List iconHenry IV, Part 1:
Act 1, scene 3
List icon

Henry IV, Part 1
Act 1, scene 3



Characters in the Play

Entire Play

Henry IV, Part 1, culminates in the battle of Shrewsbury between the king’s army and rebels seeking his crown. The…

Act 1, scene 1

King Henry meets with his advisers to discuss his proposed crusade to the Holy Land, but the discussion turns instead…

Act 1, scene 2

Prince Hal and Sir John Falstaff taunt each other, Hal warning Falstaff that he will one day be hanged as…

Act 1, scene 3

King Henry meets with Hotspur, Hotspur’s father (Northumberland), and his uncle (Worcester) to demand that Hotspur yield his prisoners to…

Act 2, scene 1

Gadshill, the “setter” for Falstaff and his fellow thieves, seeks information at an inn about the travelers whom they plan…

Act 2, scene 2

Falstaff, Peto, Bardolph, and Gadshill rob the travelers and are, in turn, robbed by Prince Hal and Poins in disguise.

Act 2, scene 3

Hotspur reads a letter from a nobleman who refuses to join the rebellion against King Henry. Lady Percy enters to…

Act 2, scene 4

At a tavern in Eastcheap, Prince Hal and Poins amuse themselves by tormenting a young waiter while waiting for Falstaff…

Act 3, scene 1

Hotspur, Worcester, Mortimer, and the leader of the Welsh rebels, Glendower, meet in Wales to make final the terms of…

Act 3, scene 2

Prince Hal reconciles himself with his father by swearing to fight the rebels and to defeat Hotspur.

Act 3, scene 3

Falstaff tries to swindle the Hostess of the inn. Prince Hal offers Falstaff a command in the infantry.

Act 4, scene 1

Hotspur, Worcester, and Douglas learn that Hotspur’s father, Northumberland, is too sick to join them in the coming battle. They…

Act 4, scene 2

Falstaff discloses to the audience how he has misused his commission as an officer to take money from men eager…

Act 4, scene 3

As Hotspur argues with his fellow commanders about when to fight, they are visited by Sir Walter Blunt, who brings…

Act 4, scene 4

The archbishop of York and Sir Michael, who sympathize with Hotspur, debate the chances of his success against the king’s…

Act 5, scene 1

Worcester and Vernon visit the king’s camp, where Worcester repeats the grievances that he says have led to the rebellion….

Act 5, scene 2

Worcester lies to Hotspur, telling him that the king made no offer of pardon and is ready to begin the…

Act 5, scene 3

The battle begins. Douglas kills Blunt, who is disguised as King Henry. Falstaff enters alone to disclose to the audience…

Act 5, scene 4

Prince Hal saves King Henry from death at the hands of Douglas. Hal then meets Hotspur. While they are fighting,…

Act 5, scene 5

The king’s forces having won, King Henry condemns Worcester and Vernon to death, and the king and his supporters prepare…

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Scene 3
Enter the King, Northumberland, Worcester, Hotspur,
and Sir Walter Blunt, with others.

KING , to Northumberland, Worcester, and Hotspur 
 My blood hath been too cold and temperate,
 Unapt to stir at these indignities,
 And you have found me, for accordingly
 You tread upon my patience. But be sure
5 I will from henceforth rather be myself,
 Mighty and to be feared, than my condition,
 Which hath been smooth as oil, soft as young down,
 And therefore lost that title of respect
 Which the proud soul ne’er pays but to the proud.
10 Our house, my sovereign liege, little deserves
 The scourge of greatness to be used on it,
 And that same greatness too which our own hands
 Have holp to make so portly.
15 Worcester, get thee gone, for I do see
 Danger and disobedience in thine eye.
 O sir, your presence is too bold and peremptory,
 And majesty might never yet endure
 The moody frontier of a servant brow.
20 You have good leave to leave us. When we need
 Your use and counsel, we shall send for you.
Worcester exits.
 You were about to speak.
NORTHUMBERLAND  Yea, my good lord.

