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King Henry IV, Second Part
by William Shakespeare [Chiswick edition]
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KING HENRY IV, SECOND PART

by William Shakespeare



Dramatis Personae

RUMOUR, the Presenter. KING HENRY the Fourth.

His sons HENRY, PRINCE OF WALES, afterwards King Henry V. THOMAS, DUKE OF CLARENCE. PRINCE JOHN OF LANCASTER. PRINCE HUMPHREY OF GLOUCESTER.

EARL OF WARWICK. EARL OF WESTMORELAND. EARL OF SURREY. GOWER. HARCOURT. BLUNT. Lord Chief Justice of the King's Bench. A Servant of the Chief-Justice. EARL OF NORTHUMBERLAND. SCROOP, Archbishop of York. LORD MOWBRAY. LORD HASTINGS. LORD BARDOLPH. SIR JOHN COLEVILLE. TRAVERS and MORTON, retainers of Northumberland. SIR JOHN FALSTAFF. His Page. BARDOLPH. PISTOL. POINS. PETO. SHALLOW and SILENCE, country justices. DAVY, Servant to Shallow. MOULDY, SHADOW, WART, FEEBLE, and BULLCALF, recruits. FANG and SNARE, sheriff's officers.

LADY NORTHUMBERLAND. LADY PERCY. MISTRESS QUICKLY, hostess of a tavern in Eastcheap. DOLL TEARSHEET.

Lords and Attendants; Porter, Drawers, Beadles, Grooms, etc.

A Dancer, speaker of the epilogue.

SCENE: England.



INDUCTION

Warkworth. Before the castle.

[Enter Rumour, painted full of tongues.]

RUMOUR. Open your ears; for which of you will stop The vent of hearing when loud Rumour speaks? I, from the orient to the drooping west, Making the wind my post-horse, still unfold The acts commenced on this ball of earth: Upon my tongues continual slanders ride, The which in every language I pronounce, Stuffing the ears of men with false reports. I speak of peace, while covert emnity Under the smile of safety wounds the world: And who but Rumour, who but only I, Make fearful musters and prepared defence, Whiles the big year, swoln with some other grief, Is thought with child by the stern tyrant war, And no such matter? Rumour is a pipe Blown by surmises, jealousies, conjectures, And of so easy and so plain a stop That the blunt monster with uncounted heads, The still-discordant wavering multitude, Can play upon it. But what need I thus My well-known body to anatomize Among my household? Why is Rumour here? I run before King Harry's victory; Who in a bloody field by Shrewsbury Hath beaten down young Hotspur and his troops, Quenching the flame of bold rebellion Even with the rebels' blood. But what mean I To speak so true at first? my office is To noise abroad that Harry Monmouth fell Under the wrath of noble Hotspur's sword, And that the king before the Douglas' rage Stoop'd his anointed head as low as death. This have I rumour'd through the peasant towns Between that royal field of Shrewsbury And this worm-eaten hold of ragged stone, Where Hotspur's father, old Northumberland, Lies crafty-sick: the posts come tiring on, And not a man of them brings other news Than they have learn'd of me: from Rumour's tongues They bring smooth comforts false, worse than true wrongs.

[Exit.]



ACT I.

SCENE 1. The same.

[Enter Lord Bardolph.]

LORD BARDOLPH. Who keeps the gate here, ho?

[The Porter opens the gate.]

Where is the earl?

PORTER. What shall I say you are?

LORD BARDOLPH. Tell thou the earl That the Lord Bardolph doth attend him here.

PORTER. His lordship is walk'd forth into the orchard: Please it your honour, knock but at the gate, And he himself will answer.

[Enter Northumberland.]

LORD BARDOLPH. Here comes the earl.

[Exit Porter.]

NORTHUMBERLAND. What news, Lord Bardolph? every minute now Should be the father of some stratagem: The times are wild; contention, like a horse Full of high feeding, madly hath broke loose And bears down all before him.

LORD BARDOLPH. Noble earl, I bring you certain news from Shrewsbury.

NORTHUMBERLAND. Good, an God will!

LORD BARDOLPH. As good as heart can wish: The king is almost wounded to the death; And, in the fortune of my lord your son, Prince Harry slain outright; and both the Blunts Kill'd by the hand of Douglas; young Prince John, And Westmoreland and Stafford fled the field: And Harry Monmouth's brawn, the hulk Sir John, Is prisoner to your son: O, such a day, So fought, so follow'd and so fairly won, Came not till now to dignify the times, Since Caesar's fortunes!

NORTHUMBERLAND. How is this derived? Saw you the field? came you from Shrewsbury?

LORD BARDOLPH. I spake with one, my lord, that came from thence, A gentleman well bred and of good name, That freely render'd me these news for true.

NORTHUMBERLAND. Here comes my servant Travers, whom I sent On Tuesday last to listen after news.

[Enter Travers.]

LORD BARDOLPH. My lord, I over-rode him on the way; And he is furnish'd with no certainties More than he haply may retail from me.

NORTHUMBERLAND. Now, Travers, what good tidings comes with you?

TRAVERS. My lord, Sir John Umfrevile turn'd me back With joyful tidings; and, being better horsed, Out-rode me. After him came spurring hard A gentleman, almost forspent with speed, That stopp'd by me to breathe his bloodied horse. He ask'd the way to Chester; and of him I did demand what news from Shrewsbury: He told me that rebellion had bad luck And that young Harry Percy's spur was cold. With that, he gave his able horse the head, And bending forward struck his armed heels Against the panting sides of his poor jade Up to the rowel-head, and starting so He seem'd in running to devour the way, Staying no longer question.

NORTHUMBERLAND. Ha! Again: Said he young Harry Percy's spur was cold? Of Hotspur Coldspur? that rebellion Had met ill luck?

LORD BARDOLPH. My lord, I'll tell you what; If my young lord your son have not the day, Upon mine honour, for a silken point I'll give my barony: never talk of it.

NORTHUMBERLAND. Why should that gentleman that rode by Travers Give then such instances of loss?

LORD BARDOLPH. Who, he? He was some hilding fellow that had stolen The horse he rode on, and, upon my life, Spoke at a venture. Look, here comes more news.

[Enter Morton.]

