The Second Part of King Henry the Fourth
KING HENRY IV, SECOND PART
DRAMATIS PERSONAE (Persons Represented):
- RUMOUR, the Presenter.
- KING HENRY the Fourth.
- 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.
- 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.
- SHALLOW and SILENCE, country justices.
- DAVY, Servant to Shallow.
- MOULDY, SHADOW, WART, FEEBLE, and BULLCALF, recruits.
- FANG and SNARE, sheriff's officers.
- 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.
Warkworth. Before the castle.
[Enter Rumour, painted full of tongues.]
- 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.
SCENE 1. The same.
[Enter Lord Bardolph.]
- Who keeps the gate here, ho?
[The Porter opens the gate.]
Where is the earl?
- What shall I say you are?
- Tell thou the earl
- That the Lord Bardolph doth attend him here.
- His lordship is walk'd forth into the orchard:
- Please it your honour, knock but at the gate,
- And he himself will answer.
- Here comes the earl.
- 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.
- Noble earl,
- I bring you certain news from Shrewsbury.
- Good, an God will!
- 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!
- How is this derived?
- Saw you the field? came you from Shrewsbury?
- 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.
- Here comes my servant Travers, whom I sent
- On Tuesday last to listen after news.
- 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.
- Now, Travers, what good tidings comes with you?
- 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.
- Ha! Again:
- Said he young Harry Percy's spur was cold?
- Of Hotspur Coldspur? that rebellion
- Had met ill luck?
- 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.
- Why should that gentleman that rode by Travers
- Give then such instances of loss?
- 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.
- 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.
- 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."
- Douglas is living, and your brother, yet:
- But, for my lord your son,—
- 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.
- You are too great to be by me gainsaid:
- Your spirit is too true, your fears too certain.
- 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.
- I cannot think, my lord, your son is dead.
- 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.
- 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!
- This strained passion doth you wrong, my lord.
- Sweet earl, divorce not wisdom from your honour.
- 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?
- 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.
- '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.
- 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.
SCENE II. London. A street.
[Enter Falstaff, with his Page bearing his sword and buckler.]
- Sirrah, you giant, what says the doctor to my water?
- 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.
- 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?
- He said, sir, you should procure him better assurance than Bardolph:
- he would not take his band and yours; he liked not the security.
- Let him be damned, like the glutton! pray God his tongue be hotter!
- A whoreson Achitophel! a rascally yea-forsooth knave! to bear a
- gentleman in hand, and then stand upon security! The whoreson
- smooth-pates do now wear nothing but high shoes, and bunches of keys
- at their girdles; and if a man is through with them in honest taking
- up, then they must stand upon security. I 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?
- He's gone into Smithfield to buy your worship a horse.
- 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.
- Wait close; I will not see him.
- What's he that goes there?
- Falstaff, an 't please your lordship.
- He that was in question for the robbery?
- 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.
- What, to York? Call him back again.
- Sir John Falstaff!
- Boy, tell him I am deaf.
- You must speak louder; my master is deaf.
- I am sure he is, to the hearing of anything good.
- Go, pluck him by the elbow; I must speak with him.
- Sir John!
- 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.
- You mistake me, sir.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
- Sir, my lord would speak with you.
- Sir John Falstaff, a word with you.
- 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.
- Sir John, I sent for you before your expedition to Shrewsbury.
- An 't please your lordship, I hear his majesty is returned
- with some discomfort from Wales.
- I talk not of his majesty: you would not come when I
- sent for you.
- And I hear, moreover, his highness is fall'n into this same
- whoreson apoplexy.
- Well God mend him! I pray you, let me speak with you.
- 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.
- What tell you me of it? be it as it is.
- 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.
- I think you are fallen into the disease, for you hear not
- what I say to you.
- 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.
- To punish you by the heels would amend the attention
- of your ears; and I care not if I do become your physician.
- 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.
- I sent for you, when there were matters against you
- for your life, to come speak with me.
- As I was then advised by my learned counsel in the laws
- of this land-service, I did not come.
- Well, the truth is, Sir John, you live in great infamy.
- He that buckles himself in my belt cannot live in less.
- Your means are very slender, and your waste is great.
- I would it were otherwise; I would my means were greater,
- and my waist slenderer.
- You have misled the youthful prince.
- The young prince hath misled me: I am the fellow with the
- great belly, and he my dog.
- 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.
- My lord?
- But since all is well, keep it so: wake not a sleeping wolf.
- To wake a wolf is as bad as smell a fox.
- What! you are as a candle, the better part burnt out.
- A wassail candle, my lord, all tallow: if I did say of wax, my
- growth would approve the truth.
- There is not a white hair in your face but should have his
- effect of gravity.
- His effect of gravy, gravy, gravy.
- You follow the young prince up and down, like his ill angel.
- 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.
- 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!
- 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.
- Well, God send the prince a better companion!
- God send the companion a better prince! I cannot rid my hands of him.
- 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.
- 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.
- Well, be honest, be honest; and God bless your expedition!
- Will your lordship lend me a thousand pound to furnish me forth?
- 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.]
- 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!
- What money is in my purse?
- Seven groats and two pence.
- 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.
- 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.
SCENE III. York. The Archbishop's palace.
[Enter the Archbishop, the Lords Hastings, Mowbray, Bardolph.]
- 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?
- 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.
- 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.
- The question then, Lord Hastings, standeth thus:
- Whether our present five and twenty thousand
- May hold up head without Northumberland?
- With him, we may.
- 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.
- 'Tis very true, Lord Bardolph; for indeed
- It was young Hotspur's case at Shrewsbury.
- 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.
- But, by your leave, it never yet did hurt
- To lay down likelihoods and forms of hope.
- 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.
- 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.
- What, is the king but five and twenty thousand?
- 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.
- That he should draw his several strengths together
- And come against us in full puissance,
- Need not be dreaded.
- If he should do so,
- He leaves his back unarm'd, the French and Welsh
- Baying him at the heels: never fear that.
- Who is it like should lead his forces hither?
- 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.
- 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.
- Shall we go draw our numbers, and set on?
- We are time's subjects, and time bids be gone.
SCENE I. London. A street.
[Enter Hostess, Fang and his Boy with her, and Snare following.]
- Master Fang, have you entered the action?
- It is entered.
- Where 's your yeoman? Is 't a lusty yeoman? will 'a stand to 't?
- Sirrah, where 's Snare?
- O Lord, ay! good Master Snare.
- Here, here.
- Snare, we must arrest Sir John Falstaff.
- Yea, good Master Snare; I have entered him and all.
- It may chance cost some of our lives, for he will stab.
- 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.
- If I can close with him, I care not for his thrust.
- No, nor I neither: I'll be at your elbow.
- An I but fist him once; an 'a come but within my vice,—
- 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.]
- How now! whose mare's dead? what's the matter?
- Sir John, I arrest you at the suit of Mistress Quickly.
- Away, varlets! Draw, Bardolph: cut me off the villain's
- head: throw the quean in the channel.
- 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
- Ah, thou honey-seed rogue! thou art a honey-seed, a man-queller,
- and a woman-queller.
- Keep them off, Bardolph.
- A rescue! a rescue!
- 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!
- Away, you scullion! you rampallian! you fustilarian! I'll tickle
- your catastrophe.
[Enter the Lord Chief-Justice, and his men.]
- What is the matter? keep the peace here, ho!
- Good my lord, be good to me. I beseech you, stand to me.
- 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?
- O my most worshipful lord, an't please your grace, I am a
- poor widow of Eastcheap, and he is arrested at my suit.
- For what sum?
- 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.
- I think I am as like to ride the mare, if I have any
- vantage of ground to get up.
- 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?
- What is the gross sum that I owe thee?
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Yea, in truth, my lord.
- 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.
- 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.
- You speak as having power to do wrong: but answer
- in the effect of your reputation, and satisfy the poor woman.
- Come hither, hostess.
- Now, Master Gower, what news?
- The king, my lord, and Harry Prince of Wales
- Are near at hand: the rest the paper tells.
- As I am a gentleman.
- Faith, you said so before.
- As I am a gentleman. Come, no more words of it.
- By this heavenly ground I tread on, I must be fain to pawn
- both my plate and the tapestry of my dining-chambers.
- 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.
- Pray thee, Sir John, let it be but twenty nobles: i' faith,
- I am loath to pawn my plate, so God save me, la!
- Let it alone; I'll make other shift: you'll be a fool still.
- Well, you shall have it, though I pawn my gown. I hope
- you'll come to supper. You'll pay me all together?
- Will I live? [To Bardolph.] Go, with her, with her;
- hook on, hook on.
- Will you have Doll Tearsheet meet you at supper?
- No more words; let 's have her.
[Exeunt Hostess, Bardolph, Officers, and Boy.]
- I have heard better news.
- What 's the news, my lord?
- Where lay the king last night?
- At Basingstoke, my lord.
- I hope, my lord, all 's well: what is the news, my lord?
- Come all his forces back?
- No; fifteen hundred foot, five hundred horse,
- Are march'd up to my Lord of Lancaster,
- Against Northumberland and the Archbishop.
- Comes the king back from Wales, my noble lord?
- You shall have letters of me presently:
- Come, go along with me, good Master Gower.
- My lord!
- What's the matter?
- Master Gower, shall I entreat you with me to dinner?
- I must wait upon my good lord here; I thank you, good Sir John.
- Sir John, you loiter here too long, being you are to
- take soldiers up in counties as you go.
- Will you sup with me, Master Gower?
- What foolish master taught you these manners, Sir John?
- 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.
- Now the Lord lighten thee! thou art a great fool.
SCENE II. London. Another street.
[Enter Prince Henry and Poins.]
- Before God, I am exceeding weary.
- Is 't come to that? I had thought weariness durst not have
- attach'd one of so high blood.
- 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?
- Why, a prince should not be so loosely studied as to
- remember so weak a composition.
- 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.
- 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?
- Shall I tell thee one thing, Poins?
- Yes, faith; and let it be an excellent good thing.
- It shall serve among wits of no higher breeding than thine.
- Go to; I stand the push of your one thing that you will tell.
- 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.
- Very hardly upon such a subject.
- 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.
- The reason?
- What wouldst thou think of me, if I should weep?
- I would think thee a most princely hypocrite.
- 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?
- Why, because you have been so lewd and so much engraffed
- to Falstaff.
- And to thee.
- 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.]
- And the boy that I gave Falstaff: 'a had him from me Christian;
- and look, if the fat villain have not transformed him ape.
- God save your grace!
- And yours, most noble 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?
- '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.
- Has not the boy profited?
- Away, you whoreson upright rabbit, away!
- Away, you rascally Althaea's dream, away!
- Instruct us, boy; what dream, boy?
- Marry, my lord, Althaea dreamt she was delivered of a
- fire-brand; and therefore I call him her dream.
- A crown's worth of good interpretation: there 'tis, boy.
- O, that this blossom could be kept from cankers! Well,
- there is sixpence to preserve thee.
- An you do not make him hanged among you, the gallows
- shall have wrong.
- And how doth thy master, Bardolph?
- Well, my lord. He heard of your grace's coming to town:
- there's a letter for you.
