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Poins. But, my lads, my lads, to-morrow morning, by four o'clock, early at Gadsbill. 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 crowos; 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, will thou make one?
P. Hen. Who, I rob? I a thief? not I, by my faith.
Fal. There's neither honesty, manhood, nor good fellowsbip in thee, nor thou cam’st 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
Fal. Well, God give thee the spirit of persuasion, and hiin 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 way-laid: yourself and I will not be there; and when they have the booty, if you and I do not rob them, cut this head off from my shoulders.
P. Hen. 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 meeling, 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. Yea, but 't is 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. Yea, but I doubt they will be too hard for us.
Poins. Well, for two of them, I know them to be as truebred 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; wbat 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.
[Exit Poins. P. Hen. I know you all, and will a while 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, 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 wish'd-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;
And, like bright metal on a sullen 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.
The Same. Another Apartment 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,
You tread upon my patience: but, be sure,
I will from henceforth rather be myself,
Mighty, and to be fear'd, than my condition,
Which hath been smooth as oil, soft as young down,
And therefore lost that title of respect,
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
Have holp to make so portly.
North. My lord,
K. Hen. Worcester, get thee gone; for I do see
Danger and disobedience in thine eye.
0, Sir! your presence is too bold and peremptory,
And majesty might never yet endure
The moody frontier of a servant brow.
You have good leave to leave us: when we peed
Your use and counsel, we shall send for you.
[Exit WORCESTER. You were about to speak.
[To North. North.
Yea, my good lord.
Those prisoners in your highness' pame demanded,
Which Harry Percy, here, at Holmedon took,
Were, as he says, not with such strength denied
As is deliver'd to your majesty:
Either envy, therefore, or misprision
Is guilty of this fault, and not my son.
Hot. My liege, I did deny no prisoners ;
But, I remember, when the fight was done,
When I was dry with rage, and extreme toil,
Breathless and faint, leaning upon my sword,
Came there a certain lord, neat, and trimly dress’d,
Fresh as a bridegroom; and his chin, now reap'd,
Show'd like a stubble-land at harvest-home:
He was perfumed like a milliner,
And 'twixt his finger and his thumb he held
A pouncet-box, which ever and anon
He gave his nose, and took't away again;
Who, therewith angry, when it next came there,
Took it in snuff: — and still he smild, and talk'd;
And, as the soldiers bore dead bodies by,
He call’d them untaught knaves, unmannerly,
To bring a slovenly unbandsome corse
Betwist the wind and his nobility.
With many holiday and lady terms
He question'd me; among the rest, demanded
My prisoners, in your majesty's behalf.
I then, all smarting, with my wounds being cold,
To be so pester'd with a popinjay,
Out of my grief and my impatience,
Answer'd neglectiogly, 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,
Of guns, and drums, and wounds, God save the mark!
And telliog me, the sovereign'st thing on earth
Was parmaceti for an inward bruise;
Aod that it was great pity, so it was,
This villainous salt-petre should be digg'd
Out of the bowels of the harmless earth,
Which many a good tall fellow had destroy'd
So cowardly; and, but for these vile guos,
He would himself have been a soldier.
This bald, unjointed chat of his, my lord.
I answer'd indirectly, as I said;
And, I beseech you, let pot his report
Come current for an accusation,
Betwixt my love and your high majesty.
Blunt. The circumstance consider'd, good my lord,
Whate'er Lord Harry Percy then had said,
To such a person, and in such a place,
At such a time, with all the rest re-told,
May reasonably die, and never rise
To do him wrong, or any way impeach
What then he said, so be unsay it now.
K. Hen. Why, yet he doth deny his prisoners,
But with proviso, and exception,
That we, at our own charge, shall ransom straight
His brother-in-law, the foolish Mortimer;
Who, on my soul, hath wilfully betray'd
The lives of those that he did lead to fight
Against that great magician, damn'd Glendower,
Whose daughter, as we hear, that earl of March
Hath lately married, Shall our coffers, then,
Be emptied to redeem a traitor home?
Shall we buy treason, and indent with fears,
When they have lost and forfeited themselves ?
No, on the barren mountains let him starve;
For I shall never hold that man my friend,
Whose longue shall ask me for one peppy cost,
To ransom home revolted Mortimer.