Please wait

The text you requested is loading.
This shouldn't take more than a minute, depending on
the speed of your Internet connection.

progress graphic

How sweet the moonlight sleeps upon this bank!
Here we will sit and let the sounds of music
Creep in our ears: soft stillness and the night
Become the touches of sweet harmony.

      — The Merchant of Venice, Act V, Scene 1

History of Henry IV, Part I

Act II

print/save print/save view

Scene 1. Rochester. An inn yard.

Scene 2. The highway, near Gadshill.

Scene 3. Warkworth castle

Scene 4. The Boar’s-Head Tavern, Eastcheap.

---
       

Act II, Scene 1

Rochester. An inn yard.

      next scene .
---

[Enter a Carrier with a lantern in his hand]

  • First Carrier. Heigh-ho! an it be not four by the day, I'll be
    hanged: Charles' wain is over the new chimney, and
    yet our horse not packed. What, ostler! 645
  • First Carrier. I prithee, Tom, beat Cut's saddle, put a few flocks
    in the point; poor jade, is wrung in the withers out
    of all cess.

[Enter another Carrier]

  • Second Carrier. Peas and beans are as dank here as a dog, and that
    is the next way to give poor jades the bots: this
    house is turned upside down since Robin Ostler died.
  • First Carrier. Poor fellow, never joyed since the price of oats
    rose; it was the death of him. 655
  • Second Carrier. I think this be the most villanous house in all
    London road for fleas: I am stung like a tench.
  • First Carrier. Like a tench! by the mass, there is ne'er a king
    christen could be better bit than I have been since
    the first cock. 660
  • Second Carrier. Why, they will allow us ne'er a jordan, and then we
    leak in your chimney; and your chamber-lie breeds
    fleas like a loach.
  • Second Carrier. I have a gammon of bacon and two razors of ginger, 665
    to be delivered as far as Charing-cross.
  • First Carrier. God's body! the turkeys in my pannier are quite
    starved. What, ostler! A plague on thee! hast thou
    never an eye in thy head? canst not hear? An
    'twere not as good deed as drink, to break the pate 670
    on thee, I am a very villain. Come, and be hanged!
    hast thou no faith in thee?

[Enter Gadshill]

  • Gadshill. Good morrow, carriers. What's o'clock?
  • Gadshill. I pray thee lend me thy lantern, to see my gelding
    in the stable.
  • First Carrier. Nay, by God, soft; I know a trick worth two of that, i' faith.
  • Second Carrier. Ay, when? can'st tell? Lend me thy lantern, quoth 680
    he? marry, I'll see thee hanged first.
  • Gadshill. Sirrah carrier, what time do you mean to come to London?
  • Second Carrier. Time enough to go to bed with a candle, I warrant
    thee. Come, neighbour Mugs, we'll call up the
    gentleman: they will along with company, for they 685
    have great charge.

[Exeunt carriers]

  • Gadshill. That's even as fair as—at hand, quoth the 690
    chamberlain; for thou variest no more from picking
    of purses than giving direction doth from labouring;
    thou layest the plot how.

[Enter Chamberlain]

  • Chamberlain. Good morrow, Master Gadshill. It holds current that 695
    I told you yesternight: there's a franklin in the
    wild of Kent hath brought three hundred marks with
    him in gold: I heard him tell it to one of his
    company last night at supper; a kind of auditor; one
    that hath abundance of charge too, God knows what. 700
    They are up already, and call for eggs and butter;
    they will away presently.
  • Gadshill. Sirrah, if they meet not with Saint Nicholas'
    clerks, I'll give thee this neck.
  • Chamberlain. No, I'll none of it: I pray thee keep that for the 705
    hangman; for I know thou worshippest St. Nicholas
    as truly as a man of falsehood may.
  • Gadshill. What talkest thou to me of the hangman? if I hang,
    I'll make a fat pair of gallows; for if I hang, old
    Sir John hangs with me, and thou knowest he is no 710
    starveling. Tut! there are other Trojans that thou
    dreamest not of, the which for sport sake are
    content to do the profession some grace; that would,
    if matters should be looked into, for their own
    credit sake, make all whole. I am joined with no 715
    foot-land rakers, no long-staff sixpenny strikers,
    none of these mad mustachio purple-hued malt-worms;
    but with nobility and tranquillity, burgomasters and
    great oneyers, such as can hold in, such as will
    strike sooner than speak, and speak sooner than 720
    drink, and drink sooner than pray: and yet, zounds,
    I lie; for they pray continually to their saint, the
    commonwealth; or rather, not pray to her, but prey
    on her, for they ride up and down on her and make
    her their boots. 725
  • Chamberlain. What, the commonwealth their boots? will she hold
    out water in foul way?
  • Gadshill. She will, she will; justice hath liquored her. We
    steal as in a castle, cocksure; we have the receipt
    of fern-seed, we walk invisible. 730
  • Chamberlain. Nay, by my faith, I think you are more beholding to
    the night than to fern-seed for your walking invisible.
  • 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. 735
  • Gadshill. Go to; 'homo' is a common name to all men. Bid the
    ostler bring my gelding out of the stable. Farewell,
    you muddy knave.

