Enter Prince and Poins
Come, shelter, shelter! I have removed Falstaff's
horse, and he frets like a gummed velvet.
Poins! Poins, and be hanged! Poins!
(coming forward) Peace, ye fat-kidneyed
rascal, what a brawling dost thou keep!
Where's Poins, Hal?
He is walked up to the top of the hill. I'll
go seek him.
He steps to one side
I am accursed to rob in that thief's company.
The rascal hath removed my horse and tied him I know
not where. If I travel but four foot by the square further
square (n.) 1
type of measuring instrument, especially for right angles
afoot, I shall break my wind. Well, I doubt not but to
die a fair death for all this, if I scape hanging for killing
that rogue. I have forsworn his company hourly any
time this two-and-twenty years, and yet I am bewitched
with the rogue's company. If the rascal have not given
me medicines to make me love him, I'll be hanged. It
could not be else. I have drunk medicines. Poins! Hal!
A plague upon you both! Bardolph! Peto! I'll starve ere
I'll rob a foot further – an 'twere not as good a deed as
drink to turn true man, and to leave these rogues, I am
the veriest varlet that ever chewed with a tooth. Eight
yards of uneven ground is threescore-and-ten miles
afoot with me, and the stony-hearted villains know it
well enough. A plague upon it when thieves cannot be
true one to another!
Whew! A plague upon you all. Give me my horse you
rogues, give me my horse and be hanged!
(coming forward) Peace, ye fat-guts, lie
down, lay thine ear close to the ground and list if thou
canst hear the tread of travellers.
Have you any levers to lift me up again, being
down? 'Sblood, I'll not bear my own flesh so far afoot
again for all the coin in thy father's exchequer. What a
plague mean ye to colt me thus?
Thou liest, thou art not colted, thou art
I prithee good Prince Hal, help me to my
horse, good king's son.
Out, ye rogue, shall I be your ostler?
Hang thyself in thine own heir-apparent
garters! If I be taken, I'll peach for this. An I have not
ballads made on you all, and sung to filthy tunes, let a
cup of sack be my poison. When a jest is so forward –
and afoot too – I hate it!
Enter Gadshill, Bardolph, and Peto
So I do, against my will.
O, 'tis our setter, I know his voice. Bardolph, what
Case ye, case ye, on with your vizards, there 's
money of the King's coming down the hill. 'Tis going to
the King's exchequer.
You lie, ye rogue, 'tis going to the King's
There's enough to make us all –
To be hanged.
Sirs, you four shall front them in the narrow
lane. Ned Poins and I will walk lower – if they scape
from your encounter, then they light on us.
How many be there of them?
Some eight or ten.
Zounds, will they not rob us?
What, a coward, Sir John Paunch?
Indeed, I am not John of Gaunt your grandfather,
but yet no coward, Hal.
Well, we leave that to the proof.
Sirrah Jack, thy horse stands behind the hedge.
When thou needest him, there thou shalt find him.
Farewell, and stand fast!
Now cannot I strike him, if I should be hanged.
(aside to Poins) Ned, where are our
Here, hard by, stand close.
Exeunt Prince and Poins
Now, my masters, happy man be his dole, say
I. Every man to his business.
Enter the Travellers
Come, neighbour, the boy shall lead
our horses down the hill. We'll walk afoot awhile and
ease our legs.
Jesus bless us!
Strike, down with them, cut the villains'
throats! Ah, whoreson caterpillars, bacon-fed knaves,
they hate us youth! Down with them, fleece them!
O, we are undone, both we and ours
Hang ye, gorbellied knaves, are ye undone?
No, ye fat chuffs, I would your store were here! On,
bacons, on! What, ye knaves, young men must live!
You are grandjurors, are ye? We'll jure ye, faith.
Here they rob them and bind them
Enter the Prince and Poins, disguised
The thieves have bound the true men.
Now, could thou and I rob the thieves, and go merrily to
London, it would be argument for a week, laughter for a
month, and a good jest for ever.
Stand close, I hear them coming.
Enter the thieves again
Come my masters, let us share, and then to
horse before day. An the Prince and Poins be not two
arrant cowards there's no equity stirring. There's no
more valour in that Poins than in a wild duck.
As they are sharing the Prince and Poins set upon
They all run away, and Falstaff after a blow or two
runs away too, leaving the booty behind them
Got with much ease. Now merrily to horse.
The thieves are all scattered and possessed with fear
So strongly that they dare not meet each other.
Each takes his fellow for an officer!
Away, good Ned! Falstaff sweats to death,
And lards the lean earth as he walks along.
Were it not for laughing I should pity him.
How the fat rogue roared!