Henry IV, Part I
ACT 1. SC. 3

 Those prisoners in your Highness’ name demanded,
25 Which Harry Percy here at Holmedon took,
 Were, as he says, not with such strength denied
 As is delivered to your Majesty.
 Either envy, therefore, or misprision
 Is guilty of this fault, and not my son.
30 My liege, I did deny no prisoners.
 But I remember, when the fight was done,
 When I was dry with rage and extreme toil,
 Breathless and faint, leaning upon my sword,
 Came there a certain lord, neat and trimly dressed,
35 Fresh as a bridegroom, and his chin new reaped
 Showed like a stubble land at harvest home.
 He was perfumèd like a milliner,
 And ’twixt his finger and his thumb he held
 A pouncet box, which ever and anon
40 He gave his nose and took ’t away again,
 Who therewith angry, when it next came there,
 Took it in snuff; and still he smiled and talked.
 And as the soldiers bore dead bodies by,
 He called them untaught knaves, unmannerly,
45 To bring a slovenly unhandsome corse
 Betwixt the wind and his nobility.
 With many holiday and lady terms
 He questioned me, amongst the rest demanded
 My prisoners in your Majesty’s behalf.
50 I then, all smarting with my wounds being cold,
 To be so pestered with a popinjay,
 Out of my grief and my impatience
 Answered neglectingly I know not what—
 He should, or he should not; for he made me mad
55 To see him shine so brisk and smell so sweet
 And talk so like a waiting-gentlewoman
 Of guns, and drums, and wounds—God save the

Henry IV, Part I
ACT 1. SC. 3

 And telling me the sovereignest thing on Earth
60 Was parmacety for an inward bruise,
 And that it was great pity, so it was,
 This villainous saltpeter should be digged
 Out of the bowels of the harmless Earth,
 Which many a good tall fellow had destroyed
65 So cowardly, and but for these vile guns
 He would himself have been a soldier.
 This bald unjointed chat of his, my lord,
 I answered indirectly, as I said,
 And I beseech you, let not his report
70 Come current for an accusation
 Betwixt my love and your high Majesty.
 The circumstance considered, good my lord,
 Whate’er Lord Harry Percy then had said
 To such a person and in such a place,
75 At such a time, with all the rest retold,
 May reasonably die and never rise
 To do him wrong or any way impeach
 What then he said, so he unsay it now.
 Why, yet he doth deny his prisoners,
80 But with proviso and exception
 That we at our own charge shall ransom straight
 His brother-in-law, the foolish Mortimer,
 Who, on my soul, hath willfully betrayed
 The lives of those that he did lead to fight
85 Against that great magician, damned Glendower,
 Whose daughter, as we hear, that Earl of March
 Hath lately married. Shall our coffers then
 Be emptied to redeem a traitor home?
 Shall we buy treason and indent with fears
90 When they have lost and forfeited themselves?
 No, on the barren mountains let him starve,
 For I shall never hold that man my friend

Henry IV, Part I
ACT 1. SC. 3

 Whose tongue shall ask me for one penny cost
 To ransom home revolted Mortimer.
HOTSPUR 95Revolted Mortimer!
 He never did fall off, my sovereign liege,
 But by the chance of war. To prove that true
 Needs no more but one tongue for all those wounds,
 Those mouthèd wounds, which valiantly he took
100 When on the gentle Severn’s sedgy bank
 In single opposition hand to hand
 He did confound the best part of an hour
 In changing hardiment with great Glendower.
 Three times they breathed, and three times did they
105 drink,
 Upon agreement, of swift Severn’s flood,
 Who then, affrighted with their bloody looks,
 Ran fearfully among the trembling reeds
 And hid his crisp head in the hollow bank,
110 Blood-stainèd with these valiant combatants.
 Never did bare and rotten policy
 Color her working with such deadly wounds,
 Nor never could the noble Mortimer
 Receive so many, and all willingly.
115 Then let not him be slandered with revolt.
 Thou dost belie him, Percy; thou dost belie him.
 He never did encounter with Glendower.
 I tell thee, he durst as well have met the devil alone
 As Owen Glendower for an enemy.
120 Art thou not ashamed? But, sirrah, henceforth
 Let me not hear you speak of Mortimer.
 Send me your prisoners with the speediest means,
 Or you shall hear in such a kind from me
 As will displease you.—My lord Northumberland,
125 We license your departure with your son.—
 Send us your prisoners, or you will hear of it.
King exits with Blunt and others.

