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  • Title: Henry IV, Part 2 (Modern)
  • 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    Not Peer Reviewed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 (Modern)

    2370Enter the king, Warwick, Thomas Duke of Clarence, Humphrey [Duke] of Gloucester, [and attendants].
    Now, lords, if god doth give successful end
    To this debate that bleedeth at our doors,
    We will our youth lead on to higher fields,
    And draw no swords but what are sanctified.
    2375Our navy is addressed, our power collected,
    Our substitutes in absence well invested,
    And everything lies level to our wish;
    Only we want a little personal strength,
    And pause us till these rebels now afoot
    2380Come underneath the yoke of government.
    Both which we doubt not but your majesty
    Shall soon enjoy.
    Humphrey, my son of Gloucester,
    Where is the prince your brother?
    I think he's gone to hunt, my lord, at Windsor.
    And how accompanied?
    I do not know, my lord.
    Is not his brother Thomas of Clarence with him?
    No, my good lord, he is in presence here.
    What would my lord and father?
    Nothing but well to thee, Thomas of Clarence,
    How chance thou art not with the prince thy brother?
    2395He loves thee, and thou dost neglect him, Thomas.
    Thou hast a better place in his affection
    Than all thy brothers. Cherish it, my boy,
    And noble offices thou mayst effect
    Of mediation after I am dead,
    2400Between his greatness and thy other brethren.
    Therefore omit him not, blunt not his love,
    Nor lose the good advantage of his grace
    By seeming cold or careless of his will;
    For he is gracious if he be observed.
    2405He hath a tear for pity and a hand
    Open as day for meting charity.
    Yet, notwithstanding, being incensed, he is flint,
    As humorous as winter, and as sudden
    As flaws congealèd in the spring of day.
    2410His temper therefore must be well observed.
    Chide him for faults, and do it reverently,
    When you perceive his blood inclined to mirth;
    But being moody, give him time and scope
    Till that his passions, like a whale on ground
    2415Confound themselves with working. Learn this, Thomas,
    And thou shalt prove a shelter to thy friends,
    A hoop of gold to bind thy brothers in,
    That the united vessel of their blood,
    Mingled with venom of suggestion --
    2420As force perforce the age will pour it in --
    Shall never leak, though it do work as strong
    As aconitum or rash gunpowder.
    I shall observe him with all care and love.
    Why art thou not at Windsor with him, Thomas?
    He is not there today; he dines in London.
    And how accompanied?
    With Poins, and other his continual followers.
    Most subject is the fattest soil to weeds,
    And he, the noble image of my youth,
    Is overspread with them; therefore my grief
    2435Stretches itself beyond the hour of death.
    The blood weeps from my heart when I do shape
    In forms imaginary th'unguided days
    And rotten times that you shall look upon,
    When I am sleeping with my ancestors;
    2440For when his headstrong riot hath no curb,
    When rage and hot blood are his counsellors,
    When means and lavish manners meet together,
    Oh, with what wings shall his affections fly
    Towards fronting peril and opposed decay?
    My gracious lord, you look beyond him quite.
    The prince but studies his companions,
    Like a strange tongue wherein to gain the language.
    'Tis needful that the most immodest word
    Be looked upon and learnt, which once attained,
    2450Your highness knows, comes to no further use
    But to be known and hated. So, like gross terms,
    The prince will, in the perfectness of time,
    Cast off his followers and their memory
    Shall as a pattern or a measure live
    2455By which his grace must mete the lives of other,
    Turning past evils to advantages.
    'Tis seldom when the bee doth leave her comb
    In the dead carrion. Who's here? Westmorland?
    Enter Westmorland.
    Health to my sovereign, and new happiness
    Added to that that I am to deliver.
    Prince John your son doth kiss your grace's hand.
    Mowbray, the Bishop Scrope, Hastings, and all
    2465Are brought to the correction of your law.
    There is not now a rebel's sword unsheathed,
    But peace puts forth her olive everywhere.
    The manner how this action hath been borne
    Here at more leisure may your highness read,
    2470With every course in his particular.
