Henry IV Part 2 simplified

Synopsis

Henry IV’s forces had won a decisive victory at the end of Part 1 over the rebels at Shrewsbury. Nonetheless, the king remained concerned with the threat posed by Welsh-led rebels, knowing that they had re-formed following the deaths of Hotspur, Worcester and Vernon at Shrewsbury. He knew they remained a serious and continuing threat to his regime. He also worried how Hotspur’s death late in the last play at the hands of his son would play out with the Welsh, now that the rebels were under new management, so to speak, now being led by a Richard Scroop, the powerful Archbishop of York. The Archbishop of York’s brother Stephen had been executed by Henry IV (then Henry Bolingbroke) back in Richard II. As is often the case, his worries are real but his adversaries turn out to be less frightening than he feared.

This play opens when Lord Bardolph, an early leader in the rebellion against Henry IV, having been misled by faulty intelligence, tells Northumberland, Hotspur’s father, that during the battle of Shrewsbury his son had slain Prince Harry and that Scotland’s Douglas had slain the king. But Morton, another leader of the insurgents, soon enters and delicately tells Northumberland that his son Hotspur was in fact killed by the prince, that the king lives, and that Douglas was captured, but was released, and has returned to Scotland. He tells Northumberland that “Hotspur’s loss cost us the war” and that “the sum of all is that the king hath won and hath sent out a power to encounter you.” Invigorated by the challenge, Northumberland decides to once again become active with the insurgency. We also learn that Richard Scroop, the Archbishop of York, not only has joined the insurgents’ cause in a leading role, but has turned the cause into a religious crusade, drawing wide-spread support. A fresh set of rebels has formed since the battle of Shrewsbury, a group that now includes the Archbishop along with Lord Mowbray, Hastings and Morton. We also now learn that back in Part 1 Northumberland, upset with his son and fearing the worst, had pleaded illness as an excuse not to join his son and his brother Worcester for the battle at Shrewsbury.

As an aside, at about this point, the Chief Justice corners Falstaff, telling him among other things that “Truth is, Sir John, you live in infamy” and that “you have the manner of wrenching the true cause the false way.”

The reconstituted group of rebels meets to make plans to overthrow the king; a less stressful meeting than the emotional, personal and counter-productive meeting in Part 1 that included Hotspur; the raucous meeting that caused both Northumberland and Glendower to skip the battle at Shrewsbury. Separately, Lady Percy, Hotspur’s widow, persuasively begs her father-in-law (the earl of Northumberland) to “Go not to wars. The others are strong. Let them alone.” She wins. He says “I will resolve for Scotland.” To the king’s benefit, Northumberland retires, not to be heard from again.

Meanwhile, Prince Harry discloses to his good friend Poins that his father is seriously ill. On the stage alone, in his nightgown, the king famously says “O gentle sleep, Nature’s soft nurse” and “Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown.” Warwick soon enters, Warwick being a good friend of the king’s, and offers the king wise and soothing counsel, as the king then reflects with compassion on the late Richard II, saying he “knew not that greatness and I were compelled to kiss.” Warwick later adds, “To comfort you more, I have received a certain instance that Glendower is dead,” Owen Glendower being the Welsh leader of the rebels in Part 1.

By now the insurgents have reached the location where they plan to collectively submit their grievances to the earl of Westmoreland, a half-first-cousin to the king and one of the king’s key aides. It’s here where they plan to fight the king’s troops, if that’s what it takes to have their grievances accepted. The Archbishop says “What is this forest called?” Hastings replies “The Gaultree Forest.” Westmoreland enters and greets the rebels. After a pleasant discussion, the Archbishop hands Westmoreland a paper saying “This contains our general grievances.” Westmoreland responds, “This will I show the General,” the General being Prince John, the king’s third son. Prince John, the Duke of Lancaster, soon enters, chastising the Archbishop, saying “It better showed when your assembled flock circled you to hear your exposition on the holy text than see you now here, an iron man talking, cheering rebels on, turning thee word to sword, life to death.” Prince John, referring to the paper identifying their grievances says “These griefs shall be with speed redressed.” The Archbishop responds “I take your princely word for these redresses.” Hastings says “Go captain, and deliver to the army this news of peace. Let them have pay, and part.” John of Lancaster says to Westmoreland “Go, my lord, and let our army be discharged too.” The captain of the rebels having returned, Hastings says to the Archbishop “My lord, our army is dispersed already.” Westmoreland returns, saying to Prince John “The army will not go off until they hear you speak.” John of Lancaster says, “They know their duties.” Westmoreland proceeds to arrest Hastings, the Archbishop and Mowbray as traitors. The Archbishop cries “Will you this break your faith?” Prince John responds, “I promised you redress of these same grievances, which, I will perform with a most Christian care. Guards, these traitors to the block of death.” Preoccupied with his father’s health, Prince John, eager to get back to the palace, is interrupted by Falstaff who asks him for a special privilege, causing Prince John to be a little short with him.

The ill king talks of death and of hope with two of his sons, Humphrey and Thomas, encouraging them to help their brother, the Prince of Wales, govern the country. Warwick says to the king, “The prince will cast off his followers, turning past evils to advantages.” The king is carried to a bed, requesting that his crown be placed on the pillow next to him. Prince Harry enters. The others exit, the prince saying “I will sit and watch here by the king.” The king falls asleep. Harry puts on the crown and walks into the next room to see how he looks in the mirror. The king wakens, saying “Why did you leave me here alone, my lords?” Warwick enters and finds the young prince in the next room with the crown. The king asks “But wherefore did he take away the crown?” Harry enters, saying “I never thought to hear you speak again.” The king replies “The wish was father, Harry, to that thought.” The king and prince proceed to have another one of literature’s great father-son conversations. Promises are made and kept. The king dies. The year is 1413. Harry is quietly crowned king as Henry V. The Chief Justice, having had a rocky relationship with the prince, says to the new king “Peace be with us, lest we be heavier.” Their relationship blossoms, the king saying “You shall be as a father to my youth.” A better checks and balances political system evolves.

Later, as the king and his train pass over the stage, the irrepressible Falstaff cries out “King Hal, my royal Hal. God save thee, my sweet boy.” Falstaff is soon sent to the Fleet, a prison, not to be heard from again. John of Lancaster ends the play with a forecast, saying “I will lay odds that, ere this year expires, we bear our civil swords and native fire as far as France.”

Principal Characters

Archbishop of York. The Archbishop of York, also known as York or the prelate Richard Scroop, was a leader of the insurgents that “re-grouped” following the defeat in Part 1 of Hotspur and Worcester at the battle of Shrewsbury. But the reconstituted rebels fail miserably in a bloodless defeat at Gaultree Forest. York had joined the cause and helped to lead the rebels in part because his brother, Stephen, had been executed by Bolingbroke in Richard II. York was a good organizer and good leader; he just made a naïve mistake at Gaultree Forest and paid for it with his life.

Chief Justice. The Chief Justice dealt sternly with the young prince in Part 1, punishing him for his role in the Gad’s Hill robbery. The prince’s anger with the Chief Justice surfaces at the time of Henry IV’s death; at the time the prince becomes king. The Chief Justice beautifully justifies to the new king his earlier actions against the then young prince. Henry V accepts the Chief Justice’s reasoning and appoints him to serve him just as he had served his father. The Chief Justice quickly helps cut Falstaff and others from the new king’s entourage.

Henry IV. King Henry IV dies quietly late in the play and his four sons emerge as strong and competent leaders of men and their realm, led by Prince Harry, the new young king. Neither Northumberland nor Glendower pose any threat to the king in this play; both feared by Henry IV at the end of Part 1. The king’s gift to his people was his justified confidence in the leadership skills of his sons.

John Falstaff. Falstaff, also known as Jack or Sir John Falstaff, continues to have a role in this play, serving as a foil and comic diversion. Shakespeare’s purpose of Falstaff, we think, was to use him as a means to launch Prince Hal from a wayward vagabond of a youth to the strongest of kings. Again in Part 2, Shakespeare gave Falstaff some great lines. A challenge for the reader is to separate out Falstaff’s clever lines from his flawed persona.

John of Lancaster. John, Henry IV’s third son, the one who inherited his grandfather Gaunt’s title, the duke of Lancaster, comes of age in this play as quite the young man. He is seen as a talent and as being loyal to both his father and his older brother, the Prince of Wales. He and Westmorland lead the king’s forces in the clever victory over the rebels at Gaultree Forest.

Prince Harry. The Prince of Wales, also known as Harry Monmouth and Prince Hal, is the king’s oldest son, the heir to the crown, whom Shakespeare in this play carefully develops as a powerful king-to-be. He gets good advice from his father and the Chief Justice, advice that would benefit any young man. Shakespeare draws him as a really fine young man who does cut his ties to his imprudent past, committing himself to bring honor to the realm, a role he was born to fill.

