Henry IV, Part 1

by: William Shakespeare

  Act 1 Scene 2

page Act 1 Scene 2 Page 2

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PRINCE HENRY

Thou sayest well, and it holds well too, for the fortune of us that are the moon’s men doth ebb and flow like the sea, being governed, as the sea is, by the moon. As for proof now: a purse of gold most resolutely snatched on Monday night and most dissolutely spent on Tuesday morning, got with swearing “Lay by” and spent with crying “Bring in”; now in as low an ebb as the foot of the ladder, and by and by in as high a flow as the ridge of the gallows.

PRINCE HENRY

Well said. And you’re right—our luck ebbs and flows like the tide, because, like the sea, we’re governed by the moon. I’ll prove it. Imagine a bag of gold, brilliantly swiped on a Monday night and extravagantly spent on a Tuesday morning. You snatch it, shouting, “Hand it off!” and spend it, calling, “Bring it on!” It’s like the gallows: one minute you’re at the bottom of the ladder—low tide. The next, you’re swinging from the top—high tide!

FALSTAFF

35By the Lord, thou sayest true, lad. And is not my hostess of the tavern a most sweet wench?

FALSTAFF

PRINCE HENRY

As the honey of Hybla, my old lad of the castle. And is not a buff jerkin a most sweet robe of durance?

PRINCE HENRY

Sweet as honey from

Hybla

Hybla is a place in Sicily that is famous for its bees and honey.

Hybla
, you dirty old man. And isn’t a sheriff’s uniform a pretty durable outfit?

FALSTAFF

How now, how now, mad wag? What, in thy quips and thy quiddities? What a plague have I to do with a buff jerkin?

FALSTAFF

What’s that supposed to mean, you crazy man? You’re in the mood for jokes? Why are you talking to me about a sheriff’s uniform?

PRINCE HENRY

Why, what a pox have I to do with my hostess of the tavern?

PRINCE HENRY

Well, why the hell are you asking me about the hostess of the tavern?