Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Rosemary Gaby
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Henry IV, Part 2 (Modern)

Enter the Archbishop, Mowbray, Hastings [and others], within 1861.1the forest of Gaultree.
What is this forest called?
'Tis Gaultree forest, an't shall please your grace.
Here stand, my lords, and send discoverers forth,
To know the numbers of our enemies.
We have sent forth already.
'Tis well done.
1870My friends and brethren in these great affairs,
I must acquaint you that I have received
New dated letters from Northumberland,
Their cold intent, tenure, and substance thus:
Here doth he wish his person, with such powers,
1875As might hold sortance with his quality,
The which he could not levy; whereupon
He is retired to ripe his growing fortunes
To Scotland, and concludes in hearty prayers
That your attempts may over-live the hazard
1880And fearful meeting of their opposite.
Thus do the hopes we have in him, touch ground,
And dash themselves to pieces.
Enter messenger.
Now, what news?
West of this forest, scarcely off a mile,
In goodly form comes on the enemy;
And by the ground they hide, I judge their number
Upon, or near the rate of thirty thousand.
The just proportion that we gave them out.
1890Let us sway on and face them in the field.
Enter Westmorland.
What well-appointed leader fronts us here?
I think it is my lord of Westmorland.
Health and fair greeting from our general,
1895The prince, Lord John and Duke of Lancaster.
Say on, my lord of Westmorland, in peace.
What doth concern your coming?
Then, my lord,
Unto your grace do I in chief address
1900The substance of my speech. If that rebellion
Came like itself, in base and abject routs,
Led on by bloody youth, guarded with rage,
And countenanced by boys and beggary;
I say, if damned commotion so appeared,
1905In his true, native, and most proper shape,
You, reverend father, and these noble lords,
Had not been here to dress the ugly form
Of base and bloody insurrection
With your fair honors. You, Lord Archbishop,
1910Whose see is by a civil peace maintained,
Whose beard the silver hand of peace hath touched,
Whose learning and good letters peace hath tutored,
Whose white investments figure innocence,
The dove, and very blessed spirit of peace,
1915Wherefore do you so ill translate yourself
Out of the speech of peace, that bears such grace,
Into the harsh and boist'rous tongue of war,
Turning your books to graves, your ink to blood,
Your pens to lances, and your tongue divine
1920To a loud trumpet, and a point of war?
Wherefore do I this? So the question stands.
Briefly, to this end: we are all diseased,
And with our surfeiting and wanton hours
Have brought ourselves into a burning fever,
1925And we must bleed for it; of which disease
Our late King Richard, being infected, died.
But, my most noble Lord of Westmorland,
I take not on me here as a physician,
Nor do I, as an enemy to peace
1930Troop in the throngs of military men,
But rather show a while like fearful war
To diet rank minds sick of happiness,
And purge th'obstructions which begin to stop
Our very veins of life. Hear me more plainly.
1935I have in equal balance justly weighed
What wrongs our arms may do, what wrongs we suffer,
And find our griefs heavier than our offences.
We see which way the stream of time doth run,
And are enforced from our most quiet there
1940By the rough torrent of occasion,
And have the summary of all our griefs,
When time shall serve, to show in articles,
Which long ere this, we offered to the king,
And might by no suit gain our audience.
1945When we are wronged and would unfold our griefs,
We are denied access unto his person,
Even by those men that most have done us wrong.
The dangers of the days but newly gone,
Whose memory is written on the earth
1950With yet appearing blood, and the examples
Of every minute's instance, present now,
Hath put us in these ill-beseeming arms,
Not to break peace, or any branch of it,
But to establish here a peace indeed,
1955Concurring both in name and quality.
When ever yet was your appeal denied?
Wherein have you been gallèd by the king?
What peer hath been suborned to grate on you,
That you should seal this lawless bloody book
1960Of forged rebellion with a seal divine?
My brother general, the commonwealth,
I make my quarrel in particular.
There is no need of any such redress,
Or, if there were, it not belongs to you.
Why not to him in part, and to us all
That feel the bruises of the days before
And suffer the condition of these times
To lay a heavy and unequal hand
Upon our honors?
O my good Lord Mowbray,
1970Construe the times to their necessities,
And you shall say indeed it is the time
And not the king that doth you injuries.
Yet for your part, it not appears to me,
Either from the king or in the present time,
1975That you should have an inch of any ground
To build a grief on. Were you not restored
To all the Duke of Norfolk's signories,
Your noble and right well-remembered father's?
What thing, in honor, had my father lost
1980That need to be revived and breathed in me?
