ACT II
Scene IV.
 

London. The Boar's Head Tavern in Eastcheap

Enter FRANCIS and another DRAWER

FRANCIS

What the devil hast thou brought there-apple-johns? Thou
knowest Sir John cannot endure an apple-john.

SECOND DRAWER

Mass, thou say'st true. The Prince once set a dish
of apple-johns 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 ang'red him
to the heart; but he hath forgot that.

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.

Enter third DRAWER

THIRD DRAWER

Dispatch! The room where they supp'd is too hot;
they'll come in straight.

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.

THIRD DRAWER

By the mass, here will be old uds; it will be an
excellent stratagem.

SECOND DRAWER

I'll see if I can find out Sneak.

Exeunt second and third DRAWERS

Enter HOSTESS and DOLL TEARSHEET

HOSTESS

I' faith, sweetheart, methinks now you are in an excellent
good temperality. Your pulsidge beats as extraordinarily as heart
would desire; and your colour, 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?

DOLL

Better than I was- hem.

HOSTESS

Why, that's well said; a good heart's worth gold.
Lo, here comes Sir John.

Enter FALSTAFF

FALSTAFF

[Singing] 'When Arthur first in court'- Empty the
jordan. [Exit FRANCIS]- [Singing] 'And was a worthy king'- How
now, Mistress Doll!

HOSTESS

Sick of a calm; yea, good faith.

FALSTAFF

So is all her sect; and they be once in a calm, they are
sick.

DOLL

A pox damn you, you muddy rascal! Is that all the comfort you
give me?

FALSTAFF

You make fat rascals, Mistress Doll.

DOLL

I make them! Gluttony and diseases make them: I make them
not.

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.

DOLL

Yea, joy, our chains and our jewels.

FALSTAFF

'Your brooches, 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
charg'd chambers bravely-

DOLL

Hang yourself, you muddy conger, hang yourself!

HOSTESS

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 as they say, the emptier
vessel.

DOLL

Can a weak empty vessel bear such a huge full hogs-head?
There's a whole merchant's venture of Bourdeaux stuff in him; you
have not seen a hulk better stuff'd in the hold. Come, I'll be
friends with thee, Jack. Thou art going to the wars; and whether
I shall ever see thee again or no, there is nobody cares.

Re-enter FRANCIS

FRANCIS

Sir, Ancient Pistol's below and would speak with you.

DOLL

Hang him, swaggering rascal! Let him not come hither; it is
the foul-mouth'dst rogue in England.

HOSTESS

If he swagger, let him not come here. No, by my faith! I
must live among my neighbours; 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 liv'd all this while to have
swaggering now. Shut the door, I pray you.

FALSTAFF

Dost thou hear, hostess?

HOSTESS

Pray ye, pacify yourself, Sir John; there comes no
swaggerers here.

FALSTAFF

Dost thou hear? It is mine ancient.

HOSTESS

Tilly-fally, Sir John, ne'er tell me; and your ancient
swagg'rer 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 Dumbe, our minister, was by then- 'Neighbour Quickly,'
says he 'receive those that are civil, for' said he 'you are in
an ill name.' Now 'a 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
companions.' There comes none here. You would bless you to hear
what he said. No, I'll no swagg'rers.

FALSTAFF

He's no swagg'rer, 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.

Exit FRANCIS

HOSTESS

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.

DOLL

So you do, hostess.

HOSTESS

Do I? Yea, in very truth, do I, an 'twere an aspen leaf. I
cannot abide swagg'rers.

Enter PISTOL, BARDOLPH, and PAGE

PISTOL

God save you, Sir John!

FALSTAFF

Welcome, Ancient Pistol. Here, Pistol, I charge you with
a cup of sack; do you discharge upon mine hostess.

PISTOL

I will discharge upon her, Sir John, with two bullets.

FALSTAFF

She is pistol-proof, sir; you shall not hardly offend
her.

HOSTESS

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.

PISTOL

Then to you, Mistress Dorothy; I will charge you.

DOLL

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.

PISTOL

I know you, Mistress Dorothy.

DOLL

Away, you cut-purse 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!

PISTOL

God let me not live but I will murder your ruff for this.

FALSTAFF

No more, Pistol; I would not have you go off here.
Discharge yourself of our company, Pistol.

HOSTESS

No, good Captain Pistol; not here, sweet captain.

