William Shakespeare.

The dramatic works of William Shakspeare... embracing a life of the poet, and notes, original and selected (Volume 4) online

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As he, whose brow, with homely biggin 1 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 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 2 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 from thy place and blood,

Derives itself to me. Lo, here it sits,

[Putting it on his head.

Which Heaven shall guard ; and put the world s whole


Into one giant arm, it shall not force
This lineal honor from me. This from thee
Will I to mine leave, as tis left to me. [Exit.

K. Hen. Warwick ! Gloster ! Clarence !

Re-enter WARWICK, and the rest.

Cla. Doth the king call ?

War. What would your majesty ? How fares your

grace ?
K. Hen. Why did you leave me here alone, my

lords ?

Cla. We left the prince my brother here, my liege,
Who undertook to sit and watch by you.

K. Hen. The prince of Wales ? Where is lie ?

let me see him.
He is not here.

1 A biggin was a head-band of coarse cloth ; so called because such a
forehead-cloth was worn by the Beguines, an order of nuns.

2 i. e. circle; probably from the old Italian rigolo, a small wheel.


War. This door is open ; he is gone this way.

P. Humph. He came not through the chamber
where we staid.

K. Hen. Where is the crown ? who took it from my
pillow ?

War. When we withdrew, my liege, we left it here.

K. Hen. 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


Their bones with industry ;
For this they have engrossed and piled up
The cankered heaps of strange-achieved gold ;
For this they have been thoughtful to invest
Their sons with arts, and martial exercises ;
When, like the bee, tolling from every flower
The virtuous sweets ;

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 l to the ending father.

o O

Re-enter W T ARWICK.

Now, where is he that will not stay so long
Till his friend sickness hath determined me ?

War. 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,

1 Accumulations.


That tyranny, which never quaffed but blood,
Would, by beholding him, have washed his knife
With gentle eye-drops. He is coming hither.

K. Hen. But wherefore did he take away the
crown ?


Lo, where he comes. Come hither to me, Harry.
Depart the chamber ; leave us here alone.

Lords, &c.

P. Hen. I never thought to hear you speak again.

K. Hen. Thy wish was father, Harry, to that

thought ;

I stay too long by thee ; I weary thee.
Dost thou so hunger for my empty chair,
That thou wilt needs invest thee with mine honors
Before thy hour be ripe ? O, foolish youth !
Thou seek st 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,
Were thine without offence ; and, at my death,
Thou hast sealed up my expectation ; l
Thy life did manifest, thou lov dst me not,
And thou wilt have me die assured of it.
Thou hid st 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 ;

1 i. e. confirmed my opinion.

VOL. IV. 12


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 crowned. Up, vanity !

Down, royal state ! all you sage counsellors, hence !

And to the English court assemble now,

From every region, apes of idleness !

Now, neighbor 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 gilt;

England shall give him office, honor, might ;

For the fifth Harry from curbed license plucks

The muzzle of restraint, and the wild dog

Shall flesh his tooth in 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 !

P. Hen. O, pardon me, my liege 1 ! but for my tears,


The moist impediments unto my speech.
I had forestalled 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 honor, and as your renown,
Lot me no more from this obedience rise,
Which my most true and inward-duteous spirit
Teacheth this prostrate and exterior bending ! ]

1 The Variorum Shakspeare reads :

" Let me no more from this obedience rise
(Which my most true and inward duteous spirit
Teacheth.) this prostrate and exterior bending !

The sense appears to bo, " Let me no more rise from this obeisance,
which my most loyal and inwardly duteous spirit teacheth this prostrate


Heaven witness with me, when I here came in,

And found no course of breath within jour 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 the 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, lessjine in carat, is more precious,

Preserving life in medicine potable ; l

But thou, most fine, most honored, most renowned,

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 murdered 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 forever keep it from my head !

And make me as the poorest vassal is,

That doth with awe and terror kneel to it !

K. Hen. O, my son !

Heaven 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. Heaven knows, my son,

and exterior bending." Obeisance and obedience were formerly used in
discriminately the one for the other. Truth is always used for loyalty.

1 It was long a prevailing opinion that a solution of gold had great
medicinal virtues ; and that the incorruptibility of the metal might be
communicated to the body impregnated with it. Potable gold was one of
the panacea of ancient quacks.


