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Of fickle changelings, and poor discontents,
Which gape, and rub the elbow, at the news
Of hurly-burly innovation.
And never yet did insurrection want
Such water colors, to impaint his cause;
Nor moody beggars, starving for a time
Of pellmell havock and confusion.

P. Hen. In both our armies, there is many a soul

pay full dearly for this encounter,
If once they join in trial. Tell your nephew,
The prince of Wales doth join with all the world
In praise of Henry Percy. By my hopes,-
This present enterprise set off his head,
I do not think a braver gentleman,
More active-valiant, or more valiant-young,
More daring, or more bold, is now alive,
To grace this latter age with noble deeds.
For my part, I may speak it to my shame,
I have a truant been to chivalry;
And so, I hear, he doth account me too :
Yet this before my father's majesty,—
I am content, that he shall take the odds
Of his great name and estimation ;
And will, to save the blood on either side,
Try fortune with him in a single fight.
K. Hen. And, prince of Wales, so dare we venture

Albeit, considerations infinite
Do make against it.—No, good Worcester, no,
We love our people well; even those we love,
That are misled upon your cousin's part;
And, will they take the offer of our grace,
Both he, and they, and you, yea, every man
Shall be my friend again, and I'll be his.
So tell your cousin, and bring me word
What he will do.—But if he will not yield,
Rebuke and dread correction wait on us,


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1 i. e. anxiously expecting a time.

2 Mason suggests that we should read, “ Know, good Worcester, know," &c.


And they shall do their office. So, be gone ;
We will not now be troubled with reply:
We offer fair ; take it advisedly.

P. Hen. It will not be accepted, on my life.
The Douglas and the Hotspur both together
Are confident against the world in arms.
K. Hen. Hence, therefore, every leader to his

charge; For, on their answer, will we set on them. And God befriend us, as our cause is just!

[Exeunt King, Blunt, and PRINCE John. Fal. Hal, if thou see me down in the battle, and bestride me,' so; 'tis a point of friendship.

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

Fal. I would it were bed time, Hal, and all well. P. Hen. Why, thou owest God a death. [Exit.

Fal. 'Tis not due yet; I would be loath to pay him before his day. What need I be so forward with him that calls not on me? Well, 'tis no matter; honor pricks me on. Yea, but how if honor prick me off when I come on? how then? Can honor set to a

? ? leg? No. Or an arm ? No. Or take away the grief of a wound ? No. Honor hath no skill in surgery then? No. What is honor? A word. What is in that word, honor? What is that honor ? Air. A trim reckoning! -Who hath it? He that died o’ Wednesday. Doth he feel it? No. Doth he hear it? No. 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; honor is a mere scutcheon, and so ends my catechism.


1 In the battle of Agincourt, Henry, when king, did this act of friendship for his brother the duke of Gloucester.

SCENE II. The Rebel Camp.


Wor. O, no, my nephew must not know, sir

The liberal, kind offer of the king.

Ver. 'Twere best, he did.

Then we are 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 cherished, and locked up,
Will have a wild trick of his ancestors.
Look how we can, or sad, or merrily,
Interpretation will misquote our looks;
And we shall feed like oxen at a stall,
The better cherished, still the nearer death.
My nephew's trespass may be well forgot ;
It hath the excuse of youth, and heat of blood;
And an adopted name of privilege, -
A hare-brained Hotspur, governed by a spleen.
All his offences live 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.

1 The folio reads thus :—“ Supposition, all our lives, shall be stuck full of eyes.”

Enter Hotspur and Douglas; and Officers and Sol

diers, behind.
Hot. My uncle is returned.—Deliver up
My lord of Westmoreland. —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, and shall

, and very willingly. [Exit. 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,-
By now 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 stepped 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! Tell me, tell me,
A w showed his tasking ?? Seemed 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.
He gave you all the duties of a man;

1 Westmoreland was impawned as a surety for the safe return of Worcester.

2 Tasking as well as taring was used for reproof. We still say, “ He took him to task.

Trimmed 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 cital of himself,
And chid his truant youth with such a grace,
As if he mastered there a double spirit,
Of teaching, and of learning, instantly.
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 misconstrued in his wantonness.

Hot. Cousin, I think thou art enamored
Upon his follies. Never did I hear
Of any prince, so wild at liberty :
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





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 the arrival of an hour.
And 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.

I That is, was master of.

2 Own. 3 So wild at liberty may mean so wild and liconuious, or loose in his conduct. Dr. Johnson's version is—“ any prince that played such pranks, and was not confined as a madman." VOL. III.


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