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  • Title: Henry IV, Part 1 (Modern)
  • Editor: Rosemary Gaby
  • ISBN: 978-1-55058-371-7

    Copyright Rosemary Gaby. This text may be freely used for educational, non-profit purposes; for all other uses contact the Editor.
    Author: William Shakespeare
    Editor: Rosemary Gaby
    Peer Reviewed

    Henry IV, Part 1 (Modern)

    Enter Hotspur, Worcester, Lord Mortimer, Owen Glendower.
    Mortimer These promises are fair, the parties sure,
    And our induction full of prosperous hope.
    Hotspur Lord Mortimer and cousin Glendower, will you sit down? And uncle Worcester -- a plague upon it, I have forgot the map!
    Glendower No here it is;
    Sit, cousin Percy, sit, good cousin Hotspur;
    1530For by that name as oft as Lancaster doth speak of you,
    His cheek looks pale, and with a rising sigh
    He wisheth you in heaven.
    And you in hell,
    As oft as he hears Owen Glendower spoke of.
    1535Glendower I cannot blame him. At my nativity
    The front of heaven was full of fiery shapes,
    Of burning cressets, and at my birth
    The frame and huge foundation of the earth
    Shaked like a coward.
    1540Hotspur Why, so it would have done at the same season if your mother's cat had but kittened, though yourself had never been born.
    Glendower I say the earth did shake when I was born.
    Hotspur And I say the earth was not of my mind,
    1545If you suppose as fearing you it shook.
    Glendower The heavens were all on fire, the earth did tremble.
    Hotspur Oh, then the earth shook to see the heavens on fire,
    1550And not in fear of your nativity.
    Diseasèd nature oftentimes breaks forth
    In strange eruptions; oft the teeming earth
    Is with a kind of colic pinched and vexed
    By the imprisoning of unruly wind
    1555Within 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.
    Cousin, 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 herds
    1565Were strangely clamorous to the frighted fields.
    These signs have marked me extraordinary,
    And all the courses of my life do show
    I am not in the roll of common men.
    Where is he living, clipped in with the sea
    1570That 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.
    1575Hotspur I think there's no man speaks better Welsh.
    I'll to dinner.
    Mortimer Peace, cousin Percy, you will make him mad.
    Glendower I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
    Hotspur Why so can I, or so can any man,
    1580But will they come when you do call for them?
    Glendower Why, I can teach you, cousin, to command the devil.
    Hotspur And I can teach thee, coz, to shame the devil,
    By telling truth: "Tell truth, and shame the devil."
    1585If thou have power to raise him, bring him hither,
    And I'll be sworn I have power to shame him hence.
    Oh, while you live, tell truth and shame the devil.
    Mortimer Come, come, no more of this unprofitable chat.
    1590Glendower Three times hath Henry Bolingbroke made head
    Against my power; thrice from the banks of Wye
    And sandy-bottomed Severn have I sent him
    Bootless home, and weather-beaten back.
    Hotspur Home without boots, and in foul weather too!
    How scapes he agues, in the devil's name?
    Glendower Come, here is the map. Shall we divide our right,
    According to our threefold order ta'en?
    1600Mortimer The Archdeacon hath divided it
    Into three limits very equally:
    England from Trent and Severn hitherto
    By south and east is to my part assigned;
    All westward, Wales beyond the Severn shore
    1605And all the fertile land within that bound,
    To Owen Glendower; and, dear coz, to you
    The remnant northward lying off from Trent.
    And our indentures tripartite are drawn,
    Which, being sealèd interchangeably --
    1610A business that this night may execute --
    Tomorrow, cousin Percy, you and I
    And my good lord of Worcester will set forth
    To meet your father and the Scottish power,
    As is appointed us, at Shrewsbury.
    1615My father Glendower is not ready yet,
    Nor shall we need his help these fourteen days.
    [To Glendower] Within that space you may have drawn together
    Your tenants, friends, and neighboring gentlemen.
    Glendower A shorter time shall send me to you, lords;
    1620And 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 shed
    Upon the parting of your wives and you.
    Hotspur Methinks my moiety north from Burton here
    1625In quantity equals not one of yours.
    See how this river comes me cranking in,
    And cuts me from the best of all my land
    A huge half-moon, a monstrous cantle, out.
    I'll have the current in this place dammed up,
    1630And here the smug and silver Trent shall run
    In a new channel fair and evenly.
    It shall not wind with such a deep indent,
    To rob me of so rich a bottom here.
    Glendower Not wind? It shall, it must -- you see it doth.
    1635Mortimer Yea, but mark how he bears his course, and runs me up
    With like advantage on the other side,
    Gelding the opposèd continent as much
    As on the other side it takes from you.
    Worcester Yea, but a little charge will trench him here,
    1640And on this north side win this cape of land,
    And then he runs straight and even.
    Hotspur I'll have it so; a little charge will do it.
    Glendower I'll not have it altered.
    Hotspur Will not you?
    1645Glendower No, nor you shall not.
    Hotspur Who shall say me nay?
    Glendower Why, that will I.
    Hotspur Let me not understand you, then: speak it in Welsh.
    1650Glendower I can speak English, lord, as well as you,
    For I was trained up in the English court,
    Where, being but young, I framèd to the harp
    Many an English ditty lovely well,
