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foresters,' gentlemen of the shade, minions of the moon. And let men say, we be men of good government; being governed as the sea is, by our noble and chaste mistress the moon, under whose countenance westeal.

P. Hen. Thou say'st well; and it holds well too; for the fortune of us, that are the moon's men, doth ebb

, and flow like the sea; being governed as the sea is, by the moon.

As, for proof, now: a purse of gold most resolutely snatched on Monday night, and most dissolutely spent on Tuesday morning; got with swearinglay by ;- and spent with crying—bring in ;3 now, in as low an ebb as the foot of the ladder; and, by and by, in as high a flow as the ridge of the gallows.

Fal. By the Lord, thou say'st true, lad. And is not my

hostess of the tavern a most sweet wench? P. Hen. As the honey of Hybla, my old lad of the castle. And is not a buff jerkin a most sweet robe of durance?5

Fal. How now, how now, mad wag? what, in thy


signified the attendant of a knight. It became afterwards the cant term for a pimp: Falstaff puns on the words knight and beauty, quasi booty.

i This is the lament of Thomas Mowbray, duke of Norfolk, in The Mirror for Magistrates. Hall, in his Chronicles, says that certain persons who appeared as foresters in a pageant exhibited in the reign of king Henry VIII. were called Diana's knights.

2 i. e. be still; equivalent to the phrase “ stand and deliver.” 3 i. e. “bring in more wine."

4 Old lad of the castle. This passage has been supposed to have a reference to the name of sir John Oldcastle. Rowe says that there was a tradition that the part of Falstaff was originally written by Shakspeare under that name. Fuller, in his Church History, book iv. p. 168, mentions this change in the following manner:—“ Stage poets have themselves been very bold with, and others very merry at, the memory of sir John Oldcastle, whom they have fancied a boon companion, a jovial royster, and a coward to boot. The best is, sir John Falstaff hath relieved the memory of sir John Oldcastle, and of late is substituted buffoon in his place." In confirmation of this, it may be remarked that one of Falstaff's speeches in the first edition has Old, instead of Falst. prefixed to it; and in the epilogue to the Second Part of King Henry IV. the Poet makes a kind of retraction for having made too free with sir John Oldcastle's name “Where, for any thing I know, Falstaff shall die of a sweat, unless he be killed with your hard opinions ; for Oldcastle died a martyr, and this is not the man."

5 The buff, or leather jerkin, was the common habit of a serjeant, or sheriff's officer, and is called a robe of durance on that account, as well as for its durability.


quips, and thy quiddities? What a plague have I to do with a buff jerkin?

P. Hen. Why, what a pox have I to do with my hostess of the tavern?

Fal. Well, thou hast called her to a reckoning, many a time and oft.

P. Hen. Did I ever call for thee to pay thy part?

Fal. No; I'll give thee thy due, thou hast paid all there.

P. Hen. Yea, and elsewhere, so far as my coin would stretch; and where it would not, I have used my credit.

Fal. Yea, and so used it, that were it not here apparent that thou art heir apparent --But, I pr’ythee, sweet wag, shall there be gallows standing in England when thou art king ? and resolution thus fobbed as it is, with the rusty curb of old father antic the law ? Do not thou, when thou art king, hang a thief.

P. Hen. No; thou shalt.

Fal. Shall I ? O rare! By the Lord, I'll be a brave judge.

P. Hen. Thou judgest false already; I mean, thou shalt have the hanging of the thieves, and so become a rare hangman.

Fal. Well, Hal, well; and in some sort it jumps with my humor, as well as waiting in the court, I can

tell you

P. Hen. For obtaining of suits ?

Fal. Yea, for obtaining of suits; whereof the hangman hath no lean wardrobe. 'Sblood, I am as melancholy as a gib' cat, or a lugged bear.

P. Hen. Or an old lion; or a lover's lute.
Fal. Yea, or the drone of a Lincolnshire bagpipe.?

P. Hen. What sayest thou to a hare, or the melancholy of Moor-ditch 4

1 A gib cat is a male cat, from Gilbert, the northern name for a he cat.

2 " Lincolnshire bagpipe” is a proverbial saying ; the allusion is as yet unexplained. Steevens supposes it to mean “a frog.”

3 The hare was esteemed a melancholy animal, from her solitary sitting in her form; its flesh was supposed to generate melancholy.

4 Moor-ditch, a part of the ditch surrounding the city of London, be

Fal. Thou hast the most unsavory similes; and art, indeed, the most comparative, rascalliest,-sweet young prince,-But, Hal, I pr’ythee, trouble me no more with vanity. I would to God, thou and I knew where a commodity of good names were to be bought. An old lord of the council rated me the other day in the street about you, sir ; but I marked him not: and yet he talked very wisely; but I regarded him not: and yet

he talked wisely, and in the street too.

