William Shakespeare's King Henry the Fourth is forever famous for the comic character Falstaff who infamously proclaims "discretion is the better part of valour".
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HOME > Plays > The First Part of King Henry the Fourth > Act V. Scene III.

The First Part of King Henry the Fourth

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Act V. Scene III.

Scene III.—Between the Camps.

Excursions and Parties fighting. Alarum to
the Battle. Then enter DOUGLAS and SIR
WALTER BLUNT, meeting.

Blunt. What is thy name, that in the battle
Thou Grossest me? what honour dost thou seek
Upon my head?
Doug. Know then, my name is Douglas;
And I do haunt thee in the battle thus
Because some tell me that thou art a king.
Blunt. They tell thee true.
Doug. The Lord of Stafford dear to-day hath
Thy likeness; for, instead of thee. King Harry,
This sword hath ended him: so shall it thee,
Unless thou yield thee as my prisoner.
Blunt. I was not born a yielder, thou proud
And thou shalt find a king that will revenge
Lord Stafford's death.
[They fight, and BLUNT is slain.

Hot. O, Douglas! hadst thou fought at
Holmedon thus,
I never had triumph'd upon a Scot.
Doug. All's done, all's won: here breathless
lies the king.
Hot. Where?
Doug. Here.
Hot. This, Douglas! no; I know this face full
A gallant knight he was, his name was Blunt;
Semblably furnish'd like the king himself.
Doug. A fool go with thy soul, whither it
A borrowed title hast thou bought too dear:
Why didst thou tell me that thou wert a king?
Hot. The king hath many marching in his
Doug. Now, by my sword, I will kill all his
I'll murder all his wardrobe, piece by piece,
Until I meet the king.
Hot. Up, and away!
Our soldiers stand full fairly for the day.

Alarums. Enter FALSTAFF.
Fal. Though I could 'scape shot-free at
London, I fear the shot here; here's no scoring
but upon the pate. Soft! who art thou? Sir
Walter Blunt: there's honour for you! here's
no vanity! I am as hot as molten lead, and as
heavy too: God keep lead out of me! I need
no more weight than mine own bowels. I have
led my ragamuffins where they are peppered:
there's not three of my hundred and fifty left
alive, and they are for the town's end, to beg
during life. But who comes here?

Enter the PRINCE.
Prince. What! stand'st thou idle here? lend
me thy sword:
Many a nobleman lies stark and stiff
Under the hoofs of vaunting enemies,
Whose deaths are unreveng'd: prithee, lend
me thy sword.
Fal. O Hal! I prithee, give me leave to
breathe awhile. Turk Gregory never did such
deeds in arms as I have done this day. I have
paid Percy, I have made him sure.
Prince. He is, indeed; and living to kill
thee. I prithee, lend me thy sword.
Fal. Nay, before God, Hal, if Percy be alive,
thou gett'st not my sword; but take my pistol,
if thou wilt.
Prince. Give it me. What! is it in the case?
Fal. Ay, Hal; 'tis hot, 'tis hot: there's that
will sack a city.
[The PRINCE draws out a bottle of sack.
Prince. What! is't a time to jest and dally
now? [Throws it at him, and exit.
Fal. Well, if Percy be alive, I'll pierce him.
If he do come in my way, so: if he do not, if I
come in his, willingly, let him make a carbonado
of me. I like not such grinning honour as Sir
Walter hath: give me life; which if I can save,
so; if not, honour comes unlocked for, and
there's an end. [Exit.
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