NORTHUMBERLAND. Yea, this man's brow, like to a title-leaf, Foretells the nature of a tragic volume: So looks the strand whereon the imperious flood Hath left a witness'd usurpation. Say, Morton, didst thou come from Shrewsbury? MORTON. I ran from Shrewsbury, my noble lord; Where hateful death put on his ugliest mask To fright our party.

NORTHUMBERLAND. How doth my son and brother? Thou tremblest; and the whiteness in thy cheek Is apter than thy tongue to tell thy errand. Even such a man, so faint, so spiritless, So dull, so dread in look, so woe-begone, Drew Priam's curtain in the dead of night, And would have told him half his Troy was burnt; But Priam found the fire ere he his tongue, And I my Percy's death ere thou report'st it. This thou wouldst say: "Your son did thus and thus; Your brother thus: so fought the noble Douglas:" Stopping my greedy ear with their bold deeds: But in the end, to stop my ear indeed, Thou hast a sigh to blow away this praise, Ending with "Brother, son, and all are dead."

MORTON. Douglas is living, and your brother, yet: But, for my lord your son,—

NORTHUMBERLAND. Why, he is dead. See what a ready tongue suspicion hath! He that but fears the thing he would not know Hath by instinct knowledge from others' eyes That what he fear'd is chanced. Yet speak, Morton; Tell thou an earl his divination lies, And I will take it as a sweet disgrace And make thee rich for doing me such wrong.

MORTON. You are too great to be by me gainsaid: Your spirit is too true, your fears too certain.

NORTHUMBERLAND. Yet, for all this, say not that Percy's dead. I see a strange confession in thine eye; Thou shakest thy head and hold'st it fear or sin To speak a truth. If he be slain, say so; The tongue offends not that reports his death: And he doth sin that doth belie the dead, Not he which says the dead is not alive Yet the first bringer of unwelcome news Hath but a losing office, and his tongue Sounds ever after as a sullen bell, Remember'd tolling a departing friend.

LORD BARDOLPH. I cannot think, my lord, your son is dead.

MORTON. I am sorry I should force you to believe That which I would to God I had not seen; But these mine eyes saw him in bloody state, Rendering faint quittance, wearied and outbreathed, To Harry Monmouth; whose swift wrath beat down The never-daunted Percy to the earth, From whence with life he never more sprung up. In few, his death, whose spirit lent a fire Even to the dullest peasant in his camp, Being bruited once, took fire and heat away From the best-temper'd courage in his troops; For from his metal was his party steel'd; Which once in him abated, all the rest Turn'd on themselves, like dull and heavy lead: And as the thing that's heavy in itself, Upon enforcement flies with greatest speed, So did our men, heavy in Hotspur's loss, Lend to this weight such lightness with their fear That arrows fled not swifter toward their aim Than did our soldiers, aiming at their safety, Fly from the field. Then was that noble Worcester Too soon ta'en prisoner; and that furious Scot, The bloody Douglas, whose well-labouring sword Had three times slain the appearance of the king, 'Gan vail his stomach and did grace the shame Of those that turn'd their backs, and in his flight, Stumbling in fear, was took. The sum of all Is that the king hath won, and hath sent out A speedy power to encounter you, my lord, Under the conduct of young Lancaster And Westmoreland. This is the news at full.

NORTHUMBERLAND. For this I shall have time enough to mourn. In poison there is physic; and these news, Having been well, that would have made me sick, Being sick, have in some measure made me well: And as the wretch, whose fever-weaken'd joints, Like strengthless hinges, buckle under life, Impatient of his fit, breaks like a fire Out of his keeper's arms, even so my limbs, Weaken'd with grief, being now enraged with grief, Are thrice themselves. Hence, therefore, thou nice crutch! A scaly gauntlet now with joints of steel Must glove this hand: and hence, thou sickly quoif! Thou art a guard too wanton for the head Which princes, flesh'd with conquest, aim to hit. Now bind my brows with iron; and approach The ragged'st hour that time and spite dare bring To frown upon the enraged Northumberland! Let heaven kiss earth! now let not Nature's hand Keep the wild flood confined! let order die! And let this world no longer be a stage To feed contention in a lingering act; But let one spirit of the first-born Cain Reign in all bosoms, that, each heart being set On bloody courses, the rude scene may end, And darkness be the burier of the dead!

TRAVERS. This strained passion doth you wrong, my lord.

LORD BARDOLPH. Sweet earl, divorce not wisdom from your honour.

MORTON. The lives of all your loving complices Lean on your health; the which, if you give o'er To stormy passion, must perforce decay. You cast the event of war, my noble lord, And summ'd the account of chance, before you said "Let us make head." It was your presurmise, That, in the dole of blows, your son might drop: You knew he walk'd o'er perils, on an edge, More likely to fall in than to get o'er; You were advised his flesh was capable Of wounds and scars and that his forward spirit Would lift him where most trade of danger ranged: Yet did you say "Go forth;" and none of this, Though strongly apprehended, could restrain The stiff-borne action: what hath then befallen, Or what hath this bold enterprise brought forth, More than that being which was like to be?

LORD BARDOLPH. We all that are engaged to this loss Knew that we ventured on such dangerous seas That if we wrought out life 'twas ten to one; And yet we ventured, for the gain proposed Choked the respect of likely peril fear'd; And since we are o'erset, venture again. Come, we will put forth, body and goods.

MORTON. 'Tis more than time: and, my most noble lord, I hear for certain, and dare speak the truth: The gentle Archbishop of York is up With well-appointed powers: he is a man Who with a double surety binds his followers. My lord your son had only but the corpse, But shadows and the shows of men, to fight; For that same word, rebellion, did divide The action of their bodies from their souls; And they did fight with queasiness, constrain'd, As men drink potions, that their weapons only Seem'd on our side; but, for their spirits and souls, This word, rebellion, it had froze them up, As fish are in a pond. But now the bishop Turns insurrection to religion: Supposed sincere and holy in his thoughts, He 's follow'd both with body and with mind; And doth enlarge his rising with the blood Of fair King Richard, scraped from Pomfret stones; Derives from heaven his quarrel and his cause; Tells them he doth bestride a bleeding land, Gasping for life under great Bolingbroke; And more and less do flock to follow him.

