  • What's the matter?
  • HOSTESS
  • The Sheriff and all the watch are at the door. They are come to search the house. Shall I let them in?
  • FALSTAFF
  • Dost thou hear, Hal? Never call a true piece of gold a counterfeit.
  • PRINCE
  • And thou a natural coward without instinct. Go hide thee behind the arras.
  • Falstaff hides.
  • PRINCE
  • Call in the Sheriff.
  • All but the Prince and Peto exit. The Sheriff and the Carrier enter.
  • SHERIFF
  • A hue and cry hath followed certain men unto this house. One of them is well known, my gracious lord. A gross fat man.
  • CARRIER
  • As fat as butter.
  • PRINCE
  • The man I do assure you is not here. For I myself at this time have employed him. And, Sheriff, I will engage my word to thee that I will by tomorrow dinner time send him to answer thee. And so let me entreat you leave the house.
  • SHERIFF
  • I will, my lord. There are two gentlemen have in this robbery lost three hundred marks.
  • PRINCE
  • It may be so. If he have robbed these men, he shall be answerable; and so farewell.
  • The Sheriff and the Carrier exit.
  • PRINCE
  • This oily rascal is known as well as Paul's. Go call him forth.
  • PETO
  • Falstaff----Fast asleep behind the arras.
  • PRINCE
  • There let him sleep till day. I'll to the court in the morning. We must all to the wars, and thy place shall be honorable. I'll procure this fat rogue a charge of foot. The money shall be paid back again with advantage.
  • PETO
  • Good morrow, good my lord.
  • They exit.
  • Act 3, Scene 1
  • Hotspur, Worcester, Mortimer and Owen Glendower are meeting on stage.
  • MORTIMER
  • These promises are fair, the parties sure, and our induction full of prosperous hope.
  • HOTSPUR
  • Lord Mortimer and cousin Glendower, will you sit down? And uncle Worcester----A plague upon it, I have forgot the map.
  • GLENDOWER
  • No, here it is. Sit, good cousin Hotspur, for by that name as oft as Lancaster doth speak of you he wisheth you in heaven.
  • HOTSPUR
  • Any you in hell, as oft as he hears Owen Glendower spoke of.
  • GLENDOWER
  • I cannot blame him. Why, I can teach you, cousin, to command the devil.
  • HOTSPUR
  • And I can teach thee, coz, to shame the devil by telling truth.
  • MORTIMER
  • Come, come, no more of this unprofitable chat.
  • GLENDOWER
  • Three times hath Henry Bolingbroke made head against my power; thrice from the banks of Wye and sandy-bottomed Severn have I sent him bootless home and weather-beaten back.
  • HOTSPUR
  • Home without boots, and in foul weather too!
  • GLENDOWER
  • Come, here is the map. Shall we divide our right according to our threefold order ta'en?
  • MORTIMER
  • The Archdeacon hath divided it into three limits very equally: England, from Trent and Seven hitherto, and all the fertile land within that bound to Owen Glendower; and, dear coz, to you the remnant northward lying off from Trent. Tomorrow, cousin Percy, you and I and my good Lord of Worcester will set forth to meet your father and the Scottish power at Shrewsbury. My father Glendower is not ready yet, nor shall we need his help these fourteen days.
  • GLENDOWER
  • A shorter time shall send me to you, lords, and in my conduct shall your ladies come, from whom you now must steal and take no leave, for there will be a world of water shed upon the parting of your wives and you.
  • HOTSPUR
  • Methinks my moiety, north from Burton here, in quantity equals not one of yours. I'll have the current in this place dammed up, and here the smug and silver Trent shall run in a new channel. It shall not wind with such a deep indent to rob me of so rich a bottom here.
  • GLENDOWER
  • Not wind? It shall, it must. You see it doth.
  • HOTSPUR
  • I'll have it so. A little charge will do it.
  • GLENDOWER
  • I'll not have it altered.
  • HOTSPUR
  • Let me not understand you, then; speak it in Welsh.
  • GLENDOWER
  • I can speak English, lord, as well as you, for I was trained up in the English court, where being but young I framed to the harp many an English ditty lovely well and gave the tongue a helpful ornament----a virtue that was never seen in you.
  • HOTSPUR
  • Marry, I had rather be a kitten and cry “mew” than one of these same ballad mongers, mincing poetry. ‘Tis like the forced gait of a shuffling nag.
  • GLENDOWER
  • Come, you shall have Trent turned.
  • HOTSPUR
  • I do not care. Are the indentures drawn? Shall we be gone?
