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Henry the Fourth Part 1

by William Shakespeare

Act 5, Scene 1 Easiest-to-Read Edition

 

 

 



Henry the Fourth Part 1 Act 5 Scene 1



King Henry's camp near Shrewsbury

Enter the KING, PRINCE HENRY of Wales, Lord John of LANCASTER, Earl of WESTMORELAND, BLUNT, and FALSTAFF

Enter the KING, PRINCE HENRY of Wales, Lord John of LANCASTER, Earl of WESTMORELAND, BLUNT, and FALSTAFF

KING

How bloodily the sun begins to peer

Above yon busky hill. The day looks pale

busky=bushy

At his distemp'rature.

distemperature=signaling bad weather

 

KING

How bloodily the sun begins to peer

Above yon busky hill. The day looks pale

At his distemp'rature.

 

PRINCE HENRY

   The southern wind

Doth play the trumpet to his purposes

And by his hollow whistling in the leaves

Foretells a tempest and a blust'ring day.

tempest=violent windstorm

 

PRINCE HENRY

   The southern wind

Doth play the trumpet to his purposes,

And by his hollow whistling in the leaves

Foretells a tempest and a blust'ring day.

 

KING

Then with the losers let it sympathize,

For nothing can seem foul to those that win.

 

KING

Then with the losers let it sympathize,

For nothing can seem foul to those that win.

 

The trumpet sounds. Enter WORCESTER and VERNON

The trumpet sounds. Enter WORCESTER and VERNON

How now, my Lord of Worcester? 'Tis not well

That you and I should meet upon such terms

As now we meet. You have deceived our trust

And made us doff our easy robes of peace

To crush our old limbs in ungentle steel.

This is not well, my lord; this is not well.

What say you to it? Will you again unknit

This churlish knot of all-abhorrèd war

churlish knot=ill-tempered hang-up

And move in that obedient orb again

Where you did give a fair and natural light

And be no more an exhaled meteor,

exhaled meteor=comet

A prodigy of fear and a portent

fear=fearsomeness

portent=omen

Of broachèd mischief to the unborn times?

broached=set into motion

 

How now, my Lord of Worcester? 'Tis not well

That you and I should meet upon such terms

As now we meet. You have deceived our trust

And made us doff our easy robes of peace

To crush our old limbs in ungentle steel.

This is not well, my lord; this is not well.

What say you to it? Will you again unknit

This curlish knot of all-abhorrèd war

And move in that obedient orb again

Where you did give a fair and natural light,

And be no more an exhaled meteor,

A prodigy of fear and a portent

Of broachèd mischief to the unborn times?

 

WORCESTER

Hear me, my liege.

For mine own part I could be well content

To entertain the lag end of my life

With quiet hours. For I do protest

I have not sought the day of this dislike.

 

WORCESTER

Hear me, my liege:

For mine own part I could be well content

To entertain the lag end of my life

With quiet hours. For I do protest

I have not sought the day of this dislike.

 

KING

You have not sought it. How comes it then?

 

KING

You have not sought it. How comes it then?

 

FALSTAFF

Rebellion lay in his way, and he found it.

 

FALSTAFF

Rebellion lay in his way, and he found it.

 

PRINCE HENRY

Peace, chewet, peace.

chewet=chattering crow

 

PRINCE HENRY

Peace, chewet, peace.

 

WORCESTER

(to the KING) It pleased your Majesty to turn your looks

Of favour from myself and all our house,

And yet I must remember you, my lord:

remember=remind

We were the first and dearest of your friends.

For you my staff of office did I break

staff of office=vow of allegiance to Richard

In Richard’s time and posted day and night

posted=rode horses rapidly

To meet you on the way and kiss your hand

When yet you were, in place and in account,

account=reputation

Nothing so strong and fortunate as I.

nothing=nowhere near

It was myself, my brother, and his son

That brought you home and boldly did outdare

The dangers of the time. You swore to us,

And you did swear that oath at Doncaster,

That you did nothing purpose 'gainst the state

Nor claim no further than your new-fall'n right,

nor claim no further=nor claim any further (double negative – not uncommon)

new-fall’n right=right resulting from the death of his father, John of Gaunt

The seat of Gaunt, dukedom of Lancaster.

To this we swore our aid. But in short space

It rained down fortune show'ring on your head,

And such a flood of greatness fell on you—

What with our help, what with the absent King,

What with the injuries of a wanton time,

The seeming sufferances that you had borne,

And the contrarious winds that held the King

So long in his unlucky Irish wars

That all in England did repute him dead—

And from this swarm of fair advantages

You took occasion to be quickly wooed

To gripe the general sway into your hand,

gripe the general sway=grasp the sovereign power

Forget your oath to us at Doncaster,

And, being fed by us, you used us so

As that ungentle gull, the cuckoo’s bird,

Useth the sparrow—did oppress our nest,

Grew by our feeding to so great a bulk

That even our love durst not come near your sight

For fear of swallowing; but with nimble wing

fear of swallowing=fear of being swallowed

We were enforced for safety sake to fly

Out of sight and raise this present head,

Whereby we stand opposèd by such means

As you yourself have forged against yourself

By unkind usage, dangerous countenance,

dangerous countenance=hostile manner

And violation of all faith and troth

troth=promise

Sworn to us in your younger enterprise.

 

WORCESTER

(to the KING) It pleased your Majesty to turn your looks

Of favour from myself and all our house;

And yet I must remember you, my lord,

We were the first and dearest of your friends.

