Henry IV Part 1

Act I
Act II
Act IV
Act V
Enter the King, Northumberland, Worcester, Hotspur,

Sir Walter Blunt, with others


My blood hath been too cold and temperate,

Unapt to stir at these indignities,
unapt (adj.) 1 not inclined, unwilling, not prone

And you have found me – for accordingly

You tread upon my patience. But be sure

I will from henceforth rather be myself,

Mighty, and to be feared, than my condition,
condition (n.) 1 disposition, temper, mood, character

Which hath been smooth as oil, soft as young down,

And therefore lost that title of respect

Which the proud soul ne'er pays but to the proud.


Our house, my sovereign liege, little deserves

The scourge of greatness to be used on it,

And that same greatness too which our own hands

Have helped to make so portly.
portly (adj.) stately, majestic, dignified


                         My lord –


Worcester, get thee gone, for I do see

Danger and disobedience in thine eye.

O sir, your presence is too bold and peremptory,

And majesty might never yet endure

The moody frontier of a servant brow.
brow (n.) 3 eyebrow
frontier (n.) 1 confrontation, defiance, challenge
moody (adj.) 1 angry, wrathful, rancorous, sullen

You have good leave to leave us. When we need

Your use and counsel we shall send for you.

Exit Worcester

(to Northumberland)

You were about to speak.


                         Yea, my good lord.

Those prisoners in your highness' name demanded,

Which Harry Percy here at Holmedon took,

Were, as he says, not with such strength denied

As is delivered to your majesty.
deliver (v.) 1 report [to], communicate [to], tell, describe

Either envy therefore, or misprision,
envy (n.) 1 malice, ill-will, enmity
misprision (n.) 1 mistake, error, misunderstanding, misconception

Is guilty of this fault, and not my son.


My liege, I did deny no prisoners.

But I remember when the fight was done,

When I was dry with rage and extreme toil,
rage (n.) 2 warlike ardour, martial spirit

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
new (adv.) 1 newly, freshly, recently, just
reaped (adj.) barbered, clipped, trimmed

Showed like a stubble-land at harvest-home.
harvest-home (n.) 1 close of the harvesting season

He was perfumed like a milliner,

And 'twixt his finger and his thumb he held

A pouncet-box, which ever and anon
anon, ever and every now and then, at regular intervals
pouncet-box (n.) small box with a perforated lid for holding snuff or perfume

He gave his nose, and took it away again –

Who therewith angry, when it next came there,

Took it in snuff. And still he smiled and talked.
still (adv.) 1 constantly, always, continually See Topics: Frequency count

And as the soldiers bore dead bodies by,

He called them untaught knaves, unmannerly,
untaught (adj.) 1 uninstructed, uneducated, uncultivated

To bring a slovenly unhandsome corpse
slovenly (adj.) nasty, disgusting, foul

Betwixt the wind and his nobility.

With many holiday and lady terms
holiday (adj.) refined, select, genteel
lady (adj.) lady-like, effeminately delicate, aristocratic

He questioned me, amongst the rest demanded
question (v.) 2 converse with, talk away [at / with]

My prisoners in your majesty's behalf.

I then, all smarting with my wounds being cold,

To be so pestered with a popinjay,
popinjay (n.) parrot, prattler, chatterer

Out of my grief and my impatience
grief (n.) 2 pain, torment, distress

Answered neglectingly, I know not what,
neglectingly (adv.) neglectfully, negligently, carelessly

He should, or he should not, for he made me mad

To see him shine so brisk, and smell so sweet,
brisk (adv.) sprucely, smartly, finely dressed

And talk so like a waiting-gentlewoman
waiting-gentlewoman (n.) lady-in-waiting

Of guns, and drums, and wounds, God save the mark!

And telling me the sovereignest thing on earth
sovereign (adj.) 1 excellent, excelling, superlative

Was parmacity for an inward bruise,
parmacity (n.) spermaceti [medicinal substance from the sperm-whale]

And that it was great pity, so it was,

This villainous saltpetre should be digged
saltpetre (n.) substance used for making gunpowder [potassium nitrate]

Out of the bowels of the harmless earth,

Which many a good tall fellow had destroyed
tall (adj.) 1 brave, valiant, bold

So cowardly, and but for these vile guns

He would himself have been a soldier.

This bald unjointed chat of his, my lord,
bald (adj.) 1 trivial, foolish, witless
unjointed (adj.) disconnected, confused, incoherent

I answered indirectly, as I said,
indirectly (adv.) 2 inattentively, distractedly, away from the point

And I beseech you, let not his report

Come current for an accusation
current (adj.) 2 accepted, genuine, taken at face value

Betwixt my love and your high majesty.


