Henry IV Part 2


Act I
Act II
Act IV
Act V
Enter the Lord Bardolph at one door
keep (v.) 3 guard, watch, tend


Who keeps the gate here, ho?

Enter the Porter

                         Where is the Earl?


What shall I say you are?


                         Tell thou the Earl

That the Lord Bardolph doth attend him here.
attend (v.) 1 await, wait for, expect See Topics: Frequency count


His lordship is walked forth into the orchard.

Please it your honour knock but at the gate,

And he himself will answer.

Enter Northumberland


                         Here comes the Earl.

Exit Porter


What news, Lord Bardolph? Every minute now

Should be the father of some stratagem.
stratagem (n.) 3 deed of violence, bloody act

The times are wild; contention, like a horse
contention (n.) quarrel, dispute, strife

Full of high feeding, madly hath broke loose

And bears down all before him.
bear down (v.) overwhelm, put down, overcome


                         Noble Earl,

I bring you certain news from Shrewsbury.
certain (adj.) 1 reliable, trustworthy, definite


Good, an God will!


                         As good as heart can wish.

The King is almost wounded to the death,

And, in the fortune of my lord your son,
fortune (n.) 1 good fortune, success

Prince Harry slain outright; and both the Blunts

Killed by the hand of Douglas; young Prince John

And Westmorland and Stafford fled the field;
field (n.) 1 field of battle, battleground, field of combat See Topics: Frequency count

And Harry Monmouth's brawn, the hulk Sir John,
brawn (n.) 3 fattened boar, stuffed pig [ready for eating]
hulk (adj.) hugely ungraceful, clumsily large

Is prisoner to your son. O, such a day,

So fought, so followed, and so fairly won,

Came not till now to dignify the times

Since Caesar's fortunes!
fortune (n.) 1 good fortune, success


                         How is this derived?

Saw you the field? Came you from Shrewsbury?
field (n.) 1 field of battle, battleground, field of combat See Topics: Frequency count


I spake with one, my lord, that came from thence,

A gentleman well bred, and of good name,

That freely rendered me these news for true.

Enter Travers


Here comes my servant Travers, whom I sent

On Tuesday last to listen after news.
listen after (v.) look out for, keep a watch on


My lord, I over-rode him on the way,
over-ride (v.) outride, outstrip

And he is furnished with no certainties

More than he haply may retail from me.
haply (adv.) perhaps, maybe, by chance, with luck See Topics: Frequency count
retail (v.) recount, relate in detail, retell


Now, Travers, what good tidings comes with you?


My lord, Sir John Umfrevile turned me back

With joyful tidings, and, being better horsed,
ragged (adj.) 3 rough-hewn, dilapidated, rugged

Out-rode me. After him came spurring hard

A gentleman almost forspent with speed,
forspent (adj.) exhausted, worn out

That stopped by me to breathe his bloodied horse.
breathe (v.) 3 allow to breathe, rest

He asked the way to Chester, and of him

I did demand what news from Shrewsbury.

He told me that rebellion had ill luck,
ill (adj.) 1 bad, adverse, unfavourable See Topics: Frequency count

And that young Harry Percy's spur was cold.

With that he gave his able horse the head,
able (adj.) 2 strong, vigorous, powerful

And bending forward struck his armed heels

Against the panting sides of his poor jade
jade (n.) 1 worn-out horse, hack, worthless nag

Up to the rowel-head; and starting so
rowel-head (n.) extremity of the spur-wheel
start (v.) 4 fly off, move off

He seemed in running to devour the way,

Staying no longer question.
question (n.) 6 conversation, discourse, piece of talk


                         Ha? Again!

Said he young Harry Percy's spur was cold?

Of Hotspur, Coldspur? That rebellion

Had met ill luck?


                         My lord, I'll tell you what.

If my young lord your son have not the day,

Upon mine honour, for a silken point
point (n.) 2 (usually plural) tagged lace [especially for attaching hose to the doublet]

I'll give my barony – never talk of it.


Why should that gentleman that rode by Travers

Give then such instances of loss?


                         Who, he?

