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History of Henry V

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Act II, Scene 1

London. A street.


[Enter Corporal NYM and Lieutenant BARDOLPH]

  • Nym. Good morrow, Lieutenant Bardolph.
  • Bardolph. What, are Ancient Pistol and you friends yet? 510
  • Nym. For my part, I care not: I say little; but when
    time shall serve, there shall be smiles; but that
    shall be as it may. I dare not fight; but I will
    wink and hold out mine iron: it is a simple one; but
    what though? it will toast cheese, and it will 515
    endure cold as another man's sword will: and
    there's an end.
  • Bardolph. I will bestow a breakfast to make you friends; and
    we'll be all three sworn brothers to France: let it
    be so, good Corporal Nym. 520
  • Nym. Faith, I will live so long as I may, that's the
    certain of it; and when I cannot live any longer, I
    will do as I may: that is my rest, that is the
    rendezvous of it.
  • Bardolph. It is certain, corporal, that he is married to Nell 525
    Quickly: and certainly she did you wrong; for you
    were troth-plight to her.
  • Nym. I cannot tell: things must be as they may: men may
    sleep, and they may have their throats about them at
    that time; and some say knives have edges. It must 530
    be as it may: though patience be a tired mare, yet
    she will plod. There must be conclusions. Well, I
    cannot tell.

[Enter PISTOL and Hostess]

  • Bardolph. Here comes Ancient Pistol and his wife: good 535
    corporal, be patient here. How now, mine host Pistol!
  • Pistol. Base tike, call'st thou me host? Now, by this hand,
    I swear, I scorn the term; Nor shall my Nell keep lodgers.
  • Hostess Quickly. No, by my troth, not long; for we cannot lodge and
    board a dozen or fourteen gentlewomen that live 540
    honestly by the prick of their needles, but it will
    be thought we keep a bawdy house straight.
    [NYM and PISTOL draw]
    O well a day, Lady, if he be not drawn now! we
    shall see wilful adultery and murder committed. 545
  • Bardolph. Good lieutenant! good corporal! offer nothing here.
  • Pistol. Pish for thee, Iceland dog! thou prick-ear'd cur of Iceland!
  • Hostess Quickly. Good Corporal Nym, show thy valour, and put up your sword.
  • Nym. Will you shog off? I would have you solus. 550
  • Pistol. 'Solus,' egregious dog? O viper vile!
    The 'solus' in thy most mervailous face;
    The 'solus' in thy teeth, and in thy throat,
    And in thy hateful lungs, yea, in thy maw, perdy,
    And, which is worse, within thy nasty mouth! 555
    I do retort the 'solus' in thy bowels;
    For I can take, and Pistol's cock is up,
    And flashing fire will follow.
  • Nym. I am not Barbason; you cannot conjure me. I have an
    humour to knock you indifferently well. If you grow 560
    foul with me, Pistol, I will scour you with my
    rapier, as I may, in fair terms: if you would walk
    off, I would prick your guts a little, in good
    terms, as I may: and that's the humour of it.
  • Pistol. O braggart vile and damned furious wight! 565
    The grave doth gape, and doting death is near;
    Therefore exhale.
  • Bardolph. Hear me, hear me what I say: he that strikes the
    first stroke, I'll run him up to the hilts, as I am a soldier.


  • Pistol. An oath of mickle might; and fury shall abate.
    Give me thy fist, thy fore-foot to me give:
    Thy spirits are most tall.
  • Nym. I will cut thy throat, one time or other, in fair
    terms: that is the humour of it. 575
  • Pistol. 'Couple a gorge!'
    That is the word. I thee defy again.
    O hound of Crete, think'st thou my spouse to get?
    No; to the spital go,
    And from the powdering tub of infamy 580
    Fetch forth the lazar kite of Cressid's kind,
    Doll Tearsheet she by name, and her espouse:
    I have, and I will hold, the quondam Quickly
    For the only she; and—pauca, there's enough. Go to.

[Enter the Boy]

  • Boy. Mine host Pistol, you must come to my master, and
    you, hostess: he is very sick, and would to bed.
    Good Bardolph, put thy face between his sheets, and
    do the office of a warming-pan. Faith, he's very ill.
  • Hostess Quickly. By my troth, he'll yield the crow a pudding one of
    these days. The king has killed his heart. Good
    husband, come home presently.

[Exeunt Hostess and Boy]

  • Bardolph. Come, shall I make you two friends? We must to 595
    France together: why the devil should we keep
    knives to cut one another's throats?
  • Pistol. Let floods o'erswell, and fiends for food howl on!
  • Nym. You'll pay me the eight shillings I won of you at betting?
  • Pistol. Base is the slave that pays. 600
  • Nym. That now I will have: that's the humour of it.
  • Pistol. As manhood shall compound: push home.

[They draw]

  • Bardolph. By this sword, he that makes the first thrust, I'll
    kill him; by this sword, I will. 605
  • Pistol. Sword is an oath, and oaths must have their course.
  • Bardolph. Corporal Nym, an thou wilt be friends, be friends:
    an thou wilt not, why, then, be enemies with me too.
    Prithee, put up.
  • Nym. I shall have my eight shillings I won of you at betting? 610
  • Pistol. A noble shalt thou have, and present pay;
    And liquor likewise will I give to thee,
    And friendship shall combine, and brotherhood:
    I'll live by Nym, and Nym shall live by me;
    Is not this just? for I shall sutler be 615
    Unto the camp, and profits will accrue.
    Give me thy hand.
  • Nym. I shall have my noble?
  • Pistol. In cash most justly paid.
  • Nym. Well, then, that's the humour of't. 620

[Re-enter Hostess]

  • Hostess Quickly. As ever you came of women, come in quickly to Sir
    John. Ah, poor heart! he is so shaked of a burning
    quotidian tertian, that it is most lamentable to
    behold. Sweet men, come to him. 625
  • Nym. The king hath run bad humours on the knight; that's
    the even of it.
  • Pistol. Nym, thou hast spoke the right;
    His heart is fracted and corroborate.
  • Nym. The king is a good king: but it must be as it may; 630
    he passes some humours and careers.
  • Pistol. Let us condole the knight; for, lambkins we will live.