Imatges de pàgina

up to

Are march'd


lord of Lancaster, Against Northumberland, and the archbishop. .

Fal. Comes the king back from Wales, my noble lord ?

Ch. Just. You shall have letters of me presently : Come, go along with me, good master Gower.

Fal. My lord!
Ch. Just. What's the matter ?

Fal. Master Gower, shall I entreat you with me to dinner?

Gow.. I must wait upon my good lord here: I thank you, good sir John.

Ch. Just. Sir John, you loiter here too long, being you are to take soldiers up in counties as you go. Fal, Will

you sup

with me, master Gower ? Ch. Just. What foolish master taught you these manners, sir John.

Fal. Master Gower, if they become me not, he was a fool that taught them me. This is the right fencing grace, my lord; tap for tap, and so part fair.

Ch. Just. Now heaven lighten thee! thou art a great fool,



Another Street.

Enter Prince Henry and Poins.
P. Hen. Trust me, I am exceeding weary.

Poins. Is it come to that? I had thought, weariness durst not have attached one of so high blood.

P. Hen. 'Faith, it does me ; though it discolours the complexion of my greatness to acknowledge it. Doth it not show vilely in me, to desire small beer?

Poins. Why, a prince should not be so loosely studied, as to remember so weak a composition.

P. Hen. Belike then, my appetite was not princely got; for, by my troth, I do now remember the poor creature, small beer.

But, indeed, these humble considerations make me out of love with my greatness. What a disgrace is it to me, to remember thy name ? or to know thy face tomorrow? or to take note how many pair of silk stockings thou hast ; viz. these, and those that were the peach-colour'd ones? Poins. How ill it follows, after


have laboured so hard, you should talk so idly? Tell me, how many good young princes would do so, their fathers being so sick as yours at this time is ?

P. Hen. Shall I tell thee one thing, Poins?

Poins. Yes; and let it be an excellent good thing.

P. Hen. It shall serve among wits of no higher breeding than thine.

Poins. Go to; I stand the push of your one thing that you will tell.

P. Hen. Why, I tell thee, it is not meet that I should be sad, now my father is sick: albeit I could tell to thee, (as to one it pleases me, for fault of a better, to call my friend,) I could be sad, and sad indeed too.

Poins. Very hardly, upon such a subject.

P. Hen. By this hand, thou think'st me as far in the devil's book, as thou and Falstaff, for obduracy and persistency : Let the end try the man. But I tell thee, -my heart bleeds inwardly, that my father is so sick : and keeping such vile company as thou art, hath in reason taken from me all ostentation of

[ocr errors]


Poins. The reason ?

P. Hen. What wouldst thou think of me, if I should weep!

Poins. I would think thee a most princely hypocrite.

P. Hen. It would be every man's thought: and thou art a blessed fellow, to think as every man thinks; never a man's thought in the world keeps the road-way better than thine: every man would think me an hypocrite indeed. And what accites your most worshipful thought, to think so ?

Poins. Why, because you have been so much engraffed to Falstaff.

P. Hen. And to thee.

Poins. By this light, I am well spoken of, I can hear it with my own ears: the worst that they can say of me is, that I am a second brother, and that I am a proper fellow of my hands; and those two things, I confess, I cannot help. By the mass, here comes Bardolph.

P. Hen. And the boy that I gave Falstaff: he had him from me christian ; and look, if the fat villain have not transformed him ape.

Enter BARDOLPH and Page.
Bard. 'Save your grace.
P. Hen. And yours, most noble Bardolph !

Bard. Come, you virtuous ass, [To the Page.] you bashful fool, must you be blushing? wherefore blush you now?

Page. He called me even now, my lord, through a red lattice, and I could discern no part of his face from the window : at last, I spied his eyes.

P. Hen. Hath not the boy profited ?
Bard. Away, you upright rabbit, away!
Page. Away, you rascally Althea's dream, away!
P. Hen. Instruct us, boy: What dream, boy?

Page. Marry, my lord, Althea dreamed she was delivered of a fire-brand; and therefore I call him her dream.

P. Hen. A crown's worth of good interpretation. . - There it is, boy.

[Gives him money. Poins. O, that this good blossom could be kept from cankers !- Well, there is sixpence to preserve thee. Bard. An


do not make him be hanged among you, the gallows shall have wrong.

P. Hen. And how doth thy master, Bardolph ?

Bard. Well, my lord. He heard of your grace's coming to town; there's a letter for you.

Poins. Delivered with good respect. And how doth the martlemas ’, your master ?

Bard. In bodily health, sir.

Poins. Marry, the immortal part needs a physician: but that moves not him; though that be sick, it dies not.

P. Hen. I do allow this wen to be as familiar with me as my dog : and he holds his place ; for; look you, how he writes.

Poins. [Reads.] John Falstaff, knight, —Every man must know that, as oft as he has occasion to name himself. Even like those that are kin to the king; for they never prick their finger, but they say, There is some of the king's blood spilt : How comes that? says he, that takes upon him not to conceive : the answer is as ready as a borrower's cap; I am the king's poor cousin, sir.

P. Hen. Nay, they will be kin to us, or they will fetch it from Japhet. But the letter :

Poins. Sir John Falstaff, knight, to the son of the king, nearest his father, Harry Prince of Wales, greeting. - Why, this is a certificate.

P. Hen. Peace !

Poins. I will imitate the honourable Roman in brevity : - he sure means brevity in breath ; shortwinded. I commend me to thee, I commend thee, and I leave thee. Be not too familiar with Poins ;

[ocr errors]

7 Martinmas; St. Martin's day is Nov, 11.


for he misuses thy favours so much, that he swears, thou art to marry

his sister Nell. Repent at idle times as thou

may st, and so farewell.
Thine, by yea and no, (which is as much

as to say, 'as thou usest him,) Jack
Falstaff, with my familiars ; John,

my brothers and sisters; and sir

John with all Europe. My lord, I will steep this letter in sack, and make him eat it.

P. Hen. That's to make him eat twenty of his words. But do you use me thus, Ned? must I marry your sister ?

Poins. May the girl have no worse fortune! but I never said so. P. Hen. Well, thus we play the fools with the

and the spirits of the wise sit in the clouds, and mock us. - Is your master here in London ?

Bard. Yes, my lord.

P. Hen. Where sups he? doth the old boar feed in the old frank ?

Bard. At the old place, my lord; in Eastcheap.
P. Hen. Shall we steal upon him, Ned, at sup-

Poins. I am your'shadow, my lord ; I'll follow you.

P. Hen. Sirrah, you boy, and Bardolph; no word to your master that I am yet come to town: There's for


Bard. I have no tongue, sir.
Page. And for mine, sir ;- I will govern it.

P. Hen. Fare ye well; go. [Exeunt BARDOLPH and Page.] How might we see Falstaff bestow himself to-night in his true colours, and not ourselves be seen?

Poins. Put on two leather jerkins, and aprons, and wait upon him at his table as drawers.

per ?

« AnteriorContinua »