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FIRST PART OF

KING HENRY IV.

ACT I.

SCENE I.-London. A Room in the Palace. Enter King HENRY, WESTMORELAND, Sir WALTER BLUNT, and others.

King Henry.
So shaken as we are, so wan with care,
Find we a time for frighted peace to pant,
And breathe short-winded accents of new broils'

To be commenc'd in stronds afar remote.
No more the thirsty Erinnys of this soil
Shall daub her lips with her own children's blood;
No more shall trenching war channel her fields,
Nor bruise her flowrets with the armed hoofs
Of hostile paces: those opposed eyes,
Which, like the meteors of a troubled heaven,
All of one nature, of one substance bred,-
Did lately meet in the intestine shock
And furious close of civil butchery,
Shall now, in mutual, well-beseeming ranks,
March all one way; and be no more oppos'd
Against acquaintance, kindred, and allies:
The edge of war, like an ill-sheathed knife,
No more shall cut his master. Therefore, friends,
As far as to the sepulchre of Christ,"

[1] That is, let us soften peace, to rest awhile without disturbance, that she may recover breath to propose new wars. JOHNSON.

[2] By Erinnys is meant the fury of discord. M. MASON.

(3) The lawfulness and justice of the holy wars have been much disputed; but perhaps there is a principle on which the question may be easily determined. If it be part of the religion of the Mahometans to extirpate by the sword all other religions, it is, by the laws of self-defence, lawful for men of every other religion, and for Christians among others, to make war upon Mahometans, simply as Mahometans, as men obliged by their own principles to make war upon Christians, and only lying in wait till opportunity shall promise them success. JOHNSON. Upon this note Mr. Gibbon makes the following observation: "If the reader will turn to the first scene of the First part of king Henry IV. he will see in the

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(Whose soldier now, under whose blessed cross
We are impressed and engag'd to fight,)
Forthwith a power of English shall we levy;
Whose arms were moulded in their mothers' womb
To chase these pagans, in those holy fields,
Over whose acres walk'd those blessed feet,
Which, fourteen hundred years ago, were nail'd
For our advantage, on the bitter cross.
But this our purpose is a twelvemonth old,
And bootless 'tis to tell you-we will go ;
Therefore we meet not now :-Then let me hear
Of you, my gentle cousin Westmoreland,
What yesternight our council did decree,
In forwarding this dear expedience."

West. My liege, this haste was hot in question,
And limits of the charge set down
many
But yesternight when, all athwart, there came
A post from Wales, loaden with heavy news;
Whose worst was,-that the noble Mortimer,
Leading the men of Herefordshire to fight
Against the irregular and wild Glendower,
Was by the rude hands of that Welshman taken,
And a thousand of his people butchered:
Upon whose dead corps there was such misuse,
Such beastly, shameless transformation,
By those Welshwomen done, as may not be,
Without much shame, re-told or spoken of.

K. Hen. It seems then, that the tidings of this broil
Break 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.

On Holy-rood day, the gallant Hotspur there,
Young Harry Percy, and brave Archibald,
That ever-valiant and approved Scot,
At Holmedon met,

text of Shakespeare, the natural feelings of enthusiasm; and in the notes of Dr. Johnson, the workings of a bigotted, though vigorous mind, greedy of every pretence to hate and persecute those who dissent from his creed"-Gibbon's Hist. Vol. VI. 9, 4to. edit. REED.

[3] For expedition.

[4] Limits for estimates. WARBURTON.

[5] Thus Holinshed, "such shameful villanie executed upon the carcasses of the dead men by the Welshwomen; as the like (I doo beleeve) hath never or sildome beene practised" See T Walsingham, p 557.

STEEVENS.

[6] Holinshed's History of Scotland, says This Harry Percy was surnamed, for his often pricking, Henry Hotspur, as one that seldom times rested, if there

were anie service to be done abroad."

TOLLET.

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Where they did spend a sad and bloody hour;
As by discharge of their artillery,
And shape of likelihood, the news was told;
For he that brought them, in the very heat
And pride of their contention did
ke horse,
Uncertain of the issue any way.
K. Hen. Here is a and true-industrious friend.
Sir Walter Blunt, new lighted from his horse,
Stain'd with the variation of each soil
Betwixt that Holmedon and this seat of ours;
And he hath brought us smooth and welcome news.
The earl of Douglas is discomfited;

Ten thousand bold Scots, two-and-twenty knights,
Balk'd in their own blood,' did Sir Walter see

On Holmedon's plains: Of prisoners, Hotspur took
Mordake the earl of Fife, and eldest son

To beaten Douglas; and the earls of Athol,
Of Murray, Angus, and Menteith.

And is not this an honourable spoil?
A gallant prize? ha, cousin, is it not?
West. In faith,

It is a conquest for a prince to boast of.

K. Hen. Yea, there thou mak'st me sad, and makʼst me sin

In envy that my lord Northumberland
Should be the father of so blest a son :

A son, who is the theme of honour's tongue;
Amongst a grove, the very straightest plant;
Who is sweet fortune's minion, and her pride:
Whilst I, by looking on the praise of him,
See riot and dishonour stain the brow

Of my young Harry. O, that it could be prov'd,
That some night-tripping fairy had exchang'd
In cradle-clothes our children where they lay,
And call'd mine-Percy, his-Plantagenet!
Then would I have his Harry, and he mine.
But let him from my thoughts :-What think you, coz',
Of this young Percy's pride? the prisoners,
Which he in this adventure hath surpris'd,

To his own use he keeps; and sends me word,

I shall have none but Mordake earl of Fife.

[7] I should suppose, that the author might have written either bath'd or bak'd, that is, encrusted over with blood cried upon them. STEEVENS

Balk is a ridge; and particularly a ridge of land, and is a common expression in Warwickshire and the northern counties. WARTON.

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