King Henry IV Part II
by William Shakespeare

ACT IV
Scene I.

Yorkshire. Within the Forest of Gaultree

Enter the ARCHBISHOP OF YORK, MOWBRAY, HASTINGS, and others

ARCHBISHOP

What is this forest call'd

HASTINGS

'Tis Gaultree Forest, an't shall please your Grace.

ARCHBISHOP

Here stand, my lords, and send discoverers forth
To know the numbers of our enemies.

HASTINGS

We have sent forth already.

ARCHBISHOP

'Tis well done.
My friends and brethren in these great affairs,
I must acquaint you that I have receiv'd
New-dated letters from Northumberland;
Their cold intent, tenour, and substance, thus:
Here doth he wish his person, with such powers
As might hold sortance with his quality,
The which he could not levy; whereupon
He is retir'd, to ripe his growing fortunes,
To Scotland; and concludes in hearty prayers
That your attempts may overlive the hazard
And fearful meeting of their opposite.

MOWBRAY

Thus do the hopes we have in him touch ground
And dash themselves to pieces.

Enter A MESSENGER

HASTINGS

Now, what news?

MESSENGER

West of this forest, scarcely off a mile,
In goodly form comes on the enemy;
And, by the ground they hide, I judge their number
Upon or near the rate of thirty thousand.

MOWBRAY

The just proportion that we gave them out.
Let us sway on and face them in the field.

Enter WESTMORELAND

ARCHBISHOP

What well-appointed leader fronts us here?

MOWBRAY

I think it is my Lord of Westmoreland.

WESTMORELAND

Health and fair greeting from our general,
The Prince, Lord John and Duke of Lancaster.

ARCHBISHOP

Say on, my Lord of Westmoreland, in peace,
What doth concern your coming.

WESTMORELAND

Then, my lord,
Unto your Grace do I in chief address
The substance of my speech. If that rebellion
Came like itself, in base and abject routs,
Led on by bloody youth, guarded with rags,
And countenanc'd by boys and beggary-
I say, if damn'd commotion so appear'd
In his true, native, and most proper shape,
You, reverend father, and these noble lords,
Had not been here to dress the ugly form
Of base and bloody insurrection
With your fair honours. You, Lord Archbishop,
Whose see is by a civil peace maintain'd,
Whose beard the silver hand of peace hath touch'd,
Whose learning and good letters peace hath tutor'd,
Whose white investments figure innocence,
The dove, and very blessed spirit of peace-
Wherefore you do so ill translate yourself
Out of the speech of peace, that bears such grace,
Into the harsh and boist'rous tongue of war;
Turning your books to graves, your ink to blood,
Your pens to lances, and your tongue divine
To a loud trumpet and a point of war?

ARCHBISHOP

Wherefore do I this? So the question stands.
Briefly to this end: we are all diseas'd
And with our surfeiting and wanton hours
Have brought ourselves into a burning fever,
And we must bleed for it; of which disease
Our late King, Richard, being infected, died.
But, my most noble Lord of Westmoreland,
I take not on me here as a physician;
Nor do I as an enemy to peace
Troop in the throngs of military men;
But rather show awhile like fearful war
To diet rank minds sick of happiness,
And purge th' obstructions which begin to stop
Our very veins of life. Hear me more plainly.
I have in equal balance justly weigh'd
What wrongs our arms may do, what wrongs we suffer,
And find our griefs heavier than our offences.
We see which way the stream of time doth run
And are enforc'd from our most quiet there
By the rough torrent of occasion;
And have the summary of all our griefs,
When time shall serve, to show in articles;
Which long ere this we offer'd to the King,
And might by no suit gain our audience:
When we are wrong'd, and would unfold our griefs,
We are denied access unto his person,
Even by those men that most have done us wrong.
The dangers of the days but newly gone,
Whose memory is written on the earth
With yet appearing blood, and the examples
Of every minute's instance, present now,
Hath put us in these ill-beseeming arms;
Not to break peace, or any branch of it,
But to establish here a peace indeed,
Concurring both in name and quality.

