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

— We two saw you four set on four; you bound them, and were masters of
their wealth. — Mark now, how a plain tale shall put you down. —
Then did we two set on you four; and, with a word, outfaced you from
your prize, and have it; yea, and can show it you here in the house:
and, Falstaff, you carried yourself away as nimbly, with as quick
dexterity, and roared for mercy, and still ran and roar'd, as ever I
heard bull-calf. What a slave art thou, to hack thy sword as thou
hast done, and then say it was in fight!
What trick, what device, what starting-hole canst thou now find
out to hide thee from this open and apparent shame?

Come, let's hear, Jack; what trick hast thou now?

By the Lord, I knew ye as well as he that made ye. Why, hear ye,
my masters:
Was it for me to kill the heir-apparent? should I turn upon the
true Prince? why, thou knowest I am as valiant as Hercules: but
beware instinct; the lion will not touch the true Prince.
Instinct is a great matter; I was now a coward on instinct.
I shall think the better of myself and thee during my life; I for a
valiant lion, and thou for a true prince. But, by the Lord, lads,
I am glad you have the money. —
[To Hostess within.] Hostess, clap-to the doors: watch
to-night, pray to-morrow. — Gallants, lads, boys, hearts of gold,
all the titles of good fellowship come to you!
What, shall we be merry? shall we have a play extempore?

Content; and the argument shall be thy running away.

Ah, no more of that, Hal, an thou lovest me!

[Enter the Hostess.]

O Jesu, my lord the Prince, —

How now, my lady the hostess! What say'st thou to me?

Marry, my lord, there is a nobleman of the Court at door would
speak with you: he says he comes from your father.

Give him as much as will make him a royal man, and send him back
again to my mother.

What manner of man is he?

An old man.

What doth gravity out of his bed at midnight? Shall I give him
his answer?

Pr'ythee, do, Jack.

Faith, and I'll send him packing.


Now, sirs: — by'r Lady, you fought fair; — so did you, Peto; — so did you,
Bardolph: you are lions, too, you ran away upon instinct, you will not
touch the true Prince; no, — fie!

Faith, I ran when I saw others run.

Tell me now in earnest, how came Falstaff's sword so hack'd?

Why, he hack'd it with his dagger; and said he would swear truth out of
England, but he would make you believe it was done in fight; and
persuaded us to do the like.

Yea, and to tickle our noses with spear-grass to make them bleed;
and then to beslubber our garments with it, and swear it was the
blood of true men. I did that I did not this seven year before;
I blush'd to hear his monstrous devices.

O villain, thou stolest a cup of sack eighteen years ago, and wert
taken with the manner, and ever since thou hast blush'd extempore.
Thou hadst fire and sword on thy side, and yet thou rann'st away:
what instinct hadst thou for it?

My lord, do you see these meteors? do you behold these

I do.

What think you they portend?

Hot livers and cold purses.

Choler, my lord, if rightly taken.

No, if rightly taken, halter. — Here comes lean Jack, here comes
bare-bone. —

[Enter Falstaff.]

How now, my sweet creature of bombast! How long is't ago, Jack,
since thou saw'st thine own knee?

My own knee! when I was about thy years, Hal, I was not an eagle's
talon in the waist; I could have crept into any alderman's thumb-ring:
a plague of sighing and grief! it blows a man up like a bladder.
There's villanous news abroad: here was Sir John Bracy from your
father; you must to the Court in the morning.
That same mad fellow of the North, Percy; and he of Wales, that gave
Amaimon the bastinado, and swore the Devil his true liegeman upon the
cross of a Welsh hook, — what a plague call you him?

O, Glendower.

Owen, Owen, — the same; and his son-in-law Mortimer; and old
Northumberland; and that sprightly Scot of Scots, Douglas, that
runs o' horseback up a hill perpendicular, —

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