Henry IV, part 2, by William Shakespeare

Act II

Scene I. London. A street.

Enter Mistress Quickly, Fang and his Boy with her, and Snare following.

Mistress Quickly

Master Fang, have you entered the action?

Fang

It is entered.

Mistress Quickly

Where’s your yeoman? Is’t a lusty yeoman? will a’ stand to ’t?

Fang

Sirrah, where’s Snare?

Mistress Quickly

O Lord, ay! good Master Snare.

Snare

Here, here.

Fang

Snare, we must arrest Sir John Falstaff.

Mistress Quickly

Yea, good Master Snare; I have entered him and all.

Snare

It may chance cost some of us our lives, for he will stab.

Mistress Quickly

Alas the day! take heed of him; he stabbed me in mine own house, and that most beastly: in good faith, he cares not what mischief he does. If his weapon be out: he will foin like any devil; he will spare neither man, woman, nor child.

Fang

If I can close with him, I care not for his thrust.

Mistress Quickly

No, nor I neither: I’ll be at your elbow.

Fang

An I but fist him once; an a’ come but within my vice —

Mistress Quickly

I am undone by his going; I warrant you, he’s an infinitive thing upon my score. Good Master Fang, hold him sure: good Master Snare, let him not ’scape. A’ comes continuantly to Pie-corner — saving your manhoods — to buy a saddle; and he is indited to dinner to the Lubber’s-head in Lumbert street, to Master Smooth’s the silkman: I pray ye, since my exion is entered and my case so openly known to the world, let him be brought in to his answer. A hundred mark is a long one for a poor lone woman to bear: and I have borne, and borne, and borne, and have been fubbed off, and fubbed off, and fubbed off, from this day to that day, that it is a shame to be thought on. There is no honesty in such dealing; unless a woman should be made an ass and a beast, to bear every knave’s wrong. Yonder he comes; and that errant malmsey-nose knave, Bardolph, with him. Do your offices, do your offices: Master Fang and Master Snare, do me, do me, do me your offices.

Enter Falstaff, Page, and Bardolph

Falstaff

How now! whose mare’s dead? what’s the matter?

Fang

Sir John, I arrest you at the suit of Mistress Quickly.

Falstaff

Away, varlets! Draw, Bardolph: cut me off the villain’s head: throw the quean in the channel.

Mistress Quickly

Throw me in the channel! I’ll throw thee in the channel. Wilt thou? wilt thou? thou bastardly rogue! Murder, murder! Ah, thou honeysuckle villain! wilt thou kill God’s officers and the king’s? Ah, thou honey-seed rogue! thou art a honey-seed, a man-queller, and a woman-queller.

Falstaff

Keep them off, Bardolph.

Fang

A rescue! a rescue!

Mistress Quickly

Good people, bring a rescue or two. Thou wo’t, wo’t thou? Thou wo’t, wo’t ta? do, do, thou rogue! do, thou hemp-seed!

Falstaff

Away, you scullion! you rampallion! You fustilarian! I’ll tickle your catastrophe.

Enter the Lord Chief-Justice, and his men

Lord Chief-Justice

What is the matter? keep the peace here, ho!

Mistress Quickly

Good my lord, be good to me. I beseech you, stand to me.

Lord Chief-Justice

How now, Sir John! what are you brawling here?
Doth this become your place, your time and business?
You should have been well on your way to York.
Stand from him, fellow: wherefore hang’st upon him?

Mistress Quickly

O most worshipful lord, an’t please your grace, I am a poor widow of Eastcheap, and he is arrested at my suit.

Lord Chief-Justice

For what sum?

Mistress Quickly

It is more than for some, my lord; it is for all, all I have. He hath eaten me out of house and home; he hath put all my substance into that fat belly of his: but I will have some of it out again, or I will ride thee o’ nights like the mare.

Falstaff

I think I am as like to ride the mare, if I have any vantage of ground to get up.

Lord Chief-Justice

How comes this, Sir John? Fie! what man of good temper would endure this tempest of exclamation? Are you not ashamed to enforce a poor widow to so rough a course to come by her own?

Falstaff

What is the gross sum that I owe thee?

