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Henry the Fourth Part 1

by William Shakespeare

Act 4, Scene 1 Easiest-to-Read Edition

 

 

 



Henry the Fourth Part 1 Act 4 Scene 1



The Rebel Camp near Shrewsbury

Enter HOTSPUR, WORCESTER, and DOUGLAS

Enter HOTSPUR, WORCESTER, and DOUGLAS

HOTSPUR

Well said, my noble Scot. If speaking truth

In this fine age were not thought flattery,

Such attribution should the Douglas have

attribution=reputation

As not a soldier of this season’s stamp

of this season’s stamp=minted this season

Should go so general current through the world.

go so general current=have his fine reputation so widely recognized

By God, I cannot flatter. I do defy

The tongues of soothers. But a braver place

In my heart’s love hath no man than yourself.

Nay, task me to my word; approve me, lord.

approve me=test me

 

HOTSPUR

Well said, my noble Scot. If speaking truth

In this fine age were not thought flattery,

Such attribution should the Douglas have

As not a soldier of this season’s stamp

Should go so general current through the world.

By God, I cannot flatter. I do defy

The tongues of soothers. But a braver place

In my heart’s love hath no man than yourself.

Nay, task me to my word; approve me, lord.

 

DOUGLAS

Thou art the king of honor.

No [other] man so potent breathes upon the ground

breathes upon the ground= is alive

But [If anyone claims otherwise] I will beard (boldly oppose) him.

 

DOUGLAS

Thou art the king of honor.

No man so potent breathes upon the ground

But I will beard him.

 

HOTSPUR

   Do so, and ’tis well.

 

HOTSPUR

   Do so, and ’tis well.

 

Enter a MESSENGER with letters

Enter a MESSENGER with letters

What letters hast thou there? (to DOUGLAS) I can but thank you.

What letters hast thou there? (to DOUGLAS) I can but thank you.

MESSENGER

These letters come from your father.

 

MESSENGER

These letters come from your father.

 

HOTSPUR

Letters from him! Why comes he not himself?

 

HOTSPUR

Letters from him! Why comes he not himself?

 

MESSENGER

He cannot come, my lord. He is grievous sick.

 

MESSENGER

He cannot come, my lord. He is grievous sick.

 

HOTSPUR

Zounds, how has he the leisure to be sick

In such a justling time? Who leads his power?

justling=jostling (chaotic)

power=army

Under whose government come they along?

 

HOTSPUR

Zounds, how has he the leisure to be sick

In such a justling time? Who leads his power?

Under whose government come they along?

 

MESSENGER

His letters bear his mind, not I, my lord.

 

MESSENGER

His letters bear his mind, not I, my lord.

 

WORCESTER

I prithee, tell me, doth he keep his bed?

 

WORCESTER

I prithee, tell me, doth he keep his bed?

 

MESSENGER

He did, my lord, four days ere I set forth,

And, at the time of my departure thence,

He was much feared [for] by his physicians.

 

MESSENGER

He did, my lord, four days ere I set forth,

And, at the time of my departure thence,

He was much feared by his physicians.

 

WORCESTER

I would the state of time had first been whole

state of time=times

whole=in good shape

Ere he by sickness had been visited.

His health was never [of] better worth than now.

 

WORCESTER

I would the state of time had first been whole

Ere he by sickness had been visited.

His health was never better worth than now.

 

HOTSPUR

Sick now? Droop now? This sickness doth infect

The very lifeblood of our enterprise.

'Tis catching hither, even to our camp.

catching=spreading, like catching a cold

He writes me here that inward sickness [keeps him]—

And that his friends by deputation

by deputation=delegated to act on his behalf

Could not so soon be drawn, nor did he think it meet

To lay so dangerous and dear a trust

On any soul removed but on his own;

removed=not his own

Yet doth he give us bold advertisement

advertisement=advice

That with our small conjunction we should [go] on

conjunction=gathering

To see how fortune is disposed to us,

For, as he writes, there is no quailing now,

quailing=slackening

Because the King is certainly possessed

Of all our purposes. What say you to it?

 

HOTSPUR

Sick now? Droop now? This sickness doth infect

The very lifeblood of our enterprise.

'Tis catching hither, even to our camp.

He writes me here that inward sickness—

And that his friends by deputation

Could not so soon be drawn, nor did he think it meet

To lay so dangerous and dear a trust

On any soul removed but on his own;

Yet doth he give us bold advertisement

That with our small conjunction we should on

To see how fortune is disposed to us,

For, as he writes, there is no quailing now,

Because the King is certainly possessed

Of all our purposes. What say you to it?

 

WORCESTER

Your father’s sickness is a maim to us.

 

WORCESTER

Your father’s sickness is a maim to us.