  • GLENDOWER
  • The moon shines fair. You may away by night. Break with your wives of your departure hence.
  • He exits.
  • MORTIMER
  • Fie, cousin Percy, how you cross my father!
  • HORSPUR
  • I cannot choose. Sometime he angers me with telling me of the dreamer Merlin and his prophecies. O, he is as tedious as a tired horse, a failing wife, worse than a smoky house.
  • MORTIMER
  • In faith, he is a worthy gentleman.
  •  
  •  
  • Worcester to Hotspur
  •  
  • Since coming hither, you have done your best
  • To put him quite besides himself and test
  • His patience, my lord. As your uncle, I
  • Say you must learn to amend this fault. Though
  • It shows greatness and courage and the tie
  • Of blood; that's the dearest grace rendered so.
  • Yet your actions doth present harsh rage, a
  • Defect of manners, pride and disdain, the
  • Least haunts noblemen, causing them to owe
  • Less to young men acting so. Do not doubt
  • Cousin, that man is not alive that so
  • Have tempted him as you have done without
  • The taste of censure and danger. But do
  • Not use it often, let me entreat you.
  • HOTSPUR
  • Well, I am schooled. Here come our wives, and let us take our leave.
  • Glendower and the ladies enter. They sing and enjoy each others company.
  • GLENDOWER
  • Come, come, Lord Mortimer, you are as slow as hot Lord Percy is on fire to go. To horse immediately.
  • MORTIMER
  • With all my heart.
  • They exit.
  • Act 3, Scene 2
  • The King, the Prince of Wales and others are on stage.
  • HENRY IV
  • Lords, give us leave; the Prince of Wales and I must have some private conference.
  • The Lords exit.
  • HENRY IV
  • Tell me else, could such inordinate and low desires, such poor, such bare, such mean attempts, as thou art matched withal accompany the greatness of thy blood, and hold their level with thy princely heart?
  • PRINCE
  • So please your Majesty, I would I could quit all offenses as well as I am charged withal. Let me beg as, in reproof of many tales devised, I may for some things true, find pardon on my true submission.
  •  
  •  
  • Henry IV to Prince Harry, No. 1
  •  
  • Son, your ways hold a wing quite from the flight
  • Of thy ancestors and strange in the sight
  • Of the court and princes of my blood. Crime
  • ‘Tis that every man prophetically
  • Do forethink thy fall, the hope of thy time
  • Ruined. Had I in such stale company
  • Been seen or in so lavish presence been,
  • Then opinion kept loyal and I still in
  • Banishment, a fellow of no mark. By
  • Being seldom seen I was wandered at,
  • And through courteous humility I
  • Did pluck royal allegiance from men's hearts that
  • Was his. What was fresh and new they did see
  • And won by rareness such solemnity.
  • HENRY IV
  • God pardon thee. Yet let me wonder, Harry, at thy affection.
  •  
  •  
  • Henry IV to Prince Harry, No. 2
  •  
  • Richard, ambling up and down with shallow
  • Jesters, mingling his rare royalty so
  • With fools, profaning his great name with scorn,
  • Grew a companion to the common street.
  • The prestige of his highness then soon worn
  • With popularity thin, as men greet
  • Daily swallowed honey with a loathing
  • For the taste of sweetness. Unadmiring
  • Drowsy eyes for a king a fatal sign.
  • He was heard, not regarded; as men ought
  • Not, they slept in his face. In that same line,
  • Harry, standst thou, for of thy sight not
  • An eye but is as weary of as war,
  • Save mine, which hath desired to see thee more.
  • PRINCE
  • I shall hereafter, my thrice gracious lord, be more myself.
  •  
  •  
  • Henry IV to Prince Harry, No. 3
  •  
  • Percy is now as was I when I set
  • Foot from France at Ravenspurgh. Why thou let
  • Him show more worthy interest to the state
  • Than thou, the shadow of succession? He,
  • In debt to years just as thou, does not wait
  • To lead old lords and bishops to bloody
  • Battles and bruising arms. This young warrior
  • Discomfited great Douglas, then further
  • Made him a friend. Now Douglas and the rest,
  • Mortimer and Northumberland, we see
  • Capitulate ‘gainst us, now my dearest
  • Enemy. Like enough you'll fight ‘gainst me
  • Through vassal fear or whimsy with base wit,
  • To show how much thou art degenerate.
  • PRINCE
  • Do not think so. You shall not find it so. And God forgive them that so much have swayed your Majesty's good thoughts away from me.