    O Westmorland, thou art a summer bird,
    Which ever in the haunch of winter sings
    The lifting up of day.
    Enter Harcourt.
    Look here's more news.
    From enemies, heavens keep your majesty,
    And when they stand against you, may they fall
    As those that I am come to tell you of.
    The Earl Northumberland and the Lord Bardolph,
    2480With a great power of English and of Scots,
    Are by the Sheriff of Yorkshire overthrown,
    The manner and true order of the fight
    This packet, please it you, contains at large.
    And wherefore should these good news make me sick?
    Will fortune never come with both hands full,
    But set her fair words still in foulest terms?
    She either gives a stomach and no food --
    Such are the poor, in health -- or else a feast
    2490And takes away the stomach -- such are the rich
    That have abundance and enjoy it not.
    I should rejoice now at this happy news
    And now my sight fails, and my brain is giddy.
    O me! Come near me now, I am much ill.
    Comfort, your majesty!
    O my royal father!
    My sovereign lord, cheer up yourself, look up.
    Be patient princes, you do know these fits
    2500Are with his highness very ordinary.
    Stand from him, give him air, he'll straight be well.
    No, no, he cannot long hold out these pangs,
    Th'incessant care and labor of his mind
    2505Hath wrought the mure that should confine it in
    So thin that life looks through and will break out.
    The people fear me, for they do observe
    Unfathered heirs, and loathly births of nature.
    The seasons change their manners, as the year
    2510Had found some months asleep and leaped them over.
    The river hath thrice flowed, no ebb between,
    And the old folk, time's doting chronicles,
    Say it did so a little time before
    That our great grandsire Edward sick'd and died.
    Speak lower, princes, for the king recovers.
    This apoplexy will certain be his end.
    I pray you take me up and bear me hence
    Into some other chamber.
    [The king is laid on a bed.]
    2520Let there be no noise made, my gentle friends,
    Unless some dull and favorable hand
    Will whisper music to my weary spirit.
    Call for the music in the other room.
    Set me the crown upon my pillow here.
    [The crown is placed on the pillow. The king sleeps.]
    His eye is hollow and he changes much.
    Less noise, less noise.
    Enter [Prince] Harry.
    Who saw the Duke of Clarence?
    I am here brother, full of heaviness.
    How now, rain within doors, and none abroad?
    How doth the king?
    Exceeding ill.
    Heard he the good news yet? Tell it him.
    He altered much upon the hearing it.
    If he be sick with joy, he'll recover without physic.
    Not so much noise, my lords. Sweet prince, speak low.
    The king your father is disposed to sleep.
    Let us withdraw into the other room.
    Will't please your grace to go along with us?
    No, I will sit and watch here by the king.
    Why doth the crown lie there upon his pillow,
    2545Being so troublesome a bedfellow?
    O polished perturbation! Golden care,
    That keep'st the ports of slumber open wide
    To many a watchful night! Sleep with it now,
    Yet not so sound and half so deeply sweet
    2550As he whose brow, with homely biggen bound,
    Snores out the watch of night. O majesty!
    When thou dost pinch thy bearer, thou dost sit
    Like a rich armor worn in heat of day
    That scald'st with safety. By his gates of breath
    2555There lies a downy feather which stirs not.
    Did he suspire, that light and weightless down
    Perforce must move. My gracious lord, my father!
    This sleep is sound indeed. This is a sleep,
    That from this golden rigol hath divorced
    2560So many English kings. Thy due from me
    Is tears and heavy sorrows of the blood,
    Which nature, love, and filial tenderness
    Shall, O dear father, pay thee plenteously.
    My due from thee is this imperial crown,
    2565Which, as immediate from thy place and blood,
    Derives itself to me. Lo where it sits,
    [The prince puts the crown on his head.]
    Which god shall guard; and, put the world's whole strength
    Into one giant arm, it shall not force
    This lineal honor from me. This from thee
    2570Will I to mine leave, as 'tis left to me.
    [The king awakes.]
    Warwick, Gloucester, Clarence!
    Enter Warwick, Gloucester, Clarence.
    Doth the king call?
    What would your majesty?
    Why did you leave me here alone, my lords?
