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Henry IV, Part 1
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Navigate this workHenry IV, Part 1
Act 2, scene 3
Hotspur reads a letter from a nobleman who refuses to join the rebellion against King Henry. Lady Percy enters to ask Hotspur what has been troubling him so much lately, but he will not confide in her.Enter Hotspur alone, reading a letter.
⌜HOTSPUR⌝ 0865 But, for mine own part, my lord, I could be
0866 well contented to be there, in respect of the love I
0867 bear your house. He could be contented; why is he
0868 not, then? In respect of the love he bears our
0869 5 house—he shows in this he loves his own barn
0870 better than he loves our house. Let me see some
0871 more. The purpose you undertake is dangerous.
0872 Why, that’s certain. ’Tis dangerous to take a cold,
0873 to sleep, to drink; but I tell you, my Lord Fool, out
0874 10 of this nettle, danger, we pluck this flower, safety.
0875 The purpose you undertake is dangerous, the friends
0876 you have named uncertain, the time itself unsorted,
0877 and your whole plot too light for the counterpoise
0878 of so great an opposition. Say you so, say you so?
0879 15 I say unto you again, you are a shallow, cowardly
0880 hind, and you lie. What a lack-brain is this! By
p. 670881 the Lord, our plot is a good plot as ever was laid,
0882 our friends true and constant—a good plot,
0883 good friends, and full of expectation; an excellent
0884 20 plot, very good friends. What a frosty-spirited
0885 rogue is this! Why, my Lord of York commends
0886 the plot and the general course of the action.
0887 Zounds, an I were now by this rascal, I could brain
0888 him with his lady’s fan. Is there not my father, my
0889 25 uncle, and myself, Lord Edmund Mortimer, my
0890 Lord of York, and Owen Glendower? Is there not
0891 besides the Douglas? Have I not all their letters to
0892 meet me in arms by the ninth of the next month,
0893 and are they not some of them set forward already?
0894 30 What a pagan rascal is this—an infidel! Ha, you
0895 shall see now, in very sincerity of fear and cold
0896 heart, will he to the King and lay open all our
0897 proceedings. O, I could divide myself and go to
0898 buffets for moving such a dish of skim milk with so
0899 35 honorable an action! Hang him, let him tell the
0900 King. We are prepared. I will set forward tonight.
Enter his Lady.
0901 How now, Kate? I must leave you within these two
0903 O my good lord, why are you thus alone?
0904 40 For what offense have I this fortnight been
0905 A banished woman from my Harry’s bed?
0906 Tell me, sweet lord, what is ’t that takes from thee
0907 Thy stomach, pleasure, and thy golden sleep?
0908 Why dost thou bend thine eyes upon the earth
0909 45 And start so often when thou sit’st alone?
0910 Why hast thou lost the fresh blood in thy cheeks
0911 And given my treasures and my rights of thee
0912 To thick-eyed musing and curst melancholy?
0913 In thy faint slumbers I by thee have watched,
p. 690914 50 And heard thee murmur tales of iron wars,
0915 Speak terms of manage to thy bounding steed,
0916 Cry “Courage! To the field!” And thou hast talked
0917 Of sallies and retires, of trenches, tents,
0918 Of palisadoes, frontiers, parapets,
0919 55 Of basilisks, of cannon, culverin,
0920 Of prisoners’ ransom, and of soldiers slain,
0921 And all the currents of a heady fight.
0922 Thy spirit within thee hath been so at war,
0923 And thus hath so bestirred thee in thy sleep,
0924 60 That beads of sweat have stood upon thy brow
0925 Like bubbles in a late-disturbèd stream,
0926 And in thy face strange motions have appeared,
0927 Such as we see when men restrain their breath
0928 On some great sudden hest. O, what portents are
0929 65 these?
0930 Some heavy business hath my lord in hand,
0931 And I must know it, else he loves me not.
0932 What, ho!
⌜Enter a Servant.⌝
0933 Is Gilliams with the packet gone?
SERVANT 0934 70He is, my lord, an hour ago.
0935 Hath Butler brought those horses from the sheriff?
0936 One horse, my lord, he brought even now.
0937 What horse? ⌜A⌝ roan, a crop-ear, is it not?
0938 It is, my lord.
HOTSPUR 0939 75 That roan shall be my throne.
0940 Well, I will back him straight. O, Esperance!
0941 Bid Butler lead him forth into the park.
p. 71LADY PERCY 0942 But hear you, my lord.
HOTSPUR 0943 What say’st thou, my lady?
LADY PERCY 0944 80What is it carries you away?
HOTSPUR 0945 Why, my horse, my love, my horse.
LADY PERCY 0946 Out, you mad-headed ape!
0947 A weasel hath not such a deal of spleen
0948 As you are tossed with. In faith,
0949 85 I’ll know your business, Harry, that I will.
0950 I fear my brother Mortimer doth stir
0951 About his title, and hath sent for you
0952 To line his enterprise; but if you go—
0953 So far afoot, I shall be weary, love.
0954 90 Come, come, you paraquito, answer me
0955 Directly unto this question that I ask.
0956 In faith, I’ll break thy little finger, Harry,
0957 An if thou wilt not tell me all things true.
HOTSPUR 0958 Away!
0959 95 Away, you trifler. Love, I love thee not.
0960 I care not for thee, Kate. This is no world
0961 To play with mammets and to tilt with lips.
0962 We must have bloody noses and cracked crowns,
0963 And pass them current too.—Gods me, my horse!—
0964 100 What say’st thou, Kate? What wouldst thou have
0965 with me?
0966 Do you not love me? Do you not indeed?
0967 Well, do not then, for since you love me not,
0968 I will not love myself. Do you not love me?
0969 105 Nay, tell me if you speak in jest or no.
HOTSPUR 0970 Come, wilt thou see me ride?
0971 And when I am a-horseback I will swear
0972 I love thee infinitely. But hark you, Kate,
0973 I must not have you henceforth question me
0974 110 Whither I go, nor reason whereabout.
p. 730975 Whither I must, I must; and to conclude
0976 This evening must I leave you, gentle Kate.
0977 I know you wise, but yet no farther wise
0978 Than Harry Percy’s wife; constant you are,
0979 115 But yet a woman; and for secrecy
0980 No lady closer, for I well believe
0981 Thou wilt not utter what thou dost not know,
0982 And so far will I trust thee, gentle Kate.
LADY PERCY 0983 How? So far?
0984 120 Not an inch further. But hark you, Kate,
0985 Whither I go, thither shall you go too.
0986 Today will I set forth, tomorrow you.
0987 Will this content you, Kate?
LADY PERCY 0988 It must, of force.