Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Rosemary Gaby
Peer Reviewed

Henry IV, Part 1 (Folio 1 1623)


46

The First Part of Henry the Fourth,
with the Life and Death of HENRY
Sirnamed HOT-SPVRRE.



1
Actus Primus. Scœna Prima.



Enter the King, Lord Iohn of Lancaster, Earle
of Westmerland, with others.

King.
5SO shaken as we are, so wan with care,
Finde we a time for frighted Peace to pant,
And breath shortwinded accents of new broils
To be commenc'd in Stronds a-farre remote:
No more the thirsty entrance of this Soile,
10Shall daube her lippes with her owne childrens blood:
No more shall trenching Warre channell her fields,
Nor bruise her Flowrets with the Armed hoofes
Of hostile paces. Those opposed eyes,
Which like the Meteors of a troubled Heauen,
15All of one Nature, of one Substance bred,
Did lately meete in the intestine shocke,
And furious cloze of ciuill Butchery,
Shall now in mutuall well-beseeming rankes
March all one way, and be no more oppos'd
20Against Acquaintance, Kindred, and Allies.
The edge of Warre, like an ill-sheathed knife,
No more shall cut his Master. Therefore Friends,
As farre as to the Sepulcher of Christ,
Whose Souldier now vnder whose blessed Crosse
25We are impressed and ingag'd to fight,
Forthwith a power of English shall we leuie,
Whose armes were moulded in their Mothers wombe,
To chace these Pagans in those holy Fields,
Ouer whose Acres walk'd those blessed feete
30Which fourteene hundred yeares ago were nail'd
For our aduantage on the bitter Crosse.
But this our purpose is a tweluemonth old,
And bootlesse 'tis to tell you we will go:
Therefore we meete not now. Then let me heare
35Of you my gentle Cousin Westmerland,
What yesternight our Councell did decree,
In forwarding this deere expedience.
West. My Liege: This haste was hot in question,
And many limits of the Charge set downe
40But yesternight: when all athwart there came
A Post from Wales, loaden with heauy Newes;
Whose worst was, That the Noble Mortimer,
Leading the men of Herefordshire to fight
Against the irregular and wilde Glendower,
45Was by the rude hands of that Welshman taken,
And a thousand of his people butchered:

Vpon whose dead corpes there was such misuse,
Such beastly, shamelesse transformation,
By those Welshwomen done, as may not be
50(Without much shame) re-told or spoken of.
King. It seemes then, that the tidings of this broile,
Brake off our businesse for the Holy land.
West. This matcht with other like, my gracious Lord,
Farre more vneuen and vnwelcome Newes
55Came from the North, and thus it did report:
On Holy-roode day, the gallant Hotspurre there,
Young Harry Percy, and braue Archibald,
That euer-valiant and approoued Scot,
At Holmeden met, where they did spend
60A sad and bloody houre:
As by discharge of their Artillerie,
And shape of likely-hood the newes was told:
For he that brought them, in the very heate
And pride of their contention, did take horse,
65Vncertaine of the issue any way.
King. Heere is a deere and true industrious friend:
Sir Walter Blunt, new lighted from his Horse,
Strain'd with the variation of each soyle,
Betwixt that Holmedon, and this Seat of ours:
70And he hath brought vs smooth and welcomes newes.
The Earle of Dowglas is discomfited,
Ten thousand bold Scots, two and twenty Knights
Balk'd in their owne blood did Sir Walter see
On Holmedons Plaines. Of Prisoners, Hotspurre tooke
75Mordake Earle of Fife, and eldest sonne
To beaten Dowglas, and the Earle of Atholl,
Of Murry, Angus, and Menteith.
And is not this an honourable spoyle?
A gallant prize? Ha Cosin, is it not? Infaith it is.
80West. A Conquest for a Prince to boast of.
King. Yea, there thou mak'st me sad, & mak'st me sin,
In enuy, that my Lord Northumberland
Should be the Father of so blest a Sonne:
A Sonne, who is the Theame of Honors tongue;
85Among'st a Groue, the very straightest Plant,
Who is sweet Fortunes Minion, and her Pride:
Whil'st I by looking on the praise of him,
See Ryot and Dishonor staine the brow
Of my yong Harry. O that it could be prou'd,
90That some Night-tripping-Faiery, had exchang'd
In Cradle-clothes, our Children where they lay,
And call'd mine Percy, his Plantagenet:
Then