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 better quiet,

Better opinion, better confirmation ;

For all the soil of the achievement goes

With 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,

Wounding supposed peace. 1 All these bold fears, 2

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 ; 3 for what in me was purchased,

Falls upon thee in a more fairer sort ;

So thou the garland wear st successively. 4

Yet, though thou stand st more sure than I could do,

Thou art not firm enough, since griefs are green ;

And 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,

I cut them 5 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.

1 Supposed peace is imagined peace, counterfeit, not real.

2 Fears are objects of fear, terrors.

3 The mode is the state or form of things.

4 i. e. by order of succession.

5 Mason proposes to read, " I cut some off" which seems, indeed, neces
sary. The sense would then be, " Some I have cut off, and many I intended
to lead to the Holy Land."


How I came by the crown, O God, forgive !
And grant it may with thee in true peace live !

P. Hen. 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 PRINCE JOHN of Lancaster, WARWICK, Lords,
and others.

K. Hen. Look, look, here comes my John of Lan

P. John. Health, peace, and happiness, to my royal
father !

K. Hen. Thou bring st me happiness, and peace,

son John ;

But 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 ?

P. Hen. My lord of Warwick !

K. Hen. Doth any name particular belong
Unto the lodging where I first did swoon ?

War. Tis called Jerusalem, my noble lord.

K. Hen. Laud be to God ! even there my life

must end. 1

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. [Exeunt.

i " At length he recovered his speech and understanding, and perceiving
himselfe in a strange place, which he knew not, he willed to know if the
chamber had anie particular name, whereunto answer was made, that it
was called Jerusalem. Then said the king, Lauds be given to the Father
of Heaven, for now I know that I shall die here in this chamber, according
to the prophesie, of me declared, that I should depart this life in Jeru
salem." Holinshed, p. 541.



SCENE I. Glostershire. A Hall in Shallow s



Shal. By cock and pye, 1 sir, you shall not away to
night. What, Davy, I say !

Fal. You must excuse me, master Robert Shallow.

Shal. I will not excuse you ; you shall not be ex
cused ; excuses shall not be admitted ; there is no
excuse shall serve ; you shall not be excused. Why,

Enter DAVY.

Davy. Here, sir.

Shal. Davy, Davy, Davy, let me see, Davy ; let
me see. Yea, marry, William cook, bid him come
hither. Sir John, you shall not be excused.

Davy. Marry, sir, thus ; those precepts cannot be
served : and, again, sir, Shall we sow the headland
with wheat ?

Shal. With red wheat, Davy. But for William
cook. Are there no young pigeons ?

Davy. Yes, sir. Here is now the smith s note,

for shoeing, and plough-irons.

Shal. Let it be cast, and paid. Sir John, you shall
not be excused.

Davy. Now, sir, a new link to the bucket must
needs be had. And, sir, do you mean to stop any of
William s wages, about the sack he lost the other day
at Hinckley fair ?

Shal. He shall answer it. Some pigeons, Davy ;

a couple of short-legged hens ; a joint of mutton ; and
any pretty little tiny kickshaws, tell William cook.

1 This adjuration, which seems to have been a popular substitute for
profane swearing, occurs in several old plays.


Davy. Doth the man of war stay all night, sir ?

Shal. Yes, Davy. I will use him well ; a friend
i the court is better than a penny in purse. 1 Use his
men well, Davy ; for they are arrant knaves, and will

Davy. No worse than they are back-bitten, sir; for
they have marvellous foul linen.

Shal. Well conceited, Davy. About thy business,

Davy. I beseech you, sir, to countenance William
Visor of Wincot against Clement Perkes of the hill.

Shal. There are many complaints, Davy, against
that Visor ; that Visor is an arrant knave, on my

Davy. I grant your worship, that he is a knave, sir ;
but yet, God forbid, sir, but a knave should have some
countenance at his friend s request. An honest man,
sir, is able to speak for himself, when a knave is not. I
have served your worship truly, sir, this eight years ;
and if I cannot once or twice in a quarter bear out a
knave against an honest man, I have but a very little
credit with your worship. The knave is mine honest
friend, sir ; therefore, I beseech your worship, let him
be countenanced.

Shal. Go to ; I say, he shall have no wrong. Look
about, Davy. [Exit DAVY.] Where are you, sir John ?
Come, off with your boots. Give me your hand, mas
ter Bardolph.

Bard. I am glad to see your worship.

Shal. I thank thee with all my heart, kind master
Bardolph; and welcome, my tall fellow. [To the
Page.] Come, sir John. [Exit SHALLOW.

