William Shakespeare's King Henry the Fourth, Part II in the complete original text.
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The Second Part of King Henry the Fourth

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Spoken by a Dancer.

First, my fear; then, my curtsy; last my
speech. My fear is, your displeasure, my
curtsy, my duty, and my speech, to beg your
pardon. If you look for a good speech now, you
undo me; for what I have to say is 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 for it and to promise you a better. I
did mean indeed to pay you with this; which,
if like an ill venture it come unluckily home, I
break, and you, my gentle creditor's, lose. Here,
I promised you I would be, and here I commit
my body to your mercies: bate me some and I
will pay you some; and, as most debtors do,
promise you infinitely.
If my tongue cannot entreat you to acquit me,
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 will I. All the
gentlewomen here have forgiven me: if the
gentlemen, will not, then the gentlemen do not
agree with the gentlewomen, which was never
seen before in such an assembly.
One word more, I beseech you. If you he not
too much cloyed with fat meat, our humble
author will continue the story, with Sir John in
it, and make you merry with fair Katharine of
France: where, for anything I know, Falstaff
shall die of a sweat, unless already a' be killed
with your hard opinions; for Oldcastle died a
martyr, and this is not the man. My tongue is
weary; when my legs are too, I will bid you
good night: and so kneel down before you; but,
indeed, to pray for the queen.
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