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    Act 2. Scene II

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    Chapter 5
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    SCENE II. The highway, near Gadshill.

    Enter PRINCE HENRY and POINS
    POINS
    Come, shelter, shelter: I have removed Falstaff's
    horse, and he frets like a gummed velvet.

    PRINCE HENRY
    Stand close.

    Enter FALSTAFF

    FALSTAFF
    Poins! Poins, and be hanged! Poins!

    PRINCE HENRY
    Peace, ye fat-kidneyed rascal! what a brawling dost
    thou keep!

    FALSTAFF
    Where's Poins, Hal?

    PRINCE HENRY
    He is walked up to the top of the hill: I'll go seek him.

    FALSTAFF
    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 squier
    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 hath 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!

    They whistle

    Whew! A plague upon you all! Give me my horse, you
    rogues; give me my horse, and be hanged!

    PRINCE HENRY
    Peace, ye fat-guts! lie down; lay thine ear close
    to the ground and list if thou canst hear the tread
    of travellers.

    FALSTAFF
    Have you any levers to lift me up again, being down?
    'Sblood, I'll not bear mine own flesh so far afoot
    again for all the coin in thy father's exchequer.
    What a plague mean ye to colt me thus?

    PRINCE HENRY
    Thou liest; thou art not colted, thou art uncolted.

    FALSTAFF
    I prithee, good Prince Hal, help me to my horse,
    good king's son.

    PRINCE HENRY
    Out, ye rogue! shall I be your ostler?

    FALSTAFF
    Go, hang thyself in thine own heir-apparent
    garters! If I be ta'en, 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

    GADSHILL
    Stand.

    FALSTAFF
    So I do, against my will.

    POINS
    O, 'tis our setter: I know his voice. Bardolph,
    what news?

    BARDOLPH
    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.

    FALSTAFF
    You lie, ye rogue; 'tis going to the king's tavern.

    GADSHILL
    There's enough to make us all.

    FALSTAFF
    To be hanged.

    PRINCE HENRY
    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.

    PETO
    How many be there of them?

    GADSHILL
    Some eight or ten.

    FALSTAFF
    'Zounds, will they not rob us?

    PRINCE HENRY
    What, a coward, Sir John Paunch?

    FALSTAFF
    Indeed, I am not John of Gaunt, your grandfather;
    but yet no coward, Hal.

    PRINCE HENRY
    Well, we leave that to the proof.

    POINS
    Sirrah Jack, thy horse stands behind the hedge:
    when thou needest him, there thou shalt find him.
    Farewell, and stand fast.

    FALSTAFF
    Now cannot I strike him, if I should be hanged.

    PRINCE HENRY
    Ned, where are our disguises?

    POINS
    Here, hard by: stand close.

    Exeunt PRINCE HENRY and POINS

    FALSTAFF
    Now, my masters, happy man be his dole, say I:
    every man to his business.

    Enter the Travellers

    First Traveller
    Come, neighbour: the boy shall lead our horses down
    the hill; we'll walk afoot awhile, and ease our legs.

    Thieves
    Stand!

    Travellers
    Jesus bless us!

    FALSTAFF
    Strike; down with them; cut the villains' throats:
    ah! whoreson caterpillars! bacon-fed knaves! they
    hate us youth: down with them: fleece them.

    Travellers
    O, we are undone, both we and ours for ever!

    FALSTAFF
    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 Grand-jurors, are ye? we'll jure ye, 'faith.

    Here they rob them and bind them. Exeunt

    Re-enter PRINCE HENRY and POINS

    PRINCE HENRY
    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.

    POINS
    Stand close; I hear them coming.

    Enter the Thieves again

    FALSTAFF
    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.

    PRINCE HENRY
    Your money!

    POINS
    Villains!

    As they are sharing, the Prince and Poins set upon them; they all run away; and Falstaff, after a blow or two, runs away too, leaving the booty behind them

    PRINCE HENRY
    Got with much ease. Now merrily to horse:
    The thieves are all scatter'd and possess'd 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 't not for laughing, I should pity him.

    POINS
    How the rogue roar'd!

    Exeunt
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