|The Second part of King Henry the Fourth|
| Henry IV, part 2
| Act 2, Scene 2
Previous scene | Next scene
Enter PRINCE HENRY and POINSPRINCE HENRY
Before God, I am exceeding weary.POINS
Is't come to that? I had thought weariness durst notPRINCE HENRY
have attached one of so high blood.
Faith, it does me; though it discolours thePOINS
complexion of my greatness to acknowledge it. Doth
it not show vilely in me to desire small beer?
Why, a prince should not be so loosely studied asPRINCE HENRY
to remember so weak a composition.
Belike then my appetite was not princely got; for,POINS
by my troth, I do now remember the poor creature,
small beer. But, indeed, these humble
considerations make me out of love with my
greatness. What a disgrace is it to me to remember
thy name! or to know thy face to-morrow! or to
take note how many pair of silk stockings thou
hast, viz. these, and those that were thy
peach-coloured ones! or to bear the inventory of thy
shirts, as, one for superfluity, and another for
use! But that the tennis-court-keeper knows better
than I; for it is a low ebb of linen with thee when
thou keepest not racket there; as thou hast not done
a great while, because the rest of thy low
countries have made a shift to eat up thy holland:
and God knows, whether those that bawl out the ruins
of thy linen shall inherit his kingdom: but the
midwives say the children are not in the fault;
whereupon the world increases, and kindreds are
How ill it follows, after you have laboured so hard,PRINCE HENRY
you should talk so idly! Tell me, how many good
young princes would do so, their fathers being so
sick as yours at this time is?
Shall I tell thee one thing, Poins?POINS
Yes, faith; and let it be an excellent good thing.PRINCE HENRY
It shall serve among wits of no higher breeding than thine.POINS
Go to; I stand the push of your one thing that youPRINCE HENRY
Marry, I tell thee, it is not meet that I should bePOINS
sad, now my father is sick: albeit I could tell
thee, as to one it pleases me, for fault of a
better, to call my friend, I could be sad, and sad
Very hardly upon such a subject.PRINCE HENRY
By this hand thou thinkest me as far in the devil'sPOINS
book as thou and Falstaff for obduracy and
persistency: let the end 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
hath in reason taken from me all ostentation of sorrow.
The reason?PRINCE HENRY
What wouldst thou think of me, if I should weep?POINS
I would think thee a most princely hypocrite.PRINCE HENRY
It would be every man's thought; and thou art aPOINS
blessed fellow to think as every man thinks: never
a man's thought in the world keeps the road-way
better than thine: every man would think me an
hypocrite indeed. And what accites your most
worshipful thought to think so?
Why, because you have been so lewd and so muchPRINCE HENRY
engraffed to Falstaff.
And to thee.POINS
By this light, I am well spoke on; I can hear itPRINCE HENRY
with my own ears: the worst that they can say of
me is that I am a second brother and that I am a
proper fellow of my hands; and those two things, I
confess, I cannot help. By the mass, here comes Bardolph.
Enter BARDOLPH and Page
And the boy that I gave Falstaff: a' had him fromBARDOLPH
me Christian; and look, if the fat villain have not
transformed him ape.
God save your grace!PRINCE HENRY
And yours, most noble Bardolph!BARDOLPH
Come, you virtuous ass, you bashful fool, must youPage
be blushing? wherefore blush you now? What a
maidenly man-at-arms are you become! Is't such a
matter to get a pottle-pot's maidenhead?
A' calls me e'en now, my lord, through a redPRINCE HENRY
lattice, and I 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 ale-wife's
new petticoat and so peeped through.
Has not the boy profited?BARDOLPH
Away, you whoreson upright rabbit, away!Page
Away, you rascally Althaea's dream, away!PRINCE HENRY
Instruct us, boy; what dream, boy?Page
Marry, my lord, Althaea dreamed she was deliveredPRINCE HENRY
of a fire-brand; and therefore I call him her dream.
A crown's worth of good interpretation: there 'tis,POINS
O, that this good blossom could be kept fromBARDOLPH
cankers! Well, there is sixpence to preserve thee.
An you do not make him hanged among you, thePRINCE HENRY
gallows shall have wrong.
And how doth thy master, Bardolph?BARDOLPH
Well, my lord. He heard of your grace's coming toPOINS
town: there's a letter for you.
Delivered with good respect. And how doth theBARDOLPH
martlemas, your master?
In bodily health, sir.POINS
Marry, the immortal part needs a physician; butPRINCE HENRY
that moves not him: though that be sick, it dies
I do allow this wen to be as familiar with me as myPOINS
dog; and he holds his place; for look you how be writes.
[Reads] 'John Falstaff, knight,'--every man mustPRINCE HENRY
know that, as oft as he has occasion to name
himself: even like those that are kin to the king;
for they never prick their finger but they say,
'There's some of the king's blood spilt.' 'How
comes that?' 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, sir.'
Nay, they will be kin to us, or they will fetch itPOINS
from Japhet. But to the letter.
[Reads] 'Sir John Falstaff, knight, to the son ofPRINCE HENRY
the king, nearest his father, Harry Prince of
Wales, greeting.' Why, this is a certificate.
[Reads] 'I will imitate the honourable Romans inPRINCE HENRY
brevity:' he sure means brevity in breath,
short-winded. 'I commend me to thee, I commend
thee, and I leave thee. Be not too familiar with
Poins; for he misuses thy favours so much, that he
swears thou art to marry his sister Nell. Repent
at idle times as thou mayest; 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.'
My lord, I'll steep this letter in sack and make him eat it.
That's to make him eat twenty of his words. But doPOINS
you use me thus, Ned? must I marry your sister?
God send the wench no worse fortune! But I never said so.PRINCE HENRY
Well, thus we play the fools with the time, and theBARDOLPH
spirits of the wise sit in the clouds and mock us.
Is your master here in London?
Yea, my lord.PRINCE HENRY
Where sups he? doth the old boar feed in the old frank?BARDOLPH
At the old place, my lord, in Eastcheap.PRINCE HENRY
Ephesians, my lord, of the old church.PRINCE HENRY
Sup any women with him?Page
None, my lord, but old Mistress Quickly andPRINCE HENRY
Mistress Doll Tearsheet.
What pagan may that be?Page
A proper gentlewoman, sir, and a kinswoman of my master's.PRINCE HENRY
Even such kin as the parish heifers are to the townPOINS
bull. Shall we steal upon them, Ned, at supper?
I am your shadow, my lord; I'll follow you.PRINCE HENRY
Sirrah, you boy, and Bardolph, no word to yourBARDOLPH
master that I am yet come to town: there's for
I have no tongue, sir.Page
And for mine, sir, I will govern it.PRINCE HENRY
Fare you well; go.POINS
Exeunt BARDOLPH and PageThis Doll Tearsheet should be some road.
I warrant you, as common as the way between SaintPRINCE HENRY
Alban's and London.
How might we see Falstaff bestow himself to-nightPOINS
in his true colours, and not ourselves be seen?
Put on two leathern jerkins and aprons, and waitPRINCE HENRY
upon him at his table as drawers.
From a God to a bull? a heavy decension! it was
Jove's case. From a prince to a prentice? a low
transformation! that shall be mine; for in every
thing the purpose must weigh with the folly.
Follow me, Ned.
| Henry IV, part 2
| Act 2, Scene 2
Previous scene | Next scene