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HENRY IV. PART
(WRITTEN ABOUT 1597-98.)
The two parts of King Henry IV. may be considered as one play in ten acts. It is probable that Shakespeare went on with little or no delay from the first part to its continuation in the second. Both were written before the entry of the tirst in the Stationers' register, Feb. 25, 1597–98 ; for the entry shows that the name of the fat knight, who originally appeared in both parts under the name of Oldcastle, had been already altered to Falstaff. Meres makes mention of Henry IV.; and Ben Jonson, in Etery Man Out of His Humour (1599), alludes to Justice Silence, one of the characters of the Second Part of Shakespeare's play. The materials upon which Shakespeare worked in Henry IV. and Heary V. were obtained from Kolinshed, and from an old play, full of vulgar mirth, and acted before 1558, The Famous Victories of Henry V. Both parts of Henry 11. consist of a comedy and a history fused together. The hero of the one is the royal Bolingbroke, the hero of the other is Falstaff, while Prince Henry passes to and fro between the history and the comedy, serving as the bond which unites the two. Henry IV. is the same Bolingbroke who had been so greatly conceived in Richard II., only he is no longer in the full force of his manhood. He is worn by care and *oil, barassed by revolts and conspiracies, yet still resolved to hold tirmly what he has forcibly attained. There is a pathetic power in the figure of this weary ambitious man, who can take no rest until the rest of death comes upon him. Hotspur, who, to bring him into contrast with the Prince, is Prince seems to be indifferent to it. To his hot temper and quick sense of personal honor small matters pside mach younger than the Harry, Percy of history, is as ardent in the pursuit of glory as the are creat; he does not see things in their true proportions ; he lacks self-control, he has no easiness of nature. Yet he is gallant, chivalrous, not devoid of generosity nor of quick affections, though pater in a high sense disinterested. Prince Hal, whom Shakespeare admires and loves more than any
other person in English history, afterwards to become Shakespeare's ideal king of England, Shes little for mere reputation. He does not think much of himself and of his own honor; and while there is nothing to do, and his great father holds all power in his own right hand, he escapes fr.m the cold proprieties of the court to the boisterous life and mirth of the tavern. 'He is, howerer
, onl" waiting for a call to action, and Shakespeare declares that from the first he was conscious et his great destiny, and while
seeming to scatter his force in frivolity, was holding his true self, wel
Falstaff is everything in little, or rather everything in much ; for is he not a him of flesh ? English literature knows no numorous creation to set beside
Falstaff; and to find his equal–yet his opposite we must
turn to the
gaunt figure of the romantic knight of La Mancha, antes smiled away pathetically the chivalry of the Middle Ages from out our boden world. Falstaff
exercises upon the reader of these plays much the same fascination which be exercised upon the Prince. We know him to be a gross-bodied, self-indulgent old sinner, devoid of moral sense and of self-respect, and yet we cannot part with him. We cannot live in this world witte zt humor, and Falstaff i humor maintaining its mastery against all antagonisms. We admait, however, the
necessity of his utter banishment from llenry, when Henry enters upon the grave responsibilities of kingship. Still we have a tender thought for Sir John in his exile
from London Laverna. And at the last, when he fumbles with the sheets and plays with flowers, when “a' went Arap, ad it had been any christom child, we bid him adleu with a tear that does not forbid a smile. The historical period represented by 1 Henry IV. dates from the battle of Holmedon Hill, Sept. 14 14., to the battle of Shrewsbury, July 21, 1403. 2 Henry IV, continues the history to the king death and the accession of Henry V., 1413.
guarded ,in reserve
In whose person Ce
Ring HENRY the Fourth.
sons to the King.
HENRY PERCY, surnamed HOTSPUR, his son
SIR MICHAEL, a friend to the Archbishop of
York. Porns. GADSBILL. PETO. BARRC LPH, LADY PERCY, wife to Hotspur, and sister to
LADY MORTIMER, danghter to Glendower,
and wife to Mortimer. MISTRESS QUICKLY, hostess of a tavern in
Drawers, two arriers, Travellers, and
SCENE : England.
SCENE I. London. The palace.
TER, the EARL OF WESTMORELAND, SIR
care, Find we a time for frighted peace to pant, And breathe short-winded accents of new
broils To be commenced in strands afar remote.
