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History of Henry IV, Part II

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Act IV, Scene 2

Another part of the forest


Enter, from one side, MOWBRAY, attended; afterwards, the ARCHBISHOP, HASTINGS, and others; from the other side, PRINCE JOHN of LANCASTER, WESTMORELAND, OFFICERS, and others

  • Prince John. You are well encount'red 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 show'd with you 2445
    When 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,
    Cheering a rout of rebels with your drum, 2450
    Turning the word to sword, and life to death.
    That man that sits within a monarch's heart
    And ripens in the sunshine of his favour,
    Would he abuse the countenance of the king,
    Alack, what mischiefs might he set abroach 2455
    In 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' imagin'd voice of God himself, 2460
    The very opener and intelligencer
    Between the grace, the sanctities of heaven,
    And our dull workings. O, who shall believe
    But you misuse the reverence of your place,
    Employ the countenance and grace of heav'n 2465
    As a false favourite doth his prince's name,
    In deeds dishonourable? 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 2470
    Have here up-swarm'd them.
  • Archbishop Scroop. Good my Lord of Lancaster,
    I am not here against your father's peace;
    But, as I told my Lord of Westmoreland,
    The time misord'red doth, in common sense, 2475
    Crowd 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 shov'd from the court,
    Whereon this hydra son of war is born; 2480
    Whose dangerous eyes may well be charm'd asleep
    With grant of our most just and right desires;
    And true obedience, of this madness cur'd,
    Stoop tamely to the foot of majesty.
  • Lord Mowbray. If not, we ready are to try our fortunes 2485
    To the last man.
  • Lord Hastings. 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, 2490
    And heir from heir shall hold this quarrel up
    Whiles England shall have generation.
  • Prince John. YOU are too shallow, Hastings, much to shallow,
    To sound the bottom of the after-times.
  • Earl of Westmoreland. Pleaseth your Grace to answer them directly 2495
    How far forth you do like their articles.
  • Prince John. I like them all and do allow them well;
    And swear here, by the honour of my blood,
    My father's purposes have been mistook;
    And some about him have too lavishly 2500
    Wrested his meaning and authority.
    My lord, these griefs shall be with speed redress'd;
    Upon my soul, they shall. If this may please you,
    Discharge your powers unto their several counties,
    As we will ours; and here, between the armies, 2505
    Let's drink together friendly and embrace,
    That all their eyes may bear those tokens home
    Of our restored love and amity.
  • Prince John. I give it you, and will maintain my word; 2510
    And thereupon I drink unto your Grace.
  • Lord Hastings. Go, Captain, and deliver to the army
    This news of peace. Let them have pay, and part.
    I know it will please them. Hie thee, Captain.

Exit Officer

  • Earl of Westmoreland. I pledge your Grace; and if you knew what pains
    I have bestow'd to breed this present peace,
    You would drink freely; but my love to ye
    Shall show itself more openly hereafter. 2520
  • Lord Mowbray. You wish me health in very happy season,
    For I am on the sudden something ill. 2525
  • Archbishop Scroop. Against ill chances men are ever merry;
    But heaviness foreruns the good event.
  • Earl of Westmoreland. Therefore be merry, coz; since sudden sorrow
    Serves to say thus, 'Some good thing comes to-morrow.'

[Shouts within]

  • Prince John. The word of peace is rend'red. Hark, how they
  • Archbishop Scroop. A peace is of the nature of a conquest;
    For then both parties nobly are subdu'd,
    And neither party loser.
  • Prince John. Go, my lord,
    And let our army be discharged too. 2540
    And, good my lord, so please you let our trains
    March by us, that we may peruse the men
    We should have cop'd withal.
  • Archbishop Scroop. Go, good Lord Hastings, 2545
    And, ere they be dismiss'd, let them march by.


  • Prince John. I trust, lords, we shall lie to-night together.
    [Re-enter WESTMORELAND]
    Now, cousin, wherefore stands our army still? 2550
  • Earl of Westmoreland. The leaders, having charge from you to stand,
    Will not go off until they hear you speak.


  • Lord Hastings. My lord, our army is dispers'd already. 2555
    Like youthful steers unyok'd, they take their courses
    East, west, north, south; or like a school broke up,
    Each hurries toward his home and sporting-place.
  • Earl of Westmoreland. Good tidings, my Lord Hastings; for the which
    I do arrest thee, traitor, of high treason; 2560
    And you, Lord Archbishop, and you, Lord Mowbray,
    Of capital treason I attach you both.
  • Prince John. I pawn'd thee none:
    I promis'd you redress of these same grievances
    Whereof you did complain; which, by mine honour,
    I will perform with a most Christian care.
    But for you, rebels—look to taste the due 2570
    Meet for rebellion and such acts as yours.
    Most shallowly did you these arms commence,
    Fondly brought here, and foolishly sent hence.
    Strike up our drums, pursue the scatt'red stray.
    God, and not we, hath safely fought to-day. 2575
    Some guard these traitors to the block of death,
    Treason's true bed and yielder-up of breath. Exeunt