History of Henry IV, Part II (1597-8)

Intro
Title Variant: The Second Part of Henry the Fourth
Online Critical Edition in Progress - Version 1.a.
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Act III, Scene 1

Westminster. The palace

Henry IV
Go call the Earls of Surrey and of Warwick;
But, ere they come, bid them o'er-read these letters
And well consider of them. Make good speed. Exit page
How many thousands of my poorest subjects
Are at this hour asleep! O sleep, O gentle sleep,
Nature's soft nurse, how have I frightened thee,
That thou no more will weigh my eyelids down,
And steep my senses in forgetfulness?
Why rather, sleep, liest thou in smoky cribs,
Upon uneasy pallets stretching thee,
And hush'd with buzzing night-flies to thy slumber,
Than in the perfum'd chambers of the great,
Under the canopies of costly state,
And lull'd with sound of sweetest melody?
O thou dull god, why liest thou with the vile
In loathsome beds, and leav'st the kingly couch
A watch-case or a common 'larum-bell?
Wilt thou upon the high and giddy mast
Seal up the ship-boy's eyes, and rock his brains
In cradle of the rude imperious surge,
And in the visitation of the winds,
Who take the ruffian billows by the top,
Curling their monstrous heads, and hanging them
With deafing clamour in the slippery clouds,
That with the hurly death itself awakes?
Canst thou, O partial sleep, give thy repose
To the wet sea-boy in an hour so rude;
And in the calmest and most stillest night,
With all appliances and means to boot,
Deny it to a king? Then, happy low, lie down!
Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown.

Earl of Warwick
Many good morrows to your Majesty!

Henry IV
Is it good morrow, lords?

Earl of Warwick
'Tis one o'clock, and past.

Henry IV
Why then, good morrow to you all, my lords.
Have you read o'er the letters that I sent you?

Earl of Warwick
We have, my liege.

Henry IV
Then you perceive the body of our kingdom
How foul it is; what rank diseases grow,
And with what danger, near the heart of it.

Earl of Warwick
It is but as a body yet distempered;
Which to his former strength may be restored
With good advice and little medicine.
My Lord Northumberland will soon be cool'd.

Henry IV
O God! that one might read the book of fate,
And see the revolution of the times
Make mountains level, and the continent,
Weary of solid firmness, melt itself
Into the sea; and other times to see
The beachy girdle of the ocean
Too wide for Neptune's hips; how chances mock,
And changes fill the cup of alteration
With divers liquors! O, if this were seen,
The happiest youth, viewing his progress through,
What perils past, what crosses to ensue,
Would shut the book and sit him down and die.
'Tis not ten years gone
Since Richard and Northumberland, great friends,
Did feast together, and in two years after
Were they at wars. It is but eight years since
This Percy was the man nearest my soul;
Who like a brother toil'd in my affairs
And laid his love and life under my foot;
Yea, for my sake, even to the eyes of Richard
Gave him defiance. But which of you was by--
[To WARWICK] You, cousin Nevil, as I may remember--
When Richard, with his eye brim full of tears,
Then check'd and rated by Northumberland,
Did speak these words, now prov'd a prophecy?
'Northumberland, thou ladder by the which
My cousin Bolingbroke ascends my throne'--
Though then, God knows, I had no such intent
But that necessity so bow'd the state
That I and greatness were compell'd to kiss--
'The time shall come'--thus did he follow it--
'The time will come that foul sin, gathering head,
Shall break into corruption' so went on,
Foretelling this same time's condition
And the division of our amity.

Earl of Warwick
There is a history in all men's lives,
Figuring the natures of the times deceas'd;
The which observ'd, a man may prophesy,
With a near aim, of the main chance of things
As yet not come to life, who in their seeds
And weak beginning lie intreasured.
Such things become the hatch and brood of time;
And, by the necessary form of this,
King Richard might create a perfect guess
That great Northumberland, then false to him,
Would of that seed grow to a greater falseness;
Which should not find a ground to root upon
Unless on you.

