Henry IV Part 1

Act I
Act II
Act IV
Act V
Enter Falstaff and Bardolph


Bardolph, am I not fallen away vilely since this

last action? Do I not bate? Do I not dwindle? Why, my
bate (v.) 5 lose weight, diminish in size

skin hangs about me like an old lady's loose gown. I am

withered like an old apple-john. Well, I'll repent, and
apple-john (n.) kind of apple with a shrivelled skin [associated with midsummer (St John's) day]

that suddenly, while I am in some liking. I shall be out
liking (n.) 3 bodily shape, good condition
suddenly (adv.) 1 immediately, at once, without delay

of heart shortly, and then I shall have no strength to
heart, out of in poor condition, lacking in strength; also: lacking inclination

repent. An I have not forgotten what the inside of a

church is made of, I am a peppercorn, a brewer's horse.
peppercorn (n.) [berry of black pepper] tiny thing, mere nothing

The inside of a church! Company, villainous company,

hath been the spoil of me.
spoil (n.) 3 slaughter, destruction, ruination


Sir John, you are so fretful you cannot live



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

not above 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 (n.) 7 moderation, bounds, due limits

compass (n.) 6 regularity, proportion, measure


Why, you are so fat, Sir John, that you must

needs be out of all compass, out of all reasonable

compass, Sir John.


Do thou amend thy face, and I'll amend my

life. Thou art our admiral, thou bearest the lantern in
admiral (n.) admiral's ship, flagship

the poop, but 'tis in the nose of thee. Thou art the

Knight of the Burning Lamp.


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


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.
memento... reminder of death See Topics: Latin

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
give over (v.) 1 desert, leave, abandon

wert indeed, but for the light in thy face, the son of

utter darkness. When thou rannest up Gad's Hill 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
ignis... fool's fire See Topics: Latin
wildfire (n.) flaming gunpowder; also: will o' the wisp; type of eruptive disease

purchase in money. O, thou art a perpetual triumph, an
purchase (n.) 3 profit, purchasing power, gain
triumph (n.) 3 festival illumination, triumphal light

everlasting bonfire-light! Thou hast saved me a thousand

marks in links and torches, walking with thee in the
link (n.) 1 light, lamp, flare
mark (n.) 8 See Topics: Money

night betwixt tavern and tavern. But the sack that thou

hast drunk me would have bought me lights as good
good (adv.) [intensifying use] really, genuinely

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 it!


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


God-a-mercy! So should I be sure to be


Enter Hostess

How now, dame Partlet the hen, have you enquired yet

who picked my pocket?


Why, Sir John, what do you think, Sir John? do

you think I keep thieves in my house? I have searched, I

have enquired, 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.


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!


Who, I? No, I defy thee! God's light, I was

never called so in mine own house before.


Go to, I know you well enough.


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
beguile (v.) 1 cheat, deceive, trick

a dozen of shirts to your back.


Dowlas, filthy dowlas. I have given them away
dowlas (n.) cheap coarse linen [from Doulas, Brittany]

to bakers' wives. They have made bolters of them.
bolter (n.) sifting-cloth, sieve, strainer


Now as I am a true woman, holland of eight
holland (n.) fine linen fabric

shillings an ell! You owe money here besides, Sir John,
ell (n.) measure of length [45 inches / c.114 cm in England]

for your diet, and by-drinkings, and money lent you,
by-drinking (n.) drinking between meals
diet (n.) 1 board, daily need

four-and-twenty pound.


He had his part of it, let him pay.


He? Alas, he is poor, he hath nothing.


How? Poor? Look upon his face. What call

you rich? Let them coin his nose, let them coin his

cheeks, I'll not pay a denier. What, will you make a
denier (n.) tenth of a penny [trivial sum, paltry amount] See Topics: Money

younker of me? Shall I not take mine ease in mine inn
younker (n.) 2 greenhorn, juvenile, prodigal child

but I shall have my pocket picked? I have lost a seal-ring

of my grandfather's worth forty mark.
mark (n.) 8 See Topics: Money


O Jesu, I have heard the Prince tell him I know

not how oft, that that ring was copper.
oft (adv.) often See Topics: Frequency count


How? The Prince is a Jack, a sneak-cup.
Jack (n.) 1 Jack-in-office, ill-mannered fellow, lout, knave
sneak-up (n.) cringing villain, creeping rascal

'Sblood, an he were here I would cudgel him like a dog

if he would say so.

Enter the Prince marching, with Peto, and Falstaff

meets him, playing upon his truncheon like a fife

How now, lad? Is the wind in that door, i'faith, must
door (n.) quarter, direction

we all march?


Yea, two and two, Newgate fashion.


My lord, I pray you hear me.


