'Sblood, my lord, they are false. — Nay, I'll tickle ye for a
young prince, i'faith.
Swearest thou, ungracious boy? henceforth ne'er look on me. Thou art
violently carried away from grace: there is a devil haunts thee, in
the likeness of an old fat man, — a tun of man is thy companion. Why
dost thou converse with that trunk of humours, that bolting-hutch of
beastliness, that swollen parcel of dropsies, that huge bombard of
sack, that roasted Manningtree ox with the pudding in his belly, that
reverend Vice, that grey Iniquity, that father ruffian, that vanity
in years? Wherein is he good, but to taste sack and drink it? wherein
neat and cleanly, but to carve a capon and eat it? wherein cunning, but
in craft? wherein crafty, but in villany? wherein villainous, but in
all things? wherein worthy, but in nothing?
I would your Grace would take me with you: whom means your Grace?
That villainous abominable misleader of youth, Falstaff, that old
My lord, the man I know.
I know thou dost.
But to say I know more harm in him than in myself, were to say more
than I know. That he is old, — (the more the pity, — his white hairs do
witness it. If sack and sugar be a fault, God help the wicked! if to
be old and merry be a sin, then many an old host that I know is damn'd:
if to be fat be to be hated, then Pharaoh's lean kine are to be loved.
No, my good lord: banish Peto, banish Bardolph, banish Pointz; but,
for sweet Jack Falstaff, kind Jack Falstaff, true Jack Falstaff,
valiant Jack Falstaff, and therefore more valiant, being, as he is, old
Jack Falstaff, banish not him thy Harry's company, banish not him thy
Harry's company: banish plump Jack, and banish all the world.
I do, I will.
[A knocking heard.]
[Exeunt Hostess, Francis, and Bardolph.]
[Enter Bardolph, running.]
O, my lord, my lord! the sheriff with a most monstrous watch is
at the door.
Out, ye rogue! — Play out the play: I have much to say in the
behalf of that Falstaff.
[Re-enter the Hostess, hastily.]
O Jesu, my lord, my lord, —
Heigh, heigh! the Devil rides upon a fiddlestick: what's the matter?
The sheriff and all the watch are at the door: they are come to
search the house. Shall I let them in?
Dost thou hear, Hal? never call a true piece of gold a counterfeit:
thou art essentially mad without seeming so.
And thou a natural coward, without instinct.
I deny your major: if you will deny the sheriff, so; if not, let him
enter: if I become not a cart as well as another man, a plague on my
bringing up! I hope I shall as soon be strangled with a halter as
Go, hide thee behind the arras: — the rest walk, up above. Now,
my masters, for a true face and good conscience.
Both which I have had; but their date is out, and therefore I'll
Call in the sheriff. —
[Exeunt all but the Prince and Pointz.]
[Enter Sheriff and Carrier.]
Now, master sheriff, what's your will with me?
First, pardon me, my lord. A hue-and-cry
Hath followed certain men unto this house.
One of them is well known, my gracious lord, —
A gross fat man.
As fat as butter.
The man, I do assure you, is not here;
For I myself at this time have employ'd him.
And, sheriff, I will engage my word to thee,
That I will, by to-morrow dinner-time,
Send him to answer thee, or any man,
For any thing he shall be charged withal:
And so, let me entreat you leave the house.
I will, my lord. There are two gentlemen
Have in this robbery lost three hundred marks.