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Enter Chorus.

Now all the youth of England are on fire,

And silken dalliance in the wardrobe lies:

Now thrive the armorers, and honour's thought

Reigns solely in the breast of every man:

They sell the pasture now to buy the horse,

Following the mirror of all Christian kings,

With winged heels, as English Mercuries.

For now sits Expectation in the air,

And hides a sword from hilts unto the point

With crowns imperial, crowns and coronets, (11)

Promised to Harry and his followers.

The French, advised by good intelligence

Of this most dreadful preparation,

Shake in their fear and with pale policy

Seek to divert the English purposes.

O England! model to thy inward greatness,

Like little body with a mighty heart,

What mightst thou do, that honor would thee do,

Were all thy children kind and natural! (20)

But see thy fault! France hath in thee found out

A nest of hollow bosoms, which he fills

With treacherous crowns; and three corrupted men,

One, Richard Earl of Cambridge, and the second,

Henry Lord Scroop of Masham, and the third,

Sir Thomas Grey, knight, of Northumberland,

Have, for the gilt of France--O guilt indeed!--

Confirm'd conspiracy with fearful France;

And by their hands this grace of kings must die,

If hell and treason hold their promises, (30)

Ere he take ship for France, and in Southampton.

Linger your patience on; and we'll digest

The abuse of distance; force a play:

The sum is paid; the traitors are agreed;

The king is set from London; and the scene

Is now transported, gentles, to Southampton;

There is the playhouse now, there must you sit:

And thence to France shall we convey you safe,

And bring you back, charming the narrow seas (39)

To give you gentle pass; for, if we may,

We'll not offend one stomach with our play.

But, till the king come forth, and not till then,

Unto Southampton do we shift our scene. [Exit,


London. A street.
Enter Corporal NYM and Lieutenant BARDOLPH.

Well met, Corporal Nym.

Good morrow, Lieutenant Bardolph.

What, are Ancient Pistol and you
friends yet?

For my part, I care not: I say little;
but when time shall serve, there shall be
smiles; but that shall be as it may. I dare not
fight; but I will wink and hold out mine iron:
it is a simple one; but what though? it will
toast cheese, and it will endure cold as another
man's sword will: and there's an end.

I will bestow a breakfast to make
you friends; and we'll be all three sworn
brothers to France: let it be so, good Corporal

Faith, I will live so long as I may,
that's the certain of it; and when I cannot
live any longer, I will do as I may: that is my
rest, that is the rendezvous of it.

It is certain, corporal, that he is
married to Nell Quickly: and certainly she (21)
did you wrong; for you were troth-plight to her.

I cannot tell: things must be as they
may: men may sleep, and they may have their
throats about them at that time; and some
say knives have edges. It must be as it may:
though patience be a tired mare, yet she will
plod. There must be conclusions. Well, I cannot
tell. Enter PISTOL and Hostess.

Here comes Ancient Pistol and his
wife: good corporal, be patient here. How (30)
now, mine host Pistol!

Base tike, call'st thou me host?
Now, by this hand, I swear, I scorn the term;
Nor shall my Nell keep lodgers.

No, by my troth, not long; for we
cannot lodge and board a dozen or fourteen
gentlewomen that live honestly by the prick
of their needles, but it will be thought we keep
a bawdy house straight.[Nym and Pistol
O well a day, Lady, if he be not
drawn now! we shall see wilful adultery and (40)
murder committed.

Good lieutenant! good corporal!
offer nothing here.


Pish for thee, Iceland dog! thou
prick-ear'd cur of Iceland!

Good Corporal Nym, show thy
valor, and put up your sword.

Will you shog off? I would have
you solus.

'Solus,' egregious dog? O viper vile! (50)

The 'solus' in thy most mervailous face;

The 'solus' in thy teeth, and in thy throat,

And in thy hateful lungs, yea, in thy maw, perdy,

And, which is worse, within thy nasty mouth!

I do retort the 'solus' in thy bowels;

For I can take, and Pistol's cock is up,

And flashing fire will follow.

