Henry IV Part 2 - By William Shakespeare

Prologue

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Enter RUMOR all painted with tongues
RUMOR enters, wearing a costume covered with painted tongues.





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RUMOR
Open your ears, for which of you will stop
The vent of hearing when loud Rumor speaks?
I, from the orient to the drooping west,
Making the wind my post-horse, still unfold
The acts commenced on this ball of earth.
Upon my tongues continual slanders ride,
The which in every language I pronounce,
Stuffing the ears of men with false reports.
I speak of peace while covert enmity
Under the smile of safety wounds the world.
And who but Rumor, who but only I,
Make fearful musters and prepared defense,
Whiles the big year, swoll'n with some other grief,
Is thought with child by the stern tyrant war,
And no such matter? Rumor is a pipe
Blown by surmises, jealousies, conjectures,
And of so easy and so plain a stop
That the blunt monster with uncounted heads,
The still-discordant wav'ring multitude,
Can play upon it. But what need I thus
My well-known body to anatomize
Among my household? Why is Rumor here?
I run before King Harry’s victory,
Who in a bloody field by Shrewsbury
Hath beaten down young Hotspur and his troops,
Quenching the flame of bold rebellion
Even with the rebels' blood. But what mean I
To speak so true at first? My office is
To noise abroad that Harry Monmouth fell
RUMOR
Open your ears! For who could possibly block them when loud Rumor speaks? I make the wind my horse, and ride it from the Orient in the east to the place where the sun sets in the west, describing the events taking place in the world. I continually tell lies and I tell them in every language, stuffing men’s ears with falsehoods. I say that things are peaceful when, in reality, concealed hatred is at work, hidden behind smiles of good will.
And who but Rumor—who besides me—can make armies prepare anxious defenses, when in fact the world is uneasy for other reasons and there’s no war coming at all? Rumor is like a flute. Guesswork, suspicion, and speculation are the breath that makes it sound, and it’s so easy to play that even the common masses—that dim monster with innumerable heads, forever clamoring and wavering—can play it. But why should I describe myself in such detail to the one group of people who knows exactly what falsehood is all about: a theater audience? Why am I here?
King Henry has won the war, and at Shrewsbury, he ended the rebellion against him by defeating Hotspur and his allies, quenching the fire of revolt with the rebels' own blood. But what am I doing, telling you the truth up front? My job is to spread word that Hotspur in his fury killed Prince Hal, and that Douglas killed the King. I’ve spread this rumor through all the peasant

Prologue, Page 2

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Under the wrath of noble Hotspur’s sword,
And that the King before the Douglas' rage
Stooped his anointed head as low as death.
This have I rumored through the peasant towns
Between that royal field of Shrewsbury
And this worm-eaten hold of ragged stone,
Where Hotspur’s father, old Northumberland,
Lies crafty-sick. The posts come tiring on,
And not a man of them brings other news
Than they have learnt of me. From Rumor’s tongues
They bring smooth comforts false, worse than true wrongs.
villages from Shrewsbury to the place where I now stand: in front of the worm-eaten, dilapidated castle of Northumberland, Hotspur’s father, who lies within and pretends to be sick.
The messengers are coming hot and heavy, and every single one of them will report nothing but what he’s heard from me. Straight from Rumor, they bring pretty tales of false comfort, which are far worse than truthful news of misfortune.
Exit
RUMOR exits.

Act 1, Scene 1

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Enter LORD BARDOLPH

LORD BARDOLPH
Who keeps the gate here, ho?
LORD BARDOLPH
Hello? Who’s the doorman around here?
Enter the PORTER
The PORTER opens the door.
   Where is the Earl?
(to the PORTER) Where’s the Earl?

PORTER
What shall I say you are?
PORTER
Who shall I say you are?


LORD BARDOLPH
   Tell thou the Earl
That the Lord Bardolph doth attend him here.
LORD BARDOLPH
Tell the Earl that the Lord Bardolph is here to see him.


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PORTER
His lordship is walked forth into the orchard.
Please it your Honor knock but at the gate
And he himself will answer.
PORTER
His lordship is out walking in the orchard. If you don’t mind, knock at the orchard gate and he’ll answer it himself.
NORTHUMBERLAND Enter
NORTHUMBERLAND enters from another side of the stage.

LORD BARDOLPH
   Here comes the Earl.
LORD BARDOLPH
Here comes the Earl.
Exit PORTER
The PORTER exits.




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NORTHUMBERLAND
What news, Lord Bardolph? Every minute now
Should be the father of some stratagem.
The times are wild. Contention, like a horse
Full of high feeding, madly hath broke loose
And bears down all before him.
NORTHUMBERLAND
What’s the news, Lord Bardolph? Every minute, new violence erupts; it is a wild time. Conflict is like a horse, fed with too much rich food: it has broken out uncontrollably, and tramples everyone who stands before it.

Act 1, Scene 1, Page 2

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LORD BARDOLPH
   Noble Earl,
I bring you certain news from Shrewsbury.
LORD BARDOLPH
Noble Earl, I have reliable news from Shrewsbury.

NORTHUMBERLAND
Good, an God will!
NORTHUMBERLAND
Good news, God willing.


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LORD BARDOLPH
As good as heart can wish.
The King is almost wounded to the death,
And, in the fortune of my lord your son,
Prince Harry slain outright; and both the Blunts
Killed by the hand of Douglas; young Prince John
And Westmoreland and Stafford fled the field;
And Harry Monmouth’s brawn, the hulk Sir John,
Is prisoner to your son. O, such a day,
So fought, so followed, and so fairly won,
Came not till now to dignify the times
Since Caesar’s fortunes.
LORD BARDOLPH
As good as one could wish for. The King has been wounded and is near death. And, thanks to your son’s luck, Prince Harry has been killed. Douglas killed both Lords Blunt. Prince John of Lancaster, Westmoreland, and Stafford fled the battlefield. And your son captured that hulking Sir John Falstaff, Prince Harry’s fattened pig. Oh, there hasn’t been a battle so well fought or a victory so well won since the days of Julius Caesar! It brings honor to our times.


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NORTHUMBERLAND
   How is this derived?
Saw you the field? Came you from Shrewsbury?
NORTHUMBERLAND
How do you know all this? Did you see the battlefield? Did you come from Shrewsbury?



LORD BARDOLPH
I spake with one, my lord, that came from thence,
A gentleman well bred and of good name,
That freely rendered me these news for true.
LORD BARDOLPH
I talked with someone, my lord, who was coming from there. He was a gentleman, with good breeding and a good reputation. He swore that all this was the truth.


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NORTHUMBERLAND
Here comes my servant Travers, who I sent
On Tuesday last to listen after news.
NORTHUMBERLAND
Here comes my servant, Travers. I sent him last Tuesday to find out what was happening.
Enter TRAVERS
TRAVERS enters.



LORD BARDOLPH
My lord, I overrode him on the way;
And he is furnished with no certainties
More than he haply may retail from me.
LORD BARDOLPH
Sir, I passed him on my way here. He doesn’t know anything more than what I told him.

NORTHUMBERLAND
Now, Travers, what good tidings comes with you?
NORTHUMBERLAND
Now Travers, what good news do you have?

Act 1, Scene 1, Page 3

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TRAVERS
My lord, Sir John Umfrevile turned me back
With joyful tidings and, being better horsed,
Outrode me. After him came spurring hard
A gentleman, almost forspent with speed,
That stopp’d by me to breathe his bloodied horse.
He asked the way to Chester, and of him
I did demand what news from Shrewsbury.
He told me that rebellion had bad luck
And that young Harry Percy’s spur was cold.
With that he gave his able horse the head
And, bending forward, struck his armèd heels
Against the panting sides of his poor jade
Up to the rowel-head, and starting so
He seemed in running to devour the way,
Staying no longer question.
TRAVERS
Sir, Lord Bardolph told me happy news and I turned around, to come back here. But he had a faster horse, so he passed me and got here first.
Another man came after him, riding hard. He was nearly exhausted from going so fast, and he stopped to give his bleeding horse a break. He asked me for directions to Chester, and I demanded to hear news from Shrewsbury. He said that the rebels had been beaten, and that Harry Percy’s spur was cold. Then he took off on his horse, leaned forward in his saddle, and jammed his heels into the animal’s side so hard that they almost disappeared. He rode so fast he seemed to be devouring the highway. He didn’t stay around to answer any of my questions.


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NORTHUMBERLAND
   Ha? Again:
Said he young Harry Percy’s spur was cold?
Of Hotspur, Coldspur? That rebellion
Had met ill luck?
NORTHUMBERLAND
What? Say that again: he said that Harry Percy’s spur was cold? Hotspur is now “Coldspur?” That the rebels had bad luck?




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LORD BARDOLPH
   My lord, I’ll tell you what:
If my young lord your son have not the day,
Upon mine honor, for a silken point
I’ll give my barony. Never talk of it.
LORD BARDOLPH
My lord, I’ll tell you what—if your son hasn’t won, on my honor, I’ll exchange all my land for a lace to tie stockings with; don’t even say such a thing.


NORTHUMBERLAND
Why should that gentleman that rode by Travers
Give then such instances of loss?
NORTHUMBERLAND
But why would that gentleman who rode past Travers describe such examples of loss?




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LORD BARDOLPH
   Who, he?
He was some hilding fellow that had stolen
The horse he rode on and, upon my life,
Spoke at a venture. Look, here comes more news.
LORD BARDOLPH
Who, him? He was some insignificant nobody who stole the horse he was riding and, I bet my life, was just talking nonsense. Look, here comes another messenger.
Enter MORTON
MORTON enters.

Act 1, Scene 1, Page 4

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NORTHUMBERLAND
Yea, this man’s brow, like to a title leaf,
Foretells the nature of a tragic volume.
So looks the strand whereon the imperious flood
Hath left a witness’d usurpation.—
Say, Morton, didst thou come from Shrewsbury?
NORTHUMBERLAND
Yes. And the look on his face is like the title page of a book: it hints at the tragic story within. His brow is lined with furrows, like a beach after a wild flood. Morton, did you come from Shrewsbury?



MORTON
I ran from Shrewsbury, my noble lord,
Where hateful death put on his ugliest mask
To fright our party.
MORTON
I ran from Shrewsbury, my noble lord. Death was there, frightening our side with his ugliest mask.


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NORTHUMBERLAND
How doth my son and brother?
Thou tremblest, and the whiteness in thy cheek
Is apter than thy tongue to tell thy errand.
Even such a man, so faint, so spiritless,
So dull, so dead in look, so woebegone,
Drew Priam’s curtain in the dead of night,
And would have told him half his Troy was burnt;
But Priam found the fire ere he his tongue,
And I my Percy’s death ere thou report’st it.
This thou wouldst say, “Your son did thus and thus;
Your brother thus; so fought the noble Douglas”—
Stopping my greedy ear with their bold deeds.
But in the end, to stop my ear indeed,
Thou hast a sigh to blow away this praise,
Ending with “Brother, son, and all are dead.”
NORTHUMBERLAND
How are my son and my brother? You’re trembling, and the paleness of your face is more likely to convey your news than your tongue. This is like that old story about the burning of Troy. A man like you—faint, lifeless, dull, deadly-looking, sad—woke King Priam in the dead of night to tell him that half the city of Troy had been burned down. But Priam saw the fire before this man could speak, and I can see my Percy’s death before you report it. You’re going to tell me, “Your son did such-and-such; your brother did this; the noble Douglas fought like so.” You’ll stuff my greedy ears with stories of their bold deeds. But in the end, you’ll stop my ears forever with a sigh that blows away all your words of praise. You will end your story by saying, “Your brother, your son, everyone-dead.”


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MORTON
Douglas is living, and your brother yet,
But for my lord your son—
MORTON
Douglas is alive, and so is your brother, for now. But as for your son, my lord—






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NORTHUMBERLAND
   Why, he is dead.
See what a ready tongue suspicion hath!
He that but fears the thing he would not know
Hath, by instinct, knowledge from others' eyes
That what he feared is chancèd. Yet speak, Morton.
Tell thou an earl his divination lies,
NORTHUMBERLAND
Why, he is dead. My suspicion is so quick to speak! When a man fears something, and doesn’t want to know the truth, he can still tell when that thing has happened; by instinct, he can read it in another man’s eyes. But speak, Morton. Tell me, who am an earl, that I have

Act 1, Scene 1, Page 5

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And I will take it as a sweet disgrace
And make thee rich for doing me such wrong.
no talent for prophecy. I’ll take it as a pleasant insult, and I’ll pay you richly for doing me that wrong.


MORTON
You are too great to be by me gainsaid,
Your spirit is too true, your fears too certain.
MORTON
You are too great a man to be slandered by me. Your instinct is correct; your fears are true.

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NORTHUMBERLAND
Yet, for all this, say not that Percy’s dead.
I see a strange confession in thine eye.
Thou shak’st thy head and hold’st it fear or sin
To speak a truth. If he be slain, say so.
The tongue offends not that reports his death;
And he doth sin that doth belie the dead,
Not he which says the dead is not alive.
Yet the first bringer of unwelcome news
Hath but a losing office, and his tongue
Sounds ever after as a sullen bell
Remembered tolling a departing friend.
NORTHUMBERLAND
But despite all this, don’t say that Percy’s dead. I can see a strange sort of confession in your eyes. You shake your head; you’re afraid to tell the truth, or you think it would be sinful. If he’s been killed, say so. The man who reports a death doesn’t offend with that report. To lie about the dead is a sin, but it is no sin to say that a dead man is not alive. It’s a losing situation, being the first man to bring unwelcome news. That man’s voice sounds forever like a sad bell, and it will always be remembered for tolling the death of a friend.

LORD BARDOLPH
I cannot think, my lord, your son is dead.
LORD BARDOLPH
My lord, I cannot believe your son is dead.




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MORTON
I am sorry I should force you to believe
That which I would to God I had not seen,
But these mine eyes saw him in bloody state,
Rend'ring faint quittance, wearied and outbreathed,
To Harry Monmouth; whose swift wrath beat down
The never-daunted Percy to the earth,
From whence with life he never more sprung up.
In few, his death, whose spirit lent a fire
Even to the dullest peasant in his camp,
Being bruited once, took fire and heat away
From the best tempered courage in his troops;
For from his metal was his party steeled,
Which, once in him abated, all the rest
Turned on themselves, like dull and heavy lead.
And as the thing that’s heavy in itself
Upon enforcement flies with greatest speed,
MORTON
I’m sorry that I must force you to believe this, when I wish to God that I hadn’t seen it myself. But I saw him, in his bloody state, with my own eyes. He was barely able to fight back, exhausted and out of breath. Harry Monmouth’s swift fury beat the unflinching Percy down to the ground, and once he was there, Percy never rose again. To be brief, Percy’s spirit inspired the entire army, down to the dullest peasant. When the news got out that he had been killed, it took the fire and courage away from even the bravest soldiers. Percy’s metal steeled the whole army; when they learned that he had been blunted, they bent and warped like dull, heavy lead.
And just as a heavy object gains momentum once it’s pushed into motion, our army, made heavy by

Act 1, Scene 1, Page 6

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So did our men, heavy in Hotspur’s loss,
Lend to this weight such lightness with their fear
That arrows fled not swifter toward their aim
Than did our soldiers, aiming at their safety,
Fly from the field. Then was the noble Worcester
Too soon ta'en prisoner; and that furious Scot,
The bloody Douglas, whose well-laboring sword
Had three times slain th'appearance of the King,
Gan vail his stomach and did grace the shame
Of those that turned their backs and in his flight,
Stumbling in fear, was took. The sum of all
Is that the King hath won and hath sent out
A speedy power to encounter you, my lord,
Under the conduct of young Lancaster
And Westmoreland. This is the news at full.
Hotspur’s death, suddenly started moving fast—faster than arrows flying toward a target—but they flew toward safety, not toward the battle. Soon, Worcester, that furious Scotsman, was captured. The warlike Douglas, who killed three enemies disguised as King Henry, began to lose courage: he ran away as well, lending his authority to the shameful retreat. But running in fear, he stumbled and was captured.
The bottom line is that King Henry has won. He’s sent a speedy force after you, sir, led by young John of Lancaster and Westmoreland. That is the whole story.



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NORTHUMBERLAND
For this I shall have time enough to mourn.
In poison there is physic, and these news,
Having been well, that would have made me sick,
Being sick, have in some measure made me well.
And as the wretch whose fever-weakened joints,
Like strengthless hinges, buckle under life,
Impatient of his fit, breaks like a fire
Out of his keeper’s arms, even so my limbs,
Weakened with grief, being now enraged with grief,
Are thrice themselves. Hence therefore, thou nice crutch.
A scaly gauntlet now with joints of steel
Must glove this hand. And hence, thou sickly coif.
Thou art a guard too wanton for the head
Which princes, fleshed with conquest, aim to hit.
Now bind my brows with iron, and approach
The ragged’st hour that time and spite dare bring
To frown upon th'enraged Northumberland.
Let heaven kiss earth! Now let not Nature’s hand
Keep the wild flood confined. Let order die,
And let this world no longer be a stage
NORTHUMBERLAND
There will be time to mourn for this. Sometimes poison can be a kind of medicine: this news, which would have made me sick had I been well, has, because I am sick, made me well. A dying man—his joints weakened by fever, dangling like useless hinges and crumpling under the man’s own weight—will sometimes be stuck with a fit of impatience, causing him to burst out of his caretaker’s arms. My limbs are like that now; once weakened by grief, they’re now enraged by grief, and are three times as powerful as they were before. Away from me, you unmanly crutch! Chain mail armor will cover my hands now. Away from me, you invalid’s cap! You are too fanciful a helmet for this head which is now the target of kings, grown arrogant with their victories. Wrap my head in iron, and then attack me with the roughest things that destiny and hatred will dare to bring upon me in my rage. Let the sky come crashing down! Let the ocean overflow the shores! Let law and order die! And let the world no longer be a stage for a long, drawn-out struggle: let the spirit of

Act 1, Scene 1, Page 7

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To feed contention in a lingering act;
But let one spirit of the firstborn Cain
Reign in all bosoms, that, each heart being set
On bloody courses, the rude scene may end,
And darkness be the burier of the dead.
Cain, who committed the first murder against his brother Abel, live in every heart. If every heart is a murderer’s heart, this violent play will end, and darkness will shroud the corpses.

LORD BARDOLPH
This strainèd passion doth you wrong, my lord.
LORD BARDOLPH
This extreme passion is bad for you, sir.


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MORTON
Sweet Earl, divorce not wisdom from your honor.
The lives of all your loving complices
Lean on your health, the which, if you give o'er
To stormy passion, must perforce decay.
You cast th' event of war, my noble lord,
And summed the account of chance before you said
“Let us make head.” It was your presurmise
That, in the dole of blows your son might drop.
You knew he walked o'er perils on an edge,
More likely to fall in than to get o'er.
You were advised his flesh was capable
Of wounds and scars, and that his forward spirit
Would lift him where most trade of danger ranged.
Yet did you say “Go forth,” and none of this,
Though strongly apprehended, could restrain
The stiff-borne action. What hath then befall'n,
Or what did this bold enterprise brought forth,
More than that being which was like to be?
MORTON
Gentle Earl, don’t abandon your wisdom. All your allies are depending on you and your well-being. If you allow yourself to indulge in this kind of stormy emotion, your health will deteriorate even further. Before you said, “Let’s raise an army,” you calculated how the war might end, and you thought carefully about the likeliness of a victory. You knew from the beginning that, once the fighting started, your son might die. You knew that he was treading dangerously, as if on the edge of a precipice: you knew he was more likely to fall over than make it across. You were warned that your son was made of flesh and blood, and that it was possible he’d get hurt. You were warned that his temper and hot-headedness would push him into the most dangerous situations. But you still said, “Go forward.” None of this consideration, even though it was clearly understood, could stop the stubborn course of events. So what happened here? What has been the result of this brave undertaking? Only this: precisely what was likely to happen in the first place.




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LORD BARDOLPH
We all that are engagèd to this loss
Knew that we ventured on such dangerous seas
That if we wrought out life, ’twas ten to one;
And yet we ventured, for the gain proposed
Choked the respect of likely peril feared;
LORD BARDOLPH
We all knew that we were venturing into dangerous waters. We knew the odds were ten to one that we would come out alive, and yet we ventured forward anyway. The potential reward of winning outweighed the fear of our probable loss.

Act 1, Scene 1, Page 8

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And since we are o'erset, venture again.
Come, we will all put forth, body and goods.
We lost this time, but let’s try again. Come, we’ll all go for it, body and soul.


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MORTON
'Tis more than time.—And, my most noble lord,
I hear for certain, and do speak the truth:
The gentle Archbishop of York is up
With well-appointed powers. He is a man
Who with a double surety binds his followers.
My lord your son had only but the corpse,
But shadows and the shows of men, to fight;
For that same word “rebellion” did divide
The action of their bodies from their souls,
And they did fight with queasiness, constrained,
As men drink potions, that their weapons only
Seemed on our side. But, for their spirits and souls,
This word “rebellion,” it had froze them up
As fish are in a pond. But now the Bishop
Turns insurrection to religion.
Supposed sincere and holy in his thoughts,
He’s followed both with body and with mind,
And doth enlarge his rising with the blood
Of fair King Richard, scraped from Pomfret stones;
Derives from heaven his quarrel and his cause;
Tells them he doth bestride a bleeding land,
Gasping for life under great Bolingbroke;
And more and less do flock to follow him.
MORTON
It is the appropriate time. Good sir, I hear for certain, and I tell you truthfully, that the Archbishop of York has raised a powerful army. He motivates his men with both his earthly and his spiritual powers. My lord, your son commanded only his soldiers' bodies. The word “rebellion” frightened them, separating their bodies from their hearts. It caused them to fight timidly, hesitantly, as though they were taking medicine: their weapons seemed to be on our side, but their spirits and souls were frozen, like fish in an icy pond. But now, the Archbishop turns our rebellion into a religious cause. Everyone believes he’s a righteous and holy man, and they follow him not only in body but also in mind. He enhances his cause by preaching about the blood of good King Richard, which was spilled at Pomfret Castle. The Archbishop claims that he derives his authority from heaven; tells the men that the whole country is bleeding, gasping for life under the terrible leadership of Bolingbroke. And so men from every walk of life flock like sheep to follow him.




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NORTHUMBERLAND
I knew of this before, but, to speak truth,
This present grief had wiped it from my mind.
Go in with me and counsel every man
The aptest way for safety and revenge.
Get posts and letters, and make friends with speed.
Never so few, and never yet more need.
NORTHUMBERLAND
I knew all this, but to tell you the truth, this terrible grief had pushed it out of my thoughts. Come inside; I want to hear everyone’s ideas on the best way to defend ourselves and enact our revenge. Send out messengers and letters, and make new allies quickly. Our numbers have never been smaller, but there’s never been more need for what we have to do.
Exeunt
They exit.

Act 1, Scene 2

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Enter Sir John FALSTAFF, with his PAGE bearing his sword and buckler
Sir John FALSTAFF enters with his PAGE, who carries a sword and shield.

FALSTAFF
Sirrah, you giant, what says the doctor to my water?
FALSTAFF
Sirrah, you giant, what did the doctor say about my urine?



PAGE
He said, sir, the water itself was a good healthy water, but,
for the party that owed it, he might have more diseases than
he knew for.
PAGE
He said that the urine itself was good, healthy urine, but that the man who owned it probably had more diseases than he could tell.

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FALSTAFF
Men of all sorts take a pride to gird at me. The brain of this
foolish-compounded clay, man, is not able to invent
anything that tends to laughter more than I invent, or is
invented on me. I am not only witty in myself, but the cause
that wit is in other men. I do here walk before thee like a sow that hath
overwhelmed all her litter but one. If the Prince put
thee into my service for any other reason than to set me off,
why then I have no judgment. Thou whoreson mandrake,
thou art fitter to be worn in my cap than to wait at my heels.
I was never manned with an agate till now, but I will inset
you neither in gold nor silver, but in vile apparel, and send
you back again to your master for a jewel. The juvenal, the
Prince your master, whose chin is not yet fledge—I will
sooner have a beard grow in the palm of my hand than he
shall get one off his cheek, and yet he will not stick to say
his face is a face royal. God may finish it when He will. 'Tis
not a hair amiss yet. He may keep it still at a face royal, for
a barber shall never earn sixpence out of it, and yet he’ll be
crowing as if he had writ man ever since his father was
a bachelor. He may keep his own grace, but he’s almost out of
FALSTAFF
All kinds of people make it a matter of pride to heckle me. No man—that foolishly assembled lump of clay—could ever invent something quite as funny as I seem to be to other people. I’m not only witty on my own, but I bring out wit in other people. Look at the two of us, walking here: I look like a sow that’s smothered all of her baby pigs, except for you. If the Prince sent you to serve me for any other reason than to irritate me, I’m a fool. You weedy little son of a bitch: you’re so tiny that you should be a decoration on my hat, not a servant at my feet. I’ve never had a servant before who was as tiny as a ring stone. But I won’t set you in a gold or silver ring; I’ll wrap you in rags and send you back to your master, to be used as a jewel—that youth, the Prince your master, whose chin is still lacking a beard. Why, I’ll grow a beard in the palm of my hand before he’ll have one that he can shave off his face. And yet, this doesn’t stop him from claiming that he has a face for royalty. Well, God will give him a beard whenever he chooses to—there’s not a hair out of place yet. It’s a good thing the Prince’s face is a royal, because a barber will never earn a coin from shaving it. And still, the

Act 1, Scene 2, Page 2

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mine, I can assure him. What said Master Dommelton about
the satin for my short cloak and my slops?
Prince brags that he’s been a full-grown man since before he was born. He can keep that title, for all I care; I have no affection for him now, I can assure him. What did Master Dommelton say about the satin for my cape and baggy trousers?



PAGE
He said, sir, you should procure him better assurance than
Bardolph. He would not take his band and yours. He liked
not the security.
PAGE
He said that you have to give him a better guarantee of payment than just saying Bardolph was good for it. He wouldn’t accept Bardolph’s promise or yours; he felt that neither should be trusted.

30




35




40



FALSTAFF
Let him be damned like the glutton! Pray God his tongue be
hotter! A whoreson Achitophel, a rascally yea-forsooth
knave, to bear a gentleman in hand and then stand upon
security! The whoreson smoothy-pates do now wear
nothing but high shoes and bunches of keys at their girdles;
and if a man is through with them in honest taking up, then
they must stand upon security. I had as lief they would put
ratsbane in my mouth as offer to stop it with “security.” I
looked he should have sent me two-and-twenty yards of
satin, as I am a true knight, and he sends me “security.” Well,
he may sleep in security, for he hath the horn of abundance,
and the lightness of his wife shines through it, and yet cannot
he see though he have his own lantern to light him.
Where’s
Bardolph?
FALSTAFF
Damn him to hell then, just like Dives in the Bible—the rich glutton who rejected the beggar Lazarus! And may Dommelton burn even hotter! He’s a son-of-a-bitch traitor! A two-faced liar, who smiles and says “Yes sir, that’ll be fine” to my face, and then demands a guarantee of payment! These bastard shopkeepers, with their fashionable short haircuts, and fancy shoes, and their fat key chains on their belts—you make an agreement to put something on credit, and then they throw a “guarantee of payment” at you. I would rather eat rat poison than guarantee my payment. I expected him to send me twenty-two yards of satin, and instead he sends me a “guarantee of payment.” Well, let him guarantee himself a good night’s sleep. After all, his wife’s in somebody else’s bed, so why not? She’s practically shining a spotlight on her adultery, but he’s so clueless he can’t even tell. Where’s Bardolph?

45
PAGE
He’s gone into Smithfield to buy your Worship a horse.
PAGE
He went to Smithfield to buy you a horse, sir.



FALSTAFF
I bought him in Paul’s, and he’ll buy me a horse in
Smithfield. An I could get me but a wife in the stews, I were
manned, horsed, and wived.
FALSTAFF
I bought Bardolph at St. Paul’s Cathedral, and he’s buying me a horse in Smithfield. Now if he could just find me a wife in a whorehouse, I’d be fully stocked with high-quality servants, horses, and wives.

Act 1, Scene 2, Page 3

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Modern Text

Enter the Lord CHIEF JUSTICE and SERVANT
The Lord CHIEF JUSTICE and his SERVANT enter.


50
PAGE
Sir, here comes the nobleman that committed the Prince for striking
him about Bardolph.
PAGE
Sir, here comes the man who put the Prince in jail for hitting him during that argument about Bardolph.

FALSTAFF
Wait close. I will not see him.
FALSTAFF
Hide; I don’t want to talk to him.

CHIEF JUSTICE
What’s he that goes there?
CHIEF JUSTICE
Who is that man?

SERVANT
Falstaff, an ’t please your Lordship.
SERVANT
Falstaff, if it please you, sir.

CHIEF JUSTICE
He that was in question for the robbery?
CHIEF JUSTICE
The man who was a suspect in that robbery?

55
SERVANT
He, my lord; but he hath since done good service at
Shrewsbury, and, as I hear, is now going with some charge to the Lord John of Lancaster.
SERVANT
That’s the one. But he did good work in the Battle of Shrewsbury, and I hear he’s taking some soldiers to help Lord John of Lancaster.

CHIEF JUSTICE
What, to York? Call him back again.
CHIEF JUSTICE
Where, to York? Tell him to come here.

SERVANT
Sir John Falstaff!
SERVANT
Sir John Falstaff!

FALSTAFF
Boy, tell him I am deaf.
FALSTAFF
Boy, tell him I’m deaf.

60
PAGE
You must speak louder. My master is deaf.
PAGE
You have to speak up; my master is deaf.


CHIEF JUSTICE
I am sure he is, to the hearing of any thing good.—Go pluck
him by the elbow. I must speak with him.
CHIEF JUSTICE
I’m sure he is, when anything good’s being said. Go, tap him on the shoulder. I must speak with him.

SERVANT
Sir John!
SERVANT
Sir John!


65

FALSTAFF
What, a young knave and begging? Is there not wars? Is
there not employment? Doth not the King lack subjects? Do
not the rebels need soldiers? Though it be a shame to be on
any side but one, it is worse shame to beg than to be on the
FALSTAFF
What? A young troublemaker? A beggar? Isn’t there a war on? Isn’t there work to do? Doesn’t the King need subjects? Don’t the rebels need soldiers? Though it’s shameful to be on any side but the King’s, it’s even more shameful to be an idle beggar than a soldier on

Act 1, Scene 2, Page 4

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worst side, were it worse than the name of rebellion can tell
how to make it.
wrong side—even if the rebellion were more despicable than the word “rebellion” already leads me to believe.

70
SERVANT
You mistake me, sir.
SERVANT
You’re mistaken, sir.



FALSTAFF
Why sir, did I say you were an honest man? Setting my
knighthood and my soldiership aside, I had lied in my throat
if I had said so.
FALSTAFF
Why is that? Did I say you were an honest man? Because, setting aside the fact that I’m knight and a soldier, I’d be nothing but a liar if I said that.


75
SERVANT
I pray you, sir, then set your knighthood and our soldiership
aside, and give me leave to tell you, you lie in your throat if
you say I am any other than an honest man.
SERVANT
Then please, sir, set aside your knighthood and your soldiership and let me tell you that you’re a deliberate liar, if you say I’m anything other than an honest man.




80
FALSTAFF
I give thee leave to tell me so? I lay aside that which grows
to me? If thou gett’st any leave of me, hang me; if thou tak’st
leave, thou wert better be hanged. You hunt counter. Hence!
Avaunt!
FALSTAFF
Should I allow you to say that? Should I set aside something that’s mine by right? If I allow you anything, hang me. If you allow yourself, hang you. You’re running in the wrong direction: get out of here! Go!

SERVANT
Sir, my lord would speak with you.
SERVANT
Sir, my master wants to speak with you.

CHIEF JUSTICE
Sir John Falstaff, a word with you.
CHIEF JUSTICE
Sir John Falstaff, I’d like a word with you.



85



FALSTAFF
My good lord. God give your Lordship good time of the day.
I am glad to see your Lordship abroad. I heard say your
Lordship was sick: I hope your Lordship goes abroad by
advice. Your Lordship, though not clean past your youth,
have yet some smack of an ague in you, some relish of the
saltness of time in you, and I most humbly beseech your
Lordship to have a reverent care of your health.
FALSTAFF
My good sir! God grant you a good day! It’s great to see you out and about: I’d heard you were sick. I hope your doctor knows you’re out. Though you’re not entirely past your youth, your lordship, you have a touch of age in you, a touch of the passage of time, and I must humbly urge you to take good care of your health.

90
CHIEF JUSTICE
Sir John, I sent for you before your expedition to
Shrewsbury.
CHIEF JUSTICE
Sir John, I sent for you to come see me before you left for Shrewsbury.


FALSTAFF
An ’t please your Lordship, I hear his Majesty is returned
with some discomfort from Wales.
FALSTAFF
If you don’t mind my saying so, I hear the King is back from Wales and it didn’t go so well.

Act 1, Scene 2, Page 5

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95
CHIEF JUSTICE
I talk not of his Majesty. You would not come when I sent
for you.
CHIEF JUSTICE
I’m not talking about the King. You didn’t come when I sent for you.


FALSTAFF
And I hear, moreover, his Highness is fallen into this same
whoreson apoplexy.
FALSTAFF
And I also hear that the King has fallen into a terrible paralysis.

CHIEF JUSTICE
Well, God mend him. I pray you let me speak with you.
CHIEF JUSTICE
Well, God give him a speedy recovery. Please, let me speak with you.


100
FALSTAFF
This apoplexy, as I take it, is a kind of lethargy, an ’t please
your Lordship, a kind of sleeping in the blood, a whoreson
tingling.
FALSTAFF
His paralysis is, as I understand it, a kind of lethargy, if it please you. It’s a sleepiness in the blood, a nasty tingling.

CHIEF JUSTICE
What tell you me of it? Be it as it is.
CHIEF JUSTICE
Why are you telling me this? Let it be.



105
FALSTAFF
It hath its original from much grief, from study, and
perturbation of the brain. I have read the cause of his effects
in Galen. It is a kind of deafness.
FALSTAFF
It comes from heavy sadness; from too much reading, and too much thinking. I read about it in the reference books: it’s a kind of deafness.


CHIEF JUSTICE
I think you are fallen into the disease, for you hear not what
I say to you.
CHIEF JUSTICE
I think you must have that disease as well, because you’re not hearing a word I’m saying.



110
FALSTAFF
Very well, my lord, very well. Rather, an ’t please you, it is
the disease of not listening, the malady of not marking, that
I am troubled withal.
FALSTAFF
Very likely, my lord, very likely. But actually, sir, I have the not-listening disease; I have the not-paying-attention sickness.


CHIEF JUSTICE
To punish you by the heels would amend the attention of
your ears, and I care not if I do become your physician.
CHIEF JUSTICE
The cure for that illness would be to put you in shackles, and I wouldn’t mind being your doctor.



115

FALSTAFF
I am as poor as Job, my lord, but not so patient. Your
Lordship may minister the potion of imprisonment to me in
respect of poverty, but how should I be your patient to follow
your prescriptions, the wise may make some dram of a
scruple, or indeed a scruple itself.
FALSTAFF
I may be as poor as Job, but I’m not as patient. You may be able to throw me in jail because of my poverty, but some people might have slight reservations about that.

Act 1, Scene 2, Page 6

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CHIEF JUSTICE
I sent for you, when there were matters against you for your
life, to come speak with me.
CHIEF JUSTICE
I sent for you to come speak with me. There were charges against you that might have earned you the death penalty.

120
FALSTAFF
As I was then advised by my learned counsel in the laws of
this land-service, I did not come.
FALSTAFF
I was advised that, since I was working for the army at the time, I shouldn’t go.

