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. What a disgrace is it to me to remember thy name, or
to know thy face to-morrow, or to take note how many pair of silk
stockings thou hast- viz., these, and those that were thy
peach-colour'd ones- or to bear the inventory of thy shirts- as,
one for superfluity, and another for use! But that the
tennis-court-keeper knows better than I; for it is a low ebb of
linen with thee when thou keepest not racket there; as thou hast
not done a great while, because the rest of thy low countries
have made a shift to eat up thy holland. And God knows whether
those that bawl out of the ruins of thy linen shall inherit his
kingdom; but the midwives say the children are not in the fault;
whereupon the world increases, and kindreds are mightily
Marry, I tell thee it is not meet that I should be sad, now
my father is sick; albeit I could tell to thee- as to one it
pleases me, for fault of a better, to call my friend- I could be
sad and sad indeed too.
By this hand, thou thinkest me as far in the devil's book
as thou and Falstaff for obduracy and persistency: let the end
try the man. But I tell thee my heart bleeds inwardly that my
father is so sick; and keeping such vile company as thou art hath
in reason taken from me all ostentation of sorrow.
It would be every man's thought; and thou art a blessed
fellow to think as every man thinks. Never a man's thought in the
world keeps the road-way better than thine. Every man would think
me an hypocrite indeed. And what accites your most worshipful
thought to think so?
By this light, I am well spoke on; I can hear it with mine
own ears. The worst that they can say of me is that I am a second
brother and that I am a proper fellow of my hands; and those two
things, I confess, I cannot help. By the mass, here comes
'A calls me e'en now, my lord, through a red lattice, and I
could discern no part of his face from the window. At last I
spied his eyes; and methought he had made two holes in the
alewife's new petticoat, and so peep'd through.
[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's 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.'
[Reads] '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 mayst, 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
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 everything the purpose must weigh with the
folly. Follow me, Ned.