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King HENRY THE FOURTH.
HENRY, prince of Wales,
PRINCE JOHN OF LANCASTER,
sons to the king.
EARL OF WESTMORELAND,
SIR WALTER BLUNT,
THOMAS PERCY, earl of Worcester.
HENRY Percy, earl of Northumberland.
HENRY PERCY, surnamed Hotspur, his son.
EDMUND MORTIMER, earl of March.
Scroop, archbishop of York.
ARCHIBALD, earl of Douglas.
SIR RICHARD VERNON.
SIR John FALSTAFF.
SIR MICHAEL, a friend of the archbishop of York.
LADY PERCY, wife to Hotspur, and sister to Mortimer.
LADY MORTIMER, daughter to Glendower, and wife to More
Mrs. Quickly, hostess of a tavern in Eastcheap.
Lords, Officers, Sheriff, Vintner, Chamberlain, Drawers, Two
Carriers, Travellers, and Attendants.
London. A room in the palace. Enter KING HENRY, wesTMORELAND, SIR WALTER
BLUNT, and others. K. Hen. So shaken as we are, so wan with care, Find we a time for frighted peace to pant, And breathe short-winded accents of new broils : To be commenced in stronds ? afar remote. No more the thirsty entrance of this soil Shall daub her lips with her own children's blood; No more shall trenching war channel her fields, Nor bruise her flowrets with the armed hoofs Of hostile paces : those opposed eyes, Which, like the meteors of a troubled heaven,
1 Let us indulge in a short interval of peace, that we may recover breath to propose new wars.
Strands, banks of the sea.
All of one nature, of one substance bred,
Did lately meet in the intestine shock
And furious close of civil butchery,
Shall now, in mutual, well-beseeming ranks,
March all one way; and be no more opposed
Against acquaintance, kindred, and allies :
The edge of war, like an ill-sheathed knife,
No more shall cut his master. Therefore, friends,
As far as to the sepulchre of Christ,
(Whose soldier now, under whose blessed cross
We are impressed and engaged to fight)
Forthwith a power of English shall we levy;
Whose arms were moulded in their mothers' womb
To chase these pagans, in those holy fields,
Over whose acres walk'd those blessed feet,
Which, fourteen hundred years ago, were nail'd,
For our advantage, on the bitter cross.
But this our purpose is a twelvemonth old,
And bootless 'tis to tell you—we will go;
Therefore we meet not now. Then let me hear
you, my gentle cousin Westmoreland, What yesternight our council did decree, In forwarding this dear expedience.1
West. My liege, this haste was hot in question,
And many limits % of the charge set down
But yesternight; when, all athwart, there came
A post from Wales, loaden with heavy news ;
Whose worst was,--that the noble Mortimer,
Leading the men of Herefordshire to fight
Against the irregular and wild Glendower,
Was by the rude hands of that Welshman taken,
A thousand of his people butchered :
Upon whose dead corpse there was such misuse,
Such beastly, shameless transformation,
By those Welsh women done, as may not be,
Without much shame, retold or spoken of.
K. Hen. It seems then, that the tidings of this
broil Brake off our business for the Holy Land. West. This, match'd with other, did, my gracious
For more uneven and unwelcome news
Came from the north, and thus it did import :-
On Holyrood day, the gallant Hotspur there,
Young Harry Percy, and brave Archibald,
That ever-valiant and approved Scot,
At Holmedon met,
Where they did spend a sad and bloody hour ;
As by discharge of their artillery,
And shape of likelihood, the news was told ;
For he that brought them, in the very
And pride of their contention, did take horse,
Uncertain of the issue any way.
K. Hen. Here is a dear and true-industrious
friend, Sir Walter Blunt, new lighted from his horse, Stain'd with the variation of each soil Betwixt that Holmedon and this seat of ours; And he hath brought us smooth and welcome news.
The earl ot Douglas is discomfited;
Ten thousand bold Scots, two and twenty knights,
Balk'd 1 in their own blood, did sir Walter see
On Holmedon's plains. Of prisoners, Hotspur took
Mordake earl of Fife, and eldest son
To beaten Douglas; and the earls of Athol,
Of Murray, Angus, and Menteith.
And is not this an honorable spoil ?
A gallant prize ? ha, cousin, is it not?
West. In faith,
It is a conquest for a prince to boast of.
K. Hen. Yea, there thou makest me sad, and
makest me sin
Should be the father to so bless'd a son ;
A son, who is the theme of honor's tongue;
Amongst a grove, the very straightest plant;
Who is sweet Fortune's minion, and her pride :
Whilst I, by looking on the praise of him,
See riot and dishonor stain the brow
Of my young Harry. O, that it could be proved,
That some night-tripping fairy had exchanged
In cradle-clothes our children where they lay,
And call'd mine-Percy, his—Plantagenet !
Then would I have his Harry, and he mine.
But let him from my thoughts.—What think you,
Of this young Percy's pride ? the prisoners,