Henry IV Part 1

Act I
Act II
Act IV
Act V
Enter the King, Prince of Wales, and others


Lords, give us leave. The Prince of Wales and I

Must have some private conference – but be near at hand,

For we shall presently have need of you.
presently (adv.) 2 after a short time, soon, before long

Exeunt Lords

I know not whether God will have it so

For some displeasing service I have done,

That in his secret doom out of my blood
blood (n.) 6 blood relationship, kinship
doom (n.) 1 judgement, sentence, decision

He'll breed revengement and a scourge for me.
revengement (n.) revenge, retribution, punishment

But thou dost in thy passages of life
passage (n.) 1 incident, occurrence, event, happening

Make me believe that thou art only marked

For the hot vengeance and the rod of heaven,

To punish my mistreadings. Tell me else,
mistreading (n.) misdeed, transgression, faulty step

Could such inordinate and low desires,
inordinate (adj.) immoderate, intemperate, excessive

Such poor, such bare, such lewd, such mean attempts,
attempt (n.) 1 exploit, undertaking, enterprise
bare (adj.) 3 worthless, wretched; or: barefaced, shameless
lewd (adj.) 1 improper, unseemly

Such barren pleasures, rude society,
rude (adj.) 4 uncivilized, uncultivated, unrefined

As thou art matched withal, and grafted to,

Accompany the greatness of thy blood

And hold their level with thy princely heart?
hold (v.) 1 keep, maintain, observe


So please your majesty, I would I could

Quit all offences with as clear excuse
quit (v.) 3 acquit, absolve, clear

As well as I am doubtless I can purge
doubtless (adj.) 1 certain, sure, free from doubt

Myself of many I am charged withal.

Yet such extenuation let me beg
extenuation (n.) excuse, mitigation, remission

As, in reproof of many tales devised,
devised (adj.) invented, fabricated, maliciously made-up
reproof (n.) 1 disproof, refutation, rebuttal

Which oft the ear of greatness needs must hear,
oft (adv.) often See Topics: Frequency count

By smiling pickthanks and base newsmongers,
base (adj.) 1 dishonourable, low, unworthy See Topics: Frequency count
pickthank (n.) flatterer, sycophant; tale-bearer, rumour-monger

I may for some things true, wherein my youth

Hath faulty wandered and irregular,

Find pardon on my true submission.
submission (n.) compliance, deference, obedience


God pardon thee! Yet let me wonder, Harry,

At thy affections, which do hold a wing
affection (n.) 1 fancy, inclination, desire
wing, hold a [falconry] take a course, maintain a course

Quite from the flight of all thy ancestors.

Thy place in Council thou hast rudely lost,
place (n.) 1 position, post, office, rank See Topics: Frequency count
rudely (adv.) 2 discourteously, boorishly, with ill manners

Which by thy younger brother is supplied,

And art almost an alien to the hearts

Of all the court and princes of my blood.

The hope and expectation of thy time

Is ruined, and the soul of every man

Prophetically do forethink thy fall.
forethink (v.) anticipate, foresee, predict

Had I so lavish of my presence been,

So common-hackneyed in the eyes of men,
common-hackneyed (adj.) made commonplace by habitual exposure, cheapened

So stale and cheap to vulgar company,
vulgar (adj.) 5 familiar, ordinary, everyday

Opinion, that did help me to the crown,

Had still kept loyal to possession,
possession (n.) 4 possessor, holder, occupier
still (adv.) 1 constantly, always, continually See Topics: Frequency count

And left me in reputeless banishment,

A fellow of no mark nor likelihood.
likelihood (n.) 1 future, promise, potential

By being seldom seen, I could not stir

But like a comet I was wondered at,

That men would tell their children ‘ This is he!’

Others would say, ‘ Where, which is Bolingbroke?’

And then I stole all courtesy from heaven,

And dressed myself in such humility

That I did pluck allegiance from men's hearts,

Loud shouts and salutations from their mouths,

Even in the presence of the crowned King.

