Reference > William Shakespeare > The Oxford Shakespeare > 2 King Henry IV.
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William Shakespeare (1564–1616).  The Oxford Shakespeare.  1914.
 
The Second Part of King Henry the Fourth
 
Act IV. Scene II.
 
Another Part of the Forest.
 
Enter, from one side, MOWBRAY, the ARCHBISHOP, HASTINGS, and Others: from the other side, JOHN OF LANCASTER, WESTMORELAND, Officers, and Attendants.
  Lanc.  You are well encounter’d here, my cousin Mowbray:
Good day to you, gentle lord archbishop;
And so to you, Lord Hastings, and to all.        5
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,        10
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,        15
Alack! what mischief 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;        20
To us the 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,        25
Employ the countenance and grace of heaven,
As a false favourite doth his prince’s name,
In deeds dishonourable? You have taken up,
Under the counterfeited zeal of God,
The subjects of his substitute, my father;        30
And both against the peace of heaven and him
Have here upswarm’d them.
  Arch.        Good my Lord of Lancaster,
I am not here against your father’s peace;
But, as I told my Lord of Westmoreland,        35
The time misorder’d 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,—        40
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.        45
  Mowb.  If not, we ready are to try our fortunes
To the last man.
  Hast.        And though we here fall down,
We have supplies to second our attempt:
If they miscarry, theirs shall second them;        50
And so success of mischief shall be born,
And heir from heir shall hold this quarrel up
Whiles England shall have generation.
  Lanc.  You are too shallow, Hastings, much too shallow,
To sound the bottom of the after-times.        55
  West.  Pleaseth your Grace, to answer them directly
How far forth you do like their articles.
  Lanc.  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,        60
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,        65
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.
  Arch.  I take your princely word for these redresses.        70
  Lanc.  I give it you, and will maintain my word:
And thereupon I drink unto your Grace.
  Hast.  [To an Officer.]  Go, captain, and deliver to the army
This news of peace: let them have pay, and part:
I know it will well please them: hie thee, captain.  [Exit Officer.        75
  Arch.  To you, my noble Lord of Westmoreland.
  West.  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 you
Shall show itself more openly hereafter.        80
  Arch.  I do not doubt you.
  West.        I am glad of it.
Health to my lord and gentle cousin, Mowbray.
  Mowb.  You wish me health in very happy season;
For I am, on the sudden, something ill.        85
  Arch.  Against ill chances men are ever merry,
But heaviness foreruns the good event.
  West.  Therefore be merry, coz; since sudden sorrow
Serves to say thus, Some good thing comes to morrow.
  Arch.  Believe me, I am passing light in spirit.        90
  Mowb.  So much the worse if your own rule be true.  [Shouts within.
  Lanc.  The word of peace is render’d: hark, how they shout!
  Mowb.  This had been cheerful, after victory.
  Arch.  A peace is of the nature of a conquest;
For then both parties nobly are subdu’d,        95
And neither party loser.
  Lanc.        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        100
We should have cop’d withal.
  Arch.  Go, good Lord Hastings,
And, ere they be dismiss’d, let them march by.  [Exit HASTINGS.
  Lanc.  I trust, lords, we shall lie to-night together.
 
Re-enter WESTMORELAND.
        105
Now, cousin, wherefore stands our army still?
  West.  The leaders, having charge from you to stand,
Will not go off until they hear you speak.
  Lanc.  They know their duties.
 
Re-enter HASTINGS.
        110
  Hast.  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.
  West.  Good tidings, my Lord Hastings; for the which        115
I do arrest thee, traitor, of high treason:
And you, lord archbishop, and you, Lord Mowbray,
Of capital treason I attach you both.
  Mowb.  Is this proceeding just and honourable?
  West.  Is your assembly so?        120
  Arch.  Will you thus break your faith?
  Lanc.        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.        125
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 scatter’d stray:        130
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.
 
 
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