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ACT SECOND

Scene One

[Rochester. An Inn-Yard]

Enter a Carrier, with a lantern in his hand.

First Car. Heigh-ho! An 't be not four by
the day I'll be hanged: Charles' Wain is over
the new chimney, and yet our horse not packed.
What, ostler! 4

Ost. [within.] Anon, anon.

First Car. I prithee, Tom, beat Cut's saddle,
put a few flocks in the point: the poor jade is
wrung in the withers out of all cess. 8


Enter another Carrier.

Sec. Car. Peas and beans are as dank here as
a dog, and that is the next way to give poor
jades the bots; this house is turned upside down
since Robin Ostler died. 12

First Car. Poor fellow! never joyed since the
price of oats rose; it was the death of him.

Sec. Car. I think this be the most villainous
house in all London road for fleas: I am stung
like a tench. 17

First Car. Like a tench! by the mass, there
is ne'er a king christen could be better bit than
I have been since the first cock. 20

Sec. Car. Why, they will allow us ne'er a
jordan, and then we leak in the chimney; and
your chamber-lie breeds fleas like a loach.

First Car. What, ostler! come away and be
hanged, come away. 25

Sec. Car. I have a gammon of bacon and
two razes of ginger, to be delivered as far as
Charing-cross. 28

First Car. Godsbody! the turkeys in my
pannier are quite starved. What, ostler! A
plague on thee! hast thou never an eye in thy
head? canst not hear? An 'twere not as good a
deed as drink to break the pate on thee, I am a
very villain. Come, and be hanged! hast no
faith in thee?


Enter Gadshill.

Gads. Good morrow, carriers. What's o'clock?

First Car. I think it be two o'clock. 37

Gads. I prithee, lend me thy lantern, to see
my gelding in the stable.

First Car. Nay, by God, soft: I know a
trick worth two of that, i' faith. 41

Gads. I prithee, lend me thine.

Sec. Car. Ay, when? canst tell? Lend me
thy lantern, quoth a'? marry, I'll see thee
hanged first. 45

Gads. Sirrah carrier, what time do you mean
to come to London?

Sec. Car. Time enough to go to bed with a
candle, I warrant thee. Come, neighbour Mugs,
we'll call up the gentlemen: they will along
with company, for they have great charge.

Exeunt [Carriers]. Enter Chamberlain.

Gads. What, ho! chamberlain! 52

Cham. 'At hand, quoth pick-purse.'

Gads. That's even as fair as, 'at hand, quoth
the chamberlain'; for thou variest no more from
picking of purses than giving direction doth
from labouring; thou layest the plot how. 57

Cham. Good morrow, Master Gadshill. It
holds current that I told you yesternight: there's
a franklin in the wild of Kent hath brought
three hundred marks with him in gold: I heard
him tell it to one of his company last night at
supper; a kind of auditor; one that hath abun-
dance of charge too, God knows what. They are
up already and call for eggs and butter: they
will away presently.

Gads. Sirrah, if they meet not with Saint
Nicholas' clerks
, I'll give thee this neck. 68

Cham. No, I'll none of it: I prithee, keep
that for the hangman; for I know thou wor-
ship'st Saint Nicholas as truly as a man of
falsehood may. 72

Gads. What talkest thou to me of the
hangman? If I hang I'll make a fat pair of
gallows; for if I hang, old Sir John hangs with
me, and thou knowest he's no starveling. Tut!
there are other Troyans that thou dreamest not
of, the which for sport sake are content to do
the profession some grace; that would, if matters
should be looked into, for their own credit sake
make all whole. I am joined with no foot-land-
rakers
, no long-staff sixpenny strikers, none of
these mad mustachio-purple-hued malt worms;
but with nobility and tranquillity, burgomasters
and great oneyers, such as can hold in, such as
will strike sooner than speak, and speak sooner
than drink, and drink sooner than pray: and
yet I lie; for they pray continually to their
saint, the commonwealth; or, rather, not pray
to her, but prey on her, for they ride up and
down on her and make her their boots.

Cham. What! the commonwealth their
boots? will she hold out water in foul way? 93

Gads. She will, she will; justice hath liquored
her. We steal as in a castle, cock-sure; we have
the receipt of fern-seed, we walk invisible. 96

Cham. Nay, by my faith, I think you are
more beholding to the night than to fern-seed
for your walking invisible.

Gads. Give me thy hand: thou shalt have a
share in our purchase, as I am a true man. 101

Cham. Nay, rather let me have it, as you are
false thief.

Gads. Go to; homo is a common name to all
men. Bid the ostler bring my gelding out of
the stable. Farewell, you muddy knave. 106

[Exeunt.


 

Scene Two

[Gadshill. The highway]

Enter Prince, Poins, and Peto.

Poins. Come, shelter, shelter: I have re-
moved Falstaff's horse, and he frets like a
gummed velvet.

Prince. Stand close. 4


Enter Falstaff.

Fal. Poins! Poins, and be hanged! Poins!

Prince. Peace, ye fat-kidneyed rascal! What
a brawling dost thou keep!

Fal. Where's Poins, Hal? 8

Prince. He is walked up to the top of the
hill: I'll go seek him. [Withdraws.]

