Henry IV Part 2

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Original text
Act V, Scene I
Enter Shallow, Silence, Falstaffe, Bardolfe, Page, and Dauie

Shal.
By Cocke and Pye, you shall not away to night.
What Dauy, I say.

Fal.
You must excuse me, M. Robert Shallow.

Shal.
I will not excuse you: you shall not be excused.
Excuses shall not be admitted: there is no excuse shall
serue: you shall not be excus'd. Why Dauie.



Dauie.
Heere sir.

Shal.
Dauy, Dauy, Dauy, let me see (Dauy)
let me see: William Cooke,
bid him come hither. Sir Iohn, you shal not be excus'd.

Dauy.
Marry sir, thus: those Precepts cannot bee seru'd:
and againe sir, shall we sowe the head-land with Wheate?

Shal.
With red Wheate Dauy. But for William Cook:
are there no yong Pigeons?

Dauy.
Yes Sir. Heere is now the Smithes note, for Shooing,
And Plough-Irons.

Shal.
Let it be cast, and payde: Sir Iohn, you shall not
be excus'd.

Dauy.
Sir, a new linke to the Bucket must needes bee
had: And Sir, doe you meane to stoppe any of Williams
Wages, about the Sacke he lost the other day, at HinckleyFayre?

Shal.
He shall answer it: / Some Pigeons Dauy, a
couple of short-legg'd Hennes: a ioynt of Mutton, and any
pretty little tine Kickshawes, tell William Cooke.

Dauy.
Doth the man of Warre, stay all night sir?

Shal.
Yes Dauy: I will vse him well. A Friend
i'th Court, is better then a penny in purse. Vse his men
well Dauy, for they are arrant Knaues, and will backe-bite.

Dauy.
No worse then they are bitten, sir: For they
haue maruellous fowle linnen.

Shallow.
Well conceited Dauy: about thy Businesse,
Dauy.

Dauy.
I beseech you sir, / To countenance William Visor of
Woncot, against Clement Perkes of the hill.

Shal.
There are many Complaints Dauy, against that
Visor, that Visor is an arrant Knaue, on my knowledge.

Dauy.
I graunt your Worship, that he is a knaue (Sir:) But yet
heauen forbid Sir, but a Knaue should haue some Countenance,
at his Friends request. An honest man sir, is able
to speake for himselfe, when a Knaue is not. I haue seru'd
your Worshippe truely sir, these eight yeares: and if I cannot
once or twice in a Quarter beare out a knaue, against an
honest man, I haue but a very litle credite with your Worshippe. The
Knaue is mine honest Friend Sir, therefore I beseech
your Worship, let him bee Countenanc'd.

Shal.
Go too, / I say he shall haue no wrong: Looke
about Dauy.
Where are you Sir Iohn? Come, off with
your Boots. Giue me your hand M. Bardolfe.

Bard.
I am glad to see your Worship.

Shal.
I thanke thee, with all my heart, kinde Master
Bardolfe: and welcome my tall Fellow:
Come Sir Iohn.

Falstaffe.
Ile follow you, good Master Robert Shallow.
Bardolfe, looke to our Horsses.
If I were saw'de into Quantities, I should make foure
dozen of such bearded Hermites staues, as Master Shallow.
It is a wonderfull thing to see the semblable
Coherence of his mens spirits, and his: They, by
obseruing of him, do beare themselues like foolish Iustices:
Hee, by conuersing with them, is turn'd into a Iustice-like
Seruingman. Their spirits are so married in Coniunction,
with the participation of Society, that they flocke together
in consent, like so many Wilde-Geese. If I had a suite to
Mayster Shallow, I would humour his men, with the
imputation of beeing neere their Mayster. If to his Men, I
would currie with Maister Shallow, that no man could
better command his Seruants. It is certaine, that either
wise bearing, or ignorant Carriage is caught, as men take
diseases, one of another: therefore, let men take heede
of their Companie. I will deuise matter enough out of
this Shallow, to keepe Prince Harry in continuall Laughter,
the wearing out of sixe Fashions (which is foure Tearmes) or
two Actions, and he shall laugh with Interuallums. O
it is much that a Lye (with a slight Oath) and a iest (with a
sadde brow) will doe, with a Fellow, that neuer had the Ache
in his shoulders. O you shall see him laugh, till his Face
be like a wet Cloake, ill laid vp.

Shal.
Sir Iohn.

Falst.
I come Master Shallow, I come Master
Shallow.
Exeunt
Original text
Act V, Scene II
Enter the Earle of Warwicke, and the Lord Chiefe Iustice

Warwicke.
How now, my Lord Chiefe Iustice, whether away?

Ch.Iust.
How doth the King?

Warw.
Exceeding well: his Cares / Are now, all ended.

Ch.Iust.
I hope, not dead.

Warw.
Hee's walk'd the way of Nature,
And to our purposes, he liues no more.

Ch.Iust.
I would his Maiesty had call'd me with him,
The seruice, that I truly did his life,
Hath left me open to all iniuries.

War.
Indeed I thinke the yong King loues you not.

Ch.Iust.
I know he doth not, and do arme my selfe
To welcome the condition of the Time,
Which cannot looke more hideously vpon me,
Then I haue drawne it in my fantasie.
Enter Iohn of Lancaster, Gloucester, and Clarence

War.
Heere come the heauy Issue of dead Harrie:
O, that the liuing Harrie had the temper
Of him, the worst of these three Gentlemen:
How many Nobles then, should hold their places,
That must strike saile, to Spirits of vilde sort?

Ch.Iust.
Alas, I feare, all will be ouer-turn'd.

Iohn.
Good morrow Cosin Warwick, good morrow.

Glou. Cla.
Good morrow, Cosin.

Iohn.
We meet, like men, that had forgot to speake.

War.
We do remember: but our Argument
Is all too heauy, to admit much talke.

Ioh.
Well: Peace be with him, that hath made vs heauy

Ch.Iust.
Peace be with vs, least we be heauier.

Glou.
O, good my Lord, you haue lost a friend indeed:
And I dare sweare, you borrow not that face
Of seeming sorrow, it is sure your owne.

Iohn.
Though no man be assur'd what grace to finde,
You stand in coldest expectation.
I am the sorrier, would 'twere otherwise.

Cla.
Wel, you must now speake Sir Iohn Falstaffe faire,
Which swimmes against your streame of Quality.

Ch.Iust.
Sweet Princes: what I did, I did in Honor,
Led by th' Imperiall Conduct of my Soule,
And neuer shall you see, that I will begge
A ragged, and fore-stall'd Remission.
If Troth, and vpright Innocency fayle me,
Ile to the King (my Master) that is dead,
And tell him, who hath sent me after him.

