Page images

Fal. Ay, hostess, Bardolph is somewhat blunt: Quick. True, Sir John, as you say, to be sure, but, as for the king

I shall not be willing to lose it : for the law is Quick. Heavens bless him! a sweet young open, and I know which way to get my money. prince he was; and to be sure a gracious king he Fal. I am glad thou dost, hostess : as in that is. But what of him, Sir John?

case I need not give myself the trouble to pay Fal. Why, marry, hang him, hostess—treason thee. The law is open, say'st thou ? Ay, like a must out as well as murder.

mouse-trap, on the catch for nibbling clients Quick. I am amazed, Sir John ; why, how is Enter thy action, and I will hold thee a gallon of this? what a goodness! when-whe

sack, thy departed husband will get out of peDoll. How is this, good Bardolph? gatory ere thou out of the hands of thy lawyer

. Fal. Why, I will tell you how it is. That same Quick. Nay, Sir John, you need not twit me ungrateful, sneaking, pitiful rascal we were speak- upon that. You need not fing my poor husing, of is turn'd fanatic!

band's soul in my teeth. He has not been goce Quick. Fanatic! the king turn'd fanatic! so long; though for the matter of that be mist:

Fal. Ay, fanatic, presbyter, bishop, if you will have been in Heaven before now, badn't I leci Let his crown be his mitre, I care not.

you the money, Mr Dumb should have had to say Doll. We don't take your meaning, Sir John. masses for him. Yes, Sir John, you have put is

Fal. You must know then, Doll, that after to that great belly of your's what should have a having, in pure love and affection, ridden post my poor husband out of purgatory, and now you day and night fourscore and odd miles, to con reproach me for it. Had he been still alive, you gratulate him on his accession, and condole with would not have used his disconsolate widow this. him on his father's death ; instead of bidding me You wouldn't, Sir Jobn. welcome to court, he preached me my own fu Fal. No, I'll be sworn, I should not. neral sermon.

Quick. Well then, Sir John, out of charity, Quick. A funeral sermon !

it were nothing else, you ought to repay the Fat. Ay, hostess : for at the end of his dis- money.-Nay, if you don't, I'll pray night and course he ordered me to be buried alive, at ten day that you may be haunted by his ghost. He miles distance from the court. And to make this ven rest his soul! I would he might never sleep unnatural interment the surer, he has appointed quietly in his grave, till he has made you pay ex my lord chief justice his undertaker, to see to the Ful. Go to, thou art a foolish woman : WIL disposal of my corpse.

good words thou may'st be paid. Quick. Buried alive, quoth he! what, what is Quick. No, Sir John, good words won't do. I in all this?

must have money, Sir John. The priests wos Fal. In plain terms, dame Quickly, your gra- get a soul out of purgatory without money. Be cious king hath banished me the presence; and, sides, Sir John, good words are no payment; I till he grows a graceless prince again, I am for can get no body to take them ; good words : bidden to approach his person within ten miles, not do with me. on penalty of being hanged. Take ye me now? Fat. Well, well, I say you may be paid Quick. O Jesu! is it possitable ?

Quick. May! Sir John, I must. You have Doll. Ah, ha! is it so ? sits the wind in that thus shuffled off and on me a good while; but ! quarter?

must, I must be paid, I mustQuick. Well, as I am an honest woman, who Fal. Heigh! heigh! wilt thou raise the neigh would have thought it ? it is a world to see! bourhood upon us? If thou art clamorous, I we

Doll. And so, Sir John is in disgrace ; still have toce duck'd in the Thames for a band plain Jack Falstaff, and one of us ? ba, ha, ha! What a-plague, art thou drunk? On the honod: poor blown Jack !

