Henry IV, Part I "If All The Year Were Playing Holidays"
by William Shakespeare

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"If All The Year Were Playing Holidays"

(Magill's Quotations in Context)

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Context: Falstaff and Poins plan a robbery of Canterbury pilgrims and London traders at Gadshill. Prince Hal says he will not join the game. After Falstaff has departed, however, Poins says that it will be great sport to allow Falstaff, Bardolph, Peto and others to rob the men, and then have him and Hal rob the robbers, who are surely cowards. Falstaff will then later claim "how thirty at least he fought with, what wards, what blows, what extremities he endured, and in the reproof of this lives the jest." Prince Hal reveals his true, sterling character in saying that he will go along but only for the fun. He likes diversion.

PRINCE HENRYIf all the year were playing holidays,To sport would be as tedious as to work;But when they seldom come, they wished for come,And nothing pleaseth but rare accidents.