Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Rosemary Gaby
Not Peer Reviewed

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


Enter the Archbishop, Mowbray, Bardolfe, Hastings, within
1861.1
the forrest of Gaultree.
Bish. What is this forrest calld?
Hast. Tis Gaultree forrest, and't shal please your grace.
Bishop Here stand, my lords, and send discouerers forth,
To know the numbers of our enemies:
Hastings We haue sent forth already.
Bishop Tis well done,
1870My friends and brethren (in these great affaires)
I must acquaint you, that I haue receiu'd
New dated letters from Northumberland,
Their cold intent, tenure, and substance thus:
Here doth he wish his person, with such powers,
1875As might hold sortance with his quallitie,
The which he could not leuy: whereupon
He is retirde to ripe his growing fortunes,
To Scotland, and concludes in hearty prayers,
That your attempts may ouer-liue the hazard
1880And fearefull meeting of their opposite.
Mowb. Thus do the hopes we haue in him, touch ground,
And dash themselues to peeces.
Enter messenger
Hastings Now, what newes?
1885Messenger West of this forrest, scarcely off a mile,
In goodly forme comes on the enemy,
And by the ground they hide, I iudge their number
Vpon, or neere the rate of thirty thousand.
Mowbray The iust proportion that we gaue them out,
1890Let vs sway on, and face them in the field.
Bishop What wel appointed Leader fronts vs heere?
Enter Westmerland
Mowbray I thinke it is my lord of Westmerland.
West. Health and faire greeting from our Generall,
1895The prince lord Iohn and duke of Lancaster.
Bishop Say on my lord of VVestmerland in peace,
VVhat doth concerne your comming?
We. Then my L. vnto your Grace do I in chiefe addresse
1900The substance of my speech: if that rebellion
Came like it selfe, in base and abiect rowtes,
Led on by bloody youth, guarded with rage,
And countenaunst by boyes and beggary.
I say, if damnd commotion so appeare,
1905In his true, natiue, and most proper shape,
You, reuerend father, and these noble Lordes,
Had not beene heere to dresse the owgly forme
Of base and bloody Insurrection
With your faire Honours. You (lord Archbishop)
1910Whose Sea is by a ciuile peace maintainde,
Whose beard the siluer hand of Peace hath toucht,
Whose learning and good letters Peace hath tutord,
Whose white inuestments figure innocence,
The Doue, and very blessed spirite of peace.
1915Wherefore do you so ill translate your selfe
Out of the speech of peace that beares such grace,
Into the harsh and boystrous tongue of warre?
Turning your bookes to graues, your incke to bloud,
Your pennes to launces, and your tongue diuine,
1920To a lowd trumpet, and a point of warre?
Bish. Wherefore do I this? so the question stands:
Briefly, to this end we are all diseasde:
The dangers of the daie's but newly gone,
VVhose memorie is written on the earth,
1950VVith yet appearing blood, and the examples
Of euery minutes instance (present now,)
Hath put vs in these ill-beseeming armes,
Not to breake peace, or any braunch of it,
But to establish heere a peace indeede,
1955Concurring both in name and quallitie.
West. VVhen euer yet was your appeale denied
VVherein haue you beene galled by the King?
What peere hath beene subornde to grate on you?
That you should seale this lawlesse bloody booke
1960Of forgde rebellion with a seale diuine,
1960.1And consecrate commotions bitter edge.
Bishop My brother Generall, the common wealth
1961.1To brother borne an houshold cruelty,
I make my quarrell in particular.
West. There is no neede of any such redresse,
Or if there were, it not belongs to you.
1965Mowbray why not to him in part, and to vs all
That feele the bruises of the daies before?
And suffer the condition of these times,
To lay a heauy and vnequall hand
Vpon our honors.
West. But this is meere digression from my purpose.
Here come I from our princely generall,
To know your griefes, to tell you from his Grace,
That he will giue you audience, and wherein
2010It shall appeere that your demaunds are iust,
You shall enioy them, euery thing set off
That might so much as thinke you enemies.
Mowbray But he hath forcde vs to compel this offer,
And it proceedes from policie, not loue.
2015West. Mowbray, you ouerweene to take it so:
This offer comes from mercy, not from feare:
For loe, within a ken our army lies:
Vpon mine honour, all too confident
To giue admittance to a thought of feare:
2020Our battell is more full of names than yours,
Our men more perfect in the vse of armes,
Our armour all as strong, our cause the best:
Then Reason will our hearts should be as good:
Say you not then, our offer is compelld.
