Henry IV, Part 1

by: William Shakespeare

  Act 4 Scene 1

page Act 4 Scene 1 Page 4

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HOTSPUR

   You strain too far.
I rather of his absence make this use:
It lends a luster and more great opinion,
A larger dare, to our great enterprise
Than if the Earl were here, for men must think
80If we without his help can make a head
To push against a kingdom, with his help
We shall o'erturn it topsy-turvy down.
Yet all goes well, yet all our joints are whole.

HOTSPUR

You’re taking this too far. I’d rather think about his absence this way: it makes us look even better. It makes our great undertaking seem even more daring than it would if Northumberland were here. People will think that if we can raise an army against the King without my father, that once he joins we’ll turn the whole kingdom upside down. Everything is fine, we’re all in one piece.

DOUGLAS

As heart can think. There is not such a word
85Spoke of in Scotland as this term of fear.

DOUGLAS

We’re as well off as we could have hoped. In Scotland, we don’t even know the meaning of the word fear.
Enter Sir Richard VERNON
Sir Richard VERNON enters

HOTSPUR

My cousin Vernon, welcome, by my soul.

HOTSPUR

Welcome, kinsman Vernon, from the bottom of my heart.

VERNON

Pray God my news be worth a welcome, lord.
The Earl of Westmoreland, seven thousand strong,
Is marching hitherwards, with him Prince John.

VERNON

I pray to God that what I have to say is worth welcoming, my lord. The Earl of Westmoreland, with seven thousand men, is marching this way. Prince John is with him.

HOTSPUR

90No harm, what more?

HOTSPUR

Nothing to be worried about. What else?

VERNON

   And further I have learned,
The King himself in person is set forth,
Or hitherwards intended speedily,
With strong and mighty preparation.

VERNON

I’ve also learned that the King himself is coming this way, or at least plans to very soon, with a huge and powerful force.

HOTSPUR

He shall be welcome too. Where is his son,
95The nimble-footed madcap Prince of Wales,
And his comrades, that daffed the world aside
And bid it pass?

HOTSPUR

We’ll welcome him too. Where’s his son, that sporting, foolhardy Prince of Wales, and his comrades, who don’t care about anything?