Page images

Fal. Away, varlets!-Draw, Bardolph; cut me off the villain's head; throw the quean in the channel.

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 hasty employment in the king's Ch. Just. You speak as having power to de wrong: but answer in the effect of your reputation, and satisfy the poor woman. Fal. Come hither, hostess. [Taking her aside.

Host. Throw me in the channel? I'll throw thee in the channel. Wilt thou wilt thou? thou bas-affairs. tardly rogue!-Murder, murder! O thou honeysuckle villain! wilt thou kill God's officers, and the king's? O thou honey seed rogue! thou art a honey-seed; a man-queller, and a woman-queller. Fal. Keep them off, Bardolph. Fang. A rescue! a rescue!

Host. Good people, bring a rescue or two.-Thou wo't, wo't thou? thou wo't, wo't thou? do, do, thou rogue! do, thou hemp-seed!.

Fal. Away, you scullion! you rampallion! you fust larian! I'll tickle your catastrophe.

Enter the Lord Chief Justice, attended.

Ch. Just. What's the matter? keep the peace here, ho!

Host. Good my lord, be good to me! I beseech you! Ch. Just. 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 on him?

Host. O my most worshipful lord, an't please your grace, I am a poor widow of Eastcheap, and he is arrested at my suit.

Ch. Just. For what sum?

Host. It is more than for some, my lord; it is for all, all I have: he hath eaten me out of house and home: he hath put all my substance into that fat belly of his:-but I will have some of it out again, or I'll ride thee o'nights, like the mare.

Fal. I think, I am as like to ride the mare, if I have any vantage of ground to get up.

Ch. Just. How comes this, sir John? Fye! 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?

Fal. What is the gross sum that I owe thee? Host. Marry, if thou wert an honest man, thyself, and the money too. Thou didst swear to me upon a parcel-gilt goblet, sitting in my Dolphin-chamber, at the round table, by a sea-coal fire, upon Wednesday in Whitsun-week, when the prince broke thy head for liking his father to a singingman 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 it? 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 down stairs, 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. Fal. 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 toolish officers, I beseech you, I may have redress against them.

Ch. Just. 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, practised upon the easy-yielding spirit of this woman, and made her serve your uses both in purse and person. Host. Yea, in troth, my lord.

Ch. Just. Pr'ythee, peace:-Pay her the debt you owe her, and unpay the villany you have done with her; the one you may do with sterling money, and the other with current repentance.

Enter GOWER.

Ch. Just. Now, master Gower; What news?
Gow. The king, my lord, and Harry prince of


Are near at hand: the rest the paper tells.

Fal. As I am a gentleman;

Host. Nay, you said so before.

Fal. As I am a gentleman;- -Come, no more words of it.

Host. By this heavenly ground I tread on, I must be fain to pawn both my plate, and the tapestry of my dining-chambers.

Fal. Glasses, glasses, is the only drinking: and for thy walls,-a pretty slight drollery, or the story of the prodigal, or the German hunting in waterwork, is worth a thousand of these bed-hangings, and these fly-bitten tapestries. Let it be ten pound, if thou canst. Come, an it were not for thy humors, there is not a better wench in England.-Go, wash thy face, and draw thy 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.

Host. Pray thee, sir John, let it be but twenty nobles; i'faith I am loath to pawn my plate, in good earnest, la.

Fal. Let it alone; I'll make other shift; you'll be a fool still.

Host. Well, you shall have it, though I pawn my gown. I hope you'll come to supper: you'll pay me all together!

Fal. Will I live?-Go, with her, with her; [Tɔ BARDOLPH.] hook on, hook on.

Host. Will you have Doll Tear-sheet meet you at supper?

Fal. No more words; let's have her.

[Exeunt Hostess, BARDOLPH, Officers,
and Page.

Ch. Just. I have heard better news.
Fal. What's the news, my good lord?
Ch. Just. Where lay the king last night?
Gow. At Basingstoke, my lord.

Fal. I hope, my lord, all's well: What's the news, my lord?

