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I'll give thee thy due, thou hast paid all there. P. Hen. Yea, and elsewhere, so far as my coin would stretch; and, where it would not, I have used my credit.
Fal. Yea, and so used it, that were it not here apparent that thou art heir apparent,--But, I prythee, sweet wag, shall there be gallows standing in England when thou art king? and resolution thus fobbed as it is, with the rusty crub of old father antic 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 you.
P. Hen. For obtaining of suits ?
Fal. Yea, for obtaining of suits : whereof the hangman hath no lean wardrobe. 'Sblood, I am as melancholy as a jib* cat, or a lugged bear.
P. Hen. Or an old lion; or a lover's lute. Fal. Yea, or the drone of a Lincolnshire bagpipe.*. P. Hen. What sayest 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 prythee, trouble me no more with vanity. I would tó God, 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 marked him not: and yet he talked very wisely; but I regarded him not: and yet he talked wisely, and
in the street too. P. Ken. Thou didst well; for wisdom cries out in the streets, and no man regards it.
Fal. O thou hast damnable iteration; I and art, indeed, able to corrupt a saint. Thou hast done much harm upon me, Hal,God 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 damned 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.
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 hath set a match. O, if men were to be saved by merit, what
* Gelded cat.
+ Croak of a frog.
Treat me with ignominy.
hole in hell were hot enough for him? This is the most omni. potent 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 GoodFriday 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 visors 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 me, Yedward; if I tarry at home, and go not, I'll hang you for going.
Poins. You will, chops ?
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 mad-cap.
P. Hen. Well, come what will, I'll tarry at home.
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 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, All-hallown summer !+
[Exit FALSTAFF. Poins. Now, my good sweet honey lord, ride with us tomorrow; 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, out this head from my shoulders.
* The coin called royal was of the value of ten shillings. + I. e. winter-summer.
P. Hen. But how shall we part from 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 visors 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 reprooft 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.
[Exit Poins. P. Hen. I know you all, and will a while uphold The unyoked 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. If all the year were playing holidays, To sport would be as tedious as to work; But, when they seldom come, they wished-for come, And nothing pleaseth but rare accidents. 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 ;I And, like bright metal on a şulleng 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; Redeeming time, when men think least I will.
SCENE III.-The same. Another Room in the Palace. Enter KING HENRY, NORTHUMBERLAND, WORCESTER, HOT
SPUR, SIR WALTER BLUNT, and others.
Wor. Our house, my sovereign liege, little deserves
North. My lord,
K. Hen. Worcester, get thee gone, for I see danger And disobedience in thine eye: 0, Sir, Your presence is too bold and peremptory, And majesty might never yet endure The moody frontiert of a servant brow. You have good leavef to leave us; when we need Your use and counsel, we shall send for you.- [Exit WORCESTER. You were about to speak.
Hot. My liege, I did deny no prisoners.
* Natural di ion.
# Ready assent. In part.
He call'd them-untaught knaves, unmannerly,
Blunt. The circumstance consider'd, good, my lord,
K. Hen. Why, yet he doth deny his prisoners;
# Bargain with objects of fear.