Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Rosemary Gaby
Not Peer Reviewed

Henry IV, Part 2 (Modern)

Enter Northumberland, his wife, and the wife to Harry Percy.
I pray thee, loving wife and gentle daughter,
960Give even way unto my rough affairs,
Put not you on the visage of the times
And be like them to Percy troublesome.
Lady Northumberland
I have given over, I will speak no more.
Do what you will, your wisdom be your guide.
Alas sweet wife, my honor is at pawn,
And but my going, nothing can redeem it.
Lady Percy
O yet, for god's sake, go not to these wars,
The time was, father, that you broke your word
When you were more endeared to it than now,
970When your own Percy, when my heart's dear Harry,
Threw many a northward look, to see his father
Bring up his powers, but he did long in vain.
Who then persuaded you to stay at home?
There were two honors lost: yours, and your son's.
975For yours, the god of heaven brighten it;
For his, it stuck upon him as the sun
In the grey vault of heaven, and by his light
Did all the chivalry of England move
To do brave acts. He was indeed the glass
980Wherein the noble youth did dress themselves.
He had no legs that practiced not his gait,
And speaking thick, which nature made his blemish,
Became the accents of the valiant,
For those that could speak low and tardily
985Would turn their own perfection to abuse
To seem like him. So that in speech, in gait,
In diet, in affections of delight,
In military rules, humors of blood,
He was the mark and glass, copy and book,
990That fashioned others. And him -- O wondrous! -- him --
O miracle of men! Him, did you leave,
Second to none, unseconded by you,
To look upon the hideous god of war
In disadvantage, to abide a field
995Where nothing but the sound of Hotspur's name
Did seem defensible; so you left him.
Never, O never do his ghost the wrong
To hold your honor more precise and nice
With others than with him. Let them alone.
1000The Marshal and the Archbishop are strong.
Had my sweet Harry had but half their numbers,
Today might I, hanging on Hotspur's neck,
Have talked of Monmouth's grave.
Beshrew your heart,
1005Fair daughter, you do draw my spirits from me
With new lamenting ancient oversights,
But I must go and meet with danger there,
Or it will seek me in another place
And find me worse provided.
1010Lady Northumberland
O fly to Scotland,
Till that the nobles and the armèd commons
Have of their puissance made a little taste.
Lady Percy
If they get ground and vantage of the king,
Then join you with them like a rib of steel,
1015To make strength stronger; but for all our loves,
First let them try themselves. So did your son;
He was so suffered, so came I a widow,
And never shall have length of life enough
To rain upon remembrance with mine eyes,
1020That it may grow and sprout as high as heaven
For recordation to my noble husband.
Come, come, go in with me. 'Tis with my mind
As with the tide swelled up unto his height,
That makes a still-stand, running neither way.
1025Fain would I go to meet the Archbishop,
But many thousand reasons hold me back.
I will resolve for Scotland. There am I
Till time and vantage crave my company.