SCENE IIIEastcheap. The Boar's-Head Tavern.
Enter FALSTAFF and BARDOLPH.
Bardolph, am I not fallen away vilely
since this last action? do I not bate? do I not
dwindle? why, my skin hangs about me like
an old lady's loose gown; I am withered like
an old apple-john. Well, I'll repent, and that
suddenly, while I am in some liking; I shall
be out of heart shortly, and then I shall have
no strength to repent. An I have not forgotten
what the inside of a church is made of, I am
a peppercorn, a brewer's horse: the inside of
a church! Company, villanous company, hath
been the spoil of me.
Sir John, you are so fretful, you
cannot live long.
Why, there is it: come sing me a
bawdy song; make me merry. I was as virtuously
given as a gentleman need to be; virtuous
enough; swore little; diced not above
seven times a week; went to a bawdy-house
not above once in a quarter—of an hour;
paid money that I borrowed, three or four times;
lived well and in good compass: and now I
live out of all order, out of all compass.
Why, you are so fat, Sir John, that
you must needs be out of all compass, out of
all reasonable compass, Sir John.
Do thou amend thy face, and I'll
amend my life: thou art our admiral, thou
bearest the lantern in the poop, but 'tis in the (30)
nose of thee; thou art the Knight of the Burning Lamp.
Why, Sir John, my face does you no
No, I'll be sworn; I make as good
use of it as many a man doth of a Death's-
head or a memento mori: I never see thy face
but I think upon hell-fire and Dives that lived
in purple; for there he is in his robes,
burning, burning. If thou wert any way given
to virtue, I would swear by thy face; my oath (40)
should be 'By this fire, that's God's angel:'
but thou art altogether given over; and wert
indeed, but for the light in thy face, the son of
utter darkness. When thou rannest up Gadshill
in the night to catch my horse, if I did
not think thou hadst been an ignis fatuus or a
ball of wildfire, there's no purchase in money.
O, thou art a perpetual triumph, an everlasting
bonfire-light! Thou hast saved me a thousand
marks in links and torches, walking with thee (50)
in the night betwixt tavern and tavern: but
the sack that thou hast drunk me would have
bought me lights as good cheap at the dearest
chandler's in Europe. I have maintained that
salamander of yours with fire any time this
two and thirty years; God reward me for it!
'Sblood, I would my face were in
God-a-mercy! so should I be sure to
be heart-burned. Enter HOSTESS. (60)
How now, Dame Parlet the hen! have you
inquired yet who picked my pocket?
Why, Sir John, what do you think,
Sir John? do you think I keep thieves in my
house? I have searched, I have inquired, so
has my husband, man by man, boy by boy,
servant by servant: the tithe of a hair was
never lost in my house before.
Ye lie, hostess: Bardolph was shaved
and lost many a hair; and I'll be sworn my (70)
pocket was picked. Go to, you are a woman, go.
Who, I? no; I defy thee: God's
light, I was never called so in mine own house before.
Go to, I know you well enough.
No, Sir John; you do not know me,
Sir John. I know you, Sir John: you owe me
money, Sir John; and now you pick a quarrel
to beguile me of it: I bought you a dozen of
shirts to your back.
Dowlas, filthy dowlas: I have given (80)
them away to bakers' wives, and they have
made bolters of them.
Now, as I am a true woman, holland
of eight shillings an ell. You owe money
here besides, Sir John, for your diet and by-drinkings,
and money lent you, four and
He had his part of it; let him pay.
He alas, he is poor; he hath nothing.
How! poor? look upon his face; what (90)
call you rich? let them coin his nose, let them
coin his cheeks: I'll not pay a denier. What,
will you make a younker of me? shall I not
take mine ease in mine inn but I shall have
my pocket picked? I have lost a seal-ring
of my grandfather's worth forty mark.
O Jesu, I have heard the prince tell
him, I know not how oft, that that ring was
How! the prince is a Jack, a sneakcup: (100)
'sblood, an he were here, I would cudgel
him like a dog, if he would say so. Enter the PRINCE and PETO, marching, and FALSTAFF meets them playing on his truncheon cheon like a fife.
How now, lad! is the wind in that door, i'
faith? must we all march?
Yea, two and two, Newgate fashion.
My lord, I pray you, hear me.
What sayest thou, Mistress
Quickly ? How doth thy husband? I love him
well; he is an honest man.
Good my lord, hear me. (110)
Prithee, let her alone, and list to me.
What sayest thou, Jack?
