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If you can look into the seeds of time,
And say which grain will grow and which will not.

      — Macbeth, Act I Scene 3


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History of Henry IV, Part II

Act IV

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Scene 1. Yorkshire. Within the Forest of Gaultree

Scene 2. Another part of the forest

Scene 3. Another part of the forest

Scene 4. Westminster. The Jerusalem Chamber

Scene 5. Westminster. Another chamber


Act IV, Scene 1

Yorkshire. Within the Forest of Gaultree

      next scene .


  • Lord Hastings. 'Tis Gaultree Forest, an't shall please your Grace.
  • Archbishop Scroop. Here stand, my lords, and send discoverers forth
    To know the numbers of our enemies.
  • Archbishop Scroop. 'Tis well done.
    My friends and brethren in these great affairs,
    I must acquaint you that I have receiv'd
    New-dated letters from Northumberland;
    Their cold intent, tenour, and substance, thus: 2210
    Here doth he wish his person, with such powers
    As might hold sortance with his quality,
    The which he could not levy; whereupon
    He is retir'd, to ripe his growing fortunes,
    To Scotland; and concludes in hearty prayers 2215
    That your attempts may overlive the hazard
    And fearful meeting of their opposite.
  • Lord Mowbray. Thus do the hopes we have in him touch ground
    And dash themselves to pieces.


  • Messenger. West of this forest, scarcely off a mile,
    In goodly form comes on the enemy;
    And, by the ground they hide, I judge their number
    Upon or near the rate of thirty thousand. 2225
  • Lord Mowbray. The just proportion that we gave them out.
    Let us sway on and face them in the field.


