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William Shakespeare (1564–1616). The Oxford Shakespeare. 1914.

Act V. Scene IV.

The First Part of King Henry the Fourth

Another Part of the Field.


K. Hen.I prithee,

Harry, withdraw thyself; thou bleed’st too much.

Lord John of Lancaster, go you with him.

Lanc.Not I, my lord, unless I did bleed too.

Prince.I beseech your majesty, make up,

Lest your retirement do amaze your friends.

K. Hen.I will do so.

My Lord of Westmoreland, lead him to his tent.

West.Come, my lord, I’ll lead you to your tent.

Prince.Lead me, my lord? I do not need your help:

And God forbid a shallow scratch should drive

The Prince of Wales from such a field as this,

Where stain’d nobility lies trodden on,

And rebels’ arms triumph in massacres!

Lanc.We breathe too long: come, cousin Westmoreland,

Our duty this way lies: for God’s sake, come.[Exeunt JOHN OF LANCASTER and WESTMORELAND.

Prince.By God, thou hast deceiv’d me, Lancaster;

I did not think thee lord of such a spirit:

Before, I lov’d thee as a brother, John;

But now, I do respect thee as my soul.

K. Hen.I saw him hold Lord Percy at the point

With lustier maintenance than I did look for

Of such an ungrown warrior.

Prince.O! this boy

Lends mettle to us all.[Exit.

Alarums.Enter DOUGLAS.

Doug.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,

That counterfeit’st the person of a king?

K. Hen.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:

But, seeing thou fall’st on me so luckily,

I will assay thee; so defend thyself.

Doug.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,

And thus I win thee.[They fight.KING HENRY being in danger, re-enter the PRINCE.

Prince.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:

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 succour sent,

And so hath Clifton: I’ll to Clifton straight.

K. Hen.Stay, and breathe awhile.

Thou hast redeem’d thy lost opinion,

And show’d thou mak’st some tender of my life,

In this fair rescue thou hast brought to me.

Prince.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

As all the poisonous potions in the world,

And sav’d the treacherous labour of your son.

K. Hen.Make up to Clifton: I’ll to Sir Nicholas Gawsey.[Exit.


Hot.If I mistake not, thou art Harry Monmouth.

Prince.Thou speak’st as if I would deny my name.

Hot.My name is Harry Percy.

Prince.Why, then, I see

A very valiant rebel of that name.

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.

Hot.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!

Prince.I’ll make it greater ere I part from thee;

And all the budding honours on thy crest

I’ll crop, to make a garland for my head.

Hot.I can no longer brook thy vanities.[They fight.


Fal.Well said, Hal! to it, Hal! Nay, you shall find no 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.

Hot.O, Harry! thou hast robb’d me of my youth.

I better brook the loss of brittle life

Than those proud titles thou hast won of me;

They wound my thoughts worse than thy sword my flesh:

But thought’s the slave of life, and life time’s fool;

And time, that takes survey of all the world,

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—[Dies.

Prince.For worms, brave Percy. Fare thee well, great heart!

Ill-weav’d 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

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,

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 ignomy sleep with thee in the grave,

But not remember’d in thy epitaph![He spies FALSTAFF on the ground.

What! old acquaintance! could not all this flesh

Keep in a little life? Poor Jack, farewell!

I could have better spar’d a better man.

O! I should have a heavy miss of thee

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.[Exit.

Fal.[Rising.]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. 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 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 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[stabbing him], with a new wound in your thigh come you along with me.[He takes HOTSPUR on his back.


Prince.Come, brother John; full bravely hast thou flesh’d

Thy maiden sword.

Lanc.But, soft! whom have we here?

Did you not tell me this fat man was dead?

Prince.I did; I saw him dead,

Breathless and bleeding on the ground.

Art 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.

Fal.No, that’s certain; I am not a double man: but if I 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.

Prince.Why, Percy I killed myself, and saw thee dead.

Fal.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 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.

Lanc.This is the strangest tale that e’er I heard.

Prince.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.[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.[Exeunt the PRINCE and JOHN OF LANCASTER.

Fal.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.[Exit.