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Speeches (Lines) for Falstaff
in "Henry IV, Part I"

Total: 151

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(stage directions). [Enter the PRINCE OF WALES and FALSTAFF]

Falstaff. Now, Hal, what time of day is it, lad?



Henry V. Thou art so fat-witted, with drinking of old sack
and unbuttoning thee after supper and sleeping upon
benches after noon, that thou hast forgotten to
demand that truly which thou wouldst truly know.
What a devil hast thou to do with the time of the
day? Unless hours were cups of sack and minutes
capons and clocks the tongues of bawds and dials the
signs of leaping-houses and the blessed sun himself
a fair hot wench in flame-coloured taffeta, I see no
reason why thou shouldst be so superfluous to demand
the time of the day.

Falstaff. Indeed, you come near me now, Hal; for we that take
purses go by the moon and the seven stars, and not
by Phoebus, he,'that wandering knight so fair.' And,
I prithee, sweet wag, when thou art king, as, God
save thy grace,—majesty I should say, for grace
thou wilt have none,—



Henry V. What, none?

Falstaff. No, by my troth, not so much as will serve to
prologue to an egg and butter.



Henry V. Well, how then? come, roundly, roundly.

Falstaff. Marry, then, sweet wag, when thou art king, let not
us that are squires of the night's body be called
thieves of the day's beauty: let us be Diana's
foresters, gentlemen of the shade, minions of the
moon; and let men say we be men of good government,
being governed, as the sea is, by our noble and
chaste mistress the moon, under whose countenance we steal.



Henry V. Thou sayest well, and it holds well too; for the
fortune of us that are the moon's men doth ebb and
flow like the sea, being governed, as the sea is,
by the moon. As, for proof, now: a purse of gold
most resolutely snatched on Monday night and most
dissolutely spent on Tuesday morning; got with
swearing 'Lay by' and spent with crying 'Bring in;'
now in as low an ebb as the foot of the ladder
and by and by in as high a flow as the ridge of the gallows.

Falstaff. By the Lord, thou sayest true, lad. And is not my
hostess of the tavern a most sweet wench?



Henry V. As the honey of Hybla, my old lad of the castle. And
is not a buff jerkin a most sweet robe of durance?

Falstaff. How now, how now, mad wag! what, in thy quips and
thy quiddities? what a plague have I to do with a
buff jerkin?



Henry V. Why, what a pox have I to do with my hostess of the tavern?

Falstaff. Well, thou hast called her to a reckoning many a
time and oft.



Henry V. Did I ever call for thee to pay thy part?

Falstaff. No; I'll give thee thy due, thou hast paid all there.



Henry V. Yea, and elsewhere, so far as my coin would stretch;
and where it would not, I have used my credit.

Falstaff. Yea, and so used it that were it not here apparent
that thou art heir apparent—But, I prithee, sweet
wag, shall there be gallows standing in England when
thou art king? and resolution thus fobbed as it is
with the rusty curb of old father antic the law? Do
not thou, when thou art king, hang a thief.



Henry V. No; thou shalt.

Falstaff. Shall I? O rare! By the Lord, I'll be a brave judge.



Henry V. Thou judgest false already: I mean, thou shalt have
the hanging of the thieves and so become a rare hangman.

Falstaff. Well, Hal, well; and in some sort it jumps with my
humour as well as waiting in the court, I can tell



Henry V. For obtaining of suits?

Falstaff. Yea, for obtaining of suits, whereof the hangman
hath no lean wardrobe. 'Sblood, I am as melancholy
as a gib cat or a lugged bear.



Henry V. Or an old lion, or a lover's lute.

Falstaff. Yea, or the drone of a Lincolnshire bagpipe.



Henry V. What sayest thou to a hare, or the melancholy of

Falstaff. Thou hast the most unsavoury similes and art indeed
the most comparative, rascalliest, sweet young
prince. But, Hal, I prithee, trouble me no more
with vanity. I would to God thou and I knew where a
commodity of good names were to be bought. An old
lord of the council rated me the other day in the
street about you, sir, but I marked him not; and yet
he talked very wisely, but I regarded him not; and
yet he talked wisely, and in the street too.



Henry V. Thou didst well; for wisdom cries out in the
streets, and no man regards it.

Falstaff. O, thou hast damnable iteration and art indeed able
to corrupt a saint. Thou hast done much harm upon
me, Hal; God forgive thee for it! Before I knew
thee, Hal, I knew nothing; and now am I, if a man
should speak truly, little better than one of the
wicked. I must give over this life, and I will give
it over: by the Lord, and I do not, I am a villain:
I'll be damned for never a king's son in



Henry V. Where shall we take a purse tomorrow, Jack?

Falstaff. 'Zounds, where thou wilt, lad; I'll make one; an I
do not, call me villain and baffle me.



Henry V. I see a good amendment of life in thee; from praying
to purse-taking.

