Henry IV Part 2

by: William Shakespeare

Original Text

Modern Text

185But it was always yet the trick of our English nation, if they
have a good thing, to make it too common. If ye will needs
say I am an old man, you should give me rest. I would to God
my name were not so terrible to the enemy as it is. I were
better to be eaten to death with a rust than to be scoured to
190nothing with perpetual motion.
that comes up. Well, I can’t live forever. That’s the thing about the English: when they have something good, they use it continually. If you’re going to insist that I’m an old man, then let me rest. I wish to God the enemy weren’t as scared of me as they are: I’d rather sit and rust than be worn out by all this work.

CHIEF JUSTICE

Well, be honest, be honest; and God bless your expedition!

CHIEF JUSTICE

Well, stay honest, stay honest. God bless your undertaking.

FALSTAFF

Will your Lordship lend me a thousand pound to furnish me
forth?

FALSTAFF

Could your lordship lend me a thousand pounds for some equipment I need?

CHIEF JUSTICE

Not a penny, not a penny. You are too impatient to bear
195crosses. Fare you well. Commend me to my cousin
Westmoreland.

CHIEF JUSTICE

Not a penny, not a penny: you’re too impatient to endure adversity. Farewell; give my regards to my kinsman Westmoreland.
Exeunt CHIEF JUSTICE and SERVANT
The CHIEF JUSTICE and his SERVANT exit.

FALSTAFF

If I do, fillip me with a three-man beetle. A man can no more
separate age and covetousness than he can part young limbs
and lechery; but the gout galls the one, and the pox pinches
200the other, and so both the degrees prevent my curses.—Boy!

FALSTAFF

If I do, hit me with a sledgehammer. Old age and greed go together like youth and lust. Gout afflicts one and syphilis plagues the other, so there’s no point in me cursing either the old or the young: they’re both cursed already. Boy!

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Sir.

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Sir?

FALSTAFF

What money is in my purse?

FALSTAFF

How much money’s in my wallet?

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Seven groats and two pence.

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FALSTAFF

I can get no remedy against this consumption of the purse.
205Borrowing only lingers and lingers it out, but the disease is
incurable. Go bear this letter to my Lord of Lancaster, this
to the Prince, this to the Earl of Westmoreland; and this to
old Mistress Ursula, whom I have weekly sworn to marry
since I perceived the first white hair on my chin. About it.
210You know where to find me.

FALSTAFF

There no way to cure the illness that’s making my wallet waste away; borrowing makes it live a little longer, but the disease is incurable. Bring this letter to Lord John of Lancaster, this one to the Prince, this one to Westmoreland, and this one to Madame Ursula. I’ve promised to marry her every single week since I got my first gray hair. Get going: you know where I’ll be.