Ch. Just. Come all his forces back?
Gow. No; fifteen hundred foot, five hundred

Are march'd up to my lord of Lancaster,
Against Northumberland, and the archbishop.
Fal. Comes the king back from Wales, my noble


Ch. Just. You shall have letters of me presently: Come, go along with me, good master Gower. Fal. My lord!

Ch. Just. What's the matter?

Fal. Master Gower, shall I entreat you with me to dinner?

Gow. I must wait upon my good lord here: I thank you, good sir John.

Ch. Just. Sir John, you loiter here too long, being you are to take soldiers up in counties as you go. Fal. Will you sup with me, master Gower? Ch. Just. What foolish master taught you these manners, sir John?

Fal. Master Gower, if they become me not, he was a fool that taught them me.-This is the right fencing grace, my lord; tap for tap, and so part fair. Ch. Just. Now the Lord lighten thee! thou art a great fool. [Exeunt.

SCENE II.-Another Street. Enter PRINCE HENRY and POINS. P. Hen. Trust me, I am exceeding weary. Poins. Is it come to that? I had thought weari

Fal. My lord, I will not undergo this sneapness durst not have attached one of so high blood. without reply. You call honorable boldness, impudent sauciness: if a man will make court'sy, and

[blocks in formation]

P. Hen. '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! Suitably to your character. 1 Withdraw

[ocr errors]

Poins. O, that this good blossom could be kept from cankers!-Well, there is sixpence to preserve thee.

Bard. An you do not make him be hanged among you, the gallows shall have wrong.

Poins. Why, a prince should not be so loosely delivered of a fire-brand; and therefore I call him studied, as to remember so weak a composition, her dream. P. Hen. Belike then, my appetite was not P. Hen. A crown's worth of good interpretation. princely got; for, by my troth, I do now remember-There it is, boy. [Gives him money. 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 to-morrow? or to take note how many pair of silk stockings thou hast; viz. these, and those that were the peachcolored ones? or to bear the inventory of thy shirts; as, one for superfluity, and the other for use?-but that, the tennis-court keeper knows better than I; for it is a low ebb of 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 that 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.

Poins. How ill it follows, after you have labored so hard, you should talk so idly? Tell me, how many good young princes would do so, their fathers being so sick as yours at this time is?

P. Hen. Shall I tell thee one thing, Poins?
Poins. Yes; and let it be an excellent good thing.
P. Hen. It shall serve among wits of no higher
breeding than thine.

Poins. Go to; I stand the push of your one thing that you will tell.

P. Hen. Why, I tell thee,-it is not meet that I should be sad, now 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.

Poins. Very hardly, upon such a subject.

P. Hen. By this hand, thou think'st me as far in the devil's book, as thou and Falstaff, for obduracy and persistency: 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.

Poins. The reason?

P. Hen. What wouldst thou think of me, if I should weep?

P. Hen. And how doth thy master, Bardolph ? Bard. Well, my lord. He heard of your grace's coming to town; there's a letter for you. Poins. Deliver with good respect.-And how doth the martiemas, your master?

Bard. In bodily health, sir.

Poins. Marry, the immortal part needs a physician; but that moves not him; though that be sick, it dies not.

P. Hen. 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.

Poins. [Reads.] 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 is some of the king's blood spilt: How comes that? 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, sir.

P. Hen. Nay, they will be kin to us, or they will fetch it from Japhet. But the letter:

Poins. Sir John Falstaff, knight, to the son of the king nearest his father, Harry prince of Wales, greeting.-Why, this is a certificate.

P. Hen. Peace!

Poins. I will imitate the honorable Roman in brevity:-he sure means brevity in breath; shortwinded.-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 mayest, 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 all Europe.

My lord, I will steep this letter in sack, and make

Poins. I would think thee a most princely hypo-him eat it. crite.

P. Hen. 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 the world keeps the road-way better than thine: every man would think me a hypocrite indeed. And what accites your most worshipful thought, to think so?

Poins. Why, because you have been so lewd, and so much engrafted to Falstaff.

P. Hen. And to thee.

Poins. By this light, I am well spoken of, I can hear it with my 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; and those two things, I confess, I cannot help. By the mass, here comes Bardolph.

