SCENE IWestminster. The palace.
Enter the KING in his nightgown, with a Page.
Go call the Earls of Surrey and of Warwick;
But, ere they come, bid them o'er-read these letters,
And well consider of them; make good speed. [Exit Page.
How many thousand of my poorest subjects
Are at this hour asleep! O sleep, O gentle sleep,
Nature's soft nurse, how have I frighted thee,
That thou no more wilt weigh my eyelids down
And steep my senses in forgetfulness?
Why rather, sleep, liest thou in smoky cribs, (10)
Upon uneasy pallets stretching thee
And hush'd with buzzing night-flies to thy slumber,
Than in the perfumed 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 leavest 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 (20)
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 deafening 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! (31)
Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown. Enter WARWICK and SURREY.
Many good morrows to your majesty!
Is it good morrow, lords?
'Tis one o'clock, and past.
Why, then, good morrow to you all, my lords.
Have you read o'er the letters that I sent you?
We have, my liege.
Then you perceive the body of our kingdom
How foul it is; what rank diseases grow. (40)
And with what danger, near the heart of it.
It is but as a body yet distemper'd;
Which to his former strength may be restored
With good advice and little medicine:
My Lord Northumberland will soon be cool'd.
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 (50)
The beachy girdle of the ocean
Too wide for Neptune's hips; how chances mock,
And changes fill the cup of alteration
With divers liqours! 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 (61)
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--
You, cousin Nevil, as I may remember-- [To Warwick.
When Richard, with his eye brimful of tears,
Then check'd and rated by Northumberland,
Did speak these words, now proved a prophecy? (70)
'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.
There is a history in all men's lives, (81)
Figuring the nature of the times deceased;
The which observed, a man may prophesy,
With a near aim, of the main chance of things
As yet not come to life, which in their seeds
And weak beginnings 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.
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.
It cannot be, my lord;
Rumour doth double, like the voice and echo,
The numbers of the fear'd. Please it your grace
To go to bed. Upon my soul, my lord,
The powers that you already have sent forth (101)
Shall bring this prize in very easily.
To comfort you the more, I have received
A certain instance that Glendower is dead.
Your majesty hath been this fortnight ill,
And these unseason'd hours perforce must add
Unto your sickness.
I will take your counsel:
And were these inward wars once out of hand,
We would, dear lords, unto the Holy Land. [Exeunt.
SCENE IIGloucestershire. Before JUSTICE SHALLOW'S house.
Enter SHALLOW and SILENCE, meeting; MOULDY, SHADOW, WART, FEEBLE, BULLCALF, a Servant or two with them.
Come on, come on, come on, sir;
give me your hand, sir, give me your hand,
sir: an early stirrer, by the rood! And how
doth my good cousin Silence?
Good morrow, good cousin Shallow.
And how doth my cousin, your bedfellow?
and your fairest daughter and mine,
my god-daughter Ellen? (9)
Alas, a black ousel, cousin Shallow!
By yea and nay, sir, I dare say my
cousin William is become a good scholar: he
is at Oxford still, is he not?
Indeed, sir, to my cost.
A' must, then, to the inns o' court
shortly. I was once of Clement's Inn, where I
think they will talk of mad Shallow yet.
You were called 'lusty Shallow' then,
By the mass, I was called any thing;
and I would have done any thing indeed too,
and roundly too. There was I, and little John
Doit of Staffordshire, and black George
Barnes, and Francis Pickbone, and Will
Squele, a Cotswold man; you had not four
such swinge-bucklers in all the inns o' court
again: and I may say to you, we knew where
the bona-robas were and had the best of them
all at commandment. Then was Jack Falstaff,
now Sir John, a boy, and page to Thomas
Mowbray, Duke of Norfolk.
This Sir John, cousin, that comes (31)
hither anon about soldiers?
The same Sir John, the very same. I
see him break Skogan's head at the court-gate,
when a' was a crack not thus high: and the
very same day did I fight with one Sampson
Stockfish, a fruiterer, behind Gray's Inn.
