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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.-O, if men were to be saved by merit, what hole in hell were hot enough for him? This is the most omnipotent villain that ever cried stand to a true man.
P. Hen. Good-morrow, Ned.
Poins. Good-morrow, sweet Hal.-What says Monsieur Remorse? What says Sir John Sack-and-sugar? Jack, how agrees the devil and thee about thy soul, that thou soldest him on Good-Friday last for a cup of Madeira and a cold capon's leg?
P. Hen. Sir John stands to his word, -the devil shall have his bargain; for he was never yet a breaker of proverbs, he will give the devil his due.
Poins. Then art thou damned for keeping thy word with the devil.
P. Hen. Else he had been damned for cozening the devil. Poins. But, 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 visards 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 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 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 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.
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, God give thee the spirit of persuasion, and him 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, Allhallown 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 achieved, but we'll set upon them.
P. Hen. Ay, but 'tis 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 visards we will change after we leave them; and, sirrah, I have cases of buckram for the nonce, to immask 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 turned 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 endured; 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 to-morrow night in Eastcheap; there I'll sup. Farewell.
Poins. Farewell, my lord.
P. Hen. I know you all, and will awhile 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,
But when they seldom come, they wish'd-for come,
SCENE III.-The same. Another Room in the Palace. Enter KING HENRY, NORTHUMBERLAND, WORCESTER, HOTSPUR, SIR WALTER BLUNT, and others.
K. Hen. My blood hath been too cold and temperate, Unapt to stir at these indignities,
And you have found me; for accordingly
Which hath been smooth as oil, soft as young down,
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
North. My lord,
K. Hen. Worcester, get thee gone; for I see danger
And disobedience in thine eye: Ö, sir,
Your presence is too bold and peremptory,
And majesty might never yet endure
You have good leave to leave us: when we need
Yea, my good lord.
Those prisoners in your highness' name demanded,
Either envy, therefore, or misprision
Hot. My liege, I did deny no prisoners.
And 'twixt his finger and his thumb he held
He gave his nose, and took't away again;—
With many holiday and lady terms
He question'd me; among the rest, demanded
I, then all smarting with my wounds being cold,
Out of my grief and my impatience,
Answer'd neglectingly, I know not what,—
He should, or he should not ;-for he made me mad
To see him shine so brisk, and smell so sweet,
And talk so like a waiting-gentlewoman
guns, and drums, and wounds,-God save the mark !— And telling me the sovereign'st thing on earth
Was parmaceti for an inward bruise;
And that it was great pity, so it was,
Come current for an accusation
Betwixt my love and your high majesty.
Blunt. The circumstance consider'd, good my lord,
To such a person, and in such a place,
K. Hen. Why, yet he doth deny his prisoners,
That we at our own charge shall ransom straight
Hot. Revolted Mortimer!
He never did fall off, my sovereign liege,
But by the chance of war:-to prove that true,
In single opposition, hand to hand,
He did confound the best part of an hour
In changing hardiment with great Glendower:
Three times they breath'd, and three times did they drink,
Upon agreement, of swift Severn's flood;
Who then, affrighted with their bloody looks,
Ran fearfully among the trembling reeds,
And hid his crisp head in the hollow bank
Colour her working with such deadly wounds;
Receive so many, and all willingly:
Then let him not be slander'd with revolt.
K. Hen. Thou dost belie him, Percy, thou dost belie him;