Enter the Archbishop Of York, Mowbray, Lord Hastings, and others
Archbishop Of York What is this forest call’d?
Hastings ’Tis Gaultree Forest, an’t shall please your grace.
Archbishop Of York Here stand, my lords; and send discoverers forth
To know the numbers of our enemies.
Hastings We have sent forth already.
Archbishop Of York ’Tis well done.
My friends and brethren in these great affairs,
I must acquaint you that I have received
New-dated letters from Northumberland;
Their cold intent, tenor and substance, thus:
Here doth he wish his person, with such powers
As might hold sortance with his quality,
The which he could not levy; whereupon
He is retired, to ripe his growing fortunes,
To Scotland: and concludes in hearty prayers
That your attempts may overlive the hazard
And fearful melting of their opposite.
Mowbray Thus do the hopes we have in him touch ground
And dash themselves to pieces.
Enter a Messenger
Hastings Now, what news?
Messenger West of this forest, scarcely off a mile,
In goodly form comes on the enemy;
And, by the ground they hide, I judge their number
Upon or near the rate of thirty thousand.
Mowbray The just proportion that we gave them out
Let us sway on and face them in the field.
Archbishop Of York What well-appointed leader fronts us here?
Mowbray I think it is my Lord of Westmoreland.
Westmoreland Health and fair greeting from our general,
The prince, Lord John and Duke of Lancaster.
Archbishop Of York Say on, my Lord of Westmoreland, in peace:
What doth concern your coming?
Westmoreland Then, my lord,
Unto your grace do I in chief address
The substance of my speech. If that rebellion
Came like itself, in base and abject routs,
Led on by bloody youth, guarded with rags,
And countenanced by boys and beggary,
I say, if damn’d commotion so appear’d,
In his true, native and most proper shape,
You, reverend father, and these noble lords
Had not been here, to dress the ugly form
Of base and bloody insurrection
With your fair honours. You, lord archbishop,
Whose see is by a civil peace maintained,
Whose beard the silver hand of peace hath touch’d,
Whose learning and good letters peace hath tutor’d,
Whose white investments figure innocence,
The dove and very blessed spirit of peace,
Wherefore do you so ill translate ourself
Out of the speech of peace that bears such grace,
Into the harsh and boisterous tongue of war;
Turning your books to graves, your ink to blood,
Your pens to lances and your tongue divine
To a trumpet and a point of war?
Archbishop Of York Wherefore do I this? so the question stands.
Briefly to this end: we are all diseased,
And with our surfeiting and wanton hours
Have brought ourselves into a burning fever,
And we must bleed for it; of which disease
Our late king, Richard, being infected, died.
But, my most noble Lord of Westmoreland,
I take not on me here as a physician,
Nor do I as an enemy to peace
Troop in the throngs of military men;
But rather show awhile like fearful war,
To diet rank minds sick of happiness
And purge the obstructions which begin to stop
Our very veins of life. Hear me more plainly.
I have in equal balance justly weigh’d
What wrongs our arms may do, what wrongs we suffer,
And find our griefs heavier than our offences.
We see which way the stream of time doth run,
And are enforced from our most quiet there
By the rough torrent of occasion;
And have the summary of all our griefs,
When time shall serve, to show in articles;
Which long ere this we offer’d to the king,
And might by no suit gain our audience:
When we are wrong’d and would unfold our griefs,
We are denied access unto his person
Even by those men that most have done us wrong.
The dangers of the days but newly gone,
Whose memory is written on the earth
With yet appearing blood, and the examples
Of every minute’s instance, present now,
Hath put us in these ill-beseeming arms,
Not to break peace or any branch of it,
But to establish here a peace indeed,
Concurring both in name and quality.
Westmoreland When ever yet was your appeal denied?
Wherein have you been galled by the king?
What peer hath been suborn’d to grate on you,
That you should seal this lawless bloody book
Of forged rebellion with a seal divine
And consecrate commotion’s bitter edge?