Henry IV, Part I
ACT 1. SC. 3

 An if the devil come and roar for them,
 I will not send them. I will after straight
 And tell him so, for I will ease my heart,
130 Albeit I make a hazard of my head.
 What, drunk with choler? Stay and pause awhile.
 Here comes your uncle.

Enter Worcester.

HOTSPUR  Speak of Mortimer?
 Zounds, I will speak of him, and let my soul
135 Want mercy if I do not join with him.
 Yea, on his part I’ll empty all these veins
 And shed my dear blood drop by drop in the dust,
 But I will lift the downtrod Mortimer
 As high in the air as this unthankful king,
140 As this ingrate and cankered Bolingbroke.
 Brother, the King hath made your nephew mad.
 Who struck this heat up after I was gone?
 He will forsooth have all my prisoners,
 And when I urged the ransom once again
145 Of my wife’s brother, then his cheek looked pale,
 And on my face he turned an eye of death,
 Trembling even at the name of Mortimer.
 I cannot blame him. Was not he proclaimed
 By Richard, that dead is, the next of blood?
150 He was; I heard the proclamation.
 And then it was when the unhappy king—
 Whose wrongs in us God pardon!—did set forth
 Upon his Irish expedition;

Henry IV, Part I
ACT 1. SC. 3

 From whence he, intercepted, did return
155 To be deposed and shortly murderèd.
 And for whose death we in the world’s wide mouth
 Live scandalized and foully spoken of.
 But soft, I pray you. Did King Richard then
 Proclaim my brother Edmund Mortimer
160 Heir to the crown?
NORTHUMBERLAND  He did; myself did hear it.
 Nay then, I cannot blame his cousin king
 That wished him on the barren mountains starve.
 But shall it be that you that set the crown
165 Upon the head of this forgetful man
 And for his sake wear the detested blot
 Of murderous subornation—shall it be
 That you a world of curses undergo,
 Being the agents or base second means,
170 The cords, the ladder, or the hangman rather?
 O, pardon me that I descend so low
 To show the line and the predicament
 Wherein you range under this subtle king.
 Shall it for shame be spoken in these days,
175 Or fill up chronicles in time to come,
 That men of your nobility and power
 Did gage them both in an unjust behalf
 (As both of you, God pardon it, have done)
 To put down Richard, that sweet lovely rose,
180 And plant this thorn, this canker, Bolingbroke?
 And shall it in more shame be further spoken
 That you are fooled, discarded, and shook off
 By him for whom these shames you underwent?
 No, yet time serves wherein you may redeem
185 Your banished honors and restore yourselves
 Into the good thoughts of the world again,

Henry IV, Part I
ACT 1. SC. 3

 Revenge the jeering and disdained contempt
 Of this proud king, who studies day and night
 To answer all the debt he owes to you
190 Even with the bloody payment of your deaths.
 Therefore I say—
WORCESTER  Peace, cousin, say no more.
 And now I will unclasp a secret book,
 And to your quick-conceiving discontents
195 I’ll read you matter deep and dangerous,
 As full of peril and adventurous spirit
 As to o’erwalk a current roaring loud
 On the unsteadfast footing of a spear.
 If he fall in, good night, or sink or swim!
200 Send danger from the east unto the west,
 So honor cross it from the north to south,
 And let them grapple. O, the blood more stirs
 To rouse a lion than to start a hare!
NORTHUMBERLAND , to Worcester 
 Imagination of some great exploit
205 Drives him beyond the bounds of patience.
 By heaven, methinks it were an easy leap
 To pluck bright honor from the pale-faced moon,
 Or dive into the bottom of the deep,
 Where fathom line could never touch the ground,
210 And pluck up drownèd honor by the locks,
 So he that doth redeem her thence might wear
 Without corrival all her dignities.
 But out upon this half-faced fellowship!
 He apprehends a world of figures here,
215 But not the form of what he should attend.—
 Good cousin, give me audience for a while.
 I cry you mercy.