Mistress Quickly

Marry, if thou wert an honest man, thyself and the money too. Thou didst swear to me upon a parcel-gilt goblet, sitting in my Dolphin-chamber, at the round table, by a sea-coal fire, upon Wednesday in Wheeson week, when the prince broke thy head for liking his father to a singing-man of Windsor, thou didst swear to me then, as I was washing thy wound, to marry me and make me my lady thy wife. Canst thou deny it? Did not goodwife Keech, the butcher’s wife, come in then and call me gossip Quickly? coming in to borrow a mess of vinegar; telling us she had a good dish of prawns; whereby thou didst desire to eat some; whereby I told thee they were ill for a green wound? And didst thou not, when she was gone down stairs, desire me to be no more so familiarity with such poor people; saying that ere long they should call me madam? And didst thou not kiss me and bid me fetch thee thirty shillings? I put thee now to thy book-oath: deny it, if thou canst.

Falstaff

My lord, this is a poor mad soul; and she says up and down the town that the eldest son is like you: she hath been in good case, and the truth is, poverty hath distracted her. But for these foolish officers, I beseech you I may have redress against them.

Lord Chief-Justice

Sir John, Sir John, I am well acquainted with your manner of wrenching the true cause the false way. It is not a confident brow, nor the throng of words that come with such more than impudent sauciness from you, can thrust me from a level consideration: you have, as it appears to me, practised upon the easy-yielding spirit of this woman, and made her serve your uses both in purse and in person.

Mistress Quickly

Yea, in truth, my lord.

Lord Chief-Justice

Pray thee, peace. Pay her the debt you owe her, and unpay the villany you have done her: the one you may do with sterling money, and the other with current repentance.

Falstaff

My lord, I will not undergo this sneap without reply. You call honourable boldness impudent sauciness: if a man will make courtesy and say nothing, he is virtuous: no, my lord, my humble duty remembered, I will not be your suitor. I say to you, I do desire deliverance from these officers, being upon hasty employment in the king’s affairs.

Lord Chief-Justice

You speak as having power to do wrong: but answer in the effect of your reputation, and satisfy this poor woman.

Falstaff

Come hither, hostess.

Enter Gower

Lord Chief-Justice

Now, Master Gower, what news?

Gower

The king, my lord, and Harry Prince of Wales
Are near at hand: the rest the paper tells.

Falstaff

As I am a gentleman.

Mistress Quickly

Faith, you said so before.

Falstaff

As I am a gentleman. Come, no more words of it.

Mistress Quickly

By this heavenly ground I tread on, I must be fain to pawn both my plate and the tapestry of my dining-chambers.

Falstaff

Glasses, glasses is the only drinking: and for thy walls, a pretty slight drollery, or the story of the Prodigal, or the German hunting in water-work, is worth a thousand of these bed-hangings and these fly-bitten tapestries. Let it be ten pound, if thou canst. Come, an ’twere not for thy humours, there’s not a better wench in England. Go, wash thy face, and draw the action. Come, thou must not be in this humour with me; dost not know me? come, come, I know thou wast set on to this.

Mistress Quickly

Pray thee, Sir John, let it be but twenty nobles: i’ faith, I am loath to pawn my plate, so God save me, la!

Falstaff

Let it alone; I’ll make other shift: you’ll be a fool still.

Mistress Quickly

Well, you shall have it, though I pawn my gown. I hope you’ll come to supper. You’ll pay me all together?

Falstaff

Will I live?

To Bardolph

Go, with her, with her; hook on, hook on.

Mistress Quickly

Will you have Doll Tearsheet meet you at supper?

Falstaff

No more words; let’s have her.

Exeunt Mistress Quickly, Bardolph, Officers and Boy

Lord Chief-Justice

I have heard better news.

Falstaff

What’s the news, my lord?

Lord Chief-Justice

Where lay the king last night?

Gower

At Basingstoke, my lord.

Falstaff

I hope, my lord, all’s well: what is the news, my lord?

Lord Chief-Justice

Come all his forces back?

Gower

No; fifteen hundred foot, five hundred horse,
Are marched up to my lord of Lancaster,
Against Northumberland and the Archbishop.

Falstaff

Comes the king back from Wales, my noble lord?

Lord Chief-Justice

You shall have letters of me presently:
Come, go along with me, good Master Gower.

Falstaff

My lord!

Lord Chief-Justice

What’s the matter?

Falstaff

Master Gower, shall I entreat you with me to dinner?

Gower

I must wait upon my good lord here; I thank you, good Sir John.

Lord Chief-Justice

Sir John, you loiter here too long, being you are to take soldiers up in counties as you go.

Falstaff

Will you sup with me, Master Gower?

Lord Chief-Justice

What foolish master taught you these manners, Sir John?

Falstaff

Master Gower, if they become me not, he was a fool that taught them me. This is the right fencing grace, my lord; tap for tap, and so part fair.

Lord Chief-Justice

Now the Lord lighten thee! thou art a great fool.

