Falst. I thinke I am as like to ride the Mare, if I haue any vantage of ground, to get vp

Ch.Iust. How comes this, Sir Iohn? Fy, what a man of good temper would endure this tempest of exclamation? Are you not asham'd to inforce a poore Widdowe to so rough a course, to come by her owne? Falst. What is the grosse summe that I owe thee? Host. Marry (if thou wer't an honest man) thy selfe, & the mony too. Thou didst sweare to mee vpon a parcell gilt Goblet, sitting in my Dolphin-chamber at the round table, by a sea-cole fire, on Wednesday in Whitson week, when the Prince broke thy head for lik'ning him to a singing man of Windsor; Thou didst sweare to me then (as I was washing thy wound) to marry me, and make mee my Lady thy wife. Canst y deny it? Did not goodwife Keech the Butchers wife come in then, and cal me gossip Quickly? comming in to borrow a messe of Vinegar: telling vs, she had a good dish of Prawnes: whereby y didst desire to eat some: whereby I told thee they were ill for a greene wound? And didst not thou (when she was gone downe staires) desire me to be no more familiar with such poore people, saying, that ere long they should call me Madam? And did'st y not kisse me, and bid mee fetch thee 30.s? I put thee now to thy Book-oath, deny it if thou canst? Fal. My Lord, this is a poore mad soule: and she sayes vp & downe the town, that her eldest son is like you. She hath bin in good case, & the truth is, pouerty hath distracted her: but for these foolish Officers, I beseech you, I may haue redresse against them

Iust. Sir Iohn, sir Iohn, I am well acquainted with your maner of wrenching the true cause, the false way. It is not a confident brow, nor the throng of wordes, that come with such (more then impudent) sawcines from you, can thrust me from a leuell consideration, I know you ha' practis'd vpon the easie-yeelding spirit of this woman

Host. Yes in troth my Lord

Iust. Prethee peace: pay her the debt you owe her, and vnpay the villany you haue done her: the one you may do with sterling mony, & the other with currant repentance

Fal. My Lord, I will not vndergo this sneape without reply. You call honorable Boldnes, impudent Sawcinesse: If a man wil curt'sie, and say nothing, he is vertuous: No, my Lord (your humble duty reme[m]bred) I will not be your sutor. I say to you, I desire deliu'rance from these Officers being vpon hasty employment in the Kings Affaires

Iust. You speake, as hauing power to do wrong: But answer in the effect of your Reputation, and satisfie the poore woman

Falst. Come hither Hostesse. Enter M[aster]. Gower] Ch.Iust. Now Master Gower; What newes? Gow. The King (my Lord) and Henrie Prince of Wales Are neere at hand: The rest the Paper telles

Falst. As I am a Gentleman

Host. Nay, you said so before

Fal. As I am a Gentleman. Come, no more words of it Host. By this Heauenly ground I tread on, I must be faine to pawne both my Plate, and the Tapistry of my dyning Chambers

Fal. Glasses, glasses, is the onely drinking: and for thy walles a pretty slight Drollery, or the Storie of the Prodigall, or the Germane hunting in Waterworke, is worth a thousand of these Bed-hangings, and these Flybitten Tapistries. Let it be tenne pound (if thou canst.) Come, if it were not for thy humors, there is not a better Wench in England. Go, wash thy face, and draw thy Action: Come, thou must not bee in this humour with me, come, I know thou was't set on to this

William Shakespeare
Classic Literature Library

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