Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Rosemary Gaby
Peer Reviewed

Henry IV, Part 1 (Folio 1 1623)


Scœna Tertia.
320
Enter the King, Northumberland, Worcester, Hotspurre,
Sir Walter Blunt, and others.
King. My blood hath beene too cold and temperate,
Vnapt to stirre at these indignities,
And you haue found me; for accordingly,
325You tread vpon my patience: But be sure,
I will from henceforth rather be my Selfe,
Mighty, and to be fear'd, then my condition
Which hath beene smooth as Oyle, soft as yong Downe,
And therefore lost that Title of respect,
330Which the proud soule ne're payes, but to the proud.
Wor. Our house (my Soueraigne Liege) little deserues
The scourge of greatnesse to be vsed on it,
And that same greatnesse too, which our owne hands
Haue holpe to make so portly.
335Nor. My Lord.
King. Worcester get thee gone: for I do see
Danger and disobedience in thine eye.
O sir, your presence is too bold and peremptory,
And Maiestie might neuer yet endure
340The moody Frontier of a seruant brow,
You haue good leaue to leaue vs. When we need
Your vse and counsell, we shall send for you.
You were about to speake.
North. Yea, my good Lord.
345Those Prisoners in your Highnesse demanded,
Which Harry Percy heere at Holmedon tooke,
Were (as he sayes) not with such strength denied
As was deliuered to your Maiesty:
Who either through enuy, or misprision,
350Was guilty of this fault; and not my Sonne.
Hot. My Liege, I did deny no Prisoners.
But, I remember when the fight was done,
When I was dry with Rage, and extreame Toyle,
Breathlesse, and Faint, leaning vpon my Sword,
355Came there a certaine Lord, neat and trimly drest;
Fresh as a Bride-groome, and his Chin new reapt,
Shew'd like a stubble Land at Haruest home.
He was perfumed like a Milliner,
And 'twixt his Finger and his Thumbe, he held
360A Pouncet-box: which euer and anon
He gaue his Nose, and took't away againe:
Who therewith angry, when it next came there,
Tooke it in Snuffe. And still he smil'd and talk'd:
And as the Souldiers bare dead bodies by,
365He call'd them vntaught Knaues, Vnmannerly,
To bring a slouenly vnhandsome Coarse
Betwixt the Winde, and his Nobility.
With many Holiday and Lady tearme
He question'd me: Among the rest, demanded
370My Prisoners, in your Maiesties behalfe.
I then, all-smarting, with my wounds being cold,
(To be so pestered with a Popingay)
Out of my Greefe, and my Impatience,
Answer'd (neglectingly) I know not what,
375He should, or should not: For he made me mad,
To see him shine so briske, and smell so sweet,
And talke so like a Waiting-Gentlewoman,
Of Guns, & Drums, and Wounds: God saue the marke;
And telling me, the Soueraign'st thing on earth
380Was Parmacity, for an inward bruise:
And that it was great pitty, so it was,
That villanous Salt-peter should be digg'd
Out of the Bowels of the harmlesse Earth,
Which many a good Tall Fellow had destroy'd
385So Cowardly. And but for these vile Gunnes,
He would himselfe haue beene a Souldier.
This bald, vnioynted Chat of his (my Lord)
Made me to answer indirectly (as I said.)
And I beseech you, let not this report
390Come currant for an Accusation,
Betwixt my Loue, and your high Maiesty.
Blunt. The circumstance considered, good my Lord,
What euer Harry Percie then had said,
To such a person, and in such a place,
395At such a time, with all the rest retold,
May reasonably dye, and neuer rise
To do him wrong, or any way impeach
What then he said, so he vnsay it now.
King. Why yet doth deny his Prisoners,
400But with Prouiso and Exception,
That we at our owne charge, shall ransome straight
His Brother-in-Law, the foolish Mortimer,
Who (in my soule) hath wilfully betraid
The liues of those, that he did leade to Fight,
405Against the great Magitian, damn'd Glendower:
Whose daughter (as we heare) the Earle of March
Hath lately married. Shall our Coffers then,
Be emptied, to redeeme a Traitor home?
Shall we buy Treason? and indent with Feares,
410When they haue lost and forfeyted themselues.
No: on the barren Mountaine let him sterue:
For I shall neuer hold that man my Friend,
Whose tongue shall aske me for one peny cost
To ransome home reuolted Mortimer.
415Hot. Reuolted Mortimer?