War.
Heere comes the Prince.
Enter Prince Henrie.

Ch.Iust.
Good morrow: and heauen saue your Maiesty

Prince.
This new, and gorgeous Garment, Maiesty,
Sits not so easie on me, as you thinke.
Brothers, you mixe your Sadnesse with some Feare:
This is the English, not the Turkish Court:
Not Amurah, an Amurah succeeds,
But Harry, Harry: Yet be sad (good Brothers)
For (to speake truth) it very well becomes you:
Sorrow, so Royally in you appeares,
That I will deeply put the Fashion on,
And weare it in my heart. Why then be sad,
But entertaine no more of it (good Brothers)
Then a ioynt burthen, laid vpon vs all.
For me, by Heauen (I bid you be assur'd)
Ile be your Father, and your Brother too:
Let me but beare your Loue, Ile beare your Cares;
But weepe that Harrie's dead, and so will I.
But Harry liues, that shall conuert those Teares
By number, into houres of Happinesse.

Iohn, &c.
We hope no other from your Maiesty.

Prin.
You all looke strangely on me: and you most,
You are (I thinke) assur'd, I loue you not.

Ch.Iust.
I am assur'd (if I be measur'd rightly)
Your Maiesty hath no iust cause to hate mee.

Pr.
No?
How might a Prince of my great hopes forget
So great Indignities you laid vpon me?
What? Rate? Rebuke? and roughly send to Prison
Th' immediate Heire of England? Was this easie?
May this be wash'd in Lethe, and forgotten?

Ch.Iust.
I then did vse the Person of your Father:
The Image of his power, lay then in me,
And in th' administration of his Law,
Whiles I was busie for the Commonwealth,
Your Highnesse pleased to forget my place,
The Maiesty, and power of Law, and Iustice,
The Image of the King, whom I presented,
And strooke me in my very Seate of Iudgement:
Whereon (as an Offender to your Father)
I gaue bold way to my Authority,
And did commit you. If the deed were ill,
Be you contented, wearing now the Garland,
To haue a Sonne, set your Decrees at naught?
To plucke downe Iustice from your awefull Bench?
To trip the course of Law, and blunt the Sword
That guards the peace, and safety of your Person?
Nay more, to spurne at your most Royall Image,
And mocke your workings, in a Second body?
Question your Royall Thoughts, make the case yours:
Be now the Father, and propose a Sonne:
Heare your owne dignity so much prophan'd,
See your most dreadfull Lawes, so loosely slighted;
Behold your selfe, so by a Sonne disdained:
And then imagine me, taking your part,
And in your power, soft silencing your Sonne:
After this cold considerance, sentence me;
And, as you are a King, speake in your State,
What I haue done, that misbecame my place,
My person, or my Lieges Soueraigntie.

Prin.
You are right Iustice, and you weigh this well:
Therefore still beare the Ballance, and the Sword:
And I do wish your Honors may encrease,
Till you do liue, to see a Sonne of mine
Offend you, and obey you, as I did.
So shall I liue, to speake my Fathers words:
Happy am I, that haue a man so bold,
That dares do Iustice, on my proper Sonne;
And no lesse happy, hauing such a Sonne,
That would deliuer vp his Greatnesse so,
Into the hands of Iustice. You did commit me:
For which, I do commit into your hand,
Th' vnstained Sword that you haue vs'd to beare:
With this Remembrance; That you vse the same
With the like bold, iust, and impartiall spirit
As you haue done 'gainst me. There is my hand,
You shall be as a Father, to my Youth:
My voice shall sound, as you do prompt mine eare,
And I will stoope, and humble my Intents,
To your well-practis'd, wise Directions.
And Princes all, beleeue me, I beseech you:
My Father is gone wilde into his Graue,
(For in his Tombe, lye my Affections)
And with his Spirits, sadly I suruiue,
To mocke the expectation of the World;
To frustrate Prophesies, and to race out
Rotten Opinion, who hath writ me downe
After my seeming. The Tide of Blood in me,
Hath prowdly flow'd in Vanity, till now.
Now doth it turne, and ebbe backe to the Sea,
Where it shall mingle with the state of Floods,
And flow henceforth in formall Maiesty.
Now call we our High Court of Parliament,
And let vs choose such Limbes of Noble Counsaile,
That the great Body of our State may go
In equall ranke, with the best gouern'd Nation,
That Warre, or Peace, or both at once may be
As things acquainted and familiar to vs,
In which you (Father) shall haue formost hand.
Our Coronation done, we will accite
(As I before remembred) all our State,
And heauen (consigning to my good intents)
No Prince, nor Peere, shall haue iust cause to say,
Heauen shorten Harries happy life, one day.
Exeunt.
Original text
Act V, Scene III
Enter Falstaffe, Shallow, Silence, Bardolfe,
Page, and Pistoll

Shal.
Nay, you shall see mine Orchard: where, in an
Arbor we will eate a last yeares Pippin of my owne
graffing, with a dish of Carrawayes, and so forth. (Come
Cosin Silence, and then to bed.

Fal.
You haue heere a goodly dwelling,
and a rich.

Shal.
Barren, barren, barren: Beggers all, beggers
all Sir Iohn: Marry, good ayre. Spread Dauy, spread
Dauie: Well said Dauie.

Falst.
This Dauie serues you for good vses: he is
your Seruingman, and your Husband.

Shal.
A good Varlet, a good Varlet, a very good
Varlet, Sir Iohn: I haue drunke too much
Sacke at Supper. A good Varlet. Now sit downe, now sit
downe: Come Cosin.

Sil.
Ah sirra (quoth-a) we shall
doe nothing but eate, and make good cheere,
and praise heauen for the merrie yeere:
when flesh is cheape, and Females deere,
and lustie Lads rome heere, and there:
so merrily,
and euer among so merrily.

Fal.
There's a merry heart, good M. Silence,
Ile giue you a health for that anon.

Shal.
Good M. Bardolfe: some wine, Dauie.

Da.
Sweet sir, sit: Ile be with you anon: most sweete
sir, sit. Master Page, good M. Page, sit: Proface.
What you want in meate, wee'l haue in drinke: but you
beare, the heart's all.

Shal.
Be merry M. Bardolfe, and my little
Souldiour there, be merry.

Sil.
Be merry, be merry, my wife ha's all.
For women are Shrewes, both short, and tall:
'Tis merry in Hall, when Beards wagge all;
And welcome merry Shrouetide. Be merry, be merry.

