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King Henry IV, Part I

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ACT III SCENE I Bangor. The Archdeacon's house.
MORTIMERThese promises are fair, the parties sure,
And our induction full of prosperous hope.
HOTSPURLord Mortimer, and cousin Glendower,
Will you sit down?
And uncle Worcester: a plague upon it!5
I have forgot the map.
GLENDOWERNo, here it is.
Sit, cousin Percy; sit, good cousin Hotspur,
For by that name as oft as Lancaster
Doth speak of you, his cheek looks pale and with10
A rising sigh he wisheth you in heaven.
HOTSPURAnd you in hell, as oft as he hears Owen Glendower spoke of.
GLENDOWERI cannot blame him: at my nativity
The front of heaven was full of fiery shapes,
Of burning cressets; and at my birth15
The frame and huge foundation of the earth
Shaked like a coward.
HOTSPURWhy, so it would have done at the same season, if
your mother's cat had but kittened, though yourself
had never been born.20
GLENDOWERI say the earth did shake when I was born.
HOTSPURAnd I say the earth was not of my mind,
If you suppose as fearing you it shook.
GLENDOWERThe heavens were all on fire, the earth did tremble.
HOTSPURO, then the earth shook to see the heavens on fire,25
And not in fear of your nativity.
Diseased nature oftentimes breaks forth
In strange eruptions; oft the teeming earth
Is with a kind of colic pinch'd and vex'd
By the imprisoning of unruly wind30
Within her womb; which, for enlargement striving,
Shakes the old beldam earth and topples down
Steeples and moss-grown towers. At your birth
Our grandam earth, having this distemperature,
In passion shook.35
GLENDOWERCousin, of many men
I do not bear these crossings. Give me leave
To tell you once again that at my birth
The front of heaven was full of fiery shapes,
The goats ran from the mountains, and the herds40
Were strangely clamorous to the frighted fields.
These signs have mark'd me extraordinary;
And all the courses of my life do show
I am not in the roll of common men.
Where is he living, clipp'd in with the sea45
That chides the banks of England, Scotland, Wales,
Which calls me pupil, or hath read to me?
And bring him out that is but woman's son
Can trace me in the tedious ways of art
And hold me pace in deep experiments.50
HOTSPURI think there's no man speaks better Welsh.
I'll to dinner.
MORTIMERPeace, cousin Percy; you will make him mad.
GLENDOWERI can call spirits from the vasty deep.
HOTSPURWhy, so can I, or so can any man;55
But will they come when you do call for them?
GLENDOWERWhy, I can teach you, cousin, to command
The devil.
HOTSPURAnd I can teach thee, coz, to shame the devil
By telling truth: tell truth and shame the devil.60
If thou have power to raise him, bring him hither,
And I'll be sworn I have power to shame him hence.
O, while you live, tell truth and shame the devil!
MORTIMERCome, come, no more of this unprofitable chat.
GLENDOWERThree times hath Henry Bolingbroke made head65
Against my power; thrice from the banks of Wye
And sandy-bottom'd Severn have I sent him
Bootless home and weather-beaten back.
HOTSPURHome without boots, and in foul weather too!
How 'scapes he agues, in the devil's name?70
GLENDOWERCome, here's the map: shall we divide our right
According to our threefold order ta'en?