  • Earl of Westmoreland. Health and fair greeting from our general,
    The Prince, Lord John and Duke of Lancaster.
  • Archbishop Scroop. Say on, my Lord of Westmoreland, in peace,
    What doth concern your coming.
  • Earl of Westmoreland. Then, my lord, 2235
    Unto your Grace do I in chief address
    The substance of my speech. If that rebellion
    Came like itself, in base and abject routs,
    Led on by bloody youth, guarded with rags,
    And countenanc'd by boys and beggary- 2240
    I say, if damn'd commotion so appear'd
    In his true, native, and most proper shape,
    You, reverend father, and these noble lords,
    Had not been here to dress the ugly form
    Of base and bloody insurrection 2245
    With your fair honours. You, Lord Archbishop,
    Whose see is by a civil peace maintain'd,
    Whose beard the silver hand of peace hath touch'd,
    Whose learning and good letters peace hath tutor'd,
    Whose white investments figure innocence, 2250
    The dove, and very blessed spirit of peace-
    Wherefore you do so ill translate yourself
    Out of the speech of peace, that bears such grace,
    Into the harsh and boist'rous tongue of war;
    Turning your books to graves, your ink to blood, 2255
    Your pens to lances, and your tongue divine
    To a loud trumpet and a point of war?
  • Archbishop Scroop. Wherefore do I this? So the question stands.
    Briefly to this end: we are all diseas'd
    And with our surfeiting and wanton hours 2260
    Have brought ourselves into a burning fever,
    And we must bleed for it; of which disease
    Our late King, Richard, being infected, died.
    But, my most noble Lord of Westmoreland,
    I take not on me here as a physician; 2265
    Nor do I as an enemy to peace
    Troop in the throngs of military men;
    But rather show awhile like fearful war
    To diet rank minds sick of happiness,
    And purge th' obstructions which begin to stop 2270
    Our very veins of life. Hear me more plainly.
    I have in equal balance justly weigh'd
    What wrongs our arms may do, what wrongs we suffer,
    And find our griefs heavier than our offences.
    We see which way the stream of time doth run 2275
    And are enforc'd from our most quiet there
    By the rough torrent of occasion;
    And have the summary of all our griefs,
    When time shall serve, to show in articles;
    Which long ere this we offer'd to the King, 2280
    And might by no suit gain our audience:
    When we are wrong'd, and would unfold our griefs,
    We are denied access unto his person,
    Even by those men that most have done us wrong.
    The dangers of the days but newly gone, 2285
    Whose memory is written on the earth
    With yet appearing blood, and the examples
    Of every minute's instance, present now,
    Hath put us in these ill-beseeming arms;
    Not to break peace, or any branch of it, 2290
    But to establish here a peace indeed,
    Concurring both in name and quality.
  • Earl of Westmoreland. When ever yet was your appeal denied;
    Wherein have you been galled by the King;
    What peer hath been suborn'd to grate on you 2295
    That you should seal this lawless bloody book
    Of forg'd rebellion with a seal divine,
    And consecrate commotion's bitter edge?
  • Archbishop Scroop. My brother general, the commonwealth,
    To brother horn an household cruelty, 2300
    I make my quarrel in particular.
  • Earl of Westmoreland. There is no need of any such redress;
    Or if there were, it not belongs to you.
  • Lord Mowbray. Why not to him in part, and to us all
    That feel the bruises of the days before, 2305
    And suffer the condition of these times
    To lay a heavy and unequal hand
    Upon our honours?
  • Earl of Westmoreland. O my good Lord Mowbray,
    Construe the times to their necessities, 2310
    And you shall say, indeed, it is the time,
    And not the King, that doth you injuries.
    Yet, for your part, it not appears to me,
    Either from the King or in the present time,
    That you should have an inch of any ground 2315
    To build a grief on. Were you not restor'd
    To all the Duke of Norfolk's signiories,
    Your noble and right well-rememb'red father's?
  • Lord Mowbray. What thing, in honour, had my father lost
    That need to be reviv'd and breath'd in me? 2320
    The King that lov'd him, as the state stood then,
    Was force perforce compell'd to banish him,
    And then that Henry Bolingbroke and he,
    Being mounted and both roused in their seats,
    Their neighing coursers daring of the spur, 2325
    Their armed staves in charge, their beavers down,
    Their eyes of fire sparkling through sights of steel,
    And the loud trumpet blowing them together—
    Then, then, when there was nothing could have stay'd
    My father from the breast of Bolingbroke, 2330
