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Henry the Fourth Part 1

by William Shakespeare

Act 2, Scene 3 Easiest-to-Read Edition

 

 

 



Henry the Fourth Part 1 Act 2 Scene 3



Warkworth Castle

Enter HOTSPUR alone, reading a letter

Enter HOTSPUR alone, reading a letter

HOTSPUR

But, for mine own part, my lord, I could be well contented to be there, in respect of the love I bear your house. He could be contented; why is he not, then? In respect of the love he bears our house—he shows in this he loves his own barn better than he loves our house. Let me see some more. The purpose you undertake is dangerous. Why, that’s certain. 'Tis dangerous to take a cold, to sleep, to drink; but I tell you, my lord fool, out of this nettle, danger, we pluck this flower, safety. The purpose you undertake is dangerous, the friends you have named [of loyalty] uncertain, the time itself unsorted (unsuitable), and your whole plot too light for the counterpoise of so great an opposition. Say you so, say you so? I say unto you again, you are a shallow, cowardly hind (field hand), and you lie. What a lack-brain is this! By the Lord, our plot is a good plot as ever was laid, our friends true and constant—a good plot, good friends, and full of expectation; an excellent plot, very good friends. What a frosty-spirited rogue is this! Why, my Lord of York commends the plot and the general course of the action. Zounds, an (if) I were now by this rascal, I could brain him with his lady’s fan. Is there not my father, my uncle, and myself? Lord Edmund Mortimer, my Lord of York, and Owen Glendower? Is there not besides the Douglas? Have I not all their letters to meet me in arms by the ninth of the next month, and are they not some of them set forward already? What a pagan rascal is this—an infidel! Ha, you shall see now in very sincerity of fear and cold heart, will he [go] to the King and lay open all our proceedings. O, I could divide myself (cut myself in two) and go to buffets (fighting) for moving (proposing to) such a dish of skim milk with so honorable an action! Hang him, let him tell the King. We are prepared. I will set forward tonight.

 

HOTSPUR

But, for mine own part, my lord, I could be well contented to be there, in respect of the love I bear your house. He could be contented; why is he not, then? In respect of the love he bears our house—he shows in this he loves his own barn better than he loves our house. Let me see some more. The purpose you undertake is dangerous. Why, that’s certain. 'Tis dangerous to take a cold, to sleep, to drink; but I tell you, my lord fool, out of this nettle, danger, we pluck this flower, safety. The purpose you undertake is dangerous, the friends you have named uncertain, the time itself unsorted, and your whole plot too light for the counterpoise of so great an opposition. Say you so, say you so? I say unto you again, you are a shallow, cowardly hind, and you lie. What a lack-brain is this! By the Lord, our plot is a good plot as ever was laid, our friends true and constant—a good plot, good friends, and full of expectation; an excellent plot, very good friends. What a frosty-spirited rogue is this! Why, my Lord of York commends the plot and the general course of the action. Zounds, an I were now by this rascal, I could brain him with his lady’s fan. Is there not my father, my uncle, and myself? Lord Edmund Mortimer, my Lord of York, and Owen Glendower? Is there not besides the Douglas? Have I not all their letters to meet me in arms by the ninth of the next month, and are they not some of them set forward already? What a pagan rascal is this—an infidel! Ha, you shall see now in very sincerity of fear and cold heart, will he to the King and lay open all our proceedings. O, I could divide myself and go to buffets, for moving such a dish of skim milk with so honorable an action! Hang him, let him tell the King. We are prepared. I will set forward tonight.

 

Enter his lady, LADY PERCY

Enter his lady, LADY PERCY

How now, Kate? I must leave you within these two hours.

How now, Kate? I must leave you within these two hours.

LADY PERCY

O my good lord, why are you thus alone?

For what offense have I this fortnight been

A banished woman from my Harry’s bed?

Tell me, sweet lord, what is ’t that takes from thee

Thy stomach, pleasure, and thy golden sleep?

stomach=appetite

Why dost thou bend thine eyes upon the earth

And start so often when thou sit’st alone?

start=jump in your skin

Why hast thou lost the fresh blood in thy cheeks

And given my treasures and my rights of thee

To thick-eyed musing and curst melancholy?