Archbishop Of York My brother general, the commonwealth,
To brother born an household cruelty,
I make my quarrel in particular.
Westmoreland There is no need of any such redress;
Or if there were, it not belongs to you.
Mowbray Why not to him in part, and to us all
That feel the bruises of the days before,
And suffer the condition of these times
To lay a heavy and unequal hand
Upon our honours?
Westmoreland O, my good Lord Mowbray,
Construe the times to their necessities,
And you shall say indeed, it is the time,
And not the king, that doth you injuries.
Yet for your part, it not appears to me
Either from the king or in the present time
That you should have an inch of any ground
To build a grief on: were you not restored
To all the Duke of Norfolk’s signories,
Your noble and right well remember’d father’s?
Mowbray What thing, in honour, had my father lost,
That need to be revived and breathed in me?
The king that loved him, as the state stood then,
Was force perforce compell’d to banish him:
And then that Harry Bolingbroke and he,
Being mounted and both roused in their seats,
Their neighing coursers daring of the spur,
Their armed staves in charge, their beavers down,
Their eyes of fire sparking through sights of steel
And the loud trumpet blowing them together,
Then, then, when there was nothing could have stay’d
My father from the breast of Bolingbroke,
O when the king did throw his warder down,
His own life hung upon the staff he threw;
Then threw he down himself and all their lives
That by indictment and by dint of sword
Have since miscarried under Bolingbroke.
Westmoreland You speak, Lord Mowbray, now you know not what.
The Earl of Hereford was reputed then
In England the most valiant gentlemen:
Who knows on whom fortune would then have smiled?
But if your father had been victor there,
He ne’er had borne it out of Coventry:
For all the country in a general voice
Cried hate upon him; and all their prayers and love
Were set on Hereford, whom they doted on
And bless’d and graced indeed, more than the king.
But this is mere digression from my purpose.
Here come I from our princely general
To know your griefs; to tell you from his grace
That he will give you audience; and wherein
It shall appear that your demands are just,
You shall enjoy them, every thing set off
That might so much as think you enemies.
Mowbray But he hath forced us to compel this offer;
And it proceeds from policy, not love.
Westmoreland Mowbray, you overween to take it so;
This offer comes from mercy, not from fear:
For, lo! within a ken our army lies,
Upon mine honour, all too confident
To give admittance to a thought of fear.
Our battle is more full of names than yours,
Our men more perfect in the use of arms,
Our armour all as strong, our cause the best;
Then reason will our heart should be as good
Say you not then our offer is compell’d.
Mowbray Well, by my will we shall admit no parley.
Westmoreland That argues but the shame of your offence:
A rotten case abides no handling.
Hastings Hath the Prince John a full commission,
In very ample virtue of his father,
To hear and absolutely to determine
Of what conditions we shall stand upon?
Westmoreland That is intended in the general’s name:
I muse you make so slight a question.
Archbishop Of York Then take, my Lord of Westmoreland, this schedule,
For this contains our general grievances:
Each several article herein redress’d,
All members of our cause, both here and hence,
That are insinew’d to this action,
Acquitted by a true substantial form
And present execution of our wills
To us and to our purposes confined,
We come within our awful banks again
And knit our powers to the arm of peace.
Westmoreland This will I show the general. Please you, lords,
In sight of both our battles we may meet;
And either end in peace, which God so frame!
Or to the place of difference call the swords
Which must decide it.
Archbishop Of York My lord, we will do so.
Mowbray There is a thing within my bosom tells me
That no conditions of our peace can stand.
Hastings Fear you not that: if we can make our peace
Upon such large terms and so absolute
As our conditions shall consist upon,
Our peace shall stand as firm as rocky mountains.
Mowbray Yea, but our valuation shall be such
That every slight and false-derived cause,
Yea, every idle, nice and wanton reason
Shall to the king taste of this action;
That, were our royal faiths martyrs in love,
We shall be winnow’d with so rough a wind
That even our corn shall seem as light as chaff
And good from bad find no partition.
