Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Rosemary Gaby
Peer Reviewed

Henry IV, Part 1 (Modern)


[3.3]
Enter Falstaff and Bardolph.
Falstaff Bardolph, am I not fallen away vilely since this last action? 2005Do I not bate? Do I not dwindle? Why, my skin hangs about me like an old lady's loose gown. I am withered like an old apple-john. Well, I'll repent, and that suddenly, while I am in some liking. I shall be out of heart shortly, and then I shall have no strength to repent. An I have not forgotten what the inside of a church is made of, I am a peppercorn, a brewer's horse. The inside of a church! Company, villainous company, hath been the spoil of me.
Bardolph Sir John, you are so fretful you cannot live long.
Falstaff Why, there is it. Come, sing me a bawdy song, make me merry. I was as virtuously given as a gentleman need to be, virtuous enough: swore little, diced not above seven times -- a week, went to a bawdy-house not above once in a quarter -- of an hour, 2020paid money that I borrowed -- three or four times, lived well, and in good compass. And now I live out of all order, out of all compass.
Bardolph Why, you are so fat, Sir John, that you must needs be out 2025of all compass, out of all reasonable compass, Sir John.
Falstaff Do thou amend thy face, and I'll amend my life. Thou art our admiral, thou bearest the lantern in the poop -- but 'tis in the nose of thee. Thou art the Knight of the Burning Lamp.
Bardolph Why, Sir John, my face does you no harm.
Falstaff No, I'll be sworn; I make as good use of it as many a man doth of a death's head, or a memento mori. I never see thy face but I think upon hell-fire and Dives that lived in purple -- for 2035there he is in his robes, burning, burning. If thou wert any way given to virtue, I would swear by thy face; my oath should be "By this fire that's god's angel!" But thou art altogether given over, and wert indeed, but for the light in thy face, the son of utter darkness. When thou rannest up Gad's Hill in the night to catch my horse, if I did not think thou hadst been an ignis fatuus or a ball of wildfire, there's no purchase in money. Oh, thou art a perpetual triumph, an everlasting bonfire-light! Thou hast saved me a thousand marks in links and torches, walking 2045with thee in the night betwixt tavern and tavern -- but the sack that thou hast drunk me would have bought me lights as good cheap at the dearest chandler's in Europe. I have maintained that salamander of yours with fire any time this two-and-thirty 2050years, god reward me for it.
Bardolph 'Sblood, I would my face were in your belly!
Falstaff God-a-mercy! So should I be sure to be heartburnt.
Enter Hostess.
How now, Dame Partlet the hen, have you enquired 2055yet who picked my pocket?
Hostess Why, Sir John, what do you think, Sir John? Do you think I keep thieves in my house? I have searched, I have enquired; so has my husband, man by man, boy by boy, servant by servant. The tithe of a hair was never lost in my house before.
Falstaff Ye lie, hostess: Bardolph was shaved and lost many a hair, and I'll be sworn my pocket was picked. Go to, you are a woman, go.
Hostess Who, I? No, I defy thee! God's light, I was never called so in 2065mine own house before.
Falstaff Go to, I know you well enough.
Hostess No, Sir John, you do not know me, Sir John; I know you, Sir John. You owe me money, Sir John, and now you pick a quarrel to beguile me of it. I bought you a dozen of shirts to your 2070back.
Falstaff Dowlas, filthy dowlas. I have given them away to bakers' wives; they have made bolters of them.
Hostess Now as I am a true woman, holland of eight shillings an ell. You 2075owe money here besides, Sir John: for your diet, and by-drinkings, and money lent you, four-and-twenty pound.
Falstaff [Indicating Bardolph.] He had his part of it, let him pay.
Hostess He? Alas he is poor, he hath nothing.
Falstaff How, poor? Look upon his face. What call you rich? Let them coin his nose, let them coin his cheeks, I'll not pay a denier. What, will you make a younker of me? Shall I not take mine ease in mine inn, but I shall have my pocket picked? I have 2085lost a seal-ring of my grandfather's worth forty mark.
Hostess [To Bardolph] O Jesu, I have heard the prince tell him, I know not how oft, that that ring was copper.
Falstaff How? The prince is a Jack, a sneak-up. 'Sblood, an he 2090were here I would cudgel him like a dog if he would say so.
Enter the prince [with Peto] marching, and Falstaff meets him playing upon his truncheon like a fife.
2095Falstaff How now, lad, is the wind in that door, i'faith? Must we all march?
Bardolph Yea, two and two, Newgate fashion.
Hostess My lord, I pray you hear me.
Prince What sayst thou, Mistress Quickly? How doth thy husband? 2100I love him well, he is an honest man.
Hostess Good my lord, hear me!
Falstaff Prithee, let her alone, and list to me.
Prince What sayst thou, Jack?
2105Falstaff The other night I fell asleep here behind the arras, and had my pocket picked. This house is turned bawdy-house: they pick pockets.