CHIEF JUSTICE
Well, the truth is, Sir John, you live in great infamy.
CHIEF JUSTICE
The truth is, Sir John, that you are massively notorious.

FALSTAFF
He that buckles him in my belt cannot live in less.
FALSTAFF
Anybody who wears a belt this big couldn’t be anything less than massive.

CHIEF JUSTICE
Your means are very slender, and your waste is great.
CHIEF JUSTICE
Your bank account is thin, and yet you put it to huge waste.

125
FALSTAFF
I would it were otherwise. I would my means were greater
and my waist slender.
FALSTAFF
I wish it were the other way around: that my bank account were huge and my waist were thin.

CHIEF JUSTICE
You have misled the youthful Prince.
CHIEF JUSTICE
You’ve misled the young Prince.


FALSTAFF
The young Prince hath misled me. I am the fellow with the
great belly, and he my dog.
FALSTAFF
The young Prince has misled me. I’m the man with the big belly, and he’s the dog who walks in front of me.

130


CHIEF JUSTICE
Well, I am loath to gall a new-healed wound. Your day’s
service at Shrewsbury hath a little gilded over your night’s
exploit on Gad’s Hill. You may thank th' unquiet time for
your quiet o'erposting that action.
CHIEF JUSTICE
Well, I’d rather not open up a wound that’s just healed. The good work you did at Shrewsbury has made up a little for the bad thing you did at Gad’s Hill. You can thank the rebellion for helping you get away with that terrible deed.

FALSTAFF
My lord.
FALSTAFF
Really?

135
CHIEF JUSTICE
But since all is well, keep it so. Wake not a sleeping wolf.
CHIEF JUSTICE
But since things are calm now, let’s keep them that way. We won’t wake a sleeping wolf.

Act 1, Scene 2, Page 7

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FALSTAFF
To wake a wolf is as bad as to smell a fox.
FALSTAFF
To wake a wolf is as bad as to smell a fox.

CHIEF JUSTICE
What, you are as a candle, the better part burnt out.
CHIEF JUSTICE
What? You’re like a candle, half burned out.


FALSTAFF
A wassail candle, my lord, all tallow. If I did say of wax, my
growth would approve the truth.
FALSTAFF
Maybe, if I were a big, fat holiday candle made of animal fat. But you’d be better off saying that I’m a wax candle: I keep “waxing” larger and larger.

140
CHIEF JUSTICE
There is not a white hair on your face but should have his
effect of gravity.
CHIEF JUSTICE
Your gray beard should be a sign that you’re a man of gravity.

FALSTAFF
His effect of gravy, gravy, gravy.
FALSTAFF
I’m a man of gravy, gravy, gravy.

CHIEF JUSTICE
You follow the young Prince up and down like his ill angel.
CHIEF JUSTICE
You follow the young Prince everywhere, like a false angel on his shoulder.


145




150



FALSTAFF
Not so, my lord. Your ill angel is light, but I hope he that
looks upon me will take me without weighing. And yet in
some respects I grant I cannot go. I cannot tell. Virtue is of
so little regard in these costermongers' times that true valor
is turned bear-herd; pregnancy is made a tapster, and hath his
quick wit wasted in giving reckonings. All the other gifts
appurtenant to man, as the malice of this age shapes them,
are not worth a gooseberry. You that are old consider not the
capacities of us that are young. You do measure the heat of
our livers with the bitterness of your galls, and we that are in
the vaward of our youth, I must confess, are wags too.
FALSTAFF
That’s not so, my lord. False angels are light, and anyone can see without having to weigh me that I’m too heavy. But I don’t know; in some ways, you’re right. I’m not for these times. Virtue counts for so little in this commercial world of ours. True courage is worthless; it’s only used by animal trainers in the bear-baiting rings. Intelligence is good for nobody but bartenders, who waste their wits totaling up tavern bills. In these mean-spirited days, man’s best qualities aren’t worth a thing. You older folks don’t value us young people. You measure our fiery passion according to your melancholic bitterness. And I have to tell you, those of us who are highly advanced in our youth, we’re spirited as well as young.

155

CHIEF JUSTICE
Do you set down your name in the scroll of youth, that are
written down old with all the characters of age? Have you
not a moist eye, a dry hand, a yellow cheek, a white beard,
CHIEF JUSTICE
You’d add your name to the list of the young? You, who have age written all over you? Don’t you have mucus in your eyes? Dry skin? Jaundice? A white beard? An

Act 1, Scene 2, Page 8

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160
a decreasing leg, an increasing belly? Is not your voice
broken, your wind short, your chin double, your wit single,
and every part about you blasted with antiquity? And will
you yet call yourself young? Fie, fie, fie, Sir John.
arthritic leg? A growing belly? Isn’t your voice scratchy? Your breath short? Your chin doubled? Your last wit abandoned? Isn’t every part of you devastated by age? And still you call yourself young? Shame on you, Sir John.




165




170
FALSTAFF
My lord, I was born about three of the clock in the afternoon,
with a white head and something a round belly. For my
voice, I have lost it with halloing and singing of anthems. To
approve my youth further, I will not. The truth is, I am only
old in judgment and understanding. And he that will caper
with me for a thousand marks, let him lend me the money,
and have at him! For the box of the ear that the Prince gave
you, he gave it like a rude prince, and you took it like a
sensible lord. I have checked him for it, and the young lion
repents. Marry, not in ashes and sackcloth, but in new silk and old sack.
FALSTAFF
Sir, I was born around three o'clock in the afternoon, with a white head and a bit of a round belly. As for my scratchy voice, I lost it through shouting and singing loud songs. But I won’t try to prove how young I am any longer. I have only one trait of old age, and that is wisdom. If somebody wants to challenge me to a dance contest for a thousand-mark wager, let him hand me the money and off we go. Now, as for the fact that the Prince hit you on the head, he did it like a rude prince and you took it like a sensible gentleman. I reprimanded him for it, and he repents. He’s not wearing the traditional sackcloth and ashes, for sure, but he’s repenting in silk cloth and wine.

CHIEF JUSTICE
Well, God send the Prince a better companion.
CHIEF JUSTICE
May God send the Prince a better friend!


FALSTAFF
God send the companion a better prince. I cannot rid my
hands of him.
FALSTAFF
May God send the friend a better prince! I can’t get him off my hands!

175

CHIEF JUSTICE
Well, the King hath severed you and Prince Harry. I hear you
are going with Lord John of Lancaster against the
Archbishop and the Earl of Northumberland.
CHIEF JUSTICE
Well, the King has separated you and Prince Harry. I hear you’re going with John of Lancaster to go fight Northumberland and the Archbishop.



180



FALSTAFF
Yea, I thank your pretty sweet wit for it. But look you pray,
all you that kiss my Lady Peace at home, that our armies join
not in a hot day, for, by the Lord, I take but two shirts out with
me, and I mean not to sweat extraordinarily. If it be a hot day
and I brandish anything but a bottle, I would I might never
spit white again. There is not a dangerous action can peep
out his head but I am thrust upon it. Well, I cannot last ever.
FALSTAFF
Yes, and thanks for reminding me. I hope that all of you who stay home, safe and sound, will say a prayer that we soldiers don’t end up in some hot battle. For, by the Lord, I’ve only packed two shirts, and I don’t want to sweat too much. If things get hot and I pull out any other weapon besides a bottle, I’ll never drink wine again. I get sent out on every dangerous assignment

Act 1, Scene 2, Page 9

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185




190
But it was always yet the trick of our English nation, if they
have a good thing, to make it too common. If ye will needs
say I am an old man, you should give me rest. I would to God
my name were not so terrible to the enemy as it is. I were
better to be eaten to death with a rust than to be scoured to
nothing with perpetual motion.
that comes up. Well, I can’t live forever. That’s the thing about the English: when they have something good, they use it continually. If you’re going to insist that I’m an old man, then let me rest. I wish to God the enemy weren’t as scared of me as they are: I’d rather sit and rust than be worn out by all this work.

CHIEF JUSTICE
Well, be honest, be honest; and God bless your expedition!
CHIEF JUSTICE
Well, stay honest, stay honest. God bless your undertaking.


FALSTAFF
Will your Lordship lend me a thousand pound to furnish me
forth?
FALSTAFF
Could your lordship lend me a thousand pounds for some equipment I need?


195
CHIEF JUSTICE
Not a penny, not a penny. You are too impatient to bear
crosses. Fare you well. Commend me to my cousin
Westmoreland.
CHIEF JUSTICE
Not a penny, not a penny: you’re too impatient to endure adversity. Farewell; give my regards to my kinsman Westmoreland.
Exeunt CHIEF JUSTICE and SERVANT
The CHIEF JUSTICE and his SERVANT exit.




200
FALSTAFF
If I do, fillip me with a three-man beetle. A man can no more
separate age and covetousness than he can part young limbs
and lechery; but the gout galls the one, and the pox pinches
the other, and so both the degrees prevent my curses.—Boy!
FALSTAFF
If I do, hit me with a sledgehammer. Old age and greed go together like youth and lust. Gout afflicts one and syphilis plagues the other, so there’s no point in me cursing either the old or the young: they’re both cursed already. Boy!

PAGE
Sir.
PAGE
Sir?

FALSTAFF
What money is in my purse?
FALSTAFF
How much money’s in my wallet?

PAGE
Seven groats and two pence.
PAGE
About seven groats and two pence.


205




210
FALSTAFF
I can get no remedy against this consumption of the purse.
Borrowing only lingers and lingers it out, but the disease is
incurable. Go bear this letter to my Lord of Lancaster, this
to the Prince, this to the Earl of Westmoreland; and this to
old Mistress Ursula, whom I have weekly sworn to marry
since I perceived the first white hair on my chin. About it.
You know where to find me.
FALSTAFF
There no way to cure the illness that’s making my wallet waste away; borrowing makes it live a little longer, but the disease is incurable. Bring this letter to Lord John of Lancaster, this one to the Prince, this one to Westmoreland, and this one to Madame Ursula. I’ve promised to marry her every single week since I got my first gray hair. Get going: you know where I’ll be.

Act 1, Scene 2, Page 10

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Exit PAGE
The PAGE exits.




215
A pox of this gout! Or, a gout of this pox, for the one or the
other plays the rogue with my great toe. 'Tis no matter if I
do halt. I have the wars for my color, and my pension shall
seem the more reasonable. A good wit will make use of
anything. I will turn diseases to commodity.
Damn this gout! Or damn this syphilis! One of them is really messing up my big toe. Oh well, it doesn’t matter if I limp. I can blame it on the war, and that will help justify my disability payments. A sharp brain can turn any problem to its advantage. I’ll turn my diseases into cash.
Exit
He exits.

Act 1, Scene 3

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Modern Text

Enter the ARCHBISHOP of York, Thomas MOWBRAY the Earl Marshal, Lord HASTINGS, and LORD BARDOLPH
The ARCHBISHOP of York, Thomas MOWBRAY the Earl Marshal, Lord HASTINGS and LORD BARDOLPH enter.




ARCHBISHOP
Thus have you heard our cause and known our means,
And, my most noble friends, I pray you all
Speak plainly your opinions of our hopes.
And first, Lord Marshal, what say you to it?
ARCHBISHOP
So that’s what we’re fighting for, and that’s the kind of support we have. Now please, my noble friends, tell me frankly if you think we have a chance. First you, Marshal Mowbray. What do you say?

5



MOWBRAY
I well allow the occasion of our arms,
But gladly would be better satisfied
How in our means we should advance ourselves
To look with forehead bold and big enough
Upon the power and puissance of the King.
MOWBRAY
I absolutely agree with our reasons for fighting. But given our resources, I’d feel better if I knew how we’re going to grow bold and strong enough to defeat this mighty and powerful King.

10



HASTINGS
Our present musters grow upon the file
To five-and-twenty thousand men of choice,
And our supplies live largely in the hope
Of great Northumberland, whose bosom burns
With an incensèd fire of injuries.
HASTINGS
Our army has grown to twenty-five thousand good men. Our reinforcements are coming with Northumberland, and his heart burns with anger over all he’s lost.

15

LORD BARDOLPH
The question then, Lord Hastings, standeth thus:
Whether our present five-and-twenty thousand
May hold up head without Northumberland.
LORD BARDOLPH
Then, Lord Hastings, this is the question: can our twenty-five thousand get the job done without Northumberland?

HASTINGS
With him we may.
HASTINGS
With him, we can.



20



LORD BARDOLPH
   Yea, marry, there’s the point.
But if without him we be thought too feeble,
My judgment is we should not step too far
Till we had his assistance by the hand.
For in a theme so bloody-faced as this,
Conjecture, expectation, and surmise
Of aids incertain should not be admitted.
LORD BARDOLPH
Yes, exactly, and that’s the point. If we’re too weak without him, then I don’t think we should advance until we know that his help is guaranteed. In a fight as bloody as this one, we need to be certain about the status of our supporters: we can’t rely on conjecture, hope, and guesswork when aid isn’t guaranteed.

Act 1, Scene 3, Page 2

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25
ARCHBISHOP
'Tis very true, Lord Bardolph; for indeed
It was young Hotspur’s cause at Shrewsbury.
ARCHBISHOP
That’s right, Lord Bardolph. That’s what happened to young Hotspur at Shrewsbury.




30


LORD BARDOLPH
It was, my lord; who lined himself with hope,
Eating the air on promise of supply,
Flatt'ring himself in project of a power
Much smaller than the smallest of his thoughts,
And so, with great imagination
Proper to madmen, led his powers to death
And, winking, leapt into destruction.
LORD BARDOLPH
That’s true, my lord. Hotspur fortified himself with nothing but hope, and mistook empty words as a true promise of reinforcements. He imagined that a huge army was coming to his aid, but what actually arrived turned out to be even smaller than the smallest of his fantasies. And so, with daydreams that could only belong to a madman, he closed his eyes and leaped into destruction.


35
HASTINGS
But, by your leave, it never yet did hurt
To lay down likelihoods and forms of hope.
HASTINGS
But, begging your pardon, there’s no harm in making guesses and hopeful strategies.





40




45




50




55
LORD BARDOLPH
Yes, if this present quality of war—
Indeed the instant action, a cause on foot—
Lives so in hope, as in an early spring
We see the appearing buds, which to prove fruit
Hope gives not so much warrant as despair
That frosts will bite them. When we mean to build,
We first survey the plot, then draw the model,
And when we see the figure of the house,
Then must we rate the cost of the erection,
Which if we find outweighs ability,
What do we then but draw anew the model
In fewer offices, or at last desist
To build at all? Much more in this great work,
Which is almost to pluck a kingdom down
And set another up, should we survey
The plot of situation and the model,
Consent upon a sure foundation,
Question surveyors, know our own estate,
How able such a work to undergo,
To weigh against his opposite. Or else
LORD BARDOLPH
Yes, there is. Presently, our armies are already in motion, but putting our hope in them is as ridiculous as expecting that early spring buds will produce fruit: at that time of year, buds are more likely to be killed by frost than to bloom. When we want to put up a building, first we survey the land, and then we draw up a set of plans. Then we calculate the cost, and if we can’t afford it, we revise the plans with fewer rooms, or we decide not to build at all. In the great task we’re attempting—the taking down of one kingdom, and the building of another—we have even more reason to evaluate the land and the plans. We must be certain that the foundation is sound, that the engineer is skilled. We must know precisely what we can afford, how ready and able we are, and we must consider the opposing arguments.

Act 1, Scene 3, Page 3

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60

We fortify in paper and in figures,
Using the names of men instead of men,
Like one that draws the model of a house
Beyond his power to build it, who, half through,
Gives o'er and leaves his part-created cost
A naked subject to the weeping clouds
And waste for churlish winter’s tyranny.
Otherwise, it becomes a meaningless exercise: papers and numbers, and names of men rather than real, live men. That’s like drawing up plans for a house you can’t possibly afford, building half of it, and then abandoning the partly-built structure to be ruined by the elements.



65

HASTINGS
Grant that our hopes, yet likely of fair birth,
Should be stillborn and that we now possessed
The utmost man of expectation,
I think we are a body strong enough,
Even as we are, to equal with the King.
HASTINGS
Let’s suppose that everything we’re hoping for fails to materialize, and the army we have now is as big as it’s going to get. I still think that, even in this condition, we’re a match for the King.

LORD BARDOLPH
What, is the King but five-and twenty-thousand?
LORD BARDOLPH
Why? Does the King only have twenty-five thousand men?


70




75
HASTINGS
To us no more, nay, not so much, Lord Bardolph,
For his divisions, as the times do brawl,
Are in three heads: one power against the French,
And one against Glendower; perforce a third
Must take up us. So is the unfirm King
In three divided, and his coffers sound
With hollow poverty and emptiness.
HASTINGS
The King isn’t facing us with any more than that—in fact, he doesn’t even have that many, Lord Bardolph. This is a time of war, and the King’s had to divide his army into three sections. One division is fighting the French; one’s fighting Glendower. That leaves a third of his army to fight against us. The King is weak and divided into three, and the coffers of his treasury echo with the sounds of hollow poverty and emptiness.



ARCHBISHOP
That he should draw his several strengths together
And come against us in full puissance
Need not be dreaded.
ARCHBISHOP
There’s no reason to fear that he will pull all three divisions together and confront us with his full strength.



80
HASTINGS
   If he should do so,
He leaves his back unarmed, the French and Welsh
Baying him at the heels. Never fear that.
HASTINGS
If he did that, he’d be vulnerable at the rear, and the French and the Welsh would be at his heels. He would never let that happen.

LORD BARDOLPH
Who is it like should lead his forces hither?
LORD BARDOLPH
Who’s going to lead his troops against us?

Act 1, Scene 3, Page 4

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85
HASTINGS
The Duke of Lancaster and Westmoreland;
Against the Welsh, himself and Harry Monmouth;
But who is substituted against the French
I have no certain notice.
HASTINGS
The Duke of Lancaster and Westmoreland. The King and Harry Monmouth will fight against the Welsh. I don’t know for sure who is in charge of the fight against the French.






90




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100




105


ARCHBISHOP
   Let us on,
And publish the occasion of our arms.
The commonwealth is sick of their own choice.
Their over-greedy love hath surfeited.
An habitation giddy and unsure
Hath he that buildeth on the vulgar heart.
O thou fond many, with what loud applause
Didst thou beat heaven with blessing Bolingbroke
Before he was what thou wouldst have him be.
And being now trimmed in thine own desires,
Thou, beastly feeder, art so full of him
That thou provok’st thyself to cast him up.
So, so, thou common dog, didst thou disgorge
Thy glutton bosom of the royal Richard,
And now thou wouldst eat thy dead vomit up
And howl’st to find it. What trust is in these times?
They that, when Richard lived, would have him die
Are now become enamored on his grave.
Thou, that threw’st dust upon his goodly head
When through proud London he came sighing on
After th' admired heels of Bolingbroke,
Criest now “O earth, yield us that King again,
And take thou this!” O thoughts of men accursed!
Past and to come seems best; things present, worst.
ARCHBISHOP
Let’s continue. We’ll publicly proclaim the reasons we’re fighting. The people are sick of the leadership they themselves supported. They were greedy for it, but now they have overfed. When you build your foundation on the public’s love, you build on shaky and unsure ground. Oh, you foolish masses! You shouted your love for Bolingbroke to the skies, before you knew what he’d turn into. Now that you’re dressed in the things you desired, you monstrous devourer, you’re so full of Bolingbroke that you’re ready to vomit him up. This, you vulgar dog, is just how you emptied your gluttonous stomach of King Richard; and now you want to eat up your dead vomit, and you howl trying to find it. What can you count on in this world? The very people who wanted Richard dead when he was alive are now in love with his corpse. The very people who threw garbage on his noble head when he marched through London in shame behind the admired Bolingbroke are now saying, “Oh Earth, return that King, and take this one!” Curses on men’s thoughts! Only the past and the future appeal to them; whatever they have right now they despise.

MOWBRAY
Shall we go draw our numbers and set on?
MOWBRAY
Should we gather our troops and press forward?

110
HASTINGS
We are time’s subjects, and time bids begone.
HASTINGS
Time is our commander, and time proposes we be on our way.
Exeunt
They exit.

Act 2, Scene 1

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Enter MISTRESS QUICKLY, with two officers; FANG with her and SNARE following
MISTRESS QUICKLY enters with Sheriff FANG. Deputy SNARE follows.

MISTRESS QUICKLY
Master Fang, have you entered the action?
MISTRESS QUICKLY
Master Fang, have you filed the lawsuit?

FANG
It is entered.
FANG
It’s filed.


MISTRESS QUICKLY
Where’s your yeoman? Is ’t a lusty yeoman? Will a'
stand to ’t?
MISTRESS QUICKLY
Where’s your deputy? Is he a strong deputy? Will he rise to the occasion?

5
FANG
Sirrah! Where’s Snare?
FANG
Sirrah, where’s Snare?

MISTRESS QUICKLY
O Lord, ay, good Master Snare.
MISTRESS QUICKLY
Oh my goodness! Master Snare!

SNARE
Here, here.
SNARE
Here, here.

FANG
Snare, we must arrest Sir John Falstaff.
FANG
Snare, we’ve got to arrest Sir John Falstaff.

MISTRESS QUICKLY
Yea, good Master Snare, I have entered him and all.
MISTRESS QUICKLY
Yes, good Master Snare. I’ve filed the suit against him and everything.

10
SNARE
It may chance cost some of us our lives, for he will stab.
SNARE
It could cost some of us our lives: he’ll stab.




MISTRESS QUICKLY
Alas the day, take heed of him. He stabbed me in mine own
house, and that most beastly, in good faith. He cares not what
mischief he does. If his weapon be out, he will foin like any
devil. He will spare neither man, woman, nor child.
MISTRESS QUICKLY
Oh my goodness! Watch out for him: he stabbed me in my own house, and it was nasty. I swear, he doesn’t care what trouble he causes. Once he’s got his weapon out, he’ll thrust it like the devil. He won’t spare man, woman, or child.

15
FANG
If I can close with him, I care not for his thrust.
FANG
If I can get close to him, I won’t worry about his thrusting.

Act 2, Scene 1, Page 2

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MISTRESS QUICKLY
No, nor I neither. I’ll be at your elbow.
MISTRESS QUICKLY
Me neither. I’ll be right next to you.

FANG
An I but fist him once, an he come but within my view—
FANG
If I can grab him once, if he just comes within my grasp–



20




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30



MISTRESS QUICKLY
I am undone by his going. I warrant you, he’s an infinitive
thing upon my score. Good Master Fang, hold him sure.
Good Master Snare, let him not ’scape. He comes
continuantly to Pie Corner, saving your manhoods, to buy a
saddle, and he is indited to dinner to the Lubber’s Head in
Lumbert Street, to Master Smooth’s the silkman. I pray you,
since my exion is entered, and my case so openly known to
the world, let him be brought in to his answer. A hundred
mark is a long one for a poor lone woman to bear, and I have
borne, and borne, and borne, and have been fubbed off, and
fubbed off, and fubbed off from this day to that day, that it
is a shame to be thought on. There is no honesty in such
dealing, unless a woman should be made an ass and a beast
to bear every knave’s wrong. Yonder he comes, and that
errant malmsey-nose knave, Bardolph, with him. Do your
offices, do your offices, Master Fang and Master Snare, do
me, do me, do me your offices.
MISTRESS QUICKLY
I’m bankrupt from his never paying. He’s run up an infinitive bill with me. Catch him, Master Fang! Don’t let him get away, Master Snare! He’s always going to Pie Corner—sorry to mention it—to buy a saddle. And every day he gets indited to lunch with Master Smooth the silk seller, at the Leopard’s Head on Lumbert Street. Please bring him to justice. I’ve been entered—I mean, my lawsuit’s been entered at court, and the whole world knows how easy I am—I mean how easy it was for him to rip me off. A hundred marks is a lot for a poor, solitary woman to take. And I’ve taken it, and taken it, and taken it. And I’ve been fobbed off and fobbed off and fobbed off, day in and day out. It’s horrible to even think about. That’s a terrible way to treat people, unless you think that every woman should be made an ass and an animal, and that she should be opened to every jerk’s molestation. Here he comes, with that notorious wine-faced crook, Bardolph. Do me a favor and do me your jobs, Master Fang and Master Snare. Do me! Do me! Do me a favor and do me your jobs!
Enter FALSTAFF, BARDOLPH, and PAGE
FALSTAFF, his PAGE, and BARDOLPH enter.

35
FALSTAFF
How now! Whose mare’s dead? What’s the matter?
FALSTAFF
What’s going on? Whose horse died? What’s the matter?

FANG
Sir John, I arrest you at the suit of Mistress Quickly.
FANG
Sir John, you’re under arrest for charges brought by Mistress Quickly.

Act 2, Scene 1, Page 3

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FALSTAFF
Away, varlets!—Draw, Bardolph. Cut me off the villain’s
head. Throw the quean in the channel.
FALSTAFF
Get out of here, you crooks! Draw your sword, Bardolph. Cut off this rascal’s head, and throw this whore in the gutter.


40


MISTRESS QUICKLY
Throw me in the channel? I’ll throw thee in the channel. Wilt
thou, wilt thou, thou bastardly rogue?—Murder, murder!—
Ah, thou honeysuckle villain, wilt thou kill God’s officers
and the King’s? Ah, thou honeyseed rogue, thou art a
honeyseed, a man-queller, and a woman-queller.
MISTRESS QUICKLY
Throw me in the gutter? I’ll throw you in the gutter. You will? You will? You bastardly cheat! Murder! Murder! Oh, you honeysuckle criminal! You’re going to kill God’s sheriffs, and the King’s? Oh, you honey-seed creep! You’re a honey-seed, a man-killer, and a woman-killer.

FALSTAFF
Keep them off, Bardolph.
FALSTAFF
Keep them off me, Bardolph.

45
FANG
A rescue, a rescue!
FANG
An escape! An escape!



MISTRESS QUICKLY
Good people, bring a rescue or two.— (to FALSTAFF) Thou
wot, wot thou? Thou wot, wot ta? Do, do, thou rogue. Do,
thou hempseed.
MISTRESS QUICKLY
Somebody, bring an escape or two! (to FALSTAFF) You will, will you? You will, will you? Go ahead, go ahead, you scoundrel! You hemp-seed!


50
FALSTAFF
Away, you scullion, you rampallion, you fustilarian! I’ll
tickle your catastrophe.
FALSTAFF
Get off, you serving wench! You ruffian! You fat old hag! I’ll beat you on the backside!
Enter the Lord CHIEF JUSTICE and his men
The Lord CHIEF JUSTICE and his men enter.

CHIEF JUSTICE
What is the matter? Keep the peace here, ho!
CHIEF JUSTICE
What’s the matter? Let’s have some order here!

MISTRESS QUICKLY
Good my lord, be good to me. I beseech you stand to me.
MISTRESS QUICKLY
Good sir, be good to me. I beg you, stand up for me.



55

CHIEF JUSTICE
How now, Sir John? What, are you brawling here?
Doth this become your place, your time, and business?
You should have been well on your way to York.—
(to FANG) Stand from him, fellow: wherefore hang’st thou
   upon him?
CHIEF JUSTICE
Well if it isn’t Sir John! Are you making trouble here? Is this appropriate for a man of your position, your age, and your responsibilities? You should be well on your way to York by now. (to FANG) Get off him, man. Why are you holding him?

Act 2, Scene 1, Page 4

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MISTRESS QUICKLY
O my most worshipful lord, an ’t please your Grace, I am a
poor widow of Eastcheap, and he is arrested at my suit.
MISTRESS QUICKLY
Oh, most excellent lord, begging your pardon: I’m a poor Eastcheap widow, and he’s arrested on charges I brought against him.

CHIEF JUSTICE
For what sum?
CHIEF JUSTICE
What sum does he owe you?

60


MISTRESS QUICKLY
It is more than for some, my lord; it is for all I have. He hath
eaten me out of house and home. He hath put all my substance
into that fat belly of his. (to FALSTAFF) But I will have some of
it out again, or I will ride thee o' nights like the mare.
MISTRESS QUICKLY
It’s more than some, sir: it’s all, all that I have. He’s eaten me out of house and home. He’s put everything I own into that fat belly of his. (to FALSTAFF) But I’ll get some of it back again, or I’ll ride you all night like a bad dream.


65
FALSTAFF
I think I am as like to ride the mare if I have any vantage of
ground to get up.
FALSTAFF
I think I might just ride you, if I get the chance to mount you.




CHIEF JUSTICE
How comes this, Sir John? Fie, what man of good temper
would endure this tempest of exclamation? Are you not
ashamed to enforce a poor widow to so rough a course to
come by her own?
CHIEF JUSTICE
What is this, Sir John? Damn! How could any decent man put up with this storm of screaming and cursing? Aren’t you ashamed to force a poor widow to take these extreme measures simply to get what’s hers?

70
FALSTAFF
(to MISTRESS QUICKLY) What is the gross sum that I owe thee?
FALSTAFF
(to MISTRESS QUICKLY) What’s the total I owe you?





75




80


MISTRESS QUICKLY
Marry, if thou wert an honest man, thyself and the money
too. Thou didst swear to me upon a parcel-gilt goblet, sitting
in my Dolphin chamber at the round table by a sea-coal fire,
upon Wednesday in Wheeson week, when the Prince broke
thy head for liking his father to a singing-man of Windsor,
thou didst swear to me then, as I was washing thy wound, to
marry me and make me my lady thy wife. Canst thou deny
it? Did not goodwife Keech, the butcher’s wife, come in then
and call me Gossip Quickly, coming in to borrow a mess of
vinegar; telling us she had a good dish of prawns, whereby
thou didst desire to eat some, whereby I told thee they were
ill for a green wound? And didst thou not, when she was
gone downstairs, desire me to be no more so familiarity with
MISTRESS QUICKLY
My goodness! If you were an honest man, you’d give yourself to me, as well as the money. You swore to me—over a gold-plated wine goblet, in the Dolphin Room in my tavern, at the round table, next to the fire, on the Wednesday seven weeks after Easter, when the Prince swung at your head for claiming his father was a fake—you swore, while I was cleaning your wounds, to marry me and make me a proper lady and your wife. Can you deny it? Didn’t Mrs. Baconfat, the butcher’s wife, come into the room then and ask to borrow some vinegar, saying that she had some good prawns—and you wanted to eat some, and I told you that it was a bad idea, to eat shrimp when you had a fresh wound—and

Act 2, Scene 1, Page 5

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85

such poor people, saying that ere long they should call me
madam? And didst thou not kiss me and bid me fetch thee
thirty shillings? I put thee now to thy book-oath. Deny it if
thou canst.
when she left, didn’t you tell me to stop being friends with low types like her, because before long we’d be married and I’d be a proper lady? And didn’t you kiss me and tell me to lend you thirty shillings? Put your hand on the bible and deny it, if you dare.



90

FALSTAFF
My lord, this is a poor mad soul, and she says up and down
the town that her eldest son is like you. She hath been in good
case, and the truth is, poverty hath distracted her. But, for
these foolish officers, I beseech you I may have redress
against them.
FALSTAFF
Sir, this is a poor, insane soul. She’s been saying all over town that her oldest son looks just like you. She was once rich, but poverty has driven her crazy. Now, as for these two foolish officers, I would like to press charges against them.



95



CHIEF JUSTICE
Sir John, Sir John, I am well acquainted with your manner
of wrenching the true cause the false way. It is not a
confident brow, nor the throng of words that come with such
more than impudent sauciness from you, can thrust me from
a level consideration. You have, as it appears to me,
practiced upon the easy-yielding spirit of this woman, and
made her serve your uses both in purse and in person.
CHIEF JUSTICE
Sir John, Sir John. I know too well how you are accustomed to turning the truth into a big lie. But neither your confident demeanor nor the storm of words that accompanies your insolent disrespect will sway me from making a just consideration. As far as I can see, you’ve taken advantage of this trusting woman, and you’ve made her give you cash and other favors.

100
MISTRESS QUICKLY
Yea, in truth, my lord.
MISTRESS QUICKLY
Yes, truthfully, sir.




CHIEF JUSTICE
Pray thee, peace.— (to FALSTAFF) Pay her the debt you owe
her, and unpay the villany you have done her. The one you
may do with sterling money, and the other with current
repentance.
CHIEF JUSTICE
Quiet, please. (to FALSTAFF) Pay her what you owe her, and undo the wrongdoings you’ve done to her. You can do the first with money, and the second with a sincere apology.

105




110
FALSTAFF
My lord, I will not undergo this sneap without reply. You call
honorable boldness “impudent sauciness.” If a man will
make curtsy and say nothing, he is virtuous. No, my lord, my
humble duty remembered, I will not be your suitor. I say to
you, I do desire deliverance from these officers, being upon
hasty employment in the King’s affairs.
FALSTAFF
Sir, I will not put up with this snub without a reply. You call my brave, honorable dealings insolent disrespect. Does a man have to stand here, silent and bowing, to be a virtuous man? No, sir. With all due respect, I won’t bow down to you. I say that I want to be set free by these officers, seeing as I have urgent work to do for the King.

Act 2, Scene 1, Page 6

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CHIEF JUSTICE
You speak as having power to do wrong; but answer in th'
effect of your reputation, and satisfy this poor woman.
CHIEF JUSTICE
You talk as though you have permission to break the law. But act appropriately to your status: satisfy this poor woman.

FALSTAFF
Come hither, hostess.
FALSTAFF
Come here, hostess.
FALSTAFF takes MISTRESS QUICKLY aside
FALSTAFF takes MISTRESS QUICKLY aside.
Enter GOWER
GOWER enters.

CHIEF JUSTICE
Now, Master Gower, what news?
CHIEF JUSTICE
Master Gower, what’s going on?

115
GOWER
The King, my lord, and Harry Prince of Wales
Are near at hand. The rest the paper tells.
GOWER
My lord, the King and Harry Prince of Wales are nearby. This letter will tell you the rest.

FALSTAFF
As I am a gentleman!
FALSTAFF
On my honor.

MISTRESS QUICKLY
Faith, you said so before.
MISTRESS QUICKLY
Honestly, that’s what you said before.

FALSTAFF
As I am a gentleman. Come. No more words of it.
FALSTAFF
On my honor. Come, let’s not talk about it anymore.

120
MISTRESS QUICKLY
By this heavenly ground I tread on, I must be fain to pawn
both my plate and the tapestry of my dining chambers.
MISTRESS QUICKLY
By heaven above and below, I’ll have to pawn my good china and the tapestries in my dining rooms.




125




130
FALSTAFF
Glasses, glasses, is the only drinking. And for thy walls, a
pretty slight drollery, or the story of the Prodigal or the
German hunting in waterwork is worth a thousand of these
bed-hangers and these fly-bitten tapestries. Let it be ten
pound, if thou canst. Come, an ’twere not for thy humors,
there’s not a better wench in England. Go wash thy face, and
draw the action. Come, thou must not be in this humor with
me. Dost not know me? Come, come, I know thou wast set
on to this.
FALSTAFF
It’s not such a big deal. Glass is the only good thing to drink out of anyway. And as for the walls, something pretty and comical—or a depiction of the prodigal son; or maybe one of those German hunting scenes, painted on the wall to look like a tapestry—why, those are worth a thousand of those bed curtains and moth-eaten tapestries.
Let me borrow just ten pounds, all right? Come on—other than your moodiness, you’re the best wench in England. Go wash your face and withdraw the lawsuit. Come on—don’t be this way with me. Don’t you know me? Come, come, I know somebody put you up to this.

Act 2, Scene 1, Page 7

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MISTRESS QUICKLY
Pray thee, Sir John, let it be but twenty nobles. I' faith, I am
loath to pawn my plate, so God save me, la.
MISTRESS QUICKLY
Please, Sir John, let’s call it twenty nobles. I don’t want to have to pawn my china, in God’s name!