[Exeunt]

---
. previous scene      

Act II, Scene 2

The highway, near Gadshill.

      next scene .
---

[Enter PRINCE HENRY and POINS]

  • Edward Poins. Come, shelter, shelter: I have removed Falstaff's
    horse, and he frets like a gummed velvet.

[Enter FALSTAFF]

  • Falstaff. Poins! Poins, and be hanged! Poins! 745
  • Henry V. Peace, ye fat-kidneyed rascal! what a brawling dost
    thou keep!
  • Henry V. He is walked up to the top of the hill: I'll go seek him.
  • Falstaff. I am accursed to rob in that thief's company: the 750
    rascal hath removed my horse, and tied him I know
    not where. If I travel but four foot by the squier
    further afoot, I shall break my wind. Well, I doubt
    not but to die a fair death for all this, if I
    'scape hanging for killing that rogue. I have 755
    forsworn his company hourly any time this two and
    twenty years, and yet I am bewitched with the
    rogue's company. If the rascal hath not given me
    medicines to make me love him, I'll be hanged; it
    could not be else: I have drunk medicines. Poins! 760
    Hal! a plague upon you both! Bardolph! Peto!
    I'll starve ere I'll rob a foot further. An 'twere
    not as good a deed as drink, to turn true man and to
    leave these rogues, I am the veriest varlet that
    ever chewed with a tooth. Eight yards of uneven 765
    ground is threescore and ten miles afoot with me;
    and the stony-hearted villains know it well enough:
    a plague upon it when thieves cannot be true one to another!
    [They whistle]
    Whew! A plague upon you all! Give me my horse, you 770
    rogues; give me my horse, and be hanged!
  • Henry V. Peace, ye fat-guts! lie down; lay thine ear close
    to the ground and list if thou canst hear the tread
    of travellers.
  • Falstaff. Have you any levers to lift me up again, being down? 775
    'Sblood, I'll not bear mine own flesh so far afoot
    again for all the coin in thy father's exchequer.
    What a plague mean ye to colt me thus?
  • Henry V. Thou liest; thou art not colted, thou art uncolted.
  • Falstaff. I prithee, good Prince Hal, help me to my horse, 780
    good king's son.
  • Henry V. Out, ye rogue! shall I be your ostler?
  • Falstaff. Go, hang thyself in thine own heir-apparent
    garters! If I be ta'en, I'll peach for this. An I
    have not ballads made on you all and sung to filthy 785
    tunes, let a cup of sack be my poison: when a jest
    is so forward, and afoot too! I hate it.

[Enter Gadshill, BARDOLPH and PETO]

  • Edward Poins. O, 'tis our setter: I know his voice. Bardolph,
    what news?
    money of the king's coming down the hill; 'tis going
    to the king's exchequer.
  • Falstaff. You lie, ye rogue; 'tis going to the king's tavern.
  • Gadshill. There's enough to make us all.
  • Henry V. Sirs, you four shall front them in the narrow lane;
    Ned Poins and I will walk lower: if they 'scape 800
    from your encounter, then they light on us.
  • Peto. How many be there of them?
  • Falstaff. 'Zounds, will they not rob us?
  • Henry V. What, a coward, Sir John Paunch? 805
  • Falstaff. Indeed, I am not John of Gaunt, your grandfather;
    but yet no coward, Hal.
  • Henry V. Well, we leave that to the proof.
  • Edward Poins. Sirrah Jack, thy horse stands behind the hedge:
    when thou needest him, there thou shalt find him. 810
    Farewell, and stand fast.
  • Falstaff. Now cannot I strike him, if I should be hanged.
  • Henry V. Ned, where are our disguises?

[Exeunt PRINCE HENRY and POINS]

  • Falstaff. Now, my masters, happy man be his dole, say I:
    every man to his business.

[Enter the Travellers]

  • First Traveller. Come, neighbour: the boy shall lead our horses down
    the hill; we'll walk afoot awhile, and ease our legs. 820
  • Falstaff. Strike; down with them; cut the villains' throats:
    ah! whoreson caterpillars! bacon-fed knaves! they
    hate us youth: down with them: fleece them. 825
  • Travellers. O, we are undone, both we and ours for ever!
  • Falstaff. Hang ye, gorbellied knaves, are ye undone? No, ye
    fat chuffs: I would your store were here! On,
    bacons, on! What, ye knaves! young men must live.
    You are Grand-jurors, are ye? we'll jure ye, 'faith. 830

[Here they rob them and bind them. Exeunt]

[Re-enter PRINCE HENRY and POINS]

  • Henry V. The thieves have bound the true men. Now could thou
    and I rob the thieves and go merrily to London, it
    would be argument for a week, laughter for a month 835
    and a good jest for ever.

[Enter the Thieves again]

  • Falstaff. Come, my masters, let us share, and then to horse
    before day. An the Prince and Poins be not two 840
    arrant cowards, there's no equity stirring: there's
    no more valour in that Poins than in a wild-duck.
  • Edward Poins. Villains!
    [As they are sharing, the Prince and Poins set upon 845
    them; they all run away; and Falstaff, after a blow
    or two, runs away too, leaving the booty behind them]
  • Henry V. Got with much ease. Now merrily to horse:
    The thieves are all scatter'd and possess'd with fear
    So strongly that they dare not meet each other; 850
    Each takes his fellow for an officer.
    Away, good Ned. Falstaff sweats to death,
    And lards the lean earth as he walks along:
    Were 't not for laughing, I should pity him.

