Internet Shakespeare Editions

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


Per. Wel said my noble Scot, if speaking truth
In this fine age were not thought flattery,
Such attribution should the Douglas haue,
As not a souldior of this seasons stampe,
2225Should go so generall currant through the world
By God, I cannot flatter, I do defie
The tongues of soothers, but a brauer place
In my harts loue hath no man then your selfe,
Nay taske me to my word, approue me Lord.
2230Doug. Thou art the King of honor,
No man so potent breaths vpon the ground,
But I will beard him.
Enter one with letters.
Per. Do so, and tis wel. What letters hast thou there?
2235I can but thanke you.
Mes. These letters come from your father.
Per. Letters from him, why comes he not himselfe?
Mes. He cannot come my lord, he is grieuous sicke.
Per. Zounds, how has he the leisure to be sicke
In such a iustling time, who leads his power?
Vnder whose gouernment come they along?
Mes. His letters beares his mind, not I my mind.
2245Wor. I preethe tel me, doth he keepe his bed?
Mes. He did my Lord, foure daies ere I set forth,
And at the time of my departure thence,
He was much fearde by his Phisitions.
Wor. I would the state of time had first been whole,
2250Eare he by sicknesse had bin visited,
His health was neuer better worth then now.
Per. Sicke now, droupe now, this sicknes doth infect
The very life bloud of our enterprise,
Tis catching hither euen to our campe,
2255He writes me here that inward sicknesse,
And that his friends by deputation
Could not so soone be drawn, nor did he thinke it meet
To lay so dangerous and deare a trust
On any soule remoou'd but on his own,
2260Yet doth he giue vs bold aduertisement,
That with our small coniunction we should on,
To see how fortune is disposd to vs,
For as he writes there is no quailing now,
Because the king is certainly possest
2265Of al our purposes, what say you to it?
Wor. Your fathers sicknesse is a maime to vs.
Per. A perillous gash, a very limbe lopt off,
And yet in faith it is not, his present want
Seemes more then we shal find it: were it good
2270To set the exact wealth of al our states
Al at one cast? to set so rich a maine
On the nice hazard of one doubtfull houre?
It were not good for therein should we read
The very bottome and the soule of hope,
2275The very list, the very vtmost bound
Of all our fortunes.
Doug. Faith, and so we should,
Where now remaines a sweet reuersion,
We may boldly spend vpon the hope of what tis to come in,
A comfort of retirement liues in this.
Per. A randeuous, a home to flie vnto
If that the Diuel and mischance looke big
Vpon the maidenhead of our affaires.
2285Wor. But yet I would your father had bin heere:
The quality and haire of our attempt
Brookes no deuision, it will be thought
By some that know not why he is away,
That wisedome, loialty, and meere dislike
2290Of our proceedings kept the Earle from hence,
And thinke how such an apprehension
May turne the tide of fearefull faction,
And breed a kind of question in our cause:
For wel you know we of the offring side
2295Must keepe aloofe from strict arbitrement,
And stop al sight-holes euery loope from whence
The eie of reason may prie in vpon vs,
This absence of your fathers drawes a curtain
That shewes the ignorant a kind of feare
2300Before not dreamt of.
Per. You straine too far.
I rather of his absence make this vse,
It lends a lustre and more great opinion,
A larger dare to our great enterprise
2305Then if the Earle were here, for men must thinke
If we without his helpe can make a head
To push against a kingdome, with his helpe
We shal oreturne it topsie turuy down,
Yet all goes well yet all our ioints are whole.
2310Doug. As hart can thinke, there is not such a word
Spoke of in Scotland as this tearme of feare.
Enter sir Ri:Vernon.
Per. My coosen Vernon, welcom by my soule.
2315Ver. Pray God my newes be worth a welcome lord,
The Earle of Westmerland seuen thousand strong
Is marching hetherwards, with him prince Iohn.
Per. No harme, what more?
Ver. And further I haue learnd,
2320The King himselfe in person is set forth,
Or hetherwards intended speedily
With strong and mighty preparation.
Hot. He shal be welcome too: where is his sonne?
2325The nimble footed madcap prince of Wales,
And his Cumrades that daft the world aside
And bid it passe?
Ver. All furnisht al in Armes:
All plumde like Estridges that with the wind
2330Baited like Eagles hauing lately bathd,
Glittering in golden coates like images,
As ful of spirit as the month of May,
And gorgeous as the sunne at Midsomer:
Wanton as youthful goates wild as young buls,
2335I saw yong Harry with his beuer on,
His cushes on his thighs gallantly armde,
Rise from the ground like feathered Mercury,
And vaulted with such ease into his seat,
As if an Angel drop down from the clouds,
2340To turne and wind a fiery Pegasus,
And witch the world with noble horsemanship.
Hot. No more, no more, worse then the sun in March,
This praise doth nourish agues, let them come,
2345They come like sacrifices in their trim,
And to the fire-eyd maide of smoky war,
Al hot and bleeding will we offer them,
The mailed Mars shal on his altars sit
Vp to the eares in bloud. I am on fire
2350To heare this rich reprizal is so nigh,
And yet not ours: Come let me tast my horse,
Who is to beare me like a thunderbolt,
Against the bosome of the Prince of Wales,
Harry to Harry shal hot horse to horse,
2355Meete and neare part til one drop down a coarse,
Oh that Glendower were come.
Ver. There is more newes,
I learnd in Worcester as I rode along,
He can draw his power this fourteene daies.
2360Doug. Thats the worst tidings that I heare of it.
Wor. I by my faith, that beares a frosty sound.
Hot. What may the kings whole battel reach vnto?
2365Ver. To thirty thousand.
Hot. Forty let it be,
My father and Glendower being both away,
The powers of vs may serue so great a day,
Come let vs take a muster speedily,
2370Doomes day is neare, die all, die merely.
Doug. Talke not of dying, I am out of feare
Of death or deaths hand for this one halfe yeare.
Exeunt