The other night I fell asleep here behind
the arras and had my pocket picked:
this house is turned bawdy-house; they pick pockets.
What didst thou lose, Jack?
Wilt thou believe me, Hal? three or
four bonds of forty pound a-piece, and a
seal-ring of my grandfather's.
A trifle, some eight-penny matter. (120)
So I told him, my lord; and I said
I heard your grace say so: and, my lord, he
speaks most vilely of you, like a foul-mouthed
man as he is; and said he would cudgel you.
What! he did not?
There's neither faith, truth, nor
womanhood in me else.
There's no more faith in thee than in
a stewed prune; nor no more truth in thee
than in a drawn fox; and for womanhood, (130)
Maid Marian may be the deputy's wife of the
ward to thee. Go, you thing, go.
Say, what thing? what thing?
What thing! why, a thing to thank
I am no thing to thank God on, I
would thou shouldst know it; I am an honest
man's wife: and, setting thy knighthood aside,
thou art a knave to call me so.
Setting thy womanhood aside, thou (140)
art a beast to say otherwise.
Say, what beast, thou knave, thou?
What beast! why, an otter.
An otter, Sir John! why an otter?
Why, she's neither fish nor flesh;
a man knows not where to have her.
Thou art an unjust man in saying
so: thou or any man knows where to have me,
thou knave, thou!
Thou sayest true, hostess; and he (150)
slanders thee most grossly.
So he doth you, my lord; and said
this other day you ought him a thousand
Sirrah, do I owe you a thousand
A thousand pound, Hal! a million:
thy love is worth a million: thou owest me
Nay, my lord, he called you Jack,
and said he would cudgel you. (160)
Did I, Bardolph?
Indeed, Sir John, you said so.
Yea, if he said my ring was copper.
I say 'tis copper: darest thou be
as good as thy word now?
Why, Hal, thou knowest, as thou art
but man, I dare: but as thou art prince, I fear
thee as I fear the roaring of the lion's whelp.
And why not as the lion?
The king himself is to be feared as the (170)
lion: dost thou think I'll fear thee as I fear
thy father? nay, an I do, I pray God my girdle break.
O, if it should, how would thy guts
fall about thy knees! But, sirrah, there's no
room for faith, truth, nor honesty in this
bosom of thine; it is all filled up with guts and
midriff. Charge an honest woman with picking
thy pocket! why, thou whoreson, impudent,
embossed rascal, if there were anything
in thy pocket but tavern-reckonings, memorandums (180)
of bawdy-houses, and one poor penny-worth
of sugar-candy to make thee long-winded,
if thy pocket were enriched with any
other injuries but these, I am a villain: and
yet you will stand to it; you will not pocket
up wrong: art thou not ashamed?
Dost thou hear, Hal? thou knowest
in the state of innocency Adam fell; and what
should poor Jack Falstaff do in the days of
villany? Thou seest I have more flesh than (190)
another man, and therefore more frailty. You
confess then, you picked my pocket?
It appears so by the story.
Hostess, I forgive thee: go, make
ready breakfast; love thy husband, look to thy
servants, cherish thy guests: thou shalt find
me tractable to any honest reason: thou seest
I am pacified still. Nay, prithee, be gone.
[Exit Hostess.] Now, Hal, to the news at
court: for the robbery, lad, how is that answered? (200)
O, my sweet beef, I must still be
good angel to thee: the money is paid back again.
O, I do not like that paying back; 'tis
a double labour.
I am good friends with my father
and may do any thing.
Rob me the exchequer the first thing
thou doest, and do it with unwashed hands too.
Do, my lord.
I have procured thee, Jack, a charge of foot. (210)
I would it had been of horse. Where
shall I find one that can steal well? O for a
fine thief, of the age of two and twenty or
thereabouts! I am heinously unprovided. Well,
God be thanked for these rebels, they offend
none but the virtuous: I laud them, I praise them.
Go bear this letter to Lord John of (220)
Lancaster, to my brother John; this to my
Lord of Westmoreland. [Exit Bardolph.] Go,
Peto, to horse, to horse; for thou and I have
thirty miles to ride yet ere dinner time. [Exit Peto.]
Jack, meet me to-morrow in the temple
hall at two o'clock in the afternoon.
There shalt thou know thy charge; and there receive
Money and order for their furniture.
The land is burning; Percy stands on high;
And either we or they must lower lie. [Exit.
Rare words! brave world! Hostess, my breakfast, come!
O, I could wish this tavern were my drum! [Exit.