Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Rosemary Gaby
Not Peer Reviewed

Henry IV, Part 2 (Modern).


[Enter Epilogue.]
Epilogue 3325First my fear, then my cursty, last my speech.
My fear is your displeasure; my curtsy, my duty, and my speech, to beg your pardons. If you look for a good speech now, you undo me, for what I have to say is of mine own making; and what indeed I should say will, I doubt, prove mine own 3330marring. But to the purpose, and so to the venture. Be it known to you, as it is very well, I was lately here in the end of a displeasing play, to pray your patience for it and to promise you a better. I meant indeed to pay you with this, which, if like an ill venture it come unluckily home, I break, and you, my gentle 3335creditors, lose. Here I promised you I would be, and here I commit my body to your mercies. Bate me some and I will pay you some, and, as most debtors do, promise you infinitely. And so I 3336.1kneel down before you -- but, indeed, to pray for the Queen.
If my tongue cannot entreat you to acquit me, will you command me to use my legs? And yet that were but light payment, to dance out of your debt. But a good 3340conscience will make any possible satisfaction, and so would I. All the gentlewomen here have forgiven me; if the gentlemen will not, then the gentlemen do not agree with the gentlewomen, which was never seen in such an assembly.
One word more, I beseech you. If you be not too much cloyed with fat meat, our humble author will continue the 3345story with Sir John in it, and make you merry with fair Katharine of France; where, for anything I know, Falstaff shall die of a sweat, unless already 'a be killed with your hard opinions; for Oldcastle died martyr, and this is not the man. My tongue is weary, when my legs are too, I will bid you good night.
[Exit.]