Search Menu

Henry IV Part 1

Original Text

Modern Text

Enter HOTSPURalone, reading a letter
HOTSPUR enters alone, reading a letter.

HOTSPUR
But, for mine own part, my lord, I could be well contented to be there, in respect of the love I bear your house. He could be contented; why is he not, then? In respect of the love he bears our house—he shows in this he loves his own barn better than he loves our house. Let me see some more. The purpose you undertake is dangerous. Why, that’s certain. 'Tis dangerous to take a cold, to sleep, to drink; but I tell you, my lord fool, out of this nettle, danger, we pluck this flower, safety. The purpose you undertake is dangerous, the friends you have named uncertain, the time itself unsorted, and your whole plot too light for the counterpoise of so great an opposition. Say you so, say you so? I say unto you again, you are a shallow, cowardly hind, and you lie. What a lack-brain is this! By the Lord, our plot is a good plot as ever was laid, our friends true and constant—a good plot, good friends, and full of expectation; an excellent plot, very good friends. What a frosty-spirited rogue is this! Why, my Lord of York commends the plot and the general course of the action. Zounds, an I were now by this rascal, I could brain him with his lady’s fan. Is there not my father, my uncle, and myself? Lord Edmund Mortimer, my Lord of York, and Owen Glendower? Is there not besides the Douglas? Have I not all their letters to meet me in arms by the ninth of the next month, and are they not some of them set forward already? What a pagan rascal is this—an infidel! Ha, you shall see now in very sincerity of fear and cold heart, will he to the King and lay open all our proceedings. O, I could divide myself and go to buffets, for moving such a dish of skim milk with so honorable an action! Hang him, let him tell the King. We are prepared. I will set forward tonight.
HOTSPUR
“As for me, sir, I would be happy to be there because of the love I bear for your family.” He would be happy to be here. Well, why isn’t he, then? He says he loves my family, but he clearly loves his barn more than our house. I’ll read on. “Your plan is dangerous.” That’s true, and it’s also dangerous to catch a cold, to sleep, to drink. But I tell you, my lord fool, we shall pluck a flower of safety from this thorn of danger. “Your plan is dangerous; your allies untrustworthy; your timing poor; and your whole project too weak to counter so powerful an opponent.” Is that so? Is that so? I’ll say it once again: you are a stupid, cowardly dog, and a liar. What an idiot this is! By God, our plan is as good a plan as ever hatched, our allies loyal and firm. A good plan, good allies, and very promising; it’s an excellent plan, very good allies. What a yellowbellied fool this is! Why, the Archbishop of York approves of the plan, and how it’s progressing. Damn! If I were with this imbecile right now, I’d break his head open with his wife’s fan. Don’t we have my father? And my uncle, and me? Edmund Mortimer, York, and Owen Glendower? And besides, don’t we have Douglas? Haven’t they all sent me letters, promising to meet me with their armies by the ninth of next month? And aren’t some of them on their way already? What an unbelievable ass this is! Faithless! Ha! Just watch; he’ll run to the King in cold fear and spill our secrets. Oh, I could split myself in two and knock my own self senseless for unfolding this important plan to such a coward. To hell with him! Let him tell the King; we’re ready. I’ll set off tonight.