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    Act 2. Scene IV

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    Chapter 7
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    SCENE IV. The Boar's-Head Tavern, Eastcheap.

    Enter PRINCE HENRY and POINS
    PRINCE HENRY
    Ned, prithee, come out of that fat room, and lend me
    thy hand to laugh a little.

    POINS
    Where hast been, Hal?

    PRINCE HENRY
    With three or four loggerheads amongst three or four
    score hogsheads. I have sounded the very
    base-string of humility. Sirrah, I am sworn brother
    to a leash of drawers; and can call them all by
    their christen names, as Tom, Dick, and Francis.
    They take it already upon their salvation, that
    though I be but the prince of Wales, yet I am 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 sweet
    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 under-skinker, 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.

    POINS
    Francis!

    PRINCE HENRY
    Thou art perfect.

    POINS
    Francis!

    Exit POINS

    Enter FRANCIS

    FRANCIS
    Anon, anon, sir. Look down into the Pomgarnet, Ralph.

    PRINCE HENRY
    Come hither, Francis.

    FRANCIS
    My lord?

    PRINCE HENRY
    How long hast thou to serve, Francis?

    FRANCIS
    Forsooth, five years, and as much as to--

    POINS
    [Within] Francis!

    FRANCIS
    Anon, anon, sir.

    PRINCE HENRY
    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?

    FRANCIS
    O Lord, sir, I'll be sworn upon all the books in
    England, I could find in my heart.

    POINS
    [Within] Francis!

    FRANCIS
    Anon, sir.

    PRINCE HENRY
    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.

    PRINCE HENRY
    Nay, but hark you, Francis: for the sugar thou
    gavest me,'twas a pennyworth, wast't not?

    FRANCIS
    O Lord, I would it had been two!

    PRINCE HENRY
    I will give thee for it a thousand pound: ask me
    when thou wilt, and thou shalt have it.

    POINS
    [Within] Francis!

    FRANCIS
    Anon, anon.

    PRINCE HENRY
    Anon, Francis? No, Francis; but to-morrow, Francis;
    or, Francis, o' Thursday; or indeed, Francis, when
    thou wilt. But, Francis!

    FRANCIS
    My lord?

    PRINCE HENRY
    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?

    PRINCE HENRY
    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!

    PRINCE HENRY
    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 to 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 HENRY
    Let them alone awhile, and then open the door.

    Exit Vintner

    Poins!

    Re-enter POINS

    POINS
    Anon, anon, sir.

    PRINCE HENRY
    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 match have you made with this jest of the
    drawer? come, what's the issue?

    PRINCE HENRY
    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 midnight.

    Re-enter FRANCIS

    What's o'clock, Francis?

    FRANCIS
    Anon, anon, sir.

    Exit

    PRINCE HENRY
    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 to-day?' '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; FRANCIS following 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 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?

    He drinks

    PRINCE HENRY
    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.

    FALSTAFF
    You rogue, here's lime in this sack too: there is
    nothing but roguery to be found in villanous man:
    yet a coward is worse than a cup of sack with lime
    in it. A villanous 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 any
    thing. A plague of all cowards, I say still.

    PRINCE HENRY
    How now, wool-sack! 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!

    PRINCE HENRY
    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.

    FALSTAFF
    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 to-day.

    PRINCE HENRY
    O villain! thy lips are scarce wiped since thou
    drunkest last.

    FALSTAFF
    All's one for that.

    He drinks

    A plague of all cowards, still say I.

    PRINCE HENRY
    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 HENRY
    Where is it, Jack? where is it?

    FALSTAFF
    Where is it! taken from us it is: a hundred upon
    poor four of us.

    PRINCE HENRY
    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 eight times thrust through the
    doublet, four through the hose; my buckler cut
    through and through; my sword hacked like a
    hand-saw--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.

    PRINCE HENRY
    Speak, sirs; how was it?

    GADSHILL
    We four set upon some dozen--

    FALSTAFF
    Sixteen at least, my lord.

    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 Ebrew Jew.

    GADSHILL
    As we were sharing, some six or seven fresh men set upon us--

    FALSTAFF
    And unbound the rest, and then come in the other.

    PRINCE HENRY
    What, fought you with them all?

    FALSTAFF
    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-legged creature.

