Fal. 'Tis so.

Sil. Is't so? Why, then say, an old man can do somewhat.

Re-enter Davy.

Davy. An it please your worship, there's one Pistol come from the court with news.

Fal. From the court, let him come in.


Fal. How now, Pistol?

Pist. God save you, sir John!

Fal. What wind blew you hither, Pistol?

Pist. Not the ill wind which blows no man to good.-Sweet knight, thou art now one of the greatest men in the realm.

Sil. By'r lady, I think 'a be; but goodman Puff of Barson.

Pist. Puff?

Puff in thy teeth, most recreant coward base!

Sir John, I am thy Pistol, and thy friend,

And helter-skelter have I rode to thee

And tidings do I bring, and lucky joys,

And golden times, and happy news of price.

Fal. I pr'ythee now, deliver them like a man of this world.

Pist. A foutra for the world, and worldlings base! I speak of Africa, and golden joys.

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 breeding. Pist. Why, then, lament therefore.

Shal. Give me pardon, sir.-If, sir, you come with

cans; but whether the change to Samingo was a blunder of Silence in his cups, or was a real contraction of San Domingo, is uncertain. Why Saint Dominick should be the patron of topers does not appear.

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?1 speak, or die. Shal. Under king Harry.


Shal. Harry the Fourth.

Harry the Fourth, or Fifth?

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,2 like
The bragging Spaniard.

Fal. What! is the old king dead?

Pist. As nail in door: 3 The things I speak are just. Fal. Away, Bardolph; saddle my horse.-Master Robert Shallow, choose what office thou wilt in the land, 'tis thine.—Pistol, I will double charge thee with dignities.

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

Pist. What? I do bring good news?

Fal. Carry master Silence to bed.-Master Shallow, my lord Shallow, be what thou wilt, I 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 know the young king is sick for me. Let us take any man's horses; the laws of England are at my commandment. Happy are they which have been my friends; and woe to my lord chief justice!

1 Bezonian, according to Florio a bisogno, is "a new-levied souldier, such as comes needy to the wars. Cotgrave, in bisongne, says "a filthie knave, or clowne, a raskall, a bisonian, base-humored scoundrel." Its original sense is a beggar, a needy person; it is often met with very differently spelled in the old comedies.

2 An expression of contempt or insult.

3 Steevens remarks, that this proverbial expression is oftener used than understood. The door nail is the nail in ancient doors on which the knocker strikes. It is therefore used as a comparison for one irrecoverably dead, one who has fallen (as Virgil says) multa morte, i. e. with abundant death, such as reiterated strokes on the head would produce.



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.1

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! he would make this a bloody day to somebody. But I pray God, the fruit of her womb miscarry!

1 Bead. If it do, you shall have a dozen of cushions again; you have but eleven now. Come, I charge you both go with me; for the man is dead, that you and Pistol beat among you.

Dol. I'll tell thee what, thou thin man in a censer! 3 I will have you as soundly swinged for this, you bluebottle rogue! you filthy, famished correctioner! if you be not swinged, I'll forswear half-kirtles.5


1 In the quarto, 1600, we have "Enter Sincklo, and three or four officers." And the name of Sincklo is prefixed to the Beadle's speeches. Sincklo is also introduced in The Taming of the Shrew; he was an actor in the same company with Shakspeare.

2 Nut-hook was a term of reproach for a bailiff or constable.

3 Doll compares the beadle's spare figure to the embossed figures in the middle of the pierced convex lid of a censer made of thin metal. The sluttery of rush-strewed chambers rendered censers or fire pans, in which coarse perfumes were burned, most necessary utensils.

4 Beadles usually wore a blue livery.

5 A half-kirtle was a kind of apron or fore part of the dress of a woman.

1 Bead. Come, come, you she knight-errant, come. Host. O, that right should thus overcome might! Well; of sufferance comes ease.

Dol. Come, you rogue, come; bring me to a justice. Host. Ay; come, you starved blood-hound.

Dol. Goodman death! goodman bones!

Host. Thou atomy, thou!

Dol. Come, you thin thing; come, you rascal! 1 Bead. Very well.


SCENE V. A public Place near Westminster Abbey.

Enter two Grooms, strewing Rushes.

1 Groom. More rushes, more rushes.
2 Groom. The trumpets have sounded twice.

1 Groom. It will be two o'clock ere they come from the coronation. Despatch, despatch.

[Exeunt Grooms.


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.

Shal. It doth so.

Fal. It shows my earnestness of affection.

Shal. It doth so.

Fal. My devotion.

Shal. It doth, it doth, it doth.

Fal. As it were, to ride day and night; and not to

deliberate, not to remember, not to have patience to shift me.

Shal. It is most certain.

Fal. But to stand stained with travel, and sweating with desire to see him; thinking of nothing else; putting all affairs else in oblivion; as if there were nothing else to be done, but to see him.

Pist. 'Tis semper idem, for absque hoc nihil est: 'Tis all in every part.


Shal. 'Tis so, indeed.

Pist. My knight, I will inflame thy noble liver,
And make thee rage.

Thy Doll, and Helen of thy noble thoughts,
Is in base durance, and contagious prison;
Hauled thither

By most mechanical and dirty hand :—

Rouse up revenge from ebon den with fell Alecto's


For Doll is in; Pistol speaks nought but truth.

Fal. I will deliver her.

[Shouts within, and the trumpets sound. Pist. There roared the sea, and trumpet-clangor


Enter the King and his Train, the Chief Justice among



Fal. God save thy grace, king Hal! my royal Hal! Pist. The Heavens thee guard and keep, most royal imp of fame!

Fal. God save thee, my sweet boy!

King. My lord chief justice, speak to that vain man. Ch. Just. Have you your wits? know you what 'tis

you speak?

Fal. My king! my Jove! I speak to thee, my heart!

1 Warburton thought that we should read:—

“Tis all in all and all in every part."

2 A similar scene occurs in the anonymous old play of King Henry V. Falstaff and his companions address the king in the same manner, and are dismissed as in this play.

« ForrigeFortsett »