  •  
  •  
  • Prince Harry to Henry IV, No. 1
  •  
  • I will redeem all this, and, some day, be
  • Bold to say I'm your son, when you shall see
  • My bloody mask, which, washed away, shall scour
  • My shame with it. And that shall be the day,
  • Where'er it lights, this gallant knight, and our
  • Unthought-of Harry chance to meet. I say
  • Some day I'll make this northern youth exchange
  • His glorious deeds for my lesser range
  • Of indignities. To our God I have
  • Promised my redemption in this instance
  • Matter here. I do beseech thee may salve
  • The long grown wounds of my intemperance.
  • A hundred thousand deaths to me allow
  • Ere break the smallest parcel of this vow.
  • HENRY IV
  • Thou shalt have charge and sovereign trust herein.
  • Sir Walter Blunt enters.
  • HENRY IV
  • Thy looks are full of speed.
  • BLUNT
  • So hath the business that I come to speak of. Lord Mortimer of Scotland hath sent word that Douglas and the English rebels met the eleventh of this month at Shrewsbury. A might and a fearful head they are.
  • HENRY IV
  • The Earl of Westmoreland set forth today, with him my son, Lord John of Lancaster, for this advertisement is five days old. On Wednesday next, Harry, you shall set forward. On Thursday we ourselves will march. Our hands are full of business. Let's away. Advantage feeds him fat while men delay.
  • They exit.
  • Act 3, Scene 3
  • Falstaff and Bardolph are on stage in the tavern.
  • FALSTAFF
  • Do I not dwindle? Why, my skin hangs about me like an old lady's loose gown.
  • BARDOLPH
  • Sir John, you are so fretful you cannot live long.
  • The Hostess enters.
  • FALSTAFF
  • Dame Partlet the hen, have you enquired yet who picked my pocket?
  • HOSTESS
  • Why, Sir John, do you think I keep thieves in my house? You owe me money, Sir John, and now you pick a quarrel to beguile me of it.
  • FALSTAFF
  • I'll not pay a denier. Shall I not take mine ease in mine inn but I shall have my pocket picked? I have lost a seal ring of my grandfather's worth forty mark.
  • HOSTESS
  • I have heard the Prince tell him that that ring was copper.
  • FALSTAFF
  • How? The Prince is a jack, a sneak-up. I would cudgel him like a dog if he would say so.
  • The Prince enters.
  • PRINCE
  • What say'st thou, Jack?
  • FALSTAFF
  • The other night I fell asleep here, behind the arras, and had my pocket picked. Wilt thou believe me, Hal, three or four bonds of forty pound apiece, and a seal ring of my grandfather's.
  • PRINCE
  • A trifle, some eight penny matter.
  • HOSTESS
  • So I told him, my lord. And, my lord, he speaks most vilely of you, as he is, and said he would cudgel you.
  • FALSTAFF
  • There's no more truth in thee than in a drawn fox.
  • HOSTESS
  • So he doth you, my lord, and said this other day you owed him a thousand pound.
  • PRINCE
  • Sirrah, do I owe you a thousand pound?
  • FALSTAFF
  • A thousand pound, Hal? A million. Thy love is worth a million; thou owest me thy love. Why, Hal, as thou art prince, I fear thee as I fear the roaring of the lion's whelp.
  • PRINCE
  • Any why not as the lion?
  • FALSTAFF
  • The King himself is to be feared as the lion. I do fear my girdle break.
  • PRINCE
  • O, if it should. It is all filled up with guts and midriff. Charge an honest woman with picking thy pocket? Art thou not ashamed?
  • FALSTAFF
  • Thou seest I have more flesh than another man and therefore more frailty. You confess, then, you picked my pocket.
  • PRINCE
  • It appears so by the story.
  • FALSTAFF
  • Hostess, I forgive thee.
  • The Hostess exits.
  • FALSTAFF
  • Now, Hal, to the news at court. For the robbery, lad, how is that answered?
  • PRINCE
  • the money is paid back again.
  • FALSTAFF
  • O, I do not like that paying back. ‘Tis a double labor.
  • PRINCE
  • I have procured thee, Jack, a charge of foot.
  • FALSTAFF
  • I would it had been of horse.
  • PRINCE
  • Bardolph.
  • BARDOLPH
  • My lord.
  • PRINCE
  • Go, bear this letter to Lord John of Lancaster, to my brother John; this to my Lord of Westmoreland.
  • Bardolph exits.
  • PRINCE
  • Go, Peto, to horse, to horse, for thou and I have thirty miles to ride yet ere dinner time.