Westmoreland. Westmoreland serves at the pleasure of Henry IV as John of Lancaster’s chief of staff, John a general in his father’s army. Westmoreland serves the young prince and his father with distinction. Westmoreland is Ralph Neville, who married Joan, John of Gaunt’s only daughter, a daughter through his second marriage; Henry IV his son through his first marriage. Later, we’ll hear more about the power of the Nevilles, Westmoreland being the first of many. We think at least one of the Nevilles had access to Shakespeare’s ear.

The Play


  • Act 1, Scene 1
  • Lord Bardolph is on stage. The Earl of Northumberland enters, supported with a crutch and with his head wrapped.
  • NORTHUMBERLAND
  • What news, Lord Bardolph?
  • LORD BARDOLPH
  • Noble earl, I bring you certain news from Shrewsbury.
  • NORTHUMBERLAND
  • Good, an God will!
  • LORD BARDOLPH
  • As good as heart can wish. The King is almost wounded to the death, and, in the fortune of my lord your son, Prince Harry slain outright. The hulk Sir John Falstaff is prisoner to your son.
  • NORTHUMBERLAND
  • How is this derived? Came you from Shrewsbury?
  • LORD BARDOLPH
  • I spake with one, my lord, that came from thence.
  • Travers enters.
  • NORTHUMBERLAND
  • Now, Travers, what good tidings comes with you.
  • TRAVERS
  • A gentleman told me that rebellion had bad luck and that young Harry Percy’s spur was cold.
  • NORTHUMBERLAND
  • Ha? Again: said he young Harry Percy’s spur was cold? Of Hotspur, Coldspur? That rebellion had met ill luck?
  • LORD BARDOLPH
  • My lord, I’ll tell you what: never talk of it.
  • NORTHUMBERLAND
  • Why should that gentleman that rode by Travers give then such instances of loss?
  • LORD BARDOLPH
  • Who, he?
  • Morton enters.
  • NORTHUMBERLAND
  • Yea, this man’s brow, like to a title leaf, foretells the nature of a tragic volume. Say, Morton, didst thou come from Shrewsbury?
  • MORTON
  • I ran from Shrewsbury, my noble lord, where hateful death put on his ugliest mask to fright our party.
  • NORTHUMBERLAND
  • How doth my son and brother? Thou tremblest, and the whiteness in thy cheek is apter than thy tongue to tell thy errand. Thou hast a sigh to blow away this praise, ending with “Brother, son, and all are dead.”
  • MORTON
  • Douglas is living, and your brother yet, but for my lord you son-----.
  • NORTHUMBERLAND
  • Why, he is dead. Yet speak, Morton.
  • MORTON
  • Your spirit is too true, your fears too certain.
  • NORTHUMBERLAND
  • Yet, for all this, say not that Percy’s dead. If he be slain, say so. The tongue offends not that reports his death; and he doth sin that doth belie the dead.
  • LORD BARDOLPH
  • I cannot think, my lord, your son is dead!
  •  
  •  
  • Morton to Northumberland
  •  
  • Sorry I that I force you to believe
  • That which I wish to God I would have leave
  • Not seen, but mine eyes through their disgraced worth
  • Saw Harry Monmouth, where swift, fierce wrath took
  • The never-daunting Percy to the earth,
  • From whence he never sprung up. He, whose look
  • Lent a spirit to the dullest peasant
  • In his camp, took there by his death present
  • Courage from his troops, for from his mettle
  • Was his party steeled, which, once in him lost
  • They turned on themselves, choosing to settle
  • Like dull and heavy lead. Hotspur’s loss cost
  • Us the war when they to the King did yield,
  • Aiming at their safety, fled from the field.
  •  
  • MORTON
  • The sum of all is that the King hath won and hath send out a speedy power to encounter you, my lord, under the conduct of young Lancaster and Westmoreland, This is the news at full.
  • NORTHUMBERLAND
  • For this I shall have time enough to mourn. In poison there is physic, and these news, having been well, that would have made me sick, being sick, have in some measure made me well.
  • He throws down his crutch.
  • NORTHUMBERLAND
  • A scaly gauntlet now with joints of steel must glove this hand. And hence, thou sickly coif.
  • He removes his kerchief.
  • NORTHUMBERLAND
  • Now bind my brows with iron, and approach the ragged’st hour that time and spite dare bring to frown upon th’ enraged Northumberland.
  • LORD BARDOLPH
  • This strained passion doth you wrong, my lord.
  • MORTON
  • It was your presurmise that in the dole of blows your son might drop. You knew he walked o’er perils on an edge, more likely to fall in than to get o’er. Yet did you say “Go forth.”
  • LORD BARDOLPH
  • We all that are engaged to this loss knew that we ventured on such dangerous seas that if we wrought out life, ‘twas ten to one; and yet we ventured. And since we are o’erset, venture again. Come, we will all put forth, body and goods.
  • MORTON
  • I hear for certain, and dare speak the truth: the gentle Archbishop of York is up with well-appointed powers. My lord your son had but shadows and shows of men to fight. That same word “rebellion” did divide the action of their bodies from their souls, and they did fight with queasiness, constrained, that their weapons only seemed on our side. The word “rebellion” had froze them up as fish are in a pond. But now the Bishop turns insurrection to religion. He derives from heaven his quarrel and his cause. More and less do flock to follow him.
  • NORTHUMBERLAND
  • Go in with me and counsel every man the aptest way for safety and revenge. Get posts and letters, and make friends with speed. Never so few, and never yet more need.
  • They exit.
  • Act 1, Scene 2
  • Sir John Falstaff is on stage with his Page.
  • FALSTAFF
  • The brain of this foolish-compounded clay, man, is not able to invent anything that intends to laughter more than I invent, or is invented on me. I am not only witty in myself, but the cause that wit is in other men.
  • The Chief Justice enters. Falstaff tries to slip away.
  • FALSTAFF
  • Wait close. I will not see him.
  • CHIEF JUSTICE
  • What’s he that goes there?
  • SERVANT
  • Falstaff, an ‘t please your Lordship.
  • CHIEF JUSTICE
  • He that was in question for the robbery? What? Call him back again.
  • FALSTAFF
  • Boy, tell him I am deaf.
  • PAGE
  • You must speak louder. My master is deaf.
  • CHIEF JUSTICE
  • I am sure he is, to the hearing of anything good. Go pluck him by the elbow. I must speak with him. Sir John Falstaff, a word with you.
  • FALSTAFF
  • I heard say your Lordship was sick.
  • CHIEF JUSTICE
  • Sir John, I sent for you before your expedition to Shrewsbury.
  •  
  •  
  • Falstaff to Chief Justice
  •  
  • May God give you good time of day, my good
  • Lord. ‘Tis nice to see you, hearing you should
  • Not be out. I most humbly beseech your
  • Lordship to have care for your good health. Sir,
  • I hear our kind King, following his tour
  • In Wales, has discomfort; he doth suffer
  • Some apoplexy, a lethargy fit
  • With a kind of tingling in the blood. It
  • Comes from grief and irregularity
  • Of the heart. I hear his Highness hath caught
  • A kind of deafness, that comes from study
  • And perturbation of the brain. That’s not
  • What you think I have. It’s the non-fatal
  • Listening-not malady that I’ve withal.
  •  
  • CHIEF JUSTICE
  • I talk not of his Majesty. I pray you let me speak with you. I think you are fallen into the disease, for you hear not what I say to you. To punish you by the heels would amend the attention of your ears. I sent for you, when there were matters against you for your life, to come speak with me.
  • FALSTAFF
  • As I was then advised by my learned counsel in the laws of this land-service, I did not come.
  •  
  •  
  • Chief Justice to Falstaff
  •  
  • Truth is, Sir John, you live in infamy;
  • Your means are slender and your waste great. He
  • That buckles himself in that great belt should
  • Seek to have less waist, and more means. And you,
  • Who trail the prince as his ill angel, would
  • Have been a better friend, if you’d not to
  • Have mislead the youthful prince, saying he
  • Your dog. Your day’s service at Shrewsbury
  • Hath little gilded over your Gad’s Hill
  • Exploit, but I’m loath to open this too
  • New-healed wound. Thank th’ disturbed time for still
  • O’er this; we’ll wake not a sleeping wolf. You
  • Are as a candle, burned out and fallow,
  • A wassail candle, my son, all tallow.
  • FALSTAFF
  • Not so, my lord. Your ill angel is light, but I hope he that looks upon me will take me without weighing. God send the companion a better prince. I cannot rid my hands of him.
  • CHIEF JUSTICE
  • Well, the King hath severed you. I hear you are going with Lord John of Lancaster against the Archbishop and the Earl of Northumberland.
