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Shakespeare's history of King Henry the Fourth (Volume 2) online

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themselves well : and if they would not yield and crave the
king's pardon, he bade them to do their best to defend them-

" Hereupon as well the archbishop as the earl marshall sub-
mitted themselves unto the king, and to his son the lord John that
was there present, and returned not to their army. Whereupon
their troops scaled and fled their ways ; but being pursued, many
were taken, many slain, and many spoiled of that that they had
about them, and so permitted to go their ways. Howsoever the
matter was handled, true it is that the archbishop and the earl
marshall were brought to Pomfret to the king, who in this mean-
while was advanced thither with his power ; and from thence he



went to York, whither the prisoners were also brought, and there
beheaded the morrow after Whitsunday, in a place without the
city: that is to understand, the archbishop himself, the earl mar-
shall, sir John I.aniplcy, and sir Robert I'knnpton. Unto all wliich
persons though indemnity were promised, yet was the same to none
of them at any hand performed.

"After the king, accordingly as seemed to him good, had ran-
somed and punished by grievous lines the citizens of York (which
had borne armour on their archbishop's side against him), he
departed from York, with an army of thirty and seven thousand
fighting men, furnished with all provision necessary, marching
northwards against the earl of Northumberland. At his coming
to Durham, the lord Hastings, the lord Fauconbridge, sir John
Collevill of the Dale, and sir John Griffith, being convicted of the
conspiracy, were there beheaded. The earl of Northumberland,
hearing that his counsel was betrayed and his confederates brought
to confusion, through too much haste of the archbishop of York,
with three hundred horse got him to Berwick. The king coming
forward quickly, wan the castle of Warkworth. Whereupon the
earl of Northumberland, not thinking himself in surety at Berwick,
fled with the lord Bardolfe into Scotland, where they were received
of David, lord Fleming.

"The earl of Northumberland and the lord Bardolfe, after they
had been in Wales, in France, and Flanders, to purchase aid
against King Henry, were returned back into Scotland, and had
remained there now for the space of a whole year ; and, as their
evil fortune would, whilst the king held a council of the nobility
at London, the said earl of Northumberland and lord Bardolfe in
a dismal hour, with a great power of Scots, returned into England,
recovering diverse of the earl's castles antl signiories ; for the
people in great numbers resorted unto them. The king, advertised
hereof, caused a great army to be assembled, and came forward
with the same towards his enemies ; but ere the king came to
Nottingham, sir Thomas, or (as other copies have) Rafe Rokesby,

Notes 165

sheriff of Yorkshire, assembled the forces of the country to resist
the earl and his power.

" There was a sore encounter and cruel conflict betwixt the par-
ties, but in the end the victory fell to the sheriff. The lord Bar-
dolfe was taken, but sore wounded, so that he shortly after died
of his hurts. As for the earl of Northumberland, he was slain

" The lord Henry, prince of Wales, eldest son to King Henry,
got knowledge that certain of his father's servants were busy to
give informations against him, whereby discord might arise betwixt
him and his father ; for they put into the king's head, not only
what evil rule (according to the course of youth) the prince kept,
to the offence of many, but also what great resort of people came
to his house, so that the court was nothing furnished with such a
train as daily followed the prince. These tales brought no small
suspicion into the king's head, lest his son would presume to usurp
the crown, he being yet alive ; through which suspicious jealousy,
it was perceived that he favoured not his son as in times past he
had done. The prince, sore offended with such persons as by
slanderous reports souglit, not only to spot his good name abroad
in the realm, but to sow discord also betwixt him and his father,
wrote his letters into every part of the realm, to reprove all such
slanderous devices of those that sought his discredit. And to clear
himself the belter, that the world might understand what wrong
he had to be slandered in such wise, about the feast of Peter and
Paul, to wit, the nine-and-twentieth day of June, he came to the
court, with such a numlier of noblemen and other his friends that
wished him well, as the like train had been seldom seen repairing
to the court at any one time in those days. The court was then
at Westminster, where he being entered into the hall, not one of
his company durst once advance himself further than the fire in
the same hall, notwithstanding they were earnestly requested by
the lords to come higher ; but they, regarding what they had in
commandment of the prince, would not presume to do in any thing

1 66 Notes

contrary thereunto. He himself, only accompanied with those of
the king's house, was straight admitted to the presence of the king
his father, who being at that time grievously diseased, yet caused
himself in his chair to be borne into his privy chamber, where, in
the presence of three or four persons in whom he had most con-
fidence, he commanded the prince to show what he had to say
concerning the cause of his coming.