Falstaff. Why, Hal, 'tis my vocation, Hal; 'tis no sin for a
man to labour in his vocation.
[Enter POINS]
Poins! Now shall we know if Gadshill have set a
match. O, if men were to be saved by merit, what
hole in hell were hot enough for him? This is the
most omnipotent villain that ever cried 'Stand' to
a true man.



Edward Poins. But, my lads, my lads, to-morrow morning, by four
o'clock, early at Gadshill! there are pilgrims going
to Canterbury with rich offerings, and traders
riding to London with fat purses: I have vizards
for you all; you have horses for yourselves:
Gadshill lies to-night in Rochester: I have bespoke
supper to-morrow night in Eastcheap: we may do it
as secure as sleep. If you will go, I will stuff
your purses full of crowns; if you will not, tarry
at home and be hanged.

Falstaff. Hear ye, Yedward; if I tarry at home and go not,
I'll hang you for going.



Edward Poins. You will, chops?

Falstaff. Hal, wilt thou make one?



Henry V. Who, I rob? I a thief? not I, by my faith.

Falstaff. There's neither honesty, manhood, nor good
fellowship in thee, nor thou camest not of the blood
royal, if thou darest not stand for ten shillings.



Henry V. Well then, once in my days I'll be a madcap.

Falstaff. Why, that's well said.



Henry V. Well, come what will, I'll tarry at home.

Falstaff. By the Lord, I'll be a traitor then, when thou art king.



Edward Poins. Sir John, I prithee, leave the prince and me alone:
I will lay him down such reasons for this adventure
that he shall go.

Falstaff. Well, God give thee the spirit of persuasion and him
the ears of profiting, that what thou speakest may
move and what he hears may be believed, that the
true prince may, for recreation sake, prove a false
thief; for the poor abuses of the time want
countenance. Farewell: you shall find me in Eastcheap.



(stage directions). [Enter FALSTAFF]

Falstaff. Poins! Poins, and be hanged! Poins!



Henry V. Peace, ye fat-kidneyed rascal! what a brawling dost
thou keep!

Falstaff. Where's Poins, Hal?



Henry V. He is walked up to the top of the hill: I'll go seek him.

Falstaff. I am accursed to rob in that thief's company: the
rascal hath removed my horse, and tied him I know
not where. If I travel but four foot by the squier
further afoot, I shall break my wind. Well, I doubt
not but to die a fair death for all this, if I
'scape hanging for killing that rogue. I have
forsworn his company hourly any time this two and
twenty years, and yet I am bewitched with the
rogue's company. If the rascal hath not given me
medicines to make me love him, I'll be hanged; it
could not be else: I have drunk medicines. Poins!
Hal! a plague upon you both! Bardolph! Peto!
I'll starve ere I'll rob a foot further. An 'twere
not as good a deed as drink, to turn true man and to
leave these rogues, I am the veriest varlet that
ever chewed with a tooth. Eight yards of uneven
ground is threescore and ten miles afoot with me;
and the stony-hearted villains know it well enough:
a plague upon it when thieves cannot be true one to another!
[They whistle]
Whew! A plague upon you all! Give me my horse, you
rogues; give me my horse, and be hanged!



Henry V. Peace, ye fat-guts! lie down; lay thine ear close
to the ground and list if thou canst hear the tread
of travellers.

Falstaff. Have you any levers to lift me up again, being down?
'Sblood, I'll not bear mine own flesh so far afoot
again for all the coin in thy father's exchequer.
What a plague mean ye to colt me thus?



Henry V. Thou liest; thou art not colted, thou art uncolted.

Falstaff. I prithee, good Prince Hal, help me to my horse,
good king's son.



Henry V. Out, ye rogue! shall I be your ostler?

Falstaff. Go, hang thyself in thine own heir-apparent
garters! If I be ta'en, I'll peach for this. An I
have not ballads made on you all and sung to filthy
tunes, let a cup of sack be my poison: when a jest
is so forward, and afoot too! I hate it.



Gadshill. Stand.

Falstaff. So I do, against my will.



Edward Poins. O, 'tis our setter: I know his voice. Bardolph,
what news?
money of the king's coming down the hill; 'tis going
to the king's exchequer.

Falstaff. You lie, ye rogue; 'tis going to the king's tavern.



Gadshill. There's enough to make us all.

Falstaff. To be hanged.



Gadshill. Some eight or ten.

Falstaff. 'Zounds, will they not rob us?



Henry V. What, a coward, Sir John Paunch?

Falstaff. Indeed, I am not John of Gaunt, your grandfather;
but yet no coward, Hal.



Edward Poins. Sirrah Jack, thy horse stands behind the hedge:
when thou needest him, there thou shalt find him.
Farewell, and stand fast.

Falstaff. Now cannot I strike him, if I should be hanged.



(stage directions). [Exeunt PRINCE HENRY and POINS]

Falstaff. Now, my masters, happy man be his dole, say I:
every man to his business.



Travellers. Jesus bless us!

Falstaff. Strike; down with them; cut the villains' throats:
ah! whoreson caterpillars! bacon-fed knaves! they
hate us youth: down with them: fleece them.