I am not Barbason; you cannot
conjure me. I have an humor to knock you
indifferently well. If you grow foul with me,
Pistol, I will scour you with my rapier, as I
may, in fair terms: if you would walk off, I
would prick your guts a little, in good terms,
as I may: and that's the humor of it.

O braggart vile and damned furious wight!

The grave doth gape, and doting death is near;

Therefore exhale.

Hear me, hear me what I say: he
that strikes the first stroke, I'll run him up
to the hilts, as I am a soldier. [Draws. (70)

An oath of mickle might; and fury shall abate.

Give me thy fist, thy fore-foot to me give:

Thy spirits are most tall.

I will cut thy throat, one time or
other, in fair terms: that is the humor of it.

'Couple a gorge!'

That is the word. I thee defy again.

O hound of Crete, think'st thou my spouse to get?

No; to the spital go,

And from the powdering tub of infamy (80)

Fetch forth the lazar kite of Cressid's kind,

Doll Tearsheet she by name, and her espouse:

I have, and I will hold, the quondam Quickly

For the only she; and--pauca, there's enough.

Go to. Enter the Boy.

Mine host Pistol, you must come to
my master, and you, hostess: he is very sick,
and would to bed. Good Bardolph, put thy
face between his sheets, and do the office of a
warming-pan. Faith, he's very ill. (90)

Away, you rogue!

By my troth, he'll yield the crow a
pudding one of these days. The king has killed
his heart. Good husband, come home
presently. [Exeunt Hostess and Boy.

Come, shall I make you two
friends? We must to France together: why
the devil should we keep knives to cut one
another's throats?

Let floods o'erswell, and fiends for food howl on!

You'll pay me the eight shillings I
won of you at betting? (100)

Base is the slave that pays.

That now I will have: that's the
humor of it.

As manhood shall compound: push home. [They draw.

By this sword, he that makes the
first thrust, I'll kill him; by this sword, I will.

Sword is an oath, and oaths must have their course.

Corporal Nym, an thou wilt be
friends, be friends: an thou wilt not, why,
then, be enemies with me too. Prithee, put up.

I shall have my eight shillings I won (111)
of you at betting?

A noble shalt thou have, and present pay;

And liquor likewise will I give to thee,

And friendship shall combine, and brotherhood:

I'll live by Nym, and Nym shall live by me;

Is not this just? for I shall sutler be

Unto the camp, and profits will accrue.

Give me thy hand.

I shall have my noble? (120)

In cash most justly paid.

Well, then, that's the humor of 't. Re-enter Hostess.

As ever you came of women, come
in quickly to Sir John. Ah, poor heart! he
is so shaked of a burning quotidian tertian,
that it is most lamentable to behold. Sweet
men, come to him.

The king hath run bad humors on
the knight; that's the even of it.

Nym, thou hast spoke the right; (130)
His heart is fracted and corroborate.

The king is a good king: but it must
be as it may; he passes some humors
and careers.

Let us condole the knight; for, lambkins, we will live.


Southampton. A council-chamber

'Fore God, his grace is bold, to trust these traitors.

They shall be apprehended by and by.

How smooth and even they do bear themselves!

As if allegiance in their bosoms sat,

Crowned with faith and constant loyalty.

The king hath note of all that they intend,

By interception which they dream not of.

Nay, but the man that was his bedfellow,

Whom he hath dull'd and cloy'd with gracious favors, (10)

That he should, for a foreign purse, so sell

His sovereign's life to death and treachery. Trumpets sound.

K. Hen.
Now sits the wind fair, and we will aboard.

My Lord of Cambridge, and my kind Lord of Masham,

And you, my gentle knight, give me your thoughts:

Think you not that the powers we bear with us

Will cut their passage through the force of France,

Doing the execution and the act

For which we have in head assembled them?

No doubt, my liege, if each man do his best. (20)

K. Hen.
I doubt not that; since we are well persuaded

We carry not a heart with us from hence

That grows not in a fair consent with ours,

Nor leave not one behind that doth not wish

Success and conquest to attend on us.