- Deliver'd with good respect. And how doth the martlemas,
- your master?
- In bodily health, sir.
- Marry, the immortal part needs a physician; but that moves
- not him: though that be sick, it dies not.
- 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.
- [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."
- Nay, they will be kin to us, or they will fetch it from Japhet.
- But to the letter:
- [Reads] "Sir John Falstaff, knight, to the son of the king,
- nearest his father, Harry Prince of Wales, greeting." Why, this
- is a certificate.
- [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.
- That 's to make him eat twenty of his words. But do you use
- me thus, Ned? must I marry your sister?
- God send the wench no worse fortune! But I never said so.
- 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?
- Yea, my lord.
- Where sups he? doth the old boar feed in the old frank?
- At the old place, my lord, in Eastcheap.
- What company?
- Ephesians, my lord, of the old church.
- Sup any women with him?
- None, my lord, but old Mistress Quickly and Mistress Doll Tearsheet.
- What pagan may that be?
- A proper gentlewoman, sir, and a kinswoman of my master's.
- Even such kin as the parish heifers are to the town bull. Shall
- we steal upon them, Ned, at supper?
- I am your shadow, my lord; I'll follow you.
- Sirrah, you boy, and Bardolph, no word to your master that
- I am yet come to town: there's for your silence.
- I have no tongue, sir.
- And for mine, sir, I will govern it.
- Fare you well; go.
[Exeunt Bardolph and Page.]
This Doll Tearsheet should be some road.
- I warrant you, as common as the way between Saint Alban's and London.
- How might we see Falstaff bestow himself to-night in his true
- colours, and not ourselves be seen?
- Put on two leathern jerkins and aprons, and wait upon him at
- his table as drawers.
- 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.
SCENE III. Warkworth. Before the castle.
[Enter Northumberland, Lady Northumberland, and Lady Percy.]
- 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.
- I have given over, I will speak no more:
- Do what you will; your wisdom be your guide.
- Alas, sweet wife, my honour is at pawn;
- And, but my going, nothing can redeem it.
- 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.
- 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.
- O, fly to Scotland,
- Till that the nobles and the armed commons
- Have of their puissance made a little taste.
- 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.
- 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.
SCENE IV. London. The Boar's-head Tavern in Eastcheap.
[Enter two Drawers.]
- What the devil hast thou brought there? apple-johns?
- thou knowest Sir John cannot endure an apple-john.
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- By the mass, here will be old Utis: it will be an excellent
- I'll see if I can find out Sneak.
[Enter Hostess and Doll Tearsheet.]
- 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?
- Better than I was: hem!
- Why, that 's well said; a good heart's worth gold. Lo, here
- comes Sir John.
- [Singing] "When Arthur first in court"—Empty the jordan.
- [Exit First Drawer.]—[Singing] "And was a worthy king."
- How now, Mistress Doll!
- Sick of a calm; yea, good faith.
- So is all her sect; an they be once in a calm, they are sick.
- You muddy rascal, is that all the comfort you give me?
- You make fat rascals, Mistress Doll.
- I make them! gluttony and diseases make them; I make them not.
- 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.
- Yea, joy, our chains and our jewels.
- "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
- Hang yourself, you muddy conger, hang yourself!
- 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.
- 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.]
- Sir, Ancient Pistol's below, and would speak with you.
- Hang him, swaggering rascal! let him not come hither: it is the
- foul-mouthed'st rogue in England.
- 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.
- Dost thou hear, hostess?
- Pray ye, pacify yourself, Sir John: there comes no swaggerers here.
- Dost thou hear? it is mine ancient.
- 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.
- 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.]
- 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.
- So you do, hostess.
- Do I? yea, in very truth, do I, an 'twere an aspen leaf: I
- cannot abide swaggerers.
[Enter Pistol, Bardolph, and Page.]
- God save you, Sir John!
- Welcome, Ancient Pistol. Here, Pistol, I charge you with
- a cup of sack: do you discharge upon mine hostess.
- I will discharge upon her, Sir John, with two bullets.
- She is pistol-proof, sir; you shall hardly offend her.
- 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.
- Then to you, Mistress Dorothy; I will charge you.
- 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.
- I know you, Mistress Dorothy.
- 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!
- God let me not live, but I will murder your ruff for this.
- No more, Pistol; I would not have you go off here:
- discharge yourself of our company, Pistol.
- No, good Captain Pistol; not here, sweet captain.
- 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.
- Pray thee, go down, good ancient.
- Hark thee hither, Mistress Doll.
- Not I: I tell thee what, Corporal Bardolph, I could tear
- her: I'll be revenged of her.
- Pray thee go down.
- 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?
- Good Captain Peesel, be quiet; 'tis very late, i' faith: I
- beseek you now, aggravate your choler.
- 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?
- By my troth, captain, these are very bitter words.
- Be gone, good ancient: this will grow to a brawl anon.
- Die men like dogs! give crowns like pins! Have we not Hiren
- 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
- 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?
- Pistol, I would be quiet.
- Sweet knight, I kiss thy neif: what! we have seen the seven
- For God's sake, thrust him down stairs: I cannot endure such a
- fustian rascal.
- Thrust him down stairs! know we not Galloway nags?
- Quoit him down, Bardolph, like a shove-groat shilling:
- nay, an a' do nothing but speak nothing, a' shall be nothing
- Come, get you down stairs.
- 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!
- Here's goodly stuff toward!
- Give me my rapier, boy.
- I pray thee, Jack, I pray thee, do not draw.
- Get you down stairs.
[Drawing, and driving Pistol out.]
- 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.]
- I pray thee, Jack, be quiet; the rascal's gone. Ah, you whoreson
- little valiant villain, you!
- Are you not hurt i' the groin? methought a' made a shrewd
- thrust at your belly.
- Have you turned him out o' doors?
- Yea, sir. The rascal's drunk: you have hurt him, sir, i'
- the shoulder.
- A rascal! to brave me!
- 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!
- A rascally slave! I will toss the rogue in a blanket.
- Do, an thou darest for thy heart: an thou dost, I'll canvass
- thee between a pair of sheets.
- The music is come, sir.
- Let them play. Play, sirs. Sit on my knee, Doll. A rascal
- bragging slave! The rogue fled from me like quicksilver.
- 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.]
- Peace, good Doll! do not speak like a death's-head; do
- not bid me remember mine end.
- Sirrah, what humour 's the prince of?
- A good shallow young fellow: 'a would have made a good
- pantler; a' would ha' chipped bread well.
- They say Poins has a good wit.
- 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
- Why does the prince love him so, then?
- 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.
- Would not this nave of a wheel have his ears cut off?
- Let 's beat him before his whore.
- Look, whether the withered elder hath not his poll clawed
- like a parrot.
- Is it not strange that desire should so many years outlive
- Kiss me, Doll.
- Saturn and Venus this year in conjunction! what says the
- almanac to that?
- And, look, whether the fiery Trigon, his man, be not lisping
- to his master's old tables, his note-book, his counsel-keeper.
- Thou dost give me flattering busses.
- By my troth, I kiss thee with a most constant heart.
- I am old, I am old.
- I love thee better than I love e'er a scurvy young boy of
- them all.
- 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.
- 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.
- Some sack, Francis.
PRINCE & POINS.
- Anon, anon, sir.
- Ha! a bastard son of the king's? And art thou not Poins
- his brother?
- Why, thou globe of sinful continents, what a life dost thou lead!
- A better than thou: I am a gentleman; thou art a drawer.
- Very true, sir; and I come to draw you out by the ears.
- 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?
- Thou whoreson mad compound of majesty, by this light
- flesh and corrupt blood, thou art welcome.
- How, you fat fool! I scorn you.
- My lord, he will drive you out of your revenge and turn all
- to a merriment, if you take not the heat.
- You whoreson candle-mine, you, how vilely did you speak of
- me even now before this honest, virtuous, civil gentlewoman!
- God's blessing of your good heart! and so she is, by my troth.
- Didst thou hear me?
- 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.
- No, no, no; not so; I did not think thou wast within hearing.
- I shall drive you then to confess the wilful abuse; and then I
- know how to handle you.
- No abuse, Hal, o' mine honour; no abuse.
- Not to dispraise me, and call me pantler and bread-chipper and I
- know not what!
- No abuse, Hal.
- No abuse!
- 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.
- 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?
- Answer, thou dead elm, answer.
- The fiend hath pricked down Bardolph irrecoverable; and his
- face is Lucifer's privy-kitchen, where he doth nothing but roast
- For the boy, there is a good angel about him; but the devil
- outbids him too.
- For the women?
- 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.
- No, I warrant you.
- 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.
- All victuallers do so: what 's a joint of mutton or two in a
- whole Lent?
- You, gentlewoman,—
- What says your grace?
- His grace says that which his flesh rebels against.
- Who knocks so loud at door? Look to the door there, Francis.
- Peto, how now! what news?
- 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.
- 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.]
- Now comes in the sweetest morsel of the night, and we must
- hence, and leave it unpicked.
- [Knocking within.] More knocking at the door!
How now! what's the matter?
- 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.
- I cannot speak; if my heart be not ready to burst,—well, sweet
- Jack, have a care of thyself.
- Farewell, farewell.
[Exeunt Falstaff and Bardolph.]
- 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.
- [Within.] Mistress Tearsheet!
- What's the matter?
- [Within.] Bid Mistress Tearsheet come to my master.
- O, run, Doll, run; run, good Doll: come. [She comes blubbered.]
- Yea, will you come, Doll?
SCENE I. Westminster. The palace.
[Enter the King in his nightgown, with a Page.]
- 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.
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.]
- Many good morrows to your majesty!
- Is it good morrow, lords?
- 'Tis one o'clock, and past.
- Why then, good morrow to you all, my lords.
- Have you read o'er the letters that I sent you?
- We have, my liege.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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—
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- I will take your counsel:
- And were these inward wars once out of hand,
- We would, dear lords, unto the Holy Land.
SCENE II. Gloucestershire. Before Justice Shallow's house.
[Enter Shallow and Silence, meeting; Mouldy, Shadow, Wart,
- Feeble, Bullcalf, a Servant or two with them.]
- 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?
- Good morrow, good cousin Shallow.
- And how doth my cousin, your bedfellow? and your fairest
- daughter and mine, my god-daughter Ellen?
- Alas, a black ousel, cousin 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?
- Indeed, sir, to my cost.
- 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.
- You were called "lusty Shallow" then, cousin.
- 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
- This Sir John, cousin, that comes hither anon about soldiers?
- 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!
- We shall all follow, cousin.
- 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?
- By my troth, I was not there.
- Death is certain. Is old Double of your town living yet?
- Dead, sir.
- 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?
- Thereafter as they be: a score of good ewes may be worth ten
- And is old Double dead?
- Here come two of Sir John Falstaffs men, as I think.
[Enter Bardolph, and one with him.]
- Good morrow, honest gentlemen: I beseech you, which is justice
- 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?
- My captain, sir, commends him to you; my captain, Sir John
- Falstaff, a tall gentleman, by heaven, and a most gallant leader.
- 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?
- Sir, pardon; a soldier is better accommodated than with a wife.
