Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Rosemary Gaby
Not Peer Reviewed

Henry IV, Part 2 (Quarto 1, 1598).


Enter the Lord Bardolfe at one doore.
Bard. Who keepes the gate here ho? where is the Earle?
Porter What shall I say you are?
50Bard. Tell thou the Earle,
That the Lord Bardolfe doth attend him heere.
Porter His Lordship is walkt forth into the orchard,
Please it your honor knocke but at the gate,
And he himselfe will answer.
Enter the Earle Northumberland.
Bard. Here comes the Earle.
Earle. What newes Lord Bardolfe? euery minute now
Should be the father of some Stratagem,
The times are wild, contention like a horse,
60Full of high feeding, madly hath broke loose,
And beares downe all before him.
Bard. Noble Earle,
I bring you certaine newes from Shrewsbury.
Earle Good, and God will.
65Bard. As good as heart can wish:
The King is almost wounded to the death,
And in the fortune of my Lord your sonne,
Prince Harry slaine outright, and both the Blunts
Kild by the hand of Dowglas, yong prince Iohn,
70And Westmerland and Stafford fled the field,
And Harry Monmouthes brawne, the hulke sir Iohn,
Is prisoner to your sonne: O such a day!
So fought, so followed, and so fairely wonne,
Came not till now to dignifie the times
75Since Cæsars fortunes.
Earle How is this deriu'd?
Saw you the field? came you from Shrewsbury?
Bar. I spake with one, my lord, that came from thence,
enter
A gentleman well bred, and of good name,
80That freely rendred me these newes for true.
Earle Here comes my seruant Trauers who I sent
On tuesday last to listen after newes.
Bar. My lord, I ouer-rode him on the way,
85And he is furnisht with no certainties,
More then he haply may retale from me.
Earle Now Trauers, what good tidings comes with you?
Trauers My lord, sir Iohn Vmfreuile turnd me backe
With ioyfull tidings, and being better horst,
90Out rode me, after him came spurring hard,
A gentleman almost forespent with speede,
That stopt by me to breathe his bloudied horse,
He askt the way to Chester, and of him
I did demand what newes from Shrewsbury,
95He told me that rebellion had bad lucke,
And that yong Harrie Percies spur was cold:
With that he gaue his able horse the head,
And bending forward, strooke his armed heeles,
Against the panting sides of his poore iade,
100Vp to the rowell head, and starting so,
He seem'd in running to deuoure the way,
Staying no longer question.
Earle Ha? againe,
Said he, yong Harry Percies spur was cold,
105Of Hot-spurre, Cold-spurre, that rebellion
Had met ill lucke?
Bard. My lord, Ile tell you what,
If my yong Lord your sonne, haue not the day,
Vpon mine honor for a silken point,
110Ile giue my Barony, neuer talke of it.
Earle Why should that gentleman that rode by Trauers,
Giue then such instances of losse?
Bard. Who he?
He was some hilding fellow that had stolne
115The horse he rode on, and vpon my life
Spoke at a venter. Looke, here comes more news.
enter Mor-
Earle Yea this mans brow, like to a title leafe,
Foretells the nature of a tragicke volume,
120So lookes the strond, whereon the imperious floud,
Hath left a witnest vsurpation.
Say Mourton, didst thou come from Shrewsbury?
Mour. I ranne from Shrewsbury my noble lord,
Where hatefull death put on his vgliest maske,
125To fright our partie.
Earle How doth my sonne and brother?
Thou tremblest, and the whitenes in thy cheeke,
Is apter then thy tongue to tell thy arrand,
Euen such a man, so faint, so spirritlesse,
130So dull, so dead in looke, so woe begon,
Drew Priams curtaine in the dead of night,
And would haue told him, halfe his Troy was burnt:
But Priam found the fier, ere he, his tongue,
And I, my Percies death, ere thou reportst it.
135This thou wouldst say, Your son did thus and thus,
Your brother thus: so fought the noble Dowglas,
Stopping my greedy eare with their bold deedes,
But in the end, to stop my eare indeed,
Thou hast a sigh to blow away this praise,
140Ending with brother, sonne, and all are dead.
Mour. Douglas is liuing, and your brother yet,
But for my Lord your sonne:
Earle Why he is dead?
See what a ready tongue Suspition hath!