Jesu, Jesu, the mad days that I have spent!
and to see how many of my old acquaintance
are dead! (39)
We shall all follow, cousin.
Certain, 'tis certain; very sure, very
sure: death, as the Psalmist saith, is certain
to all; all shall die. How a good yoke of bullocks
at Stamford fair?
By my troth, I was not there.
Death is certain. Is old Double of
your town living yet?
Jesu, Jesu, dead! a' drew a good
bow; and dead! a' shot a fine shoot: John a
Gaunt loved him well, and betted much money
on his head. Dead! a' would have clapped
i' the clout at twelve score; and carried you a
forehand shaft a fourteen and fourteen and a
half, that it would have done a man's heart
good to see. How a score of ewes now?
Thereafter as they be: a score of good
ewes may be worth ten pounds.
And is old Double dead?
Here come two of Sir John Falstaff's (60)
men, as I think. Enter BARDOLPH and one with him.
Good morrow, honest gentlemen: I
beseech you, which is Justice Shallow?
I am Robert Shallow, sir: a pooresquire
of this county, and one of the king'sjustices
of the peace: what is your good pleasure
My captain, sir, commends him to
you; my captain, Sir John Falstaff, a tall
gentleman, by heaven, and a most gallant
He greets me well, sir. I knew him a
good backsword man. How doth the good
knight? may I ask how my lady his wife
Sir, pardon; a soldier is better accommodated
than with a wife.
It is well said, in faith, sir; and it is
well said indeed too. Better accommodated!
it is good; yea, indeed, is it: good phrases
are surely, and ever were, very commendable.
Accomodated! it comes of 'accommodo:' (79)
very good; a good phrase.
Pardon me, sir; I have heard the
word. Phrase call you it? by this good day,
I know not the phrase; but I will maintain
the word with my sword to be a soldier-like
word, and a word of exceeding good command,
by heaven. Accommodated; that is,
when a man is, as they say, accommodated; or
when a man is, being, whereby a' may be
thought to be accommodated; which is an
excellent thing. (89)
It is very just. Enter FALSTAFF.
Look, here comes good Sir John. Give me
your good hand, give me your worship's good
hand: by my troth, you like well and bear
your years very well: welcome, good Sir
I am glad to see you well, good Master
Robert Shallow: Master Surecard, as I
No, Sir John; it is my cousin Silence,
in commission with me.
Good Master Silence, it well befits you
should be of the peace. (100)
Your good worship is welcome.
Fie! this is hot weather, gentlemen.
Have you provided me here half a dozen sufficient
Marry, have we, sir. Will you sit?
Let me see them, I beseech you.
Where's the roll? where's the roll?
where's the roll? Let me see, let me see, let me
see. So, so, so, so, so, so, so: yea, marry, sir:
Ralph Mouldy! Let them appear as I call;
let them do so, let them do so. Let me see; (111)
where is Mouldy?
Here, an't please you.
What think you, Sir John? a good-limbed
fellow; young, strong, and of good
Is thy name Mouldy?
Yea, an 't please you.
'Tis the more time thou wert used.
Ha, ha, ha! most excellent, i' faith!
things that are mouldy lack use: very singular
good! in faith, well said, Sir John, very well (120)
I was pricked well enough before,
an you could have let me alone: my old dame
will be undone now for one to do her husbandry
and her drudgery: you need not to
have pricked me; there are other men fitter
to go out than I.
Go to: peace, Mouldy; you shall go.
Mouldy, it is time you were spent. (129)
Peace, fellow, peace; stand aside:
know you where you are? For the other, Sir
John: let me see: Simon Shadow!
Yea, marry, let me have him to sit
under: he's like to be a cold soldier.
Shadow, whose son art thou?
My mother's son, sir.
Thy mother's son! like enough, and
thy father's shadow: so the son of the female
is the shadow of the male: it is often so, indeed;
but much of the father's substance!
Do you like him, Sir John?
Shadow will serve for summer; prick
him, for we have a number of shadows to fill
up the muster-book.
Here, sir. (150)
Is thy name Wart?