NORTHUMBERLAND. I knew of this before; but, to speak truth, This present grief had wiped it from my mind. Go in with me; and counsel every man The aptest way for safety and revenge: Get posts and letters, and make friends with speed: Never so few, and never yet more need.

[Exeunt.]



SCENE II. London. A street.

[Enter Falstaff, with his Page bearing his sword and buckler.]

FALSTAFF. Sirrah, you giant, what says the doctor to my water?

PAGE. He said, sir, the water itself was a good healthy water; but, for the party that owed it, he might have moe diseases than he knew for.

FALSTAFF. Men of all sorts take a pride to gird at me: the brain of this foolish-compounded clay, man, is not able to invent any thing that tends to laughter, more than I invent or is invented on me: I am not only witty in myself, but the cause that wit is in other men. I do here walk before thee like a sow that hath overwhelmed all her litter but one. If the prince put thee into my service for any other reason than to set me off, why then I have no judgement. Thou whoreson mandrake, thou art fitter to be worn in my cap than to wait at my heels. I was never manned with an agate till now: but I will inset you neither in gold nor silver, but in vile apparel, and send you back again to your master, for a jewel,—the juvenal, the prince your master, whose chin is not yet fledged. I will sooner have a beard grow in the palm of my hand than he shall get one on his cheek; and yet he will not stick to say his face is a face-royal: God may finish it when he will, 'tis not a hair amiss yet: he may keep it still at a face-royal, for a barber shall never earn sixpence out of it; and yet he'll be crowing as if he had writ man ever since his father was a bachelor. He may keep his own grace, but he's almost out of mine, I can assure him. What said Master Dombledon about the satin for my short cloak and my slops?

PAGE. He said, sir, you should procure him better assurance than Bardolph: he would not take his band and yours; he liked not the security.

FALSTAFF. 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 had as lief they would put ratsbane in my mouth as offer to stop it with security. I looked 'a should have sent me two and twenty yards of satin, as I am a true knight, and he sends me security. Well, he may sleep in security; for he hath the horn of abundance, and the lightness of his wife shines through it: and yet cannot he see, though he have his own lanthorn to light him. Where's Bardolph?

PAGE. He's gone into Smithfield to buy your worship a horse.

FALSTAFF. I bought him in Paul's, and he'll buy me a horse in Smithfield: an I could get me but a wife in the stews, I were manned, horsed, and wived.

[Enter the Lord Chief-Justice and Servant.]

PAGE. Sir, here comes the nobleman that committed the Prince for striking him about Bardolph.

FALSTAFF. Wait close; I will not see him.

CHIEF JUSTICE. What's he that goes there?

SERVANT. Falstaff, an 't please your lordship.

CHIEF JUSTICE. He that was in question for the robbery?

SERVANT. He, my lord; but he hath since done good service at Shrewsbury; and, as I hear, is now going with some charge to the Lord John of Lancaster.

CHIEF JUSTICE. What, to York? Call him back again.

SERVANT. Sir John Falstaff!

FALSTAFF. Boy, tell him I am deaf.

PAGE. You must speak louder; my master is deaf.

CHIEF JUSTICE. I am sure he is, to the hearing of anything good. Go, pluck him by the elbow; I must speak with him.

SERVANT. Sir John!

FALSTAFF. What! a young knave, and begging! Is there not wars? is there not employment? doth not the king lack subjects? do not the rebels need soldiers? Though it be a shame to be on any side but one, it is worse shame to beg than to be on the worst side, were it worse than the name of rebellion can tell how to make it.

SERVANT. You mistake me, sir.

FALSTAFF. Why, sir, did I say you were an honest man? setting my knighthood and my soldiership aside, I had lied in my throat, if I had said so.

SERVANT. I pray you, sir, then set your knighthood and your soldiership aside; and give me leave to tell you, you lie in your throat, if you say I am any other than an honest man.

FALSTAFF. I give thee leave to tell me so! I lay aside that which grows to me! If thou gettest any leave of me, hang me; if thou takest leave, thou wert better be hanged. You hunt counter: hence! avaunt!

SERVANT. Sir, my lord would speak with you.

CHIEF JUSTICE. Sir John Falstaff, a word with you.

FALSTAFF. My good lord! God give your lordship good time of day. I am glad to see your lordship abroad: I heard say your lordship was sick: I hope your lordship goes abroad by advice. Your lordship, though not clean past your youth, hath yet some smack of age in you, some relish of the saltness of time; and I most humbly beseech your lordship to have a reverend care of your health.

CHIEF JUSTICE. Sir John, I sent for you before your expedition to Shrewsbury.

FALSTAFF. An 't please your lordship, I hear his majesty is returned with some discomfort from Wales.

CHIEF JUSTICE. I talk not of his majesty: you would not come when I sent for you.

FALSTAFF. And I hear, moreover, his highness is fall'n into this same whoreson apoplexy.

CHIEF JUSTICE. Well God mend him! I pray you, let me speak with you.

FALSTAFF. This apoplexy is, as I take it, a kind of lethargy, an 't please your lordship; a kind of sleeping in the blood, a whoreson tingling.

CHIEF JUSTICE. What tell you me of it? be it as it is.

FALSTAFF. It hath it original from much grief, from study and perturbation of the brain: I have read the cause of his effects in Galen: it is a kind of deafness.

CHIEF JUSTICE. I think you are fallen into the disease, for you hear not what I say to you.

FALSTAFF. Very well, my lord, very well: rather, an 't please you, it is the disease of not listening, the malady of not marking, that I am troubled withal.

CHIEF JUSTICE. To punish you by the heels would amend the attention of your ears; and I care not if I do become your physician.

FALSTAFF. I am as poor as Job, my lord, but not so patient: your lordship may minister the potion of imprisonment to me in respect of poverty; but how I should be your patient to follow your prescriptions, the wise may make some dram of a scruple, or indeed a scruple itself.

CHIEF JUSTICE. I sent for you, when there were matters against you for your life, to come speak with me.

FALSTAFF. As I was then advised by my learned counsel in the laws of this land-service, I did not come.

CHIEF JUSTICE. Well, the truth is, Sir John, you live in great infamy.

