Gower. What doe you call him? Flu. Hee is call'd aunchient Pistoll

Gower. I know him not. Enter Pistoll.

Flu. Here is the man

Pist. Captaine, I thee beseech to doe me fauours: the Duke of Exeter doth loue thee well

Flu. I, I prayse God, and I haue merited some loue at his hands

Pist. Bardolph, a Souldier firme and sound of heart, and of buxome valour, hath by cruell Fate, and giddie Fortunes furious fickle Wheele, that Goddesse blind, that stands vpon the rolling restlesse Stone

Flu. By your patience, aunchient Pistoll: Fortune is painted blinde, with a Muffler afore his eyes, to signifie to you, that Fortune is blinde; and shee is painted also with a Wheele, to signifie to you, which is the Morall of it, that shee is turning and inconstant, and mutabilitie, and variation: and her foot, looke you, is fixed vpon a Sphericall Stone, which rowles, and rowles, and rowles: in good truth, the Poet makes a most excellent description of it: Fortune is an excellent Morall

Pist. Fortune is Bardolphs foe, and frownes on him: for he hath stolne a Pax, and hanged must a be: a damned death: let Gallowes gape for Dogge, let Man goe free, and let not Hempe his Wind-pipe suffocate: but Exeter hath giuen the doome of death, for Pax of little price. Therefore goe speake, the Duke will heare thy voyce; and let not Bardolphs vitall thred bee cut with edge of Penny-Cord, and vile reproach. Speake Captaine for his Life, and I will thee requite

Flu. Aunchient Pistoll, I doe partly vnderstand your meaning

Pist. Why then reioyce therefore

Flu. Certainly Aunchient, it is not a thing to reioyce at: for if, looke you, he were my Brother, I would desire the Duke to vse his good pleasure, and put him to execution; for discipline ought to be vsed

Pist. Dye, and be dam'd, and Figo for thy friendship

Flu. It is well

Pist. The Figge of Spaine. Enter.

Flu. Very good

Gower. Why, this is an arrant counterfeit Rascall, I remember him now: a Bawd, a Cut-purse

Flu. Ile assure you, a vtt'red as praue words at the Pridge, as you shall see in a Summers day: but it is very well: what he ha's spoke to me, that is well I warrant you, when time is serue

Gower. Why 'tis a Gull, a Foole, a Rogue, that now and then goes to the Warres, to grace himselfe at his returne into London, vnder the forme of a Souldier: and such fellowes are perfit in the Great Commanders Names, and they will learne you by rote where Seruices were done; at such and such a Sconce, at such a Breach, at such a Conuoy: who came off brauely, who was shot, who disgrac'd, what termes the Enemy stood on: and this they conne perfitly in the phrase of Warre; which they tricke vp with new-tuned Oathes: and what a Beard of the Generalls Cut, and a horride Sute of the Campe, will doe among foming Bottles, and Ale-washt Wits, is wonderfull to be thought on: but you must learne to know such slanders of the age, or else you may be maruellously mistooke

Flu. I tell you what, Captaine Gower: I doe perceiue hee is not the man that hee would gladly make shew to the World hee is: if I finde a hole in his Coat, I will tell him my minde: hearke you, the King is comming, and I must speake with him from the Pridge.

Drum and Colours. Enter the King and his poore Souldiers.

Flu. God plesse your Maiestie

William Shakespeare
Classic Literature Library

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