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Henry IV, Part 1

Henry IV, Part 1 Translation Act 4, Scene 3

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Enter HOTSPUR, WORCESTER, DOUGLAS, and VERNON

HOTSPUR

We’ll fight with him tonight.

HOTSPUR

We will fight with King Henry tonight. 

WORCESTER

It may not be.

WORCESTER

We can't.

DOUGLAS

You give him then advantage.

DOUGLAS

Then you are giving him the advantage by waiting until morning.

VERNON

Not a whit.

VERNON

Not at all.

HOTSPUR

Why say you so? Looks he not for supply?

HOTSPUR

Why do you say that? Isn't he looking for extra reinforcements?

VERNON

So do we.

VERNON

Yes, but we are, too.

HOTSPUR

His is certain; ours is doubtful.

HOTSPUR

He will definitely find reinforcements, but we probably won't.

WORCESTER

Good cousin, be advised. Stir not tonight.

WORCESTER

Good nephew, listen to me. Do not fight tonight.

VERNON

[To HOTSPUR] Do not, my lord.

VERNON

[To HOTSPUR] Do not, my lord.

DOUGLAS

You do not counsel well.You speak it out of fear and cold heart.

DOUGLAS

You are not giving him good advice. You are only saying this because you are scared and nervous.

VERNON

Do me no slander, Douglas. By my life (And I dare well maintain it with my life), If well-respected honor bid me on, I hold as little counsel with weak fear As you, my lord, or any Scot that this day lives. Let it be seen tomorrow in the battle Which of us fears.

VERNON

Don't slander me, Douglas. I swear on my life, and will prove it with my life: if a thoughtfully considered sense of honor inspires me to fight, I will be no more scared than you, my lord, or any other Scotsman living. We will see in tomorrow's battle which one of us is afraid. 

DOUGLAS

Yea, or tonight.

DOUGLAS

Yes, or tonight. 

VERNON

Content.

VERNON

Enough.

HOTSPUR

Tonight, say I.

HOTSPUR

I say we attack tonight. 

VERNON

Come, come it nay not be. I wonder much, Being men of such great leading as you are, That you foresee not what impediments Drag back our expedition. Certain horse Of my cousin Vernon’s are not yet come up. Your Uncle Worcester’s horse came but today, And now their pride and mettle is asleep, Their courage with hard labor tame and dull, That not a horse is half the half of himself.

VERNON

Come on, we can't do that. I don't understand how you can be such great leaders and not see the obvious problems that slow us down. My cousin Vernon and his cavalry haven't arrived yet. Your Uncle's Worcester and his men only arrived today, and now their pride and bravery is asleep. Their courage has been tamed and weakened by their long journey! There isn't a horse in their army that has even a quarter of its usual strength!

HOTSPUR

So are the horses of the enemyIn general journey-bated and brought low.The better part of ours are full of rest.

HOTSPUR

They enemy's horses are also tired and weak from their long journey. Many of our other horses are well-rested.

WORCESTER

The number of the King exceedeth ours.For God’s sake, cousin, stay till all come in.

WORCESTER

The King has many more soldiers than we do. For God's sake, nephew, wait until more men are here. 

The trumpet sounds a parley

Enter BLUNT

BLUNT

I come with gracious offers from the King,If you vouchsafe me hearing and respect.

BLUNT

I come here with a gracious offer from the King, if you will listen to what I have to say and treat this offer with respect. 

HOTSPUR

Welcome, Sir Walter Blunt, and would to God You were of our determination. Some of us love you well, and even those some Envy your great deservings and good name Because you are not of our quality But stand against us like an enemy.

HOTSPUR

Welcome, Sir Walter Blunt. If only you were on our side of this battle. Many of us are very fond of you, although we also resent your noble behavior and your good reputation because you are not on our side, but instead you are fighting against us like an enemy.

BLUNT

And God defend but still I should stand so, So long as out of limit and true rule You stand against anointed majesty. But to my charge. The king hath sent to know The nature of your griefs, and whereupon You conjure from the breast of civil peace Such bold hostility, teaching his duteous land Audacious cruelty. If that the king Have any way your good deserts forgot, Which he confesseth to be manifold, He bids you name your griefs, and with all speed You shall have your desires with interest And pardon absolute for yourself and these Herein misled by your suggestion.

BLUNT

And I pray I will continue to do so for as long as you stand against the anointed King, ignoring the boundaries of natural order and good government. But now to my task. The King has sent me to find out what your complaints are, and why you are starting another war in a time of peace, encouraging such violence and cruelty across his loyal land. If the King has forgotten about any of your good deeds, of which he knows there are many, he asks you to name your grievances. He will quickly give you what you want and more, and will completely pardon you and the followers you have misled. 

