Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Rosemary Gaby
Peer Reviewed

Henry IV, Part 1 (Modern)


[2.4]
965
Enter Prince and Poins.
Prince Ned, prithee come out of that fat room, and lend me thy hand to laugh a little.
Poins Where hast been, Hal?
Prince With three or four loggerheads, amongst three or 970fourscore 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 975flatly 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!" 980To 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 honor that thou wert not with me in this action. But, sweet Ned -- to sweeten 985which 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 990away 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 995show thee a precedent.
[Exit Poins.]
Poins [Within] Francis!
Prince Thou art perfect.
Poins [Within] Francis!
Enter Drawer.
1000Francis Anon, anon, sir! [Calling] Look down into the Pomgarnet, Ralph!
Prince Come hither, Francis.
Francis My lord.
Prince How long hast thou to serve, Francis?
1005Francis Forsooth, five years, and as much as to --
Poins [Within] Francis!
Francis Anon, anon, sir.
Prince 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 1010with thy indenture, and show it a fair pair of heels, and run from it?
Francis O lord, sir, I'll be sworn upon all the books in England, I could find in my heart --
Poins [Within] Francis!
1015Francis Anon sir.
Prince How old art thou Francis?
Francis Let me see, about Michaelmas next I shall be --
Poins [Within] Francis!
Francis Anon sir. Pray stay a little my lord.
1020Prince Nay, but hark you, Francis. For the sugar thou gavest me, 'twas a pennyworth, was't not?
Francis O lord, I would it had been two!
Prince I will give thee for it a thousand pound. Ask me when thou wilt, and thou shalt have it.
1025Poins [Within] Francis!
Francis Anon, anon.
Prince Anon, Francis? No, Francis, but tomorrow, Francis; or, Francis, a-Thursday; or, indeed, Francis, when thou wilt. But Francis --
1030Francis My lord?
Prince Wilt thou rob this leathern-jerkin, crystal-button, not-pated, agate-ring, puke-stocking, caddis-garter, smooth-tongue Spanish pouch?
Francis O lord, sir, who do you mean?
1035Prince 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.
Francis What sir?
Poins [Within] Francis!
1040Prince Away, you rogue! Dost thou not hear them call?
Here they both call him. The Drawer stands amazed, not knowing which way to go.
Enter Vintner.
Vintner What, standest thou still, and hearest such a calling? Look 1045to the guests within.
[Exit Francis.]
My lord, old Sir John with half a dozen more are at the door. Shall I let them in?
Prince Let them alone a while, and then open the door.
[Exit Vintner.]
Poins!
Poins Anon, anon sir!
Enter Poins.
Prince Sirrah, Falstaff and the rest of the thieves are at the door. Shall we be merry?
Poins As merry as crickets, my lad. But hark ye, what cunning 1055match have you made with this jest of the drawer? Come, what's the issue?
Prince I am now of all humors that have showed themselves humors since the old days of goodman Adam to the pupil age of this present twelve o'clock at midnight.
[Enter Francis.]
What's o'clock 1060Francis?
Francis Anon, anon, sir.
[Exit Francis.]
Prince 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 1065not 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 1070answers, "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.
1075
Enter Falstaff [with Gadshill, Peto and Bardolph. Francis follows with wine.]
Poins Welcome, Jack. Where hast thou been?
Falstaff 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 netherstocks, and mend them and foot them too. 1080A plague of all cowards! Give me a cup of sack, rogue. Is there no virtue extant?
He drinketh.
Prince 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 compound.
1085Falstaff 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 1090shotten herring. There lives 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.
1095Prince How now, woolsack, what mutter you?
Falstaff 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!
1100Prince Why, you whoreson round man, what's the matter?
Falstaff Are not you a coward? Answer me to that. And Poins there?
Poins Zounds, ye fat paunch, an ye call me coward, by the lord I'll stab thee.
1105Falstaff 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 1110face me. Give me a cup of sack. I am a rogue if I drunk today.