FALSTAFF. He that buckles himself in my belt cannot live in less.

CHIEF JUSTICE. Your means are very slender, and your waste is great.

FALSTAFF. I would it were otherwise; I would my means were greater, and my waist slenderer.

CHIEF JUSTICE. You have misled the youthful prince.

FALSTAFF. The young prince hath misled me: I am the fellow with the great belly, and he my dog.

CHIEF JUSTICE. Well, I am loath to gall a new-healed wound: your day's service at Shrewsbury hath a little gilded over your night's exploit on Gad's-hill: you may thank the unquiet time for your quiet o'er-posting that action.

FALSTAFF. My lord?

CHIEF JUSTICE. But since all is well, keep it so: wake not a sleeping wolf.

FALSTAFF. To wake a wolf is as bad as smell a fox.

CHIEF JUSTICE. What! you are as a candle, the better part burnt out.

FALSTAFF. A wassail candle, my lord, all tallow: if I did say of wax, my growth would approve the truth.

CHIEF JUSTICE. There is not a white hair in your face but should have his effect of gravity.

FALSTAFF. His effect of gravy, gravy, gravy.

CHIEF JUSTICE. You follow the young prince up and down, like his ill angel.

FALSTAFF. Not so, my lord; your ill angel is light; but I hope he that looks upon me will take me without weighing: and yet, in some respects, I grant, I cannot go: I cannot tell. Virtue is of so little regard in these costermonger times that true valour is turned bear-herd; pregnancy is made a tapster, and hath his quick wit wasted in giving reckonings: all the other gifts appertinent to man, as the malice of this age shapes them, are not worth a gooseberry. You that are old consider not the capacities of us that are young; you do measure the heat of our livers with the bitterness of your galls: and we that are in the vaward of our youth, I must confess, are wags too.

CHIEF JUSTICE. Do you set down your name in the scroll of youth, that are written down old with all the characters of age? Have you not a moist eye? a dry hand? a yellow cheek? a white beard? a decreasing leg? an increasing belly? is not your voice broken? your wind short? your chin double? your wit single? and every part about you blasted with antiquity? and will you yet call yourself young? Fie, fie, fie, Sir John!

FALSTAFF. My lord, I was born about three of the clock in the afternoon, with a white head and something a round belly. For my voice, I have lost it with halloing and singing of anthems. To approve my youth further, I will not: the truth is, I am only old in judgement and understanding; and he that will caper with me for a thousand marks, let him lend me the money, and have at him! For the box of the ear that the prince gave you, he gave it like a rude prince, and you took it like a sensible lord. I have checked him for it, and the young lion repents; marry, not in ashes and sackcloth, but in new silk and old sack.

CHIEF JUSTICE. Well, God send the prince a better companion!

FALSTAFF. God send the companion a better prince! I cannot rid my hands of him.

CHIEF JUSTICE. Well, the king hath severed you and Prince Harry: I hear you are going with Lord John of Lancaster against the Archbishop and the Earl of Northumberland.

FALSTAFF. Yea; I thank your pretty sweet wit for it. But look you pray, all you that kiss my lady Peace at home, that our armies join not in a hot day; for, by the Lord, I take but two shirts out with me, and I mean not to sweat extraordinarily: if it be a hot day, and I brandish any thing but a bottle, I would I might never spit white again. There is not a dangerous action can peep out his head but I am thrust upon it: well, I cannot last ever: but it was alway yet the trick of our English nation, if they have a good thing, to make it too common. If ye will needs say I am an old man, you should give me rest. I would to God my name were not so terrible to the enemy as it is: I were better to be eaten to death with a rust than to be scoured to nothing with perpetual motion.

CHIEF JUSTICE. Well, be honest, be honest; and God bless your expedition!

FALSTAFF. Will your lordship lend me a thousand pound to furnish me forth?

CHIEF JUSTICE. Not a penny, not a penny; you are too impatient to bear crosses. Fare you well: commend me to my cousin Westmoreland.

[Exeunt Chief-Justice and Servant.]

FALSTAFF. If I do, fillip me with a three-man beetle. A man can no more separate age and covetousness than 'a can part young limbs and lechery: but the gout galls the one, and the pox pinches the other; and so both the degrees prevent my curses. Boy!

PAGE. Sir?

FALSTAFF. What money is in my purse?

PAGE. Seven groats and two pence.

FALSTAFF. I can get no remedy against this consumption of the purse: borrowing only lingers and lingers it out, but the disease is incurable. Go bear this letter to my Lord of Lancaster; this to the prince; this to the Earl of Westmoreland; and this to old Mistress Ursula, whom I have weekly sworn to marry since I perceived the first white hair of my chin. About it: you know where to find me. [Exit Page.] A pox of this gout! or, a gout of this pox! for the one or the other plays the rogue with my great toe. 'Tis no matter if I do halt; I have the wars for my colour, and my pension shall seem the more reasonable. A good wit will make use of any thing: I will turn diseases to commodity.

[Exit.]



SCENE III. York. The Archbishop's palace.

[Enter the Archbishop, the Lords Hastings, Mowbray, Bardolph.]

ARCHBISHOP. Thus have you heard our cause and known our means; And, my most noble friends, I pray you all, Speak plainly your opinions of our hopes: And first, lord marshal, what say you to it?

MOWBRAY. I well allow the occasion of our arms; But gladly would be better satisfied How in our means we should advance ourselves To look with forehead bold and big enough Upon the power and puissance of the king.

HASTINGS. Our present musters grow upon the file To five and twenty thousand men of choice; And our supplies live largely in the hope Of great Northumberland, whose bosom burns With an incensed fire of injuries.

LORD BARDOLPH. The question then, Lord Hastings, standeth thus: Whether our present five and twenty thousand May hold up head without Northumberland?

HASTINGS. With him, we may.

LORD BARDOLPH. Yea, marry, there 's the point: But if without him we be thought too feeble, My judgement is, we should not step too far Till we had his assistance by the hand; For in a theme so bloody-faced as this Conjecture, expectation, and surmise Of aids incertain should not be admitted.

ARCHBISHOP. 'Tis very true, Lord Bardolph; for indeed It was young Hotspur's case at Shrewsbury.