No more the thirsty entrance of this soil Shall daub her lips with her own children's
blood; Nor 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, 11 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 opposed 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 engaged to fight, 21 Forthwith a power of English shall we levy ; Whose arms were moulded in their mothers'
womb To chase tnese 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. But this our purpose now is twelve month old, And bootless 'tis to tell you we will go : Therefore we meet not now. Then let me hear Of you, my gentle cousin Westmoreland, 31 What yesternight our council did decree In forwarding this dear expedience. West. My liege, this haste was hot in ques
tion, 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, 40
Was by the rude hands of that Welshman
taken, A thousand of his people butchered ; Upon wliose dead corpse there was such mise
use, Such beastly shameless transformation, By those Welsh women done as may not be Without much shame retold or spoken of. King. 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.
61 King. Here is a dear, a 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 set On Holmedon's plains. Of prisoners, Hotspur took
70 Mordake the Earl of Fife, and eldest son To beaten Douglas ; and the Earl of Athol, Of Murray, Angus, and Menteith : And is not this an honorable spoil ? A gallant prize ? ha, cousin, is it not ?
West. In faith, It is a conquest for a prince to boast of. King. Yea, there thou makest me ud and
makest me sin In envy that my Lord Northumberland Should be the father to so blest a son, A son who is the theme of honor'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 dishonor stain the brow
nim not; and yet he talked wisely, and in the street too.
Prince. Thou didst well ; for wisdom cries out in the streets, and no man regards it. 100
Fal. (), thou hast damnable iteration and art indeed able to corrupt a saint. Thou hast done inuch harm upon me, Hal ; God forgive thee for it! Before I knew thee, Hul, I knew nothing; and now all, 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, and I do not, I am a villain : I'll be damned for never a king's son in Christendom.
Prince. Where shall we take a purse tomorrow, Jack?
111 Fal. Zounds, where thou wilt, lad ; I'll make one ; an I do not, call me villain and battle me.
Prince. . I see a good ainen ent of life in thee; from praying to purse-taking.
Fal. Why, Hal, 'tis iny vocation, Hal ; 'tis no sin for a man to labor in his vocation.
Enter Poins. Poins ! Now shall we know if Gadshill have set a match. O, if men were to be saved by merit, what hole in hell were hot enough for him? This is the most omnipotent villain that ever cried Stand'to a true man.
Prince. Good morrow, Ned.
Poins. Good porrow, sweet Hal. What says Monsieur Reinorse ? what says Sir John Sack and Sugar ? Jack ! how agrees the devil and thee about thy soul, that thou soldest him on Good-Friday last for a cup of Madeira and a cold capon's leg ?
i29 Prince. Sir John stands to his word, the devil shall have his bargain ; for he was never yet a breaker of proverbs : he will give the devil his due.
Poins. Then art thou damned for keeping thy word with the devil.
Prince. Else he had been danned for cozening the devil.
Poms. But, my lads, my lads, to-morrow morning, by four o'clock, early at Gadshill ! there are pilgrims going to Canterbury with rich offerings, and traders riding to London with fat purses: I have vizards for you all ; you have horses for yourselves : Gadsbill lies to. nicht in Rochester : I have bespoke supper tomorrow night in Eastcheap : we may do it as secure as sleep. If you will go, I will stuff your purses full of crowns : if you will not, tarry at home and be hanged.
Fal. Hear ve, Yedward ; if I tarry at home and go not. I'll hang you for going. 150
Poins. You will, chops ?
Fai. There's neither honesty, manhood, nor good fellowship in thee, nor thou camest not of the blood royal, if thou dares not stand for ten shillings
Prince. Well then, once in my days I'll ! a madcap.
10 Fal. Why, that's well said.
Prince. Well, come what will, I'll tarry a home.
Fal. By the Lord, I'll be & traitor the when thou art king.
Prince. I care uot.
Poins. Sir John, I prithee, leave the prin and me alone : I will lay him down such rea sons for this adventure that he shall go.
Fal. Well, God give thee the spirit of i'r suasion and him the ears of profiting, thu what thou speakest may move and wint ! lears may be believed, that the true jiring may, for recreation sake, prove a false thief for the poor abuses of the time want coun tenance. Farewell : you shall find me in Eastcheap.
Prmce. Farewell, thou latter spring! fare well, All-hallown summer! [Exit Falstra
Poins. Now, my good sweet boner bord ride with us to-morrow : I have : jest tu et ecute that I cannot manage alone. Falstart Bardolph, Peto and Gadshill shall rob thos men that we have already wavlaid : poure and I will not be there ; and when the line the booty, if you and I do not rob them. this head off from my shoulders.
Prince. How shall we part with them in setting forth ?
Poins. Why, we will set forth before o after them, and appoint them a place of byeet ing, wherein it is at our pleisure to fail, ali then will they adventure upon the exploi themselves ; when they shall have to see achieved, but we'll set upon them.