HOTSPUR

The King is kind, and well we know the king Knows at what time to promise, when to pay. My father and my uncle and myself Did give him that same royalty he wears, And when he was not six-and-twenty strong, Sick in the world’s regard, wretched and low, A poor unminded outlaw sneaking home, My father gave him welcome to the shore; And when he heard him swear and vow to God He came but to be Duke of Lancaster, To sue his livery, and beg his peace, With tears of innocency and terms of zeal, My father, in kind heart and pity moved, Swore him assistance and performed it too. Now when the lords and barons of the realm Perceived Northumberland did lean to him, The more and less came in with cap and knee, Met him in boroughs, cities, villages, Attended him on bridges, stood in lanes, Laid gifts before him, proffered him their oaths, Gave him their heirs as pages, followed him Even at the heels in golden multitudes. He presently, as greatness knows itself, Steps me a little higher than his vow Made to my father while his blood was poor Upon the naked shore at Ravenspurgh, And now forsooth takes on him to reform Some certain edicts and some strait decrees That lie too heavy on the commonwealth, Cries out upon abuses, seems to weep Over his country’s wrongs, and by this face, This seeming brow of justice, did he win The hearts of all that he did angle for, Proceeded further—cut me off the heads Of all the favourites that the absent King In deputation left behind him here When he was personal in the Irish war.

HOTSPUR

The King is kind, and we know that the King makes good promises and sticks to them. My father, my uncle, and I were the ones who made him King in the first place! When he barely had twenty-six men fighting with him, when he was weak and no-one cared about him, just a poor, unnoticed criminal trying to get home, my father welcomed him back. When my father heard him swearing a promise to God, weeping and speaking with passion, that he had only come back to claim his title from his father's inheritance, and reconcile himself to King Richard, he felt sorry for him and offered to help him. When the important men in the kingdom noticed that Northumberland, my father, was supporting him, they all came to see him and bow to him. They met him in towns, cities, villages, they waited for him on bridges, they stood in roads, they gave him gifts, promised to be loyal to him, gave him their children as attendants and even followed him around like slaves. Very quickly, as he became aware of his own importance, he began to forget the promise he had made to my father on the beach at Ravenspurgh when he was still humble and thankful to be accepted. Now indeed, he has even decided to change certain laws and some strict decrees that burden the kingdom. He speaks out against the abuses we are facing and seems to cry about the bad things happening in the country. It is this show of sympathy, this pretense of justice, that he won over the hearts of all of the people he was aiming to. He then went even further! He cut off the heads of all of the advisors that Richard II had left behind to run the country, when he went to fight in the Irish war. 

BLUNT

Tut, I came not to hear this.

BLUNT

Enough. I didn't come to hear this.

HOTSPUR

Then to the point. In short time after, he deposed the King, Soon after that deprived him of his life And, in the neck of that, tasked the whole state. To make that worse, suffered his kinsman March (Who is, if every owner were well placed, Indeed his king) to be engaged in Wales, There without ransom to lie forfeited, Disgraced me in my happy victories, Sought to entrap me by intelligence, Rated mine uncle from the council board, In rage dismissed my father from the court, Broke oath on oath, committed wrong on wrong, And in conclusion drove us to seek out This head of safety, and withal to pry Into his title, the which we find Too indirect for long continuance.

HOTSPUR

Now to my point. Shortly after this, Henry took the throne from Richard, and quickly had him killed. Immediately after that he made the whole country pay more taxes. To make things even worse, he let his kinsman Mortimer—who would be the king if everyone actually had the position they were entitled to—be held hostage in Wales, forced to stay there without ransom. He shamed me for the battles I had won, he tried to catch me out with spies. He forced my uncle to leave the Council and in anger removed my father from his court. He broke promise after promise and did one bad thing after another. And finally, he forced us to build this army to protect ourselves, and also to question his right to rule, which we do not think is direct enough to carry on. 

BLUNT

Shall I return this answer to the King?

BLUNT

Is this what you want me to say to the King?

HOTSPUR

Not so, Sir Walter. We’ll withdraw awhile. Go to the King, and let there be impawned Some surety for a safe return again, And in the morning early shall my uncle Bring him our purposes. And so farewell.

HOTSPUR

No, Sir Walter. We will hold off on battle for a while. Go back to the King, and my uncle will bring our reply early tomorrow morning, as long as you pledge that he will be able to return safely. Goodbye then. 

BLUNT

I would you would accept of grace and love.

BLUNT

I wish you would accept the King's graceful and loving offer.

HOTSPUR

And maybe so we shall.

HOTSPUR

Maybe we will.

BLUNT

Pray God you do.

BLUNT

I pray to God that you do.

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.