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Henry IV, Part 1 - Act 5, scene 4
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Navigate this workHenry IV, Part 1 - Act 5, scene 4
Act 5, scene 4
Prince Hal saves King Henry from death at the hands of Douglas. Hal then meets Hotspur. While they are fighting, Falstaff and Douglas enter, they fight, Falstaff falls down as if he were dead, and Douglas exits. Hal kills Hotspur. Finding Falstaff’s body, Hal briefly mourns his death. When Hal leaves, Falstaff rises, sees the slain Percy, stabs him in the thigh, and picks up the body, planning to claim the credit for killing him. When Prince Hal reenters with his brother and meets Falstaff, Hal agrees to give his support to Falstaff’s lie.Alarm, excursions. Enter the King, the Prince, Lord John
of Lancaster, ⌜and the⌝ Earl of Westmoreland.
2939 I prithee, Harry, withdraw thyself. Thou bleedest
2940 too much.
2941 Lord John of Lancaster, go you with him.
2942 Not I, my lord, unless I did bleed too.
2943 5 I beseech your Majesty, make up,
2944 Lest your retirement do amaze your friends.
2945 I will do so.—My Lord of Westmoreland,
2946 Lead him to his tent.
2947 Come, my lord, I’ll lead you to your tent.
2948 10 Lead me, my lord? I do not need your help,
2949 And God forbid a shallow scratch should drive
2950 The Prince of Wales from such a field as this,
2951 Where stained nobility lies trodden on,
2952 And rebels’ arms triumph in massacres.
2953 15 We breathe too long. Come, cousin Westmoreland,
2954 Our duty this way lies. For God’s sake, come.
⌜Lancaster and Westmoreland exit.⌝
2955 By God, thou hast deceived me, Lancaster.
2956 I did not think thee lord of such a spirit.
2957 Before, I loved thee as a brother, John,
2958 20 But now I do respect thee as my soul.
2959 I saw him hold Lord Percy at the point
2960 With lustier maintenance than I did look for
2961 Of such an ungrown warrior.
2962 O, this boy lends mettle to us all.He exits.
2963 25 Another king! They grow like Hydra’s heads.—
2964 I am the Douglas, fatal to all those
2965 That wear those colors on them. What art thou
2966 That counterfeit’st the person of a king?
2967 The King himself, who, Douglas, grieves at heart,
2968 30 So many of his shadows thou hast met
2969 And not the very king. I have two boys
2970 Seek Percy and thyself about the field,
2971 But, seeing thou fall’st on me so luckily,
2972 I will assay thee. And defend thyself.
2973 35 I fear thou art another counterfeit,
2974 And yet, in faith, thou bearest thee like a king.
2975 But mine I am sure thou art, whoe’er thou be,
2976 And thus I win thee.
They fight. The King being in danger,
enter Prince of Wales.
2977 Hold up thy head, vile Scot, or thou art like
2978 40 Never to hold it up again. The spirits
2979 Of valiant Shirley, Stafford, Blunt are in my arms.
2980 It is the Prince of Wales that threatens thee,
2981 Who never promiseth but he means to pay.
They fight. Douglas flieth.
2982 ⌜To King.⌝ Cheerly, my lord. How fares your Grace?
2983 45 Sir Nicholas Gawsey hath for succor sent,
2984 And so hath Clifton. I’ll to Clifton straight.
KING 2985 Stay and breathe awhile.
2986 Thou hast redeemed thy lost opinion
2987 And showed thou mak’st some tender of my life
2988 50 In this fair rescue thou hast brought to me.
2989 O God, they did me too much injury
2990 That ever said I hearkened for your death.
2991 If it were so, I might have let alone
2992 The insulting hand of Douglas over you,
2993 55 Which would have been as speedy in your end
2994 As all the poisonous potions in the world,
2995 And saved the treacherous labor of your son.
2996 Make up to Clifton. I’ll to Sir Nicholas Gawsey.
2997 If I mistake not, thou art Harry Monmouth.
2998 60 Thou speak’st as if I would deny my name.
2999 My name is Harry Percy.
PRINCE 3000 Why then I see
3001 A very valiant rebel of the name.
3002 I am the Prince of Wales; and think not, Percy,
p. 2153003 65 To share with me in glory any more.
3004 Two stars keep not their motion in one sphere,
3005 Nor can one England brook a double reign
3006 Of Harry Percy and the Prince of Wales.
3007 ⌜Nor⌝ shall it, Harry, for the hour is come
3008 70 To end the one of us, and would to God
3009 Thy name in arms were now as great as mine.
3010 I’ll make it greater ere I part from thee,
3011 And all the budding honors on thy crest
3012 I’ll crop to make a garland for my head.
3013 75 I can no longer brook thy vanities.They fight.
FALSTAFF 3014 Well said, Hal! To it, Hal! Nay, you shall find
3015 no boys’ play here, I can tell you.
Enter Douglas. He fighteth with Falstaff, ⌜who⌝ falls
down as if he were dead. ⌜Douglas exits.⌝ The Prince
3016 O Harry, thou hast robbed me of my youth.
3017 I better brook the loss of brittle life
3018 80 Than those proud titles thou hast won of me.