Fal. I ll follow you, good master Robert Shallow.
Bardolph, look to our horses. [Exeunt BARDOLPH
and Page.] If I were sawed into quantities, I
should make four dozen of such bearded hermit s-staves
as master Shallow. It is a wonderful thing to see
the semblable coherence of his men s spirits and his.

1 " A friend in court is worth a penny in purse," is one of Camden s
proverbial sentences. See his Remaines, 4to, 1605.


They, by observing him, do bear themselves like
foolish justices j he, by conversing with them, is turned
into a justice-like sef ving-man ; meir spirits are so mar
ried in conjunction with the participation of society,
that they flock together in consent, like so many wild
geese. If I had a suit to master Shallow, I would
humor his men, with the imputation of being near their
master ; if to his men, I would curry with master Shal
low, that no man could better command his servants.
It is certain, that either wise bearing, or ignorant car
riage, is caught, as men take diseases, one of another ;
therefore, let men take heed of their company. I will
devise matter enough out of this Shallow, to keep
prince Harry in continual laughter, the wearing-out of
six fashions, (which is four terms, or two actions, 1 ) and
he shall laugh without intervallums. O, it is much, that
a lie, with a slight oath, and a jest, with a sad brow,
will do with a fellow that never had the ache in his
shoulders! O, you shall see him laugh, till his face be
like a wet cloak ill laid up.

Shal. [Within.] Sir John !

Fal. I come, master Shallow ; I come, master Shal
low. [Exit FALSTAFF.

SCENE II. Westminster. A Room in the Palace.

Enter WARWICK and the Lord Chief Justice.

War. How now, my lord chief justice ? whither
away ?

Ch. Just. How doth the king ?

War. Exceeding well ; his cares are now all ended.

Ch. Just. I hope, not dead.

War. He s walked the way of nature ;

And, to our purposes, he lives no more.

Ch. Just. I would his majesty had called me with

i Actions for debt.


The service that I truly did his life,
Hath left me open to all injuries.

War. Indeed, I think the young king loves you not.

C/i. Just. I know he doth not ; and do arm myself,
To welcome the condition of the time ;
Which cannot look more hideously upon me
Than I have drawn it in my fantasy.

WESTMORELAND, and others.

War. Here come the heavy issue of dead Harry.

that the living Harry had the temper

Of him, the worst of these three gentlemen !
How many nobles then should hold their places,
That must strike sail to spirits of vile sort !

Ch. Just. Alas ! I fear all will be overturned.

P. John. Good morrow, cousin Warwick.

P. Humph. Cla. Good morrow, cousin.

P. John. We meet like men that had forgot to

War. We do remember ; but our argument
Is all too heavy to admit much talk.

P. John. Well, peace be with him that hath made
us heavy !

Ch. Just. Peace be with us, lest we be heavier !

P. Humph. O, good my lord, you have lost a friend,

indeed ;

And I dare swear, you borrow not that face
Of seeming sorrow ; it is, sure, your own.

P. John. Though no man be assured what grace to

You stand in coldest expectation.

1 am the sorrier ; would twere otherwise.

Cla. Well, you must now speak sir John Falstaff

fair ;
Which swims against your stream of quality.

Ch. Just. Sweet princes, what I did, I did in honor,
Led by the impartial conduct of my soul ;
And never shall you see, that I will beg
VOL. iv. 13


A ragged and forestalled remission. l
If truth and upright innocency fail me,
I ll to the king my master that is dead,
And tell him who hath sent me after him.
War. Here comes the prince.


Ch. Just. Good morrow ; and Heaven save your
majesty !

King. This new and gorgeous garment, majesty,
Sits not so easy on me as you think.
Brothers, you mix your sadness with some fear ;
This is the English, not the Turkish court ;
Not Amurath an Amurath succeeds,
But Harry, Harry. Yet be sad, good brothers ;
For, to speak truth, it very well becomes you :
Sorrow so royally in you appears,
That I will deeply put the fashion on,
And wear it in my heart. Why, then, be sad ;
But entertain no more of it, good brothers,
Than a joint burden laid upon us all.
For me, by Heaven, I bid you be assured,
I ll be your father and your brother too ;
Let me but bear your love, I ll bear your cares.
Yet weep, that Harry s dead ; and so will I :
But Harry lives, that shall convert those tears,
By number, into hours of happiness.

P. John, &c. We hope no other from your majesty.

King. You all look strangely on me ; and you
most ; [To the Chief Justice.

You are, I think, assured I love you not.

Ch. Just. I am assured, if I be measured rightly,
Your majesty hath no just cause to hate me.

