Gary Taylor, John Jowett, Terri Bourus, and Gabriel Egan (eds), The New Oxford Shakespeare: Modern Critical Edition

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1.1Sc. 1

Editor’s NoteEnter the King, Lord John of Lancaster, Earl of Westmorland, with others
Editor’s Note Link 1

king So shaken as we are, so wan with care,

Editor’s Note2Find we a time for frighted peace to pant

Editor’s Note3And breathe short-winded accents of new broils

Editor’s Note4To be commenced in strands afar remote.

Editor’s Note5No more the thirsty entrance of this soil

pg 12806Shall daub her lips with her own children's blood.

Editor’s Note7No more shall trenching war channel her fields,

Editor’s Note8Nor bruise her flow'rets with the armèd hoofs

9Of hostile paces. Those opposèd eyes,

Editor’s Note10Which, like the meteors of a troubled heaven,

Editor’s Note11All of one nature, of one substance bred,

Editor’s Note12Did lately meet in the intestine shock

Editor’s Note13And furious close of civil butchery,

Editor’s Note14Shall now in mutual well-beseeming ranks

15March all one way, and be no more opposed

16Against acquaintance, kindred, and allìes.

17The edge of war, like an ill-sheathèd knife,

Editor’s Note18No more shall cut his master. Therefore, friends,

19As far as to the sepulchre of Christ—

Editor’s Note20Whose soldier now, under whose blessèd cross

Editor’s Note21We are impressèd and engaged to fight—

Editor’s Note22Forthwith a power of English shall we levy,

Editor’s Note23Whose arms were moulded in their mother's womb

Editor’s Note24To chase these pagans in those holy fields

25Over whose acres walked those blessèd feet,

Link 26Which fourteen hundred years ago were nailed,

27For our advantage, on the bitter cross.

28But this our purpose now is twelve month old,

Editor’s Note29And bootless 'tis to tell you we will go.

Editor’s Note30Therefor we meet not now. Then let me hear

Editor’s Note31Of you, my gentle cousin Westmorland,

32What yesternight our Council did decree

Editor’s Note33In forwarding this dear expedïence.

Editor’s Note34

westmorland My liege, this haste was hot in questïon,

Editor’s Note35And many limits of the charge set down

Editor’s Note36But yesternight, when all athwart there came

Editor’s Note37A post from Wales, laden with heavy news,

38Whose worst was that the noble Mortimer,

Editor’s Note39Leading the men of Herefordshire to fight

Editor’s Note40Against the irregular and wild Glyndŵr,

41Was by the rude hands of that Welshman taken,

42A thousand of his people butcherèd,

Editor’s Note43Upon whose dead corpse' there was such misuse,

pg 1281Editor’s Note44Such beastly shameless transformatïon

45By those Welshwomen done, as may not be

46Without much shame retold, or spoken of.


king It seems then that the tidings of this broil

48Broke off our business for the Holy Land.


westmorland This matched with other did, my gracious lord.

Editor’s Note50For more uneven and unwelcome news

51Came from the north, and thus it did import:

Editor’s Note52On Holy-Rood day, the gallant Hotspur there,

Editor’s Note53Yong Harry Percy, and brave Archibald,

54That ever valiant and approvèd Scot,

Editor’s Note55At Holmedon met,

56Where they did spend a sad and bloody hour,

Editor’s Note57As by discharge of their artillery,

Editor’s Note58And shape of likelihood the news was told;

Editor’s Note59For he that brought them in the very heat

Editor’s Note60And pride of their contention did take horse,

61Uncertain of the issue any way.

Editor’s Note62

king Here is a dear and true industrious friend,

63Sir Walter Blunt new lighted from his horse,

Editor’s Note Link 64Stained with the variation of each soil

65Betwixt that Holmedon and this seat of ours;

Editor’s Note66And he hath brought us smooth and welcome news:

67The Earl of Douglas is discomfited,

Editor’s Note68Ten thousand bold Scots, two-and-twenty knights

Editor’s Note69Balked in their own blood, did Sir Walter see

70On Holmedon's plains. Of prisoners Hotspur took

71Mordake Earl of Fife and eldest son

72To beaten Douglas, and the Earl of Athol,

Editor’s Note73Of Moray, Angus, and Menteith;

74And is not this an honourable spoil,

75A gallant prize? Ha, cousin, is it not?


westmorland In faith, it is a conquest for a prince to boast of.

Editor’s Note77

king Yea, there thou mak'st me sad, and mak'st me sin

78In envy, that my lord Northumberland

79Should be the father to so blest a son:

80A son who is the theme of honour's tongue,

Editor’s Note81Amongst a grove the very straightest plant,

Editor’s Note82Who is sweet fortune's minion and her pride;

83Whilst I by looking on the praise of him

Editor’s Note84See riot and dishonour stain the brow

85Of my young Harry. O, that it could be proved

pg 128286That some night-tripping fairy had exchanged

87In cradle clothes our children where they lay,

Editor’s Note88And called mine Percy, his Plantagenet!

89Then would I have his Harry, and he mine.

