Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Rosemary Gaby
Not Peer Reviewed

Henry IV, Part 2 (Modern).


[4.2]
2235
Alarum. Enter Falstaff [and Coleville].
Falstaff What's your name sir? Of what condition are you, and of what place?
Coleville I am a knight sir, and my name is Coleville of the Dale.
2240Falstaff Well then, Coleville is your name, a knight is your degree, and your place the Dale. Coleville shall be still your name, a traitor your degree, and the dungeon your place -- a place deep enough, so shall you be still Coleville of the Dale.
2245Coleville Are not you Sir John Falstaff?
Falstaff As good a man as he sir, who ere 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.
Coleville I think you are Sir John Falstaff, and in that thought yield me.
Falstaff 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 2255name. 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], Westmorland, [soldiers, and attendants].
2260Lancaster The heat is past; follow no further now.
Call in the powers, good cousin Westmorland.
[Exit Westmorland.]
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,
2265One time or other break some gallow's back.
Falstaff I would be sorry my lord, but it should be thus. I never knew yet but rebuke and check was the reward of valor. Do you think me a swallow, an arrow, or a bullet? Have I in my poor and old motion the expedition of thought? I 2270have speeded hither with the very extremest inch of possibility; I have foundered ninescore and odd posts, and here, travel-tainted as I am, have in my pure and immaculate valor taken Sir John Coleville of the Dale, a most furious knight and 2275valorous enemy. But what of that? He saw me, and yielded, that I may justly say with the hook-nosed fellow of Rome, "there cousin, I came, saw, and overcame."
Lancaster It was more of his courtesy than your deserving.
2280Falstaff 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 -- Coleville kissing my foot. To the which course, if I be enforced, if you do not all 2285show 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 pin's heads to her, believe not the word of the noble. Therefore let me have right, 2290and let desert mount.
Lancaster Thine's too heavy to mount.
Falstaff Let it shine then.
Lancaster Thine's too thick to shine.
Falstaff Let it do something, my good lord, that may do me 2295good, and call it what you will.
Lancaster Is thy name Coleville?
Coleville It is my lord.
Lancaster A famous rebel art thou, Coleville.
Falstaff And a famous true subject took him.
2300Coleville 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.
Falstaff I know not how they sold themselves, but thou, like a kind fellow, gavest thyself away gratis, and I thank thee for 2305thee.
Enter Westmorland.
Lancaster Now, have you left pursuit?
Westmorland Retreat is made, and execution stayed.
Lancaster Send Coleville with his confederates
2310To York, to present execution.
Blunt, lead him hence, and see you guard him sure.
[Exit Blunt with Coleville under guard.]
And now dispatch we toward the court my lords.
I hear the king my father is sore sick.
2315Our news shall go before us to his majesty,
Which, cousin, you shall bear to comfort him,
And we with sober speed will follow you.
Falstaff My lord, I beseech you give me leave to go through Gloucestershire, and when you come to court, stand my good lord 2320in your good report.
Lancaster
Fare you well, Falstaff. I in my condition
Shall better speak of you than you deserve.
[Exeunt all but Falstaff.]
Falstaff I would you had the wit; 'twere better than your dukedom. Good faith, this same young sober-blooded boy doth not 2325love 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 2330of 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 twofold operation in it: it ascends me into the brain, dries me there all the foolish and dull and cruddy vapors 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 2340warming 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, 2345as 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 2350valor comes of sherris. So that skill in the weapon is nothing without sack, for that sets it awork; 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 2355father he hath, like lean, sterile and bare land, manured, husbanded and tilled with excellent endeavor 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 human 2360principle I would teach them should be to forswear thin potations, and to addict themselves to sack.
2361.1Enter Bardolph. How now Bardolph?
Bardolph The army is dischargèd all and gone.
Falstaff Let them go. I'll through Gloucestershire and there will 2365I 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.
[Exeunt.]