Shakespearean Advice

By John Hertz: Home from Sasquan (73rd World Science Fiction Convention, 19-23 Aug 15, Spokane, Washington) I happened to be re-reading Henry IV, Part 1 and met this passage.

Thomas Percy, the Earl of Worcester, speaks to his nephew Henry Percy, called Hotspur.

If there is some Hotspur in any of us Left or Right, we may take “your coming” for its arrival, and “him” also as it may apply, in the singular or plural.  Naturally if the shoe doesn’t fit we shouldn’t wear it.

In faith, my lord, you are too wilful-blame,
And since your coming hither have done enough
To put him quite besides his patience.
You must needs learn, my lord, to amend this fault.
Though sometimes it show greatness, courage, blood —
And that’s the dearest grace it tenders you —
Yet oftentimes it doth present harsh rage,
Defect of manners, want of government,
Pride, haughtiness, opinion, and disdain;
The least of which haunting a nobleman
Loseth men’s hearts, and leaves behind a stain
Upon the beauty of all parts besides,
Beguiling them of commendation.

4 thoughts on “Shakespearean Advice

  1. Yes, all things we think new and today are frequently neither. The over-reactions of young men such as Hotspur — and of those who are neither young, nor men — have been with us for a very, very long time. On a cheerier note: I was lucky enough to see a live-in-the-park performance of Henry IV part 1, about a month ago, put on by Cromulent Shakespeare in Minneapolis; it was a terrific performance of an outstanding play. Hotspur was wonderfully booed.

  2. Here in Portland, Maine, were very fortunate to have several companies that do various plays by him outside. Portland Stage actually sponsored performances of his plays done by just several actors in various appropriate places such as the steps of City Hall for Richard III.

  3. We saw the Shakespeare in the Parks production of “Taming of the Shrew” in Riverside Park, on Sunday evening after Sasquan officially ended, before going to the dead dog party. It was set in South Pass City, Wyoming (which, surprisingly, turns out to be a real place), leading to the grating-to-my-ear line “I’ve come to wive it wealthily in South Pass City”.

    This post is an illustration of why I’m so fond of John Hertz, even if for no other reason than that he’s one of the few people I know who can casually and totally unpretentiously write, ” I happened to be re-reading Henry IV, Part 1″.

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