FALSTAFF
Let it alone. I’ll make other shift. You’ll be a fool still.
FALSTAFF
All right, forget it. I’ll figure something else out. You’ll always be a fool.


135
MISTRESS QUICKLY
Well, you shall have it, though I pawn my gown. I hope
you’ll come to supper. You’ll pay me all together?
MISTRESS QUICKLY
All right, I’ll lend it to you, even if I have to pawn my clothes. I hope you’ll have dinner here tonight. You’ll pay me the full amount then?


FALSTAFF
Will I live? (to BARDOLPH) Go with her, with her. Hook on,
hook on.
FALSTAFF
Will I live? (to BARDOLPH) Go, stick with her, stick with her. Don’t let her out of your sight.

MISTRESS QUICKLY
Will you have Doll Tearsheet meet you at supper?
MISTRESS QUICKLY
Do you want Doll Tearsheet to meet you at dinner?

FALSTAFF
No more words. Let’s have her.
FALSTAFF
No more talking. Let’s have her.
Exeunt MISTRESS QUICKLY, FANG, SNARE, BARDOLPH, and the PAGE
MISTRESS QUICKLY, BARDOLPH, the PAGE, FANG, and SNARE exit.

140
CHIEF JUSTICE
I have heard better news.
CHIEF JUSTICE
I’ve heard better news.

FALSTAFF
What’s the news, my good lord?
FALSTAFF
What’s the news, my lord?

CHIEF JUSTICE
Where lay the King last night?
CHIEF JUSTICE
Where did the King spend last night?

GOWER
At Basingstoke, my lord.
GOWER
At Basingstoke, sir.

FALSTAFF
I hope, my lord, all’s well. What is the news, my lord?
FALSTAFF
I hope everything’s okay, sir. What’s the news?

145
CHIEF JUSTICE
Come all his forces back?
CHIEF JUSTICE
And his armies have come back?

Act 2, Scene 1, Page 8

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GOWER
No; fifteen hundred foot, five hundred horse
Are marched up to my Lord of Lancaster
Against Northumberland and the Archbishop.
GOWER
No. Fifteen hundred infantrymen and five hundred horsemen are marching to meet Lord Lancaster, to fight against Northumberland and the Archbishop.

FALSTAFF
Comes the King back from Wales, my noble lord?
FALSTAFF
Is the King back from Wales, my noble lord?

150
CHIEF JUSTICE
You shall have letters of me presently.
Come. Go along with me, good Master Gower.
CHIEF JUSTICE
I’ll give you some letters shortly. Come with me, Master Gower.

FALSTAFF
My lord!
FALSTAFF
Sir!

CHIEF JUSTICE
What’s the matter?
CHIEF JUSTICE
What’s the matter?

FALSTAFF
Master Gower, shall I entreat you with me to dinner?
FALSTAFF
Master Gower, would you like to join me for lunch?

155
GOWER
I must wait upon my good lord here. I thank you, good Sir
John.
GOWER
I have to attend to this noble man right here. But thank you, Sir John.


CHIEF JUSTICE
Sir John, you loiter here too long, being you are to take
soldiers up in counties as you go.
CHIEF JUSTICE
Sir John, you’ve been loitering here too long. You have to recruit soldiers in the counties you pass through on your way north.

FALSTAFF
Will you sup with me, Master Gower?
FALSTAFF
Will you join me for supper, then, Master Gower?

160
CHIEF JUSTICE
What foolish master taught you these manners, Sir John?
CHIEF JUSTICE
What foolish teacher taught you these manners, Sir John?



FALSTAFF
Master Gower, if they become me not, he was a fool that
taught them me.—This is the right fencing grace, my lord:
tap for tap, and so part fair.
FALSTAFF
Master Gower, if my manners are inappropriate, I must have indeed been taught by a fool. That’s how the game is played—tit for tat, and game over.

CHIEF JUSTICE
Now the Lord lighten thee. Thou art a great fool.
CHIEF JUSTICE
God help you! You are a great fool.
Exeunt
They exit.

Act 2, Scene 2

Original Text

Modern Text

Enter PRINCE HENRY and POINS
PRINCE HENRY and POINS enter.

PRINCE HENRY
Before God, I am exceeding weary.
PRINCE HENRY
I swear to God, I’m exceedingly tired.


POINS
Is ’t come to that? I had thought weariness durst not have
attached one of so high blood.
POINS
Really? I would have thought that weariness wouldn’t dare afflict someone as highly born as you.


5
PRINCE HENRY
Faith, it does me; though it discolors the complexion of my
greatness to acknowledge it. Doth it not show vilely in me
to desire small beer?
PRINCE HENRY
Well, it afflicts me, although saying so dims my nobility somewhat. Does it make me seem coarse and common to say that I’d love a small beer?


POINS
Why, a prince should not be so loosely studied as to
remember so weak a composition.
POINS
A prince shouldn’t be vulgarly inclined toward things like small beer.


10




15




20



PRINCE HENRY
Belike then my appetite was not princely got, for, by my
troth, I do now remember the poor creature small beer. But
indeed these humble considerations make me out of love
with my greatness. What a disgrace is it to me to remember
thy name, or to know thy face tomorrow, or to take note how
many pair of silk stockings thou hast—with these, and those
that were thy peach-colored ones—or to bear the inventory
of thy shirts, as, one for superfluity and another for use. But
that the tennis-court keeper knows better than I, for it is a
low ebb of linen with thee when thou keepest not racket
there, as thou hast not done a great while, because the rest of
the low countries have made a shift to eat up thy holland; and
God knows whether those that bawl out the ruins of thy linen
shall inherit His kingdom; but the midwives say the children
are not in the fault, whereupon the world increases and
kindreds are mightily strengthened.
PRINCE HENRY
Then I suppose don’t have a prince’s appetite, because right now all I can think about is small beer. But it’s true: all these everyday considerations distance me from my own nobility. It’s disgraceful that I should be familiar with a man like you! To know your name, your face, and your wardrobe so intimately that I know that you have two pairs of stockings: the ones you’re wearing now, and those peach-colored ones. I even know how many shirts you have: one to wear, and one extra. But then, the keeper of the tennis courts knows your wardrobe better than I do, for when you’ve run out of clean shirts, you don’t show up to play. And you haven’t played in a while, because the whore houses have eaten all the rest of your money, which you’d otherwise use to buy more shirts. God only knows whether all the crying brats you’ve fathered will make it to heaven. But then, the midwives say that babies don’t bear the sins of the parents. That’s how the population increases, and families are strengthened.

Act 2, Scene 2, Page 2

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25

POINS
How ill it follows, after you have labored so hard, you should
talk so idly! Tell me, how many good young princes would
do so, their fathers being so sick as yours at this time is?
POINS
It seems wrong, after all your hard work in battle, that you should be spending your time now in idle chatter. How many other princes would behave like this if their fathers were as sick as yours?

PRINCE HENRY
Shall I tell thee one thing, Poins?
PRINCE HENRY
Can I tell you something, Poins?

POINS
Yes, faith, and let it be an excellent good thing.
POINS
Sure; and make sure it’s an excellent thing.

30
PRINCE HENRY
It shall serve among wits of no higher breeding than thine.
PRINCE HENRY
It’ll be fine, for people who aren’t any smarter than you are.

POINS
Go to. I stand the push of your one thing that you will tell.
POINS
Go ahead. I’m can take whatever you have to say.




35
PRINCE HENRY
Marry, I tell thee it is not meet that I should be sad, now my
father is sick—albeit I could tell thee, as to one it pleases me,
for fault of a better, to call my friend, I could be sad, and sad
indeed too.
PRINCE HENRY
Here it is, then. It’s not seemly for me to be sad over my father’s illness. But I could tell you—as a person who, for lack of anyone else, I’m pleased to call my friend—that I could be sad. I could be very sad, indeed.

POINS
Very hardly, upon such a subject.
POINS
It would be difficult to feel that way over a thing like this.




40
PRINCE HENRY
By this hand, thou thinkest me as far in the devil’s book as
thou and Falstaff for obduracy and persistency. Let the end
try the man. But I tell thee, my heart bleeds inwardly that my
father is so sick: and keeping such vile company as thou art
hath in reason taken from me all ostentation of sorrow.
PRINCE HENRY
I swear, you must think that I’m as sinful as you and Falstaff are, and as stubborn and persistent. We’ll see about that. But I’m telling you: my heart is bleeding for my father, and for his illness. But because I’m hanging out with lowlifes like you, I can’t show how sorrowful I am.

POINS
The reason?
POINS
Why?

PRINCE HENRY
What wouldst thou think of me if I should weep?
PRINCE HENRY
What would you think of me if I started crying?

POINS
I would think thee a most princely hypocrite.
POINS
I would think you’re a royal hypocrite.

Act 2, Scene 2, Page 3

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45



PRINCE HENRY
It would be every man’s thought, and thou art a blessed
fellow to think as every man thinks. Never a man’s thought
in the world keeps the roadway better than thine. Every man
would think me an hypocrite indeed. And what accites your
most worshipful thought to think so?
PRINCE HENRY
That’s what everyone would be thinking. And what’s great about you is that you think just the way everyone else does: nobody sticks to popular opinion quite as well as you. Everyone would think I was a hypocrite, indeed. And, your honor, what makes you think that?

50
POINS
Why, because you have been so lewd and so much engraffed
to Falstaff.
POINS
Because you’ve behaved so badly, and because you’re so attached to Falstaff.

PRINCE HENRY
And to thee.
PRINCE HENRY
And to you.



55

POINS
By this light, I am well spoke on. I can hear it with my own
ears. The worst that they can say of me is that I am a second
brother, and that I am a proper fellow of my hands; and those
two things, I confess, I cannot help. By the Mass, here comes
Bardolph.
POINS
Honestly, people think highly of me; I hear their praises with my own ears. The worst thing they can say about me is that, as a younger brother, I’ve had no inheritance from my family, and that I’m a good fighter. And I can’t help either of those things. By God, here comes Bardolph.
Enter BARDOLPH and the PAGE
BARDOLPH and the PAGE enter.



60
PRINCE HENRY
And the boy that I gave Falstaff. He had him from me
Christian, and look if the fat villain have not transformed
him ape.
PRINCE HENRY
And the boy who I sent to work for Falstaff. He was a normal boy when I sent him, and now look: the fat bastard’s turned him into an ape.

BARDOLPH
God save your Grace.
BARDOLPH
God save your grace!

PRINCE HENRY
And yours, most noble Bardolph.
PRINCE HENRY
And yours, most noble Bardolph!



65
POINS
(to BARDOLPH) Come, you virtuous ass, you bashful fool,
must you be blushing? Wherefore blush you now? What a
maidenly man-at-arms are you become! Is ’t such a matter
to get a pottle-pot’s maidenhead?
POINS
(to BARDOLPH) Come on, you principled ass, you timid fool! Why are you blushing? What a womanly solider you are! Is it that big a deal to deflower a two-quart tankard of ale?

Act 2, Scene 2, Page 4

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70
PAGE
He calls me e'en now, my lord, through a red lattice, and I
could discern no part of his face from the window. At last I
spied his eyes, and methought he had made two holes in the
ale-wife’s new petticoat and so peeped through.
PAGE
Just now he called to me from behind a red window shade, and I couldn’t tell his face from the curtain! Finally I saw his eyes, and I thought he’d made two holes in a whore’s skirt and peeped through them!

PRINCE HENRY
Has not the boy profited?
PRINCE HENRY
This kid’s learned a lot from Falstaff, hasn’t he?

BARDOLPH
Away, you whoreson upright rabbit, away!
BARDOLPH
Get out of here, you little rabbit! Get out!

PAGE
Away, you rascally Althea’s dream, away!
PAGE
You get out, you rotten Althea’s dream!

PRINCE HENRY
Instruct us, boy. What dream, boy?
PRINCE HENRY
What dream, boy? Tell us.

75
PAGE
Marry, my lord, Althea dreamt she was delivered of a
firebrand, and therefore I call him her dream.
PAGE
Sir, Althea dreamed she gave birth to a red-hot iron. That’s why I call him her dream; he’s all red in the face.

PRINCE HENRY
A crown’s worth of good interpretation. There ’tis, boy.
PRINCE HENRY
That joke’s worth a crown! Here you go, boy.


POINS
O, that this good blossom could be kept from cankers! Well,
there is sixpence to preserve thee.
POINS
I wish this wholesome little flower could be kept away from disease. Well, here’s a sixpence for you.

80
BARDOLPH
An you do not make him hanged among you, the gallows
shall have wrong.
BARDOLPH
If between the three of you this boy doesn’t end up hanged, the gallows will be cheated.

PRINCE HENRY
And how doth thy master, Bardolph?
PRINCE HENRY
How’s your master Falstaff doing, Bardolph?


BARDOLPH
Well, my good lord. He heard of your Grace’s coming to
town. There’s a letter for you.
BARDOLPH
Fine, sir. He heard you were coming to town. Here’s a letter for you.

85
POINS
Delivered with good respect. And how doth the Martlemas
your master?
POINS
Delivered very respectfully. How is that fattened calf, your boss?

BARDOLPH
In bodily health, sir.
BARDOLPH
His body’s healthy, sir.

Act 2, Scene 2, Page 5

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POINS
Marry, the immortal part needs a physician, but that moves
not him. Though that be sick, it dies not.
POINS
That’s right, it’s just his immortal soul that needs a doctor. But he doesn’t care. His soul may be sick, but it won’t die.

90

PRINCE HENRY
(reads to himself) I do allow this wen to be as familiar with
me as my dog, and he holds his place, for look you how be
writes. (he hands the letter to POINS)
PRINCE HENRY
(reads to himself) I allow this wart to be as familiar with me as my dog, and he holds onto his privileged position. Listen to how he writes. (he hands the letter to POINS)



95



POINS
(reads) John Falstaff, knight. Every man must know that as
oft as he has occasion to name himself, even like those that
are kin to the King, for they never prick their finger but they
say, “There’s some of the King’s blood spilt.” “How comes
that?” says he that takes upon him not to conceive. The
answer is as ready as a borrower’s cap: “I am the King’s
poor cousin, sir.”
POINS
(reads) “John Falstaff, knight”—he always throws that title around, every chance he gets. It’s like people who are related to the King: every time they get a tiny cut, they say, “Some of the King’s blood has been spilled.” Then someone pretends not to get it, and asks, “How do you mean?” The answer comes faster than a beggar can whip out his cap: “I’m the King’s poor relative.”

100
PRINCE HENRY
Nay, they will be kin to us, or they will fetch it from Japheth. But to the letter. (takes the letter and reads) Sir John alstaff, knight, to the son of the King nearest his father, Harry Prince of Wales, greeting.
PRINCE HENRY
Right. They all say they’re related to us, even if they have to trace the family tree all the way back to Japhet, the common ancestor of all Europeans. But back to the letter. (takes the letter and reads) “Sir John Falstaff—knight to the son of the King, nearest to his father, Harry Prince of Wales—sends his greetings.”

POINS
Why, this is a certificate.
POINS
Listen to that. It sounds like a contract.

105
PRINCE HENRY
Peace! (reads) I will imitate the honorable Romans in brevity.
PRINCE HENRY
Quiet! (reads) “I will copy the Romans in shortness.”

POINS
He sure means brevity in breath, short-winded.
POINS
He must mean shortness of breath, and wheezing.

PRINCE HENRY
(reads) I commend me to thee, I commend thee, and I leave thee. Be not too familiar with Poins, for he misuses thy favors so much that he swears thou art to marry his sister
PRINCE HENRY
(reads) “I salute myself, I salute you, and I’m done. Don’t get too close to Poins. He takes such rampant advantage of your kindness that he swears you will marry his sister Nell. Confess your sins when you have the time; and with that, farewell. Yours up and down

Act 2, Scene 2, Page 6

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Nell. Repent at idle times as thou mayest, and so, farewell. Thine by yea and no, which is as much as to say, as thou usest him, Jack Falstaff with my familiars, John with my brothers and sisters, and Sir John with all Europe.
(which is to say, in whatever way you feel like), I remain Jack Falstaff to my friends, John to my brothers and sisters, and Sir John to all Europe.”

115
POINS
My lord, I’ll steep this letter in sack and make him eat it.
POINS
Sir, I’ll soak this letter in wine and shove it down his throat.


PRINCE HENRY
That’s to make him eat twenty of his words. But do you use
me thus, Ned? Must I marry your sister?
PRINCE HENRY
That would be making him eat twenty of his words. But are you taking advantage of me like he says, Ned? Must I marry your sister?

POINS
God send the wench no worse fortune! But I never said so.
POINS
It would be her lucky day if you did. But I never said that.


120
PRINCE HENRY
Well, thus we play the fools with the time, and the spirits of
the wise sit in the clouds and mock us. (to BARDOLPH) Is your
master here in London?
PRINCE HENRY
Well, we’re wasting time, and the angels in heaven are mocking us. (to BARDOLPH) Is your boss here in London?

BARDOLPH
Yea, my lord.
BARDOLPH
Yes, my lord.

PRINCE HENRY
Where sups he? Doth the old boar feed in the old frank?
PRINCE HENRY
Where’s he eating tonight? Is the old pig eating in the old sty?

BARDOLPH
At the old place, my lord, in Eastcheap.
BARDOLPH
At the old place, my lord. In Eastcheap.

125
PRINCE HENRY
What company?
PRINCE HENRY
Who’s with him?

PAGE
Ephesians, my lord, of the old church.
PAGE
The usual old characters.

PRINCE HENRY
Sup any women with him?
PRINCE HENRY
Are any women eating with him?


PAGE
None, my lord, but old Mistress Quickly and Mistress Doll
Tearsheet.
PAGE
No women sir. Just old Mistress Quickly and Mistress Doll Tearsheet.

Act 2, Scene 2, Page 7

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130
PRINCE HENRY
What pagan may that be?
PRINCE HENRY
What heathen is that?


PAGE
A proper gentlewoman, sir, and a kinswoman of my
master’s.
PAGE
A proper lady, sir, and my master’s relative.


PRINCE HENRY
Even such kin as the parish heifers are to the town bull.—
Shall we steal upon them, Ned, at supper?
PRINCE HENRY
Exactly the kind of relative as the country cows are to the town bull. Ned, should we spy on them as they eat supper?

135
POINS
I am your shadow, my lord. I’ll follow you.
POINS
I’m after you like a shadow, my lord: I’ll follow you.



PRINCE HENRY
Sirrah—you, boy—and Bardolph, no word to your master
that I am yet come to town. (gives them money) There’s for
your silence.
PRINCE HENRY
Sirrah, you boy, and you, Bardolph—don’t tell your master that I’m back in town. (gives them money) This is for your silence.

BARDOLPH
I have no tongue, sir.
BARDOLPH
I have no tongue to speak with, sir.

140
PAGE
And for mine, sir, I will govern it.
PAGE
As for my tongue, I’ll manage it.

PRINCE HENRY
Fare you well. Go.
PRINCE HENRY
Farewell to you both; go now.

Act 2, Scene 2, Page 8

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Exeunt BARDOLPH and PAGE
BARDOLPH and the PAGE exit.
This Doll Tearsheet should be some road.
This Doll Tearsheet must be some road.


POINS
I warrant you, as common as the way between Saint Alban’s
and London.
POINS
Truly, she’s as well-traveled as the highway to London.

145
PRINCE HENRY
How might we see Falstaff bestow himself tonight in his true
colors, and not ourselves be seen?
PRINCE HENRY
How can we see Falstaff behave like his true self tonight, and yet not be detected ourselves?


POINS
Put on two leathern jerkins and aprons, and wait upon him
at his table as drawers.
POINS
We’ll put on leather jackets and aprons and wait upon him as bartenders.


150

PRINCE HENRY
From a god to a bull: a heavy decension. It was Jove’s case.
From a prince to a 'prentice: a low transformation that shall
be mine, for in everything the purpose must weigh with the
folly. Follow me, Ned.
PRINCE HENRY
Should a God disguise himself as a bull? That’s quite a degradation. Well, Jove did it. And should a prince disguise himself as an apprentice bartender and transform into something so lowly? Yes, I will: in every undertaking, the ends must match the means. Follow me, Ned.
Exeunt
They exit.

Act 2, Scene 3

Original Text

Modern Text

Enter NORTHUMBERLAND, LADY NORTHUMBERLAND, and LADY PERCY
NORTHUMBERLAND, LADY NORTHUMBERLAND, and LADY PERCY enter.




NORTHUMBERLAND
I pray thee, loving wife and gentle daughter,
Give even way unto my rough affairs.
Put not you on the visage of the times
And be, like them, to Percy troublesome.
NORTHUMBERLAND
Please, my loving wife and sweet daughter-in-law, support me in my difficult tasks. Don’t let the grimness of these days be reflected in your faces; don’t add to Percy’s troubles.

5
LADY NORTHUMBERLAND
I have given over. I will speak no more.
Do what you will; your wisdom be your guide.
LADY NORTHUMBERLAND
I give up; I won’t say any more. Do what you want. Let your wisdom guide you.


NORTHUMBERLAND
Alas, sweet wife, my honor is at pawn,
And, but my going, nothing can redeem it.
NORTHUMBERLAND
For goodness sake, sweet wife, my honor is at stake. Nothing can redeem it except my going.


10




15




20




25

LADY PERCY
O yet, for God’s sake, go not to these wars.
The time was, father, that you broke your word,
When you were more endeared to it than now,
When your own Percy, when my heart’s dear Harry,
Threw many a northward look to see his father
Bring up his powers; but he did long in vain.
Who then persuaded you to stay at home?
There were two honors lost, yours and your son’s.
For yours, the God of heaven brighten it.
For his, it stuck upon him as the sun
In the gray vault of heaven, and by his light
Did all the chivalry of England move
To do brave acts. He was indeed the glass
Wherein the noble youth did dress themselves.
He had no legs that practiced not his gait;
And speaking thick, which nature made his blemish,
Became the accents of the valiant;
For those that could speak low and tardily
Would turn their own perfection to abuse
LADY PERCY
For God’s sake, don’t go to these wars! Father-in-law, you once broke your word when you had better reason to keep it than you do now. Your own son Percy—my heart’s beloved Harry—looked northward again and again, hoping to see his father coming with an army. But he hoped in vain. Who persuaded you to stay home that time? Two honors were lost in that battle: yours, and your son’s. As for yours, I hope God will make it shine again. As for Harry’s honor, it clung to him like the sun in a pale blue sky, and by its light every knight in England was moved to act bravely. He was the mirror in which noble youths dressed themselves. All men copied his way of walking, except those who had no legs.
And talking loudly and quickly—the one flaw nature had given him—became the speech pattern for all brave men. Those who spoke softly and slowly would corrupt their proper speech, just to seem more like

Act 2, Scene 3, Page 2

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30




35




40




45
To seem like him. So that in speech, in gait,
In diet, in affections of delight,
In military rules, humors of blood,
He was the mark and glass, copy and book,
That fashioned others. And him—O wondrous him!
O miracle of men!—him did you leave,
Second to none, unseconded by you,
To look upon the hideous god of war
In disadvantage, to abide a field
Where nothing but the sound of Hotspur’s name
Did seem defensible. So you left him.
Never, O never, do his ghost the wrong
To hold your honor more precise and nice
With others than with him. Let them alone.
The Marshal and the Archbishop are strong.
Had my sweet Harry had but half their numbers,
Today might I, hanging on Hotspur’s neck,
Have talked of Monmouth’s grave.
Harry. In speech, bearing, and diet; in inclinations toward pleasure, in military actions, and in moods, he was the target, mirror, example, and rulebook that other men followed. And him—Oh wondrous him! Oh miracle of men!—you left him! The best man in the world, unsupported by you, faced the hideous god of war from a position of weakness. His only defense was the sound of his own name, and that is how you left him.
Never insult his memory by letting your honor count more with strangers than with him. Leave them alone: Marshal Mowbray and the Archbishop are strong. If my darling Harry had had half their army, I might be hanging on his neck today, talking about Prince Hal’s grave.






50
NORTHUMBERLAND
   Beshrew your heart,
Fair daughter, you do draw my spirits from me
With new lamenting ancient oversights.
But I must go and meet with danger there,
Or it will seek me in another place
And find me worse provided.
NORTHUMBERLAND
For goodness sake, pretty daughter-in-law. You take me out of myself, reminding me again of these past mistakes. But I must go and face danger there or danger will find me somewhere else, where I will be less prepared.



LADY NORTHUMBERLAND
   Oh, fly to Scotland
Till that the nobles and the armèd commons
Have of their puissance made a little taste.
LADY NORTHUMBERLAND
Oh, run to Scotland until these noblemen and their
armies have skirmished against the king.



55


LADY PERCY
If they get ground and vantage of the King,
Then join you with them like a rib of steel
To make strength stronger; but, for all our loves,
First let them try themselves. So did your son;
He was so suffered. So came I a widow,
And never shall have length of life enough
LADY PERCY
If they make any headway against the King, then join them, and like a steel rod make their strength even stronger. But in the name of the love you feel for us, let them begin on their own. That’s how your son fought. You allowed him to do that, and that’s how I became a widow. If I spend the rest of my life pouring tears on

Act 2, Scene 3, Page 3

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60
To rain upon remembrance with mine eyes
That it may grow and sprout as high as heaven
For recordation to my noble husband.
the plant of remembrance, it will never grow tall enough to pay proper tribute to my extraordinary husband.




65


NORTHUMBERLAND
Come, come, go in with me. 'Tis with my mind
As with the tide swelled up unto his height,
That makes a still-stand, running neither way.
Fain would I go to meet the Archbishop,
But many thousand reasons hold me back.
I will resolve for Scotland. There am I
Till time and vantage crave my company.
NORTHUMBERLAND
Come. Come. Go inside with me. My thoughts are like the ocean at high tide—neither coming in nor going out, seeming to stand still. I want to go join the Archbishop, but many thousands of reasons are holding me back. I’ll go to Scotland and wait there till events unfold and my help is called for.
Exeunt
They exit.

Act 2, Scene 4

Original Text

Modern Text

Enter two DRAWERS
Two DRAWERS enter.


FRANCIS
What the devil hast thou brought there—applejohns? Thou
knowest Sir John cannot endure an applejohn.
FRANCIS
What the hell have you got there? Apple johns? You know Sir John can’t stand apple johns.



5

SECOND DRAWER
Mass, thou sayest true. The Prince once set a dish of
applejohns 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.
SECOND DRAWER
Damn, you’re right. One day the Prince put a plate of apple-johns in front of Falstaff and said, “Here are five more Sir Johns.” Then the Prince took off his hat and said, “I’m now going to bid farewell to these six dry, round, old, withered knights.” It angered Sir John deeply, but he got over it.



10
FRANCIS
Why then, cover, and set them down, and see if thou canst
find out Sneak’s noise. Mistress Tearsheet would fain hear
some music.
FRANCIS
Well then, put the table cloth on and set the dish down. Go see if you can find Sneak’s band of musicians. Mistress Tearsheet wants to hear some music.
Enter THIRD DRAWER
Enter THIRD DRAWER


THIRD DRAWER
Dispatch: the room where they supped is too hot. They’ll
come in straight.
THIRD DRAWER
Hurry! The room they ate in was too hot, and they’ll be here any minute.



15
FRANCIS
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.
FRANCIS
Sirrah, the Prince and Poins will be here soon. They’re going to put on a couple of our jackets and aprons. Sir John can’t know it’s them. Bardolph came and told me.


THIRD DRAWER
By the Mass, here will be old utis. It will be an excellent
stratagem.
THIRD DRAWER
Well, there’s going to be hilarity here! What a great scheme!

SECOND DRAWER
I’ll see if I can find out Sneak.
SECOND DRAWER
I’ll see if I can find Sneak.
FRANCIS and THE DRAWERS exit
The DRAWERS exit.

Act 2, Scene 4, Page 2

Original Text

Modern Text

Enter MISTRESS QUICKLY and DOLL TEARSHEET
MISTRESS QUICKLY and DOLL TEARSHEET enter.


20




25
MISTRESS QUICKLY
I' faith, sweetheart, methinks now you are in an excellent
good temperality. Your pulsidge beats as extraordinarily as
heart would desire, and your color, 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?
MISTRESS QUICKLY
I swear, sweetheart, you seem to be in a great temporality. Your pulsidge is beating as strongly as you could want, and your color is as red as a rose; truly! But seriously, I do think you’ve drank too much of that sweet wine from the Canary Islands—it’s a mighty powerful drink, and it’ll get into your blood faster than you can say, “What’s this?” How are you feeling now?

DOLL TEARSHEET
Better than I was. Hem.
DOLL TEARSHEET
Better than I was before. (she coughs or belches)


MISTRESS QUICKLY
Why, that’s well said. A good heart’s worth gold.
Lo, here comes Sir John.
MISTRESS QUICKLY
Well said! A healthy heart is worth its weight in gold. Look, here comes Sir John.
Enter FALSTAFF
FALSTAFF enters.


30
FALSTAFF
(sings) When Arthur first in court—Empty the jordan.
(sings) And was a worthy king—How now, Mistress Doll?
FALSTAFF

MISTRESS QUICKLY
Sick of a calm, yea, good faith.
MISTRESS QUICKLY
She’s sick of a qualm, she is.

FALSTAFF
So is all her sect. An they be once in a calm, they are sick.
FALSTAFF
That’s how all the women in her profession are. As soon as they’re calm—and not in someone’s bed—they get sick.


DOLL TEARSHEET
A pox damn you, muddy rascal. Is that all the comfort you
give me?
DOLL TEARSHEET
You stupid bastard. Is this how you make me feel better?

35
FALSTAFF
You make fat rascals, Mistress Doll.
FALSTAFF
You make fat bastards, Mistress Doll.

Act 2, Scene 4, Page 3

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DOLL TEARSHEET
I make them? Gluttony and diseases make them; I make
them not.
DOLL TEARSHEET
I make them fat? Gluttony and disease will make men fat; I have nothing to do with it.



40
FALSTAFF
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.
FALSTAFF
Well, cooks help create gluttony, by making and selling food—the object of gluttony. And you help create diseases, Doll. We catch them from you, Doll, we catch them from you: admit it.

DOLL TEARSHEET
Yea, joy, our chains and our jewels.
DOLL TEARSHEET
Sure, sweetheart. You catch us by the chains and the jewels, and then you steal them from us.




45
FALSTAFF
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—
FALSTAFF
“Your brooches, pearls, and gems”—We fight bravely and then come away limping. We retreat from the breach in the wall with our weapons bravely bent. We head off to the doctor, bravely. And then we charge into the loaded chambers again, bravely.

DOLL TEARSHEET
Hang yourself, you muddy conger, hang yourself!
DOLL TEARSHEET
Drop dead, you filthy eel. Drop dead!




50

MISTRESS QUICKLY
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.
MISTRESS QUICKLY
I swear, this is how it always is. You two even see each other without fighting. You’re as hot as dry toast, you can’t stand each other’s bad qualities. Good grief! But one of you has to bear the burden, and that’s you, Doll. You’re the weaker sex, the empty vessel.



55
DOLL TEARSHEET
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. —
ome, I’ll be friends with thee, Jack. Thou art going to the
DOLL TEARSHEET
Can a weak, empty vessel bear the burden of such a huge, full barrel? There’s a whole merchant’s stock of Bordeaux wine in him; you’ve never seen a ship with a fuller cargo hold. Come, Jack, I’ll be friends with

Act 2, Scene 4, Page 4

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wars, and whether I shall ever see thee again or no, there is
nobody cares.
you. You’re going off to war, and whether or not I ever see you again—well, who cares.
Enter FIRST DRAWER
The FIRST DRAWER enters.


60
FIRST DRAWER
Sir, Ancient Pistol’s below and would speak with
you.
FIRST DRAWER
Sir, Ensign Pistol’s downstairs. He wants to talk with you.


DOLL TEARSHEET
Hang him, swaggering rascal! Let him not come hither. It is
the foul-mouthed’st rogue in England.
DOLL TEARSHEET
Let him drop dead, that hot-tempered jerk! Don’t let him in: he’s got the foulest mouth in England.



65

MISTRESS QUICKLY
If he swagger, let him not come here. No, by my faith, I must
live among my neighbors. 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.
MISTRESS QUICKLY
If he’s going to make trouble, don’t let him in. No way; I have my neighbors to think about. I’ll have no troublemakers here. I’ve got my good reputation to watch out for. Shut the doors; no troublemakers are getting in here. I haven’t lived this long to have trouble now. Shut the doors, please.

FALSTAFF
Dost thou hear, hostess?
FALSTAFF
Do you hear, hostess?


70
MISTRESS QUICKLY
Pray you pacify yourself, Sir John. There comes no swaggerers
here.
MISTRESS QUICKLY
Please, be quiet a second, Sir John. No troublemakers are coming in here.

FALSTAFF
Dost thou hear? It is mine ancient.
FALSTAFF
Didn’t you hear? It’s my ensign.




75




80
MISTRESS QUICKLY
Tilly-vally, Sir John, ne'er tell me. And 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 Dumb, our minister,
was by then—“Neighbour Quickly,” says he, “receive those
that are civil, for,” said he, “you are in an ill name.” Now he
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
MISTRESS QUICKLY
Oh fiddlesticks, Sir John, I don’t want to hear it. Your Ensign Troublemaker is not coming in here. I talked to Master Tisick, the deputy, the other day. And he said to me—it couldn’t have been longer ago than last Wednesday—“I swear, neighbor Quickly,” he said. (Master Dumbe, the minister, was here at the time.) “Neighbor Quickly,” he said, “only let in people who are well behaved, because,” he said, “your reputation is suffering.” He said that, and I’ll tell you why. “You’re an honest woman, and people think highly of

Act 2, Scene 4, Page 5

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companions.” There comes none here. You would bless you
to hear what he said. No, I’ll no swaggerers.
you. So think about who you let in. Don’t let in,” he said, “any troublemakers.” And none are getting in. You’d be lucky if you heard what he said. No way, no troublemakers.


85

FALSTAFF
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.
FALSTAFF
He’s not a troublemaker, hostess. He’s a harmless cheater; you can pet him like a little puppy. He wouldn’t even start a fight with a guinea-hen, if her feathers stood up in annoyance. Get him up here, drawer.
Exit FIRST DRAWER
FIRST DRAWER exits.



90
MISTRESS QUICKLY
“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.
MISTRESS QUICKLY
You call him a cheater? I won’t keep an honest man out of this bar, so I won’t keep a cheater out, either.
But I don’t like troublemakers, I swear. I get sick when I hear the word, “troublemaker.” Feel, masters: I’m shaking. Look, I’m telling you.

DOLL TEARSHEET
So you do, hostess.
DOLL TEARSHEET
You are shaking.


MISTRESS QUICKLY
Do I? Yea, in very truth, do I, an ’twere an aspen leaf. I
cannot abide swaggerers.
MISTRESS QUICKLY
I am?—I am! I swear, I’m shaking like a big tree leaf. I can’t stand troublemakers.
Enter PISTOL, BARDOLPH, and the PAGE
PISTOL, BARDOLPH, and the PAGE enter.

95
PISTOL
God save you, Sir John.
PISTOL
Good to see you, Sir John!


FALSTAFF
Welcome, Ancient Pistol. Here, Pistol, I charge you with a
cup of sack. Do you discharge upon mine hostess.
FALSTAFF
Welcome, Ensign Pistol. Here, Pistol. I charge you with a glass of wine. Now discharge on the hostess.

Act 2, Scene 4, Page 6

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PISTOL
I will discharge upon her, Sir John, with two bullets.
PISTOL
I’ll unload two big bullets on her, Sir John.

FALSTAFF
She is pistol-proof. Sir, you shall not hardly offend her.
FALSTAFF
She’s Pistol-proof, sir. You’ll hardly be able to injure her.