145He that but feares the thing hee would not know,
Hath by instinct, knowledge from others eies,
That what he feard is chanced: yet speake Mourton,
Tell thou an Earle, his diuination lies,
And I will take it as a sweete disgrace,
150And make thee rich for doing me such wrong.
Mour. You are too great to be by me gainsaid,
Your spirite is too true, your feares too certaine.
Earle Yet for all this, say not that Percie's dead,
I see a strange confession in thine eie,
155Thou shakst thy head, and holdst it feare, or sinne,
To speake a truth: if he be slaine,
The tongne offends not that reports his death,
And he doth sinne that doth belie the dead,
Not he which saies the dead is not aliue,
160Yet the first bringer of vnwelcome newes
Hath but a loosing office, and his tongue
Sounds euer after as a sullen bell,
Remembred tolling a departing friend.
Bard. I cannot thinke, my Lord, your sonne is dead.
165Mour. I am sory I should force you to beleeue,
That which I would to God I had not seene,
But these mine eies saw him in bloudy state,
Rendring faint quittance, wearied, and out-breathd,
To Harry Monmouth, whose swift wrath beat downe
170The neuer daunted Percy to the earth,
From whence with life he neuer more sprung vp.
In few his death, whose spirite lent a fire,
Euen to the dullest peasant in his campe,
Being bruted once, tooke fire and heate away,
175From the best temperd courage in his troopes,
For from his mettal was his party steeled,
Which once in him abated, al the rest
Turnd on themselues, like dull and heauy lead.
And as the thing thats heauy in it selfe,
180Vpon enforcement flies with greatest speed:
So did our men, heauy in Hot-spurs losse,
Lend to this weight such lightnesse with their feare,
That arrowes fled not swifter toward their ayme,
Than did our souldiers aiming at their safetie,
185Fly from the field: then was that noble Worcester,
So soone tane prisoner, and that furious Scot,
The bloudy Douglas whose well labouring sword,
Had three times slaine th'appearance of the King,
Gan vaile his stomacke, and did grace the shame
190Of those that turnd their backes, and in his flight,
Stumbling in feare, was tooke: the summe of all
Is, that the King hath wonne, and hath sent out,
A speedy power to incounter you my lord,
Vnder the conduct of yong Lancaster,
195And Westmerland: this is the news at ful.
Earle For this I shal haue time enough to mourne,
In poison there is phisicke, and these newes,
Hauing beene wel, that would haue made me sicke:
Being sicke, haue (in some measure) made me wel:
200And as the wretch whose feuer-weakned ioynts,
Like strengthlesse hinges buckle vnder life,
Impacient of his fit, breakes like a fire
Out of his keepers armes; euen so my limbes,
Weakened with griefe being now enragde with griefe,
205Are thrice themselues: hence therfore thou nice crutch,
A scaly gauntlet now with ioynts of steele
Must gloue this hand, and hence thou sickly coife,
Thou art a guard too wanton for the head,
Which princes, flesht with conquest, ayme to hit:
210Now bind my browes with yron, and approach
The raggedst houre that Time and Spight dare bring,
To frowne vpon th'inragde Northumberland,
Let heauen kisse earth, now let not Natures hand
Keepe the wild floud confind, let Order die,
215And let this world no longer be a stage,
To feed contention in a lingring act:
But let one spirite of the first borne Cain
Raigne in all bosomes, that ech heart being set
On bloudy courses, the rude sceane may end,
220And darknesse be the burier of the dead.
220.1Vmfr. This strained passion doth you wrong my lord.
Bard. Sweet earle, diuorce not wisedom from your honor,
Mour. The liues of all your louing complices,
Leaue on you health, the which if you giue ore,
To stormy passion must perforce decay.
Bard. We all that are ingaged to this losse,
240Knew that we ventured on such dangerous seas,
That if we wrought out life, twas ten to one,
And yet we venturd for the gaine proposde,
Choakt the respect of likely perill fear'd,
And since we are oreset, venture againe:
245Come, we will al put forth body and goods.
Mour. Tis more then time, and my most noble lord,
I heare for certaine, and dare speake the truth.
North. I knew of this before, but to speake truth,
270This present griefe had wipte it from my mind,
Go in with me and counsell euery man,
The aptest way for safety and reuenge,
Get postes and letters, and make friends with speed,
Neuer so few, and neuer yet more need.
exeunt.