Exeunt

Scene II. London. Another street.

Enter Prince Henry and Poins

Prince Henry

Before God, I am exceeding weary.

Poins

Is’t come to that? I had thought weariness durst not have attached one of so high blood.

Prince Henry

Faith, it does me; though it discolours the complexion of my greatness to acknowledge it. Doth it not show vilely in me to desire small beer?

Poins

Why, a prince should not be so loosely studied as to remember so weak a composition.

Prince Henry

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-coloured 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 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 strengthened.

Poins

How ill it follows, after you have laboured so hard, you should talk so idly! Tell me, how many good young princes would do so, their fathers being so sick as yours at this time is?

Prince Henry

Shall I tell thee one thing, Poins?

Poins

Yes, faith; and let it be an excellent good thing.

Prince Henry

It shall serve among wits of no higher breeding than thine.

Poins

Go to; I stand the push of your one thing that you will tell.

Prince Henry

Marry, I tell thee, it is not meet that I should be sad, now my father is sick: albeit I could tell thee, as to one it pleases me, for fault of a better, to call my friend, I could be sad, and sad indeed too.

Poins

Very hardly upon such a subject.

Prince Henry

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.

Poins

The reason?

Prince Henry

What wouldst thou think of me, if I should weep?

Poins

I would think thee a most princely hypocrite.

Prince Henry

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?

Poins

Why, because you have been so lewd and so much engraffed to Falstaff.

Prince Henry

And to thee.

Poins

By this light, I am well spoke on; I can hear it with my 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 Bardolph.

Enter Bardolph and Page

Prince Henry

And the boy that I gave Falstaff: a’ had him from me Christian; and look, if the fat villain have not transformed him ape.

Bardolph

God save your grace!

Prince Henry

And yours, most noble Bardolph!

Bardolph

Come, you virtuous ass, you bashful fool, must you be blushing? wherefore blush you now? What a maidenly man-at-arms are you become! Is’t such a matter to get a pottle-pot’s maidenhead?

Page

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 ale-wife’s new petticoat and so peeped through.

Prince Henry

Has not the boy profited?

Bardolph

Away, you whoreson upright rabbit, away!

Page

Away, you rascally Althaea’s dream, away!

Prince Henry

Instruct us, boy; what dream, boy?

Page

Marry, my lord, Althaea dreamed she was delivered of a fire-brand; and therefore I call him her dream.

Prince Henry

A crown’s worth of good interpretation: there ’tis, boy.

Poins

O, that this good blossom could be kept from cankers! Well, there is sixpence to preserve thee.

Bardolph

An you do not make him hanged among you, the gallows shall have wrong.

Prince Henry

And how doth thy master, Bardolph?

Bardolph

Well, my lord. He heard of your grace’s coming to town: there’s a letter for you.

Poins

Delivered with good respect. And how doth the martlemas, your master?

Bardolph

In bodily health, sir.

Poins

Marry, the immortal part needs a physician; but that moves not him: though that be sick, it dies not.

Prince Henry

I do allow this wen to be as familiar with me as my dog; and he holds his place; for look you how be writes.

Poins

[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.’

Prince Henry

Nay, they will be kin to us, or they will fetch it from Japhet. But to the letter.

Poins

[Reads] ‘sir John Falstaff, knight, to the son of the king, nearest his father, Harry Prince of Wales, greeting.’ Why, this is a certificate.

Prince Henry

Peace!

Poins

[Reads] ‘I will imitate the honourable Romans in brevity:’ he sure means brevity in breath, short-winded. ‘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 mayest; 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 all Europe.’ My lord, I’ll steep this letter in sack and make him eat it.

Prince Henry

That’s to make him eat twenty of his words. But do you use me thus, Ned? must I marry your sister?

Poins

God send the wench no worse fortune! But I never said so.

Prince Henry

Well, thus we play the fools with the time, and the spirits of the wise sit in the clouds and mock us. Is your master here in London?

Bardolph

Yea, my lord.

Prince Henry

Where sups he? doth the old boar feed in the old frank?

Bardolph

At the old place, my lord, in Eastcheap.

Prince Henry

What company?

Page

Ephesians, my lord, of the old church.

Prince Henry

Sup any women with him?

Page

None, my lord, but old Mistress Quickly and
Mistress Doll Tearsheet.

Prince Henry

What pagan may that be?

Page

A proper gentlewoman, sir, and a kinswoman of my master’s.

Prince Henry

Even such kin as the parish heifers are to the town bull. Shall we steal upon them, Ned, at supper?

