Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Rosemary Gaby
Not Peer Reviewed

Henry IV, Part 1 (Quarto 1, 1598)

The Historie.
Of all the Court and princes of my blood,
1855The hope and expectation of thy time
Is ruind, and the soule of euery man
Prophetically do forethinke thy fall:
Had I so lauish of my presence beene,
So common hackneid in the eyes of men,
1860So stale and cheape to vulgar companie,
Opinion that did helpe me to the crowne,
Had still kept loyall to possession,
And left me in reputelesse banishment,
A fellow of no marke nor likelihoode.
1865By being seldome seene, I could not stirre
But like a Comet I was wondred at,
That men would tell their children this is he:
Others would say, where, which is Bullingbrooke?
And then I stole all curtesie from heauen,
1870And drest my selfe in such humilitie
That I did plucke allegiance from mens hearts,
Loud shouts, and salutations from their mouths,
Euen in the presence of the crowned king.
Thus did I keepe my person fresh and new,
1875My presence like a roabe pontificall,
Nere seene but wondred at, and so my state
Seldome, but sumptuous shewd like a feast,
And wan by rarenesse such solemnitie.
The skipping king, he ambled vp and downe,
1880With shallow iesters, and rash bauin wits,
Soone kindled, and soone burnt, carded his state,
Mingled his royaltie with capring fooles,
Had his great name prophaned with their scornes,
And gaue his countenance against his name
1885To laugh at gibing boyes, and stand the push
Of euery beardlesse vaine comparatiue,
Grew a companion to the common streetes,
Enfeoft himselfe to popularitie,
That being dayly swallowed by mens eyes,
1890They surfetted with honie, and began to loath
The taste of sweetnesse, whereof a little