Henry IV Part 2

by: William Shakespeare

  Act 4 Scene 3

page Act 4 Scene 3 Page 9

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Exit WARWICK
WARWICK exits.
This part of his conjoins with my disease
And helps to end me. See, sons, what things you are,
195How quickly nature falls into revolt
When gold becomes her object!
For this the foolish overcareful fathers
Have broke their sleep with thoughts,
Their brains with care, their bones with industry.
200For this they have engrossèd and piled up
The canker’d heaps of strange-achievèd gold.
For this they have been thoughtful to invest
Their sons with arts and martial exercises—
When, like the bee, tolling from every flower
205The virtuous sweets,
Our thighs packed with wax, our mouths with honey,
We bring it to the hive and, like the bees,
Are murdered for our pains. This bitter taste
Yield his engrossments to the ending father.
Henry’s actions join forces with my illness, and together they will kill me. Sons, look at what things you are. See how quickly blood bonds are broken, once money’s involved. This is what happens to foolish, overly concerned fathers who ruin their sleep with worry, burden their minds with anxiety, and break their bodies with hard work. This is what happens to fathers who amass vast amounts of money, earned in unsavory ways. This is what happens to fathers who have taken care to give their sons good educations, and train them in matters of war. Fathers are like bees, collecting sweet pollen from all the flowers in the world. We pack our thighs full of wax and our mouths full of honey, only to be killed when we return to the hive. This is the bitter fate of the dying father, no matter what he has accumulated in his life.
Enter WARWICK
WARWICK enters.
210Now, where is he that will not stay so long
Till his friend sickness hath determined me?
Where is that impatient man who can’t even wait for his friend, sickness, to put an end to me?

WARWICK

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
215That tyranny, which never quaffed but blood,
Would, by beholding him, have washed his knife
With gentle eyedrops. He is coming hither.

WARWICK

Sir, I found the Prince in the next room, with tears flowing down his cheeks. He looked so sorrowful that a tyrant—who never drank anything but blood—would, upon seeing him, have washed the blood from his knife with tears. He’s on his way.

KING

But wherefore did he take away the crown?

KING

But why did he take away the crown?

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