The First Part of Henry IV:

Act 3, Scene 3


           Enter FALSTAFF and BARDOLPH.

      FALSTAFF
  1   Bardolph, am I not fallen away vilely since this last action?
  2   do I not bate? do I not dwindle? Why my skin hangs
  3   about me like an like an old lady's loose gown; I
  4   am withered like an old apple-john. Well, I'll repent,
  5   and that suddenly, while I am in some liking; I
  6   shall be out of heart shortly, and then I shall have
  7   no strength to repent. An I have not forgotten what
  8   the inside of a church is made of, I am a peppercorn,
  9   a brewer's horse: the inside of a church! Company,
 10   villanous company, hath been the spoil of me.

      BARDOLPH
 11   Sir John, you are so fretful, you cannot live long.

      FALSTAFF
 12   Why, there is it: come sing me a bawdy song;
 13   make me merry. I was as virtuously given as a
 14   gentleman need to be; virtuous enough; swore
 15   little; diced not above seven times a week; went
 16   to a bawdy-house once in a quarter—of an hour;
 17   paid money that I borrowed, three of four
 18   times; lived well and in good compass: and
 19   now I live out of all order, out of all
 20   compass.

      BARDOLPH
 21   Why, you are so fat, Sir John, that you
 22   must needs be out of all compass, out
 23   of all reasonable compass, Sir John.

      FALSTAFF
 24   Do thou amend thy face, and I'll amend my life:
 25   thou art our admiral, thou bearest the lantern in
 26   the poop, but 'tis in the nose of thee; thou art the
 27   Knight of the Burning Lamp.

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

      FALSTAFF
 29   No, I'll be sworn; I make as good use of it as many
 30   a man doth of a Death's-head or a memento mori: I
 31   never see thy face but I think upon hell-fire and Dives
 32   that lived in purple; for there he is in his robes,
 33   burning, burning. If thou wert any way given
 34   to virtue, I would swear by thy face; my oath
 35   should be 'By this fire, that's God's angel:' but
 36   thou art altogether given over; and wert indeed,
 37   but for the light in thy face, the son of utter
 38   darkness. When thou rannest up Gadshill in the
 39   night to catch my horse, if I did not think thou hadst
 40   been an ignis fatuus or a ball of wildfire, there's no
 41   purchase in money. O, thou art a perpetual triumph,
 42   an everlasting bonfire-light! Thou hast saved me a
 43   thousand marks in links and torches, walking with thee
 44   in the night betwixt tavern and tavern: but the sack
 45   that thou hast drunk me would have bought me lights
 46   as good cheap at the dearest chandler's in Europe. I
 47   have maintained that salamander of yours with fire any
 48   time this two and thirty years; God reward me for it!

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

      FALSTAFF
 50   God-a-mercy! so should I be sure to be
 51   heart-burned.

           Enter HOSTESS.

 52   How now, Dame Partlet the hen! have
 53   you inquired yet who picked my pocket?

      Hostess
 54   Why, Sir John, what do you think, Sir John? do you
 55   think I keep thieves in my house? I have searched,
 56   I have inquired, so has my husband, man by man,
 57   boy by boy, servant by servant: the tithe of a hair
 58   was never lost in my house before.

      FALSTAFF
 59   Ye lie, hostess: Bardolph was shaved and lost many
 60   a hair; and I'll be sworn my pocket was picked. Go
 61   to, you are a woman, go.

      Hostess
 62   Who, I? no; I defy thee: God's light, I was
 63   never called so in mine own house before.

      FALSTAFF
 64   Go to, I know you well enough.

      Hostess
 65   No, Sir John; You do not know me, Sir John. I know
 66   you, Sir John: you owe me money, Sir John; and now
 67   you pick a quarrel to beguile me of it: I bought you a
 68   dozen of shirts to your back.

      FALSTAFF
 69   Dowlas, filthy dowlas: I have given them away to
 70   bakers' wives, and they have made bolters of them.