Travellers. O, we are undone, both we and ours for ever!

Falstaff. Hang ye, gorbellied knaves, are ye undone? No, ye
fat chuffs: I would your store were here! On,
bacons, on! What, ye knaves! young men must live.
You are Grand-jurors, are ye? we'll jure ye, 'faith.



(stage directions). [Enter the Thieves again]

Falstaff. Come, my masters, let us share, and then to horse
before day. An the Prince and Poins be not two
arrant cowards, there's no equity stirring: there's
no more valour in that Poins than in a wild-duck.



Edward Poins. Welcome, Jack: where hast thou been?

Falstaff. A plague of all cowards, I say, and a vengeance too!
marry, and amen! Give me a cup of sack, boy. Ere I
lead this life long, I'll sew nether stocks and mend
them and foot them too. A plague of all cowards!
Give me a cup of sack, rogue. Is there no virtue extant?



Henry V. Didst thou never see Titan kiss a dish of butter?
pitiful-hearted Titan, that melted at the sweet tale
of the sun's! if thou didst, then behold that compound.

Falstaff. You rogue, here's lime in this sack too: there is
nothing but roguery to be found in villanous man:
yet a coward is worse than a cup of sack with lime
in it. A villanous coward! Go thy ways, old Jack;
die when thou wilt, if manhood, good manhood, be
not forgot upon the face of the earth, then am I a
shotten herring. There live not three good men
unhanged in England; and one of them is fat and
grows old: God help the while! a bad world, I say.
I would I were a weaver; I could sing psalms or any
thing. A plague of all cowards, I say still.



Henry V. How now, wool-sack! what mutter you?

Falstaff. A king's son! If I do not beat thee out of thy
kingdom with a dagger of lath, and drive all thy
subjects afore thee like a flock of wild-geese,
I'll never wear hair on my face more. You Prince of Wales!



Henry V. Why, you whoreson round man, what's the matter?

Falstaff. Are not you a coward? answer me to that: and Poins there?



Edward Poins. 'Zounds, ye fat paunch, an ye call me coward, by the
Lord, I'll stab thee.

Falstaff. I call thee coward! I'll see thee damned ere I call
thee coward: but I would give a thousand pound I
could run as fast as thou canst. You are straight
enough in the shoulders, you care not who sees your
back: call you that backing of your friends? A
plague upon such backing! give me them that will
face me. Give me a cup of sack: I am a rogue, if I
drunk to-day.



Henry V. O villain! thy lips are scarce wiped since thou
drunkest last.

Falstaff. All's one for that.
[He drinks]
A plague of all cowards, still say I.



Henry V. What's the matter?

Falstaff. What's the matter! there be four of us here have
ta'en a thousand pound this day morning.



Henry V. Where is it, Jack? where is it?

Falstaff. Where is it! taken from us it is: a hundred upon
poor four of us.



Henry V. What, a hundred, man?

Falstaff. I am a rogue, if I were not at half-sword with a
dozen of them two hours together. I have 'scaped by
miracle. I am eight times thrust through the
doublet, four through the hose; my buckler cut
through and through; my sword hacked like a
hand-saw—ecce signum! I never dealt better since
I was a man: all would not do. A plague of all
cowards! Let them speak: if they speak more or
less than truth, they are villains and the sons of darkness.



Gadshill. We four set upon some dozen—

Falstaff. Sixteen at least, my lord.



Peto. No, no, they were not bound.

Falstaff. You rogue, they were bound, every man of them; or I
am a Jew else, an Ebrew Jew.



Gadshill. As we were sharing, some six or seven fresh men set upon us—

Falstaff. And unbound the rest, and then come in the other.



Henry V. What, fought you with them all?

Falstaff. All! I know not what you call all; but if I fought
not with fifty of them, I am a bunch of radish: if
there were not two or three and fifty upon poor old
Jack, then am I no two-legged creature.



Henry V. Pray God you have not murdered some of them.

Falstaff. Nay, that's past praying for: I have peppered two
of them; two I am sure I have paid, two rogues
in buckram suits. I tell thee what, Hal, if I tell
thee a lie, spit in my face, call me horse. Thou
knowest my old ward; here I lay and thus I bore my
point. Four rogues in buckram let drive at me—



Henry V. What, four? thou saidst but two even now.

Falstaff. Four, Hal; I told thee four.



Edward Poins. Ay, ay, he said four.

Falstaff. These four came all a-front, and mainly thrust at
me. I made me no more ado but took all their seven
points in my target, thus.



Henry V. Seven? why, there were but four even now.

Falstaff. In buckram?



Edward Poins. Ay, four, in buckram suits.

Falstaff. Seven, by these hilts, or I am a villain else.



Henry V. Prithee, let him alone; we shall have more anon.

Falstaff. Dost thou hear me, Hal?



Henry V. Ay, and mark thee too, Jack.

Falstaff. Do so, for it is worth the listening to. These nine
in buckram that I told thee of—



Henry V. So, two more already.

Falstaff. Their points being broken,—



Edward Poins. Down fell their hose.