The king that loved him, as the state stood then,
Was forced, perforce compelled, to banish him;
And then that Henry Bolingbroke and he
Being mounted and both rousèd in their seats,
1985Their neighing coursers daring of the spur,
Their armèd staves in charge, their beavers down,
Their eyes of fire sparkling through sights of steel,
And the loud trumpet blowing them together,
Then, then, when there was nothing could have stayed
1990My father from the breast of Bolingbroke;
Oh, when the king did throw his warder down,
His own life hung upon the staff he threw,
Then threw he down himself and all their lives,
That by indictment and by dint of sword,
1995Have since miscarried under Bolingbroke.
You speak, Lord Mowbray, now you know not what.
The Earl of Hereford was reputed then
In England the most valiant gentleman.
Who knows on whom fortune would then have smiled?
2000But if your father had been victor there,
He ne'er had borne it out of Coventry.
For all the country in a general voice
Cried hate upon him, and all their prayers and love
Were set on Hereford, whom they doted on
2005And blessed and graced, indeed more than the king.
But this is mere digression from my purpose.
Here come I from our princely general
To know your griefs, to tell you from his grace
That he will give you audience, and wherein
2010It shall appear that your demands are just,
You shall enjoy them, everything set off
That might so much as think you enemies.
But he hath forced us to compel this offer,
And it proceeds from policy, not love.
Mowbray, you overween to take it so.
This offer comes from mercy, not from fear;
For lo, within a ken our army lies,
Upon mine honor, all too confident
To give admittance to a thought of fear.
2020Our battle is more full of names than yours,
Our men more perfect in the use of arms,
Our armor all as strong, our cause the best;
Then reason will our hearts should be as good.
Say you not then our offer is compelled.
Well, by my will we shall admit no parley.
That argues but the shame of your offence:
A rotten case abides no handling.
Hath the Prince John a full commission,
In very ample virtue of his father,
2030To hear and absolutely to determine
Of what conditions we shall stand upon?
That is intended in the general's name.
I muse you make so slight a question.
Then take, my lord of Westmorland, this schedule,
2035For this contains our general grievances.
Each several article herein redressed,
All members of our cause both here and hence
That are ensinewed to this action
Acquitted by a true substantial form
2040And present execution of our wills,
To us and our purposes confined
We come within our awe-full banks again
And knit our powers to the arm of peace.
This will I show the general. Please you, lords,
2045In sight of both our battles we may meet,
And either end in peace, which god so frame,
Or to the place of difference call the swords
Which must decide it.
My lord, we will do so.
Exit Westmorland.
There is a thing within my bosom tells me
That no conditions of our peace can stand.
Fear you not that. If we can make our peace
Upon such large terms and so absolute
As our conditions shall consist upon,
2055Our peace shall stand as firm as rocky mountains.
Yea, but our valuation shall be such
That every slight and false-derivèd cause,
Yea, every idle, nice, and wanton reason,
Shall to the king taste of this action;
2060That, were our royal faiths martyrs in love,
We shall be winnowed with so rough a wind
That even our corn shall seem as light as chaff,
And good from bad find no partition.
No, no, my lord, note this: the king is weary
2065Of dainty and such picking grievances,
For he hath found, to end one doubt by death
Revives two greater in the heirs of life;
And therefore will he wipe his tables clean
And keep no tell-tale to his memory
2070That may repeat and history his loss
To new remembrance. For full well he knows
He cannot so precisely weed this land
As his misdoubts present occasion.
His foes are so enrooted with his friends
2075That, plucking to unfix an enemy,
He doth unfasten so and shake a friend;
So that this land, like an offensive wife
That hath enraged him on to offer strokes,
As he is striking, holds his infant up,
2080And hangs resolved correction in the arm,
That was upreared to execution.
Besides, the king hath wasted all his rods
On late offenders, that he now doth lack
The very instruments of chastisement;
2085So that his power, like to a fangless lion,
May offer, but not hold.
'Tis very true;
And therefore be assured, my good Lord Marshal,
If we do now make our atonement well,
2090Our peace will, like a broken limb united,
Grow stronger for the breaking.
Be it so.
Enter Westmorland.
Here is returned my Lord of Westmorland.
The prince is here at hand. Pleaseth your lordship
To meet his grace just distance 'tween our armies?
Your grace of York, in god's name then set forward.
Before, and greet his grace. My lord, we come.
2100Enter Prince John [of Lancaster] and his army.
You are well encountered here, my cousin Mowbray;
Good day to you, gentle Lord Archbishop,
And so to you Lord Hastings, and to all.
My lord of York, it better showed with you
2105When that your flock, assembled by the bell,
Encircled you to hear with reverence
Your exposition on the holy text
Than now to see you here, an iron man talking,
Cheering a rout of rebels with your drum,
2110Turning the word to sword, and life to death.
