History of Henry IV, Part II (1597-8)

Intro
Title Variant: The Second Part of Henry the Fourth
Online Critical Edition in Progress - Version 1.a.
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Act I, Scene 3

York. The ARCHBISHOP'S palace

Archbishop Scroop
Thus have you heard our cause and known our means;
And, my most noble friends, I pray you all
Speak plainly your opinions of our hopes-
And first, Lord Marshal, what say you to it?

Lord Mowbray
I well allow the occasion of our amis;
But gladly would be better satisfied
How, in our means, we should advance ourselves
To look with forehead bold and big enough
Upon the power and puissance of the King.

Lord Hastings
Our present musters grow upon the file
To five and twenty thousand men of choice;
And our supplies live largely in the hope
Of great Northumberland, whose bosom burns
With an incensed fire of injuries.

Bardolph
The question then, Lord Hastings, standeth thus:
Whether our present five and twenty thousand
May hold up head without Northumberland?

Lord Hastings
With him, we may.

Bardolph
Yea, marry, there's the point;
But if without him we be thought too feeble,
My judgment is we should not step too far
Till we had his assistance by the hand;
For, in a theme so bloody-fac'd as this,
Conjecture, expectation, and surmise
Of aids incertain, should not be admitted.

Archbishop Scroop
'Tis very true, Lord Bardolph; for indeed
It was young Hotspur's case at Shrewsbury.

Bardolph
It was, my lord; who lin'd himself with hope,
Eating the air and promise of supply,
Flatt'ring himself in project of a power
Much smaller than the smallest of his thoughts;
And so, with great imagination
Proper to madmen, led his powers to death,
And, winking, leapt into destruction.

Lord Hastings
But, by your leave, it never yet did hurt
To lay down likelihoods and forms of hope.

Bardolph
Yes, if this present quality of war-
Indeed the instant action, a cause on foot-
Lives so in hope, as in an early spring
We see th' appearing buds; which to prove fruit
Hope gives not so much warrant, as despair
That frosts will bite them. When we mean to build,
We first survey the plot, then draw the model;
And when we see the figure of the house,
Then we must rate the cost of the erection;
Which if we find outweighs ability,
What do we then but draw anew the model
In fewer offices, or at least desist
To build at all? Much more, in this great work--
Which is almost to pluck a kingdom down
And set another up--should we survey
The plot of situation and the model,
Consent upon a sure foundation,
Question surveyors, know our own estate
How able such a work to undergo-
To weigh against his opposite; or else
We fortify in paper and in figures,
Using the names of men instead of men;
Like one that draws the model of a house
Beyond his power to build it; who, half through,
Gives o'er and leaves his part-created cost
A naked subject to the weeping clouds
And waste for churlish winter's tyranny.

Lord Hastings
Grant that our hopes--yet likely of fair birth--
Should be still-born, and that we now possess'd
The utmost man of expectation,
I think we are so a body strong enough,
Even as we are, to equal with the King.

Bardolph
What, is the King but five and twenty thousand?

Lord Hastings
To us no more; nay, not so much, Lord Bardolph;
For his divisions, as the times do brawl,
Are in three heads: one power against the French,
And one against Glendower; perforce a third
Must take up us. So is the unfirm King
In three divided; and his coffers sound
With hollow poverty and emptiness.

Archbishop Scroop
That he should draw his several strengths together
And come against us in full puissance
Need not be dreaded.

Lord Hastings
If he should do so,
He leaves his back unarm'd, the French and Welsh
Baying at his heels. Never fear that.

Bardolph
Who is it like should lead his forces hither?

Lord Hastings
The Duke of Lancaster and Westmoreland;
Against the Welsh, himself and Harry Monmouth;
But who is substituted against the French
I have no certain notice.

Archbishop Scroop
Let us on,
And publish the occasion of our arms.
The commonwealth is sick of their own choice;
Their over-greedy love hath surfeited.
An habitation giddy and unsure
Hath he that buildeth on the vulgar heart.
O thou fond many, with what loud applause
Didst thou beat heaven with blessing Bolingbroke
Before he was what thou wouldst have him be!
And being now trimm'd in thine own desires,
Thou, beastly feeder, art so full of him
That thou provok'st thyself to cast him up.
So, so, thou common dog, didst thou disgorge
Thy glutton bosom of the royal Richard;
And now thou wouldst eat thy dead vomit up,
And howl'st to find it. What trust is in these times?
They that, when Richard liv'd, would have him die
Are now become enamour'd on his grave.
Thou that threw'st dust upon his goodly head,
When through proud London he came sighing on
After th' admired heels of Bolingbroke,
Criest now 'O earth, yield us that king again,
And take thou this!' O thoughts of men accurs'd!
Past and to come seems best; things present, worst.

Lord Mowbray
Shall we go draw our numbers, and set on?

Lord Hastings
We are time's subjects, and time bids be gone.

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© Copyright 2017-2022 Shakespeare Network - Maximianno Cobra - All rights reserved.