List iconHenry IV, Part 1List icon

Henry IV, Part 1
Act 5, scene 1

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Contents

Characters in the Play

Entire Play

Henry IV, Part 1, culminates in the battle of Shrewsbury between the king’s army and rebels seeking his crown. The…

Act 1, scene 1

King Henry meets with his advisers to discuss his proposed crusade to the Holy Land, but the discussion turns instead…

Act 1, scene 2

Prince Hal and Sir John Falstaff taunt each other, Hal warning Falstaff that he will one day be hanged as…

Act 1, scene 3

King Henry meets with Hotspur, Hotspur’s father (Northumberland), and his uncle (Worcester) to demand that Hotspur yield his prisoners to…

Act 2, scene 1

Gadshill, the “setter” for Falstaff and his fellow thieves, seeks information at an inn about the travelers whom they plan…

Act 2, scene 2

Falstaff, Peto, Bardolph, and Gadshill rob the travelers and are, in turn, robbed by Prince Hal and Poins in disguise.

Act 2, scene 3

Hotspur reads a letter from a nobleman who refuses to join the rebellion against King Henry. Lady Percy enters to…

Act 2, scene 4

At a tavern in Eastcheap, Prince Hal and Poins amuse themselves by tormenting a young waiter while waiting for Falstaff…

Act 3, scene 1

Hotspur, Worcester, Mortimer, and the leader of the Welsh rebels, Glendower, meet in Wales to make final the terms of…

Act 3, scene 2

Prince Hal reconciles himself with his father by swearing to fight the rebels and to defeat Hotspur.

Act 3, scene 3

Falstaff tries to swindle the Hostess of the inn. Prince Hal offers Falstaff a command in the infantry.

Act 4, scene 1

Hotspur, Worcester, and Douglas learn that Hotspur’s father, Northumberland, is too sick to join them in the coming battle. They…

Act 4, scene 2

Falstaff discloses to the audience how he has misused his commission as an officer to take money from men eager…

Act 4, scene 3

As Hotspur argues with his fellow commanders about when to fight, they are visited by Sir Walter Blunt, who brings…

Act 4, scene 4

The archbishop of York and Sir Michael, who sympathize with Hotspur, debate the chances of his success against the king’s…

Act 5, scene 1

Worcester and Vernon visit the king’s camp, where Worcester repeats the grievances that he says have led to the rebellion….

Act 5, scene 2

Worcester lies to Hotspur, telling him that the king made no offer of pardon and is ready to begin the…

Act 5, scene 3

The battle begins. Douglas kills Blunt, who is disguised as King Henry. Falstaff enters alone to disclose to the audience…

Act 5, scene 4

Prince Hal saves King Henry from death at the hands of Douglas. Hal then meets Hotspur. While they are fighting,…

Act 5, scene 5

The king’s forces having won, King Henry condemns Worcester and Vernon to death, and the king and his supporters prepare…

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Scene 1
Enter the King, Prince of Wales, Lord John of Lancaster,
Sir Walter Blunt, and Falstaff.


KING 
 How bloodily the sun begins to peer
 Above yon bulky hill. The day looks pale
 At his distemp’rature.
PRINCE  The southern wind
5 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.
The trumpet sounds.

Enter Worcester and Vernon.

10 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.
15 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
187

189
Henry IV, Part I
ACT 5. SC. 1

 And move in that obedient orb again
 Where you did give a fair and natural light,
20 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
25 To entertain the lag end of my life
 With quiet hours. For I protest
 I have not sought the day of this dislike.
KING 
 You have not sought it. How comes it then?
FALSTAFF Rebellion lay in his way, and he found it.
PRINCE 30Peace, chewet, peace.
WORCESTER 
 It pleased your Majesty to turn your looks
 Of favor from myself and all our house;
 And yet I must remember you, my lord,
 We were the first and dearest of your friends.
35 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.
40 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,
45 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—
50 What with our help, what with the absent king,
 What with the injuries of a wanton time,

191
Henry IV, Part I
ACT 5. SC. 1

 The seeming sufferances that you had borne,
 And the contrarious winds that held the King
 So long in his unlucky Irish wars
55 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,
 Forgot your oath to us at Doncaster;
60 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
65 For fear of swallowing; but with nimble wing
 We were enforced for safety sake to fly
 Out of your sight and raise this present head,
 Whereby we stand opposèd by such means
 As you yourself have forged against yourself
70 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,
75 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.
80 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 
 In both your armies there is many a soul
85 Shall pay full dearly for this encounter

193
Henry IV, Part I
ACT 5. SC. 1

 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,
90 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,
95 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,
100 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.
105 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.
110 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.
115 We offer fair. Take it advisedly.
Worcester exits with Vernon.
PRINCE 
 It will not be accepted, on my life.
 The Douglas and the Hotspur both together
 Are confident against the world in arms.

195
Henry IV, Part I
ACT 5. SC. 2

KING 
 Hence, therefore, every leader to his charge,
120 For on their answer will we set on them,
 And God befriend us as our cause is just.
They exit. Prince and Falstaff remain.
FALSTAFF Hal, if thou see me down in the battle and
 bestride me, so; ’tis a point of friendship.
PRINCE Nothing but a colossus can do thee that friendship.
125 Say thy prayers, and farewell.
FALSTAFF I would ’twere bedtime, Hal, and all well.
PRINCE Why, thou owest God a death. He exits.
FALSTAFF ’Tis not due yet. I would be loath to pay Him
 before His day. What need I be so forward with
130 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?
135 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
140 living? No. Why? Detraction will not suffer it. Therefore,
 I’ll none of it. Honor is a mere scutcheon. And
 so ends my catechism.
He exits.