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Henry IV, Part 1

Henry IV, Part 1 Translation Act 4, Scene 1

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Enter HOTSPUR, WORCESTER, and DOUGLAS

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.

HOTSPUR

Well said, you wonderful Scotsman. If people nowadays didn't think that speaking the truth was the same thing as flattery, I would tell them that you, Douglas, should be praised more than any other soldier fighting right now, having gained such an impressive reputation already. Heaven knows, I'm not normally a flatterer. I hate people who constantly flatter others with their words. But you have a better place in my heart than any other man. Now test me on this love; make me prove it, my lord. 

DOUGLAS

Thou art the king of honor.No man so potent breathes upon the groundBut I will beard him.

DOUGLAS

You are an incredibly honorable man, but there is no-one, however powerful, that I cannot defy. 

HOTSPUR

Do so, and ’tis well.

HOTSPUR

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Enter a MESSENGER with letters

What letters hast thou there? [To DOUGLAS] I can but thank you.

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MESSENGER

These letters come from your father.

MESSENGER

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HOTSPUR

Letters from him! Why comes he not himself?

HOTSPUR

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MESSENGER

He cannot come, my lord. He is grievous sick.

MESSENGER

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HOTSPUR

Zounds, how has he the leisure to be sickIn such a justling time? Who leads his power?Under whose government come they along?

HOTSPUR

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MESSENGER

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

MESSENGER

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WORCESTER

I prithee, tell me, doth he keep his bed?

WORCESTER

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MESSENGER

He did, my lord, four days ere I set forth,And, at the time of my departure thence,He was much feared by his physicians.

MESSENGER

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WORCESTER

I would the state of time had first been wholeEre he by sickness had been visited.His health was never better worth than now.

WORCESTER

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HOTSPUR

Sick now? Droop now? This sickness doth infect The very lifeblood 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 possessed Of all our purposes. What say you to it?

HOTSPUR

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WORCESTER

Your father’s sickness is a maim to us.

WORCESTER

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HOTSPUR

A perilous gash, a very limb lopped 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.

HOTSPUR

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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.

DOUGLAS

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HOTSPUR

A rendezvous, a home to fly unto,If that the devil and mischance look bigUpon the maidenhead of our affairs.

HOTSPUR

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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 off'ring side Must keep aloof from strict arbitrament, 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.

WORCESTER

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HOTSPUR

You strain too far. I rather of his absence make this use: It lends a luster 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.

HOTSPUR

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DOUGLAS

As heart can think. There is not such a wordSpoke of in Scotland as this term of fear.

DOUGLAS

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Enter Sir Richard VERNON

HOTSPUR

My cousin Vernon, welcome, by my soul.

HOTSPUR

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VERNON

Pray God my news be worth a welcome, lord.The Earl of Westmoreland, seven thousand strong,Is marching hitherwards, with him Prince John.

VERNON

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HOTSPUR

No harm, what more?

HOTSPUR

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VERNON

And further I have learned,The King himself in person is set forth,Or hitherwards intended speedily,With strong and mighty preparation.

VERNON

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HOTSPUR

He shall be welcome too. Where is his son, The nimble-footed madcap Prince of Wales, And his comrades, that daffed the world aside And bid it pass?

HOTSPUR

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VERNON

All furnished, all in arms, All plumed like ostriches 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 armed Rise from the ground like feathered Mercury And vaulted with such ease into his seat As if an angel dropped down from the clouds, To turn and wind a fiery Pegasus And witch the world with noble horsemanship.

VERNON

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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 mailèd 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 corpse. O, that Glendower were come!

HOTSPUR

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VERNON

There is more news.I learned in Worcester, as I rode along,He cannot draw his power this fourteen days.

VERNON

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DOUGLAS

That’s the worst tidings that I hear of yet.

DOUGLAS

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WORCESTER

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

WORCESTER

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HOTSPUR

What may the King’s whole battle reach unto?

HOTSPUR

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VERNON

To thirty thousand.

VERNON

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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.

HOTSPUR

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DOUGLAS

Talk not of dying. I am out of fearOf death or death’s hand for this one half year.

DOUGLAS

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Exeunt

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Lani strange
About the Translator: Lani Strange

Lani is currently studying for an MA in Shakespeare Studies at King's College London and Shakespeare's Globe. She has a BA in English and Latin Literature from the University of Warwick and worked as a Teacher of Drama for a year in between her undergraduate and postgraduate degrees. She has a love for all things theatrical and spends all of her free time either watching theatre or taking part in it herself.