Falstaff. Began to give me ground: but I followed me close,
came in foot and hand; and with a thought seven of
the eleven I paid.



Henry V. O monstrous! eleven buckram men grown out of two!

Falstaff. But, as the devil would have it, three misbegotten
knaves in Kendal green came at my back and let drive
at me; for it was so dark, Hal, that thou couldst
not see thy hand.



Henry V. These lies are like their father that begets them;
gross as a mountain, open, palpable. Why, thou
clay-brained guts, thou knotty-pated fool, thou
whoreson, obscene, grease tallow-catch,—

Falstaff. What, art thou mad? art thou mad? is not the truth
the truth?



Edward Poins. Come, your reason, Jack, your reason.

Falstaff. What, upon compulsion? 'Zounds, an I were at the
strappado, or all the racks in the world, I would
not tell you on compulsion. Give you a reason on
compulsion! If reasons were as plentiful as
blackberries, I would give no man a reason upon
compulsion, I.



Henry V. I'll be no longer guilty of this sin; this sanguine
coward, this bed-presser, this horseback-breaker,
this huge hill of flesh,—

Falstaff. 'Sblood, you starveling, you elf-skin, you dried
neat's tongue, you bull's pizzle, you stock-fish! O
for breath to utter what is like thee! you
tailor's-yard, you sheath, you bowcase; you vile



Edward Poins. Come, let's hear, Jack; what trick hast thou now?

Falstaff. By the Lord, I knew ye as well as he that made ye.
Why, hear you, my masters: was it for me to kill the
heir-apparent? should I turn upon the true prince?
why, thou knowest I am as valiant as Hercules: but
beware instinct; the lion will not touch the true
prince. Instinct is a great matter; I was now a
coward on instinct. I shall think the better of
myself and thee during my life; I for a valiant
lion, and thou for a true prince. But, by the Lord,
lads, I am glad you have the money. Hostess, clap
to the doors: watch to-night, pray to-morrow.
Gallants, lads, boys, hearts of gold, all the titles
of good fellowship come to you! What, shall we be
merry? shall we have a play extempore?



Henry V. Content; and the argument shall be thy running away.

Falstaff. Ah, no more of that, Hal, an thou lovest me!



Henry V. Give him as much as will make him a royal man, and
send him back again to my mother.

Falstaff. What manner of man is he?



Hostess Quickly. An old man.

Falstaff. What doth gravity out of his bed at midnight? Shall
I give him his answer?



Henry V. Prithee, do, Jack.

Falstaff. 'Faith, and I'll send him packing.



Henry V. No, if rightly taken, halter.
[Re-enter FALSTAFF]
Here comes lean Jack, here comes bare-bone.
How now, my sweet creature of bombast!
How long is't ago, Jack, since thou sawest thine own knee?

Falstaff. My own knee! when I was about thy years, Hal, I was
not an eagle's talon in the waist; I could have
crept into any alderman's thumb-ring: a plague of
sighing and grief! it blows a man up like a
bladder. There's villanous news abroad: here was
Sir John Bracy from your father; you must to the
court in the morning. That same mad fellow of the
north, Percy, and he of Wales, that gave Amamon the
bastinado and made Lucifer cuckold and swore the
devil his true liegeman upon the cross of a Welsh
hook—what a plague call you him?



Edward Poins. O, Glendower.

Falstaff. Owen, Owen, the same; and his son-in-law Mortimer,
and old Northumberland, and that sprightly Scot of
Scots, Douglas, that runs o' horseback up a hill



Henry V. He that rides at high speed and with his pistol
kills a sparrow flying.

Falstaff. You have hit it.



Henry V. So did he never the sparrow.

Falstaff. Well, that rascal hath good mettle in him; he will not run.



Henry V. Why, what a rascal art thou then, to praise him so
for running!

Falstaff. O' horseback, ye cuckoo; but afoot he will not budge a foot.



Henry V. Yes, Jack, upon instinct.

Falstaff. I grant ye, upon instinct. Well, he is there too,
and one Mordake, and a thousand blue-caps more:
Worcester is stolen away to-night; thy father's
beard is turned white with the news: you may buy
land now as cheap as stinking mackerel.



Henry V. Why, then, it is like, if there come a hot June and
this civil buffeting hold, we shall buy maidenheads
as they buy hob-nails, by the hundreds.

Falstaff. By the mass, lad, thou sayest true; it is like we
shall have good trading that way. But tell me, Hal,
art not thou horrible afeard? thou being
heir-apparent, could the world pick thee out three
such enemies again as that fiend Douglas, that
spirit Percy, and that devil Glendower? Art thou
not horribly afraid? doth not thy blood thrill at



Henry V. Not a whit, i' faith; I lack some of thy instinct.

Falstaff. Well, thou wert be horribly chid tomorrow when thou
comest to thy father: if thou love me, practise an answer.



Henry V. Do thou stand for my father, and examine me upon the
particulars of my life.

Falstaff. Shall I? content: this chair shall be my state,
this dagger my sceptre, and this cushion my crown.