      Hostess
 71   Now, as I am a true woman, holland of eight
 72   shillings an ell. You owe money here besides,
 73   Sir John, for your diet and by-drinkings, and
 74   money lent you, four and twenty pound.

      FALSTAFF
 75   He had his part of it; let him pay.

      Hostess
 76   He? alas, he is poor; he hath nothing.

      FALSTAFF
 77   How! poor? look upon his face; what call you rich?
 78   let them coin his nose, let them coin his cheeks: I'll
 79   not pay a denier. What, will you make a younker of
 80   me? shall I not take mine case in mine inn but I shall
 81   have my pocket picked? I have lost a seal-ring of my
 82   grandfather's worth forty mark.

      Hostess
 83   O Jesu, I have heard the prince tell him, I
 84   know not how oft, that ring was copper!

      FALSTAFF
 85   How! the prince is a Jack, a sneak-cup: 'sblood, an
 86   he were here, I would cudgel him like a dog, if he
 87   would say so.

           Enter the PRINCE marching [with PETO,]
           and FALSTAFF meets him playing on his
           truncheon like a fife.

 88   How now, lad! is the wind in that
 89   door, i' faith? must we all march?

      BARDOLPH
 90   Yea, two and two, Newgate fashion.

      Hostess
 91   My lord, I pray you, hear me.

      PRINCE HENRY
 92   What sayest thou, Mistress Quickly? How doth thy
 93   husband? I love him well; he is an honest man.

      Hostess
 94   Good my lord, hear me.

      FALSTAFF
 95   Prithee, let her alone, and list to me.

      PRINCE HENRY
 96   What sayest thou, Jack?

      FALSTAFF
 97   The other night I fell asleep here behind the arras
 98   and had my pocket picked: this house is turned
 99   bawdy-house; they pick pockets.

      PRINCE HENRY
100   What didst thou lose, Jack?

      FALSTAFF
101   Wilt thou believe me, Hal? three or four bonds
102   of forty pound apiece, and a seal-ring of my
103   grandfather's.

      PRINCE HENRY
104   A trifle, some eight-penny matter.

      Hostess
105   So I told him, my lord; and I said I heard your
106   grace say so: and, my lord, he speaks most vilely
107   of you, like a foul-mouthed man as he is; and said
108   he would cudgel you.

      PRINCE HENRY
109   What! he did not?

      Hostess
110   There's neither faith, truth, nor womanhood
111   in me else.

      FALSTAFF
112   There's no more faith in thee than in a stewed
113   prune; nor no more truth in thee than in a drawn
114   fox; and for womanhood, Maid Marian may be the
115   deputy's wife of the ward to thee. Go, you thing, go

      Hostess
116   Say, what thing? what thing?

      FALSTAFF
117   What thing! why, a thing to thank God on.

      Hostess
118   I am no thing to thank God on, I would thou
119   shouldst know it; I am an honest man's wife:
120   and, setting thy knighthood aside, thou art a
121   knave to call me so.

      FALSTAFF
122   Setting thy womanhood aside, thou art a beast
123   to say otherwise.

      Hostess
124   Say, what beast, thou knave, thou?

      FALSTAFF
125   What beast! why, an otter.

      PRINCE HENRY
126   An otter, Sir John! Why an otter?

      FALSTAFF
127   Why, she's neither fish nor flesh; a
128   man knows not where to have her.

      Hostess
129   Thou art an unjust man in saying so: thou or any
130   man knows where to have me, thou knave, thou!

      PRINCE HENRY
131   Thou sayest true, hostess; and he slanders thee
132   most grossly.

      Hostess
133   So he doth you, my lord; and said this other day
134   you ought him a thousand pound.

      PRINCE HENRY
135   Sirrah, do I owe you a thousand pound?

      FALSTAFF
136   A thousand pound, Ha! a million: thy love is
137   worth a million: thou owest me thy love.

