Henry IV Part 1

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Enter the King, Lord John of Lancaster, Earl of

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Westmorland, Sir Walter Blunt, with others

 

KING HENRY

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So shaken as we are, so wan with care,

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

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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

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

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No more the thirsty entrance of this soil

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

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

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

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

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Which, like the meteors of a troubled heaven,

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All of one nature, of one substance bred,

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

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

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

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March all one way, and be no more opposed

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Against acquaintance, kindred, and allies.

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

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

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As far as to the sepulchre of Christ –

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Whose soldier now, under whose blessed cross

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

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Forthwith a power of English shall we levy,
power (n.) 1 armed force, troops, host, army

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Whose arms were moulded in their mother's womb

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To chase these pagans in those holy fields

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Over whose acres walked those blessed feet,

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Which fourteen hundred years ago were nailed

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

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But this our purpose now is twelve month old,
purpose (n.) 1 intention, aim, plan

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

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Therefor we meet not now. Then let me hear

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Of you, my gentle cousin Westmorland,
gentle (adj.) 1 well-born, honourable, noble

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What yesternight our Council did decree

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

 

WESTMORLAND

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

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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

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

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

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Whose worst was that the noble Mortimer –

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Leading the men of Herefordshire to fight

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

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

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A thousand of his people butchered,

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Upon whose dead corpses there was such misuse,

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Such beastly shameless transformation

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By those Welshwomen done, as may not be

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Without much shame retold or spoken of.

 

KING HENRY

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

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Brake off our business for the Holy Land.

 

WESTMORLAND

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This matched with other did, my gracious lord,

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

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Came from the north, and thus it did import.

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On Holy-rood day, the gallant Hotspur there,

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

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

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At Holmedon met, where they did spend

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A sad and bloody hour –

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As by discharge of their artillery,

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

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For he that brought them, in the very heat

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

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Uncertain of the issue any way.
issue (n.) 2 outcome, result, consequence(s)

 

KING HENRY

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

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

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Stained with the variation of each soil

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Betwixt that Holmedon and this seat of ours,

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

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

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

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

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On Holmedon's plains. Of prisoners Hotspur took

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Mordake, Earl of Fife and eldest son

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To beaten Douglas, and the Earl of Atholl,

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Of Murray, Angus, and Menteith:

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And is not this an honourable spoil?

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

 

WESTMORLAND

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                         In faith,

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It is a conquest for a prince to boast of.

 

KING HENRY

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

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In envy that my Lord Northumberland

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Should be the father to so blest a son:

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

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Amongst a grove the very straightest plant,

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

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Whilst I by looking on the praise of him

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

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Of my young Harry. O that it could be proved

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That some night-tripping fairy had exchanged

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In cradle-clothes our children where they lay,

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And called mine Percy, his Plantagenet!

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Then would I have his Harry, and he mine.

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

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Of this young Percy's pride? The prisoners

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

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To his own use he keeps, and sends me word

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I shall have none but Mordake, Earl of Fife.

 

WESTMORLAND

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

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Malevolent to you in all aspects,

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

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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

 

KING HENRY

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But I have sent for him to answer this,

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And for this cause awhile we must neglect

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Our holy purpose to Jerusalem.
purpose (n.) 1 intention, aim, plan

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Cousin, on Wednesday next our Council we

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Will hold at Windsor, so inform the lords.

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But come yourself with speed to us again,

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For more is to be said and to be done

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Than out of anger can be uttered.

 

WESTMORLAND

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I will, my liege.

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Exeunt

 
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