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- It is very just.
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.
- I am glad to see you well, good Master Robert Shallow: Master
- Surecard, as I think?
- No, Sir John; it is my cousin Silence, in commission with me.
- Good Master Silence, it well befits you should be of the peace.
- Your good worship is welcome.
- Fie! this is hot weather, gentlemen. Have you provided me here
- half a dozen sufficient men?
- Marry, have we, sir. Will you sit?
- Let me see them, I beseech you.
- 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?
- Here, an't please you.
- What think you, Sir John? a good-limbed fellow; young, strong,
- and of good friends.
- Is thy name Mouldy?
- Yea, an't please you.
- 'Tis the more time thou wert used.
- 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.
- Prick him.
- 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.
- Go to: peace, Mouldy; you shall go. Mouldy, it is time you were spent.
- Peace, fellow, peace; stand aside: know you where you are? For
- the other, Sir John: let me see: Simon Shadow!
- Yea, marry, let me have him to sit under: he 's like to be a
- cold soldier.
- Where's Shadow?
- Here, sir.
- Shadow, whose son art thou?
- My mother's son, sir.
- 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!
- Do you like him, Sir John?
- Shadow will serve for summer; prick him; for we have a number of
- shadows to fill up the muster-book.
- Thomas Wart!
- Where's he?
- Here, sir.
- Is thy name Wart?
- Yea, sir.
- Thou art a very ragged wart.
- Shall I prick him down, Sir John?
- It were superfluous; for his apparel is built upon his back and
- the whole frame stands upon pins: prick him no more.
- Ha, ha, ha! you can do it, sir; you can do it: I commend you
- Francis Feeble!
- Here, sir.
- What trade art thou, Feeble?
- A woman's tailor, sir.
- Shall I prick him, sir?
- 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?
- I will do my good will, sir; you can have no more.
- 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.
- I would Wart might have gone, sir.
- 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.
- It shall suffice, sir.
- I am bound to thee, reverend Feeble. Who is next?
- Peter Bullcalf o' th' green!
- Yea, marry, let 's see Bullcalf.
- Here, sir.
- 'Fore God, a likely fellow! Come, prick me Bullcalf till he roar
- O Lord! good my lord captain,—
- What, dost thou roar before thou art prick'd?
- O Lord, sir! I am a diseased man.
- What disease hast thou?
- A whoreson cold, sir, a cough, sir, which I caught with ringing
- in the king's affairs upon his coronation-day, sir.
- 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?
- 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.
- Come, I will go drink with you, but I cannot tarry dinner. I am
- glad to see you, by my troth, Master Shallow.
- O, Sir John, do you remember since we lay all night in the windmill
- in Saint George's field?
- No more of that, Master Shallow, no more of that.
- Ha, 'twas a merry night. And is Jane Nightwork alive?
- She lives, Master Shallow.
- She never could away with me.
- Never, never; she would always say she could not abide Master
- By the mass, I could anger her to the heart. She was then a bona-roba.
- Doth she hold her own well?
- Old, old, Master 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.
- That's fifty-five year ago.
- Ha, cousin Silence, that thou hadst seen that that this knight and I
- have seen! Ha, Sir John, said I well?
- We have heard the chimes at midnight, Master 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.]
- 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.
- Go to; stand aside.
- And, good master corporal captain, for my old dame's sake, stand my
- friend: she has nobody to do any thing about her when I am gone;
- and she is old, and cannot help herself: you shall have forty, sir.
- Go to; stand aside.
- By my troth, I care not; a man can die but once; we owe God a death:
- I'll ne'er bear a base mind: an 't be my destiny, so; an 't be not, so:
- no man's too good to serve 's prince; and let it go which way it will, he
- that dies this year is quit for the next.
- Well said; th'art a good fellow.
- Faith, I'll bear no base mind.
[Re-enter Falstaff and the Justices.]
- Come, sir, which men shall I have?
- Four of which you please.
- Sir, a word with you: I have three pound to free Mouldy and
- Go to; well.
- Come, Sir John, which four will you have?
- Do you choose for me.
- Marry, then, Mouldy, Bullcalf, Feeble, and Shadow.
- Mouldy and Bullcalf: for you, Mouldy, stay at home till you are past
- service; and for your part, Bullcalf, grow till you come unto it:
- I will none of you.
- Sir John, Sir John, do not yourself wrong: they are your likeliest
- men, and I would have you served with the best.
- Will you tell me, Master Shallow, how to choose a man? Care I for the
- limb, the thewes, the stature, bulk, and big assemblance of a man!
- Give me the spirit, Master Shallow. Here's Wart; you see what a ragged
- appearance it is: a' shall charge you and discharge you with the
- motion of a pewterer's hammer, come off and on swifter than he that
- gibbets on the brewer's bucket.
- And this same half-faced fellow, Shadow; give me this man: he
- presents no mark to the enemy; the foeman may with as great aim level
- at the edge of a penknife.
- And for a retreat; how swiftly will this Feeble the woman's tailor
- run off! O, give me the spare men, and spare me the great ones.
- Put me a caliver into Wart's hand, Bardolph.
- Hold, Wart, traverse; thus, thus, thus.
- Come, manage me your caliver. So: very well: go to: very good,
- exceeding good. O, give me always a little, lean, old, chapt,
- bald shot. Well said, i' faith, Wart; thou'rt a good scab: hold,
- there's a tester for thee.
- He is not his craft's master; he doth not do it right. I remember at
- Mile-end Green, when I lay at Clement's Inn,—I was then Sir Dagonet in
- Arthur's show,—there was a little quiver fellow, and a' would manage
- you his piece thus; and a' would about and about, and come you in and
- come you in: "rah, tah, tah," would a' say; "bounce" would a' say; and
- away again would a' go, and again would 'a come: I shall ne'er see
- such a fellow.
- These fellows will do well. Master Shallow, God keep you, Master Silence:
- I will not use many words with you. Fare you well, gentlemen both:
- I thank you: I must a dozen mile to-night. Bardolph, give the soldiers
- Sir John, the Lord bless you! God prosper your affairs! God send us
- peace! At your return visit our house; let our old acquaintance be
- renewed: peradventure I will with ye to the court.
- 'Fore God, I would you would.
- Go to; I have spoke at a word. God keep you.
- Fare you well, gentle gentlemen.
- On, Bardolph; lead the men away.
[Exeunt Bardolph, Recruits, &c.]
- As I return, I will fetch off these justices: I do see the bottom
- of Justice Shallow.
- Lord, Lord, how subject we old men are to this vice of lying!
- This same starved justice hath done nothing but prate to me of the
- wildness of his youth, and the feats he hath done about Turnbull
- Street; and every third word a lie, duer paid to the hearer than the
- Turk's tribute. I do remember him at Clement's Inn like a man made
- after supper of a cheese-paring: when a' was naked, he was, for all
- the world, like a fork'd radish, with a head fantastically carved upon
- it with a knife: a' was so forlorn, that his dimensions to any thick
- sight were invincible: a' was the very genius of famine; yet lecherous
- as a monkey, and the whores called him mandrake: a' came ever in the
- rearward of the fashion, and sung those tunes to the overscutch'd
- huswifes that he heard the carmen whistle, and sware they were his
- fancies or his good-nights.
- And now is this Vice's dagger become a squire, and talks as familiarly
- of John a Gaunt as if he had been sworn brother to him; and I'll be
- sworn a' ne'er saw him but once in the Tilt-yard; and then he burst
- his head for crowding among the marshal's men.
- I saw it, and told John a Gaunt he beat his own name; for you might
- have thrust him and all his apparel into an eel-skin; the case of a
- treble hautboy was a mansion for him, a court: and now has he land
- and beefs.
- Well, I'll be acquainted with him, if I return; and it shall go hard
- but I'll make him a philosopher's two stones to me: if the young dace
- be a bait for the old pike, I see no reason in the law of nature but I
- may snap at him.
- Let time shape, and there an end.
SCENE I. Yorkshire. Gaultree Forest.
[Enter the Archbishop of York, Mowbray, Hastings, and others.]
- What is this forest call'd?
- 'Tis Gaultree Forest, an 't shall please your grace.
- Here stand, my lords; and send discoverers forth
- To know the numbers of our enemies.
- We have sent forth already.
- 'Tis well done.
- My friends and brethren in these great affairs,
- I must acquaint you that I have received
- New-dated letters from Northumberland;
- Their cold intent, tenour and substance, thus:
- Here doth he wish his person, with such powers
- As might hold sortance with his quality,
- The which he could not levy; whereupon
- He is retired, to ripe his growing fortunes,
- To Scotland: and concludes in hearty prayers
- That your attempts may overlive the hazard
- And fearful meeting of their opposite.
- Thus do the hopes we have in him touch ground
- And dash themselves to pieces.
[Enter a Messenger.]
- Now, what news?
- West of this forest, scarcely off a mile,
- In goodly form comes on the enemy;
- And, by the ground they hide, I judge their number
- Upon or near the rate of thirty thousand.
- The just proportion that we gave them out.
- Let us sway on and face them in the field.
- What well-appointed leader fronts us here?
- I think it is my Lord of Westmoreland.
- Health and fair greeting from our general,
- The prince, Lord John and Duke of Lancaster.
- Say on, my Lord of Westmoreland, in peace:
- What doth concern your coming?
- Then, my lord,
- Unto your grace do I in chief address
- The substance of my speech. If that rebellion
- Came like itself, in base and abject routs,
- Led on by bloody youth, guarded with rags,
- And countenanced by boys and beggary,
- I say, if damn'd commotion so appear'd,
- In his true, native, and most proper shape,
- You, reverend father, and these noble lords
- Had not been here, to dress the ugly form
- Of base and bloody insurrection
- With your fair honours. You, lord archbishop,
- Whose see is by a civil peace maintain'd,
- Whose beard the silver hand of peace hath touch'd,
- Whose learning and good letters peace hath tutor'd,
- Whose white investments figure innocence,
- The dove and very blessed spirit of peace,
- Wherefore you do so ill translate yourself
- Out of the speech of peace that bears such grace,
- Into the harsh and boisterous tongue of war;
- Turning your books to graves, your ink to blood,
- Your pens to lances and your tongue divine
- To a loud trumpet and a point of war?
- Wherefore do I this? so the question stands.
- Briefly to this end: we are all diseased,
- And with our surfeiting and wanton hours
- Have brought ourselves into a burning fever,
- And we must bleed for it; of which disease
- Our late king, Richard, being infected, died.
- But, my most noble Lord of Westmoreland,
- I take not on me here as a physician,
- Nor do I as an enemy to peace
- Troop in the throngs of military men;
- But rather show awhile like fearful war,
- To diet rank minds sick of happiness,
- And purge the obstructions which begin to stop
- Our very veins of life. Hear me more plainly.
- I have in equal balance justly weigh'd
- What wrongs our arms may do, what wrongs we suffer,
- And find our griefs heavier than our offences.
- We see which way the stream of time doth run,
- And are enforced from our most quiet there
- By the rough torrent of occasion;
- And have the summary of all our griefs,
- When time shall serve, to show in articles;
- Which long ere this we offer'd to the king,
- And might by no suit gain our audience:
- When we are wrong'd and would unfold our griefs,
- We are denied access unto his person
- Even by those men that most have done us wrong.
