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FAL. My lord, I will not undergo this sneapa without reply. You call honourable boldness, impudent sauciness: if a man will make* court'sy, and say nothing, he is virtuous. No, my lord, my † humble duty remembered, I will not be your suitor ; I say to you, I do f desire deliverance from these officers, being upon hasty employment in the king's affairs.
CH. Just. You speak as having power to do wrong: but answer in the effect of your reputation, and satisfy the poor woman. FAL. Come hither, hostess.
[Taking her aside.
FAL. As I am a gentleman ;-
Host. By this heavenly ground I tread on, I must be fain to pawn both my plate and the tapestry of my dining-chambers.
FAL. Glasses, glasses, is the only drinking: and for thy walls, a pretty slight drollery, or the story of the prodigal, or the German hunting in waterwork,(1) is worth a thousand of these bed-hangings, and these fly-bitten tapestries. Let it be ten pound, if thou canst. Come, an $ it were not for thy humours, there is not a better wench in England. Go, wash thy face, and 'draw thy action. Come, thou must not be in this humour with me; dost not know me? | Come, come, I know thou wast set on to this.
Host. Pray thee, sir John, let it be but twenty nobles; i' faith I am ** loth to pawn my plate, in good earnest, la.
FAL. Let it alone; I'll make other shift: you 'll be a fool still.
Host. Well, you shall have it, though I pawn my gown. I hope, you 'll come to supper: you 'll pay me altogether?
FAL. Will I live?-Go, with her, with her ; [To BARDOLPH.] hook on, hook on.
Host. Will you have Doll Tear-sheet meet you at supper?
[Exeunt Hostess, BARDOLPH, Officers, and Boy.
(*) First folio omits, make.
(+) First folio, your. (1) First folio omits, do.
(1) First folio, if. W First folio omits, dost not know me? (C) First folio, come; once only. (**) First folio omits, i' faith, and, am. (++ First folio, bitter. * This sneap—] Sneap, Icelandic, sncipa—contumelia, convitium, a check, sarcasm, set-down.
In the effect of your reputation,-] “That is,” Johnson says, “ in a manner suitable to your reputation;” rather, perhaps, in the peril of your reputation.
< At Basingstoke, my lord. The quarto makes a ludicrous mistake here, by reading Billingsgate instead of Basingstoke.
CH. JUST. Come all his forces back ?
Gow. No: fifteen hundred foot, five hundred horse,
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 ?
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 the Lord lighten thee! thou art a great fool.
[Exeunt. SCENE II.—The same. 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,f 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 to-morrow? or to take note how many pair of silk stockings thou hast; viz. these, and those that were thy peachcoloured ones? or to bear the inventory of thy shirts; as, one for superfluity, and one other for use ?-but that, the tennis court keeper knows better than I; for it is a low ebb of linen with thee, when thou keepest $ not racket there; as thou hast not done a great while, because the rest of thy low-countries have made a shift to eat up thy holland : and God knows, whether those that bawl out the ruins of
(*) First folio, countries.
(+) First folio omits, 'Faith. (1) First folio, in.
(5) First folio, kept st. • And Poins.] The stage direction in the quarto is, “ Enter the prince, Poynes, sir John Russel, with other."
b And God knows, &c.] The remainder of the speech is omitted in the folio, having been struck out, most probably by the Master of the Revels.
thy linen, shall inherit his kingdom : but the midwives say, the children are not in the fault; whereupon the world increases, and kindreds are mightily strengthened.
Poins. How ill it follows, after you 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 ? a
P. HEN. Shall I tell thee one thing, Poins ?
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. Marry,* 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 thinkest 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 sorrow.
Porns. The reason ?
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 roadway 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 lewd, and so much engraffed to Falstaff.
P. HEN. And to thee.
Poins. By this light, I am well spoke on, I can hear it with mine 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. Look, look, here comes Bardolph.
P. HEN. And the boy that I gave Falstaff: he had him from me Christian ; and look ş if the fat villain have not transformed him ape.
Enter BARDOLPH and Page.
BARD. Come, you virtuous ass, [To the Page.] you bashful fool, must you be blushing? wherefore blush you now? What a maidenly
(*) First folio, Why.
(+) First folio omits, By this hand. (1) First folio, Nay, I am well spoken of. ( First folio, see. W First folio omits, God.
(9) First folio, pernicious. a Their fathers being so sick as yours at this time is?] So the quarto. The folio reads, “their fathers lying so sick, as yours is.”
man-at-arms are you become? Is it such a matter to get a pottlepot's maidenhead ?a
PAGE. He called me even now, my lord, through a red lattice, (2) and I could discern no part of his face from the window: at last, I spied his eyes; and methought he had made two holes in the alewife's new petticoat, and peeped through.
P. HEN. Hath not the boy profited ?
PAGE. Marry, my lord, Althea dreamedb 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* you do not make him be hanged among you, the gallows shall have wrong.t
P. HEN. And how doth thy master, Bardolph?
BARD. Well, my good 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 the writes.
POINS. [Reads.] John Falstaff, knight, Every man must know that, as oft as he hath 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 borrowed cap; I am the king's poor cousin, sir.
P. HEN. Nay, they will be kin to us, but they will fetch it from Japhet. But to the letter:
Poins.d 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 Romans in brevity :-sure he means brevity in breath; short-winded. I commend me to thee, I
thPorns. ( Rebis place, for mwen to be as fa
(*) First folio, If. (+) First folio, be wrong'd. (1) First folio omits, how. • Pottle-pot's maidenhead?] In the old editions, this speech is given to Poins. Theobald, with more propriety, assigned it to Bardolph.
b Althea dreamed-] The page confounds the fire-brand upon which depended the life of Althea's son, Meleager, with the imaginary torch which Hecuba, when pregnant of Paris, dreamed she brought into the world.
c The martlemas, your master] Martlemas, correctly Martinmass, fell about the twelfth of November, and was the period when beef was hung up for smoking; whether Falstaff is so designated from his resemblance to Martlemas beef, or from his being like “the latter spring," is not clear.
Poiss.) 'In the old copies this forms part of the Prince's speech.
commend thee, and I leave thee. Be not too familiar with Poins; 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, with 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. God send the wench no worse fortune!a but I never said so.
P. HEN. Well, thus we play the fools with the time; 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. What pagan may that be?
P. HEN. Even such kin, as the parish heifers are to the town-bull. -Shall we steal upon them, Ned, at supper? 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 toc town: there's for your silence.
BARD. I have no tongue, sir.
P. HEN. Fare ye well; go. [Exeunt BARDOLPH and Page.]—This Doll Tear-sheet should be some road.
Poins. I warrant you, as common as the way between saint Alban's and London.
P. HEN. How might we see Falstaff bestow himself to-night in his true colours, and not ourselves be seen ?
Poins. Put on two leathern jerkins, and aprons, and wait upon him at his table asť drawers.
P. HEN. From a god to a bull ? a heavy declension! it was Jove's case. From a prince to a prentice ? a low transformation! that shall be mine: for, in every thing, the purpose must weigh with the folly. Follow me, Ned.
(*) First folio, sister.
(+) First folio, like. a God send the wench no worse fortune!!] The folio reads, " May the wench harc no worse fortune.”
The old frank?] The old sty. 6 Yet come to town:] The folio bas, “yet in town."