List iconHenry IV, Part 2List icon

Henry IV, Part 2
Epilogue

Synopsis:

Contents

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…

Induction

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.

Epilogue

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

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EPILOGUE

  First my fear, then my curtsy, last my speech. My
 fear is your displeasure, my curtsy my duty, and my
 speech, to beg your pardons. If you look for a good
 speech now, you undo me, for what I have to say is
5 of mine own making, and what indeed I should say
 will, I doubt, prove mine own marring.
  But to the purpose, and so to the venture. Be it
 known to you, as it is very well, I was lately here in
 the end of a displeasing play to pray your patience
10 for it and to promise you a better. I meant indeed to
 pay you with this, which, if like an ill venture it
 come unluckily home, I break, and you, my gentle
 creditors, lose. Here I promised you I would be,
 and here I commit my body to your mercies. Bate
15 me some, and I will pay you some, and, as most
 debtors do, promise you infinitely. And so I kneel
 down before you, but, indeed, to pray for the
 Queen.
  If my tongue cannot entreat you to acquit me,
20 will you command me to use my legs? And yet that
 were but light payment, to dance out of your debt.
 But a good conscience will make any possible
 satisfaction, and so would I. All the gentlewomen
 here have forgiven me; if the gentlemen will not,
25 then the gentlemen do not agree with the gentlewomen,
243

245
Henry IV, Part 2
EPILOGUE

 which was never seen before in such an
 assembly.
  One word more, I beseech you: if you be not too
 much cloyed with fat meat, our humble author will
30 continue the story, with Sir John in it, and make
 you merry with fair Katherine of France, where, for
 anything I know, Falstaff shall die of a sweat, unless
 already he be killed with your hard opinions; for
 Oldcastle died a martyr, and this is not the man.
35 My tongue is weary; when my legs are too, I will bid
 you good night.