- The dangers of the days but newly gone,
- Whose memory is written on the earth
- With yet appearing blood, and the examples
- Of every minute's instance, present now,
- Hath put us in these ill-beseeming arms,
- Not to break peace or any branch of it,
- But to establish here a peace indeed,
- Concurring, both in name and quality.
- When ever yet was your appeal denied?
- Wherein have you been galled by the king?
- What peer hath been suborn'd to grate on you,
- That you should seal this lawless bloody book
- Of forged rebellion with a seal divine
- And consecrate commotion's bitter edge?
- My brother general, the commonwealth,
- To brother born an household cruelty,
- I make my quarrel in particular.
- There is no need of any such redress;
- Or if there were, it not belongs to you.
- Why not to him in part, and to us all
- That feel the bruises of the days before,
- And suffer the condition of these times
- To lay a heavy and unequal hand
- Upon our honours?
- O, my good Lord Mowbray,
- Construe the times to their necessities,
- And you shall say indeed, it is the time,
- And not the king, that doth you injuries.
- Yet for your part, it not appears to me
- Either from the king or in the present time
- That you should have an inch of any ground
- To build a grief on: were you not restored
- To all the Duke of Norfolk's signories,
- Your noble and right well rememb'red father's?
- What thing, in honour, had my father lost,
- That need to be revived and breathed in me?
- The king that loved him, as the state stood then,
- Was force perforce compell'd to banish him:
- And then that Henry Bolingbroke and he,
- Being mounted and both roused in their seats,
- Their neighing coursers daring of the spur,
- Their armed staves in charge, their beavers down,
- Their eyes of fire sparkling through sights of steel,
- And the loud trumpet blowing them together,
- Then, then, when there was nothing could have stay'd
- My father from the breast of Bolingbroke,
- O, when the king did throw his warder down,
- His own life hung upon the staff he threw;
- Then threw he down himself and all their lives
- That by indictment and by dint of sword
- Have since miscarried under Bolingbroke.
- You speak, Lord Mowbray, now you know not what.
- The Earl of Hereford was reputed then
- In England the most valiant gentleman:
- Who knows on whom fortune would then have smiled?
- But if your father had been victor there,
- He ne'er had borne it out of Coventry:
- For all the country in a general voice
- Cried hate upon him; and all their prayers and love
- Were set on Hereford, whom they doted on
- And bless'd and graced indeed, more than the king.
- But this is mere digression from my purpose.
- Here come I from our princely general
- To know your griefs; to tell you from his grace
- That he will give you audience; and wherein
- It shall appear that your demands are just,
- You shall enjoy them, everything set off
- That might so much as think you enemies.
- But he hath forc'd us to compel this offer;
- And it proceeds from policy, not love.
- Mowbray, you overween to take it so;
- This offer comes from mercy, not from fear:
- For, lo! within a ken our army lies,
- Upon mine honour, all too confident
- To give admittance to a thought of fear.
- Our battle is more full of names than yours,
- Our men more perfect in the use of arms,
- Our armour all as strong, our cause the best;
- Then reason will our hearts should be as good:
- Say you not then our offer is compell'd.
- Well, by my will we shall admit no parley.
- That argues but the shame of your offence:
- A rotten case abides no handling.
- Hath the Prince John a full commission,
- In very ample virtue of his father,
- To hear and absolutely to determine
- Of what conditions we shall stand upon?
- That is intended in the general's name:
- I muse you make so slight a question.
- Then take, my Lord of Westmoreland, this schedule,
- For this contains our general grievances:
- Each several article herein redress'd,
- All members of our cause, both here and hence,
- That are insinew'd to this action,
- Acquitted by a true substantial form
- And present execution of our wills
- To us and to our purposes confined,
- We come within our awful banks again
- And knit our powers to the arm of peace.
- This will I show the general. Please you, lords,
- In sight of both our battles we may meet;
- And either end in peace, which God so frame!
- Or to the place of difference call the swords
- Which must decide it.
- My lord, we will do so.
- There is a thing within my bosom tells me
- That no conditions of our peace can stand.
- Fear you not that: if we can make our peace
- Upon such large terms and so absolute
- As our conditions shall consist upon,
- Our peace shall stand as firm as rocky mountains.
- Yea, but our valuation shall be such
- That every slight and false-derived cause,
- Yea, every idle, nice and wanton reason
- Shall to the king taste of this action;
- That, were our royal faiths martyrs in love,
- We shall be winnow'd with so rough a wind
- That even our corn shall seem as light as chaff
- And good from bad find no partition.
- No, no, my lord. Note this; the king is weary
- Of dainty and such picking grievances:
- For he hath found to end one doubt by death
- Revives two greater in the heirs of life,
- And therefore will he wipe his tables clean
- And keep no tell-tale to his memory
- That may repeat and history his loss
- To new remembrance; for full well he knows
- He cannot so precisely weed this land
- As his misdoubts present occasion:
- His foes are so enrooted with his friends
- That, plucking to unfix an enemy,
- He doth unfasten so and shake a friend:
- So that this land, like an offensive wife
- That hath enraged him on to offer strokes,
- As he is striking, holds his infant up
- And hangs resolved correction in the arm
- That was uprear'd to execution.
- Besides, the king hath wasted all his rods
- On late offenders, that he now doth lack
- The very instruments of chastisement:
- So that his power, like to a fangless lion,
- May offer, but not hold.
- 'Tis very true:
- And therefore be assured, my good lord marshal,
- If we do now make our atonement well,
- Our peace will, like a broken limb united,
- Grow stronger for the breaking.
- Be it so.
- Here is return'd my Lord of Westmoreland.
- The prince is here at hand: pleaseth your lordship
- To meet his grace just distance 'tween our armies.
- Your grace of York, in God's name then, set forward.
- Before, and greet his grace: my lord, we come.
SCENE II. Another part of the forest.
[Enter, from one side, Mowbray, attended; afterwards, the Archbishop, Hastings, and others; from the other side, Prince John of Lancaster, and Westmoreland; Officers, and others with them.]
- You are well encounter'd here, my cousin Mowbray:
- Good day to you, gentle lord Archbishop;
- And so to you, Lord Hastings, and to all.
- My Lord of York, it better show'd with you
- When that your flock, assembled by the bell,
- Encircled you to hear with reverence
- Your exposition on the holy text
- Than now to see you here an iron man,
- Cheering a rout of rebels with your drum,
- Turning the word to sword and life to death.
- That man that sits within a monarch's heart,
- And ripens in the sunshine of his favour,
- Would he abuse the countenance of the king,
- Alack, what mischiefs might he set abroach
- In shadow of such greatness! With you, lord bishop,
- It is even so. Who hath not heard it spoken
- How deep you were within the books of God?
- To us the speaker in his parliament;
- To us the imagined voice of God himself;
- The very opener and intelligencer
- Between the grace, the sanctities of heaven
- And our dull workings. O, who shall believe
- But you misuse the reverence of your place,
- Employ the countenance and grace of heaven,
- As a false favourite doth his prince's name,
- In deeds dishonourable? You have ta'en up,
- Under the counterfeited zeal of God,
- The subjects of his substitute, my father,
- And both against the peace of heaven and him
- Have here up-swarm'd them.
- Good my Lord of Lancaster,
- I am not here against your father's peace;
- But, as I told my Lord of Westmoreland,
- The time misorder'd doth, in common sense,
- Crowd us and crush us to this monstrous form
- To hold our safety up. I sent your grace
- The parcels and particulars of our grief,
- The which hath been with scorn shoved from the court,
- Whereon this Hydra son of war is born;
- Whose dangerous eyes may well be charm'd asleep
- With grant of our most just and right desires,
- And true obedience, of this madness cured,
- Stoop tamely to the foot of majesty.
- If not, we ready are to try our fortunes
- To the last man.
- And though we here fall down,
- We have supplies to second our attempt:
- If they miscarry, theirs shall second them;
- And so success of mischief shall be born
- And heir from heir shall hold this quarrel up
- Whiles England shall have generation.
- You are too shallow, Hastings, much to shallow,
- To sound the bottom of the after-times.
- Pleaseth your grace to answer them directly
- How far forth you do like their articles.
- I like them all, and do allow them well,
- And swear here, by the honour of my blood,
- My father's purposes have been mistook,
- And some about him have too lavishly
- Wrested his meaning and authority.
- My lord, these griefs shall be with speed redress'd;
- Upon my soul, they shall. If this may please you,
- Discharge your powers unto their several counties,
- As we will ours; and here between the armies
- Let 's drink together friendly and embrace,
- That all their eyes may bear those tokens home
- Of our restored love and amity.
- I take your princely word for these redresses.
- I give it you, and will maintain my word:
- And thereupon I drink unto your grace.
- Go, captain, and deliver to the army
- This news of peace: let them have pay, and part:
- I know it will please them. Hie thee, captain.
- To you, my noble Lord of Westmoreland.
- I pledge your grace; and, if you knew what pains
- I have bestow'd to breed this present peace,
- You would drink freely: but my love to ye
- Shall show itself more openly hereafter.
- I do not doubt you.
- I am glad of it.
- Health to my lord and gentle cousin, Mowbray.
- You wish me health in very happy season,
- For I am, on the sudden, something ill.
- Against ill chances men are ever merry;
- But heaviness foreruns the good event.
- Therefore be merry, coz; since sudden sorrow
- Serves to say thus, "some good thing comes tomorrow."
- Believe me, I am passing light in spirit.
- So much the worse, if your own rule be true.
- The word of peace is render'd: hark, how they shout!
- This had been cheerful after victory.
- A peace is of the nature of a conquest;
- For then both parties nobly are subdued,
- And neither party loser.
- Go, my lord.
- And let our army be discharged too.
And, good my lord, so please you, let our trains
- March by us, that we may peruse the men
- We should have coped withal.
- Go, good Lord Hastings,
- And, ere they be dismiss'd, let them march by.
- I trust, lords, we shall lie to-night together.
Now, cousin, wherefore stands our army still?
- The leaders, having charge from you to stand,
- Will not go off until they hear you speak.
- They know their duties.
- My lord, our army is dispersed already:
- Like youthful steers unyoked, they take their courses
- East, west, north, south; or, like a school broke up,
- Each hurries toward his home and sporting-place.
- Good tidings, my Lord Hastings; for the which
- I do arrest thee, traitor, of high treason:
- And you, lord archbishop, and you, Lord Mowbray,
- Of capital treason I attach you both.
- Is this proceeding just and honourable?
- Is your assembly so?
- Will you thus break your faith?
- I pawn'd thee none:
- I promised you redress of these same grievances
- Whereof you did complain; which, by mine honour,
- I will perform with a most Christian care.
- But for you, rebels, look to taste the due
- Meet for rebellion and such acts as yours.
- Most shallowly did you these arms commence,
- Fondly brought here and foolishly sent hence.
- Strike up our drums, pursue the scattr'd stray:
- God, and not we, hath safely fought to-day.