[Exeunt]

---
. previous scene      

Act II, Scene 3

Warkworth castle

      next scene .
---

[Enter HOTSPUR, solus, reading a letter]

  • Hotspur (Henry Percy). 'But for mine own part, my lord, I could be well
    contented to be there, in respect of the love I bear
    your house.' He could be contented: why is he not, 860
    then? In respect of the love he bears our house:
    he shows in this, he loves his own barn better than
    he loves our house. Let me see some more. 'The
    purpose you undertake is dangerous;'—why, that's
    certain: 'tis dangerous to take a cold, to sleep, to 865
    drink; but I tell you, my lord fool, out of this
    nettle, danger, we pluck this flower, safety. 'The
    purpose you undertake is dangerous; the friends you
    have named uncertain; the time itself unsorted; and
    your whole plot too light for the counterpoise of so 870
    great an opposition.' Say you so, say you so? I say
    unto you again, you are a shallow cowardly hind, and
    you lie. What a lack-brain is this! By the Lord,
    our plot is a good plot as ever was laid; our
    friends true and constant: a good plot, good 875
    friends, and full of expectation; an excellent plot,
    very good friends. What a frosty-spirited rogue is
    this! Why, my lord of York commends the plot and the
    general course of action. 'Zounds, an I were now by
    this rascal, I could brain him with his lady's fan. 880
    Is there not my father, my uncle and myself? lord
    Edmund Mortimer, My lord of York and Owen Glendower?
    is there not besides the Douglas? have I not all
    their letters to meet me in arms by the ninth of the
    next month? and are they not some of them set 885
    forward already? What a pagan rascal is this! an
    infidel! Ha! you shall see now in very sincerity
    of fear and cold heart, will he to the king and lay
    open all our proceedings. O, I could divide myself
    and go to buffets, for moving such a dish of 890
    skim milk with so honourable an action! Hang him!
    let him tell the king: we are prepared. I will set
    forward to-night.
    [Enter LADY PERCY]
    How now, Kate! I must leave you within these two hours. 895
  • Lady Percy. O, my good lord, why are you thus alone?
    For what offence have I this fortnight been
    A banish'd woman from my Harry's bed?
    Tell me, sweet lord, what is't that takes from thee
    Thy stomach, pleasure and thy golden sleep? 900
    Why dost thou bend thine eyes upon the earth,
    And start so often when thou sit'st alone?
    Why hast thou lost the fresh blood in thy cheeks;
    And given my treasures and my rights of thee
    To thick-eyed musing and cursed melancholy? 905
    In thy faint slumbers I by thee have watch'd,
    And heard thee murmur tales of iron wars;
    Speak terms of manage to thy bounding steed;
    Cry 'Courage! to the field!' And thou hast talk'd
    Of sallies and retires, of trenches, tents, 910
    Of palisadoes, frontiers, parapets,
    Of basilisks, of cannon, culverin,
    Of prisoners' ransom and of soldiers slain,
    And all the currents of a heady fight.
    Thy spirit within thee hath been so at war 915
    And thus hath so bestirr'd thee in thy sleep,
    That beads of sweat have stood upon thy brow
    Like bubbles in a late-disturbed stream;
    And in thy face strange motions have appear'd,
    Such as we see when men restrain their breath 920
    On some great sudden hest. O, what portents are these?
    Some heavy business hath my lord in hand,
    And I must know it, else he loves me not.
  • Servant. He is, my lord, an hour ago.
  • Servant. One horse, my lord, he brought even now.
  • Hotspur (Henry Percy). That roan shall by my throne.
    Well, I will back him straight: O esperance!
    Bid Butler lead him forth into the park.

[Exit Servant]

  • Lady Percy. Out, you mad-headed ape! 940
    A weasel hath not such a deal of spleen
    As you are toss'd with. 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 945
    To line his enterprise: but if you go,—
  • Lady Percy. Come, come, you paraquito, answer me
    Directly unto this question that I ask:
    In faith, I'll break thy little finger, Harry, 950
    An if thou wilt not tell me all things true.
  • Hotspur (Henry Percy). Away,
    Away, you trifler! Love! I love thee not,
    I care not for thee, Kate: this is no world
    To play with mammets and to tilt with lips: 955
    We must have bloody noses and crack'd crowns,
    And pass them current too. God's me, my horse!
    What say'st thou, Kate? what would'st thou
    have with me?
  • Lady Percy. Do you not love me? do you not, indeed? 960
    Well, do not then; for since you love me not,
    I will not love myself. Do you not love me?
    Nay, tell me if you speak in jest or no.
  • Hotspur (Henry Percy). Come, wilt thou see me ride?
    And when I am on horseback, I will swear 965
    I love thee infinitely. But hark you, Kate;
    I must not have you henceforth question me
    Whither I go, nor reason whereabout:
    Whither I must, I must; and, to conclude,
    This evening must I leave you, gentle Kate. 970
    I know you wise, but yet no farther wise
    Than Harry Percy's wife: constant you are,
    But yet a woman: and for secrecy,
    No lady closer; for I well believe
    Thou wilt not utter what thou dost not know; 975
    And so far will I trust thee, gentle Kate.
  • Hotspur (Henry Percy). Not an inch further. But hark you, Kate:
    Whither I go, thither shall you go too;
    To-day will I set forth, to-morrow you. 980
    Will this content you, Kate?

