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Home > King Henry IV Part 2 > ACT IV - SCENE I. Yorkshire. Gaultree Forest.

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ACT IV - SCENE I. Yorkshire. Gaultree Forest.
ARCHBISHOP OF YORK
1    What is this forest call'd?
HASTINGS
2    'Tis Gaultree Forest, an't shall please your grace.
ARCHBISHOP OF YORK
3    Here stand, my lords; and send discoverers forth
4    To know the numbers of our enemies.
HASTINGS
5    We have sent forth already.
ARCHBISHOP OF YORK
6    'Tis well done.
7    My friends and brethren in these great affairs,
8    I must acquaint you that I have received
9    New-dated letters from Northumberland;
10   Their cold intent, tenor and substance, thus:
11   Here doth he wish his person, with such powers
12   As might hold sortance with his quality,
13   The which he could not levy; whereupon
14   He is retired, to ripe his growing fortunes,
15   To Scotland: and concludes in hearty prayers
16   That your attempts may overlive the hazard
17   And fearful melting of their opposite.
MOWBRAY
18   Thus do the hopes we have in him touch ground
19   And dash themselves to pieces.
Enter a Messenger

HASTINGS
20   Now, what news?
Messenger
21   West of this forest, scarcely off a mile,
22   In goodly form comes on the enemy;
23   And, by the ground they hide, I judge their number
24   Upon or near the rate of thirty thousand.
MOWBRAY
25   The just proportion that we gave them out
26   Let us sway on and face them in the field.
ARCHBISHOP OF YORK
27   What well-appointed leader fronts us here?
Enter WESTMORELAND

MOWBRAY
28   I think it is my Lord of Westmoreland.
WESTMORELAND
29   Health and fair greeting from our general,
30   The prince, Lord John and Duke of Lancaster.
ARCHBISHOP OF YORK
31   Say on, my Lord of Westmoreland, in peace:
32   What doth concern your coming?
WESTMORELAND
33   Then, my lord,
34   Unto your grace do I in chief address
35   The substance of my speech. If that rebellion
36   Came like itself, in base and abject routs,
37   Led on by bloody youth, guarded with rags,
38   And countenanced by boys and beggary,
39   I say, if damn'd commotion so appear'd,
40   In his true, native and most proper shape,
41   You, reverend father, and these noble lords
42   Had not been here, to dress the ugly form
43   Of base and bloody insurrection
44   With your fair honours. You, lord archbishop,
45   Whose see is by a civil peace maintained,
46   Whose beard the silver hand of peace hath touch'd,
47   Whose learning and good letters peace hath tutor'd,
48   Whose white investments figure innocence,
49   The dove and very blessed spirit of peace,
50   Wherefore do you so ill translate ourself
51   Out of the speech of peace that bears such grace,
52   Into the harsh and boisterous tongue of war;
53   Turning your books to graves, your ink to blood,
54   Your pens to lances and your tongue divine
55   To a trumpet and a point of war?
ARCHBISHOP OF YORK
56   Wherefore do I this? so the question stands.
57   Briefly to this end: we are all diseased,
58   And with our surfeiting and wanton hours
59   Have brought ourselves into a burning fever,
60   And we must bleed for it; of which disease
61   Our late king, Richard, being infected, died.
62   But, my most noble Lord of Westmoreland,
63   I take not on me here as a physician,
64   Nor do I as an enemy to peace
65   Troop in the throngs of military men;
66   But rather show awhile like fearful war,
67   To diet rank minds sick of happiness
68   And purge the obstructions which begin to stop
69   Our very veins of life. Hear me more plainly.
70   I have in equal balance justly weigh'd
71   What wrongs our arms may do, what wrongs we suffer,
72   And find our griefs heavier than our offences.
73   We see which way the stream of time doth run,
74   And are enforced from our most quiet there
75   By the rough torrent of occasion;
76   And have the summary of all our griefs,
77   When time shall serve, to show in articles;
78   Which long ere this we offer'd to the king,
79   And might by no suit gain our audience:
80   When we are wrong'd and would unfold our griefs,
81   We are denied access unto his person
82   Even by those men that most have done us wrong.
83   The dangers of the days but newly gone,
84   Whose memory is written on the earth
85   With yet appearing blood, and the examples
86   Of every minute's instance, present now,
87   Hath put us in these ill-beseeming arms,
88   Not to break peace or any branch of it,
89   But to establish here a peace indeed,
90   Concurring both in name and quality.
WESTMORELAND
91   When ever yet was your appeal denied?
92   Wherein have you been galled by the king?
93   What peer hath been suborn'd to grate on you,
94   That you should seal this lawless bloody book
95   Of forged rebellion with a seal divine
96   And consecrate commotion's bitter edge?
ARCHBISHOP OF YORK
97   My brother general, the commonwealth,
98   To brother born an household cruelty,
99   I make my quarrel in particular.
WESTMORELAND
100  There is no need of any such redress;
101  Or if there were, it not belongs to you.
MOWBRAY
102  Why not to him in part, and to us all
103  That feel the bruises of the days before,
104  And suffer the condition of these times
105  To lay a heavy and unequal hand
106  Upon our honours?
WESTMORELAND
107  O, my good Lord Mowbray,
108  Construe the times to their necessities,
109  And you shall say indeed, it is the time,
110  And not the king, that doth you injuries.
111  Yet for your part, it not appears to me
112  Either from the king or in the present time
113  That you should have an inch of any ground
114  To build a grief on: were you not restored
115  To all the Duke of Norfolk's signories,
116  Your noble and right well remember'd father's?
MOWBRAY
117  What thing, in honour, had my father lost,
118  That need to be revived and breathed in me?
119  The king that loved him, as the state stood then,
120  Was force perforce compell'd to banish him:
121  And then that Harry Bolingbroke and he,
122  Being mounted and both roused in their seats,
123  Their neighing coursers daring of the spur,
124  Their armed staves in charge, their beavers down,
125  Their eyes of fire sparking through sights of steel
126  And the loud trumpet blowing them together,
127  Then, then, when there was nothing could have stay'd
128  My father from the breast of Bolingbroke,
129  O when the king did throw his warder down,
130  His own life hung upon the staff he threw;
131  Then threw he down himself and all their lives
132  That by indictment and by dint of sword
133  Have since miscarried under Bolingbroke.
WESTMORELAND
134  You speak, Lord Mowbray, now you know not what.
135  The Earl of Hereford was reputed then
136  In England the most valiant gentlemen:
137  Who knows on whom fortune would then have smiled?
138  But if your father had been victor there,
139  He ne'er had borne it out of Coventry:
140  For all the country in a general voice
141  Cried hate upon him; and all their prayers and love
142  Were set on Hereford, whom they doted on
143  And bless'd and graced indeed, more than the king.
144  But this is mere digression from my purpose.
145  Here come I from our princely general
146  To know your griefs; to tell you from his grace
147  That he will give you audience; and wherein
148  It shall appear that your demands are just,
149  You shall enjoy them, every thing set off
150  That might so much as think you enemies.
MOWBRAY
151  But he hath forced us to compel this offer;
152  And it proceeds from policy, not love.
WESTMORELAND
153  Mowbray, you overween to take it so;
154  This offer comes from mercy, not from fear:
155  For, lo! within a ken our army lies,
156  Upon mine honour, all too confident
157  To give admittance to a thought of fear.
158  Our battle is more full of names than yours,
159  Our men more perfect in the use of arms,
160  Our armour all as strong, our cause the best;
161  Then reason will our heart should be as good
162  Say you not then our offer is compell'd.
MOWBRAY
163  Well, by my will we shall admit no parley.
WESTMORELAND
164  That argues but the shame of your offence:
165  A rotten case abides no handling.
HASTINGS
166  Hath the Prince John a full commission,
167  In very ample virtue of his father,
168  To hear and absolutely to determine
169  Of what conditions we shall stand upon?
WESTMORELAND
170  That is intended in the general's name:
171  I muse you make so slight a question.
ARCHBISHOP OF YORK
172  Then take, my Lord of Westmoreland, this schedule,
173  For this contains our general grievances:
174  Each several article herein redress'd,
175  All members of our cause, both here and hence,
176  That are insinew'd to this action,
177  Acquitted by a true substantial form
178  And present execution of our wills
179  To us and to our purposes confined,
180  We come within our awful banks again
181  And knit our powers to the arm of peace.
WESTMORELAND
182  This will I show the general. Please you, lords,
183  In sight of both our battles we may meet;
184  And either end in peace, which God so frame!
185  Or to the place of difference call the swords
186  Which must decide it.
ARCHBISHOP OF YORK
187  My lord, we will do so.
Exit WESTMORELAND

