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

Search: King Henry IV Part 2

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ACT I - SCENE II. London. A street.
1    Sirrah, you giant, what says the doctor to my water?
2    He said, sir, the water itself was a good healthy
3    water; but, for the party that owed it, he might
4    have more diseases than he knew for.
5    Men of all sorts take a pride to gird at me: the
6    brain of this foolish-compounded clay, man, is not
7    able to invent anything that tends to laughter, more
8    than I invent or is invented on me: I am not only
9    witty in myself, but the cause that wit is in other
10   men. I do here walk before thee like a sow that
11   hath overwhelmed all her litter but one. If the
12   prince put thee into my service for any other reason
13   than to set me off, why then I have no judgment.
14   Thou whoreson mandrake, thou art fitter to be worn
15   in my cap than to wait at my heels. I was never
16   manned with an agate till now: but I will inset you
17   neither in gold nor silver, but in vile apparel, and
18   send you back again to your master, for a jewel,--
19   the juvenal, the prince your master, whose chin is
20   not yet fledged. I will sooner have a beard grow in
21   the palm of my hand than he shall get one on his
22   cheek; and yet he will not stick to say his face is
23   a face-royal: God may finish it when he will, 'tis
24   not a hair amiss yet: he may keep it still at a
25   face-royal, for a barber shall never earn sixpence
26   out of it; and yet he'll be crowing as if he had
27   writ man ever since his father was a bachelor. He
28   may keep his own grace, but he's almost out of mine,
29   I can assure him. What said Master Dombledon about
30   the satin for my short cloak and my slops?
31   He said, sir, you should procure him better
32   assurance than Bardolph: he would not take his
33   band and yours; he liked not the security.
34   Let him be damned, like the glutton! pray God his
35   tongue be hotter! A whoreson Achitophel! a rascally
36   yea-forsooth knave! to bear a gentleman in hand,
37   and then stand upon security! The whoreson
38   smooth-pates do now wear nothing but high shoes, and
39   bunches of keys at their girdles; and if a man is
40   through with them in honest taking up, then they
41   must stand upon security. I had as lief they would
42   put ratsbane in my mouth as offer to stop it with
43   security. I looked a' should have sent me two and
44   twenty yards of satin, as I am a true knight, and he
45   sends me security. Well, he may sleep in security;
46   for he hath the horn of abundance, and the lightness
47   of his wife shines through it: and yet cannot he
48   see, though he have his own lanthorn to light him.
49   Where's Bardolph?
50   He's gone into Smithfield to buy your worship a horse.
51   I bought him in Paul's, and he'll buy me a horse in
52   Smithfield: an I could get me but a wife in the
53   stews, I were manned, horsed, and wived.
Enter the Lord Chief-Justice and Servant

