Henry IV Part 2


SCENE I. Westminster. The palace.

[Enter the King in his nightgown, with a Page.]


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 frighted thee,

That thou no more wilt 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 perfumed 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 leavest 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 deafening 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.

[Enter Warwick and Surrey.]


Many good morrows to your majesty!


Is it good morrow, lords?


'Tis one o'clock, and past.


Why then, good morrow to you all, my lords.

Have you read o'er the letters that I sent you?


We have, my liege.


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.


It is but as a body yet distemper'd;

Which to his former strength may be restored

With good advice and little medicine:

My Lord Northumberland will soon be cool'd.


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--

You, cousin Nevil, as I may remember--

[To Warwick.]

When Richard, with his eye brimful of tears,

Then check'd and rated by Northumberland,

Did speak these words, now proved 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.


There is a history in all men's lives,

Figuring the natures of the times deceased;

The which observed, 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.


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.


It cannot be, my lord;

Rumour doth double, like the voice and echo,

The numbers of the fear'd. 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 received

A certain instance that Glendower is dead.

Your majesty hath been this fortnight ill,

And these unseason'd hours perforce must add

Unto your sickness.


I will take your counsel:

And were these inward wars once out of hand,

We would, dear lords, unto the Holy Land.


SCENE II. Gloucestershire. Before Justice Shallow's house.

[Enter Shallow and Silence, meeting; Mouldy, Shadow, Wart,

Feeble, Bullcalf, a Servant or two with them.]


Come on, come on, come on, sir; give me your hand, sir,

give me your hand, sir: an early stirrer, by the rood! And how

doth my good cousin Silence?


Good morrow, good cousin Shallow.


And how doth my cousin, your bedfellow? and your fairest

daughter and mine, my god-daughter Ellen?


Alas, a black ousel, cousin Shallow!


By yea and nay, sir, I dare say my cousin William is become

a good scholar: he is at Oxford still, is he not?


Indeed, sir, to my cost.


A' must, then, to the inns o' court shortly. I was once of

Clement's Inn, where I think they will talk of mad Shallow yet.


You were called "lusty Shallow" then, cousin.


By the mass, I was called any thing; and I would have done any thing

indeed too, and roundly too. There was I, and little John Doit of

Staffordshire, and black George Barnes, and Francis Pickbone, and

Will Squele, a Cotswold man; you had not four such swinge-bucklers in

all the inns o' court again: and I may say to you, we knew where the

bona-robas were and had the best of them all at commandment. Then was

Jack Falstaff, now Sir John, boy, and page to Thomas Mowbray, Duke of



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


The same Sir John, the very same. I see him break Skogan's head at the

court-gate, when a' was a crack not thus high: and the very same

day did I fight with one Sampson Stockfish, a fruiterer, behind

Gray's Inn.

Jesu, Jesu, the mad days that I have spent! and to see how many of my

old acquaintance are dead!


We shall all follow, cousin.


Certain, 'tis certain; very sure, very sure: death, as the Psalmist

saith, is certain to all; all shall die. How a good yoke of bullocks at

Stamford fair?


By my troth, I was not there.


Death is certain. Is old Double of your town living yet?


Dead, sir.


Jesu, Jesu, dead! a' drew a good bow; and dead! a' shot a fine shoot:

John a Gaunt loved him well, and betted much money on his head.

Dead! a' would have clapped i' the clout at twelve score; and carried

you a forehand shaft a fourteen and fourteen and a half, that it

would have done a man's heart good to see. How a score of ewes now?


Thereafter as they be: a score of good ewes may be worth ten



And is old Double dead?


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

[Enter Bardolph, and one with him.]


Good morrow, honest gentlemen: I beseech you, which is justice



I am Robert Shallow, sir; a poor esquire of this county, and one

of the king's justices of the peace: what is your good pleasure

with me?


