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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    Not Peer Reviewed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)

    The Second Part of Henry the Fourth, Continuing to his Death, and Coronation of Henry the Fifth.
    Enter Rumor painted full of tongues.
    Open your ears; for which of you will stop
    5The vent of hearing, when loud Rumor speaks?
    I from the orient to the drooping west
    (Making the wind my post-horse) still unfold
    The acts commencèd on this ball of earth.
    Upon my tongues continual slanders ride,
    10The which in every language I pronounce,
    Stuffing the ears of men with false reports.
    I speak of peace while covert enmity
    Under the smile of safety wounds the world;
    And who but Rumor, who but only I,
    15Make fearful musters, and prepared defense,
    Whiles the big year, swoll'n with some other grief,
    Is thought with child by the stern tyrant war,
    And no such matter? Rumor is a pipe,
    Blown by surmises, jealousy's conjectures,
    20And of so easy, and so plain a stop,
    That the blunt monster, with uncounted heads,
    The still discordant wav'ring multitude,
    Can play upon it. But what need I thus
    My well-known body to anatomize
    25Among my household? Why is Rumor 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,
    30Even 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
    35Stooped his annointed head as low as death.
    This have I rumored through the peasant towns
    Between that royal field of Shrewsbury
    And this worm-eaten hold of ragged stone,
    Where Hotspur's father, old Northumberland,
    40Lies crafty sick, the posts come tiring on,
    And not a man of them brings other news
    Than they have learned of me. From Rumor's tongues
    They bring smooth comforts false, worse than true wrongs.
    Exit Rumor.
    Enter the Lord Bardolph at one door [and the Porter at another].
    Lord Bardolph
    Who keeps the gate here, ho? Where is the earl?
    What shall I say you are?
    50Lord Bardolph
    Tell thou the earl,
    That the Lord Bardolph doth attend him here.
    His lordship is walked forth into the orchard,
    Please it your honor knock but at the gate
    And he himself will answer.
    Enter the Earl Northumberland.
    Lord Bardolph
    Here comes the earl.
    [Exit Porter.]
    What news Lord Bardolph? Every minute now
    Should be the father of some stratagem.
    The times are wild; contention like a horse,
    60Full of high feeding, madly hath broke loose,
    And bears down all before him.
    Lord Bardolph
    Noble earl,
    I bring you certain news from Shrewsbury.
    Good, an god will.
    65Lord Bardolph
    As good as heart can wish:
    The king is almost wounded to the death,
    And, in the fortune of my lord your son,
    Prince Harry slain outright, and both the Blunts
    Killed by the hand of Douglas. Young Prince John,
    70And Westmorland 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 followed, and so fairly won,
    Came not till now to dignify the times
    75Since Caesar's fortunes.
    How is this derived?
    Saw you the field? Came you from Shrewsbury?
    Lord Bardolph
    I spake with one, my lord, that came from thence,
    Enter Travers.
    A gentleman well bred, and of good name,
    80That freely rendered me these news for true.
    Here comes my servant Travers who I sent
    On Tuesday last to listen after news.
    Lord Bardolph
    My lord, I over-rode him on the way,
    85And he is furnished with no certainties,
    More than he haply may retail from me.
    Now Travers, what good tidings comes with you?
    My lord, Sir John Umfrevile turned me back
    With joyful tidings, and, being better horsed,
    90Out-rode me. After him came spurring hard
    A gentleman, almost forespent with speed,
    That stopped by me to breathe his bloodied horse.
    He asked the way to Chester, and of him
    I did demand what news from Shrewsbury.
    95He 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 armèd heels
    Against the panting sides of his poor jade
    100Up to the rowel head, and starting so,
    He seemed in running to devour the way,
    Staying no longer question.
    Northumberland Ha? Again:
    Said he young Harry Percy's spur was cold?
    105Of Hotspur, Coldspur? That rebellion
    Had met ill luck?
    Lord Bardolph
    My lord, I'll tell you what:
    If my young lord your son have not the day,
    Upon mine honor, for a silken point
    110I'll give my barony, never talk of it.
    Why should that gentleman that rode by Travers
    Give then such instances of loss?
    Lord Bardolph
    Who he?
    He was some hilding fellow that had stol'n
    115The horse he rode on, and upon my life
    Spoke at a venture. Look, here comes more news.
    Enter Morton.
    Yea this man's brow, like to a title leaf,
    Foretells the nature of a tragic volume,
    120So looks the strand whereon the imperious flood
    Hath left a witnessed usurpation.
    Say, Morton, didst thou come from Shrewsbury?
    I ran from Shrewsbury, my noble lord,
    Where hateful death put on his ugliest mask
    125To 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,
    130So dull, so dead 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.
    135This 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,
    140Ending 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!
    145He that but fears the thing he would not know
    Hath by instinct knowledge from others' eyes
    That what he feared is chanced. Yet speak, Morton,
    Tell thou an Earl his divination lies,
    And I will take it as a sweet disgrace,
    150And 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:
    155Thou shak'st thy head, and holdst it fear, or sin,
    To speak a truth. If he be slain,
    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.
    160Yet the first bringer of unwelcome news
    Hath but a losing office, and his tongue
    Sounds ever after as a sullen bell
    Remembered tolling a departing friend.
    Lord Bardolph
    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 out-breathed,
    To Harry Monmouth, whose swift wrath beat down
    170The 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
    175From the best-tempered courage in his troops.
    For from his metal was his party steeled,
    Which once in him abated, all the rest
    Turned on themselves, like dull and heavy lead.
    And as the thing that's heavy in itself
    180Upon 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,
    185Fly from the field. Then was that noble Worcester
    So soon ta'en prisoner, and that furious Scot,
    The bloody Douglas, whose well-laboring sword
    Had three times slain th'appearance of the king,
    Gan vail his stomach, and did grace the shame
    190Of those that turned 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
    195And Westmorland. 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.
    200And as the wretch whose fever-weakened 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,
    Weakened with grief, being now enraged with grief,
    205Are thrice themselves. Hence therefore thou nice crutch!
    A scaly gauntlet now with joints of steel
    Must glove this hand. And hence thou sickly coif!
    Thou art a guard too wanton for the head
    Which princes fleshed with conquest aim to hit.
    210Now bind my brows with iron, and approach
    The ragged'st hour that time and spite dare bring
    To frown upon th'enraged Northumberland!
    Let heaven kiss earth, now let not nature's hand
    Keep the wild flood confined. Let order die,
    215And let this world no longer be a stage,
    To feed contention in a ling'ring 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,
    220And darkness be the burier of the dead.
    This strainèd passion doth you wrong, my lord.
    Lord Bardolph
    Sweet earl, divorce not wisdom from your honor.
    The lives of all your loving complices
    Lean on your health, the which, if you give o'er
    To stormy passion, must perforce decay.
    225You cast th'event of war, my noble lord,
    And summed 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
    230More 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,
    235Though strongly apprehended, could restrain
    The stiff-borne action. What hath then befall'n?
    Or what hath this bold enterprise brought forth,
    More than that being, which was like to be?
    Lord Bardolph
    We all that are engagèd to this loss
    240Knew 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 feared,
    And since we are o'erset, venture again.
    245Come, we will all 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
    250Who 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,
    255And they did fight with queasiness, constrained,
    As men drink potions, that their weapons only
    Seemed 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
    260Turns insurrection to religion.