Poins

I am your shadow, my lord; I’ll follow you.

Prince Henry

Sirrah, you boy, and Bardolph, no word to your master that I am yet come to town: there’s for your silence.

Bardolph

I have no tongue, sir.

Page

And for mine, sir, I will govern it.

Prince Henry

Fare you well; go.

Exeunt Bardolph and Page

This Doll Tearsheet should be some road.

Poins

I warrant you, as common as the way between Saint
Alban’s and London.

Prince Henry

How might we see Falstaff bestow himself to-night in his true colours, and not ourselves be seen?

Poins

Put on two leathern jerkins and aprons, and wait upon him at his table as drawers.

Prince Henry

From a God to a bull? a heavy decension! it was Jove’s case. From a prince to a prentice? a low transformation! that shall be mine; for in every thing the purpose must weigh with the folly. Follow me, Ned.

Exeunt

Scene III. Warkworth. Before the castle.

Enter Northumberland, Lady Northumberland, and Lady Percy

Northumberland

I pray thee, loving wife, and gentle daughter,
Give even way unto my rough affairs:
Put not you on the visage of the times
And be like them to Percy troublesome.
Lady

Northumberland

I have given over, I will speak no more:
Do what you will; your wisdom be your guide.

Northumberland

Alas, sweet wife, my honour is at pawn;
And, but my going, nothing can redeem it.

Lady Percy

O yet, for God’s sake, go not to these wars!
The time was, father, that you broke your word,
When you were more endeared to it than now;
When your own Percy, when my heart’s dear Harry,
Threw many a northward look to see his father
Bring up his powers; but he did long in vain.
Who then persuaded you to stay at home?
There were two honours lost, yours and your son’s.
For yours, the God of heaven brighten it!
For his, it stuck upon him as the sun
In the grey vault of heaven, and by his light
Did all the chivalry of England move
To do brave acts: he was indeed the glass
Wherein the noble youth did dress themselves:
He had no legs that practised not his gait;
And speaking thick, which nature made his blemish,
Became the accents of the valiant;
For those that could speak low and tardily
Would turn their own perfection to abuse,
To seem like him: so that in speech, in gait,
In diet, in affections of delight,
In military rules, humours of blood,
He was the mark and glass, copy and book,
That fashion’d others. And him, O wondrous him!
O miracle of men! him did you leave,
Second to none, unseconded by you,
To look upon the hideous god of war
In disadvantage; to abide a field
Where nothing but the sound of Hotspur’s name
Did seem defensible: so you left him.
Never, O never, do his ghost the wrong
To hold your honour more precise and nice
With others than with him! let them alone:
The marshal and the archbishop are strong:
Had my sweet Harry had but half their numbers,
To-day might I, hanging on Hotspur’s neck,
Have talk’d of Monmouth’s grave.

Northumberland

Beshrew your heart,
Fair daughter, you do draw my spirits from me
With new lamenting ancient oversights.
But I must go and meet with danger there,
Or it will seek me in another place
And find me worse provided.
Lady

Northumberland

O, fly to Scotland,
Till that the nobles and the armed commons
Have of their puissance made a little taste.

Lady Percy

If they get ground and vantage of the king,
Then join you with them, like a rib of steel,
To make strength stronger; but, for all our loves,
First let them try themselves. So did your son;
He was so suffer’d: so came I a widow;
And never shall have length of life enough
To rain upon remembrance with mine eyes,
That it may grow and sprout as high as heaven,
For recordation to my noble husband.

Northumberland

Come, come, go in with me. ’Tis with my mind
As with the tide swell’d up unto his height,
That makes a still-stand, running neither way:
Fain would I go to meet the archbishop,
But many thousand reasons hold me back.
I will resolve for Scotland: there am I,
Till time and vantage crave my company.

Exeunt

Scene IV. London. The Boar’s-head Tavern in Eastcheap.

Enter two Drawers

First Drawer

What the devil hast thou brought there? apple-johns? thou knowest Sir John cannot endure an apple-john.

Second Drawer

Mass, thou sayest true. The prince once set a dish of apple-johns before him, and told him there were five more Sir Johns, and, putting off his hat, said ‘I will now take my leave of these six dry, round, old, withered knights.’ It angered him to the heart: but he hath forgot that.

First Drawer

Why, then, cover, and set them down: and see if thou canst find out Sneak’s noise; Mistress Tearsheet would fain hear some music. Dispatch: the room where they supped is too hot; they’ll come in straight.

