Scena Tertia.

Enter Falstaffe and Bardolph.

Falst. Bardolph, am I not falne away vilely, since this last action? doe I not bate? doe I not dwindle? Why my skinne hangs about me like an olde Ladies loose Gowne: I am withered like an olde Apple Iohn. Well, Ile repent, and that suddenly, while I am in some liking: I shall be out of heart shortly, and then I shall haue no strength to repent. And i haue not forgotten what the in-side of a Church is made of, I am a Pepper-Corne, a Brewers Horse, the in-side of a Church. Company, villanous Company hath beene the spoyle of me

Bard. Sir Iohn, you are so fretfull, you cannot liue long

Falst. Why there is it: Come, sing me a bawdy Song, make me merry; I was as vertuously giuen, as a Gentleman need to be; vertuous enough, swore little, dic'd not aboue seuen times a weeke, went to a Bawdy-house not aboue once in a quarter of an houre, payd Money that I borrowed, three or foure times; liued well, and in good compasse: and now I liue out of all order, out of compasse

Bard. Why, you are so fat, Sir Iohn, that you must needes bee out of of all compasse; out all reasonable compasse, Sir Iohn

Falst. Doe thou amend thy Face, and Ile amend thy Life: Thou art our Admirall, thou bearest the Lanterne in the Poope, but 'tis in the Nose of thee; thou art the Knight of the burning Lampe

Bard. Why, Sir Iohn, my Face does you no harme

Falst. No, Ile be sworne: I make as good vse of it, as many a man doth of a Deaths-Head, or a Memento Mori. I neuer see thy Face, but I thinke vpon Hell fire, and Diues that liued in Purple; for there he is in his Robes burning, burning. If thou wert any way giuen to vertue, I would sweare by thy Face; my Oath should bee, By this Fire: But thou art altogether giuen ouer; and wert indeede, but for the Light in thy Face, the Sunne of vtter Darkenesse. When thou ran'st vp Gads-Hill in the Night, to catch my Horse, if I did not thinke that thou hadst beene an Ignis fatuus, or a Ball of Wild-fire, there's no Purchase in Money. O, thou art a perpetuall Triumph, an euerlasting Bone-fire-Light: thou hast saued me a thousand Markes in Linkes and Torches, walking with thee in the Night betwixt Tauerne and Tauerne: But the Sack that thou hast drunke me, would haue bought me Lights as good cheape, as the dearest Chandlers in Europe. I haue maintain'd that Salamander of yours with fire, any time this two and thirtie yeeres, Heauen reward me for it

Bard. I would my Face were in your Belly

Falst. So should I be sure to be heart-burn'd. Enter Hostesse.

How now, Dame Partlet the Hen, haue you enquir'd yet who pick'd my Pocket? Hostesse. Why Sir Iohn, what doe you thinke, Sir Iohn? doe you thinke I keepe Theeues in my House? I haue search'd, I haue enquired, so haz my Husband, Man by Man, Boy by Boy, Seruant by Seruant: the tight of a hayre was neuer lost in my house before

Falst. Ye lye Hostesse: Bardolph was shau'd, and lost many a hayre; and Ile be sworne my Pocket was pick'd: goe to, you are a Woman, goe

Hostesse. Who I? I defie thee: I was neuer call'd so in mine owne house before

Falst. Goe to, I know you well enough

Hostesse. No, sir Iohn, you doe not know me, Sir Iohn: I know you, Sir Iohn: you owe me Money, Sir Iohn, and now you picke a quarrell, to beguile me of it: I bought you a dozen of Shirts to your Backe

Falst. Doulas, filthy Doulas: I haue giuen them away to Bakers Wiues, and they haue made Boulters of them

William Shakespeare
Classic Literature Library

All Pages of This Book