Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Rosemary Gaby
Peer Reviewed

Henry IV, Part 1 (Folio 1 1623)

The First Part of King Henry the Fourth. 59
many in our Land, by the Name of Pitch: this Pitch (as
ancient Writers doe report) doth defile; so doth the com-
panie thou keepest: for Harry, now I doe not speake to
thee in Drinke, but in Teares; not in Pleasure, but in Pas-
1375sion; 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.
Prin. What manner of man, and it like your Ma-
1380Falst. 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,
1385hee 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
1390thou beene this moneth?
Prin. Do'st thou speake like a King? doe thou stand
for mee, and Ile play my Father.
Falst. Depose me: if thou do'st it halfe so grauely, so
maiestically, both in word and matter, hang me vp by the
1395heeles for a Rabbet-sucker, or a Poulters Hare.
Prin. Well, heere I am set.
Falst. And heere I stand: iudge my Masters.
Prin. Now Harry, whence come you?
Falst. My Noble Lord, from East-cheape.
1400Prin. The complaints I heare of thee, are grieuous.
Falst. Yfaith, my Lord, they are false: Nay, Ile tickle
ye for a young Prince.
Prin. Swearest thou, vngracious Boy? henceforth
ne're looke on me: thou art violently carryed away from
1405Grace: 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-
1410bagge of Guts, that rosted Manning Tree Oxe with the
Pudding in his Belly, that reuerend Vice, that grey Ini-
quitie, that Father Ruffian, that Vanitie in yeeres? where-
in is he good, but to taste Sacke, and drinke it? wherein
neat and cleanly, but to carue a Capon, and eat it? where-
1415in Cunning, but in Craft? wherein Craftie, but in Villa-
nie? wherein Villanous, but in all things? wherein wor-
thy, but in nothing?
Falst. I would your Grace would take me with you:
whom meanes your Grace?
1420Prince. That villanous abhominable mis-leader of
Youth, Falstaffe, that old white-bearded Sathan.
Falst. My Lord, the man I know.
Prince. I know thou do'st.
Falst. But to say, I know more harme in him then in
1425my 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-ma-
ster, that I vtterly deny. If Sacke and Sugar bee a fault,
Heauen helpe the Wicked: if to be olde and merry, be a
1430sinne, 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 Fal-
1435staffe, 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.
Prince. I doe, I will.

1440 Enter Bardolph running.

Bard. O, my Lord, my Lord, the Sherife, with a most
most monstrous Watch, is at the doore.
Falst. Out you Rogue, play out the Play: I haue much
to say in the behalfe of that Falstaffe.

1445 Enter the Hostesse.

Hostesse. O, my Lord, my Lord.
Falst. Heigh, heigh, the Deuill rides vpon a Fiddle-
sticke: what's the matter?
Hostesse. The Sherife and all the Watch are at the
1450doore: they are come to search the House, shall I let
them in?
Falst. Do'st thou heare Hal, neuer call a true peece of
Gold a Counterfeit: thou art essentially made, without
seeming so.
1455Prince. And thou a naturall Coward, without in-
Falst. 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
1460hope I shall as soone be strangled with a Halter, as ano-
Prince. Goe hide thee behinde 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 therefore Ile hide me. Exit.
Prince. Call in the Sherife.

Enter Sherife and the Carrier.

Prince. Now Master Sherife, what is your will with
She. First pardon me, my Lord. A Hue and Cry hath
followed certaine men vnto this house.
Prince. What men?
She. One of them is well knowne, my gracious Lord,
1475a grosse fat man.
Car. As fat as Butter.
Prince. 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,
1480That 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.
She. I will, my Lord: there are two Gentlemen
1485Haue in this Robberie lost three hundred Markes.
Prince. It may be so: if he haue robb'd these men,
He shall be answerable: and so farewell.
She. Good Night, my Noble Lord.
Prince. I thinke it is good Morrow, is it not?
1490She. Indeede, my Lord, I thinke it be two a Clocke.
Prince. This oyly Rascall is knowne as well as Poules:
goe call him forth.
Peto. Falstaffe? fast asleepe behinde the Arras, and
1495snorting like a Horse.
Prince. Harke, how hard he fetches breath: search his