List iconHenry IV, Part 2:
Act 4, scene 3
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Henry IV, Part 2
Act 4, scene 3



Characters in the Play

Entire Play

Henry IV, Part 2, continues the story of Henry IV, Part I. Northumberland learns that his son Hotspur is dead, and…


Following the battle of Shrewsbury (where King Henry and Prince Hal were victorious and Hotspur killed), Rumor spreads the false…

Act 1, scene 1

Northumberland, who had pleaded illness as an excuse for not appearing at the battle of Shrewsbury, learns that his son,…

Act 1, scene 2

Sir John Falstaff is confronted by the Lord Chief Justice. Since Falstaff has come away from Shrewsbury with the reputation…

Act 1, scene 3

At York, the Archbishop discusses with Mowbray, Hastings, and Lord Bardolph whether they can defeat the king’s forces if their…

Act 2, scene 1

Sir John is arrested for the debt he owes Mistress Quickly. He persuades her to drop the charges and to…

Act 2, scene 2

Learning that Falstaff will be dining that night in Eastcheap, Prince Hal and Poins decide to disguise themselves as waiters…

Act 2, scene 3

Northumberland is persuaded by his daughter-in-law, Hotspur’s widow, to abandon the other rebels.

Act 2, scene 4

At Mistress Quickly’s inn in Eastcheap, a fight erupts after Falstaff ’s ensign, Pistol, insults Doll Tearsheet. The disguised Prince Hal…

Act 3, scene 1

An ill and anxious King Henry IV consults with Warwick.

Act 3, scene 2

On his journey through Gloucestershire, Falstaff selects recruits for the army and decides that, on his return, he will fleece…

Act 4, scene 1

The leaders of the rebellion reach Gaultree Forest, where they present their grievances to Westmoreland. After Prince John promises redress…

Act 4, scene 2

Falstaff meets a rebel knight, who surrenders to him. When Prince John reproaches Falstaff for his late arrival, Falstaff turns…

Act 4, scene 3

Just after receiving the good news about the defeat of all the rebel forces, Henry IV falls into a swoon….

Act 5, scene 1

Falstaff observes Shallow and his servants in order to be ready to entertain Prince Hal with amusing stories.

Act 5, scene 2

Prince Hal reassures an anxious Lord Chief Justice.

Act 5, scene 3

On the news of Henry IV’s death, Falstaff and Shallow set off joyfully for London.

Act 5, scene 4

Doll Tearsheet is arrested.

Act 5, scene 5

The newly crowned King Henry V keeps his word to the Lord Chief Justice.


The speaker apologizes for the play and promises another play with Falstaff in it.

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Scene 3
Enter the King in a chair, Warwick, Thomas Duke of
Clarence, Humphrey Duke of Gloucester, and

 Now, lords, if God doth give successful 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.
5 Our navy is addressed, 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
10 Come underneath the yoke of government.
 Both which we doubt not but your Majesty
 Shall soon enjoy.
 Humphrey, my son of Gloucester, where is the
 Prince your brother?
15 I think he’s gone to hunt, my lord, at Windsor.
 And how accompanied?
HUMPHREY OF GLOUCESTER  I do not know, my lord.
 Is not his brother Thomas of Clarence with him?
 No, my good lord, he is in presence here.
THOMAS OF CLARENCE, coming forward 20What would
 my lord and father?
 Nothing but well to thee, Thomas of Clarence.

Henry IV, Part 2
ACT 4. SC. 3

 How chance thou art not with the Prince thy
25 He loves thee, and thou dost neglect him, Thomas.
 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,
30 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 observed;
35 He hath a tear for pity, and a hand
 Open as day for melting charity;
 Yet notwithstanding, being incensed he is flint,
 As humorous as winter, and as sudden
 As flaws congealèd in the spring of day.
40 His temper therefore must be well observed.
 Chide him for faults, and do it reverently,
 When you perceive his blood inclined to mirth;
 But, being moody, give him time and scope
 Till that his passions, like a whale on ground,
45 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,
50 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.
 I shall observe him with all care and love.
55 Why art thou not at Windsor with him, Thomas?

Henry IV, Part 2
ACT 4. SC. 3

 He is not there today; he dines in London.
 And how accompanied? Canst thou tell that?
 With Poins and other his continual followers.
 Most subject is the fattest soil to weeds,
60 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 shape,
 In forms imaginary, th’ unguided days
65 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,
70 O, with what wings shall his affections fly
 Towards fronting peril and opposed decay!
 My gracious lord, you look beyond him quite.
 The Prince but studies his companions
 Like a strange tongue, wherein, to gain the
75 language,
 ’Tis needful that the most immodest word
 Be looked upon and learned; which, once attained,
 Your Highness knows, comes to no further use
 But to be known and hated. So, like gross terms,
80 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.