  • Peto exits.
  • PRINCE
  • Jack, meet me tomorrow in the Temple hall at two o'clock in the afternoon; there shalt thou know thy charge, and there receive money and order for their furniture. The land is burning. Percy stands on high, and either we or they must lower lie.
  • He exits.
  • FALSTAFF
  • Rare words, brave world!
  • He exits.
  • Act 4, Scene 1
  • Hotspur, Worcester and Douglas are on stage.
  • HOTSPUR
  • Well said, my noble Scot. A braver place in my heart's love hath no man than yourself.
  • DOUGLAS
  • Thou art the king of honor.
  • A messenger enters with letters.
  • MESSENGER
  • These letters come from your father.
  • HOTSPUR
  • Letters from him! Why comes he not himself?
  • MESSENGER
  • He cannot come, my lord. He is grievous sick.
  • HOTSPUR
  • Zounds, how has he the leisure to be sick in such a jostling time? Who leads his power?
  • MESSENGER
  • His letters bears his mind, not I, my lord.
  • WORCESTER
  • I prithee, tell me, doth he keep his bed?
  • MESSENGER
  • He did, my lord. He was much feared by his physicians.
  • WORCESTER
  • His health was never better worth than now.
  • HOTSPUR
  • This sickness doth infect the very lifeblood of our enterprise. There is no quailing now, because the King is certainly possessed of all our purposes. What say you to it?
  • WORCESTER
  • Your father's sickness is a maim to us.
  • HOTSPUR
  • A perilous gash, a very limb lopped off!
  • DOUGLAS
  • We may boldly spend upon the hope of what is to come in.
  • WORCESTER
  • But yet I would your father had been here. This absence of your father's draws a curtain that shows the ignorant a kind of fear before not dreamt of.
  • HOTSPUR
  • You strain too far.
  • DOUGLAS
  • There is not such a word spoke of in Scotland as this term of fear.
  • Sir Richard Vernon enters. Vernon is an English knight.
  • HOTSPUR
  • My cousin Vernon, welcome, by my soul.
  • VERNON
  • Pray God my news be worth a welcome, lord. The Earl of Westmoreland, seven thousand strong, is marching hitherwards, with him Prince John.
  • HOTSPUR
  • No harm, what more?
  • VERNON
  • And further I have learned the King himself in person is set forth.
  • HOTSPUR
  • He shall be welcome too. Where is his son, the nimble-footed madcap Prince of Wales.
  • VERNON
  • All furnished, all in arms, all plumed like ostriches that with the wind bated like eagles having lately bathed.
  • HOTSPUR
  • No more, no more! Worse than the sun in March that praise doth nourish chills. Let them come. O, that Glendower were come!
  • VERNON
  • There is more news. I learned in Worcester, as I rode along, he cannot draw his power this fourteen days.
  • DOUGLAS
  • That's the worst tidings that I hear of yet.
  • HOTSPUR
  • What may the King's whole battle reach unto?
  • VERNON
  • To thirty thousand.
  • HOTSPUR
  • Forty let it be. Come, let us take a muster speedily. Doomsday is near. Die all, die merrily.
  • DOUGLAS
  • Talk not of dying.
  • They exit.
  • Act 4, Scene 2
  • Falstaff and Bardolph are on stage.
  • FALSTAFF
  • Bardolph, get thee before to Coventry. Fill me a bottle of sack. Bid my lieutenant Peto meet me at town's end.
  • BARDOLPH
  • I will, captain. Farewell.
  • He exits.
  • FALSTAFF
  • I have misused the King's press damnably. I have got, in exchange of a hundred and fifty soldiers, three hundred and odd pounds. I pressed my none but good householders, yeoman's sons, and contracted bachelors. I bought out their services and now my whole charge consists of discarded, unjust servingmen, revolted tapsters, ostlers trade fallen, and dishonorable-ragged old frayed ancients. No eye hath seen such scarecrows. I'll not march through Coventry with them, that's flat.
  • The Prince and the Lord of Westmoreland enter.
  • FALSTAFF
  • What, Hal, how now, mad wag? My good Lord of Westmoreland, I cry you mercy. I thought your Honor had already been at Shrewsbury.
  • WESTMORELAND
  • Faith, Sir John, ‘tis more than time that I were there and you too. The King, I can tell you, looks for us all. We must away all night.
  • FALSTAFF
  • Tut, never fear me.
  • PRINCE
  • But tell me, Jack, whose fellows are these that come after?