[Exeunt]

---
. previous scene      

Act II, Scene 4

The Boar’s-Head Tavern, Eastcheap.

       
---

[Enter PRINCE HENRY and POINS]

  • Henry V. Ned, prithee, come out of that fat room, and lend me 985
    thy hand to laugh a little.
  • Henry V. With three or four loggerheads amongst three or four
    score hogsheads. I have sounded the very
    base-string of humility. Sirrah, I am sworn brother 990
    to a leash of drawers; and can call them all by
    their christen names, as Tom, Dick, and Francis.
    They take it already upon their salvation, that
    though I be but the prince of Wales, yet I am king
    of courtesy; and tell me flatly I am no proud Jack, 995
    like Falstaff, but a Corinthian, a lad of mettle, a
    good boy, by the Lord, so they call me, and when I
    am king of England, I shall command all the good
    lads in Eastcheap. They call drinking deep, dyeing
    scarlet; and when you breathe in your watering, they 1000
    cry 'hem!' and bid you play it off. To conclude, I
    am so good a proficient in one quarter of an hour,
    that I can drink with any tinker in his own language
    during my life. I tell thee, Ned, thou hast lost
    much honour, that thou wert not with me in this sweet 1005
    action. But, sweet Ned,—to sweeten which name of
    Ned, I give thee this pennyworth of sugar, clapped
    even now into my hand by an under-skinker, one that
    never spake other English in his life than 'Eight
    shillings and sixpence' and 'You are welcome,' with 1010
    this shrill addition, 'Anon, anon, sir! Score a pint
    of bastard in the Half-Moon,' or so. But, Ned, to
    drive away the time till Falstaff come, I prithee,
    do thou stand in some by-room, while I question my
    puny drawer to what end he gave me the sugar; and do 1015
    thou never leave calling 'Francis,' that his tale
    to me may be nothing but 'Anon.' Step aside, and
    I'll show thee a precedent.

[Exit POINS]

[Enter FRANCIS]

  • Francis. Anon, anon, sir. Look down into the Pomgarnet, Ralph.
  • Henry V. Come hither, Francis. 1025
  • Henry V. How long hast thou to serve, Francis?
  • Francis. Forsooth, five years, and as much as to—
  • Henry V. Five year! by'r lady, a long lease for the clinking
    of pewter. But, Francis, darest thou be so valiant
    as to play the coward with thy indenture and show it
    a fair pair of heels and run from it?
  • Francis. O Lord, sir, I'll be sworn upon all the books in 1035
    England, I could find in my heart.
  • Henry V. How old art thou, Francis?
  • Francis. Let me see—about Michaelmas next I shall be— 1040
  • Francis. Anon, sir. Pray stay a little, my lord.
  • Henry V. Nay, but hark you, Francis: for the sugar thou
    gavest me,'twas a pennyworth, wast't not?
  • Francis. O Lord, I would it had been two! 1045
  • Henry V. I will give thee for it a thousand pound: ask me
    when thou wilt, and thou shalt have it.
  • Henry V. Anon, Francis? No, Francis; but to-morrow, Francis; 1050
    or, Francis, o' Thursday; or indeed, Francis, when
    thou wilt. But, Francis!
  • Henry V. Wilt thou rob this leathern jerkin, crystal-button,
    not-pated, agate-ring, puke-stocking, caddis-garter, 1055
    smooth-tongue, Spanish-pouch,—
  • Francis. O Lord, sir, who do you mean?
  • Henry V. Why, then, your brown bastard is your only drink;
    for look you, Francis, your white canvas doublet
    will sully: in Barbary, sir, it cannot come to so much. 1060
  • Henry V. Away, you rogue! dost thou not hear them call?
    [Here they both call him; the drawer stands amazed,
    not knowing which way to go]
    1065

[Enter Vintner]

  • Vintner. What, standest thou still, and hearest such a
    calling? Look to the guests within.
    [Exit Francis]
    My lord, old Sir John, with half-a-dozen more, are 1070
    at the door: shall I let them in?
  • Henry V. Let them alone awhile, and then open the door.
    [Exit Vintner]
    Poins!

[Re-enter POINS]

  • Henry V. Sirrah, Falstaff and the rest of the thieves are at
    the door: shall we be merry?
  • Edward Poins. As merry as crickets, my lad. But hark ye; what
    cunning match have you made with this jest of the 1080
    drawer? come, what's the issue?
  • Henry V. I am now of all humours that have showed themselves
    humours since the old days of goodman Adam to the
    pupil age of this present twelve o'clock at midnight.
    [Re-enter FRANCIS] 1085
    What's o'clock, Francis?

