Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Not Peer Reviewed

Henry IV, Part 2 (Folio 1 1623)


EPILOGVE.
3325FIRST, my Feare: then, my Curtsie:
last, my Speech.
My Feare, is your Displeasure: My Curtsie, my Dutie:
And my speech, to Begge your Pardons. If you looke for a
good speech now, you vndoe me: For what I haue to say, is
of mine owne making: and what (indeed) I should say, will
3330(I doubt) prooue mine owne marring. But to the Purpose,
and so to the Venture. Be it knowne to you (as it is very
well) I was lately heere in the end of a displeasing Play, to pray your Patience
for it, and to promise you a Better: I did meane (indeede) to pay you with this,
which if (like an ill Venture) it come vnluckily home, I breake; and you, my gen-
3335tle Creditors lose. Heere I promist you I would be, and heere I commit my Bodie
to your Mercies: Bate me some, and I will pay you some, and (as most Debtors do)
promise you infinitely.
If my Tongue cannot entreate you to acquit me: will you command me to vse
my Legges? And yet that were but light payment, to Dance out of your debt: But
3340a good Conscience, will make any possible satisfaction, and so will I. All the Gen-
tlewomen heere, haue forgiuen me, if the Gentlemen will not, then the Gentlemen
do not agree with the Gentlewowen, which was neuer seene before, in such an As-
sembly.
One word more, I beseech you: if you be not too much cloid with Fat Meate,
3345our humble Author will continue the Story (with Sir Iohn in it) and make you
merry, with faire Katherine of France: where (for any thing I know) Fal-
staffe shall dye of a sweat, vnlesse already he be kill'd with your hard Opinions:
For Old-Castle dyed a Martyr, and this is not the man. My Tongue is wearie
when my Legs are too, I will bid you good night; and so kneele downe before you:
3350But (indeed) to pray for the Queene.