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Home > King Henry IV Part 1 > ACT IV - SCENE I. The rebel camp near Shrewsbury.

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ACT IV - SCENE I. The rebel camp near Shrewsbury.
Enter HOTSPUR, WORCESTER, and DOUGLAS

HOTSPUR
1    Well said, my noble Scot: if speaking truth
2    In this fine age were not thought flattery,
3    Such attribution should the Douglas have,
4    As not a soldier of this season's stamp
5    Should go so general current through the world.
6    By God, I cannot flatter; I do defy
7    The tongues of soothers; but a braver place
8    In my heart's love hath no man than yourself:
9    Nay, task me to my word; approve me, lord.
EARL OF DOUGLAS
10   Thou art the king of honour:
11   No man so potent breathes upon the ground
12   But I will beard him.
HOTSPUR
13   Do so, and 'tis well.
Enter a Messenger with letters
14   What letters hast thou there?--I can but thank you.
Messenger
15   These letters come from your father.
HOTSPUR
16   Letters from him! why comes he not himself?
Messenger
17   He cannot come, my lord; he is grievous sick.
HOTSPUR
18   'Zounds! how has he the leisure to be sick
19   In such a rustling time? Who leads his power?
20   Under whose government come they along?
Messenger
21   His letters bear his mind, not I, my lord.
EARL OF WORCESTER
22   I prithee, tell me, doth he keep his bed?
Messenger
23   He did, my lord, four days ere I set forth;
24   And at the time of my departure thence
25   He was much fear'd by his physicians.
EARL OF WORCESTER
26   I would the state of time had first been whole
27   Ere he by sickness had been visited:
28   His health was never better worth than now.
HOTSPUR
29   Sick now! droop now! this sickness doth infect
30   The very life-blood of our enterprise;
31   'Tis catching hither, even to our camp.
32   He writes me here, that inward sickness--
33   And that his friends by deputation could not
34   So soon be drawn, nor did he think it meet
35   To lay so dangerous and dear a trust
36   On any soul removed but on his own.
37   Yet doth he give us bold advertisement,
38   That with our small conjunction we should on,
39   To see how fortune is disposed to us;
40   For, as he writes, there is no quailing now.
41   Because the king is certainly possess'd
42   Of all our purposes. What say you to it?
EARL OF WORCESTER
43   Your father's sickness is a maim to us.
HOTSPUR
44   A perilous gash, a very limb lopp'd off:
45   And yet, in faith, it is not; his present want
46   Seems more than we shall find it: were it good
47   To set the exact wealth of all our states
48   All at one cast? to set so rich a main
49   On the nice hazard of one doubtful hour?
50   It were not good; for therein should we read
51   The very bottom and the soul of hope,
52   The very list, the very utmost bound
53   Of all our fortunes.
EARL OF DOUGLAS
54   'Faith, and so we should;
55   Where now remains a sweet reversion:
56   We may boldly spend upon the hope of what
57   Is to come in:
58   A comfort of retirement lives in this.
HOTSPUR
59   A rendezvous, a home to fly unto.
60   If that the devil and mischance look big
61   Upon the maidenhead of our affairs.
EARL OF WORCESTER
62   But yet I would your father had been here.
63   The quality and hair of our attempt
64   Brooks no division: it will be thought
65   By some, that know not why he is away,
66   That wisdom, loyalty and mere dislike
67   Of our proceedings kept the earl from hence:
68   And think how such an apprehension
69   May turn the tide of fearful faction
70   And breed a kind of question in our cause;
71   For well you know we of the offering side
72   Must keep aloof from strict arbitrement,
73   And stop all sight-holes, every loop from whence
74   The eye of reason may pry in upon us:
75   This absence of your father's draws a curtain,
76   That shows the ignorant a kind of fear
77   Before not dreamt of.
HOTSPUR
78   You strain too far.
79   I rather of his absence make this use:
80   It lends a lustre and more great opinion,
81   A larger dare to our great enterprise,
82   Than if the earl were here; for men must think,
83   If we without his help can make a head
84   To push against a kingdom, with his help
85   We shall o'erturn it topsy-turvy down.
86   Yet all goes well, yet all our joints are whole.
EARL OF DOUGLAS
87   As heart can think: there is not such a word
88   Spoke of in Scotland as this term of fear.
Enter SIR RICHARD VERNON

HOTSPUR
89   My cousin Vernon, welcome, by my soul.
VERNON
90   Pray God my news be worth a welcome, lord.
91   The Earl of Westmoreland, seven thousand strong,
92   Is marching hitherwards; with him Prince John.
HOTSPUR
93   No harm: what more?
VERNON
94   And further, I have learn'd,
95   The king himself in person is set forth,
96   Or hitherwards intended speedily,
97   With strong and mighty preparation.
HOTSPUR
98   He shall be welcome too. Where is his son,
99   The nimble-footed madcap Prince of Wales,
100  And his comrades, that daff'd the world aside,
101  And bid it pass?
VERNON
102  All furnish'd, all in arms;
103  All plumed like estridges that with the wind
104  Baited like eagles having lately bathed;
105  Glittering in golden coats, like images;
106  As full of spirit as the month of May,
107  And gorgeous as the sun at midsummer;
108  Wanton as youthful goats, wild as young bulls.
109  I saw young Harry, with his beaver on,
110  His cuisses on his thighs, gallantly arm'd
111  Rise from the ground like feather'd Mercury,
112  And vaulted with such ease into his seat,
113  As if an angel dropp'd down from the clouds,
114  To turn and wind a fiery Pegasus
115  And witch the world with noble horsemanship.
HOTSPUR
116  No more, no more: worse than the sun in March,
117  This praise doth nourish agues. Let them come:
118  They come like sacrifices in their trim,
119  And to the fire-eyed maid of smoky war
120  All hot and bleeding will we offer them:
121  The mailed Mars shall on his altar sit
122  Up to the ears in blood. I am on fire
123  To hear this rich reprisal is so nigh
124  And yet not ours. Come, let me taste my horse,
125  Who is to bear me like a thunderbolt
126  Against the bosom of the Prince of Wales:
127  Harry to Harry shall, hot horse to horse,
128  Meet and ne'er part till one drop down a corse.
129  O that Glendower were come!
VERNON
130  There is more news:
131  I learn'd in Worcester, as I rode along,
132  He cannot draw his power this fourteen days.
EARL OF DOUGLAS
133  That's the worst tidings that I hear of yet.
WORCESTER
134  Ay, by my faith, that bears a frosty sound.
HOTSPUR
135  What may the king's whole battle reach unto?
VERNON
136  To thirty thousand.
HOTSPUR
137  Forty let it be:
138  My father and Glendower being both away,
139  The powers of us may serve so great a day
140  Come, let us take a muster speedily:
141  Doomsday is near; die all, die merrily.
EARL OF DOUGLAS
142  Talk not of dying: I am out of fear
143  Of death or death's hand for this one-half year.
Exeunt

< (Previous) ACT III, SCENE IIACT IV, SCENE II (Next) >
Scene Index
ACT I
  • SCENE I
  • SCENE II
  • SCENE III


  • ACT II
  • SCENE I
  • SCENE II
  • SCENE III
  • SCENE IV


  • ACT III
  • SCENE I
  • SCENE II


  • ACT IV
  • SCENE I
  • SCENE II
  • SCENE III
  • SCENE IV


  • ACT V
  • SCENE I
  • SCENE II
  • SCENE III
  • SCENE IV
  • SCENE V

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