Page images
PDF
EPUB

alone; I will lay him down fuch reafons for this adventure,. that he fhall go.

Fal. Well, may'ft thou have the fpirit of perfuafion,, and he the ears of profiting! that what thou speak'ft may move, and what he hears may be believ'd; that the true Prince may, for recreation fake, prove a falfe thief; for. the poor abufes of the time want countenance. Farewel, you fhall find me in Eaft-cheap.

<

P. Henry. Farewel, thou latter fpring! Farewel, allhallown fummer! [Exit Fal. Poins. Now, my good fweet hony Lord, ride with us tomorrow. I have a jeft to execute, that I cannot manage alone. Falstaff, Bardolph, Peto, and Gads-bill, fhall rob those men that we have already way-laid; your felf and I will not be there; and when they have the booty, if you and I do not rob them, cut this head from my fhoulders.

P. Henry. But how fhall we part with them in fetting forth?

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Poins. Why, we will fet forth before or after them, and appoint them a place of meeting, wherein it is at our pleafure to fail; and then will they adventure upon the exploit themselves, which they fhall have no fooner atchiev'd, but we'll fet upon them.

P. Henry. Ay, but 'tis like that they will know us by our horfes, by our habits, and by every other appointment, to be our felves.

Poins. Tut, our horfes they shall not fee, I'll tye them in the wood; our vizards we will change after we leave them; and, firrah, I have cafes of buckram for the nonce, to immask our noted outward garments.

P. Henry. But I doubt they will be too hard for us.

Poins. Well, for two of them, I know them to be as true-bred cowards as ever turn'd back; and for the third, if he fight longer than he fees reafon, I'll forfwear arms. The virtue of this jeft will be, the incomprehenfible lies that this fame fat rogue will tell us when we meet at fupper; how thirty at least he fought with, what wards, what blows, what extremities he endured; and in the reproof of this, yes the jeft;

P. Henry. Well, I'll go with thee; provide us all things

ne

noceffary, and meet me to-morrow night in Eaft-cheap, there I'll fup. Farewel!

Poins. Farewel, my Lord!

[Exit Poins.

P. Henry. I know you all, and will a while uphold The anyok'd humour of your idleness; Yet herein will I imitate the fun, Who doth permit the bafe contagious clouds To fmother up his beauty from the world; That when he please again to be himself, Being wanted, he may be more wondred at, By breaking through the foul and ugly mifts Of vapours, that did seem to strangle him. If all the year were playing holidays, To fport would be as tedious as to work; But when they feldom come, they wisht-for come, And nothing pleaseth but rare accidents. So when this loose behaviour I throw off, And pay the debt I never promifed; By how much better than my word I am, By fo much fhall I falfifie men's hopes; And, like bright metal on a fullen ground, My reformation glittering o'er my fault Shall fhew more goodly, and attract more eyes, Than that which hath no foil to fet it off. I'll fo offend, to make offence a skill, Redeeming time, when men think leaft I will. SCENE IV. An Apartment in the Palace. Enter King Henry, Northumberland, Worcester, Hot-fpur, Sir Walter Blunt, and others.

[Exit.

K. Henry. My blood hath been too cold and temperate, Unapt to ftir at these indignities; And you have found me; for accordingly You tread upon my patience: but be fure, I will from henceforth rather be my self, Mighty and to be fear'd in my condition, Which hath been imooth as oyl, foft as young down, And therefore loft that title of refpect, Which the proud foul ne'er pays but to the proud. Wor. Our houfe, my fovereign Liege, little deferves The fcourge of greatneis to be used on it,

VOL. V,

B

And

And that fame greatnefs too, which our own hands
Have help'd to make fo portly.

North. My good Lord

K. Henry. Hence, Worcester, get thee gone; for I do fee Danger and difobedience in thine eye.

O Sir, your prefence is too bold and peremptory,
And Majefty might never yet endure
The moody frontier of a fervant brow.
You have good leave to leave us.
Your ufe and counfel, we fhall fend for you.
You were about to speak.

North. Yes, my good Lord.

When we need

[Exit Wor. [To North.

Those prifoners in your Highness' name demanded,
Which Harry Percy here at Holmedon took,
Were, as he fays, not with fuch strength deny'd
As was deliver'd to your Majesty.
Or envy therefore, or misprifion,
Is guilty of this fault, and not my fon.

