William Shakespeare.

The dramatic works of William Shakspeare... embracing a life of the poet, and notes, original and selected (Volume 4) online

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Mowb. Be it so.

Here is returned my lord of Westmoreland.


West. The prince is here at hand. Pleaseth your


To meet his grace just distance tween our armies?
Mowb. Your grace of York, in God s name then set

Arch. Before, and greet his grace : my lord, we

come. [Exeunt.


SCENE II. Another Part of the Forest.

Enter, from one side, MOWBRAY, the Archbishop,
HASTINGS, and others: from the other side, PRINCE
JOHN of Lancaster, WESTMORELAND, Officers, and

P. John. You are well encountered here, my cousin


Good day to you, gentle lord archbishop ;
And so to you, lord Hastings, and to all.
My lord of York, it better showed with you,
When that your flock, assembled by the bell,
Encircled you, to hear with reverence
Your exposition on the holy text,
Than now to see you here an iron man, 1
Cheering a rout of rebels with your drum,
Turning the word to sword, and Hie to death.
That man that sits within a monarch s heart,
And ripens in the sunshine of his favor,
Would he abuse the countenance of the king,
Alack, what mischiefs might he set abroach,
In shadow of such greatness ! With you, lord bishop,
It is even so. Who hath not heard it spoken,
How deep you were within the books of God ?
To us, the speaker in his parliament ;
To us, the imagined voice of God himself;
The very opener, and intelligencer,
Between the grace, the sanctities of Heaven,
And our dull workings. 2 O, who shall believe,
But you misuse the reverence of your place ;
Employ the countenance and grace of Heaven.
As a false favorite doth his prince s name,
In deeds dishonorable ? You have taken up. 3

1 Holin.shed says of the archbishop, that> "coming forth amongst them
dad in armour, he encouraged and pricked them foorth to take the enter-
prize in hand."

~ Dull workings are labors of thought.

3 Raised up in arms.

VOL. IV. 10


Under the counterfeited zeal of God,
The subjects of Heaven s substitute, my father;
And, both against the peace of Heaven and him,
Have here up-swarmed them.

Arch. Good my lord of Lancaster,

I am not here against your father s peace ;
But, as I told my lord of Westmoreland,
The time misordered doth, in common sense, 1
Crowd us, and crush us, to this monstrous form,
To hold our safety up. I sent your grace
The parcels and particulars of our grief;
The which hath been with scorn shoved from the court,
Whereon this Hydra son of war is born ;
Whose dangerous eyes may well be charmed asleep,
With grant of our most just and right desires;
And true obedience of this madness cured,
Stoop tamely to the foot of majesty.

Mowb. If not, we ready are to try our fortunes
To the last man.

Hast. And though we here fall down,

We have supplies to second our attempt.
If they miscarry, theirs shall second them;
And so, success 9 of mischief shall be born;
And heir from heir shall hold this quarrel up,
Whiles England shall have generation.

P. John. You are too shallow, Hastings, much too

To sound the bottom of the after-times.

West. Pleaseth your grace to answer them directly,
How far-forth do you like their articles ?

P. John. I like them all, and do allow them well ;
And swear here by the honor of my blood,
My father s purposes have been mistook ;
And some about him have too lavishly
Wrested his meaning, and authority.
My lord, these griefs shall be with speed redressed ;
Upon my soul, they shall. If this may please you,

1 Common sense is the general sense of general danger.

2 Succession.


Discharge your powers 1 unto their several counties,
As we will ours ; and here, between the armies,
Let s drink together friendly, and embrace ;
That all their eyes may bear those tokens home,
Of our restored love and amity.

Arch. I take your princely word for these redresses.

P. John. I give it you, and will maintain my word;
And thereupon I drink unto your grace.

Hast. Go, captain, [To an Officer.] and deliver to

the army

This news of peace ; let them have pay, and part ;
I know it will well please them. Hie thec, captain.

[Exit Officer.

Arch. To you, my noble lord of Westmoreland.

West. I pledge your grace ; and, if you knew what


I have bestowed to breed this present peace,
You would drink freely ; but my love to you
Shall show itself more openly hereafter.

Arch. I do not doubt you.

West. I am glad of it.

Health to my lord, and gentle cousin, Mow r brav.

Mowb. You wish me health in very happy season ;
For I am, on the sudden, something ill.

Arch. Against ill chances, men are ever merry ;
But heaviness foreruns the good event.

West. Therefore be merry, coz; since sudden sorrow
Serves to say thus, Some good thing comes to-morrow.

Arch. Believe me, I am passing light in spirit.

