History of Henry IV, Part II (1597-8)

Title Variant: The Second Part of Henry the Fourth
Online Critical Edition in Progress - Version 1.a.
Shakespeare Network - https://shakespearenetwork.net/

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Act I, Scene 1

Warkworth. Before NORTHUMBERLAND'S Castle

Who keeps the gate here, ho? [The PORTER opens the gate]
Where is the Earl?

What shall I say you are?

Tell thou the Earl
That the Lord Bardolph doth attend him here.

His lordship is walk'd forth into the orchard.
Please it your honour knock but at the gate,
And he himself will answer.

Here comes the Earl. Exit PORTER

Earl of Northumberland
What news, Lord Bardolph? Every minute now
Should be the father of some stratagem.
The times are wild; contention, like a horse
Full of high feeding, madly hath broke loose
And bears down all before him.

Noble Earl,
I bring you certain news from Shrewsbury.

Earl of Northumberland
Good, an God will!

As good as heart can wish.
The King is almost wounded to the death;
And, in the fortune of my lord your son,
Prince Harry slain outright; and both the Blunts
Kill'd by the hand of Douglas; young Prince John,
And Westmoreland, and Stafford, fled the field;
And Harry Monmouth's brawn, the hulk Sir John,
Is prisoner to your son. O, such a day,
So fought, so followed, and so fairly won,
Came not till now to dignify the times,
Since Cxsar's fortunes!

Earl of Northumberland
How is this deriv'd?
Saw you the field? Came you from Shrewsbury?

I spake with one, my lord, that came from
A gentleman well bred and of good name,
That freely rend'red me these news for true.

Earl of Northumberland
Here comes my servant Travers, whom I sent
On Tuesday last to listen after news.

My lord, I over-rode him on the way;
And he is furnish'd with no certainties
More than he haply may retail from me.

Earl of Northumberland
Now, Travers, what good tidings comes with you?

My lord, Sir John Umfrevile turn'd me back
With joyful tidings; and, being better hors'd,
Out-rode me. After him came spurring hard
A gentleman, almost forspent with speed,
That stopp'd by me to breathe his bloodied horse.
He ask'd the way to Chester; and of him
I did demand what news from Shrewsbury.
He told me that rebellion had bad luck,
And that young Harry Percy's spur was cold.
With that he gave his able horse the head
And, bending forward, struck his armed heels
Against the panting sides of his poor jade
Up to the rowel-head; and starting so,
He seem'd in running to devour the way,
Staying no longer question.

Earl of Northumberland
Ha! Again:
Said he young Harry Percy's spur was cold?
Of Hotspur, Coldspur? that rebellion
Had met ill luck?

My lord, I'll tell you what:
If my young lord your son have not the day,
Upon mine honour, for a silken point
I'll give my barony. Never talk of it.

Earl of Northumberland
Why should that gentleman that rode by Travers
Give then such instances of loss?

He was some hilding fellow that had stol'n
The horse he rode on and, upon my life,
Spoke at a venture. Look, here comes more news.

Earl of Northumberland
Yea, this man's brow, like to a title-leaf,
Foretells the nature of a tragic volume.
So looks the strand whereon the imperious flood
Hath left a witness'd usurpation.
Say, Morton, didst thou come from Shrewsbury?

I ran from Shrewsbury, my noble lord;
Where hateful death put on his ugliest mask
To fright our party.

Earl of Northumberland
How doth my son and brother?
Thou tremblest; and the whiteness in thy cheek
Is apter than thy tongue to tell thy errand.
Even such a man, so faint, so spiritless,
So dull, so dread in look, so woe-begone,
Drew Priam's curtain in the dead of night
And would have told him half his Troy was burnt;
But Priam found the fire ere he his tongue,
And I my Percy's death ere thou report'st it.
This thou wouldst say: 'Your son did thus and thus;
Your brother thus; so fought the noble Douglas'--
Stopping my greedy ear with their bold deeds;
But in the end, to stop my ear indeed,
Thou hast a sigh to blow away this praise,
Ending with 'Brother, son, and all, are dead.'

