Henry IV Part 1

Act I
Act II
Act IV
Act V
Enter Prince of Wales and Sir John Falstaff


Now Hal, what time of day is it lad?


Thou art so fat-witted with drinking of old
fat-witted (adj.) thick-witted, slow, dull

sack, and unbuttoning thee after supper, and sleeping
sack (n.) [type of] white wine

upon benches after noon, that thou hast forgotten to

demand that truly which thou wouldst truly know.

What a devil hast thou to do with the time of the day?

Unless hours were cups of sack, and minutes capons,

and clocks the tongues of bawds, and dials the signs of
bawd (n.) pimp, procurer, pander, go-between See Topics: Frequency count

leaping-houses, and the blessed sun himself a fair hot
leaping-house (n.) brothel, whorehouse

wench in flame-coloured taffeta, I see no reason why
wench (n.) girl, lass See Topics: Frequency count

thou shouldst be so superfluous to demand the time of
superfluous (adj.) 3 needlessly concerned, unnecessary

the day.


Indeed, you come near me now Hal, for we

that take purses go by the moon and the seven stars, and
go (v.) 1 walk, travel on foot

not ‘ by Phoebus, he, that wandering knight so fair.’

And I prithee sweet wag, when thou art King, as God
wag (n.) fellow, lad, mischievous boy

save thy grace – majesty I should say, for grace thou

wilt have none –


What, none?


No, by my troth, not so much as will serve to

be prologue to an egg and butter.


Well, how then? Come, roundly, roundly.
roundly (adv.) 1 plainly, to the point, straight out


Marry then, sweet wag, when thou art King let
wag (n.) fellow, lad, mischievous boy

not us that are squires of the night's body be called
squire (n.) 1 gentleman below a knight in rank, attendant on a knight or nobleman

thieves of the day's beauty. Let us be Diana's foresters,

gentlemen of the shade, minions of the moon. And let
minion (n.) 1 darling, favourite, select one

men say we be men of good government, being governed
government (n.) 2 self-control, self-discipline, moral conduct

as the sea is, by our noble and chaste mistress the moon,

under whose countenance we steal.
countenance (n.) 6 favour, patronage, approval


Thou sayest well, and it holds well too, for
hold (v.) 5 apply, be apt, remain valid

the fortune of us that are the moon's men doth ebb and

flow like the sea, being governed as the sea is, by the

moon. As for proof? Now, a purse of gold most resolutely

snatched on Monday night, and most dissolutely

spent on Tuesday morning, got with swearing ‘ Lay by!’,
lay by (v.) 2 [highwaymen] stand and deliver; put down your weapons

and spent with crying ‘ Bring in!’, now in as low an ebb
bring in (v.) 2 tavern call for food and drink

as the foot of the ladder, and by and by in as high a flow
by and by (adv.) 2 shortly, soon, before long

as the ridge of the gallows.


By the Lord thou sayest true lad – and is not

my Hostess of the tavern a most sweet wench?
wench (n.) girl, lass See Topics: Frequency count


As the honey of Hybla, my old lad of the

castle. And is not a buff jerkin a most sweet robe of
buff jerkin close-fitting jacket made of buff worn by constables and soldiers
jerkin (n.) male upper garment, close-fitting jacket [often made of leather] See Topics: Clothing

durance (n.) 2 durability, lasting nature; also: type of strong durable cloth


How now, how now, mad wag? What, in thy
wag (n.) fellow, lad, mischievous boy

quips and thy quiddities? What a plague have I to do
quiddity (n.) subtlety, nicety, quibble

with a buff jerkin?


Why, what a pox have I to do with my

Hostess of the tavern?


Well, thou hast called her to a reckoning many
reckoning (n.) 2 bill [at an inn], settling of account

a time and oft.
oft, many a time and very often, with great frequency


Did I ever call for thee to pay thy part?


No, I'll give thee thy due, thou hast paid all



Yea, and elsewhere, so far as my coin would

stretch, and where it would not I have used my credit.


Yea, and so used it that were it not here apparent

that thou art heir apparent – but I prithee sweet

wag, shall there be gallows standing in England when
wag (n.) fellow, lad, mischievous boy

thou art King? And resolution thus fubbed as it is with
fub (v.) fob off, cheat, rob
resolution (n.) 1 determination, courage, firmness of purpose

the rusty curb of old Father Antic the law? Do not thou

when thou art King hang a thief.