DOLL

Captain! Thou abominable damn'd 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 earn'd them. You a captain! you slave, for what? For tearing
a poor whore's ruff in a bawdy-house? He a captain! hang him,
rogue! He lives upon mouldy stew'd 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.

BARDOLPH

Pray thee go down, good ancient.

FALSTAFF

Hark thee hither, Mistress Doll.

PISTOL

Not I! I tell thee what, Corporal Bardolph, I could tear
her; I'll be reveng'd of her.

PAGE

Pray thee go down.

PISTOL

I'll see her damn'd first; to Pluto's damn'd lake, by this
hand, to th' infernal deep, with Erebus and tortures vile also.
Hold hook and line, say I. Down, down, dogs! down, faitors! Have
we not Hiren here?

HOSTESS

Good Captain Peesel, be quiet; 'tis very late, i' faith; I
beseek you now, aggravate your choler.

PISTOL

These be good humours, indeed! Shall packhorses,
And hollow pamper'd jades of Asia,
Which cannot go but thirty mile a day,
Compare with Caesars, and with Cannibals,
And Troiant Greeks? Nay, rather damn them with
King Cerberus; and let the welkin roar.
Shall we fall foul for toys?

HOSTESS

By my troth, Captain, these are very bitter words.

BARDOLPH

Be gone, good ancient; this will grow to a brawl anon.

PISTOL

Die men like dogs! Give crowns like pins! Have we not Hiren
here?

HOSTESS

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.

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.

[Laying down his sword]

Come we to full points here, and are etceteras nothings?

FALSTAFF

Pistol, I would be quiet.

PISTOL

Sweet knight, I kiss thy neaf. What! we have seen the seven
stars.

DOLL

For God's sake thrust him down stairs; I cannot endure such a
fustian rascal.

PISTOL

Thrust him down stairs! Know we not Galloway nags?

FALSTAFF

Quoit him down, Bardolph, like a shove-groat shilling.
Nay, an 'a do nothing but speak nothing, 'a shall be nothing
here.

BARDOLPH

Come, get you down stairs.

PISTOL

What! shall we have incision? Shall we imbrue?

[Snatching 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!

HOSTESS

Here's goodly stuff toward!

FALSTAFF

Give me my rapier, boy.

DOLL

I pray thee, Jack, I pray thee, do not draw.

FALSTAFF

Get you down stairs.

[Drawing and driving PISTOL out]

HOSTESS

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.

Exeunt PISTOL and BARDOLPH

DOLL

I pray thee, Jack, be quiet; the rascal's gone. Ah, you
whoreson little valiant villain, you!

HOSTESS

Are you not hurt i' th' groin? Methought 'a made a shrewd
thrust at your belly.

Re-enter BARDOLPH

FALSTAFF

Have you turn'd him out a doors?

BARDOLPH

Yea, sir. The rascal's drunk. You have hurt him, sir, i'
th' shoulder.

FALSTAFF

A rascal! to brave me!

DOLL

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!

FALSTAFF

A rascally slave! I will toss the rogue in a blanket.

DOLL

Do, an thou dar'st for thy heart. An thou dost, I'll canvass
thee between a pair of sheets.

Enter musicians

PAGE

The music is come, sir.

FALSTAFF

Let them play. Play, sirs. Sit on my knee, Don. A rascal
bragging slave! The rogue fled from me like quick-silver.

DOLL

I' faith, and thou follow'dst 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?

Enter, behind, PRINCE HENRY and POINS disguised as drawers

FALSTAFF

Peace, good Doll! Do not speak like a death's-head; do
not bid me remember mine end.

DOLL

Sirrah, what humour's the Prince of?

FALSTAFF

A good shallow young fellow. 'A would have made a good
pantler; 'a would ha' chipp'd bread well.

DOLL

They say Poins has a good wit.

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.

DOLL

Why does the Prince love him so, then?

FALSTAFF

Because their legs are both of a bigness, and 'a 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 join'd-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 'a 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.

PRINCE

Would not this nave of a wheel have his ears cut off?

POINS

Let's beat him before his whore.

PRINCE

Look whe'er the wither'd elder hath not his poll claw'd
like a parrot.

POINS

Is it not strange that desire should so many years outlive
performance?

FALSTAFF

Kiss me, Doll.

PRINCE

Saturn and Venus this year in conjunction! What says th'
almanac to that?

POINS

And look whether the fiery Trigon, his man, be not lisping
to his master's old tables, his note-book, his counsel-keeper.