    Supposed sincere and holy in his thoughts,
    He's followed both with body and with mind,
    And doth enlarge his rising with the blood
    Of fair King Richard scraped from Pomfret stones,
    265Derives 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,
    270This 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.
    Enter Sir John [Falstaff] alone, with his page bearing his sword276.1 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 more diseases than 280he 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 anything that intends to laughter, more then I invent, or is invented on me. I am not only witty in myself, but the cause that wit is 285in 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 290be 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 fledge. I will sooner have a beard grow 295in the palm of my hand, than he shall get one off 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 300of 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 Dommelton 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 bond and yours; he liked not the security.
    Let him be damned like the glutton! Pray god his tongue be hotter! A whoreson Achitophel, a rascal, yea forsooth, 310knave: to bear a gentleman in hand, and then stand upon security? The whoreson smoothy-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 315mouth 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 320shines through it and yet cannot he see, though he have his own lantern to light him. Where's Bardolph?
    He's gone in Smithfield to buy your worship a horse.
    I bought him in Pauls, 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 Lord Chief Justice [and Servant].
    Sir, here comes the noble man that committed the prince 330for striking him about Bardolph.
    Wait close, I will not see him.
    [To the Servant] 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.
    [To the Servant] 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 350make 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 360grows to me? If thou get'st any leave of me, hang me. If thou tak'st 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, have yet some smack of an ague in you, some relish of the saltness of time in you, and I most humbly beseech your lordship to have a reverent 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 375returned 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 fallen into this same whoreson apoplexy.
    Well, god mend him! I pray you, let me speak with you.
    This apoplexy, as I take it, is 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 385perturbation 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 390the 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. 395Your 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 400your 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 slender.
    You have misled the youthful prince.
    The young prince hath misled me, I am the fellow with 410the 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 th'unquiet time for your quiet o'erposting 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, 420my 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 425ill 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 costermongers' times, that true valor 430is turned bearherd, pregnancy is made a tapster, and 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 435are young. You do measure the heat of our livers with the bitterness of your galls; and we that are in the vanguard 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 440you 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 your self 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 hallooing 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 450the 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, 455and 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. I hear you are 460going 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 465shirts out with me, and I mean not to sweat extraordinarily. If it be a hot day and I brandish anything 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 always yet the trick of our English nation, 469.1if 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 469.5to 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 475bear crosses. Fare you well. Commend me to my cousin Westmorland.
    [Exeunt 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 480pinches 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. [Giving letters.] Go, bear this letter to my lord of Lancaster, this to the prince, this to the Earl of Westmorland, and this to old mistress Ursula, whom I have weekly sworn to marry 490since I perceived the first white hair of my chin. About it, you know where to find me.
    [Exit Page.]
    A pox of this gout, or a gout of this pox, for the one or the other plays the rogue with my great toe. 'Tis no matter if I do halt, I have the wars for my 495color and my pension shall seem the more reasonable. A good wit will make use of anything. I will turn diseases to commodity.
    Enter the Archbishop, Thomas Mowbray (Earl Marshal), the Lord Hastings, and 500[Lord] 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 incensèd fire of injuries.
    515Lord Bardolph
    The question then, Lord Hastings, standeth thus:
    Whether our present five and twenty thousand,
    May hold up head without Northumberland?
    With him we may.
    Lord Bardolph
    Yea, marry, there's the point.
    520But 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
    525Of aids incertain should not be admitted.
    'Tis very true, Lord Bardolph, for indeed
    It was young Hotspur's case at Shrewsbury.
    Lord Bardolph
    It was, my lord, who lined himself with hope,
    Eating the air and promise of supply,
    530Flatt'ring 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, leapt into destruction.
    But, by your leave, it never yet did hurt
    To lay down likelihoods and forms of hope.
    Lord Bardolph
    Yes, if this present quality of war --
    Indeed the instant action, a cause on foot --
    Lives so in hope, as in an early spring
    540We see th'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,
    545Then must we rate the cost of the erection,
    Which if we find out-weighs 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 --
    550Which 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,
    555How 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 an house
    560Beyond 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,
    565Should be stillborn, and that we now possessed
    The utmost man of expectation,
    I think we are a body strong enough,
    Even as we are, to equal with the king.
    Lord Bardolph
    What, is the king but five and twenty thousand?
    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
    575In 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 to be dreaded.
    If he should do so,
    He leaves his back unarmed, the French and Welsh
    Baying him at the heels; never fear that.
    Lord Bardolph
    Who is it like should lead his forces hither?
    The Duke of Lancaster and Westmorland;
    585Against the Welsh, himself and Harry Monmouth;
    But who is substituted against the French
    I have no certain notice.
    Let us on,
    And publish the occasion of our arms.
    590The 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
    595Didst thou beat heaven with blessing Bolingbroke,
    Before he was what thou would'st have him be!
    And being now trimmed in thine own desires,
    Thou, beastly feeder, art so full of him
    That thou provok'st thyself to cast him up.
    600So, so, thou common dog, did'st 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,
    605Are now become enamoured on his grave.
    Thou, that threw'st dust upon his goodly head
    When through proud London he came sighing on
    After th'admirèd heels of Bolingbroke,
    Criest now: "O Earth, yield us that king again
    610And 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.
    615Enter Hostess of the Tavern, and an Officer, [Fang, followed by yeoman Snare].
    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 us our lives, for he will stab.
    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.
    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 view --
    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 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 borne, and borne, and borne, 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.
    651.1Enter Sir John [Falstaff], and Bardolph, and the boy.
    How now, whose mare's dead? What's the matter?
    I arrest you at the suit of Mistress Quickly.
    Away varlets! Draw Bardolph, cut me off the villain's 655head, 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 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.
    Keep them off, Bardolph.
    A rescue, a rescue!
    Good people, bring a rescue or two. Thou wot, wot thou, thou wot, wot ta? Do, do, thou rogue, do, thou hempseed!
    Away, you scullian, you rampallian, you fustilarian, I'll 665tickle your catastrophe!
    Enter 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? 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?
    O my most worshipful lord, an't please your grace, I am a poor widow of Eastcheap, and he is arrested at my 675suit.
    For what sum?
    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.
    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? 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?
    [To the Hostess] 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, 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.
    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, practiced upon the 715easy-yielding spirit of this woman, and made her serve your 715.1uses both in purse and in person.
    Yea, in truth, my lord.
    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.
    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.
    You speak as having power to do wrong; but answer in th'effect of your reputation, and satisfy the poor woman.
    Come hither, hostess.
    [Takes her aside.]
    Enter [Master Gower.]
    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, 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.
    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.
    Exit Hostess, [with officers, Bardolph, and Page].
    [To Gower] I have heard better news.
    What's the news my lord?
    [To Gower] Where lay the king tonight?
    At Basingstoke, my lord.
    I hope, my lord, all's well. What is the news, my lord?
    [To Gower] Come all his forces back?
    No, fifteen hundred foot, five hundred horse
    Are marched 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!
    Whats 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, 780being 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 785fool that taught them me. [To Justice] 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.
    790Enter the prince [and] Poins.
    Before god, I am exceeding weary.
    Is't come to that? I had thought weariness durst not have attached one of so high blood.