Henry IV
Are these things then necessities?
Then let us meet them like necessities;
And that same word even now cries out on us.
They say the Bishop and Northumberland
Are fifty thousand strong.

Earl of Warwick
It cannot be, my lord.
Rumour doth double, like the voice and echo,
The numbers of the feared. Please it your Grace
To go to bed. Upon my soul, my lord,
The powers that you already have sent forth
Shall bring this prize in very easily.
To comfort you the more, I have receiv'd
A certain instance that Glendower is dead.
Your Majesty hath been this fortnight ill;
And these unseasoned hours perforce must ad
Unto your sickness.

Henry IV
I will take your counsel.
And, were these inward wars once out of hand,
We would, dear lords, unto the Holy Land. Exeunt

Act III, Scene 2

Gloucestershire. Before Justice, SHALLOW'S house

Robert Shallow
Come on, come on, come on; give me your hand, sir;
your hand, sir. An early stirrer, by the rood! And how doth
good cousin Silence?

Silence
Good morrow, good cousin Shallow.

Robert Shallow
And how doth my cousin, your bed-fellow? and your
daughter and mine, my god-daughter Ellen?

Silence
Alas, a black ousel, cousin Shallow!

Robert Shallow
By yea and no, sir. I dare say my cousin William is
a good scholar; he is at Oxford still, is he not?

Silence
Indeed, sir, to my cost.

Robert Shallow
'A must, then, to the Inns o' Court shortly. I was
Clement's Inn; where I think they will talk of mad Shallow

Silence
You were call'd 'lusty Shallow' then, cousin.

Robert Shallow
By the mass, I was call'd anything; and I would have
anything indeed too, and roundly too. There was I, and little
John Doit of Staffordshire, and black George Barnes, and
Pickbone, and Will Squele a Cotsole man--you had not four
swinge-bucklers in all the Inns of Court again. And I may say
you we knew where the bona-robas were, and had the best of
all at commandment. Then was Jack Falstaff, now Sir John,
and page to Thomas Mowbray, Duke of Norfolk.

Silence
This Sir John, cousin, that comes hither anon about
soldiers?

Robert Shallow
The same Sir John, the very same. I see him break
Scoggin's head at the court gate, when 'a was a crack not
high; and the very same day did I fight with one Sampson
Stockfish, a fruiterer, behind Gray's Inn. Jesu, Jesu, the
days that I have spent! and to see how many of my old
acquaintance are dead!

Silence
We shall all follow, cousin.

Robert Shallow
Certain, 'tis certain; very sure, very sure. Death, as
Psalmist saith, is certain to all; all shall die. How a good
of bullocks at Stamford fair?

Silence
By my troth, I was not there.

Robert Shallow
Death is certain. Is old Double of your town living

Silence
Dead, sir.

Robert Shallow
Jesu, Jesu, dead! drew a good bow; and dead! 'A shot a
fine shoot. John a Gaunt loved him well, and betted much
his head. Dead! 'A would have clapp'd i' th' clout at twelve
score, and carried you a forehand shaft a fourteen and
and a half, that it would have done a man's heart good to
How a score of ewes now?

Silence
Thereafter as they be--a score of good ewes may be
ten pounds.

Robert Shallow
And is old Double dead?

Silence
Here come two of Sir John Falstaffs men, as I think.

Robert Shallow
Good morrow, honest gentlemen.

Bardolph
I beseech you, which is Justice Shallow?

Robert Shallow
I am Robert Shallow, sir, a poor esquire of this
and one of the King's justices of the peace. What is your
pleasure with me?

Bardolph
My captain, sir, commends him to you; my captain, Sir
John Falstaff--a tall gentleman, by heaven, and a most
leader.

Robert Shallow
He greets me well, sir; I knew him a good back-sword
How doth the good knight? May I ask how my lady his wife

Bardolph
Sir, pardon; a soldier is better accommodated than
wife.

