Henry IV, Part 1

by: William Shakespeare

  Act 1 Scene 2

page Act 1 Scene 2 Page 8

Original Text

Modern Text

POINS

Tut, our horses they shall not see; I’ll tie them in the wood. Our vizards we will change after we leave them. And, sirrah, I have cases of buckram for the nonce, to immask our noted outward garments.

POINS

Psh! They won’t see our horses, because I’ll tie them in the forest. We’ll put on new masks after we leave them. And, just for this occasion, I’ve made cloaks out of rough buckram cloth, to cover our regular clothes.

PRINCE HENRY

Yea, but I doubt they will be too hard for us.

PRINCE HENRY

Okay. But I’m afraid they’ll be too tough for us.

POINS

Well, for two of them, I know them to be as true-bred cowards as ever turned back; and for the third, if he fight longer than he sees reason, I’ll forswear arms. The virtue of this jest will be the incomprehensible lies that this same fat rogue will tell us when we meet at supper: how thirty at least he fought with, what wards, what blows, what extremities he endured; and in the reproof of this lies the jest.

POINS

Well, I know that two of them are the biggest cowards who ever turned and ran. As for the third, if he fights even a second longer than is absolutely necessary, I promise to never fight again. The best part about this joke will be listening to the outlandish lies this fat clown will tell when we meet for dinner—how he fought at least thirty men, how he defended himself, how he got hit, what he endured. The funniest part will be when we call him on it.

PRINCE HENRY

Well, I’ll go with thee. Provide us all things necessary and meet me tomorrow night in Eastcheap. There I’ll sup. Farewell.

PRINCE HENRY

Okay. I’ll go. Get everything together and meet me in Eastcheap tomorrow. I’ll eat there. Farewell.

POINS

Farewell, my lord.

POINS

Farewell, my lord.
Exit POINS
POINS exits.

PRINCE HENRY

165I know you all, and will awhile uphold
The unyoked humor of your idleness.
Yet herein will I imitate the sun,
Who doth permit the base contagious clouds
To smother up his beauty from the world,
170That, when he please again to be himself,
Being wanted, he may be more wondered at
By breaking through the foul and ugly mist
Of vapors that did seem to strangle him.

PRINCE HENRY

I understand all of you. For now, I’ll put on the rowdy behavior of your good-for-nothing ways. But in this way, I’ll be like the sun, who allows the vulgar, corrupting clouds to hide his beauty from the world. Then, when the sun wants to be himself again, he breaks through the foul mists and vapors that seemed to be strangling him.