Internet Shakespeare Editions

About this text

  • Title: Henry IV, Part 1 (Modern)
  • Editor: Rosemary Gaby
  • ISBN: 978-1-55058-371-7

    Copyright Rosemary Gaby. This text may be freely used for educational, non-profit purposes; for all other uses contact the Editor.
    Author: William Shakespeare
    Editor: Rosemary Gaby
    Peer Reviewed

    Henry IV, Part 1 (Modern)

    Enter Prince, Poins, and Peto.
    Poins Come, shelter, shelter! I have removed Falstaff's horse, and he frets like a gummed velvet.
    Prince Stand close.
    [Poins and Peto hide.]
    Enter Falstaff.
    740Falstaff Poins! Poins, and be hanged! Poins!
    Prince Peace, ye fat-kidneyed rascal! What a brawling dost thou keep!
    Falstaff Where's Poins, Hal?
    Prince He is walked up to the top of the hill. I'll go seek him.
    [He joins Poins and Peto]
    Falstaff I am accursed to rob in that thief's company. The rascal hath removed my horse and tied him I know not where. If I travel but four foot by the square further afoot, I shall break my wind. Well, I doubt not but to die a fair death, for all 750this if I scape hanging for killing that rogue. I have forsworn his company hourly any time this two-and-twenty years, and yet I am bewitched with the rogue's company. If the rascal have not given me medicines to make me love him, I'll be hanged. It could 755not be else -- I have drunk medicines. Poins! Hal! A plague upon you both! Bardolph! Peto! I'll starve ere I'll rob a foot further. An 'twere not as good a deed as drink to turn true man and to leave these rogues, I am the veriest varlet that ever chewed with a tooth. Eight yards of uneven ground is 760threescore and ten miles afoot with me, and the stony-hearted villains know it well enough. A plague upon it when thieves cannot be true one to another!
    They whistle.
    Whew! A plague upon you all!
    [Prince, Poins and Peto come forward(?)]
    Give me my horse, you rogues; 765give me my horse, and be hanged!
    Prince Peace, ye fat-guts. Lie down, lay thine ear close to the ground, and list if thou canst hear the tread of travelers.
    Falstaff Have you any levers to lift me up again, being down? 770'Sblood, I'll not bear my own flesh so far afoot again for all the coin in thy father's exchequer. What a plague mean ye to colt me thus?
    Prince Thou liest: thou art not colted, thou art uncolted.
    Falstaff I prithee, good Prince Hal, help me to my horse, good 775king's son.
    Prince Out, ye rogue, shall I be your ostler?
    Falstaff Hang thyself in thine own heir-apparent garters! If I be ta'en, I'll peach for this. An I have not ballads made on you all and sung to filthy tunes, let a cup of sack be my 780poison. When a jest is so forward -- and afoot too -- I hate it.
    Enter Gadshill [and Bardolph(?)].
    Gadshill Stand!
    Falstaff So I do, against my will.
    785Poins Oh, 'tis our setter, I know his voice. Bardolph, what news?
    Bardolph Case ye, case ye, on with your vizards! There's money of the king's coming down the hill; 'tis going to the king's exchequer.
    790Falstaff You lie, ye rogue, 'tis going to the king's tavern.
    Gadshill There's enough to make us all.
    Falstaff To be hanged.
    Prince Sirs, you four shall front them in the narrow lane. Ned Poins and I will walk lower. If they scape from your 795encounter, then they light on us.
    Peto How many be there of them?
    Gadshill Some eight or ten.
    Falstaff Zounds, will they not rob us?
    Prince What, a coward, Sir John Paunch?
    800Falstaff Indeed I am not John of Gaunt your grandfather, but yet no coward, Hal.
    Prince Well, we leave that to the proof.
    Poins Sirrah Jack, thy horse stands behind the hedge. When thou need'st him, there thou shalt find him. Farewell, and stand fast.
    Falstaff Now cannot I strike him if I should be hanged.
    Prince [Aside to Poins] Ned, where are our disguises?
    Poins [Aside to the prince] Here, hard by, stand close.
    [Exeunt Prince and Poins.]
    Falstaff Now, my masters, happy man be his dole, say I; every 810man to his business.
    Enter the travelers.
    [First Traveler] Come, neighbor, the boy shall lead our horses down the hill. We'll walk afoot a while, and ease their legs.
    815Thieves Stand!
    Traveler Jesus bless us!
    Falstaff Strike, down with them, cut the villains' throats. Ah, whoreson caterpillars, bacon-fed knaves! They hate us youth. Down with them, fleece them!
    820Traveler Oh, we are undone, both we and ours forever!
    Falstaff Hang, ye gorbellied knaves, are ye undone? No, ye fat chuffs, I would your store were here. On, bacons, on! What, ye knaves, young men must live. You are grand-jurors, are ye? We'll jure ye, faith.
    Here they rob them and bind them. Exeunt.
    Enter the prince and Poins.
    Prince The thieves have bound the true men. Now could thou and I rob the thieves and go merrily to London, it would be argument for a week, laughter for a month, and a good jest 830forever.
    Poins Stand close, I hear them coming.
    [They hide.]
    Enter the thieves again.
    Falstaff Come, my masters, let us share, and then to horse before day. An the prince and Poins be not two arrant cowards, 835there's no equity stirring. There's no more valor in that Poins than in a wild duck.
    As they are sharing the prince and Poins set upon them.
    Prince Your money.
    Poins Villains!
    They all run away, and Falstaff after a blow or two runs away840 too, leaving the booty behind them.
    Prince Got with much ease. Now merrily to horse. The thieves are all scattered and possessed with fear so strongly that they dare not meet each other. Each takes his fellow for an officer. Away, good Ned. Falstaff sweats to death, and lards the lean earth 845as he walks along. Were't not for laughing, I should pity him.
    Poins How the fat rogue roared!