Part 1 out of 3
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ACT I. SCENE I.
Warkworth. Before NORTHUMBERLAND'S Castle
Enter LORD BARDOLPH
LORD BARDOLPH. Who keeps the gate here, ho?
The PORTER opens the gate
Where is the Earl?
PORTER. What shall I say you are?
LORD BARDOLPH. Tell thou the Earl
That the Lord Bardolph doth attend him here.
PORTER. His lordship is walk'd forth into the orchard.
Please it your honour knock but at the gate,
And he himself will answer.
LORD BARDOLPH. Here comes the Earl. Exit PORTER
NORTHUMBERLAND. What news, Lord Bardolph? Every minute now
Should be the father of some stratagem.
The times are wild; contention, like a horse
Full of high feeding, madly hath broke loose
And bears down all before him.
LORD BARDOLPH. Noble Earl,
I bring you certain news from Shrewsbury.
NORTHUMBERLAND. Good, an God will!
LORD 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
Kill'd by the hand of Douglas; young Prince John,
And Westmoreland, and Stafford, fled the field;
And Harry Monmouth's brawn, the hulk Sir John,
Is prisoner to your son. O, such a day,
So fought, so followed, and so fairly won,
Came not till now to dignify the times,
Since Cxsar's fortunes!
NORTHUMBERLAND. How is this deriv'd?
Saw you the field? Came you from Shrewsbury?
LORD BARDOLPH. I spake with one, my lord, that came from
A gentleman well bred and of good name,
That freely rend'red me these news for true.
NORTHUMBERLAND. Here comes my servant Travers, whom I sent
On Tuesday last to listen after news.
LORD BARDOLPH. My lord, I over-rode him on the way;
And he is furnish'd with no certainties
More than he haply may retail from me.
NORTHUMBERLAND. Now, Travers, what good tidings comes with you?
TRAVERS. My lord, Sir John Umfrevile turn'd me back
With joyful tidings; and, being better hors'd,
Out-rode me. After him came spurring hard
A gentleman, almost forspent with speed,
That stopp'd by me to breathe his bloodied horse.
He ask'd the way to Chester; and of him
I did demand what news from Shrewsbury.
He told me that rebellion had bad luck,
And that young Harry Percy's spur was cold.
With that he gave his able horse the head
And, bending forward, struck his armed heels
Against the panting sides of his poor jade
Up to the rowel-head; and starting so,
He seem'd in running to devour the way,
Staying no longer question.
NORTHUMBERLAND. Ha! Again:
Said he young Harry Percy's spur was cold?
Of 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 honour, for a silken point
I'll give my barony. Never talk of it.
NORTHUMBERLAND. 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
The horse he rode on and, upon my life,
Spoke at a venture. Look, here comes more news.
NORTHUMBERLAND. Yea, this man's brow, like to a title-leaf,
Foretells the nature of a tragic volume.
So looks the strand whereon the imperious flood
Hath left a witness'd usurpation.
Say, Morton, didst thou come from Shrewsbury?
MORTON. I ran from Shrewsbury, my noble lord;
Where hateful death put on his ugliest mask
To fright our party.
NORTHUMBERLAND. How doth my son and brother?
Thou tremblest; and the whiteness in thy cheek
Is apter than thy tongue to tell thy errand.
Even such a man, so faint, so spiritless,
So dull, so dread in look, so woe-begone,
Drew Priam's curtain in the dead of night
And would have told him half his Troy was burnt;
But Priam found the fire ere he his tongue,
And I my Percy's death ere thou report'st it.
This thou wouldst say: 'Your son did thus and thus;
Your brother thus; so fought the noble Douglas'--
Stopping my greedy ear with their bold deeds;
But in the end, to stop my ear indeed,
Thou hast a sigh to blow away this praise,
Ending with 'Brother, son, and all, are dead.'
MORTON. Douglas is living, and your brother, yet;
But for my lord your son--
NORTHUMBERLAND. Why, he is dead.
See what a ready tongue suspicion hath!
He that but fears the thing he would not know
Hath by instinct knowledge from others' eyes
That what he fear'd is chanced. Yet speak, Morton;
Tell thou an earl his divination lies,
And I will take it as a sweet disgrace
And make thee rich for doing me such wrong.
MORTON. You are too great to be by me gainsaid;
Your spirit is too true, your fears too certain.
NORTHUMBERLAND. Yet, for all this, say not that Percy's dead.
I see a strange confession in thine eye;
Thou shak'st thy head, and hold'st it fear or sin
To speak a truth. If he be slain, say so:
The tongue offends not that reports his death;
And he doth sin that doth belie the dead,
Not he which says the dead is not alive.
Yet the first bringer of unwelcome news
Hath but a losing office, and his tongue
Sounds ever after as a sullen bell,
Rememb'red tolling a departing friend.
LORD BARDOLPH. I cannot think, my lord, your son is dead.
MORTON. 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,
Rend'ring faint quittance, wearied and out-breath'd,
To Harry Monmouth, whose swift wrath beat down
The never-daunted Percy to the earth,
From whence with life he never more sprung up.
In few, his death--whose spirit lent a fire
Even to the dullest peasant in his camp--
Being bruited once, took fire and heat away
From the best-temper'd courage in his troops;
For from his metal was his party steeled;
Which once in him abated, all the rest
Turn'd on themselves, like dull and heavy lead.
And as the thing that's heavy in itself
Upon enforcement flies with greatest speed,
So did our men, heavy in Hotspur's loss,
Lend to this weight such lightness with their fear
That arrows fled not swifter toward their aim
Than did our soldiers, aiming at their safety,
Fly from the field. Then was that noble Worcester
Too soon ta'en prisoner; and that furious Scot,
The bloody Douglas, whose well-labouring sword
Had three times slain th' appearance of the King,
Gan vail his stomach and did grace the shame
Of those that turn'd their backs, and in his flight,
Stumbling in fear, was took. The sum of all
Is that the King hath won, and hath sent out
A speedy power to encounter you, my lord,
Under the conduct of young Lancaster
And Westmoreland. This is the news at full.
NORTHUMBERLAND. For this I shall have time enough to mourn.
In poison there is physic; and these news,
Having been well, that would have made me sick,
Being sick, have in some measure made me well;
And as the wretch whose fever-weak'ned 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,
Weak'ned with grief, being now enrag'd with grief,
Are thrice themselves. Hence, therefore, thou nice crutch!
A scaly gauntlet now with joints of steel
Must glove this hand; and hence, thou sickly coif!
Thou art a guard too wanton for the head
Which princes, flesh'd with conquest, aim to hit.
Now bind my brows with iron; and approach
The ragged'st hour that time and spite dare bring
To frown upon th' enrag'd Northumberland!
Let heaven kiss earth! Now let not Nature's hand
Keep the wild flood confin'd! Let order die!
And 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
And darkness be the burier of the dead!
LORD BARDOLPH. This strained passion doth you wrong, my lord.
MORTON. Sweet Earl, divorce not wisdom from your honour.
The lives of all your loving complices
Lean on your health; the which, if you give o'er
To stormy passion, must perforce decay.
You cast th' event of war, my noble lord,
And summ'd the account of chance before you said
'Let us make head.' It was your pre-surmise
That in the dole of blows your son might drop.
You knew he walk'd o'er perils on an edge,
More likely to fall in than to get o'er;
You were advis'd his flesh was capable
Of wounds and scars, and that his forward spirit
Would lift him where most trade of danger rang'd;
Yet did you say 'Go forth'; and none of this,
Though 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 engaged to this loss
Knew that we ventured on such dangerous seas
That if we wrought out life 'twas ten to one;
And yet we ventur'd, for the gain propos'd
Chok'd the respect of likely peril fear'd;
And since we are o'erset, venture again.
Come, we will put forth, body and goods.
MORTON. '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 pow'rs. He is a man
Who with a double surety binds his followers.
My lord your son had only but the corpse,
But shadows and the shows of men, to fight;
For that same word 'rebellion' did divide
The action of their bodies from their souls;
And they did fight with queasiness, constrain'd,
As men drink potions; that their weapons only
Seem'd on our side, but for their spirits and souls
This word 'rebellion'--it had froze them up,
As fish are in a pond. But now the Bishop
Turns insurrection to religion.
