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out reply. You call honorable 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 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,1 and satisfy the poor woman.
Fal. Come hither, hostess. [Taking her aside.
Ch. Just. Now, master Gower, what news?
Gow. The king, my lord, and Harry prince of Wales, Are near at hand;.' the rest the paper tells.
Fal. As I am a gentleman:
Host. Nay, you said so before.
Fal. As I am a gentleman.—Come, no more words of it.
Host. By this heavenly ground I tread on, I must be fain to pawn both my plate, and the tapestry of my dining-chambers.
Fat* 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 water-work,2 is worth a thousand of these bed-hangings, and these fly-bitten tapestries. Let it be ten pound, if thou canst. Come, and it were not for thy humors, there is not a better wench in England. Go, wash thy face, and 'draw3 thy action. Come, thou must not be in this humor with me! dost not know me? Come, come, I know thou wast set on to this.
1 Suitably to your character.
2 Water work is water color paintings or hangings. The painted cloth was generally oil color; but a cheaper sort, probably resembling in their execution some modern paper-hangings, was brought from Holland or Germany, executed in water color, or distemper. The German hunting, or wild boar hunt, would consequently be a prevalent subject.
Host. 'Pray thee, sir John, let it be but twenty nobles; i'faith I am loath 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?
Fal. No more words; let's have her.
[Exeunt Hostess, Bardolph, Officers, and Page.
Ch. Just. I have heard better news.
Fal. What's the news, my good lord?
Ch. Just. Where lay the king last night?
Gow. At Basingstoke, my lord.
Fal. I hope, my lord, all's well. What's the news, my lord?
Ch. Just. Come all his forces back?
Gow. No; fifteen hundred foot, five hundred horse, Are marched up to my lord of Lancaster, Against Northumberland and the archbishop.
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!
Ch. Just. What's the matter?
Fal. Master Gower, shall I entreat you with me to dinner?
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, it does me; though it discolors 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 the peach-colored 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 thy linen,1 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 labored 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?
1 His bastard children, wrapped up in his old shirts.
P. Hen. Shall I tell thee one thing, Poins?
Poins. Yes; and let it be an excellent good thing.
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. Why, 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 think'st 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.
Poins. The reason?
P. Hen. What wouldst thou think of me, if I should weep?
Poins. I would think thee a most princely hypocrite.
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 a 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 spoken of; 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;2 and those two things, I confess, I cannot help. By the mass, here comes Bardolph.
1 Ostentation is not here used for boastful show, but for mere outward show.
2 A proper fellow of my hands is the same as a tall fellow of his hands, which is only a free version of the French homme haut a-la-main: a man of execution or valor. That a tall or a proper fellow was sometimes used in an equivocal sense for a thief, there can be no doubt. 1 An alehouse window. VOL. iv. 5
P. Hen. And the boy that I gave Falstaff: he had him from me Christian.; and look, if the fat villain have not transformed him ape.
Enter Bardolph and Page.
Bard. 'Save your grace!
P. Hen. And yours, most noble Bardolph!
Bard. Come, you virtuous ass, [To the Page.] you bashful fool, must you be blushing? wherefore blush you now? What a maidenly man at arms are you become! Is it such a matter, to get a pottlepot's maidenhead?
Page. He called me even now, my lord, through a red-lattice,1 and I could discern no part of his face from the window: at last, I spied his eyes; and, inethought, he had made two holes in the ale-wife's new petticoat, and peeped through.
P. Hen. Hath not the boy profited?
Bard. Away, you whoreson upright rabbit, away!
Page. Away, you rascally Althea's dream, away!
P. Hen. Instruct us, boy; what dream, boy?
Page. Marry, my lord, Althea dreamed she was delivered of a firebrand; 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.
P. Hen. And how doth thy master, Bardolph?
Bard. Well, my lord. He heard of your grace's coming to town; there's a letter for you.