King Henry IV, Part 1 By William Shakespeare Act II: Scene 2

ACT II. Scene II. The Road by Gads-hill.

[Enter Prince Henry and Pointz; Bardolph and Peto at
some distance.]

POINTZ.
Come, shelter, shelter: I have remov'd Falstaff's horse,
and he frets like a gumm'd velvet.

PRINCE.
Stand close.

[They retire.]

[Enter Falstaff.]

FAL.
Pointz! Pointz, and be hang'd! Pointz!

PRINCE.

[Coming forward.]

Peace, ye fat-kidney'd rascal! what a brawling dost thou keep!

FAL.
Where's Pointz, Hal?

PRINCE.
He is walk'd up to the top of the hill: I'll go seek him.

[Retires.]

FAL.
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 squire further a-foot, 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 year, and yet I am bewitch'd with the
rogue's company. If the rascal have not given me medicines to make
me love him, I'll be hang'd; it could not be else: I have drunk
medicines. —
Pointz! — 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 a-foot with me; and the stony-hearted
villains know it well enough: a plague upon't, when thieves cannot
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 hang'd!

PRINCE.
[Coming forward.] Peace! lie down; lay thine ear close to the
ground, and list if thou canst hear the tread of travellers.

FAL.
Have you any levers to lift me up again, being down? 'Sblood, I'll
not bear mine own flesh so far a-foot again for all the coin in thy
father's exchequer. What a plague mean ye to colt me thus?

PRINCE.
Thou liest; thou art not colted, thou art uncolted.

FAL.
I pr'ythee, good Prince Hal, help me to my horse, good king's
son.

PRINCE.
Out, ye rogue! shall I be your ostler?

FAL.
Go, hang thyself in thine own heir-apparent 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 a-foot too, I hate it.

[Enter Gadshill.]

GADS.
Stand!

FAL.
So I do, against my will.

POINTZ.
O, 'tis our setter: I know his voice.

[Comes forward with Bardolph and Peto.]

BARD.
What news?

GADS.
Case ye, case ye; on with your visards: there's money of
the King's coming down the hill; 'tis going to the King's
exchequer.

FAL.
You lie, ye rogue; 'tis going to the King's tavern.

GADS.
There's enough to make us all.

FAL.
To be hang'd.

PRINCE.
Sirs, you four shall front them in the narrow lane; Ned
Pointz and I will walk lower; if they 'scape from your
encounter, then they light on us.

PETO.
How many be there of them?

GADS.
Some eight or ten.

FAL.
Zwounds, will they not rob us?

PRINCE.
What, a coward, Sir John Paunch?

FAL.
Indeed, I am not John of Gaunt, your grandfather; but yet
no coward, Hal.

PRINCE.
Well, we leave that to the proof.

POINTZ.
Sirrah Jack, thy horse stands behind the hedge: when thou
need'st him, there thou shalt find him. Farewell, and stand fast.

FAL.
Now cannot I strike him, if I should be hang'd.

PRINCE.
[aside to POINTZ.] Ned, where are our disguises?

POINTZ.
[aside to PRINCE HENRY.] Here, hard by: stand close.

[Exeunt Prince and Pointz.]

FAL.
Now, my masters, happy man be his dole, say I: every man
to his business.

[Enter Travellers.]

FIRST TRAVELLER.
Come, neighbour:
The boy shall lead our horses down the hill;
We'll walk a-foot awhile and ease our legs.

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