Page images

KING HENRY the Fourth.
HENRY, Prince of Wales,

foos to the King


Archbishop of York,

Lady PERCY, wife to Hotspur.
Lady MORTIMER, daughter to Glendower, and wife

to Mortimer. Hostess QUICKLY. Sheriff, Vintner, Chamberlain, Drawers, two Carriers,

Travellers, and Attendants.

SCENE, England.

The persons of the drama were first collected by Rowe.

[blocks in formation]

Enter King Henry, Lord John of Lancaster, Eari of Westmorland, and others.

K. Henry.
O fhaken as we are, so wan with care,
Find we a time for frighted peace to pant,
And breathe short-winded accents of new


[ocr errors]

• The transactions contained in this historical drama are comprised within the period of about ten months : for the action commences with the news brought of Hotspur having defeated the Scots under Archibald Earl Douglas at Holmedon, (or Halidown-hill), which battle was tought on Holyrood-day, (the 14th of September) 1402 ; and it clotes with the defeat and death of Hotspur at Shrewsbury; which engagement happened on Saturday the 21st of July, (the eve of St Mary Magdalen) in the year 1403. Theobald.

Shakespeare has apparently designed a regular connection of these dramatic histories from Richard II. to Henry V. King Henry, at the end of Richard II, declares his purpose to visit the Holy Land, which he re• fumes in this speech. The complaint made by King Henry, in the last act of Richard II. of the wildness of his son, prepares the reader for the frolics which are here to be recounted, and the characters which are now to be exhibited. Johnson,

To be cominenc'd in stronds afar remote.
No more the thirsty entrance of this foil
Shall damp her lips with her own children's blood;
No more iliall trenching war channel her fields,
Nor bruise her flowrets with the armed hoofs
Of hostile paces.

Those opposed eyes *,
Which, like the meteors of a troubled heav'n,
All of one nature, of one substance bred,
Did lately meet in the intestine fhock
And furious close of civil butchery,
Shall now, in mutual, well-beleeming ranks,
March all one way, and be no more oppos’d
Against acquaintance, kindred, and allies;
The edge of war, like an ill-theathed knife,
No more Shall cut his master. Therefore, friends,
As far as to the sepulchre of Christ,
Whose soldiers now, under whose blessed cross
We are impressed and engag‘d to fight,
Forthwith a power of English Niall we levy,
Whose arms were moulded in their mother's womb,
To chase these Pagans, in thote holy fields
Over whose acres walk'd those blessed feet
Which fourteen hundred years ago were naild,
For our advantage, on the bitter cross.
But this our purpose is a twelvemonth old,
And bootless 'tis to tell you we will go ;
Therefore we meet not now. Then let me hear,
Of you my gentle cousin Westmorland,
What yesternight our council did decree,
In forwarding this dear expedience t.

West. My Liege, this hafte was hot in question,
And many liniits # of the charge set down
Bur yesternight : when, all athwart, there came
A post from Wales, loaden with heavy news,
Whole worst was, ihat the noble Mortimer,
Leading the men of Herefordshire to figlit
Against il' irregular and wild Glendower,
Was by the rude bands of trat Welılıman taken;
A thousand of his people butchered,

Opp led files. Warburton.
* Expeditiou. # Limits for ejfimates.

[ocr errors]

Upon whose dead corpse there was such misuse,
Such beastly shameless transforination,
By those Welshwomen done, as may not be,
Without much shame, retold or spoken of.
K. Henry; It seems then that the tidings of this

Brake off our business for the Holy Land.

West. This, match'd with other, did, my gracious For more uneven and unwelcome news (Lord; Came from the north, and thus it did import. On Holyrood-day, the gallant Hotspur there, Young Harry Percy and brave Archibald, That ever valiant and approved Scot, At Holmedon spent a fad and bloody hour, As by discharge of their artillery, And shape of likelihood, the news was told; For he that brought it, in the very heat And pride of their contention, did take horse, Uncertain of the issue any way. K. Henry. Here is a dear and true-industrious

friend, Sir Walter Blunt, new-lighted from his horse, Stain'd with the variation of each foil Betwixt the Holmedon and this seat of ours : And he hath brought us smooth and welcome news. The Earl of Douglas is discomfited; Ten thousand bold Scots, three and twenty knights Balk'd in their own blood * did Sir Walter see On Holmedon's plains. Of prisoners Hotspur took Mordake the Earl of Fife, and eldest son To beaten Douglas, and the Earls of Athol, Of Moray, Angus, and Monteith. And is not this an honourable spoil, A gallant prize ? ha, Cousin, is it not?

West. In faith, a conquest for a prince to boast of.
K. Henry. Yea, there thou mak'st me fad and

mak’ft me sin
In envy that my Lord Northumberland
Should be the father of fo bless'd a son,
A ion who is the thenie of Honour's' tongue,

# Bath'd in their own blood. Revisal,

Amongst a grove the very streightest plant,
Who is fiveet Fortune's minion and her pride ;
Wilft I, by looking on the praise of him,
See riot and dishonour stain ile brow
Of my young Harry. O could it be prov'd
That some night-tripping Fairy had exchang’d,
In cradle-cloaths, our children where they lay,
And callid mine Percy, his Plantagenet;
Then would I have his Harry, and he mine.
But let him from my thoughts. What think you,

Of this young Percy's pride ? the prisoners,
Which he in this adventure hath surpriz'd,
To his own use he keeps, and sends me word
I shall have none but Mordake Earl of Fife,

Weft. This is his uncle's teaching, this is WorMalevolent to you in all aspects, [cefter, Which makes him plume himłelf, and bristle up The creit of youth against your dignity.

K. Henry. But I have fent for him to answer this; And for this cause a while we must neglect Our holy purpose to Jerusalem. Cousin, on Wednesday next our council we Will hold at Windior, fo inform the Lords : But come yourself with speed to us again; For more is to be said, and to be done, Than out of anger can be uttered. Weft. I will, my Liege.



II. An Apartment of the Prince'sa Enter Henry Prince of Wales, and Sir John Falstaff.

Fal. Now, Hal, what time of day is it, lad?

P. Henry. Thou art fo fat-witted with drinking old fack, and unbuttoning thee after supper, and Neeping upon benches in the afternoon, that thou half forgoiten to demand that truly, which thou would'It iruly know. What a devil halt thou to do with the time of the day? unless lours were cups of fack, and minutes capons, and clocks the tongues of

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »