King Henry IV, Part 1.
(in Modern English)
Act 1 - Scene 1.

King Henry IV, Part 1: Act 1 - Scene 1.

KING HENRY IV.

So shaken up as we are...

So pale with anxieties...

We nevertheless find the time...

To let frightened peace catch its breath...

And whisper accounts of new battles...

To be started up in far and remote lands!

No more shall the thirsty entrance of this soil...

Wet her lips with her own children's blood.

No more shall trench-digging war plow her fields...

Bruising her little flowers...

With the armed hooves of hostile horses...

Those opposite camps of war...

Which, like the meteors of a troubled heaven...

All being of one nature...

Of one substance composed...

That recently clashed...

In the gut-wrenching shock and close combat...

Of civil butchery...

Shall now...

In mutual and orderly ranks...

March to one drum...

And no longer take up arms...

Against acquaintance, family, and allies...

The cut of war...

That was once a dagger missing its sheath...

Shall cut into its owner no more.

Therefore, friends, go...

Even as far as to the sepulcher of Christ...

Whose soldiers we are now...

Under whose blessed cross...

We have been drafted and committed to fight...

Now we shall levy an English force whose swords...

Were fashioned in their mothers' wombs...

To chase those pagans from those holy fields...

Over whose acres walked those blessed feet...

Which fourteen hundred years ago were nailed...

To the bitter cross for our advantage!

But this plan of ours...

Is now twelve months old...

And there's no point to say that we will go...

Therefore we won't meet about it now!

So then let me hear from you...

My good cousin Westmoreland...

What our council established yesternight...

As the definite status of events.

WESTMORELAND.

My liege...

Urgent matters were hot-button issues...

And many limits had been set down...

But yesternight:

Messages came from Wales bearing grim news...

The worst being that...

The noble Mortimer...

Leading the force of Herefordshire men...

Against the unpredictable, wild Glendower...

Was by the rude hands of that same Welshman...

Taken prisoner...

A thousand of his people butchered!

Upon whose dead corpses there was such misuse...

Such beastly shameless transformations...

Perpetrated by those Welshwomen...

As may not be retold or spoken of...

Without much shame.

KING HENRY IV.

It seems then...

That the news of this battle...

Puts our business for the Holy Land on hold...

WESTMORELAND.

This, matched with yet more news, does...

My gracious lord.

For more uneven and unwelcome news...

Came from the North!

And thus it did import:

On Holy-rood day...

The gallant Hotspur there...

Young Harry Percy...

And brave Archibald...

That ever-valiant and approved Scot...

Clashed at Holmedon...

For one sad and bloody hour!

Only by the discharge of their artillery...

And the laws of chance...

Has the outcome been decided...

For he that brought the news...

In the very heat and pride of their contention...

Had taken to his horse...

Uncertain of the issue in any way!

KING HENRY IV.

Then behold a dear, a true, industrious friend...

Sir Walter Blunt has freshly...

Dismounted from his horse...

Dusty from riding through various terrains...

Between Holmedon and this seat of ours.

And he has brought us smooth and welcome news:

The Earl of Douglas is ill at ease.

Ten thousand bold Scots...

And twenty-two knights...

Drenched in their own blood...

Did Sir Walter see on Holmedon's plains.

Of prisoners...

Hotspur took Mordake the Earl of Fife...

The eldest son to beaten Douglas...

And the Earls of Athol...

Of Murray, Angus, and Menteith.

And do these not count as honorable spoils?

As a gallant prize?

Ha, cousin, do they not?

WESTMORELAND.

Truly...

This is a conquest for a prince to boast of!

KING HENRY IV.

Yes, there you make me sad and make me sin...

In envy that my Lord Northumberland...

Should be the father of so blessed a son...

A son who is the theme of honor's tongue...

Within a grove, the very straightest plant...

Who is sweet Fortune's lieutenant and her pride...

While I...

Through watching that son be praised...

See riot and dishonor stain the brow...

Of my young Harry...

Oh, that it could be proved...

That some night-tripping fairy had exchanged...

In baby-clothes our children where they lay...

And called mine Percy, his Plantagenet...

Then would I have his Harry, and he mine.

But let him not fill my thoughts...

What is your opinion, cousin...

Of young Percy's pridefulness?

The prisoners...

Which he in this adventure had surprised...

He keeps for his own use...

And sends me word...

That I'll have none but Mordake, Earl of Fife...

WESTMORELAND.

This is his uncle's teaching!

This is Worcester...

Malevolent to you in all aspects!

Which makes Hotspur prune himself...

And bristle up the crest of youth...

Against your dignity...

KING HENRY IV.

But I have sent for him...

To answer for this...

And for this cause we must neglect awhile...

Our holy mission to Jerusalem...

Cousin:

Next Wednesday...

We will hold our council at Windsor...

Inform the lords of that...

But come yourself with speed to us again...

For more is to be said and to be done...

Than can be uttered out of anger...

WESTMORELAND.

I will, my liege...

Next: Act 1. Scene 2.

Get the app!

Questions? Contact us at contact@herosumgames.com.