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THE HISTORY OF HENRY THE FOURTH
The Historye of Henry IV was entered in the Stationers' Register in February, 1598, and the First Quarto of Part I was printed in the same year. Meres names the play, but does not indicate whether he refers to one part or both. Part II was entered and printed in 1600, but is referred to by Jonson in Every Man out of his Humour in 1599. These facts, taken along with the marks of maturity in style and metre, point to 1597 and 1598 as the respective dates of the two parts.
Quartos of Part I were issued in 1598, 1599, 1604, 1608, 1613, and 1622, the version in the First Folio being taken from the Fifth Quarto. Of Part II only one quarto is known to have been issued; and the First Folio text was printed from a copy of this, revised with care but probably without authority. The basis for the present text is, for both parts, the First Quarto.
The political action of the two plays is founded on Holinshed's Chronicles. Great freedom is used in converting historical into dramatic time, and the speeches, as usually in the English historical plays, are elaborated from the merest hints. The most marked creation in the serious plot of Part I, aside from the Prince, is the opposing figure of Hotspur, whom Shakespeare clearly conceived for the purpose of psychological contrast. There is no corresponding foil for Prince Hal in Part II ; the political action is still more overshadowed by the comic than in the earlier part; and the serious interest centres in the relation of father and son, and the pathetic depression of Henry IV's closing years. For most of this, e. g., the plans for a crusade, and the famous crown scene,” Holinshed affords a basis ; but the rich emotional quality is all Shakespeare's.
For the comic scenes Shakespeare gathered some names and incidents from The Famous Vic. tories of Henry V, a very crude history-comedy printed in 1598, but licensed in 1594, and acted certainly as early as 1588. The robbery at Gadshill, the tavern in Eastcheap, Hal's relation to his boon companions and to the Lord Chief Justice, his reconciliation to his father, the episode of the crown, and the final banishing of his tavern friends, are all presented in a rude form in The Famous Victories. But the method of treatment is such as to offer hardly more suggestion than the bald narrative of Holinshed. The character of Falstaff, especially, owes little to any prede
In Henry IV as first written, Falstaff's name was Oldcastle, as it is in The Famous l'ictories. Sir John Oldcastle was a well-known peer of the time of Henry V, who was burned as a Lollard. But it is supposed that out of deference to Oldcastle's descendants Shakespeare changed the name to Falstaff before the play was printed, and added in the Epilogue to Part II the statement that “ Oldcastle died a martyr, and this is not the man." The new name seems to have been suggested by that of the historical Sir John Fastolfe, who, in 1 Henry VI, is represented (unjustly, as it seems) as a coward. But the creation is independent of any real or supposed historical prototype.
In the development of the Chronicle History as a distinct type of drama, the most notable feature of Henry IV is the importance in it of the element of comedy. For, although the continuation of the exposition of the character of the Boling broke of Richard II is of great psychological interest, yet the story of Henry's reign did not in itself afford material nearly so intense in interest or so appropriate for dramatic treatment as the author had found in the histories of Richard III and Richard II. So far as 1 Henry IV has a culmination at all, it is in the emergence of Prince Henry from his low surroundings as a brilliant warrior who slays Hotspur at Shrewsbury, rather than in his father's suppression of a rebellion. In Part II, the death of Henry IV is presented in the fourth act, and the real culmination of the play is in the new King's final throwing off of his old life and companions, and assuming worthily the dignities and duties of his royal office. Viewing the Prince, then, as the most important factor in the structure of the plays as a whole, we can regard the comic scenes, in which the lighter side of his character is displayed, as more organically related to the main scheme than they have usually been conceived.
THE FIRST PART OF HENRY THE FOURTH
(DRAMATIS PERSONÆ KING HENRY IV.
SIR RICHARD VERNON. HENRY, PRINCE OF WALES,
SIR JOHN FALSTAFF. } JOHN OF LANCASTER,
sons to the King.
