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Home > King Henry IV Part 1 > ACT I - SCENE II. London. An apartment of the Prince's.

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ACT I - SCENE II. London. An apartment of the Prince's.
Enter the PRINCE OF WALES and FALSTAFF

FALSTAFF
1    Now, Hal, what time of day is it, lad?
PRINCE HENRY
2    Thou art so fat-witted, with drinking of old sack
3    and unbuttoning thee after supper and sleeping upon
4    benches after noon, that thou hast forgotten to
5    demand that truly which thou wouldst truly know.
6    What a devil hast thou to do with the time of the
7    day? Unless hours were cups of sack and minutes
8    capons and clocks the tongues of bawds and dials the
9    signs of leaping-houses and the blessed sun himself
10   a fair hot wench in flame-coloured taffeta, I see no
11   reason why thou shouldst be so superfluous to demand
12   the time of the day.
FALSTAFF
13   Indeed, you come near me now, Hal; for we that take
14   purses go by the moon and the seven stars, and not
15   by Phoebus, he,'that wandering knight so fair.' And,
16   I prithee, sweet wag, when thou art king, as, God
17   save thy grace,--majesty I should say, for grace
18   thou wilt have none,--
PRINCE HENRY
19   What, none?
FALSTAFF
20   No, by my troth, not so much as will serve to
21   prologue to an egg and butter.
PRINCE HENRY
22   Well, how then? come, roundly, roundly.
FALSTAFF
23   Marry, then, sweet wag, when thou art king, let not
24   us that are squires of the night's body be called
25   thieves of the day's beauty: let us be Diana's
26   foresters, gentlemen of the shade, minions of the
27   moon; and let men say we be men of good government,
28   being governed, as the sea is, by our noble and
29   chaste mistress the moon, under whose countenance we steal.
PRINCE HENRY
30   Thou sayest well, and it holds well too; for the
31   fortune of us that are the moon's men doth ebb and
32   flow like the sea, being governed, as the sea is,
33   by the moon. As, for proof, now: a purse of gold
34   most resolutely snatched on Monday night and most
35   dissolutely spent on Tuesday morning; got with
36   swearing 'Lay by' and spent with crying 'Bring in;'
37   now in as low an ebb as the foot of the ladder
38   and by and by in as high a flow as the ridge of the gallows.
FALSTAFF
39   By the Lord, thou sayest true, lad. And is not my
40   hostess of the tavern a most sweet wench?
PRINCE HENRY
41   As the honey of Hybla, my old lad of the castle. And
42   is not a buff jerkin a most sweet robe of durance?
FALSTAFF
43   How now, how now, mad wag! what, in thy quips and
44   thy quiddities? what a plague have I to do with a
45   buff jerkin?
PRINCE HENRY
46   Why, what a pox have I to do with my hostess of the tavern?
FALSTAFF
47   Well, thou hast called her to a reckoning many a
48   time and oft.
PRINCE HENRY
49   Did I ever call for thee to pay thy part?
FALSTAFF
50   No; I'll give thee thy due, thou hast paid all there.
PRINCE HENRY
51   Yea, and elsewhere, so far as my coin would stretch;
52   and where it would not, I have used my credit.
FALSTAFF
53   Yea, and so used it that were it not here apparent
54   that thou art heir apparent--But, I prithee, sweet
55   wag, shall there be gallows standing in England when
56   thou art king? and resolution thus fobbed as it is
57   with the rusty curb of old father antic the law? Do
58   not thou, when thou art king, hang a thief.
PRINCE HENRY
59   No; thou shalt.
FALSTAFF
60   Shall I? O rare! By the Lord, I'll be a brave judge.
PRINCE HENRY
61   Thou judgest false already: I mean, thou shalt have
62   the hanging of the thieves and so become a rare hangman.
FALSTAFF
63   Well, Hal, well; and in some sort it jumps with my
64   humour as well as waiting in the court, I can tell
65   you.
PRINCE HENRY
66   For obtaining of suits?
FALSTAFF
67   Yea, for obtaining of suits, whereof the hangman
68   hath no lean wardrobe. 'Sblood, I am as melancholy
69   as a gib cat or a lugged bear.
PRINCE HENRY
70   Or an old lion, or a lover's lute.
FALSTAFF
71   Yea, or the drone of a Lincolnshire bagpipe.