LORD BARDOLPH. It was, my lord; who lined himself with hope, Eating the air on promise of supply, Flattering himself in project of a power Much smaller than the smallest of his thoughts: And so, with great imagination Proper to madmen, led his powers to death And winking leap'd into destruction.

HASTINGS. But, by your leave, it never yet did hurt To lay down likelihoods and forms of hope.

LORD BARDOLPH. Yes, if this present quality of war, Indeed the instant action: a cause on foot Lives so in hope as in an early spring We see the appearing buds; which to prove fruit, Hope gives not so much warrant as despair That frosts will bite them. When we mean to build, We first survey the plot, then draw the model; And when we see the figure of the house, Then we must rate the cost of the erection; Which if we find outweighs ability, What do we then but draw anew the model In fewer offices, or at least desist To build at all? Much more, in this great work, Which is almost to pluck a kingdom down And set another up, should we survey The plot of situation and the model, Consent upon a sure foundation, Question surveyors, know our own estate, How able such a work to undergo, To weigh against his opposite; or else We fortify in paper and in figures, Using the names of men instead of men; Like one that draws the model of a house Beyond his power to build it; who, half through, Gives o'er and leaves his part-created cost A naked subject to the weeping clouds And waste for churlish winter's tyranny.

HASTINGS. Grant that our hopes, yet likely of fair birth, Should be still-born, and that we now possess'd The utmost man of expectation, I think we are a body strong enough, Even as we are, to equal with the king.

LORD BARDOLPH. What, is the king but five and twenty thousand?

HASTINGS. To us no more; nay, not so much, Lord Bardolph. For his divisions, as the times do brawl, Are in three heads: one power against the French, And one against Glendower; perforce a third Must take up us: so is the unfirm king In three divided; and his coffers sound With hollow poverty and emptiness.

ARCHBISHOP. That he should draw his several strengths together And come against us in full puissance, Need not be dreaded.

HASTINGS. If he should do so, He leaves his back unarm'd, the French and Welsh Baying him at the heels: never fear that.

LORD BARDOLPH. Who is it like should lead his forces hither?

HASTINGS. The Duke of Lancaster and Westmoreland; Against the Welsh, himself and Harry Monmouth: But who is substituted 'gainst the French, I have no certain notice.

ARCHBISHOP. Let us on, And publish the occasion of our arms. The commonwealth is sick of their own choice; Their over-greedy love hath surfeited: An habitation giddy and unsure Hath he that buildeth on the vulgar heart. O thou fond many, with what loud applause Didst thou beat heaven with blessing Bolingbroke, Before he was what thou wouldst have him be! And being now trimm'd in thine own desires, Thou, beastly feeder, art so full of him, That thou provokest thyself to cast him up. So, so, thou common dog, didst thou disgorge Thy glutton bosom of the royal Richard; And now thou wouldst eat thy dead vomit up, And howl'st to find it. What trust is in these times? They that, when Richard lived, would have him die, Are now become enamour'd on his grave: Thou that threw'st dust upon his goodly head When through proud London he came sighing on After the admired heels of Bolingbroke, Criest now "O earth, yield us that king again, And take thou this!" O thoughts of men accursed! Past and to come seems best; things present worst.

MOWBRAY. Shall we go draw our numbers, and set on?

HASTINGS. We are time's subjects, and time bids be gone.

[Exeunt.]



ACT II.

SCENE I. London. A street.

[Enter Hostess, Fang and his Boy with her, and Snare following.]

HOSTESS. Master Fang, have you entered the action?

FANG. It is entered.

HOSTESS. Where 's your yeoman? Is 't a lusty yeoman? will 'a stand to 't?

FANG. Sirrah, where 's Snare?

HOSTESS. O Lord, ay! good Master Snare.

SNARE. Here, here.

FANG. Snare, we must arrest Sir John Falstaff.

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

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

HOSTESS. 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.

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

FANG. An I but fist him once; an 'a come but within my vice,—

HOSTESS. 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 arrant 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.

HOSTESS. Throw me in the channel! I'll throw thee in the channel. Wilt thou? wilt thou? thou bastardly rogue! Murder, murder! Ah, thou honey-suckle 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!

HOSTESS. 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!

PAGE. Away, you scullion! you rampallian! you fustilarian! I'll tickle your catastrophe.

[Enter the Lord Chief-Justice, and his men.]

CHIEF JUSTICE. What is the matter? keep the peace here, ho!

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

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 thou upon him?

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

CHIEF JUSTICE. For what sum?

HOSTESS. 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.

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?

HOSTESS. 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 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 her 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.

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.

HOSTESS. Yea, in truth, my 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.

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

FALSTAFF. Come hither, hostess.

[Enter Gower.]

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.

HOSTESS. Faith, you said so before.

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

HOSTESS. 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.

HOSTESS. 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.

HOSTESS. 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.

HOSTESS. Will you have Doll Tearsheet meet you at supper?

FALSTAFF. No more words; let 's have her.

[Exeunt Hostess, Bardolph, Officers, and Boy.]

CHIEF JUSTICE. I have heard better news.

FALSTAFF. What 's the news, my 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?

CHIEF JUSTICE. Come all his forces back?

GOWER. No; fifteen hundred foot, five hundred horse, Are march'd up to my Lord of Lancaster, Against Northumberland and the Archbishop.

FALSTAFF. Comes the king back from Wales, my noble lord?

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

FALSTAFF. My 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.

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?

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.

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

[Exeunt.]



SCENE II. London. Another street.

[Enter Prince Henry and Poins.]

PRINCE. Before God, I am exceeding weary.

POINS. Is 't come to that? I had thought weariness durst not have attach'd one of so high blood.

PRINCE. 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. 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 of 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. Shall I tell thee one thing, Poins?

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

PRINCE. 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. Marry, I tell thee it is not meet that I should be sad, now my father is sick: albeit I could tell to 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. 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. What wouldst thou think of me, if I should weep?

POINS. I would think thee a most princely hypocrite.

PRINCE. 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. And to thee.

POINS. By this light, I am well spoke on; I can hear it with mine 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. 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. And yours, most noble Bardolph!

POINS. 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 peep'd through.

