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O, polish'd perturbation! golden care!
That keeps 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 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. Lo, here it sits,
Which Heaven shall guard; and, put the world's whole
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.
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 engross'd and piled up
The canker'd heaps of strange-achieved gold.
Scene between Prince Henry and the King his Father.
KING HENRY. Come hither to me, Harry
Depart the chamber, leave us here alone.
PRINCE HENRY. I never thought to hear you speak again.
KING HENRY. Thy wish was father, Harry, to that thought:
I stay too long by thee, I
Dost thou so hunger for my empty chair,
That thou wilt needs invest thee with mine honours
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 hour,
Were thine without offence; and, at my death,
Thou hast seal'd up my expectation:
Thy life did manifest thou lovd'st 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,
* Alluding to Prince Henry, having placed the crown on his head.
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 counsellers, 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 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!
PRINCE HENRY. O, pardon me, my liege! but for
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.
And He that wears the
Long guard it yours!
There is your crown,
If I affect it more,
Than as your honour, and as your renown,
Let me no more from this obedience rise,
(Which my most true and inward-duteous spirit
Teacheth) this prostrate and exterior bending !
Heaven 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 shew 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, 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."
Accusing it, I put it on my head;
Thus, my most royal liege,
That had before my
The quarrel of a true inheritor.
But if it did infect my blood with joy,
Or swell my thoughts to any strain of pride;
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. O my son!
Heaven put it in thy mind to take it hence,
That thou might'st 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,
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 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 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 mode: † 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 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 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;
The position of affairs.