Fal. I am accursed to rob in that thief's
company; the rascal hath removed my horse
and tied him I know not where. If I travel but
four foot by the squire further afoot I shall
break my wind. Well, I doubt not but to die a
fair death for all this, if I 'scape hanging for
killing that rogue. I have forsworn his company
hourly any time this two-and-twenty years,
and yet I am bewitched with the rogue's com-
pany. If the rascal have not given me medicines
to make me love him, I'll be hanged: it could
not be else: I have drunk medicines. Poins!
Hal! a plague upon you both! Bardolph!
Peto! I'll starve ere I'll rob a foot further. An
'twere not as good a deed as drink to turn true
men and leave these rogues, I am the veriest
varlet that ever chewed with a tooth. Eight
yards of uneven ground is threescore and ten
miles afoot with me, and the stony-hearted
villains know it well enough. A plague upon 't
when thieves cannot be true one to another!
They whistle.
Whew! A plague upon you all! Give me my
horse, you rogues; give me my horse and be
hanged. 34

Prince. [Coming forward.] Peace, ye fat-
guts! lie down: lay thine ear close to the
ground, and list if thou canst hear the tread
of travellers. 38

Fal. Have you any levers to lift me up again,
being down? 'Sblood! I'll not bear mine own
flesh so far afoot again for all the coin in thy
father's exchequer. What a plague mean ye to
colt me thus?

Prince. Thou liest: thou art not colted; thou
art uncolted. 45

Fal. I prithee, good Prince Hal, help me to
my horse, good king's son.

Prince. Out, you rogue! shall I be your ostler?

Fal. Go, hang thyself in thine own heir appa-
rent garters! If I be ta'en I'll peach for this. An
I have not ballads made on you all, and sung to
filthy tunes, let a cup of sack be my poison: when
a jest is so forward, and afoot too! I hate it. 53


Enter Gadshill [and Bardolph].

Gads. Stand.

Fal. So I do, against my will.

Poins. O! 'tis our setter: I know his voice.
Bardolph, what news? 57

Bard. Case ye, case ye; on with your vizards:
there's money of the king's coming down the
hill; 'tis going to the king's exchequer. 60

Fal. You lie, you rogue; 'tis going to the
king's tavern.

Gads. There's enough to make us all.

Fal. To be hanged. 64

Prince. Sirs, you four shall front them in the
narrow lane; Ned Poins and I will walk lower:
if they 'scape from your encounter then they
light on us. 68

Peto. How many be there of them?

Gads. Some eight or ten.

Fal. 'Zounds! will they not rob us?

Prince. What! a coward, Sir John Paunch?

Fal. Indeed, I am not John of Gaunt, your
grandfather; but yet no coward, Hal. 74

Prince. Well, we leave that to the proof.

Poins. Sirrah Jack, thy horse stands behind
the hedge: when thou needst him there thou
shalt find him. Farewell, and stand fast.
[Prince and Poins withdraw.]

Fal. Now cannot I strike him if I should be
hanged. 80

Prince. Ned, where are our disguises?

Poins. Here, hard by; stand close.

Fal. Now my masters, happy man be his
dole
, say I: every man to his business. 85


Enter Travellers.

First Trav. Come, neighbour; the boy shall
lead our horses down the hill; we'll walk afoot
awhile, and ease our legs. 88

Thieves. Stand!

Travellers. Jesu bless us!

Fal. Strike; down with them; cut the vil-
lains' throats: ah! whoreson caterpillars! bacon-
fed knaves! they hate us youth: down with
them; fleece them.

Travellers. O! we are undone, both we and
ours for ever. 96

Fal. Hang ye, gorbellied knaves, are ye un-
done? No, ye fat chuffs; I would your store
were here! On, bacons, on! What! ye knaves,
young men must live. You are grand-jurors
are ye? We'll jure ye, i' faith. 101

Here they rob them and bind them. Exeunt.
Enter the Prince and Poins.

Prince. The thieves have bound the true men.
Now could thou and I rob the thieves and go
merrily to London, it would be argument for a
week, laughter for a month, and a good jest for
ever. 106

Poins. Stand close; I hear them coming.


Enter the thieves again.

Fal. Come, my masters; let us share, and
then to horse before day. An the Prince and
Poins be not two arrant cowards, there's no
equity stirring: there's no more valour in that
Poins than in a wild duck. 112

Prince. Your money!

Poins. Villains!


As they are sharing, the Prince and Poins set upon them. They all run away; and Falstaff, after a blow or two, runs away too, leaving the booty behind them.


Prince. Got with much ease. Now merrily to horse:
The thieves are scatter'd and possess'd with fear
So strongly that they dare not meet each other;
Each takes his fellow for an officer.
Away, good Ned. Falstaff sweats to death
And lards the lean earth as he walks along: 120
Were 't not for laughing I should pity him.

Poins. How the rogue roar'd! Exeunt.

Scene Three

[Warkworth Castle]

Enter Hotspur, solus, reading a letter.

"But for mine own part, my lord, I could be
well contented to be there, in respect of the love
I bear your house."
He could be contented; why is he not then? In
respect of the love he bears our house: he shows
in this he loves his own barn better than he
loves our house. Let me see some more.

"The purpose you undertake is dangerous;—" 8
Why, that's certain: 'tis dangerous to take a
cold, to sleep, to drink; but I tell you, my lord
fool, out of this nettle, danger, we pluck this
flower, safety. 12

"The purpose you undertake is dangerous; the
friends you have named uncertain; the time itself
unsorted; and your whole plot too light for the
counterpoise of so great an opposition." 16
Say you so, say you so? I say unto you again,
you are a shallow cowardly hind, and you lie.
What a lack-brain is this! By the Lord, our plot
is a good plot as ever was laid; our friends true
and constant: a good plot, good friends, and full
of expectation; an excellent plot, very good
friends. What a frosty-spirited rogue is this!
Why, my Lord of York commends the plot and
the general course of the action. 'Zounds! an
I were now by this rascal, I could brain him
with his lady's fan. Is there not my father, my
uncle, and myself? Lord Edmund Mortimer, my
Lord of York, and Owen Glendower? Is there
not besides the Douglas? Have I not all their
letters to meet me in arms by the ninth of the
next month, and are they not some of them set
forward already? What a pagan rascal is this!
an infidel! Ha! you shall see now in very sin-
cerity of fear and cold heart, will he to the king
and lay open all our proceedings. O! I could
divide myself and go to buffets, for moving such
a dish of skim milk with so honourable an
action. Hang him! let him tell the king; we
are prepared. I will set forward to-night. 40


Enter his Lady.

