Henry IV Part 1

Abridged Henry IV Part 1/#1/Envy/Act 1, Scene 1

At the end of Richard II, Henry IV had declared his
intent to visit the Holy Land to “wash this blood off from my guilty hand,”
referring to the ill-conceived murder of the deposed Richard II by one of Henry
IV’s followers.  But events in Wales and
Scotland kept him home.  The year is
probably 1409.  We promptly learn that
Edmund Mortimer, a key player in the play, “was by the rude hands of that
Welshman taken.” He was in Wales helping to lead England’s forces against Owen
Glendower, a Welsh lord, and another key player in this play.  Mortimer ends up being released from the
Welsh prison and marrying Glendower’s daughter.
Edmund Mortimer is the king’s nephew and the king fears him, succession
issues being important in terms of who gets to be king.  Lionel, Edward III’s third son, had a
daughter; his only child.  Mortimer is Lionel’s
daughter’s son.  Henry IV is the son of
John of Gaunt, Edward III’s fourth son.
We also learn that the young Harry Percy has captured a number of high
profile Scots.  Harry Percy is here known
as Hotspur.  He is the son of the earl of
Northumberland; Northumberland having been a key aide to Henry IV (when he was
Bolingbroke) in Richard II. Sir Walter Blunt provides the king with the news,
naming names, saying “Is not this an honorable spoil?”  Westmoreland, Henry IV’s brother-in-law, says
of Hotspur’s achievement “In faith, it is a conquest for a prince to boast of.”  But Hotspur doesn’t plan to release his
prisoners to the king, and the king is understandably upset.  Kings get their way!  The king has a son.  He calls him Harry.  The son’s friends call him Prince Hal.  To Westmoreland’s comment, the king says
“Yea, there thou mak’st me sad, and mak’st me sin in envy that my Lord
Northumberland should be the father to so blest a son, who is sweet Fortune’s
darling and her pride; whilst I, by looking on the praise of him, see loose
living and dishonor stain the brow of my young Harry.”  The king tells Westmoreland that “on
Wednesday next our council we will hold at Windsor.”

Abridged Henry IV Part 1/#2/Introspection/Act 1, Scene 2

Ned Poins meets with Prince Hal at the Eastcheap tavern
where Poins presents his plan “to execute a jest that I cannot manage
alone.”  The plan is for Poins to
encourage Falstaff and three other friends to rob men in a carriage at Gadshill
“and when they have the booty, you and I will rob them.”  Poins persuades the prince when he says “I
know them to be as true-bred cowards as ever turned back.  The virtue will be the incomprehensible lies
that this same fat rogue (Falstaff) will tell us when we meet for supper.”  The prince reluctantly agrees to the
caper.  He tells Poins “meet me tomorrow
night in Eastcheap.”  Poins exits.  The prince, remorseful that he has agreed to
this “jest,” tells us “when this loose behavior I throw off and pay the debt I
never promised, by how much better than my word I am, my reformation,
glitt’ring o’er my fault, shall show more goodly and attract more eyes than
that which hath no foil to set it off.
I’ll redeem myself by paying that which is owed when men think least I
will.”

Abridged Henry IV Part 1/#3/Intrigue/Act 1, Scene 3

Henry IV meets at Windsor with Northumberland, Worcester
(Northumberland’s brother) and Hotspur (Northumberland’s son).  The king tells the three of them that “You
tread upon my patience.  I will from
henceforth rather be myself, mighty and to be feared.”  When Worcester makes a comment, the king says
“When we need your use and counsel, we shall send for you.”  Worcester exits.  We learn that Hotspur still holds his
Scottish prisoners, continuing to irritate the king.  Hotspur, a hot-blooded young man, lets the
king know that the lord who asked for the prisoners did “smell so sweet and
talk so like a waiting-gentlewoman” that he denied his request to transfer his
prisoners to the king.  Northumberland
defends his son’s position.  The king
turns to Northumberland and essentially says okay, but that “we must ransom
straight his brother-in-law, the foolish Mortimer.  As said, Mortimer could claim that he
deserves to be king.  We also have
learned that Mortimer has married the daughter of Owen Glendower, the leader of
the Welsh resistance.  Later, Worcester
suggests to Hotspur that he “deliver your Scottish prisoners without their
ransom straight, and make the earl of Douglas your only means for powers in
Scotland.  You and Douglas can secretly
into the bosom creep of that prelate well beloved, the Archbishop of York.”  Hotspur buys into the suggestion, saying
“Then the power of Scotland and of York to join with Mortimer, ha?”  Worcester simply says “And so they
shall.”  Hotspur’s wife Kate, known as
Lady Percy, is Mortimer’s sister, adding to the intrigue.

