Gloucestershire. Shallow’s orchard.
(Sir John Falstaff; Shallow; Silence; Davy; Bardolph; Page; Pistol)
Shallow and Silence get drunk while entertaining Falstaff. Bardolph and the page sing merry songs and keep Davy on the run for meat and wine. Pistol enters with news of the King’s death, and Falstaff and his friends depart hurriedly and joyfully, in expectation of good fortune and honor to be theirs under Henry V, the former Prince Hal. (95 lines)
Enter Sir John Falstaff, Shallow, Silence, Davy, Bardolph, Page.
Nay, you shall see my orchard, where, in an arbor, we will eat a last year’s pippin of mine own graffing, with a dish of caraways, and so forth. Come, cousin Silence—and then to bed.
’Fore God, you have here goodly dwelling and rich.
Barren, barren, barren, beggars all, beggars all, Sir John! Marry, good air. Spread, Davy, spread, Davy. Well said, Davy.
This Davy serves you for good uses, he is your servingman and your husband.
A good varlet, a good varlet, a very good varlet, Sir John. By the mass, I have drunk too much sack at supper. A good varlet. Now sit down, now sit down. Come, cousin.
Ah, sirrah, quoth ’a, we shall
“Do nothing but eat, and make good cheer,
And praise God for the merry year,
When flesh is cheap and females dear,
And lusty lads roam here and there
And ever among so merrily.”
There’s a merry heart! Good Master Silence, I’ll give you a health for that anon.
Give Master Bardolph some wine, Davy.
Sweet sir, sit, I’ll be with you anon, most sweet sir, sit. Master page, good master page, sit. Proface! What you want in meat, we’ll have in drink, but you must bear, the heart’s all.
Be merry, Master Bardolph, and, my little soldier there, be merry.
“Be merry, be merry, my wife has all,
For women are shrews, both short and tall;
’Tis merry in hall when beards wags all,
And welcome merry Shrove-tide.
Be merry, be merry.”
I did not think Master Silence had been a man of this mettle.
Who, I? I have been merry twice and once ere now.
There’s a dish of leather-coats for you.
Your worship! I’ll be with you straight. A cup of wine, sir?
“A cup of wine that’s brisk and fine,
And drink unto thee, leman mine,
And a merry heart lives long-a.”
Well said, Master Silence.
And we shall be merry, now comes in the sweet a’ th’ night.
Health and long life to you, Master Silence.
“Fill the cup, and let it come,
I’ll pledge you a mile to th’ bottom.”
Honest Bardolph, welcome. If thou want’st any thing, and wilt not call, beshrew thy heart. Welcome, my little tiny thief,
To the Page
and welcome indeed too. I’ll drink to Master Bardolph, and to all the cabileros about London.
I hope to see London once ere I die.
And I might see you there, Davy!
By the mass, you’ll crack a quart together, ha, will you not, Master Bardolph?
Yea, sir, in a pottle-pot.
By God’s liggens, I thank thee. The knave will stick by thee, I can assure thee that ’a will not out, ’a. ’Tis true bred!
And I’ll stick by him, sir.
Why, there spoke a king. Lack nothing, be merry!
One knocks at door.
Look who’s at door there ho! Who knocks?
To Silence, seeing him take off a bumper.
Why, now you have done me right.
“Do me right,
And dub me knight,
Is’t not so?
Is’t so? Why then say an old man can do somewhat.
And’t please your worship, there’s one Pistol come from the court with news.
From the court? Let him come in.
How now, Pistol?
Sir John, God save you!
What wind blew you hither, Pistol?
Not the ill wind which blows no man to good. Sweet knight, thou art now one of the greatest men in this realm.
By’r lady, I think ’a be, but goodman Puff of Barson.
Puff i’ thy teeth, most recreant coward base!
Sir John, I am thy Pistol and thy friend,
And helter-skelter have I rode to thee,
And tidings do I bring, and lucky joys,
And golden times, and happy news of price.
I pray thee now deliver them like a man of this world.
A foutre for the world and worldlings base!
I speak of Africa and golden joys.
O base Assyrian knight, what is thy news?
Let King Cophetua know the truth thereof.
“And Robin Hood, Scarlet, and John.”
Shall dunghill curs confront the Helicons?
And shall good news be baffled?
Then, Pistol, lay thy head in Furies’ lap.
Honest gentleman, I know not your breeding.
Why then lament therefore.
Give me pardon, sir. If, sir, you come with news from the court, I take it there’s but two ways, either to utter them, or conceal them. I am, sir, under the King, in some authority.
Under which king, besonian? Speak, or die.
Under King Harry.
Harry the Fourth, or Fifth?
Harry the Fourth.
A foutre for thine office!
Sir John, thy tender lambkin now is king;
Harry the Fifth’s the man. I speak the truth.
When Pistol lies, do this, and fig me like
The bragging Spaniard.
What, is the old king dead?
As nail in door. The things I speak are just.
Away, Bardolph! Saddle my horse. Master Robert Shallow, choose what office thou wilt in the land, ’tis thine. Pistol, I will double-charge thee with dignities.
O joyful day! I would not take a knighthood for my fortune.
What? I do bring good news?
Carry Master Silence to bed. Master Shallow, my Lord Shallow—be what thou wilt, I am Fortune’s steward—get on thy boots. We’ll ride all night. O sweet Pistol! Away, Bardolph!
Come, Pistol, utter more to me, and withal devise something to do thyself good. Boot, boot, Master Shallow! I know the young king is sick for me. Let us take any man’s horses, the laws of England are at my commandment. Blessed are they that have been my friends, and woe to my Lord Chief Justice!
Let vultures vile seize on his lungs also!
“Where is the life that late I led?” say they.
Why, here it is, welcome these pleasant days!