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About this text

  • Title: Henry IV, Part 2 (Folio 1 1623)
  • Editor: Rosemary Gaby

  • 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
    Not Peer Reviewed

    Henry IV, Part 2 (Folio 1 1623)

    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-
    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.