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Henry IV, Part 2 Scenes

Scene 5

Westminster. The Jerusalem Chamber.

(King Henry the Fourth; Warwick; Thomas Duke of Clarence; Humphrey of Gloucester; Prince Henry; Prince John of Lancaster)

The King lies down to rest, commanding silence and insisting that the crown be laid next to him. Hal arrives, and offers to sit by his father’s bedside. Left alone, he wonders at the presence of the crown. The King’s sleep is so profound that Hal is convinced he is dead; the Prince picks up the crown and puts it on his head, and leaves. The King awakes and bursts into a rage, convinced that Hal wants him dead and bemoaning the fate awaiting the kingdom under such a feckless ruler. Hal, who has been weeping for his father, is faced with the man attacking him with a fearsome tirade accusing him of being a bad son and likely to be a worse King. Hal defends himself, pleading that he truly believed Henry to be dead and took the crown to come to terms with having to wear it. The King is moved, and forgives Hal before offering him advice, particularly suggesting that he go to war abroad to keep the nobles too occupied to rebel. The others return, and the King asks whether the chamber where he swooned has a name; learning that it is called the Jerusalem chamber, he realizes that the prophecy that he should die in Jerusalem did not mean that he would ever make it on crusade. He asks to be taken to the chamber to die. (244 lines)


Let 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.


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 alt’red 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 dispos’d 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.

Exeunt all but the Prince.

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 armor worn in heat of day,

That scald’st 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 divorc’d

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.

Puts on the crown.

Lo where it sits,

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

Will I to mine leave, as ’tis left to me.



Warwick! Gloucester! Clarence!

Enter Warwick, Gloucester, Clarence, and the rest.


Doth the King call?


What would your Majesty? How fares your Grace?


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.

He is not here.


This door is open, he is gone this way.


He came not through the chamber where we stay’d.


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, their brains with care,

Their bones with industry;

For this they have engrossed and pil’d up

The cank’red 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 pack’d with wax, our mouths with honey,

We bring it to the hive, and like the bees,

Are murd’red 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 have determin’d me?


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.


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 Warwick and the rest.


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,

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 stol’n that which after some few hours

Were thine without offense, and at my death

Thou hast seal’d up my expectation.

Thy life did manifest thou lov’dst me not,

And thou wilt have me die assur’d of it.

Thou hid’st a thousand daggers in thy thoughts,

Whom 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, neighbor confines, purge you of your scum!

Have you a ruffin 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, honor, might;

For the fifth Harry from curb’d license 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!


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 honor 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 th’ 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 med’cine potable;

But thou, most fine, most honor’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 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!


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 sate 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 seem’d in me

But as an honor snatch’d with boist’rous 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 seest with peril I have answered;

For all my reign hath been but as a scene

Acting that argument. And now my death

Changes the mood, for what in me was purchas’d

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 advanc’d,

And by whose power I well might lodge a fear

To be again displac’d; 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!


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.


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,

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?


My Lord of Warwick!

Enter Warwick.


Doth any name particular belong

Unto the lodging where I first did swound?


’Tis call’d Jerusalem, my noble lord.


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 suppos’d the Holy Land.

But bear me to that chamber, there I’ll lie,

In that Jerusalem shall Harry die.



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