    We left the prince my brother here, my liege,
    Who undertook to sit and watch by you.
    The Prince of Wales? Where is he? Let me see him.
    2580.1He is not here.
    This door is open; he is gone this way.
    He came not through the chamber where we stayed.
    Where is the crown? Who took it from my pillow?
    When we withdrew, my liege, we left it here.
    The prince hath ta'en it hence. Go seek him out.
    Is he so hasty that he doth suppose
    My sleep my death?
    Find him, my lord of Warwick, chide him hither.
    [Exit Warwick.]
    This part of his conjoins with my disease,
    And helps to end me. See, sons, what things you are,
    How quickly nature falls into revolt,
    When gold becomes her object?
    For this, the foolish over-careful fathers
    Have broke their sleep with thoughts,
    2600Their brains with care, their bones with industry.
    For this, they have engrossèd and piled up,
    The cankered heaps of strange-achievèd gold.
    For this they have been thoughtful to invest
    Their sons with arts and martial exercises,
    2605When like the bee tolling from every flower,
    Our thighs, packed with wax, our mouths with honey,
    We bring it to the hive, and like the bees,
    Are murdered for our pains. This bitter taste
    Yields his engrossments to the ending father.
    Enter Warwick.
    Now where is he that will not stay so long,
    Till his friend sickness hath determined me?
    My lord, I found the prince in the next room,
    2615Washing with kindly tears his gentle cheeks,
    With such a deep demeanour in great sorrow,
    That tyranny, which never quaffed but blood,
    Would, by beholding him, have washed his knife
    With gentle eye-drops. He is coming hither.
    But wherefore did he take away the crown?
    Enter [Prince] Harry.
    Lo where he comes. Come hither to me Harry,
    Depart the chamber, leave us here alone.
    Exeunt [all but the king and the prince].
    I never thought to hear you speak again.
    Thy wish was father, Harry, to that thought.
    I stay too long by thee, I weary thee.
    Dost thou so hunger for mine empty chair
    That thou wilt needs invest thee with my honors
    Before thy hour be ripe? O foolish youth,
    2630Thou seekst the greatness that will overwhelm thee.
    Stay but a little, for my cloud of dignity
    Is held from falling with so weak a wind
    That it will quickly drop. My day is dim.
    Thou hast stolen that, which after some few hours
    2635Were thine without offence, and at my death
    Thou hast sealed up my expectation.
    Thy life did manifest thou lovedst me not,
    And thou wilt have me die assured of it.
    Thou hidst a thousand daggers in thy thoughts,
    2640Whom thou hast whetted on thy stony heart
    To stab at half an hour of my life.
    What, canst thou not forbear me half an hour?
    Then get thee gone and dig my grave thyself,
    And bid the merry bells ring to thine ear
    2645That thou art crownèd, not that I am dead.
    Let all the tears that should bedew my hearse
    Be drops of balm to sanctify thy head.
    Only compound me with forgotten dust.
    Give that which gave thee life unto the worms,
    2650Pluck down my officers, break my decrees,
    For now a time is come to mock at form:
    Harry the fifth is crowned. Up vanity,
    Down royal state! All you sage counsellors, hence!
    And to the English court assemble now
    2655From every region apes of idleness.
    Now, neighbour confines, purge you of your scum.
    Have you a ruffian that will swear, drink, dance,
    Revel the night, rob, murder, and commit
    The oldest sins, the newest kind of ways?
    2660Be happy, he will trouble you no more.
    England shall double gild his treble guilt.
    England shall give him office, honor, might;
    For the fifth Harry from curbed licence plucks
    The muzzle of restraint, and the wild dog
    2665Shall flesh his tooth on every innocent.
    O my poor kingdom, sick with civil blows.
    When that my care could not withhold thy riots,
    What wilt thou do when riot is thy care?
    O thou wilt be a wilderness again,
    2670Peopled with wolves, thy old inhabitants.
