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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.
[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.
Enter WORCESTER and VERNON.
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.
12 That is, a mere heraldic emblazonry, that can do nothing.
Will have a wild trick of his ancestors. 1
say Here comes your cousin.
Enter HOTSPUR and DOUGLAS; Officers and Soldiers behind.
Hot. My uncle is return'd: deliver up
Wor. The King will bid you battle presently.
Wor. I told him gently of our grievances,
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 :
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;
Ver. No, by my soul : I never in my life
all the duties of a man ;
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.
There did he pause : but let me tell the world,
Hot. Cousin, I think thou art enamoured
Enter a Messenger.
Hot. I cannot read them now.
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.
Hot. I thank him, that he cuts me from my tale,
[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
Know, then, my name is Douglas;
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.