  • FALSTAFF
  • Yea, I thank your pretty sweet wit for it. I would to God my name were not so terrible to the enemy as it is. I were better to be eaten to death with a rust than to be scoured to nothing with perpetual motion.
  • CHIEF JUSTICE
  • Well, be honest, be honest, and God bless your expedition. Fare you well. Commend me to my cousin Westmoreland.
  • Lord Chief Justice and his Servant exit.
  • FALSTAFF
  • What money is in my purse?
  • PAGE
  • Seven small coins and two pence.
  • FALSTAFF
  • I can get no remedy against this consumption of the purse. Borrowing only lingers and lingers it out, but the disease is incurable.
  • They exit.
  • Act 1, Scene 3
  • The Archbishop of York, Hastings, Lord Mowbray, and Lord Bardolph are on stage.
  • ARCHBISHOP
  • Thus have you heard our cause and known our means, and, I pray you all speak plainly your opinions of our hopes.
  • HASTINGS
  • Our present musters grow upon the file to five-and-twenty thousand men of choice, and our supplies live largely in the hope of great Northumberland.
  • LORD BARDOLPH
  • The question, then, standst thus: whether our present five-and-twenty thousand may hold up head without Northumberland.
  • HASTINGS
  • With him we may.
  • LORD BARDOLPH
  • Yea, marry, there’s the point. But if without him we be thought too feeble, my judgment is we should not step too far.
  • ARCHBISHOP
  • ‘Tis very true, Lord Bardolph, for indeed it was young Hotspur’s cause at Shrewsbury.
  • LORD BARDOLPH
  • It was, my lord; who lined himself with hope, flatt’ring himself in project of a power much smaller than the smallest of his thoughts, and so, with great imagination proper to madmen, led his powers to death and, winking, leapt into destruction.
  • HASTINGS
  • It never yet did hurt to lay down likelihoods and forms of hope.
  •  
  •  
  • Lord Bardolph to Hastings and the Archbishop
  •  
  • When we mean to build, we survey the plot,
  • Draw to scale and with the design are taught
  • To rate the cost, which, if we find outweighs
  • Ability, a model anew we
  • Draw or desist to build. This hope that lays
  • Ahead, to pluck a kingdom down and see
  • Another rise, leaves much for us to plot
  • The position and model; where we ought
  • Consent an agreed foundation, one lined
  • To weigh against the opposed, or we, left
  • With insufficient plans, like they who find
  • The house beyond what they can build, bereft
  • To see their half-through effort and hopes flee,
  • Be put to churlish winter’s tyranny.
  • HASTINGS
  • I think we are a body strong enough, even as we are, to equal with the King.
  • LORD BARDOLPH
  • What, is the King but five-and-twenty thousand?
  • HASTINGS
  • To us no more, nay, not so much, Lord Bardolph, for his divisions, are in three heads
  • one power against the French, and one against Glendower; perforce a third must take up us. So is the unfirm King in three divided, and his coffers sound with hollow poverty and emptiness.
  • ARCHBISHOP
  • That he should draw his several strengths together and come against us in full puissance need not to be dreaded.
  • HASTINGS
  • If he should do so, he leaves his back unarmed, the French and Welsh baying at the heels. Never fear that.
  • LORD BARDOLPH
  • Who is it like should lead his forces hither?
  • HASTINGS
  • The Duke of Lancaster and Westmoreland; against the Welsh, himself and Harry Monmouth; but who is substituted against the French I have no certain notice.
  • ARCHBISHOP
  • Let us on, and publish the occasion of our arms. The commonwealth is sick of their own choice. What trust is in these times? They that, when Richard lived, would have him die are now become enamored on his grave.
  • HASTINGS
  • We are time’s subjects, and time bids begone.
  • They exit.
  • Act 2, Scene 1
  • The tavern’s hostess, Hostess Quickly, and two officers, Fang and Snare, are on stage.
  • FANG
  • Snare, we must arrest Sir John Falstaff.
  • SNARE
  • It may chance cost some of us our lives, for he will stab.
  • HOSTESS
  • He cares not what mischief he does. Good Master Fang, hold him sure. Good Master Snare, let him not ‘scape. I pray you, since my error is entered, and my case so openly known to the world, let him be brought in to his answer. Yonder he comes, and that arrant malmsey-nose knave, Bardolph, with him.
  • Falstaff, Bardolph and the Page enter.
  • FANG
  • Sir John, I arrest you at the suit of Mistress Quickly.
  • FALSTAFF
  • Draw, Bardolph. Throw the woman in the channel. Keep them off, Bardolph.
  • HOSTESS
  • Throw me in the channel? I’ll throw thee in the channel.
  • The Chief Justice and his men enter.
  • CHIEF JUSTICE
  • What is the matter? How now, Sir John? You should have been well on your way to York.
  • HOSTESS
  • I am a poor widow of Eastcheap, and he is arrested at my suit.
  • CHIEF JUSTICE
  • For what sum?
  • HOSTESS
  • He hath eaten me out of house and home. He hath put all my substance into that fat belly of his.
  • CHIEF JUSTICE
  • Are you not ashamed to enforce a poor widow to so rough a course to come by her own?
  • FALSTAFF
  • What is the gross sum that I owe thee?
  • HOSTESS
  • Marry, if thou wert an honest man, thyself and the money too. Thou didst swear to marry me and make me my lady thy wife. And didst thou not kiss me and bid me fetch thee thirty shillings? Deny it if thou canst.
  • FALSTAFF
  • She hath been in good case, and the truth is, poverty hath distracted her.
  • CHIEF JUSTICE
  • Sir John, I am well acquainted with your manner of wrenching the true cause the false way. You have, as it appears to me, practiced upon the easy-yielding spirit of this woman.
  • HOSTESS
  • Yes, in truth, my lord.
  • CHIEF JUSTICE
  • Pay her the debt you owe her, and unpay the villainy you have done with her.
  • FALSTAFF
  • I say to you, I do desire deliverance from these officers, being upon hasty employment in the King’s affairs.
  • A Messenger, Master Gower, enters.
  • GOWER
  • The King, my lord, and Harry Prince of Wales are near at hand. The rest the paper tells.
  • He gives the Chief Justice a paper to read.
  • FALSTAFF TO THE HOSTESS
  • As I am a gentlemen.
  • HOSTESS
  • Faith, you said so before.
  • Falstaff asks her for money.
  • HOSTESS
  • I must be content to pawn both my plate and the tapestry of my dining chambers.
  • FALSTAFF TO THE HOSTESS
  • Glasses, glasses, is the only drinking. And for the walls, a pretty slight drollery. Let it be ten pound, if thou canst. Come, there’s not a better wench in England. Go wash thy face.
  • HOSTESS
  • Well, you shall have it, though I pawn my gown. I hope you’ll come to supper. You’ll pay me all together?
  • FALSTAFF
  • Will I live?
  • CHIEF JUSTICE
  • No more words
  • The Hostess, Fang, Snare, Bardolph, and The Page exit.
  • CHIEF JUSTICE TO GOWER
  • Where lay the King tonight.
  • GOWER
  • At Basingstoke, my lord.
  • CHIEF JUSTICE
  • Come all his forces back?
  • GOWER
  • No. Fifteen hundred foot, five hundred horse are marched up to my Lord of Lancaster against Northumberland and the Archbishop.
  • FALSTAFF TO THE CHIEF JUSTICE
  • Comes the King back from Wales, my noble lord?
  • CHIEF JUSTICE TO GOWER
  • You shall have letters of me presently. Come. Go along with me, good Master Gower.
  • FALSTAFF
  • My lord!
  • CHIEF JUSTICE
  • Sir John, you loiter here too long, being you are to take soldiers up in counties as you go.
  • They separate and exit.
  • Act 2, Scene 2
  • The Prince and Poins are on stage.
  • PRINCE
  • Before God, I am exceeding weary.
  • POINS
  • I had thought weariness durst not have attached one of so high blood.
  • PRINCE
  • Faith, it does me, though it discolors the complexion of my greatness to acknowledge it. Indeed these humble considerations make me out of love with my greatness.
  • POINS
  • After you have labored so hard, you should talk so idly! Tell me, how many good young princes would do so, their fathers being so sick as yours at this time is?
  • PRINCE
  • Shall I tell thee one thing, Poins? Now my father is sick. I tell thee, my heart bleeds inwardly that my father is so sick; and keeping such vile company as thou art hath in reason taken from me all ostentation of sorrow.
  • POINS
  • The reason?
  • PRINCE
  • What wouldst thou think of me if I should weep?
  • POINS
  • I would think thee a most princely hypocrite.
  • PRINCE
  • And what arouses your most worshipful thought to think so?
  • POINS
  • Why, because you have been so lewd and so much engraffed to Falstaff.
  • PRINCE
  • And to thee.
  • POINS
  • By this light, I am well spoke on.
  • Bardolph and The Page enter.