    Faith it does me, though it discolors 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 tomorrow? Or to take note how 805many pair of silk stockings thou hast -- with these, and those that were thy peach-colored 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 810of 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 812.1that bawl out 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 labored so hard, 815you should talk so idly! Tell me how many good young princes would do so, their fathers being so sick, as yours at this 816.1time 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 825now 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 thinkst me as far in the devil's 830book, as thou and Falstaff, for obduracy and persistancy. 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 840thought in the world keeps the roadway 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 845engrafted 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, 850and those two things I confess I cannot help. By the mass, here comes Bardolph.
    851.1Enter Bardolph and boy.
    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 860man 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 865petticoat and so peeped through.
    Has not the boy profited?
    Away, you whoreson upright rabbit, away.
    Away, you rascally Althea's dream, away.
    Instruct us, boy: what dream, boy?
    Marry, my lord, Althea dreamt she was delivered of a firebrand, and therefore I call him her dream.
    A crown's worth of good interpretation! There 'tis, boy.
    [Gives money.]
    O that this blossom could be kept from cankers! Well, there is sixpence to preserve thee.
    [Gives money.]
    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.
    [He gives a letter.]
    Delivered 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.
    [He shows Poins the letter.]
    "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?" 895says he that takes upon him not to conceive. The answer is as ready as a borrowed cap: "I am the king's poor cousin, sir."
    Nay they will be kin to us, or they will fetch it from Japhet. But the letter: "Sir John Falstaff, knight, to the son of 900the king, nearest his father, Harry Prince of Wales, greeting."
    Why, this is a certificate.
    Peace. "I will imitate the honorable 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 favors so much that he swears thou art to marry his sister Nell. Repent at idle times as thou mayst, and so farewell. 910Thine, 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 915eat 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. [To Bardolph] Is your master here in London?
    Yea, my lord.
    Where sups he? Doth the old boar feed in the old 925frank?
    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.
    [Gives money.]
    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 945some road.
    I warrant you, as common as the way between Saint Albans and London.
    How might we see Falstaff bestow himself tonight in his true colors, 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 955folly. Follow me, Ned.
    Enter Northumberland, his wife, and the wife to Harry Percy.
    I pray thee, loving wife and gentle daughter,
    960Give even way unto my rough affairs,
    Put not you on the visage of the times
    And be like them to Percy troublesome.
    Lady Northumberland
    I have given over, I will speak no more.
    Do what you will, your wisdom be your guide.
    Alas sweet wife, my honor is at pawn,
    And but my going, nothing can redeem it.
    Lady Percy
    O yet, for god's sake, go not to these wars,
    The time was, father, that you broke your word
    When you were more endeared to it than now,
    970When 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 honors lost: yours, and your son's.
    975For 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
    980Wherein the noble youth did dress themselves.
    He had no legs that practiced not his gait,
    And speaking thick, which nature made his blemish,
    Became the accents of the valiant,
    For those that could speak low and tardily
    985Would 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, humors of blood,
    He was the mark and glass, copy and book,
    990That fashioned 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
    995Where 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 honor more precise and nice
    With others than with him. Let them alone.
    1000The Marshal and the Archbishop are strong.
    Had my sweet Harry had but half their numbers,
    Today might I, hanging on Hotspur's neck,
    Have talked of Monmouth's grave.
    Beshrew your heart,
    1005Fair 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.
    1010Lady Northumberland
    O fly to Scotland,
    Till that the nobles and the armèd commons
    Have of their puissance made a little taste.
    Lady Percy
    If they get ground and vantage of the king,
    Then join you with them like a rib of steel,
    1015To make strength stronger; but for all our loves,
    First let them try themselves. So did your son;
    He was so suffered, so came I a widow,
    And never shall have length of life enough
    To rain upon remembrance with mine eyes,
    1020That 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 swelled up unto his height,
    That makes a still-stand, running neither way.
    1025Fain 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.
    1030Enter [Francis] and a Drawer.
    What the devil hast thou brought there: apple-johns? Thou knowest Sir John cannot endure an apple-john.
    Mass, thou sayst true. The prince once set a dish of 1035apple-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.
    1042.1Enter Will.
    Dispatch, the room where they supped is too hot, they'll come in straight.
    Sirrah, here will be the prince and Master Poins anon, and they will put on two of our jerkins and aprons, and Sir 1045John must not know of it, Bardolph hath brought word.
    By the mass here will be old utis! It will be an excellent stratagem.
    I'll see if I can find out Sneak.
    1050Enter Mistress Quickly 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 color, I warrant you, is as red as any rose, in good truth, la; but i'faith, you have 1055drunk too much canaries, and that's a marvelous searching wine, and it perfumes the blood ere one can say, "what's this?" How do you now?
    Better then I was -- hem.
    Why that's well said. A good heart's worth gold. Lo, 1060here comes Sir John.
    Enter Sir John.
    [Singing]"When Arthur first in court," -- empty the jordan!
    -- "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.
    A pox damn you, 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 bravely --
    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 goodyear! [To Doll] One must bear, and that must be you; you are the weaker vessel, 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 Bordeaux stuff 1090in 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.
    1095[Enter Drawer.]
    Sir, Ancient Pistol's below, and would speak with you.
    Hang him, swaggering rascal, let him not come hither. It is the foul-mouthedst 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 1105swaggering 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. And your ancient swaggerer comes not in my doors. I was before Master Tisick, the deputy, t'other day, and, as he said to me -- 'twas no longer ago than Wednesday last, i'good faith -- "neighbor Quickly," says he -- 1115Master Dumb our minister was by then -- "neighbor 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 1125may 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 Drawer.]
    Cheater call you him? I will bar no honest man my 1130house, 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 1135leaf. 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 not 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 cutpurse 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 1165not 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 1170stewed prunes and dried cakes. A captain? God's light, these villains will make the word as odious as the word "occupy," which 1171.1was 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 1180hand,
    To th'infernal deep,
    With Erebus and tortures vile also.
    Hold hook and line, say I.
    Down, down, dogs, down, faitours!
    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 humors indeed. Shall packhorses
    And hollow pampered 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 here?
    O' my word, captain, there's none such here. What the goodyear, do you think I would deny her? For god's sake, be quiet.
    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.
    [He lays down his sword.]
    Come we to full points here? And are etceteras nothings?
    Pistol, I would be quiet.
    Sweet knight, I kiss thy neaf. What, we have seen the seven stars.
    For god's sake thrust him downstairs. I cannot endure 1210such a fustian rascal.
    Thrust him downstairs? 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 1215nothing here.
    Come, get you downstairs.
    What shall we have incision? Shall we imbrue?
    [Taking up his sword.]
    Then death rock me asleep, abridge my doleful days.
    Why then, let grievous, ghastly, gaping wounds
    Untwine the sisters three. 1220Come, Atropos, I say!
    Here's goodly stuff toward!
    Give me my rapier, boy.
    I pray thee, Jack, I pray thee, do not draw.
    [To Pistol] Get you downstairs.
    [A brawl]
    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!
    [Exit Pistol and Bardolph.]
    I pray thee, Jack, be quiet. The rascal's gone. Ah, you 1230whoreson, little, valiant villain, you!
    Are you not hurt i'th' groin? Methought 'a made a shrewd thrust at your belly.
    [Enter Bardolph.]
    Have you turned him out o'doors?
    Yea, sir; the rascal's drunk. You have hurt him, sir, i'th' 1235shoulder.
    A rascal, to brave me!
