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    Henry IV Part 1

    by William Shakespeare
    MFFE script v5.20 CloudReader v1.05
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  • Act One Scene One

    >>>Start of play
    Enter the King, Lord John of Lancaster, Earl of Westmorland, with others.
    ---!!! First speech of play
    King Henry IV.
    So shaken as we are, so wan with care,
    Find we a time for frighted Peace to pant
    And breathe short-winded accents of new broils
    To be commenced in Strands afar remote.
    No more the thirsty entrance of this Soil
    Shall daub her lips with her own children's blood;
    No more shall trenching War channel her fields,
    Nor bruise her Flowerets with the Armed hoofs
    Of hostile paces. Those opposed eyes,
    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 opposed
    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 engaged to fight)
    Forthwith 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 walked those blessed feet,
    Which fourteen hundred years ago were nailed
    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 Westmorland,
    What yesternight our Council did decree,
    In forwarding this dear expedience.
    --- this dear expedience.
    Westmorland.
    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, laden 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,
    A thousand of his people butchered,
    Upon whose dead corpses there was such misuse,
    Such beastly shameless transformation,
    By those Welshwomen done, as may not be
    Without much shame retold or spoken of.
    --- or spoken of.
    King Henry IV.
    It seems then that the tidings of this broil
    Break off our business for the Holy land.
    --- the Holy land.
    Westmorland.
    This matched with other did, my gracious Lord,
    Far more uneven and unwelcome News
    Came from the North, and thus it did report:
    On Holy Rood Day the gallant Hotspur there
    (Young Harry Percy) and brave Archibald,
    That ever-valiant and approved Scot,
    At Holmeden 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.
    --- issue any way.
    King Henry IV.
    Here is a dear and true industrious friend,
    Sir Walter Blunt, new lighted from his Horse,
    Strained 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,
    Balked in their own blood, did Sir Walter see
    On Holmedon's Plains. Of Prisoners Hotspur took
    Murdoch, Earl of Fife and eldest son
    To beaten Douglas, and the Earl of Atholl,
    Of Moray, Angus, and Menteith;
    And is not this an honourable spoil,
    A gallant prize? Ha, Cousin, is it not?
    --- is it not?
    Westmorland.
    In faith it is a Conquest for a Prince to boast of.
    --- to boast of.
    King Henry IV.
    Yea, there thou makest me sad, and makest me sin
    In envy that my Lord Northumberland
    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
    Of my young Harry. O, that it could be proved
    That some Night-tripping Fairy, had exchanged
    In Cradle-clothes our Children where they lay,
    And called 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 surprised
    To his own use he keeps, and sends me word
    I shall have none but Murdoch, Earl of Fife.
    --- Earl of Fife.
    Westmorland.
    This is his Uncle's teaching; this is Worcester,
    Malevolent to you in all Aspects,
    Which makes him prune himself and bristle up
    The crest of Youth against your Dignity.
    --- against your Dignity.
    King Henry IV.
    But I have sent for him to answer this,
    And for this cause awhile we must neglect
    Our holy purpose to Jerusalem.
    Cousin, on Wednesday next our Council we
    Will hold at Windsor. So inform the Lords,
    But come yourself with speed to us again,
    For more is to be said and to be done
    Than out of anger can be uttered.
    --- can be uttered.
    Westmorland.
    I will, my Liege.
    >>>will, my Liege.
    Exeunt
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