SIR MICHAEL, a friend to the archbishop of York. EARL OF WESTMORELAND.
Porns. SIR WALTER BLUNT.
GADSHILL. THOMAS PERCY, earl of Worcester.
LADY PERCY, wife to Hotspur, and sister to Mortimer. RICHARD SCROOP, archbishop of York.
LADY MORTIMER, daughter to Glendower, and wife te ARCHIBALD, earl of Douglas.
Mortimer. OWEN GLENDOWER.
MISTRESS QUICKLY, hostess of a tavern in Eastcheap. Lords, Officers, Sheriff, Vintper, Chamberlain, Drawers, two Carriers, Travellers, and Attendants.
SCENE: England and Wales.]
ACT I SCENE I. (London. The palace.) Enter King HENRY, LORD JOHN OF LANCAS
TER, the EARL OF WESTMORELAND, (SIR Walter Blunt) with others.
King. So shaken as we are, so wan with care, Find we a time for frighted Peace to pant, And breathe short - winded accents of new
broils To be commenc'd in strands afar remote. No more the thirsty entrance of this soil Shall daub her lips with her own children's
blood; No more shall trenching war channel her fields, Nor bruise her flowerets with the armed hoofs Of hostile paces. Those opposed eyes, Which, like the meteors of a troubled heaven, All of one nature, of one substance bred, Did lately meet in the intestine shock And furious close of civil butchery, Shall now, in mutual well-beseeming ranks, March all one way and be no more oppos'd Against acquaintance, kindred, and allies. The edge of war, like an ill-sheathed knife, No more shall cut his master. Therefore,
friends, As far as to the sepulchre of Christ, Whose soldier now, under whose blessed cross We are impressed and engag'd to fight, Forthwith a power of English shall we levy ; Whose arms were moulded in their mothers'
womb To chase these pagans in those holy fields Over whose acres walk'd those blessed feet Which fourteen hundred years ago were nail'd For our advantage on the bitter cross. But this our purpose now is twelve month old, And bootless 't is to tell you we will go; Therefore we meet not now. Then let me
Of you, my gentle cousin Westmoreland,
taken, A thousand of his people butchered ; Upon whose dead corpse there was such mis
use, Such beastly shameless transformation, By those Welsh women done as may not be Without much shame retold or spoken of. King. It seems then that the tidings of this
broil Brake off our business for the Holy Land. West. This match'd with other did, my
gracious lord ; For more uneven and unwelcome news Came from the north, and thus it did import : On Holy-rood day, the gallant Hotspur there, Young Harry Percy and brave Archibald, That ever-valiant and approved Scot, At Holmedon met, Where they did spend a sad and bloody hour, As by discharge of their artillery, And shape of likelihood, the news was told ; For he that brought them, in the very heat And pride of their contention did take horse, Uncertain of the issue any way. King. Here is a dear, a true industrious
friend, Sir Walter Blunt, new lighted from his horse, Stain'd with the variation of each soil Betwixt that Holmedon and this seat of
And he hath brought us smooth and welcome
knights, Balk'd in their own blood did Sir Walter see On Holmedon's plains. Of prisoners, Hotspur
took Murdoch Earl of Fife, and eldest son To beaten Douglas; and the Earl of Athole, Of Moray, Angus, and Menteith: And is not this an honourable spoil ? A gallant prize, ha, cousin, is it not ?
