Internet Shakespeare Editions


[Scene 6]
Enter the young Prince [Henry] with Ned and Tom.
Prince Henry Come away, sirs. Gog's wounds, Ned, 485didst thou not see what a box on the ear I took my Lord Chief Justice?
Tom By Gog's blood, it did me good to see it. It made his teeth jar in his head.
Enter Sir John Oldcastle [Jockey].
490Prince Henry How now, Sir John Oldcastle. What news with you?
Jockey I am glad to see your grace at liberty. I was come, I, to visit you in prison.
Prince Henry To visit me! Didst thou not know that I am a 495prince's son? Why, 'tis enough for me to look into a prison, though I come not in myself. But here's such ado nowadays, here's prisoning, here's hanging, whipping, and the devil and all! But I tell you, sirs, when I am king we will have no such things. But, my lads, if the old king my father 500were dead, we would be all kings.
Jockey He is a good old man. God take him to His mercy the sooner.
Prince Henry But, Ned, so soon as I am king, the first thing I will do shall be to put my Lord Chief Justice out of office, and thou shalt be my lord chief justice of England.
505Ned Shall I be lord chief justice? By Gog's wounds, I'll be the bravest lord chief justice that ever was in England!
Prince Henry Then, Ned, I'll turn all these prisons into fence schools, and I will endow thee with them, with lands to 510maintain them withal. Then I will have a bout with my Lord Chief Justice! Thou shalt hang none but pick-purses and horse-stealers, and such base-minded villains. But that fellow that will stand by the highway side courageously with his sword and buckler and take a purse, that fellow 515give him commendations; besides that, send him to me and I will give him an annual pension out of my exchequer to maintain him all the days of his life.
Jockey Nobly spoken, Harry! We shall never have a merry world 'til the old king be dead.
520Ned But whither are ye going now?
Prince Henry To the court, for I hear say my father lies very sick.
Tom But I doubt he will not die.
Prince Henry Yet will I go thither, for the breath shall be no 525sooner out of his mouth but I will clap the crown on my head.
Jockey Will you go to the court with that cloak, so full of needles?
Prince Henry Cloak, eyelet-holes, needles, and all was of mine 530own devising, and therefore I will wear it.
Tom I pray you, my lord, what may be the meaning thereof?
Prince Henry Why, man, 'tis a sign that I stand upon thorns 'til the crown be on my head.
535Jockey Or that every needle might be a prick to their hearts that repine at your doings.
Prince Henry Thou say'st true, Jockey. But there's some will say, the young prince will be a well-toward young man, and all this gear, that I had as lief they would break my head 540with a pot as to say any such thing. But we stand prating here too long. I must needs speak with my father; therefore come away.
[Prince Henry, Ned, Tom, and Jockey cross the stage and knock repeatedly on a gate.]
[Enter Porter.]
Porter What a rapping keep you at the king's court gate?
545Prince Henry Here's one that must speak with the king.
Porter The king is very sick, and none must speak with him.
Prince Henry No, you rascal? Do you not know me?
Porter You are my lord the young prince.
550Prince Henry Then go and tell my father that I must and will speak with him.
Ned Shall I cut off his head?
[Ned draws his sword.]
Prince Henry No, no. Though I would help you in other places, yet I have nothing to do here. What, you are in my fa555ther's court!
[Exit Porter.]
Ned I will write him in my tables, for so soon as I am made lord chief justice, I will put him out of his office.
The trumpet sounds.
560Prince Henry Gog's wounds, sirs, the king comes. Let's all stand aside.
Enter the King [Henry IV] with the Lord of Exeter.
Henry IV And is it true, my lord, that my son is already sent to the Fleet? Now truly that man is more fitter to 565rule the realm than I, for by no means could I rule my son, and he by one word hath caused him to be ruled. O my son, my son, no sooner out of one prison but into another! I had thought, once, while I had lived to have seen this noble realm of England flourish by thee, my son, 570but now I see it goes to ruin and decay.
He weepeth. Enter [the] Lord of Oxford.
Oxford An please your grace, here is my lord your son, that cometh to speak with you. 575He sayeth he must and will speak with you.
Henry IV Who, my son Harry?
Oxford Ay, an please your majesty.
Henry IV I know wherefore he cometh, but look that none come with him.
580Oxford A very disordered company, and such as make very ill rule in your majesty's house.
Henry IV Well, let him come, but look that none come with him.
[Oxford] goeth [across the stage to address Prince Henry].
585Oxford An please your grace, my lord the king sends for you.
Prince Henry Come away, sirs. Let's go all together.
Oxford An please your grace, none must go with you.
Prince Henry Why, I must needs have them with me. 590Otherwise I can do my father no countenance. Therefore, come away.
Oxford The king your father commands there should none come.
Prince Henry Well, sirs, then be gone, 595and provide me three noise of musicians.
Exeunt Knights [Ned, Tom, and Jockey].
The Prince [crosses the stage to Henry IV] with a dagger in his hand.
Henry IV Come, my son, come on in God's name! I know wherefore thy coming is. 600O my son, my son, what cause hath ever been, that thou shouldst forsake me and follow this vile and reprobate company which abuseth youth so manifestly? O my son, thou knowest that these thy doings will end thy father's days. 605He weeps. Ay, so, so, my son, thou fearest not to approach the presence of thy sick father in that disguised sort. I tell thee, my son, that there is never a needle in thy cloak but it is a prick to my heart, and never an eyelet-hole but it is a hole to my soul, 610and wherefore thou bringest that dagger in thy hand I know not but by conjecture.
He weeps.
Prince Henry [Aside] My conscience accuseth me. [To Henry IV] Most sovereign lord and well-beloved father, to answer first to the last point. 615That is, whereas you conjecture that this hand and this dagger shall be armed against your life, no, know, my beloved father, far be the thoughts of your son –- "son," said I? An unworthy son for so good a father -- but far be the thoughts of any such pretended mischief, and I most hum620bly render it to your majesty's hand.[Prince Henry gives Henry IV the dagger.] And live, my lord and sovereign, forever and with your dagger arm show like vengeance upon the body of that – "your son," I was about to say and dare not, ah woe is me! -- therefore, that your wild slave. 'Tis not the crown that I come for, sweet father, 625because I am unworthy, and those vile and reprobate companions I abandon and utterly abolish their company forever. Pardon, sweet father, pardon: the least thing and most desired. And this ruffianly cloak I here tear from my back and sacrifice it to the devil, which is master of all mischief. 630Pardon me, sweet father, pardon me. Good my lord of Exeter, speak for me. Pardon me, pardon, good father. Not a word? Ah, he will not speak one word. Ah, Harry, now thrice unhappy Harry! But what shall I do? I will go take me into some solitary place and there lament my sinful life, and when 635I have done I will lay me down and die.
Exit [Prince Henry].
Henry IV Call him again. Call my son again.
[Enter Prince Henry.]
Prince Henry And doth my father call me again? Now, Harry, happy be the time that thy father calleth thee again.
[Prince Henry kneels.]
640Henry IV Stand up, my son, and do not think thy father but at the request of thee, my son, I will pardon thee. And God bless thee and make thee his servant.
[Prince Henry rises.]
Prince Henry Thanks, good my lord, and no doubt but this day, even this day, I am born new again.
645Henry IV Come, my son and lords, take me by the hands.
Exeunt omnes.