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Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Rosemary Gaby
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Henry IV, Part 1 (Quarto 1, 1598)

Enter Prince and Poines.
Prin. Ned, preethe come out of that fat roome, and lende me
thy hand to laugh a little.
Poi. Where hast bin Hal?
Prin. With three or foure loggerheades, amongest three or
970fourescore hogsheades. I haue sounded the verie base string of
humilitie. Sirrha, I am sworne brother to a leash of drawers, and
can call them all by their christen names, as Tom, Dicke, and
Francis, they take it already vpon their saluation, that though I
be but prince of Wales, yet I am the king of Curtesie, and tel me
975flatly I am no proud Iacke like Falstalffe, but a Corinthian, a lad
of metall, 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 East-
cheape. They call drinking deepe, dying scarlet, and when you
breath in your watering they cry hem, and bid you play it off.
980To conclude, I am so good a profici|~e|t 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 honour, that thou
wert not with me in this action; but sweete Ned, to sweeten
985which name of Ned, I giue thee this peniworth of sugar, clapt e-
uen now into my hand by an vnderskinker, one that neuer spake
other English in his life then eight shillings and sixe pence, and
you are welcome, with this shrill addition, anon, anon sir; skore a
pint of bastard in the halfe moone, or so. But Ned, to driue a-
990waie the time till Falstalffe come: I preethe doe thou stande in
some by-roome, while I question my puny drawer to what end
he gaue me the sugar, and do thou neuer leaue calling Frances,
that his tale to me may bee nothing but anon, step aside and ile
995shew thee a present.
Po. Frances.
Prin. Thou art perfect.
Prin. Frances.
Enter Drawer.
1000Fran. Anon, anon sir. Looke downe into the Pomgarnet,
Prin. Come hether Frances.
Fran. My Lord.
Prin. How long hast thou to serue Frances?
1005Fran. Forsooth, fiue yeeres, and as much as to.
Poi. Frances.
Fran. Anon, anon sir.
Prin. Fiue yeare, berlady a long lease for the clinking of pew-
ter; but Frances, darest thou be so valiant, as to play the cowarde
1010with thy Indenture, and shewe it a faire paire of heeles, and run
from it?
Fran. O Lord sir, ile be sworne vpon all the bookes in Eng-
land, I could find in my hart.
Poin. Frances.
Fran. Anon sir.
Prin. How old art thou Frances?
Fran. Let me see, about Michelmas next I shalbe.
Poin. Frances.
Fran. Anon sir, pray stay a little my Lord.
1020Prin. Nay but harke you Frances, for the sugar thou gauest
me, twas a peniworth, wast not?
Fran. O Lord, I would it had bin two.
Prince. I will giue thee for it a thousand pound, aske me when
thou wilt, and thou shalt haue it,
1025Poin. Frances.
Fran. Anon, anon.
Prin. Anon Frances, no Frances, but to morrow Frances: or
Frances a Thursday; or indeede Fraunces when thou wilt. But
1030Fran. My Lord.
Prin. Wilt thou rob this leathern Ierkin, cristall button, not-
pated, agat ring, puke stocking, Caddice garter, smothe tongue,
spanish pouch?
Fran. O Lord sir, who do you meane?
1035Prin. Why then your brown bastard is your only drinke? for
looke you Fraunces, your white canuas doublet will sulley. In
Barbary sir, it cannot come to so much.
Fran. What sir?
Poin. Frances.
1040Prin. Away you rogue, dost thou not heare them cal.
Here they both cal him, the Drawer stands amazed not knowing
which way to go.
Enter Vintner.
Vint. What standst thou stil and hearst such a calling? looke
1045to the guests within. My Lord, old sir Iohn with halfe a douzen
more are at the doore, shal I let them in?
Pri. Let them alone awhile, and then open the doore: Poines.
Poi. Anon, anon sir.
Enter Poines.
Prince. Sirrha, Falstalffe and the rest of the theeues are at the
doore, shall we be merrie?
Po. As merry as Crickets my lad, but harke ye, what cunning
1055match haue you made with this iest of the Drawer: come whats
the issue?
