Henry IV Part 2

by: William Shakespeare

Original Text

Modern Text

HASTINGS

   Now, what news?

HASTINGS

What’s happening?

MESSENGER

West of this forest, scarcely off a mile,
20In goodly form comes on the enemy,
And, by the ground they hide, I judge their number
Upon or near the rate of thirty thousand.

MESSENGER

The enemy is west of this forest, and less than a mile away. They look powerful, and, from the amount of space they’re taking up, I’d say they have close to thirty thousand soldiers.

MOWBRAY

The just proportion that we gave them out.
Let us sway on and face them in the field.

MOWBRAY

That’s exactly the number we thought they had. Let’s march ahead and engage them in battle.
Enter WESTMORELAND
WESTMORELAND enters.

ARCHBISHOP

25What well-appointed leader fronts us here?

ARCHBISHOP

Who’s this well-equipped leader coming here to confront us?

MOWBRAY

I think it is my Lord of Westmoreland.

MOWBRAY

I think it’s Lord Westmoreland.

WESTMORELAND

Health and fair greeting from our general,
The Prince Lord John and Duke of Lancaster.

WESTMORELAND

Our general, the Prince Lord John of Lancaster, sends greetings and wishes you good health.

ARCHBISHOP

Say on, my Lord of Westmoreland, in peace,
30What doth concern your coming.

ARCHBISHOP

Speak in peace, Lord Westmoreland. What’s the reason you’ve come here?

WESTMORELAND

   Then, my lord,
Unto your Grace do I in chief address
The substance of my speech. If that rebellion
Came like itself, in base and abject routs,
Led on by bloody youth, guarded with rage,
35And countenanced by boys and beggary—
I say, if damn’d commotion so appeared
In his true, native, and most proper shape,
You, reverend father, and these noble lords
Had not been here to dress the ugly form
40Of base and bloody insurrection

WESTMORELAND

The most important part of my message is for you, your grace. You, who are a holy man, and these good gentlemen as well—you would not be here, lending dignity to this bloody insurrection, if it appeared as rebellion normally does: like a lowborn mob, led by bloody youths uniformed in rags, and supported by boys and beggars.