Page images
PDF
EPUB

Dost thou think, I'll fear thee as I fear thy father? nay, an I do, I pray God, my girdle break!

[ocr errors]

P. Hen. O, if it should, how would thy guts fall about thy knees! But, sirrah, there's no room for faith, truth, nor honesty, in this bosom of thine; it is all filled up with guts, and midriff. Charge an honest woman with picking thy pocket! Why, thou whoreson, impudent, embossed rascal, if there were any thing in thy pocket but tavern-reckonings, memorandums of bawdy-houses, and one poor penny-worth of sugar-candy, to make thee longwinded; if thy pocket were enriched with any other injuries but these, I am a villain. And yet you will stand to it; you will not pocket up wrong: Art thou not ashamed?

Fal. Dost thou hear, Hal? Thou knowest, in the state of innocency, Adam fell; and what should poor Jack Falstaff do, in the days of villainy? Thou seest, I have more flesh than another man; and therefore more frailty.You confess then, you picked my pocket?

P. Hen. It appears so by the story.

Fal. Hostess, I forgive thee: Go, make ready breakfast; love thy husband, look to thy servants, cherish thy guests: thou shalt find me tractable to any honest reason: thou seest I am pacified.—Still? -Nay, pr'ythee, be gone. [Exit Hostess.] Now, Hal, to the news at court; for the robbery, lad,— How is that answered?

P. Hen. O, my sweet beef, I must still be good angel to thee :-The money is paid back again. Fal. O, I do not like that paying back, 'tis a double labour.

P. Hen. I am good friends with my father, and may do any thing.

Fal. Rob me the exchequer the first thing thou doest, and do it with unwashed hands too.

Bard. Do, my lord.

* Swoln, puffy.

P. Hen. I have procured thee, Jack, a charge of foot.

Fal. I would, it had been of horse. Where shall I find one that can steal well? O for a fine thief, of the age of two-and-twenty, or thereabouts! I am heinously unprovided. Well, God be thanked for these rebels, they offend none but the virtuous; I laud them, I praise them.

P. Hen. Bardolph-

Bard. My lord.

P. Hen. Go bear this letter to lord John of Lan

caster,

My brother John; this to my lord of Westmoreland.

Go, Poins, to horse, to horse; for thou, and I,
Have thirty miles to ride yet ere dinner-time.
Jack,

Meet me to-morrow i'the Temple hall,

At two o'clock i'the afternoon :

There shalt thou know thy charge; and there receive

Money, and order for their furniture.

The land is burning; Percy stands on high;
And either they, or we, must lower lie.

[Exeunt Prince, Poins, and Bardolph. Fal. Rare words! brave world!Hostess, my breakfast; come :

O, I could wish, this tavern were my drum. [Exit.

ACT IV.

SCENE I. The rebel camp near Shrewsbury.

Enter Hotspur, Worcester, and Douglas.

Hot. Well said, my noble Scot: If speaking truth, In this fine age, were not thought flattery, Such attribution should the Douglas* have,

*This expression is applied by way of pre-eminence to the head of the Douglas family.

As not a soldier of this season's stamp
Should go so general current through the world.
By heaven, I cannot flatter; I defy*

The tongues of soothers; but a braver place
In my heart's love, hath no man than yourself:
Nay, task me to the word; approve me, lord.
Doug. Thou art the king of honour :
No man so potent breathes upon the ground,
But I will beard† him.
Hot.

Do so, and 'tis well:

Enter a Messenger, with letters.

What letters hast thou there?—I can but thank you.
Mess. These letters come from your father,-
Hot. Letters from him! why comes he not him-

self?

Mess. He cannot come, my lord; he's grievous sick.

Hot. Zounds! how has he the leisure to be sick, In such a justling time? Who leads his power ‡ ? Under whose government come they along?

Mess. His letters bear his mind, not I, my lord. Wor. I pr'ythee, tell me, doth he keep his bed? Mess. He did, my lord, four days ere I set forth; And at the time of my departure thence,

He was much fear'd by his physicians.

Wor. I would, the state of time had first been whole,

Ere he by sickness had been visited;

His health was never better worth than now.
Hot. Sick now! droop now! this sickness doth
infect

The very life-blood of our enterprise ;
"Tis catching hither, even to our camp.
He writes me here,-that inward sickness-
And that his friends by deputation could not
So soon be drawn; nor did he think it meet,
To lay so dangerous and dear a trust

On any soul remov'd, but on his own.

* Disdain.

+ Meet him face to face.

Forces.

Yet doth he give us bold advertisement,-
That with our small conjunction, we should on
To see how fortune is dispos'd to us :

For, as he writes, there is no quailing* now;
Because the king is certainly possess❜dt
Of all our purposes. What say you to it?

-

Wor. Your father's sickness is a maim to us. Hot. A perilous gash, a very limb lopp'd off:And yet, in faith, 'tis not; his present want. Seems more than we shall find it:-Were it good, To set the exact wealth of all our states

All at one cast? to set so rich a main

On the nice hazard of one doubtful hour?
It were not good: for therein should we read
The very bottom and the soul of hope;
The very list, the very utmost bound
Of all our fortunes.

Doug.

'Faith, and so we should ;

Where § now remains a sweet reversion :
We may boldly spend upon the hope of what
Is to come in:

A comfort of retirement lives in this.

Hot. A rendezvous, a home to fly unto, If that the devil and mischance look big Upon the maidenhead of our affairs.

Wor. But yet, I would your father had been here,
The quality and hair || of our attempt
Brooks no division: It will be thought
By some, that know not why he is away,
That wisdom, loyalty, and mere dislike

Of our proceedings, kept the earl from hence;
And think, how such an apprehension,
May turn the tide of fearful faction,
And breed a kind of question in our cause:
For, well you know, we of the offering side
Must keep aloof from strict arbitrement;

And stop all sight-holes, every loop, from whence eye of reason may pry in upon us :

The

Line.

* Languishing.

§ Whereas.

+ Informed.

The complexion, the character.

This absence of your father's draws a curtain,
That shows the ignorant a kind of fear

Before not dreamt of.

Hot.

You strain too far.

I, rather, of his absence make this use ;-
It lends a lustre, and more great opinion,
A larger dare to our great enterprise,

Than if the earl were here: for men must think,
If we, without his help, can make a head
To push against the kingdom; with his help,
We shall o'erturn it topsy-turvy down.—
Yet all goes well, yet all our joints are whole.
Doug. As heart can think: there is not such a
word

Spoke of in Scotland, as this term of fear.

Enter Sir Richard Vernon.

Hot. My cousin Vernon! welcome, by my soul. Ver. Pray God, my news be worth a welcome, lord.

The earl of Westmoreland, seven thousand strong, Is marching hitherwards; with him, prince John. Hot. No harm: What more?

Ver.

And further, I have learn'd,The king himself in person is set forth, Or hitherwards intended speedily,

With strong and mighty preparation.

Hot. He shall be welcome too. Where is his son, The nimble-footed mad-cap prince of Wales, And his comrades, that daff'd* the world aside, And bid it pass?

Ver.

All furnish'd, all in arms,

All plum'd like estridges † that wing the wind;
Bated like eagles having lately bath'd ‡;
Glittering in golden coats, like images;
As full of spirit as the month of May,
And gorgeous as the sun at midsummer;
Wanton as youthful goats, wild as young bulls.

* Threw off.

+ Dressed with ostrich feathers.

Fresh as birds just washed.

« PreviousContinue »