Prin. I am now of all humors, that haue shewed themselues
humors since the oulde dayes of good man Adam, to the pupill
age of this present twelue a clocke at midnight. Whats a clocke
Fran. Anon, anon sir.
Pr. That euer this fellowe should haue fewer wordes then a
Parrat, and yet the sonne of a woman. His industrie is vp staires
and down staires, his eloquence the parcel of a reckoning. I am
1065not yet of Percyes minde, the Hotspur of the North, he that kils
mee some sixe or seuen douzen of Scots at a breakefast: washes
his handes, and saies to his wife, fie vpon this quiet life, I want
worke. O my sweet Harry saies she! how manie hast thou kild
to day? Giue my roane horse a drench (sayes hee) and aun-
1070sweres some foureteene, an houre after: a trifle, a trifle. I preethe
call in Falstalffe, ile play Percy, and that damnde brawne shall
play dame Mortimer his wife. Riuo saies the drunkarde: call in
Ribs, cal in Tallow.
Enter Falstaffe.
Poin. Welcome Iacke, where hast thou bin?
Falst. A plague of al cowards I say, and a vengeance too, mar-
ry and Amen: giue me a cup of sacke boy. Eare I lead this life
long, ile sow neatherstocks and mend them, and foote them too.
1080A plague of all cowards. Giue me a cup of sacke rogue, is there
no vertue extant?
he drinketh.
Prin. Didst thou neuer see Titan kisse a dish of butter, pittifull
harted Titan that melted at the sweet tale of the sonnes, if thou
didst, then behold that compound.
1085Falst. You rogue, heeres lime in this sacke too: there is no-
thing but rogery to be found in villanous man, yet a cowarde is
worse then a cup of sacke with lime in it. A villanous cowarde.
Go thy waies old Iacke, die when thou wilt, if manhood, good
manhood be not forgot vpon the face of the earth, then am I a
1090shotten herring: there liues not three good men vnhangde in
England, and 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
psalmes, or any thing. A plague of all cowards I say still.
1095Prin. How now Wolsacke, what mutter you?
Falst. A kings sonne, if I do not beat thee out of thy kingdom
with a dagger of lath, and driue all thy subiects afore thee like a
flock of wild geese, ile neuer weare haire on my face more, you
prince of Wales.
1100Prin. Why you horeson round-man, whats the matter?
Falst. Are not you a cowarde? aunswere mee to that, and
Poines there.
Poin. Zoundes ye fat paunch, and ye call me cowarde by the
Lord ile stab thee.
1105Falst. I call thee cowarde, ile see thee damnde ere I call thee
coward, but I woulde giue a thousand pound I coulde runne as
fast as thou canst. You are streight 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
1110face me, giue me a cup of sacke. I am a rogue if I drunke to day.
Prin. O villain, thy lips are scarse wipt since thou drunkst last.
Falst. All is one for that.
He drinketh.
1115A plague of all cowards still say I.
Prin, Whats the matter?
Falst. Whats the matter, there be foure of vs here haue tane a
thousand pound this day morning
Prin. Where is it Iacke, where is it?
1120Fal. Where is it? taken from vs it is: a hundred vppon poore
foure of vs.
Prin. What, a hundred, man?
Falst. I am a rogue if I were not at halfe sword with a douzen
of them two houres together. I haue scapt by myracle. I am
1125eight times thrust through the doublet, foure through the hose,
my buckler cut through and through, my sworde hackt like a
handsaw, ecce signum. I neuer dealt better since I was a man, al
would not do. A plague of all cowards, let them speake, if they
speake more or lesse then truth, they are villains, and the sonnes
of darknesse.
Gad. Speake sirs, how was it?
Ross. We foure set vpon some douzen.
Falst. Sixteene at least my Lord.
1135Ross. And bound them.
Peto. No, no, they were not bound.
Falst. You rogue they were bounde euerie man of them, or
I am a Iew else: an Ebrew Iew.
Ross. As we were sharing, some sixe or seuen fresh men set
1140vpon vs.
Falst. And vnbound the rest, and then come in the other.