    O, when the King did throw his warder down—
    His own life hung upon the staff he threw—
    Then threw he down himself, and all their lives
    That by indictment and by dint of sword
    Have since miscarried under Bolingbroke. 2335
  • Earl of Westmoreland. You speak, Lord Mowbray, now you know not what.
    The Earl of Hereford was reputed then
    In England the most valiant gentleman.
    Who knows on whom fortune would then have smil'd?
    But if your father had been victor there, 2340
    He ne'er had borne it out of Coventry;
    For all the country, in a general voice,
    Cried hate upon him; and all their prayers and love
    Were set on Hereford, whom they doted on,
    And bless'd and grac'd indeed more than the King. 2345
    But this is mere digression from my purpose.
    Here come I from our princely general
    To know your griefs; to tell you from his Grace
    That he will give you audience; and wherein
    It shall appear that your demands are just, 2350
    You shall enjoy them, everything set off
    That might so much as think you enemies.
  • Lord Mowbray. But he hath forc'd us to compel this offer;
    And it proceeds from policy, not love.
  • Earl of Westmoreland. Mowbray. you overween to take it so. 2355
    This offer comes from mercy, not from fear;
    For, lo! within a ken our army lies-
    Upon mine honour, all too confident
    To give admittance to a thought of fear.
    Our battle is more full of names than yours, 2360
    Our men more perfect in the use of arms,
    Our armour all as strong, our cause the best;
    Then reason will our hearts should be as good.
    Say you not, then, our offer is compell'd.
  • Lord Mowbray. Well, by my will we shall admit no parley. 2365
  • Lord Hastings. Hath the Prince John a full commission,
    In very ample virtue of his father,
    To hear and absolutely to determine 2370
    Of what conditions we shall stand upon?
  • Earl of Westmoreland. That is intended in the general's name.
    I muse you make so slight a question.
  • Archbishop Scroop. Then take, my Lord of Westmoreland, this schedule,
    For this contains our general grievances. 2375
    Each several article herein redress'd,
    All members of our cause, both here and hence,
    That are insinewed to this action,
    Acquitted by a true substantial form,
    And present execution of our wills 2380
    To us and to our purposes confin'd-
    We come within our awful banks again,
    And knit our powers to the arm of peace.
  • Earl of Westmoreland. This will I show the general. Please you, lords,
    In sight of both our battles we may meet; 2385
    And either end in peace—which God so frame!-
    Or to the place of diff'rence call the swords
    Which must decide it.
  • Lord Mowbray. There is a thing within my bosom tells me 2390
    That no conditions of our peace can stand.
  • Lord Hastings. Fear you not that: if we can make our peace
    Upon such large terms and so absolute
    As our conditions shall consist upon,
    Our peace shall stand as firm as rocky mountains. 2395
  • Lord Mowbray. Yea, but our valuation shall be such
    That every slight and false-derived cause,
    Yea, every idle, nice, and wanton reason,
    Shall to the King taste of this action;
    That, were our royal faiths martyrs in love, 2400
    We shall be winnow'd with so rough a wind
    That even our corn shall seem as light as chaff,
    And good from bad find no partition.
  • Archbishop Scroop. No, no, my lord. Note this: the King is weary
    Of dainty and such picking grievances; 2405
    For he hath found to end one doubt by death
    Revives two greater in the heirs of life;
    And therefore will he wipe his tables clean,
    And keep no tell-tale to his memory
    That may repeat and history his los 2410
    To new remembrance. For full well he knows
    He cannot so precisely weed this land
    As his misdoubts present occasion:
    His foes are so enrooted with his friends
    That, plucking to unfix an enemy, 2415
    He doth unfasten so and shake a friend.
    So that this land, like an offensive wife
    That hath enrag'd him on to offer strokes,
    As he is striking, holds his infant up,
    And hangs resolv'd correction in the arm 2420
    That was uprear'd to execution.
  • Lord Hastings. Besides, the King hath wasted all his rods
    On late offenders, that he now doth lack
    The very instruments of chastisement;
    So that his power, like to a fangless lion, 2425
    May offer, but not hold.
  • Archbishop Scroop. 'Tis very true;
    And therefore be assur'd, my good Lord Marshal,
    If we do now make our atonement well,
    Our peace will, like a broken limb united, 2430
    Grow stronger for the breaking.
  • Lord Mowbray. Be it so.
    Here is return'd my Lord of Westmoreland.