100
MISTRESS QUICKLY
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.
MISTRESS QUICKLY
I won’t have any proofs or any bullets. I won’t drink any more than I feel like, not for any man.

PISTOL
Then to you, Mistress Dorothy! I will charge you.
PISTOL
Then here’s to you, Mistress. Dorothy, I’ll charge you.



105
DOLL TEARSHEET
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.
DOLL TEARSHEET
Charge me? Get lost, you sick jerk. What? You broke, rude, scheming, cheating, shirtless fool! Get away from me, you moldy bastard, away! I’m meant for your betters.

PISTOL
I know you, Mistress Dorothy.
PISTOL
I know you, Mistress Dorothy.




110
DOLL TEARSHEET
Away, you cutpurse 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!
DOLL TEARSHEET
Get away, you pickpocket rascal! You dirty thief, away! I swear on this wine, I’ll stick a knife in your rotten cheeks if you keep abusing me like this. Out, you boozy rascal! You imposter of a solider! Since when are you a soldier, I ask you? With two armor tags on your shoulder? I’m sure!

PISTOL
God let me not live, but I will murder your ruff for this.
PISTOL
I’ll strangle your neck for that, or I’ll die trying.


FALSTAFF
No more, Pistol. I would not have you go off here. Discharge
yourself of our company, Pistol.
FALSTAFF
Hold it, Pistol. I don’t want you to go off here. Discharge someplace else, Pistol.

115
MISTRESS QUICKLY
No, good Captain Pistol, not here, sweet captain.
MISTRESS QUICKLY
No, good Captain Pistol. Not here, sweet captain.




DOLL TEARSHEET
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,
DOLL TEARSHEET
Captain? You horrible, damned liar, aren’t you ashamed to be called “captain”? If captains shared my opinions, they’d beat you for taking their rank without earning it. You, a captain? You bastard, for what? For

Act 2, Scene 4, Page 7

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120




125
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.
tearing a poor whore’s clothes in a whorehouse? Him, a captain? Let him drop dead, the rogue! He lives off the moldy food you find in brothels. A captain? For God’s sake! Men like him will make the word “captain” as nasty as the word “occupy,” which was a fine word before it got corrupted. Captains had better watch out.

BARDOLPH
Pray thee go down, good ancient.
BARDOLPH
Please, calm down, good ensign.

FALSTAFF
Hark thee hither, Mistress Doll.
FALSTAFF
Listen here, Mistress Doll.


PISTOL
Not I. I tell thee what, Corporal Bardolph, I could tear her.
I’ll be revenged of her.
PISTOL
Not me. I’ll tell you what, Corporal Bardolph, I could tear her. I’ll get revenge on her.

130
PAGE
Pray thee go down.
PAGE
Please, calm down!




PISTOL
I’ll see her damned first to Pluto’s damnèd lake, by this
hand, to th' infernal deep with Erebus and tortures vile also.
Hold hook and line, say I. Down, down, dogs! Down, Fates!
Have we not Hiren here?
PISTOL
I’ll see her damned first. To the waters of hell, I swear, to the endless deep, with chaos and vile tortures. Hold onto that pole, I say. Down, down, dogs! Down, fates! Here’s my sword!

135
MISTRESS QUICKLY
Good Captain Peesell, be quiet. 'Tis very late, i' faith. I
beseek you now, aggravate your choler.
MISTRESS QUICKLY
Captain Pisser, be quiet! It’s late. I beg of you, stop being angry!







PISTOL
These be good humors indeed. Shall pack-horses
And hollow pampered jades of Asia, which cannot go but
   thirty mile a day,
Compare with Caesars and with cannibals, and Troyant
      Greeks? Nay, rather damn them with King
   Cerberus, and let the welkin roar. Shall we fall foul
   for toys?
PISTOL
Now we’re talking! Are we going to let old nags and pampered horses (who can’t manage more than a few miles a day) be compared with kings, and generals, and mythic heroes? No! Damn them to hell, and let the storms rage! Should we fight over nothing?

Act 2, Scene 4, Page 8

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140
MISTRESS QUICKLY
By my troth, captain, these are very bitter words.
MISTRESS QUICKLY
My goodness, captain! Those are strong words!

BARDOLPH
Begone, good ancient. This will grow to a brawl anon.
BARDOLPH
You should go now, ensign. This is going to get out of control in a minute.


PISTOL
Die men like dogs! Give crowns like pins! Have we not
Hiren here?
PISTOL
Let men die like dogs! Give away kings' crowns like they’re nothing! Isn’t this a sword we have here?


145
MISTRESS QUICKLY
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.
MISTRESS QUICKLY
My word of honor, captain, there’s no such thing here! For goodness sake! Do you think I’d say she’s not if she were? For God’s sake, be quiet!




150
PISTOL
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. (lays down his sword) Come
we to full points here? And are etceteras nothing?
PISTOL
Then eat and grow fat, my sweet lady! Come, bring me some wine. Si fortuna me tormente, sperato me contento. Are we scared of an attack? No! Let the devil open fire. Give me some wine, and darling, lie there. (he lays his sword down) Is the party over? What about the rest of it, the et ceteras?

FALSTAFF
Pistol, I would be quiet.
FALSTAFF
Pistol, I’d be quiet if I were you.


PISTOL
Sweet knight, I kiss thy neaf. What, we have seen the seven
stars.
PISTOL
Sweet knight, I kiss your fist. Look! It’s so late—we can see the Big Dipper out.

155
DOLL TEARSHEET
For God’s sake, thrust him downstairs. I cannot endure such
a fustian rascal.
DOLL TEARSHEET
For God’s sake, throw him down the stairs. I can’t stand such a worthless jerk.

PISTOL
“Thrust him downstairs”? Know we not Galloway nags?
PISTOL
Throw him down the stairs? Don’t we know a common prostitute when we see one?


FALSTAFF
Quoit him down, Bardolph, like a shove-groat shilling. Nay,
an he do nothing but speak nothing, he shall be nothing here.
FALSTAFF
Toss him down, Bardolph, like a coin on a game board. He does nothing but talk a bunch of nothing, so he’s going to count for nothing here.

Act 2, Scene 4, Page 9

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160
BARDOLPH
Come, get you downstairs.
BARDOLPH
Come on. Get downstairs.



PISTOL
What! shall we have incision? Shall we imbrue? (snatches 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.
PISTOL
What? Is there going to be cutting now? Shall we be soaked in blood? (he grabs his sword) Then let death sing me a lullaby; let him end my melancholy days! Let grievous, ghastly, gaping wounds unravel the thread of my life, spun by those three sisters of fate! Come, Atropos, cut off my thread!

165
MISTRESS QUICKLY
Here’s goodly stuff toward!
MISTRESS QUICKLY
This ought to be good.

FALSTAFF
Give me my rapier, boy.
FALSTAFF
Give me my sword, boy.

DOLL TEARSHEET
I pray thee, Jack, I pray thee do not draw.
DOLL TEARSHEET
Please, Jack, please; don’t fight!

FALSTAFF
Get you downstairs. (drawing and driving PISTO out)
FALSTAFF
Get downstairs! (he draws his sword and chases PISTOL)


170

MISTRESS QUICKLY
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.
MISTRESS QUICKLY
This is going to be some fight! I would sooner close this bar than put up with terrors and fits. It’s murder, I swear! Oh my! Oh my! Put away your naked weapons! Put away your naked weapons!
Exeunt PISTOL pursued by BARDOLPH
PISTOL exits, pursued by BARDOLPH.


DOLL TEARSHEET
I pray thee, Jack, be quiet. The rascal’s gone. Ah, you
whoreson little valiant villain, you.
DOLL TEARSHEET
Please, Jack, calm down; the jerk’s gone. Oh you son-of-a-bitch, brave little bastard, you!

175
MISTRESS QUICKLY
Are you not hurt i' the groin? Methought he made a shrewd thrust at your belly.
MISTRESS QUICKLY
Did he hurt you in the groin? I thought he got in a good shot at your belly.
Enter BARDOLPH
BARDOLPH enters.

FALSTAFF
Have you turned him out o' doors?
FALSTAFF
Did you kick him out of here?

Act 2, Scene 4, Page 10

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BARDOLPH
Yea, sir. The rascal’s drunk. You have hurt him, sir, i' the shoulder.
BARDOLPH
Yup! The jerk’s drunk. You hurt his shoulder.

FALSTAFF
A rascal to brave me!
FALSTAFF
That jerk! How dare he challenge me!


180


DOLL TEARSHEET
Ah, you sweet little rogue, you. Alas, poor ape, how thou
sweat’st! 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!
DOLL TEARSHEET
Oh, you sweet little rogue, you! Oh my, you poor monkey, you’re sweating! Come, let me wipe your face. Come on, you fat bastard. Oh, you rogue! I swear, I love you. You’re as brave as Hector of Troy, you’re worth five Agamemnons, and you’re ten times better than the nine wonders of the world! Oh, you villain!

FALSTAFF
Ah, rascally slave! I will toss the rogue in a blanket.
FALSTAFF
The no-good jerk! I’ll wrap the rogue in a blanket, the way they punish cowards.

185
DOLL TEARSHEET
Do, an thou darest for thy heart. An thou dost, I’ll canvass
thee between a pair of sheets.
DOLL TEARSHEET
Do it, if you dare. If you do, I’ll toss you between a pair of sheets!
Enter musicians
The musicians enter.

PAGE
The music is come, sir.
PAGE
The music is here, sir.


FALSTAFF
Let them play.—Play, sirs.—Sit on my knee, Doll. A rascal
bragging slave! The rogue fled from me like quicksilver.
FALSTAFF
Let them play. Play, sirs. Sit on my knee, Doll. A no-good, bragging jerk! The fool ran from me like quicksilver.

190


DOLL TEARSHEET
I' faith, and thou followed’st him like a church. Thou
whoreson little tidy Bartholomew boar-pig, when wilt thou
leave fighting a-days and foining a-nights and begin to patch
up thine old body for heaven?
DOLL TEARSHEET
Truly, and you chased him like a church—slowly. You rotten little fat roasting pig! When will you stop fighting all day and thrusting all night, and start to get your body ready for its final resting place?
Enter, behind, PRINCE HENRY and POINS, disguised as drawers
Unseen, PRINCE HENRY and POINS enter, disguised as drawers.

Act 2, Scene 4, Page 11

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195
FALSTAFF
Peace, good Doll. Do not speak like a death’s-head; do not bid
me remember mine end.
FALSTAFF
Quiet, Doll. Don’t talk like a death’s-head. Don’t make me think of my own end.

DOLL TEARSHEET
Sirrah, what humor’s the Prince of?
DOLL TEARSHEET
Sirrah, what’s the Prince like?


FALSTAFF
A good shallow young fellow, he would have made a good
pantler; he would a' chipped bread well.
FALSTAFF
He’s a shallow youngster. He would have made a good pantry servant: he would have been great at trimming the crusts off bread.

DOLL TEARSHEET
They say Poins has a good wit.
DOLL TEARSHEET
They say Poins is smart.

200

FALSTAFF
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.
FALSTAFF
Him, smart? Hang him, he’s a baboon! He’s as thick as mustard, and no smarter than a sledgehammer.

DOLL TEARSHEET
Why does the Prince love him so then?
DOLL TEARSHEET
Then why does the Prince love him?


205




210


FALSTAFF
Because their legs are both of a bigness, and he 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 joint 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 he 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.
FALSTAFF
Because their legs are the same size, and he likes to play the game of quoits and eat fatty foods; and he’ll play drinking games, like dropping burning candle ends into his drinks. He plays on the see-saw with the boys, and pulls crazy stunts, and curses nicely. And his boots fit nice and smooth, just like the ones painted on the shoe store’s signs. And he doesn’t cause trouble by spilling secrets. He has all kinds of qualities associated with weak minds and healthy bodies, and that’s why the Prince keeps him around: because the Prince is exactly the same. There’s not a hair’s difference between the two of them.

Act 2, Scene 4, Page 12

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PRINCE HENRY
(to POINS) Would not this nave of a wheel have his ears cut off?
PRINCE HENRY
(to POINS) We should cut this fatso’s ears off.

215
POINS
Let’s beat him before his whore.
POINS
Let’s beat him in front of his whore.


PRINCE HENRY
Look whe'er the withered elder hath not his poll clawed like
a parrot.
PRINCE HENRY
Look at that old geezer having his head scratched like a parrot.


POINS
Is it not strange that desire should so many years outlive
performance?
POINS
Isn’t it odd that desire lasts so much longer than the ability to perform?

220
FALSTAFF
Kiss me, Doll.
FALSTAFF
Kiss me, Doll.


PRINCE HENRY
Saturn and Venus this year in conjunction! What says th'
almanac to that?
PRINCE HENRY
Saturn and Venus must be aligned this year! What do you think the astrological tables have to say about that?


POINS
And look whether the fiery trigon, his man, be not lisping to
his master’s old tables, his notebook, his counsel keeper.
POINS
And look. That fiery-faced Bardolph is whispering sweet nothings to Quickly, his master’s old confidante.

225
FALSTAFF
(to DOLL) Thou dost give me flattering busses.
FALSTAFF
(to DOLL) You flatter me with your kisses.

DOLL TEARSHEET
By my troth, I kiss thee with a most constant heart.
DOLL TEARSHEET
I swear, my kisses are heartfelt.

FALSTAFF
I am old, I am old.
FALSTAFF
I’m old. I’m old.


DOLL TEARSHEET
I love thee better than I love e'er a scurvy young boy of them
all.
DOLL TEARSHEET
I love you more than I could love any ridiculous young man in the world.

230


FALSTAFF
What stuff wilt have a kirtle of? I shall receive money o'
Thursday; shalt have a cap tomorrow. A merry song! Come,
it grows late. We’ll to bed. Thou 'lt forget me when I am
gone.
FALSTAFF
What fabric do you want a new skirt made out of? I’ll get paid on Thursday, so you’ll get a new hat tomorrow. Let’s have a happy song. It’s getting late; let’s go to bed. You’ll forget me when I’m gone.

Act 2, Scene 4, Page 13

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235
DOLL TEARSHEET
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 a' th' end.
DOLL TEARSHEET
I swear, you’ll make me cry if you talk like that. I won’t wear any beautiful clothing till you return. Well, we’ll see what happens.

FALSTAFF
Some sack, Francis.
FALSTAFF
Some wine, Francis.

PRINCE HENRY AND POINS
Anon, anon, sir.
PRINCE HENRY AND POINS
Right away, sir!
Coming forward
PRINCE HENRY and POINS reveal themselves.


240
FALSTAFF
Ha? A bastard son of the King’s?—And art not thou
Poins his brother?
FALSTAFF
What! A bastard son of the King? And aren’t you Poins, his brother?


PRINCE HENRY
Why, thou globe of sinful continents, what a life dost thou
lead?
PRINCE HENRY
Your globe, covered with continents of sin! What kind of life are you leading?

FALSTAFF
A better than thou. I am a gentleman. Thou art a drawer.
FALSTAFF
A better life than you. I’m a gentleman and you’re just a drawer.

PRINCE HENRY
Very true, sir, and I come to draw you out by the ears.
PRINCE HENRY
That’s right, sir. And I’m going to draw you out of this room by the ears.

245

MISTRESS QUICKLY
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?
MISTRESS QUICKLY
Oh, may God bless you, sir. I swear, welcome to London. God bless that sweet face of yours! Oh Jesus! Have you come from Wales?


FALSTAFF
Thou whoreson mad compound of majesty, (indicating
DOLL) by this light flesh and corrupt blood, thou art welcome.
FALSTAFF
You son of a bitch, you insane block of royalty! (indicating DOLL) I swear on this piece of weak flesh and corrupt blood that you’re welcome here!

250
DOLL TEARSHEET
How? You fat fool, I scorn you.
DOLL TEARSHEET
What? You fat fool! The hell with you!


POINS
My lord, he will drive you out of your revenge and turn all
to a merriment, if you take not the heat.
POINS
My lord, if you don’t strike while the iron’s hot, he’ll turn everything into a joke and rob you of your chance for revenge.

Act 2, Scene 4, Page 14

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255
PRINCE HENRY
You whoreson candle-mine, you how vilely did you speak of
me even now before this honest, virtuous, civil
gentlewoman!
PRINCE HENRY
You son of a whore, you giant piece of candle wax, you said such horrible things about me just now, in front of this honest, upstanding and well-behaved lady.

MISTRESS QUICKLY
God’s blessing of your good heart, and so she is, by my troth.
MISTRESS QUICKLY
May God bless your good heart! She is all that, I swear.

FALSTAFF
Didst thou hear me?
FALSTAFF
Did you hear me?



260
PRINCE HENRY
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.
PRINCE HENRY
Yes. And you knew I was there, right? It’s just like when you ran away at Gad’s Hill : you knew I was the one who beat you, and you made up some story just to irritate me.

FALSTAFF
No, no, no; not so. I did not think thou wast within hearing.
FALSTAFF
No, no, no. Not at all. I had no idea you were there.


PRINCE HENRY
I shall drive you, then, to confess the wilfull abuse, and then
I know how to handle you.
PRINCE HENRY
Then I’m going to make you confess that you deliberately slandered me. And then I’ll know what to do next.

FALSTAFF
No abuse, Hal, o' mine honor, no abuse.
FALSTAFF
No slander, Hal. On my honor, no slander.

265
PRINCE HENRY
Not to dispraise me and call me pantier and bread-chipper
and I know not what?
PRINCE HENRY
No? To malign me, and call me a pantry servant and a bread-trimmer, and I don’t know what else?

FALSTAFF
No abuse, Hal.
FALSTAFF
No slander, Hal.

POINS
No abuse?
POINS
No slander?


270


FALSTAFF
No abuse, Ned, i' th' world, honest Ned, none. I dispraised
him before the wicked, that the wicked might not fall in love
with thee; 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.
FALSTAFF
No slander, Ned, in the world, honest Ned, none. I maligned him only to the wicked, so that the wicked wouldn’t fall in love with him. And by doing that, I’ve acted like a good friend and loyal subject, and your father should thank me for it. No slander, Hal, none, Ned. No, truly boys, none.

Act 2, Scene 4, Page 15

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275


PRINCE HENRY
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?
PRINCE HENRY
Now your absolute fear and utter cowardliness has made you wrong this good lady in order to make peace with us. Is she wicked? Is this hostess here wicked? Is your boy here wicked? Or honest Bardolph, whose piety burns in his face? Is he wicked?

POINS
Answer, thou dead elm, answer.
POINS
Answer, you withered old trunk, answer.

280


FALSTAFF
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.
FALSTAFF
The devil has marked Bardolph as long gone, and his face is Lucifer’s kitchen, where only drunks are served. As for the boy, he may have a good spirit on one shoulder, but the devil on the other is stronger.

PRINCE HENRY
For the women?
PRINCE HENRY
And the women?

285

FALSTAFF
For one of them, she’s in hell already and burns poor souls.
For the other, I owe her money, and whether she be damned
for that I know not.
FALSTAFF
One of them is in hell already, where she gets poor souls hot. As for the other, I owe her money. If she’s damned for that, I have no idea.

MISTRESS QUICKLY
No, I warrant you.
MISTRESS QUICKLY
I’m not, I promise you that.


290

FALSTAFF
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.
FALSTAFF
No, I think you’re not. I think you’ve been excused for that. But there’s another charge against you. You serve flesh in this place, and that’s against the law. You’re going to hell for that.


MISTRESS QUICKLY
All vitlars do so. What’s a joint of mutton or two in a whole
Lent?
MISTRESS QUICKLY
Everybody who serves food does that. What’s wrong with a bite or two of meat during Lent?

295
PRINCE HENRY
You, gentlewoman.
PRINCE HENRY
You, good lady—

DOLL TEARSHEET
What says your Grace?
DOLL TEARSHEET
What is it, gracious sir?

FALSTAFF
His grace says that which his flesh rebels against.
FALSTAFF
He may speak to you graciously, but his body feels otherwise.

Act 2, Scene 4, Page 16

Original Text

Modern Text

Knocking within
Knocking is heard offstage.

MISTRESS QUICKLY
Who knocks so loud at door? Look to th' door there, Francis.
MISTRESS QUICKLY
Who’s knocking so loudly on the door? Francis, go see.
Enter PETO
PETO enters.

PRINCE HENRY
Peto, how now, what news?
PRINCE HENRY
Peto, how are you? What’s going on?

300




305
PETO
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,
Bareheaded, sweating, knocking at the taverns
And asking everyone for Sir John Falstaff.
PETO
Your father the King is in Westminster. Twenty exhausted messengers have arrived from the north. And, on my way here, I met a dozen captains, hustling and working hard, knocking on the door of every tavern and searching for Sir John Falstaff.





310
PRINCE HENRY
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 unarmèd heads.—
Give me my sword and cloak.—Falstaff, good night.
PRINCE HENRY
My God, Poins, I feel terrible wasting precious time on this idleness when a huge black storm is brewing, soon to open up on our bare, vulnerable heads. Give me my coat and my sword. Good night, Falstaff.
Exeunt PRINCE HENRY, POINS, PETO and BARDOLPH
PRINCE HENRY, POINS, PETO, and BARDOLPH exit.

FALSTAFF
Now comes in the sweetest morsel of the night, and we must hence and leave it unpicked.
FALSTAFF
Now’s the sweetest part of the night, and we have to leave without enjoying it.
Knocking within
Knocking is heard offstage.
More knocking at the door?
More knocking!
Enter BARDOLPH
BARDOLPH enters.
How now, what’s the matter?
What’s going on? What’s the matter?

Act 2, Scene 4, Page 17

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315
BARDOLPH
You must away to court, sir, presently.
A dozen captains stay at door for you.
BARDOLPH
You have to go to the royal court immediately, sir. A dozen captains are at the door waiting for you.




320

FALSTAFF
(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.
FALSTAFF
(to the PAGE) Pay the musicians, Sirrah. Goodbye, waitress. Goodbye, Doll. See, wenches, how wanted we valuable men are? The good-for-nothing may sleep when the man of action is needed. Farewell, good wenches. If I’m not sent away immediately, I’ll come see you again before I go.


DOLL TEARSHEET
I cannot speak. If my heart be not ready to burst—well,
sweet Jack, have a care of thyself.
DOLL TEARSHEET
I can’t speak; my heart is ready to burst. Well, sweet Jack, take care of yourself.

325
FALSTAFF
Farewell, farewell.
FALSTAFF
Farewell, farewell.
Exeunt FALSTAFF, BARDOLPH, PAGE, and musicians
FALSTAFF and BARDOLPH exit.



MISTRESS QUICKLY
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.
MISTRESS QUICKLY
Well, goodbye. I’ve known you twenty-nine years this June. But a more honest, more good-hearted man—well, fare you well.

BARDOLPH
(within) Mistress Tearsheet!
BARDOLPH
(offstage) Mistress Tearsheet!

330
MISTRESS QUICKLY
What’s the matter?
MISTRESS QUICKLY
What’s the matter?

BARDOLPH
(within) Bid Mistress Tearsheet come to my master.
BARDOLPH
(offstage) Mistress Tearsheet, come to my master.


MISTRESS QUICKLY
O, run, Doll, run, run, good Doll. Come.—She comes
blubbered.—Yea! Will you come, Doll?
MISTRESS QUICKLY
O, run, Doll, run; run, good Doll. Come.—She’s coming, all crying and blubbering.—Will you come, Doll?
Exeunt
They exit.

Act 3, Scene 1

Original Text

Modern Text

Enter KING Henry in his nightgown, with a page
KING Henry enters, wearing his nightgown. A page follows.



KING
Go call the Earls of Surrey and of Warwick;
But, ere they come, bid them o'erread these letters
And well consider of them. Make good speed.
KING
Call the earls of Surrey and Warwick. Tell them to read over these letters before they come, and to think carefully about them. Hurry.
Exit page
The page exits.

5




10




15




20




25

How many thousand of my poorest subjects
Are at this hour asleep! O sleep, O gentle sleep,
Nature’s soft nurse, how have I frighted thee,
That thou no more wilt weigh my eyelids down
And steep my senses in forgetfulness?
Why rather, sleep, liest thou in smoky cribs,
Upon uneasy pallets stretching thee
And hushed with buzzing night-flies to thy slumber,
Than in the perfumed chambers of the great,
Under the canopies of costly state,
And lull’d with sound of sweetest melody?
O thou dull god, why liest thou with the vile
In loathsome beds and leavest the kingly couch
A watch-case or a common 'larum bell?
Wilt thou upon the high and giddy mast
Seal up the shipboy’s eyes, and rock his brains
In cradle of the rude imperious surge
And in the visitation of the winds,
Who take the ruffian billows by the top,
Curling their monstrous heads and hanging them
With deafening clamor in the slippery clouds
That with the hurly death itself awakes?
Canst thou, O partial sleep, give thy repose
To the wet sea-boy in an hour so rude,
Thousands of even my poorest subjects are sleeping right now. Oh sleep! Oh sweet sleep, nature’s gentle healer, what have I done to frighten you? You won’t weigh down my eyelids anymore, or dull my mind to make me forget. Sleep, why do you lie in filthy hovels, stretched out on uncomfortable cots, where insects' buzzing is the lullaby? Why don’t you lie in the sweet-smelling bedrooms of kings, under opulent canopies, lulled with soft and beautiful music? You drowsy god, why do you lie with the common people in their loathsome beds, leaving the royal bed lonely like a sentry post, or a bell tower?
Will you even close the eyes of a ship boy, high up on the whirling mast, and rock him gently in a cradle made of rough, tossing seas and howling winds—winds which take the waves and, curling them over, crashes them through the air with such a deafening noise that they wake death itself? Can you, oh unfair sleep, give rest to a drenched little sailor in the midst of such roughness, and yet deny it to a king?

Act 3, Scene 1, Page 2

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30
And, in the calmest and most stillest night,
With all appliances and means to boot,
Deny it to a king? Then, happy low, lie down.
Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown.
A king on the calmest, stillest night, with everything available for sleep? Then, you happy commoners, put yourselves to bed. The head that wears the crown sleeps uneasily.
Enter WARWICK and SURREY
WARWICK and SURREY enter.

WARWICK
Many good morrows to your Majesty.
WARWICK
Good morning, your highness.

KING
Is it good morrow, lords?
KING
Is it morning, lords?

WARWICK
'Tis one o'clock, and past.
WARWICK
It’s after one o'clock.

35
KING
Why then, good morrow to you all, my lords.
Have you read o'er the letter that I sent you?
KING
Well, then, good morning to you all, my lords. Have you read the letters I sent you?

WARWICK
We have, my liege.
WARWICK
We have, your highness.



40
KING
Then you perceive the body of our kingdom
How foul it is, what rank diseases grow
And with what danger near the heart of it.
KING
Then you can tell how sick the kingdom is. There are serious diseases spreading through its body, very near its heart.




WARWICK
It is but as a body yet distempered,
Which to his former strength may be restored
With good advice and little medicine.
My Lord Northumberland will soon be cooled.
WARWICK
The body’s only out of sorts. It can be brought back to full health through good care and some medicine. Northumberland will soon be suppressed.

45




50

KING
O God, that one might read the book of fate
And see the revolution of the times
Make mountains level, and the continent,
Weary of solid firmness, melt itself
Into the sea, and other times to see
The beachy girdle of the ocean
Too wide for Neptune’s hips; how chance’s mocks
And changes fill the cup of alteration
KING
Oh God! If only we could read the book of destiny! We’d see how time changes everything, bringing mountains low and melting the land—which is tired of being solid and firm—into the sea. We’d see how the beach is sometimes too wide for even the tide to conquer. We’d see how blind luck can make mockeries of men, and how change can affect you in countless ways.

Act 3, Scene 1, Page 3

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55




60




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70




75



With divers liquors! O, if this were seen,
The happiest youth, viewing his progress through,
What perils past, what crosses to ensue,
Would shut the book, and sit him down and die.
'Tis not ten years gone
Since Richard and Northumberland, great friends,
Did feast together, and in two years after
Were they at wars. It is but eight years since
This Percy was the man nearest my soul,
Who like a brother toiled in my affairs
And laid his love and life under my foot,
Yea, for my sake, even to the eyes of Richard
Gave him defiance. But which of you was by—
(to WARWICK) You, cousin Nevil, as I may remember—
When Richard, with his eye brimful of tears,
Then checked and rated by Northumberland,
Did speak these words, now proved a prophecy?
“Northumberland, thou ladder by the which
My cousin Bolingbroke ascends my throne”—
Though then, God knows, I had no such intent,
But that necessity so bowed the state
That I and greatness were compelled to kiss—
“The time shall come,” thus did he follow it,
“The time will come that foul sin, gathering head,
Shall break into corruption”—so went on,
Foretelling this same time’s condition
And the division of our amity.
If even the happiest youth could read this book, he’d look at the course of his life—the dangers he’s endured, the challenges that still lie ahead—and he’d shut that book, sit down and die. It was less than ten years ago that Richard and Northumberland loved each other. Then two years later, they were at war. Just eight years ago, Northumberland was the man closest to my heart. Like a brother, he devoted himself to me, dedicating both life and limb to my cause. He even challenged Richard on my behalf. But which of you was there—
I think it was you, Warwick—when Richard, his eyes brimming with tears because of Northumberland’s rebellion, spoke these words that now seem prophetic: “Northumberland, you are the ladder that Bolingbroke has climbed to get to the throne.” Although, God knows, it wasn’t my intention then to become king. But the country needed it so badly, I was forced to rise up and become great. “The time will come,” Richard continued, “when this terrible sin, growing in size, will break out into corruption.” That’s how he went on. He predicted our current condition, and the collapse of our alliances.

80




85

WARWICK
There is a history in all men’s lives
Figuring the nature of the times deceased,
The which observed, a man may prophesy,
With a near aim, of the main chance of things
As yet not come to life, which in their seeds
And weak beginnings lie intreasurèd.
Such things become the hatch and brood of time,
And by the necessary form of this,
WARWICK
There is a chronicle for every man’s life, which shows what happened to him in times now past. If you study that chronicle, you can prophecy what lies ahead with some accuracy. The seeds of things to come are buried in the things that have already happened. These seeds grow, and become the children of time.

Act 3, Scene 1, Page 4

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90

King Richard might create a perfect guess
That great Northumberland, then false to him,
Would of that seed grow to a greater falseness,
Which should not find a ground to root upon
Unless on you.
King Richard could look at the pattern of what had gone before and predict perfectly that Northumberland’s betrayal—then still a seed—would someday grow larger, if it could find suitable soil to root in. And you’re the only soil it could have found.



95

KING
Are these things then necessities?
Then let us meet them like necessities.
And that same word even now cries out on us.
They say the Bishop and Northumberland
Are fifty thousand strong.
KING
Were these things necessary, then? Then we’ll treat them like necessities, even though the very word “necessities” cries out against us. They say the Archbishop and Northumberland have fifty thousand men in their army.



100




105


WARWICK
It cannot be, my lord.
Rumor doth double, like the voice and echo,
The numbers of the feared. Please it your Grace
To go to bed. Upon my soul, my lord,
The powers that you already have sent forth
Shall bring this prize in very easily.
To comfort you the more, I have received
A certain instance that Glendower is dead.
Your Majesty hath been this fortnight ill,
And these unseasoned hours perforce must add
Unto your sickness.
WARWICK
That can’t be, my lord. Rumor, like an echo, doubles the size of our enemy’s army. Please, your highness, go to bed. I swear on my soul that the army you’ve already sent out can win this battle easily. And here’s more good news: I’ve heard for sure that Glendower is dead. You’ve been ill for two weeks now, your majesty. Keeping such irregular hours will surely make things worse.



110
KING
   I will take your counsel.
And were these inward wars once out of hand,
We would, dear lords, unto the Holy Land.
KING
I’ll listen to your advice. And once we’ve got this civil war in hand, we will, my friends, march to the Holy Land.
Exeunt
They exit.

Act 3, Scene 2

Original Text

Modern Text

Enter Justice SHALLOW and Justice SILENCE, with MOULDY, SHADOW, WART, FEEBLE, BULLCALF, and a servant or two
Justice SHALLOW and Justice SILENCE enter. They are followed by MOULDY, SHADOW, WART, FEEBLE, BULLCALF, and a servant or two.



SHALLOW
Come on, come on, come on. Give me your hand, sir, give
me your hand, sir. An early stirrer, by the rood. And how
doth my good cousin Silence?
SHALLOW
Come on, come on, come on, sir. Shake my hand, sir, shake my hand. You’re an early riser, I swear. How are you, cousin Silence?

SILENCE
Good morrow, good cousin Shallow.
SILENCE
Good morning, cousin Shallow.

5
SHALLOW
And how doth my cousin your bedfellow? And your fairest
daughter and mine, my goddaughter Ellen?
SHALLOW
And how’s my cousin, your wife? And your prettiest daughter, my fair god-daughter Ellen?

SILENCE
Alas, a black ousel, cousin Shallow.
SILENCE
I’m afraid she’s got dark hair, cousin Shallow!


SHALLOW
By yea and no, sir. I dare say my cousin William is become
a good scholar. He is at Oxford still, is he not?
SHALLOW
By gum, I bet William’s become a real scholar. He’s still at Oxford, right?

10
SILENCE
Indeed, sir, to my cost.
SILENCE
He sure is, and I’m the one who’s paying for it.



SHALLOW
He must then to the Inns o' Court shortly. I was once of
Clement’s Inn, where I think they will talk of mad Shallow
yet.
SHALLOW
He’ll be going to law school soon. I studied law at Clement’s Inn, where I think they still talk about crazy old Shallow.

SILENCE
You were called “Lusty Shallow” then, cousin.
SILENCE
You were known as lusty Shallow back then, cousin.

15



SHALLOW
By the Mass, I was called anything, and I would have done
anything indeed too, and roundly too. There was I, and little
John Doit of Staffordshire, and black George Barnes, and
Francis Pickbone, and Will Squele, a Cotswold man. You
had not four such swinge-bucklers in all the Inns o' Court
SHALLOW
I was known as anything, I swear. And I would have done anything too, and all the way, too. I was there, and little John Doit from Staffordshire, and black-haired George Barnes, and Francis Pickbone, and Will Squele, from the Cotswolds. Since then, no law college

Act 3, Scene 2, Page 2

Original Text

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20


SHALLOW
again. And I may say to you, we knew where the bona robas
were and had the best of them all at commandment. Then
was Jack Falstaff, now Sir John, a boy, and page to Thomas
Mowbray, Duke of Norfolk.
SHALLOW
in the world has seen four swashbucklers like us. And let me tell you this: we knew where to find the highest-quality whores, and the best of them were at our beck and call. At that time, Jack Falstaff, now Sir John, was just a boy. He worked as a page for Thomas Mowbray, the Duke of Norfolk.

SILENCE
This Sir John, cousin, that comes hither anon about soldiers?
SILENCE
Do you mean the same Sir John that’s coming here soon to recruit soldiers?

25




30
SHALLOW
The same Sir John, the very same. I see him break Scoggin’s
head at the court gate, when he was a crack not thus high; and
the very same day did I fight with one Sampson Stockfish,
a fruiterer, behind Grey’s Inn. Jesu, Jesu, the mad days that
I have spent! And to see how many of my old acquaintance
are dead.
SHALLOW
The same Sir John, the very same. I saw him beat Skogan upon the head when he was a little tyke, not this high. The same day, I had a fight with a guy named Sampson Stockfish. He sold fruit behind Gray’s Inn. Jesus, Jesus! I’ve had some crazy times! To think that so many of my old pals are dead!

SILENCE
We shall all follow, cousin.
SILENCE
We’ll all follow them, cousin.