    Ah, you sweet little rogue, you. Alas, poor ape, how thou sweatst. Come, let me wipe thy face. Come on, you whoreson chops. Ah, rogue, i'faith I love thee. Thou art as valorous as 1240Hector of Troy, worth five of Agamemnon, and ten times better than the nine Worthies. Ah, villain!
    Ah, rascally slave! I will toss the rogue in a blanket.
    Do, an thou dar'st for thy heart. An thou dost, I'll canvas thee between a pair of sheets.
    The music is come sir.
    Enter [musicians].
    Let them play -- play, sirs. Sit on my knee, Doll. A rascal 1250bragging slave! The rogue fled from me like quicksilver.
    I'faith, and thou followdst him like a church, thou whoreson little tidy Bartholomew boarpig. When wilt thou leave fighting a days and foining a nights, and begin to patch 1255up thine old body for heaven?
    Enter Prince and Poins.
    Peace good Doll, do not speak like a death's head; do not bid me remember mine end.
    Sirrah, what humor'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 1265as Tewksbury mustard; there's no more conceit in him than is in a mallet.
    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 1270candles' ends for flap-dragons, and rides the wild mare with the boys, and jumps upon joint-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 1275that 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.
    [Aside to Poins] Would not this nave of a wheel have his ears cut off?
    Let's beat him before his whore.
    Look whe'er the withered elder hath not his poll clawed like a parrot.
    Is it not strange that desire should so many years outlive performance?
    Kiss me, Doll.
    Saturn and Venus this year in conjunction? What says th'almanac to that?
    And look whether the fiery Trigon, his man, be not lisping to his master's old tables, his notebook, 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 1300o'Thursday; shalt have a cap tomorrow. 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 sayst so. 1305Prove that ever I dress myself handsome till thy return! Well, hearken a'th'end.
    Some sack, Francis.
    Prince Henry; Poins
    [Revealing themselves] Anon, anon, sir!
    Ha? A bastard son of the king's? And art not thou 1310Poins, 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.
    [To Falstaff] You whoreson candlemine you, how vilely did you speak of me now, before this honest, virtuous, civil gentlewoman!
    God's blessing of your good heart, and so she is by my 1330troth.
    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 honor, no abuse.
    Not to dispraise me, and call me pantler and breadchipper, and I know not what?
    No abuse, Hal.
    No abuse?
    No abuse, Ned, i'th'world, honest Ned, none. I 1345dispraised him before the wicked, [To the prince] that the wicked might not fall in love with thee; 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 malt-worms. For the boy, there is a good angel about 1360him, but the devil blinds him too.
    For the women?
    For one of them, she's in hell already, and burns poor souls. For th'other, I owe her money, and whether she be 1365damned 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 1370flesh 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.
    1376.1Peto knocks at door.
    Who knocks so loud at door? Look to'th'door there, Francis.
    [Enter Peto.]
    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
    1385I met and overtook a dozen captains,
    Bareheaded, sweating, knocking at the taverns,
    And asking everyone for Sir John Falstaff.
    By heaven, Poins, I feel me much to blame
    So idly to profane the precious time,
    1390When tempest of commotion, like the south,
    Born with black vapor, doth begin to melt
    And drop upon our bare unarmèd heads.
    Give me my sword and cloak. -- Falstaff, good night.
    Exeunt Prince and Poins.
    Now comes in the sweetest morsel of the night, and we must hence and leave it unpicked. [Knocking. Exit Bardolph.] More knocking at the door? How now, what's the matter?
    [Enter Bardolph.]
    You must away to court, sir, presently.
    1400A dozen captains stay at door for you.
    [To 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 1405see 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.
    Exit [with Bardolph, Peto, and Page].
    Well, fare thee well. I have known thee these twenty nine years come peasecod-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 1418.1comes blubbered, yea! Will you come Doll?
    Enter the king in his night-gown 1421.1[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.
    [Exit page.]
    1425How many thousand 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 eye-lids down
    And steep my senses in forgetfulness?
    1430Why rather, sleep, liest thou in smoky cribs,
    Upon uneasy pallets stretching thee
    And hushed with buzzing night-flies to thy slumber,
    Than in the perfumed chambers of the great,
    Under the canopies of costly state,
    1435And lulled 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
    1440Seal 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
    1445With deafing clamour in the slippery clouds,
    That with the hurly death itself awakes?
    Canst thou, O partial sleep, give thy repose,
    To the wet sea's son in an hour so rude,
    And in the calmest and most stillest night,
    1450With 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 letter 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 distempered,
    Which to his former strength may be restored,
    1465With good advice and little medicine.
    My Lord Northumberland will soon be cooled.
    O god, that one might read the book of fate,
    And see the revolution of the times
    Make mountains level, and the continent,
    1470Weary 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 chance's mocks
    And changes fill the cup of alteration
    1475With divers liquors! O if this were seen,
    1475.1The 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 year after
    Were they at wars. It is but eight years since
    This Percy was the man nearest my soul,
    1480Who like a brother toiled 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?
    [To Warwick] You, cousin Neville, as I may remember,
    1485When Richard with his eye brimful of tears,
    Then checked and rated by Northumberland,
    Did speak these words, now proved a prophecy:
    "Northumberland, thou ladder by the which
    My cousin Bolingbroke ascends my throne" --
    1490Though then (god knows) I had no such intent,
    But that necessity so bowed the state,
    That I and greatness were compelled to kiss --
    "The time shall come" -- thus did he follow it --
    "The time will come that foul sin, gathering head,
    1495Shall break into corruption" -- so went on,
    Fortelling 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;
    1500The 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 intreasurèd.
    Such things become the hatch and brood of time,
    1505And 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
    1510Unless 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,
    1515Are fifty thousand strong.
    It cannot be my lord.
    Rumor doth double, like the voice and echo,
    The numbers of the feared. Please it your grace
    To go to bed. Upon my soul, my lord,
    1520The 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,
    1525And these unseasoned 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.
    Enter Justice Shallow and Justice Silence [with Moldy, Shadow, Wart, Feeble and Bullcalf].
    Come on, come on, come on, sir, give me your 1535hand, 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 goddaughter 1540Ellen?
    Alas, a black ouzel, cousin Shallow.
    By yea and no 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 anything, and I would have done anything 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 1555o'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, a boy, and page to Thomas Mowbray, Duke of Norfolk.
    This Sir John, cousin, that comes hither anon about soldiers?
    The same Sir John, the very same. I see him break Skoggin's head at the Court gate, when 'a was a crack, not thus high; and the very same day did I fight with one Samson 1565Stockfish, 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 1570psalmist 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 o'Gaunt loved him well, and betted much money on his head. Dead! 'A would have clapped i'th'clout at twelve score, and carried you a forehand shaft a'fourteen and 1580fourteen 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 pounds.
    And is old Double dead?
    Here come two of Sir John Falstaff's men, as I think.
    Enter Bardolph and [the page].
    ShallowGood morrow, honest gentlemen.
    I beseech you, which is Justice Shallow?
    I am Robert Shallow sir, a poor esquire of this county, and one of the king's justices of the peace. What is your pleasure with me?
    My captain, sir, commends him to you -- my 1595captain, 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 1605commendable. "Accommodated" -- it comes of accommodo -- very good, a good phrase.
    Pardon me sir, I have heard the word -- "phrase" call you it? By this good day, I know not the phrase, but I will maintain the word with my sword to be a 1610soldier-like word, and a word of exceeding good command, by heaven. "Accommodated": that is, when a man is, as they say, accommodated, or when a man is being whereby 'a may be thought to be accommodated, which is an excellent thing.
