List iconHenry IV, Part 2:
Act 2, scene 2
List icon

Henry IV, Part 2
Act 2, scene 2



Characters in the Play

Entire Play

Henry IV, Part 2, continues the story of Henry IV, Part I. Northumberland learns that his son Hotspur is dead, and…


Following the battle of Shrewsbury (where King Henry and Prince Hal were victorious and Hotspur killed), Rumor spreads the false…

Act 1, scene 1

Northumberland, who had pleaded illness as an excuse for not appearing at the battle of Shrewsbury, learns that his son,…

Act 1, scene 2

Sir John Falstaff is confronted by the Lord Chief Justice. Since Falstaff has come away from Shrewsbury with the reputation…

Act 1, scene 3

At York, the Archbishop discusses with Mowbray, Hastings, and Lord Bardolph whether they can defeat the king’s forces if their…

Act 2, scene 1

Sir John is arrested for the debt he owes Mistress Quickly. He persuades her to drop the charges and to…

Act 2, scene 2

Learning that Falstaff will be dining that night in Eastcheap, Prince Hal and Poins decide to disguise themselves as waiters…

Act 2, scene 3

Northumberland is persuaded by his daughter-in-law, Hotspur’s widow, to abandon the other rebels.

Act 2, scene 4

At Mistress Quickly’s inn in Eastcheap, a fight erupts after Falstaff ’s ensign, Pistol, insults Doll Tearsheet. The disguised Prince Hal…

Act 3, scene 1

An ill and anxious King Henry IV consults with Warwick.

Act 3, scene 2

On his journey through Gloucestershire, Falstaff selects recruits for the army and decides that, on his return, he will fleece…

Act 4, scene 1

The leaders of the rebellion reach Gaultree Forest, where they present their grievances to Westmoreland. After Prince John promises redress…

Act 4, scene 2

Falstaff meets a rebel knight, who surrenders to him. When Prince John reproaches Falstaff for his late arrival, Falstaff turns…

Act 4, scene 3

Just after receiving the good news about the defeat of all the rebel forces, Henry IV falls into a swoon….

Act 5, scene 1

Falstaff observes Shallow and his servants in order to be ready to entertain Prince Hal with amusing stories.

Act 5, scene 2

Prince Hal reassures an anxious Lord Chief Justice.

Act 5, scene 3

On the news of Henry IV’s death, Falstaff and Shallow set off joyfully for London.

Act 5, scene 4

Doll Tearsheet is arrested.

Act 5, scene 5

The newly crowned King Henry V keeps his word to the Lord Chief Justice.


The speaker apologizes for the play and promises another play with Falstaff in it.

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Scene 2
Enter the Prince and Poins.

PRINCE Before God, I am exceeding weary.
POINS Is ’t come to that? I had thought weariness durst
 not have attached one of so high blood.
PRINCE Faith, it does me, though it discolors the complexion
5 of my greatness to acknowledge it. Doth it
 not show vilely in me to desire small beer?
POINS Why, a prince should not be so loosely studied
 as to remember so weak a composition.

Henry IV, Part 2
ACT 2. SC. 2

PRINCE Belike then my appetite was not princely got,
10 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 note how
15 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
20 linen with thee when thou keepest not racket there,
 as thou hast not done a great while, because the rest
 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;
25 but the midwives say the children are not in the
 fault, whereupon the world increases and kindreds
 are mightily strengthened.]
POINS How ill it follows, after you have labored so
 hard, you should talk so idly! Tell me, how many
30 good young princes would do so, their fathers being
 so sick as yours at this time is?
PRINCE Shall I tell thee one thing, Poins?
POINS Yes, faith, and let it be an excellent good thing.
PRINCE It shall serve among wits of no higher breeding
35 than thine.
POINS Go to. I stand the push of your one thing that
 you will tell.
PRINCE Marry, I tell thee it is not meet that I should be
 sad, now my father is sick—albeit I could tell to
40 thee, as to one it pleases me, for fault of a better, to
 call my friend, I could be sad, and sad indeed too.
POINS Very hardly, upon such a subject.

Henry IV, Part 2
ACT 2. SC. 2

PRINCE By this hand, thou thinkest me as far in the
 devil’s book as thou and Falstaff for obduracy and
45 persistency. Let the end 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.
POINS The reason?
PRINCE 50What wouldst thou think of me if I should
POINS I would think thee a most princely hypocrite.
PRINCE It would be every man’s thought, and thou art
 a blessed fellow to think as every man thinks. Never
55 a man’s thought in the world keeps the roadway
 better than thine. Every man would think me an
 hypocrite indeed. And what accites your most worshipful
 thought to think so?
POINS Why, because you have been so lewd and so
60 much engraffed to Falstaff.
PRINCE And to thee.
POINS By this light, I am well spoke on. I can hear it
 with mine own ears. The worst that they can say of
 me is that I am a second brother, and that I am a
65 proper fellow of my hands; and those two things, I
 confess, I cannot help. By the Mass, here comes

Enter Bardolph and Page.