of my knighthood thou shalt be paid. Dost the Quick. A sad disappointment, indeed, Sir John! | doubt mine honour? but in good faith, things fall ont so odd, and the Quick. Why, Sir Jolin, to be sure, nobox's world goes so wrong, and the times are so hard, that would scruple to confide in your honour's bohere, there, why, no longer ago now than yester- nour: but then, you know, Sir John, (nobaus day, was I obliged to pay the lord knows-what better) what honour is.— It will buy neither was all away for one thing or other; and then my nor candles ; nor will my landlord take it to misfortune to-day; an angel to the constables ; rent, nor the merchant for sack or sherry. But and besides, this comes the day after to-morrow, would you give me only half the money, and leave when I must make up a sum for the wine-mer- the rest to honour; so that a body might keep chant; wherefore, if your honour would but dis- open house, Sir John; that would be doing some charge your score in Eastcheap; because as why, thing. your honour knows

Fal. Nay, if thou wilt be advised, I will do Ful. How's this, dame Quickly?

more for thee.—Bardolph! forget not to go (when Quick. Because I say as why, your honour I send thee) to the cashier, with whom I jelt a knows, seventy odd pounds is a great deal of mo- thousand pound this morning, and tell him to så ney for a poor widow woman to lose.

tisfy Mrs Quickly forthwith. fal. What talk you of losing, hostess ! Quick. A thousand pound !

Fal. The times are not so bad, hostess, (thanks oblivion-The trick of it pleases. But, here co our friend Shallow) but we may have a merry comes Quickly and Doll. pout in Eastcheap. -How says my


Enter Mrs QUICKLY and Doll TEARSHEET. Doll. Nay, you know, sweet Jack, I was al-rays at your pleasure there.

Quick. So, gentlemen! you are go: home beQuick. That I will say for her, and a sweeter-fore Sir John, I see. matured, better-hearted creature, never lay by the Pis. How fares the knight? Is he in durance ide of a true man.-But goodness heart! why vile ? lo we tarry here, when Sir John complained of Quick. No, by my truly; he returns forthwith; is being fatigued, and was looking for a house but in a woeful plight-Francis ! What, Franof civil entertainment? I will shew you the way cis! bring the great chair for Sir John. ncontinently, Sir John.

Fran. (Within.] Anon, anon, sir. Fal. I thank thee, hostess; I am now some Doll. (To Nym.] Sirrah, Nym, hath Falstaff what recruited, and will endeavour to reach got money by him? Eastcheap.—And yet a cup of sack by the way, Nym. Yes, a thousand pounds; he borrowed I think, would not be amiss. (Exeunt. it of Justice Shallow : but we shall be little the

better for that; for the knight will certainly be in SCENE II.-A Tatern in Eastcheap.


Doll. May be no; and may be yes. - It is no Enter PISTOL and NYM.

matter. [DOLL and QUICKLY conftr apart. Pis. Hang Pistol up with line of hempen string, Nym. (To Pistol, who stunds musing.) Does Ere he in rabbit-hutch be close immured

the humour hold? Or shall we wait the coming Seize the stiff cramp upon the fangs of justice.

of the knight? Nym. Marry-trap, we shew'd his myrmidons a Pis. And share his fate in base incarceration ! light pair of heels though. I wonder what is be- Shall Don Anticho del Pistolo prove come of Sir John.—They have certainly nailed | A vile hunt-counter ? No-we'll thrive alone. bis fat paunch. We must not venture to the Hostess, farewell; we may return-or not. Fleet to see: they'll nab us there; and, for the Nym. Bye, Doll. (Excunt Pistol und Nym. matter of that, I suppose they'll be running the Quick. 'Tis certainly so; Sir John hath got humour upon us here too. I will incontinently the money; go and shut myself up:— The storm may blow

Doil. I know not that; but if he has, he'll proover when we are found uninventible.

bably carry it to jail with him.-Here comes BarPis. Pistol disdains to skulk. Nolens 'tis fate: dolph; ask him. But who would volens be incarcerate ?

Nym, we must eat, and money have we none.
Nym. True, nolus colus, as you say, we must

Quick. Is Sir John at hand, Bardolph? eat. I like to starve, like a rat, behind the ar Bar. He will be here incontinently, hostess ; ras, as little as another man.-But what shall we I only stept before, to let you know he was ado if Sir John be in limbo?

coming. Pis. Or in or out; bis follower I no more. Quick. But is it veritably true, Bardolph, that Invention's mother is Necessity,


John has got a thousand pounds by him? And Pistol's demon is an imp of wit,

Doll. Ay, is that true, Bardolph? dlerc'ry suggests, and Pallas doth approve. Bar. True, upon honour : he had it of Justice The great Ponjardo del Stiletto's dead,

Shallow, of Gloucestershire ; and it lies now in Professor of the art of self-defence.