- Some guard these traitors to the block of death,
- Treason's true bed and yielder up of breath.
SCENE III. Another part of the forest.
[Alarum. Excursions. Enter Falstaff and Colevile, meeting.]
- What 's your name, sir? of what condition are you, and of
- what place, I pray?
- I am a knight sir; and my name is Colevile of the Dale.
- Well, then, Colevile is your name, a knight is your degree, and
- your place the dale: Colevile shall be still your name, a traitor
- your degree, and the dungeon your place, a place deep enough; so
- shall you be still Colevile of the dale.
- Are not you Sir John Falstaff?
- As good a man as he, sir, whoe'er I am. Do ye yield, sir? or shall I
- sweat for you? If I do sweat, they are the drops of thy lovers, and
- they weep for thy death: therefore rouse up fear and trembling,
- and do observance to my mercy.
- I think you are Sir John Falstaff, and in that thought yield me.
- I have a whole school of tongues in this belly of mine, and not a
- tongue of them all speaks any other word but my name. An I had but
- a belly of any indifferency, I were simply the most active fellow in
- Europe: my womb, my womb, my womb undoes me.
- Here comes our general.
[Enter Prince John of Lancaster, Westmoreland, Blunt, and
- The heat is past; follow no further now:
- Call in the powers, good cousin Westmoreland.
Now, Falstaff, where have you been all this while?
- When everything is ended, then you come:
- These tardy tricks of yours will, on my life,
- One time or other break some gallows' back.
- I would be sorry, my lord, but it should be thus: I never knew yet
- but rebuke and check was the reward of valour. Do you think me a
- swallow, an arrow, or a bullet? have I, in my poor and old motion,
- the expedition of thought? I have speeded hither with the very
- extremest inch of possibility; I have foundered nine score and odd
- posts: and here, travel-tainted as I am, have, in my pure and
- immaculate valour, taken Sir John Colevile of the dale, a most furious
- knight and valorous enemy. But what of that? he saw me, and yielded;
- that I may justly say, with the hook-nosed fellow of Rome, "I came,
- saw, and overcame."
- It was more of his courtesy than your deserving.
- I know not: here he is, and here I yield him: and I beseech your
- grace, let it be booked with the rest of this day's deeds; or, by the
- Lord, I will have it in a particular ballad else, with mine own
- picture on the top on't, Colevile kissing my foot: to the which
- course if I be enforced, if you do not all show like gilt twopences to
- me, and I in the clear sky of fame o'ershine you as much as the full
- moon doth the cinders of the element, which show like pins' heads to
- her, believe not the word of the noble: therefore let me have right,
- and let desert mount.
- Thine 's too heavy to mount.
- Let it shine, then.
- Thine 's too thick to shine.
- Let it do something, my good lord, that may do me good, and
- call it what you will.
- Is thy name Colevile?
- It is, my lord.
- A famous rebel art thou, Colevile.
- And a famous true subject took him.
- I am, my lord, but as my betters are
- That led me hither: had they been ruled by me,
- You should have won them dearer than you have.
- I know not how they sold themselves: but thou, like a kind
- fellow, gavest thyself away gratis; and I thank thee for thee.
- Now, have you left pursuit?
- Retreat is made and execution stay'd.
- Send Colevile with his confederates
- To York, to present execution.
- Blunt, lead him hence; and see you guard him sure.
[Exeunt Blunt and others with Colevile.]
And now dispatch we toward the court, my lords:
- I hear the king my father is sore sick:
- Our news shall go before us to his majesty,
- Which, cousin, you shall bear to comfort him,
- And we with sober speed will follow you.
- My lord, I beseech you, give me leave to go through Gloucestershire:
- and, when you come to court, stand my good lord, pray, in your good
- Fare you well, Falstaff: I, in my condition,
- Shall better speak of you than you deserve.
[Exeunt all but Falstaff.]
- I would you had but the wit: 'twere better than your dukedom.
- Good faith, this same young sober-blooded boy doth not love me;
- nor a man cannot make him laugh; but that 's no marvel, he drinks
- no wine. There 's never none of these demure boys come to any proof;
- for thin drink doth so over-cool their blood, and making many
- fish-meals, that they fall into a kind of male green-sickness; and
- then, when they marry, they get wenches: they are generally fools
- and cowards; which some of us should be too, but for inflammation.
- A good sherris-sack hath a two-fold operation in it. It ascends me
- into the brain; dries me there all the foolish and dull and crudy
- vapours which environ it; makes it apprehensive, quick, forgetive,
- full of nimble fiery and delectable shapes; which, delivered o'er to
- the voice, the tongue, which is the birth, becomes excellent wit.
- The second property of your excellent sherris is, the warming of the
- blood; which, before cold and settled, left the liver white and pale,
- which is the badge of pusillanimity and cowardice; but the sherris
- warms it and makes it course from the inwards to the parts extremes:
- it illumineth the face, which as a beacon gives warning to all
- the rest of this little kingdom, man, to arm; and then the vital
- commoners and inland petty spirits muster me all to their captain, the
- heart, who, great and puffed up with this retinue, doth any deed of
- courage; and this valour comes of sherris. So that skill in the weapon
- is nothing without sack, for that sets it a-work; and learning a mere
- hoard of gold kept by a devil, till sack commences it and sets it in
- act and use. Hereof comes it that Prince Harry is valiant; for the
- cold blood he did naturally inherit of his father, he hath, like lean,
- sterile and bare land, manured, husbanded and tilled with excellent
- endeavour of drinking good and good store of fertile sherris, that he
- is become very hot and valiant. If I had a thousand sons, the first
- humane principle I would teach them should be, to forswear thin
- potations and to addict themselves to sack.
How now, Bardolph!
- The army is discharged all and gone.
- Let them go. I'll through Gloucestershire; and there will I visit
- Master Robert Shallow, esquire: I have him already tempering between
- my finger and my thumb, and shortly will I seal with him. Come away.
SCENE IV. Westminster. The Jerusalem Chamber.
[Enter the King, the Princes Thomas of Clarence and Humphrey of Gloucester, Warwick, and others.]
- Now, lords, if God doth give successful end
- To this debate that bleedeth at our doors,
- We will our youth lead on to higher fields
- And draw no swords but what are sanctified.
- Our navy is address'd, our power collected,
- Our substitutes in absence well invested,
- And every thing lies level to our wish:
- Only, we want a little personal strength;
- And pause us, till these rebels, now afoot,
- Come underneath the yoke of government.
- Both which we doubt not but your majesty
- Shall soon enjoy.
- Humphrey, my son of Gloucester,
- Where is the prince your brother?
- I think he 's gone to hunt, my lord, at Windsor.
- And how accompanied?
- I do not know, my lord.
- Is not his brother, Thomas of Clarence, with him?
- No, my good lord; he is in presence here.
- What would my lord and father?
- Nothing but well to thee, Thomas of Clarence.
- How chance thou art not with the prince thy brother?
- He loves thee, and thou dost neglect him, Thomas;
- Thou hast a better place in his affection
- Than all thy brothers: cherish it, my boy,
- And noble offices thou mayst effect
- Of mediation, after I am dead,
- Between his greatness and thy other brethren:
- Therefore omit him not; blunt not his love,
- Nor lose the good advantage of his grace
- By seeming cold or careless of his will;
- For he is gracious, if he be observed.
- He hath a tear for pity and a hand
- Open as day for melting charity:
- Yet notwithstanding, being incensed, he 's flint;
- As humorous as winter and as sudden
- As flaws congealed in the spring of day.
- His temper, therefore, must be well observed:
- Chide him for faults, and do it reverently,
- When you perceive his blood inclined to mirth;
- But, being moody, give him line and scope,
- Till that his passions, like a whale on ground,
- Confound themselves with working. Learn this, Thomas,
- And thou shalt prove a shelter to thy friends,
- A hoop of gold to bind thy brothers in,
- That the united vessel of their blood,
- Mingled with venom of suggestion—
- As, force perforce, the age will pour it in—
- Shall never leak, though it do work as strong
- As aconitum or rash gunpowder.
- I shall observe him with all care and love.
- Why art thou not at Windsor with him, Thomas?
- He is not there to-day; he dines in London.
- And how accompanied? canst thou tell that?
- With Poins, and other his continual followers.
- Most subject is the fattest soil to weeds;
- And he, the noble image of my youth,
- Is overspread with them: therefore my grief
- Stretches itself beyond the hour of death:
- The blood weeps from my heart when I do shape
- In forms imaginary the unguided days
- And rotten times that you shall look upon
- When I am sleeping with my ancestors.
- For when his headstrong riot hath no curb,
- When rage and hot blood are his counsellors,
- When means and lavish manners meet together,
- O, with what wings shall his affections fly
- Towards fronting peril and opposed decay!
- My gracious lord, you look beyond him quite:
- The prince but studies his companions
- Like a strange tongue, wherein, to gain the language,
- 'Tis needful that the most immodest word
- Be look'd upon and learn'd; which once attain'd,
- Your highness knows, comes to no further use
- But to be known and hated. So, like gross terms,
- The prince will in the perfectness of time
- Cast off his followers; and their memory
- Shall as a pattern or a measure live,
- By which his grace must mete the lives of other,
- Turning past evils to advantages.
- 'Tis seldom when the bee doth leave her comb
- In the dead carrion.
Who's here? Westmoreland?
- Health to my sovereign, and new happiness
- Added to that that I am to deliver!
- Prince John your son doth kiss your grace's hand:
- Mowbray, the Bishop Scroop, Hastings and all
- Are brought to the correction of your law;
- There is not now a rebel's sword unsheathed,
- But Peace puts forth her olive every where.
- The manner how this action hath been borne
- Here at more leisure may your highness read,
- With every course in his particular.
- O Westmoreland, thou art a summer bird,
- Which ever in the haunch of winter sings
- The lifting up of day.
Look, here 's more news.
- From enemies heaven keep your majesty;
- And, when they stand against you, may they fall
- As those that I am come to tell you of!
- The Earl Northumberland and the Lord Bardolph,
- With a great power of English and of Scots,
- Are by the sheriff of Yorkshire overthrown:
- The manner and true order of the fight
- This packet, please it you, contains at large.
- And wherefore should these good news make me sick?
- Will Fortune never come with both hands full,
- But write her fair words still in foulest letters?
- She either gives a stomach and no food;
- Such are the poor, in health; or else a feast
- And takes away the stomach; such are the rich,
- That have abundance and enjoy it not.
- I should rejoice now at this happy news;
- And now my sight fails, and my brain is giddy:
- O me! come near me; now I am much ill.
- Comfort, your majesty!
- O my royal father!
- My sovereign lord, cheer up yourself, look up.
- Be patient, princes; you do know, these fits
- Are with his highness very ordinary.
- Stand from him, give him air; he'll straight be well.
- No, no, he cannot long hold out these pangs:
- The incessant care and labour of his mind
- Hath wrought the mure that should confine it in
- So thin that life looks through and will break out.
- The people fear me; for they do observe
- Unfather'd heirs and loathly births of nature:
- The seasons change their manners, as the year
- Had found some months asleep, and leap'd them over.
