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FIRST PART OF

KING HENRY I V.

ACT I.

SCENE I.-LONDON. A Room in the Palace.
Enter KING HENRY, WESTMORELAND, SIR WALTER

BLUNT, and others.
K. Hen. So shaken as we are, so wan with care,
Find we a time for frighted peace to pant,
And breathe short-winded accents of new broils
To be commenc'd in strands afar remote.
No more the thirsty entrance of this soil
Shall daub her lips with her own children’s blood;
No more shall trenching war channel her fields,
Nor bruise her flowerets with the armed hoofs
Of hostile paces: those opposed eyes
Which, like the meteors of a troubled heaven,
All of one nature, of one substance bred,
Did lately meet in the intestine shock
And furious close of civil butchery,
Shall now, in mutual well-beseeming ranks,
March all one way, and be no more oppos'd
Against acquaintance, kindred, and allies :
The edge of war, like an ill-sheathed knife,
No more shall cut his master. Therefore, friends,
As far as to the sepulchre of Christ, -
Whose soldier now, under whose blessed cross
We are impressed and engag'd to fight, -
Forthwith a power of English shall we levy;
Whose arms were moulded in their mothers' womb
To chase these pagans in those holy fields
Over whose acres walk'd those blessed feet
Which fourteen hundred years ago were nail'd
For our advantage on the bitter cross.

Of

But this our purpose is a twelvemonth old,
And bootless 'tis to tell you we will go :
Therefore we meet not now. --Then let me hear

you, my gentle cousin Westmoreland, What yesternight our council did decree In forwarding this dear expedience.

West. My liege, this haste was hot in question,
And many limits of the charge set down
But yesternight: when, all athwart, there came
A post from Wales loaden with heavy news;
Whose worst was,-that the noble Mortimer,
Leading the men of Herefordshire to fight
Against the irregular and wild Glendower,
Was by the rude hands of that Welshman taken,
A thousand of his people butchered;
Upon whose dead corpse' there was such misuse,
Such beastly, shameless transformation,
By those Welshwomen done, as may not be
Without much shame re-told or spoken of.

K. Hen. It seems, then, that the tidings of this broil Brake off our business for the Holy Land.

West. This, match'd with other, did, my gracious lord; For more uneven and unwelcome news Came from the north, and thus it did import : On Holy-rood day, the gallant Hotspur there, Young Harry Percy, and brave Archibald, That ever-valiant and approved Scot, At Holmedon met, Where they did spend a sad and bloody hour; As by discharge of their artillery, And shape of likelihood, the news was told; For he that brought them, in the very heat And pride of their contention did take horse, Uncertain of the issue any way.

K. Hen. Here is a dear and true-industrious friend, Sir Walter Blunt, new lighted from his horse, Stain'd with the variation of each soil Betwixt that Holmedon and this seat of ours; And he hath brought us smooth and welcome news. The Earl of Douglas is discomfited : Ten thousand bold Scots, two-and-twenty knights, Balk'd in their own blood, did Sir Walter see On Holmedon's plains : of prisoners, Hotspur took Mordake, Earl of Fife and eldest son To beaten Douglas; and the Earls of Athol, Of Murray, Angus, and Menteith.

And is not this an honourable spoil?
A gallant prize? ha, cousin, is it not?
West.

In faith,
It is a conquest for a prince to boast of.
K. Hen. Yea, there thou mak'st me sad, and mak’st me

sin,
In envy that my Lord Northumberland
Should be the father to so blest a son,-
A son who is the theme of honour's tongue;
Amongst a grove, the very straightest plant;
Who is sweet fortune's minion and her pride:
Whilst I, by looking on the praise of him,
See riot and dishonour stain the brow
Of my young Harry. O that it could be prov'd
That some night-tripping fairy had exchang'd
In cradle-clothes our children where they lay,
And call’d mine Percy, his Plantagenet !
Then would I have his Harry, and be mine:
But let him from my thoughts.--What think you, coz,
Of this young Percy's pride? The prisoners,
Which he in this adventure hath surpris'd,
To his own use he keeps; and sends me word,
I shall have none but Mordake Earl of Fife.

West. This is his uncle's teaching, this is Worcester,
Malevolent to you in all aspects;
Which makes him prune himself, and bristle up
The crest of youth against your dignity.

K. Hen. But I have sent for him to answer this;
And for this cause awhile we must neglect
Our holy purpose to Jerusalem.
Cousin, on Wednesday next our council we
Will hold at Windsor, -so inform the lords:
But come yourself with speed to us again;
For more is to be said and to be done
Than out of anger can be uttered.
West. I will, my liege.

[Exeunt.

SCENE II.-The same.