Second Drawer

Sirrah, here will be the prince and Master Poins anon; and they will put on two of our jerkins and aprons; and Sir John must not know of it: Bardolph hath brought word.

First Drawer

By the mass, here will be old Utis: it will be an excellent stratagem.

Second Drawer

I’ll see if I can find out Sneak.

Exit

Enter Mistress Quickly and Doll Tearsheet

Mistress Quickly

I’ faith, sweetheart, methinks now you are in an excellent good temperality: your pulsidge beats as extraordinarily as heart would desire; and your colour, I warrant you, is as red as any rose, in good truth, la! But, i’ faith, you have drunk too much canaries; and that’s a marvellous searching wine, and it perfumes the blood ere one can say ‘What’s this?’ How do you now?

Doll Tearsheet

Better than I was: hem!

Mistress Quickly

Why, that’s well said; a good heart’s worth gold.
Lo, here comes Sir John.

Enter Falstaff

Falstaff

[Singing] ‘When Arthur first in court,’
— Empty the jordan.

Exit First Drawer

Singing

—’And was a worthy king.’ How now, Mistress Doll!

Mistress Quickly

Sick of a calm; yea, good faith.

Falstaff

So is all her sect; an they be once in a calm, they are sick.

Doll Tearsheet

You muddy rascal, is that all the comfort you give me?

Falstaff

You make fat rascals, Mistress Doll.

Doll Tearsheet

I make them! gluttony and diseases make them; I make them not.

Falstaff

If the cook help to make the gluttony, you help to make the diseases, Doll: we catch of you, Doll, we catch of you; grant that, my poor virtue grant that.

Doll Tearsheet

Yea, joy, our chains and our jewels.

Falstaff

‘Your broaches, pearls, and ouches:’ for to serve bravely is to come halting off, you know: to come off the breach with his pike bent bravely, and to surgery bravely; to venture upon the charged chambers bravely —

Doll Tearsheet

Hang yourself, you muddy conger, hang yourself!

Mistress Quickly

By my troth, this is the old fashion; you two never meet but you fall to some discord: you are both, i’ good truth, as rheumatic as two dry toasts; you cannot one bear with another’s confirmities. What the good-year! one must bear, and that must be you: you are the weaker vessel, as they say, the emptier vessel.

Doll Tearsheet

Can a weak empty vessel bear such a huge full hogshead? there’s a whole merchant’s venture of Bourdeaux stuff in him; you have not seen a hulk better stuffed in the hold. Come, I’ll be friends with thee, Jack: thou art going to the wars; and whether I shall ever see thee again or no, there is nobody cares.

Re-enter First Drawer

First Drawer

Sir, Ancient Pistol’s below, and would speak with you.

Doll Tearsheet

Hang him, swaggering rascal! let him not come hither: it is the foul-mouthed’st rogue in England.

Mistress Quickly

If he swagger, let him not come here: no, by my faith; I must live among my neighbours: I’ll no swaggerers: I am in good name and fame with the very best: shut the door; there comes no swaggerers here: I have not lived all this while, to have swaggering now: shut the door, I pray you.

Falstaff

Dost thou hear, hostess?

Mistress Quickly

Pray ye, pacify yourself, Sir John: there comes no swaggerers here.

Falstaff

Dost thou hear? it is mine ancient.

Mistress Quickly

Tilly-fally, Sir John, ne’er tell me: your ancient swaggerer comes not in my doors. I was before Master Tisick, the debuty, t’other day; and, as he said to me, ’twas no longer ago than Wednesday last, ‘I’ good faith, neighbour Quickly,’ says he; Master Dumbe, our minister, was by then; ‘neighbour Quickly,’ says he, ‘receive those that are civil; for,’ said he, ‘you are in an ill name:’ now a’ said so, I can tell whereupon; ‘for,’ says he, ‘you are an honest woman, and well thought on; therefore take heed what guests you receive: receive,’ says he, ‘no swaggering companions.’ There comes none here: you would bless you to hear what he said: no, I’ll no swaggerers.

Falstaff

He’s no swaggerer, hostess; a tame cheater, i’ faith; you may stroke him as gently as a puppy greyhound: he’ll not swagger with a Barbary hen, if her feathers turn back in any show of resistance. Call him up, drawer.

Exit First Drawer

Mistress Quickly

Cheater, call you him? I will bar no honest man my house, nor no cheater: but I do not love swaggering, by my troth; I am the worse, when one says swagger: feel, masters, how I shake; look you, I warrant you.

Doll Tearsheet

So you do, hostess.