Douglas is living, and your brother, yet;
But for my lord your son--

Earl of Northumberland
Why, he is dead.
See what a ready tongue suspicion hath!
He that but fears the thing he would not know
Hath by instinct knowledge from others' eyes
That what he fear'd is chanced. Yet speak, Morton;
Tell thou an earl his divination lies,
And I will take it as a sweet disgrace
And make thee rich for doing me such wrong.

You are too great to be by me gainsaid;
Your spirit is too true, your fears too certain.

Earl of Northumberland
Yet, for all this, say not that Percy's dead.
I see a strange confession in thine eye;
Thou shak'st thy head, and hold'st it fear or sin
To speak a truth. If he be slain, say so:
The tongue offends not that reports his death;
And he doth sin that doth belie the dead,
Not he which says the dead is not alive.
Yet the first bringer of unwelcome news
Hath but a losing office, and his tongue
Sounds ever after as a sullen bell,
Rememb'red tolling a departing friend.

I cannot think, my lord, your son is dead.

I am sorry I should force you to believe
That which I would to God I had not seen;
But these mine eyes saw him in bloody state,
Rend'ring faint quittance, wearied and out-breath'd,
To Harry Monmouth, whose swift wrath beat down
The never-daunted Percy to the earth,
From whence with life he never more sprung up.
In few, his death--whose spirit lent a fire
Even to the dullest peasant in his camp--
Being bruited once, took fire and heat away
From the best-temper'd courage in his troops;
For from his metal was his party steeled;
Which once in him abated, all the rest
Turn'd on themselves, like dull and heavy lead.
And as the thing that's heavy in itself
Upon enforcement flies with greatest speed,
So did our men, heavy in Hotspur's loss,
Lend to this weight such lightness with their fear
That arrows fled not swifter toward their aim
Than did our soldiers, aiming at their safety,
Fly from the field. Then was that noble Worcester
Too soon ta'en prisoner; and that furious Scot,
The bloody Douglas, whose well-labouring sword
Had three times slain th' appearance of the King,
Gan vail his stomach and did grace the shame
Of those that turn'd their backs, and in his flight,
Stumbling in fear, was took. The sum of all
Is that the King hath won, and hath sent out
A speedy power to encounter you, my lord,
Under the conduct of young Lancaster
And Westmoreland. This is the news at full.

Earl of Northumberland
For this I shall have time enough to mourn.
In poison there is physic; and these news,
Having been well, that would have made me sick,
Being sick, have in some measure made me well;
And as the wretch whose fever-weak'ned joints,
Like strengthless hinges, buckle under life,
Impatient of his fit, breaks like a fire
Out of his keeper's arms, even so my limbs,
Weak'ned with grief, being now enrag'd with grief,
Are thrice themselves. Hence, therefore, thou nice crutch!
A scaly gauntlet now with joints of steel
Must glove this hand; and hence, thou sickly coif!
Thou art a guard too wanton for the head
Which princes, flesh'd with conquest, aim to hit.
Now bind my brows with iron; and approach
The ragged'st hour that time and spite dare bring
To frown upon th' enrag'd Northumberland!
Let heaven kiss earth! Now let not Nature's hand
Keep the wild flood confin'd! Let order die!
And let this world no longer be a stage
To feed contention in a ling'ring act;
But let one spirit of the first-born Cain
Reign in all bosoms, that, each heart being set
On bloody courses, the rude scene may end
And darkness be the burier of the dead!

This strained passion doth you wrong, my lord.

Sweet Earl, divorce not wisdom from your honour.
The lives of all your loving complices
Lean on your health; the which, if you give o'er
To stormy passion, must perforce decay.
You cast th' event of war, my noble lord,
And summ'd the account of chance before you said
'Let us make head.' It was your pre-surmise
That in the dole of blows your son might drop.
You knew he walk'd o'er perils on an edge,
More likely to fall in than to get o'er;
You were advis'd his flesh was capable
Of wounds and scars, and that his forward spirit
Would lift him where most trade of danger rang'd;
Yet did you say 'Go forth'; and none of this,
Though strongly apprehended, could restrain
The stiff-borne action. What hath then befall'n,
Or what hath this bold enterprise brought forth
More than that being which was like to be?

