Henry IV Part 2

by: William Shakespeare

  Act 4 Scene 3

page Act 4 Scene 3 Page 5

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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.
110I should rejoice now at this happy news,
And now my sight fails, and my brain is giddy.
O, me! Come near me, now I am much ill.
experience of poor, healthy people—or it gives you a feast with no appetite—which is how the rich live, who have wealth and abundance but cannot enjoy it. I should be celebrating this good news, and yet my eyesight is failing, and my brain is delirious. Oh God! Come to me, I’m very sick.

GLOUCESTER

Comfort, your Majesty.

GLOUCESTER

Take care, your highness!

CLARENCE

   O, my royal father!

CLARENCE

Oh, my royal father!

WESTMORELAND

My sovereign lord, cheer up yourself, look up.

WESTMORELAND

My lord, feel better; take courage.

WARWICK

115Be patient, princes. You do know these fits
Are with his Highness very ordinary.
Stand from him, give him air. He’ll straight be well.

WARWICK

Wait a minute, princes. You know his highness has these episodes all the time. Move away from him. Give him air; he’ll be all right soon.

CLARENCE

No, no, he cannot long hold out these pangs.
Th' incessant care and labor of his mind
120Hath wrought the mure that should confine it in
So thin that life looks through and will break out.

CLARENCE

No, no, he can’t survive these attacks much longer. His mind’s endless worry and concern have so shaken his body that it can barely hold together.

GLOUCESTER

The people fear me, for they do observe
Unfathered heirs and loathly births of nature.
The seasons change their manners, as the year
125Had found some months asleep and leapt them over.

GLOUCESTER

The people are frightening me. They’ve seen terrible omens: children who seem to have supernatural fathers, and gruesomely deformed infants. The weather is in disarray, as if the calendar discovered some months were fast asleep, and decided to skip over them.

CLARENCE

The river hath thrice flowed, no ebb between,
And the old folk, time’s doting chronicles,
Say it did so a little time before
That our great-grandsire, Edward, sicked and died.

CLARENCE

The river has flooded three times, without receding between floods. The old people—those living history books—say that the last time this happened was when our great-grandfather, King Edward, fell ill and died.

WARWICK

130Speak lower, princes, for the King recovers.

WARWICK

Speak more softly, princes: the King is recovering.

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