Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Rosemary Gaby
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Henry IV, Part 1 (Quarto 1, 1598)


320
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.
Hotsp. My liege, I did denie no prisoners,
But I remember when the fight was done,
When I was drie with rage, and extreame toile,
Breathles and faint, leaning vpon my sword,
355Came there a certaine Lord, neat and trimly drest,
Fresh as a bridegroome, and his chin new rept,
Shewd like a stubble land at haruest home,
He was perfumed like a Milliner,
And twixt his finger and his thumbe he helde
360A pouncet boxe, which euer and anon
He gaue his nose, and tookt away againe,
Who therewith angry, when it next came there
Tooke it in snuffe, and still hee smild and talkt:
And as the souldiours bore dead bodies by,
365He cald them vntaught knaues, vnmanerlie,
To bring a slouenly vnhandsome coarse
Betwixt the winde and his nobilitie:
With many holly-day and ladie termes
He questioned me, amongst the rest demanded
370My prisoners in your Maiesties behalfe.
I then, all smarting with my wounds being cold,
To be so pestred with a Popingay,
Out of my griefe and my impacience
Answerd neglectingly, I know not what
375He should, or he 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, and drums, and wounds, God saue the mark:
And telling me the soueraignest thing on earth
380Was Parmacitie, for an inward bruise,
And that it was great pitty, so it was,
This villanous saltpeeter, should be digd
Out of the bowels of the harmeles earth,
Which many a good tall fellow had destroyed
385So cowardly, and but for these vile guns
He would himselfe haue beene a souldior.
This bald vnioynted chat of his (my Lord)
I answered indirectly (as I said)
And I beseech you, let not his report
390Come currant for an accusation
Betwixt my loue and your high maiestie.
Blunt. The circumstance considered, good my lord,
What ere Lord 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 die, and neuer rise
To do him wrong, or any way impeach
What then he said, so he vnsay it now.
King. Why yet he doth denie his prisoners,
400But with prouiso and exception,
That we at our owne charge shall ransome straight
His brother in law, the foolish Mortimer,
Who on my soule, hath wilfully betraid
The liues of those, that he did lead to fight
405Against that great Magitian, damnd Glendower,
Whose daughter as we heare, that 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 forfeited themselues?
No, on the barren mountaines let him starue:
For I shall neuer hold that man my friend,
Whose tongue shall aske me for one penny cost
To ransome home reuolted Mortimer,
415Hot. Reuolted Mortimer:
He neuer did fall off, my soueraigne liege
But by the chance of war, 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 Seuerns 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 breathd, & three times did they drinke
425Vpon agreement of swift Seuerns floud,
Who then affrighted with their bloudie lookes,
Ran fearefully among the trembling reedes,
And hid his crispe-head in the hollow banke,
Bloud-stained with these valiant combatants,
430Neuer did bare and rotten pollicy
Colour her working with such deadly wounds,
Nor neuer could the noble Mortimer
Receiue so many, and all willingly,
Then let not him be slandered with reuolt.
435King. Thou dost bely him Percy, thou dost bely him,
He neuer did encounter with Glendower:
I tel thee, he durst as well haue met the diuell alone,
As Owen Glendower for an enemy.
Art thou not asham'd? but sirrha, henceforth
440Let me not heare you speake of Mortimer:
Send me your prisoners with the speediest meanes,
Or you shal heare in such a kind from me
As will displease you. My Lord Northumberland:
We licence your departure with your sonne,
445Send vs your prisoners, or you wil heare of it.
Exit King
Hot. And if the diuel come and rore for them
I wil not send them: I will after straight
And tel him so, for I will ease my hart,
Albeit I make a hazard of my head.
450Nor. What? dronk with choler, stay, & pause a while,
Here comes your vncle.
Enter Wor.
Hot. Speake of Mortimer?
Zounds I will speake of him, and let my soule
Want mercy if I do not ioine with him:
455Yea on his part, ile empty all these vaines,
And shed my deere bloud, drop by drop in the dust,
But I will lift the down-trod Mortimer
As high in the aire as this vnthankefull king,
As this ingrate and cankred Bullingbrooke.
460Nor. Brother, the king hath made your nephew mad.
Wor. Who strooke this heat vp after I was gone?
Hot. He wil forsooth haue all my prisoners,
And when I vrg'd the ransome once againe
Of my wiues brother, then his cheeke lookt pale,
465And on my face he turn'd an eie of death,
Trembling euen at the name of Mortimer.
Worst. I cannot blame him, was not he proclaim'd
By Richard that dead is, the next of bloud?
North. 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 murdered.
475Worst. 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 Edmund Mortimer
Heire to the crowne?
480North. He did, my selfe did heare it.
Hot. Nay then I cannot blame his coosen king,
That wisht him on the barren mountaines starue,
But shal it be that you that set the crowne
Vpon the head of this forgetful man,
485And for his sake weare the detested blot
Of murtherous subornation? shal it be
That you a world of curses vndergo,
Being the agents, or base second meanes,
The cordes, the ladder, or the hangman rather,
490O pardon me, that I descend so low,
To shew the line and the predicament,
Wherein you range vnder this subtil king!