Henry IV, Part 2
ACT 4. SC. 3

85 ’Tis seldom when the bee doth leave her comb
 In the dead carrion.

Enter Westmoreland.

 Who’s here? Westmoreland?
 Health to my sovereign, and new happiness
 Added to that that I am to deliver.
90 Prince John your son doth kiss your Grace’s hand.
 Mowbray, the Bishop Scroop, Hastings, and all
 Are brought to the correction of your law.
 There is not now a rebel’s sword unsheathed,
 But peace puts forth her olive everywhere.
95 The manner how this action hath been borne
 Here at more leisure may your Highness read
 With every course in his particular.
He gives the King a paper.
 O Westmoreland, thou art a summer bird,
 Which ever in the haunch of winter sings
100 The lifting up of day.

Enter Harcourt.

 Look, here’s more news.
 From enemies heavens keep your Majesty,
 And when they stand against you, may they fall
 As those that I am come to tell you of.
105 The Earl Northumberland and the Lord Bardolph,
 With a great power of English and of Scots,
 Are by the shrieve of Yorkshire overthrown.
 The manner and true order of the fight
 This packet, please it you, contains at large.
He gives the King papers.

Henry IV, Part 2
ACT 4. SC. 3

110 And wherefore should these good news make me
 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—
115 Such are the poor, in health—or else a feast
 And takes away the stomach—such are the rich,
 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.
120 O, me! Come near me, now I am much ill.
 Comfort, your Majesty.
THOMAS OF CLARENCE  O, my royal father!
 My sovereign lord, cheer up yourself, look up.
 Be patient, princes. You do know these fits
125 Are with his Highness very ordinary.
 Stand from him, give him air. He’ll straight be
 No, no, he cannot long hold out these pangs.
 Th’ incessant care and labor of his mind
130 Hath wrought the mure that should confine it in
 So thin that life looks through and will break out.
 The people fear me, for they do observe
 Unfathered heirs and loathly births of nature.
 The seasons change their manners, as the year
135 Had found some months asleep and leapt them
 The river hath thrice flowed, no ebb between,
 And the old folk, time’s doting chronicles,

Henry IV, Part 2
ACT 4. SC. 3

 Say it did so a little time before
140 That our great-grandsire, Edward, sicked and died.
 Speak lower, princes, for the King recovers.
 This apoplexy will certain be his end.
 I pray you take me up and bear me hence
 Into some other chamber. Softly, pray.
The King is carried to a bed on another
part of the stage.

145 Let there be no noise made, my gentle friends,
 Unless some dull and favorable hand
 Will whisper music to my weary spirit.
WARWICK, to an Attendant 
 Call for the music in the other room.
 Set me the crown upon my pillow here.
The crown is placed on the bed.
THOMAS OF CLARENCE, aside to the others 
150 His eye is hollow, and he changes much.
 Less noise, less noise.

Enter Prince Harry.

PRINCE  Who saw the Duke of Clarence?
 I am here, brother, full of heaviness.
 How now, rain within doors, and none abroad?
155 How doth the King?
 Heard he the good news yet? Tell it him.
 He altered much upon the hearing it.

Henry IV, Part 2
ACT 4. SC. 3

PRINCE If he be sick with joy, he’ll recover without
160 physic.
 Not so much noise, my lords.—Sweet prince, speak
 The King your father is disposed to sleep.
 Let us withdraw into the other room.
165 Will ’t please your Grace to go along with us?
 No, I will sit and watch here by the King.
All but Prince and King exit.
 Why doth the crown lie there upon his pillow,
 Being so troublesome a bedfellow?
 O polished perturbation, golden care,
170 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,
175 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
180 Perforce must move. My gracious lord, my father,
 This sleep is sound indeed. This is a sleep
 That from this golden rigol hath divorced
 So many English kings. Thy due from me
 Is tears and heavy sorrows of the blood,
185 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. He puts on the crown. Lo,
190 where it sits,

Henry IV, Part 2
ACT 4. SC. 3

 Which God shall guard. And, put the world’s whole
 Into one giant arm, it shall not force
 This lineal honor from me. This from thee
195 Will I to mine leave, as ’tis left to me.
He exits with the crown.
KING, rising up in his bed Warwick! Gloucester!

