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1 Lords, give us leave; the Prince of Wales and I
2 Must have some private conference; but be near at hand,
3 For we shall presently have need of you.
4 I know not whether God will have it so,
5 For some displeasing service I have done,
6 That, in his secret doom, out of my blood
7 He'll breed revengement and a scourge for me;
8 But thou dost in thy passages of life
9 Make me believe that thou art only mark'd
10 For the hot vengeance and the rod of heaven
11 To punish my mistreadings. Tell me else,
12 Could such inordinate and low desires,
13 Such poor, such bare, such lewd, such mean attempts,
14 Such barren pleasures, rude society,
15 As thou art match'd withal and grafted to,
16 Accompany the greatness of thy blood
17 And hold their level with thy princely heart?
18 So please your majesty, I would I could
19 Quit all offences with as clear excuse
20 As well as I am doubtless I can purge
21 Myself of many I am charged withal:
22 Yet such extenuation let me beg,
23 As, in reproof of many tales devised,
24 which oft the ear of greatness needs must hear,
25 By smiling pick-thanks and base newsmongers,
26 I may, for some things true, wherein my youth
27 Hath faulty wander'd and irregular,
28 Find pardon on my true submission.
29 God pardon thee! yet let me wonder, Harry,
30 At thy affections, which do hold a wing
31 Quite from the flight of all thy ancestors.
32 Thy place in council thou hast rudely lost.
33 Which by thy younger brother is supplied,
34 And art almost an alien to the hearts
35 Of all the court and princes of my blood:
36 The hope and expectation of thy time
37 Is ruin'd, and the soul of every man
38 Prophetically doth forethink thy fall.
39 Had I so lavish of my presence been,
40 So common-hackney'd in the eyes of men,
41 So stale and cheap to vulgar company,
42 Opinion, that did help me to the crown,
43 Had still kept loyal to possession
44 And left me in reputeless banishment,
45 A fellow of no mark nor likelihood.
46 By being seldom seen, I could not stir
47 But like a comet I was wonder'd at;
48 That men would tell their children 'This is he;'
49 Others would say 'Where, which is Bolingbroke?'
50 And then I stole all courtesy from heaven,
51 And dress'd myself in such humility
52 That I did pluck allegiance from men's hearts,
53 Loud shouts and salutations from their mouths,
54 Even in the presence of the crowned king.
55 Thus did I keep my person fresh and new;
56 My presence, like a robe pontifical,
57 Ne'er seen but wonder'd at: and so my state,
58 Seldom but sumptuous, showed like a feast
59 And won by rareness such solemnity.
60 The skipping king, he ambled up and down
61 With shallow jesters and rash bavin wits,
62 Soon kindled and soon burnt; carded his state,
63 Mingled his royalty with capering fools,
64 Had his great name profaned with their scorns
65 And gave his countenance, against his name,
66 To laugh at gibing boys and stand the push
67 Of every beardless vain comparative,
68 Grew a companion to the common streets,
69 Enfeoff'd himself to popularity;
70 That, being daily swallow'd by men's eyes,
71 They surfeited with honey and began
72 To loathe the taste of sweetness, whereof a little
73 More than a little is by much too much.
74 So when he had occasion to be seen,
75 He was but as the cuckoo is in June,
76 Heard, not regarded; seen, but with such eyes
77 As, sick and blunted with community,
78 Afford no extraordinary gaze,
79 Such as is bent on sun-like majesty
80 When it shines seldom in admiring eyes;
81 But rather drowzed and hung their eyelids down,
82 Slept in his face and render'd such aspect
83 As cloudy men use to their adversaries,
84 Being with his presence glutted, gorged and full.
85 And in that very line, Harry, standest thou;
86 For thou has lost thy princely privilege
87 With vile participation: not an eye
88 But is a-weary of thy common sight,
89 Save mine, which hath desired to see thee more;
90 Which now doth that I would not have it do,
91 Make blind itself with foolish tenderness.
92 I shall hereafter, my thrice gracious lord,