Prince O villain, thy lips are scarce wiped since thou drunkest last.
Falstaff All is one for that.
He drinketh.
1115A plague of all cowards, still say I.
Prince What's the matter?
Falstaff What's the matter? There be four of us here have ta'en a thousand pound this day morning.
Prince Where is it, Jack, where is it?
1120Falstaff Where is it? Taken from us it is. A hundred upon poor four of us.
Prince What, a hundred, man?
Falstaff 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 1125eight 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. [Indicates Gadshill, Peto, and Bardolph.] If they speak more or less than truth, they are villains and the sons of darkness.
[Prince] Speak sirs, how was it?
[Gadshill] We four set upon some dozen --
Falstaff Sixteen at least, my lord.
1135[Gadshill] And bound them.
Peto No, no, they were not bound.
Falstaff You rogue, they were bound every man of them, or I am a Jew else, an Hebrew Jew.
[Gadshill] As we were sharing, some six or seven fresh men set 1140upon us.
Falstaff And unbound the rest; and then come in the other.
Prince What, fought you with them all?
Falstaff All? I know not what you call all, but if I fought not with 1145fifty 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-legged creature.
Prince Pray god you have not murdered some of them.
1150Falstaff 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.
Prince What, four? Thou saidst but two even now.
Falstaff Four, Hal, I told thee four.
Poins Ay, ay, he said four.
Falstaff These four came all afront, and mainly thrust at me. 1160I made me no more ado, but took all their seven points in my target, thus.
Prince Seven? Why, there were but four even now.
Falstaff In buckram?
Poins Ay, four in buckram suits.
1165Falstaff Seven, by these hilts, or I am a villain else.
Prince Prithee, let him alone. We shall have more anon.
Falstaff Dost thou hear me, Hal?
Prince Ay, and mark thee too, Jack.
Falstaff Do so, for it is worth the listening to. These nine in 1170buckram that I told thee of --
Prince So, two more already.
Falstaff Their points being broken --
Poins Down fell their hose.
Falstaff Began to give me ground. But I followed me close, came 1175in foot and hand, and, with a thought, seven of the eleven I paid.
Prince Oh, monstrous! Eleven buckram men grown out of two!
Falstaff But, as the devil would have it, three misbegotten knaves 1180in Kendal green came at my back and let drive at me; for it was so dark, Hal, that thou couldst not see thy hand.
Prince These lies are like their father that begets them, gross as a mountain, open, palpable. Why, thou clay-brained guts, thou 1185knotty-pated fool, thou whoreson obscene greasy tallow-catch --
Falstaff What, art thou mad? Art thou mad? Is not the truth the truth?
Prince Why, how couldst thou know these men in Kendal green 1190when it was so dark thou couldst not see thy hand? Come, tell us your reason. What sayst thou to this?
Poins Come, your reason, Jack, your reason.
Falstaff What, upon compulsion? Zounds, an I were at the 1195strappado, 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.
Prince I'll be no longer guilty of this sin. This sanguine 1200coward, this bed-presser, this horse-back-breaker, this huge hill of flesh --
Falstaff 'Sblood, you starveling, you eel-skin, you dried neat's tongue, you bull's pizzle, you stock-fish. Oh, for breath to utter what is like thee! You tailor's yard, you sheath, you bow-case, you vile standing tuck!
Prince Well, breathe awhile, and then to it again, and when thou hast tired thyself in base comparisons, hear me speak but this.
Poins Mark, Jack.
1210Prince 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 1215away 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 1220now find out to hide thee from this open and apparent shame?
Poins Come, let's hear, Jack; what trick hast thou now?
Falstaff By the lord, I knew ye as well as he that made ye. Why, 1225hear 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 1230my 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 1235extempore?
Prince Content, and the argument shall be thy running away.
Falstaff Ah, no more of that, Hal, an thou lovest me.
