Sign up for the free Shakespeare Newsletter

   King Henry IV, Part II
ACT IV SCENE III Another part of the forest. 
 Alarum. Excursions. Enter FALSTAFF and COLEVILE, meeting 
FALSTAFF What's your name, sir? of what condition are you, 
 and of what place, I pray? 
COLEVILE I am a knight, sir, and my name is Colevile of the dale. 
FALSTAFF Well, then, Colevile is your name, a knight is your 5
 degree, and your place the dale: Colevile shall be 
 still your name, a traitor your degree, and the 
 dungeon your place, a place deep enough; so shall 
 you be still Colevile of the dale. 
COLEVILE Are not you Sir John Falstaff? 10
FALSTAFF As good a man as he, sir, whoe'er I am. Do ye 
 yield, sir? or shall I sweat for you? if I do 
 sweat, they are the drops of thy lovers, and they 
 weep for thy death: therefore rouse up fear and 
 trembling, and do observance to my mercy. 15
COLEVILE I think you are Sir John Falstaff, and in that 
 thought yield me. 
FALSTAFF I have a whole school of tongues in this belly of 
 mine, and not a tongue of them all speaks any other 
 word but my name. An I had but a belly of any 20
 indifference, I were simply the most active fellow 
 in Europe: my womb, my womb, my womb, undoes me. 
 Here comes our general. 
LANCASTER The heat is past; follow no further now: 
 Call in the powers, good cousin Westmoreland. 25
 Now, Falstaff, where have you been all this while? 
 When every thing is ended, then you come: 
 These tardy tricks of yours will, on my life, 
 One time or other break some gallows' back. 
FALSTAFF I would be sorry, my lord, but it should be thus: I 30
 never knew yet but rebuke and cheque was the reward 
 of valour. Do you think me a swallow, an arrow, or a 
 bullet? have I, in my poor and old motion, the 
 expedition of thought? I have speeded hither with 
 the very extremest inch of possibility; I have 35
 foundered nine score and odd posts: and here, 
 travel-tainted as I am, have in my pure and 
 immaculate valour, taken Sir John Colevile of the 
 dale, a most furious knight and valorous enemy. 
 But what of that? he saw me, and yielded; that I 40
 may justly say, with the hook-nosed fellow of Rome, 
 'I came, saw, and overcame.' 
LANCASTER It was more of his courtesy than your deserving. 
FALSTAFF I know not: here he is, and here I yield him: and 
 I beseech your grace, let it be booked with the 45
 rest of this day's deeds; or, by the Lord, I will 
 have it in a particular ballad else, with mine own 
 picture on the top on't, Colevile kissing my foot: 
 to the which course if I be enforced, if you do not 
 all show like gilt twopences to me, and I in the 50
 clear sky of fame o'ershine you as much as the full 
 moon doth the cinders of the element, which show 
 like pins' heads to her, believe not the word of 
 the noble: therefore let me have right, and let 
 desert mount. 55
LANCASTER Thine's too heavy to mount. 
FALSTAFF Let it shine, then. 
LANCASTER Thine's too thick to shine. 
FALSTAFF Let it do something, my good lord, that may do me 
 good, and call it what you will. 60
LANCASTER Is thy name Colevile? 
COLEVILE It is, my lord. 
LANCASTER A famous rebel art thou, Colevile. 
FALSTAFF And a famous true subject took him. 
COLEVILE I am, my lord, but as my betters are 65
 That led me hither: had they been ruled by me, 
 You should have won them dearer than you have. 
FALSTAFF I know not how they sold themselves: but thou, like 
 a kind fellow, gavest thyself away gratis; and I 
 thank thee for thee. 70
LANCASTER Now, have you left pursuit? 
WESTMORELAND Retreat is made and execution stay'd. 
LANCASTER Send Colevile with his confederates 
 To York, to present execution: 
 Blunt, lead him hence; and see you guard him sure. 75
 Exeunt BLUNT and others with COLEVILE 
 And now dispatch we toward the court, my lords: 
 I hear the king my father is sore sick: 
 Our news shall go before us to his majesty, 
 Which, cousin, you shall bear to comfort him, 
 And we with sober speed will follow you. 80
FALSTAFF My lord, I beseech you, give me leave to go 
 Through Gloucestershire: and, when you come to court, 
 Stand my good lord, pray, in your good report. 
LANCASTER Fare you well, Falstaff: I, in my condition, 
 Shall better speak of you than you deserve. 85
 Exeunt all but Falstaff 
FALSTAFF I would you had but the wit: 'twere better than 
 your dukedom. Good faith, this same young sober- 
 blooded boy doth not love me; nor a man cannot make 
 him laugh; but that's no marvel, he drinks no wine. 
 There's never none of these demure boys come to any 90
 proof; for thin drink doth so over-cool their blood, 
 and making many fish-meals, that they fall into a 
 kind of male green-sickness; and then when they 
 marry, they get wenches: they are generally fools 
 and cowards; which some of us should be too, but for 95
 inflammation. A good sherris sack hath a two-fold 
 operation in it. It ascends me into the brain; 
 dries me there all the foolish and dull and curdy 
 vapours which environ it; makes it apprehensive, 
 quick, forgetive, full of nimble fiery and 100
 delectable shapes, which, delivered o'er to the 
 voice, the tongue, which is the birth, becomes 
 excellent wit. The second property of your 
 excellent sherris is, the warming of the blood; 
 which, before cold and settled, left the liver 105
 white and pale, which is the badge of pusillanimity 
 and cowardice; but the sherris warms it and makes 
 it course from the inwards to the parts extreme: 
 it illumineth the face, which as a beacon gives 
 warning to all the rest of this little kingdom, 110
 man, to arm; and then the vital commoners and 
 inland petty spirits muster me all to their captain, 
 the heart, who, great and puffed up with this 
 retinue, doth any deed of courage; and this valour 
 comes of sherris. So that skill in the weapon is 115
 nothing without sack, for that sets it a-work; and 
 learning a mere hoard of gold kept by a devil, till 
 sack commences it and sets it in act and use. 
 Hereof comes it that Prince Harry is valiant; for 
 the cold blood he did naturally inherit of his 120
 father, he hath, like lean, sterile and bare land, 
 manured, husbanded and tilled with excellent 
 endeavour of drinking good and good store of fertile 
 sherris, that he is become very hot and valiant. If 
 I had a thousand sons, the first humane principle I 125
 would teach them should be, to forswear thin 
 potations and to addict themselves to sack. 
 How now Bardolph? 
BARDOLPH The army is discharged all and gone. 
FALSTAFF Let them go. I'll through Gloucestershire; and 130
 there will I visit Master Robert Shallow, esquire: 
 I have him already tempering between my finger and 
 my thumb, and shortly will I seal with him. Come away. 

 | home  |  what's new  |  about this site  |  contact  |  notice of copyright  | 
©1999-2018 Amanda Mabillard. All Rights Reserved.