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Henry IV, Part 1 - Act 3, scene 2
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Navigate this workHenry IV, Part 1 - Act 3, scene 2
Act 3, scene 2
Prince Hal reconciles himself with his father by swearing to fight the rebels and to defeat Hotspur.Enter the King, Prince of Wales, and others.
1835 Lords, give us leave; the Prince of Wales and I
1836 Must have some private conference, but be near at
1838 For we shall presently have need of you.
1839 5 I know not whether God will have it so
1840 For some displeasing service I have done,
1841 That, in His secret doom, out of my blood
p. 1311842 He’ll breed revengement and a scourge for me.
1843 But thou dost in thy passages of life
1844 10 Make me believe that thou art only marked
1845 For the hot vengeance and the rod of heaven
1846 To punish my mistreadings. Tell me else,
1847 Could such inordinate and low desires,
1848 Such poor, such bare, such lewd, such mean
1849 15 attempts,
1850 Such barren pleasures, rude society
1851 As thou art matched withal, and grafted to,
1852 Accompany the greatness of thy blood,
1853 And hold their level with thy princely heart?
1854 20 So please your Majesty, I would I could
1855 Quit all offenses with as clear excuse
1856 As well as I am doubtless I can purge
1857 Myself of many I am charged withal.
1858 Yet such extenuation let me beg
1859 25 As, in reproof of many tales devised,
1860 Which oft the ear of greatness needs must hear,
1861 By smiling pickthanks and base newsmongers,
1862 I may for some things true, wherein my youth
1863 Hath faulty wandered and irregular,
1864 30 Find pardon on my true submission.
1865 God pardon thee. Yet let me wonder, Harry,
1866 At thy affections, which do hold a wing
1867 Quite from the flight of all thy ancestors.
1868 Thy place in council thou hast rudely lost,
1869 35 Which by thy younger brother is supplied,
1870 And art almost an alien to the hearts
1871 Of all the court and princes of my blood.
1872 The hope and expectation of thy time
1873 Is ruined, and the soul of every man
1874 40 Prophetically do forethink thy fall.
1875 Had I so lavish of my presence been,
p. 1331876 So common-hackneyed in the eyes of men,
1877 So stale and cheap to vulgar company,
1878 Opinion, that did help me to the crown,
1879 45 Had still kept loyal to possession
1880 And left me in reputeless banishment,
1881 A fellow of no mark nor likelihood.
1882 By being seldom seen, I could not stir
1883 But like a comet I was wondered at,
1884 50 That men would tell their children “This is he.”
1885 Others would say “Where? Which is Bolingbroke?”
1886 And then I stole all courtesy from heaven,
1887 And dressed myself in such humility
1888 That I did pluck allegiance from men’s hearts,
1889 55 Loud shouts and salutations from their mouths,
1890 Even in the presence of the crownèd king.
1891 Thus did I keep my person fresh and new,
1892 My presence, like a robe pontifical,
1893 Ne’er seen but wondered at, and so my state,
1894 60 Seldom but sumptuous, showed like a feast
1895 And won by rareness such solemnity.
1896 The skipping king, he ambled up and down
1897 With shallow jesters and rash bavin wits,
1898 Soon kindled and soon burnt; carded his state,
1899 65 Mingled his royalty with cap’ring fools,
1900 Had his great name profanèd with their scorns,
1901 And gave his countenance, against his name,
1902 To laugh at gibing boys and stand the push
1903 Of every beardless vain comparative;
1904 70 Grew a companion to the common streets,
1905 Enfeoffed himself to popularity,
1906 That, being daily swallowed by men’s eyes,
1907 They surfeited with honey and began
1908 To loathe the taste of sweetness, whereof a little
1909 75 More than a little is by much too much.
1910 So, when he had occasion to be seen,
p. 1351911 He was but as the cuckoo is in June,
1912 Heard, not regarded; seen, but with such eyes
1913 As, sick and blunted with community,
1914 80 Afford no extraordinary gaze
1915 Such as is bent on sunlike majesty
1916 When it shines seldom in admiring eyes,
1917 But rather drowsed and hung their eyelids down,
1918 Slept in his face, and rendered such aspect
1919 85 As cloudy men use to their adversaries,
1920 Being with his presence glutted, gorged, and full.
1921 And in that very line, Harry, standest thou,
1922 For thou hast lost thy princely privilege
1923 With vile participation. Not an eye
1924 90 But is aweary of thy common sight,
1925 Save mine, which hath desired to see thee more,
1926 Which now doth that I would not have it do,
1927 Make blind itself with foolish tenderness.
1928 I shall hereafter, my thrice gracious lord,
1929 95 Be more myself.