Moivh. So much the worse, if your own rule be true.

[Shouts within.

P. John. The word of peace is rendered. Hark,
how they shout !

Mowb. This had been cheerful, after victory.

Arch. A peace is of the nature of a conquest ;

1 It was Westmoreland who made this deceitful proposal, as appears
from Holirished : " The earl of Westmoreland, using more policie than
the rest, said, whereas our people have been long in armour, let them de
part home to their woonted trades : In the mean time let us drink togither
in signe of agreement, that the people on both sides may see it, and know
that it is true, that we be light at a point."


For then both parties nobly are subdued,
And neither party loser.

P. John. Go, my lord,

And let our army be discharged too.


And, good my lord, so please you, let our trains
March by us ; that we may peruse the men
We should have coped withal.

Arch. Go, good lord Hastings,

And, ere they be dismissed, let them march by.


P. John. I trust, my lords, we shall lie to-night


Now, cousin, wherefore stands our army still ?

West. The leaders, having charge from you to stand,
Will not go off until they hear you speak.

P. John. They know their duties.

Re-enter HASTINGS.

Hast. My lord, our army is dispersed already
Like youthful steers unyoked, they take their courses
East, west, north, south ; or, like a school broke up,
Each hurries toward his home, and sporting-place.

West. Good tidings, my lord Hastings ; for the which
I do arrest thee, traitor, of high treason ;
And you, lord archbishop, and you, lord Mowbray,
Of capital treason I attach you both.

Mowb. Is this proceeding just and honorable ?

West. Is your assembly so ?

Arch. Will you thus break your faith ?

P. John. I pawned thee none.

I promised you redress of these same grievances,
Whereof you did complain ; which, by mine honor,
I will perform with a most Christian care.
But, for you, rebels, look to taste the due
Meet for rebellion, and such acts as yours.


Most shallowly did you these arms commence,
Fondly ! brought here, and foolishly sent hence.
Strike up our drums, pursue the scattered stray ;
Heaven, and not we, have safely fought to-day.
Some guard these traitors to the block of death ;
Treason s true bed, arid yielder up of breath. [Exeunt*

SCENE III. Another Part of the Forest. Alarums ;

Enter FALSTAFF and COLEVILE, meeting.

FaL What s your name, sir ? of what condition are
you ; and of what place, I pray ?

Cole. I am a knight, sir ; and my name is Cole-
vile of the dale.

FaL Well then, Colevile is your name ; a knight is
your degree ; and your place, the dale. Colevile shall
still be your name ; a traitor your degree ; and the
dungeon your place, a place deep enough : so shall
you still be Colevile of the dale.

Cole. Are not you sir John Falstaff ?

FaL As good a man as he, sir, whoe er I am. Do
ye yield, sir ? or shall I sweat for you ? If I do sweat,
they are drops of thy lovers, and they weep for thy
death : therefore rouse up fear and trembling, and do
observance to my mercy.

Cole. I think you are sir John Falstaff; and in
that thought, yield me.

FaL I have a whole school of tongues in this belly
of mine ; and not a tongue of them all speaks any
other word but my name. An I had but a belly of
any indifferency, I were simply the most active fellow
in Europe. My womb, my womb, my womb undoes
me. Here comes our general.

1 i. e. foolishly.

2 " It cannot but raise some indignation to find this horrid violation of
faith passed over thus slightly by the Poet without any note of censure
>r detestation." Johnson.


and others.

P. John. The heat is past; follow no further now ;
Call in the powers, good cousin Westmoreland.

[Exit WEST.

Now, Falstaff, where have you been all this while ?
When every thing is ended, then you come.
These tardy tricks of yours will, on my life,
One time or other, break some gallows back.

Fed. I would be sorry, my lord, but it should be
thus ; I never knew yet, but rebuke and check was
the reward of valor. Do you think me a swallow, an
arrow, or a bullet? have I, in my poor and old motion,
the expedition of thought ? I have speeded hither
with the very extremest inch of possibility ; I have
foundered nine score and odd posts; and here, travel-
tainted as I am, have, in my pure and immaculate
valor, taken sir John Colevile of the dale, a most furi
ous knight, and valorous enemy. But what of that ?
He saw me, and yielded ; that I may justly say with

the hook-nosed fellow of Rome, / came, saw, and


P. John. It was more of his courtesy than your

Fal. I know not ; here he is, and here I yield him ;
and I beseech your grace, let it be booked with the
rest of this day s deeds ; or, by the Lord, I will have
it in a particular ballad else, with mine own picture on
the top of it, Colevile kissing my foot. To the which
course, if I be enforced, if you do not all show like
gilt two-pences to me ; and I, in the clear sky of fame,
o ershine you as much as the full moon doth the cin
ders of the element, 1 which show like pins heads to
her; believe not the word of the noble. Therefore
let me have right, and let desert mount.