Never was monarch better fear'd and loved

Than is your majesty: there's not, I think, a subject

That sits in heart-grief and uneasiness

Under the sweet shade of your government.

True: those that were your father's enemies (30)

Have steep'd their galls in honey and do serve you

With hearts create of duty and of zeal.

K. Hen.
We therefore have great cause of thankfulness;

And shall forget the office of our hand,

Sooner than quittance of desert and merit

According to the weight and worthiness.

So service shall with steeled sinews toil,

And labor shall refresh itself with hope,

To do your grace incessant services.

K. Hen.
We judge no less. Uncle of Exeter, (40)

Enlarge the man committed yesterday,

That rail'd against our person: we consider

It was excess of wine that set him on;

And on his more advice we pardon him.

That's mercy, but too much security:

Let him be punish'd, sovereign, lest example

Breed, by his sufferance, more of such a kind.

K. Hen.
O, let us yet be merciful.

So may your highness, and yet punish too.

Sir, (50)

You show great mercy, if you give him life,

After the taste of much correction.

K. Hen.
Alas, your too much love and care of me

Are heavy orisons 'gainst this poor wretch!

If little faults, proceeding on distemper,

Shall not be wink'd at, how shall we stretch our eye

When capital crimes, chew'd, swallow'd and digested,

Appear before us? We'll yet enlarge that man,

Though Cambridge, Scroop and Grey, in their dear care

And tender preservation of our person, (60)

Would have him punish'd. And now to our French causes:

Who are the late commissioners?

I one, my lord:

Your highness bade me ask for it to-day.

So did you me, my liege.

And I, my royal sovereign.

K. Hen.
Then, Richard Earl of Cambridge, there is yours;

There yours, Lord Scroop of Masham; and, sir knight,

Grey of Northumberland, this same is yours:

Read them; and know, I know your worthiness.

My Lord of Westmoreland, and uncle Exeter, (71)

We will aboard to night. Why, how now, gentlemen!

What see you in those papers that you lose

So much complexion? Look ye, how they change!

Their cheeks are paper. Why, what read you there,

That hath so cowarded and chased your blood

Out of appearance?

I do confess my fault;

And do submit me to your highness' mercy.

Grey. Scroop.
To which we all appeal.

K. Hen.
The mercy that was quick in us but late,

By your own counsel is suppress'd and kill'd:

You must not dare, for shame, to talk of mercy;

For your own reasons turn into your bosoms,

As dogs upon their masters, worrying you.

See you, my princes and my noble peers,

These English monsters! My Lord of Cambridge here,

You know how apt our love was to accord

To furnish him with all appertinents

Belonging to his honor; and this man

Hath, for a few light crowns, lightly conspired, (90)

And sworn unto the practices of France,

To kill us here in Hampton: to the which

This knight, no less for bounty bound to us

Than Cambridge is, hath likewise sworn. But, O,

What shall I say to thee, Lord Scroop? thou cruel,

Ingrateful, savage and inhuman creature!

Thou that didst bear the key of all my counsels,

That knew'st the very bottom of my soul,

That almost mightst have coin'd me into gold,

Wouldst thou have practised on me for thy use! (100)

May it be possible, that foreign hire

Could out of thee extract one spark of evil

That might annoy my finger? 'tis so strange,

That, though the truth of it stands off as gross

As black and white, my eye will scarcely see it.

Treason and murder ever kept together,

As two yoke-devils sworn to either's purpose,

Working so grossly in a natural cause,

That admiration did not whoop at them:

But thou, 'gainst all proportion, didst bring in

Wonder to wait on treason and on murder: (111)

And whatsoever cunning fiend it was

That wrought upon thee so preposterously

Hath got the voice in hell for excellence:

All other devils that suggest by treasons

Do botch and bungle up damnation

With patches, colors, and with forms being fetch'd

From glistering semblance of piety;

But he that temper'd thee bade thee stand up,

Gave thee no instance why thou shouldst do treason,

Unless to dub thee with the name of traitor.