Henry V. Thy state is taken for a joined-stool, thy golden
sceptre for a leaden dagger, and thy precious rich
crown for a pitiful bald crown!

Falstaff. Well, an the fire of grace be not quite out of thee,
now shalt thou be moved. Give me a cup of sack to
make my eyes look red, that it may be thought I have
wept; for I must speak in passion, and I will do it
in King Cambyses' vein.



Henry V. Well, here is my leg.

Falstaff. And here is my speech. Stand aside, nobility.



Hostess Quickly. O Jesu, this is excellent sport, i' faith!

Falstaff. Weep not, sweet queen; for trickling tears are vain.



Hostess Quickly. O, the father, how he holds his countenance!

Falstaff. For God's sake, lords, convey my tristful queen;
For tears do stop the flood-gates of her eyes.



Hostess Quickly. O Jesu, he doth it as like one of these harlotry
players as ever I see!

Falstaff. Peace, good pint-pot; peace, good tickle-brain.
Harry, I do not only marvel where thou spendest thy
time, but also how thou art accompanied: for though
the camomile, the more it is trodden on the faster
it grows, yet youth, the more it is wasted the
sooner it wears. That thou art my son, I have
partly thy mother's word, partly my own opinion,
but chiefly a villanous trick of thine eye and a
foolish-hanging of thy nether lip, that doth warrant
me. If then thou be son to me, here lies the point;
why, being son to me, art thou so pointed at? Shall
the blessed sun of heaven prove a micher and eat
blackberries? a question not to be asked. Shall
the sun of England prove a thief and take purses? a
question to be asked. There is a thing, Harry,
which thou hast often heard of and it is known to
many in our land by the name of pitch: this pitch,
as ancient writers do report, doth defile; so doth
the company thou keepest: for, Harry, now I do not
speak to thee in drink but in tears, not in
pleasure but in passion, not in words only, but in
woes also: and yet there is a virtuous man whom I
have often noted in thy company, but I know not his name.



Henry V. What manner of man, an it like your majesty?

Falstaff. A goodly portly man, i' faith, and a corpulent; of a
cheerful look, a pleasing eye and a most noble
carriage; and, as I think, his age some fifty, or,
by'r lady, inclining to three score; and now I
remember me, his name is Falstaff: if that man
should be lewdly given, he deceiveth me; for, Harry,
I see virtue in his looks. If then the tree may be
known by the fruit, as the fruit by the tree, then,
peremptorily I speak it, there is virtue in that
Falstaff: him keep with, the rest banish. And tell
me now, thou naughty varlet, tell me, where hast
thou been this month?



Henry V. Dost thou speak like a king? Do thou stand for me,
and I'll play my father.

Falstaff. Depose me? if thou dost it half so gravely, so
majestically, both in word and matter, hang me up by
the heels for a rabbit-sucker or a poulter's hare.



Henry V. Well, here I am set.

Falstaff. And here I stand: judge, my masters.



Henry V. Now, Harry, whence come you?

Falstaff. My noble lord, from Eastcheap.



Henry V. The complaints I hear of thee are grievous.

Falstaff. 'Sblood, my lord, they are false: nay, I'll tickle
ye for a young prince, i' faith.



Henry V. Swearest thou, ungracious boy? henceforth ne'er look
on me. Thou art violently carried away from grace:
there is a devil haunts thee in the likeness of an
old fat man; a tun of man is thy companion. Why
dost thou converse with that trunk of humours, that
bolting-hutch of beastliness, that swollen parcel
of dropsies, that huge bombard of sack, that stuffed
cloak-bag of guts, that roasted Manningtree ox with
the pudding in his belly, that reverend vice, that
grey iniquity, that father ruffian, that vanity in
years? Wherein is he good, but to taste sack and
drink it? wherein neat and cleanly, but to carve a
capon and eat it? wherein cunning, but in craft?
wherein crafty, but in villany? wherein villanous,
but in all things? wherein worthy, but in nothing?

Falstaff. I would your grace would take me with you: whom
means your grace?



Henry V. That villanous abominable misleader of youth,
Falstaff, that old white-bearded Satan.

Falstaff. My lord, the man I know.



Henry V. I know thou dost.

Falstaff. But to say I know more harm in him than in myself,
were to say more than I know. That he is old, the
more the pity, his white hairs do witness it; but
that he is, saving your reverence, a whoremaster,
that I utterly deny. If sack and sugar be a fault,
God help the wicked! if to be old and merry be a
sin, then many an old host that I know is damned: if
to be fat be to be hated, then Pharaoh's lean kine
are to be loved. No, my good lord; banish Peto,
banish Bardolph, banish Poins: but for sweet Jack
Falstaff, kind Jack Falstaff, true Jack Falstaff,
valiant Jack Falstaff, and therefore more valiant,
being, as he is, old Jack Falstaff, banish not him
thy Harry's company, banish not him thy Harry's
company: banish plump Jack, and banish all the world.



