Lines uttered by King Henry IV's errant son and heir Prince Hal in The Famous Victories of Henry V, an anonymous English history play that predates Shakespeare (though his Henry IV draws on it extensively). Basically, Hal's suggesting it'll be a jolly time for all when his father is dead and he can succeed him on the English throne. The quotation's "no such things" refers to prisons and the like, which Hal has cause to dislike, having been thrown in one earlier for giving the Chief Justice "a box on the ear."

What Hal would do with England's prisons is turn them into fencing academies, to be run by his crony Ned, who he'd also appoint the new Chief Justice, after revising the position's job description to ensure nobody is executed but "picke purses and horse stealers." The highwaymen who steal "courageously" are to not only be overlooked but also given royal pensions.

These proposed reforms are all quite humorous, as is the scene itself, which has long since fallen out of copyright and can be happily quoted. As for the prince, when all is said and done, Hal doesn't turn out to be such a bad king after all, rebellious youth notwithstanding.

HENRY 5: How now sir John Old-Castle,
What newes with you

JOCKEY: I am glad to see your grace at libertie,
I was come, I, to visit you in prison.

HENRY 5: To visit me? didst thou not know that I am a
Princes son, why tis inough for me to looke into a prison,
though I come not in my selfe, but heres such adoo now
, heres prisoning, heres hanging, whipping, and the
diuel and all: but I tel you sirs, when I am King, we will haue
no such things, but my lads, if the old king my father were
dead, we would be all kings.

JOCKEY: Hee is a good olde man, God take him to his
mercy, the sooner.

HENRY 5: But Ned, so soone as I am King, the first thing
I wil do, shal be to put my Lord chief Justice out of office,
And thou shalt be my Lord chiefe Justice of England.

NED: Shall I be Lord chiefe Justice?
By gogs wounds, ile be the brauest Lord chiefe Justice
That euer was in England.

HENRY 5: Then Ned, ile turne all these prisons into fence
Schooles, and I will endue thee with them, with landes to
maintaine them withall: then I wil haue a bout with my Lord
chiefe Justice: thou shalt hang none but picke purses and
horse stealers, and such base minded villaines, but that fellow
that will stand by the high way side couragiously with his
sword and buckler and take a purse, that fellow giue him
commendations; beside that, send him to me and I will giue
him an anuall pension out of my Exchequer, to maintaine
him all the dayes of his life.

JOCKEY: Nobly spoken Harry, we shall neuer haue a mery
world til the old king be dead.

The play can be read in full at, as well as other websites. Http:// has a modern text, which I'd recommend most.

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