Henry IV, Part 1

by: William Shakespeare

Act 4 Scene 1

page Act 4 Scene 1 Page 1

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Enter HOTSPUR, WORCESTER, and DOUGLAS
HOTSPUR, WORCESTER , and DOUGLAS enter.

HOTSPUR

Well said, my noble Scot. If speaking truth
In this fine age were not thought flattery,
Such attribution should the Douglas have
As not a soldier of this season’s stamp
5Should go so general current through the world.
By God, I cannot flatter. I do defy
The tongues of soothers. But a braver place
In my heart’s love hath no man than yourself.
Nay, task me to my word; approve me, lord.

HOTSPUR

Well said, you excellent Scotsman. If people these days didn’t confuse the truth with flattery, I would praise you highly. No other soldier so newly tested in battle would have gained such a widespread reputation. God knows, I don’t flatter: I hate people who give out praise too easily. But you have a place in my heart that no other man has. Make me prove it; try me.

DOUGLAS

10Thou art the king of honor.
No man so potent breathes upon the ground
But I will beard him.

DOUGLAS

You are the most honorable man alive, and if any man challenges that—no matter how powerful—I’ll defy him.

HOTSPUR

   Do so, and ’tis well.

HOTSPUR

You do that. Well done.
Enter a MESSENGER with letters
A MESSENGER enters with letters.
What letters hast thou there? (to DOUGLAS) I can but thank you.
What letters have you got there? (to DOUGLAS ) All I can do is thank you.

MESSENGER

These letters come from your father.

MESSENGER

These letters come from your father.

HOTSPUR

15Letters from him! Why comes he not himself?

HOTSPUR

Letters from him? Why isn’t he here in person?

MESSENGER

He cannot come, my lord. He is grievous sick.

MESSENGER

He can’t come, my lord; he’s terribly sick.