Editor’s Note90But let him from my thoughts. What think you, coz,

91Of this young Percy's pride? The prisoners

Editor’s Note92Which he in this adventure hath surprised

Editor’s Note93To his own use he keeps, and sends me word

94I shall have none but Mordake Earl of Fife.


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

Editor’s Note96Malevolent to you in all aspècts,

Editor’s Note97Which makes him prune himself, and bristle up

Editor’s Note98The crest of youth against your dignity.


king But I have sent for him to answer this;

100And for this cause awhile we must neglect

101Our holy purpose to Jerusalem.

Link 102Cousin, on Wednesday next our council we

103Will hold at Windsor. So inform the lords.

104But come yourself with speed to us again,

105For more is to be said and to be done

106Than out of anger can be utterèd.


westmorland I will, my liege.

Exeunt [the King, Lancaster, and other lords at one door, Westmorland at another]

Notes Settings


Editor’s Note
1.1.0 Enter the King The stage may include a throne, which the King may or may not sit on. In the 2000 production at the RSC, the throne in this scene became Falstaff's chair in the next.
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1.1.1 we i.e. Henry himself (perhaps also the nation)
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1.1.2 Find we let us find
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1.1.2 pant gasp, to recover breath; gasp out
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1.1.3 breathe speak; respire
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1.1.3 accents of words about
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1.1.4 strands shores, i.e. lands
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1.1.5–6 the … blood Recalls God's curse on Cain for fratricide: 'And now art thou cursed from the earth, which hath opened her mouth to receive thy brother's blood' (Genesis 4:11).
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1.1.7 trenching making gashes; ploughing
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1.1.8 flow'rets small flowers
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1.1.8 armèd plated with armour (probably applying to the horses, not just their hoofs)
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1.1.10 meteors (includes meteorites, comets, lightning, novae, etc., all supposedly portents of strife and disaster)
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1.1.11 one one and the same
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1.1.12 intestine internal to a nation
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1.1.13 close i.e. hand-to-hand fighting
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1.1.13 civil (as in 'civil war')
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1.1.14 mutual common, shared
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1.1.14 well-beseeming well-becoming
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1.1.18 his its
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1.1.20 now i.e. we are now
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1.1.21 impressèd conscripted
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1.1.21 engaged pledged; enlisted
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1.1.22 power army
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1.1.23 their mother's i.e. England's
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1.1.24 these pagans (i.e. the Muslims in Palestine)
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1.1.24 fields battle-fields; pastures (anticipating acres)
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1.1.29 bootless unavailing
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1.1.30 Therefor on that account
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1.1.31 gentle cousin noble kinsman
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1.1.33 dear cherished
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1.1.33 expedïence urgent undertaking
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1.1.34 hot in questïon being eagerly debated
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1.1.35 limits of the charge military assignments
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1.1.36 all athwart in complete opposition
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1.1.37 post messenger
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1.1.37 heavy grievous, burdensome
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1.1.39 Herefordshire (pronounced as three syllables: Her'fordshire)
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1.1.40 irregular lawless; guerrilla-warfaring
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1.1.40 Glyndŵr (may be stressed on either syllable; often Anglicized as Glendower)
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1.1.43 corpse' corpses
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1.1.44 transformatïon (i.e. mutilation, specifically of sexual organs)
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1.1.50 uneven disturbing
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1.1.52 Holy-Rood day i.e. 14 September
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1.1.53 Archibald (the Earl of Douglas)
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1.1.55 Holmedon i.e. Humbleton, near Wooler, in Northumberland
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1.1.55 met i.e. joined battle
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1.1.57 by … artillery i.e. taking into account the state of the battle after the artillery had been fired. Artillery might include arrows.
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1.1.58 shape of likelihood the likely outcome
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1.1.59 them the news
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1.1.60 pride height
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1.1.60 take horse ride away
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1.1.62 Here here at court (but not necessarily on stage)
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1.1.62 true industrious zealously loyal
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1.1.62–3 Here … Blunt Some productions include Blunt in the first entry so that he may be referred to here, but his presence is not strictly necessary.
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1.1.64 variation of each every varying
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1.1.66 smooth agreeable
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1.1.68 two-and-twenty i.e. twenty-two of them
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1.1.69 Balked lying in heaps or ridges (a 'balk' is usually a ridge between furrows); checked, brought to a halt
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1.1.73 Menteith (a title actually belonging to Mordake, Earl of Fife)
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1.1.77 there i.e. in saying that
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1.1.81 plant young tree
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1.1.82 minion darling (not derogatory)
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1.1.84 riot debauchery
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1.1.88 Plantagenet (the surname of the English royal family at the time)
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1.1.90 coz kinsman (a familiar address)
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1.1.92 adventure hazardous undertaking
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1.1.92 surprised captured
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1.1.93 use i.e. for obtaining ransom
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1.1.96 Malevolent … aspècts (like a planet whose astrological influence is bad whatever its position in the sky (aspect))
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1.1.97 prune preen
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1.1.98 crest (applies to the hackles of a dog or perhaps a bird)
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