Suppos'd sincere and holy in his thoughts,
He's follow'd both with body and with mind;
And doth enlarge his rising with the blood
Of fair King Richard, scrap'd from Pomfret stones;
Derives from heaven his quarrel and his cause;
Tells them he doth bestride a bleeding land,
Gasping for life under great Bolingbroke;
And more and less do flock to follow him.
NORTHUMBERLAND. I knew of this before; but, to speak truth,
This present grief had wip'd 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. Exeunt
London. A street
Enter SIR JOHN FALSTAFF, with his PAGE bearing his sword and
FALSTAFF. Sirrah, you giant, what says the doctor to my water?
PAGE. He said, sir, the water itself was a good healthy water;
for the party that owed it, he might have moe diseases than
FALSTAFF. Men of all sorts take a pride to gird at me. The
this foolish-compounded clay, man, is not able to invent
that intends to laughter, more than I invent or is invented
me. I am not only witty in myself, but the cause that wit is
other men. I do here walk before thee like a sow that hath
overwhelm'd all her litter but one. If the Prince put thee
my service for any other reason than to set me off, why then
have no judgment. Thou whoreson mandrake, thou art fitter to
worn in my cap than to wait at my heels. I was never mann'd
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,
chin is not yet fledge. I will sooner have a beard grow in
palm of my hand than he shall get one off his cheek; and yet
will not stick to say his face is a face-royal. God may
when he will, 'tis not a hair amiss yet. He may keep it still
a face-royal, for a barber shall never earn sixpence out of
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
out of mine, I can assure him. What said Master Dommelton
the satin for my short cloak and my slops?
PAGE. He said, sir, you should procure him better assurance
Bardolph. He would not take his band and yours; he liked not
FALSTAFF. Let him be damn'd, like the Glutton; pray God his
be hotter! A whoreson Achitophel! A rascal-yea-forsooth
bear a gentleman in hand, and then stand upon security! The
whoreson smooth-pates do now wear nothing but high shoes, and
bunches of keys at their girdles; and if a man is through
them in honest taking-up, then they must stand upon security.
had as lief they would put ratsbane in my mouth as offer to
it with security. I look'd 'a should have sent me two and
yards of satin, as I am a true knight, and he sends me
Well, he may sleep in security; for he hath the horn of
abundance, and the lightness of his wife shines through it;
yet cannot he see, though he have his own lanthorn to light
PAGE. He's gone into Smithfield to buy your worship horse.
FALSTAFF. I bought him in Paul's, and he'll buy me a horse in
Smithfield. An I could get me but a wife in the stews, I were
mann'd, hors'd, and wiv'd.
Enter the LORD CHIEF JUSTICE and SERVANT
PAGE. Sir, here comes the nobleman that committed the
Prince for striking him about Bardolph.
FALSTAFF. Wait close; I will not see him.
CHIEF JUSTICE. What's he that goes there?
SERVANT. Falstaff, an't please your lordship.
CHIEF JUSTICE. He that was in question for the robb'ry?
SERVANT. He, my lord; but he hath since done good service at
Shrewsbury, and, as I hear, is now going with some charge to
Lord John of Lancaster.
CHIEF JUSTICE. What, to York? Call him back again.
SERVANT. Sir John Falstaff!
FALSTAFF. Boy, tell him I am deaf.
PAGE. You must speak louder; my master is deaf.
CHIEF JUSTICE. I am sure he is, to the hearing of anything
Go, pluck him by the elbow; I must speak with him.
SERVANT. Sir John!
FALSTAFF. What! a young knave, and begging! Is there not wars?
there not employment? Doth not the King lack subjects? Do not
rebels need soldiers? Though it be a shame to be on any side
one, it is worse shame to beg than to be on the worst side,
it worse than the name of rebellion can tell how to make it.
SERVANT. You mistake me, sir.
FALSTAFF. Why, sir, did I say you were an honest man? Setting
knighthood and my soldiership aside, I had lied in my throat
had said so.
SERVANT. I pray you, sir, then set your knighthood and your
soldiership aside; and give me leave to tell you you in your
throat, if you say I am any other than an honest man.
FALSTAFF. I give thee leave to tell me so! I lay aside that
grows to me! If thou get'st any leave of me, hang me; if thou
tak'st leave, thou wert better be hang'd. You hunt counter.
SERVANT. Sir, my lord would speak with you.
CHIEF JUSTICE. Sir John Falstaff, a word with you.
FALSTAFF. My good lord! God give your lordship good time of
am glad to see your lordship abroad. I heard say your
was sick; I hope your lordship goes abroad by advice. Your
lordship, though not clean past your youth, hath yet some
of age in you, some relish of the saltness of time; and I
humbly beseech your lordship to have a reverend care of your
CHIEF JUSTICE. Sir John, I sent for you before your expedition
FALSTAFF. An't please your lordship, I hear his Majesty is
with some discomfort from Wales.
CHIEF JUSTICE. I talk not of his Majesty. You would not come
sent for you.
FALSTAFF. And I hear, moreover, his Highness is fall'n into
same whoreson apoplexy.
CHIEF JUSTICE. Well God mend him! I pray you let me speak with
FALSTAFF. This apoplexy, as I take it, is a kind of lethargy,
please your lordship, a kind of sleeping in the blood, a
CHIEF JUSTICE. What tell you me of it? Be it as it is.
FALSTAFF. It hath it original from much grief, from study, and
perturbation of the brain. I have read the cause of his
in Galen; it is a kind of deafness.
CHIEF JUSTICE. I think you are fall'n into the disease, for you
hear not what I say to you.
FALSTAFF. Very well, my lord, very well. Rather an't please
is the disease of not listening, the malady of not marking,
I am troubled withal.
CHIEF JUSTICE. To punish you by the heels would amend the
of your ears; and I care not if I do become your physician.
FALSTAFF. I am as poor as Job, my lord, but not so patient.
lordship may minister the potion of imprisonment to me in
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.
CHIEF JUSTICE. I sent for you, when there were matters against
for your life, to come speak with me.
FALSTAFF. As I was then advis'd by my learned counsel in the
of this land-service, I did not come.
CHIEF JUSTICE. Well, the truth is, Sir John, you live in great
FALSTAFF. He that buckles himself in my belt cannot live in
CHIEF JUSTICE. Your means are very slender, and your waste is
FALSTAFF. I would it were otherwise; I would my means were
and my waist slenderer.
CHIEF JUSTICE. You have misled the youthful Prince.
FALSTAFF. The young Prince hath misled me. I am the fellow with
great belly, and he my dog.
CHIEF JUSTICE. Well, I am loath to gall a new-heal'd wound.
day's service at Shrewsbury hath a little gilded over your
night's exploit on Gadshill. You may thank th' unquiet time
your quiet o'erposting that action.
FALSTAFF. My lord--
CHIEF JUSTICE. But since all is well, keep it so: wake not a
FALSTAFF. To wake a wolf is as bad as smell a fox.
CHIEF JUSTICE. What! you are as a candle, the better part burnt
FALSTAFF. A wassail candle, my lord--all tallow; if I did say
wax, my growth would approve the truth.
CHIEF JUSTICE. There is not a white hair in your face but
have his effect of gravity.
FALSTAFF. His effect of gravy, gravy,
CHIEF JUSTICE. You follow the young Prince up and down, like
FALSTAFF. Not so, my lord. Your ill angel is light; but hope
that looks upon me will take me without weighing. And yet in
respects, I grant, I cannot go--I cannot tell. Virtue is of
little regard in these costermongers' times that true valour
turn'd berod; pregnancy is made a tapster, and his quick wit
wasted in giving reckonings; all the other gifts appertinent
man, as the malice of this age shapes them, are not worth a
gooseberry. You that are old consider not the capacities of
that are young; you do measure the heat of our livers with
bitterness of your galls; and we that are in the vaward of
youth, must confess, are wags too.
CHIEF JUSTICE. Do you set down your name in the scroll of
that are written down old with all the characters of age?
you not a moist eye, a dry hand, a yellow cheek, a white
decreasing leg, an increasing belly? Is not your voice
your wind short, your chin double, your wit single, and every
part about you blasted with antiquity? And will you yet call
yourself young? Fie, fie, fie, Sir John!
