Document:  All > Shakespeare > Histories > King Henry IV, part II > Act I, scene III


ARCHBISHOP OF YORK: Thus have you heard our cause and known our means;
	And, my most noble friends, I pray you all,
	Speak plainly your opinions of our hopes:
	And first, lord marshal, what say you to it?

MOWBRAY: I well allow the occasion of our arms;
	But gladly would be better satisfied
	How in our means we should advance ourselves
	To look with forehead bold and big enough
	Upon the power and puissance of the king.

HASTINGS: Our present musters grow upon the file
	To five and twenty thousand men of choice;
	And our supplies live largely in the hope
	Of great Northumberland, whose bosom burns
	With an incensed fire of injuries.

LORD BARDOLPH: The question then, Lord Hastings, standeth thus;
	Whether our present five and twenty thousand
	May hold up head without Northumberland?

HASTINGS: With him, we may.

LORD BARDOLPH:                   Yea, marry, there's the point:
	But if without him we be thought too feeble,
	My judgment is, we should not step too far
	Till we had his assistance by the hand;
	For in a theme so bloody-faced as this
	Conjecture, expectation, and surmise
	Of aids incertain should not be admitted.

ARCHBISHOP OF YORK: 'Tis very true, Lord Bardolph; for indeed
	It was young Hotspur's case at Shrewsbury.

LORD BARDOLPH: It was, my lord; who lined himself with hope,
	Eating the air on promise of supply,
	Flattering himself in project of a power
	Much smaller than the smallest of his thoughts:
	And so, with great imagination
	Proper to madmen, led his powers to death
	And winking leap'd into destruction.

HASTINGS: But, by your leave, it never yet did hurt
	To lay down likelihoods and forms of hope.

LORD BARDOLPH: Yes, if this present quality of war,
	Indeed the instant action: a cause on foot
	Lives so in hope as in an early spring
	We see the appearing buds; which to prove fruit,
	Hope gives not so much warrant as despair
	That frosts will bite them. When we mean to build,
	We first survey the plot, then draw the model;
	And when we see the figure of the house,
	Then must we rate the cost of the erection;
	Which if we find outweighs ability,
	What do we then but draw anew the model
	In fewer offices, or at last desist
	To build at all? Much more, in this great work,
	Which is almost to pluck a kingdom down
	And set another up, should we survey
	The plot of situation and the model,
	Consent upon a sure foundation,
	Question surveyors, know our own estate,
	How able such a work to undergo,
	To weigh against his opposite; or else
	We fortify in paper and in figures,
	Using the names of men instead of men:
	Like one that draws the model of a house
	Beyond his power to build it; who, half through,
	Gives o'er and leaves his part-created cost
	A naked subject to the weeping clouds
	And waste for churlish winter's tyranny.

HASTINGS: Grant that our hopes, yet likely of fair birth,
	Should be still-born, and that we now possess'd
	The utmost man of expectation,
	I think we are a body strong enough,
	Even as we are, to equal with the king.

LORD BARDOLPH: What, is the king but five and twenty thousand?

HASTINGS: To us no more; nay, not so much, Lord Bardolph.
	For his divisions, as the times do brawl,
	Are in three heads: one power against the French,
	And one against Glendower; perforce a third
	Must take up us: so is the unfirm king
	In three divided; and his coffers sound
	With hollow poverty and emptiness.

ARCHBISHOP OF YORK: That he should draw his several strengths together
	And come against us in full puissance,
	Need not be dreaded.

HASTINGS: If he should do so,
	He leaves his back unarm'd, the French and Welsh
	Baying him at the heels: never fear that.

LORD BARDOLPH: Who is it like should lead his forces hither?

HASTINGS: The Duke of Lancaster and Westmoreland;
	Against the Welsh, himself and Harry Monmouth:
	But who is substituted 'gainst the French,
	I have no certain notice.

	And publish the occasion of our arms.
	The commonwealth is sick of their own choice;
	Their over-greedy love hath surfeited:
	An habitation giddy and unsure
	Hath he that buildeth on the vulgar heart.
	O thou fond many, with what loud applause
	Didst thou beat heaven with blessing Bolingbroke,
	Before he was what thou wouldst have him be!
	And being now trimm'd in thine own desires,
	Thou, beastly feeder, art so full of him,
	That thou provokest thyself to cast him up.
	So, so, thou common dog, didst thou disgorge
	Thy glutton bosom of the royal Richard;
	And now thou wouldst eat thy dead vomit up,
	And howl'st to find it. What trust is in
	these times?
	They that, when Richard lived, would have him die,
	Are now become enamour'd on his grave:
	Thou, that threw'st dust upon his goodly head
	When through proud London he came sighing on
	After the admired heels of Bolingbroke,
	Criest now 'O earth, yield us that king again,
	And take thou this!' O thoughts of men accursed!
	Past and to come seems best; things present worst.

MOWBRAY: Shall we go draw our numbers and set on?

HASTINGS: We are time's subjects, and time bids be gone.



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