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Henry IV, Part 2

Henry IV, Part 2 Translation Act 2, Scene 2

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Enter PRINCE HENRY and POINS

PRINCE HENRY

Before God, I am exceeding weary.

PRINCE HENRY

I swear to God, I am incredibly tired.

POINS

Is ’t come to that? I had thought weariness durst not haveattached one of so high blood.

POINS

Are you really? I didn't think people as noble as you ever got tired.

PRINCE HENRY

Faith, it does me; though it discolors the complexion of mygreatness to acknowledge it. Doth it not show vilely inmeto desire small beer?

PRINCE HENRY

Well, I am—although admitting it does make me feel less noble. Would it be awful for me to say that I really want a small beer?

POINS

Why, a prince should not be so loosely studied as toremember so weak a composition.

POINS

A prince shouldn't be so indulgent as to want something as vile as a small beer.

PRINCE HENRY

Belike then my appetite was not princely got, for, by my troth, I do now remember the poor creature small beer. But indeed these humble considerations make me out of love with my greatness. What a disgrace is it to me to remember thy name, or to know thy face tomorrow, or to take notehow many pair of silk stockings thou hast—with these, and those that were thy peach-colored ones —or to bear the inventory of thy shirts, as, one for superfluity and another for use. But that the tennis-court keeper knows better than I, for it is a low ebb of linen with thee when thou keepest not racket there, as thou hast not done a great while, because therest of the low countries have made a shift to eat up thy holland; and God knows whether those that bawl out the ruins of thy linen shall inherit His kingdom; but the midwives say the children are not in the fault, whereupon the world increases and kindreds are mightily strengthened.

PRINCE HENRY

Well then my appetite is not the appetite of a prince, because all I want right now is a small beer. But you're right, these lowly thoughts do take me away from my noble position. It's a disgrace for me to know a man like you! To know your face, to know how many pairs of silk stockings you have—these ones, and those other peach-colored ones you have. To know how many shirts you have—one for wearing, and another one just in case. But then, I guess the keeper of the tennis court knows that better than I do, since you only give up your games when your supply of shirts has run out. And you haven't played for a while, because you've spent all of your money on whores instead of shirts. God knows whether your offspring—howling and dressed in clothes made out of scraps of your shirts—will ever make it to heaven. The midwives say that children don't bear the faults of their parents though, which is how the population increases and families get stronger. 

POINS

How ill it follows, after you have labored so hard, youshouldtalk so idly! Tell me, how many good young princes woulddo so, their fathers being so sick as yours at this time is?

POINS

After everything you have done in battle, it seems wrong for you to spend your time chatting about nothing! Tell me, how many good, young princes would do what you're doing if their fathers were as sick as yours is?

PRINCE HENRY

Shall I tell thee one thing, Poins?

PRINCE HENRY

Shall I tell you something, Poins?

POINS

Yes, faith, and let it be an excellent good thing.

POINS

Yes, please, and let it be something worthwhile.

PRINCE HENRY

It shall serve among wits of no higher breeding than thine.

PRINCE HENRY

It will be good enough for people who aren't any more intelligent than you are. 

POINS

Go to. I stand the push of your one thing that you willtell.

POINS

Go on then. I can stand up to anything that you will say. 

PRINCE HENRY

Marry, I tell thee it is not meet that I should be sad,now my father is sick —albeit I could tell thee, as to one it pleases me, for fault of a better, to call my friend, I could be sad, and sad indeed too.

PRINCE HENRY

All right. I am telling you that it is not appropriate for me to be sad, now that my father is sick. But if I wanted to, I could tell you—as a man who is my friend for lack of better company—that I could be sad. I could be incredibly sad. 

POINS

Very hardly, upon such a subject.

POINS

That would be a hard thing to do when it comes to a subject like this. 

PRINCE HENRY

By this hand, thou thinkest me as far in the devil’s book as thou and Falstaff for obduracy and persistency. Let theend try the man. But I tell thee, my heart bleeds inwardly that my father is so sick: and keeping such vile company as thou art hath in reason taken from me all ostentation of sorrow.