Enter Hostess
1240Hostess O Jesu, my lord the prince!
Prince How now, my lady the hostess, what sayst thou to me?
Hostess Marry, my lord, there is a nobleman of the court at door would speak with you. He says he comes from your father.
Prince Give him as much as will make him a royal man, and send him back again to my mother.
Falstaff What manner of man is he?
Hostess An old man.
1250Falstaff What doth gravity out of his bed at midnight? Shall I give him his answer?
Prince Prithee do, Jack.
Falstaff Faith, and I'll send him packing.
Exit.
Prince Now sirs, by'r Lady, you fought fair; so did you, Peto; so 1255did you, Bardolph. You are lions, too, you ran away upon instinct, you will not touch the true prince, no fie!
Bardolph Faith, I ran when I saw others run.
Prince Faith, tell me now in earnest, how came Falstaff's sword 1260so hacked?
Peto 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 the like.
1265Bardolph Yea, and to tickle our noses with speargrass, 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.
1270Prince 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?
1275Bardolph My lord, do you see these meteors? Do you behold these exhalations?
Prince I do.
Bardolph What think you they portend?
Prince Hot livers, and cold purses.
1280Bardolph Choler, my lord, if rightly taken.
Enter Falstaff.
Prince 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?
Falstaff 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 1290was 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 1295of a Welsh hook -- what a plague call you him?
Poins Owen Glendower.
Falstaff Owen, Owen, the same; and his son-in-law Mortimer, and old Northumberland, and that sprightly Scot of 1300Scots, Douglas, that runs a-horseback up a hill perpendicular --
Prince He that rides at high speed and with his pistol kills a sparrow flying.
Falstaff You have hit it.
1305Prince So did he never the sparrow.
Falstaff Well, that rascal hath good mettle in him, he will not run.
Prince Why, what a rascal art thou, then, to praise him so for running!
1310Falstaff A-horseback, ye cuckoo, but afoot he will not budge a foot.
Prince Yes, Jack, upon instinct.
Falstaff I grant ye, upon instinct. Well, he is there too, and one Mordake, and a thousand blue-caps more. Worcester is stolen 1315away tonight. Thy father's beard is turned white with the news. You may buy land now as cheap as stinking mackerel.
Prince Why then, it is like, if there come a hot June and this civil buffeting hold, we shall buy maidenheads as they buy 1320hobnails: by the hundreds.
Falstaff By the mass, lad, thou sayst 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 1325spirit Percy, and that devil Glendower? Art thou not horribly afraid? Doth not thy blood thrill at it?
Prince Not a whit, i'faith. I lack some of thy instinct.
Falstaff Well, thou wilt be horribly chid tomorrow when 1330thou comest to thy father. If thou love me, practice an answer.
Prince Do thou stand for my father, and examine me upon the particulars of my life.
Falstaff Shall I? Content. This chair shall be my state, this 1335dagger my sceptre, and this cushion my crown.
Prince 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.
1340Falstaff 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.
1345Prince Well, here is my leg.
Falstaff And here is my speech. Stand aside, nobility.
Hostess O Jesu, this is excellent sport, i'faith.
Falstaff Weep not, sweet Queen, for trickling tears are vain.
1350Hostess O the Father, how he holds his countenance!
Falstaff For god's sake, lords, convey my tristful Queen,
For tears do stop the floodgates of her eyes.
Hostess O Jesu, he doth it as like one of these harlotry players as 1355ever I see!
Falstaff Peace, good pint-pot; peace, good tickle-brain. --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, so youth, 1360the 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 1365thou 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, 1370and 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 1375only, 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.
Prince What manner of man, an it like your majesty?
1380Falstaff 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 threescore. 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 1385looks. 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?
Prince Dost thou speak like a king? Do thou stand for me, and I'll play my father.
Falstaff Depose me. If thou dost it half so gravely, so majestically, both in word and matter, hang me up by the heels for a 1395rabbit sucker, or a poulter's hare.
