Henry IV Part 2


Act I
Act II
Act IV
Act V
Enter the King in his nightgown, followed by a page


Go call the Earls of Surrey and of Warwick –

But, ere they come, bid them o'er-read these letters
over-read (v.) read over, read through

And well consider of them. Make good speed.

Exit page

How many thousand of my poorest subjects

Are at this hour asleep! O sleep, O gentle sleep,

Nature's soft nurse, how have I frighted thee,
fright (v.), past form frighted frighten, scare, terrify See Topics: Frequency count
gentle (adj.) 4 peaceful, calm, free from violence

That thou no more wilt weigh my eyelids down

And steep my senses in forgetfulness?

Why rather, sleep, liest thou in smoky cribs,
crib (n.) 1 hovel, hut, shack

Upon uneasy pallets stretching thee,
pallet (n.) bed, straw mattress
uneasy (adj.) 2 uncomfortable, causing discomfort

And hushed with buzzing night-flies to thy slumber,

Than in the perfumed chambers of the great,

Under the canopies of costly state,
state (n.) 4 splendour, magnificence, stateliness, dignity

And lulled with sound of sweetest melody?

O thou dull god, why liest thou with the vile
vile, vild (n.) 1 lowly person, person of humble birth

In loathsome beds, and leavest the kingly couch

A watch-case, or a common 'larum-bell?
alarm, alarum, 'larm, 'larum (n.) 1 call to arms, call to battle, signal to begin fighting See Topics: Stage directions
watch-case (n.) [unclear meaning] receptacle containing a watch; place for keeping watch

Wilt thou upon the high and giddy mast
giddy (adj.) 6 swaying, quaking, dizzying

Seal up the ship-boy's eyes, and rock his brains

In cradle of the rude imperious surge,
imperious, emperious (adj.) imperial, majestic, sovereign
rude (adj.) 3 [of wind or water] stormy, turbulent, harsh

And in the visitation of the winds,
visitation (n.) 2 forceful onset, violence, buffeting

Who take the ruffian billows by the top,
ruffian (adj.) violent, brutal, villainous

Curling their monstrous heads, and hanging them

With deafing clamour in the slippery clouds,
deafing (adj.) deafening, ear-splitting
slippery (adj.) 3 swiftly passing, fleeting

That with the hurly death itself awakes?
hurly (n.) commotion, uproar, turmoil

Canst thou, O partial sleep, give thy repose

To the wet sea-son in an hour so rude,
rude (adj.) 3 [of wind or water] stormy, turbulent, harsh
sea-son (n.) sea-boy, ship's boy

And in the calmest and most stillest night,

With all appliances and means to boot,
boot, to in addition, as well See Topics: Swearing

Deny it to a king? Then happy low, lie down!
low (n.) lowly person

Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown.

Enter Warwick and Surrey
morrow (n.) morning See Topics: Frequency count


Many good morrows to your majesty!


Is it good morrow, lords?


'Tis one o'clock, and past.


Why then, good morrow to you all, my lords.

Have you read o'er the letters that I sent you?


We have, my liege.


Then you perceive the body of our kingdom

How foul it is, what rank diseases grow,
rank (adj.) 2 foul-smelling, stinking

And with what danger, near the heart of it.


It is but as a body yet distempered,
distempered (adj.) 3 disordered, disturbed, diseased

Which to his former strength may be restored

With good advice and little medicine.

My lord Northumberland will soon be cooled.


O God, that one might read the book of fate,

And see the revolution of the times
revolution (n.) 1 reversal, change, twists and turns [of fortune]

Make mountains level, and the continent,
continent (n.) 4 dry land

Weary of solid firmness, melt itself

Into the sea; and other times to see

The beachy girdle of the ocean
beachy (adj.) pebble-covered, shingly

Too wide for Neptune's hips; how chance's mocks
chance (n.) 5 fortune, lot, destiny
mock (n.) 1 act of mockery, mocking remark, derisive action, scornful irony

And changes fill the cup of alteration

With divers liquors! 'Tis not ten years gone
divers (adj.) different, various, several
liquor (n.) 1 [alcoholic] drink

Since Richard and Northumberland, great friends,

Did feast together, and in two years after

Were they at wars. It is but eight years since

This Percy was the man nearest my soul,

Who like a brother toiled in my affairs

And laid his love and life under my foot;

Yea, for my sake, even to the eyes of Richard

Gave him defiance. But which of you was by –

(to Warwick) You, cousin Nevil, as I may remember –

When Richard, with his eye brimful of tears,

Then checked and rated by Northumberland,
check (n.) 1 reprimand, reproof, rebuke
rate (v.) 1 berate, reproach, rebuke, scold

Did speak these words, now proved a prophecy?

‘ Northumberland, thou ladder by the which

My cousin Bolingbroke ascends my throne ’ –

Though then, God knows, I had no such intent,

But that necessity so bowed the state

That I and greatness were compelled to kiss –

‘ The time shall come ’ – thus did he follow it –

‘ The time will come that foul sin, gathering head,
head (n.) 2 power, strength, scope

Shall break into corruption ’ – so went on,

Foretelling this same time's condition,

And the division of our amity.


There is a history in all men's lives

Figuring the nature of the times deceased,
deceased (adj.) past, previous, gone by
figure (v.) 2 reproduce, look like, shape like

The which observed, a man may prophesy,

With a near aim, of the main chance of things
chance (n.) 2 outcome, situation

As yet not come to life, who in their seeds

And weak beginning lie intreasured.
intreasured, entreasured (adj.) safely stored up, kept as in a treasury

Such things become the hatch and brood of time,
become (v.) 1 be fitting, befit, be appropriate to See Topics: Frequency count
brood (n.) children, offspring
hatch (n.) 1 hatching [as from an egg]

And by the necessary form of this
form (n.) 3 pattern, shaping, outcome, order
necessary (adj.) 1 inevitable, unavoidable, certain

King Richard might create a perfect guess

That great Northumberland, then false to him,
false (adj.) 2 disloyal, faithless, inconstant, unfaithful

Would of that seed grow to a greater falseness,

Which should not find a ground to root upon

Unless on you.
necessity (n.) 2 unavoidable event


                         Are these things then necessities?

Then let us meet them like necessities,

And that same word even now cries out on us.

They say the Bishop and Northumberland

Are fifty thousand strong.


                         It cannot be, my lord.

Rumour doth double, like the voice and echo,

The numbers of the feared. Please it your grace

To go to bed. Upon my soul, my lord,

The powers that you already have sent forth
power (n.) 1 armed force, troops, host, army See Topics: Frequency count

Shall bring this prize in very easily.

To comfort you the more, I have received

A certain instance that Glendower is dead.
certain (adj.) 1 reliable, trustworthy, definite
instance (n.) 1 sign, evidence, proof

Your majesty hath been this fortnight ill,

And these unseasoned hours perforce must add
perforce (adv.) 2 of necessity, with no choice in the matter See Topics: Frequency count
unseasoned (adj.) 1 unseasonable, inopportune, badly timed

Unto your sickness.


                         I will take your counsel.

And were these inward wars once out of hand,
hand, out of 2 finished with, off one's hands
inward (adj.) 3 internal, domestic, civil

We would, dear lords, unto the Holy Land.


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