      Hostess
138   Nay, my lord, he called you Jack, and said he would
139   cudgel you.

      FALSTAFF
140   Did I, Bardolph?

      BARDOLPH
141   Indeed, Sir John, you said so.

      FALSTAFF
142   Yea, if he said my ring was copper.

      PRINCE HENRY
143   I say 'tis copper: darest thou be as good
144   as thy word now?

      FALSTAFF
145   Why, Hal, thou knowest, as thou art but man,
146   I dare: but as thou art prince, I fear thee as I
147   fear the roaring of a lion's whelp.

      PRINCE HENRY
148   And why not as the lion?

      FALSTAFF
149   The king is to be feared as the lion: dost thou
150   think I'll fear thee as I fear thy father? nay, an
151   I do, I pray God my girdle break.

      PRINCE HENRY
152   O, if it should, how would thy guts fall about thy
153   knees! But, sirrah, there's no room for faith, truth,
154   nor honesty in this bosom of thine; it is all filled up
155   with guts and midriff. Charge an honest woman with
156   picking thy pocket! why, thou whoreson, impudent,
157   embossed rascal, if there were anything in thy pocket
158   but tavern-reckonings, memorandums of bawdy-houses,
159   and one poor penny-worth of sugar-candy to make thee
160   long-winded, if thy pocket were enriched with any
161   other injuries but these, I am a villain: and yet you will
162   stand to if; you will not pocket up wrong: art thou
163   not ashamed?

      FALSTAFF
164   Dost thou hear, Hal? thou knowest in the state of
165   innocency Adam fell; and what should poor Jack
166   Falstaff do in the days of villany? Thou seest I have
167   more flesh than another man, and therefore more
168   frailty. You confess then, you picked my pocket?

      PRINCE HENRY
169   It appears so by the story.

      FALSTAFF
170   Hostess, I forgive thee: go, make ready breakfast;
171   love thy husband, look to thy servants, cherish thy
172   guests: thou shalt find me tractable to any honest
173   reason: thou seest I am pacified still. Nay, prithee,
174   be gone.

           Exit Hostess.

175   Now Hal, to the news at court: for the robbery, lad,
176   how is that answered?

      PRINCE HENRY
177   O, my sweet beef, I must still be good angel to
178   thee: the money is paid back again.

      FALSTAFF
179   O, I do not like that paying back; 'tis a
180   double labor.

      PRINCE HENRY
181   I am good friends with my father and may do
182   any thing.

      FALSTAFF
183   Rob me the exchequer the first thing thou doest, and
184   do it with unwashed hands too.

      BARDOLPH
185   Do, my lord.

      PRINCE HENRY
186   I have procured thee, Jack, a charge of foot.

      FALSTAFF
187   I would it had been of horse. Where shall I find one
188   that can steal well? O for a fine thief, of the age of
189   two and twenty or thereabouts! I am heinously
190   unprovided. Well, God be thanked for these rebels,
191   they offend none but the virtuous: I laud them, I
192   praise them.

      PRINCE HENRY
193   Bardolph!

      BARDOLPH
194   My lord?

      PRINCE HENRY
195   Go bear this letter to Lord John of Lancaster,
196   To my brother John; this to my Lord of Westmoreland.

           [Exit Bardolph.]

197   Go, Peto, to horse, to horse; for thou and I
198   Have thirty miles to ride yet ere dinner time.

           [Exit Peto.]

199   Jack, meet me tomorrow in the Temple Hall
200   At two o'clock in the afternoon.
201   There shalt thou know thy charge; and there receive
202   Money and order for their furniture.
203   The land is burning; Percy stands on high;
204   And either we or they must lower lie.

           [Exit.]

      FALSTAFF
205   Rare words! brave world! Hostess, my breakfast, come!
206   O, I could wish this tavern were my drum!

           [Exit.]