At King Henry's palace Hotspur has returned to report on his prisoners. He tells the King that he had not refused to hand them over to the state, as Henry accuses, but that he simply responded foolishly to the King's messenger. It was just as the battle came to a close when the messenger approached the bloody and exhausted Hotspur, and he so enraged Hotspur with his idle chatter that Hotspur refused to answer him directly, and this was taken to mean the refusal of an order from Henry. The King does accept Hotspur's answer, but then he and Hotspur begin to fight over the matter of Mortimer, the Earl of March. Hotspur wants Henry to ransom Mortimer, who has been captured by the Welsh rebel, Owen Glendower.
The King thinks that Mortimer, who has married Glendower's daughter, has defected to the Welsh, and, not only does he refuse the request to ransom him, he chides Hotspur for taking Mortimer's side in the matter. Hotspur is livid, and defends both himself and Mortimer, only to have the King silence him: "sirrah, henceforth/Let me not hear you speak of Mortimer." Any reconciliation that may have been in progress is ruined, and the King demands Hotspur hand over his prisoners immediately. The King exits in a rage, and Hotspur screams: "An if the devil come and roar for them/I will not send them."
Hotspur discusses with the Percy family the King's ungrateful attitude, and his uncle, Worcester, tells him to release his captured rebels and enlist them in his own army against King Henry. Worcester outlines a plan which would unite Glendower, Mortimer, Douglas, and the Archbishop of York with the Percys and together they will overthrow King Henry. Thus, the troublesome reign of King Henry the usurper receives another blow, just as King Richard predicted.
Explanatory Notes for Act 1, Scene 3
From Henry IV, Part I. Ed. Brainerd Kellogg. New York: Clark and Maynard.
(Line numbers have been altered.)
3. Found me to be thus unapt.
6. Than my condition, than be what my temperament denotes.
17. Presence, demeanor.
27. Misprision, mistake.
38. A pouncet-box, a small box with perforated lid, containing an aromatic smelling-powder.
40. Who, his nose.
41. Took it in snuff. This is word-play. To take anything
in snuff was to take offense at it, to be indignant at it.
47. Holiday and lady terms, ceremonious terms. Much Ado, V. 2, "Festival terms"; Merry Wives, iii. 2, "He speaks holiday."
51. Popinjay, parrot.
54. He should, the king should or should not have the prisoners.
59. Parmaceti, a corruption of spermaceti.
63. Tall fellow, brave fellow. The epithets tall and stout were
often applied to men and ships with the sense of sturdy, brave, gallant.
64. But, unless, except.
88. Indent with fears, make terms with fears, dangers causing fears.
102. In changing hardiment, in exchange of hard blows.
106. Who, the Severn, or the tutelary power of the stream.
108. Crisp, curled.
120. Sirrah, used only towards an inferior.
140. Canker'd, ill-natured.
146. An eye of death, an eye of deadly fear.
149. Next of blood. Edmund Mortimer, son of Roger, was
next in order of succession to Richard II.
151. And then it was. And it was then.
162. His cousin king. There is here a quibbling allusion to
cozen, that is, cozening or crafty.
167. Of murderous subornation, of the guilt of procuring the
murder of Richard.
172. Line, position. So in iii. 2, "And in that very line,
Harry, stand'st thou."
180. This canker. The canker means here the dog-rose, as
in Much Ado About Nothing, i. 3, "I had rather be a canker
in a hedge than a rose in his grace!"
185. Your banish'd honors, your honors that have been banished from the opinion of good men.
187. Disdain'd, disdainful. The affix -ed used to denote
having, or characterized by, oftener than now.
198. Footing, support.
212. Corrival, partner.
214. A world of figures, innumerable imaginary forms of
danger which keep his mind from the proper work before it.
221. A Scot, a tax payment. Cf. scot-free.
237. Defy, renounce, abjure.
238. Bolingbroke, the king was so called from a castle of
that name in Lincolnshire.
239. Sword-and-buckler, not then accounted gentlemanly
arms; the rapier had superseded them.
240. Could not have been said in earnest.
253. The madcap duke. Edmund, Duke of York, son of Edward III, a weak-minded man, and more given to pastime
than to business. He died in 1402. Kept, lodged.
271. The Douglas' son. Mordake, Earl of Fife, not really
the Douglas' son.
281. His brother's death, etc. This is a mistake. The Archbishop of York was Richard Scroop, son of Lord Scroop of
Bolton. The Scroop who was beheaded at Bristol was Lord William Scroop of Masham, Earl of Wiltshire.
282. In estimation, according to conjecture.
288. Thou still let'st slip, an allusion to setting a leash of
greyhounds free from the slips for the chase. Still, always.
289. It cannot choose but be, it can not help being.
297. Him, himself.
How to cite the introduction:
Mabillard, Amanda. Introduction to King Henry IV, Part 1 (1.3). Shakespeare Online. 20 Feb. 2010. (date when you accessed the information) < http://www.shakespeare-online.com/plays/1kh4_1_3.html >.
How to cite the explanatory notes:
Shakespeare, William. King Henry IV, Part 1. Ed. Brainerd Kellogg. New York: Clark and Maynard, 1885. Shakespeare Online. 20 Feb. 2010. (date when you accessed the information) < http://www.shakespeare-online.com/plays/1kh4_1_3.html >.