Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Rosemary Gaby
Not Peer Reviewed

Henry IV, Part 2 (Folio 1 1623)

Scena Quarta.
Enter Archbishop, Hastings, Mowbray, and
500 Lord Bardolfe.
Ar. Thus haue you heard our causes, & kno our Means:
And my most noble Friends, I pray you all
Speake plainly your opinions of our hopes,
And first (Lord Marshall) what say you to it?
505Mow. I well allow the occasion of our Armes,
But gladly would be better satisfied,
How (in our Meanes) we should aduance our selues
To looke with forhead bold and big enough
Vpon the Power and puisance of the King.
510Hast. Our present Musters grow vpon the File
To fiue and twenty thousand men of choice:
And our Supplies, liue largely in the hope
Of great Northumberland, whose bosome burnes
With an incensed Fire of Iniuries.
515L. Bar. The question then (Lord Hastings) standeth thus
Whether our present fiue and twenty thousand
May hold-vp-head, without Northumberland:
Hast. With him, we may.
L. Bar. I marry, there's the point:
520But if without him we be thought to feeble,
My iudgement is, we should not step too farre
Till we had his Assistance by the hand.
For in a Theame so bloody fac'd, as this,
Coniecture, Expectation, and Surmise
525Of Aydes incertaine, should not be admitted.
Arch. 'Tis very true Lord Bardolfe, for indeed
It was yong Hotspurres case, at Shrewsbury.
L. Bar. It was (my Lord) who lin'd himself with hope,
Eating the ayre, on promise of Supply,
530Flatt'ring himselfe with Proiect of a power,
Much smaller, then the smallest of his Thoughts,
And so with great imagination
(Proper to mad men) led his Powers to death,
And (winking) leap'd into destruction.
535Hast. But (by your leaue) it neuer yet did hurt,
To lay downe likely-hoods, and formes of hope.
L. Bar. Yes, if this present quality of warre,
Indeed the instant action: a cause on foot,
Liues so in hope: As in an early Spring,
540We see th'appearing buds, which to proue fruite,
Hope giues not so much warrant, as Dispaire
That Frosts will bite them. When we meane to build,
We first suruey the Plot, then draw the Modell,
And when we see the figure of the house,
545Then must we rate the cost of the Erection,
Which if we finde out-weighes Ability,
What do we then, but draw a-new the Modell
In fewer offices? Or at least, desist
To builde at all? Much more, in this great worke,
550(Which is (almost) to plucke a Kingdome downe,
And set another vp) should we suruey
The plot of Situation, and the Modell;
Consent vpon a sure Foundation:
Question Surueyors, know our owne estate,
555How able such a Worke to vndergo,
To weigh against his Opposite? Or else,
We fortifie in Paper, and in Figures,
Vsing the Names of men, instead of men:
Like one, that drawes the Modell of a house
560Beyond his power to builde it; who (halfe through)
Giues o're, and leaues his part-created Cost
A naked subiect to the Weeping Clouds,
And waste, for churlish Winters tyranny.
Hast. Grant that our hopes (yet likely of faire byrth)
565Should be still-borne: and that we now possest
The vtmost man of expectation:
I thinke we are a Body strong enough
(Euen as we are) to equall with the King.
L. Bar. What is the King but fiue & twenty thousand?
570Hast. To vs no more: nay not so much Lord Bardolf.
For his diuisions (as the Times do braul)
Are in three Heads: one Power against the French,
And one against Glendower: Perforce a third
Must take vp vs: So is the vnfirme King
575In three diuided: and his Coffers sound
With hollow Pouerty, and Emptinesse.
Ar. That he should draw his seuerall strengths togither
And come against vs in full puissance
Need not be dreaded.
580Hast. If he should do so,
He leaues his backe vnarm'd, the French, and Welch
Baying him at the heeles: neuer feare that.
L. Bar. Who is it like should lead his Forces hither?
Hast. The Duke of Lancaster, and Westmerland:
585Against the Welsh himselfe, and Harrie Monmouth.
But who is substituted 'gainst the French,
I haue no certaine notice.
Arch. Let vs on:
And publish the occasion of our Armes.
590The Common-wealth is sicke of their owne Choice,
Their ouer-greedy loue hath surfetted:
An habitation giddy, and vnsure
Hath he that buildeth on the vulgar heart.
O thou fond Many, with what loud applause
595Did'st thou beate heauen with blessing Bullingbrooke,
Before he was, what thou would'st haue him be?
And being now trimm'd in thine owne desires,
Thou (beastly Feeder) art so full of him,
That thou prouok'st thy selfe to cast him vp.
600So, so, (thou common Dogge) did'st thou disgorge
Thy glutton-bosome of the Royall Richard,
And now thou would'st eate thy dead vomit vp,
And howl'st to finde it. What trust is in these Times?
They, that when Richard liu'd, would haue him dye,
605Are now become enamour'd on his graue.
Thou that threw'st dust vpon his goodly head
When through proud London he came sighing on,
After th'admired heeles of Bullingbrooke,
Cri'st now, O Earth, yeeld vs that King agine,
The second Part of King Henry the Fourth. 79
610And take thou this (O thoughts of men accurs'd)
"Past, and to Come, seemes best; things Present, worst.
Mow. Shall we go draw our numbers, and set on?
Hast. We are Times subiects, and Time bids, be gon.