West. In faith, It is a conquest for a prince to boast of. King. Yea, there thou mak'st me sad, and
mak'st me sin In envy that my Lord Northumberland Should be the father to so blest a son, A son who is the theme of Honour's tongue, Amongst a grove the very straightest plant, Who is sweet Fortune's minion and her pride; Whilst I, by looking on the praise of him, See riot and dishonour stain the brow Of my young Harry. O that it could be prov'd That some night-tripping fairy had exchang'd In cradle-clothes our children where they lay, And call'd mine Percy, his Plantagenet! Then would I have his Harry, and he mine. But let him from my thoughts. What think
you, coz, Of this young Percy's pride? The prisoners, Which he in this adventure hath surpris’d, To his own use he keeps ; and sends me word, I shall have none but Murdoch Earl of Fife. 95 West. This is his uncle's teaching; this is
Worcester, Malevolent to you in all aspects; Which makes him prune himself, and bristle
up The crest of youth against your dignity. King. But I have sent for him to answer
(Exeunt. SCENE II. (London. An apartment of the
Prince's.) Enter the PRINCE OF WALES and FALSTAFF. Fal. Now, Hal, what time of day is it, lad ?
Prince. Thou art so fat-witted, with drinking of old sack and unbuttoning thee after supper and sleeping upon benches after noon, that thou hast forgotten to demand that truly which thou wouldest truly know. What a devil hast thou to do with the time of the day ? Unless [6 hours were cups of sack, and minutes capons, and clocks the tongues of bawds, and dials the signs of leaping-houses, and the blessed sun himself a fair hot wench in flame-coloured taffeta,
I see no reason why thou shouldest be so superfluous to demand the time of the day.
Fal. Indeed, you come near me now, Hal; for we that take purses go by the moon and the seven stars, and not by Phæbus, he," that wand'ring knight so fair.” And, I prithee, sweet wag, when thou art a king, as, God save thy Grace, - Majesty I should say, for grace thou wilt have none,
Prince. What, none ?
Fal. No, by my troth, not so much as will serve to be prologue to an egg and butter.
Prince. Well, how then? Come, roundly, roundly.
Fal. Marry, then, sweet wag, when thou art king, let not us that are squires of the night's body be called thieves of the day's beauty. Let us be Diana's foresters, gentlemen of the shade, minions of the moon; and let men say we be men of good government, being governed, as the sea is, by our noble and chaste mistress the moon, under whose countenance we steal.
Prince. Thou say'st well, and it holds well too; for the fortune of us that are the moon's men doth ebb and flow like the sea, being gorerned, as the sea is, by the moon. As, for proof, now: a purse of gold most resolutely snatch'd is on Monday night and most dissolutely spent on Tuesday morning;, got with swearing Lay by" and spent with crying “Bring in;" now in as low an ebb as the foot of the ladder, and by and by in as high a flow as the ridge of the gallows.
Fal. By the Lord, thou say'st true, lad. And is not my hostess of the tavern a most sweet wench?
Prince. As the honey of Hybla, my old lad of the castle. And is not a buff jerkin a most sweet robe of durance ?
Fal. How now, how now, mad wag! What, in thy quips and thy quiddities, what a plague have I to do with a buff jerkin ?
Prince. Why, what a pox have I to do with my hostess of the tavern?
Fal. Well, thou hast call'd her to a reckoning many a time and oft. Prince. Did I ever call for thee to pay thy
Fal. No; I 'll give thee thy due, thou hast paid all there.
Prince. Yea, and elsewhere, so far as my coin stretch ; and where it would not, I have us'd my credit.
Fal. Yea, and so us'd it that, were it not here apparent that thou art heir apparent But, I prithee, sweet wag, shall there be gallows standing in England when thou art king? and resolution thus fobb'd as it is with the rusty curb of old father antic the law ? Do not thou, when thou art king, hang a thief.
Prince. No; thou shalt.
Fal. Shall I? O rare ! By the Lord, I 'll be a brave judge.
Prince. Thou judgest false already. I mean, thou shalt have the hanging of the thieves and so become a rare hangman.
Fal. Well, Hal, well; and in some sort it
jumps with my humour as well as waiting in morning, by four o'clock, early at Gadshill! the court, I can tell you.
