William Shakespeare: Henry IV (Pt 2), Act II, Scene IV
Enter two Drawers
What the devil hast thou brought there? apple-johns? thou knowest Sir John cannot endure an apple-john.
Mass, thou sayest true. The prince once set a dish of apple-johns before him, and told him there were five more Sir Johns, and, putting off his hat, said 'I will now take my leave of these six dry, round, old, withered knights.' It angered him to the heart: but he hath forgot that.
Why, then, cover, and set them down: and see if thou canst find out Sneak's noise; Mistress Tearsheet would fain hear some music. Dispatch: the room where they supped is too hot; they'll come in straight.
Sirrah, here will be the prince and Master Poins anon; and they will put on two of our jerkins and aprons; and Sir John must not know of it: Bardolph hath brought word.
Enter Mistress Quickly and Doll Tearsheet
I' faith, sweetheart, methinks now you are in an excellent good temperality: your pulsidge beats as extraordinarily as heart would desire; and your colour, I warrant you, is as red as any rose, in good truth, la! But, i' faith, you have drunk too much canaries; and that's a marvellous searching wine, and it perfumes the blood ere one can say 'What's this?' How do you now?
'When Arthur first in court,' —Empty the jordan. [Exit First Drawer]
[Singing] —“And was a worthy king.” How now, Mistress Doll!
If the cook help to make the gluttony, you help to make the diseases, Doll: we catch of you, Doll, we catch of you; grant that, my poor virtue grant that.
'Your broaches, pearls, and ouches:' for to serve bravely is to come halting off, you know: to come off the breach with his pike bent bravely, and to surgery bravely; to venture upon the charged chambers bravely,—
By my troth, this is the old fashion; you two never meet but you fall to some discord: you are both, i' good truth, as rheumatic as two dry toasts; you cannot one bear with another's confirmities. What the good-year! one must bear, and that must be you: you are the weaker vessel, as they say, the emptier vessel.
Can a weak empty vessel bear such a huge full hogshead? there's a whole merchant's venture of Bourdeaux stuff in him; you have not seen a hulk better stuffed in the hold. Come, I'll be friends with thee, Jack: thou art going to the wars; and whether I shall ever see thee again or no, there is nobody cares.
Re-enter First Drawer
Hang him, swaggering rascal! let him not come hither: it is the foul-mouthed'st rogue in England.
If he swagger, let him not come here: no, by my faith; I must live among my neighbours: I'll no swaggerers: I am in good name and fame with the very best: shut the door; there comes no swaggerers here: I have not lived all this while, to have swaggering now: shut the door, I pray you.
Tilly-fally, Sir John, ne'er tell me: your ancient swaggerer comes not in my doors. I was before Master Tisick, the debuty, t'other day; and, as he said to me, 'twas no longer ago than Wednesday last, 'I' good faith, neighbour Quickly,' says he; Master Dumbe, our minister, was by then; 'neighbour Quickly,' says he, 'receive those that are civil; for,' said he, 'you are in an ill name:' now a' said so, I can tell whereupon; 'for,' says he, 'you are an honest woman, and well thought on; therefore take heed what guests you receive: receive,' says he, 'no swaggering companions.' There comes none here: you would bless you to hear what he said: no, I'll no swaggerers.
He's no swaggerer, hostess; a tame cheater, i' faith; you may stroke him as gently as a puppy greyhound: he'll not swagger with a Barbary hen, if her feathers turn back in any show of resistance. Call him up, drawer.
Exit First Drawer
Cheater, call you him? I will bar no honest man my house, nor no cheater: but I do not love swaggering, by my troth; I am the worse, when one says swagger: feel, masters, how I shake; look you, I warrant you.
Enter Pistol, Bardolph, and Page
Welcome, Ancient Pistol. Here, Pistol, I charge you with a cup of sack: do you discharge upon mine hostess.
Come, I'll drink no proofs nor no bullets: I'll drink no more than will do me good, for no man's pleasure, I.
Charge me! I scorn you, scurvy companion. What! you poor, base, rascally, cheating, lack-linen mate! Away, you mouldy rogue, away! I am meat for your master.
Away, you cut-purse rascal! you filthy bung, away! by this wine, I'll thrust my knife in your mouldy chaps, an you play the saucy cuttle with me. Away, you bottle-ale rascal! you basket-hilt stale juggler, you! Since when, I pray you, sir? God's light, with two points on your shoulder? much!
No more, Pistol; I would not have you go off here: discharge yourself of our company, Pistol.
Captain! thou abominable damned cheater, art thou not ashamed to be called captain? An captains were of my mind, they would truncheon you out, for taking their names upon you before you have earned them. You a captain! you slave, for what? for tearing a poor whore's ruff in a bawdy-house? He a captain! hang him, rogue! he lives upon mouldy stewed prunes and dried cakes. A captain! God's light, these villains will make the word as odious as the word 'occupy;' which was an excellent good word before it was ill sorted: therefore captains had need look to 't.
I'll see her damned first; to Pluto's damned lake, by this hand, to the infernal deep, with Erebus and tortures vile also. Hold hook and line, say I. Down, down, dogs! down, faitors! Have we not Hiren here?
Good Captain Peesel, be quiet; 'tis very late, i' faith: I beseek you now, aggravate your choler.
These be good humours, indeed! Shall pack-horses And hollow pamper'd jades of Asia, Which cannot go but thirty mile a-day, Compare with Caesars, and with Cannibals, And Trojan Greeks? nay, rather damn them with King Cerberus; and let the welkin roar. Shall we fall foul for toys?
O' my word, captain, there's none such here. What the good-year! do you think I would deny her? For God's sake, be quiet.
