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The First Part of Henry IV:
Act 5, Scene 2


           Enter WORCESTER, SIR RICHARD VERNON.

      EARL OF WORCESTER
  1   O, no, my nephew must not know, Sir Richard,
  2   The liberal and kind offer of the king.

      VERNON
  3   'Twere best he did.

      EARL OF WORCESTER
  3                               Then are we all [undone].
  4   It is not possible, it cannot be,
  5   The king should keep his word in loving us;
  6   He will suspect us still and find a time
  7   To punish this offence in other faults:
  8   Suspicion all our lives shall be stuck full of eyes;
  9   For treason is but trusted like the fox,
 10   Who, never so tame, so cherish'd and lock'd up,
 11   Will have a wild trick of his ancestors.
 12   Look how we can, or sad or merrily,
 13   Interpretation will misquote our looks,
 14   And we shall feed like oxen at a stall,
 15   The better cherish'd, still the nearer death.
 16   My nephew's trespass may be well forgot;
 17   it hath the excuse of youth and heat of blood,
 18   And an adopted name of privilege,
 19   A hair-brain'd Hotspur, govern'd by a spleen:
 20   All his offences live upon my head
 21   And on his father's; we did train him on,
 22   And, his corruption being ta'en from us,
 23   We, as the spring of all, shall pay for all.
 24   Therefore, good cousin, let not Harry know,
 25   In any case, the offer of the king.

      VERNON
 26   Deliver what you will; I'll say 'tis so.
 27   Here comes your cousin.

           Enter PERCY [HOTSPUR and DOUGLAS].

      HOTSPUR
 27                                         My uncle is return'd:
 28   Deliver up my Lord of Westmoreland.
 29   Uncle, what news?

      EARL OF WORCESTER
 30   The king will bid you battle presently.

      EARL OF DOUGLAS
 31   Defy him by the Lord of Westmoreland.

      HOTSPUR
 32   Lord Douglas, go you and tell him so.

      EARL OF DOUGLAS
 33   Marry, and shall, and very willingly.

           Exit Douglas.

      EARL OF WORCESTER
 34   There is no seeming mercy in the king.

      HOTSPUR
 35   Did you beg any? God forbid!

      EARL OF WORCESTER
 36   I told him gently of our grievances,
 37   Of his oath-breaking; which he mended thus,
 38   By now forswearing that he is forsworn:
 39   He calls us rebels, traitors; and will scourge
 40   With haughty arms this hateful name in us.

           Enter DOUGLAS.

      EARL OF DOUGLAS
 41   Arm, gentlemen; to arms! for I have thrown
 42   A brave defiance in King Henry's teeth,
 43   And Westmoreland, that was engag'd, did bear it;
 44   Which cannot choose but bring him quickly on.

      EARL OF WORCESTER
 45   The Prince of Wales stepp'd forth before the king,
 46   And, nephew, challenged you to single fight.

      HOTSPUR
 47   O, would the quarrel lay upon our heads,
 48   And that no man might draw short breath today
 49   But I and Harry Monmouth! Tell me, tell me,
 50   How show'd his tasking? seem'd it in contempt?

      VERNON
 51   No, by my soul; I never in my life
 52   Did hear a challenge urg'd more modestly,
 53   Unless a brother should a brother dare
 54   To gentle exercise and proof of arms.
 55   He gave you all the duties of a man;
 56   Trimm'd up your praises with a princely tongue,
 57   Spoke to your deservings like a chronicle,
 58   Making you ever better than his praise
 59   By still dispraising praise valued in you;
 60   And, which became him like a prince indeed,
 61   He made a blushing cital of himself;
 62   And chid his truant youth with such a grace
 63   As if he master'd there a double spirit.
 64   Of teaching and of learning instantly.
 65   There did he pause: but let me tell the world,
 66   If he outlive the envy of this day,
 67   England did never owe so sweet a hope,
 68   So much misconstrued in his wantonness.

      HOTSPUR
 69   Cousin, I think thou art enamoured
 70   On his follies: never did I hear
 71   Of any prince so wild a liberty.
 72   But be he as he will, yet once ere night
 73   I will embrace him with a soldier's arm,
 74   That he shall shrink under my courtesy.
 75   Arm, arm with speed: and, fellows, soldiers, friends,
 76   Better consider what you have to do
 77   Than I, that have not well the gift of tongue,
 78   Can lift your blood up with persuasion.

           Enter a MESSENGER.

      Messenger
 79   My lord, here are letters for you.

      HOTSPUR
 80   I cannot read them now.
 81   O gentlemen, the time of life is short!
 82   To spend that shortness basely were too long,
 83   If life did ride upon a dial's point,
 84   Still ending at the arrival of an hour.
 85   An if we live, we live to tread on kings;
 86   If die, brave death, when princes die with us!
 87   Now, for our consciences, the arms are fair,
 88   When the intent of bearing them is just.

           Enter another [MESSENGER].

      Messenger
 89   My lord, prepare; the king comes on apace.

      HOTSPUR
 90   I thank him, that he cuts me from my tale,
 91   For I profess not talking; only this—
 92   Let each man do his best: and here draw I
 93   A sword, whose temper I intend to stain
 94   With the best blood that I can meet withal
 95   In the adventure of this perilous day.
 96   Now, Esperance! Percy! and set on.
 97   Sound all the lofty instruments of war,
 98   And by that music let us all embrace;
 99   For, heaven to earth, some of us never shall
100   A second time do such a courtesy.

           Here they embrace [and exeunt].

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