There are pilgrims going to Canterbury with Prince. For obtaining of suits ?
rich offerings, and traders riding to London (140 Fal. Yea, for obtaining of suits, whereof with fat purses. I have vizards for you all; the hangman hath no lean wardrobe. 'Sblood, you have horses for yourselves. Gadshill lies I am as melancholy as a gib cat or a lugg'd to-night in Rochester. I have bespoke supper bear.
to-morrow night in Eastcheap. We may do it Prince. Or an old lion, or a lover's lute. as secure as sleep: If you will go, I will stuff (105
Fal. Yea, or the drone of a Lincolnshire bag- your purses full of crowns ; if you will not, pipe.
tarry at home and be hang'd. Prince. What sayest thou to a hare, or the Fal. Hear ye, Yedward ; if I tarry at home melancholy of Moor-ditch ?
and go not, I'll hang you for going. Fal. Thou hast the most unsavoury similes Poins. You will, chops ? and art indeed the most comparative, rascal- Fal. Hal, wilt thou make one ? liest, sweet young prince. But, Hal, I prithee, Prince. Who, I rob? I a thief ? Not I, by trouble me no more with vanity. I would to God thou and I knew where a commodity of Fal. There's neither honesty, manhood, nor good names were to be bought. An old lord good fellowship in thee, nor thou cam'st not of of the council rated me the other day in the 194 the blood royal, if thou dar'st not stand for ten street about you, sir, but I mark'd him not; shillings. and yet he talk'd very wisely, but I regarded Prince. Well, then, once in my days I 'll be him not; and yet he talk'd wisely, and in the a madcap. street too.
Fal. Why, that 's well said. Prince. Thou didst well; for wisdom cries Prince. Well, come what will, I'll tarry at out in the streets, and no man regards it.
home. Fal. O, thou hast damnable iteration and Fal. By the lord, I'll be a traitor then, when art indeed able to corrupt a saint. Thou hast thou art king. done much harm upon me, Hal; God forgive Prince. I care not. thee for it! Before I knew thee, Hal, I knew Poins. Sir John, I prithee, leave the Prince nothing; and now am I, if a man should speak and me alone. I will lay him down such reatruly, little better than one of the wicked. I (106 sons for this adventure that he shall go. must give over this life, and I will give it Fal. Well, God give thee the spirit of perover. By the Lord, an I do not, I am a villain. suasion and him the ears of profiting, that what I'll be damn'd for never a king's son in Chris- thou speakest may move and what he hears tendom.
may be believed, that the true prince may, for Prince. Where shall we take a purse to- recreation sake, prove a false thief ; for the morrow, Jack ?
poor abuses of the time want countenance. FareFal. 'Zounds, where thou wilt, lad; I'll well ; you shall find me in Eastcheap. make one. An I do not, call me villain and Prince. Farewell, thou latter spring! Farebaffle me.
well, All-hallown summer! [Exit Falstaff.) Prince. I see a good amendment of life in Poins. Now, my good sweet honey lord, thee ; from praying to purse-taking.
ride with us to-morrow; I have a jest to exeFal. Why, Hal, 't is my vocation, Hal. "Tis cute that I cannot manage alone. Falstaff no sin for a man to labour in his vocation. (117 (Bardolph, Peto) and Gadshill shall rob those Enter Poing.
men that we have already waylaid; yourself (182
and I will not be there; and when they have Poins! Now shall we know if Gadshill have set the booty, if you and I do not rob them, cut a match. O, if men were to be saved by merit, this head off from my shoulders. what hole in hell were hot enough for him ? Prince. How shall we part with them in This is the most omnipotent villain that ever setting forth ? cried “Stand !” to a true man.
