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Hot. Lord Mortimer,-and cousin Glendower,
you sit down?
And, uncle Worcester:-A plague upon't!
I have forgot the map.
No, here it is.
Sit, cousin Percy; sit, good cousin Hotspur:
For by that name as oft as Lancaster
Doth speak of you, his cheek looks pale, and, with
A rising sigh, he wisheth you in heaven.
Hot. And you in hell, as often as he hears
Owen Glendower spoke of.
Glend. I cannot blame him: at my nativity,
The front of heaven was full of fiery shapes.
Of burning cressets; and, at my birth,
The frame and huge foundation of the earth
Shak'd like a coward.
Why, so it would have done
At the same season, if your mother's cat had
But kitten'd, though yourself had ne'er been born.
Glend. I say, the earth did shake when I was born.
Hot. And I say, the earth was not of my mind,
If you suppose, as fearing you it shook.
Glend. The heavens were all on fire, the earth did tremble.
Hot. O then the earth shook to see the heavens on fire,
And not in fear of your nativity.
Diseased nature oftentimes breaks forth
In strange eruptions,
Which shake old beldame earth, and topple down
Steeples, and moss-grown towers. At your birth,
Our grandam earth, having this distemperature,
In passion shook.
Cousin, of many men
I do not bear these crossings.
Give me leave
To tell you once again,-that at my birth,
The front of heaven was full of fiery shapes;
The goats ran from the mountains, and the herds
Were strangely clamorous to the frighted fields.
These signs have mark'd me extraordinary;
And all the courses of my life do show,
I am not in the roll of common men.
Where is he living,-clipp'd in with the sea
That chides the banks of England, Scotland, Wales,—
Which calls me pupil, or hath read to me?
And bring him out, that is but woman's son,
Can trace me in the tedious ways of art,
And hold me pace in deep experiments.
Hot. I think there is no man speaks better Welsh.-
Glend. I can speak English, lord, as well as you:
For I was train'd up in the English court:
Where, being but young, I framed to the harp
Many an English ditty, lovely well,
And gave the tongue a helpful ornament;
A virtue that was never seen in you.
Hot. Marry, and I'm glad of 't with all
I had rather be a kitten and cry-mew,
Than one of these same metre ballad-mongers:
I had rather hear a brazen canstick turn'd,
Or a dry wheel grate on an axle-tree;
And that would set my teeth nothing on edge,
Nothing so much as mincing poetry;
"Tis like the forc'd gait of a shuffling nag.
Mort. Peace, cousin Percy; you will make him mad.
Glend. I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
Hot. Why, so can I; or so can any man:
But will they come, when you do call for them?
Glend. Why, I can teach you, cousin, to command
Hot. And I can teach thee, coz, to shame the devil,
By telling truth; Tell truth, and shame the devil.-
If thou have power to raise him, bring him hither,
And I'll be sworn, I have power to shame him hence.
O, while you live, tell truth, and shame the devil.—
Mort. Come, come,
No more of this unprofitable chat.
Glend. Three times hath Henry Bolingbroke made head
Against my power: thrice from the banks of Wyne,
And sandy-bottom'd Severn, have I sent him
Bootless home, and weather-beaten back.
Hot. Home without boots, and in foul weather too!
How 'scapes he agues?
The following scene is admirably descriptive of the characters of Henry IV. and the young Prince of Wales.
SCENE II.-London. A Room in the Palace.
Enter KING Henry, Prince of Wales, and Lords.
K. Hen. Lords, give us leave; the Prince of Wales and I
Must have some conference: But be near at hand,
For we shall presently have need of you.-
I know not whether God will have it so,
For some displeasing service I have done,
That, in his secret doom, out of my blood
He'll breed revengement and a scourge for me;
But thou dost, in thy passages of life,
Make me believe, that thou art only mark'd
For the hot vengeance and the rod of heaven,
To punish my mis-treadings. Tell me else,
Could such inordinate, and low desires,
Such poor, such bare, such lewd, such mean attempts,
Such barren pleasures, rude society,
As thou art match'd withal, and grafted to,
Accompany the greatness of thy blood,
And hold their level with thy princely heart?
P. Hen. please your majesty, I would, I could
Quit all offences with as clear excuse,
As well as, I am doubtless, I can purge
Myself of many I am charg'd withal:
Yet such extenuation let me beg,
As, in reproof of many tales devis'd,-
Which oft the ear of greatness needs must hear,—
By smiling pick-thanks and base newsmongers,
I may, for some things true, wherein my youth
Hath faulty wander'd and irregular,
Find pardon on my true submission.
