History of Henry IV, Part II

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Act II, Scene 1

London. A street

       
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Enter HOSTESS with two officers, FANG and SNARE

  • Fang. It is ent'red.
  • Fang. Sirrah, where's Snare? 725
  • Fang. Snare, we must arrest Sir John Falstaff.
  • Snare. It may chance cost some of our lives, for he will stab. 730
  • Hostess Quickly. 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.
  • Fang. An I but fist him once; an 'a come but within my vice!
  • Hostess Quickly. I am undone by his going; I warrant you, he's an 740
    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 745
    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 750
    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 755
    Master Snare; do me, do me, do me your offices.
  • Falstaff. How now! whose mare's dead? What's the matter? 765
  • 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 Quickly. Throw me in the channel! I'll throw thee in the 770
    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.
  • Fang. A rescue! a rescue!
  • Hostess Quickly. Good people, bring a rescue or two. Thou wot, wot 780
    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

  • Lord Chief Justice. How now, Sir John! what, are you brawling here?
    Doth this become your place, your time, and business? 790
    You should have been well on your way to York.
    Stand from him, fellow; wherefore hang'st thou upon him?
  • Hostess Quickly. O My most worshipful lord, an't please your Grace, I
    poor widow of Eastcheap, and he is arrested at my suit.
  • Hostess Quickly. 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. 800
  • Falstaff. I think I am as like to ride the mare, if I have any
    vantage of ground to get up. 805
  • Lord 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
    her own?
  • Falstaff. What is the gross sum that I owe thee?
  • Hostess Quickly. 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 815
    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 820
    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 825
    shillings? I put thee now to thy book-oath. Deny it, if thou
    canst.
  • 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 840
    good case, and, the truth is, poverty hath distracted her.
    for these foolish officers, I beseech you I may have redress
    against them.
  • Lord 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 850
    easy yielding spirit of this woman, and made her serve your
    both in purse and in person.
  • 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. 860
  • 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 865
    desire deliverance from these officers, being upon hasty
    employment in the King's affairs.
  • Lord Chief Justice. You speak as having power to do wrong; but
    th' effect of your reputation, and satisfy the poor woman.

Enter GOWER

  • 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! Come, no more words of it.
  • Hostess Quickly. 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 885
    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 890
    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 Quickly. 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 900
    still.
  • Hostess Quickly. 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. 905
  • Falstaff. No more words; let's have her.

Exeunt HOSTESS, BARDOLPH, and OFFICERS

  • Gower. At Basingstoke, my lord.
  • Falstaff. I hope, my lord, all's well. What is the news, my
  • 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? 920
  • Lord Chief Justice. You shall have letters of me presently.
    Come, go along with me, good Master Gower.
  • Falstaff. Master Gower, shall I entreat you with me to dinner? 925
  • Gower. I must wait upon my good lord here, I thank you, good
    John.
  • Lord Chief Justice. Sir John, you loiter here too long, being you
    take soldiers up in counties as you go. 930
  • Falstaff. Will you sup with me, Master Gower?
  • 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.

Exeunt

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