Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Rosemary Gaby
Not Peer Reviewed

Henry IV, Part 1 (Quarto 1, 1598)


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 neare at hand,
1820For we shall presently haue neede of you.
Exeunt Lords.
I know not whether God will haue it so
For some displeasing seruice I haue done,
That in his secret doome out of my blood,
1825Heele breed reuengement and a scourge for me:
But thou dost in thy passages of life,
Make me beleeue that thou art onely markt
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 mean attempts,
Such barren pleasures, rude societie
As thou art matcht withall, and grafted to,
Accompanie the greatnesse of thy blood,
1835And hold their leuell with thy princely heart?
Prin. So please your Maiestie, 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 chargd withall,
1840Yet such extenuation let me beg,
As in reproofe of many tales deuisde,
Which oft the eare of greatnes needs must heare
By smiling pickthanks, and base newes mongers,
I may for some things true, wherein my youth
1845Hath faulty wandred, and irregular,
Find pardon on my true submission.
Kin. God pardon thee, yet let me wonder, Harry,
At thy affections, which do hold a wing
1850Quite from the flight of all thy auncestors,
Thy place in counsell thou hast rudely lost
Which by thy yonger brother is supplide,
And art almost an allien to the harts
Of all the Court and princes of my blood,
1855The hope and expectation of thy time
Is ruind, and the soule of euery man
Prophetically do forethinke thy fall:
Had I so lauish of my presence beene,
So common hackneid in the eyes of men,
1860So stale and cheape to vulgar companie,
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 likelihoode.
1865By being seldome seene, I could not stirre
But like a Comet I was wondred at,
That men would tell their children this is he:
Others would say, where, which is Bullingbrooke?
And then I stole all curtesie from heauen,
1870And drest my selfe in such humilitie
That I did plucke allegiance from mens hearts,
Loud shouts, and salutations from their mouths,
Euen in the presence of the crowned king.
Thus did I keepe my person fresh and new,
1875My presence like a roabe pontificall,
Nere seene but wondred at, and so my state
Seldome, but sumptuous shewd like a feast,
And wan by rarenesse such solemnitie.
The skipping king, he ambled vp and downe,
1880With shallow iesters, and rash bauin wits,
Soone kindled, and soone burnt, carded his state,
Mingled his royaltie with capring fooles,
Had his great name prophaned with their scornes,
And gaue his countenance against his name
1885To laugh at gibing boyes, and stand the push
Of euery beardlesse vaine comparatiue,
Grew a companion to the common streetes,
Enfeoft himselfe to popularitie,
That being dayly swallowed by mens eyes,
1890They surfetted with honie, and began to loath
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 Cuckoe is in Iune,
1895Heard, not regarded: Seene, but with such eies
As sicke and blunted with communitie,
Affoord no extraordinary gaze.
Such as is bent on sun-like maiestie,
When it shines seldome in admiring eies,
1900But rather drowzd, and hung their eie-lids down,
Slept in his face, and rendred such aspect
As cloudy men vse to their aduersaries,
Being with his presence glutted, gordge, 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 a weary of thy common sight,
Saue mine, which hath desired to see thee more,
Which now doth that I would not haue it do,
1910Make blind it selfe with foolish tendernesse.
Prin. I shall hereafter my thrice gratious 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 than, is Percy now,
Now by my scepter, and my soule to boote,
He hath more worthie interest to the state
Then thou the shadow of succession.
1920For of no right, nor colour like to right,
He doth fill fields with harnesse in the realme,
Turnes head against the lions armed iawes,
And being no more in debt to yeares, then thou
Leads ancient Lords, and reuerend Bishops on
1925To bloudie battailes, and to bruising armes.
What neuer dying honour hath he got
Against renowmed Dowglas? Whose high deeds,
Whose hot incursions, and great name in armes,
Holds from al souldiors chiefe maioritie
1930And militarie title capitall.
Through all the kingdoms that acknowledge Christ,
Thrice hath this Hotspur Mars in swathling cloaths,
This infant warrier in his enterprises,
Discomfited great Dowglas, tane him once,
1935Enlargd him, and made a friend of him,
To fill the mouth of deepe defiance vp,
And shake the peace and safety of our throne,
And what say you to this? Percy, Northumberland,
The Archbishops grace of York, Dowglas, Mortimer,
1940Capitulate against vs, and are vp.
But wherefore do I tel these newes to thee?
Why Harry do I tell thee of my foes,
Which art my nearest and dearest enemy?
Thou that art like enough through vassall feare,
1945Base inclination, and the start of spleene,
To fight against me vnder Percies pay,
To dog his heeles, and curtsie at his frownes,
To shew how much thou art degenerate.
Prin. Do not thinke so, you shal not find it so,
1950And God forgiue them that so much haue swaide
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 bloud,
And staine my fauors in a bloudy maske,
Which washt away shall scoure my shame with it,
And that shal be the day when ere it lights,
That this same child of honour and renowne,
1960This gallant Hotspur, this all praised 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 com
1965That I shal make this Northren youth exchange
His glorious deedes for my indignities.
Percy is but my factor, good my Lord,
To engrosse vp glorious deeds on my behalfe.
And I will call him to so strickt 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 God I promise heere,
The which if he be pleasd I shall performe:
1975I do beseech your maiesty may salue
The long grown wounds of my intemperance,
If not, the end of life cancels all bands,
And I will die a hundred thousand deaths
Ere breake the smallest parcell of this vow.
1980King. A hundred thousand rebels die in this,
Thou shalt haue charge and soueraine trust herein.
How now good blunt thy lookes are full of speed.
Enter Blunt.
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 month at Shrewsbury,
A mighty and a fearefull head they are,
If promises be kept on euery hand,
1990As euer offred 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 daies old.
On Wednesday next, Harry you shall set forward,
1995On thursday we our selues will march. Our meeting
Is Bridgenorth, and Harry, you shall march
Through Glocestershire, by which account
Our businesse valued some twelue daies hence,
Our general forces at Bridgenorth shall meet:
2000Our hands are full of businesse, lets away,
Aduantage feedes him fat while men delay.
Exeunt.