Prin. What, fought you with them all?
Falst. Al, I know not what you cal al, but if I fought not with
1145fiftie of them I am a bunch of radish: if there were not two or
three and fiftie vpon poore olde Iacke, then am I no two legd
Prin. Pray God you haue not murdred some of them.
1150Falst. Nay, thats past praying for, I haue pepperd two of them.
Two I am sure I haue paied, two rogues in buckrom sutes: I tel
thee what Hall, if I tell thee a lie, spit in my face; call me horse,
thou knowest my olde warde: here I lay, and thus I bore my
poynt, foure rogues in Buckrom let driue at me.
Prin What foure? thou saidst but two euen now.
Falst. Foure Hal, I told thee foure.
Poin. I, I, he said foure.
Fal. These foure came all a front, and mainely thrust at me,
1160I made me no more adoe, but tooke all their seuen points in my
target, thus.
Prin. Seuen, why there were but foure euen now.
Falst. In Buckrom.
Po. I foure in Buckrom suites.
1165Falst. Seuen by these hilts, or I am a villaine else.
Pr. Preethe let him alone, we shall haue more anon.
Falst. Doest thou heare me Hal?
Prince. I, and marke thee to iacke.
Falst. Do so, for it is worth the listning to, these nine in Buck-
rom that I told thee of.
Prince. So, two more alreadie.
Falst. Their points being broken.
Poy. Downe fell their hose.
Falst. Began to giue me ground: but I followed me close, came
1175in, foot, and hand, and with a thought, seuen of the eleuen I paid.
Prin. O monstrous! eleuen Buckrom men growne out of two.
Fal. But as the diuell would haue it, three misbegotten knaues
1180in Kendall greene came at my backe, and let driue at mee, for it
was so darke Hal, that thou couldest not see thy hand.
Prin. These lies are like their father that begets them, grosse as
a mountaine, open, palpable. Why thou clay-braind guts, thou
1185knotty-pated foole, thou horeson obscene greasie tallow-catch.
Falst. What art thou mad? art thou mad? is not the truth the
Pr. Why, how couldst thou know these men in Kendal greene
1190when it was so darke thou couldst not see thy hand, come tell vs
your reason. What sayest thou to this?
Po. Come your reason, Iacke, your reason.
Falst. What, vppon compulsion: Zoundes, and I were at the
1195strappado, or all the rackes in the worlde, I would not tell you on
compulsion. Giue you a reason on compulsion? if reasons were
as plentifull as blackberries, I would giue no man a reason vppon
compulsion, I.
Prin. Ile be no longer guiltie of this sinne. This sanguine co-
1200ward, this bed-presser, this horse-backe-breaker, this huge hill
of flesh.
Fa. Zbloud you starueling, you elsskin, you dried neatstong, you
bulspizzle, you stockfish: O for breath to vtter what is like thee,
you tailers yard, you sheath, you bowcase, you vile standing tuck.
Prin. Wel, breath a while, and then to it againe, and when thou
hast tired thy selfe in base comparisons heare mee speake but this.
Po. Marke iacke.
1210Prin. We two saw you foure set on foure, and bound them and
were maisters of their wealth: marke now how a plaine tale shall
put you downe, then did wee two set on you foure, and with a
worde outfac't you from your prize, & haue it, yea & can shew
it you here in the house: and Falstalffe you carried your guts a-
1215way as nimbly, with as quicke dexteritie, & roard for mercy, and
stil run and roard, as euer I heard bul-calf. What a slaue art thou
to hacke thy sworde as thou hast done? and then say it was in
fight. What tricke? what deuice? what starting hole canst thou
1220now find out, to hide thee from this open and apparant shame?
Po. Come, lets heare iacke, what tricke hast thou now?
Falst. By the Lord, I knew ye as wel as he that made ye. Why
1225heare you my maisters, 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 now a cowarde
on instinct, I shall thinke the better of my selfe, and thee during
1230my life; I for a valiant lion, and thou for a true prince: but by
the Lord, lads, I am glad you haue the money, Hostesse clap to
the doores, watch to night, pray to morrowe, gallants, lads,
boyes, hearts of golde, all the titles of good fellowship come
to you. What shall wee bee merrie, shall wee haue a play ex-
Prin. Content, and the argument shall bee thy running away.
