Alarum. Excursions. Enter Falstaff and Sir John
What's your name, sir? Of what condition are
you, and of what place?
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, Westmorland, and Blunt, with
The heat is past; follow no further now.
Call in the powers, good cousin Westmorland.
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, three words, ‘ I came, saw, and overcame.’
It was more of his courtesy than your
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.
win (v.) 1
gain advantage [over], get the better [of]
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 stayed.
Send Colevile with his confederates
To York, to present execution.
Blunt, lead him hence, and see you guard him sure.
Exit Blunt 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 in your good report.
Fare you well, Falstaff. I, in my condition,
Shall better speak of you than you deserve.
Exeunt all but Falstaff
I would you had 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 twofold 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
liver (n.) 1
part of the body thought to be at the seat of the passions [especially sexual desire]
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,
spirit (n.) 3
life-supporting substance thought to be carried by the blood, animating essence
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
admit to a university degree; give a good start to, make fit
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. I had a thousand sons, the first human
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
temper (v.) 2
mould, shape, work, bring [to a particular character]
thumb, and shortly will I seal with him. Come away.
seal (v.) 3
make final arrangements, come to an agreement