William Shakespeare's The Life of King Henry the Fifth in the complete original text.
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The Life of King Henry the Fifth

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Act II. Scene I.

Scene I.—London. Eastcheap.


Bard. Well met, Corporal Nym.
Nym. Good morrow. Lieutenant Bardolph.
Bard. What, are Ancient Pistol and you
friends yet?
Nym. For my part, I care not: I say little;
but when time shall serve, there shall be smiles;
but that shall be as it may. I dare not fight;
but I will wink arid hold out mine iron. It is a
simple one; but what though? it will toast
cheese, and it will endure cold as another man's
sword will: and there's an end.
Bard. I will bestow a breakfast to make you
friends, and we'll be all three sworn brothers to
France: let it be so, good Corporal Nym.
Nym. Faith, I will live so long as I may, that's
the certain of it; and when I cannot live any
longer, I will do as I may: that is my rest, that
is the rendezvous of it.
Bard. It is certain, corporal, that he is married
to Nell Quickly; and, certainly she did you
wrong, for you were troth-plight to her.
Nym. I cannot tell; things must be as they
may: men may sleep, and they may have their
throats about them at that time; and, some say,
knives have edges. It must be as it may: though
patience be a tired mare, yet she will plod.
There must be conclusions. Well, I cannot tell.

Enter PISTOL and Hostess.
Bard. Here comes Ancient Pistol and his
wife. Good corporal, be patient here. How now,
mine host Pistol!
Pist. Base tike, call'st thou me host?
Now, by this hand, I swear, I scorn the term;
Nor shall my Nell keep lodgers.
Host. No, by my troth, not long; for we can-
not lodge and board a dozen or fourteen gentle-
women that live honestly by the prick of their
needles, but it will be thought we keep a bawdy-
house straight. [NYM and PISTOL draw.] O
well-a-day. Lady! if he be not drawn now: we
shall see wilful adultery and murder committed.
Bard. Good lieutenant! good corporal! offer
nothing here.
Nym. Pish!
Pist. Pish for thee, Iceland dog! thou prick-
eared cur of Iceland!
Host. Good Corporal Nym, show thy valour
and put up your sword.
Nym. Will you shog off? I would have you
solus. [Sheathing his sword.
Pist. Solus, egregious dog? O viper vile!
The solus in thy most mervailous face;
The solus in thy teeth, and in thy throat,
And in thy hateful lungs, yea, in thy maw, perdy;
And, which is worse, within thy nasty mouth!
I do retort the sofus in thy bowels;
For I can take, and Pistol's cock is up,
And flashing fire will follow.
Nym. I am not Barbason; you cannot con-
jure me. I have an humour to knock you in-
differently well. If you grow foul with me. Pistol,
I will scour you with my rapier, as I may, in fair
terms: if you would walk off, I would prick your
guts a little, in good terms, as I may; and that's
the humour of it.
Pist. O braggart vile and damned furious
The grave doth gape, and doting death is near;
Therefore exhale.
Bard. Hear me, hear me what I say: he that
strikes the first stroke, I'll run him up to the
hilts, as I am a soldier. [Draws.
Pist. An oath of mickle might, and fury shall
Give me thy fist, thy fore-foot to me give;
Thy spirits are most tall.
Nym. I will cut thy throat, one time or other,
in fair terms; that is the humour of it.
Pist. Coupe le gorge!
That is the word. I thee defy again.
O hound of Crete, think'st thou my spouse to
No; to the spital go,
And from the powdering-tub of infamy
Fetch forth the lazar kite of Cressid's kind.
Doll Tearsheet she by name, and her espouse:
I have, and I will hold, the quondam Quickly
For the only she; and—pauca, there's enough.

Enter the Boy.
Boy. Mine host Pistol, you must come to my
master, and your hostess: he is very sick, and
would to bed. Good Bardolph, put thy face be-
tween his sheets and do the office of a warming-
pan. Faith, he's very ill.
Bard. Away, you rogue!
Host. By my troth, he'll yield the crow a
pudding one of these days. The king has killed
his heart. Good husband, come home presently.
[Exeunt Hostess and Boy.
Bard. Come, shall I make you two friends?
We must to France together. Why the devil
should we keep knives to cut one another's
Pist. Let floods o'erswell, and fiends for food
howl on!
Nym. You'll pay me the eight shillings I won
of you at betting?
Pist. Base is the slave that pays.
Nym. That now I will have; that's the
humour of it.
Pist. As manhood shall compound: push
home. [They draw.
Bard. By this sword, he that makes the first
thrust, I'll kill him; by this sword, I will
Pist. Sword is an oath, and oaths must have
their course.
Bard. Corporal Nym, an thou wilt be friends,
be friends: an thou wilt not, why then, be ene-
mies with me too. Prithee, put up.
Nym. I shall have my eight shillings I won
of you at betting?
Pist. A noble shalt thou have, and present pay;
And liquor likewise will I give to thee,
And friendship shall combine, and brotherhood:
I'll live by Nym, and Nym shall live by me.
Is not this just? for I shall sutler be
Unto the camp, and profits will accrue.
Give me thy hand.
Nym. I Shall have my noble?
Pist. In cash most justly paid. [Paying him.
Nym. Well then, that's the humour of it.

Re-enter Hostess.
Host. As ever you came of women, come in
quickly to Sir John. Ah, poor heart! he is so
shaked of a burning quotidian tertian, that it is
most lamentable to behold. Sweet men, come to
Nym. The king hath run bad humours on
the knight; that's the even of it.
Pist. Nym, thou hast spoke the right;
His heart is fracted and corroborate.
Nym. The king is a good king: but it must
be as it may; he passes some humours and
Pist. Let us condole the knight; for, lamb-
kins, we will live. [Exeunt.
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