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Poins. Delivered with good respect.—And how doth the martlemas,1 your master?

Bard. In bodily health, sir.

Poins. Marry, the immortal part needs a physician, but that moves not him; though that be sick it dies not.

P. Hen. I do allow this wen to be as familiar with me as my dog: and he holds his place; for, look you, how he writes.

Poins. [Reads.] John Falstaff, knight, Every

man must know that, as oft as he has occasion to name himself. Even like those that are kin to the king; for they never prick their finger, but they say, There is some of the kingh blood spilt: How comes that? says he that takes upon him not to conceive: the answer is as ready as a borrower's2 cap; / am the king's poor cousin, sir.

P. Hen. Nay, they will be kin to us, or they will fetch it from Japhet. But the letter:—

Poins. Sir John Falstaff, knight, to the son of the king, nearest his father, Harry, prince of Wales, greeting.—Why, this is a certificate.

P. Hen. Peace!

Poins. I will imitate the honorable Roman2 in brevity :—-he sure means brevity in breath; short-winded. —I commend me to thee, I commend thee, and I leave thee. Be not too familiar with Poins; for he misuses thy favors so much, that he swears thou art to marry his sister Nell. Repent at idle times as thou mayht, and so farewell.

Thine, by yea and no, {which is as much as to say, as thou usest him,) Jack Falstaff, with my familiars; John, with my brothers and sisters; and sir John, with all Europe.

1 Falstaff is before called "thou latter spring, all-hallown summer" and Poins now calls him martlemas, a corruption of martinmas, which means the same thing. The feast of St. Martin being considered the latter end of autumn, Este de St. Martin is a French proverb for a late summer. It means, therefore, an old fellow with juvenile passions.

2 The old copy reads a borrowed cap. The emendation is Warburton's.

3 That is, Julius CcRsar. Falstaff alludes to the veni, vidi, vici, which he afterwards quotes.

My lord, I will steep this letter in sack, and make him eat it.

P. Hen. That's to make him eat twenty of his words. But do you use me thus, Ned? must I marry your sister?

Poins. May the wench have no worse fortune! but I never said so.

P. Hen. Well, thus we play the fools with the time; and the spirits of the wise sit in the clouds, and mock us.—Is your master here in London?

Bard. Yes, my lord.

P. Hen. Where sups he? doth the old boar feed in the old frank ?l

Bard. At the old place, my lord; in Eastcheap.

P. Hen. What company?

Page. Ephesians, my lord; of the old church.2

P. Hen. Sup any women with him?

Page. None, my lord, but old mistress Quickly, and mistress Doll Tear-sheet.

P. Hen. What pagan may that be?

Page. A proper gentlewoman, sir, and a kinswoman of my master's.

P. Hen. Even such kin as the parish heifers are to the town bull. Shall we steal upon them, Ned, at supper?

Poins. I am your shadow, my lord; I'll follow you.

P. Hen. Sirrah, you boy,—and Bardolph;—no word to your master, that I am yet come to town. There's for your silence.

Bard. I have no tongue, sir.

Page. And for mine, sir,—I will govern it.

P. Hen. Fare ye well; go. [Exeunt Bardolph and Page.]—This Doll Tear-sheet should be some road.

Poins. I warrant you, as common as the way between Saint Albans and London.

1 A sty, a place to fatten a boar in.

2 A cant phrase, probably signifying topers, or jolly companions of the old sort.

P. Hen. How might we see Falstaff bestow1 himself to-night in his true colors, and not ourselves be seen? .

Poins. Put on two leather jerkins, and aprons,'and wait upon him at his table as drawers.

P. Hen. From a god to a bull? a heavy descension!2 it was Jove's case. From a prince to a prentice? a low transformation! that shall be mine; for, in every thing, the purpose must weigh with the folly. Follow me, Ned. [Exeunt.

SCENE III. Warkworth. Before the Castle.

Enter Northumberland, Lady Northumberland, and Lady Percy.