MORTIMERThe archdeacon hath divided it
Into three limits very equally:
England, from Trent and Severn hitherto,75
By south and east is to my part assign'd:
All westward, Wales beyond the Severn shore,
And all the fertile land within that bound,
To Owen Glendower: and, dear coz, to you
The remnant northward, lying off from Trent.80
And our indentures tripartite are drawn;
Which being sealed interchangeably,
A business that this night may execute,
To-morrow, cousin Percy, you and I
And my good Lord of Worcester will set forth85
To meet your father and the Scottish power,
As is appointed us, at Shrewsbury.
My father Glendower is not ready yet,
Not shall we need his help these fourteen days.
Within that space you may have drawn together90
Your tenants, friends and neighbouring gentlemen.
GLENDOWERA shorter time shall send me to you, lords:
And in my conduct shall your ladies come;
From whom you now must steal and take no leave,
For there will be a world of water shed95
Upon the parting of your wives and you.
HOTSPURMethinks my moiety, north from Burton here,
In quantity equals not one of yours:
See how this river comes me cranking in,
And cuts me from the best of all my land100
A huge half-moon, a monstrous cantle out.
I'll have the current in this place damm'd up;
And here the smug and silver Trent shall run
In a new channel, fair and evenly;
It shall not wind with such a deep indent,105
To rob me of so rich a bottom here.
GLENDOWERNot wind? it shall, it must; you see it doth.
Mark how he bears his course, and runs me up
With like advantage on the other side;110
Gelding the opposed continent as much
As on the other side it takes from you.
EARL OF WORCESTERYea, but a little charge will trench him here
And on this north side win this cape of land;
And then he runs straight and even.115
HOTSPURI'll have it so: a little charge will do it.
GLENDOWERI'll not have it alter'd.
HOTSPURWill not you?
GLENDOWERNo, nor you shall not.
HOTSPURWho shall say me nay?120
GLENDOWERWhy, that will I.
HOTSPURLet me not understand you, then; speak it in Welsh.
GLENDOWERI can speak English, lord, as well as you;
For I was train'd up in the English court;
Where, being but young, I framed to the harp125
Many an English ditty lovely well
And gave the tongue a helpful ornament,
A virtue that was never seen in you.
And I am glad of it with all my heart:130
I had rather be a kitten and cry mew
Than one of these same metre ballad-mongers;
I had rather hear a brazen canstick turn'd,
Or a dry wheel grate on the axle-tree;
And that would set my teeth nothing on edge,135
Nothing so much as mincing poetry:
'Tis like the forced gait of a shuffling nag.
GLENDOWERCome, you shall have Trent turn'd.
HOTSPURI do not care: I'll give thrice so much land
To any well-deserving friend;140
But in the way of bargain, mark ye me,
I'll cavil on the ninth part of a hair.
Are the indentures drawn? shall we be gone?
GLENDOWERThe moon shines fair; you may away by night:
I'll haste the writer and withal145
Break with your wives of your departure hence:
I am afraid my daughter will run mad,
So much she doteth on her Mortimer.
MORTIMERFie, cousin Percy! how you cross my father!
HOTSPURI cannot choose: sometime he angers me150
With telling me of the mouldwarp and the ant,
Of the dreamer Merlin and his prophecies,
And of a dragon and a finless fish,
A clip-wing'd griffin and a moulten raven,
A couching lion and a ramping cat,155
And such a deal of skimble-skamble stuff
As puts me from my faith. I tell you what;
He held me last night at least nine hours
In reckoning up the several devils' names
That were his lackeys: I cried 'hum,' and 'well, go to,'160
But mark'd him not a word. O, he is as tedious
As a tired horse, a railing wife;
Worse than a smoky house: I had rather live
With cheese and garlic in a windmill, far,
Than feed on cates and have him talk to me165
In any summer-house in Christendom.
MORTIMERIn faith, he is a worthy gentleman,
Exceedingly well read, and profited
In strange concealments, valiant as a lion
And as wondrous affable and as bountiful170
As mines of India. Shall I tell you, cousin?
He holds your temper in a high respect
And curbs himself even of his natural scope
When you come 'cross his humour; faith, he does:
I warrant you, that man is not alive175
Might so have tempted him as you have done,
Without the taste of danger and reproof:
But do not use it oft, let me entreat you.
EARL OF WORCESTERIn faith, my lord, you are too wilful-blame;
And since your coming hither have done enough180
To put him quite beside his patience.
You must needs learn, lord, to amend this fault:
Though sometimes it show greatness, courage, blood,--
And that's the dearest grace it renders you,--
Yet oftentimes it doth present harsh rage,185
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,190
Beguiling them of commendation.
HOTSPURWell, I am school'd: good manners be your speed!
Here come our wives, and let us take our leave.
[Re-enter GLENDOWER with the ladies]
MORTIMERThis is the deadly spite that angers me;
My wife can speak no English, I no Welsh.195
GLENDOWERMy daughter weeps: she will not part with you;
She'll be a soldier too, she'll to the wars.
MORTIMERGood father, tell her that she and my aunt Percy
Shall follow in your conduct speedily.
[ Glendower speaks to her in Welsh, and she answers him in the same ]
GLENDOWERShe is desperate here; a peevish self-wind harlotry,200
one that no persuasion can do good upon.
[The lady speaks in Welsh]
MORTIMERI understand thy looks: that pretty Welsh
Which thou pour'st down from these swelling heavens
I am too perfect in; and, but for shame,
In such a parley should I answer thee.205
[The lady speaks again in Welsh]
I understand thy kisses and thou mine,
And that's a feeling disputation:
But I will never be a truant, love,
Till I have learned thy language; for thy tongue
Makes Welsh as sweet as ditties highly penn'd,210
Sung by a fair queen in a summer's bower,
With ravishing division, to her lute.
GLENDOWERNay, if you melt, then will she run mad.
[The lady speaks again in Welsh]
MORTIMERO, I am ignorance itself in this!
GLENDOWERShe bids you on the wanton rushes lay you down215
And rest your gentle head upon her lap,
And she will sing the song that pleaseth you
And on your eyelids crown the god of sleep.
Charming your blood with pleasing heaviness,
Making such difference 'twixt wake and sleep220
As is the difference betwixt day and night
The hour before the heavenly-harness'd team
Begins his golden progress in the east.
MORTIMERWith all my heart I'll sit and hear her sing:
By that time will our book, I think, be drawn225
And those musicians that shall play to you
Hang in the air a thousand leagues from hence,
And straight they shall be here: sit, and attend.
HOTSPURCome, Kate, thou art perfect in lying down: come,230
quick, quick, that I may lay my head in thy lap.
LADY PERCYGo, ye giddy goose.
[The music plays]
HOTSPURNow I perceive the devil understands Welsh;
And 'tis no marvel he is so humorous.
By'r lady, he is a good musician.235
LADY PERCYThen should you be nothing but musical for you are
altogether governed by humours. Lie still, ye thief,
and hear the lady sing in Welsh.
HOTSPURI had rather hear Lady, my brach, howl in Irish.
LADY PERCYWouldst thou have thy head broken?240
LADY PERCYThen be still.
HOTSPURNeither;'tis a woman's fault.
LADY PERCYNow God help thee!
HOTSPURTo the Welsh lady's bed.245
LADY PERCYWhat's that?
HOTSPURPeace! she sings.
[Here the lady sings a Welsh song]
HOTSPURCome, Kate, I'll have your song too.
LADY PERCYNot mine, in good sooth.
HOTSPURNot yours, in good sooth! Heart! you swear like a250
comfit-maker's wife. 'Not you, in good sooth,' and
'as true as I live,' and 'as God shall mend me,' and
'as sure as day,'
And givest such sarcenet surety for thy oaths,
As if thou never walk'st further than Finsbury.255
Swear me, Kate, like a lady as thou art,
A good mouth-filling oath, and leave 'in sooth,'
And such protest of pepper-gingerbread,
To velvet-guards and Sunday-citizens.
Come, sing.260
LADY PERCYI will not sing.
HOTSPUR'Tis the next way to turn tailor, or be red-breast
teacher. An the indentures be drawn, I'll away
within these two hours; and so, come in when ye will.
GLENDOWERCome, come, Lord Mortimer; you are as slow265
As hot Lord Percy is on fire to go.
By this our book is drawn; we'll but seal,
And then to horse immediately.
MORTIMERWith all my heart.