Fal.
I did not thinke M. Silence had bin a man
of this Mettle.

Sil.
Who I? I haue beene merry twice and once, ere
now.


Dauy.

There is a dish of Lether-coats for
you.

Shal.
Dauie.

Dau.
Your Worship: Ile be with you straight.
A cup of Wine, sir?

Sil.
A Cup of Wine, that's briske and fine,
& drinke vnto the Leman mine:
and a merry heart liues long-a.

Fal.
Well said, M. Silence.

Sil.
If we shall be merry, now comes in the sweete
of the night.

Fal.
Health, and long life to you, M. Silence.

Sil.

Fill the Cuppe, and let it come.
Ile pledge you a mile to the bottome.

Shal.
Honest Bardolfe, welcome: If thou want'st
any thing, and wilt not call, beshrew thy heart.
Welcome my little tyne theefe, and welcome indeed
too: Ile drinke to M. Bardolfe, and to all the
Cauileroes about London.

Dau.
I hope to see London, once ere I die.

Bar.
If I might see you there, Dauie.

Shal.
You'l cracke a quart together? Ha,
will you not M. Bardolfe?

Bar.
Yes Sir, in a pottle pot.

Shal.
I thanke thee: the knaue
will sticke by thee, I can assure thee that. He will not out,
he is true bred.

Bar.
And Ile sticke by him, sir.

Shal.
Why there spoke a King: lack nothing, be
merry.
Looke, who's at doore there, ho: who knockes?

Fal.
Why now you
haue done me right.

Sil.
Do me right,
and dub me Knight,
Samingo.
Is't not so?

Fal.
'Tis so.

Sil.
Is't so? Why then say an old man can do
somwhat.

Dau.
If it please your Worshippe, there's one Pistoll come
from the Court with newes.

Fal.
From the Court? Let him come in.
Enter Pistoll.
How now Pistoll?

Pist.
Sir Iohn, 'saue you sir.

Fal.
What winde blew you hither, Pistoll?

Pist.
Not the ill winde which blowes none to good,
sweet Knight: Thou art now one of the greatest men in
the Realme.

Sil.
Indeed, I thinke he bee, but Goodman Puffe of
Barson.

Pist.
Puffe?
puffe in thy teeth, most recreant Coward base.
Sir Iohn, I am thy Pistoll, and thy Friend:
helter skelter haue I rode to thee,
and tydings do I bring, and luckie ioyes,
and golden Times, and happie Newes of price.

Fal.
I prethee now deliuer them, like a man of
this World.

Pist.
A footra for the World, and Worldlings base,
I speake of Affrica, and Golden ioyes.

Fal.
O base Assyrian Knight, what is thy newes?
Let King Couitha know the truth thereof.

Sil.

And Robin-hood, Scarlet, and Iohn.

Pist.
Shall dunghill Curres confront the Hellicons?
And shall good newes be baffel'd?
Then Pistoll lay thy head in Furies lappe.

Shal.
Honest Gentleman, I know not your breeding.

Pist.
Why then Lament therefore.

Shal.
Giue me pardon, Sir. If sir, you come with
news from the Court, I take it, there is but two wayes,
either to vtter them, or to conceale them. I am Sir, vnder
the King, in some Authority.

Pist.
Vnder which King? Bezonian, speake, or dye.

Shal.
Vnder King Harry.

Pist.
Harry the Fourth? or Fift?

Shal.
Harry the Fourth.

Pist.
A footra for thine Office.
Sir Iohn, thy tender Lamb-kinne, now is King,
Harry the Fift's the man, I speake the truth.
When Pistoll lyes, do this, and figge-me, like
The bragging Spaniard.

Fal.
What, is the old King dead?

Pist.
As naile in doore. The things I speake, are iust.

Fal.
Away Bardolfe, Sadle my Horse, Master
Robert Shallow, choose what Office thou wilt / In the Land,
'tis thine. Pistol, I will double charge thee / With Dignities.

Bard.
O ioyfull day: I would not take a Knighthood
for my Fortune.

Pist.
What? I do bring good newes.

Fal.
Carrie Master Silence to bed: Master Shallow,
my Lord Shallow, be what thou wilt, I am Fortunes
Steward. Get on thy Boots, wee'l ride all night. Oh sweet
Pistoll: Away Bardolfe:
Come Pistoll, vtter more to mee: and withall deuise
something to do thy selfe good. Boote, boote Master
Shallow, I know the young King is sick for mee. Let vs
take any mans Horsses: The Lawes of England are at my
command'ment. Happie are they, which haue beene my
Friendes: and woe vnto my Lord Chiefe Iustice.

Pist.
Let Vultures vil'de seize on his Lungs also:
Where is the life that late I led, say they?
Why heere it is, welcome those pleasant dayes.
Exeunt
Original text
Act V, Scene IV
Enter Hostesse Quickly, Dol Teare-sheete,
and Beadles

Hostesse.
No, thou arrant knaue: I would I
might dy, that I might haue thee hang'd: Thou hast
drawne my shoulder out of ioynt.

Off.
The Constables haue deliuer'd her ouer
to mee: and shee shall haue Whipping cheere enough, I warrant
her. There hath beene a man or two (lately) kill'd about her.

Dol.
Nut-hooke, nut-hooke, you Lye: Come on, Ile tell
thee what, thou damn'd Tripe-visag'd Rascall, if the
Childe I now go with, do miscarrie, thou had'st better thou had'st
strooke thy Mother, thou Paper-fac'd Villaine.

Host.
O that Sir Iohn were come, hee would
make this a bloody day to some body. But I would
the Fruite of her Wombe might miscarry.

Officer.
If it do, you shall haue a dozen of Cushions
againe, you haue but eleuen now. Come, I charge you
both go with me: for the man is dead, that you and
Pistoll beate among you.

Dol.
Ile tell thee what, thou thin man in a Censor; I will
haue you as soundly swindg'd for this, you blew-Bottel'd
Rogue: you filthy famish'd Correctioner, if you be not
swing'd, Ile forsweare halfe Kirtles.

Off.
Come, come, you shee-Knight-arrant,
come.

Host.
O, that right should thus o'recome might.
Wel of sufferance, comes ease.

Dol.
Come you Rogue, come: Bring me to a Iustice.

Host.
Yes, come you staru'd Blood-hound.

Dol.
Goodman death, goodman Bones.

Host.
Thou Anatomy, thou.

Dol.
Come you thinne Thing: Come you Rascall.

Off
Very well.
Exeunt.
Original text
Act V, Scene V
Enter two Groomes.

