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Fal. S !
Changes to a Street in London. Enter Sir John Falstaff, with his Page bearing his sword
and buckler, Fal. IRRAH, you, giant! whạt says the doctor
to my water? Page. He said, Sir, the water itself was a good healthy water. But for the party that own'd it, he might have more difeases than he knew for.
Fal. Men of all sorts take a pride to gird at me. The brain of this foolish-compounded-clay, Man, is not able to invent any thing that tends to laughter, more than I invent, or is invented on me. I am not only witty in myself, but the cause that wit is in other men. I do here walk before thee, like a fow, that hath overwhelmed all her litter but one. If the Prince put thee into my service for any other reason than to let me off, why, then I have no judgment. Thou whoreson mandrake, thou art fitter to be worn in my cap, than to wait at my heels. I was never mann'd with an agot till now: but I will set you neither in gold nor filver, but in vile apparel, and send you back again to your master, for a jewel: The Juvenal, the Prince your master! whose chin is not yet fledg’d; I will sooner have a beard grow in the palm of my hand, then he shall get one on his cheek; yet he will not stick to say, his face is a face-royal. Heav'n
finish it when it will, it is not a hair a'mifs yet he may keep it still as a face-royal, for a barber shall never earn fixpence out of it; and yet he will be crowing, as if he had writ man ever since his father was a bachelor. He may keep his own grace, but he is almost out of mine, I can assure him. What said Mr. Dombledon, about the fatten for my short cloak and flops ?
Page. He faid, Sir, you should procure him better assurance than Bardolph: he would not take his bond and yours, he lik'd not the security.
Fal. Let him be damn'd like the Glutton, may his tongue be hotter! a whoreson Achitophel, a rascally yea-forsooth-knave, to bear a gentleman in hand, and then stand upon security! the whoreson-smooth-pates do now wear nothing but high fhoes, and bunches of keys at their girdles : and if a man is thorough with them in honest taking up, then they must stand upon security: I had as lief they would put rats-bane in my mouth, as offer to stop it with security. I looked he should have sent me two and twenty yards of satten, as I am a true Knight, and he fends me Security. Well, he may sleep in security, for he hath the horn of abundance. And the lightness of his wife shines through it, and yet cannot he see, though he have his own lanthorn to light him. Where's Bardolph ?
Page. He's gone into Smithfield to buy your Worship a horse.
Fal. I bought him in Paul's and he'll buy me a horse in Smithfield. If I could get me but a wife in the Stews, I were mann'd, hors'd, and wiv'd.
Enter Chief Justice, and Servants.
Fal, Wait close, I will not see him.
Serv. He, my.lord. But he hath fince done good
Ch. Juft. What to York? call him back again.
Ch. Juft. I am sure, he is, to the hearing of any thing good. Go pluck him by the elbow. I must speak with him.
Serv. Sir John
Fal. What! a young knave and beg! are there not wars? is there not employment ? doth not the King lack Subjects? do not the Rebels need soldiers? though it be a shame to be on any side but one, it is worse shame to beg, than to be on the worst side, were it worse than the name of Rebellion can tell how to make it.
Serv. You mistake me, Sir.
Fal. Why, Sir, did I say you were an honest man? setting my knight-hood and my soldiership aside, I had lied in my throat, if I had said so.
Serv. I pray you, Sir, then set your knight-hood and your soldiership aside, and give me leave to tell you, you lie in your throat, if you say I am any other than an honest man.
Fal. I give thee leave to tell me so? I lay aside That, which grows to me? if thou gett'st any leave of me, hang me; if thou tak ft leave, thou wert better be hang d: you hunt-counter, hence ; avaunt.
Serv. Sir, my lord would speak with you.
Fal. My good lord ! God give your lordship good time of day. I am glad to see your lordship abroad; I heard say, your lordship was sick.
I hope, your lordship goes abroad by advice. Your lordship, though not clean past your youth, hath yet some smack of age in you: some relish of the faltness of time; and I moft humbly beseech your lordship, to have a reverend care of your health.
Ch. Just. Sir John, I sent for you before your expedition to Shrewsbury, —
Fal. If it please your lordship, I hear, his Majesty is return'd with some discomfort from Wales.
Ch. Juft. I talk not of his Majesty: you would not come when I sent for you;
Fal. And I hear moreover, his Highness is fallen into this fame whoreson apoplexy.
Ch. Juft. Well, heav'n mend him! I pray, let me fpeak with you.
Fal. This apoplexy is, as I take it, a kind of lethärgy, an't please your lordship, a kind of sleeping in the blood, a whoreson tingling.
Ch. Juft. What tell you me of it? be it, as it is.
Fal. It hath its original from much grief; from itudy and perturbation of the brain. I have read the cause of it in Galen. It is a kind of deafness.
Ch. Just. I think, you are fallen into that disease: for you hear not what I say to you.
Fal. Very well, my lord, very well: rather, an't please you, it is the disease of not list’ning, the malady of not marking, that I am troubled withal.
Ch. Just. To punish you by the heels, would amend the attention of your ears; and I care not if I do become your physician.
Fal. I am as poor as Job, my lord, but not so patient: your lordship may minister the potion of inprisonment to me, in respect of poverty ; but how I İhould be your Patient to follow your prescriptions, the wise may make some dram of a scruple, or, indeed, a scruple itfelf.
Ch. Juft. I sent for you, when these were matters against you for your life, to come speak with me.
Fal. As I was then advis'd by my Counsel learned in the laws of this land-service, I did not come.
Ch. Juft. Well, the truth is, Sir John, you live in great infamy.
Ch. Juft. You follow the
Fdl. His effect of gravy, gravy, gravy,
Fal. He that buckles him in my belt, cannot live in less.
Ch. Just. Your means are very flender, and your waste is great.' :'! • Fal. I would it were otherwise : I would, my means were greater, and my waste slenderer.
Ch. Fuft. You have mis-led the youthful Prince. Fal. The young Prince hath mis-led me. I am the fellow with the great belly, and he my dog.
Ch. Juft. Well, I'm loth to galla new-heal'd wound; your day's service at Shrewsbury hath a little gilded over your night's exploit on Gads-hill. You may thank the unquiet time, for your quite o'er-posting that action.
Fal. My. lord
. But since all is well, keep it so : wake not a fleeping Wolf.
Fal. To wake a Wolf, is as bad as to smell a Fox.
Ch. Just. What? you are as a candle, the better part burnt out.
Fal. A waffel candle, my lord; all tallow: but if I did say of wax, my growth would approve the truth,
Ch. Juft. There is not a white hair on your face, but should have his effect of gravity.
down, like his ill angel.
Fal. Not so, my lord, your angel is light; but I hope, he that looks upon me, will take me without weighing; and yet, in some respects, I grant, I can. not go ;
-lycannot tell ; Virtue is of fo little regard in these cofter-mongers' days, that true valour is turned bear-herd. Pregnancy is made a tapster, and hath his quick wit wasted in giving reckonings; all the other gifts appertinent to man, as the malice of this age shapes them, are not worth a goose-berry,