    1615Enter Sir John Falstaff.
    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. [To Silence] 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 1625the 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.
    [They sit.]
    Where's the roll? Where's the roll? Where's the roll? Let me see, let me see, so, so, so, so, so, so, so. Yea, marry, sir -- Rafe Moldy! -- let them appear as I call, let them do so, let them do so. Let me see, where is Moldy?
    Here, an it please you.
    What think you Sir John? A good limbed fellow, young, strong, and of good friends.
    Is thy name Moldy?
    Yea, an't please you.
    'Tis the more time thou wert used.
    Ha, ha, ha, most excellent i'faith: things that are moldy lack use. Very singular good, in faith. Well said, Sir John, very well said.
    Prick him.
    I was pricked 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 Moldy, you shall go, Moldy. It is time you were spent.
    Peace fellow, peace, stand aside. Know you where you 1655are? For th'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 1665often so indeed -- but not 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 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, Sir John?
    It were superfluous, for his apparel is built upon his back, 1680and 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 well. 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'd ha'pricked 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 Bullcalf till he roar again.
    O lord, good my lord captain.
    What, dost thou roar before thou art pricked?
    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 1725dinner.
    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 1730in the Windmill in Saint George's Field?
    No more of that Master Shallow.
    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 Shallow.
    By the mass, I could anger her to th'heart. She was 1740then 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 watch-word was "Hem, boys." Come, let's to dinner, come let's to dinner. Jesus, the days that we have seen! Come, come.
    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, 1760else, 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 anything about 1765her 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 1770destiny, 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.
    1774.1Enter 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 Moldy and Bullcalf.
    Go to, well.
    Come, Sir John, which four will you have?
    Do you choose for me.
    Marry then: Moldy, Bullcalf, Feeble, and Shadow.
    Moldy and Bullcalf: for you, Moldy, stay at home, till 1785you 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 1795discharge 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 1800swiftly 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.
    [Giving Wart the caliver] Hold Wart, travers 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, chopped, bald shot. Well said, i'faith, Wart. Th'art a good scab. [Giving Wart a coin] Hold, there's a tester for thee.
    He is not his craft's master; he doth not do it right. I 1810remember 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. 1815"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 1820well gentlemen both. I thank you. I must a dozen mile tonight. Bardolph, give the soldiers coats.
    Sir John, the lord bless you. God prosper your affairs; god send us peace! At your return, visit our house; let 1825our old acquaintance be renewed. Peradventure I will with ye to the court.
    Fore god, 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 all but Falstaff.]
    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 1835of 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 forked radish, with a head fantastically carved upon it with a knife. 'A was so forlorn that his dimensions to any thick sight were invisible. 'A was the very genius of famine, yet lecherous as a 1843.1monkey, and the whores called him mandrake. 'A came ever in the rearward of the fashion, and sung those tunes to the 1844.1overscutched housewives that he heard the Carmen whistle, and swore they were his fancies or his good-nights. And now is 1845this vice's dagger become a squire, and talks as familiarly of John o'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 1850saw it and told John o'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 1855if I return, and't 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, till time shape, and there an end.
    Enter the Archbishop, Mowbray, Hastings [and others], within 1861.1the forest of Gaultree.
    What is this forest called?
    '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.
    1870My friends and brethren in these great affairs,
    I must acquaint you that I have received
    New dated letters from Northumberland,
    Their cold intent, tenure, and substance thus:
    Here doth he wish his person, with such powers,
    1875As 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 over-live the hazard
    1880And fearful meeting of their opposite.
    Thus do the hopes we have in him, touch ground,
    And dash themselves to pieces.
    Enter 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.
    1890Let us sway on and face them in the field.
    Enter Westmorland.
    What well-appointed leader fronts us here?
    I think it is my lord of Westmorland.
    Health and fair greeting from our general,
    1895The prince, Lord John and Duke of Lancaster.
    Say on, my lord of Westmorland, in peace.
    What doth concern your coming?
    Then, my lord,
    Unto your grace do I in chief address
    1900The substance of my speech. If that rebellion
    Came like itself, in base and abject routs,
    Led on by bloody youth, guarded with rage,
    And countenanced by boys and beggary;
    I say, if damned commotion so appeared,
    1905In 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 honors. You, Lord Archbishop,
    1910Whose see is by a civil peace maintained,
    Whose beard the silver hand of peace hath touched,
    Whose learning and good letters peace hath tutored,
    Whose white investments figure innocence,
    The dove, and very blessed spirit of peace,
    1915Wherefore do you so ill translate yourself
    Out of the speech of peace, that bears such grace,
    Into the harsh and boist'rous tongue of war,
    Turning your books to graves, your ink to blood,
    Your pens to lances, and your tongue divine
    1920To 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,
    1925And we must bleed for it; of which disease
    Our late King Richard, being infected, died.
    But, my most noble Lord of Westmorland,
    I take not on me here as a physician,
    Nor do I, as an enemy to peace
    1930Troop in the throngs of military men,
    But rather show a while like fearful war
    To diet rank minds sick of happiness,
    And purge th'obstructions which begin to stop
    Our very veins of life. Hear me more plainly.
    1935I have in equal balance justly weighed
    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
    1940By 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 offered to the king,
    And might by no suit gain our audience.
    1945When we are wronged 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
    1950With 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,
    1955Concurring both in name and quality.
    When ever yet was your appeal denied?
    Wherein have you been gallèd by the king?
    What peer hath been suborned to grate on you,
    That you should seal this lawless bloody book
    1960Of forged rebellion with a seal divine?
    My brother general, the commonwealth,
    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 honors?
    O my good Lord Mowbray,
    1970Construe 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,
    1975That 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-remembered father's?
    What thing, in honor, had my father lost
    1980That need to be revived and breathed in me?
    The king that loved him, as the state stood then,
    Was forced, perforce compelled, to banish him;
    And then that Henry Bolingbroke and he
    Being mounted and both rousèd in their seats,
    1985Their neighing coursers daring of the spur,
    Their armèd 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 stayed
    1990My father from the breast of Bolingbroke;
    Oh, 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,
    1995Have 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?
    2000But 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
    2005And blessed 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
    2010It 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 forced 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 honor, all too confident
    To give admittance to a thought of fear.
    2020Our battle is more full of names than yours,
    Our men more perfect in the use of arms,
    Our armor all as strong, our cause the best;
    Then reason will our hearts should be as good.
    Say you not then our offer is compelled.
    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,
    2030To 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 Westmorland, this schedule,
    2035For this contains our general grievances.
    Each several article herein redressed,
    All members of our cause both here and hence
    That are ensinewed to this action
    Acquitted by a true substantial form
    2040And present execution of our wills,
    To us and our purposes confined
    We come within our awe-full banks again
    And knit our powers to the arm of peace.
    This will I show the general. Please you, lords,
    2045In 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.
    Exit Westmorland.
    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,
    2055Our peace shall stand as firm as rocky mountains.
    Yea, but our valuation shall be such
    That every slight and false-derivèd cause,
    Yea, every idle, nice, and wanton reason,
    Shall to the king taste of this action;
    2060That, were our royal faiths martyrs in love,
    We shall be winnowed 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
    2065Of 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
    2070That 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
    2075That, 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,
    2080And hangs resolved correction in the arm,
    That was upreared to execution.