If that same demon that hath gull'd thee thus

Should with his lion gait walk the whole world,

He might return to vasty Tartar back,

And tell the legions 'I can never win

A soul so easy as that Englishman's.'

O, how hast thou with jealousy infected

The sweetness of affiance! Show men dutiful?

Why, so didst thou: seem they grave and learned?

Why, so didst thou: come they of noble family? (130)

Why, so didst thou: seem they religious?

Why, so didst thou: or are they spare in diet,

Free from gross passion or of mirth or anger,

Constant in spirit, not swerving with the blood,

Garnish'd and deck'd in modest complement,

Not working with the eye without the ear,

And but in purged judgement trusting neither?

Such and so finely bolted didst thou seem:

And thus thy fall hath left a kind of blot,

To mark the full-fraught man and best indued

With some suspicion. I will weep for thee;

For this revolt of thine, methinks, is like

Another fall of man. Their faults are open:

Arrest them to the answer of the law;

And God acquit them of their practices!

I arrest thee of high treason, by the
name of Richard Earl of Cambridge.
I arrest thee of high treason, by the name
of Henry Lord Scroop of Masham.
I arrest thee of high treason, by the name of (150)
Thomas Grey, knight, of Northumberland.

Our purposes God justly hath discover'd

And I repent my fault more than my death;

Which I beseech your highness to forgive,

Although my body pay the price of it.

For me, the gold of France did not seduce;

Although I did admit it as a motive

The sooner to effect what I intended:

But God be thanked for prevention;

Which I in sufferance heartily will rejoice, (160)

Beseeching God and you to pardon me.

Never did faithful subject more rejoice

At the discovery of most dangerous treason

Than I do at this hour joy o'er myself.

Prevented from a damned enterprise:

My fault, but not my body, pardon, sovereign.

K. Hen.
God quit you in his mercy! Hear your sentence.

You have conspired against our royal person,

Join'd with an enemy proclaim'd and from his coffers

Received the golden earnest of our death; (170)

Wherein you would have sold your king to slaughter,

His princes and his peers to servitude,

His subjects to oppression and contempt

And his whole kingdom into desolation.

Touching our person seek we no revenge;

But we our kingdom's safety must so tender,

Whose ruin you have sought, that to her laws

We do deliver you. Get you therefore hence,

Poor miserable wretches, to your death: (179)

The taste whereof, God of his mercy give

You patience to endure, and true repentance

Of all your dear offences! Bear them hence. [Exeunt Cambridge, Scroop and Grey, guarded

Now, lords, for France; the enterprise whereof

Shall be to you, as us, like glorious.

We doubt not of a fair and lucky war,

Since God so graciously hath brought to light

This dangerous treason lurking in our way

To hinder our beginnings. We doubt not now

But every rub is smoothed on our way.

Then forth, dear countrymen: let us deliver (190)

Our puissance into the hand of God,

Putting it straight in expedition.

Cheerly to sea; the signs of war advance:

No king of England, if not king of France. [Exeunt.


London. Before a tavern.
Enter PISTOL, Hostess, NYM, BARDOLPH, and Boy.

Prithee, honey-sweet husband, let me
bring thee to Staines.

No; for my manly heart doth yearn.
Bardolph, be blithe: Nym, rouse thy vaunting veins:
Boy, bristle thy courage up; for Falstaff he is dead,
And we must yearn therefore.

Would I were with him, wheresome
'er he is, either in heaven or in hell!

