Henry IV Part 2

by: William Shakespeare

  Act 4 Scene 1

page Act 4 Scene 1 Page 4

Original Text

Modern Text

And might by no suit gain our audience.
When we are wronged and would unfold our griefs,
We are denied access unto his person
Even by those men that most have done us wrong.
80The dangers of the days but newly gone,
Whose memory is written on the earth
With yet appearing blood, and the examples
Of every minute’s instance, present now,
Hath put us in these ill-beseeming arms,
85Not to break peace or any branch of it,
But to establish here a peace indeed,
Concurring both in name and quality.
We were wronged, and when we tried to speak to the King about it, we were denied access to him by the very men who had wronged us most. We’re in this seemingly unbefitting armor because of the terrible recent violence—the bloodshed from which is still visible on the ground—and because of the terrible things happening now, every minute. We don’t want to harm peace in any way. We want instead to establish a peace that’s real and meaningful.

WESTMORELAND

When ever yet was your appeal denied?
Wherein have you been gallèd by the King?
90What peer hath been suborned to grate on you,
That you should seal this lawless bloody book
Of forged rebellion with a seal divine
And consecrate commotion’s bitter edge?

WESTMORELAND

When was your request to see the King denied? How has the king harmed you? What lord in the King’s court has been sent out to do you wrong? And why would you put your holy stamp of approval on an illegal uprising and give religious blessing to a violent civil war?

ARCHBISHOP

My brother general, the commonwealth,
95To brother born an household cruelty,
I make my quarrel in particular.

ARCHBISHOP

The

grievances

The original text of this difficult passage may be corrupted; its exact meaning is obscure.

grievances
borne by my fellow Englishmen, and the cruel murder of Scroop, my own brother: these are the reasons I’ve made this fight my own.

WESTMORELAND

There is no need of any such redress,
Or if there were, it not belongs to you.

WESTMORELAND

There’s no need for any repayment like that; and even if there were, you should not be the person to benefit.

MOWBRAY

Why not to him in part, and to us all
100That feel the bruises of the days before
And suffer the condition of these times
To lay a heavy and unequal hand
Upon our honors?

MOWBRAY

Why shouldn’t he benefit at least a little? Why shouldn’t we all benefit, who suffered in these recent battles, and who have allowed our honor to be damaged by the terrible things happening now?

WESTMORELAND

   O, my good Lord Mowbray,
Construe the times to their necessities,

WESTMORELAND

Oh, my good Lord Mowbray, if you think about what is necessary in times of war, you’ll see that it is the situation

Henry IV Part 2: Popular pages