List iconHenry IV, Part 1List icon

Henry IV, Part 1
Act 3, scene 2

Synopsis:

Contents

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 2
Enter the King, Prince of Wales, and others.

KING 
 Lords, give us leave; the Prince of Wales and I
 Must have some private conference, but be near at
 hand,
 For we shall presently have need of you.
Lords exit.
5 I know not whether God will have it so
 For some displeasing service I have done,
 That, in His secret doom, out of my blood

131
Henry IV, Part I
ACT 3. SC. 2

 He’ll breed revengement and a scourge for me.
 But thou dost in thy passages of life
10 Make me believe that thou art only marked
 For the hot vengeance and the rod of heaven
 To punish my mistreadings. Tell me else,
 Could such inordinate and low desires,
 Such poor, such bare, such lewd, such mean
15 attempts,
 Such barren pleasures, rude society
 As thou art matched withal, and grafted to,
 Accompany the greatness of thy blood,
 And hold their level with thy princely heart?
PRINCE 
20 So please your Majesty, I would I could
 Quit all offenses with as clear excuse
 As well as I am doubtless I can purge
 Myself of many I am charged withal.
 Yet such extenuation let me beg
25 As, in reproof of many tales devised,
 Which oft the ear of greatness needs must hear,
 By smiling pickthanks and base newsmongers,
 I may for some things true, wherein my youth
 Hath faulty wandered and irregular,
30 Find pardon on my true submission.
KING 
 God pardon thee. Yet let me wonder, Harry,
 At thy affections, which do hold a wing
 Quite from the flight of all thy ancestors.
 Thy place in council thou hast rudely lost,
35 Which by thy younger brother is supplied,
 And art almost an alien to the hearts
 Of all the court and princes of my blood.
 The hope and expectation of thy time
 Is ruined, and the soul of every man
40 Prophetically do forethink thy fall.
 Had I so lavish of my presence been,

133
Henry IV, Part I
ACT 3. SC. 2

 So common-hackneyed in the eyes of men,
 So stale and cheap to vulgar company,
 Opinion, that did help me to the crown,
45 Had still kept loyal to possession
 And left me in reputeless banishment,
 A fellow of no mark nor likelihood.
 By being seldom seen, I could not stir
 But like a comet I was wondered at,
50 That men would tell their children “This is he.”
 Others would say “Where? Which is Bolingbroke?”
 And then I stole all courtesy from heaven,
 And dressed myself in such humility
 That I did pluck allegiance from men’s hearts,
55 Loud shouts and salutations from their mouths,
 Even in the presence of the crownèd king.
 Thus did I keep my person fresh and new,
 My presence, like a robe pontifical,
 Ne’er seen but wondered at, and so my state,
60 Seldom but sumptuous, showed like a feast
 And won by rareness such solemnity.
 The skipping king, he ambled up and down
 With shallow jesters and rash bavin wits,
 Soon kindled and soon burnt; carded his state,
65 Mingled his royalty with cap’ring fools,
 Had his great name profanèd with their scorns,
 And gave his countenance, against his name,
 To laugh at gibing boys and stand the push
 Of every beardless vain comparative;
70 Grew a companion to the common streets,
 Enfeoffed himself to popularity,
 That, being daily swallowed by men’s eyes,
 They surfeited with honey and began
 To loathe the taste of sweetness, whereof a little
75 More than a little is by much too much.
 So, when he had occasion to be seen,

