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Henry IV, Part 2 - Act 4, scene 2
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Navigate this workHenry IV, Part 2 - Act 4, scene 2
Act 4, scene 2
Falstaff meets a rebel knight, who surrenders to him. When Prince John reproaches Falstaff for his late arrival, Falstaff turns over his captive and requests permission to return to London by way of Gloucestershire.Alarum. Excursions. Enter Falstaff ⟨and Colevile.⟩
FALSTAFF 2338 What’s your name, sir? Of what condition are
2339 you, and of what place, ⟨I pray⟩?
COLEVILE 2340 I am a knight, sir, and my name is Colevile of
2341 the Dale.
FALSTAFF 2342 5Well then, Colevile is your name, a knight is
2343 your degree, and your place the Dale. Colevile shall
2344 be still your name, a traitor your degree, and the
2345 dungeon your place, a place deep enough so shall
2346 you be still Colevile of the Dale.
COLEVILE 2347 10Are not you Sir John Falstaff?
FALSTAFF 2348 As good a man as he, sir, whoe’er I am. Do
2349 you yield, sir, or shall I sweat for you? If I do sweat,
2350 they are the drops of thy lovers and they weep for
2351 thy death. Therefore rouse up fear and trembling,
2352 15 and do observance to my mercy.
COLEVILE 2353 I think you are Sir John Falstaff, and in that
2354 thought yield me.
p. 169FALSTAFF 2355 I have a whole school of tongues in this belly
2356 of mine, and not a tongue of them all speaks any
2357 20 other word but my name. An I had but a belly of any
2358 indifferency, I were simply the most active fellow in
2359 Europe. My womb, my womb, my womb undoes
2360 me. Here comes our general.
Enter John, Westmoreland, and the rest.
JOHN OF LANCASTER
2361 The heat is past. Follow no further now.
2362 25 Call in the powers, good cousin Westmoreland.
⌜Westmoreland exits.⌝ Retreat ⌜is sounded.⌝
2363 Now, Falstaff, where have you been all this while?
2364 When everything is ended, then you come.
2365 These tardy tricks of yours will, on my life,
2366 One time or other break some gallows’ back.
FALSTAFF 2367 30I would be sorry, my lord, but it should be
2368 thus. I never knew yet but rebuke and check was the
2369 reward of valor. Do you think me a swallow, an
2370 arrow, or a bullet? Have I in my poor and old
2371 motion the expedition of thought? I have speeded
2372 35 hither with the very extremest inch of possibility. I
2373 have foundered ninescore and odd posts, and here,
2374 travel-tainted as I am, have in my pure and immaculate
2375 valor taken Sir John Colevile of the Dale, a most
2376 furious knight and valorous enemy. But what of
2377 40 that? He saw me and yielded, that I may justly say,
2378 with the hook-nosed fellow of Rome, “There, cousin,
2379 I came, saw, and overcame.”
JOHN OF LANCASTER 2380 It was more of his courtesy than
2381 your deserving.
FALSTAFF 2382 45I know not. Here he is, and here I yield him.
2383 And I beseech your Grace let it be booked with the
2384 rest of this day’s deeds, or, by the Lord, I will have it
2385 in a particular ballad else, with mine own picture
2386 on the top on ’t, Colevile kissing my foot; to the
p. 1712387 50 which course if I be enforced, if you do not all show
2388 like gilt twopences to me, and I in the clear sky of
2389 fame o’ershine you as much as the full moon doth
2390 the cinders of the element (which show like pins’
2391 heads to her), believe not the word of the noble.
2392 55 Therefore let me have right, and let desert mount.
JOHN OF LANCASTER 2393 Thine’s too heavy to mount.
FALSTAFF 2394 Let it shine, then.
JOHN OF LANCASTER 2395 Thine’s too thick to shine.
FALSTAFF 2396 Let it do something, my good lord, that may
2397 60 do me good, and call it what you will.
JOHN OF LANCASTER 2398 Is thy name Colevile?
COLEVILE 2399 It is, my lord.
