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Prince. The complaints I hear of thee are grievous.
Falstaff. 'Sblood, my lord, they are false.
Prince. Swearest thou, ungracious boy? Henceforth never

look on me. Thou art violently carried away from grace.2 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 huge, roasted ox, that reverend vice, that gray iniquity, that father ruffian, that vanity in years? Wherein is he good, but to taste wine and drink it? wherein neat and cleanly, but to carve a fowl and eat it? wherein cunning, but in villany? wherein villanous, but in all things?

wherein worthy, but in nothing? Falstaff. I would your Grace would take me with you.3

Whom? Prince. That villanous abominable misleader of youth,

Falstaff, that old white-bearded Satan. Falstaff. My lord, the man I know. Prince. I know thou dost. Falstaff. That he is old, the more the pity, his white hairs

do witness it; but that he is wicked, I deny. If to be old and merry be a sin, then many an old man that I know is lost. No, my good lord; 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.

A loud knocking is heard (R.) outside, and Bardolph, the Hostess, and Gadshill go to see what it is. Gadshill returns, running. Gadshill. O, my lord, my lord! the sheriff with a most mon

strous watch is at the door.

1 'Sblood. Another word coined to conceal an oath. The word was contracted from “God's blood.”

grace: honor. 3 take me with you: let me follow your meaning.


[graphic][merged small]

Falstaff. Out, ye rogue! Play out the play.

The Hostess returns. Hostess. My lord, my lord! Prince. 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? Falstaf. Offering to drag the Prince away.) Dost thou hear,

Hal? (And when he will not leave.] Thou art mad. Prince. Go, hide thee behind the arras;' the rest walk up above. (To the Hostess.] Call in the sheriff.

Falstaff hides.
[Exeunt all except the Prince.)

The Sheriff enters (R.).
Sheriff. Pardon me, my lord.

A hue and cry
Hath followed certain men unto this house.
Prince. What men?
Sheriff. One of them is well known, my gracious lord,

A gross fat man.
Prince. The man, I do assure you, is not here,

For I myself at this time have employed him.
And, sheriff, I will engage my word to thee
That I will, by tomorrow dinner-time,
Send him to answer thee or any man.

And so let me entreat you leave the house.
Sheriff. I will, my lord. Good night, my noble lord.
Prince. I think it is good morning, is it not?
Sheriff. Indeed, my lord, I think it be two o'clock.

The Sheriff leaves (R.).
Prince. (Drawing aside a corner of the arras.) Falstaff! - Fast

asleep behind the arras, and snorting like a horse. — We


arras (ărăs): a tapestry hung a few feet out from the wall. It served in the same office to conceal an unsightly wall as our wall paper does.

must all to the wars. — Thyl place shall be honorable. — I'll procure this fat rogue a charge of foot soldiers, and I know his death will be a march of twelve score miles.



The playlet of Prince Hal and Falstaff is extremely short. It may be combined with the next playlet, Prince Hal and Hotspur. The Dramatis Persona and Synopsis of the combined play are given on page 388.

1 Thy: Falstaff's.





HENRY PERCY (hěn'rì pûr'sť), surnamed HOTSPUR.
EARL OF NORTHUMBERLAND (nôr-thům'bûr-lănd), his father.
EARL OF WORCESTER (woos'tēr), his uncle.
EDMUND MORTIMER (ěd'mŭnd môr'ti-měr), Earl of March, his

OWEN GLENDOWER (o'ěn glěn'door), of Wales.
SIR RICHARD VERNON (rìch'ärd vûr'nŭn).
EARL OF Douglas (dŭg'làs).
BARDOLPH (bär'dôlf).
DAME QUICKLY (kwik'ly), hostess of a tavern.

sons to the King.
JOHN OF LANCASTER (lăng'kis-tễr),
SIR WALTER BLUNT (wôl'těr blůnt).
14 reading parts.*

SETTING: England.
TIME: 1402-1403 A.D.


SYNOPSIS Act I. Scene 1. London. The palace. Hotspur, the son of the powerful Earl of Northumberland, hears from his father and uncle of Mortimer's claim to the throne.

Scene 2. In Wales. Hotspur, Mortimer, and Glendower plan to divide England and Wales among themselves.

* Cast reducible to 11 by doubling Northumberland and Mortimer, Vernon and Glendower, Blunt and King Henry IV.

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