1.Groo.
More Rushes, more Rushes.

2.Groo.
The Trumpets haue sounded twice.

1.Groo.
It will be two of the Clocke, ere they come from
the Coronation.
Exit Groo.
Enter Falstaffe, Shallow, Pistoll,
Bardolfe, and Page.

Falstaffe.
Stand heere by me, M. Robert Shallow, I will
make the King do you Grace. I will leere vpon him, as he
comes by: and do but marke the countenance that hee
will giue me.

Pistol.
Blesse thy Lungs, good Knight.

Falst.
Come heere Pistol, stand behind me.
O if I had had time to haue made new
Liueries, I would haue bestowed the thousand pound I
borrowed of you. But it is no matter, this poore shew doth
better: this doth inferre the zeale I had to see him.

Shal.
It doth so.

Falst.
It shewes my earnestnesse in affection.

Pist.
It doth so.

Fal.
My deuotion.

Pist.
It doth, it doth, it doth.

Fal.
As it were, to ride day and night, / And not to
deliberate, not to remember, / Not to haue patience to
shift me.

Shal.
It is most certaine.

Fal.
But to stand stained with Trauaile, and sweating
with desire to see him, thinking of nothing else, putting
all affayres in obliuion, as if there were nothing els
to bee done, but to see him.

Pist.
'Tis semper idem: for obsque hoc nihil est. 'Tis all
in euery part.

Shal.
'Tis so indeed.

Pist.
My Knight, I will enflame thy Noble Liuer,
and make thee rage.
Thy Dol, and Helen of thy noble thoghts
is in base Durance, and contagious prison:
Hall'd thither
by most Mechanicall and durty hand.
Rowze vppe Reuenge from Ebon den, with fell Alecto's Snake,
for Dol is in. Pistol, speakes nought but troth.

Fal.
I will deliuer her.
The Trumpets sound.

Pistol.
There roar'd the Sea: and Trumpet Clangour sounds.
Enter King Henrie the Fift, Brothers, Lord Chiefe Iustice

Falst.
Saue thy Grace, King Hall, my Royall Hall.

Pist.
The heauens thee guard, and keepe, most royall
Impe of Fame.

Fal.
'Saue thee my sweet Boy.

King.
My Lord Chiefe Iustice, speake to that
vaine man.

Ch.Iust.
Haue you your wits? / Know you
what 'tis you speake?

Falst.
My King, my Ioue; I speake to thee, my heart.

King.
I know thee not, old man: Fall to thy Prayers:
How ill white haires become a Foole, and Iester?
I haue long dream'd of such a kinde of man,
So surfeit-swell'd, so old, and so prophane:
But being awake, I do despise my dreame.
Make lesse thy body (hence) and more thy Grace,
Leaue gourmandizing; Know the Graue doth gape
For thee, thrice wider then for other men.
Reply not to me, with a Foole-borne Iest,
Presume not, that I am the thing I was,
For heauen doth know (so shall the world perceiue)
That I haue turn'd away my former Selfe,
So will I those that kept me Companie.
When thou dost heare I am, as I haue bin,
Approach me, and thou shalt be as thou was't
The Tutor and the Feeder of my Riots:
Till then, I banish thee, on paine of death,
As I haue done the rest of my Misleaders,
Not to come neere our Person, by ten mile.
For competence of life, I will allow you,
That lacke of meanes enforce you not to euill:
And as we heare you do reforme your selues,
We will according to your strength, and qualities,
Giue you aduancement. Be it your charge (my Lord)
To see perform'd the tenure of our word.
Set on.
Exit King.

Fal.
Master Shallow, I owe you a thousand pound.

Shal.
I marry Sir Iohn, which I beseech you to
let me haue home with me.

Fal.
That can hardly be, M. Shallow, do not
you grieue at this: I shall be sent for in priuate to him:
Looke you, he must seeme thus to the world: feare not
your aduancement: I will be the man yet, that shall
make you great.

Shal.
I cannot well perceiue how, vnlesse you should giue me
your Doublet, and stuffe me out with Straw. I beseech
you, good Sir Iohn, let mee haue fiue hundred of my
thousand.

Fal.
Sir, I will be as good as my word. This that
you heard, was but a colour.

Shall.
A colour I feare, that you will dye in, Sir Iohn.

Fal.
Feare no colours, go with me to dinner: Come
Lieutenant Pistol, come Bardolfe, I shall be sent for
soone at night.

Ch.Iust.
Go carry Sir Iohn Falstaffe to the Fleete,
Take all his Company along with him.

Fal.
My Lord, my Lord.

Ch.Iust.
I cannot now speake, I will heare you soone:
Take them away.

Pist.
Si fortuna me tormento, spera me contento.
Exit. Manent Lancaster and
Chiefe Iustice.
I like this faire proceeding of the Kings:
He hath intent his wonted Followers
Shall all be very well prouided for:
But all are banisht, till their conuersations
Appeare more wise, and modest to the world.

Ch.Iust.
And so they are.

Iohn.
The King hath call'd his Parliament, My Lord.

Ch.Iust.
He hath.

Iohn.
I will lay oddes, that ere this yeere expire,
We beare our Ciuill Swords, and Natiue fire
As farre as France. I heare a Bird so sing,
Whose Musicke (to my thinking) pleas'd the King.
Come, will you hence?
Exeunt
EPILOGVE.
FIRST, my Feare: then, my Curtsie: last, my Speech.


My Feare, is your Displeasure: My Curtsie, my Dutie:
And my speech, to Begge your Pardons. If you looke for a
good speech now, you vndoe me: For what I haue to say,
is of mine owne making: and what (indeed) I should say,
will (I doubt) prooue mine owne marring. But to the
Purpose, and so to the Venture. Be it knowne to you (as it
is very well) I was lately heere in the end of a displeasing
Play, to pray your Patience for it, and to promise you a
Better: I did meane (indeede) to pay you with this, which if
(like an ill Venture) it come vnluckily home, I breake; and
you, my gentle Creditors lose. Heere I promist you I
would be, and heere I commit my Bodie to your Mercies:
Bate me some, and I will pay you some, and (as most
Debtors do) promise you infinitely. and so kneele downe
before you; But (indeed) to pray for the Queene.


If my Tongue cannot entreate you to acquit me: will
If my Tongue cannot entreate you to acquit me: will
you command me to use my Legges? And yet that were
but light payment, to Dance out of your debt: But a
good Conscience, will make any possible satisfaction,
and so will I. All these Gentlewomen heere, haue forgiuen
me, if the Gentlemen will not, then the Gentlemen do
not agree with the Gentlewomen, which was neuer seene before,
in such an Assembly.