3019 They wound my thoughts worse than thy sword my
3021 But thoughts, the slaves of life, and life, time’s fool,
3022 And time, that takes survey of all the world,
3023 85 Must have a stop. O, I could prophesy,
3024 But that the earthy and cold hand of death
3025 Lies on my tongue. No, Percy, thou art dust,
3026 And food for—⌜He dies.⌝
3027 For worms, brave Percy. Fare thee well, great heart.
p. 2173028 90 Ill-weaved ambition, how much art thou shrunk!
3029 When that this body did contain a spirit,
3030 A kingdom for it was too small a bound,
3031 But now two paces of the vilest earth
3032 Is room enough. This earth that bears thee dead
3033 95 Bears not alive so stout a gentleman.
3034 If thou wert sensible of courtesy,
3035 I should not make so dear a show of zeal.
3036 But let my favors hide thy mangled face;
⌜He covers Hotspur’s face.⌝
3037 And even in thy behalf I’ll thank myself
3038 100 For doing these fair rites of tenderness.
3039 Adieu, and take thy praise with thee to heaven.
3040 Thy ignominy sleep with thee in the grave,
3041 But not remembered in thy epitaph.
He spieth Falstaff on the ground.
3042 What, old acquaintance, could not all this flesh
3043 105 Keep in a little life? Poor Jack, farewell.
3044 I could have better spared a better man.
3045 O, I should have a heavy miss of thee
3046 If I were much in love with vanity.
3047 Death hath not struck so fat a deer today,
3048 110 Though many dearer in this bloody fray.
3049 Emboweled will I see thee by and by;
3050 Till then in blood by noble Percy lie.He exits.
Falstaff riseth up.
FALSTAFF 3051 Emboweled? If thou embowel me today, I’ll
3052 give you leave to powder me and eat me too
3053 115 tomorrow. ’Sblood, ’twas time to counterfeit, or
3054 that hot termagant Scot had paid me scot and lot
3055 too. Counterfeit? I lie. I am no counterfeit. To die is
3056 to be a counterfeit, for he is but the counterfeit of a
3057 man who hath not the life of a man; but to counterfeit
3058 120 dying when a man thereby liveth is to be no
3059 counterfeit, but the true and perfect image of life
3060 indeed. The better part of valor is discretion, in the
p. 2193061 which better part I have saved my life. Zounds, I am
3062 afraid of this gunpowder Percy, though he be dead.
3063 125 How if he should counterfeit too, and rise? By my
3064 faith, I am afraid he would prove the better counterfeit.
3065 Therefore I’ll make him sure, yea, and I’ll swear
3066 I killed him. Why may not he rise as well as I?
3067 Nothing confutes me but eyes, and nobody sees me.
3068 130 Therefore, sirrah, ⌜stabbing him⌝ with a new wound
3069 in your thigh, come you along with me.
He takes up Hotspur on his back.
Enter Prince ⌜and⌝ John of Lancaster.
3070 Come, brother John. Full bravely hast thou fleshed
3071 Thy maiden sword.
LANCASTER 3072 But soft, whom have we here?
3073 135 Did you not tell me this fat man was dead?
PRINCE 3074 I did; I saw him dead,
3075 Breathless and bleeding on the ground.—Art thou
3077 Or is it fantasy that plays upon our eyesight?
3078 140 I prithee, speak. We will not trust our eyes
3079 Without our ears. Thou art not what thou seem’st.
FALSTAFF 3080 No, that’s certain. I am not a double man.
3081 But if I be not Jack Falstaff, then am I a jack. There
3082 is Percy. If your father will do me any honor, so; if
3083 145 not, let him kill the next Percy himself. I look to be
3084 either earl or duke, I can assure you.
3085 Why, Percy I killed myself, and saw thee dead.
FALSTAFF 3086 Didst thou? Lord, Lord, how this world is
3087 given to lying. I grant you, I was down and out of
3088 150 breath, and so was he, but we rose both at an instant
3089 and fought a long hour by Shrewsbury clock. If I
3090 may be believed, so; if not, let them that should
3091 reward valor bear the sin upon their own heads. I’ll
p. 2213092 take it upon my death, I gave him this wound in
3093 155 the thigh. If the man were alive and would deny
3094 it, zounds, I would make him eat a piece of my
3096 This is the strangest tale that ever I heard.
3097 This is the strangest fellow, brother John.—
3098 160 Come bring your luggage nobly on your back.
3099 For my part, if a lie may do thee grace,
3100 I’ll gild it with the happiest terms I have.
A retreat is sounded.
3101 The trumpet sounds retreat; the day is ⌜ours.⌝
3102 Come, brother, let us to the highest of the field
3103 165 To see what friends are living, who are dead.
FALSTAFF 3104 I’ll follow, as they say, for reward. He that
3105 rewards me, God reward him. If I do grow great,
3106 I’ll grow less, for I’ll purge and leave sack and live
3107 cleanly as a nobleman should do.
He exits ⌜carrying Hotspur’s body.⌝