FALSTAFF. My lord, I was born about three of the clock in the
afternoon, with a white head and something a round belly. For
voice--I have lost it with hallooing and singing of anthems.
approve my youth further, I will not. The truth is, I am only
in judgment and understanding; and he that will caper with me
a thousand marks, let him lend me the money, and have at him.
the box of the ear that the Prince gave you--he gave it like
rude prince, and you took it like a sensible lord. I have
him for it; and the young lion repents--marry, not in ashes
sackcloth, but in new silk and old sack.
CHIEF JUSTICE. Well, God send the Prince a better companion!
FALSTAFF. God send the companion a better prince! I cannot rid
hands of him.
CHIEF JUSTICE. Well, the King hath sever'd you. I hear you are
going with Lord John of Lancaster against the Archbishop and
Earl of Northumberland.
FALSTAFF. Yea; I thank your pretty sweet wit for it. But look
pray, all you that kiss my Lady Peace at home, that our
join not in a hot day; for, by the Lord, I take but two
out with me, and I mean not to sweat extraordinarily. If it
hot day, and I brandish anything but a bottle, I would I
never spit white again. There is not a dangerous action can
out his head but I am thrust upon it. Well, I cannot last
but it was alway yet the trick of our English nation, if they
have a good thing, to make it too common. If ye will needs
am an old man, you should give me rest. I would to God my
were not so terrible to the enemy as it is. I were better to
eaten to death with a rust than to be scoured to nothing with
CHIEF JUSTICE. Well, be honest, be honest; and God bless your
FALSTAFF. Will your lordship lend me a thousand pound to
CHIEF JUSTICE. Not a penny, not a penny; you are too impatient
bear crosses. Fare you well. Commend me to my cousin
Exeunt CHIEF JUSTICE and SERVANT
FALSTAFF. If I do, fillip me with a three-man beetle. A man can
more separate age and covetousness than 'a can part young
and lechery; but the gout galls the one, and the pox pinches
other; and so both the degrees prevent my curses. Boy!
FALSTAFF. What money is in my purse?
PAGE. Seven groats and two pence.
FALSTAFF. I can get no remedy against this consumption of the
purse; borrowing only lingers and lingers it out, but the
is incurable. Go bear this letter to my Lord of Lancaster;
to the Prince; this to the Earl of Westmoreland; and this to
Mistress Ursula, whom I have weekly sworn to marry since I
perceiv'd the first white hair of my chin. About it; you know
where to find me. [Exit PAGE] A pox of this gout! or, a
this pox! for the one or the other plays the rogue with my
toe. 'Tis no matter if I do halt; I have the wars for my
and my pension shall seem the more reasonable. A good wit
make use of anything. I will turn diseases to commodity.
York. The ARCHBISHOP'S palace
Enter the ARCHBISHOP, THOMAS MOWBRAY the EARL MARSHAL, LORD
and LORD BARDOLPH
ARCHBISHOP. 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?
MOWBRAY. I well allow the occasion of our amis;
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.
HASTINGS. Our present musters grow upon the file
To five and twenty thousand men of choice;
And our supplies live largely in the hope
Of great Northumberland, whose bosom burns
With an incensed fire of injuries.
LORD BARDOLPH. The question then, Lord Hastings, standeth thus:
Whether our present five and twenty thousand
May hold up head without Northumberland?
HASTINGS. With him, we may.
LORD BARDOLPH. Yea, marry, there's the point;
But if without him we be thought too feeble,
My judgment is we should not step too far
Till we had his assistance by the hand;
For, in a theme so bloody-fac'd as this,
Conjecture, expectation, and surmise
Of aids incertain, should not be admitted.
ARCHBISHOP. 'Tis very true, Lord Bardolph; for indeed
It was young Hotspur's case at Shrewsbury.
LORD BARDOLPH. It was, my lord; who lin'd himself with hope,
Eating the air and promise of supply,
Flatt'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.
HASTINGS. 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
We 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,
Then we must rate the cost of the erection;
Which if we find outweighs ability,
What do we then but draw anew the model
In fewer offices, or at least desist
To build at all? Much more, in this great work--
Which is almost to pluck a kingdom down
And set another up--should we survey
The plot of situation and the model,
Consent upon a sure foundation,
Question surveyors, know our own estate
How able such a work to undergo-
To weigh against his opposite; or else
We fortify in paper and in figures,
Using the names of men instead of men;
Like one that draws the model of a house
Beyond his power to build it; who, half through,
Gives o'er and leaves his part-created cost
A naked subject to the weeping clouds
And waste for churlish winter's tyranny.
HASTINGS. Grant that our hopes--yet likely of fair birth--
Should be still-born, and that we now possess'd
The utmost man of expectation,
I think we are so a body strong enough,
Even as we are, to equal with the King.
LORD BARDOLPH. What, is the King but five and twenty thousand?
HASTINGS. To us no more; nay, not so much, Lord Bardolph;
For his divisions, as the times do brawl,
Are in three heads: one power against the French,
And one against Glendower; perforce a third
Must take up us. So is the unfirm King
In three divided; and his coffers sound
With hollow poverty and emptiness.
ARCHBISHOP. That he should draw his several strengths together
And come against us in full puissance
Need not be dreaded.
HASTINGS. If he should do so,
He leaves his back unarm'd, the French and Welsh
Baying at his heels. Never fear that.
LORD BARDOLPH. Who is it like should lead his forces hither?
HASTINGS. The Duke of Lancaster and Westmoreland;
Against the Welsh, himself and Harry Monmouth;
But who is substituted against the French
I have no certain notice.
ARCHBISHOP. Let us on,
And publish the occasion of our arms.
The commonwealth is sick of their own choice;
Their over-greedy love hath surfeited.
An habitation giddy and unsure
Hath he that buildeth on the vulgar heart.
O thou fond many, with what loud applause
Didst thou beat heaven with blessing Bolingbroke
Before he was what thou wouldst have him be!
And being now trimm'd in thine own desires,
Thou, beastly feeder, art so full of him
That thou provok'st thyself to cast him up.
So, so, thou common dog, didst thou disgorge
Thy glutton bosom of the royal Richard;
And now thou wouldst eat thy dead vomit up,
And howl'st to find it. What trust is in these times?
They that, when Richard liv'd, would have him die
Are now become enamour'd on his grave.
Thou that threw'st dust upon his goodly head,
When through proud London he came sighing on
After th' admired heels of Bolingbroke,
Criest now 'O earth, yield us that king again,
And take thou this!' O thoughts of men accurs'd!
Past and to come seems best; things present, worst.
MOWBRAY. Shall we go draw our numbers, and set on?
HASTINGS. We are time's subjects, and time bids be gone.
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ACT II. SCENE I.
London. A street
Enter HOSTESS with two officers, FANG and SNARE
HOSTESS. Master Fang, have you ent'red the action?
FANG. It is ent'red.
HOSTESS. Where's your yeoman? Is't a lusty yeoman? Will 'a
FANG. Sirrah, where's Snare?
HOSTESS. O Lord, ay! good Master Snare.
SNARE. Here, here.
FANG. Snare, we must arrest Sir John Falstaff.
HOSTESS. Yea, good Master Snare; I have ent'red him and all.
SNARE. It may chance cost some of our lives, for he will stab.
HOSTESS. Alas the day! take heed of him; he stabb'd me in mine
house, and that most beastly. In good faith, 'a cares not
mischief he does, if his weapon be out; he will foin like any
devil; he will spare neither man, woman, nor child.
FANG. If I can close with him, I care not for his thrust.
HOSTESS. No, nor I neither; I'll be at your elbow.
FANG. An I but fist him once; an 'a come but within my vice!
HOSTESS. I am undone by his going; I warrant you, he's an
infinitive thing upon my score. Good Master Fang, hold him
Good Master Snare, let him not scape. 'A comes continuantly
Pie-corner--saving your manhoods--to buy a saddle; and he is
indited to dinner to the Lubber's Head in Lumbert Street, to
Master Smooth's the silkman. I pray you, since my exion is
ent'red, 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
lone woman to bear; and I have borne, and borne, and borne;
have been fubb'd off, and fubb'd off, and fubb'd off, from
day to that day, that it is a shame to be thought on. There
honesty in such dealing; unless a woman should be made an ass
a beast, to bear every knave's wrong.
