William Shakespeare's King Henry the Fourth, Part II in the complete original text.
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The Second Part of King Henry the Fourth

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Act IV. Scene IV.

Scene IV.—Westminster. The Jerusalem


K. Hen. Now, lords, if God doth give success-
ful 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 everything 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.
War. Both which we doubt not but your
Shall soon enjoy,
K. Ben. Humphrey, my son of Gloucester,
Where is the prince your brother?
Glo. I think he's gone to hunt, my lord, at
K. Hen. And how accompanied?
Glo. I do not know, my lord.
K. Hen. Is not his brother Thomas of Cla-
rence with him?
Glo. No, my good lord; he is in presence
Cla. What would my lord and father?
K. Hen. Nothing but well to thee, Thomas of
How chance thou art not with the prince thy
He loves thee, and thou dost neglect him,
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 observ'd:
He hath a tear for pity and a hand
Open as day for melting charity;
Yet, notwithstanding, being incens'd, he's flint;
As humorous as winter, and as sudden
As flaws congealed in the spring of day.
His temper therefore must be well observ'd:
Chide him for faults, and do It reverently,
When you perceive his blood inclin'd 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,
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.
Cla. I shall observe him with all care and
K. Hen. Why art thou not at Windsor with
him, Thomas?
Cla. He is not there to-day; he dines in
K. Hen. And how accompanied? canst thou
tell that?
Cla. With Poins and other his continual
K. Hen. Most subject is the fattest soil to
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
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 oppos'd decay.
War. My gracious lord, you look beyond him
The prince but studies his companions
Like a strange tongue, wherein, to gain the
'Tis needful that the most immodest word
Be look'd upon, and learn'd; which once at-
Your highness knows, comes to no further use
But to be known and hated. So, like gross
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.
K. Hen. 'Tis seldom when the bee doth leave
her comb
In the dead carrion.

Who's here? Westmoreland!
West. Health to my sovereign, and new hap-
Added to that that I am to deliver!
Prince John your son doth kiss your Grace's
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 everywhere.
The manner how this action hath been borne
Here at more leisure may your highness read,
With every course in his particular.
K. Hen. O Westmoreland! thou art a summer
Which ever in the haunch of winter sings
The lifting up of day.

Look! here's more news.
Har. From enemies heaven keep your ma-
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 Bar-
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.
K. Hen. 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
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.
Glo. Comfort, your majesty!
Cla. O my royal father!
West. My sovereign lord, cheer up yourself:
look up!
War. Be patient, princes: you do know these
Are with his highness very ordinary:
Stand from him, give him air; he'll straight
be well.
Cla. No, no; he cannot long hold out these
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
Glo. 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
Cla. The river hath thrice flow'd, no ebb
And the old folk, time's doting chronicles,
Say it did so a little time before
That our great-grandsire, Edward, sick'd and
War. Speak lower, princes, for the king
Glo. This apoplexy will certain be his end.
K. Hen. I pray you take me up, and bear me
Into some other chamber: softly, pray.
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