Lord Bardolph. O, my lord, my lord! the sheriff with a most
monstrous watch is at the door.

Falstaff. Out, ye rogue! Play out the play: I have much to
say in the behalf of that Falstaff.



Hostess Quickly. The sheriff and all the watch are at the door: they
are come to search the house. Shall I let them in?

Falstaff. Dost thou hear, Hal? never call a true piece of
gold a counterfeit: thou art essentially mad,
without seeming so.



Henry V. And thou a natural coward, without instinct.

Falstaff. I deny your major: if you will deny the sheriff,
so; if not, let him enter: if I become not a cart
as well as another man, a plague on my bringing up!
I hope I shall as soon be strangled with a halter as another.



Henry V. Go, hide thee behind the arras: the rest walk up
above. Now, my masters, for a true face and good

Falstaff. Both which I have had: but their date is out, and
therefore I'll hide me.



(stage directions). [Enter FALSTAFF and BARDOLPH]

Falstaff. 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 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.



Lord Bardolph. Sir John, you are so fretful, you cannot live long.

Falstaff. 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 once
in a quarter—of an hour; paid money that I
borrowed, three of four times; lived well and in
good compass: and now I live out of all order, out
of all compass.



Lord Bardolph. Why, you are so fat, Sir John, that you must needs
be out of all compass, out of all reasonable
compass, Sir John.

Falstaff. 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 nose of thee; thou art the
Knight of the Burning Lamp.



Lord Bardolph. Why, Sir John, my face does you no harm.

Falstaff. 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
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 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



Lord Bardolph. 'Sblood, I would my face were in your belly!

Falstaff. God-a-mercy! so should I be sure to be heart-burned.
[Enter Hostess]
How now, Dame Partlet the hen! have you inquired
yet who picked my pocket?



Hostess Quickly. 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.

Falstaff. Ye lie, hostess: Bardolph was shaved and lost many
a hair; and I'll be sworn my pocket was picked. Go
to, you are a woman, go.



Hostess Quickly. Who, I? no; I defy thee: God's light, I was never
called so in mine own house before.

Falstaff. Go to, I know you well enough.



Hostess Quickly. 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.

Falstaff. Dowlas, filthy dowlas: I have given them away to
bakers' wives, and they have made bolters of them.



Hostess Quickly. 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 twenty pound.

Falstaff. He had his part of it; let him pay.



Hostess Quickly. He? alas, he is poor; he hath nothing.

Falstaff. How! poor? look upon his face; what call you rich?
let them coin his nose, let them coin his cheeks:
Ill not pay a denier. What, will you make a younker
of me? shall I not take mine case in mine inn but I
shall have my pocket picked? I have lost a
seal-ring of my grandfather's worth forty mark.



Hostess Quickly. O Jesu, I have heard the prince tell him, I know not
how oft, that ring was copper!

Falstaff. How! the prince is a Jack, a sneak-cup: 'sblood, an
he were here, I would cudgel him like a dog, if he
would say so.
[Enter PRINCE HENRY and PETO, marching, and FALSTAFF
meets them playing on his truncheon like a life]

How now, lad! is the wind in that door, i' faith?
must we all march?



Hostess Quickly. Good my lord, hear me.

Falstaff. Prithee, let her alone, and list to me.



Henry V. What sayest thou, Jack?

Falstaff. The other night I fell asleep here behind the arras
and had my pocket picked: this house is turned
bawdy-house; they pick pockets.



Henry V. What didst thou lose, Jack?

Falstaff. Wilt thou believe me, Hal? three or four bonds of
forty pound apiece, and a seal-ring of my



Hostess Quickly. There's neither faith, truth, nor womanhood in me else.

Falstaff. 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, Maid Marian may be the
deputy's wife of the ward to thee. Go, you thing,



Hostess Quickly. Say, what thing? what thing?

Falstaff. What thing! why, a thing to thank God on.



Hostess Quickly. 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.

Falstaff. Setting thy womanhood aside, thou art a beast to say



Hostess Quickly. Say, what beast, thou knave, thou?

Falstaff. What beast! why, an otter.



Henry V. An otter, Sir John! Why an otter?

Falstaff. Why, she's neither fish nor flesh; a man knows not
where to have her.



Henry V. Sirrah, do I owe you a thousand pound?

Falstaff. A thousand pound, Ha! a million: thy love is worth
a million: thou owest me thy love.



Hostess Quickly. Nay, my lord, he called you Jack, and said he would
cudgel you.

Falstaff. Did I, Bardolph?



Lord Bardolph. Indeed, Sir John, you said so.

Falstaff. Yea, if he said my ring was copper.



Henry V. I say 'tis copper: darest thou be as good as thy word now?

Falstaff. 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 a lion's whelp.



Henry V. And why not as the lion?

Falstaff. The king is to be feared as the lion: dost thou
think I'll fear thee as I fear thy father? nay, an
I do, I pray God my girdle break.



Henry V. 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 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 if; you will
not pocket up wrong: art thou not ashamed?

Falstaff. 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 another man, and therefore more
frailty. You confess then, you picked my pocket?



