Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Not Peer Reviewed

Henry IV, Part 2 (Folio 1 1623)


1420
Actus Tertius. Scena Prima.
Enter the King, with a Page.
King. Goe, call the Earles of Surrey, and of Warwick:
But ere they come, bid them ore-reade these Letters,
And well consider of them: make good speed.
Exit.
1425How many thousand of my poorest Subiects
Are at this howre asleepe? O Sleepe, O gentle Sleepe,
Natures soft Nurse, how haue I frighted thee,
That thou no more wilt weigh my eye-lids downe,
And steepe my Sences in Forgetfulnesse?
1430Why rather (Sleepe) lyest thou in smoakie Cribs,
Vpon vneasie Pallads stretching thee,
And huisht with bussing Night, flyes to thy slumber,
Then in the perfum'd Chambers of the Great?
Vnder the Canopies of costly State,
1435And lull'd with sounds of sweetest Melodie?
O thou dull God, why lyest thou with the vilde,
In loathsome Beds, and leau'st the Kingly Couch,
A Watch-case, or a common Larum-Bell?
Wilt thou, vpon the high and giddie Mast,
1440Seale vp the Ship-boyes Eyes, and rock his Braines,
In Cradle of the rude imperious Surge,
And in the visitation of the Windes,
Who take the Ruffian Billowes by the top,
Curling their monstrous heads, and hanging them
1445With deaff'ning Clamors in the slipp'ry Clouds,
That with the hurley, Death it selfe awakes?
Canst thou (O partiall Sleepe) giue thy Repose
To the wet Sea-Boy, in an houre so rude:
And in the calmest, and most stillest Night,
1450With all appliances, and meanes to boote,
Deny it to a King? Then happy Lowe, lye downe,
Vneasie lyes the Head, that weares a Crowne.
Enter Warwicke and Surrey.
War. Many good-morrowes to your Maiestie.
1455King. Is it good-morrow, Lords?
War. 'Tis One a Clock, and past.
King. Why then good-morrow to you all (my Lords:)
Haue you read o're the Letters that I sent you?
War. We haue (my Liege.)
1460King. Then you perceiue the Body of our Kingdome,
How foule it is: what ranke Diseases grow,
And with what danger, neere the Heart of it?
War. It is but as a Body, yet distemper'd,
Which to his former strength may be restor'd,
1465With good aduice, and little Medicine:
My Lord Northumberland will soone be cool'd.
King. Oh Heauen, that one might read the Book of Fate,
And see the reuolution of the Times
Make Mountaines leuell, and the Continent
1470(Wearie of solide firmenesse) melt it selfe
Into the Sea: and other Times, to see
The beachie Girdle of the Ocean
Too wide for Neptunes hippes; how Chances mocks
And Changes fill the Cuppe of Alteration
1475With diuers Liquors. 'Tis not tenne yeeres gone,
Since Richard, and Northumberland, great friends,
Did feast together; and in two yeeres after,
Were they at Warres. It is but eight yeeres since,
This Percie was the man, neerest my Soule,
1480Who, like a Brother, toyl'd in my Affaires,
And layd his Loue and Life vnder my foot:
Yea, for my sake, euen to the eyes of Richard
Gaue him defiance. But which of you was by
(You Cousin Neuil, as I may remember)
1485When Richard, with his Eye, brim-full of Teares,
(Then check'd, and rated by Northumberland)
Did speake these words (now prou'd a Prophecie:)
Northumberland, thou Ladder, by the which
My Cousin Bullingbrooke ascends my Throne:
1490(Though then, Heauen knowes, I had no such intent,
But that necessitie so bow'd the State,
That I and Greatnesse were compell'd to kisse:)
The Time shall come (thus did hee follow it)
The Time will come, that foule Sinne gathering head,
1495Shall breake into Corruption: so went on,
Fore-telling this same Times Condition,
And the diuision of our Amitie.
War. There is a Historie in all mens Liues,
Figuring the nature of the Times deceas'd:
1500The which obseru'd, a man may prophecie
With a neere ayme, of the maine chance of things,
As yet not come to Life, which in their Seedes
And weake beginnings lye entreasured:
Such things become the Hatch and Brood of Time;
1505And by the necessarie forme of this,
King Richard might create a perfect guesse,
That great Northumberland, then false to him,
Would of that Seed, grow to a greater falsenesse,
Which should not finde a ground to roote vpon,
1510Vnlesse on you.
King. Are these things then Necessities?
Then let vs meete them like Necessities;
And that same word, euen now cryes out on vs:
They say, the Bishop and Northumberland
1515Are fiftie thousand strong.
War. It cannot be (my Lord:)
Rumor doth double, like the Voice, and Eccho,
The numbers of the feared. Please it your Grace
To goe to bed, vpon my Life (my Lord)
1520The Pow'rs that you alreadie haue sent forth,
Shall bring this Prize in very easily.
To comfort you the more, I haue receiu'd
A certaine instance, that Glendour is dead.
Your Maiestie hath beene this fort-night ill,
1525And these vnseason'd howres perforce must adde
Vnto your Sicknesse.
King. I will take your counsaile:
And were these inward Warres once out of hand,
Wee would (deare Lords) vnto the Holy-Land.
1530
Exeunt.