  • FALSTAFF
  • Mine, Hal, mine.
  • PRINCE
  • I did never see such pitiful rascals.
  • FALSTAFF
  • They'll fill a pit as well as better. Tush, man, mortal men, mortal men.
  • WESTMORELAND
  • Ay, but, Sir John, methinks they are exceeding poor and bare, too beggarly.
  • FALSTAFF
  • Faith, for their poverty. I am sure they never learned that of me.
  • PRINCE
  • But, sirrah, make haste. Percy is already in the field.
  • He exits.
  • FALSTAFF
  • What, is the King encamped?
  • WESTMORELAND
  • He is, Sir John. I fear we shall stay too long.
  • He exits.
  • FALSTAFF
  • Well, to the latter end of a fray and the beginning of a feast fits a dull fighter and a keen guest.
  • He exits.
  • Act 4, Scene 3
  • Hotspur, Worcester, Douglas and Vernon are debating with some dissension the situation.
  • VERNON
  • Your uncle Worcester's horse came but today, and now their pride and mettle is asleep, their courage with hard labor tame and dull, that not a horse is half the half of himself.
  • HOTSPUR
  • So are the horses of the enemy in general journey-bated and brought low. The better part of ours are full of rest.
  • WORCESTER
  • The number of the King exceedeth ours. For God's sake, cousin, stay till all come in.
  • Sir Walter Blunt enters.
  • BLUNT
  • I come with gracious offers from the King, if you vouchsafe me hearing and respect.
  • HOTSPUR
  • Welcome, Sir Walter Blunt, and would to God you were of our determination.
  • BLUNT
  • The King hath sent to know the nature of your griefs. He bids you name your griefs, and with all speed you shall have your desires with interest and pardon absolute for yourself and these herein misled by your suggestion.
  • HOTSPUR
  • The King is kind.
  •  
  •  
  • Hotspur to Blunt, No. 1
  •  
  • My father, my uncle and I did give
  • Him the crown he now wears, when he did live
  • Sick in the world's regard, a poor outlaw
  • Sneaking home, welcomed by my father to
  • The shore when he heard him vow as a raw
  • Exile he came for his name and to sue
  • His seized properties, swearing him help, my
  • Father served. At Ravenspurgh he did lie
  • Meek, where Northumberland did lean his way,
  • Drawing others; now he seeks to reform
  • Certain edicts and straight decrees that lay
  • Heavy on our people, those through his warm
  • Smile he won, and cuts the heads of those dear
  • To the absent king, left behind him here.
  • BLUNT
  • Tut, I came not to hear this.
  •  
  •  
  • Hotspur to Blunt, No. 2
  •  
  • Then to the point. Soon after he deposed
  • Our King Richard, soon after he deprived
  • Him of his life, he taxed the whole country.
  • And worse, he kept his kinsman Mortimer
  • Destitute there in Wales and disgraced me
  • In my victories, dismissed my father
  • From the court, drove my uncle from the board,
  • Broke oaths and committed wrongs, forcing Lord
  • Glendower, Worcester and me to tap
  • This army of men determined to try
  • To find safety, he seeking to entrap
  • Us. Furthermore, he has forced as to pry
  • Into his ascension to the crown; since,
  • We've found it too thin for continuance.
  • BLUNT
  • Shall I return this answer to the King?
  • HOTSPUR
  • Not so, Sir Walter. We'll withdraw awhile. In the morning early shall mine uncle bring him our purposes. And so farewell.
  • BLUNT
  • I would you would accept of grace and love.
  • HOTSPUR
  • And maybe so we shall.
  • BLUNT
  • Pray God you do.
  • They exit.
  • Act 4, Scene 4
  • The Archbishop of York and Sir Michael are on stage.
  • ARCHBISHOP
  • Hie, good Sir Michael, bear this sealed brief with winged haste to the Lord Marshall, this to my cousin Scroop. If you knew how much they do import, you would make haste.
  • SIR MICHAEL
  • My good lord, I guess their tenor.
  • ARCHBISHOP
  • Tomorrow, good Sir Michael, is a day where in the fortune of ten thousand men must bide the touch. For, sir, at Shrewsbury, what with the sickness of Northumberland, and what with Owen Glendower's absence thence, I fear the power of Percy is too weak to wage an instant trial with the King.
  • SIR MICHAEL
  • Why, my good lord, you need not fear. There is Douglas and Lord Mortimer.
  • ARCHBISHOP
  • No, Mortimer is not there.