  • Earl of Westmoreland. The Prince is here at hand. Pleaseth your 2435
    To meet his Grace just distance 'tween our armies?
  • Lord Mowbray. Your Grace of York, in God's name then, set forward.


. previous scene      

Act IV, Scene 2

Another part of the forest

      next scene .

Enter, from one side, MOWBRAY, attended; afterwards, the ARCHBISHOP, HASTINGS, and others; from the other side, PRINCE JOHN of LANCASTER, WESTMORELAND, OFFICERS, and others

  • Prince John. You are well encount'red here, my cousin Mowbray.
    Good day to you, gentle Lord Archbishop;
    And so to you, Lord Hastings, and to all.
    My Lord of York, it better show'd with you 2445
    When that your flock, assembled by the bell,
    Encircled you to hear with reverence
    Your exposition on the holy text
    Than now to see you here an iron man,
    Cheering a rout of rebels with your drum, 2450
    Turning the word to sword, and life to death.
    That man that sits within a monarch's heart
    And ripens in the sunshine of his favour,
    Would he abuse the countenance of the king,
    Alack, what mischiefs might he set abroach 2455
    In shadow of such greatness! With you, Lord Bishop,
    It is even so. Who hath not heard it spoken
    How deep you were within the books of God?
    To us the speaker in His parliament,
    To us th' imagin'd voice of God himself, 2460
    The very opener and intelligencer
    Between the grace, the sanctities of heaven,
    And our dull workings. O, who shall believe
    But you misuse the reverence of your place,
    Employ the countenance and grace of heav'n 2465
    As a false favourite doth his prince's name,
    In deeds dishonourable? You have ta'en up,
    Under the counterfeited zeal of God,
    The subjects of His substitute, my father,
    And both against the peace of heaven and him 2470
    Have here up-swarm'd them.
  • Archbishop Scroop. Good my Lord of Lancaster,
    I am not here against your father's peace;
    But, as I told my Lord of Westmoreland,
    The time misord'red doth, in common sense, 2475
    Crowd us and crush us to this monstrous form
    To hold our safety up. I sent your Grace
    The parcels and particulars of our grief,
    The which hath been with scorn shov'd from the court,
    Whereon this hydra son of war is born; 2480
    Whose dangerous eyes may well be charm'd asleep
    With grant of our most just and right desires;
    And true obedience, of this madness cur'd,
    Stoop tamely to the foot of majesty.
  • Lord Mowbray. If not, we ready are to try our fortunes 2485
    To the last man.
  • Lord Hastings. And though we here fall down,
    We have supplies to second our attempt.
    If they miscarry, theirs shall second them;
    And so success of mischief shall be born, 2490
    And heir from heir shall hold this quarrel up
    Whiles England shall have generation.
  • Prince John. YOU are too shallow, Hastings, much to shallow,
    To sound the bottom of the after-times.
  • Earl of Westmoreland. Pleaseth your Grace to answer them directly 2495
    How far forth you do like their articles.
  • Prince John. I like them all and do allow them well;
    And swear here, by the honour of my blood,
    My father's purposes have been mistook;
    And some about him have too lavishly 2500
    Wrested his meaning and authority.
    My lord, these griefs shall be with speed redress'd;
    Upon my soul, they shall. If this may please you,
    Discharge your powers unto their several counties,
    As we will ours; and here, between the armies, 2505
    Let's drink together friendly and embrace,
    That all their eyes may bear those tokens home
    Of our restored love and amity.
  • Prince John. I give it you, and will maintain my word; 2510
    And thereupon I drink unto your Grace.
  • Lord Hastings. Go, Captain, and deliver to the army
    This news of peace. Let them have pay, and part.
    I know it will please them. Hie thee, Captain.

Exit Officer

  • Earl of Westmoreland. I pledge your Grace; and if you knew what pains
    I have bestow'd to breed this present peace,
    You would drink freely; but my love to ye
    Shall show itself more openly hereafter. 2520
  • Lord Mowbray. You wish me health in very happy season,
    For I am on the sudden something ill. 2525
  • Archbishop Scroop. Against ill chances men are ever merry;
    But heaviness foreruns the good event.
  • Earl of Westmoreland. Therefore be merry, coz; since sudden sorrow
    Serves to say thus, 'Some good thing comes to-morrow.'

[Shouts within]

  • Prince John. The word of peace is rend'red. Hark, how they
  • Archbishop Scroop. A peace is of the nature of a conquest;
    For then both parties nobly are subdu'd,
    And neither party loser.
  • Prince John. Go, my lord,
    And let our army be discharged too. 2540
    And, good my lord, so please you let our trains
    March by us, that we may peruse the men
    We should have cop'd withal.
  • Archbishop Scroop. Go, good Lord Hastings, 2545
    And, ere they be dismiss'd, let them march by.


  • Prince John. I trust, lords, we shall lie to-night together.
    [Re-enter WESTMORELAND]
    Now, cousin, wherefore stands our army still? 2550
  • Earl of Westmoreland. The leaders, having charge from you to stand,
    Will not go off until they hear you speak.


  • Lord Hastings. My lord, our army is dispers'd already. 2555
    Like youthful steers unyok'd, they take their courses
    East, west, north, south; or like a school broke up,
    Each hurries toward his home and sporting-place.
  • Earl of Westmoreland. Good tidings, my Lord Hastings; for the which
    I do arrest thee, traitor, of high treason; 2560
    And you, Lord Archbishop, and you, Lord Mowbray,
    Of capital treason I attach you both.
  • Prince John. I pawn'd thee none:
    I promis'd you redress of these same grievances
    Whereof you did complain; which, by mine honour,
    I will perform with a most Christian care.
    But for you, rebels—look to taste the due 2570
    Meet for rebellion and such acts as yours.
    Most shallowly did you these arms commence,
    Fondly brought here, and foolishly sent hence.
    Strike up our drums, pursue the scatt'red stray.
    God, and not we, hath safely fought to-day. 2575
    Some guard these traitors to the block of death,
    Treason's true bed and yielder-up of breath. Exeunt
. previous scene      

Act IV, Scene 3

Another part of the forest

      next scene .