    PRINCE HENRY
    Pray God you have not murdered some of them.

    FALSTAFF
    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 HENRY
    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 a-front, and mainly thrust at
    me. I made me no more ado but took all their seven
    points in my target, thus.

    PRINCE HENRY
    Seven? why, there were but four even now.

    FALSTAFF
    In buckram?

    POINS
    Ay, four, in buckram suits.

    FALSTAFF
    Seven, by these hilts, or I am a villain else.

    PRINCE HENRY
    Prithee, let him alone; we shall have more anon.

    FALSTAFF
    Dost thou hear me, Hal?

    PRINCE HENRY
    Ay, and mark thee too, Jack.

    FALSTAFF
    Do so, for it is worth the listening to. These nine
    in buckram that I told thee of--

    PRINCE HENRY
    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 in foot and hand; and with a thought seven of
    the eleven I paid.

    PRINCE HENRY
    O monstrous! eleven buckram men grown out of two!

    FALSTAFF
    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.

    PRINCE HENRY
    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, grease tallow-catch,--

    FALSTAFF
    What, art thou mad? art thou mad? is not the truth
    the truth?

    PRINCE HENRY
    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 to this?

    POINS
    Come, your reason, Jack, your reason.

    FALSTAFF
    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.

    PRINCE HENRY
    I'll be no longer guilty of this sin; this sanguine
    coward, this bed-presser, this horseback-breaker,
    this huge hill of flesh,--

    FALSTAFF
    'Sblood, you starveling, you elf-skin, you dried
    neat's tongue, you bull's pizzle, you stock-fish! O
    for breath to utter what is like thee! you
    tailor's-yard, you sheath, you bowcase; you vile
    standing-tuck,--

    PRINCE HENRY
    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.

    PRINCE HENRY
    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, out-faced 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?

    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, 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 to-night, pray to-morrow.
    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?

    PRINCE HENRY
    Content; and the argument shall be thy running away.

    FALSTAFF
    Ah, no more of that, Hal, an thou lovest me!

    Enter Hostess

    Hostess
    O Jesu, my lord the prince!

    PRINCE HENRY
    How now, my lady the hostess! what sayest 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 HENRY
    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.

    FALSTAFF
    What doth gravity out of his bed at midnight? Shall
    I give him his answer?

    PRINCE HENRY
    Prithee, do, Jack.

    FALSTAFF
    'Faith, and I'll send him packing.

    Exit FALSTAFF

    PRINCE HENRY
    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!

    BARDOLPH
    'Faith, I ran when I saw others run.

    PRINCE HENRY
    'Faith, tell me now in earnest, how came Falstaff's
    sword so 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.

    BARDOLPH
    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.

    PRINCE HENRY
    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?

    BARDOLPH
    My lord, do you see these meteors? do you behold
    these exhalations?

    PRINCE HENRY
    I do.

    BARDOLPH
    What think you they portend?

    PRINCE HENRY
    Hot livers and cold purses.

    BARDOLPH
    Choler, my lord, if rightly taken.

    PRINCE HENRY
    No, if rightly taken, halter.

    Re-enter FALSTAFF

    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 villanous 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?

    POINS
    O, Glendower.

    FALSTAFF
    Owen, Owen, the same; and his son-in-law Mortimer,
    and old Northumberland, and that sprightly Scot of
    Scots, Douglas, that runs o' horseback up a hill
    perpendicular,--

    PRINCE HENRY
    He that rides at high speed and with his pistol
    kills a sparrow flying.

    FALSTAFF
    You have hit it.

    PRINCE HENRY
    So did he never the sparrow.

    FALSTAFF
    Well, that rascal hath good mettle in him; he will not run.

    PRINCE HENRY
    Why, what a rascal art thou then, to praise him so
    for running!

    FALSTAFF
    O' horseback, ye cuckoo; but afoot he will not budge a foot.

    PRINCE HENRY
    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 away to-night; thy father's
    beard is turned white with the news: you may buy
    land now as cheap as stinking mackerel.

    PRINCE HENRY
    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.

    FALSTAFF
    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?

    PRINCE HENRY
    Not a whit, i' faith; I lack some of thy instinct.

    FALSTAFF
    Well, thou wert be horribly chid tomorrow when thou
    comest to thy father: if thou love me, practise an answer.

