Henry IV, Part II "A Rascally Yea-forsooth Knave"
by William Shakespeare

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"A Rascally Yea-forsooth Knave"

(Magill's Quotations in Context)

Context: Falstaff, having covered his base cowardice on the battlefield of Shrewsbury with an elaborate scheme, has emerged from the wars with a reputation of sorts. By taking up the body of Hotspur, whom Hal had slain in single combat, and announcing that the adversary had come to life again, Falstaff was able to claim the victory in combat over the leader of the rebellious party. Consequently, when we first meet him in this continuation of the play, he has been lauded for his exploits and is attended by a page. But honors, of course, do not change the man. As might have been expected, his ego has been fed by his ill-won honor, and his customary hauteur has been inflated by the feeling of self-importance. And, as also might have been expected, the buffoon is concerned primarily with the means by which he can gratify his sensuality at another's expense. To this end he has sent his page to purchase for him on credit some satin material from which he intends to design an outfit suitable for his exalted position. When he learns that the tailor is impressed neither by his title nor his security, he bursts forth with his wonted arrogance:

. . .
What said Master Dommelton about the satin for my short cloak and my slops?
He said sir, you should procure him better assurance than Bardolph, he would not take his bond and yours, he liked not the security.
Let him be damned like the glutton, pray God his tongue be hotter. A whoreson Achitophel! A rascally yea-forsooth knave, to bear a gentleman in hand, and then stand upon security! The whoreson smooth-pates do now wear nothing but high shoes, and bunches of keys at their girdles, and if a man is through with them in honest taking-up, then they must stand upon security.
. . .
I looked 'a should have sent me two and twenty yards of satin, as I am a true knight, and he send me security.
. . .