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  • Title: Henry IV, Part 2 (Quarto 1, 1598)
  • 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    Not Peer Reviewed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 (Quarto 1, 1598)

    Enter sir Iohn alone, with his page bearing his sword
    and buckler.
    Iohn Sirra, you giant, what saies the doctor to my water?
    Page He said sir, the water it self was a good healthy water,
    but for the party that owed it, he might haue moe diseases then
    280he knew for.
    Iohn Men of al sorts take a pride to gird at me: the braine
    of this foolish compoūnded clay-man is not able to inuent any
    thing that intends to laughter, more then I inuent, or is inuēnted
    on me, I am not only witty in my selfe, but the cause that wit is
    285in other men. I do here walk before thee, like a sow that hath
    ouerwhelmd al her litter but one, if the prince put thee into my
    seruice for any other reason then to sett me off, why then I
    haue no iudgement thou horeson mandrake, thou art fitter to
    290be worne in my cap, then to wait at my heels I was neuer man-
    ned with an agot till now, but I wil in-set you, neither in golde
    nor siluer, but in vile apparell, and send you backe againe to
    your master for a iewell, the iuuenall the prince your master,
    whose chin is not yet fledge, I will sooner haue a beard grow
    295in the palme of my hand, then he shal get one off his cheek, &
    yet he will not sticke to say his face is a face royal, God may fi-
    nish it when he will, tis not a haire amisse yet, he may keepe it
    still at a face royall, for a barber shall neuer earne sixpence out
    300of it, and yet heele be crowing as if he had writte man euer
    since his father was a batcheler, he may keepe his owne grace,
    but hees almost out of mine I can assure him: what said master
    Dommelton about the sattin for my short cloake and my
    305Boy He saide sir, you should procure him better assurance
    then Bardolfe, he would not take his band and yours, he liked
    not the securitie.
    sir Iohn Let him be damn'd like the glutton, pray God his
    tongue be hotter, a horeson Achitophel! a rascall: yea forsooth
    310knaue, to beare a gentle man in hand, and then stand vpon se-
    curity, the horson smoothy-pates doe now weare nothing but
    hie shooes and bunches of keyes at their girdles, and if a man is
    through with them in honest taking vp, then they must stand
    vppon security, I had as liue they would put ratsbane in my
    315mouth as offer to stop it with security, I lookt a should haue
    sent me two and twenty yards of sattin (as I am a true knight,)
    and he sends me security: well he may sleepe in security, for he
    hath the horne of aboundance, and the lightnesse of his wife
    320shines through it: wheres Bardolf, & yet can not he see though
    he haue his owne lanthorne to light him.
    Boy Hees gone in Smithfield to buy your worship a horse.
    325sir Iohn I bought him in Paules, and heele buy me a horse
    in Smithfield, and I could get me but a wife in the stewes, I
    were man'd, horsde, and wiu'd.
    Enter Lord chiefe Iustice.
    Boy Sir, here comes the noble man that committed the prince
    330for striking him about Bardolfe.
    sir Iohn Wait close, I will not see him.
    Iustice Whats hee that goes there?
    seru. Falstaffe, and't please your lordship.
    Iust. He that was in question for the rob'ry?
    335seru. He my Lord, but he hath since done good seruice at
    Shrewsbury, & (as I heare,) is now going with some charge to
    the lord Iohn of Lancaster.
    Iust. What to Yorke? call him backe againe.
    seru. Sir Iohn Falstaffe.
    340Iohn Boy, tell him I am deafe.
    Boy You must speake lowder, my master is deafe.
    Iust. I am sure he is to the hearing of any thing good, goe
    plucke him by the elbow, I must speake with him.
    seru. Sir Iohn?
    345Falst. What? a yong knaue and begging? is there not wars?
    is there not employment? doth not the King lacke subiects? do
    not the rebels need souldiers, though it be a shame to be on any
    side but one, it is worse shame to beg then to be on the worst
    side, were it worse then the name of Rebellion can tell how to
    350make it.
    seru. You mistake me sir.