 

HOTSPUR

A perilous gash, a very limb lopped off!

And yet, in faith, it is not. His present want

Seems more than we shall find it. Were it good

To set the exact wealth of all our states

All at one cast? To set so rich a main

cast=throw of the dice

main=calling of a number in the game of “hazard”

On the nice hazard of one doubtful hour?

nice hazard=foolish risk

It were not good, for therein should we read

The very bottom and the soul of hope,

The very list, the very utmost bound

list=limit

utmost bound=furthest boundary

Of all our fortunes.

 

HOTSPUR

A perilous gash, a very limb lopped off!

And yet, in faith, it is not. His present want

Seems more than we shall find it. Were it good

To set the exact wealth of all our states

All at one cast? To set so rich a main

On the nice hazard of one doubtful hour?

It were not good, for therein should we read

The very bottom and the soul of hope,

The very list, the very utmost bound

Of all our fortunes.

 

DOUGLAS

Faith, and so we should, where now remains

A sweet reversion. We may boldly spend

reversion=expectation of wealth to come

Upon the hope of what is to come in.

A comfort of retirement lives in this.

retirement=retreat

 

DOUGLAS

Faith, and so we should, where now remains

A sweet reversion. We may boldly spend

Upon the hope of what is to come in.

A comfort of retirement lives in this.

 

HOTSPUR

A rendezvous, a home to fly unto,

If that the devil and mischance look big

Upon the maidenhead of our affairs.

maidenhead=opening stage

 

HOTSPUR

A rendezvous, a home to fly unto,

If that the devil and mischance look big

Upon the maidenhead of our affairs.

 

WORCESTER

But yet I would your father had been here.

The quality and hair of our attempt

hair=detail

Brooks no division. It will be thought

brooks=permits

By some that know not why he is away

That wisdom, loyalty, and mere dislike

(loyalty – to the King)

Of our proceedings kept the Earl from hence.

And think how such an apprehension

May turn the tide of fearful faction

fearful=timid

And breed a kind of question in our cause.

For well you know, we of the off'ring side

off’ring=challenging

Must keep aloof from strict arbitrament,

arbitrament=examination

And stop all sight-holes, every loop from whence

The eye of reason may pry in upon us.

This absence of your father’s draws a curtain

That shows the ignorant a kind of fear

Before not dreamt of.

 

WORCESTER

But yet I would your father had been here.

The quality and hair of our attempt

Brooks no division. It will be thought

By some that know not why he is away

That wisdom, loyalty, and mere dislike

Of our proceedings kept the Earl from hence.

And think how such an apprehension

May turn the tide of fearful faction

And breed a kind of question in our cause.

For well you know, we of the off'ring side

Must keep aloof from strict arbitrament,

And stop all sight-holes, every loop from whence

The eye of reason may pry in upon us.

This absence of your father’s draws a curtain

That shows the ignorant a kind of fear

Before not dreamt of.

 

HOTSPUR

   You strain too far.

I rather of his absence make this use:

It lends a luster and more great opinion,

opinion=character

A larger dare, to our great enterprise

Than if the Earl were here, for men must think

Earl=Earl of Northumberland

If we without his help can make a head

make a head=raise an army

To push against a kingdom, with his help

We shall o'erturn it topsy-turvy down.

[as] Yet all goes well, [as] yet all our joints are whole.

 

HOTSPUR

   You strain too far.

I rather of his absence make this use:

It lends a luster and more great opinion,

A larger dare, to our great enterprise

Than if the Earl were here, for men must think

If we without his help can make a head

To push against a kingdom, with his help

We shall o'erturn it topsy-turvy down.

Yet all goes well, yet all our joints are whole.

 

DOUGLAS

As heart can think, there is not such a word

as heart can think=as far as mind can think

Spoke of in Scotland as this term of fear.

(the Scottish don’t  know the meaning of the word “fear”)

 

DOUGLAS

As heart can think. There is not such a word

Spoke of in Scotland as this term of fear.

 

Enter Sir Richard VERNON

Enter Sir Richard VERNON

HOTSPUR

My cousin Vernon, welcome, by my soul.

 

HOTSPUR

My cousin Vernon, welcome, by my soul.

 

VERNON

Pray God my news be worth a welcome, lord.

The Earl of Westmoreland, seven thousand strong,

Is marching hitherwards, with him Prince John.

 

VERNON

Pray God my news be worth a welcome, lord.

The Earl of Westmoreland, seven thousand strong,

Is marching hitherwards, with him Prince John.

 

HOTSPUR

No harm, what more?

 

HOTSPUR

No harm, what more?

 

VERNON

   And further I have learned,

The King himself in person is set forth,

Or hitherwards intended speedily,

With strong and mighty preparation.