My captain, sir, commends him to you; my captain, Sir John

Falstaff, a tall gentleman, by heaven, and a most gallant leader.


He greets me well, sir. I knew him a good backsword man. How

doth the good knight? may I ask how my lady his wife doth?


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


It is well said, in faith, sir; and it is well said indeed too.

Better accommodated! it is good; yea, indeed, is it: good phrases are

surely, and ever were, very commendable. Accommodated! it comes of

"accommodo:" very good; a good phrase.


Pardon me, sir; I have heard the word. Phrase call you it? By this

day, I know not the phrase; but I will maintain the word with my sword

to be a soldier-like word, and a word of exceeding good command, by


Accommodated; that is, when a man is, as they say, accommodated; or

when a man is, being, whereby a' may be thought to be accommodated;

which is an excellent thing.


It is very just.

[Enter Falstaff.]

Look, here comes good Sir John. Give me your good hand, give me your

worship's good hand: by my troth, you like well and bear your years

very well: welcome, good Sir John.


I am glad to see you well, good Master Robert Shallow: Master

Surecard, as I think?


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


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


Your good worship is welcome.


Fie! this is hot weather, gentlemen. Have you provided me here

half a dozen sufficient men?


Marry, have we, sir. Will you sit?


Let me see them, I beseech you.


Where's the roll? where's the roll? where's the roll? Let me see,

let me see, let me see.

So, so, so, so, so, so, so: yea, marry, sir: Ralph Mouldy!

Let them appear as I call; let them do so, let them do so.

Let me see; where is Mouldy?


Here, an't please you.


What think you, Sir John? a good-limbed fellow; young, strong,

and of good friends.


Is thy name Mouldy?


Yea, an't please you.


'Tis the more time thou wert used.


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.


Prick him.


I was prick'd well enough before, an you could have let me alone:

my old dame will be undone now for one to do her husbandry and her

drudgery: you need not to have pricked me; there are other men fitter

to go out than I.


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




Peace, fellow, peace; stand aside: know you where you are? For

the other, Sir John: let me see: Simon Shadow!


Yea, marry, let me have him to sit under: he 's like to be a

cold soldier.


Where's Shadow?


Here, sir.


Shadow, whose son art thou?


My mother's son, sir.


Thy mother's son! like enough; and thy father's shadow: so the son of

the female is the shadow of the male: it is often so indeed; but

much of the father's substance!


Do you like him, Sir John?


Shadow will serve for summer; prick him; for we have a number of

shadows to fill up the muster-book.


Thomas Wart!


Where's he?


Here, sir.


Is thy name Wart?


Yea, sir.


Thou art a very ragged wart.


Shall I prick him down, Sir John?


It were superfluous; for his apparel is built upon his back and

the whole frame stands upon pins: prick him no more.


Ha, ha, ha! you can do it, sir; you can do it: I commend you


Francis Feeble!


Here, sir.


What trade art thou, Feeble?


A woman's tailor, sir.


Shall I prick him, sir?


You may: but if he had been a man's tailor, he'ld ha' prick'd you.

Wilt thou make as many holes in an enemy's battle as thou hast done in

a woman's petticoat?


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


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.


I would Wart might have gone, sir.


I would thou wert a man's tailor, that thou mightst mend 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.


It shall suffice, sir.


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


Peter Bullcalf o' th' green!


Yea, marry, let 's see Bullcalf.


Here, sir.


'Fore God, a likely fellow! Come, prick me Bullcalf till he roar



O Lord! good my lord captain,--


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


O Lord, sir! I am a diseased man.


What disease hast thou?


A whoreson cold, sir, a cough, sir, which I caught with ringing

in the king's affairs upon his coronation-day, sir.


Come, thou shalt go to the wars in a gown; we will have away thy cold;

and I will take such order that thy friends shall ring for thee.

Is here all?


Here is two more called than your number; you must have but four here,

sir; and so, I pray you, go in with me to dinner.