Enter SIR JOHN FALSTAFF, PAGE, and BARDOLPH
Yonder he comes; and that arrant malmsey-nose knave,
with him. Do your offices, do your offices, Master Fang and
Master Snare; do me, do me, do me your offices.
FALSTAFF. How now! whose mare's dead? What's the matter?
FANG. Sir John, I arrest you at the suit of Mistress Quickly.
FALSTAFF. Away, varlets! Draw, Bardolph. Cut me off the
head. Throw the quean in the channel.
HOSTESS. Throw me in the channel! I'll throw thee in the
Wilt thou? wilt thou? thou bastardly rogue! Murder, murder!
thou honeysuckle villain! wilt thou kill God's officers and
King's? Ah, thou honey-seed rogue! thou art a honey-seed; a
man-queller and a woman-queller.
FALSTAFF. Keep them off, Bardolph.
FANG. A rescue! a rescue!
HOSTESS. Good people, bring a rescue or two. Thou wot, wot
thou wot, wot ta? Do, do, thou rogue! do, thou hemp-seed!
PAGE. Away, you scullion! you rampallian! you fustilarian!
I'll tickle your catastrophe.
Enter the LORD CHIEF JUSTICE and his men
CHIEF JUSTICE. What is the matter? Keep the peace here, ho!
HOSTESS. Good my lord, be good to me. I beseech you, stand to
CHIEF JUSTICE. How now, Sir John! what, are you brawling here?
Doth this become your place, your time, and business?
You should have been well on your way to York.
Stand from him, fellow; wherefore hang'st thou upon him?
HOSTESS. O My most worshipful lord, an't please your Grace, I
poor widow of Eastcheap, and he is arrested at my suit.
CHIEF JUSTICE. For what sum?
HOSTESS. It is more than for some, my lord; it is for all--all
have. He hath eaten me out of house and home; he hath put all
substance into that fat belly of his. But I will have some of
out again, or I will ride thee a nights like a mare.
FALSTAFF. I think I am as like to ride the mare, if I have any
vantage of ground to get up.
CHIEF JUSTICE. How comes this, Sir John? Fie! What man of good
temper would endure this tempest of exclamation? Are you not
ashamed to enforce a poor widow to so rough a course to come by her own?
FALSTAFF. What is the gross sum that I owe thee?
HOSTESS. Marry, if thou wert an honest man, thyself and the
too. Thou didst swear to me upon a parcel-gilt goblet,
my Dolphin chamber, at the round table, by a sea-coal fire,
Wednesday in Wheeson week, when the Prince broke thy head for
liking his father to singing-man of Windsor--thou didst swear
me then, as I was washing thy wound, to marry me and make me
lady thy wife. Canst thou deny it? Did not goodwife Keech,
butcher's wife, come in then and call me gossip Quickly?
in to borrow a mess of vinegar, telling us she had a good
prawns, whereby thou didst desire to eat some, whereby I told
thee they were ill for green wound? And didst thou not, when
was gone down stairs, desire me to be no more so familiarity
such poor people, saying that ere long they should call me
And didst thou not kiss me, and bid me fetch the thirty
shillings? I put thee now to thy book-oath. Deny it, if thou
FALSTAFF. 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
good case, and, the truth is, poverty hath distracted her.
for these foolish officers, I beseech you I may have redress
CHIEF JUSTICE. Sir John, Sir John, I am well acquainted with
manner of wrenching the true cause the false way. It is not a
confident brow, nor the throng of words that come with such
than impudent sauciness from you, can thrust me from a level
consideration. You have, as it appears to me, practis'd upon
easy yielding spirit of this woman, and made her serve your
both in purse and in person.
HOSTESS. Yea, in truth, my lord.
CHIEF JUSTICE. Pray thee, peace. Pay her the debt you owe her,
unpay the villainy you have done with her; the one you may do
with sterling money, and the other with current repentance.
FALSTAFF. My lord, I will not undergo this sneap without reply.
call honourable boldness impudent sauciness; if a man will
curtsy and say nothing, he is virtuous. No, my lord, my
duty rememb'red, I will not be your suitor. I say to you I do
desire deliverance from these officers, being upon hasty
employment in the King's affairs.
CHIEF JUSTICE. You speak as having power to do wrong; but
th' effect of your reputation, and satisfy the poor woman.
FALSTAFF. Come hither, hostess.
CHIEF JUSTICE. Now, Master Gower, what news?
GOWER. The King, my lord, and Harry Prince of Wales
Are near at hand. The rest the paper tells. [Gives a letter]
FALSTAFF. As I am a gentleman!
HOSTESS. Faith, you said so before.
FALSTAFF. As I am a gentleman! Come, no more words of it.
HOSTESS. By this heavenly ground I tread on, I must be fain to
both my plate and the tapestry of my dining-chambers.
FALSTAFF. Glasses, glasses, is the only drinking; and for thy
walls, a pretty slight drollery, or the story of the
the German hunting, in water-work, is worth a thousand of
bed-hangers and these fly-bitten tapestries. Let it be ten
if thou canst. Come, and 'twere not for thy humours, there's
a better wench in England. Go, wash thy face, and draw the
action. Come, thou must not be in this humour with me; dost
know me? Come, come, I know thou wast set on to this.
HOSTESS. Pray thee, Sir John, let it be but twenty nobles;
i' faith, I am loath to pawn my plate, so God save me, la!
FALSTAFF. Let it alone; I'll make other shift. You'll be a fool
HOSTESS. Well, you shall have it, though I pawn my gown.
I hope you'll come to supper. you'll pay me all together?
FALSTAFF. Will I live? [To BARDOLPH] Go, with her, with her;
on, hook on.
HOSTESS. Will you have Doll Tearsheet meet you at supper?
FALSTAFF. No more words; let's have her.
Exeunt HOSTESS, BARDOLPH, and OFFICERS
CHIEF JUSTICE. I have heard better news.
FALSTAFF. What's the news, my lord?
CHIEF JUSTICE. Where lay the King to-night?
GOWER. At Basingstoke, my lord.
FALSTAFF. I hope, my lord, all's well. What is the news, my
CHIEF JUSTICE. Come all his forces back?
GOWER. No; fifteen hundred foot, five hundred horse,
Are march'd up to my Lord of Lancaster,
Against Northumberland and the Archbishop.
FALSTAFF. Comes the King back from Wales, my noble lord?
CHIEF JUSTICE. You shall have letters of me presently.
Come, go along with me, good Master Gower.
FALSTAFF. My lord!
CHIEF JUSTICE. What's the matter?
FALSTAFF. Master Gower, shall I entreat you with me to dinner?
GOWER. I must wait upon my good lord here, I thank you, good
CHIEF JUSTICE. Sir John, you loiter here too long, being you
take soldiers up in counties as you go.
FALSTAFF. Will you sup with me, Master Gower?
CHIEF JUSTICE. What foolish master taught you these manners,
FALSTAFF. Master Gower, if they become me not, he was a fool
taught them me. This is the right fencing grace, my lord; tap
tap, and so part fair.
CHIEF JUSTICE. Now, the Lord lighten thee! Thou art a great
London. Another street
Enter PRINCE HENRY and POINS
PRINCE. Before God, I am exceeding weary.
POINS. Is't come to that? I had thought weariness durst not
attach'd one of so high blood.
PRINCE. Faith, it does me; though it discolours the complexion
my greatness to acknowledge it. Doth it not show vilely in me
desire small beer?
POINS. Why, a prince should not be so loosely studied as to
remember so weak a composition.
PRINCE. Belike then my appetite was not-princely got; for, by
troth, I do now remember the poor creature, small beer. But
indeed these humble considerations make me out of love with
greatness. What a disgrace is it to me to remember thy name,
to know thy face to-morrow, or to take note how many pair of
stockings thou hast--viz., these, and those that were thy
peach-colour'd ones--or to bear the inventory of thy shirts-
one for superfluity, and another for use! But that the
tennis-court-keeper knows better than I; for it is a low ebb
linen with thee when thou keepest not racket there; as thou
not done a great while, because the rest of thy low countries
have made a shift to eat up thy holland. And God knows
those that bawl out of the ruins of thy linen shall inherit
kingdom; but the midwives say the children are not in the
whereupon the world increases, and kindreds are mightily
POINS. How ill it follows, after you have laboured so hard, you
should talk so idly! Tell me, how many good young princes
do so, their fathers being so sick as yours at this time is?