    Iohn Why sir, did I say you were an honest man, setting my
    knighthood and my souldiership aside, I had lied in my throat
    if I had said so.
    355seru. I pray you sir then set your knighthood, and your sol-
    diership aside, and giue me leaue to tell you, you lie in your
    throate, if you say I am any other then an honest man.
    Iohn I giue thee leaue to tell me, so I lay aside that which
    360growes to me, if thou getst any leaue of me, hang me, if thou
    takst leaue, thou wert better be hangd, you hunt coūnter, hence,
    seru. Sir, my Lord would speake with you.
    Iust. Sir Iohn Falstaffe, a word with you.
    365Falst. My good Lord, God giue your lordship good time
    of day, I am glad to see your lordship abroade, I heard say your
    lordship was sicke, I hope your lordship goes abroade by ad-
    uise, your lordship, though not clean past your youth, haue yet
    some smack of an ague in you, some relish of the saltnes of time
    in you, and I most humbly beseech your lordship to haue a re-
    uerend care of your health.
    Iustice Sir Iohn, I sent for you before your expedition to
    sir Iohn Andt please your lorship, I heare his maiesty is re-
    375turnd with some discomfort from Wales.
    Iust. I talke not of his maiesty, you would not come when I
    sent for you.
    Falst. And I heare moreouer, his highnes is falne into this
    same horson apoplexi.
    380Iust. Well, God mend him, I pray you let me speake with
    Falst. This appoplexi as I take it? is a kind of lethergie, and't
    please your lordship, a kind of sleeping in the bloud, a horson
    Iust. What tell you me of it, be it as it is.
    Falst. It hath it originall from much griefe, from study, and
    385perturbation of the braine, I haue read the cause of his effects
    in Galen, it is a kind of deafenes.
    Iust. I think you are falne into the disease, for you heare not
    what I say to you.
    Old. Very wel my lord, very wel, rather and't please you it is
    390the disease of not listning, the maladie of not marking that I
    am troubled withall.
    Iust. To punish you by the heeles, would amend the atten-
    tion of your eares, and I care not if I doe become your
    Falst. I am as poore as Iob my lord, but not so pacient,
    395your Lordship may minister the potion of imprisonment to
    me, in respect of pouerty, but how I should be your pacient to
    follow your prescriptions, the wise may make som dramme of
    a scruple, or indeede a scruple it selfe.
    Iust. I sent for you when there were matters against you for
    400your life to come speake with me.
    Falst. As I was then aduisde by my learned counsail in the
    lawes of this land seruice, I did not come.
    Iust. Wel, the truth is sir Iohn, you liue in great infamy.
    Falst. He that buckles himselfe in my belt cannot liue in
    405Iust. Your meanes are very slender, and your waste is great.
    Falst. I would it were otherwise, I would my meanes were
    greater and my waste slender.
    Iust. You haue misled the youthfull prince.
    Falst. The yong prince hath misled me, I am the felow with
    410the great belly, and he my dogge.
    Iust. Wel, I am loth to gall a new heald wound, your daies
    seruice at Shrewsbury, hath a little guilded ouer your nights
    exploit on Gadshill, you may thanke th'vnquiet time, for your
    quiet oreposting that action.
    415Falst. My lord.
    Iust. But since all is well, keepe it so, wake not a sleeping
    Falst. To wake a wolfe, is as bad as smell a fox.
    Iust. VVhat you are as a candle, the better part, burnt out.
    Falst. A wassel candle my lord, al tallow, if I did say of wax,
    420my growth would approue the truth.
    Iust. There is not a white haire in your face, but should
    haue his effect of grauity.
    Falst. His effect of grauy, grauie, grauie.
    Iust. You follow the yong prince vp and downe, like his
    425ill angell.