54   Sir, here comes the nobleman that committed the
55   Prince for striking him about Bardolph.
56   Wait, close; I will not see him.
Lord Chief-Justice
57   What's he that goes there?
58   Falstaff, an't please your lordship.
Lord Chief-Justice
59   He that was in question for the robbery?
60   He, my lord: but he hath since done good service at
61   Shrewsbury; and, as I hear, is now going with some
62   charge to the Lord John of Lancaster.
Lord Chief-Justice
63   What, to York? Call him back again.
64   Sir John Falstaff!
65   Boy, tell him I am deaf.
66   You must speak louder; my master is deaf.
Lord Chief-Justice
67   I am sure he is, to the hearing of any thing good.
68   Go, pluck him by the elbow; I must speak with him.
69   Sir John!
70   What! a young knave, and begging! Is there not
71   wars? is there not employment? doth not the king
72   lack subjects? do not the rebels need soldiers?
73   Though it be a shame to be on any side but one, it
74   is worse shame to beg than to be on the worst side,
75   were it worse than the name of rebellion can tell
76   how to make it.
77   You mistake me, sir.
78   Why, sir, did I say you were an honest man? setting
79   my knighthood and my soldiership aside, I had lied
80   in my throat, if I had said so.
81   I pray you, sir, then set your knighthood and our
82   soldiership aside; and give me leave to tell you,
83   you lie in your throat, if you say I am any other
84   than an honest man.
85   I give thee leave to tell me so! I lay aside that
86   which grows to me! if thou gettest any leave of me,
87   hang me; if thou takest leave, thou wert better be
88   hanged. You hunt counter: hence! avaunt!
89   Sir, my lord would speak with you.
Lord Chief-Justice
90   Sir John Falstaff, a word with you.
91   My good lord! God give your lordship good time of
92   day. I am glad to see your lordship abroad: I heard
93   say your lordship was sick: I hope your lordship
94   goes abroad by advice. Your lordship, though not
95   clean past your youth, hath yet some smack of age in
96   you, some relish of the saltness of time; and I must
97   humbly beseech your lordship to have a reverent care
98   of your health.
Lord Chief-Justice
99   Sir John, I sent for you before your expedition to
100  Shrewsbury.
101  An't please your lordship, I hear his majesty is
102  returned with some discomfort from Wales.
Lord Chief-Justice
103  I talk not of his majesty: you would not come when
104  I sent for you.
105  And I hear, moreover, his highness is fallen into
106  this same whoreson apoplexy.
Lord Chief-Justice
107  Well, God mend him! I pray you, let me speak with
108  you.
109  This apoplexy is, as I take it, a kind of lethargy,
110  an't please your lordship; a kind of sleeping in the
111  blood, a whoreson tingling.
Lord Chief-Justice
112  What tell you me of it? be it as it is.
113  It hath its original from much grief, from study and
114  perturbation of the brain: I have read the cause of
115  his effects in Galen: it is a kind of deafness.
Lord Chief-Justice
116  I think you are fallen into the disease; for you
117  hear not what I say to you.
118  Very well, my lord, very well: rather, an't please
119  you, it is the disease of not listening, the malady
120  of not marking, that I am troubled withal.
Lord Chief-Justice
121  To punish you by the heels would amend the
122  attention of your ears; and I care not if I do
123  become your physician.
124  I am as poor as Job, my lord, but not so patient:
125  your lordship may minister the potion of
126  imprisonment to me in respect of poverty; but how
127  should I be your patient to follow your
128  prescriptions, the wise may make some dram of a
129  scruple, or indeed a scruple itself.
Lord Chief-Justice
130  I sent for you, when there were matters against you
131  for your life, to come speak with me.
132  As I was then advised by my learned counsel in the
133  laws of this land-service, I did not come.
Lord Chief-Justice
134  Well, the truth is, Sir John, you live in great infamy.
135  He that buckles him in my belt cannot live in less.
Lord Chief-Justice
136  Your means are very slender, and your waste is great.
137  I would it were otherwise; I would my means were
138  greater, and my waist slenderer.
Lord Chief-Justice
139  You have misled the youthful prince.
140  The young prince hath misled me: I am the fellow
141  with the great belly, and he my dog.
Lord Chief-Justice
142  Well, I am loath to gall a new-healed wound: your
143  day's service at Shrewsbury hath a little gilded
144  over your night's exploit on Gad's-hill: you may
145  thank the unquiet time for your quiet o'er-posting
146  that action.
147  My lord?
Lord Chief-Justice
148  But since all is well, keep it so: wake not a
149  sleeping wolf.
150  To wake a wolf is as bad as to smell a fox.
Lord Chief-Justice
151  What! you are as a candle, the better part burnt
152  out.
153  A wassail candle, my lord, all tallow: if I did say
