Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Rosemary Gaby
Not Peer Reviewed

Henry IV, Part 2 (Quarto 1, 1598).


Henry the fourth.
Then all thy brothers, cherrish it my boy:
And noble offices thou maist effect
Of mediation after I am dead,
2400Betweene his greatnesse and thy other brethren:
Therefore omit him not, blunt not his loue,
Nor loose the good aduantage of his grace,
By seeming cold, or carelesse of his will,
For he is gracious if he be obseru'de,
2405He hath a teare for pittie, and a hand,
Open as day for meeting charitie,
Yet notwithstanding being incenst, he is flint,
As humorous as winter, and as sodaine
As flawes congealed in the spring of day:
2410His temper therefore must be well obseru'd,
Chide him for faults, and do it reuerently,
When you perceiue his bloud inclind to mirth:
But being moody, giue him time and scope,
Till that his passions, like a whale on ground
2415Confound themselues with working, learne this Thomas,
And thou shalt proue a shelter to thy friends,
A hoope of gold to binde thy brothers in,
That the vnited vessell of their bloud,
(Mingled with venome of suggestion,
2420As force perforce, the age will powre it in,)
Shall neuer leake, though it doe worke as strong,
As Aconitum, or rash gunpowder.
Cla. I shall obserue him with all care and loue.
King Why art thou not at Winsore with him Thomas?
Tho. He is not there to day, he dines in London.
King And how accompanied?
2430Tho. With Poines, and other his continuall followers.
King Most subiect is the fattest soyle to weeds,
And he, the noble image of my youth,
Is ouerspread with them, therefore my griefe
2435Stretches it selfe beyond the howre of death:
The bloud weepes from my heart when I do shape,
H2
In