HENRY IV, PART I
A monologue from Act I, Scene iii
by: William Shakespeare
|NOTE: Henry IV, Part I was originally published in 1598. It is now a public domain work and may be performed without royalties.
- HOTSPUR: My liege, I did deny no prisoners.
- But I remember, when the fight was done,
- When I was dry with rage and extreme toil,
- Breathless and faint, leaning upon my sword,
- Came there a certain lord, neat and trimly dressed,
- Fresh as a bridegroom, and his chin new reaped
- Showed like a stubble land at harvest time.
- He was perfumèd like a milliner,
- And twixt his finger and his thumb he held
- A pouncet box , which ever and anon
- He gave his nose, and took't away again;
- Who therewith angry, when it next came there,
- Took it in snuff; and still he smiled and talked;
- And as the soldiers bore dead bodies by,
- He called them untaught knaves, unmannerly,
- To bring a slovenly unhandsome corse
- Betwixt the wind and his nobility.
- With many holiday and lady  terms
- He questioned me, amongst the rest demanded
- My prisoners in your majesty's behalf.
- I then, all smarting with my wounds being cold,
- To be so pestered with a popingay,
- Out of my grief and impatience
- Answered neglectingly, I know not what--
- He should, or he should not; for he made me mad
- To see him shine so brisk, and smell so sweet,
- And talk so like a waiting gentlewoman
- Of guns and drums and wounds -- God save the mark!  --
- And telling me the sovereignest thing on earth
- Was parmacity  for an inward bruise,
- And that it was great pity, so it was,
- This villainous saltpetre should be digged
- Out of the bowels of the harmless earth,
- Which many a good tall fellow had destroyed
- So cowardly, and but for these vile guns,
- He would himself have been a soldier.
- This bald  unjointed chat of his, my lord,
- I answered indirectly, as I said,
- And I beseech you, let not his report
- Come current  for an accusation
- Betwixt my love and your high majesty.
1 perfume box
2 affected and effeminate
3 avert anything so ridiculous
4 spermaceti ointment
6 be accepted