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Home > King Henry IV Part 1 > ACT IV - SCENE II. A public road near Coventry.

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ACT IV - SCENE II. A public road near Coventry.
Enter FALSTAFF and BARDOLPH

FALSTAFF
1    Bardolph, get thee before to Coventry; fill me a
2    bottle of sack: our soldiers shall march through;
3    we'll to Sutton Co'fil' tonight.
BARDOLPH
4    Will you give me money, captain?
FALSTAFF
5    Lay out, lay out.
BARDOLPH
6    This bottle makes an angel.
FALSTAFF
7    An if it do, take it for thy labour; and if it make
8    twenty, take them all; I'll answer the coinage. Bid
9    my lieutenant Peto meet me at town's end.
BARDOLPH
10   I will, captain: farewell.
Exit

FALSTAFF
11   If I be not ashamed of my soldiers, I am a soused
12   gurnet. I have misused the king's press damnably.
13   I have got, in exchange of a hundred and fifty
14   soldiers, three hundred and odd pounds. I press me
15   none but good house-holders, yeoman's sons; inquire
16   me out contracted bachelors, such as had been asked
17   twice on the banns; such a commodity of warm slaves,
18   as had as lieve hear the devil as a drum; such as
19   fear the report of a caliver worse than a struck
20   fowl or a hurt wild-duck. I pressed me none but such
21   toasts-and-butter, with hearts in their bellies no
22   bigger than pins' heads, and they have bought out
23   their services; and now my whole charge consists of
24   ancients, corporals, lieutenants, gentlemen of
25   companies, slaves as ragged as Lazarus in the
26   painted cloth, where the glutton's dogs licked his
27   sores; and such as indeed were never soldiers, but
28   discarded unjust serving-men, younger sons to
29   younger brothers, revolted tapsters and ostlers
30   trade-fallen, the cankers of a calm world and a
31   long peace, ten times more dishonourable ragged than
32   an old faced ancient: and such have I, to fill up
33   the rooms of them that have bought out their
34   services, that you would think that I had a hundred
35   and fifty tattered prodigals lately come from
36   swine-keeping, from eating draff and husks. A mad
37   fellow met me on the way and told me I had unloaded
38   all the gibbets and pressed the dead bodies. No eye
39   hath seen such scarecrows. I'll not march through
40   Coventry with them, that's flat: nay, and the
41   villains march wide betwixt the legs, as if they had
42   gyves on; for indeed I had the most of them out of
43   prison. There's but a shirt and a half in all my
44   company; and the half shirt is two napkins tacked
45   together and thrown over the shoulders like an
46   herald's coat without sleeves; and the shirt, to say
47   the truth, stolen from my host at Saint Alban's, or
48   the red-nose innkeeper of Daventry. But that's all
49   one; they'll find linen enough on every hedge.
Enter the PRINCE and WESTMORELAND

PRINCE HENRY
50   How now, blown Jack! how now, quilt!
FALSTAFF
51   What, Hal! how now, mad wag! what a devil dost thou
52   in Warwickshire? My good Lord of Westmoreland, I
53   cry you mercy: I thought your honour had already been
54   at Shrewsbury.
WESTMORELAND
55   Faith, Sir John,'tis more than time that I were
56   there, and you too; but my powers are there already.
57   The king, I can tell you, looks for us all: we must
58   away all night.
FALSTAFF
59   Tut, never fear me: I am as vigilant as a cat to
60   steal cream.
PRINCE HENRY
61   I think, to steal cream indeed, for thy theft hath
62   already made thee butter. But tell me, Jack, whose
63   fellows are these that come after?
FALSTAFF
64   Mine, Hal, mine.
PRINCE HENRY
65   I did never see such pitiful rascals.
FALSTAFF
66   Tut, tut; good enough to toss; food for powder, food
67   for powder; they'll fill a pit as well as better:
68   tush, man, mortal men, mortal men.
WESTMORELAND
69   Ay, but, Sir John, methinks they are exceeding poor
70   and bare, too beggarly.
FALSTAFF
71   'Faith, for their poverty, I know not where they had
72   that; and for their bareness, I am sure they never
73   learned that of me.
PRINCE HENRY
74   No I'll be sworn; unless you call three fingers on
75   the ribs bare. But, sirrah, make haste: Percy is
76   already in the field.
FALSTAFF
77   What, is the king encamped?
WESTMORELAND
78   He is, Sir John: I fear we shall stay too long.
FALSTAFF
79   Well,
80   To the latter end of a fray and the beginning of a feast
81   Fits a dull fighter and a keen guest.
Exeunt

< (Previous) ACT IV, SCENE IACT IV, SCENE III (Next) >
Scene Index
ACT I
  • SCENE I
  • SCENE II
  • SCENE III


  • ACT II
  • SCENE I
  • SCENE II
  • SCENE III
  • SCENE IV


  • ACT III
  • SCENE I
  • SCENE II


  • ACT IV
  • SCENE I
  • SCENE II
  • SCENE III
  • SCENE IV


  • ACT V
  • SCENE I
  • SCENE II
  • SCENE III
  • SCENE IV
  • SCENE V

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