Act II, Scene I
Enter a Carrier with a Lanterne in his hand.
Heigh-ho, an't be not foure by the day,
Ile be hang'd. Charles waine is ouer the new Chimney,
and yet our horse not packt. What Ostler?
I prethee Tom, beate Cuts Saddle, put a
few Flockes in the point: the poore Iade is wrung in the withers,
out of all cesse.
Enter another Carrier.
Pease and Beanes are as danke here as a
Dog, and this is the next way to giue poore Iades the Bottes:
This house is turned vpside downe since Robin the Ostler
Poore fellow neuer ioy'd since the price of
oats rose, it was the death of him.
I thinke this is the most villanous
house in al London rode for Fleas: I am stung like a
Like a Tench? There is ne're a
King in Christendome, could be better bit, then I haue beene
since the first Cocke.
Why, you will allow vs ne're a
Iourden, and then we leake in your Chimney: and your
Chamber-lye breeds Fleas like a Loach.
What Ostler, come away, and be
hangd: come away.
I haue a Gammon of Bacon, and two
razes of Ginger, to be deliuered as farre as Charing-crosse.
The Turkies in my Pannier
are quite starued. What Ostler? A plague on thee, hast
thou neuer an eye in thy head? Can'st not heare? And
t'were not as good a deed as drinke, to break the pate of
thee, I am a very Villaine. Come and be hang'd, hast no
faith in thee?
Good-morrow Carriers. What's a clocke?
I thinke it be two a clocke.
I prethee lend me thy Lanthorne to see my
Gelding in the stable.
Nay soft I pray ye, I know a trick worth
two of that.
I prethee lend me thine.
I, when, canst tell? Lend mee thy
Lanthorne (quoth-a) marry Ile see thee hang'd first.
Sirra Carrier: What time do you mean to come
Time enough to goe to bed with a
Candle, I warrant thee. Come neighbour Mugges, wee'll
call vp the Gentlemen, they will along with company, for
they haue great charge.
What ho, Chamberlaine?
At hand quoth Pick-purse.
That's euen as faire, as at hand quoth the
Chamberlaine: For thou variest no more from picking of
Purses, then giuing direction, doth from labouring. Thou
lay'st the plot, how.
Good morrow Master Gads-Hill, it holds
currant that I told you yesternight. There's a Franklin in
the wilde of Kent, hath brought three hundred Markes
with him in Gold: I heard him tell it to one of his
company last night at Supper; a kinde of Auditor, one that
hath abundance of charge too (God knowes what) they
are vp already, and call for Egges and Butter. They will
Sirra, if they meete not with S. Nicholas
Clarks, Ile giue thee this necke.
No, Ile none of it: I prythee keep that
for the Hangman, for I know thou worshipst S.
Nicholas as truly as a man of falshood may.
What talkest thou to me of the Hangman? If I
hang, Ile make a fat payre of Gallowes. For, if I hang, old
Sir Iohn hangs with mee, and thou know'st hee's no
Starueling. Tut, there are other Troians that yu
dream'st not of, the which (for sport sake) are content to
doe the Profession some grace; that would (if matters
should bee look'd into) for their owne Credit sake, make all
Whole. I am ioyned with no Foot-land-Rakers, No Long-staffe
six-penny strikers, none of these mad Mustachio-
purple-hu'd-Maltwormes, but with Nobility, and Tranquilitie;
Bourgomasters, and great Oneyers, such as can
holde in, such as will strike sooner then speake; and speake
sooner then drinke, and drinke sooner then pray: and yet
I lye, for they pray continually vnto their Saint the
Common-wealth; or rather, not to pray to her, but prey on
her: for they ride vp & downe on her, and make hir
What, the Commonwealth their Bootes?
Will she hold out water in foule way?
She will, she will; Iustice hath liquor'd her.
We steale as in a Castle, cocksure: we haue the receit
of Fern-seede, we walke inuisible.
Nay, I thinke rather, you are more
beholding to the Night, then to the Fernseed, for your
Giue me thy hand. Thou shalt haue a share in
our purpose, / As I am a true man.
Nay, rather let mee haue it, as you are a
Goe too: Homo is a common name to all men.
Bid the Ostler bring the Gelding out of the stable.
Farewell, ye muddy Knaue.
Act II, Scene II
Enter Prince, Poynes, and Peto.
Come shelter, shelter, I haue remoued Falstafs
Horse, and he frets like a gum'd Veluet.
Poines, Poines, and be hang'd Poines.
Peace ye fat-kidney'd
Rascall, what a brawling dost thou keepe.
What Poines. Hal?
He is walk'd vp to the top of the hill, Ile
go seek him.
I am accurst to rob in that Theefe company:
that Rascall hath remoued my Horse, and tied him I know
not where. If I trauell but foure foot by the squire further
a foote, I shall breake my winde. Well, I doubt not but to
dye a faire death for all this, if I scape hanging for killing
that Rogue, I haue forsworne his company hourely any
time this two and twenty yeare, & yet I am bewitcht
with the Rogues company. If the Rascall haue not giuen
me medicines to make me loue him, Ile be hang'd; it
could not be else: I haue drunke Medicines. Poines, Hal,
a Plague vpon you both. Bardolph, Peto: Ile starue ere
I rob a foote further. And 'twere not as good a deede as
to drinke, to turne True-man, and to leaue these Rogues, I am
the veriest Varlet that euer chewed with a Tooth. Eight
yards of vneuen ground, is threescore & ten miles
afoot with me: and the stony-hearted Villaines knowe it
well enough. A plague vpon't, when Theeues cannot be
true one to another.
Whew: a plague light vpon you all. Giue my Horse you
Rogues: giue me my Horse, and be hang'd.
Peace ye fat guttes, lye
downe, lay thine eare close to the ground, and list if thou
can heare the tread of Trauellers.
Haue you any Leauers to lift me vp again being
downe? Ile not beare mine owne flesh so far afoot
again, for all the coine in thy Fathers Exchequer. What a
plague meane ye to colt me thus?
Thou ly'st, thou art not colted, thou art
I prethee good Prince Hal, help me to my
horse, good Kings sonne.
Out you Rogue, shall I be your Ostler?
Go hang thy selfe in thine owne heire-apparant-
Garters: If I be tane, Ile peach for this: and I haue not
Ballads made on all, and sung to filthy tunes, let a
Cup of Sacke be my poyson: when a iest is so forward,
& a foote too, I hate it.
So I do against my will.
O 'tis our Setter, I know his voyce: Bardolfe, what
Case ye, case ye; on with your Vizards, there's
mony of the Kings comming downe the hill, 'tis going to
the Kings Exchequer.
You lie you rogue, 'tis going to the Kings
There's enough to make vs all.
To be hang'd.
You foure shall front them in the narrow
Lane: Ned and I, will walke lower; if they scape
from your encounter, then they light on vs.
But how many be of them?
Some eight or ten.
Will they not rob vs?
What, a Coward Sir Iohn Paunch?
Indeed I am not Iohn of Gaunt your Grandfather;
but yet no Coward, Hal.
Wee'l leaue that to the proofe.
Sirra Iacke, thy horse stands behinde the hedg,
when thou need'st him, there thou shalt finde him.
Farewell, and stand fast.
Now cannot I strike him, if I should be hang'd.
Ned, where are our
Heere hard by: Stand close.
Now my Masters, happy man be his dole, say
I: euery man to his businesse.
Come Neighbor: the boy shall leade
our Horses downe the hill: Wee'l walke a-foot a while, and
ease our Legges.
Iesu blesse vs.
Strike down with them, cut the villains
throats; a whorson Caterpillars: Bacon-fed Knaues,
they hate vs youth; downe with them, fleece them.
O, we are vndone, both we and ours
Hang ye gorbellied knaues, are you vndone?
No ye Fat Chuffes, I would your store were heere. On
Bacons, on, what ye knaues? Yong men must liue,
you are Grand Iurers, are ye? Wee'l iure ye ifaith.
Heere they rob them, and binde them.
Enter the Prince and Poines.
The Theeues haue bound the True-men:
Now could thou and I rob the Theeues, and go merily to
London, it would be argument for a Weeke, Laughter for a
Moneth, and a good iest for euer.
Stand close, I heare them comming.
Enter Theeues againe.
Come my Masters, let vs share, and then to
horsse before day: and the Prince and Poynes bee not two
arrand Cowards, there's no equity stirring. There's no
moe valour in that Poynes, than in a wilde Ducke.
As they are sharing, the Prince and Poynes set vpon them.
They all run away,
leauing the booty behind them.