- The river hath thrice flow'd, no ebb between;
- And the old folk, time's doting chronicles,
- Say it did so a little time before
- That our great-grandsire, Edward, sick'd and died.
- Speak lower, princes, for the king recovers.
- This apoplexy will certain be his end.
- I pray you, take me up, and bear me hence
- Into some other chamber: softly, pray.
SCENE V. Another chamber.
[The King lying on a bed: Clarence, Gloucester, Warwick, and others in attendance.]
- Let there be no noise made, my gentle friends;
- Unless some dull and favourable hand
- Will whisper music to my weary spirit.
- Call for the music in the other room.
- Set me the crown upon my pillow here.
- His eye is hollow, and he changes much.
- Less noise! less noise!
[Enter Prince Henry.]
- Who saw the Duke of Clarence?
- I am here, brother, full of heaviness.
- How now! rain within doors, and none abroad!
- How doth the king?
- Exceeding ill.
- Heard he the good news yet? Tell it him.
- He alt'red much upon the hearing it.
- If he be sick with joy, he'll recover without physic.
- Not so much noise, my lords: sweet prince, speak low;
- The king your father is disposed to sleep.
- Let us withdraw into the other room.
- Will't please your grace to go along with us?
- No; I will sit and watch here by the king.
[Exeunt all but the Prince.]
Why doth the crown lie there upon his pillow,
- Being so troublesome a bedfellow?
- O polish'd perturbation! golden care!
- That keep'st the ports of slumber open wide
- To many a watchful night! sleep with it now!
- Yet not so sound and half so deeply sweet
- As he whose brow with homely biggen bound
- Snores out the watch of night. O majesty!
- When thou dost pinch thy bearer, thou dost sit
- Like a rich armour worn in heat of day,
- That scalds with safety. By his gates of breath
- There lies a downy feather which stirs not:
- Did he suspire, that light and weightless down
- Perforce must move. My gracious lord! my father!
- This sleep is sound indeed; this is a sleep
- That from this golden rigol hath divorced
- So many English kings. Thy due from me
- Is tears and heavy sorrows of the blood,
- Which nature, love, and filial tenderness,
- Shall, O dear father, pay thee plenteously:
- My due from thee is this imperial crown,
- Which, as immediate from thy place and blood,
- Derives itself to me. Lo, here it sits,
- Which God shall guard: and put the world's whole strength
- Into one giant arm, it shall not force
- This lineal honour from me: this from thee
- Will I to mine leave, as 'tis left to me.
- Warwick! Gloucester! Clarence!
[Re-enter Warwick, Gloucester, Clarence, and the rest.]
- Doth the king call?
- What would your majesty? How fares your grace?
- Why did you leave me here alone, my lords?
- We left the prince my brother here, my liege,
- Who undertook to sit and watch by you.
- The Prince of Wales! Where is he? let me see him:
- He is not here.
- This door is open; he is gone this way.
- He came not through the chamber where we stay'd.
- Where is the crown? who took it from my pillow?
- When we withdrew, my liege, we left it here.
- The prince hath ta'en it hence: go, seek him out.
- Is he so hasty that he doth suppose
- My sleep my death?
- Find him, my lord of Warwick; chide him hither.
This part of his conjoins with my disease,
- And helps to end me. See, sons, what things you are!
- How quickly nature falls into revolt
- When gold becomes her object!
- For this the foolish over-careful fathers
- Have broke their sleep with thoughts, their brains with care,
- Their bones with industry;
- For this they have engross'd and piled up
- The canker'd heaps of strange-achieved gold;
- For this they have been thoughtful to invest
- Their sons with arts and martial exercises;
- When, like the bee, tolling from every flower
- The virtuous sweets,
- Our thighs pack'd with wax, our mouths with honey,
- We bring it to the hive, and, like the bees,
- Are murdered for our pains. This bitter taste
- Yields his engrossments to the ending father.
Now where is he that will not stay so long
- Till his friend sickness hath determin'd me?
- My lord, I found the prince in the next room,
- Washing with kindly tears his gentle cheeks,
- With such a deep demeanour in great sorrow
- That tyranny, which never quaff'd but blood,
- Would, by beholding him, have wash'd his knife
- With gentle eye-drops. He is coming hither.
- But wherefore did he take away the crown?
[Re-Enter Prince Henry.]
Lo, where he comes. Come hither to me, Harry.
- Depart the chamber, leave us here alone.
[Exeunt Warwick and the rest.]
- I never thought to hear you speak again.
- Thy wish was father, Harry, to that thought:
- I stay too long by thee, I weary thee.
- Dost thou so hunger for mine empty chair
- That thou wilt needs invest thee with my honours
- Before thy hour be ripe? O foolish youth!
- Thou seek'st the greatness that will overwhelm thee.
- Stay but a little; for my cloud of dignity
- Is held from falling with so weak a wind
- That it will quickly drop: my day is dim.
- Thou hast stolen that which after some few hours
- Were thine without offence; and at my death
- Thou hast seal'd up my expectation:
- Thy life did manifest thou lovedst me not,
- And thou wilt have me die assured of it.
- Thou hidest a thousand daggers in thy thoughts
- Which thou hast whetted on thy stony heart,
- To stab at half an hour of my life.
- What! canst thou not forbear me half an hour?
- Then get thee gone and dig my grave thyself,
- And bid the merry bells ring to thine ear
- That thou art crowned, not that I am dead.
- Let all the tears that should bedew my hearse
- Be drops of balm to sanctify thy head:
- Only compound me with forgotten dust;
- Give that which gave thee life unto the worms.
- Pluck down my officers, break my decrees;
- For now a time is come to mock at form:
- Harry the Fifth is crown'd: up, vanity!
- Down, royal state! all you sage counsellors, hence!
- And to the English court assemble now,
- From every region, apes of idleness!
- Now, neighbour confines, purge you of your scum:
- Have you a ruffian that will swear, drink, dance,
- Revel the night, rob, murder, and commit
- The oldest sins the newest kind of ways?
- Be happy, he will trouble you no more;
- England shall double gild his treble guilt,
- England shall give him office, honour, might;
- For the fifth Harry from curb'd license plucks
- The muzzle of restraint, and the wild dog
- Shall flesh his tooth on every innocent.
- O my poor kingdom, sick with civil blows!
- When that my care could not withhold thy riots,
- What wilt thou do when riot is thy care?
- O, thou wilt be a wilderness again,
- Peopled with wolves, thy old inhabitants!
- O, pardon me, my liege! but for my tears,
- The moist impediments unto my speech,
- I had forestall'd this dear and deep rebuke
- Ere you with grief had spoke and I had heard
- The course of it so far. There is your crown:
- And He that wears the crown immortally
- Long guard it yours! If I affect it more
- Than as your honour and as your renown,
- Let me no more from this obedience rise,
- Which my most inward true and duteous spirit
- Teacheth, this prostrate and exterior bending.
- God witness with me, when I here came in,
- And found no course of breath within your majesty,
- How cold it struck my heart! If I do feign,
- O, let me in my present wildness die
- And never live to show the incredulous world
- The noble change that I have purposed!
- Coming to look on you, thinking you dead,
- And dead almost, my liege, to think you were,
- I spake unto this crown as having sense,
- And thus upbraided it: "The care on thee depending
- Hath fed upon the body of my father;
- Therefore, thou best of gold art worst of gold:
- Other, less fine in carat, is more precious,
- Preserving life in medicine potable;
- But thou, most fine, most honour'd, most renown'd,
- Hast eat thy bearer up." Thus, my most royal liege,
- Accusing it, I put it on my head,
- To try with it, as with an enemy
- That had before my face murder'd my father,
- The quarrel of a true inheritor.
- But if it did infect my blood with joy,
- Or swell my thoughts to any strain of pride;
- If any rebel or vain spirit of mine
- Did with the least affection of a welcome
- Give entertainment to the might of it,
- Let God for ever keep it from my head
- And make me as the poorest vassal is
- That doth with awe and terror kneel to it!
- O my son,
- God put it in thy mind to take it hence,
- That thou mightst win the more thy father's love,
- Pleading so wisely in excuse of it!
- Come hither, Harry, sit thou by my bed;
- And hear, I think, the very latest counsel
- That ever I shall breathe. God knows, my son,
- By what by-paths and indirect crook'd ways
- I met this crown; and I myself know well
- How troublesome it sat upon my head.
- To thee it shall descend with better quiet,
- Better opinion, better confirmation;
- For all the soil of the achievement goes
- With me into the earth. It seem'd in me
- But as an honour snatch'd with boisterous hand,
- And I had many living to upbraid
- My gain of it by their assistances;
- Which daily grew to quarrel and to bloodshed,
- Wounding supposed peace: all these bold fears
- Thou see'st with peril I have answered;
- For all my reign hath been but as a scene
- Acting that argument: and now my death
- Changes the mode; for what in me was purchased,
- Falls upon thee in a more fairer sort;
- So thou the garland wear'st successively.
- Yet, though thou stand'st more sure than I could do,
- Thou art not firm enough, since griefs are green;
- And all my friends, which thou must make thy friends,
- Have but their stings and teeth newly ta'en out;
- By whose fell working I was first advanced
- And by whose power I well might lodge a fear
- To be again displaced: which to avoid,
- I cut them off; and had a purpose now
- To lead out many to the Holy Land,
- Lest rest and lying still might make them look
- Too near unto my state. Therefore, my Harry,
- Be it thy course to busy giddy minds
- With foreign quarrels; that action, hence borne out,
- May waste the memory of the former days.
- More would I, but my lungs are wasted so
- That strength of speech is utterly denied me.
- How I came by the crown, O God, forgive;
- And grant it may with thee in true peace live!
- My gracious liege,
- You won it, wore it, kept it, gave it me;
- Then plain and right must my possession be:
- Which I with more than with a common pain
- 'Gainst all the world will rightfully maintain.
[Enter Lord John of Lancaster.]
- Look, look, here comes my John of Lancaster.
- Health, peace, and happiness to my royal father!
- Thou bring'st me happiness and peace, son John;
- But health, alack, with youthful wings is flown
- From this bare wither'd trunk: upon thy sight
- My worldly business makes a period.
- Where is my Lord of Warwick?
- My Lord of Warwick!
[Re-enter Warwick, and others.]
- Doth any name particular belong
- Unto the lodging where I first did swoon?
- 'Tis call'd Jerusalem, my noble lord.
- Laud be to God! even there my life must end.
- It hath been prophesied to me many years,
- I should not die but in Jerusalem;
- Which vainly I supposed the Holy Land:
- But bear me to that chamber; there I'll lie;
- In that Jerusalem shall Harry die.
SCENE 1. Gloucestershire. Shallow's house.
[Enter Shallow, Falstaff, Bardolph, and Page.]
- By cock and pie, sir, you shall not away to-night.
- What, Davy, I say!
- You must excuse me, Master Robert Shallow.
- I will not excuse you; you shall not be excused; excuses
- shall not be admitted; there is no excuse shall serve; you shall
- not be excused. Why, Davy!
- Here, sir.
- Davy, Davy, Davy, Davy, let me see, Davy; let me see,
- Davy; let me see: yea, marry, William cook, bid him come hither.
