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Now o'er the one half-world
Nature seems dead.

      — Macbeth, Act II Scene 1


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History of Henry IV, Part I

Act V

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Scene 1. KING HENRY IV’s camp near Shrewsbury.

Scene 2. The rebel camp.

Scene 3. Plain between the camps.

Scene 4. Another part of the field.

Scene 5. Another part of the field.


Act V, Scene 1

KING HENRY IV’s camp near Shrewsbury.

      next scene .


  • 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.


. previous scene      

Act V, Scene 2

The rebel camp.

      next scene .


  • Earl of Worcester. O, no, my nephew must not know, Sir Richard, 2770
    The liberal and kind offer of the king.
  • Earl of Worcester. Then are we all undone.
    It is not possible, it cannot be,
    The king should keep his word in loving us; 2775
    He will suspect us still and find a time
    To punish this offence in other faults:
    Suspicion all our lives shall be stuck full of eyes;
    For treason is but trusted like the fox,
    Who, ne'er so tame, so cherish'd and lock'd up, 2780
    Will have a wild trick of his ancestors.
    Look how we can, or sad or merrily,
    Interpretation will misquote our looks,
    And we shall feed like oxen at a stall,
    The better cherish'd, still the nearer death. 2785
    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 hair-brain'd Hotspur, govern'd by a spleen:
    All his offences live upon my head 2790
    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 cousin, let not Harry know,
    In any case, the offer of the king. 2795
  • Vernon. Deliver what you will; I'll say 'tis so.
    Here comes your cousin.



  • Earl of Worcester. I told him gently of our grievances,
    Of his oath-breaking; which he mended thus, 2810
    By now forswearing that he is forsworn:
    He calls us rebels, traitors; and will scourge
    With haughty arms this hateful name in us.

[Re-enter the EARL OF DOUGLAS]

  • Earl of Douglas. Arm, gentlemen; to arms! for I have thrown 2815
    A brave defiance in King Henry's teeth,
    And Westmoreland, that was engaged, did bear it;
    Which cannot choose but bring him quickly on.
  • Earl of Worcester. The Prince of Wales stepp'd forth before the king,
    And, nephew, challenged you to single fight. 2820
  • Hotspur (Henry Percy). O, would the quarrel lay upon our heads,
    And that no man might draw short breath today
    But I and Harry Monmouth! Tell me, tell me,
    How show'd his tasking? seem'd it in contempt?
  • Vernon. No, by my soul; I never in my life 2825
    Did hear a challenge urged 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, 2830
    Spoke to your deservings like a chronicle,
    Making you ever better than his praise
    By still dispraising praise valued in you;
    And, which became him like a prince indeed,
    He made a blushing cital of himself; 2835
    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, 2840
    England did never owe so sweet a hope,
    So much misconstrued in his wantonness.
  • Hotspur (Henry Percy). Cousin, I think thou art enamoured
    On his follies: never did I hear
    Of any prince so wild a libertine. 2845
    But be he as he will, yet once ere night
    I will embrace him with a soldier's arm,
    That he shall shrink under my courtesy.
    Arm, arm with speed: and, fellows, soldiers, friends,
    Better consider what you have to do 2850
    Than I, that have not well the gift of tongue,
    Can lift your blood up with persuasion.

[Enter a Messenger]

  • Messenger. My lord, here are letters for you.
  • Hotspur (Henry Percy). I cannot read them now. 2855
    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 hour.
    An if we live, we live to tread on kings; 2860
    If die, brave death, when princes die with us!
    Now, for our consciences, the arms are fair,
    When the intent of bearing them is just.

[Enter another Messenger]

  • Messenger. My lord, prepare; the king comes on apace. 2865
  • Hotspur (Henry Percy). 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 2870
    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 2875
    A second time do such a courtesy.

[The trumpets sound. They embrace, and exeunt]

. previous scene      

Act V, Scene 3

Plain between the camps.

      next scene .

[KING HENRY enters with his power. Alarum to the battle. Then enter DOUGLAS and SIR WALTER BLUNT]

  • Blunt. What is thy name, that in the battle thus
    Thou crossest me? what honour dost thou seek 2880
    Upon my head?
  • Earl of Douglas. 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. 2885
  • Earl of Douglas. The Lord of Stafford dear to-day hath bought
    Thy likeness, for instead of thee, King Harry,
    This sword hath ended him: so shall it thee,
    Unless thou yield thee as my prisoner.
  • Blunt. I was not born a yielder, thou proud Scot; 2890
    And thou shalt find a king that will revenge
    Lord Stafford's death.