King. No!

How might a prince of my great hopes forget
So great indignities you laid upon me ?

1 " A ragged and forestalled remission " is a remission or pardon ob
tained by beggarly supplication. Forestalling is prevention.


What! rate, rebuke, and roughly send to prison
The immediate heir of England ? Was this easy ? 1
May this be washed in Lethe, and forgotten ?

Ch. Just. I then did use the person of your father ;
The image of his power lay then in me ;
And, in the administration of his law,
Whiles I was busy for the commonwealth,
Your highness pleased to forget my place,
The majesty and power of law and justice,
The image of the king whom I presented,
And struck me in my very seat of judgment ; 2
Whereon, as an offender to your father,
I gave bold way to my authority,
And did commit you. If the deed were ill,
Be you contented, wearing now the garland,
To have a son set your decrees at nought ;
To pluck down justice from your awful bench;
To trip the course of law, and blunt the sword
That guards the peace and safety of your person ;
Nay, more ; to spurn at your most royal image,
And mock your workings in a second body.
Question your royal thoughts, make the case yours ;
Be now the father, and propose a son : 3
Hear your own dignities so much profaned,
See your most dreadful laws so loosely slighted,
Behold yourself so by a son disdained ;
And then imagine me taking your part,
And, in your power, soft silencing your son.
After this cold considerance, sentence me ;

1 Was this easy ? was this a light offence ?

2 It has already been remarked that sir William Gascoigne, the chief
justice in this play, died in the reign of Henry IV. ; and consequently this
scene has no foundation in fact. Shakspeare was misled by Stowe, or
probably was careless about the matter. While Gascoigne was at the
bar, Henry of Bolingbroke was his client, who appointed him his attorney
to sue out his livery in the Court of Wards : but Richard II. defeated his
purpose. When Bolingbroke became Henry IV., he appointed Gascoigne
chief justice. In that station he acquired the character of a learned, up
right, wise, and intrepid judge. The story of his committing the prince is
told by sir Thomas Elyot, in his book entitled The Governor; but Shaks
peare followed the Chronicles.

3 i. e. image to yourself that you have a son.


And, as you are a king, speak in your state, 1
What I have done, that misbecame my place,
My person, or my liege s sovereignty.

King. You are right, justice, and you weigh this

well ;

Therefore still bear the balance and the sword ;
And I do wish your honors may increase,
Till you do live to see a son of mine
Offend you, and obey you, as I did.
So shall I live to speak my father s words ;
Happy am I, that have a man so bold,
That dares do justice on my proper son ;
And not less happy, having such a son,
That would deliver up his greatness so
Into the hands of justice. You did commit me :
For which I do commit into your hand
The unstained sword that you have used to bear ;
With this remembrance, That you use the same
With the like bold, just, and impartial spirit,
As you have done gainst me. There is my hand ;
You shall be as a father to my youth :
My voice shall sound as you do prompt mine ear ;
And I will stoop and humble my intents

To your well-practised, wise directions.

And, princes all, believe me, I beseech you ;
My father is gone wild into his grave, 2
For in his tomb lie my affections ;
And with his spirit sadly I survive,
To mock the expectation of the world ;
To frustrate prophecies ; and to raze out
Rotten opinion, who hath writ me down
After my seeming. The tide of blood in me
Hath proudly flowed in vanity, till now.
Now doth it turn, and ebb back to the sea ;
Where it shall mingle with the state 3 of floods,

1 In your regal character and office.

2 The meaning may be, My wild dispositions having ceased on my
father s death, and being now, as it were, buried in his tomb, he and wild-
ness are interred in the same grave.

3 That is, with the majestic dignity of the ocean, the chief of floods.


And flow henceforth in formal majesty.
Now call we our high court of parliament ;
And let us choose such limbs of noble counsel,
That the great body of our state may go
In equal rank with the best-governed nation ;
That war, or peace, or both at once, may be

As things acquainted and familiar to us ;

In which you, father, shall have foremost hand.

[To the Lord Chief Justice.
Our coronation done, we will accite,
A.S I before remembered, all our state ;
And (God consigning to my good intents)
No prince, nor peer, shall have just cause to say,
Heaven shorten Harry s happy life one day. [Exeunt.

SCENE III. Glostershire. The Garden of Shal

Online LibraryWilliam ShakespeareThe dramatic works of William Shakspeare... embracing a life of the poet, and notes, original and selected (Volume 4) → online text (page 7 of 38)