PRINCE HENRY

I swear that you think I'm as bad as you and Falstaff are—as stubborn and as persistent. That's not the case. But I am telling you the truth. My heart is secretly bleeding over the fact that my father is sick. It is just the fact that I am hanging around with men like you that has stopped me from being able to show my sadness. 

POINS

The reason?

POINS

Why?

PRINCE HENRY

What wouldst thou think of me if I should weep?

PRINCE HENRY

What would you think of me if I were crying?

POINS

I would think thee a most princely hypocrite.

POINS

I would think you're a royal hypocrite. 

PRINCE HENRY

It would be every man’s thought, and thou art a blessed fellow to think as every man thinks. Never a man’s thought in the world keeps the roadway better than thine. Everyman would think me an hypocrite indeed. And what accites your most worshipful thought to think so?

PRINCE HENRY

That would be what every man would think, and you're blessed to think the same as every man does. No one agrees with public opinions more than you do. Every man would think that I'm a hypocrite. And what makes you think that? 

POINS

Why, because you have been so lewd and so much engraffedto Falstaff.

POINS

Because you've acted so obscenely and you're so attached to Falstaff. 

PRINCE HENRY

And to thee.

PRINCE HENRY

So are you. 

POINS

By this light, I am well spoke on. I can hear it with my own ears. The worst that they can say of me is that I am a second brother, and that I am a proper fellow of my hands; andthose two things, I confess, I cannot help. By the Mass, herecomes Bardolph.

POINS

But indeed, people think highly of me. I've heard their praises with my own ears. The worst thing that they can say about me is that, because I'm not the oldest brother, I won't get any inheritance. And I'm also a good fighter. I can't help either of those things, can I? By God, here comes Bardolph. 

Enter BARDOLPH and the PAGE

PRINCE HENRY

And the boy that I gave Falstaff. He had him from meChristian, and look if the fat villain have not transformedhim ape.

PRINCE HENRY

He's the boy that I sent to work for Falstaff. I sent him away as a young, Christian boy, and now the fat villain has turned him into a fool

BARDOLPH

God save your Grace.

BARDOLPH

God save your Grace.

PRINCE HENRY

And yours, most noble Bardolph.

PRINCE HENRY

And yours, most noble Bardolph.

POINS

[to BARDOLPH] Come, you virtuous ass, you bashful fool, must you be blushing? Wherefore blush you now? What a maidenly man-at-arms are you become! Is ’t such a matter to get a pottle-pot’s maidenhead?

POINS

[To BARDOLPH] Come on, you virtuous ass, you embarrassed fool—why are you blushing? Why are you blushing right now? What a feminine soldier you've become! Is it such a bad thing to knock of a pot of ale

PAGE

He calls me e'en now, my lord, through a red lattice, and I could discern no part of his face from the window. At last I spied his eyes, and methought he had made two holes in the ale-wife’s new petticoat and so peeped through.

PAGE

He called me just now, from behind a red window, and I could barely tell which was the window and which was his face. As last I noticed his eyes, and I thought that he must have made two holes in a barmaid's skirt and looked through it. 

PRINCE HENRY

Has not the boy profited?

PRINCE HENRY

The boy must have learned a lot from Falstaff?

BARDOLPH

Away, you whoreson upright rabbit, away!

BARDOLPH

Get out of here, you silly, little rabbit, get out!

PAGE

Away, you rascally Althea’s dream, away!

PAGE

You go away, you vile Althea's dream.

PRINCE HENRY

Instruct us, boy. What dream, boy?

PRINCE HENRY

Tell us, boy. What is this dream?

PAGE

Marry, my lord, Althea dreamt she was delivered of afirebrand, and therefore I call him her dream.

PAGE

Well, my lord, Althea dreamed that she gave birth to a fiery rod. And so I call it her dream, as he's all red in the face. 

PRINCE HENRY

A crown’s worth of good interpretation. There ’tis, boy.

PRINCE HENRY

That joke is worth a crown! Here it is, my boy. 

POINS

O, that this good blossom could be kept from cankers! Well,there is sixpence to preserve thee.

POINS

I hope that this precious, little flower can be kept away from worms that will eat it and corrupt it. Well, here's sixpence to look after you. 

