Page images

Host. Say, what thing? what thing?
Fal. What thing? why, a thing to thank God on.

Host. I am no thing to thank God on. I would thou should'st know it; I am an honest man's wife : and, setting thy knighthood aside, thou art a knave to call me so.

Fal. Setting thy womanhood aside, thou art a beast to say otherwise.

Host, Say, what beast, thou knave thou?
Fal. What beast? why an otter.
P. Hen. An otter, sir John! why an otter?

Fal. Why? she's neither fish, nor flesh; a man knows not where to have her.

Host. Thou art an unjust man in saying so; thou or any man knows where to have me, thou, knave thou !

P. Hen. Thou sayest true, hostess; and he slanders thee most grossly.

Host. So he doth you, my lord; and said this other day, you ought him a thousand pound.

P. Hen. Sirrah, do I owe you a thousand pound?

Fal. A thousand pound, Hal? a million : thy love is worth a million; thou owest me thy love.

Host. Nay, my lord, he called you Jack, and said, he would cudgel you.

Fal. Did I, Bardolph?
Bard. Indeed, sir John, you said so.
Fal. Yea; if he said, my ring was copper.

P. Hen. I say, 'tis copper: Darest thou be as good as thy word now?

Fal. Why, Hal, thou knowest, as thou art but man, I dare; but, as thou art prince, I fear thee, aş I fear the roạring of the lion's whelp.

P. Hen. And why not, as the lion ?

Fal. The king himself is to be feared as the lion: Dost thou think, I'll fear thee as I fear thy father? nay, an I do, I pray God, my girdle break! P. Hen. O, if it should, how would thy guts fall about thy knees ! But, sirrah, there's no room for faith, truth, nor honesty, in this bosom of thine; it is filled up with guts, and midriff

. Charge an honest woman with picking thy pocket! Why, thou whoreson, impudent, embossed' rascal, if there were any thing in thy pocket but tavern-reckonings, memorandums of bawdy-houses, and one poor penny-worth of sugar-candy to make thee long winded; if thy pocket were enriched with any other injuries but these, I am a villain. And yet you will stand to it; you will not pocket up wrong: Art thou not ashamed?

Fal. Dost thou hear, Hal? thou knowest, in the state of innocency, Adam fell; and what should poor Jack Falstaff do, in the days of villainy? Thou seest, I have more flesh than another man; and therefore inore frailty.

You confess then, you picked my pocket?

P. Hen. It appears so by the story.

Fal. Hostess, I forgive thee : Go, make ready breakfast; love thy husband, look to thy servants, cherish thy guests; thou shalt find me tractable to any honest reason; thou seest, I am pacified.-Still? -Nay, pr’ythee, be gone. [Exit Hostess.] Now, Hal, to the news at court: for the robbery, lad, How is that answered ?

P. Hen. O, my sweet beef, I must still be good angel to thee : The money is paid back again.

Fal. O, I do not like that paying back, 'tis a double labour.

P. Hen. I am good friends with my father, and may do any thing.

Fal. Rob me the exchequer the first thing thou doest, and do it with unwashed hands too.


impudent, embossed,] Embossed is swoln, puffy.

Bard. Do, my lord.

P. Hen. I have procured thee, Jack, a charge of foot.

Fal. I would, it had been of horse. Where shall I find one that can steal well? O for a fine thief, of the age of two and twenty, or thereabouts! I am heinously unprovided. Well, God be thanked for these rebels, they offend none but the virtuous; I laud them, I praise them.

P. Hen. Bardolph-
Bard. My lord.
P. Hen. Go bear this letter to lord John of Lan-

caster, My brother John; this to my lord of Westmore

Go, Poins, to horse, to horse ; for thou, and I,
Have thirty miles to ride yet ere dinner time.
Meet me to-morrow i'the Temple-hall :
At two o'clook i'the afternoon :
There shalt thou know thy charge; and there re-

Money, and order for their furniture.
The land is burning; Percy stands on high;
And either they, or we, must lower lie.

[Exeunt Prince, Poins, and BARDOLPH. Fal. Rare words! brave world !

-Hostess, my breakfast; come :0, I could wish, this tavern were my drum. [Exit.

do it with unwashed hands too.] i.e. do it immediately, or the first thing in the morning, even without staying to wash your hands. Mr. Mason thinks it means, do it without retracting or repenting of it,


SCENE I. The Rebel Camp near Shrewsbury.


Hot. Well said, my noble Scot: If speaking truth, In this fine age, were not thought flattery, Such attribution should the Douglas have, As not a soldier of this season's stamp Should go so general current through the world. By heaven, I cannot flatter ; I defy 3 The tongues of soothers ; but a braver place In my heart's love, hath no man than yourself: Nay, task me to the word; approve me, lord.

Doug. Thou art the king of honour : No man so potent breathes

upon the ground, But I will beard * him. Hot.

Do so, and 'tis well :

Enter a Messenger, with Letters. What letters hast thou there? I can but thank

you. Mess. These letters come from your father, Hot. Letters from him! why comes he not him

self? Mess. He cannot come, my lord; he's grievous

sick. Hot. 'Zounds! how has he the leisure to be sick, In such a justling time? Who leads his power? Under whose government come they along? Mess. His letters bear his mind, not I, my lord.

I defy;] To defy means here to disdain. 4 But I will beard him. To beard is to oppose face to face in a hostile or daring manner.


Wor. I pr’ythee, tell me, doth he keep his bed ?

Mess. He did, my lord, four days ere I set forth; And at the time of my departure thence, He was much fear'd by his physicians. Wor. I would, the state of time had first been

Ere he by sickness had been visited;
His health was never better worth than now.
Hot. Sick now! droop now! this sickness doth

The very life-blood of our enterprize ;
"Tis catching hither, even to our camp.
He writes me here,--that inward sickness
And that his friends by deputation could not
So soon be drawn; nor did he think it meet,
To lay so dangerous and dear a trust
On any soul remov’d, but on his own.
Yet doth he give us bold advertisement
That with our small conjunction we should on,
To see how fortune is dispos’d to us;
For, as he writes, there is no quailing now;
Because the the king is certainly possess’d,
Of all our purposes. What say you to it?

Wor. Your father's sickness is a maim to us.

Hot. A perilous gash, a very limb lopp'd off : And yet, in faith, 'tis not ; his present want Seems more than we shall find it :-Were it good, To set the exact wealth of all our states All at one cast to set so rich a main On the nice hazard of one doubtful hour? It were not good : for therein should we read The very bottom and the soul of hope ; ;

s On any soul removd,] On any less near to himself; on any whose interest is remote,

6.- no quailing :) To quail is to languish, to sink into dejection.

« PreviousContinue »