Robert Shallow
It is well said, in faith, sir; and it is well said
too. 'Better accommodated!' It is good; yea, indeed, is it.
phrases are surely, and ever were, very commendable.
'Accommodated!' It comes of accommodo. Very good; a good

Bardolph
Pardon, sir; I have heard the word. 'Phrase' call you
By this day, I know not the phrase; but I will maintain the
with my sword to be a soldier-like word, and a word of
good command, by heaven. Accommodated: that is, when a man
they say, accommodated; or, when a man is being-whereby 'a
thought to be accommodated; which is an excellent thing.

Robert Shallow
It is very just. Look, here comes good Sir John. Give
your good hand, give me your worship's good hand. By my
you like well and bear your years very well. Welcome, good
John.

Falstaff
I am glad to see you well, good Master Robert
Master Surecard, as I think?

Robert Shallow
No, Sir John; it is my cousin Silence, in commission with me.

Falstaff
Good Master Silence, it well befits you should be of
peace.

Silence
Your good worship is welcome.

Falstaff
Fie! this is hot weather. Gentlemen, have you
here half a dozen sufficient men?

Robert Shallow
Marry, have we, sir. Will you sit?

Falstaff
Let me see them, I beseech you.

Robert Shallow
Where's the roll? Where's the roll? Where's the roll?
me see, let me see, let me see. So, so, so, so,--so, so--yea,
marry, sir. Rafe Mouldy! Let them appear as I call; let them
so, let them do so. Let me see; where is Mouldy?

Ralph Mouldy
Here, an't please you.

Robert Shallow
What think you, Sir John? A good-limb'd fellow; young,
strong, and of good friends.

Falstaff
Is thy name Mouldy?

Ralph Mouldy
Yea, an't please you.

Falstaff
'Tis the more time thou wert us'd.

Robert Shallow
Ha, ha, ha! most excellent, i' faith! Things that are
mouldy lack use. Very singular good! In faith, well said, Sir
John; very well said.

Falstaff
Prick him.

Ralph Mouldy
I was prick'd well enough before, an you could have let
alone. My old dame will be undone now for one to do her
and her drudgery. You need not to have prick'd me; there are
other men fitter to go out than I.

Falstaff
Go to; peace, Mouldy; you shall go. Mouldy, it is
you were spent.

Robert Shallow
Peace, fellow, peace; stand aside; know you where you
For th' other, Sir John--let me see. Simon Shadow!

Falstaff
Yea, marry, let me have him to sit under. He's like
a cold soldier.

Robert Shallow
Where's Shadow?

Simon Shadow
Here, sir.

Falstaff
Shadow, whose son art thou?

Simon Shadow
My mother's son, sir.

Falstaff
Thy mother's son! Like enough; and thy father's
So the son of the female is the shadow of the male. It is
so indeed; but much of the father's substance!

Robert Shallow
Do you like him, Sir John?

Falstaff
Shadow will serve for summer. Prick him; for we have
number of shadows fill up the muster-book.

Robert Shallow
Thomas Wart!

Falstaff
Where's he?

Thomas Wart
Here, sir.

Falstaff
Is thy name Wart?

Thomas Wart
Yea, sir.

Falstaff
Thou art a very ragged wart.

Robert Shallow
Shall I prick him, Sir John?

Falstaff
It were superfluous; for his apparel is built upon
back, and the whole frame stands upon pins. Prick him no

Robert Shallow
Ha, ha, ha! You can do it, sir; you can do it. I
you well. Francis Feeble!

Francis Feeble
Here, sir.

Falstaff
What trade art thou, Feeble?

Francis Feeble
A woman's tailor, sir.

Robert Shallow
Shall I prick him, sir?

Falstaff
You may; but if he had been a man's tailor, he'd ha'
prick'd you. Wilt thou make as many holes in an enemy's
thou hast done in a woman's petticoat?

Francis Feeble
I will do my good will, sir; you can have no more.

Falstaff
Well said, good woman's tailor! well said, courageous
Feeble! Thou wilt be as valiant as the wrathful dove or most
magnanimous mouse. Prick the woman's tailor--well, Master
Shallow, deep, Master Shallow.

