Nym. I cannot tell, Things must be as they may: men may sleepe, and they may haue their throats about them at that time, and some say, kniues haue edges: It must be as it may, though patience be a tyred name, yet shee will plodde, there must be Conclusions, well, I cannot tell. Enter Pistoll, & Quickly.

Bar. Heere comes Ancient Pistoll and his wife: good Corporall be patient heere. How now mine Hoaste Pistoll? Pist. Base Tyke, cal'st thou mee Hoste, now by this hand I sweare I scorne the terme: nor shall my Nel keep Lodgers

Host. No by my troth, not long: For we cannot lodge and board a dozen or fourteene Gentlewomen that liue honestly by the pricke of their Needles, but it will bee thought we keepe a Bawdy-house straight. O welliday Lady, if he be not hewne now, we shall see wilful adultery and murther committed

Bar. Good Lieutenant, good Corporal offer nothing heere

Nym. Pish

Pist. Pish for thee, Island dogge: thou prickeard cur of Island

Host. Good Corporall Nym shew thy valor, and put vp your sword

Nym. Will you shogge off? I would haue you solus

Pist. Solus, egregious dog? O Viper vile; The solus in thy most meruailous face, the solus in thy teeth, and in thy throate, and in thy hatefull Lungs, yea in thy Maw perdy; and which is worse, within thy nastie mouth. I do retort the solus in thy bowels, for I can take, and Pistols cocke is vp, and flashing fire will follow

Nym. I am not Barbason, you cannot coniure mee: I haue an humor to knocke you indifferently well: If you grow fowle with me Pistoll, I will scoure you with my Rapier, as I may, in fayre tearmes. If you would walke off, I would pricke your guts a little in good tearmes, as I may, and that's the humor of it

Pist. O Braggard vile, and damned furious wight, The Graue doth gape, and doting death is neere, Therefore exhale

Bar. Heare me, heare me what I say: Hee that strikes the first stroake, Ile run him vp to the hilts, as I am a soldier

Pist. An oath of mickle might, and fury shall abate. Giue me thy fist, thy fore-foote to me giue: Thy spirites are most tall

Nym. I will cut thy throate one time or other in faire termes, that is the humor of it

Pistoll. Couple a gorge, that is the word. I defie thee againe. O hound of Creet, think'st thou my spouse to get? No, to the spittle goe, and from the Poudring tub of infamy, fetch forth the Lazar Kite of Cressids kinde, Doll Teare-sheete, she by name, and her espouse. I haue, and I will hold the Quondam Quickely for the onely shee: and Pauca, there's enough to go to. Enter the Boy.

Boy. Mine Hoast Pistoll, you must come to my Mayster, and your Hostesse: He is very sicke, & would to bed. Good Bardolfe, put thy face betweene his sheets, and do the Office of a Warming-pan: Faith, he's very ill

Bard. Away you Rogue

Host. By my troth he'l yeeld the Crow a pudding one of these dayes: the King has kild his heart. Good Husband come home presently.


Bar. Come, shall I make you two friends. Wee must to France together: why the diuel should we keep kniues to cut one anothers throats? Pist. Let floods ore-swell, and fiends for food howle on

Nym. You'l pay me the eight shillings I won of you at Betting? Pist. Base is the Slaue that payes

Nym. That now I wil haue: that's the humor of it

Pist. As manhood shal compound: push home.


William Shakespeare
Classic Literature Library

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