PRINCE. Shall I tell thee one thing, Poins?
POINS. Yes, faith; and let it be an excellent good thing.
PRINCE. It shall serve among wits of no higher breeding than
POINS. Go to; I stand the push of your one thing that you will
PRINCE. Marry, I tell thee it is not meet that I should be sad,
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
sad and sad indeed too.
POINS. Very hardly upon such a subject.
PRINCE. By this hand, thou thinkest me as far in the devil's
as thou and Falstaff for obduracy and persistency: let the
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
in reason taken from me all ostentation of sorrow.
POINS. The reason?
PRINCE. What wouldst thou think of me if I should weep?
POINS. I would think thee a most princely hypocrite.
PRINCE. It would be every man's thought; and thou art a blessed
fellow to think as every man thinks. Never a man's thought in
world keeps the road-way better than thine. Every man would
me an hypocrite indeed. And what accites your most worshipful
thought to think so?
POINS. Why, because you have been so lewd and so much engraffed
PRINCE. And to thee.
POINS. By this light, I am well spoke on; I can hear it with
own ears. The worst that they can say of me is that I am a
brother and that I am a proper fellow of my hands; and those
things, I confess, I cannot help. By the mass, here comes
Enter BARDOLPH and PAGE
PRINCE. And the boy that I gave Falstaff. 'A had him from me
Christian; and look if the fat villain have not transform'd
BARDOLPH. God save your Grace!
PRINCE. And yours, most noble Bardolph!
POINS. Come, you virtuous ass, you bashful fool, must you be
blushing? Wherefore blush you now? What a maidenly
are you become! Is't such a matter to get a pottle-pot's
PAGE. 'A calls me e'en now, my lord, through a red lattice, and
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
alewife's new petticoat, and so peep'd through.
PRINCE. Has not the boy profited?
BARDOLPH. Away, you whoreson upright rabbit, away!
PAGE. Away, you rascally Althaea's dream, away!
PRINCE. Instruct us, boy; what dream, boy?
PAGE. Marry, my lord, Althaea dreamt she was delivered of a
firebrand; and therefore I call him her dream.
PRINCE. A crown's worth of good interpretation. There 'tis,
[Giving a crown]
POINS. O that this blossom could be kept from cankers!
Well, there is sixpence to preserve thee.
BARDOLPH. An you do not make him be hang'd among you, the
shall have wrong.
PRINCE. And how doth thy master, Bardolph?
BARDOLPH. Well, my lord. He heard of your Grace's coming to
There's a letter for you.
POINS. Deliver'd with good respect. And how doth the martlemas,
BARDOLPH. In bodily health, sir.
POINS. Marry, the immortal part needs a physician; but that
not him. Though that be sick, it dies not.
PRINCE. I do allow this well to be as familiar with me as my
and he holds his place, for look you how he writes.
POINS. [Reads] 'John Falstaff, knight'--Every man must know
as oft as he has occasion to name himself, even like those
are kin to the King; for they never prick their finger but
say 'There's some of the King's blood spilt.' 'How comes
says he that takes upon him not to conceive. The answer is as
ready as a borrower's cap: 'I am the King's poor cousin,
PRINCE. Nay, they will be kin to us, or they will fetch it from
Japhet. But the letter: [Reads] 'Sir John Falstaff, knight,
the son of the King nearest his father, Harry Prince of
POINS. Why, this is a certificate.
PRINCE. Peace! [Reads] 'I will imitate the honourable Romans
POINS. He sure means brevity in breath, short-winded.
PRINCE. [Reads] 'I commend me to thee, I commend thee, and I
leave thee. Be not too familiar with Poins; for he misuses
favours so much that he swears thou art to marry his sister
Repent at idle times as thou mayst, and so farewell.
Thine, by yea and no--which is as much as to say as
thou usest him--JACK FALSTAFF with my familiars,
JOHN with my brothers and sisters, and SIR JOHN with
POINS. My lord, I'll steep this letter in sack and make him eat
PRINCE. That's to make him eat twenty of his words. But do you
me thus, Ned? Must I marry your sister?
POINS. God send the wench no worse fortune! But I never said
PRINCE. Well, thus we play the fools with the time, and the
of the wise sit in the clouds and mock us. Is your master
BARDOLPH. Yea, my lord.
PRINCE. Where sups he? Doth the old boar feed in the old frank?
BARDOLPH. At the old place, my lord, in Eastcheap.
PRINCE. What company?
PAGE. Ephesians, my lord, of the old church.
PRINCE. Sup any women with him?
PAGE. None, my lord, but old Mistress Quickly and Mistress Doll
PRINCE. What pagan may that be?
PAGE. A proper gentlewoman, sir, and a kinswoman of my
PRINCE. Even such kin as the parish heifers are to the town
Shall we steal upon them, Ned, at supper?
POINS. I am your shadow, my lord; I'll follow you.
PRINCE. Sirrah, you boy, and Bardolph, no word to your master
I am yet come to town. There's for your silence.
BARDOLPH. I have no tongue, sir.
PAGE. And for mine, sir, I will govern it.
PRINCE. Fare you well; go. Exeunt BARDOLPH and PAGE
This Doll Tearsheet should be some road.
POINS. I warrant you, as common as the way between Saint Albans
PRINCE. How might we see Falstaff bestow himself to-night in
true colours, and not ourselves be seen?
POINS. Put on two leathern jerkins and aprons, and wait upon
his table as drawers.
PRINCE. 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
folly. Follow me, Ned.
Warkworth. Before the castle
Enter NORTHUMBERLAND, LADY NORTHUMBERLAND, and LADY PERCY
NORTHUMBERLAND. I pray thee, loving wife, and gentle daughter,
Give even way unto my rough affairs;
Put not you on the visage of the times
And be, like them, to Percy troublesome.
LADY NORTHUMBERLAND. I have given over, I will speak no more.
Do what you will; your wisdom be your guide.
NORTHUMBERLAND. Alas, sweet wife, my honour 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 endear'd to it than now;
When your own Percy, when my heart's dear Harry,
Threw many a northward look to see his father
Bring up his powers; but he did long in vain.
Who then persuaded you to stay at home?
There were two honours lost, yours and your son's.
For yours, the God of heaven brighten it!
For his, it stuck upon him as the sun
In the grey vault of heaven; and by his light
Did all the chivalry of England move
To do brave acts. He was indeed the glass
Wherein the noble youth did dress themselves.
He had no legs that practis'd not his gait;
And speaking thick, which nature made his blemish,
Became the accents of the valiant;
For those who could speak low and tardily
Would turn their own perfection to abuse
To seem like him: so that in speech, in gait,
In diet, in affections of delight,
In military rules, humours of blood,
He was the mark and glass, copy and book,
That fashion'd others. And him--O wondrous him!
O miracle of men!--him did you leave--
Second to none, unseconded by you--
To look upon the hideous god of war
In disadvantage, to abide a field
Where nothing but the sound of Hotspur's name
Did seem defensible. So you left him.
Never, O never, do his ghost the wrong
To hold your honour more precise and nice
With others than with him! Let them alone.
The Marshal and the Archbishop are strong.
Had my sweet Harry had but half their numbers,
To-day might I, hanging on Hotspur's neck,
Have talk'd of Monmouth's grave.
NORTHUMBERLAND. Beshrew your heart,
Fair daughter, you do draw my spirits from me
With new lamenting ancient oversights.
But I must go and meet with danger there,
Or it will seek me in another place,
And find me worse provided.
LADY NORTHUMBERLAND. O, fly to Scotland
Till that the nobles and the armed 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,
To make strength stronger; but, for all our loves,
First let them try themselves. So did your son;
He was so suff'red; so came I a widow;
And never shall have length of life enough
To rain upon remembrance with mine eyes,
That it may grow and sprout as high as heaven,
For recordation to my noble husband.