[They fight. DOUGLAS kills SIR WALTER BLUNT.


  • Hotspur (Henry Percy). O Douglas, hadst thou fought at Holmedon thus, 2895
    never had triumph'd upon a Scot.
  • Hotspur (Henry Percy). This, Douglas? no: I know this face full well: 2900
    A gallant knight he was, his name was Blunt;
    Semblably furnish'd like the king himself.
  • Earl of Douglas. A fool go with thy soul, whither it goes!
    A borrow'd title hast thou bought too dear:
    Why didst thou tell me that thou wert a king? 2905
  • Earl of Douglas. Now, by my sword, I will kill all his coats;
    I'll murder all his wardrobe, piece by piece,
    Until I meet the king.


[Alarum. Enter FALSTAFF, solus]

  • Falstaff. Though I could 'scape shot-free at London, I fear
    the shot here; here's no scoring but upon the pate. 2915
    Soft! who are you? Sir Walter Blunt: there's honour
    for you! here's no vanity! I am as hot as moulten
    lead, and as heavy too: God keep lead out of me! I
    need no more weight than mine own bowels. I have
    led my ragamuffins where they are peppered: there's 2920
    not three of my hundred and fifty left alive; and
    they are for the town's end, to beg during life.
    But who comes here?


  • Henry V. What, stand'st thou idle here? lend me thy sword: 2925
    Many a nobleman lies stark and stiff
    Under the hoofs of vaunting enemies,
    Whose deaths are yet unrevenged: I prithee,
    lend me thy sword.
  • Falstaff. O Hal, I prithee, give me leave to breathe awhile. 2930
    Turk Gregory never did such deeds in arms as I have
    done this day. I have paid Percy, I have made him sure.
  • Henry V. He is, indeed; and living to kill thee. I prithee,
    lend me thy sword.
  • Falstaff. Nay, before God, Hal, if Percy be alive, thou get'st 2935
    not my sword; but take my pistol, if thou wilt.
  • Henry V. Give it to me: what, is it in the case?
  • Falstaff. Ay, Hal; 'tis hot, 'tis hot; there's that will sack a city.

[PRINCE HENRY draws it out, and finds it to be a bottle of sack]

  • Henry V. What, is it a time to jest and dally now? 2940

[He throws the bottle at him. Exit]

  • Falstaff. Well, if Percy be alive, I'll pierce him. If he do
    come in my way, so: if he do not, if I come in his
    willingly, let him make a carbonado of me. I like
    not such grinning honour as Sir Walter hath: give me 2945
    life: which if I can save, so; if not, honour comes
    unlooked for, and there's an end.


. previous scene      

Act V, Scene 4

Another part of the field.

      next scene .


  • Henry IV. I prithee, 2950
    Harry, withdraw thyself; thou bleed'st too much.
    Lord John of Lancaster, go you with him.
  • Henry V. I beseech your majesty, make up,
    Lest your retirement do amaze your friends. 2955
  • Henry IV. I will do so.
    My Lord of Westmoreland, lead him to his tent.
  • Henry V. Lead me, my lord? I do not need your help:
    And God forbid a shallow scratch should drive 2960
    The Prince of Wales from such a field as this,
    Where stain'd nobility lies trodden on,
    and rebels' arms triumph in massacres!
  • Prince John. We breathe too long: come, cousin Westmoreland,
    Our duty this way lies; for God's sake come. 2965


  • Henry V. By God, thou hast deceived me, Lancaster;
    I did not think thee lord of such a spirit:
    Before, I loved thee as a brother, John;
    But now, I do respect thee as my soul. 2970
  • Henry IV. I saw him hold Lord Percy at the point
    With lustier maintenance than I did look for
    Of such an ungrown warrior.
  • Henry V. O, this boy
    Lends mettle to us all! 2975



  • Earl of Douglas. Another king! they grow like Hydra's heads:
    I am the Douglas, fatal to all those
    That wear those colours on them: what art thou, 2980
    That counterfeit'st the person of a king?
  • Henry IV. The king himself; who, Douglas, grieves at heart
    So many of his shadows thou hast met
    And not the very king. I have two boys
    Seek Percy and thyself about the field: 2985
    But, seeing thou fall'st on me so luckily,
    I will assay thee: so, defend thyself.
  • Earl of Douglas. I fear thou art another counterfeit;
    And yet, in faith, thou bear'st thee like a king:
    But mine I am sure thou art, whoe'er thou be, 2990
    And thus I win thee.

