Henry IV, Part 1

by: William Shakespeare

Original Text

Modern Text

Here they rob them and bind them. Exeunt
The thieves rob the travelers and tie them up. They all exit.
Enter PRINCE HENRY and POINS
PRINCE HENRY and POINS enter.

PRINCE HENRY

The thieves have bound the true men. Now could thou and I rob the thieves and go merrily to London, it would be argument for a week, laughter for a month, and a good jest forever.

PRINCE HENRY

The thieves have tied up the honest men. If you and I can now rob the robbers and run laughing to London, we would talk about it for a week, laugh about it for a month, and it would be a hilarious story forever.

POINS

85Stand close, I hear them coming.

POINS

Get down. I hear them coming.
PRINCE HENRY and POINS hide. Enter the thieves again
PRINCE HENRY and POINS hide. The THIEVES return.

FALSTAFF

Come, my masters, let us share, and then to horse before day. An the Prince and Poins be not two arrant cowards, there’s no equity stirring. There’s no more valor in that Poins than in a wild duck.

FALSTAFF

Come on, boys, let’s divide up the spoils and then ride off before dawn. If the Prince and Poins aren’t cowards, there’s no justice in the universe. Poins is about as brave as a duck.
As they are sharing, PRINCE HENRY and POINS set upon them.
As the thieves split the money, PRINCE HENRY and POINS attack them.

PRINCE HENRY

90Your money!

PRINCE HENRY

(in disguise) Give us your money!

POINS

Villains!

POINS

(in disguise) Crooks!
They all run away, and FALSTAFF , after a blow or two, runs away too, leaving the booty behind them.
The thieves all run away. FALSTAFF fights for a moment, then runs away as well, leaving all of the money behind.

PRINCE HENRY

Got with much ease. Now merrily to horse.
The thieves are all scattered, and possessed with fear
So strongly that they dare not meet each other.
95Each takes his fellow for an officer.
Away, good Ned. Falstaff sweats to death,
And lards the lean earth as he walks along.
Were ’t not for laughing, I should pity him.

PRINCE HENRY

Too easy. Now we ride off happily. The thieves have scattered, and they’re so terrified that they don’t even want to run into each other—they’ll each think that the other guy is an officer! Let’s go, Ned. Falstaff is sweating so hard that he’s watering the ground as he walks along. If I weren’t laughing so hard, I’d actually feel sorry for him.