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Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Rosemary Gaby
Not Peer Reviewed

Henry IV, Part 1 (Quarto 1, 1598)

The Historie.
No, yet time serues, wherein you may redeeme
Your banisht honors, and restore your selues
505Into the good thoughts of the world againe:
Reuenge the ieering and disdaind contempt
Of this proud king, who studies day and night
To answere all the debt he owes to you,
Euen with the bloudie paiment of your deaths:
510Therefore I say.
Wor. Peace coosen, say no more.
And now I will vnclaspe a secret booke,
And to your quicke conceiuing discontents
Ile reade you matter deepe and daungerous,
515As full of perill and aduenterous spirit,
As to orewalke a Current roring lowd,
On the vnstedfast footing of a speare.
Hot. If he fall in, god-night, or sinke, or swim,
Send danger from the East vnto the West.
520So honor crosse it, from the North to South,
And let them grapple: O the bloud more stirs
To rouse a lyon than to start a hare.
North. Imagination of some great exploit
Driues him beyond the bounds of patience.
525By heauen me thinkes it were an easie leape,
To plucke bright honour from the palefac'd moone,
Or diue into the bottome of the deepe,
Where fadome line could neuer touch the ground,
And plucke vp drowned honour 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 crie you mercie.
Wor. Those same noble Scots that are your prisoners
540Hot. Ile keepe them all;
By God he shall not haue a Scot of them,
No, if a Scot would saue his soule he shall not.