Got with much ease. Now merrily to Horse:
The Theeues are scattred, and possest with fear
so strongly, that they dare not meet each other:
each takes his fellow for an Officer.
Away good Ned, Falstaffe sweates to death,
and Lards the leane earth as he walkes along:
wer't not for laughing, I should pitty him.
How the Rogue roar'd.
Act II, Scene III
Enter Hotspurre solus, reading a Letter.
But for mine owne part, my Lord. I could bee well
contented to be there, in respect of the loue I beare your
He could be contented: Why is he not then? in respect
of the loue he beares our house. He shewes in this, he
loues his owne Barne better then he loues our house. Let
me see some more.
The purpose you vndertake is dangerous.
Why that's certaine: 'Tis dangerous to take a Colde, to
sleepe, to drinke: but I tell you (my Lord foole) out of this
Nettle, Danger; we plucke this Flower, Safety.
The purpose you vndertake is dangerous, the Friends you
haue named vncertaine, the Time it selfe vnsorted, and your
whole Plot too light, for the counterpoize of so great an
Say you so, say you so: I say vnto you againe, you are a
shallow cowardly Hinde, and you Lye. What a lacke-braine is
this? I protest, our plot is as good a plot as euer was
laid; our Friend true and constant: A good Plotte, good
Friends, and full of expectation: An excellent plot, very
good Friends. What a Frosty-spirited rogue is this? Why,
my Lord of Yorke commends the plot, and the generall
course of the action. By this hand, if I were now by this
Rascall, I could braine him with his Ladies Fan. Is there not
my Father, my Vncle, and my Selfe, Lord Edmund
Mortimer, my Lord of Yorke, and Owen Glendour?Is
there not besides, the Dowglas? Haue I not all their
letters, to meete me in Armes by the ninth of the next
Moneth? and are they not some of them set forward
already? What a Pagan Rascall is this? An Infidell. Ha,
you shall see now in very sincerity of Feare and Cold heart,
will he to the King, and lay open all our proceedings.
O, I could diuide my selfe, and go to buffets, for mouing
such a dish of skim'd Milk with so honourable an Action.
Hang him, let him tell the King we are prepared. I will
set forwards to night.
Enter his Lady.
How now Kate, I must leaue you within these two
O my good Lord, why are you thus alone?
For what offence haue I this fortnight bin
A banish'd woman from my Harries bed?
Tell me (sweet Lord) what is't that takes from thee
Thy stomacke, pleasure, and thy golden sleepe?
Why dost thou bend thine eyes vpon the earth?
And start so often when thou sitt'st alone?
Why hast thou lost the fresh blood in thy cheekes?
And giuen my Treasures and my rights of thee,
To thicke-ey'd musing, and curst melancholly?
In my faint-slumbers, I by thee haue watcht,
And heard thee murmore tales of Iron Warres:
Speake tearmes of manage to thy bounding Steed,
Cry courage to the field. And thou hast talk'd
Of Sallies, and Retires; Trenches, Tents,
Of Palizadoes, Frontiers, Parapets,
Of Basiliskes, of Canon, Culuerin,
Of Prisoners ransome, and of Souldiers slaine,
And all the current of a headdy fight.
Thy spirit within thee hath beene so at Warre,
And thus hath so bestirr'd thee in thy sleepe,
That beds of sweate hath stood vpon thy Brow,
Like bubbles in a late-disturbed Streame;
And in thy face strange motions haue appear'd,
Such as we see when men restraine their breath
On some great sodaine hast. O what portents are these?
Some heauie businesse hath my Lord in hand,
And I must know it: else he loues me not.
Is Gilliams with the Packet gone?
He is my Lord, an houre agone.
Hath Butler brought those horses frõ the
One horse, my Lord, he brought euen now.
What Horse? A Roane, a crop eare, is it not.
It is my Lord.
That Roane shall be my Throne.
Well, I will backe him straight. Esperance,
bid Butler lead him forth into the Parke.
But heare you, my lord.
What say'st thou my Lady?
What is it carries you away?
Why, my horse (my Loue) my horse.
Out you mad-headed Ape,
a Weazell hath not such a deale of Spleene,
as you are tost with. In sooth
Ile know your businesse Harry, that I will.
I feare my Brother Mortimer doth stirre
about his Title, and hath sent for you
to line his enterprize. But if you go---
So farre a foot, I shall be weary, Loue.
Come, come, you Paraquito, answer me
directly vnto this question, that I shall aske.
Indeede Ile breake thy little finger Harry,
if thou wilt not tel me true.
away you trifler: Loue, I loue thee not,
I care not for thee Kate: this is no world
To play with Mammets, and to tilt with lips.
We must haue bloodie Noses, and crack'd Crownes,
And passe them currant too. Gods me, my horse.
What say'st thou Kate? what wold'st thou haue with me?
Do ye not loue me? Do ye not indeed?
Well, do not then. For since you loue me not,
I will not loue my selfe. Do you not loue me?
Nay, tell me if thou speak'st in iest, or no.
Come, wilt thou see me ride?
And when I am a horsebacke, I will sweare
I loue thee infinitely. But hearke you Kate,
I must not haue you henceforth, question me,
Whether I go: nor reason whereabout.
Whether I must, I must: and to conclude,
This Euening must I leaue thee, gentle Kate.
I know you wise, but yet no further wise
Then Harry Percies wife. Constant you are,
But yet a woman: and for secrecie,
No Lady closer. For I will beleeue
Thou wilt not vtter what thou do'st not know,
And so farre wilt I trust thee, gentle Kate.
How so farre?
Not an inch further. But harke you Kate,
Whither I go, thither shall you go too:
To day will I set forth, to morrow you.
Will this content you Kate?
It must of force.
Act II, Scene IV
Enter Prince and Poines.
Ned, prethee come out of that fat roome, &
lend me thy hand to laugh a little.
Where hast bene Hall?
With three or foure Logger-heads, amongst
3. or fourescore Hogsheads. I haue sounded the verie
base string of humility. Sirra, I am sworn brother to a
leash of Drawers, and can call them by their
names, as Tom, Dicke, and Francis. They take italready
vpon their confidence, that though I be but Prince of
Wales, yet I am the King of Curtesie: telling me flatly I
am no proud Iack like Falstaffe, but a Corinthian, a lad of
mettle, a good boy, and
when I am King of England, I shall command al the
good Laddes in East-cheape. They call drinking deepe,
dying Scarlet; and when you breath in your watering,
then they cry hem, and bid you play it off. To conclude,
I am so good a proficient in one quarter of an houre, that I
can drinke with any Tinker in his owne Language during my
life. I tell thee Ned, thou hast lost much honor, that
thou wer't not with me in this action: but sweet Ned,
to sweeten which name of Ned, I giue thee this peniworth
of Sugar, clapt euen now into my hand by an
vnder Skinker, one that neuer spake other English in his
life, then Eight shillings and six pence, and, You are
welcome: with this shril addition, Anon, Anon sir,
Score a Pint of Bastard in the Halfe Moone, or so. But
Ned, to driue away time till Falstaffe come, I
prythee doe thou stand in some by-roome, while I question
my puny Drawer, to what end hee gaue me the Sugar, and
do neuer leaue calling Francis, that his Tale to me
may be nothing but, Anon: step aside, and Ile shew
thee a President.
Thou art perfect.
Anon, anon sir; looke downe into the Pomgar-net,
Come hither Francis.
How long hast thou to serue, Francis?
Forsooth fiue yeares, and as much as to---
Anon, anon sir.
Fiue yeares: Berlady a long Lease for the
clinking of Pewter. But Francis, darest thou be so
valiant, as to play the coward with thy Indenture, &
show it a faire paire of heeles, and run from it?
O Lord sir, Ile be sworne vpon all the Books in
England, I could finde in my heart.
Anon, anon sir.
How old art thou, Francis?
Let me see, about Michaelmas next I shalbe---
Anon sir, pray you stay a little, my Lord.
Nay but harke you Francis, for the Sugar
thou gauest me, 'twas a penyworth, was't not?
O Lord sir, I would it had bene two.
I will giue thee for it a thousand pound:
Aske me when thou wilt, and thou shalt haue it.
Anon Francis? No Francis, but to morrow
Francis: or Francis, on thursday: or indeed Francis
when thou wilt. But Francis.
Wilt thou rob this Leatherne Ierkin, Christall button,
Not-pated, Agat ring, Puke stocking, Caddice garter,
Smooth tongue, Spanish pouch.
O Lord sir, who do you meane?
Why then your browne Bastard is your onely
drinke: for looke you Francis, your white Canuas doublet
will sulley. In Barbary sir, it cannot come to so much.
