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Stand from him, fellow : wherefore hang'st upon
him ? Host. O my most worshipful lord, an't please your grace, I am a poor widow of Eastcheap, and he is arrested at my suit.
Ch. Just. For what sum ?
Host. It is more than for some, my lord; it is for all, all I have. He hath eaten me out of house and home; he hath put all my substance into that fat belly of his: but I will have some of it out again, or I will ride thee o' nights like the mare.
Fal. I think I am as like to ride the mare, if I have any vantage of ground to get up.
CH. Just. How comes this, Sir John? Fie! what man of good temper would endure this tempest of exclamation? Areyou not ashamed to enforce a poor widow to so rough a course to come by her own?
Fal. What is the gross sum that I owe thee?
Host. Marry, if thou wert an honest man, thyself and the money too.
Thou didst swear to me upon a parcel-gilt goblet, sitting in my Dolphin-chamber, at the round table, by a sea-coal fire, upon
Wednesday in Wheeson week, when the prince broke thy head for liking his father to a singing-man of Windsor, thou didst swear to me then, as I was washing thy wound, to marry me and make me my lady thy wife. Canst thou deny it? Did not goodwife Keech, the butcher's wife, come in then and call me gossip Quickly? coming in to borrow a mess of vinegar; telling us she had a good dish
of prawns; whereby thou didst desire to eat some; whereby I told thee they were ill for a green wound? And didst thou not, when she was gone down stairs, desire me to be no more so familiarity with such poor people ; saying that ere long they should call me madam? And didst thou not kiss me and bid me fetch thee thirty shillings? I put thee now to thy book-oath: deny it, if thou canst.
Fal. My lord, this is a poor mad soul; and she says up and down the town that her eldest son is like you:
she hath been in good case, and the truth is, poverty hath distracted her. But for these foolish officers, I beseech you
have redress against them.
CH. Just. Sir John, Sir John, I am well acquainted with your manner of wrenching the true cause the false way. It is not a confident brow, nor the throng of words that come with such more than impudent sauciness from you, can thrust me from a level consideration : you have, as it appears to me, practised upon the easy-yielding spirit of this woman, and made her serve your uses both in purse and in person.
Host. Yea, in truth, my lord.
CH. Just. Pray thee, peace. Pay her the debt you owe her, and unpay the villany you have done
the one you may do with sterling money, and the other with current repentance.
Fal. My lord, I will not undergo this sneap without reply. You call honourable boldness impudent sauciness: if a man will make courtesy and say
nothing, he is virtuous : no, my lord, my numble duty remembered, I will not be your suitor. I say to you,
I do desire deliverance from these officers, being upon hasty employment in the king's affairs.
CH. Just. You speak as having power to do wrong; but answer in the effect of your reputation, and satisfy the poor woman. Fal. Come hither, hostess.
Fal. As I am a gentleman.
Fal. As I am a gentleman. Come, no more words of it.
Host. By this heavenly ground I tread on, I must be fain to pawn both my plate and the tapestry of my dining-chambers.
Fal. Glasses, glasses, is the only drinking: and for thy walls, a pretty slight drollery, or the story of the Prodigal, or the German hunting in waterwork, is worth a thousand of these bed-hangings and these fly-bitten tapestries. Let it be ten pound, if thou canst. Come, an 'twere not for thy humours, there's not a better wench in England. Go, wash thy face, and draw the action. Come, thou must not be in this humour with me; dost not know me? come, come, I know thou wast set on to this.
Host. Pray thee, Sir John, let it be but twenty
nobles: i' faith, I am loath to pawn my plate, so God save me, la !
Fal. Let it alone; I'll make other shift: you'll be a fool still.
Host. Well, you shall have it, though I pawn my gown. I hope you'll come to supper.
You'll pay me altogether?
Fal. Will I live? [To BARDOLPH] Go, with her, with her; hook on, hook on.
Host. Will you have Doll Tearsheet meet you at supper? FAL. No more words; let's have her.
[Exeunt Hostess, BARDOLPH, Officers, and Boy. CH. Just. I have heard better news. Fal. What's the news, my lord ? CH. Just. Where lay the king last night? Gow. At Basingstoke, my lord.
Fal. I hope, my lord, all's well: what is the news, my lord ?
Ch. Just. Come all his forces back?
noble lord? CH. Just. You shall have letters of me presently: Come, go along with me, good Master Gower.
Fal. My lord !
Fal. Master Gower shall I entreat you with me to dinner?
Gow. I must wait upon my good lord here; I thank
you, good Sir John. CH. Just. Sir John, you loiter here too long, being you are to take soldiers up in counties as you go. Fal. Will
Master Gower? CH. Just. What foolish master taught you these manners,
Sir John ? Fal. Master Gower, if they become me not, he was a fool that taught them me. This is the right fencing grace, my lord ; tap for tap, and so part fair.
CH. Just. Now the Lord lighten thee! thou art a great fool.
Enter PRINCE HENRY and Poins.
Poins. Is't come to that? I had thought weariness durst not have attached one of so high blood.
PRINCE. Faith, it does me; though it discolours the complexion of my greatness to acknowledge it. Doth it not show vilely in me to desire small beer?
Poins. Why, a prince should not be so loosely studied as to remember so weak a composition.
Prince. Belike then my appetite was not princely got; for, by my troth, I do now remember the poor creature,small beer. But, indeed, these humble considerations make me out of love with my greatness.