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The First Part of Henry IV:
Act 2, Scene 3


  *        Enter HOTSPUR, solus, reading a letter.

      HOTSPUR
  1   'But for mine own part, my lord, I could be
  2   well contented to be there, in respect of the love I bear
  3   your house.' He could be contented: why is he not,
  4   then? In respect of the love he bears our house:
  5   he shows in this, he loves his own barn better than
  6   he loves our house. Let me see some more. 'The
  7   purpose you undertake is dangerous;'—why, that's
  8   certain: 'tis dangerous to take a cold, to sleep, to
  9   drink; but I tell you, my lord fool, out of this nettle,
 10   danger, we pluck this flower, safety. 'The
 11   purpose you undertake is dangerous; the friends you have
 12   named uncertain; the time itself unsorted; and your
 13   whole plot too light for the counterpoise of so great an
 14   opposition.' Say you so, say you so? I say unto you
 15   again, you are a shallow cowardly hind, and
 16   you lie. What a lack-brain is this! By the Lord, our
 17   plot is a good plot as ever was laid; our friends true
 18   and constant: a good plot, good friends, and full of
 19   expectation; an excellent plot, very good friends.
 20   What a frosty-spirited rogue is this! Why, my
 21   lord of York commends the plot and the general
 22   course of action. 'Zounds, an I were now by this
 23   rascal, I could brain him with his lady's fan. Is there
 24   not my father, my uncle and myself? lord Edmund
 25   Mortimer, My lord of York and Owen Glendower?
 26   is there not besides the Douglas? have I not
 27   all their letters to meet me in arms by the ninth of the
 28   next month? and are they not some of them set forward
 29   already? What a pagan rascal is this! an infidel! Ha!
 30   you shall see now in very sincerity of fear and cold
 31   heart, will he to the king and lay open all our proceedings.
 32   O, I could divide myself and go to buffets, for
 33   moving such a dish of skim milk with so honorable an
 34   action! Hang him! let him tell the king: we are
 35   prepared. I will set forward Tonight.

           Enter his LADY.

 36   How now, Kate! I must leave you within these two hours.

      LADY PERCY
 37   O, my good lord, why are you thus alone?
 38   For what offence have I this fortnight been
 39   A banish'd woman from my Harry's bed?
 40   Tell me, sweet lord, what is't that takes from thee
 41   Thy stomach, pleasure and thy golden sleep?
 42   Why dost thou bend thine eyes upon the earth,
 43   And start so often when thou sit'st alone?
 44   Why hast thou lost the fresh blood in thy cheeks;
 45   And given my treasures and my rights of thee
 46   To thick-eyed musing and cursed melancholy?
 47   In thy faint slumbers I by thee have watch'd,
 48   And heard thee murmur tales of iron wars;
 49   Speak terms of manage to thy bounding steed;
 50   Cry 'Courage! to the field!' And thou hast talk'd
 51   Of sallies and retires, of trenches, tents,
 52   Of palisadoes, frontiers, parapets,
 53   Of basilisks, of cannon, culverin,
 54   Of prisoners' ransom and of soldiers slain,
 55   And all the currents of a heady fight.
 56   Thy spirit within thee hath been so at war
 57   And thus hath so bestirr'd thee in thy sleep,
 58   That beads of sweat have stood upon thy brow
 59   Like bubbles in a late-disturbed stream;
 60   And in thy face strange motions have appear'd,
 61   Such as we see when men restrain their breath
 62   On some great sudden hest. O, what portents are these?
 63   Some heavy business hath my lord in hand,
 64   And I must know it, else he loves me not.

      HOTSPUR
 65   What, ho!

           [Enter SERVANT.]

 65               Is Gilliams with the packet gone?

      Servant
 66   He is, my lord, an hour ago.

      HOTSPUR
 67   Hath Butler brought those horses from the sheriff?

      Servant
 68   One horse, my lord, he brought even now.

      HOTSPUR
 69   What horse? a roan, a crop-ear, is it not?

      Servant
 70   It is, my lord.

      HOTSPUR
 70                       That roan shall by my throne.
 71   Well, I will back him straight: O esperance!
 72   Bid Butler lead him forth into the park.

           [Exit Servant.]

      LADY PERCY
 73   But hear you, my lord.

      HOTSPUR
 74   What say'st thou, my lady?

      LADY PERCY
 75   What is it carries you away?

      HOTSPUR
 76   Why, my horse, my love, my horse.

      LADY PERCY
 77   Out, you mad-headed ape!
 78   A weasel hath not such a deal of spleen
 79   As you are toss'd with. In faith,
 80   I'll know your business, Harry, that I will.
 81   I fear my brother Mortimer doth stir
 82   About his title, and hath sent for you
 83   To line his enterprise: but if you go,—

      HOTSPUR
 84   So far afoot, I shall be weary, love.

      LADY PERCY
 85   Come, come, you paraquito, answer me
 86   Directly unto this question that I ask:
 87   In faith, I'll break thy little finger, Harry,
 88   An if thou wilt not tell me all things true.

      HOTSPUR
 89   Away,
 90   Away, you trifler! Love! I love thee not,
 91   I care not for thee, Kate: this is no world
 92   To play with mammets and to tilt with lips:
 93   We must have bloody noses and crack'd crowns,
 94   And pass them current too. God's me, my horse!
 95   What say'st thou, Kate? what would'st thou have with me?

      LADY PERCY
 96   Do you not love me? do you not, indeed?
 97   Well, do not then; for since you love me not,
 98   I will not love myself. Do you not love me?
 99   Nay, tell me if you speak in jest or no.

      HOTSPUR
100   Come, wilt thou see me ride?
101   And when I am a' horseback, I will swear
102   I love thee infinitely. But hark you, Kate;
103   I must not have you henceforth question me
104   Whither I go, nor reason whereabout:
105   Whither I must, I must; and, to conclude,
106   This evening must I leave you, gentle Kate.
107   I know you wise, but yet no farther wise
108   Than Harry Percy's wife: constant you are,
109   But yet a woman: and for secrecy,
110   No lady closer; for I well believe
111   Thou wilt not utter what thou dost not know;
112   And so far will I trust thee, gentle Kate.

      LADY PERCY
113   How! so far?

      HOTSPUR
114   Not an inch further. But hark you, Kate:
115   Whither I go, thither shall you go too;
116   To-day will I set forth, tomorrow you.
117   Will this content you, Kate?

      LADY PERCY
117                                               It must of force.

           Exeunt.

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