  • SIR MICHAEL
  • But there is Mordake, Vernon, Lord Harry Percy, and there is my Lord of Worcester, and a head of gallant warriors, noble gentlemen.
  • ARCHBISHOP
  • And so there is. But yet the King hath drawn the special head of all the land together: The Prince of Wales, Lord John of Lancaster, the noble Westmoreland, and warlike Blunt.
  • SIR MICHAEL
  • Doubt not, my lord, they shall be well opposed.
  • ARCHBISHOP
  • I hope no less, yet needful ‘tis to fear; and to prevent the worst, Sir Michael, speed. If Lord Percy thrive not, ere the King dismiss his power he means to visit us. Therefore make haste.
  • They exit.
  • Act 5, Scene 1
  • Henry IV, The Prince of Wales, Lord John of Lancaster, Sir Walter Blunt and Falstaff are on stage.
  • HENRY IV
  • How bloodily the sun begins to peer above yon bulky hill.
  • PRINCE
  • The southern wind foretells a tempest and a blust'ring day.
  • HENRY IV
  • Nothing can seem foul to those that win.
  • Worcester and Vernon enter.
  • HENRY IV
  • 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. What say you to it?
  • 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 protest I have not sought the day of this dislike.
  • HENRY IV
  • You have not sought it. How comes it then?
  •  
  •  
  • Worcester to Henry IV, No. 1
  •  
  • I remember, my lord, we were the first
  • And dearest of friends, when for you I durst
  • Break from Richard, and posted day and night
  • When yet your place and reputation won,
  • Neither so fortunate nor with the might
  • As I. Then I, my brother and his son
  • Welcomed you home and boldly did outdare
  • The dangers of the time. You swore your care
  • Was no further than your new-fall'n right,
  • The seat of Gaunt, dukedom of Lancaster.
  • To this we swore our aid. But in that slight
  • Time, when in Ireland Richard did suffer,
  • It rained good fortune show'ring on your head,
  • With all of England thinking he was dead.
  •  
  •  
  • Worcester to Henry IV, No. 2
  •  
  • From this swarm of fair advantages you
  • There took the occasion to quickly woo
  • The fragile land, gripping the country's sway
  • Into your hand, dropping the oath you owe
  • Us, living by us, using as, the way
  • The ungentle gull useth the sparrow,
  • Trampling our nest, growing by our feeding
  • To such bulk that we fear of swallowing
  • Should we come near your sight, so with nimble
  • Wings were enforced for safety sake to fly
  • Out of your sight and raise this willful
  • Army, that you yourself have forged by
  • Here violating all troth through your size
  • That was sworn in your younger enterprise.
  • HENRY IV
  • These things indeed you have articulate, proclaimed at market crosses, read in churches, to face the garment of rebellion of poor discontents.
  • PRINCE
  • In both your armies there is many a soul shall pay full dearly for this encounter if once they join in trial.
  •  
  •  
  • Prince Harry to Worcester
  •  
  • Tell your nephew; all the world doth join me,
  • The Prince of Wales, in praise of brave Henry
  • Percy. By faith, this present moment set
  • Aside, I think no other man doth strive
  • To be more active-valiant or to abet
  • Good. And being so daringly alive,
  • Most able to lead this latter age, we're
  • Set to be served with his noble deeds. Here
  • Before my father's majesty, while speaking
  • To it in shame, having not joined the corps
  • Of his chivalry, and recognizing
  • The odds of his great name, to save blood for
  • Both sides, I am content as best I might
  • To try fate with him in a single fight.
  •  
  • HENRY IV
  • And, Prince of Wales, so dare we venture thee. Good Worcester, will they take the offer of our grace, both he and they and you, yea, 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, we will not now be troubled with reply. We offer fair. Take it advisedly.
  • Worcester and Vernon exit.
  • PRINCE
  • It will not be accepted, on my life. The Douglas and the Hotspur both together are confident against the world in arms.
  • HENRY IV
  • On their answer will we set on them and God befriend us as our cause is just.
  • They exit. Prince and Falstaff remain on stage.
  • FALSTAFF
  • Hal, if thou see me down in the battle and bestride me, so; ‘tis a point of friendship.
  • PRINCE
  • Nothing but a colossus can do thee that friendship. Say they prayers. Why, thou owest God a death.
  • He exits.
  •  
  •  
  • Falstaff to himself, No. 1
  •  
  • What's that word honour? Can honour set a
  • Leg, an arm? Can honour take away the
  • Grief of a wound? Honour hath no skill in
  • Surgery! To what doth this honour owe?