SHALLOW
Certain, ’tis certain; very sure, very sure. Death, as the
Psalmist saith, is certain to all. All shall die. How a good
yoke of bullocks at Stamford Fair?
SHALLOW
Right you are, very right. That’s for sure, that’s for sure. Death, as the Psalms say, is certain. Everyone dies. How much are they getting for good young bulls at the Stamford county fair?

35
SILENCE
By my troth, cousin, I was not there.
SILENCE
Truly, I wasn’t there.

SHALLOW
Death is certain. Is old Dooble of your town living yet?
SHALLOW
Death is certain. Is old Double from your hometown still alive?

SILENCE
Dead, sir.
SILENCE
Dead, sir.



40


SHALLOW
Jesu, Jesu, dead! He drew a good bow, and dead? He shot a
fine shoot. John o' Gaunt loved him well, and betted much
money on his head. Dead! He would have clapped i' th'
clout at twelve score, and carried you a forehand shaft a
fourteen and fourteen and a half, that it would have done a
man’s heart good to see. How a score of ewes now?
SHALLOW
Jesus, Jesus, dead! He was a good archer, and dead! He could fire one heck of a shot. John of Gaunt loved him, and used to wager on his shooting. Dead! He could hit a target from two hundred and forty yards, and he could shoot a straight arrow two hundred and eighty yards—maybe even two hundred and ninety. That was something to see. How much are they getting for twenty ewes?

Act 3, Scene 2, Page 3

Original Text

Modern Text



45
SILENCE
Thereafter as they be, a score of good ewes may be worth ten
pounds.
SILENCE
Depends on the quality. Twenty good ewes could be worth ten pounds.

SHALLOW
And is old Dooble dead?
SHALLOW
And old Double’s dead?

SILENCE
Here come two of Sir John Falstaff’s men, as I think.
SILENCE
Here come two of Sir John Falstaff’s men, I think.
Enter BARDOLPH and one with him
BARDOLPH and another man enter.

SHALLOW
Good morrow, honest gentlemen.
Good morning, gentlemen.

BARDOLPH
I beseech you, which is Justice Shallow?
BARDOLPH
If you don’t mind, which of you is Judge Shallow?

50

SHALLOW
I am Robert Shallow, sir, a poor esquire of this county and
one of the King’s justices of the peace. What is your good
pleasure with me?
SHALLOW
I’m Robert Shallow, sir, a poor landowner in this county, and one of the King’s justices of the peace. How can I help you?



55
BARDOLPH
My captain, sir, commends him to you, my captain, Sir John
Falstaff, a tall gentleman, by heaven, and a most gallant
leader.
BARDOLPH
My captain sends his regards. My captain, Sir John Falstaff. He’s a valiant gentleman, I swear, and a brave leader.



SHALLOW
He greets me well, sir. I knew him a good backsword man.
How doth the good knight? May I ask how my lady his wife
doth?
SHALLOW
It’s great to hear from him. I knew him to be a good fencer. How’s the good knight doing? And, if you don’t mind my asking, how’s his wife?


60
BARDOLPH
Sir, pardon. A soldier is better accommodated than with a
wife.
BARDOLPH
I beg your pardon, sir. A soldier has no need for a wife; he is well enough accommodated.



SHALLOW
It is well said, in faith, sir, and it is well said indeed too.
“Better accommodated.” It is good, yea, indeed, is it. Good
phrases are surely, and ever were, very commendable.
SHALLOW
Well said, I swear, sir. Well said. “Well enough accommodated!” That’s good. That’s very good. Good turns

Act 3, Scene 2, Page 4

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“Accommodated.” It comes of accommodo. Very good, a good phrase.
of phrase deserve to be praised. “Accommodated!” It comes from the Latin, “accommodo.” Very good. That’s a good turn of phrase.

65




70
BARDOLPH
Pardon, sir; I have heard the word—“phrase” call you it? By
this day, I know not the phrase, but I will maintain the word
with my sword to be a soldierlike word, and a word of
exceeding good command, by heaven. “Accommodated,”
that is when a man is, as they say, accommodated, or when
a man is being whereby he may be thought to be
accommodated, which is an excellent thing.
BARDOLPH
Excuse me, sir. I’ve heard the word. You call it a turn of phrase? I don’t know anything about phrases, but I’ll fight for the word. It’s a good, soldier-like word; a word with many uses, to be sure. “Accommodated.” You can say that a man is accommodated when he has been furnished with supplies. And you can also say that a man is being accommodated when he’s, you know, being accommodated. Which is an excellent thing.
Enter FALSTAFF
FALSTAFF enters.




75
SHALLOW
It is very just. Look, here comes good Sir John.—Give me
your good hand, give me your Worship’s good hand. By my
troth, you like well and bear your years very well. Welcome,
good Sir John.
SHALLOW
It certainly is. Look, here comes good Sir John. Let me shake your hand; let me shake your hand, sir. I swear, you look good, like you haven’t aged a day. Welcome, good Sir John.


FALSTAFF
I am glad to see you well, good Master Robert Shallow.—
Master Sure-card, as I think?
FALSTAFF
I’m glad to see you’re well, Master Robert Shallow. And this is Master Surecard, isn’t it?

SHALLOW
No, Sir John. It is my cousin Silence, in commission with me.
SHALLOW
No, Sir John. It’s my cousin Silence. Like me, he’s also a justice of the peace.


80
FALSTAFF
Good Master Silence, it well befits you should be of the
peace.
FALSTAFF
Master Silence. Your name suits a justice of “the peace.”

SILENCE
Your good Worship is welcome.
SILENCE
Welcome, sir.


FALSTAFF
Fie, this is hot weather, gentlemen. Have you provided me
here half a dozen sufficient men?
FALSTAFF
Damn! It’s hot out, gentlemen. Have you found half a dozen able-bodied men for me?

SHALLOW
Marry, have we, sir. Will you sit?
SHALLOW
Yes sir, we have. Won’t you sit?

Act 3, Scene 2, Page 5

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85
FALSTAFF
Let me see them, I beseech you.
FALSTAFF
Let me see them, please.




SHALLOW
Where’s the roll? Where’s the roll? Where’s the roll? Let me
see, let me see, let me see. So, so, so, so, so. So, so. Yea,
marry, sir.—Rafe Mouldy!—Let them appear as I call, let
them do so, let them do so. Let me see, where is Mouldy?
SHALLOW
Where’s the list? Where’s the list? Where’s the list? Let’s see, let’s see, let’s see. Right, right. Yes, sir: Ralph Mouldy! Let them come when I call. Let them do that, let them do that. Let’s see. Where’s Mouldy?

90
MOULDY
Here, an it please you.
MOULDY
Here, sir.


SHALLOW
What think you, Sir John? A good-limbed fellow; young,
strong, and of good friends.
SHALLOW
What do you think, Sir John? He’s got good muscles. Young, strong, and well-connected.

FALSTAFF
Is thy name Mouldy?
FALSTAFF
Are you Mouldy?

MOULDY
Yea, an ’t please you.
MOULDY
Yes, sir.

95
FALSTAFF
'Tis the more time thou wert used.
FALSTAFF
Well then, it’s about time you were put to use.



SHALLOW
Ha, ha, ha, most excellent, i' faith! Things that are mouldy
lack use. Very singular good, in faith. Well said, Sir John,
very well said.
SHALLOW
Ha, ha, ha! Excellent, I swear! Things that don’t get used enough do indeed become moldy. Good one, I swear. Well said, Sir John, very well said.

FALSTAFF
Prick him.
FALSTAFF
Prick him.

100


MOULDY
I was pricked well enough before, an you could have let me
alone. My old dame will be undone now for one to do her
husbandry and her drudgery. You need not to have pricked
me. There are other men fitter to go out than I.
MOULDY
I’ve already been pricked well enough, thanks. You could have left me alone. My old lady’s in trouble now: she won’t have anyone to do her husbandry or her housework. You didn’t have to prick me; there are abler men than me.


105
FALSTAFF
Go to. Peace, Mouldy. You shall go. Mouldy, it is time you were
spent.
FALSTAFF
That’s enough; quiet, Mouldy. You’re going. Mouldy, it’s time you were put to use.

Act 3, Scene 2, Page 6

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MOULDY
Spent?
MOLDY
Put to use?


SHALLOW
Peace, fellow, peace. Stand aside. Know you where you
are?—For th' other, Sir John. Let me see.—Simon Shadow!
SHALLOW
Quiet, man, quiet. Step aside. Don’t you know where you are? Now the next, Sir John. Let’s see. Simon Shadow!


110
FALSTAFF
Yea, marry, let me have him to sit under. He’s like to be a
cold soldier.
FALSTAFF
Now you’re talking. I’d like to sit under him. He’ll be a cool soldier.

SHALLOW
Where’s Shadow?
SHALLOW
Where’s Shadow?

SHADOW
Here, sir.
SHADOW
Here, sir.

FALSTAFF
Shadow, whose son art thou?
FALSTAFF
Shadow, whose son are you?

SHADOW
My mother’s son, sir.
SHADOW
My mother’s son, sir.

115

FALSTAFF
Thy mother’s son! Like enough, and thy father’s shadow. So
the son of the female is the shadow of the male. It is often
so, indeed, but much of the father’s substance.
FALSTAFF
Your mother’s son? Probably, and you got your father’s name. The woman’s son is a portrait of the father; yes, that’s usually the case, though the son is little more than a dim copy, without any of the father’s true substance.

SHALLOW
Do you like him, Sir John?
SHALLOW
Do you like him, Sir John?


120
FALSTAFF
Shadow will serve for summer. Prick him, for we have a
number of shadows to fill up the muster book.
FALSTAFF
Shadow will be useful in the summer. Prick him, too. We’ll need him, for there are a lot of shadows filling up this roster.

SHALLOW
Thomas Wart!
SHALLOW
Thomas Wart!

FALSTAFF
Where’s he?
FALSTAFF
Where’s he?

WART
Here, sir.
WART
Here, sir.

FALSTAFF
Is thy name Wart?
FALSTAFF
Is your name Wart?

Act 3, Scene 2, Page 7

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125
WART
Yea, sir.
WART
Yup.

FALSTAFF
Thou art a very ragged wart.
FALSTAFF
You’re a pretty ragged wart.

SHALLOW
Shall I prick him down, Sir John?
SHALLOW
Should I prick him on the list, Sir John?


FALSTAFF
It were superfluous, for his apparel is built upon his back,
and the whole frame stands upon pins. Prick him no more.
FALSTAFF
Not necessary. For look: his clothing is just a bunch of pieces sewn together, and his whole body rests on legs as skinny as pins. He’s been pricked enough by pins and needles—don’t prick him anymore.

130
SHALLOW
Ha, ha, ha. You can do it, sir, you can do it. I commend you
well.—Francis Feeble!
SHALLOW
Ha, ha, ha! You are funny, sir. You are funny. I’ve got to hand it to you. Francis Feeble!

FEEBLE
Here, sir.
FEEBLE
Here, sir.

FALSTAFF
What trade art thou, Feeble?
FALSTAFF
What kind of work do you do, Feeble?

FEEBLE
A woman’s tailor, sir.
FEEBLE
I’m a woman’s tailor, sir.

135
SHALLOW
Shall I prick him, sir?
SHALLOW
Should I prick him, sir?



FALSTAFF
You may, but if he had been a man’s tailor, he’d ha' pricked
you.—Wilt thou make as many holes in an enemy’s battle as
thou hast done in a woman’s petticoat?
FALSTAFF
You might as well. But if he had been a man’s tailor, he would have already pricked you with his pins. Will you make as many holes in the enemy’s armor as you have in women’s underwear?

FEEBLE
I will do my good will, sir. You can have no more.
FEEBLE
I’ll do my best, sir. I can’t do any more.

140


FALSTAFF
Well said, good woman’s tailor, well said, courageous
Feeble. Thou wilt be as valiant as the wrathful dove or most
magnanimous mouse.—Prick the woman’s tailor well,
Master Shallow, deep, Master Shallow.
FALSTAFF
Well said, good woman’s tailor! Well said, courageous Feeble! You’ll be as brave as the angriest dove or the most valiant mouse. Prick the woman’s tailor. A big one, Master Shallow; a deep one, Master Shallow.

Act 3, Scene 2, Page 8

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FEEBLE
I would Wart might have gone, sir.
FEEBLE
I wish Wart were going, sir.

145


FALSTAFF
I would thou wert a man’s tailor, that thou mightst mend him
and make him fit to go. I cannot put him to a private soldier
that is the leader of so many thousands. Let that suffice, most
forcible Feeble.
FALSTAFF
And I wish you were a man’s tailor. You could have mended his clothes and made him fit to go. I can’t make him a private soldier when he’s already the leader of thousands—of lice, that is. But never mind, oh forcible Feeble.

FEEBLE
It shall suffice, sir.
FEEBLE
Never mind, sir.

150
FALSTAFF
I am bound to thee, reverend Feeble.—Who is next?
FALSTAFF
I like you, good Feeble. Who’s next?

SHALLOW
Peter Bullcalf o' th' green.
SHALLOW
Peter Bullcalf from the village green!

FALSTAFF
Yea, marry, let’s see Bullcalf.
FALSTAFF
Oh yeah. Let’s see Bullcalf.

BULLCALF
Here, sir.
BULLCALF
Here, sir!


155
FALSTAFF
Fore God, a likely fellow. Come, prick me Bullcalf till he
roar again.
FALSTAFF
My God! What a great man! Prick Bullcalf until he shouts again.

BULLCALF
O Lord, good my lord captain—
BULLCALF
Oh Lord! My lord, good Captain—

FALSTAFF
What, dost thou roar before thou art pricked?
FALSTAFF
What, you’re yelling before you’ve even been pricked?

BULLCALF
O Lord, sir, I am a diseased man.
BULLCALF
Oh Lord, sir! I’m a sick man.

FALSTAFF
What disease hast thou?
FALSTAFF
What disease do you have?

160
BULLCALF
A whoreson cold, sir, a cough, sir, which I caught with
ringing in the King’s affairs upon his coronation day, sir.
BULLCALF
A nasty cold, sir. A cough, sir. I caught it when I was ringing the church bells in honor of the King’s coro-nation.



FALSTAFF
Come, thou shalt go to the wars in a gown. We will have
away thy cold, and I will take such order that my friends
shall ring for thee.— (to SHALLOW) Is here all?
FALSTAFF
Then you’ll go to war in a dressing gown. We’ll get rid of your cold, and I’ll give orders for some of my men to ring the bells for you while you’re away. (to SHALLOW) Is this everybody?

Act 3, Scene 2, Page 9

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165
SHALLOW
Here is two more called than your number. You must have
but four here, sir, and so I pray you go in with me to dinner.
SHALLOW
We’ve got two more here than you need. You can have four, sir. Now, come inside and eat lunch with me.


FALSTAFF
Come, I will go drink with you, but I cannot tarry dinner. I
am glad to see you, by my troth, Master Shallow.
FALSTAFF
I’ll have a drink with you, but I can’t stay to eat. But I’m truly glad to see you, Master Shallow.


170
SHALLOW
O, Sir John, do you remember since we lay all night in the
windmill in Saint George’s Field?
SHALLOW
Oh, Sir John, do you remember the time we spent all night in the windmill in St. George’s field?

FALSTAFF
No more of that, good Master Shallow, no more of that.
FALSTAFF
Don’t go there, Master Shallow. Don’t go there.

SHALLOW
Ha, ’twas a merry night. And is Jane Nightwork alive?
SHALLOW
Ha! That was a fun night. Is Jane Nightwork still alive?

FALSTAFF
She lives, Master Shallow.
FALSTAFF
She’s alive, Master Shallow.

SHALLOW
She never could away with me.
SHALLOW
She never could stand me.

175
FALSTAFF
Never, never; she would always say she could not abide
Master Shallow.
FALSTAFF
Never, never. She always said she couldn’t stand Master Shallow.


SHALLOW
By the Mass, I could anger her to th' heart. She was then a
bona roba. Doth she hold her own well?
SHALLOW
Truly, I could anger her to the core. She was a good-looking wench then. Does she still look good?

FALSTAFF
Old, old, Master Shallow.
FALSTAFF
Old, old, Master Shallow.

180

SHALLOW
Nay, she must be old. She cannot choose but be old. Certain,
she’s old, and had Robin Nightwork by old Nightwork
before I came to Clement’s Inn.
SHALLOW
Well, she must be old. She’s got no choice but to be old. Of course she’s old. She gave birth to Robin Nightwork, the son of old man Nightwork, before I even got to Clement’s Inn.

SILENCE
That’s fifty-five year ago.
SILENCE
That’s fifty-five years ago.

Act 3, Scene 2, Page 10

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185
SHALLOW
Ha, cousin Silence, that thou hadst seen that that this knight
and I have seen!—Ha, Sir John, said I well?
SHALLOW
Ha, cousin Silence, if only you’d seen what this knight and I have seen! Ha! Am I right, Sir John?

FALSTAFF
We have heard the chimes at midnight, Master Shallow.
FALSTAFF
We’ve seen the clock strike midnight, Master Shallow.




190
SHALLOW
That we have, that we have, that we have. In faith, Sir John,
we have. Our watchword was “Hem, boys.” Come, let’s to
dinner; come, let’s to dinner. Jesus, the days that we have
seen! Come, come.
SHALLOW
We sure have, we sure have, we sure have. I swear, Sir John, we sure have. Our slogan was “Down the hatch, boys!” Come, let’s have lunch, let’s have lunch. Jesus, the things we’ve seen! Come, come.
Exeunt FALSTAFF, SHALLOW, and SILENCE
FALSTAFF, SHALLOW, and SILENCE exit.





195
BULLCALF
Good Master Corporate Bardolph, stand my friend, and
here’s four Harry ten-shillings in French crowns for you. In
very truth, sir, I had as lief be hanged, sir, as go. And yet, for
mine own part, sir, I do not care, but rather because I am
unwilling, and, for mine own part, have a desire to stay with
my friends. Else, sir, I did not care, for mine own part, so much.
BULLCALF
Good Master Corporate Bardolph, be my friend. Here are some French crowns for you, worth four Harry ten shillings.
I’m telling you, sir, I’d just as soon be hanged as go fight. It’s not that I care about my well-being. It’s just that I’m not willing to go, and furthermore, I’d like to stay here with my friends. But really, I don’t care about myself.

BARDOLPH
Go to. Stand aside.
BARDOLPH
Whatever. Stand over there.



200
MOULDY
And, good Master Corporal Captain, for my old dame’s
sake, stand my friend. She has nobody to do anything about
her when I am gone, and she is old and cannot help herself:
You shall have forty, sir.
MOULDY
And, good Master Corporal Captain, for my old lady’s sake, be my friend. She has nobody here to help her do anything once I’m gone. She’s old and can’t do much by herself. I’ll give you forty shillings, sir.

BARDOLPH
Go to. Stand aside.
BARDOLPH
Whatever. Stand over there.



205

FEEBLE
By my troth, I care not. A man can die but once. We owe God
a death. I’ll ne'er bear a base mind. An ’t be my destiny, so;
an ’t be not, so. No man’s too good to serve ’s prince, and let
it go which way it will, he that dies this year is quit for the
next.
FEEBLE
I’ll tell you the truth: I don’t care one way or the other. You only die once, and we all owe God a death. I won’t do anything underhanded. If it’s my fate, it’s my fate. If not, not. No man is too good to serve his country. Whatever happens, happens. If you die this year, you’re paid up for next year.

Act 3, Scene 2, Page 11

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BARDOLPH
Well said. Th' art a good fellow.
BARDOLPH
Well said. You’re a good man.

FEEBLE
Faith, I’ll bear no base mind.
FEEBLE
I’m telling you. I won’t do anything underhanded.
Enter FALSTAFF, SHALLOW, and SILENCE
FALSTAFF, SHALLOW and SILENCE enter.

210
FALSTAFF
Come, sir, which men shall I have?
FALSTAFF
All right, sir. Which men can I have?

SHALLOW
Four of which you please.
SHALLOW
Any four you choose.


BARDOLPH
Sir, a word with you. (aside to FALSTAFF) I have three pound
to free Mouldy and Bullcalf.
BARDOLPH
Sir, may I have a word with you? (whispers to FALSTAFF) I’ve gotten three pounds to free Mouldy and Bullcalf.

FALSTAFF
Go to, well.
FALSTAFF
No kidding. Great.

215
SHALLOW
Come, Sir John, which four will you have?
SHALLOW
Come on, Sir John, which four do you want?

FALSTAFF
Do you choose for me.
FALSTAFF
You pick.

SHALLOW
Marry, then, Mouldy, Bullcalf, Feeble, and Shadow.
SHALLOW
All right, then. Mouldy, Bullcalf, Feeble, and Shadow.



220
FALSTAFF
Mouldy and Bullcalf! For you, Mouldy, stay at home till you
are past service.—And for your part, Bullcalf, grow till you
come unto it. I will none of you.
FALSTAFF
Mouldy and Bullcalf. Mouldy, you stay home till you’re too old to fight. And as for you, Bullcalf, wait till you’ve reached fighting age. I don’t want either of you.
Exeunt MOULDY and BULLCALF
MOULDY and BULLCALF exit.


SHALLOW
Sir John, Sir John, do not yourself wrong. They are your
likeliest men, and I would have you served with the best.
SHALLOW
Sir John, Sir John. Don’t make a mistake. They’re the best men of the bunch, and I want you to have only the best.



225
FALSTAFF
Will you tell me, Master Shallow, how to choose a man?
Care I for the limb, the thews, the stature, bulk, and big
assemblance of a man? Give me the spirit, Master Shallow.
Here’s Wart. You see what a ragged appearance it is. He shall
FALSTAFF
Master Shallow, are you going to tell me how to choose a soldier? Do you think I care about a man’s body,

Act 3, Scene 2, Page 12

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230




235
charge you and discharge you with the motion of a
pewterer’s hammer, come off and on swifter than he that
gibbets on the brewer’s bucket. And this same half-faced
fellow, Shadow, give me this man. He presents no mark to
the enemy. The foeman may with as great aim level at the
edge of a penknife. And for a retreat, how swiftly will this
Feeble the woman’s tailor, run off! O, give me the spare
men, and spare me the great ones.—Put me a caliver into
Wart’s hand, Bardolph.
strength, height, bulk, and overall size? Give me his spirit, Master Shallow! Take a look at Wart. You see how ragged he looks? He can load and fire steadily—as steadily as a tinsmith’s hammer. He can advance and regroup fast—faster than a brewer’s delivery pail can be refilled. And this skinny guy, Shadow—give me this man. He offers no target to the enemy. The enemy might as well try aiming at a knife’s edge. And as for retreating, Feeble, the woman’s tailor, will run faster than you can imagine. Oh, give me the spare men and spare me the great ones! Bardolph, give Wart a musket.

BARDOLPH
Hold, Wart. Traverse. Thas, thas, thas.
BARDOLPH
Here you go, Wart. Present arms! Right shoulder, arms! Left shoulder, arms!




240
FALSTAFF
Come, manage me your caliver: so, very well, go to, very
good, exceeding good. O, give me always a little, lean, old,
chopped, bald shot. Well said, i' faith, Wart. Th' art a good
scab. Hold, there’s a tester for thee.
FALSTAFF
Come on, handle your weapon. Yes, good. Very good. Very, very good. Oh, give me a little, skinny, old, dried-out, bald rifleman any day. Good job, Wart. You’re a good scab of a guy. Wait, here’s a tester for you.





245


SHALLOW
He is not his craft’s master. He doth not do it right. I
remember at Mile End Green, when I lay at Clement’s Inn—
I was then Sir Dagonet in Arthur’s show—there was a little
quiver fellow, and he would manage you his piece thus. And
he would about and about, and come you in, and come you
in. “Rah, tah, tah,” would he say. “Bounce,” would he say,
and away again would he go, and again would he come. I
shall ne'er see such a fellow.
SHALLOW
He’s no expert. He’s not doing it right. I remember up at Mile-End Park, when I was at Clement’s Inn—I played the fool in the archery pageant. There was a nimble little guy, and he would handle his weapon like this, and he would run all over the place, and he’d charge and charge. “Rat-a-tat tat,” he’d say. “Bang!” he’d say. Then he’d run away, then come back. I never saw anybody like him.


250

FALSTAFF
These fellows will do well, Master Shallow.—God keep
you, Master Silence. I will not use many words with you.
Fare you well, gentlemen both. I thank you. I must a dozen
mile to-night.—Bardolph, give the soldiers coats.
FALSTAFF
These guys will be fine, Master Shallow. God bless you, Master Silence—I won’t say much to you. Farewell, gentlemen, and thank you. I have to march twelve miles tonight. Bardolph, give the soldiers uniforms.


SHALLOW
Sir John, the Lord bless you. God prosper your affairs. God
send us peace. At your return, visit our house. Let our old
SHALLOW
God bless you, Sir John. May God bring you good luck, and bring us peace. When you come back, pay us

Act 3, Scene 2, Page 13

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255
acquaintance be renewed. Peradventure I will with you to
the court.
a visit. Let’s renew our old friendship. Maybe I’ll even come with you to the royal court!

FALSTAFF
Fore God, would you would, Master Shallow.
FALSTAFF
I swear, I wish you would, Master Shallow.

SHALLOW
Go to. I have spoke at a word. God keep you.
SHALLOW
I meant what I said. May God keep you.

FALSTAFF
Fare you well, gentle gentlemen.
FALSTAFF
Farewell, gentle gentlemen.
Exeunt SHALLOW and SILENCE
SHALLOW and SILENCE exit.
260
On, Bardolph. Lead the men away.
March, Bardolph. Lead the men away.
Exeunt BARDOLPH and the recruits
BARDOLPH and the recruits exit.




265




270




275



As I return, I will fetch off these justices. I do see the bottom
of Justice Shallow. Lord, Lord, how subject we old men are
to this vice of lying. This same starved justice hath done
nothing but prate to me of the wildness of his youth and the
feats he hath done about Turnbull Street, and every third
word a lie, duer paid to the hearer than the Turk’s tribute. I
do remember him at Clement’s Inn, like a man made after
supper of a cheese paring. When he was naked, he was, for
all the world, like a forked radish with a head fantastically
carved upon it with a knife. He was so forlorn that his
dimensions to any thick sight were invincible. He was the
very genius of famine, yet lecherous as a monkey, and the
whores called him “mandrake.” He came ever in the
rearward of the fashion, and sung those tunes to the
overscutched huswives that he heard the carmen whistle,
and swore they were his fancies or his good-nights.
And now is this Vice’s dagger become a squire, and talks as
familiarly of John o' Gaunt as if he had been sworn brother
to him, and I’ll be sworn he ne'er saw him but once in the
When I come back, I’ll expose these judges for the frauds that they are. I can see through this Judge Shallow. Lord, Lord; we old men sure know how to tell lies! This dried-up old judge has done nothing but go on and on to me about how wild he was when he was as a youth, and how many stunts he pulled in the seedy parts of town. Every third word he speaks is a lie, and he’ll tell lies quicker than a Turk will scramble to pay the sultan. I remember him at Clement’s Inn: he looked like a man someone carved after dinner out of a scrap of cheese. When he was naked he looked like a mandrake root, with a fanciful head someone had carved in with a knife. He was so skinny that he was invisible to any man with imperfect vision; he truly was the embodiment of starvation. But he was as horny as a monkey: the whores called him “mandrake,” because mandrake stimulates the sex drive. He was always a little bit behind the times. He would hear the wagon drivers sing their songs, and then he’d go to his worn-out whores and sing them what he’d heard, pretending he had written them himself. And now this vile stick has become a landowner, and he talks about John of Gaunt like he was his own brother. I swear, he only saw Gaunt

Act 3, Scene 2, Page 14

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280




285



tilt-yard, and then he burst his head for crowding among the
Marshal’s men. I saw it and told John o' Gaunt he beat his
own name, for you might have thrust him and all his apparel
into an eel-skin; the case of a treble hautboy was a mansion
for him, a court. And now has he land and beefs. Well, I’ll
be acquainted with him, if I return, and ’t shall go hard but
I’ll make him a philosopher’s two stones to me. If the young
dace be a bait for the old pike, I see no reason in the law of
nature but I may snap at him. Let time shape, and there an
end.
once, and that was in the arena at the jousting tournament; John of Gaunt cut Shallow’s head with his sword. I saw it all, and I told John of Gaunt that he had beaten his own name, since Shallow was such a gaunt man back then. You could fit him and all his clothes into the skin an eel sheds. An instrument case was as huge as a mansion to him, as big as a courtroom. Now he has land and livestock. Well, I’ll be his friend if I come back. He won’t like it, but I’ll turn him into an unending source of wealth for myself. If small fish can be bait for big fish, I see no reason why I can’t snap my jaws at Shallow. Time will tell, and that’s all I have to say about that.
Exit
He exits.

Act 4, Scene 1

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Enter the ARCHBISHOP of York, MOWBRAY, HASTINGS, and others
ARCHBISHOP of York, MOWBRAY, HASTINGS, and others enter.

ARCHBISHOP
What is this forest called?
ARCHBISHOP
What’s the name of this forest?

HASTINGS
'Tis Gaultree Forest, an ’t shall please your Grace.
HASTINGS
Gaultree Forest, your grace.


ARCHBISHOP
Here stand, my lords, and send discoverers forth
To know the numbers of our enemies.
ARCHBISHOP
Stop here, sirs. Send out scouts to find out how many soldiers our enemy has.

5
HASTINGS
We have sent forth already.
HASTINGS
We’ve already done that.






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15
ARCHBISHOP
   'Tis well done.
My friends and brethren in these great affairs,
I must acquaint you that I have received
New-dated letters from Northumberland,
Their cold intent, tenor, and substance, thus:
Here doth he wish his person, with such powers
As might hold sortance with his quality,
The which he could not levy; whereupon
He is retired, to ripe his growing fortunes,
To Scotland, and concludes in hearty prayers
That your attempts may overlive the hazard
And fearful melting of their opposite.
ARCHBISHOP
Well done. My friends and brothers in this great undertaking, I have to share with you that I’ve received new letters from Northumberland. They have a chilling purpose, tone, and content. He says that he wishes he could be here in person, with an army as strong someone of his rank should have, but he couldn’t raise one. So he’s going to go to Scotland to increase his power. He prays that your armies will prevail against the terrible power of the enemy.


MOWBRAY
Thus do the hopes we have in him touch ground
And dash themselves to pieces.
MOWBRAY
And with that, any hope we had for him is thrown to the ground and dashed to pieces.
Enter a MESSENGER
A MESSENGER enters.

Act 4, Scene 1, Page 2

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HASTINGS
   Now, what news?
HASTINGS
What’s happening?


20

MESSENGER
West of this forest, scarcely off a mile,
In goodly form comes on the enemy,
And, by the ground they hide, I judge their number
Upon or near the rate of thirty thousand.
MESSENGER
The enemy is west of this forest, and less than a mile away. They look powerful, and, from the amount of space they’re taking up, I’d say they have close to thirty thousand soldiers.


MOWBRAY
The just proportion that we gave them out.
Let us sway on and face them in the field.
MOWBRAY
That’s exactly the number we thought they had. Let’s march ahead and engage them in battle.
Enter WESTMORELAND
WESTMORELAND enters.

25
ARCHBISHOP
What well-appointed leader fronts us here?
ARCHBISHOP
Who’s this well-equipped leader coming here to confront us?

MOWBRAY
I think it is my Lord of Westmoreland.
MOWBRAY
I think it’s Lord Westmoreland.


WESTMORELAND
Health and fair greeting from our general,
The Prince Lord John and Duke of Lancaster.
WESTMORELAND
Our general, the Prince Lord John of Lancaster, sends greetings and wishes you good health.


30
ARCHBISHOP
Say on, my Lord of Westmoreland, in peace,
What doth concern your coming.
ARCHBISHOP
Speak in peace, Lord Westmoreland. What’s the reason you’ve come here?






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40
WESTMORELAND
   Then, my lord,
Unto your Grace do I in chief address
The substance of my speech. If that rebellion
Came like itself, in base and abject routs,
Led on by bloody youth, guarded with rage,
And countenanced by boys and beggary—
I say, if damn’d commotion so appeared
In his true, native, and most proper shape,
You, reverend father, and these noble lords
Had not been here to dress the ugly form
Of base and bloody insurrection
WESTMORELAND
The most important part of my message is for you, your grace. You, who are a holy man, and these good gentlemen as well—you would not be here, lending dignity to this bloody insurrection, if it appeared as rebellion normally does: like a lowborn mob, led by bloody youths uniformed in rags, and supported by boys and beggars.

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With your fair honors. You, Lord Archbishop,
Whose see is by a civil peace maintained,
Whose beard the silver hand of peace hath touched,
Whose learning and good letters peace hath tutored,
Whose white investments figure innocence,
The dove and very blessèd spirit of peace,
Wherefore do you so ill translate yourself
Out of the speech of peace, that bears such grace,
Into the harsh and boist'rous tongue of war,
Turning your books to graves, your ink to blood,
Your pens to lances, and your tongue divine
To a trumpet and a point of war?
You, Lord Archbishop—whose diocese is peaceful and law-abiding; whose beard has turned white, signifying a peaceful life; whose education and learning are the products of peaceful times; who is the dove and very blessed embodiment of peace—why are you translating yourself from the graceful language of peace into the harsh, violent language of war? You’re turning your books into coffins, your ink into blood, your pens into swords, and your holy words into a trumpet that sounds a call to arms.



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75
ARCHBISHOP
Wherefore do I this? So the question stands.
Briefly, to this end: we are all diseased,
And with our surfeiting and wanton hours
Have brought ourselves into a burning fever,
And we must bleed for it; of which disease
Our late King Richard, being infected, died.
But, my most noble Lord of Westmoreland,
I take not on me here as a physician,
Nor do I as an enemy to peace
Troop in the throngs of military men,
But rather show awhile like fearful war
To diet rank minds sick of happiness
And purge th' obstructions which begin to stop
Our very veins of life. Hear me more plainly.
I have in equal balance justly weighed
What wrongs our arms may do, what wrongs we suffer,
And find our griefs heavier than our offenses.
We see which way the stream of time doth run
And are enforced from our most quiet there
By the rough torrent of occasion,
And have the summary of all our griefs,
When time shall serve, to show in articles;
Which long ere this we offered to the King
ARCHBISHOP
Why am I doing this? That is the question. The short answer is this: we’re all sick. We’ve eaten and drunk too much and stayed up all night, and now we have a burning fever whose only cure is bloodletting. Richard, our late King, was infected with this disease and died from it. But, my good Lord Westmoreland, I’m not here as a physician, nor am I marching with this army as an enemy of peace. What I’m doing is making a frightening show of war, to stop people from indulging all their vices. This will clear the hardening of the arteries which threatens to kill us all. Let me speak more plainly. I’ve carefully considered the options, weighing the harm our armies are likely to cause against the harm we’re already suffering, and I find that our grievances are stronger than our offenses. We can see where things are headed, and the rough times ahead leave us with no choice but to step away from our quiet lives. We have a list of grievances which we can publish at the appropriate time. We offered that list to the King a long time ago, but we could never get an audience with him.

Act 4, Scene 1, Page 4

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85

And might by no suit gain our audience.
When we are wronged and would unfold our griefs,
We are denied access unto his person
Even by those men that most have done us wrong.
The dangers of the days but newly gone,
Whose memory is written on the earth
With yet appearing blood, and the examples
Of every minute’s instance, present now,
Hath put us in these ill-beseeming arms,
Not to break peace or any branch of it,
But to establish here a peace indeed,
Concurring both in name and quality.
We were wronged, and when we tried to speak to the King about it, we were denied access to him by the very men who had wronged us most. We’re in this seemingly unbefitting armor because of the terrible recent violence—the bloodshed from which is still visible on the ground—and because of the terrible things happening now, every minute. We don’t want to harm peace in any way. We want instead to establish a peace that’s real and meaningful.