Away you Rogue, dost thou heare them
Heere they both call him, the Drawer stands amazed,
not knowing which way to go.
What, stand'st thou still, and hear'st such a
calling? Looke to the Guests within:
My Lord, olde Sir Iohn with halfe a dozen more, are at the
doore: shall I let them in?
Let them alone awhile, and then open the
Anon, anon sir.
Sirra, Falstaffe and the rest of the Theeues,
are at the doore, shall we be merry?
As merrie as Crickets my Lad. But harke yee, What
cunning match haue you made this iest of the
Drawer? Come, what's the issue?
I am now of all humors, that haue shewed
them-selues humors, since the old dayes of goodman
Adam, to the pupill age of this present twelue a clock at
What's a clocke Francis?
Anon, anon sir.
That euer this Fellow should haue fewer
words then a Parret, and yet the sonne of a Woman. His
industry is vp-staires and down-staires, his eloquence the
parcell of a reckoning. I am not yet of Percies mind, the
Hotspurre of the North, he that killes me some sixe or seauen
dozen of Scots at a Breakfast, washes his hands, and saies
to his wife; Fie vpon this quiet life, I want worke. O
my sweet Harry sayes she, how many hast thou kill'd
to day? Giue my Roane horse a drench (sayes hee) and
answeres, some fourteene, an houre after: a trifle, a
trifle. I prethee call in Falstaffe, Ile play Percy,and that
damn'd Brawne shall play Dame Mortimer his wife.
Riuo, sayes the drunkard. Call in Ribs, call in Tallow.
Welcome Iacke, where hast thou beene?
A plague of all Cowards I say, and a Vengeance
too, marry and Amen. Giue me a cup of Sacke Boy. Ere I
leade this life long, Ile sowe nether stockes, and mend
them too. A plague of all cowards. Giue
me a Cup of Sacke, Rogue. Is there no Vertue extant?
Didst thou neuer see Titan kisse a dish of
Butter, pittifull hearted Titan that melted at the sweete
Tale of the Sunne? If thou didst, then behold that
You Rogue, heere's Lime in this Sacke too: there
is nothing but Roguery to be found in Villanous man; yet
a Coward is worse then a Cup of Sack with lime. A
villanous Coward, go thy wayes old Iacke, die when thou
wilt, if manhood, good manhood be not forgot vpon
the face of the earth, then am I a shotten Herring: there
liues not three good men vnhang'd in England, & one
of them is fat, and growes old, God helpe the while, a bad
world I say. I would I were a Weauer, I could sing
all manner of songs. A plague of all Cowards, I say still.
How now Woolsacke, what mutter you?
A Kings Sonne? If I do not beate thee out of thy
Kingdome with a dagger of Lath, and driue all thy Subiects
afore thee like a flocke of Wilde-geese, Ile neuer weare haire
on my face more. You Prince of Wales?
Why you horson round man? what's the
Are you not a Coward? Answer me to that,
and Poines there?
Ye fat paunch, and yee call mee Coward,
Ile stab thee.
I call thee Coward? Ile see thee damn'd ere I
call the Coward: but I would giue a thousand pound I
could run as fast as thou canst. You are straight enough
in the shoulders, you care not who sees your backe: Call
you that backing of your friends? a plague vpon such
backing: giue me them that will face me. Giue me a Cup
of Sack, I am a Rogue if I drunke to day.
O Villaine, thy Lippes are scarce wip'd, since
thou drunk'st last.
All's one for that. He drinkes. A plague of all
Cowards still, say I.
What's the matter?
What's the matter? here be foure of vs,
haue ta'ne a thousand pound this Morning.
Where is it, Iack? where is it?
Where is it? taken from vs, it is: a hundred
vpon poore foure of vs.
What, a hundred, man?
I am a Rogue, if I were not at halfe Sword with a
dozen of them two houres together. I haue scaped by
miracle. I am eight times thrust through the Doublet,
foure through the Hose, my Buckler cut through and
through, my Sword hackt like a Hand-saw, ecce
signum. I neuer dealt better since I was a man: all would
not doe. A plague of all Cowards: let them speake; if they
speake more or lesse then truth, they are villaines, and the
sonnes of darknesse.
Speake sirs, how was it?
We foure set vpon some dozen.
Sixteene, at least, my Lord.
And bound them.
No, no, they were not bound.
You Rogue, they were bound, euery man of
them, or I am a Iew else, an Ebrew Iew.
As we were sharing, some sixe or seuen fresh
men set vpon vs.
And vnbound the rest, and then come in the
What, fought yee with them all?
All? I know not what yee call all: but if I
fought not with fiftie of them, I am a bunch of Radish: if
there were not two or three and fiftie vpon poore olde
Iack, then am I no two-legg'd Creature.
Pray Heauen, you haue not murthered some of
Nay, that's past praying for, I haue pepper'd
two of them: Two I am sure I haue payed, two Rogues in
Buckrom Sutes. I tell thee what, Hal, if I tell thee a Lye,
spit in my face, call me Horse: thou knowest my olde
word: here I lay, and thus I bore my point; foure Rogues
in Buckrom let driue at me.
What, foure? thou sayd'st but two, euen now.
Foure Hal, I told thee foure.
I, I, he said foure.
These foure came all a-front, and mainely thrust
at me; I made no more adoe, but tooke all their seuen
points in my Targuet, thus.
Seuen? why there were but foure, euen
I, foure, in Buckrom Sutes.
Seuen, by these Hilts, or I am a Villaine else.
Prethee let him alone, we shall haue more
Doest thou heare me, Hal?
I, and marke thee too, Iack.
Doe so, for it is worth the listning too: these
nine in Buckrom, that I told thee of.
So, two more alreadie.
Their Points being broken.
Downe fell his Hose.
Began to giue me ground: but I followed me
close, came in foot and hand; and with a thought,
seuen of the eleuen I pay'd.
O monstrous! eleuen Buckrom men growne
out of two?
But as the Deuill would haue it, three
mis-be-gotten Knaues, in Kendall Greene, came at my Back, and
let driue at me; for it was so darke, Hal, that thou could'st
not see thy Hand.
These Lyes are like the Father that begets
them, grosse as a Mountaine, open, palpable. Why thou
Clay-brayn'd Guts, thou Knotty-pated Foole, thou Horson
obscene greasie Tallow Catch.
What, art thou mad? art thou mad? is not the
truth, the truth?
Why, how could'st thou know these men in
Kendall Greene, when it was so darke, thou could'st not see
thy Hand? Come, tell vs your reason: what say'st thou
Come, your reason Iack, your reason.
What, vpon compulsion? No: were I
at the Strappado, or all the Racks in the World, I would
not tell you on compulsion. Giue you a reason on
compulsion? If Reasons were as plentie as Black-berries, I
would giue no man a Reason vpon compulsion, I.
Ile be no longer guiltie of this sinne. This
sanguine Coward, this Bed-presser, this Hors-back-breaker,
this huge Hill of Flesh.
Away you Starueling, you Elfe-skin, you dried
Neats tongue, Bulles-pissell, you stocke-fish: O for
breth to vtter. What is like thee? You Tailors yard, you
sheath you Bow-case, you vile standing tucke.
Well, breath a-while, and then to't againe:
and when thou hasttyr'd thy selfe in base comparisons,
heare me speake but thus.
We two, saw you foure set on foure and bound
them, and were Masters of their Wealth: mark now how a
plaine Tale shall put you downe. Then did we two, set on
you foure, and with a word, outfac'd you from your
prize, and haue it: yea, and can shew it you in the
House. And Falstaffe, you caried your Guts away as
nimbly, with as quicke dexteritie, and roared for mercy,
and still ranne and roar'd, as euer I heard Bull-Calfe. What
a Slaue art thou, to hacke thy sword as thou hast done, and
then say it was in fight. What trick? what deuice? what
starting hole canst thou now find out, to hide thee from
this open and apparant shame?
Come, let's heare Iacke: What tricke hast thou now?
I knew ye as well as he that made
ye. Why heare ye my Masters, was it for me to kill the
Heire apparant? Should I turne vpon the true Prince?
Why, thou knowest I am as valiant as Hercules: but
beware Instinct, the Lion will not touch the true Prince:
Instinct is a great matter. I was a Coward on
Instinct: I shall thinke the better of my selfe, and thee,
during my life: I, for a valiant Lion, and thou for a true
Prince. But Lads, I am glad you haue the
Mony. Hostesse, clap to the doores: watch to night, pray
to morrow. Gallants, Lads, Boyes, Harts of Gold, all the
good Titles of Fellowship come to you. What, shall we be
merry? shall we haue a Play extempory.