NORTHUMBERLAND. Come, come, go in with me. 'Tis with my mind
As with the tide swell'd up unto his height,
That makes a still-stand, running neither way.
Fain would I go to meet the Archbishop,
But many thousand reasons hold me back.
I will resolve for Scotland. There am I,
Till time and vantage crave my company. Exeunt
London. The Boar's Head Tavern in Eastcheap
Enter FRANCIS and another DRAWER
FRANCIS. What the devil hast thou brought there-apple-johns?
knowest Sir John cannot endure an apple-john.
SECOND DRAWER. Mass, thou say'st true. The Prince once set a
of apple-johns before him, and told him there were five more
Johns; and, putting off his hat, said 'I will now take my
of these six dry, round, old, withered knights.' It ang'red
to the heart; but he hath forgot that.
FRANCIS. Why, then, cover and set them down; and see if thou
find out Sneak's noise; Mistress Tearsheet would fain hear
Enter third DRAWER
THIRD DRAWER. Dispatch! The room where they supp'd is too hot;
they'll come in straight.
FRANCIS. Sirrah, here will be the Prince and Master Poins anon;
they will put on two of our jerkins and aprons; and Sir John
not know of it. Bardolph hath brought word.
THIRD DRAWER. By the mass, here will be old uds; it will be an
SECOND DRAWER. I'll see if I can find out Sneak.
Exeunt second and third DRAWERS
Enter HOSTESS and DOLL TEARSHEET
HOSTESS. I' faith, sweetheart, methinks now you are in an
good temperality. Your pulsidge beats as extraordinarily as
would desire; and your colour, I warrant you, is as red as
rose, in good truth, la! But, i' faith, you have drunk too
canaries; and that's a marvellous searching wine, and it
the blood ere one can say 'What's this?' How do you now?
DOLL. Better than I was--hem.
HOSTESS. Why, that's well said; a good heart's worth gold.
Lo, here comes Sir John.
FALSTAFF. [Singing] 'When Arthur first in court'--Empty the
Jordan. [Exit FRANCIS]--[Singing] 'And was a worthy king'--
now, Mistress Doll!
HOSTESS. Sick of a calm; yea, good faith.
FALSTAFF. So is all her sect; and they be once in a calm, they
DOLL. A pox damn you, you muddy rascal! Is that all the comfort
FALSTAFF. You make fat rascals, Mistress Doll.
DOLL. I make them! Gluttony and diseases make them: I make them
FALSTAFF. If the cook help to make the gluttony, you help to
the diseases, Doll. We catch of you, Doll, we catch of you;
that, my poor virtue, grant that.
DOLL. Yea, joy, our chains and our jewels.
FALSTAFF. 'Your brooches, pearls, and ouches.' For to serve
is to come halting off; you know, to come off the breach with
pike bent bravely, and to surgery bravely; to venture upon
charg'd chambers bravely--
DOLL. Hang yourself, you muddy conger, hang yourself!
HOSTESS. By my troth, this is the old fashion; you two never
but you fall to some discord. You are both, i' good truth, as
rheumatic as two dry toasts; you cannot one bear with
confirmities. What the good-year! one must bear, and that
you. You are the weaker vessel, as as they say, the emptier
DOLL. Can a weak empty vessel bear such a huge full hogs-head?
There's a whole merchant's venture of Bourdeaux stuff in him;
have not seen a hulk better stuff'd in the hold. Come, I'll
friends with thee, Jack. Thou art going to the wars; and
I shall ever see thee again or no, there is nobody cares.
FRANCIS. Sir, Ancient Pistol's below and would speak with you.
DOLL. Hang him, swaggering rascal! Let him not come hither; it
the foul-mouth'dst rogue in England.
HOSTESS. If he swagger, let him not come here. No, by my faith!
must live among my neighbours; I'll no swaggerers. I am in
name and fame with the very best. Shut the door. There comes
swaggerers here; I have not liv'd all this while to have
swaggering now. Shut the door, I pray you.
FALSTAFF. Dost thou hear, hostess?
HOSTESS. Pray ye, pacify yourself, Sir John; there comes no
FALSTAFF. Dost thou hear? It is mine ancient.
HOSTESS. Tilly-fally, Sir John, ne'er tell me; and your ancient
swagg'rer comes not in my doors. I was before Master Tisick,
debuty, t' other day; and, as he said to me--'twas no longer
than Wednesday last, i' good faith!--'Neighbour Quickly,'
he--Master Dumbe, our minister, was by then--'Neighbour
says he 'receive those that are civil, for' said he 'you are
an ill name.' Now 'a said so, I can tell whereupon. 'For'
'you are an honest woman and well thought on, therefore take
what guests you receive. Receive' says he 'no swaggering
companions.' There comes none here. You would bless you to
what he said. No, I'll no swagg'rers.
FALSTAFF. He's no swagg'rer, hostess; a tame cheater, i' faith;
may stroke him as gently as a puppy greyhound. He'll not
with a Barbary hen, if her feathers turn back in any show of
resistance. Call him up, drawer.
HOSTESS. Cheater, call you him? I will bar no honest man my
nor no cheater; but I do not love swaggering, by my troth. I
the worse when one says 'swagger.' Feel, masters, how I
look you, I warrant you.
DOLL. So you do, hostess.
HOSTESS. Do I? Yea, in very truth, do I, an 'twere an aspen
cannot abide swagg'rers.
Enter PISTOL, BARDOLPH, and PAGE
PISTOL. God save you, Sir John!
FALSTAFF. Welcome, Ancient Pistol. Here, Pistol, I charge you
a cup of sack; do you discharge upon mine hostess.
PISTOL. I will discharge upon her, Sir John, with two bullets.
FALSTAFF. She is pistol-proof, sir; you shall not hardly offend
HOSTESS. Come, I'll drink no proofs nor no bullets. I'll drink
more than will do me good, for no man's pleasure, I.
PISTOL. Then to you, Mistress Dorothy; I will charge you.
DOLL. 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.
PISTOL. I know you, Mistress Dorothy.
DOLL. Away, you cut-purse rascal! you filthy bung, away! By
wine, I'll thrust my knife in your mouldy chaps, an you play
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!
PISTOL. God let me not live but I will murder your ruff for
FALSTAFF. No more, Pistol; I would not have you go off here.
Discharge yourself of our company, Pistol.
HOSTESS. No, good Captain Pistol; not here, sweet captain.
DOLL. Captain! Thou abominable damn'd cheater, art thou not
to be called captain? An captains were of my mind, they would
truncheon you out, for taking their names upon you before you
have earn'd them. You a captain! you slave, for what? For
a poor whore's ruff in a bawdy-house? He a captain! hang him,
rogue! He lives upon mouldy stew'd prunes and dried cakes. A
captain! God's light, these villains will make the word as
as the word 'occupy'; which was an excellent good word before
was ill sorted. Therefore captains had need look to't.
BARDOLPH. Pray thee go down, good ancient.
FALSTAFF. Hark thee hither, Mistress Doll.
PISTOL. Not I! I tell thee what, Corporal Bardolph, I could
her; I'll be reveng'd of her.
PAGE. Pray thee go down.
PISTOL. I'll see her damn'd first; to Pluto's damn'd lake, by
hand, to th' infernal deep, with Erebus and tortures vile
Hold hook and line, say I. Down, down, dogs! down, faitors!
we not Hiren here?
HOSTESS. Good Captain Peesel, be quiet; 'tis very late, i'
beseek you now, aggravate your choler.
PISTOL. These be good humours, indeed! Shall packhorses,
And hollow pamper'd jades of Asia,
Which cannot go but thirty mile a day,
Compare with Caesars, and with Cannibals,
And Troiant Greeks? Nay, rather damn them with
King Cerberus; and let the welkin roar.
Shall we fall foul for toys?
HOSTESS. By my troth, Captain, these are very bitter words.
BARDOLPH. Be gone, good ancient; this will grow to a brawl
PISTOL. Die men like dogs! Give crowns like pins! Have we not
HOSTESS. O' my word, Captain, there's none such here. What the
good-year! do you think I would deny her? For God's sake, be
PISTOL. Then feed and be fat, my fair Calipolis.
