King Henry IV, Part 1 By William Shakespeare Act II: Scene 4

ACT II. Scene IV. Eastcheap. A Room in the Boar's-Head Tavern.

[Enter Prince Henry.]

PRINCE.
Ned, pr'ythee, come out of that fat room, and lend me thy
hand to laugh a little.

[Enter Pointz.]

POINTZ.
Where hast been, Hal?

PRINCE.
With three or four loggerheads amongst three or fourscore
hogsheads. I have sounded the very base-string of humility.
Sirrah, I am sworn brother to a leash of drawers; and can call
them all by their Christian names, as, Tom, Dick, and Francis.
They take it already upon their salvation, that though I be but
Prince of Wales, yet I am the king of courtesy; and tell me flatly
I am no proud Jack, like Falstaff, but a corinthian, a lad of mettle,
a good boy, — by the Lord, so they call me; — and, when I am King
of England, I shall command all the good lads in Eastcheap. They
call drinking deep, dying scarlet; and, when you breathe in your
watering, they cry hem! and bid you play it off. To conclude, I am
so good a proficient in one quarter of an hour, that I can drink with
any tinker in his own language during my life. I tell thee, Ned, thou
hast lost much honour, that thou wert not with me in this action. But,
sweet Ned, — to sweeten which name of Ned, I give thee this pennyworth
of sugar, clapp'd even now into my hand by an under-skinker; one that
never spake other English in his life than Eight shillings and sixpence,
and You are welcome; with this shrill addition, Anon, anon, sir! Score
a pint of bastard in the Half-moon, — or so. But, Ned, to drive away
the time till Falstaff come, I pr'ythee, do thou stand in some by-room,
while I question my puny drawer to what end he gave me the sugar;
and do thou never leave calling Francis! that his tale to me may be
nothing but Anon. Step aside, and I'll show thee a precedent.

[Exit Pointz.]

POINTZ.
[Within.] Francis!

PRINCE.

Thou art perfect.

POINTZ.
[Within.] Francis!

[Enter Francis.]

FRAN.
Anon, anon, sir. — Look down into the Pomegranate, Ralph.

PRINCE.
Come hither, Francis.

FRAN.
My lord?

PRINCE.
How long hast thou to serve, Francis?

FRAN.
Forsooth, five years, and as much as to —

POINTZ.
[within.] Francis!

FRAN.
Anon, anon, sir.

PRINCE.
Five year! by'r Lady, a long lease for the clinking of
pewter. But, Francis, darest thou be so valiant as to play
the coward with thy indenture and show it a fair pair of heels
and run from it?

FRAN.
O Lord, sir, I'll be sworn upon all the books in England,
I could find in my heart —

POINTZ.
[within.] Francis!

FRAN.
Anon, anon, sir.

PRINCE.
How old art thou, Francis?

FRAN.
Let me see, — about Michaelmas next I shall be —

POINTZ.
[within.] Francis!

FRAN.
Anon, sir. — Pray you, stay a little, my lord.

PRINCE.
Nay, but hark you, Francis: for the sugar thou gavest
me, 'twas a pennyworth, was't not?

FRAN.
O Lord, sir, I would it had been two!

PRINCE.
I will give thee for it a thousand pound: ask me when
thou wilt, and thou shalt have it.

POINTZ.
[within.] Francis!

FRAN.
Anon, anon.

PRINCE.
Anon, Francis? No, Francis; but to-morrow, Francis; or,
Francis, a Thursday; or, indeed, Francis, when thou wilt. But,
Francis, —

FRAN.
My lord?

PRINCE.
— wilt thou rob this leathern-jerkin, crystal-button,
nott-pated, agate-ring, puke-stocking, caddis-garter,
smooth-tongue, Spanish-pouch, —

FRAN.
O Lord, sir, who do you mean?

PRINCE.

Why, then, your brown bastard is your only drink; for,
look you, Francis, your white canvas doublet will sully: in
Barbary, sir, it cannot come to so much.

FRAN.
What, sir?

POINTZ.
[within.] Francis!

PRINCE.
Away, you rogue! dost thou not hear them call?

[Here they both call him; Francis stands amazed, not knowing
which way to go.]

[Enter Vintner.]

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