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Scene Study (Male-Male)


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.


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 fift 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 strook 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 for ever 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.


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