  • PRINCE
  • And how doth thy master, Bardolph?
  • BARDOLPH
  • He heard of your Grace’s coming to town. There’s a letter for you.
  • He gives the Prince a paper. He shows the letter to Poins.
  • POINS READS THE PAPER
  • “Sir John Falstaff, knight, to the son of the King nearest his father, Harry Prince of Wales, greeting.”
  • POINS
  • Why, this is a certificate.
  • PRINCE READS THE PAPER
  • “Be not too familiar with Poins, for he misuses thy favors so much that he swears thou art to marry his sister Nell.”
  • POINS
  • My lord, I’ll steep this letter in sack and make him eat it.
  • PRINCE
  • Ned? Must I marry your sister?
  • POINS
  • God send the wench no worse fortune! But I never said so.
  • PRINCE
  • Well, thus we play the fools with the time, and the spirits of the wise sit in the clouds and mock us.
  • PRINCE TO BARDOLPH
  • Is your master here in London?
  • BARDOLPH
  • Yea, my lord.
  • PRINCE
  • Where sups he?
  • BARDOLPH
  • At the old place, my lord, in Eastcheap.
  • PRINCE
  • Sup any women with him?
  • PAGE
  • None, my lord, but old Mistress Quickly and Mistress Doll Tearsheet.
  • PRINCE
  • Shall we steal upon them Ned, at supper?
  • POINS
  • I am your shadow, my lord. I’ll follow you.
  • PRINCE
  • Sirrah, you, boy, and Bardolph, no word to your master that I am yet come to town.
  • BARDOLPH
  • I have no tongue, sir.
  • PRINCE
  • How might we see Falstaff bestow himself tonight in his true colors, and not ourselves be seen?
  • POINS
  • Put on two leathern jackets and aprons, and wait upon him at his table as drawers (waiters).
  • PRINCE
  • From a prince to a ‘prentice: a low transformation that shall be mine, for in everything the purpose must weigh with the folly. Follow me, Ned.
  • They exit.
  • Act 2, Scene 3
  • Northumberland, his wife and his daughter-in-law, Hotspur’s widow, Lady Percy, are on stage.
  • NORTHUMBERLAND
  • I pray thee, loving wife and gentle daughter, give even way unto my rough affairs.
  • LADY NORTHUMBERLAND
  • I have give over. I will speak no more. Do what you will; your wisdom be your guide.
  • NORTHUMBERLAND
  • Alas, sweet wife, my honor is at pawn. And, but my going, nothing can redeem it.
  •  
  •  
  • Lady Percy to Northumberland
  •  
  • Go not to wars. The time was that you broke
  • Your word, father, when your Percy awoke
  • In vain, looking for his father to bring
  • Up his powers. Who then persuaded you
  • To stay at home? You both endured the sting
  • Of honors lost; your brightened; his stuck to
  • Him in the gray vault of heaven. Wondrous
  • Him! O miracle of men! You left us,
  • Left him, second to none, unseconded
  • By you, to look upon the god of war
  • With defense but his name, disadvantaged.
  • Never do his ghost the wrong to hold your
  • Honor more nice with others than your own
  • Son. The others are strong. Let them alone.
  • NORTHUMBERLAND
  • Fair daughter, you do draw my spirits from me with new lamenting ancient oversights. But I must go and meet with danger there, or it will seek me in another place and find me worse provided.
  • LADY NORTHUMBRLAND
  • O, fly to Scotland.
  • LADY PERCY
  • For all our loves, first let them try themselves. So did your son; he was so suffered. So came I a widow.
  • NORTHUMBERLAND
  • Gladly would I go to meet the Archbishop, but many thousand reasons hold me back. I will resolve for Scotland, there am I till time and vantage crave my company.
  • They exit.
  • Act 2, Scene 4
  • Will, a waiter at the tavern, is on stage.
  • WILL
  • Sirrah, here will be the Prince and Master Poins anon, and they will put on two of our jackets and aprons, and Sir John must not know of it. Bardolph hath brought word.
  • Falstaff enters.
  • FALSTAFF
  • You make fat rascals, Mistress Doll.
  • DOLL
  • I make them? Gluttony and diseases make the; I make them not.
  • FALSTAFF
  • If you cook help to make the gluttony, you help to make the diseases, Doll.
  • HOSTESS
  • You two never meet but you fall to some discord.
  • DOLL
  • Come, I’ll be friends with thee, Jack. Thou art going to the wars, and whether I shall ever see thee again or no, there is nobody cares.
  • Musicians enter.
  • FALSTAFF
  • Let them play. Sit on my knee, Doll.
  • DOLL
  • I’ faith, when wilt thou leave fighting and begin to patch up thine old body for heaven?
  • Behind them, the Prince and Poins enter, disguised.
  • FALSTAFF
  • Peace, good Doll. Do not speak like a death’s-head; do not bid me remember mine end.
  • DOLL
  • Sirrah, what humor’s the Prince of?
  • FALSTAFF
  • A good shallow young fellow, he would have a good pantler; he would ‘a chipped bread well.
  • DOLL
  • They say Poins has a good wit.
  • FALSTAFF
  • He a good wit? Hang him, baboon. His wit’s as thick as Tewkesbury mustard.
  • DOLL
  • Why does the Prince love him so then?
  • FALSTAFF
  • He breeds no discord with telling of discreet stories, and such other gambol faculties he has that show a weak mind and an able body, for the which the Prince admits him; for the Prince himself is such another.
  • PRINCE ASIDE TO POINS
  • Would not this knave of a wheel have his ears cut off?
  • FALSTAFF
  • Kiss me, Doll.
  • DOLL
  • By my troth. I kiss thee with a most constant heart.
  • FALSTAFF
  • I am old, I am old. Some sack, Francis.
  • The Prince and Poins come forward.
  • PRINCE
  • What a life dost thou lead?
  • FALSTAFF
  • A better than thou. I am a gentleman. Thou are a drawer.
  • PRINCE
  • Very true, sir, and I come to draw you out by the ears. How vilely did you speak of me even now before this honest, virtuous, civil gentlewoman!
  • HOSTESS
  • God’s blessing of your good heart, and so she is, by my troth.
  • FALSTAFF TO THE PRINCE
  • Didst thou hear me?
  • PRINCE
  • Yea, and you knew me as you did when you ran away by Gad’s Hill.
  • FALSTAFF
  • No, no, no, not so. I did not think thou was within hearing. No abuse, Hal, o’ mine honor, no abuse.
  • PRINCE
  • Not to dispraise me and call me pantler and bread-chipper and I know not what?
  • POINS
  • No abuse?
  • FALSTAFF
  • No abuse, Ned, i th’ world, honest Ned. None. I dispraised him before the wicked, that the wicked might not fall in love with thee. No abuse, Hal. None, Ned, none. No, faith, boys, none.
  • Peto enters.
  • PETO
  • The King your father is at Westminster, and there are twenty weak and wearied posts come from the north, and as I came along I met and overtook a dozen captains, bareheaded, sweating, knocking at the taverns and asking everyone for Sir John Falstaff.
  • PRINCE
  • By heaven, Poins, I feel me much to blame so idly to profane this precious time. Give me my sword and cloak. Falstaff, good night.
  • Prince, Peto and Poins exit.
  • BARDOLPH
  • You must away to court, sir, presently. A dozen captains stay at door for you.
  • FALSTAFF
  • Farewell, Doll. You see, my good wenches, how men of merit are sought after. The undeserver may sleep when the man of action is called on.
  • DOLL
  • I cannot speak. If my heart be not ready to burst----well, sweet Jack, have a care of thyself.
  • Falstaff, Bardolph, the Page and Musicians exit.
  • Act 3, Scene 1
  • The King is on stage in a nightgown. His Page is with him.
  • KING
  • Go call the Earls of Surrey and of Warwick; but ere they come, bid them o’erread these letters and well consider of them. Make good speed.
  • The Page exits.
  • KING
  • How many thousand of my poorest subjects are at this hour asleep!
  •  
  •  
  • Henry IV to himself
  •  
  • O sleep, O gentle sleep, nature’s soft nurse,
  • Have I scared thee, that thou wilt not immerse
  • My senses in forgetfulness nor weigh
  • My eyelids down? Why rather thou liest
  • In smoky cribs where buzzing night-flies play,
  • Than perfumed chambers, denying kind rest
  • To a king under a fair canopy
  • Where lulled with sound of sweetest melody?
  • Wilt thou in the cords high in the giddy
  • Mast where the imperious surge of rude
  • Winds with deafening clamor in slippery
  • Clouds could awaken the dead seal the crude
  • Shipboy’s eyes when here pleasing calm doth bring
  • The stillest night deny it to a king?
  • KING
  • Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown.
  • Warwick, Surrey and Sir John Blunt enter.
  • KING
  • Have you read o’er the letter that I sent you?
  • WARWICK
  • We have, my liege.
  • KING
  • Then you perceive the body of our kingdom how foul it is, what rank diseases grow, and with what danger near the heart of it.
  • WARWICK
  • It is but as a body yet distempered, which to his former strength may be restored with good advice and little medicine. My Lord Northumberland (Percy) will soon be cooled.
