« AnteriorContinua »
Of this young Percy's pride? the prisoners,
K. Hen. But I have sent for him to answer this;
Another Room in the Palace.
Enter Henry Prince of Wales, and FALSTAFF. Fal. Now, Hal, what time of day is it, lad ?
P. Hen. Thou art so fat-witted, with drinking of old sack, and sleeping upon benches after noon, that thou hast forgotten to demand that truly which thou would'st truly know. What hast thou to do with the time of the day? unless hours were cups of sack, and minutes capons, I see no reason, why thou should'st be so superfluous to demand the time of the day. Fal. Indeed, you come near me, now,
Hal : for we that take purses, go by the moon and seven stars; and not by Phæbus, - he, that wandering knight so fair. And, I pray thee, sweet wag, when thou art king, as, save thy grace, (majesty, I should
7 Trim as birds clean their feathers,
for grace thou wilt have none,) P. Hen. What, none?
Fal. No, by my troth; not so much as will serve to be prologue to an egg and butter.
P. Hen. 'Well, how then? come, roundly, roundly.
Fal. Marry, then, sweet wag, when thou art king, let not us, that are squires of the night's body, be called thieves of the day's beauty; let us beDiana's foresters, gentlemen of the shade, minions of the moon: And let men say, we be men of good government: being governed as the sea is, by our noble and chaste mistress the moon, under whose countenance we — - steal.
P. Hen. Thou say'st well; and it holds well too: for the fortune of us, that are the moon's men, doth ebb and flow like the sea ; being governed as the sea is, by the moon. As, for proof, now: A purse of gold most resolutely snatched on Monday night, and most dissolutely spent on Tuesday morning; got with swearing – lay by®; and spent with crying - bring ino: now, in as low an ebb as the foot of the ladder ; and, by and by, in as high a flow as the ridge of the gallows.
Fal. Thou say'st true, lad. And is not my hostess of the tavern most sweet girl?
P. Hen. As the honey of Hybla, my old lad of the castle. And is not a buff jerkin a most sweet robe of durance'?
Fal. How now, how now, mad wag? what, in thy quips, and thy quiddities? what have I to do with a buff jerkin? P. Hen. Why, what have I to do with
hos tess of the tavern? 8 Stand still.
9 More wine. 1 The dress of Sheriffs' officers,
Fal. Well, thou hast called her to a reckoning, many a time and oft.
P. Hen. Did I ever call for thee to pay thy part?
Fal. No; I'll give thee thy due, thou hast paid all there.
P. Hen. Yea, and elsewhere, so far as my coin would stretch; and, where it would not, I have used
Fal. Yea, and so used it, that were it here apparent that thou art heir apparent, -But, I pr’ythee, sweet wag, shall there be gallows standing in England when thou art king ? and resolution thus fobbed as it is, with the rusty curb of old father antick the law? Do not thon, when thou art king, hang a thief.
P: Hen. No; thou shalt. Fal. Shall I? O rare ! I'll be a brave judge. • P. Hen. Thou judgest false already ; I mean, thou shalt have the hanging of the thieves, and so become a rare hangman.
Fal. Well, Hal, well; and in some sort it jumps with my humour, as well as waiting in the court, I can tell you.
P. Hen. For obtaining of suits ?
Fal. Yea, for obtaining of suits: whereof the hangman hath no lean wardrobe. I am as melancholy as a lugged bear.
P. Hen. Or an old lion; or a lover's lute.
Fal. Yea, or the drone of a Lincolnshire bagpipe.?
P. Hen. What sayest thou to a hare, or the melancholy of Moor-ditch?
Fal. Thou hast the most unsavoury similes ; and art, indeed, the most comparative, rascalliest, sweet young prince, - But, Hal, I pr’ythee, trouble me no more with vanity. I wish thou and I knew where a commodity of good names were to be bought : An old lord of the council rated me the other day in the street about you, sir ; but I marked him not: and yet he talked very wisely ; but I regarded him not: and yet he talked wisely, and in the street too.
2 Croak of a frog.
P. Hen. Thou did'st well; for wisdom cries out in the streets, and no man regards it.
Fal. O thou art, indeed, able to corrupt a saint. Thou hast done much harm upon me, Hal,Heaven forgive thee for it! Before I knew thee, Hal, I knew nothing; and now am I, if a man should speak truly, little better than one of the wicked. I must give over this life, and I will give it over ; an I do not, I am a villain.
P. Hen, Where shall we take a purse to-morrow, Jack ?
Fal. Where thou wilt, lad, I'll make one ; an I do not, call me villain, and baffle 3 me.
P. Hen. I see a good amendment of life in thee; from praying, to purse-taking.
Enter Poins, at a distance. Fal. Why, Hal, 'tis my vocation, Hal ; 'tis no sin for a man to labour in his vocation. Poins ! Now shall we know if Gadshill have set a match. + This is the most omnipotent villain, that ever cried, Stand, to a true man.
P. Hen. Good morrow, Ned.
Poins. Good morrow, sweet Hal. monsieur Remorse? What says sir John Sack-andSugar ?- My lads, my lads, to-morrow morning, by four o'clock, early at Gadshill : There are pilgrims going to Canterbury with rich offerings, and traders riding to London with fat purses : I have visors for you all, you have horses for yourselves : Gadshill" lies to-night in Rochester : I have bespoke supper to-morrow night in Eastcheap; we may do
3 Treat me with ignominy. 4 Made an appointinent.
it as secure as sleep: If you will go, I will stuff your purses full of crowns; if you will not, tarry at home, and be hanged.
Fal. Hear me, Yedward ; if I tarry at home, and go not, I'll hang you for going.
Poins. You will, chops ?
P. Hen. Who, I rob? I a thief? not I, by my faith.
Fal. There's neither honesty, manhood, nor good fellowship in thee, nor thou camest not of the blood royal, if thou darest not stand for ten shillings."
P. Hen. Well, then, once in my days I'll be a madcap.
Fal. Why, that's well said.
, come what will, I'll tarry at home. Fal. I'll be a traitor then, when thou art king. P. Hen. I care not.
Poins. Sir John, I pr’ythee, leave the prince and me alone; I will lay him down such reasons for this adventure, that he shall
go. Fal. Well, may'st thou have the spirit of persuasion, and he the ears of profiting, that what thou speakest may move, and what he hears may be believed, that the true prince may (for recreation sake) prove a false thief; for the poor abuses of the time want countenance. Farewell : You shall find me in Eastcheap.
P. Hen. Farewell, thou latter spring! Farewell All-hallown summer “!
[Exit FALSTAFF. Poins. Now, my good sweet honey lord, ride with us to-morrow; I have a jest to execute, that I cannot manage alone. Falstaff, Bardolph, Peto, and Gadshill, shall rob those men that we have already waylaid ; yourself, and I, will not be there: and
5 The value of a coin called real or royal.
6 Fine weather at All-hallown-tide, (i,e. All Saints, Nov. 1st.) is called a All-hallown summer.