One word more, I beseech you: if you be not too
One word more, I beseech you: if you be not too
much cloid with Fat Meate, our humble Author will
continue the Story (with Sir Iohn in it) and make you
merry, with faire Katherine of France: where (for any thing
I know) Falstaffe shall dye of a sweat, vnlesse already
he be kill'd with your hard Opinions: For Old-Castle dyed
a Martyr, and this is not the man. My Tongue is wearie,
when my Legs are too, I will bid you good night;
Modern text
Act V, Scene I
Enter Shallow, Falstaff, Bardolph, and the Page

SHALLOW
By cock and pie, sir, you shall not away tonight.
What, Davy, I say!

FALSTAFF
You must excuse me, Master Robert Shallow.

SHALLOW
I will not excuse you; you shall not be excused;
excuses shall not be admitted; there is no excuse shall
serve; you shall not be excused. Why, Davy!
Enter Davy

DAVY
Here, sir.

SHALLOW
Davy, Davy, Davy, Davy! Let me see, Davy;
let me see, Davy; let me see – yea, marry, William cook,
bid him come hither. Sir John, you shall not be excused.

DAVY
Marry, sir, thus: those precepts cannot be served;
and again, sir – shall we sow the hade land with wheat?

SHALLOW
With red wheat, Davy. But for William cook –
are there no young pigeons?

DAVY
Yes, sir. Here is now the smith's note for shoeing
and plough-irons.

SHALLOW
Let it be cast and paid. Sir John, you shall not
be excused.

DAVY
Now, sir, a new link to the bucket must needs be
had. And, sir, do you mean to stop any of William's
wages, about the sack he lost at Hinckley fair?

SHALLOW
'A shall answer it. Some pigeons, Davy, a
couple of short-legged hens, a joint of mutton, and any
pretty little tiny kickshaws, tell William cook.

DAVY
Doth the man of war stay all night, sir?

SHALLOW
Yea, Davy. I will use him well; a friend
i'th' court is better than a penny in purse. Use his men
well, Davy, for they are arrant knaves, and will backbite.

DAVY
No worse than they are backbitten, sir, for they
have marvellous foul linen.

SHALLOW
Well conceited, Davy – about thy business,
Davy.

DAVY
I beseech you, sir, to countenance William Visor of
Woncot against Clement Perkes o'th' Hill.

SHALLOW
There is many complaints, Davy, against that
Visor; that Visor is an arrant knave, on my knowledge.

DAVY
I grant your worship that he is a knave, sir; but yet
God forbid, sir, but a knave should have some countenance
at his friend's request. An honest man, sir, is able
to speak for himself, when a knave is not. I have served
your worship truly, sir, this eight years, and if I cannot
once or twice in a quarter bear out a knave against an
honest man, I have little credit with your worship. The
knave is mine honest friend, sir; therefore, I beseech
you, let him be countenanced.

SHALLOW
Go to; I say he shall have no wrong. Look
about, Davy.
Exit Davy
Where are you, Sir John? Come, come, come, off with
your boots. Give me your hand, Master Bardolph.

BARDOLPH
I am glad to see your worship.

SHALLOW
I thank thee with all my heart, kind Master
Bardolph; (to the Page) and welcome, my tall fellow.
Come, Sir John.

FALSTAFF
I'll follow you, good Master Robert Shallow.
Exit Shallow
Bardolph, look to our horses.
Exeunt Bardolph and Page
If I were sawed into quantities, I should make four
dozen of such bearded hermits' staves as Master Shallow.
It is a wonderful thing to see the semblable
coherence of his men's spirits and his. They, by
observing him, do bear themselves like foolish justices;
he, by conversing with them, is turned into a justice-like
servingman. Their spirits are so married in conjunction,
with the participation of society, that they flock together
in consent, like so many wild geese. If I had a suit to
Master Shallow, I would humour his men with the
imputation of being near their master; if to his men, I
would curry with Master Shallow that no man could
better command his servants. It is certain that either
wise bearing or ignorant carriage is caught, as men take
diseases, one of another; therefore let men take heed
of their company. I will devise matter enough out of
this Shallow to keep Prince Harry in continual laughter
the wearing out of six fashions, which is four terms, or
two actions, and 'a shall laugh without intervallums. O,
it is much that a lie with a slight oath, and a jest with a
sad brow, will do with a fellow that never had the ache
in his shoulders! O, you shall see him laugh till his face
be like a wet cloak ill laid up!

SHALLOW
(within)
Sir John!

FALSTAFF
I come, Master Shallow, I come, Master
Shallow.
Exit
Modern text
Act V, Scene II
Enter Warwick and the Lord Chief Justice

WARWICK
How now, my Lord Chief Justice, whither away?

LORD CHIEF JUSTICE
How doth the King?

WARWICK
Exceeding well; his cares are now all ended.

LORD CHIEF JUSTICE
I hope, not dead.

WARWICK
He's walked the way of nature,
And to our purposes he lives no more.

LORD CHIEF JUSTICE
I would his majesty had called me with him.
The service that I truly did his life
Hath left me open to all injuries.

WARWICK
Indeed I think the young King loves you not.

LORD CHIEF JUSTICE
I know he doth not, and do arm myself
To welcome the condition of the time,
Which cannot look more hideously upon me
Than I have drawn it in my fantasy.
Enter Prince John of Lancaster, Clarence, Gloucester
and attendant lords

WARWICK
Here come the heavy issue of dead Harry.
O that the living Harry had the temper
Of him, the worst of these three gentlemen!
How many nobles then should hold their places
That must strike sail to spirits of vile sort!

LORD CHIEF JUSTICE
O God, I fear all will be overturned.

PRINCE JOHN
Good morrow, cousin Warwick, good morrow.

GLOUCESTER and CLARENCE
Good morrow, cousin.

PRINCE JOHN
We meet like men that had forgot to speak.

WARWICK
We do remember, but our argument
Is all too heavy to admit much talk.

PRINCE JOHN
Well, peace be with him that hath made us heavy.

LORD CHIEF JUSTICE
Peace be with us, lest we be heavier!

GLOUCESTER
O, good my lord, you have lost a friend indeed,
And I dare swear you borrow not that face
Of seeming sorrow – it is sure your own.

PRINCE JOHN
Though no man be assured what grace to find,
You stand in coldest expectation.
I am the sorrier; would 'twere otherwise.

CLARENCE
Well, you must now speak Sir John Falstaff fair,
Which swims against your stream of quality.

