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The Hostess enters.

How now, Dame Partlet1 the hen! have you inquired who

picked my pocket? Hostess. Why, Sir John, what do you think, Sir John? Do

you think I keep thieves in my house? I have searched, I have inquired, man by man, boy by boy, servant by servant.

A hair was never lost in my house before. Falstaff. Ye lie, hostess. Bardolph was shaved and lost

many a hair; and I'll be sworn my pocket was picked. Hostess. Sir John; you owe me money. You owe

money here and money lent you, four and twenty pound. Falstaff. [Pointing to Bardolph.] He had his part of it; let


him pay.

Hostess. He? Alas, he is poor, he hath nothing.
Falstaff. How! poor? Look upon his face; what call you

rich? Let them coin his nose, let them coin his cheeks. I'll not pay a penny. What, shall I not take mine ease in mine inn but I shall have my pocket picked? I have lost a

seal-ring of my grandfather's worth forty marks. Hostess. O, I have heard the Prince tell thee, I know not

how oft, that that ring was copper! Falstaff. How! The Prince is a Jack?. If he were here, I would cudgel him like a dog, if he would say so.

(There is the sound of marching outside.)

The Prince enters, and Falstaff meets him playing on his truncheon like a fife. Falstaff. How now, lad! must we all march? Hostess. My lord, hear me. Prince. What sayest thou? Falstaff. Let her alone, and listen to me. Prince. What sayest thou Jack?

1 Dame Partlet: the hen in Reynard the Fox. 2 Jack: knave.

Falstaff. The other night I fell asleep here behind the arras

and had my pocket picked. This house is turned into a

den of thieves. Hostess. Thou a t an unjust man in saying so. Prince. Thou sayest true, and he slanders it. Hostess. So he doth you, my lord; he said this other day you

owed him a thousand pound. Prince. Rascal, do I owe you a thousand pound? Falstaff. A thousand pound, Hal! A million. Thy love is

worth a million; thou owest me thy love. Hostess. Nay, my lord, he called you Jack, and said he

would cudgel you. Falstaff. Did I, Bardolph? Bardolph. Indeed, Sir John, you said so. Falstaff. Yea, if he said my ring was copper. Prince. I say 'tis copper. Darest thou be as good as thy

word now? Falstaff. Why, Hal, thou knowest, as thou art but man, I

dare; but as thou art Prince, I fear thee as I fear the roar

ing of the lion's whelp. But Hal, the news at court. Prince. I have procured thee, Jack, a charge of foot soldiers. Falstaff. I would it had been of horse. But God be thanked for

these rebels, they offend none but the virtuous. I praise them. Prince. Bardolph! Bardolph. My lord? Prince. Go take this letter to my brother John, Lord John

of Lancaster. I must to horse; for I have thirty miles to ride yet ere dinner time. Jack, meet me tomorrow at the Temple hall. There shalt thou know thy charge. The land is burning; Percy2 stands on high; And either we or he must lower le. [Exit.]

1 of horse: of mounted soldiers, cavalry. Percy: Hotspur: i.e. Henry Percy.

[graphic][merged small]

Falstaff. Rare words! brave world! — Hostess, my breakfast,

O, I wish this tavern were my

[He drums a march on the table till the fall of the curtain.]


(Prolog.) An edge of the battle field, before the fight. (Exit.] (L. 1, Percy's camp; R. 3, the King's Camp.]

Scene 1. Night. A light reveals Hotspur, Worcester, and Douglas waiting impatiently.

A Messenger enters with letters.
Hotspur. What letters hast thou there?
Messenger. These letters come from your father.
Hotspur. Letters from him! Why comes he not himself?
Messenger. He cannot come, my lord; he is sick.
Hotspur. 'Zounds! how has he the leisure to be sick?

Who leads his power?'
Messenger. His letters bear his mind, not I, my lord.

[Exit L.] Hotspur. (As he reads.] Sick now! droop now! This sickness

doth infect
The very life-blood of our enterprise;
'Tis catching hither, even to our camp.
He writes me here, that inward sickness
And that his friends by deputation could not
So soon be drawn, nor did he think it meet 5
To lay so dangerous and dearé a trust
On any soul but on his own.

power: force, army.
2 bear his mind: convey what he wished to tell you.
3 by deputation: by persuasion of others acting as his deputies.
4 drawn: levied, assembled.
5 meet: well.

6 dear: pressing or urgent.


Worcester. Your father's sickness is a maim to us.
Hotspur. A perilous gash, a very limb lopped off.
Worcester. It will be thought by some that know not why

He is away, that wisdom and dislike
Of our proceedings kept the Earl from here.
This absence of your father's draws a curtain,
That shows the ignorant a kind of fear

Before not dreamt of.

You strain too far.
I rather of his absence make this use:
It lends a lustre and more great opinion,
A larger dare to our great enterprise,
Than if the Earl were here.

Sir Richard Vernon appears (L.).
Hotspur. My cousin Vernon! welcome, by my soul.
Vernon. Pray God my news be worth a welcome, lord.

The Earl of Westmoreland, seven thousand strong,

Is marching hitherwards; and with him Prince John.
Hotspur. No harm. What more?

And further, I have learned,
The King himself in person is set forth.
Hotspur. He shall be welcome too. Where is his son,

The nimble-footed madcap Prince of Wales,
And his comrades, that doffed the world aside,

And bid it pas:??

All furnished, all in arms; And full of spirit as the month of May.

I saw young Harry, with his beaver) on. Hotspur. Let them come!

Come, let me taste my horse,4

1 draws a curtain: as if to conceal something.

? comrades, that doffed the world aside, and bid it pass. A good characterization of Falstaff, Poins, and the rest.

3 beaver: a part of the headpiece of a suit of armor. 4 taste my horse: feel my horse under me.

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