BARDOLPH

An you do not make him hanged among you, the gallowsshall have wrong.

BARDOLPH

If all of you don't end up getting this boy hanged, the gallows have been robbed. 

PRINCE HENRY

And how doth thy master, Bardolph?

PRINCE HENRY

And how is your master doing, Bardolph?

BARDOLPH

Well, my good lord. He heard of your Grace’s coming totown. There’s a letter for you.

BARDOLPH

He is doing well, my good lord. He heard that your Grace was coming to town. Here's a letter for you. 

POINS

Delivered with good respect. And how doth the Martlemasyour master?

POINS

Delivered as it should be. And how is that fat beast, your master?

BARDOLPH

In bodily health, sir.

BARDOLPH

His body's healthy at least. 

POINS

Marry, the immortal part needs a physician, but that movesnot him. Though that be sick, it dies not.

POINS

Indeed, it's his soul that really needs a doctor's help. But that doesn't bother him. Even if his soul might be sick, at least he's not going to die right now. 

PRINCE HENRY

[reads to himself] I do allow this wen to be as familiar withme as my dog, and he holds his place, for look you how bewrites. [he hands the letter to POINS]

PRINCE HENRY

[Reading to himself] God, I've allowed this great lump to be as familiar to me as my dog, and he keeps a tight hold on his rank. Look at how he writes. [He hands the letter to POINS]

POINS

[reads] John Falstaff, knight. Every man must know that as oft as he has occasion to name himself, even like thosethat are kin to the King , for they never prick their finger but they say, “There’s some of the King’s blood spilt.” “How comes that?” says he that takes upon him not to conceive. The answer is as ready as a borrower’s cap: “I am the King’s poor cousin, sir.”

POINS

[Reading] "John Falstaff, knight." He makes sure that he tells people his title whenever he can. He's just like people who are related to the King. Anytime they prick their finger, they say something like, "Look, some of the King's blood has been spilled." Then someone pretends not to understand and says, "What do you mean?" The answer is as ready as a beggar is when he holds out his hat. The relative replies, "I am the King's poor cousin, sir."

PRINCE HENRY

Nay, they will be kin to us, or they will fetch it fromJapheth. But to the letter. [takes the letter and reads]Sir John alstaff, knight, to the son of the King nearest his father, Harry Prince of Wales, greeting.

PRINCE HENRY

True, they all say that they're part of our family, even if they have to look all the way back to Japheth. But as for this letter. [He takes the letter and reads] "Sir John Falstaff, knight to the King's son nearest to his father, Harry Prince of Wales, sends his regards." 

POINS

Why, this is a certificate.

POINS

Why, that sounds like contract, not a letter. 

PRINCE HENRY

Peace! [reads] I will imitate the honorable Romans in brevity.

PRINCE HENRY

Quiet! [Reading] "I will be like the Romans and be brief about it." 

POINS

He sure means brevity in breath, short-winded.

POINS

He must mean shortness of breath—he's probably wheezing. 

PRINCE HENRY

[reads] I commend me to thee, I commend thee, and I leave thee. Be not too familiar with Poins, for he misuses thy favors so much that he swears thou art to marry his sister Nell. Repent at idle times as thou mayest, and so, farewell. Thine by yea and no, which is as much as to say, as thou usest him, Jack Falstaff withmy familiars, John with my brothers and sisters, and Sir John with all Europe.

PRINCE HENRY

[Reading] "I salute myself, I salute you, and I leave it. Don't get too close to Poins, as he abuses your kindness so much that he is positive that you're going to marry his sister, Nell. Repent for your sins when you have the time, and so, goodbye. Yours here and there, for which I mean, however you want him to be, I am still Jack Falstaff to my friends, John to my brothers and sisters, and Sir John to the rest of Europe."

POINS

My lord, I’ll steep this letter in sack and make him eat it.

POINS

My lord, I'll cover this letter in wine and force him to eat it. 

PRINCE HENRY

That’s to make him eat twenty of his words. But do you useme thus, Ned? Must I marry your sister?

PRINCE HENRY

That would force him to eat twenty of his words. But are you really abusing my kindness, Ned? Do I actually have to marry your sister? 

