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Prince. Nothing but a colossus can do thee that friendship. Say thy prayers, and farewell.

Fal. I would it were bedtime, Hal, and all well.
Prince. Why, thou owest God a death.

[Exit. Fal. 'Tis not due yet; I would be loth 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 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 that word, honour? air. A trim reckoning ! - Who hath it? he that died o' Wednesday. Doth he feel it? no. Doth he hear it?

Is it insensible, then? yea, to the dead. But will it not live with the living? no. Why? detraction will not suffer it. Therefore I'll none of it: honour is a mere scutcheon : and so ends my catechism.




SCENE II. — The Rebel Camp.


Wor. O, no, my nephew must not know, Sir Richard, The liberal-kind offer of the King.

Ver. 'Twere best he did.

Then are we all undone.
It is not possible, it cannot be,
The King should keep his word in loving us ;
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,

12 That is, a mere heraldic emblazonry, that can do nothing.

Will have a wild trick of his ancestors. 1
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.
My nephew's trespass may be well forgot :
It hath th' excuse of youth and heat of blood,
And an adopted name of privilege,
A hare-brain'd Hotspur, govern'd by a spleen:
All his offences lie upon my head
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.
Ver. Deliver what you will, I'll

say Here comes your cousin.

'tis so.

Enter HOTSPUR and DOUGLAS; Officers and Soldiers behind.

Hot. My uncle is return'd: deliver up
My Lord of Westmoreland.2 — Uncle, what news?

Wor. The King will bid you battle presently.
Doug. Defy him by the Lord of Westmoreland.
Hot. Lord Douglas, go you and tell him so.
Doug. Marry, I shall, and very willingly.
Wor. There is no seeming mercy in the King.
Hot. Did you beg any? God forbid !

Wor. I told him gently of our grievances,
Of his oath-breaking; which he mended thus,


1 "A wild trick" is a trick of wildness, or of running wild, inherited from his ancestors. In fact, the fox, I believe, cannot be so tamed but that he will run wild again on the first opportunity.

2 The Earl of Westmoreland had been retained by Hotspur in pledge for the safe return of Worcester.

By new-forswearing that he is forsworn :
He calls us rebels, traitors; and will scourge
With haughty arms this hateful name in us.

Re-enter DOUGLAS.
Doug. Arm, gentlemen; to arms ! for I have thrown
A brave defiance in King Henry's teeth,
And Westmoreland, that was engaged, did bear it;
Which cannot choose but bring him quickly on.

Wor. The Prince of Wales stepp'd forth before the King, And, nephew, challenged you to single fight.

Hot. O, would the quarrel lay upon our heads;
And that no man might draw short breath to-day
But I and Harry Monmouth !3 Tell me, tell me,
How show'd his tasking ?4 seem'd it in contempt?

Ver. No, by my soul : I never in my life
Did hear a challenge urged more modestly,
Unless a brother should a brother dare
To gentle exercise and proof of arms.
gave you

all the duties of a man ;
Trimm'd up your praises with a princely tongue;
Spoke your deservings like a chronicle ;
Making you ever better than his praise,
By still dispraising praise valued with you :
And, which became him like a prince indeed,
He made a blushing citalof himself;
And chid his truant youth with such a grace,
As if he master'd there a double spirit,
Of teaching and of learning instantly: 6

3 Prince Henry was so surnamed from the town of Monmouth in Wales, where he was born.

4 Tasking was used for reproof. We still say " he took him to task.5 To cite is to quote, allege, or mention any passage or incident.

6 Instantly has here the sense of at the same time. Master'd is equivalent to was master of.

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There did he pause : but let me tell the world,
If he outlive the envy of this day,
England did never owe so sweet a hope,
So much miscontrued in his wantonness,

Hot. Cousin, I think thou art enamoured
Upon his follies: never did I hear
Of any prince so wild o' liberty.8
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
Than I, that have not well the gift of tongue,
Can lift your blood up with persuasion.'

Enter a Messenger.
Mess. My lord, here are letters for you.

Hot. I cannot read them now.
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 th' arrival of an hour. 10
An if we live, we live to tread on kings ;
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.

7 Here, as usually in old English, envy means malice. Owe, in the next line, is own. Continually so in Shakespeare.

8 “So wild of liberty" plainly means using his freedom so wantonly.

9 A rather strange shaping of language, though not more so than many other passages in Shakespeare. It may be translated something thus: “You can better kindle your spirits to the work by thinking with yourselves what is to be done, than my small power of speech can heat your courage up for the fight by any attempts at persuasion.”

10 The meaning is, that if life were vastly shorter than it is, if it were measured by an hour, it were still too long to be spent basely.

Enter another Messenger.
Mess. My lord, prepare ; the King comes on apace.

Hot. 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
In the adventure of this perilous day.
Now, Esperancè ! ll Percy! and set on.
Sound all the lofty instruments of war,
And by that music let us all embrace ;
For, Heaven to Earth, 12 some of us never shall
A second time do such a courtesy.

[The trumpets sound. They embrace, and exeunt.

SCENE III. — Plain between the Camps. Excursions, and Parties fighting. Alarum to the battle.

Then enter DOUGLAS and Sir WALTER BLUNT, meeting.

Blunt. What is thy name, that in the battle thus
Thou crossest me? what honour dost thou seek
Upon my head?

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.

Doug. The Lord of Stafford dear to-day hath bought Thy likeness ; for, instead of thee, King Harry,

11 Esperancè, or Esperanza, was the motto of the Percy family. Espe. rancè is here a word of four syllables. So in Holinshed: “Then suddenlie blew the trumpets, the kings part crieng S. George upon them, the adversaries cried Esperance, Persie, and so the two armies furiouslie joined.”

12 A wager of Heaven against Earth is probably ineant.

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