Act IV - Act IV, Scene 3
SCENE III. Another part of the forest.
[Alarum. Excursions. Enter Falstaff and Colevile, meeting.]
What 's your name, sir? of what condition are you, and of
what place, I pray?
I am a knight sir; and my name is Colevile of the Dale.
Well, then, Colevile is your name, a knight is your degree, and
your place the dale: Colevile shall be still your name, a traitor
your degree, and the dungeon your place, a place deep enough; so
shall you be still Colevile of the dale.
Are not you Sir John Falstaff?
As good a man as he, sir, whoe'er I am. Do ye yield, sir? or shall I
sweat for you? If I do sweat, they are the drops of thy lovers, and
they weep for thy death: therefore rouse up fear and trembling,
and do observance to my mercy.
I think you are Sir John Falstaff, and in that thought yield me.
I have a whole school of tongues in this belly of mine, and not a
tongue of them all speaks any other word but my name. An I had but
a belly of any indifferency, I were simply the most active fellow in
Europe: my womb, my womb, my womb undoes me.
Here comes our general.
[Enter Prince John of Lancaster, Westmoreland, Blunt, and
The heat is past; follow no further now:
Call in the powers, good cousin Westmoreland.
Now, Falstaff, where have you been all this while?
When everything is ended, then you come:
These tardy tricks of yours will, on my life,
One time or other break some gallows' back.
I would be sorry, my lord, but it should be thus: I never knew yet
but rebuke and check was the reward of valour. Do you think me a
swallow, an arrow, or a bullet? have I, in my poor and old motion,
the expedition of thought? I have speeded hither with the very
extremest inch of possibility; I have foundered nine score and odd
posts: and here, travel-tainted as I am, have, in my pure and
immaculate valour, taken Sir John Colevile of the dale, a most furious
knight and valorous enemy. But what of that? he saw me, and yielded;
that I may justly say, with the hook-nosed fellow of Rome, "I came,
saw, and overcame."
It was more of his courtesy than your deserving.
I know not: here he is, and here I yield him: and I beseech your
grace, let it be booked with the rest of this day's deeds; or, by the
Lord, I will have it in a particular ballad else, with mine own
picture on the top on't, Colevile kissing my foot: to the which
course if I be enforced, if you do not all show like gilt twopences to
me, and I in the clear sky of fame o'ershine you as much as the full
moon doth the cinders of the element, which show like pins' heads to
her, believe not the word of the noble: therefore let me have right,
and let desert mount.
Thine 's too heavy to mount.
Let it shine, then.
Thine 's too thick to shine.
Let it do something, my good lord, that may do me good, and
call it what you will.
Is thy name Colevile?
It is, my lord.
A famous rebel art thou, Colevile.
And a famous true subject took him.
I am, my lord, but as my betters are
That led me hither: had they been ruled by me,
You should have won them dearer than you have.
I know not how they sold themselves: but thou, like a kind
fellow, gavest thyself away gratis; and I thank thee for thee.
Now, have you left pursuit?
Retreat is made and execution stay'd.
Send Colevile with his confederates
To York, to present execution.
Blunt, lead him hence; and see you guard him sure.
[Exeunt Blunt and others with Colevile.]
And now dispatch we toward the court, my lords:
I hear the king my father is sore sick:
Our news shall go before us to his majesty,
Which, cousin, you shall bear to comfort him,
And we with sober speed will follow you.
My lord, I beseech you, give me leave to go through Gloucestershire:
and, when you come to court, stand my good lord, pray, in your good
Fare you well, Falstaff: I, in my condition,
Shall better speak of you than you deserve.
[Exeunt all but Falstaff.]
I would you had but the wit: 'twere better than your dukedom.
Good faith, this same young sober-blooded boy doth not love me;
nor a man cannot make him laugh; but that 's no marvel, he drinks
no wine. There 's never none of these demure boys come to any proof;
for thin drink doth so over-cool their blood, and making many
fish-meals, that they fall into a kind of male green-sickness; and
then, when they marry, they get wenches: they are generally fools
and cowards; which some of us should be too, but for inflammation.
A good sherris-sack hath a two-fold operation in it. It ascends me
into the brain; dries me there all the foolish and dull and crudy
vapours which environ it; makes it apprehensive, quick, forgetive,
full of nimble fiery and delectable shapes; which, delivered o'er to
the voice, the tongue, which is the birth, becomes excellent wit.
The second property of your excellent sherris is, the warming of the
blood; which, before cold and settled, left the liver white and pale,
which is the badge of pusillanimity and cowardice; but the sherris
warms it and makes it course from the inwards to the parts extremes:
it illumineth the face, which as a beacon gives warning to all
the rest of this little kingdom, man, to arm; and then the vital
commoners and inland petty spirits muster me all to their captain, the
heart, who, great and puffed up with this retinue, doth any deed of
courage; and this valour comes of sherris. So that skill in the weapon
is nothing without sack, for that sets it a-work; and learning a mere
hoard of gold kept by a devil, till sack commences it and sets it in
act and use. Hereof comes it that Prince Harry is valiant; for the
cold blood he did naturally inherit of his father, he hath, like lean,
sterile and bare land, manured, husbanded and tilled with excellent
endeavour of drinking good and good store of fertile sherris, that he
is become very hot and valiant. If I had a thousand sons, the first
humane principle I would teach them should be, to forswear thin
potations and to addict themselves to sack.
How now, Bardolph!
The army is discharged all and gone.
Let them go. I'll through Gloucestershire; and there will I visit
Master Robert Shallow, esquire: I have him already tempering between
my finger and my thumb, and shortly will I seal with him. Come away.