Master Jingle-cash, the banker's hands.—But Sir His broken foils, his daggers, belts, and blades,

John will be here momentably.- Is every thing The stock in trade, I'll purchase upon tick;

ready? My face, disguised with an usurped beard,

Quick. In a minute we are all clear. Run, These jutting eye-brows, turn'd from black to good Doll, and receive the knight at the door. red,

Francis ! what, Francis !
Shall screen from knowledge. Thou shalt too Frun. (lithout.] Anon, anon, sir.

Quick. Light up candles in the passage. A A borrowed excrement, and partner be

bottle of sherris, Francis! quick, you sleeping In stock and block : since fighting's grown a

knave. Always upon a snail's gallop ! O, that trade,

ever woman should be plagued with such creepPence are pick'd up by masters of the blade.

ing varlets ! Nym. The thought is lucky. Angels will en Doll. O, here is Sir John, himself. sue. But must we not transmutify our names?

Enter Sir John FALSTAFF. Pis

. My brain's my god-father, and, at the font, Me Don Anticho del Pistolo called.

Quick. Jaded to death, I warrant An easy Nym. And pray what did this same god-father chair, good Bardolph. Please to depose your

self, Sir John. Pis. Signior Nymwego.

Fal. Soh! now have I taken up my sitting aNym, Good! Signior Nymwego! and you Don gain, in my old quarters.-A glass of sherris, Anticho del Pistolo called ! I will hol them in Francis !


call me?

Give me

Doll. And how do you find yourself, my sweet dough they were kneading to make dumplings of: knight?

and to expostulate with the villains would have Fal

. Tolerable thirsty. [Drinks.] I can drink, been preaching to the winds. and that is all the bodily functions I am capable Doll. Why did not you exert your courage, Sir of.-I am as stiff, every part about me, as a walk John? draw upon them? ing tailor, or Don Diego on a sign-post.

Fal. Draw, say'st thou? I could not come at Doll. Nay, Sir John, if that be the case, it is my rapier to be master of a kingdom. And as for not over with you yet.-Give me a buss. good words, in return for the few I gave them,

Ful. Go, Doll, you are riggish-get you gone, they let fly their jests so thick at me, and pepperyou water-wag-tail

, you; I am not merrily dis ed me so plaguily with small wit, that I was dumposed.

founded. Doll. But, will you give me a new kirtle at Bar Doll. I thought you could never have beea tholomew-fair?

overmatched that way, Sir John. Fal. I will, Doll. -Nay, I cannot bear you Fal. Yet so it was, Doll. They were holiday. en my knee.

wits, and came laden with choke-pears; but, inDoll

. Why, how came you so terribly mauled, deed, I was overpowered by numbers. Two to my leman ?

one, Doll, you know—They pelted me from all Fal. Did I not tell ye?

quarters. Will you hear? I will give you a spice Quick. No indeed, Sir John, your honour of their sarcasms; a sample of the jibing pellets spoke of fatigue ; but did not descend to par they threw at me. As I was thus stemming the ticles.

tide, and crying out for the Lord's sake, a dried Fal. Well then, I will tell ye now.