  • KING
  • O, if this were soon. The happiest youth, viewing his progress through, what perils past, what crosses to ensue, would shut the book and sit him down and die.
  •  
  •  
  • Henry IV to Warwick
  •  
  • Richard and Percy were to each a friend,
  • Yet within a brief two years it did end
  • With them at war. For eight years was Percy
  • The man nearest my soul, who laid his life
  • Under my foot, yea, offered no mercy
  • To the eyes of Richard. Yet in that strife,
  • Richard, eyes brimming with tears, told him “Look
  • Thee as the ladder by which Bolingbroke
  • Ascends my throne,” knowing not that greatness
  • And I were compelled to kiss. He followed
  • Saying, “the time shall come where great distress
  • From foul sins shall leave past support destroyed,”
  • Thus foretelling of this time’s enmity
  • And the division of our amity.
  • WARWICK
  • There is a history in all men’s lives figuring the natures of the times deceased, the which observed, a man may prophesy, with a near aim, of the main chance of things as yet not come to life, who in their seeds and weak beginning lie intreasured. King Richard might have created perfect guess that great Northumberland, then false to him, would of that seed grow to a greater falseness, which should not find a ground to root upon unless on you.
  • KING
  • They say the Bishop and Northumberland are fifty thousand strong.
  • WARWICK
  • It cannot be, my lord. Rumor doth double, like the voice and echo, the numbers of the feared. Please it your Grace to go to bed.
  • KING
  • I will take your counsel.
  • They exit.
  • Act 3, Scene 2
  • Justice Shallow and Justice Silence are on stage. Bardolph enters.
  • BARDOLPH
  • I beseech you, which is Justice Shallow?
  • SHALLOW
  • I am Robert Shallow, one of the King’s justices of the peace. What is your good pleasure with me?
  • BARDOLPH
  • My captain, sir, commends him to you, my captain, Sir John Falstaff, a most gallant leader.
  • SHALLOW
  • I knew him a good backsword man. How doth the good knight? May I ask how my lady his wife doth?
  • BARDOLPH
  • Sir, pardon. A soldier is better accommodated than with a wife.
  • SHALLOW
  • “Better accommodated.” It is good, yea, indeed is it. Good phrases are surely and ever were, very commendable. “Accommodated.” Very good, a good phrase.
  • Falstaff enters.
  • SHALLOW
  • By my troth, you like well and bear your years very well. Welcome, good Sir John.
  • FALSTAFF
  • Have you provided me here half a dozen sufficient men?
  • SHALLOW
  • Where’s the roll? Let me see. Yea, marry, sir. Rafe Mouldy! Let them appear as I call.
  • Mouldy, Wart, Feeble and Bullcalf enter. Falstaff interviews them as prospective troops.
  • FALSTAFF
  • We have heard the chimes at midnight, Master Shallow.
  • SHALLOW
  • That we have. Come, let’s to dinner.
  • Shallow, Silence and Falstaff exit. The recruits talk.
  • BULLCALF
  • In very truth, sir, I had as lief be hanged, sir, as go.
  • He gives Bardolph money.
  • BARDOLPH
  • Stand aside.
  • MOULDY
  • For my old dame’s sake. She has nobody to do anything about her when I am gone.
  • He gives Bardolph money.
  • BARDOLPH
  • Stand aside.
  • FEEBLE
  • A man can die but once. We owe God a death. No man’s too good to serve ‘s prince. He that dies this year is quit for the next.
  • BARDOLPH
  • Well said. Th’ art a good fellow.
  • Falstaff and the Justices enter.
  • FALSTAFF
  • Come, sir, which men shall I have?
  • BARDOLPH ASIDE TO FALSTAFF
  • I have three pound to free Mouldy and Bullcalf.
  • SHALLOW
  • Come, Sir John, which four will you have?
  • FALSTAFF
  • Do you choose for me.
  • SHALLOW
  • Marry , then, Mouldy, Bullcalf, Feeble and Shadow.
  • FALSTAFF
  • I will none of you.
  • Mouldy and Bullcalf exit.
  • SHALLOW
  • Sir John, do not yourself wrong. They are your likeliest men, and I would have you served with the best.
  • FALSTAFF
  • Will you tell me, Master Shallow, how to choose a man? Give me the spirit, Master Shallow. Give me the spare men, and spare me the great ones.
  • Falstaff picks a few men.
  • FALSTAFF
  • These fellows will do well, Master Shallow. Fare you well, gentlemen both, I thank you. I must a dozen mile tonight. Bardolph, give the soldiers coats.
  • SHALLOW
  • God prosper your affairs. At your return, visit our house.
  • Shallow and Silence exit.
  • FALSTAFF
  • On, Bardolph. Lead the men away.
  • All but Falstaff exit.
  • FALSTAFF
  • Lord, how subject we old men are to this vice of lying. This same starved justice hath done nothing but prate to me of the wildness of his youth and the feats he hath done, and every third word a lie. Now a squire, and he talks as familiarly of John o’ Gaunt as if he had been sworn brother to him. And now has he land and beefs. Well, I’ll be acquainted with him if I return.
  • He exits.
  • Act 4, Scene 1
  • The Archbishop of York, Lord Mowbray, Lord Bardolph, Hastings and others enter the Forest of Gaultree.
  • ARCHBISHOP
  • What is this forest called?
  • HASTINGS
  • The Gaultree Forest.
  • ARCHBISHOP
  • I must acquaint you that I have received new-dated letters from Northumberland. He is retired to Scotland, and concludes in hearty prayers that your attempts may overlive the hazard and fearful meeting of their opposite.
  • MOWBRAY
  • Thus do the hopes we have in him touch ground and dash themselves to pieces.
  • A Messenger enters.
  • MESSENGER
  • West of this forest, scarcely off a mile, in goodly form comes on the enemy, and, by the ground they hide, I judge their number upon or near the rate of thirty thousand.
  • MOWBRAY
  • Let us sway on and face them in the field.
  • Westmoreland enters.
  • ARCHBISHOP
  • What well-appointed leader fronts us here?
  • WESTMORELAND
  • Health and fair greeting from our general, the Prince Lord John and Duke of Lancaster.
  • ARCHBISHOP
  • What doth concern your coming.
  • WESTMORELAND
  • You, Lord Archbishop. Wherefore do you so ill translate yourself out of the speech of peace, that bears such grace, into the harsh and boist’rous tongue of war?
  • ARCHBISHOP
  • Wherefore do I this? I have in equal balance justly weighed what wrongs our arms may do, what wrongs we suffer, and find our griefs heavier than our offenses. When we are wronged and would unfold our griefs, we are denied access unto his person. The dangers of the days but newly gone hath put us in these ill-beseeming arms, not to break peace or any branch of it, but to establish here a peace indeed.
  • WESTMORELAND
  • Whenever yet was your appeal denied? Wherein have you been galled by the King?
  • ARCHBISHOP
  • My brother general, the commonwealth, I make my quarrel in particular.
  • WESTMORELAND
  • There is no need of any such redress. And you shall say indeed it is the time, and not the King, that doth you injuries, yet for your part, it not appears to me either from the King or in the present time that you should have an inch of any ground to build a grief on.
  • HASTINGS
  • Hath the Prince John a full commission, in very ample virtue of his father, to hear and absolutely to determine of what conditions we shall stand upon?
  • WESTMORELAND
  • That is intended in the General’s name.
  • The Archbishop of York gives Westmoreland a paper.
  • ARCHBISHOP
  • Then take, my Lord of Westmoreland, this schedule, for this contains our general grievances.
  • WESTMORELAND
  • This will I show the General.
  • Westmoreland exits.
  • HASTINGS
  • If we can make our peace upon such large terms and so absolute as our conditions shall consist upon, our peace shall stand as firm as rocky mountains.
  • ARCHBISHOP
  • ‘Tis very true. If we do now make our atonement well, our peace will, like a broken limb united, grow stronger for the breaking.
  • Westmoreland re-enters.
  • WESTMORELAND TO THE ARCHBISHOP
  • The Prince is here at hand. Pleaseth your Lordship to meet his Grace just distance ‘tween our armies.
  • Prince John and his army move forward. The rebels move forward.
  • JOHN OF LANCASTER
  • You are well encountered here, my cousin Mowbray. Good day to you, gentle Lord Archbishop, and so to you, Lord Hastings, and to all.
  •  
  •  
  • John of Lancaster to the Archbishop of York
  •  
  • My lord of York, it better showed with you
  • When your assembled flock circled you to
  • Hear your exposition on the holy
  • Text than now to see you here, an iron man
  • Talking, cheering rebels on, turning thee
  • Word to sword, life to death. Having spoken
  • To us th’ voice of God Himself, come ‘tween
  • The sanctities of heaven and our lean
