Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Rosemary Gaby
Not Peer Reviewed

Henry IV, Part 2 (Quarto 1, 1600)

3325First my feare then my cursie, last my speech.
My feare, is your displeasure, my cursy, my duty, & my speech,
to beg your pardons: if you looke for a good speech now, you
vndo me, for what I haue to say is of mine owne making, and
what indeed (I should say) wil (I doubt) proue mine own mar-
3330ring: but to the purpose, and so to the venture. Be it knowne to
you, as it is very well, I was lately here in the end of a displea-
sing play, to pray your patience for it, and to promise you a bet-
ter: I meant indeed to pay you with this, which if like an il ven-
ture it come vnluckily home, I breake, and you my gentle cre-
3335ditors loose, here I promisde you I would be, and here I com-
mit 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
3336.1kneele downe before you; but indeed, to pray for the Queene.
If my tongue cannot intreate you to acquit mee, will you
commaund me to vse my legges? And yet that were but light
payment, to daunce out of your debt, but a good consci-
3340ence will make any possible satisfaction, and so woulde I: all
the Gentlewomen heere haue forgiuen me, if the Gentlemen
will not, then the Gentlemen doe not agree with the Gentle-
women, which was neuer seene in such an assemblie.
One word more I beseech you, if you bee not too much
cloyd with fatte meate, our humble Author will continue the
3345storie, with sir Iohn in it, and make you merry with faire Ka-
tharine of Fraunce, where (for any thing I knowe) Falstaffe
shall die of a sweat, vnlesse already a be killd with your harde
opinions; for Olde-castle died Martyre, and this is not the
man: my tongue is weary, when my legges are too, I wil bid
you, good night.