Archbishop Of York No, no, my lord. Note this; the king is weary
Of dainty and such picking grievances:
For he hath found to end one doubt by death
Revives two greater in the heirs of life,
And therefore will he wipe his tables clean
And keep no tell-tale to his memory
That may repeat and history his loss
To new remembrance; for full well he knows
He cannot so precisely weed this land
As his misdoubts present occasion:
His foes are so enrooted with his friends
That, plucking to unfix an enemy,
He doth unfasten so and shake a friend:
So that this land, like an offensive wife
That hath enraged him on to offer strokes,
As he is striking, holds his infant up
And hangs resolved correction in the arm
That was uprear’d to execution.
Hastings Besides, the king hath wasted all his rods
On late offenders, that he now doth lack
The very instruments of chastisement:
So that his power, like to a fangless lion,
May offer, but not hold.
Archbishop Of York ’Tis very true:
And therefore be assured, my good lord marshal,
If we do now make our atonement well,
Our peace will, like a broken limb united,
Grow stronger for the breaking.
Mowbray Be it so.
Here is return’d my Lord of Westmoreland.
Westmoreland The prince is here at hand: pleaseth your lordship
To meet his grace just distance ’tween our armies.
Mowbray Your grace of York, in God’s name then, set forward.
Archbishop Of York Before, and greet his grace: my lord, we come.
Enter, from one side, Mowbray, attended; afterwards the Archbishop Of York, Hastings, and others: from the other side, Prince John of Lancaster, and Westmoreland; Officers, and others with them
Lancaster You are well encounter’d here, my cousin Mowbray:
Good day to you, gentle lord archbishop;
And so to you, Lord Hastings, and to all.
My Lord of York, it better show’d with you
When that your flock, assembled by the bell,
Encircled you to hear with reverence
Your exposition on the holy text
Than now to see you here an iron man,
Cheering a rout of rebels with your drum,
Turning the word to sword and life to death.
That man that sits within a monarch’s heart,
And ripens in the sunshine of his favour,
Would he abuse the countenance of the king,
Alack, what mischiefs might he set abrooch
In shadow of such greatness! With you, lord bishop,
It is even so. Who hath not heard it spoken
How deep you were within the books of God?
To us the speaker in his parliament;
To us the imagined voice of God himself;
The very opener and intelligencer
Between the grace, the sanctities of heaven
And our dull workings. O, who shall believe
But you misuse the reverence of your place,
Employ the countenance and grace of heaven,
As a false favourite doth his prince’s name,
In deeds dishonourable? You have ta’en up,
Under the counterfeited zeal of God,
The subjects of his substitute, my father,
And both against the peace of heaven and him
Have here up-swarm’d them.
Archbishop Of York Good my Lord of Lancaster,
I am not here against your father’s peace;
But, as I told my lord of Westmoreland,
The time misorder’d doth, in common sense,
Crowd us and crush us to this monstrous form,
To hold our safety up. I sent your grace
The parcels and particulars of our grief,
The which hath been with scorn shoved from the court,
Whereon this Hydra son of war is born;
Whose dangerous eyes may well be charm’d asleep
With grant of our most just and right desires,
And true obedience, of this madness cured,
Stoop tamely to the foot of majesty.
Mowbray If not, we ready are to try our fortunes
To the last man.
Hastings And though we here fall down,
We have supplies to second our attempt:
If they miscarry, theirs shall second them;
And so success of mischief shall be born
And heir from heir shall hold this quarrel up
Whiles England shall have generation.
Lancaster You are too shallow, Hastings, much too shallow,
To sound the bottom of the after-times.
Westmoreland Pleaseth your grace to answer them directly
How far forth you do like their articles.