Alarum; excursions. Enter FALSTAFF and COLVILLE, meeting

  • Falstaff. What's your name, sir? Of what condition are you, and
    what place, I pray? 2580
  • Falstaff. Well then, Colville is your name, a knight is your
    degree, and your place the Dale. Colville shall still be your 2585
    name, a traitor your degree, and the dungeon your place—a
    deep enough; so shall you be still Colville of the Dale.
  • Falstaff. As good a man as he, sir, whoe'er I am. Do you yield, 2590
    sir, or shall I sweat for you? If I do sweat, they are the
    of thy lovers, and they weep for thy death; therefore rouse
    fear and trembling, and do observance to my mercy.
  • Falstaff. I have a whole school of tongues in this belly of
    and not a tongue of them all speaks any other word but my 2600
    An I had but a belly of any indifferency, I were simply the
    active fellow in Europe. My womb, my womb, my womb undoes me.
    Here comes our general.


  • Prince John. The heat is past; follow no further now.
    Call in the powers, good cousin Westmoreland.
    [Exit WESTMORELAND] 2610
    Now, Falstaff, where have you been all this while?
    When everything is ended, then you come.
    These tardy tricks of yours will, on my life,
    One time or other break some gallows' back.
  • Falstaff. I would be sorry, my lord, but it should be thus: I 2615
    knew yet but rebuke and check was the reward of valour. Do
    think me a swallow, an arrow, or a bullet? Have I, in my poor
    old motion, the expedition of thought? I have speeded hither
    the very extremest inch of possibility; I have found'red nine
    score and odd posts; and here, travel tainted as I am, have, 2620
    my pure and immaculate valour, taken Sir John Colville of the
    Dale,a most furious knight and valorous enemy. But what of
    He saw me, and yielded; that I may justly say with the
    fellow of Rome-I came, saw, and overcame.
  • Prince John. It was more of his courtesy than your deserving.
  • Falstaff. I know not. Here he is, and here I yield him; and I
    beseech your Grace, let it be book'd with the rest of this
    deeds; or, by the Lord, I will have it in a particular ballad 2635
    else, with mine own picture on the top on't, Colville kissing
    foot; to the which course if I be enforc'd, if you do not all
    show like gilt twopences to me, and I, in the clear sky of
    o'ershine you as much as the full moon doth the cinders of
    element, which show like pins' heads to her, believe not the 2640
    of the noble. Therefore let me have right, and let desert
  • Falstaff. Let it do something, my good lord, that may do me
    and call it what you will.
  • Falstaff. And a famous true subject took him.
  • Sir John Colville. I am, my lord, but as my betters are
    That led me hither. Had they been rul'd by me,
    You should have won them dearer than you have. 2660
  • Falstaff. I know not how they sold themselves; but thou, like a
    kind fellow, gavest thyself away gratis; and I thank thee for


  • Prince John. Send Colville, with his confederates,
    To York, to present execution.
    Blunt, lead him hence; and see you guard him sure.
    [Exeunt BLUNT and others] 2670
    And now dispatch we toward the court, my lords.
    I hear the King my father is sore sick.
    Our news shall go before us to his Majesty,
    Which, cousin, you shall bear to comfort him
    And we with sober speed will follow you. 2675
  • Falstaff. My lord, I beseech you, give me leave to go through
    Gloucestershire; and, when you come to court, stand my good
    pray, in your good report.
  • Prince John. Fare you well, Falstaff. I, in my condition, 2680
    Shall better speak of you than you deserve.