P. Hen. And the boy that I gave Falstaff: he had him from me Christian; and look, if the fat villain have not transformed him ape.

Enter BARDOLPH and Page.

Bard. 'Save your grace.

P. Hen. And yours, most noble Bardolph. Bard. Come, you virtuous ass. [To the Page.] you bashful fool, must you be blushing? wherefore blush you now? What a maidenly man at arms are you become! Is it such a matter, to get a pottle-pot's maidenhead?

Page. He called me even 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 new petticoat, and peeped through.

P. Hen. Hath not the boy profited?
Bard. Away, you whoreson upright rabbit,

Page. Away, you rascally Althea's dream, away!
P. Hen. Instruct us, boy: What dream, boy?
Page. Marry, my lord, Althea dreamed she was

? Children wrapt up in his old shirts.

P. Hen. That's to make him eat twenty of his words. But do you use me thus, Ned! must I marry your sister?

Poins. May the wench have no worse fortune! but I never said so.

P. Hen Well, thus we play the fools with the time; and the spirits of the wise sit in the clouds and mock us.-Is your master here in London? Bard. Yes, my lord.

P. Hen. Where sups he? doth the old boar feed in the old frank?

Bard. At the old place, my lord; in Eastcheap.

P. Hen. What company?

Page. Ephesians, my lord; of the old church.
P. Hen. Sup any women with him?
Page. None, my iord, but old mistress Quickly,
and mistress Doll Tear-sheet.

P. Hen. What pagan may that be?
Page. A proper gentlewoman, sir, and a kins-
woman of my master's.

P. Hen. Even such kin, as the parish heifers are to the town bull.-Shall we steal upon him, Ned, at supper?

Poins. I am your shadow, my lord; I'll follow


P. Hen. Sirrah, you boy,-and Bardolph;-no word to your master that I am yet come to town: There's for your silence.

Bard. I have no tongue, sir.

Page. And for mine, sir;-I will govern it. P. Hen. Fare ye well; go. [Exeunt BARDOLPH and Page.]-This Doll Tear-sheet should be some road.

Poins. I warrant you, as common as the way between Saint Alban's and London.

P. Hen. How might we see Falstaff bestow him self to-night in his true colors, and not ourselves be seen?

Martinmas; St. Martin's day is Nov. 11.


Poins. Put on two leather jerkins, and aprons, and wait upon him at his table as drawers.

P. Hen. 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 every thing, the purpose must weigh with the folly. Follow me, Ned. [Exeunt. SCENE III.-Warkworth. Before the Castle. Enter NORTHUMBERLAND, LADY NORTHUMBERLAND, and LADY PERCY.

SCENE IV.-London. A Room in the Boar's Head Tavern, in Eastcheap.

Enter two Drawers.

1 Draw. What the devil hast thou brought there? apple-Johns? thou know'st, sir John cannot endure an apple-John.

2 Draw. Mass, thou sayest true: The prince once set a dish of apple-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, wither'd knights. It angered

North. I pray thee, loving wife, and gentle him to the heart; but he hath forgot that.


Give even way unto my rough affairs:
Put not you on the visage of the times,
And be, like them, to Percy troublesome.

Lady N. I have given over, I will speak no more:
Do what you will; your wisdom be your guide.
North. Alas, sweet wife, my honor is at pawn;
And, but my going, nothing can redeem it.
Lady P. O, yet, for God's sake, go not to these

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

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.
For yours, may heavenly glory 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 practised 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,
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, humors of blood,

He was the mark and glass, copy and book,

That fashion'd others. And him,-0 wondrous


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,

1 Draw. Why then, cover, and set them down: And see if thou canst find out Sneak's noise; mistress Tear-sheet would fain hear some music. Despatch:-The room where they supped is too hot; they'll come in straight.

2 Draw. Sirrah, here will be the prince, and master Foins anon: and they will put on two of our jerkins, and aprons; and sir John must not know of it: Bardolph hath brought word.

1 Draw. By the mass, here will be old utis: It will be an excellent stratagem.

2 Draw. I'll see, if I can find out Sneak. [Exit. Enter Hostess and DOLL TEAR-SHEET.

Host. I'faith, sweet heart, 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: But, i'faith, you have drunk too much canaries; and that's a marvellous searching wine, and it perfumes the blood ere one can say,-What's this? How do you now?

