KING HENRY IV
O God! that one might read the book of fate,
And see the revolution of the times
Make mountains level,
and the continent,
Weary of solid firmness, melt itself
Into the sea! and, other times, to see
girdle of the ocean
Too wide for Neptune's hips; how chances mock,
And changes fill the cup of alteration
divers liquors! O, if this were seen,
The happiest youth, viewing his progress through,
What perils past,
what crosses to ensue,
Would shut the book, and sit him down and die.
'Tis not 'ten years gone
Richard and Northumberland, great friends,
Did feast together, and in two years after
Were they at wars: it
is but eight years since
This Percy was the man nearest my soul,
Who like a brother toil'd in my affairs
laid his love and life under my foot,
Yea, for my sake, even to the eyes of Richard
Gave him defiance. But
which of you was by
You, cousin Nevil, as I may remember
When Richard, with his eye brimful of tears,
Then cheque'd and rated by Northumberland,
these words, now proved a prophecy?
'Northumberland, thou ladder by the which
My cousin Bolingbroke
ascends my throne;'
Though then, God knows, I had no such intent,
But that necessity so bow'd the state
I and greatness were compell'd to kiss:
'The time shall come,' thus did he follow it,
'The time will come,
that foul sin, gathering head,
Shall break into corruption:' so went on,
Foretelling this same time's condition
the division of our amity.
There is a history in all men's lives,
Figuring the nature of the times deceased;
The which observed, a
man may prophesy,
With a near aim, of the main chance of things
As yet not come to life, which in their
And weak beginnings lie intreasured.
Such things become the hatch and brood of time;
And by the
necessary form of this
King Richard might create a perfect guess
That great Northumberland, then false
Would of that seed grow to a greater falseness;
Which should not find a ground to root upon,
KING HENRY IV
Are these things then necessities?
Then let us meet them like necessities:
And that same word even now
cries out on us:
They say the bishop and Northumberland
Are fifty thousand strong.
It cannot be, my lord;
Rumour doth double, like the voice and echo,
The numbers of the fear'd. Please it
To go to bed. Upon my soul, my lord,
The powers that you already have sent forth
this prize in very easily.
To comfort you the more, I have received
A certain instance that Glendower is
Your majesty hath been this fortnight ill,
And these unseason'd hours perforce must add
KING HENRY IV
I will take your counsel:
And were these inward wars once out of hand,
We would, dear lords, unto the
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