Poins. Why, we will set forth before or Prince. Good morrow, Ned.
after them, and appoint them a place of meetPoins. Good morrow, sweet Hal. What says ing, wherein it is at our pleasure to fail, Monsieur Remorse? What says Sir John Sack and then will they adventure upon the exploit and Sugar ? Jack! how agrees the devil and themselves ; which they shall have no sooner thee about thy soul, that thou soldest him on achieved, but we 'll set upon them. Good Friday last for a cup of Madeira and a Prince. Yea, but 't is like that they will cold capon's leg?
know us by our horses, by our habits, and by Prince. Sir John stands to his word, the every other appointment, to be ourselves. devil shall have his bargain ; for he was never Poins. Tut! our horses they shall not see ; a breaker of proverbs. He will give the devil I'll tie them in the wood; our vizards we will his due.
change after we leave them; and, sirrah, I Poins. Then art thou damn'd for keeping have cases of buckram for the nonce, to imthy word with the devil.
mask our noted outward garments. Prince. Else he had been damn'd for cozen- Prince. Yea, but I doubt they will be too ing the devil,
hard for us. Poins. But, my lads, my lads, to-morrow Poins. Well, for two of them, I know them
to be as true-bred cowards as ever turn'd back; and for the third, if he fight longer than he sees reason, I'll forswear arms. The virtue (207 of this jest will be the incomprehensible lies that this same fat rogue will tell us when we meet at supper; how thirty, at least, he fought with; what wards, what blows, what extremities he endured ; and in the reproof of this lies the jest.
Prince. Well, I 'll go with thee. Provide us all things necessary and meet me to-morrow night in Eastcheap; there I'll sup. Farewell. Poins. Farewell, my lord.
[Exit. Prince. I know you all, and will a while up
[Erit. SCENE III. (London. The palace.] Enter the King, NORTHUMBERLAND, WORCES
TER, HOTSPUR, SIR WALTER BLUNT, with others. King. My blood hath been too cold and tem
perate, Unapt to stir at these indignities, And you have found me; for accordingly You tread upon my patience. But be sure I will from henceforth rather be myself, Mighty and to be fear'd, than my condition ; Which hath been smooth as oil, soft as young
down, And therefore lost that title of respect Which the proud soul ne'er pays but to the
proud. Wor. Our house, my sovereign liege, little
deserves The scourge of greatness to be us'd on it; And that same greatness too which our own
hands Have holp to make so portly.
North. My lord,
King. Worcester, get thee gone ; for I do Danger and disobedience in thine eye.
O, sir, your presence is too bold and peremptory,
need Your use and counsel, we shall send for you,
[Erit Worcester, You were about to speak. North.
Yea, my good lord. Those prisoners in your Highness' name de
manded, Which Harry Percy here at Holmedon took, Were, as he says, not with such strength de
Hot. My liege, I did deny no prisoners.
reap'd Show'd like a stubble-land at harvest-home. » He was perfumed like a milliner; And 'twixt his finger and his thumb he held A pouncet-box, which ever and anon He gave his nose and took 't away again; Who therewith
angry, when it next came there, Took it in snuff ; and still he smil'd and talk'd, And as the soldiers bore dead bodies by, He call'd them untaught knaves, unmannerly, To bring a slovenly unhandsome corse Betwixt the wind and his nobility. With many holiday and lady terms He question’d me; amongst the rest, demanded My prisoners in your Majesty's behalf. I then, all smarting with my wounds being cold, Out of my grief, and my impatience To be so pest'red with a popinjay, Answer'd neglectingly - I know not what, He should, or he should not; for he made me
mad To see him shine so brisk and smell so sweet And talk so like a waiting-gentlewoman Of guns and drums and wounds, — God save
the mark! And telling me the sovereign'st thing on earth Was parmaceti for an inward bruise; And that it was great pity, so it was, This villanous salt-petre should be digg'd Out of the bowels of the harmless earth, Which many a good tall fellow had destroy'd So cowardly; and but for these vile guns, He would himself have been a soldier. This bald unjointed chat of his, my lord, I answered indirectly, as I said; And I beseech you, let not his report Come current for an accusation Betwixt my love and your high Majesty.
Blunt. The circumstance considered, good Whate'er Lord Harry Percy then had said To such a person and in such a place, At such a time, with all the rest retold, May reasonably die and never rise