Doll. Better than I was. Hem.

Host. Why, that's well said; a good heart's worth gold. Look, here comes sir John.

Enter FALSTAFF, singing.

Fal. When Arthur first in court.--Empty the jordan. And was a worthy king: [Exit Drawer.] How now, mistress Doll?

Host. Sick of a calm: yea, good sooth.

Fal. So is all her sect; an they be once in a calm, they are sick.

Doll. You muddy rascal, is that all the comfort you give me?

Fal. You make fat rascals, mistress Doll.

Doll. I make them! gluttony and diseases make them; I make them not.

Fal. If the cook help to make the gluttony, you help to make the diseases, Doll: we catch of you,

Where nothing but the sound of Hotspur's name Doll, we catch of you; grant that, my poor virtue,

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;
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.

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 N.
O, fly to Scotland,
Till that the nobles, and the armed commons,
Have of their puissance made a little taste.
Lady P. If they get ground and vantage of the

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 suffer'd; 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.
North. Come, come, go in with me; 'tis with my


As with the tide swell'd up unto its height,
That makes a still-stand, running neither way.
Fain would I go to meet the archbishop,
But many thousand reasons hold me back:-
1 will resolve for Scotland; there am I,
Till time and vantage crave my company:


grant that.

Doll. Ay, marry; our chains, and our jewels. Fal. Your brooches, pearls, and owches;-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:

[ocr errors]

Doll. Hang yourself, you muddy conger, hang yourself!

Host. By my troth, this is the old fashion; you two never meet, but you fall to some discord: you are both, in good troth, as rheumatic as two dry toasts; you cannot one bear with another's confirImities. What the good-year!" one must bear, and that must be you: [To DOLL.] you are the weaker Ivessel, as they say, the emptier vessel.

Doll. Can a weak empty vessel bear such a huge full hogshead? there's a whole merchant's venture of Bourdeaux stuff in 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.

[blocks in formation]

Host. If he swagger, let him not come here: no, by my faith; I must live amongst my neighbors; 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 swaggering now:-Shut the door, I pray you.

Ful. Dost thou hear, hostess?

Host. Pray you, pacify yourself, sir John; there comes no swaggerers here.

Fal. Dost thou hear? it is mine ancient. Host. Tilly-fally, sir John, never tell me; your ancient swaggerer comes not in my doors. I was before master Tisick, the deputy, the other day; and, as he said to me,-it was no longer ago than Wednesday last,-Neighbor Quickly, says he;master Dumb, our minister, was by then;-Neighbor Quickly, says he, receive those that are civil; for, saith he, you are in an ill name;-now he said 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.

[ocr errors]

Fal. He's no swaggerer, hostess; a tame cheater,2 he; you may stroke him as gently as a puppy greyhound: he will not swagger with a Barbary hen, if her feathers turn back in any show of resistance.Call him up, drawer,

Host. Cheater, call you him? I will bar no honest man my house, nor no cheater: But I do not love swaggering; by my troth, I am the worse, when one says-swagger: feel, master, how I shake; look you, I warrant you.

Doll. So you do, hostess.

Host. Do I? yea, in very truth, do I, an 'twere an aspen leaf: I cannot abide swaggerers.

Enter PISTOL, BARDOLPH, and Page.

Pist. 'Save you, sir John!

Fal. Welcome, ancient Pistol. Here, Pistol, I charge you with a cup of sack: do you discharge upon mine hostess.

Pist. I will discharge upon her, sir John, with two bullets.

Fal. She is pistol-proof, sir; you shall hardly offend her.

Host. 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.

Pist. 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.

Pist. I know you, mistress Dorothy;

Doll. Away, you cut-purse 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 baskethilt stale juggler, you!-Since when, I pray you, sir?-What, with two points on your shoulder? much!4

Pist. I will murder your ruff for this.

Fal. No more, Pistol; I would not have you go off here: discharge yourself of our company, Pistol. Host. No, good captain Pistol; not here, sweet captain.

