King Henry IV, Part 1 By William Shakespeare Act I: Scene 2

Zounds, where thou wilt, lad; I'll make one: an I do not, call
me villain, and baffle me.

I see a good amendment of life in thee, — from praying to

Why, Hal, 'tis my vocation, Hal; 'tis no sin for a man to labour
in his vocation.

[Enter Pointz.]

— Pointz! — Now shall we know if Gadshill have set a match. O, if
men were to be saved by merit, what hole in Hell were hot enough
for him? This is the most omnipotent villain that ever cried
Stand! to a true man.

Good morrow, Ned.

Good morrow, sweet Hal. — What says Monsieur Remorse? what
says Sir John Sack-and-sugar? Jack, how agrees the Devil and
thee about thy soul, that thou soldest him on Good-Friday last
for a cup of Madeira and a cold capon's leg?

Sir John stands to his word, — the Devil shall have his bargain;
for he was never yet a breaker of proverbs, — he will give the
Devil his due.

Then art thou damn'd for keeping thy word with the Devil.

Else he had been damn'd for cozening the Devil.

But, my lads, my lads, to-morrow morning, by four o'clock,
early at Gads-hill! there are pilgrims gong to Canterbury
with rich offerings, and traders riding to London with fat
purses: I have visards for you all; you have horses for
yourselves: Gadshill lies to-night in Rochester: I have bespoke
supper to-morrow night in Eastcheap: we may do it as secure as
sleep. If you will go, I will stuff your purses full of crowns;
if you will not, tarry at home and be hang'd.

Hear ye, Yedward; if I tarry at home and go not, I'll hang you
for going.

You will, chops?

Hal, wilt thou make one?

Who, I rob? I a thief? not I, by my faith.

There's neither honesty, manhood, nor good fellowship in thee,
nor thou camest not of the blood royal, if thou darest not stand
for ten shillings.

Well, then, once in my days I'll be a madcap.

Why, that's well said.

Well, come what will, I'll tarry at home.

By the Lord, I'll be a traitor, then, when thou art king.

I care not.


Sir John, I pr'ythee, leave the Prince and me alone: I will
lay him down such reasons for this adventure, that he shall go.

Well, God give thee the spirit of persuasion, and him the ears
of profiting, that what thou speakest may move, and what he
hears may be believed, that the true Prince may, for recreation-
sake, prove a false thief; for the poor abuses of the time want
countenance. Farewell; you shall find me in Eastcheap.

Farewell, thou latter Spring! farewell, All-hallown Summer!

[Exit Falstaff.]

Now, my good sweet honey-lord, ride with us to-morrow: I
have a jest to execute that I cannot manage alone. Falstaff,
Bardolph, Peto, and Gadshill, shall rob those men that we have
already waylaid: yourself and I will not be there; and when they
have the booty, if you and I do not rob them, cut this head off
from my shoulders.

But how shall we part with them in setting forth?

Why, we will set forth before or after them, and appoint them
a place of meeting, wherein it is at our pleasure to fail; and
then will they adventure upon the exploit themselves; which they
shall have no sooner achieved but we'll set upon them.

Ay, but 'tis like that they will know us by our horses, by our
habits, and by every other appointment, to be ourselves.

Tut! our horses they shall not see, — I'll tie them in the wood;
our visards we will change, after we leave them; and, sirrah, I
have cases of buckram for the nonce, to immask our noted
outward garments.

But I doubt they will be too hard for us.

Well, for two of them, I know them to be as true-bred
cowards as ever turn'd 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.

Well, I'll go with thee: provide us all things necessary and
meet me to-night in Eastcheap; there I'll sup. Farewell.

Farewell, my lord.


I know you all, and will awhile uphold
The unyok'd humour 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,
That, when he please again to be himself,
Being wanted, he may be more wonder'd at,
By breaking through the foul and ugly mists
Of vapours that did seem to strangle him.
If all the year were playing holidays,
To sport would be as tedious as to work;
But, when they seldom come, they wish'd-for come,
And nothing pleaseth but rare accidents.
So, when this loose behaviour I throw off,
And pay the debt I never promised,
By how much better than my word I am,
By so much shall I falsify men's hopes;
And, like bright metal on a sullen ground,
My reformation, glittering o'er my fault,
Shall show more goodly and attract more eyes
Than that which hath no foil to set it off.
I'll so offend, to make offence a skill;
Redeeming time, when men think least I will.


Back to Top

Take the Quiz

A little more than half the lines in Henry IV are in blank verse. The other half are in