FALSTAFF

Thou dost give me flattering busses.

DOLL

By my troth, I kiss thee with a most constant heart.

FALSTAFF

I am old, I am old.

DOLL

I love thee better than I love e'er a scurvy young boy of
them all.

FALSTAFF

What stuff wilt have a kirtle of? I shall receive money a
Thursday. Shalt have a cap to-morrow. A merry song, come. 'A
grows late; we'll to bed. Thou't forget me when I am gone.

DOLL

By my troth, thou't set me a-weeping, an thou say'st so.
Prove that ever I dress myself handsome till thy return. Well,
hearken a' th' end.

FALSTAFF

Some sack, Francis.
PRINCE & POINS. Anon, anon, sir. [Advancing]

FALSTAFF

Ha! a bastard son of the King's? And art thou not Poins
his brother?

PRINCE

Why, thou globe of sinful continents, what a life dost thou
lead!

FALSTAFF

A better than thou. I am a gentleman: thou art a drawer.

PRINCE

Very true, sir, and I come to draw you out by the ears.

HOSTESS

O, the Lord preserve thy Grace! By my troth, welcome to
London. Now the Lord bless that sweet face of thine. O Jesu, are
you come from Wales?

FALSTAFF

Thou whoreson mad compound of majesty, by this light
flesh and corrupt blood, thou art welcome.

[Leaning his band upon DOLL]

DOLL

How, you fat fool! I scorn you.

POINS

My lord, he will drive you out of your revenge and turn all
to a merriment, if you take not the heat.

PRINCE

YOU whoreson candle-mine, you, how vilely did you speak of
me even now before this honest, virtuous, civil gentlewoman!

HOSTESS

God's blessing of your good heart! and so she is, by my
troth.

FALSTAFF

Didst thou hear me?

PRINCE

Yea; and you knew me, as you did when you ran away by
Gadshill. You knew I was at your back, and spoke it on purpose to
try my patience.

FALSTAFF

No, no, no; not so; I did not think thou wast within
hearing.

PRINCE

I shall drive you then to confess the wilful abuse, and
then I know how to handle you.

FALSTAFF

No abuse, Hal, o' mine honour; no abuse.

PRINCE

Not- to dispraise me, and call me pander, and
bread-chipper, and I know not what!

FALSTAFF

No abuse, Hal.

POINS

No abuse!

FALSTAFF

No abuse, Ned, i' th' world; honest Ned, none. I
disprais'd 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.

PRINCE

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?

POINS

Answer, thou dead elm, answer.

FALSTAFF

The fiend hath prick'd 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.

PRINCE

For the women?

FALSTAFF

For one of them- she's in hell already, and burns poor
souls. For th' other- I owe her money; and whether she be damn'd
for that, I know not.

HOSTESS

No, I warrant you.

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.

HOSTESS

All vict'lers do so. What's a joint of mutton or two in a
whole Lent?

PRINCE

You, gentlewoman-

DOLL

What says your Grace?

FALSTAFF

His Grace says that which his flesh rebels against.

[Knocking within]

HOSTESS

Who knocks so loud at door? Look to th' door there,
Francis.

Enter PETO

PRINCE

Peto, how now! What news?

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,
Bare-headed, sweating, knocking at the taverns,
And asking every one for Sir John Falstaff.

PRINCE

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 unarmed heads.
Give me my sword and cloak. Falstaff, good night.

Exeunt PRINCE, POINS, PETO, and BARDOLPH

FALSTAFF

Now comes in the sweetest morsel of the night, and we
must hence, and leave it unpick'd. [Knocking within] More
knocking at the door!

Re-enter BARDOLPH

How now! What's the matter?

BARDOLPH

You must away to court, sir, presently;
A dozen captains stay at door for you.

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 call'd on. Farewell, good wenches. If I be not sent
away post, I will see you again ere I go.

DOLL

I cannot speak. If my heart be not ready to burst!
Well, sweet Jack, have a care of thyself.

FALSTAFF

Farewell, farewell.

Exeunt FALSTAFF and BARDOLPH

HOSTESS

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.

BARDOLPH

[ Within] Mistress Tearsheet!

HOSTESS

What's the matter?

BARDOLPH

[ Within] Bid Mistress Tearsheet come to my master.

HOSTESS

O, run Doll, run, run, good Come. [To BARDOLPH] She
comes blubber'd.- Yea, will you come, Doll?

Exeunt