    And gave the tongue a helpful ornament --
    1655A virtue that was never seen in you.
    Hotspur Marry, and I am glad of it with all my heart.
    I had rather be a kitten and cry "mew"
    Than one of these same meter ballad-mongers.
    I had rather hear a brazen can'stick turned,
    1660Or a dry wheel grate on the axle-tree,
    And that would set my teeth nothing on edge,
    Nothing so much as mincing poetry.
    'Tis like the forced gait of a shuffling nag.
    Glendower Come, you shall have Trent turned.
    1665Hotspur I do not care. I'll give thrice so much land
    To any well-deserving friend;
    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?
    1670Glendower The moon shines fair. You may away by night.
    I'll haste the writer, and withal
    Break with your wives of your departure hence.
    I am afraid my daughter will run mad,
    1675So much she doteth on her Mortimer.
    Mortimer Fie, cousin Percy, how you cross my father!
    Hotspur I cannot choose. Sometime he angers me
    With telling me of the moldwarp and the ant,
    1680Of the dreamer Merlin and his prophecies,
    And of a dragon and a finless fish,
    A clip-winged griffin and a molten raven,
    A couching lion and a ramping cat,
    And such a deal of skimble-skamble stuff
    1685As puts me from my faith. I tell you what,
    He held me last night at the least nine hours
    In reckoning up the several devils' names
    That were his lackeys. I cried "Hum," and "Well, go to,"
    1690But marked him not a word. Oh, 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 me
    1695In any summer house in Christendom.
    Mortimer In faith, he is a worthy gentleman,
    Exceedingly well read, and profited
    In strange concealments, valiant as a lion,
    And wondrous affable, and as bountiful
    1700As 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 humor, faith, he does.
    1705I warrant you, that man is not alive
    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.
    Worcester In faith, my lord, you are too wilful-blame,
    1710And since your coming hither have done enough
    To put him quite besides 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 --
    1715Yet 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
    1720Upon the beauty of all parts besides,
    Beguiling them of commendation.
    Hotspur Well, I am schooled. Good manners be your speed!
    Here come our wives, and let us take our leave.
    Enter Glendower with the Ladies.
    Mortimer This is the deadly spite that angers me:
    My wife can speak no English, I no Welsh.
    Glendower My daughter weeps; she'll not part with you.
    She'll be a soldier too, she'll to the wars.
    1730Mortimer Good 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.
    Glendower She is desperate here, a peevish self-willed harlotry,
    One that no persuasion can do good upon.
    The lady speaks in Welsh.
    Mortimer I understand thy looks. That pretty Welsh
    Which thou pourest down from these swelling heavens
    1740I am too perfect in, and but for shame
    In such a parley should I answer thee.
    The lady [speaks] again in Welsh.
    Mortimer I understand thy kisses, and thou mine,
    And that's a feeling disputation;
    1745But I will never be a truant, love,
    Till I have learnt thy language, for thy tongue
    Makes Welsh as sweet as ditties highly penned,
    Sung by a fair queen in a summer's bower
    With ravishing division, to her lute.
    1750Glendower Nay, if you melt, then will she run mad.
    The lady speaks again in Welsh.
    Mortimer Oh, I am ignorance itself in this!
    Glendower She bids you on the wanton rushes lay you down
    1755And 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 sleep
    1760As is the difference betwixt day and night
    The hour before the heavenly-harnessed team
    Begins his golden progress in the east.
    Mortimer With all my heart, I'll sit and hear her sing.
    By that time will our book, I think, be drawn.
    1765Glendower Do so, 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.
    Hotspur Come, Kate, thou art perfect in lying down.
    1770Come, quick, quick, that I may lay my head in thy lap.
    Lady Percy Go, ye giddy goose!
    The music plays.
    Hotspur Now I perceive the devil understands Welsh;
    1775And 'tis no marvel he is so humorous.
    By'r Lady, he is a good musician.
    Lady Percy Then should you be nothing but musical,
    For you are altogether governed by humors.
    Lie still, ye thief, and hear the lady sing in Welsh.
    1780Hotspur I had rather hear Lady my brach howl in Irish.
    Lady Percy Wouldst thou have thy head broken?
    Hotspur No.
    Lady Percy Then be still.
    1785Hotspur Neither, 'tis a woman's fault.
    Lady Percy Now god help thee!
    Hotspur To the Welsh lady's bed.
    Lady Percy What's that?
    Hotspur Peace, she sings.
    Here the lady sings a Welsh song.
    Hotspur Come, Kate, I'll have your song too.
    Lady Percy Not mine, in good sooth.
    Hotspur Not yours, in good sooth!
    Heart, you swear like a comfit-maker's wife:
    1795"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.
    Swear me, Kate, like a lady as thou art,
    1800A good mouth-filling oath, and leave "in sooth"
    And such protest of pepper gingerbread
    To velvet-guards and Sunday citizens.
    Come sing.
    Lady Percy I will not sing.
    1805Hotspur 'Tis the next way to turn tailor, or be redbreast teacher. An the indentures be drawn, I'll away within these two hours; and so come in when ye will.
    Glendower Come, come, Lord Mortimer, you are as slow
    1810As hot Lord Percy is on fire to go.
    By this our book is drawn. We'll but seal,
    And then to horse immediately.
    Mortimer With all my heart.