[Act 1, Scene 1]
Enter Falstaffe, and Page.
Sirra, you giant, what saies the
to my water?
He said sir, the Water it selfe was a good healthy
water: but for the party that ow'd it, he might haue more
diseases then he knew for.
Men of all sorts take a pride to gird at mee: the
braine of this foolish compounded Clay‑man, is not able
to inuent any thing that tends to laughter, more then I
inuent, or is inuented on me. I am not onely witty in my
selfe, but the cause that wit is in other men. I doe heere
walke before thee, like a Sow, that hath o'rewhelm'd all
her Litter, but one. If the Prince put thee into my Ser
uice for any other reason, then to set mee off, why then I
haue no iudgement. Thou horson Mandrake, thou art
fitter to be worne in my cap, then to wait at my heeles. I
was neuer mann'd with an Agot till now: but I will sette
you neyther in Gold, nor Siluer, but in vilde apparell, and
send you backe againe to your Master, for a Iewell. The
Iuuenall (the Prince your Master) whose Chin is not yet
fledg'd, I will sooner have a beard grow in the Palme of
my hand, then he shall get one on his cheeke: yet he will
not sticke to say, his Face is a Face‑Royall. Heauen may
finish it when he will, it is not a haire amisse yet: he may
keepe it still at a Face‑Royall, for a Barber shall neuer
earne six pence out of it; and yet he will be crowing, as if
he had writ man ever since his Father was a Batchellour.
He may keepe his owne Grace, but he is almost out of
mine, I can assure him. What said M.
the Satten for my short Cloake, and Slops
He said sir, you should procure him better Assu
Bardolfe: he wold not take his Bond & yours,
he lik'd not the Security.
Let him bee damn'd like the Glutton, may his
Tongue be hotter, a horson
Achitophel; a Rascally‑yea‑
forsooth‑knaue, to beare a Gentleman in hand, and then
stand vpon Security? The horson smooth‑pates doe now,
we are nothing but high shoes, and bunches of Keyes at
their girdles: and if a man is through with them in ho
nest Taking‑vp, then they must stand vpon Securitie: I
had as liefe they would put Rats‑bane in my mouth, as
offer to stoppe it with Security. I look'd hee should have
sent me two and twenty yards of Satten (as I am true
Knight) and he sends me Security. Well, he may sleep in
Security, for he hath the horne of Abundance: and the
lightnesse of his Wife shines through it, and yet cannot
he see, though he haue his owne Lanthorne to light him.
He's gone into Smithfield to buy your worship
I bought him in Paules, and hee'l buy mee a horse
in Smithfield. If I could get mee a wife in the Stewes, I
were Mann'd, Hors'd, and Wiu'd.
Enter Chiefe Iustice, and Seruant.
Sir, heere comes the Nobleman that committed
the Prince for striking him, about
Wait close, I will not see him.
What's he that goes there?
Falstaffe, and't please your Lordship.
He that was in question for the Robbery?
He my Lord, but he hath since done good service
at Shrewsbury: and (as I heare) is now going with some
Charge, to the Lord
Iohn of Lancaster.
What to Yorke? Call him backe againe.
Boy, tell him, I am deafe.
You must speake lowder, my Master is deafe.
I am sure he is, to the hearing of any thing good.
Go plucke him by the Elbow, I must speake with him.
What? a yong knaue and beg? Is there not wars? Is
there not imployment
? Doth not the
lack subiects? Do
not the Rebels want Soldiers? Though it be a shame to be
on any side but one, it is worse shame to begge, then to
be on the worst side, were it worse then the name of Re
bellion can tell how to make it.
You mistake me Sir.
Why sir? Did I say you were an honest man? Set
ting my Knight‑hood, and my Souldiership aside, I had
lyed in my throat, if I had said so.
I pray you (Sir) then set your Knighthood and
your Souldier‑ship aside, and giue mee leaue to tell you,
you lye in your throat, if you say I am any other then an
I give thee leaue to tell me so? I lay a‑side that
which growes to me? If thou get'st any leaue of me, hang
me: if thou tak'st leaue, thou wer't better be hang'd: you
Hunt‑counter, hence: Auant.
Sir, my Lord would speake with you.
Iohn Falstaffe, a word with you.
My good Lord: giue your Lordship good time of
the day. I am glad to see your Lordship abroad: I heard
say your Lordship was sicke. I hope your Lordship goes
abroad by aduise. Your Lordship (though not clean past
your youth) hath yet some smack of age in you: some rel
lish of the faltnesse of Time, and I most humbly beseech
your Lordship, to haue a reuerend care of your health.
Iohn, I sent you before your Expedition, to
If it please your Lordship, I heare his Maiestie is
return'd with some discomfort from Wales.
I talke not of his Maiesty: you would not come
when I sent for you?
And I heare moreover, his Highnesse is falne into
this same whorson Apoplexie.
Well, heauen mend him. I pray let me speak with
This Apoplexie is (as I take it) a kind of Lethar
gie, a sleeping of the blood, a horson Tingling.
What tell you me of it? be it as it is.
It hath it originall from much greefe; from study
and perturbation of the braine. I have read the cause of
his effects in
Galen. It is a kinde of deafenesse.