  • Workings, you have ta’en up under the
  • Counterfeited zeal of God the subjects
  • Of his substitute, my father, as we
  • See them passionately swarm as objects
  • To heaven’s peace and him. To make your case
  • You misuse the reverence of your place.
  • ARCHBISHOP
  • Good my Lord of Lancaster, I am not here against your father’s peace, but, the time misordered doth crowd us and crush us to this monstrous form to hold our safety up.
  • HASTINGS
  • And though we here fall down, we have supplies to second our attempt; if they miscarry, theirs shall second them.
  • JOHN OF LANCASTER
  • You are too shallow, Hastings, much too shallow to sound the bottom of the after-times.
  • WESTMORELAND
  • Pleaseth your Grace to answer them directly how far forth you do like their articles.
  • JOHN OF LANCASTER TO THE ARCHBISHOP
  • My lord, these griefs shall be with speed redressed; upon my soul, they shall.
  • ARCHBISHOP
  • I take your princely word for these redresses.
  • JOHN OF LANCASTER
  • I give it you, and will maintain my word, and thereupon I drink unto your Grace.
  • The Leaders of both armies begin to drink together.
  • HASTINGS TO AN OFFICER
  • Go, captain, and deliver to the army this news of peace. Let them have pay, and part.
  • The Officer exits.
  • JOHN OF LANCASTER TO WESTMORELAND
  • Go, my lord, and let our army be discharged too.
  • Westmoreland exits. Westmoreland re-enters.
  • JOPHN OF LANCASTER
  • Now, cousin, wherefore stands our army still?
  • WESTMORELAND
  • The leaders, having charge from you to stand, will not go off until they hear you speak.
  • JOHN OF LANCASTER
  • They know their duties.
  • Hastings enters.
  • HASTINGS TO THE ARCHBISHOP
  • My lord, our army is dispersed already. Like youthful steers unyoked, they take their courses east, west, north, south, or, like a school broke up, each hurries toward his home.
  • WESTMORELAND
  • Good tidings, my Lord Hastings, for the which I do arrest thee, traitor, of high treason. And you, Lord Archbishop, and you, Lord Mowbray, of capital treason I attach you both.
  • MOWBRAY
  • Is this proceeding just and honorable?
  • WESTMORELAND
  • Is your assembly so?
  • ARCHBISHOP
  • Will you this break your faith?
  • JOHN OF LANCASTER
  • I pawned thee none. I promised you redress of these same grievances, which, by mine honor, I will perform with a most Christian care. But for you rebels, look to taste the due meet for rebellion. Most shallowly did you these arms commence, fondly brought here, and foolishly sent hence. Some guard these traitors to the block of death.
  • They exit.
  • Act 4, Scene 2
  • Falstaff is on stage.
  • FALSTAFF
  • What’s your name, sir? Of what condition are you, I pray?
  • COLEVILE
  • I am a knight, sir, and my name is Colevile of the Dale. Are not you Sir John Falstaff?
  • FALSTAFF
  • As good a man as he, sir, whoe’er I am.
  • John of Lancaster, Westmoreland and others enter.
  • JOHN OF LANCASTER
  • The heat is past. Follow no further now. Call in the powers, good cousin Westmoreland.
  • Westmoreland exits. Retreat is sounded.
  • JOHN OF LANCASTER
  • Now, Falstaff, where have you been all this while? These tardy tricks of yours will, on my life, one time or other break some gallows’ back.
  • FALSTAFF
  • I have speeded hither with the very extremest inch of possibility. I have in my pure and immaculate valor taken Sir John Colevile of the Dale, a most furious knight and valorous enemy. I may justly say with the fellow of Rome, “There, cousin, I came, saw, and overcame.”
  • JOHN OF LANCASTER
  • It was more of his courtesy than your deserving.
  • FALSTAFF
  • I know not. Here he is, and here I yield him.
  • JOHN OF LANCASTER
  • Is thy name Colevile?
  • COLEVILE
  • It is, my lord.
  • JOHN OF LANCASTER
  • A famous rebel art thou, Colevile.
  • FALSTAFF
  • And a famous true subject took him.
  • Westmoreland enters.
  • WESTMORELAND
  • Retreat is made and execution stayed.
  • JOHN OF LANCASTER
  • Send Colevile with his confederates to York, to present execution.
  • Blunt exits with Colevile.
  • JOHN OF LANCASTER TO WESTMORELAND
  • I hear the King my father is sore sick. Cousin, you shall bear to comfort him, and we with sober speed will follow you.
  • FALSTAFF
  • My lord, I beseech you give me leave to go through Gloucestershire.
  • JOHN OF LANCASTER
  • Fare you well, Falstaff. I shall better speak of you than you deserve.
  • All but Falstaff exit.
  •  
  •  
  • Falstaff to himself, No. 2
  •  
  • This young sober-blooded boy doth not love
  • Me nor doth he laugh; makes me wonder of
  • Him, but then, no marvel, he drinks no wine.
  • None of these demure boys come to any
  • Proof and maids they marry tow too the line.
  • A goodly sherry sack doth ascend me
  • Into the brain, which, delivered over
  • To the voice through the tongue becomes clever
  • Wit, and is the source of the courage sent
  • To my sword. It’s the drinking of fertile
  • Sherries that’s caused Hal to become valiant.
  • Faith, if I had sons, the first principle
  • I would teach them would be to forswear lack
  • Potations and addict themselves to sack.
  • Bardolph enters.
  • BARDOLPH
  • The army is discharged all and gone.
  • FALSTAFF
  • Let them go. I’ll through Gloucestershire, and there will I visit Master Robert Shallow, Esquire.
  • They exit.
  • Act 4, Scene 3
  • The King, Warwick, and the King’s other two sons, Thomas Duke of Clarence and Humphrey Duke of Gloucester are on stage.
  • KING
  • Now, lords, if God doth give successful end to this debate that bleedeth at our doors, we will our youth lead on to higher fields and draw no swords but what are sanctified. Only we want a little personal strength. Humphrey, my son of Gloucester, where is the Prince your brother?
  • HUMPHREY
  • I think he’s gone to hunt, my lord, at Windsor.
  • KING
  • Is not his brother Thomas of Clarence with him.?
  • HUMPHREY
  • No, my good lord, he is in presence here.
  • Thomas of Clarence comes forward.
  • KING
  • How chance thou art not with the Prince thy brother? He loves thee, and thou dost neglect him, Thomas. Thou hast a better place in his affection than all thy brothers.
  •  
  •  
  • Henry IV to Thomas
  •  
  • Cherish thy good place in his affection,
  • And once I’m dead effect mediation
  • Between his greatness and all thy brethren.
  • He is gracious with a tear for pity,
  • And a hand for giving, yet can be stern
  • As flint, sudden as flaws congealed in the
  • Spring of day, as humorous as winter.
  • You must chide his faults and watch his temper,
  • Reverently. When he with mirth, give the
  • Time and let his passions confound themselves
  • With working. Learn this that thou shall prove a
  • Hoop of gold that binds thy brothers and quells
  • Strife, that the vessel of their love never
  • Leak; yet be as strong as rash gunpowder.
  • THOMAS
  • I shall observe him with all care and love.
  • KING
  • Why art thou not at Windsor with him, Thomas?
  • THOMAS
  • He is not there today; he dines in London with Poins and other his continual followers.
  • KING
  • Most subject is the fattest soil to weeds, and he, the noble image of my youth, is overspread with them. And rotten times that you shall look upon when I am sleeping with my ancestors.
  • WARWICK
  • The Prince will, in the perfectness of time, cast off his followers, turning past evils to advantages.
  • Westmoreland enters.
  • WESTMORELAND
  • Mowbray, the Bishop Scroop, Hastings, and all are brought to the correction of your law. There is not now a rebel’s sword unsheathed, but peace puts forth her olive everywhere.
  • He gives the King a paper.
  • KING
  • O Westmoreland, thou art summer bird, which ever in the haunch of winter sings the lifting up of day.
  • Harcourt enters.
  • HARCOURT
  • The Earl of Northumberland and the Lord Bardolph, with a great power of English and of Scots, are by the sheriff of Yorkshire overthrown.
  • He gives the King papers.
  • KING
  • And wherefore should these good news make me sick? Now my sight fails, and my brain is giddy. O, me! Come near me, now I am much ill.
  • WARWICK
  • Stand from him, give him air. He’ll straight be well.
  • THOMAS
  • No, no, he cannot long hold out these pangs.
  • HUMPHREY
  • The people fear me, for they do observe unfathered heirs and loathly births of nature.
  • WARWICK
  • Speak lower, princes, for the King recovers.
  • KING
  • I pray you take me up and bear me hence into some other chamber.
  • The King is carried to a bed on the stage.
  • KING
  • Set me the crown upon my pillow here.
