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Fal. I did not think, master Silence had been a man of this mettle.

Pist. A foutra for the world, and worldlings base!

Sil. Who I? I have been merry twice and once, I speak of Africa, and golden joys.

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Sil. And we shall be merry;-now comes in the sweet of the night.

Fal. Health and long life to you, master Silence.

Sil. Fill the cup, and let it come; I'll pledge you a mile to the bottom. Shal. Honest, Bardolph, welcome: if thou wantest any thing, and wilt not call, beshrew thy heart. Welcome, my little tiny thief; [To the PAGE.] and welcome, indeed, too.-I'll drink to master Bardolph, and to all the cavaleroest

about London.

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Fal. O base Assyrian knight, what is thy news?
Let king Cophetua know the truth thereof.
Sil. And Robin Hood, Scarlet, and John.

Pist. Shall dunghill curs confront the Helicons?
And shall good news be baffled?
Then, Pistol, lay thy head in Furies' lap.
Shal. Honest gentleman, I know not your

Pist. Why then, lament therefore.

Shal. Give me pardon, Sir ;-If, Sir, you come with news from the court, I take it, there is but two ways; either to utter them, or to conceal them. I am, Sir, under the king, in some authority.

Pist. Under which king, Bezonian? speak, or
Shal. Under king Harry.

Pist. Harry the fourth? or fifth?
Shal. Harry the fourth.

Pist. A foutra for thine office!


Sir John, thy tender lambkin now is king;
Harry the fifth's the man. I speak the truth:
When Pistol lies, do this; and fig me, like
The bragging Spaniard.

Fal. What is the old king dead?

Pist. As nail in door: The things I speak, are


Fal. Away, Bardolph; saddle my horse.Master Robert Shallow, choose what office thou wilt in the land, 'tis thine.-Pistol, I will doublecharge thee with dignities.

Bard. O joyful day!-I would not take a knighthood for my fortune.

Pist. What? I do bring good news?

Ful. Carry master Silence to bed.-Master Shallow, my lord Shallow, be what thou wilt, ! am fortune's steward. Get on thy boots; we'll ride all night:--O, sweet Pistol;-Away, Bardolph. [Exit BARD.]-Come, Pistol, utter more to me; and, withal, devise something, to do thyself good.-Boot, boot, master Shallow; I

Sil. Is't so? Why, then say, an old man can know, the young king is sick for me. Let us do somewhat.

Re-enter DAVY.

take any man's horses; the laws of England are at my commandment. Happy are they which Dary. An it please your worship, there's one have been my friends; and woe to my lord chief Pistol come from the court with news. Fal. From the court, let him come in.—

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Pist. Let vultures vile seize on his lungs also!
Where is the life that late I led, say they:
Why, here it is; Welcome these pleasant days.

SCENE IV.-London.-A street.

Enter BEADLES, dragging in Hostess QUICKLY, and DOLL TEAR-SHEET.

Host. No, thou arrant knave: I would I might die, that I might have thee hanged: thou hast drawn my shoulder out of joint.

1 Bead. The constables have delivered her over to me; and she shall have whipping-cheer enough, I warrant her: There hath been a man or two lately killed about her.

Dol. Nut-hook, nut-hook,* you lie. Come on; I'll tell thee what, thou damned tripe-visaged rascal; an the child I now go with, do miscarry, thou hadst better thou hadst struck thy mother, thou paper-faced villain.

Host. O the Lord, that Sir John were come,

A term of reproach for a catchpoll.

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How ill white hairs become a fool, and jester!
I have long dream'd of such a kind of man,
So surfeit-swell'd, so old, and so profane;
But, being awake, I do despise my dream.

SCENE V.-A public Place near Westminster | Make less thy body hence,† and more thy grace;


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Fal. Stand here by me, master Robert Shallow; I will make the king do you grace: I will leer upon him, as 'a comes by; and do but mark the countenance that he will give me.

Pist. God bless thy lungs, good knight. Fal. Come here, Pistol; stand behind me.-O, if I had had time to have made new liveries, I would have bestowed the thousand pound I borrowed of you. [To SHALLOW.] But 'tis no. matter; this poor show doth better: this doth infer the zeal I had to see him.

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Leave gormandizing; know, the grave doth gape
For thee thrice wider than for other men :-
Reply not to me with a fool-born jest ;
Presume not, that I am the thing I was:
For heaven doth know, so shall the world per-

That I have turn'd away my former self;
So will I those that kept me company.
When thou dost hear I am as I have been,
Approach me; and thou shalt be as thou wast,
The tutor and the feeder of my riots:
Till then, I banish thee, on pain of death,-
As I have done the rest of my misleaders,-
Not to come near our person by ten mile.
For competence of life, I will allow you,
That lack of means enforce you not to evil :
And, as we hear you do reform yourselves,
We will,-according to your strength, and qua-
Give you advancement.-Be it your charge, my
To see perform'd the tenor of our word.
Set on.
[Exeunt KING, and his Train.
Fal. Master Shallow, I owe you a thousand

Shal. Ay, marry, Sir John; which I beseech you to let me have home with me.

