« PreviousContinue »
this latter age with noble deeds.
For my part, I may speak it to my shame,
I have a truant been to chivalry;
And so, I hear, he doth account me too :
Yet this before my father's majesty, -
I am content, that he shall take the odds
Of his great name and estimation;
And will, to save the blood on either side,
Try fortune with him in a single fight.
K. Hen. And, prince of Wales, so dare we venture
Albeit, considerations infinite
Do make against it :-No, good Worcester, no,
We love our people well; even those we love,
That are misled upon your cousin's part:
And, will they take the offer of our grace,
Both be, and they, and you, yea, every man,
Shall be my friend again, and I'll be his:
So tell your cousin, and bring me word
What he will do :-But if he will not yield,
Rebuke and dread correction wait on us,
And they shall do their office. So, be gone;
We will not now be troubled with reply:
We offer fair, take it advisedly.
[Exeunt Worcester and Vernon. P. Hen. It will not
be accepted, on my life : The Douglas and the Holspur both together Are confident against the world in arms.
K. Hen. Hence, therefore, every leader to his charge; For, on their answer, will we set on them : And God befriend us, as our cause is just!
[Exeunt King, Blunt, and Prince John. Fal. Hal, if thou see me down in the battle, and bestride me, so;, 'tis a point of friendship,
P. Hen. Nothing but a colossus can do thee that friendship. Say thy prayers, and farewell.
Fal. I would it were bed-time, Hal, and all well."
P. Hen. Why, thou owest God a death. [Exit.
Fal. 'Tis not due yet; I would be loath to pay him hefore his day. What need I be so forward with him
that calls not on me? Well, 'tis no matter; Honour pricks me on. Yea, but how if honour prick me off when I come on? how then? Can honour set to a leg? No. Or an arm? No. Or take away the grief of a wound? No. Honour hath no skill in surgery then? No. What is honour? A word. What is in that word, bonoor? What is that honour? Air. A trim reckoning !-Who hath it? He that died o’Weduesday. Doth he feel it? No. Doth he hear it? No. Is it insensible then? Yea, to the dead. But will it not live with the living? No. Why? Detraction will not suffer it:therefore I'll none of it: Honour is a mere scutcheon, and so ends my catechism.
[Exit. SCENE II. The Rebel Camp.
Enter WORCESTER and VERNON.
Wor. O, no, my nephew must not know, sir, Richard,
The liberal kind offer of the king.
Ver. "Twere best he did.
Then are we all undone.
It is not possible, it cannot be be,
The king should keep his word in loving us;
suspect as still, and find a time
To punish this offence in other faults:
Suspicion shall be all stuck full of eyes :
For treason is but trusted like the fox;
Who, ne'er so tame, so cherish’d, and lock'd up,
Will have a wild trick of his ancestors.
Look how we can, or sad, or merrily,
Interpretation will inisquote our looks ;
And we shall feed like oxen at a stall,
The better cherish’d, still the nearer death.
My nephew's trespass may be well forgot,
It hath the excuse of youth, and heat of blood;
And an adopted name of privilege,–
A harebrain's Hotspur, govern'd by a spleen :
All his offeuces live upon my head,
And, on his father's ;-we did train him on;
And, his corruption being ta'en from us,
We, as the spring of all, shall pay for all.
Therefore, good coasin, let not Harry know,
In any case, the offer of the king.
Ver. Deliver what you will, I'll say, 'tis so.
Here comes your cousin."
Enter Hotspur and Douglas; and Officers and Sol-
Hot. My uncle is return'd:Deliver up
My lord of Westmoreland.Uncle, what news ?
Wor. The king will bid you battle presently.
Doug. Defy him by the lord of Westmoreland.
Hot. Lord Douglas, go you and tell him so.
Doug. Marry, and shall, and very willingly. [Exit.
Wor. There is no seeming mercy in the king.
Hot. Did you beg any? God forbid !
Wor. I told him gently of our grievances,
Of his oath-breaking; which he mended thus,-
By now forswearing that he is forsworn:
He calls us rebels, traitors; and will scourge
With haughty arms this hateful name in us.
Doug. Arm, gentlemen; to arms! for I have throwu
A brave defiance in king Henry's teeth,
And Westmoreland, that was engag’d, did bear it;
Which cannot choose but bring him quickly on.
Wor. The prince of Wales stepp'd forth before the
And, nephew, challeng'd you to single fight.
Hot. 0, 'would the quarrel lay upon our heads;
And that no man might draw short breath to-day,
But I, and Harry Moninouth! Tell me,
How show'd his tasking? seem'd it in conteinpt?
Ver. No, by my soul; I never in my life
Did hear a challenge urg'd more modestly,
Unless a brother should
a brother dare To gentle exercise and proof of arms. He gave you all the duties of a man; 'Trimm'd up your praises with a princely tongue;
Spoke your deservings like a chronicle;
Making you ever better than his praise,
By still dispraising praise, valued with you:
And, which became him like a prince indeed,
He made a blushing cital of himself;
And chid his truant youth with such a grace,
As if he master'd there a double spirit,
of teaching, and of learning, instantly.
There did he pause : But let me tell the world,
if he outlive the envy of this day,
England did never owe so sweet a hope,
So much misconstrued in his wantonness.
Hot. Cousin, I think, thou art enamoured
Upon his follies; never did I hear
of any prince, so wild, at liberty :
But, be he as he will, yet once ere night
I will embrace him with a soldier's arm,
That he sball shrink under my courtesy.-
Arm, arm, with speed :—And, fellows, soldiers, friends,
Better consider what you have to do,
Than I, that have not well the gift of tongue,
Can lift your blood up with persuasion,
Enter a Messenger.
Mess. My lord, here are letters for you.
Hot. I cannot read them now.
O gentlemen, the time of life is short;
To spend that shortness basely, were too long,
If life did ride upon a dial's point,
Still ending at the arrival of an liour.
An if we live, we live to tread on kings;
If die, brave death, when princes die with us!
Now for our conscience,--the arms are fair,
When the intent of bearing them is just.
Enter another Messenger.
Mess. My lord, prepare; the king comes on apace.
Hot. I thank him, that he cuts me from my tale,
For I profess not talking: Only this**...
Let each man do his best: and here draw I
A sword, whose temper I intend to stain
With the best blood that I can meet withal
In the adventure of this perilous day.
Now,-Esperance !-Percy!~and set on.
Sound all the lofty instruments of war,
And by that music let us all embrace :
For, heaven to earth, some of us never shall
A second time do such a courtesy.
[The Trumpets sound. They embrace, and exeunt.
SCENE III. Plain near SHREWSBURY. Excursions, and Parties fighting. Alarum to the Battle.
Then enter Douglas and Blunt, meeting. Blunt. What is thy name, that in the battle thus Thou crossest me? what honour dost thou seek Upon my head?
Doug. Know then, my name is Douglas ; And I do haunt thee in the battle thus, Because some tell me that thou art a king.
Blunt. They tell thee true.
Doug. The lord of Stafford dear to-day hath bought Thy likeness ; for, instead of thee, king Harry, This sword háth ended him: so shall it thee, Unless thou yield thee as my prisoner.
Blunt. I was not born a yielder, thou proud Scot;
And thou shalt find a king ihat will revenge
Lord Stafford's death. [They fight, und Blunt is slain.
Hot. O Douglas, hadst thou fought at Holmedon
thus, I never had triumph'd upon a Scot. Doug. All's done, all's won; here breathless lies the
king Hot. Where? Doug. Here.
Hot. This, Douglas? no, I know this face full well : A gallant knight he was, his name was Blant: Semblably furnish'd like the king himself.