[Exit]

  • Henry V. That ever this fellow should have fewer words than a
    parrot, and yet the son of a woman! His industry is 1090
    upstairs and downstairs; his eloquence the parcel of
    a reckoning. I am not yet of Percy's mind, the
    Hotspur of the north; he that kills me some six or
    seven dozen of Scots at a breakfast, washes his
    hands, and says to his wife 'Fie upon this quiet 1095
    life! I want work.' 'O my sweet Harry,' says she,
    'how many hast thou killed to-day?' 'Give my roan
    horse a drench,' says he; and answers 'Some
    fourteen,' an hour after; 'a trifle, a trifle.' I
    prithee, call in Falstaff: I'll play Percy, and 1100
    that damned brawn shall play Dame Mortimer his
    wife. 'Rivo!' says the drunkard. Call in ribs, call in tallow.

[Enter FALSTAFF, Gadshill, BARDOLPH, and PETO; FRANCIS following with wine]

  • Falstaff. A plague of all cowards, I say, and a vengeance too! 1105
    marry, and amen! Give me a cup of sack, boy. Ere I
    lead this life long, I'll sew nether stocks and mend
    them and foot them too. A plague of all cowards!
    Give me a cup of sack, rogue. Is there no virtue extant?

[He drinks]

  • Henry V. Didst thou never see Titan kiss a dish of butter?
    pitiful-hearted Titan, that melted at the sweet tale
    of the sun's! if thou didst, then behold that compound.
  • Falstaff. You rogue, here's lime in this sack too: there is
    nothing but roguery to be found in villanous man: 1115
    yet a coward is worse than a cup of sack with lime
    in it. A villanous coward! Go thy ways, old Jack;
    die when thou wilt, if manhood, good manhood, be
    not forgot upon the face of the earth, then am I a
    shotten herring. There live not three good men 1120
    unhanged in England; and one of them is fat and
    grows old: God help the while! a bad world, I say.
    I would I were a weaver; I could sing psalms or any
    thing. A plague of all cowards, I say still.
  • Henry V. How now, wool-sack! what mutter you? 1125
  • Falstaff. A king's son! If I do not beat thee out of thy
    kingdom with a dagger of lath, and drive all thy
    subjects afore thee like a flock of wild-geese,
    I'll never wear hair on my face more. You Prince of Wales!
  • Henry V. Why, you whoreson round man, what's the matter? 1130
  • Falstaff. Are not you a coward? answer me to that: and Poins there?
  • Edward Poins. 'Zounds, ye fat paunch, an ye call me coward, by the
    Lord, I'll stab thee.
  • Falstaff. I call thee coward! I'll see thee damned ere I call
    thee coward: but I would give a thousand pound I 1135
    could run as fast as thou canst. You are straight
    enough in the shoulders, you care not who sees your
    back: call you that backing of your friends? A
    plague upon such backing! give me them that will
    face me. Give me a cup of sack: I am a rogue, if I 1140
    drunk to-day.
  • Henry V. O villain! thy lips are scarce wiped since thou
    drunkest last.
  • Falstaff. All's one for that.
    [He drinks] 1145
    A plague of all cowards, still say I.
  • Falstaff. What's the matter! there be four of us here have
    ta'en a thousand pound this day morning.
  • Henry V. Where is it, Jack? where is it? 1150
  • Falstaff. Where is it! taken from us it is: a hundred upon
    poor four of us.
  • Falstaff. I am a rogue, if I were not at half-sword with a
    dozen of them two hours together. I have 'scaped by 1155
    miracle. I am eight times thrust through the
    doublet, four through the hose; my buckler cut
    through and through; my sword hacked like a
    hand-saw—ecce signum! I never dealt better since
    I was a man: all would not do. A plague of all 1160
    cowards! Let them speak: if they speak more or
    less than truth, they are villains and the sons of darkness.
  • Gadshill. We four set upon some dozen—
  • Falstaff. Sixteen at least, my lord. 1165
  • Peto. No, no, they were not bound.
  • Falstaff. You rogue, they were bound, every man of them; or I
    am a Jew else, an Ebrew Jew.
  • Gadshill. As we were sharing, some six or seven fresh men set upon us— 1170
  • Falstaff. And unbound the rest, and then come in the other.
  • Henry V. What, fought you with them all?
  • Falstaff. All! I know not what you call all; but if I fought
    not with fifty of them, I am a bunch of radish: if
    there were not two or three and fifty upon poor old 1175
    Jack, then am I no two-legged creature.
  • Henry V. Pray God you have not murdered some of them.
  • Falstaff. Nay, that's past praying for: I have peppered two
    of them; two I am sure I have paid, two rogues
    in buckram suits. I tell thee what, Hal, if I tell 1180
    thee a lie, spit in my face, call me horse. Thou
    knowest my old ward; here I lay and thus I bore my
    point. Four rogues in buckram let drive at me—
  • Henry V. What, four? thou saidst but two even now.
  • Falstaff. Four, Hal; I told thee four. 1185
  • Falstaff. These four came all a-front, and mainly thrust at
    me. I made me no more ado but took all their seven
    points in my target, thus.
  • Henry V. Seven? why, there were but four even now. 1190
  • Falstaff. Seven, by these hilts, or I am a villain else.
  • Henry V. Prithee, let him alone; we shall have more anon.
  • Henry V. Ay, and mark thee too, Jack.
  • Falstaff. Do so, for it is worth the listening to. These nine
    in buckram that I told thee of—
  • Falstaff. Their points being broken,— 1200
  • Falstaff. Began to give me ground: but I followed me close,
    came in foot and hand; and with a thought seven of
    the eleven I paid.
  • Henry V. O monstrous! eleven buckram men grown out of two! 1205
  • Falstaff. But, as the devil would have it, three misbegotten
    knaves in Kendal green came at my back and let drive
    at me; for it was so dark, Hal, that thou couldst
    not see thy hand.
  • Henry V. These lies are like their father that begets them; 1210
    gross as a mountain, open, palpable. Why, thou
    clay-brained guts, thou knotty-pated fool, thou
    whoreson, obscene, grease tallow-catch,—
  • Falstaff. What, art thou mad? art thou mad? is not the truth
    the truth? 1215
  • Henry V. Why, how couldst thou know these men in Kendal
    green, when it was so dark thou couldst not see thy
    hand? come, tell us your reason: what sayest thou to this?
  • Falstaff. What, upon compulsion? 'Zounds, an I were at the 1220
    strappado, or all the racks in the world, I would
    not tell you on compulsion. Give you a reason on
    compulsion! If reasons were as plentiful as
    blackberries, I would give no man a reason upon
    compulsion, I. 1225
  • Henry V. I'll be no longer guilty of this sin; this sanguine
    coward, this bed-presser, this horseback-breaker,
    this huge hill of flesh,—
  • Falstaff. 'Sblood, you starveling, you elf-skin, you dried
    neat's tongue, you bull's pizzle, you stock-fish! O 1230
    for breath to utter what is like thee! you
    tailor's-yard, you sheath, you bowcase; you vile
    standing-tuck,—
  • Henry V. Well, breathe awhile, and then to it again: and
    when thou hast tired thyself in base comparisons, 1235
    hear me speak but this.
  • Henry V. We two saw you four set on four and bound them, and
    were masters of their wealth. Mark now, how a plain
    tale shall put you down. Then did we two set on you 1240
    four; and, with a word, out-faced you from your
    prize, and have it; yea, and can show it you here in
    the house: and, Falstaff, you carried your guts
    away as nimbly, with as quick dexterity, and roared
    for mercy and still run and roared, as ever I heard 1245
    bull-calf. What a slave art thou, to hack thy sword
    as thou hast done, and then say it was in fight!
    What trick, what device, what starting-hole, canst
    thou now find out to hide thee from this open and
    apparent shame? 1250
  • Edward Poins. Come, let's hear, Jack; what trick hast thou now?
  • Falstaff. By the Lord, I knew ye as well as he that made ye.
    Why, hear you, my masters: was it for me to kill the
    heir-apparent? should I turn upon the true prince?
    why, thou knowest I am as valiant as Hercules: but 1255
    beware instinct; the lion will not touch the true
    prince. 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. But, by the Lord, 1260
    lads, I am glad you have the money. Hostess, clap
    to the doors: watch to-night, pray to-morrow.
    Gallants, lads, boys, hearts of gold, all the titles
    of good fellowship come to you! What, shall we be
    merry? shall we have a play extempore? 1265
  • Henry V. Content; and the argument shall be thy running away.
  • Falstaff. Ah, no more of that, Hal, an thou lovest me!

