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Of favour, from myself, and all our house;
And yet I must remember you, my lord,
We were the first and dearest of your friends.
For you my staff of office did I break
In Richard's time; and posted day and night
To meet you on the way, and kiss your hand,
When yet you were in place, and in account,
Nothing so strong and fortunate as I.
It was myself, my brother, and his son,
That brought you home, and boldly did outdare
The dangers of the time. You swore to us,
And you did swear that oath at Doncaster,
That you did nothing purpose 'gainst the state,
Nor claim no farther than your new-fall’n right,
The seat of Gaunt, dukedom of Lancaster.
To this we swore our aid ; but, in short space,
It rain’d down fortune showering on your head,
And such a flood of greatness fell on you,
What with our help, what with the absent king,
What with the injuries of a wanton time,
The seeming sufferances that you had borne,
And the contrarious winds that held the king
So long in his unlucky Irish wars,
That all in England did repute him dead:
And, from this swarm of fair advantages,
You took occasion to be quickly woo'd
To gripe the general sway into your hand;
Forgot your oath to us at Doncaster,
And, being fed by us, you us'd us so
As that ungentle gull, the cuckoo's bird,
Useth the sparrow, did oppress our nest,
Grew by our feeding to so great a bulk,
That even our love durst not come near your sight,
For fear of swallowing; but with nimble wing
We were enforc’d, for safety sake, to fly
Out of your sight, and raise this present head:
Whereby we stand opposed by such means
As you yourself have forg'd against yourself,
By unkind usage, dangerous countenance,
And violation of all faith and troth
Sworn to us in your younger enterprize.
K. Hen. These things, indeed, you have articulate",
Proclaim'd at market-crosses, read in churches,
To face the garment of rebellion
With some fine colour, that may please the eye
Of fickle changelings, and poor discontents,
Which gape, and rub the elbow, at the news
Of hurlyburly innovation :
And never yet did insurrection want
Such water-colours to impaint his cause ;
Nor moody beggars, starving for a time
Of pellmell havoc and confusion.
P. Hen. In both our armies, there is many a soul Shall pay
full dearly for this encounter,
If once they join in trial. Tell your nephew,
The prince of Wales doth join with all the world
In praise of Henry Percy: by my hopes,
This present enterprize set off his head,
I do not think, a braver gentleman,
More active-valiant, or more valiant-young,
More daring, or more bold, is now alive
To grace this latter
with noble deeds.
For my part, I may speak it to my shame,
I have a truant been to chivalry,
And so, I hear, he doth account me too;
Yet this before my father's majesty :
I am content, that he shall take the odds
Of his great name and estimation,
And will, to save the blood on either side,
Try fortune with him in a single fight.
K. Hen. And, prince of Wales, so dare we venture
Albeit considerations infinite
Do make against it.—No, good Worcester, no,
We love our people well; even those we love,
That are misled upon your cousin's part ;
And, will they take the offer of our grace,
Both he, and they, and you, yea, every man
Shall be my friend again, and I'll be his.
So tell your cousin, and bring me word
What he will do; but if he will not yield,
Rebuke and dread correction wait on us,
And they shall do their office. So, be gone.
We will not now be troubled with reply:
We offer fair, take it advisedly.
[Exeunt WORCESTER and VERNON.
P. Hen. It will not be accepted, on my life.
The Douglas and the Hotspur both together
Are confident against the world in arms.
K. Hen. Hence, therefore, every leader to his charge, For, on their answer, will we set on them; And God befriend us, as our cause is just !
[Exeunt King, BLUNT, and Prince John. Fal. Hal, if thou see me down in the battle, and bestride me, so; ’tis a point of friendship.
P. Hen. Nothing but a colossus can do thee that friendship. Say thy prayers, and farewell.
Fal. I would it were bed-time, Hal, and all well.
P. Hen. Why, thou owest God a death. [Exit.
Fal. "Tis not due yet: I would be loath to pay him before his day. What need I be so forward with him that calls not on me? Well, 'tis no matter; honour pricks me on. Yea, but how if honour prick me off when I come on? how then? Can honour set to a leg? No. Or an arm?
Or an arm? No. Or take away the grief of a wound ? No.
No. Honour hath no skill in surgery, then? No. What is honour ? A word. What is in
that word, honour? What is that honour? Airt. A trim reckoning ! Who hath it? He that died o' Wednesday. Doth he feel it? No. Doth he hear it? No. Is it insensible, then? Yea, to the dead. But will it not live with the living ? No. Why? Detraction will not suffer it :therefore, I'll none of it: honour is a mere scutcheon, and so ends my catechism.
Enter WORCESTER and VERNON.
Wor. O, no! my nephew must not know, sir Richard,
The liberal kind offer of the king.
Ver. 'Twere best, he did.
Then are we all undone.
It is not possible, it cannot be,
The king should keep his word in loving us ;
He will suspect us still, and find a time
To punish this offence in other faults:
Suspicion all our lives: shall be stuck full of eyes;
For treason is but trusted like the fox,
Who, ne'er so tame, so cherish’d, and lock'd up,
Will have a wild trick of his ancestors.
Look how we can, or sad, or merrily,
Interpretation will misquote our looks;
And we shall feed like oxen at a stall,
+ What is in that word, honour ? What is that honour ? Air.] Our reading is that of the two earliest editions. The quarto of 1608 reads, “What is that word honour? What is that honour ! Air ;” and the quarto, 1613, only “What is that word, honour ? Air.” This last is the text adopted by the folio, 1623. Farther on, in the question, “But will it not live with the living ?” the earliest quarto omits “it,” which is necessary, and is found in the quarto, 1599, and in all subsequent editions.
5 Suspicion all our lives, &c.] All the old copies have supposition for “ suspicion.” Pope made the correction. Lower down, “Look how we can” is misprinted “ Look how he can” in the folio, 1623. VOL. IV.
The better cherish’d, still the nearer death.
My nephew's trespass may be well forgot,
It hath the excuse of youth, and heat of blood;
And an adopted name of privilege,
A hare-brain'd Hotspur, govern'd by a spleen.
All his offences live upon my head,
And on his father's: we did train him on;
And, his corruption being ta’en from us,
We, as the spring of all, shall pay for all. .
Therefore, good cousin, let not Harry know
In any case the offer of the king.
Ver. Deliver what you will, I'll
say, Here comes your
Enter HOTSPUR and DOUGLAS; Officers and Soldiers,
Hot. My uncle is return'd :-Deliver up
My lord of Westmoreland.—Uncle, what news?
Wor. The king will bid you battle presently.
Doug. Defy him by the lord of Westmoreland.
Hot. Lord Douglas, go you and tell him so.
Doug. Marry, and shall, and very willingly. (Exit.
Wor. There is no seeming mercy in the king.
Hot. Did you beg any ? God forbid !
Wor. I told him gently of our grievances,
Of his oath-breaking ; which he mended thus,
By now forswearing that he is forsworn:
He calls us rebels, traitors; and will scourge
With haughty arms this hateful name in us.
Doug. Arm, gentlemen! to arms! for I have thrown A brave defiance in King Henry's teeth, And Westmoreland, that was engag’d, did bear it,