Act 1 - Scene 1
London. The palace.
Enter KING HENRY, LORD JOHN OF LANCASTER, the EARL of WESTMORELAND, SIR WALTER
BLUNT, and others
KING HENRY IV
So shaken as we are, so wan with care,
Find we a time for frighted peace to pant,
And breathe short-
winded accents of new broils
To be commenced in strands afar remote.
No more the thirsty entrance
of this soil
Shall daub her lips with her own children's blood;
Nor more shall trenching war channel her
Nor bruise her flowerets with the armed hoofs
Of hostile paces: those opposed eyes,
Which, like the
meteors of a troubled heaven,
All of one nature, of one substance bred,
Did lately meet in the intestine
And furious close of civil butchery
Shall now, in mutual well-beseeming ranks,
March all one way
and be no more opposed
Against acquaintance, kindred and allies:
The edge of war, like an ill-sheathed
No more shall cut his master. Therefore, friends,
As far as to the sepulchre of Christ,
now, under whose blessed cross
We are impressed and engaged to fight,
Forthwith a power of English
shall we levy;
Whose arms were moulded in their mothers' womb
To chase these pagans in those holy
Over whose acres walk'd those blessed feet
Which fourteen hundred years ago were nail'd
advantage on the bitter cross.
But this our purpose now is twelve month old,
And bootless 'tis to tell you
we will go:
Therefore we meet not now. Then let me hear
Of you, my gentle cousin Westmoreland,
yesternight our council did decree
In forwarding this dear expedience.
My liege, this haste was hot in question,
And many limits of the charge set down
But yesternight: when all
athwart there came
A post from Wales loaden with heavy news;
Whose worst was, that the noble Mortimer,
the men of Herefordshire to fight
Against the irregular and wild Glendower,
Was by the rude hands of
that Welshman taken,
A thousand of his people butchered;
Upon whose dead corpse there was such
Such beastly shameless transformation,
By those Welshwomen done as may not be
shame retold or spoken of.
KING HENRY IV
It seems then that the tidings of this broil
Brake off our business for the Holy Land.
This match'd with other did, my gracious lord;
For more uneven and unwelcome news
Came from the
north and thus it did import:
On Holy-rood day, the gallant Hotspur there,
Young Harry Percy and brave
That ever-valiant and approved Scot,
At Holmedon met,
Where they did spend a sad and bloody
As by discharge of their artillery,
And shape of likelihood, the news was told;
For he that brought
them, in the very heat
And pride of their contention did take horse,
Uncertain of the issue any way.
KING HENRY IV
Here is a dear, a true industrious friend,
Sir Walter Blunt, new lighted from his horse.
Stain'd with the
variation of each soil
Betwixt that Holmedon and this seat of ours;
And he hath brought us smooth and
The Earl of Douglas is discomfited:
Ten thousand bold Scots, two and twenty knights,
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 Earl of Athol,
Of Murray, Angus, and Menteith:
not this an honourable spoil?
A gallant prize? ha, cousin, is it not?
It is a conquest for a prince to boast of.
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