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 II, Scene 2

London. Another street

Henry V
Before God, I am exceeding weary.

Edward Poins
Is't come to that? I had thought weariness durst not
attach'd one of so high blood.

Henry V
Faith, it does me; though it discolours the complexion
my greatness to acknowledge it. Doth it not show vilely in me
desire small beer?

Edward Poins
Why, a prince should not be so loosely studied as to
remember so weak a composition.

Henry V
Belike then my appetite was not-princely got; for, by
troth, I do now remember the poor creature, small beer. But
indeed these humble considerations make me out of love with
greatness. What a disgrace is it to me to remember thy name,
to know thy face to-morrow, or to take note how many pair of
stockings thou hast--viz., these, and those that were thy
peach-colour'd ones--or to bear the inventory of thy shirts-
one for superfluity, and another for use! But that the
tennis-court-keeper knows better than I; for it is a low ebb
linen with thee when thou keepest not racket there; as thou
not done a great while, because the rest of thy low countries
have made a shift to eat up thy holland. And God knows
those that bawl out of the ruins of thy linen shall inherit
kingdom; but the midwives say the children are not in the
whereupon the world increases, and kindreds are mightily
strengthened.

Edward Poins
How ill it follows, after you have laboured so hard, you
should talk so idly! Tell me, how many good young princes
do so, their fathers being so sick as yours at this time is?

Henry V
Shall I tell thee one thing, Poins?

Edward Poins
Yes, faith; and let it be an excellent good thing.

Henry V
It shall serve among wits of no higher breeding than

Edward Poins
Go to; I stand the push of your one thing that you will
tell.

Henry V
Marry, I tell thee it is not meet that I should be sad,
my father is sick; albeit I could tell to thee--as to one it
pleases me, for fault of a better, to call my friend--I could
sad and sad indeed too.

Edward Poins
Very hardly upon such a subject.

Henry V
By this hand, thou thinkest me as far in the devil's
as thou and Falstaff for obduracy and persistency: let the
try the man. But I tell thee my heart bleeds inwardly that my
father is so sick; and keeping such vile company as thou art
in reason taken from me all ostentation of sorrow.

Edward Poins
The reason?

Henry V
What wouldst thou think of me if I should weep?

Edward Poins
I would think thee a most princely hypocrite.

Henry V
It would be every man's thought; and thou art a blessed
fellow to think as every man thinks. Never a man's thought in
world keeps the road-way better than thine. Every man would
me an hypocrite indeed. And what accites your most worshipful
thought to think so?

Edward Poins
Why, because you have been so lewd and so much engraffed
Falstaff.

Henry V
And to thee.

Edward Poins
By this light, I am well spoke on; I can hear it with
own ears. The worst that they can say of me is that I am a
brother and that I am a proper fellow of my hands; and those
things, I confess, I cannot help. By the mass, here comes
Bardolph.

Henry V
And the boy that I gave Falstaff. 'A had him from me
Christian; and look if the fat villain have not transform'd
ape.

Bardolph
God save your Grace!

Henry V
And yours, most noble Bardolph!

Edward Poins
Come, you virtuous ass, you bashful fool, must you be
blushing? Wherefore blush you now? What a maidenly
are you become! Is't such a matter to get a pottle-pot's
maidenhead?

Page
'A calls me e'en now, my lord, through a red lattice, and
could discern no part of his face from the window. At last I
spied his eyes; and methought he had made two holes in the
alewife's new petticoat, and so peep'd through.

Henry V
Has not the boy profited?

Bardolph
Away, you whoreson upright rabbit, away!

Page
Away, you rascally Althaea's dream, away!

Henry V
Instruct us, boy; what dream, boy?

Page
Marry, my lord, Althaea dreamt she was delivered of a
firebrand; and therefore I call him her dream.

Henry V
A crown's worth of good interpretation. There 'tis,

Edward Poins
O that this blossom could be kept from cankers!
Well, there is sixpence to preserve thee.

Bardolph
An you do not make him be hang'd among you, the
shall have wrong.

Henry V
And how doth thy master, Bardolph?

Bardolph
Well, my lord. He heard of your Grace's coming to
There's a letter for you.

Edward Poins
Deliver'd with good respect. And how doth the martlemas,
your master?

Bardolph
In bodily health, sir.

Edward Poins
Marry, the immortal part needs a physician; but that
not him. Though that be sick, it dies not.

Henry V
I do allow this well to be as familiar with me as my
and he holds his place, for look you how he writes.

Edward Poins
[Reads] 'John Falstaff, knight'--Every man must know
as oft as he has occasion to name himself, even like those
are kin to the King; for they never prick their finger but
say 'There's some of the King's blood spilt.' 'How comes
says he that takes upon him not to conceive. The answer is as
ready as a borrower's cap: 'I am the King's poor cousin,

Henry V
Nay, they will be kin to us, or they will fetch it from
Japhet. But the letter: [Reads] 'Sir John Falstaff, knight,
the son of the King nearest his father, Harry Prince of
greeting.'

Edward Poins
Why, this is a certificate.

Henry V
Peace! [Reads] 'I will imitate the honourable Romans
brevity.'-

Edward Poins
He sure means brevity in breath, short-winded.

Henry V
[Reads] 'I commend me to thee, I commend thee, and I
leave thee. Be not too familiar with Poins; for he misuses
favours so much that he swears thou art to marry his sister
Repent at idle times as thou mayst, and so farewell.
Thine, by yea and no--which is as much as to say as
thou usest him--JACK FALSTAFF with my familiars,
JOHN with my brothers and sisters, and SIR JOHN with
all Europe.'

Edward Poins
My lord, I'll steep this letter in sack and make him eat

Henry V
That's to make him eat twenty of his words. But do you
me thus, Ned? Must I marry your sister?

Edward Poins
God send the wench no worse fortune! But I never said

Henry V
Well, thus we play the fools with the time, and the
of the wise sit in the clouds and mock us. Is your master
London?

Bardolph
Yea, my lord.

Henry V
Where sups he? Doth the old boar feed in the old frank?

Bardolph
At the old place, my lord, in Eastcheap.

Henry V
What company?

Page
Ephesians, my lord, of the old church.

Henry V
Sup any women with him?

Page
None, my lord, but old Mistress Quickly and Mistress Doll
Tearsheet.

Henry V
What pagan may that be?

Page
A proper gentlewoman, sir, and a kinswoman of my

Henry V
Even such kin as the parish heifers are to the town
Shall we steal upon them, Ned, at supper?

Edward Poins
I am your shadow, my lord; I'll follow you.

Henry V
Sirrah, you boy, and Bardolph, no word to your master
I am yet come to town. There's for your silence.

Bardolph
I have no tongue, sir.

Page
And for mine, sir, I will govern it.

Henry V
Fare you well; go. Exeunt BARDOLPH and PAGE
This Doll Tearsheet should be some road.

Edward Poins
I warrant you, as common as the way between Saint Albans
London.

Henry V
How might we see Falstaff bestow himself to-night in
true colours, and not ourselves be seen?

Edward Poins
Put on two leathern jerkins and aprons, and wait upon
his table as drawers.

Henry V
From a god to a bull? A heavy descension! It was Jove's
case. From a prince to a prentice? A low transformation! That
shall be mine; for in everything the purpose must weigh with
folly. Follow me, Ned.

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© Copyright 2017-2022 Shakespeare Network - Maximianno Cobra - All rights reserved.