Prince Well, here I am set.
Falstaff And here I stand. Judge, my masters.
Prince Now, Harry, whence come you?
Falstaff My noble lord, from Eastcheap.
1400Prince The complaints I hear of thee are grievous.
Falstaff 'Sblood, my lord, they are false. [Aside] Nay, I'll tickle ye for a young prince i'faith.
Prince Swearest thou, ungracious boy? Henceforth ne'er look on me. Thou art violently carried away from grace. There is a 1405devil 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 humors, that bolting-hutch of beastliness, that swollen parcel of dropsies, that huge bombard of sack, that stuffed cloak-bag of 1410guts, that roasted Manningtree ox with the pudding in his belly, that reverend Vice, that gray 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 1415cunning, but in craft? Wherein crafty, but in villainy? Wherein villainous, but in all things? Wherein worthy, but in nothing?
Falstaff I would your grace would take me with you. Whom means your grace?
1420Prince That villainous, abominable misleader of youth, Falstaff; that old white-bearded Satan.
Falstaff My lord, the man I know.
Prince I know thou dost.
Falstaff But to say I know more harm in him than in myself 1425were 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, 1430then 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.
Prince I do, I will.
[Knocking within. Exeunt Hostess, Francis and Bardolph.] Enter Bardolph running.
Bardolph O my lord, my lord, the sheriff with a most monstrous watch is at the door.
Falstaff Out, ye rogue! Play out the play! I have much to say in the behalf of that Falstaff.
1445
Enter the Hostess.
Hostess O Jesu! My lord, my lord!
Prince Heigh, heigh, the devil rides upon a fiddlestick! What's the matter?
Hostess The sheriff and all the watch are at the door. They are 1450come to search the house. Shall I let them in?
Falstaff Dost thou hear, Hal? Never call a true piece of gold a counterfeit. Thou art essentially made, without seeming so.
1455Prince And thou a natural coward without instinct.
Falstaff 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 1460with a halter as another.
Prince Go, hide thee behind the arras. The rest walk up above. Now, my masters, for a true face and good conscience.
1465Falstaff Both which I have had, but their date is out; and therefore I'll hide me.
[Falstaff hides.]
Prince Call in the sheriff.
[Exeunt all but the prince and Peto.] Enter Sheriff and the Carrier.
Prince Now Master Sheriff, what is your will with me?
Sheriff First pardon me my lord. A hue and cry
Hath followed certain men unto this house.
Prince What men?
Sheriff One of them is well known, my gracious lord,
A gross 1475fat man.
Carrier As fat as butter.
Prince 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
1480That 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.
Sheriff I will, my lord. There are two gentlemen
1485Have in this robbery lost three hundred marks.
Prince It may be so. If he have robbed these men,
He shall be answerable. And so, farewell.
Sheriff Good night, my noble lord.
Prince I think it is good morrow, is it not?
1490Sheriff Indeed, my lord, I think it be two o'clock.
Exit [with Carrier.]
Prince This oily rascal is known as well as Paul's. Go call him forth.
Peto Falstaff!
[He draws back the arras.]
Fast asleep behind the arras, and snorting 1495like a horse.
Prince Hark how hard he fetches breath. Search his pockets.
[Peto] searches his pocket, and finds certain papers.
1500Prince What hast thou found?
Peto Nothing but papers, my lord.
Prince Let's see what they be, read them.
[Peto] [reading] Item: a capon. 2s. 2d.
Item: sauce. 4d.
1505Item: sack, two gallons. 5s. 8d.
Item: anchovies and sack after supper. 2s. 6d.
Item: bread. ob.
[Prince] Oh, monstrous! But one halfpennyworth of bread to this intolerable deal of sack! What there is else, keep close; we'll read it at 1510more 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 honorable. 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 1515paid back again, with advantage. Be with me betimes in the morning; and so good morrow, Peto.
Peto Good morrow, good my lord.
Exeunt.