Mistress Quickly

Do I? yea, in very truth, do I, an ’twere an aspen leaf: I cannot abide swaggerers.

Enter Pistol, Bardolph, and Page

Pistol

God save you, Sir John!

Falstaff

Welcome, Ancient Pistol. Here, Pistol, I charge you with a cup of sack: do you discharge upon mine hostess.

Pistol

I will discharge upon her, Sir John, with two bullets.

Falstaff

She is Pistol-proof, sir; you shall hardly offend her.

Mistress Quickly

Come, I’ll drink no proofs nor no bullets: I’ll drink no more than will do me good, for no man’s pleasure, I.

Pistol

Then to you, Mistress Dorothy; I will charge you.

Doll Tearsheet

Charge me! I scorn you, scurvy companion. What! you poor, base, rascally, cheating, lack-linen mate! Away, you mouldy rogue, away! I am meat for your master.

Pistol

I know you, Mistress Dorothy.

Doll Tearsheet

Away, you cut-purse rascal! you filthy bung, away! by this wine, I’ll thrust my knife in your mouldy chaps, an you play the saucy cuttle with me. Away, you bottle-ale rascal! you basket-hilt stale juggler, you! Since when, I pray you, sir? God’s light, with two points on your shoulder? much!

Pistol

God let me not live, but I will murder your ruff for this.

Falstaff

No more, Pistol; I would not have you go off here: discharge yourself of our company, Pistol.

Mistress Quickly

No, Good Captain Pistol; not here, sweet captain.

Doll Tearsheet

Captain! thou abominable damned cheater, art thou not ashamed to be called captain? An captains were of my mind, they would truncheon you out, for taking their names upon you before you have earned them. You a captain! you slave, for what? for tearing a poor whore’s ruff in a bawdy-house? He a captain! hang him, rogue! he lives upon mouldy stewed prunes and dried cakes. A captain! God’s light, these villains will make the word as odious as the word ‘occupy;’ which was an excellent good word before it was ill sorted: therefore captains had need look to ’t.

Bardolph

Pray thee, go down, good ancient.

Falstaff

Hark thee hither, Mistress Doll.

Pistol

Not I I tell thee what, Corporal Bardolph, I could tear her: I’ll be revenged of her.

Page

Pray thee, go down.

Pistol

I’ll see her damned first; to Pluto’s damned lake, by this hand, to the infernal deep, with Erebus and tortures vile also. Hold hook and line, say I. Down, down, dogs! down, faitors! Have we not Hiren here?

Mistress Quickly

Good Captain Peesel, be quiet; ’tis very late, i’ faith: I beseek you now, aggravate your choler.

Pistol

These be good humours, indeed! Shall pack-horses
And hollow pamper’d jades of Asia,
Which cannot go but thirty mile a-day,
Compare with Caesars, and with Cannibals,
And Trojan Greeks? nay, rather damn them with
King Cerberus; and let the welkin roar.
Shall we fall foul for toys?

Mistress Quickly

By my troth, captain, these are very bitter words.

Bardolph

Be gone, good ancient: this will grow to abrawl anon.

Pistol

Die men like dogs! give crowns like pins! Have we not Heren here?

Mistress Quickly

O’ my word, captain, there’s none such here. What the good-year! do you think I would deny her? For God’s sake, be quiet.

Pistol

Then feed, and be fat, my fair Calipolis.
Come, give’s some sack.
‘si fortune me tormente, sperato me contento.’
Fear we broadsides? no, let the fiend give fire:
Give me some sack: and, sweetheart, lie thou there.

Laying down his sword

Come we to full points here; and are etceteras nothing?

Falstaff

Pistol, I would be quiet.

Pistol

Sweet knight, I kiss thy neaf: what! we have seen the seven stars.

Doll Tearsheet

For God’s sake, thrust him down stairs: I cannot endure such a fustian rascal.

Pistol

Thrust him down stairs! know we not Galloway nags?

Falstaff

Quoit him down, Bardolph, like a shove-groat shilling: nay, an a’ do nothing but speak nothing, a’ shall be nothing here.

Bardolph

Come, get you down stairs.

Pistol

What! shall we have incision? shall we imbrue?

Snatching up his sword

Then death rock me asleep, abridge my doleful days!
Why, then, let grievous, ghastly, gaping wounds
Untwine the Sisters Three! Come, Atropos, I say!

Mistress Quickly

Here’s goodly stuff toward!

Falstaff

Give me my rapier, boy.

Doll Tearsheet

I pray thee, Jack, I pray thee, do not draw.

Falstaff

Get you down stairs.

