Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Rosemary Gaby
Not Peer Reviewed

Henry IV, Part 1 (Quarto 1, 1598)

of Henrie the fourth.
By how much better then my word I am,
By so much shall I falsifie mens hopes,
And like bright mettal on a sullein ground,
My reformation glittring ore my fault,
315Shal shew more goodly, and attract more eyes
Then that which hath no foile to set it off.
Ile so offend, to make offence a skill,
Redeeming time when men thinke least I wil.
Enter the King, Northumberland, Worcester, Hotspur,
sir Walter blunt, with others.
King. My blood hath bin too colde and temperate,
Vnapt to stir 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
Mightie, and to be fearde, then my condition
Which hath bin smooth as oile, soft as yong downe,
And therefore lost that title of respect,
330Which the proud soule neare payes but to the proud.
Wor. Our house (my soueraigne liege) little deserues
The scourge of greatnes to be vsd on it,
And that same greatnesse to, which our owne hands
Haue holpe to make so portly.
Nor. My Lord.
King. Worcester get thee gone, for I do see
Danger, and disobedience in thine eie:
O sir, your presence is too bold and peremptorie,
And Maiestie might neuer yet endure
340The moodie frontier of a seruant browe,
You haue good leaue to leaue vs, when we need
Your vse and counsel we shall send for you.
Exit Wor.
You were about to speake.
North. Yea my good Lord.
345Those prisoners in your highnes name demanded,
Which Harry Percy here at Holmedon tooke,
Were as he saies, not with such strength denied
As is deliuered to your maiestie.
Either enuie therefore, or misprision,
350Is guiltie of this fault, and not my sonne.