PRINCE. Has not the boy profited?

BARDOLPH. Away, you whoreson upright rabbit, away!

PAGE. Away, you rascally Althaea's dream, away!

PRINCE. Instruct us, boy; what dream, boy?

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

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

POINS. O, that this 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. 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. Deliver'd 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. I do allow this wen to be as familiar with me as my dog; and he holds his place; for look you how he 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. Where sups he? doth the old boar feed in the old frank?

BARDOLPH. At the old place, my lord, in Eastcheap.

PRINCE. What company?

PAGE. Ephesians, my lord, of the old church.

PRINCE. Sup any women with him?

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

PRINCE. What pagan may that be?

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

PRINCE. 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. 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. 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. 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. From a God to a bull? a heavy descension! it was Jove's case. From a prince to a prentice? a low transformation! that shall be mine; for in everything 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 endear'd 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 practis'd not his gait; And speaking thick, which nature made his blemish, Became the accents of the valiant; For those who 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 Hostess and Doll Tearsheet.]

HOSTESS. 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. Better than I was: hem!

HOSTESS. 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!

HOSTESS. Sick of a calm; yea, good faith.

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

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

FALSTAFF. You make fat rascals, Mistress Doll.

DOLL. 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. Yea, joy, our chains and our jewels.

FALSTAFF. "Your brooches, 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. Hang yourself, you muddy conger, hang yourself!

HOSTESS. 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 as they say, the emptier vessel.

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

HOSTESS. 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?

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

FALSTAFF. Dost thou hear? it is mine ancient.

HOSTESS. 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.]

HOSTESS. 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. So you do, hostess.

HOSTESS. 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.

HOSTESS. 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. 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. 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.

HOSTESS. No, good Captain Pistol; not here, sweet captain.

DOLL. 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?

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

PISTOL. These be good humours, indeed! Shall packhorses 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?

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

BARDOLPH. Be gone, good ancient: this will grow to a brawl anon.

PISTOL. Die men like dogs! give crowns like pins! Have we not Hiren here?

HOSTESS. 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 neif: what! we have seen the seven stars.

DOLL. 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!

HOSTESS. Here's goodly stuff toward!

FALSTAFF. Give me my rapier, boy.

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

FALSTAFF. Get you down stairs.

[Drawing, and driving Pistol out.]

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

HOSTESS. Are 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. 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. 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. 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 as drawers.]

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

DOLL. Sirrah, what humour 's the prince of?

FALSTAFF. A good shallow young fellow: 'a would have made a good pantler; a' would ha' chipped bread well.

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

POINS. Let 's beat him before his whore.

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

FALSTAFF. I am old, I am old.

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

FALSTAFF. Some sack, Francis.

PRINCE & POINS. Anon, anon, sir.

[Coming forward.]

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

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

HOSTESS. O, the Lord preserve thy 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. 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. You whoreson candle-mine, you, how vilely did you speak of me even now before this honest, virtuous, civil gentlewoman!

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

FALSTAFF. Didst thou hear me?

PRINCE. 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. 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. Not to dispraise me, and call me pantler 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. 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. 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.

HOSTESS. 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.

HOSTESS. All victuallers do so: what 's a joint of mutton or two in a whole Lent?

PRINCE. You, gentlewoman,—

DOLL. What says your grace?

FALSTAFF. His grace says that which his flesh rebels against.

[Knocking within.]

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

[Enter Peto.]

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

FALSTAFF. Farewell, farewell.

[Exeunt Falstaff and Bardolph.]

HOSTESS. 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!

HOSTESS. What's the matter?

BARDOLPH. [Within.] Bid Mistress Tearsheet come to my master.

HOSTESS. O, run, Doll, run; run, good Doll: come. [She comes blubbered.] Yea, will you come, Doll?

[Exeunt.]



ACT III.

SCENE I. Westminster. The palace.

[Enter the King in his nightgown, with a Page.]

KING. Go call the Earls of Surrey and of Warwick; But, ere they come, bid them o'er-read these letters, And well consider of them: make good speed.

[Exit Page.]

How many thousands of my poorest subjects Are at this hour asleep! O sleep, O gentle sleep, Nature's soft nurse, how have I frighted thee, That thou no more wilt weigh my eyelids down And steep my senses in forgetfulness? Why rather, sleep, liest thou in smoky cribs, Upon uneasy pallets stretching thee And hush'd with buzzing night-flies to thy slumber Than in the perfumed chambers of the great, Under the canopies of costly state, And lull'd with sound of sweetest melody? O thou dull god, why liest thou with the vile In loathsome beds, and leavest the kingly couch A watch-case or a common 'larum-bell? Wilt thou upon the high and giddy mast Seal up the ship-boy's eyes, and rock his brains In cradle of the rude imperious surge And in the visitation of the winds, Who take the ruffian billows by the top, Curling their monstrous heads and hanging them With deafening clamour in the slippery clouds, That, with the hurly, death itself awakes? Canst thou, O partial sleep, give thy repose To the wet sea-boy in an hour so rude; And in the calmest and most stillest night, With all appliances and means to boot, Deny it to a king? Then happy low, lie down! Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown.

[Enter Warwick and Surrey.]

WARWICK. Many good morrows to your majesty!

KING. Is it good morrow, lords?

WARWICK. 'Tis one o'clock, and past.

KING. Why then, good morrow to you all, my lords. Have you read o'er the letters that I sent you?

WARWICK. We have, my liege.

KING. Then you perceive the body of our kingdom How foul it is; what rank diseases grow, And with what danger, near the heart of it.

WARWICK. It is but as a body yet distemper'd; Which to his former strength may be restored With good advice and little medicine: My Lord Northumberland will soon be cool'd.

KING. O God! that one might read the book of fate, And see the revolution of the times Make mountains level, and the continent, Weary of solid firmness, melt itself Into the sea! and, other times, to see The beachy girdle of the ocean Too wide for Neptune's hips; how chances mock, And changes fill the cup of alteration With divers liquors! O, if this were seen, The happiest youth, viewing his progress through, What perils past, what crosses to ensue, Would shut the book, and sit him down and die. 'Tis not ten years gone Since Richard and Northumberland, great friends, Did feast together, and in two years after Were they at wars: it is but eight years since This Percy was the man nearest my soul, Who like a brother toil'd in my affairs And laid his love and life under my foot, Yea, for my sake, even to the eyes of Richard Gave him defiance. But which of you was by— You, cousin Nevil, as I may remember—

[To Warwick.]