Lancaster I like them all, and do allow them well,
And swear here, by the honour of my blood,
My father’s purposes have been mistook,
And some about him have too lavishly
Wrested his meaning and authority.
My lord, these griefs shall be with speed redress’d;
Upon my soul, they shall. If this may please you,
Discharge your powers unto their several counties,
As we will ours: and here between the armies
Let’s drink together friendly and embrace,
That all their eyes may bear those tokens home
Of our restored love and amity.
Archbishop Of York I take your princely word for these redresses.
Lancaster I give it you, and will maintain my word:
And thereupon I drink unto your grace.
Hastings Go, captain, and deliver to the army
This news of peace: let them have pay, and part:
I know it will well please them. Hie thee, captain.
Archbishop Of York To you, my noble Lord of Westmoreland.
Westmoreland I pledge your grace; and, if you knew what pains
I have bestow’d to breed this present peace,
You would drink freely: but my love to ye
Shall show itself more openly hereafter.
Archbishop Of York I do not doubt you.
Westmoreland I am glad of it.
Health to my lord and gentle cousin, Mowbray.
Mowbray You wish me health in very happy season;
For I am, on the sudden, something ill.
Archbishop Of York Against ill chances men are ever merry;
But heaviness foreruns the good event.
Westmoreland Therefore be merry, coz; since sudden sorrow
Serves to say thus, ‘some good thing comes to-morrow.’
Archbishop Of York Believe me, I am passing light in spirit.
Mowbray So much the worse, if your own rule be true.
Lancaster The word of peace is render’d: hark, how they shout!
Mowbray This had been cheerful after victory.
Archbishop Of York A peace is of the nature of a conquest;
For then both parties nobly are subdued,
And neither party loser.
Lancaster Go, my lord,
And let our army be discharged too.
And, good my lord, so please you, let our trains
March, by us, that we may peruse the men
We should have coped withal.
Archbishop Of York Go, good Lord Hastings,
And, ere they be dismissed, let them march by.
Lancaster I trust, lords, we shall lie to-night together.
Now, cousin, wherefore stands our army still?
Westmoreland The leaders, having charge from you to stand,
Will not go off until they hear you speak.
Lancaster They know their duties.
Hastings My lord, our army is dispersed already;
Like youthful steers unyoked, they take their courses
East, west, north, south; or, like a school broke up,
Each hurries toward his home and sporting-place.
Westmoreland Good tidings, my Lord Hastings; for the which
I do arrest thee, traitor, of high treason:
And you, lord archbishop, and you, Lord Mowbray,
Of capitol treason I attach you both.
Mowbray Is this proceeding just and honourable?
Westmoreland Is your assembly so?
Archbishop Of York Will you thus break your faith?
Lancaster I pawn’d thee none:
I promised you redress of these same grievances
Whereof you did complain; which, by mine honour,
I will perform with a most Christian care.
But for you, rebels, look to taste the due
Meet for rebellion and such acts as yours.
Most shallowly did you these arms commence,
Fondly brought here and foolishly sent hence.
Strike up our drums, pursue the scatter’d stray:
God, and not we, hath safely fought to-day.
Some guard these traitors to the block of death,
Treason’s true bed and yielder up of breath.
Alarum. Excursions. Enter Falstaff and Colevile, meeting
Falstaff What’s your name, sir? of what condition are you, and of what place, I pray?
Colevile I am a knight, sir, and my name is Colevile of the dale.
Falstaff Well, then, Colevile is your name, a knight is your degree, and your place the dale: Colevile shall be still your name, a traitor your degree, and the dungeon your place, a place deep enough; so shall you be still Colevile of the dale.
Colevile Are not you Sir John Falstaff?
Falstaff As good a man as he, sir, whoe’er I am. Do ye yield, sir? or shall I sweat for you? if I do sweat, they are the drops of thy lovers, and they weep for thy death: therefore rouse up fear and trembling, and do observance to my mercy.
Colevile I think you are Sir John Falstaff, and in that thought yield me.