eel’s-skin of a fishmonger ask'd me how I could first a glass of sherris. [Drinks.) You must know complain of the crowd?“ Is a porpoise ill at ease;" that, after the king (hang him for a sheep-steal said he, “ amidst a glut of sprats and herrings ?" ing cur !) gave me that rebuff I told you of, he I had not time to answer the smelt, before a bar. stalk'd majestically away, and left me to the mer- ber-surgeon, the very model of the skeleton in bis cy of the multitude; when, as I stood parlying glass-case, offered to tap me for the dropsy, ani with mine ancient, mine arms a-kimbo thus; a to make us all elbow-room by letting out a putknot of elbowing carls bore me down before them, cheon of canary at my girdle. “Right,” cries : with the impetuosity of a torrent. Lo! there third, at the word canary, “ I'll be hang'd if any was 1, jamm'd fast in the midst of a vile group of thing be in the doublet of that fat rogue but a mechanics, as if we had grown together in a body- hog's-skin of Spanish wine;" and incontinent's corporate : and in this jeopardy was I carried a they roared out on all sides, “ Tap him there, long: sometimes bolstered up on all sides, at the tap him, master surgeon.” 'Sblood, I was forced confluence of several turnings, like a May-pole; to draw in my horns, and be silent, lest the vi and at others, wire-drawn between two stone lains, being thirsty, should force the shaver so walls, as if they meant to make chitterlings of operation. The knave, indeed, was five wearers me: now, this fair round belly taking the form oft, and so could not well come at me; I might of a Christmas-pye, and by and by press'd as flat otherwise have been drank up alive. as a pancake. It is a miracle I did not burst in Doll. And pray how cam'st thou off at last, Sir the midst of them. Had it not been for the suf- John ? ficiency of my buff doublet, I should have cer Fal. By mere providence; for, after the berbetainly burst.

rous rascals had squecz'd the breath out of my Doll. If you had, Sir John, you would have body, they buffeted me because I could not more went off with a report like a bladder.

out God save the king.' At length, I know not Fal. A bladder, ye jade! a demi-culverin at how, they threw me down in the cloisters, where

, least. I should have died a hero: my exit would falling cross-way, and the way being partow, ! have made some noise in the world.

fairly block'd up the passage; upon which, for Quick. Heaven forbid, Sir John, you should they could not straddle over me, they took at ever die a virulent death, I say.

ther way (a plague

go with them) for fear of losing Doll. I hope, indeed, sweet knight, you will the show. And thus was I left to take in wind, never be pressed to death. That must be an odd and gather myself up at leisure. end, and yet, methinks I could bear much. Doll. And did the mangy villains so play apor Fal. l'il be sworn thou couldst

, Doll: but thy sackbut? a parcel of sapless twigs ! dry elme, thou art a woman, and made to bear.

fit only for fuell I would had the burning of Quick. Yes, in good sooth, poor woman is them. made to bear every thing; She must suffer all Fal. Would thou fire them, Doll? Ha! art thou a man's ill-humours, let 'em lie never so heavy touch-wood still

, Doll? upon her; and, by my truly, some men are no Doll. Nay, Sir John, not so. thing else. But, to be sure, Sir John, you was Quick. No, I'll be sworn, Sir John, to my car most inhumanly used. Would nobody take pity nal knowledge, if there be truth or faith in medio upon you?

cine.—But, Sir John, what would your honour Fal. Pity! the most remorseless rascals ! they please to have for supper ? wade no more of me than if I had been a lump of Fal. Another glass of sherris—fill me out, Bar

dolph. I cannot eat. I have lost my appetite by by, whipt hold of him by the leg, and threw him the way. Put an egg into a quart of mulld sack, on the people's heads; where they shouldered and give it me when I am a-bed. I will to sleep him about from post to piliar, as they would have Doll

. Would you have your bed prepared strait, done a hedge-hog, or a dead rabbit that had been Sir John?

thrown among them. I'faith, I thought they Ful Aye on the instant, good Doll. Hostess ! would have killed him. go thou and see to the brewage of my sack.

Fal. How! was that Peto? I saw the bustle at (Exeunt Doll and Mrs QUICKLY. a distance, but took it for a huge boar-cat the porPISTOL and Nym enter.

ters and 'prentices had got, to make sport withal.

By the Lord, Peto, I have a fellow-feeling for thy Pis. Sir Knight, I bring thee news; loud fame suiferings. reports my lord chief justice hath recalled his Pis. And I. But say, is merit thus repaid ? warrants.

Shall Fortune play the jilt with men of mould? Fal. I would he were choaked with his warrants Go, Peto, lay thy head in Parco's lap. ere he had issued them. But I thank thee for Fal. Good Peto, let me advise thee to go to bed, the tidings. The serjeants will not disturb my And lay thy head on a pillow. Bardolph, see to rest, at least, to-night But, what comes here?