He neuer did fall off, my Soueraigne Liege,
But by the chance of Warre: to proue that true,
Needs no more but one tongue. For all those Wounds,
Those mouthed Wounds, which valiantly he tooke,
420When on the gentle Seuernes siedgie banke,
In single Opposition hand to hand,
He did confound the best part of an houre
In changing hardiment with great Glendower:
Three times they breath'd, and three times did they drink
425Vpon agreement, of swift Seuernes flood;
Who then affrighted with their bloody lookes,
Ran fearefully among the trembling Reeds,
And hid his crispe-head in the hollow banke,
Blood-stained with these Valiant Combatants.
430Neuer did base and rotten Policy
Colour her working with such deadly wounds;
Nor neuer could the Noble Mortimer
Receiue so many, and all willingly:
Then let him not be sland'red with Reuolt.
435King. Thou do'st bely him Percy, thou dost bely him;
He neuer did encounter with Glendower:
I tell thee, he durst as well haue met the diuell alone,
As Owen Glendower for an enemy.
Art thou not asham'd? But Sirrah, henceforth
440Let me not heare you speake of Mortimer.
Send me your Prisoners with the speediest meanes,
Or you shall heare in such a kinde from me
As will displease ye. My Lord Northumberland,
We License your departure with your sonne,
445Send vs your Prisoners, or you'l heare of it.
Exit King.
Hot. And if the diuell come and roare for them
I will not send them. I will after straight
And tell him so: for I will ease my heart,
Although it be with hazard of my head.
450Nor. What? drunke with choller? stay & pause awhile,
Heere comes your Vnckle.
Enter Worcester.
Hot. Speake of Mortimer?
Yes, I will speake of him, and let my soule
Want mercy, if I do not ioyne with him.
455In his behalfe, Ile empty all these Veines,
And shed my deere blood drop by drop i'th dust,
But I will lift the downfall Mortimer
As high i'th Ayre, as this Vnthankfull King,
As this Ingrate and Cankred Bullingbrooke.
460Nor. Brother, the King hath made your Nephew mad
Wor. Who strooke this heate vp after I was gone?
Hot. He will (forsooth) haue all my Prisoners:
And when I vrg'd the ransom once againe
Of my Wiues Brother, then his cheeke look'd pale,
465And on my face he turn'd an eye of death,
Trembling euen at the name of Mortimer.
Wor. I cannot blame him: was he not proclaim'd
By Richard that dead is, the next of blood?
Nor. He was: I heard the Proclamation,
470And then it was, when the vnhappy King
(Whose wrongs in vs God pardon) did set forth
Vpon his Irish Expedition:
From whence he intercepted, did returne
To be depos'd, and shortly murthered.
475Wor. And for whose death, we in the worlds wide mouth
Liue scandaliz'd, and fouly spoken of.
Hot. But soft I pray you; did King Richard then
Proclaime my brother Mortimer,
Heyre to the Crowne?
480Nor. He did, my selfe did heare it.
Hot. Nay then I cannot blame his Cousin King,
That wish'd him on the barren Mountaines staru'd.
But shall it be, that you that set the Crowne
Vpon the head of this forgetfull man,
485And for his sake, wore the detested blot
Of murtherous subornation? Shall it be,
That you a world of curses vndergoe,
Being the Agents, or base second meanes,
The Cords, the Ladder, or the Hangman rather?
490O pardon, if that I descend so low,
To shew the Line, and the Predicament
Wherein you range vnder this subtill King.
Shall it for shame, be spoken in these dayes,
Or fill vp Chronicles in time to come,
495That men of your Nobility and Power,
Did gage them both in an vniust behalfe
(As Both of you, God pardon it, haue done)
To put downe Richard, that sweet louely Rose,
And plant this Thorne, this Canker Bullingbrooke?
500And shall it in more shame be further spoken,
That you are fool'd, discarded, and shooke off
By him, for whom these shames ye vnderwent?
No: yet time serues, wherein you may redeeme
Your banish'd Honors, and restore your selues
505Into the good Thoughts of the world againe.
Reuenge the geering and disdain'd contempt
Of this proud King, who studies day and night
To answer all the Debt he owes vnto you,
Euen with the bloody Payment of your deaths:
510Therefore I say---
Wor. Peace Cousin, say no more.
And now I will vnclaspe a Secret booke,
And to your quicke conceyuing Discontents,
Ile reade you Matter, deepe and dangerous,
515As full of perill and aduenturous Spirit,
As to o're-walke a Current, roaring loud
On the vnstedfast footing of a Speare.
Hot. If he fall in, good night, or sinke or swimme:
Send danger from the East vnto the West,
520So Honor crosse it from the North to South,
And let them grapple: The blood more stirres
To rowze a Lyon, then to start a Hare.
Nor. Imagination of some great exploit,
Driues him beyond the bounds of Patience.