Fal. That can hardly be, master Shallow.Do not you grieve at this; I shall be sent for in private to him: look you, he must seem thus to the world. Fear not your advancement; I will be the man yet, that shall make you great.

Shal. I cannot perceive how; unless you give me your doublet, and stuff me out with straw. I beseech you, good Sir John, let me have five hundred of my thousand.

Fal. Sir, I will be as good as my word: this that you heard, was but a colour.

Shal. A colour, I fear that you will die in, Sir John.

Fal. Fear no colours; go with me to dinner. Come, lieutenant Pistol;-come, Bardolph :-I shall be sent for soon at night.

Re-enter Prince JOHN, the CHIEF JUSTICE, Officers, &c.

Ch. Just. Go, carry Sir John Falstaff to the

Take all his company along with him.
Fal. My lord, my lord,-

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[soon. Pist. Si fortuna me tormenta, spero me contenta. [Exeunt FAL. SHal. Pist. Bard. PAGE, and Officers.

Ch. Just. I cannot now speak: I will hear you the end of a displeasing play, to pray your paTake them away. tience for it, and to promise you a better. I did mean, indeed, to pay you with this: which, if, like an ill venture, it come unluckily home, I break, and you, my gentle creditors, lose. Here, I promised you, I would be, and here I commit my body to your mercies: bate me some, and I will pay you some, and, as most debtors do, promise you infinitely.

P. John. I like this fair proceeding of the

He hath intent, his wonted followers
Shall all be very well provided for;
But all are banish'd, till their conversations
Appear more wise and modest to the world.
Ch. Just. And so they are.

P. John. The king hath call'd his parliament,
my lord.

Ch. Just. He hath.

P. John. I will lay odds,-that, ere this year

We bear our civil swords, and native fire,
As far as France: I heard a bird so sing,
Whose music, to my thinking, pleas'd the king.
Come, will you bence?


SPOKEN BY A DANCER. First, my fear; then, my court'sy; last, my speech. My fear is, your displeasure; my court'sy, my duty; and my speech, to beg your pardons. If you look for a good speech now, you undo me for what I have to say, is of mine own making; and what, indeed, I should say, will, I doubt, prove mine own marring. But to the purpose, and so to the venture.-Be it known to you, (as it is very well,) I was lately here in

If my tongue cannot entreat you to acquit me, will you command me to use my legs? and yet that were but light payment,-to dance out of your debt. But a good conscience will make any possible satisfaction, and so will I. All the gentlewomen here have forgiven me; if the gentlemen will not, then the gentlemen do not agree with the gentlewomen, which was never seen before in such an assembly.

One word more, I beseech you. If you be not too much cloyed with fat meat, our humble author will continue the story, with Sir John in it, and make you merry with fair Katharine of France: where, for any thing I know, Falstaff shall die of a sweat, unless already he be killed with your hard opinions; for Oldcastle died a martyr, and this is not the man. My tongue is weary; when my legs are too, I will bid you good night and so kneel down before you;but, indeed, to pray for the queen.*

*Most of the ancient interludes conclude with a prayer for the King or Queen. Hence, perhaps, the Vivant Kez et Regina, at the bottom of our modern play-bills.

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DUKE OF GLOSTER, Brothers to the King.


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DUKE OF EXETER, Uncle to the King.

DUKE OF YORK, Cousin to the King.

CHARLES THE SIXTH, King of France.
LEWIS, the Dauphin.

The CONSTABLE of France.

RAMEURES, and GRANDPREE, French Lords.



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French Herald.


AMBASSADORS to the King of England.
ISABEL, Queen of France.
KATHARINE, Daughter of Charles and Isabel.
ALICE, a Lady attending on the Princess Ka-
QUICKLY, Pistol's Wife, a Hostess.

Lords, Ladies, Officers, French and English
Soldiers, Messengers, and Attendants.

The SCENE, at the beginning of the Play, lies in England; but afterwards wholly in France.

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and fire,

Crouch for employment. But pardon, gentles all, The flat unraised spirit, that hath dar'd, On this unworthy scaffold, to bring forth So great an object: Can this cockpit hold The vasty fields of France? or may we cram Within this wooden O,* the very casques, t That did affright the air at Agincourt? O, pardon! since a crooked figure may Attest, in little place, a million; And let us, ciphers to this great account, On your imaginary forces work: Suppose, within the girdle of these walls Are now confined two mighty monarchies, Whose high upreared and abutting fronts The perilous, narrow ocean parts asunder. Pierce out our imperfections with your thoughts; Into a thousand parts divide one man, And make imaginary puissance : [them Think, when we talk of horses, that you see Printing their proud hoofs i'the receiving earth: For 'tis your thoughts that now must deck our kings,

Carry them here and there; jumping o'er times; Turning the accomplishment of many years Into an hour glass; For the which supply, Admit me chorus to this history


Who, prologue-like, your humble patience
Gently to hear, kindly to judge, our play.

* An allusion to the circular form of the theatre.
→ Helmets.
Powers of fancy.

