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History of Henry IV, Part II

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Act IV, Scene 5

Westminster. Another chamber


The KING lying on a bed; CLARENCE, GLOUCESTER, WARWICK, and others in attendance

  • Henry IV. Let there be no noise made, my gentle friends;
    Unless some dull and favourable hand
    Will whisper music to my weary spirit.
  • Henry IV. Set me the crown upon my pillow here.


  • Henry V. Who saw the Duke of Clarence? 2895
  • Henry V. How now! Rain within doors, and none abroad!
    How doth the King?
  • Henry V. Heard he the good news yet? Tell it him. 2900
  • Henry V. If he be sick with joy, he'll recover without physic.
  • Earl of Warwick. Not so much noise, my lords. Sweet Prince, speak low;
    The King your father is dispos'd to sleep.
  • Henry V. No; I will sit and watch here by the King.
    [Exeunt all but the PRINCE]
    Why doth the crown lie there upon his pillow,
    Being so troublesome a bedfellow? 2910
    O polish'd perturbation! golden care!
    That keep'st the ports of slumber open wide
    To many a watchful night! Sleep with it now!
    Yet not so sound and half so deeply sweet
    As he whose brow with homely biggen bound 2915
    Snores out the watch of night. O majesty!
    When thou dost pinch thy bearer, thou dost sit
    Like a rich armour worn in heat of day
    That scald'st with safety. By his gates of breath
    There lies a downy feather which stirs not. 2920
    Did he suspire, that light and weightless down
    Perforce must move. My gracious lord! my father!
    This sleep is sound indeed; this is a sleep
    That from this golden rigol hath divorc'd
    So many English kings. Thy due from me 2925
    Is tears and heavy sorrows of the blood
    Which nature, love, and filial tenderness,
    Shall, O dear father, pay thee plenteously.
    My due from thee is this imperial crown,
    Which, as immediate from thy place and blood, 2930
    Derives itself to me. [Putting on the crown] Lo where it
    Which God shall guard; and put the world's whole strength
    Into one giant arm, it shall not force
    This lineal honour from me. This from thee
    Will I to mine leave as 'tis left to me. Exit 2935
  • Henry IV. Warwick! Gloucester! Clarence!


  • Henry IV. Why did you leave me here alone, my lords?
  • Prince Thomas. We left the Prince my brother here, my liege,
    Who undertook to sit and watch by you.
  • Henry IV. The Prince of Wales! Where is he? Let me see him.
    He is not here. 2945
  • Henry IV. Where is the crown? Who took it from my pillow?
  • Henry IV. The Prince hath ta'en it hence. Go, seek him out.
    Is he so hasty that he doth suppose
    My sleep my death?
    Find him, my lord of Warwick; chide him hither.
    [Exit WARWICK] 2955
    This part of his conjoins with my disease
    And helps to end me. See, sons, what things you are!
    How quickly nature falls into revolt
    When gold becomes her object!
    For this the foolish over-careful fathers 2960
    Have broke their sleep with thoughts,
    Their brains with care, their bones with industry;
    For this they have engrossed and pil'd up
    The cank'red heaps of strange-achieved gold;
    For this they have been thoughtful to invest 2965
    Their sons with arts and martial exercises;
    When, like the bee, tolling from every flower
    The virtuous sweets,
    Our thighs with wax, our mouths with honey pack'd,
    We bring it to the hive, and, like the bees, 2970
    Are murd'red for our pains. This bitter taste
    Yields his engrossments to the ending father.
    [Re-enter WARWICK]
    Now where is he that will not stay so long
    Till his friend sickness hath determin'd me? 2975
  • Earl of Warwick. My lord, I found the Prince in the next room,
    Washing with kindly tears his gentle cheeks,
    With such a deep demeanour in great sorrow,
    That tyranny, which never quaff'd but blood,
    Would, by beholding him, have wash'd his knife 2980
    With gentle eye-drops. He is coming hither.
  • Henry IV. But wherefore did he take away the crown?
    [Re-enter PRINCE HENRY]
    Lo where he comes. Come hither to me, Harry.
    Depart the chamber, leave us here alone. 2985

