Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Rosemary Gaby
Not Peer Reviewed

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


Henry the fourth.
2710And make me as the poorest vassaile is,
That doth with aw and terror kneele to it.
King God put in thy mind to take it hence,
That thou mightst win the more thy fathers loue,
2715Pleading so wisely in excuse of it:
Come hither Harry, sit thou by my bed,
And heare (I thinke) the very latest counsaile
That euer I shal breathe. God knowes (my sonne)
By what by-paths, and indirect crookt waies,
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 al the soyle of the atchieuement goes,
2725With me into the earth, it seemd in me,
But as an honor snatcht with boistrous hand,
And I had many liuing to vpbraide
My gaine of it, by their assistances,
Which daily grew to quarrell and to bloudshed,
2730Wounding supposed peace: all these bold feares
Thou seest with perill I haue answerd:
For all my raigne hath beene but as a Scene,
Acting that argument: and now my death
2735Changes the mood, for what in me was purchast,
Fals vpon thee in a more fairer sort.
So thou the garland wearst successiuely,
Yet though thou standst more sure then I could do,
Thou art not firme enough, since griefes are greene,
2740And all thy friends which thou must make thy friends,
Haue but their stings and teeth newly tane out:
By whose fell working I was first aduaunst,
And by whose power I well might lodge a feare
To be againe displacde: which to auoyde,
2745I cut them off, and had a purpose, now
To leade out manie to the Holy Land,
Lest rest, and lying stil, might make them looke,
I2
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