London. Before a tavern in Eastcheap.
(Pistol; Nym; Bardolph; Boy; Hostess)
Pistol, Bardolph, Nym, the Hostess and the Boy mourn the death of Falstaff. Pistol leaves his wife behind as they head to the wars. (34 lines)
Enter Pistol, Nym, Bardolph, Boy, and Hostess.
Prithee, honey-sweet husband, let me bring thee to Staines.
No; for my manly heart doth ern.
Bardolph, be blithe; Nym, rouse thy vaunting veins;
Boy, bristle thy courage up; for Falstaff he is dead,
And we must ern therefore.
Would I were with him, wheresome’er he is, either in heaven or in hell!
Nay sure, he’s not in hell; he’s in Arthur’s bosom, if ever man went to Arthur’s bosom. ’A made a finer end, and went away and it had been any christom child. ’A parted ev’n just between twelve and one, ev’n at the turning o’ th’ tide; for after I saw him fumble with the sheets, and play with flowers, and smile upon his finger’s end, I knew there was but one way; for his nose was as sharp as a pen, and ’a babbl’d of green fields. “How now, Sir John?” quoth I, “what, man? Be a’ good cheer.” So ’a cried out, “God, God, God!” three or four times. Now I, to comfort him, bid him ’a should not think of God; I hop’d there was no need to trouble himself with any such thoughts yet. So ’a bade me lay more clothes on his feet. I put my hand into the bed and felt them, and they were as cold as any stone; then I felt to his knees, and so up’ard and up’ard, and all was as cold as any stone.
They say he cried out of sack.
Ay, that ’a did.
And of women.
Nay, that ’a did not.
Yes, that ’a did, and said they were dev’ls incarnate.
’A could never abide carnation—’twas a color he never lik’d.
’A said once, the dev’l would have him about women.
’A did in some sort, indeed, handle women; but then he was rheumatic, and talk’d of the whore of Babylon.
Do you not remember, ’a saw a flea stick upon Bardolph’s nose, and ’a said it was a black soul burning in hell?
Well, the fuel is gone that maintain’d that fire. That’s all the riches I got in his service.
Shall we shog? The King will be gone from Southampton.
Come, let’s away. My love, give me thy lips.
Look to my chattels and my moveables.
Let senses rule; the word is “Pitch and pay”;
For oaths are straws, men’s faiths are wafer-cakes,
And Hold-fast is the only dog, my duck;
Therefore Caveto be thy counsellor.
Go, clear thy crystals. Yoke-fellows in arms,
Let us to France, like horse-leeches, my boys,
To suck, to suck, the very blood to suck!
And that’s but unwholesome food, they say.
Touch her soft mouth, and march.
I cannot kiss, that is the humor of it; but adieu.
Let huswifery appear. Keep close, I thee command.