  • The crown is placed on the bed. Prince Harry enters.
  • PRINCE
  • Who saw the Duke of Clarence?
  • THOMAS
  • I am here, brother, full of heaviness.
  • He weeps.
  • PRINCE
  • How now, rain within doors, and none abroad? How doth the King?
  • HUMPHREY
  • Exceedingly ill.
  • PRINCE
  • Heard he the good news yet?
  • THOMAS
  • Let us withdraw into the other room.
  • WARWICK
  • Will ‘t please your Grace to go along with us?
  • PRINCE
  • No, I will sit and watch here by the King.
  • All but the Prince and King exit.
  •  
  •  
  • Prince Harry to himself, No 2
  •  
  • Why doth the crown lie there on his pillow
  • When so troublesome as a bedfellow,
  • When it the cause of disturbance that keeps
  • The ports of slumber open on many
  • Watchful nights? This tormenting crown that reaps
  • Safety doth scald the bearer like heavy
  • Armor. His sleep the sound of angel’s wings
  • That hath divorced this crown from English kings.
  • I shall with heavy tears and filial
  • Tenderness honor thee plenteously
  • In grief of the blood. This imperial
  • Crown which by birth derives itself to me
  • Shall not by force be taken. This from thee
  • Will I to mine leave, as ‘tis left to me.
  • Prince Harry puts on the crown.
  • PRINCE
  • This from thee will I to mine leave, as ‘tis left to me.
  • He exits with the crown. The King rises up in bed.
  • KING
  • Warwick! Gloucester! Clarence!
  • Warwick, Gloucester, Clarence and others enter.
  • KING
  • Why did you leave me here alone, my lords?
  • THOMAS
  • We left the Prince my brother here, my liege, who undertook to sit and watch by you.
  • KING
  • The Prince of Wales? Where is he? Let me see him. Is he so hasty that he doth suppose my sleep my death? Find him, my Lord of Warwick. Chide him hither.
  • Warwick exits.
  • KING
  • See, sons, what things you are, how quickly nature falls into revolt when gold becomes her object!
  • Warwick enters.
  • WARWICK
  • My lord, I found the Prince in the next room, washing with kindly tears his gentle cheeks, with such a deep demeanor in great sorrow. He is coming hither.
  • KING
  • But wherefore did he take away the crown?
  • The Prince enters with the crown.
  • KING
  • Come hither to me, Harry. Depart the chamber. Leave us here alone.
  • Clarence, Gloucester, Warwick and others exit.
  • PRINCE
  • I never thought to hear you speak again.
  •  
  •  
  • Henry IV to Prince Harry, No. 4
  •  
  • The wish was father, Harry, to that thought.
  • Doth thou so seek mine chair that thou here sought
  • My crown before thy hour ripe? Thou seek’st
  • The greatness that will soon overwhelm thee.
  • Thou loved’st me not, thou having hid’st
  • Daggers in thy thoughts honed in thy stony
  • Heart to stab in this last half-hour. Harry
  • The Fifth is crowned. Up idle vanity,
  • Here old sins committed in new ways; wince
  • Councilors as ruffians cast a pall
  • Over a land sick with civil blows. Since
  • I could not withhold riots and with all
  • My care I could not my poor kingdom spare,
  • What wilt thou do when riot is thy care?
  • KING
  • O, thou wilt be a wilderness again, peopled with wolves, thy old inhabitants.
  • PRINCE
  • O pardon me, my liege! There is your crown, and He that wears the crown immortally long guard it yours.
  • He kneels.
  •  
  •  
  • Prince Harry to Henry IV, No. 2
  •  
  • God witness with me, when I, having been
  • Given good news, found no course of breath in
  • Your Majesty, how cold it struck my soul.
  • The world should hear the noble change I purposed.
  • I did spake unto this golden rigol,
  • Upbraiding it. “Thee care is depended
  • Upon my father and though thou art in
  • Gold carat the best, potable med’cine
  • Preserves precious life, where thou hast eaten
  • Thy bearer up.” In a moment angry
  • I put it on to show it the beaten
  • Foe, accused, as if the enemy,
  • Who, in a quarrel with the inheritor,
  • Had before my face murdered my father.
  • PRINCE
  • But if it did infect my blood with joy or swell my thoughts to any strain of pride, let God forever keep it from my head and make me as the poorest vassal is that doth with awe and terror kneel to it.
  • KING
  • Come hither, Harry, sit thou by my bed and hear, I think, the very latest counsel that ever I shall breathe.
  • The Prince rises and sits near the bed.
  •  
  •  
  • Henry IV to Prince Harry, No. 5
  •  
  • God knows, son, the indirect ways I met
  • This crown and how troublesome it has set
  • Upon my head. To thee it shall descend
  • With better confirmation, for this soiled
  • Achievement goes under with me. This end
  • Leaves a legacy of fair friends embroiled
  • In quarrels, having aided me, wounding
  • Supposed peace. These real fears with peril seen
  • I have answered, where this rough reign hath been
  • A scene acting out that rude and faltered
  • Beginning. Now my death brings a change in
  • This harsh mood, for what in me was purchased
  • Falls upon thee in a manner fairer,
  • With this yours as the rightful successor.
  •  
  •  
  • Henry IV to Prince Harry, No. 6
  •  
  • Though thou stand’st more sure than I could do,
  • Thou art not firm enough, since griefs are new.
  • My friends, which thou must make thy friends, by whose
  • Aid I was first advanced and whose power
  • Could rise to displace the king, I do choose
  • To keep well occupied lest they refer
  • To the past, when, if lying still, they might
  • Get too close to my state. Therefore, the right
  • Course, my Harry, is to busy giddy
  • Minds with foreign quarrels, that may waste the
  • Memory of the former days. Oh my
  • Strength of speech is denied me, utterly.
  • How I came by the crown, O God forgive,
  • And grant it may with thee in true peace live.
  • PRINCE
  • You won it, wore it, kept it, gave it me. Then plain and right must my possession be, which I with more than with a common pain ‘gainst all the world will rightfully maintain.
  • John of Lancaster and others enter.
  • JOHN OF LANCASTER
  • Health, peace, and happiness to my royal father.
  • KING
  • Thou bring’st me happiness and peace, son John, but health, alack, with youthful wings is flown from this bare withered trunk.
  • Warwick enters.
  • KING
  • Doth any name particular belong unto the lodging where I first did swoon?
  • WARWICK
  • ‘Tis called Jerusalem, my noble lord.
  • KING
  • It hath been prophesied to me many years, I should not die but in Jerusalem, which vainly I supposed the Holy Land. But bear me to that chamber; there I’ll lie. In that Jerusalem shall Harry die.
  • They exit.
  • Act 5, Scene 1
  • Shallow, Bardolph, Falstaff and his Page enter.
  • FALSTAFF
  • You must excuse me, Master Robert Shallow.
  • SHALLOW
  • I will not excuse you. Excuses shall not be admitted. Why, Davy!
  • Davy, a servant to Shallow, enters. Shallow and Davy walk aside.
  • DAVY
  • Doth the man of war stay all night, sir?
  • SHALLOW
  • Yea, Davy, I will use him well. A friend i’ th’ court is better than a penny in purse. Use his men well, Davy, for they are arrant knaves and will backbite.
  • DAVY
  • No worse than they are back-bitten, sir, for they have marvelous foul linen.
  • SHALLOW
  • Well-conceited, Davy. About thy business, Davy.
  • Davy exits.
  • SHALLOW
  • Where are you, Sir John? Come, off with your boots. Give me your hand, Master Bardolph.
  • FALSTAFF
  • I’ll follow you, good Master Robert Shallow.
  • Shallow exits.
  • FALSTAFF
  • Bardolph, look to our horses.
  • Bardolph and the Page exit.
  • FALSTAFF
  • If I were sawed into quantities, I should make four dozen such bearded hermits’ staves as Master Shallow. They, by observing him, do bear themselves like foolish justices. Therefore let men take heed of their company. I will devise matter enough out of this Shallow to keep Prince Harry in continual laughter.
  • Shallow calls for Falstaff from within.
  • FALSTAFF
  • I come, Master Shallow, I come, Master Shallow.
  • He exits.
  • Act 5, Scene 2
  • Warwick and the Lord Chief Justice enter.
  • CHIEF JUSTICE
  • How doth the King?
  • WARWICK
  • Exceeding well. His cares are now all ended.
  • CHIEF JUSTICE
  • I hope, not dead.
  • WARWICK
  • He’s walked the way of nature, and to our purposes he lives no more.
  • Henry IV dies. He died in 1413.
  • CHIEF JUSTICE
  • I would his Majesty had called me with him.
  • WARWICK
  • Indeed, I think the young king loves you not.
  • CHIEF JUSTICE
  • I know he doth not.
  • John, Thomas and Humphrey enter.
  • WARWICK
  • Here come the heavy issue of dead Harry. O that the living Harry had the temper of he the worst of these three gentlemen!
