Act V - Act V, Scene 5

SCENE V. A public place near Westminster Abbey.

[Enter two Grooms, strewing rushes.]

More rushes, more rushes.

The trumpets have sounded twice.

'Twill be two o'clock ere they come from the
coronation: dispatch, dispatch.


[Enter Falstaff, Shallow, Pistol, Bardolph, and Page.]

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.

God bless thy lungs, good knight!

Come here, Pistol; stand behind me. O, if I had had to have
made new liveries, I would have bestowed the thousand pound I
borrowed of you. But 'tis no matter; this poor show doth better:
this doth infer the zeal I had to see him.

It doth so.

It shows my earnestness of affection,--

It doth so.

My devotion,--

It doth, it doth, it doth.

As it were, to ride day and night; and not to deliberate, not to
remember, not to have patience to shift me,--

It is best, certain.

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.

'Tis "semper idem," for "obsque hoc nihil est:" 'tis all in
every part.

'Tis so, indeed.

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;
Haled thither
By most mechanical and dirty hand:
Rouse up revenge from ebon den with fell Alecto's snake,
For Doll is in. Pistol speaks nought but truth.

I will deliver her.

[Shouts, within, and the trumpets sound.]

There roar'd the sea, and trumpet-clangor sounds.

[Enter the King and his train, the Lord Chief-Justice among

God save thy grace, King Hal; my royal Hal!

The heavens thee guard and keep, most royal imp of fame!

God save thee, my sweet boy!

My lord chief-justice, speak to that vain man.

Have you your wits? know you what 'tis you speak?

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

I know thee not, old man: fall to thy prayers;
How ill white hairs become a fool and jester!
I have long dream'd of such a kind of man,
So surfeit-swell'd, so old, and so profane;
But, being awaked, I do despise my dream.
Make less thy body hence, and more thy grace;
Leave gormandizing; know the grave doth gape
For thee thrice wider than for other men.
Reply not to me with a fool-born jest:
Presume not that I am the thing I was;
For God doth know, so shall the world perceive,
That I have turn'd away my former self;
So will I those that kept me company.
When thou dost hear I am as I have been,
Approach me, and thou shalt be as thou wast,
The tutor and the feeder of my riots:
Till then, I banish thee, on pain of death,
As I have done the rest of my misleaders,
Not to come near our person by ten mile.
For competence of life I will allow you,
That lack of means enforce you not to evils:
And, as we hear you do reform yourselves,
We will, according to your strengths and qualities,
Give you advancement. Be it your charge, my lord,
To see perform'd the tenour of our word.
Set on.

[Exeunt King, &c.]

Master Shallow, I owe you a thousand pounds.

Yea, marry, Sir John; which I beseech you to let me have
home with me.

That can hardly be, Master Shallow. Do not you grieve at this;
I shall be sent for in private to him: look you, he must seem
thus to the world: fear not your advancements; I will be the man yet
that shall make you great.

I cannot perceive how, unless you give me your doublet
and stuff me out with straw. I beseech you, good Sir John, let me
have five hundred of my thousand.

Sir, I will be as good as my word: this that you heard was
but a colour.

A colour that I fear you will die in, Sir John.

Fear no colours: go with me to dinner: come, Lieutenant
Pistol; come, Bardolph: I shall be sent for soon at night.

[Re-enter Prince John, the Lord Chief-Justice; Officers with

Go, carry Sir John Falstaff to the Fleet:
Take all his company along with him.

My lord, my lord,--

I cannot now speak: I will hear you soon.
Take them away.

Si fortuna me tormenta, spero me contenta.

[Exeunt all but Prince John and the Lord Chief-Justice.]

I like this fair proceeding of the king's:
He hath intent his wonted followers
Shall all be very well provided for;
But all are banish'd till their conversations
Appear more wise and modest to the world.

And so they are.

The king hath call'd his parliament, my lord.

He hath.

I will lay odds that, ere this year expire,
We bear our civil swords and native fire
As far as France: I heard a bird so sing,
Whose music, to my thinking, pleased the king.
Come, will you hence?



Spoken by a Dancer.

First my fear; then my courtesy; last my speech. My fear is, your
displeasure; my courtesy, my duty; and my speech, to beg your
pardons. If you look for a good speech now, you undo me: for
what I have to say is of mine own making; and what indeed I
should say will, I doubt, prove mine own marring. But to the
urpose, and so to the venture. Be it known to you, as it is very
well, I was lately here in the end of a displeasing play, to pray
your patience for it and to promise you a better. I meant indeed to
pay you with this; which, if like an ill venture it come unluckily
home, I break, and you, my gentle creditors, lose. Here I promised
you I would be and here I commit my body to your mercies: bate me
some and I will pay you some and, as most debtors do, promise you

If my tongue cannot entreat you to acquit me, will you command me to
use my legs? and yet that were but light payment, to dance out of
your debt. But a good conscience will make any possible satisfaction,
and so would I. All the gentlewomen here have forgiven me: if the
gentlemen will not, then the gentlemen do not agree with the
gentlewomen, which was never seen before in such an assembly.

One word more, I beseech you. If you be not too much cloy'd with fat
meat, our humble author will continue the story, with Sir John in it,
and make you merry with fair Katharine of France: where, for any
thing I know, Falstaff shall die of a sweat, unless already a' be
killed with your hard opinions; for Oldcastle died a martyr, and this
is not the man.
My tongue is weary; when my legs are too, I will bid you good night:
and so kneel down before you; but, indeed, to pray for the queen.