In thy faint slumbers I by thee have watched,

And heard thee murmur tales of iron wars,

(iron is pronounced EYE-rin)

Speak terms of manage to thy bounding steed,

manage=control

Cry “Courage! To the field!” And thou hast talk’d

Of sallies and retires, of trenches, tents,

sallies and retires=charges and retreats

Of palisadoes, frontiers, parapets,

palisadoes=defensive position using pointed stakes

parapet=defensive elevation in a fortification

Of basilisks, of cannon, culverin,

basilisk=type of cannon

culverin=another type of cannon

Of prisoners' ransom and of soldiers slain

And all the currents of a heady fight.

Thy spirit within thee hath been so at war

And thus hath so bestirred thee in thy sleep

That beads of sweat have stood upon thy brow

Like bubbles in a late-disturbèd stream,

And in thy face strange motions have appeared

Such as we see when men restrain their breath

On some great sudden hest (command). O, what portents are these?

Some heavy business hath my lord in hand,

And I must know it, else he loves me not.

 

LADY PERCY

O my good lord, why are you thus alone?

For what offense have I this fortnight been

A banished woman from my Harry’s bed?

Tell me, sweet lord, what is ’t that takes from thee

Thy stomach, pleasure, and thy golden sleep?

Why dost thou bend thine eyes upon the earth

And start so often when thou sit’st alone?

Why hast thou lost the fresh blood in thy cheeks

And given my treasures and my rights of thee

To thick-eyed musing and curst melancholy?

In thy faint slumbers I by thee have watched,

And heard thee murmur tales of iron wars,

Speak terms of manage to thy bounding steed,

Cry “Courage! To the field!” And thou hast talk’d

Of sallies and retires, of trenches, tents,

Of palisadoes, frontiers, parapets,

Of basilisks, of cannon, culverin,

Of prisoners' ransom and of soldiers slain,

And all the currents of a heady fight.

Thy spirit within thee hath been so at war,

And thus hath so bestirred thee in thy sleep,

That beads of sweat have stood upon thy brow

Like bubbles in a late-disturbèd stream,

And in thy face strange motions have appeared,

Such as we see when men restrain their breath

On some great sudden hest. O, what portents are these?

Some heavy business hath my lord in hand,

And I must know it, else he loves me not.

 

HOTSPUR

What, ho!

 

HOTSPUR

What, ho!

 

Enter SERVANT

Enter SERVANT

Is Gilliams with the packet gone?

Is Gilliams with the packet gone?

SERVANT

He is, my lord, an hour ago.

 

SERVANT

He is, my lord, an hour ago.

 

HOTSPUR

Hath Butler brought those horses from the sheriff?

 

HOTSPUR

Hath Butler brought those horses from the sheriff?

 

SERVANT

One horse, my lord, he brought even now.

 

SERVANT

One horse, my lord, he brought even now.

 

HOTSPUR

What horse? A roan, a crop-ear, is it not?

roan=chestnut-colored

 

HOTSPUR

What horse? A roan, a crop-ear, is it not?

 

SERVANT

It is, my lord.

 

SERVANT

It is, my lord.

 

HOTSPUR

That roan shall be my throne.

Well, I will back him (get up on his back) straight (straightaway). O, Esperance!

esperance – the Percy family motto is “Esperance en dieu” (I trust in God)

Bid Butler lead him forth into the park.

 

HOTSPUR

   That roan shall be my throne.

Well, I will back him straight. O, Esperance!

Bid Butler lead him forth into the park.

 

Exit SERVANT

Exit SERVANT

LADY PERCY

But hear you, my lord.

 

LADY PERCY

But hear you, my lord.

 

HOTSPUR

What say’st thou, my lady?

 

HOTSPUR

   What say’st thou, my lady?

 

LADY PERCY

What is it carries you away?

 

LADY PERCY

What is it carries you away?

 

HOTSPUR

Why, my horse,

My love, my horse.

