Henry IV Part 2

by: William Shakespeare

  Act 4 Scene 3

page Act 4 Scene 3 Page 4

Original Text

Modern Text

Enter WESTMORELAND
WESTMORELAND enters.
   Who’s here? Westmoreland?
Who’s there? Westmoreland?

WESTMORELAND

Health to my sovereign, and new happiness
Added to that that I am to deliver.
Prince John your son doth kiss your Grace’s hand.
Mowbray, the Bishop Scroop, Hastings, and all
85Are brought to the correction of your law.
There is not now a rebel’s sword unsheathed
But peace puts forth her olive everywhere.
The manner how this action hath been borne
Here at more leisure may your Highness read
90With every course in his particular.

WESTMORELAND

I wish your highness good health, and happy news beyond the report I have to deliver! Prince John sends his respects: Mowbray, the Archbishop, Hastings and the rest are under arrest. There are no more rebels anywhere; the olive branch of peace has been extended everywhere.
Here’s a letter explaining what happened. When you have time, you can read it and learn every detail.

KING

O Westmoreland, thou art a summer bird,
Which ever in the haunch of winter sings
The lifting up of day.

KING

Oh Westmoreland; you’re like a summer bird, which sings the dawn in as winter ends.
Enter HARCOURT
HARCOURT enters.
Here comes more news.
   Look, here’s more news.

HARCOURT

95From enemies heaven keep your Majesty,
And when they stand against you, may they fall
As those that I am come to tell you of.
The Earl Northumberland and the Lord Bardolph,
With a great power of English and of Scots,
100Are by the shrieve of Yorkshire overthrown.
The manner and true order of the fight
This packet, please it you, contains at large.

HARCOURT

May heaven protect your highness from all enemies—and when they do rise up, may they fall just like the ones I’ve come to tell you about. The Earl of Northumberland and Lord Bardolph, with their mighty armies of Englishmen and Scotsmen, were defeated by the Sheriff of Yorkshire. This letter will tell you the details.

KING

And wherefore should these good news make me sick?
Will fortune never come with both hands full,
105But write her fair words still in foulest letters?
She either gives a stomach and no food—

KING

Why am I sick at this good news? Why can’t life ever bring you things with their appropriate complements? Why is good news so often conveyed in ugly terms? Life either gives you hunger but no food—which is the

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