King. Thy wish was Father (Harry) to that thought: I stay too long by thee, I wearie thee. Do'st thou so hunger for my emptie Chayre, That thou wilt needes inuest thee with mine Honors, Before thy howre be ripe? O foolish Youth! Thou seek'st the Greatnesse, that will ouer-whelme thee. Stay but a little: for my Cloud of Dignitie Is held from falling, with so weake a winde, That it will quickly drop: my Day is dimme. Thou hast stolne that, which after some few howres Were thine, without offence: and at my death Thou hast seal'd vp my expectation. Thy Life did manifest, thou lou'dst me not, And thou wilt haue me dye assur'd of it. Thou hid'st a thousand Daggers in thy thoughts, Which thou hast whetted on thy stonie heart, To stab at halfe an howre of my Life. What? canst thou not forbeare me halfe an howre? Then get thee gone, and digge my graue thy selfe, And bid the merry Bels ring to thy eare That thou art Crowned, not that I am dead. Let all the Teares, that should bedew my Hearse Be drops of Balme, to sanctifie thy head: Onely compound me with forgotten dust. Giue that, which gaue thee life, vnto the Wormes: Plucke downe my Officers, breake my Decrees; For now a time is come, to mocke at Forme. Henry the fift is Crown'd: Vp Vanity, Downe Royall State: All you sage Counsailors, hence: And to the English Court, assemble now From eu'ry Region, Apes of Idlenesse. Now neighbor-Confines, purge you of your Scum: Haue you a Ruffian that will sweare? drinke? dance? Reuell the night? Rob? Murder? and commit The oldest sinnes, the newest kinde of wayes? Be happy, he will trouble you no more: England, shall double gill'd, his trebble guilt. England, shall giue him Office, Honor, Might: For the Fift Harry, from curb'd License pluckes The muzzle of Restraint; and the wilde Dogge Shall flesh his tooth in euery Innocent. O my poore Kingdome (sicke, with ciuill blowes) When that my Care could not with-hold thy Ryots, What wilt thou do, when Ryot is thy Care? O, thou wilt be a Wildernesse againe, Peopled with Wolues (thy old Inhabitants.) Prince. O pardon me (my Liege) But for my Teares, The most Impediments vnto my Speech, I had fore-stall'd this deere, and deepe Rebuke, Ere you (with greefe) had spoke, and I had heard The course of it so farre. There is your Crowne, And he that weares the Crowne immortally, Long guard it yours. If I affect it more, Then as your Honour, and as your Renowne, Let me no more from this Obedience rise, Which my most true, and inward duteous Spirit Teacheth this prostrate, and exteriour bending. Heauen witnesse with me, when I heere came in, And found no course of breath within your Maiestie, How cold it strooke my heart. If I do faine, O let me, in my present wildenesse, dye, And neuer liue, to shew th' incredulous World, The Noble change that I haue purposed. Comming to looke on you, thinking you dead, (And dead almost (my Liege) to thinke you were) I spake vnto the Crowne (as hauing sense) And thus vpbraided it. The Care on thee depending, Hath fed vpon the body of my Father, Therefore, thou best of Gold, art worst of Gold. Other, lesse fine in Charract, is more precious, Preseruing life, in Med'cine potable: But thou, most Fine, most Honour'd, most Renown'd, Hast eate the Bearer vp. Thus (my Royall Liege) Accusing it, I put it on my Head, To try with it (as with an Enemie, That had before my face murdred my Father) The Quarrell of a true Inheritor. But if it did infect my blood with Ioy, Or swell my Thoughts, to any straine of Pride, If any Rebell, or vaine spirit of mine, Did, with the least Affection of a Welcome, Giue entertainment to the might of it, Let heauen, for euer, keepe it from my head, And make me, as the poorest Vassaile is, That doth with awe, and terror kneele to it

William Shakespeare
Classic Literature Library

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