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History of Henry IV, Part I

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Act V, Scene 1

KING HENRY IV’s camp near Shrewsbury.



  • Henry IV. How bloodily the sun begins to peer
    Above yon busky hill! the day looks pale
    At his distemperature.
  • Henry V. The southern wind
    Doth play the trumpet to his purposes, 2625
    And by his hollow whistling in the leaves
    Foretells a tempest and a blustering day.
  • Henry IV. Then with the losers let it sympathize,
    For nothing can seem foul to those that win.
    [The trumpet sounds] 2630
    [Enter WORCESTER and VERNON]
    How now, my Lord of Worcester! 'tis not well
    That you and I should meet upon such terms
    As now we meet. You have deceived our trust,
    And made us doff our easy robes of peace, 2635
    To crush our old limbs in ungentle steel:
    This is not well, my lord, this is not well.
    What say you to it? will you again unknit
    This curlish knot of all-abhorred war?
    And move in that obedient orb again 2640
    Where you did give a fair and natural light,
    And be no more an exhaled meteor,
    A prodigy of fear and a portent
    Of broached mischief to the unborn times?
  • Earl of Worcester. Hear me, my liege: 2645
    For mine own part, I could be well content
    To entertain the lag-end of my life
    With quiet hours; for I do protest,
    I have not sought the day of this dislike.
  • Henry IV. You have not sought it! how comes it, then? 2650
  • Falstaff. Rebellion lay in his way, and he found it.
  • Earl of Worcester. It pleased your majesty to turn your looks
    Of favour from myself and all our house;
    And yet I must remember you, my lord, 2655
    We were the first and dearest of your friends.
    For you my staff of office did I break
    In Richard's time; and posted day and night
    to meet you on the way, and kiss your hand,
    When yet you were in place and in account 2660
    Nothing so strong and fortunate as I.
    It was myself, my brother and his son,
    That brought you home and boldly did outdare
    The dangers of the time. You swore to us,
    And you did swear that oath at Doncaster, 2665
    That you did nothing purpose 'gainst the state;
    Nor claim no further than your new-fall'n right,
    The seat of Gaunt, dukedom of Lancaster:
    To this we swore our aid. But in short space
    It rain'd down fortune showering on your head; 2670
    And such a flood of greatness fell on you,
    What with our help, what with the absent king,
    What with the injuries of a wanton time,
    The seeming sufferances that you had borne,
    And the contrarious winds that held the king 2675
    So long in his unlucky Irish wars
    That all in England did repute him dead:
    And from this swarm of fair advantages
    You took occasion to be quickly woo'd
    To gripe the general sway into your hand; 2680
    Forget your oath to us at Doncaster;
    And being fed by us you used us so
    As that ungentle hull, the cuckoo's bird,
    Useth the sparrow; did oppress our nest;
    Grew by our feeding to so great a bulk 2685
    That even our love durst not come near your sight
    For fear of swallowing; but with nimble wing
    We were enforced, for safety sake, to fly
    Out of sight and raise this present head;
    Whereby we stand opposed by such means 2690
    As you yourself have forged against yourself
    By unkind usage, dangerous countenance,
    And violation of all faith and troth
    Sworn to us in your younger enterprise.
  • Henry IV. These things indeed you have articulate, 2695
    Proclaim'd at market-crosses, read in churches,
    To face the garment of rebellion
    With some fine colour that may please the eye
    Of fickle changelings and poor discontents,
    Which gape and rub the elbow at the news 2700
    Of hurlyburly innovation:
    And never yet did insurrection want
    Such water-colours to impaint his cause;
    Nor moody beggars, starving for a time
    Of pellmell havoc and confusion. 2705
  • Henry V. In both your armies there is many a soul
    Shall pay full dearly for this encounter,
    If once they join in trial. Tell your nephew,
    The Prince of Wales doth join with all the world
    In praise of Henry Percy: by my hopes, 2710
    This present enterprise set off his head,
    I do not think a braver gentleman,
    More active-valiant or more valiant-young,
    More daring or more bold, is now alive
    To grace this latter age with noble deeds. 2715
    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 2720
    Of his great name and estimation,
    And will, to save the blood on either side,
    Try fortune with him in a single fight.
  • Henry IV. And, Prince of Wales, so dare we venture thee,
    Albeit considerations infinite 2725
    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 he and they and you, every man 2730
    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; 2735
    We will not now be troubled with reply:
    We offer fair; take it advisedly.


  • Henry V. It will not be accepted, on my life:
    The Douglas and the Hotspur both together 2740
    Are confident against the world in arms.
  • Henry IV. 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 all but PRINCE HENRY and FALSTAFF]

  • Falstaff. Hal, if thou see me down in the battle and bestride
    me, so; 'tis a point of friendship.
  • Henry V. Nothing but a colossus can do thee that friendship.
    Say thy prayers, and farewell.
  • Falstaff. I would 'twere bed-time, Hal, and all well. 2750
  • Henry V. Why, thou owest God a death.


  • Falstaff. 'Tis not due yet; I would be loath to pay him before
    his day. What need I be so forward with him that
    calls not on me? Well, 'tis no matter; honour pricks 2755
    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 honour? what 2760
    is that honour? air. A trim reckoning! Who hath it?
    he that died o' Wednesday. Doth he feel it? no.
    Doth he hear it? no. 'Tis insensible, then. Yea,
    to the dead. But will it not live with the living?
    no. Why? detraction will not suffer it. Therefore 2765
    I'll none of it. Honour is a mere scutcheon: and so
    ends my catechism.