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Fal. O! thou hast damnable iteration, and art, indeed, able to corrupt a saint. Thou hast done much harmi upon me', Hal:-God forgive thee for it. Before I knew thée, Hal, I knew nothing; and now am I, if a man should speak truly, little better than one of the wicked. I must give over this life, and I will give it over; by the Lord, an I do not, I am a villain : I'll be damned for never a king's son in Christendom.
P. Hen. Where shall we take a purse to-morrow, Jack ?
Fal. Zounds! where thou wilt, lad, I'll make one; an I do not, call me villain, and baffle me.
P. Hen. I see a good amendment of life in thee; from praying, to purse-taking.
Enter POINS, at a distance.
Fal. Why, Hal, 'tis my vocation, Hal : 'tis no sin for a man to labour in his vocation Poins !Now shall we know if Gadshill have set a match'.-0! if men were to be saved by merit, what hole in hell were hot enough for him? This is the most omnipotent villain, that ever cried, Stand! to a true man.
P. Hen. Good morrow, Ned.
Poins. Good morrow, sweet Hal. — What says monsieur Remorse? What says Sir John Sack-and-Sugar? Jack, how agrees the devil and thee about thy soul,
5 Thou hast done much harm Upon me,] The quarto, 1598, has this reading: later editions alter“ upon ” to unto.
to labour in his vocation.] According to the erroneous printing of the folio, the speech of Falstaff is made to end with these words; and Poins (called Pointz) is represented to begin what he says at," Now shall we know,” &c.
- if Gadshill have set a match.) So every quarto edition : the folio, set a watch," which was a very easy misprint ; and it seems, by the following quotation, pointed out by Farmer in “Ratsey's Ghost,” a tract printed about 1606, that " to set a match” was technical among thieves :—“I have been many times beholding to tapsters and chamberlains for directions and setting of matches.” In addition, we have the phrase "setting a match," for making an appointment, in Ben Jonson's “Bartholomew Fair.” To “set a watch” would therefore seem to be directly contrary to what Shakespeare intended. See also what Gadshill says, in Act ii. sc. 1, to the chamberlain.
that thou soldest him on Good-Friday last, for a cup of Madeira, and a cold capon's leg?
P. Hen. Sir John stands to his word : the devil shall have his bargain, for he was never yet a breaker of proverbs; he will give the devil his due.
Poins. Then, art thou damned for keeping thy word with the devil.
P. Hen. Else he had been damned for cozening the devil.
Poins. But, my lads, my lads, to-morrow morning, by four o'clock, early at Gadshill. 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 tonight 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 crowns; 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. There's neither honesty, manhood, nor good fellowship in thee, nor thou cam’st not of the blood royal, if thou darest not stand for ten shillingsø.
P. Hen. Well then, once in my days I'll be a madсар. .
Fal. Why, that's well said.
Fal. By the Lord, I'll be a traitor then, when thou art king
P. Hen. I care not.
stand for ten shillings.] Such was the value of the coin called a "royal," the word upon which Falstaff plays, when he says to the Prince, “nor thou cam’st not of the blood royal."
alone: I will lay him down such reasons for this adventure, that he shall go.
Fal. Well, God give thee the spirit of persuasion, and him 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 counte
Farewell: you shall find me in Eastcheap. P. Hen. Farewell, thou latter spring! Farewell, All-hallown summer!
[Erit FalstAFF. Poins. Now, my good sweet honey lord, ride with us to-morrow: 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 thém, 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 meeting, 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 'tis 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.
9 Farewell, thou latter spring ! Farewell, All-hallown summer !] The old copies read the for “ thou,” which Pope substituted. “ All-hallown summer means a summer on the first of November, which was All-hallows-day.
Falstaff, BARDOLPH, Peto, and Gadshill,] In all the old copies, Harrey and Rossill are put for Bardolph and Peto : perhaps these were the names of the actors of the parts, though we do not meet with them in any list of the company. It is possible that Harvey and Rossill were names by which Peto and Bardolph were called in the play as it originally stood, before Oldcastle was changed to Falstaff. At all events, the robbery was committed by Bardolph and Peto, and their names ought to be inserted in the text.
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 true-bred 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; what 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 рау
the debt I never promised,
- and, sirrah) This and other instances may be quoted to show that “ sirrah” was not applied merely to inferiors, or derogatorily.
– for the sonce,] A phrase of perpetual occurrence in the writers of the time ; but the word "nonce " is of disputed etymology. The meaning is, for the occasion, and Gifford (Ben Jonson, iii. 218) tells us that "for the nonce is simply for the once, the letter n having been inserted to prevent elision in pronouncing for the once. There is little doubt that he is right, though Tyrwhitt would derive it from nunc. Note on Cant. Tales, v. 381.
By how much better than my word I am,
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 tem
perate, 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
* The moody FRONTIER of a servant brow.] “ Frontier," observes Steevens, was anciently used for forehead.” So Stubbs, in his “ Anatomy of Abuses,”