MOWBRAY
188  There is a thing within my bosom tells me
189  That no conditions of our peace can stand.
HASTINGS
190  Fear you not that: if we can make our peace
191  Upon such large terms and so absolute
192  As our conditions shall consist upon,
193  Our peace shall stand as firm as rocky mountains.
MOWBRAY
194  Yea, but our valuation shall be such
195  That every slight and false-derived cause,
196  Yea, every idle, nice and wanton reason
197  Shall to the king taste of this action;
198  That, were our royal faiths martyrs in love,
199  We shall be winnow'd with so rough a wind
200  That even our corn shall seem as light as chaff
201  And good from bad find no partition.
ARCHBISHOP OF YORK
202  No, no, my lord. Note this; the king is weary
203  Of dainty and such picking grievances:
204  For he hath found to end one doubt by death
205  Revives two greater in the heirs of life,
206  And therefore will he wipe his tables clean
207  And keep no tell-tale to his memory
208  That may repeat and history his loss
209  To new remembrance; for full well he knows
210  He cannot so precisely weed this land
211  As his misdoubts present occasion:
212  His foes are so enrooted with his friends
213  That, plucking to unfix an enemy,
214  He doth unfasten so and shake a friend:
215  So that this land, like an offensive wife
216  That hath enraged him on to offer strokes,
217  As he is striking, holds his infant up
218  And hangs resolved correction in the arm
219  That was uprear'd to execution.
HASTINGS
220  Besides, the king hath wasted all his rods
221  On late offenders, that he now doth lack
222  The very instruments of chastisement:
223  So that his power, like to a fangless lion,
224  May offer, but not hold.
ARCHBISHOP OF YORK
225  'Tis very true:
226  And therefore be assured, my good lord marshal,
227  If we do now make our atonement well,
228  Our peace will, like a broken limb united,
229  Grow stronger for the breaking.
MOWBRAY
230  Be it so.
231  Here is return'd my Lord of Westmoreland.
Re-enter WESTMORELAND

WESTMORELAND
232  The prince is here at hand: pleaseth your lordship
233  To meet his grace just distance 'tween our armies.
MOWBRAY
234  Your grace of York, in God's name then, set forward.
ARCHBISHOP OF YORK
235  Before, and greet his grace: my lord, we come.
Exeunt

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


  • 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
  • SCENE V


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

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