POINS

God send the wench no worse fortune! But I never said so.

POINS

It would definitely be good for her if you did. But no, I never said anything like that. 

PRINCE HENRY

Well, thus we play the fools with the time, and the spirits ofthe wise sit in the clouds and mock us. [to BARDOLPH] Is yourmaster here in London?

PRINCE HENRY

Look at us wasting time here, while the wise angels sit in heaven laughing at us.

[To BARDOLPH]
Is your master here in London?

BARDOLPH

Yea, my lord.

BARDOLPH

Yes, my lord. 

PRINCE HENRY

Where sups he? Doth the old boar feed in the old frank?

PRINCE HENRY

Where is he having dinner? Is that old pig eating in his old feeding place?

BARDOLPH

At the old place, my lord, in Eastcheap.

BARDOLPH

At the old place in Eastcheap, my lord.

PRINCE HENRY

What company?

PRINCE HENRY

Who's he with?

PAGE

Ephesians, my lord, of the old church.

PAGE

The same old faces. 

PRINCE HENRY

Sup any women with him?

PRINCE HENRY

Do any women eat with him?

PAGE

None, my lord, but old Mistress Quickly and Mistress DollTearsheet.

PAGE

Just old Mistress Quickly and Mistress Doll Tearsheet.

PRINCE HENRY

What pagan may that be?

PRINCE HENRY

Which whore is that?

PAGE

A proper gentlewoman, sir, and a kinswoman of mymaster’s.

PAGE

Sir, she's a proper lady, and related to my master. 

PRINCE HENRY

Even such kin as the parish heifers are to the town bull.—Shall we steal upon them, Ned, at supper?

PRINCE HENRY

The same kind of relationship that country cows have with the local bull, I'm guessing.

[To POINS] Shall we sneak up on them while they're having dinner, Ned?

POINS

I am your shadow, my lord. I’ll follow you.

POINS

I'm your shadow, my lord. I'll follow you. 

PRINCE HENRY

Sirrah—you, boy—and Bardolph, no word to your masterthat I am yet come to town. [gives them money] There’s foryour silence.

PRINCE HENRY

Sir—you there, boy—and you, Bardolph: don't say anything to your master about me being in town. [He gives them money]  This is for your silence.

BARDOLPH

I have no tongue, sir.

BARDOLPH

I have no tongue to tell him anything, sir. 

PAGE

And for mine, sir, I will govern it.

PAGE

I have a tongue, sir. But I'll keep it in check. 

PRINCE HENRY

Fare you well. Go.

PRINCE HENRY

Goodbye to you then. Off you go. 

Exeunt BARDOLPH and PAGE

This Doll Tearsheet should be some road.

This Doll Tearsheet must be some whore. 

POINS

I warrant you, as common as the way between Saint Alban’sand London.

POINS

I bet that she's as commonly used as the road between Saint Albans and London. 

PRINCE HENRY

How might we see Falstaff bestow himself tonight in histruecolors, and not ourselves be seen?

PRINCE HENRY

How can we make Falstaff show his true colors tonight and not be recognized ourselves?

POINS

Put on two leathern jerkins and aprons, and wait upon himat his table as drawers.

POINS

Let's put on two leather jackets and aprons, and wait on him, pretending to be bartenders. 

PRINCE HENRY

From a god to a bull: a heavy decension. It was Jove’s case. From a prince to a 'prentice: a low transformation thatshall be mine, for in everything the purpose must weigh with the folly. Follow me, Ned.

PRINCE HENRY

To go from being a god to a bull is quite a step down. But Jove did it. From a Prince to a servant—that will be my transformation. The end result will make up for all of the tomfoolery. Follow me, Ned. 

Exeunt

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Lani strange
About the Translator: Lani Strange

Lani is currently studying for an MA in Shakespeare Studies at King's College London and Shakespeare's Globe. She has a BA in English and Latin Literature from the University of Warwick and worked as a Teacher of Drama for a year in between her undergraduate and postgraduate degrees. She has a love for all things theatrical and spends all of her free time either watching theatre or taking part in it herself.