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Act 2. Scene III

SCENE III. London. Before a tavern.

Enter PISTOL, Hostess, NYM, BARDOLPH, and Boy
Hostess
Prithee, honey-sweet husband, let me bring thee to Staines.

PISTOL
No; for my manly heart doth yearn.
Bardolph, be blithe: Nym, rouse thy vaunting veins:
Boy, bristle thy courage up; for Falstaff he is dead,
And we must yearn therefore.

BARDOLPH
Would I were with him, wheresome'er he is, either in
heaven or in hell!

Hostess
Nay, sure, he's not in hell: he's in Arthur's
bosom, if ever man went to Arthur's bosom. A' made
a finer end and went away an it had been any
christom child; a' parted even just between twelve
and one, even at the turning o' the tide: for after
I saw him fumble with the sheets and play with
flowers and smile upon his fingers' ends, I knew
there was but one way; for his nose was as sharp as
a pen, and a' babbled of green fields. 'How now,
sir John!' quoth I 'what, man! be o' good
cheer.' So a' cried out 'God, God, God!' three or
four times. Now I, to comfort him, bid him a'
should not think of God; I hoped there was no need
to trouble himself with any such thoughts yet. So
a' bade me lay more clothes on his feet: I put my
hand into the bed and felt them, and they were as
cold as any stone; then I felt to his knees, and
they were as cold as any stone, and so upward and
upward, and all was as cold as any stone.

NYM
They say he cried out of sack.

Hostess
Ay, that a' did.

BARDOLPH
And of women.

Hostess
Nay, that a' did not.

Boy
Yes, that a' did; and said they were devils
incarnate.

Hostess
A' could never abide carnation; 'twas a colour he
never liked.

Boy
A' said once, the devil would have him about women.

Hostess
A' did in some sort, indeed, handle women; but then
he was rheumatic, and talked of the whore of Babylon.

Boy
Do you not remember, a' saw a flea stick upon
Bardolph's nose, and a' said it was a black soul
burning in hell-fire?

BARDOLPH
Well, the fuel is gone that maintained that fire:
that's all the riches I got in his service.

NYM
Shall we shog? the king will be gone from
Southampton.

PISTOL
Come, let's away. My love, give me thy lips.
Look to my chattels and my movables:
Let senses rule; the word is 'Pitch and Pay:'
Trust none;
For oaths are straws, men's faiths are wafer-cakes,
And hold-fast is the only dog, my duck:
Therefore, Caveto be thy counsellor.
Go, clear thy c rystals. Yoke-fellows in arms,
Let us to France; like horse-leeches, my boys,
To suck, to suck, the very blood to suck!

Boy
And that's but unwholesome food they say.

PISTOL
Touch her soft mouth, and march.

BARDOLPH
Farewell, hostess.

Kissing her

NYM
I cannot kiss, that is the humour of it; but, adieu.

PISTOL
Let housewifery appear: keep close, I thee command.

Hostess
Farewell; adieu.

Exeunt

William Shakespeare