Thus did I keep my person fresh and new,

My presence, like a robe pontifical,
pontifical (adj.) worn by a pope, episcopal

Ne'er seen but wondered at, and so my state,

Seldom, but sumptuous, showed like a feast,
seldom (adj.) rare, infrequent, uncommon

And won by rareness such solemnity.

The skipping King, he ambled up and down,
skipping (adj.) 1 frivolous, flighty, frolicsome

With shallow jesters, and rash bavin wits,
bavin (adj.) [made of] firewood, kindling wood
rash (adj.) 2 quickly lit, briefly flaming
wit (n.) 6 lively person, sharp-minded individual

Soon kindled and soon burnt, carded his state,
card (v.) mix, mingle, adulterate
state (n.) 2 status, rank, position

Mingled his royalty with capering fools,

Had his great name profaned with their scorns,

And gave his countenance against his name
countenance (n.) 5 position, standing, authority
name (n.) 5 kingly title, dignified rank

To laugh at gibing boys, and stand the push
gibing (adj.) scoffing, taunting, jeering
push (n.) 1 pushing, shoving, thrusting forward

Of every beardless vain comparative,
comparative (n.) comparison-maker, insult-dealer; or: rival
vain (adj.) 1 foolish, silly, stupid

Grew a companion to the common streets,

Enfeoffed himself to popularity,
enfeoff (v.) surrender, abandon, give up completely
popularity (n.) populace, common people, the masses

That, being daily swallowed by men's eyes,

They surfeited with honey, and began

To loathe the taste of sweetness, whereof a little

More than a little is by much too much.

So, when he had occasion to be seen,

He was but as the cuckoo is in June,

Heard, not regarded; seen, but with such eyes

As, sick and blunted with community,
community (n.) commonness, familiarity, everyday acquaintance

Afford no extraordinary gaze,

Such as is bent on sun-like majesty

When it shines seldom in admiring eyes,

But rather drowsed and hung their eyelids down,

Slept in his face, and rendered such aspect
aspect (n.) 3 gaze, look

As cloudy men use to their adversaries,
cloudy (adj.) 1 sullen, gloomy, scowling

Being with his presence glutted, gorged, and full.

And in that very line, Harry, standest thou,
line (n.) 1 degree, rank, station

For thou has lost thy princely privilege

With vile participation. Not an eye
participation (n.) association, companionship, fellowship
vile, vild (adj.) 1 degrading, ignominious, worthless

But is a-weary of thy common sight,

Save mine, which hath desired to see thee more,

Which now doth that I would not have it do,

Make blind itself with foolish tenderness.


I shall hereafter, my thrice-gracious lord,

Be more myself.


                         For all the world

As thou art to this hour was Richard then

When I from France set foot at Ravenspurgh,

And even as I was then is Percy now.

Now by my sceptre, and my soul to boot,
boot, to in addition, as well See Topics: Swearing

He hath more worthy interest to the state
interest (n.) 1 valid claim [on], rights of possession [to]

Than thou the shadow of succession.

For of no right, nor colour like to right,
colour (n.) 3 semblance, outward appearance, character

He doth fill fields with harness in the realm,
harness (n.) 2 armed men, men-at-arms, armament
like (adj.) 1 same, similar, alike, equal See Topics: Frequency count

Turns head against the lion's armed jaws,
head (n.) 1 fighting force, army, body of troops

And being no more in debt to years than thou

Leads ancient lords and reverend bishops on

To bloody battles, and to bruising arms.

What never-dying honour hath he got

Against renowned Douglas! Whose high deeds,

Whose hot incursions and great name in arms,

Holds from all soldiers chief majority
majority (n.) pre-eminence, superiority, supremacy

And military title capital
capital (adj.) 1 main, chief, principal

Through all the kingdoms that acknowledge Christ.

Thrice hath this Hotspur, Mars in swaddling clothes,
swathing-clothes / clouts (n.) swaddling clothes, cloths for wrapping round a new-born baby

This infant warrior, in his enterprises

Discomfited great Douglas, taken him once,
discomfit (v.) 1 defeat, overthrow, beat

Enlarged him, and made a friend of him,

To fill the mouth of deep defiance up,
fill up (v.) 2 swell, increase, make full

And shake the peace and safety of our throne.

