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King HENRY the Fourth.
HENRY, Prince of Wales,

Prince Joux of Lancaster,} Sons to the King.

Earl of Westmoreland, Friends to the King.

Sir WALTER BLUNT,

THOMAS PERCY, Earl of Worcester.

HENRY PERCY, Earl of Northumberland.
HENRY PERCY, surnamed HOTSPUR, his Son.
EDMUND MORTIMER, Earl of March.
SCROOP, Archbishop of York.

Sir MICHAEL, a Friend of the Archbishop.
ARCHIBALD, Earl of Douglas.

OWEN GLENDOWER.

Sir RICHARD VERNON.

Sir JOHN FALSTAFF.

POINS.

GADSHILL.

PETO. BARDOLPH.

Lady PERCY, Wife to Hotspur, and Sister to Mortimer.
Lady MORTIMER, Daughter to Glendower, and Wife to
Mortimer.

Mrs. QUICKLY, Hostess of a Tavern in Eastcheap.

Lords, Officers, Sheriff, Vintner, Chamberlain, Drawers,
Two Carriers, Travellers, and Attendants.

SCENE, ENGLAND.

1 Prince John of Lancaster,] The persons of the drama were originally collected by Mr. Rowe, who has given the title of Duke of Lancaster to Prince John, a mistake which Shakspeare has been no where guilty of in the first part of this play, though in the second he has fallen into the same error. King Henry IV. was himself the last person that ever bore the title of Duke of Lancaster. But all his sons, (till they had peerages, as Clarence, Bedford, Gloucester,) were distinguished by the name of the royal house, as John of Lancaster, Humphrey of Lancaster, &c. and in that proper style, the present John (who became afterwards so illustrious by the title of Duke of Bedford) is always mentioned in the play before us. STEEVENS.

FIRST PART OF

KING HENRY

IV.

ACT I.

SCENE I.-London. A Room in the Palace.

Enter King HENRY, WESTMORELAND, Sir Walter Blunt, and Others.

K. Henry.

So shaken as we are, so wan with care,
Find we a time for frighted peace to pant,

1

And breathe short-winded accents of new broils '
To be commenc'd in stronds afar remote,
No more the thirsty Erinnys' of this soil
Shall daub her lips with her own children's blood;
No more shall trenching war channel her fields,
Nor bruise her flowrets with the armed hoofs
Of hostile paces; those opposed eyes,

1 Find we a time for frighted peace to pant,

And breathe short-winded accents of new broils ] That is, let us soften peace to rest awhile without disturbance, that she may recover breath to propose new wars. JOHNSON.

2 No more the thirty Erinnys —] The fury of discord; but Mr. Malone prefers "the thirsty entrance," a reading which is argued with insufferable tediousness by the commentators.

T

Which, like the meteors of a troubled heaven,
All of one nature, of one substance bred,-
Did lately meet in the intestine shock
And furious close of civil butchery,

Shall now, in mutual, well-beseeming ranks,
March all one way; and be no more oppos'd
Against acquaintance, kindred, and allies:
The edge of war, like an ill-sheathed knife,
No more shall cut his master. Therefore, friends,

As far as to the sepulchre of Christ,

(Whose soldier now, under whose blessed cross We are impressed and engag'd to fight,)

Forth with a power of English shall we levy;

Whose arms were moulded in their mothers' womb
To chase these pagans, in those holy fields,
Over whose acres walk'd those blessed feet,
Which, fourteen hundred years ago, were nail'd
For our advantage, on the bitter cross.
But this our purpose is a twelvemonth old,
And bootless 'tis to tell you-we will go;
Therefore we meet not now:-Then let me hear

Of you, my gentle cousin Westmoreland, fuind of ping

What yesternight our council did decree,

In forwarding this dear expedience'.

West. My liege, this haste was hot in question,
And many limits of the charge set down
But yesternight: when, all athwart, there came
A post from Wales, loaden with heavy news;
Whose worst was,-that the noble Mortimer,
Leading the men of Herefordshire to fight
Against the irregular and wild Glendower,

Was by the rude hands of that Welshman taken,

Therefore we meet not now:] i. e. not on that account do we now meet;—we are not now assembled, to acquaint you with our intended expedition.

4 this dear expedience.] For expedition.

And many limits -] Limits for estimates; or perhaps, outlines, rough sketches, or calculations.

† And a thousand of his people butchered:
Upon whose dead corps there was such misuse,
Such beastly, shameless transformation,
By those Welshwomen done, as may not be,
Without much shame, re-told or spoken of.

K. Hen. It seems then, that the tidings of this broil Brake off our business for the Holy Land.

West. This, match'd with other, did, my gracious lord; For more uneven and unwelcome news

Came from the north, and thus it did import.
On Holy-rood day, the gallant Hotspur there,
Young Harry Percy, and brave Archibald, Douges
That ever-valiant and approved Scot,

At Holmedon met,

Where they did spend a sad and bloody hour;
As by discharge of their artillery,

And shape of likelihood, the news was told;
For he that brought them, in the very heat
And pride of their contention did take horse,
Uncertain of the issue any way.

K. Hen. Here is a dear and true-industrious friend,
Sir Walter Blunt, new lighted from his horse,
Stain'd with the variation of each soil"

Betwixt that Holmedon and this seat of ours;
And he hath brought us smooth and welcome news.
The earl of Douglas is discomfited;

Ten thousand bold Scots, two-and-twenty knights,
Balk'd in their own blood, did sir Walter see
On Holmedon's plains: Of prisoners, Hotspur took

t "A thousand," &c.-MALONE.

6

Archibald,] Archibald Douglas, earl Douglas.

7 Stain'd with the variation of each soil —] No circumstance could have been better chosen to mark the expedition of sir Walter. It is used by Falstaff in a similar manner: "As it were to ride day and night, and not to deliberate, not to remember, not to have patience to shift me, but to stand stained with travel.'

8 Balk'd in their own blood,] Either bath'd, or piled together in a heap.

Mordake the earl† of Fife, and eldest son
To beaten Douglas; and the earls of Athol,
Of Murray, Angus, and Menteith.
And is not this an honourable spoil?
A gallant prize? ha, cousin, is it not?
West. In faith,

It is a conquest for a prince to boast of.

K. Hen. Yea, there thou mak'st me sad, and mak'st me sin

In envy that my lord Northumberland HOT'S POP
Should be the father of so blest a son‡:

A son, who is the theme of honour's tongue;
Amongst a grove, the very straightest plant;
Who is sweet fortune's minion, and her pride:
Whilst I, by looking on the praise of him,
See riot and dishonour stain the brow

Prince

Of my young Harry. O, that it could be prov'd,
That some night-tripping fairy had exchang'd
In cradle-clothes our children where they lay,
And call'd mine-Percy, his-Plantagenet!
Then would I have his Harry, and he mine.
But let him from my thoughts:-What think you, coz',
Of this young Percy's pride? the prisoners,
Which he in this adventure hath surpriz'd,

To his own use he keeps; and sends me word,

I shall have none but Mordake earl of Fife.

West. This is his uncle's teaching, this is Worcester, Malevolent to you in all aspects1;

"Mordake earl of Fife,"-MALONE.

I "to so blest a son:'
:"-MALONE.

9

the prisoners,] Percy had an exclusive right to these prisoners, except the earl of Fife. By the law of arms, every man who had taken any captive, whose redemption did not exceed ten thousand crowns, had him clearly for himself, either to acquit or ransom, at his pleasure.

1 Malevolent to you in all aspécts ;] An astrological allusion. Worcester is represented as a malignant star that influenced the conduct of Hotspur.

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