The circumstance considered, good my lord,

Whate'er Lord Harry Percy then had said

To such a person, and in such a place,

At such a time, with all the rest retold,

May reasonably die, and never rise

To do him wrong, or any way impeach
impeach (v.) 2 discredit, disparage, call into question
wrong (n.) 1 dishonour, discredit, harm

What then he said, so he unsay it now.
unsay (v.) take back, withdraw, retract


Why, yet he doth deny his prisoners,

But with proviso and exception,

That we at our own charge shall ransom straight
straight (adv.) straightaway, immediately, at once See Topics: Frequency count

His brother-in-law, the foolish Mortimer,

Who, on my soul, hath wilfully betrayed

The lives of those that he did lead to fight

Against that great magician, damned Glendower,

Whose daughter, as we hear, that Earl of March

Hath lately married. Shall our coffers then

Be emptied to redeem a traitor home?

Shall we buy treason, and indent with fears
fear (n.) 3 object of dread, thing to be feared
indent (v.) 2 bargain, covenant, make an agreement

When they have lost and forfeited themselves?

No, on the barren mountains let him starve.

For I shall never hold that man my friend

Whose tongue shall ask me for one penny cost

To ransom home revolted Mortimer.
revolted (adj.) 1 rebellious, insurgent, insubordinate


Revolted Mortimer!

He never did fall off, my sovereign liege,

But by the chance of war. To prove that true

Needs no more but one tongue for all those wounds,

Those mouthed wounds, which valiantly he took,

When on the gentle Severn's sedgy bank,
gentle (adj.) 4 peaceful, calm, free from violence
sedgy (adj.) bordered with rushes, reed-covered

In single opposition hand to hand,

He did confound the best part of an hour
confound (v.) 9 spend, take up, consume

In changing hardiment with great Glendower.
change (v.) 1 exchange, trade
hardiment (n.) display of valour, daring deed

Three times they breathed, and three times did they drink

Upon agreement of swift Severn's flood,

Who then affrighted with their bloody looks

Ran fearfully among the trembling reeds

And hid his crisp head in the hollow bank,
crisp (adj.) 2 rippling, undulating, curling with waves
head (n.) 7 surface, surge, swell

Bloodstained with these valiant combatants.

Never did base and rotten policy
bare (adj.) 3 worthless, wretched; or: barefaced, shameless
base (adj.) 1 dishonourable, low, unworthy See Topics: Frequency count
policy (n.) 2 stratagem, cunning, intrigue, craft

Colour her working with such deadly wounds,
colour (v.) 1 disguise, conceal, cloak

Nor never could the noble Mortimer

Receive so many, and all willingly.

Then let not him be slandered with revolt.


Thou dost belie him, Percy, thou dost belie him,
belie (v.) 1 slander, tell lies about

He never did encounter with Glendower.

I tell thee, he durst as well have met the devil alone

As Owen Glendower for an enemy.

Art thou not ashamed? But sirrah, henceforth

Let me not hear you speak of Mortimer.

Send me your prisoners with the speediest means –

Or you shall hear in such a kind from me
kind (n.) 2 manner, way, state

As will displease you. My Lord Northumberland:

We license your departure with your son.

Send us your prisoners, or you will hear of it.

Exit the King with Blunt and train


And if the devil come and roar for them

I will not send them. I will after straight

And tell him so, for I will ease my heart,
straight (adv.) straightaway, immediately, at once See Topics: Frequency count

Albeit I make a hazard of my head.


What? Drunk with choler? Stay, and pause awhile,
choler (n.) anger, rage, wrath

Here comes your uncle.

Enter Worcester


                         Speak of Mortimer?

Zounds, I will speak of him, and let my soul

Want mercy if I do not join with him.
want (v.) 1 lack, need, be without See Topics: Frequency count

Yea, on his part I'll empty all these veins

And shed my dear blood, drop by drop in the dust,

But I will lift the down-trod Mortimer
down-trod (adj.) down-trodden, crushed, oppressed

As high in the air as this unthankful King,

As this ingrate and cankered Bolingbroke.
cankered (adj.) 2 corrupted, rotten to the core
ingrate (adj.) ungrateful, unthankful, unappreciative


Brother, the King hath made your nephew mad.


Who struck this heat up after I was gone?


He will forsooth have all my prisoners,
forsooth (adv.) in truth, certainly, truly, indeed See Topics: Frequency count

And when I urged the ransom once again

Of my wife's brother, then his cheek looked pale,

And on my face he turned an eye of death,
eye (n.) 2 look, glance, gaze

Trembling even at the name of Mortimer.


I cannot blame him. Was not he proclaimed,

By Richard that dead is, the next of blood?
blood (n.) 6 blood relationship, kinship


He was, I heard the proclamation.

And then it was, when the unhappy King –

Whose wrongs in us God pardon! – did set forth

Upon his Irish expedition;

From whence he, intercepted, did return

To be deposed, and shortly murdered.


