Henry IV Part 2

by: William Shakespeare

Original Text

Modern Text

a decreasing leg, an increasing belly? Is not your voice
broken, your wind short, your chin double, your wit single,
160and every part about you blasted with antiquity? And will
you yet call yourself young? Fie, fie, fie, Sir John.
arthritic leg? A growing belly? Isn’t your voice scratchy? Your breath short? Your chin doubled? Your last wit abandoned? Isn’t every part of you devastated by age? And still you call yourself young? Shame on you, Sir John.

FALSTAFF

My lord, I was born about three of the clock in the afternoon,
with a white head and something a round belly. For my
voice, I have lost it with halloing and singing of anthems. To
165approve my youth further, I will not. The truth is, I am only
old in judgment and understanding. And he that will caper
with me for a thousand marks, let him lend me the money,
and have at him! For the box of the ear that the Prince gave
you, he gave it like a rude prince, and you took it like a
170sensible lord. I have checked him for it, and the young lion
repents. Marry, not in ashes and sackcloth, but in new silk and old sack.

FALSTAFF

Sir, I was born around three o'clock in the afternoon, with a white head and a bit of a round belly. As for my scratchy voice, I lost it through shouting and singing loud songs. But I won’t try to prove how young I am any longer. I have only one trait of old age, and that is wisdom. If somebody wants to challenge me to a dance contest for a thousand-

mark

mark = unit of currency

mark
wager, let him hand me the money and off we go. Now, as for the fact that the Prince hit you on the head, he did it like a rude prince and you took it like a sensible gentleman. I reprimanded him for it, and he repents. He’s not wearing the traditional sackcloth and ashes, for sure, but he’s repenting in silk cloth and wine.

CHIEF JUSTICE

Well, God send the Prince a better companion.

CHIEF JUSTICE

May God send the Prince a better friend!

FALSTAFF

God send the companion a better prince. I cannot rid my
hands of him.

FALSTAFF

May God send the friend a better prince! I can’t get him off my hands!

CHIEF JUSTICE

175Well, the King hath severed you and Prince Harry. I hear you
are going with Lord John of Lancaster against the
Archbishop and the Earl of Northumberland.

CHIEF JUSTICE

Well, the King has separated you and Prince Harry. I hear you’re going with John of Lancaster to go fight Northumberland and the Archbishop.

FALSTAFF

Yea, I thank your pretty sweet wit for it. But look you pray,
all you that kiss my Lady Peace at home, that our armies join
180not in a hot day, for, by the Lord, I take but two shirts out with
me, and I mean not to sweat extraordinarily. If it be a hot day
and I brandish anything but a bottle, I would I might never
spit white again. There is not a dangerous action can peep
out his head but I am thrust upon it. Well, I cannot last ever.

FALSTAFF

Yes, and thanks for reminding me. I hope that all of you who stay home, safe and sound, will say a prayer that we soldiers don’t end up in some hot battle. For, by the Lord, I’ve only packed two shirts, and I don’t want to sweat too much. If things get hot and I pull out any other weapon besides a bottle, I’ll never drink wine again. I get sent out on every dangerous assignment