Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Rosemary Gaby
Not Peer Reviewed

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

The second part of
I had forestald this deere and deep rebuke,
2675Ere you with griefe had spoke, and I had heard
The course of it so far: there is your crowne:
And he that weares the crowne immortally,
Long gard it yours: if I affect it more,
Then as your honour, and as your renowne,
2680Let me no more from this obedience rise,
VVhich my most inward true and duteous spirit,
Teacheth this prostrate and exterior bending,
God witnesse with me. When I here came in,
And found no course of breath within your maiesty,
2685How cold it strooke my heart! if I do faine,
O let me in my present wildnesse die,
And neuer liue to shew th'incredulous world,
The noble change that I haue purposed.
Comming to looke on you, thinking you dead,
2690And dead almost, my liege, to thinke you were,
I spake vnto this crowne as hauing sence,
And thus vpbraided it: the care on thee depending,
Hath fed vpon the body of my father,
Therefore thou best of gold, art worse then gold,
2695Other lesse fine, in karrat more precious,
Preseruing life in medcine potable:
But thou, most fine, most honourd, most renown'd,
Hast eate thy bearer vp: thus my most royall liege,
2700Accusing it, I put it on my head,
To trie with it as with an enemy,
That had before my face murdered my father,
The quarrell of a true inheritour,
But if it did infect my bloud with ioy,
2705Or swell my thoughts to any straine of pride,
If any rebel or vaine spirit of mine,
Did with the least affection of a welcome,
Giue entertainement to the might of it,
Let God for euer keep it from my head,