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The First Part of Henry IV:
Act 1, Scene 3


           Enter the KING, NORTHUMBERLAND,
           WORCESTER, HOTSPUR, SIR WALTER BLUNT,
           with others.

      KING HENRY IV
  1   My blood hath been too cold and temperate,
  2   Unapt to stir at these indignities,
  3   And you have found me; for accordingly
  4   You tread upon my patience: but be sure
  5   I will from henceforth rather be myself,
  6   Mighty and to be fear'd, than my condition;
  7   Which hath been smooth as oil, soft as young down,
  8   And therefore lost that title of respect
  9   Which the proud soul ne'er pays but to the proud.

      EARL OF WORCESTER
 10   Our house, my sovereign liege, little deserves
 11   The scourge of greatness to be used on it;
 12   And that same greatness too which our own hands
 13   Have holp to make so portly.

      NORTHUMBERLAND
 14   My lord.—

      KING HENRY IV
 15   Worcester, get thee gone; for I do see
 16   Danger and disobedience in thine eye:
 17   O, sir, your presence is too bold and peremptory,
 18   And majesty might never yet endure
 19   The moody frontier of a servant brow.
 20   You have good leave to leave us: when we need
 21   Your use and counsel, we shall send for you.

           Exit Worcester.

 22   You were about to speak.

      NORTHUMBERLAND
 22                                         Yea, my good lord.
 23   Those prisoners in your highness' name demanded,
 24   Which Harry Percy here at Holmedon took,
 25   Were, as he says, not with such strength denied
 26   As is delivered to your majesty:
 27   Either envy, therefore, or misprison
 28   Is guilty of this fault and not my son.

      HOTSPUR
 29   My liege, I did deny no prisoners.
 30   But I remember, when the fight was done,
 31   When I was dry with rage and extreme toil,
 32   Breathless and faint, leaning upon my sword,
 33   Came there a certain lord, neat, and trimly dress'd,
 34   Fresh as a bridegroom; and his chin new reap'd
 35   Show'd like a stubble-land at harvest-home;
 36   He was perfumed like a milliner;
 37   And 'twixt his finger and his thumb he held
 38   A pouncet-box, which ever and anon
 39   He gave his nose and took't away again;
 40   Who therewith angry, when it next came there,
 41   Took it in snuff; and still he smiled and talk'd,
 42   And as the soldiers bore dead bodies by,
 43   He call'd them untaught knaves, unmannerly,
 44   To bring a slovenly unhandsome corse
 45   Betwixt the wind and his nobility.
 46   With many holiday and lady terms
 47   He question'd me; amongst the rest, demanded
 48   My prisoners in your majesty's behalf.
 49   I then, all smarting with my wounds being cold,
 50   To be so pester'd with a popinjay,
 51   Out of my grief and my impatience,
 52   Answer'd neglectingly I know not what,
 53   He should or he should not; for he made me mad
 54   To see him shine so brisk and smell so sweet
 55   And talk so like a waiting-gentlewoman
 56   Of guns and drums and wounds,—God save the mark!—
 57   And telling me the sovereignest thing on earth
 58   Was parmaceti for an inward bruise;
 59   And that it was great pity, so it was,
 60   This villanous salt-petre should be digg'd
 61   Out of the bowels of the harmless earth,
 62   Which many a good tall fellow had destroy'd
 63   So cowardly; and but for these vile guns,
 64   He would himself have been a soldier.
 65   This bald unjointed chat of his, my lord,
 66   I answer'd indirectly, as I said;
 67   And I beseech you, let not his report
 68   Come current for an accusation
 69   Betwixt my love and your high majesty.

      SIR WALTER BLUNT
 70   The circumstance consider'd, good my lord,
 71   Whate'er Lord Harry Percy then had said
 72   To such a person and in such a place,
 73   At such a time, with all the rest retold,
 74   May reasonably die and never rise
 75   To do him wrong or any way impeach
 76   What then he said, so he unsay it now.