Henry IV, Part I
ACT 1. SC. 3

WORCESTER  Those same noble Scots
 That are your prisoners—
HOTSPUR 220 I’ll keep them all.
 By God, he shall not have a Scot of them.
 No, if a Scot would save his soul, he shall not.
 I’ll keep them, by this hand!
WORCESTER  You start away
225 And lend no ear unto my purposes:
 Those prisoners you shall keep—
HOTSPUR Nay, I will. That’s flat!
 He said he would not ransom Mortimer,
 Forbade my tongue to speak of Mortimer.
230 But I will find him when he lies asleep,
 And in his ear I’ll hollo “Mortimer.”
 Nay, I’ll have a starling shall be taught to speak
 Nothing but “Mortimer,” and give it him
 To keep his anger still in motion.
WORCESTER 235Hear you, cousin, a word.
 All studies here I solemnly defy,
 Save how to gall and pinch this Bolingbroke.
 And that same sword-and-buckler Prince of Wales—
 But that I think his father loves him not
240 And would be glad he met with some mischance—
 I would have him poisoned with a pot of ale.
 Farewell, kinsman. I’ll talk to you
 When you are better tempered to attend.
 Why, what a wasp-stung and impatient fool
245 Art thou to break into this woman’s mood,
 Tying thine ear to no tongue but thine own!
 Why, look you, I am whipped and scourged with
 Nettled and stung with pismires, when I hear

Henry IV, Part I
ACT 1. SC. 3

250 Of this vile politician, Bolingbroke.
 In Richard’s time—what do you call the place?
 A plague upon it! It is in Gloucestershire.
 ’Twas where the madcap duke his uncle kept,
 His uncle York, where I first bowed my knee
255 Unto this king of smiles, this Bolingbroke.
 ’Sblood, when you and he came back from
NORTHUMBERLAND At Berkeley Castle.
HOTSPUR You say true.
260 Why, what a candy deal of courtesy
 This fawning greyhound then did proffer me:
 “Look when his infant fortune came to age,”
 And “gentle Harry Percy,” and “kind cousin.”
 O, the devil take such cozeners!—God forgive me!
265 Good uncle, tell your tale. I have done.
 Nay, if you have not, to it again.
 We will stay your leisure.
HOTSPUR  I have done, i’ faith.
 Then once more to your Scottish prisoners:
270 Deliver them up without their ransom straight,
 And make the Douglas’ son your only mean
 For powers in Scotland, which, for divers reasons
 Which I shall send you written, be assured
 Will easily be granted.—You, my lord,
275 Your son in Scotland being thus employed,
 Shall secretly into the bosom creep
 Of that same noble prelate well beloved,
 The Archbishop.
HOTSPUR Of York, is it not?
WORCESTER 280True, who bears hard
 His brother’s death at Bristol, the Lord Scroop.
 I speak not this in estimation,

Henry IV, Part I
ACT 1. SC. 3

 As what I think might be, but what I know
 Is ruminated, plotted, and set down,
285 And only stays but to behold the face
 Of that occasion that shall bring it on.
 I smell it. Upon my life it will do well.
 Before the game is afoot thou still let’st slip.
 Why, it cannot choose but be a noble plot.
290 And then the power of Scotland and of York
 To join with Mortimer, ha?
WORCESTER  And so they shall.
 In faith, it is exceedingly well aimed.
 And ’tis no little reason bids us speed
295 To save our heads by raising of a head,
 For bear ourselves as even as we can,
 The King will always think him in our debt,
 And think we think ourselves unsatisfied,
 Till he hath found a time to pay us home.
300 And see already how he doth begin
 To make us strangers to his looks of love.
 He does, he does. We’ll be revenged on him.
 Cousin, farewell. No further go in this
 Than I by letters shall direct your course.
305 When time is ripe, which will be suddenly,
 I’ll steal to Glendower and Lord Mortimer,
 Where you and Douglas and our powers at once,
 As I will fashion it, shall happily meet
 To bear our fortunes in our own strong arms,
310 Which now we hold at much uncertainty.

Henry IV, Part I
ACT 1. SC. 3

 Farewell, good brother. We shall thrive, I trust.
 Uncle, adieu. O, let the hours be short
 Till fields and blows and groans applaud our sport.
They exit.