Modern English Henry IV Part 1 Ebook Sample: Act 3, Scene 1

Owen Glendower, Worcester, Mortimer and Hotspur had gathered at Glendower’s North Wales castle for a council of war. Mortimer slapped the pile of letters that lay on the huge oak table.

‘These promises are fair,’ he said. ‘Our allies are reliable. We’ve made a good start.’

‘Lord Mortimer, and cousin Glendower, please sit down,’ said Hotspur. ‘And Uncle Worcester. Damn! I’ve forgotten the map!’

Glendower snapped his fingers at a servant, who stepped forward with a rolled-up map. ‘No, here it is. Sit, cousin Percy, sit, dear cousin Hotspur.’ He smiled mischievously. ‘Whenever John of Lancaster refers to you by that name his cheeks grow pale and with a deep sigh he wishes you in heaven.’

‘And you in hell,’ said Hotspur, ‘whenever he hears the name Owen Glendower!’

‘I don’t blame him! At the moment of my birth the sky was filled with the fiery shapes of burning beacons and when I was delivered the whole of the huge earth shook as though quaking with fear.’

Hotspur’s expression showed how unimpressed he was. ‘Why, it would have done that during that season if your mother’s cat had just littered and you had never been born.’

Glendower’s eyes blazed. ‘I’m telling you the earth shook when I was born!’

Hotspur laughed. ‘And I’m telling you the earth disagreed with me if, as you’re claiming, it shook because it was frightened of you.’

Glendower pointed a finger emphatically at the young man. ‘The heavens were all on fire, the earth trembled…..’

‘Oh, then the earth shook when it saw the heavens on fire and not because of your birth. When nature’s sick it often breaks out in strange eruptions. Sometimes the fertile earth is cramped and troubled by a kind of colic because a wayward wind is trapped inside her womb. When it tries to get out it shakes the grandmother earth and steeples and moss-covered towers come toppling down. When you were born our grandma earth shook from this farting.’

The others stared at the two as the tension grew. Hotspur was relentless in his attack, refusing to concede to the old Welshman, and Glendower was all the more incensed by the young man’s posture – sprawling, his legs spread out informally.

‘Cousin,’ Glendower said as he stood up. ‘There not many men whom I would tolerate crossing me like this. Allow me to tell you once again that at my birth the sky was filled with fiery shapes. The goats ran from the mountains and the herds filled the frightened fields with unfamiliar noise. These portents have marked me out as special, and the events of my life have shown that I’m not like the common man. Where is the man, within the shores of England, Scotland and Wales who can call me subordinate or can say that he’s taught me anything? And bring out the son of mortal woman who can match me in the mysterious arts of magic and keep company with me in those deep experiences.’

As he spoke his accent became more and more pronounced and when Hotspur, after regarding him for a long time, answered, it was in a Welsh accent that mocked the old magician’s. ‘I don’t think there’s anyone who speaks better Welsh.’ Ignoring the Welshman’s open-mouthed response he yawned and stood up. ‘I think I’ll go to dinner,’ he said.

‘Quiet. Cousin Percy,’ Mortimer hissed. ‘You’ll make him mad!’

Hotspur began to walk away. Glendower stopped him with a hand on his chest. ‘I can call up spirits from the most profound depths.’

Hotspur side-stepped him. ‘Why, so can I, and so can anyone. But will they come when you call them?’

‘Well I can teach you to command the devil!’

‘And I can teach you, cousin, to shame the devil by telling the truth. Tell the truth and shame the devil. If you have the power to raise him bring him here and I swear I have the power to shame him back again. Oh, as long as you’re alive, tell the truth and shame the devil!’

It looked as though Glendower was about to strike the hot-headed young man but Mortimer stepped in between them. ‘Come come, no more of this pointless chat,’ he said.

Hotspur laughed and slapped Glendower on the back. The older man glared at him then resumed his place at the head of the table. Hotspur sat down again.

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About Henry IV Part 1 Ebook
  • Translated as an easy to read, exciting teenage novel
  • Follows the acts & scenes of original Henry IV Part 1 text
  • Allows you to master the plot, characters & language of Henry IV Part 1
Ebook Resources

Search all of Shakespeare’s sonnets:

Sonnet 1, Sonnet 2, Sonnet 3, Sonnet 4, Sonnet 5, Sonnet 6, Sonnet 7, Sonnet 8, Sonnet 9, Sonnet 10, Sonnet 11, Sonnet 12, Sonnet 13, Sonnet 14, Sonnet 15, Sonnet 16, Sonnet 17, Sonnet 18, Sonnet 19, Sonnet 20, Sonnet 21, Sonnet 22, Sonnet 23, Sonnet 24, Sonnet 25, Sonnet 26, Sonnet 27, Sonnet 28, Sonnet 29, Sonnet 30, Sonnet 31, Sonnet 32, Sonnet 33, Sonnet 34, Sonnet 35, Sonnet 36, Sonnet 37, Sonnet 38, Sonnet 39, Sonnet 40, Sonnet 41, Sonnet 42, Sonnet 43, Sonnet 44, Sonnet 45, Sonnet 46, Sonnet 47, Sonnet 48, Sonnet 49, Sonnet 50, Sonnet 51, Sonnet 52, Sonnet 53, Sonnet 54, Sonnet 55, Sonnet 56, Sonnet 57, Sonnet 58, Sonnet 59, Sonnet 60, Sonnet 61, Sonnet 62, Sonnet 63, Sonnet 64, Sonnet 65, Sonnet 66, Sonnet 67, Sonnet 68, Sonnet 69, Sonnet 70, Sonnet 71, Sonnet 72, Sonnet 73, Sonnet 74, Sonnet 75, Sonnet 76, Sonnet 77, Sonnet 78, Sonnet 79, Sonnet 80, Sonnet 81, Sonnet 82, Sonnet 83, Sonnet 84, Sonnet 85, Sonnet 86, Sonnet 87, Sonnet 88, Sonnet 89, Sonnet 90, Sonnet 91, Sonnet 92, Sonnet 93, Sonnet 94, Sonnet 95, Sonnet 96, Sonnet 97, Sonnet 98, Sonnet 99, Sonnet 100, Sonnet 101, Sonnet 102, Sonnet 103, Sonnet 104, Sonnet 105, Sonnet 106, Sonnet 107, Sonnet 108, Sonnet 109, Sonnet 110, Sonnet 111, Sonnet 112, Sonnet 113, Sonnet 114, Sonnet 115, Sonnet 116, Sonnet 117, Sonnet 118, Sonnet 119, Sonnet 120, Sonnet 121, Sonnet 122, Sonnet 123, Sonnet 124, Sonnet 125, Sonnet 126, Sonnet 127, Sonnet 128, Sonnet 129, Sonnet 130, Sonnet 131, Sonnet 132, Sonnet 133, Sonnet 134, Sonnet 135, Sonnet 136, Sonnet 137, Sonnet 138, Sonnet 139, Sonnet 140, Sonnet 141, Sonnet 142, Sonnet 143, Sonnet 144, Sonnet 145, Sonnet 146, Sonnet 147, Sonnet 148, Sonnet 149, Sonnet 150, Sonnet 151, Sonnet 152, Sonnet 153, Sonnet 154,