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  • Title: Henry IV, Part 2 (Modern)
  • Editor: Rosemary Gaby

  • Copyright Rosemary Gaby. This text may be freely used for educational, non-profit purposes; for all other uses contact the Editor.
    Author: William Shakespeare
    Editor: Rosemary Gaby
    Not Peer Reviewed

    Henry IV, Part 2 (Modern)

    Enter Hostess of the Tavern, and an Officer, [Fang, followed by yeoman Snare].
    Hostess Master Fang, have you entered the action?
    Fang It is entered.
    Hostess Where's your yeoman? Is't a lusty yeoman? Will 'a stand to't?
    620Fang Sirrah! -- Where's Snare?
    Hostess O lord, ay, good master Snare.
    Snare Here, here.
    Fang Snare, we must arrest Sir John Falstaff.
    Hostess Yea good Master Snare, I have entered him and all.
    625Snare It may chance cost some of us our lives, for he will 625stab.
    Hostess Alas the day, take heed of him: he stabbed me in mine own house, most beastly, in good faith. 'A cares not what mischief he does, if his weapon be out, he will foin like any devil, he will spare neither man, woman, nor child.
    Fang If I can close with him, I care not for his thrust.
    Hostess No, nor I neither, I'll be at your elbow.
    Fang An I but fist him once, an 'a come but within my view --
    635Hostess 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 continually to Pie Corner (saving your manhoods) to buy a saddle, and he is indited to dinner to the Lubber's Head in Lombard Street to 640Master Smooth's, the silk man. I pray you, 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 born, and born, and born, and have been fubbed off, and fubbed off, and fubbed off, from 645this day to that day, that it is a shame to be thought on. There is no honesty in such dealing, unless a woman should be made an ass and a beast, to bear every knave's wrong. Yonder he comes, and that errant malmsey-nose knave, Bardolph, with him. 650Do your offices, do your offices, Master Fang and Master Snare, do me, do me, do me your offices.
    Enter Sir John [Falstaff], and Bardolph, and the boy.
    Falstaff How now, whose mare's dead? What's the matter?
    Fang I arrest you at the suit of Mistress Quickly.
    Falstaff Away varlets! Draw Bardolph, cut me off the villain's 655head, throw the quean in the channel.
    Hostess Throw me in the channel? I'll throw thee in the channel! Wilt thou, wilt thou, thou bastardly rogue? Murder murder! Ah, thou honeysuckle villain, wilt thou kill god's officers and the king's? Ah, thou honeyseed rogue, thou art a honeyseed, a 660man-queller, and a woman-queller.
    Falstaff Keep them off, Bardolph.
    661.1Officers A rescue, a rescue!
    Hostess Good people, bring a rescue or two. Thou wot, wot thou, thou wot, wot ta? Do, do, thou rogue, do, thou hempseed!
    Page Away, you scullian, you rampallian, you fustilarian, I'll 665tickle your catastrophe!
    Enter Lord Chief Justice and his men.
    Justice What is the matter? Keep the peace here, ho!
    Hostess Good my lord be good to me. I beseech you stand to me.
    Justice How now Sir John? What, are you brawling here? 670Doth this become your place, your time, and business? You should have been well on your way to York. Stand from him fellow; wherefore hang'st thou upon him?
    Hostess O my most worshipful lord, an't please your grace, I am a poor widow of Eastcheap, and he is arrested at my 675suit.
    675Justice For what sum?
    Hostess It is more than for some, my lord, it is for all I have. He hath eaten me out of house and home. He hath put all my substance into that fat belly of his; [To Falstaff] but I will have some of it out again, or I will ride thee a-nights like the mare.
    Falstaff I think I am as like to ride the mare, if I have any vantage of ground to get up.
    Justice How comes this Sir John? What man of good temper would endure this tempest of exclamation? Are you not 685ashamed to enforce a poor widow to so rough a course to come by her own?
    Falstaff [To the Hostess] What is the gross sum that I owe thee?