Come, give's some sack.
'Si fortune me tormente sperato me contento.'
Fear we broadsides? No, let the fiend give fire.
Give me some sack; and, sweetheart, lie thou there.
[Laying down his sword]
Come we to full points here, and are etceteras nothings?
FALSTAFF. Pistol, I would be quiet.
PISTOL. Sweet knight, I kiss thy neaf. What! we have seen the
DOLL. For God's sake thrust him down stairs; I cannot endure
PISTOL. Thrust him down stairs! Know we not Galloway nags?
FALSTAFF. Quoit him down, Bardolph, like a shove-groat
Nay, an 'a do nothing but speak nothing, 'a shall be nothing
BARDOLPH. Come, get you down stairs.
PISTOL. What! shall we have incision? Shall we imbrue?
[Snatching up his sword]
Then death rock me asleep, abridge my doleful days!
Why, then, let grievous, ghastly, gaping wounds
Untwine the Sisters Three! Come, Atropos, I say!
HOSTESS. Here's goodly stuff toward!
FALSTAFF. Give me my rapier, boy.
DOLL. I pray thee, Jack, I pray thee, do not draw.
FALSTAFF. Get you down stairs.
[Drawing and driving PISTOL out]
HOSTESS. Here's a goodly tumult! I'll forswear keeping house
I'll be in these tirrits and frights. So; murder, I warrant
Alas, alas! put up your naked weapons, put up your naked
Exeunt PISTOL and BARDOLPH
DOLL. I pray thee, Jack, be quiet; the rascal's gone. Ah, you
whoreson little valiant villain, you!
HOSTESS. Are you not hurt i' th' groin? Methought 'a made a
thrust at your belly.
FALSTAFF. Have you turn'd him out a doors?
BARDOLPH. Yea, sir. The rascal's drunk. You have hurt him, sir,
FALSTAFF. A rascal! to brave me!
DOLL. Ah, you sweet little rogue, you! Alas, poor ape, how thou
sweat'st! Come, let me wipe thy face. Come on, you whoreson
chops. Ah, rogue! i' faith, I love thee. Thou art as valorous
Hector of Troy, worth five of Agamemnon, and ten times better
than the Nine Worthies. Ah, villain!
FALSTAFF. A rascally slave! I will toss the rogue in a blanket.
DOLL. Do, an thou dar'st for thy heart. An thou dost, I'll
thee between a pair of sheets.
PAGE. The music is come, sir.
FALSTAFF. Let them play. Play, sirs. Sit on my knee, Don. A
bragging slave! The rogue fled from me like quick-silver.
DOLL. I' faith, and thou follow'dst him like a church. Thou
whoreson little tidy Bartholomew boar-pig, when wilt thou
fighting a days and foining a nights, and begin to patch up
old body for heaven?
Enter, behind, PRINCE HENRY and POINS disguised as drawers
FALSTAFF. Peace, good Doll! Do not speak like a death's-head;
not bid me remember mine end.
DOLL. Sirrah, what humour's the Prince of?
FALSTAFF. A good shallow young fellow. 'A would have made a
pantler; 'a would ha' chipp'd bread well.
DOLL. They say Poins has a good wit.
FALSTAFF. He a good wit! hang him, baboon! His wit's as thick
Tewksbury mustard; there's no more conceit in him than is in
DOLL. Why does the Prince love him so, then?
FALSTAFF. Because their legs are both of a bigness, and 'a
quoits well, and eats conger and fennel, and drinks off
ends for flap-dragons, and rides the wild mare with the boys,
jumps upon join'd-stools, and swears with a good grace, and
his boots very smooth, like unto the sign of the Leg, and
no bate with telling of discreet stories; and such other
faculties 'a has, that show a weak mind and an able body, for
which the Prince admits him. For the Prince himself is such
another; the weight of a hair will turn the scales between
PRINCE. Would not this nave of a wheel have his ears cut off?
POINS. Let's beat him before his whore.
PRINCE. Look whe'er the wither'd elder hath not his poll claw'd
like a parrot.
POINS. Is it not strange that desire should so many years
FALSTAFF. Kiss me, Doll.
PRINCE. Saturn and Venus this year in conjunction! What says
almanac to that?
POINS. And look whether the fiery Trigon, his man, be not
to his master's old tables, his note-book, his
FALSTAFF. Thou dost give me flattering busses.
DOLL. By my troth, I kiss thee with a most constant heart.
FALSTAFF. I am old, I am old.
DOLL. I love thee better than I love e'er a scurvy young boy of
FALSTAFF. What stuff wilt have a kirtle of? I shall receive
Thursday. Shalt have a cap to-morrow. A merry song, come. 'A
grows late; we'll to bed. Thou't forget me when I am gone.
DOLL. By my troth, thou't set me a-weeping, an thou say'st so.
Prove that ever I dress myself handsome till thy return.
hearken a' th' end.
FALSTAFF. Some sack, Francis.
PRINCE & POINS. Anon, anon, sir. [Advancing]
FALSTAFF. Ha! a bastard son of the King's? And art thou not
PRINCE. Why, thou globe of sinful continents, what a life dost
FALSTAFF. A better than thou. I am a gentleman: thou art a
PRINCE. Very true, sir, and I come to draw you out by the ears.
HOSTESS. O, the Lord preserve thy Grace! By my troth, welcome
London. Now the Lord bless that sweet face of thine. O Jesu,
you come from Wales?
FALSTAFF. Thou whoreson mad compound of majesty, by this light
flesh and corrupt blood, thou art welcome.
[Leaning his band upon DOLL]
DOLL. How, you fat fool! I scorn you.
POINS. My lord, he will drive you out of your revenge and turn
to a merriment, if you take not the heat.
PRINCE. YOU whoreson candle-mine, you, how vilely did you speak
me even now before this honest, virtuous, civil gentlewoman!
HOSTESS. God's blessing of your good heart! and so she is, by
FALSTAFF. Didst thou hear me?
PRINCE. Yea; and you knew me, as you did when you ran away by
Gadshill. You knew I was at your back, and spoke it on
try my patience.
FALSTAFF. No, no, no; not so; I did not think thou wast within
PRINCE. I shall drive you then to confess the wilful abuse, and
then I know how to handle you.
FALSTAFF. No abuse, Hal, o' mine honour; no abuse.
PRINCE. Not to dispraise me, and call me pander, and
bread-chipper, and I know not what!
FALSTAFF. No abuse, Hal.
POINS. No abuse!
FALSTAFF. No abuse, Ned, i' th' world; honest Ned, none. I
disprais'd him before the wicked--that the wicked might not
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
thanks for it. No abuse, Hal; none, Ned, none; no, faith,
PRINCE. See now, whether pure fear and entire cowardice doth
make thee wrong this virtuous gentlewoman to close with us?
she of the wicked? Is thine hostess here of the wicked? Or is
boy of the wicked? Or honest Bardolph, whose zeal burns in
nose, of the wicked?
POINS. Answer, thou dead elm, answer.
FALSTAFF. The fiend hath prick'd down Bardolph irrecoverable;
his face is Lucifer's privy-kitchen, where he doth nothing
roast malt-worms. For the boy--there is a good angel about
but the devil outbids him too.
PRINCE. For the women?
FALSTAFF. For one of them--she's in hell already, and burns
souls. For th' other--I owe her money; and whether she be
for that, I know not.
HOSTESS. No, I warrant you.
FALSTAFF. No, I think thou art not; I think thou art quit for
Marry, there is another indictment upon thee for suffering
to be eaten in thy house, contrary to the law; for the which
think thou wilt howl.
HOSTESS. All vict'lers do so. What's a joint of mutton or two
PRINCE. You, gentlewoman--
DOLL. What says your Grace?
FALSTAFF. His Grace says that which his flesh rebels against.
HOSTESS. Who knocks so loud at door? Look to th' door there,
PRINCE. Peto, how now! What news?
PETO. The King your father is at Westminster;
And there are twenty weak and wearied posts
Come from the north; and as I came along
I met and overtook a dozen captains,
Bare-headed, sweating, knocking at the taverns,
And asking every one for Sir John Falstaff.