Come, I will go drink with you, but I cannot tarry dinner. I am

glad to see you, by my troth, Master Shallow.


O, Sir John, do you remember since we lay all night in the windmill

in Saint George's field?


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


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


She lives, Master Shallow.


She never could away with me.


Never, never; she would always say she could not abide Master



By the mass, I could anger her to the heart. She was then a bona-roba.

Doth she hold her own well?


Old, old, Master 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.


That's fifty-five year ago.


Ha, cousin Silence, that thou hadst seen that that this knight and I

have seen! Ha, Sir John, said I well?


We have heard the chimes at midnight, Master Shallow.


That we have, that we have, that we have; in faith, Sir John, we have:

our watchword was "Hem boys!" Come, let 's to dinner; come, let 's

to dinner: Jesus, the days that we have seen! Come, come.

[Exeunt Falstaff and the Justices.]


Good Master Corporate Bardolph, stand my friend; and here 's four

Harry ten shillings in French crowns for you.

In very truth, sir, I had as lief be hanged, 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 my

friends; else, sir, I did not care, for mine own part, so much.


Go to; stand aside.


And, good master corporal captain, for my old dame's sake, stand my

friend: she has nobody to do any thing about her when I am gone;

and she is old, and cannot help herself: you shall have forty, sir.


Go to; stand aside.


By my troth, I care not; a man can die but once; we owe God 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 let it go which way it will, he

that dies this year is quit for the next.


Well said; th'art a good fellow.


Faith, I'll bear no base mind.

[Re-enter Falstaff and the Justices.]


Come, sir, which men shall I have?


Four of which you please.


Sir, a word with you: I have three pound to free Mouldy and



Go to; well.


Come, Sir John, which four will you have?


Do you choose for me.


Marry, then, Mouldy, Bullcalf, Feeble, and Shadow.


Mouldy and Bullcalf: for you, Mouldy, stay at home till you are past

service; and for your part, Bullcalf, grow till you come unto it:

I will none of you.


Sir John, Sir John, do not yourself wrong: they are your likeliest

men, and I would have you served with the best.


Will you tell me, Master Shallow, how to choose a man? Care I for the

limb, the thewes, the stature, bulk, and big assemblance of a man!

Give me the spirit, Master Shallow. Here's Wart; you see what a ragged

appearance it is: a' shall charge you and discharge you with the

motion of a pewterer's hammer, come off and on swifter than he that

gibbets on the brewer's bucket.

And this same half-faced fellow, Shadow; give me this man: he

presents no mark to the enemy; the foeman may with as great aim level

at the edge of a penknife.

And for a retreat; how swiftly 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.


Hold, Wart, traverse; thus, thus, thus.


Come, manage me your caliver. So: very well: go to: very good,

exceeding good. O, give me always a little, lean, old, chapt,

bald shot. Well said, i' faith, Wart; thou'rt a good scab: hold,

there's a tester for thee.


He is not his craft's master; he doth not do it right. I remember at

Mile-end Green, when I lay at Clement's Inn,--I was 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 would a' go, and again would 'a come: I shall ne'er see

such a fellow.


These fellows will do well. Master Shallow, God keep you, Master Silence:

I will not use many words with you. Fare you well, gentlemen both:

I thank you: I must a dozen mile to-night. Bardolph, give the soldiers



Sir John, the Lord bless you! God prosper your affairs! God send us

peace! At your return visit our house; let our old acquaintance be

renewed: peradventure I will with ye to the court.


'Fore God, I would you would.


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


Fare you well, gentle gentlemen.

[Exeunt Justices.]

On, Bardolph; lead the men away.

[Exeunt Bardolph, Recruits, &c.]

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 starved 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 invincible: a' was the very genius of famine; yet lecherous

as a monkey, and the whores called 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 Tilt-yard; 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 beefs.

Well, I'll be acquainted with him, if I return; and it 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.