Thou art a very ragged wart.
Shall I prick him down, Sir John?
It were superfluous; for his apparel
is built upon his back and the whole frame
stands upon pins: prick him no more.
Ha, ha, ha! you can do it, sir; you
can do it: I commend you well. Francis
Here, sir. (160)
What trade art thou, Feeble?
A woman's tailor, sir.
Shall I prick him, sir?
You may: but if he had been a man's
tailor, he'd ha' pricked you. Wilt thou make
as many holes in an enemy's battle as thou hast
done in a woman's petticoat?
I will do my good will, sir: you can
have no more.
Well said, good woman's tailor! well
said, courageous Feeble! thou wilt be as
valiant as the wrathful dove or most magnanimouse.
Prick the woman's tailor: well,
Master Shallow; deep, Master Shallow.
I would Wart might have gone, sir.
I would thou wert a man's tailor,
that thou mightst mend him and make him fit
to go. I cannot put him to a private soldier
that is the leader of so many thousands: let
that suffice, most forcible Feeble. (180)
It shall suffice, sir.
I am bound to thee, reverend Feeble.
Who is next?
Peter Bullcalf o' the green!
Yea, marry, let's see Bullcalf.
'Fore God, a likely fellow Come,
prick me Bullcalf till he roar again.
O Lod! good my lord captain,-
What, dost thou roar before thou art (190)
O Lord, sir! I am a diseased man.
What disease hast thou?
A whoreson cold, sir, a cough, sir,
which I caught with ringing in the king's
affairs upon his coronation-day, sir.
Come, thou shalt go to the wars in a
gown; we will have away thy cold; and I will
take such order that thy friends shall ring for (199)
thee. Is here all?
Here is two more called than your
number; you must have but four here, sir:
and so, I pray you, go in with me to dinner.
Come, I will go drink with you, but I
cannot tarry dinner. I am glad to see you, by
my troth, Master Shallow.
O, Sir John, do you remember since
we lay all night in the windmill in Saint
No more of that, good Master Shallow,
no more of that.
Ha! 'twas a merry night. And is (211)
Jane Nightwork alive?
She lives, Master Shallow.
She never could away with me.
Never, never; she would always say
she could not abide Master Shallow.
By the mass, I could anger her to the
heart. She was then a bona-roba. Doth she
hold her own well? (219)
Old, old, Master Shallow.
Nay, she must be old; she cannot
choose but be old; certain she's old; and had
Robin Nightwork by old Nightwork before I
came to Clement's Inn.
That's fifty- five year ago.
Ha, cousin Silence, that thou hadst
seen that that this knight and I have seen!
Ha, Sir John, said I well?
We have heard the chimes at midnight, Master Shallow.
That we have, that we have, that we
have; in faith, Sir John, we have: our watchword
was 'Hem boys!' Come, let's to dinner;
come, let's to dinner: Jesus, the days that we
have seenl Come. come. [Exeunt Falstaff and the Justices.
Good Master Corporate Bardolph,
stand my friend; and here's four Harry ten
shillings in French crowns for you. In very
truth, sir, I had as lief be hanged, sir, as go:
and yet, for mine own part, sir, I do not care;
but rather, because I am unwilling, and, for
mine own part, have a desire to stay with my
friends; else, sir, I did not care, for mine own
part, so much.
Go to; stand aside.
And, good master corporal captain,
for my old dame's sake, stand my friend: she
has nobody to do any thing about her when I
am gone; and she is old, and cannot help her
-self: you shall have forty, sir. (249)
Go to; stand aside.
By my troth, I care not; a man can
die but once: we owe God a death: I'll ne'er
bear a base mind: an't be my destiny, so;
an't benot, so: no man is too good to serve's
prince; and let it go which way it will, he
that dies this year is quit for the next.
Well said; thou 'rt a good fellow.
Faith, I'll bear no base mind. Re-enter FALSTAFF and the Justices.
Come, sir, which men shall I have?
Four of which you please.
Sir, a word with you: I have three (261)
pound to free Mouldy and Bullcalf.
