Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Rosemary Gaby
Peer Reviewed

Henry IV, Part 1 (Folio 1 1623)


Scæna Secunda.
1815
Enter the King, Prince of Wales, and others.
King. Lords, giue vs leaue:
The Prince of Wales, and I,
Must haue some priuate conference:
But be neere at hand,
1820For wee shall presently haue neede of you.
Exeunt Lords.
I know not whether Heauen will haue it so,
For some displeasing seruice I haue done;
That in his secret Doome, out of my Blood,
1825Hee'le breede Reuengement, and a Scourge for me:
But thou do'st in thy passages of Life,
Make me beleeue, that thou art onely mark'd
For the hot vengeance, and the Rod of heauen
To punish my Mistreadings. Tell me else,
1830Could such inordinate and low desires,
Such poore, such bare, such lewd, such meane attempts,
Such barren pleasures, rude societie,
As thou art matcht withall, and grafted too,
Accompanie the greatnesse of thy blood,
1835And hold their leuell with thy Princely heart?
Prince. So please your Maiesty, I would I could
Quit all offences with as cleare excuse,
As well as I am doubtlesse I can purge
My selfe of many I am charg'd withall:
1840Yet such extenuation let me begge,
As in reproofe of many Tales deuis'd,
Which oft the Eare of Greatnesse needes must heare,
By smiling Pick-thankes, and base Newes-mongers;
I may for some things true, wherein my youth
1845Hath faultie wandred, and irregular,
Finde pardon on my true submission.
King. Heauen pardon thee:
Yet let me wonder, Harry,
At thy affections, which doe hold a Wing
1850Quite from the flight of all thy ancestors.
Thy place in Councell thou hast rudely lost,
Which by thy younger Brother is supply'de;
And art almost an alien to the hearts
Of all the Court and Princes of my blood.
1855The hope and expectation of thy time
Is ruin'd, and the Soule of euery man
Prophetically doe fore-thinke thy fall.
Had I so lauish of my presence beene,
So common hackney'd in the eyes of men,
1860So stale and cheape to vulgar Company;
Opinion, that did helpe me to the Crowne,
Had still kept loyall to possession,
And left me in reputelesse banishment,
A fellow of no marke, nor likelyhood.
1865By being seldome seene, I could not stirre,
But like a Comet, I was wondred at,
That men would tell their Children, This is hee:
Others would say; Where, Which is Bullingbrooke.
And then I stole all Courtesie from Heauen,
1870And drest my selfe in such Humilitie,
That I did plucke Allegeance from mens hearts,
Lowd Showts and Salutations from their mouthes,
Euen in the presence of the Crowned King.
Thus I did keepe my Person fresh and new,
1875My Presence like a Robe Pontificall,
Ne're seene, but wondred at: and so my State,
Seldome but sumptuous, shewed like a Feast,
And wonne by rarenesse such Solemnitie.
The skipping King hee ambled vp and downe,
1880With shallow Iesters, and rash Bauin Wits,
Soone kindled, and soone burnt, carded his State,
Mingled his Royaltie with Carping Fooles,
Had his great Name prophaned with their Scornes,
And gaue his Countenance, against his Name,
1885To laugh at gybing Boyes, and stand the push
Of euery Beardlesse vaine Comparatiue;
Grew a Companion to the common Streetes,
Enfeoff'd himselfe to Popularitie:
That being dayly swallowed by mens Eyes,
1890They surfeted with Honey, and began to loathe
The taste of Sweetnesse, whereof a little
More then a little, is by much too much.
So when he had occasion to be seene,
He was but as the Cuckow is in Iune,
1895Heard, not regarded: seene but with such Eyes,
As sicke and blunted with Communitie,
Affoord no extraordinarie Gaze,
Such as is bent on Sunne-like Maiestie,
When it shines seldome in admiring Eyes:
1900But rather drowz'd, and hung their eye-lids downe,
Slept in his Face, and rendred such aspect
As Cloudie men vse to doe to their aduersaries,
Being with his presence glutted, gorg'd, and full.
And in that very Line, Harry, standest thou:
1905For thou hast lost thy Princely Priuiledge,
With vile participation. Not an Eye
But is awearie of thy common sight,
Saue mine, which hath desir'd to see thee more:
Which now doth that I would not haue it doe,
1910Make blinde it selfe with foolish tendernesse.