We all that are engaged to this loss
Knew that we ventured on such dangerous seas
That if we wrought out life 'twas ten to one;
And yet we ventur'd, for the gain propos'd
Chok'd the respect of likely peril fear'd;
And since we are o'erset, venture again.
Come, we will put forth, body and goods.

'Tis more than time. And, my most noble lord,
I hear for certain, and dare speak the truth:
The gentle Archbishop of York is up
With well-appointed pow'rs. He is a man
Who with a double surety binds his followers.
My lord your son had only but the corpse,
But shadows and the shows of men, to fight;
For that same word 'rebellion' did divide
The action of their bodies from their souls;
And they did fight with queasiness, constrain'd,
As men drink potions; that their weapons only
Seem'd on our side, but for their spirits and souls
This word 'rebellion'--it had froze them up,
As fish are in a pond. But now the Bishop
Turns insurrection to religion.
Suppos'd sincere and holy in his thoughts,
He's follow'd both with body and with mind;
And doth enlarge his rising with the blood
Of fair King Richard, scrap'd from Pomfret stones;
Derives from heaven his quarrel and his cause;
Tells them he doth bestride a bleeding land,
Gasping for life under great Bolingbroke;
And more and less do flock to follow him.

Earl of Northumberland
I knew of this before; but, to speak truth,
This present grief had wip'd it from my mind.
Go in with me; and counsel every man
The aptest way for safety and revenge.
Get posts and letters, and make friends with speed--
Never so few, and never yet more need. Exeunt

Act I, Scene 2

London. A street

Sirrah, you giant, what says the doctor to my water?

He said, sir, the water itself was a good healthy water;
for the party that owed it, he might have moe diseases than
knew for.

Men of all sorts take a pride to gird at me. The
this foolish-compounded clay, man, is not able to invent
that intends to laughter, more than I invent or is invented
me. I am not only witty in myself, but the cause that wit is
other men. I do here walk before thee like a sow that hath
overwhelm'd all her litter but one. If the Prince put thee
my service for any other reason than to set me off, why then
have no judgment. Thou whoreson mandrake, thou art fitter to
worn in my cap than to wait at my heels. I was never mann'd
an agate till now; but I will inset you neither in gold nor
silver, but in vile apparel, and send you back again to your
master, for a jewel--the juvenal, the Prince your master,
chin is not yet fledge. I will sooner have a beard grow in
palm of my hand than he shall get one off his cheek; and yet
will not stick to say his face is a face-royal. God may
when he will, 'tis not a hair amiss yet. He may keep it still
a face-royal, for a barber shall never earn sixpence out of
and yet he'll be crowing as if he had writ man ever since his
father was a bachelor. He may keep his own grace, but he's
out of mine, I can assure him. What said Master Dommelton
the satin for my short cloak and my slops?

He said, sir, you should procure him better assurance
Bardolph. He would not take his band and yours; he liked not

Let him be damn'd, like the Glutton; pray God his
be hotter! A whoreson Achitophel! A rascal-yea-forsooth
bear a gentleman in hand, and then stand upon security! The
whoreson smooth-pates do now wear nothing but high shoes, and
bunches of keys at their girdles; and if a man is through
them in honest taking-up, then they must stand upon security.
had as lief they would put ratsbane in my mouth as offer to
it with security. I look'd 'a should have sent me two and
yards of satin, as I am a true knight, and he sends me
Well, he may sleep in security; for he hath the horn of
abundance, and the lightness of his wife shines through it;
yet cannot he see, though he have his own lanthorn to light
Where's Bardolph?

He's gone into Smithfield to buy your worship horse.

I bought him in Paul's, and he'll buy me a horse in
Smithfield. An I could get me but a wife in the stews, I were
mann'd, hors'd, and wiv'd.

Sir, here comes the nobleman that committed the
Prince for striking him about Bardolph.

Wait close; I will not see him.

Lord Chief Justice
What's he that goes there?

Falstaff, an't please your lordship.

Lord Chief Justice
He that was in question for the robb'ry?