Henry V. It appears so by the story.

Falstaff. 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?



Henry V. O, my sweet beef, I must still be good angel to
thee: the money is paid back again.

Falstaff. O, I do not like that paying back; 'tis a double labour.



Henry V. I am good friends with my father and may do any thing.

Falstaff. Rob me the exchequer the first thing thou doest, and
do it with unwashed hands too.



Henry V. I have procured thee, Jack, a charge of foot.

Falstaff. 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.



(stage directions). [Exit PRINCE HENRY]

Falstaff. Rare words! brave world! Hostess, my breakfast, come!
O, I could wish this tavern were my drum!



(stage directions). [Enter FALSTAFF and BARDOLPH]

Falstaff. Bardolph, get thee before to Coventry; fill me a
bottle of sack: our soldiers shall march through;
we'll to Sutton Co'fil' tonight.



Lord Bardolph. Will you give me money, captain?

Falstaff. Lay out, lay out.



Lord Bardolph. This bottle makes an angel.

Falstaff. An if it do, take it for thy labour; and if it make
twenty, take them all; I'll answer the coinage. Bid
my lieutenant Peto meet me at town's end.



(stage directions). [Exit]

Falstaff. If I be not ashamed of my soldiers, I am a soused
gurnet. I have misused the king's press damnably.
I have got, in exchange of a hundred and fifty
soldiers, three hundred and odd pounds. I press me
none but good house-holders, yeoman's sons; inquire
me out contracted bachelors, such as had been asked
twice on the banns; such a commodity of warm slaves,
as had as lieve hear the devil as a drum; such as
fear the report of a caliver worse than a struck
fowl or a hurt wild-duck. I pressed me none but such
toasts-and-butter, with hearts in their bellies no
bigger than pins' heads, and they have bought out
their services; and now my whole charge consists of
ancients, corporals, lieutenants, gentlemen of
companies, slaves as ragged as Lazarus in the
painted cloth, where the glutton's dogs licked his
sores; and such as indeed were never soldiers, but
discarded unjust serving-men, younger sons to
younger brothers, revolted tapsters and ostlers
trade-fallen, the cankers of a calm world and a
long peace, ten times more dishonourable ragged than
an old faced ancient: and such have I, to fill up
the rooms of them that have bought out their
services, that you would think that I had a hundred
and fifty tattered prodigals lately come from
swine-keeping, from eating draff and husks. A mad
fellow met me on the way and told me I had unloaded
all the gibbets and pressed the dead bodies. No eye
hath seen such scarecrows. I'll not march through
Coventry with them, that's flat: nay, and the
villains march wide betwixt the legs, as if they had
gyves on; for indeed I had the most of them out of
prison. There's but a shirt and a half in all my
company; and the half shirt is two napkins tacked
together and thrown over the shoulders like an
herald's coat without sleeves; and the shirt, to say
the truth, stolen from my host at Saint Alban's, or
the red-nose innkeeper of Daventry. But that's all
one; they'll find linen enough on every hedge.



Henry V. How now, blown Jack! how now, quilt!

Falstaff. What, Hal! how now, mad wag! what a devil dost thou
in Warwickshire? My good Lord of Westmoreland, I
cry you mercy: I thought your honour had already been
at Shrewsbury.



Earl of Westmoreland. Faith, Sir John,'tis more than time that I were
there, and you too; but my powers are there already.
The king, I can tell you, looks for us all: we must
away all night.

Falstaff. Tut, never fear me: I am as vigilant as a cat to
steal cream.



Henry V. I think, to steal cream indeed, for thy theft hath
already made thee butter. But tell me, Jack, whose
fellows are these that come after?

Falstaff. Mine, Hal, mine.



Henry V. I did never see such pitiful rascals.

Falstaff. Tut, tut; good enough to toss; food for powder, food
for powder; they'll fill a pit as well as better:
tush, man, mortal men, mortal men.



Earl of Westmoreland. Ay, but, Sir John, methinks they are exceeding poor
and bare, too beggarly.

Falstaff. 'Faith, for their poverty, I know not where they had
that; and for their bareness, I am sure they never
learned that of me.



Henry V. No I'll be sworn; unless you call three fingers on
the ribs bare. But, sirrah, make haste: Percy is
already in the field.

Falstaff. What, is the king encamped?



Earl of Westmoreland. He is, Sir John: I fear we shall stay too long.

Falstaff. Well,
To the latter end of a fray and the beginning of a feast
Fits a dull fighter and a keen guest.



Henry IV. You have not sought it! how comes it, then?

Falstaff. Rebellion lay in his way, and he found it.



(stage directions). [Exeunt all but PRINCE HENRY and FALSTAFF]

Falstaff. Hal, if thou see me down in the battle and bestride
me, so; 'tis a point of friendship.



Henry V. Nothing but a colossus can do thee that friendship.
Say thy prayers, and farewell.

Falstaff. I would 'twere bed-time, Hal, and all well.