I thinke you are falne into the disease: For you
heare not what I say to you.
Very well (my Lord) very well: rather an't please
you) it is the disease of not Listning, the malady of not
Marking, that I am troubled withall.
To punish you by the heeles, would amend the
attention of your eares, & I care not if I be your Physitian
I am as poore as
Iob, my Lord; but not so Patient:
your Lordship may minister the Potion of imprisonment
to me, in respect of Pouertie: but how I should bee your
Patient, to follow your prescriptions, the wise may make
some dram of a scruple, or indeede, a scruple it selfe.
I sent for you (when there were matters against
you for your life) to come speake with me.
As I was then advised by my learned Councel, in
The lawes of this Land‑service, I did not come.
Wel, the truth is (sir
Iohn) you liue in
He that buckles him in my belt,
liue in lesse.
Your Meanes is very slender, and your wast great.
I would it were otherwise: I would my Meanes
were greater, and my waste slenderer.
You haue misled the youthfull Prince.
The yong Prince hath misled mee. I am the Fel
low with the great belly, and he my Dogge.
Well, I am loth to gall a new‑heal'd wound: your
daies service at Shrewsbury, hath a little gilded ouer
your Nights exploit on Gads‑hill. You may thanke the
vnquiet time, for your quiet o're‑posting that Action.
But since all is wel, keep it so: wake not a sleeping
To wake a Wolfe, is as bad as to smell a Fox.
What? you are as a candle, the better part burnt out
A Wassell‑Candle, my Lord; all Tallow: if I did
say of wax, my growth would approue the truth.
There is not a white haire on your face, but shold
haue his effect of grauity.
His effect of grauy, grauy, grauy.
You follow th
yong Prince vp and downe, like
his euill Angell.
Not so (my Lord) your ill Angell is light: but I
hope, he that lookes vpon mee, will take mee without,
weighing: and yet, in some respects I grant, I cannot go:
I cannot tell. Vertue is of so little regard in these Costor
mongers that true valor is turn'd Beare‑heard. Pregnan
cie is made a Tapster, and hath his quicke wit wasted in
giuing Recknings: all the other gifts appertinent to man
(as the malice of this Age shapes them) are not woorth a
Gooseberry. You that are old, consider not the capaci
ties of vs that are yong: you measure the heat of our Li
uers, with the bitternes of your gals: & we that are in the
vaward of our youth, I must confesse, are wagges too.
Do you set downe your name in the scrowle of
youth, that are written downe old, with all the Charrac
ters of age? Haue you not a moist eye? a dry hand? a yel
low cheeke? a white beard? a decreasing leg? an incresing
belly? Is not your voice broken? your winde short? your
wit single? and euery part about you blasted with Anti
quity? and wil you cal your selfe yong? Fy, fy, fy sir
My Lord, l was borne with a white head, & som
thing a round belly. For my voice, I haue lost it with hal
lowing and singing of Anthemes. To approue my youth
farther, I will not: the truth is, I am onely olde in iudge
ment and understanding: and he that will caper with mee
for a thousand Markes, let him lend me the mony, & haue
at him. For the boxe of th'eare that the Prince gaue you,
he gaue it like a rude Prince, and you tooke it like a sensi
ble Lord. I haue checkt him for it, and the yong Lion re
pents: Marry not in ashes and sacke‑cloath, but in new
Silke, and old Sacke,
Wel, heauen send the Prince a better companion.
Heaven send the Companion a better Prince: I
cannot rid my hands of him.
Well, the King hath seuer'd you and Prince
, I heare you are going with Lord
Iohn of Lancaster, a
gainst the Archbishop, and the Earle of Northumberland
Yes, I thanke your pretty sweet wit for it: but
looke you pray, (all you that kisse my Ladie Peace, at
home) that our Armies ioyn not in a hot day: for if I take
but two shirts out with me, and I meane not to sweat ex
traordinarily: if it bee a hot day, if I brandish any thing
but my Bottle, would I might neuer spit white againe:
There is not a daungerous Action can peepe out his head,
but I am thrust upon it. Well, I cannot last euer.
Well, be honest, be honest, and heauen blesse your
Will your Lordship lend mee a thousand pound,
to furnish me forth?
Not a peny, not a peny: you are too impatient
to beare crosses. Fare you well. Commend mee to my
If I do, fillop me with a three‑man‑Beetle. A man
can no more separate Age and Couetousnesse, then he can
part yong limbes and letchery: but the Gowt galles the
one, and the pox pinches the other; and so both the De
grees prevent my curses. Boy?
What money is in my purse?
Seuen groats, and two pence.
I can get no remedy against this Consumption of
the purse. Borrowing onely lingers, and lingers it out,
but the disease is incureable. Go beare this letter to my
Lord of Lancaster, this to the Prince, this to the Earle of
Westmerland, and this to old Mistris
Vrsula, whome I
haue weekly sworne to marry, since perceiu'd the first
white haire on my chin. About it: you know where to
finde me. A pox of this Gowt, or a Gowt of this Poxe:
for the one or th'other playes the rogue with my great
toe: It is no matter, if I do halt, I haue the warres for my
colour, and my Pension shall seeme the more reasonable.
A good wit will make vse of any thing: I will turne dis
eases to commodity.