King Henry IV, Part 1 By William Shakespeare Act III: Scene 1

ACT III. Scene I. Bangor. A Room in the Archdeacon's House.

[Enter Hotspur, Worcester, Mortimer, and Glendower.]

These promises are fair, the parties sure,
And our induction full of prosperous hope.

Lord Mortimer, — and cousin Glendower, — Will you sit down? —
And uncle Worcester, — A plague upon it! I have forgot the map.

No, 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 with
A rising sigh he wisheth you in Heaven.

And you in Hell, as oft as he hears Owen Glendower spoke of.

I cannot blame him: at my nativity
The front of heaven was full of fiery shapes,
Of burning cressets; ay, and at my birth
The frame and huge foundation of the Earth
Shaked like a coward.

Why, so it would have done at the same season, if your mother's
cat had but kitten'd, though yourself had never been born.

I say the Earth did shake when I was born.

And I say the Earth was not of my mind, if you suppose as
fearing you it shook.

The Heavens were all on fire, the Earth did tremble.

O, then th' Earth shook to see the Heavens on fire,
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 wind
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.

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
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 sea
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.

I think there is no man speaks better Welsh. — I'll to dinner.

Peace, cousin Percy; you will make him mad.

I can call spirits from the vasty deep.

Why, so can I, or so can any man;
But will they come when you do call for them?

Why, I can teach you, cousin, to command the Devil.

And I can teach thee, coz, to shame the Devil
By telling truth: tell truth, and shame the Devil.
If thou have power to raise him, bring him hither,
And I'll be sworn I've power to shame him hence.
O, while you live, tell truth, and shame the Devil!

Come, come, no more of this unprofitable chat.

Three times hath Henry Bolingbroke made head
Against my power; thrice from the banks of Wye
And sandy-bottom'd Severn have I sent
Him bootless home and weather-beaten back.

Home without boots, and in foul weather too!
How 'scaped he agues, in the Devil's name!

Come, here's the map: shall we divide our right
According to our threefold order ta'en?

Th' archdeacon hath divided it
Into three limits very equally.
England, from Trent and Severn hitherto,
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.
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 forth
To meet your father and the Scottish power,
As is appointed us, at Shrewsbury.
My father Glendower is not ready yet,
Nor shall we need his help these fourteen days: —
[To Glend.] Within that space you may have drawn together
Your tenants, friends, and neighbouring gentlemen.

A 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 shed
Upon the parting of your wives and you.

Back to Top

Take the Quiz

A little more than half the lines in Henry IV are in blank verse. The other half are in