Content, and the argument shall be, thy
A, no more of that Hall, and thou louest me.
My Lord, the Prince?
How now my Lady the Hostesse, what
say'st thou to me?
Marry, my Lord, there is a Noble man of the Court
at doore would speake with you: hee sayes, hee comes from
Giue him as much as will make him a Royall
man, and send him backe againe to my Mother.
What manner of man is hee?
An old man.
What doth Grauitie out of his Bed at Midnight?
Shall I giue him his answere?
Prethee doe Iacke.
'Faith, and Ile send him packing.
Now Sirs: you fought faire; so did
you Peto, so did you Bardol: you are Lyons too, you
ranne away vpon instinct: you will not touch the true
Prince; no, fie.
'Faith, I ranne when I saw others runne.
Tell mee now in earnest, how came
Falstaffes Sword so hackt?
Why, he hackt it with his Dagger, and said, hee
would sweare truth out of England, but hee would make
you beleeue it was done in fight, and perswaded vs to doe
Yea, and to tickle our Noses with Spear-grasse,
to make them bleed, and then to beslubber our garments
with it, and sweare it was the blood of true men. I did
that I did not this seuen yeeres before, I blusht to heare
his monstrous deuices.
O Villaine, thou stolest a Cup of Sacke eighteene
yeeres agoe, and wert taken with the manner, and euer
since thou hast blusht extempore: thou hadst fire and
sword on thy side, and yet thou ranst away; what
instinct hadst thou for it?
My Lord, doe you see these Meteors? doe you
behold these Exhalations?
What thinke you they portend?
Hot Liuers, and cold Purses.
Choler, my Lord, if rightly taken.
No, if rightly taken, Halter.
Heere comes leane Iacke, heere comes bare-bone. How now
my sweet Creature of Bombast, how long is't agoe, Iacke,
since thou saw'st thine owne Knee?
My owne Knee? When I was about thy yeeres
(Hal) I was not an Eagles Talent in the Waste, I could haue
crept into any Aldermans Thumbe-Ring: a plague of
sighing and griefe, it blowes a man vp like a Bladder.
There's villanous Newes abroad; heere was Sir Iohn
Braby from your Father; you must goe to the Court in the
Morning. The same mad fellow of the North, Percy;
and hee of Wales, that gaue Amamon the Bastinado, and
made Lucifer Cuckold, and swore the Deuill his true
Liege-man vpon the Crosse of a Welch-hooke; what a
plague call you him?
Owen, Owen; the same, and his Sonne in Law
Mortimer, and old Northumberland, and the sprightly
Scot of Scots, Dowglas, that runnes a Horse-backe vp a Hill
Hee that rides at high speede, and with a
Pistoll kills a Sparrow flying.
You haue hit it.
So did he neuer the Sparrow.
Well, that Rascall hath good mettall in him, hee
will not runne.
Why, what a Rascall art thou then, to prayse
him so for running?
A Horse-backe (ye Cuckoe) but a foot hee will not
budge a foot.
Yes Iacke, vpon instinct.
I grant ye, vpon instinct: Well, hee is there too,
and one Mordake, and a thousand blew-Cappes more.
Worcester is stolne away by Night: thy Fathers Beard is
turn'd white with the Newes; you may buy Land now as
cheape as stinking Mackrell.
Then 'tis like, if there come a hot Sunne,
and this ciuill buffetting hold, wee shall buy Maiden-heads
as they buy Hob-nayles, by the Hundreds.
By the Masse Lad, thou say'st true, it is like wee
shall haue good trading that way. But tell me Hal, art
not thou horrible afear'd? thou being Heire apparant,
could the World picke thee out three such Enemyes againe,
as that Fiend Dowglas, that Spirit Percy, and that Deuill
Glendower? Art not thou horrible afraid? Doth not thy
blood thrill at it?
Not a whit: I lacke some of thy
Well, thou wilt be horrible chidde to morrow,
when thou commest to thy Father: if thou doe loue me,
practise an answere.
Doe thou stand for my Father, and examine
mee vpon the particulars of my Life.
Shall I? content: This Chayre shall bee my State,
this Dagger my Scepter, and this Cushion my Crowne.
Thy State is taken for a Ioyn'd-Stoole, thy
Golden Scepter for a Leaden Dagger, and thy precious rich
Crowne, for a pittifull bald Crowne.
Well, and the fire of Grace be not quite out of
thee now shalt thou be moued. Giue me a Cup of Sacke to
make mine eyes looke redde, that it may be thought I haue
wept, for I must speake in passion, and I will doe it in
King Cambyses vaine.
Well, heere is my Legge.
And heere is my speech: stand aside Nobilitie.
This is excellent sport, yfaith.
Weepe not, sweet Queene, for trickling teares are vaine.
O the Father, how hee holdes his countenance?
For Gods sake Lords, conuey my trustfull Queen,
For teares doe stop the floud-gates of her eyes.
O rare, he doth it as like one of these harlotry
Players, as euer I see.
Peace good Pint-pot, peace good
Harry, I doe not onely maruell where thou spendest thy time;
but also, how thou art accompanied: For though the Camomile,
the more it is troden, the faster it growes; yet Youth,
the more it is wasted, the sooner it weares. Thou art my
Sonne: I haue partly thy Mothers Word, partly my Opinion;
but chiefely, a villanous tricke of thine Eye, and a foolish hanging
of thy nether Lippe, that doth warrant me. If then thou be
Sonne to mee, heere lyeth the point: why, being Sonne to me, art
thou so poynted at? Shall the blessed Sonne of Heauen proue a
Micher, and eate Black-berryes? a question not to bee askt.
Shall the Sonne of England proue a Theefe, and take Purses? a
question to be askt. There is a thing, Harry, which thou
hast often heard of, and it is knowne to many in our Land, by
the Name of Pitch: this Pitch (as ancient Writers doe report)
doth defile; so doth the companie thou keepest: for Harry,
now I doe not speake to thee in Drinke, but in Teares; not in
Pleasure, but in Passion; not in Words onely, but in Woes also:
and yet there is a vertuous man, whom I haue often noted in
thy companie, but I know not his Name.
What manner of man, and it like your Maiestie?
A goodly portly man yfaith, and a corpulent, of a chearefull
Looke, a pleasing Eye, and a most noble Carriage, and as I
thinke, his age some fiftie, or (byrlady) inclining to threescore;
and now I remember mee, his Name is Falstaffe: if that man
should be lewdly giuen, hee deceiues mee; for Harry, I see
Vertue in his Lookes. If then the Tree may be knowne by the
Fruit, as the Fruit by the Tree, then peremptorily I speake it,
there is Vertue in that Falstaffe: him keepe with, the rest
banish. And tell mee now, thou naughtie Varlet, tell mee, where
hast thou beene this moneth?
Do'st thou speake like a King? doe thou stand
for mee, and Ile play my Father.
Depose me: if thou do'st it halfe so grauely, so
maiestically, both in word and matter, hang me vp by the
heeles for a Rabbet-sucker, or a Poulters Hare.
Well, heere I am set.
And heere I stand: iudge my Masters.
Now Harry, whence come you?
My Noble Lord, from East-cheape.
The complaints I heare of thee, are grieuous.
Yfaith, my Lord, they are false:
Nay, Ile tickle ye for a young Prince.
Swearest thou, vngracious Boy? henceforth ne're looke on me:
thou art violently carryed away from Grace: there is a Deuill
haunts thee, in the likenesse of a fat old Man; a Tunne of Man is
thy Companion: Why do'st thou conuerse with that Trunke of
Humors, that Boulting-Hutch of Beastlinesse, that swolne
Parcell of Dropsies, that huge Bombard of Sacke, that stuft
Cloake-bagge of Guts, that rosted Manning Tree Oxe with the
Pudding in his Belly, that reuerend Vice, that grey iniquitie,
that Father Ruffian, that Vanitie in yeeres? wherein is he
good, but to taste Sacke, and drinke it? wherein neat and
cleanly, but to carue a Capon, and eat it? wherein Cunning,
but in Craft? wherein Craftie, but in Villanie? wherein
Villanous, but in all things? wherein worthy, but in nothing?
I would your Grace would take me with you: whom meanes
That villanous abhominable mis-leader of Youth, Falstaffe,
that old white-bearded Sathan.
My Lord, the man I know.
I know thou do'st.