WESTMORELAND

When ever yet was your appeal denied;
Wherein have you been galled by the King;
What peer hath been suborn'd to grate on you
That you should seal this lawless bloody book
Of forg'd rebellion with a seal divine,
And consecrate commotion's bitter edge?

ARCHBISHOP

My brother general, the commonwealth,
To brother horn an household cruelty,
I make my quarrel in particular.

WESTMORELAND

There is no need of any such redress;
Or if there were, it not belongs to you.

MOWBRAY

Why not to him in part, and to us all
That feel the bruises of the days before,
And suffer the condition of these times
To lay a heavy and unequal hand
Upon our honours?

WESTMORELAND

O my good Lord Mowbray,
Construe the times to their necessities,
And you shall say, indeed, it is the time,
And not the King, that doth you injuries.
Yet, for your part, it not appears to me,
Either from the King or in the present time,
That you should have an inch of any ground
To build a grief on. Were you not restor'd
To all the Duke of Norfolk's signiories,
Your noble and right well-rememb'red father's?

MOWBRAY

What thing, in honour, had my father lost
That need to be reviv'd and breath'd in me?
The King that lov'd him, as the state stood then,
Was force perforce compell'd to banish him,
And then that Henry Bolingbroke and he,
Being mounted and both roused in their seats,
Their neighing coursers daring of the spur,
Their armed staves in charge, their beavers down,
Their eyes of fire sparkling through sights of steel,
And the loud trumpet blowing them together-
Then, then, when there was nothing could have stay'd
My father from the breast of Bolingbroke,
O, when the King did throw his warder down-
His own life hung upon the staff he threw-
Then threw he down himself, and all their lives
That by indictment and by dint of sword
Have since miscarried under Bolingbroke.

WESTMORELAND

You speak, Lord Mowbray, now you know not what.
The Earl of Hereford was reputed then
In England the most valiant gentleman.
Who knows on whom fortune would then have smil'd?
But if your father had been victor there,
He ne'er had borne it out of Coventry;
For all the country, in a general voice,
Cried hate upon him; and all their prayers and love
Were set on Hereford, whom they doted on,
And bless'd and grac'd indeed more than the King.
But this is mere digression from my purpose.
Here come I from our princely general
To know your griefs; to tell you from his Grace
That he will give you audience; and wherein
It shall appear that your demands are just,
You shall enjoy them, everything set off
That might so much as think you enemies.

MOWBRAY

But he hath forc'd us to compel this offer;
And it proceeds from policy, not love.

WESTMORELAND

Mowbray. you overween to take it so.
This offer comes from mercy, not from fear;
For, lo! within a ken our army lies-
Upon mine honour, all too confident
To give admittance to a thought of fear.
Our battle is more full of names than yours,
Our men more perfect in the use of arms,
Our armour all as strong, our cause the best;
Then reason will our hearts should be as good.
Say you not, then, our offer is compell'd.

MOWBRAY

Well, by my will we shall admit no parley.

WESTMORELAND

That argues but the shame of your offence:
A rotten case abides no handling.

HASTINGS

Hath the Prince John a full commission,
In very ample virtue of his father,
To hear and absolutely to determine
Of what conditions we shall stand upon?

WESTMORELAND

That is intended in the general's name.
I muse you make so slight a question.

ARCHBISHOP

Then take, my Lord of Westmoreland, this schedule,
For this contains our general grievances.
Each several article herein redress'd,
All members of our cause, both here and hence,
That are insinewed to this action,
Acquitted by a true substantial form,
And present execution of our wills
To us and to our purposes confin'd-
We come within our awful banks again,
And knit our powers to the arm of peace.

WESTMORELAND

This will I show the general. Please you, lords,
In sight of both our battles we may meet;
And either end in peace- which God so frame!-
Or to the place of diff'rence call the swords
Which must decide it.

ARCHBISHOP

My lord, we will do so.

Exit WESTMORELAND

MOWBRAY

There is a thing within my bosom tells me
That no conditions of our peace can stand.

