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of a cheerful look, a pleasing eye, and a most noble carriage; and, as I think, his age some fifty, or, by'r-lady, inclining to threescore; and now I remember me, his name is Falstaff; if that man should be lewdly given, he deceiveth me; for, Harry, I see virtue in his looks. If then the tree may be known by the fruit, as the fruit by the tree, then peremptorily I speak it, there is virtue in that Falstaff: him keep with, the rest banish. And tell me now, thou naughty varlet, tell me, where thou hast been this month?
P. Hen. Dost thou speak like a king? Do thou stand for me, and I'll play my father.
Fal. Depose me? if thou dost it half so gravely, so majestically, both in word and matter, hang me up by the heels for a rabbet-sucker,so or a poulter's hare.
P. Hen. Well, here I am set.
Fal. 'Sblood, my lord, they are false:—nay, I'll tickle
young prince, i'faith. P. Hen. 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 a fat old man: a tun of man is thy companion. Why dost thou converse with that trunk of bumours, that bolting-hutch of beastlinesss!, that
swoln parcel of dropsies, that huge bombard of sack, that stuff'd cloak-bag of guts, that roasted Manningtree ox 52 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 villainy? wherein villainous, but in all things ? wherein worthy, but in nothing?
Fal. I would, your grace would take me with you; Whom means your grace?
P. Hen. That villainous abominable misleader of youth, Falstaff, that old white-bearded Satan.
Fal. My lord, the man I know.
Fal. But to say, I know more harm of 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: but that he is (saving your reverence,) a whoremaster, that I utterly deny. 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 Poins : 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. P. Hen. I do, I will. [A knocking heard.
[Ereunt Hostess, Francis, and Bardolph.
Re-enter BARDOLPH, running. Bard. O, my lord, my lord; the sheriff, with a most monstrous watch, is at the door.
Fal. Out, you rogue! play out the play: I have much to say in the behalf of that Falstaff.
Re-enter Hostess, hastily. Host. O Jesu, my lord, my lord !.
Fal. Heigh, heigh! the devil rides upon a fiddlestick: What's the matter?
Host. The sheriff and all the watch are at the door: they are come to search the house; Shall I let them in?
Fal. Dost thou hear, Hal! never call a true pioce of gold a counterfeit: thou art essentially mad, without seeming so.
P. Hen. And thou a natural coward, without instinct.
Fal. 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 another.
P. Hen. Go, hide thee behind the arras 53 ;- the rest walk up above. Now, my masters, for a true face, and good conscience.
Fal. Both which I have had: but their date is out, and therefore I'll hide me.
[Exeunt all but the Prince and Poins. P. Hen. Call in the sheriff.
Enter Sheriff and Carrier.
Sher. First, pardon me, my lord. A hue and cry
P. Hen. What men ?
A gross fat man.
As fat as butter.
Sher. I will, my lord : There are two gentlemen
Sher. Good night, my noble lord.
[Exeunt Sheriff and Carrier.