KING 1930 For all the world
1931 As thou art to this hour was Richard then
1932 When I from France set foot at Ravenspurgh,
1933 And even as I was then is Percy now.
1934 100 Now, by my scepter, and my soul to boot,
1935 He hath more worthy interest to the state
1936 Than thou, the shadow of succession.
1937 For of no right, nor color like to right,
1938 He doth fill fields with harness in the realm,
1939 105 Turns head against the lion’s armèd jaws,
1940 And, being no more in debt to years than thou,
1941 Leads ancient lords and reverend bishops on
1942 To bloody battles and to bruising arms.
1943 What never-dying honor hath he got
1944 110 Against renownèd Douglas, whose high deeds,
1945 Whose hot incursions and great name in arms,
p. 1371946 Holds from all soldiers chief majority
1947 And military title capital
1948 Through all the kingdoms that acknowledge Christ.
1949 115 Thrice hath this Hotspur, Mars in swaddling
1951 This infant warrior, in his enterprises
1952 Discomfited great Douglas, ta’en him once,
1953 Enlargèd him, and made a friend of him,
1954 120 To fill the mouth of deep defiance up
1955 And shake the peace and safety of our throne.
1956 And what say you to this? Percy, Northumberland,
1957 The Archbishop’s Grace of York, Douglas,
1959 125 Capitulate against us and are up.
1960 But wherefore do I tell these news to thee?
1961 Why, Harry, do I tell thee of my foes,
1962 Which art my nearest and dearest enemy?
1963 Thou that art like enough, through vassal fear,
1964 130 Base inclination, and the start of spleen,
1965 To fight against me under Percy’s pay,
1966 To dog his heels, and curtsy at his frowns,
1967 To show how much thou art degenerate.
1968 Do not think so. You shall not find it so.
1969 135 And God forgive them that so much have swayed
1970 Your Majesty’s good thoughts away from me.
1971 I will redeem all this on Percy’s head,
1972 And, in the closing of some glorious day,
1973 Be bold to tell you that I am your son,
1974 140 When I will wear a garment all of blood
1975 And stain my favors in a bloody mask,
1976 Which, washed away, shall scour my shame with it.
1977 And that shall be the day, whene’er it lights,
1978 That this same child of honor and renown,
1979 145 This gallant Hotspur, this all-praisèd knight,
1980 And your unthought-of Harry chance to meet.
p. 1391981 For every honor sitting on his helm,
1982 Would they were multitudes, and on my head
1983 My shames redoubled! For the time will come
1984 150 That I shall make this northern youth exchange
1985 His glorious deeds for my indignities.
1986 Percy is but my factor, good my lord,
1987 To engross up glorious deeds on my behalf.
1988 And I will call him to so strict account
1989 155 That he shall render every glory up,
1990 Yea, even the slightest worship of his time,
1991 Or I will tear the reckoning from his heart.
1992 This in the name of God I promise here,
1993 The which if He be pleased I shall perform,
1994 160 I do beseech your Majesty may salve
1995 The long-grown wounds of my intemperance.
1996 If not, the end of life cancels all bands,
1997 And I will die a hundred thousand deaths
1998 Ere break the smallest parcel of this vow.
1999 165 A hundred thousand rebels die in this.
2000 Thou shalt have charge and sovereign trust herein.
2001 How now, good Blunt? Thy looks are full of speed.
2002 So hath the business that I come to speak of.
2003 Lord Mortimer of Scotland hath sent word
2004 170 That Douglas and the English rebels met
2005 The eleventh of this month at Shrewsbury.
2006 A mighty and a fearful head they are,
2007 If promises be kept on every hand,
2008 As ever offered foul play in a state.
2009 175 The Earl of Westmoreland set forth today,
2010 With him my son, Lord John of Lancaster,
2011 For this advertisement is five days old.—
p. 1412012 On Wednesday next, Harry, you shall set forward.
2013 On Thursday we ourselves will march. Our meeting
2014 180 Is Bridgenorth. And, Harry, you shall march
2015 Through Gloucestershire; by which account,
2016 Our business valuèd, some twelve days hence
2017 Our general forces at Bridgenorth shall meet.
2018 Our hands are full of business. Let’s away.
2019 185 Advantage feeds him fat while men delay.