Nay, sure, he's not in hell: he's in
Arthur's bosom, if ever man went to Arthur's
bosom. A' made a finer end and went away
an it had been any christom child; a' parted
even just between twelve and one, even at the
turning o' the tide: for after I saw him fumble
with the sheets and play with flowers and smile
upon his fingers' ends, I knew there was but
one way; for his nose was as sharp as a pen,
and a' babbled of green fields. 'How now, sir
John!' quoth I: 'what, man! be o' good
cheer.' So a' cried out 'God, God, God!'
three or four times. Now I, to comfort him,
bid him a' should not think of God; I hoped
there was no need to trouble himself with any
such thoughts yet. So a' bade me lay more
clothes on his feet: I put my hand into the
bed and felt them, and they were as cold as
any stone; then I felt to his knees, and they
were as cold as any stone, and so upward and
upward, and all was as cold as any stone.

They say he cried out of sack. (30)

Ay, that a' did.

And of women.

Nay, that a' did not.

Yes, that a' did; and said they were
devils incarnate.

A' could never abide carnation;
'twas a color he never liked.

A' said once, the devil would have
him about women.

'A did in some sort, indeed, handle
women; but then he was rheumatic, and (41)
talked of the whore of Babylon.

Do you not remember, a' saw a flea
stick upon Bardolph's nose, and a' said it was
a black soul burning in hell-fire?

Well, the fuel is gone that maintained
that fire: that's all the riches I got in
his service.

Shall we shog? the king will be gone
from Southampton.

Come, let's away. My love, give me thy lips. (50)

Look to my chattels and my movables:

Let senses rule; the word is 'Pitch and Pay:'

Trust none;

For oaths are straws, men's faiths are wafercakes,

And hold-fast is the only dog, my duck:

Therefore, Caveto be thy counsellor.

Go, clear thy crystals. Yoke-fellows in arms,

Let us to France; like horse-leeches, my boys,

To suck, to suck, the very blood to suck! (60)

And that's but unwholesome food,they say.

Touch her soft mouth, and march.

Farewell, hostess. [Kissing her.

I cannot kiss, that is the humor of
it; but, adieu.

Let housewifery appear: keep close, I thee command.

Farewell, adieu. [Exeunt.


France. The KING'S palace.
Enter the FRENCH KING, the DAUPHIN, the DUKES OF BERRI and BRETAGNE, the CONSTABLE, and others.

Fr. King.
Thus comes the English with full power upon us;

And more than carefully it us concerns

To answer royally in our defences.

Therefore the Dukes of Berri and Bretagne,

Of Brabant and of Orleans, shall make forth,

And you, Prince Dauphin, with all swift dispatch,

To line and new repair our towns of war

With men of courage and with means defendant;

For England his approaches makes as fierce (10)

As waters to the sucking of a gulf.

It fits us then to be as provident

As fear may teach us out of late examples

Left by the fatal and neglected English

Upon our fields.

My most redoubted father,

It is most meet we arm us 'gainst the foe;

For peace itself should not so dull a kingdom,

Though war nor no known quarrel were in question,

But that defences, musters, preparations,

Should be maintain'd, assembled and collected, (20)

As were a war in expectation.

Therefore, I say 'tis meet we all go forth

To view the sick and feeble parts of France:

And let us do it with no show of fear;

No, with no more than if we heard that England

Were busied with a Whitsun morris-dance:

For, my good liege, she is so idly king'd,

Her sceptre so fantastically borne

By a vain, giddy, shallow, humorous youth,

That fear attends her not.

O peace, Prince Dauphin! (30)

You are too much mistaken in this king:

Question your grace the late ambassadors,

With what great state he heard their embassy,

How well supplied with noble counsellors,

How modest in exception, and withal

How terrible in constant resolution,

And you shall find his vanities forespent

Were but the outside of the Roman Brutus,

Covering discretion with a coat of folly;

As gardeners do with ordure hide those roots (40)

That shall first appear and be most delicate.

Well, 'tis not so, my lord high constable;

But though we think it so, it is no matter:

In cases of defence 'tis best to weigh

The enemy more mighty than he seems:

So the proportions of defence are fill'd;

Which of a weak and niggardly projection

Doth, like a miser, spoil his coat with scanting

A little cloth.

Fr. King.
Think we King Harry strong;

And, princes, look you strongly arm to meet him.