Continue to Henry IV, Part I, Act 3, Scene 2

The scene opens with the conspirators - Hotspur, Worcester, Mortimer and Glendower - discussing the odds as they prepare to move against King Henry's troops. Hotspur ridicules Glendower's superstitions and fighting breaks out amongst them over how to divide the land if they win. They quickly reconcile and agree to focus their attention on the King at Shrewsburry. But another argument breaks out over Hotspur's idea to change the course of a river to gain more land ("the smug and silver Trent shall run/In a new channel"). Then Hotspur mocks Glendower over his poor English skills, much to the dismay of Mortimer and Worcester. Glendower leaves and returns with the ladies, and a touching moment between Hotspur and Lady Percy ends the scene.


Explanatory Notes for Act 3, Scene 1
From Henry IV, Part I. Ed. Brainerd Kellogg. New York: Clark and Maynard.
(Line numbers have been altered.)

2. Our induction, introduction or commencement.

15. Cressets, lights. Called cressets because the lights were in the form of a little cross. F. Croisette.

31. Enlargement, disengagement, liberation.

36. Of, from, on the part of.

45. Clipp'd in, included within.

81. Indentures tripartite, triple agreement.

97. Moiety, share, proportion; not then restricted to denote half.

99. Comes me cranking in, comes winding or bending inwards.

99. Cantle, slice or corner.

104. Smug. This word generally meant spruce in dress.

111. Continent, that which contains.

146. Break with, broach the subject to. To break with a person now means to quarrel with him.

150. I cannot choose, I cannot help it.

151. The moldwarp, etc. Respecting the dividing of the land between Mortimer, Percy, and Glendower, Holinshed says, "This was done (as some have said) through a foolish credit given to a vain prophecy, as though King Henry was the moldwarp, cursed of God's own mouth, and they three were the dragon, the lion, and the wolf, which should divide this realm between them."

156. Skimble-skamble, rambling.

164. Windmill, used for grinding grain, and therefore noisy.

165. Cates, delicacies.

169. Concealments, secrets.

187. Opinion, obstinacy. Cf. opinionated.

192. Be your speed, achieve success.

203. Swelling heavens, flooded eyes.

204. But for shame, etc. Were it not for shaming my manhood, I would weep too.

208. Never be a truant, never play truant from school.

212. Division, descant or variation in music.

215. Rushes, with which the apartment was strewed. Even the presence chamber of royalty was carpeted with rushes in old times.

225. Our book, the pages of our indenture.

229. And straight, etc. This is Glendower's assertion of his magic power.

234. He 's so humorous. The devil is so swayed by humors.

235. Lady, my brach, my female hound.

251. Comfit, sweet-meats.

254. Sarcenet surety. Asseveration like that of the city dames. Sarcenet was a stuff made by the Saracens and worn by the rich.

256. Swear me, Kate. An instance of the expletive pronoun so often occurring in this play.

258. Pepper, spiced.

259. Velvet-guards, women that wear velvet bordered dress.

262. The next way, etc. The nearest way to be like a tailor who is always singing while at work, or a teacher of piping birds.

How to cite the introduction:

Mabillard, Amanda. Introduction to King Henry IV, Part 1 (3.1). Shakespeare Online. 20 Feb. 2010. (date when you accessed the information) < >.

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) < >.


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