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venge, and turn all to a merriment, if you take not the heat.

P. Hen. You whoreson candle-mine, you, how vilely did you speak of me even now, before this honest, virtuous, civil gentlewoman?

Host. 'Blessing o' your good heart! and so she is, by my troth.

Fal. Didst thou hear me?

P. Hen. Yes; and you knew me, as you did when you ran away by Gads-hill: you knew I was at your back, and spoke it on purpose to try my patience.

Fal. No, no, no; not so; I did not think thou wast within hearing.

P. Hen. I shall drive thee then to confess the wilful abuse; and then I know how to handle you.

Fal. No abuse, Hal, on mine honor; no abuse.

P. Hen. Not! to dispraise me, and call me—pantier, and bread-chipper, and I know not what?

Fal. No abuse, Hal.

Poins. No abuse!

Fal. No abuse, Ned, in the world; honest Ned, none. I dispraised him before the wicked, that the wicked might not fall in love with him ;—in which doing, I have done the part of a careful friend, and a true subject, and thy father is to give me thanks for it. No abuse, Hal;—none, Ned, none ;—no, boys, none.

P. Hen. See, now, whether pure fear, and entire cowardice, doth not make thee wrong this virtuous gentlewoman to close with us? Is she of the wicked? Is thine hostess here of the wicked? Or is the boy of the wicked? Or honest Bardolph, whose zeal burns in his nose, of the wicked?

Poins. Answer, thou dead elm, answer.

Fal. The fiend hath pricked down Bardolph irrecoverable; and his face is Lucifer's privy-kitchen, where he doth nothing but roast malt-worms. For the boy,—there is a good angel about him; but the devil outbids him too.1

1 The quarto reads, « and the devil blinds him too."

VOL 17. 7

P. Hen. For the women,-—

Fal. For one of them,—she is in hell already, and burns, poor soul! For the other,—I owe her money; and whether she be damned for that, I know not.

Host. No, I warrant you.

Fal. No, I think thou art not; I think thou art quit for that. Marry, there is another indictment upon thee, for suffering flesh to be eaten in thy house, contrary to the law; for the which, I think, thou wilt howTl.

Host. All victuallers do so. What's a joint of mutton or two in a whole Lent?

P. Hen. You gentlewoman,

Dol. What says your grace?

Fal. His grace says that which his flesh rebels against. • ■

Host. Who knocks so loud at door? Look to the door there, Francis.

Enter Peto.

P. Hen. Peto, how now? what news?

Peto. The king your father is at Westminster;
And there are twenty weak and wearied posts
Come from the north; and, as I came along,
[ met, and overtook, a dozen captains,
Bare-headed, sweating, knocking at the taverns,
And asking every one for sir John Falstaff.

P. Hen. By Heaven, Poins, I feel me much to blame,
So idly to profane the precious time;
When tempest of commotion, like the south
Borne with black vapor, doth begin to melt,
And drop upon our bare, unarmed heads.
Give me my sword, and cloak. Falstaff, good night.
[Exeunt Prince Henry, Poins, Peto,
and Bardolph.

Fal. Now comes in the sweetest morsel of the night, and we must hence, and leave it unpicked. [Knocking heard."] More knocking at the door?

Re-enter Bardolph.

How now? what's the matter?

Bard. You must away to court, sir, presently; a dozen captains stay at door for you.

Fal. Pay the musicians, sirrah. [To the Page.]— Farewell, hostess;—farewell, Doll.—You see, my good wenches, how men of merit are sought after; the undeserver may sleep, when the man of action is called on. Farewell, good wenches! If I be not sent away post, I will see you again ere I go.

Dol. I cannot speak;—if my heart be not ready to burst;—Well, sweet Jack, have a care of thyself,

Fal. Farewell, farewell.

[Exeunt Falstaff and Bardolph.

Host. Well, fare thee well: I have known thee these twenty-nine years, come peascod-time; but an honester, and truer-hearted man,—well, fare thee well.