"The prince kneeling down before his father, said: Most re-
doubted and sovereign lord and father, I am at this time come to
your presence as your liege man, and as your natural son, in all
things to be at your commandment. And where I understand
you have in suspicion my demeanour against your grace, you know
very well, that if I knew any man within this realm of whom you
should stand in fear, my duty were to punish that person, thereby
to remove that grief from your heart. Then how much more ought
I to suffer death, to ease your grace of that grief which you have
of me, being your natural son and liege man ; and to that end I
have this day made myself ready by confession and receiving the
sacrament. And therefore I beseech you, most redoubted lord
and dear father, for the honour of God, to ease your heart of all
such suspicion as you have of me, and to despatch me here before
your knees with this same dagger (and withal he delivered unto
the king his dagger in all humble reverence, adding further, that
his life was not so dear to him that he wished to live one day with
his displeasure) ; and therefore, in thus ridding me out of life, and
yourself from all suspicion, here in presence of these lords, and
before God at the day of the general judgment, I faithfully protest
clearly to forgive you.

"The king, moved herewith, cast from him the dagger, and,
embracing the prince, kissed him, and with shedding tears con-
fessed, that indeed he had him partly in suspicion, though now (as
he perceived) not with just cause ; and therefore from thenceforth
no misreport should cause him to have him in mistrust ; and this
he promised of his honour.

Notes 167

"Thus were the father and the son reconciled, betwixt whom
the said pickthanks had sown division, insomuch thai the son,
upon a vehement conceit of unkindness sprung in the father was
in the way to be worn out of favour ; which was the more likely
to come to pass, by their informations that privily charged him
with riot, and other uncivil demeanour unseemly for a prince. In-
deed, he was youthfully given, grown to audacity, and had chosen
him companions agreeable to his age, with whom he spent the time
in such recreations, exercises, and delights as he fancied. But yet
it should seem (by the report of some writers) that his behaviour
was not offensive, or at least tending to the damage of anybody ;
sith he had a care to avoid doing of wrong, and to tender his affec-
tions within the tract of virtue, whereby he opened unto himself
a ready passage of good liking among the prudent sort, and was
beloved of such as could discern his disposition, which was in no
degree so excessive, as that he deserved in such vehement manner
to be suspected,

" In this fourteenth and last year of King Henry's reign, a coun-
cil was holden in the Whitefriars in London, at the which, among
other things, order was taken for ships and gallies to be builded
and made ready, and all other things necessary to be provided, for
a voyage which he meant to make into the holy land, there to re-
cover the city of Jerusalem from the infidels. For it grieved him
to consider the great malice of Christian princes that were bent
upon a mischievous purpose to destroy one another, to the peril of
their own souls, rather than to make war against the enemies of the
Christian faith, as in conscience (it seemed to him) they were
bound. He held his Christmas this year at Eltham, being sore
vexed with sickness, so that it was thought sometime that he had
been dead ; notwithstanding it pleased God that he somewhat re-
covered his strength again, and so passed that Christmas with as
much joy as he might.

"The morrow after Candlemas day began a parliament which he
had called at London, but he departed this life before the same

1 68 Notes

parliament was ended ; for now that his provisions were ready, and
that he was furnished witli sufficient treasure, soldiers, captains,
victuals, munitions, tall ships, strong gallies, and all things neces-
sary for such a royal journey as he pretended to take into the holy
land, he was eftsoons taken with a sore sickness, which was not a
leprosy, stricken by the hand of God (saith Maister Hall), as fool-
ish friars imagined, i)ut a very apoplexy. During this his last sick-
ness he caused his crown (as some write) to be set on a pillow at
his bed's head, and suddenly his pangs so troubled him, that he lay
as though all his vital spirits had been from him departed. Such
as were about him, thinking verily that he had been departed, cov-
ered his face with a linen cloth. The prince his son, being hereof
advertised, entered into the chamber, took away the crown, and
departed. The father, being suddenly revived out of that trance,
quickly perceived the lack of his crown ; and, having knowledge
that the prince his son had taken it away, caused him to come be-
fore his presence, requiring of him what he meant so to misuse him-
self. The prince with a good audacity answered : Sir, to mine and
all men's judgments, you seemed dead in this world ; wherefore, I,
as your next heir apparent, took that as mine own, and not as yours.
Well, fair son (said the king with a great sigh), what right I had
to it, God knoweth. Well (said the prince), if you die king, I will
have the garland, and trust to keep it with the sword against all
mine enemies, as you have done. Then, said the king, I commit
all to God ; and remember you do well. With that he turned him-
self in his bed, and shortly after departed to God, in a chamber of
the abbot's of Westminster called Jerusalem, the twentieth day of
March, in the year 141 3, in the year of his age 46, when he had
reigned thirteen years five months and odd days.

