Come hither, Harry, sit thou by my bed
And hear, I think, the very latest counsel
That ever I shall breathe.
The Prince rises from his knees and sits
near the bed.
God knows, my son,
By what bypaths and indirect crook'd ways
I met this crown, and I myself know well
How troublesome it sat upon my head.
To thee it shall descend with bitter quiet,
Better opinion, better confirmation,
For all the soil of the achievement goes
With me into the earth. It seemed in me
But as an honor snatched with boist'rous hand,
And I had many living to upbraid
My gain of it by their assistances,
Which daily grew to quarrel and to bloodshed,
Wounding supposèd peace. All these bold fears
Thou seest with peril I have answerèd,
For all my reign hath been but as a scene
Acting that argument. And now my death
Changes the mode; for what in me was purchased
Falls upon thee in a more fairer sort.
So thou the garland wear'st successively.
Yet, though thou stand'st more sure than I could do,
Thou art not firm enough, since griefs are green;
And all my friends, which thou must make thy friends,
Have but their stings and teeth newly ta'en out;
By whose fell working I was first advanced
And by whose power I well might lodge a fear
To be again displaced; which to avoid,
I cut them off and had a purpose now
To lead out many to the Holy Land,
Lest rest and lying still might make them look
Too near unto my state. Therefore, my Harry,
Be it thy course to busy giddy minds
With foreign quarrels, that action, hence borne
May waste the memory of the former days.
More would I, but my lungs are wasted so
That strength of speech is utterly denied me.
How I came by the crown, O God forgive,
And grant it may with thee in true peace live. (4.3.338-379)
King Henry IV's reconciliation with Prince Hal prompts him to dispense fatherly and political advice to his son, which, interestingly enough, leads into a kind of death-bed confession where Henry overtly acknowledges that his path to the crown was "crook'd."
It's clear in this passage that Henry blames his tumultuous reign on his usurpation of the throne – he sees his deposition of Richard II as a "soil[ed]" "achievement." Yet, he's also hopeful of the future because he believes that, since Prince Hal will inherit the crown by lineal succession, his son's reign will be recognized as more legitimate than his own and will, therefore, be much more stable. Still, Henry urges Hal to "busy giddy minds with foreign quarrels" when he is king. That is, he urges Hal to start a war on foreign soil as a way to distract both his friends and enemies from stirring up trouble for him at home. Henry also suggests that this is the real reason why he's always talked about leading a crusade to the Holy Land, which you can read more about by going to "Quotes" for "Warfare."