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Our hands are full of business: let's away;
Advantage feeds him fat, while men delay.


Eastcheap. A Room in the Boar's Head Tavern.

Enter FALSTAFF and Bardolph.


Fal. Bardolph, am I not fallen away vilely since this last action? do I not bate? do I not dwindle? Why, my skin hangs about me like an old lady's loose gown: I am wither'd like an old apple-John. Well, I'll repent, and that suddenly, while I am in some liking; I shall be out of heart shortly, and then I shall have no strength to repent. An I have not forgotten what the inside of a church is made of, I am a pepper-corn, a brewer's horse. The inside of a church! Company, villainous company, hath been the spoil of me.

Bard. Sir John, you are so fretful, you cannot live long. Fal. Why, there is it. Come, sing me a bawdy song; make me merry. I was as virtuously given as a gentleman need to be; virtuous enough: swore little; diced not above seven times a week; went to a bawdy-house not above once in a quarter of an hour; paid money that I borrowed three or four times; lived well, and in good compass; and now I live out of all order, out of all compass.

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Bard. Why, you are so fat, Sir John, that you must needs be out of all compass; out of all reasonable compass, Sir John. Fal. Do thou amend thy face, and I'll amend my life. Thou art our admiral, thou bearest the lantern in the poop, but 't is in the nose of thee: thou art the knight of the burning lamp.

Bard. Why, Sir John, my face does you no harm. Fal. No; I'll be sworn, I make as good use of it as many a man doth of a death's head, or a momento mori: I never see thy face, but I think upon hell-fire, and Dives that lived in purple ; for there he is in his robes, burning, burning. If thou wert any way given to virtue, I would swear by thy face: my oath should be, "By this fire, that 's God's angel:" but thou art altogether given over, and wert, indeed, but for the light in thy face, the son of

utter darkness. When thou ran'st up Gads-hill in the night to catch my horse, if I did not think thou hadst been an ignis fatuus, or a ball of wildfire, there's no purchase in money. O! thou art

a perpetual triumph, an everlasting bonfire-light. Thou hast saved me a thousand marks in links and torches, walking with thee in the night betwixt tavern and tavern: but the sack that thou hast drunk me, would have bought me lights as good cheap, at the dearest chandler's in Europe. I have maintained that salamander of yours with fire any time this two and thirty years: God reward me for it!

Bard. 'Sblood! I would my face were in your belly.

Fal. God-a-mercy! so should I be sure to be heart-burned.

Enter Hostess.

How now, dame Partlet the hen? have you inquired yet who picked my pocket?

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

Fal. You lie, hostess: Bardolph was shaved, and lost many a hair; and I'll be sworn, my pocket was picked. Go to, you

are a woman; go.

Host. Who I? No. I defy thee: God's light! I was never called so in mine own house before.

Fal. Go to; I know you well enough.

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

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

Host. Now, as I am a true woman, holland of eight shillings an ell. You owe money here besides, Sir John, for your diet, and by-drinkings, and money lent you, four and twenty pound. Fal. He had his part of it: let him pay.

Host. He? alas! he is poor: he hath nothing.

Fal. How! poor? look upon his face; what call you rich?

let them coin his nose, let them coin his cheeks. I'll not pay a denier. What, will you make a younker of me? shall I not take mine ease in mine inn, but I shall have my pocket picked? I have lost a seal-ring of my grandfather's, worth forty mark.

Host. O Jesu! I have heard the prince tell him, I know not how oft, that that ring was copper.

Fal. How! the prince is a Jack, a sneak-cup; 'Sblood an he were here, I would cudgel him like a dog, if he would say so. Enter Prince HENRY and POINS, marching. FALSTAFF meets the Prince, playing on his truncheon, like a fife.

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

Bard. Yea, two and two, Newgate-fashion?

Host. My lord, I pray you, hear me.

P. Hen.



What sayest thou, mistress Quickly? How does thy I love him well: he is an honest man.