He, my lord; but he hath since done good service at
Shrewsbury, and, as I hear, is now going with some charge to
Lord John of Lancaster.

Lord Chief Justice
What, to York? Call him back again.

Sir John Falstaff!

Boy, tell him I am deaf.

You must speak louder; my master is deaf.

Lord Chief Justice
I am sure he is, to the hearing of anything
Go, pluck him by the elbow; I must speak with him.

Sir John!

What! a young knave, and begging! Is there not wars?
there not employment? Doth not the King lack subjects? Do not
rebels need soldiers? Though it be a shame to be on any side
one, it is worse shame to beg than to be on the worst side,
it worse than the name of rebellion can tell how to make it.

You mistake me, sir.

Why, sir, did I say you were an honest man? Setting
knighthood and my soldiership aside, I had lied in my throat
had said so.

I pray you, sir, then set your knighthood and your
soldiership aside; and give me leave to tell you you in your
throat, if you say I am any other than an honest man.

I give thee leave to tell me so! I lay aside that
grows to me! If thou get'st any leave of me, hang me; if thou
tak'st leave, thou wert better be hang'd. You hunt counter.
Hence! Avaunt!

Sir, my lord would speak with you.

Lord Chief Justice
Sir John Falstaff, a word with you.

My good lord! God give your lordship good time of
am glad to see your lordship abroad. I heard say your
was sick; I hope your lordship goes abroad by advice. Your
lordship, though not clean past your youth, hath yet some
of age in you, some relish of the saltness of time; and I
humbly beseech your lordship to have a reverend care of your

Lord Chief Justice
Sir John, I sent for you before your expedition

An't please your lordship, I hear his Majesty is
with some discomfort from Wales.

Lord Chief Justice
I talk not of his Majesty. You would not come
sent for you.

And I hear, moreover, his Highness is fall'n into
same whoreson apoplexy.

Lord Chief Justice
Well God mend him! I pray you let me speak with

This apoplexy, as I take it, is a kind of lethargy,
please your lordship, a kind of sleeping in the blood, a

Lord Chief Justice
What tell you me of it? Be it as it is.

It hath it original from much grief, from study, and
perturbation of the brain. I have read the cause of his
in Galen; it is a kind of deafness.

Lord Chief Justice
I think you are fall'n into the disease, for you
hear not what I say to you.

Very well, my lord, very well. Rather an't please
is the disease of not listening, the malady of not marking,
I am troubled withal.

Lord Chief Justice
To punish you by the heels would amend the
of your ears; and I care not if I do become your physician.

I am as poor as Job, my lord, but not so patient.
lordship may minister the potion of imprisonment to me in
of poverty; but how I should be your patient to follow your
prescriptions, the wise may make some dram of a scruple, or
indeed a scruple itself.

Lord Chief Justice
I sent for you, when there were matters against
for your life, to come speak with me.

As I was then advis'd by my learned counsel in the
of this land-service, I did not come.

Lord Chief Justice
Well, the truth is, Sir John, you live in great

He that buckles himself in my belt cannot live in

Lord Chief Justice
Your means are very slender, and your waste is

I would it were otherwise; I would my means were
and my waist slenderer.

Lord Chief Justice
You have misled the youthful Prince.

The young Prince hath misled me. I am the fellow with
great belly, and he my dog.

Lord Chief Justice
Well, I am loath to gall a new-heal'd wound.
day's service at Shrewsbury hath a little gilded over your
night's exploit on Gadshill. You may thank th' unquiet time
your quiet o'erposting that action.

My lord--

Lord Chief Justice
But since all is well, keep it so: wake not a
sleeping wolf.

To wake a wolf is as bad as smell a fox.

Lord Chief Justice
What! you are as a candle, the better part burnt

A wassail candle, my lord--all tallow; if I did say
wax, my growth would approve the truth.

Lord Chief Justice
There is not a white hair in your face but
have his effect of gravity.

His effect of gravy, gravy,

Lord Chief Justice
You follow the young Prince up and down, like
ill angel.