Falstaff I have a whole school of tongues in this belly of mine, and not a tongue of them all speaks any other word but my name. An I had but a belly of any indifference, I were simply the most active fellow in Europe: my womb, my womb, my womb, undoes me. Here comes our general.
Enter Prince John Of Lancaster, Westmoreland, Blunt, and others
Lancaster The heat is past; follow no further now:
Call in the powers, good cousin Westmoreland.
Now, Falstaff, where have you been all this while?
When every thing is ended, then you come:
These tardy tricks of yours will, on my life,
One time or other break some gallows’ back.
Falstaff I would be sorry, my lord, but it should be thus: I never knew yet but rebuke and cheque was the reward of valour. Do you think me a swallow, an arrow, or a bullet? have I, in my poor and old motion, the expedition of thought? I have speeded hither with the very extremest inch of possibility; I have foundered nine score and odd posts: and here, travel-tainted as I am, have in my pure and immaculate valour, taken Sir John Colevile of the dale, a most furious knight and valorous enemy. But what of that? he saw me, and yielded; that I may justly say, with the hook-nosed fellow of Rome, ‘I came, saw, and overcame.’
Lancaster It was more of his courtesy than your deserving.
Falstaff I know not: here he is, and here I yield him: and I beseech your grace, let it be booked with the rest of this day’s deeds; or, by the Lord, I will have it in a particular ballad else, with mine own picture on the top on’t, Colevile kissing my foot: to the which course if I be enforced, if you do not all show like gilt twopences to me, and I in the clear sky of fame o’ershine you as much as the full moon doth the cinders of the element, which show like pins’ heads to her, believe not the word of the noble: therefore let me have right, and let desert mount.
Lancaster Thine’s too heavy to mount.
Falstaff Let it shine, then.
Lancaster Thine’s too thick to shine.
Falstaff Let it do something, my good lord, that may do me good, and call it what you will.
Lancaster Is thy name Colevile?
Colevile It is, my lord.
Lancaster A famous rebel art thou, Colevile.
Falstaff And a famous true subject took him.
Colevile I am, my lord, but as my betters are
That led me hither: had they been ruled by me,
You should have won them dearer than you have.
Falstaff I know not how they sold themselves: but thou, like a kind fellow, gavest thyself away gratis; and I thank thee for thee.
Lancaster Now, have you left pursuit?
Westmoreland Retreat is made and execution stay’d.
Lancaster Send Colevile with his confederates
To York, to present execution:
Blunt, lead him hence; and see you guard him sure.
Exeunt Blunt and others with Colevile
And now dispatch we toward the court, my lords:
I hear the king my father is sore sick:
Our news shall go before us to his majesty,
Which, cousin, you shall bear to comfort him,
And we with sober speed will follow you.
Falstaff My lord, I beseech you, give me leave to go
Through Gloucestershire: and, when you come to court,
Stand my good lord, pray, in your good report.
Lancaster Fare you well, Falstaff: I, in my condition,
Shall better speak of you than you deserve.
Exeunt all but Falstaff
Falstaff I would you had but the wit: ’twere better than your dukedom. Good faith, this same young sober- blooded boy doth not love me; nor a man cannot make him laugh; but that’s no marvel, he drinks no wine. There’s never none of these demure boys come to any proof; for thin drink doth so over-cool their blood, and making many fish-meals, that they fall into a kind of male green-sickness; and then when they marry, they get wenches: they are generally fools and cowards; which some of us should be too, but for inflammation. A good sherris sack hath a two-fold operation in it. It ascends me into the brain; dries me there all the foolish and dull and curdy vapours which environ it; makes it apprehensive, quick, forgetive, full of nimble fiery and delectable shapes, which, delivered o’er to the voice, the tongue, which is the birth, becomes excellent wit. The second property of your excellent sherris is, the warming of the blood; which, before cold and settled, left the liver white and pale, which is the badge of pusillanimity and cowardice; but the sherris warms it and makes it course from the inwards to the parts extreme: it illumineth the face, which as a beacon gives warning to all the rest of this little kingdom, man, to arm; and then the vital commoners and inland petty spirits muster me all to their captain, the heart, who, great and puffed up with this retinue, doth any deed of courage; and this valour comes of sherris. So that skill in the weapon is nothing without sack, for that sets it a-work; and learning a mere hoard of gold kept by a devil, till sack commences it and sets it in act and use. Hereof comes it that Prince Harry is valiant; for the cold blood he did naturally inherit of his father, he hath, like lean, sterile and bare land, manured, husbanded and tilled with excellent endeavour of drinking good and good store of fertile sherris, that he is become very hot and valiant. If I had a thousand sons, the first humane principle I would teach them should be, to forswear thin potations and to addict themselves to sack.