HASTINGS

Fear you not that: if we can make our peace
Upon such large terms and so absolute
As our conditions shall consist upon,
Our peace shall stand as firm as rocky mountains.

MOWBRAY

Yea, but our valuation shall be such
That every slight and false-derived cause,
Yea, every idle, nice, and wanton reason,
Shall to the King taste of this action;
That, were our royal faiths martyrs in love,
We shall be winnow'd with so rough a wind
That even our corn shall seem as light as chaff,
And good from bad find no partition.

ARCHBISHOP

No, no, my lord. Note this: the King is weary
Of dainty and such picking grievances;
For he hath found to end one doubt by death
Revives two greater in the heirs of life;
And therefore will he wipe his tables clean,
And keep no tell-tale to his memory
That may repeat and history his los
To new remembrance. For full well he knows
He cannot so precisely weed this land
As his misdoubts present occasion:
His foes are so enrooted with his friends
That, plucking to unfix an enemy,
He doth unfasten so and shake a friend.
So that this land, like an offensive wife
That hath enrag'd him on to offer strokes,
As he is striking, holds his infant up,
And hangs resolv'd correction in the arm
That was uprear'd to execution.

HASTINGS

Besides, the King hath wasted all his rods
On late offenders, that he now doth lack
The very instruments of chastisement;
So that his power, like to a fangless lion,
May offer, but not hold.

ARCHBISHOP

'Tis very true;
And therefore be assur'd, my good Lord Marshal,
If we do now make our atonement well,
Our peace will, like a broken limb united,
Grow stronger for the breaking.

MOWBRAY

Be it so.
Here is return'd my Lord of Westmoreland.

Re-enter WESTMORELAND

WESTMORELAND

The Prince is here at hand. Pleaseth your lordship
To meet his Grace just distance 'tween our armies?

MOWBRAY

Your Grace of York, in God's name then, set forward.

ARCHBISHOP

Before, and greet his Grace. My lord, we come.

Exeunt

 

King Henry IV Part II
by William Shakespeare

ACT IV
Scene II.

Another part of the forest

Enter, from one side, MOWBRAY, attended; afterwards, the ARCHBISHOP,
HASTINGS, and others; from the other side, PRINCE JOHN of LANCASTER,
WESTMORELAND, OFFICERS, and others

PRINCE JOHN

You are well encount'red here, my cousin Mowbray.
Good day to you, gentle Lord Archbishop;
And so to you, Lord Hastings, and to all.
My Lord of York, it better show'd with you
When that your flock, assembled by the bell,
Encircled you to hear with reverence
Your exposition on the holy text
Than now to see you here an iron man,
Cheering a rout of rebels with your drum,
Turning the word to sword, and life to death.
That man that sits within a monarch's heart
And ripens in the sunshine of his favour,
Would he abuse the countenance of the king,
Alack, what mischiefs might he set abroach
In shadow of such greatness! With you, Lord Bishop,
It is even so. Who hath not heard it spoken
How deep you were within the books of God?
To us the speaker in His parliament,
To us th' imagin'd voice of God himself,
The very opener and intelligencer
Between the grace, the sanctities of heaven,
And our dull workings. O, who shall believe
But you misuse the reverence of your place,
Employ the countenance and grace of heav'n
As a false favourite doth his prince's name,
In deeds dishonourable? You have ta'en up,
Under the counterfeited zeal of God,
The subjects of His substitute, my father,
And both against the peace of heaven and him
Have here up-swarm'd them.

ARCHBISHOP

Good my Lord of Lancaster,
I am not here against your father's peace;
But, as I told my Lord of Westmoreland,
The time misord'red doth, in common sense,
Crowd us and crush us to this monstrous form
To hold our safety up. I sent your Grace
The parcels and particulars of our grief,
The which hath been with scorn shov'd from the court,
Whereon this hydra son of war is born;
Whose dangerous eyes may well be charm'd asleep
With grant of our most just and right desires;
And true obedience, of this madness cur'd,
Stoop tamely to the foot of majesty.

MOWBRAY

If not, we ready are to try our fortunes
To the last man.

