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Home » Quotes » Henry IV Pt 2 » Well, the truth is, Sir John, you live in great infamy

Well, the truth is, Sir John, you live in great infamy

Chief Justice
Well, the truth is, Sir John, you live in
great infamy.
He that buckles himself in my belt cannot
live in less.
Chief Justice
Your means are very slender, and your
waste is great.

But since all is well, keep it so.
Wake not a sleeping wolf.

I would it were otherwise. I would my means
were greater and my waist slender.
Chief Justice
You have misled the youthful prince.
The young prince hath misled me. I am the
fellow with the great belly, and he my dog.
Chief Justice
Well, I am loath to gall a new-healed
wound. Your day’s service at Shrewsbury hath a
little gilded over your night’s exploit on Gad’s Hill.
You may thank th’ unquiet time for your quiet
o’erposting that action.
My lord.
Chief Justice
But since all is well, keep it so. Wake not
a sleeping wolf.
To wake a wolf is as bad as to smell a fox.
Chief Justice
What, you are as a candle, the better
part burnt out.
A wassail candle, my lord, all tallow. If I did
say of wax, my growth would approve the truth.
Chief Justice
There is not a white hair in your face but
should have his effect of gravity.
His effect of gravy, gravy, gravy.
Chief Justice
You follow the young prince up and
down like his ill angel.
Not so, my lord. Your ill angel is light, but I
hope he that looks upon me will take me without
weighing. And yet in some respects I grant I cannot
go. I cannot tell. Virtue is of so little regard in these
costermongers’ times that true valor is turned bearherd;
pregnancy is made a tapster, and hath his
quick wit wasted in giving reckonings. All the other
gifts appurtenant to man, as the malice of this age
shapes them, are not worth a gooseberry. You that
are old consider not the capacities of us that are
young. You do measure the heat of our livers with
the bitterness of your galls, and we that are in the
vaward of our youth, I must confess, are wags too.
Chief Justice
Do you set down your name in the scroll
of youth, that are written down old with all the
characters of age? Have you not a moist eye, a dry
hand, a yellow cheek, a white beard, a decreasing
leg, an increasing belly? Is not your voice broken,
your wind short, your chin double, your wit single,
and every part about you blasted with antiquity?
And will you yet call yourself young? Fie, fie,
fie, Sir John.
My lord, I was born about three of the clock
in the afternoon, with a white head and something
a round belly. For my voice, I have lost it with
halloing and singing of anthems. To approve my
youth further, I will not. The truth is, I am only old
in judgment and understanding. And he that will
caper with me for a thousand marks, let him lend
me the money, and have at him. For the box of the
ear that the Prince gave you, he gave it like a rude
prince, and you took it like a sensible lord. I have
checked him for it, and the young lion repents.
 Aside. Marry, not in ashes and sackcloth, but in
new silk and old sack.
Chief Justice
Well, God send the Prince a better companion.
God send the companion a better prince. I
cannot rid my hands of him.

Act 1
Scene 2
Line 139

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