Enter Warwick, Gloucester, Clarence, and others.

THOMAS OF CLARENCE Doth the King call?
 What would your Majesty? How fares your Grace?
200 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.]
205 This door is open. He is gone this way.
 He came not through the chamber where we
 Where is the crown? Who took it from my pillow?
 When we withdrew, my liege, we left it here.
210 The Prince hath ta’en it hence. Go seek him out.
 Is he so hasty that he doth suppose my sleep my
 Find him, my Lord of Warwick. Chide him hither.
Warwick exits.
 This part of his conjoins with my disease

Henry IV, Part 2
ACT 4. SC. 3

215 And helps to end me. See, sons, what things you
 How quickly nature falls into revolt
 When gold becomes her object!
 For this the foolish overcareful fathers
220 Have broke their sleep with thoughts,
 Their brains with care, their bones with industry.
 For this they have engrossèd and piled up
 The cankered heaps of strange-achievèd gold.
 For this they have been thoughtful to invest
225 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
230 We bring it to the hive and, like the bees,
 Are murdered 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 hath determined me?
235 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 quaffed but blood,
 Would, by beholding him, have washed his knife
240 With gentle eyedrops. He is coming hither.
 But wherefore did he take away the crown?

Enter Prince Harry with the crown.

 Lo where he comes.—Come hither to me, Harry.—
 Depart the chamber. Leave us here alone.
Gloucester, Clarence, Warwick, and others exit.

Henry IV, Part 2
ACT 4. SC. 3

 I never thought to hear you speak again.
245 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,
250 Thou seek’st the greatness that will overwhelm
 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.
255 Thou hast stol’n that which after some few hours
 Were thine without offense, and at my death
 Thou hast sealed up my expectation.
 Thy life did manifest thou loved’st me not,
 And thou wilt have me die assured of it.
260 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,
265 And bid the merry bells ring to thine ear
 That thou art crownèd, 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.
270 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 councillors,
275 hence,
 And to the English court assemble now,
 From every region, apes of idleness.

Henry IV, Part 2
ACT 4. SC. 3

 Now, neighbor confines, purge you of your scum.
 Have you a ruffian that will swear, drink, dance,
280 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,
285 For the fifth Harry from curbed 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,
290 What wilt thou do when riot is thy care?
 O, thou wilt be a wilderness again,
 Peopled with wolves, thy old inhabitants.
PRINCE, placing the crown on the pillow 
 O pardon me, my liege! But for my tears,
 The moist impediments unto my speech,
295 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. He kneels. If I affect it
300 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.
305 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
310 The noble change that I have purposèd.
 Coming to look on you, thinking you dead,
 And dead almost, my liege, to think you were,

Henry IV, Part 2
ACT 4. SC. 3

 I spake unto this crown as having sense,
 And thus upbraided it: “The care on thee
315 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;
320 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,
325 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
330 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.
KING O my son,
335 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
340 That ever I shall breathe.
The Prince rises from his knees and sits
near the bed.

 God knows, my son,
 By what bypaths and indirect crook’d ways
 I met this crown, and I myself know well
 How troublesome it sat upon my head.
345 To thee it shall descend with better quiet,
 Better opinion, better confirmation,

Henry IV, Part 2
ACT 4. SC. 3

 For all the soil of the achievement goes
 With me into the earth. It seemed in me
 But as an honor snatched with boist’rous hand,
350 And I had many living to upbraid
 My gain of it by their assistances,
 Which daily grew to quarrel and to bloodshed,
 Wounding supposèd peace. All these bold fears
 Thou seest with peril I have answerèd,
355 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 purchased
 Falls upon thee in a more fairer sort.
 So thou the garland wear’st successively.
360 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
 Have but their stings and teeth newly ta’en out,
365 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 off and had a purpose now
 To lead out many to the Holy Land,
370 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
375 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.
PRINCE 380My gracious liege,
 You won it, wore it, kept it, gave it me.

Henry IV, Part 2
ACT 4. SC. 3

 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 John of Lancaster and others.

385 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 withered trunk. Upon thy sight
390 My worldly business makes a period.
 Where is my Lord of Warwick?
PRINCE  My Lord of Warwick.

Enter Warwick.

 Doth any name particular belong
 Unto the lodging where I first did swoon?
395 ’Tis called 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 supposed the Holy Land.
400 But bear me to that chamber; there I’ll lie.
 In that Jerusalem shall Harry die.
They exit.