Bard. [ Within.] Mistress Tear-sheet,

Host. What's the matter?

Bard. [Within.'] Bid mistress Tear-sheet come to my master.

Host. O run, Doll, run; run, good Doll. [Exeunt.

ACT III.

SCENE I. A Room in the Palace.

Enter King Henry in his nightgown, with a Page.

K. Hen. Go, call the earls of Surrey and of Warwick; But ere they come, bid them o'er-read these letters,

And well consider of them. Make good speed.

[Exit Page. How many thousand of my poorest subjects

Are at this hour asleep!—O Sleep, O gentle Sleep,

Nature's soft nurse, how have I frighted thee,

That thou no more wilt weigh my eyelids down,

And steep my senses in forgetfulness?

Why rather, Sleep, liest thou in smoky cribs,

Upon uneasy pallets stretching thee,

And hushed with buzzing night-flies to thy slumber,

Than in the perfumed chambers of the great,

Under the canopies of costly state,

And lulled with sounds of sweetest melody ?■

O, thou dull god, why liest thou with the vile,

In loathsome beds; and leav'st the kingly couch,

A watch-case,1 or a common ?larum bell?

Wilt thou upon the high and giddy mast

Seal up the ship-boy's eyes, and rock his brains

In cradle of the rude, imperious surge;

And in the visitation of the winds,

Who take the ruffian billows by the top,

Curling their monstrous heads, and hanging them

With deafening clamors in the slippery clouds,2

That, with the hurly, death itself awakes?

Canst thou, O partial Sleep! give thy repose

To the wet sea-boy in an hour so rude,

And, in the calmest and most stillest night,

With all appliances and means to boot,

Deny it to a king? Then, happy low,3 lie down!

Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown.

Enter Warwick and Surrey.

War. Many good morrows to your majesty!
K. Hen. Is it good morrow, lords?
War. 'Tis one o'clock, and past.

1 A watch case here may mean the case of a watch-light; but the following article, cited by Strutt in his Manners and Customs, vol. iii. p. 70, from an old inventory, may throw some light upon it:—"Item, a laume (larum) or watche of iron, in an iron case, with two leaden plumets"

3 Some commentators propose to read shrouds instead of clouds.

3 Warburton conjectures, that this is a corrupt reading for happy lowly clown.

K. Hen. Why then, good morrow to you all,1 my lords. Have you read o'er the letters that I sent you?

War. We have, my liege.

K. Hen. Then you perceive, the body of our kingdom How foul it is; what rank diseases grow, And with what danger, near the heart of it.

War. It is but as a body, yet, distempered; Which to his former strength may be restored,

With good advice, and little medicine.

My lord Northumberland will soon be cooled.

K. Hen. O Heaven! that one might read the book
of fate,
And see the revolution of the times
Make mountains level, and the continent
(Weary of solid firmness) melt itself
Into the sea! and, other times, to see
The beachy girdle of the ocean
Too wide for Neptune's hips; how chances mock,
And changes fill the cup of alteration
With divers liquors! O, if this were seen,2
The happiest youth—viewing his progress through,
What perils past, what crosses to ensue—
Would shut the book, and sit him down and die.
'Tis not ten years gone,

Since Richard, and Northumberland, great friends,
Did feast together, and, in two years after,
Were they at wars. It is but eight years since
This Percy was the man nearest my soul;
Who, like a brother, toiled in my affairs,
And laid his love and life under my foot;
Yea, for my sake, even to the eyes of Richard,
Gave him defiance. But which of you was by,3
(You, cousin Nevil,4 as I may remember,)

[To Warwick.

1 This mode of phraseology, where only two persons are addressed, is used again in King Henry VI. Part 2.

2 This and the three following lines are from the quarto copy.

3 The reference is to King Richard II. Act iv. Sc. 2: but neither Warwick nor the king were present at that conversation. Henry had then ascended the throne.

4 The earldom of Warwick was at this time in the family of Beauchanip,

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