But to say, I know more harme in him then in my selfe, were to
say more then I know. That hee is olde (the more the pittie) his
white hayres doe witnesse it: but that hee is (sauing your reuerence)
a Whore-master, that I vtterly deny. If Sacke and Sugar
bee a fault, Heauen helpe the Wicked: if to be olde and merry, be a
sinne, then many an olde Hoste that I know, is damn'd: if to be
fat, be to be hated, then Pharaohs leane Kine are to be loued.
No, my good Lord, banish Peto, banish Bardolph, banish
Poines: but for sweete Iacke Falstaffe, kinde Iacke Falstaffe, true
Iacke Falstaffe, valiant Iacke Falstaffe, and therefore more
valiant, being as hee is olde Iack Falstaffe, banish not him thy
Harryes companie, banish not him thy Harryes companie;
banish plumpe Iacke, and banish all the World.
I doe, I will.
Enter Bardolph running.
O, my Lord, my Lord, the Sherife, with a most
monstrous Watch, is at the doore.
Out you Rogue, play out the Play: I haue much
to say in the behalfe of that Falstaffe.
Enter the Hostesse.
O, my Lord, my Lord.
Heigh, heigh, the Deuill rides vpon a Fiddle-sticke:
what's the matter?
The Sherife and all the Watch are at the doore:
they are come to search the House, shall I let them in?
Do'st thou heare Hal, neuer call a true peece of
Gold a Counterfeit: thou art essentially made, without
And thou a naturall Coward, without
I deny your Maior: if you will deny the Sherife,
so: if not, let him enter. If I become not a Cart as well as
another man, a plague on my bringing vp: I hope I shall
as soone be strangled with a Halter, as another.
Goe hide thee behinde the Arras, the rest
walke vp aboue. Now my Masters, for a true Face and
Both which I haue had: but their date is out,
and therefore Ile hide me.
Call in the Sherife.
Enter Sherife and the Carrier.
Now Master Sherife, what is your will with mee?
First pardon me, my Lord. A Hue and Cry
hath followed certaine men vnto this house.
One of them is well knowne, my gracious Lord,
a grosse fat man.
As fat as Butter.
The man, I doe assure you, is not heere,
For I my selfe at this time haue imploy'd him:
And Sherife, I will engage my word to thee,
That I will by to morrow Dinner time,
Send him to answere thee, or any man,
For any thing he shall be charg'd withall:
And so let me entreat you, leaue the house.
I will, my Lord: there are two Gentlemen
Haue in this Robberie lost three hundred Markes.
It may be so: if he haue robb'd these men,
He shall be answerable: and so farewell.
Good Night, my Noble Lord.
I thinke it is good Morrow, is it not?
Indeede, my Lord, I thinke it be two a Clocke.
This oyly Rascall is knowne as well as Poules:
goe call him forth.
Falstaffe? fast asleepe behinde the Arras, and snorting
like a Horse.
Harke, how hard he fetches breath:
search his Pockets.
He searcheth his Pockets, and findeth certaine Papers.
What hast thou found?
Nothing but Papers, my Lord.
Let's see, what be they? reade them.
Item, a Capon. ii.s.ii.d.
Item, Sawce iiii.d.
Item, Sacke, two Gallons. v.s.viii.d.
Item, Anchoues and Sacke after Supper. ii.s.vi.d.
Item, Bread. ob.
O monstrous, but one halfe penny-worth of
Bread to this intollerable deale of Sacke? What there is else,
keepe close, wee'le reade it at more aduantage: there let him
sleepe till day. Ile to the Court in the Morning: Wee must
all to the Warres, and thy place shall be honorable. Ile
procure this fat Rogue a Charge of Foot, and I know his
death will be a Match of Twelue-score. The Money shall
be pay'd backe againe with aduantage. Be with me betimes
in the Morning: and so good morrow Peto.
Good morrow, good my Lord.
Enter a Carrier with a lantern in his hand
Heigh-ho! An it be not four by the day
I'll be hanged. Charles's Wain is over the new chimney,
and yet our horse not packed. What, Ostler!
(within) Anon, anon.
I prithee, Tom, beat Cut's saddle, put a
few flocks in the point; poor jade is wrung in the withers
out of all cess.
Enter another Carrier
Peas and beans are as dank here as a
dog, and that is the next way to give poor jades the bots.
This house is turned upside down since Robin Ostler
Poor fellow never joyed since the price of
oats rose, it was the death of him.
I think this be the most villainous
house in all London road for fleas, I am stung like a
Like a tench! By the mass, there is ne'er
a king Christian could be better bit than I have been
since the first cock.
Why, they will allow us ne'er a
jordan, and then we leak in your chimney, and your
chamber-lye breeds fleas like a loach.
What, Ostler! Come away and be
hanged, come away!
I have a gammon of bacon, and two
razes of ginger, to be delivered as far as Charing Cross.
God's body! The turkeys in my pannier
are quite starved. What, Ostler! A plague on thee, hast
thou never an eye in thy head? Canst not hear? An
'twere not as good deed as drink to break the pate on
thee, I am a very villain. Come, and be hanged! Hast no
faith in thee?
Good morrow, carriers, what's o'clock?
I think it be two o'clock.
I prithee lend me thy lantern, to see my
gelding in the stable.
Nay, by God, soft! I know a trick worth
two of that, i'faith.
I pray thee lend me thine.
Ay, when? Canst tell? Lend me thy
lantern, quoth he! Marry, I'll see thee hanged first.
Sirrah carrier, what time do you mean to come
Time enough to go to bed with a
candle, I warrant thee! Come, neighbour Mugs, we'll
call up the gentlemen, they will along with company, for
they have great charge.
What ho! Chamberlain!
‘ At hand, quoth pick-purse.’
That's even as fair as ‘ At hand, quoth the
chamberlain,’ for thou variest no more from picking of
purses than giving direction doth from labouring. Thou
layest the plot how.
Good morrow, Master Gadshill. It holds
current that I told you yesternight. There's a franklin in
the Weald of Kent hath brought three hundred marks
with him in gold – I heard him tell it to one of his
company last night at supper, a kind of auditor, one that
hath abundance of charge too, God knows what. They
are up already, and call for eggs and butter. They will
Sirrah, if they meet not with Saint Nicholas'
clerks, I'll give thee this neck.
No, I'll none of it, I pray thee keep that
for the hangman, for I know thou worshippest Saint
Nicholas, as truly as a man of falsehood may.
What talkest thou to me of the hangman? If I
hang, I'll make a fat pair of gallows. For if I hang, old
Sir John hangs with me, and thou knowest he is no
starveling. Tut, there are other Troyans that thou
dreamest not of, the which for sport sake are content to
do the profession some grace, that would, if matters
should be looked into, for their own credit sake make all
whole. I am joined with no foot-landrakers, no long-staff
sixpenny strikers, none of these mad mustachio
purple-hued maltworms; but with nobility and tranquillity,
Burgomasters and great O-yeas, such as can
hold in, such as will strike sooner than speak, and speak
sooner than drink, and drink sooner than pray. And yet,
zounds, I lie; for they pray continually to their saint the
commonwealth, or rather not pray to her, but prey on
her, for they ride up and down on her, and make her
What, the commonwealth their boots?
Will she hold out water in foul way?
She will, she will, justice hath liquored her.
We steal as in a castle, cock-sure. We have the receipt
of fern-seed, we walk invisible.
Nay, by my faith, I think you are more
beholding to the night than to fern-seed for your
Give me thy hand, thou shalt have a share in
our purchase, as I am a true man.
Nay, rather let me have it as you are a
Go to, homo is a common name to all men.
Bid the Ostler bring my gelding out of the stable.
Farewell, you muddy knave.
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
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!
Enter Hotspur alone, reading a letter
But for mine own part, my lord, I could be well
contented to be there, in respect of the love I bear your
He could be contented! Why is he not then? In respect
of the love he bears our house? He shows in this he
loves his own barn better than he loves our house. Let
me see some more.
The purpose you undertake is dangerous,
Why, that's certain. 'Tis dangerous to take a cold, to
sleep, to drink. But I tell you, my lord fool, out of this
nettle, danger, we pluck this flower, safety.
The purpose you undertake is dangerous, the friends you
have named uncertain, the time itself unsorted, and your
whole plot too light, for the counterpoise of so great an
Say you so, say you so? I say unto you again, you are a
shallow cowardly hind, and you lie. What a lack-brain is
this! By the Lord, our plot is a good plot, as ever was
laid, our friends true and constant. A good plot, good
friends, and full of expectation. An excellent plot, very
good friends. What a frosty-spirited rogue is this! Why,
my Lord of York commends the plot, and the general
course of the action. Zounds, an I were now by this
rascal I could brain him with his lady's fan. Is there not
my father, my uncle, and myself? Lord Edmund
Mortimer, my Lord of York, and Owen Glendower? Is
there not besides the Douglas? Have I not all their
letters to meet me in arms by the ninth of the next
month, and are they not some of them set forward
already? What a pagan rascal is this, an infidel! Ha!
