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P. Hen. I do allow this wen’ to be as familiar with me as my dog: and he holds his place; for, look you, how he writes.
Poins. [Reads.] John Falstaff, knight,- Every man must know that, as oft as he has occasion to name himself. Even like those that are kin to the king; for they never prick their finger, but they say, There is some of the king's blood spilt: How comes that?, says he, that takes upon him not to conceive: the answer is as ready as a borrower's cap;& I am the king's poor cousin, sir.
P. Hen. Nay, they will be kin to us, or they will fetch it from Japhet. But the letter:
Poins. Sir John Falstaff, knight, to the son of the king, nearest his father, Harry prince of Wales, greeting.Why, this is a certificate. · P. Hen. Peace !
Poins, I will imitate the honourable Roman in brevity :'_he sure means brevity in breath; shortwinded. I commend me to thee, I commend thee, and I leave thee. Be not too familiar with Poins; for he misuses thy favours so much, that he swears, thou art to marry his sister Nell. Repent at idle times as thou may'st, and so farewell.
Thine, by yea and no, (which is as
much as to say, as thou usest him,) Jack Falstaff, with my familiars; John, with my brothers and sisters; and sir John with all Europe.
- this wen—] This swoln excrescence of a man. 8 t he answer is as ready as a borrower's cap;] A man that goes to borrow money, is of all others the most complaisant; his cap is always at hand.
. I will imitate the honourable Roman in brevity:] I suppose by the honourable Roman is intended Julius Cæsar, whose veni, vidi, vici, seems to be alluded to in the beginning of the letter. I commend me to thee, I commend thee, and I leave thee. The very words of Cæsar are afterwards quoted by Falstaff. HEATH.
My lord, I will steep this letter in sack, and make him eat it.
P. Hen. That's to make him eat twenty of his words. But do you use me thus, Ned? must I marry your sister?
Poins. May the wench have no worse fortune! but I never said so.
P. Hen. Well, thus we play the fools with the time; and the spirits of the wise sit in the clouds, and mock us.- Is your master here in London?
Bard. Yes, my lord.
P. Hen. Where sups he? doth the old boar feed in the old frank?"
Bard. At the old place, my lord; in Eastcheap.
Page. None, my lord, but old mistress Quickly, and mistress Doll Tear-sheet.
P. Hen. What pagan may that be?:
Page. A proper gentlewoman, sir, and a kinswoinan of my master's.
P. Hen. Even such kin, as the parish heifers are to the town bull. Shall we steal upon them, Ned, at supper?
Poins. I am your shadow, my lord; I'll follow you.
P. Hen. Sirrah, you boy,—and Bardolph;—no word to your master, that I am yet come to town: There's for your silence.
Bard. I have no tongue, sir.
frank?] Frank is sty. Ephesians,) Ephesian was a term in the cant of these times, perhaps, a toper.
What pagan may that be?] Pagan seems to have been a cant term, implying irregularity either of birth or manners. VOL. V.
Page. And for mine, sir,- I will govern it.
P. Hen. Fare ye well; go. [Exeunt BARDOLPH and Page. This Doll Tear-sheet should be some road.
Poins. I warrant you, as common as the way between Saint Alban's and London.
P. Hen. How might we see Falstaff bestow himself to-night in his true colours, and not ourselves be seen?
Poins. Put on two leather jerkins, and aprons, and wait upon him at his table as drawers.
P. Hen. From a god to a bull? a heavy descension! it was Jove's case. From a prince to a prentice? a low transformation! that shall be mine: for, in every thing, the purpose must weigh with the folly. Follow me, Ned.
Enter NORTHUMBERLAND, Lady NORTHUMBER
LAND, and Lady PERCY.
Lady N. I have given over, I will speak no more: Do what you will; your wisdom be your guide.
North. Alas, sweet wife, my honour is at pawn; And, but my going, nothing can redeem it. Lady P. O, yet, for God's sake, go not to these
wars! The time was, father, that you broke your word,
When you were more endear'd to it than now;
• Did seem defensible:] Defensible does not in this place mean capable of defence, but bearing strength, furnishing the means of defence ;-the passive for the active participle.
Have talk'd of Monmouth's grave.
Beshrew your heart,
O, fly to Scotland, Till that the nobles, and the armed commons, Have of their puissance made a little taste. Lady P. If they get ground and vantage of the
king, Then join you with them, like a rib of steel, at To make strength stronger; but, for all our loves, First let them try themselves: So did your son; s'ils He was so suffer'd; so came I a widow; si es pugsb And never shall have length of life enough, it To rain upon remembrances with mine eyes, 0601 That it may grow and sprout as high as heaven, : q11 For recordation to my noble husband. Es is North. Come, come, go in with me: 'tis with my mind,
soft As with the tide swell'd up unto its height, That makes a still-stand, running neither way. Man Fain would I go to meet the archbishop, S alon But many thousand reasons hold me back:- isti I will resolve for Scotland; there am I, on appros!!! Till time and vantage crave my company. [Exeunt.
• To rain upon remembrance-) Alluding to the plant rosemary, so called, and used in funerals.