Abridged Henry IV Part 1/#4/Humor/Act 2, Scene 2

The prince, Poins, Falstaff, and their other friends
gather to plan the Gadshill caper.
Prince Hal teases Falstaff, Falstaff complaining “the rascal hath
removed my horse and tied him I know not where.”  Prince Hal tells Falstaff to “lay thine ear
close to the ground, and list if thou canst hear the tread of travelers.”  Falstaff replies “I prithee, good Prince Hal,
help me to my horse, good king’s son.”
Peto enters saying “There’s money of the king’s coming down the
hill.”  The prince says “You four shall
front them in the narrow lane.  Poins and
I will walk lower. If they ‘scape from your encounter, then they light on
us.”  Peto asks “How many?”  Peto says “Some eight or ten.”  Falstaff counters “Zounds, will they not rob
us?”  Prince Hal responds “What, a
coward, Sir John Paunch?”  The prince and
Poins exit.  The Travelers arrive.  The four men rob them, bind them and
exit.  Falstaff says “Come, my master,
let us share.”  There’s no more valor in
that Poins than in a wild duck.”  The
prince and Poins set on them, crying “Your money!”  The four “thieves” run off, leaving the booty
behind.  Prince Hal says “The thieves are
all scattered, and possessed with fear.
Falstaff sweats to death.  Were it
not for laughing, I should pity him.”

Abridged Henry IV Part 1/#5/Tension/Act 2, Scene 3

As we’ve said, Hotspur is a spirited, confident, young
man.  When questioned by a friend as to
why he is risking his safety with plans to take on the king, Hotspur says to
himself “Zounds, is there not my father, my uncle, and myself, Mortimer, the
Archbishop of York, and Owen Glendower?
Is there not besides the Douglas?”
His wife, Kate, enters.  He tells
her he has to leave within two hours, giving her no idea why.  She defensively asks him “For what offense
have I this fortnight been a banished woman?
What is it that takes from you thy stomach, pleasure and thy golden
sleep?  In thy faint slumbers I have
heard thee murmur tales of iron wars.
Beads of sweat have stood upon thy brow and in thy face strange motions
have appeared.  What portents are
these?”  Hotspur prepares to get on his
horse, ignoring her.  She asks “I fear my
brother Mortimer doth stir about his title, and hath sent for you to line his
enterprise.  I’ll break thy little finger,
Harry, if thou wilt not tell me all things true.”  He angrily pushes her aside.  She cries “Do you not love me?”  He says “When I am a-horseback I will swear I
love thee infinitely.  I must not have
you question me whither I go.  I well
believe thou wilt not utter what thou dost not know.  But hark you, Kate.  Whither I go, thither shall you go too.  Today will I set forth, tomorrow you.”

Abridged Henry IV Part 1/#6/Braggart/Act 2, Scene 4

Prince Hal and Poins are in the Eastcheap tavern when
Falstaff, Bardolph, Francis and others enter.
The Gadshill caper was pulled off just as planned. Falstaff bellies up
to the bar saying “Give me a cup of sack, boy.
A plague of all cowards!”  The
prince steps forward, saying to Falstaff “What mutter you?”  Falstaff comes back with “Are not you a
coward?  Answer me to that — and Poins
there?”  The prince asks him about the
booty.  Falstaff says “Taken from us it
is.  A hundred upon poor four of us.  A plague of all cowards!”  Bardolph says maybe there were a dozen.  Falstaff snaps back “Sixteen, at least.”  The prince can’t take it anymore, saying “We
two saw you four set on four, and bound them and were masters of their
wealth.  Then we to set on you four and
outfaced you from your prize, and have it here.”  Falstaff says “I knew you.  Should I turn upon the true prince?”  The Hostess (Mistress Quickly) interrupts
them, saying the sheriff is at the door. Falstaff hides.  The sheriff says to the prince “A hue and cry
hath followed certain men unto this house.
One of them is well known, a gross fat man.”  The prince says “The man I do assure you is
not here, for I myself at this time have employed him.  Let me entreat you to leave the house.”  The sheriff says “I will my lord.  There are two gentlemen have in this robbery
lost three hundred marks.”  Prince Hal
says “If he have robbed these men, he shall be answerable; and so
farewell.”  The sheriff exits.  Falstaff had fallen asleep behind the
drapes.  The prince says “I’ll to the
court in the morning.  We must all to the
wars.  I’ll procure this rogue a command
of an infantry unit.  The money shall be
paid back again with advantage.”