How now, Kate! I must leave you within these two hours.


Lady P. O, my good lord! why are you thus alone?
For what offence have I this fortnight been
A banish'd woman from my Harry's bed? 44
Tell me, sweet lord, what is 't that takes from thee
Thy stomach, pleasure, and thy golden sleep?
Why dost thou bend thine eyes upon the earth,
And start so often when thou sitt'st alone? 48
Why hast thou lost the fresh blood in thy cheeks,
And given my treasures and my rights of thee
To thick-eyed musing and curst melancholy?
In thy faint slumbers I by thee have watch'd, 52
And heard thee murmur tales of iron wars,
Speak terms of manage to thy bounding steed,
Cry, 'Courage! to the field!' And thou hast talk'd
Of sallies and retires, of trenches, tents, 56
Of palisadoes, frontiers, parapets,
Of basilisks, of cannon, culverin,
Of prisoners' ransom, and of soldiers slain,
And all the currents of a heady fight. 60
Thy spirit within thee hath been so at war,
And thus hath so bestirr'd thee in thy sleep,
That beads of sweat have stood upon thy brow,
Like bubbles in a late-disturbed stream; 64
And in thy face strange motions have appear'd,
Such as we see when men restrain their breath
On some great sudden hest. O! what portents are these?
Some heavy business hath my lord in hand, 68
And I must know it, else he loves me not.


Hot. What, ho! [Enter Servant.] Is Gilliams with the packet gone?

Serv. He is, my lord, an hour ago.

Hot. Hath Butler brought those horses from the sheriff? 72

Serv. One horse, my lord, he brought even now.

Hot. What horse? a roan, a crop-ear, is it not?

Serv. It is, my lord.

Hot.That roan shall be my throne.
Well, I will back him straight: O, Esperance!
Bid Butler lead him forth into the park.
[Exit Servant.]

Lady P. But hear you, my lord.

Hot. What sayst thou, my lady?

Lady P. What is it carries you away? 80

Hot. Why, my horse, my love, my horse.

Lady P. Out, you mad-headed ape!
A weasel hath not such a deal of spleen
As you are toss'd with. In faith, 84
I'll know your business, Harry, that I will.
I fear my brother Mortimer doth stir
About his title, and hath sent for you
To line his enterprise. But if you go—88


Hot. So far afoot, I shall be weary love.

Lady P. Come, come, you paraquito, answer me
Directly unto this question that I ask.
In faith, I'll break thy little finger, Harry, 92
An if thou wilt not tell me all things true.

Hot. Away,
Away, you trifler! Love! I love thee not,
I care not for thee, Kate: this is no world 96
To play with mammets and to tilt with lips:
We must have bloody noses and crack'd crowns,
And pass them current too. God's me, my horse!
What sayst thou, Kate? what wouldst thou have
with me? 100

Lady P. Do you not love me? do you not, indeed?
Well, do not, then; for since you love me not,
I will not love myself. Do you not love me?
Nay, tell me if you speak in jest or no. 104

Hot. Come, wilt thou see me ride?
And when I am o' horseback, I will swear
I love thee infinitely. But hark you, Kate;
I must not have you henceforth question me 108
Whither I go, nor reason whereabout.
Whither I must, I must; and, to conclude,
This evening must I leave you, gentle Kate.
I know you wise; but yet no further wise 112
Than Harry Percy's wife: constant you are,
But yet a woman: and for secrecy,
No lady closer; for I well believe
Thou wilt not utter what thou dost not know;
And so far will I trust thee, gentle Kate. 117


Lady P. How! so far?

Hot. Not an inch further. But, hark you, Kate;
Whither I go, thither shall you go too; 120
To-day will I set forth, to-morrow you.
Will this content you, Kate?

Lady P. It must, of force.

Exeunt.


 

Scene Four

[Eastcheap. The Boar's Head Tavern]

Enter Prince and Poins.

 

Prince. Ned, prithee, come out of that fat
room
, and lend me thy hand to laugh a little.

Poins. Where hast been, Hal? 3

Prince. With three or four loggerheads a-
mongst three or four score hogsheads. I have
sounded the very base string of humility. Sir-
rah, I am sworn brother to a leash of drawers,
and can call them all by their christen names,
as Tom, Dick, and Francis. They take it already
upon
their salvation, that though I be but Prince
of Wales, yet I am the king of courtesy; and tell
me flatly I am no proud Jack, like Falstaff, but
a Corinthian, a lad of mettle, a good boy,—by
the Lord, so they call me,—and when I am king
of England, I shall command all the good lads
in Eastcheap. They call drinking deep, dyeing
scarlet; and when you breathe in your watering,
they cry 'hem!' and bid you play it off. To
conclude, I am so good a proficient in one
quarter of an hour, that I can drink with any
tinker in his own language during my life. I
tell thee, Ned, thou hast lost much honour that
thou wert not with me in this action. But, sweet
Ned,—to sweeten which name of Ned, I give thee
this pennyworth of sugar, clapped even now into
my hand by an underskinker, one that never
spake other English in his life than—'Eight
shillings and sixpence,' and—'You are welcome,'
with this shrill addition,—'Anon, anon, sir!
Score a pint of bastard in the Half-moon,' or
so. But, Ned, to drive away the time till Falstaff
come, I prithee do thou stand in some by-room,
while I question my puny drawer to what end
he gave me the sugar; and do thou never leave
calling 'Francis!' that his tale to me may be
nothing but 'Anon.' Step aside, and I'll show
thee a precedent. 37

Poins. Francis!

Prince. Thou art perfect.

Poins. Francis! [Exit Poins.]

Enter Drawer [Francis].

Fran. Anon, anon, sir. Look down into the
Pomgarnet, Ralph.

Prince. Come hither, Francis.