- Sir John, you shall not be excused.
- Marry, sir, thus; those precepts cannot be served; and,
- again, sir, shall we sow the headland with wheat?
- With red wheat, Davy. But for William cook: are there no
- young pigeons?
- Yes, sir. Here is now the smith's note for shoeing and
- Let it be cast and paid. Sir John, you shall not be excused.
- Now, sir, a new link to the bucket must needs be had: and, sir, do
- you mean to stop any of William's wages, about the sack he lost the
- other day at Hinckley fair?
- A' shall answer it. Some pigeons, Davy, a couple of short-legg'd
- hens, a joint of mutton, and any pretty little tiny kickshaws,
- tell William cook.
- Doth the man of war stay all night, sir?
- Yea, Davy. I will use him well: a friend i' the court is better
- than a penny in purse. Use his men well, Davy; for they are
- arrant knaves, and will backbite.
- No worse than they are backbitten, sir; for they have marvellous
- foul linen.
- Well conceited, Davy: about thy business, Davy.
- I beseech you, sir, to countenance William Visor of Woncot
- against Clement Perkes of the hill.
- There is many complaints, Davy, against that Visor: that
- Visor is an arrant knave, on my knowledge.
- I grant your worship that he is a knave, sir; but yet, God forbid,
- sir, but a knave should have some countenance at his friend's request.
- An honest man, sir, is able to speak for himself, when a knave is not.
- I have served your worship truly, sir, this eight years; and if I cannot
- once or twice in a quarter bear out a knave against an honest man, I
- have but a very little credit with your worship.
- The knave is mine honest friend, sir; therefore, I beseech your worship,
- let him be countenanced.
- Go to; I say he shall have no wrong. Look about, Davy.
Where are you, Sir John? Come, come, come, off with your boots.
- Give me your hand, Master Bardolph.
- I am glad to see your worship.
- I thank thee with all my heart, kind Master Bardolph: and
- welcome, my tall fellow [to the Page]. Come, Sir John.
- I'll follow you, good Master Robert Shallow.
Bardolph, look to our horses.
[Exeunt Bardolph and Page.]
If I were sawed into quantities, I should make four dozen of such
- bearded hermits' staves as Master Shallow. It is a wonderful thing to
- see the semblable coherence of his men's spirits and his: they, by
- observing of him, do bear themselves like foolish justices: he, by
- conversing with them, is turned into a justice-like serving-man:
- their spirits are so married in conjunction with the participation of
- society that they flock together in consent, like so many wild-geese.
- If I had a suit to Master Shallow, I would humour his men with the
- imputation of being near their master: if to his men, I would curry
- with Master Shallow that no man could better command his servants.
- It is certain that either wise bearing or ignorant carriage is
- caught, as men take diseases, one of another: therefore let men take
- heed of their company. I will devise matter enough out of this Shallow
- to keep Prince Harry in continual laughter the wearing out of six
- fashions, which is four terms, or two actions; and a' shall laugh
- without intervallums.
- O, it is much that a lie with a slight oath and a jest with a sad brow
- will do with a fellow that never had the ache in his shoulders!
- O, you shall see him laugh till his face be like a wet cloak ill laid up!
- [Within.] Sir John!
- I come, Master Shallow; I come, Master Shallow.
SCENE II. Westminster. The palace.
[Enter Warwick and the Lord Chief-Justice, meeting.]
- How now, my lord chief-justice! whither away?
- How doth the king?
- Exceeding well; his cares are now all ended.
- I hope, not dead.
- He 's walk'd the way of nature;
- And to our purposes he lives no more.
- I would his Majesty had call'd me with him:
- The service that I truly did his life
- Hath left me open to all injuries.
- Indeed I think the young king loves you not.
- I know he doth not, and do arm myself
- To welcome the condition of the time,
- Which cannot look more hideously upon me
- Than I have drawn it in my fantasy.
[Enter Lancaster, Clarence, Gloucester, Westmoreland, and
- Here comes the heavy issue of dead Harry:
- O that the living Harry had the temper
- Of him, the worst of these three gentlemen!
- How many nobles then should hold their places,
- That must strike sail to spirits of vile sort!
- O God, I fear all will be overturn'd!
- Good morrow, cousin Warwick, good morrow.
GLOUCESTER & CLARENCE.
- Good morrow, cousin.
- We meet like men that had forgot to speak.
- We do remember; but our argument
- Is all too heavy to admit much talk.
- Well, peace be with him that hath made us heavy!
- Peace be with us, lest we be heavier!
- O, good my lord, you have lost a friend indeed;
- And I dare swear you borrow not that face
- Of seeming sorrow, it is sure your own.
- Though no man be assured what grace to find,
- You stand in coldest expectation:
- I am the sorrier; would 'twere otherwise.
- Well, you must now speak Sir John Falstaff fair;
- Which swims against your stream of quality.
- Sweet Princes, what I did, I did in honour,
- Led by the impartial conduct of my soul;
- And never shall you see that I will beg
- A ragged and forestall'd remission.
- If truth and upright innocency fail me,
- I'll to the king my master that is dead,
- And tell him who hath sent me after him.
- Here comes the prince.
[Enter King Henry the Fifth, attended.]
- Good morrow; and God save your majesty!
- This new and gorgeous garment, majesty,
- Sits not so easy on me as you think.
- Brothers, you mix your sadness with some fear:
- This is the English, not the Turkish court;
- Not Amurath an Amurath succeeds,
- But Harry Harry. Yet be sad, good brothers,
- For, by my faith, it very well becomes you:
- Sorrow so royally in you appears
- That I will deeply put the fashion on
- And wear it in my heart: why then, be sad;
- But entertain no more of it, good brothers,
- Than a joint burden laid upon us all.
- For me, by heaven, I bid you be assured,
- I'll be your father and your brother too;
- Let me but bear your love, I'll bear your cares:
- Yet weep that Harry 's dead, and so will I;
- But Harry lives, that shall convert those tears
- By number into hours of happiness.
- We hope no otherwise from your majesty.
- You all look strangely on me: and you most;
- You are, I think, assured I love you not.
- I am assured, if I be measured rightly,
- Your majesty hath no just cause to hate me.
- How might a prince of my great hopes forget
- So great indignities you laid upon me?
- What! rate, rebuke, and roughly send to prison
- The immediate heir of England! Was this easy?
- May this be wash'd in Lethe, and forgotten?
- I then did use the person of your father;
- The image of his power lay then in me;
- And, in the administration of his law,
- Whiles I was busy for the commonwealth,
- Your highness pleased to forget my place,
- The majesty and power of law and justice,
- The image of the king whom I presented,
- And struck me in my very seat of judgement;
- Whereon, as an offender to your father,
- I gave bold way to my authority
- And did commit you. If the deed were ill,
- Be you contented, wearing now the garland,
- To have a son set your decrees at nought,
- To pluck down justice from your awful bench,
- To trip the course of law and blunt the sword
- That guards the peace and safety of your person;
- Nay, more, to spurn at your most royal image,
- And mock your workings in a second body.
- Question your royal thoughts, make the case yours;
- Be now the father and propose a son,
- Hear your own dignity so much profaned,
- See your most dreadful laws so loosely slighted,
- Behold yourself so by a son disdain'd;
- And then imagine me taking your part
- And in your power soft silencing your son:
- After this cold considerance, sentence me;
- And, as you are a king, speak in your state
- What I have done that misbecame my place,
- My person, or my liege's sovereignty.
- You are right, justice, and you weigh this well;
- Therefore still bear the balance and the sword:
- And I do wish your honours may increase,
- Till you do live to see a son of mine
- Offend you and obey you, as I did.
- So shall I live to speak my father's words:
- "Happy am I, that have a man so bold,
- That dares do justice on my proper son;
- And not less happy, having such a son,
- That would deliver up his greatness so
- Into the hands of justice." You did commit me:
- For which I do commit into your hand
- The unstained sword that you have used to bear;
- With this remembrance, that you use the same
- With the like bold, just and impartial spirit
- As you have done 'gainst me. There is my hand.
- You shall be as a father to my youth:
- My voice shall sound as you do prompt mine ear,
- And I will stoop and humble my intents
- To your well-practised wise directions.
- And, princes all, believe me, I beseech you;
- My father is gone wild into his grave,
- For in his tomb lie my affections;
- And with his spirit sadly I survive,
- To mock the expectation of the world,
- To frustrate prophecies and to raze out
- Rotten opinion, who hath writ me down
- After my seeming. The tide of blood in me
- Hath proudly flow'd in vanity till now:
- Now doth it turn and ebb back to the sea,
- Where it shall mingle with the state of floods,
- And flow henceforth in formal majesty.
- Now call we our high court of parliament:
- And let us choose such limbs of noble counsel,
- That the great body of our state may go
- In equal rank with the best govern'd nation;
- That war, or peace, or both at once, may be
- As things acquainted and familiar to us;
- In which you, father, shall have foremost hand.
- Our coronation done, we will accite,
- As I before remember'd, all our state:
- And, God consigning to my good intents,
- No prince nor peer shall have just cause to say,
- God shorten Harry's happy life one day!
SCENE III. Gloucestershire. Shallow's orchard.
[Enter Falstaff, Shallow, Silence, Davy, Bardolph, and the Page.]
- Nay, you shall see my orchard, where, in an arbour, we will eat
- a last year's pippin of mine own graffing, with a dish of caraways,
- and so forth: come, cousin Silence: and then to bed.
- 'Fore God, you have here a goodly dwelling and a rich.
- Barren, barren, barren; beggars all, beggars all, Sir John:
- marry, good air. Spread, Davy; spread, Davy: well said, Davy.
- This Davy serves you for good uses; he is your serving-man
- and your husband.
- A good varlet, a good varlet, a very good varlet, Sir John:
- by the mass, I have drunk too much sack at supper: a good
- varlet. Now sit down, now sit down: come, cousin.
- Ah, sirrah! quoth-a, we shall
- Do nothing but eat, and make good cheer,
And praise God for the merry year;
- When flesh is cheap and females dear,
- And lusty lads roam here and there
- So merrily,
- And ever among so merrily.
- There's a merry heart! Good Master Silence, I'll give you
- a health for that anon.
- Give Master Bardolph some wine, Davy.
- Sweet sir, sit; I'll be with you anon; most sweet sir, sit.
- Master page, good master page, sit. Proface!
- What you want in meat, we'll have in drink:
- but you must bear; the heart 's all.
- Be merry, Master Bardolph; and, my little soldier there,
- be merry.
- Be merry, be merry, my wife has all;
For women are shrews, both short and tall;
- 'Tis merry in hall when beards wag all;
- And welcome merry Shrove-tide.
- Be merry, be merry.
- I did not think Master Silence had been a man of this mettle.
- Who, I? I have been merry twice and once ere now.
- There 's a dish of leather-coats for you. [To Bardolph.]
- Your worship! I'll be with you straight [To BARDOLPH.].
- A cup of wine, sir?
- A cup of wine that 's brisk and fine,
And drink unto the leman mine;
- And a merry heart lives long-a.
- Well said, Master Silence.
- An we shall be merry, now comes in the sweet o' the night.