Prince What didst thou lose, Jack?
Falstaff Wilt thou believe me, Hal, three or four bonds of forty 2110pound apiece, and a seal-ring of my grandfather's.
Prince A trifle, some eightpenny matter.
Hostess So I told him, my lord; and I said I heard your grace say so; and, my lord, he speaks most vilely of you, like a foul-mouthed 2115man as he is, and said he would cudgel you.
Prince What? He did not!
Hostess There's neither faith, truth, nor womanhood in me else.
2120Falstaff There's no more faith in thee than in a stewed prune, nor no more truth in thee than in a drawn fox; and, for womanhood, Maid Marian may be the deputy's wife of the ward to thee. Go, you thing, go!
Hostess Say, what thing, what thing?
2125Falstaff What thing? Why, a thing to thank god on.
Hostess I am no thing to thank god on. I would thou shouldst know it, I am an honest man's wife; and setting thy knighthood aside, thou art a knave to call me so.
Falstaff Setting thy womanhood aside, thou art a beast to say 2130otherwise.
Hostess Say, what beast, thou knave, thou?
Falstaff What beast? Why an otter.
Prince An otter, Sir John? Why an otter?
Falstaff Why? She's neither fish nor flesh, a man knows not 2135where to have her.
Hostess Thou art an unjust man in saying so. Thou or any man knows where to have me, thou knave, thou.
Prince Thou sayst true, hostess, and he slanders thee most grossly.
2140Hostess So he doth you my lord, and said this other day you owed him a thousand pound.
Prince Sirrah, do I owe you a thousand pound?
Falstaff A thousand pound, Hal? A million! Thy love is worth a million; thou owest me thy love.
2145Hostess Nay, my lord, he called you Jack, and said he would cudgel you.
Falstaff Did I, Bardolph?
Bardolph Indeed, Sir John, you said so.
Falstaff Yea, if he said my ring was copper.
2150Prince I say 'tis copper, darest thou be as good as thy word now?
Falstaff Why, Hal, thou knowest as thou art but man I dare, but as thou art prince, I fear thee as I fear the roaring of the lion's whelp.
2155Prince And why not as the lion?
Falstaff The king himself is to be feared as the lion. Dost thou think I'll fear thee as I fear thy father? Nay, an I do, I pray god my girdle break.
Prince Oh, if it should, how would thy guts fall about thy 2160knees! But sirrah, there's no room for faith, truth, nor honesty in this bosom of thine; it is all filled up with guts and midriff. Charge an honest woman with picking thy pocket? Why, thou whoreson, impudent, embossed rascal, if there were anything in thy pocket but tavern reckonings, memorandums of 2165bawdy-houses, and one poor pennyworth of sugar-candy to make thee long-winded -- if thy pocket were enriched with any other injuries but these, I am a villain. And yet you will stand to it, you will not pocket up wrong. Art thou not ashamed?
Falstaff Dost thou hear, Hal? Thou knowest in the state of innocency Adam fell, and what should poor Jack Falstaff do in the days of villainy? Thou seest I have more flesh than another man, and therefore more frailty. You confess, then, you picked my pocket?
Prince It appears so by the story.
Falstaff Hostess, I forgive thee. Go make ready breakfast. Love thy husband, look to thy servants, cherish thy guests. Thou shalt 2180find me tractable to any honest reason; thou seest I am pacified still. Nay, prithee, be gone.
Exit Hostess.
Now, Hal, to the news at court. For the robbery, lad, how is that 2185answered?
Prince Oh, my sweet beef, I must still be good angel to thee. The money is paid back again.
Falstaff Oh, I do not like that paying back; 'tis a double labor.
Prince I am good friends with my father and may do anything.
Falstaff Rob me the exchequer the first thing thou dost, and do it with unwashed hands too.
2195Bardolph Do, my lord.
Prince I have procured thee, Jack, a charge of foot.
Falstaff I would it had been of horse! Where shall I find one that can steal well? Oh, for a fine thief of the age of two-and-twenty or thereabouts! I am heinously unprovided. Well, god be thanked for 2200these rebels: they offend none but the virtuous. I laud them, I praise them.
Prince Bardolph!
Bardolph My lord?
Prince [Giving letters] Go bear this letter to Lord John of Lancaster,
2205To my brother John; this to my lord of Westmorland.
[Exit Bardolph.]
Go, Peto, to horse, to horse, for thou and I
Have thirty miles to ride yet ere dinner time.
[Exit Peto.]
Jack, meet me tomorrow in the Temple Hall
At two o'clock in the afternoon.
2210There shalt thou know thy charge, and there receive
Money and order for their furniture.
The land is burning, Percy stands on high,
And either we or they must lower lie.
[Exit Prince.]
Falstaff Rare words! Brave world! Hostess, my breakfast, come!
Oh, I could wish this tavern were my drum!
[Exit.]