History of Henry IV, Part I

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Act II, Scene 2

The highway, near Gadshill.

       
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[Enter PRINCE HENRY and POINS]

  • Edward Poins. Come, shelter, shelter: I have removed Falstaff's
    horse, and he frets like a gummed velvet.

[Enter FALSTAFF]

  • Falstaff. Poins! Poins, and be hanged! Poins! 745
  • Henry V. Peace, ye fat-kidneyed rascal! what a brawling dost
    thou keep!
  • Henry V. He is walked up to the top of the hill: I'll go seek him.
  • Falstaff. I am accursed to rob in that thief's company: the 750
    rascal hath removed my horse, and tied him I know
    not where. If I travel but four foot by the squier
    further afoot, 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 755
    forsworn his company hourly any time this two and
    twenty years, and yet I am bewitched with the
    rogue's company. If the rascal hath not given me
    medicines to make me love him, I'll be hanged; it
    could not be else: I have drunk medicines. Poins! 760
    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 765
    ground is threescore and ten miles afoot with me;
    and the stony-hearted villains know it well enough:
    a plague upon it when thieves cannot be true one to another!
    [They whistle]
    Whew! A plague upon you all! Give me my horse, you 770
    rogues; give me my horse, and be hanged!
  • Henry V. Peace, ye fat-guts! lie down; lay thine ear close
    to the ground and list if thou canst hear the tread
    of travellers.
  • Falstaff. Have you any levers to lift me up again, being down? 775
    'Sblood, I'll not bear mine own flesh so far afoot
    again for all the coin in thy father's exchequer.
    What a plague mean ye to colt me thus?
  • Henry V. Thou liest; thou art not colted, thou art uncolted.
  • Falstaff. I prithee, good Prince Hal, help me to my horse, 780
    good king's son.
  • Henry V. Out, ye rogue! shall I be your ostler?
  • Falstaff. 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 785
    tunes, let a cup of sack be my poison: when a jest
    is so forward, and afoot too! I hate it.

[Enter Gadshill, BARDOLPH and PETO]

  • Edward Poins. O, 'tis our setter: I know his voice. Bardolph,
    what news?
    money of the king's coming down the hill; 'tis going
    to the king's exchequer.
  • Falstaff. You lie, ye rogue; 'tis going to the king's tavern.
  • Gadshill. There's enough to make us all.
  • Henry V. Sirs, you four shall front them in the narrow lane;
    Ned Poins and I will walk lower: if they 'scape 800
    from your encounter, then they light on us.
  • Peto. How many be there of them?
  • Falstaff. 'Zounds, will they not rob us?
  • Henry V. What, a coward, Sir John Paunch? 805
  • Falstaff. Indeed, I am not John of Gaunt, your grandfather;
    but yet no coward, Hal.
  • Henry V. Well, we leave that to the proof.
  • Edward Poins. Sirrah Jack, thy horse stands behind the hedge:
    when thou needest him, there thou shalt find him. 810
    Farewell, and stand fast.
  • Falstaff. Now cannot I strike him, if I should be hanged.
  • Henry V. Ned, where are our disguises?

[Exeunt PRINCE HENRY and POINS]

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

[Enter the Travellers]

  • First Traveller. Come, neighbour: the boy shall lead our horses down
    the hill; we'll walk afoot awhile, and ease our legs. 820
  • Falstaff. Strike; down with them; cut the villains' throats:
    ah! whoreson caterpillars! bacon-fed knaves! they
    hate us youth: down with them: fleece them. 825
  • Travellers. O, we are undone, both we and ours for ever!
  • Falstaff. Hang ye, gorbellied knaves, are ye undone? No, ye
    fat chuffs: I would your store were here! On,
    bacons, on! What, ye knaves! young men must live.
    You are Grand-jurors, are ye? we'll jure ye, 'faith. 830

[Here they rob them and bind them. Exeunt]

[Re-enter PRINCE HENRY and POINS]

  • Henry V. The thieves have bound the true men. Now could thou
    and I rob the thieves and go merrily to London, it
    would be argument for a week, laughter for a month 835
    and a good jest for ever.

[Enter the Thieves again]

  • Falstaff. Come, my masters, let us share, and then to horse
    before day. An the Prince and Poins be not two 840
    arrant cowards, there's no equity stirring: there's
    no more valour in that Poins than in a wild-duck.
  • Edward Poins. Villains!
    [As they are sharing, the Prince and Poins set upon 845
    them; they all run away; and Falstaff, after a blow
    or two, runs away too, leaving the booty behind them]
  • Henry V. Got with much ease. Now merrily to horse:
    The thieves are all scatter'd and possess'd with fear
    So strongly that they dare not meet each other; 850
    Each takes his fellow for an officer.
    Away, good Ned. Falstaff sweats to death,
    And lards the lean earth as he walks along:
    Were 't not for laughing, I should pity him.

[Exeunt]

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