154  of wax, my growth would approve the truth.
Lord Chief-Justice
155  There is not a white hair on your face but should
156  have his effect of gravity.
157  His effect of gravy, gravy, gravy.
Lord Chief-Justice
158  You follow the young prince up and down, like his
159  ill angel.
160  Not so, my lord; your ill angel is light; but I hope
161  he that looks upon me will take me without weighing:
162  and yet, in some respects, I grant, I cannot go: I
163  cannot tell. Virtue is of so little regard in these
164  costermonger times that true valour is turned
165  bear-herd: pregnancy is made a tapster, and hath
166  his quick wit wasted in giving reckonings: all the
167  other gifts appertinent to man, as the malice of
168  this age shapes them, are not worth a gooseberry.
169  You that are old consider not the capacities of us
170  that are young; you do measure the heat of our
171  livers with the bitterness of your galls: and we
172  that are in the vaward of our youth, I must confess,
173  are wags too.
Lord Chief-Justice
174  Do you set down your name in the scroll of youth,
175  that are written down old with all the characters of
176  age? Have you not a moist eye? a dry hand? a
177  yellow cheek? a white beard? a decreasing leg? an
178  increasing belly? is not your voice broken? your
179  wind short? your chin double? your wit single? and
180  every part about you blasted with antiquity? and
181  will you yet call yourself young? Fie, fie, fie, Sir John!
182  My lord, I was born about three of the clock in the
183  afternoon, with a white head and something a round
184  belly. For my voice, I have lost it with halloing
185  and singing of anthems. To approve my youth
186  further, I will not: the truth is, I am only old in
187  judgment and understanding; and he that will caper
188  with me for a thousand marks, let him lend me the
189  money, and have at him! For the box of the ear that
190  the prince gave you, he gave it like a rude prince,
191  and you took it like a sensible lord. I have
192  chequed him for it, and the young lion repents;
193  marry, not in ashes and sackcloth, but in new silk
194  and old sack.
Lord Chief-Justice
195  Well, God send the prince a better companion!
196  God send the companion a better prince! I cannot
197  rid my hands of him.
Lord Chief-Justice
198  Well, the king hath severed you and Prince Harry: I
199  hear you are going with Lord John of Lancaster
200  against the Archbishop and the Earl of
201  Northumberland.
202  Yea; I thank your pretty sweet wit for it. But look
203  you pray, all you that kiss my lady Peace at home,
204  that our armies join not in a hot day; for, by the
205  Lord, I take but two shirts out with me, and I mean
206  not to sweat extraordinarily: if it be a hot day,
207  and I brandish any thing but a bottle, I would I
208  might never spit white again. There is not a
209  dangerous action can peep out his head but I am
210  thrust upon it: well, I cannot last ever: but it
211  was alway yet the trick of our English nation, if
212  they have a good thing, to make it too common. If
213  ye will needs say I am an old man, you should give
214  me rest. I would to God my name were not so
215  terrible to the enemy as it is: I were better to be
216  eaten to death with a rust than to be scoured to
217  nothing with perpetual motion.
Lord Chief-Justice
218  Well, be honest, be honest; and God bless your
219  expedition!
220  Will your lordship lend me a thousand pound to
221  furnish me forth?
Lord Chief-Justice
222  Not a penny, not a penny; you are too impatient to
223  bear crosses. Fare you well: commend me to my
224  cousin Westmoreland.
Exeunt Chief-Justice and Servant

225  If I do, fillip me with a three-man beetle. A man
226  can no more separate age and covetousness than a'
227  can part young limbs and lechery: but the gout
228  galls the one, and the pox pinches the other; and
229  so both the degrees prevent my curses. Boy!
230  Sir?
231  What money is in my purse?
232  Seven groats and two pence.
233  I can get no remedy against this consumption of the
234  purse: borrowing only lingers and lingers it out,
235  but the disease is incurable. Go bear this letter
236  to my Lord of Lancaster; this to the prince; this
237  to the Earl of Westmoreland; and this to old
238  Mistress Ursula, whom I have weekly sworn to marry
239  since I perceived the first white hair on my chin.
240  About it: you know where to find me.
Exit Page
241  A pox of this gout! or, a gout of this pox! for
242  the one or the other plays the rogue with my great
243  toe. 'Tis no matter if I do halt; I have the wars
244  for my colour, and my pension shall seem the more
245  reasonable. A good wit will make use of any thing:
246  I will turn diseases to commodity.

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

  • ACT I

  • ACT II


  • ACT IV

  • ACT V

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