And for whose death we in the world's wide mouth

Live scandalized and foully spoken of.
scandalized (adj.) disgraced, defamed, made a subject of scandal


But soft, I pray you, did King Richard then

Proclaim my brother Edmund Mortimer

Heir to the crown?


                         He did, myself did hear it.


Nay then, I cannot blame his cousin King

That wished him on the barren mountains starve.

But shall it be that you that set the crown

Upon the head of this forgetful man

And for his sake wear the detested blot

Of murderous subornation – shall it be
subornation (n.) aiding and abetting, inducement to do wrong, instigation

That you a world of curses undergo,

Being the agents, or base second means,
base (adj.) 1 dishonourable, low, unworthy See Topics: Frequency count
second (adj.) using a deputy, surrogate, proxy

The cords, the ladder, or the hangman rather?

O pardon me, that I descend so low,

To show the line and the predicament
line (n.) 1 degree, rank, station
predicament (n.) category, class, division

Wherein you range under this subtle King!
range (v.) 2 occupy, take up, be placed
subtle, subtile (adj.) 1 crafty, cunning, wily

Shall it for shame be spoken in these days,

Or fill up chronicles in time to come,

That men of your nobility and power

Did gage them both in an unjust behalf –
gage (v.) 1 pledge, contract, stake

As both of you, God pardon it, have done –

To put down Richard, that sweet lovely rose,

An plant this thorn, this canker Bolingbroke?
canker (n./adj.) 2 cancer, ulcer, blight, corruption

And shall it in more shame be further spoken,

That you are fooled, discarded, and shook off

By him for whom these shames ye underwent?

No, yet time serves wherein you may redeem

Your banished honours, and restore yourselves

Into the good thoughts of the world again:

Revenge the jeering and disdained contempt
disdained (adj.) disdainful, scornful, supercilious

Of this proud King, who studies day and night

To answer all the debt he owes to you,

Even with the bloody payment of your deaths.

Therefore, I say –


                         Peace, cousin, say no more.

And now I will unclasp a secret book,
unclasp (v.) reveal, display, divulge

And to your quick-conceiving discontents
discontent (n.) 2 discontented mind, dissatisfied soul
quick-conceiving (adj.) perceptive, astute, ready to understand

I'll read you matter deep and dangerous,
deep (adj.) 1 solemn, weighty, important

As full of peril and adventurous spirit

As to o'er-walk a current roaring loud
over-walk (v.) walk over, cross by walking

On the unsteadfast footing of a spear.
footing (n.) 1 support, surface, foundation, foothold
unsteadfast (adj.) unsteady, precarious, not firm


If he fall in, good night, or sink, or swim!

Send danger from the east unto the west,

So honour cross it from the north to south,

And let them grapple. O, the blood more stirs

To rouse a lion than to start a hare!
rouse (v.) 1 [hunting] startle from a lair, draw out
start (v.) 5 [hunting] raise from cover


Imagination of some great exploit

Drives him beyond the bounds of patience.


By heaven, methinks it were an easy leap
methinks(t), methought(s) (v.) it seems /seemed to me See Topics: Frequency count

To pluck bright honour from the pale-faced moon,

Or dive into the bottom of the deep,

Where fathom-line could never touch the ground,
ground (n.) 8 bottom [as of the sea]

And pluck up drowned honour by the locks,

So he that doth redeem her thence might wear

Without corrival all her dignities.
corrival, co-rival (n.) 1 equal, match, compeer

But out upon this half-faced fellowship!
half-faced (adj.) 3 imperfect, incomplete, defective


He apprehends a world of figures here,
apprehend (v.) 2 seize upon, snatch at, lay hold of
figure (n.) 2 figure of speech, device, piece of rhetoric

But not the form of what he should attend.
attend (v.) 6 regard, consider
form (n.) 10 substance, essence, true meaning

Good cousin, give me audience for a while.
audience (n.) 1 hearing, attention, reception See Topics: Attention signals


I cry you mercy.


                         Those same noble Scots

That are your prisoners –


                         I'll keep them all!

By God he shall not have a Scot of them,

No, if a scot would save his soul he shall not.
scot (n.) payment, contribution, small amount

I'll keep them, by this hand!
start (v.) 6 hurry, rush, hasten


                         You start away

And lend no ear unto my purposes.
purpose (n.) 1 intention, aim, plan See Topics: Frequency count

Those prisoners you shall keep –


                         Nay, I will. That's flat!

He said he would not ransom Mortimer,

Forbade my tongue to speak of Mortimer,

But I will find him when he lies asleep,

And in his ear I'll holla ‘ Mortimer!’
holla, holloa (v.) halloo, shout, call out [to]

Nay, I'll have a starling shall be taught to speak

Nothing but ‘ Mortimer,’ and give it him

To keep his anger still in motion.
still (adv.) 1 constantly, always, continually See Topics: Frequency count


Hear you, cousin, a word.


