Henry IV, pt.1 – Hotspur

Henry IV, pt.1 – Hotspur

Shakespeare – Men

Act 1, sc.3, lines 29-69

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 home.
He was perfumed 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 it ‘t’way 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 popinjay,
Out of my grief and my impatience
Answered neglectingly I know not what,
He should or 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 sovereign’st thing on earth
Was parmaceti for an inward bruise;
And that it was great pity, so it was,
This villainous saltpeter 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.