Henry IV Part 2

William Shakespeare
No Fear Act 4 Scene 1
No Fear Act 4 Scene 1 Page 10

Original Text

Modern Text

It is even so. Who hath not heard it spoken
245How deep you were within the books of God,
To us the speaker in His parliament,
To us th' imagined voice of God himself,
The very opener and intelligencer
Between the grace, the sanctities, of heaven,
250And our dull workings? O, who shall believe
But you misuse the reverence of your place,
Employ the countenance and grace of heaven
As a false favorite doth his prince’s name,
In deeds dishonorable? You have ta'en up,
255Under the counterfeited zeal of God,
The subjects of His substitute, my father,
And both against the peace of heaven and him
Have here up-swarmed them.
God’s own voice: the interpreter and ambassador between God’s heavenly ways and our own dull, mortal actions. And now, who would say anything but that you are abusing the holiness of your position, using the outward show of godliness to do terrible things, like a treacherous courtier uses the King’s good name? You have pretended to be acting in God’s name as you encourage the subjects of God’s deputy, my father, to rise up against the peace of both heaven and the King.


Good my Lord of Lancaster,
260I am not here against your father’s peace,
But, as I told my Lord of Westmoreland,
The time misordered doth, in common sense,
Crowd us and crush us to this monstrous form
To hold our safety up. I sent your Grace
265The parcels and particulars of our grief,
The which hath been with scorn shoved from the court,
Whereon this Hydra son of war is born,
Whose dangerous eyes may well be charmed asleep
With grant of our most just and right desires,
270And true obedience, of this madness cured,
Stoop tamely to the foot of majesty.


Good Lord of Lancaster, I am not here as an enemy your father’s peace. But, as I told Westmoreland, these tumultuous times have forced us to behave in these monstrous ways, out of common sense and a regard for our own safety. I sent you a detailed list of our grievances, but you angrily shoved it aside. That’s why this

Hydra of a war

The Hydra was a monster with many heads; each time a head was cut off, a new one would grow in its place.

Hydra of a war
has broken out. You can get rid of it by agreeing to the just and right things we demand. If you do that, this disease of war will be cured, and the monster will bow at your feet, tame and obedient.


If not, we ready are to try our fortunes
To the last man.


If you don’t, we’re ready to fight to the last man.


   And though we here fall down,
We have supplies to second our attempt;
275If they miscarry, theirs shall second them,


And if those of us who are here should fail, we have reinforcements standing by. If they fail, they have reinforcements to back them up,

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