When Richard, with his eye brimful of tears, Then check'd and rated by Northumberland, Did speak these words, now proved a prophecy? "Northumberland, thou ladder by the which My cousin Bolingbroke ascends my throne;" Though then, God knows, I had no such intent, But that necessity so bow'd the state That I and greatness were compell'd to kiss: "The time shall come," thus did he follow it, "The time will come, that foul sin, gathering head, Shall break into corruption:" so went on, Foretelling this same time's condition And the division of our amity.

WARWICK. There is a history in all men's lives, Figuring the natures of the times deceased; The which observed, a man may prophesy, With a near aim, of the main chance of things As yet not come to life, who in their seeds And weak beginning lie intreasured. Such things become the hatch and brood of time; And by the necessary form of this King Richard might create a perfect guess That great Northumberland, then false to him, Would of that seed grow to a greater falseness; Which should not find a ground to root upon, Unless on you.

KING. Are these things then necessities? Then let us meet them like necessities: And that same word even now cries out on us: They say the bishop and Northumberland Are fifty thousand strong.

WARWICK. It cannot be, my lord; Rumour doth double, like the voice and echo, The numbers of the fear'd. Please it your grace To go to bed. Upon my soul, my lord, The powers that you already have sent forth Shall bring this prize in very easily. To comfort you the more, I have received A certain instance that Glendower is dead. Your majesty hath been this fortnight ill, And these unseason'd hours perforce must add Unto your sickness.

KING. I will take your counsel: And were these inward wars once out of hand, We would, dear lords, unto the Holy Land.

[Exeunt.]



SCENE II. Gloucestershire. Before Justice Shallow's house.

[Enter Shallow and Silence, meeting; Mouldy, Shadow, Wart, Feeble, Bullcalf, a Servant or two with them.]

SHALLOW. Come on, come on, come on, sir; give me your hand, sir, give me your hand, sir: an early stirrer, by the rood! And how doth my good cousin Silence?

SILENCE. Good morrow, good cousin Shallow.

SHALLOW. And how doth my cousin, your bedfellow? and your fairest daughter and mine, my god-daughter Ellen?

SILENCE. Alas, a black ousel, cousin Shallow!

SHALLOW. By yea and nay, sir, I dare say my cousin William is become a good scholar: he is at Oxford still, is he not?

SILENCE. Indeed, sir, to my cost.

SHALLOW. A' must, then, to the inns o' court shortly. I was once of Clement's Inn, where I think they will talk of mad Shallow yet.

SILENCE. You were called "lusty Shallow" then, cousin.

SHALLOW. By the mass, I was called any thing; and I would have done any thing indeed too, and roundly too. There was I, and little John Doit of Staffordshire, and black George Barnes, and Francis Pickbone, and Will Squele, a Cotswold man; you had not four such swinge-bucklers in all the inns o' court again: and I may say to you, we knew where the bona-robas were and had the best of them all at commandment. Then was Jack Falstaff, now Sir John, boy, and page to Thomas Mowbray, Duke of Norfolk.

SILENCE. This Sir John, cousin, that comes hither anon about soldiers?

SHALLOW. The same Sir John, the very same. I see him break Skogan's head at the court-gate, when a' was a crack not thus high: and the very same day did I fight with one Sampson Stockfish, a fruiterer, behind Gray's Inn. Jesu, Jesu, the mad days that I have spent! and to see how many of my old acquaintance are dead!

SILENCE. We shall all follow, cousin.

SHALLOW. Certain, 'tis certain; very sure, very sure: death, as the Psalmist saith, is certain to all; all shall die. How a good yoke of bullocks at Stamford fair?

SILENCE. By my troth, I was not there.

SHALLOW. Death is certain. Is old Double of your town living yet?

SILENCE. Dead, sir.

SHALLOW. Jesu, Jesu, dead! a' drew a good bow; and dead! a' shot a fine shoot: John a Gaunt loved him well, and betted much money on his head. Dead! a' would have clapped i' the clout at twelve score; and carried you a forehand shaft a fourteen and fourteen and a half, that it would have done a man's heart good to see. How a score of ewes now?

SILENCE. Thereafter as they be: a score of good ewes may be worth ten pounds.

SHALLOW. And is old Double dead?

SILENCE. Here come two of Sir John Falstaffs men, as I think.

[Enter Bardolph, and one with him.]

BARDOLPH. Good morrow, honest gentlemen: I beseech you, which is justice Shallow?

SHALLOW. I am Robert Shallow, sir; a poor esquire of this county, and one of the king's justices of the peace: what is your good pleasure with me?

BARDOLPH. My captain, sir, commends him to you; my captain, Sir John Falstaff, a tall gentleman, by heaven, and a most gallant leader.

SHALLOW. He greets me well, sir. I knew him a good backsword man. How doth the good knight? may I ask how my lady his wife doth?

BARDOLPH. Sir, pardon; a soldier is better accommodated than with a wife.

SHALLOW. It is well said, in faith, sir; and it is well said indeed too. Better accommodated! it is good; yea, indeed, is it: good phrases are surely, and ever were, very commendable. Accommodated! it comes of "accommodo:" very good; a good phrase.

BARDOLPH. Pardon me, sir; I have heard the word. Phrase call you it? By this day, I know not the phrase; but I will maintain the word with my sword to be a soldier-like word, and a word of exceeding good command, by heaven. Accommodated; that is, when a man is, as they say, accommodated; or when a man is, being, whereby a' may be thought to be accommodated; which is an excellent thing.

SHALLOW. It is very just.

[Enter Falstaff.]

Look, here comes good Sir John. Give me your good hand, give me your worship's good hand: by my troth, you like well and bear your years very well: welcome, good Sir John.

FALSTAFF. I am glad to see you well, good Master Robert Shallow: Master Surecard, as I think?

SHALLOW. No, Sir John; it is my cousin Silence, in commission with me.