Prince. I shall hereafter, my thrice gracious Lord,
Be more my selfe.
King. For all the World,
As thou art to this houre, was Richard then,
1915When I from France set foot at Rauenspurgh;
And euen as I was then, is Percy now:
Now by my Scepter, and my Soule to boot,
He hath more worthy interest to the State
Then thou, the shadow of Succession;
1920For of no Right, nor colour like to Right.
He doth fill fields with Harneis in the Realme,
Turnes head against the Lyons armed Iawes;
And being no more in debt to yeeres, then thou,
Leades ancient Lords, and reuerent Bishops on
1925To bloody Battailes, and to brusing Armes.
What neuer-dying Honor hath he got,
Against renowned Dowglas? whose high Deedes,
Whose hot Incursions, and great Name in Armes,
Holds from all Souldiers chiefe Maioritie,
1930And Militarie Title Capitall.
Through all the Kingdomes that acknowledge Christ,
Thrice hath the Hotspur Mars, in swathing Clothes,
This Infant Warrior, in his Enterprises,
Discomfited great Dowglas, ta'ne him once,
1935Enlarged him, and made a friend of him,
To fill the mouth of deepe Defiance vp,
And shake the peace and safetie of our Throne.
And what say you to this? Percy, Northumberland,
The Arch-bishops Grace of Yorke, Dowglas, Mortimer,
1940Capitulate against vs, and are vp.
But wherefore doe I tell these Newes to thee?
Why, Harry, doe I tell thee of my Foes,
Which art my neer'st and dearest Enemie?
Thou, that art like enough, through vassall Feare,
1945Base Inclination, and the start of Spleene,
To fight against me vnder Percies pay,
To dogge his heeles, and curtsie at his frownes,
To shew how much thou art degenerate.
Prince. Doe not thinke so, you shall not finde it so:
1950And Heauen forgiue them, that so much haue sway'd
Your Maiesties good thoughts away from me:
I will redeeme all this on Percies head,
And in the closing of some glorious day,
Be bold to tell you, that I am your Sonne,
1955When I will weare a Garment all of Blood,
And staine my fauours in a bloody Maske:
Which washt away, shall scowre my shame with it.
And that shall be the day, when ere it lights,
That this same Child of Honor and Renowne,
1960This gallant Hotspur, this all-praysed Knight,
And your vnthought-of Harry chance to meet:
For euery Honor sitting on his Helme,
Would they were multitudes, and on my head
My shames redoubled. For the time will come,
1965That I shall make this Northerne Youth exchange
His glorious Deedes for my Indignities:
Percy is but my Factor, good my Lord,
To engrosse vp glorious Deedes on my behalfe:
And I will call him to so strict account,
1970That he shall render euery Glory vp,
Yea, euen the sleightest worship of his time,
Or I will teare the Reckoning from his Heart.
This, in the Name of Heauen, I promise here:
The which, if I performe, and doe suruiue,
1975I doe beseech your Maiestie, may salue
The long-growne Wounds of my intemperature:
If not, the end of Life cancells all Bands,
And I will dye a hundred thousand Deaths,
Ere breake the smallest parcell of this Vow.
1980King. A hundred thousand Rebels dye in this:
Thou shalt haue Charge, and soueraigne trust herein.
Enter Blunt.
How now good Blunt? thy Lookes are full of speed.
Blunt. So hath the Businesse that I come to speake of.
1985Lord Mortimer of Scotland hath sent word,
That Dowglas and the English Rebels met
The eleuenth of this moneth, at Shrewsbury:
A mightie and a fearefull Head they are,
(If Promises be kept on euery hand)
1990As euer offered foule play in a State.
King. The Earle of Westmerland set forth to day:
With him my sonne, Lord Iohn of Lancaster,
For this aduertisement is fiue dayes old.
On Wednesday next, Harry thou shalt set forward:
1995On Thursday, wee our selues will march.
Our meeting is Bridgenorth: and Harry, you shall march
Through Glocestershire: by which account,
Our Businesse valued some twelue dayes hence,
Our generall Forces at Bridgenorth shall meete.
2000Our Hands are full of Businesse: let's away,
Aduantage feedes him fat, while men delay.
Exeunt.