PRINCE. By heaven, Poins, I feel me much to blame
So idly to profane the precious time,
When tempest of commotion, like the south,
Borne with black vapour, doth begin to melt
And drop upon our bare unarmed heads.
Give me my sword and cloak. Falstaff, good night.
Exeunt PRINCE, POINS, PETO, and BARDOLPH
FALSTAFF. Now comes in the sweetest morsel of the night, and we
must hence, and leave it unpick'd. [Knocking within] More
knocking at the door!
How now! What's the matter?
BARDOLPH. You must away to court, sir, presently;
A dozen captains stay at door for you.
FALSTAFF. [To the PAGE]. Pay the musicians, sirrah.--Farewell,
hostess; farewell, Doll. You see, my good wenches, how men of
merit are sought after; the undeserver may sleep, when the
action is call'd on. Farewell, good wenches. If I be not sent
away post, I will see you again ere I go.
DOLL. I cannot speak. If my heart be not ready to burst!
Well, sweet Jack, have a care of thyself.
FALSTAFF. Farewell, farewell.
Exeunt FALSTAFF and BARDOLPH
HOSTESS. Well, fare thee well. I have known thee these
years, come peascod-time; but an honester and truer-hearted
man--well, fare thee well.
BARDOLPH. [ Within] Mistress Tearsheet!
HOSTESS. What's the matter?
BARDOLPH. [ Within] Bid Mistress Tearsheet come to my master.
HOSTESS. O, run Doll, run, run, good Come. [To BARDOLPH] She
comes blubber'd.--Yea, will you come, Doll? Exeunt
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ACT III. SCENE I.
Westminster. The palace
Enter the KING in his nightgown, with a page
KING. 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
How many thousands of my poorest subjects
Are at this hour asleep! O sleep, O gentle sleep,
Nature's soft nurse, how have I frightened thee,
That thou no more will weigh my eyelids down,
And steep my senses in forgetfulness?
Why rather, sleep, liest thou in smoky cribs,
Upon uneasy pallets stretching thee,
And hush'd with buzzing night-flies to thy slumber,
Than in the perfum'd chambers of the great,
Under the canopies of costly state,
And lull'd with sound of sweetest melody?
O thou dull god, why liest thou with the vile
In loathsome beds, and leav'st the kingly couch
A watch-case or a common 'larum-bell?
Wilt thou upon the high and giddy mast
Seal up the ship-boy's eyes, and rock his brains
In cradle of the rude imperious surge,
And in the visitation of the winds,
Who take the ruffian billows by the top,
Curling their monstrous heads, and hanging them
With 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-boy in an hour so rude;
And in the calmest and most stillest night,
With all appliances and means to boot,
Deny it to a king? Then, happy low, lie down!
Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown.
Enter WARWICK and Surrey
WARWICK. Many good morrows to your Majesty!
KING. Is it good morrow, lords?
WARWICK. 'Tis one o'clock, and past.
KING. Why then, good morrow to you all, my lords.
Have you read o'er the letters that I sent you?
WARWICK. We have, my liege.
KING. 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.
WARWICK. It is but as a body yet distempered;
Which to his former strength may be restored
With good advice and little medicine.
My Lord Northumberland will soon be cool'd.
KING. O God! that one might read the book of fate,
And see the revolution of the times
Make mountains level, and the continent,
Weary of solid firmness, melt itself
Into the sea; and other times to see
The beachy girdle of the ocean
Too wide for Neptune's hips; how chances mock,
And changes fill the cup of alteration
With divers liquors! O, if this were seen,
The happiest youth, viewing his progress through,
What perils past, what crosses to ensue,
Would shut the book and sit him down and die.
'Tis not ten years gone
Since Richard and Northumberland, great friends,
Did feast together, and in two years after
Were they at wars. It is but eight years since
This Percy was the man nearest my soul;
Who like a brother toil'd in my affairs
And laid his love and life under my foot;
Yea, for my sake, even to the eyes of Richard
Gave him defiance. But which of you was by--
[To WARWICK] You, cousin Nevil, as I may remember--
When Richard, with his eye brim full of tears,
Then check'd and rated by Northumberland,
Did speak these words, now prov'd a prophecy?
'Northumberland, thou ladder by the which
My cousin Bolingbroke ascends my throne'--
Though then, God knows, I had no such intent
But that necessity so bow'd the state
That I and greatness were compell'd to kiss--
'The time shall come'--thus did he follow it--
'The time will come that foul sin, gathering head,
Shall break into corruption' so went on,
Foretelling this same time's condition
And the division of our amity.
WARWICK. There is a history in all men's lives,
Figuring the natures of the times deceas'd;
The which observ'd, a man may prophesy,
With a near aim, of the main chance of things
As yet not come to life, who in their seeds
And weak beginning lie intreasured.
Such things become the hatch and brood of time;
And, by the necessary form of this,
King Richard might create a perfect guess
That great Northumberland, then false to him,
Would of that seed grow to a greater falseness;
Which should not find a ground to root upon
Unless on you.
KING. Are these things then necessities?
Then let us meet them like necessities;
And that same word even now cries out on us.
They say the Bishop and Northumberland
Are fifty thousand strong.
WARWICK. It cannot be, my lord.
Rumour 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,
The powers that you already have sent forth
Shall bring this prize in very easily.
To comfort you the more, I have receiv'd
A certain instance that Glendower is dead.
Your Majesty hath been this fortnight ill;
And these unseasoned hours perforce must ad
Unto your sickness.
KING. I will take your counsel.
And, were these inward wars once out of hand,
We would, dear lords, unto the Holy Land. Exeunt
Gloucestershire. Before Justice, SHALLOW'S house
Enter SHALLOW and SILENCE, meeting; MOULDY, SHADOW, WART, FEEBLE,
and servants behind
SHALLOW. Come on, come on, come on; give me your hand, sir;
your hand, sir. An early stirrer, by the rood! And how doth
good cousin Silence?
SILENCE. Good morrow, good cousin Shallow.
SHALLOW. And how doth my cousin, your bed-fellow? and your
daughter and mine, my god-daughter Ellen?
SILENCE. Alas, a black ousel, cousin Shallow!
SHALLOW. By yea and no, sir. I dare say my cousin William is
a good scholar; he is at Oxford still, is he not?
SILENCE. Indeed, sir, to my cost.
SHALLOW. 'A must, then, to the Inns o' Court shortly. I was
Clement's Inn; where I think they will talk of mad Shallow
SILENCE. You were call'd 'lusty Shallow' then, cousin.
SHALLOW. By the mass, I was call'd anything; and I would have
anything indeed too, and roundly too. There was I, and little
John Doit of Staffordshire, and black George Barnes, and
Pickbone, and Will Squele a Cotsole man--you had not four
swinge-bucklers in all the Inns of Court again. And I may say
you we knew where the bona-robas were, and had the best of
all at commandment. Then was Jack Falstaff, now Sir John,
and page to Thomas Mowbray, Duke of Norfolk.
SILENCE. This Sir John, cousin, that comes hither anon about
SHALLOW. The same Sir John, the very same. I see him break
Scoggin's head at the court gate, when 'a was a crack not
high; and the very same day did I fight with one Sampson
Stockfish, a fruiterer, behind Gray's Inn. Jesu, Jesu, the
days that I have spent! and to see how many of my old
acquaintance are dead!
SILENCE. We shall all follow, cousin.
SHALLOW. Certain, 'tis certain; very sure, very sure. Death, as
Psalmist saith, is certain to all; all shall die. How a good
of bullocks at Stamford fair?
SILENCE. By my troth, I was not there.
SHALLOW. Death is certain. Is old Double of your town living
SILENCE. Dead, sir.
SHALLOW. Jesu, Jesu, dead! drew a good bow; and dead! 'A shot a
fine shoot. John a Gaunt loved him well, and betted much
his head. Dead! 'A would have clapp'd i' th' clout at twelve
score, and carried you a forehand shaft a fourteen and
and a half, that it would have done a man's heart good to
How a score of ewes now?
SILENCE. Thereafter as they be--a score of good ewes may be
SHALLOW. And is old Double dead?
Enter BARDOLPH, and one with him
SILENCE. Here come two of Sir John Falstaffs men, as I think.