Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Not Peer Reviewed

Henry IV, Part 2 (Folio 1 1623)



The second Part of King Henry the Fourth.
95

Then get thee gone, and digge my graue thy selfe,
And bid the merry Bels ring to thy eare
2645That thou art Crowned, not that I am dead.
Let all the Teares, that should bedew my Hearse
Be drops of Balme, to sanctifie thy head:
Onely compound me with forgotten dust.
Giue that, which gaue thee life, vnto the Wormes:
2650Plucke downe my Officers, breake my Decrees;
For now a time is come, to mocke at Forme.
Henry the fift is Crown'd: Vp Vanity,
Downe Royall State: All you sage Counsailors, hence:
And to the English Court, assemble now
2655From eu'ry Region, Apes of Idlenesse.
Now neighbor-Confines, purge you of your Scum:
Haue you a Ruffian that swill sweare? drinke? dance?
Reuell the night? Rob? Murder? and commit
The oldest sinnes, the newest kinde of wayes?
2660Be happy, he will trouble you no more:
England, shall double gill'd, his trebble guilt.
England, shall giue him Office, Honor, Might:
For the Fift Harry, from curb'd License pluckes
The muzzle of Restraint; and the wilde Dogge
2665Shall flesh his tooth in euery Innocent.
O my poore Kingdome (sicke, with ciuill blowes)
When that my Care could not with-hold thy Ryots,
What wilt thou do, when Ryot is thy Care?
O, thou wilt be a Wildernesse againe,
2670Peopled with Wolues (thy old Inhabitants.
Prince. O pardon me (my Liege)
But for my Teares,
The most Impediments vnto my Speech,
I had fore-stall'd this deere, and deepe Rebuke,
2675Ere you (with greefe) had spoke, and I had heard
The course of it so farre. There is your Crowne,
And he that weares the Crowne immortally,
Long guard it yours. If I affect it more,
Then as your Honour, and as your Renowne,
2680Let me no more from this Obedience rise,
Which my most true, and inward duteous Spirit
Teacheth this prostrate, and exteriour bending.
Heauen witnesse with me, when I heere came in,
And found no course of breath within your Maiestie,
2685How cold it strooke my heart. If I do faine,
O let me, in my present wildenesse, dye,
And neuer liue, to shew th'incredulous World,
The Noble change that I haue purposed.
Comming to looke on you, thinking you dead,
2690(And dead almost (my Liege) to thinke you were)
I spake vnto the Crowne (as hauing sense)
And thus vpbraided it. The Care on thee depending,
Hath fed vpon the body of my Father,
Therefore, thou best of Gold, art worst of Gold.
2695Other, lesse fine in Charract, is more precious,
Preseruing life, in Med'cine potable:
But thou, most Fine, most Honour'd, most Renown'd,
Hast eate the Bearer vp.
Thus (my Royall Liege)
2700Accusing it, I put it on my Head,
To try with it (as with an Enemie,
That had before my face murdred my Father)
The Quarrell of a true Inheritor.
But if it did infect my blood with Ioy,
2705Or swell my Thoughts, to any straine of Pride,
If any Rebell, or vaine spirit of mine,
Did, with the least Affection of a Welcome,
Giue entertainment to the might of it,

Let heauen, for euer, keepe it from my head,
2710And make me, as the poorest Vassaile is,
That doth with awe, and terror kneele to it.
King. O my Sonne!
Heauen put it in thy minde to take it hence,
That thou might'st ioyne the more, thy Fathers loue,
2715Pleading so wisely, in excuse of it.
Come hither Harrie, sit thou by my bedde,
And heare (I thinke, the very latest Counsell
That euer I shall breath: Heauen knowes, my Sonne)
By what by-pathes, and indirect crook'd-wayes
2720I met this Crowne: and I my selfe know well
How troublesome it sate vpon my head.
To thee, it shall descend with better Quiet,
Better Opinion, better Confirmation:
For all the soyle of the Atchieuement goes
2725With me, into the Earth. It seem'd in mee,
But as an Honour snatch'd with boyst'rous hand,
And I had many liuing, to vpbraide
My gaine of it, by their Assistances,
Which dayly grew to Quarrell, and to Blood-shed,
2730Wounding supposed Peace.
All these bold Feares,
Thou seest (with perill) I haue answered:
For all my Reigne, hath beene but as a Scene
Acting that argument. And now my death
2735Changes the Moode: For what in me, was purchas'd,
Falles vpon thee, in a more Fayrer sort.
So thou, the Garland wear'st successiuely.
Yet, though thou stand'st more sure, then I could do,
Thou art not firme enough, since greefes are greene:
2740And all thy Friends, which thou must make thy Friends
Haue but their stings, and teeth, newly tak'n out,
By whose fell working, I was first aduanc'd,
And by whose power, I well might lodge a Feare
To be againe displac'd. Which to auoyd,
2745I cut them off: and had a purpose now
To leade out many to the Holy Land;
Least rest, and lying still, might make them looke
Too neere vnto my State.
Therefore (my Harrie)
2750Be it thy course to busie giddy Mindes
With Forraigne Quarrels: that Action hence borne out,
May waste the memory of the former dayes.
More would I, but my Lungs are wasted so,
That strength of Speech is vtterly deni'de mee.
2755How I came by the Crowne, O heauen forgiue:
And grant it may, with thee, in true peace liue.
Prince. My gracious Liege:
You wonne it, wore it: kept it, gaue it me,
Then plaine and right must my possession be;
2760Which I, with more, then with a Common paine,
'Gainst all the World, will rightfully maintaine.

Enter Lord Iohn of Lancaster,
and Warwicke.

King. Looke, looke,
2765Heere comes my Iohn of Lancaster:
Iohn. Health, Peace, and Happinesse,
To my Royall Father.
King. Thou bring'st me happinesse and Peace
(Sonne Iohn:
2770But health (alacke) with youthfull wings is flowne
From this bare, wither'd Trunke. Vpon thy sight
My worldly businesse makes a period.
Where