PRINCE And the boy that I gave Falstaff. He had him
 from me Christian, and look if the fat villain have
70 not transformed him ape.
BARDOLPH God save your Grace.
PRINCE And yours, most noble Bardolph.
POINS, to Bardolph Come, you virtuous ass, you bashful
 fool, must you be blushing? Wherefore blush
75 you now? What a maidenly man-at-arms are you

Henry IV, Part 2
ACT 2. SC. 2

 become! Is ’t such a matter to get a pottle-pot’s
PAGE He calls me e’en now, my lord, through a red
 lattice, and I could discern no part of his face from
80 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.
PRINCE Has not the boy profited?
BARDOLPH, to Page Away, you whoreson upright rabbit,
85 away!
PAGE Away, you rascally Althea’s dream, away!
PRINCE Instruct us, boy. What dream, boy?
PAGE Marry, my lord, Althea dreamt she was delivered
 of a firebrand, and therefore I call him her dream.
PRINCE 90A crown’s worth of good interpretation. There
 ’tis, boy.He gives the Page money.
POINS O, that this good blossom could be kept from
 cankers! Well, there is sixpence to preserve thee.
He gives the Page money.
BARDOLPH An you do not make him be hanged among
95 you, the gallows shall have wrong.
PRINCE And how doth thy master, Bardolph?
BARDOLPH Well, my good lord. He heard of your
 Grace’s coming to town. There’s a letter for you.
He gives the Prince a paper.
POINS Delivered with good respect. And how doth the
100 Martlemas your master?
BARDOLPH In bodily health, sir.
POINS Marry, the immortal part needs a physician, but
 that moves not him. Though that be sick, it dies not.
PRINCE I do allow this wen to be as familiar with me as
105 my dog, and he holds his place, for look you how he
 writes.He shows the letter to Poins.
POINS reads the superscription John Falstaff, knight.
 Every man must know that as oft as he has occasion

Henry IV, Part 2
ACT 2. SC. 2

 to name himself, even like those that are kin to the
110 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.”
PRINCE 115Nay, they will be kin to us, or they will fetch it
 from Japheth. But to the letter: Reads. Sir John
 Falstaff, knight, to the son of the King nearest his
 father, Harry Prince of Wales, greeting.

POINS Why, this is a certificate.
PRINCE 120Peace!
 Reads. I will imitate the honorable Romans in

POINS He sure means brevity in breath, short-winded.
PRINCE reads I commend me to thee, I commend thee,
125 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
 mayst, and so farewell.
 Thine by yea and no, which is as much as
130 to say, as thou usest him,
 Jack Falstaff with my familiars,
 John with my brothers and sisters, and
 Sir John with all Europe.

POINS My lord, I’ll steep this letter in sack and make
135 him eat it.
PRINCE That’s to make him eat twenty of his words.
 But do you use me thus, Ned? Must I marry your
POINS God send the wench no worse fortune! But I
140 never said so.
PRINCE Well, thus we play the fools with the time, and
 the spirits of the wise sit in the clouds and mock us.
 To Bardolph. Is your master here in London?
BARDOLPH Yea, my lord.

Henry IV, Part 2
ACT 2. SC. 2

PRINCE 145Where sups he? Doth the old boar feed in the
 old frank?
BARDOLPH At the old place, my lord, in Eastcheap.
PRINCE What company?
PAGE Ephesians, my lord, of the old church.
PRINCE 150Sup any women with him?
PAGE None, my lord, but old Mistress Quickly and
 Mistress Doll Tearsheet.
PRINCE What pagan may that be?
PAGE A proper gentlewoman, sir, and a kinswoman of
155 my master’s.
PRINCE Even such kin as the parish heifers are to the
 town bull.—Shall we steal upon them, Ned, at
POINS I am your shadow, my lord. I’ll follow you.
PRINCE 160Sirrah—you, boy—and Bardolph, no word to
 your master that I am yet come to town. There’s for
 your silence.He gives money.
BARDOLPH I have no tongue, sir.
PAGE And for mine, sir, I will govern it.
PRINCE 165Fare you well. Go.Bardolph and Page exit.
 This Doll Tearsheet should be some road.
POINS I warrant you, as common as the way between
 Saint Albans and London.
PRINCE How might we see Falstaff bestow himself
170 tonight in his true colors, and not ourselves be
POINS Put on two leathern jerkins and aprons, and
 wait upon him at his table as drawers.
PRINCE From a god to a bull: a heavy descension. It
175 was Jove’s case. From a prince to a ’prentice: a low
 transformation that shall be mine, for in everything
 the purpose must weigh with the folly. Follow me,
They exit.