List iconHenry IV, Part 2:
Act 4, scene 1
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Henry IV, Part 2
Act 4, scene 1



Characters in the Play

Entire Play

Henry IV, Part 2, continues the story of Henry IV, Part I. Northumberland learns that his son Hotspur is dead, and…


Following the battle of Shrewsbury (where King Henry and Prince Hal were victorious and Hotspur killed), Rumor spreads the false…

Act 1, scene 1

Northumberland, who had pleaded illness as an excuse for not appearing at the battle of Shrewsbury, learns that his son,…

Act 1, scene 2

Sir John Falstaff is confronted by the Lord Chief Justice. Since Falstaff has come away from Shrewsbury with the reputation…

Act 1, scene 3

At York, the Archbishop discusses with Mowbray, Hastings, and Lord Bardolph whether they can defeat the king’s forces if their…

Act 2, scene 1

Sir John is arrested for the debt he owes Mistress Quickly. He persuades her to drop the charges and to…

Act 2, scene 2

Learning that Falstaff will be dining that night in Eastcheap, Prince Hal and Poins decide to disguise themselves as waiters…

Act 2, scene 3

Northumberland is persuaded by his daughter-in-law, Hotspur’s widow, to abandon the other rebels.

Act 2, scene 4

At Mistress Quickly’s inn in Eastcheap, a fight erupts after Falstaff ’s ensign, Pistol, insults Doll Tearsheet. The disguised Prince Hal…

Act 3, scene 1

An ill and anxious King Henry IV consults with Warwick.

Act 3, scene 2

On his journey through Gloucestershire, Falstaff selects recruits for the army and decides that, on his return, he will fleece…

Act 4, scene 1

The leaders of the rebellion reach Gaultree Forest, where they present their grievances to Westmoreland. After Prince John promises redress…

Act 4, scene 2

Falstaff meets a rebel knight, who surrenders to him. When Prince John reproaches Falstaff for his late arrival, Falstaff turns…

Act 4, scene 3

Just after receiving the good news about the defeat of all the rebel forces, Henry IV falls into a swoon….

Act 5, scene 1

Falstaff observes Shallow and his servants in order to be ready to entertain Prince Hal with amusing stories.

Act 5, scene 2

Prince Hal reassures an anxious Lord Chief Justice.

Act 5, scene 3

On the news of Henry IV’s death, Falstaff and Shallow set off joyfully for London.

Act 5, scene 4

Doll Tearsheet is arrested.

Act 5, scene 5

The newly crowned King Henry V keeps his word to the Lord Chief Justice.


The speaker apologizes for the play and promises another play with Falstaff in it.

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Scene 1
Enter the Archbishop of York, Mowbray, Lord
Bardolph, Hastings, and their officers within the Forest
of Gaultree.

ARCHBISHOP What is this forest called?
 ’Tis Gaultree Forest, an ’t shall please your Grace.
 Here stand, my lords, and send discoverers forth
 To know the numbers of our enemies.
5 We have sent forth already.
ARCHBISHOP  ’Tis well done.
 My friends and brethren in these great affairs,
 I must acquaint you that I have received
 New-dated letters from Northumberland,
10 Their cold intent, tenor, and substance, thus:
 Here doth he wish his person, with such powers
 As might hold sortance with his quality,
 The which he could not levy; whereupon
 He is retired, to ripe his growing fortunes,
15 To Scotland, and concludes in hearty prayers
 That your attempts may overlive the hazard
 And fearful meeting of their opposite.
 Thus do the hopes we have in him touch ground
 And dash themselves to pieces.

Henry IV, Part 2
ACT 4. SC. 1

Enter Messenger.

HASTINGS 20 Now, what news?
 West of this forest, scarcely off a mile,
 In goodly form comes on the enemy,
 And, by the ground they hide, I judge their number
 Upon or near the rate of thirty thousand.
25 The just proportion that we gave them out.
 Let us sway on and face them in the field.

Enter Westmoreland.

 What well-appointed leader fronts us here?
 I think it is my Lord of Westmoreland.
 Health and fair greeting from our general,
30 The Prince Lord John and Duke of Lancaster.
 Say on, my Lord of Westmoreland, in peace,
 What doth concern your coming.
WESTMORELAND  Then, my lord,
 Unto your Grace do I in chief address
35 The substance of my speech. If that rebellion
 Came like itself, in base and abject routs,
 Led on by bloody youth, guarded with rage,
 And countenanced by boys and beggary—
 I say, if damned commotion so appeared
40 In his true, native, and most proper shape,
 You, reverend father, and these noble lords
 Had not been here to dress the ugly form
 Of base and bloody insurrection
 With your fair honors. You, Lord Archbishop,