    Besides, the king hath wasted all his rods
    On late offenders, that he now doth lack
    The very instruments of chastisement;
    2085So 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,
    2090Our peace will, like a broken limb united,
    Grow stronger for the breaking.
    Be it so.
    Enter Westmorland.
    Here is returned my Lord of Westmorland.
    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.
    2100Enter Prince John [of Lancaster] and his army.
    You are well encountered 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 showed with you
    2105When 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 talking,
    Cheering a rout of rebels with your drum,
    2110Turning the word to sword, and life to death.
    That man that sits within a monarch's heart
    And ripens in the sunshine of his favor,
    Would he abuse the countenance of the king,
    Alack, what mischiefs might he set abroach
    2115In 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 th'imagined voice of god himself,
    2120The very opener and intelligencer
    Between the grace, the sanctities of heaven,
    And our dull workings? Oh, who shall believe
    But you misuse the reverence of your place,
    Imply the countenance and grace of heaven,
    2125As a false favorite doth his prince's name
    In deeds dishonorable? 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
    2130Have here upswarmed them.
    Good my lord of Lancaster,
    I am not here against your father's peace;
    But, as I told my lord of Westmorland,
    The time misordered doth in common sense
    2135Crowd 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,
    2140Whose dangerous eyes may well be charmed 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
    2145To 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,
    2150And heir from heir shall hold his quarrel up
    Whiles England shall have generation.
    You are too shallow, Hastings, much too 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 honor of my blood,
    My father's purposes have been mistook,
    2160And some about him have too lavishly
    Wrested his meaning and authority.
    My lord, these griefs shall be with speed redressed,
    Upon my soul they shall. If this may please you,
    Discharge your powers unto their several counties,
    2165As 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 restorèd 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.
    [He toasts the Archbishop.]
    Go, captain, and deliver to the army
    This news of peace. Let them have pay and part.
    I know it will well please them. Hie thee, captain.
    [Exit captain.]
    To you my noble Lord of Westmorland.
    [He toasts Westmorland.]
    I pledge your grace; and if you knew what pains,
    I have bestowed to breed this present peace,
    2180You 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!
    [He toasts 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
    2190Serves 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.
    Shout [within].
    The word of peace is rendered. 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.
    [To Westmorland] Go my lord,
    2200And let our army be dischargèd too.
    [Exit Westmorland.]
    [To the Archbishop] 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,
    2205And ere they be dismissed, let them march by.
    [Exit Hastings.]
    I trust, lords, we shall lie tonight together.
    Enter Westmorland.
    Now cousin, wherefore stands our army still?
    The leaders, having charge from you to stand,
    2210Will not go off until they hear you speak.
    They know their duties.
    Enter Hastings.
    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,
    2215Each 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.
    [The Archbishop, Hastings, and Mowbray are arrested.]
    Is this proceeding just and honorable?
    Is your assembly so?
    Will you thus break your faith?
    I pawned thee none.
    I promised you redress of these same grievances
    2225Whereof you did complain, which by mine honor
    I will perform with a most Christian care.
    But for you rebels, look to taste the due
    Meet for rebellion.
    Most shallowly did you these arms commence,
    2230Fondly brought here, and foolishly sent hence.
    Strike up our drums, pursue the scattered stray.
    God, and not we, hath safely fought today.
    Some guard these traitors to the block of death,
    Treason's true bed, and yielder up of breath.
    2235Alarum. Excursions. Enter Falstaff [and Coleville].
    What's your name sir? Of what condition are you, and of what place?
    I am a knight sir, and my name is Coleville of the Dale.
    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.
    Are not you Sir John 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 observance2250 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 2255word 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], Westmorland, [soldiers, and attendants].
    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.
    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."
    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 -- 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.
    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 2295good, and call it what you will.
    Is thy name Coleville?
    It is my lord.
    A famous rebel art thou, Coleville.
    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 2305thee.
    Enter Westmorland.
    Now, have you left pursuit?
    Retreat is made, and execution stayed.
    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.
    My lord, I beseech you give me leave to go through Gloucestershire, and when you come to court, 2320stand my good lord in your good report.
    Fare you well, Falstaff. I in my condition
    Shall better speak of you than you deserve.
    [Exeunt all but 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 2355he did naturally inherit of his father 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 principle 2360I would teach them should be to forswear thin potations, and to addict themselves to sack.
    2361.1Enter Bardolph.
    How now Bardolph?
    The army is dischargèd all and gone.
    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.
    2370Enter the king, Warwick, Thomas Duke of Clarence, Humphrey [Duke] of Gloucester, [and attendants].
    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.
    2375Our navy is addressed, our power collected,
    Our substitutes in absence well invested,
    And everything lies level to our wish;
    Only we want a little personal strength,
    And pause us till these rebels now afoot
    2380Come 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?
    2395He 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,
    2400Between 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.
    2405He hath a tear for pity and a hand
    Open as day for meting charity.
    Yet, notwithstanding, being incensed, he is flint,
    As humorous as winter, and as sudden
    As flaws congealèd in the spring of day.
    2410His 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 time and scope
    Till that his passions, like a whale on ground
    2415Confound 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 --
    2420As 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 today; he dines in London.
    And how accompanied?
    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
    2435Stretches itself beyond the hour of death.
    The blood weeps from my heart when I do shape
    In forms imaginary th'unguided days
    And rotten times that you shall look upon,
    When I am sleeping with my ancestors;
    2440For when his headstrong riot hath no curb,
    When rage and hot blood are his counsellors,
    When means and lavish manners meet together,
    Oh, 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 looked upon and learnt, which once attained,
    2450Your 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
    2455By 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? Westmorland?
    Enter Westmorland.
    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 Scrope, Hastings, and all
    2465Are brought to the correction of your law.
    There is not now a rebel's sword unsheathed,
    But peace puts forth her olive everywhere.
    The manner how this action hath been borne
    Here at more leisure may your highness read,
    2470With every course in his particular.
    O Westmorland, thou art a summer bird,
    Which ever in the haunch of winter sings
    The lifting up of day.
    Enter Harcourt.
    Look here's more news.
    From enemies, heavens 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,
    2480With 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 set her fair words still in foulest terms?
    She either gives a stomach and no food --
    Such are the poor, in health -- or else a feast
    2490And 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
    2500Are 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,
    Th'incessant care and labor of his mind
    2505Hath 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
    Unfathered heirs, and loathly births of nature.
    The seasons change their manners, as the year
    2510Had found some months asleep and leaped them over.
    The river hath thrice flowed, 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.
    [The king is laid on a bed.]
    2520Let there be no noise made, my gentle friends,
    Unless some dull and favorable hand
    Will whisper music to my weary spirit.
    Call for the music in the other room.
    Set me the crown upon my pillow here.
    [The crown is placed on the pillow. The king sleeps.]
    His eye is hollow and he changes much.
    Less noise, less noise.
    Enter [Prince] Harry.
    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 altered 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.
    Why doth the crown lie there upon his pillow,
    2545Being so troublesome a bedfellow?
    O polished 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
    2550As 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 armor worn in heat of day
    That scald'st with safety. By his gates of breath
    2555There 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
    2560So 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,
    2565Which, as immediate from thy place and blood,
    Derives itself to me. Lo where it sits,
    [The prince puts the crown on his head.]