All studies here I solemnly defy,
defy (v.) 1 reject, despise, disdain, renounce
study (n.) 3 pursuit, concern, occupation

Save how to gall and pinch this Bolingbroke.
gall (v.) 1 vex, annoy, irritate
pinch (v.) 1 torment, pain, torture

And that same sword-and-buckler Prince of Wales –
buckler (n.) small round shield See Topics: Weapons

But that I think his father loves him not

And would be glad he met with some mischance –

I would have him poisoned with a pot of ale.


Farewell, kinsman. I'll talk to you

When you are better tempered to attend.
attend (v.) 7 listen [to], pay attention [to]


Why, what a wasp-stung and impatient fool

Art thou to break into this woman's mood,

Tying thine ear to no tongue but thine own!


Why, look you, I am whipped and scourged with rods,

Nettled, and stung with pismires, when I hear

Of this vile politician Bolingbroke.

In Richard's time – what do you call the place?

A plague upon it, it is in Gloucestershire.

'Twas where the madcap Duke his uncle kept –
keep (v.) 1 lodge, live, dwell

His uncle York – where I first bowed my knee

Unto this king of smiles, this Bolingbroke –

'Sblood, when you and he came back from Ravenspurgh –


At Berkeley Castle.


You say true.

Why, what a candy deal of courtesy
candy (adj.) sugary, syrupy, honeyed
deal (n.) amount, quantity

This fawning greyhound then did proffer me!

‘ Look,when his infant fortune came to age,’

And ‘ gentle Harry Percy,’ and ‘ kind cousin.’
gentle (adj.) 1 well-born, honourable, noble See Topics: Frequency count

O, the devil take such cozeners – God forgive me!
cozener (n.) cheat, deceiver, fraud

Good uncle, tell your tale. I have done.


Nay, if you have not, to it again,

We will stay your leisure.


                         I have done, i'faith.


Then once more to your Scottish prisoners.

Deliver them up without their ransom straight,
straight (adv.) straightaway, immediately, at once See Topics: Frequency count

And make the Douglas' son your only mean
mean (n.) 1 means, way, method

For powers in Scotland, which, for divers reasons
divers (adj.) different, various, several
power (n.) 1 armed force, troops, host, army See Topics: Frequency count

Which I shall send you written, be assured

Will easily be granted. (To Northumberland) You my lord,

Your son in Scotland being thus employed,

Shall secretly into the bosom creep

Of that same noble prelate well-beloved,

The Archbishop.
hard (adv.) 3 badly, poorly, ill


                         Of York, is it not?


                                                         True, who bears hard

His brother's death at Bristol, the Lord Scroop.

I speak not this in estimation,
estimation (n.) 4 guess, conjecture, speculation

As what I think might be, but what I know

Is ruminated, plotted, and set down,

And only stays but to behold the face

Of that occasion that shall bring it on.


I smell it! Upon my life it will do well!


Before the game is afoot thou still lettest slip.
slip, let let go, allow to leave, unleash
still (adv.) 2 ever, now [as before]


Why, it cannot choose but be a noble plot;

And then the power of Scotland, and of York,
power (n.) 1 armed force, troops, host, army See Topics: Frequency count

To join with Mortimer, ha?


                         And so they shall.


In faith it is exceedingly well aimed.


And 'tis no little reason bids us speed,

To save our heads by raising of a head.
head (n.) 1 fighting force, army, body of troops

For, bear ourselves as even as we can,
even, e'en (adv.) 3 carefully, steadily, circumspectly

The King will always think him in our debt,

And think we think ourselves unsatisfied,

Till he hath found a time to pay us home.
home (adv.) 1 fully, thoroughly, unsparingly

And see already how he doth begin

To make us strangers to his looks of love.


He does, he does, we'll be revenged on him.


Cousin, farewell. No further go in this

Than I by letters shall direct your course.
course (n.) 1 course of action, way of proceeding See Topics: Frequency count

When time is ripe, which will be suddenly,
suddenly (adv.) 1 immediately, at once, without delay

I'll steal to Glendower, and Lord Mortimer,

Where you, and Douglas, and our powers at once,
once, at (adv.) all together, jointly, collectively
power (n.) 1 armed force, troops, host, army See Topics: Frequency count

As I will fashion it, shall happily meet,
fashion (v.) 3 arrange, contrive, manage

To bear our fortunes in our own strong arms,

Which now we hold at much uncertainty.


Farewell, good brother. We shall thrive, I trust.
thrive (v.) be successful, have good fortune


Uncle, adieu. O, let the hours be short,

Till fields, and blows, and groans applaud our sport!
field (n.) 1 field of battle, battleground, field of combat See Topics: Frequency count
sport (n.) 1 recreation, amusement, entertainment See Topics: Frequency count


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