Fran. My lord. 44

Prince. How long hast thou to serve, Francis?

Fran. Forsooth, five years, and as much as to—

Poins [within.] Francis!

Fran. Anon, anon, sir. 48

Prince. Five years! by'r lady a long lease for
the clinking of pewter. But, Francis, darest
thou be so valiant as to play the coward with
thy indenture and show it a fair pair of heels
and run from it? 53

Fran. O Lord, sir! I'll be sworn upon all the
books in England, I could find in my heart—

Poins [within.] Francis! 56

Fran. Anon, sir.

Prince. How old art thou, Francis?

Fran. Let me see—about Michaelmas next I
shall be— 60

Poins [within.] Francis!

Fran. Anon, sir. Pray you, stay a little, my
lord.

Prince. Nay, but hark you, Francis. For the
sugar thou gavest me, 'twas a pennyworth,
was 't not? 66

Fran. O Lord, sir! I would it had been two.

Prince. I will give thee for it a thousand
pound: ask me when thou wilt and thou shalt
have it.

Poins [within.] Francis!

Fran. Anon, anon. 72

Prince. Anon, Francis? No, Francis; but
to-morrow, Francis; or, Francis, o' Thurs-
day; or, indeed, Francis, when thou wilt. But,
Francis! 76

Fran. My lord?

Prince. Wilt thou rob this leathern-jerkin,
crystal-button, not-pated, agate-ring, puke-
stocking, caddis-garter, smooth-tongue, Spanish-pouch,—81

Fran. O Lord, sir, who do you mean?

Prince. Why then, your brown bastard is
your only drink; for, look you, Francis, your
white canvas doublet will sully. In Barbary, sir,
it cannot come to so much.

Fran. What, sir?

Poins [within.] Francis! 88

Prince. Away, you rogue! Dost thou not
hear them call?


Here they both call him; the Drawer stands amazed, not knowing which way to go.


Enter Vintner.

Vint. What! standest thou still, and hearest
such a calling? Look to the guests within.
[Exit Drawer.] My lord, old Sir John, with
half a dozen more, are at the door: shall I let
them in?

Prince. Let them alone awhile, and then
open the door. [Exit Vintner.] Poins! 97


Enter Poins.

Poins. Anon, anon, sir.

Prince. Sirrah, Falstaff and the rest of the
thieves are at the door: shall we be merry? 100

Poins. As merry as crickets, my lad. But
hark ye; what cunning match have you made
with this jest of the drawer? come, what's the
issue? 104

Prince. I am now of all humours that have
show'd themselves humours since the old days
of goodman Adam to the pupil age of this
present twelve o'clock at midnight. [Drawer
crosses the stage, with bottles.] What's o'clock,
Francis? 110

Fran. Anon, anon, sir. [Exit.]

Prince. That ever this fellow should have
fewer words than a parrot, and yet the son of a
woman! His industry is up-stairs and down-
stairs; his eloquence the parcel of a reckoning.
I am not yet of Percy's mind, the Hotspur of the
North; he that kills me some six or seven dozen
of Scots at a breakfast, washes his hands, and
says to his wife, 'Fie upon this quiet life! I
want work.' 'O my sweet Harry,' says she, 'how
many hast thou killed to-day ?' 'Give my roan
horse a drench,' says he, and answers, 'Some
fourteen,' an hour after, 'a trifle, a trifle.' I
prithee call in Falstaff: I'll play Percy, and that
damned brawn shall play Dame Mortimer his
wife. 'Rivo!' says the drunkard. Call in ribs,
call in tallow. 127


Enter Falstaff, [Bardolph, Peto, and Gadshill. The Drawer follows, with wine.]

Poins. Welcome, Jack: where hast thou been?

Fal. A plague of all cowards, I say, and a
vengeance too! marry, and amen! Give me a
cup of sack, boy. Ere I lead this life long,
I'll sew nether-stocks and mend them and foot
them too. A plague of all cowards! Give me a
cup of sack, rogue.—Is there no virtue extant?

He drinketh.

Prince. Didst thou never see Titan kiss a dish
of butter—pitiful-hearted Titan—that melted at
the sweet tale of the sun? if thou didst, then
behold that compound. 138

Fal. You rogue, here's lime in this sack too:
there is nothing but roguery to be found in
villainous man: yet a coward is worse than a cup
of sack with lime in it, a villainous coward! Go
thy ways, old Jack; die when thou wilt. If man-
hood, good manhood, be not forgot upon the
face of the earth, then am I a shotten herring.
There live not three good men unhanged in
England, and one of them is fat and grows old:
God help the while! a bad world, I say. I would
I were a weaver; I could sing psalms or any-
thing. A plague of all cowards, I say still.

Prince. How now, wool-sack! what mutter
you? 152

Fal. A king's son! If I do not beat thee out
of thy kingdom with a dagger of lath, and drive
all thy subjects afore thee like a flock of wild
geese, I'll never wear hair on my face more.
You Prince of Wales! 157

Prince. Why, you whoreson round man,
what's the matter?

Fal. Are you not a coward? answer me to
that; and Poins there? 161

Poins. 'Zounds! ye fat paunch, an ye call
me coward, by the Lord, I'll stab thee.

Fal. I call thee coward! I'll see thee damned
ere I call thee coward; but I would give a thou-
sand pound I could run as fast as thou canst.
You are straight enough in the shoulders; you
care not who sees your back: call you that back-
ing of your friends? A plague upon such back-
ing! give me them that will face me. Give me
a cup of sack: I am a rogue if I drunk to-
day. 172

Prince. O villain! thy lips are scarce wiped
since thou drunkest last.

Fal. All's one for that.He drinketh.
A plague of all cowards, still say I. 176

Prince. What's the matter?

Fal. What's the matter? there be four of us
here have ta'en a thousand pound this day
morning. 180

Prince. Where is it, Jack? where is it?