    Hostess Marry, if thou wert an honest man, thyself and the money too. Thou didst swear to me upon a parcel-gilt goblet, 690sitting 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 695it? Did not goodwife Keech the butcher's wife come in then and call me gossip Quickly, coming in to borrow a mess of vinegar, telling us she had a good dish of prawns, whereby thou didst desire to eat some, whereby I told thee they were ill for a green wound? And didst thou not, when she was gone 700downstairs, 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.
    705Falstaff 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.
    710Justice 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, practiced upon the 715easy-yielding spirit of this woman, and made her serve your 715.1uses both in purse and in person.
    Hostess Yea, in truth, my lord.
    Justice Pray thee, peace. Pay her the debt you owe her, and unpay the villainy you have done with her: the one you may do with sterling money, and the other with current repentance.
    720Falstaff My lord I will not undergo this sneap without reply. You call honorable boldness, impudent sauciness; if a man will make curtsy 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 725hasty employment in the king's affairs.
    Justice You speak as having power to do wrong; but answer in th'effect of your reputation, and satisfy the poor woman.
    Falstaff Come hither, hostess.
    [Takes her aside.]
    Enter [Master Gower.]
    730Justice Now master Gower, what news?
    Gower The king, my lord, and Harry Prince of Wales,
    Are near at hand, the rest the paper tells.
    Falstaff As I am a gentleman!
    733.1Hostess Faith, you said so before.
    735Falstaff As I am a gentleman. Come, no more words of it.
    Hostess By this heavenly ground I tread on, I must be fain to pawn both my plate and the tapestry of my dining chambers.
    Falstaff Glasses, glasses is the only drinking, and for thy walls, 740a pretty slight drollery, or the story of the prodigal, or the German hunting in waterwork is worth a thousand of these bed-hangers and these fly-bitten tapestries. Let it be ten pounds if thou canst. Come, and 'twere not for thy humors, there's not a better 745wench in England. Go wash thy face and draw the action. Come, thou must not be in this humor with me, dost not know me? Come, come, I know thou wast set on to this.
    Hostess Pray thee, Sir John, let it be but twenty nobles, i'faith I am loath to pawn my plate so god save me, la.
    750Falstaff Let it alone, I'll make other shift. You'll be a fool still.
    Hostess Well, you shall have it, though I pawn my gown. I hope you'll come to supper. You'll pay me all together?
    755Falstaff Will I live? [To Bardolph] Go with her, with her, hook on, hook on.
    Hostess Will you have Doll Tearsheet meet you at supper?
    Falstaff No more words, let's have her.
    Exit Hostess, [with officers, Bardolph, and Page].
    760Justice [To Gower] I have heard better news.
    Falstaff What's the news my lord?
    Justice [To Gower] Where lay the king tonight?
    [Gower] At Basingstoke, my lord.
    Falstaff I hope, my lord, all's well. What is the news, my lord?
    Justice [To Gower] Come all his forces back?
    [Gower] No, fifteen hundred foot, five hundred horse
    Are marched up to my lord of Lancaster,
    Against Northumberland and the Archbishop.
    770Falstaff Comes the king back from Wales, my noble lord?
    Justice You shall have letters of me presently.
    Come, go along with me, good Master Gower.
    Falstaff My lord!
    Justice Whats the matter?
    775Falstaff Master Gower, shall I entreat you with me to dinner?
    Gower I must wait upon my good lord here, I thank you, good Sir John.
    Justice Sir John, you loiter here too long, 780being you are to take soldiers up 780in counties as you go.
    Falstaff Will you sup with me, Master Gower?
    Justice What foolish master taught you these manners, Sir John?
    Falstaff Master Gower, if they become me not, he was a 785fool that taught them me. [To Justice] This is the right fencing grace, my lord, tap for tap, and so part fair.
    Justice Now the lord lighten thee, thou art a great fool.