Good my lord, hear me.

Fal. Pr'ythee let her alone, and list to me.

P. Hen. What sayest thou, Jack?

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

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Fal. Wilt thou believe me, Hal? three or four bonds of forty pound a-piece, and a seal-ring of my grand-father's.

P. Hen. A trifle; some eight-penny matter.

Host. So I told him, my lord; and I said I heard your grace say so: and, my lord, he speaks most vilely of you, like a foulmouthed man as he is, and said, he would cudgel you.

P. Hen. What! he did not?

Host. There's neither faith, truth, nor womanhood in me else. Fal. There's no more faith in thee than in a stewed prune; nor no more truth in thee, than in a drawn fox; and for womanhood, maid Marian may be the deputy's wife of the ward to thee. Go, you thing, go.

Host. Say, what thing? what thing?

Fal. What thing? why, a thing to thank God on.

Host. I am no thing to thank God on, I would thou should'st know it: I am an honest man's wife; and, setting thy knighthood aside, thou art a knave to call me so.

Fal. Setting thy womanhood aside, thou art a beast to say otherwise.


P. Hen.

Say, what beast, thou knave thou?
What beast? why an otter.

An otter, Sir John: why an otter?

Fal. Why? she's neither fish nor flesh; a man knows not where to have her.

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

P. Hen. Thou sayest true, hostess; and he slanders thee most grossly.

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

P. Hen. Sirrah! do I owe you a thousand pound?

Fal. A thousand pound, Hal! a million: thy love is worth a million; thou owest me thy love.

Host. Nay, my lord, he called you Jack, and said he would cudgel you.

Fal. Did I, Bardolph?

Bard. Indeed, Sir John, you said so.

Fal. Yea; if he said my ring was copper.

P. Hen. I say, 't is copper: darest thou be as good as thy word now?

Fal. Why, Hal, thou knowest, as thou art but man, I dare; but as thou art prince, I fear thee, as I fear the roaring of the lion's whelp.

P. Hen. And why not, as the lion.

Fal. The king himself is to be feared as the lion. Dost thou think, I'll fear thee as I fear thy father? nay, an I do, I pray God, my girdle break!

P. Hen. O! if it should, how would thy guts fall about thy knees! But, sirrah, there's no room for faith, truth, nor honesty, in this bosom of thine; it is filled up with guts and midriff. Charge

an honest woman with picking thy pocket! Why, thou whoreson, impudent, embossed rascal, if there were any thing in thy pocket but tavern reckonings, memorandums of bawdy-houses, and one poor penny-worth of sugar-candy to make thee long winded; if thy pocket were enriched with any other injuries but these, I am a villain and yet you will stand to it; you will not pocket up wrong. Art thou not ashamed?

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

P. Hen. It appears so by the story.

Fal. Hostess, I forgive thee. Go, make ready breakfast; love thy husband, look to thy servants, cherish thy guests: thou shalt find me tractable to any honest reason: thou seest, I am pacified. Still? Nay, pr'ythee, begone. [Exit Hostess.] Now, Hal, to the news at court: for the robbery, lad, how is that answered?

P. Hen. O! my sweet beef, I must still be good angel to thee. The money is paid back again.

Fal. O! I do not like that paying back; 't is a double labour. P. Hen. I am good friends with my father, and may do any thing.

Fal. Rob me the exchequer the first thing thou dost, and do it with unwashed hands too.

Bard. Do, my lord.

a charge of foot.
Where shall I find one

P. Hen. I have procured thee, Jack, Fal. I would, it had been of horse. that can steal well? O! for a fine thief, of the age of two-andtwenty, or thereabouts! I am heinously unprovided. Well, God be thanked for these rebels; they offend none but the virtuous: I laud them, I praise them.

P. Hen. Bardolph!

Bard. My lord.

P. Hen.

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Go bear this letter to lord John of Lancaster, brother John; this to my lord of Westmoreland.

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