  • Air. It's just a word. He that died in sin
  • O-Wednesday, doth he feel or hear it? No.
  • If I were to fall in battle before
  • My time would death's friendship be my honour?
  • I would it were bedtime and all well. Why
  • Thou owest God a death? O, I would be
  • Loath to pay Him before His day. Why I
  • Be forward with Him that calls not on me?
  • Honour is a mere shield, a passing whim.
  • I'll none of it. That ends my catechism.
  • He exits.
  • Act 5, Scene 2
  • Worcester and Vernon are on stage.
  • WORCESTER
  • O no, my nephew must not know, Sir Richard, the liberal and kind offer of the King.
  • VERNON
  • ‘Twere best he did.
  • WORCESTER
  • Then are we all undone. The King should keep his word in loving us. He will suspect us still and find a time to punish this offense in other faults. Therefore, good cousin, let not Harry know in any case the offer of the King.
  • Hotspur, Douglas and their army enter.
  • HOTSPUR
  • Uncle, what news?
  • WORCESTER
  • The king will bid you battle presently.
  • DOUGLAS
  • Defy him by the Lord of Westmoreland.
  • HOTSPUR
  • Lord Douglas, go you and tell him so.
  • Douglas exits. Douglas re-enters.
  • DOUGLAS
  • Arm, gentlemen, to arms. For I have thrown a brave defiance in King Henry's teeth.
  • WORCESTER
  • The Prince of Wales stepped 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! Seemed it in contempt?
  • VERNON
  • No, by my soul. I never in my life did hear a challenge urged more modestly. He gave you all the duties of a man, trimmed up your praises with a princely tongue. He made a blushing account of himself and chide his truant youth with grace. Then 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 enamored on his follies.
  • A messenger enters.
  • MESSENGER
  • My lord, prepare. The King comes on apace.
  •  
  •  
  • Hotspur to his men
  •  
  • I thank him who cuts me with his message,
  • For I have not the gift of tongue nor sage
  • Counsel to lift your blood with persuasion.
  • Arm, arm with speed, and fellows, soldiers, friends,
  • Let each man do his best; each do what one
  • Has to do. Gentlemen, life for all ends
  • Too soon. To spend that shortness basely were
  • Too long if life's short ride were no longer
  • Than an hour. If we live, we'll commence
  • To tread on kings; if we die, princes fall
  • With us. Sound all the lofty instruments
  • Of war, and by that music let us all
  • Embrace, for some of us shall never see
  • A second time for such a courtesy.
  • They embrace. The trumpets sound. They exit.
  • Act 5, Scene 3
  • Douglas enters. Blunt enters, disguised as the King.
  • BLUNT AS KING
  • What is thy name that in the battle thus thou crossest me?
  • 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.
  • BLUNT AS KING
  • They tell thee true.
  • They fight. Douglas kills Blunt. Hotspur enters.
  • 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. The King hath many marching in his coats.
  • DOUGLAS
  • Now, by my sword, I will kill all his coats.
  • They exit. Falstaff enters alone.
  • FALSTAFF
  • Soft, who are you? Sir Walter Blunt. There's honor for you. Here's to vanity. God keep lead out of me. But who comes here.
  • The Prince enters.
  • PRINCE
  • What, stand'st thou idle here? I prithee lend me thy sword.
  • FALSTAFF
  • O Hal, I prithee give me leave to breathe awhile. I have paid Percy; I have made his sure.
  • PRINCE
  • He is indeed, and living to kill thee. I prithee, lend me thy sword. Give it me. What, is it in the case?
  • FALSTAFF
  • Ay, Hal, ‘tis hot. There's that will sack a city.
  • The Prince draws out a bottle of sack.
  • PRINCE
  • What, is it a time to jest and dally now?
  • He throws the bottle at Falstaff and exits.
  • FALSTAFF
  • Well, if Percy be alive, I'll pierce him. Give me life, which, if I can save, so; if not, honor comes unlooked for, and there's an end.
  • He exits.
  • Act 5, Scene 4
  • The King, the Prince, John of Lancaster, and Westmoreland are on stage.
  • HENRY IV
  • I prithee, Harry, withdraw thyself. Thou bleedest too much. Lord John of Lancaster, go you with him.
  • LANCASTER
  • Not I, my lord, unless I did bleed too.
  • HENRY IV
  • I will do so. Westmoreland, lead him to his tent.
  • WESTMORELAND
  • Come, my lord. I'll lead you to your tent.
  • PRINCE
  • 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.