PRINCE HENRY
72   What sayest thou to a hare, or the melancholy of
73   Moor-ditch?
FALSTAFF
74   Thou hast the most unsavoury similes and art indeed
75   the most comparative, rascalliest, sweet young
76   prince. But, Hal, I prithee, trouble me no more
77   with vanity. I would to God thou and I knew where a
78   commodity of good names were to be bought. An old
79   lord of the council rated me the other day in the
80   street about you, sir, but I marked him not; and yet
81   he talked very wisely, but I regarded him not; and
82   yet he talked wisely, and in the street too.
PRINCE HENRY
83   Thou didst well; for wisdom cries out in the
84   streets, and no man regards it.
FALSTAFF
85   O, thou hast damnable iteration and art indeed able
86   to corrupt a saint. Thou hast done much harm upon
87   me, Hal; God forgive thee for it! Before I knew
88   thee, Hal, I knew nothing; and now am I, if a man
89   should speak truly, little better than one of the
90   wicked. I must give over this life, and I will give
91   it over: by the Lord, and I do not, I am a villain:
92   I'll be damned for never a king's son in
93   Christendom.
PRINCE HENRY
94   Where shall we take a purse tomorrow, Jack?
FALSTAFF
95   'Zounds, where thou wilt, lad; I'll make one; an I
96   do not, call me villain and baffle me.
PRINCE HENRY
97   I see a good amendment of life in thee; from praying
98   to purse-taking.
FALSTAFF
99   Why, Hal, 'tis my vocation, Hal; 'tis no sin for a
100  man to labour in his vocation.
Enter POINS
101  Poins! Now shall we know if Gadshill have set a
102  match. O, if men were to be saved by merit, what
103  hole in hell were hot enough for him? This is the
104  most omnipotent villain that ever cried 'Stand' to
105  a true man.
PRINCE HENRY
106  Good morrow, Ned.
POINS
107  Good morrow, sweet Hal. What says Monsieur Remorse?
108  what says Sir John Sack and Sugar? Jack! how
109  agrees the devil and thee about thy soul, that thou
110  soldest him on Good-Friday last for a cup of Madeira
111  and a cold capon's leg?
PRINCE HENRY
112  Sir John stands to his word, the devil shall have
113  his bargain; for he was never yet a breaker of
114  proverbs: he will give the devil his due.
POINS
115  Then art thou damned for keeping thy word with the devil.
PRINCE HENRY
116  Else he had been damned for cozening the devil.
POINS
117  But, my lads, my lads, to-morrow morning, by four
118  o'clock, early at Gadshill! there are pilgrims going
119  to Canterbury with rich offerings, and traders
120  riding to London with fat purses: I have vizards
121  for you all; you have horses for yourselves:
122  Gadshill lies to-night in Rochester: I have bespoke
123  supper to-morrow night in Eastcheap: we may do it
124  as secure as sleep. If you will go, I will stuff
125  your purses full of crowns; if you will not, tarry
126  at home and be hanged.
FALSTAFF
127  Hear ye, Yedward; if I tarry at home and go not,
128  I'll hang you for going.
POINS
129  You will, chops?
FALSTAFF
130  Hal, wilt thou make one?
PRINCE HENRY
131  Who, I rob? I a thief? not I, by my faith.
FALSTAFF
132  There's neither honesty, manhood, nor good
133  fellowship in thee, nor thou camest not of the blood
134  royal, if thou darest not stand for ten shillings.
PRINCE HENRY
135  Well then, once in my days I'll be a madcap.
FALSTAFF
136  Why, that's well said.
PRINCE HENRY
137  Well, come what will, I'll tarry at home.
FALSTAFF
138  By the Lord, I'll be a traitor then, when thou art king.
PRINCE HENRY
139  I care not.
POINS
140  Sir John, I prithee, leave the prince and me alone:
141  I will lay him down such reasons for this adventure
142  that he shall go.
FALSTAFF
143  Well, God give thee the spirit of persuasion and him
144  the ears of profiting, that what thou speakest may
145  move and what he hears may be believed, that the
146  true prince may, for recreation sake, prove a false
147  thief; for the poor abuses of the time want
148  countenance. Farewell: you shall find me in Eastcheap.
PRINCE HENRY
149  Farewell, thou latter spring! farewell, All-hallown summer!
Exit Falstaff

