Henry IV, Part II "To The Last Man"
by William Shakespeare

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"To The Last Man"

(Magill's Quotations in Context)

Context: During a temporary cessation of hostilities between King Henry IV and the rebels, John of Lancaster, the king's son, and Westmorland have met the rebels Mowbray, the Archbishop of York, Hastings, and others. John reproaches them for rising against the king. He singles out the Archbishop, saying, "O who shall believe,/ But you misuse the reverence of your place,/ Employ the countenance and grace of heaven, / As a false favourite doth his prince's name,/ In deeds dishonourable?" The Archbishop answers that he and his fellows have just cause for complaint. He says that all he and they want is their just desires, and his statements are seconded and enlarged upon by Mowbray, as the following dialogue shows.

Good my Lord of Lancaster,
I am not here against your father's peace,
But as I told my Lord of Westmorland,
The time misordered doth, in common sense,
Crowd us and crush us to this monstrous form,
To hold our safety up. I sent your Grace
The parcels and particulars of our grief,
The which hath been with scorn shoved from the Court,
Whereon this Hydra son of war is born,
Whose dangerous eyes may well be charmed asleep,
With grant of our most just and right desires,
And true obedience, of this madness cured,
Stoop tamely to the foot of majesty.
If not, we ready are to try our fortunes,
To the last man.