[Enter Hostess]

  • Henry V. How now, my lady the hostess! what sayest thou to 1270
    me?
  • Hostess Quickly. Marry, my lord, there is a nobleman of the court at
    door would speak with you: he says he comes from
    your father.
  • Henry V. Give him as much as will make him a royal man, and 1275
    send him back again to my mother.
  • Falstaff. What doth gravity out of his bed at midnight? Shall
    I give him his answer? 1280
  • Falstaff. 'Faith, and I'll send him packing.

[Exit FALSTAFF]

  • Henry V. Now, sirs: by'r lady, you fought fair; so did you,
    Peto; so did you, Bardolph: you are lions too, you 1285
    ran away upon instinct, you will not touch the true
    prince; no, fie!
  • Henry V. 'Faith, tell me now in earnest, how came Falstaff's
    sword so hacked? 1290
  • Peto. Why, he hacked it with his dagger, and said he would
    swear truth out of England but he would make you
    believe it was done in fight, and persuaded us to do the like.
  • Lord Bardolph. Yea, and to tickle our noses with spear-grass to
    make them bleed, and then to beslubber our garments 1295
    with it and swear it was the blood of true men. I
    did that I did not this seven year before, I blushed
    to hear his monstrous devices.
  • Henry V. O villain, thou stolest a cup of sack eighteen years
    ago, and wert taken with the manner, and ever since 1300
    thou hast blushed extempore. Thou hadst fire and
    sword on thy side, and yet thou rannest away: what
    instinct hadst thou for it?
  • Lord Bardolph. My lord, do you see these meteors? do you behold
    these exhalations? 1305
  • Henry V. Hot livers and cold purses.
  • Henry V. No, if rightly taken, halter. 1310
    [Re-enter FALSTAFF]
    Here comes lean Jack, here comes bare-bone.
    How now, my sweet creature of bombast!
    How long is't ago, Jack, since thou sawest thine own knee?
  • Falstaff. My own knee! when I was about thy years, Hal, I was 1315
    not an eagle's talon in the waist; I could have
    crept into any alderman's thumb-ring: a plague of
    sighing and grief! it blows a man up like a
    bladder. There's villanous news abroad: here was
    Sir John Bracy from your father; you must to the 1320
    court in the morning. That same mad fellow of the
    north, Percy, and he of Wales, that gave Amamon the
    bastinado and made Lucifer cuckold and swore the
    devil his true liegeman upon the cross of a Welsh
    hook—what a plague call you him? 1325
  • Falstaff. Owen, Owen, the same; and his son-in-law Mortimer,
    and old Northumberland, and that sprightly Scot of
    Scots, Douglas, that runs o' horseback up a hill
    perpendicular,— 1330
  • Henry V. He that rides at high speed and with his pistol
    kills a sparrow flying.
  • Henry V. So did he never the sparrow.
  • Falstaff. Well, that rascal hath good mettle in him; he will not run. 1335
  • Henry V. Why, what a rascal art thou then, to praise him so
    for running!
  • Falstaff. O' horseback, ye cuckoo; but afoot he will not budge a foot.
  • Henry V. Yes, Jack, upon instinct.
  • Falstaff. I grant ye, upon instinct. Well, he is there too, 1340
    and one Mordake, and a thousand blue-caps more:
    Worcester is stolen away to-night; thy father's
    beard is turned white with the news: you may buy
    land now as cheap as stinking mackerel.
  • Henry V. Why, then, it is like, if there come a hot June and 1345
    this civil buffeting hold, we shall buy maidenheads
    as they buy hob-nails, by the hundreds.
  • Falstaff. By the mass, lad, thou sayest true; it is like we
    shall have good trading that way. But tell me, Hal,
    art not thou horrible afeard? thou being 1350
    heir-apparent, could the world pick thee out three
    such enemies again as that fiend Douglas, that
    spirit Percy, and that devil Glendower? Art thou
    not horribly afraid? doth not thy blood thrill at
    it? 1355
  • Henry V. Not a whit, i' faith; I lack some of thy instinct.
  • Falstaff. Well, thou wert be horribly chid tomorrow when thou
    comest to thy father: if thou love me, practise an answer.
  • Henry V. Do thou stand for my father, and examine me upon the
    particulars of my life. 1360
  • Falstaff. Shall I? content: this chair shall be my state,
    this dagger my sceptre, and this cushion my crown.
  • Henry V. Thy state is taken for a joined-stool, thy golden
    sceptre for a leaden dagger, and thy precious rich
    crown for a pitiful bald crown! 1365
  • Falstaff. Well, an the fire of grace be not quite out of thee,
    now shalt thou be moved. Give me a cup of sack to
    make my eyes look red, that it may be thought I have
    wept; for I must speak in passion, and I will do it
    in King Cambyses' vein. 1370
