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Henry IV, Part 1 - Act 5, scene 1
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Navigate this workHenry IV, Part 1 - Act 5, scene 1
Act 5, scene 1
Worcester and Vernon visit the king’s camp, where Worcester repeats the grievances that he says have led to the rebellion. Prince Hal offers to oppose Hotspur in single combat, and King Henry promises pardon and reconciliation to the rebels if they yield.Enter the King, Prince of Wales, Lord John of Lancaster,
Sir Walter Blunt, ⌜and⌝ Falstaff.
2628 How bloodily the sun begins to peer
2629 Above yon bulky hill. The day looks pale
2630 At his distemp’rature.
PRINCE 2631 The southern wind
2632 5 Doth play the trumpet to his purposes,
2633 And by his hollow whistling in the leaves
2634 Foretells a tempest and a blust’ring day.
2635 Then with the losers let it sympathize,
2636 For nothing can seem foul to those that win.
The trumpet sounds.
Enter Worcester ⌜and Vernon.⌝
2637 10 How now, my Lord of Worcester? ’Tis not well
2638 That you and I should meet upon such terms
2639 As now we meet. You have deceived our trust
2640 And made us doff our easy robes of peace
2641 To crush our old limbs in ungentle steel.
2642 15 This is not well, my lord; this is not well.
2643 What say you to it? Will you again unknit
2644 This churlish knot of all-abhorrèd war
p. 1892645 And move in that obedient orb again
2646 Where you did give a fair and natural light,
2647 20 And be no more an exhaled meteor,
2648 A prodigy of fear, and a portent
2649 Of broachèd mischief to the unborn times?
WORCESTER 2650 Hear me, my liege:
2651 For mine own part I could be well content
2652 25 To entertain the lag end of my life
2653 With quiet hours. For I protest
2654 I have not sought the day of this dislike.
2655 You have not sought it. How comes it then?
FALSTAFF 2656 Rebellion lay in his way, and he found it.
PRINCE 2657 30Peace, chewet, peace.
2658 It pleased your Majesty to turn your looks
2659 Of favor from myself and all our house;
2660 And yet I must remember you, my lord,
2661 We were the first and dearest of your friends.
2662 35 For you my staff of office did I break
2663 In Richard’s time, and posted day and night
2664 To meet you on the way and kiss your hand
2665 When yet you were in place and in account
2666 Nothing so strong and fortunate as I.
2667 40 It was myself, my brother, and his son
2668 That brought you home and boldly did outdare
2669 The dangers of the time. You swore to us,
2670 And you did swear that oath at Doncaster,
2671 That you did nothing purpose ’gainst the state,
2672 45 Nor claim no further than your new-fall’n right,
2673 The seat of Gaunt, dukedom of Lancaster.
2674 To this we swore our aid. But in short space
2675 It rained down fortune show’ring on your head,
2676 And such a flood of greatness fell on you—
2677 50 What with our help, what with the absent king,
2678 What with the injuries of a wanton time,
p. 1912679 The seeming sufferances that you had borne,
2680 And the contrarious winds that held the King
2681 So long in his unlucky Irish wars
2682 55 That all in England did repute him dead—
2683 And from this swarm of fair advantages
2684 You took occasion to be quickly wooed
2685 To gripe the general sway into your hand,
2686 Forgot your oath to us at Doncaster;
2687 60 And being fed by us, you used us so
2688 As that ungentle gull, the cuckoo’s bird,
2689 Useth the sparrow—did oppress our nest,
2690 Grew by our feeding to so great a bulk
2691 That even our love durst not come near your sight
2692 65 For fear of swallowing; but with nimble wing
2693 We were enforced for safety sake to fly
2694 Out of your sight and raise this present head,
2695 Whereby we stand opposèd by such means
2696 As you yourself have forged against yourself
2697 70 By unkind usage, dangerous countenance,
2698 And violation of all faith and troth
2699 Sworn to us in your younger enterprise.
2700 These things indeed you have articulate,
2701 Proclaimed at market crosses, read in churches,
2702 75 To face the garment of rebellion
2703 With some fine color that may please the eye
2704 Of fickle changelings and poor discontents,
2705 Which gape and rub the elbow at the news
2706 Of hurlyburly innovation.
2707 80 And never yet did insurrection want
2708 Such water colors to impaint his cause,
2709 Nor moody beggars starving for a time
2710 Of pellmell havoc and confusion.
2711 In both your armies there is many a soul
2712 85 Shall pay full dearly for this encounter
p. 1932713 If once they join in trial. Tell your nephew,
2714 The Prince of Wales doth join with all the world
2715 In praise of Henry Percy. By my hopes,
2716 This present enterprise set off his head,
2717 90 I do not think a braver gentleman,
2718 More active-valiant, or more valiant-young,
2719 More daring or more bold, is now alive
2720 To grace this latter age with noble deeds.
2721 For my part, I may speak it to my shame,
2722 95 I have a truant been to chivalry,
2723 And so I hear he doth account me too.
2724 Yet this before my father’s majesty:
2725 I am content that he shall take the odds
2726 Of his great name and estimation,
2727 100 And will, to save the blood on either side,
2728 Try fortune with him in a single fight.
2729 And, Prince of Wales, so dare we venture thee,
2730 Albeit considerations infinite
2731 Do make against it.—No, good Worcester, no.
2732 105 We love our people well, even those we love
2733 That are misled upon your cousin’s part.
2734 And, will they take the offer of our grace,
2735 Both he and they and you, yea, every man
2736 Shall be my friend again, and I’ll be his.
2737 110 So tell your cousin, and bring me word
2738 What he will do. But if he will not yield,
2739 Rebuke and dread correction wait on us,
2740 And they shall do their office. So begone.
2741 We will not now be troubled with reply.
2742 115 We offer fair. Take it advisedly.
Worcester exits ⌜with Vernon.⌝
2743 It will not be accepted, on my life.
2744 The Douglas and the Hotspur both together
2745 Are confident against the world in arms.
2746 Hence, therefore, every leader to his charge,
2747 120 For on their answer will we set on them,
2748 And God befriend us as our cause is just.
They exit. Prince and Falstaff remain.
FALSTAFF 2749 Hal, if thou see me down in the battle and
2750 bestride me, so; ’tis a point of friendship.
PRINCE 2751 Nothing but a colossus can do thee that friendship.
2752 125 Say thy prayers, and farewell.
FALSTAFF 2753 I would ’twere bedtime, Hal, and all well.
PRINCE 2754 Why, thou owest God a death.⌜He exits.⌝
FALSTAFF 2755 ’Tis not due yet. I would be loath to pay Him
2756 before His day. What need I be so forward with
2757 130 Him that calls not on me? Well, ’tis no matter.
2758 Honor pricks me on. Yea, but how if honor prick me
2759 off when I come on? How then? Can honor set to a
2760 leg? No. Or an arm? No. Or take away the grief of a
2761 wound? No. Honor hath no skill in surgery, then?
2762 135 No. What is honor? A word. What is in that word
2763 “honor”? What is that “honor”? Air. A trim reckoning.
2764 Who hath it? He that died o’ Wednesday. Doth
2765 he feel it? No. Doth he hear it? No. ’Tis insensible,
2766 then? Yea, to the dead. But will ⌜it⌝ not live with the
2767 140 living? No. Why? Detraction will not suffer it. Therefore,
2768 I’ll none of it. Honor is a mere scutcheon. And
2769 so ends my catechism.