P. John. Thine s too heavy to mount.

Fal. Let it shine then.

1 A ludicrous term for the stars.


P. John. Thine s too thick to shine.

Fal. Let it do something, my good lord, that may
do me good, and call it what you will.

P. John. Is thy name Colevile? 1

Cole. It is, my lord.

P. John. A famous rebel art thou, Colevile.

Fal. And a famous true subject took him.

Cole. I am, my lord, but as my betters are,
That led me hither ; had they been ruled by me,
You should have won them dearer than you have.

Fal. I know not how they sold themselves ; but
thou, like a kind fellow, gavest thyself away ; and
I thank thee for thee.


P. John. Now, have you left pursuit?

West. Retreat is made, and execution stayed.

P. John. Send Colevile, with his confederates,
To York, to present execution. 2
Blunt, lead him hence ; and see you guard him sure.

[Exeunt some with COLEVILE.
And now despatch we toward the court, my lords ;
I hear, the king my father is sore sick.
Our news shall go before us to his majesty,
Which, cousin, you shall bear, to comfort him ;
And we with sober speed will follow you.

Fal. My lord, I beseech you, give me leave to go

1 It appears that Colevile was designed to be pronounced as a trisyl
lable ; it is often spelled Colleville in the old copies.

2 " At the king s coming to Durham the lord Hastings, sir John Cole-
vile of the dale, &c. being convicted of the conspiracy, were there behead
ed." Holinshed, p. 530. It is to be observed that there are two accounts
of the termination of the archbishop of York s conspiracy, both of which
are given by Holinshed. He states that on the archbishop and earl mar
shal submitting to the king and to his son prince John, there present,
" their troopes skaled and fledde ther waves ; but being pursued, many
were taken, many slain, &c. ; the archbishop and earl marshal! were
brought to Pomfret to the king, who from thence went to Yorke, whyiher
the prisoners were also brought, and there beheaded." It is this last account
that Shakspeare has followed, but with some variation ; for the names of
Colevile and Hastings are not mentioned among those who were behead
ed at York.


through Glostershire ; and, when you come to court,
stand my good lord, 1 pray, in your good report.

P. John. Fare you well, Falstaff; I, in my condi
tion, 2
Shall better speak of you than you deserve. [Exit.

Fal. I would you had but the wit ; twere better
than your dukedom. Good faith, this same young,
sober-blooded boy doth not love me ; nor a man cannot
make him laugh ; but that s no marvel ; he drinks no
wine. There s never any of these demure boys come
to any proof; for thin drink doth so over-cool their
blood, and making many fish-meals, that they fall into
a kind of male green-sickness ; and then, when they
marry, they get wenches : they are generally fools and
cowards ; which some of us should be too, but for in
flammation. A good sherris sack hath a twofold
operation in it. It ascends me into the brain ; dries
me there all the foolish, and dull, and crudy vapors
which environ it ; makes it apprehensive, quick, for-
getive, 3 full of nimble, fiery, and delectable shapes ;
which delivered o er to the voice, (the tongue,) which
is the birth, becomes excellent wit. The second prop
erty of your excellent sherris is, the warming of the
blood ; which, before cold and settled, left the liver
white and pale, which is the badge of pusillanimity and
cowardice : but the sherris warms it, and makes it
course from the inwards to the parts extreme. It il-
lumineth the face ; which, as a beacon, gives warning
to all the rest of this little kingdom, man, to arm : and
then the vital commoners, and inland petty spirits,
muster me all to their captain, the heart ; who, great,
and puffed up with this retinue, doth any deed of cour
age ; and this valor comes of sherris. So that skill in
the weapon is nothing, without sack; for that sets it
a-work ; and learning, a mere hoard of gold kept by a

1 Stand my good lord, or be my good lord, means stand my friend, be my
patron or benefactor, report well of me.

2 Condition is most frequently used by Shakspeare for nature, disposition.
The prince may therefore mean, " I shall, in my good nature, speak better
of you than you deserve."

3 Inventive, imaginative.


devil ; 1 till sack commences it, and sets it in act and
use. Hereof comes it, that prince Harry is valiant ;
for the cold blood he did naturally inherit of his father,
he hath, like lean, sterile, and bare land, manured, hus
banded, and tilled, with excellent endeavor of drinking
good, and good store of fertile sherris ; that he is be
come very hot, and valiant. If I had a thousand sons,
the first human principle I would teach them, should
be, to forswear thin potations, and addict themselves
to sack.