2025Mow. Well, by my will, we shall admit no parlee.
West. That argues but the shame of your offence,
A rotten case abides no handling.
Hastings Hath the prince Iohn a full commission,
In very ample vertue of his father,
2030To heare, and absolutely to determine
Of what conditions we shall stand vpon?
West. That is intended in the Generalles name,
I muse you make so slight a question.
Bishop Then take, my lord of Westmerland, this scedule,
2035For this containes our generall grieuances,
Each seuerall article herein redrest.
All members of our cause both here and hence,
That are ensinewed to this action,
Acquitted by a true substantiall forme,
2040And present execution of our willes,
To vs and our purposes confinde,
We come within our awefull bancks againe,
And knit our powers to the arme of peace.
West. This will I shew the Generall, please you Lords,
2045In sight of both our battells we may meete,
At either end in peace, which God so frame,
Or to the place of diffrence call the swords,
Which must decide it.
Exit Westmerland
Bishop My lord, we will doe so.
2050Mou There is a thing within my bosome tells me
That no conditions of our peace can stand.
Hastings Feare you not, that if we can make our peace,
Vpon such large termes, and so absolute,
As our conditions shall consist vpon,
2055Our peace shall stand as firme as rockie mountaines.
Moub. Yea but our valuation shal be such,
That euery slight, and false deriued cause,
Yea euery idle, nice, and wanton reason,
Shall to the King taste of this action,
2060That were our royal faiths martires in loue,
We shall be winow'd with so rough a wind,
That euen our corne shal seeme as light as chaffe,
And good from bad find no partition.
Bish. No, no, my lord, note this, the King is weary
2065Of daintie and such picking greeuances,
For he hath found, to end one doubt by death,
Reuiues two greater in the heires of life:
And therefore will he wipe his tables cleane,
And keepe no tel-tale to his memorie,
2070That may repeate, and history his losse,
To new remembrance: for full wel he knowes,
He cannot so precisely weed this land,
As his misdoubts present occasion,
His foes are so enrooted with his friends,
2075That plucking to vnfix an enemy,
He doth vnfasten so, and shake a friend,
So that this land, like an offensiue wife,
That hath enragde him on to offer strokes,
As he is striking, holdes his infant vp,
2080And hangs resolu'd correction in the arme,
That was vpreard to execution.
Hast. Besides, the King hath wasted al his rods,
On late offendors, that he now doth lacke
The very instruments of chasticement,
2085So that his power, like to a phanglesse lion,
May offer, but not hold.
Bishop Tis very true,
And therefore be assurde, my good Lord Marshall,
If we do now make our attonement well,
2090Our peace wil like a broken limbe vnited,
Grow stronger for the breaking.
Mow. Be it so, here is returnd my lord of Westmerland.
Enter Westmerland.
2095West. The prince is here at hand, pleaseth your Lordship
To meet his grace iust distance tweene our armies.
2100
Enter Prince Iohn and his armie.
Mow. Your grace of York, in Gods name then set forward.
Bishop. Before, and greete his grace (my lord) we come.
Iohn You are well incountred here, my cousen Mowbray,
Good day to you, gentle Lord Archbishop,
And so to you Lord Hastings, and to all.
My Lord of Yorke, it better shewed with you,
2105When that your flocke assembled by the bell,
Encircled you, to heare with reuerence,
Your exposition on the holy text,
That now to see you here, an yron man talking,
Cheering a rowt of rebells with your drumme,
2110Turning the word to sword, and life to death.
That man that sits within a monarches heart,
And ripens in the sun-shine of his fauor,
Would he abuse the countenance of the King:
Alacke what mischeefes might he set abroach,
2115In shadow of such greatnesse? with you Lord bishop
It is euen so, who hath not heard it spoken,
How deepe you were within the bookes of God,
To vs the speaker in his parliament,
To vs th'imagine voice of God himselfe,
2120The very opener and intelligencer,
Betweene the grace, the sanctities of heauen,
And our dull workings? O who shal beleeue,
But you misuse the reuerence of your place,
Imply the countenance and grace of heau'n,
2125As a false fauorite doth his princes name:
In deedes dishonorable you haue tane vp,
Vnder the counterfeited zeale of God,
The subiects of his substitute my father,
And both against the peace of heauen and him,
2130Haue here vpswarmd them.