Doll. Captain! thou abominable damned cheater, art thou not ashamed to be called-captain? If 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 stewed prunes, and dried cakes. A captain! these villains will make the word captain as odious as the word occupy; which was an excellent good word before it was ill-sorted: therefore, captains had need look to it.

Bard. Pray thee, go down, good ancient.
Fal. Hark thee hither, mistress Doll.

Pist. Not I: tell thee what, corporal Bardolph;-
I could tear her:-I'll be revenged on her.
Page. Pray thee, go down.

[blocks in formation]

Pist. I'll see her damned first;-to Pluto's damned lake, to the infernal deep, with Erebus and tortures vile also. Hold hook and line, say I. Down! down, dogs! down, faitors! Have we not Hiren here! Host. Good captain Peesel, be quiet; it is very late, i'faith: I beseek you now, aggravate your choler.

Pist. These be good humors, indeed! Shall packhorses,

And hollow pamper'd jades of Asia,
Which cannot go but thirty miles a day,
Compare with Cæsars, and with Cannibals,"
And Trojan Greeks? nay, rather damn them with
King Cerberus; and let the welkin roar.
Shall we fall foul for toys?

Host. By my troth, captain, these are very bitter words. Bard. Be gone, good ancient: this will grow to a brawl anon.

Pist. Die men, like dogs; give crowns like pins; Have we not Hiren here?

Host. 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 quiet.

Pist. Then feed, and be fat, my fair Calipolis: Come, give's some sack.

Si fortuna me tormenta, sperato me contenta.

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 et ceteras nothing?

Fal. Pistol, I would be quiet.

Pist. Sweet knight, I kiss thy neif: What! we have seen the seven stars.

Doll. Thrust him down stairs; I cannot endure such a fustian rascal.

Pist. Thrust him down stairs! know we not Galloway nags?1

Fal. Quoit him down, Bardolph, like a shovegroat shilling: nay, if he do nothing but speak nothing, he shall be nothing here.

Bard. Come, get you down stairs. Pist. 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!
Host. Here's goodly stuff toward!
Fal. Give me my rapier, boy.

Doll. I pray thee, Jack, I pray thee, do not draw
Fal. Get you down stairs.

[Drawing, and driving PISTOL out. Host. 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. [Exeunt PISTOL and BARDOLPH.

Doll. I pray thee, Jack, be quiet; the rascal is gone. Ah, you whoreson little valiant villain, you. Host. Are you not hurt i' the groin? methought, he made a shrewd thrust at your belly.

Re-enter BARDOLPH.

Fal. Have you turned him ont of doors? Bard. Yes, sir. The rascal's drunk: you have hurt him, sir, in the shoulder.

Fal. 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 as Hector of Troy, worth five of Agamemnon, and ten times better than the nine worthies. Ah, villain! Fal. A rascally slave! I will toss the rogue in a blanket.

Doll. Do, if thou darest for thy heart: if thou dost, I'll canvass thee between a pair of sheets. Enter Music.

Page. The music is come, sir.

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

Fal. Let them play:-Play, sirs.-Sit on my knee, Doll. A rascal bragging slave! the rogue fled from me like quicksilver.

Doll. Faith, and thou followedst him like a church. Thou whoreson little tidy Bartholomew boar-pig, when wilt thou leave fighting o'days, and foining o'nights, and begin to patch up thine old body for heaven?

Enter behind PRINCE HENRY and Poins, disguised like Drawers.

Fal, Peace, good Doll! Do not speak like a death's head: do not bid me remember mine end. Doll. Sirrah, what humor is the prince of? Fal. A good shallow young fellow: he would have made a good pantler, he would have chipped bread well.

Doll. They say, Poins has a good wit. Fal. He a good wit? hang him, baboon! his wit is as thick as Tewksbury mustard: there is no more conceit in him, than is in a mallet.

Doll. Why does the prince love him so then? Ful. Because their legs are both of a bigness; and he plays at quoits well; and eats conger and fennel; and drinks off candies' 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 boot very smooth, like unto the sign of the leg; and breeds no bate with telling of discreet stories, and such other gambol faculties he hath, that 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.

