« AnteriorContinua »
It will be vain to endeavour to prevent many tender-hearted readers, who sigh over the horrors of a battle, from wishing, that the prince's challenge to Hotspur, had produced the single combat he desired; and, that the victory of the day had been so decided.
Such tender, and compassionate persons, should not suffer their estimation of honour thus to sink into an equality with the cowardly Falstaff's; but they should call to mind-that, though it was, in ancient times, considered as a token of valour, for a prince at the head of an army, to challenge to single contest the chief warrior on the opposite side; yet, in modern days, when a powerful monarch threw his gauntlet down, to save the effusion of blood, this act of self-sacrifice was considered as a token of mere mad
HENRY IV. KING OF ENGLAND
EARL OF WORCESTER
EARL OF NORTHUMBERLAND
SIR WALTER BLUNT
SIR JOHN FALSTAFF
KING HENRY IV.
THE FIRST PART.
ACT THE FIRST.
The Palace in London.
Flourish of Trumpets and Drums.
KING HENRY, PRINCE JOHN OF LANCASTER, EARL OF WESTMORELAND, SIR RICHARD VERNON, SIR WALTER BLUNT, and other GENTLEMEN discovered.
K. Hen. So shaken as we are, so wan with care,
Shall daub her lips with her own children's blood;
As far as to the sepulchre of Christ
Forthwith a power of English shall we levy,
But this our purpose now is twelvemonth old,
West. My liege, this haste was hot in question,
K. Hen. It seems, then, that the tidings of this
Brake off our business for the Holy Land.
West. This, match'd with other, did, my gracious lord;
For more uneven, and unwelcome news,
Came from the north, and thus it did import.
Where they did spend a sad and bloody hour;
And shape of likelihood, the news was told;
K. Hen. Here is a dear, a true-industrious friend,
Sir Walter Blunt, new lighted from his horse,
And he hath brought us smooth and welcome news.
On Holmedon's plains: of prisoners, Hotspur took
West. It is a conquest for a prince to boast of. K. Hen. Yea, there thou mak'st me sad, and makʼst me sin
A son, who is the theme of honour's tongue;
Of my young Harry. Oh, that it could be prov'd,
Of this young Percy's pride? the prisoners,
Malevolent to you, in all aspects.
K. Hen. But I have sent for him to answer this;
Cousin, on Wednesday next, our council we