Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Rosemary Gaby
Not Peer Reviewed

Henry IV, Part 1 (Quarto 1, 1598)


THE HISTORIE OF
Henry the fourth.
Enter the King, Lord Iohn of Lancaster, Earle of
Westmerland, with others.
King.
5SO shaken as we are, so wan with care,
Find we a time for frighted peace to pant,
And breath short winded accents of new broiles
To be commencte in stronds a far remote:
No more the thirsty entrance of this soile
10Shal dawbe her lips with her own childrens bloud,
No more shall trenching war channel her fields,
Nor bruise her flourets with the armed hoofes
Of hostile paces: those opposed eies,
Which like the meteors of a troubled heauen,
15Al of one nature, of one substance bred,
Did lately meete in the intestine shocke
And furious close of ciuill butcherie,
Shall now in mutuall welbeseeming rankes,
March all one way, and be no more oppos'd
20Against acquaintance, kindred and allyes.
The edge of war, like an ill sheathed knife,
No more shall cut his maister: therefore friends,
As far as to the sepulcher of Christ,
Whose soldiour now, vnder whose blessed crosse
25We are impressed and ingag'd to fight,
Forthwith a power of English shall we leauy,
Whose armes were moulded in their mothers wombe,
To chase these pagans in those holy fields,
Ouer whose acres walkt those blessed feet,
30Which 1400. yeares ago were naild,
For our aduantage on the bitter crosse.
But this our purpose now is twelue month old,
And bootelesse tis to tell you we wil go.
Therefore we meet not nowe: then let me heare
35Of you my gentle Cosen Westmerland,
What yesternight our counsell did decree
In forwarding this deere expedience.
West. My liege, this haste was hot in question,
And many limits of the charge set down
40But yesternight, when all athwart there came
A post from Wales, loden with heauy newes,
Whose worst was that the noble Mortimer,
Leading the men of Herdforshire to fight
Against the irregular, and wild Glendower,
45Was by the rude hands of that Welchman taken,
A thousand of his people butchered,
Vpon whose dead corpes there was such misuse,
Such beastly shamelesse transformation
By those Welch-women done, as may not be
50Without much shame, retould, 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 did, my gratious L.
For more vneuen and vnwelcome newes
55Came from the North, and thus it did import,
On holly rode day, the gallant Hotspur there,
Yong Harry Percy, and braue Archibold,
That euer valiant and approued Scot,
At Holmedon met, where they did spend
60A sad and bloudy houre:
As by discharge of their artillery,
And shape of likelihood the newes was told:
For he that brought them in the very heat
And pride of their contention, did take horse
65Vncertaine of the issue any way.
King. Here is deere, a true industrious friend,
Sir Walter Blunt new lighted from his horse,
Staind with the variation of each soile,
Betwixt that Holmedon and this seat of ours:
70And he hath brought vs smothe and welcom newes,
The Earle of Douglas is discomfited,
Ten thousand bould Scots, two and twenty knights
Balkt in their own bloud. Did sir Walter see
On Holmedons plaines, of prisoners Hotspur tooke
75Mordake Earle of Fife, and eldest sonne
To beaten Douglas, and the Earle of Athol,
Of Murrey, Angus, and Menteith:
And is not this an honorable spoile?
A gallant prize? Ha coosen, is it not?
In faith it is.
80West. A conquest for a Prince to boast of.
King. Yea, there thou makst me sad, and makst me sinne
In enuy, that my Lord Northumberland
Should be the father to so blest a sonne:
A sonne, who is the theame of honors tongue,
85Amongst a groue, the very straightest plant,
Who is sweet fortunes minion and her pride,
Whilst I by looking on the praise of him
See ryot and dishonour staine the brow
Of my young Harry. O that it could be prou'd
90That some night tripping fairy had exchang'd,
In cradle clothes our children where they lay,
And cald mine Percy, his Plantagenet,
Then would I haue his Harry, and he mine:
But let him from my thoughts. What think you coose
95Of this young Percies pride? The prisoners
Which he in this aduenture hath surprizd
To his own vse, he keepes and sends me word
I shal haue none but Mordake Earle of Fife.
West. This is his vncles teaching. This is Worcester,
100Maleuolent to you in all aspects,
Which makes him prune himselfe, and bristle vp
The crest of youth against your dignity.
King. But I haue sent for him to answere this:
And for this cause a while we must neglect
105Our holy purpose to Ierusalem.
Coosen on wednesday next our councel we wil hold
At Windsore, so informe the Lords:
But come your selfe with speed to vs againe,
For more is to be said and to be done,
110Then out of anger can be vttered.
West. I will my liege.
Exeunt.