Plays  +  Sonnets  +  Poems  +  Concordance  +  Advanced Search  +  About OSS

History of Henry IV, Part I

print/save print/save view


Act IV, Scene 3

The rebel camp near Shrewsbury.



  • Earl of Douglas. You do not counsel well:
    You speak it out of fear and cold heart.
  • Vernon. Do me no slander, Douglas: by my life,
    And I dare well maintain it with my life,
    If well-respected honour bid me on, 2465
    I hold as little counsel with weak fear
    As you, my lord, or any Scot that this day lives:
    Let it be seen to-morrow in the battle
    Which of us fears.
  • Vernon. Come, come it nay not be. I wonder much,
    Being men of such great leading as you are,
    That you foresee not what impediments 2475
    Drag back our expedition: certain horse
    Of my cousin Vernon's are not yet come up:
    Your uncle Worcester's horse came but today;
    And now their pride and mettle is asleep,
    Their courage with hard labour tame and dull, 2480
    That not a horse is half the half of himself.
  • Hotspur (Henry Percy). So are the horses of the enemy
    In general, journey-bated and brought low:
    The better part of ours are full of rest.
  • Earl of Worcester. The number of the king exceedeth ours: 2485
    For God's sake. cousin, stay till all come in.

[The trumpet sounds a parley]


  • Blunt. I come with gracious offers from the king,
    if you vouchsafe me hearing and respect. 2490
  • Hotspur (Henry Percy). Welcome, Sir Walter Blunt; and would to God
    You were of our determination!
    Some of us love you well; and even those some
    Envy your great deservings and good name,
    Because you are not of our quality, 2495
    But stand against us like an enemy.
  • Blunt. And God defend but still I should stand so,
    So long as out of limit and true rule
    You stand against anointed majesty.
    But to my charge. The king hath sent to know 2500
    The nature of your griefs, and whereupon
    You conjure from the breast of civil peace
    Such bold hostility, teaching his duteous land
    Audacious cruelty. If that the king
    Have any way your good deserts forgot, 2505
    Which he confesseth to be manifold,
    He bids you name your griefs; and with all speed
    You shall have your desires with interest
    And pardon absolute for yourself and these
    Herein misled by your suggestion. 2510
  • Hotspur (Henry Percy). The king is kind; and well we know the king
    Knows at what time to promise, when to pay.
    My father and my uncle and myself
    Did give him that same royalty he wears;
    And when he was not six and twenty strong, 2515
    Sick in the world's regard, wretched and low,
    A poor unminded outlaw sneaking home,
    My father gave him welcome to the shore;
    And when he heard him swear and vow to God
    He came but to be Duke of Lancaster, 2520
    To sue his livery and beg his peace,
    With tears of innocency and terms of zeal,
    My father, in kind heart and pity moved,
    Swore him assistance and perform'd it too.
    Now when the lords and barons of the realm 2525
    Perceived Northumberland did lean to him,
    The more and less came in with cap and knee;
    Met him in boroughs, cities, villages,
    Attended him on bridges, stood in lanes,
    Laid gifts before him, proffer'd him their oaths, 2530
    Gave him their heirs, as pages follow'd him
    Even at the heels in golden multitudes.
    He presently, as greatness knows itself,
    Steps me a little higher than his vow
    Made to my father, while his blood was poor, 2535
    Upon the naked shore at Ravenspurgh;
    And now, forsooth, takes on him to reform
    Some certain edicts and some strait decrees
    That lie too heavy on the commonwealth,
    Cries out upon abuses, seems to weep 2540
    Over his country's wrongs; and by this face,
    This seeming brow of justice, did he win
    The hearts of all that he did angle for;
    Proceeded further; cut me off the heads
    Of all the favourites that the absent king 2545
    In deputation left behind him here,
    When he was personal in the Irish war.
  • Blunt. Tut, I came not to hear this.
  • Hotspur (Henry Percy). Then to the point.
    In short time after, he deposed the king; 2550
    Soon after that, deprived him of his life;
    And in the neck of that, task'd the whole state:
    To make that worse, suffer'd his kinsman March,
    Who is, if every owner were well placed,
    Indeed his king, to be engaged in Wales, 2555
    There without ransom to lie forfeited;
    Disgraced me in my happy victories,
    Sought to entrap me by intelligence;
    Rated mine uncle from the council-board;
    In rage dismiss'd my father from the court; 2560
    Broke oath on oath, committed wrong on wrong,
    And in conclusion drove us to seek out
    This head of safety; and withal to pry
    Into his title, the which we find
    Too indirect for long continuance. 2565
  • Blunt. Shall I return this answer to the king?
  • Hotspur (Henry Percy). Not so, Sir Walter: we'll withdraw awhile.
    Go to the king; and let there be impawn'd
    Some surety for a safe return again,
    And in the morning early shall my uncle 2570
    Bring him our purposes: and so farewell.
  • Blunt. I would you would accept of grace and love.