    Which god shall guard; and, put the world's whole strength
    Into one giant arm, it shall not force
    This lineal honor from me. This from thee
    2570Will I to mine leave, as 'tis left to me.
    [The king awakes.]
    Warwick, Gloucester, Clarence!
    Enter Warwick, Gloucester, Clarence.
    Doth the king call?
    What would your majesty?
    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.
    2580.1He is not here.
    This door is open; he is gone this way.
    He came not through the chamber where we stayed.
    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.
    [Exit Warwick.]
    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,
    2600Their brains with care, their bones with industry.
    For this, they have engrossèd and piled up,
    The cankered heaps of strange-achievèd gold.
    For this they have been thoughtful to invest
    Their sons with arts and martial exercises,
    2605When like the bee tolling from every flower,
    Our thighs, packed 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.
    Enter Warwick.
    Now where is he that will not stay so long,
    Till his friend sickness hath determined me?
    My lord, I found the prince in the next room,
    2615Washing with kindly tears his gentle cheeks,
    With such a deep demeanour in great sorrow,
    That tyranny, which never quaffed but blood,
    Would, by beholding him, have washed his knife
    With gentle eye-drops. He is coming hither.
    But wherefore did he take away the crown?
    Enter [Prince] Harry.
    Lo where he comes. Come hither to me Harry,
    Depart the chamber, leave us here alone.
    Exeunt [all but the king and the prince].
    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 honors
    Before thy hour be ripe? O foolish youth,
    2630Thou seekst 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
    2635Were thine without offence, and at my death
    Thou hast sealed up my expectation.
    Thy life did manifest thou lovedst me not,
    And thou wilt have me die assured of it.
    Thou hidst a thousand daggers in thy thoughts,
    2640Whom 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
    2645That thou art crownèd, 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,
    2650Pluck down my officers, break my decrees,
    For now a time is come to mock at form:
    Harry the fifth is crowned. Up vanity,
    Down royal state! All you sage counsellors, hence!
    And to the English court assemble now
    2655From 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?
    2660Be happy, he will trouble you no more.
    England shall double gild his treble guilt.
    England shall give him office, honor, might;
    For the fifth Harry from curbed licence plucks
    The muzzle of restraint, and the wild dog
    2665Shall 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,
    2670Peopled with wolves, thy old inhabitants.
    O pardon me, my liege; but for my tears,
    The moist impediments unto my speech,
    I had forestalled this dear and deep rebuke,
    2675Ere 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 honor and as your renown,
    2680Let 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,
    2685How cold it struck my heart! If I do fain,
    O let me in my present wildness die,
    And never live to show th'incredulous world
    The noble change that I have purposèd.
    Coming to look on you, thinking you dead,
    2690And 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 worse than gold.
    2695Other, less fine in carat, is more precious,
    Preserving life in medicine potable,
    But thou, most fine, most honored, most renowned,
    Hast eat thy bearer up." Thus, my most royal liege,
    2700Accusing it, I put it on my head,
    To try with it as with an enemy
    That had before my face murdered my father,
    The quarrel of a true inheritor.
    But if it did infect my blood with joy,
    2705Or 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,
    2710And make me as the poorest vassal is,
    That doth with awe and terror kneel to it.
    God put in thy mind to take it hence,
    That thou mightst win the more thy father's love,
    2715Pleading 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 bypaths and indirect crooked ways
    2720I 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
    2725With me into the earth. It seemed in me
    But as an honor snatched 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,
    2730Wounding supposèd peace. All these bold fears
    Thou seest with peril I have answered;
    For all my reign hath been but as a scene
    Acting that argument; and now my death
    2735Changes the mood, 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
    2740And all thy 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
    2745I 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,
    2750Be 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.
    2755How I came by the crown, O god forgive,
    And grant it may with thee in true peace live.
    You won it, wore it, kept it, gave it me,
    Then plain and right must my possession be,
    2760Which I with more than with a common pain
    'Gainst all the world will rightfully maintain.
    Enter 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,
    2770But health, alack, with youthful wings is flown
    From this bare withered trunk. Upon thy sight
    My worldly business makes a period.
    Where is my lord of Warwick?
    My lord of Warwick!
    [Enter Warwick.]
    Doth any name particular belong
    Unto the lodging where I first did swoon?
    'Tis called Jerusalem, my noble lord.
    Laud be to god, even there my life must end.
    2780It 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.
    Enter Shallow, Falstaff, Bardolph, [and Page, followed by Davy].
    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 2800again, 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 plow-irons.
    Let it be cast and paid. Sir John, you shall not be excused.
    Now, sir, a new link to the bucket must needs be 2810had; and, sir, do you mean to stop any of William's wages, about the sack he lost at Hinckley Fair?
    'A shall answer it. Some pigeons, Davy, a couple of short-legged hens, a joint of mutton, and any pretty little tiny 2815kickshaws -- tell William Cook.
    Doth the man of war stay all night, sir?
    Yea, Davy, I will use him well. A friend i'th'court is better then a 2820penny in purse. Use his men well, Davy, for they are errant knaves, and will backbite.
    No worse than they are back-bitten, sir, for they have marvelous foul linen.
    Well conceited, Davy. About thy business, Davy.
    I beseech you, sir, to countenance William Visor of Woncote against Clement Perks o'th'hill.
    There is many complaints, Davy, against that Visor; 2830that Visor is an errant 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 friends' request. An honest man, sir, is able to speak for 2835himself, when a knave is not. I have served your worship truly, sir, this eight years. An I cannot once or twice in a quarter bear out a knave against an honest man, I have litle credit with your worship. The knave is mine honest friend sir, therefore I beseech 2840you, let him be countenanced.
    Go to I say, he shall have no wrong. Look about, Davy.
    [Exit Davy.]
    Where are you, Sir John? Come, come, come, off with your boots. 2845Give me your hand, Master Bardolph.
    I am glad to see your worship.
    I thank thee with my heart, kind Master Bardolph; [To the Page] and welcome my tall fellow. Come, Sir John.
    I'll follow you, good Master Robert Shallow. Bardolph, look to our horses.
    [Exeunt all but Falstaff.]
    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 him, 2855do bear themselves like foolish justices; he, by conversing with them, is turned into a justice-like servingman. Their spirits are so married in conjunction with the participation of society, that they flock together in consent, like so many wild geese. 2860If I had a suit to Master Shallow, I would humor 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 2870intervallums. Oh, 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. Oh, 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.
    Enter Warwick [and the] Lord Chief Justice.
    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 walked the way of nature,
    And to our purposes he lives no more.
    I would his majesty had called me with him.
    2890The service that I truely 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,
    2895Which cannot look more hideously upon me
    Than I have drawn it in my fantasy.
    Enter John, Thomas, and Humphrey.
    Here come the heavy issue of dead Harry.
    2900Oh, that the living Harry had the temper
    Of he, 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 overturned.
    Good morrow, cousin Warwick, good morrow.
    Gloucester and 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.
    [To Lord Chief Justice] 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 honor,
    Led by th'impartial conduct of my soul;
    And never shall you see that I will beg
    A raggèd and forestalled remission.
    If truth and upright innocency fail me,
    2925I'll to the king my master that is dead,
    And tell him who hath sent me after him.
    Enter the Prince and Blunt.
    Here comes the prince.
    Good morrow, and god save your majesty.
    2930King Henry
    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,
    2935But 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,
    2940But 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.
    2945Yet 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.