Drawing, and driving Pistol out

Mistress Quickly

Here’s a goodly tumult! I’ll forswear keeping house, afore I’ll be in these tirrits and frights. So; murder, I warrant now. Alas, alas! put up your naked weapons, put up your naked weapons.

Exeunt Pistol and Bardolph

Doll Tearsheet

I pray thee, Jack, be quiet; the rascal’s gone.
Ah, you whoreson little valiant villain, you!

Mistress Quickly

He you not hurt i’ the groin? methought a’ made a shrewd thrust at your belly.

Re-enter Bardolph

Falstaff

Have you turned him out o’ doors?

Bardolph

Yea, sir. The rascal’s drunk: you have hurt him, sir, i’ the shoulder.

Falstaff

A rascal! to brave me!

Doll Tearsheet

Ah, you sweet little rogue, you! alas, poor ape, how thou sweatest! come, let me wipe thy face; come on, you whoreson chops: ah, rogue! i’faith, I love thee: thou art as valorous as Hector of Troy, worth five of Agamemnon, and ten times better than the Nine Worthies: ah, villain!

Falstaff

A rascally slave! I will toss the rogue in a blanket.

Doll Tearsheet

Do, an thou darest for thy heart: an thou dost,
I’ll canvass thee between a pair of sheets.

Enter Music

Page

The music is come, sir.

Falstaff

Let them play. Play, sirs. Sit on my knee, Doll. A rascal bragging slave! the rogue fled from me like quicksilver.

Doll Tearsheet

I’ faith, and thou followedst him like a church. Thou whoreson little tidy Bartholomew boar-pig, when wilt thou leave fighting o’ days and foining o’ nights, and begin to patch up thine old body for heaven?

Enter, behind, Prince Henry and Poins, disguised

Falstaff

Peace, good Doll! do not speak like a death’s-head; do not bid me remember mine end.

Doll Tearsheet

Sirrah, what humour’s the prince of?

Falstaff

A good shallow young fellow: a’ would have made a good pantler, a’ would ha’ chipp’d bread well.

Doll Tearsheet

They say Poins has a good wit.

Falstaff

He a good wit? hang him, baboon! his wit’s as thick as Tewksbury mustard; there’s no more conceit in him than is in a mallet.

Doll Tearsheet

Why does the prince love him so, then?

Falstaff

Because their legs are both of a bigness, and a’ plays at quoits well, and eats conger and fennel, and drinks off candles’ ends for flap-dragons, and rides the wild-mare with the boys, and jumps upon joined-stools, and swears with a good grace, and wears his boots very smooth, like unto the sign of the leg, and breeds no bate with telling of discreet stories; and such other gambol faculties a’ has, that show a weak mind and an able body, for the which the prince admits him: for the prince himself is such another; the weight of a hair will turn the scales between their avoirdupois.

Prince Henry

Would not this nave of a wheel have his ears cut off?

Poins

Let’s beat him before his whore.

Prince Henry

Look, whether the withered elder hath not his poll clawed like a parrot.

Poins

Is it not strange that desire should so many years outlive performance?

Falstaff

Kiss me, Doll.

Prince Henry

Saturn and Venus this year in conjunction! what says the almanac to that?

Poins

And look, whether the fiery Trigon, his man, be not lisping to his master’s old tables, his note-book, his counsel-keeper.

Falstaff

Thou dost give me flattering busses.

Doll Tearsheet

By my troth, I kiss thee with a most constant heart.

Falstaff

I am old, I am old.

Doll Tearsheet

I love thee better than I love e’er a scurvy young boy of them all.

Falstaff

What stuff wilt have a kirtle of? I shall receive money o’ Thursday: shalt have a cap to-morrow. A merry song, come: it grows late; we’ll to bed. Thou’lt forget me when I am gone.

Doll Tearsheet

By my troth, thou’lt set me a-weeping, an thou sayest so: prove that ever I dress myself handsome till thy return: well, harken at the end.

Falstaff

Some sack, Francis.

Prince Henry

Poins

Anon, anon, sir.

Coming forward

Falstaff

Ha! a bastard son of the king’s? And art not thou
Poins his brother?

Prince Henry

Why, thou globe of sinful continents! what a life dost thou lead!

Falstaff

A better than thou: I am a gentleman; thou art a drawer.

Prince Henry

Very true, sir; and I come to draw you out by the ears.

Mistress Quickly

O, the Lord preserve thy good grace! by my troth, welcome to London. Now, the Lord bless that sweet face of thine! O, Jesu, are you come from Wales?