    PRINCE HENRY
    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 dagger my sceptre, and this cushion my crown.

    PRINCE HENRY
    Thy state is taken for a joined-stool, thy golden
    sceptre for a leaden dagger, and thy precious rich
    crown for a pitiful bald crown!

    FALSTAFF
    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.

    PRINCE HENRY
    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.

    Hostess
    O, the father, how he holds his countenance!

    FALSTAFF
    For God's sake, lords, convey my tristful queen;
    For tears do stop the flood-gates of her eyes.

    Hostess
    O Jesu, he doth it as like one of these harlotry
    players as ever 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, 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 villanous 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 sun 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.

    PRINCE HENRY
    What manner of man, an it like your majesty?

    FALSTAFF
    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?

    PRINCE HENRY
    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 rabbit-sucker or a poulter's hare.

    PRINCE HENRY
    Well, here I am set.

    FALSTAFF
    And here I stand: judge, my masters.

    PRINCE HENRY
    Now, Harry, whence come you?

    FALSTAFF
    My noble lord, from Eastcheap.

    PRINCE HENRY
    The complaints I hear of thee are grievous.

    FALSTAFF
    'Sblood, my lord, they are false: nay, I'll tickle
    ye for a young prince, i' faith.

    PRINCE HENRY
    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 villany? wherein villanous,
    but in all things? wherein worthy, but in nothing?

    FALSTAFF
    I would your grace would take me with you: whom
    means your grace?

    PRINCE HENRY
    That villanous abominable misleader of youth,
    Falstaff, that old white-bearded Satan.

    FALSTAFF
    My lord, the man I know.

    PRINCE HENRY
    I know thou dost.

    FALSTAFF
    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.

    PRINCE HENRY
    I do, I will.

    A knocking heard

    Exeunt Hostess, FRANCIS, and BARDOLPH

    Re-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.

    Re-enter the Hostess

    Hostess
    O Jesu, my lord, my lord!

    PRINCE HENRY
    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 come 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 mad,
    without seeming so.

    PRINCE HENRY
    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 with a halter as another.

    PRINCE HENRY
    Go, hide thee behind the arras: the rest walk up
    above. Now, my masters, for a true face and good
    conscience.

    FALSTAFF
    Both which I have had: but their date is out, and
    therefore I'll hide me.

    PRINCE HENRY
    Call in the sheriff.

    Exeunt all except PRINCE HENRY and PETO

    Enter Sheriff and the Carrier

    Now, master sheriff, what is your will with me?

    Sheriff
    First, pardon me, my lord. A hue and cry
    Hath follow'd certain men unto this house.

    PRINCE HENRY
    What men?

    Sheriff
    One of them is well known, my gracious lord,
    A gross fat man.

    Carrier
    As fat as butter.

    PRINCE HENRY
    The man, I do assure you, is not here;
    For I myself at this time have employ'd him.
    And, sheriff, I will engage my word to thee
    That I will, by to-morrow dinner-time,
    Send him to answer thee, or any man,
    For any thing he shall be charged withal:
    And so let me entreat you leave the house.

    Sheriff
    I will, my lord. There are two gentlemen
    Have in this robbery lost three hundred marks.

    PRINCE HENRY
    It may be so: if he have robb'd these men,
    He shall be answerable; and so farewell.

    Sheriff
    Good night, my noble lord.

    PRINCE HENRY
    I think it is good morrow, is it not?

    Sheriff
    Indeed, my lord, I think it be two o'clock.

    Exeunt Sheriff and Carrier

    PRINCE HENRY
    This oily rascal is known as well as Paul's. Go,
    call him forth.

    PETO
    Falstaff!--Fast asleep behind the arras, and
    snorting like a horse.

    PRINCE HENRY
    Hark, how hard he fetches breath. Search his pockets.

    He searcheth his pockets, and findeth certain papers

    What hast thou found?

    PETO
    Nothing but papers, my lord.

    PRINCE HENRY
    Let's see what they be: read them.

    PETO
    [Reads] 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.

    PRINCE HENRY
    O monstrous! but one half-penny-worth 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.

    Exeunt

    PETO
    Good morrow, good my lord.
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    Chapter 7
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