Henry IV, Part I "Lord, Lord, How This World Is Given To Lying"
by William Shakespeare

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"Lord, Lord, How This World Is Given To Lying"

(Magill's Quotations in Context)

Context: Sir John Falstaff, the jovial and rotund companion of Prince Hal, heir to the throne, has not comported himself well in the battle between the forces of the king and those of the rebellious Hotspur. While Hal and Hotspur fight a mortal duel, Falstaff fights Douglas. Falling down and pretending death, Falstaff rises from the deserted field of battle, stabs again the already dead Hotspur, and claims a reward for his actions. Hal denies the efforts of his lying friend.


PRINCE HENRY
Why, Percy I killed myself, and saw thee dead.
FALSTAFF
Didst thou? Lord, lord, how this world is given to lying. I grant you I was down, and out of breath, and so was he, but we rose both at an instant, and fought a long hour by Shrewsbury clock. If I may be believed, so; if not, let them that should reward valour bear the sin upon their own heads. I'll take it upon my death, I gave him this wound in the thigh. If the man were alive, and would deny it, zounds I would make him eat a piece of my sword.