Fal. Where is it! taken from us it is: a hun-
dred upon poor four of us.

Prince. What, a hundred, man? 184

Fal. I am a rogue, if I were not at half-sword
with a dozen of them two hours together. I
have 'scap'd by miracle. I am eight times thrust
through the doublet, four through the hose;
my buckler cut through and through; my sword
hacked like a hand-saw: ecce signum! I never
dealt better since I was a man: all would not
do. A plague of all cowards! Let them speak:
if they speak more or less than truth, they are
villains and the sons of darkness.

Prince. Speak, sirs; how was it?

Gads. We four set upon some dozen,— 196

Fal. Sixteen, at least, my lord.

Gads. And bound them.

Peto. No, no, they were not bound.

Fal. You rogue, they were bound, every
man of them; or I am a Jew else, an Ebrew
Jew.

Gads. As we were sharing, some six or seven
fresh men set upon us,—204

Fal. And unbound the rest, and then come
in the other.

Prince. What, fought ye with them all?

Fal. All! I know not what ye call all; but if
I fought not with fifty of them, I am a bunch of
radish: if there were not two or three and fifty
upon poor old Jack, then am I no two-legged
creature. 212

Prince. Pray God you have not murdered
some of them.

Fal. Nay, that's past praying for: I have
peppered two of them: two I am sure I have
paid, two rogues in buckram suits. I tell thee
what, Hal, if I tell thee a lie, spit in my face, call
me horse. Thou knowest my old ward; here I
lay, and thus I bore my point. Four rogues in
buckram let drive at me,—221

Prince. What, four? thou saidst but two
even now.

Fal. Four, Hal; I told thee four. 224

Poins. Ay, ay, he said four.

Fal. These four came all a-front, and mainly
thrust at me. I made me no more ado but took
all their seven points in my target, thus. 228

Prince. Seven? why, there were but four even
now.

Fal. In buckram?

Poins. Ay, four, in buckram suits. 232

Fal. Seven, by these hilts, or I am a villain
else.

Prince. Prithee, let him alone; we shall have
more anon. 236

Fal. Dost thou hear me, Hal?

Prince. Ay, and mark thee too, Jack.

Fal. Do so, for it is worth the listening to.
These nine in buckram that I told thee of,— 240

Prince. So, two more already.

Fal. Their points being broken,—

Poins. Down fell their hose.

Fal. Began to give me ground; but I fol-
lowed me close, came in foot and hand, and
with a thought seven of the eleven I paid.

Prince. O monstrous! eleven buckram men
grown out of two. 248

Fal. But, as the devil would have it, three
misbegotten knaves in Kendal-green came at my
back and let drive at me; for it was so dark,
Hal, that thou couldst not see thy hand. 252

Prince. These lies are like the father that be-
gets them; gross as a mountain, open, palpable.
Why, thou clay-brained guts, thou knotty-pated
fool, thou whoreson, obscene, greasy tallow-
ketch
,— 257

Fal. What, art thou mad? art thou mad?
is not the truth the truth?

Prince. Why, how couldst thou know these
men in Kendal-green, when it was so dark thou
couldst not see thy hand? come, tell us your
reason: what sayest thou to this? 263

Poins. Come, your reason, Jack, your reason.

Fal. What, upon compulsion? 'Zounds! an
I were at the strappado, or all the racks in the
world, I would not tell you on compulsion. Give
you a reason on compulsion! if reasons were as
plenty as blackberries I would give no man a
reason upon compulsion, I. 270

Prince. I'll be no longer guilty of this sin:
this sanguine coward, this bed-presser, this
horseback-breaker, this huge hill of flesh;— 273

Fal. 'Sblood, you starveling, you elf-skin, you
dried neat's-tongue, you bull's pizzle, you stock-
fish
! O! for breath to utter what is like thee;
you tailor's yard, you sheath, you bow-case, you
vile standing-tuck,— 278

Prince. Well, breathe awhile, and then to it
again; and when thou hast tired thyself in base
comparisons, hear me speak but this. 281

Poins. Mark, Jack.

Prince. We two saw you four set on four and
you bound them, and were masters of their
wealth. Mark now, how a plain tale shall put
you down. Then did we two set on you four, and,
with a word, out-faced you from your prize, and
have it; yea, and can show it you here in the
house. And, Falstaff, you carried your guts away
as nimbly, with as quick dexterity, and roared
for mercy, and still ran and roared, as ever I
heard bull-calf. What a slave art thou, to hack
thy sword as thou hast done, and then say it
was in fight! What trick, what device, what
starting-hole canst thou now find out to hide
thee from this open and apparent shame? 296

Poins. Come, let's hear, Jack; what trick
hast thou now?

Fal. By the Lord, I knew ye as well as he
that made ye. Why, hear you, my masters: was
it for me to kill the heir-apparent? Should I turn
upon the true prince? Why, thou knowest I am
as valiant as Hercules; but beware instinct: the
lion will not touch the true prince. Instinct is
a great matter, I was a coward on instinct. I
shall think the better of myself and thee during
my life; I for a valiant lion, and thou for a true
prince. But, by the Lord, lads, I am glad you
have the money. Hostess, clap to the doors:
watch to-night, pray to-morrow. Gallants, lads,
boys, hearts of gold, all the titles of good fellow-
ship come to you! What! shall we be merry?
shall we have a play extempore? 313

Prince. Content; and the argument shall be
thy running away.

Fal. Ah! no more of that, Hal, an thou lovest
me! 317


Enter Hostess.

Host. O Jesu! my lord the prince!

Prince. How now, my lady the hostess! what
sayest thou to me? 320

Host. Marry, my lord, there is a nobleman
of the court at door would speak with you: he
says he comes from your father.

Prince. Give him as much as will make him a
royal man, and send him back again to my mother.

Fal. What manner of man is he? 326

Host. An old man.

