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History of Henry V

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Act II, Scene 3

London. Before a tavern.


[Enter PISTOL, Hostess, NYM, BARDOLPH, and Boy]

  • Hostess Quickly. Prithee, honey-sweet husband, let me bring thee to Staines.
  • Pistol. No; for my manly heart doth yearn.
    Bardolph, be blithe: Nym, rouse thy vaunting veins: 835
    Boy, bristle thy courage up; for Falstaff he is dead,
    And we must yearn therefore.
  • Bardolph. Would I were with him, wheresome'er he is, either in
    heaven or in hell!
  • Hostess Quickly. Nay, sure, he's not in hell: he's in Arthur's 840
    bosom, if ever man went to Arthur's bosom. A' made
    a finer end and went away an it had been any
    christom child; a' parted even just between twelve
    and one, even at the turning o' the tide: for after
    I saw him fumble with the sheets and play with 845
    flowers and smile upon his fingers' ends, I knew
    there was but one way; for his nose was as sharp as
    a pen, and a' babbled of green fields. 'How now,
    sir John!' quoth I. 'what, man! be o' good
    cheer.' So a' cried out 'God, God, God!' three or 850
    four times. Now I, to comfort him, bid him a'
    should not think of God; I hoped there was no need
    to trouble himself with any such thoughts yet. So
    a' bade me lay more clothes on his feet: I put my
    hand into the bed and felt them, and they were as 855
    cold as any stone; then I felt to his knees, and
    they were as cold as any stone, and so upward and
    upward, and all was as cold as any stone.
  • Nym. They say he cried out of sack.
  • Boy. Yes, that a' did; and said they were devils
  • Hostess Quickly. A' could never abide carnation; 'twas a colour he 865
    never liked.
  • Boy. A' said once, the devil would have him about women.
  • Hostess Quickly. A' did in some sort, indeed, handle women; but then
    he was rheumatic, and talked of the whore of Babylon.
  • Boy. Do you not remember, a' saw a flea stick upon 870
    Bardolph's nose, and a' said it was a black soul
    burning in hell-fire?
  • Bardolph. Well, the fuel is gone that maintained that fire:
    that's all the riches I got in his service.
  • Nym. Shall we shog? the king will be gone from 875
  • Pistol. Come, let's away. My love, give me thy lips.
    Look to my chattels and my movables:
    Let senses rule; the word is 'Pitch and Pay:'
    Trust none; 880
    For oaths are straws, men's faiths are wafer-cakes,
    And hold-fast is the only dog, my duck:
    Therefore, Caveto be thy counsellor.
    Go, clear thy crystals. Yoke-fellows in arms,
    Let us to France; like horse-leeches, my boys, 885
    To suck, to suck, the very blood to suck!
  • Boy. And that's but unwholesome food they say.
  • Pistol. Touch her soft mouth, and march.

[Kissing her]

  • Nym. I cannot kiss, that is the humour of it; but, adieu.
  • Pistol. Let housewifery appear: keep close, I thee command.