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About this text

  • Title: Henry IV, Part 1 (Modern)
  • Editor: Rosemary Gaby
  • ISBN: 978-1-55058-371-7

    Copyright Rosemary Gaby. This text may be freely used for educational, non-profit purposes; for all other uses contact the Editor.
    Author: William Shakespeare
    Editor: Rosemary Gaby
    Peer Reviewed

    Henry IV, Part 1 (Modern)

    Enter Hotspur, Worcester, Douglas [and] Vernon.
    We'll fight with him tonight.
    It may not be.
    You give him then advantage.
    Not a whit.
    Why say you so? Looks he not for supply?
    So do we.
    His is certain; ours is doubtful.
    Good cousin, be advised. Stir not tonight.
    Do not, my lord.
    You do not counsel well.
    2470You speak it out of fear and cold heart.
    Do me no slander, Douglas. By my life --
    And I dare well maintain it with my life --
    If well-respected honor bid me on,
    I hold as little counsel with weak fear
    2475As you, my lord, or any Scot that this day lives.
    Let it be seen tomorrow in the battle
    Which of us fears.
    Yea, or tonight.
    Tonight, say I.
    Come, come, it may not be. I wonder much,
    Being men of such great leading as you are,
    That you foresee not what impediments
    Drag back our expedition. Certain horse
    2485Of my cousin Vernon's are not yet come up.
    Your uncle Worcester's horses came but today,
    And now their pride and mettle is asleep,
    Their courage with hard labor tame and dull,
    That not a horse is half the half of himself.
    So are the horses of the enemy
    In general journey-bated and brought low.
    The better part of ours are full of rest.
    The number of the king exceedeth ours.
    For god's sake, cousin, stay till all come in.
    2495The trumpet sounds a parley. Enter Sir Walter Blunt.
    I come with gracious offers from the king,
    If you vouchsafe me hearing and respect.
    Welcome, Sir Walter Blunt: and would to god
    2500You were of our determination.
    Some of us love you well, and even those some
    Envy your great deservings and good name,
    Because you are not of our quality,
    But stand against us like an enemy.
    And god defend but still I should stand so,
    So long as out of limit and true rule
    You stand against anointed majesty.
    But to my charge. The king hath sent to know
    2510The nature of your griefs, and whereupon
    You conjure from the breast of civil peace
    Such bold hostility, teaching his duteous land
    Audacious cruelty. If that the king
    Have any way your good deserts forgot,
    2515Which he confesseth to be manifold,
    He bids you name your griefs, and with all speed
    You shall have your desires with interest
    And pardon absolute for yourself and these
    Herein misled by your suggestion.
    The king is kind, and well we know the king
    Knows at what time to promise, when to pay.
    My father and my uncle and myself
    Did give him that same royalty he wears;
    2525And when he was not six-and-twenty strong,
    Sick in the world's regard, wretched and low,
    A poor unminded outlaw sneaking home,
    My father gave him welcome to the shore;
    And when he heard him swear and vow to god
    2530He came but to be Duke of Lancaster,
    To sue his livery, and beg his peace
    With tears of innocency and terms of zeal,
    My father, in kind heart and pity moved,
    Swore him assistance, and performed it too.
    2535Now when the lords and barons of the realm
    Perceived Northumberland did lean to him,
    The more and less came in with cap and knee,
    Met him in boroughs, cities, villages,
    Attended him on bridges, stood in lanes,
    2540Laid gifts before him, proffered him their oaths,
    Gave him their heirs as pages, followed him
    Even at the heels, in golden multitudes.
    He presently, as greatness knows itself,
    Steps me a little higher than his vow
    2545Made to my father while his blood was poor
    Upon the naked shore at Ravenspurgh,
    And now forsooth takes on him to reform
    Some certain edicts and some strait decrees
    That lie too heavy on the commonwealth,
    2550Cries out upon abuses, seems to weep
    Over his country's wrongs; and by this face,
    This seeming brow of justice, did he win
    The hearts of all that he did angle for;
    Proceeded further, cut me off the heads
    2555Of all the favorites that the absent king
    In deputation left behind him here
    When he was personal in the Irish war.
    Tut, I came not to hear this.
    Then to the point.
    2560In short time after, he deposed the king,
    Soon after that deprived him of his life,
    And in the neck of that tasked the whole state;
    To make that worse, suffered his kinsman March
    (Who is, if every owner were well placed,
    2565Indeed his king) to be engaged in Wales,
    There without ransom to lie forfeited;
    Disgraced me in my happy victories,
    Sought to entrap me by intelligence,
    Rated mine uncle from the council-board,
    2570In rage dismissed my father from the court,
    Broke oath on oath, committed wrong on wrong,
    And in conclusion drove us to seek out
    This head of safety, and withal to pry
    Into his title, the which we find
    2575Too indirect for long continuance.
    Shall I return this answer to the king?
    Not so, Sir Walter. We'll withdraw awhile.
    Go to the king, and let there be impawned
    2580Some surety for a safe return again;
    And in the morning early shall mine uncle
    Bring him our purposes. And so, farewell.
    I would you would accept of grace and love.
    And may be so we shall.
    Pray god you do.