That man that sits within a monarch's heart
And ripens in the sunshine of his favor,
Would he abuse the countenance of the king,
Alack, what mischiefs might he set abroach
2115In shadow of such greatness! With you, Lord Bishop,
It is even so. Who hath not heard it spoken
How deep you were within the books of god,
To us the speaker in his parliament,
To us th'imagined voice of god himself,
2120The very opener and intelligencer
Between the grace, the sanctities of heaven,
And our dull workings? Oh, who shall believe
But you misuse the reverence of your place,
Imply the countenance and grace of heaven,
2125As a false favorite doth his prince's name
In deeds dishonorable? You have ta'en up,
Under the counterfeited zeal of god,
The subjects of his substitute, my father,
And both against the peace of heaven and him
2130Have here upswarmed them.
Good my lord of Lancaster,
I am not here against your father's peace;
But, as I told my lord of Westmorland,
The time misordered doth in common sense
2135Crowd us and crush us to this monstrous form
To hold our safety up. I sent your grace
The parcels and particulars of our grief,
The which hath been with scorn shoved from the court,
Whereon this Hydra son of war is born,
2140Whose dangerous eyes may well be charmed asleep
With grant of our most just and right desires,
And true obedience, of this madness cured,
Stoop tamely to the foot of majesty.
If not, we ready are to try our fortunes
2145To the last man.
And though we here fall down,
We have supplies to second our attempt.
If they miscarry, theirs shall second them,
And so success of mischief shall be born,
2150And heir from heir shall hold his quarrel up
Whiles England shall have generation.
You are too shallow, Hastings, much too shallow
To sound the bottom of the after-times.
Pleaseth your grace to answer them directly,
How far forth you do like their articles.
I like them all, and do allow them well,
And swear here by the honor of my blood,
My father's purposes have been mistook,
2160And some about him have too lavishly
Wrested his meaning and authority.
My lord, these griefs shall be with speed redressed,
Upon my soul they shall. If this may please you,
Discharge your powers unto their several counties,
2165As we will ours; and here, between the armies,
Let's drink together friendly and embrace,
That all their eyes may bear those tokens home
Of our restorèd love and amity.
I take your princely word for these redresses.
I give it you, and will maintain my word,
And thereupon I drink unto your grace.
[He toasts the Archbishop.]
Go, captain, and deliver to the army
This news of peace. Let them have pay and part.
I know it will well please them. Hie thee, captain.
[Exit captain.]
To you my noble Lord of Westmorland.
[He toasts Westmorland.]
I pledge your grace; and if you knew what pains,
I have bestowed to breed this present peace,
2180You would drink freely; but my love to ye
Shall show itself more openly hereafter.
I do not doubt you.
I am glad of it.
Health to my lord and gentle cousin Mowbray!
[He toasts Mowbray.]
You wish me health in very happy season,
For I am on the sudden something ill.
Against ill chances men are ever merry,
But heaviness foreruns the good event.
Therefore be merry, coz, since sudden sorrow
2190Serves to say thus: some good thing comes tomorrow.
Believe me, I am passing light in spirit.
So much the worse, if your own rule be true.
Shout [within].
The word of peace is rendered. Hark how they shout.
This had been cheerful after victory.
A peace is of the nature of a conquest,
For then both parties nobly are subdued,
And neither party loser.
[To Westmorland] Go my lord,
2200And let our army be dischargèd too.
[Exit Westmorland.]
[To the Archbishop] And, good my lord, so please you, let our trains
March by us, that we may peruse the men
We should have coped withal.
Go, good Lord Hastings,
2205And ere they be dismissed, let them march by.
[Exit Hastings.]
I trust, lords, we shall lie tonight together.
Enter Westmorland.
Now cousin, wherefore stands our army still?
The leaders, having charge from you to stand,
2210Will not go off until they hear you speak.
They know their duties.
Enter Hastings.
My lord, our army is dispersed already.
Like youthful steers unyoked they take their courses,
East, west, north, south; or, like a school broke up,
2215Each hurries toward his home and sporting place.
Good tidings, my Lord Hastings, for the which
I do arrest thee, traitor, of high treason;
And you, Lord Archbishop, and you, Lord Mowbray,
Of capital treason I attach you both.
[The Archbishop, Hastings, and Mowbray are arrested.]
Is this proceeding just and honorable?
Is your assembly so?
Will you thus break your faith?
I pawned thee none.
I promised you redress of these same grievances
2225Whereof you did complain, which by mine honor
I will perform with a most Christian care.
But for you rebels, look to taste the due
Meet for rebellion.
Most shallowly did you these arms commence,
2230Fondly brought here, and foolishly sent hence.
Strike up our drums, pursue the scattered stray.
God, and not we, hath safely fought today.
Some guard these traitors to the block of death,
Treason's true bed, and yielder up of breath.