Alarum; excursions. Enter FALSTAFF and COLVILLE, meeting
FALSTAFF. What's your name, sir? Of what condition are you, and of
what place, I pray?
COLVILLE. I am a knight sir; and my name is Colville of the Dale.
FALSTAFF. Well then, Colville is your name, a knight is your
degree, and your place the Dale. Colville shall still be your
name, a traitor your degree, and the dungeon your place- a place
deep enough; so shall you be still Colville of the Dale.
COLVILLE. Are not you Sir John Falstaff?
FALSTAFF. As good a man as he, sir, whoe'er I am. Do you 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.
COLVILLE. I think you are Sir John Falstaff, and in that thought
FALSTAFF. 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 others
PRINCE JOHN. 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.
FALSTAFF. 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 found'red nine
score and odd posts; and here, travel tainted as I am, have, in
my pure and immaculate valour, taken Sir John Colville 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-nos'd
fellow of Rome-I came, saw, and overcame.
PRINCE JOHN. It was more of his courtesy than your deserving.
FALSTAFF. I know not. Here he is, and here I yield him; and I
beseech your Grace, let it be book'd 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, Colville kissing my
foot; to the which course if I be enforc'd, 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.
PRINCE JOHN. Thine's too heavy to mount.
FALSTAFF. Let it shine, then.
PRINCE JOHN. Thine's too thick to shine.
FALSTAFF. Let it do something, my good lord, that may do me good,
and call it what you will.
PRINCE JOHN. Is thy name Colville?
COLVILLE. It is, my lord.
PRINCE JOHN. A famous rebel art thou, Colville.
FALSTAFF. And a famous true subject took him.
COLVILLE. I am, my lord, but as my betters are
That led me hither. Had they been rul'd by me,
You should have won them dearer than you have.
FALSTAFF. I know not how they sold themselves; but thou, like a
kind fellow, gavest thyself away gratis; and I thank thee for
PRINCE JOHN. Now, have you left pursuit? WESTMORELAND. Retreat is made, and execution stay'd. PRINCE JOHN. Send Colville, with his confederates, To York, to present execution. Blunt, lead him hence; and see you guard him sure. Exeunt BLUNT and others 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. FALSTAFF. 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 report. PRINCE JOHN. Fare you well, Falstaff. I, in my condition, Shall better speak of you than you deserve. Exeunt all but FALSTAFF 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 puff'd 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 till'd, 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!
BARDOLPH. The army is discharged all and gone.
FALSTAFF. Let them go. I'll through Gloucestershire, and there will
I visit Master Robert Shallow, Esquire. I have him already
temp'ring between my finger and my thumb, and shortly will I seal
with him. Come away. Exeunt
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