Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Rosemary Gaby
Peer Reviewed

Henry IV, Part 1 (Quarto 0, 1598)


525By heauen me thinkes it were an easie leape,
To plucke bright honor from the palefac't moone,
Or diue into the bottome of the deepe,
Where fadome line could neuer touch the ground,
And plucke vp drowned honor 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 cry you mercy.
Wor. Those same noble Scots that are your prisoners.
540Hot. Ile keepe them all;
By God he shal not haue a Scot of them,
No, if a Scot would saue his soule he shal not,
Ile keepe them by this hand.
Wor. You, start away,
545And lend no eare vnto my purposes:
Those prisoners you shal keepe.
Hot. Nay I wil, thats flat:
He said he would not ransome Mortimer,
Forbad my tongue to speake of Mortimer,
550But I wil 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 stil in motion.
555Wor. Heare you cosen a word.
Hot. All studies here I sollemnly defie,
Saue how to gall and pinch this Bullingbrooke,
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.
North. Why what a waspe-stung and impatient foole
565Art thou, to breake into this womans moode,
Tying thine eare to no tongue but thine owne.
Hot. Why looke you? I am whip and scourgd with rods,
Netled, and stung with pismires, when I heare
Of this vile polititian Bullingbrooke,
570In Richards time, what do you cal the place?
A plague vpon it, it is in Glocestershire;
Twas where the mad-cap duke his vnckle kept
His vncle Yorke, where I first bowed my knee
Vnto this king of smiles, this Bullingbrooke:
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 proffer me,
580Looke when his infant fortune came to age,
And gentle Harry Percy, and kind coosen:
O the diuel take such coosoners, god forgiue me,
Good vncle tel 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 onely 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 wel belou'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 stayes 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 ioyne 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 heades by raising of a head,
615[F]or beare our selues as euen as we can,
[T]he king will alwayes thinke him in our debt,
And thinke we thinke our selues vnsatisfied,
Till he hath found a time to pay vs home,
And see alreadie how he doth begin
620To make vs strangers to his lookes of loue.
Hot. He does, he does, weele be reuengd on him.
Wor. 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 powers at once,
As I will fashion it shall happily meete,
To beare out fortunes in our owne strong armes,
Which now we hold at much vncertaintie.
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.