525Hot. By heauen, me thinkes it were an easie leap,
To plucke bright Honor from the pale-fac'd Moone,
Or diue into the bottome of the deepe,
Where Fadome-line could neuer touch the ground,
And plucke vp drowned Honor by the Lockes:
530So he that doth redeeme her thence, might weare
Without Co-riuall, all her Dignities:
But out vpon this halfe-fac'd Fellowship.
Wor. He apprehends a World of Figures here,
But not the forme of what he should attend:
535Good Cousin giue me audience for a-while,
And list to me.
Hot. I cry you mercy.
Wor. Those same Noble Scottes
That are your Prisoners.
540Hot. Ile keepe them all.
By heauen, he shall not haue a Scot of them:
No, if a Scot would saue his Soule, he shall not.
Ile keepe them, by this Hand.
Wor. You start away,
545And lend no eare vnto my purposes.
Those Prisoners you shall keepe.
Hot. Nay, I will; that's flat:
He said, he would not ransome Mortimer:
Forbad my tongue to speake of Mortimer.
550But I will finde him when he lyes asleepe,
And in his eare, Ile holla Mortimer.
Nay, Ile haue a Starling shall be taught to speake
Nothing but Mortimer, and giue it him,
To keepe his anger still in motion.
555Wor. Heare you Cousin: a word.
Hot. All studies heere I solemnly defie,
Saue how to gall and pinch this Bullingbrooke,
And that same Sword and Buckler Prince of Wales.
But that I thinke his Father loues him not,
560And would be glad he met with some mischance,
I would haue poyson'd him with a pot of Ale.
Wor. Farewell Kinsman: Ile talke to you
When you are better temper'd to attend.
Nor. Why what a Waspe-tongu'd & impatient foole
565Art thou, to breake into this Womans mood,
Tying thine eare to no tongue but thine owne?
Hot. Why look you, I am whipt & scourg'd with rods,
Netled, and stung with Pismires, when I heare
Of this vile Politician Bullingbrooke.
570In Richards time: What de'ye call the place?
A plague vpon't, it is in Gloustershire:
'Twas, where the madcap Duke his Vncle kept,
His Vncle Yorke, where I first bow'd my knee
Vnto this King of Smiles, this Bullingbrooke:
575When you and he came backe from Rauenspurgh.
Nor. At Barkley Castle.
Hot. You say true:
Why what a caudie deale of curtesie,
This fawning Grey-hound then did proffer me.
580Looke when his infant Fortune came to age,
And gentle Harry Percy, and kinde Cousin:
O, the Diuell take such Couzeners, God forgiue me,
Good Vncle tell your tale, for I haue done.
Wor. Nay, if you haue not, too't againe,
585Wee'l stay your leysure.
Hot. I haue done insooth.
Wor. Then once more to your Scottish Prisoners.
Deliuer them vp without their ransome straight,
And make the Dowglas sonne your onely meane
590For powres in Scotland: which for diuers reasons
Which I shall send you written, be assur'd
Will easily be granted you, my Lord.
Your Sonne in Scotland being thus impl y'd,
Shall secretly into the bosome creepe
595Of that same noble Prelate, well belou'd,
The Archbishop.
Hot. Of Yorke, is't not?
Wor. True, who beares hard
His Brothers death at Bristow, the Lord Scroope.
600I speake not this in estimation,
As what I thinke might be, but what I know
Is ruminated, plotted, and set downe,
And onely stayes but to behold the face
Of that occasion that shall bring it on.
605Hot. I smell it:
Vpon my life, it will do wond'rous well.
Nor. Before the game's a-foot, thou still let'st slip.
Hot. Why, it cannot choose but be a Noble plot,
And then the power of Scotland, and of Yorke
610To ioyne with Mortimer, Ha.
Wor. And so they shall.
Hot. Infaith it is exceedingly well aym'd.
Wor. And 'tis no little reason bids vs speed,
To saue our heads, by raising of a Head:
615For, beare our selues as euen as we can,
The King will alwayes thinke him in our debt,
And thinke, we thinke our selues vnsatisfied,
Till he hath found a time to pay vs home.
And see already, how he doth beginne
620To make vs strangers to his lookes of loue.
Hot. He does, he does; wee'l be reueng'd on him.
Wor. Cousin, farewell. No further go in this,
Then I by Letters shall direct your course
When time is ripe, which will be sodainly:
625Ile steale to Glendower, and loe, Mortimer,
Where you, and Dowglas, and our powres at once,
As I will fashion it, shall happily meete,
To beare our fortunes in our owne strong armes,
Which now we hold at much vncertainty.
630Nor. Farewell good Brother, we shall thriue, I trust.
Hot. Vncle, adieu: O let the houres be short,
Till fields, and blowes, and grones, applaud our sport.
exit