POINS
150  Now, my good sweet honey lord, ride with us
151  to-morrow: I have a jest to execute that I cannot
152  manage alone. Falstaff, Bardolph, Peto and Gadshill
153  shall rob those men that we have already waylaid:
154  yourself and I will not be there; and when they
155  have the booty, if you and I do not rob them, cut
156  this head off from my shoulders.
PRINCE HENRY
157  How shall we part with them in setting forth?
POINS
158  Why, we will set forth before or after them, and
159  appoint them a place of meeting, wherein it is at
160  our pleasure to fail, and then will they adventure
161  upon the exploit themselves; which they shall have
162  no sooner achieved, but we'll set upon them.
PRINCE HENRY
163  Yea, but 'tis like that they will know us by our
164  horses, by our habits and by every other
165  appointment, to be ourselves.
POINS
166  Tut! our horses they shall not see: I'll tie them
167  in the wood; our vizards we will change after we
168  leave them: and, sirrah, I have cases of buckram
169  for the nonce, to immask our noted outward garments.
PRINCE HENRY
170  Yea, but I doubt they will be too hard for us.
POINS
171  Well, for two of them, I know them to be as
172  true-bred cowards as ever turned back; and for the
173  third, if he fight longer than he sees reason, I'll
174  forswear arms. The virtue of this jest will be, the
175  incomprehensible lies that this same fat rogue will
176  tell us when we meet at supper: how thirty, at
177  least, he fought with; what wards, what blows, what
178  extremities he endured; and in the reproof of this
179  lies the jest.
PRINCE HENRY
180  Well, I'll go with thee: provide us all things
181  necessary and meet me to-morrow night in Eastcheap;
182  there I'll sup. Farewell.
POINS
183  Farewell, my lord.
Exit Poins

PRINCE HENRY
184  I know you all, and will awhile uphold
185  The unyoked humour of your idleness:
186  Yet herein will I imitate the sun,
187  Who doth permit the base contagious clouds
188  To smother up his beauty from the world,
189  That, when he please again to be himself,
190  Being wanted, he may be more wonder'd at,
191  By breaking through the foul and ugly mists
192  Of vapours that did seem to strangle him.
193  If all the year were playing holidays,
194  To sport would be as tedious as to work;
195  But when they seldom come, they wish'd for come,
196  And nothing pleaseth but rare accidents.
197  So, when this loose behavior I throw off
198  And pay the debt I never promised,
199  By how much better than my word I am,
200  By so much shall I falsify men's hopes;
201  And like bright metal on a sullen ground,
202  My reformation, glittering o'er my fault,
203  Shall show more goodly and attract more eyes
204  Than that which hath no foil to set it off.
205  I'll so offend, to make offence a skill;
206  Redeeming time when men think least I will.
Exit

< (Previous) ACT I, SCENE IACT I, SCENE III (Next) >
Scene Index
ACT I
  • SCENE I
  • SCENE II
  • SCENE III


  • ACT II
  • SCENE I
  • SCENE II
  • SCENE III
  • SCENE IV


  • ACT III
  • SCENE I
  • SCENE II


  • ACT IV
  • SCENE I
  • SCENE II
  • SCENE III
  • SCENE IV


  • ACT V
  • SCENE I
  • SCENE II
  • SCENE III
  • SCENE IV
  • SCENE V

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