Bishop Good my Lord of Lancaster,
I am not here against your fathers peace,
But as I told my lord of Westmerland,
The time misordred doth in common sense,
2135Crowd vs and crush vs to this monstrous forme,
To hold our safety vp: I sent your grace,
The parcells and particulars of our griefe,
The which hath beene with scorne shoued from the court,
Whereon this Hidra, sonne of warre is borne,
2140Whose dangerous eies may well be charmd asleepe,
With graunt of our most iust, and right desires,
And true obedience of this madnes cured,
Stoope tamely to the foote of maiestie.
Mow. If not, we ready are to trie our fortunes,
2145To the last man.
Hast. And though we here fal downe,
We haue supplies to second our attempt,
If they miscarry, theirs shal second them,
And so successe of mischiefe shall be borne,
2150And heire from heire shall hold his quarrell vp,
Whiles England shall haue generation.
Prince You are too shallow Hastings, much too shallow,
To sound the bottome of the after times.
2155West. Pleaseth your grace to answere them directly,
How far forth you do like their articles.
Prince I like them all, and do allow them well,
And sweare here by the honour of my bloud,
My fathers purposes haue beene mistooke,
2160And some about him haue too lauishly,
Wrested his meaning and authority.
My Lord, these griefes shall be with speed redrest,
Vppon my soule they shal, if this may please you,
Discharge your powers vnto their seuerall counties,
2165As we will ours, and here betweene the armies,
Lets drinke together friendly and embrace,
That all their eies may beare those tokens home,
Of our restored loue and amitie.
Bishop I take your princely word for these redresses,
2170I giue it you, and will maintaine my word,
And therevpon I drinke vnto your grace.
Prince Go Captaine, and deliuer to the armie
This newes of peace, let them haue pay, and part.
I know it will well please them, hie thee captaine.
Bishop To you my noble lord of Westmerland.
West. I pledge your grace, and if you knew what paines,
I haue bestowed to breed this present peace,
2180You would drinke freely, but my loue to ye
Shall shew it selfe more openly hereafter.
Bishop I do not doubt you.
West. I am glad of it,
Health to my Lord, and gentle cosin Mowbray.
2185Mow. You wish me health in very happy season,
For I am on the sodaine something ill.
Bishop Against ill chaunces men are euer mery,
But heauinesse fore-runnes the good euent.
West. Therefore be mery coze, since sodaine sorrow
2190Serues to say thus, some good thing comes to morow.
Bishop Beleeue me I am passing light in spirit.
Mow. So much the worse if your owne rule be true.
shout.
Prin. The word of peace is rendred, heark how they showt.
2195Mow. This had bin cheerefull after victory.
Bishop A peace is of the nature of a conquest,
For then both parties nobly are subdued,
And neither party looser.
Prince Go my lord,
2200And let our army be discharged too,
And, good my lord, so please you, let our traines
March by vs, that we may peruse the men,
VVe should haue coap't withall.
Bishop Go, good Lord Hastings,
2205And ere they be dismist, let them march by.
enter Westmerland.
Prince I trust Lords we shal lie to night togither:
Now coosin, wherefore stands our army stil?
West. The Leaders hauing charge from you to stand,
2210Wil not goe off vntil they heare you speake.
Prince They know their dueties.
enter Hastings
Hastings My lord, our army is disperst already,
Like youthfull steeres vnyoakt they take their courses,
East, weast, north, south, or like a schoole broke vp,
2215Each hurries toward his home, and sporting place.
West. Good tidings my lord Hastings, for the which
I do arest thee traitor of high treason,
And you lord Archbishop, and you lord Mowbray,
Of capitall treason I attach you both.
2220Mowbray Is this proceeding iust and honorable?
West. Is your assembly so?
Bishop will you thus breake your faith?
Prince I pawnde thee none,
I promist you redresse of these same grieuances
2225Whereof you did complaine, which by mine honour
I will performe, with a most christian care.
But for you rebels, looke to taste the due
Meete for rebellion:
Most shallowly did you these armes commence,
2230Fondly brought heere, and foolishly sent hence.
Strike vp our drummes, pursue the scattred stray:
God, and not we, hath safely fought to day:
Some guard this traitour to the blocke of death,
Treasons true bed, and yeelder vp of breath.