How now, Bardolph ?

Bard. The army is discharged all, and gone.

Fal. Let them go. I ll through Glostershire ; and
there will I visit master Robert Shallow, esquire. I
have him already tempering between my finger and my
thumb, and shortly will I seal with him. Come away.


SCENE IV. Westminster. A Room in the Palace.

WARWICK, and others.

K. Hen. Now, lords, if Heaven doth give successful


To this debate that bleedeth at our doors,
We will our youth lead on to higher fields,
And draw no swords but what are sanctified.
Our navy is addressed, 2 our power collected,
Our substitutes in absence well invested,
And every thing lies level to our wish ;
Only, we want a little personal strength ;
And pause us, till these rebels, now afoot,
Come underneath the yoke of government.

1 It was anciently supposed that all the mines of gold, &c. were guard
ed by evil spirits. See the Secret Wonders of Nature and Art, by Edw.
Fenton, 1569, p. 91.

2 Ready, prepared.

VOL. iv. 11


War. Both which, we doubt not but jour majesty
Shall soon enjoy.

K. Hen. Humphrey, my son of Gloster,

Where is the prince your brother ?

P. Humph. I think he s gone to hunt, my lord, at

K. Hen. And how accompanied ?

P. Humph. I do not know, my lord.

K. Hen. Is not his brother, Thomas of Clarence,
with him ?

P. Humph. No, my good lord ; he is in presence

Cla. What would my lord and father ?

K. Hen. Nothing but well to thee, Thomas of Clar

How chance, thou art not with the prince thy brother?
He loves thee, and thou dost neglect him, Thomas ;
Thou hast a better place in his affection,
Than all thy brothers : cherish it, my boy ;
And noble offices thou mayst effect
Of mediation, after I am dead,
Between his greatness and thy other brethren.
Therefore, omit him not ; blunt not his love ;
Nor lose the good advantage of his grace,
By seeming cold or careless of his will.
For he is gracious, if he be observed ; 1
He hath a tear for pity, and a hand
Open as day for melting charity :
Yet, notwithstanding, being incensed, he s flint ;
As humorous 2 as winter, and as sudden
As flaws congealed in the spring of day. 3
His temper, therefore, must be well observed.
Chide him for faults, and do it reverently,

1 i. e. if he has respectful attention shown him.

% Humorous for capricious.

3 Alluding to the opinion of some philosophers, that the vapors being
congealed in the air by cold (which is the most intense in the morning),
and being afterwards rarefied and let loose by the warmth of the sun, oc
casion those sudden and impetuous gusts of wind which are called flaws.
Shakspeare uses the word again in King Henry VI. and in his Venus and


When you perceive his blood inclined to mirth ;
But, being moody, give him line and scope ;
Till that his passions, like a whale on ground,
Confound themselves with working. Learn this,


And thou shalt prove a shelter to thy friends ;
A hoop of gold, to bind thy brothers in ;
That the united vessel of their blood,
Mingled with venom of suggestion, 1
(As, force perforce, the age will pour it in,)
Shall never leak, though it do work as strong
As aconitum, or rash gunpowder.

Cla. I shall observe him with all care and love.

K. Hen. Why art thou not at Windsor with him,
Thomas ?

Cla. He is not there to-day ; he dines in London.

K. Hen. And how accompanied? canst thou tell
that ?

Cla. With Poins, and other his continual followers.

K. Hen. Most subject is the fattest soil to weeds ;
And he, the noble image of my youth,
Is overspread with them. Therefore my grief
Stretches itself beyond the hour of death ;
The blood weeps from my heart, when I do shape,
In forms imaginary, the unguided days,
And rotten times, that you shall look upon,
When I am sleeping with my ancestors.
For when his headstrong riot hath no curb,
When rage and hot blood are his counsellors,
When means and lavish manners meet together,
O, with what wings shall his affections fly
Towards fronting peril and opposed decay !

War. My gracious lord, you look beyond him quite.
The prince but studies his companions,
Like a strange tongue ; wherein, to gain the language,
Tis needful, that the most immodest word
Be looked upon, and learned ; which once attained,

i Though their blood be inflamed by the temptations to which youth is
peculiarly subject


Your highness knows, comes to no further use,

But to be known, and hated. So, like gross terms,

The prince will, in the perfectness of time,

Cast off his followers ; and their memory

Shall as a pattern or a measure live,

By which his grace must mete the lives of others ;

Turning past evils to advantages.

