Internet Shakespeare Editions


[Scene 8]
Enter the King with his Lords [Exeter and Oxford].
Henry IV Come, my lords, I see it boots me not to take any physic, for all the physicians in the world cannot cure me, no not one. But good my lords, remember my last 675will and testament concerning my son, for truly, my lords, I do not think but he will prove as valiant and victorious a king as ever reigned in England.
Exeter, [and] Oxford Let heaven and earth be witness between us, if we accomplish not thy will to the uttermost.
680Henry IV I give you most unfeigned thanks, good my lords. Draw the curtains and depart my chamber awhile and cause some music to rock me asleep.
Exeunt Lords [Exeter and Oxford].
[Music plays, and] [h]e sleepeth. Enter the Prince.
685Prince Henry Ah Harry, thrice-unhappy, that hath neglect so long from visiting of thy sick father. I will go. Nay, but why do I not go to the chamber of my sick father to comfort the melancholy soul of his body? "His soul," said I? Here is his body indeed, but his soul is whereas it needs no bo690dy. Now thrice-accursed Harry, that hath offended thy father so much, and could not I crave pardon for all! O my dying father, cursed be the day wherein I was born, and accursed be the hour wherein I was begotten! But what shall I do? If weeping tears which come too late may suffice the 695negligence neglected to some, I will weep day and night until the fountain be dry with weeping.
Exit [Prince Henry, with Henry IV's crown].
Enter Lord[s] of Exeter and Oxford.
Exeter Come easily, my lord, for waking of the king.
700Henry IV Now, my lords.
Oxford How doth your grace feel yourself?
Henry IV Somewhat better after my sleep. But, good my lords, take off my crown, remove my chair a little back, and set me right.
705Exeter, [and] Oxford An please your grace, the crown is taken away.
Henry IV The crown taken away! Good my lord of Oxford, go see who hath done this deed. [Exit Oxford]No doubt 'tis some vile traitor that hath done it to deprive my son. They that would do it now 710would seek to scrape and scrawl for it after my death.
Enter Lord of Oxford with the Prince [holding the crown].
Oxford Here, an please your grace, is my lord the young prince with the crown.
Henry IV Why, how now, my son? 715I had thought the last time I had you in schooling I had given you a lesson for all, and do you now begin again? Why tell me, my son, dost thou think the time so long 720that thou wouldst have it before the breath be out of my mouth?
Prince Henry Most sovereign lord and well-beloved father, I came into your chamber to comfort the melancholy soul of your body, and finding you at that time 725past all recovery and dead, to my thinking, God is my witness, and what should I do but with weeping tears lament the death of you, my father? And after that, seeing the crown, I took it. And tell me, my father, who might better take it than I 730after your death? But, seeing you live, I most humbly render it into your majesty's hands, and the happiest man alive that my father live. And live, my lord and father, forever.
[Prince Henry gives Henry IV the crown and kneels before him.]
Henry IV Stand up, my son. 735Thine answer hath sounded well in mine ears, for I must needs confess that I was in a very sound sleep and altogether unmindful of thy coming. But come near, my son, and let me put thee in possession whilst I live, 740that none deprive thee of it after my death.
Prince Henry Well may I take it at your majesty's hands, but it shall never touch my head so long as my father lives.
He [Prince Henry] taketh the crown.
Henry IV God give thee joy, my son. 745God bless thee and make thee His servant and send thee a prosperous reign, for God knows, my son, how hardly I came by it and how hardly I have maintained it.
Prince Henry Howsoever you came by it, I know not, 750but now I have it from you, and from you I will keep it. And he that seeks to take the crown from my head, let him look that his armor be thicker than mine, or I will pierce him to the heart, were it harder than brass or bullion.
755Henry IV Nobly spoken, and like a king. Now trust me, my lords, I fear not but my son will be as warlike and victorious a prince as ever reigned in England.
Exeter, [and] Oxford His former life shows no less.
760Henry IV Well, my lords, I know not whether it be for sleep or drawing near of drowsy summer of death, but I am very much given to sleep. Therefore, good my lords and my son, draw the curtains, depart my chamber, 765and cause some music to rock me asleep.
[Exeter, Oxford, and Prince Henry draw the curtains.]
[Music plays.]
Exeunt omnes [Exeter, Oxford, and Prince Henry].
The King dieth.