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Home > King Henry IV Part 2 > ACT II - SCENE II. London. Another street.

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ACT II - SCENE II. London. Another street.
Enter PRINCE HENRY and POINS

PRINCE HENRY
1    Before God, I am exceeding weary.
POINS
2    Is't come to that? I had thought weariness durst not
3    have attached one of so high blood.
PRINCE HENRY
4    Faith, it does me; though it discolours the
5    complexion of my greatness to acknowledge it. Doth
6    it not show vilely in me to desire small beer?
POINS
7    Why, a prince should not be so loosely studied as
8    to remember so weak a composition.
PRINCE HENRY
9    Belike then my appetite was not princely got; for,
10   by my troth, I do now remember the poor creature,
11   small beer. But, indeed, these humble
12   considerations make me out of love with my
13   greatness. What a disgrace is it to me to remember
14   thy name! or to know thy face to-morrow! or to
15   take note how many pair of silk stockings thou
16   hast, viz. these, and those that were thy
17   peach-coloured ones! or to bear the inventory of thy
18   shirts, as, one for superfluity, and another for
19   use! But that the tennis-court-keeper knows better
20   than I; for it is a low ebb of linen with thee when
21   thou keepest not racket there; as thou hast not done
22   a great while, because the rest of thy low
23   countries have made a shift to eat up thy holland:
24   and God knows, whether those that bawl out the ruins
25   of thy linen shall inherit his kingdom: but the
26   midwives say the children are not in the fault;
27   whereupon the world increases, and kindreds are
28   mightily strengthened.
POINS
29   How ill it follows, after you have laboured so hard,
30   you should talk so idly! Tell me, how many good
31   young princes would do so, their fathers being so
32   sick as yours at this time is?
PRINCE HENRY
33   Shall I tell thee one thing, Poins?
POINS
34   Yes, faith; and let it be an excellent good thing.
PRINCE HENRY
35   It shall serve among wits of no higher breeding than thine.
POINS
36   Go to; I stand the push of your one thing that you
37   will tell.
PRINCE HENRY
38   Marry, I tell thee, it is not meet that I should be
39   sad, now my father is sick: albeit I could tell
40   thee, as to one it pleases me, for fault of a
41   better, to call my friend, I could be sad, and sad
42   indeed too.
POINS
43   Very hardly upon such a subject.
PRINCE HENRY
44   By this hand thou thinkest me as far in the devil's
45   book as thou and Falstaff for obduracy and
46   persistency: let the end try the man. But I tell
47   thee, my heart bleeds inwardly that my father is so
48   sick: and keeping such vile company as thou art
49   hath in reason taken from me all ostentation of sorrow.
POINS
50   The reason?
PRINCE HENRY
51   What wouldst thou think of me, if I should weep?
POINS
52   I would think thee a most princely hypocrite.
PRINCE HENRY
53   It would be every man's thought; and thou art a
54   blessed fellow to think as every man thinks: never
55   a man's thought in the world keeps the road-way
56   better than thine: every man would think me an
57   hypocrite indeed. And what accites your most
58   worshipful thought to think so?
POINS
59   Why, because you have been so lewd and so much
60   engraffed to Falstaff.
PRINCE HENRY
61   And to thee.
POINS
62   By this light, I am well spoke on; I can hear it
63   with my own ears: the worst that they can say of
64   me is that I am a second brother and that I am a
65   proper fellow of my hands; and those two things, I
66   confess, I cannot help. By the mass, here comes Bardolph.
Enter BARDOLPH and Page