93 Be more myself.
93 For all the world
94 As thou art to this hour was Richard then
95 When I from France set foot at Ravenspurgh,
96 And even as I was then is Percy now.
97 Now, by my sceptre and my soul to boot,
98 He hath more worthy interest to the state
99 Than thou the shadow of succession;
100 For of no right, nor color like to right,
101 He doth fill fields with harness in the realm,
102 Turns head against the lion's armed jaws,
103 And, being no more in debt to years than thou,
104 Leads ancient lords and reverend bishops on
105 To bloody battles and to bruising arms.
106 What never-dying honour hath he got
107 Against renowned Douglas! whose high deeds,
108 Whose hot incursions and great name in arms
109 Holds from all soldiers chief majority
110 And military title capital
111 Through all the kingdoms that acknowledge Christ:
112 Thrice hath this Hotspur, Mars in swathling clothes,
113 This infant warrior, in his enterprises
114 Discomfited great Douglas, ta'en him once,
115 Enlarged him and made a friend of him,
116 To fill the mouth of deep defiance up
117 And shake the peace and safety of our throne.
118 And what say you to this? Percy, Northumberland,
119 The Archbishop's grace of York, Douglas, Mortimer,
120 Capitulate against us and are up.
121 But wherefore do I tell these news to thee?
122 Why, Harry, do I tell thee of my foes,
123 Which art my near'st and dearest enemy?
124 Thou that art like enough, through vassal fear,
125 Base inclination and the start of spleen
126 To fight against me under Percy's pay,
127 To dog his heels and curtsy at his frowns,
128 To show how much thou art degenerate.
129 Do not think so; you shall not find it so:
130 And God forgive them that so much have sway'd
131 Your majesty's good thoughts away from me!
132 I will redeem all this on Percy's head
133 And in the closing of some glorious day
134 Be bold to tell you that I am your son;
135 When I will wear a garment all of blood
136 And stain my favors in a bloody mask,
137 Which, wash'd away, shall scour my shame with it:
138 And that shall be the day, whene'er it lights,
139 That this same child of honour and renown,
140 This gallant Hotspur, this all-praised knight,
141 And your unthought-of Harry chance to meet.
142 For every honour sitting on his helm,
143 Would they were multitudes, and on my head
144 My shames redoubled! for the time will come,
145 That I shall make this northern youth exchange
146 His glorious deeds for my indignities.
147 Percy is but my factor, good my lord,
148 To engross up glorious deeds on my behalf;
149 And I will call him to so strict account,
150 That he shall render every glory up,
151 Yea, even the slightest worship of his time,
152 Or I will tear the reckoning from his heart.
153 This, in the name of God, I promise here:
154 The which if He be pleased I shall perform,
155 I do beseech your majesty may salve
156 The long-grown wounds of my intemperance:
157 If not, the end of life cancels all bands;
158 And I will die a hundred thousand deaths
159 Ere break the smallest parcel of this vow.
160 A hundred thousand rebels die in this:
161 Thou shalt have charge and sovereign trust herein.
162 How now, good Blunt? thy looks are full of speed.
163 So hath the business that I come to speak of.
164 Lord Mortimer of Scotland hath sent word
165 That Douglas and the English rebels met
166 The eleventh of this month at Shrewsbury
167 A mighty and a fearful head they are,
168 If promises be kept on every hand,
169 As ever offer'd foul play in the state.
170 The Earl of Westmoreland set forth to-day;
171 With him my son, Lord John of Lancaster;
172 For this advertisement is five days old:
173 On Wednesday next, Harry, you shall set forward;
174 On Thursday we ourselves will march: our meeting
175 Is Bridgenorth: and, Harry, you shall march
176 Through Gloucestershire; by which account,
177 Our business valued, some twelve days hence
178 Our general forces at Bridgenorth shall meet.
179 Our hands are full of business: let's away;
180 Advantage feeds him fat, while men delay.
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