LORD CHIEF JUSTICE
Sweet Princes, what I did I did in honour,
Led by th' impartial conduct of my soul.
And never shall you see that I will beg
A ragged and forestalled remission.
If truth and upright innocency fail me,
I'll to the King my master that is dead,
And tell him who hath sent me after him.

WARWICK
Here comes the Prince.
Enter King Henry V, attended by Blunt and others

LORD CHIEF JUSTICE
Good morrow, and God save your majesty!

KING HENRY V
This new and gorgeous garment, majesty,
Sits not so easy on me as you think.
Brothers, you mix your sadness with some fear.
This is the English, not the Turkish court;
Not Amurath an Amurath succeeds,
But Harry Harry. Yet be sad, good brothers,
For, by my faith, it very well becomes you.
Sorrow so royally in you appears
That I will deeply put the fashion on
And wear it in my heart. Why then, be sad;
But entertain no more of it, good brothers,
Than a joint burden laid upon us all.
For me, by heaven, I bid you be assured,
I'll be your father and your brother too.
Let me but bear your love, I 'll bear your cares.
Yet weep that Harry's dead, and so will I;
But Harry lives, that shall convert those tears
By number into hours of happiness.

PRINCES
We hope no otherwise from your majesty.

KING HENRY V
You all look strangely on me – and (to Lord Chief Justice) you most;
You are, I think, assured I love you not.

LORD CHIEF JUSTICE
I am assured, if I be measured rightly,
Your majesty hath no just cause to hate me.

KING HENRY V
No?
How might a prince of my great hopes forget
So great indignities you laid upon me?
What! Rate, rebuke, and roughly send to prison
Th' immediate heir of England! Was this easy?
May this be washed in Lethe and forgotten?

LORD CHIEF JUSTICE
I then did use the person of your father;
The image of his power lay then in me
And in th' administration of his law.
Whiles I was busy for the commonwealth,
Your highness pleased to forget my place,
The majesty and power of law and justice,
The image of the King whom I presented,
And struck me in my very seat of judgement;
Whereon, as an offender to your father,
I gave bold way to my authority
And did commit you. If the deed were ill,
Be you contented, wearing now the garland,
To have a son set your decrees at naught?
To pluck down justice from your awful bench?
To trip the course of law, and blunt the sword
That guards the peace and safety of your person?
Nay, more, to spurn at your most royal image,
And mock your workings in a second body?
Question your royal thoughts, make the case yours;
Be now the father and propose a son,
Hear your own dignity so much profaned,
See your most dreadful laws so loosely slighted,
Behold yourself so by a son disdained;
And then imagine me taking your part,
And in your power soft silencing your son.
After this cold considerance sentence me,
And, as you are a king, speak in your state
What I have done that misbecame my place,
My person, or my liege's sovereignty.

KING HENRY V
You are right justice, and you weigh this well.
Therefore still bear the balance and the sword,
And I do wish your honours may increase
Till you do live to see a son of mine
Offend you and obey you, as I did.
So shall I live to speak my father's words:
‘ Happy am I, that have a man so bold
That dares do justice on my proper son;
And not less happy, having such a son
That would deliver up his greatness so
Into the hands of justice.’ You did commit me –
For which I do commit into your hand
Th' unstained sword that you have used to bear,
With this remembrance: that you use the same
With the like bold, just, and impartial spirit
As you have done 'gainst me. There is my hand.
You shall be as a father to my youth;
My voice shall sound as you do prompt mine ear,
And I will stoop and humble my intents
To your well-practised wise directions.
And, Princes all, believe me, I beseech you,
My father is gone wild into his grave,
For in his tomb lie my affections;
And with his spirits sadly I survive
To mock the expectation of the world,
To frustrate prophecies, and to raze out
Rotten opinion, who hath writ me down
After my seeming. The tide of blood in me
Hath proudly flowed in vanity till now.
Now doth it turn, and ebb back to the sea,
Where it shall mingle with the state of floods,
And flow henceforth in formal majesty.
Now call we our high court of parliament,
And let us choose such limbs of noble counsel
That the great body of our state may go
In equal rank with the best-governed nation;
That war, or peace, or both at once, may be
As things acquainted and familiar to us;
In which you, father, shall have foremost hand.
Our coronation done, we will accite,
As I before remembered, all our state.
And, God consigning to my good intents,
No prince nor peer shall have just cause to say,
God shorten Harry's happy life one day!
Exeunt
Modern text
Act V, Scene III
Enter Falstaff, Shallow, Silence, Davy, Bardolph,
and the Page

SHALLOW
Nay, you shall see my orchard, where, in an
arbour, we will eat a last year's pippin of my own
graffing, with a dish of caraways, and so forth – come,
cousin Silence – and then to bed.

FALSTAFF
'Fore God, you have here a goodly dwelling,
and a rich.

SHALLOW
Barren, barren, barren; beggars all, beggars
all, Sir John – marry, good air. Spread, Davy, spread,
Davy, well said, Davy.

FALSTAFF
This Davy serves you for good uses – he is
your servingman and your husband.

SHALLOW
A good varlet, a good varlet, a very good
varlet, Sir John – by the mass, I have drunk too much
sack at supper – a good varlet. Now sit down, now sit
down – come, cousin.

SILENCE
Ah, sirrah! quoth 'a, we shall
(sings) Do nothing but eat, and make good cheer,
And praise God for the merry year,
When flesh is cheap and females dear,
And lusty lads roam here and there,
So merrily,
And ever among so merrily.

FALSTAFF
There's a merry heart, Good Master Silence!
I'll give you a health for that anon.

SHALLOW
Give Master Bardolph some wine, Davy.

DAVY
Sweet sir, sit – I'll be with you anon. Most sweet
sir, sit; master page, good master page, sit. Proface!
What you want in meat, we'll have in drink; but you
must bear; the heart's all.
Exit

SHALLOW
Be merry, Master Bardolph; and, my little
soldier there, be merry.

SILENCE
(sings)
Be merry, be merry, my wife has all,
For women are shrews, both short and tall.
'Tis merry in hall, when beards wags all,
And welcome merry Shrovetide! Be merry, be merry.

FALSTAFF
I did not think Master Silence had been a man
of this mettle.

SILENCE
Who, I? I have been merry twice and once ere
now.
Enter Davy

DAVY
(to Bardolph)
There's a dish of leather-coats for
you.

SHALLOW
Davy!

DAVY
Your worship! I'll be with you straight. (to
Bardolph) A cup of wine, sir?