The kindred of him hath been flesh'd upon us; (51)

And he is bred out of that bloody strain

That haunted us in our familiar paths:

Witness our too much memorable shame

When Cressy battle fatally was struck,

And all our princes captived by the hand

Of that black name, Edward, Black Prince of Wales;

Whiles that his mountain sire, on mountain standing,

Up in the air, crown'd with the golden sun,

Saw his heroical seed, and smiled to see him, (60)

Mangle the work of nature and deface

The patterns that by God and by French fathers

Had twenty years been made. This is a stem

Of that victorious stock; and let us fear

The native mightiness and fate of him. Enter a Messenger.

Ambassadors from Harry King of England

Do crave admittance to your majesty.

Fr. King.
We'll give them present audience. Go, and bring them. [Exeunt Messenger and certain Lords.

You see this chase is hotly follow'd, friends.

Turn head, and stop pursuit; for coward dogs (70)

Most spend their mouths when what they seem to threaten

Runs far before them. Good my sovereign,

Take up the English short, and let them know

Of what a monarchy you are the head:

Self-love, my liege, is not so vile a sin

As self-neglecting. Re-enter Lords, with EXETER and train.

Fr. King.
From our brother England?

From him; and thus he greets your majesty.

He wills you, in the name of God Almighty,

That you divest yourself, and lay apart

The borrow'd glories that by gift of heaven, (80)

By law of nature and of nations, 'long

To him and to his heirs; namely, the crown

And all wide-stretched honors that pertain

By custom and the ordinance of times

Unto the crown of France. That you may know

'Tis no sinister nor no awkward claim,

Pick'd from the worm-holes of long-vanish'd days,

Nor from the dust of old oblivion raked,

He sends you this most memorable line,

In every branch truly demonstrative; (90)

Willing you overlook this pedigree:

And when you find him evenly derived

From his most famed of famous ancestors,

Edward the Third, he bids you then resign

Your crown and kingdom, indirectly held

From him the native and true challenger.

Fr. King.
Or else what follows?

Bloody constraint; for if you hide the crown

Even in your hearts, there will he rake for it:

Therefore in fierce tempest is he coming,

In thunder and in earthquake, like a Jove,

That, if requiring fail, he will compel;

And bids you, in the bowels of the Lord,

Deliver up the crown, and to take mercy

On the poor souls for whom this hungry war

Opens his vasty jaws; and on your head

Turning the widows' tears, the orphans' cries,

The dead men's blood, the pining maidens groans,

For husbands, fathers, and betrothed lovers,

That shall be swallow'd in this controversy. (110)

This is his claim, his threatening, and my message;

Unless the Dauphin be in presence here,

To whom expressly I bring greeting too.

Fr. King.
For us, we will consider of this further:

To-morrow shall you bear our full intent

Back to our brother England.

For the Dauphin,

I stand here for him: what to him from England?

Scorn and defiance; slight regard, contempt,

And any thing that may not misbecome

The mighty sender, doth he prize you at. (120)

Thus says my king; an if your father's highness

Do not, in grant of all demands at large,

Sweeten the bitter mock you sent his majesty,

He'll call you to so hot an answer of it,

That caves and womby vaultages of France

Shall chide your trespass and return your mock

In second accent of his ordnance.

Say, if my father render fair return,

It is against my will; for I desire

Nothing but odds with England: to that end, (130)

As matching to his youth and vanity,

I did present him with the Paris balls.

He'll make your Paris Louvre shake for it,

Were it the mistress-court of mighty Europe:

And, be assured, you'll find a difference,

As we his subjects have in wonder found,

Between the promise of his greener days

And these he masters now: now he weighs time

Even to the utmost grain: that you shall read

In your own losses, if he stay in France. (140)

Fr. King.
To-morrow shall you know our mind at full.

Dispatch us with all speed, lest that our king

Come here himself to question our delay;

For he is footed in this land already.

Fr. King.
You shall be soon dispatch'd with fair conditions:

A night is but small breath and little pause

To answer matters of this consequence. [Flourish. Exeunt.

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