  • Falstaff. And here is my speech. Stand aside, nobility.
  • Falstaff. Weep not, sweet queen; for trickling tears are vain.
  • Falstaff. For God's sake, lords, convey my tristful queen;
    For tears do stop the flood-gates of her eyes.
  • Hostess Quickly. O Jesu, he doth it as like one of these harlotry
    players as ever I see!
  • Falstaff. Peace, good pint-pot; peace, good tickle-brain. 1380
    Harry, I do not only marvel where thou spendest thy
    time, but also how thou art accompanied: for though
    the camomile, the more it is trodden on the faster
    it grows, yet youth, the more it is wasted the
    sooner it wears. That thou art my son, I have 1385
    partly thy mother's word, partly my own opinion,
    but chiefly a villanous trick of thine eye and a
    foolish-hanging of thy nether lip, that doth warrant
    me. If then thou be son to me, here lies the point;
    why, being son to me, art thou so pointed at? Shall 1390
    the blessed sun of heaven prove a micher and eat
    blackberries? a question not to be asked. Shall
    the sun of England prove a thief and take purses? a
    question to be asked. There is a thing, Harry,
    which thou hast often heard of and it is known to 1395
    many in our land by the name of pitch: this pitch,
    as ancient writers do report, doth defile; so doth
    the company thou keepest: for, Harry, now I do not
    speak to thee in drink but in tears, not in
    pleasure but in passion, not in words only, but in 1400
    woes also: and yet there is a virtuous man whom I
    have often noted in thy company, but I know not his name.
  • Henry V. What manner of man, an it like your majesty?
  • Falstaff. A goodly portly man, i' faith, and a corpulent; of a
    cheerful look, a pleasing eye and a most noble 1405
    carriage; and, as I think, his age some fifty, or,
    by'r lady, inclining to three score; and now I
    remember me, his name is Falstaff: if that man
    should be lewdly given, he deceiveth me; for, Harry,
    I see virtue in his looks. If then the tree may be 1410
    known by the fruit, as the fruit by the tree, then,
    peremptorily I speak it, there is virtue in that
    Falstaff: him keep with, the rest banish. And tell
    me now, thou naughty varlet, tell me, where hast
    thou been this month? 1415
  • Henry V. Dost thou speak like a king? Do thou stand for me,
    and I'll play my father.
  • Falstaff. Depose me? if thou dost it half so gravely, so
    majestically, both in word and matter, hang me up by
    the heels for a rabbit-sucker or a poulter's hare. 1420
  • Falstaff. And here I stand: judge, my masters.
  • Henry V. Now, Harry, whence come you?
  • Falstaff. My noble lord, from Eastcheap.
  • Henry V. The complaints I hear of thee are grievous. 1425
  • Falstaff. 'Sblood, my lord, they are false: nay, I'll tickle
    ye for a young prince, i' faith.
  • Henry V. Swearest thou, ungracious boy? henceforth ne'er look
    on me. Thou art violently carried away from grace:
    there is a devil haunts thee in the likeness of an 1430
    old fat man; a tun of man is thy companion. Why
    dost thou converse with that trunk of humours, that
    bolting-hutch of beastliness, that swollen parcel
    of dropsies, that huge bombard of sack, that stuffed
    cloak-bag of guts, that roasted Manningtree ox with 1435
    the pudding in his belly, that reverend vice, that
    grey iniquity, that father ruffian, that vanity in
    years? Wherein is he good, but to taste sack and
    drink it? wherein neat and cleanly, but to carve a
    capon and eat it? wherein cunning, but in craft? 1440
    wherein crafty, but in villany? wherein villanous,
    but in all things? wherein worthy, but in nothing?
  • Falstaff. I would your grace would take me with you: whom
    means your grace?
  • Henry V. That villanous abominable misleader of youth, 1445
    Falstaff, that old white-bearded Satan.
  • Falstaff. But to say I know more harm in him than in myself,
    were to say more than I know. That he is old, the 1450
    more the pity, his white hairs do witness it; but
    that he is, saving your reverence, a whoremaster,
    that I utterly deny. If sack and sugar be a fault,
    God help the wicked! if to be old and merry be a
    sin, then many an old host that I know is damned: if 1455
    to be fat be to be hated, then Pharaoh's lean kine
    are to be loved. No, my good lord; banish Peto,
    banish Bardolph, banish Poins: but for sweet Jack
    Falstaff, kind Jack Falstaff, true Jack Falstaff,
    valiant Jack Falstaff, and therefore more valiant, 1460
    being, as he is, old Jack Falstaff, banish not him
    thy Harry's company, banish not him thy Harry's
    company: banish plump Jack, and banish all the world.

