Reference > William Shakespeare > The Oxford Shakespeare > 2 King Henry IV.
William Shakespeare (1564–1616).  The Oxford Shakespeare.  1914.
The Second Part of King Henry the Fourth
Act II. Scene III.
Warkworth.  Before NORTHUMBERLAND’S Castle.
  North.  I pray thee, loving wife, and gentle daughter,
Give even way unto my rough affairs:
Put not you on the visage of the times,        5
And be like them to Percy troublesome.
  Lady N.  I have given over, I will speak no more:
Do what you will; your wisdom be your guide.
  North.  Alas! sweet wife, my honour is at pawn;
And, but my going, nothing can redeem it.        10
  Lady P.  O! yet for God’s sake, go not to these wars.
The time was, father, that you broke your word
When you were more endear’d to it than now;
When your own Percy, when my heart’s dear Harry,
Threw many a northward look to see his father        15
Bring up his powers; but he did long in vain.
Who then persuaded you to stay at home?
There were two honours lost, yours and your son’s:
For yours, the God of heaven brighten it!
For his, it stuck upon him as the sun        20
In the grey vault of heaven; and by his light
Did all the chivalry of England move
To do brave acts: he was indeed the glass
Wherein the noble youth did dress themselves:
He had no legs, that practis’d not his gait;        25
And speaking thick, which nature made his blemish,
Became the accents of the valiant;
For those that could speak low and tardily,
Would turn their own perfection to abuse,
To seem like him: so that, in speech, in gait,        30
In diet, in affections of delight,
In military rules, humours of blood,
He was the mark and glass, copy and book,
That fashion’d others. And him, O wondrous him!
O miracle of men! him did you leave,—        35
Second to none, unseconded by you,—
To look upon the hideous god of war
In disadvantage; to abide a field
Where nothing but the sound of Hotspur’s name
Did seem defensible: so you left him.        40
Never, O! never, do his ghost the wrong
To hold your honour more precise and nice
With others than with him: let them alone.
The marshal and the archbishop are strong:
Had my sweet Harry had but half their numbers,        45
To-day might I, hanging on Hotspur’s neck,
Have talk’d of Monmouth’s grave.
  North.        Beshrew your heart,
Fair daughter! you do draw my spirits from me
With new lamenting ancient oversights.        50
But I must go and meet with danger there,
Or it will seek me in another place,
And find me worse provided.
  Lady N.        O! fly to Scotland,
Till that the nobles and the armed commons        55
Have of their puissance made a little taste.
  Lady P.  If they get ground and vantage of the king,
Then join you with them, like a rib of steel,
To make strength stronger; but, for all our loves,
First let them try themselves. So did your son;        60
He was so suffer’d: so came I a widow;
And never shall have length of life enough
To rain upon remembrance with mine eyes,
That it may grow and sprout as high as heaven,
For recordation to my noble husband.        65
  North.  Come, come, go in with me. ’Tis with my mind
As with the tide swell’d up unto its height,
That makes a still-stand, running neither way:
Fain would I go to meet the archbishop,
But many thousand reasons hold me back.        70
I will resolve for Scotland: there am I,
Till time and vantage crave my company.  [Exeunt.

Shakespeare · Bible · Strunk · Anatomy · Nonfiction · Quotations · Reference · Fiction · Poetry
© 1993–2015 · [Top 150] · Subjects · Titles · Authors · World Lit.