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History of Henry IV, Part II

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Act II, Scene 3

Warkworth. Before the castle



  • Earl of Northumberland. I pray thee, loving wife, and gentle daughter, 1155
    Give 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. 1160
  • 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 endear'd to it than now; 1165
    When 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 honours lost, yours and your son's. 1170
    For 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 1175
    Wherein the noble youth did dress themselves.
    He had no legs that practis'd not his gait;
    And speaking thick, which nature made his blemish,
    Became the accents of the valiant;
    For those who could speak low and tardily 1180
    Would 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, humours of blood,
    He was the mark and glass, copy and book, 1185
    That fashion'd 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 1190
    Where 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 honour more precise and nice
    With others than with him! Let them alone. 1195
    The Marshal and the Archbishop are strong.
    Had my sweet Harry had but half their numbers,
    To-day might I, hanging on Hotspur's neck,
    Have talk'd of Monmouth's grave.
  • Earl of Northumberland. Beshrew your heart, 1200
    Fair 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. 1205
  • Lady Northumberland. O, fly to Scotland
    Till that the nobles and the armed 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, 1210
    To make strength stronger; but, for all our loves,
    First let them try themselves. So did your son;
    He was so suff'red; so came I a widow;
    And never shall have length of life enough
    To rain upon remembrance with mine eyes, 1215
    That it may grow and sprout as high as heaven,
    For recordation to my noble husband.
  • Earl of Northumberland. Come, come, go in with me. 'Tis with my mind
    As with the tide swell'd up unto his height,
    That makes a still-stand, running neither way. 1220
    Fain 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. Exeunt