You shall see now in very sincerity of fear and cold heart
will he to the King, and lay open all our proceedings!
O, I could divide myself, and go to buffets, for moving
such a dish of skim milk with so honourable an action!
Hang him, let him tell the King, we are prepared. I will
set forward tonight.
Enter his lady
How now, Kate? I must leave you within these two
O my good lord, why are you thus alone?
For what offence have I this fortnight been
A banished woman from my Harry's bed?
Tell me, sweet lord, what is it that takes from thee
Thy stomach, pleasure, and thy golden sleep?
Why dost thou bend thine eyes upon the earth,
And start so often when thou sittest alone?
Why hast thou lost the fresh blood in thy cheeks,
And given my treasures and my rights of thee
To thick-eyed musing, and curst melancholy?
In thy faint slumbers I by thee have watched
And heard thee murmur tales of iron wars,
Speak terms of manage to thy bounding steed,
Cry ‘ Courage! To the field!’ And thou hast talked
Of sallies, and retires, of trenches, tents,
Of palisadoes, frontiers, parapets,
Of basilisks, of cannon, culverin,
Of prisoners' ransom, and of soldiers slain,
And all the currents of a heady fight.
Thy spirit within thee hath been so at war
And thus hath so bestirred thee in thy sleep,
That beads of sweat have stood upon thy brow
Like bubbles in a late-disturbed stream,
And in thy face strange motions have appeared,
Such as we see when men restrain their breath
On some great sudden hest. O, what portents are these?
Some heavy business hath my lord in hand,
And I must know it, else he loves me not.
Enter a Servant
Is Gilliams with the packet gone?
He is, my lord, an hour ago.
Hath Butler brought those horses from the
One horse, my lord, he brought even now.
What horse? A roan, a crop-ear is it not?
It is, my lord.
That roan shall by my throne.
Well, I will back him straight. O Esperance!
Bid Butler lead him forth into the park.
But hear you, my lord.
What sayest thou, my lady?
What is it carries you away?
Why, my horse, my love, my horse.
Out, you mad-headed ape!
A weasel hath not such a deal of spleen
As you are tossed with. In faith,
I'll know your business, Harry, that I will.
I fear my brother Mortimer doth stir
About his title, and hath sent for you
To line his enterprise. But if you go –
So far afoot I shall be weary, love.
Come, come, you paraquito, answer me
Directly unto this question that I ask.
In faith, I'll break thy little finger, Harry,
An if thou wilt not tell me all things true.
Away, you trifler! Love! I love thee not,
I care not for thee, Kate? This is no world
To play with mammets, and to tilt with lips.
We must have bloody noses, and cracked crowns,
And pass them current too. God's me! My horse!
What sayst thou, Kate? What wouldst thou have with me?
Do you not love me? Do you not indeed?
Well, do not then, for since you love me not
I will not love myself. Do you not love me?
Nay, tell me if you speak in jest or no?
Come, wilt thou see me ride?
And when I am a-horseback I will swear
I love thee infinitely. But hark you, Kate,
I must not have you henceforth question me
Whither I go, nor reason whereabout.
Whither I must, I must. And, to conclude,
This evening must I leave you, gentle Kate.
I know you wise, but yet no farther wise
Than Harry Percy's wife. Constant you are,
But yet a woman. And for secrecy,
No lady closer, for I well believe
Thou wilt not utter – what thou dost not know.
And so far will I trust thee, gentle Kate.
How? So far?
Not an inch further. But hark you, Kate.
Whither I go, thither shall you go too.
Today will I set forth, tomorrow you.
Will this content you, Kate?
It must, of force.
Enter Prince and Poins
Ned, prithee come out of that fat room, and
lend me thy hand to laugh a little.
Where hast been, Hal?
With three or four loggerheads, amongst
three or fourscore hogsheads. I have sounded the very
bass string of humility. Sirrah, I am sworn brother to a
leash of drawers, and can call them all by their Christian
names, as Tom, Dick, and Francis. They take it already
upon their salvation that though I be but Prince of
Wales yet I am the king of courtesy, and tell me flatly I
am no proud Jack, like Falstaff, but a Corinthian, a lad of
mettle, a good boy – by the Lord, so they call me! – and
when I am King of England I shall command all the
good lads in Eastcheap. They call drinking deep
‘ dyeing scarlet,’ and when you breathe in your watering
they cry ‘ Hem!’ and bid you ‘ Play it off!’ To conclude,
I am so good a proficient in one quarter of an hour that I
can drink with any tinker in his own language during my
life. I tell thee, Ned, thou hast lost much honour that
thou wert not with me in this action. But, sweet Ned –
to sweeten which name of Ned I give thee this pennyworth
of sugar, clapped even now into my hand by an
underskinker, one that never spake other English in his
life than ‘ Eight shillings and sixpence,’ and ‘ You are
welcome,’ with this shrill addition, ‘ Anon, anon, sir!
Score a pint of bastard in the Half-moon!’, or so. But
Ned, to drive away the time till Falstaff come – I
prithee do thou stand in some by-room while I question
my puny drawer to what end he gave me the sugar. And
do thou never leave calling ‘ Francis!’, that his tale to me
may be nothing but ‘ Anon.’ Step aside, and I'll show
thee a precedent.
Thou art perfect.
Enter Francis, a Drawer
Anon, anon, sir. Look down into the Pomgarnet,
Come hither, Francis.
How long hast thou to serve, Francis?
Forsooth, five years, and as much as to –
Anon, anon, sir.
Five year! By'r lady, a long lease for the
clinking of pewter. But Francis, darest thou be so
valiant as to play the coward with thy indenture, and
show it a fair pair of heels, and run from it?
O Lord, sir, I'll be sworn upon all the books in
England, I could find in my heart –
How old art thou, Francis?
Let me see, about Michaelmas next I shall be –
Anon, sir – pray stay a little, my lord.
Nay but hark you, Francis, for the sugar
thou gavest me, 'twas a pennyworth, was it not?
O Lord, I would it had been two!
I will give thee for it a thousand pound –
ask me when thou wilt, and thou shalt have it.
Anon, Francis? No, Francis, but tomorrow,
Francis. Or Francis, a-Thursday. Or indeed Francis,
when thou wilt. But Francis!
Wilt thou rob this leathern-jerkin, crystal-button,
not-pated, agate-ring, puke-stocking, caddis-garter,
smooth-tongue Spanish pouch?
O Lord, sir, who do you mean?
Why then your brown bastard is your only
drink. For look you, Francis, your white canvas doublet
will sully. In Barbary, sir, it cannot come to so much.
Away, you rogue, dost thou not hear them
Here they both call him; the Drawer stands amazed,
not knowing which way to go
What, standest thou still and hearest such a
calling? Look to the guests within.
My lord, old Sir John with half a dozen more are at the
door. Shall I let them in?
Let them alone awhile, and then open the
Anon, anon, sir.
Sirrah, Falstaff and the rest of the thieves
are at the door. Shall we be merry?
As merry as crickets, my lad. But hark ye, what
cunning match have you made with this jest of the
drawer? Come, what's the issue?
I am now of all humours that have showed
themselves humours since the old days of goodman
Adam to the pupil age of this present twelve o'clock at
What's o'clock, Francis?
Anon, anon, sir.
That ever this fellow should have fewer
words than a parrot, and yet the son of a woman! His
industry is upstairs and downstairs, his eloquence the
parcel of a reckoning. I am not yet of Percy's mind, the
Hotspur of the north, he that kills me some six or seven
dozen of Scots at a breakfast, washes his hands, and says
to his wife, ‘ Fie upon this quiet life, I want work.’ ‘ O
my sweet Harry,’ says she, ‘ how many hast thou killed
today?’ ‘ Give my roan horse a drench,’ says he, and
answers ‘ Some fourteen,’ an hour after, ‘ a trifle, a
trifle.’ I prithee call in Falstaff. I'll play Percy, and that
damned brawn shall play Dame Mortimer his wife.
‘ Rivo!’ says the drunkard. Call in Ribs, call in Tallow!
Enter Falstaff, Gadshill, Bardolph, and Peto;
followed by Francis with wine
Welcome, Jack, where hast thou been?
A plague of all cowards, I say, and a vengeance
too, marry and amen! Give me a cup of sack, boy. Ere I
lead this life long, I'll sew nether-stocks, and mend
them and foot them too. A plague of all cowards! Give
me a cup of sack, rogue. Is there no virtue extant?