How now Bardolph?
Bardolph The army is discharged all and gone.
Falstaff Let them go. I’ll through Gloucestershire; and there will I visit Master Robert Shallow, esquire: I have him already tempering between my finger and my thumb, and shortly will I seal with him. Come away.
Enter King Henry IV, the Princes Thomas of Clarence and Humphrey of Gloucester, Warwick, and others
King Henry IV 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.
Our navy is address’d, our power collected,
Our substitutes in absence well invested,
And every thing lies level to our wish:
Only, we want a little personal strength;
And pause us, till these rebels, now afoot,
Come underneath the yoke of government.
Warwick Both which we doubt not but your majesty
Shall soon enjoy.
King Henry IV Humphrey, my son of Gloucester,
Where is the prince your brother?
Gloucester I think he’s gone to hunt, my lord, at Windsor.
King Henry IV And how accompanied?
Gloucester I do not know, my lord.
King Henry IV Is not his brother, Thomas of Clarence, with him?
Gloucester No, my good lord; he is in presence here.
Clarence What would my lord and father?
King Henry IV Nothing but well to thee, Thomas of Clarence.
How chance thou art not with the prince thy brother?
He 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,
Between 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:
He hath a tear for pity and a hand
Open as day for melting charity:
Yet notwithstanding, being incensed, he’s flint,
As humorous as winter and as sudden
As flaws congealed in the spring of day.
His temper, therefore, must be well observed:
Chide him for faults, and do it reverently,
When thou perceive his blood inclined to mirth;
But, being moody, give him line and scope,
Till that his passions, like a whale on ground,
Confound 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 —
As, force perforce, the age will pour it in —
Shall never leak, though it do work as strong
As aconitum or rash gunpowder.
Clarence I shall observe him with all care and love.
King Henry IV Why art thou not at Windsor with him, Thomas?
Clarence He is not there to-day; he dines in London.
King Henry IV And how accompanied? canst thou tell that?
Clarence With Poins, and other his continual followers.
King Henry IV Most subject is the fattest soil to weeds;
And he, the noble image of my youth,
Is overspread with them: therefore my grief
Stretches itself beyond the hour of death:
The blood weeps from my heart when I do shape
In forms imaginary the unguided days
And rotten times that you shall look upon
When I am sleeping with my ancestors.
For when his headstrong riot hath no curb,
When rage and hot blood are his counsellors,
When means and lavish manners meet together,
O, with what wings shall his affections fly
Towards fronting peril and opposed decay!
Warwick 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 look’d upon and learn’d; which once attain’d,
Your 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,
By which his grace must mete the lives of others,
Turning past evils to advantages.
King Henry IV ’Tis seldom when the bee doth leave her comb
In the dead carrion.
Who’s here? Westmoreland?
Westmoreland 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 Scroop, Hastings and all
Are brought to the correction of your law;
There is not now a rebel’s sword unsheath’d
But peace puts forth her olive every where.
The manner how this action hath been borne
Here at more leisure may your highness read,
With every course in his particular.
