Document:  All > Shakespeare > Histories > King Henry IV, part I > Act IV, scene I

Jump to: the first appearance of a_comfort_of_retirement_lives_in_this.


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.

EARL OF DOUGLAS: Thou art the king of honour:
	No man so potent breathes upon the ground
	But I will beard him.

HOTSPUR: Do so, and 'tis well.

	[Enter a Messenger with letters]

	What letters hast thou there?--I can but thank you.

Messenger: These letters come from your father.

HOTSPUR: Letters from him! why comes he not himself?

Messenger: He cannot come, my lord; he is grievous sick.

HOTSPUR: 'Zounds! how has he the leisure to be sick
	In such a rustling time? Who leads his power?
	Under whose government come they along?

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

EARL OF 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 fear'd by his physicians.

EARL OF 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 life-blood 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 possess'd
	Of all our purposes. What say you to it?

EARL OF WORCESTER: Your father's sickness is a maim to us.

HOTSPUR: A perilous gash, a very limb lopp'd 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.

EARL OF 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.

EARL 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 offering side
	Must keep aloof from strict arbitrement,
	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 lustre 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.

EARL OF DOUGLAS: As heart can think: there is not such a word
	Spoke of in Scotland as this term of fear.


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.

HOTSPUR: No harm: what more?

VERNON: And further, I have learn'd,
	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 daff'd the world aside,
	And bid it pass?

VERNON:                   All furnish'd, 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 arm'd
	Rise from the ground like feather'd Mercury,
	And vaulted with such ease into his seat,
	As if an angel dropp'd 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:
	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 mailed 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 learn'd in Worcester, as I rode along,
	He cannot draw his power this fourteen days.

EARL OF DOUGLAS: That's the worst tidings that I hear of yet.

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

HOTSPUR: What may the king's whole battle reach unto?

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:
	Doomsday is near; die all, die merrily.

EARL OF DOUGLAS: Talk not of dying: I am out of fear
	Of death or death's hand for this one-half year.



Search for this word      in all documents   just this document

Need writing help? Try RhymeZone's rhyming dictionary and thesaurus features

Help  Forum  Feedback  Android  iPhone/iPad  API  Blog  Privacy

Copyright © 2016 Datamuse