Then feed, and be fat, my fair Calipolis. Come, give's some sack. 'Si fortune me tormente, sperato me contento.' Fear we broadsides? no, let the fiend give fire: Give me some sack: and, sweetheart, lie thou there.
Laying down his sword
Come we to full points here; and are etceteras nothing?
Quoit him down, Bardolph, like a shove-groat shilling: nay, an a' do nothing but speak nothing, a' shall be nothing here.
What! shall we have incision? shall we imbrue?
Snatching up his sword
Then death rock me asleep, abridge my doleful days! Why, then, let grievous, ghastly, gaping wounds Untwine the Sisters Three! Come, Atropos, I say!
Drawing, and driving Pistol out
Here's a goodly tumult! I'll forswear keeping house, afore I'll be in these tirrits and frights. So; murder, I warrant now. Alas, alas! put up your naked weapons, put up your naked weapons.
Exeunt Pistol and Bardolph
I pray thee, Jack, be quiet; the rascal's gone. Ah, you whoreson little valiant villain, you!
Ah, you sweet little rogue, you! alas, poor ape, how thou sweatest! come, let me wipe thy face; come on, you whoreson chops: ah, rogue! i'faith, I love thee: thou art as valorous as Hector of Troy, worth five of Agamemnon, and ten times better than the Nine Worthies: ah, villain!
Do, an thou darest for thy heart: an thou dost, I'll canvass thee between a pair of sheets.
Let them play. Play, sirs. Sit on my knee, Doll. A rascal bragging slave! the rogue fled from me like quicksilver.
I' faith, and thou followedst him like a church. Thou whoreson little tidy Bartholomew boar-pig, when wilt thou leave fighting o' days and foining o' nights, and begin to patch up thine old body for heaven?
Enter, behind, Prince Henry and Poins, disguised
A good shallow young fellow: a' would have made a good pantler, a' would ha' chipp'd bread well.
He a good wit? hang him, baboon! his wit's as thick as Tewksbury mustard; there's no more conceit in him than is in a mallet.
Because their legs are both of a bigness, and a' plays at quoits well, and eats conger and fennel, and drinks off candles' ends for flap-dragons, and rides the wild-mare with the boys, and jumps upon joined-stools, and swears with a good grace, and wears his boots very smooth, like unto the sign of the leg, and breeds no bate with telling of discreet stories; and such other gambol faculties a' has, that show a weak mind and an able body, for the which the prince admits him: for the prince himself is such another; the weight of a hair will turn the scales between their avoirdupois.
And look, whether the fiery Trigon, his man, be not lisping to his master's old tables, his note-book, his counsel-keeper.
What stuff wilt have a kirtle of? I shall receive money o' Thursday: shalt have a cap to-morrow. A merry song, come: it grows late; we'll to bed. Thou'lt forget me when I am gone.
By my troth, thou'lt set me a-weeping, an thou sayest so: prove that ever I dress myself handsome till thy return: well, harken at the end.
O, the Lord preserve thy good grace! by my troth, welcome to London. Now, the Lord bless that sweet face of thine! O, Jesu, are you come from Wales?
Thou whoreson mad compound of majesty, by this light flesh and corrupt blood, thou art welcome.
My lord, he will drive you out of your revenge and turn all to a merriment, if you take not the heat.
You whoreson candle-mine, you, how vilely did you speak of me even now before this honest, virtuous, civil gentlewoman!
Yea, and you knew me, as you did when you ran away by Gad's-hill: you knew I was at your back, and spoke it on purpose to try my patience.
No abuse, Ned, i' the world; honest Ned, none. I dispraised him before the wicked, that the wicked might not fall in love with him; in which doing, I have done the part of a careful friend and a true subject, and thy father is to give me thanks for it. No abuse, Hal: none, Ned, none: no, faith, boys, none.
See now, whether pure fear and entire cowardice doth not make thee wrong this virtuous gentlewoman to close with us? is she of the wicked? is thine hostess here of the wicked? or is thy boy of the wicked? or honest Bardolph, whose zeal burns in his nose, of the wicked?
The fiend hath pricked down Bardolph irrecoverable; and his face is Lucifer's privy-kitchen, where he doth nothing but roast malt-worms. For the boy, there is a good angel about him; but the devil outbids him too.
For one of them, she is in hell already, and burns poor souls. For the other, I owe her money, and whether she be damned for that, I know not.
No, I think thou art not; I think thou art quit for that. Marry, there is another indictment upon thee, for suffering flesh to be eaten in thy house, contrary to the law; for the which I think thou wilt howl.
The king your father is at Westminster: And there are twenty weak and wearied posts Come from the north: and, as I came along, I met and overtook a dozen captains, Bare-headed, sweating, knocking at the taverns, And asking every one for Sir John Falstaff.
By heaven, Poins, I feel me much to blame, So idly to profane the precious time, When tempest of commotion, like the south Borne with black vapour, doth begin to melt And drop upon our bare unarmed heads. Give me my sword and cloak. Falstaff, good night.
Exeunt Prince Henry, Poins, Peto and Bardolph
Now comes in the sweetest morsel of the night, and we must hence and leave it unpicked.
More knocking at the door!
How now! what's the matter?
[To the Page] Pay the musicians, sirrah. Farewell, hostess; farewell, Doll. You see, my good wenches, how men of merit are sought after: the undeserver may sleep, when the man of action is called on. Farewell good wenches: if I be not sent away post, I will see you again ere I go.
I cannot speak; if my heart be not read to burst,— well, sweet Jack, have a care of thyself.
Exeunt Falstaff and Bardolph
Well, fare thee well: I have known thee these twenty-nine years, come peascod-time; but an honester and truer-hearted man,—well, fare thee well.
O, run, Doll, run; run, good Doll: come.
She comes blubbered
Yea, will you come, Doll?