[They fight. KING HENRY being in danger, PRINCE HENRY enters]

  • Henry V. Hold up thy head, vile Scot, or thou art like
    Never to hold it up again! the spirits
    Of valiant Shirley, Stafford, Blunt, are in my arms: 2995
    It is the Prince of Wales that threatens thee;
    Who never promiseth but he means to pay.
    [They fight: DOUGLAS flies]
    Cheerly, my lord. how fares your grace?
    Sir Nicholas Gawsey hath for succor sent, 3000
    And so hath Clifton: I'll to Clifton straight.
  • Henry IV. Stay, and breathe awhile:
    Thou hast redeem'd thy lost opinion,
    And show'd thou makest some tender of my life,
    In this fair rescue thou hast brought to me. 3005
  • Henry V. O God! they did me too much injury
    That ever said I hearken'd for your death.
    If it were so, I might have let alone
    The insulting hand of Douglas over you,
    Which would have been as speedy in your end 3010
    As all the poisonous potions in the world
    And saved the treacherous labour of your son.
  • Henry IV. Make up to Clifton: I'll to Sir Nicholas Gawsey.



  • Henry V. Thou speak'st as if I would deny my name.
  • Henry V. Why, then I see
    A very valiant rebel of the name. 3020
    I am the Prince of Wales; and think not, Percy,
    To share with me in glory any more:
    Two stars keep not their motion in one sphere;
    Nor can one England brook a double reign,
    Of Harry Percy and the Prince of Wales. 3025
  • Hotspur (Henry Percy). Nor shall it, Harry; for the hour is come
    To end the one of us; and would to God
    Thy name in arms were now as great as mine!
  • Henry V. I'll make it greater ere I part from thee;
    And all the budding honours on thy crest 3030
    I'll crop, to make a garland for my head.

[They fight]


  • Falstaff. Well said, Hal! to it Hal! Nay, you shall find no 3035
    boy's play here, I can tell you.
    [Re-enter DOUGLAS; he fights with FALSTAFF,]
    who falls down as if he were dead, and exit
    DOUGLAS. HOTSPUR is wounded, and falls]
  • Hotspur (Henry Percy). O, Harry, thou hast robb'd me of my youth! 3040
    I better brook the loss of brittle life
    Than those proud titles thou hast won of me;
    They wound my thoughts worse than sword my flesh:
    But thought's the slave of life, and life time's fool;
    And time, that takes survey of all the world, 3045
    Must have a stop. O, I could prophesy,
    But that the earthy and cold hand of death
    Lies on my tongue: no, Percy, thou art dust
    And food for—


  • Henry V. For worms, brave Percy: fare thee well, great heart!
    Ill-weaved ambition, how much art thou shrunk!
    When that this body did contain a spirit,
    A kingdom for it was too small a bound;
    But now two paces of the vilest earth 3055
    Is room enough: this earth that bears thee dead
    Bears not alive so stout a gentleman.
    If thou wert sensible of courtesy,
    I should not make so dear a show of zeal:
    But let my favours hide thy mangled face; 3060
    And, even in thy behalf, I'll thank myself
    For doing these fair rites of tenderness.
    Adieu, and take thy praise with thee to heaven!
    Thy ignominy sleep with thee in the grave,
    But not remember'd in thy epitaph! 3065
    [He spieth FALSTAFF on the ground]
    What, old acquaintance! could not all this flesh
    Keep in a little life? Poor Jack, farewell!
    I could have better spared a better man:
    O, I should have a heavy miss of thee, 3070
    If I were much in love with vanity!
    Death hath not struck so fat a deer to-day,
    Though many dearer, in this bloody fray.
    Embowell'd will I see thee by and by:
    Till then in blood by noble Percy lie. 3075


  • Falstaff. [Rising up] Embowelled! if thou embowel me to-day,
    I'll give you leave to powder me and eat me too
    to-morrow. 'Sblood,'twas time to counterfeit, or
    that hot termagant Scot had paid me scot and lot too. 3080
    Counterfeit? I lie, I am no counterfeit: to die,
    is to be a counterfeit; for he is but the
    counterfeit of a man who hath not the life of a man:
    but to counterfeit dying, when a man thereby
    liveth, is to be no counterfeit, but the true and 3085
    perfect image of life indeed. The better part of
    valour is discretion; in the which better part I
    have saved my life.'Zounds, I am afraid of this
    gunpowder Percy, though he be dead: how, if he
    should counterfeit too and rise? by my faith, I am 3090
    afraid he would prove the better counterfeit.
    Therefore I'll make him sure; yea, and I'll swear I
    killed him. Why may not he rise as well as I?
    Nothing confutes me but eyes, and nobody sees me.
    Therefore, sirrah, 3095
    [Stabbing him]
    with a new wound in your thigh, come you along with me.

