Document:  All > Shakespeare > Histories > King Henry IV, part II > Act II, scene II



	[Enter PRINCE HENRY and POINS]

PRINCE HENRY: Before God, I am exceeding weary.

POINS: Is't come to that? I had thought weariness durst not
	have attached one of so high blood.

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

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

PRINCE HENRY: Belike then my appetite was not princely got; for,
	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
	mightily strengthened.

POINS: How ill it follows, after you have laboured so hard,
	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?

PRINCE HENRY: 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 you
	will tell.

PRINCE HENRY: Marry, I tell thee, it is not meet that I should be
	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
	indeed too.

POINS: Very hardly upon such a subject.

PRINCE HENRY: By this hand thou thinkest me as far in the devil's
	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.

POINS: 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 a
	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?

POINS: Why, because you have been so lewd and so much
	engraffed to Falstaff.

PRINCE HENRY: And to thee.

POINS: By this light, I am well spoke on; I can hear it
	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]

PRINCE HENRY: And the boy that I gave Falstaff: a' had him from
	me Christian; and look, if the fat villain have not
	transformed him ape.

BARDOLPH: God save your grace!

PRINCE HENRY: And yours, most noble Bardolph!

BARDOLPH: Come, you virtuous ass, you bashful fool, must you
	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?

Page: A' calls me e'en now, my lord, through a red
	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.

PRINCE HENRY: 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 delivered
	of a fire-brand; and therefore I call him her dream.

PRINCE HENRY: A crown's worth of good interpretation: there 'tis,
	boy.

POINS: O, that this good blossom could be kept from
	cankers! Well, there is sixpence to preserve thee.

BARDOLPH: An you do not make him hanged among you, the
	gallows shall have wrong.

PRINCE HENRY: And how doth thy master, Bardolph?

BARDOLPH: Well, my lord. He heard of your grace's coming to
	town: there's a letter for you.

POINS: Delivered with good respect. And how doth the
	martlemas, your master?

BARDOLPH: In bodily health, sir.

POINS: Marry, the immortal part needs a physician; but
	that moves not him: though that be sick, it dies
	not.

PRINCE HENRY: I do allow this wen to be as familiar with me as my
	dog; and he holds his place; for look you how be writes.

POINS: [Reads]  'John Falstaff, knight,'--every man must
	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.'

PRINCE HENRY: Nay, they will be kin to us, or they will fetch it
	from Japhet. But to the letter.

POINS: [Reads]  'Sir John Falstaff, knight, to the son of
	the king, nearest his father, Harry Prince of
	Wales, greeting.' Why, this is a certificate.

PRINCE HENRY: Peace!

POINS: [Reads]  'I will imitate the honourable Romans in
	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.

PRINCE HENRY: That's to make him eat twenty of his words. But do
	you use me thus, Ned? must I marry your sister?

POINS: God send the wench no worse fortune! But I never said so.

PRINCE HENRY: Well, thus we play the fools with the time, and the
	spirits of the wise sit in the clouds and mock us.
	Is your master here in London?

BARDOLPH: 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: What company?

Page: Ephesians, my lord, of the old church.

PRINCE HENRY: Sup any women with him?

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

PRINCE HENRY: 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 town
	bull. Shall we steal upon them, Ned, at supper?

POINS: I am your shadow, my lord; I'll follow you.

PRINCE HENRY: Sirrah, you boy, and Bardolph, no word to your
	master that 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.

PRINCE HENRY: Fare you well; go.

	[Exeunt BARDOLPH and Page]

	This Doll Tearsheet should be some road.

POINS: I warrant you, as common as the way between Saint
	Alban's and London.

PRINCE HENRY: How might we see Falstaff bestow himself to-night
	in his true colours, and not ourselves be seen?

POINS: Put on two leathern jerkins and aprons, and wait
	upon him at his table as drawers.

PRINCE HENRY: 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.

	[Exeunt]




	2 KING HENRY IV






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