Internet Shakespeare Editions


Jump to line
Help on texts

About this text

  • Title: Henry IV, Part 2 (Quarto 1, 1598)
  • Editor: Rosemary Gaby

  • Copyright Rosemary Gaby. This text may be freely used for educational, non-profit purposes; for all other uses contact the Editor.
    Author: William Shakespeare
    Editor: Rosemary Gaby
    Not Peer Reviewed

    Henry IV, Part 2 (Quarto 1, 1598)

    Henry the fourth.
    Whiles I was busie for the common wealth,
    Your Highnesse pleased to forget my place,
    The maiestie and power of law and iustice,
    The image of the King whom I presented,
    2965And strooke me in my very seate of iudgement,
    Whereon, (as an offendor to your father,)
    I gaue bold way to my authority,
    And did commit you: if the deed were ill,
    Be you contented, wearing now the garland,
    2970To haue a sonne set your decrees at naught?
    To plucke downe Iustice from your awful bench?
    To trip the course of law, and blunt the sword,
    That guards the peace and safetie of your person?
    Nay more, to spurne at your most royall image,
    2975And mocke your workings in a second body?
    Question your royall thoughts, make the case yours,
    Be now the father, and propose a sonne,
    Heare your owne dignity so much prophan'd,
    See your most dreadfull lawes so loosely slighted,
    2980Behold your selfe so by a sonne disdained:
    And then imagine me taking your part,
    And in your power soft silencing your sonne,
    After this cold considerance sentence me,
    And as you are a King, speake in your state,
    2985What I haue done that misbecame my place,
    My person, or my lieges soueraigntie.
    King Henry You are right Iustice, and you weigh this well,
    Therefore still beare the Ballance and the Sword,
    And I do wish your honors may encrease,
    2990Til you do liue to see a sonne of mine
    Offend you, and obey you as I did:
    So shall I liue to speake my fathers words,
    Happie am I that haue a man so bold,
    That dares do iustice on my proper sonne:
    2995And not lesse happie, hauing such a sonne,
    That would deliuer vp his greatnesse so,