Falst. A, no more of that Hal and thou louest me. Enter hostesse
1240Ho. O Iesu, my Lord the prince!
Prin. How now my lady the hostesse, what saist thou to me?
Ho. Marry my Lo. there is a noble man of the court at doore
would speake with you: he saies he commes from your father.
Prin. Giue him as much as will make him a royall man, and
send him backe againe to my mother.
Fal. What maner of man is he?
Host. An olde man.
1250Falst. What doth grauitie out of his bed at midnight? Shall I
giue him his answere?
Prin. Preethe do iacke.
Fa. Faith and ile send him packing.
Prin. Now sirs, birlady you fought faire, so did you Peto, so
1255did you Bardol, you are lions, to you ran away vpon instinct, you
will not touch the true prince, no fie.
Bar. Faith I ran when I saw others runne.
Prin. Faith tell me now in earnest, how came Falstalffs sword
1260so hackt?
Peto. Why, he hackt it with his dagger, and said hee woulde
sweare truth out of England, but hee would make you beleeue
it was done in fight, and perswaded vs to do the like.
1265Bar. Yea, and to tickle our noses with spearegrasse, 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 se-
uen yeare before, I blusht to heare his monstrous deuices.
1270Prin. O villaine, thou stolest a cup of Sacke eighteene yeares
ago, and wert taken with the maner, 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?
1275Bar. My Lord do you see these meteors? do you behold these
Prin. I do.
Bar. What thinke you they portend?
Prin. Hot liuers, and cold purses.
1280Bar. Choler, my Lord, if rightly taken.
Enter Falstalffe.
Prin. No if rightly taken halter. Here commes leane iacke, here
commes bare bone: how now my sweete creature of bumbast,
how long ist ago iacke since thou sawest thine owne knee?
Fal. My owne knee, when I was about thy yeares (Hall) I was
not an Eagles talent in the waste, I could haue crept into anie
Aldermans thumbe ring: a plague of sighing and grief, it blowes
a man vp like a bladder. Thers villainous newes abroade, heere
1290was sir Iohn Bracy, from your father: you must to the court in
the morning. That same mad fellow of the North Percie, and
he of Wales that gaue Amamon the bastinado, and made Luci-
fer cuckold, and swore the diuel his true liegeman vp|~o| the crosse
1295of a Welsh hooke: what a plague call you him?
Poynes. O Glendower.
Falst. Owen, Owen, the same, and his sonne in lawe Morti-
mer, and olde Northumberland, and that sprightly Scot of
1300Scottes, Dowglas, that runnes a horsebacke vp a hill perpendi-
Prin. He that rides at high speede, and with his pistoll killes a
sparrow flying.
Falst. You haue hit it.
1305Prin. So did he neuer the sparrow.
Fal. Well, that rascall hath good mettall in him, hee will not
Prin. Why, what a rascall art thou then, to praise him so for
1310Fal. A horsebacke (ye cuckoe) but a foote hee will not budge
a foote.
Prin. Yes Iacke, vpon instinct.
Falst. I grant ye vpon instinct: well hee is there to, and one
Mordacke, and a thousand blew caps more. Worcester is stolne
1315away to night, thy fathers beard is turnd white with the newes,
you may buy land now as cheape as stinking Mackrel.
Prin. Why then, it is like if there come a hote Iune, and this
ciuill buffeting hold, we shall buy maidenheads as they buy hob
1320nailes, by the hundreds.
Falst. By the masse lad thou saiest true, it is like wee shall haue
good trading that way: but tell mee Hall, art not thou horrible
afearde? thou being heire apparant, could the world picke thee
out three such enemies againe? as that fiend Dowglas, that spi-
1325rit Percy, and that diuel Glendower, art thou not horribly afraid?
doth not thy bloud thril at it?
Prin. Not a whit ifaith, I lacke some of thy instinct.
