ACT III. Scene III. Eastcheap. A Room in the Boar's-Head Tavern.
[Enter Falstaff and Bardolph.]
Bardolph, am I not fallen away vilely since this last action? do I
not bate? do I not dwindle? Why, my skin hangs about me like an
old lady's loose gown; I am withered like an old apple-John.
Well, I'll repent, and that suddenly, while I am in some liking; I
shall be out of heart shortly, and then I shall have no strength to
An I have not forgotten what the inside of a church is made of, I
am a peppercorn, a brewer's horse: the inside of a church!
Company, villainous company, hath been the spoil of me.
Sir John, you are so fretful, you cannot live long.
Why, there is it: come, sing me a song; make me merry. I was as
virtuously given as a gentleman need to be; virtuous enough; swore
little; diced not above seven times a week; paid money that I borrowed
— three or four times; lived well, and in good compass: and now I live
out of all order, out of all compass.
Why, you are so fat, Sir John, that you must needs be out of all
compass, — out of all reasonable compass, Sir John.
Do thou amend thy face, and I'll amend my life: thou art our admiral,
thou bearest the lantern in the poop, — but 'tis in the nose of thee;
thou art the Knight of the Burning Lamp.
Why, Sir John, my face does you no harm.
No, I'll be sworn; I make as good use of it as many a man doth of a
death's-head or a memento mori: I never see thy face but I think upon
hell-fire, and Dives that lived in purple; for there he is in his robes,
burning, burning. If thou wert any way given to virtue, I would swear
by thy face; my oath should be, By this fire, that's God's angel: but
thou art altogether given over; and wert indeed, but for the light in
thy face, the son of utter darkness. When thou rann'st up Gad's-hill in
the night to catch my horse, if I did not think thou hadst been an ignis
fatuus or a ball of wildfire, there's no purchase in money. O, thou art
a perpetual triumph, an everlasting bonfire-light! Thou hast saved me a
thousand marks in links and torches, walking with thee in the night
betwixt tavern and tavern: but the sack that thou hast drunk me would
have bought me lights as good cheap at the dearest chandler's in Europe.
I have maintain'd that salamander of yours with fire any time this
two-and-thirty years; God reward me for it!
'Sblood, I would my face were in your stomach!
God-a-mercy! so should I be sure to be heart-burn'd. —
[Enter the Hostess.]
How now, Dame Partlet the hen! have you enquir'd yet who
pick'd my pocket?
Why, Sir John, what do you think, Sir John? do you think I
keep thieves in my house? I have search'd, I have inquired,
so has my husband, man by man, boy by boy, servant by servant:
the tithe of a hair was never lost in my house before.
Ye lie, hostess: Bardolph was shaved, and lost many a hair; and
I'll be sworn my pocket was pick'd. Go to, you are a woman, go.
Who, I? no; I defy thee: God's light, I was never call'd so in
mine own house before.
Go to, I know you well enough.
No, Sir John; you do not know me, Sir John. I know you, Sir John:
you owe me money, Sir John; and now you pick a quarrel to beguile me
of it: I bought you a dozen of shirts to your back.
Dowlas, filthy dowlas: I have given them away to bakers' wives,
and they have made bolters of them.
Now, as I am a true woman, holland of eight shillings an ell.
You owe money here besides, Sir John, for your diet and by-drinkings,
and money lent you, four-and-twenty pound.
He had his part of it; let him pay.
He? alas, he is poor; he hath nothing.
How! poor? look upon his face; what call you rich? let
them coin his nose, let them coin his cheeks: I'll not pay a
denier. What, will you make a younker of me? shall I not take
mine ease in mine inn, but I shall have my pocket pick'd? I have
lost a seal-ring of my grandfather's worth forty mark.
O Jesu, I have heard the Prince tell him, I know not how oft,
that that ring was copper!
How! the Prince is a Jack, a sneak-cup: 'sblood, an he were
here, I would cudgel him like a dog, if he would say so. —
[Enter Prince Henry and Pointz, marching. Falstaff meets them,
playing on his truncheon like a fife.]
How now, lad? is the wind in that door, i'faith? must we all
Yea, two-and-two, Newgate-fashion.