Act II - Act II, Scene 1
SCENE I. London. A street.
[Enter Hostess, Fang and his Boy with her, and Snare following.]
Master Fang, have you entered the action?
It is entered.
Where 's your yeoman? Is 't a lusty yeoman? will 'a stand to 't?
Sirrah, where 's Snare?
O Lord, ay! good Master Snare.
Snare, we must arrest Sir John Falstaff.
Yea, good Master Snare; I have entered him and all.
It may chance cost some of our lives, for he will stab.
Alas the day! take heed of him; he stabbed me in mine own house,
and that most beastly: in good faith, he cares not what
mischief he does, if his weapon be out: he will foin like any
devil; he will spare neither man, woman, nor child.
If I can close with him, I care not for his thrust.
No, nor I neither: I'll be at your elbow.
An I but fist him once; an 'a come but within my vice,--
I am undone by his going; I warrant you, he 's an
infinitive thing upon my score. Good Master Fang, hold him sure:
good Master Snare, let him not 'scape. A' comes continuantly to
Pie-corner--saving your manhoods--to buy a saddle; and he is
indited to dinner to the Lubber's-head in Lumbert Street, to
Master Smooth's the silkman: I pray ye, since my exion is
entered and my case so openly known to the world, let him be
brought in to his answer. A hundred mark is a long one for a poor
lone woman to bear: and I have borne, and borne, and borne; and
have been fubbed off, and fubbed off, and fubbed off, from this
day to that day, that it is a shame to be thought on. There is no
honesty in such dealing; unless a woman should be made an ass and
a beast, to bear every knave's wrong. Yonder he comes; and that
arrant malmsey-nose knave, Bardolph, with him. Do your offices,
do your offices, Master Fang and Master Snare, do me, do me, do me
[Enter Falstaff, Page, and Bardolph.]
How now! whose mare's dead? what's the matter?
Sir John, I arrest you at the suit of Mistress Quickly.
Away, varlets! Draw, Bardolph: cut me off the villain's
head: throw the quean in the channel.
Throw me in the channel! I'll throw thee in the channel.
Wilt thou? wilt thou? thou bastardly rogue! Murder, murder! Ah,
thou honey-suckle villain! wilt thou kill God's officers and the
Ah, thou honey-seed rogue! thou art a honey-seed, a man-queller,
and a woman-queller.
Keep them off, Bardolph.
A rescue! a rescue!
Good people, bring a rescue or two. Thou wo't, wo't thou?
thou wo't, wo't ta? do, do, thou rogue! do, thou hemp-seed!
Away, you scullion! you rampallian! you fustilarian! I'll tickle
[Enter the Lord Chief-Justice, and his men.]
What is the matter? keep the peace here, ho!
Good my lord, be good to me. I beseech you, stand to me.
How now, Sir John! what are you brawling here?
Doth this become your place, your time and business?
You should have been well on your way to York.
Stand from him, fellow: wherefore hang'st thou upon him?
O my most worshipful lord, an't please your grace, I am a
poor widow of Eastcheap, and he is arrested at my suit.
For what sum?
It is more than for some, my lord; it is for all, all I have.
He hath eaten me out of house and home; he hath put all my substance
into that fat belly of his: but I will have some of it out again,
or I will ride thee o' nights like the mare.
I think I am as like to ride the mare, if I have any
vantage of ground to get up.
How comes this, Sir John? Fie! what man of good temper would
endure this tempest of exclamation? Are you not ashamed to enforce
a poor widow to so rough a course to come by her own?
What is the gross sum that I owe thee?
Marry, if thou wert an honest man, thyself and the money too.
Thou didst swear to me upon a parcel-gilt goblet, sitting in
my Dolphin-chamber, at the round table, by a sea-coal fire, upon
Wednesday in Wheeson week, when the prince broke thy head for
liking his father to a singing-man of Windsor, thou didst swear to
me then, as I was washing thy wound, to marry me and make me my
lady thy wife. Canst thou deny it? Did not goodwife Keech, the
butcher's wife, come in then and call me gossip Quickly? Coming
in to borrow a mess of vinegar; telling us she had a good dish of
prawns, whereby thou didst desire to eat some, whereby I told
thee they were ill for green wound? And didst thou not, when she
was gone down stairs, desire me to be no more so familiarity with
such poor people; saying that ere long they should call me madam?
