SCENE IIThe highway, near Gadshill.
Enter PRINCE HENRY and POINS.
Come, shelter, shelter: I have removed
Falstaff's horse, and he frets like a
Stand close. Enter Falstaff.
Poins! Poins, and be hanged! Poins!
Peace, ye fat-kidneyed rascal!
what a brawling dost thou keep!
Where's Poins, Hal?
He is walked up to the top of the (10)
hill: I'll go seek him.
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 (20)
rogue's company. If the rascal have not given
me 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 (30)
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
Peace, ye fat-guts! lie down; lay
thine ear close to the ground and list if thou
canst hear the tread of travellers.
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 (40)
ye to colt me thus?
Thou liest; thou art no colted,
thou art uncolted.
I prithee, good Prince Hal, help me
to my horse, good king's son.
Out, ye rogue! shall I be your ostler?
Go hang theyself in thine own heirapparent
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 with him.
So I do, against my will.
O, 'tis our setter: I know his voice.
Bardolph, what news?
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.
You lie, ye rogue; 'tis going to the
king's tavern. (60)
There's enough to make us all.
To be hanged.
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.
How many be there of them?
Some eight or ten.
'Zounds, will they not rob us?
What, a coward, Sir John Paunch? (70)
Indeed, I am not John of Gaunt, your
grandfather; but yet no coward, Hal.
Well, we leave that to the proof.
Sirrah Jack, thy horse stands behind
the hedge: when thou needest him, there
thou shalt find him. Farewell, and stand fast.
Now cannot I strike him, if I should
Ned, where are our disguises?
Here, hard by: stand close. [Exeunt Prince and Poins.
Now, my masters, happy man be his
dole, say I: every man to his business. Enter the Travellers.
Come, neighbour: that boy shall
lead our horses down the hill; we'll walk
afoot awhile, and ease our legs.
Jesus bless us!
Strike; down with them; cut the villains'
throats: ah! whoreson caterpillars!
bacon-fed knaves! they hate us youth: down (90)
with them; fleece them.
O, we are undone, both we
and ours forever!
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.
The thieves have bound the true
men. Now could thou and I rob the thieves (100)
and go merrily to London, it would be argument
for a week, laughter for a month and
a good jest for ever.
Stand close; I hear them coming. Enter the Thieves again.
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.
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.]
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:
Weren't not for laughing, I should pity him.
How the rogue roar'd! [Exeunt.