Not so, my lord. Your ill angel is light; but hope
that looks upon me will take me without weighing. And yet in
respects, I grant, I cannot go--I cannot tell. Virtue is of
little regard in these costermongers' times that true valour
turn'd berod; pregnancy is made a tapster, and his quick wit
wasted in giving reckonings; all the other gifts appertinent
man, as the malice of this age shapes them, are not worth a
gooseberry. You that are old consider not the capacities of
that are young; you do measure the heat of our livers with
bitterness of your galls; and we that are in the vaward of
youth, must confess, are wags too.

Lord Chief Justice
Do you set down your name in the scroll of
that are written down old with all the characters of age?
you not a moist eye, a dry hand, a yellow cheek, a white
decreasing leg, an increasing belly? Is not your voice
your wind short, your chin double, your wit single, and every
part about you blasted with antiquity? And will you yet call
yourself young? Fie, fie, fie, Sir John!

My lord, I was born about three of the clock in the
afternoon, with a white head and something a round belly. For
voice--I have lost it with hallooing and singing of anthems.
approve my youth further, I will not. The truth is, I am only
in judgment and understanding; and he that will caper with me
a thousand marks, let him lend me the money, and have at him.
the box of the ear that the Prince gave you--he gave it like
rude prince, and you took it like a sensible lord. I have
him for it; and the young lion repents--marry, not in ashes
sackcloth, but in new silk and old sack.

Lord Chief Justice
Well, God send the Prince a better companion!

God send the companion a better prince! I cannot rid
hands of him.

Lord Chief Justice
Well, the King hath sever'd you. I hear you are
going with Lord John of Lancaster against the Archbishop and
Earl of Northumberland.

Yea; I thank your pretty sweet wit for it. But look
pray, all you that kiss my Lady Peace at home, that our
join not in a hot day; for, by the Lord, I take but two
out with me, and I mean not to sweat extraordinarily. If it
hot day, and I brandish anything but a bottle, I would I
never spit white again. There is not a dangerous action can
out his head but I am thrust upon it. Well, I cannot last
but it was alway yet the trick of our English nation, if they
have a good thing, to make it too common. If ye will needs
am an old man, you should give me rest. I would to God my
were not so terrible to the enemy as it is. I were better to
eaten to death with a rust than to be scoured to nothing with
perpetual motion.

Lord Chief Justice
Well, be honest, be honest; and God bless your

Will your lordship lend me a thousand pound to

Lord Chief Justice
Not a penny, not a penny; you are too impatient
bear crosses. Fare you well. Commend me to my cousin

If I do, fillip me with a three-man beetle. A man can
more separate age and covetousness than 'a can part young
and lechery; but the gout galls the one, and the pox pinches
other; and so both the degrees prevent my curses. Boy!


What money is in my purse?

Seven groats and two pence.

I can get no remedy against this consumption of the
purse; borrowing only lingers and lingers it out, but the
is incurable. Go bear this letter to my Lord of Lancaster;
to the Prince; this to the Earl of Westmoreland; and this to
Mistress Ursula, whom I have weekly sworn to marry since I
perceiv'd the first white hair of my chin. About it; you know
where to find me. [Exit PAGE] A pox of this gout! or, a
this pox! for the one or the other plays the rogue with my
toe. 'Tis no matter if I do halt; I have the wars for my
and my pension shall seem the more reasonable. A good wit
make use of anything. I will turn diseases to commodity.

Act I, Scene 3

York. The ARCHBISHOP'S palace

Archbishop Scroop
Thus have you heard our cause and known our means;
And, my most noble friends, I pray you all
Speak plainly your opinions of our hopes-
And first, Lord Marshal, what say you to it?

Lord Mowbray
I well allow the occasion of our amis;
But gladly would be better satisfied
How, in our means, we should advance ourselves
To look with forehead bold and big enough
Upon the power and puissance of the King.

Lord Hastings
Our present musters grow upon the file
To five and twenty thousand men of choice;
And our supplies live largely in the hope
Of great Northumberland, whose bosom burns
With an incensed fire of injuries.

The question then, Lord Hastings, standeth thus:
Whether our present five and twenty thousand
May hold up head without Northumberland?