Henry IV, Part 2
ACT 4. SC. 1

45 Whose see is by a civil peace maintained,
 Whose beard the silver hand of peace hath touched,
 Whose learning and good letters peace hath tutored,
 Whose white investments figure innocence,
 The dove and very blessèd spirit of peace,
50 Wherefore do you so ill translate yourself
 Out of the speech of peace, that bears such grace,
 Into the harsh and boist’rous tongue of war,
 Turning your books to graves, your ink to blood,
 Your pens to lances, and your tongue divine
55 To a loud trumpet and a point of war?
 Wherefore do I this? So the question stands.
 Briefly, to this end: we are all diseased
 And with our surfeiting and wanton hours
 Have brought ourselves into a burning fever,
60 And we must bleed for it; of which disease
 Our late King Richard, being infected, died.
 But, my most noble Lord of Westmoreland,
 I take not on me here as a physician,
 Nor do I as an enemy to peace
65 Troop in the throngs of military men,
 But rather show awhile like fearful war
 To diet rank minds sick of happiness
 And purge th’ obstructions which begin to stop
 Our very veins of life. Hear me more plainly.
70 I have in equal balance justly weighed
 What wrongs our arms may do, what wrongs we
 And find our griefs heavier than our offenses.
 We see which way the stream of time doth run
75 And are enforced from our most quiet there
 By the rough torrent of occasion,
 And have the summary of all our griefs,
 When time shall serve, to show in articles;

Henry IV, Part 2
ACT 4. SC. 1

 Which long ere this we offered to the King
80 And might by no suit gain our audience.
 When we are wronged and would unfold our griefs,
 We are denied access unto his person
 Even by those men that most have done us wrong.
 The dangers of the days but newly gone,
85 Whose memory is written on the earth
 With yet-appearing blood, and the examples
 Of every minute’s instance, present now,
 Hath put us in these ill-beseeming arms,
 Not to break peace or any branch of it,
90 But to establish here a peace indeed,
 Concurring both in name and quality.
 Whenever yet was your appeal denied?
 Wherein have you been gallèd by the King?
 What peer hath been suborned to grate on you,
95 That you should seal this lawless bloody book
 Of forged rebellion with a seal divine
 [And consecrate commotion’s bitter edge?]
 My brother general, the commonwealth,
 [To brother born an household cruelty,]
100 I make my quarrel in particular.
 There is no need of any such redress,
 Or if there were, it not belongs to you.
 Why not to him in part, and to us all
 That feel the bruises of the days before
105 And suffer the condition of these times
 To lay a heavy and unequal hand
 Upon our honors?
WESTMORELAND  O, my good Lord Mowbray,
 Construe the times to their necessities,

Henry IV, Part 2
ACT 4. SC. 1

110 And you shall say indeed it is the time,
 And not the King, that doth you injuries.
 Yet for your part, it not appears to me
 Either from the King or in the present time
 That you should have an inch of any ground
115 To build a grief on. Were you not restored
 To all the Duke of Norfolk’s seigniories,
 Your noble and right well remembered father’s?
 What thing, in honor, had my father lost
 That need to be revived and breathed in me?
120 The King that loved him, as the state stood then,
 Was force perforce compelled to banish him,
 And then that Henry Bolingbroke and he,
 Being mounted and both rousèd in their seats,
 Their neighing coursers daring of the spur,
125 Their armèd staves in charge, their beavers down,
 Their eyes of fire sparkling through sights of steel,
 And the loud trumpet blowing them together,
 Then, then, when there was nothing could have
130 My father from the breast of Bolingbroke,
 O, when the King did throw his warder down—
 His own life hung upon the staff he threw—
 Then threw he down himself and all their lives
 That by indictment and by dint of sword
135 Have since miscarried under Bolingbroke.
 You speak, Lord Mowbray, now you know not what.
 The Earl of Hereford was reputed then
 In England the most valiant gentleman.
 Who knows on whom fortune would then have
140 smiled?
 But if your father had been victor there,
 He ne’er had borne it out of Coventry;

Henry IV, Part 2
ACT 4. SC. 1

 For all the country in a general voice
 Cried hate upon him; and all their prayers and
145 love
 Were set on Hereford, whom they doted on
 And blessed and graced, indeed more than the
 But this is mere digression from my purpose.
150 Here come I from our princely general
 To know your griefs, to tell you from his Grace
 That he will give you audience; and wherein
 It shall appear that your demands are just,
 You shall enjoy them, everything set off
155 That might so much as think you enemies.
 But he hath forced us to compel this offer,
 And it proceeds from policy, not love.
 Mowbray, you overween to take it so.
 This offer comes from mercy, not from fear.
160 For, lo, within a ken our army lies,
 Upon mine honor, all too confident
 To give admittance to a thought of fear.
 Our battle is more full of names than yours,
 Our men more perfect in the use of arms,
165 Our armor all as strong, our cause the best.
 Then reason will our hearts should be as good.
 Say you not then our offer is compelled.
 Well, by my will, we shall admit no parley.
 That argues but the shame of your offense.
170 A rotten case abides no handling.
 Hath the Prince John a full commission,
 In very ample virtue of his father,