Exeunt all but the KING and the PRINCE

  • Henry V. I never thought to hear you speak again.
  • Henry IV. Thy wish was father, Harry, to that thought.
    I stay too long by thee, I weary thee.
    Dost thou so hunger for mine empty chair 2990
    That thou wilt needs invest thee with my honours
    Before thy hour be ripe? O foolish youth!
    Thou seek'st the greatness that will overwhelm thee.
    Stay but a little, for my cloud of dignity
    Is held from falling with so weak a wind 2995
    That it will quickly drop; my day is dim.
    Thou hast stol'n that which, after some few hours,
    Were thine without offense; and at my death
    Thou hast seal'd up my expectation.
    Thy life did manifest thou lov'dst me not, 3000
    And thou wilt have me die assur'd of it.
    Thou hid'st a thousand daggers in thy thoughts,
    Which thou hast whetted on thy stony heart,
    To stab at half an hour of my life.
    What, canst thou not forbear me half an hour? 3005
    Then get thee gone, and dig my grave thyself;
    And bid the merry bells ring to thine ear
    That thou art crowned, not that I am dead.
    Let all the tears that should bedew my hearse
    Be drops of balm to sanctify thy head; 3010
    Only compound me with forgotten dust;
    Give that which gave thee life unto the worms.
    Pluck down my officers, break my decrees;
    For now a time is come to mock at form-
    Harry the Fifth is crown'd. Up, vanity: 3015
    Down, royal state. All you sage counsellors, hence.
    And to the English court assemble now,
    From every region, apes of idleness.
    Now, neighbour confines, purge you of your scum.
    Have you a ruffian that will swear, drink, dance, 3020
    Revel the night, rob, murder, and commit
    The oldest sins the newest kind of ways?
    Be happy, he will trouble you no more.
    England shall double gild his treble guilt;
    England shall give him office, honour, might; 3025
    For the fifth Harry from curb'd license plucks
    The muzzle of restraint, and the wild dog
    Shall flesh his tooth on every innocent.
    O my poor kingdom, sick with civil blows!
    When that my care could not withhold thy riots, 3030
    What wilt thou do when riot is thy care?
    O, thou wilt be a wilderness again.
    Peopled with wolves, thy old inhabitants!
  • Henry V. O, pardon me, my liege! But for my tears,
    The moist impediments unto my speech, 3035
    I had forestall'd this dear and deep rebuke
    Ere you with grief had spoke and I had heard
    The course of it so far. There is your crown,
    And he that wears the crown immortally
    Long guard it yours! [Kneeling] If I affect it more 3040
    Than as your honour and as your renown,
    Let me no more from this obedience rise,
    Which my most inward true and duteous spirit
    Teacheth this prostrate and exterior bending!
    God witness with me, when I here came in 3045
    And found no course of breath within your Majesty,
    How cold it struck my heart! If I do feign,
    O, let me in my present wildness die,
    And never live to show th' incredulous world
    The noble change that I have purposed! 3050
    Coming to look on you, thinking you dead-
    And dead almost, my liege, to think you were-
    I spake unto this crown as having sense,
    And thus upbraided it: 'The care on thee depending
    Hath fed upon the body of my father; 3055
    Therefore thou best of gold art worst of gold.
    Other, less fine in carat, is more precious,
    Preserving life in med'cine potable;
    But thou, most fine, most honour'd, most renown'd,
    Hast eat thy bearer up.' Thus, my most royal liege, 3060
    Accusing it, I put it on my head,
    To try with it—as with an enemy
    That had before my face murd'red my father—
    The quarrel of a true inheritor.
    But if it did infect my blood with joy, 3065
    Or swell my thoughts to any strain of pride;
    If any rebel or vain spirit of mine
    Did with the least affection of a welcome
    Give entertainment to the might of it,
    Let God for ever keep it from my head, 3070
    And make me as the poorest vassal is,
    That doth with awe and terror kneel to it!
  • Henry IV. O my son,
    God put it in thy mind to take it hence,
    That thou mightst win the more thy father's love, 3075
    Pleading so wisely in excuse of it!
    Come hither, Harry; sit thou by my bed,
    And hear, I think, the very latest counsel
    That ever I shall breathe. God knows, my son,
    By what by-paths and indirect crook'd ways 3080
    I met this crown; and I myself know well
    How troublesome it sat upon my head:
    To thee it shall descend with better quiet,
    Better opinion, better confirmation;
    For all the soil of the achievement goes 3085
    With me into the earth. It seem'd in me
    But as an honour snatch'd with boist'rous hand;
    And I had many living to upbraid
    My gain of it by their assistances;
    Which daily grew to quarrel and to bloodshed, 3090
    Wounding supposed peace. All these bold fears
    Thou seest with peril I have answered;
    For all my reign hath been but as a scene
    Acting that argument. And now my death
    Changes the mood; for what in me was purchas'd 3095
    Falls upon thee in a more fairer sort;
    So thou the garland wear'st successively.
    Yet, though thou stand'st more sure than I could do,
    Thou art not firm enough, since griefs are green;
    And all my friends, which thou must make thy friends, 3100
    Have but their stings and teeth newly ta'en out;
    By whose fell working I was first advanc'd,
    And by whose power I well might lodge a fear
    To be again displac'd; which to avoid,
    I cut them off; and had a purpose now 3105
    To lead out many to the Holy Land,
    Lest rest and lying still might make them look
    Too near unto my state. Therefore, my Harry,
    Be it thy course to busy giddy minds
    With foreign quarrels, that action, hence borne out, 3110
    May waste the memory of the former days.
    More would I, but my lungs are wasted so
    That strength of speech is utterly denied me.
    How I came by the crown, O God, forgive;
    And grant it may with thee in true peace live! 3115
  • Henry V. My gracious liege,
    You won it, wore it, kept it, gave it me;
    Then plain and right must my possession be;
    Which I with more than with a common pain
    'Gainst all the world will rightfully maintain. 3120
  • Henry IV. Look, look, here comes my John of Lancaster.
  • Prince John. Health, peace, and happiness, to my royal father!
  • Henry IV. Thou bring'st me happiness and peace, son John;
    But health, alack, with youthful wings is flown 3125
    From this bare wither'd trunk. Upon thy sight
    My worldly business makes a period.
    Where is my Lord of Warwick?
  • Henry IV. Doth any name particular belong 3130
    Unto the lodging where I first did swoon?
  • Henry IV. Laud be to God! Even there my life must end.
    It hath been prophesied to me many years,
    I should not die but in Jerusalem; 3135
    Which vainly I suppos'd the Holy Land.
    But bear me to that chamber; there I'll lie;
    In that Jerusalem shall Harry die. Exeunt