Didst thou never see Titan kiss a dish of
butter – pitiful-hearted Titan! – that melted at the sweet
tale of the sun's? If thou didst, then behold that
You rogue, here's lime in this sack too. There
is nothing but roguery to be found in villainous man, yet
a coward is worse than a cup of sack with lime in it. A
villainous coward! Go thy ways, old Jack, die when thou
wilt. If manhood, good manhood, be not forgot upon
the face of the earth, then am I a shotten herring. There
live not three good men unhanged in England, and one
of them is fat, and grows old. God help the while, a bad
world I say. I would I were a weaver: I could sing
psalms – or anything. A plague of all cowards, I say still.
How now, woolsack, what mutter you?
A king's son! If I do not beat thee out of thy
kingdom with a dagger of lath, and drive all thy subjects
afore thee like a flock of wild geese, I'll never wear hair
on my face more. You, Prince of Wales!
Why, you whoreson round man, what's the
Are not you a coward? Answer me to that –
and Poins there?
Zounds, ye fat paunch, an ye call me coward by
the Lord I'll stab thee.
I call thee coward? I'll see thee damned ere I
call thee coward, but I would give a thousand pound I
could run as fast as thou canst. You are straight enough
in the shoulders, you care not who sees your back. Call
you that backing of your friends? A plague upon such
backing, give me them that will face me! Give me a cup
of sack! I am a rogue if I drunk today.
O villain! Thy lips are scarce wiped since
thou drunkest last.
All is one for that. (He drinks) A plague of all
cowards, still say I.
What's the matter?
What's the matter? There be four of us here
have taken a thousand pound this day morning.
Where is it, Jack? where is it?
Where is it? Taken from us it is. A hundred
upon poor four of us.
What, a hundred, man?
I am a rogue if I were not at half-sword with a
dozen of them two hours together. I have scaped by
miracle. I am eight times thrust through the doublet,
four through the hose, my buckler cut through and
through, my sword hacked like a handsaw – ecce
signum! I never dealt better since I was a man. All would
not do. A plague of all cowards! Let them speak. If they
speak more or less than truth, they are villains and the
sons of darkness.
Speak, sirs, how was it?
We four set upon some dozen –
Sixteen at least, my lord.
And bound them.
No, no, they were not bound.
You rogue, they were bound, every man of
them, or I am a Jew else: an Ebrew Jew.
As we were sharing, some six or seven fresh
men set upon us –
And unbound the rest, and then come in the
What, fought you with them all?
All? I know not what you call all, but if I
fought not with fifty of them I am a bunch of radish. If
there were not two or three and fifty upon poor old
Jack, then am I no two-legg'd creature.
Pray God you have not murdered some of
Nay, that's past praying for, I have peppered
two of them. Two I am sure I have paid, two rogues in
buckram suits. I tell thee what, Hal, if I tell thee a lie,
spit in my face, call me horse. Thou knowest my old
ward – here I lay, and thus I bore my point. Four rogues
in buckram let drive at me –
What, four? Thou saidst but two even now.
Four, Hal, I told thee four.
Ay, ay, he said four.
These four came all afront, and mainly thrust
at me. I made me no more ado, but took all their seven
points in my target, thus!
Seven? Why, there were but four even
Ay, four, in buckram suits.
Seven, by these hilts, or I am a villain else.
Prithee let him alone, we shall have more
Dost thou hear me, Hal?
Ay, and mark thee too, Jack.
Do so, for it is worth the listening to. These
nine in buckram that I told thee of –
So, two more already.
Their points being broken –
Down fell their hose.
– began to give me ground. But I followed me
close, came in, foot and hand, and, with a thought,
seven of the eleven I paid.
O monstrous! Eleven buckram men grown
out of two!
But as the devil would have it, three
misbegotten knaves in Kendal green came at my back and
let drive at me, for it was so dark, Hal, that thou couldst
not see thy hand.
These lies are like their father that begets
them, gross as a mountain, open, palpable. Why, thou
clay-brained guts, thou knotty-pated fool, thou whoreson,
obscene, greasy tallow-catch –
What, art thou mad? Art thou mad? Is not the
truth the truth?
Why, how couldst thou know these men in
Kendal green when it was so dark thou couldst not see
thy hand? Come, tell us your reason. What sayest thou
Come, your reason, Jack, your reason!
What, upon compulsion? Zounds, an I were
at the strappado, or all the racks in the world, I would
not tell you on compulsion. Give you a reason on
compulsion? If reasons were as plentiful as blackberries, I
would give no man a reason upon compulsion, I.
I'll be no longer guilty of this sin. This
sanguine coward, this bed-presser, this horse-back-breaker,
this huge hill of flesh –
'Sblood, you starveling, you elf-skin, you dried
neat's tongue, you bull's-pizzle, you stockfish! O for
breath to utter what is like thee! You tailor's-yard, you
sheath, you bow-case, you vile standing tuck!
Well, breathe awhile, and then to it again,
and when thou hast tired thyself in base comparisons
hear me speak but this.
We two saw you four set on four, and bound
them and were masters of their wealth – mark now how a
plain tale shall put you down. Then did we two set on
you four, and, with a word, outfaced you from your
prize, and have it, yea, and can show it you here in the
house. And Falstaff, you carried your guts away as
nimbly, with as quick dexterity, and roared for mercy,
and still run and roared, as ever I heard bull-calf. What
a slave art thou to hack thy sword as thou hast done, and
then say it was in fight! What trick, what device, what
starting-hole, canst thou now find out, to hide thee from
this open and apparent shame?
Come, let's hear Jack, what trick hast thou now?
By the Lord, I knew ye as well as he that made
ye. Why, hear you, my masters, was it for me to kill the
heir apparent? Should I turn upon the true prince?
Why, thou knowest I am as valiant as Hercules. But
beware instinct. The lion will not touch the true prince.
Instinct is a great matter; I was now a coward on
instinct. I shall think the better of myself, and thee,
during my life – I for a valiant lion, and thou for a true
prince. But by the Lord lads, I am glad you have the
money! Hostess, clap to the doors! Watch tonight, pray
tomorrow! Gallants, lads, boys, hearts of gold, all the
titles of good fellowship come to you! What, shall we be
merry? Shall we have a play extempore?
Content, and the argument shall be thy
Ah, no more of that Hal, an thou lovest me.
O Jesu, my lord the Prince!
How now, my lady the Hostess, what
sayest thou to me?
Marry my lord, there is a nobleman of the court
at door would speak with you. He says he comes from
Give him as much as will make him a royal
man and send him back again to my mother.
What manner of man is he?
An old man.
What doth gravity out of his bed at midnight?
Shall I give him his answer?
Prithee do, Jack.
Faith, and I'll send him packing.
Now, sirs, by'r lady, you fought fair, so did
you, Peto, so did you, Bardolph. You are lions too, you
ran away upon instinct, you will not touch the true
prince, no, fie!
Faith, I ran when I saw others run.
Faith, tell me now in earnest, how came
Falstaff's sword so hacked?
Why, he hacked it with his dagger, and said he
would swear truth out of England but he would make
you believe it was done in fight, and persuaded us to do
Yea, and to tickle our noses with spear-grass,
to make them bleed, and then to beslubber our garments
with it, and swear it was the blood of true men. I did
that I did not this seven year before: I blushed to hear
his monstrous devices.
O villain, thou stolest a cup of sack eighteen
years ago, and wert taken with the manner, and ever
since thou hast blushed extempore. Thou hadst fire and
sword on thy side, and yet thou rannest away. What
instinct hadst thou for it?
My lord, do you see these meteors? Do you
behold these exhalations?
What think you they portend?
Hot livers, and cold purses.
Choler, my lord, if rightly taken.
No, if rightly taken, halter.
Here comes lean Jack, here comes bare-bone. How now
my sweet creature of bombast, how long is't ago, Jack,
since thou sawest thine own knee?
My own knee? When I was about thy years,
Hal, I was not an eagle's talon in the waist – I could have
crept into any alderman's thumb-ring. A plague of
sighing and grief, it blows a man up like a bladder.
There's villainous news abroad. Here was Sir John
Bracy from your father. You must to the court in the
morning. That same mad fellow of the north, Percy,
and he of Wales that gave Amamon the bastinado, and
made Lucifer cuckold, and swore the devil his true
liegeman upon the cross of a Welsh hook – what a
plague call you him?
Owen, Owen, the same. And his son-in-law
Mortimer, and old Northumberland, and that sprightly
Scot of Scots, Douglas, that runs a-horseback up a hill
He that rides at high speed, and with his
pistol kills a sparrow flying.
