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Fal. How now, how now, mad wag? what, in thy quips, and thy quiddities? what a plague have I to do with a buff jerkin?
P. Hen. Why, what a plague have I to do with my hostess of the tavern?
Fal. Well, thou hast call'd 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
P. Hen. Yea, and elsewhere, so far as my coin would stretch; and, where it would not, I have us'd my credit.
Fal. Yea, and so us'd it, that, were it not 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 fobb'd as it is, with the rusty curb of old father antick the law? Do not thou, when thou art king, hang a thief.
P. Hen. No; thou shalt.
Fal. Shall I? O rare! By the lord, 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
P. Hen. For obtaining of suits?
Fal. Yea, for obtaining of suits; whereof the hangman hath no lean wardrobe. lancholy as a gib cat, or a lugg'd bear.
'Sblood, I am as me
P. Hen. Or an old lion; or a lover's lute. Fal. Yea, or the drone of a Lincolnshire bagpipe. P. Hen. What say'st 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 would to heaven 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 mark'd him not: and yet he talk'd very wisely; but I regarded him not: and yet he talk'd wisely, and in the street too.
P. Hen. Thou didst well; for wisdom cries out in the streets, and no man regards it.
Fal. O, thou hast damnable iteration; and 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; by the lord, an I do not, I am a villain; I'll be damn'd for never a king's son in Christendom.
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 me.
P. Hen. I see a good amendment of life in thee; from praying, to purse-taking.
Fal. Why, Hal, 'tis my vocation, Hal; 'tis no sin for a man to labour in his vocation.
P. Hen. Good morrow, Ned.
Poins. Good morrow, sweet Hal.-What says Monsieur Remorse? What says Sir John Sack-andSugar? But, my lads, my lads, to-morrow morning, by four o'clock, early at Gads-Hill,-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 in Eastcheap: we may do it as secure as sleep:
you will go, I will stuff your purses full of crowns; if you will not, tarry at home, and be hang'd.
Fal. Hear ye, Yedward; if I tarry at home, and go not, I'll hang you for going.
Poins. You will, chops?
Fal. Hal, wilt thou make one?
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 cam'st not of the blood royal, if thou dar'st not stand for ten shillings.
P. Hen. Well then, once in my days I'll be a mad-cap.
Fal. Why, that's well said.
P. Hen. Well, come what will, I'll tarry at home. Fal. By the lord, 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, mayst thou have the spirit of persuasion, and he the ears of profiting, that what thou speakest may move, and what he hears move, and what he hears may be believ'd, 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 when they have the booty, if you and I do not rob them, cut this head from my shoulders.
P. Hen. But how shall we part with them in setting forth?
Poins. Why, we will set forth before or after them, and appoint them a place of meeting, wherein it is at our pleasure to fail; and then will they adventure
upon the exploit themselves: which they shall have no sooner achiev'd, but we'll set upon them.
P. Hen. Ay, but, 't is like, that they will know us, by our horses, by our habits, and by every other appointment, to be ourselves.
Poins. Tut! our horses they shall not see, I'll tie them in the wood; our visors we will change, after we leave them; and I have cases of buckram for the nonce, to inmask our noted outward garments.
P. Hen. But I doubt they will be too hard for us. Poins. Well, for two of them, I know them to be as true-bred cowards as ever turn'd back; and for the third, if he fight longer than he sees reason, I'll forswear arms. The virtue of this jest will be, the incomprehensible lies that this same fat rogue will tell us, when we meet at supper: how thirty, at least, he fought with; what wards, what blows, what extremities he endur'd; and, in the reproof of this, lies the jest.
P. Hen. Well, I'll go with thee; provide us all things necessary, and meet me in Eastcheap: Farewell. Poins. Farewell, my lord.
[Exit POINS. P. Hen. I know you all, and will a while uphold The unyok'd humour of your idleness: Yet herein will I imitate the sun; Who doth permit the base contagious clouds To smother up his beauty from the world, That, when he please again to be himself, Being wanted, he may be more wonder'd at, By breaking through the foul and ugly mists. Of vapours, that did seem to strangle him. So, when this loose behaviour I throw off, And pay the debt I never promised, By how much better than my word I am, By so much shall I falsify men's hopes; And, like bright metal on a sullen ground, My reformation, glittering o'er my fault, Shall show more goodly, and attract more eyes, Than that which hath no foil to set it off.
I'll so offend, to make offence a skill;
The Council Chamber.
Flourish of Trumpets and Drums.
King HENRY, Prince JOHN, Earl of WESTMORELAND, Earl of WORCESTER, Earl of NORTHUMBERLAND, HOTSPUR, Sir W. BLUNT, Sir R. VERNON, and other Gentlemen, discovered.
K. Hen. My blood hath been too cold and temperate, Unapt to stir at these indignities, And you have found me; for, accordingly, You tread upon my patience; but, be sure, I will from henceforth rather be myself, Mighty, and to be fear'd, than my condition; Which hath been smooth as oil, soft as young down, And therefore lost that title of respect,
Which the proud soul ne'er pays, but to the proud.
Wor. Our house, my sovereign liege, little deserves The scourge of greatness to be used on it;
And that same greatness too which our own hands. Have holp to make so portly.
North. My lord,
K. Hen. Worcester, get thee gone; for I do sec Danger and disobedience in thine eye: O, sir,
Your presence is too bold and peremptory;
You were about to speak.
Those prisoners in your highness' name demanded, Which Harry Percy here at Holmedon took,