K. Hen. Tis seldom when the bee doth leave her

In the dead carrion. Who s here ? Westmoreland ?


West. Health to my sovereign ! and new happiness
Added to that that I am to deliver !
Prince John, your son, doth kiss your grace s hand.
Mowbray, the bishop Scroop, Hastings, arid all,
Are brought to the correction of your law ;
There is not now a rebel s sword unsheathed,
But peace puts forth her olive every where.
The manner how this action hath been borne,
Here at more leisure may your highness read ;
With every course, in his particular. 1

K. Hen. O, Westmoreland, thou art a summer bird,
Which ever in the haunch of winter sings
The lifting up of day. Look ! here s more news.


Har. From enemies Heaven keep your majesty ;
And, when they stand against you, may they fall
As those that I am come to tell you of!
The earl Northumberland, and the lord Bardolph,
With a great power of English, and of Scots,
Are by the sheriff of Yorkshire overthrown.
The manner and true order of the fight,
This packet, please it you, contains at large.

1 The detail contained in prince John s letter.


K. Hen. And wherefore should these good news

make me sick ?

Will fortune never come with both hands full,
But write her fair words still in foulest letters?
She either gives a stomach, and no food,
Such are the poor, in health ; or else a feast,
And takes away the stomach, such are the rich,
That have abundance, and enjoy it not.
I should rejoice now at this happy news ;
And now my sight fails, and my brain is giddy.
O me ! come near me, now 7 I am much ill. [Swoons.

P. Humph. Comfort, your majesty !

Cla. O my royal father !

West. My sovereign lord, cheer up yourself; look up !

War. Be patient, princes ; you do know, these fits
Are with his highness very ordinary.
Stand from him ; give him air ; he ll straight be well.

Cla. No, no ; he cannot long hold out these pangs ;
The incessant care and labor of his mind
Hath wrought the mure, 1 that should confine it in,
So thin, that life looks through, and will break out.

P. Humph. The people fear me ; for they do ob

Unfathered heirs, 2 and loathly birds of nature.
The seasons change their manners, as the year
Had found some months asleep, and leaped them over.

Cla. The river hath thrice flowed, no ebb between :
And the old folk, time s doting chronicles,
Say, it did so, a little time before
That our great grandsire, Edward, sicked and died.

War. Speak lower, princes, for the king recovers.

P. Humph. This apoplex will, certain, be his end.

K. Hen. I pray you, take me up, and bear me

Into some other chamber ; softly, pray.

[They convey the King into an inner part of
the room, and place him on a bed.

1 Mure for wall is another of Shakspeare s Latinisms. It was not in
frequent use by his contemporaries.

2 That is, equivocal births, monsters.


Let there be no noise made, my gentle friends ;
Unless some dull 1 and favorable hand
Will whisper music to my weary spirit.

War. Call for the music in the other room.

K. Hen. Set me the crown upon my pillow here.

Cla. His eye is hollow, and he changes much.

War. Less noise, less noise.


P. Hen. Who saw the duke of Clarence ?

Cla. I am here, brother, full of heaviness.

P. Hen. How now ! rain within doors, and none

abroad !
How doth the king ?

P. Humph. Exceeding ill.

P. Hen. Heard he the good news yet ?

Tell it him.

P. Humph. He altered much upon the hearing it.

P. Hen. If he be sick
With joy, he will recover without physic.

War. Not so much noise, my lords ; sweet prince,

speak low ;
The king your father is disposed to sleep.

Cla. Let us withdraw into the other room.

War. Will t please your grace to go along with us ?

P. Hen. No ; I will sit and watch here by the king. 2

[Exeunt all but P. HENRY.
Why doth the crown lie there upon his pillow,
Being so troublesome a bedfellow ?
O polished perturbation ! golden care !
That keeps the ports of slumber open wide
To many a watchful night ! sleep with it now !
Yet not so sound, and half so deeply sweet,

1 Dull and slow were synonymous. "Dullness, slowness; tarditas,
tardivete. Somewhat dull or slowe ; tardiusculus, tardelet ; " says liaret.
But Shakspeare uses didness for drowsiness in the Tempest. And Baret
has also this sense : " Slow, dull, asleepe, drousie, astonied, heavie ; lor-
pidus" It has always been thought that slow music induces sleep.

2 The hint only of this beautiful scene is taken from Holinshed, p. 541.

Online LibraryWilliam ShakespeareThe dramatic works of William Shakspeare... embracing a life of the poet, and notes, original and selected (Volume 4) → online text (page 6 of 38)