(stage directions). [Exit PRINCE HENRY]

Falstaff. 'Tis not due yet; I would be loath to pay him before
his day. What need I be so forward with him that
calls not on me? Well, 'tis no matter; honour pricks
me on. Yea, but how if honour prick me off when I
come on? how then? Can honour set to a leg? no: or
an arm? no: or take away the grief of a wound? no.
Honour hath no skill in surgery, then? no. What is
honour? a word. What is in that word honour? what
is that honour? air. A trim reckoning! Who hath it?
he that died o' Wednesday. Doth he feel it? no.
Doth he hear it? no. 'Tis insensible, then. Yea,
to the dead. But will it not live with the living?
no. Why? detraction will not suffer it. Therefore
I'll none of it. Honour is a mere scutcheon: and so
ends my catechism.



(stage directions). [Alarum. Enter FALSTAFF, solus]

Falstaff. Though I could 'scape shot-free at London, I fear
the shot here; here's no scoring but upon the pate.
Soft! who are you? Sir Walter Blunt: there's honour
for you! here's no vanity! I am as hot as moulten
lead, and as heavy too: God keep lead out of me! I
need no more weight than mine own bowels. I have
led my ragamuffins where they are peppered: there's
not three of my hundred and fifty left alive; and
they are for the town's end, to beg during life.
But who comes here?



Henry V. What, stand'st thou idle here? lend me thy sword:
Many a nobleman lies stark and stiff
Under the hoofs of vaunting enemies,
Whose deaths are yet unrevenged: I prithee,
lend me thy sword.

Falstaff. O Hal, I prithee, give me leave to breathe awhile.
Turk Gregory never did such deeds in arms as I have
done this day. I have paid Percy, I have made him sure.



Henry V. He is, indeed; and living to kill thee. I prithee,
lend me thy sword.

Falstaff. Nay, before God, Hal, if Percy be alive, thou get'st
not my sword; but take my pistol, if thou wilt.



Henry V. Give it to me: what, is it in the case?

Falstaff. Ay, Hal; 'tis hot, 'tis hot; there's that will sack a city.



(stage directions). [He throws the bottle at him. Exit]

Falstaff. Well, if Percy be alive, I'll pierce him. If he do
come in my way, so: if he do not, if I come in his
willingly, let him make a carbonado of me. I like
not such grinning honour as Sir Walter hath: give me
life: which if I can save, so; if not, honour comes
unlooked for, and there's an end.



(stage directions). [Enter FALSTAFF]

Falstaff. Well said, Hal! to it Hal! Nay, you shall find no
boy's play here, I can tell you.
[Re-enter DOUGLAS; he fights with FALSTAFF,]
who falls down as if he were dead, and exit
DOUGLAS. HOTSPUR is wounded, and falls]



(stage directions). [Exit PRINCE HENRY]

Falstaff. [Rising up] Embowelled! if thou embowel me to-day,
I'll give you leave to powder me and eat me too
to-morrow. 'Sblood,'twas time to counterfeit, or
that hot termagant Scot had paid me scot and lot too.
Counterfeit? I lie, I am no counterfeit: to die,
is to be a counterfeit; for he is but the
counterfeit of a man who hath not the life of a man:
but to counterfeit dying, when a man thereby
liveth, is to be no counterfeit, but the true and
perfect image of life indeed. The better part of
valour is discretion; in the which better part I
have saved my life.'Zounds, I am afraid of this
gunpowder Percy, though he be dead: how, if he
should counterfeit too and rise? by my faith, I am
afraid he would prove the better counterfeit.
Therefore I'll make him sure; yea, and I'll swear I
killed him. Why may not he rise as well as I?
Nothing confutes me but eyes, and nobody sees me.
Therefore, sirrah,
[Stabbing him]
with a new wound in your thigh, come you along with me.



Henry V. I did; I saw him dead,
Breathless and bleeding on the ground. Art
thou alive?
Or is it fantasy that plays upon our eyesight?
I prithee, speak; we will not trust our eyes
Without our ears: thou art not what thou seem'st.

Falstaff. No, that's certain; I am not a double man: but if I
be not Jack Falstaff, then am I a Jack. There is Percy:
[Throwing the body down]
if your father will do me any honour, so; if not, let
him kill the next Percy himself. I look to be either
earl or duke, I can assure you.



Henry V. Why, Percy I killed myself and saw thee dead.

Falstaff. Didst thou? Lord, Lord, how this world is given to
lying! I grant you I was down and out of breath;
and so was he: but we rose both at an instant and
fought a long hour by Shrewsbury clock. If I may be
believed, so; if not, let them that should reward
valour bear the sin upon their own heads. I'll take
it upon my death, I gave him this wound in the
thigh: if the man were alive and would deny it,
'zounds, I would make him eat a piece of my sword.



(stage directions). [Exeunt PRINCE HENRY and LANCASTER]

Falstaff. I'll follow, as they say, for reward. He that
rewards me, God reward him! If I do grow great,
I'll grow less; for I'll purge, and leave sack, and
live cleanly as a nobleman should do.

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