North. I pray thee, loving wife, and gentle daughter, Give even way unto my rough affairs; Put not you on the visage of the times, And be, like them, to Percy troublesome.

Lady N. I have given over; I will speak no more. Do what you will; your wisdom be your guide.

North. Alas, sweet wife, my honor is at pawn; And, but my going, nothing can redeem it.

Lady P. O, yet, for God's sake, go not to these wars! The time was, father, that you broke your word, When you were more endeared to it than now; When your own Percy, when my heart's dear Harry, Threw many a northward look, to see his father Bring up his powers; but he did long in vain. Who then persuaded you to stay at home? There were two honors lost; yours, and your son's. For yours,—may heavenly glory brighten it!

1 L e. act In a MS. letter from secretary Conway to Buckingham, at the Isle of Ree, "also what the lords have advanced for the expedition towards you, since Saturday that they returned from Windsor with charge to bestowe themselves seriously in it"—Conway Papers.

2 The folio reads declension.

For his,—it stuck upon him, as the sun

In the gray vault of heaven; and, by his light,

Did all the chivalry of England move

To do brave acts; he was, indeed, the glass

Wherein the noble youth did dress themselves.

He had no legs, that practised not his gait;1

And speaking thick,2 which nature made his blemish,

Became the accents of the valiant;

For those that could speak low, and tardily,

Would turn their own perfection to abuse,

To seem like him. So that, in speech, in gait,

In diet, in affections of delight,

In military rules, humors of blood,

He was the mark and glass, copy and book,

That fashioned others. And him,—O wondrous him!

O miracle of men I—him did you leave

(Second to none, unseconded by you)

To look upon the hideous god of war

In disadvantage; to abide a field,

Where nothing but the sound of Hotspur's name

Did seem defensible ;3—so you left him.

Never, O never, do his ghost the wrong,

To hold your honor more precise and nice

With others, than with him; let them alone;

The marshal, and the archbishop, are strong;

Had my sweet Harry had but half their numbers,

To-day might I, hanging on Hotspur's neck,

Have talked of Monmouth's grave.

North. Beshrew your heart,

Fair daughter! you do draw my spirits from me,
With new lamenting ancient oversights.
But I must go, and meet with danger there;
Or it will seek me in another place,
And find me worse provided.

1 The twenty-two following lines were first given in the folio.

2 Speaking thick is speaking quick, rapidity of utterance. Baret translates the anhilitus creber of Virgil, thicke-breathing.

3 Defensible does not in this place mean capable of defence, but bearing strength, furnishing the means of defence; the passive for the active par-ticiple.

Lady N. O, fly to Scotland,

Till that the nobles, and the armed commons,
Have of their puissance made a little taste.

Lady P. If they get ground and vantage of the
Then join you with them, like a rib of steel,
To make strength stronger; but, for all our loves,
First let them try themselves. So did your son;
He was so suffered; so came I a widow;
And never shall have length of life enough,
To rain upon remembrance1 with mine eyes,
That it may grow and sprout as high as heaven,
For recordation to my noble husband.

North. Come, come, go in with me; 'tis with my mind, As with the tide swelled up unto its height, That makes a still-stand, running neither way. Fain would I go to meet the archbishop, But many thousand reasons hold me back.— I will resolve for Scotland; there am I, Till time and vantage crave my company. [Exeunt.

SCENE IV. London. A Room in the Boar's Head Tavern in Eastcheap.

Enter two Drawers.

1 Draw. What the devil hast thou brought there? apple-Johns? Thou know'st sir John cannot endure an apple-John.2

2 Draw. Mass, thou sayest true. The prince once set a dish of apple-Johns before him, and told him,

1 Alluding to the plant rosemary, so called because it was the symbol of remembrance.

2 This apple, which was said to keep two years, is well described by Philips:—

"Nor John-apple, whose withered rind, entrenched
By many a furrow, aptly represents
Decrepid age."

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