Зображення сторінки
PDF
ePub

as thick as Tewksbury mustard : there is no more conceit in him, than is in a mallet.

Doll. Why does the prince love him so then?

Fal. Because their legs are both of a bigness : and he plays at quoits well; and eats conger and fennel; and drinks off candles' ends for flapdragons; and rides the wild mare with the boys; and juinps upon jointstools; and swears with a good grace; and wears his boot very smooth, like unto the sign of the leg; and breeds no bate with telling of discreet stories: and such other gambol faculties he hath, that show a weak mind and an able body, for the which the prince admits him : for the prince himself is such another; the weight of a hair will turn the scales between their avoirdupois.

P. Hen. Would not this nave of a wheel have his ears cut off?

Poins. Let's beat him before his whore.

P. Hen. Look, if the withered elder hath not his poll clawed like a parrot.

Poins. Is it not strange, that desire should so many years outlive performance ?

Fal. Kiss me, Doll.

P. Hen. Saturn and Venus this year in conjunction! what says

the almanack to that? Poins. And, look, whether the fiery Trigon, his man, be not lisping to his master's old tables; his note-book, his counsel-keeper.

Fal. Thou dost give me flattering busses.

Doll. Nay, truly; I kiss thee with a most constant heart.

Fal. I am old, I am old.

Doll. I love thee better than I love e'er a scurvy yoong boy of them all.

Fal. What stuff wilt have a kirtle of? I shall receive money on Thursday: thou shalt have a cap to-morrow.

merry song, come: it grows late, we'll to bed. Thou'lt forget me, when I am gone.

Doll. By my troth thou'lt set me a weeping, an thon sayest so: prove that ever I dress myself handsome till thy return. -Well, hearken the end.

A

[ocr errors]

Fal. Some sack, Francis.
P. Hen. Poins. Anon, anon, sir. [Advancing.

Fal. Ha! a bastard son of the king's—And art not thou Poins his brother?

P. Hen. Why, thou globe of sinful continents, what a life dost thou lead ?

Fal. A better than thou; I am a gentleman, thou art a drawer.

P. Hen. Very true, sir; and I come to draw you out by the ears.

Host. O, the Lord preserve thy good grace! by my troth, welcome to London.-Now the Lord bless that sweet face of thine! O Jesu, are you come from Wales?

Fal. Thou whoreson mad coinpound of majesty,by this light flesh and corrupt blood, thou art welcome.

[Leaning his Hand

upon

Doll. Doll. How! you fat fool, I scorn you.

Poins. My lord, he will drive you out of your revenge, and turn all to a merriment, if you take not the heat.

P. Hen. You whoreson candle-mine, you; how vilely did you speak of me even now, before this honest, virtuous, civil gentlewoman!

Host. 'Blessing o'your good heart! and so she is, by Fal. Didst thou hear me?

P. Hen. Yes; and you knew me, as you did when you ran away by Gadshill: you knew, I was at your back; and spoke it on purpose, to try my patience.

Fal. No, no, no; not so; I did not think thou wast within hearing:

P. Hen. I shall drive you then to confess the wilful abuse; and then I know how to handle

you. Fal. No abuse, Hal, on mine honour; no abuse.

P. Hen. Not! to dispraise me; and call me-pantler, and bread-chipper, and I know not what?

Fal. No abuse, Hal.
Poins. No abuse!
Fal. No abuse, Ned, in the world; honest Ned,

I dispraised him before the wicked, that the

my troth.

none.

wicked might not fall in love with him :-in which doing, I have done the part of a careful friend, and a true subject, and thy father is to give me thanks for it. No abuse, Hal ;-none, Ned, none;—no, boys, none.

P. Hen. See, now, whether pure fear, and entire cowardice, doth not make thee wrong this virtuous gentlewoman to close with us? Is she of the wicked ? Is thine hostess here of the wicked? Or is the boy of the wicked? Or honest Bardolph, whose zeal burns in his nose, of the wicked?

Poins. Answer, thou dead elm, answer.

Fal. The fiend bath pricked down Bardolph irrecoverable; and his face is Lucifer's privy-kitchen, where he doth nothing but roast malt-worms. For the boy,—there is a good angel about him; but the devil outbids him too.

P. Hen. For the women,

Fal. For one of them,-she is in hell already, and burns, poor soul! For the other, I owe her money ; and whether she be damned for that, I know not.

Host. No, I warrant you.

Fal. No, I think thou art not; I think, thou art quit for that: Marry, there is another indictment upon thee, for suffering flesh to be eaten in thy house, contrary to the law; for the which, I think, thou wilt howl.

Host. All victuallers do so: What's a joint of mutton or two, in a whole Lent?

P. Hen. You, gentlewoman,-
Doll. What says your grace?

Fal. His grace says that which his flesh rebels against.

Host. Who knocks so loud at door? look to the
door there, Francis.

Enter PETO.
P. Hen. Peto, how now? what news?

Peto. The king, your father, is at Westminster;
And there are twenty weak and wearied posts,
Come from the north: and, as I came along,
I met, and overtook, a dozen captains,

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

. Bare-headed, sweating, knocking at the taverns, And asking every one for sir John Falstaff.

P. Hen. By heaven, Poins, I feel me much to blame, So idly to profane the precious time; When tempest of commotion, like the south, Borne with black vapour, doth begin to melt, And drop upon our bare unarined heads. Give me my sword, and cloak :-Falstaff, good night.

[Exeunt Prince Henry, Poins, Peto, and Bardolph.

Fal. Now comes in the sweetest morsel of the night, and we must hence, and leave it unpicked. [Knocking heard] More knocking at the door?

Re-enter BARDOLPH. How now? what's the matter?

Bard. You must away to court, sir, presently; A dozen captains stay at door for you.

Fal. Pay the inusicians, sirrah. [To the Page), Farewell, hostess ;-farewell, Doll.—You see, my good wenches, how men of merit are sought after: the un deserver may sleep, when the man of action is called on. Farewell, good wenches.—If I be not sent away post, I will see you again, ere I go.

Doll. I cannot speak ;-If my heart be not ready to burst:-Well, sweet Jack, have a care of thyself. Fal. Farewell, farewell.

[Exeunt Falstaff and Bardolph. Host. Well, fare thee welt: I have known thee these twenty-nine years, come peascod-time; but an honester, and truer-hearted man,--Well, fare thee well.

Bard. [Within] Mistress Tear-sheet,-
Host. What's the matter?

Bard. [Within] Bid mistress Tear-sheet come to my master.

Host. O run, Doll, run; run, good Doll. [Exeunt. Enter King Henry, in his Nightgown, with a Page.

[graphic][merged small]

K. Hen. Go, call the earls of Surry, and of Warwick;
But, ere they come, bid them o'er-read these letters,
And well consider of them: Make good speed.

[Exit Page.
How many thousands of my poorest subjects
Are at this hour asleep!-Sleep, gentle sleep,
Natore's soft nurse, how have I frighted thee,
That thou no more wilt weigh my eyelids down,

steep my senses in forgetfulness?
Why rather, sleep, liest thou in smoky cribs,
Es Upon uneasy pallets stretching thee,

And hush'd with buzzing night-flies to thy slumber;
Than in the perfum'd chambers of the great,
Under the canopies of costly state,
And lull’d with sounds of sweetest melody?
O thou dull god, why liest thou with the vile,

And

« НазадПродовжити »