    Falst. Not so my lord, your ill angell is light, but I hope he
    that lookes vpon me will take me without weighing, and yet
    in some respects I grant I cannot go. I cannot tell, vertue is of
    so little regard in these costar-mongers times, that true valour
    430is turnd Berod, Pregnancie is made a Tapster, & his quick wit
    wasted in giuing reckonings, all the other giftes appertinent
    to man, as the malice of his age shapes the one not worth a
    goosbery, you that are old consider not the capacities of vs that
    435are yong, you doe measure the heate of our liuers with the bit-
    ternesse of your galles, and we that are in the vaward of our
    youth, I must confesse are wagges too.
    Lo. Do you set downe your name in the scroule of youth,
    that are written downe, old with all the characters of age? haue
    440you not a moist eie, a dry hand, a yelow cheeke, a white beard,
    a decreasing leg, an increasing belly? is not your voice broken,
    your winde short, your chinne double, your wit single, and e-
    uery part about you blasted with antiquitie, and will you yet
    call your selfe yong? fie, fie, fie, sir Iohn.
    445Iohn My Lorde, I was borne about three of the clocke in
    445the afternoone, with a white head, and something a round bel-
    lie, for my voyce, I haue lost it with hallowing, and singing of
    Anthems: to approoue my youth further, I will not: the truth
    is, I am onely olde in iudgement and vnderstanding: and hee
    that wil caper with me for a thousand markes, let him lend me
    450the money, and haue at him for the boxe of the yeere that the
    Prince gaue you, he gaue it like a rude Prince, and you tooke
    it like a sensible Lord: I haue checkt him for it, and the yong
    lion repents, mary not in ashes and sackcloth, but in new silke,
    455and olde sacke.
    Lord Well, God send the prince a better companion.
    Iohn God send the companion a better prince, I cannot
    ridde my hands of him.
    Lord Well, the King hath seuerd you: I heare you are go-
    460ing with lord Iohn of Lancaster, against the Archbishop and
    the Earle of Northumberland.
    Iohn Yea, I thanke your prety sweet witte for it: but looke
    you pray, all you that kisse my lady Peace at home, that our
    armies ioyne not in a hote day, for, by the Lord, I take but two
    465shirts out with me, and I meane not to sweate extraordinarily:
    if it be a hot day, & I brandish any thing but a bottle. I would
    I might neuer spit white again: there is not a dangerous action
    can peepe out his head, but I am thrust vpon it. Wel, I cannot
    last euer, but it was alway yet the tricke of our English nation,
    469.1if they haue a good thing, to make it too common. If yee will
    needs say I am an olde man, you should giue me rest: I would
    to God my name were not so terrible to the enemy as it is, I
    were better to be eaten to death with a rust, than to be scoured
    469.5to nothing with perpetuall motion.
    470Lord Well, be honest, be honest, and God blesse your ex-
    Iohn Will your lordship lend me a thousand pound to fur-
    nish me forth?
    Lord Not a penny, not a penny, you are too impatient to
    475beare crosses: fare you well: commend mee to my coosine
    Iohn If I do, fillip me with a three man beetle: A man can
    no more separate age and couetousnesse, than a can part yong
    limbs and lechery, but the gowt galles the one, and the pox
    480pinches the other, and so both the degrees preuent my curses,
    Boy Sir.
    Iohn What money is in my purse?
    Boy Seuen groates and two pence.
    485Iohn I can get no remedy against this consumption of the
    purse, borrowing onely lingers and lingers it out, but the dis-
    ease is incurable: Go beare this letter to my lord of Lancaster,
    this to the Prince, this to the Earle of Westmerland, and this to
    olde mistris Vrsula, whome I haue weekely sworne to marry
    490since I perceiud the first white haire of my chin: about it, you
    know where to finde me: a pox of this gowt, or a gowt of this
    pox, for the one or the other playes the rogue with my great
    toe. Tis no matter if I doe hault, I haue the warres for my
    495color, and my pension shal seeme the more reasonable: a good
    wit will make vse of any thing; I will turne diseases to commo-