Another Room in the Palace.

Enter PRINCE HENRY and FALSTAFF. Fal. Now, Hal, what time of day is it, lad ?

P. Hen. Thou art so fat-witted, with drinking of old sack, and unbuttoning thee after supper, and sleeping upon benches after noon, that thou hast forgotten to demand that truly which thou wouldst truly know. What a devil hast thou to do with the time of the day? unless hours were cups of sack, and minutes capons, and clocks the tongues of bawds, and dials the signs of leaping houses, and the blessed sun himself a fair hot wench in flame-coloured taffeta, -I see no reason why thou shouldst be so superfluous to demand the time of the day.

Fal. Indeed, you come near me now, Hal; for we that take purses go by the moon and the seven stars, and not by Phæbus,-he, that wandering knight so fair. And, I prythee, sweet wag, when thou art king, -as, God save thy grace,-majesty, I should say; for grace thou wilt have none,

P. Hen. What, pone?

Fal. No, by my troth; not so much as will serve to be prologue to an egg and butter.

P. Hen. Well, how then ? come, roundly, roundly.

Fal. Marry, then, sweet wag, when thou art king, let not us that are squires of the night's body be called thieves of the day's beauty: let us be Diana's foresters, gentlemen of the shade, minions of the moon; and let men say we be men of good government, being governed, as the sea is, by our noble and chaste mistress the moon, under whose countenance we steal.

P. Hen. Thou sayest well, and it holds well too; for the fortune of us that are the moon's men doth ebb and flow like the sea, being governed, as the sea is, by the moon. As, for proof, now: a purse of gold most resolutely snatched on Monday night, and most dissolutely spent on Tuesday morning; got with swearing lay by, and spent with crying bring in; now in as low an ebb as the foot of the ladder, and by and by in as high a flow as the ridge of the gallows.

Fal. By the Lord, thou sayest true, lad. And is not my hostess of the tavern a most sweet wench?

P. Hen. As the honey of Hybla, my old lad of the castle. And is not a buff jerkin a most sweet robe of durance?

l'al. How now, how now, mad wag! what, in thy quips and thy quiddities? what a plague have I to do with a buff jerkin?

P. Hen. Why, what a pox have I to do with my hostess of the tavern?

Fal. Well, thou hast called her to a reckoning many a time and oft.

P. Hen. Did I ever call for thee to pay thy part?
Fal. No; I'll give thee thy due, thou hast paid all there.

P. Hen. Yea, and elsewhere, so far as my coin would stretch; and where it would not, I have used my credit.

Fal. Yea, and so used it that, were it not here apparent that thou art heir-apparent,-but, I pr’ythee, sweet wag, shall there be gallows standing in England when thou art king? and resolution thus fobbed as it is with the rusty curb of old father antic the law? Do not thou, when thou art king, hang a thief.

P. Hen. No; thou shalt.

Fal. Shall I? O rare! By the Lord, I'll be a brave judge.

P. Hen. Thou judgest false already: I mean, thou shalt have the hanging of the thieves, and so become a rare hangman.

Fal. Well, Hal, well; and in some sort it jumps with my humour as well as waiting in the court, I can tell you.

P. Hen. For obtaining of suits ?

Fal. Yea, for obtaining of suits, whereof the hangman hath no lean wardrobe. Sblood, I am as melancholy as a gib-cat or a lugged bear. P. Hen. Or

an old lion, or a lover's lute. Fal. Yea, or the drone of a Lincolnshire bagpipe.

P. Hen. What sayest thou to a hare, or the melancholy of Moor-ditch ?

Fal. Thou hast the most unsavoury similes, and art, indeed, the most comparative, rascallest, -sweet young prince, —but, Hal, I pr’ythee, trouble mé no more with vanity. I would to God thou and I knew where a commodity of good names were to be bought. An old lord of the council rated me the other day in the street about you, sir,—but I marked him not; and yet he talked very wisely,-but I regarded him not; and yet he talked wisely, and in the street too.

P. Hen. Thou didst well; for wisdom cries out in the streets, and no man regards it.

Fal. O, thou hast damnable iteration, and art, indeed, able to corrupt a saint. Thou hast done much harm upon me, Hal,—God forgive thee for it! Before I knew thee, Hal, I knew nothing; and now am I, if a man should speak truly, little better than one of the wicked. I must give over this life, and I will give it over; by the Lord, an ì do not, I am a villain: I'll be damned for never a king's son in Christendom.

P. Hen. Where shall we take a purse to-morrow, Jack ?

Fal. Where thou wilt, lad; I'll make one: an I do not, call me villain, and baffle me.

P. Hen. I see a good amendment of life in thee, -from praying to purse-taking.

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