[A knocking heard]

[Exeunt Hostess, FRANCIS, and BARDOLPH]

[Re-enter BARDOLPH, running]

  • Lord Bardolph. O, my lord, my lord! the sheriff with a most
    monstrous watch is at the door.
  • Falstaff. Out, ye rogue! Play out the play: I have much to 1470
    say in the behalf of that Falstaff.

[Re-enter the Hostess]

  • Henry V. Heigh, heigh! the devil rides upon a fiddlestick:
    what's the matter? 1475
  • Hostess Quickly. 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: thou art essentially mad,
    without seeming so. 1480
  • Henry V. And thou a natural coward, without instinct.
  • Falstaff. I deny your major: if you will deny the sheriff,
    so; if not, let him enter: if I become not a cart
    as well as another man, a plague on my bringing up!
    I hope I shall as soon be strangled with a halter as another. 1485
  • Henry V. Go, hide thee behind the arras: the rest walk up
    above. Now, my masters, for a true face and good
    conscience.
  • Falstaff. Both which I have had: but their date is out, and
    therefore I'll hide me. 1490
  • Henry V. Call in the sheriff.
    [Exeunt all except PRINCE HENRY and PETO]
    [Enter Sheriff and the Carrier]
    Now, master sheriff, what is your will with me?
  • Sheriff. First, pardon me, my lord. A hue and cry 1495
    Hath follow'd certain men unto this house.
  • Sheriff. One of them is well known, my gracious lord,
    A gross fat man.
  • Henry V. The man, I do assure you, is not here;
    For I myself at this time have employ'd him.
    And, sheriff, I will engage my word to thee
    That I will, by to-morrow dinner-time,
    Send him to answer thee, or any man, 1505
    For any thing he shall be charged withal:
    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.
  • Henry V. It may be so: if he have robb'd these men, 1510
    He shall be answerable; and so farewell.
  • Sheriff. Good night, my noble lord.
  • Henry V. I think it is good morrow, is it not?
  • Sheriff. Indeed, my lord, I think it be two o'clock.

[Exeunt Sheriff and Carrier]

  • Henry V. This oily rascal is known as well as Paul's. Go,
    call him forth.
  • Peto. Falstaff!—Fast asleep behind the arras, and
    snorting like a horse.
  • Henry V. Hark, how hard he fetches breath. Search his pockets. 1520
    [He searcheth his pockets, and findeth certain papers]
    What hast thou found?
  • Peto. Nothing but papers, my lord.
  • Henry V. Let's see what they be: read them.
  • Peto. [Reads] Item, A capon,. . 2s. 2d. 1525
    Item, Sauce,. . . 4d.
    Item, Sack, two gallons, 5s. 8d.
    Item, Anchovies and sack after supper, 2s. 6d.
    Item, Bread, ob.
  • Henry V. O monstrous! but one half-penny-worth of bread to 1530
    this intolerable deal of sack! What there is else,
    keep close; we'll read it at more advantage: 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 honourable. I'll procure this fat rogue a 1535
    charge of foot; and I know his death will be a
    march of twelve-score. The money shall be paid
    back again with advantage. Be with me betimes in
    the morning; and so, good morrow, Peto.

[Exeunt]

  • Peto. Good morrow, good my lord.

Plays + Sonnets + Poems + Concordance + Character Search + Advanced Search + About OSS