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FIRST PART OF
KING HENRY I V.
SCENE I.-LONDON. A Room in the Palace.
BLUNT, and others.
But this our purpose is a twelvemonth old,
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,
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?
West. This is his uncle's teaching, this is Worcester,
K. Hen. But I have sent for him to answer this;
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?
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.