Prince. Yea, but 'tis like that they wi know us by our horses, by our habits and D every other appointment, to be ourselves.
Poins. Tut! our horses they shall not set I'll tie them in the wood ; our vizards we wi change after we leave them : and, sirratti have cases of buckrim for the ponce, to in mask our noted outward garments.
Prince. Yea, but I doubt they will be to hard for us.
Poms. Well, for two of them. I know the to be as true-bred cowards as erer til! back; and for the third, if he fight longer the he sees reason, I'll forswear arins. The site of this jest will be, the incomprehensible to that this same fat rogue will tell us when meet at supper: how thirty, at least, he found with ; what wards, what blows, hat eitt ities he endured ; and in the reproof of lies the jest.
Prince. Well, I'll go with thee: proride all things necessary and meet me to-ON night in Eastcheap; there I'll sup. Farewe
Poins. Farewell, my lord.
To smother up his beauty from the world, Either envy, therefore, or misprision
, when he please again to be himself, Is guilty of this fault and not my son.
Breathless and faint, leaning upon my swerd, To sport would be as tedious as to work ; Came there a certain lord, neat, and trinly But when they seldom come, they wish'd for dress'd, come,
230 Fresh as a bridegroom ; and his chin new And nothing pleaseth but rare accidents.
· reap'd So, when this loose behavior I throw off Show'd like a stubble-land at harvest-home ; And pay the debt I never promised,
He was perfumed like a milliner ; By bww much better than my word I am, And 'twixt his finger and his thumb he held By so much shall I falsify men's hopes ; A pouncet-box, which ever and anon And like bright metal on a sullen ground, He gave his nose and took't away again ; Mş reformation, glittering o'er my fault, Who therewith angry, when it next came Shall show more goodly and attract more there,
40 Took it in snuff ; and still he smiled and Than that which hath no foil to set it off.
talk'd, I'll so offend, to make offence a skill ; 240 And as the soldiers bore dead bodies by, Redeeming time when men think least I will. He call'd them untanght knaves, unmannerly,
[Exit. To bring a slovenly uhandsome corse
Betwixt the wind and his nobility. SCENE III. London. The palace. With many holiday and lady terms Enter the KING, NORTHUMBERLAND, WOR
He question’d me ; amongst the rest, de
manded CESTER, HOTSPUR, SIR WALTER BLUNT, with others.
My prisoners in your majesty's behalf.
I then, all smarting with my wounds being King. My blood hath been too cold and cold, temperate, To be so pesterd with a popinjay,
50 Cnapt to stir at these indignities,
Out of my grief and my impatience, And you have found me ; for accordingly Answer'd neglectingly I know not what, ou tread upon my patience : but be sure He should or he should not; for he made me I will from henceforth rather be myself,
mad Mighty and to be fear'd, than my condition ; To see him shine so brisk and smell so sweet Which hath been smooth as oil, soft as young
And talk so like a waiting-gentlewoman down,
Of guns and drums and wounds,—God save And therefore lost that title of respect
the mark ! Which the proud soul ne'er pays but to the And telling me the sovereign'st thing on earth proud.
Was parmaceti for an inward bruise ; Wor. Our house, my sovereign liege, little And that it was great pity, so it was, deserves
10 This villanous salt-petre should be diggd 6b The scourge of greatness to be used on it ; Out of the bowels of the harmless earth, And that same greatness too which our own Which many a good tall fellow had destroy'd hands
So cowardly ; and but for these vile guns, Hare holp to make so portly.
He would himself have been a soldier. Norite My lord,
This bald unjointed chat of his, my lord, King. Worcester, get thee gone ; for I do I answer'd indirectly, ils I said ;
And I beseech you, let not his report Danger and disobedience in thine eye:
Coine current for an accusation 0, sir, your presence is too bold and peremp- Betwixt my love and your high majesty. tory,
Blunt. The circumstance consider'd, good And majesty might never yet endure
70 The moody frontier of a servant brow. Whate'er Lord Harry Percy then bad said You have good leave to leave us : when we To such a person and in such a place, need
At such a time, with all the rest retold, Your use and counsel, we shall send for you. May reasonably die and never rise
Eeit Wor. To do him wrong or any way impeach Yon were about to speak.
ITo North. What then he said, so he unsay it now. North
Yea, my good lord. King. Why, yet he doth deny his prisoners, Those prisoners in your highness' name de
But with proviso and exception, manded,
That we at our own charge shall ransom hich Harry Percy here at Holmedon took, straight Were, as he says, not with such
His brother-in-law, the foolish Mortimer ; 80 nied Es is deliver'd to your majesty:
Who, on my soul, hath wilfully betray'd