And didst thou not kiss me, and bid me fetch thee thirty shillings?
I put thee now to thy book-oath: deny it, if thou canst.
My lord, this is a poor mad soul; and she says up and down the
town that her eldest son is like you: she hath been in good case,
and the truth is, poverty hath distracted her. But for these
foolish officers, I beseech you I may have redress against them.
Sir John, Sir John, I am well acquainted with your
manner of wrenching the true cause the false way. It is not a
confident brow, nor the throng of words that come with such more
than impudent sauciness from you, can thrust me from a level
consideration: you have, as it appears to me, practised upon the
easy-yielding spirit of this woman, and made her serve your uses
both in purse and in person.
Yea, in truth, my lord.
Pray thee, peace. Pay her the debt you owe her, and unpay the
villany you have done her: the one you may do with sterling
money, and the other with current repentance.
My lord, I will not undergo this sneap without reply.
You call honourable boldness impudent sauciness: if a man will make
courtesy and say nothing, he is virtuous: no, my lord, my humble
duty remembered, I will not be your suitor. I say to you, I do desire
deliverance from these officers, being upon hasty employment in the
You speak as having power to do wrong: but answer
in the effect of your reputation, and satisfy the poor woman.
Come hither, hostess.
Now, Master Gower, what news?
The king, my lord, and Harry Prince of Wales
Are near at hand: the rest the paper tells.
As I am a gentleman.
Faith, you said so before.
As I am a gentleman. Come, no more words of it.
By this heavenly ground I tread on, I must be fain to pawn
both my plate and the tapestry of my dining-chambers.
Glasses, glasses, is the only drinking: and for thy walls, a pretty
slight drollery, or the story of the Prodigal, or the German hunting
in water-work, is worth a thousand of these bed-hangings and
these fly-bitten tapestries. Let it be ten pound, if thou canst.
Come, an 'twere not for thy humours, there's not a better wench in
England. Go, wash thy face, and draw the action. Come, thou must not be
in this humour with me; dost not know me? come, come, I know thou wast
set on to this.
Pray thee, Sir John, let it be but twenty nobles: i' faith,
I am loath to pawn my plate, so God save me, la!
Let it alone; I'll make other shift: you'll be a fool still.
Well, you shall have it, though I pawn my gown. I hope
you'll come to supper. You'll pay me all together?
Will I live? [To Bardolph.] Go, with her, with her;
hook on, hook on.
Will you have Doll Tearsheet meet you at supper?
No more words; let 's have her.
[Exeunt Hostess, Bardolph, Officers, and Boy.]
I have heard better news.
What 's the news, my lord?
Where lay the king last night?
At Basingstoke, my lord.
I hope, my lord, all 's well: what is the news, my lord?
Come all his forces back?
No; fifteen hundred foot, five hundred horse,
Are march'd up to my Lord of Lancaster,
Against Northumberland and the Archbishop.
Comes the king back from Wales, my noble lord?
You shall have letters of me presently:
Come, go along with me, good Master Gower.
What's the matter?
Master Gower, shall I entreat you with me to dinner?
I must wait upon my good lord here; I thank you, good Sir John.
Sir John, you loiter here too long, being you are to
take soldiers up in counties as you go.
Will you sup with me, Master Gower?
What foolish master taught you these manners, Sir John?
Master Gower, if they become me not, he was a fool that
taught them me. This is the right fencing grace, my lord; tap for
tap, and so part fair.
Now the Lord lighten thee! thou art a great fool.
— Wesley, Owl Eyes Editor
Sir John Falstaff has been unwilling to take care of his tab at the Boar's-Head Tavern. Hostess Quickly complains to the Chief Justice and she threatens Falstaff saying that she'll visit him like a nightmare. He retorts with a characteristically vulgar interpretation of her threat. This famous phrase has been adopted exactly as Quickly uses it here, which means that Falstaff has not only eaten all of Quickly's provisions, but he has also consumed (or disturbed / drained) her domestic comfort.