[Takes up HOTSPUR on his back]


  • Henry V. Come, brother John; full bravely hast thou flesh'd 3100
    Thy maiden sword.
  • Prince John. But, soft! whom have we here?
    Did you not tell me this fat man was dead?
  • Henry V. I did; I saw him dead,
    Breathless and bleeding on the ground. Art 3105
    thou alive?
    Or is it fantasy that plays upon our eyesight?
    I prithee, speak; we will not trust our eyes
    Without our ears: thou art not what thou seem'st.
  • Falstaff. No, that's certain; I am not a double man: but if I 3110
    be not Jack Falstaff, then am I a Jack. There is Percy:
    [Throwing the body down]
    if your father will do me any honour, so; if not, let
    him kill the next Percy himself. I look to be either
    earl or duke, I can assure you. 3115
  • Henry V. Why, Percy I killed myself and saw thee dead.
  • Falstaff. Didst thou? Lord, Lord, how this world is given to
    lying! I grant you I was down and out of breath;
    and so was he: but we rose both at an instant and
    fought a long hour by Shrewsbury clock. If I may be 3120
    believed, so; if not, let them that should reward
    valour bear the sin upon their own heads. I'll take
    it upon my death, I gave him this wound in the
    thigh: if the man were alive and would deny it,
    'zounds, I would make him eat a piece of my sword. 3125
  • Prince John. This is the strangest tale that ever I heard.
  • Henry V. This is the strangest fellow, brother John.
    Come, bring your luggage nobly on your back:
    For my part, if a lie may do thee grace,
    I'll gild it with the happiest terms I have. 3130
    [A retreat is sounded]
    The trumpet sounds retreat; the day is ours.
    Come, brother, let us to the highest of the field,
    To see what friends are living, who are dead.


  • Falstaff. I'll follow, as they say, for reward. He that
    rewards me, God reward him! If I do grow great,
    I'll grow less; for I'll purge, and leave sack, and
    live cleanly as a nobleman should do.


. previous scene      

Act V, Scene 5

Another part of the field.



  • Henry IV. Thus ever did rebellion find rebuke.
    Ill-spirited Worcester! did not we send grace,
    Pardon and terms of love to all of you?
    And wouldst thou turn our offers contrary? 3145
    Misuse the tenor of thy kinsman's trust?
    Three knights upon our party slain to-day,
    A noble earl and many a creature else
    Had been alive this hour,
    If like a Christian thou hadst truly borne 3150
    Betwixt our armies true intelligence.
  • Earl of Worcester. What I have done my safety urged me to;
    And I embrace this fortune patiently,
    Since not to be avoided it falls on me.
  • Henry IV. Bear Worcester to the death and Vernon too: 3155
    Other offenders we will pause upon.
    [Exeunt WORCESTER and VERNON, guarded]
    How goes the field?
  • Henry V. The noble Scot, Lord Douglas, when he saw
    The fortune of the day quite turn'd from him, 3160
    The noble Percy slain, and all his men
    Upon the foot of fear, fled with the rest;
    And falling from a hill, he was so bruised
    That the pursuers took him. At my tent
    The Douglas is; and I beseech your grace 3165
    I may dispose of him.
  • Henry V. Then, brother John of Lancaster, to you
    This honourable bounty shall belong:
    Go to the Douglas, and deliver him 3170
    Up to his pleasure, ransomless and free:
    His valour shown upon our crests to-day
    Hath taught us how to cherish such high deeds
    Even in the bosom of our adversaries.
  • Prince John. I thank your grace for this high courtesy, 3175
    Which I shall give away immediately.
  • Henry IV. Then this remains, that we divide our power.
    You, son John, and my cousin Westmoreland
    Towards York shall bend you with your dearest speed,
    To meet Northumberland and the prelate Scroop, 3180
    Who, as we hear, are busily in arms:
    Myself and you, son Harry, will towards Wales,
    To fight with Glendower and the Earl of March.
    Rebellion in this land shall lose his sway,
    Meeting the cheque of such another day: 3185
    And since this business so fair is done,
    Let us not leave till all our own be won.