K. Hen. Heaven pardon thee !-yet let me wonder, Harry, At thy affections, which do hold a wing Quite from the flight of all thy ancestors. Thy place in council thou hast rudely lost, Which by thy younger brother is supplied; And art almost an alien to the hearts Of all the court and princes of my blood; The hope and expectation of thy time Is ruin'd; and the soul of every man Prophetically does forethink thy fall. Had I so lavish of my presence been, So common-hackney'd in the eyes of men, So stale and cheap to vulgar company; Opinion, that did help me to the crown, Had still kept loyal to possession; And left me in reputeless banishment, A fellow of no mark, nor likelihood. By being seldom seen, I could not stir, But, like a comet, I was wonder'd at: That men would tell their children, This is he; Others would say,-- Where? which is Bolingbroke? And then I stole all courtesy from heaven, And dress'd myself in such humility,
That I did pluck allegiance from men's hearts,
Loud shouts and salutations from their mouths,
Even in the presence of the crowned king.
Thus did I keep my person fresh, and new;
My presence, like a robe pontifical,
Ne'er seen, but wonder'd at: and so my state,
Seldom, but sumptuous, showed like a feast;
And won, by rareness, such solemnity.
The skipping king, he ambled up and down
With shallow jesters, and rash bavin wits,
Soon kindled, and soon burn'd: carded his state;
Mingled his royalty with capering fools;
Had his great name profaned with their scorns:
And gave his countenance, against his name,
To laugh at gibing boys, and stand the push
Of every beardless vain comparative :
Grew a companion to the common streets,
Enfeoff'd himself to popularity:
That being daily swallow'd by men's eyes,
They surfeited with honey; and began
To loathe the taste of sweetness, whereof a little
More than a little is by much too much.
So, when he had occasion to be seen,
He was but as the cuckoo is in June,
Heard, not regarded; seen, but with such eyes,
As, sick and blunted with community,
Afford no extraordinary gaze,
Such as is bent on sun-like majesty
When it shines seldom in admiring eyes:
But rather drowz'd and hung their eyelids down,
Slept in his face, and render'd such aspect
As cloudy men use to their adversaries;
Being with his presence glutted, gorg'd, and full.
And in that very line, Harry, stand'st thou :
For thou hast lost thy princely privilege,
With vile participation; not an eye
But is a-weary of thy common sight,
Save mine, which hath desir'd to see thee more;
Which now doth that I would not have it do,
Make blind itself with foolish tenderness.
P. Hen. I shall hereafter, my thrice-gracious lord, Be more myself.
For all the world,
As thou art to this hour, was Richard then
When I from France set foot at Ravenspurg;
And even as I was then, is Percy now.
Now by my sceptre, and my soul to boot,
He hath more worthy interest to the state,
Than thou, the shadow of succession:
For, of no right, nor color like to right,
He doth fill fields with harness in the realm:
Turns head against the lion's armed jaws;
And, being no more in debt to years than thou,
Leads ancient lords and reverend bishops on,
To bloody battles, and to bruising arms.
What never-dying honor hath he got
Against renowned Douglas; whose high deeds,
Whose hot incursions, and great name in arms,
Holds from all soldiers chief majority,
And military title capital,
Through all the kingdoms that acknowledge Christ?
Thrice hath this Hotspur Mars in swathing clothes,
This infant warrior in his enterprises
Discomfited great Douglas: ta'en him once,
Enlarg'd him, and made a friend of him,
To fill the mouth of deep defiance up,
And shake the peace and safety of our throne.
And what say you to this? Percy, Northumberland,
The archbishop's grace of York, Douglas, Mortimer,
Capitulate against us, and are up.
But wherefore do I tell these news to thee?
Why, Harry, do I tell thee of my foes,
Which art my near'st and dearest enemy?
Thou that art like enough,-through vassal fear,
Base inclination, and the start of spleen,-
To fight against me under Percy's pay,
To dog his heels, and court'sy at his frowns,
To show how much degenerate thou art ?
P. Hen. Do not think so, you shall not find it so;
And Heaven forgive them, that have so much sway'd
Your majesty's good thoughts away from me!
I will redeem all this on Percy's head,
And, in the closing of some glorious day,
Be bold to tell you, that I am your son;
When I will wear a garment all of blood,
And stain my favors in a bloody mask,
Which, wash'd away, shall scour my shame with it.
And that shall be the day, whene'er it lights,
That this same child of honor and renown,
This gallant Hotspur, this all-praised knight,
And your unthought-of Harry, chance to meet.
For every honor sitting on his helm,
Would they were multitudes; and on my head
My shames redoubled! for the time will come,
That I shall make this northern youth exchange
His glorious deeds for my indignities.
Percy is but my factor, good my lord,
To engross up glorious deeds on my behalf;
And I will call him to so strict account,
That he shall render every glory up,
Yea, even the slightest worship of his time,
Or I will tear the reckoning from his heart.
This, in the name of Heaven, I promise here:
The which if it be pleas'd I shall perform,
I do beseech your majesty, may salve