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against us,

If it pass

We lose the better half of our possession:
For all the temporal lands, which men devout
By testament have given to the church,
Would they strip from us; being valued thus,-
As much as would maintain, to the king'a

Full fifteen earls, and fifteen hundred knights;
Six thousand and two hundred good esquires;
And to relief of lazars, and weak age,
Of indigent faint souls, past corporal toil,
A hundred alms-houses, right well supplied;
And to the coffers of the king beside, [bill.
A thousand pounds by the year: Thus runs the
Ely. This would drink deep.

Cant. 'Twould drink the cup and all.
Ely. But what prevention?

Cant. The king is full of grace, and fair regard.

Ely. And a true lover of the holy church. Cant. The courses of his youth promis'd it


The breath no sooner left his father's body,

* Debate.

But that his wildness, mortified in him,
Seem'd to die too: yea, at that very moment,
Consideration like an angel came,

And whipp'd the offending Adam out of him;
Leaving his body as a paradise,

To envelop and contain celestial spirits.
Never was such a sudden scholar made:
Never came reformation in a flood,
With such a heady current, scouring faults;
Nor never Hydra-headed wilfulness
So soon did lose his seat, and all at once,
As in this king.

Ely. We are blessed in the change.
Cant. Hear him but reason in divinity,
And, all-admiring, with an inward wish

Ely. What was the impediment that broke this off?

Cant. The French ambassador, upon that in


Crav'd audience: and the hour I think is come,
To give him hearing: Is it four o'clock?
Ely. It is.

Cant. Then go we in, to know his embassy;
Which I could, with a ready guess, declare,
Before the Frenchmen speak a word of it.

Ely. I'll wait upon you; and I long to hear it. [Exeunt.

|SCENE II.—The same.—A Room of State in the


You would desire, the king were made a pre- Enter King HENry, Gloster, Bedford, Es


Hear him debate of commonwealth affairs,

You would say, it hath been all-in-all his study;
List his discourse of war, and you shall hear
A fearful battle render'd you in music:
Turn him to any cause of policy,
The Gordian knot of it he will unloose,
Familiar as his garter; that, when he speaks,
The air, a charter'd libertine, is still,
And the mute wonder lurketh in men's ears,
To steal his sweet and honeyed sentences;
So that the art and practic part of life
Must be the mistress to this theoric:†
Which is a wonder how his grace should
glean it,

Since his addiction was to courses vain :
His companies‡ unletter'd, rude, and shallow;
His hours fill'd up with riots, banquets, sports;
And never noted in him any study,
Any retirement, any sequestration
From open haunts and popularity.


K. Hen. Where is my gracious lord of Canterbury?


Exe. Not here in presence.
K. Hen. Send for him, good uncle
West. Shall we call in the ambassador, my
K. Hen. Not yet, my cousin; we would be


Before we hear him, of some things of weight,
That task our thoughts, concerning us and France.
Enter the Archbishop of CANTERBURY, and
Bishop of ELY.

Cant. God and his angels guard your sacred

And make you long become it!

K. Hen. Sure, we thank you.

My learned lord we pray you to proceed;
And justly and religiously unfold,

Why the law Salique, that they have in France,

Ely. The strawberry grows underneath the Or should, or should not, bar us in our claim.

nettle :

And wholesome berries thrive and ripen best,
Neighbour'd by fruit of baser quality :
And so the prince obscur'd his contemplation
Under the veil of wildness; which no doubt,
Grew like summer grass, fastest by night,
Unseen, yet creşcive) in his faculty.

Cant. It must be so for miracles are ceas'd;
And therefore we must needs admit the means,
How things are perfected.

Ely. But, my good lord,

How now for mitigation of this bill
Urg'd by the commons? Doth his majesty
Incline to it, or no?

Cant. He seems indifferent;

Or, rather, swaying more upon our part,
Than cherishing the exhibiters against us :
For I have made an offer to his majesty,-
Upon our spiritual convocation;
And in regard of causes now in hand,
Which I have open'd to his grace at large,
As touching France,-to give a greater sum
Than ever at one time the clergy yet
Did to his predecessors part withal.

Ely. How did this offer seem receiv'd, my

Cant. With good acceptance of his majesty;
Save, that there was not time enough to hear
(As, I perceiv'd, his grace would fain have done,)
The severals, and unhidden passages,

Of his true titles to some certain dukedoms;
And, generally, to the crown and seat of France,
Deriv'd from Edward, his great grandfather.

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* Listen to. Companiong

And God forbid, my dear and faithful lord,
That you should fashion, wrest, or bow your


Or nicely charge your understanding soul
With opening titles miscreate,* whose right
Suits not in native colours with the truth;
For God doth know, how many, now in health
Shall drop their blood in approbation
Of what your reverence shall incite us to:
Therefore take heed how you impawn our person,
How you awake the sleeping sword of war;
We charge you in the name of God take heed:
For never two such kingdoms did contend,
Without much fall of blood; whose guiltless

Are every one a woe, a sore complaint,
'Gainst him, whose wrongs give edge unto the

That make such waste in brief mortality.
Under this conjuration, speak, my lord:
And we will hear, note, and believe in heart,
That what you speak is in your concience wash'd
As pure as sin with baptism.

Cant. Then hear me, gracious sovereign,—and

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