Pis. From ducking-pond escaped in dripping Pistol and Nym, good night.

Pis. and Nym. Good night, Sir John.
Thecrooked-finger'd cut-purse, Peto hight. Fal. Francis!
Pero enters leaning upon GADSHILL.

Light me to bed—let Doll bring up the sack,

See to the jorden, and tuck up my back.
Fal. What's the matter, Peto?

[Erit. Gud. Matter ! Sir Knight, and master of mine! Pis. Signior Nymwego! Hear'st thou, lad of - Matter, i' faith, enough. The mob at West-craft? minster had like to have murdered poor Peto Nym. Yea, marry, Don Anticho del Pistolohere.

runs the humour well? Fal And how so?

Pis. Well, Nym; and thou and I, o'er cup and Gast, Why, Sir John, as he was getting upon a

cann, cobler's bulk, to see what was become of your Will go and schemes of operation plan. honour, a raw-boned swaggering serjeant, coming


[ocr errors][merged small]


you should


sure; but

therefore, coz, we swear the peace against him SCENE I.-A Street.

first, and lay him fast by the heels before we enter

the action. And yet I don't know, if I might adJustice SHALLOW and Master SLENDER enter,

vise ye, I would wash my hands of him. Slen. I wonder now, coz, when you know what

Shul. Talk not to me. I tell thee I will spend a desperate kind of a horrible man Sir John is, half my estate, ere the rascally knight shall car

ry it off so. I had rather the inns of court should Shul. Tut, tut-I fear him not; there's ne'er a share the money among them, than that the gorSir John Falstaff in the nation shall over-reach beilied knave should feast his enormous guts at

any free-cost of mine.--I will to counsel immediSlen. But what's done cann't be helped, coz; he ately; and if the law will not avail me, my sword over-reached you now, as I take it, when you sent shall do me justice. him the money

Sen. You know best, cousin Shallow, to be Shul. Well, cousin of mine; then it is my turn now to over-reach him, and get it again.

Shal. But me no buts, I say, but come along! Slen. That, indeed, cousin Shallow, to be sure,

Your Cousin Shallow puts up no such would be quite right; tit for tat, as we say in


(Ereunt. the country; but then he is such a bloodyminded caitiff; you know he broke my head once

SCENE II.-A Strect. for nothing at all; and if he should get an inkling that you are going to law with him, O Lord,

An Officer of the King's Household and a Friar O Lord, I shall never sleep in quiet again.

enter. Shal. Poh, you chit, if he breaks the peace,

I Of. There, good friar, thou hast it: it would shall know what to do with him, I warrant ye. little conduce to raise the king's wisdom in the

Slen. Ay, there indeed, cousin, ecod, I did not general estimation of the world, to have it thought think of that. If I am in fear of my life, I can in the power of such unworthy men · as Falstaff answer taking him up with a warrant, and bind and his fellows, to lead him implicitly into all ing him over to his good behaviour. Suppose, those extravagancies under which the character of VOL. IV.



may follow.

his youth suffered : and yet so it would go near Ful. It was I first taught him to way-lay the to be suspected, if his highness should now act true-man; for I knew him when he durst not cry towards them with an ill-timed severity. My lord stand to a turkey-cock; nay, a gander of the orchief-justice hath therefore retracted his hasty or- dinary size of a green goose, had it met him on a ders for their imprisonment.

common, would have made him run for it. I went Fri. Son, well observed ; and I commend his farther yet ; and not only emboldened his actions, lordship’s prudence, in treating their vices as in but taught him the manly arts of conversation. firmities; and will readily undertake to commune In the style military, for instance, or swearingwith them on the grievous enormity of their disso Bar. Sir John, I believe there you forget your lute lives.

self; the prince wanted no assistance of you in Off. His lordship would have you apply first to that; for when he was a little crack, he would Şir John Falstaff, the ringleader of this vicious swear ye like a man six foot high. troop. If you can dispose him to good, the rest Fal. Right, Bardolph, you are right. I remem

ber me ; swearing indeed he knew: for though Fri. I will attend these reprobates, and use the but a king's son, he would, as thou sayst, rap out means.

