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History of Henry IV, Part I

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Act III, Scene 3

Eastcheap. The Boar’s-Head Tavern.



  • 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 2010
    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 2015
    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 2020
    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 2025
    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. 2030
  • 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.
  • 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 2040
    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 2045
    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 2050
    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 2055
    time this two and thirty years; God reward me for
  • Falstaff. God-a-mercy! so should I be sure to be heart-burned.
    [Enter Hostess] 2060
    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 2065
    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. 2070
  • 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 2075
    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 2080
    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.
  • 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 2090
    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 2095
    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? 2100
  • Henry V. What sayest thou, Mistress Quickly? How doth thy
    husband? I love him well; he is an honest man.
  • Falstaff. Prithee, let her alone, and list to me.
  • 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. 2110
  • 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
  • Henry V. A trifle, some eight-penny matter. 2115
  • Hostess Quickly. 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.
  • 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, 2125
  • 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, 2130
    setting thy knighthood aside, thou art a knave to
    call me so.
  • Falstaff. Setting thy womanhood aside, thou art a beast to say
  • 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.
  • Hostess Quickly. Thou art an unjust man in saying so: thou or any 2140
    man knows where to have me, thou knave, thou!
  • Henry V. Thou sayest true, hostess; and he slanders thee most grossly.
  • Hostess Quickly. So he doth you, my lord; and said this other day you
    ought him a thousand pound.
  • Henry V. Sirrah, do I owe you a thousand pound? 2145
  • 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. 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 2155
    roaring of a lion's whelp.
  • 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. 2160
  • 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, 2165
    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 2170
    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 2175
    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 2180
    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, 2185
    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. 2190
  • 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 2195
    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. 2200
  • Henry V. Go bear this letter to Lord John of Lancaster, to my
    brother John; this to my Lord of Westmoreland.
    [Exit Bardolph] 2205
    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. 2210
    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.


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