King Henry IV O Westmoreland, thou art a summer bird,
Which ever in the haunch of winter sings
The lifting up of day.
Look, here’s more news.
Harcourt From enemies heaven 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,
With 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.
King Henry IV And wherefore should these good news make me sick?
Will fortune never come with both hands full,
But write her fair words still in foulest letters?
She either gives a stomach and no food;
Such are the poor, in health; or else a feast
And 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.
Gloucester Comfort, your majesty!
Clarence O my royal father!
Westmoreland My sovereign lord, cheer up yourself, look up.
Warwick Be patient, princes; you do know, these fits
Are with his highness very ordinary.
Stand from him. Give him air; he’ll straight be well.
Clarence No, no, he cannot long hold out these pangs:
The incessant care and labour of his mind
Hath wrought the mure that should confine it in
So thin that life looks through and will break out.
Gloucester The people fear me; for they do observe
Unfather’d heirs and loathly births of nature:
The seasons change their manners, as the year
Had found some months asleep and leap’d them over.
Clarence The river hath thrice flow’d, 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.
Warwick Speak lower, princes, for the king recovers.
Gloucester This apoplexy will certain be his end.
King Henry IV I pray you, take me up, and bear me hence
Into some other chamber: softly, pray.
King Henry IV lying on a bed: Clarence, Gloucester, Warwick, and others in attendance
King Henry IV Let there be no noise made, my gentle friends;
Unless some dull and favourable hand
Will whisper music to my weary spirit.
Warwick Call for the music in the other room.
King Henry IV Set me the crown upon my pillow here.
Clarence His eye is hollow, and he changes much.
Warwick Less noise, less noise!
Enter Prince Henry
Prince Henry Who saw the Duke of Clarence?
Clarence I am here, brother, full of heaviness.
Prince Henry How now! rain within doors, and none abroad!
How doth the king?
Gloucester Exceeding ill.
Prince Henry Heard he the good news yet?
Tell it him.
Gloucester He alter’d much upon the hearing it.
Prince Henry If he be sick with joy, he’ll recover without physic.
Warwick Not so much noise, my lords: sweet prince, speak low; The king your father is disposed to sleep.
Clarence Let us withdraw into the other room.
Warwick Will’t please your grace to go along with us?
Prince Henry No; I will sit and watch here by the king.
Exeunt all but Prince Henry
Why doth the crown lie there upon his pillow,
Being so troublesome a bedfellow?
O polish’d 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
As 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 armour worn in heat of day,
That scalds with safety. By his gates of breath
There 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
So 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,
Which, as immediate as thy place and blood,
Derives itself to me. Lo, here it sits,
Which God shall guard: and put the world’s whole strength
Into one giant arm, it shall not force
This lineal honour from me: this from thee
Will I to mine leave, as ’tis left to me.
King Henry IV Warwick! Gloucester! Clarence!
Re-enter Warwick, Gloucester, Clarence, and the rest
Clarence Doth the king call?
Warwick What would your majesty? How fares your grace?
King Henry IV Why did you leave me here alone, my lords?
Clarence We left the prince my brother here, my liege,
Who undertook to sit and watch by you.
King Henry IV The Prince of Wales! Where is he? let me see him:
He is not here.
Warwick This door is open; he is gone this way.
Gloucester He came not through the chamber where we stay’d.
King Henry IV Where is the crown? who took it from my pillow?
Warwick When we withdrew, my liege, we left it here.
King Henry IV 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.
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, their brains with care,
Their bones with industry;
For this they have engrossed and piled up
The canker’d heaps of strange-achieved gold;
For this they have been thoughtful to invest
Their sons with arts and martial exercises:
When, like the bee, culling from every flower
The virtuous sweets,
Our thighs pack’d with wax, our mouths with honey,
We bring it to the hive, and, like the bees,
Are murdered for our pains. This bitter taste
Yield his engrossments to the ending father.
