Henry IV, Part 1

by: William Shakespeare

Original Text

Modern Text

FALSTAFF

60Yea, for obtaining of suits, whereof the hangman hath no lean wardrobe. 'Sblood, I am as melancholy as a gib cat or a lugged bear.

FALSTAFF

Exactly. I’ve got plenty of those, just like the hangman has plenty of suits—the suits he takes off the dead men he hangs.—Damn, I’m as depressed as a tomcat or a dancing bear in chains.

PRINCE HENRY

Or an old lion, or a lover’s lute.

PRINCE HENRY

Or an old lion, or a guitar playing a sad lovesong.

FALSTAFF

Yea, or the drone of a Lincolnshire bagpipe.

FALSTAFF

Or the wailing of a bagpipe.

PRINCE HENRY

65What sayest thou to a hare, or the melancholy of
Moorditch?

PRINCE HENRY

FALSTAFF

Thou hast the most unsavory similes, and art indeed the most comparative, rascaliest, sweet young Prince. But, Hal, I comparative, rascaliest, sweet young Prince. But, Hal, I prithee trouble me no more with vanity. I would to God thou and I knew where a commodity of good names were to be bought. An old lord of the council rated me the other day in the street about you, sir, but I marked him not, and yet he talked very wisely, but I regarded him not, and yet he talked wisely, and in the street, too.

FALSTAFF

You have a knack for foul images. You are the most metaphorical and rascally, sweet young Prince. But Hal, please stop corrupting me with frivolous matters. I wish to God that you and I knew where we could buy a supply of good reputations. The other day, an elderly lord on the King’s Council came up to me in the street and lectured me about you, but I didn’t pay any attention. He spoke wisely, but I ignored him. But he made sense, and in the street, too.

PRINCE HENRY

Thou didst well, for wisdom cries out in the streets and no man regards it.

PRINCE HENRY

You did well. You know the scripture: “Wisdom cries out in the street but no man listens.”

FALSTAFF

O, thou hast damnable iteration, and art indeed able to corrupt a saint. Thou hast done much harm upon me, Hal, God forgive thee for it. Before I knew thee, Hal, I knew nothing, and now am I, if a man should speak truly, little better than one of the wicked. I must give over this life, and I will give it over. By the Lord, an I do not, I am a villain. I’ll be damned for never a king’s son in Christendom.

FALSTAFF

Oh, you have a wicked talent for wrongly quoting scripture, you really could corrupt a saint. You’ve deeply harmed me, Hal, and God forgive you for it! Before I met you, I was innocent. And now, if I can speak truly, I’m no better than a sinner. I’ve got to change my life, and I will change my life, by God. If I don’t, I’m an evildoer. I won’t be damned, not for any king’s son in the universe.