PRINCE HENRY
67   And the boy that I gave Falstaff: a' had him from
68   me Christian; and look, if the fat villain have not
69   transformed him ape.
BARDOLPH
70   God save your grace!
PRINCE HENRY
71   And yours, most noble Bardolph!
BARDOLPH
72   Come, you virtuous ass, you bashful fool, must you
73   be blushing? wherefore blush you now? What a
74   maidenly man-at-arms are you become! Is't such a
75   matter to get a pottle-pot's maidenhead?
Page
76   A' calls me e'en now, my lord, through a red
77   lattice, and I could discern no part of his face
78   from the window: at last I spied his eyes, and
79   methought he had made two holes in the ale-wife's
80   new petticoat and so peeped through.
PRINCE HENRY
81   Has not the boy profited?
BARDOLPH
82   Away, you whoreson upright rabbit, away!
Page
83   Away, you rascally Althaea's dream, away!
PRINCE HENRY
84   Instruct us, boy; what dream, boy?
Page
85   Marry, my lord, Althaea dreamed she was delivered
86   of a fire-brand; and therefore I call him her dream.
PRINCE HENRY
87   A crown's worth of good interpretation: there 'tis,
88   boy.
POINS
89   O, that this good blossom could be kept from
90   cankers! Well, there is sixpence to preserve thee.
BARDOLPH
91   An you do not make him hanged among you, the
92   gallows shall have wrong.
PRINCE HENRY
93   And how doth thy master, Bardolph?
BARDOLPH
94   Well, my lord. He heard of your grace's coming to
95   town: there's a letter for you.
POINS
96   Delivered with good respect. And how doth the
97   martlemas, your master?
BARDOLPH
98   In bodily health, sir.
POINS
99   Marry, the immortal part needs a physician; but
100  that moves not him: though that be sick, it dies
101  not.
PRINCE HENRY
102  I do allow this wen to be as familiar with me as my
103  dog; and he holds his place; for look you how be writes.
POINS
Reads
104   'John Falstaff, knight,'--every man must
105  know that, as oft as he has occasion to name
106  himself: even like those that are kin to the king;
107  for they never prick their finger but they say,
108  'There's some of the king's blood spilt.' 'How
109  comes that?' says he, that takes upon him not to
110  conceive. The answer is as ready as a borrower's
111  cap, 'I am the king's poor cousin, sir.'
PRINCE HENRY
112  Nay, they will be kin to us, or they will fetch it
113  from Japhet. But to the letter.
POINS
Reads
114   'Sir John Falstaff, knight, to the son of
115  the king, nearest his father, Harry Prince of
116  Wales, greeting.' Why, this is a certificate.
PRINCE HENRY
117  Peace!
POINS
Reads
118   'I will imitate the honourable Romans in
119  brevity:' he sure means brevity in breath,
120  short-winded. 'I commend me to thee, I commend
121  thee, and I leave thee. Be not too familiar with
122  Poins; for he misuses thy favours so much, that he
123  swears thou art to marry his sister Nell. Repent
124  at idle times as thou mayest; and so, farewell.
125  Thine, by yea and no, which is as much as to
126  say, as thou usest him, JACK FALSTAFF with my
127  familiars, JOHN with my brothers and sisters,
128  and SIR JOHN with all Europe.'
129  My lord, I'll steep this letter in sack and make him eat it.
PRINCE HENRY
130  That's to make him eat twenty of his words. But do
131  you use me thus, Ned? must I marry your sister?
POINS
132  God send the wench no worse fortune! But I never said so.
PRINCE HENRY
133  Well, thus we play the fools with the time, and the
134  spirits of the wise sit in the clouds and mock us.
135  Is your master here in London?
BARDOLPH
136  Yea, my lord.
PRINCE HENRY
137  Where sups he? doth the old boar feed in the old frank?
BARDOLPH
138  At the old place, my lord, in Eastcheap.
PRINCE HENRY
139  What company?
Page
140  Ephesians, my lord, of the old church.
PRINCE HENRY
141  Sup any women with him?
Page
142  None, my lord, but old Mistress Quickly and
143  Mistress Doll Tearsheet.
PRINCE HENRY
144  What pagan may that be?
Page
145  A proper gentlewoman, sir, and a kinswoman of my master's.
PRINCE HENRY
146  Even such kin as the parish heifers are to the town
147  bull. Shall we steal upon them, Ned, at supper?
POINS
148  I am your shadow, my lord; I'll follow you.
PRINCE HENRY
149  Sirrah, you boy, and Bardolph, no word to your
150  master that I am yet come to town: there's for
151  your silence.
BARDOLPH
152  I have no tongue, sir.
Page
153  And for mine, sir, I will govern it.
PRINCE HENRY
154  Fare you well; go.
Exeunt BARDOLPH and Page
155  This Doll Tearsheet should be some road.
POINS
156  I warrant you, as common as the way between Saint
157  Alban's and London.
PRINCE HENRY
158  How might we see Falstaff bestow himself to-night
159  in his true colours, and not ourselves be seen?
POINS
160  Put on two leathern jerkins and aprons, and wait
161  upon him at his table as drawers.
PRINCE HENRY
162  From a God to a bull? a heavy decension! it was
163  Jove's case. From a prince to a prentice? a low
164  transformation! that shall be mine; for in every
165  thing the purpose must weigh with the folly.
166  Follow me, Ned.
Exeunt

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


  • 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
  • SCENE V


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

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