Hot. My Liege, I did' deny no prisoners.
But I remember, when the fight was done,
When I was dry with rage, and extream toil,
Breathlefs, and faint, leaning upon my sword;
Came there a certain Lord, neat, trimly drefs'd:
Fresh as a bridegroom, and his chin new-reap'd
Shew'd like a stubble-land at harvest-home.
He was perfumed like a milliner,

And 'twixt his finger and his thumb, he held
A pouncet-box, which ever and anon

He gave his nofe: * and still he fmil'd and talk'd;
And as the foldiers bare dead bodies by,
He call'd them untaught knaves, unmannerly,
To bring a flovenly, unhandfome coarfe
Betwixt the wind and his nobility.
With many holiday and lady terms

He queftion'd me: among the reft, demanded
My prifoners, in your Majesty's behalf.

I, then all-smarting with my wounds being cold,

# -..... nofe, and took't away again;
Who therewith angry, when it next came there,
Took it in fnuff.And itill he fmil'd, &..

Το

[ocr errors]

To be fo pefter'd with a popinjay,
Out of my grief and my impatience,
Anfwer'd neglectingly, I know not what ;
He fhould or fhould not; for he made me mad,
To fee him fhine fo brifk, and smell fo fweet,

And talk fo like a waiting-gentlewoman,

Of guns, and drums, and wounds; (God fave the mark!)
And telling me, the fovereign'ft thing on earth
Was Parmacity, for an inward bruife;
And that it was great pity, fo it was,
This villainous falt-petre fhould be digg'd
Out of the bowels of the harmless earth,
Which many a good, tall fellow had deftroy'd
So cowardly And but for thefe vile guns,
He would himself have been a foldier.
This bald, unjointed chat of his, my Lord,
I answer'd indirectly, as I faid;
And I beseech you, let not this report
Come currant for an accufation,
Betwixt my love and your high Majefty.

:

Blunt. The circumftance confider'd, good my Lord,
Whatever Harry Percy then had faid,
To fuch a perfon, and in fuch a place,
At fuch a time, with all the reft retold,
May reafonably die and never rife
To do him wrong, or any way impeach
What then he said, fo he unfay it now.

K. Henry. Why, yet he doth deny his prifoners,
But with provifo and exception,
That we at our own charge fhall ransom strait
His brother-in-law, the foolish Mortimer,
Who, on my foul, hath wilfully betray'd
The lives of thofe, that he did lead to fight.
Against the great magician, damn'd Glendower;
Whofe daughter, as we hear, the Earl of March
Hath lately marry'd. Shall our coffers then
Be empty'd, to redeem a traitor home?
Shall we buy treafon ? and indent with foes,'

Indent, for article, bargain.
B 2

When

When they have loft and forfeited themselves?
No; on the barren mountains let him starve;
For I fhall never hold that man my friend,
Whofe tongue fhall afk me for one penny cont
To ranfom home revolted Mortimer.

Hot. Revolted Mortimer ?

He never did fall off, my fovereign Liege,
But bore the chance of war; to prove that true,
Needs no more but one tongue for all thofe wounds
Those mouthed wounds, which valiantly he took,
When on the gentle Severn's fedgie bank,
In fingle oppofition hand to hand,

He did confound the best part of an hour
In changing hardiment with great Glendower :
Three times they breath'd, and three times did they drink,
Upon agreement, of fwift Severn's flood;"
Who then affrighted with their bloody looks,
Ran fearfully among the trembling reeds,
And hid his crifp'd head in the hollow bank,
Blood-ftained with thefe valiant combatants.
Never did bafe and rotten policy
Colour her working with fuch deadly wounds
Nor ever could the noble Mortimer
Receive fo many, and all willingly.

Then let him not be flander'd with revolt.

K. Henry, Thou doft belie him, Percy, thou belieft him He never did encounter with Glendower; He durft as well have met the devil, alone, As Owen Glendower for an enemy. Art not afham'd? but from this hour, Sir, Let me not hear you fpeak of Mortimer. Send me your prifoners with the speedieft means, Or you fhall hear in fuch a kind from me As will difpleafe you. Lord Northumberland, We licence your departure with your fon. Send us your prifoners, or you'll hear of it.

[Exit K. Henry.

Hot. And if the devil come and roar for them,
I will not fend them. I will after ftrait,
And tell him fo; for I will ease my heart,

Although

« PreviousContinue »