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KING Henry the Fourth.
Henry, Prince of Wales, Sons to the King.
John Duke of Lancaster,
Worcester,


Northumberland,
Hot-fpur,
Mortimer,
Archbishop of York, Enemies to the King.
Dowglas,
Owen Glendower,
Sir Richard Vernon,
Sir Michell,
Westmorland

.
Sir John Falstaff.
Poins,
Gads-hill,
Peto,

Companions of Falstaff.
Bardolph,

ir Walter Blunt, } of the King's Party.

Lady Percy, Wife to Hot-fpur.
Lady Mortimer, Daughter to Glendower, and Wife to

Mortimer.
Hostess Quickly.

Sheriff, Vintner, Chamberlain, Drawersy ttvo Carriers,

Travellers, and Attendants.

SCENE, ENGLAND.

The

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Enter King Henry, Lord John of Lancaster, Earl

of Westmorland, and others.

King HENRY.
O thaken as we are, so wan with Care,
Find we a time for frighted peace to pant,
And breathe short-winded accents of new

broils

To be commenc'd in stronds afar remote. No more the thirsty entrance of this Soil (2)

Shall

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(1) The i Part of Henry IV.] The Transactions, contain'd in this historical Drama, are comprized within the Period.of about 10 Months: For the Action commences with the News brought of Hotspur having defeated the Scots under Archibald Earl Douglas at Holmedon, (or Halidown hill) which Battle was fought on Holyrood day; (the 14th of September, 1402:) and it closes with the Defeat and Death of Hotspur at Shrewsbury; which Engagement happen'd on Saturday the 21tt of July (the Eve of St. Mary Magdalen) in the Year 1403. (2) No more the thirfty Entrance of this Soil

Shall dawb her Lips with her own Children's blood:] Thus the Oldest Quarto and the Firit Folio. I have chose to read with some of the more recent Impressions, damp: and if I do not mistake the Sense of the Paffage, the Antithesis

, that seems design’d, requires this Reading. Entrance of this Soil, I apprehend, cannot well mean an Invasion of the Kingdom: nor could the King have a Reason to say, that England should never again be attempted by hoftile Arms. The Exprelion is very ob

24

fcurti

a

Shall damp her lips with her own children's blood :
No more Thall trenching war channel her fields,
Nor bruise her flowrets with the armed hoofs
Of hostile paces. Those opposed eyes,
Which, like the meteors of a troubled heav'n,
All of one nature, of one substance bred,
Did lately meet in the intestine shock
And furious Close of civil butchery,
Shall now in mutual well-beseeming ranks
March all one way; and be no more oppos’d
Against acquaintance, kindred, and allies :
The edge of war, like an ill-sheathed knife,
No more shall cut his master. Therefore, friends,
As far as to the fepulchre of Christ,
(Whose soldier now, under whose blessed Cross
We are impressed, and engag’d to fight)
Forthwith a Power of English shall we levy;
Whose arms were moulded in their mothers' womb,
To chase these Pagans, in those holy fields
Over whose acres walk'd those blessed feet,
Which, fourteen hundred years ago, were nail'd
For our advantage on the bitter Cross.
But this our purpose is a twelvemonth old,
And bootless 'tis to tell you we will go.
Therefore, we meet not now: Then let me hear,
Of you my gentle Cousin Westmorland,
What yesternight our Council did decree,
In forwarding this dear expedience.
Weft. My Liege, this hafte was hot in question,

limits of the Charge set down scure; but I take This to be the Meaning: that the thirfly Earth, chapt and flaw'd with Drought, shall no more damp, or moisten her Lips, of Surface, with her own Children's blood. The dry Earth drinking in this manner, is a very natural Allusion, and frequent with our Author. So, in his Troubléfom Reign of King Jobn;

Is all the Blood, y-spilt on either Part,
Closing the Crannies of the thirsty Earth,

Grorun to a Love-game, and a bridal Feaft? 3 Henry VI.

Thy Brother's blood the thirsty Earth hath drunk.
Titus Andronicus.
Let my Tears stanch the Earth's dry Appetite.

But

And many

But yesternight: when, all athwart, there came
A Poft from Wales, loaden with heavy news ;
Whose worst was, that the noble Mortimer,
Leading the men of Herefordshire to fight
Against th'irregular and wild Glendower,
Was by the rude hands of that Welshman taken ;
A thousand of his people butchered,
Upon whose dead corps there was such misuse,
Such beastly, shameless transformation,
By those Welswomen done, as may not be,
Without much shame, re-told or spoken of.

K. Henry. It seems then, that the tidings of this broil Brake off our business for the holy Land.

West. This, matcht with other, did, my gracious lord; For more uneven and unwelcome news Came from the North, and thus it did import. On holy-rood day, the gallant Hot-spur there, Young Harry Percy, and brave Archibald, That ever-valiant and approved Scot, At Holmeden spent a fad and bloody hour: As by discharge of their artillery, And shape of likelihood, the news was told; For he, that brought it, in the very heat And pride of their contention, did take horse, Uncertain of the issue any way.

K. Henry. Here is a dear and true-industrious friend, Sir Walter Blunt, new lighted from his horse, (3) Stain'd with the variation of each soil Betwixt that Holmedon, and this Seat of ours: And he hath brought us smooth and welcome news. (3) Sir Walter Blunt, new lighted from his Horse,

Stain'd with the Variation of each Soil,

Betwixt that Holmedon, &c.] This Circumstance of Blunt's Speed, and being bespatter'd with the different Dirt of each County, was look'd on, I apprehend, in a ludicrous Light by some Carpers ; at least, I find it parodied in an old Comedy, and apply'd to a person in a Scuffle tumbled into the Dirt.

- your Band and Doublet
Torn from your Neck and Back; and your brave Breeches
Stain'd with the Variation of each Soil.

Merry Milk-maids. Ac. 2. Sc. 2.

The

The Earl of Dowglas is discomfited,
Ten thousand bold Scots, three and twenty Knights,
Balk'd in their own blood did Sir Walter fce
On Holmedon's plains. Of prisoners, Hot-spur took
Mordake the Earl of Fife, and eldest son
To beaten Dowglas, and the Earls of Athol,
Of Murry, Angus, and Menteith.
And is not this an honourable spoil ?
A gallant prize? ha, cousin, is it not?

Weft. In faith, a conquest for a Prince to boast of.
K. Henry. Yea, there thou mak’ft me fad, and mak'st

mé fin
In Envy, that my lord Northumberland
Should be the father of so blest a son:
A son, who is the theam of Honour's tongue:
Amongst a grove, the very streightest plant;
Who is sweet Fortune's Minion, and her Pride:
Whilft I, by looking on the praise of him,
See riot and dishonour ftain the brow
Of my young Harry. O could it be prov'd,
That some night-tripping Fairy had exchang'd,
In cradle-cloaths, our children where they lay,
And call'd mine Percy, his Plantagenet ;
Then would I have his Harry, and he mine.
But let him from my thoughts.

What think you,
Cousin,
Of this young Percy's pride? the prisoners,
Which he in this adventure hath surpriz’d,
To his own use he keeps, and sends me word,
I shall have none but Mordake Earl of Fife.

Weft. This is his uncle's teaching, this is Worcester, Malevolent to you in all aspects; Which makes him prune himself, and bristlé up The Crest of youth against your Dignity.

K. Henry. But I have sent for him to answer this; And for this cause a while we must neglect Our holy purpose to Jerusalem. Cousin, on Wednesday next, our Council we Will hold at Windsor, so inform the lords : But come your self with speed to us again;

For

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