Internet Shakespeare Editions


[Scene 3]
Enter Henry the Fourth with the Earl of Exeter and the Lord of Oxford.
240Oxford An't please your majesty, here is my lord mayor and the sheriff of London to speak with your majesty.
Henry IV Admit them to our presence.
Enter the Mayor and the Sheriff.
Now, my good lord mayor of London, 245the cause of my sending for you at this time is to tell you of a matter which I have learned of my council. Herein I understand that you have committed my son to prison without our leave and licence. What, although he be a rude youth and likely to give occasion, yet you might have con250sidered that he is a prince, and my son, and not to be haled to prison by every subject.
Lord Mayor May it please your majesty to give us leave to tell our tale?
Henry IV Or else, God forbid, otherwise you might 255think me an unequal judge, having more affection to my son than to any rightful judgment.
Lord Mayor Then I do not doubt but we shall rather deserve commendations at your majesty's hands than any anger.
Henry IV Go to, say on.
260Lord Mayor Then, if it please your majesty, this night betwixt two and three of the clock in the morning, my lord the young prince with a very disordered company came to the old tavern in Eastcheap, and whether it was that their music liked them not or whether they were over265come with wine, I know not, but they drew their swords, and into the street they went, and some took my lord the young prince's part and some took the other, but betwixt them there was such a bloody fray for the space of half an hour that neither watchmen nor any other could stay them 270'til my brother the sheriff of London and I were sent for, and at the last with much ado we stayed them, but it was long first, which was a great disquieting to all your loving subjects thereabouts. And then, my good lord, we knew not whether your grace had sent them to try us, whether we 275would do justice, or whether it were of their own voluntary will or not, we cannot tell. And therefore in such a case we knew not what to do, but for our own safeguard we sent him to ward, where he wanteth nothing that is fit for his grace and your majesty's son. And thus most hum280bly beseeching your majesty to think of our answer.
Henry IV Stand aside until we have further deliberated on your answer.
Exit Mayor [with Sheriff].
Henry IV Ah, Harry, Harry, now thrice-accursed Harry, 285that hath gotten a son which with grief will end his father's days. O my son, a prince thou art, ay, a prince indeed -- and to deserve imprisonment! And well have they done, and like faithful subjects. 290[To Exeter and Oxford]Discharge them and let them go.
Exeter I beseech your grace, be good to my lord the young prince.
Henry IV Nay, nay, 'tis no matter. Let him alone.
Oxford Perchance the mayor and the sheriff have 295been too precise in this matter.
Henry IV No, they have done like faithful subjects. I will go myself to discharge them and let them go.
Exeunt.