Henry IV Part 1

Act I
Act II
Act IV
Act V
Enter the King, Lord John of Lancaster, Earl of

Westmorland, Sir Walter Blunt, with others


So shaken as we are, so wan with care,

Find we a time for frighted peace to pant,
frighted (adj.) frightened, terrified, scared

And breathe short-winded accents of new broils
accent (n.) 1 talk, speech, utterance, words
breathe (v.) 1 speak, utter, talk
broil (n.) 1 turmoil, confused fighting, battle

To be commenced in strands afar remote.
strand, strond (n.) shore, land, region

No more the thirsty entrance of this soil

Shall daub her lips with her own children's blood,
daub (v.) 1 bedaub, smear, defile

No more shall trenching war channel her fields,
trenching (adj.) cutting, wounding, scarring

Nor bruise her flowerets with the armed hoofs
floweret (n.) small flower

Of hostile paces. Those opposed eyes,
opposed (adj.) 3 hostile, of conflicting forces

Which, like the meteors of a troubled heaven,

All of one nature, of one substance bred,

Did lately meet in the intestine shock
intestine (adj.) internal, civil, domestic

And furious close of civil butchery,
close (n.) 2 engagement, encounter, confrontation

Shall now, in mutual well-beseeming ranks,
mutual (adj.) 3 well-matched, complementary
well-beseeming (adj.) fine-looking, well-ordered

March all one way, and be no more opposed

Against acquaintance, kindred, and allies.

The edge of war, like an ill-sheathed knife,

No more shall cut his master. Therefore friends,
ill-sheathed (adj.) badly sheathed

As far as to the sepulchre of Christ –

Whose soldier now, under whose blessed cross

We are impressed and engaged to fight –
engage (v.) 1 pledge, give the guarantee of
impress (v.) 1 conscript, enlist, force into service

Forthwith a power of English shall we levy,
power (n.) 1 armed force, troops, host, army See Topics: Frequency count

Whose arms were moulded in their mother's womb

To chase these pagans in those holy fields

Over whose acres walked those blessed feet,

Which fourteen hundred years ago were nailed

For our advantage on the bitter cross.
advantage (n.) 3 benefit, gain, advancement, profit

But this our purpose now is twelve month old,
purpose (n.) 1 intention, aim, plan See Topics: Frequency count

And bootless 'tis to tell you we will go.
bootless (adj.) useless, worthless, fruitless, unavailing

Therefor we meet not now. Then let me hear

Of you, my gentle cousin Westmorland,
gentle (adj.) 1 well-born, honourable, noble See Topics: Frequency count

What yesternight our Council did decree

In forwarding this dear expedience.
dear (adj.) 2 important, major, significant
expedience (n.) 2 rapid departure, hasty expedition, urgent enterprise


My liege, this haste was hot in question,
hot (adj.) 4 active, vigorous
question (n.) 4 debating, discussion, investigation

And many limits of the charge set down
charge (n.) 1 command, order, injunction, instruction
limit (n.) 6 duty, assignment, responsibility
set down (v.) 1 resolve, decide, determine

But yesternight, when all athwart there came
athwart (adv.) 1 thwartingly, perversely, going against one's plans
yesternight (n.) last night

A post from Wales, loaden with heavy news,
heavy (adj.) 2 grave, serious, weighty
post (n.) 1 express messenger, courier See Topics: Frequency count

Whose worst was that the noble Mortimer –

Leading the men of Herefordshire to fight

Against the irregular and wild Glendower –
irregular (adj.) lawless, disorderly, unruly

Was by the rude hands of that Welshman taken,
rude (adj.) 1 violent, harsh, unkind
rude (adj.) 4 uncivilized, uncultivated, unrefined

A thousand of his people butchered,

Upon whose dead corpses there was such misuse,

Such beastly shameless transformation

By those Welshwomen done, as may not be

Without much shame retold or spoken of.


It seems then that the tidings of this broil
broil (n.) 1 turmoil, confused fighting, battle

Brake off our business for the Holy Land.


This matched with other did, my gracious lord,

For more uneven and unwelcome news
uneven (adj.) irregular, erratic

Came from the north, and thus it did import.

On Holy-rood day, the gallant Hotspur there,

Young Harry Percy, and brave Archibald,
brave (adj.) 2 noble, worthy, excellent

That ever valiant and approved Scot,
approved (adj.) tested, tried, established, proven

At Holmedon met, where they did spend

A sad and bloody hour –

As by discharge of their artillery,

And shape of likelihood, the news was told;
likelihood (n.) 3 likely outcome, probability
shape (n.) 2 shaping up, taking shape

For he that brought them, in the very heat

And pride of their contention did take horse,
contention (n.) quarrel, dispute, strife
pride (n.) 3 highest point, culmination, climax

Uncertain of the issue any way.
issue (n.) 2 outcome, result, consequence(s) See Topics: Frequency count


Here is a dear, a true industrious friend,
industrious (adj.) 1 devoted, zealous, attentive
true (adj.) 1 loyal, firm, faithful in allegiance

Sir Walter Blunt, new lighted from his horse,
light (v.) 2 dismount, descend, alight

Stained with the variation of each soil

Betwixt that Holmedon and this seat of ours,

And he hath brought us smooth and welcome news.
smooth (adj.) 1 pleasant, welcome, gratifying

The Earl of Douglas is discomfited.
discomfit (v.) 1 defeat, overthrow, beat

Ten thousand bold Scots, two-and-twenty knights,

Balked in their own blood, did Sir Walter see
balk (v.) 3 fall on ridges between furrows; pile up in mounds

On Holmedon's plains. Of prisoners Hotspur took

Mordake, Earl of Fife and eldest son

To beaten Douglas, and the Earl of Atholl,

Of Murray, Angus, and Menteith:

And is not this an honourable spoil?

A gallant prize? Ha, cousin, is it not?


                         In faith,

It is a conquest for a prince to boast of.


Yea, there thou makest me sad, and makest me sin
sad (adj.) 3 downcast, distressed, mournful, gloomy

In envy that my Lord Northumberland

Should be the father to so blest a son:

A son who is the theme of honour's tongue,

Amongst a grove the very straightest plant,

Who is sweet Fortune's minion and her pride –
minion (n.) 1 darling, favourite, select one

Whilst I by looking on the praise of him

See riot and dishonour stain the brow
brow (n.) 1 appearance, aspect, countenance See Topics: Frequency count

Of my young Harry. O that it could be proved

That some night-tripping fairy had exchanged

In cradle-clothes our children where they lay,

And called mine Percy, his Plantagenet!

Then would I have his Harry, and he mine.

But let him from my thoughts. What think you, coz,

Of this young Percy's pride? The prisoners

Which he in this adventure hath surprised,
surprise (v.) 2 take prisoner, capture [especially: suddenly, unexpectedly]

To his own use he keeps, and sends me word

I shall have none but Mordake, Earl of Fife.


This is his uncle's teaching. This is Worcester,

Malevolent to you in all aspects,

Which makes him prune himself, and bristle up
prune (v.) [of birds] trim feathers with the beak, preen

The crest of youth against your dignity.
crest (n.) 2 [on an animal head or neck] ridge of feathers, ridge of hairs; hackles
dignity (n.) 2 official position, high office, rule


But I have sent for him to answer this,

And for this cause awhile we must neglect

Our holy purpose to Jerusalem.
purpose (n.) 1 intention, aim, plan See Topics: Frequency count

Cousin, on Wednesday next our Council we

Will hold at Windsor, so inform the lords.

But come yourself with speed to us again,

For more is to be said and to be done

Than out of anger can be uttered.


I will, my liege.


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