FALSTAFF. Good Master Silence, it well befits you should be of the peace.

SILENCE. Your good worship is welcome.

FALSTAFF. Fie! this is hot weather, gentlemen. Have you provided me here half a dozen sufficient men?

SHALLOW. Marry, have we, sir. Will you sit?

FALSTAFF. Let me see them, I beseech you.

SHALLOW. Where's the roll? where's the roll? where's the roll? Let me see, let me see, let me see. So, so, so, so, so, so, so: yea, marry, sir: Ralph Mouldy! Let them appear as I call; let them do so, let them do so. Let me see; where is Mouldy?

MOULDY. Here, an't please you.

SHALLOW. What think you, Sir John? a good-limbed fellow; young, strong, and of good friends.

FALSTAFF. Is thy name Mouldy?

MOULDY. Yea, an't please you.

FALSTAFF. 'Tis the more time thou wert used.

SHALLOW. Ha, ha, ha! most excellent, i' faith! things that are mouldy lack use: very singular good! in faith, well said, Sir John, very well said.

FALSTAFF. Prick him.

MOULDY. I was prick'd well enough before, an you could have let me alone: my old dame will be undone now for one to do her husbandry and her drudgery: you need not to have pricked me; there are other men fitter to go out than I.

FALSTAFF. Go to: peace, Mouldy; you shall go. Mouldy, it is time you were spent.

MOULDY. Spent!

SHALLOW. Peace, fellow, peace; stand aside: know you where you are? For the other, Sir John: let me see: Simon Shadow!

FALSTAFF. Yea, marry, let me have him to sit under: he 's like to be a cold soldier.

SHALLOW. Where's Shadow?

SHADOW. Here, sir.

FALSTAFF. Shadow, whose son art thou?

SHADOW. My mother's son, sir.

FALSTAFF. Thy mother's son! like enough; and thy father's shadow: so the son of the female is the shadow of the male: it is often so indeed; but much of the father's substance!

SHALLOW. Do you like him, Sir John?

FALSTAFF. Shadow will serve for summer; prick him; for we have a number of shadows to fill up the muster-book.

SHALLOW. Thomas Wart!

FALSTAFF. Where's he?

WART. Here, sir.

FALSTAFF. Is thy name Wart?

WART. Yea, sir.

FALSTAFF. Thou art a very ragged wart.

SHALLOW. Shall I prick him down, Sir John?

FALSTAFF. It were superfluous; for his apparel is built upon his back and the whole frame stands upon pins: prick him no more.

SHALLOW. Ha, ha, ha! you can do it, sir; you can do it: I commend you well. Francis Feeble!

FEEBLE. Here, sir.

FALSTAFF. What trade art thou, Feeble?

FEEBLE. A woman's tailor, sir.

SHALLOW. Shall I prick him, sir?

FALSTAFF. You may: but if he had been a man's tailor, he'ld ha' prick'd you. Wilt thou make as many holes in an enemy's battle as thou hast done in a woman's petticoat?

FEEBLE. I will do my good will, sir; you can have no more.

FALSTAFF. Well said, good woman's tailor! well said, courageous Feeble! thou wilt be as valiant as the wrathful dove or most magnanimous mouse. Prick the woman's tailor: well, Master Shallow, deep, Master Shallow.

FEEBLE. I would Wart might have gone, sir.

FALSTAFF. I would thou wert a man's tailor, that thou mightst mend him and make him fit to go. I cannot put him to a private soldier that is the leader of so many thousands; let that suffice, most forcible Feeble.

FEEBLE. It shall suffice, sir.

FALSTAFF. I am bound to thee, reverend Feeble. Who is next?

SHALLOW. Peter Bullcalf o' th' green!

FALSTAFF. Yea, marry, let 's see Bullcalf.

BULLCALF. Here, sir.

FALSTAFF. 'Fore God, a likely fellow! Come, prick me Bullcalf till he roar again.

BULLCALF. O Lord! good my lord captain,—

FALSTAFF. What, dost thou roar before thou art prick'd?

BULLCALF. O Lord, sir! I am a diseased man.

FALSTAFF. What disease hast thou?

BULLCALF. A whoreson cold, sir, a cough, sir, which I caught with ringing in the king's affairs upon his coronation-day, sir.

FALSTAFF. Come, thou shalt go to the wars in a gown; we will have away thy cold; and I will take such order that thy friends shall ring for thee. Is here all?

SHALLOW. Here is two more called than your number; you must have but four here, sir; and so, I pray you, go in with me to dinner.

FALSTAFF. Come, I will go drink with you, but I cannot tarry dinner. I am glad to see you, by my troth, Master Shallow.

SHALLOW. O, Sir John, do you remember since we lay all night in the windmill in Saint George's field?

FALSTAFF. No more of that, Master Shallow, no more of that.

SHALLOW. Ha, 'twas a merry night. And is Jane Nightwork alive?

FALSTAFF. She lives, Master Shallow.

SHALLOW. She never could away with me.

FALSTAFF. Never, never; she would always say she could not abide Master Shallow.

SHALLOW. By the mass, I could anger her to the heart. She was then a bona-roba. Doth she hold her own well?

FALSTAFF. Old, old, Master Shallow.

SHALLOW. Nay, she must be old; she cannot choose but be old; certain she 's old; and had Robin Nightwork by old Nightwork before I came to Clement's Inn.

SILENCE. That's fifty-five year ago.

SHALLOW. Ha, cousin Silence, that thou hadst seen that that this knight and I have seen! Ha, Sir John, said I well?

FALSTAFF. We have heard the chimes at midnight, Master Shallow.

SHALLOW. That we have, that we have, that we have; in faith, Sir John, we have: our watchword was "Hem boys!" Come, let 's to dinner; come, let 's to dinner: Jesus, the days that we have seen! Come, come.

[Exeunt Falstaff and the Justices.]

BULLCALF. Good Master Corporate Bardolph, stand my friend; and here 's four Harry ten shillings in French crowns for you. In very truth, sir, I had as lief be hanged, sir, as go: and yet, for mine own part, sir, I do not care; but rather, because I am unwilling, and, for mine own part, have a desire to stay with my friends; else, sir, I did not care, for mine own part, so much.

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