Henry IV Part 2

by: William Shakespeare

Original Text

Modern Text

We fortify in paper and in figures,
Using the names of men instead of men,
Like one that draws the model of a house
Beyond his power to build it, who, half through,
60Gives o'er and leaves his part-created cost
A naked subject to the weeping clouds
And waste for churlish winter’s tyranny.
Otherwise, it becomes a meaningless exercise: papers and numbers, and names of men rather than real, live men. That’s like drawing up plans for a house you can’t possibly afford, building half of it, and then abandoning the partly-built structure to be ruined by the elements.

HASTINGS

Grant that our hopes, yet likely of fair birth,
Should be stillborn and that we now possessed
65The utmost man of expectation,
I think we are a body strong enough,
Even as we are, to equal with the King.

HASTINGS

Let’s suppose that everything we’re hoping for fails to materialize, and the army we have now is as big as it’s going to get. I still think that, even in this condition, we’re a match for the King.

LORD BARDOLPH

What, is the King but five-and twenty-thousand?

LORD BARDOLPH

Why? Does the King only have twenty-five thousand men?

HASTINGS

To us no more, nay, not so much, Lord Bardolph,
70For his divisions, as the times do brawl,
Are in three heads: one power against the French,
And one against Glendower; perforce a third
Must take up us. So is the unfirm King
In three divided, and his coffers sound
75With hollow poverty and emptiness.

HASTINGS

The King isn’t facing us with any more than that—in fact, he doesn’t even have that many, Lord Bardolph. This is a time of war, and the King’s had to divide his army into three sections. One division is fighting the French; one’s fighting Glendower. That leaves a third of his army to fight against us. The King is weak and divided into three, and the coffers of his treasury echo with the sounds of hollow poverty and emptiness.

ARCHBISHOP

That he should draw his several strengths together
And come against us in full puissance
Need not be dreaded.

ARCHBISHOP

There’s no reason to fear that he will pull all three divisions together and confront us with his full strength.

HASTINGS

   If he should do so,
He leaves his back unarmed, the French and Welsh
80Baying him at the heels. Never fear that.

HASTINGS

If he did that, he’d be vulnerable at the rear, and the French and the Welsh would be at his heels. He would never let that happen.

LORD BARDOLPH

Who is it like should lead his forces hither?

LORD BARDOLPH

Who’s going to lead his troops against us?