The First Part of Henry IV:

Act 4, Scene 2


           Enter FALSTAFF, BARDOLPH.

      FALSTAFF
  1   Bardolph, get thee before to Coventry; fill me a
  2   bottle of sack: our soldiers shall march through;
  3   we'll to Sutton Co'fil' tonight.

      BARDOLPH
  4   Will you give me money, captain?

      FALSTAFF
  5   Lay out, lay out.

      BARDOLPH
  6   This bottle makes an angel.

      FALSTAFF
  7   An if it do, take it for thy labour; and if it make
  8   twenty, take them all; I'll answer the coinage. Bid
  9   my lieutenant Peto meet me at town's end.

      BARDOLPH
 10   I will, captain: farewell.

           Exit.

      FALSTAFF
 11   If I be not ashamed of my soldiers, I am a sous'd
 12   gurnet. I have misused the King's press damnably.
 13   I have got, in exchange of a hundred and fifty
 14   soldiers, three hundred and odd pounds. I press
 15   me none but good house-holders, yeoman's sons;
 16   inquire me out contracted bachelors, such as had
 17   been asked twice on the banns; such a commodity
 18   of warm slaves, as had as lieve hear the devil as a
 19   drum; such as fear the report of a caliver worse than
 20   a struck fowl or a hurt wild-duck. I pressed me none
 21   but such toasts-and-butter, with hearts in their bellies
 22   no bigger than pins' heads, and they have bought out
 23   their services; and now my whole charge consists of
 24   ancients, corporals, lieutenants, gentlemen of companies,
 25   slaves as ragged as Lazarus in the painted cloth, where
 26   the glutton's dogs licked his sores; and such as indeed
 27   were never soldiers, but discarded unjust serving-men,
 28   younger sons to younger brothers, revolted tapsters and
 29   ostlers trade-fall'n, the cankers of a calm world and
 30   a long peace, ten times more dishonourable ragged
 31   than an old feaz'd ancient: and such have I, to fill
 32   up the rooms of them that have bought out their
 33   services, that you would think that I had a hundred
 34   and fifty totter'd prodigals lately come from
 35   swine-keeping, from eating draff and husks. A mad
 36   fellow met me on the way and told me I had unloaded
 37   all the gibbets and pressed the dead bodies. No eye
 38   hath seen such scarecrows. I'll not march through
 39   Coventry with them, that's flat: nay, and the villains
 40   march wide betwixt the legs, as if they had gyves on;
 41   for indeed I had the most of them out of prison. There's
 42   but a shirt and a half in all my company; and the half
 43   shirt is two napkins tacked together and thrown over
 44   the shoulders like an herald's coat without sleeves;
 45   and the shirt, to say the truth, stolen from my host
 46   at Saint Albons, or the red-nose innkeeper of Daventry.
 47   But that's all one; they'll find linen enough on every
 48   hedge.

           Enter the PRINCE, LORD OF WESTMORELAND.

      PRINCE HENRY
 49   How now, blown Jack! how now, quilt!

      FALSTAFF
 50   What, Hal! how now, mad wag! what a devil dost thou
 51   in Warwickshire? My good Lord of Westmoreland, I
 52   cry you mercy: I thought your honour had already been
 53   at Shrewsbury.

      WESTMORELAND
 54   Faith, Sir John,'tis more than time that I were there,
 55   and you too; but my powers are there already. The
 56   King, I can tell you, looks for us all: we must away
 57   all night.

      FALSTAFF
 58   Tut, never fear me: I am as vigilant as a cat to
 59   steal cream.

      PRINCE HENRY
 60   I think, to steal cream indeed, for thy theft hath
 61   already made thee butter. But tell me, Jack, whose
 62   fellows are these that come after?

      FALSTAFF
 63   Mine, Hal, mine.

      PRINCE HENRY
 64   I did never see such pitiful rascals.

      FALSTAFF
 65   Tut, tut; good enough to toss; food for powder, food
 66   for powder; they'll fill a pit as well as better: tush,
 67   man, mortal men, mortal men.

      WESTMORELAND
 68   Ay, but, Sir John, methinks they are exceeding
 69   poor and bare, too beggarly.

      FALSTAFF
 70   'Faith, for their poverty, I know not where they
 71   had that; and for their bareness, I am sure they
 72   never learned that of me.

      PRINCE HENRY
 73   No I'll be sworn; unless you call three fingers on
 74   the ribs bare. But, sirrah, make haste: Percy is
 75   already in the field.

           Exit.

      FALSTAFF
 76   What, is the king encamped?

      WESTMORELAND
 77   He is, Sir John: I fear we shall stay too long.

      FALSTAFF
 78   Well,
 79   To the latter end of a fray and the beginning of a feast
 80   Fits a dull fighter and a keen guest.

           Exeunt.