King Henry IV, Part 1 By William Shakespeare Act IV: Scene 3

ACT IV. Scene III. The Rebel Camp near Shrewsbury.

[Enter Hotspur, Worcester, Douglas, and Vernon.]

HOT.
We'll fight with him to-night.

WOR.
It may not be.

DOUG.
You give him, then, advantage.

VER.
Not a whit.

HOT.
Why say you so? looks he not for supply?

VER.
So do we.

HOT.
His is certain, ours is doubtful.

WOR.
Good cousin, be advised; stir not to-night.

VER.
Do not, my lord.

DOUG.
You do not counsel well:
You speak it out of fear and cold heart.

VER.
Do me no slander, Douglas: by my life, —
And I dare well maintain it with my life, —
If well-respected honour bid me on,
I hold as little counsel with weak fear
As you, my lord, or any Scot that this day lives:
Let it be seen to-morrow in the battle
Which of us fears.

DOUG.
Yea, or to-night.

VER.
Content.

HOT.
To-night, say I.

VER.
Come, come, it may not be. I wonder much,
Being men of such great leading as you are,
That you foresee not what impediments
Drag back our expedition: certain Horse
Of my cousin Vernon's are not yet come up:
Your uncle Worcester's Horse came but to-day;
And now their pride and mettle is asleep,
Their courage with hard labour tame and dull,
That not a horse is half the half himself.

HOT.
So are the horses of the enemy
In general, journey-bated and brought low:
The better part of ours are full of rest.

WOR.
The number of the King exceedeth ours.
For God's sake, cousin, stay till all come in.

[The Trumpet sounds a parley.]

[Enter Sir Walter Blunt.]

BLUNT.
I come with gracious offers from the King,
If you vouchsafe me hearing and respect.

HOT.
Welcome, Sir Walter Blunt; and would to God
You were of our determination!
Some of us love you well; and even those some
Envy your great deservings and good name,
Because you are not of our quality,
But stand against us like an enemy.

BLUNT.
And God defend but still I should stand so,
So long as out of limit and true rule
You stand against anointed majesty!
But to my charge: the King hath sent to know
The nature of your griefs; and whereupon
You conjure from the breast of civil peace
Such bold hostility, teaching his duteous land
Audacious cruelty. If that the King
Have any way your good deserts forgot,
Which he confesseth to be manifold,
He bids you name your griefs; and with all speed
You shall have your desires with interest,
And pardon absolute for yourself and these
Herein misled by your suggestion.

HOT.
The King is kind; and well we know the King
Knows at what time to promise, when to pay.
My father and my uncle and myself
Did give him that same royalty he wears;
And — when he was not six-and-twenty strong,
Sick in the world's regard, wretched and low,
A poor unminded outlaw sneaking home —
My father gave him welcome to the shore:
And — when he heard him swear and vow to God,
He came but to be Duke of Lancaster,
To sue his livery and beg his peace,
With tears of innocence and terms of zeal —
My father, in kind heart and pity moved,
Swore him assistance, and performed it too.
Now, when the lords and barons of the realm
Perceived Northumberland did lean to him,
The more and less came in with cap and knee;
Met him in boroughs, cities, villages,
Attended him on bridges, stood in lanes,
Laid gifts before him, proffer'd him their oaths,
Give him their heirs as pages, follow'd him
Even at the heels in golden multitudes.
He presently — as greatness knows itself —
Steps me a little higher than his vow
Made to my father, while his blood was poor,
Upon the naked shore at Ravenspurg;
And now, forsooth, takes on him to reform
Some certain edicts and some strait decrees
That lie too heavy on the commonwealth;
Cries out upon abuses, seems to weep
Over his country's wrongs; and, by this face,
This seeming brow of justice, did he win
The hearts of all that he did angle for:
Proceeded further; cut me off the heads
Of all the favourites, that the absent King
In deputation left behind him here
When he was personal in the Irish war.

BLUNT.
Tut, I came not to hear this.

HOT.
Then to the point:
In short time after, he deposed the King;
Soon after that, deprived him of his life;
And, in the neck of that, task'd the whole State:
To make that worse, suffer'd his kinsman March
(Who is, if every owner were well placed,
Indeed his king) to be engaged in Wales,
There without ransom to lie forfeited;
Disgraced me in my happy victories,
Sought to entrap me by intelligence;
Rated my uncle from the Council-board;
In rage dismiss'd my father from the Court;
Broke oath on oath, committed wrong on wrong;
And, in conclusion, drove us to seek out
This head of safety; and withal to pry
Into his title, the which now we find
Too indirect for long continuance.

BLUNT.
Shall I return this answer to the King?

HOT.
Not so, Sir Walter: we'll withdraw awhile.
Go to the King; and let there be impawn'd
Some surety for a safe return again,
And in the morning early shall my uncle
Bring him our purposes: and so, farewell.

BLUNT.
I would you would accept of grace and love.

HOT.
And may be so we shall.

BLUNT.
Pray God you do.

[Exeunt.]

Back to Top

Take the Quiz

A little more than half the lines in Henry IV are in blank verse. The other half are in



Quiz