What sayest thou, Mistress Quickly? How

doth thy husband? I love him well, he is an honest man.


Good my lord, hear me.


Prithee let her alone, and list to me.


What sayest thou, Jack?


The other night I fell asleep here, behind the

arras, and had my pocket picked. This house is turned
arras (n.) tapestry hanging

bawdy-house, they pick pockets.


What didst thou lose, Jack?


Wilt thou believe me, Hal, three or four bonds

of forty pound apiece, and a seal-ring of my



A trifle, some eightpenny matter.


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.


What! He did not?


There's neither faith, truth, nor womanhood in

me else.


There's no more faith in thee than in a stewed
stewed prune prostitute, bawd, whore

prune, nor no more truth in thee than in a drawn fox –
drawn (adj.) 2 [unclear meaning] drawn from cover, hunted; disembowelled; dragged along

and for womanhood, Maid Marian may be the deputy's

wife of the ward to thee. Go, you thing, go!
ward (n.) 7 type of political administrative district


Say, what thing? what thing?


What thing? Why, a thing to thank God on.


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.
knave (n.) 1 scoundrel, rascal, rogue See Topics: Frequency count


Setting thy womanhood aside, thou art a beast

to say otherwise.


Say, what beast, thou knave, thou?
knave (n.) 1 scoundrel, rascal, rogue See Topics: Frequency count


What beast? Why – an otter.


An otter, Sir John? Why an otter?


Why? She's neither fish nor flesh, a man knows

not where to have her.


Thou art an unjust man in saying so, thou or
unjust (adj.) 1 dishonest, untrustworthy, crooked

any man knows where to have me, thou knave, thou.


Thou sayest true, Hostess, and he slanders

thee most grossly.


So he doth you, my lord, and said this other day

you owed him a thousand pound.


Sirrah, do I owe you a thousand pound?


A thousand pound, Hal? A million, thy love is

worth a million, thou owest me thy love.


Nay, my lord, he called you Jack, and said he
Jack (n.) 1 Jack-in-office, ill-mannered fellow, lout, knave

would cudgel you.


Did I, Bardolph?


Indeed, Sir John, you said so.


Yea, if he said my ring was copper.


I say 'tis copper, darest thou be as good as

thy word now?


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 the lion's whelp.


And why not as the lion?


The King himself 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.
girdle (n.) 2 belt See Topics: Weapons


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
whoreson (adj.) [abusive intensifier, serious or jocular] bastard, wretched, vile See Topics: Swearing

embossed rascal, if there were anything in thy pocket
embossed (adj.) 3 swollen, bulging, protuberant

but tavern reckonings, memorandums of bawdy-houses,

and one poor pennyworth 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 it, you will not pocket up wrong! Art
stand to it (v.) 1 swear to it, insist upon it

thou not ashamed?


Dost thou hear, Hal? Thou knowest in the

state of innocency Adam fell, and what should poor

Jack Falstaff do in the days of villainy? Thou seest I

have more flesh than another man, and therefore more

frailty. You confess then, you picked my pocket?


It appears so by the story.


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
cherish (v.) 3 entertain kindly, look after well

honest reason, thou seest I am pacified still – nay
still (adv.) 2 ever, now [as before]

prithee be gone.

Exit Hostess

Now, Hal, to the news at court: for the robbery, lad,

how is that answered?


O my sweet beef, I must still be good angel
still (adv.) 1 constantly, always, continually See Topics: Frequency count

to thee – the money is paid back again.


O, I do not like that paying back, 'tis a double



I am good friends with my father and may

do anything.


Rob me the exchequer the first thing thou

doest, and do it with unwashed hands too.


Do, my lord.


I have procured thee, Jack, a charge of foot.
charge (n.) 2 company, command
foot (n.) 1 foot-soldiers, infantry


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
heinously (adv.) atrociously, shockingly, dreadfully

unprovided. Well, God be thanked for these rebels, they

offend none but the virtuous. I laud them, I praise them.




My lord?


Go bear this letter to Lord John of Lancaster,

To my brother John, this to my Lord of Westmorland.

Exit Bardolph

Go, Peto, to horse, to horse; for thou and I

Have thirty miles to ride yet ere dinner-time.

Exit Peto

Jack, meet me tomorrow in the Temple hall

At two o'clock in the afternoon.

There shalt thou know thy charge, and there receive
charge (n.) 2 company, command

Money and order for their furniture.
furniture (n.) 4 equipment, matériel

The land is burning, Percy stands on high,

And either we or they must lower lie.



Rare words! Brave world! Hostess, my breakfast, come!
rare (adj.) 1 marvellous, splendid, excellent

O, I could wish this tavern were my drum.
brave (adj.) 1 fine, excellent, splendid, impressive See Topics: Frequency count


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