90


WESTMORELAND
When ever yet was your appeal denied?
Wherein have you been gallèd by the King?
What peer hath been suborned to grate on you,
That you should seal this lawless bloody book
Of forged rebellion with a seal divine
And consecrate commotion’s bitter edge?
WESTMORELAND
When was your request to see the King denied? How has the king harmed you? What lord in the King’s court has been sent out to do you wrong? And why would you put your holy stamp of approval on an illegal uprising and give religious blessing to a violent civil war?


95
ARCHBISHOP
My brother general, the commonwealth,
To brother born an household cruelty,
I make my quarrel in particular.
ARCHBISHOP
The grievances borne by my fellow Englishmen, and the cruel murder of Scroop, my own brother: these are the reasons I’ve made this fight my own.


WESTMORELAND
There is no need of any such redress,
Or if there were, it not belongs to you.
WESTMORELAND
There’s no need for any repayment like that; and even if there were, you should not be the person to benefit.


100


MOWBRAY
Why not to him in part, and to us all
That feel the bruises of the days before
And suffer the condition of these times
To lay a heavy and unequal hand
Upon our honors?
MOWBRAY
Why shouldn’t he benefit at least a little? Why shouldn’t we all benefit, who suffered in these recent battles, and who have allowed our honor to be damaged by the terrible things happening now?


WESTMORELAND
   O, my good Lord Mowbray,
Construe the times to their necessities,
WESTMORELAND
Oh, my good Lord Mowbray, if you think about what is necessary in times of war, you’ll see that it is the situation

Act 4, Scene 1, Page 5

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110

And you shall say indeed it is the time,
And not the King, that doth you injuries.
Yet for your part, it not appears to me
Either from the King or in the present time
That you should have an inch of any ground
To build a grief on. Were you not restored
To all the Duke of Norfolk’s seigniories,
Your noble and right well remembered father’s?
that harms you, and not the King himself. But as for you in particular, it seems to me that you have no foundation on which to build a quarrel with either the King or your current situation. Wasn’t the entire estate of the Duke of Norfolk, your father, just given back to you?



115




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125



MOWBRAY
What thing, in honor, had my father lost,
That need to be revived and breathed in me?
The King that loved him, as the state stood then,
Was force perforce compelled to banish him,
And then that Harry Bolingbroke and he,
Being mounted and both rousèd in their seats,
Their neighing coursers daring of the spur,
Their armèd staves in charge, their beavers down,
Their eyes of fire sparking through sights of steel
And the loud trumpet blowing them together,
Then, then, when there was nothing could have stayed
My father from the breast of Bolingbroke,
O, when the King did throw his warder down—
His own life hung upon the staff he threw—
Then threw he down himself and all their lives
That by indictment and by dint of sword
Have since miscarried under Bolingbroke.
MOWBRAY
What did my father lose that I now need to restore? Richard, the King at the time, loved my father, but given what was happening he had no choice but to banish him. And then, at Coventry, my father and Harry Bolingbroke met in a formal challenge. They were both mounted on their horses and ready to charge. Their horses were neighing, anxiously waiting for their riders' spurs to drive them forward. Their steel-tipped lances were ready for the attack. The visors of their helmets were down. Their eyes were on fire behind the steel slits. The trumpet sounded, and then—when there was nothing that could have stopped my father from killing Bolingbroke—the King prevented the fight by throwing down his royal scepter. That scepter was a symbol of his life; when he threw it down, he threw down his life and the lives of every man that has since died at war under the leadership of Bolingbroke.

130




135

WESTMORELAND
You speak, Lord Mowbray, now you know not what.
The Earl of Hereford was reputed then
In England the most valiant gentleman.
Who knows on whom fortune would then have smiled?
But if your father had been victor there,
He ne'er had borne it out of Coventry;
For all the country in a general voice
Cried hate upon him; and all their prayers and love
WESTMORELAND
You don’t know what you’re talking about, Lord Mowbray. Bolingbroke at the time was considered the bravest gentleman in England. Who knows who would have won that fight? But even if your father had won, he never would have made it out of Coventry. The whole country hated him, and they loved and prayed for Bolingbroke.

Act 4, Scene 1, Page 6

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145
Were set on Hereford, whom they doted on
And blessed and graced, indeed more than the King.
But this is mere digression from my purpose.
Here come I from our princely general
To know your griefs, to tell you from his Grace
That he will give you audience; and wherein
It shall appear that your demands are just,
You shall enjoy them, everything set off
That might so much as think you enemies.
They blessed him and adored him even more than the King. But I digress. I was sent here by our general, the Prince, to hear your grievances, and to tell you that he’s prepared to listen to you. If it appears that your demands are legitimate, he’ll give you what you want—except for those things which might suggest that you’re his enemies.


MOWBRAY
But he hath forced us to compel this offer;
And it proceeds from policy, not love.
MOWBRAY
But he’s made us force him to listen to us. His offer isn’t motivated by love; it’s a political move.


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155


WESTMORELAND
Mowbray, you overween to take it so.
This offer comes from mercy, not from fear.
For, lo, within a ken our army lies,
Upon mine honor, all too confident
To give admittance to a thought of fear.
Our battle is more full of names than yours,
Our men more perfect in the use of arms,
Our armor all as strong, our cause the best.
Then reason will our hearts should be as good.
Say you not then our offer is compelled.
WESTMORELAND
Mowbray, you’re out of line to think that. His offer is made out of mercy, not fear. Just look, you can see our army from here. I give you my word of honor: that army is so confident, it won’t even allow the thought of fear to enter. Our army has more important people than yours, and better soldiers; our armor is every bit as strong as yours, and our cause is better. It’s only logical that we should be as courageous as you are. So don’t say you’ve forced the Prince to do anything at all.

MOWBRAY
Well, by my will, we shall admit no parley.
MOWBRAY
Well, I say we won’t agree to any conference.

160
WESTMORELAND
That argues but the shame of your offense.
A rotten case abides no handling.
WESTMORELAND
That just proves that what you’re doing here is shameful. A rotten container falls apart at the touch; likewise, a rotten cause cannot withstand scrutiny and argument.




165
HASTINGS
Hath the Prince John a full commission,
In very ample virtue of his father,
To hear and absolutely to determine
Of what conditions we shall stand upon?
HASTINGS
Has the King given Prince John his full authorization to listen to our complaint, and address it in any way the Prince sees fit?

Act 4, Scene 1, Page 7

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WESTMORELAND
That is intended in the General’s name.
I muse you make so slight a question.
WESTMORELAND
That goes without saying. I’m amazed you’d even ask such a foolish question.



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175

ARCHBISHOP
Then take, my Lord of Westmoreland, this schedule,
For this contains our general grievances.
Each several article herein redressed,
All members of our cause, both here and hence,
That are insinewed to this action,
Acquitted by a true substantial form
And present execution of our wills
To us and to our purposes confined,
We come within our awful banks again
And knit our powers to the arm of peace.
ARCHBISHOP
Then, Lord Westmoreland, take this document. It lists our grievances. If each complaint listed here is addressed, and if everyone on our side, both here and elsewhere, is granted a full pardon and immediate satisfaction of our demands, then we’ll return to our own boundaries again and work together for the cause of peace.



180

WESTMORELAND
This will I show the General. Please you, lords,
In sight of both our battles we may meet,
And either end in peace, which God so frame,
Or to the place of difference call the swords
Which must decide it.
WESTMORELAND
I’ll show this to the general. Please, let’s meet at a place where both our armies can see us. Then either let our talks end in peace—God willing!—or let us take the fight to the battlefield where it will be decided.

ARCHBISHOP
   My lord, we will do so.
ARCHBISHOP
My lord, we will do so.
Exit WESTMORELAND
WESTMORELAND exits.


MOWBRAY
There is a thing within my bosom tells me
That no conditions of our peace can stand.
MOWBRAY
Something in my heart tells me that no peace we agree to could possibly last.

185


HASTINGS
Fear you not that. If we can make our peace
Upon such large terms and so absolute
As our conditions shall consist upon,
Our peace shall stand as firm as rocky mountains.
HASTINGS
Don’t worry about that. If we can come to terms that are as comprehensive as the ones we’re insisting upon, then the peace will be as durable as rocky mountains.


190

MOWBRAY
Yea, but our valuation shall be such
That every slight and false-derivèd cause,
Yea, every idle, nice, and wanton reason,
Shall to the King taste of this action,
MOWBRAY
Yes, but in the future the King will think so poorly of us that every little slight, every false accusation, every tiny, silly, frivolous thing will seem to him to be a revival of this rebellion. Even if we were as devoted to the King as martyrs are to their causes, he’ll regard us so skeptically that even the good things we do for him

Act 4, Scene 1, Page 8

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195
That, were our royal faiths martyrs in love,
We shall be winnowed with so rough a wind
That even our corn shall seem as light as chaff
And good from bad find no partition.
won’t count; he won’t be able to distinguish them from the bad.




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ARCHBISHOP
No, no, my lord. Note this: the King is weary
Of dainty and such picking grievances,
For he hath found to end one doubt by death
Revives two greater in the heirs of life;
And therefore will he wipe his tables clean
And keep no telltale to his memory
That may repeat and history his loss
To new remembrance. For full well he knows
He cannot so precisely weed this land
As his misdoubts present occasion;
His foes are so enrooted with his friends
That, plucking to unfix an enemy,
He doth unfasten so and shake a friend;
So that this land, like an offensive wife
That hath enraged him on to offer strokes,
As he is striking holds his infant up
And hangs resolved correction in the arm
That was upreared to execution.
ARCHBISHOP
No, no, sir. Listen, the king is tired of getting upset over every little thing. He’s discovered that ending one problem by killing someone only creates two bigger problems in the people left alive. So from now on, he’ll wipe his memory clean, and forget anything that might remind him of the bad things from his past. He knows that he can’t just eliminate every single opponent who crops up.
His enemies are rooted in with his friends, to the extent that, if he tries to pull up an enemy, he’ll also uproot and discard a friend. This country’s like a misbehaving wife, who, just when her husband is about to hit her, holds his baby up, and freezes the intended punishment in the very arm that was poised to apply it.

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HASTINGS
Besides, the King hath wasted all his rods
On late offenders, that he now doth lack
The very instruments of chastisement,
So that his power, like to a fangless lion,
May offer but not hold.
HASTINGS
Besides, the King has expended all his energy for punishment on the recent rebellion. He has nothing left to punish with. His power is like a lion with no teeth: it can threaten, but it can’t do any harm.


220


ARCHBISHOP
   'Tis very true,
And therefore be assured, my good Lord Marshal,
If we do now make our atonement well,
Our peace will, like a broken limb united,
Grow stronger for the breaking.
ARCHBISHOP
That’s true. Rest assured, my good Lord Marshal, if our reconciliation is sincere, then peace will be like a broken bone, which grows stronger for having once been broken.

Act 4, Scene 1, Page 9

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MOWBRAY
   Be it so.
Here is returned my Lord of Westmoreland.
MOWBRAY
I hope so. Lord Westmoreland is back.
Enter WESTMORELAND
WESTMORELAND enters.

225
WESTMORELAND
The Prince is here at hand. Pleaseth your lordship
To meet his Grace just distance ’tween our armies.
WESTMORELAND
The Prince is nearby. If you will, please meet him at a spot halfway between our two armies.

MOWBRAY
Your Grace of York, in God’s name then set forward.
MOWBRAY
Your grace, Archbishop of York, go forward in God’s name.


ARCHBISHOP
Before, and greet his Grace.—(to WESTMORELAND) My lord,
   we come.
ARCHBISHOP
Lead on, and greet his highness. (to WESTMORELAND) Sir, we’re on our way.
The ARCHBISHOP, MOWBRAY, YORK, HASTINGS and the others go forward
The ARCHBISHOP, MOWBRAY, YORK, HASTINGS, and the others cross the stage.
Enter Prince John of LANCASTER and officers with him
Prince John of LANCASTER enters, with officers.


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LANCASTER
You are well encountered here, my cousin Mowbray.—
Good day to you, gentle Lord Archbishop,—
And so to you, Lord Hastings, and to all.—
My Lord of York, it better showed with you
When that your flock, assembled by the bell,
Encircled you to hear with reverence
Your exposition on the holy text
Than now to see you here, an iron man talking,
Cheering a rout of rebels with your drum,
Turning the word to sword, and life to death.
That man that sits within a monarch’s heart
And ripens in the sunshine of his favor,
Would he abuse the countenance of the King,
Alack, what mischiefs might he set abroach
In shadow of such greatness! With you, Lord Bishop,
LANCASTER
I’m glad to see you, my cousin Mowbray. Good day to you, gentle Archbishop, and to you, Lord Hastings, and to all. Lord Archbishop, it was better to see you when worshippers—called together by the church bell—surrounded you to hear Biblical sermons than it is to see you here, in armor; cheering a mob of rebels with your war drums, turning your words to weapons, and your life into death.
When a man is close to the King’s heart, and grows strong under the King’s protection, only to turn against him—alas! What evils that man will unleash, hidden from view by the King’s own reputation! This is exactly how it is with you, Lord Bishop.
Who hasn’t heard how profound your religious knowledge is? To us, you were our representative in God’s own parliament. To us, you might as well have been

Act 4, Scene 1, Page 10

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It is even so. Who hath not heard it spoken
How deep you were within the books of God,
To us the speaker in His parliament,
To us th' imagined voice of God himself,
The very opener and intelligencer
Between the grace, the sanctities, of heaven,
And our dull workings? O, who shall believe
But you misuse the reverence of your place,
Employ the countenance and grace of heaven
As a false favorite doth his prince’s name,
In deeds dishonorable? You have ta'en up,
Under the counterfeited zeal of God,
The subjects of His substitute, my father,
And both against the peace of heaven and him
Have here up-swarmed them.
God’s own voice: the interpreter and ambassador between God’s heavenly ways and our own dull, mortal actions. And now, who would say anything but that you are abusing the holiness of your position, using the outward show of godliness to do terrible things, like a treacherous courtier uses the King’s good name? You have pretended to be acting in God’s name as you encourage the subjects of God’s deputy, my father, to rise up against the peace of both heaven and the King.


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ARCHBISHOP
Good my Lord of Lancaster,
I am not here against your father’s peace,
But, as I told my Lord of Westmoreland,
The time misordered doth, in common sense,
Crowd us and crush us to this monstrous form
To hold our safety up. I sent your Grace
The parcels and particulars of our grief,
The which hath been with scorn shoved from the court,
Whereon this Hydra son of war is born,
Whose dangerous eyes may well be charmed asleep
With grant of our most just and right desires,
And true obedience, of this madness cured,
Stoop tamely to the foot of majesty.
ARCHBISHOP
Good Lord of Lancaster, I am not here as an enemy your father’s peace. But, as I told Westmoreland, these tumultuous times have forced us to behave in these monstrous ways, out of common sense and a regard for our own safety. I sent you a detailed list of our grievances, but you angrily shoved it aside. That’s why this Hydra of a war has broken out. You can get rid of it by agreeing to the just and right things we demand. If you do that, this disease of war will be cured, and the monster will bow at your feet, tame and obedient.


MOWBRAY
If not, we ready are to try our fortunes
To the last man.
MOWBRAY
If you don’t, we’re ready to fight to the last man.



275
HASTINGS
   And though we here fall down,
We have supplies to second our attempt;
If they miscarry, theirs shall second them,
HASTINGS
And if those of us who are here should fail, we have reinforcements standing by. If they fail, they have reinforcements to back them up,

Act 4, Scene 1, Page 11

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And so success of mischief shall be born,
And heir from heir shall hold this quarrel up
Whiles England shall have generation.
and in this way the fight will go on from father to son for all time until England itself has no more new generations.


280
LANCASTER
You are too shallow, Hastings, much too shallow
To sound the bottom of the after-times.
LANCASTER
You’re not wise enough, Hastings, not wise enough at all to see into eternity.


WESTMORELAND
Pleaseth your Grace to answer them directly
How far forth you do like their articles.
WESTMORELAND
Your highness, why not tell them directly what you think of their list of grievances.



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LANCASTER
I like them all, and do allow them well,
And swear here by the honor of my blood,
My father’s purposes have been mistook,
And some about him have too lavishly
Wrested his meaning and authority.
(to ARCHBISHOP) My lord, these griefs shall be with speed redressed;
Upon my soul, they shall. If this may please you,
Discharge your powers unto their several counties,
As we will ours, and here, between the armies,
Let’s drink together friendly and embrace,
That all their eyes may bear those tokens home
Of our restorèd love and amity.
LANCASTER
I agree with all of them, and I admit that they’re legitimate. I swear, on my family’s honor: my father’s intentions have been misunderstood, and some of his subordinates have overstepped their authority in executing his orders.
(to ARCHBISHOP) Sir, we will make good on the wrongs that have been done to you, I swear on my soul. If this pleases you, then disperse your armies and send them back where they came from; we shall do the same. And here, where both armies can see us, we’ll embrace and drink a friendly toast to one another. The soldiers will go home with evidence that we’re friends once again.

295
ARCHBISHOP
I take your princely word for these redresses.
ARCHBISHOP
I’ll take your word as a prince that you’ll make good on these things.


LANCASTER
I give it you, and will maintain my word,
And thereupon I drink unto your Grace.
LANCASTER
I give you my word, and I’ll keep it. And with that, I drink a toast to you.



300
HASTINGS
Go, captain, and deliver to the army
This news of peace. Let them have pay, and part.
I know it will well please them. Hie thee, captain.
HASTINGS
Go, captain. Tell the army this news of peace. Pay them, and send them away. I know it will make them happy. Hurry, captain.
Exit officer
An officer exits.

ARCHBISHOP
To you, my noble Lord of Westmoreland.
ARCHBISHOP
Here’s to you, good Lord Westmoreland.

Act 4, Scene 1, Page 12

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305
WESTMORELAND
I pledge your Grace, and if you knew what pains
I have bestowed to breed this present peace,
You would drink freely. But my love to you
Shall show itself more openly hereafter.
WESTMORELAND
I drink to your grace. If you knew how hard I’ve worked to bring about this peaceful resolution, you’d really drink up. But my love for you will be more apparent from now on.

ARCHBISHOP
I do not doubt you.
ARCHBISHOP
I don’t doubt it.


WESTMORELAND
   I am glad of it.—
Health to my lord and gentle cousin, Mowbray.
WESTMORELAND
I’m glad. And here’s to your health, my gentle cousin Lord Mowbray.


MOWBRAY
You wish me health in very happy season,
For I am on the sudden something ill.
MOWBRAY
You wish me good health at a very good moment, because for some reason I’m suddenly feeling ill.

310
ARCHBISHOP
Against ill chances men are ever merry,
But heaviness foreruns the good event.
ARCHBISHOP
Men are always merry in the face of bad situations, but a heavy heart predicts a happy event.


WESTMORELAND
Therefore be merry, coz; since sudden sorrow
Serves to say thus: “Some good thing comes tomorrow.”
WESTMORELAND
So be happy, kinsman. A sudden feeling of melancholy is just a sign that says, “Something good is coming tomorrow.”

ARCHBISHOP
Believe me, I am passing light in spirit.
ARCHBISHOP
Believe me, I’m in really good spirits.

315
MOWBRAY
So much the worse if your own rule be true.
MOWBRAY
Which is not a good thing, if your own rule is correct.
Shouts within
Shouts are heard offstage.

LANCASTER
The word of peace is rendered. Hark how they shout.
LANCASTER
The news of peace has been announced. Listen to them shout!

MOWBRAY
This had been cheerful after victory.
MOWBRAY
They sound like they are cheering a victory.



320
ARCHBISHOP
A peace is of the nature of a conquest,
For then both parties nobly are subdued,
And neither party loser.
ARCHBISHOP
Peace is a victory of sorts: both sides stop fighting honorably, but neither loses.

Act 4, Scene 1, Page 13

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LANCASTER
   Go, my lord,
And let our army be dischargèd too.
LANCASTER
Go and disperse our army, too, Lord Westmoreland.
Exit WESTMORELAND
WESTMORELAND exits.


And, good my lord, so please you, let our trains
March by us, that we may peruse the men
We should have coped withal.
Good Archbishop, let’s have both our troops march past us here so that we can see the men we would have fought against.


325
ARCHBISHOP
   Go, good Lord Hastings,
And ere they be dismissed, let them march by.
ARCHBISHOP
Go, Lord Hastings, and have them march past before they’re dismissed.
Exit HASTINGS
HASTINGS exits.

LANCASTER
I trust, lords, we shall lie tonight together.
LANCASTER
I hope, sirs, that we’ll spend tonight in the same camp.
Enter WESTMORELAND
WESTMORELAND enters.
Now, cousin, wherefore stands our army still?
Cousin, why is our army still standing?


WESTMORELAND
The leaders, having charge from you to stand,
Will not go off until they hear you speak.
WESTMORELAND
The leaders have orders from you to stand fast, and they won’t disperse until they hear you give the order.

330
LANCASTER
They know their duties.
LANCASTER
They know how to follow orders.
Enter HASTINGS
HASTINGS enters.




HASTINGS
My lord, our army is dispersed already.
Like youthful steers unyoked, they take their courses
East, west, north, south, or, like a school broke up,
Each hurries toward his home and sporting-place.
HASTINGS
Our army is already dispersed. They’ve headed off to the east, west, north, and south like young bulls whose yokes have been removed. The men are like children after school, each hurrying toward their homes or the playground.

335


WESTMORELAND
Good tidings, my Lord Hastings, for the which
I do arrest thee, traitor, of high treason.—
And you, Lord Archbishop, and you, Lord Mowbray,
Of capital treason I attach you both.
WESTMORELAND
That’s good news, Lord Hastings. And hearing it, I now arrest you, traitor, for high treason. And you, Archbishop, and you, Lord Mowbray. I arrest you both for capital treason.

Act 4, Scene 1, Page 14

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MOWBRAY
Is this proceeding just and honorable?
MOWBRAY
Is this action just and honorable?

340
WESTMORELAND
Is your assembly so?
WESTMORELAND
Was your rebellion just and honorable?

ARCHBISHOP
Will you thus break your faith?
ARCHBISHOP
Will you break faith with us like this?





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350

LANCASTER
   I pawned thee none.
I promised you redress of these same grievances
Whereof you did complain, which, by mine honor,
I will perform with a most Christian care.
But for you rebels, look to taste the due
Meet for rebellion and such acts as yours.
Most shallowly did you these arms commence,
Fondly brought here, and foolishly sent hence.—
Strike up our drums; pursue the scattered stray.
God, and not we, hath safely fought today.—
Some guard these traitors to the block of death,
Treason’s true bed and yielder-up of breath.
LANCASTER
I never promised you my faith. I promised to make good on the grievances you complained of. And, on my honor, I will do that as carefully as possible. But now, you rebels will get exactly what you deserve for the things you’ve done. You raised armies over nothing, brought them here stupidly, and then foolishly sent them away. Bang on our drums! Capture the soldiers who are scattering away. God, not we, has fought today and won. Guards, escort these traitors to the place of their death. That’s where treason belongs, and where they’ll draw their last breath.
Exeunt
They exit.

Act 4, Scene 2

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Alarum. Excursions. Enter FALSTAFF and COLEVILE, meeting
Calls to arms are sounded. Soldiers cross the stage. FALSTAFF and COLEVILE enter and confront one another.


FALSTAFF
What’s your name, sir? Of what condition are you, and of
what place, I pray?
FALSTAFF
What’s your name, sir? What’s your rank, and where are you from?

COLEVILE
I am a knight, sir, and my name is Colevile of the Dale.
COLEVILLE
I am a knight, sir. My name is Coleville of the Valley.


5

FALSTAFF
Well, then, Colevile is your name, a knight is your degree,
and your place the Dale. Colevile shall be still your name, a
traitor your degree, and the dungeon your place, a place deep
enough so shall you be still Colevile of the Dale.
FALSTAFF
Well, then, Coleville is your name, your rank is knight, and the valley is where you’re from. Coleville will still be your name now that “traitor” is your rank, and the dungeon is where you’ll be. It’s a place so deep that you’ll still be in a kind of valley.

COLEVILE
Are not you Sir John Falstaff?
COLEVILLE
Aren’t you Sir John Falstaff?


10

FALSTAFF
As good a man as he, sir, whoe'er I am. Do ye yield, sir, or
shall I sweat for you? If I do sweat, they are the drops of thy
lovers and they weep for thy death. Therefore rouse up fear
and trembling, and do observance to my mercy.
FALSTAFF
I’m as good a man as Falstaff, whoever I am. Will you surrender? Or am I going to have to break a sweat making you surrender? If I sweat, the drops will be the tears of your loved ones, weeping over your death. So you’d better get scared and start to shake, and start praying to me for mercy.


COLEVILE
I think you are Sir John Falstaff, and in that thought yield
me.
COLEVILLE
I think you are Sir John Falstaff, and so I surrender.

15
FALSTAFF
I have a whole school of tongues in this belly of mine, and not a tongue of them all speaks any other word but my name. An I had but a belly of any indifferency, I were simply the most active fellow in Europe. My womb, my womb, my womb undoes me. Here comes our general.
FALSTAFF
My enormous belly can speak in many languages, and each language proclaims my name and my name alone. If I had a moderately sized belly, all I’d be is an anonymous but very successful soldier. But my belly, my belly, my belly blows my cover. Here comes the general.

Act 4, Scene 2, Page 2

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Enter Prince John of LANCASTER, WESTMORELAND, BLUNT, and others
John of LANCASTER, WESTMORELAND, BLUNT, and others enter.

LANCASTER
The heat is past. Follow no further now.
LANCASTER
The danger’s over: let’s stop here.
A retreat is sounded.
The trumpets sound a retreat.
Call in the powers, good cousin Westmoreland.
Call off the operation, Westmoreland.
Exit WESTMORELAND
WESTMORELAND exits.


20
Now, Falstaff, where have you been all this while?
When everything is ended, then you come.
These tardy tricks of yours will, on my life,
One time or other break some gallows' back.
Falstaff, where have you been all this time? When everything is over, that’s when you start. This habit of laziness of yours will bust a gallows to bits one of these days, mark my words.




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30

FALSTAFF
I would be sorry, my lord, but it should be thus. I never knew
yet but rebuke and check was the reward of valor. Do you
think me a swallow, an arrow, or a bullet? Have I in my poor
and old motion the expedition of thought? I have speeded
hither with the very extremest inch of possibility. I have
foundered ninescore and odd posts, and here, travel-tainted
as I am, have in my pure and immaculate valor taken Sir
John Colevile of the Dale, a most furious knight and
valorous enemy. But what of that? He saw me and yielded,
that I may justly say, with the hook-nosed fellow of Rome,
“There, cousin, I came, saw, and overcame.”
FALSTAFF
I’m sorry to hear you say that: I never realized that brave behavior should be rewarded with scolding and admonishing. Do you think I’m a bird, or an arrow, or a bullet? With this old, broken-down body, do you think I can move as fast as thought? I’ve gotten here as fast as humanly possible. I’ve burned out more than 180 horses, and—even though I’m spent from all that travel—I’ve managed, with my extraordinary bravery, to capture Sir John Coleville of the Valley, a brave knight and terrible enemy. But so what? He simply saw me and surrendered. So I can say, just like Julius Caesar, that “I came, I saw, I conquered.”

LANCASTER
It was more of his courtesy than your deserving.
LANCASTER
He was just being polite; it’s not as if you did something to deserve it.


35


FALSTAFF
I know not. Here he is, and here I yield him. And I beseech
your Grace let it be booked with the rest of this day’s deeds,
or, by the Lord, I will have it in a particular ballad else, with
mine own picture on the top on ’t, Colevile kissing my foot;
to the which course if I be enforced, if you do not all show
FALSTAFF
I don’t know about that. Here he is: I turn him over to you. Please, sir, have it added to the record of things accomplished today. If you don’t, I’ll have a ballad printed about it, with a picture of Coleville kissing my foot on the cover. And if I’m forced to do that, and I

Act 4, Scene 2, Page 3

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like gilt twopences to me, and I in the clear sky of fame o'ershine you as much as the full moon doth the cinders of the element (which show like pins' heads to her), believe not the word of the noble. Therefore let me have right, and let desert mount.
don’t make you look like counterfeits next to me, and if my fame doesn’t outshine yours like the full moon outshines the stars (which look like pin pricks in the sky next to the moon)—well then, you can call me a liar. Now give me what I deserve, and let my merits mount on top of each other, in a great pile.

40
LANCASTER
Thine’s too heavy to mount.
LANCASTER
Your pile would be too heavy for me to bear.

FALSTAFF
Let it shine, then.
FALSTAFF
Let my merits shine, then.

LANCASTER
Thine’s too thick to shine.
LANCASTER
You’re too dense to shine.


FALSTAFF
Let it do something, my good lord, that may do me good, and
call it what you will.
FALSTAFF
Then let it do something that will do me good, whatever you want to call it.

45
LANCASTER
Is thy name Colevile?
LANCASTER
Is your name Coleville?

COLEVILE
   It is, my lord.
COLEVILLE
It is, sir.

LANCASTER
A famous rebel art thou, Colevile.
LANCASTER
You’re a famous rebel, Coleville.

FALSTAFF
And a famous true subject took him.
FALSTAFF
And a famous and loyal subject captured him.



50
COLEVILE
I am, my lord, but as my betters are
That led me hither. Had they been ruled by me,
You should have won them dearer than you have.
COLEVILLE
I’m now in the same situation as my superiors, who led me here. But if I had been in charge, your victory would have cost you more than it has.

FALSTAFF
I know not how they sold themselves, but thou, like a kind fellow, gavest thyself away gratis, and I thank thee for thee.
FALSTAFF
I don’t know how much your superiors cost us, but you, like a generous man, gave yourself away for free, and I thank you for it.
Enter WESTMORELAND
WESTMORELAND enters.

LANCASTER
Now, have you left pursuit?
LANCASTER
Have you called off the troops?

Act 4, Scene 2, Page 4

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WESTMORELAND
Retreat is made and execution stayed.
WESTMORELAND
The order to pull back has been given, and the slaughter has been stopped.


55
LANCASTER
Send Colevile with his confederates
To York, to present execution.—
Blunt, lead him hence, and see you guard him sure.
LANCASTER
Send Coleville and his confederates to York, to be put to death immediately. Blunt, lead him away, and guard him carefully.
Exeunt BLUNT with COLEVILE
BLUNT exits with COLEVILLE.



60

And now dispatch we toward the court, my lords.
I hear the King my father is sore sick.
Our news shall go before us to his Majesty,
(to WESTMORELAND) Which, cousin, you shall bear to comfort
   him,
And we with sober speed will follow you.
And now, let’s get going back to the royal court: I understand that the King, my father, is gravely ill. Send news of our victory ahead of us. (to WESTMORELAND) You, cousin, will bring him this news and comfort him with it. We’ll follow you as quickly as we can.



FALSTAFF
My lord, I beseech you give me leave to go through
Gloucestershire, and, when you come to court, stand my
good lord, pray, in your good report.
FALSTAFF
Sir, please give me permission to go via Gloucestershire. When you get to the court, please vouch for my good work here.

65
LANCASTER
Fare you well, Falstaff. I, in my condition,
Shall better speak of you than you deserve.
LANCASTER
Goodbye, Falstaff. By speaking on your behalf as a prince, I’ll be speaking better of you than you deserve.
Exeunt all but FALSTAFF
Everyone exits except FALSTAFF.




70




75
FALSTAFF
I would you had but the wit; ’twere better than your
dukedom. Good faith, this same young sober-blooded boy
doth not love me, nor a man cannot make him laugh. But
that’s no marvel; he drinks no wine. There’s never none of
these demure boys come to any proof, for thin drink doth so
overcool their blood, and making many fish meals, that they
fall into a kind of male green-sickness, and then, when they
marry, they get wenches. They are generally fools and
cowards, which some of us should be too, but for
inflammation.
FALSTAFF
I wish you had the wit to accomplish that: it would be worth all your land. My goodness, this young, serious-minded boy doesn’t like me, and no one can make him laugh. But I guess that’s not surprising; after all, he doesn’t drink any wine. None of those prim boys ever amount to anything: weak beer and too many fish dinners makes their blood cool. They all turn anemic, like young girls. And then, when they finally get married, they can only father girls because they don’t have the stuff to produce sons. Non-drinkers are all generally fools and cowards. The rest of us would probably be

Act 4, Scene 2, Page 5

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100

A good sherris sack hath a two-fold operation in it. It
ascends me into the brain, dries me there all the foolish and
dull and crury vapors which environ it, makes it
apprehensive, quick, forgetive, full of nimble, fiery, and
delectable shapes, which, delivered o'er to the voice, the
tongue, which is the birth, becomes excellent wit. The
second property of your excellent sherris is the warming of
the blood, which, before cold and settled, left the liver white
and pale, which is the badge of pusillanimity and cowardice.
But the sherris warms it and makes it course from the
inwards to the parts' extremes. It illumineth the face, which
as a beacon gives warning to all the rest of this little
kingdom, man, to arm; and then the vital commoners and
inland petty spirits muster me all to their captain, the heart,
who, great and puffed up with this retinue, doth any deed of
courage, and this valor comes of sherris. So that skill in the
weapon is nothing without sack, for that sets it a-work; and
learning a mere hoard of gold kept by a devil till sack
commences it and sets it in act and use. Hereof comes it that
Prince Harry is valiant, for the cold blood he did naturally
inherit of his father he hath, like lean, sterile, and bare land,
manured, husbanded, and tilled with excellent endeavor of
drinking good and good store of fertile sherris, that he is
become very hot and valiant. If I had a thousand sons, the
first human principle I would teach them should be to
forswear thin potations and to addict themselves to sack.
the same way, except that we’re always drunk. A good sherry wine operates in two ways. First, it rises into the brain and dries out all the foolish, dull, clogged-up fogs that have gathered there. It makes the brain sharp, quick, and inventive; full of nimble, fiery, and beautiful ideas. The voice and tongue give birth to those ideas which, when they grow up, become excellent wit. The second power of good wine is the warming of the blood. Before wine, the blood is cold and sluggish, and this makes the liver—the organ of passion—chilly and pale. A chilly, pale liver is the sign of cowardice and faint-heartedness. But wine warms the blood, making it course from the inner organs to all the extremities. The blood brightens the face, and the rest of the body—which is like a little kingdom in itself—takes that brightening as a signal. Then the spirits of the blood and all the internal organs gather together behind their captain: the heart. The heart draws strength from these followers and, enlarged by them, can accomplish any courageous deed. This is the bravery that comes from wine. Without wine, skill in weaponry doesn’t matter. Wine is what sets that skill in motion. Education is nothing more than idle gold in the devil’s hands, until wine rouses it and puts it to good use. That’s how Prince Harry became valiant. He’s taken the cold blood he inherited from his father and—like unproductive farmland—he fertilized it, planted it, and cared for it, through the hard work of drinking vast amounts of good and potent wine. And so now, he’s become hot and courageous. If I had a thousand sons, the first rule of behavior I would teach them would be to avoid weak drinks, and get themselves addicted to wine.
Enter BARDOLPH
BARDOLPH enters.
How now, Bardolph?
What is it, Bardolph?

Act 4, Scene 2, Page 6

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BARDOLPH
The army is discharged all and gone.
BARDOLPH
The army is dismissed, and everyone’s gone.

105


FALSTAFF
Let them go. I’ll through Gloucestershire, and there will I
visit Master Robert Shallow, Esquire. I have him already
temp'ring between my finger and my thumb, and shortly
will I seal with him. Come away.
FALSTAFF
Let them go. I’ll head to Gloucestershire. I’ll visit Master Robert Shallow, Esquire. I’ve already got him under my thumb, as soft as wax. Soon I’ll seal the deal. Let’s go.
Exeunt
They exit.