" We find that he was taken with his last -sickness while he was
making his prayers at saint Edward's shrine, there as it were to
take his leave and so to proceed forth on his journey. He was so
suddenly and grievously taken, that such as were about him feared
lest he would have died presently. Wherefore, to relieve him (if it

Notes 169

were possible), they bare him unto a chamber that was next at
hand belonging to the abbot of Westminster, where they laid him
on a pallet before the fire, and used all remedies to revive him.
At length he recovered his speech and understanding, and perceiv-
ing himself in a strange place which he knew not, he willed to
know if the chamber had any particular name ; whereunto answer
was made that it was Jerusalem. Then, said the king, lauds lie
given to the Father of heaven ; for now I know that I shall die
here in this chamber, according to the prophecy of me declared,
that I should depart this life in Jerusalem.

" Henry, prince of Wales, son and heir to King Henry the Fourth,
born in Wales, at Monmouth on the river of Wye, after his father
was departed took upon him the regiment of this realm of England,
the twentieth of March, 141 3, the morrow after proclaimed king by
the name of Henry the Fifth. This king even at first appointing
with himself to show that in his person princely honours should
change public manners, he determined to put on him the shape of a
new man. For whereas aforetime he had made himself a compan-
ion unto misruly mates of dissolute order and life, he now banished
them all from his presence (but not unrewarded, or else unpre-
ferred), inhibiting them, upon a great pain, not once to approach,
lodge, or sojourn within ten miles of his court or presence ; and in
their places he chose men of gravity, wit, and high policy, by whose
wise counsel he might at all times rule to his honour and dignity ;
calling to mind how once, to high offence of the king his father, he
had with his fist stricken the chief justice, for sending one of his
minions 1 (upon desert) to prison, when the justice stoutly com-
manded himself also straight to ward, and he (then prince) obeyed.
The king after expelled him out of his privy council, banished him
the court, and made the duke of Clarence, his younger brother,
president of council in his stead."

1 Favourites. Cf. K. John, ii. i. 392, Macb. i. 2. 19, etc.




In the 1st folio the last scene of the play ends on p. lOO, with
" FINIS " appended and a " tail-piece '" which (ills out the page.
The Epilogue occupies the next page, which is not numbered, and
on the back of this we find the following list of characters: —


RvMOVR the Presenter.

King Henry the Fourth.

Prince Henry, afterwards Crowned King Henrie the Fift.

Prince lohn of Lancaster. 'J „ .. tt ..u t- ^i. o

bonnes to Henry the Fourth, &

brethren to Henry 5.

Humphrey of Gloucester.
Thomas of Clarence.


The Arch Byshop of Yorke.



Lord Bardolfe.








Harecourt. I

Lord Chiefe lustice.J

Shallow. \ Both Country

Silence, j lustices.

Dauie, Seruant to Shallow.

Phang, and Snare, 2. Serieants. Drawers

Mouldie. \ Beadles.

Shadow. I Groomes

Wart. \ Country Soldiers

Feeble. |

Bullcalfe. J

Opposites against King Henrie the

Of the Kings



Bardolphe. Irregular

Pistoll. j Humorists.

Peto. I

Page. J

Northumberlands Wife.
Percies Widdow.
Hostesse Quickly.
Doll Teare-sheete.

Notes 171


In the folio this is headed " Actus Primus. Scoena Prima.
Indvction." In the quarto there is no division into acts and

I. Enter Rumour, painted full of tongues. This is according
to the quarto ; the folio has simply " Enter Rumour!^ Warton
quotes Holinshed's description of a pageant exhibited in the court
of Henry VIII. : " Then entered a person called Report, apparelled
in crimson sattin, full of toongs, or chronicles." Farmer remarks
that Stephen Hawes, in his Pastime of Pleasure, had described

Rumour as

" A goodly lady, envyroned about
With tongues of fire ; "

and so had Sir Thomas More, in one of his Pageants : —

" Fame I am called, merveyle you nothing
Though with tonges I am compassed all rounde."

Cf. also Chaucer, The House of Fame, 298 : —

" And sothe to tellen also sheC
Had also fele up stondyng eres
And tonges, as on bestes heres."

This description, as the context shows, was suggested by Virgil's in
Aineid, iv. 174 fol., to which the others quoted above were doubt-
less also indebted.