Fal. What doth gravity out of his bed at
midnight? Shall I give him his answer?

Prince. Prithee, do, Jack. 330

Fal. Faith, and I'll send him packing. Exit.

Prince. Now, sirs: by'r lady, you fought fair;
so did you, Peto; so did you, Bardolph: you are
lions too, you ran away upon instinct, you will
not touch the true prince; no, fie!

Bard. Faith, I ran when I saw others run. 336

Prince. Faith, tell me now in earnest, how
came Falstaff's sword so hacked?

Peto. Why he hacked it with his dagger, and
said he would swear truth out of England but
he would make you believe it was done in fight,
and persuaded us to do the like. 342

Bard. Yea, and to tickle our noses with
spear-grass to make them bleed, and then to be-
slubber our garments with it and swear it
was the blood of true men. I did that I did not
this seven year before; I blushed to hear his
monstrous devices. 348

Prince. O villain! thou stolest a cup of sack
eighteen years ago, and wert taken with the
manner
, and ever since thou hast blushed ex-
tempore. Thou hadst fire and sword on thy side,
and yet thou rannest away. What instinct
hadst thou for it.

Bard. [Pointing to his own face.] My lord, do
you see these meteors? do you behold these
exhalations? 357

Prince. I do.

Bard. What think you they portend?

Prince. Hot livers and cold purses. 360

Bard. Choler, my lord, if rightly taken.

Prince. No, if rightly taken, halter.—


Enter Falstaff.

Here comes lean Jack, here comes bare-bone.—
How now, my sweet creature of bombast! How
long is 't ago, Jack, since thou sawest thine own
knee? 366

Fal. My own knee! When I was about thy
years, Hal, I was not an eagle's talon in the
waist; I could have crept into any alderman's
thumb-ring. A plague of sighing and grief! it
blows a man up like a bladder. There's villain-
ous news abroad: here was Sir John Bracy from
your father: you must to the court in the morn-
ing. That same mad fellow of the north, Percy,
and he of Wales, that gave Amaimon the basti-
nado
and made Lucifer cuckold, and swore
the devil his true liegeman upon the cross of a
Welsh hook—what a plague call you him? 378

Poins. O, Glendower.

Fal. Owen, Owen, the same; and his son-in-
law Mortimer; and old Northumberland; and
that sprightly Scot of Scots, Douglas, that runs
o' horseback up a hill perpendicular.

Prince. He that rides at high speed and with
his pistol kills a sparrow flying. 385

Fal. You have hit it.

Prince. So did he never the sparrow.

Fal. Well, that rascal hath good mettle in
him; he will not run. 389

Prince. Why, what a rascal art thou then to
praise him so for running!

Fal. O' horseback, ye cuckoo! but, afoot he
will not budge a foot. 393

Prince. Yes, Jack, upon instinct.

Fal. I grant ye, upon instinct. Well, he is
there too, and one Mordake, and a thousand
blue-caps more. Worcester is stolen away to-
night; thy father's beard is turned white with
the news: you may buy land now as cheap as
stinking mackerel. 400

Prince. Why then, it is like, if there come a
hot June and this civil buffeting hold, we shall
buy maidenheads as they buy hob-nails, by the
hundreds, 404

Fal. By the mass, lad, thou sayest true; it is
like we shall have good trading that way. But
tell me, Hal, art thou not horribly afeard? thou
being heir apparent, could the world pick thee
out three such enemies again as that fiend
Douglas, that spirit Percy, and that devil Glen-
dower? Art thou not horribly afraid? doth not
thy blood thrill at it? 412

Prince. Not a whit, i' faith; I lack some of
thy instinct.

Fal. Well, thou wilt be horribly chid to-
morrow when thou comest to thy father: if
thou love me, practise an answer. 417

Prince. Do thou stand for my father, and
examine me upon the particulars of my life.

Fal. Shall I? content: this chair shall be my
state, this dagger my sceptre, and this cushion
my crown. 422

Prince. Thy state is taken for a joint-stool,
thy golden sceptre for a leaden dagger, and thy
precious rich crown for a pitiful bald crown! 425

Fal. Well, an the fire of grace be not quite
out of thee, now shalt thou be moved. Give me
a cup of sack to make mine eyes look red, that it
may be thought I have wept; for I must speak
in passion, and I will do it in King Cambyses'
vein.

Prince. Well, here is my leg.

Fal. And here is my speech. Stand aside,
nobility. 434

Host. O Jesu! This is excellent sport, i' faith!

Fal. Weep not, sweet queen, for trickling tears are vain. 436

Host. O, the father! how he holds his coun-
tenance.

Fal. For God's sake, lords, convey my tristful queen.
For tears do stop the flood-gates of her eyes. 440

Host. O Jesu! he doth it as like one of
these harlotry players as ever I see!

Fal. Peace, good pint-pot! peace, good tickle-
brain
! [Bardolph conveys the Hostess from the
stage.] Harry, I do not only marvel where thou
spendest thy time, but also how thou art accom-
panied: for though the camomile, the more it is
trodden on the faster it grows, yet youth, the
more it is wasted the sooner it wears: That thou
art my son, I have partly thy mother's word, part-
ly my own opinion; but chiefly, a villainous trick
of thine eye and a foolish hanging of thy nether
lip, that doth warrant me. If then thou be son to
me, here lies the point; why, being son to me,
art thou so pointed at? Shall the blessed sun of
heaven prove a micher and eat blackberries? a
question not to be asked. Shall the son of Eng-
land prove a thief and take purses? a question
to be asked. There is a thing, Harry, which thou
hast often heard of, and it is known to many in
our land by the name of pitch: this pitch, as an-
cient writers do report, doth defile; so doth the
company thou keepest; for, Harry, now I do not-
speak to thee in drink, but in tears, not in plea-
sure but in passion, not in words only, but in
woes also. And yet there is a virtuous man
whom I have often noted in thy company, but I
know not his name. 467

Prince. What manner of man, an it like your
majesty?