Shall it for shame be spoken in these daies,
Or fil 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 down Richard, that sweet louely Rose,
And plant this thorne, this canker Bullingbrooke?
500And shal it in more shame be further spoken,
That you are foold, discarded, and shooke off
By him, for whom these shames ye vnderwent?
No, yet time serues, wherein you may redeeme
Your banisht honors, and restore your selues
505Into the good thoughts of the world againe:
Reuenge the ieering and disdaind contempt
Of this proud king, who studies day and night
To answere all the debt he owes to you,
Euen with the bloudie paiment of your deaths:
510Therefore I say.
Wor. Peace coosen, say no more.
And now I will vnclaspe a secret booke,
And to your quicke conceiuing discontents
Ile reade you matter deepe and daungerous,
515As full of perill and aduenterous spirit,
As to orewalke a Current roring lowd,
On the vnstedfast footing of a speare.
Hot. If he fall in, god-night, or sinke, or swim,
Send danger from the East vnto the West.
520So honor crosse it, from the North to South,
And let them grapple: O the bloud more stirs
To rouse a lyon than to start a hare.
North. Imagination of some great exploit
Driues him beyond the bounds of patience.
525By heauen me thinkes it were an easie leape,
To plucke bright honour from the palefac'd moone,
Or diue into the bottome of the deepe,
Where fadome line could neuer touch the ground,
And plucke vp drowned honour by the locks,
530So he that doth redeeme her thence might weare
Without corriuall all her dignities,
But out vpon this halfe fac't fellowship.
Wor. He apprehends a world of figures here,
But not the forme of what he should attend,
535Good coosen giue me audience for a while.
Hot. I crie you mercie.
Wor. Those same noble Scots that are your prisoners
540Hot. Ile keepe them all;
By God 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: thats flat:
He said he would not ransome Mortimer,
Forbad my tongue to speake of Mortimer,
550But I will find him when he lies asleepe,
And in his eare ile hollow Mortimer:
Nay, ile haue a starling shalbe taught to speake
Nothing but Mortimer, and giue it him
To keepe his anger still in motion.
555Wor. Heare you cosen a word.
Hot. All studies here I solemnly defie,
Saue how to gall and pinch this Bullenbrooke,
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 him poisoned with a pot of ale.
Wor. Farewel kinsman, ile talke to you
When you are better temperd to attend.
Nor. Why what a waspe-stung and impatient foole
565Art thou? to breake into this womans moode,
Tying thine eare to no toung but thine owne?
Hot. Why looke you, I am whipt and scourg'd with rods,
Netled, and stung with pismires, when I heare
Of this vile polititian Bullingbrooke,
570In Richards time, what do you call the place?
A plague vpon it, it is in Glocestershire;
Twas where the mad-cap duke his vncle kept
His vncle Yorke, where I first bowed my knee
Vnto this king of smiles, this Bullenbrooke:
575Zbloud, when you and he came backe from Rauenspurgh.
North. At Barkly castle.
Hot. You say true.
Why what a candy deale of curtesie,
This fawning greyhound then did profer me,
580Looke when his infant fortune came to age,
And gentle Harry Percy, and kind coosen:
O the diuill take such coosoners, god forgiue me,
Good vncle tell your tale, I haue done.
Wor. Nay, if you haue not, to it againe,
585We wil stay your leisure.
Hot. I haue done Ifaith.
Wor. Then once more to your Scottish prisoners,
Deliuer them vp without their ransome straight,
And make the Douglas sonne your only meane
590For Powers in Scotland, which for diuers reasons
Which I shall send you written, be assur'd
Wil easely be granted you my Lord.
Your sonne in Scotland being thus emploied,
Shal secretly into the bosome creepe
595Of that same noble prelat welbelou'd,
The Archbishop.
Hot. Of Yorke, is it not?
Wor. True, who beares hard
His brothers death at Bristow the lord Scroop,
600I speake not this in estimation,
As what I thinke might be, but what I know
Is ruminated, plotted, and set downe,
And onely staies but to behold the face
Of that occasion that shal bring it on.
605Hot. I smell it. Vpon my life it will do well.
Nort. Before the game is afoote thou still letst slip.
Hot. Why, it cannot chuse but be a noble plot,
And then the power of Scotland, and of Yorke,
610To ioine with Mortimer, ha.
Wor. And so they shall.
Hot. In faith it is exceedingly well aimd.
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 alwaies 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 begin
620To make vs strangers to his lookes of loue.
Hot. He does, he does, weele be reueng'd on him.
Worst. Coosen farewell. No further go in this,
Then I by letters shall direct your course
When time is ripe, which will be suddenly,
625Ile steale to Glendower, and Lo: Mortimer,
Where you and Douglas, and our powres at once,
As I will fashion it shall happily meete,
To beare our fortunes in our own 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.
Exeunt