      KING HENRY IV
 77   Why, yet he doth deny his prisoners,
 78   But with proviso and exception,
 79   That we at our own charge shall ransom straight
 80   His brother-in-law, the foolish Mortimer;
 81   Who, on my soul, hath wilfully betray'd
 82   The lives of those that he did lead to fight
 83   Against that great magician, damn'd Glendower,
 84   Whose daughter, as we hear, the Earl of March
 85   Hath lately married. Shall our coffers, then,
 86   Be emptied to redeem a traitor home?
 87   Shall we but treason? and indent with fears,
 88   When they have lost and forfeited themselves?
 89   No, on the barren mountains let him starve;
 90   For I shall never hold that man my friend
 91   Whose tongue shall ask me for one penny cost
 92   To ransom home revolted Mortimer.

      HOTSPUR
 93   Revolted Mortimer!
 94   He never did fall off, my sovereign liege,
 95   But by the chance of war; to prove that true
 96   Needs no more but one tongue for all those wounds,
 97   Those mouthed wounds, which valiantly he took
 98   When on the gentle Severn's sedgy bank,
 99   In single opposition, hand to hand,
100   He did confound the best part of an hour
101   In changing hardiment with great Glendower:
102   Three times they breath'd and three times did they drink,
103   Upon agreement, of swift Severn's flood;
104   Who then, affrighted with their bloody looks,
105   Ran fearfully among the trembling reeds,
106   And hid his crisp head in the hollow bank,
107   Bloodstained with these valiant combatants.
108   Never did base and rotten policy
109   Colour her working with such deadly wounds;
110   Nor could the noble Mortimer
111   Receive so many, and all willingly:
112   Then let not him be slander'd with revolt.

      KING HENRY IV
113   Thou dost belie him, Percy, thou dost belie him;
114   He never did encounter with Glendower:
115   I tell thee,
116   He durst as well have met the devil alone
117   As Owen Glendower for an enemy.
118   Art thou not ashamed? But, sirrah, henceforth
119   Let me not hear you speak of Mortimer:
120   Send me your prisoners with the speediest means,
121   Or you shall hear in such a kind from me
122   As will displease you. My Lord Northumberland,
123   We licence your departure with your son.
124   Send us your prisoners, or you will hear of it.

           Exit King [with Blunt and Train].

      HOTSPUR
125   An if the devil come and roar for them,
126   I will not send them: I will after straight
127   And tell him so; for I will ease my heart,
128   Albeit I make a hazard of my head.

      NORTHUMBERLAND
129   What, drunk with choler? stay and pause awhile:
130   Here comes your uncle.

           Enter WORCESTER.

      HOTSPUR
130                                       Speak of Mortimer!
131   'Zounds, I will speak of him; and let my soul
132   Want mercy, if I do not join with him:
133   Yea, on his part I'll empty all these veins,
134   And shed my dear blood drop by drop in the dust,
135   But I will lift the down-trod Mortimer
136   As high in the air as this unthankful king,
137   As this ingrate and canker'd Bolingbroke.

      NORTHUMBERLAND
138   Brother, the king hath made your nephew mad.

      EARL OF WORCESTER
139   Who struck this heat up after I was gone?

      HOTSPUR
140   He will, forsooth, have all my prisoners;
141   And when I urged the ransom once again
142   Of my wife's brother, then his cheek look'd pale,
143   And on my face he turn'd an eye of death,
144   Trembling even at the name of Mortimer.

      EARL OF WORCESTER
145   I cannot blame him: was not he proclaim'd
146   By Richard that dead is the next of blood?

      NORTHUMBERLAND
147   He was; I heard the proclamation:
148   And then it was when the unhappy king,
149   —Whose wrongs in us God pardon!—did set forth
150   Upon his Irish expedition;
151   From whence he intercepted did return
152   To be deposed and shortly murdered.