SILENCE
(sings)
A cup of wine that's brisk and fine,
And drink unto thee, leman mine,
And a merry heart lives long-a.

FALSTAFF
Well said, Master Silence.

SILENCE
An we shall be merry, now comes in the sweet
o'th' night.

FALSTAFF
Health and long life to you, Master Silence.

SILENCE
(sings)
Fill the cup, and let it come,
I'll pledge you a mile to th' bottom.

SHALLOW
Honest Bardolph, welcome! If thou wantest
anything and wilt not call, beshrew thy heart. (to the
Page) Welcome, my little tiny thief, and welcome indeed,
too! I'll drink to Master Bardolph, and to all the
cabileros about London.

DAVY
I hope to see London once ere I die.

BARDOLPH
An I might see you there, Davy –

SHALLOW
By the mass, you'll crack a quart together – ha!
will you not, Master Bardolph?

BARDOLPH
Yea, sir, in a pottle-pot.

SHALLOW
By God's liggens, I thank thee. The knave
will stick by thee, I can assure thee that; 'a will not out,
'a; 'tis true bred!

BARDOLPH
And I'll stick by him, sir.

SHALLOW
Why, there spoke a king. Lack nothing! Be
merry!
One knocks at door
Look who's at door there, ho! Who knocks?
Exit Davy

FALSTAFF
(to Silence, seeing him drink)
Why, now you
have done me right.

SILENCE
(sings)
Do me right,
And dub me knight:
Samingo.
Is't not so?

FALSTAFF
'Tis so.

SILENCE
Is't so? Why then, say an old man can do
somewhat.
Enter Davy

DAVY
An't please your worship, there's one Pistol come
from the court with news.

FALSTAFF
From the court? Let him come in.
Enter Pistol
How now, Pistol!

PISTOL
Sir John, God save you!

FALSTAFF
What wind blew you hither, Pistol?

PISTOL
Not the ill wind which blows no man to good.
Sweet knight, thou art now one of the greatest men in
this realm.

SILENCE
By'r lady, I think 'a be, but goodman Puff of
Barson.

PISTOL
Puff?
Puff i'thy teeth, most recreant coward base!
Sir John, I am thy Pistol and thy friend,
And helter-skelter have I rode to thee,
And tidings do I bring, and lucky joys,
And golden times, and happy news of price.

FALSTAFF
I pray thee now, deliver them like a man of
this world.

PISTOL
A foutre for the world and worldlings base!
I speak of Africa and golden joys.

FALSTAFF
O base Assyrian knight, what is thy news?
Let King Cophetua know the truth thereof.

SILENCE
(sings)
And Robin Hood, Scarlet, and John.

PISTOL
Shall dunghill curs confront the Helicons?
And shall good news be baffled?
Then, Pistol, lay thy head in Furies' lap.

SILENCE
Honest gentleman, I know not your breeding.

PISTOL
Why then, lament therefore.

SHALLOW
Give me pardon, sir. If, sir, you come with
news from the court, I take it there's but two ways,
either to utter them or conceal them. I am, sir, under
the King, in some authority.

PISTOL
Under which king, Besonian? Speak, or die.

SHALLOW
Under King Harry.

PISTOL
Harry the Fourth, or Fifth?

SHALLOW
Harry the Fourth.

PISTOL
A foutre for thine office!
Sir John, thy tender lambkin now is King;
Harry the Fifth's the man. I speak the truth –
When Pistol lies, do this, and fig me, like
The bragging Spaniard.

FALSTAFF
What, is the old King dead?

PISTOL
As nail in door! The things I speak are just.

FALSTAFF
Away, Bardolph, saddle my horse! Master
Robert Shallow, choose what office thou wilt in the land,
'tis thine. Pistol, I will double-charge thee with dignities.

BARDOLPH
O joyful day! I would not take a knighthood
for my fortune.

PISTOL
What, I do bring good news?

FALSTAFF
Carry Master Silence to bed. Master Shallow,
my lord Shallow – be what thou wilt – I am fortune's
steward! Get on thy boots; we'll ride all night. O sweet
Pistol! Away, Bardolph!
Exit Bardolph
Come, Pistol, utter more to me, and withal devise
something to do thyself good. Boot, boot, Master
Shallow! I know the young King is sick for me. Let us
take any man's horses – the laws of England are at my
commandment. Blessed are they that have been my
friends, and woe to my Lord Chief Justice!

PISTOL
Let vultures vile seize on his lungs also!
‘ Where is the life that late I led?’ say they;
Why, here it is. Welcome these pleasant days!
Exeunt
Modern text
Act V, Scene IV
Enter Beadles dragging in Hostess Quickly and Doll
Tearsheet

HOSTESS
No, thou arrant knave! I would to God that I
might die, that I might have thee hanged. Thou hast
drawn my shoulder out of joint.

FIRST BEADLE
The constables have delivered her over
to me, and she shall have whipping-cheer, I warrant
her; there hath been a man or two killed about her.

DOLL
Nut-hook, nut-hook, you lie. Come on, I 'll tell
thee what, thou damned tripe-visaged rascal, an the
child I go with do miscarry, thou wert better thou hadst
struck thy mother, thou paper-faced villain.

HOSTESS
O the Lord, that Sir John were come! I would
make this a bloody day to somebody. But I pray God
the fruit of her womb miscarry!

FIRST BEADLE
If it do, you shall have a dozen of cushions
again – you have but eleven now. Come, I charge you
both, go with me, for the man is dead that you and
Pistol beat amongst you.

DOLL
I'll tell you what, you thin man in a censer, I will
have you as soundly swinged for this – you bluebottle
rogue, you filthy famished correctioner, if you be not
swinged I'll forswear half-kirtles.

FIRST BEADLE
Come, come, you she knight-errant,
come!

HOSTESS
O God, that right should thus overcome might!
Well, of sufferance comes ease.

DOLL
Come, you rogue, come, bring me to a justice.

HOSTESS
Ay, come, you starved bloodhound.

DOLL
Goodman death, goodman bones!

HOSTESS
Thou atomy, thou!

DOLL
Come, you thin thing, come, you rascal!

FIRST BEADLE
Very well.
Exeunt
Modern text
Act V, Scene V
Enter three Grooms, strewers of rushes

FIRST GROOM
More rushes, more rushes!

SECOND GROOM
The trumpets have sounded twice.

THIRD GROOM
'Twill be two o'clock ere they come from
the coronation. Dispatch, dispatch!
Exeunt
Trumpets sound, and the King and his train pass over
the stage. After them enter Falstaff, Shallow, Pistol,
Bardolph, and the Page

FALSTAFF
Stand here by me, Master Shallow; I will
make the King do you grace. I will leer upon him as 'a
comes by, and do but mark the countenance that he
will give me.