Exeunt all but FALSTAFF

  • Falstaff. I would you had but the wit; 'twere better than your
    dukedom. Good faith, this same young sober-blooded boy doth
    love me; nor a man cannot make him laugh—but that's no 2685
    he drinks no wine. There's never none of these demure boys
    to any proof; for thin drink doth so over-cool their blood,
    making many fish-meals, that they fall into a kind of male
    green-sickness; and then, when they marry, they get wenches.
    are generally fools and cowards-which some of us should be 2690
    but for inflammation. A good sherris-sack hath a two-fold
    operation in it. It ascends me into the brain; dries me there
    the foolish and dull and crudy vapours which environ it;
    apprehensive, quick, forgetive, full of nimble, fiery, and
    delectable shapes; which delivered o'er to the voice, the 2695
    which is the birth, becomes excellent wit. The second
    your excellent sherris is the warming of the blood; which
    cold and settled, left the liver white and pale, which is the
    badge of pusillanimity and cowardice; but the sherris warms
    and makes it course from the inwards to the parts extremes. 2700
    illumineth the face, which, as a beacon, gives warning to all
    rest of this little kingdom, man, to arm; and then the vital
    commoners and inland petty spirits muster me all to their
    captain, the heart, who, great and puff'd up with this
    doth any deed of courage—and this valour comes of sherris. 2705
    that skill in the weapon is nothing without sack, for that
    it a-work; and learning, a mere hoard of gold kept by a devil
    till sack commences it and sets it in act and use. Hereof
    it that Prince Harry is valiant; for the cold blood he did
    naturally inherit of his father, he hath, like lean, sterile, 2710
    bare land, manured, husbanded, and till'd, with excellent
    endeavour of drinking good and good store of fertile sherris,
    that he is become very hot and valiant. If I had a thousand
    the first humane principle I would teach them should be to
    forswear thin potations and to addict themselves to sack. 2715
    [Enter BARDOLPH]
    How now, Bardolph!
  • Bardolph. The army is discharged all and gone.
  • Falstaff. Let them go. I'll through Gloucestershire, and there
    I visit Master Robert Shallow, Esquire. I have him already 2740
    temp'ring between my finger and my thumb, and shortly will I
    with him. Come away. Exeunt
. previous scene      

Act IV, Scene 4

Westminster. The Jerusalem Chamber

      next scene .