      EARL OF WORCESTER
153   And for whose death we in the world's wide mouth
154   Live scandalized and foully spoken of.

      HOTSPUR
155   But soft, I pray you; did King Richard then
156   Proclaim my brother Edmund Mortimer
157   Heir to the crown?

      NORTHUMBERLAND
157                                 He did; myself did hear it.

      HOTSPUR
158   Nay, then I cannot blame his cousin king,
159   That wished him on the barren mountains starve.
160   But shall it be that you, that set the crown
161   Upon the head of this forgetful man
162   And for his sake wear the detested blot
163   Of murderous subornation, shall it be,
164   That you a world of curses undergo,
165   Being the agents, or base second means,
166   The cords, the ladder, or the hangman rather?
167   O, pardon me that I descend so low,
168   To show the line and the predicament
169   Wherein you range under this subtle king;
170   Shall it for shame be spoken in these days,
171   Or fill up chronicles in time to come,
172   That men of your nobility and power
173   Did gage them both in an unjust behalf,
174   As both of you—God pardon it!—have done,
175   To put down Richard, that sweet lovely rose,
176   And plant this thorn, this canker, Bolingbroke?
177   And shall it in more shame be further spoken,
178   That you are fool'd, discarded and shook off
179   By him for whom these shames ye underwent?
180   No; yet time serves wherein you may redeem
181   Your banish'd honours and restore yourselves
182   Into the good thoughts of the world again,
183   Revenge the jeering and disdain'd contempt
184   Of this proud king, who studies day and night
185   To answer all the debt he owes to you
186   Even with the bloody payment of your deaths:
187   Therefore, I say—

      EARL OF WORCESTER
187                           Peace, cousin, say no more:
188   And now I will unclasp a secret book,
189   And to your quick-conceiving discontents
190   I'll read you matter deep and dangerous,
191   As full of peril and adventurous spirit
192   As to o'er-walk a current roaring loud
193   On the unsteadfast footing of a spear.

      HOTSPUR
194   If he fall in, good night! or sink or swim:
195   Send danger from the east unto the west,
196   So honor cross it from the north to south,
197   And let them grapple: O, the blood more stirs
198   To rouse a lion than to start a hare!

      NORTHUMBERLAND
199   Imagination of some great exploit
200   Drives him beyond the bounds of patience.

      HOTSPUR
201   By heaven, methinks it were an easy leap,
202   To pluck bright honour from the pale-faced moon,
203   Or dive into the bottom of the deep,
204   Where fathom-line could never touch the ground,
205   And pluck up drowned honour by the locks;
206   So he that doth redeem her thence might wear
207   Without corrival, all her dignities:
208   But out upon this half-fac'd fellowship!

      EARL OF WORCESTER
209   He apprehends a world of figures here,
210   But not the form of what he should attend.
211   Good cousin, give me audience for a while.

      HOTSPUR
212   I cry you mercy.

      EARL OF WORCESTER
212                           Those same noble Scots
213   That are your prisoners,—

      HOTSPUR
213                                           I'll keep them all;
214   By God, he shall not have a Scot of them;
215   No, if a Scot would save his soul, he shall not:
216   I'll keep them, by this hand.

      EARL OF WORCESTER
216                                             You start away
217   And lend no ear unto my purposes.
218   Those prisoners you shall keep.

      HOTSPUR
218                                                       Nay, I will; that's flat:
219   He said he would not ransom Mortimer;
220   Forbad my tongue to speak of Mortimer;
221   But I will find him when he lies asleep,
222   And in his ear I'll holla 'Mortimer!'
223   Nay,
224   I'll have a starling shall be taught to speak
225   Nothing but 'Mortimer,' and give it him
226   To keep his anger still in motion.

      EARL OF WORCESTER
227   Hear you, cousin; a word.