Abridged Henry IV Part 1/#7/Act 3, Scene 1

Hotspur meets in Wales with Glendower, Mortimer and
Worcester, Owen Glendower being the leader of the Welsh resistance movement. A
young and inexperienced Hotspur is outspoken and often interrupts Glendower,
irritating the older committee members.
Hotspur challenges Glendower.
Mortimer counsels him, saying “Peace, cousin Percy, you will make him
mad.”  The men pull out the map.  Mortimer notes that “the Archdeacon hath
divided it into three limits very equally.”
The “it” is the British island.
One third is assigned to Mortimer, one third to Glendower and one third
to Hotspur.  Hotspur bluntly says
“methinks my share in quantity equals not one of yours.  I’ll have it changed a little.”  Glendower states “I’ll not have it
altered.”  Hotspur belittles Glendower.  Mortimer cries “Cousin Percy, how you oppose
my father-in-law!”  Hotspur says “I
cannot choose.  Sometimes he angers me,
telling me of the dreamer and his prophecies.
He is as tedious as a tired horse, a railing wife, worse than a smoky
house.”  Mortimer says “In faith, he is a
worthy gentleman.  I warrant you that man
is not alive might so have tempted him as you have done without the taste of
danger and reproof.”  Worcester gives the
young Hotspur a good lecture.  Hotspur
responds “Well, I am schooled.  Here come
our wives.”  The Ladies enter.  Music plays.
They sing and dance.  Glendower
chides his son-in-law, saying “Come, Lord Mortimer, you are as slow as hot Lord
Percy (Hotspur) is on fire to go.”

Abridged Henry IV Part 1/#8/Act 3, Scene 2.1

The king at his palace tells his lords, “Give us leave;
the Prince of Wales and I must have some private conference.”  The king asks his son such questions as: tell
me if such low desires, such poor, sorry, mean attempts, such barren pleasures,
such rude society as thou art matched hold their level with thy princely
heart?  The prince responds “So please
your Majesty, let me beg for pardon that wherein my youth hath faulty wandered
and been irregular.”  The king says “God
pardon thee.” The king goes on.  He says
such as, Harry, I do wonder why thy inclinations do hold a wing quite away from
the flight of all thy ancestors. Thy place in the council has been rudely lost,
being now alien to the hearts of all the court and princes of my blood.  The hope and expectation of thy time is
ruined.  Men prophetically do anticipate
thy fall.  Had I been so stale and cheap
to vulgar company, I would have been left in inglorious banishment, seldom
seen.  I carried myself with a respectful
demeanor, plucking allegiance from men’s hearts.  Never, as was Richard, was I seen mingling
with shallow jesters, flashy wits, and fools, becoming a companion to the
common streets, daily being swallowed by men’s eyes. When he was seen, he was
heard, but not regarded.  Men did not
gaze upon him with admiring eyes, but rather drowsed and hung their eyelids
down, sleeping in his face. In that very line, Harry, standst thou, for thou
hast lost thy princely privilege with vile association.  The king ends his lengthy lecture with “Not
an eye but is aweary of thy common sight, save mine, which hath desired to see
thee more.”

Abridged Henry IV Part 1/#9/Counsel/Act 3, Scene 2.2

Prince Harry says to his father “I shall hereafter, my
thrice gracious lord, be more myself.”
The king continues to seriously challenge his son; the king focusing on
Harry Percy, the son of Northumberland, Hotspur.  He most directly chastises his son, saying
“He hath more worthy interest to the state than thou, the shadow of
succession.”  He says Percy is your age,
son, and leads “ancient lords and reverend bishops on to bloody battles.”  He says “Percy, this Mars in swaddling
clothes, captured great Douglas, enlarged him, and made a friend of him.  What say you to this?”  The king says Percy, Northumberland, the
Archbishop of York, Douglas and Mortimer are up in arms against us.  “Why, Harry, do I tell you of these foes, my
dearest enemy?  Thou art likely enough,
through fear and base inclination, to fight against me under Percy’s pay.”  Prince Harry responds “Do not think so.”

Abridged Henry IV Part 1/#10/Promise/Act 3, Scene 2.3

A seriously reprimanded but unbowed Prince Harry tells
his father that he is sorry for those “who have swayed my good thoughts away
from me,” but “I will redeem all this on Percy’s head, and some day be bold
enough to tell you that I am your son.
When the blood from that glorious day is washed away, it shall scour my
shame with it. The day shall be when this gallant Hotspur and your unthought-of-Harry
chance to meet.  The time will come that
I shall make this northern youth exchange his glorious deeds for my
indignities.  This in the name of God I
promise here.  I will die a hundred
thousand deaths ere break the smallest parcel of this vow.”  The king quietly says to his son that he
shall be in charge of soldiers and have full responsibility for a mission that
he’ll soon delegate.  Sir Walter Blunt
enters to tell the king that Mortimer, Douglas and other rebels have organized
at Shrewsbury and represent “a mighty and a fearful army.”  The king tells Blunt that Westmoreland (the
king’s brother in law) and the king’s son John “set forth today.”  The king tells his son that he will set
forward “Wednesday next” and that he will leave on Thursday.  He says we shall meet “some twelve days
hence.”  He wraps it up, saying “Let’s
away.  Advantage feeds him fat while men
delay.”