Falst. Well thou wilt bee horriblie chidde to morrowe when
1330thou commest to thy father, if thou loue mee practise an aun-
Prin. Do thou stand for my father and examine me vpon the
particulars of my life.
Falst. Shall I: content. This chaire shall be my state, this dag-
1335ger my scepter, and this cushion my crowne.
Prin. Thy state is taken for a ioynd stoole, thy golden scepter
for a leaden dagger, and thy precious rich crowne for a pittifull
bald crowne.
1340Falst. Well, and the fire of grace bee not quite out of thee
nowe shalt thou be mooued. Giue me a cup of Sacke to make
my eyes looke redde, that it maie bee thought I haue wept,
for I must speake in passion, and I will doe it in king Cambises
1345Prince. Well, here is my leg.
Falst. And here is my speech; stand aside Nobilitie.
Host. O Iesu, this is excellent sport ifaith.
Falst. Weepe not sweet Queene, for trickling teares are vain.
1350Host. O the father, how he holds his countenance?
Fal. For Gods sake Lords, conuay my trustfull Queene,
For teares do stop the floudgates of her eyes.
Host. O Iesu, he doth it as like one of these harlotrie plaiers as
1355euer I see.
Falst. Peace good pint-pot, peace good tickle-braine.
Harrie, I doe not onelie maruaile where thou spendest thy
time, but also how thou art accompanied. For though the cam-
momill the more it is troden on, the faster it growes: so youth
1360the more it is wasted, the sooner it weares: that thou art my son
I haue partly thy mothers worde, partlie my owne opinion, but
chieflie a villainous tricke of thine eye, and a foolish hanging
of thy neather lippe, that dooth warrant me. If then thou bee
sonne to mee, heere lies the poynt, why beeing sonne to me, art
1365thou so pointed at? shal the blessed sunne of heauen proue a mi-
cher, and eat black-berries? a question not to be 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,
1370and it is knowne to many in our land by the name of pitch. This
pitch (as ancient writers do report) doth defile, so doth the com-
panie thou keepest: for Harrie now, I do not speake to thee in
drinke, but in teares; not in pleasure but in passion: not in words
1375onely, 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.
Prin. What maner of man and it like your Maiestie?
1380Fal. A goodly portly man ifayth, and a corpulent of a cheerful
looke, a pleasing eie, and a most noble cariage, and as I thinke
his age some fiftie, or birladie inclining to threescore, and nowe
I remember me, his name is Falstalffe, if that man shoulde bee
lewdly giuen, hee deceiueth me. For Harry, I see vertue in his
1385lookes: if then the tree may bee knowne by the fruit, as the fruit
by the tree, then peremptorily I speake it, there is vertue in that
Falstalffe, him keepe with, the rest banish, and tell me now thou
naughtie varlet, tell me where hast thou beene this month?
Prin. Dost thou speake like a king, do thou stand for me, and
ile play my father.
Fal. Depose me, if thou dost it halfe so grauely, so maiestical-
ly, both in word and matter, hang me vp by the heeles for a rab-
1395bet sucker, or a poulters Hare
Prin. Well, here I am set.
Fal. And here I stand, iudge my maisters.
Prin. Now Harry, whence come you?
Fal. My noble Lord from Eastcheape.
1400Prin. The complaints I heare of thee are greeuous.
Fal. Zbloud my Lord they are false: nay ile tickle ye for a yong
prince I faith.
Prin. Swearest thou vngratious boy, hence forth nere looke
on me, thou art violently carried awaie from grace, there is a di-
1405uell haunts thee in the likenesse of an olde fat man, a tun of man
is thy companion: why doest thou conuerse with that trunke of
humours, that boultinghutch of beastlinesse, that swolne parcell
of dropsies that huge bombard of sacke, that stuft cloakebag of
1410guts, that rosted Manningtre Oxe with the pudding in his belly,
that reuerent vice, that gray iniquity, that father ruffian, that va-
nity in yeares, wherein is he good, but to tast sacke and drinke it?
wherein neat and clenly, but to carue a capon and eat it? wherein
1415cunning, but in craft? wherein crafty, but in villany? wherein villa-
nous, but in al things? where in worthy, but in nothing?
