Henry IV Part 2

by: William Shakespeare

  Act 4 Scene 3

page Act 4 Scene 3 Page 7

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Modern Text

PRINCE HENRY

If he be sick with joy, he’ll recover without physic.

PRINCE HENRY

If he’s sick from joy, then he’ll get better without medicine.

WARWICK

Not so much noise, my lords.—Sweet Prince, speak low.
The King your father is disposed to sleep.

WARWICK

Not so loud, sirs. Prince, speak more quietly. Your father the King is trying to sleep.

CLARENCE

Let us withdraw into the other room.

CLARENCE

Let’s go into the other room.

WARWICK

150Will ’t please your Grace to go along with us?

WARWICK

Will you come with us?

PRINCE HENRY

No, I will sit and watch here by the King.

PRINCE HENRY

No. I’ll stay here with the King.
Exeunt all but PRINCE HENRY
Everyone exits except PRINCE HENRY.
Why doth the crown lie there upon his pillow,
Being so troublesome a bedfellow?
O polished perturbation, golden care,
155That 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,
160When 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
165Perforce 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,
170Which nature, love, and filial tenderness
Shall, O dear father, pay thee plenteously.
My due from thee is this imperial crown,
Which, as immediate as thy place and blood,
Why does the crown lie there on his pillow, when it’s such a troublesome bedfellow? Oh polished aggravation, golden anxiety! You keep the eyelids open wide, to face countless sleepless nights. You sleep with the crown now, father, but you don’t sleep as soundly, or half so deeply, as that man whose head is bound with nothing more than a cheap nightcap, who snores through the night. Oh, you crown! When you pinch the person wearing you, you’re like a great suit of armor worn on a hot day—you burn the person you’re protecting. There’s a feather near my father’s lips, and it’s not moving: if he were breathing, that light, weightless thing would move. My gracious lord! Father! This is a deep sleep indeed—this is a sleep that has removed the golden ring from the heads of many English kings. Father, I owe you tears and a deep grief, and my love, the bonds of family, and a son’s tender feelings will make sure that I pay you lavishly. Your debt to me is this kingly crown, which I am owed as your heir-apparent.

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