P. Hen. Would not this nave of a wheel have his ears cut off?

Poins. Let's beat him before his whore.

P. Hen. Look, if the withered elder hath not his poll clawed like a parrot.

Poins. Is it not strange, that desire should so many years outlive performance? Fal. Kiss me, Doll.

P. Hen. Saturn and Venus this year in conjunction! what says the almanac to that?

Poins. And, look, whether the fiery Trigon his man, be not lisping to his master's old tables; his note-book, his counsel-keeper.

Fal. Thou dost give me flattering busses.


P. Hen. Yes; and you knew me, as you did when you ran away by Gads-hill: you knew, I was at your back; and spoke it on purpose to try my patience.

Fal. No, no, no; not so; I did not think thou wast within hearing.

P. Hen. I shall drive you then to confess the wilful abuse; and then I know how to handle you. Fal. No abuse, Hal, on mine honor; no abuse. P. Hen. Not? to dispraise me; and call me→ pantler, and bread-chipper, and I know not what? Fal. No abuse, Hal.

Poins. No abuse?

Fal. No abuse, Ned, in the world; honest Ned, none. I dispraise him before the wicked, that the wicked might not fall in love with him:-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, boys, none.

P. Hen. 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 the boy of the wicked? Or honest Bardolph, whose zeal burns in his nose, of the wicked?

Poins. Answer, thou dead elm, answer. Ful. The niend 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 him; but the devil outbids him too.

P. Hen. For the women,

Fal. For one of them,-she is in hell already, and burns, poor soul! For the other, I owe her money; and whether she be damned for that, I

[blocks in formation]

Doll. Nay, truly; I kiss thee with a most con- against. stant heart.

Fal. I am old, I am old.

Doll. I love thee better than I love e'er a scurvy young boy of them all.

Fal. What stuff wilt have a kirtle' of? I shall receive money on Thursday: thou shalt have a cap to-morrow. A merry song, come: it grows late, we'll to bed. Thou'lt forget me, when I am gone. Doll. By my troth, thou'lt set me a weeping, an thou sayest so: prove that ever I dress myself handsome till thy return.-Well, hearken the


Fal. Some sack, Francis.

P. Hen. Poins. Anon, anon, sir. [Advancing. Fal. Ha! a bastard son of the king's?-And art not thou Poins his brother?

P. Hen. Why, thou globe of sinful continents, what a life dost thou lead?

Fal. A better than thou; I am a gentleman, thou art a drawer.

P. Hen. Very true, sir; and I come to draw you out by the ears.

Host. O, the Lord preserve thy good grace! by my troth, welcome to London.-Now the Lord less that sweet face of thine! O Jesu, are you ome from Wales!

Fal. Thou whoreson mad compound of majesty, by this light flesh and corrupt blood, thou art welcome. [Leaning his hand upon DOLL.

scorn you.

Doll. How! you fat fool, Poins. My lord, he will drive you out of your revenge, and turn all to a merriment, if you take

not the heat.

P. Hen. You whoreson candle-mine, you; how vilely did you speak of me even now, before this honest, virtuous, civil gentlewoman?

Host. 'Blessing o'your good heart! and so she is, by my troth.

Fal. Didst thou hear me?

[blocks in formation]

Fal. His grace says that which his flesh rebels Host. Who knocks so loud at door? look to the door there, Francis.

Enter PETO.

P. Hen. 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.

P. Hen. 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 vapor, doth begin to melt,
And drop upon our bare unarmed heads.
Give me my sword and cloak:-Falstaff, good

[Ex. P. HENRY, POINS, PETO, and BARD. Fal. Now comes in the sweetest morsel of the night, and we must hence, and leave it unpicked. [Knocking heard.] More knocking at the door?

Re-enter BARDOLPH.

How now? what's the matter?

Bard. You must away to court, sir, presently; A dozen captains stay at door for you.

Ful. Pay the musicians, sirrah. [To the Page.] 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 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. Fal. Farewell, farewell.

[Exeunt FALSTAFF, and BARDOLPH. Host. Well, fare thee well: I have known thee these twenty-nine years, come peascod-time; but

« PreviousContinue »