- Health and long life to you, Master Silence!
- Fill the cup, and let it come,
I'll pledge you a mile to the bottom.
- Honest Bardolph, welcome: if thou wantest anything and
- wilt not call, beshrew thy heart. Welcome, my little tiny thief
- [to the Page],
- and welcome indeed too. I'll drink to Master Bardolph, and to all
- the cavaleros about London.
- I hope to see London once ere I die.
- An I might see you there, Davy,—
- By the mass, you'll crack a quart together, ha! will you not,
- Master Bardolph?
- Yea, sir, in a pottle-pot.
- By God's liggens, I thank thee: the knave will stick by thee, I
- can assure thee that. A' will not out; he is true bred.
- And I'll stick by him, sir.
- Why, there spoke a king. Lack nothing: be merry.
Look who 's at door there, ho! who knocks?
- Why, now you have done me right.
[To Silence, seeing him take off a bumper.]
- Do me right,
And dub me knight:
- Is't not so?
- 'Tis so.
- Is't so? Why then, say an old man can do somewhat.
- An't please your worship, there 's one Pistol come from the
- court with news.
- From the court? Let him come in.
How now, Pistol!
- Sir John, God save you!
- What wind blew you hither, Pistol?
- Not the ill wind which blows no man to good. Sweet knight,
- thou art now one of the greatest men in this realm.
- By'r lady, I think a' be, but goodman Puff of Barson.
- Puff in thy teeth, most recreant coward base!
- Sir John, I am thy Pistol and thy friend,
- And helter-skelter have I rode to thee,
- And tidings do I bring and lucky joys
- And golden times and happy news of price.
- I pray thee now, deliver them like a man of this world.
- A foutre for the world and worldlings base!
- I speak of Africa and golden joys.
- O base Assyrian knight, what is thy news?
- Let King Cophetua know the truth thereof.
- And Robin Hood, Scarlet, and John. [Singing.]
- Shall dunghill curs confront the Helicons?
- And shall good news be baffled?
- Then, Pistol, lay thy head in Furies' lap.
- Honest gentleman, I know not your breeding.
- Why then, lament therefore.
- Give me pardon, sir: if, sir, you come with news from the
- court, I take it there 's but two ways, either to utter them, or
- conceal them.
- I am, sir, under the king, in some authority.
- Under which king, Besonian? speak, or die.
- Under King Harry.
- Harry the Fourth? or Fifth?
- Harry the Fourth.
- A foutre for thine office!
- Sir John, thy tender lambkin now is king;
- Harry the Fifth's the man. I speak the truth.
- When Pistol lies, do this; and fig me, like
- The bragging Spaniard.
- What, is the old king dead?
- As nail in door: the things I speak are just.
- Away, Bardolph! saddle my horse. Master Robert Shallow,
- choose what office thou wilt in the land, 'tis thine. Pistol, I
- will double-charge thee with dignities.
- O joyful day!
- I would not take a knighthood for my fortune.
- What! I do bring good news.
- Carry Master Silence to bed. Master Shallow, my Lord Shallow,—
- be what thou wilt; I am fortune's steward—get on thy boots:
- we'll ride all night. O sweet Pistol! Away, Bardolph!
Come, Pistol, utter more to me; and withal devise something to do
- thyself good. Boot, boot, Master Shallow: I know the young king is
- sick for me. Let us take any man's horses; the laws of England are at
- my commandment. Blessed are they that have been my friends; and woe
- to my lord chief-justice!
- Let vultures vile seize on his lungs also!
- "Where is the life that late I led?" say they:
- Why, here it is; welcome these pleasant days!
SCENE IV. London. A street.
[Enter Beadles, dragging in Hostess Quickly and Doll Tearsheet.]
- No, thou arrant knave; I would to God that I might die,
- that I might have thee hanged: thou hast drawn my shoulder out
- of joint.
- The constables have delivered her over to me; and she shall have
- whipping-cheer enough, I warrant her: there hath been a man
- or two lately killed about her.
- Nut-hook, nut-hook, you lie. Come on; I'll tell thee what, thou
- damned tripe-visaged rascal, an the child I now go with do
- miscarry, thou wert better thou hadst struck thy mother, thou
- paper-faced villain.
- O the Lord, that Sir John were come! he would make this a
- bloody day to somebody. But I pray God the fruit of her womb
- If it do, you shall have a dozen of cushions again; you
- have but eleven now. Come, I charge you both go with me; for the
- man is dead that you and Pistol beat amongst you.
- I'll tell you what, you thin man in a censer, I will have you as
- soundly swinged for this,—you blue-bottle rogue, you filthy famished
- correctioner, if you be not swinged, I'll forswear half-kirtles.
- Come, come, you she knight-errant, come.
- O God, that right should thus overcome might! Well, of
- sufferance comes ease.
- Come, you rogue, come; bring me to a justice.
- Ay, come, you starved blood-hound.
- Goodman death, goodman bones!
- Thou atomy, thou!
- Come, you thin thing; come, you rascal!
- Very well.
SCENE V. A public place near Westminster Abbey.
[Enter two Grooms, strewing rushes.]
- More rushes, more rushes.
- The trumpets have sounded twice.
- 'Twill be two o'clock ere they come from the
- coronation: dispatch, dispatch.
[Enter Falstaff, Shallow, Pistol, Bardolph, and Page.]
- Stand here by me, Master Robert Shallow; I will make the
- king do you grace: I will leer upon him as a' comes by; and do
- but mark the countenance that he will give me.
- God bless thy lungs, good knight!
- Come here, Pistol; stand behind me. O, if I had had to have
- made new liveries, I would have bestowed the thousand pound I
- borrowed of you. But 'tis no matter; this poor show doth better:
- this doth infer the zeal I had to see him.
- It doth so.
- It shows my earnestness of affection,—
- It doth so.
- My devotion,—
- It doth, it doth, it doth.
- As it were, to ride day and night; and not to deliberate, not to
- remember, not to have patience to shift me,—
- It is best, certain.
- But to stand stained with travel, and sweating with desire to
- see him; thinking of nothing else, putting all affairs else in
- oblivion, as if there were nothing else to be done but to see him.
- 'Tis "semper idem," for "obsque hoc nihil est:" 'tis all in
- every part.
- 'Tis so, indeed.
- My knight, I will inflame thy noble liver,
- And make thee rage.
- Thy Doll, and Helen of thy noble thoughts,
- Is in base durance and contagious prison;
- Haled thither
- By most mechanical and dirty hand:
- Rouse up revenge from ebon den with fell Alecto's snake,
- For Doll is in. Pistol speaks nought but truth.
- I will deliver her.
[Shouts, within, and the trumpets sound.]
- There roar'd the sea, and trumpet-clangor sounds.
[Enter the King and his train, the Lord Chief-Justice among
- God save thy grace, King Hal; my royal Hal!
- The heavens thee guard and keep, most royal imp of fame!
- God save thee, my sweet boy!
- My lord chief-justice, speak to that vain man.
- Have you your wits? know you what 'tis you speak?
- My king! my Jove! I speak to thee, my heart!
- I know thee not, old man: fall to thy prayers;
- How ill white hairs become a fool and jester!
- I have long dream'd of such a kind of man,
- So surfeit-swell'd, so old, and so profane;
- But, being awaked, I do despise my dream.
- Make less thy body hence, and more thy grace;
- Leave gormandizing; know the grave doth gape
- For thee thrice wider than for other men.
- Reply not to me with a fool-born jest:
- Presume not that I am the thing I was;
- For God doth know, so shall the world perceive,
- That I have turn'd away my former self;
- So will I those that kept me company.
- When thou dost hear I am as I have been,
- Approach me, and thou shalt be as thou wast,
- The tutor and the feeder of my riots:
- Till then, I banish thee, on pain of death,
- As I have done the rest of my misleaders,
- Not to come near our person by ten mile.
- For competence of life I will allow you,
- That lack of means enforce you not to evils:
- And, as we hear you do reform yourselves,
- We will, according to your strengths and qualities,
- Give you advancement. Be it your charge, my lord,
- To see perform'd the tenour of our word.
- Set on.
[Exeunt King, &c.]
- Master Shallow, I owe you a thousand pounds.
- Yea, marry, Sir John; which I beseech you to let me have
- home with me.
- That can hardly be, Master Shallow. Do not you grieve at this;
- I shall be sent for in private to him: look you, he must seem
- thus to the world: fear not your advancements; I will be the man yet
- that shall make you great.
- I cannot perceive how, unless you give me your doublet
- and stuff me out with straw. I beseech you, good Sir John, let me
- have five hundred of my thousand.
- Sir, I will be as good as my word: this that you heard was
- but a colour.
- A colour that I fear you will die in, Sir John.
- Fear no colours: go with me to dinner: come, Lieutenant
- Pistol; come, Bardolph: I shall be sent for soon at night.
[Re-enter Prince John, the Lord Chief-Justice; Officers with them.]
- Go, carry Sir John Falstaff to the Fleet:
- Take all his company along with him.
- My lord, my lord,—
- I cannot now speak: I will hear you soon.
- Take them away.
- Si fortuna me tormenta, spero me contenta.
[Exeunt all but Prince John and the Lord Chief-Justice.]
- I like this fair proceeding of the king's:
- He hath intent his wonted followers
- Shall all be very well provided for;
- But all are banish'd till their conversations
- Appear more wise and modest to the world.
- And so they are.
- The king hath call'd his parliament, my lord.
- He hath.
- I will lay odds that, ere this year expire,
- We bear our civil swords and native fire
- As far as France: I heard a bird so sing,
- Whose music, to my thinking, pleased the king.
- Come, will you hence?
Spoken by a Dancer.
- First my fear; then my courtesy; last my speech. My fear is, your
- displeasure; my courtesy, my duty; and my speech, to beg your
- pardons. If you look for a good speech now, you undo me: for
- what I have to say is of mine own making; and what indeed I
- should say will, I doubt, prove mine own marring. But to the
- purpose, and so to the venture. Be it known to you, as it is very
- well, I was lately here in the end of a displeasing play, to pray
- your patience for it and to promise you a better. I meant indeed to
- pay you with this; which, if like an ill venture it come unluckily
- home, I break, and you, my gentle creditors, lose. Here I promised
- you I would be and here I commit my body to your mercies: bate me
- some and I will pay you some and, as most debtors do, promise you
- If my tongue cannot entreat you to acquit me, will you command me to
- use my legs? and yet that were but light payment, to dance out of
- your debt. But a good conscience will make any possible satisfaction,
- and so would I. All the gentlewomen here have forgiven me: if the
- gentlemen will not, then the gentlemen do not agree with the
- gentlewomen, which was never seen before in such an assembly.
- One word more, I beseech you. If you be not too much cloy'd with fat
- meat, our humble author will continue the story, with Sir John in it,
- and make you merry with fair Katharine of France: where, for any
- thing I know, Falstaff shall die of a sweat, unless already a' be
- killed with your hard opinions; for Oldcastle died a martyr, and this
- is not the man.
- My tongue is weary; when my legs are too, I will bid you good night:
- and so kneel down before you; but, indeed, to pray for the queen.