      HOTSPUR
228   All studies here I solemnly defy,
229   Save how to gall and pinch this Bolingbroke:
230   And that same sword-and-buckler Prince of Wales,
231   But that I think his father loves him not
232   And would be glad he met with some mischance,
233   I would have him poison'd with a pot of ale.

      EARL OF WORCESTER
234   Farewell, kinsman: I'll talk to you
235   When you are better temper'd to attend.

      NORTHUMBERLAND
236   Why, what a wasp-stung and impatient fool
237   Art thou to break into this woman's mood,
238   Tying thine ear to no tongue but thine own!

      HOTSPUR
239   Why, look you, I am whipp'd and scourged with rods,
240   Nettled and stung with pismires, when I hear
241   Of this vile politician, Bolingbroke.
242   In Richard's time,—what do you call the place?—
243   A plague upon it, it is in Gloucestershire;
244   'Twas where the madcap duke his uncle kept,
245   His uncle York; where I first bow'd my knee
246   Unto this king of smiles, this Bolingbroke,—
247   'Sblood!—
248   When you and he came back from Ravenspurgh.

      NORTHUMBERLAND
249   At Berkley castle.

      HOTSPUR
250   You say true:
251   Why, what a candy deal of courtesy
252   This fawning greyhound then did proffer me!
253   Look, 'when his infant fortune came to age,'
254   And 'gentle Harry Percy,' and 'kind cousin;'
255   O, the devil take such cozeners! God forgive me!
256   Good uncle, tell your tale; I have done.

      EARL OF WORCESTER
257   Nay, if you have not, to it again;
258   We will stay your leisure.

      HOTSPUR
258                                             I have done, i' faith.

      EARL OF WORCESTER
259   Then once more to your Scottish prisoners.
260   Deliver them up without their ransom straight,
261   And make the Douglas' son your only mean
262   For powers in Scotland; which, for divers reasons
263   Which I shall send you written, be assured,
264   Will easily be granted.

           [To Northumberland.]

264                                         you, my lord,
265   Your son in Scotland being thus employ'd,
266   Shall secretly into the bosom creep
267   Of that same noble prelate, well beloved,
268   The archbishop.

      HOTSPUR
269   Of York, is it not?

      EARL OF WORCESTER
270   True; who bears hard
271   His brother's death at Bristow, the Lord Scroop.
272   I speak not this in estimation,
273   As what I think might be, but what I know
274   Is ruminated, plotted and set down,
275   And only stays but to behold the face
276   Of that occasion that shall bring it on.

      HOTSPUR
277   I smell it: upon my life, it will do well.

      NORTHUMBERLAND
278   Before the game is afoot, thou still let'st slip.

      HOTSPUR
279   Why, it cannot choose but be a noble plot;
280   And then the power of Scotland and of York,
281   To join with Mortimer, ha?

      EARL OF WORCESTER
281                                         And so they shall.

      HOTSPUR
282   In faith, it is exceedingly well aim'd.

      EARL OF WORCESTER
283   And 'tis no little reason bids us speed,
284   To save our heads by raising of a head;
285   For, bear ourselves as even as we can,
286   The king will always think him in our debt,
287   And think we think ourselves unsatisfied,
288   Till he hath found a time to pay us home:
289   And see already how he doth begin
290   To make us strangers to his looks of love.

      HOTSPUR
291   He does, he does: we'll be revenged on him.

      EARL OF WORCESTER
292   Cousin, farewell: no further go in this
293   Than I by letters shall direct your course.
294   When time is ripe, which will be suddenly,
295   I'll steal to Glendower and Lord Mortimer;
296   Where you and Douglas and our powers at once,
297   As I will fashion it, shall happily meet,
298   To bear our fortunes in our own strong arms,
299   Which now we hold at much uncertainty.

      NORTHUMBERLAND
300   Farewell, good brother: we shall thrive, I trust.

      HOTSPUR
301   Uncle, Adieu: O, let the hours be short
302   Till fields and blows and groans applaud our sport!

           Exeunt.

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