    O pardon me, my liege; but for my tears,
    The moist impediments unto my speech,
    I had forestalled this dear and deep rebuke,
    2675Ere you with grief had spoke and I had heard
    The course of it so far. There is your crown;
    And he that wears the crown immortally,
    Long guard it yours. If I affect it more
    Than as your honor and as your renown,
    2680Let me no more from this obedience rise,
    Which my most inward true and duteous spirit
    Teacheth this prostrate and exterior bending.
    God witness with me, when I here came in
    And found no course of breath within your majesty,
    2685How cold it struck my heart! If I do fain,
    O let me in my present wildness die,
    And never live to show th'incredulous world
    The noble change that I have purposèd.
    Coming to look on you, thinking you dead,
    2690And dead almost, my liege, to think you were,
    I spake unto this crown as having sense,
    And thus upbraided it: "The care on thee depending,
    Hath fed upon the body of my father,
    Therefore, thou best of gold art worse than gold.
    2695Other, less fine in carat, is more precious,
    Preserving life in medicine potable,
    But thou, most fine, most honored, most renowned,
    Hast eat thy bearer up." Thus, my most royal liege,
    2700Accusing it, I put it on my head,
    To try with it as with an enemy
    That had before my face murdered my father,
    The quarrel of a true inheritor.
    But if it did infect my blood with joy,
    2705Or swell my thoughts to any strain of pride,
    If any rebel or vain spirit of mine
    Did with the least affection of a welcome
    Give entertainment to the might of it,
    Let god for ever keep it from my head,
    2710And make me as the poorest vassal is,
    That doth with awe and terror kneel to it.
    God put in thy mind to take it hence,
    That thou mightst win the more thy father's love,
    2715Pleading so wisely in excuse of it.
    Come hither, Harry, sit thou by my bed,
    And hear, I think, the very latest counsel
    That ever I shall breathe. God knows, my son,
    By what bypaths and indirect crooked ways
    2720I met this crown; and I myself know well
    How troublesome it sat upon my head.
    To thee it shall descend with better quiet,
    Better opinion, better confirmation;
    For all the soil of the achievement goes
    2725With me into the earth. It seemed in me
    But as an honor snatched with boisterous hand,
    And I had many living to upbraid
    My gain of it by their assistances,
    Which daily grew to quarrel and to bloodshed,
    2730Wounding supposèd peace. All these bold fears
    Thou seest with peril I have answered;
    For all my reign hath been but as a scene
    Acting that argument; and now my death
    2735Changes the mood, for what in me was purchased
    Falls upon thee in a more fairer sort,
    So thou the garland wear'st successively.
    Yet though thou stand'st more sure than I could do,
    Thou art not firm enough, since griefs are green
    2740And all thy friends -- which thou must make thy friends --
    Have but their stings and teeth newly ta'en out,
    By whose fell working I was first advanced
    And by whose power I well might lodge a fear
    To be again displaced; which to avoid
    2745I cut them off, and had a purpose now
    To lead out many to the Holy Land,
    Lest rest and lying still might make them look
    Too near unto my state. Therefore, my Harry,
    2750Be it thy course to busy giddy minds
    With foreign quarrels, that action hence borne out
    May waste the memory of the former days.
    More would I, but my lungs are wasted so
    That strength of speech is utterly denied me.
    2755How I came by the crown, O god forgive,
    And grant it may with thee in true peace live.
    You won it, wore it, kept it, gave it me,
    Then plain and right must my possession be,
    2760Which I with more than with a common pain
    'Gainst all the world will rightfully maintain.
    Enter Lancaster.
    Look, look, here comes my John of Lancaster.
    Health, peace, and happiness to my royal father.
    Thou bring'st me happiness and peace, son John,
    2770But health, alack, with youthful wings is flown
    From this bare withered trunk. Upon thy sight
    My worldly business makes a period.
    Where is my lord of Warwick?
    My lord of Warwick!
    [Enter Warwick.]
    Doth any name particular belong
    Unto the lodging where I first did swoon?
    'Tis called Jerusalem, my noble lord.
    Laud be to god, even there my life must end.
    2780It hath been prophesied to me many years,
    I should not die, but in Jerusalem,
    Which vainly I supposed the Holy Land:
    But bear me to that chamber. There I'll lie,
    In that Jerusalem shall Harry die.