Act 4, Scene 3

Original Text

Modern Text

Enter KING Henry, his sons Thomas Duke of CLARENCE and Humphrey Duke of GLOUCESTER, with WARWICK and others
KING Henry, his sons Thomas Duke of CLARENCE and Humphrey Duke of GLOUCESTER, WARWICK, and others enter.





5




10
KING
Now, lords, if God doth give successful end
To this debate that bleedeth at our doors,
We will our youth lead on to higher fields
And draw no swords but what are sanctified.
Our navy is addressed, our power collected,
Our substitutes in absence well invested,
And everything lies level to our wish.
Only we want a little personal strength;
And pause us till these rebels now afoot
Come underneath the yoke of government.
KING
Now, my lords: if God grants us a victory in this violent civil war that bleeds at our very doorsteps, I will lead our young people in a greater cause, and fight nothing but holy wars. Our navy is ready, our army is assembled, the leaders who are my subordinates have their orders, and everything is standing by to achieve my main aim. The only drawback is that I’m feeling a little weak. So let’s wait a short while, until the rebels, now on the run, are brought back in line and are made obedient again.


WARWICK
Both which we doubt not but your Majesty
Shall soon enjoy.
WARWICK
We are sure that you’ll soon enjoy both good health and the rebels' defeat.


KING
   Humphrey, my son of Gloucester,
Where is the Prince your brother?
KING
My son Humphrey of Gloucester, where is your brother, Prince Hal?

GLOUCESTER
I think he’s gone to hunt, my lord, at Windsor.
GLOUCESTER
I think he’s gone hunting at Windsor.

15
KING
And how accompanied?
KING
Who’s with him?

GLOUCESTER
   I do not know, my lord.
GLOUCESTER
I don’t know, father.

KING
Is not his brother Thomas of Clarence with him?
KING
Isn’t his brother, Thomas of Clarence, with him?

GLOUCESTER
No, my good lord, he is in presence here.
GLOUCESTER
No, father. He’s here.

CLARENCE
What would my lord and father?
CLARENCE
What is it you’d like, father?

Act 4, Scene 3, Page 2

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45


KING
Nothing but well to thee, Thomas of Clarence.
How chance thou art not with the Prince thy brother?
He loves thee, and thou dost neglect him, Thomas.
Thou hast a better place in his affection
Than all thy brothers. Cherish it, my boy,
And noble offices thou mayst effect
Of mediation, after I am dead,
Between his greatness and thy other brethren.
Therefore omit him not; blunt not his love,
Nor lose the good advantage of his grace
By seeming cold or careless of his will.
For he is gracious if he be observed;
He hath a tear for pity and a hand
Open as day for melting charity;
Yet notwithstanding, being incensed he is flint,
As humorous as winter, and as sudden
As flaws congealed in the spring of day.
His temper therefore must be well observed.
Chide him for faults, and do it reverently,
When thou perceive his blood inclined to mirth;
But, being moody, give him time and scope
Till that his passions, like a whale on ground,
Confound themselves with working. Learn this, Thomas,
And thou shalt prove a shelter to thy friends,
A hoop of gold to bind thy brothers in,
That the united vessel of their blood,
Mingled with venom of suggestion
(As, force perforce, the age will pour it in),
Shall never leak, though it do work as strong
As aconitum or rash gunpowder.
KING
Only good things for you, Thomas. Why aren’t you with the Prince, your brother? He loves you and you are neglecting him. He cares more about you than any of his other brothers, Thomas; cherish that fact, my boy. After I’m dead, you’ll be in a strong position to help maintain good relations between Prince Hal and his brothers.
So don’t ignore him. Don’t turn away his love, and don’t ruin your good relationship with him by seeming cold or distant. He’s kind if he gets his way; he has compassion for others, and he’s generous with charity. But despite all this, once he gets angry, he becomes like a stone. He can be as tempestuous as winter, and can change himself as suddenly as snowflakes at dawn can turn to hail. So watch his temper.
When he does something wrong, let him know it—gently, and when he’s in a happy mood. But when he’s ornery, give him room. Wait till his bad mood works itself out, like a beached whale that kills itself by struggling to return to sea. If you can do this, you’ll be a shelter for your friends, and a golden chain that links your brothers together. Once they’re united, the poison of criticism and rumor—which in this day and age is sure to be aimed at them—can’t do them any harm, no matter how explosive and destructive it may be.

CLARENCE
I shall observe him with all care and love.
CLARENCE
I’ll watch over him with as much care and love as possible.

50
KING
Why art thou not at Windsor with him, Thomas?
KING
Then why aren’t you with him at Windsor?

Act 4, Scene 3, Page 3

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CLARENCE
He is not there today; he dines in London.
CLARENCE
He’s not there today. He’s in London.

KING
And how accompanied? Canst thou tell that?
KING
Who’s with him? Do you know?

CLARENCE
With Poins and other his continual followers.
CLARENCE
Poins, and the usual suspects.


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60




65
KING
Most subject is the fattest soil to weeds,
And he, the noble image of my youth,
Is overspread with them; therefore my grief
Stretches itself beyond the hour of death.
The blood weeps from my heart when I do shape,
In forms imaginary, th' unguided days
And rotten times that you shall look upon
When I am sleeping with my ancestors.
For when his headstrong riot hath no curb,
When rage and hot blood are his counsellors,
When means and lavish manners meet together,
O, with what wings shall his affections fly
Towards fronting peril and opposed decay!
KING
Weeds grow best in the richest soil, and he—like myself at that age—is overrun by them. My sadness, then, cannot end with my death. When I imagine the lawless days and rotten times that you will face when I am dead and sleeping with my ancestors, the blood weeps from my heart.
When Hal’s headstrong wildness has free rein; when aggression and passion are his advisors; when he has full opportunity to indulge in his riotous inclinations, then—Oh!—his criminal desires will fly like a bird towards danger and ruin.




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75


WARWICK
My gracious lord, you look beyond him quite.
The Prince but studies his companions
Like a strange tongue, wherein, to gain the language,
'Tis needful that the most immodest word
Be looked upon and learned; which, once attained,
Your Highness knows, comes to no further use
But to be known and hated. So, like gross terms,
The Prince will, in the perfectness of time,
Cast off his followers, and their memory
Shall as a pattern or a measure live,
By which his Grace must mete the lives of others,
Turning past evils to advantages.
WARWICK
Your highness, you’ve got him all wrong. The Prince is only studying his criminal companions, the way one studies a foreign language. In order to truly learn a language, one must learn even the most immodest curse word—which, as you know, is only learned in order to be identified and, thereafter, avoided. So, like vulgar language, the Prince will get rid of his followers when the time is right. Then they’ll live on in his memory as guidelines, by which he’ll judge the conduct of others. In this sense, he’ll change his past bad deeds to good ends.


80
KING
'Tis seldom when the bee doth leave her comb
In the dead carrion.
KING
It’s rare that a bee builds its nest in a dead animal’s carcass. The Prince won’t leave his current company.

Act 4, Scene 3, Page 4

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Enter WESTMORELAND
WESTMORELAND enters.
   Who’s here? Westmoreland?
Who’s there? Westmoreland?





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90
WESTMORELAND
Health to my sovereign, and new happiness
Added to that that I am to deliver.
Prince John your son doth kiss your Grace’s hand.
Mowbray, the Bishop Scroop, Hastings, and all
Are brought to the correction of your law.
There is not now a rebel’s sword unsheathed
But peace puts forth her olive everywhere.
The manner how this action hath been borne
Here at more leisure may your Highness read
With every course in his particular.
WESTMORELAND
I wish your highness good health, and happy news beyond the report I have to deliver! Prince John sends his respects: Mowbray, the Archbishop, Hastings and the rest are under arrest. There are no more rebels anywhere; the olive branch of peace has been extended everywhere.
Here’s a letter explaining what happened. When you have time, you can read it and learn every detail.



KING
O Westmoreland, thou art a summer bird,
Which ever in the haunch of winter sings
The lifting up of day.
KING
Oh Westmoreland; you’re like a summer bird, which sings the dawn in as winter ends.
Enter HARCOURT
HARCOURT enters.
Here comes more news.
   Look, here’s more news.

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100

HARCOURT
From enemies heaven keep your Majesty,
And when they stand against you, may they fall
As those that I am come to tell you of.
The Earl Northumberland and the Lord Bardolph,
With a great power of English and of Scots,
Are by the shrieve of Yorkshire overthrown.
The manner and true order of the fight
This packet, please it you, contains at large.
HARCOURT
May heaven protect your highness from all enemies—and when they do rise up, may they fall just like the ones I’ve come to tell you about. The Earl of Northumberland and Lord Bardolph, with their mighty armies of Englishmen and Scotsmen, were defeated by the Sheriff of Yorkshire. This letter will tell you the details.



105
KING
And wherefore should these good news make me sick?
Will fortune never come with both hands full,
But write her fair words still in foulest letters?
She either gives a stomach and no food—
KING
Why am I sick at this good news? Why can’t life ever bring you things with their appropriate complements? Why is good news so often conveyed in ugly terms? Life either gives you hunger but no food—which is the

Act 4, Scene 3, Page 5

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110

Such are the poor, in health—or else a feast
And takes away the stomach—such are the rich,
That have abundance and enjoy it not.
I should rejoice now at this happy news,
And now my sight fails, and my brain is giddy.
O, me! Come near me, now I am much ill.
experience of poor, healthy people—or it gives you a feast with no appetite—which is how the rich live, who have wealth and abundance but cannot enjoy it. I should be celebrating this good news, and yet my eyesight is failing, and my brain is delirious. Oh God! Come to me, I’m very sick.

GLOUCESTER
Comfort, your Majesty.
GLOUCESTER
Take care, your highness!

CLARENCE
   O, my royal father!
CLARENCE
Oh, my royal father!

WESTMORELAND
My sovereign lord, cheer up yourself, look up.
WESTMORELAND
My lord, feel better; take courage.

115

WARWICK
Be patient, princes. You do know these fits
Are with his Highness very ordinary.
Stand from him, give him air. He’ll straight be well.
WARWICK
Wait a minute, princes. You know his highness has these episodes all the time. Move away from him. Give him air; he’ll be all right soon.



120
CLARENCE
No, no, he cannot long hold out these pangs.
Th' incessant care and labor of his mind
Hath wrought the mure that should confine it in
So thin that life looks through and will break out.
CLARENCE
No, no, he can’t survive these attacks much longer. His mind’s endless worry and concern have so shaken his body that it can barely hold together.




125
GLOUCESTER
The people fear me, for they do observe
Unfathered heirs and loathly births of nature.
The seasons change their manners, as the year
Had found some months asleep and leapt them over.
GLOUCESTER
The people are frightening me. They’ve seen terrible omens: children who seem to have supernatural fathers, and gruesomely deformed infants. The weather is in disarray, as if the calendar discovered some months were fast asleep, and decided to skip over them.




CLARENCE
The river hath thrice flowed, no ebb between,
And the old folk, time’s doting chronicles,
Say it did so a little time before
That our great-grandsire, Edward, sicked and died.
CLARENCE
The river has flooded three times, without receding between floods. The old people—those living history books—say that the last time this happened was when our great-grandfather, King Edward, fell ill and died.

130
WARWICK
Speak lower, princes, for the King recovers.
WARWICK
Speak more softly, princes: the King is recovering.

Act 4, Scene 3, Page 6

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GLOUCESTER
This apoplexy will certain be his end.
GLOUCESTER
These attacks will be the death of him.


KING
I pray you, take me up and bear me hence
Into some other chamber. Softly, pray.
KING
Please, carry me into another room. Quietly. Please.
They carry the KING to a bed.
They carry the KING to a bed.

135
Let there be no noise made, my gentle friends,
Unless some dull and favorable hand
Will whisper music to my weary spirit.
Please be silent, my friends, unless someone can play some restful, whispering music for my exhausted spirit.

WARWICK
Call for the music in the other room.
WARWICK
Call the musicians in from the other room.

KING
Set me the crown upon my pillow here.
KING
Put the crown here on my pillow.

CLARENCE
His eye is hollow, and he changes much.
CLARENCE
His eyes are sunken, and he seems very pale.

140
WARWICK
Less noise, less noise.
WARWICK
Less noise, less noise!
Enter PRINCE HENRY
PRINCE HENRY enters.

PRINCE HENRY
   Who saw the Duke of Clarence?
PRINCE HENRY
Has anybody seen the Duke of Clarence?

CLARENCE
I am here, brother, full of heaviness.
CLARENCE
I’m here, brother, full of sadness.


PRINCE HENRY
How now! Rain within doors, and none abroad?
How doth the King?
PRINCE HENRY
What’s going on? Raining inside while it’s dry outside? How’s the King?

GLOUCESTER
   Exceeding ill.
GLOUCESTER
Extremely sick.

PRINCE HENRY
Heard he the good news yet? Tell it him.
PRINCE HENRY
Has he heard the good news yet? Tell him.

145
GLOUCESTER
He altered much upon the hearing it.
GLOUCESTER
Yes, he heard it, and it affected him deeply.

Act 4, Scene 3, Page 7

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PRINCE HENRY
If he be sick with joy, he’ll recover without physic.
PRINCE HENRY
If he’s sick from joy, then he’ll get better without medicine.


WARWICK
Not so much noise, my lords.—Sweet Prince, speak low.
The King your father is disposed to sleep.
WARWICK
Not so loud, sirs. Prince, speak more quietly. Your father the King is trying to sleep.

CLARENCE
Let us withdraw into the other room.
CLARENCE
Let’s go into the other room.

150
WARWICK
Will ’t please your Grace to go along with us?
WARWICK
Will you come with us?

PRINCE HENRY
No, I will sit and watch here by the King.
PRINCE HENRY
No. I’ll stay here with the King.
Exeunt all but PRINCE HENRY
Everyone exits except PRINCE HENRY.



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Why doth the crown lie there upon his pillow,
Being so troublesome a bedfellow?
O polished perturbation, golden care,
That keep’st the ports of slumber open wide
To many a watchful night! sleep with it now;
Yet not so sound and half so deeply sweet
As he whose brow with homely biggen bound
Snores out the watch of night. O majesty,
When thou dost pinch thy bearer, thou dost sit
Like a rich armor worn in heat of day,
That scald’st with safety. By his gates of breath
There lies a downy feather which stirs not;
Did he suspire, that light and weightless down
Perforce must move. My gracious lord, my father,
This sleep is sound indeed. This is a sleep
That from this golden rigol hath divorced
So many English kings. Thy due from me
Is tears and heavy sorrows of the blood,
Which nature, love, and filial tenderness
Shall, O dear father, pay thee plenteously.
My due from thee is this imperial crown,
Which, as immediate as thy place and blood,
Why does the crown lie there on his pillow, when it’s such a troublesome bedfellow? Oh polished aggravation, golden anxiety! You keep the eyelids open wide, to face countless sleepless nights. You sleep with the crown now, father, but you don’t sleep as soundly, or half so deeply, as that man whose head is bound with nothing more than a cheap nightcap, who snores through the night. Oh, you crown! When you pinch the person wearing you, you’re like a great suit of armor worn on a hot day—you burn the person you’re protecting. There’s a feather near my father’s lips, and it’s not moving: if he were breathing, that light, weightless thing would move. My gracious lord! Father! This is a deep sleep indeed—this is a sleep that has removed the golden ring from the heads of many English kings. Father, I owe you tears and a deep grief, and my love, the bonds of family, and a son’s tender feelings will make sure that I pay you lavishly. Your debt to me is this kingly crown, which I am owed as your heir-apparent.

Act 4, Scene 3, Page 8

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175


Derives itself to me. (he puts the crown on his head) Lo,
   where it sits,
Which God shall guard. And put the world’s whole strength
Into one giant arm, it shall not force
This lineal honor from me. This from thee
Will I to mine leave, as ’tis left to me.
(he puts the crown on his head) Look, here it sits, and God will guard it. Even if all the strength in the world were gathered into a single, giant arm, it wouldn’t be able to force this inherited honor from me. I will leave this to my son as you’ve left it to me.
Exit PRINCE HENRY
PRINCE HENRY exits.

KING
(waking) Warwick! Gloucester! Clarence!
KING
(waking) Warwick! Gloucester! Clarence!
Enter WARWICK, GLOUCESTER, CLARENCE, and the rest
WARWICK, GLOUCESTER, CLARENCE, and the rest enter.

CLARENCE
   Doth the King call?
CLARENCE
Did you call, sir?

180
WARWICK
What would your Majesty? How fares your Grace?
WARWICK
What can we do for you, your highness? How are you feeling?

KING
Why did you leave me here alone, my lords?
KING
Why did you leave me alone, sirs?


CLARENCE
We left the Prince my brother here, my liege,
Who undertook to sit and watch by you.
CLARENCE
We left my brother, Prince Hal, here. He decided to sit with you.


185
KING
The Prince of Wales? Where is he? Let me see him.
He is not here.
KING
The Prince of Wales? Where is he? I want to see him. He’s not here.

WARWICK
This door is open. He is gone this way.
WARWICK
This door’s open. He went this way.

GLOUCESTER
He came not through the chamber where we stayed.
GLOUCESTER
He didn’t come through the room we were in.

KING
Where is the crown? Who took it from my pillow?
KING
Where’s the crown? Who took it off my pillow?

WARWICK
When we withdrew, my liege, we left it here.
WARWICK
When we left, sir, it was here.

190

KING
The Prince hath ta'en it hence. Go seek him out.
Is he so hasty that he doth suppose my sleep my death?
Find him, my Lord of Warwick. Chide him hither.
KING
The Prince has taken it. Go, find him. Is he in such a hurry that he thinks my sleep is my death? Find him, Lord Warwick. Rebuke him, and bring him here.

Act 4, Scene 3, Page 9

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Exit WARWICK
WARWICK exits.


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This part of his conjoins with my disease
And helps to end me. See, sons, what things you are,
How quickly nature falls into revolt
When gold becomes her object!
For this the foolish overcareful fathers
Have broke their sleep with thoughts,
Their brains with care, their bones with industry.
For this they have engrossèd and piled up
The canker’d heaps of strange-achievèd gold.
For this they have been thoughtful to invest
Their sons with arts and martial exercises—
When, like the bee, tolling from every flower
The virtuous sweets,
Our thighs packed with wax, our mouths with honey,
We bring it to the hive and, like the bees,
Are murdered for our pains. This bitter taste
Yield his engrossments to the ending father.
Henry’s actions join forces with my illness, and together they will kill me. Sons, look at what things you are. See how quickly blood bonds are broken, once money’s involved. This is what happens to foolish, overly concerned fathers who ruin their sleep with worry, burden their minds with anxiety, and break their bodies with hard work. This is what happens to fathers who amass vast amounts of money, earned in unsavory ways. This is what happens to fathers who have taken care to give their sons good educations, and train them in matters of war. Fathers are like bees, collecting sweet pollen from all the flowers in the world. We pack our thighs full of wax and our mouths full of honey, only to be killed when we return to the hive. This is the bitter fate of the dying father, no matter what he has accumulated in his life.
Enter WARWICK
WARWICK enters.
210
Now, where is he that will not stay so long
Till his friend sickness hath determined me?
Where is that impatient man who can’t even wait for his friend, sickness, to put an end to me?




215

WARWICK
My lord, I found the Prince in the next room,
Washing with kindly tears his gentle cheeks,
With such a deep demeanor in great sorrow
That tyranny, which never quaffed but blood,
Would, by beholding him, have washed his knife
With gentle eyedrops. He is coming hither.
WARWICK
Sir, I found the Prince in the next room, with tears flowing down his cheeks. He looked so sorrowful that a tyrant—who never drank anything but blood—would, upon seeing him, have washed the blood from his knife with tears. He’s on his way.

KING
But wherefore did he take away the crown?
KING
But why did he take away the crown?

Act 4, Scene 3, Page 10

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Enter PRINCE HENRY
PRINCE HENRY enters.

220
Lo where he comes.—Come hither to me, Harry.—
Depart the chamber. Leave us here alone.
Look, here he comes. Come here, Harry. (to the rest) Leave the room, and leave us here alone.
Exeunt all but the KING and PRINCE HENRY
Everyone leaves except the KING and PRINCE HENRY.

PRINCE HENRY
I never thought to hear you speak again.
PRINCE HENRY
I never thought I’d hear you speak again.




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245

KING
Thy wish was father, Harry, to that thought.
I stay too long by thee; I weary thee.
Dost thou so hunger for mine empty chair
That thou wilt needs invest thee with my honors
Before thy hour be ripe? O foolish youth,
Thou seek’st the greatness that will overwhelm thee.
Stay but a little, for my cloud of dignity
Is held from falling with so weak a wind
That it will quickly drop. My day is dim.
Thou hast stol'n that which after some few hours
Were thine without offense, and at my death
Thou hast sealed up my expectation.
Thy life did manifest thou loved’st me not,
And thou wilt have me die assured of it.
Thou hid’st a thousand daggers in thy thoughts,
Which thou hast whetted on thy stony heart
To stab at half an hour of my life.
What, canst thou not forbear me half an hour?
Then get thee gone and dig my grave thyself,
And bid the merry bells ring to thine ear
That thou art crownèd, not that I am dead.
Let all the tears that should bedew my hearse
Be drops of balm to sanctify thy head;
Only compound me with forgotten dust.
Give that which gave thee life unto the worms.
Pluck down my officers, break my decrees,
KING
You thought that because you wished it to be true. I live too long for you; you’re tired of me. Are you so desperate for my throne that you would take the honors of kingship before it’s your time? Oh you foolish youth! You long for power that will end up overwhelming you. Wait a little while. What power I have left is held together so weakly that the lightest breeze would blow it away: my life is fading.
You stole something from me that would freely have been yours in just a few hours. On my deathbed, you’ve confirmed all my expectations. All your life you showed that you didn’t love me, and now I will die certain of it. There are a thousand daggers in your thoughts, which you’ve sharpened on your stony heart with the hopes of stabbing me in the little time I have left. What? Couldn’t you endure me for half an hour? Then go and dig my grave yourself, and ring the bells to mark your coronation, not my death. Let all the tears that should be shed on my hearse be drops of holy water to bless your head.

Act 4, Scene 3, Page 11

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265

For now a time is come to mock at form.
Harry the Fifth is crowned. Up, vanity,
Down, royal state, all you sage counsillors, hence,
And to the English court assemble now,
From every region, apes of idleness.
Now, neighbor confines, purge you of your scum.
Have you a ruffian that will swear, drink, dance,
Revel the night, rob, murder, and commit
The oldest sins the newest kind of ways?
Be happy, he will trouble you no more.
England shall double gild his treble guilt.
England shall give him office, honor, might,
For the fifth Harry from curbed license plucks
The muzzle of restraint, and the wild dog
Shall flesh his tooth on every innocent.
O my poor kingdom, sick with civil blows!
When that my care could not withhold thy riots,
What wilt thou do when riot is thy care?
O, thou wilt be a wilderness again,
Peopled with wolves, thy old inhabitants.
Just mix me up with the forgotten dust, and give my body—which gave you life—to the worms. Fire my officers, undo my laws; for now the time has come to jeer at authority. Henry the Fifth is crowned: up with foolishness! Down with decorum! Be gone, all you wise advisers! Assemble lazy apes from every region, and make them the royal court of England! Now, you neighboring countries, get rid of your scum. Do you have a criminal who swears, drinks, dances, parties all night, robs, murders, and commits the oldest sins in the newest ways? Then be happy: that man won’t trouble you any longer. England will paint over his guilt with gold. England will give him a position, honor, power. Because Henry the Fifth has removed the barriers to anarchy: he’s taken the restraining muzzle off the dog of misbehavior, and that wild dog will sink his teeth into the flesh of every decent person. Oh my poor kingdom, sick from this civil war! When all my hard work couldn’t keep disorder at bay, what will you do when disorder becomes your caretaker? Oh, you’ll be a wilderness again, and all the wolves who lived here once will once again be your only citizens.



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280

PRINCE HENRY
O pardon me, my liege! But for my tears,
The moist impediments unto my speech,
I had forestalled this dear and deep rebuke
Ere you with grief had spoke and I had heard
The course of it so far. There is your crown,
And He that wears the crown immortally
Long guard it yours. If I affect it more
Than as your honor and as your renown,
Let me no more from this obedience rise,
Which my most inward true and duteous spirit
Teacheth this prostrate and exterior bending.
God witness with me, when I here came in
And found no course of breath within your Majesty,
How cold it struck my heart! If I do feign,
O, let me in my present wildness die
PRINCE HENRY
Oh forgive me, your highness. If it weren’t for these tears—which are impeding my speech—I would have stopped this harsh scolding before you, in your grief, had spoken and before I had listened so long. There’s your crown. May God, who wears the crown eternally, guard it as yours for a long time. If I care for the crown in any way other than as a symbol of your honor and reputation, let me never rise from this kneeling position. It is my deepest and most dutiful feelings which teach my body to bend and bow to you, causing my outer body to reflect my inner feelings. May God be my witness: when I came in here and saw that you weren’t breathing, my blood ran cold. If I’m lying,

Act 4, Scene 3, Page 12

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305
And never live to show th' incredulous world
The noble change that I have purposèd.
Coming to look on you, thinking you dead,
And dead almost, my liege, to think you were,
I spake unto this crown as having sense,
And thus upbraided it: “The care on thee depending
Hath fed upon the body of my father;
Therefore thou best of gold art worst of gold.
Other, less fine in carat, is more precious,
Preserving life in med'cine potable;
But thou, most fine, most honored, most renowned,
Hast eat thy bearer up.” Thus, my most royal liege,
Accusing it, I put it on my head
To try with it, as with an enemy
That had before my face murdered my father,
The quarrel of a true inheritor.
But if it did infect my blood with joy
Or swell my thoughts to any strain of pride,
If any rebel or vain spirit of mine
Did with the least affection of a welcome
Give entertainment to the might of it,
Let God forever keep it from my head
And make me as the poorest vassal is
That doth with awe and terror kneel to it.
may I die as the wild youth I was before, and never live to show the dubious world the transformation I have been planning.
Coming to see you, thinking you were dead—and being nearly dead myself, just thinking that you were—I spoke to this crown as though it were alive. I scolded it like this: “The worry you’ve caused has eaten my father alive. So you, the best piece of gold, are actually the worst piece of gold. Other gold, perhaps worth less, is more precious, since it at least brings us health when mixed in our drinks. But you—the best, the most honored, the most famous—have consumed the person wearing you.” And as I accused it, I put it on my head, to fight against it as an enemy who’d killed my father before my very eyes. It was the fight of a loyal child.
But may God keep it from me forever—making me like the poorest servant bowing down before it in awe and terror—if it in any way made me happy or arrogant, or if any part of me was the least bit pleased to welcome it and the power it brings.




310




315

KING
O my son,
God put it in thy mind to take it hence
That thou mightst win the more thy father’s love,
Pleading so wisely in excuse of it.
Come hither, Harry, sit thou by my bed
And hear, I think, the very latest counsel
That ever I shall breathe. God knows, my son,
By what bypaths and indirect crook’d ways
I met this crown, and I myself know well
How troublesome it sat upon my head.
To thee it shall descend with better quiet,
KING
Oh my son, God made you take it from me so that, in pleading your case so beautifully, you would make me love you more! Come here, Harry. Sit by my bed and listen to what I think will be the last advice I ever give. God knows the unusual paths and indirect, crooked ways that led me to this crown.
And I know very well how much anxiety it has caused as I’ve worn it. It will fall to you in bitter peace, with

Act 4, Scene 3, Page 13

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345



Better opinion, better confirmation,
For all the soil of the achievement goes
With me into the earth. It seemed in me
But as an honor snatched with boist'rous hand,
And I had many living to upbraid
My gain of it by their assistances,
Which daily grew to quarrel and to bloodshed,
Wounding supposèd peace. All these bold fears
Thou see’st with peril I have answerèd,
For all my reign hath been but as a scene
Acting that argument. And now my death
Changes the mood, for what in me was purchased
Falls upon thee in a more fairer sort.
So thou the garland wear’st successively.
Yet though thou stand’st more sure than I could do,
Thou art not firm enough, since griefs are green,
And all my friends, which thou must make thy friends,
Have but their stings and teeth newly ta'en out,
By whose fell working I was first advanced
And by whose power I well might lodge a fear
To be again displaced; which to avoid,
I cut them off and had a purpose now
To lead out many to the Holy Land,
Lest rest and lying still might make them look
Too near unto my state. Therefore, my Harry,
Be it thy course to busy giddy minds
With foreign quarrels; that action, hence borne out,
May waste the memory of the former days.
More would I, but my lungs are wasted so
That strength of speech is utterly denied me.
How I came by the crown, O God forgive,
And grant it may with thee in true peace live.
better support and stronger approval. The stain of its obtainment dies now, with me. On me, the crown seemed like an honor grabbed with a violent hand, and many people lived to remind me that they had helped me take it. Eventually, those daily reminders grew into war and bloodshed, doing damage to the peace. You can see how much pain it’s caused me as I’ve fought my foes. My entire reign has been like a play, in which we rehash that disagreement.
Now my death changes the show. What I bought, you will inherit. You’ll wear the crown by right of succession. But even though you have a firmer claim to the crown than I had, it’s not firm enough. Anger is still fresh, and my former friends—whom you must make into your friends—have only recently been disarmed. It was their power that first got me the crown, and I feared that same power could take me down. To avoid that, I defeated their rebellion, and planned to lead an army to the Holy Land. I thought that, with nothing to occupy themselves, they’d start eyeing me and my crown.
Therefore, my Harry, make it your policy to focus the distracted minds of the people with foreign wars. Military actions abroad will make people forget about troubling matters in the past. I’d say more, but my lungs are so worn out that I don’t have the strength to speak. God forgive me for how I came by the crown, and may he grant that you enjoy it in peace.

350
PRINCE HENRY
My gracious liege,
You won it, wore it, kept it, gave it me.
PRINCE HENRY
My gracious lord, you won it, wore it, kept it, then gave it to me. My possession of it must therefore be honest

Act 4, Scene 3, Page 14

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Then plain and right must my possession be,
Which I with more than with a common pain
'Gainst all the world will rightfully maintain.
and lawful. And I will work as hard as I can to defend this crown against any man.
Enter Lord John of LANCASTER
Lord John of LANCASTER enters.

355
KING
Look, look, here comes my John of Lancaster.
KING
Look, look, here comes my son, John of Lancaster.

LANCASTER
Health, peace, and happiness to my royal father.
LANCASTER
Health, peace, and happiness to my royal father!




360
KING
Thou bring’st me happiness and peace, son John,
But health, alack, with youthful wings is flown
From this bare withered trunk. Upon thy sight
My worldly business makes a period.
Where is my Lord of Warwick?
KING
You bring me happiness and peace, John. But health, unfortunately, has flown from this shrunken body. Now that I’ve seen you, I have nothing more to do in this world. Where is Lord Warwick?

PRINCE HENRY
My Lord of Warwick.
PRINCE HENRY
Lord Warwick!
Enter WARWICK and others
WARWICK and others enter.


KING
Doth any name particular belong
Unto the lodging where I first did swoon?
KING
Does the room I first collapsed in have a name?

365
WARWICK
'Tis called Jerusalem, my noble lord.
WARWICK
It’s called the Jerusalem Room, your highness.





370
KING
Laud be to God! Even there my life must end.
It hath been prophesied to me many years,
I should not die but in Jerusalem,
Which vainly I supposed the Holy Land.
But bear me to that chamber; there I’ll lie.
In that Jerusalem shall Harry die.
KING
Praise be to God! That’s where I must die. For years it’s been predicted that I would die in Jerusalem; I foolishly thought that meant the Holy Land. But carry me to that room, and there I’ll lie. In that Jerusalem will Harry die.
Exeunt
They exit.

Act 5, Scene 1

Original Text

Modern Text

Enter SHALLOW, FALSTAFF, PAGE, and BARDOLPH
SHALLOW, FALSTAFF, BARDOLPH, and the PAGE enter.


SHALLOW
By cock and pie, sir, you shall not away tonight.—What,
Davy, I say!
SHALLOW
By gum, sir, you will not leave tonight. Hey, Davy!

FALSTAFF
You must excuse me, Master Robert Shallow.
FALSTAFF
Please excuse me, Master Robert Shallow.


5
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!
SHALLOW
I will not excuse you. You will not be excused. Excuses will not be allowed. No excuse will do. You will not be excused. Hey, Davy!
Enter DAVY
DAVY enters.

DAVY
Here, sir.
DAVY
Here, sir.



10
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.
SHALLOW
Davy, Davy, Davy, Davy, let’s see, Davy, let’s see, Davy, let’s see. Oh yes, right: tell William the cook to come here. Sir John, you will not be excused.


DAVY
Marry, sir, thus: those precepts cannot be served. And again,
sir, shall we sow the hade land with wheat?
DAVY
Well sir, here’s the thing. Those warrants couldn’t be served. And once more, sir, should we plant wheat at the field’s edges?


SHALLOW
With red wheat, Davy. But for William cook, are there no
young pigeons?
SHALLOW
Plant red wheat, Davy. But as for William the cook—aren’t there any young pigeons?

15
DAVY
Yes, sir. Here is now the smith’s note for shoeing and plow
irons.
DAVY
Yes, sir. Here’s the bill from the blacksmith for horseshoes and plow blades.

Act 5, Scene 1, Page 2

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SHALLOW
Let it be cast and paid.—Sir John, you shall not be excused.
SHALLOW
Check the figures and then and pay it. Sir John, you will not be excused.



20
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 the other day at Hinckley Fair?
DAVY
Now, sir, we need some new chain for the bucket. And sir, do you plan to dock William’s pay for the wine he lost at the Hinckley fair?


SHALLOW
He 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.
SHALLOW
He’ll pay for that. Some pigeons, Davy; a couple of short-legged hens, a leg of lamb, and any fun little fancy dishes. Tell William the cook.

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


25
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.
SHALLOW
Yes, Davy. I’ll take good care of him. A friend at court is better than money in your pocket. Take good care of his men, Davy. They’re good-for-nothings, and they’ll bite you.


DAVY
No worse than they are back-bitten, sir, for they have
marvellous foul linen.
DAVY
No worse than they’re bitten, sir. Their clothes are full of lice.

SHALLOW
Well-conceited, Davy. About thy business, Davy.
SHALLOW
Good one, Davy. Get on with your work, Davy.

30
DAVY
I beseech you, sir, to countenance William Visor of Woncot
against Clement Perkes o' th' hill.
DAVY
Please, sir, rule in favor of William Visor of Woncot in his lawsuit against Clement Perkes of the hill.


SHALLOW
There is many complaints, Davy, against that Visor. That
Visor is an arrant knave, on my knowledge.
SHALLOW
Davy, there are a lot of suits against that Visor. That Visor is a good-for-nothing, as best I can tell.


35



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; an if I cannot once or twice in a
quarter bear out a knave against an honest man, I have
DAVY
I agree with your honor that he’s a good-for-nothing, but God forbid that a good-for-nothing should be denied a favor when his friend asks for one on his behalf. An honest man can speak for himself, but a good-for-nothing can’t. I’ve worked for you for eight years, sir. If I can’t get you to rule in favor of a good-

Act 5, Scene 1, Page 3

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40

a very little credit with your Worship. The knave is mine
honest friend, sir; therefore I beseech you let him be
countenanced.
for-nothing once in a while, then obviously you don’t think very much of me. That good-for-nothing is my good friend, sir. So I ask you, please: rule in his favor.

SHALLOW
Go to, I say he shall have no wrong. Look about, Davy.
SHALLOW
Stop now; I tell you he won’t be wronged. Now get going, Davy.
Exit DAVY
DAVY exits.

45
Where are you, Sir John? Come, come, come, off with your
boots.—Give me your hand, Master Bardolph.
Where are you, Sir John? Come, come, come. Take
your boots off. Let me shake your hand, Master
Bardolph.

