They hate us youth; down with them; fleece them

A portion of the Gadshill robbery scene from Henry IV part 1 (2.2), the joke being that Falstaff is himself an old (and quite fat) man.

Enter the Travellers

First Traveller
Come, neighbour: the boy shall lead our horses down
the hill; we’ll walk afoot awhile, and ease our legs.
Thieves
Stand!
Travellers
Jesus bless us!
FALSTAFF
Strike; down with them; cut the villains’ throats:
ah! whoreson caterpillars! bacon-fed knaves! they
hate us youth; down with them; fleece them.
Travellers
O, we are undone, both we and ours for ever!
FALSTAFF
Hang ye, gorbellied knaves, are ye undone? No, ye
fat chuffs: I would your store were here! On,
bacons, on! What, ye knaves! young men must live.
You are Grand-jurors, are ye? we’ll jure ye, ‘faith.

Here they rob them and bind them. Exeunt

I keep thinking of the ‘they hate us youth’ line at work. I am mostly remote now but when in person I spend more of my chatting time with the students who work for me than with my co-workers proper. The students are funnier, complain less, and teach me more. Before the pandemic I could round our age difference down to 10 years. Now I have to round it up to 15 – which is the good majority of their life but less than half of mine. So as I talk with them I increasingly feel lodged somewhere between Falstaff here and Steve Buscemi in the ‘how’s it going, fellow kids’ meme.

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