Lord Hastings
With him, we may.

Yea, marry, there's the point;
But if without him we be thought too feeble,
My judgment is we should not step too far
Till we had his assistance by the hand;
For, in a theme so bloody-fac'd as this,
Conjecture, expectation, and surmise
Of aids incertain, should not be admitted.

Archbishop Scroop
'Tis very true, Lord Bardolph; for indeed
It was young Hotspur's case at Shrewsbury.

It was, my lord; who lin'd himself with hope,
Eating the air and promise of supply,
Flatt'ring himself in project of a power
Much smaller than the smallest of his thoughts;
And so, with great imagination
Proper to madmen, led his powers to death,
And, winking, leapt into destruction.

Lord Hastings
But, by your leave, it never yet did hurt
To lay down likelihoods and forms of hope.

Yes, if this present quality of war-
Indeed the instant action, a cause on foot-
Lives so in hope, as in an early spring
We see th' appearing buds; which to prove fruit
Hope gives not so much warrant, as despair
That frosts will bite them. When we mean to build,
We first survey the plot, then draw the model;
And when we see the figure of the house,
Then we must rate the cost of the erection;
Which if we find outweighs ability,
What do we then but draw anew the model
In fewer offices, or at least desist
To build at all? Much more, in this great work--
Which is almost to pluck a kingdom down
And set another up--should we survey
The plot of situation and the model,
Consent upon a sure foundation,
Question surveyors, know our own estate
How able such a work to undergo-
To weigh against his opposite; or else
We fortify in paper and in figures,
Using the names of men instead of men;
Like one that draws the model of a house
Beyond his power to build it; who, half through,
Gives o'er and leaves his part-created cost
A naked subject to the weeping clouds
And waste for churlish winter's tyranny.

Lord Hastings
Grant that our hopes--yet likely of fair birth--
Should be still-born, and that we now possess'd
The utmost man of expectation,
I think we are so a body strong enough,
Even as we are, to equal with the King.

What, is the King but five and twenty thousand?

Lord Hastings
To us no more; nay, not so much, Lord Bardolph;
For his divisions, as the times do brawl,
Are in three heads: one power against the French,
And one against Glendower; perforce a third
Must take up us. So is the unfirm King
In three divided; and his coffers sound
With hollow poverty and emptiness.

Archbishop Scroop
That he should draw his several strengths together
And come against us in full puissance
Need not be dreaded.

Lord Hastings
If he should do so,
He leaves his back unarm'd, the French and Welsh
Baying at his heels. Never fear that.

Who is it like should lead his forces hither?

Lord Hastings
The Duke of Lancaster and Westmoreland;
Against the Welsh, himself and Harry Monmouth;
But who is substituted against the French
I have no certain notice.

Archbishop Scroop
Let us on,
And publish the occasion of our arms.
The commonwealth is sick of their own choice;
Their over-greedy love hath surfeited.
An habitation giddy and unsure
Hath he that buildeth on the vulgar heart.
O thou fond many, with what loud applause
Didst thou beat heaven with blessing Bolingbroke
Before he was what thou wouldst have him be!
And being now trimm'd in thine own desires,
Thou, beastly feeder, art so full of him
That thou provok'st thyself to cast him up.
So, so, thou common dog, didst thou disgorge
Thy glutton bosom of the royal Richard;
And now thou wouldst eat thy dead vomit up,
And howl'st to find it. What trust is in these times?
They that, when Richard liv'd, would have him die
Are now become enamour'd on his grave.
Thou that threw'st dust upon his goodly head,
When through proud London he came sighing on
After th' admired heels of Bolingbroke,
Criest now 'O earth, yield us that king again,
And take thou this!' O thoughts of men accurs'd!
Past and to come seems best; things present, worst.

Lord Mowbray
Shall we go draw our numbers, and set on?

Lord Hastings
We are time's subjects, and time bids be gone.

© Copyright 2017-2022 Shakespeare Network - Maximianno Cobra - All rights reserved.


© Copyright 2017-2022 Shakespeare Network - Maximianno Cobra - All rights reserved.