William Shakespeare's King Henry the Fourth, Part II in the complete original text.
William Shakespeare's plays, sonnets and poems at AbsoluteShakespeare.com
Home Plays Sonnets Poems Quotes Summaries Essays Glossary Links Help

HOME > Plays > The Second Part of King Henry the Fourth > Act IV. Scene III.

The Second Part of King Henry the Fourth

Study Guides
Julius Caesar
King Henry IV
King Lear
Merchant of Venice
Romeo and Juliet
The Tempest
Twelfth Night

Bard Facts
Globe Theatre

Act IV. Scene III.

Scene III.—Another Part of the Forest.

Alarums. Excursions. Enter FALSTAFF and
COLEVILE, meeting.

Fal. What's your name, sir? of what con-
dition are you, and of what place, I pray?
Cole. I am a knight, sir; and my name is
Colevile of the dale.
Fal. Well then, Colevile is your name, a
knight is your degree, and your place the dale:
Colevile shall still be your name, a traitor your
degree, and the dungeon your place, a place
deep enough; so shall you be still Colevile of
the dale.
Cole. Are not you Sir John Falstaff?
Fal. 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.
Cole. I think you are Sir John Falstaff, and
in that thought yield me.
Fal. 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 indifferency, I were simply the
most active fellow in Europe: my womb, my
womb, my womb undoes me. Here comes our

MORELAND, BLUNT, and Others.
Lanc. The heat is past, follow no further
Call in the powers, good cousin Westmoreland.
Now, Falstaff, where have you been all this
When everything is ended, then you come:
These tardy tricks of yours will, on my life,
One time or other break some gallows' back.
Fal. I would be sorry, my lord, but it should
be thus: I never knew yet but rebuke and check
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 extremes!
inch of possibility; I have 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 may justly say
with the hook-nosed fellow of Rome, 'I came,
saw, and overcame.'
Lanc. It was more of his courtesy than your
Fal. I know not: here he is, and here I yield
him; and I beseech your Grace, let it be booked
with the 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 two-
pences to me, and I in the 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
Lanc. Thine's too heavy to mount.
Fal. Let it shine then.
Lanc. Thine's too thick to shine.
Fal. Let it do something, my good lord, that
may do me good, and call it what you will.
Lanc. Is thy name Colevile?
Cole. It is, my lord.
Lanc. A famous rebel art thou, Cole-vile.
Fal. And a famous true subject took him.
Cole. I am, my lord, but as my betters are
That led me hither; had they been rul'd by
You should have won them dearer than you
Fal. I know not how they sold themselves:
but thou, like a kind fellow, gavest thyself away
gratis, and I thank thee for thee.

Lanc. Have you left pursuit?
West. Retreat is made and execution stay'd
Lanc. Send Colevile with his confederates
To York, to present execution.
Blunt, lead him hence, and see you guard him
sure. [Exit BLUNT and Others with
COLEVILE, guarded.
And now dispatch we toward the court, my
I hear, the king my father is sore sick:
Our news shall go before us to his majesty,
Which, cousin [addressing WESTMORELAND], you
shall bear, to comfort him;
And we with sober speed will follow you.
Fal. 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.
Lanc. Fare you well, Falstaff: I, in my con-
Shall better speak of you than you deserve.
[Exeunt all but FALSTAFF.
Fal. 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
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 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 crudy vapours which
environ it; makes it apprehensive, quick, for-
getive. Cull of nimble fiery and delectable shapes;
which, deliver'd 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 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, 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 nothing
without sack, for that sets it a-work; and learn-
ing, 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 father, he hath, like lean, sterile, and bare
land, manured, husbanded, and tilled, with ex-
cellent 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 human principle I would teach them should
be, to forswear thin potations and to addict them-
selves to sack.

How now, Bardolph?
Bard. The army is discharged all and gone.
Fal. Let them go. I'll through Gloucester-
shire; and 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. [Exeunt.
Copyright 2000-2005 AbsoluteShakespeare.com. All rights reserved.  Contact Us  Privacy  Awards