BARDOLPH
I am glad to see your Worship.
BARDOLPH
I’m glad to see you, your honor.


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

FALSTAFF
I’ll follow you, good Master Robert Shallow.
FALSTAFF
I’ll be right behind you, Master Robert Shallow.
Exit SHALLOW
SHALLOW exits.
50
Bardolph, look to our horses.
Bardolph, get our horses ready.
Exeunt BARDOLPH and PAGE
BARDOLPH and the PAGE exit.




55




60




65
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 of 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 humor 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
If I were cut into pieces, I’d make four dozen bearded broomsticks like this Master Shallow. It’s amazing to see the similarity between his men’s dispositions and his own. They watch him and behave like foolish judges, and he, by associating with them, turns into a judge-like workman. Their spirits are so closely joined by their intimate involvement, they’re like a flock of wild geese that fly in formation. If I needed a favor from Judge Shallow, I would make his men think that I’m a close friend of his. If I needed something from his men, I would flatter Shallow by telling him that no one commands servants better than he does. One thing’s for sure: the behavior of a wise man and that of an idiot are contagious, like diseases. They spread from person to person, which is why people must be careful about

Act 5, Scene 1, Page 4

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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.
the company they keep. I’ll come up with enough material about this Shallow to keep Prince Hal laughing nonstop for a year. That’s how much time it takes for the current fashion to change six times, or for two lawsuits to be completed. He’ll laugh with no intermission. Oh, a lie told with a measure of truth—or a joke told with a serious face—will go far with a young fellow, who has never had his shoulders weighed down by old age or worries. Oh, he’ll laugh until his face looks like a wet coat that was hung poorly—it’ll be all wrinkled from laughter.

SHALLOW
(within) Sir John.
SHALLOW
(offstage) Sir John!

FALSTAFF
I come, Master Shallow; I come, Master Shallow.
FALSTAFF
Coming, Master Shallow! Coming!
Exit
He exits.

Act 5, Scene 2

Original Text

Modern Text

Enter WARWICK and the Lord CHIEF JUSTICE
WARWICK and the Lord CHIEF JUSTICE enter.

WARWICK
How now, my Lord Chief Justice, whither away?
WARWICK
What’s happening, my Lord Chief Justice? Where are you going?

CHIEF JUSTICE
How doth the King?
CHIEF JUSTICE
How’s the King doing?

WARWICK
Exceeding well. His cares are now all ended.
WARWICK
Very well. All his worries are ended now.

CHIEF JUSTICE
I hope, not dead.
CHIEF JUSTICE
Not dead, I hope.


5
WARWICK
   He’s walked the way of nature,
And to our purposes he lives no more.
WARWICK
He’s gone down nature’s path; for our purposes, he is no longer living.



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.
CHIEF JUSTICE
I wish his majesty had brought me with him. The work I did for him while he was alive makes me very vulnerable, now that he’s dead.

WARWICK
Indeed, I think the young King loves you not.
WARWICK
Indeed, I think the young King has no love for you.

10


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.
CHIEF JUSTICE
I know he doesn’t. I’m preparing myself to deal with whatever happens, which can’t be any worse than what I’ve imagined.
Enter LANCASTER, CLARENCE, GLOUCESTER, and others
LANCASTER, CLARENCE, GLOUCESTER, and others enter.


15


WARWICK
Here come the heavy issue of dead Harry.
O, that the living Harry had the temper
Of he the worst of these three gentlemen!
How many nobles then should hold their places
That must strike sail to spirits of vile sort!
WARWICK
Here come the heavy-hearted children of dead Harry. If only the living Harry had the character of the worst of these three young men. Then a lot of noblemen would remain secure, instead of having to step aside to make room for lowlifes.

Act 5, Scene 2, Page 2

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CHIEF JUSTICE
O God, I fear all will be overturned.
CHIEF JUSTICE
Oh God! I’m afraid everything will be turned upside-down.

20
LANCASTER
Good morrow, cousin Warwick, good morrow.
LANCASTER
Good morning, cousin Warwick, good morning.

GLOUCESTER AND CLARENCE
Good morrow, cousin.
GLOUCESTER AND CLARENCE
Good morning, cousin.

LANCASTER
We meet like men that had forgot to speak.
LANCASTER
We’re all like men who don’t remember how to speak.


WARWICK
We do remember, but our argument
Is all too heavy to admit much talk.
WARWICK
We remember how, but what we have to say is so sad that we cannot speak.

25
LANCASTER
Well, peace be with him that hath made us heavy.
LANCASTER
Well, peace be with the man who has made us sad.

CHIEF JUSTICE
Peace be with us, lest we be heavier.
CHIEF JUSTICE
Peace be with us, or else we’ll be even sadder!



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.
GLOUCESTER
Oh, my good lord, you’ve lost a friend, indeed. I’m sure you’re not borrowing that sorrowful face; it’s certainly your own.

30

LANCASTER
Though no man be assured what grace to find,
You stand in coldest expectation.
I am the sorrier; would ’twere otherwise.
LANCASTER
Even though no man can know what blessings will come his way, he must expect the worst. I am sorry; I wish it were otherwise.


CLARENCE
Well, you must now speak Sir John Falstaff fair,
Which swims against your stream of quality.
CLARENCE
Well, now you are only allowed to speak well of Sir John Falstaff, which goes against the nature of a man of your quality.

35




40
CHIEF JUSTICE
Sweet princes, what I did I did in honor,
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.
CHIEF JUSTICE
Sweet princes, what I did, I did honorably, impartially, and with a clear conscience. You won’t see me begging vilely for a pardon, which is sure to be withdrawn as soon as it is given. If truth and honest innocence don’t help me, then I’ll join my dead King and tell him who sent me.

Act 5, Scene 2, Page 3

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WARWICK
Here comes the Prince.
WARWICK
Here comes the Prince.
Enter PRINCE HENRY (now King Henry V), attended
PRINCE HENRY (now King Henry V) enters, with attendants.

CHIEF JUSTICE
Good morrow, and God save your Majesty.
CHIEF JUSTICE
Good morning, and God save your majesty!


45




50




55




60
PRINCE HENRY
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.
PRINCE HENRY
This new and gorgeous robe of majesty doesn’t fit me as comfortably as you think. Brothers, your sadness is mixed with fear. This is the English court, not the Turkish one. I’m not Amurath, who had his brothers killed when he inherited his father King Amurath’s crown; I’m a Harry, following another Harry. But be sad, brothers, because truly, it suits you. You look so regal in your sorrow that I will solemnly put it on as well, and wear it in my heart. Be sad, but don’t let it be anything more than a burden we all share jointly. I want you to rest assured that as far as I’m concerned, I’ll be both your father and your brother now. Just trust me with your love, and you can trust me to care for you. Keep weeping for Harry, who is dead; I will, as well. But one Harry still lives, and he will convert those tears one by one into hours of happiness.

PRINCES
We hope no otherwise from your Majesty.
PRINCES
We hope that’s exactly what you’ll do.



PRINCE HENRY
You all look strangely on me. (to the CHIEF JUSTICE) And you
   most.
You are, I think, assured I love you not.
PRINCE HENRY
You’re all looking at me strangely. (to the CHIEF JUSTICE) You, most of all. I think you’re certain that I don’t love you.

65
CHIEF JUSTICE
I am assured, if I be measured rightly,
Your Majesty hath no just cause to hate me.
CHIEF JUSTICE
I’m certain that, if my actions are fairly considered, your majesty will find no just reason to hate me.

Act 5, Scene 2, Page 4

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70

PRINCE HENRY
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?
PRINCE HENRY
No? How can a great prince like me forget the terrible wrongs you did me? What were you thinking, to scold, punish, and violently imprison the heir to the English throne? Was this nothing? Should this be dipped in the river of forgetfulness and simply ignored?



75




80




85




90




95



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 pleasèd 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 judgment,
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 nought?
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
CHIEF JUSTICE
I acted with the authority of your father, whose power was vested in me. And when it came to the law—which I was busy enforcing, for the good of the country—you chose to ignore my rank, and the majesty and power of law and justice which I bore as a representative of the King. You struck me in the head, the very location of my judgment. With that action, you committed a crime against your father’s own laws. So I did what my power demanded, and imprisoned you. If that was wrong, then—now that you wear the crown—I hope you’ll someday be satisfied with a son who mocks your laws, who scorns the judges who rule in your authority, who disrupts the course of law, and blunts the swords that guard your personal peace and safety.
No, even worse than that: a son who disrespects your deputies, and the officers you appoint in your name. Question yourself, and imagine being in your father’s position. Be a father, and imagine a son. Listen to your own dignity being profaned. Watch as your most solemn laws are laughed at so lightly. Behold yourself being so disdained by a son. And then imagine that I take your side, and that in your name I gently silence your son. Soberly consider this, and then pronounce my sentence. As king, tell me

Act 5, Scene 2, Page 5

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100
What I have done that misbecame my place,
My person, or my liege’s sovereignty.
what I have done that was so unseemly for my station, myself, or my king’s authority.




105




110




115




120




125




130



PRINCE HENRY
You are right, justice, and you weigh this well.
Therefore still bear the balance and the sword.
And I do wish your honors 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' unstainèd 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-practiced 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 spirit 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,
PRINCE HENRY
You’re right, Chief Justice, and you have considered this well. Therefore, keep your position as judge and enforcer. I hope that your honors increase, and that you live to see a son of mine offend and then obey you, as I have. I will live to speak my father’s words: “I am a happy man, to have a man brave enough to punish my own son; and I’m no less happy to have a son that would surrender his greatness, and put himself in the hands of the law.”
You imprisoned me, and for that I charge you to continue in my service, with this reminder: you must always be as courageous, just, and impartial as you were with me. Shake my hand. You’ll be like a father to me, and I will say whatever it is you whisper in my ear. I will bow to you, and keep myself humble in the face of your wisdom and experience. And princes, believe me, please: my father lies wild in his grave, for he took my recklessness with him when he died. His sober spirit survives in me, and I will flout the world’s expectations. I will prove their prophecies false, and flush out the rotten opinions of those who judged me based on what I once seemed to be.
My behavior, the tide of my blood, used to flow proudly and vainly. But now, it ebbs and turns back toward the sea, where it will mingle with the ocean’s majesty and flow back through my body with formal dignity. Now I will assemble my parliament, and choose such noble officers and advisors that our great country will be able to march alongside the best governed nations. We’ll become acquainted and familiar

Act 5, Scene 2, Page 6

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135




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145
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.
with the states of war, peace, or both at once; in this, Chief Justice, my new father, you will be my closest advisor.
Once my coronation has been completed, I will, as I said before, summon all the nobility. And if God endorses my good intentions, no prince or lord will have reason to say that he wishes God would shorten my happy life by even a single day.
Exeunt
They exit.

Act 5, Scene 3

Original Text

Modern Text

Enter FALSTAFF, SHALLOW, SILENCE, DAVY, BARDOLPH, and the PAGE
FALSTAFF, SHALLOW, SILENCE, DAVY, BARDOLPH, and the PAGE enter.




SHALLOW
Nay, you shall see my orchard, where, in an arbor, 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.
SHALLOW
No, you’re going to see my orchard. We’ll sit in an arbor and eat some of the pippin apples I cross-bred last season, along with some caraway seeds and so on. Come on, Silence. Then we’ll go to bed.

5
FALSTAFF
Fore God, you have here a goodly dwelling and a rich.
FALSTAFF
I swear, you have a good-looking place here, and it’s fancy.



SHALLOW
Barren, barren, barren, beggars all, beggars all, Sir John.
Marry, good air.—Spread, Davy, spread, Davy. Well said,
Davy.
SHALLOW
Cheap, cheap, cheap. We’re broke, broke, Sir John. But one thing we do have is good air. Set the table, Davy, set the table. Good job, Davy.


10
FALSTAFF
This Davy serves you for good uses. He is your servingman
and your husband.
FALSTAFF
This Davy does a lot for you. He’s your right-hand man as well as your steward.



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.
SHALLOW
A good servant, a very good servant, Sir John. By God, I had too much wine with dinner. A good servant. Now sit down, sit down. Come on, cousin.


15




20
SILENCE
Ah, sirrah, quoth he, we shall
Do nothing but eat and make good cheer,
(sings) 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.
SILENCE
Ah, Sirrah, he said. We will:
Do nothing but eat and celebrate,
(sings) And praise God for this happy year,
When flesh is cheap but women are costly,
And lusty men roam here and there,
So merrily,
And always so merrily.


FALSTAFF
There’s a merry heart!—Good Master Silence, I’ll give you
a health for that anon.
FALSTAFF
That’s a merry heart! Master Silence, I’ll drink a toast to you in a minute.

Act 5, Scene 3, Page 2

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SHALLOW
Give Master Bardolph some wine, Davy.
SHALLOW
Davy, get Master Bardolph some wine.


25

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.
DAVY
Sit, kind sir; I’ll be with you in a second. Very kind sir, please sit. Here’s to you! What we lack in food, we make up for in drink. You must endure it; good intentions are what count.
Exit DAVY
DAVY exits.


SHALLOW
Be merry, Master Bardolph. —And, my little soldier there,
be merry.
SHALLOW
Enjoy yourself, Master Bardolph, and you, my little soldier, enjoy yourself.

30



SILENCE
(sings) Be merry, be merry, my wife has all,
For women are shrews, both short and tall.
'Tis merry in hall when beards wag all,
And welcome merry Shrovetide.
Be merry, be merry.
SILENCE
(sings) Enjoy, enjoy! My wife has it all,
Women are shrews, whether they’re short or they’re tall,
It’s a merry party when men laugh and joke,
So let’s enjoy ourselves this Shrovetide,
Enjoy, enjoy!

35
FALSTAFF
I did not think Master Silence had been a man of this mettle.
FALSTAFF
I didn’t think Master Silence had this in him.

SILENCE
Who, I? I have been merry twice and once ere now.
SILENCE
Who, me? I’ve let loose once or twice in my life.
Enter DAVY
DAVY enters.

DAVY
(to BARDOLPH) There’s a dish of leather-coats for you.
DAVY
(to BARDOLPH) Here’s a dish of red apples for you.

SHALLOW
Davy!
SHALLOW
Davy!


40
DAVY
Your Worship, I’ll be with you straight.—
(to BARDOLPH) A cup of wine, sir?
DAVY
Yes, sir! I’ll be with you in a second. (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.
SILENCE
(sings) A cup of wine that’s fresh and fine,
And drink to you, darling mine,
And a happy heart lives long!

Act 5, Scene 3, Page 3

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FALSTAFF
Well said, Master Silence.
FALSTAFF
Well said, Master Silence.

45
SILENCE
And we shall be merry; now comes in the sweet o' th' night.
SILENCE
And we will enjoy ourselves. Now’s the best time of night.

FALSTAFF
Health and long life to you, Master Silence.
FALSTAFF
Here’s to your health and long life, Master Silence.


SILENCE
(sings) Fill the cup, and let it come,
I’ll pledge you a mile to th' bottom.
SILENCE
(sings) Fill the cup, and pass it here,
I’ll drink it to the bottom, even if it’s a mile down.



50

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.
SHALLOW
Welcome, honest Master Bardolph. If you want something and don’t ask for it, that’s your tough luck. (to the PAGE) Welcome, my little tiny thief, welcome indeed. I’ll drink to Master Bardolph, and to all the good sports around London.

DAVY
I hope to see London once ere I die.
DAVY
I hope to see London once before I die.

BARDOLPH
An I might see you there, Davy!
BARDOLPH
If I see you there, Davy—

55
SHALLOW
By the Mass, you’ll crack a quart together, ha, will you not,
Master Bardolph?
SHALLOW
By God, you’ll break open a quart bottle together, ha! Won’t you, Master Bardolph?

BARDOLPH
Yea, sir, in a pottle-pot.
BARDOLPH
Yessir, in a two-quart glass.


SHALLOW
By God’s liggens, I thank thee. The knave will stick by thee,
I can assure thee that. He will not out, he. 'Tis true bred!
SHALLOW
By God’s fingers, I thank you. This rogue will stick with you, I promise you that. He won’t fail, he’s true blue.

60
BARDOLPH
And I’ll stick by him, sir.
BARDOLPH
And I’ll stick with him, sir.



SHALLOW
Why, there spoke a king. Lack nothing, be merry.
One knocks at the door within
Look who’s at door there, ho. Who knocks?
SHALLOW
Spoken like a king. Take whatever you want: enjoy yourselves!
Knocking is heard offstage.
Hey, see who’s at the door there! Who’s knocking?
Exit DAVY
DAVY exits.

Act 5, Scene 3, Page 4

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FALSTAFF
(to SILENCE) Why, now you have done me right.
FALSTAFF
(to SILENCE) You’re really keeping up with me!

65


SILENCE
(sings) Do me right,
And dub me knight,
Samingo.
Is ’t not so?
SILENCE
(sings) Keep up with me,
Then dub me a knight!
Right?

FALSTAFF
'Tis so.
FALSTAFF
Right.

70
SILENCE
Is ’t so? Why then, say an old man can do somewhat.
SILENCE
Right? Then you’ve got to admit that an old man can do some things.
Enter DAVY
DAVY returns.


DAVY
An ’t please your Worship, there’s one Pistol come from the
court with news.
DAVY
Sir, if I may say so, there’s someone named Pistol here from the royal court. He’s got news.

FALSTAFF
From the court? Let him come in.
FALSTAFF
From the royal court? Let him in.
Enter PISTOL
PISTOL enters.
How now, Pistol?
What’s up, Pistol!

75
PISTOL
Sir John, God save you.
PISTOL
God save you, Sir John.

FALSTAFF
What wind blew you hither, Pistol?
FALSTAFF
What wind blew you here, 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.
PISTOL
Not the evil wind that blows no one toward any good. Sweet knight, you are now one of the hugest men in the country.

Act 5, Scene 3, Page 5

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SILENCE
By 'r Lady, I think he be, but Goodman Puff of Barson.
SILENCE
I swear, I think he is—except for the good fellow Puff, from Barson.


80



PISTOL
Puff?
Puff in 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.
PISTOL
Puff? Puff in your face, you degenerate coward! Sir John, I’m your Pistol and your friend, and I rode at full tilt to find you here. I bring you reports, and good luck, and golden times, and happy, valuable news.

85
FALSTAFF
I pray thee now, deliver them like a man of this world.
FALSTAFF
Then please, deliver this news like a human being who lives in this world.


PISTOL
A foutre for the world and worldlings base!
I speak of Africa and golden joys.
PISTOL
Damn this world, and the vile little people who live in it! I’m talking about Africa, and its golden joys.


FALSTAFF
O base Assyrian knight, what is thy news?
Let King Cophetua know the truth thereof.
FALSTAFF
Oh, you vulgar Assyrian knight, what is your news? Convey to King Cophetua the story therein.

90
SILENCE
(sings) And Robin Hood, Scarlet, and John.
SILENCE



PISTOL
Shall dunghill curs confront the Helicons,
And shall good news be baffled?
Then, Pistol, lay thy head in Furies' lap.
PISTOL
Will junkyard dogs attack the Muses, goddesses of poetry? Will my good news be thwarted this way? Then Pistol, go ahead and plead with the Furies, the goddesses of revenge.

SILENCE
Honest gentleman, I know not your breeding.
SILENCE
Honest gentleman, I don’t know what kind of family you’re from.

95
PISTOL
Why then, lament therefor.
PISTOL
That’s your loss.

Act 5, Scene 3, Page 6

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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
to conceal them. I am, sir, under the King in some authority.
SHALLOW
Forgive me saying so, sir, but if you’ve got news from the court, then you have only two choices: you can either tell it or not tell it. I have some authority from the King, you know.

PISTOL
Under which king, besonian? Speak or die.
PISTOL
From which king, you beggar? Speak, or die.

100
SHALLOW
Under King Harry.
SHALLOW
For King Henry.

PISTOL
Harry the Fourth, or Fifth?
PISTOL
Henry the Fourth, or Fifth?

SHALLOW
Harry the Fourth.
SHALLOW
Henry the Fourth.



105


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 (he makes an obscene gesture) and
   fig me, like
The bragging Spaniard.
PISTOL
Then screw your position! Sir John, your tender little lamb is now the king. Henry the Fifth’s the man, and I speak the truth. When Pistol tells a lie, do this (he makes an obscene gesture) and tell me to go screw myself, like some crazy Spaniard.

FALSTAFF
What, is the old king dead?
FALSTAFF
What? Is the old King dead?

PISTOL
As nail in door. The things I speak are just.
PISTOL
As a doornail: these things I say are true.

110

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.
FALSTAFF
Get going, Bardolph! Saddle up my horse. Master Robert Shallow, pick whatever job you want in the whole country: it’s yours. Pistol, I’ll pile honors on you.

BARDOLPH
O joyful day! I would not take a knighthood for my fortune.
BARDOLPH
Oh happy day! I wouldn’t even trade a knighthood for my new, good fortune.

PISTOL
What, I do bring good news!
PISTOL
There you go! I brought good news!

115
FALSTAFF
Carry Master Silence to bed.—Master Shallow, my Lord
Shallow, be what thou wilt. I am Fortune’s steward. Get on
FALSTAFF
Carry Master Silence to bed. Master Shallow—Lord Shallow—call yourself whatever you want. I’m in

Act 5, Scene 3, Page 7

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thy boots. We’ll ride all night.—O sweet Pistol!—Away,
Bardolph!
charge of all the luck in the world! Get your boots on. We’ll ride through the night. Oh sweet Pistol! Get going, Bardolph!
Exit BARDOLPH
BARDOLPH exits.

120



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, tell me more, and help me think of something good we can do for you. Boots, boots, Master Shallow! I know the young King is dying to see me. Let’s just take anybody’s horses; I rule the laws of England now! Blessed are those who have been my friends, and watch out, Lord Chief Justice!

125

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.
PISTOL
May vultures eat out his lungs, too! You know the old saying, “What happened to the life I used to lead?” Well, they’re here; welcome to these pleasant days.
Exeunt
They exit.

Act 5, Scene 4

Original Text

Modern Text

Enter BEADLES, dragging in MISTRESS QUICKLY and DOLL TEARSHEET
BEADLES enter, dragging DOLL TEARSHEET and MISTRESS QUICKLY.



MISTRESS QUICKLY
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.
MISTRESS QUICKLY
No, you horrible rogue! I wish to God I were dead, so I could have you hanged. You dislocated my shoulder!


5
FIRST BEADLE
The Constables have delivered her over to me, and she shall
have whipping cheer enough, I warrant her. There hath been
a man or two lately killed about her.
FIRST BEADLE
The street cops handed her over to me, and she’ll be whipped through and through, I promise. She’s been involved in a couple of murders.




10
DOLL TEARSHEET
Nut-hook, nut-hook, you lie! Come on, I ’ll tell thee what,
thou damned tripe-visaged rascal: an the child I now go with
do miscarry, thou wert better thou hadst struck thy mother,
thou paper-faced villain.
DOLL TEARSHEET
Pig, Pig! You lie! Come on! I’ll tell you what, you damned flabby-faced moron: if I have a miscarriage now, you’ll wish you’d hit your own mother, you pasty-faced villain!



MISTRESS QUICKLY
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 might miscarry.
MISTRESS QUICKLY
Oh God, I wish Sir John would come! He’d make somebody bleed for this. I pray to God that she has a miscarriage!


15
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.
FIRST BEADLE
Well, if she does, you’ll have twelve cushions on your couch again. You have only eleven now, since she’s wearing one of them under her dress. I order both of you to come with me: the man that you two and Pistol beat up is dead.




20
DOLL TEARSHEET
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.
DOLL TEARSHEET
I’ll tell you what, you stick-figure; I’ll have you beaten soundly for this. You blue-coated rogue, you filthy, starving correctioner! If you aren’t walloped for this, I’ll swear off skirts.

FIRST BEADLE
Come, come, you she knight-errant, come.
FIRST BEADLE
Come on, come on, you little night sinner, come on.

Act 5, Scene 4, Page 2

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MISTRESS QUICKLY
O God, that right should thus overcome might! Well, of
sufferance comes ease.
MISTRESS QUICKLY
Oh God! I can’t believe that right is overcoming might! Well, challenges build character.

DOLL TEARSHEET
Come, you rogue, come, bring me to a justice.
DOLL TEARSHEET
Come on, you bastard, come on. Bring me to a judge.

25
MISTRESS QUICKLY
Ay, come, you starved bloodhound.
MISTRESS QUICKLY
Yeah, come on, you starved dog.

DOLL TEARSHEET
Goodman Death, Goodman Bones!
DOLL TEARSHEET
Master Death! Master Bones!

MISTRESS QUICKLY
Thou atomy, thou!
MISTRESS QUICKLY
You skeleton, you!

DOLL TEARSHEET
Come, you thin thing, come, you rascal.
DOLL TEARSHEET
Come on, you thin thing; come on, you lean deer!

FIRST BEADLE
Very well.
FIRST BEADLE
Very well.
Exeunt
They exit.

Act 5, Scene 5

Original Text

Modern Text

Enter two GROOMS, strewing rushes
Two GROOMS enter, strewing rushes to cover the floors.

FIRST GROOM
More rushes, more rushes.
FIRST GROOM
More rushes; more rushes.

SECOND GROOM
The trumpets have sounded twice.
SECOND GROOM
The trumpets have blown twice.


FIRST GROOM
'Twill be two o'clock ere they come from the coronation.
Dispatch, dispatch.
FIRST GROOM
It’ll be two o'clock before they arrive from the coronation. Hurry, hurry.
Exeunt
They exit.
Enter FALSTAFF, SHALLOW, PISTOL, BARDOLPH, and PAGE
FALSTAFF, SHALLOW, PISTOL, BARDOLPH, and the PAGE enter.

5

FALSTAFF
Stand here by me, Master Robert Shallow. I will make the
King do you grace. I will leer upon him as he comes by, and
do but mark the countenance that he will give me.
FALSTAFF
Stand here near me, Master Robert Shallow. I’ll make the King do good things for you: I’ll throw him a look as he passes by. Just watch the face he’ll make at me.

PISTOL
God bless thy lungs, good knight!
PISTOL
God bless your lungs, good knight.


10


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.
FALSTAFF
Come here, Pistol. Stand behind me. (to SHALLOW) Oh, if I’d had time to make new clothes I would have spent the thousand pounds I borrowed from you. But it doesn’t matter. These poor clothes are better; it shows how desperate I was to see him.

SHALLOW
It doth so.
SHALLOW
It does indeed.

15
FALSTAFF
It shows my earnestness of affection—
FALSTAFF
It shows how sincerely I love him—

SHALLOW
It doth so.
SHALLOW
It does indeed.

FALSTAFF
My devotion—
FALSTAFF
My devotion—

Act 5, Scene 5, Page 2

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SHALLOW
It doth, it doth, it doth.
SHALLOW
It does, it does, it does.


20
FALSTAFF
As it were, to ride day and night, and not to deliberate, not
to remember, not to have patience to shift me—
FALSTAFF
In a word, to ride all night; not to stop and think, not to dawdle, not to take the time to change my clothes—

SHALLOW
It is best, certain.
SHALLOW
It is best, no doubt about it.




25
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.
FALSTAFF
Standing here filthy from traveling, and sweating with my desire to see him; thinking of nothing else, disregarding everything, as if the only thing in the world that mattered was seeing him.


PISTOL
'Tis semper idem, for obsque hoc nihil est;
’tis all in every part.
PISTOL
That’s how it is. Nothing else matters. Semper idem. Obsque hoc nihil est.

SHALLOW
'Tis so indeed.
SHALLOW
That’s exactly right.


30



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 nought
but truth.
PISTOL
Knight, I’ll fire up your noble liver and make you enraged. Doll, the goddess of your thoughts, is imprisoned in a horrible jail, tossed there by a heartless and filthy hand. Stoke up dark revenge from your deepest belly and set loose the serpents of hell. Doll is in. Pistol speaks nothing but the truth.

35
FALSTAFF
I will deliver her.
FALSTAFF
I’ll set her free.
Shouts within, and the trumpets sound
Shouts are heard offstage. Trumpets play.

PISTOL
There roared the sea, and trumpet-clangor sounds.
PISTOL
That was the roar of the sea. The clanging trumpet sounds!

Act 5, Scene 5, Page 3

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Enter PRINCE HENRY and his train, the Lord CHIEF JUSTICE among them
PRINCE HENRY enters with a procession of attendants, including the CHIEF JUSTICE.

FALSTAFF
God save thy Grace, King Hal, my royal Hal.
FALSTAFF
God save your grace, King Hal! My royal Hal!

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

FALSTAFF
God save thee, my sweet boy!
FALSTAFF
God save you, my sweet boy!

40
KING
My Lord Chief Justice, speak to that vain man.
PRINCE HENRY
My Lord Chief Justice, go speak to that arrogant man.


CHIEF JUSTICE
(to FALSTAFF) Have you your wits? Know you what ’tis to
   speak?
CHIEF JUSTICE
(to FALSTAFF) Have you lost your mind? Do you know what you’re doing, talking like that?

FALSTAFF
My King, my Jove, I speak to thee, my heart!
FALSTAFF
My King! My God! I’m talking to you, my heart!



45




50




55




60
KING
I know thee not, old man. Fall to thy prayers.
How ill white hairs become a fool and jester.
I have long dreamt 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,
KING
I know you not, old man. Get down on your knees and pray, for white hair doesn’t sit well on a fool and a clown. I have dreamed about such a man for a long time: a man so swollen with excess, so old and so obscene. But now that I have awakened, I despise that dream. Let your body lessen, and your manners increase; leave behind your overindulgence, and know that the grave gapes three times as wide for you than any other man. Don’t answer me with a foolish joke. Do not assume that I am what I was; for God knows, I have turned my back on my former self, and I will do the same to those who were my companions. When you hear that I am as I was, then come to me, and you will once again be what you were: the teacher and nurse to my wild, riotous ways.
Until then, I banish you, on pain of death, as I have done to the other men who once misled me. Do not

Act 5, Scene 5, Page 4

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65



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 CHIEF JUSTICE) Be it your charge,
   my lord,
To see performed the tenor of my word.—
Set on.
come within ten miles of me. I’ll grant you a modest allowance to live on, so that poverty will not lead you into evil. When I hear that you have reformed your ways, I will promote you as you deserve. (to CHIEF JUSTICE) It’s your job to see this order carried out. Let’s go.
Exeunt PRINCE HENRY, the CHIEF JUSTICE, and the attendants.
PRINCE HENRY, the CHIEF JUSTICE, and the attendants exit.

FALSTAFF
Master Shallow, I owe you a thousand pound.
FALSTAFF
Master Shallow, I owe you a thousand pounds.

70
SHALLOW
Yea, marry, Sir John, which I beseech you to let me have
home with me.
SHALLOW
Yes, indeed, Sir John. And I’d like to take it home with me.




75
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.
FALSTAFF
That can’t happen, Master Shallow. Don’t let this upset you; I’ll get a private invitation to see him. Look, he has to appear this way to the world. Don’t worry about your good fortunes: I’m still the man who will make you great.



SHALLOW
I cannot well perceive how, unless you should give me your
doublet and stuff me out with straw. I beseech you, good Sir
John, let me have five hundred of my thousand.
SHALLOW
I don’t know how you’re going to do that, unless you give me your jacket and fill me out with stuffing. Please, Sir John, let me have five hundred of my thousand.


80
FALSTAFF
Sir, I will be as good as my word. This that you heard was
but a color.
FALSTAFF
Sir, I’m as good as my word. What you heard here a minute ago was just a color; it was a pretense.

SHALLOW
A color that I fear you will die in, Sir John.
SHALLOW
A color that I fear you’ll be buried in, Sir John.


FALSTAFF
Fear no colors. Go with me to dinner.—Come, Lieutenant
Pistol.—Come, Bardolph.—I shall be sent for soon at night.
FALSTAFF
Stop worrying about colors: come to lunch with me. Come, Lieutenant Pistol. Come, Bardolph. He’ll call for me tonight.

Act 5, Scene 5, Page 5

Original Text

Modern Text

Enter the Lord CHIEF JUSTICE and Prince John of LANCASTER; officers with them
The Lord CHIEF JUSTICE, Prince John of LANCASTER, and officers enter.


85
CHIEF JUSTICE
Go, carry Sir John Falstaff to the Fleet.
Take all his company along with him.
CHIEF JUSTICE
Go, take Sir John Falstaff away to jail, and take all his companions with him.

FALSTAFF
My lord, my lord—
FALSTAFF
My lord, my lord—


CHIEF JUSTICE
I cannot now speak. I will hear you soon.—
Take them away.
CHIEF JUSTICE
I can’t talk now. I’ll listen to you later. Take them away.

PISTOL
Si fortune me tormenta, spero me contenta.
PISTOL
Exeunt all but Prince John of LANCASTER andthe CHIEF JUSTICE
Everyone exits except John of LANCASTER and the CHIEF JUSTICE.

90



LANCASTER
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.
LANCASTER
The King’s fair dealings please me. He wants to ensure that his old companions are provided for, but he banishes them until they can behave more properly and presentably.

95
CHIEF JUSTICE
And so they are.
CHIEF JUSTICE
That they are.

LANCASTER
The King hath called his parliament, my lord.
LANCASTER
The King’s assembled his parliament, sir.

CHIEF JUSTICE
He hath.
CHIEF JUSTICE
He has.



100

LANCASTER
I will lay odds that, ere this year expire,
We bear our civil swords and native fire
As far as France: I beard a bird so sing,
Whose music, to my thinking, pleased the King.
Come, will you hence?
LANCASTER
I’ll bet that, before the year ends, we’ll launch an invasion of France. I heard a little bird singing about it, and I think the music pleased the King. Come, will you leave with me?
Exeunt
They exit.

Act 5, Scene 5, Page 6

Original Text

Modern Text

Enter the EPILOGUE.
The EPILOGUE enters.


105




110




115




120




125




130

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 before 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
Katherine of France, where, for anything I know, Falstaff
shall die of a sweat, unless already he be killed with your
hard opinions; for Oldcastle died a martyr, and this is not
the man. My tongue is weary; when my legs are too, I will
bid you good night.
First, I’ll tell you what I’m afraid of. Then, I’ll bow, and finally, I’ll make a speech. I fear that this play displeased you; I bow to you out of duty; and finally, I make this speech to ask you for forgiveness. If you’re expecting a good speech now, then I’m in trouble. For I wrote the words I’m about to say, and I’m sure that what I’m about to say will end up getting me in trouble. But I’ll get to the point, and thus I’ll get to the danger. You should know—as you seem to—that I recently came on this stage at the end of some other lousy play, to ask you to be patient and to promise you a better play the next time. I had intended to pay you back for that play with this one. If you didn’t like this play, then—like a businessman who has gambled on a risky venture—I am bankrupt; and you, my sweet creditors, are out of luck. I promised you I would be here, and here I stand to submit myself to your mercy. Give me some mercy and I’ll promise to pay you back again another time. That’s how debtors do it: they always promise to repay.
If my talking can’t convince you to let me off the hook, then would you like me to dance? And yet, that would be a cheap payment, to dance myself out of debt. But a person with a good conscience will always seek to pay his debts, and I would do the same. All the women here have forgiven me: if the men won’t, then the men don’t agree with the women, which has never happened in a theater audience before.
Just one more thing, if you don’t mind. If fatty meat hasn’t clogged you up yet, our playwright will continue the story with Sir John in it, and entertain you with the beautiful Princess Katharine of France. And speaking of France, as far as I know, Falstaff will die there of the sweating disease—unless, that is, he’s already been killed by your low opinions of him. Oldcastle died a martyr, and this is not him. My mouth is tired; when my legs are, too, I’ll say goodnight and take a bow.