Go to; well.
Come, Sir John, which four will you
Do you choose for me.
Marry, then, Mouldy, Bullcalf,
Feeble and Shadow.
Mouldy and Bullcalf: for you,
Mouldy, stay at home till you are past service:
and for your part, Bullcalf, grow till you (271)
come unto it: I will none of you.
Sir John, Sir John, do not yourself
wrong: they are your likeliest men, and I
would have you served with the best.
Will you tell me, Master Shallow, how
to choose a man? Care I for the limb, the
thewes, the stature, bulk, and big assemblance
of a man! Give me the spirit, Master Shallow.
Here's Wart; you see what a ragged appearance
it is: a' shall charge you and discharge
you with the motion of a pewterer's hammer,
come off and on swifter than he that gibbets
on the brewer's bucket. And this same half-
faced fellow, Shadow; give me this man: he
presents no mark to the enemy; the foeman
may with as great aim level at the edge of a
penknife. And for a retreat; how swiftly will
this Feeble the woman's tailor run off! O, give
me the spare men, and spare me the great
ones. Put me a caliver into Wart's hand, Bardolph. (291)
Hold, Wart, traverse; thus, thus,
Come, manage me your caliver. So:
very well: go to: very good, exceeding good.
O, give me always a little, lean, old, chapt,
bald shot. Well said, i' faith, Wart; thou'rt a
good scab: hold, there's a tester for thee.
He is not his craft's master; he doth
not do it right. I remember at Mile-end Green,
when I lay at Clement's Inn,--I was then Sir
Dagonet in Arthur's show,-there was a little
quiver fellow, and a' would manage you his
piece thus; and a' would about and about, and
come you in and come you in: 'rah, tah, tah,'
would a' say; 'bounce' would a' say; and
away again would a' go, and again would a'
come: I shall ne'er see such a fellow,
These fellows will do well, Master
Shallow. God keep you, Master Silence: I
will not use many words with you. Fare you well,
gentlemen both: I thank you: I must a
dozen mile to-night. Bardolph, give the soldiers (311)
Sir John, the Lord bless youl God
prosper your affairs! God send us peace! At
your return visit our house; let our old acquaintance
be renewed: peradventure I will
with ye to the court.
'Fore God, I would you would, Master
Go to; I have spoke at a word. God (320)
Fare you well, gentle gentlemen. [Exeunt Justices.]
On, Bardolph; lead the men
away. [Exeunt Bardolph, Recruits, &c.] As
I return, I will fetch off these justices: I do
see the bottom of Justice Shallow. Lord, Lord,
how subject we old men are to this vice of lying!
This same starved justice hath done nothing
but prate to me of the wildness of his
youth, and the feats he hath done about Turnbull
Street; and every third word a lie, duer
paid to the hearer than the Turk's tribute. I do
remember him at Clement's Inn like a man
made after supper of a cheese-paring: when a'
was naked, he was, for all the world, like a
forked radish, with a head fantastically carved
upon it with a knife: a' was so forlorn, that
his dimensions to any thick sight were invincible:
a' was the very genius of famine; yet
lecherous as a monkey, and the whores called
him mandrake: a' came ever in the rearward
of the fashion, and sung those tunes to the
overscutched huswives that he heard the carmen
whistle, and swear they were his fancies or
his good-nights. And now is this Vice's dagger
become a squire, and talks as familiarly of
John a Gaunt as if he had been sworn brother
to him; and I'll be sworn a' ne'er saw him but
once in the Tilt-yard; and then he burst his
head for crowding among the marshal's men.
I saw it, and told John a Gaunt he beat his
own name; for you might have thrust him
and all his apparel into an eel-skin; the case
of a treble hautboy was a mansion for him, a
court: and now has he land and beefs. Well,
I'll be acquainted with him, if I return; and it
shall go hard but I will make him aphilosopher's
two stones to me: if the young dace be
a bait for the old pike, I see no reason in the
law of nature but I may snap at him. Let time
shape, and there an end. [Exit.