History of Henry IV, Part II

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Act II, Scene 2

London. Another street

       
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Enter PRINCE HENRY and POINS

  • Henry V. Before God, I am exceeding weary. 945
  • 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 950
    desire small beer?
  • Edward Poins. Why, a prince should not be so loosely studied as to
    remember so weak a composition. 955
  • 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 960
    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 965
    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 970
    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 990
    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. 995
  • Henry V. By this hand, thou thinkest me as far in the devil's
    as thou and Falstaff for obduracy and persistency: let the 1000
    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.
  • 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 1010
    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.
  • 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. 1025

Enter BARDOLPH and PAGE

  • Henry V. And the boy that I gave Falstaff. 'A had him from me 1030
    Christian; and look if the fat villain have not transform'd
    ape.
  • Henry V. And yours, most noble Bardolph! 1035
  • 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 1050
    firebrand; and therefore I call him her dream.
  • Henry V. A crown's worth of good interpretation. There 'tis,

[Giving a crown]

  • Edward Poins. O that this blossom could be kept from cankers! 1055
    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? 1060
  • 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? 1065
  • 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 1070
    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 1075
    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, 1085
    the son of the King nearest his father, Harry Prince of
    greeting.'
  • 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 1095
    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, 1100
    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 1105
  • 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 1110
  • 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?
  • Henry V. Where sups he? Doth the old boar feed in the old frank?
  • Bardolph. At the old place, my lord, in Eastcheap.
  • Page. Ephesians, my lord, of the old church.
  • Page. None, my lord, but old Mistress Quickly and Mistress Doll
    Tearsheet.
  • Henry V. What pagan may that be? 1125
  • 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?
  • Henry V. Sirrah, you boy, and Bardolph, no word to your master
    I am yet come to town. There's for your silence.
  • 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. 1140
  • 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 1145
    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 1150
    folly. Follow me, Ned.

Exeunt

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