P. Hen. Thou didst well; for wisdom cries out in the streets, and no man regards it.

Fal. O thou hast damnable iteration ; and art, indeed, able to corrupt a saint. Thou hast done much harm upon me, Hal,—God forgive thee for it! Before I knew thee, Hal, I knew nothing; and now am I, if a man should speak truly, little better than one of the wicked. I must give over this life, and I will give it over; by the Lord, an I do not, I am a villain ; I'll be damned for never a king's son in Christendom.

P. Hen. Where shall we take a purse to-morrow, Jack ?

Fal. Where thou wilt, lad I'll make one ; an I do not, call me villain, and baffle ? me.

P. Hen. I see a good amendment of life in thee; from praying, to purse-taking.

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Enter Poins, at a distance. Fal. Why, Hal, 'tis my vocation, Hal; 'tis no sin for a man to labor in his vocation. Poins !-Now shall we know if Gadshill have set a match. O, if men were to be saved by merit, what hole in hell were hot enough for him? This is the most omnipotent villain, that ever cried, Stand, to a true man.


tween Bishopsgate and Cripplegate, opened to an unwholesome, impassable

Thus, in Taylor's Pennylesse Pilgrimage, 1618:-“ My body being tired with travel, and my mind attired with moody muddy, Mooreditch melancholy."

1 Comparative: this epithet, which is used here for one who is fond of making comparisons, occurs again in Act iii. Sc. 2, of this play.

? To baffle is to use contemptuously, or treat with ignominy ; to unknight.

3 To set a match is to make an appointment. So in Ben Jonson's Bartholomew Fair, “Peace, sir, they'll be angry if they hear you eaves-dropping, now they are setting their match." The folio reads set a watch; match is the reading of the quarto.

P. Hen. Good morrow, Ned.

Poins. Good morrow, sweet Hal. What says monsieur Remorse? What says sir John Sack-and-Sugar ? ' Jack, how agrees the devil and thee about thy soul, that thou soldest him on Good Friday last, for a cup of Madeira, and a cold capon's leg?

P. Hen. Sir John stands to his word, the devil shall have his bargain ; for he was never yet a breaker of proverbs; he will give the devil his due.

Poins. Then art thou damned for keeping thy word with the devil.

P. Hen. Else he had been damned for cozening the devil.

Poins. But, my lads, my lads, to-morrow morning, by four o'clock, early at Gadshill : There are pilgrims going to Canterbury with rich offerings, and traders riding to London with fat purses. I have visors for you all ; you have horses for yourselves; Gadshill lies to-night in Rochester; I have bespoke supper to-morrow night in Eastcheap; we may do it as secure as sleep. If


I will stuff your purses full of crowns; if will not, tarry at home, and be hanged. Fal. Hear me, Yedward ; if I tarry at home, and go

I not, I'll hang you for going.

Poins. You will, chops ?
Fal. Hal, wilt thou make one ?

P. Hen. Who, I rob? I a thief ? Not I, by my faith.

Fal. There's neither honesty, manhood, nor good fellowship in thee, nor thou camest not of the blood royal, if thou darest not stand for ten shillings.?

P. Hen. Well, then once in my days I'll be a madсар.

1 Falstaff's favorite beverage, here mentioned for the first time, appears to have been the Spanish wine which we now call sherry. Falstaff expressly calls it sherris-sack ; that is, sack from Xeres.

2 Falstaff is quibbling on the word royal. The real or royal was of the value of ten shillings.

you will


Fal. Why, that's well said.
P. Hen. Well, come what will, I'll tarry at home.

Fal. By the Lord, I'll be a traitor then, when thou art king.

P. Hen. I care not.

Poins. Sir John, I pr’ythee, leave the prince and me alone; I will lay him down such reasons for this adventure, that he shall

go. Fal. Well, mayst thou have the spirit of persuasion, and he the ears of profiting, that what thou speakest may move, and what he hears may be believed, that the true prince may (for recreation sake) prove a false thief; for the poor abuses of the time want counte

Farewell; you shall find me in Eastcheap. P. Hen. Farewell, thou latter spring! Farewell, All-hallown summer.

[Exit FalstAFF. Poins. Now, my good sweet honey lord, ride with us to-morrow; I have a jest to execute, that I cannot manage alone. Falstaff, Bardolph, Peto, and Gadshill, shall rob those men that we have already waylaid; yourself, and I, will not be there: and when they have the booty, if you and I do not rob them, cut this head from my shoulders.

P. Hen. But how shall we part with them in setting forth?

Poins. Why, we will set forth before or after them, and appoint them a place of meeting, wherein it is at our pleasure to fail; and then will they adventure upon the exploit themselves which they shall have no sooner achieved, but we'll set upon them.

P. Hen. Ay, but, 'tis like, that they will know us, by our horses, by our habits, and by every other appointment, to be ourselves.

Poins. Tut! our horses they shall not see; I'll tie them in the wood; our visors we will change, after we

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1 i. e. late summer ; All-hallown tide meaning All-saints, which festival is the first of November.

2 The old copy reads Falstaff, Harvey, Rossil, and Gadshill. Theobald thinks that Harvey and Rossil might be the names of the actors who played the parts of Bardolph and Peto.

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