Fal. A goodly portly man, i' faith, and a cor-
pulent; of a cheerful look, a pleasing eye, and a
most noble carriage; and, as I think, his age
some fifty, or by'r lady, inclining to threescore;
and now I remember me, his name is Falstaff: if
that man should be lewdly given, he deceiveth
me; for, Harry, I see virtue in his looks. If then
the tree may be known by the fruit, as the fruit
by the tree, then, peremptorily I speak it, there is
virtue in that Falstaff: him keep with, the rest
banish. And tell me now, thou naughty varlet,
tell me, where hast thou been this month?

Prince. Dost thou speak like a king? Do
thou stand for me, and I'll play my father. 483

Fal. Depose me? if thou dost it half so
gravely, so majestically, both in word and
matter, hang me up by the heels for a rabbit-
sucker
or a poulter's hare.

Prince. Well, here I am set. 488

Fal. And here I stand. Judge, my masters.

Prince. Now, Harry! whence come you?

Fal. My noble lord, from Eastcheap.

Prince. The complaints I hear of thee are
grievous. 493

Fal. 'Sblood, my lord, they are false!
[Aside to Prince.] Nay, I'll tickle ye for a young
prince, i' faith.

Prince. Swearest thou, ungracious boy? hence-
forth ne'er look on me. Thou art violently car-
ried away from grace: there is a devil haunts
thee in the likeness of an old fat man; a tun of
man is thy companion. Why dost thou con-
verse with that trunk of humours, that bolting-
hutch
of beastliness, that swoln parcel of dropsies,
that huge bombard of sack, that stuffed cloak-
bag
of guts, that roasted Manningtree ox with
the pudding in his belly, that reverend vice, that
grey iniquity, that father ruffian, that vanity in
years? Wherein is he good but to taste sack and
drink it? wherein neat and cleanly but to carve
a capon and cat it? wherein cunning but in
craft? wherein crafty but in villainy? wherein
villainous but in all things? wherein worthy but
in nothing? 512

Fal. I would your Grace would take me with
you
: whom means your Grace?

Prince. That villainous abominable misleader
of youth, Falstaff, that old white-bearded Satan.

Fal. My lord, the man I know. 517

Prince. I know thou dost.

Fal. But to say I know more harm in him
than in myself were to say more than I know.
That he is old, the more the pity, his white
hairs do witness it; but that he is, saving your
reverence
, a whoremaster, that I utterly deny.
If sack and sugar be a fault, God help the
wicked! If to be old and merry be a sin, then
many an old host that I know is damned: if to
be fat be to be hated, then Pharaoh's lean kine
are to be loved. No, my good lord; banish Peto,
banish Bardolph, banish Poins; but for sweet
Jack Falstaff, kind Jack Falstaff, true Jack Fal-
staff, valiant Jack Falstaff, and therefore more
valiant, being, as he is, old Jack Falstaff, banish
not him thy Harry's company: banish not him
thy Harry's company: banish plump Jack, and
banish all the world. 535

Prince. I do, I will.


Enter Bardolph, running.

Bard. O! my lord, my lord, the sheriff with a
most monstrous watch is at the door.

Fal. Out, ye rogue! Play out the play: I
have much to say in the behalf of that Falstaff.


Enter the Hostess.

Host. O Jesu! my lord, my lord! 541

Prince. Heigh, heigh! the devil rides upon a
fiddle-stick: what's the matter?

Host. The sheriff and all the watch are at
the door: they are come to search the house.
Shall I let them in? 546

Fal. Dost thou hear, Hal? never call a true
piece of gold a counterfeit. Thou art essentially
mad without seeming so. 549

Prince. And thou a natural coward without
instinct.

Fal. I deny your major. If you will deny the
sheriff, so; if not, let him enter: if I become not
a cart as well as another man, a plague on my
bringing up! I hope I shall as soon be strangled
with a halter as another. 556

Prince. Go, hide thee behind the arras: the
rest walk up above. Now, my masters, for a
true face and good conscience.

Fal. Both which I have had; but their date
is out, and therefore I'll hide me.Exit. 561

Prince. Call in the sheriff.


Enter the Sheriff and the Carrier.

Now, master sheriff, what's your will with me?

Sher. First, pardon me, my lord. A hue and cry 564
Hath follow'd certain men unto this house.

Prince. What men?

Sher. One of them is well known, my gracious lord,
A gross fat man.

Car.As fat as butter. 568

Prince. The man, I do assure you, is not here,
For I myself at this time have employ'd him.
And, sheriff, I will engage my word to thee,
That I will, by to-morrow dinner-time, 572
Send him to answer thee, or any man,
For anything he shall be charg'd withal:
And so let me entreat you leave the house.

Sher. I will, my lord. There are two gentlemen 576
Have in this robbery lost three hundred marks.

Prince. It may be so: if he have robb'd these men,
He shall be answerable; and so farewell.

Sher. Good night, my noble lord. 580

Prince. I think it is good morrow, is it not?

Sher. Indeed, my lord, I think it be two o'clock.

Exit [with Carrier.]

Prince. This oily rascal is known as well as Paul's.
Go, call him forth. 584

Peto. Falstaff! fast asleep behind the arras,
and snorting like a horse.

Prince. Hark, how hard he fetches breath.
Search his pockets.
He searcheth his pockets, and findeth certain papers.
What hast thou found? 590

Peto. Nothing but papers, my lord.

Prince. Let's see what they be: read them.

Peto. "Item, A Capon . . . . . . 2s. 2d.
Item, Sauce . . . . . . . . . 4d.
Item, Sack, two gallons . 5s. 8d.
Item, Anchovies and sack
after supper . . . . . . 2s. 6d.
Item, Bread . . . . . . . . . ob."

