James and Mary Ford, eds. Every Day in the Year. 1902.

July 21

Battle of Shrewsbury

By William Shakespeare (1564–1616)

  • From Henry IV, Part 1st, Act V, Scene 4.
  • A victory gained by Henry IV. on July 21, 1403, over the insurgents under the Percys.

  • Enter HOTSPUR.
    Hot.If I mistake not, thou art Harry Monmouth.

    Prince.Thou speak’st as if I would deny my name.

    Hot.My name is Harry Percy.

    Prince.Why, then I see

    A very valiant rebel of the name.

    I am the Prince of Wales; and think not, Percy,

    To share with me in glory any more:

    Two stars keep not their motion in one sphere;

    Nor can one England brook a double reign,

    Of Harry Percy and the Prince of Wales.

    Hot.Nor shall it, Harry; for the hour is come

    To end the one of us; and would to God

    Thy name in arms were now as great as mine!

    Prince.I’ll make it greater ere I part from thee;

    And all the budding honours on thy crest

    I’ll crop, to make a garland for my head.

    Hot.I can no longer brook thy vanities.[They fight.

    Enter FALSTAFF.
    Fal.Well said, Hal! to it, Hal! Nay, you shall find no boy’s play here, I can tell you.

    Re-enter DOUGLAS; he fights with FALSTAFF, who falls down as if he were dead, and exit DOUGLAS. HOTSPUR is wounded, and falls.
    Hot.O, Harry, thou hast robb’d me of my youth!

    I better brook the loss of brittle life

    Than those proud titles thou hast won of me;

    They wound my thoughts worse than thy sword my flesh:

    But thought’s the slave of life, and life time’s fool;

    And time, that takes survey of all the world,

    Must have a stop. O, I could prophesy,

    But that the earthy and cold hand of death

    Lies on my tongue; no, Percy, thou art dust,

    And food for—[Dies.

    Prince.For worms, brave Percy: fare thee well, great heart!

    Ill-weaved ambition, how much art thou shrunk!

    When that this body did contain a spirit,

    A kingdom for it was too small a bound;

    But now two paces of the vilest earth

    Is room enough: this earth that bears thee dead

    Bears not alive so stout a gentleman.

    If thou wert sensible of courtesy,

    I should not make so dear a show of zeal:

    But let my favours hide thy mangled face;

    And, even in thy behalf, I’ll thank myself

    For doing these fair rites of tenderness.

    Adieu, and take thy praise with thee to heaven!

    Thy ignominy sleep with thee in the grave,

    But not remember’d in thy epitaph!