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her. We steal as in a castle, cock-sure; we have the receipt of fern-seed, we walk invisible.
Cham. Nay, by my faith; I think you are more beholden to the night, than to fern-seed, for your walking invisible.
Gads. Give me thy hand: thou shalt have a share in our purchase, as I am a true man.
Cham. Nay, rather let me have it, as you are a false thief.
Gads. Go to; Homo is a common name to all men. Bid the ostler bring my gelding out of the stable. Farewell, you muddy knave. [Exeunt.
The Road ly Gadshill.
İnter Prince HENRY, and Poins; BARDOLPH and
PETO, at some distance. Poins. Come, shelter, shelter ; I have removed Falstaff's horse, and he frets like a gummed velvet.
P. Hen. Stand close.
9 She will, she will; justice hath liquored her.) A satire on chicane in courts of justice; which snpports ill men in their violations of the law, under the very cover of it.
as in a castle,] Perhaps Shakspeare means, we steal with as much security as the ancient inhabitants of castles, who had those strong holds to fly to for protection and defence against the lawys.
we have the receipt of fern-seed,] The ancients, who of(en paid more attention to received opinions than to the evidence of their senses, believed that fern bore no seed. Our ancestors imagined that this plant produced seed which was invisible. Hence, from an extraordinary mode of reasoning, founded on the fantastic doctrine of signatures, they concluded that they who possessed the secret of wearing this seed about them would become invisiyle,
purchase,) anciently the cant term for stolen goods.
Fal. Poins! Poins, and be hanged! Poins!
P. Hen. Peace, ye fat-kidneyed rascal; What a brawling dost thou keep?
Fal. Where's Poins, Hal?
P. Hen. He is walked up to the top of the hill; I'll go seek him.
[Pretends to seek Poins, Fal. I am accursed to rob in that thief's company: the rascal hath removed my horse, and tied him I know not where. If I travel but four foot by the squire* 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 forsworn his company hourly any time this two-and-twenty years, and yet I am bewitched with the rogue's company. If the rascal have not given me medicines to make me love him, I'll be hanged; it could not be else; I have drunk medicines.Poins !--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 leave these rogues, I am the veriest varlet that ever chewed with a tooth. Eight yards of uneven ground, is threescore and ten miles afoot with me; and the stony-hearted villains know it well enough: A plague upon't, when thieves cannot be true to one another! [They whistle.] Whew!-A plague upon you all! Give me my horse, you rogues; give me my horse, and be hanged.
P. Hen. Peace, ye fat-guts! lie down; lay thine ear close to the ground, and list if thou canst hear the tread of travellers.
-four foot by the squire -] Dr. Warburton extracts humour out of this expression, but Dr. Jolinson and the other commentators think that by the squire means more than by a zule.
Fal. Have you any levers to lift me up again, being down? '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 coltme thus?
P. Hen. Thou liest, thou art not colted, thou art uncolted.
Fal. I pr’ythee, good prince Hal, help me to my horse, good king's son.
P. Hen. Out, you rogue! shall I be your ostler !
Fal. Go, hang thyself in thy 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 tunes, let a cup of sack be my poison : When a jest is so forward, and afoot too, - I hate it.
Bard. What news?
Gads. Case ye, case ye; on with your visors; there's money of the king's coming down the hill ; itis going to the king's exchequer.
Fal. You lie, you rogue ; 'tis going to the king's tavern.
Gads. There's enough to make us all.
P. Hen. Sirs, you four shall front them in the narrow lane; Ned Poins, and I will walk lower : if they 'scape froin your encounter, then they light
5 --> lo colt -] Is to fool, to trick; but the prince taking it in another sense, opposes it by uncolt, that is, unhorse.
Peto. How many be there of them?
Fal. Indeed, I am not John of Gaunt, your grandfather; but yet no coward, Hal.
P. Hen. Well, we leave that to the proof.
Poins. Sirrah Jack, thy horse stands behind the hedge; when thou needest him, there thou shalt find him. Farewell, and stand fast.
Fal. Now cannot I strike him, if I should be hanged.
P. Hen. Ned, where are our disguises?
[Exeunt P. HENRY and Poins. Fal. Now, my masters, happy man be his dole, say I; every man to his business.
Enter Travellers. 1 Trav. Come, neighbour; the boy shall lead our horses down the hill: we'll walk afoot a while, and ease our legs.
Fal. Strike; down with them; cut the villains' throats: Ah!
Ah! whorson caterpillars! bacon - fed knaves! they hate us youth: down with them; fleece them.
1 Trar. O, we are undone, both we and ours, for ever.
Fal. Hang ye, gorbellied? knaves; Are ye undone? No, ye fat chuffs; I would, your store were
- dole,] The portion of alms distributed at Lambeth palace gate is at this day called the dole.
gorbellied ---) i e. fat and corpulent.
ye fat chuffs;] This term of contempt is always applied to rich and avaricious people.
here! On, bacons, on! What, ye knaves?
young men must live: You are grand-jurors are ye? 'We'll jure ye,
i'faith. (Exeunt Fals. &c. driving the Travellers out.
Re-enter Prince HENRY and Poins.
P. Hen. 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, and a good jest for ever.
Poins. Stand close, I hear them coming.
Re-enter Thieves. Fal. Come, my masters, let us share, and then to horse before day. An the prince and Poins be not two arrant cowards, there's no equity stirring; there's no more valour in that Poins, than in a wild duck.
P. Hen. Your money. [Rushing out upon them, Poins. Villains. [As they are sharing, the Prince and Poins set
upon them. FALSTAFF, after a blow or two, and the rest, run away, leaving their booty
behind them.] P. Hen. Got with much ease.
Now merrily to horse: The thieves are scatter'd, and possess'd with fear So strongly, that they dare not meet each other; Each takes his fellow for an officer. Away, good Ned. Falstaff sweats to death, And lards the lean earth as he walks along: Wer't not for laughing, I should pity him. Poins. How the rogue roard! [Exeunt,
the true men:] In the old plays a true man is always set in opposition to a thief.
1 - argument for a weck,] Argument is subject matter for conversation or a diama.