an oath like an emperor. But then for the quintOff. His lordship requires that you would bring essence of elocution, the hyperbole, vulgarly callFalstaff over to retire to a monastery, if possible; ed lying; there I am a master. Yet what a deal that, being concealed from the eyes of the world, of pains it hath cost me to teach Hal to lie; and he may not daily remind it of what is past. Fare- all thrown away upon him. He would never do well, good father, I will see thee again at the it roundly. He had no genius that way. Priory.

[Erit. Bar. You know, Sir John, the prince never Fri. I will go ; but I fear my mission will prove could away with lying. He used to say 'twas beas fruitless as that of many other apostles, sent neath a gentleman and a soldier. among infidels. As there is no danger of martyr Fal. Well, well, he will never shine in the redom, however, I am content. Persuade Sir John cital of his own exploits, as Xenophon, Cæsar, and Falstaff to turn monk ! Could I work miracles, in- | I have done. deed, and, like St Thomas, turn an Ethiop white, Bar. Why, Sir John, to be sure, you have done something might be said for it: but, as it is, I des- something. pair of converting an old debauchee from two such Fal. Something ! the services I have done him prevailing heresies as the whore and the bottle. and his father are out of number. Methinks my

[Exit. behaviour in the ever-memorable action of Shrews.

bury should make him blush at his ingratitude. SCENE III.-Tavern in Eustcheap. Who killed Hotspur? did not I give him his death's

wound in the thigh? was it not I who took priFALSTAFF and BARDOLPH enter.

soner that fiery dragon Coleville ? and that even Fal. Two sound naps, of eight hours a-piece, alive! And am I thus requited ? Is this the guerhave something recruited me. Bardolph, my morn- don of my great atchievements ? Hang valour, PII ing’s whet. Is it prepared ?

hack my sword no more. Thus has it ever been Bar. 'Tis here, Sir John. (Gives FALSTAFF a the fate of merit to be rewarded. Alcibiades and tankard.)

Bellisarius for that! Fal. Here's to our better fortune. [Drinks. Bar. Ay, Sir John, they were tall fellows: they

Bar, Ah, Sir John, I am afear'd our fortune were sadly used indeed: I have heard of them. hath been at its highest flood. We have seen our But that was in king John's time, I think. best days.

Fal. They were the Falstaffs of antiquity, BarFal.' So the world goes, Bardolph. Up and dolph. down ! But is it not hard now? I that have Bar. Like enough, Sir John; they were before but that's nothing. I hate boasting. It is, how my time, to be sure; though Pistol told me, t'other ever, well known

what pains I have taken to make day, that General Bellisarius was his god-father. a man of that Hal. Nay, you yourself are privy Fal. Pistol is an ignorant braggard, an ass: I to the many good offices I have done himn. Be have injured my dignity by associating with rasfore the younker knew me, he could not drink cals, not worthy to wait at my heels. What tellist sack; made conscience of going to church on ho- thou me of Pistol ? lidays; and blushed like a scarlet cloak at enter Bar. Nay, Sir John, I meant no harm. I do ing a bawdy-house. I instructed him in all the think you deserve to be made a lord of indeed. manly exercises. I was content to win his mo Fal. I expected nothing less, I can assure ye. ney, to teach him gaming: to get drunk myself to And then, for my well-known oeconomy, to have try to make him so. Nay, setting rotten limbs had the scle management of the exchequer at and dignity aside, have I not even pimped for the least. bashful rogue ? Such a Prince of Wales! by my Bar. And instead of that, to be banished troth, I was ashamed of him. Had it not been Fal. I knew not if I heard the word banish. I for me, the milksop might have been crowned be was forbidden indeed to come near the king's per'fore he had lost his mailenhead.

son by ten miles; but I was not at that distance Bur. And that would have been a pity, Sir | when those injunctions were laid on me. Quere John, to be sure.

now it might pose a casuist, let me tell ye)


« PreviousContinue »