For you my staff of office did I break

In Richard’s time, and posted day and night

To meet you on the way, and kiss your hand

When yet you were in place and in account

Nothing so strong and fortunate as I.

It was myself, my brother, and his son

That brought you home and boldly did outdare

The dangers of the time. You swore to us,

And you did swear that oath at Doncaster,

That you did nothing purpose 'gainst the state,

Nor claim no further than your new-fall'n right,

The seat of Gaunt, dukedom of Lancaster.

To this we swore our aid. But in short space

It rained down fortune show'ring on your head,

And such a flood of greatness fell on you—

What with our help, what with the absent King,

What with the injuries of a wanton time,

The seeming sufferances that you had borne,

And the contrarious winds that held the King

So long in his unlucky Irish wars

That all in England did repute him dead—

And from this swarm of fair advantages

You took occasion to be quickly wooed

To gripe the general sway into your hand,

Forget your oath to us at Doncaster;

And being fed by us, you used us so

As that ungentle gull, the cuckoo’s bird,

Useth the sparrow—did oppress our nest,

Grew by our feeding to so great a bulk

That even our love durst not come near your sight

For fear of swallowing; but with nimble wing

We were enforced for safety sake to fly

Out of sight and raise this present head,

Whereby we stand opposèd by such means

As you yourself have forged against yourself

By unkind usage, dangerous countenance,

And violation of all faith and troth

Sworn to us in your younger enterprise.

 

 

KING

These things indeed you have articulate,

Proclaimed at market crosses, read in churches,

To face the garment of rebellion

face=trim

With some fine color that may please the eye

Of fickle changelings and poor discontents,

Which gape and rub the elbow at the news

which=who

rub the elbow=chuckle

Of hurlyburly innovation.

And never yet did insurrection want

(insurrection was never lacking in)

Such water colors to impaint his cause

water colors=excuses

impaint his cause=depict its cause

Nor moody beggars starving for a time

starving=longing

Of pellmell havoc and confusion.

 

KING

These things indeed you have articulate,

Proclaimed at market crosses, read in churches,

To face the garment of rebellion

With some fine color that may please the eye

Of fickle changelings and poor discontents,

Which gape and rub the elbow at the news

Of hurlyburly innovation.

And never yet did insurrection want

Such water colors to impaint his cause,

Nor moody beggars starving for a time

Of pellmell havoc and confusion.

 

PRINCE HENRY

In both your armies there is many a soul

Shall pay full dearly for this encounter

If once they join in trial. Tell your nephew,

they join in trial=the two armies join in battle

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)

(this present enterprise removed from consideration)

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

odds=advantage

Of his great name and estimation

estimation=esteem

And will, to save the blood on either side,

Try fortune with him in a single fight.

 

PRINCE HENRY

In both your armies there is many a soul

Shall 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.

 

 

KING

And, Prince of Wales, so dare we venture thee,

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,

wait on us=are in the offing

And they shall do their office. So begone.

office=duty

We will not now be troubled with reply.

We offer fair. Take it advisedly.

 

KING

And, Prince of Wales, so dare we venture thee,

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,

And they shall do their office. So begone.

We will not now be troubled with reply.

We offer fair. Take it advisedly.

 

Exeunt WORCESTER and VERNON

Exeunt WORCESTER and VERNON

PRINCE HENRY

It will not be accepted, on my life.

The Douglas and the Hotspur both together

Are confident against the world in arms.

 

PRINCE HENRY

It will not be accepted, on my life.

The Douglas and the Hotspur both together

Are confident against the world in arms.

 

KING

Hence, therefore, every leader to his charge,

For on their answer will we set on them,

on their answer=as soon as they answer

And God befriend us, as our cause is just.

 

KING

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 all but PRINCE HENRY and FALSTAFF

Exeunt all but PRINCE HENRY and FALSTAFF

FALSTAFF

Hal, if thou see me down in the battle and [you] bestride me, so (Falstaff demonstrates);

tis a point (an instance) of friendship.

 

FALSTAFF

Hal, if thou see me down in the battle and bestride me, so;

tis a point of friendship.

 

PRINCE HENRY

Nothing but a colossus can do thee that friendship.

Say thy prayers and farewell.

 

PRINCE HENRY

Nothing but a colossus can do thee that friendship.

Say thy prayers, and farewell.

 

FALSTAFF

I would ’twere bedtime, Hal, and all well.

 

FALSTAFF

I would ’twere bedtime, Hal, and all well.

 

PRINCE HENRY

Why, thou owest God a death.

 

PRINCE HENRY

Why, thou owest God a death.

 

Exit PRINCE HENRY

Exit PRINCE HENRY

FALSTAFF

'Tis not due yet. I would be loath to pay Him before His day (the day when a debt becomes repayable). What need I be so forward with Him that calls not on me (does not ask for repayment)? Well, ’tis no matter. Honour pricks (pushes) me on. Yea, but how if honor prick me off when I come on? How then? Can honor set to (heal) 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 (fine) reckoning. Who hath it? He that died o' Wednesday. Doth he feel it? No. Doth he hear it? No. 'Tis insensible, then? Yea, to the dead. But will it not live with the living? No. Why? Detraction (slander) will not suffer (allow) it. Therefore, I’ll none of it. Honor is a mere scutcheon (coat of arms). And so ends my catechism.

catechism=a series of questions and answers about Christian principles that students learn by heart

 

FALSTAFF

'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. Honour 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. 'Tis 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.

 

Exit

Exit

 

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