Fal. I would your grace would take me with you, whome
meanes your grace?
1420Prin. That villanous abhominable misleader of youth, Fal-
stalffe, that olde white bearded Sathan.
Fal. My Lord, the man I know.
Prin. I know thou doest.
Fal. But to say I knowe more harme in him then in my selfe,
1425were to say more then I know: that he is olde the more the pit-
tie, his white haires doe witnesse it, but that he is sauing your re-
uerence, a whoremaster, that I vtterlie denie: if sacke and sugar
be a fault, God helpe the wicked; if to be olde and merry be a sin,
1430then many an old host that I know is damnd: if to be fat be to be
hated, then Pharaos lane kine are to be loued. No my good lord
banish Peto, banish Bardoll, banish Poines, but for sweet Iacke
Falstalffe, kinde Iacke Falstalffe, true Iacke Falstalffe, valiant
Iacke Falstalffe, & therfore more valiant being as he is old Iacke
Falstalffe, banish not him thy Harries companie, banish not
him thy Harries companie, banish plumpe Iacke, and banish all
the world.
Prin. I do, I will.
Enter Bardoll running.
Bar. O my Lord, my Lord, the Sheriffe with a most monstrous
watch is at the doore.
Falst. Out ye rogue, play out the play, I haue much to say in
the behalfe of that Falstalffe.
Enter the hostesse.
Host. O Iesu, my Lord, my Lord!
Prin. Heigh, heigh, the Deuil rides vpon a fiddle sticke, whats
the matter?
Host. The Sheriffe and al the watch are at the doore, they are
1450come to search the house, shall I let them in?
Falst. Doest thou heare Hal? neuer call a true piece of golde a
counterfet, thou art essentially made without seeming so.
1455Prin. And thou a naturall coward without instinct.
Falst. I deny your Maior, if you wil deny the Sheriffe 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 bee strangled
1460with a halter as another.
Prin. Go hide thee behind the Arras, the rest walke vp aboue,
now my masters for a true face, and good conscience.
1465Falst. Both which I haue had, but their date is out, and there-
fore ile hide me.
Prin. Call in the Sheriffe.
Enter Sheriffe and the Carrier.
Prin. Now master Sheriffe, what is your wil with me?
Sher. First pardon me my Lord. A hue and crie hath followed
certaine men vnto this house.
Prin. What men?
Sher. One of them is well known my gratious Lorde, a grosse
1475fat man.
Car. As fat as butter.
Prin. The man I do assure you is not here,
For I my selfe at this time haue emploid him:
And Sheriffe, I will ingage my word to thee,
1480That I will by to morrow dinner time
Send him to answere thee or any man,
For any thing he shall be charg'd withal,
And so let me intreat you leaue the house.
Sher. I will my Lord: there are two gentlemen
1485Haue in this robbery lost 300. markes.
Prin. It may be so: if he haue robd these men
He shal be answerable, and so farewell.
She. God night my noble Lord.
Prin. I thinke it is god morrow is it not?
1490She. Indeed my Lord I thinke it be two a clocke.
Prin. This oylie rascall is knowne as well as Poules: goe call
him forth.
Peto. Falstalffe: fast a sleepe behind the Arras, and snorting
1495like a horse.
Prin. Harke how hard he fetches breath, search his pockets.
He searcheth his pocket, and findeth certaine papers.
1500Pr. What hast thou found?
Pet. Nothing but papers my Lord.
Prin. Lets see what they be, read them.
Item a capon.
Item sawce.
1505Item sacke two gallons.
Item anchaues and sacke after supper.
Item bread.
O monstrous! but one halfepeniworth of bread to this intolle-
rable deale of sack? what there is else keepe close, weel read it at
1510more aduantage; there let him sleepe till day, ile to the court in
the morning. We must all to the wars, and thy place shal be ho-
norable. Ile procure this fat rogue a charge of foot, and I know
his death will bee a march of twelue skore, the money shall bee
1515paid backe againe with aduantage; bee with me betimes in the
morning, and so good morrow Peto.
Peto. Good morrow good my Lord.