Henry IV Part 2

by: William Shakespeare

  Act 4 Scene 3

page Act 4 Scene 3 Page 10

Original Text

Modern Text

Enter PRINCE HENRY
PRINCE HENRY enters.
Lo where he comes.—Come hither to me, Harry.—
220Depart the chamber. Leave us here alone.
Look, here he comes. Come here, Harry. (to the rest) Leave the room, and leave us here alone.
Exeunt all but the KING and PRINCE HENRY
Everyone leaves except the KING and PRINCE HENRY.

PRINCE HENRY

I never thought to hear you speak again.

PRINCE HENRY

I never thought I’d hear you speak again.

KING

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
225That thou wilt needs invest thee with my honors
Before thy hour be ripe? O foolish youth,
Thou seek’st the greatness that will overwhelm thee.
Stay but a little, for my cloud of dignity
Is held from falling with so weak a wind
230That it will quickly drop. My day is dim.
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,
235And thou wilt have me die assured of it.
Thou hid’st a thousand daggers in thy thoughts,
Which 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?
240Then get thee gone and dig my grave thyself,
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;
245Only compound me with forgotten dust.
Give that which gave thee life unto the worms.
Pluck down my officers, break my decrees,

KING

You thought that because you wished it to be true. I live too long for you; you’re tired of me. Are you so desperate for my throne that you would take the honors of kingship before it’s your time? Oh you foolish youth! You long for power that will end up overwhelming you. Wait a little while. What power I have left is held together so weakly that the lightest breeze would blow it away: my life is fading.
You stole something from me that would freely have been yours in just a few hours. On my deathbed, you’ve confirmed all my expectations. All your life you showed that you didn’t love me, and now I will die certain of it. There are a thousand daggers in your thoughts, which you’ve sharpened on your stony heart with the hopes of stabbing me in the little time I have left. What? Couldn’t you endure me for half an hour? Then go and dig my grave yourself, and ring the bells to mark your coronation, not my death. Let all the tears that should be shed on my hearse be drops of holy water to bless your head.

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