Henry IV Part 2

by: William Shakespeare

  Act 3 Scene 1

page Act 3 Scene 1 Page 2

Original Text

Modern Text

And, in the calmest and most stillest night,
With all appliances and means to boot,
30Deny it to a king? Then, happy low, lie down.
Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown.
A king on the calmest, stillest night, with everything available for sleep? Then, you happy commoners, put yourselves to bed. The head that wears the crown sleeps uneasily.
Enter WARWICK and SURREY
WARWICK and SURREY enter.

WARWICK

Many good morrows to your Majesty.

WARWICK

Good morning, your highness.

KING

Is it good morrow, lords?

KING

Is it morning, lords?

WARWICK

'Tis one o'clock, and past.

WARWICK

It’s after one o'clock.

KING

35Why then, good morrow to you all, my lords.
Have you read o'er the letter that I sent you?

KING

Well, then, good morning to you all, my lords. Have you read the letters I sent you?

WARWICK

We have, my liege.

WARWICK

We have, your highness.

KING

Then you perceive the body of our kingdom
How foul it is, what rank diseases grow
40And with what danger near the heart of it.

KING

Then you can tell how sick the kingdom is. There are serious diseases spreading through its body, very near its heart.

WARWICK

It is but as a body yet distempered,
Which to his former strength may be restored
With good advice and little medicine.
My Lord Northumberland will soon be cooled.

WARWICK

The body’s only out of sorts. It can be brought back to full health through good care and some medicine. Northumberland will soon be suppressed.

KING

45O God, that one might read the book of fate
And see the revolution of the times
Make mountains level, and the continent,
Weary of solid firmness, melt itself
Into the sea, and other times to see
50The beachy girdle of the ocean
Too wide for Neptune’s hips; how chance’s mocks
And changes fill the cup of alteration

KING

Oh God! If only we could read the book of destiny! We’d see how time changes everything, bringing mountains low and melting the land—which is tired of being solid and firm—into the sea. We’d see how the beach is sometimes too wide for even the tide to conquer. We’d see how blind luck can make mockeries of men, and how change can affect you in countless ways.

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