Henry IV, Part 2
ACT 4. SC. 1

 To hear and absolutely to determine
 Of what conditions we shall stand upon?
175 That is intended in the General’s name.
 I muse you make so slight a question.
ARCHBISHOP, giving Westmoreland a paper 
 Then take, my Lord of Westmoreland, this schedule,
 For this contains our general grievances.
 Each several article herein redressed,
180 All members of our cause, both here and hence
 That are insinewed to this action,
 Acquitted by a true substantial form
 And present execution of our wills
 To us and to our purposes confined,
185 We come within our awful banks again
 And knit our powers to the arm of peace.
 This will I show the General. Please you, lords,
 In sight of both our battles we may meet,
 And either end in peace, which God so frame,
190 Or to the place of difference call the swords
 Which must decide it.
ARCHBISHOP  My lord, we will do so.
Westmoreland exits.
 There is a thing within my bosom tells me
 That no conditions of our peace can stand.
195 Fear you not that. If we can make our peace
 Upon such large terms and so absolute
 As our conditions shall consist upon,
 Our peace shall stand as firm as rocky mountains.
 Yea, but our valuation shall be such
200 That every slight and false-derivèd cause,

Henry IV, Part 2
ACT 4. SC. 1

 Yea, every idle, nice, and wanton reason,
 Shall to the King taste of this action,
 That, were our royal faiths martyrs in love,
 We shall be winnowed with so rough a wind
205 That even our corn shall seem as light as chaff,
 And good from bad find no partition.
 No, no, my lord. Note this: the King is weary
 Of dainty and such picking grievances,
 For he hath found to end one doubt by death
210 Revives two greater in the heirs of life;
 And therefore will he wipe his tables clean
 And keep no telltale to his memory
 That may repeat and history his loss
 To new remembrance. For full well he knows
215 He cannot so precisely weed this land
 As his misdoubts present occasion;
 His foes are so enrooted with his friends
 That, plucking to unfix an enemy,
 He doth unfasten so and shake a friend;
220 So that this land, like an offensive wife
 That hath enraged him on to offer strokes,
 As he is striking holds his infant up
 And hangs resolved correction in the arm
 That was upreared to execution.
225 Besides, the King hath wasted all his rods
 On late offenders, that he now doth lack
 The very instruments of chastisement,
 So that his power, like to a fangless lion,
 May offer but not hold.
ARCHBISHOP 230 ’Tis very true,
 And therefore be assured, my good Lord Marshal,
 If we do now make our atonement well,
 Our peace will, like a broken limb united,
 Grow stronger for the breaking.

Henry IV, Part 2
ACT 4. SC. 1

MOWBRAY 235 Be it so.
 Here is returned my Lord of Westmoreland.

Enter Westmoreland.

WESTMORELAND, to the Archbishop 
 The Prince is here at hand. Pleaseth your Lordship
 To meet his Grace just distance ’tween our armies.

Enter Prince John and his army.

MOWBRAY, to the Archbishop 
 Your Grace of York, in God’s name then set
240 forward.
 Before, and greet his Grace.—My lord, we come.
All move forward.
 You are well encountered here, my cousin
 Good day to you, gentle Lord Archbishop,—
245 And so to you, Lord Hastings, and to all.—
 My Lord of York, it better showed with you
 When that your flock, assembled by the bell,
 Encircled you to hear with reverence
 Your exposition on the holy text
250 Than now to see you here, an iron man talking,
 Cheering a rout of rebels with your drum,
 Turning the word to sword, and life to death.
 That man that sits within a monarch’s heart
 And ripens in the sunshine of his favor,
255 Would he abuse the countenance of the King,
 Alack, what mischiefs might he set abroach
 In shadow of such greatness! With you, Lord
 It is even so. Who hath not heard it spoken
260 How deep you were within the books of God,