He was some hilding fellow that had stolen
hilding (adj.) good-for-nothing, worthless

The horse he rode on, and, upon my life,

Spoke at a venture. Look, here comes more news.
venture, at a without proper thought, recklessly

Enter Morton
brow (n.) 1 appearance, aspect, countenance See Topics: Frequency count
title-leaf (n.) title-page of a book


Yea, this man's brow, like to a title-leaf,

Foretells the nature of a tragic volume.

So looks the strand whereon the imperious flood
flood (n.) 1 sea, deep, waves, rushing water
imperious, emperious (adj.) imperial, majestic, sovereign
strand, strond (n.) shore, land, region

Hath left a witnessed usurpation.
usurpation (n.) encroachment, intrusion, trespass
witnessed (adj.) visible, evident, attested

Say, Morton, didst thou come from Shrewsbury?


I ran from Shrewsbury, my noble lord,

Where hateful death put on his ugliest mask

To fright our party.
fright (v.), past form frighted frighten, scare, terrify See Topics: Frequency count


                         How doth my son, and brother?

Thou tremblest, and the whiteness in thy cheek

Is apter than thy tongue to tell thy errand.
apt (adj.) 1 fit, ready, prepared

Even such a man, so faint, so spiritless,

So dull, so dead in look, so woe-begone,
dead (adj.) 5 death-like, lifeless, spiritless
dull (adj.) 1 dead, lifeless, sluggish, inactive

Drew Priam's curtain in the dead of night

And would have told him half his Troy was burnt;

But Priam found the fire ere he his tongue,

And I my Percy's death ere thou reportest it.

This thou wouldst say, ‘ Your son did thus and thus;

Your brother thus; so fought the noble Douglas,’

Stopping my greedy ear with their bold deeds.
stop (v.) 4 fill, cram, stuff

But in the end, to stop my ear indeed,

Thou hast a sigh to blow away this praise,

Ending with ‘ Brother, son, and all are dead.’


Douglas is living, and your brother, yet;

But, for my lord your son –


                         Why, he is dead!

See what a ready tongue suspicion hath!

He that but fears the thing he would not know

Hath by instinct knowledge from others' eyes

That what he feared is chanced. Yet speak, Morton;
chance (v.) 1 happen [to], transpire, come about

Tell thou an earl his divination lies,
divination (n.) guess, conjecture, prophecy

And I will take it as a sweet disgrace

And make thee rich for doing me such wrong.


You are too great to be by me gainsaid;
gainsay (v.) 1 contradict, say the contrary, forbid

Your spirit is too true, your fears too certain.
spirit (n.) 4 intuition, perception, discernment


Yet, for all this, say not that Percy's dead.

I see a strange confession in thine eye.
strange (adj.) 9 reluctant, unwilling, hesitant

Thou shakest thy head, and holdest it fear or sin

To speak a truth. If he be slain –

The tongue offends not that reports his death;

And he doth sin that doth belie the dead,
belie (v.) 1 slander, tell lies about

Not he which says the dead is not alive.

Yet the first bringer of unwelcome news

Hath but a losing office, and his tongue
office (n.) 1 task, service, duty, responsibility See Topics: Frequency count

Sounds ever after as a sullen bell
sullen (adj.) 1 gloomy, dismal, melancholy, mournful

Remembered tolling a departing friend.


I cannot think, my lord, your son is dead.


I am sorry I should force you to believe

That which I would to God I had not seen;

But these mine eyes saw him in bloody state,

Rendering faint quittance, wearied and out-breathed,
faint (adj.) 3 weak, fatigued, lacking in strength
out-breathed (adj.) put out of breath, winded
quittance (n.) 2 resistance, retaliation, counterblow

To Harry Monmouth, whose swift wrath beat down

The never-daunted Percy to the earth,
never-daunted (adj.) never dispirited, never overcome with fear

From whence with life he never more sprung up.