Falstaff

Thou whoreson mad compound of majesty, by this light flesh and corrupt blood, thou art welcome.

Doll Tearsheet

How, you fat fool! I scorn you.

Poins

My lord, he will drive you out of your revenge and turn all to a merriment, if you take not the heat.

Prince Henry

You whoreson candle-mine, you, how vilely did you speak of me even now before this honest, virtuous, civil gentlewoman!

Mistress Quickly

God’s blessing of your good heart! and so she is, by my troth.

Falstaff

Didst thou hear me?

Prince Henry

Yea, and you knew me, as you did when you ran away by Gad’s-hill: you knew I was at your back, and spoke it on purpose to try my patience.

Falstaff

No, no, no; not so; I did not think thou wast within hearing.

Prince Henry

I shall drive you then to confess the wilful abuse; and then I know how to handle you.

Falstaff

No abuse, Hal, o’ mine honour, no abuse.

Prince Henry

Not to dispraise me, and call me pantier and bread-chipper and I know not what?

Falstaff

No abuse, Hal.

Poins

No abuse?

Falstaff

No abuse, Ned, i’ the world; honest Ned, none. I dispraised him before the wicked, that the wicked might not fall in love with him; in which doing, I have done the part of a careful friend and a true subject, and thy father is to give me thanks for it. No abuse, Hal: none, Ned, none: no, faith, boys, none.

Prince Henry

See now, whether pure fear and entire cowardice doth not make thee wrong this virtuous gentlewoman to close with us? is she of the wicked? is thine hostess here of the wicked? or is thy boy of the wicked? or honest Bardolph, whose zeal burns in his nose, of the wicked?

Poins

Answer, thou dead elm, answer.

Falstaff

The fiend hath pricked down Bardolph irrecoverable; and his face is Lucifer’s privy-kitchen, where he doth nothing but roast malt-worms. For the boy, there is a good angel about him; but the devil outbids him too.

Prince Henry

For the women?

Falstaff

For one of them, she is in hell already, and burns poor souls. For the other, I owe her money, and whether she be damned for that, I know not.

Mistress Quickly

No, I warrant you.

Falstaff

No, I think thou art not; I think thou art quit for that. Marry, there is another indictment upon thee, for suffering flesh to be eaten in thy house, contrary to the law; for the which I think thou wilt howl.

Mistress Quickly

All victuallers do so; what’s a joint of mutton or two in a whole Lent?

Prince Henry

You, gentlewoman,-

Doll Tearsheet

What says your grace?

Falstaff

His grace says that which his flesh rebels against.

Knocking within

Mistress Quickly

Who knocks so loud at door? Look to the door there, Francis.

Enter Peto

Prince Henry

Peto, how now! what news?

Peto

The king your father is at Westminster:
And there are twenty weak and wearied posts
Come from the north: and, as I came along,
I met and overtook a dozen captains,
Bare-headed, sweating, knocking at the taverns,
And asking every one for Sir John Falstaff.

Prince Henry

By heaven, Poins, I feel me much to blame,
So idly to profane the precious time,
When tempest of commotion, like the south
Borne with black vapour, doth begin to melt
And drop upon our bare unarmed heads.
Give me my sword and cloak. Falstaff, good night.

Exeunt Prince Henry, Poins, Peto and Bardolph

Falstaff

Now comes in the sweetest morsel of the night, and we must hence and leave it unpicked.

Knocking within

More knocking at the door!

Re-enter Bardolph

How now! what’s the matter?

Bardolph

You must away to court, sir, presently;
A dozen captains stay at door for you.

Falstaff

[To the Page] Pay the musicians, sirrah. Farewell, hostess; farewell, Doll. You see, my good wenches, how men of merit are sought after: the undeserver may sleep, when the man of action is called on. Farewell good wenches: if I be not sent away post, I will see you again ere I go.

Doll Tearsheet

I cannot speak; if my heart be not read to burst — well, sweet Jack, have a care of thyself.

Falstaff

Farewell, farewell.

Exeunt Falstaff and Bardolph

Mistress Quickly

Well, fare thee well: I have known thee these twenty-nine years, come peascod-time; but an honester and truer-hearted man — well, fare thee well.

Bardolph

[Within] Mistress Tearsheet!

Mistress Quickly

What’s the matter?

Bardolph

[Within] Good Mistress Tearsheet, come to my master.

Mistress Quickly

O, run, Doll, run; run, good Doll: come.

She comes blubbered

Yea, will you come, Doll?

Exeunt

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Last updated Wednesday, March 5, 2014 at 22:29