Act III - Act III, Scene 1
Scene I. Bangor. A Room in the Archdeacon's House.
[Enter Hotspur, Worcester, Mortimer, and Glendower.]
These promises are fair, the parties sure,
And our induction full of prosperous hope.
Lord Mortimer,--and cousin Glendower,--Will you sit down?--
And uncle Worcester,--A plague upon it! I have forgot the map.
No, here it is.
Sit, cousin Percy; sit, good cousin Hotspur;
For by that name as oft as Lancaster
Doth speak of you, his cheek looks pale, and with
A rising sigh he wisheth you in Heaven.
And you in Hell, as oft as he hears Owen Glendower spoke of.
I cannot blame him: at my nativity
The front of heaven was full of fiery shapes,
Of burning cressets; ay, and at my birth
The frame and huge foundation of the Earth
Shaked like a coward.
Why, so it would have done at the same season, if your mother's
cat had but kitten'd, though yourself had never been born.
I say the Earth did shake when I was born.
And I say the Earth was not of my mind, if you suppose as
fearing you it shook.
The Heavens were all on fire, the Earth did tremble.
O, then th' Earth shook to see the Heavens on fire,
And not in fear of your nativity.
Diseased Nature oftentimes breaks forth
In strange eruptions; oft the teeming Earth
Is with a kind of colic pinch'd and vex'd
By the imprisoning of unruly wind
Within her womb; which, for enlargement striving,
Shakes the old beldam Earth, and topples down
Steeples and moss-grown towers. At your birth,
Our grandam Earth, having this distemperature,
In passion shook.
Cousin, of many men
I do not bear these crossings. Give me leave
To tell you once again, that at my birth
The front of heaven was full of fiery shapes;
The goats ran from the mountains, and the herds
Were strangely clamorous to the frighted fields.
These signs have mark'd me extraordinary;
And all the courses of my life do show
I am not in the roll of common men.
Where is he living,--clipp'd in with the sea
That chides the banks of England, Scotland, Wales,--
Which calls me pupil, or hath read to me?
And bring him out that is but woman's son
Can trace me in the tedious ways of art,
And hold me pace in deep experiments.
I think there is no man speaks better Welsh.--I'll to dinner.
Peace, cousin Percy; you will make him mad.
I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
Why, so can I, or so can any man;
But will they come when you do call for them?
Why, I can teach you, cousin, to command the Devil.
And I can teach thee, coz, to shame the Devil
By telling truth: tell truth, and shame the Devil.
If thou have power to raise him, bring him hither,
And I'll be sworn I've power to shame him hence.
O, while you live, tell truth, and shame the Devil!
Come, come, no more of this unprofitable chat.
Three times hath Henry Bolingbroke made head
Against my power; thrice from the banks of Wye
And sandy-bottom'd Severn have I sent
Him bootless home and weather-beaten back.
Home without boots, and in foul weather too!
How 'scaped he agues, in the Devil's name!
Come, here's the map: shall we divide our right
According to our threefold order ta'en?
Th' archdeacon hath divided it
Into three limits very equally.
England, from Trent and Severn hitherto,
By south and east is to my part assign'd:
All westward, Wales beyond the Severn shore,
And all the fertile land within that bound,
To Owen Glendower:--and, dear coz, to you
The remnant northward, lying off from Trent.
And our indentures tripartite are drawn;
Which being sealed interchangeably,--
A business that this night may execute,--
To-morrow, cousin Percy, you, and I,
And my good Lord of Worcester, will set forth
To meet your father and the Scottish power,
As is appointed us, at Shrewsbury.
My father Glendower is not ready yet,
Nor shall we need his help these fourteen days:--
[To Glend.] Within that space you may have drawn together
Your tenants, friends, and neighbouring gentlemen.
A shorter time shall send me to you, lords:
And in my conduct shall your ladies come;
From whom you now must steal, and take no leave,
For there will be a world of water shed
Upon the parting of your wives and you.
Methinks my moiety, north from Burton here,
In quantity equals not one of yours.
See how this river comes me cranking in,
And cuts me from the best of all my land
A huge half-moon, a monstrous cantle out.
I'll have the current in this place damn'd up;
And here the smug and sliver Trent shall run
In a new channel, fair and evenly:
It shall not wind with such a deep indent,
To rob me of so rich a bottom here.
Not wind? it shall, it must; you see it doth.
Mark how he bears his course, and runs me up
With like advantage on the other side;
Gelding th' opposed continent as much
As on the other side it takes from you.
Yea, but a little charge will trench him here,
And on this north side win this cape of land;
And then he runneth straight and evenly.
I'll have it so: a little charge will do it.
I will not have it alter'd.
Will not you?
No, nor you shall not.
Who shall say me nay?
Why, that will I.
Let me not understand you, then; speak it in Welsh.
I can speak English, lord, as well as you;
For I was train'd up in the English Court;
Where, being but young, I framed to the harp
Many an English ditty lovely well,
And gave the tongue a helpful ornament,
A virtue that was never seen in you.
Marry, and I am glad of it with all my heart:
I had rather be a kitten, and cry mew,
Than one of these same metre ballet-mongers;
I had rather hear a brazen canstick turn'd,
Or a dry wheel grate on the axletree;
And that would set my teeth nothing on edge,
Nothing so much as mincing poetry:
'Tis like the forced gait of a shuffling nag.
Come, you shall have Trent turn'd.
I do not care: I'll give thrice so much land
To any well-deserving friend;
But in the way of bargain, mark ye me,
I'll cavil on the ninth part of a hair.
Are the indentures drawn? shall we be gone?
The Moon shines fair; you may away by night:
I'll in and haste the writer, and withal
Break with your wives of your departure hence:
I am afraid my daughter will run mad,
So much she doteth on her Mortimer.