You have hit it.
So did he never the sparrow.
Well, that rascal hath good mettle in him, he
will not run.
Why, what a rascal art thou then, to praise
him so for running!
A-horseback, ye cuckoo, but afoot he will not
budge a foot.
Yes, Jack, upon instinct.
I grant ye, upon instinct. Well, he is there too,
and one Mordake, and a thousand blue-caps more.
Worcester is stolen away tonight. Thy father's beard is
turned white with the news. You may buy land now as
cheap as stinking mackerel.
Why then, it is like if there come a hot June,
and this civil buffeting hold, we shall buy maidenheads
as they buy hob-nails, by the hundreds.
By the mass, lad, thou sayest true, it is like we
shall have good trading that way. But tell me, Hal, art
not thou horrible afeard? Thou being heir apparent,
could the world pick thee out three such enemies again,
as that fiend Douglas, that spirit Percy, and that devil
Glendower? Art thou not horribly afraid? Doth not thy
blood thrill at it?
Not a whit, i'faith, I lack some of thy
Well, thou wilt be horribly chid tomorrow
when thou comest to thy father. If thou love me,
practise an answer.
Do thou stand for my father and examine
me upon the particulars of my life.
Shall I? Content! This chair shall be my state,
this dagger my sceptre, and this cushion my crown.
Thy state is taken for a joint-stool, thy
golden sceptre for a leaden dagger, and thy precious rich
crown for a pitiful bald crown.
Well, an the fire of grace be not quite out of
thee, now shalt thou be moved. Give me a cup of sack to
make my eyes look red, that it may be thought I have
wept, for I must speak in passion, and I will do it in
King Cambyses' vein.
Well, here is my leg.
And here is my speech. Stand aside, nobility.
O Jesu, this is excellent sport, i'faith.
Weep not, sweet Queen, for trickling tears are vain.
O the Father, how he holds his countenance!
For God's sake, lords, convey my tristful Queen,
For tears do stop the floodgates of her eyes.
O Jesu, he doth it as like one of these harlotry
players as ever I see!
Peace, good pint-pot, peace, good
Harry, I do not only marvel where thou spendest thy time,
but also how thou art accompanied. For though the camomile,
the more it is trodden on the faster it grows, yet youth,
the more it is wasted the sooner it wears. That thou art my
son, I have partly thy mother's word, partly my own opinion,
but chiefly a villainous trick of thine eye, and a foolish hanging
of thy nether lip, that doth warrant me. If then thou be
son to me – here lies the point – why, being son to me, art
thou so pointed at? Shall the blessed sun of heaven prove a
micher, and eat blackberries? A question not to be asked.
Shall the son of England prove a thief, and take purses? A
question to be asked. There is a thing, Harry, which thou
hast often heard of, and it is known to many in our land by
the name of pitch. This pitch – as ancient writers do report –
doth defile, so doth the company thou keepest. For, Harry,
now I do not speak to thee in drink, but in tears; not in
pleasure, but in passion; not in words only, but in woes also.
And yet there is a virtuous man whom I have often noted in
thy company, but I know not his name.
What manner of man, an it like your Majesty?
A goodly portly man, i'faith, and a corpulent; of a cheerful
look, a pleasing eye, and a most noble carriage; and, as I
think, his age some fifty, or by'r lady inclining to three score.
And now I remember me, his name is Falstaff. If that man
should be lewdly given, he deceiveth me, for, Harry, I see
virtue in his looks. If then the tree may be known by the
fruit, as the fruit by the tree, then peremptorily I speak it,
there is virtue in that Falstaff. Him keep with, the rest
banish. And tell me now, thou naughty varlet, tell me where
hast thou been this month?
Dost thou speak like a king? Do thou stand
for me, and I'll play my father.
Depose me? If thou dost it half so gravely, so
majestically, both in word and matter, hang me up by the
heels for a rabbit-sucker, or a poulter's hare.
Well, here I am set.
And here I stand. Judge, my masters.
Now, Harry, whence come you?
My noble lord, from Eastcheap.
The complaints I hear of thee are grievous.
'Sblood, my lord, they are false!
Nay, I'll tickle ye for a young prince, i'faith.
Swearest thou, ungracious boy? Henceforth ne'er look on me.
Thou art violently carried away from grace. There is a devil
haunts thee in the likeness of an old fat man, a tun of man is
thy companion. Why dost thou converse with that trunk of
humours, that bolting-hutch of beastliness, that swollen
parcel of dropsies, that huge bombard of sack, that stuffed
cloak-bag of guts, that roasted Manningtree ox with the
pudding in his belly, that reverend Vice, that grey Iniquity,
that Father Ruffian, that Vanity in years? Wherein is he
good, but to taste sack and drink it? Wherein neat and
cleanly, but to carve a capon and eat it? Wherein cunning,
but in craft? Wherein crafty, but in villainy? Wherein
villainous, but in all things? Wherein worthy, but in nothing?
I would your grace would take me with you. Whom means
That villainous abominable misleader of youth, Falstaff,
that old white-bearded Satan.
My lord, the man I know.
I know thou dost.
But to say I know more harm in him than in myself were to
say more than I know. That he is old, the more the pity, his
white hairs do witness it, but that he is, saving your reverence,
a whoremaster, that I utterly deny. If sack and sugar
be a fault, God help the wicked! If to be old and merry be a
sin, then many an old host that I know is damned. If to be
fat be to be hated, then Pharaoh's lean kine are to be loved.
No, my good lord! Banish Peto, banish Bardolph, banish
Poins – but for sweet Jack Falstaff, kind Jack Falstaff, true
Jack Falstaff, valiant Jack Falstaff – and therefore more
valiant, being as he is old Jack Falstaff – banish not him thy
Harry's company, banish not him thy Harry's company.
Banish plump Jack, and banish all the world.
I do, I will.
A knocking heard
Exeunt Hostess, Francis and Bardolph
Enter Bardolph, running
O my lord, my lord, the sheriff with a most
monstrous watch is at the door.
Out, ye rogue! Play out the play! I have much
to say in the behalf of that Falstaff.
Enter the Hostess
O Jesu, my lord, my lord!
Heigh, heigh, the devil rides upon a fiddlestick.
What's the matter?
The sheriff and all the watch are at the door.
They are come to search the house. Shall I let them in?
Dost thou hear, Hal? Never call a true piece of
gold a counterfeit. Thou art essentially made without
And thou a natural coward without
I deny your major. If you will deny the sheriff,
so; if not, let him enter. If I become not a cart as well as
another man, a plague on my bringing up! I hope I shall
as soon be strangled with a halter as another.
Go hide thee behind the arras. The rest,
walk up above. Now, my masters, for a true face, and
Both which I have had, but their date is out,
and therefore I'll hide me.
Exeunt all but the Prince and Peto
Call in the Sheriff.
Enter Sheriff and the Carrier
Now, master Sheriff, what is your will with me?
First, pardon me, my lord. A hue and cry
Hath followed certain men unto this house.
One of them is well known my gracious lord,
A gross fat man.
As fat as butter.
The man I do assure you is not here,
For I myself at this time have employed him.
And Sheriff, I will engage my word to thee,
That I will by tomorrow dinner-time
Send him to answer thee, or any man,
For anything he shall be charged withal.
And so let me entreat you leave the house.
I will, my lord. There are two gentlemen
Have in this robbery lost three hundred marks.
It may be so. If he have robbed these men
He shall be answerable. And so, farewell.
Good night, my noble lord.
I think it is good morrow, is it not?
Indeed, my lord, I think it be two o'clock.
Exit with Carrier
This oily rascal is known as well as Paul's.
Go call him forth.
Falstaff! Fast asleep behind the arras, and snorting
snorting like a horse.
Hark how hard he fetches breath. Search
Peto searcheth his pockets, and findeth certain papers
What hast thou found?
Nothing but papers, my lord.
Let's see what they be, read them.
Item a capon . . . . 2s. 2d.
Item sauce . . . . . 4d.
Item sack two gallons . . . 5s. 8d.
Item anchovies and sack after supper 2s. 6d.
Item bread . . . . . ob.
O monstrous! But one halfpennyworth of
bread to this intolerable deal of sack? What there is else
keep close, we'll read it at more advantage. There let him
sleep till day. I'll to the court in the morning. We must
all to the wars, and thy place shall be honourable. I'll
procure this fat rogue a charge of foot, and I know his
death will be a march of twelve score. The money shall
be paid back again with advantage. Be with me betimes
in the morning, and so, good morrow, Peto.
Good morrow, good my lord.