No, thou shalt.


Shall I? O rare! By the Lord, I'll be a brave
brave (adj.) 1 fine, excellent, splendid, impressive See Topics: Frequency count



Thou judgest false already! I mean thou
false (adv.) 3 wrongly, erroneously, in error

shalt have the hanging of the thieves, and so become a

rare hangman.


Well, Hal, well! And in some sort it jumps
jump (v.) 1 agree, coincide, tally

with my humour – as well as waiting in the court, I can
humour (n.) 2 fancy, whim, inclination, caprice
humour (n.) 1 mood, disposition, frame of mind, temperament [as determined by bodily fluids] See Topics: Frequency count
wait (v.) be in attendance, do service

tell you.


For obtaining of suits?
suit (n.) 4 clothing, dress, garb


Yea, for obtaining of suits, whereof the hangman

hath no lean wardrobe. 'Sblood, I am as melancholy

as a gib cat, or a lugged bear.
gib (adj.) castrated
lugged (adj.) [of bears] baited


Or an old lion, or a lover's lute.


Yea, or the drone of a Lincolnshire bagpipe.
bagpipe (n.) windbag, verbose speaker


What sayest thou to a hare, or the melancholy

of Moorditch?


Thou hast the most unsavoury similes, and art

indeed the most comparative rascalliest sweet young
comparative (adj.) 2 good at making comparisons; insulting, abusive

prince. But Hal, I prithee trouble me no more with

vanity. I would to God thou and I knew where a commodity
commodity (n.) 1 supply, quantity, stock, consignment
vanity (n.) 1 worthlessness, futility, unprofitable way of life

of good names were to be bought. An old lord of

the Council rated me the other day in the street about
rate (v.) 1 berate, reproach, rebuke, scold

you, sir, but I marked him not, and yet he talked very
mark (v.) 1 note, pay attention [to], take notice [of] See Topics: Frequency count

wisely, but I regarded him not, and yet he talked wisely

– and in the street too.


Thou didst well, for wisdom cries out in the

streets and no man regards it.


O, thou hast damnable iteration, and art
iteration (n.) 2 ability to quote scripture

indeed able to corrupt a saint. Thou hast done much

harm upon me, Hal, God forgive thee for it. Before I

knew thee Hal, I knew nothing, and now am I, if a man

should speak truly, little better than one of the wicked.

I must give over this life, and I will give it over. By the

Lord, an I do not I am a villain. I'll be damned for

never a king's son in Christendom


Where shall we take a purse tomorrow,



Zounds, where thou wilt lad; I'll make one; an

I do not, call me villain and baffle me.
baffle (v.) 1 [of a knight] publicly disgrace, treat with infamy


I see a good amendment of life in thee, from

praying to purse-taking.


Why Hal, 'tis my vocation, Hal. 'Tis no sin

for a man to labour in his vocation.

Enter Poins
set (v.) 4 set up, plan, arrange

Poins! Now shall we know if Gadshill have set a

match! O, if men were to be saved by merit, what
match (n.) 7 robbery, operation, enterprise
merit (n.) 3 good works [yielding reward from God]

hole in hell were hot enough for him? This is the most

omnipotent villain that ever cried ‘ Stand!’ to a true man.
true (adj.) 4 honest, upright, law-abiding


Good morrow, Ned.
morrow (n.) morning See Topics: Frequency count


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 damned for keeping thy word with

the devil.


Else he had been damned for cozening the
cozen (v.) cheat, dupe, trick, deceive



But my lads, my lads, tomorrow morning, by four

o'clock early at Gad's Hill, there are pilgrims going to

Canterbury with rich offerings and traders riding to

London with fat purses. I have vizards for you all – you
vizard (n.) mask, visor

have horses for yourselves. Gadshill lies tonight in

Rochester. I have bespoke supper tomorrow night in

Eastcheap. We may do it as secure as sleep. If you will
secure (adv.) safely, free from anxiety

go, I will stuff your purses full of crowns. If you will

not, tarry at home and be hanged.
tarry (v.) 1 stay, remain, linger


Hear ye, Yedward, if I tarry at home and go

not, I'll hang you for going.


