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I had rather be a kitten, and cry mew,

Than one of these same metre ballad-mongers :
I had rather hear a brazen canstick turn'd,
Or a dry wheel grate on the axle-tree;
And that would set my teeth nothing on edge,
Nothing so much as mincing poetry;
'Tis like the forc'd gait of a shuffling nag.

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Shall I not take mine ease in mine inn?

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This sickness doth infect

The very life-blood of our enterprise.

Act iv. Scene 1.

I'll not march through Coventry with them, that's flat.

Act IV. Scene 2.

Food for powder, food for powder; they'll fill a pit, as well as better.


To the latter end of a fray, and the beginning of a feast, Fits a dull fighter and a keen guest. Ibid.

Honour pricks me on. Yea, but how if honour prick me off when I come on? how then? Can honour set to a leg? No. Or an arm? No. Or take away the grief of a wound? surgery, then? No


Honour hath no skill in

What is honour? A word.

What is that word, honour? Air. A trim reckoning! Who hath it? He that died o' Wednesday. Doth he feel it? No. Doth he hear it? No. Is it insensible, then? Yea, to the dead. But will it not live with the living? No. Why? Detraction will not suffer it :-therefore I'll none of it; honour is a mere scutcheon, and so ends my catechism.*

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Two stars keep not their motion in one sphere.

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Lord, lord, how this world is given to lying! 1 grant you I was down, and out of breath, and so was he; but we rose both at an instant, and fought a long hour by Shrewsbury clock, Ibid.


The first bringer of unwelcome news

Hath but a losing office; and his tongue

*The reading of Falstaff's catechism here used is from the text of Mr. Knight. Some editions have it in a trifling degree different from the text here quoted.

Sounds ever after as a sullen bell,

Remember'd knolling a departing friend.*

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the cause that

Act 1.

Scene 2.

I am not only witty in myself, but

wit is in other men.

He hath eaten me out of house and home,

Act II.

Scene 1.


many thousand of

my poorest subjects

Are at this hour asleep. O sleep, O gentle sleep,
Nature's soft nurse, how have I frighted thee,
That thou no more wilt weigh my eyelids down,
And steep my senses in forgetfulness?

Why rather, sleep, liest thou in smoky cribs,
Upon uneasy pallets stretching thee,

And hush'd with buzzing night-flies to thy slumber,
Than in the perfum'd chambers of the great,

Under the canopies of costly state,

And lull'd with sounds of sweetest melody?

O! thou dull god, why liest thou with the vile,
In loathsome beds; and leav'st the kingly couch,
A watch-case, or a common 'larum-bell?
Wilt thou upon the high and giddy mast
Seal up the ship-boy's eyes, and rock his brains

* Not "departed friend," as erroneously printed in some copies.

In cradle of the rude imperious surge;
And in the visitation of the winds,
Who take the ruffian billows by the top,

Curling their monstrous heads, and hanging them
With deaf'ning clamours in the slippery clouds,
That, with the hurly,* death itself awakes?
Canst thou, O partial sleep! give thy repose
To the wet sea-boy in an hour so rude ;

And, in the calmest and most stillest night,
With all appliances and means to boot,

Deny it to a king? Then, happy low, lie down !+

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Thy wish was father, Harry, to that thought.


Then get thee gone; and dig my grave thyself;

And bid the merry bells ring to thine ear,

That thou art crowned, not that I am dead.

Hurly, noise, tumult, confusion.



In some copies printed happy low-lie-down." Much discussion has occurred on the passage. Warburton and others read it,

"Then happy lowly clown !"

FALSTAFF. What wind blew you hither, Pistol?

PISTOL. Not the ill wind which blows none to good.
Act v. Scene 3.

Under which king, Bezonian ? speak, or die.



Consideration like an angel came,

And whipp'd the offending Adam out of him.

Act 1.

Scene 1.

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For after I saw him fumble with the sheets, and play with flowers, and smile upon his fingers' ends, I knew there was but one way; for his nose was as sharp as a pen, and a' babbled of green fields.†

Act II.

Scene 3.

* Bezonian; a term of reproach from the Italiar. bisogno.

+ Babbled of green fields. Though this is the generally recognised text, it is by no means a settled point as to the

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