The earliest edition of this play of which we have any knowledge was a quarto, published in 1600, with the following title-page:—
“The | Second part of Henrie | the fourth, continuing to his death, | and coronation of Henrie | the fift. | With the humours of sir Iohn Fal- | staffe, and swaggering | Pistoll. | As it hath been sundrie times publikely | acted by the right honourable, the Lord | Chamberlaine his seruants. | Written by William Shakespeare. | London | Printed by V. S. for Andrew Wise, and | William Aspley. | 1600.” The publishers had entered it upon the Stationers’ Registers on the 23d of August, 1600, in connection with Much Ado About Nothing.
In some copies of the 1600 quarto the 1st scene of act iii. was accidentally omitted. The error was rectified while the book was on the press by the insertion of two new leaves. In these the type of some of the preceding and following pages was used, so that the difference between the two impressions extends from the latter part of act ii. into the 2d scene of act iii.
In the folio of 1623 the play was apparently printed from a transcript of the original manuscript, or perhaps from a copy of the quarto that had been collated with such a transcript.