PISTOL
God bless thy lungs, good knight!

FALSTAFF
Come here, Pistol, stand behind me. (To
Shallow) O, if I had had time to have made new
liveries, I would have bestowed the thousand pound I
borrowed of you. But 'tis no matter; this poor show doth
better: this doth infer the zeal I had to see him.

SHALLOW
It doth so.

FALSTAFF
It shows my earnestness of affection –

SHALLOW
It doth so.

FALSTAFF
My devotion –

SHALLOW
It doth, it doth, it doth!

FALSTAFF
As it were, to ride day and night; and not to
deliberate, not to remember, not to have patience to
shift me –

SHALLOW
It is best, certain.

FALSTAFF
But to stand stained with travel, and sweating
with desire to see him, thinking of nothing else, putting
all affairs else in oblivion, as if there were nothing else
to be done but to see him.

PISTOL
'Tis semper idem, for obsque hoc nihil est; 'tis all
in every part.

SHALLOW
'Tis so, indeed.

PISTOL
My knight, I will inflame thy noble liver,
And make thee rage.
Thy Doll, and Helen of thy noble thoughts,
Is in base durance and contagious prison,
Haled thither
By most mechanical and dirty hand.
Rouse up Revenge from ebon den with fell Alecto's snake,
For Doll is in. Pistol speaks naught but truth.

FALSTAFF
I will deliver her.
The trumpets sound

PISTOL
There roared the sea, and trumpet-clangour sounds.
Enter the King and his train, the Lord Chief Justice
among them

FALSTAFF
God save thy grace, King Hal, my royal Hal!

PISTOL
The heavens thee guard and keep, most royal
imp of fame!

FALSTAFF
God save thee, my sweet boy!

KING HENRY V
My Lord Chief Justice, speak to that
vain man.

LORD CHIEF JUSTICE
Have you your wits? Know you
what 'tis you speak?

FALSTAFF
My king! My Jove! I speak to thee, my heart!

KING HENRY V
I know thee not, old man. Fall to thy prayers.
How ill white hairs become a fool and jester.
I have long dreamed of such a kind of man,
So surfeit-swelled, so old, and so profane,
But being awaked I do despise my dream.
Make less thy body hence, and more thy grace;
Leave gormandizing; know the grave doth gape
For thee thrice wider than for other men.
Reply not to me with a fool-born jest.
Presume not that I am the thing I was,
For God doth know, so shall the world perceive,
That I have turned away my former self;
So will I those that kept me company.
When thou dost hear I am as I have been,
Approach me, and thou shalt be as thou wast,
The tutor and the feeder of my riots;
Till then I banish thee, on pain of death,
As I have done the rest of my misleaders,
Not to come near our person by ten mile.
For competence of life I will allow you,
That lack of means enforce you not to evils;
And as we hear you do reform yourselves,
We will, according to your strengths and qualities,
Give you advancement. (to the Lord Chief Justice) Be it your charge, my lord,
To see performed the tenor of my word.
Set on.
Exeunt King and his train

FALSTAFF
Master Shallow, I owe you a thousand pound.

SHALLOW
Yea, marry, Sir John, which I beseech you to
let me have home with me.

FALSTAFF
That can hardly be, Master Shallow. Do not
you grieve at this. I shall be sent for in private to him
Look you, he must seem thus to the world. Fear not
your advancements; I will be the man yet that shall
make you great.

SHALLOW
I cannot perceive how, unless you give me
your doublet, and stuff me out with straw. I beseech
you, good Sir John, let me have five hundred of my
thousand.

FALSTAFF
Sir, I will be as good as my word. This that
you heard was but a colour.

SHALLOW
A colour that I fear you will die in, Sir John.

FALSTAFF
Fear no colours. Go with me to dinner. Come,
Lieutenant Pistol; come, Bardolph. I shall be sent for
soon at night.
Enter the Lord Chief Justice and Prince John, with
officers

LORD CHIEF JUSTICE
Go, carry Sir John Falstaff to the Fleet.
Take all his company along with him.

FALSTAFF
My lord, my lord –

LORD CHIEF JUSTICE
I cannot now speak; I will hear you soon.
Take them away.

PISTOL
Si fortune me tormenta, spero me contenta.
Exeunt all but Prince John and
the Lord Chief Justice

PRINCE JOHN
I like this fair proceeding of the King's.
He hath intent his wonted followers
Shall all be very well provided for,
But all are banished till their conversations
Appear more wise and modest to the world.

LORD CHIEF JUSTICE
And so they are.

PRINCE JOHN
The King hath called his parliament, my lord.

LORD CHIEF JUSTICE
He hath.

PRINCE JOHN
I will lay odds that, ere this year expire,
We bear our civil swords and native fire
As far as France. I heard a bird so sing,
Whose music, to my thinking, pleased the King.
Come, will you hence?
Exeunt
EPILOGUE


First, my fear; then, my curtsy; last, my speech.

My fear is your displeasure; my curtsy, my duty;
and my speech, to beg your pardons. If you look for a
good speech now, you undo me, for what I have to say
is of mine own making; and what indeed I should say
will, I doubt, prove mine own marring. But to the
purpose, and so to the venture. Be it known to you, as it
is very well, I was lately here in the end of a displeasing
play, to pray your patience for it, and to promise you a
better. I meant indeed to pay you with this, which, if
like an ill venture it come unluckily home, I break, and
you, my gentle creditors, lose. Here I promised you I
would be, and here I commit my body to your mercies.
Bate me some, and I will pay you some, and, as most
debtors do, promise you infinitely. And so I kneel down
before you – but, indeed, to pray for the Queen.


If my tongue cannot entreat you to acquit me, will
you command me to use my legs? And yet that were
but light payment, to dance out of your debt. But a
good conscience will make any possible satisfaction,
and so would I. All the gentlewomen here have forgiven
me. If the gentlemen will not, then the gentlemen do
not agree with the gentlewomen, which was never seen
in such an assembly.


One word more, I beseech you. If you be not too
much cloyed with fat meat, our humble author will
continue the story, with Sir John in it, and make you
merry with fair Katharine of France – where, for anything
I know, Falstaff shall die of a sweat, unless already
'a be killed with your hard opinions; for Oldcastle died
martyr, and this is not the man. My tongue is weary;
when my legs are too, I will bid you good night.
SHAKESPEARE'S WORDS © 2020 DAVID CRYSTAL & BEN CRYSTAL