Henry IV Part 2

by: William Shakespeare

  Act 2 Scene 4

page Act 2 Scene 4 Page 11

Original Text

Modern Text

FALSTAFF

Peace, good Doll. Do not speak like a death’s-head; do not bid
195me remember mine end.

FALSTAFF

Quiet, Doll. Don’t talk like a

death’s-head

death’s-head = a skull, used as a reminder of one’s mortality

death’s-head
. Don’t make me think of my own end.

DOLL TEARSHEET

Sirrah, what humor’s the Prince of?

DOLL TEARSHEET

FALSTAFF

A good shallow young fellow, he would have made a good
pantler; he would a' chipped bread well.

FALSTAFF

He’s a shallow youngster. He would have made a good pantry servant: he would have been great at trimming the crusts off bread.

DOLL TEARSHEET

They say Poins has a good wit.

DOLL TEARSHEET

They say Poins is smart.

FALSTAFF

200He a good wit? Hang him, baboon. His wit’s as thick as
Tewksbury mustard. There’s no more conceit in him than is
in a mallet.

FALSTAFF

Him, smart? Hang him, he’s a baboon! He’s as thick as mustard, and no smarter than a sledgehammer.

DOLL TEARSHEET

Why does the Prince love him so then?

DOLL TEARSHEET

Then why does the Prince love him?

FALSTAFF

Because their legs are both of a bigness, and he plays at
205quoits well, and eats conger and fennel, and drinks off
candles' ends for flap-dragons, and rides the wild mare with
the boys, and jumps upon joint stools, and swears with a
good grace, and wears his boots very smooth, like unto the
sign of the Leg, and breeds no bate with telling of discreet
210stories, and such other gambol faculties he has that show a
weak mind and an able body, for the which the Prince admits
him; for the Prince himself is such another. The weight of a
hair will turn the scales between their avoirdupois.

FALSTAFF

Because their legs are the same size, and he likes to play the game of quoits and eat fatty foods; and he’ll play drinking games, like dropping burning candle ends into his drinks. He plays on the see-saw with the boys, and pulls crazy stunts, and curses nicely. And his boots fit nice and smooth, just like the ones painted on the shoe store’s signs. And he doesn’t cause trouble by spilling secrets. He has all kinds of qualities associated with weak minds and healthy bodies, and that’s why the Prince keeps him around: because the Prince is exactly the same. There’s not a hair’s difference between the two of them.

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