  • LANCASTER
  • We breathe too long. Come, cousin Westmoreland. For God's sake, come.
  • Lancaster and Westmoreland exit.
  • PRINCE
  • 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.
  • He exits. Douglas enters.
  • DOUGLAS
  • Another king! I am the Douglas. What art thou that counterfeit'st the person of a king?
  • HENRY IV
  • The King himself. I have two boys seek Percy and thyself about the field, but, seing thou fall'st on my so luckily, I will assay thee. Defend thyself.
  • They fight. The King is at risk. The Prince enters.
  • PRINCE
  • Hold up thy head, vile Scot, or thou art like never to hold it up again. It is the Prince of Wales that threatens thee, who never promiseth but he means to pay.
  • They fight. Douglas flees.
  • PRINCE
  • Cheerly, my lord. How fares your Grace?
  • HENRY IV
  • Thou hast redeemed thy lost opinion and showed thou mak'st some tender of my life in this fair rescue thou hast brought to me.
  • PRINCE
  • O God, they did me too much injury that ever said I hearkened for your death.
  • The King exits. Hotspur enters.
  • HOTSPUR
  • If I mistake not, thou art Harry Monmouth.
  • PRINCE
  • Thou speak'st as if I would deny my 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
  • I'll make it greater ere I part from thee.
  • They fight. Falstaff and Douglas enter. They begin to fight, but Falstaff falls down. The Prince stabs Hotspur.
  • HOTSPUR
  • O Harry, thou hast robbed me of my youth. Thoughts, the slaves of life, and life, time's fool, and time, that takes survey of all the world, must have a stop. I could prophesy, but that the earthly and cold hand of death lies on my tongue.
  • He dies.
  • PRINCE
  • Fare thee well, great heart. Ill-weaved ambition, how much art thou shrunk! This earth that bears thee dead bears not alive so stout a gentleman. Let my favors hide thy mangled face.
  • He covers Hotspur.
  • PRINCE
  • Adieu, and take thy praise with thee to heaven. Thy ignominy sleep with thee in the grave, but not remembered in thy epitaph.
  • He spies Falstaff on the ground.
  • PRINCE
  • What, old acquaintance, could not all this flesh keep in a little life? Poor Jack, farewell. Death hath not struck so fat a deer today, though many dearer in this bloody fray.
  • He exits. Falstaff gets up.
  • FALSTAFF
  • The better part of valor is discretion, in the which better part I have saved my life. Zounds, I am afraid of this gunpowder Percy, though he be dead. I'll swear I killed him. Nobody sees me.
  • He stabs Hotspur in the thigh.
  • FALSTAFF
  • Come you along with me.
  • Falstaff picks up Hotspur and carries him. The Prince and John of Lancaster enter.
  • LANCASTER
  • Did you not tell me this fat man was dead?
  • PRINCE
  • I did; I saw him dead. Art thou alive? I prithee, speak. We will not trust our eyes without our ears.
  • FALSTAFF
  • No, that's certain. I am not a double man. There is Percy. If your father will do me any honor, so; if not, let him kill the next Percy himself. I look to be either earl or duke, I can assure you.
  • PRINCE
  • Why, Percy I killed myself, and saw thee dead.
  • FALSTAFF
  • Didst thou? 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.
  • LANCASTER
  • This is the strangest tale that ever I heard.
  • PRINCE
  • 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 sounds.
  • PRINCE
  • The trumpet sounds retreat; the day is ours.
  • They exit.
  • FALSTAFF
  • I'll follow, as they say, for reward. He that rewards me, God reward him.
  • He exits, carrying Hotspur on his back.
  • Act 5, Scene 5
  • The King, the Prince, John of Lancaster and Westmoreland enter, with Worcester and Vernon as prisoners.
  • HENRY IV
  • 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?
  • WORCESTER
  • What I have done my safety urged me to.
  • HENRY IV
  • Bear Worcester to the death, and Vernon too.
  • Worcester and Vernon exit, under guard.
  • PRINCE
  • The noble Scot, Lord Douglas, when he saw the noble Percy slain, fled with the rest, and the pursuers took him. At my tent the Douglas is, and I beseech your Grace I may dispose of him.
  • KING
  • With all my heart.
  • PRINCE
  • Then, brother John of Lancaster, to you this honorable bounty shall belong. Go to the Douglas and deliver him up to his pleasure, ransomless and free.
  • JOHN OF LANCASTER
  • I thank your Grace for this high courtesy.
  • 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. Since this business so fair is done, let us not leave till all our own be won.
  • They exit.

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