  • Henry IV. Now, lords, if God doth give successful end
    To this debate that bleedeth at our doors,
    We will our youth lead on to higher fields,
    And draw no swords but what are sanctified.
    Our navy is address'd, our power connected, 2750
    Our substitutes in absence well invested,
    And everything lies level to our wish.
    Only we want a little personal strength;
    And pause us till these rebels, now afoot,
    Come underneath the yoke of government. 2755
  • Earl of Warwick. Both which we doubt not but your Majesty
    Shall soon enjoy.
  • Henry IV. Humphrey, my son of Gloucester,
    Where is the Prince your brother?
  • Henry IV. Is not his brother, Thomas of Clarence, with him?
  • Henry IV. Nothing but well to thee, Thomas of Clarence.
    How chance thou art not with the Prince thy brother?
    He loves thee, and thou dost neglect him, Thomas.
    Thou hast a better place in his affection 2770
    Than all thy brothers; cherish it, my boy,
    And noble offices thou mayst effect
    Of mediation, after I am dead,
    Between his greatness and thy other brethren.
    Therefore omit him not; blunt not his love, 2775
    Nor lose the good advantage of his grace
    By seeming cold or careless of his will;
    For he is gracious if he be observ'd.
    He hath a tear for pity and a hand
    Open as day for melting charity; 2780
    Yet notwithstanding, being incens'd, he is flint;
    As humorous as winter, and as sudden
    As flaws congealed in the spring of day.
    His temper, therefore, must be well observ'd.
    Chide him for faults, and do it reverently, 2785
    When you perceive his blood inclin'd to mirth;
    But, being moody, give him line and scope
    Till that his passions, like a whale on ground,
    Confound themselves with working. Learn this, Thomas,
    And thou shalt prove a shelter to thy friends, 2790
    A hoop of gold to bind thy brothers in,
    That the united vessel of their blood,
    Mingled with venom of suggestion—
    As, force perforce, the age will pour it in—
    Shall never leak, though it do work as strong 2795
    As aconitum or rash gunpowder.
  • Henry IV. Why art thou not at Windsor with him, Thomas?
  • Henry IV. And how accompanied? Canst thou tell that? 2800
  • Henry IV. Most subject is the fattest soil to weeds;
    And he, the noble image of my youth,
    Is overspread with them; therefore my grief
    Stretches itself beyond the hour of death. 2805
    The blood weeps from my heart when I do shape,
    In forms imaginary, th'unguided days
    And rotten times that you shall look upon
    When I am sleeping with my ancestors.
    For when his headstrong riot hath no curb, 2810
    When rage and hot blood are his counsellors
    When means and lavish manners meet together,
    O, with what wings shall his affections fly
    Towards fronting peril and oppos'd decay!
  • Earl of Warwick. My gracious lord, you look beyond him quite. 2815
    The Prince but studies his companions
    Like a strange tongue, wherein, to gain the language,
    'Tis needful that the most immodest word
    Be look'd upon and learnt; which once attain'd,
    Your Highness knows, comes to no further use 2820
    But to be known and hated. So, like gross terms,
    The Prince will, in the perfectness of time,
    Cast off his followers; and their memory
    Shall as a pattern or a measure live
    By which his Grace must mete the lives of other, 2825
    Turning past evils to advantages.
  • Henry IV. 'Tis seldom when the bee doth leave her comb
    In the dead carrion.
    Who's here? Westmoreland? 2830
  • Earl of Westmoreland. Health to my sovereign, and new happiness
    Added to that that am to deliver!
    Prince John, your son, doth kiss your Grace's hand.
    Mowbray, the Bishop Scroop, Hastings, and all,
    Are brought to the correction of your law. 2835
    There is not now a rebel's sword unsheath'd,
    But Peace puts forth her olive everywhere.
    The manner how this action hath been borne
    Here at more leisure may your Highness read,
    With every course in his particular. 2840
  • Henry IV. O Westmoreland, thou art a summer bird,
    Which ever in the haunch of winter sings
    The lifting up of day.
    [Enter HARCOURT]
    Look here's more news. 2845
  • Harcourt. From enemies heaven keep your Majesty;
    And, when they stand against you, may they fall
    As those that I am come to tell you of!
    The Earl Northumberland and the Lord Bardolph,
    With a great power of English and of Scots, 2850
    Are by the shrieve of Yorkshire overthrown.
    The manner and true order of the fight
    This packet, please it you, contains at large.
  • Henry IV. And wherefore should these good news make me sick?
    Will Fortune never come with both hands full, 2855
    But write her fair words still in foulest letters?
    She either gives a stomach and no food-
    Such are the poor, in health—or else a feast,
    And takes away the stomach—such are the rich
    That have abundance and enjoy it not. 2860
    I should rejoice now at this happy news;
    And now my sight fails, and my brain is giddy.
    O me! come near me now I am much ill.
  • Earl of Warwick. Be patient, Princes; you do know these fits
    Are with his Highness very ordinary.
    Stand from him, give him air; he'll straight be well.
  • Prince Thomas. No, no; he cannot long hold out these pangs. 2870
    Th' incessant care and labour of his mind
    Hath wrought the mure that should confine it in
    So thin that life looks through, and will break out.
  • Prince Humphrey. The people fear me; for they do observe
    Unfather'd heirs and loathly births of nature. 2875
    The seasons change their manners, as the year
    Had found some months asleep, and leapt them over.
  • Prince Thomas. The river hath thrice flow'd, no ebb between;
    And the old folk, Time's doting chronicles,
    Say it did so a little time before 2880
    That our great grandsire, Edward, sick'd and died.
  • Henry IV. I pray you take me up, and bear me hence
    Into some other chamber. Softly, pray. Exeunt 2885
. previous scene      

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