 

VERNON

   And further I have learned,

The King himself in person is set forth,

Or hitherwards intended speedily,

With strong and mighty preparation.

 

HOTSPUR

He shall be welcome, too. Where is his son,

The nimble-footed madcap Prince of Wales,

And his comrades that daffed the world aside

daffed=threw off

And bid it pass?

 

HOTSPUR

He shall be welcome too. Where is his son,

The nimble-footed madcap Prince of Wales,

And his comrades, that daffed the world aside

And bid it pass?

 

VERNON

   All furnished, all in arms,

All plumed like estridges that with the wind

estridges=ostriches

Baited like eagles having lately bathed,

baited=fluttered their wings

Glittering in golden coats like images,

images=statues

As full of spirit as the month of May

And gorgeous as the sun at midsummer,

Wanton as youthful goats, wild as young bulls.

I saw young Harry with his beaver on,

beaver=helmet

His cuisses on his thighs, gallantly armed

cuisses=armor

Rise from the ground like feathered Mercury

feathered=with wings on his heels

And vaulted with such ease into his seat

seat=saddle

As if an angel dropped down from the clouds

To turn and wind a fiery Pegasus

wind=wheel about

Pegasus=winged horse of mythology

And witch the world with noble horsemanship.

witch=bewitch

 

VERNON

   All furnished, all in arms,

All plumed like estridges that with the wind

Baited like eagles having lately bathed,

Glittering in golden coats like images,

As full of spirit as the month of May,

And gorgeous as the sun at midsummer,

Wanton as youthful goats, wild as young bulls.

I saw young Harry with his beaver on,

His cuisses on his thighs, gallantly armed

Rise from the ground like feathered Mercury

And vaulted with such ease into his seat

As if an angel dropped down from the clouds,

To turn and wind a fiery Pegasus

And witch the world with noble horsemanship.

 

HOTSPUR

No more, no more! Worse than the sun in March

This praise doth nourish agues. Let them come.

agues=fevers

them=the opposing army

They come like sacrifices in their trim,

trim=finery

And to the fire-eyed maid of smoky war

All hot and bleeding will we offer them.

The mailèd Mars shall on his altar sit

Mars=god of war

mailed=armored

Up to the ears in blood. I am on fire

To hear [that] this rich reprisal is so nigh

reprisal=prize

And yet not ours. Come, let me taste my horse,

taste=test

Who is to bear me like a thunderbolt

Against the bosom of the Prince of Wales.

Harry to Harry shall, hot horse to horse,

Meet and ne'er part till one drop down a corpse.

O, that Glendower were come!

 

HOTSPUR

No more, no more! Worse than the sun in March

This praise doth nourish agues. Let them come.

They come like sacrifices in their trim,

And to the fire-eyed maid of smoky war

All hot and bleeding will we offer them.

The mailèd Mars shall on his altar sit

Up to the ears in blood. I am on fire

To hear this rich reprisal is so nigh

And yet not ours. Come, let me taste my horse,

Who is to bear me like a thunderbolt

Against the bosom of the Prince of Wales.

Harry to Harry shall, hot horse to horse,

Meet and ne'er part till one drop down a corse.

O, that Glendower were come!

 

VERNON

   There is more news.

I learned in Worcester, as I rode along,

He cannot draw his power this fourteen days.

he=Glendower

draw his power=gather his army

VERNON

   There is more news.

I learned in Worcester, as I rode along,

He cannot draw his power this fourteen days.

 

DOUGLAS

That’s the worst tidings that I hear of yet.

 

DOUGLAS

That’s the worst tidings that I hear of yet.

 

WORCESTER

Ay, by my faith, that bears a frosty sound.

 

WORCESTER

Ay, by my faith, that bears a frosty sound.

 

HOTSPUR

What may the King’s whole battle reach unto?

battle=army

 

HOTSPUR

What may the King’s whole battle reach unto?

 

VERNON

To thirty thousand.

 

VERNON

To thirty thousand.

 

HOTSPUR

   Forty let it be.

My father and Glendower being both away,

The powers of us may serve so great a day.

Come, let us take a muster speedily.

muster=review of troops

Doomsday is near. Die all, die merrily.

 

HOTSPUR

   Forty let it be.

My father and Glendower being both away,

The powers of us may serve so great a day.

Come, let us take a muster speedily.

Doomsday is near. Die all, die merrily.

 

DOUGLAS

Talk not of dying. I am out of fear

I am=I have been

Of death or death’s hand for this one half year.

 

DOUGLAS

Talk not of dying. I am out of fear

Of death or death’s hand for this one half year.

 

Exeunt

Exeunt

 

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