Judge Holmes, in his Authorship of Shakespeare, among his
" parallelisms " between Bacon and Shakespeare, cites this descrip-
tion of Rumour and the following from Bacon's Essay of Fame :
" The poets make fame a 7nonster. They describe her in part finely
and elegantly ; and in part gravely and sententiously. They say,
look how many feathers she hath; so many eyes she hath under-
neath ; so many tongues ; so many voices ; she pricks up so many
ears. This is a flourish. There follow excellent parables ; as that

ijl Notes

she gathereth strength in going ; that she goeth upon the ground
and yet hideth her head in the elouds ; that in the daytime she
sitteth in a watch-tower, and flieth most by night ; that she min-
gleth things done with tilings not done, and that she is a terror to
great cities."

It will be seen that this is almost a literal translation of Virgil's
description ; even the word monster, which the Judge italicizes as
parallel to " the blunt monster with uncounted heads," being
directly suggested by the " monstriiui horrendum " of the Latin.
And yet it is quoted as one of the " instances of striking resem-
blances, in particular words and phrases, lying beyond the range of
accidental coincidence," etc. !

3. Drooping. Sinking, declining. Malone quotes J\/acb. iii. 2,
52 : " Good things of day begin to droop and drowse," etc.

12. Fearful. Full of fear ; as in I Hen. IV. iv. I. 67, etc.

13. Big. Pregnant; as in W. T. iv. I. 64, Cynib. i. i. 39, etc.
15. And no such matter? And it is nothing of the kind. Cf.

Sonn. 87. 14 : " In sleep a king, but waking no such matter ; "
Much Ado, ii. 3. 225 : " The sport will be, when they hold one an
opinion of another's dotage, and no such matter," etc.

17. Stop. The holes in a pipe or flute are called stops. Cf.
Ham. iii. 2. 76, 376, 381, etc.

18. Blunt. Dull, stupid ; as in T. G. of V. ii. 6. 41 : —

" But, Valentine being gone, I '11 quickly cross
By some sly trick blunt Thurio's dull proceeding."

20. What need I, etc. Why need I, etc. Cf. i. 2. 107 below:
"What tell you me of it?" See also R.ofL. 31,/. C. ii. i. 123,
Hen. Vni. ii. 4. 12S, etc.

26. Rebellion. A quadrisyllable ; as in i.- 1. 50 below.

33. Peasant. Here = provincial, or rural.

37. Crafty-sick. Craftily sick, or feigning sickness. The
hyphen is not in the early eds. In these compound adjectives, the
first part is often adverbial.

Notes 173


Scene I. — i. The Porter opens the gate. The quarto reads:
" Enter the Lord Bardolfe at one doore ; " the folios : " Ettter Lord
Bardolfe, and the Porter.'''

2. What. Who ; as often. Cf. i. 2. 59 below : " What's he
that goes there? "

5. Please it. If it please ; as often.

8. Stratagem. " A dreadful deed, any thing amazing and appall-
ing" (Schmidt). Cf. M. of V. v. I. 85: "fit for treasons, strata-
gems, and spoils ; " 3 Lien. VI. ii. 5. 89: "What stratagems, how
fell, how butcherly," etc.

13. God. Changed in the folios to "heaven," as in many other
cases, on account of King James's statute forbidding the use of the
name of God on the stage.

19. Braivn. Mass of flesh ; applied contemptuously to Falstaff,
as in I Hen. IV. ii. 4. 123: "that damned brawn."

20. Day. Day of battle, combat ; as often. Cf. 52 and i. 2.
150 below,

21. Follow'' d. That is, the advantage gained being followed up.
Cf. iii. I. 75 : "thus did he follow it" (that is, follow it up). See
also T. N.\. I. 373 : " How with a sportful malice it was foUow'd."

30. Over-rode. Outrode, rode past ; used by S. only here. Cf.
overrun — outrun, in Hen. VIII. i. I. 143.

37. Forspent. Exhausted, worn out. Cf. 3 Hen. VI. ii. 3. I :
"Forspent with toil, as runners with a race." In Hen. V. ii. 4. 36.
forspent = foregone, past. Steevens quotes Sir A. Gorges, trans,
of Incan : " crabbed sires, forspent with age." Fordone is used in
the same sense in AI. A\ D.v. i. 381.

45. Poor jade. " Used not in contempt but in compassion "
(Steevens). Malone cites Rich. II. v. 5. 85 : "That jade hath eat
bread from my royal hand ; " but there something of reproach may
be implied.

47. Devour the way. Cf. Catullus, ad Papyr. 7 : " viam vorabit."

174 Notes [Act I

Steevens quotes /,?(5, xxxix. 24, and Jonson, Sejanits \. 10 : "they
greedily devour the way."

48. Staying no longer question. Cf. M. of V. iv. I. 346 : " I '11
Stay no longer question." See also M. N. D. ii. i. 235.