Prince. O monstrous! but one half-penny-
worth of bread to this intolerable deal of sack!
What there is else, keep close; we'll read it at
more advantage. There let him sleep till day.
I'll to the court in the morning. We must all to
the wars, and thy place shall be honourable. I'll
procure this fat rogue a charge of foot; and,
I know, his death will be a march of twelve-
score. The money shall be paid back again
with advantage. Be with me betimes in the
morning; and so good morrow, Peto. 608

Peto. Good morrow, good my lord. Exeunt.


 

Footnotes to Act II


Scene One

2 Charles' Wain; cf. n.
6 Cut: slang name for a horse with a docked tail
7 flocks: tufts of wool
point: head of the saddle
8 wrung: galled
withers: neck
out of all cess: beyond all reckoning
9 dank: mouldy
10 next: most direct, surest
11 bots: disease of horses caused by worms
17 tench; cf. n.
19 king christen: Christian king
22 jordan: chamber-pot
23 chamber-lie: urine
loach: a fish that breeds several times a year
27 razes: roots
28 Charing-cross; cf. n.
51 charge: baggage
52 chamberlain: servant in charge of chambers
59 holds current: proves true
60 franklin: freeholder
wild: weald, uncultivated country
61 mark: 13s. 4d., about $3.35
67 St. Nicholas' clerks: thieves; cf. n.
77 Troyans: a cant name for rioters and thieves
81 foot-land-rakers, etc.; cf. n.
91 boots: booty
94 liquored; cf. n.
95 as in a castle: in perfect security
96 receipt of fern-seed; cf. n.
98 beholding: obliged
101 purchase: plunder


Scene Two

3 gummed velvet; cf. n.
4 close: out of sight
14 squire: foot-rule
20 medicines: love potions
43 colt: make a fool of
50 peach: turn informer
53 forward: bold
56 setter: the one who set the match; cf. I. ii. 118
58 Case ye: put on your masks
75 proof: test
84 happy man be his dole: happiness be his portion, or, luck be with us
92 whoreson: miserable
97 gorbellied: fat-paunched
98 chuffs: misers
99 bacons: rustics
101 jure: a verb of Falstaff's own making
104 argument: subject for conversation


Scene Three

1 Cf. n.
15 unsorted: ill-chosen
18 hind: servant, slave
37 divide myself; cf. n.
41 Kate; cf. n.
46 stomach: appetite
50-51 Cf. n.
51 curst: perverse
54 manage: direction
56 retires: retreats
57 palisadoes: sharp stakes driven into the ground as defence against cavalry
frontiers: outworks; cf. I. iii. 19
58 basilisks; cf. n.
60 currents: occurrences
heady: headlong
67 hest: command
76 Esperance: the motto of the Percy family
83 spleen: caprice
88 line: strengthen
97 mammets: dolls
98 crack'd crowns; cf. n.


Scene Four

1 fat room: room containing vats (?), or close, stuffy room
7 leash: three on a string
drawers: waiters
9 take it . . . upon: swear by
13 Corinthian: good sport
17 breathe . . . watering: stop to breathe while drinking
18 play: toss
21 tinker; cf. n.
26 underskinker: under-tapster
30 bastard: sweet Spanish wine
Half-moon: name of a room in the inn
37 precedent: example
42 Pomgarnet: Pomegranate; a room in the inn
59 Michaelmas; cf. n.
79 not-pated: nut-pated, i.e., closely cropped head
puke: fine wool
80 caddis: worsted ribbon
Spanish-pouch: an indefinite term of reproach
83 ff.; cf. n.
102 match: bargain
107 pupil age: youthful time
115 parcel of a reckoning: an item on a bill
122 drench: bran and water
125 brawn; cf. n.
126 'Rivo': a Spanish (?) exclamation of drunkards
132 nether-stocks: short stockings
134 virtue: courage
135 Titan, etc.; cf. n.
145 shotten herring: a herring that has cast its roe
149 weaver; cf. n.
185 at half-sword: at close quarters
190 ecce signum: behold the proof
217 paid: killed
226 mainly: strongly (cf. might and main)
228 target: shield
242 points; cf. n.
250 Kendal-green; cf. n.
255 knotty-pated: thick-headed
256 tallow-ketch: tub of tallow
266 strappado; cf. n.
268 reasons; cf. n.
272 sanguine: red-faced
275 neat's-tongue: ox tongue
stock-fish: dried cod
278 standing-tuck: small rapier standing on end
287 out-faced: frightened
295 starting-hole: subterfuge (lit. hunted animal's shelter)
325 royal; cf. n.
350 taken . . . manner: taken in the act
355-362 Cf. n.
357 exhalations: meteors
364 bombast: cotton stuffing
375 Amaimon: a devil
bastinado: a cudgelling
378 Welsh hook: weapon resembling a halberd
397 blue-caps: Scotchmen (so-called from their blue bonnets)
421 state: throne of state
430 passion: sorrow
Cambyses'; cf. n.
432 leg: bow
439 tristful: sorrowful
442 harlotry: rascally
443 tickle-brain: a strong liquor; cf. n.
444-467 Cf. n.
446 camomile: a strong-scented herb
451 nether: lower
455 micher: truant
486-487 Cf. n.
495 Cf. n.
501 trunk of humours: chest full of caprices
bolting-hutch: bin for sifting meat
503 bombard: large leather vessel for holding liquor
cloak-bag: portmanteau
504 Manningtree: cf. n.
513 take me with you: let me follow your meaning
522 saving . . . reverence: an apologetic phrase introducing a remark that might offend the hearer
527 Cf. n.
547-549 Cf. n.
552 major: major premise
554 cart: cart used for taking criminals to the gallows
557 arras: hanging screen of tapestry placed around the walls of a room
557-558 Cf. n.
583 Paul's: St. Paul's Cathedral
598 ob.: obolus = half-penny
604 charge of foot: command of infantry
607 advantage: interest