In few, his death, whose spirit lent a fire
few, in (a) in few words, in short, in brief

Even to the dullest peasant in his camp,

Being bruited once, took fire and heat away
bruit (v.) report, announce, proclaim

From the best-tempered courage in his troops;
best-tempered (adj.) most skilfully crafted, of the finest quality [as of metal]

For from his metal was his party steeled,
steel (v.) 1 turn to steel, harden

Which once in him abated, all the rest
abate (v.) 4 blunt, put an end to

Turned on themselves, like dull and heavy lead;

And as the thing that's heavy in itself

Upon enforcement flies with greatest speed,
enforcement (n.) 1 enforcing, propulsion

So did our men, heavy in Hotspur's loss,
heavy (adj.) 1 sorrowful, sad, gloomy See Topics: Frequency count

Lend to this weight such lightness with their fear

That arrows fled not swifter toward their aim

Than did our soldiers, aiming at their safety,

Fly from the field. Then was the noble Worcester
field (n.) 1 field of battle, battleground, field of combat See Topics: Frequency count

So soon ta'en prisoner, and that furious Scot,

The bloody Douglas, whose well-labouring sword

Had three times slain th' appearance of the King,
appearance (n.) likeness, semblance

Gan vail his stomach, and did grace the shame
'gan, can (v.) began See Topics: Elision
grace (v.) 1 favour, add merit to, do honour to
stomach (n.) 3 spirit, courage, valour, will
vail (v.) 1 lower, bow down, cast down [as in submission]

Of those that turned their backs, and in his flight,

Stumbling in fear, was took. The sum of all
sum (n.) 1 summary, gist, essence

Is that the King hath won, and hath sent out

A speedy power to encounter you, my lord,
power (n.) 1 armed force, troops, host, army See Topics: Frequency count

Under the conduct of young Lancaster

And Westmorland. This is the news at full.


For this I shall have time enough to mourn.

In poison there is physic, and these news,
physic (n.) 1 medicine, healing, treatment See Topics: Frequency count

Having been well, that would have made me sick,

Being sick, have in some measure made me well.

And as the wretch whose fever-weakened joints,

Like strengthless hinges, buckle under life,
life (n.) 1 living being, person

Impatient of his fit, breaks like a fire
fit (n.) 1 fever, attack, seizure

Out of his keeper's arms, even so my limbs,
keeper (n.) 2 nurse, carer

Weakened with grief, being now enraged with grief,
enraged (adj.) 2 inflamed, heated, roused
grief (n.) 2 pain, torment, distress

Are thrice themselves. Hence, therefore, thou nice crutch!
nice (adj.) 6 foolish, stupid

A scaly gauntlet now with joints of steel
scaly (adj.) plated, armoured

Must glove this hand. And hence, thou sickly coif!
coif, quoif (n.) close-fitting cap, nightcap See Topics: Clothing
sickly (adj.) 2 of sickness, invalid

Thou art a guard too wanton for the head
guard (n.) 5 trimming, trapping, adornment
wanton (adj.) 12 feminine; or: child-like

Which princes, fleshed with conquest, aim to hit.
fleshed (adj.) 1 well used to bloodshed, hardened

Now bind my brows with iron, and approach
brow (n.) 4 forehead [often plural, referring to the two prominences of the forehead]

The ragged'st hour that time and spite dare bring
ragged (adj.) 1 rough, harsh

To frown upon th' enraged Northumberland!

Let heaven kiss earth! Now let not Nature's hand

Keep the wild flood confined! Let order die!

And let this world no longer be a stage

To feed contention in a lingering act;
contention (n.) quarrel, dispute, strife
lingering (adj.) long-drawn-out, protracted, lengthy

But let one spirit of the first-born Cain

Reign in all bosoms, that, each heart being set
bosom (n.) 1 heart, inner person

On bloody courses, the rude scene may end,
course (n.) 1 course of action, way of proceeding See Topics: Frequency count
rude (adj.) 1 violent, harsh, unkind

And darkness be the burier of the dead!