53. Point. A tagged lace, used in fastening parts of the dress,
especially the breeches. Cf. ii. 4. 163 below, where it may mean
some mark of his commission, like the modern "shoulder-straps."

56. Instances. Details (Schmidt). Some make it = evidences,
proofs; as in iii. i. 103 below.

57. Hilding. Base, menial. S. also uses it as a noun (its
proper sense); as in R. and J, ii. 4. 44, iii. 5. 169, etc.

60. Title-leaf. Steevens remarks that in the time of S. the title-
page to an elegy was entirely black ; but the simile is equally ex-
pressive if we take title-leaf in its ordinary sense.

63. Usurpation. Metrically five syllables. See on ind. 26
above. A witnessed jisurpation = " traces that bear witness to its

69. Apter. For the comparative, cf. A. Y. L. iii. 2. 408 : " she
is apter to do than to confess she does." The superlative occurs in
213 below.

71. Woe-begone. This compound, which is familiar enough now,
seems to have been less common half a century ago. Warburton
and Steevens think it necessary to define and illustrate it. S. uses
the word nowhere else.

72. Dreiv Priat?i's curtain. That is, drew it aside. Cf. i Hen.
IV. iv. I. 73, etc. It is also used in the other sense ; as in M. ofV.
iii. 7. 78, ii. 9. 84, etc.

86. Instinct. Accented on the last syllable, as elsewhere in S. Cf.
Cymh. iv. 2. 177: "That an invisible instinct should frame them ; "
Rich. III. ii. 3. 42 : " By a divine instinct men^s minds mistrust," etc.

87. Morton. Here accented on the second syllable.

93. Yet, for all this, etc. Johnson would give this line to
Bardolph, as inconsistent with what follows. The contradiction
cannot, he says, be imputed to the distraction of Northumberland's

Scene IJ Notes 175

mind, on account of " the calmness of the reflection contained in
the last lines." He also gave lines 100-103 to Morton, as " a proper
preparation for the tale that he is unwilling to tell." The old text
may well enough stand if we assume a pause after this first line.
Northumberland is not willing to accept the intimation expressed
in the preceding speech. "And yet," he says, " don't tell me that
he is dead." But his appealing words and look meet with no en-
couraging response in Morton's face, and he goes on, " I see a
strange confession," etc.

95. Fear. Something to be afraid of, a fearful thing. Cf. iv.
5. 196 below.

102. Sullen. Cf. Son7t. 71. 2 : "the surly sullen bell ; " R. and J.
iv. 5. 88 : " Our solemn hymns to sullen dirges change," etc. See
also Milton, // Fens. 76 : " Swinging slow with sullen roar."

103. Knolliug. The folio reading ; the quartos have " tolling."
Cf. A. Y. L. ii. 7. 114: "where bells have knoll'd to church; "
and Macb. v. 8. 50 : " his knell is knoU'd." Malone took depart-
itig to be = departed ; but, as Steevens notes, the allusion is to
" the passing bell, that is, the bell that solicited prayers for the
soul passing into another world."

108. Quittance. Requital, return of blows. The word is used
as a verb (= requite, retaliate) in i Hen. VI. ii. I. 14. Oiit-
breaiVd = out of breath, exhausted.

112. In few. In few words, in short ; as not unfrequently.

114. Bruited. Noised abroad. Cf. Macb. v. 7. 22, Hani. i. 2.
127, etc.

T17. Abated. " Reduced to lo"ver temper, or, as the workmen
call it, let down'" (Johnson). Clarke remarks: "So correctly
maintained in technical appropriateness are many of Shakespeare's
figurative allusions that he often uses words with peculiar and un-
usually inclusive force, which should be examined and known, in
order fully to appreciate the whole scope of his passages."

120. Enforcement. Application of force. Cf. A. IV. v. 3. 107:
" by what rough enforcement," etc.


Notes [Act I

128. Had three times slain, etc. See i Hen. IV. v. 3.

129. Can vail Itis stomach. Began to lower his pride or cour-
age. Cf. T. of S. V. 2. 176: " Then vail your stomachs, for it is
no boot." This vail (Fr. avaler') has been often confounded with
veil, even by critical scholars.

133. Power. Armed force ; as in iv. 4. 5 below.
135. At fall. In full, fully; as in M. for M. i. i. 44, C. of E. i.
I. 123, etc.

137. In poison there is physic. Vaughan remarks: " S. seems
to have heard the just old maxim of medicine, ' Ubi virus, ibi vir-
tus ; ' but he has added to it explanations so expressed as to fur-
nish a good motto for the modern principle of homicopathy."

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