Henry IV Part 2

by: William Shakespeare

  Act 2 Scene 3

page Act 2 Scene 3 Page 2

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To seem like him. So that in speech, in gait,
In diet, in affections of delight,
30In military rules, humors of blood,
He was the mark and glass, copy and book,
That fashioned others. And him—O wondrous him!
O miracle of men!—him did you leave,
Second to none, unseconded by you,
35To look upon the hideous god of war
In disadvantage, to abide a field
Where nothing but the sound of Hotspur’s name
Did seem defensible. So you left him.
Never, O never, do his ghost the wrong
40To hold your honor more precise and nice
With others than with him. Let them alone.
The Marshal and the Archbishop are strong.
Had my sweet Harry had but half their numbers,
Today might I, hanging on Hotspur’s neck,
45Have talked of Monmouth’s grave.
Harry. In speech, bearing, and diet; in inclinations toward pleasure, in military actions, and in moods, he was the target, mirror, example, and rulebook that other men followed. And him—Oh wondrous him! Oh miracle of men!—you left him! The best man in the world, unsupported by you, faced the hideous god of war from a position of weakness. His only defense was the sound of his own name, and that is how you left him.
Never insult his memory by letting your honor count more with strangers than with him. Leave them alone: Marshal Mowbray and the Archbishop are strong. If my darling Harry had had half their army, I might be hanging on his neck today, talking about Prince Hal’s grave.


   Beshrew your heart,
Fair daughter, you do draw my spirits from me
With new lamenting ancient oversights.
But I must go and meet with danger there,
Or it will seek me in another place
50And find me worse provided.


For goodness sake, pretty daughter-in-law. You take me out of myself, reminding me again of these past mistakes. But I must go and face danger there or danger will find me somewhere else, where I will be less prepared.


   Oh, fly to Scotland
Till that the nobles and the armèd commons
Have of their puissance made a little taste.


Oh, run to Scotland until these noblemen and their
armies have skirmished against the king.


If they get ground and vantage of the King,
Then join you with them like a rib of steel
55To make strength stronger; but, for all our loves,
First let them try themselves. So did your son;
He was so suffered. So came I a widow,
And never shall have length of life enough


If they make any headway against the King, then join them, and like a steel rod make their strength even stronger. But in the name of the love you feel for us, let them begin on their own. That’s how your son fought. You allowed him to do that, and that’s how I became a widow. If I spend the rest of my life pouring tears on

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