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FIRST PART OF HENRY IV.
The transactions, contained in this historical drama, are comprised within the period of about ten months: for the action commences with the news brought of Hotspur having defeated the Scots, under Archi. bald Earl Douglas, at Holmedon, or Halidown Hill, which battle was fought on Holyrood-day (the 14th of September) 1402: and it closes with the defeat and death of Hotspur at Shrewsbury; which engagement happened on Saturday the 21st of July, (the eye of St. Mary Magdalen) in the year 1403.
Shakspeare has apparently designed a regular connexion of these dramatic histories from Richard the Second to Henry the Fifth. King Henry, at the end of Richard the Second, declares his purpose to visit the Holy Land, which he resumes in his speech. The complaint made by King Henry in the last act of Richard the Second, of the wildness of his son, prepares
the reader for the frolicks which are here to be recounted, and the characters which are now to be exhibited.
King HENRY THE Fourth.
Sons to the King.
, } EARLOP WESTLORELAND,}
Friends to the King.
Lady Percy,wife to Hotspur,and Sister to Mortimer. LADY MORTIMER, Daughter to Glendower, and Wife
to Mortimer. Mrs. QUICKLY, Hostess of a Tavern in Eastcheap. Lords, Officers, Sherif, Vintner, Chamberlain,
Drawers, two Carriers, Travellers, and Attendants.
Enter King Henry, WestmoRELAND, Sir WALTER
BLUNT, and others.
K. Hen. 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,
West. My liege, this haste was hot in question,
Upon whose dead corps there was such misuse,
K. Hen. It seems then, that the tidings of this broil Brake off our business for the Holy land.
West. This, match'd with other, did, my gracious
For more uneven and unwelcome news
heat And pride of their contention, did take horse, Uncertain of the issue any way.
K. Hen. Here is a dear 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 bath 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