Now, where is he that will not stay so long
Till his friend sickness hath determined me?
Warwick My lord, I found the prince in the next room,
Washing with kindly tears his gentle cheeks,
With such a deep demeanor in great sorrow
That tyranny, which never quaff’d but blood,
Would, by beholding him, have wash’d his knife
With gentle eye-drops. He is coming hither.
King Henry IV But wherefore did he take away the crown?
Re-enter Prince Henry
Lo, where he comes. Come hither to me, Harry.
Depart the chamber, leave us here alone.
Exeunt Warwick and the rest
Prince Henry I never thought to hear you speak again.
King Henry IV 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 honours
Before thy hour be ripe? O foolish youth!
Thou seek’st the greatness that will o’erwhelm 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
Were thine without offence; and at my death
Thou hast seal’d up my expectation:
Thy life did manifest thou lovedst me not,
And thou wilt have me die assured of it.
Thou hidest a thousand daggers in thy thoughts,
Which 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
That thou art crowned, 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.
Pluck down my officers, break my decrees;
For now a time is come to mock at form:
Harry the Fifth is crown’d: up, vanity!
Down, royal state! all you sage counsellors, hence!
And to the English court assemble now,
From 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?
Be happy, he will trouble you no more;
England shall double gild his treble guilt,
England shall give him office, honour, might;
For the fifth Harry from curb’d licence plucks
The muzzle of restraint, and the wild dog
Shall 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,
Peopled with wolves, thy old inhabitants!
Prince Henry O, pardon me, my liege! but for my tears,
The moist impediments unto my speech,
I had forestall’d this dear and deep rebuke
Ere 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 honour and as your renown,
Let 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,
How cold it struck my heart! If I do feign,
O, let me in my present wildness die
And never live to show the incredulous world
The noble change that I have purposed!
Coming to look on you, thinking you dead,
And 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 worst of gold:
Other, less fine in carat, is more precious,
Preserving life in medicine potable;
But thou, most fine, most honour’d: most renown’d,
Hast eat thy bearer up.’ Thus, my most royal liege,
Accusing it, I put it on my head,
To try with it, as with an enemy
That had before my face murder’d my father,
The quarrel of a true inheritor.
But if it did infect my blood with joy,
Or 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
And make me as the poorest vassal is
That doth with awe and terror kneel to it!
King Henry IV O my son,
God put it in thy mind to take it hence,
That thou mightst win the more thy father’s love,
Pleading 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 by-paths and indirect crook’d ways
I met this crown; and I myself know well
How troublesome it sat upon my head.
To thee it shall descend with bitter quiet,
Better opinion, better confirmation;
For all the soil of the achievement goes
With me into the earth. It seem’d in me
But as an honour snatch’d 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,
Wounding supposed peace: all these bold fears
Thou see’st with peril I have answered;
For all my reign hath been but as a scene
Acting that argument: and now my death
Changes the mode; 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;
And all my 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,
I 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,
Be 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.
How I came by the crown, O God forgive;
And grant it may with thee in true peace live!
Prince Henry My gracious liege,
You won it, wore it, kept it, gave it me;
Then plain and right must my possession be:
Which I with more than with a common pain
’Gainst all the world will rightfully maintain.
Enter Lord John of Lancaster
King Henry IV Look, look, here comes my John of Lancaster.
Lancaster Health, peace, and happiness to my royal father!
King Henry IV Thou bring’st me happiness and peace, son John;
But health, alack, with youthful wings is flown
From this bare wither’d trunk: upon thy sight
My worldly business makes a period.
Where is my Lord of Warwick?
Prince Henry My Lord of Warwick!
Enter Warwick, and others
King Henry IV Doth any name particular belong
Unto the lodging where I first did swoon?
Warwick ’Tis call’d Jerusalem, my noble lord.
King Henry IV Laud be to God! even there my life must end.
It 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.
Last updated Tuesday, August 25, 2015 at 14:13