William Shakespeare: King Henry IV Part I

2. Scene II. The same. An Apartment of Prince Henry's.

[Enter Prince Henry and Falstaff.]

Now, Hal, what time of day is it, lad?

Thou art so fat-witted, with drinking of old sack, and
unbuttoning thee after supper, and sleeping upon benches
after noon, that thou hast forgotten to demand that truly which
thou wouldst truly know. What a devil hast thou to do with the
time of the day? unless hours were cups of sack, and minutes
capons, and the blessed Sun himself a fair hot wench in
flame-coloured taffeta, I see no reason why thou shouldst be
so superfluous to demand the time of the day.

Indeed, you come near me now, Hal; for we that take purses go
by the Moon and the seven stars, and not by Phoebus,--he, that
wandering knight so fair. And I pr'ythee, sweet wag, when thou
art king,--as, God save thy Grace--Majesty I should say, for
thou wilt have none,--

What, none?

No, by my troth; not so much as will serve to be prologue
to an egg and butter.

Well, how then? come, roundly, roundly.

Marry, then, sweet wag, when thou art king, let not us that
are squires of the night's body be called thieves of the day's
beauty: let us be Diana's foresters, gentlemen of the shade,
minions of the Moon; and let men say we be men of good
government, being governed, as the sea is, by our noble and
chaste mistress the Moon, under whose countenance we steal.

Thou say'st well, and it holds well too; for the fortune of
us that are the Moon's men doth ebb and flow like the sea,
being governed, as the sea is, by the Moon. As, for proof, now: A
purse of gold most resolutely snatch'd on Monday night, and most
dissolutely spent on Tuesday morning; got with swearing Lay by,
and spent with crying Bring in; now ill as low an ebb as the foot
of the ladder, and by-and-by in as high a flow as the ridge of the

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