ACT II
Scene III.
 

Eastcheap. Before the Boar's Head tavern

Enter PISTOL, HOSTESS, NYM, BARDOLPH, and Boy

HOSTESS
Prithee, honey-sweet husband, let me bring thee to
Staines.

PISTOL
No; for my manly heart doth earn.
Bardolph, be blithe; Nym, rouse thy vaunting veins;
Boy, bristle thy courage up. For Falstaff he is dead,
And we must earn therefore.

BARDOLPH
Would I were with him, wheresome'er he is, either in
heaven or in hell!

HOSTESS
Nay, sure, he's not in hell: he's in Arthur's bosom, if
ever man went to Arthur's bosom. 'A made a finer end, and went
away an it had been any christom child; 'a parted ev'n just
between twelve and one, ev'n at the turning o' th' tide; for
after I saw him fumble with the sheets, and play with flowers,
and smile upon his fingers' end, I knew there was but one way;
for his nose was as sharp as a pen, and 'a babbl'd of green
fields. 'How now, Sir John!' quoth I 'What, man, be o' good
cheer.' So 'a cried out 'God, God, God!' three or four times. Now
I, to comfort him, bid him 'a should not think of God; I hop'd
there was no need to trouble himself with any such thoughts yet.
So 'a bade me lay more clothes on his feet; I put my hand into
the bed and felt them, and they were as cold as any stone; then I
felt to his knees, and so upward and upward, and all was as cold
as any stone.

NYM
They say he cried out of sack.

HOSTESS
Ay, that 'a did.

BARDOLPH
And of women.

HOSTESS
Nay, that 'a did not.

BOY
Yes, that 'a did, and said they were devils incarnate.

HOSTESS
'A could never abide carnation; 'twas a colour he never
liked.

BOY
'A said once the devil would have him about women.

HOSTESS
'A did in some sort, indeed, handle women; but then he was
rheumatic, and talk'd of the Whore of Babylon.

BOY
Do you not remember 'a saw a flea stick upon Bardolph's nose,
and 'a said it was a black soul burning in hell?

BARDOLPH
Well, the fuel is gone that maintain'd that fire: that's
all the riches I got in his service.

NYM
Shall we shog? The King will be gone from Southampton.

PISTOL
Come, let's away. My love, give me thy lips.
Look to my chattles and my moveables;
Let senses rule. The word is 'Pitch and Pay.'
Trust none;
For oaths are straws, men's faiths are wafer-cakes,
And Holdfast is the only dog, my duck.
Therefore, Caveto be thy counsellor.
Go, clear thy crystals. Yoke-fellows in arms,
Let us to France, like horse-leeches, my boys,
To suck, to suck, the very blood to suck.

BOY
And that's but unwholesome food, they say.

PISTOL
Touch her soft mouth and march.

BARDOLPH
Farewell, hostess. [Kissing her]

NYM
I cannot kiss, that is the humour of it; but adieu.

PISTOL
Let housewifery appear; keep close, I thee command.

HOSTESS
Farewell; adieu.

Exeunt