Henry IV, Part 1* by William Shakespeare § 2.2

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ACT II
SCENE II. The highway, near Gadshill.
[Enter PRINCE HENRY and POINS]
POINS.
900 Come, shelter, shelter: I have removed Falstaff's
horse, and he frets like a gummed velvet.
PRINCE HENRY.
Stand close.
[Enter FALSTAFF]
905 FALSTAFF.
Poins! Poins, and be hanged! Poins!
PRINCE HENRY.
Peace, ye fat-kidneyed rascal! what a brawling dost
thou keep!
910 FALSTAFF.
Where's Poins, Hal?
PRINCE HENRY.
He is walked up to the top of the hill: I'll go seek him.
FALSTAFF.
915 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
920 '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
rogue's company. If the rascal hath not given me
medicines to make me love him, I'll be hanged; it
925 could not be else: I have drunk 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
930 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 be true one to another!
[They whistle]
935 Whew! A plague upon you all! Give me my horse, you
rogues; give me my horse, and be hanged!
PRINCE HENRY.
Peace, ye fat-guts! lie down; lay thine ear close
to the ground and list if thou canst hear the tread
940 of travellers.
FALSTAFF.
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.
945 What a plague mean ye to colt me thus?
PRINCE HENRY.
Thou liest; thou art not colted, thou art uncolted.
FALSTAFF.
I prithee, good Prince Hal, help me to my horse,
950 good king's son.
PRINCE HENRY.
Out, ye rogue! shall I be your ostler?
FALSTAFF.
Go, hang thyself in thine own heir-apparent
955 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]
960 GADSHILL.
Stand.
FALSTAFF.
So I do, against my will.
POINS.
965 O, 'tis our setter: I know his voice. Bardolph,
what news?
BARDOLPH.
Case ye, case ye; on with your vizards: there 's
money of the king's coming down the hill; 'tis going
970 to the king's exchequer.
FALSTAFF.
You lie, ye rogue; 'tis going to the king's tavern.
GADSHILL.
There's enough to make us all.
975 FALSTAFF.
To be hanged.
PRINCE HENRY.
Sirs, you four shall front them in the narrow lane;
Ned Poins and I will walk lower: if they 'scape
980 from your encounter, then they light on us.
PETO.
How many be there of them?
GADSHILL.
Some eight or ten.
985 FALSTAFF.
'Zounds, will they not rob us?
PRINCE HENRY.
What, a coward, Sir John Paunch?
FALSTAFF.
990 Indeed, I am not John of Gaunt, your grandfather;
but yet no coward, Hal.
PRINCE HENRY.
Well, we leave that to the proof.
POINS.
995 Sirrah Jack, thy horse stands behind the hedge:
when thou needest him, there thou shalt find him.
Farewell, and stand fast.
FALSTAFF.
Now cannot I strike him, if I should be hanged.
1000 PRINCE HENRY.
Ned, where are our disguises?
POINS.
Here, hard by: stand close.
[Exeunt PRINCE HENRY and POINS]
1005 FALSTAFF.
Now, my masters, happy man be his dole, say I:
every man to his business.
[Enter the Travellers]
FIRST TRAVELLER.
1010 Come, neighbour: the boy shall lead our horses down
the hill; we'll walk afoot awhile, and ease our legs.
THIEVES.
Stand!
TRAVELLERS.
1015 Jesus bless us!
FALSTAFF.
Strike; down with them; cut the villains' throats:
ah! whoreson caterpillars! bacon-fed knaves! they
hate us youth: down with them: fleece them.
1020 TRAVELLERS.
O, we are undone, both we and ours for ever!
FALSTAFF.
Hang ye, gorbellied knaves, are ye undone? No, ye
fat chuffs: I would your store were here! On,
1025 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]
PRINCE HENRY.
1030 The thieves have bound the true men. Now could thou
and I rob the thieves and go merrily to London, it
would be argument for a week, laughter for a month
and a good jest for ever.
POINS.
1035 Stand close; I hear them coming.
[Enter the Thieves again]
FALSTAFF.
Come, my masters, let us share, and then to horse
before day. An the Prince and Poins be not two
1040 arrant cowards, there's no equity stirring: there's
no more valour in that Poins than in a wild-duck.
PRINCE HENRY.
Your money!
POINS.
1045 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]
PRINCE HENRY.
Got with much ease. Now merrily to horse:
The thieves are all scatter'd and possess'd with fear
1050 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:
Were 't not for laughing, I should pity him.
1055 POINS.
How the rogue roar'd!
[Exeunt]

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