Henry IV, Part 2
ACT 4. SC. 1

 To us the speaker in His parliament,
 To us th’ imagined voice of God Himself,
 The very opener and intelligencer
 Between the grace, the sanctities, of heaven,
265 And our dull workings? O, who shall believe
 But you misuse the reverence of your place,
 Employ the countenance and grace of heaven
 As a false favorite doth his prince’s name,
 In deeds dishonorable? You have ta’en up,
270 Under the counterfeited zeal of God,
 The subjects of His substitute, my father,
 And both against the peace of heaven and him
 Have here up-swarmed them.
ARCHBISHOP  Good my Lord of
275 Lancaster,
 I am not here against your father’s peace,
 But, as I told my Lord of Westmoreland,
 The time misordered doth, in common sense,
 Crowd us and crush us to this monstrous form
280 To hold our safety up. I sent your Grace
 The parcels and particulars of our grief,
 The which hath been with scorn shoved from the
 Whereon this Hydra son of war is born,
285 Whose dangerous eyes may well be charmed asleep
 With grant of our most just and right desires,
 And true obedience, of this madness cured,
 Stoop tamely to the foot of majesty.
 If not, we ready are to try our fortunes
290 To the last man.
HASTINGS  And though we here fall down,
 We have supplies to second our attempt;
 If they miscarry, theirs shall second them,
 And so success of mischief shall be born,

Henry IV, Part 2
ACT 4. SC. 1

295 And heir from heir shall hold his quarrel up
 Whiles England shall have generation.
 You are too shallow, Hastings, much too shallow
 To sound the bottom of the after-times.
 Pleaseth your Grace to answer them directly
300 How far forth you do like their articles.
 I like them all, and do allow them well,
 And swear here by the honor of my blood
 My father’s purposes have been mistook,
 And some about him have too lavishly
305 Wrested his meaning and authority.
 To the Archbishop. My lord, these griefs shall be
 with speed redressed;
 Upon my soul, they shall. If this may please you,
 Discharge your powers unto their several counties,
310 As we will ours, and here, between the armies,
 Let’s drink together friendly and embrace,
 That all their eyes may bear those tokens home
 Of our restorèd love and amity.
 I take your princely word for these redresses.
315 I give it you, and will maintain my word,
 And thereupon I drink unto your Grace.
The Leaders of both armies begin to drink together.
HASTINGS, to an Officer 
 Go, captain, and deliver to the army
 This news of peace. Let them have pay, and part.
 I know it will well please them. Hie thee, captain.
Officer exits.
ARCHBISHOP, toasting Westmoreland 
320 To you, my noble Lord of Westmoreland.
WESTMORELAND, returning the toast 

Henry IV, Part 2
ACT 4. SC. 1

 I pledge your Grace, and if you knew what pains
 I have bestowed to breed this present peace,
 You would drink freely. But my love to you
 Shall show itself more openly hereafter.
325 I do not doubt you.
WESTMORELAND  I am glad of it.—
 Health to my lord and gentle cousin, Mowbray.
 You wish me health in very happy season,
 For I am on the sudden something ill.
330 Against ill chances men are ever merry,
 But heaviness foreruns the good event.
 Therefore be merry, coz, since sudden sorrow
 Serves to say thus: “Some good thing comes
335 Believe me, I am passing light in spirit.
 So much the worse if your own rule be true.
Shout within.
 The word of peace is rendered. Hark how they
 This had been cheerful after victory.
340 A peace is of the nature of a conquest,
 For then both parties nobly are subdued,
 And neither party loser.
JOHN OF LANCASTER, to Westmoreland  Go, my lord,
 And let our army be dischargèd too.
Westmoreland exits.

Henry IV, Part 2
ACT 4. SC. 1

345 To the Archbishop. And, good my lord, so please
 you, let our trains
 March by us, that we may peruse the men
 We should have coped withal.
ARCHBISHOP  Go, good Lord
350 Hastings,
 And ere they be dismissed, let them march by.
Hastings exits.
 I trust, lords, we shall lie tonight together.

Enter Westmoreland.

 Now, cousin, wherefore stands our army still?
 The leaders, having charge from you to stand,
355 Will not go off until they hear you speak.
JOHN OF LANCASTER They know their duties.

Enter Hastings.

HASTINGS, to the Archbishop 
 My lord, our army is dispersed already.
 Like youthful steers unyoked, they take their
360 East, west, north, south, or, like a school broke up,
 Each hurries toward his home and sporting-place.
 Good tidings, my Lord Hastings, for the which
 I do arrest thee, traitor, of high treason.—
 And you, Lord Archbishop, and you, Lord Mowbray,
365 Of capital treason I attach you both.
 Is this proceeding just and honorable?
WESTMORELAND Is your assembly so?
 Will you thus break your faith?

Henry IV, Part 2
ACT 4. SC. 2

JOHN OF LANCASTER  I pawned thee none.
370 I promised you redress of these same grievances
 Whereof you did complain, which, by mine honor,
 I will perform with a most Christian care.
 But for you rebels, look to taste the due
 Meet for rebellion and such acts as yours.
375 Most shallowly did you these arms commence,
 Fondly brought here, and foolishly sent hence.—
 Strike up our drums; pursue the scattered stray.
 God, and not we, hath safely fought today.—
 Some guard these traitors to the block of death,
380 Treason’s true bed and yielder-up of breath.
They exit.