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ACT V. SCENE V. 


Westminster. Near the Abbey

Enter GROOMS, strewing rushes

 FIRST GROOM.

More rushes, more rushes!

 SECOND GROOM.

The trumpets have sounded twice.

 THIRD GROOM.

'Twill be two o'clock ere they come from the
coronation. Dispatch, dispatch

Exeunt

Trumpets sound, and the KING and his train pass

over the stage. After them enter FALSTAFF, SHALLOW,

PISTOL, BARDOLPH, and page

 FALSTAFF.

Stand here by me, Master Robert Shallow; I will make the
King do you grace. I will leer upon him, as 'a comes by; and do
but mark the countenance that he will give me.

 PISTOL.

God bless thy lungs, good knight!

 FALSTAFF.

Come here, Pistol; stand behind me. [To SHALLOW] O, if
I had had to have made new liveries, I would have bestowed the
thousand pound I borrowed of you. But 'tis no matter; this poor
show doth better; this doth infer the zeal I had to see him.

 SHALLOW.

It doth so.

 FALSTAFF.

It shows my earnestness of affection-

 SHALLOW.

It doth so.

 FALSTAFF.

My devotion-

 SHALLOW.

It doth, it doth, it doth.

 FALSTAFF.

As it were, to ride day and night; and not to deliberate,
not to remember, not to have patience to shift me-

 SHALLOW.

It is best, certain.

 FALSTAFF.

But to stand stained with travel, and sweating with
desire to see him; thinking of nothing else, putting all affairs
else in oblivion, as if there were nothing else to be done but to
see him.

 PISTOL.

'Tis 'semper idem' for 'obsque hoc nihil est.' 'Tis all in
every part.

 SHALLOW.

'Tis so, indeed.

 PISTOL.

My knight, I will inflame thy noble liver
And make thee rage.
Thy Doll, and Helen of thy noble thoughts,
Is in base durance and contagious prison;
Hal'd thither
By most mechanical and dirty hand.
Rouse up revenge from ebon den with fell Alecto's snake,
For Doll is in. Pistol speaks nought but truth.

 FALSTAFF.

I will deliver her.

[Shouts,within, and the trumpets sound]

 PISTOL.

There roar'd the sea, and trumpet-clangor sounds.

Enter the KING and his train, the LORD CHIEF JUSTICE

among them

 FALSTAFF.

God save thy Grace, King Hal; my royal Hal!

 PISTOL.

The heavens thee guard and keep, most royal imp of fame!

 FALSTAFF.

God save thee, my sweet boy!

 KING.

My Lord Chief Justice, speak to that vain man.

 CHIEF JUSTICE.

Have you your wits? Know you what 'tis you speak?

 FALSTAFF.

My king! my Jove! I speak to thee, my heart!

 KING.

I know thee not, old man. Fall to thy prayers.
How ill white hairs become a fool and jester!
I have long dreamt of such a kind of man,
So surfeit-swell'd, so old, and so profane;
But being awak'd, I do despise my dream.
Make less thy body hence, and more thy grace;
Leave gormandizing; know the grave doth gape
For thee thrice wider than for other men-
Reply not to me with a fool-born jest;
Presume not that I am the thing I was,
For God doth know, so shall the world perceive,
That I have turn'd away my former self;
So will I those that kept me company.
When thou dost hear I am as I have been,
Approach me, and thou shalt be as thou wast,
The tutor and the feeder of my riots.
Till then I banish thee, on pain of death,
As I have done the rest of my misleaders,
Not to come near our person by ten mile.
For competence of life I will allow you,
That lack of means enforce you not to evils;
And, as we hear you do reform yourselves,
We will, according to your strengths and qualities,
Give you advancement. Be it your charge, my lord,
To see perform'd the tenour of our word.
Set on

Exeunt the KING and his train

 FALSTAFF.

Master Shallow, I owe you a thousand pounds.

 SHALLOW.

Yea, marry, Sir John; which I beseech you to let me have
home with me.

 FALSTAFF.

That can hardly be, Master Shallow. Do not you grieve at
this; I shall be sent for in private to him. Look you, he must
seem thus to the world. Fear not your advancements; I will be the
man yet that shall make you great.

 SHALLOW.

I cannot perceive how, unless you give me your doublet,
and stuff me out with straw. I beseech you, good Sir John, let me
have five hundred of my thousand.

 FALSTAFF.

Sir, I will be as good as my word. This that you heard
was but a colour.

 SHALLOW.

A colour that I fear you will die in, Sir John.

 FALSTAFF.

Fear no colours; go with me to dinner. Come, Lieutenant
Pistol; come, Bardolph. I shall be sent for soon at night.

Re-enter PRINCE JOHN, the LORD CHIEF JUSTICE,

with officers

 CHIEF JUSTICE.

Go, carry Sir John Falstaff to the Fleet;
Take all his company along with him.

 FALSTAFF.

My lord, my lord-

 CHIEF JUSTICE.

I cannot now speak. I will hear you soon.
Take them away.

 PISTOL.

Si fortuna me tormenta, spero me contenta.

Exeunt all but PRINCE JOHN and the LORD CHIEF JUSTICE

 PRINCE JOHN.

I like this fair proceeding of the King's.
He hath intent his wonted followers
Shall all be very well provided for;
But all are banish'd till their conversations
Appear more wise and modest to the world.

 CHIEF JUSTICE.

And so they are.

 PRINCE JOHN.

The King hath call'd his parliament, my lord.

 CHIEF JUSTICE.

He hath.

 PRINCE JOHN.

I will lay odds that, ere this year expire,
We bear our civil swords and native fire
As far as France. I heard a bird so sing,
Whose music, to my thinking, pleas'd the King.
Come, will you hence? Exeunt

EPILOGUE

First my fear, then my curtsy, last my speech. My fear, is your displeasure; my curtsy, my duty; and my speech, to beg your pardons. If you look for a good speech now, you undo me; for what I have to say is of mine own making; and what, indeed, I should say will, I doubt, prove mine own marring. But to the purpose, and so to the venture. Be it known to you, as it is very well, I was lately here in the end of a displeasing play, to pray your patience for it and to promise you a better. I meant, indeed, to pay you with this; which if like an ill venture it come unluckily home, I break, and you, my gentle creditors, lose. Here I promis'd you I would be, and here I commit my body to your mercies. Bate me some, and I will pay you some, and, as most debtors do, promise you infinitely; and so I kneel down before you- but, indeed, to pray for the Queen.

If my tongue cannot entreat you to acquit me, will you command me to use my legs? And yet that were but light payment-to dance out of your debt. But a good conscience will make any possible satisfaction, and so would I. All the gentlewomen here have forgiven me. If the gentlemen will not, then the gentlemen do not agree with the gentlewomen, which was never seen before in such an assembly.

One word more, I beseech you. If you be not too much cloy'd with fat meat, our humble author will continue the story, with Sir John in it, and make you merry with fair Katherine of France; where, for anything I know, Falstaff shall die of a sweat, unless already 'a be killed with your hard opinions; for Oldcastle died a martyr and this is not the man. My tongue is weary; when my legs are too, I will bid you good night.

THE END (1598)

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