And what say you to this? Percy, Northumberland,

The Archbishop's Grace of York, Douglas, Mortimer,

Capitulate against us and are up.
capitulate (v.) 2 sign articles of agreement
up (adv.) 1 up in arms, in rebellion, in revolt

But wherefore do I tell these news to thee?

Why, Harry, do I tell thee of my foes,

Which art my nearest and dearest enemy?
dear (adj.) 1 dire, grievous, hard

Thou that art like enough, through vassal fear,
vassal (adj.) 2 submissive, abject, yielding

Base inclination, and the start of spleen,
base (adj.) 1 dishonourable, low, unworthy See Topics: Frequency count
spleen (n.) 2 irritability, malice, bad temper
start (n.) 2 outburst, eruption, fit, reaction

To fight against me under Percy's pay,

To dog his heels, and curtsy at his frowns,

To show how much thou art degenerate.


Do not think so, you shall not find it so;

And God forgive them that so much have swayed

Your majesty's good thoughts away from me!

I will redeem all this on Percy's head,

And in the closing of some glorious day

Be bold to tell you that I am your son,

When I will wear a garment all of blood,

And stain my favours in a bloody mask,
favour (n.) 1 [facial] appearance, countenance, features, looks

Which, washed away, shall scour my shame with it.
scour (v.) 1 clear out, quickly remove, cleanse

And that shall be the day, whene'er it lights,

That this same child of honour and renown,

This gallant Hotspur, this all-praised knight,

And your unthought-of Harry chance to meet.
unthought-of (adj.) despised, poorly thought of

For every honour sitting on his helm,

Would they were multitudes, and on my head

My shames redoubled. For the time will come

That I shall make this northern youth exchange

His glorious deeds for my indignities.

Percy is but my factor, good my lord,
factor (n.) agent, representative, broker

To engross up glorious deeds on my behalf,
engross up (v.) amass, accumulate, collect together

And I will call him to so strict account

That he shall render every glory up,

Yea, even the slightest worship of his time,
time (n.) 3 lifetime, life
worship (n.) 1 esteem, honour, renown

Or I will tear the reckoning from his heart.
reckoning (n.) 4 [of personal qualities] rendering of account, settlement of debts

This in the name of God I promise here,

The which if He be pleased I shall perform,

I do beseech your majesty may salve
salve (v.) 1 heal, remedy, make good

The long-grown wounds of my intemperance.
intemperance (n.) wild behaviour, lack of restraint
intemperature (n.) intemperance, licentiousness

If not, the end of life cancels all bonds,
band (n.) 1 bond, obligation, tie

And I will die a hundred thousand deaths

Ere break the smallest parcel of this vow.
parcel (n.) 1 part, piece, portion, bit


A hundred thousand rebels die in this.

Thou shalt have charge and sovereign trust herein.
charge (n.) 2 company, command
sovereign (adj.) 2 leading, principal, outstanding

Enter Blunt

How now, good Blunt? Thy looks are full of speed.


So hath the business that I come to speak of.

Lord Mortimer of Scotland hath sent word

That Douglas and the English rebels met

The eleventh of this month at Shrewsbury.

A mighty and a fearful head they are,

If promises be kept on every hand,

As ever offered foul play in a state.


The Earl of Westmorland set forth today,

With him my son, Lord John of Lancaster,

For this advertisement is five days old.
advertisement (n.) 2 news, information, notification

On Wednesday next, Harry, you shall set forward.

On Thursday we ourselves will march.

Our meeting is Bridgnorth, and, Harry, you

Shall march through Gloucestershire, by which account,

Our business valued, some twelve days hence
business (n.) 1 deed, action, affair, task
value (v.) 1 consider, appraise, take into account

Our general forces at Bridgnorth shall meet.

Our hands are full of business, let's away,

Advantage feeds him fat while men delay.


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