    King Henry
    You all look strangely on me [To Lord Chief Justice] -- and you most.
    2950You 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.
    King Henry
    No? How might a prince of my great hopes forget
    So great indignities you laid upon me?
    2955What, rate, rebuke, and roughly send to prison
    Th'immediate heir of England? Was this easy?
    May this be washed in Lethe and forgotten?
    I then did use the person of your father.
    The image of his power lay then in me;
    2960And in th'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,
    2965And 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,
    2970To have a son set your decrees at naught?
    To pluck down justice from your awe-full 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
    2975And 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 prophaned,
    See your most dreadful laws so loosely slighted,
    2980Behold yourself so by a son disdained,
    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
    2985What I have done that misbecame my place,
    My person, or my liege's sovereignty.
    King Henry
    You are right, Justice, and you weigh this well.
    Therefore still bear the balance and the sword;
    And I do wish your honors may increase
    2990Till 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
    2995And no 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
    Th'unstained sword that you have used to bear,
    3000With 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,
    3005And I will stoop and humble my intents
    To your well-practiced 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;
    3010And with his spirits 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
    3015Hath proudly flowed 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,
    3020And let us choose such limbs of noble counsel,
    That the great body of our state may go
    In equal rank with the best-governed nation;
    That war, or peace, or both at once, may be
    As things acquainted and familiar to us;
    3025[To Lord Chief Justice] In which you, father, shall have foremost hand.
    Our coronation done, we will accite,
    As I before remembered, all our state,
    And, god consigning to my good intents,
    No prince nor peer shall have just cause to say,
    3030"God shorten Harry's happy life one day."
    Enter Sir John [Falstaff], Shallow, Silence, Davy, Bardolph, Page.
    Nay you shall see my orchard, where, in an arbour, we 3035will eat a last year's pippin of mine own grafting, 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 3040John. Marry, good air. Spread Davy, spread Davy.
    [Davy lays the table.]
    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 3045John -- 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 --
    [Singing] Do nothing but eat and make good cheer,
    And praise god for the merry year,
    3050When 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.
    [Exit Davy.]
    Be merry, Master Bardolph, and my litle soldier there, be merry.
    [Singing] Be merry, be merry, my wife has all,
    For women are shrews both short and tall,
    'Tis merry in hall when beards wags all,
    And welcome merry shrovetide, 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.
    3068.1Enter Davy.
    There's a dish of leather-coats for you.
    Your worship, I'll be with you straight. A cup of wine, sir?
    [Singing] A cup of wine that's brisk and fine,
    3075And drink unto thee, leman mine,
    And a merry heart lives long-a!
    Well said, Master Silence.
    And we shall be merry. Now comes in the sweet o'th'night.
    Health and long life to you, Master Silence.
    Fill the cup and let it come. I'll pledge you a mile to th'bottom.
    Honest Bardolph, welcome. If thou want'st anything and wilt not call, beshrew thy heart! [To the Page] Welcome my little tiny thief, and welcome indeed too. I'll drink to Master Bardolph, 3085and to all the cavalieros about London.
    I hope to see London once ere I die.
    And 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; 'a 'tis true bred!
    And I'll stick by him, sir.
    One knocks at door.
    Why there spoke a king. Lack nothing, be merry. 3095Look who's at door there, ho. Who knocks?
    [Exit Davy.]
    Why, now you have done me right.
    [Singing] 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.
    [Enter Davy.]
    An't please your worship, there's one Pistol come from the court with news.
    Enter Pistol.
    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 3110realm.
    By'r lady I think 'a be, but Goodman Puff of Barson.
    Puff i'thy teeth, most recreant coward, base!
    Sir John, I am thy Pistol and thy friend,
    3115And 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.
    [Singing]And Robin Hood, Scarlet, and John --
    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 3150double 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 3160king is sick for me. Let us take any man's horses. The laws of England are at my commandment. Blessèd 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!
    3170Enter [Mistress Quickly, Doll Tearsheet, and Beadles].
    No, thou errant 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, 3175and she shall have whipping-cheer, I warrant her. There hath been a man or two 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 go 3180with do miscarry, thou wert better thou hadst struck thy mother, thou paper-faced villain.
    O the lord, that Sir John were come! I would make this a bloody day to somebody. But I pray god the fruit of 3185her womb miscarry.
    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 bluebottle 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.
    I come, you starved bloodhound.
    Goodman death, goodman bones.
    Thou atomy, thou.
    Come, you thin thing, come, you rascal.
    Very well.
    Enter [grooms,] strewers of rushes.
    Groom 1
    More rushes, more rushes!
    Groom 2
    The trumpets have sounded twice.
    Groom 3
    'Twill be two o'clock ere they come from the 3209.1coronation. Dispatch, dispatch.
    Trumpets sound, and the king and his train pass over the stage. After them enter Falstaff, Shallow, Pistol, Bardolph, and the [Page].
    Stand here by me, Master 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. [To Shallow] Oh, if I had had time to have made new liveries, I would have bestowed the thousand pound I borrowed of you. But 'tis no matter, this 3220poor 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,
    3240Is 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 naught but truth.
    I will deliver her.
    [Cheering within. Trumpets sound.]
    There roared the sea, and trumpet-clangor sounds.
    Enter the king and his train.
    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!
    King Henry
    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!
    King Henry
    I know thee not, old man. Fall to thy prayers.
    3260How ill white hairs becomes a fool and jester.
    I have long dreamt of such a kind of man,
    So surfeit-swelled, so old, and so prophane;
    But being awaked, I do despise my dream.
    Make less thy body hence, and more thy grace,
    3265Leave 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,
    3270That I have turned 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.
    3275Till 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;
    3280And as we hear you do reform yourselves,
    We will, according to your strengths and qualities,
    Give you advancement. [To the Lord Chief Justice] Be it your charge, my lord,
    To see performed the tenor of my word. Set on.
    [Exeunt the king and his train.]
    Master Shallow, I owe you a thousand pound.
    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 3290seem 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 color.
    A color that I fear you will die in, Sir John.
    Fear no colors. Go with me to dinner. 3300Come lieutenant Pistol; come Bardolph. I shall be sent for soon at night.
    Enter Justice and Prince John [of Lancaster, with officers.]
    [To officers] 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 contenta.
    Exeunt [all but Lancaster and Justice].
    I like this fair proceeding of the king's,
    3310He hath intent his wonted followers
    Shall all be very well provided for,
    But all are banished till their conversations
    Appear more wise and modest to the world.
    And so they are.
    The king hath called his parliament, my lord.
    He hath.
    I will lay odds that, ere this year expire,
    We bear our civil swords and native fire
    3320As far as France. I heard a bird so sing,
    Whose music, to my thinking, pleased the king.
    Come, will you hence?
    [Enter Epilogue.]
    3325First my fear, then my curtsy, last my speech.
    My fear is your displeasure; my curtsy, 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 3330marring. 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 3335creditors, 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 infinitely. And so I 3336.1kneel down before you -- but, indeed, to pray for the Queen.
    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 3340a 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 in such an assembly.
    One word more, I beseech you. If you be not too much cloyed with fat meat, 3345our humble author will continue the story with Sir John in it, and make you merry with fair Katharine of France; where, for anything I know, Falstaff shall die of a sweat, unless already 'a be killed with your hard opinions; for Oldcastle died martyr, and this is not the man. My tongue is weary, when my legs are too, I will bid you good night.