Henry IV, Part 1

by: William Shakespeare

  Act 2 Scene 4

page Act 2 Scene 4 Page 12

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POINS

Come, let’s hear, Jack. What trick hast thou now?

POINS

Come on, let’s hear it, Jack. What trick have you got now?

FALSTAFF

By the Lord, I knew you as well as he that made you. Why, hear you, my masters, was it for me to kill the heir apparent? Should I turn upon the true Prince? Why, thou knowest I am as valiant as Hercules, but beware instinct. The lion will not touch the true Prince. Instinct is a great matter. I was now a coward on instinct. I shall think the better of myself, and thee, during my life—I for a valiant lion, and thou for a true Prince. But, by the Lord, lads, I am glad you have the money.—Hostess, clap to the doors.— Watch tonight, pray to-morrow. Gallants, lads, boys, hearts of gold, all the titles of good fellowship come to you. What, shall we be merry? hall we have a play extempore?

FALSTAFF

By God, I knew it was you the whole time, like I was your own father! Listen to me, men: would it be right for me to kill the heir-apparent? Should I have attacked the true Prince? Look, you know I’m as brave as

Hercules

Hercules was a Greek hero renowned for his bravery.

Hercules
, but you must listen to your instinct. It’s like that old superstition, about how a lion will never attack a true Prince. Instinct is a powerful thing; I was only a coward by instinct. From now on, I’ll have to think of myself as a brave lion, and you as a true Prince. But good God, men, I’m glad you have the money. Hostess! Lock the doors; we’ll celebrate tonight and pray tomorrow. Gentlemen, lads, boys, hearts of gold—I’ll call you every good name I can think of, all at once! Hey! Shall we have some fun? Shall we stage a little play?

PRINCE HENRY

Content, and the argument shall be thy running away.

PRINCE HENRY

Of course, and the play will be about you running away.

FALSTAFF

250Ah, no more of that, Hal, an thou lovest me.

FALSTAFF

Oh, let it go, Hal, if you love me.
Enter MISTRESS QUICKLY
MISTRESS QUICKLY enters.

MISTRESS QUICKLY

O Jesu, my lord the Prince!

MISTRESS QUICKLY

Oh, Jesus—Your Majesty!

PRINCE HENRY

How now, my lady the hostess, what sayest thou to me?

PRINCE HENRY

Hello there, my lady the hostess! Do you have something to say to me?