  • CHIEF JUSTICE
  • O God, I fear all will be overturned.
  • JOHN OF LANCASTER
  • Well, peace be with him that hath made us heavy.
  • CHIEF JUSTICE
  • Peace be with us, lest we be heavier. Sweet princes, what I did I did in honor, led by th’ impartial conduct of my soul.
  • The Prince enters as Henry V with Blunt
  • KING
  • Why then be sad, but entertain no more it, good brothers, than a joint burden laid upon us all. I bid you be assured, I’ll be your father and your brother too. Let me but bear you love, I’ll bear your cares. Yet weep that Harry’s dead, and so will I, but Harry lives that shall convert those tears by number into hours of happiness.
  • BROTHERS
  • We hope no otherwise from your Majesty.
  • PRINCE TO CHIEF JUSTICE
  • You are, I think, assured I love you not.
  • CHIEF JUSTICE
  • I am assured, your Majesty hath no just cause to hate me.
  • KING
  • No? How might a prince of my great hopes forget so great indignities you laid upon me? What, rebuke, and roughly send to prison th’ immediate heir of England? Was this easy?
  • CHIEF JUSTICE
  • I then did use the person of your father. The image of his power lay then in me.
  •  
  •  
  • Chief Justice to Henry V
  •  
  • Whiles I was administering law set
  • Down by your Highness, pleasing to forget
  • My place, the majesty and power of
  • Law and as representative of his
  • Image, he struck me firm to use above
  • All my judgment, whereon, where justice is
  • Blind, I did act. Propose a son and be
  • Now the father hearing your dignity
  • Much profaned, see your dreaded laws loosely
  • Slighted, and your royal image gaily spurned,
  • Mocking your work in a second body.
  • Behold yourself so by a son disdained,
  • And then imagine me taking this run
  • With your power soft silencing your son.
  • KING
  • You are right, justice, and you weigh this well. Therefore still bear the balance and the sword. I do commit into your hand th’ unstained sword that you have used to bear, with this remembrance: that you use the same with the like bold, just, and impartial spirit as you have done ‘gainst me. There is my hand.
  • They clasp hands.
  • KING
  • You shall be as a father to my youth, and I will stoop and humble my intents to your well-practiced wise directions. And, princes all, believe me, I beseech you: my father is gone, and with his spirits sadly I survive to mock the expectation of the world, to frustrate prophecies, and to raze out rotten opinion, who hath writ me down after my seeming. The tide of blood in me hath proudly flowed in vanity till now. Our coronation done, we will summon all our state. And, God consigning to my good intents, no prince nor peer shall have just cause to say God shorten Harry’s life one day.
  • They exit.
  • Act 5, Scene 3
  • Falstaff, Shallow, Silence, Davy, Bardolph and the Page enter.
  • SHALLOW
  • Sir John. I have drunk too much sack at supper. Now sit down. Come, cousin.
  • SILENCE
  • Ah, sirrah, quote he, we shall do nothing but eat and make good cheer, and praise God for the merry year.
  • SHALLOW
  • Give Master Bardolph some wine, Davy.
  • FALSTAFF
  • I did not think Master Silence had been a man of this mettle.
  • SILENCE
  • Who I? I have been merry twice and once ere now.
  • Davy enters.
  • DAVY
  • There’s a dish of leather-coats for you.
  • SHALLOW
  • Davy!
  • DAVY
  • Your Worship, I’ll be with you straight. A cup of wine, sir.
  • FALSTAFF
  • Health and long life to you, Master Silence.
  • One knocks at the door. Pistol enters.
  • FALSTAFF
  • What wind blew you hither, Pistol?
  • PISTOL
  • Not the ill wind which blows no man to good. Sweet knight, thou art now one of the greatest men in this realm.
  • SILENCE
  • By ‘r Lady, I think he be.
  • PISTOL
  • Sir John, tidings do I bring.
  • FALSTAFF
  • I pray thee now, deliver them like a man of this world.
  • PISTOL
  • Sir John, thy tender lambkin now is king. Harry the Fifth’s the man.
  • FALSTAFF
  • What, is the old king dead?
  • PISTOL
  • As nail in door. The things I speak are just.
  • FALSTAFF
  • Master Robert Shallow, choose what office thou wilt in the land, ‘tis thine. Pistol, I will double-charge thee with dignities.
  • PISTOL
  • What, I do bring good news!
  • FALSTAFF
  • Master Shallow, I am Fortune’s steward. Get on they boots. We’ll ride all night. Pistol, utter more to me. I know the young king is sick for me. Let us take any man’s horses. The laws of England are at my commandment. Blessed are they that have been my friends, and woe to my Lord Chief Justice!
  • PISTOL
  • Why, here it is. Welcome these pleasant days.
  • They exit.
  • Act 5, Scene 4
  • Hostess Quickly, Doll Tearsheet and sheriff’s officers (Beadles) are on stage.
  • HOSTESS
  • No, thou arrant knave. I would to God that I might die, that I might have thee hanged.
  • BEADLE
  • The Constables have delivered her over to me.
  • DOLL
  • Thou paper-faced villain.
  • HOSTESS
  • O the Lord, that Sir John were come!
  • BEADLE
  • Come, I charge you both go with me, for the man is dead that you and Pistol beat amongst you.
  • DOLL
  • I will have you as soundly thrashed for this, you bluebottle rogue, you filthy famished correctioner.
  • HOSTESS
  • O God, that right should thus overcome might!
  • DOLL
  • Come, you rogue, come, bring me to a justice.
  • HOSTESS
  • Ay, come, you starved bloodhound.
  • DOLL
  • You thin thing, come, you rascal.
  • BEADLE
  • Very well.
  • They exit.
  • Act 5, Scene 5
  • The King and his train pass over the stage. Falstaff, Shallow, Pistol, Bardolph and the Page then enter.
  • FALSTAFF
  • Stand here by me, Master Shallow. I will make the King do you grace. I will leer upon him as he comes by, and do but mark the countenance that he will give me. This doth infer the zeal I had to see him.
  • SHALLOW
  • It doth so.
  • FALSTAFF
  • It shows my earnestness of affection.
  • SHALLOW
  • It doth so.
  • FALSTAFF
  • My devotion.
  • SHALLOW
  • It doth, it doth, it doth.
  • PISTOL
  • Thy Doll and Helen of thy noble thoughts is in base durance and contagious prison. Pistol speaks nought but truth.
  • FALSTAFF
  • I will deliver her.
  • The King and his train enter.
  • FALSTAFF
  • God save thy Grace. King Hal, my royal Hal. God save thee, my sweet boy.
  • KING
  • My Lord Chief Justice, speak to that vain man.
  • CHIEF JUSTICE TO FALSTAFF
  • Have you your wits? Know you what ‘tis you speak?
  • FALSTAFF TO THE KING
  • My king, my Jove, I speak to thee, my heart!
  • KING
  • I know thee not, old man. I have long dreamt of such a kind of man, so surfeit-swelled, so old, and so profane; but being awaked, I do despise my dream. Make less thy body hence, and more thy grace.
  •  
  •  
  • Henry V to Falstaff
  •  
  • Reply not to me with a fool-born jest.
  • The world shall soon perceive that I have wrest
  • Myself from those that kept me company,
  • When thou dost hear I’m as I have been, as
  • The tutors of my riots approach me.
  • Till then I banish thee all as here has
  • Been done to other misleaders, not to
  • Come near our person. I will allow you
  • Just enough means to enforce you not to
  • Evils. We will, as we hear you reform
  • Yourselves, according to your strengths, give you
  • Advancement. Make your body more the norm,
  • And I speak to you
  • the grave doth open
  • For thee thrice wider than for other men.
  • FALSTAFF
  • Master Shallow, I owe you a thousand pound.
  • SHALLOW
  • Yea, marry, Sir John.
  • FALSTAFF
  • That can hardly be, Master Shallow. Do not you grieve at this. I will be the man yet that shall make you great.
  • SHALLOW
  • I beseech you, good Sir John, let me have five hundred of my thousand.
  • FALSTAFF
  • Sir, I will be as good as my word. This that you heard was but a color.
  • SHALLOW
  • A color that I fear you will die in.
  • The Chief Justice and Prince John enter.
  • CHIEF JUSTICE
  • Go, carry Sir John Falstaff to the Fleet. Take all his company along with him.
  • FALSTAFF
  • My lord, my lord.
  • CHIEF JUSTICE
  • I cannot now speak. I will hear you soon. Take them away.
  • All but John of Lancaster and the Chief Justice exit.
  • JOHN OF LANCASTER
  • He hath intent his wonted followers shall all be very well provided for, but all are banished till their conversations appear more wise and modest to the world.
  • CHIEF JUSTICE
  • And so they are.
  • JOHN OF LANCASTER
  • I will lay odds that, ere this year expire, we bear our civil swords and native fire as far as France. Come, will you hence?
  • They exit.

Copyright © 2010 Simplified Shakespeare

Home