Francis Feeble
I would Wart might have gone, sir.

Falstaff
I would thou wert a man's tailor, that thou mightst
him and make him fit to go. I cannot put him to a private
soldier, that is the leader of so many thousands. Let that
suffice, most forcible Feeble.

Francis Feeble
It shall suffice, sir.

Falstaff
I am bound to thee, reverend Feeble. Who is next?

Robert Shallow
Peter Bullcalf o' th' green!

Falstaff
Yea, marry, let's see Bullcalf.

Peter Bullcalf
Here, sir.

Falstaff
Fore God, a likely fellow! Come, prick me Bullcalf
he roar again.

Peter Bullcalf
O Lord! good my lord captain-

Falstaff
What, dost thou roar before thou art prick'd?

Peter Bullcalf
O Lord, sir! I am a diseased man.

Falstaff
What disease hast thou?

Peter Bullcalf
A whoreson cold, sir, a cough, sir, which I caught
ringing in the King's affairs upon his coronation day, sir.

Falstaff
Come, thou shalt go to the wars in a gown. We will
away thy cold; and I will take such order that thy friends
ring for thee. Is here all?

Robert Shallow
Here is two more call'd than your number. You must
but four here, sir; and so, I pray you, go in with me to

Falstaff
Come, I will go drink with you, but I cannot tarry
dinner. I am glad to see you, by my troth, Master Shallow.

Robert Shallow
O, Sir John, do you remember since we lay all night in
windmill in Saint George's Field?

Falstaff
No more of that, Master Shallow, no more of that.

Robert Shallow
Ha, 'twas a merry night. And is Jane Nightwork alive?

Falstaff
She lives, Master Shallow.

Robert Shallow
She never could away with me.

Falstaff
Never, never; she would always say she could not
Master Shallow.

Robert Shallow
By the mass, I could anger her to th' heart. She was
a bona-roba. Doth she hold her own well?

Falstaff
Old, old, Master Shallow.

Robert Shallow
Nay, she must be old; she cannot choose but be old;
certain she's old; and had Robin Nightwork, by old Nightwork,
before I came to Clement's Inn.

Silence
That's fifty-five year ago.

Robert Shallow
Ha, cousin Silence, that thou hadst seen that that
knight and I have seen! Ha, Sir John, said I well?

Falstaff
We have heard the chimes at midnight, Master Shallow.

Robert Shallow
That we have, that we have, that we have; in faith,
John, we have. Our watchword was 'Hem, boys!' Come, let's to
dinner; come, let's to dinner. Jesus, the days that we have
Come, come.

Peter Bullcalf
Good Master Corporate Bardolph, stand my friend; and
here's four Harry ten shillings in French crowns for you. In
truth, sir, I had as lief be hang'd, sir, as go. And yet, for
mine own part, sir, I do not care; but rather because I am
unwilling and, for mine own part, have a desire to stay with
friends; else, sir, I did not care for mine own part so much.

Bardolph
Go to; stand aside.

Ralph Mouldy
And, good Master Corporal Captain, for my old dame's
stand my friend. She has nobody to do anything about her when
am gone; and she is old, and cannot help herself. You shall
forty, sir.

Bardolph
Go to; stand aside.

Francis Feeble
By my troth, I care not; a man can die but once; we owe
a death. I'll ne'er bear a base mind. An't be my destiny, so;
an't be not, so. No man's too good to serve 's Prince; and,
it go which way it will, he that dies this year is quit for
next.

Bardolph
Well said; th'art a good fellow.

Francis Feeble
Faith, I'll bear no base mind.

Falstaff
Come, sir, which men shall I have?

Robert Shallow
Four of which you please.

Bardolph
Sir, a word with you. I have three pound to free
and Bullcalf.

Falstaff
Go to; well.

Robert Shallow
Come, Sir John, which four will you have?

Falstaff
Do you choose for me.

