Henry IV, Part 1

by: William Shakespeare

Original Text

Modern Text

Why, Percy I killed myself, and saw thee dead.
Why, I killed Percy myself and I saw you dead.
140Didst thou? Lord, Lord, how this world is given to lying. I grant you, Iwas down and out of breath, and so was he, but we rose both at an instant and fought a long hour by Shrewsbury clock. If I may be believed, so; if not, let them that should reward valor bear the sin upon their own heads. I’ll take it upon my death, I gave him this wound in the thigh. If the man were alive and would deny it, zounds, I would make him eat a piece of my sword.
You did? Lord, Lord, how people love to lie! I admit I had fallen and was out of breath, and so was he. But we both stood up at the same time and fought for a long hour. If I am to be believed, fine. If I’m not believed, then the guilt will lie with the people who are supposed to reward bravery. I swear on my life, I gave him this gash in the leg. Damn, if he were alive and said I didn’t, I’d shove my sword down his throat.
This is the strangest tale that ever I heard.
This is the strangest story I’ve ever heard.
This is the strangest fellow, brother John.—
150Come, bring your luggage nobly on your back.
For my part, if a lie may do thee grace,
I’ll gild it with the happiest terms I have.
This is the strangest man, John. All right then, display your prize on your back. As far as I’m concerned, if lying will help you out, I’ll decorate your lie as prettily as I can.
A retreat is sounded
A trumpet blows a call of retreat.
The trumpet sounds retreat; the day is ours.
Come, brother, let us to the highest of the field
155To see what friends are living, who are dead.
A trumpet is blowing retreat: we’ve won. Come on, brother. Let’s get to high ground and see which of our friends are alive, and which are dead.
Exeunt PRINCE HENRY and Lord John of LANCASTER
PRINCE HENRY and Lord John of LANCASTER exit.
I’ll follow, as they say, for reward. He that rewards me, God reward him. If I do grow great, I’ll grow less, for I’ll purge and leave sack and live cleanly as a nobleman should do.
I’ll follow them and claim my reward. May God reward whoever rewards me. If I grow into a great man, I’ll grow thinner: I’ll go on a diet, quit drinking, and live properly, like a great man should.
He exits.