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King Henry IV, Part I

Please see the bottom of the page for extensive explanatory notes and other helpful resources.

ACT IV SCENE IV York. The Archbishop's palace.
ARCHBISHOP OF YORKHie, good Sir Michael; bear this sealed brief
With winged haste to the lord marshal;
This to my cousin Scroop, and all the rest
To whom they are directed. If you knew
How much they do to import, you would make haste.5
SIR MICHAELMy good lord,
I guess their tenor.
ARCHBISHOP OF YORKLike enough you do.
To-morrow, good Sir Michael, is a day
Wherein the fortune of ten thousand men10
Must bide the touch; for, sir, at Shrewsbury,
As I am truly given to understand,
The king with mighty and quick-raised power
Meets with Lord Harry: and, I fear, Sir Michael,
What with the sickness of Northumberland,15
Whose power was in the first proportion,
And what with Owen Glendower's absence thence,
Who with them was a rated sinew too
And comes not in, o'er-ruled by prophecies,
I fear the power of Percy is too weak20
To wage an instant trial with the king.
SIR MICHAELWhy, my good lord, you need not fear;
There is Douglas and Lord Mortimer.
ARCHBISHOP OF YORKNo, Mortimer is not there.
SIR MICHAELBut there is Mordake, Vernon, Lord Harry Percy,25
And there is my Lord of Worcester and a head
Of gallant warriors, noble gentlemen.
ARCHBISHOP OF YORKAnd so there is: but yet the king hath drawn
The special head of all the land together:
The Prince of Wales, Lord John of Lancaster,30
The noble Westmoreland and warlike Blunt;
And moe corrivals and dear men
Of estimation and command in arms.
SIR MICHAELDoubt not, my lord, they shall be well opposed.
ARCHBISHOP OF YORKI hope no less, yet needful 'tis to fear;35
And, to prevent the worst, Sir Michael, speed:
For if Lord Percy thrive not, ere the king
Dismiss his power, he means to visit us,
For he hath heard of our confederacy,
And 'tis but wisdom to make strong against him:40
Therefore make haste. I must go write again
To other friends; and so farewell, Sir Michael.

Continue to Henry IV, Part I, Act 5, Scene 1


Explanatory Notes for Act 4, Scene 4
From Henry IV, Part I. Ed. Brainerd Kellogg. New York: Clark and Maynard.
(Line numbers have been altered.)

1. Brief, letter. Now the points of a lawyer's argument.

11. Bide the touch, bear the trial.

18. A rated sinew, a valued sinew of battle.

32. Corrivals, copartners. Rival occurs several times in Shakespeare in the sense of partner or associate.

How to cite the explanatory notes:

Shakespeare, William. King Henry IV, Part 1. Ed. Brainerd Kellogg. New York: Clark and Maynard, 1885. Shakespeare Online. 20 Feb. 2010. (date when you accessed the information) < >.


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