Robert Shallow
Marry, then--Mouldy, Bullcalf, Feeble, and Shadow.

Falstaff
Mouldy and Bullcalf: for you, Mouldy, stay at home
you are past service; and for your part, Bullcalf, grow you
unto it. I will none of you.

Robert Shallow
Sir John, Sir John, do not yourself wrong. They are
likeliest men, and I would have you serv'd with the best.

Falstaff
Will you tell me, Master Shallow, how to choose a
Care I for the limb, the thews, the stature, bulk, and big
assemblance of a man! Give me the spirit, Master Shallow.
Wart; you see what a ragged appearance it is. 'A shall charge
and discharge you with the motion of a pewterer's hammer,
off and on swifter than he that gibbets on the brewer's
And this same half-fac'd fellow, Shadow--give me this man. He
presents no mark to the enemy; the foeman may with as great
level at the edge of a penknife. And, for a retreat--how
will this Feeble, the woman's tailor, run off! O, give me the
spare men, and spare me the great ones. Put me a caliver into
Wart's hand, Bardolph.

Bardolph
Hold, Wart. Traverse--thus, thus, thus.

Falstaff
Come, manage me your caliver. So--very well. Go to;
good; exceeding good. O, give me always a little, lean, old,
chopt, bald shot. Well said, i' faith, Wart; th'art a good
Hold, there's a tester for thee.

Robert Shallow
He is not his craft's master, he doth not do it right.
remember at Mile-end Green, when I lay at Clement's Inn--I
then Sir Dagonet in Arthur's show--there was a little quiver
fellow, and 'a would manage you his piece thus; and 'a would
about and about, and come you in and come you in. 'Rah, tah,
tah!' would 'a say; 'Bounce!' would 'a say; and away again
'a go, and again would 'a come. I shall ne'er see such a

Falstaff
These fellows will do well. Master Shallow, God keep
Master Silence, I will not use many words with you: Fare you
well! Gentlemen both, I thank you. I must a dozen mile
Bardolph, give the soldiers coats.

Robert Shallow
Sir John, the Lord bless you; God prosper your
God send us peace! At your return, visit our house; let our
acquaintance be renewed. Peradventure I will with ye to the
court.

Falstaff
Fore God, would you would.

Robert Shallow
Go to; I have spoke at a word. God keep you.

Falstaff
Fare you well, gentle gentlemen. [Exeunt JUSTICES] On,
Bardolph; lead the men away. [Exeunt all but FALSTAFF] As I
return, I will fetch off these justices. I do see the bottom of
justice Shallow. Lord, Lord, how subject we old men are to this
vice of lying! This same starv'd justice hath done nothing but
prate to me of the wildness of his youth and the feats he hath
done about Turnbull Street; and every third word a lie, duer paid
to the hearer than the Turk's tribute. I do remember him at
Clement's Inn, like a man made after supper of a cheese-paring.
When 'a was naked, he was for all the world like a fork'd radish,
with a head fantastically carved upon it with a knife. 'A was so
forlorn that his dimensions to any thick sight were invisible. 'A
was the very genius of famine; yet lecherous as a monkey, and the
whores call'd him mandrake. 'A came ever in the rearward of the
fashion, and sung those tunes to the overscutch'd huswifes that
he heard the carmen whistle, and sware they were his fancies or
his good-nights. And now is this Vice's dagger become a squire,
and talks as familiarly of John a Gaunt as if he had been sworn
brother to him; and I'll be sworn 'a ne'er saw him but once in
the Tiltyard; and then he burst his head for crowding among the
marshal's men. I saw it, and told John a Gaunt he beat his own
name; for you might have thrust him and all his apparel into an
eel-skin; the case of a treble hautboy was a mansion for him, a
court--and now has he land and beeves. Well, I'll be acquainted
with him if I return; and 't shall go hard but I'll make him a
philosopher's two stones to me. If the young dace be a bait for
the old pike, I see no reason in the law of nature but I may snap
at him. Let time shape, and there an end. Exit

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