HASTINGS

And though we here fall down,
We have supplies to second our attempt.
If they miscarry, theirs shall second them;
And so success of mischief shall be born,
And heir from heir shall hold this quarrel up
Whiles England shall have generation.

PRINCE JOHN

YOU are too shallow, Hastings, much to shallow,
To sound the bottom of the after-times.

WESTMORELAND

Pleaseth your Grace to answer them directly
How far forth you do like their articles.

PRINCE JOHN

I like them all and do allow them well;
And swear here, by the honour of my blood,
My father's purposes have been mistook;
And some about him have too lavishly
Wrested his meaning and authority.
My lord, these griefs shall be with speed redress'd;
Upon my soul, they shall. If this may please you,
Discharge your powers unto their several counties,
As we will ours; and here, between the armies,
Let's drink together friendly and embrace,
That all their eyes may bear those tokens home
Of our restored love and amity.

ARCHBISHOP

I take your princely word for these redresses.

PRINCE JOHN

I give it you, and will maintain my word;
And thereupon I drink unto your Grace.

HASTINGS

Go, Captain, and deliver to the army
This news of peace. Let them have pay, and part.
I know it will please them. Hie thee, Captain.

Exit Officer

ARCHBISHOP

To you, my noble Lord of Westmoreland.

WESTMORELAND

I pledge your Grace; and if you knew what pains
I have bestow'd to breed this present peace,
You would drink freely; but my love to ye
Shall show itself more openly hereafter.

ARCHBISHOP

I do not doubt you.

WESTMORELAND

I am glad of it.
Health to my lord and gentle cousin, Mowbray.

MOWBRAY

You wish me health in very happy season,
For I am on the sudden something ill.

ARCHBISHOP

Against ill chances men are ever merry;
But heaviness foreruns the good event.

WESTMORELAND

Therefore be merry, coz; since sudden sorrow
Serves to say thus, 'Some good thing comes to-morrow.'

ARCHBISHOP

Believe me, I am passing light in spirit.

MOWBRAY

So much the worse, if your own rule be true.

[Shouts within]

PRINCE JOHN

The word of peace is rend'red. Hark, how they shout!

MOWBRAY

This had been cheerful after victory.

ARCHBISHOP

A peace is of the nature of a conquest;
For then both parties nobly are subdu'd,
And neither party loser.

PRINCE JOHN

Go, my lord,
And let our army be discharged too.

Exit WESTMORELAND

And, good my lord, so please you let our trains
March by us, that we may peruse the men
We should have cop'd withal.

ARCHBISHOP

Go, good Lord Hastings,
And, ere they be dismiss'd, let them march by.

Exit HASTINGS

PRINCE JOHN

I trust, lords, we shall lie to-night together.

Re-enter WESTMORELAND

Now, cousin, wherefore stands our army still?

WESTMORELAND

The leaders, having charge from you to stand,
Will not go off until they hear you speak.

PRINCE JOHN

They know their duties.

Re-enter HASTINGS

HASTINGS

My lord, our army is dispers'd already.
Like youthful steers unyok'd, they take their courses
East, west, north, south; or like a school broke up,
Each hurries toward his home and sporting-place.

WESTMORELAND

Good tidings, my Lord Hastings; for the which
I do arrest thee, traitor, of high treason;
And you, Lord Archbishop, and you, Lord Mowbray,
Of capital treason I attach you both.

MOWBRAY

Is this proceeding just and honourable?

WESTMORELAND

Is your assembly so?

ARCHBISHOP

Will you thus break your faith?

PRINCE JOHN

I pawn'd thee none:
I promis'd you redress of these same grievances
Whereof you did complain; which, by mine honour,
I will perform with a most Christian care.
But for you, rebels- look to taste the due
Meet for rebellion and such acts as yours.
Most shallowly did you these arms commence,
Fondly brought here, and foolishly sent hence.
Strike up our drums, pursue the scatt'red stray.
God, and not we, hath safely fought to-day.
Some guard these traitors to the block of death,
Treason's true bed and yielder-up of breath.

Exeunt