Fie, cousin Percy! how you cross my father!
I cannot choose: sometimes he angers me
With telling me of the moldwarp and the ant,
Of the dreamer Merlin and his prophecies,
And of a dragon and a finless fish,
A clip-wing'd griffin and a moulten raven,
A couching lion and a ramping cat,
And such a deal of skimble-skamble stuff
As puts me from my faith. I tell you what,
He held me last night at the least nine hours
In reckoning up the several devils' names
That were his lacqueys: I cried hum, and well,
But mark'd him not a word. O, he's as tedious
As a tired horse, a railing wife;
Worse than a smoky house: I had rather live
With cheese and garlic in a windmill, far,
Than feed on cates and have him talk to me
In any summer-house in Christendom.
In faith, he is a worthy gentleman;
Exceedingly well-read, and profited
In strange concealments; valiant as a lion,
And wondrous affable, and as bountiful
As mines of India. Shall I tell you, cousin?
He holds your temper in a high respect,
And curbs himself even of his natural scope
When you do cross his humour; faith, he does:
I warrant you, that man is not alive
Might so have tempted him as you have done,
Without the taste of danger and reproof:
But do not use it oft, let me entreat you.
In faith, my lord, you are too wilful-blunt;
And since your coming hither have done enough
To put him quite beside his patience.
You must needs learn, lord, to amend this fault:
Though sometimes it show greatness, courage, blood--
And that's the dearest grace it renders you,--
Yet oftentimes it doth present harsh rage,
Defect of manners, want of government,
Pride, haughtiness, opinion, and disdain;
The least of which haunting a nobleman
Loseth men's hearts, and leaves behind a stain
Upon the beauty of all parts besides,
Beguiling them of commendation.
Well, I am school'd: good manners be your speed!
Here come our wives, and let us take our leave.
[Re-enter Glendower, with Lady Mortimer and Lady Percy.]
This is the deadly spite that angers me,
My wife can speak no English, I no Welsh.
My daughter weeps: she will not part with you;
She'll be a soldier too, she'll to the wars.
Good father, tell her that she and my aunt Percy
Shall follow in your conduct speedily.
[Glendower speaks to Lady Mortimer in Welsh, and she answers
him in the same.]
She's desperate here; a peevish self-will'd harlotry,
One that no persuasion can do good upon.
[Lady Mortimer speaks to Mortimer in Welsh.]
I understand thy looks: that pretty Welsh
Which thou pour'st down from these swelling heavens
I am too perfect in; and, but for shame,
In such a parley should I answer thee.
[Lady Mortimer speaks to him again in Welsh.]
I understand thy kisses, and thou mine,
And that's a feeling disputation:
But I will never be a truant, love,
Till I have learn'd thy language; for thy tongue
Makes Welsh as sweet as ditties highly penn'd,
Sung by a fair queen in a Summer's bower,
With ravishing division, to her lute.
Nay, if you melt, then will she run mad.
[Lady Mortimer speaks to Mortimer again in Welsh.]
O, I am ignorance itself in this!
She bids you on the wanton rushes lay you down,
And rest your gentle head upon her lap,
And she will sing the song that pleaseth you,
And on your eyelids crown the god of sleep,
Charming your blood with pleasing heaviness;
Making such difference betwixt wake and sleep,
As is the difference betwixt day and night,
The hour before the heavenly-harness'd team
Begins his golden progress in the East.
With all my heart I'll sit and hear her sing:
By that time will our book, I think, be drawn.
An those musicians that shall play to you
Hang in the air a thousand leagues from hence,
And straight they shall be here: sit, and attend.
Come, Kate, thou art perfect in lying down: come, quick,
quick, that I may lay my head in thy lap.
Go, ye giddy goose.
[The music plays.]
Now I perceive the Devil understands Welsh;
And 'tis no marvel he's so humorous.
By'r Lady, he's a good musician.
Then should you be nothing but musical; for you are
altogether governed by humours. Lie still, ye thief, and hear
the lady sing in Welsh.
I had rather hear Lady, my brach, howl in Irish.
Wouldst thou have thy head broken?
Then be still.
Neither; 'tis a woman's fault.
Now God help thee!
Peace! she sings.
[A Welsh song by Lady Mortimer.]
Come, Kate, I'll have your song too.
Not mine, in good sooth.
Not yours, in good sooth! 'Heart! you swear like a
comfit-maker's wife. Not mine, in good sooth; and, As true
as I live; and, As God shall mend me; and, As sure as day;
And givest such sarcenet surety for thy oaths,
As if thou ne'er walk'dst further than Finsbury.
Swear me, Kate, like a lady as thou art,
A good mouth-filling oath; and leave in sooth,
And such protest of pepper-gingerbread,
To velvet-guards and Sunday-citizens. Come, sing.
I will not sing.
'Tis the next way to turn tailor, or be redbreast-teacher.
An the indentures be drawn, I'll away within these two hours;
and so, come in when ye will.
Come, come, Lord Mortimer; you are as slow
As hot Lord Percy is on fire to go.
By this our book's drawn; we'll but seal, and then
To horse immediately.
With all my heart.
— Wesley, Owl Eyes Editor
In this context, "vasty deep" presumably refers to the underworld and the spirits of the dead. The Welsh rebel Glendower and Henry Percy (Hotspur) have not been getting along, mostly due to their conflicting personalities and their penchant for self-aggrandizement. While they plot against Henry IV, Hotspur jeers at Glendower for his wildly exaggerated claims to summon and control the devil and other spirits. Hotspur can easily tolerates his own brags and bravado, but notice how he can't tolerate another's.