This strained passion doth you wrong, my lord.
passion (n.) 5 passionate outburst, emotional passage
strained (adj.) 2 unnatural, excessive, exorbitant


Sweet earl, divorce not wisdom from your honour;

The lives of all your loving complices
complice (n.) accomplice, confederate, associate

Lean on your health, the which, if you give o'er

To stormy passion, must perforce decay.
perforce (adv.) 2 of necessity, with no choice in the matter See Topics: Frequency count

You cast th' event of war, my noble lord,
cast (v.) 1 calculate, reckon, estimate
event (n.) outcome, issue, consequence

And summed the account of chance before you said

‘ Let us make head.’ It was your presurmise
head (n.) 1 fighting force, army, body of troops
presurmise (n.) suspicion beforehand, thought in advance

That in the dole of blows your son might drop.
dole (n.) 3 delivery, distribution, dealing out

You knew he walked o'er perils, on an edge,
edge (n.) 5 high and narrow ridge

More likely to fall in than to get o'er.

You were advised his flesh was capable
advise, avise (v.) 3 inform, be aware, apprise
capable of 2 open to, subject to, susceptible to

Of wounds and scars, and that his forward spirit
forward (adj.) 3 spirited, eager, lively

Would lift him where most trade of danger ranged.
trade (n.) 1 traffic, passage, coming and going

Yet did you say ‘ Go forth;’ and none of this,

Though strongly apprehended, could restrain

The stiff-borne action. What hath then befallen,
befall (v.), past forms befallen, befell 1 happen, occur, take place, turn out See Topics: Frequency count
stiff-borne (adj.) obstinately followed, stubbornly pursued

Or what hath this bold enterprise brought forth,

More than that being which was like to be?
like (adv.) 1 likely, probable / probably See Topics: Frequency count


We all that are engaged to this loss
engage to involve in, associate with

Knew that we ventured on such dangerous seas

That if we wrought out life 'twas ten to one;
work out (v.) preserve to the end, manage to maintain

And yet we ventured for the gain proposed,
venture, venter (v.) run a risk, take a chance, dare to act

Choked the respect of likely peril feared,
respect (n.) 1 consideration, factor, circumstance

And since we are o'erset, venture again.
overset (v.) 1 overthrow, overcome, defeat

Come, we will all put forth, body and goods.
put forth (v.) 1 set out [from], leave


'Tis more than time. And, my most noble lord,

I hear for certain, and do speak the truth,

The gentle Archbishop of York is up
up (adv.) 1 up in arms, in rebellion, in revolt

With well-appointed powers. He is a man
gentle (adj.) 1 well-born, honourable, noble See Topics: Frequency count
power (n.) 1 armed force, troops, host, army See Topics: Frequency count
well-appointed (adj.) well-equipped, properly fitted out

Who with a double surety binds his followers.
surety (n.) 1 guarantee, ratification, warrant

My lord, your son had only but the corpse,
corpse (n.) body of a man, physical being

But shadows and the shows of men, to fight;
shadow (n.) 1 image, likeness, portrait, semblance
show (n.) 1 appearance, exhibition, display

For that same word ‘rebellion' did divide

The action of their bodies from their souls.

And they did fight with queasiness, constrained,

As men drink potions, that their weapons only
potion (n.) 2 medicine

Seemed on our side; but, for their spirits and souls,

This word – ‘ rebellion ’ – it had froze them up

As fish are in a pond. But now the Bishop

Turns insurrection to religion;

Supposed sincere and holy in his thoughts,
suppose (v.) 2 consider, regard, deem

He's followed both with body and with mind,

And doth enlarge his rising with the blood
enlarge (v.) 2 enhance, promote, enrich

Of fair King Richard, scraped from Pomfret stones;

Derives from heaven his quarrel and his cause;

Tells them he doth bestride a bleeding land,
bestride (v.) 1 stand over, protect, safeguard

Gasping for life under great Bolingbroke;

And more and less do flock to follow him.
more and less 1 men of high and low rank


I knew of this before, but, to speak truth,

This present grief had wiped it from my mind.

Go in with me, and counsel every man

The aptest way for safety and revenge.

Get posts and letters, and make friends with speed –
make (v.) 8 raise, acquire, procure
post (n.) 1 express messenger, courier See Topics: Frequency count

Never so few, and never yet more need.


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