You will, chops?
chaps, chops (n.) 3 [jocular] fat cheeks


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.
royal (adj.) 2 kingly; also: to the value of the English coin worth ten shillings See Topics: Money
stand (v.) 5 make a stand, be resolute [on a point]


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



Why, that's well said.


Well, come what will, I'll tarry at home.
tarry (v.) 1 stay, remain, linger


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

art King.


I care not.


Sir John, I prithee 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
false (adj.) 2 disloyal, faithless, inconstant, unfaithful
recreation (n.) 1 amusement, entertainment, fun

thief, for the poor abuses of the time want countenance.
countenance (n.) 6 favour, patronage, approval
want (v.) 1 lack, need, be without See Topics: Frequency count

Farewell, you shall find me in Eastcheap.


Farewell, the latter spring! Farewell,
All-hallown (adj.) All Saints' Day; period of fine weather in late autumn See Topics: Days and dates
spring, latter youthful old age

All-hallown summer!

Exit Falstaff


Now my good sweet honey lord, ride with us

tomorrow: 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



How shall we part with them in setting



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
adventure (v.) venture, dare, chance, risk

the exploit themselves; which they shall have no sooner

achieved but we'll set upon them.


Yea, but 'tis like that they will know us by

our horses, by our habits, and by every other appointment
appointment (n.) 1 equipment, effects, weaponry
habit (n.) 1 dress, clothing, costume See Topics: Frequency count
like (adv.) 1 likely, probable / probably See Topics: Frequency count

to be ourselves.


Tut, our horses they shall not see, I'll tie them in

the wood. Our vizards we will change after we leave
vizard (n.) mask, visor

them. And, sirrah, I have cases of buckram for the nonce,
buckram, buckrom (n./adj.) 1 rough cloth, coarse linen
case (n.) 6 suit, overall, outer garment
nonce, for the for that purpose, for the occasion

to immask our noted outward garments.
immask (v.) hide, disguise, cover [as with a mask]
noted (adj.) 1 recognizable, well-known, familiar


Yea, but I doubt they will be too hard for
doubt (v.) 1 fear, be afraid [for], feel anxious [for]
hard (adj.) 1 strong, tough, powerful



Well, for two of them, I know them to be as true-bred

cowards as ever turned back; and for the third, if

he fight longer than he sees reason, I'll forswear arms.
forswear (v), past forms forsworn, forswore 2 abandon, renounce, reject, give up See Topics: Frequency count

The virtue of this jest will be the incomprehensible lies
incomprehensible (adj.) boundless, infinite, beyond comprehension

that this same fat rogue will tell us when we meet at

supper. How thirty at least he fought with, what wards,
ward (n.) 1 [fencing] defensive posture, parrying movement

what blows, what extremities he endured, and in the

reproof of this lives the jest.
reproof (n.) 1 disproof, refutation, rebuttal


Well, I'll go with thee. Provide us all things

necessary and meet me tomorrow night in Eastcheap.

There I'll sup. Farewell.
sup (v.) 1 have supper See Topics: Frequency count


Farewell, my lord.

Exit Poins


I know you all, and will awhile uphold

The unyoked humour of your idleness.
humour (n.) 2 fancy, whim, inclination, caprice
unyoked (adj.) unbridled, unrestrained, rampant

Yet herein will I imitate the sun,

Who doth permit the base contagious clouds
base (adj.) 3 poor, wretched, of low quality See Topics: Frequency count
contagious (adj.) 1 pestilential, harmful, noxious

To smother up his beauty from the world,

That when he please again to be himself,

Being wanted, he may be more wondered at
want (v.) 1 lack, need, be without See Topics: Frequency count

By breaking through the foul and ugly mists

Of vapours that did seem to strangle him.
strangle (v.) quench, eclipse, stifle

If all the year were playing holidays,

To sport would be as tedious as to work;
sport (v.) 1 make merry, take pleasure (in)

But when they seldom come, they wished-for come,

And nothing pleaseth but rare accidents.
accident (n.) 1 occurrence, event, happening
rare (adj.) 2 unusual, striking, exceptional

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,
ground (n.) 9 background, surface, setting
sullen (adj.) 2 dull, drab, sombre

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.
foil (n.) 3 setting, background which sets something off to advantage [as dull metal sets off a gem]

I'll so offend, to make offence a skill,

Redeeming time when men think least I will.
redeem (v.) 3 [of time lost] get back, buy back, make amends for


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