Verse > Anthologies > Ralph Waldo Emerson, ed. > Parnassus: An Anthology of Poetry
Ralph Waldo Emerson, comp. (1803–1882).  Parnassus: An Anthology of Poetry.  1880.
Hotspur’s Quarrel with Henry IV.
By William Shakespeare (1564–1616)
(See full text.)

  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,        5
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,        10
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        15
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,        20
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,        25
Upon the naked shore at Ravenspurg;
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        30
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 farther; cut me off the heads
Of all the favorites, that the absent king        35
In deputation left behind him here,
When he was personal in the Irish war.
                Then to the point.—
In short time after, he deposed the king;
Soon after that, deprived him of his life:        40
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 incaged in Wales,
There without ransom to lie forfeited:        45
Disgraced me in my happy victories;
Sought to entrap me by intelligence;
Rated my uncle from the council-board;
In rage dismissed my father from the court;
Broke oath on oath, committed wrong on wrong,        50
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.

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