135
Henry IV, Part I
ACT 3. SC. 2

 He was but as the cuckoo is in June,
 Heard, not regarded; seen, but with such eyes
 As, sick and blunted with community,
80 Afford no extraordinary gaze
 Such as is bent on sunlike majesty
 When it shines seldom in admiring eyes,
 But rather drowsed and hung their eyelids down,
 Slept in his face, and rendered such aspect
85 As cloudy men use to their adversaries,
 Being with his presence glutted, gorged, and full.
 And in that very line, Harry, standest thou,
 For thou hast lost thy princely privilege
 With vile participation. Not an eye
90 But is aweary of thy common sight,
 Save mine, which hath desired to see thee more,
 Which now doth that I would not have it do,
 Make blind itself with foolish tenderness.
PRINCE 
 I shall hereafter, my thrice gracious lord,
95 Be more myself.
KING For all the world
 As thou art to this hour was Richard then
 When I from France set foot at Ravenspurgh,
 And even as I was then is Percy now.
100 Now, by my scepter, and my soul to boot,
 He hath more worthy interest to the state
 Than thou, the shadow of succession.
 For of no right, nor color like to right,
 He doth fill fields with harness in the realm,
105 Turns head against the lion’s armèd jaws,
 And, being no more in debt to years than thou,
 Leads ancient lords and reverend bishops on
 To bloody battles and to bruising arms.
 What never-dying honor hath he got
110 Against renownèd Douglas, whose high deeds,
 Whose hot incursions and great name in arms,

137
Henry IV, Part I
ACT 3. SC. 2

 Holds from all soldiers chief majority
 And military title capital
 Through all the kingdoms that acknowledge Christ.
115 Thrice hath this Hotspur, Mars in swaddling
 clothes,
 This infant warrior, in his enterprises
 Discomfited great Douglas, ta’en him once,
 Enlargèd him, and made a friend of him,
120 To fill the mouth of deep defiance up
 And shake the peace and safety of our throne.
 And what say you to this? Percy, Northumberland,
 The Archbishop’s Grace of York, Douglas,
 Mortimer,
125 Capitulate against us and are up.
 But wherefore do I tell these news to thee?
 Why, Harry, do I tell thee of my foes,
 Which art my nearest and dearest enemy?
 Thou that art like enough, through vassal fear,
130 Base inclination, and the start of spleen,
 To fight against me under Percy’s pay,
 To dog his heels, and curtsy at his frowns,
 To show how much thou art degenerate.
PRINCE 
 Do not think so. You shall not find it so.
135 And God forgive them that so much have swayed
 Your Majesty’s good thoughts away from me.
 I will redeem all this on Percy’s head,
 And, in the closing of some glorious day,
 Be bold to tell you that I am your son,
140 When I will wear a garment all of blood
 And stain my favors in a bloody mask,
 Which, washed away, shall scour my shame with it.
 And that shall be the day, whene’er it lights,
 That this same child of honor and renown,
145 This gallant Hotspur, this all-praisèd knight,
 And your unthought-of Harry chance to meet.

139
Henry IV, Part I
ACT 3. SC. 2

 For every honor sitting on his helm,
 Would they were multitudes, and on my head
 My shames redoubled! For the time will come
150 That I shall make this northern youth exchange
 His glorious deeds for my indignities.
 Percy is but my factor, good my lord,
 To engross up glorious deeds on my behalf.
 And I will call him to so strict account
155 That he shall render every glory up,
 Yea, even the slightest worship of his time,
 Or I will tear the reckoning from his heart.
 This in the name of God I promise here,
 The which if He be pleased I shall perform,
160 I do beseech your Majesty may salve
 The long-grown wounds of my intemperance.
 If not, the end of life cancels all bands,
 And I will die a hundred thousand deaths
 Ere break the smallest parcel of this vow.
KING 
165 A hundred thousand rebels die in this.
 Thou shalt have charge and sovereign trust herein.

Enter Blunt.

 How now, good Blunt? Thy looks are full of speed.
BLUNT 
 So hath the business that I come to speak of.
 Lord Mortimer of Scotland hath sent word
170 That Douglas and the English rebels met
 The eleventh of this month at Shrewsbury.
 A mighty and a fearful head they are,
 If promises be kept on every hand,
 As ever offered foul play in a state.
KING 
175 The Earl of Westmoreland set forth today,
 With him my son, Lord John of Lancaster,
 For this advertisement is five days old.—

141
Henry IV, Part I
ACT 3. SC. 3

 On Wednesday next, Harry, you shall set forward.
 On Thursday we ourselves will march. Our meeting
180 Is Bridgenorth. And, Harry, you shall march
 Through Gloucestershire; by which account,
 Our business valuèd, some twelve days hence
 Our general forces at Bridgenorth shall meet.
 Our hands are full of business. Let’s away.
185 Advantage feeds him fat while men delay.
They exit.