JOHN OF LANCASTER 2400 A famous rebel art thou,
FALSTAFF 2402 65And a famous true subject took him.
2403 I am, my lord, but as my betters are
2404 That led me hither. Had they been ruled by me,
2405 You should have won them dearer than you have.
FALSTAFF 2406 I know not how they sold themselves, but
2407 70 thou, like a kind fellow, gavest thyself away gratis,
2408 and I thank thee for thee.
JOHN OF LANCASTER 2409 Now, have you left pursuit?
2410 Retreat is made and execution stayed.
JOHN OF LANCASTER
2411 Send Colevile with his confederates
2412 75 To York, to present execution.—
2413 Blunt, lead him hence, and see you guard him sure.
⌜Blunt⌝ ⟨exits with Colevile.⟩
2414 And now dispatch we toward the court, my lords.
2415 I hear the King my father is sore sick.
p. 1732416 Our news shall go before us to his Majesty,
2417 80 ⌜To Westmoreland.⌝ Which, cousin, you shall bear
2418 to comfort him,
2419 And we with sober speed will follow you.
FALSTAFF 2420 My lord, I beseech you give me leave to go
2421 through Gloucestershire, and, when you come to
2422 85 court, stand my good lord, ⟨pray,⟩ in your good
JOHN OF LANCASTER
2424 Fare you well, Falstaff. I, in my condition,
2425 Shall better speak of you than you deserve.
⌜All but Falstaff⌝ ⟨exit.⟩
FALSTAFF 2426 I would you had ⟨but⟩ the wit; ’twere better
2427 90 than your dukedom. Good faith, this same young
2428 sober-blooded boy doth not love me, nor a man
2429 cannot make him laugh. But that’s no marvel; he
2430 drinks no wine. There’s never none of these demure
2431 boys come to any proof, for thin drink doth so
2432 95 overcool their blood, and making many fish meals,
2433 that they fall into a kind of male green-sickness, and
2434 then, when they marry, they get wenches. They are
2435 generally fools and cowards, which some of us
2436 should be too, but for inflammation. A good sherris
2437 100 sack hath a two-fold operation in it. It ascends me
2438 into the brain, dries me there all the foolish and
2439 dull and crudy vapors which environ it, makes it
2440 apprehensive, quick, forgetive, full of nimble, fiery,
2441 and delectable shapes, which, delivered o’er to the
2442 105 voice, the tongue, which is the birth, becomes
2443 excellent wit. The second property of your excellent
2444 sherris is the warming of the blood, which,
2445 before cold and settled, left the liver white and pale,
2446 which is the badge of pusillanimity and cowardice.
2447 110 But the sherris warms it and makes it course from
2448 the inwards to the parts’ extremes. It illumineth the
p. 1752449 face, which as a beacon gives warning to all the rest
2450 of this little kingdom, man, to arm; and then the
2451 vital commoners and inland petty spirits muster me
2452 115 all to their captain, the heart, who, great and puffed
2453 up with this retinue, doth any deed of courage, and
2454 this valor comes of sherris. So that skill in the
2455 weapon is nothing without sack, for that sets it
2456 a-work; and learning a mere hoard of gold kept
2457 120 by a devil till sack commences it and sets it in
2458 act and use. Hereof comes it that Prince Harry is
2459 valiant, for the cold blood he did naturally inherit
2460 of his father he hath, like lean, sterile, and bare
2461 land, manured, husbanded, and tilled with excellent
2462 125 endeavor of drinking good and good store
2463 of fertile sherris, that he is become very hot and valiant.
2464 If I had a thousand sons, the first human principle
2465 I would teach them should be to forswear
2466 thin potations and to addict themselves to sack.
2467 130 How now, Bardolph?
BARDOLPH 2468 The army is discharged all and gone.
FALSTAFF 2469 Let them go. I’ll through Gloucestershire,
2470 and there will I visit Master Robert Shallow,
2471 Esquire. I have him already temp’ring between my
2472 135 finger and my thumb, and shortly will I seal with
2473 him. Come away.