 

HOTSPUR

   Why, my horse,

My love, my horse.

 

LADY PERCY

Out, you mad-headed ape!

A weasel hath not such a deal of spleen

spleen=spirits

As you are tossed with. In faith,

I’ll know your business, Harry, that I will.

I fear my brother Mortimer doth stir

stir=agitate

About his title and hath sent for you

To line his enterprise; but if you go—

line=strengthen

LADY PERCY

   Out, you mad-headed ape!

A weasel hath not such a deal of spleen

As you are tossed with. In faith,

I’ll know your business, Harry, that I will.

I fear my brother Mortimer doth stir

About his title, and hath sent for you

To line his enterprise; but if you go—

 

HOTSPUR

—So far afoot, I shall be weary, love.

 

HOTSPUR

—So far afoot, I shall be weary, love.

 

LADY PERCY

Come, come, you paraquito, answer me

paraquito=little parrot

Directly unto this question that I ask.

In faith, I’ll break thy little finger, Harry,

An if (if) thou wilt not tell me all things true.

 

LADY PERCY

Come, come, you paraquito, answer me

Directly unto this question that I ask.

In faith, I’ll break thy little finger, Harry,

An if thou wilt not tell me all things true.

 

HOTSPUR

Away!

Away, you trifler. Love, I love thee not.

I care not for thee, Kate. This is no world

To play with mammets and to tilt with lips.

mammets=dolls

tilt=joust

We must have bloody noses and cracked crowns

And pass them current, too.—Gods me, my horse!—

pass them current=keep them in circulation

(a cracked crown is a broken head and also a cracked coin, which, if cracked, should be taken out of circulation)

What say’st thou, Kate? What would’st thou have with me?

 

HOTSPUR

Away!

Away, you trifler. Love, I love thee not.

I care not for thee, Kate. This is no world

To play with mammets and to tilt with lips.

We must have bloody noses and cracked crowns,

And pass them current too.—Gods me, my horse!—

What say’st thou, Kate? What would’st thou have with me?

 

LADY PERCY

Do you not love me? Do you not indeed?

Well, do not then, for since you love me not,

I will not love myself. Do you not love me?

Nay, tell me if you speak in jest or no.

 

LADY PERCY

Do you not love me? Do you not indeed?

Well, do not then, for since you love me not,

I will not love myself. Do you not love me?

Nay, tell me if you speak in jest or no.

 

HOTSPUR

Come, wilt thou see me ride?

And when I am a-horseback, I will swear

I love thee infinitely. But hark you, Kate,

I must not have you henceforth question me

Whither I go, nor reason whereabout.

Whither I must, I must; and to conclude,

This evening must I leave you, gentle Kate.

I know you wise, but yet no farther wise

Than Harry Percy’s wife; constant you are,

But yet a woman; and for secrecy

No lady closer, for I well believe

Thou wilt not utter what thou dost not know,

And so far will I trust thee, gentle Kate.

 

HOTSPUR

Come, wilt thou see me ride?

And when I am a-horseback, I will swear

I love thee infinitely. But hark you, Kate,

I must not have you henceforth question me

Whither I go, nor reason whereabout.

Whither I must, I must; and to conclude,

This evening must I leave you, gentle Kate.

I know you wise, but yet no farther wise

Than Harry Percy’s wife; constant you are,

But yet a woman; and for secrecy

No lady closer, for I well believe

Thou wilt not utter what thou dost not know,

And so far will I trust thee, gentle Kate.

 

LADY PERCY

How? So far?

 

LADY PERCY

How? So far?

 

HOTSPUR

Not an inch further. But hark you, Kate,

Whither I go, thither shall you go, too.

Today will I set forth, tomorrow you.

Will this content you, Kate?

 

HOTSPUR

Not an inch further. But hark you, Kate,

Whither I go, thither shall you go too.

Today will I set forth, tomorrow you.

Will this content you, Kate?

 

LADY PERCY

   It must, of force.

of force=of necessity

 

LADY PERCY

   It must, of force.

 

Exeunt

Exeunt

 

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