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Bard. My lord, I'll tell you what;—
If my young lord your son have not the day,
I'll give my barony: never talk of it.
North. Why should the gentleman, that rode by Travers, Give then such instances of loss?
Bard. Who, he?
He was some hilding fellow, that had stol'n
The horse he rode on; and, upon my life,
Spoke at a venture. Look, here comes more news.
North. Yea, this man's brow, like to a title-leaf,
So looks the strond, whereon the imperious flood
Say, Morton, didst thou come from Shrewsbury?
North. How doth my son, and brother?
So dull, so dead in look, so woe-begone,
And would have told him, half his Troy was burn'd:
This thou wouldst say,-Your son did thus, and thus,
North. Why, he is dead.
See, what a ready tongue suspicion hath!
He, that but fears the thing he would not know,
Hath, by instinct, knowledge from others' eyes,
That what he fear'd is chanced. Yet speak, Morton;
And I will take it as a sweet disgrace,
And make thee rich for doing me such wrong.
Your spirit is too true, your fears too certair
+ An attestation of its ravage.
Thou shak'st thy head, and hold'st it fear or sin,
Remember'd knolling a departing friend.
Bard. I cannot think, my lord, your son is dead.
From whence with life he never more sprung up.
Lend to this weight such lightness with their fear,
And Westmoreland: this is the news at full.
North. For this I shall have time enough to mourn.
In poison there is physic; and these news,
Having been well, that would have made me sick,
Out of his keeper's arms; even so my limbs,
Are thrice themselves: hence therefore, thou nice* crutch; A scaly gauntlet now, with joints of steel,
Must glove this hand: and hence, thou sickly quoif,t
Thou art a guard too wanton for the head,
Which princes, flesh'd with conquest, aim to hit.
And darkness be the burier of the dead!
Tra. This strained passion doth you wrong, my lord.
Bard. Sweet earl, divorce not wisdom from your honour. Mor. The lives of all your loving complices
Lean on your health; the which, if you give o'er
To stormy passion, must perforce decay.
You cast the event of war, my noble lord,
And summ'd the account of chance, before you said,—
Let us make head. It was your presurmise,
That in the dolet of blows your son might drop:
You were advised, his flesh was capable
Of wounds, and scars; and that his forward spirits
Bard. We all, that are engaged to this loss,
Mor. "Tis more than time: And, my most noble lord,
The gentle archbishop of York is up,
And they did fight with queasiness,* constrain'd,
Supposed sincere and holy in his thoughts,
North. I knew of this before; but, to speak truth,
Get posts, and letters, and make friends with speed;
SCENE II.-London. A Street.
Enter SIR JOHN FALSTAFF, with his PAGE, bearing his Sword and Buckler.
Fal. Sirrah, you giant, what says the doctor to my water? Page. He said, Sir, the water itself was a good healthy water: but, for the party that owed it, he might have more diseases than he knew for.
Fal. Men of all sorts take a pride to gird § at me: The brain of this foolish-compounded clay, man, is not able to vent anything that tends to laughter, more than I invent, or is invented on me: I am not only witty in myself, but the cause that wit is in other men. I do here walk before thee, like a sow, that hath overwhelmed all her litter but one. If the prince put thee into my service for any other reason than to set me off, why then I have no judgment. Thou whoreson mandrake, thou art fitter to be worn in my cap, than to wait at my heels. I was never manned with an agate till now: but I will set you neither in gold nor silver, but in vile apparel, and send you back again to your master, for a jewel; the juvenal, the prince your master, whose chin is not yet fledged. I will sooner have a beard grow in the palm of my hand, than he shall get one on his cheek; and yet he will not stick to say, his face is a face-royal: God may finish it when he will, it is not a hair amiss yet: he may keep it still as a face-royal, for a barber shall never earn sixpence out of it; and yet he will be crowing, as if he had writ man ever since his father was a bachelor. He may keep his own grace, but he is
* Against their stomachs. Gibe.
+ High and low.
+ Owned. A root supposed to have the shape of a man. A little figure cut in an agate.
almost out of mine, I can assure him. What said master Dumbleton about the satin for my short cloak, and slops?
Page. He said, Sir, you should procure him better assurance than Bardolph: he would not take his bond and yours; he liked not the security.
Fal. Let him be damned like a glutton! may his tongue be hotter!-A whoreson Achitophel! a rascally yea-forsooth knave! to bear a gentleman in hand,* and then stand upon security! -The whoreson smooth-pates do now wear nothing but high shoes, and bunches of keys at their girdles; and if a man is thorought with them in honest taking up, then they must stand upon-security. I had as lief they would put ratsbane in my mouth, as offer to stop it with security. I look'd he should have sent me two and twenty yards of satin, as I am a true knight, and he sends me security. Well, he may sleep in security; for he hath the horn of abundance, and the lightness of his wife shines through it and yet cannot he see, though he have his own lantern to light him.- -Where's Bardolph ?
Page. He's gone into Smithfield, to buy your worship a horse. Fal. I bought him in Paul's, and he'll buy me a horse in Smithfield: an I could get me but a wife in the stews, I were manned, horsed, and wived.‡
Enter the LORD CHIEF JUSTICE and an ATTENDANT.
Page. Sir, here comes the nobleman that committed the prince for striking him about Bardolph.
Fal. Wait close, I will not see him.
Ch. Just. What's he that goes there?
Atten. Falstaff, an't please your lordship.
Ch. Just. He that was in question for the robbery ?
Atten. He, my lord: but he hath since done good service at Shrewsbury; and, as I hear, is now going with some charge to the lord John of Lancaster.
Ch. Just. What, to York? Call him back again.
Fal. Boy, tell him, I am deaf.
Page. You must speak louder, my master is deaf.
Ch. Just. I am sure, he is, to the hearing of anything good.Go, pluck him by the elbow; I must speak with him. Atten. Sir John,
Fal. What! a young knave, and beg! Is there not wars? is there not employment? Doth not the king lack subjects? do not the rebels need soldiers? Though it be a shame to be on any side but one, it is worse shame to beg than to be on the worst side, were it worse than the name of rebellion can tell how to make it. Atten. You mistake me, Sir.
Fal. Why, Sir, did I say you were an honest man? Setting my knighthood and my soldiership aside, I had lied in my throat if I had said so.
Keep him in expectation.
+ In their debt.
✦ Alluding to an old proverb: Who goes to Westminster for a wife, to St. Paul's for a man, and to Smithfield for a horse, may meet with a whore, a knave, and a jade.